~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~ The Hitokiri Stainmaster ~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

A long time ago, during the troublesome Woolite Era, one man emerged as the greatest among all his peers. He was feared far and wide for his talents. He was the Hitokiri Stainmaster. Trained in the Ajax Superscrubber Ryu, he cut down stains from one end of Kyoto to the other in the name of cleanliness.

Until one day, he disappeared into the night, smelling lemony fresh, never to return.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

Kenshin dipped his hands into the cooling water of the laundry tub. 'Ah! So wonderful! The bubbles are just right today! Look at how the sun sparkles as they pop.'

Yahiko shook his head as he scrubbed the porch. Someday, someday he would be a great Stainmaster like Kenshin. But, for now, he trained under Kamiya Kaoru, in the Kamiya Clorox Ryu, the style which cleans gently. This meant he had to clean the porch with a bundle of feathers, much to his great agitation.

Sanosuke leaned against one of the posts on the porch, watching his friend Himura Kenshin do the laundry for the seventh time that day. 'If he weren't -the- Hitokiri Stainmaster, I'd think that guy was pretty bizarre. Oh wait, that idiot -is- bizarre. But, at least he keeps everyone's clothes soft and smelling nice.'

Just at that moment, Kamiya Kaoru, the mistress of the dojo, burst onto the scene, looking completely frazzled.

"KENSHIN!!!!!!!"

"Oro?" Kenshin murmured as he looked up from the tub at the one thing he loved -more- than laundry, that being the beautiful and strong Kaoru-dono.

"Kenshin!" Kaoru screamed, running to the rurouni and grabbing him by his shoulders to shake him vigorously, "HOW COULD YOU?"

"Ororororo?"

"Don't play stupid with me. Laundry has been disappearing all over Tokyo! What have you been doing? I knew you were spending far too much time when you were out getting tofu."

"But, Kaoru-dono, sessha wouldn't dare touch someone else's laundry." As he gingerly pried his beloved's fingers off his shoulders, Kenshin's mind called to him, 'This is bad. Who would be stealing laundry?'

"And that isn't ALL!" Kaoru exclaimed, "The police found some of the stolen laundry the next day and..." The dojo's master gulped, "It had been -BLEACHED-."

The entire Kenshin-gumi gasped. No. Not bleached!

"Kaoru-dono, you know my vow, you do. I have bleached no garment since the days of the Woolite Era." Kenshin patted the trusty scrubbing-brush at his side.

"I know, Kenshin...I just..." Kaoru sniffled back a tear. "I thought perhaps the Hitokiri Stainmaster side of you had...you know, perhaps taken control."

"This is bad," Sanosuke said, chewing on a toothbrush handle, "What kind of creep would steal other people's laundry?"

"Yes! It is very bad," Kaoru agreed, "Already Dr. Gensai has been reduced to wearing a potato sack, Tsubame is wearing her pirate costume from Halloween, and Megumi has completely run out of breast bindings!"

"Really? Well, I've gotta see that!" Sanosuke exclaimed, jumping off the porch and heading towards the gate.

"Wait, Sano!" Kenshin exclaimed, sniffing at the air, "Someone is nearby. Someone...who smells...of Purex!"

From the shadows of the courtyard, a tall lean man stepped into the light.

"Very astute, Stainmaster. I see you haven't lost all of your talents," said the Wolf of Shampoo, Saitou Hajime, former member of the Scrubbygumi.

"Saitou, what are -you- doing here?"

"Well, our town is being plagued by a laundry bandit. Delving into some extracurricular activities, are you, Stainmaster?" Saitou asked as he reached into his pocket and took out a cigarette.

"Kenshin would never do anything like that, you dirty cop!" Kaoru exclaimed, balling her hands into fists.

"Dirty, am I? I've seen the way you look at him, Kamiya. It would take all the soap in Osaka to scrub your mind clean," Saitou replied calmly, lighting his cigarette.

"Hey! You watch what you say to her, you sadistic freak," Sano said, pulling himself up to his full height, "And you can't smoke here. It sticks to fabric. Kenshin will have to do the laundry again."

Saitou exhaled a wisp of smoke, "What are you going to do about it, eh ahou?"

"What? You wanna go? Right now? Lets go. I'm ready for ya!" Sano yelled as he waved his toothbrush around in the air wildly.

"Maa, maa, calm down now," Kenshin said, placing his hand on Sano's wrist, "I'm not stealing the laundry, Saitou. Besides, sessha gave up bleaching, he did."

"Aa, but it isn't the bleaching that has the cops worried."

"Oh?" Kenshin asked, putting his hand on his trusty scrubbing-brush.

"Some of the whites have been..." Saitou glanced at Kaoru, momentarilly wondering if they should discuss this elsewhere, "...washed with the colors."

The collective gasp that rose from the Kenshin-gumi could have sucked all of the air out of the dojo.

"Well," Kenshin whispered, "We can't let our friends, or loved ones, fall victim to this calamity. Kaoru, Sanosuke, Yahiko...we must go and SAVE THE LAUNDRY OF JAPAN from this INSANE MADMAN!"

There was a round of, "Hai", "Right", and "Where's my loofah?", and then the Kenshin-gumi...and the rogue Wolf of Shampoo...set out to find the laundry bandit. After they had a filling and nutritious lunch and cleaned all the dishes with environmentally friendly soap that moisturized their hands while they soaked, of course.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

More to come if I get bored.