A/N: This is a fic I wrote for the live journal community challenge of: Water. It won first place and I hope you enjoy it as well.


"Again. Faster."

Kenshin slowly picked himself up out of the water. He had lost track long ago how many times Hiko had knocked him backwards, but they had been at this all morning. He was tired, hungry, and his shivering was making it difficult to hold the sword correctly. How in the world did Hiko expect him to go faster? With each swing of his sword he could feel his arms growing weaker and the sword heavier.

Not for the first time since Hiko had begun his training Kenshin wondered briefly if this was all really worth it. He also found himself often wondering if Hiko was secretly trying to kill him. He shut his eyes and took a deep breath. Yes, it was all worth it. If Hiko didn't kill him in the process this sword technique would allow him to protect so many people.

"Now Kenshin!"

With a yell Kenshin hurled himself at his master. Legs pumping furiously against the water making his movements slow and awkward. His clothing clinging closely to his skin, hindering his movements, and there Hiko stood. Dry as a bone, no water about his legs to slow his movements, no clinging garment to encumber his swing. And there, once again, was his sword as it connected painfully against Kenshin's own throwing the young boy back - once again - into the river.

"I said faster Kenshin."

Hiko stood perched on his rock as he watched his pupil surface once again. His red hair clinging comically to his cheek. To say he was amused would be an understatement. Dumping Kenshin over and over into the water was not only helping to strengthen the boy's pathetic muscles, but it was high class entertainment for the teacher as well.

He watched as Kenshin picked himself up even slower than his last dunking. Hiko could clearly see the child was growing weary, but it was important for Kenshin to learn to push past that, to tap into a bit of himself that would allow him to forget his bodily aches and attack.

However, he was finding this particular lesson rather difficult to teach. He would never admit that it could be because he wasn't quiet sure how one taught something like that to another. Soon he would have to give up this lesson for today and move on to something else. If he kept it up for too long he'd probably end up killing Kenshin and Hiko really didn't feel like attempting to find another student. Of course… maybe if he was able to find a replacement that didn't have a habit of staring off into space perhaps…

Hiko's musings of how much of a daydreamer Kenshin could sometimes be was interrupted when the boy let out a small squawk as he fell backwards back into the water. Hiko could only stare at his waterlogged student, the boy had tripped over his own two feet. He shut his eyes against an oncoming headache and muttered "Baka deshi…" quietly under his breath.

"What was that?" Kenshin said, sputtering as water dripped down his face.

Hiko raised an amused eyebrow, so his student had heard that. "What, do you have too much water in your ears baka deshi?" Hiko could see Kenshin's jaw grinding, his eyes flashing with a momentary anger. Maybe… just maybe, this could work well. Hiko smirked to himself. "I said faster baka deshi or do you just want to lie there in the river all day?"

Kenshin snapped, flying at his master with strength and speed he hadn't shown before. Hiko abandoned the lackluster approach he had been using with his student before. Bringing his blade up quickly to block the oncoming onslaught. He pushed Kenshin back easily enough, the boy still had a lot to learn, but this time instead of flying backwards into the water the boy landed - not at all gracefull - but never the less on his feet.

Hiko stared for a moment at his student as he stood there panting before him. A slow smile slowly spread across his face. That had worked surprisingly well, he was glad he thought of it! Baka deshi. Yes, he liked the sound of it quiet a lot. He was a genius.

"Better baka deshi." He said again, testing out his new teaching method. "Now, faster this time."