A Saito Hajime tale
dedicated to Michael Geuens
Saito was walking through the streets of Kyoto, he was on his way home after a tiring week in Tokyo. At last he was freed of the annoying roosterhead. That moron had irritated him day after day.
Saito lit a cigarette as he walked through the dark night. What did the Battousai see in the punk anyway? He inhaled deeply and blew out the smoke. Soon he would be home again. He flinched at the thought. Tokio was a very short tempered stubborn woman, especially when pregnant.
A couple of minutes later he entered through the gate. He threw his cigarette on the floor and stepped with his foot on it. He knew Tokio didn't appreciate smoking on the domain and who was he to argue with her since she was the one who cleaned the place. He entered the house and took his shoes off. At that moment Tokio appeared.
"You're home," she said happily and she walked toward him hugging him as much as her eight month belly allowed her to. Saito smiled and kissed her. Even though he complained a lot about Tokio, he didn't marry her for nothing. Although he had to admit that it were rather tiring weeks at home with a pregnant wife.
"Where's Eiji?" Saito asked.
"He's already asleep. He's been working so hard lately. Hajime, have you told him to do so, to spare me from chores?"
Saito shrugged. "Ah well, the boy is staying here after all, so he should do all he can to help in the household."
"Don't you think you're a bit too harsh on him? He's only a kid after all," Tokio asked.
"Tokio, he's a boy, he'll manage. Besides he wanted to help himself," Saito said indifferently.
"Even though you don't show it, you like the kid as if he were your own," Tokio said smiling.
"Don't say crap like that," Saito said indignantly.
"It's true, isn't it? Otherwise you wouldn't react like that."
Saito pulled her closer to him. "You know me to well."
"Are you hungry, there's still some plain soba if you want."
Saito nodded and the couple walked to the kitchen.
"So how are things going in Tokyo?"
"Ah, the whole matter with Yukishiro Enishi is solved, the Battousai is living his stupid rurouni life. In other words it's damn boring over there."
"Pff, you always look down upon the Battousai, I think he's a respectful man, to devote his life and sword to the weak."
Saito rolled his eyes. "Pregnancy has made you naïve, Tokio-"
WHACK. Saito winced and clutched a hand over his cheek.
"Excuse me you moron! First of all it's you who got me pregnant, secondly I'm NOT naïve and last but not least you could have told me you were alright, you never send me a message!" Tokio raged. Then she calmed down and continued speaking. "You know, I think we should invite this Himura-san and the lady he lives with. They seem to be nice people."
Saito's eyes widened. "You want to invite the Battousai? My nemesis?"
"Well, you fought on the same side in the Shishio-matter and who was that other man?"
"Roosterhead?" (Sano, who's at the Kamiya dojo, sneezes loudly)
"Be nice Hajime! Anyway, next week you should invite them, I'd really would like to meet them."
"You're kidding, right?"
'She must be, oh Kami-sama, this is why I HATE pregnant wives!'
"Do I look as if I'm kidding? You know what they should stay here the whole weekend, it's too far away to come for just one day and an inn is to expensive-"
"They could stay at the Weasel-girl's place-"
"Hajime! Eiji told me that Misao is a very nice girl! And besides since we are inviting them ..."
"You mean you-" Saito mumbled.
"... they should stay here." Tokio continued without even paying attention on Saito.
Saito sighed deeply. 'Kami-sama what did I do to deserve this?'
Saito walked toward the dojo and knocked on the gate and entered. Yahiko who was practising his swungs looked up.
"You? What have you lost here?" he asked with narrowed eyes.
Saito looked arrogantly at the little 'brat'. "Where's the Battousai?"
"He and Kaoru are out, but that's none of your business!"
At that moment Kaoru and Kenshin entered the dojo.
"Saito? What are you doing here?" Kenshin asked.
"I'm here on the behalf of my wife," Saito said.
"Your wife?!" Kaoru and Yahiko yelled gaping.
