Okay... this isn't what I normally write... but the idea came to me, and it decided it wanted out... so here's a long story... it's a little jumpy in places... but I have yet to fix that... and I have no beta reader... so :'( I have to do it all myself... *sigh*

Anyways... enjoy your reading!!
Kaoru slid the door to Kenshin's room open, moving as quietly as she could, and felt grateful as she slipped in side. She hadn't woken him from the precious sleep that he was getting, what little he ever got. Her eyes resting on his sleeping face, she sat near him, watching him.

It was raining again, for the third night in a row, and Kaoru's spirits were significantly dampened by the weather. Rain always came with bad things, it seemed. The soft pitter-patter of rain against the window kept her up. While it seemed to sooth the others, she stayed up, knowing nightmares were close. So she slipped into Kenshin's room, comforted in knowing that he was only an armlength away.

She had done this before, slipping into his room like a thief into the king's treasure room. She hadn't been able to sleep again, knowing that nightmares and restlessness were only a step away. So, instead, she came into Kenshin's room to watch him sleep, finding comfort in seeing him lay before her, safe and warm.

Some nights, she actually considered waking him up, but then thought better of it, wondering what he would think of her, slipping into a man's room in the middle of the night with naught but her under-yakuta on. She wanted to wake him now, but couldn't bring herself to, knowing how precious sleep was, how hard it was for him to get good sleep.

There were nights that she balked at the last moment; standing at his door she just couldn't will herself to walk through it, her insecurities and worries taking over what she truly desired to do. It seemed as though Kenshin couldn't see how she felt about him, as if he were truly blind. And he was, in a way, blind to her feelings and the show of affection she gave him, which was part of her insecurity. What if it was simply his way of telling her he didn't want her?

She sat completely still, holding her breath, as he rolled onto his back, sighing in his newfound comfort. Trying to be silent, she let her breath out in a hiss, watching his face for any sign she had been caught.

He seemed to be dreaming, the small movements he was making, the tiny sounds at the back of his throat. She watched, enthralled, as his lips moved ever so slightly, the whispered sound just barely too quiet for her to hear.

She leaned forward, trying to hear him. "Kaoru..." He whispered, turning his face a little bit towards her. She started for a moment, before she realized he was still asleep. Venturing with a bravado she didn't know she possessed, she reached out and touched his face, trailing her fingers over the lips that had just whispered her name, the sweetest sound that she had ever heard.

Reaching up, Kenshin grabbed Kaoru's hand and pulled her down on top of her, kissing her. Kaoru, in a stupor, didn't even think about what he was doing. When he pulled his mouth away from hers, she opened her eyes and realized that he was still asleep. His hands wandered down to the tie of her sleeping yakuta, and yanked at it, ripping the tie off. He pulled the remaints of her garments off of her and pulled her, naked, to him, running his hands up and down her body.

"Kaoru." His husky voice was sleep laden, but understandable. "Let me love you..." He whispered. She was amazed he was still asleep, even with what he was doing. He had to be dreaming.


About her.

Like this.

She flushed, his hands touching her in places she herself had never thought another person would touch. But it felt good. His hands, roaming all over her body, found their way to her center, his fingers stroking her, pleasuring her in a way she hadn't thought possible. She felt so close to something.. something she didn't understand, and when Kenshin's finger delved inside of her soft core, she felt release rush through her, over taking her body.

Laying a wet kiss on her neck, Kenshin pulled her beneath him, and, throwing his clothes off of himself, thrust himself inside of her. Through her pleasured haze, she felt him, discomfort turned to pain as he broke her barrier, but, after a moment, she felt herself riding on the same wave as before, just... stronger.

Just as she was going over, she could feel Kenshin start to tense up, and begin to lose himself in her. Shaking, he collapsed on top of her, his heavy weight welcomed.

Kaoru laid beneath him for a moment, relishing the feel of him naked against her, but realized she had to get out of his room. He was bound to wake up soon, the sun would rise in a little while.

Sighing, she gently pushed him from her, carefully pulling herself out of his grasp and tidying up the remnants of their love making. Sighing, she wished Kenshin had been awake, that he had been conscious of what he was doing rather that unknowing. Picking up her yakuta, she slipped from the room, stealing on more look at Kenshin before heading to her own room to clean herself up.


Kenshin woke with the light streaming into his room from the rising sun. Stretching, he was stunned to realize he was completely nude. He never slept in the nude, rarely slept without his full dress on. He could smell the natural scent that recent sex always left behind, and something else. Jasmine.

Puzzling over this, he stood to dress himself, when he saw the blood on the junction of his thighs and the tie to an under yakuta on the floor. "Oh, no... Kaoru..." He knew what had happened, could vividly recall the hazy dream he had had, and he hurriedly dressed himself, heading to the bath house to wash up.


He found Kaoru sitting outside, drinking tea and reading one of her father's books. "Kaoru-dono?" She turned her face up to look at him, a smile in place.

"Hai, Kenshin?" Her eyes betrayed none of what had happened to them the night before, and Kenshin knew that if he hadn't have figured it out already, he would have wondered if it had been real.

"Would you like breakfast? It's ready." She nodded to him, and, after a moment, she stood, brushing off her kimono. With a slight smile, she walked past him, leaving him with the lingering scent of jasmine that was distinctly Kaoru. He followed her into the dining room, sitting with her in front of the table to eat.

