Fandoms: Rurouni Kenshin
Pairing: Gen (mentions of past Kenshin/Tomoe)
Author on LJ: n/a
Three years after the end of the Bakumatsu, a chance encounter with a kabuki troupe teaches Kenshin an unexpected lesson in survival.
This is the story of how Kenshin changed from the terrifying Battousai of the Revolution to the bumbling and silly rurouni persona of the series. It's one thing for him to vow never to kill again and to try to atone for his actions, but the sort of drastic change in behavior he undergoes during the intervening years between the Revolution and the beginning of the series is a different matter.
That's the gap that An Unexpected Lesson fills when Kenshin falls in with a traveling kabuki troupe where he learns how to let go a little and the value of appearing not just harmless but nearly incompetent. Despite being categorized as a drama/angst piece there is plenty of lighthearted and comedic moments. We even get to see Kenshin dress up as a woman in a non-farcical way when he fills in for an injured actor (female characters were played by men in kabuki).
Conspirator also does a lovely job with the host of OCs that a pre-series story requires. Despite Kenshin being the only canon character, the members of the troupe are all well-characterized and fit seamlessly in the story. They run a gamut of endearing to irritating as all get out and their familial interactions are very realistic.
All in all a wonderful story!
An Unexpected Lesson