Disclaimer: I do not own Rurouni Kenshin. I simply enjoy kidnapping the characters to amuse myself periodically.
Author's note: Okita is also a main character in the fic, along with Kenshin and Hiko. Many other characters make an appearance.
Brown eyes narrowed in concentration as they swept across the room for the fifth time.
This wasn't working at all.
Okita Souji shook his head slightly in resignation as he nudged a ball that had landed at his feet back to its owner, who grabbed it and returned right back to his game without even acknowledging the favor.
He would have never guessed that finding the perfect child in a building jammed full of children would be so difficult! He should have never agreed to this. No, come to think of it, he should have never suggested this in the first place!
It wasn't that he himself couldn't put up with one of these children. But if he brought one of these ill-mannered munchkins back with him...
He'd be kicked out so fast his head would surely spin.
Spinning around abruptly, he went back to the orphanage's main office. The lady looked up with a smile when he entered, then quickly replaced it with a sympathetic frown. "Couldn't find even one, Okita-san?"
"No," Okita gave her an apologetic grin. "I'm sorry. But my employer would never approve."
The lady, Honda-san, grinned back. "No need to apologize, Okita-san. Picking a child to live with is never easy, even if it's only for a month. What exactly did you have in mind? Perhaps I can help."
The young man blinked, realizing that he had never thought about exactly what kind of child he would like. He'd just assumed that he'd know when he saw it. Scratching the back on his head in a habitual gesture, he said thoughtfully, "Well, I suppose...a child that's old enough to have some common sense, obedient, well-mannered...bright enough..."
"And being cute would be a nice bonus, ne?"
"Aa, that would be a nice bonus indeed," Okita could only offered her a sheepish grin. "I know I'm asking so much of you, Honda-san…"
"Not at all, Okita-san! Well, I may have a child for you, but I must warn you, no child is perfect. You'll have to take the good with the bad."
"You put it that way, and now I'm scared to meet the kid."
Honda-san chuckled. "Please, this way."
She led him from the office and they traveled down a dimly lit hallway. Presently, they arrived in front of a wooden door, which Honda-san pushed back gently. One look inside and Okita realized it was a small library, stuffed with old, moldy, donated books that probably hadn't seen the light of day in years. The lighting in the room was very weak, giving the place a foreboding hue. Okita did not understand why in the world they were here.
"Honda-san?" he asked, his uncertainty plain in his voice. "Why…?"
"Shh, a moment please, Okita-san."
Okita quieted, and watch with interest as she began picking her way through the small, cluttered room, looking carefully behind battered stuffed chairs, between dusty pillows, and behind molding bookshelves. She moved quietly, as one would when searching for a rare, wild animal.
At lenght, she paused. Glancing back at Okita with a small, reassuring smile, she beckoned him forward. The man obeyed silently, and, upon coming to a stop beside her, he looked down at her find.
There, curled up against a patched and faded pillow was a small child. It was a boy, Okita realized, though he certainly looked very much like a girl. The child was clutching a book in one hand, apparently having been reading before they'd interrupted him. Raising his eyes to the child's face, Okita found himself lost in a pair of wide, bright, amethyst eyes. It lasted only a second, because the little boy quickly tore his gaze away and looked down. But it had been enough: Okita had found enough pain and fear in those otherwise innocent eyes to make him wonder what this little soul had been though.
He felt a touch on his shoulder, and realized Honda-san was trying to get his attention. She patted him twice on the shoulder, offered an encouraging smile, and quietly exited, leaving him alone in the little library with the bright-eyed child.
Uncertain as to where he should even begin to approach this situation, Okita hesitantly lowered himself onto his knees, sitting back on his heels so that he was on eye-level with the boy. It was apparent that he would have to make the first move. The child seemed to be trying very hard to pretend the man was not there.
"Hello," Okita offered, with what he hoped was a reassuring smile on his face. "What's your name, little one?"
The boy glanced up, doubt clearing showing in his expression, mixing in with youthful, innocent curiosity. Okita had the feeling the boy did not want to doubt him at all; his young soul seemed to be reaching out for a comforting hand.
"I'm Okita Souji," the man continued brightly, maintaining a light atmosphere, striving to make the boy as comfortable as possible. "I'm twenty-six. What about you?"
Okita's disarming smile and soft, gentle voice was doing quiet a good job of putting the boy at ease. After only a brief pause, the child held up six chubby fingers in response to the man's last question.
"Six, eh? You're getting to be a big boy!" Okita grinned. "What are you reading there?"
