By Shirou Shinjin.
Disclaimer: I have not, do not, and most likely will never own Rurouni Kenshin, or its characters. They belong to various evil corporations, and the wonderful Watsuki-sama. I'm just going to borrow them for a bit, k?
He slowly swirled the sake around in the dish, almost entranced by the shimmering patterns it made in the light. It looked like a pond. A very, very small pond. Maybe it had koi in it. He didn't like koi very much. If it was a pond, then that meant there was a lot of sake in it, since ponds were usually very large. And that much sake shouldn't go to waste. So he drank it.
He put his hand back down, and wondered where that third sake dish in his hand had come from—he could have sworn there were only two a minute ago.
He also realised that he was kinda thirsty. Maybe if he wasn't thirsty, the third koi pond would go away and he could drink the other ones in peace. So he poured more sake into each of the ponds (only spilling quite a lot), and drank that too.
'What a strange thing for a koi pond to say', he thought through the massive alcohol-induced haze that was presently wrapped around his brain.
There it was again. It was almost as if the koi ponds were drunk! Wait... what koi ponds?
He looked up, and he saw a big, tall blur standing over him.
"Hic," It hiccuped at him.
"You're drunk," he stated, somewhat blearily.
"Lies," the blur replied, before half sitting, half collapsing on the mat across from him. "What's a short guy like you doing out so late drinking?" it enquired of him.
"I'm being miserable," he resolutely stated. "At least, I think I am. I can't quite remember if I was miserable or just sleepy."
Both the blurs just stared at him.
"I don't like my job," he finally admitted, somewhat weakly, picking at the grain in the table.
The blur snorted. "Tell me about it," his new friend replied.
"Yeah. Day in, day out... same thing over and over," Mr. Friendly Blur grumbled.
"That's no good. You want some sake? I'm not sure if it's any good—I can't remember how much I've had."
"Oh, alright." He poured his companion a rather large amount of sake, then some for himself.
"Well, I bet my job's worse that yours," he said as he sculled his drink.
"I doubt it. My job's pretty lousy," the blur challenged.
"Alright, get this..." he said, leaning over conspiratorially. "I have to kill people." With that, he leant back and nodded sagely.
"That's a coincidence—me too!" the blur exclaimed.
"Really? Hey, where'd my drink go?" he said, looking at the suspiciously empty sake dishes. It was as if someone had gone and drunk all the sake!
"Dunno—mine's run off as well. Best pour some more, I guess."
"Yeah, well..." he began as he tried to figure out which end of the jug the sake came out of. "I bet I've killed more."
"Ok; today, I killed..." he had to have a think about this. "Fourteen people."
The group of blurs across from him looked surprised. At least, he thought they looked surprised.
"Not bad. See, I only got... hic... three today, but it's been a slow day and all..."
He nodded, knowing those kinds of days. "Don't get enough of those."
Silence descended on the small group of people, as the number of sake saucers they each held gradually increased to a somewhat silly five a piece. The koi ponds hadn't come back yet.
"So... you married?" he asked one of the more alert looking blurs.
"Nooooo... well, there is... nah..." friendly blur #2 replied bashfully.
"Oh come on, tell me!" he cajoled, sensing weakness. "How long have we known each other?"
"I... can't remember..." his companion admitted sheepishly.
"Must be a long time, then!"
"Guess so. Well... she's... well, she's... not my wife... not yet anyway..."
"Uh-huh... so haven't proposed then, yet?"
"No, well... it's kinda hard to, uh... you know... find romantic time in the middle of a war..." the blur said, as it tried running it's finger around the sake dish, and managing to spill its entire contents in the process. "Especially when you go around stabbing people all day."
He reached out and gave the closest blur a reassuring pat on the arm. "You'll find a way."
"Yeah, I hope so..." the blur said as a stupid grin broke out on his face.
"So... is she nice?" he asked hopefully.
"Hehe, oh yeah. Hic."
"Ooh. Have you, uh... you know..."
"You know..." he leant over closer, eyes blearily looking for eavesdroppers. "Kissed her?"
The blur started giggling to himself. "Yeah... a couple'a times..."
They just sat there and sniggered and giggled to themselves for a while.
"How about you; you married?" the blur asked him.
"Well, I was... for a few months."
"Oh... what happened?"
"She died," he admitted sadly.
"Oh... I'm really sorry to hear that," several blurs said, with a piteous expression on their faces. "Hic."
"Yeah... I miss her."
It was the blur's turn to give him a reassuring pat on the arm. "Wanna talk about it? How'd it happen?"
"I stabbed her."
"Ooh," blurry person replied. "I mean, I'm all for stabbing, hic, but don't you think that's just a little bit harsh?"
Tears welled up in his eyes. "I didn't mean to kill her... it was an..." sniffle, "...accident..."
The leftmost blur could tell he was clearly upset about it, so he put a hand on his shoulder and said, "tell me about it—go on, get it out of your system."
"Well," sniffle, "they'd taken her."
"Umm... them they. The ones I don't like," he added helpfully.
"Aah, that they. I hate those guys. Hic. Sometimes I just feel like stabbing them through the," the blur shook his head for a second, then seemed to calm down. "Sorry about that... drinking gets me a bit agitated... go on."
"That's ok," he replied. "Anyway, they were hiding her in this forest, see?"
"And, and... first they blinded me with this big boooosshhh! thingy that went boom! and then I couldn't see!"
"Those bastards," the blur added, his fist flexing near his katana subconsciously.
"Yeah, and then they... uh... what's the word for not being able to hear?"