"Where's Yahiko?" Kenshin shrugged.

"Gone. Mentioned something about the Akabeko and ran out the door with half of the breakfast foods." Humour laced his tone, remembering Yahiko's impromptu exit. "I suspect he'll be out all day." She nodded, and picked up her chopsticks, prepared to enjoy the meal Kenshin had made.

"Did you sleep well last night?" Kenshin asked, just as Kaoru was taking her first bite. Choking, Kaoru nodded, shooting him a smile. The dark circles under her eyes told him she hadn't gotten any sleep at all. "Are you sure? You look tired. Maybe you're coming down with something, a flu maybe." Relief flooded through her face, and she relaxed her shoulders a bit.

"Perhaps I am. I might take a nap this afternoon." He nodded to her, downing his rice much the same way Yahiko did, on the run or not.

"I will go into town and get some tofu and rice today, after the laundry." Again, she just gave him one of her sage nods. "Perhaps you need something? Anything?" She shook her head and looked up at him.

"I have everything I need." Except you. The words, left unspoken, were there between them, as they always were. Sighing, Kenshin stood, picking up his dishes and the remaints of breakfast. "I am going to go practice now." Kaoru said, standing and gifting him with a true smile, before leaving the room.

"What a puzzling woman." Kenshin said, to himself and the empty room.


When Kenshin returned from the market that afternoon, he found Kaoru asleep on the front porch, the sun tinging her cheeks pink. Looking at her as he approached, he deftly and gently picked her up and carried her to her room, laying her on her futon and covering her with a blanket before turning to leave the room.

"Kenshin?" He started for a second, but turned around to look at her, the question in his eyes. "Will you stay with me? For a little while?" He nodded, and sat cross-legged beside her, watching her face.

Her hand reached out and took his, pulling it towards her, where she cradled it like she was holding him. "Just stay for a while. I want... to be comfortable." Her words touched him, made him wonder at the trust that Kaoru placed in him. So much naive trust that she placed with him, not even knowing all of his past, all of him.

With his free hand, he reached out and brushed the stray hairs from her face, then ran his fingers over her face, soothing the worry lines away from her eyes. She drifted off again quickly, but he didn't leave her, wanting to just stay with her for the time being. "I wish I could tell you how much I love you, Kaoru." He sighed, shaking his head at his disgust of himself.

"I wish I could tell you all about my past, all about me, about my dreams, my thoughts, my life. And here I am talking to you while you sleep. God, what have I become? What would you think of me if you knew the truth, the whole truth. I'd never lie to you, Kaoru, and god knows, I never have. I never will. I may not answer, but I would never lie to you." Tiring of his soliloquy, he carefully pulled his hand from her, and stood, leaving the room as quietly as he had been trained to be.


"Another hundred strokes, Yahiko, and you'll be done for the day. But I do want the dojo cleaned out. And I-" Dropping off in mid sentence, Kaoru ran from the dojo, heading outside, anywhere but inside. And promptly threw up in a basin just outside the dojo.

"Kaoru-dono?" She cringed as she looked up to see Kenshin standing over her, concern etched into his face.

"Yes, Kenshin?"

"Are you alright, Kaoru-dono? I've seen you do this quite often lately. Are you sick? Aren't you feeling well?" She nodded to him, an action which he couldn't quite decipher as answer to his two questions. Which did it answer?

"I'm fine, Kenshin. Nothing is wrong." She paused, another wave of nausea passing over her.

"Are you sure, Kaoru-dono?" She nodded to him, her face tinged green, but she was able to hold back this time. "You should see Megumi-dono, Kaoru-dono, that you should." She shook her head at him, unwilling to let the too keen doctor see her like this.

"Iie. I am fine." She accentuated this with a smile, and, feeling better, stood and walked back into the dojo, intent on resuming her training with Yahiko.

Kenshin, after that conversation, kept a close eye on Kaoru, watching to be sure that there wasn't anything truly wrong with her. After all, she was too stubborn to let Megumi see her, even when she was this sick. Sliding open the door to the dojo, he stepped inside, and sat, watching Kaoru and Yahiko practice.


Kaoru hadn't thrown up in a few weeks now, but Kenshin had noticed something else. She had been saving away money in a way that was completely un-Kaoru-like. He was completely puzzled by the turn of events in his life. His sunny Kaoru-dono had turned more serious and worried about the state of the dojo and the cleanliness of their living quarters even more than normal.

And she had gained weight. He couldn't figure that part out. She was as active as she normally was, but she was still gaining weight. She wasn't eating more, she was sleeping a little more, he had to admit to himself, but other than that nothing had really changed about her habits. He just couldn't figure her out.

"Kenshin?" Kaoru's voice called to him from inside the dojo, beckoning him to come in. When he entered the room, she smiled a smile he knew too well. She wanted something. "Would you finish Yahiko-chan's training for me? I have to see Megumi." She giggled a little at Yahiko's fuming, but kept her eyes on Kenshin's face, waiting for his answer.

"Hai, Kaoru-dono. I will finish for you." Yahiko forgot about his anger with Kaoru for the slight, and was instantly happy again with the news that Kenshin would be training him. Maybe he's show him some of the Hiten Mitsurugi Ryu!

