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* Jiro has been watching Kumiko and the household for a while now
* Jiro knows the schedule of the house and the inhabitants pretty well
* Jiro has just watched Gyo leave for the day and is now approaching the house
* Kumiko is at home, cleaning... yesh
* Jiro knocks on the door
* Kumiko was standing quite close to it, so opens it quickly. "Oh, ohayou Jiro-san."
* Jiro smiles "Ohayou, bonsai-sama, I hope I'm not disturbing you."
<Kumiko> Oh, no... not at all... please, come in *steps back slightly to allow him to enter*
* Jiro enters
* Kumiko is generally trusting, plus, she's met the man before, plus, she has Saku-chan to protect her, eh?
* Jiro has timed it so Gyo will be pretty far off by now and too difficult to call back quickly
<Kumiko> I'm afraid it's a bit messy... I was just in the process of cleaning up a bit...
<Jiro> it's a lovely home
<Jiro> I was hoping to find houshi-sama in
<Jiro> I had something to speak to him about regarding the shrine
<Jiro> and I wanted to make a private donation, you know, no big fuss
<Kumiko> Oh... no, I'm sorry... he just left to attend to his duties there... *bites her lip* ...and he'd be quite far off by now, too...
<Jiro> but since I'd met you and he before, I hoped he would carry it to the shrine for me
* Jiro puts on a disappointed face
<Jiro> oh dear
* Jiro sidles closer to the fire under the pretext of warming his hands
<Jiro> well, I suppose I could always just leave it with you
* Kumiko nods. "Hai... you could... I'm good for delivering messages, at least." *smiles slightly*
<Kumiko> Please, do you want anything? I believe there's still some tea warm from breakfast...
* Jiro pulls the drug that will knock everyone out from his sleeve and drops it into the fire, it will take about 3 minutes or so to work, he was told, so he needs to get out quickly
<Jiro> no, thank you, I'm leaving the area today and really need to get moving
* Jiro hands her a package with a rock in it, his false donation
<Kumiko> Oh... alright... *takes the package*
<Kumiko> Well, I'll make sure to give this to Gyo when he gets back... :)
<Jiro> you're a very kind lady
* Jiro bows to her and to the kids and takes his leave, goes to wait downriver
* Kumiko bows back
* Kumiko sets down the package, then goes back to cleaning...
* Kumiko does so for, like, less than three minutes, then feels very dizzy and stuff and eventually is knocked out by the drugs-thingie. Yesh.
* Jiro returns after about ten minutes, opens the door to let the fumes disperse for a while and then goes inside
* Kumiko is all... on the floor... yeah
* Kumiko is also knocked out, man
* Jiro puts the kids onto their futons so they'll be comfortable, has nothing against them
* Jiro looks around for a few minutes, he wants it perfectly clear to Gyo that his wife has been taken and not that this is some freak accident, so he needs to leave a clue
* Jiro takes Kumiko's pendant off and puts it on top of the false package, confident the kids will be able to say where the package came from
* Jiro then picks Kumiko up and takes her downriver where he's stashed a boat
* Kumiko is still knocked out... how long will the effect hang in?
* Kumiko will stay knocked out for three hours... maybe more, considering she's fairly small.
* Jiro takes Kumiko down river and has her stashed in a cave near his home village by the time she wakes up, waits for her to come to there
* Kumiko wakes up slowly. <...what happened...?>
* Jiro has started a fire and is sitting on a rock by the entrance of the cave
* Kumiko groans softly and blinks open her eyes
* Jiro put Kumiko on a futon and has tied her ankle to a large rock with a complicated knot
* Jiro looks back and gets up and brings her some water
<Jiro> here, drink this, it will make your headache go away
<Kumiko> Wha--... Jiro-san...?
* Kumiko drinks the water anyway, whee
<Jiro> try not to move too much for a while, you don't want to fall and hurt yourself or the baby
<Kumiko> No... what... where am I? What happened..?
<Jiro> you're safe in a place where no one will harm you
<Jiro> I'm afraid you're going to be very angry with me, but... I took you from your home
<Kumiko> Wh-- what? why?
* Jiro hangs his head
<Jiro> it has nothing to do with you
<Jiro> I mean you no harm, I promise
<Jiro> and, I hope, when all is said and done, you will be happy with what I've done
<Jiro> I saved you
* Kumiko blinks at him, confused. "Saved me... from what?"
<Jiro> from him... from that lying, coniving, cheating bastard you call a husband... I..I had to
<Jiro> you're so good, so sweet
<Jiro> and I know that when you know the truth, you'll decide I'm the better man for you
* Kumiko shakes her head. "No... no... Gyo... where's Gyo..."
<Jiro> oh, I'd imagine he's still at the shrine... maybe sleeping with someone else's wife or fiance
* Kumiko shakes her head more fiercly. "No... he wouldn't... he promised me he wouldn't... and I have no reason to mistrust him, Jiro-san..."
* Jiro laughs cynically and then strokes her hair softly
<Jiro> I'm not angry with you, Kumiko, I couldn't be angry with you
<Jiro> it's not your fault you met him first
<Jiro> he's a good liar
<Jiro> but you'll see the truth
<Kumiko> Jiro-san... no... I don't know why you think he's like that... but he's not that way...
* Jiro gets a hard expression on his face
<Jiro> don't defend him, Kumiko... I know you don't understand, so I won't punish you, but I won't hear you defending him, understand?
<Kumiko> But he isn't like that... *trails off and looks away*
* Jiro stands up and faces the front of the cave
<Jiro> I guess this is as good a time as any to tell you the rules
<Jiro> first of all, you belong to me now..I won, I beat him, so I get the prize
<Jiro> don't worry, I won't force you into anything
<Jiro> and I'll always treat your child with respect
<Jiro> but you can consider your former husband dead from this time onward
<Jiro> he'll never find you, and if he does, the army here will kill him... I have many friends
* Kumiko shakes her head, but doesn't say anything
<Jiro> secondly, I won't have you trying to run or call for help
<Jiro> if I find you've tried to escape, I will have to hurt your baby... I don't want to... but if I have to, I will
* Kumiko tries to swallow the sudden clump in her throat
<Jiro> I have an herb here that, if I throw it on the fire, you'll lose the child
<Jiro> I would hate to have to use it, I really don't want to hurt you
<Jiro> do you understand?
<Kumiko> ...
<Kumiko> *tiny voice* hai...
* Jiro turns to look at her
<Jiro> good
* Jiro smiles and kneels by her side again
<Jiro> I'm not a bad person
<Jiro> I just want what's right
* Kumiko shakes her head slightly
<Jiro> don't... contradict... me....
<Jiro> please... just give me a chance
<Kumiko> Jiro-san... I will try not to hate you... but...
<Jiro> I understand
<Jiro> you don't know me yet
* Jiro smiles
<Jiro> but you will
* Jiro stands again
<Kumiko> I love Gyo... I love him with all my heart...
* Jiro ignores her
<Kumiko> I won't try to run...
<Jiro> you can mourn for him, I won't get in the way, but he's dead to you
<Jiro> I'll provide everything you need here, until you've accepted the inevitable and can be trusted to run my household
* Kumiko nods. "If he's dead, I'll mourn him for the rest of my life..."
<Jiro> you have a week
<Jiro> I'm not a fool
<Jiro> you -will- love me
* Kumiko turns away from him, holding her arms around her stomach.
* Jiro puts a hand on her back in concern
<Jiro> what do you need?
<Kumiko> Nothing...
<Kumiko> <...from you...>
<Jiro> I'll get you some more water
* Jiro does so
* Kumiko cries in silence
<Kumiko> <Gyo... please save me... please... please don't be dead to me, like he says you will be... please...>
<Jiro> I'm sorry for your loss...but I'll make it up to you
<Jiro> I'll be the best husband in the world to you
* Kumiko doesn't answer
<Kumiko> < can't... because Gyo is... he is... I love him, why can't you see...?>
* Gyoshoku just arrived home from a rather shortish day of work, not a lot going on at the shrine lately
* Sakuteki was just waking up... finds that she really can't use her sense of smell right now... that's... annoying... and a bit scary...
* Gyoshoku finds the house very quiet... odd
* Gyoshoku walks inside, it still smells funny in there
<Gyoshoku> Kumiko?
* Gyoshoku doesn't see Kumiko anywhere, but does see both girls all laid out on their futons
<Gyoshoku> Saku-chan? Seisui-chan?
