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* Kumiko sleeps in Gyo's arms
* Gyoshoku snuggles with Kumiko as morning dawns
* Kumiko dreams about being kidnapped again... and it's scary... but she knows Gyo will come for her, so it's all alright
* Gyoshoku had a rough day yesterday
* Gyoshoku wakes up as light fills the room and opens his eyes, startled at first, not knowing where he is
<Gyoshoku> <oh... right... the inn>
* Kumiko looks just a bit worried in her sleep
* Gyoshoku caresses Kumiko's arm as she sleeps, doesn't want to disturb her, wants to comfort her
<Gyoshoku> *very quietly* shh, it's alright
* Kumiko relaxes visibly. Gyo is here, everything is alright, nothing can go wrong ever again.
* Gyoshoku doesn't want to move for fear of waking her, but his muscles are cramped from the fight he had the night before...
* Kumiko has alot of trust in the man
* Gyoshoku is, hopefully, trustworthy
* Kumiko stirs a bit some minutes later. "Gyo?"
<Gyoshoku> mmm, right here, koishii
<Kumiko> Mmm... good... 's't mornin' yet?
<Gyoshoku> just
* Gyoshoku kisses her ear
* Gyoshoku is finally free to move, so stretches his legs
* Gyoshoku moans a bit... sore
* Kumiko opens an eye, blinking a bit to clear it
<Kumiko> You ok?
<Gyoshoku> hai
* Gyoshoku stretches his arms as well and works the kinks from his neck
<Gyoshoku> just a little sore
<Gyoshoku> it's been a while since I rode that far... got used to walking again
<Gyoshoku> plus, I did get hit a few times
* Kumiko winces
<Kumiko> I don't want you to be hurt. :(
* Gyoshoku chuckles
<Gyoshoku> I'd been hurt worse on the pratice field
<Gyoshoku> hell, I got hurt worse that time against the magnolia tree *winks*
* Kumiko blushes but smiles anyway
<Kumiko> Oh, right...
<Gyoshoku> besides, you're worth it
* Gyoshoku stretches further and sits up, yawning
<Gyoshoku> mm, it looks to be a decent day out there
* Kumiko yawns and stretches a bit, still not sitting up
* Gyoshoku looks down at her
<Gyoshoku> getting lazy in your old age?
<Kumiko> Mhm... clearly
<Gyoshoku> maybe you just need more incentive for getting up
<Gyoshoku> for example... if you don't get up, I'm going to tickle you *winks*
* Kumiko sticks out her tongue at him and pats her tummy. "It might be this little fellow who's all sleepy, though..."
* Gyoshoku grins
* Gyoshoku puts his head next to her abdomen and speaks deeply "hey... you... stop making your mother tired, we have to work together in this family"
* Kumiko giggles and sits up
* Gyoshoku sits up again as well and hugs her
<Gyoshoku> good morning
* Kumiko hugs back
<Kumiko> Ohayou
<Gyoshoku> we have a long day ahead of us
<Kumiko> Hai...
<Gyoshoku> I suggest we purchase some provisions and start as soon as possible
<Gyoshoku> I'm afraid I didn't leave home very prepared
<Gyoshoku> I was in a hurry
* Kumiko nods
<Kumiko> I didn't either
* Gyoshoku smiles at her and strokes her hair
<Kumiko> then again, the whole... being drugged and kidnapped thing... might have something to do with it
<Gyoshoku> perhaps so
* Kumiko hugs him close again. "I had a dream... before... when I was asleep"
<Gyoshoku> oh?
<Kumiko> that I was being kidnapped again...
* Gyoshoku hugs her tighter
<Kumiko> but I knew you'd come for me
<Gyoshoku> and did I?
<Kumiko> I think so
<Kumiko> I remember you saying it's alright
<Gyoshoku> heh... that was my real voice, you looked worried
<Gyoshoku> I don't like seeing your perfect brow furrowed
* Kumiko smiles at him
* Gyoshoku kisses said brow and gets to his feet
<Gyoshoku> do you think you can handle one night without a futon? The little money I do have should be spent on food... and paying the messenger we'll need to send back with the horse... I promise  I'll keep you warm ^_^
<Kumiko> Hai... I probably could...
<Gyoshoku> ok
<Gyoshoku> that's good
* Kumiko holds out her hand. "Help your pregnant wife to get to her feet."
* Gyoshoku chuckles and does so
* Kumiko smiles up at him.
<Kumiko> you know...
<Gyoshoku> hmm?
<Kumiko> you didn't kiss me yet today
<Gyoshoku> I did... I kissed your ear
* Gyoshoku smiles
* Kumiko pouts slightly
<Gyoshoku> and your forehead...
<Kumiko> You know what I mean
* Gyoshoku slips an arm around her and kisses her on the lips
* Kumiko kisses back
* Gyoshoku pulls back after a moment and blinks at her
<Gyoshoku> guess what..
<Kumiko> Hmm... what?
<Gyoshoku> I love you *winks*
<Gyoshoku> and... you need to brush your hair
* Kumiko smiles at him. "I love you too, and do you have a comb?"
<Gyoshoku> psht, do I have a comb?
<Gyoshoku> um... yes... if I can find the rest of my clothing
* Gyoshoku looks around and finds his haori, puts it on and finds the pouch with the comb in it
<Gyoshoku> right, come here
* Kumiko comes... there... yes
<Gyoshoku> can't trust you to comb it, what with those short little arms
* Gyoshoku grins at her and goes about fixing her hair for her
<Kumiko> I managed to do so the last few years, even with these arms...
<Gyoshoku> yes, well, now the torture can end
<Kumiko> but I like having you do it...
* Kumiko giggles
* Gyoshoku laughs as well
<Gyoshoku> I love your hair
* Gyoshoku finishes combing and then braiding her hair for her, and then helps her into her obi, which has become a lot more difficult lately
* Kumiko hugs him once they're finished
* Gyoshoku hugs back
<Kumiko> I'm hungry
<Gyoshoku> so am I
<Kumiko> Feed us
* Gyoshoku laughs
<Gyoshoku> well, aren't you demanding today?
<Gyoshoku> if I feed us it's going to be something we can eat on the road
<Gyoshoku> as much as I prefer a hot meal, we need to get going
* Kumiko nods
<Gyoshoku> Saku-chan and Seisui-chan will be so worried...
