C.C.: Been wanting to do this one for a good while now. I hope you all like it!

Full Summary: When the young Kiyoko happens upon an injured One Eyed Dragon, she decides to bring him back home to mend his wounds. Little did she know that that one act of kindness would pull her into the middle of a war between the nation...and Toyotomi Hideyoshi's growing army. Masamune x OC

Kiyoko: (kiyo) pure (ko) child

Hachi: (hachi) eight (also a popular dog's name LOL)

The underlined portions of Masamune's dialogue is him speaking english (or...engrish...).

Chapter I.

As winter melted away to make room for spring, Kiyoko found it hard to believe that she had survived long enough to welcome it. She sat alone, the sun was finally taking a break and settling down behind the hill in the distance, painting the sky a hazy mixture of orange and red hues.

She had been instructed to watch the house as her companion, an older man who simply went by the name "Hachi", had gone to the nearby village for supplies. She was never too sure if that was really his name or a false one, but decided it best to not question him. They resided in a small hut out in the countryside, surrounded by the forest and a small pond sitting out in the yard.

From time to time, Kiyoko would watch the koi fish swimming about and would count each one every new year (as there always seemed to be at least one more addition each year). She was quite fond of the koi fish and had given them all names, remembering each one by heart and sight.

She even felt sad when she found one of the fish had been caught by a stork last week.

Hachi had told her that it was simply apart of life.

Needless to say, she was not too fond of this part of life.

The girl sat on the porch, alone and cold but eagerly awaiting the return of her companion each day. Traveling to the village and back took four days to and back, a task that always seemed rather troublesome in her eyes. It was even longer when one did not have any horses and unfortunately, they were far too poor to own a single horse.

"I wish he'd come back soon," Kiyoko mumbled, swinging her feet back and forth, as they did not reach the ground even as she sat.

Suddenly, a loud boom sounded off in the distance much like that of an explosion and the smell of gunfire filtered into the once clear air. Smoke rose from the forest, not too far from where she sat.

"What is that?" She frowned. She contemplated the idea of checking it out herself, Hachi had always told her not to get involved with other people and especially so when he wasn't around.

But someone might be hurt so...

Without another thought, Kiyoko grabbed her boots and ran towards the direction of the explosion. Her feet carried her into the tall trees, as if they had sprung to life on their own and were walking a set path made just for her. Something...something was calling to her, what it was she wasn't too sure. It was further than the girl had thought as she weaved her way through the tall pines, dodging sharp branches and stepping over the outgrown roots so as to not trip over them.

Kiyoko felt the cold wind hit the bare skin of her thighs that were exposed by the bare gap between her short kimono and her knee high socks.

The explosion...should have come from this direction...!

She looked above her head, the birds screeching with fright as they flew from the direction in which she ran towards. Just a little bit further...a little bit further and she would reach it. Curiosity playing in the back of her mind, she was surprised at how calm she felt. The need to know dug at the corner of her mind, whether there were people involved and whether or not they were good or bad.

All of a sudden, a flash of blue caught the corner of her honey brown eyes and Kiyoko came to an abrupt stop. It took only a moment for the image to fully sink into her brain until she realized that the "blue object" was, in fact, a person lying on the ground. Her heart pounded against her ribcage and at first, she could not shake the feeling that perhaps this person was already dead.

Was she too late?

Hesitantly, the girl made her way over to the fallen figure until she was standing directly above him. It was a man no older than she, wearing a crescent shaped helmet with six swords strapped to either side of his waist; three each on each side. Before Kiyoko could stoop down and confirm whether the man was truly dead or not, the sound of cracking branches caused the girl to jump up from her spot and bolted behind a tree.

Much to her surprise, a horse came into the clearing, handle bars and exhaust pipes jetting out from its head. She furrowed her brows in curiosity but watched in silence as the horse trotted over to fallen man. It began sniffing his hair as if trying to check if the fallen man was still alive.

