Lordy. You think I would let it end there? Not likely. I like things wrapped up to some extent. Even if Kenshin had some closure, I think that my main characters do too. And I like E/K too much to leave it as it was. I'm a cheery person after all. Anyway, here is the epilogue. Hope you think it fitting. Sorry to anyone who was hoping for K/K, I didn't structure this in my mind like that. Maybe I'll write a K/K piece, but I have a couple other fic ideas before I can get to that one. Probably will write one eventually. I'd have to have some inspiration first. Be proud of me for finishing this one though, I do think it turned out about how I wanted it to.
Disclaimer: I own not Rurouni Kenshin in any way shape or form. Ok, ok, I have a few posters. but that's about it. And those were gifts, so I can't really say I own them from the perspective that as I didn't buy them myself. but I digress.
Chapter 8
Enishi felt a melancholic sense of déjà vu. Here he was at another Halloween party, at his house, alone. Only his house was in a different state, and the business kids were different, and he was a senior now at a different school. Everywhere was the same, he had decided. Soon he'd be in law school somewhere prestigious and making a name for himself as a heartless bastard lawyer just like his father and make that cold snake of a man proud. It was enough to turn his stomach, if the alcohol wasn't already doing that. He was almost drunk enough to look at the ladies present. Almost. Not quite enough. He was never quite drunk enough. That was the problem. As soon as they weren't her. Or he'd pass out first. It had been happening more and more as the months progressed. Drinking to forget. It was like he was in exile, alone and abandoned. Everyone left him. His sister had left him for Himura and then she died, loving Himura, not him. At least Kaoru hadn't chosen Himura. No, she had chosen nothing over him. He didn't understand. So many months and the pain seemed to not want to fade from his mind.

The room was fading though. Swimming in fact. He got up and staggered outside. It was about that time. He had rushed the drinking tonight and he could feel his body get ready to expel the poison from his system. Stepping to the back of the yard, he found a convenient bush and vomited. Afterwards he felt a little better, but the buzz was gone. Drinking more was probably a bad idea, but he grabbed something anyway after cleaning out his mouth with some water. He was about to take a drink, when someone stopped him.

"Don't you think that would be unwise? You don't look too good." He unfocused and refocused on the voice, but all he could tell was some fuzzed and blurry feminine form was there. His glasses and been placed somewhere earlier, and he couldn't remember where. Damn his faulty eyes, and his drunkenness.

"Thanksh. Thank you for your, er, concern. But I can take care of. Do I know you?"

"No. We've never met before. I'm just visiting for a while. I thought a party might be fun. I'm starting to think maybe it's not." She sounded a little disappointed.

"Well, don't let me stop you. If you're looking to meet someone, there are plenty of guys in there who are interested."

"You aren't though?" She moved closer to him, despite the odor of alcohol he exuded, and he felt his body actually stir in response to her proximity. This was an unusual development. He was not sure he liked this.

"No." He said it softly, almost to himself. "I'm afraid I'm not looking for anything like that at the moment. Just go inside and save yourself the trouble." He wavered a bit as he listed to the side.

"At least let me help you somewhere where you can lay down. You really seem to be very wasted." She did sound concerned, and he did need help. He wasn't swayed by the fact that he wanted to take this girl. No, not at all swayed in any way.

"Yes."

They made their way towards his room and he tried to get a closer look at his companion. Attractive companion, apparently. He had never reacted to ugly women. There was always a first time, but he pushed the possibility aside. He leaned on her and enjoyed the contact. It had been so long since he had touched a girl in a companionable way. There had been a few he had kissed, but there had been nothing there. Kaoru was the best anti- aphrodisiac out there for him when it came to other women. He had met her a year ago. That's why tomorrow he would wake up with the worst hangover in creation.

When he got into the room he stumbled around for a moment and reclaimed his glasses from his night stand. Looking up, he saw the tiger picture and decided that no matter how much he wanted this girl, she had to get out. Turning around he saw her with her back facing him, studying the room. She had feathery angel wings on and a partially see-through diaphanous white gown on, with white underwear on under it. It was provocative, and her body was nice enough to make it extremely erotic as well.

"You don't have a halo." He noted this aloud.

"I don't deserve one.. I don't know if I like your room. It's actually a little bit messy."

"I don't see what puts you in the position to criticize me." He was defensive. Damn it. She had to leave now before he did something he regretted. "I think I need to get to sleep, if you would."

"Leave? I don't think you want that." She walked around, picking things up. This was getting annoying.

"Look. you really need to leave." He put a hand on her shoulder as she turned, and he was taken aback by what he saw. He was sure that he was passed out and dreaming. This couldn't be Kaoru. She was far away, both mentally and physically.

