The Himura Family

Chapter 4

Bath's and Vows

Ok, I'm suddenly on a role, and to Ken-nii B I'm trying to do that but its hard to remember the episodes because its been a few years since it was on, I'll have to go to YouTube and look them up, anyways here's Chapter 4!

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When Karou walked into the dojo an old man in white clothes ushered her in quickly and sat her down,

"Karou-san! What on earth did you think you were doing!? Go out side un-protected while that murderer is loose!" Karou sighed and told the old man what happened, he sighed as he saw Tomo and Kenshin standing out side the dojo's front gate staring up at the sign,

"You run this small dojo all by yourself?" He asked as Tomo read aloud the sign,

"Kamiya-Kasshin-Ryu Kenjutsu Dojo…"Kenshin blinked back up at the sign as Karou nodded and motioned them both inside, the sun was beginning to rise. When the pair of Himura's stepped into the dojo a sense of calmness washed over them, the polished wood floors shone with the rising light, there were a few candles lit on tall holders with paper to protect the flames. A few planks hanging on the wall, "Kamiya-Kasshin-Ryu." She stepped to her right and continued to read over it, speaking slowly so that she sounded out each word, "Kamiya Karou---instructor." Kenshin noticed her effort and walked over to stand beside her. She looked up at him as he silently read the planks,

"Good job Tomo-kun, you read it well." He patted her head in praise as she smiled up at him; Karou shot a scornful look at him,

"Why do you talk to your niece as if she were mentally-challenged?" Kenshin looked over his shoulder and gave her a soft and kind reply,

"This one would never speak of Tomo-kun as mentally-challenged. Tomo-kun can not read." Tomo nodded and looked over her shoulder, Karou noticed that, if Tomo's hair was red instead of raven black, she would pass as Kenshin's daughter, instead of his niece,

"It is true, this one can not read. This one can speak, but can't read." Kenshin looked down at her like a non-bright but loved dearly child,

"Tomo-kun, you should stop going into this one's habits, being to much alike can cause you to loose sight of who you are." Tomo looked up and bowed respect to him,

"Yes Uncle Kenshin, I will take your wise words to soul." Kenshin laughed and patted her back,

"Heart Tomo-kun, heart. The saying is 'to the heart'." Tomo pondered for a moment and then shrugged, Karou couldn't grasp it, there was something that tied them together maybe it was their family connection, or their similar childish attitudes about them, or maybe it was their almost uncanny resemblance?

Karou looked to a room across her,

"I would offer you breakfast but I am a terrible cook…" Kenshin walked over to her and bowed to the waist,

"I can cook for you, to thank you for offering for us to stay the night. And for not arresting this one and Tomo-kun." Karou blinked in confusion, but she found herself nodding, then she clamped a hand over her nose,

"But please, take a bath before you do." Kenshin blinked and then laughed,

"That would be nice, thank you Karou-domo." Karou showed Kenshin the bath room and prepared a bath for him, "Meanwhile I will see if I have any small Kimono's for Tomo, she shouldn't be running around in hakana pants and a man's shirt." Kenshin cocked and eyebrow and nodded in agreement,

"Yes, I have to admit, this one's old shirt does not fit her all to well." Karou nodded and left him to his bath. Kenshin undressed and stepped into the warm water, feeling his muscles loosen he leaned against the edge and slide down until he was on his butt. His face was stone wondering about the imposter, the wound wasn't deep enough to kill him, only stun him. How long would a man of that size stay out? Had he already awoken? Had the police gotten him?

He inhaled and caught a stench that made his hair stand on end, and then he realized it was coming from him, he reached for the soap and began to scrub himself, but the thought made him stop, had the police got him? Another though appeared in his head: How long had Tomo and Karou been watching? Had they seen the face of the killer? Tomo had seen it already twice, once when she was three and then when he adopted her as his own. He threw the thought out of his head again and dunked his head into the water, soaking his hair. He could hear voices outside,

"Thank you Karou-domo, the Kimono is lovely, I will wear it carefully. Sorry for your troubles." Tomo said as her voice drew close near the wall,

"It is no trouble Tomo-chan. You make a very strong looking man, but you make a better lady." He could hear the women laughing; he scrubbed his hair feeling much better.

"So tell me Tomo." Karou's voice said gently and curiously, "How long have you been wandering with your Uncle Kenshin?" There was a small silence, Kenshin smiled when he realized Tomo must be counting on her fingers,

"Since I was……..five? Four? I can't remember. I'm eleven now." Tomo laughed.

Kenshin nodded; she was right, she was five when Kenshin adopted her. It was six years ago, they had been traveling for five.

Six years ago the full moon's night was tainted by five deaths, it was as if the moon it's self seemed to be drowned in blood. Kenshin's face hardened again as he remembered the crying five year old, her beautiful kimono drenched in blood as she sat in front of her slaughtered family and cried tears of sorrow. Though she was too young to understand, she knew that all the blood meant that they would not be waking up from their nap.