* Sakuteki is struggling to awaken more
* Gyoshoku walks over and kneels next to the girls
<Gyoshoku> what's going on?
* Sakuteki groans slightly and fights open her eyes.
* Gyoshoku sees that Seisui is sleeping normally and focuses on Saku
<Gyoshoku> Saku-chan, are you alright?
<Gyoshoku> what happened? where's Kumiko?
<Sakuteki> I... don't know... can't smell...
<Gyoshoku> can't smell?
<Gyoshoku> it does smell funny in here
<Gyoshoku> let me take you outside
* Gyoshoku picks Saku up and takes her outside by the river
<Gyoshoku> better?
* Sakuteki rubs her nose and feels a bit more clearheaded. "A bit... still can't... smell properly..."
<Sakuteki> What the hell was that...? *looks back to house*
<Gyoshoku> I don't know
<Gyoshoku> I just came home and found you like this
<Gyoshoku> and I don't know where Kumiko could have gone to
* Gyoshoku is getting more than a little worried, feels panic rising up and tries to calm down
<Gyoshoku> what happened?
* Sakuteki frowns. "She din't say she was going anywhere..."
<Gyoshoku> what do you remember?
<Sakuteki> Uh... you left this morning... and then K'miko was all cleaning and stuff... and then that human... wasshisname... Jiro came by to ask you to take some gift to the shrine...
<Gyoshoku> Jiro?
* Gyoshoku barely remembers this name
<Gyoshoku> he left me something?
<Sakuteki> But you weren't home, so he left it with Kumiko... and then he went... and then a bit later there was this odd smell and... I don't remember
* Gyoshoku frowns
<Gyoshoku> wait here, I'm going to check out the inside
* Gyoshoku puts her down and goes back in, carries Seisui out in case it will help her, and then looks around the house for clues
* Gyoshoku feels his heart miss a beat when he finds the pendant on top of the package, takes both outside
<Gyoshoku> is this it? is this what he left?
<Sakuteki> Yeah, I guess
<Gyoshoku> what about this *holds up the necklace* did you see Kumiko take this off at any time?
<Gyoshoku> <she wouldn't>
<Gyoshoku> <I know she wouldn't take it off>
<Sakuteki> No...
<Sakuteki> Why'd she take off that...?
<Gyoshoku> she didn't
<Gyoshoku> she wouldn't
<Gyoshoku> it wasn't her
<Gyoshoku> she wouldn't take it off, not while Kurousagi is still alive
* Gyoshoku walks back and forth, pacing and muttering to himself, he's losing the war with panic
* Gyoshoku looks at the package and then opens it, finds the rock and then screams and throws it in the river with all his force
<Gyoshoku> he took her... that... Jirowhoeverheis bastard took Kumiko!
* Sakuteki ...thinks there's not much she can do right now... tries to sniff around to catch a scent, but... stupid drugs messing up her nose...
* Gyoshoku clutches the pendant and then turns to Saku, a wild look in his eyes
<Gyoshoku> tell me everything you remember
<Gyoshoku> what was he wearing? what did he say?
<Sakuteki> Uhh... he was wearing... y'know... normal clothes?
<Gyoshoku> did he touch her? did he say where he was going?
<Sakuteki> Nothing that stood out...
<Sakuteki> He din't touch her when I saw... he just gave her that package and... I think... he said he was going back to his home village?
* Gyoshoku racks his brain
<Gyoshoku> but he didn't say where that was?
<Sakuteki> No... sorry...
* Gyoshoku bites back the hysterical laughter that threatens to take over... really needs to calm down
<Gyoshoku> why? why would he do that? we only met him once... he seemed normal enough
<Sakuteki> I dunno...
<Gyoshoku> you have to find her... find her Saku-chan! where did they go? which way?
<Sakuteki> Don't you think I've already tried? Ever since I woke up, I've been trying to catch her scent... to no use...
* Gyoshoku looks around wildly
<Gyoshoku> <if I can just calm down...which way? which way?>
* Gyoshoku sees a place where the plants are trodden on
* Gyoshoku points "Can you smell anything? Is it there?"
* Gyoshoku walks over without really listening for a reply
<Sakuteki> ...can't smell... at all...
* Sakuteki looks after Gyo
* Gyoshoku follows the bruised plants for a while and sees that the trail ends at the river bank a little ways down..isn't the best tracker in the world, but Jiro wasn't very careful
* Gyoshoku walks back to where Saku is and sits down, then stands up and paces, then sits down again
<Gyoshoku> I... she... I have to find her, I have to think
<Gyoshoku> help me think, Saku-chan... help me...
* Sakuteki jumps into his lap, careful to avoid the pendant.
<Gyoshoku> I have to find her... what if he hurts her, touches her... oh gods
<Sakuteki> Calm down... you have to think before you do 'nythin', 'k?
<Gyoshoku> I... I... hai... have to think, need to breathe
* Gyoshoku had started hyperventilating, but controls his breathing and relaxes a tiny bit
<Sakuteki> It won't do her any good if you rush around mindlessly
<Gyoshoku> but what if he hurts her... or kills her? oh gods... what if she dies!
<Sakuteki> it still won't do her any good if you rush off in the wrong direction, baka
<Gyoshoku> I have to get help
<Gyoshoku> I have to find her
<Sakuteki> hai...
<Sakuteki> 'course
<Gyoshoku> maybe he said something in the village, I need some help, someone who can ask around...
<Gyoshoku> and I'll ask the taijya to help me look...
<Gyoshoku> they can track...
<Sakuteki> Someone at the teahouse, maybe...
* Gyoshoku nods
<Gyoshoku> or Isamu... but he'll want to help me look
<Sakuteki> yeah...
<Gyoshoku> I have to find her... as quickly as possible
<Gyoshoku> the longer someone's gone, the more likely she'll be hurt
* Sakuteki nods. "yosh... just don't... rush off completely mindlessly... k?"
<Gyoshoku> I... yosh
<Gyoshoku> I don't think we'll be able to track him quickly
<Gyoshoku> especially with you not able to smell anything
<Sakuteki> yeah... that baka...
<Gyoshoku> how?...
<Sakuteki> I dunno... that strong smell... eugh... so bad...
<Gyoshoku> he must have drugged you... all of you
<Gyoshoku> I don't understand though... I don't know why he would do that
<Gyoshoku> and I don't have time to just sit here, I need to do something, get help
<Sakuteki> Yosh...
* Sakuteki gets out of his lap... just sat there to keep him still... that's the official version, anyway.
<Sakuteki> Go to the shrine, then... get people or whatever
* Gyoshoku looks at the pendant and gets a crazy idea
<Gyoshoku> yes... the shrine... I...
<Sakuteki> I'll stay here and make sure the baka doesn't drown herself *nods to Seisui*
* Sakuteki is still a bit dizzy herself, actually
<Gyoshoku> good... good... stay... I'll send someone out here to look out for Seisui-chan... I'll go to the teahouse first
<Sakuteki> K
* Gyoshoku gets up and runs off, goes to the teahouse and asks Koharu to go look after the girls, gets the twins to ask around about anything Jiro might have said, and then runs to the shrine
* Sakuteki stays with Seisui and rests... trying to get that smell out of her nose
* Gyoshoku asks the taijya for help looking for Kumiko, and 2 of them go off to look at the scene, tells Kijou, who is NOT HAPPY and then goes to visit the prison... stands outside Kurou's cell, debating whether to ask her what he wants to ask her
* Kurousagi is in prison, pregnant... whoo.
* Gyoshoku has never visited her in prison before... has tried to avoid it, actually
<Gyoshoku> you look terrible
<Kurousagi> Why, thank you
<Gyoshoku> you're welcome...
<Gyoshoku> you're so pale, don't they feed you?
* Kurousagi shrugs. "I get food..."
<Gyoshoku> you should eat it, then
* Kurousagi glances down at her stomach. "I imagine most of it goes there..."
<Gyoshoku> probably
* Kurousagi is all, dressed in simple robes now... not allowed to wear those nice ones she used to wear... plus, yeah, looks terrible. :P
* Kurousagi does wear nice hairbands, though... is allowed that anyway. Whee.
<Gyoshoku> I'm sorry they killed your rabbit... I didn't tell them to do that...
* Kurousagi shrugs.
* Gyoshoku looks at his feet, has no idea what to say
<Kurousagi> So, come here just to give me compliments, or what?
