Rurouni Kenshin Fan Fiction ❯ Return of the Rooster ❯ The Way is Cleared! ( Prologue )

[ T - Teen: Not suitable for readers under 13 ]
April, 1884
Kamiya Dojo

Kenshin and Kaoru were engaged in a game of tag with Kenji. The little boy with his godspeed was too much for his mother.

"You're it!" he said as he caught up to Kaoru and tapped her on the thigh.

"Mou! Kenji-chan, you know I can't keep up with your shinsoku," said Kaoru.

"Yup, that's why I use it," said Kenji with devilish mischief. "Catch me if you can!"

"I'll catch you alright!" said Kaoru, lunging for the boy.

Kenji was too quick, easily dodging his mother and taking off like a rocket. Unable to stop her lunge, Kaoru landed face first on the ground.

"Hahaha! Mommy fell!" Kenji laughed from the other side.

So distracted by Mommy's plight was Kenji that he didn't sense Daddy behind him till it was too late. Kenshin tapped Kenji on the shoulder.

"Oro?" went the startled boy.

"You're it!" said Kenshin, then jetted away before Kenji could reciprocate.

"Argh!" Kenji let out a sound of frustration.

"That's what you get for not paying attention," said Kaoru.

Kenji started charging toward Kaoru when they were all distracted by the gate opening and Yahiko coming in, a piece of paper in his hand. Kaoru stopped running and Kenji crashed into her leg facefirst, landing on his seat.

"Ow. Mommy's leg is hard," said the little boy.

"Sorry, Kenji-chan," said Kaoru, scooping the boy into her arms.

"Sorry to interrupt your... game," said Yahiko, amusement in his chestnut eyes. "But I've got some news I think you should all hear."

"What is it, Yahiko?" said Kenshin, who had doubled back when he realized no one was chasing him anymore.

Yahiko handed the letter to Kenshin, who scanned it. Quietly, he handed it back to Yahiko.

"Well," said Kaoru. "What's it say?"

"It's a letter from Tsukioka Katsuhiro saying Tani Jusanro has died of heart failure," said Kenshin simply.

"Who's that?" asked Kenji.

"Someone who gave a good friend of ours problems before your father and I were married," explained Kaoru.

"Oh..." said Kenji, still not getting it. "I'm hungry."

"So what else is new? Come on, I think there are some rice balls in the pantry," said Kaoru, turning and carrying the boy into the dining area.

"Yahiko would you like to..." the words died on Kenshin's lips when he noticed the most pensive look on Yahiko's face. It wasn't often that Yahiko waxed thoughtful, so Kenshin's curiosity was piqued.

"What is it?" asked the kenkaku softly.

"I'm glad," said Yahiko.

"Oro?" asked Kenshin.

"What I mean is, Tani chased Sano out of the country. Now Sano can come home. I know I shouldn't be, but I'm almost glad Tani's dead and... am I wrong to feel that way?" Yahiko asked.

Kenshin was silent for quite some time. Yahiko began to worry that he had lost Kenshin's respect by saying those words. Would Kenshin demand the Sakabatou back?

"I rejoice..." Kenshin began, catching Yahiko's attention, "not in Tani-san's death, but in the fact that Sano can now return unmolested."

Yahiko nodded.

"Right. That's what I'll think of," he said.

"Mmm hmmm, wait till he sees what we did with his flat," said Kenshin, a smile breaking onto his features.

"He won't recognize the place," joked Yahiko.

"Kaoru-dono and I will be able to show him the child he wished to see before he left," said Kenshin.

"Six years," said Yahiko.

"Yes," said Kenshin, eyes fogging over with nostalgia.

Not wanting Kenshin to get lost in memories as he had the tendency to do, Yahiko spoke up.

"C'mon, let's get a rice ball before Kenji and Busu devour the whole tray," he said, putting an arm on the elder swordsman's shoulder.

With a smile and a nod, Kenshin walked with Yahiko into the dojo.