Disclaimer: Rurouni Kenshin characters belong to Nobuhiro Watsuki. Yuu Yuu Hakusho characters belong to Yoshihiro Togashi. This is purely for entertainment purposes, no profit is being made out of it.

Twist of Time

By Geraldine Cheong
Part 3
June 1998

Shuuichi closed the door behind him quietly and sauntered over to the figure sleeping in his bed. The figure shivered slightly as he neared the bed. Shuuichi thoughtfully pulled the covers up over the bare shoulders of the sleeper.

In the next few seconds everything happened in blur. All Shuuichi was aware of was the fact that there was an intense throbbing in his head as he was slammed painfully against the wall. A firm hand gripped his neck tightly. Shuuichi reached out to try and pry the cold fingers away from his neck but in vain. The last thing he saw before darkness consumed him was a pair of eyes. Cold, cruel, taunting... the eyes of the youko.

When he came to, Shuuichi felt as if someone had been using his head for soccer practice. It ached somewhat fiercely. Then he remembered. 'Kaasan! If the intruder had hurt her... A slight flicker of movement. He spun round.

The stranger was still in his bed. The covers were wrapped loosely around him as he hugged his drawn-up knees. His face was buried in his knees and half-obscured by his flowing red hair. He appeared to be crying.

"...sumimasen..." came the hoarse whisper.

Unsure of what to do, Shuuichi merely nodded and gave a soft, "It's alright." 'Kaasan was right, he's just a boy. And he's half scared to death.

The stranger finally looked up at him. There was not a hint of fear in his eyes as he held Shuuichi's steady gaze with his own. The only emotion his violet eyes belied was sadness. He spoke again, his voice soft, almost gentle, "You did this?" He indicated to the bandages wrapped around his naked body.

"My 'Kaasan."

He nodded, "Thank you." He looked away. Shuuichi thought he looked decidedly funny, he was acting weird too, the way he tried to avoid Shuuichi's gaze, the way he hugged himself tighter, as if wishing he could disappear under the bed. He finally said, "Can I have my clothes back please?" It came out as a quiet plea. Almost as if he was embarrassed to even make that request.

Shuuichi chuckled softly. "'Kaasan's probably washing them now. I'll get you some of mine instead." Minutes later saw the stranger dressed in Shuuichi's pyjamas. The sleeves and legs of the pyjamas were too long for him, Shuuichi had to help him to roll them up. "By the way, what's your name? I can't keep referring to you as 'the stranger' or 'the intruder'."

The stranger paused for a moment, as if considering whether it'd be safe to impart that bit of information to Shuuichi. "Himura. Himura Kenshin."

"Himura-san," Shuuichi smiled. "I am Minamino Shuuichi. Just call me 'Shuuichi'. My 'kaasan's Minamino Shiori. If you're feeling better now, I'll take you to see her. She's the one who got you cleaned up. You can thank her in person."

"Wait!" Kenshin called out just as Shuuichi turned to leave. Shuuichi felt Kenshin gripping his arm fiercely, as if he was desperately clinging on to the last shreds of sanity in a world that had gone awry. Kenshin continued, "I need to know... where am I? Why does everything look so different? Everything feels wrong."

Shuuichi looked worried, then he touched Kenshin's forehead gently. "Don't worry, we'll help you. Come."

Kenshin sat almost shyly next to Shiori. His hands clasped in front of him on his lap. He looked demure, almost sweet in Shuuichi's over-sized pyjamas. For most part, he remained quiet. He appeared entranced by anything he came across in their house but was careful not to touch anything.

"So there are some people after you?" Shiori asked.


"So 'kaasan, want to call in the police now?"

Kenshin eyes widened. "No! The Shinsengumi will kill me. In my current state..."

"Shinagami?" Shiori asked, puzzled.

Kenshin shook his head. "No...I-I...Shinsen..." He paused. That word, he could not recall it anymore. It was fuzzy, everything about his past was getting fuzzy. His eyes darted over to the window as he once again scanned the darkness outside. It was all wrong. Where am I? What am I doing here? Everything is so different, so strange...

Shiori's voice shook him out of his reverie. "Where do you live? Who are your parents? I'll call them up and ask them to come over and fetch you."

Kenshin frowned deeply, eyes tightly shut. He thought hard, it was quite some time before he slowly replied, "Kyoto. I live in Kyoto. I don't have parents."

"Who's Tomoe? You cried out her name in your sleep..." Shiori started.

Kenshin remembered. Just a few minutes ago, he was trying to kill Shuuichi for hurting...hurting...someone...someone very dear to him. He could not remember who. It was someone very very close to his heart, someone whose happiness he promised to protect...a girl... No. Not Shuuichi, it was an old man, not Shuuichi. They were in a forest. It was snowing. He was hurting. He glanced out at the window again. Every memory beyond the point where he had attacked Shuuichi was fading fast into the blackness. There was a coldness in his heart that was beyond words. A pervading sense of wrongness.


A wave of dizziness hit Kenshin like a tonne of bricks. He gasped. The world twisted and lurched.

End of Part 3