Kaoru nodded to Kenshin, and stood awkwardly to leave the room. "Thank you, Kenshin. I'll be back in a couple of hours." Kenshin watched her retreating back as she left the dojo and turned to Yahiko.

"Where did Kaoru leave off?" At Yahiko's answer Kenshin smiled craftily. "Then make that five hundred strokes, Yahiko. You have to train to become strong." Yahiko groaned, but moved to do as Kenshin said, leaving Kenshin to his thoughts on Kaoru.


"So, Megumi, how are we doing?" Megumi, in a rare mood, smiled gently at Kaoru.

"Perfect. You and your baby are doing perfectly." Gracefully, she sat next to where Kaoru lay, and she place a hand on Kaoru's bare stomach. "I can't believe it, Kaoru. You've only got four more months left. If that. But you aren't showing very much." Sighing, she braced herself for what she had to talk to Kaoru about next. "When are you going to tell Kenshin? You don't think he's noticed yet?" Kaoru shook her head.

"No, if he had noticed, then he would have said something. He's probably just thinking that I've gained weight." Kaoru shrugged. "Megumi, I don't want the baby to be the reason that he comes to me. I want it to be for me!" Megumi nodded her agreement.

"There's not a lot I can do for you on that account." She paused and looked Kaoru over once more, her eyes scrutinizing every inch of the girl before her. "Have you thought of a name?" Kaoru nodded, her eyes distant.

"Amaya, if the baby's a girl."

"Night rain." Megumi had to smile at Kaoru's sense of irony. "And if it's a boy?"


Kaoru, laying awake yet again, could feel her baby inside her, moving around with vobrancy and energy that Kaoru herself didn't feel like she possessed at that moment. She had been amazed that Kenshin hadn't noticed the reason for her growing stomach, hadn't even asked any questions. But as the time when along, she had begun to feel more and more guilty. She should tell him, she knew she should, but she just couldn't bring herself to, it would require so much explaining, so much energy.

But it was beginning to drain too much on her. She couldn't sleep at night anymore. Sighing to herself, she tried to get up, a struggle that was getting harder and harder every day, and, when she finally won, she walked with what she felt was heavy and loud footsteps.

Opening the door to Kenshin's room, she didn't bother with worrying about whether or not she made any noise, she just walked in.

Instantly, Kenshin was on his feet, his sakabatou unsheathed and held out towards her. "Oh, put it away, Kenshin. It's just me." She said softly, and continued to walk towards him.

"Is anything wrong, Kaoru-dono?" She shook her head, continuing to walk towards him. When she was only a few feet away, she stopped. "Do you love me, Kenshin?" She didn't feel like beating around the bush. She felt the same old insecurities, but, if she couldn't do this, how would she do with her own child?

"Kaoru-dono?" His voice was questioning, worrying. "What brought this on? You know I love you. I love everybody here."

"No, Kenshin. I mean love. I mean really love. Do you LOVE me?" Kenshin swallowed loudly.

"Yes, Kaoru-dono, I do." He wondered what she was trying to do, what she was getting after. "What's wrong, Kaoru-dono?"

"I love you Kenshin, I have since the moment I saw your face, the moment that you saved me from Gohei. I always have. But I never knew how you felt. Tell me, would you?"

"Kaoru-dono, you should know... but you wouldn't, would you? I never told you, never showed you how much I love you." He paused, looking into her eyes as though searching for his answers. "I love you."

"That's good, Kenshin." She turned away from him, looking away, her gaze darting around, as though suddenly uneasy in his room. "That's very good. Kenshin? I need to tell you something."

Finally, he thought, she was going to tell him what in the world had been going on with her lately. Why she had gained weight, why she had changed so much. She was no longer the light, preppy happy-go-lucky girl he had known. She was different. She had grown up so much.

She didn't disappoint him. "I going to have your baby, Kenshin."

All the air seemed to dissappear from his chest, his sight seemed to go completely black, then white, then black again. Then all was dark.

"Baka rurouni." Kaoru said, her knees buckling under both her weight and the weight of Kenshin's unconscious body. Carefully, Kaoru kneeled down, laying Kenshin out and finally getting the weight off of herself.

Shaking her head, she stroked his forhead, mentally willing him to wake up. After a few minutes, he did.

"Kaoru-dono!" He cried. "I had the weirdest dream. I dreamt that you were going to have my baby..." He trailed off, the sight of her in only her sleeping yakuta showing him the truth. She was going to have his baby. Closing his eyes, he calmed himself with a deep breath. "The night when I was asleep." He opened his eyes and looked into hers again. "That's when this happened?" He paused to think and calculate. "That must have been seven... eight months ago." Slitting eyes, he tried to figure her out.

"Why didn't you tell me, Kaoru?" She tried to ignore the amber growing in his eyes, the true sign of his extreme anger.

"I couldn't, Kenshin. I couldn't tell you. I want... I wanted you to come to me because of me. Not because of our baby." He could feel her fear, not of him necessarily, but of his reaction. And she had a good reason to fear it.

"Your baby." Kenshin said, his entire demeanor taken over by the battousai. "The child is yours. If you had wanted to, you would have told me. Instead, you kept this to yourself. For this long. That child is not mine, that child is yours. Tell me, Kaoru, would you have kept her from me?" Shaking his head, he let out a caustic laugh. "What if I told you I wanted the child, and that I wanted no part of you?" His words, aiming to hurt, struck her hard.

