Princess Mononoke Fan Fiction ❯ Personal ❯ Far-off Heart ( Chapter 2 )

[ T - Teen: Not suitable for readers under 13 ]
Disclaimer: Look, maybe you should sit down. This is a real shocker. Are you sure you wanna hear this? It could be very tramatizing, a shock like this. But, if you insist... Princess Mononoke isn't mine.

A/N: And I'm back again, full of vauge hopes that maybe I can get everybody's characters down a bit better this time :) Do you think it could be possible? Hmm... Y'know, at this very moment I have absolutly no idea what I'm going to do in this chapter. Well, I have a basic idea, to a point, if I had no clue whatsoever what I was doing then I probably would have given up by now, but... I have no idea how it will end. Should I leave it in a cliffy there? Or write the whole way to there? (g) I'm really leaning towards cliffy, bwuha...

Chapt er Two: Far-off Heart

L ady Eboshi felt rather ashamed of herself. She was also finding that she was rather ashamed of herself for being ashamed. It wasn't like her.

She knew in her heart that Ashitaka was totally unattainable, and it was wrong to even try. What he shared with San was flawless, or would be as soon as the brat got over her little identity crisis. It was a blessing the girl didn't walk on all fours. And she felt ashamed about that, too.

Mononoke Hime had saved everyone, from her own stupidity no less. She was in debt. And the wolf girl would have a place of highest esteem in her opinion if only it weren't for certain silly personal issues. She had always held that personal issues weren't particurly important.

But the problem was, Ashitaka was beautiful. To see with eyes unclouded - she'd had a good laugh at that. But that was when she'd only just met him. She learned, to her ultimate amazement, that he really meant it. She'd always looked down on people like that because underneith they were as bad as her, and worse because they tried to hide it. But Ashitaka was different. She'd seen no sign yet of any inner darkness. It was an experience, that was for sure. Possibly with a capital 'E'.

At first she'd just hoped she was facinated with him, as a person. It didn't seem to be working out like that, however.

Ashitaka wasn't for her, she told herself. He belonged with San, she told herself. If she was really a good person she would be telling him to forget about Iron Town and go find her already, she told herself. Unfortunetly she was not a very good person, denpending on what you called good, at least, and she had never pretended to be. A very large part of her, which was growing larger every day, was telling her that she'd always taken what she wanted up till this point. Why stop now?

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When she arrived outside his house, Ashitaka was already warming up with a wooden practice sword. He didn't have a shirt on again. Damn. A signifigant if swiftly shrinking part of her really wished he wouldn't do that. It would have been in his own best interests.

He greeted her with a smile. "Good evening."

She smiled slightly as well. 'Is it now?' "Konbonwa."

And to her surprise, he didn't even stare when she removed her outer jacket. The advantage of a long-sleeved kimono was, of course, that any absense of an arm wasn't immediatly apparent. Nevertheless, he knew. Any normal human being would have at least glanced. No pity, and no disgust either, she noted with approval. Amazing.

"I hope this isn't too much of an inconvinience for you," she heard herself say.

"Oh, no," he said earnestly. "It's better than practicing by myself."

And then they fought. Wood cracked against wood. She smiled wryly, hoping they didn't wake anybody up. The nights shouldn't be this quiet anyway. She really was clumsy, though, and it wasn't even entierly to do with Ashitaka's need of a shirt. In fact, she found that she was actually able to think of him as just an apponent, if only just for a few minutes. She had hardly any control over her arm next to Ashitaka's grace, but she felt more in control of her mind than she had in months. It was quite refreshing.

She had almost hoped it could have stayed that way. Afterwards, however, all the unpleasent thoughts came right back.

This was foolishness. She shouldn't make a move until she was sure of what she wanted. And yet she said, "Would you like to go for a short walk? It's such a nice night."

And so she walked the streets as usual, but this time she had company. Ashitaka put his shirt back on, but it was just as well. They passed the rusting skeleton of the old ironworks, slowly being dissassembled, and Ashitaka noticed her pensive look at it and smiled.

"I remember the night I came here, before you fought with San, I worked the bellows for a while," he commented. "The girls sang a beautiful song."

She chuckled. "They usually did."

"But the shipping is coming along so well, isn't it? Iron Town is better than it ever was before." He glanced at her out of the corner of his eye. "Toki likes the ships so much that Kuroku is afraid she'll sail away without him. She swims like a fish." Eboshi had to laugh at that one. He's actually trying to cheer me up, she marvelled.

"Hey," he said suddenly, "why don't we go up on the wall? I go up there sometimes when I can't sleep. Have you ever seen it at night? It's beautiful."

She stared at him for a moment. "I've seen it once or twice, yes."

Up on the wall a cold wind blew across the water, smelling damp and threatening to pull her hair down. Ashitaka, she noted, looked out at the forest. Usually she looked down at the ships, but he looked past them. "Isn't it amazing?" he breathed.

She was mesmerized by the way the wind tossed his hair around. "Yes, yes it is." Then she noticed the look on his face, and cursed quietly.

"So... Are you going to be here for the harvest festival next month?" she asked softly.

"Oh, of course. I look forward to it."

"I suspect it'll be quite a sight to see."


"But I don't think you'll really enjoy it much, will you?"




"Are you hearing a word I'm saying?"

He finally looked at her, blinking rapidly. "I-I'm sorry, what?"

She groaned mentally. It was useless. Why was she even here? "You're thinking about her, aren't you?" she said, very carefully.

He looked away hurriedly. "...Yes."

"Have you gone to see her yet?" He shook his head. "Why on earth not?"

"I promised to help rebuild Iron Town," he mumbled. "It's been so busy..."

This was painful, she reflected. It wasn't like her to do things like this. What had happened to taking what she wanted? "That's very generous of you, but I don't think we need your help anymore. We can spare one man."

He looked up sharply. "But - the festival... and there's that shipment of grain-"

She glared. "Are you making excuses, Ashitaka? Do you want to see her or not?" Sure, make it harder.

"Of course I do!"

"Then go already, idiot."

He stared at her for a moment, then grinned. "Thank you, Lady Eboshi."

After he went back to bed she stayed for a while, looking out on the forest. Had she just done the 'right' thing? Her? Shocking. It... hurt...

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A/N: Gosh, I finished another chapter! (chibi victory dance) I almost thought I wasn't gonna make it, there at the beginning. This is mainly to do with the fact that I'm still not sure about Eboshi's characterization. I'm a perfectionest, yes indeedy. But I guess I'll just do the best I can and keep working on it :) Feedback onegai? And yes, though it may not seem like it at this point, there are going to be more chapters.
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