Disclaimer: I own nothing and no one

Especially not RK, if I did the last movie would not have happened

Really, he goes through all that and then they kill him off through disease

Anyways, back on subject. It has been a productive day

I washed clothes, washed dishes, cleaned entire kitchen

Went shopping, learned tamazight word for noodles

Made tomato sauce which is cooling on counter plus banana juice

Oh, and I finished this story, which is really the only part you care about

Chapter Four

". . . and really, what kind of coward strikes from the shadows anyways?"

Saitou could feel his teeth grinding, as well as the start of what was sure to be the migraine from hell. He had only thought the Lord of Kofu was annoying before. The days when Senju had been jumping at every strange sound and eying everyone around him with suspicion had been vastly preferable to this.

The obese man laughed, a shrill sound that was almost a giggle. "I can't believe I was so foolish as to actually believe the talk of drunken samurai." He sniffed, snapping a fan open to cool himself. "No doubt Battousai's reputation is highly exaggerated."

A flicker of familiar ki from a darkened ally up ahead lifted Saitou's spirits immensely. The swordsman coming to a stop as he lightly rested one hand on his sword. "You will have the opportunity to tell him so." That is, assuming the other had the courage to do so. Personally, he doubted it.

Senju did not scream as the slender figure stepped out into the road in front of them, but it was a close thing. The sound that did emerge from his throat causing the edges of the assassin's mouth to lift slightly. "Greetings Senju-sama," the redhead somehow twisted the title into an insult. "It has been a long time."

The lord's thoughts raced. They had met before? When? How? Mind stuttering to a stop as Battousai lifted his head to meet his gaze. Red hair was uncommon in Japan, but not unheard of. Those eyes though, he remembered those eyes. "Y-you," Senju stuttered.

Kenshin's expression became a true smile, though not a nice one. "Why so surprised my lord?" he inquired softly taking a step forward. "I swore I'd kill you one day." The teenager tilted his head to one side thoughtfully. "As I recall, you laughed."

Senju was not laughing now. "You, you did this for me?" Up until today, he had never given the boy he sold into slavery a second thought. Well, other than a regret he had been unable to sample the wares. Though right now, his libido was the last thing on his mind.

Golden eyes flashed with fury. "You think highly of yourself," Kenshin nearly snarled. "That I would dedicate my life to the likes of you." He pulled out his off hand from behind his back, tossing a spare katana to land with a clatter at the obese man's feet.

"I Kenshin Himura, student of Hiten Mitsurugi Ryuu, the Honorable Sword of the Flying Heavens challenge you Ichiro Senju, Lord of Kofu to a duel," he dropped into the stance that had given him his name. "The prize is your life."

Senju threw a helpless look at Saitou, looking ready and willing to hide behind the other man. Hajime on the other hand, seemingly had absolutely no intention of intervening, at least, not before it was over. "He can't do this," the lord cried. "He's, he's nothing but a peasant!"

"Your talking to the wrong person," Kenshin told him pleasantly. "For all they serve the Shogunate, the Shinsengumi have always been more interested in a man's skills than his caste."

The lord swallowed hard. "P-please Battousai-san. It was an accident," he eyes darted to and fro, looking desperately for some avenue of escape. There was none. "I, I didn't mean to kill her."

Now Kenshin did snarl. "But you did," he hissed. "Tell me Senju-sama, do you even remember her name?"

"Of course I do," the other blustered. "It was, it was . . ." Kuso! Of course he didn't recall what the chit was called.

"My sister's name," the assassin said after a moment of silence, voice unnaturally calm. "Was Ai," and it had suited her perfectly. "Now pick up the blade," he ordered. "Or I will cut you down where you stand."

Saitou raised both his brows, slowly exhaling as he filed the information away. So that was it. He could not argue Battousai did not have reason for this fight. He did not move as the lord clumsily lifted the katana, or as the redhead's attention turned his way.

"If you would be so kind taicho?" Kenshin asked, addressing his enemy with far more respect than he had his intended victim.

The dark haired man merely nodded, taking the appropriate position. Pulling a white handkerchief out of one pocket and raising it high into the air. Then, he dropped it. "Begin!"

This time Senju did scream, rushing his opponent wildly. It wasn't the smartest thing to do. One move to disarm him, another to take his head, a quick flick to clean the blood off the blade before sheathing it and it was all over.

Kenshin turned to face Saitou squarely, not even bothering to look at the corpse of the man he had just killed. Senju didn't deserve anything from him other than that which he had already delivered. "Well," the teenager said, the only indication he had been in a fight being the few drops of blood on one sleeve. "Shall we?"

Saitou considered it briefly before shaking his head. His orders had been to discover the reason behind the assassin's odd behavior, and he had done so. Now he just needed to report back to his superiors. Perhaps now that they had a starting point they would finally be able to piece together just where this man had come from. "Another night Battousai."

The other nodded, slipping back into the shadows. Two of the most dangerous men in Kyoto going their separate ways, neither of them bothered. After all, there would be other nights.

Finis

And it is done, thank goodness

Random question though

Has anyone else been having trouble with livejournal since they updated the site

My computer no longer loads it, and it has been what three weeks now

I will be posting the norsekink fill I was writing here

it is just annoying that I can't get there

if you know what I mean