oos: I'm sorry! I completely forgot about this story! ^_^;; Heh, continuing on....

A Place for the Night

Katana smiled oddly, foot sliding back into an easy ready stance.

"Well?" The one word seemed to be the code for breaking the stunned silence that had followed Aldalk's demise. "Who's next?"

"I'm not gonna fight with a girl!" One of the boys muttered and backed out of the alley nervously.

"Maybe you should back out now, Lainou." said another, slinking off into the shadows.

The woman's eyebrow arched as she viewed the only teen left.

"I'm not going to take it easy on you-" He pulled out a bokutou(1) " -even if you are just a girl."

"Excuse me?" Katana asked in mock-horror. "You must be mistaking me for someone who holds the slightest interest in what you have to say."

The boy behind her covered his eyes in fear. No one said that to Lainou and lived to tell the tale.

"Why you little-"

Before he could track her movement, she was in his face. "It's not nice to pick on people, you know." She expertly grabbed his wrist, and wrenched it to the side. Lainou grunted, a droplet of sweat running down the side of his face.

"You think that's painful?" he said, attempting to sneer and failing miserably.

"I know it is." She grabbed the wooden sword he had been trying to smack her with and threw it to the side. "So I'll end your misery quickly..."

The swordsmaid delivered a hard punch to Lainou's gut and stepped back. The teen staggered, his face paling white. He collapsed next to the still-unconcious body of Aldalk.

Katana took a deep breath and sighed before turning to the boy she had protected.

"Who are you?" He asked, more than a little awed by her skills. His big brother had been training to fight like that.... but nothing compared to a real-life display.

"Katana." She was too busy examining a rip in her kimino to notice his stare. "What's your name?"

"Mizetto."

She chuckled. "Midget, huh?" After eying him critically, Katana announced, "You're not THAT short."

"Well.. my name is truely Eiki. But my friends don't call me that... because I"m not very courageous at all."

"Sometimes bravery needs a reason to come out...." Her eyes became clouded with thoughts, and, perhaps, memories. Mizetto silently watched her think for about a minute and a half.

"Eh?" Katana shook her head. "Don't let me space out like that," She chided, then paused. "What were you doing so late out at night anyway?"

"Nantomo(2)...." he muttered.

"Fine." The swordsmaid shrugged. "You don't have to tell me. Where do you live?"

"Across town."

"Can you get back there in one piece?"

"Hai(3)."

"I'll be seeing you then." Katana turned on her heel and continued down the dirt road. It was night now, but she could still make it to the forest and find a place to sleep....

"Do you have somewhere to stay?" Mizetto called after her.

"No....." She admitted.

"Stay at my house tonight!" He said eagerly, tugging lightly on her sleeve. "I'm sure my brother won't mind. And we have a spare bed!"

A bed did sound much cozier than rocky ground.

"Very well. Let's go to your home."

oos:

Notes:

Bokutou = Wooden Sword

Nantomo = Nothing

Hai = yes

I'll try to update soon this time! ^_~