"Maybe it's his horse?" she mumbled softly. Slowly, Kiyoko revealed herself from behind the tree, startling the horse. Almost immediately, she lifted her hands up to soothe the creature. She didn't know how to but she thought that perhaps if she simply appeared friendly, the horse would understand.

"I'm not going to hurt him...I just want to help." It was enough to calm the beast down long enough to allow her to reproach the man, though it kept a suspicious distance away from her.

Was he a samurai? Perhaps a bandit instead?

She eyed the armor he wore with consideration, it looked far too expensive and war torn to belong to any run of the mill bandit. With a cautious glance directed at the horse (which had resorted to staring at her with a weary eye), Kiyoko knelt down and leaned forward. Her hands, however, hesitated just above his armored body. He was lying on his stomach, face turned to the side.

His one eye was closed and, upon further inspection, realized that the other had a black eyepatch strapped on top. His face was obscured by his helmet, making it hard to tell if he was breathing or not. Her hands trembled, debating whether to turn him around on his back or to leave him lying the way he was.

"Well..." she muttered, "here goes nothing I guess."

Kiyoko moved as slowly and gently as she could, not wanting to hurt him even more than he already was. She stopped momentarily when he let out a low groan of pain causing her to stiffen, stopping mid-action.

Had she hurt him?

When it seemed he would not wake up, she eased him back onto the floor and let out a soft sigh of relief.

"Now," she whispered, "the helmet."

She eyed it suspiciously, not really sure how she was to go about taking it off. She supposed the clip at his chin? Biting her bottom lip, Kiyoko gently pulled the helmet off with her right hand while holding his head with her left, hugging his head against her small chest.

I hope he can't hear my heartbeat...

Setting the helmet aside, Kiyoko straightened up to get a better look at the man. To her surprise, he hardly looked like a ruffian and in fact, she daresay he was quite good looking. There was something about him, even when unconscious that seemed...noble, in a way. Kiyoko had half expected a middle aged man full of scars and injures, but instead found a youthful looking man whose only disfiguration came in the form of a single eyepatch (though admittedly, she found it quite fetching).

"I wonder who he is," Kiyoko said, tilting her head to the side.

It was the first time seeing another person (other than Hachi and the people at the village). His armor made him seem foreign and strange. The very fact that he seemed so 'different' made her feel somewhat anxious...excited, almost.

The eyepatch that was strapped to his right eye piqued her curiosity even more, struggling with the temptation to have a peek at what laid underneath. Ultimately, she decided against it. It would have been rude to look without his permission after all. Though she hadn't been sure from a distance, now that she sat so close to him Kiyoko could hear the faint intake of air and the subtle rise and fall of his chest.

There was a large gash at his side, blood flowing freely from the open wound. The sight of the blood made Kiyoko squeamish and she fought the urge to shudder at the mere sight of it. However, he was alive and that was what mattered.

A wide smile graced her childlike face, prompting Kiyoko to look at the horse with an excited expression.

"Seems like your master is just fine, no need to worry."

Kiyoko looked around worriedly, she could not help him properly here...

Kiyoko looked over her shoulder, towards the direction of her home. It was not a long distance, in fact she could probably bring him back home before night fall if she hurried. However, the image of Hachi flashed in the back of her mind, causing her to rethink her choices. He was hardly the type to like visitors, especially strangers and uninvited guests stepping into their small home. Would he accept it if she told him the whole story?

Probably not...

He had always told her to stay away from strangers, especially strange men. She glanced back down at the man, contemplating what to do.

"He doesn't seem dangerous...right?" She asked, directing the question to the horse which simply stared back at her blankly. If anything, Hachi was not home...so what he didn't know didn't hurt him, right?

"Well, he is injured," she concluded. Hachi would not be so coldhearted as to turn away an injured man, right? The sharp sound of voices in the distance sent a chill up Kiyoko's spine and the horse standing besides her began to panic, trotting back and forth in a hurried fashion.

