*~*~*~*AUTHORS NOTES*~*~*~*~* VERY IMPORTANT*~*~*~*~*

Alternate Universe: year 2001.

PLACE: Ive Payne High School, Evermore, Maine

Private Co-ed High School Campus for gifted teenagers.

Segregated on-campus housing with house-parents in each building. These adults are also the Instructors at the school.


Teams: Track and Field, Fencing, Martial Arts, and Football

East Coast, Maine. A small town named 'Evermore'. Only 5 miles from the Ocean. Old abandoned Lighthouse on 'Hackler's point' is believed to be haunted by the ghosts of a young woman who fell to her death from the crow's walk around the lantern, and the man who pushed her over the edge over 300 years ago.


STUDENTS %Kenshin Himura(age 17)

%Soujiro Seta Seijurou(age 17)

Cleo Nyreece Seijurou(age 5)

**Kaoru Kamiya(age 17)

**Yahiko Myojin Kamiya(age 13)

#**Linka Gensai(age 17)

%**Tomoe Yukishiro(age 16-17)

**Ruakii Saitou(age 17)

**Quii Saitou(age 15-16)

%Sanosuke Sagara(age 17)

%Aoshi Shinomori(age 17)

#Megumi Takani(age 16-17)

#Misao Machimaki(age 16-17)


Hiko & Dharma Seijurou

Shiro & Omasa Machimaki

Okina & Okon Shinomori

Izukia & Tarwin Takani

Dr. Araki Gensai(Chemisty/Math.)

Mrs. Ayme Gensai(World History)Kamiya children Guardians

Enshii Yukishiro(English/Drama/Social Studies)

Haijime Saitou(School Master/Martial Arts/Earth Science)

Tokio Saitou(Girls Sports/Ancient Japanese History and Culture)

~*~*~*~Some OOC content for reasons of story context and plot development.





Standard Disclaimers: I do not own The Rurouni Kenshin Charachters, and God knows I shouldn't. Not after what I am about to do to their lives. Poor kids. *o* Sniffle


Date: Wednesday, October, 2001

Time: Lunch

"Hey, wait up, Stupid. Did you see her?"


"The new girl, did you see her? She was in Master Saitou's Science class this morning?"

"Nope, I guess I didn't. What about her?" The voice sounded bored and uninterested.

"Way wierd. I mean, waaaaaaaay wierd."

"You're kidding? What kinda wierd?" Now there was a tiny spark of interest, because anything out of the ordinary was always worth a little bit of good gossip.

"Creepy wierd... almost Goth, you know. Long black hair clear down past her waist and hanging all over in her eyes and stuff. I could hardly see her face." Nimble white hands fluttered and flew through the air at a wild pace as the girl tried to help express her point with lavish gestures and signals.

"Wierd. Where was she sitting?"

"Way on the back row in the corner by the windows."

"Well, geez! No wonder I missed her, You stupid dork. My desk is clear up front."

Misao Machimaki's hand lashed out swiftly and smacked Megumi Takani in the back of the head as her other hand idlely opened the insulated tin she was carrying her lunch in.

"Hey, cut it out you wild animal!" The dark haired girl screeched in feminine protest. "You'll mess up my hair."

"Oooooh, I forgot... " Misao made an ugly face and stuck her tongue out. "You're still trying to get the attention of that big idiot rooster-tail that is always squawking his mouth off up and down the hallways. Give it up, Megumi." She waved her hand in the air as if brushing off something smelly and disgusting. "Sanosuke Sagara is never going to notice you. All he thinks about is fighting, eating, and scrounging around with his friends. He's a loser."

"HE IS NOT A LOSER!! Megumi's eyes flared a dangerous heated blue as she snarled in her best friends face. "He's just.... he's just a little less concerned about popularity that most of the other guys, that is all. So don't you go calling him a loser again... Ok?" Pouting was one of the spoiled girls best tactics, but it did not work as good on Misao as it did on the other girls and boys she knew. Misao just rolled her eyes and waved both hands in the air in disgust and impatient frustration.

"Whatever, Kitsune, but I am not the only one who thinks your so-called-Prince-Charming is a big jerk."

"What do you mean?"

"Come on, you have got to be kidding? EVERYONE thinks so."

"No they don't."

"YES they do."

"No, they don't." The two girls eyes met, furious glittering blue burned into stubborn blue-green. "Not everybody.... do they??" Megumi suddenly sounded worried and a little hurt as she broke off the staring match. "Well, so what if they do." She mumbled in a small voice. "I don't care. I love him and that is all that matters to me."

"You go girl." Misao patted her sharply on the back making Megumi pitch forward into the grass while she thought, 'It's your funeral.'

"Misaooo!" She wailed as she sat up brushing little pieces of dirt and grass out of her long glossy black hair. "Now look what you did. I am going to have to brush it out all over again, and I had it just the way I wanted it too." Megumi favored her friend with an icy cold glare meant to whither her on the spot, but Misao just shrugged and shook her head, and then began stuffing her face with a tuna-salad sandwich.

"You really think everyone thinks Sano is a jerk?" She asked softly as she pulled her own lunch out of the small duffle she packed it in. "Is He really all that bad?"

