Rurouni Kenshin Fan Fiction ❯ My Baka Deshi is a Family Man ❯ One-Shot

[ P - Pre-Teen ]
My Baka Deshi is a Family Man
A Rurouni Kenshin fanfic by Raberba girl

Requested by thelazyreader

Summary:  Hiko comes across a red-haired child and grudgingly realizes that his stupid apprentice is now a family man. Slightly AU.

A/N:  If you're one of those people who gets upset about disliked pairings, then don't bother reading this.  I'm growing more and more opposed to pairing labels.

o.o.o

It had been a bad idea to come here - he knew it had been a bad idea.  This is what Hiko Seijuurô thought when he saw the exasperatingly familiar figure ambling down the street.

At least, somewhat familiar.  True, Himura Kenshin was a short fellow with long red hair, but he hadn't been less than three feet tall in years.  This left only one explanation, so Hiko closed his eyes and sighed and once again cursed the stupidity of his baka deshi, who had apparently misplaced a young son.

Well, he couldn't very well walk off and leave the small new Himura to fend for himself, so Hiko opened his eyes again and strode purposefully over to the stall which had caught the child's attention.

"Ah!  How may I help you, sir?" the vendor greeted Hiko, though not without a distrustful glance at the curious toddler.

"How much is that?" Hiko said brusquely, looking at the ribbon the child was fingering.  The vendor told him, then tried to shoo the boy away.

"Mine," the boy said confidently, and pulled the ribbon down, holding it firmly in two chubby fists.

"Yours," Hiko agreed, laying down some money.  "Now let's go, kid."  The boy blinked up at him, and the vendor gaped.

"Ah...is this your son, sir?"

"Make a suggestion like that again," Hiko said conversationally, "and I'll show you why I bother to carry this sword around."

"Y-Yes, sir," the vendor squeaked.  "No disrespect intended, sir."

Hiko looked down at the boy, who was studying him warily.  "Well, what do you make of me, kid?"

The boy pointed up at him.  "Big."  He held up the ribbon and smiled.  "Pretty."

"...I will assume, for the sake of your health, that those two remarks were unrelated."

The child laughed.  Hiko shook his head and picked up him up, having no desire to slow his pace to a crawl, as he undoubtedly would if he had let the boy walk beside him.  "What's your name, anyway?  Kenshin II or something equally ridiculous, no doubt."

"Gowaboli," the boy remarked, reaching up to hang his new ribbon over Hiko's ear.

Hiko stopped.  "Take that off at once," he growled.

Kenshin II, pleased with the game, folded his arms and growled back.

"Take it off now."

"Grrr!"

Hiko set the child down long enough to wind the ribbon securely around his long red hair.  "There."  If it was in the boy's hair, it couldn't be in Hiko's.

"Wagawa."  Uncertainly, Kenshin II reached up to tug at the ribbon, but it was tied fast.  When Hiko picked him up again, he occupied himself by poking at the weights in the sword master's cape and chewing on the white fabric when Hiko wasn't looking.

"Let's see...distraught mother, wimpy-looking father...ahah."  Farther along in the crowd, a woman was pushing her way through the people with more agitation than usual, her mouth clamped tightly shut but her expression frantic.  Her eyes roved the surroundings hastily - if she had not yet resorted to inquiring of passersby, then what she was looking for had probably not been lost for long.

Hiko waited, the crowd flowing around him like river water around a stone, and nodded when he saw her gaze suddenly snap to the giggling content of his arms.  Her face changed immediately, though silently; the way she now shoved through the crowd was purposeful.  Hiko rather admired the fact that she had almost completely regained her composure by the time she reached him.  "Pardon me, sir," she said evenly.

"In case you hadn't noticed, this is a fairly noisy crowd we're standing in.  I'm not going to put up with the soft-spoken lady act for long."  He was only able to hear her at all because of his training.

She blinked slowly, the only reaction.  "Perhaps," she finally answered, making no attempt to raise her voice, "you might tolerate it long enough to return my child."

Kenshin II flung himself backwards so suddenly that Hiko nearly dropped him.  The boy hung upside-down, grinning at the woman.  "Mommy."

