Rurouni Hajime

By Daimyo Shi [e-mail author here.]

Disclaimer: All rights and privileges to Rurouni Kenshin belong to Nobuhiro Watsuki, Shuiesha, Sony Music Entertainment, and associated parties. The characters of this series are used without his permission for the purpose of entertainment only. This work of fiction is not meant for sale or profit. Flame if you have to. Comments are greatly appreciated!!!

Author's Note: What if Saitou Hajime had wandered after the fall of the Tokugawa Shogun. Perhaps he would have crossed paths with a certain female kenjutsu instructor.

[thoughts]

change place

Saitou was walking on the road into Tokyo with a bag on his back. Saitou was wearing a light brown kimono and blue Hakama, thrust in his obi was his Daisho, His Grandfather's Katana and Wakazashi. The morning fog surrounded him. However he could hear the fast approaching steps some one. A female voice cuts through the still morning air "Wait, Hitokiri Battousai."

Saitou turned around with a mix of confusion and mirth at being mistaken for his old nemesis. He turned around and faces a beautiful raven haired woman of about eighteen. She was dressed in a tan gi and blue hakama holding a Bokken. She charges at Saitou. Saitou not being skilled with battoujutsu simply jumps out of the way landing on the edge of the roof of the building next to him. unfortunately the edge tiles of the roof gave way under Saitou's weight sending him down into a pile of crates and buckets. Saitou lies stunned with swirly eyes.

"Are you not Hitokiri Battousai? The man that killed three people last night?"

"Rurouni." says Saitou as he presents his Katana for her inspection. She drew it from Saitou's saya and looks at hit. "It looks brand new. There is not a scratch on it."

"Then I can't be you killer can I?" says Saitou with a smile.

"A serial killer is in the city and he has been killing people and certainly you look like a serial killer. Further, you happen to be wandering in the area, further, carrying nihonto is illegal in this Meiji era." says a Cross looking Karou. Saitou looks a bit shocked. [Where did such a strong woman come from?] thinks Saitou.

A police whistle distracts the Karou as she looked towards the sound. "That must be him this time!" Karou throws Saitou's Katana up into the air as she dashed of to the battle sounds in the distance. Saitou manages to snag the handle of the Katana out of the air before it hits the ground.

A large masked man about 2 metres tall stands with a blooded Katana in hand. Two police man are dwarfed besides him as they attack with their sabers.

"Weak! You are so weak!" shouts the masked man as he cuts both of the police man with one strike. A third police man backs away from the masked man muttering " I can't believe this is the legendary Battousai."

From beyond the right shoulder of the Police man shouts Karou "Battousai! It is all over for you."

Karou leaps at the masked swordsman. The Swordsman meets her Slash with his Katana. He manages to cut Karou's left upper arm as she turns around to face her foe. A second slash of the swordsman cuts Karou's Bokken in half leaving her with little to fight with. The masked swordsman prepares a overhand slash to finish Karou off. Despite her Samurai heart Karou is gripped with fear at her impending death. However, Saitou charges pick her up and taking her out of the range of the masked man's slash.

"Rurounin?" asks Karou

"Your Bokken is fairly ineffective against his Katana." replies Saitou.

The sound of many police whistles carries through the air as several more appear.

"It is Battousai!" shouts one.

""Arrest Battousai!" says another.

The masked swordsman runs of dodging the police saying "I am Hitokiri Battousai. Kamiya Kasshin Ryu's Hitokiri Battousai."

Karou Reaches out of Saitou's arms "Wait!"

"He Is gone." says Saitou.

"I lead the Kamiya Kasshin Ryu. I can't let a Serial Killer ruin my Dojo!"

Karou passes out from the strain on her young body.

[Such a strong samurai spirit.] thinks Saitou [Must find a doctor.]

He carries Karou carefully as he looks for the signs of a doctor. He caries Karou for a while until he meets a old man and two very young girls.

"Ojiisan would you know where I could find a doctor?" asks Saitou

"oneesan?" says one of the little girls.

"I am a doctor, Genzai is my name." Genzai looks at Karou. "Karou-chan?"

"You know her, Genzai-sensei?"

