For the Love of a Child
by DQBunny

*****

DISCLAIMER: Rurouni Kenshin and its characters are the
property of Nobuiro Watsuki. I'm just borrowing them for
awhile. This story is set after the Jinchu Arc of the
manga and relies heavily on information gathered in that
arc for those who do not wish to be spoiled.

*****

EPILOGUE – 2 years later

"Catch, Mikomi-chan!" Suzume tossed the paper ball in
Mikomi's direction, the little girl squealing with delight
as it sailed through the air and landed on the ground near
the gate.

"Watch her as I check on Kaoru-dono, Suzume-chan," Kenshin
instructed Suzume as he walked past them with the basket of
clean laundry.

"I will, Ken-nii," Suzume said, then turned around.
"Mikomi? Mikomi, where are you!"

Mikomi ran after the ball. Her little fingers were about
to grab it when the wind blew it toward the open gates of
the dojo. She frowned and toddled after it and nearly ran
into a tall man that stood outside the gate.

She picked up the ball and stared at the man. "Ohayo,
strange man-san," she said.

Yukishiro Enishi stared at the small child before him, her
black hair framing her face, her brown eyes alert. He had
no idea what brought him to his brother-in-law's home, but
knew that this child was the reason. He knelt before her.
There was no way she could be the Battousai's child. She
was too old.

Mikomi held the ball out to him. "Wanna play?" she asked
with a smile.

Enishi's heart froze at the child's smile. "Nee...nee-
chan," he whispered.

She shook her head. "Not Nee-chan. Mikomi-chan. I go
tell 'Tou-chan that you here." Mikomi raced toward the dojo
as fast as her little legs could carry her. "'Tou-chan!
'Tou-chan! You have visit!"

Kenshin pulled the blanket over a sleeping Kaoru and held
his finger to his lips as Mikomi barreled into the room.
He grabbed her and carried her back outside, not wanting to
disturb Kaoru when she was so close to going into labor.
"Who came to visit, Mikomi-chan?" he asked when they
rejoined Suzume.

"Strange man-san," she replied, sticking her thumb in her
mouth and resting her head on Kenshin's chest. "He got
white hair."

Kenshin looked out the gate and scanned the street. He
only knew of one person with white hair, but he didn't see
him. Instead, the faint scent of white plum hovered around
the gates and he smiled. Thank you, Enishi, he thought,
closing the gates.

From a nearby alley, Enishi watched Kenshin with Mikomi.
Gods, the babe had his sister's smile. He closed his eyes
and a mental image of Tomoe appeared in his mind.

And she was smiling.

Enishi shrugged and walked away from the dojo. He had no
idea how Battousai wound up with that particular child, but
he knew that Tomoe's spirit was guarding her.

OWARI

*****
AUTHOR'S NOTES: Thank you so much to everyone who sent in
the kind comments. A big big BIG thank you to Sailor
Elysia, who kindly pre-read this story. This is one of
those "What if?" stories that took on a life of it's own.
I've grown very attached to Mikomi-chan and hope to one day
do a sequel to this story with her in it.

*****

Please send any comments to dqbunny28@aol.com. Also, please
visit my website at
http://www.geocities.com/weaver_stories/index.htm for my
other works ::bows::