With a sob, tears running down her face, she answered him. "Then I would let you have her. Because you would obviously be the better parent. At least you didn't conceal her from me." He nodded to her. "Fine, Kenshin. Take her. If that's what you want, then do it." She tried to jump to her feet, but only succeeded in falling down. She struggled to stand, to walk out of the room before either one of them said anything more.

"Then that's that." He said, a cruel lint in his voice. "She will go with me. I will leave soon after she is born." With a sob, Kaoru finally got to her feet and ran from the room, leaving Kenshin to wonder what had just come over him.


"Megumi! Megumi!!" Kaoru cried out, running, as fast as she could, into the clinic. "Megumi! Where are you?" She headed into the back of the clinic, looking frantically for her friend.

"In here, Kaoru." Turning a corner, Kaoru nearly ran over Megumi in her quest to find her. Panting with exertion, she leaned against Megumi, her slight frame trembling.

"I told him, Megumi, I told him. And he wants to take her. He wants to take her and leave. He doesn't want me, he never did. Oh, Megumi, what am I going to do?" Tears were streaming down her face, but she didn't even bother to wipe them off. "I told him... I told him if he wants to take her... that he could. He's right, Megumi, I couldn't even tell him what happened, and now... I'm not fit to be a mother!" Megumi took in Kaoru's rush of words, petting her hair soothingly.

"Kaoru, he's probably just upset that you didn't tell him before now! He'll get over it, you know that." Kaoru's tear streaked face watched Megumi's calm one, her eyes searching for any doubt on Megumi's face. "You're going to be a fine mother, don't you worry about that." Megumi shifted her weight, allowing Kaoru to lean against her more. 'And Kenshin will not take your baby, I'll make sure of that.'

"Kaoru?" Kenshin's voice rang out through the clinic, his worry evident in the pitch of his voice. "Megumi-dono? Have you seen Kaoru?" After a moment, he made his way back to where they were, relief flooding his face at the sight of her. "Kaoru, you worried me. When you left... I couldn't find you... You weren't in your room, and..." He sighed, shaking his head. "Don't leave like that, Kaoru. Especially when..."

Megumi regarded Kenshin with wary eyes, noting the lack of honorifics after Kaoru's name. Kenshin was different somehow. He wasn't as intense as his swordsman's side, but not nearly as lighthearted as his softer, easier-going side. It was something in between, a strange mix of the two.

"Kenshin, why do you even worry? You said earlier that you want nothing to do with me. I already told you you could take her. You already decided I wasn't good enought to be her mother. And you're right. So just be content with that. I'm not going to take off with her, you should know better-"

"Kaoru, damn it. Stop." Kenshin's voice, though tense, contained none of the dangerous pitch that signified his extreme rage. "I don't care about that, I care about you. It upset me that you didn't tell me. You should have come to me as soon as you knew. You should know that I wouldn't think any less of you. YOU should know better." Shaking his head, he turned around, intending to leave. "Come home when you please. I'll be waiting. I know you can take care of yourself, but I still worry." He took a step, but was immediately stopped by Kaoru pressing herself to him and wrapping her arms around him.

"Don't leave me, Kenshin. Please don't leave." Megumi regarded the situation with amusement, curious to see what would happen, but knowing that she need to make her exit soon.

"I'm not going to go wandering again. I have too much here." 'Not just the baby,' he thought, 'I have you too. First and formost I have you...'

"No, I mean, don't leave me here. Stay with me. Right now." Loosening her grip from him, Kenshin turned around to face the slight woman who had attached herself to him.

"I'm going to go up front and see if Dr. Genzai needs any help." Megumi excused herself from the room and gracefully walked away from them, giving them the privacy they needed.

"Kaoru, why didn't you tell me? What did you think I would do?" He shook his head, and, with a strength few expected from a man his size, he picked her up, cradling her in his arms. "Let's go home." When Kaoru started to protest to being carried he shook his head at her. "You ran all the way here. Do you think that's good for a woman in your condition?" Smiling gently at her, he made his way to the front of the clinic, and, calling out a goodbye to Megumi and Dr. Genzai, headed out the door.


"Not yet, Kaoru. Let's talk at home." She nodded to him, and laid her head against his should, feeling comfort in his embrace, a comfort that she never thought she would feel again.

Kenshin too was lost in his thoughts, trying to figure out how they would peice together their lives in the small space of time before their baby came. He wanted to marry her, whether that came before, or after the baby was born. But he knew he needed to make sure that she understood he wanted to marry her for her, not because of the baby. How complicated could things get?

Kenshin reached the dojo gates and carried her in, heading towards her bedroom. "Would you like some tea?" Kaoru nodded to him, grateful for another moment or two to collect her thoughts. Kenshin set her down on the futon that she had left so messily undone, and headed to the Kitchen.

A few minutes later, Kenshin returned with the tea, and sat cross legged in front of Kaoru, setting the tea carefully down on the floor. He picked up one of the small cups and placed it before Kaoru, then filled it with the steaming liquid.

"We have things we need to sort out, now, Kaoru." She nodded, seemingly unable to meet his eyes. "Why couldn't you tell me?"

"Kenshin, think about it... you weren't even awake when this happened to begin with. And I wasn't supposed to be in your room. I thought you would be mad at me. I and I didn't want that. I couldn't have took that." Her eyes full of unshed tears, she looked up at Kenshin. "I just wanted you to love me, Kenshin. To love me like I love you."

