For the Love of the Son by Shunhades
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After several weeks of Ken starting school, Dr. Nambu, himself, just seemed to get even more busy with it. As such he'd hired a caretaker for Ken. Someone to pick him up from school. Make sure he ate dinner, and went to bed on time. Yes, Ken was surprisingly self sufficent for a small child. But he wasn't going to take any chances. Said caretaker's job was to keep on eye on the boy. Even while he was in school from a far. He was a quiet man. Speaking only when necessary. But he got the job done.

Ken was in the school yard, playing with a few of his friends. They consisted of other children from their homeland of Japan. Most were military children. Others the children of diplomats. But just the same, Ken didn't care. And nor did the other children. Their minds were simply on play, not on status. When one of the other children kicked the ball just a little too hard, Ken stated he would get it, and ran to where it rolled by the fence.

He picked up the ball with a smile on his face. But a moment after his attention was taken by a man who was standing by the tall fence. It was a short conversation. The man simply asking if he was having fun. Where Ken replied he was. The man told him the ball he was playing with looked to be a very good ball. To which Ken nodded happily. When the man saw Ken's caretaker take notice of him. He simply told the boy to enjoy such a lovely day. And walked away. To Ken this action was fairly strange. But none the less, he shrugged it off and ran back to his friends to play some more before recess was over.

At dinner, Dr. Nambu, Ken's caretaker and Ken were enjoying a lovely supper of meatloaf, mashed potatos, and brocolli. Dr. Nambu already being aware of the man who'd had a conversation with the boy earlier. He didn't want the boy to feel like he'd done something wrong. But had told him to not talk to strangers. As such their dinner was of a different conversation. Like, how was their day. Or if there was any homework to be done.

"Ken." Dr. Nambu looked at the boy and pointed to a spoon. He was slowly starting to teach the boy some english.

"Spou..oon." He stated with some difficulty. He already knew of Dr. Nambu's ways of attempting to teach him. It was hard, but sometimes it was fun. Most of the time it was simply frustrating. Especially since he did not understand why the doctor was so insistent that he learn english. But he supposed there was a purpose behind it. Like everything Dr. Nambu did.

Dr. Nambu sat in silence for a moment. Thinking on how he should approach the topic on his mind. Every so often he pointed at something he wanted Ken to answer what it was in english.

"F...fork.....pll..plate......" Ken responded as each item was pointed to. "Class disruptor."

"What?!" Dr. Nambu blinked in confusion.

Ken, understanding the word, replied that that was what his teacher called his caretaker. Even going as far as adding in that the man had been sent to sit in the corner on numerous occasions for misbehaving while class was in session. Such as lighting a cigarette or yawning in class loudly.

Dr. Nambu simply laughed. Ken's caretaker flushing with embarassment as he scoffed. "Well I suppose a childs class would be very boring indeed."

Ken blinked as he didn't understand what Dr. Nambu had just said. A moment after Dr. Nambu asked Ken about the man at recess. Ken gave him an explaination in great detail. Before long Dr. Nambu nodded and reminded him he shouldn't talk to strangers. Once dinner was over, Ken went to his room to go do his homework. Leaving Dr. Nambu with his caretaker at the table.

"Did that man seem suspicious to you?" he asked.

"Hmmm...not particularly. These americans have odd ways to say the least. In anycase he was very polite to the boy. Nothing to worry about i'm sure."

"Hmm...I wonder." Dr. Nambu pondered.
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Ken blinked several times at the boy who was at Dr. Nambu's side. To Ken, he looked very strange. His skin was slightly darker than his. And his face seemed to retain a sort of angry look that Ken couldn't comprehend.

"Ken, this is Joe. He'll be living with us starting today." Dr. Nambu explained. "He's your brother if you will." he gestured.

"Brother?" Ken looked at him in confusion.

"Yes. Though I will state it will take time for him to get accomodated. He doesn't speak any english. Or japanese."

"How am I supposed to talk to him?" Ken asked with innocence in his eyes. Dr. Nambu smiled. Ken could just be too smart for his own good.

"Joe will be learning english and japanese. As such you will be learning italian so you can communicate with him."

"What's italian?" Ken asked with slight curiosity. Though it was obvious he was not looking forward to learning a new language. He was still getting the hang of english.

"It's the language from where Joe is from."

"Where's that?"

"Italy. Sicily more specifically."

"So he's from a boot?" Ken tried to comprehend what Dr. Nambu was telling him. In school, his teacher was teaching him about different countries. It'd only been recently that they were learning about Italy. And he could only remember it because of it's unique shape. Dr. Nambu just laughed.
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It didn't take long for Joe and Ken to become fairly close. Or as close as the two eight year olds were willing to get. Ken hugged his mother tightly. His face filled with smiles as he was so happy to see her. Due to her illness, he didn't get to see her often. But Ken wasted no time taking the chance to catch up on hugs when the chance presented itself.

"Ken." she smiled.

"Mama. Dr. Nambu brought me home a brother. But he's older than me. Aren't siblings supposed to be younger when they are brought home?" he asked.

She laughed at his innocent question. "Well..." she ruffled his hair. "...I guess Dr. Nambu just wanted to be different."

"And he's from...uh....Isicily." Ken attempted.

"You mean, Sicily." she smiled.

"Yeah that." Ken sat close to her. "Mama, does papa know I have a Sicily brother?"

"Sicilian." she corrected. Making Ken frown since all the terms just confused him all the more. "I'm sure he knows Ken. Papa is watching us from heaven. So i'm sure he's happy that we have a new member of the family."

Ken blinked as he looked up at her. "Mama...papa isn't dead."

