Disclaimer: I DO NOT OWN RUROUNI KENSHIN, THIS IS JUST A FANFIC MADE BY A TERRIBLY OBSESSED KENSHIN FAN SO PLEASE DON'T SUE ME :P
Summary: Kenji accidentally goes back to Kenshin's past and gets the chance to get to know his father better. Spoiler warnings for the OVAs. Might contain OCC-ness since this is my 1st ever fanfic & 1st ever Kenshin fic. PG13 just to be safe.
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Three years have gone by since Kenshin Himura passed away, leaving his family behind. Not long after his passing, his wife, Kaoru Himura, died as well. Doctor Megumi Takani said it was because of the mysterious illness that his mother acquired from his father, but Kenji Himura, now age 17, believed that his mother died of a broken heart.
Kaoru couldn't bear to be without Kenshin so not soon after his passing, she followed him into the afterlife, leaving behind their only son.
Kenji grew up loathing his father, hating him for not being there for him and his mother when he was growing up. While he was learning his first kendou moves, his father had been 'saving Japan', as his beloved mother had so aptly put it.
When other fathers were teaching their sons about the birds and the bees, Kenji was worrying about his mother's constant trips to the pier, waiting for his wandering father to come home.
Growing up, he could never understand how his father could leave them and wander around Japan to 'protect the weak'. He even ran away from home at age 14 and went to Seijouro Hiko, his father's mentor, thirteenth master of the Hiten Mitsurugi Style of swordsmanship.
He wanted to understand his father, get to know where he came from. If he couldn't get the answers from his father himself, since he was often away, he was going to ask the man who raised him. Hiko had welcomed him into his hut and taught him a different type of sword style from the Kamiya Kasshin Ryuu that he inherited from his mother.
Just when he was learning, his almost-adoptive brother/uncle, Yahiko Myojin, came to fetch him.
He was given the sakabatou overnight and was told to reflect on how Kenshin embodied the sword. Yahiko had meant to teach him a little something about Kenshin that day, make him understand why his father left his family for other people.
He got his butt kicked in the fight. He might have been very skilled with the sword, some say that he was as skilled or probably more skilled than his father was, but Yahiko-kun had poured all his heart and soul into that sword fight, beating Kenji.
The defeat humbled him, allowing Yahiko to drag him back home to his mother who needed him.
He felt guilty as hell afterwards, even if he couldn't quite grasp why his mother didn't have any complaints about his rurouni father, he loved his mother deeply. Witnessing her battle her illness in hopes of seeing her husband's homecoming urged him to make a promise to himself that he would try and get to know his father better upon his return.
But as fate would have it, Kenshin Himura died the same day that he returned to Tokyo.
Kenji couldn't figure out how his mother knew where to meet Kenshin, under the cherry blossom trees.
It was bittersweet in a way. He was glad for his mother, glad that she got to see her beloved husband one more time before his passing, but he also felt sorry for himself. Sorry that he didn't get to fulfill the promise he made to himself about getting to know his otousan better.
In the new age of the Meiji, swords were no longer necessary. The days of the Samurai were slowly dying away, if they weren't already dead and buried. Swords no longer had any use in the Meiji Era, as they were replaced by Western Guns and Ammo.
Still, after Kaoru passed away, Kenji returned to Kyoto and finished his training with Master Hiko. He had no remaining living relatives now, except for the Hiten Mitsurugi master whom he grew to consider as his ojiisan (grandfather).
The man worked him hard, day after day, night after night. Not only that, Kenji also pushed himself to the limit.
Kenshin learned and trained for 6 years under Hiko-sama, and then returned to complete his training more than a decade later. Kenji was determined to inherit the sword style in half the time his father learned it plus some.
With the demonic pace he set on himself, Kenji Himura became the Fifteenth successor of the Hiten Mitsurugi style in the span of only three years.
Yahiko had been kind enough to pass the sakabatou on to Kenji, who was able to repeat history by not killing the Hiten Mitsurugi master after the apprentice was able to overcome the master's Kuzu Ryu Sen.
With the completion of the succession technique, Kenji felt one step closer to his father.
Considering that Seijouro Hiko was the closest thing Kenji had to a living relative, not counting Yahiko, it was no wonder that he asked his master/ojiisan to come live with him at the dojo back in Tokyo several times before.
During one of those instances, the ever self-assured thirteenth master huffed and assured him that he had no desire to leave "his" mountains, but promised to visit Kenji once in a while just to check up on him; Teasing him about "keeping an eye" on him so as not to go wandering or join some faction to over-throw the government.
Three years, he thought to himself as he adjusted his pack over his shoulder and secured his prized heirloom – the sakabatou – on his hip. His heart clenched at the thought of leaving his master all alone here.
He didn't want to risk getting Amakakeru Ryuu No Hirameki-ed off the waterfall by voicing his concern about the perils of being alone of a man at his master's age, so he prudently kept his mouth shut.
"Well baka ousonchan." Remarked Hiko who liked to call him 'idiot little grandson' since he was idiot enough to 'confess' feeling like Hiko was his grandfather, "As much as I enjoyed you staying with me and eating me out of house and home like my baka deshi, your father, did, it's time for you to go home and build your own life."
Kenji could almost detect a hint of sadness in the older man's voice. Almost.
"Are you sure you don't want to come, Hikosama?" He dared inquire one last time.
If it were possible, Seijouro Hiko's chest puffed out bigger as his nose raised two inches higher up in the air. "Thanks but no thanks, I'm quite happy living in my mountains. Demo," he added, "I promise I'll come visit you once in a while just to see how you're doing." He looked at Kenji almost fondly before the look disappeared from his face and the same arrogant mask reappeared.
Kenji knew better, he smiled.
"Alright then," Kenji bowed respectfully. "Don't stay away for too long shishou. You know I can't take care of myself." He sniggered quietly to himself, knowing that his master would probably crack and visit him within a month.
His master snorted and waved him off as he went on his way to journey back to Tokyo.