Wandering

BY : Chiruken
Category: Rurouni Kenshin > Yaoi - Male/Male
Dragon prints: 4647
Disclaimer: I do not own Rurouni Kenshin, nor any of the characters from it. I do not make any money from the writing of this story.

Rurouni Kenshin Fanfic
Rurouni Kenshin & Samurai X Original Japanese Version © N.Watsuki/Shueisha * Fuji-TV * SME Visual Works Inc. * Sony Pictures Entertainment
All Fanfics created by Chiruken (me) were written for the sole purpose of shared entertainment and not intended for publication or sale.

**~**

Shelter
by: Chiruken




He stood at the side of the road watching the men passing by warily. He didn’t like the way they were looking at him. Judging by their appeae the they were ronin, masterless samurai in much the same circumstances as he, yet different all the same. Their ragged clothing and hard expressions told of the difficult times they had fallen upon, yet it was the expression in their eyes that bothered him the most. They were hungry, and not from empty bellies either. He sensed that they were looking for a fight, something to relieve the violence of the revolution still coursing through their heated blood. It made his skin crawl.


Keeping his attention focused on their retreating backs, he continued down the road, his steps slow and even, his hand near the hilt of his sakabatou, yet not touching it. He didn’t want to aggravate the potentially volatile situation needlessly. He had no wish to fight them and he knew instinctively that if he made any outward show of aggression the choice would be taken from him immediately. He would not tolerate more needless bloodshed on his account, but at the same time he had no intention of ending up dead either.


As their quiet mumblings receded into the distance he slowly relaxed, breathing a little easier as more distance was placed between them. He’d been working very hard to avoid unnecessary confrontations since he’d left the Ishinshishi after the last battle and he intended to continue to do so. His was no longer a killing sword, yet it was too soon after the violence of the revolution for him to ignore the instinctive response of meeting an attack with a swift reprisal. No matter how much he fought it, the skills honed during his time as a hitokiri were slow to fade from the front of his consciousness. He wondered how long it would take before he could relax enough to react as a normal man would.


He sighed softly and shook his head. It was pointless to dwell on it. What was done, was done and all he could do was strive to become a better person now that the chaos was finally over. He had to try to rebuild his life now. It was going to be difficult, he knew, yet he refused to give up hope. Hence, his current wanderings. He wished to see for himself if his actions had created the Japan he’d hoped for…a place safe for everyone to live in peace…or if he’d utterly and completely failed in his goal.


He glanced up at the sky, squinting against the brightness of the blue expanse, and judged nightfall to be a fair distance off still. He might actually make it to a town or village before the sun set. It would be nice to partake of a hot meal and sleep under a roof again. Perhaps a warm bath would also be available if he were lucky. He smiled, a slight curve to his lips. There’d been no shortage of streams and rivers to bath in, but nothing could compare to a hot furo to relax in.


The quiet rustling of leaves and sweet twittering of birds created a peaceful harmony to his slow, shuffling steps as he continued down the narrow road. He wondered how many feet had traveled this way before his had touched upon the rutted tracks. It was an odd thought, he knew, but lately he’d been engaging in such fanciful musings. In a strange way he felt connected to those previous travelers he was following behind, merely by being on the road himself. He enjoyed the solitude and quiet, a sharp contrast to the not so distant past when he’d been in Kyoto. He liked the quiet. It gave him time to enjoy the peacefulness of the day, listening to the sounds of nature surrounding him. It reminded him, in a way, of the time he’d spent isolated with his shishou on the mountain when he’d been in training. He’d missed the silence broken only by the sounds of his labor and the crashing of the waterfall in the distance. He felt he needed the quiet to still the restlessness in his soul.


He followed a bend in the road and stopped, studying the small farm nestled amongst the trees for a moment. He glanced at the sky and sighed. Unless a town was a short distance away he’d be spending the night under the stars again. Biting his lip in indecision he stayed rooted to the spot, staring at the small house with the tendril of smoke snaking its way up to the dimming sky through the chimney. Perhaps he could ask for shelter there in exchange for work or money. He knew the economy was still recovering from the drastic changes being implemented by the new government, so maybe the farmer and his family would be amendable to barterior hor his keep. It wasn’t as if he intended to stay long, merely for the night if it were acceptable.