<Gyoshoku> not to mention your brothers, the people at the teahouse, the taijya... um... oh yeah, the twins, I told them because they seem to be able to get information faster than anyone else in town anyway
* Kumiko blinks
<Kumiko> and if the twins know, the entire village knows
<Gyoshoku> they know
<Gyoshoku> I needed their help
<Gyoshoku> expect a lot of attention when you get home
* Kumiko nods
* Gyoshoku kisses her lightly and then leaves the room to arrange for their food and for the messenger to take the horse back and deliver the news that everyone is safe and sound... will let Kumiko do whatever packing is needed
* Gyoshoku does all this as quickly as he can and then returns to the inn
* Kumiko packs... uh... whatever they have... yes
* Gyoshoku pays for the food and for a satchel to carry it in
* Gyoshoku finds Kumiko
<Gyoshoku> ready to go?
<Kumiko> Hai, I think so
<Gyoshoku> we'll go at whatever pace you're comfortable with, and I can always carry you
* Kumiko smiles at him. "Thanks."
<Gyoshoku> that's what wandering houshi are good for... saving damsels in distress
* Kumiko takes his hand. "Shall we go, then?"
* Gyoshoku nods
* Gyoshoku and Kumiko leave the inn and head out of the village toward their home
<Gyoshoku> you know, I had a dream last night, too
* Kumiko takes his hand AGAIN once they're out of sight
<Kumiko> You did?
<Gyoshoku> mhm
<Kumiko> What was it about?
<Gyoshoku> I was alone... back in Yamato's bath house, I think... very scared, feeling helpless
<Gyoshoku> I guess talking about it last night sort of stirred up old memories
* Kumiko squeezes his hand
* Gyoshoku squeezes back
<Kumiko> How did it end?
<Gyoshoku> actually, it ended very well
<Gyoshoku> there was a child that came to me... just like in real life, but when I looked at him, he had your eyes
* Kumiko smiles a bit
<Kumiko> my odd light ones?
<Gyoshoku> mhm...
<Gyoshoku> but not just the colour, the depth, the love... the smile hovering just out of reach
<Gyoshoku> I knew it was your son... our son
* Kumiko pats her tummy lightly with her free hand, and then lets it rest there
* Gyoshoku resolves right then to name one of his sons after the buddha as saviour... Amida
* Gyoshoku smiles at her
<Gyoshoku> so you see, it's not really a nightmare
* Kumiko smiles back. "No..."
<Kumiko> He didn't say anything?
<Gyoshoku> nope... he just sort of winked at me
<Gyoshoku> I don't think it was this one though *indicates her stomach* this one's aura is a lot less playful
<Gyoshoku> this one is going to be a thinker...
<Kumiko> That's good :)
<Kumiko> Right?
<Gyoshoku> well, yes and no
<Gyoshoku> thinking is a wonderful thing
<Gyoshoku> but... damn, it's scary... every time I think about it...
<Gyoshoku> Kumiko, I have no idea how to be a father
<Gyoshoku> I never HAD a father... or a mother... I don't know what a parent does
<Kumiko> but you had some adult there to take care of you, right? your... baa-chan?
* Gyoshoku smiles a bit involuntarily
<Gyoshoku> hai... I had baa-chan
<Gyoshoku> for a while
* Kumiko squeezes his hand. "Then... start there?"
* Gyoshoku sighs
<Gyoshoku> I don't want my children to ever look at me and wish they had another father
<Kumiko> Gyo... they couldn't...
<Gyoshoku> not at first, no...
<Kumiko> Because, see... you will love them...
<Kumiko> I know you will
<Gyoshoku> I already do
* Kumiko nods
<Kumiko> and the only really bad fathers are the ones that are completely unable to love their children...
<Gyoshoku> I don't know if my father loved me
<Gyoshoku> I don't want that for mine
<Kumiko> See, if you start there... with wanting your children to know they're loved... that's a good start. :)
<Kumiko> 'course, they might be a bit spoiled with just that, so you'll have to set limits and all... but... yeah
<Kumiko> I had parents... I'll try to help you
<Gyoshoku> I know you will, koishii
<Gyoshoku> I'd be lost without you
<Kumiko> you do a good job with Saku-chan and Seisui-chan...
<Gyoshoku> that's not... I can't be their fathers
<Kumiko> I know...
<Kumiko> but it's a bit similar anyway... you know?
<Gyoshoku> yeah...
<Gyoshoku> I guess I sort of think of them as my children... but in reality, I know they'll never really be mine
* Kumiko nods
<Gyoshoku> and if they were, it would just hurt them
<Gyoshoku> humans don't live very long
<Kumiko> yeah
<Kumiko> but still... you take responsibility for them... you make sure they behave... and don't claw eachother's eyes out...
* Gyoshoku chuckles
<Gyoshoku> I guess I treat them like I used to treat my little brothers...
<Gyoshoku> I guess that's a decent place to start
* Kumiko nods
* Gyoshoku squeezes her hand
<Kumiko> It'll be ok, Gyo
<Gyoshoku> I know the kids will be ok...with you as a mother
<Gyoshoku> I just hope I don't disappoint them
* Gyoshoku has serious self esteem issues
<Kumiko> Gyo...
<Gyoshoku> hai?
<Kumiko> *I* love you. The kids will love you... and... you're smart, and strong and interesting in so many ways, while I'm just a boring, normal girl...
<Gyoshoku> I don't think you're boring, koishii
<Kumiko> if you think you'll disappoint them... why don't you think I'll be the one to do so?
<Gyoshoku> because you're the warmest, most giving person I've ever known
* Kumiko shakes her head and smiles a bit at Gyo.
* Gyoshoku smiles back
<Gyoshoku> alright, so we'll be miserable failures as parents, but love our kids rotten... I can deal with that
* Kumiko giggles
<Kumiko> we'll do alright, Gyo
<Gyoshoku> nope, I'm resolved to be horrible now
* Kumiko sticks out her tongue at him
<Gyoshoku> I will feed them nothing but sticky buns and bathe them in mud
* Kumiko laughs
<Gyoshoku> and we'll all run around that has possibilities
<Kumiko> Well... it has the possibility of us getting even more kids in a very rapid succession...
