A/N: I don't own YGO or Rurouni Kenshin. First shot at doing an RK character so if you like RK, let me know if the character is IC. I normally don't add Japanese words/abbreviations but due to the nature of this character, I will for this story. Thank you to my beta reader, Caorann fridh Bronach, for beta reading. I also dedicate this story to Lynn10 (Thanks, Lynn, for introducing me to RK!) and Caorann fridh Bronach (Our on-going battle for Kenshin…).
NOTE: I tend to use the western way for placement of last and first names. Please respect that. '…thoughts…' Purple Star Legend…corny, yes, I know.
"Once upon a time there was a little-"
"Aw, Seto, can't you pick a better one?" Mokuba whined.
"Humph. I did not pick this story in the first place, you know," Seto reminded him with a bored look. Storytelling was not his cup of tea.
"Oh, yeah. Forgot." Mokuba grinned sheepishly from his bed.
Seto sighed and closed the book, already feeling ridiculous at actually saying that first sentence of the book out loud. He was no storyteller, unless Mokuba wanted to hear all about the stock market. "I think you'd better go to bed," he said, standing up and placing the book on his brother's nightstand.
"But it's Saturday tomorrow!" Mokuba protested, frowning as his brother tucked him in. "And I'm too old to be tucked in."
"You're also too old to want a story before bed." Seto allowed a smirk. "Now go to bed. I have work to do-"
"Can I go get a glass of milk first?" Mokuba asked, already pushing off the covers, knowing what the answer was going to be.
"Fine." Seto was out the door, on his way to his home office to do some last minute typing.
Satisfied, Mokuba pulled his socks on and headed for the stairway. As he passed a few windows, a strangely-colored star caught his eye. Stopping, he walked over to the window and peered at the dark sky, eyes closing in solely on the…purple star. "That's weird," he murmured, pressing his nose against the window. Stars weren't usually…purple. "Seto!" he called loudly. "Seto, come here, quick!"
Down the hall, a door opened and the eldest Kaiba dashed out, frowning. "What is it?" he demanded, not entirely happy that he had been interrupted from his work, but still ready to see if Mokuba needed help or something.
"Look!" Mokuba pointed outside the window. "It's a purple star!"
Wondering if his brother was half-asleep or dreaming, Seto took a look and his suspicions were not confirmed. What he saw was indeed a purple-colored, twinkling star.
"Do you see it?" Mokuba giggled. "Can we take a picture?"
His advanced education was recalling a legend. Seto frowned again and recited, "'Behold the purple fire for something queer shall transpire.'"
"Huh?" Mokuba blinked. "What do you mean?" Did his brother know something he didn't? Well, Seto almost always knew something that he didn't.
"'Behold the purple fire for something queer shall transpire,'" Seto reiterated. "It's the legend of the Purple Star," he explained. "But merely a legend. There is probably some kind of gas in the atmosphere that is disrupting the…atmosphere." Boy, did he goof on that explanation. It made no sense at all, and neither did this sudden appearance of the star. Seto didn't believe in legends or myths and all that other jazz. Still…this was something he couldn't fully comprehend. He realized he had no real explanation for this event.
Mokuba snorted. "Why do you always have to have a scientific reason for everything?" he asked, smiling. "Can't you just enjoy life without thinking of statistics? Life isn't always statistics, you know."
Seto's eyes widened slightly. When did his little brother get so smart? Mokuba was twelve years old now, almost a teenager, and it surprised him whenever Mokuba acted maturely. Seto recognized the fact, with a great sadness, that eventually Mokuba wouldn't always need his protection.
"I wonder if something weird will happen tonight," Mokuba wondered out loud, hoping for the possibility of a "queer" occurrence.
"For your sake, I hope not." Seto straightened up, still fazed by the unusual sight. "Get your glass of milk and then please go to bed. You need to sleep."
"You need yours, too," Mokuba said quietly as Seto headed back down the hall. With a sigh, he continued his journey to the kitchen, somewhat concerned for his older brother.
Upon reaching the bottom of the stairs, there was a sharp knock on the door. It was quite an odd occurrence. People usually rang the doorbell and a small chime alerted the Kaibas and the staff if someone was at the entrance to the Kaiba Manor. Hesitant to answer it, Mokuba took a step back up the stairs.