<Gyoshoku> no... I need your help
* Kurousagi raises an eyebrow. "You need... my help. What makes you think I would, even if I had the ability to do so?"
<Gyoshoku> because you can't be entirely cruel... I'm sure there must be some human feeling in you
<Kurousagi> Right... and I'd use that to help the one who sent me to prison in the first place.
<Gyoshoku> I didn't send you to prison, Kurousagi, you did that with your own actions
<Gyoshoku> I just caught you, and I was a lot nicer than I could have been
<Gyoshoku> and a hell of a lot nicer than you deserved
<Gyoshoku> don't you want to have something decent to show for your life?
* Kurousagi shrugs and looks away
<Gyoshoku> for the sake of your child?
<Kurousagi> it won't know me anyway, why should I bother?
<Gyoshoku> it might
<Gyoshoku> I'm not entirely without influence
<Gyoshoku> besides, you know as well as I do that the good or bad we do lives after us... effects our souls and the lives of our children
* Kurousagi sighs and looks back. "Even if I wanted to help you, I can't. You know that."
<Gyoshoku> how do you know?
<Gyoshoku> you don't even know what I need
<Kurousagi> I'm *assuming* it would be something I can do that you can't, which would be something to do with my spiritual and mental powers. Unless you've come because your wife doesn't satisfy you and you want some change, which I don't find very likely.
* Gyoshoku laughs coldly
<Gyoshoku> no indeed, not very likely at all
<Gyoshoku> yes, it does have to do with your spiritual powers, and I can remove the object that's binding you to a distance where you can do what I need you to do
* Kurousagi raises an eyebrow, then sits up slightly more. "Yosh."
<Gyoshoku> it would still affect you, but if your spell were strong enough, you could reach her
<Kurousagi> What is it exactly you want me to do?
* Gyoshoku sighs
<Gyoshoku> someone took Kumiko... there's no way I can track her in time...
<Gyoshoku> I need you to get into her mind and find her
* Kurousagi nods. "Alright."
* Gyoshoku blinks, is a little surprised she agreed so easily
* Kurousagi refrains from making a nasty comment which Gaya hasn't really thought up yet, but could if she was feeling more evil than she actually does.
<Gyoshoku> you'll do it?
<Kurousagi> Sure. I'm terribly bored anyway.
* Gyoshoku sighs in relief
<Gyoshoku> thank you!
* Kurousagi rolls her eyes.
<Gyoshoku> alright, let me go move the relic...wait here
<Kurousagi>, I think I'll get up and walk out of here.
<Kurousagi> You know, I move around so much, there's no knowing where I'll be.
* Gyoshoku raises a brow and then walks off to find and move the relic without further comment
<Kurousagi> ...hold o..
* Gyoshoku stops
<Gyoshoku> what?
* Kurousagi gets up. "Doesn't she have that pendant thing you gave her?"
<Gyoshoku> no, he took it off of her... he left it for me to find, the bastard
<Kurousagi> Ah... alright... and you gave her that to protect her from me, so when you found it, you remembered that and came to see me. I see.
<Gyoshoku> hai... something like that
* Kurousagi is quite smart, isn't she?
* Gyoshoku and Kurou would be quite a couple if she weren't so damn evil
* Gyoshoku goes off to find the relic, does so, and then moves it far enough away so that a strong spell could get through... would be in SO MUCH trouble if he were found doing this
* Kurousagi can FEEL it being moved... smiles slightly to herself, thinking about how she could abuse it... but then shakes her head... doesn't feel like dying just yet... is trying to find some way of putting this to her advantage, though.
* Kurousagi is also pretty darn bored, and a chance to exercise her powers... yeah, that'd be nice.
* Gyoshoku re-enters the prison and takes a deep breath before going back to her cell... isn't really questioned by the guard, which is a good thing
* Kurousagi looks up when Gyo comes back.
<Kurousagi> You don't happen to have anything belonging to her on you? It would make it easier to focus the spell...
<Gyoshoku> I thought of that
* Gyoshoku reaches into his haori and pulls out the lock of hair of hers that he keeps
<Gyoshoku> how much do you need?
<Kurousagi> one hair is enough... *shrugs*
* Gyoshoku pulls one out and then hesitates...does he really want to hand this over to her?
<Gyoshoku> when this is done, you'll destroy it....
<Kurousagi> Alright.
<Gyoshoku> I want to watch you burn it
* Kurousagi nods
* Gyoshoku hands her the hair
* Kurousagi takes the hair and starts putting a spell over it, focusing on Kumiko as much as possible.
* Jiro sits at the entrance to the cave and watches Kumiko
* Kumiko is crying silently
<Jiro> I don't want to hurt you... I don't... but he has to pay
<Kumiko> Pay for what? What has he done to you?
* Jiro laughs a bit wildly
<Jiro> what has he done? what has he done?!
* Jiro laughs some more, is a little bit crazy in case you didn't notice
* Kumiko sobs... has noticed, but, you know... was hoping she could talk to him about this, get him to understand...
<Jiro> he stole the only thing that mattered to me
<Jiro> Yukiko... so beautiful, like you... his type
* Kumiko swallows. "...when?"
* Jiro laughs again "...3 years ago? 4?"
* Kumiko has to know here whether it was before or after they met... if before, she has already forgiven him.
<Jiro> I lost count of the time after a while
<Kumiko> Jiro-san... I know Gyo had alot of affairs in the past... but that was before we met... he told me about it, and I know he isn't like that any more....
<Jiro> a lot of affairs... is that what he said?
<Jiro> did he tell you how she was supposed to be my wife... everyone knew it
<Jiro> she'd had a wild past, but she was so beautiful, so good and sweet, I knew she would be faithful to me
<Jiro> she said she loved me...
<Kumiko> He said he wouldn't flirt with anyone who didn't want to be flirted with...
* Jiro closes his eyes
* Jiro doesn't want to hear that
<Jiro> she was a good person, and then he showed up
<Jiro> and he seemed so large, and grand, and heroic... they all flocked to him, even my mother
<Jiro> and I guess he picked Yukiko... didn't matter she was spoken for... I was working outside and kept hearing them laugh
* Kumiko sighs. "Jiro-san... I... he wouldn't have done anything she didn't want to... trust me... please."
<Jiro> don't say that!
<Jiro> she was a good person!
<Kumiko> He IS a good person!
<Jiro> he seduced her, he put a spell on her!
<Kumiko> No... he didn't.
<Jiro> he did
<Jiro> she wouldn't have *starts crying*
<Kumiko> He did not... why can't you believe me? I know him...
* Kumiko is already crying. :P
<Jiro> he made me hurt her... when he left, and she wouldn't stop smiling and laughing like a fool
<Jiro> he -made- me
<Kumiko> If he had already left, then he didn't make you... you did that yourself.
<Kumiko> Surely you know that
* Jiro shakes his head
<Jiro> I couldn't look at her, knowing what she'd done
<Jiro> she chose him... chose him over me... no, he did something to her, and then he did something to me, I wouldn't have hurt her otherwise
* Kumiko sighs. "You really think lowly of me, don't you."
<Kumiko> First of all, you think I wouldn't be able to tell if his feelings for me was a lie or not.... even though I can see in his eyes how much he loves me...
<Kumiko> then, you think I wouldn't know in my heart if I loved him more than anything in the world... which I do... I'd give my life for him if he needed it...
<Kumiko> thirdly, you think that I would give him up to live with you... even if our feelings for eachother was a lie, I wouldn't... not while he's still alive... and if he was dead... then, if our feelings were a lie, I still wouldn't marry anew for months, at least... I'd mourn him, and mourn the fact that I'd been betrayed, but I wouldn't remarry that quickly...
<Jiro> I'm not in a hurry...
<Kumiko> and if our feelings were true... then... then if he was dead, I'd mourn him for the rest of my life, I think... and not ever want to even consider remarrying...
<Jiro> he's ruined you... ruined you, too...
<Kumiko> and I know in my heart that my feelings, and his, are true, Jiro-san...
* Jiro stands
<Jiro> SHUT UP!
<Jiro> STOP IT!
<Kumiko> It's the truth... *goes silent and shrinks back*
<Jiro> you don't know me, you don't know... I'm better than him! you -will- love me!
* Jiro walks over to where she's sitting and drags her to her feet by an arm
* Kumiko shakes her head. "I can't... I love him..."
<Jiro> do you hear me?!