Misao could see that Megumi was actually upset, and it made her feel a little bit guilty. After all, even though Megumi was the daughter of a very wealthy businessman and she was spoiled rotten, she was still Misao's best friend and she did not like to see her like this. She would rather see her all snotty and snobbish than quiet and insecure even if the later was more the true Megumi than the former.

"No, I don't think He is all that bad, but Megumi, you have to face facts, Honey. In the last three years that you have been trying to get him to notice you... has He?"


"Well, doesn't that tell you something about him? I mean, look at you. You're beautiful and your smart and your... well, your just one hellova catch, and he keeps missing the boat. Why do you think that is?"

"I don't know, Misao. Maybe He just doesn't like 'my' kind of 'beautiful', or maybe He just doesn't like me... but you're right. No matter what I have tried, He has not so much as said 'Hello' to me once or even looked me in the eyes. He doesn't even know I exist." The young girl sighed heavily with the all encompassing dispair only a teenager can feel. "And this year He is a Senior, and He will be graduating next Spring... and then he will be gone for good and I will never see him again." A tear slid down her cheek and dripped off her chin falling into her milk. "Maybe I should just forget it, huh. Do you think I should just forget about him and look for somebody else?"

Misao really felt raunchy now. Megumi hardly ever cried or got all mushy and emotional, and now she was doing all of those things, and it was her fault for teasing her about that stupid rooster-head. Her clear blue-green eyes narrowed in deep thought as she tried to think of something inspirational to say to her friend that would get her out of this depressed mood.

"Look, Kitsune. If you love the big Rooster-head that much... well, then... let's figure out a way to get him to NOTICE you, and if he isn't interested after that, then you can set your sights on something 'better'. Ok?"

"Ok." Megumi was forced into smiling as she looked into her friends fierce face. It was odd, but sometimes when Misao got really uptight and determined about something, she looked like a little weasel because she would narrow her eyes and make her face all stiff and thin. In fact, a lot of the kids called her 'weasel girl' behind her back, but Megumi had never told her that.

"All right then, get that depressed old-lady look off your face and let's eat while we still have time. The bell is going to be going off any minute, and I haven't even started on the pudding stuff Mrs. Gensai put in my Lunch this morning, and it actually looks eatable this time." Misao smiled in relief as Megumi finally burst out in a fit of giggles that kept her occupied for at least a good two minutes, and when she was finished wipping the tears from her clear blue eyes, she gave Misao a big hug.

"Thank's Misao. I really do not know what I would do without you to keep me going when things get all messed up."

"Yes, you do. You'd get all screwy and then nobody would be able to stand you at all."

"MISAO!" They both disolved into uncontolled giggles and hugged each other for a few seconds, and then finally settled down to finish the Lunch they nearly never got to eat.

Standing several yard away, smoking a thin cigarette while leaning neglegantly against a huge Oak tree, was a young man who had been watching the girls intently throughout their conversation. He was reasonably well concealed by the trunk of the large tree and was not afraid of being discovered as he continued to observe their silly antics with half a smile tugging at the corner of his well shaped mouth.

Misao Machimaki and Megumi Takani... What a bizarre and mismatched pair those two were. A low chuckle of amused irony slid out between his lips as he exhaled a thin stream of smoke into the cool autumn air. One was hopelessly spoiled and concieted, while the other was a wild fireball of emotional contradictions and fierce loyalties. Definitely not a combination one would think to find bonded together in such a close friendship, but he had seen stranger things happen than this. That he had.

He nonchalantly dropped the still smoking cigarette butt to the ground, and then ground it into the damp grass with the toe of his black high-top sneaker. 'The Machimaki girl was right about a couple things though,' he thought to himself. One being the bell was about to ring signaling that it was time for all of the little rats to run back on board the ship before it set sail without them, and second, he had noticed the strange new girl himself. But, unlike those two, he had not found her 'wierd', instead, he had found her puzzling to say the least.

She had literally slunk into his first period Chemisty class like a small black cat trying to hide up against an ally wall. The transfer slip had been handed to Dr. Gensai without a single word, and when the old goat had pointed out the seat he wanted her to take on the end of the third row, right in front of him and two chairs over, all she had done was nod once, and then skitter across the room like a frightened bird to the desk. He had watched her as she silently put her backpack on the desktop, open it and pull out her Chem book, a pencil and notebook, and then proceed to slouch down in her chair until she nearly disappeared. The feeling that she wanted to be invisable and go unnoticed by everyone was overwhelming, and it bothered him in a way he really could not explain. He had not ever seen anyone do anything like that before. He had never felt the need to be invisable or unseen, nor had he ever wanted to disappear out of fear, insecurity, or... dispair?

As the class had progressed, he could see other kids pointing at her and talking amongst themselves, and then smothering their laughter so they would not get in trouble for disturbing the lesson. That bothered him as well because he could not find anything about her that was funny or even slightly humorous, and it irked him that they would take advantage of someone who was so obviously opressed in one way or another.

As usual, the ring-leader of the group having the most fun at her expense was none other than the School Master's mean spirited son, Ruakii Saitou. The youth seemed to thrive on the pain and misfortune of others, and found it even more enjoyable when he could add to it by inflicting his own sadistic cruelty on the poor soul, and He was in fine form today as he had followed the new girl down the hall after class heckling her about her hair, clothes, and general appearance. Someday someone was going to teach that little asshole a lesson he would never forget.


