Rurouni Kenshin Fan Fiction ❯ Return of the Rooster ❯ Booze, Buds and Babes ( Chapter 5 )

[ T - Teen: Not suitable for readers under 13 ]
The next day...

Myoujin Yahiko had just returned from a week-long battle campaign on the western shore. Some stupid yakuza groups were always causing trouble there, and Yahiko as Kenshin's successor, was the logical man for the job. It'd taken a week for the young Kamiya Kasshin Ryu master to subdue the yakuza thugs with the strong but dull blade of the Sakabatou Shinuchi. He'd gone on almost no sleep for the entire time.

As one can thus imagine, he wasn't too pleased to hear pounding on his door so early in the morning. Who the hell came calling at 9 AM? He grabbed the Sakabatou (you never knew who it would be on Ruffian Row) and called out.

"Who is it and what do you want?" he said.

"I'm gone for six years and everybody forgets me. I'm hurt," said a voice that Yahiko thought he could remember from the other side of the shouji.

'It can't be...' he thought as he slid the door open. It was!

"Mornin', Yahiko-chan," teased Sano.

"Sano..." said Yahiko, eyes bulging out of his head. It was Sano, though he looked quite different. Yahiko noted the same differences Kenshin had noted a week earlier.

"In the flesh. Uh, you gonna let me in or stand there gaping the whole time?" asked the Rooster.

Remembering his manners, Yahiko bade Sano to enter his old pad. Sano stepped in, pulling off his shoes and laying them aside. Now Sano's eyes bulged out of his head as he looked around the flat. It was clean! He could see the floor!

"You cleaned it," he said incredulously.

"Yup. Unlike when you lived here, this place is fit for human habitation," said Yahiko.

"Huh?" said Sano.

"People can walk in and not have to fear stepping on something that'll give them tetanus or stepping in rotten food," said Yahiko.

"Oi, I only left a couple fish on the floor," said Sano as he continued to survey the place. It was definitely fixed up. The holes in the wall had been plugged up and the fireplace had been cleaned out and was functional again. The girly pictures were still up though.

"I see you kept my pictures up. You know what they say about great minds," said Sano.

"Yeah. They're pretty hot, so I figured what the hell," said Yahiko.

"Does Tsubame know about 'em?" teased Sano.

"No and if you value your manhood, it'll stay that way," said Yahiko, clicking the Sakabatou from its sheath.

"Shit..." said Sano.

"So when did you get back?" asked Yahiko.

"Week ago. I've been staying at the dojo. Jou-chan makes me do housework," pouted Sano.

"Oh no! The great Sagara Sanosuke doing housework! The world's coming to an end," said Yahiko.

"Oi, if I wanna hear people bitching at me for mooching, I'll go to the Akabeko," protested Sano.

"Heh, we can do that. I have to go to work there in an hour," said Yahiko. "I'm sure Tae will be overjoyed to see that her best non-paying customer is back."

"Yeah, I'm such a likeable guy," said Sano, causing Yahiko to fall over anime-style.

Tae's reaction was as Yahiko thought it would be. She was pleasant, warm, wonderful and wanted to know when the hell Sano was going to pay off his tab so she could retire to the tropics.

"Heh heh, with the money I'm gonna win gambling tonight," promised Sano, flashing Tae his disarming smile, the smile that made people forget that he owed them money, large sums of money.

"Sanosuke-san, is that you?" asked a shy, soft voice. Sano looked and saw a young woman with large doe-like eyes wearing a Western waitress uniform. He recognized her immediately.

"Well, looks like the little girl's not so little anymore. How you been Tsubame-chan?" he asked.

"Very well, thank you," said Tsubame, demure and polite as always.

'Hell, give her red hair and a cross scar and she could pass for Kenshin,' thought Sano. "That's good. Listen, if Yahiko's ever less than faithful, you just tell me and I'll beat the hell out of him for you," he said aloud, only to receive the butt of the Sakabatou on his skull.

"That'll be enough out of you, Rooster," said Yahiko, as he vein-popped. "C'mon Tsubame-chan, let's get in the kitchen and get to work."

"Alright, Yahiko-kun. It was nice to see you again, Sanosuke-san," said Tsubame, trying not to giggle at the lump that was now welling on the back of Sano's skull as he glared daggers at the younger man.

After Yahiko had finished his shift at the Akabeko and Sano had finished mooching, they walked Tsubame to her house. After the young couple had kissed each other goodbye, much to Sano's disgust, Yahiko and Sano set back out for Ruffian Row.

As they were passing a field, they heard the distinctive sounds of a row. They headed toward the commotion. When they got to it, they saw seven ronin holding up a merchant's wagon. Three of them were holding his panicked horses by the reins while the other four were trying to force him off the wagon so they could jack it.

Sano and Yahiko glanced at each other and said in unison, "Let's do it!"

The two men rushed toward the robbery, Sano balling up his fists and Yahiko drawing out the Sakabatou. The next thing the four ronin who were trying to pry the merchant off his wagon knew, they were lying on the ground in pain after the Sakabatou took them all out in one swing. Had it been a normal sword, they'd now be dead. Sano Futae no Kiwamid the three who were harassing the horses, two with both fists and a third with his head.

