ORO! Kenshin Discovers DVDs
It was late in the afternoon when Kenshin finally arrived at his shishou's home. He'd have arrived much sooner if he hadn't run into that strange patch of weather where all sorts of oddities had begun falling from the sky.
When he entered the clearing, he was surprised to see Hiko sitting on a log, his hair wet, and his white cloak hanging up to dry. Kenshin stared blankly at his shishou for a very long moment before joining the swordsman.
"What happened to--?"
"Shut up, baka," Hiko snapped before the readhead could even finish his sentence. He threw a small, metal cylinder at Kenshin, which the smaller man deftly caught, giving it a puzzled look before shifting his lavender gaze back up at the damp swordsmaster.
"What is it?"
Hiko smirked, "Open it," he suggested, making a motion to pull on the tab.
Kenshin hesitated a moment. He wasn't sure he really liked that somewhat malicious glint in Hiko's eyes. But he honestly didn't see what harm could come from pulling on the odd little silver tab. He met with a little resistance before it popped open with a satisfying crack and a soft fizzling sound.
Hiko stared expectantly at Kenshin, who wasn't exactly sure what he was supposed to do next. "Shishou…?"
Hiko didn't respond, still staring in that unnerving way.
Kenshin sniffed the thing, and wrinkled his nose. "It smells like beer, Shishou. Sano brought some to Kaoru-dono once. Do you drink this now?"
"Why didn't it jump out at you?" Hiko snapped.
"Jump…?" Suddenly realization lit upon Kenshin's face as the damp hair and clothing suddenly made sense. "Did you spill the beer all over yourself…?
Kenshinrecognized the angry scowl masking Hiko's embarrassed flush a second before he noticed Hiko's sheath swing down at his baka deshi's head…
Kenshin had a lump on his head the size of an egg when he made his way home that evening. It appeared that embarrassment made Hiko even more vicious.
As he entered the dojo, the sound of several unknown voices assailed him. He tensed a moment before hurrying into the next room. When he entered, he froze, more from confusion than anything else. At one end, a large box with a lit face stood in the corner. There was a silver box on top and little dancing picture on the lit part. It kind of reminded Kenshin of a photograph gone wrong.
Kaoru was sitting in front of it, staring in amusement.
Upon closer inspection, Kenshin realized that it was a drawing of him moving around the screen with someone else's voice, squawking annoyingly in English.
"Oro!" Kenshin exclaimed in surprise.
Kaoru turned, finally realizing his presence, and began to blush furiously. "Oh! Kenshin! You're back! Look at this thing! It's called a T-V or something… It just kind of appeared here during that weird weather we were having."
Kenshin shook his head. "Are you sure it's safe? I don't know if we should trust items that materialize out of nowhere, Kaoru-dono, that I do not. What is it?"
She shrugged. "I'm not exactly sure, but it seems safe. As far as I can tell…" She ran over and grabbed a smaller box with more pictures of him on it. She pulled it open and popped a small, shiny disk out of it. "As far as I can tell, you take these things and stick them in the silver box. And if you push on the right things over there, it shows you pictures of us!" She beamed.
Kenshin kept staring at the screen. A picture of Sano was now talking in English to a picture of Kenshin. The real Kenshin sweatdropped. "Kaoru-dono. I wouldn't let Sano see this, that I would not. You know how he is with photographs. Who knows what he would do to this thing."
Kaoru nodded, pushing a button and making the pictures disappear. "You're right, Kenshin. And knowing that freeloader, he's probably going to be here soon for supper. How about I distract him while you cook?"
Kenshin sighed a little, eyeing the thing… "Of course, Kaoru-dono…"
It wasn't until late that night that Kenshin's curiousity got the best of him, and he found himself slipping into the room with the funny little boxes. The larger box darkly reflected his outline, but had none of the exciting animation of earlier.
Very carefully, Kenshin poked at it with the sheath of his sakabatou. The funny box did nothing. He sighed, relieved... Well, if it wasn't going to be active anymore, then he supposed he really had nothing to worry about...
Just to be on the safe side, Kenshin poked at it one more time. Unfortunately, this time his sheath hit a button and the screen lit up, showing what appeared to be a very loud and frightening snowstorm.
Stifling his frightened yelp, the redhead dove at the box, frantically pushing any buttons he could find to shut the horrible thing up. Finally, a shrinking green line with changing numbers next to it appeared on the box, and the snowstorm grew quieter. When it was nearly silent, the ex-hitokiri breathed a deep sigh of relief, and cautiously looked behind him, half-afraid to see an angry Kaoru standing in the doorway, shinai in hand, ready to deal him a near-fatal blow to the head for interrupting her beauty sleep. To his relief, there was nothing.
The redhead considered for a moment testing other buttons to find the one that turned the snowstorm off, but was a little afraid of making the bad sound return. Carefully, he backed away, instead studying the much smaller, more colorful boxes sitting to the right of the "strange-weather" box.