* Kumiko breaks into tears again
* Jiro throws her arm down in disgust and walks out of the cave
* Jiro stalks around outside for a bit, trying to get a grip
* Kumiko sinks down again, crying for Gyo to come save her
* Jiro decides to change his tactics and, after calming down, comes back inside and sits next to Kumiko
* Jiro pats her arm gently
<Jiro> there there
* Kumiko is still crying... misses Gyo something terribly already.
<Jiro> I think we didn't get off to the right start
<Jiro> I expect you to accept me as part of your life, but I know the spell he's put on you is hard to throw off... I know it will take time
<Kumiko> It's not a spell...
<Jiro> when you realise he's not coming for you, when you realise he doesn't care, you'll understand
<Jiro> Yukiko thought he cared too... she cried and cried for him when I was forced to hurt her... but he never came
<Jiro> he doesn't care
<Kumiko> He will come for me... he will... he loves me
* Jiro shakes his head sadly and pats her back
<Jiro> I know you have to think that
<Jiro> I forgive you
<Kumiko> the only way he wouldn't is... if you have hid us away too far...
<Kumiko> if he can't find us... but he won't ever stop looking
<Jiro> even when your child calls me father? even when he sees how much of a family we are? I think he will
<Kumiko> I won't ever, EVER allow my child to call you father... even if I had to stay here for the rest of my life...
<Jiro> he will call me father, or he will be cast out
* Jiro shrugs
<Jiro> I know you speak from grief, but you will see reason
<Kumiko> you say Gyo will be dead to me... if I have to think of him as so, do you really think I would marry his murderer?
* Jiro grits his teeth
<Jiro> Kumiko... please... don't force me to punish you... please...
<Jiro> you must take me seriously... I can be kind, if you let me
* Kumiko looks away
* Jiro runs a finger down her cheek
<Jiro> will you let me be kind to you?
<Kumiko> leave me *sob* alone...
<Jiro> oh no, Kumiko, darling, you'll never be alone again...I promise
<Kumiko> I want to be... please...
* Jiro sighs and wipes her tears away softly before standing up and walking just outside the cave
* Kumiko goes back to crying.... because, like, yeah. Sad.
* Jiro will likely just stand or sit there and let her cry it out
* Jiro feels like he's made real progress, she's obviously moved by his kind masculinity... is in TOTAL denial
* Kumiko is only more frightened by him.
* Jiro is scary, hai
* Gyoshoku on the other hand, is just scared
* Kurousagi was just weaving a spell over Kumiko... yes
* Gyoshoku was watching, nervously
* Kurousagi finishes and can now look through Kumiko's eyes... whee
<Gyoshoku> did you find her?
<Kumiko> <please come and get me please Gyo please don't forget me please don't be dead to me please please....>
* Gyoshoku is impatient
* Kumiko is kinda thinking that over and over again
<Kurousagi> Hai... she seems afraid.
<Gyoshoku> but she's not hurt?
<Kurousagi> Not from what I gathered so far...
<Gyoshoku> where are they?
<Kurousagi> A... cave somewhere... I don't know...
<Kurousagi> ~Kumiko... do you know where you are?~
* Kumiko blinks... knows that voice... the way it's in her head...
* Kumiko moves her hand to her neck... the penchant is gone...
<Kumiko> <...but isn't she supposed to be in prison... with her powers taken away...?>
<Gyoshoku> tell her I'm coming for her, but I need to know where she is
<Kurousagi> ~yes, yes, I'm still in prison, but I have been allowed my powers to look for you...~
* Kurousagi opens an eye and sends a frown in Gyo's direction
<Gyoshoku> what? is she hurt? what's wrong?
<Kurousagi> no... can I just do my thing? I'm trying to find out where she is, alright?
* Gyoshoku sighs...rubs his neck.."fine...but tell her I'm coming for her, please..."
<Kurousagi> alright...
<Kurousagi> ~your husband... wants me to say that he's coming for you~
* Jiro is standing around, being oblivious
* Kumiko sniffles, but smiles slightly. <...I knew he would... I knew Jiro was wrong... I knew it... he wouldn't ever leave me...>
* Kurousagi looks up. "Someone named Jiro?"
<Gyoshoku> hai, I met him once in the village, have no idea why he'd take her
<Kurousagi> Seems like he did, though... alright...
<Gyoshoku> does she know why he took her?
<Gyoshoku> has he tried anything? I'll kill him... I swear
<Kurousagi> you know why you were taken?~
<Kumiko> < or... I don't know... he seems angry with Gyo...>
<Kumiko> <I think... I think Gyo flirted with his... fiancée... a few years back... and he's upset about that still...>
<Kurousagi> Something about your womanizing habits
* Gyoshoku raises his brows
<Gyoshoku> what?
<Kurousagi> seems you slept with his fiancée or something
<Gyoshoku> oh... well... it's possible... *looks slightly abashed*
<Gyoshoku> I doubt I knew she was his fiancee, though
* Kurousagi is reading into it, plus, she kinda knows a bit about Gyo's past now, PLUS she can see things Kumiko aren't thinking out loud... so, yeah
<Kurousagi> Mhm
* Gyoshoku racks his brain
<Kumiko> <and... he says... he's saving me from Gyo... that he's a much better man... and that Gyo'll be dead to me from now on, and that I should marry him and that if I try to flee he'll kill our child and...>
* Kumiko breaks into further sobs thinking about it all
<Gyoshoku> I'm pretty sure the only people who I slept with who I knew were engaged were about to marry old old men with no teeth or something...and I usually performed the ceremony afterwards, so I'd remember
<Kurousagi> ...he's apparantly trying to get her to marry him...
<Gyoshoku> what!?
<Kurousagi> says you'll be dead to her from now on...
<Kurousagi> she's crying again... *sighs*
<Gyoshoku> gah... I'll kill him...
<Kumiko> *sniffles*
<Gyoshoku> does she know where they are?
<Kumiko> <...and he says Gyo put a spell on me and that he doesn't love me and I don't really love him.... and... he doesn't understand...>
<Kurousagi> ~putting spells on people is what *I'd* do, not him... now... do you know where you are?~
* Kurousagi did kinda... gasp... defend Gyo.
<Kumiko> <>
<Kumiko> <I don't know at all... I'm... in a cave...>
<Kumiko> <I haven't asked him... I don't want to...>
<Kurousagi> No, she doesn't... he has been telling her you put a spell on her...
<Gyoshoku> a spell? is he insane?
<Kurousagi> Seems like he's messing with her mind... not doing that good a job of it, though
<Gyoshoku> well, she's not stupid
* Kurousagi grins slightly. "Far from as good as me at it."
* Gyoshoku frowns
<Gyoshoku> where is she?
<Kurousagi> She doesn't know... in a cave... *shrugs*
<Kurousagi> she must talk to him...
<Gyoshoku> I need more than that, yes...
<Kumiko> <...I tried to reason with him... but... he wouldn't listen...>
<Gyoshoku> she's not good with confrontation, though
<Gyoshoku> you'll have to tell her what to say
* Kurousagi sighs. "Yeah... she tried to reason with him..."
<Gyoshoku> reason? *sigh*
* Kumiko is still crying here... is just... very depressed, yes
* Jiro is waiting out the crying, is getting a little annoyed
<Kurousagi> Hrm... yeah, I'll tell her what to say...
<Kurousagi> ~Kumiko, to get out of there, you really will have to find out where you are...~
<Gyoshoku> don't make her say anything... too... provocative, you don't want to give him the wrong idea..
<Kurousagi> Eh... the easiest way is to just... let him think he's starting to win the battle...
* Gyoshoku grits his teeth... doesn't want him to win the damn battle
* Kumiko nods slowly. <>
<Gyoshoku> hai... just... be careful, ok?
<Gyoshoku> she's not like you
* Jiro fusses with the fire
* Kurousagi chuckles. "I know."
<Jiro> <I just want her to be happy... with me :(>
<Kurousagi> ~just... do as I tell you to... and it should work out...~
* Kumiko is not really all that sure about trusting Kurou, but... really, really doesn't want to stay here...
<Kumiko> <...yosh>
<Kurousagi> ~alright... first, try to calm down and stop crying.~
* Gyoshoku paces up and down, thinking about all the stuff she's going to have to do to convince him... it pisses him off, but he thinks if he bugs Kurou about it anymore, that would be bad
* Kumiko wipes her eyes and takes a deep breath... relaxing... yes... really. ok, so not really, but it works well enough anyway...