"But I do love you, Kaoru. More than you know. These past few months, you've pulled away from me, and that hurts. It hurts to know that something was going on that I didn't know about, that you wouldn't tell me about." Reaching his hand over, he brushed her cheek, pushing a few stray hairs off of her face.

Closing her eyes and smiling, Kaoru grabbed his hand and pulled it to her stomach, pressing it flat against her. "She's kicking." Kenshin said in awe. "Quite a kick she's got."


"I don't know, really, I just feel like..." He shrugged. After another moment of feeling his child inside of her, he pushed the tray out of the way and scooted close to her. "Will you marry me, Kaoru?" A full range of emotions crossed Kaoru's face before she shook her head.

"No. I won't, because this is too new to you. You need time, Kenshin. Ask me again when you've thought about this all, and-"

"I've already thought about this all. I don't want you just because of the baby, Kaoru. I want you for you. I want to be with you for the rest of our lives. I want you by my side." Smiling, Kaoru nodded.

"Alright, Kenshin. You win. However, if you decide that it's not what you want-"

"I won't." Kenshin's habit of cutting her off was getting annoying.

"You know, you keep cutting into my sentences. Desperate?" Looking abashed, Kenshin laughed softly, his eyes closing for just a moment. When he opened them again, she realized that his violet eyes were speckled with amber flecks, but they weren't changing at all. They contained none of the rage of the battousai, or the naivete of the rurouni. Rather, they were a mix of the traits of both personalities. "You're not the same person, anymore, Kenshin. You're different. Even your sword ki is different."

"Hai." He shrugged, seemingly unwilling to explain any farther. Quickly, he changed the subject on her before she could persue her line of thought any farther. "Have you thought of a name?"

"Hai. Amaya." She smiled at Kenshin, humour glinting in her eyes.

"Why Amaya?"

"Because it was rain that brought me into your room that night... you that changed the night's rain to something good for me." She watched him for a moment before continuing on to his next question, which hadn't been asked yet. "If the baby's a boy, I was thinking Kenji." She paused, a thought occurring in her mind. "Or Shinta."

Kenshin cocked his head, slightly amused. "Why would you call him that? It is just the name of a boy from long ago, someone who doesn't even exist anymore."

"Because he does exist, Kenshin. You were through so much... Your son would be proud to carry that name, I know it."

"That's alright, because my daughter will be named Amaya, that she will." Kaoru laughed, enjoying Kenshin's gradual slide back into his normal rurouni mask.

"Don't rush things, Kenshin. We will find out soon enough." She held her hand out to him, beckoning him to lay down with her. "Come, sleep with me. We'll figure everything else out in the morning. Besides," she said, with an evil glint in her eye, "I highly doubt they will think you stole my innocence if you sleep with me tonight."

"You surprise me, Kaoru. You really don't care what they think if they don't like it, do you?" Kenshin took the offer she gave, though, and laid next to her, cradling her in his arms, and rested a hand on her belly.

"I do care, but I care more about what you think, Kenshin. That's all that truly matters. Besides, if Megumi-san can accept it, then I think all of them will easily enough." She laughed to herself, remembering the doctors anger when she had told her.

"Megumi-san, what's wrong with me? Why won't I get better?"

"Because nothings wrong with you. How long have you been sleeping with him?" Kaoru blinked her surprise.

"How did you know?"

"Because you're pregnant." Shock registered in Kaoru eyes first, then relief that it wasn't some life-threatening disease, and lastly unease.

"Only once." She squeezed her hands tight into fists at her sides. "Only once, and he doesn't even know. Megumi, he was asleep. He just... I didn't..." A tear rolled down her cheek. "He doesn't even remember. Do you know how hard that is? He doesn't even remember one of the most beautiful moments of my life. It hurts, Megumi, it stings." She could feel Megumi's anger lessening.

"You mean... Ken-san was dreaming?" At Kaoru's nod, Megumi's rage was renewed, but it was no longer directed at her. "He must be told, Kaoru. You have to tell him."



"No." She cut Megumi off a second time. "Just help me get through this, Megumi. Just be my friend. I know we haven't always gotten along, but I need you, Megumi, I need a friend. And I want that friend to be you."

"Come, Kaoru, lets go and have a cup of tea and talk about what you're going to be in for. You've got six more months, and it's going to be a long six months, I gaurantee it."

**End Flashback**

"You mean, Megumi and you are friends now? I thought that fish couldn't live on land. Do pigs have wings now too?" Kaoru's hand flew up and knocked Kenshin in the jaw, causing birds he didn't know existed to start flying in front of his face.

"Ken..Shin!" He knew that tone. Duck and run, or sooth and hope he could smooth the situation over.


"Oh, don't you 'Kaoru-dono' me, you baka rurouni!"

"Kaoru, you are more scary than me when you are mad, that you are!" He chuckled as her eyes flashed red, much the same way that his turned amber when he was mad. He grabbed her hand as she tried to hit him again, and anticipating her, caught the second a safe distance from his head. "You know, Kaoru, if you weren't in your condition..." He smiled wistfully and pressed a kiss to her forehead.

Kaoru watched Kenshin with amazement. "You actually want me?"

Kenshin blinked, as if not understanding. "Of course I do. Why wouldn't I now?"