Excitement sparked into the child's eyes at the question; in an orphanage with so many children demanding attention, the shy little child often got overlooked. Now someone seemed interested in him, and his innate nature told him to press his advantage. Still, there was a seed of weariness of strangers implanted in his young heart, not allowing him to be as open as children of his age were prone to be. Instead of speaking, he held out the book, cover up. Okita was impressed when he read Shiloh on the cover.
"That is a good book, isn't it? Do you like dogs?"
The boy nodded, a smile dancing onto his features. It immediately lit up his little face, and Okita instantly decided that a smile fitted him much better than the hesitant expression he had on earlier. He told the boy as much, causing soft cheeks to flush faintly. The beautiful smile did not leave, and the boy seemed to inch closer to this good-natured man.
"Do you like to be read to?"
This question surprised the boy so much he could only stare for a few seconds, before timidly nodding affirmative.
Grinning, Okita scooped the child up into his lap, and he had settled with his back resting against the wall before the boy had a chance to realize what he was doing. He picked up the book, left open at chapter six, and began to read.
Not long after, the child began to relax, and cuddled up against him, his red hair tickling the man's chin. Violet eyes became half-lidded in contentment as Okita's voice rose and fell with the words.
It was a good twenty minutes later when Okita set the book back down. The boy looked up at him questioningly, disappointedly, wondering if it was time for this kind man to leave. He would certainly be very sad if it was.
Instead, Okita began to speak to him, his voice still very soft and gentle as it had been in the beginning. "You know, I work for a company. A big corporation. Do you know what those are?"
Confused but willing to answer, the child nodded.
"It's approaching the holiday season. And we were wondering, would you like to spend a month living at the house of the owner of this company?"
Disbelief instantly washed over the child's features. The boy could not believe his ears, and it showed plainly in his expression. It was so comical and excessively cute, Okita could not hold back a laugh.
"You will have a great time. The house is huge, completed with a great big backyard, your own room, and some of Japan's finest cooks. And," he tweaked the boy's nose, "you may have someone read to you as often as you want."
The boy cocked his head thoughtfully, a slight, adorable frown appearing as he thought about the proposal. After seemingly careful deliberation, he reached up to put a small hand on the man's chest.
Okita blinked in surprise: it was the first word the boy had spoken. He could tell the child didn't talk often, the voice was very soft and a bit rusty from lack of use.
"Aa…I will be there too. Is that what you wanted to know?"
The child nodded, then nodded again, now holding a small hand out to him. Okita beamed, wrapping it in his own, much bigger one. "You want to come?"
The man's eyes softened, and he brushed his free hand down the child's cheek.
"What is your name, little one?"
The boy answered without a second's pause.
The boy was undeniably shocked and awed.
Okita bit back a laugh, watching Shinta hide behind his legs, clinging to his jeans as though they were a lifeline, peeking out with wide, disbelieving eyes.
Frankly, he was surprised by how easily he'd gained the child's trust. Children who had gone through trauma – and there was no question in his mind that this boy had – were usually very weary of strangers. But Shinta had taken to him after ten minutes. As soon as he sensed Okita was no threat, he followed the man willingly, though he was still very conserved and rather timid.
He has a trusting nature, Okita mused. Despite what he's had to go through, he trusts easily.
"What do you think, Shinta-chan?" Okita asked cheerfully, ruffling the loose, scruffy, orange-red hair.
"B-b-big," Shinta whispered. Okita had come to the conclusion that the quiet little boy was still uncomfortable with speaking at normal volume. All his words so far had been rare, simple, mostly monosyllabic, and very soft. He hoped it was a habit that would be soon gotten rid of.
Grinning at Shinta's still thunderstruck expression, Okita remarked, "It is, isn't it? Welcome to your home for the next month!" Shinta nodded numbly, still comprehending the fact that in one day, he had gone from living in an orphanage to living in the largest – not to mention only – mansion he had ever set eyes upon in his short life.
"This is Hiko-kun's home and office. He runs the company from here, as he refuses to travel among throngs of people everyday. He sold the company's old office building," Okita explained as he led the child down the stone paved path splitting the lush green front lawn that led towards the grand double doors leading to the inside of the house. "Right now, let's take you to meet Hiko-kun in person. Stick close, kid. You're so small, you'll probably get lost if you wander off."
