Disclaimer: I do not own Rurouni Kenshin or any of the characters.

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Tears trailed down his face, leaving glinting paths in their wake. Slender hands scrubbed them away, then wiped at an equally wet nose. The small boy tried not to sniffle. Too much noise would wake -him- up.

He choked back another sob and tugged delecately at his futon, glancing furtively up at a certain corner of the dark cabin. He had to be quiet. He couln't make any sound at all. He couldn't wake -him- up.

He sniffed- he couldn't help it- and a light stench invaded his stuffy nostrils. His tiny nose wrinkled, taking in the offensive scent that wafted up from the fabric of his bedding. He had to get the smelly futon out of the cabin. Another tug, this time sharper. The heap of blankets gave suddenly and he landed on his bottom with a soft grunt. His fearful gaze shot up to that particular corner of the cabin, wide eyes searching for any sign of movement, for any sign of wakefullness. A slight sigh of relief escaped his lips when there was none.

The little boy struggled to get back up. That last bit of rather noisy effort had finally succeeded in getting the futon to move, but now it smothered him, draping over his legs and torso. He scowled at the feel of dampness against his legs, face srunching up with the effort of holding back a new burst of childish tears.

He kicked out from under the moisture-heavy bedding, struggling to move as quietly as possible. That tug had been enough to loosen the blankets and he could now slowly work his way towards the cabin's single door.

Outside outside outside: he had to get his futon outside. He had to get outside before the smell-

Oh no.

A light rustling of cloth reached his sensetive ears. It had come from -that- corner of the cabin, the corner in which -he- was sleeping. The boy froze, holding his breath. His heart began to pound, sounding very loud in his ears. He bit his lip and tried to listen over the frantic beating, to see into that very dark corner of the cabin.

His concentration was so focused on listening that his grip on the futon slipped. The mattress fell to the floor with a loud slap. The boy tumbled after it, hitting the ground again. He ignored his throbbing hands and elbow, turned fearful eyes towards that corner of the cabin, that corner that was just so dark...

All was still. The boy relaxed. Maybe... uh oh. Oh no, oh no no no. Another rustle; this time louder, and very distinct. The sound of someone sitting up.

"Kenshin?" a deep voice rumbled from the darkness.

The boy's lip quivered. He bit down on it hard, trying desperately not to cry.

"Kenshin?" the voice asked again.

"I'm sorry, Shishou! I didn't mean to do it!"

"Do what, Kenshin?"

Silence. Then sniffling.

Seijuro Hiko groaned and tossed aside his warm covers. Judging from the chill of the cool mountain air against his skin, dawn had to be hours away yet. The cabin was pitch black, the pale light of the moon barely filtering in through the door. He could just see his young student crouched near the door, futon pooled in a mess at his feet.

Hiko internally groaned again. Kids... "Kenshin, what-" he paused mid question, frowning and sniffing the air, testing it with the highly trained senses of a Hiten Mitsurugi master swordsman. What the sake was that smell?

Oh.

Not again. He had been sure that Kenshin was past that...

He crouched down by the eleven-year-old boy, gingerly pulling the futon away, grimacing as his hand hit moisture. His suspicions confirmed, he rocked back onto his heels and fixed his diminutive student with a vexed frown.

Kenshin hadn't wet his bed in months. Hiko had thought for sure that they were finally over that rather embarressing problem.

Kenshin couldn't take the silence any longer. "I'm sorry, Shishou!" the boy wailed, pushing and pulling at his ragged red bangs in anguish. "I didn't mean to! I had a nightmare, I didn't mean to!"

Hiko sighed, patted his student's hair with a hand so large it nearly covered the boy's head. "It's all right, Kenshin."

Oh, the joys of raising a child. For now, he would comort the boy, help him clean up, put him back to bed, and hope that he would be able to get some sleep before the sun rose. For now, he would be the perfect loving, caring guardian.

After all, there would be plenty of opportunities to tease the boy about this later.

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So does anyone remember the scene during the Kyoto arc where Hiko reminds Kenshin of the time he wet the bed when he was eleven? That was the inspiration for this little diddy.

Hope you enjoyed! C&C is always welcome and appreciated.