"Because I'm big and fat and..." Kenshin propped himself up on his elbow, looking down into her eyes.

"You aren't big and fat. You're pregnant. With my baby." A fact that still amazed him. His baby. He couldn't get over it in his mind. "You're more beautiful now than ever, Kaoru." He released one of her hands, and brushed his fingertips over her cheeks, down to her lips, touching the tip of his finger to her bottom lip. "You're beautiful." He leaned down and kissed her, gently coaching her mouth open to delve inside, showing her what he would do, if he could.

When Kenshin finally pulled away, Kaoru took a deep, shuddering breath. "Don't stop, Kenshin. Don't ever stop, please." She plead with him, and, pushing herself onto her elbows, she claimed his mouth, using what he had just taught her on him.

Finally, he had to push away from her. "Stop, Kaoru. I can't take any more," he panted. When she moved back towards him, with the intent of kissing him yet again, he held her away from him. "No more, Kaoru. I can't take it. Just lay with me."

"You don't want me?" Insecurities returning, she looked into his eyes, searching for something, anything.

"Just the opposite, Kaoru. I want you too damn much. And I can't have you, not now. So just lay here with me, lets just sleep together, tonight. We'll save that for after the baby comes." 'Or at least a night when I'm not feeling so... lively.' He added to his sentence silently.

"I love you, Kenshin."

"I love you, too, Kaoru. More than you know."


The next morning, Kaoru woke up to the smell of miso soup wafting into her bedroom, and Kenshin, who was not beside her, had to be the cook. Rolling to her side, she tried to sit up, and finding herself unable, tried again a different way. Again, she couldn't seem to get off the ground. "Kenshin!" She cried, panicked, and then, when he didn't immediately respond, she cried his name out again.

Almost instantaneously, he was in her room, a look on his face that worry didn't even begin to cover. "Kaoru, what's wrong?"

"Kenshin, I can't get up!" Frustrated tears ran down her face, and she lifted a hand up to him, asking for his help. Ignoring the profferred hand, he kneeled down and picked up up, and, getting to his feet, set her on hers.

Yahiko chose this moment to appear in her room, his panic at her cry evident. "Kaoru, is everything okay?" At her nod, he turned to leave, but realizing soemthing turned back around. "You're pregnant." Not a question, just a fact. He hadn't noticed before, she had covered it so well, but now, with only her sleeping yakuta on, it was so painfully obvious.


Immediately, Yahiko's gaze shifted to Kenshin. "So what are you going to do about it, Kenshin?"

Kenshin, changing back to his usual self, merely smiled at Yahiko.

"Kenshin, I asked what you're going to do about it?" Kenshin stared at Yahiko for a moment, then burst out laughing.

"What would you like me to do?" Kaoru giggled, watching Kenshin tease the boy, a sight she hadn't ever seen before. "I didn't know about this until last night. And I've already asked her to marry me. Twice."

"And I refused. Then I accepted." Yahiko, a stunned look on his face, gave a frustrated sigh and spun on his heels to leave the room.

"You two are messed up. I have to go to work. See you later." Shaking his head, Yahiko walked away from them, leaving the couple standing together laughing at his expense.

"How long do you think we have until Sano shows up to beat the crap out of me, and Tae shows up with food for you. 'We have to make sure you eat, Kaoru-san!' " He mimicked Tae's voice.

"Just wait till Seijiro-san knows." At the mention of his sensei's name, Kenshin face turned stark white.

"Sesha thinks sesha had better hide from him. Sesha does not like to risk sensei's wrath." Kaoru laughed at his wording. In his mind, he could already hear the berations from Hiko. "I can only hope that we aren't home when that happens. I don't know how he'll react." He could just hear it now.

"You know, I think Seijiro-san is the only man that you are truly afraid of. Not even Jineh, with his insane eyes freaked you out this much."

"I don't know, I don't want Sano pissed at me, either. I just know he's going to beat the living hell out of me." As if on cue, Sano walked into the house.

"Kenshin!" He could hear Sano's voice. "Kenshin! Get your ass out here!!"

"Uh-oh." Kaoru and Kenshin said at the same time. Cautiously, Kaoru and Kenshin made their way through the house, heading towards the back of the dojo, away from Sano.

Right as they were going through the door, Sano picked Kenshin up by the collar, holding him like a defenseless kitten in front of him. Kenshin half expected Sano to wave his finger in his face and tell him, 'No, no, bad Kenshin.'

"Um, Sano? Know any good priests?" Sano's enraged eyes came into view.

"Sano, put him down this instant, or you will never eat here again." Kaoru's voice came into focus, the most joyous sound Kenshin had ever heard.

"Stay out of this Jou-chan."

"I'm serious, Sano. No money, no food, no sake. Not even a fish bone. Zilch. Put. Him. Down."

"Sano, I think you better listen to her. She's moody. And it's even worse than normal, that it is." A quick glance at Kaoru told him Kenshin was right.

"Ken..Shin..!" Kaoru growled at him, her eyes narrowing.

"Oro?" Kaoru softened immediately.

"I don't think I've heard that in months, Kenshin." She whispered this to him. Sano put Kenshin down carefully, watching Kaoru the whole time. She seemed about ready to cry.

"Kaoru-dono..." Kenshin stepped towards her, intending to put a hand on her shoulder, but was stopped by Sano.