He hadn't meant to scare the boy, but he succeeded anyway. Shinta's eyes widened even more, though Okita hadn't though it possible. Tiny fists clenched his guardian's pants so hard they turned white. At this, Okita could only chuckle, and turned to give the boy a brief, one-armed hug. "Don't you worry, I was only kidding. Now, let me tell you: Hiko-kun may seem rude and insufferable, but he's a good man somewhere deep down inside, so don't let him fool you, alright?"
Shinta nodded again agreeably. Okita smiled broadly, and led the child inside.
Hiko Seijūrō was not a happy camper.
Damn those businesses people! Damn his good-for-nothing board members, damn those sleazy politicians! Damn them all! Dumping all their shit on him after whining enough to rot his ears, expecting him to play peacemaker and miracle worker – just DAMN!
He may be a suave, good-looking, twenty-four-year-old genius, but that did not make him immune to headaches and bad moods. If anything, being such a prodigy made him more prone to disgruntled behavior.
As it was, it was not a happy CEO who answered the knock on his door. Well, 'answered' may be a stretch. In reality, all he did was holler, "If it involves negotiating with imbeciles and even more paper work, turn around before I shoot you!" For emphasis, he flung a nearby binder – one of hundreds in his office – at the door with all his strength, which was saying a lot, seeing as how he was almost seven foot tall and built with nothing but pure muscles and bones.
"Maa, maa, Hiko-kun, clam down. It's only me," a familiar voice floated through the polished wooden door, which opened a second later to reveal a young-looking man with black hair tied back in a high ponytail and twinkling brown eyes.
Hiko groaned in relief when he recognized his savior angel. Some days, the overly perky and enthusiastic Okita could be annoying to no end. But on days such as these, he was awfully glad his father had hired the older man. After all, all the work that needed to be done looked much less intimidating when tackled with two geniuses instead of one, though he would never admit that out loud, even if the world were to end – especially if the man in question was anywhere within five miles of hearing distance.
"Okita, it's about time. Where have you been all morning? You know I hate dealing with idiots," Hiko growled, glaring. Used to his behavior after so many years of working together, Okita only grinned, oblivious to the fact that any sane man would have bolted at the sight of an irate Hiko Seijūrō.
"Maa, Hiko-kun. You know perfectly well what I've been doing. Now wipe that scowl off your face before it freezes," Okita admonished cheerfully, flapping a hand airily at him.
Insulted at being treated like a sulky five-year-old, Hiko's scowl only deepened menacingly.
"My, Hiko-chan! It can't be good for you to be so worked up all the time. Loosen up! Live a little!" Okita flashed the disgruntled man his most brilliant and charming smile, flinging his arms out for emphasis.
Hiko was not in the mood. He would kill whoever had given Okita sugar that morning. Okita was naturally too bouncy for his own good, and for the sanity of the people around him, no sugary enhancements were necessary.
"What. Do. You. Want?" the CEO snarled through clenched jaws, speaking in short, choppy sentences, all the while reminding himself that he needed a live Okita, no matter how tempting it was to simply shoot the infuriating man. He would be no use dead.
"I'm here to introduce you to your new housemate for the next month." Without waiting for a response, Okita stepped sideways and reached back to prompt forward the small figure that had been hiding behind him, unnoticed.
For the first time in years, Hiko was stunned speechless. He had completely forgotten the child Okita was supposed to be bringing back. Truth be told, he hadn't been too enthusiastic about the idea, but Okita had insisted, and he had to admit it would be very good for the company's image. Besides, he wouldn't have to deal with the kid. That's what maids were for.
All these thoughts, however, fled from his mind when he found himself staring at the sweetest, most heartbreaking face he had ever seen. Peering back at him were clear, violet eyes, so deep and knowing, yet telling of innocence and willingness to trust that went beyond natural youthful protocols, tainted by wariness implanted by the ruthless nature of the world. Loose, flame red hair framed the soft, delicate face, tumbling liberally down to brush skinny shoulders. A midnight blue sweatshirt three sizes too big enfolded the tiny boy, accenting pale skin, and ending to reveal baggy, faded pants that pooled to the floor, hiding the shoes he must have worn.
Hiko had not known that such beauty and spirit existed in all the world. From deep inside, he felt flaring up an age old instinct to protect this precious child from all that raged around him. That was unusual in itself. Nothing had ever evoked such feelings in him before.
"This is Shinta," Okita announced. "Six years old. A bit shy, but intelligent, obedient, and the cutest in Japan. What do you think?"
