Rimururu Samurai Shodown
Fan Fiction
--The website dedicated to all Samurai Spirits fans--~ver5.0~

Drifting on a Wind
by Andrew Huang
Homepage: A Leaf in Winter

      Shizumaru woke early.

      He always woke early, just as the sun was beginning to rise. Unless he was completely exhausted the night before from training, fighting, traveling--whatever it was--he would be up as dawn was breaking. The young man didn't know why it always happened that way. It just did

      The same couldn't be said of his traveling companion. Sometimes she would rise about the same time he did, other times...not. As he sat up and surveyed the clearing in which they had camped for tonight, he saw this was one of those not-times. Across from the ashes of the small fire they had built last night, what appeared to be a large bundle of cloth lay rather still. The only sign that it was something other than that was a faint rise and fall indicative of breathing. Somewhere in there lay Rimururu, as she continued to sleep.

      Shizumaru smiled faintly. They had been traveling a couple of weeks now, after meeting near a village destroyed by some evil force. He had thought it was the demon he'd been seeking, she had thought it was Amakusa Shiro Tokisada, the power-mad sorceror aligned with strange forces beyond their understanding. After a small series of misadventures, including some bullheadedness on his own part and then a chance encounter with Amakusa, the two had decided to seek out their goals together. After all, they seemed to understand each other.

      Wait. Why was his hand reaching toward her?

      Shizumaru found himself crouching right next to Rimururu, right by where her head emerged from her blankets. She had her face buried in the cloth, leaving only her mop of hair visible. His fingers were scant inches away from touching these short brown locks. He blinked, face burning a bright red. What was he doing?

      In an instant, he had snatched his hand back, an apology already forming on his lips. He stopped, though, once he realized that she was still asleep. The blush was still hot on his cheeks, now compounded with the foolishness he felt. He groaned softly, put a hand to his forehead. "...I must still be tired," Shizumaru muttered to himself.

      At this point, Rimururu mumbled something unintelligible in Ainu, and rolled over. Shizumaru's ears pricked slightly; she'd been trying to teach him her language, and he was naturally curious what she was saying. That, however, was very quickly forgotten as her face came into view. A faint smile was on her lips.

      She was really cute.

      And his hand was reaching out again, this time to touch her cheek.

      The boy leapt backward, bowed, and blurted out, "Excuse me, Rimururu- san! Forgive my rudeness!" heedless of the fact that she still hadn't woken up. He then turned around and headed off toward the nearby stream to wash his face and regain his senses with a couple splashes of cold water.

      Behind him, Rimururu raised her head, blinked muzzily at the form of Shizumaru's retreating figure, then went back to sleep, blissfully ignorant of this whole affair.


      "Shizumaru, is something wrong?"

      "Hm? What, Rimururu-san?"

      "You've been acting strange this morning, ever since I woke up. And your face is turning red again. Are you sick?"

      Shizumaru suddenly found a hand touching his cheek. He froze.

      "You're a little warm. See, you're sweating! We'd better take a rest."

      His mouth open and closed soundlessly, until Rimururu finally took her hand away--eliciting a sigh of relief, but also faintly of disappointment-- and gently but firmly steered him toward a large fallen log by the side of the road. "Sit," she commanded. He did so.

      Rimururu sat down right next to him and dug around in her pack before extracting a waterskin. "Here, have some."

      Shizumaru accepted and took a sip of water. His mouth was remarkably dry. "Thank you, Rimururu-san," he said, glancing toward her.

      She smiled. He had to look away before his face flushed yet again.

      The two of them sat in relaxed silence, watching the leaves of the trees lining the road flutter lightly. The sun shone, birds chirped. The air was pleasantly warm.

      "It is a perfect day," murmured Shizumaru softly.

      "Yes, it is." Were the log high enough off the ground that Rimururu's feet could dangle in the air, she would have been swinging her legs idly.

      "Ah. Where were we going again?"

      Rimururu turned to Shizumaru, looking slightly peeved. "Toward Edo, of course! You heard the rumors of strange attacks around there, too."

      "Right," answered Shizumaru. He fell silent, looking downward. "But...I thought Edo was to the east. I believe we have been traveling west."


      "I mean, we have been heading away from the sun this morning. Well, now we are going toward it, as it is now afternoon. So that means--"

      "Why didn't you point this out earlier?" interrupted Rimururu, suddenly. The peeved look returned, but stronger. She sprang up and loomed over Shizumaru, who instinctively leaned back.

