Disclaimer: Rurouni Kenshin is not mine, hence why I am NOT rolling in a large pile of money. Darn.
It's going to be one of those days, was the thought of Himura Kenshin as five men surrounded him.
It'd only been a year since the end of the Bakumatsu, so he couldn't say he was surprised to still be running into old enemies or having a few people identify him as the Battousai. He could say, however, that it was beginning to get really annoying.
The morning had started out peaceful enough, and he'd headed out early to end up in town before breakfast. It'd been a long time since he'd last had something cooked for him so he was looking forward to a well-prepared meal. However it seemed his arrival was also being looked forward to by a well-prepared ambush.
They weren't even former Shinsengumi members or the revenge-seeking relatives of past-victims he was used to; just some group of radicals who thought that having the head of the Battousai would instantly bring all of Japan to their feet. Well, if they wanted his head, they'd have to come and get it first.
Himura clutched the hilt of his sakabatou. It had taken him nearly the entire year since he'd gotten the reverse-blade to adapt the Hiten Mitsurugi style to it. While he wasn't a master yet, the first charging swordsman's stance could be taken down with his left hand alone. Himura neither smirked confidently nor sighed from boredom at this fact, but rather simply prepared himself to fight honorably and defeat them faster than it took a person to hiccup.
…That is until somebody actually hiccupped and ruined that idea.
"SHTOP IN DA NAME OF THE LAW DE GOZARU!!!" followed the hiccup along with a giddy chuckle. "I've alwaysh wanted t' say dat."
All bodies stopped, all heads turned, and all eyes fell upon the form of a tall, graying, middle-aged man. He was wearing a sword on his belt, a mustache-topped grin on his drunk-red face, and a gray hakama and orange gi that made the other men there wonder why the Fashion Police hadn't arrested him yet.
"You men!" the stranger cried in a slurred address to the thugs while putting a hand on his sword. "I don't approve of what yer doing 'ere, de gozaru! Now leave quietly or else…"
For an instant his eyes flashed dangerously and took on the appearance of a very sober and very angry hitokiri. For an instant he looked forbidding and deadly. And for an instant, the rebels felt an icy chill run down their spines, similar to the kind felt after having awoken a demon beast from its ageless sleep…
…And then the instant passed like bad gas when he forgot to pop the blade and ended up threatening them with a scabbard that had a hilt. (A.N. - For strong swordsman, this is equivalent to the danger of someone trying to bludgeon you with a Nerf bat.)
"Oro?" the mysterious stranger said absently.
To Himura, the man was an idiot. To the rebels, the man was… well, an idiot; but an idiot who could witness and therefore needed to be exposed of.
"Anou… You guysh wouldn't consider givin' up anyway, would ya?"
And the sooner the better.
" Youe," the leader of the group barked to one of his men. "Kill the drunk, and quickly. We still need to get back to the real matters at hand." He sneered at the Battousai.
Himura scowled while setting his feet further apart, ready to spring. Idiot or no, he couldn't let any innocent people be killed on his part. However, with a few men and quite a bit of distance still in-between him and the would-be-rescued-drunk, he wondered it he would make it on time. Hopefully that stranger knew enough about swords to defend himself just long enough for him to tear his way through. …Then again, he had forgotten to unsheathe the thing.
It must be Monday, he decided. It would just figure this to be how I start off my week.
"Sho I guess that's a no?" the idiot asked as the man named Youe approached him with his katana fully brandished.
"Yes," his assailant grinned devilishly.
The drunk blinked. "Yesh you shurrender?"
The rebel blinked. "No!"
"Then why'd ya jusht shay yes?!"
"I was agreeing!"
"No! I was agreeing that I would not be surrendering!"
"Who ashked that?!"
"You did!!" the thug yelled, frustrated by the whole nonsense.
"Stop playing around!" their commander shouted. "Just get rid of the bum already!"
In full agreement, Youe charged. "DIE!" he recommended before taking his own advice and falling at the feet of the stranger. Well, he hadn't quite taken all of his own advice seeing as to how he was still breathing, but he was certainly dead to the world which was just as good at that point.
Everyone stared-which was only the natural reaction considering what they'd just witnessed. The elder samurai, (and there was no doubt now that he was a samurai) had taken down his opponent in one fell swoop that hadn't appeared to take much strength or effort. Apparently Mr. Clumsy-Fool-Drunk was also Mr. Who's-Your-Daddy in disguise.