"Explain, Kenshin. Now."

Kaoru and Kenshin started explaining to Sano what had happened, both at the same time, and Sano, so lost in the flow of words that were coming from the couple, he put up a hand, motioning for them to stop speaking. "You first." He pointed at Kaoru.

"I was in Kenshin's room and he was asleep and we... We... we..."

"Had sex." Sano prompted.

Kaoru nodded. "But he was asleep, you see, he was dreaming the whole while. And Kenshin didn't know until last night that I was pregnant, when I finally went in and told him, and then he proposed. But first he was going to take the baby and leave, but now he's staying and..." She trailed off, realizing that she was making no sense.

"Anything to add, Kenshin?"

Kenshin shook his head. "Nope, basically, what she said goes." He shrugged. "Sano?"


"I'm gonna be a daddy." And, for the second time, he passed out, falling into Sano's arms.


A few minutes later, he woke up laying on his futon. "You think he's okay, Sano? Oh, he's awake!" Kaoru kneeled down in front of him. "You okay, Kenshin?"

"Hai." He shook his head, trying to rid himself of the dizziness. "I passed out again." He gave her a sheepish glance. It hit him hard, every time he realized that he was going to be a father. He couldn't quite grasp it yet.

"Don't worry, Kenshin. I understand." Kaoru smiled at him, then wrinkled her nose slightly, as if in a grimace. "That was strange."

"What's wrong?" Immediately, both men were concerned.

"I think the miso soup is burned." At the same time, both men fell to the ground, laughing at her antics.

After a moment, when he was composed enough, Sano turned to Kaoru. "So have you told Megumi-san yet?"

"Hai. She's known for months." Kaoru said, offhandedly.

"What?" Frowning, Sano glared at Kaoru. "You mean the fox knew before the father? Before me?"

"She is the doctor, Sano. I had to tell her. Or rather, she had to tell me." Rolling her eyes, Kaoru got to her feet after a brief struggle and headed towards the kitchen. "Let's have some of that burned miso soup. You don't get to eat, Sano. I was talking to Amaya."

"Amaya?" Sano asked Kenshin after a few seconds of fuming.

"The baby."

Kenshin had taken to sleeping in Kaoru's room, ignoring the fact that they weren't even married yet, and wouldn't be until after the baby was born. Kaoru had refused to get married as she was. a 'fat, huge cow.' Yahiko agreed with her, much more to spite Kaoru, rather than in actual agreement.

"Kenshin?" Kaoru's voice pulled him from his sleep, from a dream he was having. He seemed to be dreaming alot recently. "Kenshin, I think you need to have Yahiko get Megumi."

Kenshin's eyes flew open, panic starting to form in his mind, but Kaoru's apparent calm put him at ease. "But I can't-"

"Go tell Yahiko to get Megumi. I'll be fine until then." Nodding, Kenshin pushed himself from the futon, running in to give Yahiko his orders. Yahiko, after some initial grumbling, realized that Kenshin wasn't kidding him. They needed Megumi.

Walking back into their room, Kenshin sat next to Kaoru, and brushed a hand across her forehead. "Are you okay?" Kaoru nodded, but as she was about to say something, cringed, pain registering on her face. "Kaoru?"

"It's okay Kenshin, it's just the contractions. Megumi told me about them. Unfortunately, I think this yakuta is ruined. Sorry, Kenshin." Kenshin shook his head. Leave it to Kaoru to focus on some superfluous issue at a time like this.

"How long has this been going on, Kaoru?" He took a mental note that it was already sun break.

"All night."

"And you didn't wake me up?" Kenshin was incredulous. "Why didn't you tell me?" Kaoru smiled at him, a knowing look in her eyes.

"Because you would have sent for Megumi immediately, which would have been a waste of the doctors time. Because you wouldn't have slept for the rest of the night, sleep that you needed. Because I enjoy watching you sleep." She counted off the reasons on her fingers, smiling at him the whole time. Until the next contraction hit, that was.

"Kaoru, what can I do?" Shaking his head at his stupidity, he settled himself spread-legged against the wall and pulled Kaoru up against him, giving her an easier resting position. "Just breath through it, Kaoru. Just breath for me."

"It's okay, now, Kenshin. It's past." He could hear the relief in her voice. "Kenshin, I don't think anythings ever hurt so much in my life. Not even getting cut by a sword hurts like this." Kenshin put his hands on her extended stomach, gently rubbing the skin.

"You're beautiful, Kaoru, even now, you're beautiful." Smiling, Kaoru readied herself for th next contraction. They sat together, the girl fighting the pain of childbirth and the man unsure of what exactly to do for a while longer.

"Kenshin, it hurts, I can't.. I need.. I don't know.. oh, god it hurts." Kenshin, gently pulling away from her settled between her spread legs, and placed his hands on her stomach again, gently massaging her.

"Breath, Kaoru. Breath with me." He recalled what Megumi had told him to do if Kaoru had the baby and there wasn't time for her to get there. Carefully, he bent Kaoru's knees, spreading her legs slightly farther apart.

"Oh, Kenshin..." She sighed, relishing the moment that she had without the cramping pain. "I love you, Kenshin." She whispered to him, already cringing with the onslaught of the next contraction.

"I love you too, koishii." A quick smile lit her face, but was overtaken by the pain she was in.