Saito sighed. "She wants to invite the lot of you plus the roosterhead and the fox to spend the weekend in Kyoto and don't you dare to decline!"
'Tokio will blame me for it and hit me the house out.'
The three members of the Kenshingumi stared at him with wide open mouth.
"Uhm, that's very nice of your wife, well it would be rude to decline, that it would. We'd love to come," Kenshin said with his rurouni smile.
'Oh yes you would, you bunch of freeloaders!' Saito thought.
"Well, see you on Friday at 3 PM at the station and don't you dare to come late!"
That Friday they all gathered at the station.
"Kenshin, why have you agreed on this?" Sano asked grumpily.
"Because you moron, we all want to see Saito's wife!" Yahiko said.
"What did you call me!" Sano said grabbing Yahiko by his gi.
"You heard me!" Yahiko yelled with narrowed eyes.
"Now now let's not fight, that you shouldn't," Kenshin tried to calm them.
Saito chose that moment to appear with a cigarette in his mouth.
"On time I see, you've got some manners after all," he sneered.
"That can't be said of you," Megumi said throwing her hair back.
Kaoru sighed. "This is going to be a long weekend," she whispered to Kenshin.
The train-ride was terrible, Sano was still afraid of them, Kaoru and Yahiko made funny comments about it, Saito watched the whole scene with a smirk on his face and a cigarette in his mouth, Megumi lectured Saito that smoking was bad for his health and Kenshin sat silently observing all of them. All of them were glad when the blasted ride was over. Saito marched quickly in the direction of his house, without looking over his shoulder if his so-called-guests were following.
Saito threw his cigarette on the ground and stepped with his foot on it.
"We're there," he announced.
They entered and were immediately greeted by Tokio and Eiji.
"Hi Eiji-chan, it's good to see you again, that it is," Kenshin said joyfully. Then he bend toward Tokio. "It's very nice of you to invite us, Tokio-dono." The others bend too.
"I'm glad you all accepted the invitation, but please come further, I'm sure all of you are hungry." She went back to the house and the Kenshingumi followed.
"What the hell?" Sano whispered as he pointed at Tokio and then at his stomach.
"Oh idiot, she's pregnant you daft!" Megumi scowled silently.
"I assume it's yours," Yahiko said grinning as he looked at Saito.
A nerve at Saito's temple twisted. "Shut your mouth you little brat or I'll shut it for you!" he threatened
"HAJIME! What did I say about those threats?!" Tokio raged. Saito winced.
'This is why I don't bring over visitors!'
"So Saito, you're going to be a father, really soon then," Kenshin said as merry as ever.
Saito would have hit him if Tokio hadn't been around.
"So it seems," he said as calm as possible.
The group entered the house and sat down. Tokio put some onigiri (riceballs) on the table.
"Dig in," she said with a smile. "Well if you need me, I'm in the kitchen."
"Do you need any help, Tokio-dono?" Kenshin offered politely.
"Oh Himura-san I can't possibly expect that from you."
"Why not, Kenshin is a great cook after all," Sano pointed in.
"Let him help you, Tokio, if he wants to poison all of us, let him," Saito said coldly as he sipped his tea.
"You shouldn't put up such a big mouth, after all you even can't bake an egg! At least Himura-san is so kind to offer me some help!" Tokio snapped as she walked to the kitchen with Kenshin in her lead.
"Battousai, if you try something with my wife-"
WHACK! Tokio had thrown her shoe at Saito and now he was wincing loudly. Everybody started laughing madly.
Tokio and Kenshin stood in the kitchen cleaning fish and cooking rice.
"Thank you Himura-san-"
"Kenshin, this one prefers to be called Kenshin, Tokio-dono."
"Always so polite, Kaoru-san must be very lucky to have you," Tokio said with a kind smile.
Kenshin laughed. "This one's very glad to have met Kaoru-dono, that he is."
"Well it's obvious that she means a lot to you. Kenshin-san don't wait to long to tell her," Tokio said.
Kenshin blinked. "This one's not worthy of her love."