"Shinta," Hiko repeated, rolling the name off his tongue, tasting it. It fit the child perfectly. But at the same time, he knew such a soft name would only add to his troubles. The world would not take pity on him and help him up when he fell down. No, it would pick him out and crush him first. 'Shinta' wouldn't do at all. To protect this boy, someone would need to provide him with the strength to protect himself.
"Come here, boy," he commanded in a low voice. After only the lightest pause, Shinta walked forward and faced the man, watching with a clashing mixture of weariness and naive curiosity.
His soul wants to believe in people. What I wouldn't do to keep him that way forever. What I wouldn't do to blind him from the world. To preserve the spirit that Shinta is.
Is that selfish? Perhaps so.
…and yet, nothing has ever seemed more reasonable and dangerous all at once.
Someone has to hand the boy a sword and teach him how to wield it in self defense. But truly, the one to place such a weapon in the hands of such innocence would perhaps be considered the worst murderer of all.
To keep his very soul from being shredded completely, someone would have to change his very being, and instill in purity the seed of doubt and caution.
Reaching forward, Hiko ran a finger down one soft cheek, and tilted the boy's chin up ever so slightly. How he wanted to erase the stain of darkness in those crystal orbs.
"Shinta is too soft a name for a child like you," he whispered, knowing what needed to be done, and hating himself for it. "From now on, you are to be known as 'Kenshin'."
The boy's eyes widened in surprise. Then he blinked, and nodded seriously, showing he understood, accepting his new title.
Will you hate me later, child? Hate me for taking away the last tie to your childhood? Hate me for taking the first steps towards giving you the harsh lessons you will need to make you a man who can hold his own? You are a sheep among wolves. Will you hate me for helping in dressing you up in wolf's clothing?
Will you hate me for taking away the lamb that was Shinta?
Even if you do…
Better to hate me, whom you will leave in a short while, than be plowed over by the wrath of those you must live among.
For the first time in a long time, Hiko Seijūrō smiled.
The newly named Kenshin was feeling very overwhelmed.
There were only so many surprises a six-year-old could take in a certain period of time, and this day was seriously taxing his limit.
Everything was so big here! Majestic, grand, elegant, and spotless. Kenshin felt as if merely touching anything would somehow ruin it, and so he kept his hands to himself, limiting himself to his other four senses. Yes, four. The moment he had been introduced to the head cooks, unnervingly identical twins named Tae and Sae, they had declared him the new object of their affections ("He is the most KAWAII little thing I've ever seen!") and proceeded to feed him the most delicious cakes, cookies, and candies he had ever tasted. As a result, his stomach, not used to so much food, had felt cramped for an hour afterwards. It was worth it though. He had never had such a feast in his life.
Okita-san had needed to help Hiko-san with work, he said, and so had left him in the care of a young lady named Omasu. Omasu-san was very nice, and first took him to show him his new room, where he had fifteen minutes of thrill on his new 'trampoline' – the king-sized bed – before she towed him off to the attached bathroom and stuck him in the 'pool' (the bathtub) for a bubble bath. As she busied herself, scrubbing away (all the while muttering about how anyone could let children get into such filthy condition) he sat making little bubble-animals that, sadly, popped before any of them could meet their friends.
After dressing the child in a navy blue t-shirt, a magenta windbreaker, and gray sweatpants, Omasu handed him a pair of zori and allowed him to work off his newfound energy in the forest they called a backyard, calling the reluctant child back only when she deemed it too windy for him to stay out any longer. She then turned him loose after confining him to the mansion's interior.
Soon, Kenshin's wide eyes ached from incessant staring, and he wandered from room to room, marveling at the different discoveries around every corner. So wrapped up in awe was he that he did not realized just how tired and worn out he really was, until it was far too late, and his still-clumsy young body simply staggered backwards.
It took a moment for his brain to catch up with him, and thus, by the time he grasped what was happening, the whole thing was already over, and he found himself sitting on the polished wooden floor, his bottom aching from the unscheduled impact, accompanied by a stone statue, the upturned wooden stand it had been resting on, as well as the glinting fragments of what had been a set of glass figurines.
Horror flooded his veins as it dawned on him that he was reason the glass was no longer in one recognizable piece. Guilt immediately started gnawing at his tender heart, screaming things along the lines of, "how could you! Hiko-san entrusted you into his home, and you go and break things on your first day! You're so clumsy, always messing everything up! You're pathetic. Baka, baka, baka!" So it was really no surprise that salty tears instantly flooded his eyes and promptly spilled over.
