Disclaimer: We own nothing from Ruroken or Adventures in Babysitting... Nothing at all... Honestly... Once you've read this, you'll believe we aren't Watsuki... the poor man would probably cryif he saw this... but please, anyway, read, review, and if possible... enjoy!

Adventures in Babysitting: Rurouni Kenshin Style

It was a beautiful summer day in Kyoto. The birds were chirping. The sun was shining. The waterfall was flowing. And Kenshin was screaming. He had gone to visit his master, the great Hiko Seijuro the thirteenth, last master of the Hiten Mitsurugi style, and upon entering the shack, found instead a three-year-old desperately trying to open a sake bottle with a child-size katana. It took Kenshin a long moment to realize that it was his own childhood training katana, and that the shelf it had once rested on now lay on the floor among shards of broken pottery. When Kenshin attempted to near the child to take the dangerous weapon from him, the child would brandish the katana and growl. It was then that Kenshin recognized the distinctive scowl of his master on the child's face.

"Master!" Kenshin exclaimed, the reality of the situation finally setting in. "Why are you wearing old clothes?" Clearly realitiy for Kenshin came very warped.

"Baka!" the child squeaked. Hiko's scowl grew more fierce as he realized that his vocal chords now made him sound about as imposing as his baka deshi. The comparison further irritated him. "Never mind the clothes," he tried to growl, succeeding in nothing more than hurting his throat and making him cough. "Help me open this sake bottle." He was frustrated enough to seriously consider using the ama kakeru ryu no hirameki on it, but, being that early childhood had stolen his fine motor skills, the risk of cutting up his left foot seemed to great.

"But master!" Kenshin exclaimed, dropping to his knees so he could almost look his master in the eyes. "Children should not drink sake, that they should not."

Hiko's left eyebrow twitched as he considered instead using the ama kakeru ryu no hirameki on his baka deshi. "Oh yeah, no fine motor skills… but is my left foot really that important? Maybe I could fashion myself a new one out of clay. I am a genius potter, after all." A thought bubble appeared over his head of the sculpted foot in the kiln. Immediately this was replaced by a thought bubble of Kenshin in the kiln. Hiko smirked.

"Master?"

"Do I look like a child to you?" Hiko replied.

"Yes, master," Kenshin replied quickly. "That you most certainly do. And you are a very cute child." Kenshin reached forward in a fit of insanity, intending to pinch Hiko's cheek, only to nearly lose his hand when Hiko attacked him.

It suddenly occurred to Kenshin to wonder why Hiko not fit into his old clothes. "Did something happen to you, Master?"

Hiko's eyebrow twitched again. He tried to think of a more appropriate name for Kenshin. Baka deshi implied too much intelligence. "And Kenshin thinks he has the right to call me socially inept? How many times was he hit on the head as a kid?" Hiko paused for a moment, realizing that most of this hitting would have come from him. He tried to count the times and realized that he'd need inks and paper to keep track. Perhaps if his luck failed him again, and he wound up with any more children to train, he should hit them elsewhere. A thought bubble appeared over his head of him, fashioning a clay helmet for himself just in case. "This may be why no other master of the Hiten Miturugi style ever took a child as an apprentice…" he murmured.

He was roused from terrible images of turning out like his baka deshi when he noticed Kenshin reaching forward to poke him in the nose while saying some inane rhyme about a bumblebee.

"Bumblebee, bumblebee out of the hose. Gonna get Hiko-chan right on the nose."

Hiko growled, deciding that his gross motor skills would suffice for the kuzu ryu zen.

Kenshin barely got his sakabatou out in time to defend himself. He finally realized that maybe before further antagonizing Hiko, he should get the katana away from him. And possibly his teeth, too.

Hiko stood there panting, trying to force himself into rational thought. One of them had to be the adult here. "We're not getting anywhere like this," he snapped, sitting down. "We need to figure out what happened to me, and how to reverse it."

Kenshin nodded. "That we most certainly do."

"Open the sake bottle, baka."

Kenshin blinked his wide, violet eyes at Hiko in surprise. "But, Master! Do you think it a good idea to drink sake when we need clear minds?"

"I need sake to think!" Hiko snapped.

"Y-yes, Master," Kenshin stuttered, opening the sake bottle, and pouring some rice wine for the toddler before him. Hiko still had the katana, and Kenshin had not survived the revolution only to be killed by a three-year-old version of his master having a temper tantrum.

Kenshin said, "Fine then. What is the last thing you remember doing as an adult, Master?"

"I was drinking sake."

Kenshin sighed. "Master, has it ever occurred to you that you should not drink so much sake?"

There was an evil glint in Hiko's eye. "I'm not a very nice person when I'm sober."

"You're not a very nice person when you're drunk," Kenshin muttered.

"What?" Hiko's eyebrow twitched again.

"Oh, nothing!" Kenshin said brightly, laughing it off. "Okay," he continued, changing the subject, "where exactly were you drinking the sake?"

"Outside," Hiko replied.

Kenshin sweatdropped. "Master, that doesn't narrow things down, that it does not." He muttered something about stubborn children not being very helpful. "Do you remember anything unusual about being outside today?" Kenshin asked desperately.