      She wasn't nearly as cute this way. Well, actually...maybe she was. In a different manner. Kind of scary, though.

      "Because I...was following...you...and...." Shizumaru stopped, hung his head. "I do not know."

      The girl let out a heartfelt groan. "Argh. Why didn't I realize it myself?" she muttered darkly. "Get up. We have a lot of distance to make up." With nary a further word, she reached for her pack, spun on her heel, and marched back down the way they had come. Shizumaru stared at her retreating figure, then jumped up and hurried after.

      "Wait, Rimururu-san!"


      "We're lost."

      Shizumaru nodded.

      "We should have passed the site where we'd camped by now, but I didn't see any sign of it."

      Shizumaru nodded.

      "But we did follow the same road. We had to have."

      Shizumaru nodded.

      "Stop just nodding and say something!"

      Shizumaru nodded. So Rimururu whapped him.

      "Ow! Rimururu-san! Why did you do that?"

      Rimururu grumbled in frustration. "Because you're not helping! We have to find our way again...this forest is too thick." Her eyes scanned the region. None of this looked familiar.

      "Perhaps we missed a turn somewhere farther back?" Shizumaru suggested, still rubbing his head where Rimururu had hit him.

      "I'm telling you, we're still following the same way we came!" she snapped, spinning to face him.

      He shrank away slightly from the outburst, feeling her glare start to burn into him. "You need not yell, Rimururu-san," he said, scowling a bit.

      She stared at him, then softened. "I'm sorry. I shouldn't have done that.... I'm not used to being lost." She sighed. "I'm not used to being so far away from home--I know my way around there, but not here."

      Shizumaru smiled back at her. "It is all right," he answered. "I understand."

      Rimururu blushed. Shizumaru wondered why, until he looked down at his hand. It had developed a mind of its own again, and had reached out to take hers in a gentle grip. Now he blushed, and let go, stepping away.

      "Ah. Um. I suppose we should...try to get our bearings," he quickly said.

      Rimururu nodded.

      "We need to see our way farther from this point, somehow."

      Rimururu nodded.

      "I can...I can go climb a tree and take a look, perhaps?"

      Rimururu nodded. Then she realized what she was doing, and finally spoke. "I'll climb with you. Uh, let's go up that tree." And she was off toward a large oak, dropping her pack on the ground before starting upward.

      "Wa...wait for me!"

      The ascent was quick, as both of them were rather agile. They soon found themselves near the top of the tree, and looked around, straining their eyes for familiar landmarks. It was quite tall, and they could see for miles, it seemed.

      "I cannot see that clearing...."

      "I can't either. But...wait, is that the stream that ran next to our campsite?"

      "Where, Rimururu-san?"

      "Over here. Let me show y--Shizu!"


      As Rimururu turned, she had accidentally elbowed him, knocking him badly off balance. He windmilled slightly to regain his balance; she almost managed to grab his hand, but just barely missed. He fell off the branch.


      Rimururu looked very panicked, Shizumaru decided, as he pitched off the tree. Much more than was warranted. But then, she'd never seen him use his umbrella this way quite yet.

      That is to say, after the second it took him to reorient himself, Shizumaru whipped his bamboo umbrella off his back next to his sword where he'd strapped it earlier, snapped it open, and caught the air with it. Instead of plummeting like a rock, as Rimururu apparently had expected, he drifted down almost like a feather.


      He could only imagine her wide-eyed look as she stared down after him, as his view of above was blocked out by the wide span of oiled cloth. As he floated, he kicked himself away from the lower branches that grew out from the tree. Eventually, he touched down on the ground, where he closed the umbrella and looked up.

      Rimururu was already scrambling back down the side of the tree. "I'msosorryareyouokay? Shizu!" She leapt down from the lowest branch, panting not out of exertion but rather from relieved fear, and was by his side in a moment.

      "I am fine, Rimururu-san. Do not worry." He managed to smile at her.

      Rimururu was not so easily calmed, though, and looked near tears. "I'm so sorry! I'm not usually clumsy like that, but...oh, you scared me so much! I didn't want to hurt you!" she almost wailed.

      "But you did not hurt me! I am all right--please, stop, you need not-- umf." Thud. The young man was presently interrupted in mid-handwaving- reassurance by a sudden tackling hug. Rimururu threw her arms around his midsection, and hence threw him to the ground on his back, where he landed with a light bump of his head. "Ow. Rimu...ruru-san, now you are hurting me."

