Lily in a
A Rurouni Kenshin Fanfic written by Nadejda Neklioudova. Special thanks to my good friends ‘Seijyuroh’ for ideas for this story, and to 'Ryuuen' for correcting it.
All existing Rurouni Kenshin characters (such as Hiko Seijuro) copyright Watsuki Nobuhiro. I’m only borrowing the characters, don’t sue me please... the character Yuri
created by me, Nadejda Neklioudova.
Note: the name "Yuri" means "Lily" in Japanese.
Another Note: my writing style is usually for one-scene 'feeling' fics, I'm not used to writing stories with real plots... So if this sounds really weird...email me and tell me so. :P And yes I am aware that I am constantly switching word tenses from present to past...
Timeframe: 25 years before the RurouniKenshin storyline now. (Hiko Seijuro is eighteen at the moment, has just finished his HitenMitsurugiRyu training, of course killing his master in the process)
Yet Another Note: Since there is nothing known about Hiko Seijuro’s past, I’m creating one for him. ^_- I’m also using a name – Niitsu – that I _heard_ was his real name, but I’m not sure. Oh well.. Niitsu is as good a name as any :P I’m also giving him a younger sister – Aya.
I also need a _good_ reason for Hiko’s family to be attacked... I’m thinking of using the "they opposed the government" excuse because that’s all I could think of at the moment, but that sounds a bit too much like the gov’t was communist or something, I can relate to that too well... anyone have better ideas that correspond better with the history of the time in Japan?? Help! ^.^
Also, anyone think this story is getting too dark?? I somehow find it easier to write sad stories than happy ones... oi. @_@ Trust me, it’ll get happier in chapter 5... ^^;
Chapter 4 - Heart of Sword
March 14, 1999
"How?" Seijuro looked at Yuri, already knowing the answer.
"By the river...I guess I stayed there a bit too long," Yuri said shyly. "But the assassin ran away... I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to involve you in this..."
"What’s done is done." Seijuro said grimly.
"Look, maybe I should just leave." Yuri blurted out. "I don’t want them to hunt you down as well!"
An awkward pause passed by, though the birds singing outside did not seem to notice. Yuri sat down on the floor of the house again, her eyes staring at the floorboards with a troubled gaze. "I’m sorry..." she finally whispered.
"Like I said...what’s done is done, Yuri-san." Seijuro said again, reaching for his sword and setting it beside him. The action attracted a quick glance from Yuri.
"I thought you killed all of them..." she said quietly, looking at the sheathed katana.
"No...I didn’t. Not all of them." Seijuro stated after a long minute.
The young swordsman seemed emotionless, which further annoyed a distressed Yuri.
"But why?" she exploded. "They nearly killed me and hurt you! You’re a swordsman, dammit!"
Seijuro looked at her silently for what seemed like ages to Yuri, then glanced at the katana, as if inviting her to look at it.
Yuri took the hint and picked up the heavy sword, wondering why. She slowly unsheathed it, and looked at the small amount of remaining blood stains on its sharp steel with disgust. Strangely, there weren’t enough of them to account for all of the assassins Seijuro fought the previous night. Then she understood, despite her limited knowledge of swords.
"You used the blunt side of the sword..." she said. Seijuro nodded. "Why?" she asked again.
"I didn’t want to kill. Not all of them." The words were spoken simply, yet they mapped out the rest of Yuri’s life, which, she understood, will be spent running for her life…
‘I wish he’d stop looking like a statue!’ Yuri thought furiously.
"I’m sorry, maybe I sound very selfish, but what kind of a swordsman are you??" Yuri said rashly, immediately regretting it. "No, don’t answer that... I’m sorry..." she turned away and sighed, her voice trailing off. "I’m just tired of running away..."
Seijuro did not seem to notice her last words. "A swordsman who killed his own master." He finally said.
"Wh…what?" Yuri stared blankly at him.
"Hiko Seijuro, the 12th inheritor of HitenMitsurugiRyu sword school." Seijuro continued. "He was my master, and like a father to me for the past ten years. And I killed him. It was required." Seijuro the 13th accented the last phrase, perhaps to finalize the decision in his mind all over again, or perhaps to stop himself from thinking how he could’ve done something different. Finally he resumed staring into the distance with the same statue-like look.
Yuri sighed, barely audibly, finding nothing to say, and gazed at, or rather through, the floor. Slowly she raised her eyes to look at Seijuro. He was still unmoving, sitting by the window, the wind blowing his dark hair into his face. He made no notice at all, appearing to be made of the same steel as was his sword. But something told Yuri that this steel was not as cold and unfeeling as it appeared. Deciding to forgive Seijuro his icy appearance, she carefully set the katana aside. After a moment of hesitation, her hand lightly touched Seijuro’s hand, then withdrew hastily. "It seems we both have similar pasts we don’t want to talk about, ne?"
Seijuro glanced at her. His hidden expression was that of agreement. The perceptive Yuri, used to reading hidden hints, caught on to it.
"Why don’t you start, Seijuro-san?" she suggested. "After all, I should have the right to know more about the man who saved my life."
Startled, the young man looked at her. No one knew about his past besides his master, who was now dead by his own hands. His life story was nothing overly significant to anyone else, but it was something among the many things he liked to keep to himself. He almost decided to refuse, but something about the girl changed his mind. He barely knew her, but... well, he couldn’t hide in his shell forever. Sake didn’t help much either. He decided.
"You’re right, you do deserve to know..." he finally sighed with a touch of self-admiration surfacing uninvited out of past pain, and began.
And Yuri listened.