The obnoxious ringing of the school's bell interrupted his little walk down memory lane, and with a small sigh of defeat, he pushed himself away from the tree and walked back toward the three story redbrick building. 'Prison,' He thought. 'I guess it is better than being in Prison... but just barely.' Spitting on the ground once, he established what he really thought of Ive Payne High School, and then he opened the old weather stained doors and walked back inside.

It did not look much better than a Prison to him, but it seemed the lessor of the two evils and the time. It was either get shipped off to a private boarding school out of state where he could be under constant 24 hour supervision, or go to Juvinile Lock-down for 4 years. His parents had made the choice for him. They thought that his being confined to the 10 acre campus under constant Adult supervision, plus bi-weekly meetings with his Juvinile Probabion Officer and Youth Counsolor would be more than adequate to keep him out of trouble, and a much better solution that Lock-down where he would be surrounded by other 'bad kids'.

That is what he was now, 'A Bad Kid', and all because he had ended up in the wrong place at the wrong time, but no one had believed him when he told them that. Nope. He was caught red-handed, and he was guilty and that was that. It did not matter that he knew who was really responsible, or that he knew exactly what had REALLY happened, he was just a punk teenager with long hair and a bad attitude, so nobody would listen to a word he said. Not even his parents, and that had really hurt him deep down inside. But, then again, why should he have thought they would believe him then? They had never believed him before, so why should that time have been any different? He was used to being 'The Bad Kid' now, so he may as well play the part, it was easier that way anyway. It was what people expected him to do, so what the hell. He could do that.

"Hey, Himura! Pull your head out of your ass and get moving. The second bell is about to ring, and you already have your allowed quota of tardies this week. One more and your ass is in detention... you know what that means, Boy?"

Kenshin Himura's slender but muscular shoulders stiffened at the sound of that sarcastic grating voice, and then slowly turned around to face the bland arrogant face of School Master Hajime Saitou.

"Oh no, Sir." He responded in his best 'bad-boy' drawl. "Why, I have not one single idea what that means? Maybe you could be a pal and clue me in? Whatdaya say?" The smile that curved his lips reeked of sarcastic disrespect, and he was inwardly satisfied when the older man's topaz eyes narrowed and his features hardened.

"Careful," Master Saitou's voice was lowered to a dangerous whisper. "You still have not passed your final Karate'Kata... and the practical exams start this afternoon."

"Really, I look forward to it, Sir. Are you going to be my 'throwing' partner today? Gosh, I hope so."

"Don't flatter yourself you little asshole. You know I never engage the students during their exams because I am the one who has to judge their technique."

"Cool." His clear violet eyes narrowed slightly and took on an eerie golden cast. "Then don't threaten me, Master. Not unless your prepared to carry that threat out yourself." The challenge was clearly spoken, and the older man was not fooled into thinking it was any sort of a bluff. Kenshin was his finest student, even out performing his very own son in one catagory after another despite Ruakii's best efforts, and his Father's instruction.

"Get to class... Now."

"Yes, Sir."

Saitou watched the lean red-haired teen glide up the hallway away from him, and felt the tight ball of angry frustration lodged in his chest slowly unwind itself. "Goddamit!" He swore under his breath, as he considered what had just happened. Had he really threatened that damn kid? Yes, he had. Shit! What was the matter with him, letting a little punk like that get to him when he was the one who was supposed to be in control? It was the kid. He was the most irritating, disrespectful little prick Saitou had ever seen walk through the doors of this school in the 20 years he had been Master here.

Saitou and his Wife, Tokio, had been given temporary custody of the Himura boy three years ago when he had been transfered to the school from a small town in upstate New York where he had gotten himself involved with a gang of kids from the wrong side of the tracks. The Police suspected this gang to be responsible for a lot of the vandalism going on in the downtown business district, and had placed them under loose surveilance. As it had turned out, the gang had been caught in the act of breaking into a small clothing shop by the shop's private owner, who lived in an apartment just over the store. There had been a scuffle, and the old man had been shot in the chest with his own gun, but not before someone had called 911 to alert the Police of the escalating situation.

When the Police arrived, they found the clothing shop in complete disaray and disorder, and the owner dieing from his wounds with the bloody gun still clutched in his frozen hand. The man did not live long enough to discribe his killer, but when the Police searched the area, they were easily able to find their suspect trying to hide in the ally behind the shop.

A 14 year old boy with flaming red hair and dark violet eyes whose clothing and hands were covered with what was later identified as the shop owner's blood, and favoring a broken leg. Somehow during the panic of the escape, the boy had gotten tangled up with some debris in the ally, and, when he fell, his body had twisted at an odd angle causing his weight to shift dramitcally to one side, and falling directly onto his right leg, it had snapped the femur cleanly in half.

Because no other finger prints or other incriminating evidence could be found to implicate anyone besides the boy, he alone was charged with breaking and entering, and the accidental shooting death of the shop owner. Because he was only 14, his Lawyer went to the Courts and asked for leiniency, and a plea bargain was settled on. The teen would serve out his four year sentence under house-arrest in an out of state private boarding school where he would be constantly monitored and supervised. Counceling services would be made availble to him through the Probation Department of Youth Correctional Services closest to the school, and every effort would be made to rehabilitate him before he was eligable for graduation, but in the last three years, the boy had given them nothing but trouble.

