Author's note: Yes, yes… the continuity of the story gets screwed here but… well, this is just humor okay? I've been writing deep emotional fics for a while now and I needed a little fun. So I hope you all enjoy it ^_^
PS Yes, the story is named after the song (and the scene in some ways) from Cowboy Bebop. If you have the track, try listening to it while reading this story. It's fun ^_^
Bad Dog, No Biscuits
A brisk sunny autumn day embraced Tokyo and its inhabitants decided to enjoy it before winter set in. Most people headed to local parks, enjoying the turning colors of the leaves. Others strolled along the river, watching the perfect blue sky reflected in the clean waters.
And then there was Kenshin. Give him a beautiful day like this and only thought popped into his mind.
"It's a good day to do laundry, de gozaru."
The redheaded rurouni turned with a smile as his wife of four years came bounding down the steps holding their proudest little achievement, who was currently making sure he entangled himself as thoroughly as possible in his mother's hair.
"Kenshin," Kaoru said quickly, spinning around in an attempt to free Kenji from the black net he had snared himself in. "Megumi wants to go the market and get some last minute things before they close down for the season so I need you to watch Kenji, finish the laundry, make dinner for you, me and Megumi and I'll be back later this evening, ja!"
Kenshin watched the small cloud of dust appear as she ran out the door.
"…hayo, Kaoru-dono," he finished.
He sighed. Well, so much for a greeting from his wife, a nice calm breakfast with her and… and so much for having a nice set of bangs, Kenshin thought as he felt Kenji's hand close in the red locks.
"Maa maa, Kenji… let go of…"
Kenji yanked and Kenshin pitched forward, stumbling in the empty courtyard. For a little guy, he sure had a lot of strength. It took all of Kenshin's skills not to fall down. A few spins and several 'Oro's later, Kenshin regained his balance.
"Please," he said holding the little boy at arm's length (and out of range of hair), "be more careful, de gozaru. You okasan will be very upset if something happened to you."
Not upset in the 'oh my poor baby Kenji' sort of way, Kenshin added to himself. More like that 'oh good, I always wanted a Kenshin-skin rug' type of upset.
So Kenshin put his son down on the ground and carefully set about at his work, constantly shooting glances over at his son to make sure he didn't up on the roof again.
Suddenly, there was a large commotion outside the dojo doors and Kenshin instinctively prepared for something bad to happen. Ex-Shinsengumi coming to demand a fight? An old foe coming to settle things? Bring it on.
The door flew open and Kenshin realized he wasn't nearly prepared for what happened next.
A huge ball of fluff knocked into him and sent him sprawling the ground. Following quickly was most of the laundry, which made sure it landed in the closest puddle of mud. Kenshin spun around just in time to see the creature coming for a second pass and using his God-like speed, he managed to avoid getting hit again.
"NOTAROU!" Sano yelled, running into the Kamiya dojo, a broken leash on his hand.
"Sano?" Kenshin said, watching as the taller man began to chase the errant dog around the yard, finally managing to pin him on the ground like they were judo wrestlers.
"I thought you gave back the dog years ago!" Kenshin said, walking up to the pile of dog and man.
"I DIDI!" Sano yelled unhappily. "But the owners wanted to go away on vacation and said I was the only one that this flea-bitten mongrel ever liked."
Kenshin raised an eyebrow, watching Notarou struggle and squirm under the full weight of Sano. Liked? That was a strange way of putting it. More like Notarou saw Sano as a cross between a riding mule and a big chew toy. They must have offered Sano a lot of money.
The dog finally managed to get free and started to dash around to the back of the dojo. "OI!" Sano cried watching him disappear.
There was a large crash from somewhere behind the dojo and both Sano and Kenshin cringed. "Ah… jou-chan's not around is she?"
"No, she went out shopping," Kenshin said with a sigh of relief. Whatever Notarou had just broken could probably be fixed before Kaoru came back.
"Took the kid with her then?"
