|Disclaimer||I do not own Rurouni Kenshin.|
Hello, I realized the folly of my previous fic stating that I will never write Tomoe/Kenshin again but here I am eating my words. So this fic might be a little rough on around its edges.|
I would like to dedicate this fic to Rook and DiaBLo2 if they are still reading my fics ^_^ your comments really encouraged me and the continuing support for Tomoe makes me happier, thank you everyone! Also thank you Amy Yuy.
Summary: This is Alternate Universe: Tomoe never died and they have a son named Shinta (or would it be Shinta Jr.) This fic tries to address some issues if Tomoe had actually survived to live with Kenshin in the new era (so this is my take on what it would be like). Thank you for reading and I’m sorry if it’s not well written but for some reason I kept hearing Shinta’s voice saying ‘mama, papa,’ ^_^
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::: Alternate Events
Through a Child's Eyes
by Blueraingurl ::: 01.Dec.2003
“There was a man who had changed the history of Japan. He had thought that by using the sword he could bring about significant change but he realized much later that all he could do was to protect the simple life, to protect the ones that he loved. So when the revolution ended, he disappeared,” Tomoe repeated gently.
“Mama, tell me again,” Shinta whined as his eyes fluttered. He loved the story about the man who had gained so much understanding from a simple wish to protect everyone. Although his mother and father had told him that fighting was not the solution to the war, Shinta didn’t care about that. He didn’t care for the fighting, that was not why he asked his mother to tell this story over and over again. Instead he admired the wanderer who had given so much of himself for the people. Even though in the end, he might have been the wrong one, still Shinta believed that inside all the darkness, there was the irreplaceable truth that the wanderer had loved the people and was willing to give himself for them.
Encouraged by the selflessness of the wanderer, he had decided at a young age he would protect his mother and father and his home from all dangers like that man. He couldn’t exactly remember when the story of the wanderer came into existence but he had questioned his mother one day after school about the stories of the assassin during the war circulating the school yards, the one who was a demon dressed as a man and killed mercilessly.
His mother had wept that day and told him about the other side of the story of the hitokiri battousai. That was when she told him, that the hitokiri was a child caught in a man’s war and it’s not enough to justify his deeds, but he did so because he believed that was the only way.
So Shinta desperately tried to stay awake to hear the story again, but couldn’t help falling asleep to the soothing voice that was his mothers.
“Shinta,” Tomoe whispered, “you need sleep”.
She tugged his covers toward his chin and gently kissed his forehead. “Sleep angel,” she said as she left her son’s room.
She quietly walked toward the kitchen to prepare for the mornings cooking. Drying out the fish and lightly seasoning the vegetables she left the kitchen and then checked the backyard. She knew it was a habit she had picked up from the revolution but she always had to make sure her household was safe, for there was nothing else she could really do. She wanted to protect this lifestyle she had with her beloved and her son.
She washed up and then retreated to her bedroom.
“Tomoe,” Kenshin whispered coming out of his slumber.
She turned to him as she edged a little closer to him on the bed, “Hmm” she said.
“Are you happy?” he asked.
“Hmm,” she replied again, Kenshin didn’t expect anymore to come from her. Instead he held her in his arms and they fell asleep.
Morning came and Tomoe dutifully prepared the food and took care of the household as Shinta prepared for another day in second grade and Kenshin his endeavors.
For some reason that morning, Tomoe felt calm but knew a storm could approach any day; she didn’t know how they would be able to handle another storm in their lives. She knew they held onto a fragile lifestyle.
It had been years since her husband had been hitokiri battousai but that did not stop the government from pleading for help with the left over revolutionists’. And every time Kenshin came back, a little of him died everyday. She hated it because of what it was doing to him, but she couldn’t object because he had wanted to atone in every way. She knew that he sometimes wanted to leave and atone by becoming a wanderer but his duties as a husband and father conflicted within him. She had told him a long time ago that it was okay for him to leave just as long as he returned back to her; that comment seemed to have settled him into staying with them though.
In truth, Tomoe felt as if she were walking on eggshells whenever she was with Kenshin; for they never talked about what had happened years ago- the scars were never healed.
They had never talked about it afterwards about how he had killed her fiancé and about the fact that she had almost betrayed him. In the end, her life was spared even though his blade had penetrated her.
They were happy, very happy because in the end they were still together and lived their lives for their son, Shinta, they named him after Kenshin’s own true name. But the indescribable silence that the past brought tore them apart every day. He in his is guilt and her in her shame.
