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Ah, Legends…..

Throughout the ages humankind has ‘created’ these stories to explain what 
they
could not, from simple tales to explain how the sun rose or the world was
created, to grand sweeping tales of heroes charging into battle for the sake 
of
their love, against monsters that defied imagination or one of evil’s many
forms. Some tragic, some wonderful and all capturing the best and the worse
that humanity had to offer.

Superstitious nonsense and fairy tales, meant to scare children into 
behaving
or to put the little maggots to bed after a hard day’s work, the skeptical 
and
unbelieving claim. That’s all they are, say the great scientific minds 
alive.

Oh really?

What would they say if they knew the events transpiring now in New York?

What would they say if they knew of one of the greatest of these legends, a
holy sword once stuck in stone, drawn by a boy who would grow up to unite 
all
under the banner of Camelot….was now sitting in the trophy hall of the 
city’s
most influential ‘businessmen’?

What would they say if they knew that it’s dark twin, a demon sword that
thrived on the lives of it’s victims, was here also? Weilded by a woman 
who’s
heart was blacker than the night itself and twice as cold?

What would they say if they knew of the monsters that now resides in their
glorious city? Especially one in particular, a renounced and redeemed 
‘monster’
with red hair whose name still chills the heart of his countrymen to this 
day,
vowing to stop his brethren at any cost? Or explain his former mate, whose 
very
existence now defies nature itself?

And what would they say if they had witnessed the arrival of one particular
legend, whose appearance was brought about not by train or boat, but by a 
heavy
mist that had not been present only moment's before? Or if they had 
witnessed
the elderly man who arose from this mist, tapping his large walking stick
crowned by a dragon's claw, on the cobblestones as his billowing blue robes
changed to that of blue western style suit as the mist enveloped him again 
then
faded; his once thick and many braided beard shortening to a more manageable
style as he waved a hand in front of it, then reach up to remove the floppy
blue hat from his head and 'popped' it into a top hat....his staff similarly
changing to a smaller version of itself as the man grinned and started to
stroll down the street, the people around him seeming to not even be aware 
of
his presence or the mist which brought him?

Heh…..What indeed……

Part four: Six guns and Sakabas.

Morning.

Shuriken yawned and stretched sleepily in her bed, ruffling her hair into
further disarray. “Ig ‘ate ornings….” She grumbled sleepily as she made to
climb out of bed.

“Ohayo, Miss Shuriken!”

A now very wide awake Shuriken screamed in shock, launching a hailstorm of
throwing weapons at the direction of the cheerful voice at the same time she
bounced off the bed and into the floor on her bottom. Hard. Cursing, she 
yanked
off the sheets to wrap around herself as she stood to glare at the familiar
figure smiling cheerfully despite the various Kunai, throwing stars, and
daggers sticking in the wall around him. “Soujirou! How many times have I 
told
you not to do that!”

“Isn’t this what you hired me for?” He shrugged as he stood up and stretched
from his crouch in the corner, Shuriken guessing from the way his bones 
popped
that he was there all night. “Protect you at all times?”

“If you keep waking me up like that in the morning you’ll be permanently
unemployed.” She growled menacingly, with no effect on Soujirou as usual. In
fact he looked amused. Grrr. “You spent the night there?!!”

He nodded, “I’m a light sleeper. Besides….I don’t mind the discomfort if 
it’s
for your sake.”

Shuriken flushed despite herself. “You mean you don’t mind watching me 
sleep,
Hentai.” She teased, grinning as he blushed guiltily. “Um, Soujirou?”

“Oh! Gomen!” He turned a shade darker and turned around as Shuriken got
dressed. “I bet you can’t wait to get home today, ne?”

Shuriken’s smile faltered. “Yeah….Can’t wait….”

Soujirou frowned at the less than cheerful reply. “Shuriken? Dajibou?”

“I’m fine, just not looking forward to seeing Daddy at the moment. He’s 
gonna
be pissed.”

“For what, running away or when he gets Jubei’s bill?”

Shuriken blinked at that, and started to laugh despite herself. “Good
question.”

Unfortunately, Jubei came in and ruined the moment. “The Carriages’ ready
outside, Nag.” He drawled, raising an eyebrow at Soujirou and smirked. 
“Never
thought you had in you, kid.”

“Jubei….” Soujirou warned.