Out of pure desperation, the boy grasped at the pieces, not even flinching when the sharp, thin edges bit into soft, tender flesh, and attempted to place them back together with trembling fingers. Frustrated, he angrily swiped away from stinging eyes the tears that were blurring up his vision, biting his lip in concentration as he focused on returning the shattered pieces to their rightful places. In his naïve, childish mind formed the firm conviction that if only he could put the figurine together again, the broken pieces would somehow reseal themselves.
But the pieces wouldn't come together, and some had been reduce to powder by the force of the crash. Still, resolutely, he soldiered on, fitting piece after piece. He was the one who had broken it. So therefore, he must also have the power to make things right again. He couldn't make Hiko-san disappointed and regret ever letting him into the home. Gradually, every single piece of glass became tainted with the reddish hue of coppery blood, shed by the little boy who picked them up over and over again in his stubborn refusal to let the pain force him to give up. The tears would not cease to flow, and he blinked them away, occasionally drying his eyes on his sleeve. His cheeks became stained and itchy, his eyes flushed red from crying.
That was how Omasu found him later, working on the razor-sharp pieces of glass, still shedding tears that dripped into his hands, the salty liquid mixing with the coppery blood. Her begs for him to stop fell on deaf ears, and he twisted away from her attempts at forcing him to drop the glass he held. This was his responsibility. He would do his duty. His would make Hiko-san know that he wasn't altogether a bad boy, that he was at least somewhat worthy of living in this magnificent palace.
His heart fell when Omasu hurriedly left, and he became convinced that she would report of Hiko-san what exactly he had done, and how he could not fix it, despite his best efforts. Then Hiko-san would look at him in disappointment, sorry he'd ever taken in such a clumsy child. And he would tell Okita-san to take him back to the orphanage to exchange him for a better one. It was not the return to the orphanage he dreaded so much as the disappointment and regret he would surely see in Hiko-san's eyes. He worked faster, and the glass bit deeper. He needed to finish before Hiko-san arrived!
And then the unthinkable happened. In moving to try and uncover any hidden pieces around that he might have overlooked, he forgot about the fallen statue behind him, and so with another crash, he went tumbling backwards – again – this time cracking his head on the wooden floor. Dislodged from its resting place, the statue skidded forward, and smashed right into what remained of the figurines he had been putting back together.
His young mind went into shock. Stunned violet eyes stared uncomprehendingly at the statue – once again laying still, its unblinking eyes looking at him blankly, innocently. As though they had a will of their own, his legs pushed him off the floor, and he walked over in a detached state, as though in a dream, until he was staring down at the completely powered remnants of what had once been glass, scattered in disarray.
Reality came crashing down, and drove him to his knees. Without warning, the tears, which had been subsiding, came back full force, and with a vengeance. Clenching the last piece of glass, which had survived due to the fact that he had been holding it in his tiny fists before disaster struck, he finally gave up, and curled up into a tiny ball, sobbing. Hiko-san would never let him stay now.
Footsteps sounded behind him, and a hand came to touch his back gently, brushing away the loose hair around his shoulders. "Kenshin?" It was a soft, male voice, and it was very gentle. Okita-san. He shrank further into himself in his shame. "G-gomennasai, Okita-san, I really didn't mean it! I mean – that is – it wasn't on purpose, it wasn't! I'm sorry, I'm sorry. I know I'm a bad boy. Gomennasai!" he all but wailed, trembling like a leaf in autumn.
There was silence, and Kenshin flinched despite himself. Okita-san must be so sorry he picked this boy. So sorry that he wasn't even speaking to him anymore. The silence stretch out, and Kenshin fidgeted, waiting for a response, a reproach, that did not come. When he could take the suspense no more, he asked timidly, "Are you…are you gonna take me back?"
There was an almost inaudible sigh, followed by a deep, rumbling voice. "Do you want to go back?"
Startled, Kenshin looked up, his heart jumping when he realized that it wasn't Okita-san, but Hiko-san behind him.
"H-Hiko-san, gomennasai! I really, really didn't mean to!" he gasped, panicking again.
Hiko mentally groaned, wishing now that he hadn't let Okita go off for the bandages. He did not like to deal with children. In fact, they rather scared him, though this may have had something to do with the fact that he had no experience whatsoever in that area. He could take on the greatest snob and conman in the business world without batting an eyelid, but give him a kid, especially a worked-up one at that, and watch him back away cringing. His mind worked furiously, trying to provide him with a way to get this boy to stop kicking himself over something so trivial.