Kenshin paused, letting the full weight of the words hit him. His mind slowly made the connection between the empty patch of ground next to the laundry and the kleptomaniac dog that had just taken off.
Without another word, Kenshin took off, tearing up gravel as he ran towards where the sound of destruction had come from. There, in the back of the dojo, was a huge whole in the wall. And in the distance, he could just make out a fluff of beige taking off with something on it's back… something with red hair.
"That can't be good," Sano said, watching the scene.
Kenshin took off running without a word, Sano falling quickly behind and attempting to keep up.
"Oi! Slow down a bit!" Sano called out. Kenshin threw him a look, one usually reserved for real bad guys like Shishio or Jin-e.
"It's not like I wanted that to happen!" Sano yelled in his defense. "There's no reason to get so mad!"
"Sano," Kenshin said, not even slowing down. "I have enjoyed my life as a man, de gozaru. I would prefer to remain one."
"Feh, you're so whipped! Just tell jou-chan it was an accident, tell her to deal with it."
"Sano… you do not tell Kaoru-dono to just 'deal with it'. That usually results in bodily harm…"
"Bring it on," Sano said with a smile.
"…lengthy discussion on responsibility…"
"Feh, heard it all already."
"…and the mandatory three month ban from the dojo, which means no lounging…"
Sano cringed slightly.
"…no free food…"
Sano looked a bit more concerned.
"…and no free sake!"
Sano's face cracked and he reached forward, grabbing Kenshin by the waist and hoisting him upward, holding him above his head.
"You're moving too slow!" Sano said as he exhibited his own god-like speed.
Passerby's were understandable perplexed. First, there was a rather large dog tearing down the road with what appeared to be a little boy riding his back. And then a few seconds later, a tall man with bandages holding a red headed person above his head.
Notarou turned to the left and Sano quickly followed, ignoring Kenshin's cries. He was sure his friend was upset but… but this was free sake we were talking about!
Too bad Sano didn't listen because Kenshin's yells had promptly turned from outrage to dire warning as they ran into the market.
Sano ignored the confused looks of shopper's and the annoyed look of vendors. But there was one thing that he couldn't ignore. The familiar profiles of the two women who were stepping out of a store just as Notarou and Kenji flew past.
With a startled yell, Sano unceremoniously tossed Kenshin into a nearby fruit vendor, while he took cover in a silk stall. Kenshin had enough skill to land perfectly on most surfaces. But when he hit the stall and destroyed most of the fruit, the remains were like grease on his feet. He tried to slide to a stop and only managed to spin in circles a few times before he ran smack into someone and sent them both to the ground.
Kenshin's eye went swirly and the oro's come out in a long line of repetition. It took a few moments to clear his head but as soon as Kenshin did, he started apologizing to whomever it was he had just hit.
"What the hell is going on?" Yahiko asked, holding his head in his head.
"Yahiko!" Kenshin said, somewhat relieved he hadn't hit anyone important… eh, he didn't know. Standing up, Kenshin quickly filled the younger boy in and started towards the main road again.
Before they could even clear the stall, they were both tackled backwards once more and enveloped in silk. Kenshin pushed the fabric away and looked up at Sano.
Sano shushed them and pointed towards the main road. He made circles with his fingers and held them around his eyes and then bent his fingers at the knuckles and held them at either side of his head.
"What are…" Yahiko started, impatience filling his voice.
Kenshin slapped a hand on his free mouth. He got the message loud and clear. Tanuki and Kitsune. Kaoru and Megumi.
"Look at that, Megumi," Kaoru was saying as they strode past the destruction causing the three men to move further under the silk and out of sight, "some people can be so insensitive!"
"I hope they find the people responsible," Megumi responded. "Look at the mess, it's ruining my shoes."
"Ohayo, Tsubame-san, Tae-san," Kaoru responded cheerfully.
"Did you see what happened?" Tae asked.
"No, we were just coming out of the store," Megumi replied.