"Oh don't be so ridiculous, even Saito is worthy of someone's love."
Kenshin smiled. "Ah, Saito-san is very happy with you. Even though he doesn't show it, this one can see it."
Tokio laughed and she looked as he cut some carrots (with his fabulous Hitten Mitsurugi ryu).
"You truly are an amazing cook."
A little while later the two af them emerged from the kitchen and put the foot on the low table.
"That looks delicious!" Sano said with a huge grin.
"Well everyone, I hope you'll like it," Tokio said as she and Kenshin sat down.
Everyone started eating.
"Mmm this is good," Kaoru said.
"Yeah, I really like it," Yahiko said as he put his mouth full of fish.
Saito ate in silent.
"What do you think, Hajime?" Tokio asked him.
Saito raised a brow. "It's good, the flavour is strong and nice," he said casually.
"Yes, it's Kenshin-san's recipe," Tokio said cheerfully.
Saito raised his both eyebrows.
'Damn, I must admit, the Battousai is a great cook.'
Later that evening when it was time to go to bed Tokio took Megumi and Kaoru to their room. Yahiko would stay with Eiji and Tokio had asked Saito to guide Kenshin and Sano to their room. Saito grumbled something like: "Do they really have to stay 'here'?" Lukily for him Tokio hadn't heard this. So Saito was guiding the two men to their room.
"Well here's your room, the futons are in the corner. I'm not your maid so help yourself. And don't make noise, keep it down!" With that Saito left.
Sano looked at Kenshin. "That guy has some serious issues. Haha have you seen the way he acts around his wife, what a wimp!"
Saito opened the shoji again. "I heard that roosterhead. Let's not start how you act when the fox says something to you." Then he shut the shoji again and walked to his own room. He undressed and put on his yukata. Tokio entered the room and wrapped her arms around Saito.
"I don't see what you have against these people, they are very nice and Kenshin-san is such a great cook."
"Hmpf, why don't you marry him!" Saito grumbled.
"You're not jealous, are you?" Tokio said amusedly. "Besides, his heart is destined for Kaoru-san."
"What is the Battousai in love with the raccoon?"
WHACK! Saito winced again.
"Why are you so mean? And don't you dare wincing again, Hajime!"
"Okay, whatever, so the Battousai is deeply in love with the ra- I mean Kamiya-girl."
"Isn't that obvious."
"Well, every blind person can see that she is in love with him. But he doesn't show it."
"Well then he and you have more in common than your dark past."
"Ha at least I had the guts to show my love toward you," Saito said triumphantly.
Tokio rolled her eyes and crawled under the sheets. Saito laid down next to her.
"You can say whatever you want, Tokio, but you've got to admit that I'm more romantic than the Battousai."
"Actually I can't you've got to prove it yourself."
A mischievous grin appeared on Saito's face. "Is that a challenge?"
"Hey Kenshin, you've been oddly silent since you've been alone with Tokio-san in the kitchen. What's the matter?"
"Ah, Tokio-san and this one had a conversation about-"
"About what, Kenshin? You're making me curious."
"Do you think this one should tell Kaoru-dono how he feels about her?"
"Are you insane? That's what we're all waiting for. It has been a couple of weeks since the Jinchu-matter with Enishi. And we all know that you both have feelings for each other."
"If this one had the courage, he would tell her immediately."
"What could possibly go wrong? She wouldn't reject you."
"Mmm," Kenshin mumbled thoughtfully.
The next morning everyone sat outside on the porch. Well everyone but Kenshin.
"Sano? Where's Kenshin?" Kaoru asked.
"He went to visit the grave once again."
"Alone?" Kaoru asked surprisedly.
Saito stood up and left.
"Where do you think you're going?!" Tokio asked sternly.
"Out," Saito answered.
"Hmm, sometimes I really wonder what's up in that head of him."
Saito walked into town and found the rurouni quick at a jewelry shop.
"Well well, if I hadn't thought so. You don't know what you're getting yourself into, Battousai. A wife is a pain in the ass."
