Standard Disclaimer: Rurouni Kenshin and Rurouni Kenshin characters are owned by someone other than me. This is fiction and for entertainment purposes only. This story was not written for sale or profit but pure enjoyment. So with that out of the way please read and enjoy.
Western influence and traditions were slowly creeping into the daily life of the Japanese people. One such tradition was the Holiday of Christmas. I took the liberty of borrowing a few scenes plus one character from "One Magic Christmas" a really great movie. I incorporated these scenes into my own story. Of course there were some things that I had to change but with luck and a few neatly arranged words, no one will know the difference.
Kaoru's Christmas Miracle
The soft music floated in the air from the man sitting in the tree with his hands wrapped around a harmonica.
"Giiiidddeon," the soft voice floated down from the sky.
"Yes sir," the man in the tree said tapping his harmonica on a tree limb and then putting it in his pocket.
"Your assignment is different this year. I have a very special request."
"Her name is Kaoru Himura and she needs some Christmas spirit."
"I understand," he paused, "Where do I find her?"
"She lives in Japan in a town called Tokyo,"
Kaoru had been unable to sleep all night long. Her mind refused to accept the fact that she couldn't figure a way out of their financial problem. Money kept floating around in her dream but just out of her reach. And Kenshin wanted to have a western Christmas this year complete with a tree and a party. She had been telling him all week that a party and celebration was too expensive.
When Kenji came and crawled into bed with them, she pulled him in not wanting to get up just to put him back in his own bed. With the first rays if light, she crawled out of the warm pile of blankets into the chill of the room putting her in a worse mood.
She quickly dressed and made her way to the kitchen stopping in the doorway to look at the mistletoe that Kenshin had put there last night. 'He'll do anything to get a kiss from me' she smiled wondering how many kisses it was going to take to satisfy him. The smile soon left her face when she started preparing breakfast and her problems came back to haunt her.
'With students quitting and expenses going up, where are we going to get the money for taxes? The repairs took all the extra money and if I teach at another dojo then I'll be gone all the time again. What am I going to do? What do I tell Kenshin? He wanted to celebrate Christmas this year with a party but I just don't see how we can.' She gave a heavy sigh then resumed making breakfast.
Kenshin opened his eyes and poked his head out from under the covers. He could smell miso soup. 'Kaoru is making breakfast again.' He smiled when he felt a warm body snuggled next to him. He reached down under the blankets making a tunnel to let in a wisp of cold air. The small body shivered then curled in a tight ball trying to ward off the cold. "Time to get up Kenji. It smells like breakfast is ready," he said getting dressed for the day.
"But father, its cold," came the muffled reply from deep under the covers.
"Cold is no reason to over sleep," he said. He finished tying his hakama, then pulled the blanket exposing the boy to the chill of the room.
Kenji jumped up and tackled his father pinning his arms. The momentum made them tumble to the floor. Kenshin reached down and tickled Kenji making him loose his hold and sending laughter throughout the room.
"Ok, Ok," Kenji said through his laughter.
Kenshin stood tousled his son's hair and said, "hurry or breakfast will be gone by the time you get there."
"Father you know that when mother cooks there is always food left over," Kenji smiled, paused briefly, and then hesitantly asked, "are we going to decorate the tree this morning?"
"No, I have an appointment in town this morning. We'll do it this afternoon," Kenshin said giving him a smile. He turned and walked out of the room toward the kitchen.
Kenshin paused in the doorway of the kitchen, right where he had placed the mistletoe the night before. "Good morning, darling," he said in a deep sexy voice.
Kaoru turned to look at her husband, who was looking up at the mistletoe. She couldn't help but smile knowing what he wanted. So she slowly walked over to him and kissed him good morning. Suddenly She felt a chill that seemed to reach every part of her body making her shiver.
He pulled her into a hug and whispered, "I love you," into her ear.
She fell into the safety of his arms where she could forget about everything for a moment. But then she remembered all the things that needed to be done and reluctantly drew back and asked, "Is Kenji awake?" before returning to serve breakfast.
"Yes, he is," he paused, watching her walk away, and then asked, "Are you going to help us decorate the tree today, Kaoru?" Kenshin sat down still watching her.
"No I have to teach most of the day," she said, an edge to her voice. She placed his food in front of him then returned for her tray before sitting next to him.
"I know Kenji would like it if you would help us decorate the tree," he said hoping that she would reconsider.
She sat for a moment picking at her food then replied, "I have no time for such things."
"But Christmas is tomorrow. And we could have our friends over.." he started.
"Look, Kenshin we can't afford anything that isn't necessary and having a party right now is not necessary," she said her voice getting louder with each word. She stood up quickly thinking to walk away before the rush of emotions clashed deep inside her prompting her to say something she did not mean.
"I have to start getting ready to teach," she said resigned to carry this burden herself. Before she reached the door she said, "Stay out of trouble, and I'll see you tonight."
Kenji detoured outside to see if there was any new snow overnight. Sparkling snowflakes floated in the air like weightless feathers. The yard was covered in a thick layer of white snow giving it the appearance of a fluffy cloud. As Kenji gazed at the falling snow, there appeared a dark shadow that beckoned to him. As he approached the shadow, it turned into a tall man with a dark wool coat, his collar stood straight up to protect the back of his neck from the cold and on his head rested a western style hat.
"Hello," the man said a warm smile gracing his face.
