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Author's Note: No, I'm not crazy and you aren't seeing things. This really is a crossover of Rurouni Kenshin and Star Trek: The Next Generation, although I must, of course, state when in these series this is taking place. For RK, it is after the end of the series, as this is a reincarnation/past life fic. For ST:TNG, its an undetermined amount of time after Star Trek: First Contact, but before Insurrection and Nemesis (and don't get me thinking about Nemesis or I'll cry…*sniff*). The esteemed Enterprise-E is all nice and spiffy again (there's at least been enough time passed for it to have been repaired), but Worf's onboard for reasons that will be revealed.

        Also, if you ask anyone who knows me, they'll tell you that I have a terrible memory. With that established, you must forgive me for any inaccuracies in either the Kenshin or Trek universes, especially ST. And I don't have a nitpicker's guide or anything at home, so there are few ways I can back up my information Although, I do have a goodly amount of Star Trek: The Magazine, which is where I'm getting most (if not all) of my information from. Still, if there is anything glaringly off, please inform me and I'll fix it as soon as I can. Provided I can remember to, of course. ^_^

Disclaimer: I certainly don't own either of these franchises, because, if I did, I would also have a car. And a cell phone. And the Taco Bell™ chain of restaurants…

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A Glint of Amber Stars

By

Rem-chan

Sequence One: A Light-Shaded Dream, Part 1

        "What is your name?"

        I couldn't save them, I couldn't fight, I was the only one…

        "What is your name?"

        I could only bury their bodies, I couldn't protect them…I was too small, too young, too weak…

        "What is your name?"

        Why couldn't I…?

        "…Shinta."

        "A child's name, unsuitable for a swordsman…"

        I have to be strong, I have to…keep on living…it's what they wanted, what they asked…what they died for…

        "From now on, your name will be--"

        I have to…

        "--Kenshin."

        What?

        "…Ken…shin…"

        Sudden confusion and a reoccurring fear widening violet eyes, Lieutenant Shinta Akimatsu bolted upright in bed, coming face to face with a plethora of streaking stars and a curtain of flame-colored strands. It took him several seconds to realize where exactly he was and loosen the grip his mind had on his tense muscles. Forcing himself to gradually relax, Shinta glanced at the still-flickering screen of his computer terminal, inwardly groaning at what he saw.

        It was just a few minutes past 0600 hours and he was due in sickbay in about half an hour. Normally, he wouldn't have minded waking up earlier than usual, but, after a week of this, Shinta was finding himself rather upset. And, with those dreams…it hardly felt like he had slept at all.

        "Ahh, it doesn't matter," Shinta said softly as he pulled the thin sheets away from his body and stretched. "…that it does not."

        Shinta stopped abruptly, once again noticing the odd habit that had been popping up lately. It wasn't a big deal or anything; he just…never really talked like that, used such an odd turn of phrase. Though it didn't cause any problems, it made him wonder all the more. Also, he tended to get strange looks from fellow crewmembers if he let one or more unusual phrases past his lips.

        Being one of the newer officers onboard the famous Enterprise-E, Shinta did not want to do anything that embarrassed or discredited himself in any way. He was still awed and mystified by how he had been assigned to the flagship of the fleet, especially since he had only graduated from Starfleet Academy six years ago. To most people that seemed like a decent amount of time, but, unless he had graduated at the top of his class—and he hadn't—, Shinta couldn't even comprehend himself as being eligible for crewmanship on the Enterprise, of all ships. Of course, being on the medical tenure had doubled the usual four-year training time, but still…

        Glancing over, he realized a good ten minutes had passed with him pondering over nothing. Shinta really did groan this time and got to his feet. Now was his time to be going and he might as well get to it. Quickly putting his bed in order, Shinta went to his terminal, accessing his calendar of ship's operations and functions, however unreliable as it was. The Enterprise, as he had quickly learned, was prone to surprise missions and unexpected delays, more often than not resulting in some perilous situations. Such an occurrence had yet to happen with him onboard, but practically everybody in the quadrant knew the ship's famous—or perhaps infamous—reputation.

        Surprises aside, his soft violet eyes, unusual in humans but more often overlooked in these times, caught the small text message he'd left for himself, a reminder to attend T'Ume's birthday celebration. Of course, the Vulcan herself didn't know about it, as it would have never been planned had she been aware. T'Ume was a calm, collected, and intelligent officer, a real gem in Engineering, but still something of a stick in the mud. Shinta didn't like to go by stereotypes, but when it came to Vulcans…well, they really did act mostly the same most of the time.

        Although, there were some speculations about her; rumors flew that she smiled every now and then, that she liked flower arrangement, and even partook of the occasional synthesized alcoholic beverage. So yes, in spite of everything, she was an individual all her own and, in Shinta's mind, a dear friend.

