DISCLAIMER: I do not own Rurouni Kenshin or ANY of the characters therein. Those characters are copyrights of Watsuki Nobuhiro and/or Sony, etc… In short, They aren't mine.

Two Kenjutsu masters are better than one

"Battousai…" Kasshin said, looking back at the red-haired swordsman.

"Battousai?" "Battousai?" "Battousai?" various voices in the dojo repeated.

"I already told you, I didn't want you in my Dojo." Kasshin said, but to his own disgust, he was secretly happy that Battousai had come.

"There isn't enough time to bring that up. Kasshin Dono, please go and save Kaoru Dono." Kenshin said.

"No, you won't have anything to do with this, I don't want this dojo…"

"No one is going to die here today." Kenshin said, drawing his Sakabatou from its Saya. Kasshin instantly noticed its strange nature. "This sword is sworn never to kill, as have I sworn never to kill again." Kenshin said, angling the sword in front of his body.

"No, I don't need the help of a killer, I can defend my own dojo." Kasshin said.

"Kasshin Dono, which is more important to you. The dojo's honor, or the life of your daughter. Kenshin said, looking back at him. Kasshin's eyes grew wide. He hated to admit it, but Battousai was right. Kaoru was more important to him than his own life, and Battousai had given him the ability to ensure his daughter's safety. He reluctantly made his exit. Kudusai motioned his head toward the door, two of his lackeys took off for the door, only to receive a Sakabatou in the chest. Kenshin slid the Sakabatou back into its Saya. "I don't think Kasshin Dono needs any escorts."

A sword is a weapon…

Kenshin set Soujiro down beside the open gate of Kamiya Kasshin Ryu dojo. He was still half conscious.

"Rurouni, you're going to save Kaoru right?" He said, weakly. Kenshin noticed that Soujiro's head was still bleeding. He smiled at the young man, but didn't say anything. He straightened up and stepped into the gate. Instantly sensing an immediate hostility just to his left. He hopped back, avoiding a downward sword slash.

"Heh, you're pretty good bum," Nishiwaki started, noticing the sword at Kenshin's side. "Lets see that sword, bum." He said, moving to make another slash. Kenshin moved his arm, Nishiwaki didn't see anything. But suddenly felt very weak. He started to fall, and couldn't figure out why his arms wouldn't move out in front of him. Kenshin caught him.

"I'm sorry, but I don't have time to fight you." Kenshin said. About this time Nishiwaki started to feel the pain. Kenshin held him up and stepped up the steps to the doorway of the silent dojo.

One lone footstep could be heard stepping into the dojo. Hiruma turned around to see his right hand man standing in the doorway.

"Oi, Nishiwaki, what's going on?" He asked, holding Kaoru in the air. Nishiwaki wasn't able to move his mouth much.

"St…Strong." He said as he fell to the floor revealing a small red-haired swordsman. Soujiro had managed to get himself to the top of the steps.

"Take your hands from her." Kenshin said, in his soft yet stern voice.

"You're that bum from yesterday." Hiruma said.

"I should've taken care of you then." He said, keeping his eyes closed.

"No, that's not what you're like." Kaoru said.

"Heh, I guess you believe the same crap this girl does." Hiruma said.

"No." Kenshin said bluntly. Soujiro's eyes widened with surprise.

"The Rurouni doesn't believe a sword is ment to protect?" He thought, leaning back against the wall outside the dojo.

"A sword is a weapon, kenjutsu are killing skills, whatever pretty words you use to describe it, this is its true nature. What Kaoru Dono believes are the silly visions of someone who has never had to dirty their hands with blood.

"This can't be, He saved me…Back then…He told me his mind would still be in turmoil now, but I never thought…" Soujiro thought, slowly slipping into unconsciousness.

"But I prefer those silly visions to the true nature, Maybe someday everyone else in the world will think the same way." Kenshin said smiling. Kaoru's eyes lit up as he spoke.

"What do you know, bum. Someone please kill this idiot." Hiruma said. All of his men stepped forward.

