Title: Captive Seduction
Classification: Rurouni Kenshin romance/action/adventure
Summary: Seduction always comes with high prices. For Misao, it might just be her heart. What will Kenshin say about that? Oro!
Disclaimer: Buffybot76: I do not own any of these characters. *whispers* Although I wouldn't mind borrowing the Battousai for say, oh, a couple days.
Distribution: FanFiction.Net. MediaMiner.com and my Yahoo Group: For the Love of Misao. If anyone else wants it, just email me and ask.
Feedback: Yes, please.
Author's Note: Buffybot76: Okay guys, this is my very first Rurouni Kenshin fic and it *will* be an alternate pairing, so anybody who opposes to that sort of thing TURN BACK NOW! If someone is going to flame me, I'd rather it be because of something I got wrong, NOT because they don't approve of the pairing, so please *please* don't flame me just because of that. Now any constructive criticism is most welcome, so feel free to throw some my way if it is warranted. Now that all of that is out of the way.....ON TO THE FIC!
She could feel them behind her. Just out of sight, in the shadows, watching her.... following her. They were getting closer, closing in on her methodically as if it were all a planned deal, for in truth it was. The girl did not know this though. Nor did she know that for the past few weeks she had been followed daily, her routine noted, the path she took memorized.
All she did know was that ever since she had left the restaurant that her family owned, and in which she worked, she had felt like she was being followed. Worse still, she got the distinct impression that there was more than one person. She quickened her pace, cursing the fact that she had allowed the last customer to linger a bit longer than usual. Now it was growing late and with the lateness came the waning of the evening's light.
She heard the sound of faint footsteps increase their pace to match her own. She quickly looked behind her, her unbound, medium-length hair whipping around to brush the side of her pretty face at the motion. Nobody there. Sighing, she looked forward again and breathed a sigh of relief as she saw the street upon which her destination lay come into view. Her hope of making it home safely was short lived, however, as a dark figure appeared ahead of her. It stepped out of the alleyway in front of her townhouse, effectively blocking her path. With a gasp, the young woman had no other choice but to duck into the next alley she came to.
To her dismay, she soon found herself face to face with a dead end. She was trapped. Spinning quickly, the girl's eyes searched for a place to hide as the last remaining rays of sunlight faded into nonexistence, plunging her into shadows. She tensed up, her breathing increased to a rapid panting as fear turned to all out panic. The ones who had been following her stood at the open end of the alley, walking determinedly toward her, their features masked as much by the dark of night as by the ninja style masks they wore.
The fact that she had heard them following her was testiment enough to the fact that whoever these guys were, they were not ninja. The girl attempted to overcome the sheer terror that was threatening to overtake her. Her eyes widened as one of the men moved forward, arms outstretched toward her.
Up until that moment her mind had been concentrating on nothing else but to force her feet to move...to get to safety as soon as possible. Never once had it crossed her mind to cry out for help. That thought surfaced now and she opened her mouth to scream, but before even a syllable could be uttered a strong hand shot out, clamping a peice of cloth to her nose and mouth. The cloth was saturated with some sort of liquid that could not have been water for the girl suddenly felt lightheaded and her vision began to blur.
Soon her eyes became unfocused and they rolled back in her head as her pitiful struggles diminished and she slumped forward as the arms of unconciousness embraced her. Steely arms stopped her from impacting the ground, however, and she was swept up by her attacker's companion. Through the eyeholes of the mask, the man observed the beautiful young woman he held in his arms with an appreciative gleam in his eyes.
"Oh yes," The voice was smooth and youthful sounding when he finally spoke. "I do believe Mr. Brighton will be most pleased with this one."
That said, the man gestured with his head, indicating that the other should follow. The man who still held the soaked cloth in his hand nodded in understanding, then fell into step behind his accomplice as they slipped unnoticed out of the alley with their valuable cargo.
Two weeks later....
The evening was darker than usual, low clouds blocked out the normally luminescent menagerie of stars. The glowing moon was barely a sliver in the sky against a back drop of nearly black cobalt. At that very moment, a young ninja girl of about eighteen was preparing for her return trip home from visiting with friends. She hefted a pack up onto her shoulders, taking care not to catch her long thick braid of her hair as she did so.
Makimachi Misao turned from where she had just been about to exit the dojo, to make her way back to the Aoiya. Kamiya Kaoru stood in front of the shouji, a smile gracing her pretty face.
"It is late, Misao-chan, why don't you stay for the night and return to the Aoiya in the morning?" Kaoru asked, a look of worry crossing her face.
Misao considered the offer but then decided against it and shook her head no. "Thank you for the invitation, Kaoru, but I really need to be getting back. I've been here for nearly two weeks and with Aoshi-sama gone on some sort of 'personal' business, the Oniwaban will be in need of leadership of some sort."