Another knock sounded, and then: "Hello? Is someone home?"
The voice didn't sound threatening. In fact, it sounded confused, yet still holding a tone of friendliness. Not feeling so nervous anymore, Mokuba ran to the door and jumped to check the peephole. For a split second, all he could see was a head of dark hair. 'I really should get Seto,' Mokuba thought, 'but what if this is the weird thing that's supposed to happen?' Taking a deep breath, Mokuba opened the door…
"Oh! Hello!" The ever-grinning Soujiro Seta stood on the platform of the Kaiba Mansion…years ahead of his time. The grin was now by habit. He found that he just liked to smile.
"Um…hi." Mokuba's jaw dropped. 'Gee, where did this guy get his clothes from?' he thought, gazing at what was now ancient to Japan.
Soujiro looked at the boy. "Er, can you please tell me where I am?" Soujiro asked, feeling slightly silly. It was the strangest thing – he had been walking on a beaten path, looking for a place to sleep. The nearest town had been quite a ways away so he would have to sleep outside again. But maybe he didn't have to tonight, if he could just figure out where he was exactly.
"Uh, the Kaiba Mansion?" It came out more like a question. How could this person not know where he was? Everybody in Domino City knew what was and the location of the Kaiba Mansion.
"Ah, I see." Soujiro, in reality, didn't really see…and this young boy had to be a child or even a servant. "Might Kaiba-san be around?" he asked. Perhaps the head of the household could further explain his surroundings.
"Er, which one?" Mokuba thought that this man or teenager looked friendly enough.
"Which one?" Soujiro echoed, puzzled.
"Yeah. There are two Kaiba brothers," Mokuba explained, not wanting to reveal that he was one of them. At least not yet until he was absolutely sure of this person's sincerity.
Another grin lit up the eighteen-year-old's face. "Oh! Very well. May I please speak with the eldest one?" he asked, shifting his arm to hide his sakabato that was now tucked behind his wide sleeves. No sense in alarming the people here. Not that he could seriously hurt anyone with his newly acquired reverse blade sword. Kenshin Himura had had one at the beginning of his own journey. Soujiro figured he ought to have one – perhaps this would aid him as he sought his own truth about life.
"Yeah, just a minute." Mokuba pulled his head back inside and shouted, "Seto! Come here!" He paused for a few seconds. Then: "Someone's here!" He turned back to Soujiro. "Um, did you want to come in?" The oddly dressed young man seemed harmless enough.
Soujiro smiled; it was a smile different from his regular grin. "Oh, no, please. I do not want to intrude." Actually, he just hoped to have his questions answered and maybe a place to sleep.
"It's all right." Mokuba finally smiled himself. "I was going to get a drink in the kitchen. Do you want something to drink?"
"Well, if it is all right with Kaiba-san…"
"I don't think my big brother will mind."
Upstairs, Seto strode down the hallway, muttering about stupid people arriving this late and perplexed about why they were not notified through the chime. When he reached the top of the stairs, he could hear voices in the kitchen, which was located behind the stairway. 'Mokuba let him in?' he thought, narrowing his eyes. Who was "him" exactly, anyway?
"So, you are one of the Kaiba brothers, then?"
"Yeah. I'm Mokuba and my brother's name is Seto."
"Well then, young Kaiba-san, thank you for inviting me in!"
Seto stepped inside the kitchen, a suspicious glare apparent on his face. "Who are you?" he demanded, pulling Mokuba closer to him.
"Ack, Seto, it's okay," Mokuba said, stumbling over his feet.
"You don't know that for sure, Mokuba," Seto stated sternly, glaring at Soujiro, who merely scratched the back of his head, grinning like no tomorrow.
"I am very sorry-"
"Who are you?" Seto repeated, more forcefully than before.
"Big brother, he's not dangerous," Mokuba insisted and then stared at Soujiro with wide eyes. "Right?"