His decision made he approached the house, careful to keep his hand well away from his weapon, striving to appear as non-threatening as possible. Strangers, he’d discovered, weren’t looked upon well in these parts. There’d been too many raids by bandits and rogue ronin lately to fully trust without proof of intentions. It was a sorry state the counwas was in, but he hoped it was only temporary, lasting only until the chaos of the revolution faded from people’s immediate memory.


He stopped before the house, standing below the engawa, and waited a moment. When his presence wasn’t acknowledged he sighed and set his travel bag on the ground at his feet, spreading his arms out to his sides in a gesture of peace. “Hello?” He called softly, eyes searching the shuttered dwelling for any sign of movement. “Is anyone here?” He knew the answer to his question already, having sensed the presence of one occupant in the house.


The shouji slammed open, revealing a man several years older than Kenshin, his expression wary, bearing openly hostile. “What do you want?” He brandished a pitchfork as a makeshift weapon.


He forced a bright, cheery smile and bowed deeply in greeting. “I am a traveler, weary from the dust of the road, that I am.” He straightened slowly so as not to alarm the other man by any abrupt movements.


“Go away. No beggars allowed. Your kind aren’t welcome here.” The hostility seemed to roll off of him in waves of negativity.


“I would be willing to work for my stay, sir, that I would.” He eyed the pitchfork warily. He knew the other man would be easily pushed into violence if he made any sudden moves at this point.


“Is that so?” The weapon didn’t waver. “And what makes you think that makes any difference?”


Sighing softly, he bent slowly to retrieve his bag. “I am sorry for troubling you, that I am. I will continue on my way.” He turned to leave, eyes moving back to the darkening sky. It looked like it was going to be a cold night. There wasn’t going to be enough time to find a suitable place to camp and find wood for a fire as well.


He was nearly to the road when the other man called out to him. “Wait.” He turned slowly to face him again, seeing the pitchfork leaning against the wall now. “You can stay, if you make yourself useful. But only for the night.”


He smiled and bowed his thanks, returning to the house. “Thank you, sir.”


The man snorted. “The name’s Shinjiro. You can leave your things here.” He gestured to the engawa then pointed to a woodpile. “Now chop that wood. I have things to do. Supper won’t be much, but it’ll be ready when you’re done.”


He nodded and set his bag and sheathed sakabatou on the smooth boards before removing his travel stained haori to place on top. Reaching inside the sleeves of his gi, he pulled out a strip of cloth to pull the sleeves back, out of his way. Eyeing the pile of wood warily he wondered how much was required before shrugging the thought away. He would cut the entire pile if need be, it was the least he could do in exchange for the hospitality, even though it was grudgingly given.


It was dark before he paused to push his damp hair out of his face, feeling the other man’s gaze on him. Drawing in a deep breath, he reached for yet another chunk of wood. He was half finished the pile, yet there seemed to be no end to the work. In a way he welcomed the physical labor. It helped to ease his restlessness, but at the same time such menial work left him with too much time to think. The steady rise and fall of the ax was eerily similar to the rise and fall of a katana and it brought back all sorts of memories he wished to forget. He pushed the thoughts aside ruthlessly and continued, his muscles aching from the work.


Shinjiro watched impassively as the slightly built boy labored over the wood pile. He’d expected him to stop long before, having misjudged his resolve. He wondered at the obvious strength hidden beneath his loose clothing. The stranger was obviously used to hard labor if his seemingly untiring approach to chopping the wood was any indication. He leaned back against the wall, arms folded over his chest and stared, fascinated by the odd coloring of the younger man’s hair. He wondered if he were a foreigner, yet his speech didn’t indicate it. He spoke Japanese fluently without the hesitations of one who’d learned it as a second language. He’d heard stories of a hitokiri from Kyoto with flame red hair, yet it didn’t seem likely that the small figure in his yard could possibly be that man. For one, he seemed far too young to have fought in the revolution, never mind been one of the most feared assassins from that time. No, he decided, he was mistaken. The resemblance of the traveler to the man in the stories was just an uncanny coincidence, nothing more. He wondered how long he’d continue chopping wood before he stopped. At the rate he was going, it looked like his intention was to cut the whole pile.


It was with no small measure of relief that he found himself without more wood to chop. Slowly straightening, he winced at the protesting of him stiff muscles. He was exhausted. And hungry. He set the ax aside, thrusting the blade into the chopping block, before turning back to the house. He found the farmer standing in the shadows watching him. He forced a smile and bowed stiffly. “It is done, Shinjiro-dono, that it is.” The only answer was a grunt and a beckoning gesture. He hurried across the yard and up onto the engawa, pausing to retrieve his things before following the other man into the house.