“No need to be all embrassed-oof!” The chamber pot Shuriken bounced off his
head shut him up thankfully.

The rest of the gang were waiting downstairs in the carriages when they got
there, looking like they had a rough night. Especially Megumi and Sano, the
former less than her usual appearance and the latter even more rumpled than
usual, both looking half-asleep. What a crew, Shuriken thought. Daddy’s 
gonna
be thrilled….

A shock went through her all of a sudden, the pendant practically slamming 
her
in the chest as it jerked. Out the corner of her eye she saw Tomoe turn
slightly to look left, her eyes cold. *The pendant’s reacting like it did 
when
I met Tomoe….Does that mean…..?*

She turned and looked left as well, and saw the old man and woman standing
across the street.

The old man didn’t look all that much. Just an old guy in a blue suit and 
odd
cane. The woman however, was a different category all together, standing out 
if
she wanted to or not. Thick, wild curls of red hair spilled down her back 
and
shoulders, framing her almost regal beauty and cold green eyes that rivaled
Tomoe’s. Even the frilly white western ‘Bell bottom’ dress she was wearing 
did
little to disguise the grace and athletic build of a trained warrior to a
trained eye. The woman positively radiated both Nobility to rival a king and
the lethalness of a hungry tiger. She glared at them for a moment, Shuriken
shivering despite herself. Tomoe returned the glare as cold as ever, the air
seeming to crackle between them with lighting and brimstone before the woman
hmphed and started to walk down the street.

*I wonder…..*

“Miss Shuriken?”
“I’m coming, I’m coming…..”

The woman and old man watched the Carriages ride off, the woman raising her
hand, palm upwards as two tiny glowing spheres appeared in it, fluttering
around on what suspiciously resembled clear wings. “Follow.” She ordered, 
the
sound of a child’s laughter heard from the spheres before they zoomed off in
pursuit.

*So…* She smiled to herself. *All four of us are here. It has truly 
begun…..*

##

The carriage ride was….interesting to say the least.

Sano would of liked to catch a little more shut eye, but the ‘cute’ little
scene in front of him was too much for him to even think of sleeping: One 
very
worn out Fox lady, looking so peacefully asleep and innocently unaware of 
the
real world or that her Kimono was parted just enough for a small glimpse of 
the
twin treasures it concealed every time the carriage hit a bump, much to 
Sano’s
torture.

All while using Jubei’s shoulder as a pillow.

At least he’s suffering too, Sano thought ruefully, noting both Jubei’s long
suffering look and Yahiko drooling AND snoring into the seat he was draped 
over
like a rug…..

Fortunately, before Sano’s head exploded from the rush of blood to it, the
carriage jolted enough to wake Sleeping Beauty, who found herself eye to eye
with a red faced Jubei.

Sano had never seen her move so fast as she did to the other side of the 
seat.

“So glad you could join us, Fox.” She shot him a dirty look that encouraged 
him
even more. “It hasn’t been morning without you….” Megumi made a decidedly
unlady like snort, followed a VERY unlady like bout of swearing. “See, 
Jubei?
She sings even sweeter than the birds.”

Sano barely dodged the kick she aimed at his shin; Megumi’s eyes glinting
dangerously. Sano just flashed one of his lady-killer smiles in reply that
wreaked havoc on her as usual, despite how tired she was. *Jerk.* She 
mentally
grumbled. *It’s all your fault. You couldn’t act like a normal red-blooded 
man
and get jea, oh no….you have to hand me to him on a silver platter last
light to ‘teach me a lesson.’ Now I’m tired, I look like hell and I can’t 
even
think a single rational thought without it involving one of you….or both.* 
She
reddened at that image, reminded of the dreams that kept her up all night 
about
her and….

“You alright, Megumi?”

Jubei’s gentle voice snapped her back into reality, Megumi finding herself
looking into Brown worry filled eyes that were WAY too close for comfort.
“I-I’m fine, thank you Jubei-san.” Gods, she was stuttering for Kami-sama’s
sake…..Why did he have to be so cute!

“Your face is red.”

And has all the subtlety of a sledgehammer, she grumbled.

Sano just had to put his two-yen in, as usual. “Nah, Foxy’s fine. I guess 
she’s
just overwhelmed by the company of two handsome men at once, ne?” He forced
himself not to shiver at the murderous look she shot at him. “Well, I’m 
gonna
catch some sleep now before we get there, since I have to look my best for 
our
hosts.”