"Ah Saito, this one thinks that it's good for you that 'someone' can tame the wolf in you," Kenshin said wisely.
"Mmm fair enough. Do you want to tame the Hitokiri in you?"
"No, that's not needed, the Hitokiri is already tamed, that he is."
Saito sneered. "That's why you're not a worthy opponent anymore. There would be no fun in fighting against you."
"This one is glad you think like that."
"Hey Himura!" someone yelled. Kenshin turned around.
"Misao-dono, it's good to see you again, that it is."
Misao walked toward Kenshin.
"DON'T CALL ME WEASEL! So Himura, what are you up to."
"Buying a ring for the raccoon," Saito said as he lit a cigarette.
"Really! You're going to ask her! That's wonderful! I wish Aoshi-sama did something romantic like that."
Saito rolled his eyes.
'Yeah right, like the icicle ever is going to ask such a weasel to marry him.'
"How is Aoshi-san?" Kenshin asked.
"He's alright, yesterday I made him smile," Misao said proudly.
"Well you must have done something completely foolish to make Shinomori laugh."
A kunai flew right past Saito's ear and Misao glared at him.
"But now tell me Himura, what are you doing in Kyoto?" she asked Kenshin in a gentle tone.
"Oh we're staying at Saito's. His wife invited us."
"And is she something like Buddha?" Misao asked curiously.
"Well, yeah she's something special."
Saito raised his brows. "What's that supposed to mean?"
Kenshin turned to face Saito. "Well your wife's very kind and well this one would say she'd deserve better than you-"
"Yeah, this one means you don't give her compliments, flowers or love."
Saito narrowed his eyes. "You ... er ... you have a point there. But so what I can be romantic!"
Both Kenshin and Misao looked at him and burst into loud laughers.
"Prove it," Misao said.
"Shut it Weasel, Shinomori is not romantic at all," Saito sneered.
"Oh at least more romantic than you're. He gave me flowers and compliments."
Saito's eyes narrowed again.
'Bloody Shinomori is even more romantic than I'm. Screw it!'
"Alright, what should I do to prove that I can be romantic?" Saito asked.
Misao and Kenshin grinned.
"First of all, give her lots and lots of compliments today," Kenshin said.
"Secondly, buy her some flowers," Misao added.
"Last but not least, you must kiss her in front of everyone, to show that you truly love her," they both said.
'I'm a wolf of Mibu, hell yeah I can do this.'
"Alright, I'll take that as a challenge!" Saito said determinedly.
A little while later Kenshin reentered the Saito-residence with Misao in his lead. Kaoru ran toward him.
"Kenshin, where have you been?"
"This one had an errand to run and met Misao-dono on the way, that he did," Kenshin said smiling.
"Oh Misao, good to see you again."
"Hi Misao-chan, I've heard a lot about you from Eiji," Tokio said gently, then she turned to Kenshin. "Kenshin-san have you seen Hajime?"
"No, this one hasn't seen Saito-san. When did he leave?"
"Shortly after you, I thought he might have followed you."
Kenshin shook his head. "Oh Kaoru-dono, can this one speak to you in private?"
Kaoru looked surprised but nodded. "Of course." She followed him to the backyard.
"Kaoru-dono, when this one said that he wanted to share his life with you, he meant it." Kenshin let out a deep sigh and forced himself to talk withouth the 'dono' and 'this one'. "Kaoru, I love you! Will you marry me?" Kenshin held out the ring to her. Kaoru gasped and held her hand for her mouth.
"Yes," Kaoru said smiling. Kenshin smiled too as he pushed the ring on her finger. Then he embraced her.
Sano, Yahiko, Misao, Megumi and Tokio had been watching this from behind the bushes and cheered loudly as they appeared.
"About bloody time," Sano said while taking Kenshin in a strangle position and rubbing a hand through his hair.
"Oh that was so romantic, I wish Hajime did something like that," Tokio sighed.
Misao and Kenshin gave each other a wink.
