One Million Miles Away

A story by infinite nemo

Chapter Three: And So It Ends…

            The conversation he had had at the bar haunted Kenshin, and even though it had taken place over a month ago, he could still remember it clearly. He already had many life long regrets… but… could he deal with this one? He was already wearing a suit- a tuxedo, actually. But… to go… or not to go? And if to go… to do what? The wedding would be taking place in a few hours. He sat down and let his memories of Kaoru wash over him. He remembered the first time he had felt desire… way back in high school… he laughed mirthlessly. If only he could go back there now… He remembered going out with Kaoru when he had come back for his short visits… later… wondering where she was… seeing her expression fall as he walked out of her dorm and away from her, after telling her it was over…once… imagining it was her while he was with Tomoe… watching her collapse into Enishi's arms at the club… watching Enishi care for her… hold her… be with her… again and again he saw Enishi's lips on hers… and rage and despair like nothing he had ever felt filled him.

            He glanced at his watch. Only three more hours.

            "What to do, Kenshin," he muttered. "What to do?"

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

            "Stop it, Kaoru." Her friends laughed tearfully.

            "You're crying too. You all are." She sobbed. The women laughed together, but Megumi's sharp eyes had picked up a slight dullness in Kaoru's baby blue eyes, and she wondered if her friends tears were as joyful as the rest of theirs- and more importantly, if anyone else had noticed.

            "Stop crying, we need to do your makeup." Tokio said calmly, her tone both gentle and chiding, dabbing her own carefully with a handkerchief.

            "And your face will be puffy." Said Megumi sedately.   

            "I can't help it." said Kaoru, "look at her." She pointed at Misao who was in shambles. The petite woman was crying into Aoshi's chest, and he was patting her awkwardly.

            "I'm just so happy!" Misao squeaked through her tears.

            "It's just the hormones." Megumi assured him, as her own voice broke. He looked at her quickly, and then nodded, looking relieved.

            "Come on, Misao-mine. Let's go for a walk." He bent over Kaoru and kissed her cheek.

            "Nice and salty. Perfect." He announced in a rare burst of humor.

            "Ready to be eaten." Said Yahiko, as he walked in on the tail end of the conversation.

            "Oh go on- get out you." Huffed Tae, pushing at Aoshi uselessly, "You go walk with Misao." She said to Yahiko.

            Yahiko glanced about the room and complied. "You know Misao," he said conversationally. "Your stomach is about the size of the rest of your body. Maybe you'll have twins…" His voice drifted off as he trailed behind Aoshi's tall form and Misao's currently bulky one. The remaining women looked at each other then burst out laughing.

            "Come on Kaoru, hair and makeup." Instructed Tokio.

            Kaoru put herself into the hands of the capable women and allowed herself to relax and her thoughts to drift. As the smooth motion of the comb being pulled through her hair lulled her, Kaoru began to reminisce. Most of her childhood memories included Kenshin. She remembered her first crush… who actually had been a neighborhood boy. He had been both her friend and her antagonist and he lived next door to them… but she couldn't remember his name… besides, she had quickly forgotten him upon meeting Kenshin…she remembered the first time she met Kenshin… her first dance… her first kiss… which Kenshin had given her…" She squeezed her eyes shut.

            "Sorry dear." Said Tae automatically, thinking she had poked her friend with a brush.

            "I'm ok." Kaoru whispered. 'I'm ok,' she repeated to herself. 'I'll be ok… I have to be ok.'

            After what felt like forever, Shuura announced, "Alright, time for the veil!"

~~

            "Kaoru?" a voice floated through the door as they were pulling the last folds into place. All chatter stopped and the frozen females then ran frantically to the door while Tsubame hung back with Kaoru, keeping a slightly trembling arm about the bride-to-be's slim waist. "Kaoru?" called the uncertain voice again.

            She blinked and gave all the females in the room a strange look. "Yes Enishi?"

