This story is dedicated to my best friend and pretty much adopted big sister: Female Hitokiri Battousai for her birthday. She is a coolio person and writes spectacular! She has helped me so much and she is a great friend; for that, I love her. Happy birthday, Sta-chan!
"Calm down, Kaoru. You're overreacting! I'm sure Ken-san isn't doing anything like that," Megumi tried to reassure her hysterically sobbing friend. "He and the Rooster Head are probably just gambling or drinking or something stupid."
Kaoru shook her head ferociously, "No! I'm telling you the truth. I saw him with another woman! Maybe. . . h-he. . . doesn't love me after all!" Such a thought reduced the weeping eighteen year old girl into bursts of sobs that sounded almost like hiccups. She threw herself into Megumi's arms and soaked the doctor's uniform.
Megumi sighed heavily with annoyance. "There. . . there. . ." she patted Kaoru's back for fake extra support. She frowned, Ken-san, what in the world are you doing?
"I WIN!" she cried with a masculine voice. The men at the table glanced around at each other suspiciously as the girl collected her huge amount of money. "What do ya think of that, Kenshin?"
"That is a lot of money, that it is," I muttered, uneasily watching the other men; who were beginning to get angry. "But don't you think we should leave now?" I began to get up when I was suddenly yanked back down to the floor. "Oro. . ."
"No way, Kenshin!" the girl growled angrily in the deep of her throat. "I am not going to loose my winning streak just because of you! You always do this! I can't believe you Kenshin! You're so whiny and wimpy! Stand up and be a man for once, and do a few tosses!" The men and I were beginning to slowly slide away. . .
"Excuse me, Miss, but you're disturbing the rest of our customers," a polite waitress informed her.
The girl grinned, "Hey, what shakin' baby?"
Her eyes went wide, "Excuse me?"
"Ahahahah," I chuckled weakly. "Please excuse my friend, we're going to leave now, that we are. . ." – "Stop it, Kenshin! Lemme go!" – "Don't mind us! Go about your business! Sorry to disturb you. . ." I quickly dragged the girl out the door, whom was frantically trying to stuff the money down her kimono. It was hard to restrain a sigh as soon as we stepped out into the night air.
"KENSHIN!" the girl screamed, not quite sounding girly. "What the hell do you think you're doing? I was on a winning streak!" she hissed.
I frowned at her sternly, "Cross-dressing as a girl, cheating while gambling and hitting on waitresses is not a winning streak." I put my arms inside my gi and turned to walk home. "Now, let us return before it is too late. Kaoru-dono would not agree with this; and you know that very well, Sano."
"Feh," Sanosuke muttered, pulling off his wig. "You're such a teacher's pet, Kenshin! Why can't you live a little?" he continued his grumbling, wiping off his make-up, "Someday I'm going to make you a man. . ."
I'm sure you will, Sano, I thought dryly. Why did I agree with this little scam? And why did Sano think that dressing up as a girl would make other men go easy on him? . . . And why did it work?
"Tomorrow you should go repay Tae-dono the debt you owe her," I continued in a fatherly way. "You have more than enough, Sano," I added, when Sanosuke muttered something about wanting to buy his stuff. "Sessha sincerely hopes that you won't gamble any more, that he most certainly does." I smiled then as I turned to look at my best friend, "Now lets go to our homes."
Sanosuke glared at me, "I can't believe you. What kind of a man doesn't want to gamble? What kind of a man actually wants to pay off his debts? I'll never understand you, Kenshin." I laughed weakly. "Someday, though, I'm going to make you a real man. I just don't know how yet. . ." he pondered several ideas as they walked along.
Soon, Sanosuke trotted off to his home just a bit happier than he had been a few minutes before, and I continued on my own to the Kamiya Dojo. Kaoru-dono will be so upset! Why did Sano talk me into going with him? Gambling is a horrible sport which steals someone of their money and gives others that which they do not deserve, simply because they were lucky.
"Is that him?"
"Yep, that's the one! Now, quietly. . ."
I frowned as I heard whispers all around me. All at once, there were three-no four hostile ki's! I continued walking, as if I hadn't heard anyone. One of the ki's were coming closer. My hand hovered over the hilt of my sakabatou. The three other ki's were coming in from all directions. I took my chance, and ran.
"KYAA!" one of them came out with an overhead strike. It was too easy to dodge. The attacker went down quickly.
"What is it that you want from me?" I asked the other three men in a deep voice, tired of this child play.
"No questions, Battousai!" yelled one. He smirked at the twitch I couldn't stop. "Yeah, we know who you are! Yer that monster, the Hitokiri Battousai! Yer nothin' but a merciless killer who found a sword!" he took a look at my sakabatou and spat. "If that is a sword. Now fight me!"
I closed my eyes. "If I have killed one of your loved ones, I am deeply sorry, and offer you my true apology," I looked up at the man. "But I will not fight you. There is nothing I can do now except atone for my sins I committed in the past." I continued walking. The men followed me. "Why is it that you follow me?" I cannot lead them to the Kamiya Dojo. . .
The men grinned, "You must fight us, even if we stand no chance to you. You must fight us."
"Nothing I say will allow me to pass?" I asked. The men shook their heads. I frowned and sighed, "Very well."