“You can sleep over there, by the fire. Supper’s in the kettle, serve yourself. This ain’t no tea house with geisha to serve it for you.” Despite the harshness of his words, he was pleased with the stranger’s work. He now had enough wood to last several weeks before he’d have to bring more to be chopped.


He nodded and proceeded to fill a small bowl of the delicious smelling stew. He inhaled, his mouth watering. “Thank you.” He murmured before quickly eating. It had been a long time since he’d last had such nourishing fare. He was uncomfortably aware of the other man’s gaze on him. He glanced at him over the rim of the bowl curiously.


“What’s your name?” He settled himself by the fire, closer to the younger man than absolutely necessary. Despite the crossed scars marring his youthful features, he found him to be more than pleasing to the eye. He wondered if the other man would be receptive to any advances. It had been a long while since he’d been to the city to indulge in pleasurable pastimes.


He swallowed and lowered the now empty bowl to the floor. He recognized the interest in the older man’s eyes and sighed inwardly. “Kenshin.” He murmured softly, tilting his head to the side in careful consideration.


He nodded, not missing the look in the other’s expression. He felt encouraged enough to lean forward and place his hand on his knee. When his gesture wasn’t met with a swift refusal he grinned, shifting closer. “Where are you headed, Kenshin?”


He bit his lip, uncertain how to answer the question without revealing too much of his past to the other man. Finally, he shrugged. “I’m not certain, that I am not. I am merely traveling to see what there is to see.”


“Is that so?” He moved his hand in slow caresses, cautiously moving further up the other man’s leg until his palm rested against his thigh. He was mildly surprised to feel the hardness of lean muscle beneath his hand, but pleased all the same. This was no soft boy he was dealing with, despite appearances.


He glanced down at the hand resting against his leg. It appeared that though the other man was obviously interested, he wasn’t taking any chances of being refused violently. He almost smiled. Deciding that he didn’t wish to play cat and mouse games, he leaned forward and pressed his lips to the older man’s, leaving no doubt as to his willingness to engage in intimacy.


Needing no further encouragement, Shinjiro literally pounced, pressing the smaller man back against the wall behind him, thrusting his tongue passed his parted lips eagerly. He hadn’t expected such a willing reaction to his advances, but he wasn’t about to complain. His hands moved roughly over the slender frame, tugging his gi loose from his hakama, eager to feel the warmth of his flesh beneath his palms.


Shrugging out of his gi, he tossed it to the side, away from the fire, and pushed the other man’s loose clothing aside as well. He wasn’t certain if what he was doing was the right thing, but he wasn’t about to refuse either. He’d been too long without human contact to even think about stopping now. Besides, he could feel his body awakening beneath the larger man’s rough caresses. For better or worse, he was committed to this course now. He refused to leave his body aching with want, not when it was so easy to relieve.


He pulled back and stood, quickly removing the rest of his clothes, watching as Kenshin did the same. He grinned, seeing the obvious arousal jutting forward and reached down to grasp it, stroking the hardened flesh slowly, enjoying the smaller man’s enthusiastic response. He found he liked the honesty in the stranger’s reactions to the intimate stimulation. This obviously wasn’t a man who tried to deny that he enjoyed the attentions of another man, not like so many others he’d encountered over the years.


He closed his eyes with a sigh of pleasure, his hips moving instinctively in remembered rhythm. Pulling away, he broke the contact, not wishing to finish too soon. It had been a while since his encounter with Shinomori Aoshi and he found his body eager to reach the pleasurable bliss of release. Dropping to his knees, he reached up and grasped the larger man’s hips, holding him in place as he bent forward, drawing his engorged member into his mouth, eagerly sucking and running his tongue along the hard length.


Shinjiro threw his head back, hands fisting in the smaller man’s thick hair, urging him to take him deeper into his warm and inviting mouth. He thrust his hips forward eagerly, encouraging a steady, fast pace, his breath emerging in ragged pants of excitement. Kenshin’s actions left no doubt as to his experience. He was pleased that he didn’t have to deal with a shy virgin. The smaller man obviously needed no guidance in the art of pleasing a man. He groaned loudly, his hips bucking forward faster as the pleasure increased. Lowering his gaze, he watched as his cock disappeared into the other man’s mouth only to reappear glistening. It was one of the most erotic sights he’d ever encountered and he loved every moment of it.