      She didn't seem to hear him at first, instead simply burying her face in his chest. "I'm sorry!" she continued to say, somewhat muffled.

      She is overreacting, thought Shizumaru. His arms instinctively wrapped back around her, and he tried to pat her comfortingly. Hmm. This was kind of nice.

      Rimururu finally lifted her head up, looking straight at Shizumaru. Their eyes met, and time froze for just a few moments.

      Blink. Blink.

      "Are you okay, Shizu?" she said, quietly.

      Shizumaru started to nod, then said, "Yes."

      Another moment passed, then both laughed nervously at the same time.

      Instead of a sudden springing away from each other--or rather, Rimururu jumping off of Shizumaru and him then scrambling away--they slowly picked themselves up off the ground. Both were blushing badly, neither exactly sure why. In silence, they brushed the dust off and reassembled their gear.

      "So," said Shizumaru, finally, "you saw the stream that we had followed earlier?"

      "Yeah, I think so," Rimururu answered, softly.

      "Let us go that way, then."


      The stream had turned out to be a bit farther than Rimururu thought. Even after an hour's walk, there was no sign of it from ground level. No choice but to continue on, though.


      "Yes, Rimururu-san?" He noted that she was now calling him by an abbreviated name.

      "Can you show me how to float on your umbrella like you did back there?"

      Shizumaru frowned slightly, and glanced at said object. "Well...it is not as easy as it might look. You need to learn how to balance while hanging on to the handle. Otherwise, you might tilt badly and then fall."

      "Oh." Rimururu didn't sound too disheartened, but didn't say any more right away.

      "How much do you weigh?" he asked, before he could stop himself.

      Oddly enough, Rimururu didn't seem to mind the question. "About six stone," she said. "Maybe a little less. Why?"

      Shizumaru nodded. "I weigh a little more than seven." He held up his umbrella, regarded it carefully. "I am not sure how much weight this can hold at once. It is strong, but it may not be that strong."

      "Mm? Are you thinking of carrying me on it?" Rimururu grinned.

      He smiled back at her, and nodded. "But again, I do not know if it could bear both of us at once. Or, for that matter, how well I could balance with you along for a ride."

      Her face fell. "Oh well."

      They continued walking a little longer.


      "Yes, Rimururu-san?"

      "You don't have to call me -san. Just call me Rimururu."

      He paused, then nodded. "Okay...Rimururu."

      "Anyway," she continued blithely, "how much farther do you think it is to the stream?"

      There was another silence. Then, he answered, "I do not know. I did not get a chance to see the stream when we were back there on the tree."

      "...oh yeah." Twitch. "Um. Then maybe we should climb another tree and look again?" A faint note of embarrassment could be detected in her voice.

      Both stopped, looked at each other. Shizumaru nodded slowly. "Why not?"

      They found another tall oak, and carefully made their way up, Rimururu first. She seemed to move with an extra measure of caution, often glancing downward as if to check on Shizumaru as he followed. Soon, they were once again in the canopy of the forest.

      "There it is." Rimururu pointed.

      Shizumaru sighted down her arm from behind her, leaning against a leafy branch to steady himself. After a few seconds of peering through the greenery, he said, "Ah, yes. I can see it. Hmm...once we get there and follow it, it should lead us to Edo."

      "Sounds great." She turned her head to speak to him over her shoulder. "Can we rest first, though? We've been walking a while."

      Shizumaru nodded once, then began the descent. When he had almost reached the bottom, about the jump down to the ground, he glanced up, and found Rimururu moving out onto a large branch just above. "Rimururu? What are you doing?"

      "I like it up here. I think it'd be nice to take a break right in this tree." She settled herself down on the branch, then beckoned. "Come on. I promise I won't knock you off again."

      She grinned, and he smiled back at her, after a moment. "All right." It was not difficult for him to clamber back up and settle down, to her right. They were close enough that their hips almost brushed against each other. The branch was quite wide, so there was little worry about falling by accident. Not too much, at least.

      Now, Rimururu swung her legs freely, while humming a soft tune. Shizumaru relaxed, and looked out into the forest. He could actually see a bit of the stream from here.

      "How much longer until sundown?" he asked, after a while.

      "We've got several hours, I think. Plenty of time. It's summer, after all."