"Sumanu," the aged man said to his beaten foe, all alcoholic influence gone from his voice. "However, I cannot let you or your friends harm innocents." With that he turned towards the remaining gang and slowly drew the blade from its sheath. "Now you have to ask yourself one question," he told them. "Do I feel lucky, de gozaru ka?" His sword reflected the glinting promise of death in his eyes. "Well, do ya…Punk-donos?"
Apparently they did.
The remaining four leaped into action with the grace, speed, and precision of a pack of hungry tigers. And then the remaining four fell in defeat with the dignity, honor, and pride of a burlap sack of potatoes. Potatoes don't bleed. Approvingly, neither did the rebels expect the one with a broken nose (those always bleed.) Himura noticed with satisfaction that the swordsman had flipped his blade to take out his enemies.
"Showing mercy to the likes of these," the elder muttered while putting away his weapon. "I'm getting too soft." The two faced each other. "Daijoubu ka?"
"Aa," the younger replied. "I appreciate you assistance… eto…"
"Obaga," he supplied, stepping closer with a warm smile on his face. It seemed he was done with the drunk act (it had to have been an act in order for him to have shaken it off so quickly.) "Obaga Nuhiro. I am a simple wandering samurai, de gozaru."
"Arigatou Obaga-san," Himura said, not giving his own name even though it was customary. He had a private rule with himself to never give out his identity unless asked for it. Besides, despite having just been "rescued" by this stranger, there was something in his smile that made his nerves edgy. His smile, while inviting, seemed… too inviting, if that was possible. In fact it almost seemed…
"It was my pleasure to assist such a lovely face."
"Now now, don't be shy," Nuhiro cooed oily. "I did save you after all."
The Battousai stepped backwards, only a single year of training and one very bad memory keeping him from removing this man's head with a battojutsu stroke.
"I think you have the wrong person…"
"So what's a pretty little thing like you doing wandering the streets alone this early in the morning?" Leer; yes that was definitely a leer. "On your way to meet somebody or maybe just… looking for the right company?"
Must… not… break… non-killing vow!!
"I really think you're making a mistake, Obaga-san." One that just might cause you your life if we're both not careful…
A rattling noise caught the older man's attention and he looked down to see it was a sword that the redhead was clutching in a white-knuckled grip.
"You carry a sword?" he asked, sounding surprised. "Interesting. You don't really see many… ladies… carrying……" Gaze drawn to the opening in his company's gi, which it often was but only under certain reasons, Obaga began to see that there was something wrong with his statement. To confirm, he reached out and patted the chest area. Flat.
On the plus side (at least to Obaga) this meant that his eyesight wasn't failing him entirely in his old age yet. On the down side…
"Anou… What do you think you're doing?" Himura inquired evenly, amber eyes leveled and unamused.
"Cripes!!" Obaga cried loudly, five yards of distance having suddenly grown in-between them. "She's a he-she! He's a she-he!! I mean it's a… you're a…a…!" He shook his head vigorously in obvious disgust. "Kami, I really need a drink, de gozaru yo."
Oh, Himura could only think to himself. It's going to be one of THOSE days.
Himura hadn't seen sake disappear that fast since he living with his shisho. Nuhiro had emptied five bottles throughout the course of breakfast and was working on his sixth. Without bothering to even wonder how he bellied it without anything solid to eat, Himura set down his chopsticks next to his emptied dishes and decided to start some small talk because Nuhiro's drunken rambling was getting annoying. Unfortunately, conversational skills weren't in the job description of a hitokiri, so he had little experience in trying to strike up an intellectual engagement. …Not that Nuhiro looked like he was up to anything intellectual…
Clearing his throat, Himura decided to start with some basic facts.
"I am not paying for all of those," was the first one. Glancing between the sake bottles and his company, he pointed out, "I said I'd buy you a drink, not the entire bar. Although I don't even know how you managed talking me into one…"
"Aww c'm on, be a pal," the elder slurred, the alcohol having made his disposition chummy again. He reached over to pull Himura into a friendly one-handed hug. "I shaved you, rememba?"
The red haired man quickly pulled away, not wanting anything "chummy" from his man. "You also thought I was a woman," he growled.