"Yes, her Dojo is quite close by. I can treat her there." says Genzai as he begins to lead Saitou to Karou's Dojo. They all quickly walk to the Kamiya Dojo. Genzai opens the door to Karou's room and Saitou lays her on her futon. Genzai begins working on Karou's wound and Saitou closes the door behind him. Saitou looks around and finds a outside fire pit and starts a fire. He goes over to the kitchen and grabs a large pot. He then draws a pail of water from the well and puts it in the pot, which he then places over the fire. He find some rice in the kitchen and a lid for the pot. He places the rice into the pot and covers it allowing it to cook. After the rice finishes cooking he scoops it out of the pot setting aside to be washed. He returns to the kitchen to get a wok. He then draws a pail of water from the well and puts it in the wok, which he then places over the fire. He then gets some Miso from his bag and puts it in the water. As that cooks Saitou begins to make rice balls. Ayame and Suzame watch intently. Then Genzai comes out from Karou's room and says "it is just a minor wound."

"That is good." replies Saitou.

"I didn't think a man like you would cook so well?" remarks Genzai.

"You wander Japan long enough and you will find that a man must pick up many skills to survive."

Karou woke up in her bed. She moved slightly before pain in her arm reminded her that it was not a dream. She took her gi of he shoulder and saw the bandage. "I was going to defeat Battousai. What happened after that?" says Karou to herself "the Rurounin saved me from Battousai." Karou sighs. Then the smell of miso soup drifts into the room to Karou's nose. "That soup smells good."

She got up and opens the door just in time to see Ayame and Suzame drop whole scallions and daikon in to the soup. Saitou wipes the soup from his face from the resulting splash.

"What are you doing?" asks Karou.

"You are finally awake. You have very adorable little sisters. We are getting along very well." says Saitou [as strange as that seems.] thinks Hajime.

"Very good friends echo Ayame and Suzame.

"I am making breakfast. I hope you don't mind. Why don't you join us?"

Ayame gets a tray of rice balls and offers them to Karou. Karou picks up one and takes a bite. "It tastes . . ." says Karou with a weird look on her face.

"You don't like it" says a concerned looking Saitou.

"Your cooking is a bit better than mine." replies Karou.

Hajime Promptly falls over on to his side.

"Are you alright Rurounin?" asks Karou.

"I am fine, don't worry about me." says Saitou. [I cook better than a woman?]

Rurounin-san, you are welcome to stay her if you like. You after all did save me and you don't look like you can afford a inn." says Karou.

"Are you comfortable with a stranger staying here with you." replies hajime.

"We have our budo in common. I know you must have your reasons to be a Rurounin. Even if I knew why, what difference would it make?" says Karou.

Both Karou and Hajime are looking at the student board. There are many blank spaces on the board. Only three students and the assistant master pegs are occupied. The assistant master peg has Kamiya Karou on it.

"Karou-dono, you have already mastered Kamiya Kasshin Ryu?" asks Hajime.

"My father founded Kamiya Kasshin Ryu with the ideal of bettering ourselves spiritually without inflicting pain or using weapons to kill. Katsujin Ken embodies this ideal. I cannot believe that serial killer is using out name and budo to blacken my father's name. I can't stand it." says a determine Karou.

[She is a true samurai Woman.] thinks Hajime.

Genzai enters the Dojo. "Karou-chan your students are here.

With a wink Karou says "I couldn't beat him myself, but together we will defeat him."

Kaoru trots to the main gate as Saitou watches from the dojo doorway.

"Thank you for , coming we shall show this battousai. . ." says Kaoru.

One of her interrupts her "excuse me, we have to quit. My friend are making fun of me. They say that Kamiya Kasshin Ryu creates killers like Battousai."

Another of Kaoru's students says "My mother told me to quit. I tried to convince her other wise but I was unable to."

The last Student speaks "we cannot . . . I cannot continue right now. I am sorry."

The three students bow deeply and saya "We are sorry."

[Cowards] thinks Saitou with a strong look of contempt on his face. { they should fight to the death to defend their Ryu and Sensei. Pathetic ahou, To abandon their sensei to there fate is worse than a weakling. Was loyalty slain with the creation of Meiji Era?]

Kaoru walks towards Saitou and says "I would like to have a bath. Could you please start the fire underneath the bath?" asks Kaoru in a depressed voice.

Hai Kaoru-dono" replies Saitou. Saitou when and starets a fire underneath the bath tub. [He shares a slight chuckle [Too bad she depressed, she might find it amusing if she realize she given older to man 15 years older than her.]