Curousity once again getting the better of him, Kenshin approached the smaller, safer looking boxes. These were the ones that Kaoru-dono had taken the shiny little disks out of earlier. The disks that made the snow stop and strange drawings of Sano talking in an annoying English voice appear. There were a lot of these boxes, many with stranges drawings of himself with burning eyes or of Sano in oddly passionate poses with random female drawings. Kenshin shook his head and looked away from those.
It was then that his eyes were drawn to a specific box. One with a very different, much more real drawings of himself and a lovely young woman. He stared, transfixed at the picture on the box.
He was lost in the past for a few moments until a terrifying thought came to mind. What if the pictures from this disk told her story? And worse... what if Kaoru had seen it...?
Kenshin sweatdropped, clawing at the case, desperate to get it open and see what it showed. At first he was stumped, surprised to find some kind of clear shiny material surrounding the outside, making it difficult to open. After several minutes of struggling with that (and finally having to slice it with his sakabatou, he was again stumped by some sticky things stuck onto the outside of the box. And then some tabs on the side. By the time Kenshin finally got the thing open, he was starting to wonder if it was worth the effort. Obviously Kaoru hadn't been able to see it yet. There was no real reason to check it out...
Except for Tomoe...
Kenshin's eyebrow twitched at the annoying little voice in his head that kept insisting he think of her. Darn the stupid boxes and their little pictures. He didn't need this stress.
And even though he thought this, he was still taking the disk out and frantically jabbing at buttons to make the strange tray pop out where Kaoru had stored the other disk.
After three or four failed attempeds, Kenshin finally managed to get it open and closed once again, this time encasing the shiny disk.
And moments later a picture of him and her accompanied by some English words and very faint haunting music appeared. But for some reason the pictures wouldn't move for him as they had for Kaoru. Cautiously Kenshin began jabbing buttons again, finally hitting something that made the screen flick on, and the moving pictures appear.
He wasn't too impressed by the fact that he wound up having to watch his shishou immediately save his ass. But at least they were speaking Japanese this time. Even if there were English words appearing and disappearing in front of the pictures. And this time the voice for his picture wasn't nearly as annoying.
Of course the battle with Kiyosota was completely wrong...
Kenshin sat, glaring at the screen.
And what was up with all of the flowers? Sure, she'd smelled like white plums, but why was this thing constantly showing the blossoms everywhere? Even in winter? Didn't these people know that plums don't blossom in the winter?
His mental attack on the pictures dissolved from his mind at the appearance of Tomoe, and he found himself watching the pictures the way a modern man would watch a home video of his wedding. Only this was animated. And subtitled.
And there were all those stupid flowers... (come to think of it, he remembered seeing a box with a picture of him with some kind of branch hanging out of his mouth while he drew his sword. What was up with that?)
He was honestly doing pretty well, watching this somewhat inaccurate reenactment of his past without getting emotionally involved.
Until the mountains. And the ninjas.
And the blood.
Especially when it was hers. And for a moment, Kenshin forgot that he didn't want Kaoru to know about this disk as he let out a shout to warn Tomoe not to get in his way, and drew his blade...
Everything was black.
For a little while there he'd thought he was dead. Until his eyes fluttered open, and he realized he was laying on the dojo floor, his sword at his side.
It was then that he heard a voice, waking him from his haze. "Kenshin!"
Kaoru... The warm feeling her name brought him was immediately drowned out by a feeling of terror. She was in the room. With him. And Tomoe on the box. Kuso! How was he supposed to make her understand something like that? This definately was not the way he'd wanted to introduce Kaoru to the idea of his first wife...
"Kaoru-dono..." he murmured, trying to sit up, and finding that he was more sore than expected. "Kaoru-dono, I can explain... I'm sorry... I..."
But she'd already run to his side and thrown her arms around him. "Oh, Kenshin! Don't worry about it! I'm just glad you're alright! I never dreamed that the box would try to hurt you!"
Kenshin just blinked at her a moment. "Oro?"
Finally, he looked past her at the box... or what remained of it.
The funny box stood smashed in front of them.
He didn't immediately realize that the reason it was smashed was because he'd grown so involved with the moving pictures that he'd made an actual attempt to defend his first love, and the box had decided to defend itself in the process.
Which meant it had been smashed before Kaoru had gotten there.
Which meant she didn't know about Tomoe yet...
He relaxed in her arms. "That box was a dangerous thing, that it was," he murmured into her hair, appreciating the very solid girl in his arms far more than the flashing picture. "But it's alright now. I'll protect you..."
And Kaoru smiled, so caught up in his surprising hug that she never even noticed the small box beside him with the picture of her love with his arms around a very beautiful, very unfamiliar girl.
Author's Note: Given the fact that Shirou Shinjin already did such a marvelous job adding to this fic with his Oro! Kenshin and the Washing Machine (which honestly was what I had been thinking of for a second chapter), I decided to try a different approach. I certainly had no chance at matching his EXCELLENT take on that plotline, and certainly felt no need to compete. So, I hope you enjoy this diversion from the world of sanity.
Thanks for reading. Please review, even if it IS terribly stupid.