Nothing he had done could technically be termed a break in his probabtion contract, so no drastic measures had ever been implimented, and no one could say he had even broken any of the strict rules set up by the School itself. On the contrary, he was an exceptional student carrying a nearly straight 'A' average every quarter. Plus, he was a gifted athlete who had lettered in Track and Field, Fencing, and Martial Arts. It had been decided during his first year at the school that he was too small in stature and build for Football, so he had been redirected into the other sports the School offered, and had done very well earning many first place ribbons and medals.

It was his attitude that no one could abide. The boy was out right insufferable most of the time whenever any of the Teachers tried to deal with him. He was sarcastic, uncooperative, and coldly disrespectful unless approached very carefully. There could be no hint of authority or confrontation in the Teacher's voice or demeanor because if he sensed there was, the battle was on and the Teacher usually lost... in a manner of speaking. The boy was incredibly intelligent and his mind was sharp as any dagger when it came to word games or making 'a play' on words. He was also a 'Master Manipulator' who had managed to talk his way out of more punishments that any member of the Faculty could remember a student being able to do before. His ability to make them all feel like fools was inexplicable and deftly masterful, and none of them had been spared the venom of his rath. And, dispite all their combined and individual efforts, none of them had ever found a way around his carefully constructed mental defenses yet. Many of them had admitted a grudging respect for the boy's cold ruthlessness and unerring intellect. He was a genius, and he was slowly driving them all insane because not a one of them had been able to gain his confidence or earn his trust, thus, not one of them understood what was going on inside that incredible brain of his, nor what reasoning compelled him to do the things he did.

Kenshin Himura was the enigma of Ive Payne High, and the resident 'Bad Ass' to boot. Master Saitou shook his head in frustrated resignation as his thoughts continued to dwell on the confusing youth. 'Bad combination,' He thought, as he returned to his office. 'Very bad combination.'

The heavy wooden door closed with a loud click as the latch caught and held.




"OOOF!" Ruakii Saitou sailed through the air in a graceful arch, but landed in an undignifed heap of flailing arms and legs as he struck the practice mat with enough force to send him rolling several yards as well. Pushing himself up on his elbows, he shook his head trying to clear his thoughts before hauling himself to his feet and angrily facing his antagonist. Laughing amethyst eyes and a smirking half smile sent his blood to boiling, and with a cry of pure rage, he launched himself at his nemisis. Kenshin Himura.

Kenshin easily dodged Ruakii's blind rush on his position, then deftly grabbed him by the rear wrist and, using the other boys momentum against him, fliped him head over heels sending him across the mat another six feet, but this time, Ruakii landed on his feet in perfect balance. Using the speed that had remained with him, he whip-lashed himself around and leapt at Kenshin with both feet out stretched hoping to catch him in an off-guard sucker-punch, but Kenshin had backflipped away from his opponents quick reversal and was waiting for him. As Ruakii's feet struck solid surface, he lunged at his opponent preparing for a full frontal attack, but Kenshin had firmly planted his right foot behind himself, and his left foot in front, knee slightly bent to absorb the concussion of the force, and the flat of his right hand struck Ruakii squarely in the center of his chest. Following through with the blow by flexing his left knee and rolling his right shoulder forward and down, Kenshin smoothly twisted at the waist and successfully changed the direction of his opponents tragetory and, with bone-jarring force, slammed him flat on his back knocking both the air and the fight out of him.

"STOP!" The shouted command brought Kenshin up short when he was actually thinking about a pay-back sucker-punch, but he merely winked sardonically at the winded Ruakii and pulled back, bowed respectfully to his fallen opponent, and then returned to his seat along the edge of the mat between two of his other classmates.

Saitou frowned as he watched the youth walk gracefully out of the dueling area and take his place, and then, with a sigh of resignation, marched onto the mat to retrieve his beaten son.

"Are you all right?" He asked as he leaned over and looked into his son's startled brown eyes.

"I-coughcough, I guess-cough so. What th-coughcough, the hell-cough did-cough he hit me-coughcoughcoughcough with? coughcoughcough."

"His hand, Dummy. What do you think he hit you with?"

"A fucking-coughcough hammer." Saitou could not help the chuckle that rumbled up his throat at his son's description of Himura's technique of subduing him. Actually, it was a fairly good summation of what the boy had done to him. By absorbing the shock of Ruakii's charge with his left knee, Himura had been able to channel his adversaies strength and speed into his own body and use it against him. He had, in a manner of speaking, hammered Ruakii right into the ground with the combined strength of two fighters. Ingenious... Intelligent... Dangerous.

"Come on, Slugger. Up you go." Saitou gripped his son by one elbow and helped him stand up on trembling legs. "Can you stand-up by your self?"

"Of course, I can!" The angry boy snapped furiously, and looking at him blandly, his father nodded and let go. Ruakii's knees immediately buckled beneath his unsteady weight, and he crashed back down onto the mat at Saitou's feet.

