Disclaimer: Rurouni Kenshin, and most of the characters related to and featuring in the following fictional stories are property of creator and master manga artist Watsuki Nobuhiro, and no copyright infringement was intended in any way in the creation of these projects. Used without permission.

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Note: Yes, this is for real, *grin* This is going to be a bit of an omake parody. Thus, alternate pairings and OOC will run amuck throughout the story. I'll try to keep it as close to the original as possible (as far as which characters suit which roles) but sometimes it'll be off, and I can't really help that. So keep an open mind as you read, and hopefully you'll have as much fun with it as I am!

I will post a cast list at the end of each chapter, in case you get a bit lost.

Many thanks to Lee-san, who is helping me with each chapter, as I have never actually seen the performance, only heard it, ^_^ I hope that won't affect the writing too much...

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Battousai of the Teahouse

A Parody-Fic

by Akai Kitsune

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Prologue

(The stage of the Kyoto Teahouse,1929)

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(The contents of the teahouse are being sold off. Hiko stands before a podium, flanked by Soujirou and Okita. Around them are a group of bidders, in which Sanosuke is visible, old and slumped over in his chair. He is snoring quietly in the back row.)

(Hiko taps his sword against the floor for attention)

Hiko: Sold! Your number, there. No, I'm not saying thank you. You should be thanking me; I'm letting you off with such an easy price.

(Soujirou whispers quietly [and quite anxiously] in his ear)

Hiko *scowling*: Don't tell me how to do my job. No one can do this better than me, you know! *turns back to the next item, which Okita is displaying* Item 663: A painting, done by that famous Tsunan fellow, for the production of "Takasugi", by Jinei.

Okita *smiling far too pleasantly*: Showing here.

Hiko *glaring at him*: Stop smiling like that, both of you. You'll frighten away all these unworthy customers. *looks back at the bidders, noticing two girls in the back waving at him* I'm sorry ladies, but I am not up for auction. Do I have six yen for the painting? Yes, ladies, the painting. *silence* I'll sign it for you. *the girls wave their hands frantically* Better. Do I have seven? ... hey, what is that idiot doing?

Sano *coming awake with a start, as a sword saya suddenly slams down on his head*: HEY! What the he-?

Hiko *standing over him, scowling*: You missed your cue. Idiot. Do I have seven?

Sano *blinking, then raises a fishbone to the air*: Yeah, here.

Hiko *smirking slightly*: Much better. Eight? Ladies? *the girls are silent and disappointed, digging through their purses without much luck* Sold! To Sagara Sanosuke, Daimyo of Sekihoutai. *the painting is handed over to Sano, who swats Hiko away when he tries to sign it. Hiko shrugs uncaringly and returns to his place up front*

(Okita displays the next item.)

Hiko: Item 664, a broken shinai and three sticks of dynamite from the 1878 production, "Hannya no Oni", by Houji. Ten yen for this item. *someone puts up their hand* Ten, it's about time. Ten, it's bid... fifteen? Even better. Nobody else? Good, that play was terribly melodramatic anyway. Although the heroic ending was quite magnificent. Going at fifteen, then. Let's see the number, already.

(The next item is displayed by Okita, still smiling.)

Hiko: ... what did I tell you about that smile? *Okita places the item in front of his face* ... Good enough. All right you people, listen up, because this is some sort of crucial plot device. Item 665, a bamboo musical box, in the shape of a piano. *someone raises his hand* Yes, I did say piano. Are you saying I'm wrong?! *the hand goes down* I thought so. Attached, a rice-paper fan with the painted image of a shadowed swordsman. The signature is unreadable. Atrocious writing, really. It was found in one of the passageways of the building, and the damn thing still plays its miserable music.

(Soujirou lifts the lid, and the Kamiya dojo theme begins to play.)

Hiko: God, I'm sick of that song. Starting at two yen. I'm dying to get rid of this. *Sano raises his hand somewhat frantically* Thank you! Sold! *there is a murmur of discontent, banished by Hiko's glare. The box is handed over to Sano* No music is any good unless it's MY theme. Get it straight!

Sano *cradling the box in his hands. Quietly, he begins to sing to himself*:
A collector's piece, indeed...
Every detail, just as bad as she told...

*looking at the fan*

She often mentioned this old junk,
Its faded colour, and the kanji far too bold...

It still plays?
The guy's right; no wonder it was sold.

*silence*

Sano: What? You think I'm gonna get all teary-eyed on you? Can I have my role changed? *he winces, as Hiko's sword thwacks against his head again* OUCH!

Hiko: I told you to pay attention! Item 666 - rather morbid number there - A giant oil lantern in pieces. You ought to know about that stupid legend of the Battousai of the Teahouse. Stupid? Of course! Any chaos that didn't revolve around me would never be nearly as exciting enough.

Sano *muttering*: NOW who isn't following the script?

Hiko: I can make this production very painful for you, you know.

Sano: Okay, okay!

Hiko: Ahem. Thank you. According to our sources, this lantern is the same as the one that idiot of the Teahouse ruined. It's been restored - idiot is right, he can't even break things correctly - and it has been set up with some of those Western contraptions... lightbulbs, I believe (and I'm never wrong). Perhaps we will... we will... I'm not saying this line.

*silence*

Hiko: I'm not. It's pathetic.

*sound of feet tapping*

Hiko *grumbling; barely opens his mouth and mutters*: PerhapswemayfrightenawaytheghostofsomanyyearsagowithalittleilluminationTHERE! I said it. Bid, fools! *taps his sword against the floor with quite a bit of vehemence*

(The lantern flares to life, and the Kamiya dojo theme plays louder in the background. The teahouse's pathetic condition is restored, and the stage is cleared. The lantern, still glowing brightly, rises gradually to the ceiling...)

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End of Prologue

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So? How goes it? ^_^

Note: The Teahouse within the story is actually a performance center, with talented geisha who are trained to entertain visitors through dance, music, theater... etc. This is not a... er... night-time teahouse, shall we say; this is to preserve the dignity of our main ladies, ^_^;; So, suffice to say, it is a theater like any other, without any additional attractions that a teahouse might have... and notice I say might!

Cast List (so far):

Auctioneer: Hiko
Raoul, Vicomte de Chagny: Sanosuke
Porters: Soujirou/Okita

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More coming soon... I hope!