Without waiting another second to think, Kiyoko stood up and with all her might hauled the man up. He was much heavier than he looked and on her first two attempts fell to the ground the minute she picked him up (or rather, pulled). The voices were getting louder, closer and Kiyoko began to panic even more. Of all things, why could she not have been born a man? If she were bigger she would be able to pick up this man like nothing!

Or at the very least...why couldn't I have been born a strong woman?

Turning her attention onto the horse she let out a low whistle and gestured for it to come to her.

"I need your help," she said, panting as she half dragged the man towards the animal. "Please, help me take him to my house."

Although hesitant at first, the horse finally trotted over to her and bent over, as if sensing her dilemma. She smiled graciously and half dragged, half pushed the man onto the horse...his swords making it all the more difficult. More than once did they hit her in the head as she pushed and pulled.

As soon as he was on she grabbed hold of a part of the horse's saddle and pulled it towards the direction of her home. The horse stood up and followed diligently, the man laying limp on its back. Kiyoko looked over her shoulder, the voices getting even louder. She felt the need to fasten her pace and made a small clicking sound for the horse to follow suit.

For some reason, she had a feeling that the men shouting were hardly his friends.

When she finally made it home it had been left exactly the way she had left it. She sighed for the first time in relief at the fact that Hachi would not be home. Although she was lonely...she hardly wanted to be yelled at. Letting go of the horse and making her way towards the house, she pulled the screen door open so as to clear the way for when she would bring the man inside.

Pulling the injured man off the horse was just as much of a chore as it was getting him on it and, once more, practically dragged him into the house. She stopped momentarily just outside the door to take a breath, her voice coming out as short puffs. Her hair stuck to her face and she blew out a strand obscuring her view.

"I-I dare say my physical strength is a little pathetic...if I do say so myself."

Kicking her shoes off and pulling him simultaneously, it took her nearly half an hour just to get the man into the small living area. When Kiyoko finally had him lying in the middle of the room did she realize that she may have worsened his condition. In a half panic, she found herself scrambling over to his side to inspect the wound once more. Much to her relief, the wound looked no different from when she had last checked it.

He did look a bit distressed though, despite her best intentions.

It took her a while to find some clean bandages and as Kiyoko made her way back to him, she realized that she would have to strip the man of his armor if she wanted to treat his wounds. Gulping nervously, Kiyoko felt her face go hot with embarrassment at the mere thought.

She had never seen a naked man before and Kiyoko secretly hoped that she would not get punished for whatever she was about to do...

After an hour or two of cleaning and binding his wounds did Kiyoko finish, sitting back to admire her handiwork. It was around then did she realize that the floor had been stained with blood and dirt from when she had dragged him into the house.

"Ack! Hachi won't like this when he gets back!"

As she eased the man into her futon, Kiyoko nodded in self satisfaction when she was finally convinced that he was all right before going about cleaning up the mess she had made. While she scrubbed the house down (the blood being particularly hard to get out) the man's horse caught her eye. For a while now, ever since she had come out of the forest she felt like she had forgotten something.

What it was she could not put her finger on it. Kiyoko stared at the horse, at its saddle, its exhaust pipes and handlebars and wondered what it could be that she might have forgotten.

She did not bring anything to the forest...

"Maybe I'm just imagining things..." she whispered to herself.

Her eyes trailed over to the still unconscious man, his chestnut brown hair spilling onto the pillow in which he rested his head on and his chest heaving up and down as he breathed. She had made sure to place both his swords and clothes at his side, so that when he woke up he'd known that it was still with him. Which brought about the question as to why he even needed six swords.

Is it a new fashion for samurai to use that many swords?

Hachi had only two but she had never seen him use them on anyone before. Kiyoko had folded his clothes as neatly as she could, the swirly design on the back of his vest having fascinated her when she had caught sight of it. His armor was, more or less, the hardest part to take off.

Armor? Wait...where's his...?