"How horrible," Tsubame added. "I feel so sorry for that poor vendor. All his hard work destroyed. Whoever it was, it was a very mean, nasty person."
Yahiko cringed and then began to glower at Kenshin and Sano. He did not want to be part of the group that Tsubame was describing. But he was. And the two people to blame were sitting right next to him.
"Kaoru? Is something wrong?" Tae asked suddenly. Kenshin's face suddenly became filled with worry. Did something happen to Kaoru?
"No… it's just… I thought I saw a large dog with a little boy on its back heading towards the river."
The worry never faded from Kenshin's face. It just shifted from worry about Kaoru's welfare to his own. Grabbing a bit of silk, he quickly wrapped himself in it like it was a shawl and moved out of the darkness, the ream of silk trailing behind him in the dirt.
A couple of people shot him odd looks and it was no surprise. Sano and Yahiko quickly followed suit and soon, there were three men in silk sitting in the middle of the road, wrapped up like old Russian babushkas. Not daring to look behind him, Kenshin quickly started to shuffle towards the river, trying to maintain his disguise while still moving as fast possible.
The four girls watched the scene with blank expression.
"Mou…" Kaoru finally managed, "foreigners are so strange."
As soon as they cleared the market, the silk got thrown off and they started to run again.
"How did I get involved in this again?" Yahiko yelled.
"By us promising not to tell your girlfriend you were one of the people responsible for that 'mean, nasty' act back there," Sano snapped.
Yahiko frowned but kept following, running towards a housing complex where they had just seen the beige fluff ball disappear into.
Of course, by the time they got there all, they could see were rows of apartments. No trace of the dog in sight.
"Split up!" Kenshin called and the three men began to run down the row of apartment.
Sano threw open the door and there was a scream, followed by several plates of food hurled at him. He caught of few and stuffed it into his mouth, shouting a few apologizes as he closed the door shut. He waited a few seconds and then threw the same door open again, repeating the whole process and getting more food.
Yahiko open a door and quickly fell backwards, blood spurting from his nose and leaving him unconscious on the ground. The door slammed shut and a few seconds later, Yahiko recovered. He stood up and moved to the next door, opening it and once again, losing more blood as the door slid shut into front of him again. Weakly, he tried to stand up off the ground. He couldn't take much more of this. He was going to pass out from blood loss soon.
Kenshin was the only one making any real progress, mainly because he could outmaneuver everything that was thrown at him while spouting out very polite sentences in apology at whoever he had just offended.
He finally got to the last apartment and slid the door open. What he was faced with was worse than anything the others had seen! He was assaulted by the smell first, the dank smell of mildew mixed in with mold and unwashed laundry. Piles of said laundry covered the floor so that the tatami mats were barely visible. There was something in the corner… it might have once been food but it was green now. And did it just move?
"Hey, it's my place!" Sano said looking over Kenshin's shoulder as he munched on more food.
"You didn't even recognize your own apartment complex!" Yahiko yelled.
"Well, they all look…" Sano started.
That green thing was moving, they all realize, watching the side of the house suddenly stand up. They fell backwards, trying to avoid the mold monster that Sano had obviously been growing for the past three years. It was advancing slowly on them before it suddenly came to a stop, shook itself slightly and barked.
"SANO! What the HELL have you been eating!" Yahiko cried.
"It's not what it looks like!" Sano yelled back.
"Kenji?" Kenshin asked, seeing something move on the back of the moldy-green dog monster.
There was a happy little cry and suddenly Notarou took off again, slipping between them and heading towards the river.
"Oh, crap," Sano said, verbalizing what they all felt as they turned around and started after the dog and boy.
In his mind, Kenshin was trying to do some quick calculations. Sure, he could get Kenji back, wash out whatever the hell was living in Sano's house (it should only take about twelve baths to get out the smell), fix the hole in the back wall, finish the laundry and then make dinner before Kaoru came back… right?
Sessha is completely screwed… de gozaru.