"Uh-huh. Sure you can." Sighing heavily and wondering why he had to constantly put up with so much bullshit from these damn kids, even his own, Saitou leaned over once more and none to gently hauled his moaning son back to his feet. "Now, you going to be stupid again, or are you going to be smart and let me help you set down?"

"Whatever." Ruakii felt like he was going to puke, and all he wanted to do was find Himura so he could do it all over his smirking face.

"Fine, pick your feet up. I'm not a damn tow-truck, and that mean's I AM NOT going to drag your ass all the way over to your seat. You have to learn to help yourself, Ruakii."

"Yeah, sure thing, Dad. Whatever." But he did manage to stumble back to his place along the edge of the mat with his father's help.

"All right, Class," Master Saitou walked into the center of the dueling mat and faced the line of students setting along the edge. "Tell me, if you can, why Ruakii-san lost the match to Himura-san? What did he do wrong?"

"You mean besides get into the dueling circle in the first place, Master?" Sanosuke Sagara's loud obnoxious voice sailed across the room, and the other 16 boys burst into loud laughter. The only ones not actually laughing were Ruakii, who glared down the row at the hooting Rooster, and Kenshin, who was setting quietly with a thoughtful look on his lean handsome face.

"That will be enough of that, Sagara. Maybe you would like to be the next one in the dueling circle with Himura-san? Hmmmm?" That shut the guffawing irritaing Rooster up quite quickly, and his little pack of followers with him. There were a few stray chuckles lingering in the room, but for the most part, the inappropriate scene was over. Saitou let the hint of a satisfied smile tug at the corner of his stern mouth as he watched the Rooster shift uncomfortably and cast a wary look in the Himura boys direction. It seemed no one was very eager to get into the dueling circle with the calm, deliberate red head. Not that Saitou blamed them.

"Back to task fighters. Answer the question at hand. Why did Ruakii-san lose the match? Think it through and analyse. That is how fighters become better at fighting, by being able to understand what went wrong and being able to fix it."

"He let himself get caught off balance."


"He did not center his gravity properly."


"He forgot to watch Himura-san's central axis instead of his face."


"There was no plan to any of his assault tacts." The mellow, quiet voice of Kenshin Himura himself sounded distinctly within the din of the muttering and murmuring of his classmates.

"That is partially right. Who said that?" Saitou was afraid he alread knew the answer to that question even before he asked it.

"I did." Was the coldly spoken answer as Kenshin rose fluidly to his feet.

"I thought so. Come," Saitou motioned the boy to come and stand before him which he did without question or comment. 'Unusual.' Once he was standing directly in front of him, Saitou bowed deeply to him and was surprised to see the boy respond in kind. Then they both assumed relaxed positions with feet slightly spread and hands clasped behind their backs.

"Now, tell me, Himura-san, why did you say that Ruakii-san lost to you because he had no plan to any of his assaults? What is your reasoning for this assumption?"

"The result of his performance should be reason enough, Master, but as you seem to require a full explanation, I shall try to comply to the best of my abilities." Saitou's thinly arched silver eyebrows rose in stunned acknowledgment of the boys attempt at respectful rhetoric, and he inclined his head to one side indicating Kenshin to continue.

"Ruakii-san lost to me because he had no formulated sense of strategy in mind to use on me, and that was caused from a singular lax in his level of concentration."

"That is exactly right. Do you know what caused his lax in concentration?"

"Yes, sir."

"Please explain the cause then, so that the rest of the class... as well as Ruakii-san, may benefit from your deductions. I am also curious to know what you believe happened because IT is the direct reason you were able to defeat him so efficiently."

"Perhaps, but that is not the point, is it Master. The point is that we are here to learn to improve our skills as fighters, not humiliate one another... Ruakii-san lost to me because of a concentration laspe caused directly from his inability to control his own emotions. Simply put, He lost because he the let irrationality of his rage rule his actions instead of his rational mind, and he will always lose until he learns to control those emotions. He wanted to destroy me, and when he could not overcome my superior defense, he let his rage and jealousy take over, and I defeated him much quicker than his level of skill should have allowed. I will not apologize for being a better fighter, but neither will I accept that his failure to perform up to his own potential to be the only reason I defeated him."

The entire room had become deathly quiet during Kenshin's explanation, and as he finished, there seemed to be a feeling of humbleness hanging in the air that Saitou had never experienced with this particular group of rowdy youths. The boy was right, of course. His victory over Ruakii could not be singularly attributed to the other boys lack of self-control. Kenshin Himura's skill was without a doubt exceptional, and Saitou knew that he had insulted the boys sense of personal honor when he had insinuated that skill had nothing to do with his victory.

Hard, wolfish yellow-gold eyes met and held the proud determined gaze of Kenshin's amber-tinged violet crystals, and for the first time in the three long years they had known one another, a level of understanding was reached and shared between them.

Master Saitou looked long and hard into the fiercly proud face of the young man standing in front of him, and realized for the first time, that perhaps he might have misjudged the boy somewhere along the line. The eyes that looked back at him met his eyes without flinching and they reflected none of the malevolence he had grown so used to seeing in them. Instead, they were filled with nothing more than self pride, honesty, and the determination not to be put down or cast aside as if he were less than anyone else. As that understanding settled within his usually strict and uncompromising mind, Saitou began to question everything he knew about this boy including all of the information logged away on the old police reports, and in the bi-weekly counseling notes. Suddenly, everything he had ever thought and believed about this 'Bad Kid' was just not ringing quite true, and that thought bothered his conceince AND his sense of honor very much.