"Ken..." she looked at him seriously.

"Papa isn't dead mama. He's not."

She sighed. Ken was such a good boy. The only thing he gave her grief about was the issue that his father was dead. She pressed her forehead against his. She could only hope that someday he'd understand. And let go of such thoughts about his father.
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Ken sat with his arms crossed. He demenor showing he was in deep thought. The latest mission heavy on his mind. Dr. Nambu had come with them since his services were needed. For the most part they would simply be his body guards. But that didn't mean they wouldn't be doing other things. Such as patrolling the area. Looking for any signs of Galactor. He felt the god phoenix land. Indicating they'd arrived at their destination.

The town wasn't very big. Perhaps only a hundred or so people lived there. Sadly it seemed something was going amiss with the people's crops. So it was Dr. Nambu's job to fix the issue. He'd found a bacteria that was the case. And created an antidote. It'd take several days. But overall if nothing went wrong. It'd be a simple job. The people greeted them. Thanking them for their help. And even giving them a bouquet of flowers.

"How pretty." Jun gawked over the simple arrangement in Ken's arms. "I've never seen such flowers like these before."

Ken simply smiled and took in the flowers fragrance. Lightly stunned before breathing in their scent again. "I've smelled this scent before." he muttered. "Do these grow in other areas?"

"No. I'm afraid those flowers are only native to this town." A man stated casually.

"Really?" he stood there in thought. Everyone else busy with their own tasks.

"Yes. It doesn't grow anywhere else in the world. If you've smelled it's scent before, it could only be that you've been here before."

"No..." he shook his head. "..I'm sure I haven't been here before."

"Really?" the man looked confused. Ken simply taking in the flowers scent a bit more as he tried to place where he'd smelled it's scent. Amongst the crowd. One's eyes grew wide as they watched the group in the distance.

"It couldn't be.....could it?" they uttered softly. Placing a trembling hand at their chest before leaving without being noticed.
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"Ken, would you give those flowers a break already?" Joe complained in his seat. "They're stinking up the room."

Ken poked at the bouquet on the table. His mind troubled that he couldn't place there scent.

"They're just a bunch of flowers. They all smell the same if you ask me." Joe leaned back with his hands behind his head. "Honestly. You're worrying too much."

"Hmmm...." Ken laid his hand on his arms on the table. Still keeping the flowers in view. Taping his finger every so often on his arm.

"Ken, does it bother you that much?" Jun asked. "Honestly. It's just like Joe said. They are just flowers. If anything they probably smell like someones perfume that you passed by."

'No.' Ken thought to himself. 'This is not the simple fragrance of a perfume. I've smelled these before.' he kept staring at the flowers. Vague images coming to mind. Someone who's face wasn't distinct kept popping up. 'Could it be....? Someone I knew?' he questioned himself. It was frustrating that his senses could remember something his mind couldn't. Standing up, he muttered. "I need some air." before leaving the room. Not bothering to see the reactions of his teammates as he did so. For a while, he simply walked around aimlessly. Many things feeling nostalgic to him. Eventually he came to a park. Sitting on a swing, he let his mind wander. So much so that he didn't notice the presence of the person who'd sat beside him.

"Patrolling so late at night?" the man asked.

This caused Ken to jolt in surprise.

The man laughed. "Sorry. I didn't mean to startle you."

"Uhh...no...it's my fault for not paying attention." he averted his gaze to the sand at his feet.

"Is something troubling you? Forgive me, but I could tell you were out of sorts as I was passing by. So I couldn't help but ask if something was the matter."

"Ahh...no." he shook his head. "Just a lot on my mind is all." he forced a small smile.

"Really?" the man gave his own smile. "By your appearance. I'd say you were greatly flustered." he watched Ken's smile fade. He placed a hand under Ken's chin, and made him face him. "Almost as if you couldn't place certain things together. Am I right?"

Ken's eyes widened slightly. "Who are you?" he found himself asking.

"Someone you've forgotten for a very long time. Ken Washio."

Ken gasped.

"Or should I say....my son." he smirked. Without Ken realizing, he'd been holding a gun at the side of his stomach. He pulled the trigger. Causing Ken to suck in a deep breath as he cringed before he felt himself falling backwards off the swing. Before he hit the ground, the man caught him with his arm. "My, my. You've certainly gotten big haven't you?" he laughed lightly before scooping up Ken in his arms. "Dr. Nambu was certainly clever. I would of never guessed that you were the leader of the Kagaku Ninja Tai. But I suppose the best place to hide a leaf. Is among other leaves."
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"What do you mean you don't know where Ken went?!" Dr. Nambu was at a mixture of anger and worry.

"He said he needed some air last night. But he never came back." Jun explained.

"Seemed to me he was bothered by those flowers." Joe added in.

"Flowers...?" Dr. Nambu repeated slightly confused.

Jun nodded. "The ones the villegars gave us. He was very bothered that he couldn't remember where he'd smelled their scent."

"We've tried calling him several times. But we don't get a response." Jinpei pointed at his bracelet.

"He's probably with some cute girl." Ryu muttered. Earning a glare from Jun.

"Flowers..." Dr. Nambu pressed against his chin. "Don't tell me..." His eyes grew wide for a moment.
Chapter End Notes:
Another chapter completed. I hope you guys like it so far. And I know it may of seemed rushed from where Ken went from a child to suddenly being eighteen. But this story wasn't going to be all about his childhood. The stuff prior to that was simply important information required to for the story line. I'll try to get the next chapter out soon. It's spring break this week, so maybe I can do some catch up with my other fics. =>

Reviews and comments appreciated.
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