"And I still think you don't actually want that. Mainly because you aren't doing a very good job of hiding, er, that." She pointed down, and Enishi tried to make his pants a little looser. "Allow me to introduce myself. I'm Kaoru Kamiya, I'm just here visiting an old friend. I'm not sure whom yet, but I'm sure I must know someone who went to this school if I try to find them. I thought going to a party would be fun. Was I wrong?" She smiled up at him, and he noticed the fear in her for the first time. He would have seen it earlier if he had been less drunk. For a moment he thought about rejecting her. It would be justice of a sort. But he pushed the thought away after a moment. This sense of "justice" in him had already brought himself all sorts of grief.

"I'm glad to. meet you, Miss Kamiya." He did a little bow and almost fell over. "Enishi Yukishiro. And I'd like to point out that introductions aside, it is still highly forward of you to be staying in my room. Care to go somewhere else?" Oh gosh the room was spinning. Good thing she had stopped him from drinking more.

"I don't think somewhere else is where you need to be." She helped him sit down on the bed. "Just get some rest." She got up and walked towards the door. Enishi began to panic. She was going away again. Maybe she wouldn't come back.

"Kaoru." he got up, too quickly for the nauseated feeling was overwhelming, and stopped her at his door. "Stay." She paused and smiled.

"Ok. Just for now because I'm worried about you passing out." She allowed herself to be led over to the bed. "But all we're going to do is sleep, got it buster? I'm not someone who does this sort of thing with guys I've just met." Enishi didn't care. If she wanted to start over, he wasn't going to spoil her little act. The idea of beginning again with no false pretenses was too tempting for him to want to end it anyway. Just having her back was enough, though when he was thinking more clearly he wondered if things would be that simple. Closing his eyes he felt her press up against him, now wingless but still in the rest of her clothes. His fallen angel. He smiled as he fell asleep, oblivious to the sounds of the party outside his room.

"Kaoru?" he said wearily before the world faded away.

"Hmmm?"

"You do know it wasn't a costume party, right?" There was silence for a moment.

"No. But it's not like I was going to get turned away from a party for wearing close to nothing."

Enishi chuckled.

*

Even if it were afternoon when he woke up, it felt like morning. The beginning of the day was always morning regardless of the hour. True to form his head hurt, but not as much as he thought it would. Kaoru was still asleep. She had probably had a long drive yesterday. Almost half a day's drive, unless she had flown (which was unlikely as she hated to fly). He had certainly tried to get pretty far away from her, but not close enough to be approachable by his parents. The distance probably didn't matter to her though. That was a comforting thought. Finally noticing his own still pungent aroma of alcohol, he decided a shower would be best. No one else in the house was up yet, as he had been the first to bed by far, and so taking a shower was a relatively peaceful activity. Changed, still hung over, and now looking more like his normal self, he returned to his room to find Kaoru curled into a ball with all his covers as the house was pretty cold and even with her clothes still on it didn't help her much. He leaned over her and braced his hands against the bed.

"Wake up, it isn't like you to sleep this late."

"Mmmphhmmm." It wasn't a groan, it wasn't it mumble, but something in between. He continued to brace himself over her. She didn't open her eyes or turn towards him, but her arm came up and her fingers tugged lightly at his earring, making his head list to the side. It would have been annoying if she weren't so cute.

"You leave me no choice then." Unceremoniously he grabbed one end of the blanket and pulled, leaving her curled up on the bed and shivering, he was glad she hadn't kept a hold on his earring.

"You're so mean." Blearily she rubbed her eyes and then her arms to ward off the chill. After a moment she stood up right in front of him. "But warm, apparently." Grabbing him in a grand hug she pulled the two of them back, unbalancing them both, and sending them crashing back onto the bed. "I'll use you instead of blankets then."

Head throbbing a little bit, but enjoying the feeling of her beneath him, Enishi wrapped his arms around her as best he could. That outfit she was wearing really was flimsy, especially in the daylight. Sure a bikini would have shown more, but the suggestion of clothing was somehow more erotic than if she hadn't been wearing anything but underwear. He leaned down to kiss her, but she turned her head away and all he got was her ear. Kaoru giggled.

"Such a tease. We did sleep together after all. Can't I even get a kiss?" Enishi felt lighthearted. It wasn't just some fantasy his drunken mind had conjured, like pink elephants, she was as real as anything.

Kaoru studied his expression. "First tell me a little about yourself. Do you have any family?"

"Why do we have to play at this Kaoru?"

"Well?" She obviously was not acknowledging anything beyond last night. She was an odd one.

"Fine, I'll keep this up. I've got a mom and a dad, and some other relatives and stuff." he paused. He watched her intent expression and realized this was part of some sort of test. Something in him knew what she needed to hear. "I used to have an older sister. She died," he only paused a second. "It was an accident."

"An accident?"

"Yes, it was a car accident. It tore my world apart. It's taken years to put the pieces together again. I'm still working on it."