"Thank-you, Himura-san. I accept your explanation, please return to your place." Saitou watched in silent astonishment as a look of surprised bewilderment flashed in Kenshin's eyes when he realized he was not going to be reprimanded for his audacity, and then the shutters closed over the stoic features once more.

"Yes Master Saitou." His voice was low and smooth as silk, then he bowed deeply at the waist holding the position for several long seconds before rising and returning to his place. Saitou was flabbergasted. That was the first time the insolent, uncooperative youth had ever called him by his full title, and it was the first time he had ever heard his name fall from that mouth in any tone other than a sneer in the three years he had been associated with him. Kenshin Himura had actually spoken to him with a voice full of honest respect, and then bowed to him in a show of deep respect as well. Saitou was prepared for Hell to freeze over after that.

The rest of the practical exams proceeded through the hour without further difficulties, and Saitou breathed a sigh of relief when he was finally able to dismiss the boys and retreat to the sainctity of his office. He had not even bothered to change out of his gi and practice hakama. The first thing he did after shutting the big oak door was pull the Himura boy's file out of the cabinet, and then he settled behind his desk, extracted a cigarette and lighter from the top drawer and opened the inch thick dark blue folder.

There was a picture of Kenshin attached to the inside of the folder. It was last years class photo taken for the yearbook, and the youth was glaring into the camara with his usual 'Go to hell,' look refusing to cooperate even with the photographer that day. Saitou lit his cigarette and lifted the first page off the top of the deep pile of neatly stacked papers.




AGE: 16














DATE: MAY 28, 2000


Once again, I invited Mr. Seijurou and his wife to join us at this yearly review, and once again they have not come, so it is just the student and myself in attendance, the same as it has been for the last two years. I remain very worried about the fact that this boy's family are not willing or are not concerned enough about him to become involved with his life and his rehabilitation. I have misgivings about the support foundation, or lack there of that he has to return to once he is released from the School's custody at graduation.

There are no doubts within my mind at all that this young man will indeed graduate. His grades are excellent and his ability to learn new material is nothing short of outstanding. Although, he continues to have difficulties with authority figures, he remains within the top 3% of his class and the top 5% of the School's acedemic statistics. The only reason he is unable to make the Honor roll or the Master's list is because of his attitude problems. How he manages to continue to stay out of any real trouble remains a mystery to us all.

After speaking with his personal counselor, Audrey Wheaten, I am at a loss as to what direction to take with the boy. Ms. Wheaten tells me that he remains unwilling to talk about any part of his crime, or the reasons that brought him to this particular situation. She states that during their sessions together, he simply sets and draws or stares out the window and no matter what tactics she has tried, he adamantly refuses to talk to her about anything, including his feelings about his 'incarceration' here at the School, and his family's seeming lack of interest in his progress or lack there of.

This absolute refusal of his to acknowledge his guilt has become a secondary concern to me at this point, since it seems he has no desire to continue with his gang-like activities. There have been no reported incidents of vandalism or violence since his arrival three years ago, and he has never tried to escape the confines of the Campus. It would appear he has made peace within himself concerning his past behaviors, and is truly trying to make himself a better person, however his socialization skills remain questionable.

He remains antisocial except within his sporting activities. He has never had a girl-friend nor has he ever dated any of the girls on Campus that anyone is aware of. There is one letter per week posted to his younger brother, Soujiro, which includes one of his original drawings enclosed for his youngest sister, Cleo, who I am told has just turned 4.

Kenshin has not seen Cleo since she was an infant of 10 months. His parents have never brought her with them when they make their periodic visits. His brother sends him pictures that she has drawn for him, and has occassionally 'snuck' a photograph or two into the letters he sends back. Otherwise, this young man would not even know what his youngest sibling looked like. I find this to be a reprehensible decision/act on the part of his parents. He is still their son, and he needs their love and support in order to re-enter society as a functional individual. He needs his ENTIRE family with him, including the smallest member.

Today, Kenshin and I went for a walk down by the stream that runs through the eastside of Campus. I wanted to try and get him to open up a little bit about how he felt about his parents not coming to his evaluation again. To say the least, I was not prepared for what happened. He told me that it really did not matter to him if they came or not. I asked him why he felt that way, and this is what he told me.

"Because they never gave a shit about what happened to me before any of this crap happened, why should they care what happens to me now? They probably don't even notice that I'm not around anymore... it's not like they really noticed me when I was, so what the fuck. They can go to Hell for all I care. I hope they never come to any of these things. Shit! They wouldn't know what to say or do anyway."

I had expected him to be angry, even furious, but I was not prepared for his feelings of total worthlessness in their lives. How did such an intelligent, handsome young man come to this end? If I could only climb into his mind for one day so I could understand what makes him think the way he does, I would trade all my degrees for the chance.