Kaoru went into the bath as Saitou minded the fire. The Ex-Shinsengumi Captain's acute ears could hear Kaoru's quiet sobs.

[Those cowards ran away from the challenge that faces there Dojo.] though Saitou.

After a few minutes, Saitou couldn't hear anything, a feeling of dread gripped him.

"Kaoru-dono, are you alright?" asks Saitou from outside the bathhouse window.

He gets no response. A knot formed in his stomach. [What if she . . .]

Saitou ran to the front door and open it while asking "Kaoru dono, don't do anything Baka."

Of course, there was nothing wrong as Kaoru was just getting out of her bath. There she was in all her young naked splendour. Saitou hangs his head in shame, with a single word in his mind [Ahou!]

Saitou found himself locked in the shortage building listening to Kaoru giving him lecture, not that he didn't deserve it.

"this should teach you to knock before entering . . . Got it!?"

"Kaoru-dono, one more thing," saya Saitou in a even voice.

"What?" snarls Kaoru.

"Do you know if any of your Ryu's students fights with there left hand? And had a twisted right thumb?" asks Saitou.

"Eh?" responds Kaoru.

"I am talking about the killer."

"You are . . Saying he learned budo here? Kamiya Kasshin Ryu's final Goal is the Katsujin Ken. Our students would never kill anyone! Hitokiri Battousai was born a killer! No Mater what it takes, I will Restore my dojo's honour. I will fight to protect my father's name."

"Your father wouldn't expect you to die protecting his name. I think he would want you to be happy. That is all." replies Saitou.

"How can you say that rurounin . . You don't even know me or my father!" shouts Kaoru.

[Your father believed in a Sword that protects, not one of revenge, bushido but one of protection. I understand you father, he was a man before his time, perhaps his vision shall come to pass. Still this Battousai copy will have to be dealt with.]

"I didn't mean to hurt your pride, Kaoru-dono

Kaoru snorts indigently and leaves for her bed room. Shortly after she lays to sleep Saitou manages to escape the store house. As he journeys down the road he thinks [It would never work.]

After some tossing and turning Kaoru returns to the storehouse. "I guess I was a little rude. . .I am sorry." Kaoru waited for a response "I said I was sorry." Kaoru still receives no response. "Look I know you are awake why are you not answering me!" snarls Kaoru. Kaoru throws open the door only to see the rurounin's futon and sheets still folded and him no where to be found.

"I should of asked his name." remarks Kaoru as she returns to her bedroom.

Kaoru manages to finally sleep but a dream, a faint memory greets her. She remember the foul face of a evil student who shed blood in the dojo. A Student humbled by her father, who twisted his thumb. Kaoru stat up straight in her bed covered in a cold sweet. She charges into the dojo and starts going through her fathers records. She pours through Class list after class list. She searches for the name to the face in her memory. [Here he is, Hiruma Gohei] thinks Kaoru. From behind her she can hear the dojo doors opening. She could also hear that several people were here. She turns around and says "I knew it was you."

"A little late for that isn't it?" says Gohei with a evil chuckle. He has a huge bokken in his hand. "Your father sent me to hell eleven years ago. Since then I have vowed to destroy the Kamiya Kasshin Ryu."

"If you went to hell it was because you deserved it. You shed blood in this dojo. Kamiya Kasshin Ryu has never been about killing. You want revenge on my father that is why you are disgracing our name by killing people innocent people." shouts Kaoru "You disgust me."

"Actually I appreciated what your father did for me. I wish he was here now. It took me eleven years to create my left hand killing technique." says Gohei as he slashes his bokken forward in a threaten manner. Kaoru grabs a bokken from the rack, gripping it firmly kaoru readies herself for battle. "My fathers Kamiya Kasshin Ryu won't be beaten by you pathetic technique." says kaoru as she charges Gohei. She strikes at Gohei with a textbook slash, however the massive Gohei catches the bokken in his hand. He raises a slash in response which Kaoru parries but the strength behind the attack causes Kaoru's bokken to splinter and Gohei's bokken hits her shoulder knocking her to the ground which knocks the wind out of her. Gohei picks her up with one hand an lifts her into the air. "After I send you to hell and trash this dojo, my revenge shall be complete. But before you die I should let my students have a taste of you." says Gohei with an evil smirk.

