This is based on the comments of Nobuhiro Watsuki at the end of the manga. I thought that was such an interesting idea, I decided to write about it. Except I gave Shinya a twin sister because it really bugged me that all of the good fighters were male (Yahiko, age ten, is better than Kaoru age sixteen, after training for only six months? And Kamatari was a guy too, despite looking extraordinarily girly. Misao doesn't do much, (except obsess about Aoshi.) Anyway, this is set in the 32nd year of Meiji – if it was still called Meiji then – as Kenshin nears his 50th…creepy thought, huh?
Anyway, I own nothing, I won't even put a claim to Shinko, because she will probably end up like some sort of female Yahiko. This applies to all following chapters.
Okay, nearly a year to the day after it was last updated, I'm rewriting it, putting some of the chapters together so that they're longer, and adding a bit in the middle and making the entire story longer(This first chapter is nearly the same though). Also, I'll be putting a rein on the Japanese that I use, and instead of putting translations in the text, I've put a glossary here.
Chichi – 'Father' (This is the familiar version that replaces Otou-san and usually refers to one's own parent.)
Haha – 'Mother (Same form as Chichi – often replaces Okaa-san)
Imoto – Little sister
Nii/Nee – Big brother/sister
Gochisosama – this is always said at the end of a meal in thanks for the food
Itadakimas – Like Gochisosama except for the start of a meal
Hayaku – hurry up (Lit. a form of hayai meaning early)
(Chotto) Matte – wait
Nani – What
Ohayo (gozaimas) – Good morning.
Konichiwa – everyone knows this –'hello'
Konbanwa – good evening
Oyasumi Narai – good night
Dozo Yoroshiku – pleased to meet you
Ja Matte – see you later (also Ja Ne, or simply Ja, or even Matte Ne)
Sumimasen – excuse me
(Domo) Arigato (Gozaimas) – thank you (very much)
Doitashimashte – your welcome
Baka – idiot
Busu – Hag
Ne – Right?
Hai/Iie – yes/no
Then there are also standard suffixes (in ascending order of respect/familiarity) –chan, -kun, -san, -dono, -sensei (for teachers/doctors), -sama...
Now, with this over, let us begin...
Myojin Shinko watched the two young men before her, shinai resting at their sides, hands hovering just over the hilt as they waited for her signal. They were about equal in size, since the dark-haired fighter to her left had grown (and eaten) amazingly in the last few months, but the red-haired man on the left had four more years of experience, and was commonly hailed as a genius. Shinko blinked as he met her eyes with his own, dark blue ones, wondering why she hadn't called the start yet. Shinya, her twin brother, was shifting impatiently on the balls of his feet.
"Hayaku, Imoto-chan." He snapped, impatient, but still watching his opponent carefully "I'm about to drop dead of old age."
"Don't call me little sister, I'm exactly the same age as you are!"
"But you smaller than me, aren't you, Imoto-chan?" Shinko glared at her brother, her fingers twitching towards her own shinai, laid carefully on the ground beside her, wrapped in the cherry blossom-patterned bag that her mother had insisted was more appropriate for a fifteen year old girl.
"Please begin the match, Shinko-san." Himura Kenji's voice was soft and polite, but also slightly cold, completely different to the warm kindness in his father's voice. Shrugging, Shinko poked her tongue out at her brother and raised her hand, watching the two fighters intently.
"Myojin Shinya and Himura Kenji, begin!"
If she hadn't been watching for it, Shinko probably would have missed the first flurry of movement as the two boys drew their swords and launched themselves towards each other. As such, she only just saw each attack before it was countered, faster than the mind could react, as they both relied on the fighter's instinct for sensing attacks…no, it was more than that, it was the sense of an adept of Hiten Mitsurugi-ryu. Shinko narrowed her brown eyes in concentration, memorising each move as it was made, so that she could analyse, and use, it later. Over the past year, this was the form that her training had taken, even Shinya wouldn't spar with her anymore, since it 'wasn't right to beat up girls'.
"Point, Kenji!" Shinko called, raising her hand, just as Kenji's blade connected with Shinya's side. Her dumb brother had intentionally created a fractional opening, to lure Kenji in, but pre-empted his strategy by attacking before his opponent took the bait. Kenji had probably known that, and delayed his strike at that weak spot for just an instant, until Shinya was committed in his attack.
""What?! No way! That was –" Shinko waited patiently for Shinya to finish fuming before signalling for them to continue. Kenji always got the first hit.
Five points later, two more of which were against Shinya, Kaoru decided it was time for dinner. Her cooking had improved from the horror-stories that Yahiko and Uncle Sano related, but it still wasn't brilliant. Her timing, however, was immaculate. She interrupted almost every bout at exactly the point when the scores were equal. It annoyed Shinya no end, and even irritated Kenji occasionally, as well as being the point of several heated arguments between master and first instructor of the Kamiya Kasshin-ryu dojo.
"But – "
"No excuses, are you staying for dinner, Shinya, Shinko? Good. You boys, get changed, I don't want the tatami mats smelling of sweat. Shinko, help me serve." Without another word, the imposing, blue-eyed woman swept out of the dojo training hall. Sighing, Shiko followed, slinging her shinai over her shoulder.
Kenshin was in the kitchen as well, chopping vegetables. It was the closest he ever got to sword fighting these days, his speed and strength had deteriorated so much that by this time, they were no better than the average persons, despite the fact that only his world-weary purple eyes looked older than his mid thirties (Once again, Kenshin slices off the years.). Shinko began to scoop the cut vegetables into a bowl, wondering what it must be like to lose so much, after dedicating so much time and effort to it. It made her feel slightly selfish, being so resentful about how little time she was allowed to spend with her own kenjutsu. Not even Misao-chan, or Kaoru-san would back her up, now that they were happily married with kids.
"Sano-san and Megumi-dono are coming for dinner as well…did we make enough, Kaoru-dono?" Kenshin asked quietly, looking over at his wife. He still called her Dono in public, despite having been married to her for twenty years.
"NANI?!?!? Why didn't you tell me sooner?! And Shinya's still eating like Yahiko…"
"Watch it, busu. You say it like it's a bad thing. It just means he's growing. Everyone eats a lot when they're teenagers. I bet Kenji, and even Kenshin did it." Shinko looked up and smiled at her father, who was standing in the doorway with a parcel labelled 'Akabeko' and his eternal companion, a battered old shinai.
"What are you doing here?" snapped Kaoru "and chop faster, Kenshin. We need more vegetables. How much tofu do we have?"
"I came because Kenshin said Sano and Megumi would be here."
"You told Yahiko and not me?! How could you be so inconsiderate you dirty, no-good rurouni!"
"Gomenasai, Kaoru-dono, this one forgot."
"Tsubame-chan sent me with food." Shinko smiled at the way Yahiko had skilfully interrupted Kaoru's rant with practised ease. "She's watching the akabeko tonight, so she won't be coming, but she thought that Kenshin might not have told you, so she gave me food-aid."
"I love that girl!" Kaoru snatched the parcel off Yahiko, examining its contents quickly. "Right, now we can make a decent meal."
"Misao rubbed off on you," muttered Yahiko, resting his left hand comfortably on his shinai, in an unthinking stance that nearly matched that of Kenji and Shinya this afternoon.
"What was that?"