* Gyoshoku gasps
<Gyoshoku> the world has been overrun with houshi offspring... run!
* Kumiko lets go of his hand to slip her arm around him instead
<Kumiko> Silly
* Gyoshoku grins at her and returns the gesture
<Gyoshoku> hai, very silly
<Kumiko> But I love you anyway
<Kumiko> So it's all good
<Gyoshoku> what do you know, I love you, too
<Gyoshoku> happy coincidence, that
<Kumiko> Yeah, very good
<Gyoshoku> oh, hey, I got you something back in the village
<Kumiko> Oh?
<Gyoshoku> mhm
* Gyoshoku pulls out a pretty little carved box he... acquired... from the teahouse
* Kumiko blinks at it. "With the money we didn't have to spend on a futon?"
<Gyoshoku> no... think of it as compensation from the family of the man who kidnapped you
<Kumiko> Gyo...
<Gyoshoku> what?
<Kumiko> did you steal this?
<Gyoshoku> well...
<Gyoshoku> possibly
<Kumiko> I mean... did you take it without their knowledge and permission?
<Gyoshoku> they owe it to you
* Kumiko shakes her head
* Gyoshoku will not be guilted into giving it away, really believes they owe her something
<Kumiko> Gyo... please
* Gyoshoku stops and looks at her
<Gyoshoku> please what?
<Gyoshoku> don't ask me to take it back, because I won't
<Gyoshoku> if you don't want it, fine, I'll keep it for the child that bastard could have killed with his idiotic revenge fantasies
* Kumiko bites her lip and sighs
<Kumiko> just don't try to make me accept it...
<Gyoshoku> I can't demand they pay, Kumiko... not alone in a potentially hostile village
<Kumiko> well... see it like this then...
<Kumiko> maybe I don't want a reminder of this trip...?
* Gyoshoku looks at the box and then throws it deep into the woods
<Gyoshoku> there... happy now?
* Gyoshoku isn't being very mature >.>
<Kumiko> Gyo...
* Kumiko stops walking and hugs him instead
* Gyoshoku hugs back
<Kumiko> I love you with all that's in me
<Gyoshoku> I know...
<Kumiko> but sometimes, you are very immature
<Gyoshoku> well.....
* Gyoshoku can't really argue the point
<Gyoshoku> yeah
<Gyoshoku> but now you won't be reminded, and they still have to pay
<Gyoshoku> and some squirrel will have a lovely new box for its acorns
<Kumiko> hai...
* Kumiko pulls back a bit
* Gyoshoku looks at her
<Gyoshoku> what's wrong?
<Kumiko> Nothing...
<Kumiko> I just don't like the thought of you stealing things...
* Gyoshoku sighs and lets go of her
<Gyoshoku> I only take what should be given freely anyway
<Kumiko> I know... but still... *sighs*
<Gyoshoku> believe it or not, it's my sense of morality that makes me take things
<Gyoshoku> not the lack thereof
<Gyoshoku> you don't have to agree with my thinking, but don't fault the feeling behind it
<Kumiko> I'll try not to...
* Gyoshoku frowns
<Kumiko> but it still makes me feel bad when you take things...
<Gyoshoku> do you want me to find the box in the woods and take it back to the slimy asshole family?
<Kumiko> No... no.... it's just... *sighs*
<Gyoshoku> cause I can
<Kumiko> I know you can
<Gyoshoku> and then you can go back to pretending that the man you married isn't a thief
* Kumiko hugs him again
<Kumiko> I just don't want you to get into trouble
* Gyoshoku hugs back
<Gyoshoku> I won't, koishii
<Gyoshoku> no one suspects the monk, anyway
<Kumiko> I love you so much... I would go with you anywhere, even if you decided to... I don't know... be a bandit or whatever... I'd go with you...
<Gyoshoku> but you'd hate it
<Kumiko> Hai... *bites her lip*
* Gyoshoku frowns again and hugs her tighter "some things aren't so clear cut for me, Kumiko... justice and 'right' aren't always the same"
* Kumiko hugs back. "I know..."
<Gyoshoku> I'm sorry if it hurts you
<Gyoshoku> you know I never want to do that
<Kumiko> I know
<Kumiko> it's just... I want to think of you as perfect, I guess...
* Gyoshoku chuckles
<Gyoshoku> I'm so far from perfect, Kumiko
<Gyoshoku> I'm just a man, and a deeply flawed one
<Kumiko> I know... logically... I do... but... *snugs closer*
* Gyoshoku kisses the top of her head
<Gyoshoku> don't worry, I'm sure I'll find lots of ways to remind you
<Kumiko> I love you
<Gyoshoku> and I treasure that more than any stupid trinket
* Kumiko pulls back a bit from the hug. "Let's get going again?"
<Kumiko> Or we'll stand here on the road all day...
<Gyoshoku> yeah...
<Kumiko> and as much as I like the company, it'd be nice to get closer to home...
* Gyoshoku just nods and takes her hand again before starting off
<Kumiko> Weren't we going to tell the tono about this all... too?
<Gyoshoku> hai...
<Gyoshoku> we still will
<Gyoshoku> I'm torn about it
<Gyoshoku> if we stop now, it delays our return all the more
<Gyoshoku> I'd feel safer getting you home and then returning on my own
<Gyoshoku> on the other hand, I don't want to leave you at home alone either
<Kumiko> you left him tied up... *bites her lip*
* Gyoshoku shakes his head
<Gyoshoku> you're something else...
<Gyoshoku> alright, we'll stop on the way
<Kumiko> well... there's both the part about being alone in a cave, tied up and all...
<Kumiko> and then there's the part that... if we're gone too long, maybe he'll get free...
<Gyoshoku> he'll never hurt you again
<Gyoshoku> I wish you wouldn't waste your wonderful pity on him... but if you didn't, you wouldn't be you... and I so love you
* Kumiko squeezes his hand
* Gyoshoku squeezes back
<Kumiko> he's just... a very sick man... I can't help but feel sorry for him
<Gyoshoku> I guess no one deserves to spend more than one night tied up in a cave....
* Gyoshoku goes back to walking with his arm around her shoulders
* Kumiko has her arm around his waist, then
<Kumiko> Saku-chan and Seisui-chan were alright, right?