Notarou and Kenji took off, heading towards the bridge. People were giving them wide berth as they approached, smelling the odor from at least fifty feet away. There was a large cry as people ran off the bridge, pushing each other to escape.
Of course all the movement jarred poor Notarou and Kenji fell off, bouncing off the wood and slipping under the railing. He quickly fell over the side of the bridge towards the river below. Notarou pounced, clamping his teeth onto Kenji's pants. But all the garbage gave the poor dog no traction and he slid off the edge of the bridge as well.
God like speed was good. It saved lots of people and today, it was going to save Kenshin from Kaoru's wrath. He managed to reach over the railing just as Notarou started to fall and grabbed onto dog tightly.
So yes, God like speed was very good. But maybe Kenshin should have used that speed to read through all the books he was sleeping on when he was an assassin. Maybe then, he could have skimmed the passages about a little thing called gravity. But considering that almost all his techniques relied on the suspension of said gravity, was it really any surprise that he didn't really expect to be pulled over the side with the falling dog and boy?
Yahiko was quick too, maybe not as fast a Kenshin but fast enough to grab his feet. Of course Yahiko was about as well versed in physics as Kenshin was and about half his size to boot. So it took only a matter of seconds before he fell over the side too.
Lucky for them, there was Sano. Good old, reliable Sano. He managed to grab Yahiko and thus stop the human (plus one dog) chain that was hurtling towards the water. And he was strong enough not to fall over the side. In fact, he could just pull them up.
Which he did, bringing Yahiko's upside down face right towards him as he leaned against the wood railing.
"So… where's my thank you?" Sano asked the young boy.
"Stop screwing around!" Yahiko yelled. "Just pull us up!!"
"Hell no," Sano said. "I want to hear some appreciation out of you! I want thank yous, admiration, compliments, everything before I pull you up."
Yahiko glowered. "You want a compliment? Okay, fine. You're strong…for a stupid ROOSTER HEAD! PULL US UP!!"
"YAHIKO!" Sano said, slamming his fist into the railing. "THAT IS NOT…"
Oh dear. Sano… after all that training, you still like finishing all your punches against inanimate objects with that little knuckle curl, don't you?
"Shi…" Sano started as the railing disappeared into dust from the impact of Futai no Kiwami and he pitched forward sending the entire group into the water.
* * *
"TADAIMA!" Kaoru called out as she opened the door, the other three girls quickly in tow. She paused and waited. Well that was strange…
She looked at the other girls and shrugged as she walked down the courtyard, past the clean laundry. "Tadaima!" she tried again.
"O… Okaeri nasai, Kaoru-dono," Kenshin said running out from the kitchen. "Gomen nasai, I was just finishing dinner."
"Iie," she said with a smile. "We'll wait. Where's Kenji?"
"In the dojo with Yahiko and Sano," Kenshin said with a smile.
Kaoru nodded and the group of women headed off to play with the little boy. Kenshin let out a sigh of relief and promptly collapsed on the door frame again, exhaustion completely over taking him. Please, please, let Sano have finished fixing the wall.
Walking into the dojo, Kaoru called out Kenji's name, getting rewarded with a happy cry from the boy, who was presently sitting on Yahiko's stomach, as the young man lay sprawled on the ground, completely exhausted from doing laundry.
"Hmmm, his hair is wet," Kaoru said taking him from Yahiko and walking towards the back of the dojo looking out into the backyard and the wall that surrounded it. Looks like Sano managed to fix it. Of course paying for all the supplies meant spending all the money he might have had made for watching Notarou, who was presently sleeping on the floor as well.
"We gave him a bath," Yahiko replied sullenly.
"And so is your hair… and Sano's."
"We all took a bath, okay?" Yahiko said, not moving on the floor. More like, we didn't have to 'cause the river washed everything out.
Megumi in the meanwhile had walked over to Sano and was looking down at him, giving him little kicks with her foot. "Tori-atama," She said. "Are you dead?
"Go away," he snarled. "I'm tired."
