A Sense of Humor

My sis is always saying that Kenshin has no sense of humor and how he never understands Hiko's sarcasm. I wrote this to show her things in a different light.

All rights to Rurouni Kenshin belong to someone else. My Kenshin, however, belongs to me (evil laugh #726).

They had a strange relationship. Although, seeing as they first met over broken bodies and bloody corpses, one can assume that "normal" need not necessarily apply.

A quiet, soft hearted boy, Kenshin's (or Shinta as he had been called) naturally gregarious nature had been battered and beaten - first by the loss of his parents to disease - then by the loss of his new "family" to bandits. By the time Hiko had come to his rescue, his heart had retreated in shock to a state of numbness and had walled itself away, where, it had tried to save itself from further pain and possible insanity.

At first, his future Shishou had only added to the madness, the bodies of the bandits joining those of their victims on the ground. Then the killing had stopped. The large man had spoken kind words, but at this point both his words and his leave-taking were lost on the boy.

Alone, Shinta could not stand idle with the devastation all around him. His mother had taught him that when there is a mess, you clean it up. He also remembered his father telling him how it was important to honor the dead. So he began the task of digging graves for friend and foe alike.

He'd seen people buried before. When Cholera had swept their village it had taken many. His father had helped with their burials until he, himself, had joined their ranks. The village, already impoverished, could not afford to support an orphan and had sold him to slavers.

The task of burying all those bodies wasn't completed until after the dawn of the next day. Shinta worked non-stop, afraid that if he gave himself time to think or if he slept that his former terror would return to him. At last it was done. He even found three stones, albeit small ones, for the women who had fought to protect him. "Sakura, Kasumi, and Akane."

Dread began to settle into his heart. There was nothing left to do. Then he heard a voice behind him, and felt a hand on his shoulder. Before he knew it, he had been given a purpose. He had a new name, Kenshin, and he was to become a great swordsman. Seijuro Hiko had become the center of his life. His Shishou was his anchor, the sun around which his life revolved. And he would do anything to make him happy.

Kenshin smiled, reflecting back on that part of his childhood - living with the master. He had tried so hard. Sometimes it was too hard, sometimes it wasn't hard enough, but it was worth it for those rare glints of approval that he saw in his master's eyes. But, it wasn't enough. The Hiten- Mitsurugi master still seemed too quiet, and lonely.

So Kenshin found something to make him happy. He'd stumbled upon it (literally) quite accidentally. When coming back in for breakfast after an early morning practice, he had stuck his foot in the water pail and fallen. Hiko had snorted, an amused look on his face, and then proceeded to scold Kenshin for his clumsiness. Kenshin had protested the harsh words, which only made Hiko's sarcasm increase as he continued to tease his baka deshi about the incident the rest of the day.

Kenshin was a sharp kid, his skill of understanding people increasing with his lessons on "reading an opponent", and it didn't take long to figure out that Hiko was having fun berating him. In fact, he noted, the more he protested his master's words the more "fun" Hiko seemed to have. By the end of the day those light glints of humor had progressed into full blown amusement in his master's eyes. He was even sporting a grin on his face. Kenshin had found something that made Hiko happy.

Kenshin chuckled to himself. It was about time for their annual trip to Kyoto to see Aoshi, Misao and the others. He was looking forward to his next duel of words with his former master. He always wandered if Hiko had ever seen through his deception. Knowing his Shishou, he probably had. But, that didn't make it any less fun.