* Gyoshoku also shortens his step to match hers, likes walking this way
<Gyoshoku> Saku-chan was groggy, but fine... Seisui-chan took longer to recover
<Kumiko> She's smaller...
<Gyoshoku> hai
<Kumiko> and Saku-chan's full youkai...
<Gyoshoku> and her nose is more sensitive as well, I think
* Kumiko nods
<Kumiko> but she seemed to be doing alright?
<Gyoshoku> both were awake when I left... and both were very worried about you
<Gyoshoku> hai, she was hungry... which is a good sign
<Gyoshoku> I left her with Shirobiki
<Kumiko> and Saku-chan?
<Gyoshoku> she's officially helping the twins
<Gyoshoku> she doesn't get on well with Shirobiki-san
<Kumiko> No...
* Kumiko sighs slightly
<Kumiko> Well, she gets along with the twins well enough...
<Gyoshoku> she gets along with anyone who doesn't treat her like a child or an animal
<Kumiko> Yeah... she even gets along with Uku, doesn't she?
<Gyoshoku> in her own way, hai
<Kumiko> Even though they fight... heh
* Gyoshoku squeezes her shoulder
<Gyoshoku> if Saku-chan had no one to fight with, she wouldn't know what to do
<Kumiko> probably not, no
<Gyoshoku> she needs it, to keep herself convinced she's tougher than she is
* Kumiko nods
<Kumiko> she does...
* Kumiko sighs slightly. "She's so cute, though... when she goes on about what a fearsome youkai she is..."
* Gyoshoku laughs
<Kumiko> and how she'll eat humans once she's old enough... but not you and me, because we're nice...
<Gyoshoku> who knows, she might actually try it once, but I think she won't like it... we've taught her that humans are people too
<Kumiko> yeah
<Gyoshoku> it's a good thing she didn't get adopted by a family of sentient mice... she'd never eat again
* Kumiko laughs
<Kumiko> yeah, that's good
<Gyoshoku> I can see it now "I just don't like the taste of mice anymore... they're gamy"
* Kumiko giggles
<Kumiko> yeah, something like that
<Gyoshoku> you should have seen her, though... she cares so much for you
<Gyoshoku> she was almost frantic with worry, and trying to make -me- feel better
<Kumiko> I can imagine...
<Kumiko> she probably forced you to sit down and breath and think, didn't she?
<Gyoshoku> she tried, yeah
<Kumiko> she can be quite logical when things aren't affecting her directly
<Gyoshoku> and I did... for about 30 seconds
<Gyoshoku> she was very annoyed not to be able to use her nose to help, though
<Kumiko> I bet...
<Gyoshoku> thankfully, the baka left a trail
<Gyoshoku> not that it helped much... but *shrugs*
* Kumiko leans her head slightly against him as they walk in a kind of half-hug
<Gyoshoku> as if anyone would believe I could just let you go
<Gyoshoku> he must have thought I was less than human... to abandon a pregnant wife
<Kumiko> yeah... *shivers*
<Gyoshoku> even if I didn't love you with every fibre of my being, I'm not a monster
<Kumiko> I know... I tried to tell him that... but...
<Gyoshoku> but reason doesn't work on madmen?
<Kumiko> No...
<Gyoshoku> I could have told you that
<Kumiko> he kept saying you'd be dead to me... and yet... he expected me to... live with him... MARRY him... *shudders*
* Gyoshoku tightens his arm
<Gyoshoku> I stole something he considered his... he wanted something back
<Gyoshoku> he wanted to be chosen over me
<Gyoshoku> if you'd played along, it would have been less dangerous for you
<Kumiko> but I love you...
<Kumiko> you know I can't lie well at all...
<Gyoshoku> I know, love
<Gyoshoku> and I'm very proud for what you did accomplish
<Gyoshoku> you stayed safe, you got us the information we needed
<Kumiko> Hai... I did...
* Kumiko tightens her arm around his waist a bit
<Gyoshoku> and you did it all without having to pretend to be something you're not
<Kumiko> Yeah... *sighs*
* Kumiko hears her stomach rumble a bit.
* Gyoshoku 's eyes widen
<Gyoshoku> oh! I'm sorry
* Gyoshoku lets go of her and gets out some skewers of fish and vegetables he bought for their breakfast
* Gyoshoku hands her one and then eats as they walk
* Kumiko eats as well. "Thanks... it's good..."
<Gyoshoku> therefore you know I didn't cook it
* Kumiko giggles
* Gyoshoku smiles and then takes another bite, was also hungry
* Gyoshoku flirted with the seller to get better food than they could afford, doesn't mention this to Kumiko
<Kumiko> how long until we get to the tono's castle, Gyo?
<Gyoshoku> at this rate, I'd say a few more hours... if you can handle going a bit faster, maybe less
<Kumiko> I can try...
<Gyoshoku> I'm in no hurry, koishii
<Gyoshoku> the messenger will let them know we're safe
<Gyoshoku> and as much as I want to get home, your happiness is more important
* Kumiko nods
* Gyoshoku stops and cocks his head to the side
* Kumiko looks up at him. "What?"
<Gyoshoku> there are people coming this way... a lot of them, I can feel it... probably soldiers
<Gyoshoku> that's good news, actually, it means we don't have to stop by the castle after all
* Kumiko bites her lip... has a feeling she's forgetting something, but can't think of what
* Gyoshoku starts walking again, the sooner they report about Jiro, the sooner they can be on their way without any other obligations
* Gyoshoku finishes his food as he walks and throws the skewer away
* Kumiko eats slowly as usual, so still has some left.
<Kumiko> Are you full?
<Gyoshoku> as full as I'm going to get from that amount of food, but we don't have much to waste
* SamuraiCaptain and his men are making lots of noise
* Kumiko holds out her skewer for him. "You can have some of mine..."
* SamuraiCaptain is just on a routine patrol, yes
* Gyoshoku shakes his head
<Gyoshoku> you need it more than I do
<Kumiko> You sure?
* Gyoshoku smiles at her
<Gyoshoku> of course
<Gyoshoku> now, let's move to the side of the road, before we're overrun
* SamuraiCaptain and his men are coming at a fast march
* Kumiko nods and lets go of Gyo... about to be in public, after all...