Given the pressing issue of time, Hiko could only come up with one single solution. And having no choice, he decided it was his best shot. Anything to make the boy stop sniveling! Double checking that no one was nearby, he reached over and pulled Kenshin into his lap, wrapping strong, but uncertain and inexperienced arms around the frail body, all the while reminding himself that as long as no one saw, it would not get out that Hiko Seijūrō had a heart.
"Kenshin, hush. No more crying. I asked you, do you want to go back?"
Kenshin had not been held like this, so warmly, so securely, since so very long ago. His young body immediately responded, relaxing, melting into the embrace, the tension fleeing from his muscles, the tears ceasing in their flow, and the troubles unconsciously, subtly, withdrawing from his mind. Aware the Hiko-san was awaiting an response, he gave a completely honest answer, hiding nothing.
Hiko looked down thoughtfully at the child in his arms. "Then why would I send you back?"
"Because," he hesitated for a second, "because, I broke – I broke those." He gestured to the remains of the figurines.
"Not on purpose, I gather," Hiko replied dryly, recalling what Kenshin had been rattling off earlier. The boy nodded in agreement, watery eyes gazing at him hopefully.
"I won't punish you for that, Kenshin, you didn't mean it. You said so yourself. Everyone makes mistakes. If you did it intentionally, I would punish you. But not for an accident. Do you understand?" Hiko turned a firm gaze on the boy. He had to understand this.
Kenshin nodded again. "I am very sorry," he repeated softly, sniffling.
"I know. You told me. Multiple times," Hiko replied. A large, calloused, but gentle hand reached out to cradle a small fist that still held on to the shard of broken glass. Hiko's eyes grew somber and clouded as he examined the many thin lines of red liquid seeping out of the soft, punctured skin of the child's hands. It was worse than he had thought.
"Baka, why didn't you just leave the glass alone? Doesn't it hurt?" the man asked incredulously.
"I…I thought, if I put it back together, it would be alright. I only wanted to make things good again," Kenshin explained in youthful honestly and simplicity, as if that was the most reasonable thing anyone could have done.
"Baka!" Hiko moaned, resisting the urge – once again – to slap his forehead. "Once glass is broken, it can't be whole again until someone melts it back down to liquid. And no, before you asked, we are not going to do that! I have more than enough of these ridiculous china dolls in this place, anyway. I'm not going to miss these. And next time you break something, tell someone. Don't mutilate yourself trying to piece it together again!" Hiko couldn't believe this kid. Any sane child would have stopped trying once they got hurt. But no, this one goes and cuts himself ten times over trying to make things whole. Hiko was both highly impressed and very exasperated.
"Let's just get you cleaned up," the man sighed again, carrying the boy out after making him drop the piece of glass he seemed to want to hold on to forever – though for what purpose, Hiko could not fathom. Gut instinct told him he was going to be in for one heck of a time with this bright spirited and, it would seem, stubborn little boy.
Baka: Idiot, fool
-chan: Honorific. Can be used either as a diminutive (as in with a small child), or with those who are grown, to indicate affection
Gomennasai: "I am sorry"
Hiko Seijūrō: The young, twenty-four years old millionaire and CEO of a giant corporation. At the urgings of his advisor, Okita, he decides to take in an orphaned child for the holidays. He's a loner at heart, and had no intentions of taking over the company. He was forced into the position when his father, the previous CEO, passed away.
Kenshin/Shinta: The child Okita chose to spend the holidays at Hiko's mansion. He's six years old, small for his age, and (at least in Hiko's opinion) way too innocent for his own good. His original name was Shinta, until Hiko renamed him during their first meeting. 'Kenshin' means 'heart of the sword', with 'ken' being 'sword' and 'shin' meaning 'heart'.
-kun: Honorific. Used in modern day Japan among male students, or those who grew up together. Another usage is the "superior to inferior" form, intended to emphasize difference in status or rank, as well as to indicate familiarity or affection.
Okita Souji: The very bouncy, very energetic, and very enthusiastic advisor/assistant CEO to Hiko. He was hired by Hiko's father, and has known Hiko for a long time. He's twenty-six and has a brilliant mind.
-san: Honorific. The English equivalents would be "Mr.," "Mrs.," or "Miss," but it is used more extensively in Japanese. (Note: even an enemy may be addressed as "-san")
Note: Source used for some of the above definitions is the glossary in the back of Rurouni Kenshin vol. 9
Well, that's chapter one. Kinda...sappy? Well, please review. Any comment is helpful and much, much appreciated. Thanks!