"Niitsu-niichan..Niitsu-niichan!" a girl’s high voice interrupted his concentration. Young Niitsu, a boy of about nine years, looked up momentarily, annoyed. He had just found an interesting puddle of mud, and was making shapes from it – creating something out of nothing was his passion. However, his sister Aya’s voice was getting more urgent every time she called his name. He finally turned around and asked "what is it Imouto-chan?"
"Help!" she cried finally, running, and fell onto the ground in front of him, out of breath. "Otousan.. Okaasan.. they... help, Niichan!"
The piece of clay flew back into the mud puddle, immediately forgotten.
"What’s wrong?" Niitsu asked with concern, helping his little sister up. He noticed she had many bruises and tears were streaming down her young face. "What happened to you?"
"Bad people... in black... with swords... t-they broke the door and...hurt Okaasan and...Otousan... Why?" Aya said in between sobs. "Niichan help!"
Niitsu looked startled. Being three years older than Aya, he understood the situation better. (INSERT EXCUSE FOR ATTACK ON SEIJURO’S PARENTS HERE ^^;;;) However, he was still at a loss about how he, only a nine-year-old boy, could possibly help. But he still promptly got up and ran back to his home, which was not too far but not very close either. Aya followed, quickly falling behind, as Niitsu was a quicker runner than she was.
But he did not need a complex plan to help his family. He was too late.
Niitsu stopped dead in his tracks and Aya almost literally bumped into him. But he didn't notice as he looked at the terrible sight before him....
(INSERT THE REST OF THE STORY – Niitsu’s family getting killed, how Hiko the 12th saved Niitsu, etc HERE. ^^; I can’t think of anything at the moment.. um.. help?? ^.^ please?)
It was a long story, yet Yuri listened closely to it the whole time. Seijuro seemed to trust her with his past – and that was something she could not simply ignore. She could easily see that this man lived his entire life isolating his feelings, wrapping them up and throwing them away – and even more so after the death of his master, a father figure to him. And now these emotions came pouring back – and Yuri could see them plainly playing out on his face, no matter how he tried to block them. Finally she smiled, and said:
"I understand now."
They talked – about their pasts and themselves – until the sun rolled into an ominous thundercloud, and the sky began to darken. The storm was easily heard in the distance, its thunderbolts crashing far away, like a dark omen of approaching evil – Yuri hoped it was not so about an evil she knew all too well. The air hung tensely in the warm summer evening – the birds sensed it first and retreated into their nests silently, as the stormcloud swallowed the sun and was quickly covering the entire sky.
The conversation finally subsided as a flash of nearby lightning startled both of them. Seijuro did not pay much attention, however Yuri couldn’t help but feel uneasy about thunderstorms – she had been caught in them outside so many times in her travels, and had momentarily forgotten that she was safe under a roof. She instinctively found herself wondering if the roof had any leaks.
Seijuro noticed that, and smirked, replying to her silent thought: "don’t worry, the roof is as good as new."
Yuri turned to him, embarassed at the thought that she might have spoken her roof worries out loud. However she was answered again by a grin from Seijuro:
"You’re not the only one who can read people, you know."
He had changed noticeably over the course of the day – from what could only be described as a block of emotional ice to, well... a block of melting emotional ice with drops of arrogance and self-proudness. Yuri couldn’t help wondering if the arrogance would get worse – that was a trait she didn’t like in people. But she quickly found out that it was Seijuro’s form of humor – something he probably picked up from his master for lack of any other form of expressing himself. Seijuro was still one who preferred silent thinking to conversation, but he gradually got better at talking to Yuri instead of staring outside the window, hiding his thoughts and feelings.
Yuri changed too, though she may not have noticed it. At first she was shy, but lashed out at people like an angry cat whenever her past was a subject of conversation. She was still shy now, but gradually found it easier to share her past – she realized she needed someone to talk to in order to sort her emotions out.
Seijuro had apparently come to the same conclusion about himself.
He remembered that his master always told him to start talking – something he hated even as a child. The only people he liked to talk to were his family, and he found it hard to converse with someone who was not part of that group, even when they were all gone. He decided he would not share anything with another person again. Sometimes Seijuro the 12th would order him to talk, about anything – even during HitenMitsurugiRyu practices – which infuriated young Seijuro because he wanted to concentrate on not making any mistakes, and talking broke his concentration. Now he realized that this ‘cruel and unusual punishment’ was his master’s way of getting him to open up a little, and learn to deal with distractions during sword-fights as well – and in the end, it did help. But after Seijuro the 12th’s death, the new inheritor of HitenMitsurugiRyu withdrew into his shell again, drowning his emotions in sake.
Until Yuri came along. He gradually found it easier to talk to this girl – which was double strange beause he had never been one to explain his thoughts openly with strangers, and always kept away from members of the opposite gender especially – because Seijuro was too confused by them. However, he found he shared something in common with Yuri already – and ironically enough, the unwillingness to talk, especially about the past, was it. Now Seijuro discovered he understood himself better by explaining himself to someone else, and hearing that they were having the same problem. The past still haunted him, but he felt better already not keeping all his troubles locked away under a block of ice. Slowly, he even recovered what he thought was permanently lost under pain – his arrogant sense of humor, to Yuri’s apparent dismay.
Seijuro found himself wondering why he deserved this miracle that was Yuri. After a moment of thought, he decided not to ask, as the first raindrops dripped down from the turbulent sky, and lightning reflected in Yuri’s beautiful blue eyes.
To Be Continued!!!
[BACK TO FANSTUFF] [BACK TO MAIN RK PAGE]