* Kumiko goes back to eating. Mm.
* Gyoshoku stands slightly ahead of her at the side of the road... just in case
* SamuraiCaptain sees them there and decides to ignore them... just normal citizens
* Gyoshoku sees what's happening and steps forward
<Gyoshoku> excuse me
* SamuraiCaptain calls his company to a halt
* SamuraiCaptain goes back to talk to the monk
<SamuraiCaptain> what do you want? we're busy
* Gyoshoku smiles
<Gyoshoku> I just wanted to report a crime, that's all
* SamuraiCaptain grunts
<SamuraiCaptain> what sort of crime *appraises Kumiko*
* Kumiko looks down all demure and stuff
* Kumiko also inches slightly closer to Gyo
<Gyoshoku> my wife was kidnapped... I was able to find her and apprehend the kidnapper, but I feel he should be punished
* SamuraiCaptain looks slightly surprised, looks at Kumiko again
<SamuraiCaptain> that true?
<Kumiko> Hai, it is
* SamuraiCaptain turns back to Gyo
<SamuraiCaptain> you apprehended him, so where is he?
* Gyoshoku explains where the cave is
<SamuraiCaptain> and he's just going to stay there on his own, is he?
<Gyoshoku> no... I tied him up
* SamuraiCaptain blinks
<SamuraiCaptain> you left a man tied up in a cave?
<Gyoshoku> well... it seemed wiser than alerting the people of his village that I'd beaten him
<SamuraiCaptain> so he's from this area...and where are you from?
<Gyoshoku> from the village outside of Midoriko's Shrine
* SamuraiCaptain starts again
<SamuraiCaptain> that's out of our land...
* SamuraiCaptain ponders what to do
* Kumiko will stay silent unless addressed.
* SamuraiCaptain nods to a small group of his men, about 6, and they step forward
<SamuraiCaptain> take these two back to the tono, and hold them until I return... put him in the prison... she can be held under simple guard
<Gyoshoku> wait! what's this about?!
<Kumiko> o.o
<SamuraiCaptain> you admitted to assualting one of our citizens... maybe your story is true and maybe not... I will find this man and return him to the tono...
<SamuraiCaptain> the tono will know what to do
<Gyoshoku> but we've done nothing wrong
<SamuraiCaptain> then you have nothing to fear
* SamuraiCaptain nods to the men again and they surround Gyo and Kumiko, then he leads his men away
* Kumiko moves closer to Gyo... doesn't care about respectability right now, is scared
* Gyoshoku wasn't really expecting this... obviously
* GuardGuy is escorting or guarding?
* Gyoshoku puts an arm around Kumiko and looks at the guards
<GuardGuy> This way please
* GuardGuy indicates direction and starts walking
* Kumiko bites her lip and stays close to Gyo
* Gyoshoku follows the guard, assessing the situation
<Gyoshoku> *whispers* gomen, I had no idea they would react this way
<Kumiko> it's not your fault... *bites lip*
<Gyoshoku> we should have waited...
* Gyoshoku thinks that if Jiro had died but Kumiko was safe, it would have been a good bargain
* GuardGuy is in a group of other guardguys... yeah. Okay
* Kumiko tries to think... but focusing on something Jiro said when there's another threat nearby doesn't really work
* GuardGuy glances back at them... at least they're coming peacefully enough
* Gyoshoku squeezes Kumiko's shoulder and then lets go, figures out which of them seems to be the highest ranking and approaches him
<GuardGuy> Yes?
* Kumiko always comes along peacefully, unless someone tries to take her from Gyo
* GuardGuy doesn't know Kumiko
<Gyoshoku> can we slow down a bit? my wife is expecting
* Kumiko is small, female and pregnant. :P
* GuardGuy looks back at Kumiko again and orders the others to go a bit slower... not too slow, though, or it'll take all day to get back to the castle... where are we all?
* GuardGuy thinks he'd have beaten somebody up for taking her too... she's pretty
<Gyoshoku> thank you...
<Gyoshoku> I promise, we won't make any trouble
<Gyoshoku> I'm just a peaceful houshi, really, most of the time... please don't separate us...
<GuardGuy> Don't do anything rash and I won't have to
* Kumiko chews her lip. <...what about that man's... orders... then?>
<Gyoshoku> I meant, at the castle...
<GuardGuy> Oh
<Kumiko> <to put Gyo in jail, but me under just... simple guard?>
<GuardGuy> Sorry. I have my orders
* Kumiko looks back to them
* Kumiko doesn't want to be separated from Gyo. :(
<Gyoshoku> there's no need to separate us... I'll even give you my weapon voluntarily
<GuardGuy> That's not the point, sir
<Gyoshoku> she gets very upset when we're apart..
<Gyoshoku> <I get very upset when we're apart>
<GuardGuy> Sorry, sir. Orders are orders. The best I could do is have the prison guard be the one watching her
* Gyoshoku nods
<Gyoshoku> thank you, if we can see each other...
<GuardGuy> I'll see what I can do when we arrive
* GuardGuy is not totally unreasonable... see?
* Gyoshoku nods at the guard and falls back to Kumiko
<Gyoshoku> how're you feeling?
<Kumiko> I'm alright...
<Gyoshoku> you look a little tired
<Kumiko> Maybe a little... but really... I'm fine...
<Kumiko> just worried...
<Gyoshoku> he said he'd try to keep us as together as possible
* Kumiko nods. "I heard..."
<Gyoshoku> I was hoping you'd never have to see that bastard again
<Gyoshoku> I'm so sorry, koishii
<Kumiko> Gyo... it's not your fault... *takes his hand*
* Gyoshoku takes hers as well and eventually picks her up and carries her as the hours wear on and they get closer to the castle
* GuardGuy and company and prisoners arrive
* Gyoshoku sets Kumiko down and hands her the satchel with the food in it
<Gyoshoku> you'd better keep this
* Kumiko takes it.
* GuardGuy directs some of his men to take Gyoshoku to the prison place...I'm not sure if a Japanese castle would have a dungeon or whatnot
* Kumiko hugs him. "Please be alright..."
* Gyoshoku hugs back
<Gyoshoku> I will
<Gyoshoku> you take care
* Kumiko nods
* GuardGuy has to report...
