Author: Hikaru a PM
This is one of the three sequels of Sex and Sashimi. Aoshi has some concerns about Misao's sudden disinterest in their sleeping situation.Rated: Fiction M - English - Humor/Romance - Aoshi & Misao - Words: 4,207 - Reviews: 24 - Favs: 37 - Follows: 2 - Published: 07-16-06 - Status: Complete - id: 3048876
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Summary: #12 off of 30kisses. Aoshi has some concerns about Misao's sudden disinterest in their sleeping "situation."
Foreword: This is one of the three "sequels" of Sex and Sashimi. While reading S&S is not a prerequisite, there may be some confusion as to why characters are saying certain things. That, and this is completely out of character for Aoshi. He is far more observant than I give him credit in this story for.
The sound of the shoji door closing woke me up. I opened an eye to see the windows had been opened, and that the sun was high in the sky. It was late morning already. Before I was married, I hardly slept past dawn. However, my wife was dedicated in making sure she kept me up until the early hours of the morning-- practicing on a nightly basis what should be done between a man and a woman. Or perhaps the reason I was waking up later was the fact that I was getting older. But somehow, I doubted it. My wife was much younger than myself, and she usually shared my usual late morning rising.
I looked over to where her futon was usually placed, but it was already put away for the morning. Where did she go? She did not say anything the night before. I quickly got up from the bed and walked downstairs, where there was already a rush of customers in the restaurant.
"Good morning, Aoshi-sama!" Omasu greeted me with a bow. "Would you like some tea?"
I nodded. But before she walked away, I asked, "Have you seen Misao this morning?"
"Misao-chan?" she asked, blinking repeatedly. "I think she just left. It's been really busy, so I'm not sure. Perhaps Okina saw her," she said, nodding over in the direction of Okina's regular table. I thanked her with a nod and headed over to the table. Asking Okina where Misao was and him actually telling me were two very different things. I had no doubt that if Misao left, not only would Okina have known, but he would know her destination as well-- because that was what Okina did. Convincing him to tell me where was the difficult part. Okina liked to pay games. I detested them.
"Good morning, Aoshi!" Okina smiled brightly at me as I walked over. "Take a seat!"
"Thank you," I said quietly, as I sat across from the old man.
"You're up very late this morning. Not sick, I hope?"
"It was a late evening," I replied.
The old man's smile grew wider. "I bet it was, I bet it was." I sighed inwardly as Omasu brought my tea to the table. "It must be nice having such a young and able wife," Okina said, chuckling.
"As I recall, you were quite against Misao and I being..." I paused, rolling the word I was about to say in my head. If I said it, I knew where this conversation would lead. I said it anyway, "Intimate."
"Well," he said, chortling. "That was before the two of you were married."
"Something you were also against-" I added.
He held up a finger. "Only because I wasn't certain that it was the best decision for the both of you at the moment. But now-"
"Now?" I raised an eyebrow.
"Now I see how happy Misao is when she looks at you, and I know it was the best decision. You should have seen her this morning, though..."
"She has not been feeling well, Okina." I countered. "You can hardly blame that on our martial situation."
Okina let out a loud laugh. "I suppose you're right. I hope she doesn't get you sick too."
"I do not get sick," I replied firmly.
"No, I suppose you don't," Okina said as he leaned his head against his right arm that was propped up on the table. "But then again, Misao doesn't either--" he said passively.
"I hope she doesn't get everyone sick. It's winter, so it's that time of year when everybody, it seems, gets sick," he continued to ramble.
"Yes, Aoshi?" he blinked at me as he took his cup of tea off the table.
"Do you know if Misao left the Aoi-ya this morning?"
"Well, shouldn't you know? After all, Aoshi-- you are her husband." I simply glared. "Well, perhaps Misao isn't as happy as I thought she was if she couldn't even tell you that she was going out this morning."
So she did leave. Like I said, the games with Okina were often very annoying and tiresome, but if you played them long enough, he would tell you everything you wanted to know. "Do you perhaps know where she went?"
Okina drank deeply from his tea. "It's impossible to know what the girl is up to when she gets something in her head. You, of all people, should know that."
"She is ill, Okina. She shouldn't be leaving the house."
"All the more reason for you to keep a close eye on her, am I correct?"
"I am surprised that you let her out of the Aoi-ya without permission," I replied sharply.
"Ah!" a triumphant grin came to his lips. "But I am no longer responsible for her actions. I gave that duty solely to you when you guys got married. It's not my fault you were--ah--sleeping on the job." He let out a chuckle at his pathetic joke.