            "I…" His voice sounded tentative and she could picture him standing behind the heavy door, hands in his pockets, his black hair all ruffled, rocking on his feet like a little boy, and a fond smile formed on her face at the adorable picture that appeared in her mind. "I… I just want you to know how much I love you." He paused. "And how incredibly happy I am."

            She felt a tug on her heart as she answered back amongst the chorus of "Awwweee's."

            "I love you too, Enishi. I love you too."

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

            Decision made, Kenshin grabbed his keys. Thirty minutes until the ceremony started. He lived forty minutes away by normal calculations.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

            Kamiya Kojishiro kissed his daughter tenderly on her head in the back of the chapel as all the guests quieted and the wind quintet sat down and began to play.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

            Kenshin floored the gas then slammed on his brakes, wincing as he saw the flashing lights of squad cars in his rearview mirror. He flicked his turn signal to get into the far right lane, but the police cars whizzed past him. He breathed a sigh of relief, then after a few minutes of playing it safe, he again gunned the engine.

~*~*~*~*~*

            Kaoru cast one last glance down the stairs of the church and at the surrounding courtyard. In about an hour she would walk down them a completely new person with a completely different name…

~*~*~*~

            Kenshin swore steadily at the trailer going about 20 miles under the speed limit in front of him. 'Having a one lane high way is absurd…' Checking the road all around him, he switched gears then roared past, ignoring the angry honking of the driver behind him.

~*~*~*~

            "Dearly beloved…"

~*~*~

            "20…21….22…23…24…25…" the little boy stopped counting railroad cars. "Look mommy- that man looks really really mad." He said, pointing at the car next to them. The red haired driver appeared to be screaming, his hands clenched in frustration on the steering wheel.

            "Oh my." The woman said nervously, glancing at her son, but he had happily resumed counting out loud.

            "39…40…41…"

~*~

            He drove up to the pavement in the middle of the courtyard, slammed on the brakes ignoring the squeals of the protesting tires, then scrambled out and up the stairs.

            "Should there be anyone who has cause why this couple should not be united in marriage, they must speak now or forever hold their…"

            The wide double doors were flung open and sunlight streamed in.

            "peace."

            Everyone sitting in the pews of the chapel turned to face the intruder curiously. Enishi had turned swiftly, and he and his groomsmen were all wearing the same grim expression. Kaoru glanced up at her fiancée in worry and surprise, but he and Aoshi both refused to meet her eyes. She then turned slowly to see who had disrupted such an important and special affair so rudely and violently.

            Craning her neck slowly around her voluminous veil, her sapphire eyes met blazing amethyst.

And time froze.

FINIS.

Old/Original AN: Yes, this story is *complete.* *Anyway* I would like to thank you all for your support. It has not gone unnoticed.

deity of death1^2, JML, CathyAngel, Setine, CurlsofSerenity, paula, Lolly, Clemen, Silver Goddess1, genocide ex-sync*in, Shiomei, jahngmi-san, Angie

Some of you, I recognize from my other stories. Thank you.

To all the people who added me to their favorites list, heartfelt gratitude. For all those who kept me on their lists, I am eternally grateful. I owe you one. (To those who took me off their list... well, "it is what it is.")

Love to Daja2, Vesca, hinami-1412, Fall Rate, Tan Kimiko, Joey8, Midori Natari Himura, Istoria, Battousai angel1, Gypsy-chan, Spellcastre, ewunia, Rishtalak, Neamh, Jason M. Lee, Kykigirl, FyBanditGrl, SailorKagome, DarkLark00, l3al3yanime, Deseray, Azura Dea, Lilfrozenfire, Kitty127, Babo, Eviljinxypoo, Kikirio-dono, Tears of Amethyst, Mitchy, Aryanne, mango mui mui, Conscience Fairy, Moonseeker, iminyourmind, cleoclaudia, Rekka's Angel, Kithkin, whisper*2*imaginary, Nicky9, Tsuki no hikari4, TheEtherway, LifeSavers, fireflies, Frog Bunny, deity of death1, and Ruriko2.

Current AN's: I've been feeling very discouraged. In life, and in writing. Very very discouraged. L

~*~ Help me to smile…. ~*~