Disclaimer: Naah, Mr Watsuki, no need to show these narrow amber eyes to me… Kenshin and all the others are yours and I will never claim them to be mine. Thanks for creating them ! And I will never try to make any money out of my fanfic stories either.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Kenshin and Kaoru had been married for a little bit more than five years now and Kenji was a cute, nearly three years old boy.
On a sunny may afternoon the whole family was making his way around the market.
Kaoru was hoping to find some new red kimono to attend Yahiho's wedding with Tsubame, which was to take place in about two weeks.
Kenji had the promise of his father in mind. Yesterday Kenshin had vaguely spoken of buying him a new spinning top - his favorite toy.
Kenshin was simply enjoying the sunny day and ready to follow up on anyone's wishes.
Kenji was holding Kaoru's right hand and Kenshin's left hand. Kenji suddenly let go of both hands when he saw a merchant selling all kinds of tops, all of them of different sizes and colors.
"Daddy, daddy, ook !!! " he shouted.
Kenshin's amusement was obvious when he heard his boy was still not pronouncing the first consonant of words! Kenji had started to speak a couple of months ago, and kept omitting the first letters of most words, except for 'Daddy' and "Mummy".
Kenji however did very well know how to make himself understand. He was jumping in front of the merchant, pointing his finger at every top having more than one color.
"Two, two, daddy, lease".
Kenshin couldn't resist the joy of his son, and picked up three spins, probably secretly hoping that his son would let him play with at least one of them. He knew Kaoru approved by the way she was smiling at the scene, trying to calm Kenji down a bit, so that the whole stall wouldn't be thrown to the floor.
While Kenshin was still paying the merchant Kenji immediately knelt down to try one of the tops.
But his awkwardness made one of the spins land in the middle of the road where carriages where passing.
When following the spin with their eyes, Kenshin and Kaoru immediately noticed that a young boy of Kenji's age was heading for the middle of the road to pick up the spin. His parents were talking to relatives and not paying any attention to him.
A carriage was coming very fast. The conductor couldn't see the boy because he was too small and was already bent, ready to pick up the top.
Kaoru's and Kenshin's eyes met for a second.
"Abunai!" Kaoru shouted, running towards the middle of the road, lifting the boy up in her arms.
Kenshin jumped towards the carriage, up on one of the horses to halt the whole yoke.
The loud cracklings of the carriage's wooden elements made the parents turn around and cry in horror.
Kaoru had almost reached the other side of the road and was holding the heavily crying boy in her arms.
Kenji was also crying on the other side of the road in the merchant's arms.
The horses were now nervously fuming with their mouths full of white saliva. The conductor was thanking Kenshin, and apologizing for not having seen the boy.
Kenshin's first gaze was for his wife. His worries faded away when he saw that both the boy and his wife had safely made it to the other side of the road.
Then he waved at his son to calm him down and show him there was no need to cry.
Upon seeing that a whole crowd was now forming to congratulate his parents, Kenji wiped his tears away with his sleeve and started to jump around shouting "Hey, hey, daddy, mummy, hey!!".
The merchant led the boy to Kenshin and Kaoru who had now given the crying boy back to his mother, who didn't know what to do to overcome the chock, except holding her boy as close as she could to her.
In the middle of the crowd Kenji handed the spinning top over to the little boy "Here…" Kenji's voice made the mother and the boy immediately stop weeping. The little boy startled a bit at the unexpected gift, but then a bright smile formed on his face.
Then Kenji turned to his father and handed over one of the two remaining tops to his father. "Here…for you" he said with shining eyes full of admiration.
Kenshin was so surprised that – on the moment – he didn't know what to say. It took him a few seconds to realize that his son was still holding the top out to him. Kenshin's eyes closed for an instant. He bent down to lift his son and take him in his arms. "Thank you so much, son" he whispered. "This is the most beautiful present I have ever received" he continued while heading for his wife.
Kaoru kissed her husband. Little by little the people left the place with a little smile on their lips.
Kenshin, Kaoru and Kenji continued their way onto the market.
At nightfall Kenshin laid Kenji in his futon, kissed him on his forehead and placed the blanket over his shoulders. Kenji was already dreaming of the events of the day, firming holding the top in his hands under the blanket. Then he joined his wife who was waiting for him in the kitchen
"Kenji can be proud of his father" she said
"And of his mother" Kenshin pursued with a calm voice.
"Kenshin…. How did you know what I was going to do?" she asked after a pause.
"You gave me the look that says you're going to do the foolishest thing that can be done on that moment!" Kenshin answered slightly frowning.
"And how did you know what I was going to do?" Kenshin questioned in turn.
"You gave me the look that says you know what foolish thing I am going to do, and that you'll do anything to protect me!" she answered with a grin.
They both stand there for a minute, and then after a silence: "Kenshin…. I love you".
Kenshin had already turned around to continue with the removal of the dishes. He froze in place and opened his eyes widely. Then he turned around to face Kaoru.
He smiled softly and outreached his hand towards her. Kaoru smiled in turned, a little surprised by a gesture that used to be hers. She gladly put her hand into his and then they both headed for the bedroom.