"Hello, who are you?" Kenji asked feeling no fear only curiosity.
"My name is Gideon," he said kneeling down to be at eye level with the boy, "I'm an Angel, a Christmas Angel."
"Why are you here?"
"I'm here to help one person to feel the Christmas spirit. I have a very special person to help this year but I don't think I can do it myself."
"Can I help you?" he asked unable to contain the excitement in his voice.
"Yes. Can you be strong for your mother, no matter what happens today? Do you think you can do that?" he asked looking intently at the boy.
"Yes, but you don't know my mother. She is one of the strongest people in Tokyo," Kenji bragged.
"Yes but even strong people have a breaking point," he said his voice becoming softer, then he continued, "And if you need me for any reason, you can just come outside and I'll be there."
"Kenji, where are you? Breakfast is ready," Kenshin yelled from the house.
Kenji turned and said, "Yes father." When he turned back Gideon was gone and he could see no evidence that he had even been there. The snow suddenly stopped falling and the clouds opened for the sun to shine through.
"Well Kenji, it looks like we will be on our own today," Kenshin said finishing the last of the dishes. "If we leave now I can make my appointment, then we can get some tofu on the way home," he said taking a last glance around the kitchen making sure that everything was done.
"Then can we decorate the tree?" Kenji asked.
"Yes we can decorate the tree when we get back," Kenshin said feeling regret that Kaoru would not be there to help.
They were walking down the street and after several minutes of listening to their feet crunch the snow, Kenji suddenly asked, "Father what is an Angel?"
Kenshin looked at his son, opened his mouth to say something then closed it again. After a few more minutes he said, "I am not sure. Some people believe that when good people die they go to a place called Heaven and become angels."
"What do Angels do?"
"They say that there are all sorts of angels, like Guardian Angels, Messenger Angels and some even believe in Christmas Angels," Kenshin said not sure where the conversation was going.
"Have you ever seen an Angel?" Kenji asked.
Kenshin, surprised by the question, thought for a moment then answered, "No I have never seen an angel. They are said to be invisible."
"Invisible," Kenji whispered as they entered the police station.
Walking down the streets of Tokyo Kaoru couldn't help but think of Kenshin's request to decorate a Christmas tree and have a party. She kept replaying their conversation in her mind trying to figure out some way to justify celebrating the new tradition.
'If it weren't for the taxes' was her continued thought. 'It always comes down to money'. Stuck on this thought she didn't see the woman until she bumped into her. The contact broke her concentration, which immediately sent her into a fighting stance, her reflexes taking over.
One look at the woman's tattered and threadbare kimono made her realize she wasn't a threat. And the look of fear in the woman's eyes made Kaoru feel guilty.
"I'm sorry," the woman uttered while backing away clutching her two children as if to protect them from Kaoru. The children, shivering from the cold, pulled their blankets around them tighter.
Kaoru closed her eyes in disbelief that she could be so careless and when she opened them said, "I'm the one…" but there was no one there.
Kaoru's first thought was to look for them but she pacified herself with the fact that she would look for them later. She hurried along now watching where she was going and it wasn't long before her thoughts again returned to 'taxes and money'.
Before she knew it she was standing before the gate of the Dojo where she had been an instructor so many years ago. As she walked thru the gate her memories returned to a time when she was here to teach the principals and techniques of Kendo because she had no students of her own. Once again she was here for much the same reason, always money she thought. She could not help feeling dread and despair as she entered the training hall once again.
Kenji had resisted all the urges of a young boy sitting in the middle of a police station while Kenshin was meeting with the chief of police. What seemed like an eternity to Kenji finely ended when a door opened and Kenshin walked through. That was all Kenji needed for a sign saying it was time to go.
After they left the police station he suddenly asked, "Why did we go to the police station?"
Kenshin smiled, knowing his son's curiosity and answered, "I am planning a very special Christmas present for your mother."
His curiosity satisfied, Kenji followed along behind his father looking at everything there was to see as they walked down the street.
"Lets get the tofu so we can make dinner after we decorate the tree," Kenshin said opening the door to the store. He let Kenji walk in ahead of him before entering the store himself. Immediately he felt uneasy, sensing something not quite right inside the familiar store.
He looked around but couldn't see anything out of place. All the wicker baskets full of vegetables and rice stacked on table and shelves looked exactly as he remembered. The same old gray haired man helping people pick out what they wanted and his wife accepting the money for people paying for their groceries.
Everything seemed right until he focused on the woman who was nervously walking towards him. Before he had time to consider why she looked out of place she sprang to life, grabbing a handful of vegetables as she raced towards the door.
That's when Kenshin noticed the tip of a dagger showing from the sleeve of her kimono. Kenshin's first thought was for Kenji's safety. Kenshin shoved Kenji out of the way, leaving only himself to block the woman's path to the door. But desperation had made her faster than Kenshin realized and she was upon him before he could react.
The woman panicked, thinking he might try to stop her.
As he fell to the floor Kenji cried, "FATHER." Horrified at what he saw next, all he could do was stare in disbelief.
At that moment Kaoru was walking down that very street feeling worse than ever now that she knew there was no possibility of getting her old teaching job back. The sound of her son's scream snapped her back and sent panic racing through her.
She turned just in time to see the woman bury her dagger into Kenshin's chest. Time stopped for Kaoru and all she could do was scream, "NOOOOOOOOO."