"Ah! His helmet!" Kiyoko gasped, realization dawning on her. She had forgotten his helmet of all things! She needed to get it back before those men found it, but could she? Should she? She glanced back at the man, he seemed fine enough, and she would only be a minute.

I'm sure he'll be angry if he finds that his helmet is missing...

Looking back in the direction which she had just recently come from, Kiyoko wondered whether the men pursuing the injured samurai were still around. It had already been several hours since then. It was probably safe.


Once more, she glanced back at the sleeping man and frowned.

"Okay," she said finally, "I'll go get it."

Pulling on her boots once more, Kiyoko turned to the horse and smiled gently.

"I'll only be a minute so watch over your master, okay?"

His answer came in a high pitched neigh which she took as a 'yes' and made her way to the forest once more. She still remembered where she had found the man and made sure to make as little sound as she possibly could. When Kiyoko came upon the area where the unconscious man had been lying she felt her heart go light with relief. Immediately, the giant crescent moon of the helmet caught her eye as it glistened in the distance.

Looking around, she saw the the coast was clear and gulped nervously, her heart pounding against her ribcage.

"I'll just grab it really quick," she half-whispered as she hurried over towards the helmet. She had almost made it halfway to the headgear when she heard a shout ahead of her and snapped her head up, alarmed.

"Hey! I heard a noise from over there!" A man's voice came out from the depths of the forest. Panicking, the girl quickly snatched the helmet from the ground and turned around quickly to run away.

"Hurry! This way!" The voice shouted even louder.

Guess that means I should head out now!

To her horror the voices were getting louder, closer than before and she began to look around for a place to hide. Kiyoko couldn't climb the trees fast enough and there were no bushes nearby where she could hide.

"What should I do?" She mumbled, clutching the helmet close to her chest. It was then that she spotted a rather peculiar looking tree and ran towards it. There Kiyoko discovered a small opening at the base of the tree, big enough for her to crawl inside and hide.

Looking past her shoulder, Kiyoko could hear the clamor of armor and swords. The voices of angry men were getting closer and closer. Without another second to wait she eased her way underneath the tree just as she saw a flash of red zoom past her. Kiyoko hoped she would not be discovered. The helmet had made it particularly hard to squeeze into the already too tight opening but she had managed somehow.

There were about seven to eight men all adorned in red and brown armor. Each one held a sword or a spear in hand and Kiyoko found herself staring at them with wide, frightened eyes. She had never seen so many weapons before, let alone people. Her voice hitched in her throat when one of the men came closer to the tree where she hid, though he seemed to not have noticed her at all.

She tensed as he came near her, Kiyoko's grip on the crescent helmet tightening to the point where she could feel it digging into her almost painfully. At the corner of her eye Kiyoko could see a small centipede crawl its way over her left shoulder and she had to hold her scream in as it fell to the ground and back into the dirt. She wanted to go home, but she could not leave just yet.

"Do you see anything?" One of the men asked, looking around.

"No," the man who stood closest to her replied. When he had spoken Kiyoko could feel her body flinch ever so slightly. "It was probably your imagination, let's go back...Lord Hanbei is waiting for us."



Much to her relief, the men turned around and left. She did not come out of her hiding place until she was sure they were of some good distance. As she crawled out Kiyoko placed the helmet just a few inches away from her so it would be easier for her to move. As she dust herself off and picked the helmet back up, Kiyoko made a silent vow to never tell Hachi what had just happened.

If he were to ever find out...she was sure to get a lecture. Hachi could be so scary sometimes when he was angry.

She made sure to quicken her pace and was quieter than ever. She did not want to repeat what had just happened. Upon her return, Kiyoko had been so surprised by what she had been greeted with⎯she had almost dropped the helmet out of sheer fright.

The man was awake and not only was he awake but standing, his back towards her and hand pressed against a wooden wall for balance. Almost instantly Kiyoko dropped the helmet and let out a small gasp, alarming the man who whipped around to look at her, a sword already in hand and pointing right at her.