"Besides the fact that you showed up three hours late?" Hiko growled.

"Master!"

Hiko sighed. "Fine. It was a peaceful day. I was enjoying my sake by the flowers." He paused. "Then I thought about you and felt a pain in my—"

"Master!" Kenshin interrupted again. "I get the hint." His eyes flashed in irritation.

Hiko's brow furrowed. "No. I'm serious. I think a bee stung me or something."

Kenshin sighed. "Okay. Are you allergic to bees, Master?"

Hiko tried to pour some sake into a cup, almost dumping it. "Baka," he snapped. "Lots of people are allergic to bees. They swell up. They don't turn into children. You're allergic to bees."

Kenshin's eyes flashed amber, and for a moment there was a murderous glint in them as he considered breaking his no-kill oath for the betterment of humanity. He closed his eyes, took a deep breath, and counted to ten. When he opened his eyes, they were a cold blue, but it was the best he could do to calm down. It was a good thing he didn't have contact with Hiko as Battousai, Kenshin realized.

He tried to think rationally while watching Hiko drink his sake. "Maybe it was a reaction to bad sake, Master."

Hiko glared at Kenshin. "There is no such thing as bad sake. Let's get back to my bee sting."

Kenshin scratched his head, attempting to placate the child. "Okay, what did you do when the bee stung you?"

"Baka!" Hiko snapped. "I went to the waterfall to put cold water on it. Honestly, think! You've been stung by a bee before. What do you do when a bee stings you?"

Kenshin scowled. "I wouldn't know. I'm allergic, remember? I swelled up. You dumped sake on it, and I blacked out from the pain."

Hiko sighed. "Oh yeah. Waste of good sake. Should have tried cold water first to numb it."

Kenshin went swirley-eyed. "Oro!" He considered drowning Hiko in a giant tub of sake, but realized that his master would like it too much. A thought bubble appeared over his head of Hiko swimming contentedly in a large vat of sake.

"What happened after the waterfall, Master?" Kenshin asked, not quite sure he wanted to know.

Hiko shrugged. "I was suddenly short and my clothes didn't fit. I went inside and took some of yours. Then I went to drink more sake, so I could figure out the situation, but I couldn't get the bottle open. So, being the genius that I am, I conceived of a clever way to achieve my goal." He beamed as arrogantly as a three-year-old could manage.

Kenshin raised his eyebrow. "So, you climbed up the full pottery shelves to get my katana, and then fell."

"I didn't fall. I strategically dropped."

Kenshin rolled his eyes and muttered, "Baka," under his breath.

Hiko poked Kenshin in the shin with the katana as his left eyebrow popped up. "Hey!"

"Well, it's true, Master!" Kenshin finally exploded. "You've been a baka about this whole thing! I'd blame it on you now having a toddler's mind, but obviously that isn't true!" He grabbed the katana out of the stunned Hiko's hand and pulled the sake away from him. "No sword or sake until you try to help Uncle Kenshin."

"I am not calling you Uncle Kenshin."

Before Kenshin could answer, there was a knock on the door. "Stay here," Kenshin hissed, standing up and taking the katana and sake bottle with him. He stuck them on one of the higher shelves that hadn't broken, before opening the door.

Kaoru stood there. "Kenshin!" she yelled. "Where have you been! You were supposed to be back at the Aoiya an hour ago! I was worried!" She looked around Kenshin into the shack. "Where is Hiko?" she asked. "And… who's child is that?" She began looking teary-eyed as she peeked around for telltale signs of another girl. Just to be on the safe side, she bonked Kenshin on the head for possibly cheating on her.

"Oro!" Kenshin exclaimed, rubing his head. "Master is—er—gone for more sake," he said. "I'm babysitting his nephew…"

Kaoru's eyes widened. "Oh!" she exclaimed, thinking to herself, "That's a scary thought. There's more of him…"

They walked into the shack, and Kenshin knelt beside Hiko. Kaoru knelt across from them. Hiko's eyes were still focused on the shelf with the sake bottle on it.

"What's his name?" Kaoru asked.

"Oro?"

She sighed. "His name."

Kenshin blinked a few times. "Er—Shinta," he replied, saying the first name that popped into his head.

Hiko opened his mouth for an outraged response, but Kenshin was quicker, muffling it.

Kaoru smiled. "Oh, he's so cute. Hello, Shinta-chan," she said, waving at him. "You look so much like your Uncle Seijuro… I hope you don't become an arrogant drunk like him as well…" She smiled.

Kenshin restrained the struggling Hiko from trying to kill them both.

Kaoru stood up. "Well, Kenshin. I guess I'll just wait back at the Aoiya for you. Hopefully that drunk will be sober enough to find his way home tonight. He's lucky to have you here."

Kenshin smiled at Kaoru, while trying to pin the violent toddler to the floor.

Kaoru didn't notice as she walked out the door, thinking to herself how great Kenshin was with kids.

As soon as she left, Hiko bit Kenshin's hand. Kenshin's eyes went amber, and he cracked Hiko over the head with his sheath. Both snarled and scrambled to opposite sides of the shack, breathing hard and glaring at each other, nursing their injuries.