      A breeze suddenly gusted through, bringing with it a few stray leaves-- and some dust.


      "Rimururu? Are you all right? What is it?"

      "Something got in my eye," she said, clapping her hand over her face. "Ow...."

      Shizumaru reached out, taking her shoulder so as to steady her. "Here, let me see." She lifted her hand away, revealing a slightly reddened eye. He reached up and brushed the tear away, and peered into it. "Hmm...I think your tears washed it away. You will be fine."

      "Th...thank you, Shizu."

      Now he realized how close he was to her. He could see his own face reflected in her large, liquid brown eyes. It was only with great presence of mind that he prevented himself from jerking away suddenly, because that might have unbalanced one or both enough for a spill out of the tree. "Ah...um." In fact, he wasn't moving away at all. And neither was she. They simply...sat there.

      Another gust of wind flowed through, momentarily breaking the spell. Shizumaru quickly (but carefully) took the umbrella off his back and opened it, holding it out in front of both of them to create a shield. When the wind passed, he did not close it, but simply moved it upright, above the two of them.

      They simply looked out over the forest, not speaking.

      It was awkward, yet not awkward. The slightly tense air was in a way expectant and exciting. One waited for the other to speak, but was bursting to say something first. In the end, as such situations tend to go, they turned to each other at the same time.



      And both stopped, of course. Then laughed, easing that tension just a bit. Shizumaru's left hand, the free one, reached for Rimururu's right, clasping it. She entwined her fingers in his and squeezed gently. Each was blushing furiously at this point, but neither seemed to care, or even notice much.

      "Rimururu? Have you ever...."


      Shizumaru couldn't work up the courage to ask it out loud, but Rimururu somehow caught on.

      "No...the boys back at Kamui Kotan always thought...always thought that my sister and I were kind of strange. And I guess, before now, I never really thought about...." She shrugged, and smiled weakly.

      He nodded, fell silent, before responding. "And I...well, you know that I have kept myself apart from other people my entire life." He chuckled softly. "I am glad that I met you."

      Words ceased once more, and they just looked into each others' eyes, smiling.

      "Do you want to kiss me?"


      Rimururu shifted on the branch nervously. She looked about as surprised as Shizumaru was at her own question. "Um. Do you want to kiss me?"

      Shizumaru stared at her. Her eyes were wide open, inquisitive, uncertain. But they also held a sparkle of expectation. She unconsciously licked her lips, and he reflexively did the same. While continuing to study her face and this possibility before him, he found himself suddenly unable to speak. So he decided not to, and instead, slowly leaned toward her. She did likewise, tilting her head slightly as he neared.

      Their lips met, hesitantly. She felt soft, warm, moist. They drew apart for a moment, as if slightly stunned by this tingling touch, then moved forward again to press more firmly against each other. Shizumaru closed his eyes, as he felt the warmth spread from the kiss throughout the rest of his body. Her hand tightened around his, and he squeezed back in response. His heart hammered, his blood pounded, and yet, a part of him was at such wonderful peace.

      The wind picked up once again, buffeting the umbrella slightly. With reluctance, they finally pulled away from each other, blinking slowly. Before he could even open his mouth to say anything, though, Rimururu leaned against Shizumaru, nestling her head on his shoulder. He let go of her hand, wrapped his arm around her waist, and drew her against himself, resting his cheek against the top of her head. She smelled of earth and oak and pine and frost; she felt like a cloud that had drifted into his embrace.

      They stayed like this for a while longer. Minutes? Hours? Seconds? Whatever. He couldn't tell, he didn't care. How foolish of him to have wanted to say something earlier; this was all that was necessary.

      A brush against the base of his neck. She had slowly moved her arm up and across his back, and her fingers faintly tickled him there.

      "Shizu?" she murmured.


      "Do you want to kiss me again?"

      Shizumaru laughed softly. "I do, but...."

      "It would kinda ruin the first one to do it again so soon?"


      Rimururu just nodded.

      "We really should resume traveling, though."


      "I know. I do not want to move either."

      And more silence. Only heartbeats, soft breathing, and the rustling wind.

The End

"Samurai Shodown Forever" is a non-profit fan site. Samurai Shodown, Samurai Showdown, Samurai Spirits are Copyrights of SNK. Most of the images here are taken from SNK homepage. No part of this webpage may be reproduced in any form or by any means, without permission from C.K. Gan. This page is best view with I.E. 5 or Netscape 4 at 800*600