"I have to push, Kenshin... have to..." He could feel her tense up through her skin, and watched, amazed, as the baby's head crowned.

"I can see the head, Kaoru. Come one, you can do it. Come on!" She repeated her actions again, until the squalling baby was held in Kenshin's hands. "A girl, Kaoru, you have a girl." Grabbing his clean gi, he swaddled the baby in it, for lack of anything else.

"Amaya-chan." Kaoru whispered, taking her daughter from Kenshin. Her ears pricking up she looked at Kenshin.

"It's raining." He stated.

"Amaya-chan! Leave Yahiko-san alone, now!" Kaoru yelled to her daughter, half stern, half laughing.

"She's not going to listen to you when she knows that you think it is funny too, that she isn't." Amaya was pulling on Yahiko's hakama, his gi, his sandals, following him around during his training, hindering him in every way she could think of in her young mind. "She is like her mother, that she is." Smiling fondly at Kaoru, Kenshin stood from his spot at the washbucket and walked to Kaoru, and, encircling his arms around her waist, drew her to him.

"Megumi's taking Amaya, Kenji, Ayame and Suzume tonight? Is she crazy? Between the two of ours..." They broke off, grinning at each other, imagining all the 'fun' Megumi was going to have with just their four year old and two year old alone, let alone the two slightly older girls.

"And maybe we can try for another tonight.." Kenshin grinned at his wife for a second time, and kissing her soundly on the lips, released her to grab Kenji away from Sano, who looked about ready to kill the little boy who was pulling on his hair. Or at least toss him bodily into the river.

"Oi, Kenshin. Arent two enough for you?" Kenshin laughed at Sano.

"You just wait until Megumi tells you her news." Smiling wickedly at Sano, Kenshin grabbed a shirt from the sudsy water.

Sano grabbed Kenshin by the collar. "You know, Sano, this is starting to get old. If you have a question, just ask it."

"What news does Megitsune have?"

"Not for me to say." Just as Sano was about to unceremoniously dump Kenshin into the washbucket, Kenshin added, "And leave Kaoru alone. She won't tell you either. Megumi has too. Oh, and by the way, you guys get all four children tonight. Megumi offerred." Sano, annoyed at Kenshin, dumped him into the wash bucket and sauntered away.

"Sano!" Kaoru called. "Megumi said you were going to take Amaya and Kenji with you. And stop picking on my poor husband. Hasn't he got enough to deal with?" As she spoke, Yahiko dumped Amaya on top of a soaked Kenshin, leaving her for him to deal with.

"Is it ever normal around here?" A voice asked from the gates.

"Ohiyo, Saitoh." Kaoru greeted him, then ignored him, running after her son who was heading towards Sano yet again. Just as she was about to grab him, he veered off, heading towards Saitoh.

Kaoru stopped to watch, unsure of just what the large man would do. Once Kenji reached him, he just stopped, looking up the man such as a fully grown adult would a very large tree.

Laughing at the child, Saitoh kneeled down. "What's your name, little man?"

"'Tashi 'a Kenji."

"Well, then. How abouts we go talk to your dad, eh?" Suddenly unsure of himself, Kenji ran back towards his mother, and thumb in his mouth, threw himself against her legs. Saitoh, amused by the whole situation, began to laugh.


"Saitoh. How's it going?" Warily, Kenshin stood, still dripping wet.

"Better than it is for you apparently. Did the rain cloud single you out, or what?" Shrugging, Kenshin stayed silent. "I'll get to my point. The police station needs someone to train our men. Not in your style," he added when Kenshin started to object, "just to give pointers. And we need someone to help investigate a few of the things that have been going on. A detective of sorts."

"What's the pay?" Kenshin considered the job, but only for the right price. When Saitoh listed the wages, he whistled. "That's good pay. Why?"

"Because that's where you'd be if you had gone in years ago. And because we're willing to pay for your knowledge. We want you to train a rooky, also. Show him what you know."

"I'll let you know, Saitoh. I can't just go into it without talking to my wife." Saitoh nodded.

"Let me know by the end of the week." Standing, he walked to the gates. "Cute son you've got." He called to Kaoru, who was still standing with Kenji, and walked out.

"It could solve all our problems, you know. We need the money. The pay itself would be more than we've had all these years combined." Kenshin hastily spoke, trying to talk Kaoru into something he thought she would object to.

"I agree. If it's what you want, Kenshin, then I see no problem with it. As long as you aren't fighting out there, I'm okay with it." Smiling at him, she handed Kenji to Sano. "Take my children now, before I decide I can't go without them for the night. Go, now. And bring them back." She paused her eyes glinting. "Eventually."

Seeing that they'd been dismissed, both Sano and Yahiko left, leaving Kenshin and Kaoru to themselves and an evening alone.

"You know, Kaoru." Kenshin said, as he walked towards her. "We're lucky. If it weren't for that rainy night and our little girl, we probably never would have gotten where we are togay. God knows if I'd ever had worked up the courage to tell you I love you."

"Do you?"

"Love you?"

"Mmm." She nuzzled his neck, just under his chin.

"Very much." Bending his head, he captured his mouth with his in a promise that the rest of the evening would be very interesting.

I hope you enjoyed... let me know what to fix... if I need to add anything... if I skipped something that I just assumed you'd know but you don't... R&R please!! If it sucks... sorry I know, the system isn't made for everyone... and my writing isn't either.