Jack and Jill
A Samurai Jack Fanfic by
Laura McDaniel

The First Encounter

One dark night, Jack trudged through a forest on his seemingly hopeless quest to return to his own time. The wind blew so violently that even the sturdiest trees swayed and cracked. It blew the sleeves and hem of the samurai's robe so much that it often felt as though he might blow away himself, but he remained steadfast and fearless. The wind did not worry him as much as his weariness, anyway. It had been days since he'd seen any sign of civilization and he was afraid to rest because every pair of eyes he thought belonged to the resident woodland creatures might actually belong to Aku, the shape-shifting wizard who was the cause of all his problems.

One particularly large gust sent Jack flying forward. He quickly extended his arms and caught himself on a thick-trunked tree. Deciding that he could take a moment's rest, he tightly embraced the trunk and shut his eyes while he caught his breath. It was then that he first heard the laughter.

The sound wasn't threatening because it sounded like genuine, joyful laughter, but it was nonetheless eerie. Not letting go of the tree, Jack scanned the area for the sound's source and he decided it was only a few paces north of him. Once the wind died down somewhat, he let go of the tree and trudged forward again, his hand on his sword hilt just in case.

He followed the sound until it led him to yet another tree. He paused and glanced upwards to see what was laughing, expecting some kind of animal, but the sound ceased. He scratched his chin, shrugged, and decided to go onward. However, as soon as he took two steps, he heard the laughter again.
Now more annoyed than anything, Jack returned to the tree and called up, "I know someone is up there. Show yourself!" He tightened the grip on his sword as he waited for a reply. "I'm right here!" a voice answered.

"What do you mean? I don't see anything!" He looked behind himself, but found nothing.

There was more laughing and a voice exclaimed, "Up here! In the tree!" In a split second, a girl clambered down the trunk and hung by her feet on a branch just over the samurai. "Hello there!"

"Um...hello," Jack replied, looking completely baffled.

"I've been wanting to see you! You're the fellow on those wanted posters, aren't you?"

Though Jack found her question ominous, he was fascinated by the girl's appearance. She had long black hair that was tied in a tightly wound braid and she wore a white robe identical to his. On her feet, she wore nothing but a pair of traditional wooden geta like his. "Yes...I suppose I am," he said, scratching his head. Suddenly recovering his common sense, he snapped, "Why do you want to know? If you are one of Aku's bounty hunters, I warn you, I am armed!" He drew his sword and stood ready for battle.

The girl laughed some more and exclaimed, "No, no! I'm not a bounty hunter. I'm an admirer!" She leapt off her branch and landed behind the samurai and his formidable weapon. "My name is Jill - Samurai Jill."

Jack's eyes lit up with great excitement and he exclaimed, "You are also a Samurai? How is that possible?"

"Because I say it is."

"What does that mean?" Jack asked, sheathing his sword once more.

Jill laughed again and smiled, "Actually, my name is Toshi Okugi. I just wish I were a samurai."

"It's nothing to wish for. I have traveled so far and have endured so much but it seems I am nowhere near the end of my quest."

"But, Jack," Toshi replied, "at least you have a quest. At least you have a chance to overthrow Aku. I, on the other hand, can do nothing but go on living in this dark, dismal world." Suddenly getting more excited, Toshi continued, "I want to make your quest mine! We can travel together: Samurai Jack and Samurai Jill! Isn't that cute?" she giggled.

"Yes...um...cute," Jack said, scratching his head. He wasn't exactly sure what to make of the stranger. He pitied her, but taking her with him would be a burden. Though from what he had seen, Toshi's movement was rapid and accurate, he knew she couldn't have endured all the training he had and it was no time to take on a student.

"So..." Toshi said, interrupting the silence, "what do you say?"

Jack blinked and returned to the situation at hand. "I'll...think about it," he replied, unable to bear breaking the girl's spirit.
"Oh, you won't be disappointed! However, I must say that I need a proper weapon," she giggled, tapping the wooden sword that dangled from the sash around her waist. She looked at Jack and wistfully sighed, "You are so cool."

"Yes, in fact, I am cold! Do you know of a place where I could stay?"

Toshi laughed, "That isn't what I meant, but yes, I do. I live in a village not to far from here. I'm sure you'll be welcome to stay a night or two. We are not free from Aku's watchful eyes, but he doesn't pay much attention to us. You can get there by continuing the way you were going, but I know a shorter route. Want me to show you the way?"

"Yes, of course."

"Hey, let's race!" She beckoned Jack to join her

Jack quickly came up with a plan and replied, "All right. Listen, I'm undoubtedly faster than you, thus I will give you a head start."
"Are you sure about that?"

"Yes, I insist. Go ahead of me."

"Well...OK. See ya!" At that, Toshi quickly darted eastward.

Jack stood there and watched until she disappeared from sight. Then, he shook his head and continued northward. He decided that if he stayed in that village he'd avoid "Samurai Jill" at all costs.