A/N: Felt like putting a smidge more of this up; trying not to put up too many spoilers ATM, though. Given a lot of people haven’t yet seen the anime.
“He’s right, you know.” Kibito kept his voice low as Kurusu moved away from Ikoma’s bunk. The younger bushi’s ears were good, and sometimes he thought the Kabaneri could hear a bat whisper. “You do need sleep.”
“Now,” Kibito said firmly, catching his friend’s shoulder before a stray track-jostle could take Kurusu off his stance. “Or don’t you trust us to look after him? He’s trusting us to look after you.”
From the blink he got back, more felt than seen in the lantern-light, Kurusu hadn’t even considered that.
Steamsmith, samurai – they’re more alike than they ever want to admit, Kibito thought, amused. “You need to set an example for the men. Everyone knows steamsmiths live on burnt tea and gear grease, but bushi are supposed to be a little more refined. You know, not passing out right on top of your lord’s heir just because you fought your way through two hordes of Kabane, an army of vengeance-mad soldiers, and a Nue in the last two days.” He paused. “Though I think Lady Ayame just wishes she could have caught you all by herself.”
Oho, there went the glowing blush. Those two were so much fun to watch.
Well. Sometimes fun. Sometimes a little sad and worrisome. Sixteen, noble, her uncle Dogen Makino one of the Elders of Kongokaku itself – Ayame should have had swarms of offers for her hand by now. But the lone surviving heir of Aragane Station… no lord’s son had wanted to marry into the Yomogawa family as a yoshi for a station so close to the front lines against the Kabane.
Now Aragane Station was fallen, and Yashiro, and they were all ronin, borne up on the steel wave of the Koutetsujou. So far the Yomogawa name and the crew’s fierce determination to keep their Hayajiro running had buffered them from being cast out as penniless refugees, but….
Keep everyone alive first. Then we’ll worry about how to evade lordly proprieties.