One of his evil students steps forward "can I have some sensei?"

"Me too." responds another.

"Since your budo can't save you what now?" asks Gohei with a mocking tone.

Kaoru begins to cry, despite herself.

Suddenly a Man appears in the door way .

"Nashiwaki, what is wrong? Asks Gohei.

"Strong." stutters the man before falling forward relieving Saitou Hajime.

Kaoru says with a Surprise "Rurounin."

"Take your hands off her." commands Saitou in a cold hard voice.

"You are the bum from yesterday then." says Gohei.

"I should have killed you then." says Saitou with a wolfish growl.

"I see, you share the same budo as this bitch here." replies Gohei.

"No, A katana is meant to kill. Kenjutsu is ultimately used to kill. This will never change, but dreamers like Kaoru-dono use budo for something other than killing. One can only prefer what karou-dono believes over the way things are. Maybe someday, everyone will see someday that her way is the better way." remarks Saitou.

"What do you know?" snarls Gohei "kill this fuck!"

"Run!" shoats Kaoru.

"I cannot run, a samurai knows no fear, he knows duty and honour. I do not want to kill, but if you choose to face me, you will die, even though I am loathed to wash this dojo in blood." responds Saitou as his amber eyes narrow. "Aku Soku Zan, after all."

"Oh you don want to hurt anyone do you." says one of Gohei's evil students.

"I didn't say hurt, I said kill!" replies Saitou.

"The only one dying is you!" says another evil student as a dozen students charge Saitou. Saitou's katana which had been in his hand flashes to the ready. The first foe to reach him gets a quick thrust through his chest. His face doesn't even register the pain before he hits the floor. A second student manages a slash at Saitou who parry the attack with ease. A slash of Saitou's katana quickly drops the man to the ground. Saitou is forces to parry a bunch of Katana before lashing out with a series of rapid trust each land for deadly effect. It is mere seconds before all of Saitou's foes others than Gohei are dead on the floor of the dojo. Gohei watches the carnage with a morbid fascination as 'this fuck' butchers his students like a sushi chef chops fish. A faint twinge o fear creeps into Gohei's being.

A shocked Kaoru can only look on muttering "rurounin."

Saitou faces Gohei

"the real Hitokiri battousai's style isn't Kamiya Kasshin Ryu or you other foolish killing technique, ahou. It is called Hiten Mitsurugi Ryu, I have fought against it and managed to live. It is perfect kenjutsu that uses Kami like speed.

"Kaoru still in Gohei's grip asks "you are that Hitokiri?"

Gohei drops Kaoru. "Interesting, however Aku Soku Zan is the motto of the Shinsengumi. I though all the Shinsengumi were dead. I guess I will have to fix that."

"Sure you will, ahou." remarks Saitou with a chuckle.

Saitou switches his Katana to his left, he hold it into at the very end of the handle and crouches , the tip of the blade is hovering over Saitou's right hand.

"Die!" screams Gohei raising his Katana for a overhand slash.. Saitou springs forward with lightning speed, Saitou thrust his katana up to the hilt into Gohei's chest. Gohei has a look of shock on his face as he slowly slides off Saitou's Katana. His body hits the floor with a huge thunk. Kaoru looks at Saitou with a look of total confusion and even a slight amount of fear.

[He killed Gohei and his students . . . he saved me. Gohei said that he was part of the Shinsengumi, the Kyoto police of the shogun. He must have been a member at one time, he says he fought the real Battousai.] thinks Kaoru.

"I am sorry, Kaoru. I have shed blood in your dojo. I have stood against everything you Ryu stands for." says Saitou with a deep bow. "I didn't want to share my past because of it negative effects. Goodbye Kaoru-dono I wish you and your Ryu well, maybe those of the Meiji take heed of your father's ideals." Saitou walks towards the door.

"Baka." screams Kaoru.

Saitou turns around to face a angry looking Kaoru "this mess is all your fault! You have to stay and clean it up. I still have a dojo to rebuild. Why don't you stay and help me? I don't care what you use to be. We both seem to have a debt to each other."

"But it may bring you trouble if a former Shinsengumi member stays here" says Saitou with the beginning of a smile.

"If you really want to leave then at least tell me you name." says Kaoru turn her back on Hajime.