He comes from a wealthy but unstable family background. His father died when he was 6 years old, and his mother, Dharma, was married again two years later to the man who is fairly responsible for Kenshin's upbringing. Hiko Seijurou. When Hiko and Dharma were married, Hiko also had an 8 year old son, Soujiro Seta Seijurou, from his first marriage. As I recall, Soujiro's mother was quite an unstable individual with many emotional issues pretaining to her husband and their life together. It was her idea to name their son 'Soujiro' even though it was close in sound and inflection as their last name. The boy was constantly teased by other childre, and that led to many arguments between the couple until she eventually left Hiko when the boy was only 5 years old, and when the divorce was finalized she did not seem to want the youngster so the father had gotten sole-custody. Four years into the new marriage, Hiko and Dharma gave birth to Cleo, their daughter and younger sister to both boys.

Kenshin is the older of the two boys by only 3 or 4 months, and he and Soujiro were close, except Kenshin said he would never let his 'little' brother go out scrounging around with him and his friends at night. Soujiro is more mild mannered than his red-haired step-brother, and Kenshin did not want him to get hurt, so he always made him stay home.

I also know from a few of the letters Kenshin has gotten from his brother that he has allowed me to read, that he was very, very attached to his tiny baby sister. There are numerous references/playful brotherly jibes about how he will not be able to wake her up in the middle of the night just so he can rock her back to sleep anymore, because she is way too big to rock now, and because if he wakes her up, He will have to read her 50 stories before she will go back to sleep.

The contradictions in character that surround this young man are mind boggling and perplexing. I cannot help but feel like there is more to the picture than anyone is being allowed to see here. If only he would open up and talk to someone, perhaps we could solve a mystery and possibly save a youngman from putting his feet back on the pathway of self-destruction.

If they ever were there in the first place.


Ms. Elaine F. Lindquist, BS, CSW

Saitoh stubbed out his third cigarette after beginning the report. Funny, but he could not remember having read it before. His brow wrinkled as he wondered why he would not have bothered to read something as important as his Charge's Pshych. Review. Was it just because he was used to feeling like the boy was exactly what he had always thought he was? Just a pain in the ass and nothing else?

It was obvious from Ms. Lindquist's report that he was SOMETHING MORE than anyone had ever given him credit for. Saitou leaned back in his chair, and, steepling his fingers in front of his face, began to dwell on the enigma of Kenshin Himura and what could be done to really help the boy, or if he could be helped at all. It seemed from the report that the only person in his family that gave a shit what happened to him was his brother, Soujiro, and as he considered the unique relationship between the two boys, a very interesting idea occurred to Saitou. Picking up the intercom phone, he quickly punched in the 4-digit extension he wanted and waited for his wife to pick up.

"Coach Takagi,"

"Hello, beautiful lady." He murmured in a low husky voice into the mouthpiece.

"Uh-oh... what do you want, Hajime? You NEVER call me that unless you WANT something, so what is it."

"Hey, that is not true. I call you beautiful all the time, you wretched woman."

"Not in THAT tone of voice you don't..." A soft attractive laugh echoed over the line, and then she spoke seriously in her usual gentle tone. "What's the matter, Sweetie? You've got something important on your mind."

"How do you know that?"

"Because, I've been married to you for nearly 20 years... I can tell. What's on your mind?"

"Kenshin Himura."

"Oh dear... What has he done to Ruakii now?"


"Just kidding, Dearest. What about the boy? Has he tied Dr. Gensai's rubber tubes in knots again?"

"No," Saitou tried to smother a chuckle as the memory of that particular stunt of the boy's came back to him. "No, nothing quite that interesting, I'm sorry."

"Rat's. I was in the mood for a good laugh too."

"You always did think his antics were funnier that any of the rest of us."

"Well, that is because he is an ANGEL in my class. You BAKA men just don't know how to handle him, that's your problem."

"Really? And who died and made YOU the expert?"

"Nobody. I just know how to deal with Kenshin better than YOU do. He needs a gentle touch not the heavy hand of Slave-Authority."

"I knew I should have called someone else..."

"Hajime." A wicked feminine giggled sounded over the phone, and he smiled as he envisioned how her face looked when she was teasing

him. He could almost see her eyes dancing with mischief and that particular smile that was hers alone when she was in this mood. She was the only one who really knew that he was not the complete hard-ass everyone else believed he was.

"Are you ready to listen now?" He asked in a semi-serious voice.

"Yes, yes Koishii. Please tell me what you are thinking about my favorite student."

"Fav... Tokio." He sighed. "All right. Listen, what do you think of the idea of approaching his parents about having his younger brother come to school with him for the rest of the year?"

"You mean, trasfer now? In the middle of the Quarter?"

"It is not technically the middle of the quarter. It's only 3 weeks in, and I would let him transfer all of his credits straight across."

"Hmmmm... What is up your sleeve Hajime Saitou? You are being waaaay to generous and waaaay to nice about this, and wanting to bring Kenshin's brother up here to be with him for their Senior year of school is... well, it's... Honey, it's just damn strange."

"I know it is, but I have my reasons. I am asking you if you think you could deal with another guardianship?"

"I do not see a problem. Whenever the boy has been here to visit, he has been nothing less than the picture of politeness and courtesy. I think it would do Kenshin some good to have some 'good' family support close to him here."

"Then you are in full agreement with me, because that is the exact reason I want to bring the other boy here. I think Kenshin may benefit socially as well as psychologically from the close presance of his brother."

