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Fan Fic: The Swordsman And The Gunslinger
There are millions of stories in the Old West. This is one of them.

A Fruits Basket Alternate Universe Fic set in the Wild West, specifically the Arizona Territory in 1880. Kyo Sohma is the son of a samurai family; of course, after the Meiji Revolution, the samurai no longer exist, so some time prior to the beginning of the story, Kyo and his fiance Tohru Honda come to America to start a new life. When the story begins, Kyo is seen harrassing an abusive railroad foreman and has been harassing abusive foremen for some time. This gets him a wanted poster and this poster is noticed by a newly arrived young gunslinger coming in from Texas. Kyo catches wind of this gunslinger and tries to kill him... only to find himself staring down the barrel of the gunslinger's Colt 45.

After that misunderstanding, Kyo and the gunslinger, whose name is Jimmy Michaels, become friends after Kyo saves Jimmy's life. The plot doesn't kick in until the 3rd chapter when Kyo meets someone from his past who intends to kill him. This sets off a series of events which end up getting Kyo and Jimmy deputized to apprehend the crime boss who sent the man, leading to a conflict in a Japanese mansion in the middle of the Arizona desert.

Avaliable to read here.

See this page for the character sheet.

This fic provides examples of:

  • Action Girl: Tohru of all people. See Took A Level In Badass below. Also Jimmy's lady friend and love interest Karen McKenzie.
  • The American Civil War: Part of Jimmy's backstory.
  • Armor-Piercing Slap: Karen does this to Jimmy after he kisses her.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking" Kyo is wanted for the deadly crime of harassing abusive foremen. Even the sheriff thinks it's ridiculous.
  • Asshole Victim: The abusive foremen Kyo tends to harass.
  • The Atoner: Jimmy and Kyo.
  • Bad Ass: Kyo. Jimmy also gets his moments.
  • Battle Couple: Kyo and Tohru count, even though they're never seen fighting alongside each other. Also applies to Jimmy and Karen, even though they aren't a couple... yet.
  • Battle Cry: Jimmy's cry of "Faugh a ballagh". This actually gets double points in that this is a famous Irish battle cry meaning "Clear the way".
  • Berserk Button: Do not. I repeat, do NOT taunt Kyo about his dead mother. Or tell him that Tohru is dead. Unfortunately, Jakotsu manages to push these buttons long enough to get Kyo into a bersekrer rage, because Kyo is a bad fighter in said rage.
  • Big Bad: Jakotsu
  • Boom, Headshot: Two characters get their brains blown out. See "Your Head Asplode" below.
  • Chekhov's Boomerang: Jimmy uses a Springfield rifle musket to take down Subaru by breaking his sword. He forgets about it for a while before remembering he has it and uses it to break Jakotsu's blade.
  • Chinese Laborer: Many of the railroad workers are Chinese. One of them, Ping, even gets some Character Development, essentially becoming one of the Five-Man Band.
  • Crouching Flower Hidden Badass: Tohru. Even Karen, who's one of her best friends, is surprised at how she can fight so well.
  • Death Glare - Kyo gives Jakotsu one after he snaps out of his berserker rage.
  • Despair Event Horizon - Tohru gets close when she sees that Kyo cannot snap out of his berserker rage. Luckily, she recovers.
  • Doesn't Like Guns: Tohru is afraid of guns; even though she bravely stood between Jimmy's gun and Kyo at the beginning. Of course, one could get the feeling this just makes her even cooler since she stood up to something she's terrified of.
  • The Drifter - Jimmy used to be one. He calls himself a "former drifter".
  • Expy - Subaru, a character who Jimmy fights, shares many similarities with Soujiro Seta.
  • Fish out of Water: Even though they've adjusted somewhat, Kyo and Tohru are very much out of place in 1880 Arizona. Kyo even acknowledges that in America, he's like an exotic item from a foreign land. They don't look out-of-place among many of the railroad workers, but that doesn't exactly count, since there are non-Chinese and non-Japanese workers.
  • Five-Man Band
  • Freak Out - Subaru
  • Gentleman Thief - Kaitou is an aversion; he's not even close to being a gentleman. He's essentially a 'wise guy' type and he's somewhat psycho.
  • Get a Hold of Yourself, Man! - Jimmy does this during Subaru's Villainous Breakdown.
  • Gory Discretion Shot - The narration cuts away whenever someone's brains get blown out.
  • The Gunslinger - Jimmy, obviously. He's a type A and type D.
  • Heroic Second Wind - Several times.
  • Hot-Blooded - Kyo and Jimmy. In fact, when Jimmy is told he has hot blood, he actually comes up with the term!
    Jimmy: "I AM NOT GIVING UP, EVER!!! I WILL FIGHT UNTIL I SEE YOU LYING ON THE GROUND!!!"
  • I Am Your Opponent
  • I Owe You My Life - Jimmy repays Kyo by saving Kyo's ass.
  • Idiot Hero - Jimmy has some elements of this, mainly in that he rushes in to bad situations without thinking. However, he ultimately subverts it, since he's actually pretty intelligent.
  • Interchangeable Asian Cultures / Mistaken Nationality: The whorehouse owner in chapter two mistakes Kyo for a Chinese Laborer. Jimmy replies, "He's Japanese, you coot!"
  • Jidai Geki: The story has elements of these, even though it takes place after the Meiji Revolution and in the Wild West.
  • Just Between You and Me - Jakotsu explains his plan to Kyo. Kyo, of course, tells him to shut up.
  • Just Like Robin Hood: Kyo is at first compared to the famous outlaw.
  • Katanas Are Just Better: Played straight and subverted. In case you didn't know by now, two katanas are broken by shots from a rifle musket.