"Hello, Kenji," she answered, as if their parting had been planned.

Hiko shook his head.  "Kenji, is it?  Better than 'Kenshin II,' at any rate."

The woman looked at him for a long time.  He hadn't realized that he was gazing as if entranced into her deep, dark eyes until she blinked slowly again.  "You know my husband, then?"

Hiko snorted.  "Do I know Himura Kenshin, my idiot apprentice?  Yes, I think do."

"Very well.  Please join us for a meal."

He rolled his eyes.  "Since that's the polite thing to do?"

"Yes."

He shifted, frowning a little at the way she seemed completely unresponsive to his goading.  "Oi, take your kid back already."

"If you will indeed join us, then you may continue to hold him.  He seems to like you."

Hiko realized, to his dismay, that she appeared to be right.  Kenji, still dangling upside-down, was interestedly poking at his sword hilt.  "Stop that."

"Malabokan," Kenji said admiringly.

"He likes your sword," the woman translated tranquilly.

"Yes, thank you, I gathered that," Hiko said dryly.  "And you are, by the way?"

One of her eyebrows rose, very slightly.  "Himura-san will not do?"

"Reminds me too much of...."  Hiko realized that he had been about to say something stupid.  "I'm Hiko," he said abruptly.  "Seijuurô.  The XIII."  Now, why had that come out so ungracefully?

"Tomoe," she offered quietly.  She bowed.  "I am pleased to meet you."  She turned and began to walk away.

"Oi!" Hiko called in annoyance, struggling to pry Kenji's fingers off his sword hilt.  "Aren't you worried about leaving the kid with me?"

"You are not the only swordsman I trust."  Now she had to have known that only superhuman hearing could have picked that up.  Hiko sighed, wondering exactly what he had taken on, and swept after Tomoe with Kenji still tangled in his arms.

Hiko was not nervous when they made their way out of town and approached the house.  (Kenji soon tired of being carried, and seemed happy to walk along behind Hiko, clutching at his cloak.  Tomoe's presence was all that kept Hiko from raging at the brat.)  He was more...apprehensive, perhaps.  No, irritated.  Yes, he was irritated at having to meet his stupid apprentice again, and knowing that he'd have to be at least marginally polite, for Tomoe's sake.

Besides, he didn't know how to act around Kenshin, and Kenshin's family.  Last time they had been together, Hiko had been Kenshin's family.  Now he was going to have to watch the selfish brat pretending to be a responsible adult, with a woman around to make them feel uncomfortably civilized, and a child to stifle their violent banter.  'Certainly not looking forward to this.'

"You know," he said, "I think I'll have to pass on your very polite offer of a meal."  He reached down to detach Kenji, who promptly started yelling.  "It was a pleasure to walk you home," Hiko boomed insincerely.  Kenji paused in surprise, unused to being drowned out.  "Perhaps we will meet again."

Tomoe just looked at him.

"Toy," Kenji insisted, yanked on Hiko's sword.

Hiko instinctively snatched him up to stop him from putting the weapon in peril.  "Don't do that."

A strange look crept across Kenji's face.  "Potty," he mumbled solemnly.

"What?"

There was the softest little gasp from beside him.  "Oh," Tomoe murmured, but before she said any more, Hiko felt a sudden surge of warm liquid soaking his shirt.

"All done," Kenji laughed.

Hiko did not move or speak for a long time.  Tomoe supposed he might have gone into shock.  Kenji got bored and began to fidget, so she took him out of the swordsman's arms.  "Come to the house when you're ready.  I'll have a change of clothes for you."  She smiled, remembering the size discrepancy.  "My father's, not my husband's."  She had taken a few steps down the road before she turned around again thoughtfully.  "Oh...and please, try to spare the trees.  I like to look at them in the evenings, when the fireflies are out."