"Run!" Kaoru yelled to Kenshin.

"Stop, I don't want to have to hurt anyone." Kenshin said.

"No one's going to be hurting, Just one person dying." One of the men said, as they all lunged toward Kenshin. The distinct sound of finely forged Japanese blade sliding against a small stone echoed through the quiet dojo. The Rurouni disappeared as flashes flew around and about the fake Battousai's men. One man fell back against the wall, a look of terror filled his eyes.

"He just killed five of them in one strike…" He said, frightened.

"He's reacting so fast, no even before they move, He's anticipating their moves." Kaoru thought, still dangling from the clutches of the fake Battousai.

"Red hair, Scars on his cheek…This man is…Battousai."

Smiles of pain

Kasshin ran down the street toward the outskirts of town. He'd remembered where Kudusai's home was. He had to go there before when Tenchi was first threatened. He was riddled with worry as he ran. "Kaoru has been kidnapped, Battousai is fighting in my dojo…and my students are left to watch him. But as much as I hate to admit, He's right, Kaoru is the only important thing to me right now. He has taken the rest out of my hands…but Kamiya dojo will never be the same peaceful place…" Kasshin thought, but quickly pushed the thoughts out of his mind. "I can't think of that now, I have to keep my mind on Kaoru." He thought as he continued down the street.

"Let me go already!" Kaoru said, squirming.

"Come on little girl, calm down." One of the men said, holding her by her wrist.

"Takashi, the boss told us not to hurt her, so be careful." The other man said, fighting to keep control of Soujiro.

"Ow, my wrist, you're hurting me now." Kaoru cried.

"Be quiet!" Takashi said, slapping her with the back of his hand. She fell over from the force. Soujiro broke free of his captor and hurried over to make sure she was ok.

"Aww, isn't that sweet, two childhood lovebirds." The other man said.

"Yeah, beautiful isn't it Kojiro." Takashi said, looking down at the two.

"We're not in love, she's just a friend." Soujiro said, smiling.

"What a dumb kid," Takashi said to Kojiro. He turned back to Soujiro and leaned down, grabbing Soujiro by the hair. "This ain't no time to be smiling kid, you could die." He finished.

"Maybe, but you won't hurt Kaoru San." He said, still smiling.

"Oh, and what makes you think that?" Takashi said, pulling Soujiro up close to his face.

"Because I won't let you hurt her." He said, keeping the smile on his face. Kaoru's eyes widened with surprise. Takashi scowled at the boy.

"What the hell can you do to stop me kid." He yelled, throwing Soujiro back down onto the floor. Soujiro crawled backward as Takashi walked slowly toward him.

"So you think you're strong enough to keep me from hurting someone eh?" Takashi kicked Soujiro in the stomach. Kaoru looked on in horror as Soujiro made his Grimace, but where gritted teeth should've been, there was only a smile.

"What the hell are you smiling for, you little freak." He said, punching Soujiro in the head. Another smile.

"Stop it, Stop hitting him!" Kaoru yelled jumping up. She ran over to him, and stood in front of him, arms spread wide.

"K…Kaoru San." Soujiro said, looking up, the smile still on his face.

"These kids are pissing me off." He said, reaching in the fold of his gi. Soujiro managed to stand up.

"I don't care who, but one of you is going to die." Takashi said, pulling a Knife out from his gi. The fear that was swelling inside Kaoru had reached its peak, but she couldn't step back. "Kamiya Kasshin Ryu means to protect. Father would understand if I die to protect Soujiro, even if he is weird" She thought. Takashi grabbed her, and raised the knife.

The door broke open, distracting the would be killer. Kaoru looked back over her shoulder to see her father, bokken ready, standing in the doorway. Kojiro attacked instantly. Kasshin moved precisely, dodging his first attack. He made a perfect counter; Kojiro fell to the floor.