"Saitou, Saitou hajime."

"Hajime . . . go ahead and leave then." says Kaoru.

Kaoru hears the shutting of the door of the dojo Kaoru lets out a disappointed sigh.

Kaoru turns around to find a smiling Saitou standing there. "I have been wandering for a very long time, it would be nice to stay somewhere for a while. But I don't know when I will have to leave here." says Saitou "I am not a very good cook.

"You are better than I am." remarks Kaoru as she walks towards him.

"I guess I have to clean this up now?"

"That would be a good idea." replies Kaoru. [Well I not alone anymore.]

Owari

Japanese Terms:

Hitokiri I haven't been able to correctly translate this yet but it roughly means assassin.

Battousai I have been told means be header.

Gi a martial art top sort of a tunic length kimono or Yukata

Yukata a robe worn in the mostly summer time. Often made of cotton and considered less formal than Kimono. What westerns call Kimono is much more often like a Yukata than a true Kimono.

Hakama is a pleated divided skirt that keeps a man from tripping on his Kimono tails, part of the Garb of the Samurai, nearly every man and Karou-dono in this fanfic is wearing a Hakama.

Bokken, A Wooden sword shaped like a Katana most often though Wakazashi versions can be found.

Daisho, literally Long and short, it is term that refers to the Katana and Wakazashi as paired, so that they match.

Katana A Japanese long Sword that has a slightly curved blade, between 80cm and 90cm in Blade length. The sword and soul of a samurai.

Wakazashi A Japanese short Sword that also has a Slightly Curved blade, between 60 and 70 cm. A secondary sword for Samurai.

Saya is the sheath for a Nihonto, normally made of wood.

Samurai means retainer, or to serve. Samurai refers to the Warrior class that became largest section of the upper class in Japan. The samurai are supposed to follow Bushido, the way of the warrior.

Bushido is the Way of the Warrior, it is a code that Samurai function under ideally. Few follow all of it though since part of it was Jin=compassion.

Ryu, School

Ojiisan, Grandfather

Sensei = teacher, doctor

Futon a Japanese style matrase has no frame.

Kimono is a robe often made of silk or cotton it was the standard garment in Japan before the advent of western fashion. Japanese doesn't have plurals Like English so any Japanese word will not have a s after it if more than one in noted.

Nihonto means Japanese sword, I use the term anytime I need to use the word Sword.

Kanji is the Japanese Word for Chinese Characters used in Japanese Writing. I uses it anytime somebody is describing Japanese writing.

Shinsengumi Essentially, the Shinsengumi was a police troop, patrolling the streets of Kyoto and keeping the peace. They vowed to protect Kyoto with their swords. In the heat of the Ishin movements, Shishis flowed over to Kyoto to plot the downfall of the Shogunate. So if you cannot produce a satisfactory identity, i.e. your name and your han when questioned by the Shinsengumi members, chances are that you'd be cut down at once. This made the Shinsengumi feared by many indeed, especially Leader of the Shinsengumi Hijikata, for he was strict and merciless, both when it comes to punishments and cutting down suspicious persons.

San is Mister or Miss, a polite way to address a inferior or an equal. Note that both this and sama are used with family name which in Japan come first

Sama is a polite way to address a superior.

Baka = Idiot

Ahou = Idiot a Kyoto expression

Ishin shishi One of the groups that fought for the westernization of Japan and reform with in the Bakufu government.

Bakufu is the term for the Military dictatorship of the Tokagawa Shogun

Kenjutsu is a generic term for Swordsmanship it literally means sword technique. The many forms of kenjutsu steam largely from the end of the Warring States period and the beginnings of the Tokagawa Bakufu. It is different from the kendo which is used as a sporting form that in common in Japan right now, Kenjutsu was meant to kill.

Hai= yes

Chan is the term for a young girl, it used with a given name. The male version is kun. Chan can also be used for children or as term of endearment between lovers

obi is a belt for a kimono.

Sake is rice wine native to Japan.

Aku Soku Zan means Slay evil instantly or slay evil swiftly.

Hime = princess, and can be used as a title like sama

Miburo means Mibu's Wolf, it is nickname of Saitou Hajime.

Mon are Japanese Samurai family crests much like a knights's coat of arms.

kake-Soba are buck wheat noodles in clear soup