Kaoru frowned for a second before asking, "Are you certain, Misao? It is getting awfully late. I am sure the others wouldn't mind you staying over tonight. A student of mine told me that there has been a rash of disappearing youg women throughout Kyoto for the past two months. The police have even set up a curfew."
Misao nodded, a frown marring her features for a moment before she brightened again. "Yes, I know, but don't worry about me Kaoru. You know I always come prepared." The young ninja replied, reaching around into the hidden pocket at the back of her blue ninja uniform to withdraw one of her kunai for her friend to see.
Though still not reassured, Kaoru smiled and nodded her head. She walked over to her friend and pulled her into a brief hug before pulling away once more. She had hoped that she could talk Misao into staying for a day or so longer. It felt good to have another female around the dojo and if she was not mistaken....it also did some good for a certain redhaired rurouni.
Kaoru could see the sparks that flew everytime that Misao and Kenshin were in the room together. It seemed the more time Misao and Kenshin spent together, the less Misao was emotionally hurt each time Aoshi shunned her affections. Kenshin gave Misao the respect and attention that a young woman deserved, and Misao basked in it often. Sure, at first she had been jealous. After all, she had fancied herself in love with the gentle man who had once been known as the feared man-slayer Hitokiri Battousai. But that had all changed since Sano had arrived.
Sagara Sanosuke had turned her life upside down in just the few months he had been staying at the dojo with her, Yahiko and Kenshin. He was the total opposite of Kenshin which puzzled Kaoru even more as to why she had been drawn to him. She could only guess it was the fact that he did not treat her as if she were made of glass and would shatter at any given moment. Kaoru sighed as she briefly remembered just how the whirlwind relationship had began....
"Sano, do you think you could do something besides sit in the engawa all day?" Kaoru gave the ex-street fighter a stern glare.
Kenshin was busy doing laundry and Yahiko was helping at the acabeko. Sano had been just sitting outside all day long, doing nothing but chewing on that blasted fishbone of his. Kaoru sighed.
*I mean, the least he could do was help to do the dojo floors!* She thought sullenly.
She stepped into his line of view, hand gripping her obi so tightly her knuckles were turning white. His eyes followed upwards, lingering on the pale porcelian of her throat and then lower to the wrap peeking through her off white kimono.
*Her wrap is lower than it was yesterday* he thought, cocking his head sideways, studying the tiny glimpse of cleavage. She walked closer to him, his eyes never leaving the pale flesh.
He shook his head rapidly side to side, *Whoa, when did I start noticing Jou-chan like that?* The thought was interrupted, however, as she clobbered him six way from Sunday with her bokken.
"What the hell was that for?!" Sano demanded angrily, rising to his feet, to tower a full head over the smaller azure-eyed martial arts instructor.
Kaoru's eyes narrowed even more as she was forced to look up so that she could continue to glare effectively. *Why does he have to be so tall!* she wondered to herself.
"I'll tell you what that was for," she began as she stepped forward, intending on making herself more intimidating. She was thwarted, however, when Sano refused to step back. Thus, her movement only causing to bring her a bit too close to the aggravating man before her. "It was for -- " Kaoru faltered as she realized how uncomfortably close their proximity had become.
Sano tossed the fish bone on the dirt. "I'm not Yahiko, Jou-chan!" Ire apparent in his tone. "Do not hit me again." He stormed into the dojo, taking long strides across the dusty wooden floors.
Growling in frustration, as well as a little embarassment, Kaoru turned and followed closely behind. "I know you aren't Yahiko, Sano! Yahiko helps out around here!"
He spun around, nearly colliding into Kaoru, "What do you want from me, Kaoru? Tell me! You offer me a place to stay while I get on my feet and then hit me with that damn stick whenever you see fit. Am I missing something?" He clenched his fists at his sides. Looking down at Kaoru as her features softened from anger to shock.
"Sano, I..." Kaoru began weakly, not really knowing what else to say.
What DID she want from him? Did she want anything? She thought she just wanted him to help out every once in awhile. To at least attempt to be part of the group. He was always acting withdrawn, only showing any reaction when she prompted him into an argument...and she had to admit, she HAD done most of the prompting.
"I don't...I..I," she stuttered, searching for the words to define how she felt.
Nothing. She couldn't find the words to convey that she wanted him to help out sometimes, not all the time, just sometimes. She wanted his company, she wanted the attention he gave her at moments like this. What did she want from him?
"Sano," she sighed, taking a hesitant step forward.
His eyes met hers and for a moment she could hear her heart pounding in her ears. "Sano..." she repeated, wrapping her arms around his neck in a gentle embrace. "Gomen..but...nevermind." Kaoru took a step backwards. She had students arriving soon and she still needed to help Keshin hang the laundry. She turned around to leave, but suddenly his hand strectched out, wrapping around her wrist.
Kaoru had barely enough time to utter a soft gasp as she felt herself being pulled into Sano's arms. Eyes widened in shock before fluttering closed as she felt his firm lips caress her own in a soft, but passionate, kiss. As his lips brushed hers, Kaoru felt her entire body melt as everything clicked into place.
