I bring forth another RK oneshot. I hope it's somewhat enjoyable!

Disclaimer: if the world of RK was mine, the amount of fluff would be sickening.


Himura Kenshin was wide awake.

Such an occurrence would not be entirely surprising to those who knew him—Kenshin was, after all, often an intentional insomniac. This was as it should be, as Hiko would oft remind him (with many a bucket of ice water, no less), for any swordsman worth his salt. Only the lightest of sleeps was permissible, lest one be caught off-guard in a vulnerable position by the enemy.

However, since arriving at the Kamiya dojo Kenshin found himself lost in deep slumber more often than he cared to admit. It was unsettling, at first. His overactive imagination would often run rampant with ideas of the dojo being targeted while he was asleep; the people he cared about put in danger by his carelessness.

As time passed, however, Kenshin began to appreciate the changes he noticed after a well-rested night. He could do laundry without protest from his aging back, and he could begin breakfast without needing a stop by the well to splash water on his face to jolt him awake.

Despite his newfound regard for a decent night's rest, he knew without a doubt that he had never slept better until he slept with his new wife.

Himura Kaoru had drifted off some time ago, exhausted after a particularly intense night of lovemaking. Her soft snores disrupted the otherwise silent room. Although Kenshin found it quite endearing, Kaoru was mortified to learn that she snored. He smiled at the memory, and quietly shifted onto his side, propping his head up on his elbow to gaze at the gift of a woman that he would never feel entirely worthy of.

His eyes trailed down her raven hair. It was splayed around her like a pool of spilled ink in the darkness, free from the long braid she usually preferred at night. His hand brushed the exposed skin of her arm as he reached for one of the strands that obscured her face and pushed it gently to the side.

In the morning, Kaoru would likely grumble under her breath as she yanked her brush through the tangled strands. She'd pout and grimace in pain as she worked through a particularly stubborn knot, muttering about how she should just cut it all off, and that it was really Kenshin's fault that it was such a mess, if it wasn't for him she could have braided it because it always got tangled if she didn't braid it—until she'd stop briefly and a small smile and blush would spread across her face, as if remembering just how it got so knotted in the first place.

As Kenshin absentmindedly twirled a strand of Kaoru's hair around his fingers, his gaze drifted down to the hand her face rested upon. Kaoru was partial to sleeping on her side, with one or both hands tucked neatly under the side of her head.

He had long ago decided Kaoru's hands were one of his favorite parts of her, even when they were serving a temperamental whap to his head. He knew when she had attempted to cook by the scattered bandages on her fingers, and when she was particularly concerned about something by the way her fingers would toy with stray strands of her kimono. Kaoru gently cradled all of the pain and heartache of her makeshift family in her palms, and even when it threatened to overwhelm, her hands never seemed to small.

She sometimes worried over the callouses that spread across her knuckles, wishing her hands were smooth and ladylike—however, anytime he watched her concluding her private practices or training sessions with Yahiko, he would catch her observing them with a quiet pride.

Just a couple of nights ago, Kaoru's hands experimentally discovered a particular spot where Kenshin unknowingly happened to be very ticklish. He let out an uncontrollable yelp of laughter and squirmed away—and paled at the gleam that had suddenly appeared in his new bride's eyes. The next hour or so consisted of Kaoru chasing him around the room, and Kenshin allowing her to catch him because to laugh so freely made him feel good and clean and whole.

Kaoru's right leg, interlaced with his, grazed that sensitive spot now as she shifted in her sleep, and he once again became aware of his surroundings. Her legs were surprisingly powerful; admittedly, he may be old-fashioned, but he never expected that he'd ever meet a swordswoman, much less an adjutant master. When Kaoru ran through her kata, she leapt into the air with all the grace of a dancer and strength to exceed many swordsmen he'd met in his years. She once admitted to him that the only time she felt graceful was while practicing kenjutsu. Kenshin knew otherwise, but Kaoru was nothing if not stubborn.

Kaoru began to stir on the futon next to him as if subconsciously hearing his thoughts, and after a time one sleepy blue eye opened and focused on his.

Kaoru was one of the most expressive people he'd ever met, wearing both her heart and soul on her kimono sleeves—and it was a welcome change from the eyes of shadow and deceit that Kenshin was so accustomed to in his youth. Where others would hide their disdain with a turn of their head when offended, Kaoru would respond with glinting electric blue that promised retribution. While others would plaster on fake smiles to feign happiness, Kaoru's infectious joy would crinkle and set up residence around her eyes. On the anniversary of her father's death, Kaoru attempted a thin veneer of cheerfulness, but the dark haze of grief behind eyes that usually reflected the sky betrayed her immediately.

"Why are you awake?" the object of his thoughts whispered, again jolting him back to the present.

"No reason," he answered, running a soothing hand over her shoulder. "Just thinking, that I was."

Kaoru attempted a bemused smile before being overtaken by a deep yawn.

"You think too much."

And she promptly fell back asleep.

Perhaps she was right; Kenshin figured he should follow suit, laying his head down and wrapping a protective arm around his wife's waist. After some time he chased her into dreamland, dreaming of sky blue eyes and slightly calloused hands.

After all, he had the rest of his life to contemplate the many reasons why he loved her.