I glared hard at the old man. There were only so many pokes at my marital relations with Misao I could tolerate. "Thank you, Okina-" I said standing up from the table.
"Oh, going so soon, Aoshi?" The old man asked innocently.
"If Misao did indeed leave, and you do not know her whereabouts, then I am going to locate her."
"Perhaps she wants to be left alone," he replied off-handedly. "I assume she snuck out of your room this morning." I flinched, and Okina caught it. There was a twinkle in his eyes as he witnessed evidence that proved he was right. "It's obvious she doesn't want you to know where she went."
"All the more reason to find her," I replied. "Have you forgotten what trouble she has gotten herself into when she wanders off?"
Another chuckle. "Too true. All right, all right, sit down Aoshi. I'll tell you where she went."
I raised an eyebrow suspiciously. It could not have been that easy. "Oh really?" I asked, disbelievingly.
"Well, I'll tell you the general area. She really isn't on her way to do anything dangerous. She just didn't want you to know."
"So a surprise then?"
A smile came to Okina's lips. "Yes! A surprise! That's it exactly! You don't want to go and ruin it with your over protectiveness, now do you?"
I gave the old man another hard glare. "Fine," I said, closing my eyes. I stood up from the table slowly. "Tell Misao when she returns that I am in the study."
"Will do!" he said, cheerfully.
I, on the other hand, let out an aggravated snort before walking back upstairs to wait for my wife... and her "surprise."
Misao was back only an hour or so later. I had busied myself with paperwork, so it could have been longer. Frankly, doing the paperwork was the only thing I could do. It was either that or try to harass Okina. But seeing as it was more myself being harassed, I decided staying upstairs was the better of the two options. Of course, there was always the third option of going out and finding Misao myself-- but as Okina pointed out, Misao wanted to surprise me (that is, if he was telling the truth). If it was a surprise, then ruining it would upset her. If there is one thing I cannot bear, it is Misao pouting at me.
But the way Misao sulked into the room, I was beginning to think that whatever the "surprise" was, it was not good. "I'm home," she said with a smile. I instantly could tell something was bothering her.
"Welcome home," I said, still trying to concentrate on the paperwork. "I trust whatever you left this morning for has been taken care of."
Misao laughed nervously. Perhaps I was not being passive enough? "Uh, yeah. Well, sort of-" she trailed off as she continued to walk towards my desk. "I'm sorry I didn't tell you I had somewhere to go this morning."
"I am sure it merely slipped your mind," I replied coolly.
"Yeah," she laughed nervously.
"How are you feeling?" I asked.
Misao shrugged. "I'm still really green. I almost didn't make it out this morning."
I eyed her over the paperwork. "You should have seen a doctor while you were out sneaking around."
She winced at the word sneaking. Perhaps I was being a little too hard. "I did see a doctor," she replied.
"And what did he say?" I asked.
Leaning her back against my desk, she let out a long sigh. "He said I'm fine."
"You have been sick almost everyday this week, Misao. You can hardly keep any food in your system," I retorted, more angry with the doctor than her. After all, it was not her fault for being ill. It was the doctor's responsibility to correctly diagnose her.
"I know, I told him that, Aoshi." Misao nodded. With her left hand, she traced her fingers down the collar of my yukata. Her hand shook as she did so. I turned to her. There was a strange look on her face. It seemed as if she was almost afraid of me. "But he said everything is fine."
"Then why are you trembling?" I replied, placing my hand on top of hers. "What is wrong?"
She bit her lip. Apparently, my assumption was not far from the truth. "Nothing, nothing," she insisted, shaking her head. "I didn't get much sleep, that's all."
I narrowed my eyes. Misao is a horrible liar. Even in childhood, Misao would play with her feet when she was lying-- just as she was now. I decided to let the matter drop. Far be it for me to push the truth out of her. Knowing Misao, it was only a matter of time before she could not hold in whatever it was for any longer.
She leaned in and pressed her lips against mine, probably thinking she had me fooled. "I'm going to go help out downstairs and then take a nap, okay?" she said.
I nodded, returning back to my paperwork. "Do not push yourself too hard. Remember, you are still sick."
"Okay, daddy," she replied, annoyed.
As she turned to leave, I grabbed her hand. "Wait," I said. She turned to me, a smile on her face. Tugging on her arm, she fumbled a few steps towards me as I pulled her in for another kiss. "No more secret morning rendezvous," I whispered as I pulled away from her lips. "Or I will start to think you are having an affair," I teased.