"My, my, my... something HAS really gotten into you. What happened today?"

"Let's just say, Hell froze over."


"Never mind. I will talk to you about it all in more detail when we get home tonight. OK?"

"Ok, Honey, but you better have a good explanation because if your saying 'Hell just froze over,' and whatever it was made you act like this, then I'm afraid to go outside."


"I could get pooped on by flying pigs."

"Tokio... geez."

"Love you too. See you at home." click

"Strange woman... but you gotta love her." Saitou hung up his phone and returned his attention to the student folder on his desk. The answer to the 'Kenshin mystery' was hidden inside all of this jumbled confusion of misguiding information somewhere, and he was determined to find it.

Either someone was lying, or someone had screwed up majorly. There was a bad feeling deep down in his gut that it was the later, but he would need to do a lot of digging to prove that. A lot of digging, and he was going to need some help. He turned to his rolodex and flipped through it until he found the number he was looking for, and then he picked the telephone up again and dialed. It rang four times before the familiar voice answered and identified itself.

"Elaine Lundquist, may I help you."

"Hello, Elaine. This is Hajime Saitou out at Ive Payne."

"Yes, yes. How are you Master Saitou?"

"Fine, thank-you. Listen, do you have a couple of minutes or have I caught you at a bad time?"

"No, not at all. What is on your mind? I assume it has something to do with the Himura boy."

"Yes, it does. I was just... ah, I just read your psych. eval on him from last year, and there are some things about it that are troubling me."

"Really? What kind of things? I will admit, He is one of the most confusing young men I have ever tried to help. It is almost as if he does not want to be helped."

"I think that is the problem, Elaine."

"Excuse me? What is the problem?"

"He doesn't need the kind of help we have been trying to force feed him for the last three years. I don't think there is anything really wrong with him that a show of a little understanding might help to fix."

"What are you talkig about? The boy killed a man, Master Saitou. It was proved to be volentary as well, and you are talking about trying to understand THAT?"

"To tell you the truth, Elaine, I am starting to question as to whether everything they convicted him of was all his doing. I am not sure anymore if he is 'the bad kid' we all think he is."

"Hajime... what happened that made you think this way? I know something has to have happened to make you reconisider your opinion of Kenshin because you have been one of his staunchest ill-supporters ever sence we brought him over from Denton."

"Let's just say... we had a meeting of the minds, and what I saw just did not jive with what I knew so there has to be another explanation."

"Tell me what you saw because I am not following you."

"All right, I saw an intelligent, proud, and deeply honest young man, and I felt like I was looking at a total stranger. I felt like I was looking into a face I had never seen before and hearing a voice I did not recognise because it was filled with humility and respect... FOR ME!"

"Good Lord..."

"Exactly. If Hell froze over, I could not be more astonished or confused than I am right now. I think someone made a big mistake somewhere... I think somebody rail-roaded this kid because they couldn't find anybody else to blame it on."

"And he was the perverbial 'smoking gun'?"

"So to speak."

"I have often wondered myself... there are so many contradicting things about him that I could never settle in my own concience, but I had no proof because he would never talk to me. He has never opened up and talked to anyone, and that's the bloody trouble with the whole situation. No one knows what really happened that night... no one, but Kenshin."

"And he hasn't found anyone in his whole damned life that he trusts enough to tell the truth to because no one has ever trusted him enough to believe anything he has ever said."

"Oh my God. Do you think he's...

"Innocent? Yes, as a matter of fact... I think I do. What can we do about it? Anything?"

"No, not unless he comes clean and spills the truth to someone and provides some sort of proof that he is, in fact, innocent."

"Sounds like we have a lot of work to do, doesn't it?"

"Yes, it does. What do you have in mind?"

"I am going to try and talk his Father into letting his younger brother, Soujiro transfer here to the School so they can finish their Senior year together."

"That is an excellent idea. If you want, I will write a letter of recommendation for you to send to him supporting the notion. It might be helpful."

"I think that would be extremely helpful. Anything you can do that you think might make Hiko Seijruou willing to part with his other son for nine months."

"I think it would be a good psycological boost to Kenshin's sense of self and family to have his brother there with him. God knows he needs all the help he can get."

"I agree, in fact, that is the main reason I wanted to bring the other boy here. To give him more of a sense of his own family... to have someone around who really cares about HIM."

"It is a good idea, I wish we had thought of it two years ago when he first started to show real signs of withdrawl and purposeful isolation of himself, but it never even occurred to me. I guess, maybe I'm not as good a theropist as I think I am."

"Don't be so hard on yourself, Elaine. I was... I am worse than that. I was more than happy to believe he was just an insolent, disrespectful smart ass kid than a boy who could really use some good old fashioned Fatherly understanding."

"I guess we both blew it then."

"Looks that way."

"Well, let's try and fix it while we still have a chance, shall we?"

"Yes, Ma'am."

"I'll fax you that letter as soon as I get it drafted up, Master Saitou. I promise you will have it no later than tomarrow afternoon."

"Thank-you, Elaine, and thank-you for listening to the ramblings of an old School Master whose been around teenagers way too long to still be sane."

"Not a problem, Master. Call me if you need anything else."

"I will, and thank-you again."

"You are welcome. Good-bye now."