Hiko recovered first and snapped. "Fine! I see how it is. You can suppress your homocidal tendencies when facing deranged psycho-killers, but you can't hold back when dealing with me… an innocent child!"

Kenshin's amber eyes managed to look even more murderous. "Master is not innocent," he thought to himself, sucking on his injury. "That he most certainly is not!"

"The final technique was supposed to bury that, anyway," Hiko went on. "Where do you get off acting like Battousai to me of all people? Didn't you learn anyting?"

Kenshin pulled his hand from his mouth. "The final technique taught me to value my own life, not yours. I was actually supposed to kill you back then, if you recall, that I most certainly was."

"Typical," Hiko snorted. "Just because you couldn't get it right back then, you're taking it out on me now that I'm a defenseless child."

"Defenseless!" Kenshin exclaimed. He held out his hand for Hiko to see the teeth marks. "Of the two of us, you were the only one to draw blood!"

"I am amazing, aren't I?"

"Yeah," Kenshin muttered. "Amazingly hard-headed." Kenshin suddenly realized that he was probably going to flip his blade and kill Hiko on the spot. He couldn't figure out why he had been so relieved thathis master had lived through the succession technique in the first place. The ramifications of possibly killing a three-year-old forced Kenshin to decide that he'd be better off vacating the premesis soon.

He stood up. "Master, I am not up for burying your body or finding an attractive rock for you. And anyway, you're almost out of sake, so I couldn't even pour it on your grave. So, I am going to leave now before I kill you, that I am."

Hiko snorted. "Good. Hand me my sake."

Kenshin gave Hiko the death glare and started walking toward the door. "Well see what we can do about this when I get back."

"I want my sake."

Kenshin didn't answer and left. He could still hear the aggrevated child screaming at him from the shack. Covering his ears, he picked up speed. The high-pitched squealing was so bad that it screwed up all of his senses. Kenshin staggered around swirley-eyed. He almost fell into the river, but caught himself at the edge. He was so disoriented that he never even noticed the snow leopard until it was almost to late. The leopard pounced Kenshin, and he barely managed to beat it back with his ryu tsui sen.

The large cat fell into the river. At first Kenshin thought it had disappeared until he hesitantly looked in and saw the snow leopard kitten scrambling out of the water. Kenshin picked it up thinking to himself what a cute present this would be for Kaoru-dono.

Clearly the disorienting screaming of Hiko-chan had messed with Kenshin's mind as well, and he neither realized that this was the same cat that had just tried to kill him, nor did he manage to make the connection between this incident and his master's.

Instead, he carried the damp kitten back to the Aoiya.


Epilogue

Kenshin was almost to the Aoiya when he figured out the secret to his master's problem. Unfortunately, it came to him rather suddenly when the kitten he'd been carrying finally dried completely in the sun.

Kenshin suddenly found himself buckling under the weight of a very angry adult snow leopard. Kenshin let out a surprised "Oro!" and began running as the big cat followed him. Even in his panicked, partially clawed state, he managed to suddenly realize what had created the chibis. The river. It must have some feng shui magic in it or something.

It occurred to Kenshin as he tried to scramble up a tree, that repeatedly falling into the river as a child very well may have been what had stunted his growth. This thought process was cut short by the realization that snow leapards can climb trees. Kenshin jumped down and screamed, using his godlike speed of Hiten Mitsurugi to stay ahead of the angry cat.

Meanwhile, back at his shack a now dry, adult Hiko slipped his cape on, relieved to be back in his own cloethes, with his own sword, at his own age.

He heard a scream and looked toward the door. It had sounded like Kenshin. Looked like he'd have to save that baka again. But first…

Hiko grabbed the sake from the shelf and took a great swig. He smiled as Kenshin screamed again, a little closer this time. "Ahhh… and the sake tates good again…"

The End


Author's note:

Definitions:

Baka- idiot
Baka deshi- idiot apprentice
Katana: a japanese sword
-dono: deep respect term that Kenshin uses a lot
-chan: "little" when used with kids as in this story (Can also added onto a name as a "pet" name)
Hiten Mitsurugi: Kenshin and Hiko's fighting style
ama kakeru ryu no hirameki: final/ succession technique of Hiten Mitsurugi
ryu tsui sen: Kenshin's favorite attack, an air attack with the katana
kuzu ryu zen: Hiko's favorite technique, hitting all nine major attack points on a person in one rapid attack
Battousai: Kenshin's hitokiri (assassin) name, referring to the fact that he was skilled in everything of Battou- jutsu (asword attack style)—(and you call yourself a Kenshin fan?)
Chibi: little childlike versions of anime/manga characters
Sake: rice wine
Sayonara: Goodbye

Anyway, thanks for reading our story. Hope it was good for a laugh. Honestly, the only reason this was because of one quote ("Children should not drink sake, that they should not."), a chibi Hiko pin that one of us purchased (so cute!), and the fact that we have a bizzare sequel planned that involves a crossover with Sorcerer Hunters. You've been warned. Stay tuned. Thanks for reading, and please review! Sayonara!