The merchant thanked them and insisted on giving them yen. Yahiko tried to decline but had the money shoved into his hands. Sano was more than happy to take his share. Yahiko told the merchant to go into town and alert Chief Uramura of the incident so the police could pick up the ronin, whom Sano had finished hog tying.

"Damn man, that was some fine swordsmanship back there!" exclaimed Sano. "Kenshin knew what he was doing when he gave you the Sakabatou."

"Thanks. You weren't too bad yourself. I see you mastered Futae no Kiwami with your head," said Yahiko.

"Yep. Took me a couple weeks when I got to the States, but figured it's better to have many body parts to shatter instead of just one. I finally mastered Futae no Kiwami," said Sano.

"Are you sure it's a good idea to use your head though?" asked Yahiko.

"I don't notice a difference," said Sano.

"Not likely you would. But, I have to admit, we made a really good team back there," said Yahiko.

"Agreed. I think me and you should team up since Kenshin's kinda retired and all. We can really kick ass. Wutcha say? Partners?" said Sano, sticking out his hand.

"Partners," Yahiko agreed, shaking hands with the Rooster.

"Great, now let's go celebrate," said Sano, pointing to the street that had all the seedy bars and gambling houses.

Sano and Yahiko went into a gambling place that Sano knew very well from the old days. Everyone's eyes popped out of their head as the Rooster walked in, recognizing him immediately.

"Sano! That you?" said Sano's old gambling buddy, Tomo.

"Yup, the Rooster's back on his fence post," said Sano. "This here's my new fighting partner, Myoujin Yahiko."

"Good to know ya. Any friend of Sano's is a friend of mine," said Ginji, Sano's other gambling buddy. "You ever gamble before?"

"Uh, nope," said Yahiko.

"Well no worries, we'll go kinda easy on ya," said Tomo. "Let's gamble!"

The dice rolling commenced. Yahiko had heard from Kenshin what a poor gambler Sano was and expected him to lose the money he'd gained quickly. He was surprised when Sano called all the moves correctly. Apparently his time overseas had taught him a few tricks. Sano raked in some major yen.

Now it was Yahiko's turn. Yahiko, being new to this had no luck and wisely pulled out when he'd lost half his money. So all in all, it was a good night. Sano doubled his money and Yahiko learned the harsh lessons of dice without losing his gi.

"You must've learned some tricks in the last six years. Kenshin said you suck at dice," said Yahiko, as they walked in the night air.

"Yup, I sure did," said Sano, enjoying the weight of the bag on his hip and mentally vowing to break Kenshin in half later.

"What do we do now?" said Yahiko.

"The night's still young. Let's go out and celebrate our partnership and my lady luck with the dice," said Sano, gesturing to a seedy bar that he'd frequented in his younger days.

After they were seated, Sano and Yahiko ordered a jug of sake. Yahiko decided to make the night interesting.

"Drinking contest?" he offered.

"I'll put you away," warned Sano.

"In your dreams," said Yahiko.

"You mean your nightmares," said Sano.

Sano and Yahiko began downing cups of sake at alarming rate. Down the hatch it went, over and over again. Ultimately Sano won because of his large body and experience with drinking. Yahiko, although much better able to tolerate sake at 17 than at 11, still lost out and was only half-conscious as he lay on the floor, drooling on himself.

'Heh, kid'll never learn. Nobody beats Sagara Sanosuke at chug-a-luggin',' thought Sano victoriously. Just then he felt hot breath on his neck and smelled sweet, sweet perfume.

Sano turned and saw this gorgeous, dolled up woman just inches away from his face, smiling seductively at him.

"Hey there big boy. How'd you like me to help you spend that wad you have there?" she said, gesturing at the bag of yen on the table.

Sano in his nearly-stupefied state was captured by her beauty and the scent of her perfume. He nodded stupidly and without even a glance back at Yahiko, who could hardly move, he took his bag of yen, got up and ambled after the beautiful woman. Yahiko was just awake enough to register Sano getting up and walking off with her.

After not moving or drinking for an hour, Yahiko was unceremoniously kicked out of the bar. He was sober enough by now to stumble about stupidly. He began blundering his way toward home. Weaving in and out, he managed to make it back toward the main part of town, drawing only sideways glances from people who were more than used to seeing drunks stagger home from the seedy area. Just then he heard a familiar voice call his name.

"Yahiko-kun?" it said. Yahiko looked and saw Megumi standing there, looking incredulously at him. "You're drunk, aren't you?"

"Only to excess," joked Yahiko, trying to keep his balance.

"You can't get home in that condition. I'm taking you to the dojo with me," said Megumi, putting Yahiko's arm around her shoulder to help him balance.

"Thanks Megumi... you's a real good friend," slurred Yahiko.

'Aren't I always?' thought the Vixen, as she dragged the half-dead teenager to the dojo with her.