She was already in the house and working on supper when she finally heard violent sounds coming from outside.  Kenji looked up from his toys in alarm, but calmed when his mother smiled at him reassuringly.  Curiously, he toddled over to the window and watched for a little, wide-eyed.  Then he squealed in delight and ran to find his shinai, with which he immediately commenced whacking at everything within reach.  Tomoe moved him outside in order to minimize the damage, then returned to her work.  She noticed with a small smile that Hiko's rage abruptly ceased when he found himself in company.

Soon after that, Hiko stomped inside, trailed by the still interested Kenji.  "Down the hall, to your right," Tomoe instructed without turning.  The two sets of footsteps faded away.  She paused in surprise when she heard Hiko go back outside and start washing his own clothes.  So her husband was not the only one who liked to spare her the trouble of doing laundry.

When Hiko came in again, he was wrapped entirely in his cloak.  "Your father wasn't much bigger than my idi...than your husband."

"Forgive the discomfort," she murmured.  "Unless the cloak is the only thing you are wearing, in which case, I apologize that my presence requires some level of modesty."

"I'm wearing the kimono under this, woman!"  It was just ridiculously tight and short on him, which was why he refused to be seen in it.  He was now wishing that he had at least retained his trousers, but that would have looked just as silly.  At least Kenshin wasn't home yet....

"Tomoe!"

Hiko closed his eyes in defeat.

"Tadaima!"

Tomoe turned with a smile.  "Welcome home, dear."

"Daddy!" Kenji cheered, running for the opening door.  Hiko grinned as he watched Kenji greeting his father with a well-aimed swing at the crotch.

Unfortunately for Hiko's entertainment, Kenshin seemed to be used to this sort of greeting, and was perfectly ready to block the shinai with his sheathed sakabatô.  "Hello, son."

"Big, here!" Kenji told him enthusiastically, pointing.  "Good fight, play!"

Kenshin was in the act of trying to pick up Kenji when he noticed Hiko.  He looked deliciously silly, frozen there in mid-stoop with his mouth open in surprise.

'Of course,' Hiko thought, his amusement souring, 'I'm not much better.  At least he doesn't know.  Yet.'  "Hi."

"Oro...hello," Kenshin stammered.  His eyes went to his wife, of course.  Her face was composed again as she came over to greet him.

"I'm glad you're home," she murmured with pleasure.

"Ah...Tomoe, what...."  With Kenji in one arm, he gestured helplessly at Hiko.

"We met in the village.  Kenji got lost.  Hiko-san found him."

'Oh, wonderful.'  "I see," Kenshin said out loud, smiling.  "Thank you, Shishô."

"Don't mention it," Hiko said, thinking of his shirt drying outside.  "At all."

"Very well, that will not be difficult," Kenshin said coolly.  He glanced back at his family.  "Oro...why does Kenji have a ribbon in his hair?"

"I do not know," Tomoe murmured, the amusement visible only in her eyes.  "He was like that when I found him with Hiko-san."

"Is that so?" Kenshin grinned, turning to Hiko.

"Oh, you think it's odd now?  Seems you've finally learned that those are for women."

Tomoe tilted her head.  "What do you mean by that?"

"Nothing," Kenshin said quickly, his face slightly pink, "just a little in-joke...."

"I suppose you two have a lot of those," she murmured, completely impassive except for the curiosity and the slightest hint of mischief in her eyes.  This was going to be a very interesting supper....

o.o.o

Author's Notes:  thelazyreader requested this story after reading Wandering, and suggested most of the plot.  I wrote almost all of it, got writer's block, and am now finally tacking on a lame ending almost four years later, because I can't write RuroKen fics anymore and it's either this or nothing. *sweatdrop*

One of the reasons I'm leaving the RuroKen fandom is because of the stupid KK vs. KT wars, so again, don't bother reviewing if you intend to hate on Tomoe or the Kenshin/Tomoe pairing.

I'm debating whether or not to post a detailed explanation on why I'm not going to write for RuroKen anymore (KT haters are not the only reason).  In the meantime, I'll probably be posting a lot of partial drafts (perhaps with more tacked-on lame endings) that have been sitting around for years and are most likely never going to be completed, including a ton of stuff for The Faerie Chronicles of Kenshin & Kaoru: Immortality.