As of 1:45PM PST on Tuesday September 28th, 2004, I own Kenshin. Er...Kenshin the Betta fish (also called Japanese fighting fish!) He's the same color as Kenshin's hair in the OVA and he opens his mouth when I come near the tank like a little "oro"...Yeah...I'm obsessed...But how many of you can honestly say "I live with Kenshin."?

I thought not...

Alas...the original still belongs to Watsuki Nobuhiro and Sony...

Baka Deshi

"Wake up baka deshi!"

"Baka deshi, hurry-up with that water!"

"Remember to land, baka deshi!"

"Baka deshi, get going! We need tofu."

The words swirled through the young boy's head. "Why does Shisho insist on calling me that?" He thought with frustration. "I know I'm not stupid, and so does he, or why else would he keep me as his only student?"

Kenshin sighed. Sometimes it seemed that his slavery had not ended, but only begun, the day Seijuuro Hiko had found him and took him in. At this moment Shisho was off bartering with the merchant for his ubiquitous sake and had sent his deshi to get supplies for their meals.

"Of course he sends me for all the heavy stuff." Kenshin grumbled dejectedly as he walked down the street.

"Hey you! Peasant! Get over here!" A burly man in samurai dress yelled. "What are you doing carrying swords?"

Kenshin looked up and groaned in surprise and embarrassment. "Just great," he thought as he complied, "Shisho would really call me baka deshi if he knew I allowed a threat to sneak up on me so easily! What's this guy's problem anyway?"

"Well explain yourself peasant!" The samurai yelled, grabbing the hilt of his katana.

Kenshin fought the urge to draw his own sword, knowing such an action would probably end in a fight and trouble with the authorities. Instead, he forced himself to bow respectfully to the man. "Oro? I am deeply sorry sir, but I do not know what you are talking about."

The man snorted. "You are a samurai then?"

Kenshin thought about how to answer. He supposed that Hiko was a samurai, did that make him one? But then, he was only Hiko's baka deshi. "No sir," he answered truthfully, "I am only a swordsman in training."

"Bastard son of a gaijin, you fancy yourself a swordsman do you? As if someone like you could ever be a samurai."

Kenshin responded with a version of the glare which would one day strike mortal fear into the hearts of his enemies—but it was hardly intimidating on the face of a twelve-year-old who looked ten.

The man smiled cruelly. "If, boy, you do indeed have the right to carry those swords, what is your surname?"

"My name is Kenshin." He stated firmly, trying to control his anger. "Please call me that by that name."

The samurai smirked and gripped his sword tighter. "By law I cannot let you go without a surname."

"I have none." Kenshin replied, crouching in Battou-Jutsu stance. It looked like this fight was not to be avoided.

"Baka deshi! You are supposed to call me when things like this happen!"

Kenshin looked over to see the huge white mantled figure of Hiko approach carrying a large jug of sake. Much relieved, the boy relaxed his stance and bowed. "Shisho!"

The samurai quickly dropped his smug demeanor when he looked up and saw the formidable master swordsman moving towards them.

Hiko scowled. "What seems to be your problem with my deshi?"

The man hesitated, salvaging the last of his courage and ego before replying, "He has no surname."

Hiko whacked Kenshin lightly on the head. "Of course he does! Baka deshi, what did you tell this man?"

"But Shisho..." Kenshin began, rubbing the bump.

"What is it then?" The samurai demanded.

"Himura." Hiko replied sternly.

The samurai's face turned pale in startled recognition. "A thousand pardons," he sputtered, bowing repeatedly, "I had no idea he was from such an honorable line...it's just...the way he looks! I thought..."

At Hiko's glare, the proud samurai made a fearful sound and scurried off.

"But Shisho," Kenshin asked, looking up at Hiko, "that man was telling the truth. 'Himura' isn't my surname."

"It became your surname when I took you in as my baka deshi." Hiko replied. "Or need I remind you that the name of the first Hiten practitioner is passed down to each one who masters the style?"

Kenshin stared at Hiko in surprise. He had suddenly realized what "baka deshi" truly meant... Son.

"Coming baka deshi?" Hiko growled. "Thanks to you we have more shopping to do."

"Yes Shisho!" Kenshin replied, and ran to catch up.

Glossary:

Baka-idiot/stupid

Deshi-apprentice

Shisho- Master

Gaijin-foreigner

Battou Jutsu-A lightening fast sword drawing technique that takes out the opponent in one blow and is Kenshin's signature move, earning him the name "Battousai"(master of battou jutsu).

Historical note: Before the Meiji restoration only members of the upper class— nobles, samurai, scholars and religious—were allowed the privilege of a surname. Likewise, only members of the samurai class and certain other honored positions could wear swords. After the Bakumatsu the new government abolished the samurai and decreed that as a sign of greater equality for the masses everyone could adopt a surname. Thus, as the son of poor rural farmers, Kenshin must have received his surname from someone other than his family. Given Hiko's rampaging (though strangely endearing) megalomania, I thought it would be in character for him to name Kenshin after himself.

On a personal note: I'm so proud of myself! I actually managed to write a fic without much angst! Even my vending machine story has angst... ::sigh::

My other fics will be updated soon. Take the one-shot as a sign that my writer's block is wearing off. I happily got a job and I'm in college, so bear with me.