Her smile grew. "Well, you never know. I might." She pressed her lips against mine once more. "But I promise you'll always be husband number one."
Grimacing, I replied, "I feel honored."
She laughed then. I let the sound of it wash over me. If I could bottle up the sound of her laughter, I was sure it could cure any disease. My disposition certainly always improved at the sound of it. The fact that she felt comfortable enough to laugh at me might have helped, however. For a long time she was too terrified to do it. Our relationship had almost recovered to what it once was, and for that I was glad. "Are you going to stay up here the rest of the day?" she asked, still smiling.
Nodding, I replied, "I have fallen behind on the reports lately."
"Slacking off, hmm?" she replied, leaning her forehead against mine. "A good Okashira doesn't fall behind on his work."
"And I wonder who it is at fault for my slacking off..."
A devious grin formed on her lips. "I have no idea what you are talking about."
She gave me one last kiss before pulling away. "I have to go work now," she said, but it sounded as if she wanted to stay. She also had not let go of my hand.
Squeezing her hand, I asked, "Are you certain nothing is wrong?"
Misao's smile became suspiciously brighter. "Nothing!" she insisted. Letting go, she left the room, still smiling, but without saying another word.
Something was definitely amiss.
It was my hope to relinquish the secret from her that night before bed. However, by the time I entered our room that evening, she was already sound asleep. This would not have been suspicious, had it not been for the fact that this continued for several weeks. During the day, she was all smiles and kisses, but by the time I arrived at our bedroom she would be asleep or on the brink of it. And although she was trying to hide it from me, I knew she was still not completely well. I had eavesdropped on a conversation Misao had with Omasu, talking about foods that would help settle her stomach. At first, I tried to reason with myself-- if she were not feeling well, then she would probably not be up for our regular rendezvous at night. Besides, her sleeping meant that her body could recuperate. It was also unfair of me to expect relations every night. But three weeks? I was starting to think that I had done something horrible wrong-- or Misao was seriously ill.
I decided to express my concerns to Okina, since talking to Misao had become pointless. If Misao was terribly ill, she would at least confided in him about it, since she could not tell her husband. And if it was something that I had done wrong, then surely he would know either from Misao herself, or from Omasu and Okon's endless gossiping.
He found the situation all too amusing. "How old are you, Aoshi? Twelve?" The old man let out a loud guffaw. "If you are so worried about her, then why don't you just ask her?"
"She insists nothing is wrong," I retorted. "But she must think me blind, because it is obvious something is."
A mischievous grin formed on Okina's face. "Well there is nothing wrong with her. Whatever bug she had has been gone for at least a week now."
"So her avoidance is because of something else," I mused aloud.
Okina was still smiling. "I'm amazed that this bothers you so much, Aoshi. To think all of this time, you've been secretly wanting all the attention Misao gives you."
I narrowed my eyes. "She has been lying to me, Okina. It is very rarely that she lies to me, and when she does, it is only because of something drastic."
"All right, all right-- let's look at this from another angle, okay? You think that Misao is avoiding her nightly duties because of something you did, right?" He leaned close to me and said, "What if it was because you didn't do something?"
I sat there, staring in shock.
Cupping his hand around his tea, Okina continued. "Knowing the both of you so well, I'm sure that you have lacking to show... ambition, if you know what I mean." He looked up at me with a grin. "From your silence, I'll take it I'm right. Maybe that's why Misao is mad..."
"Okay, not mad-- but lying to you. Because you aren't showing interest, she thinks you don't care. And she's afraid to say something, because she loves you too much-- and you are too stupid to ask."
Aside from the personal attack, I sat there, amazed at the wisdom that Okina was dispensing so readily to me. When I was younger, I often sought out his advice, but it had been many years since we had spoken like this-- And then he had to ruin the illusion by adding, "But what do I know? I'm a seventy year old stud who can't find any tail."
Although disgusted by his closing line, I decided to take Okina's advice. Misao had been initiating most of our romantic endeavors (especially since our wedding), but I was under the impression it was because she liked to. It never entered my mind that she thought she had to.
That night, I decided to prove to Misao how incorrect her assumptions were. I made sure that it would be me waiting for her, dressed in my sleeping yukata. When she opened the door to our room, I was pleased by her surprise. "Aoshi! What are you-"
"I sleep here too, do I not?"
Laughing at herself, Misao's aura eased slightly. "You just scared me, that's all. Normally you're still working on paperwork right now."