'If he had known me when I was with Shishio-san…' Soujiro shook his head. "I, er, I'm not dangerous…" 'I am simply a wandering swordsman in search of the truth,' he thought, a bitter smile on the inside. Up to now, life had been confusing and tough, but he knew he had to go on until he discovered the "secret". "I was just…looking for a place to spend the night! And, uh, I would like to know what…year this is," Soujiro added hastily. Yes, that was a good place to start.
And he hadn't even had a chance to quench his thirst.
"Psst! Seto!" Mokuba whispered urgently. "Do you think the purple star-"
"I'm the one asking the questions here." Seto spoke with a cold steely tone. "Now, who are you and why are you here?" he demanded once more.
"My name is Soujiro Seta," Soujiro replied, turning a bit serious. "And as I said before, I am looking for a place to sleep."
Seto just stared at him, remembering the purple star…
'So, he wants to have a staring contest?' Soujiro thought, amused. He stared right back at Seto, humoring him. 'And I would really like to have that drink of water!'
Mokuba sipped his milk thoughtfully, thinking of the star and of the stranger. This was almost…exciting!
Something inside of him felt compelled to accept this young man officially into his home, for the night at least, and Seto was disliking this feeling and the idea of having a complete stranger inside the house. "…I'm going to call security-"
"Oh! Wait, don't!" Soujiro nervously ran a hand through his dark hair as he edged toward the kitchen door. "I'll leave now…" Soujiro cleared his throat. "But before I do, if it is not too much, Kaiba-san, can you please tell me what year it is and where I am exactly?"
"It's 2005," Mokuba responded cheerfully, for Seto. "You're in Domino City, Japan."
'At least I'm still in Japan…what am I saying – thinking!' Soujiro gripped the edge of the kitchen's island, feeling a bit unsteady. He should've known when he knocked on the obviously advanced door… 'I need that water now…' Grabbing the glass, Soujiro gulped the water down, furiously. Meanwhile, the Kaiba brothers watched in surprise and mild hilarity, the latter being on Mokuba's behalf.
When he was finished, Soujiro set the glass down gently and kept his eyes on it, taking a deep breath. "C-Could you please repeat that?"
Mokuba laughed but stopped suddenly when his brother frowned at him in disapproval. He then answered Soujiro's question. "Domino City, Japan. Um, where are you from?"
"Domino City…I'm definitely not in Kyoto anymore. Or Tokyo…or Odawara…"Soujiro closed his eyes for a brief moment. This wasn't the 1800s anymore! He knew time flew by fast, but this was ridiculous.
"I bet the star brought him from the past!" Mokuba reckoned, taking another sip of his milk.
At the same time, Seto recalled more of his education. The style of outfit Soujiro was wearing dated back to old times, a hundred years or so prior. "This is not happening," Seto grumbled. "Legends are legends; they are not true." 'The guy is late for a costume party…but why wouldn't he know what year it is?' Now he was feeling a little dizzy himself.
Mokuba, however, did not agree. "Seto," he began, a twinkle in his eyes, "he needs a place to stay. Can he stay here? Please!"
Gritting his teeth and hoping this was just a dream, Seto nodded reluctantly. He needed time to think and standing there doing nothing would accomplish, indeed, nothing.
"Yes!" Mokuba beamed. "Mister Soujiro, follow me!" Mokuba departed the kitchen. "You can sleep in my room. We have a futon you could use-"
Seto came to his senses. "Wait a minute, Mokuba – he is not sleeping in your room! We have plenty of guestrooms." Seto released an angry sigh. What was Mokuba thinking? More importantly, what was he thinking? Had all that work driven his mind over the edge? Seto hoped not and fervently prayed that it was all a dream, a silly, mindless, weird dream…
This was not the way a CEO should act.
"Behold the purple fire for something queer shall transpire!"
Good grief. This had to be a dream, complete with silly rhymes and ever-grinning faces.
"C'mon!" Mokuba grabbed Soujiro's hand. "If you're really from the past…" Mokuba's voice gradually faded away as he and Soujiro headed upstairs. "…I could tell you about our time and…"
"I would like to get some sleep, though, young Kaiba-san! And I'll be out of here by morning – wow! What is that?"
"It's my computer…"
Rubbing his temples, Seto took after them. His best bet was to sleep in Mokuba's room as well, just to make sure. After all, it was just a dream…he had to protect his little brother in his dreams as well.