* Gyoshoku contents himself with making an annoying, nervous spectacle of himself
* Kurousagi is only that bored... ;)
* Gyoshoku is far from bored
<Gyoshoku> what's going on? *can't help himself*
<Kurousagi> I'm trying to get her to calm down.
<Gyoshoku> tell her to use her meditation image
<Kurousagi> ~he says to use your meditation image~
* Kumiko thinks about... a tree! yeah, that works kinda...
* Jiro notices that she's calming down and looks back at her, concern on his face
<Jiro> feeling better, Kumiko-chan?
<Kumiko> H-hai...
<Jiro> do you want anything? water? food?
* Kumiko shakes her head slowly.
* Jiro sighs and sits on his rock
* Gyoshoku goes back to pacing
<Kurousagi> ~alright... that's good... think you can smile at him? He seems stupid enough to buy a little feint like that...
* Kumiko swallows and looks over in Jiro's direction
* Kumiko attempts to smile just a little... worked well enough when she was just being polite to him, didn't it?
* Jiro looks at her and is a little surprised, but smiles back
* Jiro gets up and moves a little closer to her, almost involuntarily
<Kurousagi> ~tell him that maybe he's right, and that you might eventually get over it... that should give you some space to work with...~
<Kumiko> I... *sniff* maybe you're right... I...
* Jiro cocks his head
<Jiro> you what?
<Kumiko> I'll try... to... get over... him... *sniffles*
* Jiro smiles broadly
<Jiro> I knew you'd see reason eventually
<Kumiko> j-just give me some more t-time...
* Jiro nods and goes and sits next to her
<Jiro> I knew you were smart, I knew it... you'll be smarter than she was
* Kurousagi keeps telling Kumiko what to say/do, but, like... I don't feel like typing everything out twice, so I'll just mention what she says if Kumiko was, for some reason, not to do so. Ok? Ok.
* Gyoshoku has started chewing his knuckles in frustration
* Kumiko nods. "H-hai... but tell me... about you... J-Jiro-san..."
<Jiro> about me?
<Jiro> what about me?
<Kumiko> W-well... if I'm t-to live with you... I'd like... to know more about you...
* Jiro nods
<Jiro> that makes sense
<Jiro> tell me what you want to know
<Kumiko> Where did you... where'd you grow up?
<Jiro> oh, in the teahouse, mostly, like you *smiles* it's close by, actually
<Jiro> when you're feeling a little better, I'll show you
<Jiro> you'll like it, it's right by the river, and the cranes always come in the summer
<Kumiko> T-tell me more... how does it look..?
* Kurousagi relays this information to Gyo
<Jiro> well, it's...a wide spot in the river, it's the same river your teahouse is on, so it'll feel like home *smiles more and starts rubbing her back, imagining the future with her*
<Jiro> and the willows all lean over, like they're praying
<Jiro> so they call it the praying tree teahouse
<Jiro> it's really beautiful
* Kurousagi relays this information to Gyo AS WELL... dun dun dun
* Gyoshoku thinks a minute and then the light proverbially come on
<Gyoshoku> oh -that- teahouse...
<Gyoshoku> yeah... she was cute...
* Kumiko nods and tries not to shy away from his touch completely... it's just a hand... it's just a hand on her back... yes...
* Kurousagi rolls her eyes. "One girl in every village, eh?"
<Gyoshoku> one?
* Kurousagi laughs.
<Kurousagi> Sorry, should've known.
* Gyoshoku shakes his head
<Gyoshoku> that's south of the monastery... so it's southwest of here...
<Gyoshoku> if I get a horse, I can be there in a few hours
<Gyoshoku> tell her I'm on my way
* Kurousagi nods. "Hold on--"
<Kurousagi> You don't know where the cave is yet.
<Gyoshoku> oh..right
* Gyoshoku is a little anxious, here
* Kumiko looks around the cave
<Kumiko> Where... where are we, then?
<Jiro> oh, it's just a cave I used to play in when I was a kid
<Jiro> you know, when we all played army
<Jiro> and my team always won, because I knew about this secret base
<Kumiko> H-hai... my brother used to do that... and there's a little boy at hom-- *stops*
* Jiro continues rubbing her back and then pats her shoulder
<Jiro> it's ok, you can think about the's over now, but it's part of your life
<Jiro> I want to know all about you
<Kumiko> I don't... I don't want to think about it... not right now... *sniffles*
<Jiro> aww, Kumiko-chan, I understand *hugs her*
* Kumiko stiffens
* Jiro doesn't really notice
<Kumiko> J-Jiro-san...
<Jiro> mmhmm?
<Kumiko> I-it's too soon... please...
<Jiro> oh *pulls back* gomen...
<Jiro> you smell nice
<Kumiko> I... th-thank you... *looks down*
* Jiro smiles at her broadly
<Kumiko> A-are we far from the village? *bites her lip slightly*
<Jiro> oh no, really close, actually
<Jiro> you can't see it from here, but it's just on the other side of the hill
<Kurousagi> On the other side of the hill from the village...
<Gyoshoku> what hill? there are about 50 around there
<Kurousagi> Ah... hm.
<Kumiko> so it's... close, then?
<Jiro> hai, of course, we're just a li or so from the tea house
<Jiro> in fact, if you close your eyes, you can hear the stream that feeds the river even from here
<Jiro> it used to run right through this cave
* Kurousagi tells that to Gyo as well, whee her
* Gyoshoku now has a pretty good idea where that is
<Kumiko> oh... *nods slowly* wh-what time is it?
* Jiro shrugs "I don't know, afternoon sometime"
<Kumiko> C-can I see the sun set from here...?
<Jiro> no, that's on the other side of the river, sorry
<Kurousagi> the cave faces to the east... she came up with that question on her own... heh
<Kumiko> Oh...
<Kumiko> I'm just... so sleepy... *yawns* I thought it was later...
* Jiro laughs and pats her back again
<Jiro> it might be the medicine I gave you earlier
<Jiro> it can make you sleepy
<Kumiko> H-hai... I think... I should rest some more...
<Jiro> ok, sure
<Jiro> that's a good idea
<Jiro> you'll feel better after a nap
* Kumiko nods. "Hai..."
* Jiro smiles at her
<Jiro> I'll make us some food while you sleep
<Kurousagi> Alright, so... you know where the village is, and where the cave is in relation to it, and I helped her come up with a plan that should keep him mostly away from her for the next few hours anyway... so I guess you don't need me any more.
<Kumiko> A-alright... thanks...
* Gyoshoku is ready to be on his way...
<Gyoshoku> I...thank you, Kurousagi
<Gyoshoku> this means so much, you don't know
* Kurousagi shrugs and holds the hair over the fire, making it burn. "Don't forget to put back the item... don't want me doing anything, do we?"
<Gyoshoku> don't worry, I won't forget
<Gyoshoku> I won't forget this...
<Gyoshoku> you've been a great help
* Kurousagi sighs and looks down
<Kurousagi> Well... it's been the first time in ages I've had anything to do...
* Gyoshoku sighs
* Kumiko is, eh, pretending to be asleep
<Gyoshoku> I don't have time to talk about it now, Kurousagi... but... I'll come back
<Gyoshoku> I promise
* Jiro is cooking, in a way totally superior to Gyo
* Kurousagi nods, looking like she doesn't really believe him. "Alright."
<Gyoshoku> I mean it
* Gyoshoku looks around the prison
<Gyoshoku> maybe I can even get them to let you out for a walk now and then
<Gyoshoku> as long as you're accompanied, of course
<Kurousagi> No, I'm clearly too dangerous for that... it's not like a seven-year-old could fight me down.
* Gyoshoku chuckles a bit
<Gyoshoku> well, I could..and you can't mess with my mind anymore
* Kurousagi sits back down on her futon. "Mhm. So, were you going to get a horse, or what?"
<Kurousagi> <...and even without my powers, I can still mess with your head, houshi... just not in the same way...>
<Gyoshoku> Hai, I am
* Kurousagi plots.