She froze, hardly expecting to have a sword pointed at her⎯least of all by a wounded man whom she had just saved. Kiyoko stared at the tip of the sword, silent and truth be told, curious as to what he planned to do next.

He narrowed his one eye as if evaluating her from head to toe before straightening up, his composure returning to him.

"Who are you?" He asked. His voice was deeper than she had expected, rough yes, but it didn't sound cruel.

"I'm Kiyoko," she said simply.

"That so? Who the hell are you? What're you doing here?"

With this, Kiyoko frowned, she was somewhat confused now. What did he mean 'who the hell are you?' she just told him her name and he was still asking? She wondered if his ears had been damaged as well but thought best to keep that part to herself.

"I live here," she said with a shrug. "Who are you?"

He seemed to be taken aback by her question, as if she should already know who he was.

"You live in Oushu and you don't even know who I am? Are you stupid?" He asked, frowning.

"I hardly am," Kiyoko responded, more matter-of-fact than defensive. She could read and write, knew her alphabet and knew how to catch game to survive on her own. She hard learned it all from Hachi.

"I guess it's because I don't see people very often," she informed him, "I'm sorry if I don't know who you are. Am I supposed to?"

The man let out a heavy, ragged sigh before waving it off as if he had given up. He winced, however, and quickly clutched his side with a painful expression flashing onto his face. Almost immediately Kiyoko made an attempt to go to his side but was stopped by his sword once more, the tip pointing at her nose.

"Don't come over here," he told her, "I can handle this myself."

Kiyoko straightened up and frowned. "You could hardly handle yourself when I found you in the forest."

He said nothing to her at first, merely staring and trying his best to figure the girl out. When he had woken up he was alone in a stranger's home, his wounds cleaned and bandaged and his horse standing just outside. His sword and clothes (excluding his pants, which he was still wearing) were neatly folded and put at his bedside. His armor had been carefully stripped off and also placed near him.

He had initially thought of Kojuro...perhaps this was his doing?

However, the last time he had seen him was at the village not too far from here. There was no way the older man would have made it back in time to fix him up.

Then who?

However, when he heard the girl come back he was, truth be told, he was a bit startled. He had not expected her to be so...quiet. He half expected her to be the enemy due to her ability of concealment and was perhaps a ninja in hiding waiting to assassinate him. No matter how he looked at her, the man, otherwise known by all as Date Masamune, could not believe her to be anything other than just a normal girl.

Well, 'normal' was stretching it a bit...considering she didn't even know his name despite living in Oushu.

Was that normal for country bumpkins like her?

But even country bumpkins knew the name of their lord.

"Did you do this?" Masamune asked, gesturing to his bandaged side. He saw the girl tense up at his question and immediately she averted his gaze. Her face becoming red but she nodded in confirmation all the same. Quirking an eyebrow at her, Masamune contemplated whether to press for further information but dropped it all the same.

"Um," the girl said, her voice soft. "I don't think you should be standing up like that...your wounds might reopen."

"Ah?" Masamune looked down at his side and shrugged. "It'll heal up in a matter of days. I'll be leaving right now."

"Don't be silly! Are you an idiot?" She suddenly shouted at him, scowling. He had not expected to be called a fool by some random girl (or by anyone in general).

"Id⎯You...do you really not know who I am?"

"Even if I did," Kiyoko continued, storming back into the house and walking up to the now startled man. "I would still call you an 'idiot'. A wounded man's job is to sit still, be quiet and get better! If not then he'll just be a burden! That's what Hachi always said!"

"Hach⎯? Listen, woman⎯little girl...!"

"I'm Kiyoko. Kiyo. Ko. Not 'little girl'! My name happens to be very precious to me I'll have you know!"

He groaned at this, not sure why he was getting lectured for the misuse of a silly name.

"And what in the world do you hope to accomplish with a hole in your side? Hm?" Kiyoko stated, pointing at his side.

"I happen to be...never mind. Let's just drop this."

"I'm not a strange woman! I'm Kiyoko!"