Reaching down, he cupped Shinjiro’s balls and gently squeezed, opening his eyes to look up into the other man’s face, finding his gaze on him. He held his gaze, taking more of the throbbing member into his mouth, sucking hard, tasting the pre-cum coating his tongue. He could bring the other man to completion like this easily, but that would end the encounter much too soon. Reluctantly, he reached up and removed his hands from where they were clenched into fists in his hair and released the hardened flesh with a final sensuous flick of his tongue.


He grunted stepping back unsteadily, reaching down to stroke himself roughly, feeling bereft in the absence of the moist warmth of the younger man’s mouth. Releasing himself, he crossed to a cabinet and removed a jar of cream. Returning to the other man he dropped to his knees, removing the lid and dipping his fingers inside. “Lay back.” He watched as his rough order was obeyed, smiling in approval as he spread his legs wide, knees bent sharply to expose himself intimately to his view. “Good.” He nodded and rubbed the thick cream over his throbbing member, closing his eyes on a loud groan at the added stimulation. Dipping his fingers into the jar again, he leaned forward and caressed the smaller man eagerly, rubbing the lubrication over the tight opening. Pausing for a moment, he watched as pre-cum dripped from the tip of Kenshin’s swollen member and smirked, pushing his fingers into the tight passage. He was mildly surprised when his younger lover didn’t so much as flinch at the invasion. He removed his fingers with a grunt and reached to the side for a cloth, wiping the digits before settling himself over the waiting man. Reaching down, he grasped his hardness and guided it to the tight pucker awaiting his attention. Thrusting his hips forward sharply, he buried his throbbing cock deep within the smaller man’s receiving body with a harsh groan.


He closed his eyes, feeling the other man’s flesh deep within him and shifted to a more comfortable position. His eyes snapped open when his legs were pushed up against his chest, but didn’t protest the uncomfortable position. He reached up, grasping the larger man’s shoulders and countered his thrusts as best he could, eyes closing again as his lips parted on soft moans of pleasure. He decided that the cream Shinjiro used was much more effective as a lubricant than the oil his previous lovers had used. There was very little pain and much pleasure from the friction being generated by the other man’s plunging member.


His senses were filled with the tight grip Kenshin’s body had on his rigid member and the mewling cries of pleasure emerging from his parted lips. He looked down into his face, seeing his eyes closed and mouth opened on soft cries of delight, the volume of which seemed to be increasing with each hard thrust of his hips. He reached between them, fumbling in his haste, and grasped the smaller man’s erection, pumping him roughly, the engorged flesh slick with his excitement. Grunting with effort, he shifted his position, increasing the speed and force of his thrusts, rocking his smaller body with his eagerness.


He protested with a sharp cry when Shinjiro released his straining member to move his legs to his shoulder. The new position made it very difficult to thrust back against him as well as constricted lungs, making his breathing more ragged. He whimpered a wordless plea, needing the other man’s touch on his cock. He was so close to orgasm he nearly wept with the need for completion. He could feel the other man’s muscular thighs moving against him as he shifted again, kneeling for better leverage and gasped when he felt his hard flesh push against that spot that sent spirals of light lancing through his vision, his body shuddering at the added stimulation.


Reaching down again, he wrapped his strong fingers around the smaller man’s arousal, jerking roughly as he pumped his hips forcefully, burying his cock feverishly deep within the tight passage. He could feel the younger man’s arms embracing him, pulling him even closer and he spared a moment to thank the gods for sending this stranger to him. He’d never before experienced such a glorious coupling and he doubted he ever would again. The passionate responses of his younger lover were unrivaled in all his dealings with the young men he’d paid for pleasure.


He threw his head back against the floor, his body going rigid as his member pulsed, spilling his seed over the other man’s hand and across his stomach and chest. He shuddered, voice rising hoarsely as he orgasmed violently. He could feel the other man’s cock twitching within him followed by the sudden gush of his own release before he collapsed on top of him, breathing heavily, his sweaty hair plastered to the sides of his face and shoulders. He trembled, still feeling the after shocks of his explosive release, his own breathing reduced to ragged pants interspersed with moans of intense pleasure.


He turned his head to nuzzle against the younger man’s neck and laughed shakily. “That was the best fuck I’ve ever had.”