* Gyoshoku goes with the guards, looks back over his shoulder quite often as they lead him away
* GuardGuy directs the other guards to watch Kumiko there and goes off to report
* Kumiko looks after Gyo... ;_;
<Gyoshoku> <don't cry, love, I'll be fine...>
* GuardGuy reports to the tono
* Kumiko can't help kinda crying a bit... is... emotional.. and stuff... and in a new place, without Gyo...
* GuardGuy is told about what he expected... keep the man locked up until SamuraiCaptain returns. Watch the woman to make she she doesn't escape.
* GuardGuy nods and goes somepleace else...
* SamuraiCaptain returns with Jiro in tow
* Jiro is very unhappy
* SamuraiCaptain throws Jiro into a cell next to Gyo and goes to report to the tono
* Jiro glares at Gyoshoku
* Tono is napping in his chair... is an old man
<Jiro> you're gonna pay, houshi...
* Gyoshoku ignores him
* SamuraiCaptain approaches the tono and bows low, will wait this way until he wakes up
* Tono opens his eyes after a moment and sits up a bit... wasn't sleeping deeply
<Tono> Yes, what is it?
* Kumiko sits on a bench, trying to be strong and not cry... too much... yes
<SamuraiCaptain> tono-sama, on patrol today we ran across a couple who claimed the woman had been kidnapped and the kidnapper was tied up in a cave near one of your villages
* Tono nods
<SamuraiCaptain> I ordered that the couple and the allegeded kidnapper be brought here
<SamuraiCaptain> both are here now, and await your pleasure
<Tono> You brought the man who was assaulted?
<SamuraiCaptain> hai, he is badly hurt... he had to be carried much of the way
* Tono frowns... that's not good
<Tono> He can't walk?
<SamuraiCaptain> he can...
<SamuraiCaptain> but not as quickly as I thought prudent
<SamuraiCaptain> they did leave food and water within reach for him...
* Tono nods
<Tono> All right. Bring them here. I'll listen to what they have to say
<SamuraiCaptain> the woman too?
<Tono> Yes, yes, the woman too! She's the cause of it, isn't she?
<SamuraiCaptain> as you say, tono-sama
* Tono waves him out
* SamuraiCaptain bows, leaves and has his men bring all three to the audience chamber
* SamuraiCaptain had Gyoshoku put to the right of the Tono, Jiro to the left, and Kumiko in the middle
* SamuraiCaptain then goes back to being invisible
<Tono> You *points at Jiro* What happened to you?
* Jiro snivels and wipes his nose
* Kumiko moves slightly closer to Gyo... doesn't want to stand too close to Jiro
* Jiro can't help himself looking at Kumiko quite often
<Jiro> tono-sama *bows* this man stole my wife... claimed her for his own, and when I tried to take her back, he beat me
<Gyoshoku> O.O!
<Tono> This is your wife?
<Gyoshoku> what?!
<Kumiko> No!
* Tono looks over at Gyoshoku and Kumiko
<Tono> Be quiet
* Kumiko clasps her hands over her mouth. "Gomen nasai, tono-sama..."
* Gyoshoku bites his tongue to keep from shouting
* Jiro looks very hurt
<Tono> You're not this man's wife? *to Kumiko, obviously*
* Kumiko looks up again. "No, tono-sama... The first time I saw him was less than a week ago, if my memory serves me right."
<Tono> Why is he claiming you are then?
<Kumiko> Because... he's jealous of my husband... I don't know
<Jiro> He has put a spell on her, tono-sama... she is my wife and we were happily married, she carries my child... but the houshi saw her and envied my good fortune, taking my beloved from me
<Jiro> Kumiko, please, remember our life together
<Tono> Be quiet *to Jiro*
* Jiro goes back to looking hurt
* Gyoshoku has bitten through his tongue... ow
<Tono> This man *indicates Gyo* is your husband?
<Kumiko> Hai, tono-sama, he is
* Gyoshoku swallows the blood, yuck
* Tono turns to Jiro
<Tono> Why do you also claim she's your wife?
<Jiro> because it is so, my lord... you hear the witness of a woman whose reason has been stolen from her by an evil man
* Tono appraises Gyo
* Gyoshoku clenches his fists
<Tono> Have you put a spell on this woman to steal her from her rigthful husband?
<Gyoshoku> no, my lord, I know of no such spells
<Gyoshoku> but if you would have proof of my claim, send for our marriage contract
* Jiro frowns, didn't think of that
<Tono> *to Jiro* Are you also going to tell me to send someone for your marriage contract?
<Jiro> if my lord so wishes
<Tono> Yes
* Tono summons servants
* Jiro is totally screwed now
<Tono> Who has your marriage contracts? I will send these two men out immediately
<Jiro> I... just remembered... our contract was destroyed when the local shrine was destroyed by youkai
* Gyoshoku scoffs
* Tono arches a brow and turns to Gyo
<Tono> And yours?
<Gyoshoku> you can find a copy of it in my home, or you can send to the Shrine of Midoriko, who also holds a copy
* Gyoshoku glances at Kumiko to see if she's ok
* Tono nods and sends a runner to the mahiru shrine
* Tono looks at Jiro again
<Tono> Do you have any way of proving your claim to this woman?
<Jiro> none but my love
* Tono is not impressed by that statement
* Gyoshoku scoffs again and signals for attention
* Tono looks over at Gyoshoku
<Gyoshoku> tono-sama, there is a quicker way...
<Tono> Yes?
<Gyoshoku> bring Kumiko forward and question her privately, then quiz us both on the answers she gives you
<Gyoshoku> I promise, I know my wife
* Tono looks at Kumiko
* Kumiko looks up
* Kumiko tends to mend into the background
<Tono> Very well
* Tono looks over at Jiro for his next big idea
* Jiro just tries to smile... is feeling in over his head
* Tono grunts and orders Jiro and Gyoshoku back to their cells
* Gyoshoku and Jiro go
<Tono> Now, young woman....
* Kumiko has gone back to keeping her head down. "Hai, tono-sama...?"
* Gyoshoku sits in the corner of his cell, trying to meditate and stay calm
<Tono> Is that houshi-dono's child you're carrying?
* Jiro , on the other hand is cursing
<Kumiko> Hai, tono-sama, it is
<Tono> How long have you been married?