"Yeah, yeah." Masamune, not wanting to deal with any more trouble, allowed his tired body to hit the futon below him. To be perfectly honest, it was a battle in itself just staying standing but his pride stood in the way of common sense.

Who was this woman to tell him what to do?

What in the world do you hope to accomplish with a hole in your side?

Her words rang in the back of his mind and he could not help but smirk at the irony of it all, a complete stranger calling him out on his own foolishness. He did not want to admit it but the girl (as irritating as she was starting to become) had made a good point.

He could not deal with Toyotomi Hideyoshi's men in his current state. Especially with the fact that his retainer, Hanbei was also hot on his heels...he doubted he could handle them with his wounds being so serious (as much as he hated to admit it). He would simply have to be patient and wait for his wounds to heal enough for him to get up properly without feeling the need to hurl.

Then he would be able to kick that Hanbei's prissy little ass and take down Toyotomi Hideyoshi.

He smirked just thinking about it.

There was a small thud near where he lay, as if someone was sitting down, bringing the man out of his thoughts. The girl, who claimed to be someone named 'Kiyoko' sat on her knees, her hands placed between her legs and curiosity written plainly on her face.

Of all the things...

She was a small thing that she was.

"Hey, kid...did you really drag me out of that forest?" He suddenly asked, causing the girl to flinch in surprise.

She had not expected him to start a conversation with her.

"Yes, well..." she looked towards his horse and smiled. "I did have help."

"Must have been hard," he said, yawning as he spoke. "I apologize for the trouble I've caused you."

He was surprised when the girl suddenly beamed at him.

"You're welcome! I'm glad that you're alright, I was afraid I might have made your wounds worse by dragging you around everywhere."

Masamune studied the girl silently as she turned her attention back to the horse, now engaging in a conversation with it as if the animal could truly understand her senseless babble. He had not taken the time to look at the girl properly before but now that he did he found her to be extremely normal looking.

She was not an extreme beauty by all means, but she was decent enough.

Her eyes were poised, doe eyed and she had a button like nose. Her cheeks were a bit puffy (like mochi, he noted) but he supposed this was due to her youth. Small lips that were a light cherry color and equally light colored skin that had a sort of pinkish hue. He wondered what sort of trouble she might have had when bringing him back from the forest.

She must have struggled quite a bit regardless of her supposed help from his horse.

"Hey," he said, causing the girl to look back at him. "How old are you uh...?"

"Kiyoko," she offered. "Um I think...I'm eighteen?"

...come again?

"You're...how old?" He asked once more, not sure whether he heard her correctly.

"Eighteen," she said, tilting her head to the side. Was it that strange?

"Kid, you sure you're getting your nutrients?" As he spoke he leaned in towards her, carefully checking her features.

"Of course!" Kiyoko informed him though not all too sure why she was suddenly being asked such a question. What did nutrients have to do with how old she was? "How old are you?"

"I don't really need to answer that," he told her, waving it off with nonchalance. Honestly, he did not truly feel like sharing anything about himself to a complete stranger. Kiyoko, in turn, pouted at his answer. She was somewhat disappointed that the man was dodging her questions when he seemed to have plenty to ask her.

It was somewhat unfair...

"You never told me your name, either," Kiyoko muttered, frowning. He could at least tell her that much⎯she had saved his life, after all! It was only fair.

Masamune mused on the idea for a moment, the more rational side of him told him to keep his name a secret just in case she did turn out to be an enemy spy...and the other side told him to screw it and tell her his name anyway. He did not know why but it somewhat irked him to know she had never heard of his name.

He eyed her then, trying to read any sort of giveaway to any sort of mischief the girl might be concocting behind that innocent (and irritatingly naive) facade she put up. If she really were a spy...she was an incredibly good actress.

If not...

He decided to test her, regardless.

"Do you know the name of the man who governs Oushu?" he asked her, folding his arms.

