Dance for me
They all had expected her explanation on how she arrived though they still always had the hesitation to completely accept her answer. They knew she was not one to lie outright. They had gotten to know her at least that well. She was still watched but not entirely under guard as the first weeks of her arrival. Now she was just a member of the castle household. A Princess. She didn’t act like any princess they knew of. The women at court wouldn’t think of being found on her hands and knees scrubbing the floor for the third time that week, but they found her doing the tasks. She ran the castle as they ran a battlefield. Each person was assigned a task, and through her gentle encouragement, they all seemed to flourish doing them. She had to smile at the fact that the staff liked being able to go off early almost every day.
She also liked the extra time to wonder about the gardens or to practice in the secluded, abandoned gardens on the far side of the grounds of the castle. No one ever went there bar herself she thought. There was no need. Mitsunari had told her they were long forgotten about and overgrown. She had been curious about them, but the wall of vines that she had met had stopped her hike that day. She had spent some time walking around them until she found what seemed to be a natural archway. She walked around the overgrown vines into the middle of the once beautiful garden. The middle of it was open still. It was almost as if this was by design. The inside still flourished with a wildness that she thought was fitting for the outside looked barren. It was her place she thought often. It was as wild as her heartfelt in this foreign place and time. She would spend hours here practicing. She wanted to be in shape if she would ever get the chance to go back home.
Home. It seemed even further now. It wasn’t just the time frame. Who knew she would be transported back in time five centuries. Who knew if she would ever get the chance to go back. Her fellow time traveler was trying to figure everything out through the times and chances to speak were always so rushed as he was the enemy here within the castle town. In her mind, she thought that was almost hilarious. Her only real friend was the enemy. She was alone. She didn’t mind that. As long as she could dance she was fine.
Her dancing took on a different level here. It was rough. It was deep. It was difficult to move in the restrictive clothes she had to wear. She tried to make it work. She would twirl around doing her stretches and find the obi or cut of the kimono she was wearing not to allow her to move correctly. She knew she had to do something to fix that. She would take them off or loosen them so she could move. The walled-in garden of vines gave her the privacy that she could do that. She liked this place. It felt more like a home than any other ever did before. She would work herself in her moves doing leg lifts and the stretches she had worked on in the past decade. Often from the time she got there to dusk. No one ever seemed to miss her. They probably she was sleeping or as Nobunaga had said once on the day she arrived, “Doing princess things.”
She still to this day wondering what “Princess things” was. She didn’t have any idea. She wasn’t a princess. She was a dancer. She did the chores she did around the castle into a daily workout to go along with the things she would do in her garden. She had claimed the area though again, no one knew. She did everything well in the castle that the six warlords didn’t even try to find her on her deserved time off. They just let her go. Until the one day, she didn’t come back at dusk.
He knew instantly she hadn’t returned to the confines of the castle when he walked up to her room. The room was dim, and she always was awake at this time. He called out and slid the door open as he peered into the room. It was as he expected, it was empty. He began stalking around the castle in search of her. He was becoming more concerned with each of the places he visited. She wasn’t in the kitchen, in the audience hall, or in the still room. He went on to search again from top to bottom, and again he found no one who had seen her since she had called it a day.
He started walking in the gardens, and when he went near the abandoned garden, he heard a muffled sound. He knew it was her. He went around the area and slowly in the darkness of the night though there was a full moon out he saw the small pathway that he had to bend down for. It would be perfect for the tiny princess to go through without being caught up in the overgrown vines.
When he walked through the greenery passageway, he stood still watching the princess as she jumped through the air. She would land and then repeat the process. He didn’t know what the thing that took his breath away was. She was in the air with her legs on either side of her outstretched and flying in a way. The other was she had only her under robes on. Her kimono was in a silkened pile not far from where he was standing. She didn’t notice him, and he just stood there watching. His eyes glowing in the light of the moon.
She didn’t stop. She didn’t know it. First, he was there. She kept working as she began talking to herself, “Almost got it. I can nail this it would be the perfect touch.”
“Perfect touch to what, princess.”, he asked ad she jumped as she turned to find him staring at here.
“What are you doing here?”, she asked.
“Looking for you as you were missing from your room.”, he replied easily.
“Oh.”, she said as she finally looked around and saw the darkness creeping in around her.
“Lose track of time?”, he asked. “And what are you doing?”
“I was a dancer in my time.”, She responded. She knew they didn’t believe her about that she came from the future. “I was dancing. I was practicing so if I can go back I will be ready to dance again.”
“Go back?”, he asked.
“I don’t know if I will be able too.”, she said softly.
“You really believe you are from the future?”, he asked again.
“Damnit. I am from the future.”, She said a hair’s breadth away from losing the last of her temper. She knew they all felt that way. She wished besides showing them the contents of her purse which she wouldn’t do, they would just accept her statements.
He looked at her as she was flushed in the moonlight. The defiance was in blazing in her eyes. She would hold true to the story of her being from the future. He smiled his grin that so many called him names for. He knew it was then that he knew she really was. She looked into his face searching for the answer of this shift in his attitude. He knew she was dangerous, but not in the way the others thought. They were she moved in the moonlight was that of a sprite the traders spoke of. She was enchanted. He was enthralled with her. He always had been since that first night.
“So let me guess. I have to go back to the castle now?”, she asked.
“No Princess you do not.”, he replied. “If you wish me to leave, I will but I.” he paused.
“You what?”, she asked.
“Dance for me.”, He asked of her. It was said like a statement, but she knew he was asking her. She smiled sweetly.
“It isn’t done.”, she said, “but it is like this.” She smiled at him in the low light as he sat on a bench. He watched her as she moved like a spirit on the wind. She was grace and elegance with every move, and he wondered as for how long it took her to be able to do any of what she was doing. The ability to stretch one’s body as she was, was uncanny. She did things that he had never seen. He softly smiled as only his eyes betrayed him. She saw it in the moonlight for the first time when she looked at him.
“Mitsuhide?”, she asked as she bent down to get her over robe and obi.
“You can dance anytime you wish, Princess.”, he stated. “But only for me.”
She smiled and sighed. She thought he would restrict her somehow. She looked up into his eyes which were burning like a pot of molten gold in the moonlight. She again tilted her head for a moment when the pressure of his hand on back moved her in the passageway. He stopped for a second as she turned to face him and a kiss came from nowhere as he reached around her gathering her closer.
“Only with me as well.”, he said.