<Kumiko> Six months, tono-sama
<Tono> Not very long... did you know the other man before you met houshi-dono?
<Kumiko> No, I've lived all my life in the village closest to Midoriko's shrine, tono-sama
<Tono> And has houshi-dono been there too?
* Tono meant all his life
<Kumiko> No, he first came to the village seven months ago, on his way to the shrine, tono-sama
<Tono> You had a brief courtship... was the marriage arranged?
<Kumiko> No, tono-sama
<Tono> It just... clicked for you two, did it?
<Kumiko> Hai, it did... I love him with all my being, tono-sama
<Tono> Lucky child *sighs*
* Tono sits up a little and looks at her
<Tono> What does your father do?
<Kumiko> He's a teahouse owner, tono-sama
* Tono nods
<Tono> And your mother? She runs the teahouse kitchen, I suppose?
<Kumiko> She did, tono-sama... she died five years ago
<Tono> Ah, that's unfortunate
<Kumiko> Hai, tono-sama
<Tono> Do you have any siblings?
<Kumiko> Two brothers, tono-sama. One is seven years older than me and a healer, the other is two years older and a samurai.
<Tono> A samurai, you say?
<Tono> Where is he stationed?
<Kumiko> He is not stationed anywhere right now, tono-sama. He's at home to help care for our father... he's dying.
<Tono> Ahh
<Tono> Are either of them married?
<Kumiko> My older brother is a widower, tono-sama. His wife was a taijya at the shrine, who was unfortunaly killed in an encounter with a youkai...
* Tono nods
* Tono thinks that's probably a hazard of the job
<Kumiko> My younger brother has promised himself to a girl who works at the teahouse, though they're not yet married.
* Tono nods again
<Tono> Your father hires out work at the teahouse then
<Tono> Is there anyone there besides the girl your brother is promised to?
<Kumiko> There's Ran, tono-sama, and I help out when I can
<Tono> Who is Ran?
<Kumiko> Another teagirl... she helps caring for my father, tono-sama
<Tono> Ah
<Tono> Is there anything you think that only houshi-dono would know about?
* Kumiko bites her lip
<Kumiko> I guess... we got married in secret at first, while we were accompanying my friend to her home-village
<Tono> In secret?
<Kumiko> nobody from home knew... apart from Shirobiki-chan
* Tono would ask who that is, but in the interests of speeding things along, just summons a servant to fetch Gyoshoku
* Gyoshoku is fetched
* Gyoshoku smiles at Kumiko when he enters
* Jiro stews in his cell
* Kumiko smiles back nervously
* Gyoshoku bows to the tono
* Tono nods
* Tono sends Kumiko out of the room
* Kumiko is sent out
<Tono> Tell me about the teahouse
<Gyoshoku> the teahouse? Kumiko's teahouse?
<Tono> Yes
<Gyoshoku> um... her father owns it, she worked there until we were married, Koharu-chan and Ran-san work there now...
<Tono> Who is Koharu?
<Gyoshoku> the intended wife of Kumiko's brother, Isamu... and also niece to a girl who used to work at the teahouse, Shirobiki
* Tono nods
<Tono> And Kumiko-san's other brother?
<Gyoshoku> a healer, Kijou, works at the shrine
* Tono nods
<Tono> What happened to you while you were accompanying one of Kumiko-san's friends to her home village?
<Gyoshoku> um..
<Gyoshoku> many things happened on that journey, tono-sama
* Tono phrased it just like Kumiko did...
<Gyoshoku> but, I suppose, the most significant thing would be that... we went ahead and got married... a ceremony just for us
<Tono> Name what you consider the most important... ah. Just so
<Tono> Very well. I'm convinced
* Gyoshoku smiles
<Gyoshoku> you are wise, Tono-sama
* Tono knows
<Tono> I will arrange for quarters for you this night. You can leave in the morning.
<Gyoshoku> thank you, tono-sama
<Gyoshoku> your generosity is as that of the gods of old
* Tono nods
* Tono fetches a servant and instructs it to show them to quarters
* Gyoshoku leaves the chamber to find Kumiko outside and beams at her
* Tono just nods again... is too old to really need that BS ;)
* Gyoshoku is just a BSer, he'll have to live with it
* Kumiko looks up at him
* Tono will also leave the judgement of Jiro for tired now
<Gyoshoku> he's preparing quarters for us
<Kumiko> It went alright, then?
<Gyoshoku> I seem to have been able to convince him that we are, in fact, married
* Kumiko hugs him
* Jiro stews in his cell all night, damn that houshi
<Kumiko> Good
* Gyoshoku hugs back
<Gyoshoku> though I was kind of hoping he'd ask me about that mole on your thigh
* Gyoshoku winks
* Kumiko smiles a bit
* Gyoshoku and Kumiko are led to some comfortable, but modest quarters and left alone
<Kumiko> I was worried for a while...
<Gyoshoku> so was I
<Kumiko> that his lies would convince the tono... it was... *shudders*
* Gyoshoku holds her to him
<Gyoshoku> I guess it's a good thing we got married...I'd hate to see trying to prove we belonged together otherwise
* Kumiko snugs him
<Kumiko> Yeah...
<Gyoshoku> he was a bit convincing though
<Gyoshoku> it took everything I had not to haul off and beat the shit out of him right there
<Kumiko> yeah
<Gyoshoku> I bit my tongue *sticks it out* theee?
<Kumiko> Ouch...
* Gyoshoku pulls it back in
* Kumiko winces in sympathy
<Gyoshoku> yeah... it was so I wouldn't shout
<Gyoshoku> you know... I think if you kissed it, it would feel better
* Kumiko reaches up and puts her hands behind his neck, pulling his head down so she can kiss him
* Kumiko actually DOES kiss him, now that she's able to
* Gyoshoku kisses back, but rather softly, since his tongue really does hurt
* Gyoshoku breaks the kiss and hugs her to him, stroking her back
<Gyoshoku> it almost drove me insane, listening to his lies, knowing that if I said anything, it would be held against me... thinking of losing you
<Kumiko> I know...
<Gyoshoku> he's clever, I'll give him that much...
<Gyoshoku> but not smart, not really
* Kumiko tightens her arms around him. "No..."
<Kumiko> Gyo...?