  • Kid Samurai - Kyo's a technical example. First off, he's 21, and second, he's not a samurai. The warrior class was banned before he could offically become one. Other than that, he fits.
  • Lady of War - Tohru, sort of.
  • Lampshade Hanging - Several times, including below.
  • Large Ham - Jakotsu. Jimmy even compares him to Hamlet.
  • Meaningful Name - Kyo mentions that Kaitou's name fits him perfectly.
  • Meet Cute - Averted with Jimmy and Karen. They meet when he walks into her general store to buy some Colt ammunition. Of course, they do crash into each other a short while later, but this is as close to a Meet Cute as the story gets.
  • Meiji Restoration - Part of Kyo's backstory.
  • Mexico Called; They Want Texas Back: Invoked by Jakotsu as a way to complete his plan to take over America. Not only has he not done it yet, but Kyo thinks he's nuts.
  • Mixed Ancestry - Jimmy, but only barely. While he does have Cherokee ancestry, he's mostly Irish.
  • Name's the Same - The Big Bad, Jakotsu, shares his name with the character from InuYasha. However, he is not a Villainous Crossdresser.
  • Nausea Fuel: In-Universe. The sight of brains all over the ground makes Jimmy lose his lunch.
  • Oh Crap - Jakotsu has this look on his face when Jimmy breaks his sword with a shot from a rifle musket.
  • Poor Communication Kills - A subverted version of this is how Jimmy and Kyo meet. Jimmy goes out to the railroad to ask a few workers about Kyo and mentions that he's on a wanted poster. However, Jimmy fails to mention he's not even interested in arresting him, but the workers tell Kyo he's wanted. Kyo then tries to kill Jimmy and the two nearly kill each other before things are straightened out.
  • Reconstruction: Of the pre-Spaghetti Western era Westerns. Also of samurai films.
  • Rule of Cool - A shot from a rifle musket probably isn't going to break a katana, but it's still awesome anyway.
  • Samurai - Kyo, but only technically, since the warrior class was banned before he could actually become one.
  • The Sheriff - Sheriff John Kane. He's the Town Marshal variety.
  • Shout-Out - Several. The name of the location itself (L'Amour, Arizona) is a shout-out to Louis L'Amour.
  • Showdown at High Noon - Well, it is a Western, and there's five. But the main ones take place in the afternoon and indoors. A more conventional version happens in Chapter 2, but it's four against one. Another unconventional version is in chapter one, which is how Jimmy and Kyo meet—Kyo tries to kill Jimmy from behind in the evening. And one in chapter three is 6 against 3.
  • Shown Their Work - In chapter 7, the author mentions that the Minie ball bullet had a leathlity index of 154 in the chpater notes.
    • Also, the slang matches the time period.
    • Also done in-story. Jimmy mentions a few tid-bits about Richard the Lionheart that surprises his friend.
  • Slasher Smile - Jimmy sports one once.
  • Squick: Jimmy's probably justified reaction to blowing a man's head off.
  • Stepford Smiler - Subaru
  • Storming the Castle - Two chapters are actually called "Storming The Mansion"
  • Take Over The United States - Jakotsu's main goal is to overthrow the U.S. government. The other characters, however, think he's crazy.
  • Talking Is a Free Action - Subverted somewhat. This of course leads to...
  • Talk To The Sword - When Jakotsu tells Kyo of his plan to overthrow the United States government, Kyo attacks him and says "You talk too much".
  • This Is Unforgivable - Kyo says this to Jakotsu.
  • Took a Level in Badass - Tohru, of all people. She's able to wield a naginata with ease, and can hold her own in a fight, unlike her canon counterpart. But she's afraid of guns.
  • Tower of Babel - Averted on occasion. Karen speaks fluent Japanese, which comes from her living in Japan because her father was part of the U.S. mission to Japan.
  • Tranquil Fury - Kyo shows this after snapping out of his berserker rage.
  • Translation Convention - Whenever someone is conversing in Japanese, it's written in English. Of course, the occasional phrase gets by.
  • Tsun Dere - Karen is a less violent Type B. She does slap Jimmy once, but she apologizes because she was called out for it. Other than that, the most tsun-tsun she gets is simply playfully insulting Jimmy.
  • Unstoppable Rage - KYO. However, it is stopped by Tohru. And it's also his weakness. It's also enough to scare Jimmy, who isn't afraid of much.
  • Villainous Breakdown - Subaru again.
  • Wanted Poster - Jimmy noticing one of these with Kyo on it is how this whole mess gets started.
  • Warrior Poet - Kyo. This of course, comes with the territory of being the son of a samurai family.
  • The Western - Obviously.
  • Willing Suspension of Disbelief - This is pushed in-story when the characters come across a Japanese mansion in Arizona. Jimmy can't believe what he's seeing.
  • When She Smiles - Kyo is a sucker for Tohru's smile.
  • "World of Cardboard" Speech - Kyo mentions how he and Jakotsu are outdated not only in the Wild West, but in their homeland.
  • Wouldn't Hit My Fiancee - This is actually an important plot point. When Kyo is in his berserker rage, he knocks Tohru down, pushing her closer to the Despair Event Horizon. When he snaps out of it, he apologizes, since he felt guilty about hurting her. However, she forgives him since she knew that he didn't mean to. He still vows never to hit her again.
  • Yakuza - Jakotsu's gang has elements of this.
  • Young Gun - Even though he's 21, Jimmy sort of counts.
  • Your Head Asplode - Two characters get their brains blown out.


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