So old habits couldn’t die and Tomoe embraced the silence that ensued. But maybe she was too quiet because even now it was hard to express herself to her child and husband.
So daily she had set up a ritual; wake up, cook, clean, watch over Shinta after school, cook again, read to her son, check the doors at night and then finally lay next to her husband. It had been going on like this for years that she had lost count of how many days there was silence between them.
Later that day Kenshin walked towards his son’s school to pick him up. Kenshin knew he was happy and that he couldn’t ask for anything more but something inside of him was tearing him inside. It was very hard because he couldn’t tell what his wife was thinking most of the time. The guilt that he had hidden for years started to gnaw at him again. Tomoe never seemed to be happy even when she smiled and then he began to think again, ‘if her fiancé had been alive she would have smiled then’. Knowing that these were circular thoughts, which he would never be able to ask his wife, Kenshin felt frustration build up and mostly guilt. Although a small part of him felt jealous because Tomoe was his wife and he wanted to make her smile.
“Shinta,” he called out as he saw his son exit the building holding a girls hand.
“Papa,” he replied embarrassed and let go of her hand.
Kenshin was about to reply but someone’s voice interrupted his thoughts.
“Tsubame-chan,” a woman’s voice called out. The girl that Shinta was holding hands with ran up to the woman.
“Kaoru-sister,” the child stated enthusiastically, “meet my friend Shinta”.
“Hello, nice to meet you,” Shinta replied with politeness, “this is my father Kenshin Himura”.
“Hello Himura-san, this is Tsubame and I am Kaoru, pleased to meet you,” Kaoru smiled.
“Hello,” Kenshin replied. A new friendship had formed.
“Papa, I don’t like it,” Shinta shouted one day to his father.
“What are you talking about?” Kenshin asked dumbfounded.
“Never mind,” as he walked away swiftly from his school and toward home. Ignoring the scenery and the beautiful autumn air, Shinta pouted and was lost in thought.
“Does mama hate us?” Shinta asked suddenly before entering home stopping his father.
“Shinta! Don’t ever say that,” Kenshin reprimanded, “You know she loves us”.
“Then why is she so different from everyone?” Shinta asked quietly, “she doesn’t express her happiness and affections as openly as Miss Kaoru”.
Kenshin went down to his knees and held Shinta’s shoulders and said, “She may not wear her heart on her sleeves like some people but she just has a hard time saying it through words . . .”
“I know,” Shinta suddenly screamed, “I hate you and how you’re not happy as when I see you with Miss Kaoru. You always smile when you are with her,” with his comment, Shinta ran inside and went to his room and slammed the door.
Kenshin was beyond confused; he couldn’t understand what was going through his son’s mind sometimes.
“Are you okay?” Tomoe called out as Kenshin entered their home.
“I’m fine,” Kenshin stated quickly.
“Oh,” Tomoe sighed and with disappointment appearing briefly she didn’t pursue it any further, “I just thought something was bothering you”.
“Wait,” Kenshin held onto her hands and then embraced her, “I’m sorry”.
He then let her go and went to his room.
Tomoe contemplated and slowly walked to her son’s room, “Shinta”.
There was no answer, “I’m coming in”. She noticed his sniffling form upon the bed.
“What’s wrong?” she rubbed his back soothingly.
“No…th…ing” he muffled into his pillow.
“It’s okay, you don’t have to tell me,” Tomoe spoke, “but I think papa might be sad and I know he loves you a lot”.
“It’s not that,” Shinta replied back.
“You know I love you too,” Tomoe said gently.
“Mama,” Shinta arose and flung himself onto her, “I know, I know, I’m so sorry for what I said but papa looks so different with Miss Kaoru and I feel like he’s not happy and that you’re not happy and that you’re nothing like her because you’re so quiet and you don’t talk too much to papa . . . and . . . and”
“Oh, Shinta, you know I love you and papa very much,” Tomoe said, “I might not talk a lot but I never thought I never showed it”.
“I know mama and you tell me that you love me everyday but I never heard you say it to papa and my friends at school, some of their papa’s leave their mama and then they’re alone . . . I don’t want that to happen to you and papa,” Shinta spoke truthfully.
Something within Tomoe awoke from that comment; she couldn’t believe the thoughts that were running through her son’s mind. She gently brushed through his hair and sang to him, rocking him back and forth.
Tears fell upon her cheek as Shinta fell asleep. ‘Oh Kenshin,’ she sighed.