Half an hour later, Seto was sitting upright, arms crossed, at the far side of Mokuba's bed, close to where Soujiro was positioned, by the window. Mokuba was cross-legged, chattering away about Duel Monsters. "And the best one of them all is the Blue Eyes White Dragon!"
"Dragon…" Soujiro murmured absentmindedly, remembering…
Amakakeru Ryu no Hirameki! 1
Memories of his climatic battle with Kenshin flooded his mind. Flashbacks streamed like a river and his brow knitted as he stared at his hands and the hidden sword within the futon.
But apparently it was not as well hidden as he thought it was. Seto had sharp eyes and instantly spotted the tip of the handle, glimmering of moonlight. "You have a weapon," he stated, clearly not happy with the revelation.
Soujiro shifted uncomfortably and grinned at Seto in an attempt to cover the awkwardness of the situation. "You are making it very hard to be friends, Kaiba-san," he scolded lightly, as if he were chastising a child. He had a feeling he was older anyway, maybe by a year or two.
'Great. Another Yugi Moto,' Seto thought, resisting the urge to roll his eyes.
"You have a sword!" Mokuba exclaimed. "Cool…"
"Yes, I do have a sword…but it's not what you think. Its blade is reversed; it can't hurt anyone." Soujiro pulled the sakabato out of its sheath. And," he added, sensing the delight in the young boy. "It is not a…toy." Months earlier, he might've treated it as such.
"Can I see?" Mokuba asked, impressed.
"Mokuba, you are not touching that sword. Put it away, Seta," the eldest Kaiba ordered gruffly.
"As you wish, Kaiba-san." Soujiro gave a nod of understanding, though disheartened.
"Aw…" Mokuba's lower lip drooped.
Silently, Soujiro replaced the sakabato and then hid it underneath the sheets. He then fell still.
Mokuba, sensing the sudden quiet air about Soujiro, frowned. "You seem sad," he remarked. "Is something wrong? Seto's always like that with people. I wouldn't worry about it!"
"Humph." Clearly, this came from Seto. It was certainly nice to know how seriously he was taken.
"No…it's not that," Soujiro responded carefully. Smiling, he lay back on the futon. "I am overwhelmed by exhaustion. Perhaps I should go to sleep now."
Seto glanced over at Mokuba's clock radio, seeing the digital numbers and letters: 11:27 PM. Determined to keep his brother safe, Seto opted to stay awake all night. "You should've gone to bed a long time ago," Seto told Mokuba, glaring.
Mokuba winced. "Yeah, I know…" He sighed, thoroughly unconvinced about the fact that Soujiro was just "tired". "Soujiro?"
Mokuba knew enough from experience that people were often troubled by pasts they did not want to discuss. But still…he had been there for Seto. Maybe Soujiro needed someone to be there for him, too. "Did something bad happen to you?" he whispered, timidly, afraid of the answer.
Seto tensed, wondering how Soujiro would take this. Truth be told, he was curious himself.
Soujiro hesitated. He did not want to be reminded of his past. Things had been so terrible…before Shishio-san had taken him under his wing. But things had also been sort of terrible after that. It now unnerved slightly him when he thought about how casual he had been about murder.
What was he to do? How should he answer the question?
Mokuba's shoulders sank. Still…might as well give it a shot. "Well, that's okay if you don't want to talk about it." Biting his lip, Mokuba went on. "I know life can be rough…but hang in there, okay?"
Pride; pride for his brother, rose within him. Seto was amazed; Mokuba was practically becoming a man, right before his eyes. But, with pride, came sorrow as well.
Soujiro listened…and a smile lit his boyish features. Not too long ago he had set off on his own, searching for truth. Kenshin had mentioned protecting the weak, instead of destroying them. Back then, before the battle, Soujiro had seen no reason to keep them alive.
Many years ago, Soujiro Seta had been convinced of a world with no hope for peace and justice. The only hope back then, it seemed, had been…
"Strong survive and weak have to die."
Kenshin's had been an entirely different one, one with a…brighter future?