"Well, I just got out of a very dysfunctional relationship with someone I loved very much. I'm working on healing as well. Perhaps we can help one another? It may be a long shot." Enishi clutched her to him so tightly that she could almost not breathe. When he finally let go enough for her to gasp a little, she had a big smile on her face and so did he. "I take it that you do want to then."

Rather than answer, Enishi pinned her down and began to tickle her. Laughing, she fidgeted and fought back as best she could. After a couple minutes they were both breathing hard and Kaoru was tearing up from laughing so hard. Her gown had ridden up quite a way, and Enishi noted this and stopped his torture of her only to start a torture of a different kind. Even though he had had memorized every curve of her months ago, he took time as if he had forgotten to look her over again. Where his hands went his mouth followed in a similar path, and Kaoru ran her hands up his back and into his hair as he moved up and down her body.

Pretty soon, Enishi's clothing began to feel too restrictive and he pulled off his shirt fast enough. As he did he noted Kaoru's hand making fast work of his belt and even starting to undue his pants as well, looking down at her concentrated expression he laughed a little. She looked up guiltily for a moment, to be caught in such an embarrassing display of lust, but that soon passed. They both stood up and Kaoru slipped off the see through dress before walking over and finishing the job she started on Enishi's pants. She gave a laugh.

"Mmm?" He looked into her amused eyes with confusion.

"I thought. well. since I'm down here." She ran a hand up his thigh and his muscle twitched. He said nothing. Taking that as silent agreement, Kaoru slipped off his underwear and took a sturdier position on her knees.

*

It didn't take long until a loud thump was heard, as if someone had been picked up bodily off of the floor and thrown onto a bed. That is in fact what happened. A slightly muffled second one followed the first thump, as if someone else had jumped onto the person on the bed. That is also what happened. All noises afterwards did not resemble a thump and are best left a mystery. Enishi was never so grateful for having roommates too hung over to be awake.

*

"So what happens now?" Enishi felt the drying sweat chill his skin. He pulled the blanket up around the two of them more. "You live very far away, and we both go to school."

"Shows what you know."

"What?"

Kaoru sat up a little bit and slipped out of bed. She began to put on her clothes again and explained as she did so. "I'm taking the semester off. I delayed declaring a major so long, and I just had no idea what I was doing. I'm looking into film studies though, and where I was wasn't the right place for that. Maybe I'll look into teaching as well. That's my job now. I'm teaching the Kamiya Kasshin Ryu style of sword fighting. Since I've been doing it since I was nine, I feel that I can teach it to people decently enough. I'm also assisting in the instruction of beginning classes of other types of martial arts. The pay isn't great, but it will keep me going."

Looking at her with eyebrows arched, Enishi wasn't sure what to make of this development. Kaoru continued: "I just moved to a town near here, in fact. That's where the job was. It's only about twenty minutes away by car. My apartment is only another five from that. Not glamorous, but it will work."

"Car?" Enishi looked even more stunned.

Blushing Kaoru stumbled over her words a bit. "Yes, car. And don't go comparing it to yours or anything. It's my dad's old one that he didn't use much. He had two cars, but there's just him. He was surprisingly understanding about all this. I think he was glad that I was finally making some definite decisions. Megumi was too. She knew I wasn't enjoying where I was so much, and after last semester school was really disenchanting for me. At least I have a bunch of credits, and they should be transferable somewhere where I can start film study. Or maybe even drama, I could settle for that."

"So you aren't going away? This can actually work?"

Kaoru pulled on her wings and adjusted them. Running a hand through her hair and smoothing it down, she turned to Enishi with a dazzling smile that sent a shiver up his spine. Disregarding his nakedness he leapt up and hugged her for all her was worth, as if his soul was anchored to her, and thought that he would never be happier than in this moment. After a moment of shock Kaoru's arms wound around him.

"I love you, you always knew that. This is our fresh start." Her words soothed any trace of alarm he had felt since she appeared last night.

"I should have had more faith in you. I won't screw things up this time."

"Neither will I. It's agreed then." She stepped back and shook his hand. "Now get some clothes on so I can show you my apartment in all its beautiful squalor." Leaving to find her purse, Enishi watched her close the door with a smirk.

It was like the dead had come back to life, having her back. And she was his. Life suddenly seemed a little less bleak and he thought maybe the future could hold more than just pursuit of financial success. There would be problems, sure, but he had faith again. Kaoru was really an amazing woman. He had to remember to buy her that halo.
**** END ****
It's over, whew. To quote Wayne's World, "I just hope you didn't think it sucked." Hehe I had the fun writing it. (Yes, "the fun", I actually say that.) Hope it wasn't too dirty either. Most of all I hope that the character progression was believable. That's all folks.

AngelOfDeath