"Huh?" Kiyoko blinked rapidly, confused and a little surprised at the sudden question. Again, she was the one being questioned instead of him...it made her sort of frustrated. She answered him nonetheless. "No...?"

"How's that even possible?" Masamune demanded, scowling at her.

"Well...Hachi never told me so I honestly don't know. You should ask him when he comes back, he'll probably know," she stated, shrugging. Hachi always knew.

"Who the hell is 'Hachi'? Your pet?" He said, sighing and sitting back. His arms crossed over his chest and a scowl on his face.

"No, he's a person. Hachi is..."Kiyoko paused, she had never had to explain who Hachi was before simply because no one bothered to ask. "Hachi is...just Hachi, I guess."

Her answer, however, seemed to only frustrate the one eyed man even more who once again let out a heavy sigh. She did not mean to make him angry and, to put it bluntly, he seemed to be a bit...scary.

"I give up." He stated, shaking his head. "Have you ever heard of the Head Chief of Oushu?"

Once more, she shook her head.

He half expected that.

"The One Eyed Dragon?"

Again, she shook her head.

"The Azure Samurai?"


"So you've never heard of the man named 'Date Masamune', huh?" He said, more to himself than to her.

He was beginning to feel sorry for himself...he was sure everyone knew who he was. After all, he planned on taking over the world someday people had to know who he was or he made sure they did! To his surprise, the girl seemed to perk at the sudden mention of his name. Perhaps she did know? She smiled, then, and much to Masamune's bewilderment seemed almost happy.

"Date Masamune...?"

"Yeah." He leaned towards her, trying to hear her voice. It was soft and yet distinct at the same time, loud enough for him to hear but there was a sort of gentleness about it that he could not pinpoint.

"Is that your name?" She asked, eyes wide and completely serious.

All Masamune could do was stare at her, eyebrow twitching and mouth slightly ajar. Was this girl serious? She was obviously joking...there was no way she could be truly, genuinely, honestly serious. No. Nope. Just the look on her face was enough evidence that she was serious. He could practically see little rainbows and flowers bouncing off of her and dancing in the background.

She was dead serious.

"What the hell has this 'Hachi' guy been teaching you?" He breathed, putting a hand to his now aching head. Great...now he was even bringing up 'Hachi' like her (whoever that was). Her flow was contagious...it was almost dangerous.

"He's taught me a lot of things!" She suddenly beamed. "Like reading and writing...and the alphabet...and how to catch fish! And birds! Foxes...oh! I caught a bear once too!"

"The hell would you need a bear for?"

"I dunno," Kiyoko said, shrugging. "I just did. At the time."

She gasped then, as if suddenly realizing something important. The girl pointed a small, slender finger at him, eyes shining and everything. "So that means...you're the Head Chief of Oushu?"

"Now you get it," he said, groaning. He felt his energy already draining just talking to her. Where was his usual bravado? The intense fire that he usually had in him when in battle? How could one tiny little girl tire him out so quickly?

"And the Azure Samurai?"


"And the One Eyed Dragon?"

"The one and only."

"And...wait, what else did you say?"

"Just forget it," he said, waving it off and falling completely onto the futon. He felt drained. Irritable. No, he was so tired he no longer had the energy to even be irritated!

"Whoever this 'Hachi' guy is...I give him props for having enough patience to deal with this kid," he stated, not looking at her.

"Hachi is really cool," Kiyoko stated, nodding to herself as the thought of her companion came to mind.

"Whatever you say."

"Wait so," Kiyoko said, burrowing her eyebrows in thought, "if you're the Head of Oushu...what're you doing all the way out here? Because...y'know, shouldn't you be out and about doing...I don't know, Head Chief stuff?"

"And exactly what kind of stuff are Head Chiefs supposed to be doing?" Masamune turned to look at her. Kiyoko shrugged, pulling her legs up against her chest.

"I dunno, official stuff? I just have a feeling that you should be doing something else." She shrugged nonchalantly. "I mean, you were being chased by weird guys earlier...were they the ones who hurt you?" Kiyoko rested her chin onto her knees as she spoke, staring up at the man.