<Gyoshoku> but I didn't want you to think me ungrateful
* Gyoshoku shrugs
<Gyoshoku> take care
<Kurousagi> Sayounara
* Gyoshoku rushes out, remembers at the last minute to return the item, even though he was reminded, and then runs back to the village and gets a horse
* Gyoshoku manages to let the twins know they can stop the search and then rides off toward the village of Jiro, which he half remembers
* Gyoshoku condensedly rides there, only occassionally having to stop to get directions >.>
* Gyoshoku then goes about searching for the cave, and it's pretty dark by now
* Jiro has finished making food since several hours have passed and is watching Kumiko pretend to sleep
* Kumiko is wide awake now... has slept too much... tries to stay still and all, though
* Jiro decides she needs food more than sleep, takes her a plate and shakes her shoulder to wake her up
<Jiro> Kumiko-chan?
* Kumiko pretends to wake up. "Mmm... hai?"
<Jiro> I have some food here for you
<Jiro> sit up... I don't want you to get too weak
<Kumiko> Oh... thank you...
* Jiro hands her the plate
* Gyoshoku has left the horse in the village and is searching the hill the stream comes from
* Kumiko takes the plate.
* Kumiko looks at the contents... is kinda hungry, but has no appetite
<Jiro> I'm sure your food is better, but I learned a lot living in a teahouse so long
<Jiro> so, don't worry, it's not bad
<Jiro> and I didn't put anything in it, either
* Jiro pats her arm "I trust you"
<Kumiko> I just don't have any appetite...
<Jiro> I bet your baby does
* Gyoshoku makes it to the east side of the hill and sees the fire, stops himself from rushing, and sneaks up on the entrance... wants to make sure Jiro doesn't get a heads up and try to hurt Kumiko
<Kumiko> I'm just... really not hungry right now... *looks down at the food and tries to keep her stomach from grumbling*
* Jiro sighs
<Jiro> please?
* Gyoshoku can hear them talking now, sticks his head around the side of the cave slowly to see what's going on
* Kumiko prods the food with the chopsticks... really not wanting to eat it
* Gyoshoku withdraws his head, he wants to wait until Jiro is further from Kumiko before revealing himself
<Jiro> look, I'll eat some too
* Jiro gets up and walks back over to the fire to get some food for himself "I waited for you, you know"
* Gyoshoku takes the opportunity to tackle Jiro from the darkness outside the cave
<Jiro> AHH!
* Jiro falls back, hitting his head on the cave floor
* Kumiko drops the plate in shock.
* Gyoshoku lets his anger take control and punches Jiro in the face and stomach
* Jiro kicks up, catching Gyo in the leg
* Gyoshoku rolls to the side and then kicks back, catching Jiro in the chin
* Jiro bleeds...ow
<Jiro> what the hell? how did you find me?
* Jiro spits blood
<Gyoshoku> doesn't matter... I'm here now
<Gyoshoku> now, do you run away from here or do I kick the ever living shit out of you before I take my wife home?
* Kumiko crosses her arms, watching them... doesn't want Gyo to get hurt... but has no doubts he'll win
* Jiro screams incoherently and launches himself at really not very rational
* Gyoshoku steps aside and lets Jiro run into the wall
<Kumiko> Gyo! *slaps hand for mouth... didn't see all that, happened so quickly*
* Gyoshoku spares her a quick smile
<Gyoshoku> mm'fine
* Jiro staggers up, doesn't give up easily
<Jiro> no, she's mine now...MINE
<Gyoshoku> I don't think she is, actually
* Jiro punches and actually hits Gyo in the chest, manages by luck to hit the brand, which still hurts to the touch sometimes, but gets burned by it in the process...both double over in pain
<Kumiko> Gyo... are you ok?
* Gyoshoku doesn't answer, just picks up the shakujou, which he dropped, and uses the blunt end to knock Jiro unconscious
* Jiro falls... unconscious... yes...
* Kumiko is only worried about him... Jiro could die a thousand horrible deaths without her being bothered by i-- ok, so she'd probably be bothered by it, because she's nice and all, but... you know. :P
* Gyoshoku catches his breath and stands up, clutching his chest
<Gyoshoku> did he hurt you?
<Kumiko> No... I pretended to be asleep most of the time...
<Kumiko> he thought it was the drug he gave me...
<Gyoshoku> bastard...
<Kumiko> Are you ok?
<Gyoshoku> I have the right by the law to kill him, you know... hai... I'll be fine, he just caught me by surprise
* Gyoshoku sits next to Kumiko and goes about untying her ankle
<Kumiko> You have? *bites her lip, looking between Gyo and Jiro... is kinda very close to tears, AGAIN, because, like... the whole situation has been kinda very stressful...*
* Gyoshoku nods, still untying, is good with knots, you know
<Gyoshoku> hai, but I won't
<Gyoshoku> Kurousagi tells me he thinks he was wronged by me some time ago, also... I don't think I could kill another human... even one as nasty as him
<Kumiko> G-good... hai... h-he thinks... he told me... you c-came by here, years ago...
<Gyoshoku> mmhmm, it was a long time ago
<Kumiko> a-and he thinks you p-put a spell on a girl here...
* Gyoshoku looks at Kumiko, worried
<Gyoshoku> and what do you think?
<Kumiko> I tried to t-tell him you wouldn't e-ever do anything like that to anyone wh-who didn't want it... but... he wouldn't listen...
* Gyoshoku pulls her into a hug
<Kumiko> a-and he said you had p-put a spell on me as well... and he wouldn't l-listen to me when I t-told him that I k-knew you love me... and... *sniffles and tries to keep from breaking into tears*
<Gyoshoku> shh, it's alright now
<Gyoshoku> he just... didn't want to think of the girl he loved as someone who would... be so accessible, I can understand that, I suppose
<Kumiko> and I w-was afraid... afraid that we were so f-far away that you w-wouldn't be able to f-find me... and... he threatened o-our baby...
* Gyoshoku pulls back and looks at her
<Gyoshoku> he did?
<Kumiko> h-hai... he said... if I t-tried to run, h-he had a herb to throw o-on the fire that'd m-make me lose the baby...
<Gyoshoku> excuse me
* Gyoshoku stands up and walks over to Jiro, and carefully kicks him again, hard
<Gyoshoku> tell me again why I'm not going to kill this bastard?
<Kumiko> b-because you d-don't think y-you could kill another human b-being?
<Gyoshoku> I'm not sure he's human
<Gyoshoku> who could do that?
<Kumiko> I don't know... *sniffles*
* Gyoshoku turns his back on Jiro and goes to sit by Kumiko again
<Gyoshoku> I'm so sorry, koishii..I'm sorry he scared you, and I'm sorry it took me so long to get here
* Kumiko buries her face in his chest, crying. "I-it's not your fault... I'm j-just glad you came..."
* Gyoshoku hugs her tightly
<Gyoshoku> of course I came
<Gyoshoku> I wasn't going to let anything happen to you
<Kumiko> I knew you'd come... but... I was afraid... at the same t-time...
<Gyoshoku> I know, love, I know
* Kumiko is a bit of an emotional wreck right now, but it's ok, because Gyo's here.
<Gyoshoku> I was afraid too, very afraid for you
<Gyoshoku> every minute you were gone, it was like torture
* Kumiko clings to Gyo
* Gyoshoku holds her closely
<Gyoshoku> it was like the sun was gone, like a giant ripping sucking hole opened up in my body
* Kumiko shivers slightly. "I was just so lonely... and... I don't know... afraid..."
<Gyoshoku> you're safe now
<Gyoshoku> I'm so glad he didn't hurt you
<Gyoshoku> you did very well
* Kumiko nods slightly, still clinging to him
<Gyoshoku> I'm so proud of you, really
<Gyoshoku> Kurousagi told me you did a great job
* Kumiko sniffles. "I just wanted to be back with you..."
<Gyoshoku> and here I am
* Kumiko nods wipes away some tears
* Gyoshoku kisses her cheeks
<Gyoshoku> you don't mind, do you? that I went to Kurousagi? it was the fastest way I could think of to find you
<Kumiko> N-no... she s-seemed... n-nicer now...?
<Gyoshoku> she did, yes...
<Gyoshoku> I wonder what she's up to
<Gyoshoku> possibly, she's just lonely as she says
* Kumiko nods slightly. "M-maybe... I d-don't know..."
* Gyoshoku sighs
<Gyoshoku> I almost pity her
<Gyoshoku> and she looks awful
<Gyoshoku> not healthy at all
* Kumiko bites her lip
<Gyoshoku> and her baby looks smaller than ours... I'm sure she's not eating enough
<Gyoshoku> oh, here *ties the pendant around her neck again* just in case
<Kumiko> Thank you... *takes a deep breath*
* Gyoshoku smiles at her
* Kumiko smiles back
<Gyoshoku> how are you feeling? any lingering effects from the drugs?