At that moment Saito appeared with a bush flowers in his hand. Megumi snickered as she tried to hide her laugher and she elbowed Sano in his tight.
"What was that for-" Sano abruptly stopped his sentence and nearly peed in his pants as he saw Saito.
Saito coughed and Tokio turned around to face him. She looked at him with a raised eyebrow.
"Er I ... er ... brought some flowers ... I ... er ... thought they might fit with a ... er ... beautiful woman," he said barely audible.
Tokio took the flowers. "Thank you," she said uncertainly.
"Misao-chan, would you like to have diner with us," Saito asked with a forced smile.
'I'll show the Battousai and that Weasel-runt that I'm more romantic than her stupid 'Aoshi-sama'!'
Later that day during diner.
"This is really delicious, Tokio," Saito said after eating one bite of it.
Eiji looked at him with frowned brows. "Are you feeling alright Hajime-san?"
"Of course I'm alright, you little brat- I mean of course, Eiji-chan," Saito quickly said.
And Saito's compliments kept coming and no one except for Misao and Kenshin knew what was going on.
After diner they all sat on the porch again, enjoying the sunset. Saito sat down beside Tokio and when he saw from the corner of his eye that Misao and Kenshin were watching, he leaned toward Tokio and kissed her. Sano's jaw dropped, Megumi's eyes widened and Yahiko looked like he was going to puke. Kenshin and Misao looked impressed.
"Okay, he's proven he can be romantic. But my Aoshi-sama is more romantic," Misao said.
"No, Kenshin is the best a woman can get!" Kaoru said firmy as she leaned against Kenshin.
Megumi leaned in to Sano and Yahiko. "Did you know that pregnant and being intimate can provoke an early birth?"
Sano and Yahiko looked at her. "Are you serious?" Yahiko asked.
"Hajime, stop, I felt a ache-"
"See, told you so," Megumi said. "I'm coming," she yelled to Tokio. She stood up and walked to Tokio and instructed Saito to get her inside and prepare a futon.
Sano and Yahiko snickered loudly and fell on their back rolling from laugher.
"Hajime! I swear I kill you once I'm done here!" Tokio raged.
Saito winced as Tokio gripped his hand firmly in hers. Megumi snickered as she prepared herself for the delivery.
'Kami-sama, I'm never ever going to be romantic after this.' Saito thought.
After a little while their baby-boy was born. Megumi wrapped him in a blanket and handed him to his mother.
"So, you still hate me?" Saito asked carefully.
"Of course not, I've never said that. Look at him he's so perfect-"
'Duh, I'm his father!'
"What will we call him?" she asked him.
"How am I supposed to know?" Saito asked.
"I like Tsutomu, after your father, what do you think?" she asked him.
Saito shrugged. "Whatever you like."
"Tsutomu then, here hold him and go show your son," Tokio said as she handed Saito the small baby.
Saito took his son and looked at him with one raised brow. Finally he got up and grumbled as he went on his way to the Kenshingumi, who still were waiting outside.
"So Tomu he, your daddy is going to learn you everything about women, the first rule: Don't be romantic!" Saito stepped on the porch and in a couple of seconds the whole Kenshingumi plus Misao stood around him.
"Oh Kami-sama, look how cute," Kaoru cooed.
"Don't talk in that manner to my son," Saito sneered.
"What his name?" Yahiko asked.
"Tsutomu, Tokio's idea," he added quickly.
"Well, we admit, you've won the bet," Misao said. "Well, Himura-san and I lost, so what did we have to do again?"
An evil glint appeared in Saito's eyes. "Well Weasel, this evening you must enter Shinomori's bedroom and ... strip in front of him."
Misao's jaw dropped. "That was a joke, right?"
"I'm only doing you a favour," Saito said casually. Then he turned to Kenshin. "You must go to the Aoi-ya tomorrow and help them serve the customers in ... a kimono."
Kenshin and Misao looked aghast at Saito.
Saito laughed. "Damn I'd love to see the face of Shinomori. Haha my revenge is so sweet!"