At this, Masamune scowled.

So she truly was the one who brought him here.

Now the real question, had she been followed? Unlikely, as they would have taken advantage of the situation by now. The sun had already set hours ago and night had already come. The crescent moon illuminated brightly over their heads and the twinkle of the stars scattered about the dark sky.

"I suppose they are," he answered, deciding to play it cool. He did not want her finding out anything else about him. It was...inevitable, that she had to learn his name. She had saved his life; he figured he would give her at least a small token of gratitude as thanks.

"Oh," she said, "then I guess it's a good thing I got your helmet back."

He frowned, not really sure what she meant.

"Well, I mean...it would be horrible if the bad guys found you, right? You are the Head of Oushu...so that means you're pretty important."

At this, Masamune smirked at her choice of words.

"What makes you think they're the 'bad guys?' What if I were the 'bad guy'? What would you do?" He asked, eyeing her carefully now.

For a moment, Kiyoko simply stared back at him. As if his words were slowly sinking into her and they were loading into her brain. He was somewhat curious as to what her answer would be. The way she looked at him with all of her attention, her eyes looking straight into his made him somewhat unsettled. As if she was the one trying to read him instead of the other way around.

To his surprise, she simply smiled back at him.

"No," she said, shaking her head. "You're not a bad person. I can tell. If you really were a bad person...I wouldn't be here right now."

Masamune let out a loud laugh at her answer, causing the girl to simply blink back at him in surprise.

"Is that all?" he asked.

Kiyoko shrugged. "Dunno. Hachi says I shouldn't judge people based on their looks. Just because someone looks like a bad guy doesn't mean he is one."

"So, just by looks...I look like a 'bad guy'?" he said, smirking.

She giggled at his question but answered regardless. "Mm, to be honest...yes."

"And yet you still helped me."

Kiyoko frowned. "Well, I couldn't leave you lying there..."

"Did 'Hachi' tell you to do that too?" Masamune smirked.

She paused, thinking it over and finally shaking her head 'no'. Kiyoko smiled at him, as he found she did quite often.

"No, if Hachi found out I helped a stranger...I think he'd be angry," she informed him.

"Oh? So this 'Hachi' guy doesn't want you talking to strangers, huh?I can hardly blame him," Masamune stated, looking up at the ceiling.

"What do you mean?" She asked, not really understanding what he meant by that. Did he mean she didn't know any self-defense? "I can take care of myself just fine."

"I'm sure you can," he said, positioning himself so that he was now lying on his back. His hands behind his head and one leg propped up. "I guess I'll have to stay here long enough for this wound of mine to heal. I don't really want to but...guess I'll be in your care for a while."

Before Kiyoko could say anymore, he had already gone straight to sleep. She watched him for a moment, before crawling into Hachi's futon for the night. It smelt like him still, which gave her some comfort as a security blanket would a child.

She wished Hachi would come back...

However, she had a feeling she would not be lonely while she waited for him to return.

C.C.: And that's it for the first chapter! :D more to come afterwards. I'm sorry if Kiyoko comes off as a bit of an airhead but you'll learn soon why and how she ended up that way. Also, regarding the mysterious "Hachi" (who, I must add, Kiyoko talks and will talk endlessly about) will not be making an appearance until a little later in the story. So if you're confused as to who he is...then good. Cuz' that's basically how Masamune feels haha

I apologize if Masamune comes off as a little OOC it was a little hard experimenting with the different ways he handles Kiyoko. Generally, I've come to realize that aside from the ambitious, badass overlord that he is...when alone he's relatively quiet and has many thoughts going through his mind. Also, I've realized that Masamune may not be all that much older than Kiyoko herself :D despite how he looks.

I don't know whether I really want to make this a full-fledged Masamune x OC fic...or keep their relationship purely platonic, it'll have to depend on how much Kiyoko grows.