<Kumiko> N-no... I'm fine... just so... emotionally... drained...
* Gyoshoku pulls her up onto his lap and wraps his arms around her gently
* Kumiko leans her head against him
<Gyoshoku> we'll rest in this village before we go home
<Gyoshoku> it's too late to try to go back tonight
<Gyoshoku> but I don't think you want to stay here...
<Kumiko> N-no...
<Gyoshoku> my poor Kumiko *strokes her hair* I know how scared you were... waking up, not knowing what happened, in a strange place, vulnerable... I'm so sorry
<Gyoshoku> that's one of the scariest things in the world
* Kumiko sniffles. "When'd that happen to you?"
* Gyoshoku sighs and then leans his head against hers "A long time ago... another lifetime."
<Kumiko> at least he didn't t-try anything... *bites lip*
<Gyoshoku> yes *laughs bitterly* that's even worse
* Kumiko looks up at him. "...what happened to you?"
* Gyoshoku looks back
<Gyoshoku> not here
<Gyoshoku> I can't tell you here, with that bastard lying over there
<Gyoshoku> it's not important now anyway
<Kumiko> Oh... right... *takes a deep breath*
<Gyoshoku> can you stand?
<Kumiko> I think so...
<Gyoshoku> good
* Kumiko stands, closing her eyes for a moment to not get too dizzy, because... she's kinda tired, and standing suddenly... yeah...
* Gyoshoku stands after her and holds her arm for a minute to steady her
* Kumiko opens her eyes. "I'm ok..."
* Gyoshoku nods
<Gyoshoku> good, can you put the fire out?
<Kumiko> Hai...
* Gyoshoku then drags Jiro over to the futon where Kumiko was lying and ties his ankle with the same rope, plans to tell the tono about what happened and let him deal with it
* Gyoshoku puts water and some of the food by him, but isn't too careful with him...and doesn't plan to tell the tono until tomorrow...let him sweat it out for one night
* Kumiko puts out the fire... it gets kinda... dark, yes
* Gyoshoku is happy there's a big moon tonight
* Gyoshoku walks over to Kumiko and puts his arms around her in the dark "ready to get out of here?"
<Kumiko> Hai
* Gyoshoku picks her up and carries her back to the village
<Gyoshoku> it really is a pretty place
<Gyoshoku> I don't know about you, but I don't feel like staying at the teahouse... I think there's an inn as well
* Kumiko nods.
* Gyoshoku sets her down to walk the rest of the way, now that there's little chance of her falling
<Gyoshoku> we're just a happy couple who's very tired after a day of travel, ok? we don't want to make any enemies in this place
* Kumiko holds on to Gyo's hand for as long as possible. "Hai..."
* Gyoshoku squeezes her hand tightly before letting it go and leading them to the inn, negotiating for a private room and a private meal
* Gyoshoku lets his exhaustion and relief overtake him when they get in the room and slumps against the wall with a sigh
* Kumiko kneels next to him. "You alright?"
<Gyoshoku> oh yes, dandy. nothing like working a day, coming home to find your children drugged and your wife missing, negotiating with a heartless bitch who's tried to ruin your life, riding for hours on a horse with NO sense of direction, and then fighting with a lunatic
<Gyoshoku> sorry...
* Gyoshoku sighs
<Gyoshoku> it's been a bad day
<Kumiko> Hai...
* Gyoshoku hugs her
* Kumiko hugs back
<Gyoshoku> I know it's nothing to what you went through
<Kumiko> Let's just say it was a bad day for both of us?
* Gyoshoku smiles a bit
<Gyoshoku> hai, fair enough
* Gyoshoku kisses her cheek
<Gyoshoku> I was so worried about you
<Kumiko> Well... we're back together... that's what matters...
<Gyoshoku> hai
<Gyoshoku> and thank the gods, the food will be here soon *winks*
* Gyoshoku is... erm, slumped against the wall, yes?
* Kumiko is kneeling next to him
<Gyoshoku> hungry?
<Kumiko> Hai... very...
<Gyoshoku> why didn't you eat any food earlier?
<Gyoshoku> I mean, he offered it to you at least 4 times while I was standing there listening
<Kumiko> I don't know... I didn't have any appetite
* Gyoshoku tsks
<Gyoshoku> you have to take care of yourself, even when you're in danger... especially when you're in danger
<Kumiko> Hai... I know... I was just... I don't know...
<Gyoshoku> scared?
* Kumiko nods
<Gyoshoku> well, it smelled good
<Gyoshoku> a lot better than anything I could make... maybe you should go back to him, I'm sure he'd be happy to see you
* Gyoshoku is trying not to laugh
<Kumiko> I'd rather have your cooking any day...
* Gyoshoku makes a face
<Gyoshoku> I've had my cooking... I think you must be suffering from prolonged shock and hunger to say such a thing
<Kumiko> Well, you haven't ever drugged me and dragged me away from my home...
<Gyoshoku> I can if you want me to
<Gyoshoku> might be nice to get away now and then *wink*
* Kumiko giggles slightly. "Hai... but... I just didn't want to get drugged again, I guess..."
<Gyoshoku> hmm, good point
<Kumiko> When he was going to get of the same food himself, I was prepared to eat of it, but... then you came
* Gyoshoku nods
<Gyoshoku> a wise precaution
* Gyoshoku should really know better, after all
* Kumiko bites her lip thoughtfully
<Gyoshoku> something wrong, koishii?
<Kumiko> No... just thinking... what was that you mentioned back at the cave...?
* Gyoshoku stiffens juuuuuust slightly
<Gyoshoku> what was what?
<Kumiko> Something about knowing how scary it is to get drugged and then wake up, not knowing what happened or where you are...?
<Gyoshoku> heh... yeah...
<Gyoshoku> that was a really long time ago, though... honestly, I barely remember now
* Gyoshoku is so lying
<Kumiko> But what happened, that you remember...?
<Gyoshoku> it was... I had run away from the monastary... I've told you about that
<Kumiko> Hai...
<Gyoshoku> and I was close, really close to finding... well, to reaching the goal, and I decided I needed to be cleaner, and preferably clothed in something not a foot too short
* Kumiko smiles slightly, remembering Gyo in those... wrong religion priest-robes...
<Gyoshoku> it had been a long time on the road, and it was short to begin with, anyway... so I found a bath house
* Kumiko nods
<Gyoshoku> and used the last bit of my money there, to take a bath
<Gyoshoku> but my clothes disappeared, and with them, all my things
<Gyoshoku> so the bath house guy...he gives me one of his robes to wear, says mine are being cleaned
* Kumiko nods again, serious now
<Gyoshoku> and then he says he wants me to eat with him, so.. I'm 13, right... and... really hungry, I mean, really hungry, I've been living in the woods off and on for the last 8 months
<Gyoshoku> so, I think he's a little weird, but hey, free food
<Gyoshoku> oh yeah, and there's this kid, some kind of indentured servant, and the guy treats him really badly... just awful, so I start thinking he's more than a little weird, but I'm just so hungry
<Kumiko> Hai...
<Gyoshoku> so anyway, you can imagine, the food was drugged *shrugs*
<Kumiko> ...why? *frowns*
<Gyoshoku> what do you mean, why?
<Kumiko> Why did he...?
* Kumiko is working it out slowly, really
<Gyoshoku> oh... eh
* Gyoshoku starts to look really uncomfortable
<Gyoshoku> seems... he... uh... thought I was... uhm... *really softly* pretty
<Kumiko> Oh... oh..!
* Gyoshoku is deep red
* Kumiko hugs Gyo
* Gyoshoku hugs back
<Kumiko> I'm sorry...
<Gyoshoku> well... nothing... you know... happened
<Kumiko> Good...
<Gyoshoku> yeah, the kid stalled him, and woke me up
<Gyoshoku> and... yeah, I mean, once I was awake, I could fight him off
<Gyoshoku> I was pretty good at the defence stuff even then
<Kumiko> Good
<Gyoshoku> heh
* Gyoshoku doesn't mention the part about having to fight him off naked
<Gyoshoku> not my happiest memory *shrugs again*
<Kumiko> Ugh... didn't he have any family to stop him?
<Kumiko> What happened to the boy?
