Written: October 3—28, 2005

29 October 2005, rev. 0
23 March 2008, Rev. 1, restored punctuation.

Category: Drama.
Summary: Hiko discovers that even solitary dragons are not immune to the tender appeal of a child. First in the Adoption series of loosely connected fictions examining how Hiko went about raising Kenshin.
Disclaimer: The characters and story of Rurouni Kenshin are the property of Nobuhiro Watsuki, Shonen Jump, et al. Used without permission. This work is for entertainment only, and no profit is intended

Adoption I. Newborn

New fathers speak of new eyes, into which old souls fall endlessly. But these eyes were old and sorrowed, in a petal soft face. An old soul sought its chance for redemption through Shinta's eyes. In a timeless breath, Hiko's ki shook off the carefully held wraps of cynicism and arrogance, and its great pale of dragon's fire roared into life around the boy.

Old eyes—so innocent.
Great heart—to love even the ones who destroyed his own.
Little. Sweet. Helpless. Holding the dragon's own fire.

Now he was Hiko's. Hiko's to shelter, Hiko's to love, Hiko's to train, Hiko's to temper. Hiko's own spirit, a hot tiny flame in a solemn little face from someone else.

The newborn dragon's spirit rose from the cradle of the 13th dragon's fire.