Kenshin could hear violent coughing; his wet head jerked up as he stood on the side of the wooden tub looking though the window, Tomo was coughing terribly. She beat on her chest with one fist and her other hand covered her mouth, but she still coughed. Karou gently pounded on her back as Tomo coughed; finally she stopped and waved her hand,

"I am…" She cleared her throat and smiled weakly, "fine. I am alright, really." Kenshin slid back into the tub and dunked his head once more, to clean out the soap. He finished his bath quickly and put on his clothes, when he walked out side and realized how cold the air was. He walked around the side of the dojo and fresh clothes were held up at him by a small girl with brown hair in two pig tail son each side of her head, Kenshin blinked and his childish nature appeared as he smiled,

"Hello, there."

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Tomo was being ushered into the bathroom when Karou spotted Kenshin, clothes tucked under his arm, tossing a ball lightly back and forth with the little girl. She called out to him, happy to see he didn't look grungy and his hair had a bit of shine to it.

"Kenshin!" Kenshin tossed the ball back and smiled,

"Thank you very much Karou-domo. The bath was very relaxing, and this one is sure that, this one doesn't stink of the woods and the road." Karou laughed and pointed to the clothes,

"You can wear those until your clothes are clean, a clean traveler will still stink if his clothes reek of travel." Kenshin laughed along with her, not because her words were meant to sound wise, but because they were true, though he was clean the stink of sweat and travel was still on his clothes. Kenshin patted the little girls head and walked into the dojo unfolding the clothes as he went.

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Tomo had to be accompanied into the bath since it was set so high, and she was not quite tall enough to get inside. She splashed into the water and shivered, Karou peeked outside the window, Kenshin was hanging clothes on the clothes line; some where his, some were not. He had tied a white bandana in his hair and rolled up his sleeves to keep them out of the way,

"Kenshin! Can you start a fire for Tomo? Her bath is cold." Kenshin placed a sheet on the line and smiled as he picked up the matches from a little seat by an opening at the bottom of the wall, inside was a few small pieces of charred wood. He lit the match and tossed it in, the fire built as he fanned it gently with a paper fan. Two little girls, the one from before and now a taller one, with chestnut brown hair and alert brown eyes, she bent over and watched as Kenshin kept the fire going. The littlest one brought over two pieces of fire wood and handed them to Kenshin, he placed them into the fire and called inside,

"Is it warm now?" Karou looked to Tomo, who looked like she could fall asleep any moment and nodded,

"Thank you Kenshin." Kenshin chuckled and gestured to the little girls,

"I had the help of your little sisters." Karou blinked and noticed the girls,

"Their not my sisters, they're Kihei's granddaughters." Kenshin's eyes grew wide as he looked at both the girls and then Karou,

"Oro!? This one is sorry, Karou-domo. It is easy to think since they were so kind they must be your sisters." Karou felt her cheeks go hot as he smiled up at her and then stood, "Well, best return to the laundry." Karou opened her mouth to stop him but Tomo laughed as she scrubbed her head with soap,

"It is no use; my uncle hates to be un-useful. He wants to repay you for giving him a bath now. Then he will cook to repay you for giving us a room to stay in. I guess I could repay you for this bath and the room by cleaning your dojo. Is that ok?" Karou looked at her as she dunked her head into the bath.

Why is it they need to repay me so badly? I do not mind reaching out to someone if they are in need of help, also…She watched as Tomo scrubbed her fingers into her hair as she was under water They have helped me so in turn I am repaying them. Tomo loved the feeling of the warm water on her face, it made her sleepy. When she resurfaced Karou handed her a towel for her head. Tomo gave her a slight bow and wrapped her long raven hair into the towel, perching it on her head so it wouldn't fall into the water again. She picked up the soap and began to scrub her body,

Feeling clean is a great pleasure. Tomo thought as she washed the soap bubbles off her shoulders, now I don't want to get dirty for a long time. She snickered, she knew she could never keep clean; she would need another bath by the end of the day so was her rough nature. But she would try her hardest to keep Karou's kimono clean,

"I wonder in the battosai has been buried?" Karou thought out loud as she hung Tomo's kimono on a rack,

"Why would they bury a wanted man alive?" Tomo asked as she reached for a warm towel,

"Alive? Surely you saw his body Tomo." Karou said as she turned to face her, Tomo nodded as she stood, wrapping the towel around her and holding it in place with one hand,

"I did, but my uncle…not matter how angry will never kill anyone. Ever." Karou felt her heart break, to be so young and hold someone that had killed a murderer in such high regard.

"Tomo you must learn that the heart is a very demanding thing, if it wants blood, someway it fill see it." Tomo swung one of her legs and gently touched down to the ground,

"No, my Uncle would never kill…not any more. He made a vow." Tomo said plainly, as if it were and every day thing,

Then again…Karou thought These two are not normal…they are Rurouni's after all.

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Ok so a little more is reviled, I will try my best to stick with the story line the best I can, anyways that's all for now!