Reposted on 4/30/04 for paragraphing and to add a bit more detail. Hope you enjoy! Also hope to have other chapters fixed soon!

The Star Shaped Scar

Prologue

'...' indicates thought

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"Yahiko. Yahiko! YAHIKO!"

Yahiko awoke with a start; beads of sweat clinging to him and the sheets. Kaoru, the owner of the dojo he was staying at, was shaking his shoulder, her loose braid coming undone and wisps sticking to her face.

"Yahiko, are you alright? You were screaming," she said, in a concerned voice.

"I'm fine. Just a nightmare," said the young samurai, brushing back his spiky black hair with his right hand. "Really Kaoru. You can go back to bed."

As the seventeen year old girl left, Yahiko wrapped his arms around himself in a hug to try and reassure himself.

'It was just a dream. No need to be afraid,' he told himself, although he was still trying to stop the shivers that were racing up and down his spine.

But the images were all too real. Gasuke, the room, the pain, the...STOP! He had to stop thinking about those horrifying days. He lived with Kenshin and Kaoru now, not the Yakuza.

Yahiko laid back down on his futon, but could not sleep. This was the third time this week he'd had those nightmares of his childhood days, and he was afraid if he fell asleep he would have them again. Standing up, the boy made his way out of the dojo and sat against a well-worn oak tree in the front yard.

Suddenly he heard a loud "Oro", and snapped open his fierce brown eyes. Kenshin was looking down at Yahiko, the sun glinting off his red hair, making him very hard to look at.

'I must have dozed off,' thought Yahiko to himself.

"Yahiko, Kaoru-Dono would like to talk to you, that she would," said the ex-battousai warmly. Helping Yahiko to his feet, Kenshin went inside the dojo to start this morning's breakfast, a task that Kaoru couldn't be trusted with.

Brushing off his yukata, Yahiko made his way back to his room and quickly changed into his favorite yellow gi and green pants. Then, making his way to the Training Hall, where Kaoru was sure to be, he slid open the door and entered.

" Kaoru?" Yahiko said, "Kenshin said you needed to talk to me..."

"That's right. Do you know what today is?"

"No," he said. "Is it important?"

"Of course it is important! It's your birthday!"

"It is?" Yahiko asked, surprise in his voice.

"Well actually it's the birthday I picked for you. Everyone will be coming for dinner so I suggest you go start cleaning."

Yahiko groaned at the prospect of cleaning the dojo, but then a smile brightened his features. He was eleven!

"Oh, and Yahiko?" The samurai paused at the door and looked back over his shoulder at the sweaty girl with the bokken. "Happy birthday!"

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Author's Notes:

Well, what do you think? It's my first ficcy ever. Hope I get lots of reviews!