"Really," Kaoru said putting her hands on her hips. "All you do is lay around all day! How can you be tired?"
Sano's eyebrow twitched but a quick look from Yahiko shut him up quickly. Kenshin called for dinner and even Sano got off the floor to go eat. Kaoru walked in and let out a happy cry.
"Kenshin look at all the food! I was afraid that there wouldn't be enough with Tsubame and Tae-san coming as well," Kaoru smiled. "How did you know there would be so many people tonight?"
Kenshin, Sano and Yahiko all shot each other looks. Telling her that they had seen her meet up with the other two in the market was not going to work. They were clambering for a story when the front bell rang and Kaoru bounded out to see who it was.
"Did you hear what happened to the bridge?" Tsubame said to Yahiko. "Someone completely destroyed the railing of it. It'll be closed for a week!"
"Imagine that," Yahiko said, forcing a smile.
There were footsteps and Kaoru finally rejoined them.
"Who was it?" Kenshin asked, with a smile.
Kaoru smiled back at him. "It was the newspaper delivery man. They put out a special evening edition tonight."
"Really?" Megumi asked. "What happened?"
Kaoru opened the paper and held it out with both hands so everyone could see. Kenshin turned pale, Sano's eyes shot wide open and Yahiko looked like he shrank to the size of a pea.
There on the front cover was the Tokyo Daily's amazing coverage of a crime wave that had occurred today. There were three pictures. One of the destroyed market. One of the distraught inhabitants of an apartment complex who had been harassed by the vagrants. And finally one of three men, a young boy and a dog falling over the side of a bridge after the railing was destroyed.
And those three men were very easy to recognize.
"Maa maa, Kaoru-dono," Kenshin said standing up raising his hands in defense. "There is a very good explanation for this, de gozaru."
Kaoru let the paper drop from her hands and started cracking her knuckles. "Start explaining."
"Well… ah… " he said slowly backing away. And then his mind decided that rather than coming up with an explanation he probably should just run for his life. Which is exactly what he did. But the God-like speed of Hiten Mitsurugi Ryu is really no match for the speed of a woman who just found her husband destroyed half of Tokyo and almost drowned her only child.
"That's going to hurt," Sano said, watching the two take off. Well, hopefully Kaoru would put all the blame on Kenshin and he wouldn't get locked out of here for too long. Still… just in case…
He took a long drink of sake and sat back with a smile. "Ah… nothing beats a good… SAKE? What the hell happened to my VOICE?" he said, crying out in a very uncharacteristically high voice. In fact, it sounded almost sound like a female voice.
"Oh dear," Megumi said, sitting next to him. "Did I accidentally drop the powder into your drink?"
"Powder?" Sano squeaked.
"It was for an actor, he has to play a female role and wanted to make his voice more feminine. That herb was going to do the trick too. Shoot," she finished with disappointment.
"How… how long does it last?" Sano said, feeling every word grate against him like nails on slate.
"It depends I suppose," Megumi said in her very serious doctor like voice. "The right dosage should only last a few hours. But too much and well… then the side effects start…"
"Side effects?" Sano ventured.
Megumi smiled and looked at his chest. Sano did some math and realized what she was saying. Suddenly the image of him with breasts and a high pitched voice floated in his mind. He pitched backwards into unconsciousness while Megumi unleashed her trademark cackle.
Yahiko sighed in relief looking over at Tsubame. "I'm so lucky I have such a nice girlfriend."
"Nice…" Tsubame nodded. "And caring?"
"Yes, yes very caring."
"Very pretty," Yahiko continued with a smile.
"And understanding too?" Tsubame asked.
"The most understanding of them all."
"Huh," Tsubame said. "I'd like to meet her one day, she sounds very nice."
Yahiko lost his smile and face faulted straight into the table. The three women looked at each other with a smile and began to eat, ignoring the cries that were happening outside.
"Demo, Kaoru-dono!! You don't use a real sword!!"
"I DO TODAY!"