He winced slightly at the crude comment before shrugging it away. What did he expect? They didn’t know each other, had only met a few short hours before. Their actions were not those of committed lovers, merely a brief moment of shared pleasure. “I’m glad I could please.” He muttered sarcastically.


He pulled off, not hearing the mockery in the other man’s tone. He regarded him curiously. “Which house are you from?”


He paused in the act of pulling his clothes closer and looked at him sharply. “Excuse me?” **He did not say that…he couldn’t mean…**


“You are too experienced to be unclaimed. Which house did you run away from?” At the smaller man’s continued silence he shrugged. “It’s not like I’m about to send you back, Kenshin. I’m just curious.”


He quickly dressed and stood, wincing as his overused muscles protested the sudden movement. “I am not from any house, Shinjiro-dono. I think you misunderstand my circumstances.” Inwardly he seethed. This was, quite possibly, the largest insult he’d yet to endure. It was far worse than being mistaken for a woman.


“You don’t have to lie to me, boy. I know experienced prostitutes when I fuck them.” He turned back to the other man and blinked in astonishment. Gone was the pleasant young man with soft, if sorrowful, violet eyes. Instead he was met with a furious amber glare. He swallowed with some difficulty, realizing too late his obvious blunder.


“I am no prostitute, Shinjiro.” He reached for his sakabatou and travel bag. “I thank you for your hospitality, but nnotnnot stay under these circumstances.” Without another word he strode across the small room to the shouji.


Shinjiro gulped. “You’re the hitokiri everyone’s talking about.” He whispered hoarsely. He couldn’t believe that he’d misjudged the young man so terribly. “Battousai…” He whispered fearfully.


“That name has no meaning for me any more.” With that, he stepped out onto the engawa, shivering in the sudden chill of the night air and, with a burst of speed, left the small farmyard behind, the whole while cursing under his breath. The stars glittering in the dark sky above seemed to be mocking him, laughing at his expense. “Prostitute.” He muttered under his breath, slowing to a walk as he continued down the road. He knew the reason the other man’s words had upset him so much was that fundamentally they were true, though not in the way Shinjiro had intended them. His actions during the revolution, the way he’d killed in the dead of night for money, it all added to the same thing, didn’t it? And of course he’d been much too free with his intimate attentions, too. “Saito, Kogoro, Shinomori, now Shinjiro…” He groaned inwardly. Maybe he’d been right after all.


He shook his head sharply. No, he hadn’t. That was something he would never do. He had never and never would have sex in exchange for money. Shared pleasure, a delightful interlude, yes. But never for money. He may be many things, but never that.


He had to admit, even if only to himself, that his reaction had been a bit severe. Shinjiro hadn’t really meant insult, just hadn’t been socially skilled enough to inquire after such a thing more gracefully. He couldn’t go back, not now, even if he did owe the older man an apology for frightening him. No, he would leave well enough alone and hope their paths never crossed again. He knew he really had to work on controlling his temper. He couldn’t allow his anger to get the best of him. Insults and disrespect should not be by by violence, not when his skills were so obviously more advanced than most men he would meet during his travels. No, he had to learn to curb that temper his shishou used to chide him for. He had a feeling that that was what had led him astray in the first place, all those years ago when he’d abandoned his training. If only he had listened to Hiko, reigned in his volatile temper, he would never have left the older man’s mountain in the first place, which ultimately led to the near destruction of his sanity.


He sighed and shook his head. He doubted he could ever completely erase his temper, but perhaps he could learn to not act on it. After all, even his shishou had been prone to fits of rage, he just never did more than rant or destroy pottery. Maybe he could do so as well. He winced and shook his head again. He couldn’t see himself throwing a temper tantrum like the older man and get away with it. He had a feeling it would only serve to make the situation worse if he ever did that. But if he could control his reactions enough to **hide** his anger, that should work. He knew it wasn’t going to be easy, but he also knew that he had to do something. It just wouldn’t do to alienate everyone he came across if they inadvertently caused insult through unthinking words. Besides, he was determined to start a new path for himself and that meant he couldn’t allow his temper to get the best of him. Giving in to anger could only result in someone getting hurt and he had no wish to hurt any one else ever again.


It was with new resolve that he continued on his journey down the dark road, the stars above his only guiding light. It was cold, but he was determined to continue until he found the next village where he could replenish his supplies. By doing so, he could avoid human contact for some time, which should enable him to discover a way to implement his new course of action. Eventually he’d have to put it to use, but that could come later.


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