It was later that night when I returned home; gi somewhat tattered from my mistake of going too easy. I tiptoed down the hallway, past Yahiko's room, past Kaoru's room-"WHAT ARE YOU DOING!"
"Oro!" I turned to see a ferocious looking Kaoru glaring daggers at me and growling like a lion. "Eh, Kaoru-dono, sessha is very sorry to come home so late. . . ."
"And why is your gi so cut up?" Kaoru frowned as she inspected my gi. She looked up furiously at me, "What were you doing with that woman? Were you doing something horribly mature? Or possibly something even more horribly mature?" She continued to mutter to herself, "Oh Kami-sama! What if he was doing horribly mature things with that woman I saw him walking into the market with!"
I blinked, "A woman?" An image popped into my mind of Sanosuke giggling like a girl, waving a fan in front of his face and fluttering his eyelashes a terrible amount. Oh yeah. "Kaoru-dono, I think you mean-"
"NO!" she interrupted me. "I don't want to hear your excuses, Kenshin! They are nothing to me. Goodnight!" she slammed the door in my face. I stood silently in front of her door, blinking, until Kaoru started to sob. Suddenly, "Don't even think of coming in here and baby-talking me, Kenshin! Goodnight!"
I sighed and turned from her door only to bump into Yahiko. "Oh, Yahiko. I'm sorry to wake you. . ."
"You two talk loud," Yahiko complained. He glanced at Kaoru's door, "And she cries really loud. What did you do this time?" He raised his eyebrow at my tattered gi.
"It's nothing very important, now you should get some rest. Kaoru-dono will most likely go hard on your lessons tomorrow," I felt guilty, but Yahiko just grinned and went back to bed. I padded over to my own room and sat down on my futon; thinking about the day.
First: Sanosuke asks me to come gambling with him. I agree, as long as I don't actually have to gamble.
Second: Sanosuke dresses as a female, thinking that the men will go easy on him.
Third: They do.
Fourth: I'm attacked while on the way back home by men who had business with Battousai. They were not trained to be swordsmen, and obviously a trap, but nothing sprung.
I fingered my gi. There was a small cut on my right shoulder that stung sharply. I frowned. Fifth: I go too easy on them and allow them to cut me. I touched the small cut and bit back a hiss. It felt like a paper cut that went two inches along my shoulder. I looked up at my window.
Sixth: Sanosuke and the attackers kept me up late.
I removed my sakabatou from my hakama and laid it next to my futon. Not even bothering to get out of my normal clothes, I lay down on my futon and closed my eyes.
"Yer that monster, the Hitokiri Battousai! Yer nothin' but a merciless killer who found a sword!"
"You must fight us, even if we stand no chance to you. You must fight us."
"Stand up and be a man!"
"You're such a teacher's pet--why can't you live a little?"
"-Be a man-"
"-the Hitokiri Battousai-"
"-live a little-"
"BATTOUSAI!" I screamed but nothing happened. I blinked. And blinked again. And then I let out a heavy sigh. It was just a dream, I told myself. Nothing more than a dream. . .
At that moment, Kaoru and Yahiko came pounding into the room. "Kenshin!" – "Is something wrong?" – "We heard you scream. ." – "What happened?" Kaoru knelt down beside my futon, where I sat, still befuddled, "Kenshin? What's wrong? What is-" she caught her breath and leaned back slightly. Yahiko did the same.
I frowned and looked at them both. And blinked, "It was. . . just a dream. I'm sorry that I woke you both up. It's not that big of a deal. Go on back to bed." But my words didn't seem to make any sense because Kaoru and Yahiko were still staring me. I shook my head in bewilderment, "Is. . . there. . . something on my face?"
"Kenshin," Yahiko stated quietly. "Your eyes are amber."
I froze and felt the whole room stiffen. It took a few moments to be able to breathe again. And then I punched myself in the face. And blinked. Kaoru and Yahiko shook their heads. My eyes were still amber. The dream must be the cause of this. . . but why can't I turn them back to normal? "Eh, Kaoru-dono. . . Yahiko, please. You both should get some rest. This is probably just because of my dream. It's not a big deal," I swallowed. ". . . that it isn't." Why did I have to force myself to say that?
"Kenshin, is there something wrong?" Kaoru asked. When I shook my head, she asked, "Is there anything I can do for you?" I shook my head. "Well, then. . . goodnight." They left hesitantly, quietly and cautiously. I watched them leave with regret.
There's something wrong with me. . . I thought. My right shoulder was intensely sore for some reason. I touched it gently, only to pull back sharply. The small cut on it was black and blue in a three-inch radius. That can't be right. A small cut like that would never. . . I tried moving my right arm. It hurt just to move it.
I suddenly looked back on my fight with the men in black. "You must fight us, even if we stand no chance to you." It was a trap. They knew I'd go easy. If I can't move my right arm, I'll be defenseless. If those men come back for another fight. . . The thought was unbearable. I might be able to outrun them, but when it comes down to actually fighting. . .
. . . I'd lose.
Disclaimer: I do not own Rurouni Kenshin. Geesh.
Author's Notes: Uh yeah: This was supposed to be a one-shot, but it kind of . . . grew. Yeah. This was also supposed to be humor, but this chapter wasn't really all that funny; so I promise the next one will be much more hilarious. Thank you for reading, and please leave a review. Thank you minna-sama!