<Gyoshoku> he had a wife, but she'd died... he kept saying I looked like her
<Gyoshoku> it was creepy
<Gyoshoku> the boy... well, I got him to his parents, but I never saw him again after that
* Kumiko hugs him again.
<Kumiko> Poor woman... being married to a man like that...
* Gyoshoku nods and hugs back
<Gyoshoku> it must have been awful
<Gyoshoku> he enjoyed being cruel
<Gyoshoku> I can't even imagine what Kudo went through before I got there
* Kumiko shivers
* Gyoshoku clearly remembers a lot more than he said he did >.>
* Kumiko is thinking about what he told her so far... plus isn't really sure what exactly to ask to get him to tell it all... doesn't want to push him all that much either
* Gyoshoku just holds her, thinking about the past
<Gyoshoku> it's not really a period in my life I'm proud of
<Gyoshoku> I did so many stupid and embarrassing things
* Kumiko leans her head against him. "I'm just glad you got away from him..."
<Gyoshoku> I am too, believe me, I wasn't sure there for a while
<Gyoshoku> I didn't have anything to use as a weapon except this ridiculous little stick
<Kumiko> What about the shakujou...?
<Gyoshoku> didn't have it yet
<Gyoshoku> wasn't a full fledged monk yet, just an acolyte
<Kumiko> Oh... right
<Gyoshoku> besides, he took everything I was carrying
<Gyoshoku> so I wouldn't have had it anyway
<Kumiko> Oh... wait... everything...?
<Gyoshoku> everything..
<Kumiko> As in... clothes too...?
<Gyoshoku> hai... he had Kudo burn my robes, and then he had him take his own back
* Kumiko shivers and hugs Gyo closer
* Gyoshoku sighs and hugs back
<Gyoshoku> didn't even have my hair band, I had to steal one from his dead wife
* Kumiko sighs. "Poor Gyo..."
<Kumiko> I'm just glad you were in a position where it was possible for you to fight him...
* Gyoshoku smiles and hugs her tighter before pulling back
<Gyoshoku> it could have been a lot worse, it's true
<Gyoshoku> and I feel very silly getting upset over things that happened half my life ago
* Kumiko snugs close to him. "It's ok..."
* Gyoshoku strokes her hair
<Gyoshoku> you notice I survived it well enough
<Gyoshoku> though I still don't like being called pretty *half smile*
<Kumiko> Mmm... is kawaii alright, then?
* Kumiko is just teasing
<Gyoshoku> I think I can live with kawaii
* Gyoshoku hears knocking
<Gyoshoku> I think that's probably our dinner
* Kumiko looks up
<Kumiko> Hai...
<Gyoshoku> I so don't feel like moving
<Kumiko> I can...
<Gyoshoku> only if I let you *winks*
<Kumiko> Well, will you?
* Gyoshoku smiles and lets her go
<Gyoshoku> hai, I will
* Kumiko smiles back and gets up, heads for the door, gets the food from the person outside, thanks her and then carries the food into the room and sets it down on the table.
* Gyoshoku manages to rouse himself enough to make it to the table
* Gyoshoku lays his head on the table melodramatically and sighs
* Kumiko yawns, then kneels next to him again. "Tired?"
<Gyoshoku> just a bit
<Gyoshoku> food smells good
<Gyoshoku> I hope I have the energy to eat it *winks*
<Kumiko> Well... I'm eating now anyway, do as you wish.
* Gyoshoku pouts
<Gyoshoku> you're not going to feed me? *looks pitiful*
<Kumiko> Mmm... I guess I could...
* Kumiko picks up her bowl and chopsticks... picking up a random foodpiece and offering it to Gyo
* Gyoshoku eats it happily
<Gyoshoku> mmmm, thank you ^_^
<Kumiko> No problem... *eats some herself, then offers more to Gyo*
* Gyoshoku eats and then sits up and eats his own food, since he's actually hungry and Kumiko is SLOW
* Kumiko is actually eating quickly... for her.
* Gyoshoku finds it too slow, and the game is fun, but he hasn't eaten since breakfast
* Kumiko hasn't either
* Kumiko and Gyo... EAT! Dun dun dun.
* Kumiko finishes eating, eventually. "Ahh... that was nice..."
* Gyoshoku finished a little while ago, but he's been content to just sit there in silence and drink tea and such while waiting for her
* Kumiko puts down her plate
* Gyoshoku smiles
<Gyoshoku> it was good, yes
<Gyoshoku> have I told you how much I love watching you eat?
<Kumiko> Hai... I think you did
<Gyoshoku> did I tell you today?
<Kumiko> Wasn't that what you just did? *smiles*
<Gyoshoku> too true
* Kumiko finishes her tea as well, then yawns.
* Gyoshoku yawns as well
<Kumiko> Tired?
<Gyoshoku> we're an exciting pair, aren't we?
<Kumiko> Mhm, clearly
* Gyoshoku lays his head in Kumiko's lap
<Gyoshoku> not much room here, is there?
<Kumiko> No... 'fraid not...
<Gyoshoku> oh well, I can share
<Gyoshoku> hmm, this might be easier the other way
* Gyoshoku sits up and pats his lap
<Kumiko> Mhm... might be... *lies down her head in Gyo's lap*
* Gyoshoku bends down and kisses her gently
* Kumiko kisses back.
<Kumiko> I love you...
<Gyoshoku> mmm, I love you, too
<Gyoshoku> would you still love me if I hadn't beat the crap out of your captor today?
<Kumiko> Always... you know that
<Gyoshoku> hmm, what about if my face were ripped off in a terrible shakujou accident *winks*
<Kumiko> You know I don't love you just for your looks...
<Gyoshoku> just, huh?
* Gyoshoku smirks
<Kumiko> I love your looks too... Ah... you know what I mean... *yawns*
<Gyoshoku> mmhmm
<Gyoshoku> how can you be so sleepy? *yawns* you took a long nap this afternoon
<Kumiko> Not that long, really...
<Kumiko> I just pretended, most of the time...
<Gyoshoku> ah hah!
<Gyoshoku> you sneaky little vixen
<Kumiko> I was just hoping he'd leave me alone if he thought I was asleep...
<Gyoshoku> I know, love, but that was a risk as well... some people like 'em sleeping... *shivers* never mind
* Kumiko shivers as well
<Gyoshoku> what do you say we move this party to the futon?
<Kumiko> Sounds like a *yawn* good idea
<Gyoshoku> right...
* Gyoshoku looks down at her "I can't move until you do"
<Kumiko> Sorry... *sits up*
* Gyoshoku grins at her
<Gyoshoku> that's ok, I didn't mind you there, but it would be nice to lie down
<Kumiko> Hai... it would...
* Gyoshoku rubs her shoulders, still not getting up
<Kumiko> So... bed...? *blinks sleepily*
<Gyoshoku> right behind you
<Gyoshoku> I'll follow you
<Kumiko> Alright...  *moves over to it*
* Gyoshoku follows, shucking his sash and haori since they are not very comfortable to sleep in
* Kumiko unties her obi and gets out of her outer kimono, then lies down, yawning again
* Gyoshoku lies down next to her and cuddles up
* Kumiko snugs close
* Gyoshoku puts his arms around her and kisses her face
<Kumiko> Thank you...
<Gyoshoku> for what?
<Gyoshoku> kissing you?
<Kumiko> For coming for me... for being you...
* Gyoshoku smiles
<Gyoshoku> least I could do... it was my fault anyway, apparently
* Kumiko yawns and smiles back sleepily. "Mhmm..."
<Gyoshoku> hey Kumiko?
<Kumiko> Hai?
<Gyoshoku> never mind... just go to sleep
<Kumiko> What...?
<Gyoshoku> it's nothing
<Gyoshoku> I just wondered if you ever got.. mad at me... for all the shit my past has gotten us into
<Kumiko> Remember what I said when we got married... the first time...?
<Gyoshoku> I... think so, hai... I remember being really drunk
<Gyoshoku> and... you said *thinks*
<Gyoshoku> only the future matters... or something like that
* Kumiko nods. "...and the bad things of the past are erased... forgiven..."
<Kumiko> *yawns* that answer your question...?
<Gyoshoku> hai
<Gyoshoku> now scoot over, bed hog, or I'll be forced to tickle you
* Kumiko giggles and scoots over.
* Gyoshoku scoots over as well, and falls asleep holding Kumiko
* Kumiko falls asleep in Gyo's arms... aww. ^_^
* Gyoshoku is too tired to even sleep grope
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