Psychotic Peacebunnie Productions Proudly Presents:
LIFE ON THE MOUNTAIN: THE ADVENTURES OF SHISHOU AND DESHI
© I Don't Know Where This Came From
What's your name, boy?
The walk back was quiet. Now slipping out of shock, his thoughts on the field of corpses, the boy didn't speak; and the night was serene for Hiko to contemplate the dark sky and its large moon looming overhead. Assorted bits of plant matter crunched under their feet while insects buzzed in the star-lit bushes, lending realism to an otherwise unearthly night.
Much too delicate a name for a swordsman. From now on your name will be Kenshin.
They arrived at the cabin, and Hiko carefully led the boy inside. He then stood in the door and watched, as the boy dazedly wandered further in. The boy looked around, eyes slowly losing focus. He looked like he was going to drop any minute.
I am going to teach you, boy. Teach you my finest knowledge.
First things first, then. No matter how tired the boy was, a bath was priority. He could sleep all he wanted later, and Hiko wouldn't complain.
(Not now, anyway. Hiko still remembered being a teenager; the boy would not be allowed to sleep through morning chores. Ever. But he didn't have to worry about that for a few years, at least.)
Hiko snorted, and the boy's unfocused stare turned towards him. On second thought, maybe not a bath. The boy was so out of it he might drown. Tomorrow, then.
"Stay here. I'm going to get some water." On receiving an indistinct murmur, he grabbed a bucket and left.
He used the time walking to and from the creek to consider how he would work with his new deshi. He'd had plenty of time over the years to consider training exercises, but whenever he'd imagined taking a student, he hadn't imagined an emotionally damaged, grieving ex-slave.
He dismissed the line of thought as he stepped back in the warmer cabin. The boy was almost exactly where he'd left him, eyes glazing over, and Hiko was alarmed. Drawing the child's mind back to the present needed to be done quickly.
Hiko set the full bucket down, away from the bedding, and in several strides crossed the room. Reaching up, he pulled a wash rag from a shelf, and turned back to the boy. He was so pale...
He went to the boy - Kenshin, now- and grabbed his arm, leading him over to the bucket. Hiko dipped the rag in, wrung it, and started scrubbing the boy's hands.
The child winced. Hiko noticed, and raised an eyebrow.
"What is it?"
"Cold," the child muttered, just loud enough to be heard. Hiko went back to cleaning him.
When he found the boy suitably clean for the night, Hiko dumped the water outside and laid out his futon. He stared at it a moment, considering. The boy was small; he would get cold easily. He needed an extra blanket.
Hiko retrieved several blankets, dumping them on the bed. He glanced back at the boy; Kenshin was watching him now. The boy's gaze was still somewhat unfocused, but it was an improvement. Hiko gestured to his new deshi. Kenshin wandered over cautiously.
"I don't have anywhere to put you, so we're sharing for now," Hiko said. Kenshin stared at him, then nodded slowly.
Hiko was too tired to change for bed, so he hung up his cloak, kicked off his shoes, removed his sword and got under his blanket. Once he settled, he gestured again, and Kenshin joined him, kicking off his own sandals. Hiko made sure the boy was wrapped firmly in a blanket of his own, before draping the first to cover them both and rolling over to sleep.
Hiko blinked several times, trying to register what was so uncomfortable. Reaching full consciousness, he realized. Oh. Heat. Summer nights were chill, but being wrapped in blankets late on a summer morning wasn't, by any stretch of the imagination.
The boy was still sleeping; Hiko could hear the deep, even breaths behind him. He lifted the edge of the blanket carefully, deciding to get up and start on breakfast. The moment he began to stand, however, Kenshin was sitting up, blinking sleepy eyes. Hiko looked back at him, faintly surprised. Kenshin turned to him, staring back, still bundled and red hair sticking out at every angle.
Snorting, Hiko dropped the blanket and stood. Kenshin watched him, then began to look around, his face still blank but his ki confused.
Hiko picked up the blanket and started folding. After observing a moment, Kenshin wiggled free of the second blanket, picking it up and trying to fold it. Unfortunately, it was too large for such a small child. Kenshin couldn't straighten the blanket between the corners he held together; Hiko hid his smile.
Finishing the first blanket and setting it aside, Hiko reached for Kenshin's and finished folding it. Bereft of the task, Kenshin looked momentarily lost.
Hiko put away the futon and blankets, moving to start some miso soup. Kenshin trailed him, standing over his shoulder and watching the food until Hiko forced him to sit.
When it was ready, Hiko spooned a serving for Kenshin, and they ate without speaking. Breakfast finished, Hiko gathered the dishes, placing them in a small tub and carrying it to the creek. Kenshin again trailed him, stumbling every now and again as his focus drifted.
Hiko, observing his distraction, gave him a bowl to wash. Kenshin fell to it with his full concentration, scrubbing vigorously. His tongue stuck out between his teeth, and Hiko wasn't sure whether to be amused or bemused, so he scrubbed his own dishes instead.
I have no idea what I'm doing, taking in a child, Hiko mused. At least he seems resilient enough to survive anyway.
This should prove interesting.
Okay, so I have several files that have been sitting on my computer. First drafts and rough outlines, or just a string of ideas – maybe not enough for a whole story, but certainly enough for a collection of snippets. :)
This first one was originally going to be a full story – but then life got in the way, the muse dried out, and a lot of the ideas I jotted down in the past I just don't like anymore. So I decided to keep the intro chapter, and later in this ficlet collection I'll add little mini-scenes from Kenshin's training years.
As a heads up: I like the weird supernatural-esque things. So some parts will have weird things, and some will be closer to comedy or something else. No over-arching tone in this collection.
I'll also be adding a chapter with Kenshin and Enishi (which also never turned into a full fic), and a very myth/fairy tale version of Kenshin's family history. Apparently I like to wipeout canon entirely with my love of weirdness.
Hugs & kisses for Ducky'sgirl4ever, Lucathia Rykatu, Summercloud, Forlorn Maiden, Little Karma, Viridian, Byoshi1993, Asania, and Lau. You probably reviewed when I was super busy at work, I didn't have time to thank you right away, and then I was so late replying I didn't know what to say. So I took note of the names to give a future shout out! THANK YOU ALL!