"Oro! Thatsh not my fault de g'zaru! Yer so femmy-lookin' and tiny!"
"Again, NOT paying for those."
"At leasht have a drink yerself!" Obaga insisted, pouring a cup.
Himura frowned, an old memory and lecture bittering his taste. "I don't like sake," he said firmly, but was handed the small saucer despite it.
"What kinda shamurai doesn't like sake?!" he asked incredulously. "No shwordsman I know doesn't like ta get drunk de g'zaru!" He then leaned over in a conspiracy manner. "Unlesh I was right in th' first place and yer not a swords-MAN."
Oh how Himura longed for his old katana.
"I'll be paying for my tab and your one drink now, Obaga-san," Kenshin evenly replied, using every fabric of his will to not create public violence. Having been a secret assassin for so long did have its benefits in means of self-control.
"Matte, matte de g'zaru yo!" Nuhiro spluttered, waving his hands about frantically and coaxing his new paycheck to stay. "At leasht have one drink! I'll even pay fer it!" As if to prove he was capable of making good on his claim, the mustached man placed enough sen on the table for the beverage.
"You'd better save that for your own bill," Himura suggested.
"C'me on buddy," Nuhiro pleaded. "Itsh ma way of apologizin' fer thinkin' you was a girl, 'kay?" The youth scowled, not liking that particular reminiscing moment. "'Sides, I shaved you, remem-"
"I was perfectly capable of handling that situation myself, thank-you very much," the Ishin Shinshi interrupted, growing tired of this drunk's antics. "I appreciate your good intentions but believe me, they were not needed. If you'd known why those men were truly after me, then perhaps you'd understand why I could have easily-"
"You are the Hitokiri Battousai of god-like speed."
Himura blinked and stared at the elder man. Nuhiro's eyes were suddenly clear of their alcoholic glaze and his speech was once again coherent and sharp. It was as though he had never been intoxicated in the first place. The former hitokiri's eyes narrowed as his senses jumped into alert. It was clear this older samurai knew who he was and was also not entirely what he appeared to be. Just by looking at him, Himura could tell by the distant and stony look in Nuhiro's eyes that he was a man that had many secrets.
And he could also tell by looking at Nuhiro's face green and cheeks swell that he was a man that had drank too much.
A bead of sweat rolled down Himura's face as Oabaga excused himself as politely as a man on the verge of vomiting could and ran off to find the nearest empty bucket. Sighing, the red haired man prepared to collect his things and leave his payment when his gaze fell upon the cup of sake still sitting before him.
If the sake tastes bitter, there is something amiss in your soul.
It had been over a year since rice wine had touched his lips. Perhaps now…
Hesitantly, Himura lifted the cup to his lips… And drank.
Frowning in disappointment, Himura quickly placed the empty saucer to the side as the waitress walked up with the bill. Looking it over, his eyes widened and he caught the woman's attention to ask if there had been a mistake. Checking the slip, she assured him it was correct.
"I'm only paying for one of the sake bottles," he explained calmly.The waitress looked a bit distressed at this but informed him, "But that man who just walked out said that you would be picking up the entire tab."
Oh… no… he did NOT.
"Is he still out there?" the swordsman asked, trying not to sound as murderous as he felt.
"No, I'm afraid he left quite quickly. Anou… Are you able to pay or not, Sir?"
Fishing out the extra coins, Himura's thoughts turned dark. Obaga Nuhiro was a dead man who was about to learn a very important and painful lesson.
Nobody leaves the Battousai with the check.
End chapter one.
Oh, I am gonna have so much fun writting this.
My current ride for humorous Kenshin fics have been heavily inspired by Anna-neko and Bao Blossom. I love their Kenshin fics. If you haven't read them and you liked this, I can garentee you'll enjoy theirs.
Okay, about some of the grammar. I am aware that I'm most likely not using "de gozaru" right in most cases (ex: "Do you feel lucky de gozaru ka?") and I know that "Punk-donos" is certainly grammacally incorrect, but hey, lighten up. I'm mostly using it for humor here. It's almost supposed to be wrong just so you laugh (hopefully). So please excuse the bad usage along witht he OOC, okay?
So how'd I do for my first entrance into the fanfiction.net world? R&R are greatly welcome! Thanks for reading this far in the first place!