There was a chance this boy was weak, physically. But mentally, he was strong. This boy had a big heart. This boy had hope, Soujiro concluded. There was still a chance for a better world, with people like him.
Beside him, seated on the bed, Seto was realizing the very same thing. 'Little brother, you never cease to astound me…'
Disappointed that no progress was being made to satisfy his inquisitiveness, Mokuba got under the covers. "Goodnight, Seto. Goodnight, Soujiro."
Seto smirked and ruffled Mokuba's hair. "Goodnight, Kid."
"Sleep well, Mokuba-chan," Soujiro whispered, drifting off to sleep with a smile on his face, and a renewed hope in his heart. Perhaps he had found his truth after all.
The next morning, sunlight bothered Seto. He snapped his eyes open, blinking rapidly, and noticed he was not in his own bedroom. He was in Mokuba's room…why? Mokuba hadn't had nightmares for awhile…and it wasn't like they had "slumber parties". They were across the hall from each other. Maybe he had started walking in his sleep…
His blue eyes darting to the right, Seto found nothing on the floor. No futon, no body, no sword. He could've sworn…?
'I am going crazy…'
Mokuba woke up as well. "Uh, Seto, why are you in my room?" he asked groggily, eyes half-closed. The sun was just rising and the light bothered him, too.
Seto opened his mouth, and then closed it, then opened it again. "Just a dream, it was all just a dream…" he muttered, rubbing his eyes. "I knew there was a logical explanation for it." Of course there was. Seto Kaiba did not hallucinate or allow strangers in the mansion for no apparent reason.
"For what?" Mokuba yawned. "Hey, Seto, was there someone here last night?"
The only explanation for this was that Mokuba had had the same dream, too…and that was too much of a coincidence.
"Only in your dreams, Mokuba," Seto answered cryptically and checked the clock radio. "I can still catch one hour of sleep, and then I have work to do," he murmured. Standing up, Seto yawned. Yawning was contagious. "Go back to sleep, Mokuba."
"Okay." No argument would be found there. Mokuba plopped back down on his pillow, his raven mane sticking in all directions. For Mokuba, no sane person ought to have been up at such an early hour.
As Seto left the room, Mokuba uttered a few words, barely audile: "Hang in there…Soujiro."
In the past, in the middle to late 1800s:
Soujiro awoke to birds chirping and a gentle breeze. Sitting up, frowning, Soujiro rubbed his forehead. "How odd. I must've fallen asleep on this rock but I don't remember doing just that."
Hadn't he been on a futon inside a modern bedroom?
"Hang in there…Soujiro."
What the…? Now he was hearing things. Wonderful.
Well, he hadn't eaten for awhile. "This hunger is making me delirious," Soujiro decided, and then stretched his limbs. He suddenly grinned. Ah. A new day - another chance to find a deeper meaning for life, his life.
"Hang in there…" he murmured to himself. It sounded so familiar and yet he could not remember a certain name of a certain boy. An unexplainable sadness filled him but he forced himself to smile, a genuine smile, that is. "There is hope," he whispered, "and I shall find it."
Fast-forward to the present…a night or two later.
"Can't sleep," Joey Wheeler mumbled, opening a cupboard. "Maybe a glass of water will do me good. Scratch that – how about some milk…zzzz…"
A shadow fell across the table and disappeared immediately.
"Huh?" Joey ran over to the window and peered outside, spying a purple star above the horizon. "Hey, now…what is that? A UFO?" He looked to his left and spotted a figure standing in the moonlight. "Gah! Maybe it is a UFO! And that's an alien! There's an alien in my backyard!"
Hearing his outburst, the man turned around.
It was Goro Fujita, better known as Hajime Saito…
A/N: This is a oneshot so do not ask for an update – it is extremely annoying when people do that. Also, I know Saitō is spelled as Saitou sometimes (most of the time, I guess). But I chose to go by the manga (which is all I have) for his name. Such is not the case with Soujirō, however. And Soujiro with a sakabato…it's my own interpretation of what happens after and not necessarily what really happens according to Watsuki. And no, Joey does not die. His chance meeting with Hajime Saitō can be left to your imagination.
1 Amakakeru Ryu no Hirameki – Dragon Flight of Heaven.