“You’ll need more than sleep in that case….” Megumi remarked cheerfully.

Sano blinked. Then burst out laughing. “I guess so. But I never get many
complaints from the ladies, do I?” Megumi’s hands twitched with the urge to
wipe that smug look off. “Night.” Then he stretched out on the seat and was
soon snoring away with his back turned to them.

Leaving her alone with Jubei.

Suddenly, it got very uncomfortable in the carriage.

“Gomensai….”

The two of them looked at each other, then laughed as they realized they 
spoke
at the same time. “You first,” She said.

Jubei smiled sheepishly. “I wanted to apologize for….last night. I was out 
of
line.”

Unnoticed by both, Sano's eyebrow twitched at that confession.

Megumi blushed again. *Damn, I'm making a habit of this….* “Yare, Yare, it’s
mostly my fault. I can’t believe I overreacted like that. I’m not used to
such…..Forwardness.”

*And if you believe that, Jubei…..* Megumi thought ruefully, *You definitely
ain’t the sharpest Katana on the rack.*

“Well….I apologize….” And before she could react, he took her hand in his,
brushing a stray lock of hair out of her eyes as he smiled at her. (What is
this? Do all vagabonds and gangsters get lessons on how to charm women with 
a
smile?) “And I willing to wait as long as it takes….” He said softly. “For 
you
to decide when you are.”

Megumi gulped. “H-Hai….”

Sano was glad his back was turned….he would kill Jubei right now if he 
looked
at him.

Way to go, Baka….So much for your plan…..

The rest of the ride was strangely quieter after that, although Megumi 
could’ve
of sworn she heard Sano sigh in his sleep…..

##

An hour later, they arrived at Shuriken’ home.

It certainly wasn’t what any of them were expecting, not by a long shot. A 
nice
little farm or modest little house on the hill….

Something ‘normal’ at least.

The farm part was mostly accurate, a nice little stretch of farmland 
brimming
with all kinds of bounty, and the forest around the house was a nice touch.

The house however, was a completely different story: Imagine two carpenters,
one American, one Japanese, combining forces to build a house that reflected
both cultures…..While drunk off their ass. That pretty much summed it up. It
looked like both a dojo and your standard American mansion, with the basic
structures of both like being more than one floor and the sliding doors, and
the cherry blossom trees lining the walkway to the door, but despite as much 
as
the two styles balanced and complimented each other it still looked like the
house was trying to make up it’s mind to be one or the other.

Somehow, it fit Shuriken perfectly.

The carriages let them off and took off immediately as if scared to stay 
longer
or glad to get rid of it’s passengers, Shuriken guessing it was the latter, 
due
to Tomoe. While everybody was catching a little more sleep, (Kenshin and 
Karou
looked so cute, resting on each other with a smile in their sleep.) Or in
Soujirou’s case, pretending to so she wouldn’t kill him, (She had ‘insisted’ 
he
rest more, knowing he was going to need it when he met her family….boy was 
he
going to need it she thought with a grin.) Tomoe had just sat there trance
like, being her usual icy self and only nodded in reply when spoken to. But
Shuriken noticed she looked even paler then usual and there was a light in 
her
eyes, however faint, that Shuriken didn't like. Tomoe had always creeped her
out, she admitted, personality wise and that whole only showing up at night
thing of hers, but today everything about her felt wrong….and to tell the
truth….almost like Ashura….

The slight rustle of the cherry blossom trees was barely noticeable, but she
didn’t miss it. “Guys…” She said calmly. “Stay out of this.”

“Oro?”

The attack came so swiftly no one was sure when it started….Shuriken 
suddenly
in the midst of a large free for all with three other figures moving to fast 
to
see them clearly….

Tickling her unmercifully.

Big sweatdrop.

“Ok! Ok!” Shuriken gasped. “I give! I give!”

The tallest of the three, a woman who was a more mature (And taller) version 
of
Shuriken scooped her up into a mammoth hug, the Kenshin-gumi wincing at the
sound of Shuriken’s bones popping. “MIKO-CHAN! MY LITTLE GIRL IS FINALLY 
HOME
SAFE AND SOUND!!!”