"Father!" She said. But her joy was cut short. Takashi pulled her close to him, pushing the knife against the soft skin on her throat. For the first time in his life, Kasshin froze up. Normally he'd perform a technique to disarm his foe, but this was different, Kaoru was only millimeters away from death.

"You're her Father, ne? Drop the weapon dad." Takashi said. Kasshin reluctantly obeyed. "What a dumbass you are dad, you should've known I'd kill her anyway." He added. Soujiro walked slowly around to the hostage-taker's right. Kasshin bit his lip. Takashi grinned. "I love the smell of blood, don't you?" He added, looking down at the little girl whose life he was about to take. "Say goodbye to her, dad." He said, grinning bigger. Soujiro grabbed quickly at Takashi's right arm, pulling the knife away from Kaoru's throat. She dropped to the floor, Kasshin bolted forward, and Soujiro held on to his arm. Takashi managed to shake Soujiro loose.

"You little bastard!" He yelled, plunging the knife toward Soujiro. Kasshin attacked with a single punch to the forehead. Takashi fell backward landing with a deep thud on the hardwood floor.

"Father!" Kaoru said, leaping into his arms. He wrapped his arms around her.

"Kaoru, I...I was so afraid I would lose you." He said, letting her go after a few moments. He turned to Soujiro. "Soujiro, I owe you my thanks…" He said, noticing Soujiro's awkward position. Soujiro was knelt down, with his head down, and his hand on his chest. Kasshin suddenly realized what was wrong. He rushed over to the boy.

"Soujiro!" He said, putting his arm behind Soujiro's back. He fell back into Kasshin's arm.

"Kamiya San, I've never been cut before, It hurts." He said. Kasshin looked at him in astonishment. "He's smiling, why is he smiling?"

"Don't worry Soujiro, we'll take care of that wound." He said lifting the boy into his arms. "Kaoru, find Genzai Sensei." He said. She nodded in abeyance, and ran as fast as she could out the door.

Himura Battousai

Kenshin turned toward Hiruma Gohei propping his sword on his shoulder.

"Oh yeah, one more thing, Hitokiri Battousai's style isn't Kamiya Kasshin or your other style, it's Hiten Mitsurugi Ryu, a kenjutsu designed to face many opponents at once and if I weren't using this Sakabatou, all your men would be dead now." Kenshin said, half-smiling.

"So, you're the legendary Hitokiri?" Kaoru said softly in disbelief.

"Interesting, there can't be two Battousai's and If I kill you the name will be mine." Hiruma said, throwing his Saya aside. Kenshin stood unwavering before the huge man.

"You haven't earned it." He said, watching as Hiruma raised his sword above his head.

"Die Battousai!" He yelled, looking for his target. "He's gone…" He thought.

"Up here." Kenshin said, from above him. Hiruma looked up and watched Kenshin smash down on his hands, crushing the fingers in his left hand. The force of the blow sent Hiruma's head into the dojo floor. Kenshin straightened up as the dust cleared.

"I've never cared for the nickname 'Battousai', But I will not allow a man like you to use it." He said, sliding his sword back into its Saya. He turned to Kaoru, and smiled. "I'm sorry, I didn't mean to hide things from you or Soujiro, but I guess I didn't want to tell you if I didn't have to. If you'll excuse me. He said, walking slowly toward the door.

"baka…" Soujiro said, from his slouched position by the door.

"eh?" Kenshin said looking down at him,…Only for a split second.

"BAKA!!" "ORO!!"

"This is all you're fault, we can't be expected to rebuild Kamiya Kasshin Ryu all by myself." She said.

"Wouldn't it be more trouble if Hitokiri Battousai stayed here?" Kenshin said putting a hand on the back of his head.

"baka…" Soujiro said again.

"I didn't say I wanted Battousai to stay here, I said I wanted The rurou…" She said, stopping suddenly. She turned away from him. Soujiro had managed to stand up behind Kenshin. "If you're going to leave, at least let me know your real name, not the nickname you carried so long ago." Kaoru said, seriously.

"Himura, Himura Kenshin." He said.