<Gyoshoku> hmm?
<Kumiko> When will we get home again?
<Kumiko> and have things go back to normal?
<Gyoshoku> well, this puts us a bit behind, obviously... we lost a lot of travelling time
<Gyoshoku> if we start early tomorrow, we can probably get home a bit after nightfall
* Kumiko nods
<Kumiko> On the plus-side... we have a futon
* Gyoshoku smiles
<Gyoshoku> and a nice one from the looks of it
<Gyoshoku> did you eat?
* Gyoshoku is quite hungry now
<Kumiko> No...
<Kumiko> Well, apart from breakfast...
<Gyoshoku> oh, you should have
<Gyoshoku> that's why I left the food with you
<Kumiko> I was worried...
* Gyoshoku sighs
<Gyoshoku> I know
<Gyoshoku> make yourself comfortable, koishii
* Gyoshoku indicates she should sit and then goes to the door, and asks for a meal to be sent
* Kumiko sits down and closes her eyes momentarily
* Gyoshoku joins her once the food has been ordered
* Gyoshoku rubs her shoulders
* Kumiko leans against him
<Kumiko> Gyo...?
<Gyoshoku> hai?
<Kumiko> Guess what?
<Gyoshoku> what?
<Kumiko> I love you
* Gyoshoku smiles and continues massaging her shoulders and neck
<Gyoshoku> I guessed
<Gyoshoku> but don't worry, because I'm sure you can guess that I also love you
<Kumiko> Yeah...
<Gyoshoku> relax... we're safe now
* Gyoshoku kisses her behind the ears
* Kumiko relaxes against him. "I know..."
<Kumiko> It's just... things have been really stressful... *sighs*
* Gyoshoku rests his chin on her shoulder and moves his arms so they are around her stomach
<Gyoshoku> I know... I'm sorry
<Gyoshoku> this has been a rough week
* Kumiko rests her arms on top of his
<Gyoshoku> if I have to carry you the rest of the way home, I will
<Kumiko> Well... it's good to move my legs, too... so I don't think you'll be carrying me *all* the way...
<Gyoshoku> alright
* Kumiko snugs against him
<Gyoshoku> if you get tired, though
<Kumiko> Yeah
<Kumiko> I know, Gyo... I know...
<Gyoshoku> you know?
<Kumiko> that you'll carry me when I get tired
<Gyoshoku> hai, I will
<Gyoshoku> and I'll never let anyone take you from me
* Kumiko nods. "I know..."
<Gyoshoku> if the tono had ordered it, I would have killed him with my bare hands, and damn the consequence...
<Gyoshoku> being an outlaw would be worth it, as long as we were together
* Kumiko snugs against him
<Kumiko> I'm glad you didn't have to...
<Gyoshoku> so am I
<Gyoshoku> I don't like killing
* Gyoshoku kisses her neck softly
* Kumiko closes her eyes again
<Kumiko> Gyo..?
<Gyoshoku> mm?
<Kumiko> I just like to say your name... *snugs just a wee bit closer*
* Gyoshoku chuckles
<Gyoshoku> I never liked my name until I heard you say it... or rather... shout it
* Kumiko blushes a bit
<Gyoshoku> well, it's true
* Gyoshoku can feel the blush on her cheeks
<Kumiko> I know...
* Kumiko smiles a bit
<Kumiko> I like shouting your name, too...
* Gyoshoku smiles
<Gyoshoku> good, I like shouting yours
<Gyoshoku> you know, I almost ran for it back there with the guards
<Gyoshoku> I could have taken them... they let me keep my shakujou...
<Kumiko> Mmm... but then they'd have thought we were guilty, wouldn't they?
<Gyoshoku> hai...
<Kumiko> and that'd have been bad...
<Gyoshoku> I know, I obviously decided not to
<Gyoshoku> but it crossed my mind
* Kumiko turns her head and smiles at him.
<Gyoshoku> if I'd been alone, or you hadn't been pregnant, I might have given it more serious thought
* Kumiko turns around a bit more and kisses him. "It all worked out well, though... so, no worries, right?"
* Gyoshoku kisses back
<Gyoshoku> no worries... heh
<Gyoshoku> you're kidding right?
* Kumiko blinks. "We're free to go in the morning... why...?"
<Gyoshoku> oh... not that
<Gyoshoku> I don't like being here knowing that bastard is also on the premesis
* Kumiko strokes his cheek softly
<Gyoshoku> even if he -is- in the prison
<Kumiko> yeah...
* Kumiko looks up. "I think they're here with the food..."
* Gyoshoku grins and his stomach grumbles at the reminder
<Gyoshoku> good, I'm starving
* Gyoshoku gets to his feet and opens the door
* ServantGirl smiles at him. "Konbanwa houshi-sama... I was sent with food for you and your wife..."
* Gyoshoku nods and stands aside
<Gyoshoku> arigato
* ServantGirl enters, unloads the food onto a table, smiles at them and moves back to the door. "Anything else I can do for you, houshi-sama?"
<Gyoshoku> no, you've done plenty
<Gyoshoku> I'll leave the dishes outside the door when we're done
* ServantGirl nods. "Are you sure? I mean... do you want to bathe? I can get a tub... or at least a wash-basin, if you think it's too much fuss..."
* ServantGirl is new to the job, wants to make sure she does it thoroughly.
* Gyoshoku sighs and looks at Kumiko
<Gyoshoku> what do you want?
* Kumiko shrugs slightly. "Whichever... don't overwork yourself..." *smiles at the girl*
<Gyoshoku> you can bring us a wash basin, that's fine, we'll be home tomorrow
* ServantGirl nods. "Hai, I will!"
* ServantGirl bows, then heads off.
* Gyoshoku smiles at her and sits down to eat, after moving the table to where Kumiko is sitting so she doesn't have to stand
<Kumiko> Thank you. *smiles*
<Gyoshoku> of course, koishii
* Gyoshoku eats, is hungry
* Kumiko eats as well... takes her time... ^_^;
* Gyoshoku eats more than she does, so also takes a long time
* Kumiko finishes and pats her tummy. "Are you full, little one?"
* Gyoshoku grins at her
<Gyoshoku> well?
<Kumiko> Mmm... I think so, yes
<Kumiko> he's not complaining
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