        "She reminds me of someone I knew…," Shinta said softly to himself as he entered the sonic shower, distractedly punching in a command to the replicator as he passed by. "But I…I can't seem to recall…"

        …Tomoe…

        A feeling of such intense grief suddenly washed over Shinta in a wave of cold shivers all down his body. Shock evident on his features, he sagged against the side of the shower, trying to gain control over his rampant and unexplainable emotions. As it was, he was battling just to keep tears from streaming down his face.

        "Wha…what is this?" He whispered to no one, shaking his head and absentmindedly switching off the sonic wave. "Who is…?"

        Shinta started to ask himself the question, but the feeling faded as rapidly as it had come, leaving him drained and more confused than before. What was happening to him? He couldn't even remember the name that had whispered through his mind, nor the exact nature of the terrible sadness that had suddenly taken over him. It certainly was something to be concerned about; knowing something with absolute knowledge, then completely losing it the next second?
        "Perhaps I should schedule an appointment with Troi-dono," Shinta said to himself, then rolled his eyes and decided to ignore the unknown honorific he had used. True, he was Japanese, but old and long-forgotten Japanese language and culture certainly hadn't been one of his majors at the Academy. "But whatever the problem is can wait until the end of my shift."

        His eyes wandered again to his calendar as he walked past and the shadows in his mind faded as he smiled. All the friends he had made in his first three months onboard would be at the party and it was certainly an event he was looking forward to. Though he could handle stress amazingly well, even he liked a little fun every now and then. Sometimes he wished he had been assigned to the Enterprise-D, when they had still allowed families and children onboard, but he could understand the decision to change that policy.

        After all, no child should ever be in danger because of someone else's battles.

        Noting the rapidly escaping time, Shinta quickly pulled on his underclothes and the deepened teal shirt that marked him as part of Medical. Then, the overall black jumpsuit with the pleated, iron gray shoulder blaze went over that, Shinta adjusting the teal-striped cuffs with the ease of long practice. Then, he pulled up the collar of his shirt and affixed the two golden pips that stated his rank. Grabbing his slender black boots, Shinta went to the replicator to gulp down his heavily-creamed coffee as fast as he could.

        It was with some amusement and consternation that he gazed down at the round cup filled with green tea.

        "Then again, maybe I should request a session before my shift," Shinta murmured resignedly and carefully brought the cup to his lips. He'd seen his father drink such a thing many a time, but Shinta had never taken it upon himself to do the same. Still, he found the murky green concoction to be fairly good, so a smile returned as he sat on the edge of a chair to place on his footwear. That done, he raised a hand to tie back his hair…but then realized something rather important.

        "Come on, Akimatsu," Shinta said aloud, running his fingers through bright red strands. "You've had short hair since you were five."

        Which was a good thing anyway, as overly long hair in males that had nothing to do with race, religion, or social constraints was against regulation. So, he kept his face framed by long, flame-colored strands that occasionally covered his eyes but did not impair his vision, while the back didn't extend farther than an inch past his ears. Sometimes his hair and bright violet eyes, as well as his youngish appearance and small stature, would cause people to mistake him for something other than human, but he had gotten used to that long ago. It was even a running joke now between he and his friends. Although, being mistaken for eighteen when he was indeed twenty-eight—and had been since last week—got annoying sometimes.

        Checking himself over one last time, Shinta finished the last of his tea, made a mental note to drink it more often, and headed out the door. The corridors of Deck 3 were fairly deserted, but the Enterprise was never really without some activity of some kind. Still, Shinta was pleased with the quiet walk to the turbolift and the empty compartment that greeted him. Although he enjoyed the company of others, Shinta always preferred a little time to himself in the mornings.

        "Deck 8," he said with a small smile and the doors swished shut, seeming to shut out all the unwanted idiosyncrasies and the dark, self-questioning memories as well.

"What is your name?"

        I…don't know…

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        So, any comments? I was a bit nervous about posting this (I couldn't even figure out where post it!), as I have no idea how many RK fans who also like ST are out there. To my knowledge, I'm the only one, but, hopefully, a few people will prove me wrong. And, in the beginning at least, the chapters will be kinda short, but I hopefully, if I continue, they'll get longer. As it stands, this will be the one fic I won't update if I don't get a response.

        Now, I normally wouldn't even consider such a thing, but, with working on two other fics at the same time, this one has to take a back seat. Although, I'm already pretty iffy on when I can post chapters of those fics, but oh well…And if you happen to be reading any of my other fics, it might please you to know that I'll be posting a new chapter of one on Nov. 11th, while I'll be starting a certain sequel the same day…^_~

        Anyway, if you like it, tell me. If you don't, tell me. If you want to flame me, just see if I care (which I don't). And, if you would like to tell me to continue, please feel free to do so, as I actually have a plan for this entire fic; I just need a little incentive to put it down on paper…in a manner of speaking…

        Hopefully, I'll be seeing you all again soon! ^_^