"Kenshin…Ok, Kenshin you can go now." She said, acting as if she didn't care whether he stayed or left.

"Kaoru?" Soujiro said, puzzled. The door slid shut. Kaoru's heart sank a little, in her mind she was going over what might have been with this Rurouni, with Kenshin.

"I've grown a bit tired of wandering." Kenshin said. Kaoru tuned slowly to find him standing in front of the now closed door. She smiled and began walking toward him. Kenshin put Soujiro's arm over his shoulder, and walked toward Kaoru, helping Soujiro as he went.

"But I don't know when I'll have to leave again." He said, pausing. "I'm not so good at cooking." He said.

"You're better than I am." Kaoru replied

"I don't have a lot of money. He added.

"The school makes money for us, so there shouldn't be too much trouble there." Soujiro said.

"I might walk in on you again." He said to Kaoru.

"Walk…In on her?" Soujiro said.

"That's ok," Kaoru said to Soujiro. "If he does, then…Hooo!!!" She yelled swinging a fist at Kenshin.

"OROOOOOOOO!!!" He yelled. His arm slid away from Soujiro as he fell backward. Kaoru lunged forward to catch Soujiro.

"Baka!! You were supposed to dodge!!"

"What an incredible punch you have…" Kenshin said.

The calm of Kamiya Dojo

Kasshin walked slowly through the quiet gate at Kamiya dojo, looking about at the odd nature of this peace. He'd left Kaoru and Soujiro in the care of Genzai, and had hurried back to his dojo in the hopes that he wouldn't find it covered in blood. He climbed the three steps to the front dojo door, and stepped inside. Tenchi looked up hearing the sound of his master's footsteps.

"Kamiya Sensei!" He said, standing and running to his teacher. The other students followed.

"Kamiya Sensei!" "Kamiya Sensei!" "Kamiya Sensei!"

The surprised dojo master looked around, puzzled.

"Where is Battousai?" He asked, sternly.

"He's gone Sensei, but he told me to give this to you." Tenchi said, handing him a letter. Kasshin opened the letter and read it's story. His eyes widened. "He was amazing, he beat them without even scratching them. He was done in a matter of seconds, we called the police and had them cleaned out in less than an hour." Tenchi excitedly added. Kasshin folded the letter, and tucked it away in his Gi.

"Battousai is a show off, even if he didn't hurt them. Don't ever fight to show off." He said, continuing through the dojo, and into the house. He stepped into the kitchen. The morning fire was still burning in the stove. Kasshin pulled out the letter, and read it once more. He smiled, and dropped the letter into the fire.

"Battousai…you're in interesting man." He said, turning and heading back into the dojo.

(((The following "blob of text" was supposed to be indented, but Fanfiction.net won't allow the correct HTML tag, so It doesn't look like what it's supposed to be. It's supposed to be the letter Kenshin left Kasshin. Thanks alot Fanafliction.net!)))

"Kasshin Dono, When I come here again, I will meet Kaoru Dono. She will ask me to stay, knowing my past. After a few years of living at Kamiya Dojo, Kaoru and I had grown very accustomed to each other's company. I decided if she would permit me, I would live out my life here. At Kamiya dojo. She had no objections. I had always wondered how you might have reacted to your daughter becoming my wife. But I never thought I'd be able to find out. Kaoru decided that my past self was not the same as the Kenshin she knew. I'd seen myself has Hitokiri Battousai for so long, I didn't know how to feel any respect for myself, until Kaoru Dono helped me see. I would not have lived as long as I did, were it not for her…she has more love to give than anyone I've ever known. That's why I brought Soujiro here. In the hopes that he can be helped like I was. I ask you to let him stay. Not as Hitokiri Battousai, but as myself, as Kenshin. I can only hope you'll agree, I cannot to anything more to sway your decision, save what I have already done. Soujiro's body may be unharmed, but as long as pain brings him to a smile, his heart will still be wounded. My heart never knew true joy until I came here, maybe Soujiro will come to feel the same. Kamiya Kenshin"

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