"Yeah, that. They made me not-hearing with another boooosshhh! thing. So I wasn't feeling to good around then."
"I can imagine. Hic."
"Anyway, I'm also bleeding all over the place and, ooh! The worst bit... this place they had her in, it kinda messed up all my senses... you know... like ki sensing?"
"Oh yeah," the blur said, nodding. "I know that one."
"Oh good. Some people just think I'm nuts. Or drunk."
They had a good laugh at that. Them, drunk? Ha! "Hic."
"Anyway, I'm down to the last guy..."
"Oooh." The blur was looking forward to some good stabbing action in the story.
"...and he says all this stuff, that I can't hear because I'm not-hearing. Dumb guy."
"So then, I wants to make sure she's alright... I don't really mind if I have to die," he fell silent for a moment. "She was so much nicer than I was... I didn't want her to die."
His friend squeezed his shoulder. "Hic."
"So I rushed him, but..." and then he broke down into semi-hysterical drunken sobbing. "But she rushed out between us, and I hit her instead!" His friend could see he was very upset by this, so pulled him into a nice hug.
"There, there; it's alright," his blurry confidant said, patting his back.
"No," sniffle, "it's not! The worst part... is that as I held her, dying in my arms... she looks up at me and smiles!"
"Well, that's not bad."
"Yes it is! I mean, if she'd hated me, then I coulda lopped my head off or something. Instead she smiles at me and tells me to live." He looked down at his hands. "She gave her life up for me," he concluded sadly.
His friend sighed. "She must have loved you very much."
"I guess." He had managed to get his uncontrollable sobbing down to the odd sniffle by now, and he gave his fuzzily-defined friend a pat on the back.
"Thanks for that."
Silence once more descended on the pair.
"So... hic. Did you stab him?"
"The him that you were trying to stab," the blur said before adding a wild stabbing action for emphasis.
He had to have a think about this. "I'm not sure... I think she did... she had her sharp pointy pocket thingy with her. It was kinda stuck in his chest when he fell over."
The blur nodded sadly... any woman willing to go stabbity would obviously have been a keeper... except for the whole being dead thing.
At that moment, two voices interrupted the conversation.
"There you are!"
"Damnit, I've been looking for you!"
The now bestest-buddies-in-the-whole-wide-world looked up through the haze at the new, kinda wobbly people above them. Oddly, the two new people seemed to be uncomfortable about something, throwing furtive glances at each other. Then, recognition set it.
"Hey, it's my buddy... uh... wait, I'll get it in a second..." his friend started, snapping his fingers. "Hic. Sou! It's Sou-kun!"
Sou-kun smiled at this. "Yes, yes. Sou-kun is here to take you home. Come on, now; you've had a long day."
He had to smile at that—they were obviously good friends. "Well, this is my buddy Matsuo... at least, I think it is. Isn't it?"
"Yeah, yeah; it's me. Come on, we have to get you back before someone starts worrying."
He pouted as he was hauled up from the mat. "I don't have to kill someone in the morning, do I?" he asked, somewhat meekly.
Matsuo coughed uncomfortably. "Uhh... not that I know of."
"Oh good. I hate doing that."
"I know how you feel. Hic."
"Thanks for listening—you're a good friend."
"Yeah, you too. Take care; and don't let them push you around! And if I run into those bastards, I'll be sure to give them a good stab for you."
"Thanks; bye," he waved a little unsteadily as they made their way in opposite directions away from the bar.
"There you go, Himura. Isn't that better—back in your nice comfy futon?"
"Mmm..." he murmured, as he promptly fell asleep.
"Great kami in the sky..." Matsuo mumbled as he shook his head, and left Kenshin to sleep off his severe case of alcohol poisoning. He had decided against telling anyone about his drinking buddy. After all, he reasoned, Himura wouldn't remember in the morning, so why ruin things for him?
"Hic. Poor kid," the drunken man mumbled to his friend as he staggered down the street. "Fifteen he was. And they had him killing people! Those bastards."
"And then he has people come after his wife! I mean, that's just low... low... dirty... underhanded... uh, low."
"Yes, yes. Very low."
"Those bastard bakufu. Hic. I oughta stab them through the..."
"Uhh, Saito-san, we're bakufu."
"Are we?" Saito asked, before looking down at his three shoes. "Oh. Well, I feel like a total heel now."
"Now, now," Okita said, patting his back. "You weren't there, and you didn't even know about it! I'm sure you would have been far more honourable had you been there, hmm?"
"I suppose so. Still... poor kid. Stupid war."
"Yeah, stupid war."
They continued staggering along in silence for a while.
"Yes?" Okita sighed.
"Why can't we all just get along?"
Okita smiled. "That's a good question, Saito-san."
"That would be much better."
"That," Okita concluded, "is something I think we can all agree on."
I can't really remember where this one came from. I suspect it was inspired by Rurouni Confessions by Maeniel. I just find the mental picture of Kenshin the clingy drunk and Saito the mildly psychotic drunk being bestest buddies hilarious.
Regarding Saito, Author-chan tells me that Saito was known to have been a "different person" when he was drunk (in addition to the wanting to kill people thing). So if he's absolutely and utterly smashed, then who knows what he could be like?
Also, my favourite line of the whole piece has to be:
"...and he says all this stuff, that I can't hear because I'm not-hearing. Dumb guy."
Seriously. Preaching to someone you've deliberately deafened is just... well... really, really stupid.
Ah well. Hope you enjoyed this little bout of insanity.
Until next time,
24th April, 2006
To Author-chan and SiriusFan13 for assuring me that this wasn't complete rubbish.