“Momma….” Shuriken gasped. “I can’t breathe….”

The second seemed to be a meek little old lady of sixty, though none of the
Kenshin-Gumi were taking it for granted. “Yare, Yare, Moshi, don’t kill her
before she can give us the presents she brought back!”

“I think I see them already!” There was a zipping sound and suddenly 
Soujirou
found the third one, a very pretty blond haired young lady that seemed to be
the best of Shuriken and her mother combined, right in his face….Soujirou
falling back in shock. The girl giggled, batting her eyes at him. “And such
cute ones!”

“So much for that hope,” Jubei and Yahiko muttered.

The grandmother scuttled- yes, scuttled, that’s the only way Kenshin could
describe it-over to Jubei, reaching up to pinch his cheeks and practically
stretch his face. “Your taste is improving at least, Miko chan, clean this 
one
up and he’ll actually be passable….” Kenshin’s shoulders shook with barely
restrained chuckle at Jubei’s expression of pure terror and pain. She let 
his
face snap back into place and then eyed each of the guys like someone would 
for
picking out fruits and vegetables, much to everyone’s dismay. “You go 
bounding
halfway across the world and this is all you bring for your poor 
grandmother!
For shame!”

“Grandmmmaaaaaa…..!” Shuriken managed to squirm out of her mother’s grip.
“You’re embarrassing me!” She hissed.

Grandma just chuckled and patted her head, which annoyed her even more. 
“Yare,
Yare, Granddaughter. Just having a little fun.” She turned and bowed 
slightly
to the Kenshingumi. “It’s a habit of ours to tease Miko, especially in front 
of
company. I am Saiko Yasha.” She motioned to the other two. “My Daughter 
Moshi
Jamison and my granddaughter, Michela Jamison.” They bowed in reply, the
Kenshingumi introducing themselves as well. “Would you like some breakfast?
It’s the least I can do for having to put up with my granddaughter….” 
Shuriken
muttered ominously under her breath as they went inside…..

And were immediately mugged by three over active kids asking questions and
tugging on them before getting shooed back by an dark haired Japanese woman
slightly older than Kenshin and like Kenshin, didn’t look it. Especially 
with
the two ‘rabbit ears’ ponytails her hair was bound in. “Maa, Maa….Don’t kill
our guests, children! Mou!” She scolded as she waddled over to her guests, 
one
arm cradling a dark haired toddler and the other rubbing her nine months
swollen tummy. “I’m sorry about that. They get so excited over company….My
name’s Usagi Yasha, Guess I live up to the name ne? Oh bother….” The kids 
had
stolen Yahiko’s bokken and run off with it, Shuriken and Yahiko in pursuit.
“I’m sorry, could you please hold her for a second?”

Tomoe blinked from her trance. “Nani?” And found herself holding a 
ferociously
cute little cargo with blue eyes and a ready smile. At first she felt a 
surge
of panic, remindof last night…..

Then she got the joke.

Everyone was startled, but not as much as Kenshin when Tomoe actually 
started
to laugh. Soft, heartfelt laughter as if she was just beginning to remember
how….tears filling her eyes as she tried to stop. “Oro? Tomoe?”

Tomoe looked at Kenshin, struggling to compose herself….hard to do when he 
was
looking so confused. “Don’t you get it? Usagi? Rabbits? Lives up to her 
name?”

“Ahh…..” Kenshin nervously laughed. “Rabbits…..”

“She’s finally lost her mind…..” Jubei muttered, and regretted it when 
Kenshin
elbowed him in the gut hard enough to make tears in his eyes.

Tomoe just adjusted the child in her arms with a sigh, now calming down to 
mild
chuckles. *It’s been so long….since I had something to laugh about….It’s 
feels
so good…..* She looked at the little girl she held and smiled. *So much I
denied myself in my first life….Children of our own….* She glanced at 
Kenshin
briefly, who was surrounded by the naughty little kids answering questions. 
*So
many things….Not this time. Even if it’s through that bitch Ashura’s evil I
have received this second chance I won’t make the same mistakes….I promise 
you
Kenshin….*

The child cooing brought her back into reality, Tomoe smiling at her. 
“You’re
so cute….Yes you are….”

And suddenly felt her Kimono growing very wet….her expression wrinkling in
disgust.

“And you peed on me.”

##

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