Pushing myself up, I walked over to her, pacing my hands on her shoulders. "I thought that perhaps tonight I would enjoy your company instead."
A smile formed on her lips as she looked up at me. "And what did I do to deserve this honor?"
Instead of answering her, I just leaned down and kissed her deeply on the lips. But as I moved to bring her in closer to me, Misao pushed me away. The smile was now gone and it had been replaced by a look of guilt. "Not tonight. I'm sorry, Aoshi. I'm really tired." She walked towards our futon.
"Tell me what I did, Misao," I said flatly.
She blinked up at me as she laid down. "Huh? You didn't do anything."
"And you still insist nothing is wrong."
"Nothing," she defended. Tilting her head to the side, she looked at me as if I had grown a second head. "You're acting strange, Aoshi."
I too sat down on the futon, but refused to look her. "I am simply wondering why my wife is lying to me."
"I'm not-" Misao let out an aggravated growl. "You wanna have sex? Fine!"
With vivacious rage, she pulled my yukata off my shoulders. While doing so, she shifted her position so she was sitting on my lap. Her yukata was already past her shoulders, pooling around her waist. She wrapped her arms around my neck and brought me in close. Roughly, she ground herself against my hips. And as much as I hated to admit it, I liked it. But I knew this was making the situation only worse. My voice salacious, I finally managed to say, "Stop, Misao."
Defeated, she hung her head. There was a few beats of silence between us.
"I'm sorry," she finally whispered, her forehead against my chest. From the sound of her voice I could tell she was about to cry.
Putting my hand under her chin, I forced her to look up at me. "It is I who is the one to apologize, Misao. This is not what I intended." I lightly traced down the curves of her body with my right hand as I explained, "I only thought that you were perhaps dissatisfied with-"
My hand stopped at her hips. Secretly, I prided myself on knowing every inch of Misao's body. During our passions, I took great pains to learn everything that I had spent so many years ignoring. Every freckle, every blemish. I knew where to touch, and where not to. But this was new. There was a bump there that was not there the last time I had explored her body. I froze as my mind began to put all the pieces of the puzzle together.
Misao, apparently, did not notice my hesitation, because she replied, "Dissatisfied? With what, Aoshi? I love you and-"
"Are you with child, Misao?" I interrupted.
The color drained from her face. She tried to brush it off with a laugh. "Me? You're kidding, right?"
Hesitantly, she asked, "Would you be mad?"
"Then, no!" She said with a fake smile as she tightened her arms around me.
"Misao!" I said indignantly. "When were you planning to tell me this?" She hid her face guiltily. "How long have you known?" I asked.
"Since the day of the marriage ceremony," she said meekly. "Omasu commented that my hair was thicker than normal, and that I must be with child. I thought she was just kidding, but then I started getting sick and--" she clearly was seeing how her explanation was just angering me further. "I was going to tell you- really, I was! I was just afraid that you would be all mad... like you are now."
Mad? I took a deep breath in. There had to be some explanation to all of this. "Why were you afraid I would be upset?"
"Well, we never talked about children, and I just assumed that you didn't want any. And by your reaction, I think I had you pegged correctly."
Her response was not remotely close to what I thought her reasons would be. Along with seeing the blurry look in her eyes, I felt awful. "Misao," I said, cupping both hands under her chin. "I am not upset about you being with child."
"You're not?" she let out a loud sniff. It seems she was still fighting the urge to cry.
"No," I said, kissing her forehead. "I am upset because you were hiding it from me all this time. When you suddenly were avoiding me, I thought something was catastrophically wrong."
"I wasn't avoiding you," I looked at her knowingly. She shrugged, and conceited, "Okay, maybe I was." Bursting into a fit of laughter, she leaned her head against my chest. "Oh, Aoshi! We're going to have a baby."
I was glad to see one of us thought this was a laughing matter. But further discussions on the matter at hand could be saved for later. At the moment, Misao needed reassurance. I wrapped my arms around her. "I would ask you to not try and hide something like this from me again."
"Sure, no problem," she said in-between giggles.
The next morning, when we officially announced it to the other Oniwabanshuu members, it came to my attention that I was the only person in the house who did not know what I was a father to be. Okina even had the audacity to pat me on my back and congratulate me for finally being able to communicate with my wife. He also asked that we name the child after him.
It took every fiber of my being to stop myself from punching him in the face.
This fiction was written for entertainment purposes only. The characters of Rurouni Kenshin belong to Watsuki-san. Standard disclaimers apply.