Tomoe turned around and saw her husband staring at her. She then gently laid her son into the covers and quietly left the room.
Kenshin and Tomoe looked at each other. They suddenly felt shy, almost like they had just met. As Tomoe looked into his violet eyes, tears began to flow again, she was so sorry for everything.
She tentatively reached her arms for him and he opened his arms to embrace her.
“Kenshin, I’m so sorry,” Tomoe spoke honestly, “Look at what I have done, after all this time you protected me and loved me and yet, my own son asked me of my affections for you”.
Kenshin guided them towards their bedroom and cradled her against his arms on their bed. He felt that feeling again, the guilt weighing down on him for he had made her cry again.
“Why is it that I always make you cry?” he questioned as he placed his face into her hair, “why can’t I ever make you smile?”
“Kenshin,” Tomoe felt shock, she couldn’t describe the pain he was emitting so opening to her now, “I’ve been smiling ever since . . . it’s just you, I never made you happy and even now . . . I know you deserve more”.
“What are you talking about?” Kenshin asked.
“Look at me, I gave you nothing, yet you’ve given me everything I could ever want,” Tomoe continued, “I am unworthy of your love”.
“Oh, Tomoe,” Kenshin held on tighter, “I don’t understand how we became like this, all I wanted was the simple lifestyle at the end of the revolution, you made me realize that. You awoke me from my slumber and gave peace to the battousai inside me . . . but I could never make up for all that I had taken away from you”.
“You never took anything away, you’ve always protected me and my happiness,” Tomoe replied, “I almost brought you to ruin, I was your downfall, I don’t deserve you”.
Tomoe then withdrew herself from his embrace and looked down shamefully on the floor.
Kenshin began to understand, the silence that was driving them mad, it was not that they didn’t love each other, maybe they loved each other too much but was unsure how to express it because of their past.
He lifted his hands toward her face and cradled her cheek against his hand, “look at me”.
Slowly she lifted her eyes to him and saw beautiful warmth radiating through his eyes, “I love you,” he spoke as he drew her lips toward his.
“You are my happiness, you and Shinta,” Kenshin said, “and it’s been the guilt and shame that we had let build up between us . . .”
“I’m beginning to understand too . . . Anata, I love you,” Tomoe kissed him back, “I always have”.
That night Tomoe and Kenshin slept a little easier.
Years passed by.
Slowly Tomoe and Kenshin aged.
While Shinta grew up and matured. He still couldn’t understand his parents and why they were still together, for they were still very different from his friend’s parents and they never really fought.
But he observed shy smiles and fond looks pass between those two when they weren’t looking. ‘Maybe it’s a generation gap thing or something,’ Shinta thought to himself and wondered why they could never really express their love for each other in public and in front of him.
He looked into his mirror as he dressed into his wedding tuxedo and saw his reflection. He saw flecks of his mother and his father in himself and then the future became more uncertain for he was going to get married within an hour. He didn’t know if he could survive what they had been through with the woman he was going to marry.
He had found out the truth of their relationship as he got older, picking up conversations here and there about his parent’s past. He had put the pieces together and figured out that his childhood hero was his father.
But after finding out from others their almost tragic love story, he couldn’t understand why they were still together. He would have hated his mother if he were his father and vice versa if he were his mother.
With these thoughts still floating within him, he neared his parent’s bedroom to ask his mother to do his tie.
However, he noticed the door slightly ajar and peeked through the opening. He watched as his mother helped his father dress into the tuxedo while he playfully complained that he would have never imagined himself to wear such a contraption, “too much fuss,” he complained.
“Anata,” Tomoe placed a light kiss on his nose to stop him from fidgeting.
This stopped his action and he looked into her eyes and smiled.
Shinta quietly left his spot and felt himself almost tear.
‘Maybe this was love, love wasn’t something you had to shout out every day, it might just be the little things, the little things like when his mother would make his father’s favorite dish, how his father would bring a lily to her everyday . . .’ he thought to himself.
“Tomoe, I think Shinta might need help with his own tie,” Kenshin stated as he heard his son leave their door.
“Yeah, although you seem more lost to me,” she responded with a smile, “I’ll see you later then” and then she tousled his hair with a childlike innocence and left the room, which amused Kenshin to no end.
“Because for now he needs you most,” he finished to himself.
Love wasn’t big fireworks or countless gifts.
Love didn’t need to vocalized.
Love was just living this simple life.
That was the love Tomoe and Kenshin gave to each other and that was enough.
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