This was what she wanted...no, needed from Sano. What she had been yearning for ever since their first heated argument. Why she always felt tense around him and yet uneasy when she was not. She wanted this. She wanted.....him.
"Kaoru? Hey, Kaoru!"
Blinking rapidly, Kaoru's mind broke off from her reverie as her eyes refocused to find a smirking Misao waving a hand in front of her face. Hastily brushing the ninja's hand aside, Kaoru muttered, "Sorry Misao, I was just thinking."
"Mm-hmm." Misao replied. "And just WHAT were we thinking about to have such a dreamy expression cross your face, ne?"
Kaoru gave Misao a whithering look. "None of your business." Rolling her eyes at Misao's "yeah right" expression, the older girl finally sighed as she continued. "Well, if I can't talk you into staying until morning, at least allow one of the guys to escort you back. I'm sure Kenshin wouldn't mind...."
Misao's eyes widened at Kaoru's suggestion and instantly felt her face begin to heat up at the mention of the new object of her affection. Shaking her head furiously in rejection, Misao began to once again recite to herself the reasons that Kenshin could not possibly be attracted to her in THAT way. If she couldn't even get Aoshi-sama to return her feelings, then there was no way in hell Himura Kenshin, the man formerly known as Hitokiri Battousai could find HER attractive.
Shaking her head no, Misao said, "I don't think so, Kaoru. Besides, it'd be such an inconvenience to Himura. I'll do fine on my own, you'll see."
With that said, Misao gave Kaoru a swift hug goodbye and exited the dojo. Hefting her pack once more, Misao stepped off of the engawa.
"Planning on leaving without saying goodbye, Misao-dono?"
Misao froze as Kenshin's voice drifted down to her from where he sat atop of the dojo's roof. Turning, she looked up at the red haired rurouni, who was staring at her from his perch. Suddenly, Misao got that fluttery feeling in her stomach again.
"Himura...what are you doing here?" Misao asked, immediately she cringed as her words registered in her mind. *Oh, why did I say that... he lives here!*
The sound of Kenshin's familiar chuckle caused Misao to glance up just in time to witness the rurouni's dismount from the roof. He leapt down to land gracefully in front of her...his sudden closeness making Misao's heart skip a beat. Avoiding the violet eyes that were now staring at her so intently, Misao began to shift uncomfortably. Her attempts to not meet Kenshin's gaze was thwarted, however, when she felt gentle fingers grip her chin lightly and urged her face upward.
"You did not answer my question, Misao-dono, that you did not."
His prompting was met with a blush and Misao attempted to put some distance between herself and the tempting rurouni.
"Sorry Himura...I was gonna say goodbye, honest." she answered weakly, though she knew in her heart that it wasn't true.
She hadn't wanted to say goodbye to Kenshin. She didn't want to say goodbye now. She knew it was silly...that she would more than likely see him again. This was only going to be farewell, not goodbye she told herself. But she just got this feeling that if she left....
Without thinking of her actions, Misao suddenly flung herself into the surprised rurouni's arms, hugging him tightly. He stood for a moment, arms moving about aimlessly before a smile slid onto his lips and he allowed his arms to enclose the soft form in a loose embrace. They stayed that way for a tender moment before Misao recovered herself and, blushing, drew back slowly.
"Sorry, Himura." She murmured shyly. "I don't know what came over me..."
Regretfully, he loosend his grip, stepping back from her with a sigh. She hadn't meant it the way that he'd hoped, hadn't meant it as the embrace of a woman with a man that she desired... He was no more than a friend to her. Reluctantly, he tried to hide his emotions behind a smile.
"Think nothing of it, Misao-dono" Kenshin's words didn't quite hold their usual cheer, as he felt his heart splinter inside of him.
Misao forced a smile as she waved a final farewell and turned from the form standing in front of the dojo. She felt a lump rise up into her throat and she imagined bitterly that it was her heart and tried to swallow it back.
Kenshin watched as Misao slowly disappeared down the shadowy forest path. He felt an urge to call out to her. To tell her...something, *anything* to make her stay. A low whispered fear emerging inside of him, stating that if he didn't speak it would be to late.
Her name passed his lips in a whisper, coming both too low and too late for the young ninja to catch. Sighing, Kenshin swallowed the fear back, deciding it to be unwarranted. Instead, he thought to himself *Take care, my Misao.* as his eyes followed her. He tried to memorize the confidence of her walk, the sway of her braided hair, certain that it would be all that he could claim for himself.
Translations: shouji - sliding door of paper on wood frame
kunai - daggar
Battousai - sword-drawing master OR Devoted to the Art of Sword-Drawing Master
engawa - veranda
Misao-dono - Miss Misao
Gomen - I'm sorry
bokken - little wooden sword
Jou-chan - "missy"