Helloooo! One thing you guys should know is that while I am not by any means new to fanfiction, I AM new to actually writing one. So please bare with me... or not. Depending on how bad you think this is. Also, I know stories like this one have been written countless times already, but this is my own take on it. If it has similarities to other stories its pure coincidence since the number of stories like this is quite large (just change Enishi to another name and you shall see).

I should also warn you guys that this story will contain adult themes which might disturb some readers. If that makes you uncomfortable, or if you are not old enough, then please don't read it.

Anyways I hope you guys enjoy this story. Constructive criticism is WELCOMED, just be kind about it :).

Disclaimer: I do not own Rurouni Kenshin or any of its characters.

….

Chapter 1:

It seemed like an ordinary morning at the Kamiya dojo. Kaoru was changing into her usual work attire. A large, flowing mustard colored top under a large, thin coat of the same color, and a reddish brown hakama tied at the waist. Tying her hair into a high ponytail, she made her way to the kitchen. She could already smell the delicious food Kenshin was cooking up.

"Good morning, Ms. Kaoru." He said with a smile while turning to face her. He already knew it was her by the soft sounds of her footsteps. "Breakfast is ready."

Kaoru gave him a small smile in acknowledgement. Just then Yahiko walked in, already in his training clothes.

"Alright! Kenshin made breakfast again! If I had to eat another meal made by Kaoru..." He trailed off, half expecting her to fume at him. Instead, he caught her with a blank expression, deep in thought.

He didn't have to be a genius to know what was going through her mind. The same topic that had been on all their minds for the past week although they rarely talked about it. Today was exactly a week since Enishi presented himself... since Kenshin conceded in them the truth about his past, his scar, his wife... But most importantly, today was the day that Enishi promised Kenshin his earthly justice. Later today Sanosuke and Megumi will join them in the dojo to lend their strength. Tonight they will all gather. Nothing will happen to Kenshin. They will make sure of that.

They woke up earlier than usual today. Kaoru wanted to head to work in the early morning so she can return long before Enishi got there, and therefore could continue to train Yahiko in the Hadome technique of the Kamiya Kasshin Style in case he would need to fight today. They still didn't know if Enishi would show up alone or with a group of fighters, as was the norm with nearly all of Kenshin's enemies. They had no idea what kind of revenge he had planned in that sick mind of his. All they knew was to be prepared by evening that day. That's when he said he would come.

They ate in silence minus the occasional complimenting of the food. Once done and the dishes taken care of, Kaoru headed towards the door before turning to face Yahiko.

"Yahiko, continue practicing on your techniques and on those arm crosses while I'm gone. When I get back, I will practice with you again." This was one of the very few times she was leaving to work without assigning Yahiko any house chores.

Yahiko nodded. He had annoyingly been practicing those arm crosses for a few days now, cursing Kaoru under his breath every time. But yesterday Kaoru finally showed him what that movement was used for and he understood the importance of all that practice. "I will have perfected that technique by tonight. You can be sure of that!" He said in determination.

Kaoru nodded proudly, then turned to Kenshin. "I'll be back by two, Kenshin. Please try to get some rest..."

"Don't worry about me, Ms. Kaoru." He said with a soft smile. "I'll have the laundry done by the time you get back, that I will." He said, changing from the serious, worried tone of Kaoru, to a more casual one, like if today was a day like any other.

Kaoru knew he was acting that way to try to calm her nerves, but nevertheless appreciated the calmness he gave off.

…...

Kenshin had finished the chores with plenty of time to spare. He looked at the clock showing 1:40 pm. Kaoru will be home any minute now. He decided to go take a walk and do some meditating to help clear his mind. Although he tried his best not to show it, for the past week he had been tormented by memories of his past and was not looking forward to facing Tomoe's brother again. Just when he had finally begun to feel peace within himself after so many years, his past was coming back to haunt him. Maybe his sins were too great for him to allow himself happiness. It made sense. Why should he feel happiness when he took that away from so many souls? From their families and loved ones?

Feeling the wind blowing his hair away from his face at his usual meditating spot, Kenshin heard the soft chirping of birds in the distance. That, combined with the view of the water in the river flowing with the current, helped Kenshin somewhat ease his mind. At least for a moment. He knew however, that it was time to face reality, to face his past.

Standing up from his spot in the grass, he shook the dirt off his clothes and began making his way back to the dojo, the one place he had been residing at for almost a year. The one place he dared call home.

He had been a wanderer, wielding his reverse-blade sword to protect the people he encountered for 10 years before meeting Kaoru. Never staying at the same place for longer than three months, either because he himself would decide to wander off again or because the landlords would find out about his identity and would be too fearful to let him stay. Kenshin didn't blame them.

But this time was different. With Kaoru it was different. Although she was only a girl of seventeen, she had shown him such courage and humbleness. Accepting him with open arms despite knowing the truth about his identity. By opening her home and her heart to him, that girl had done more than anyone else had done for him since he became a rurouni. He felt at peace with Kaoru. He wanted to protect her, to take care of her. He enjoyed her company more than he would like to admit.

He knew she had a crush on him. Anyone could see that from a mile away. The way she would blush when their fingers would accidently brush against each other and when he would catch her staring at him, how she would let Megumi's meaningless flirting and teasing get to her head, how she would try so hard to impress him with little things, including her cooking and failing miserably.

He never had the heart to tell her genuinely just how bad her food tasted. He knew one thing was Yahiko and Sanosuke telling her freely, but another was him telling her. He knew it would crush her. Instead, he opted to tell her that her cooking was improving.

Oh yes, he knew she had a crush on him, although he acted oblivious to it. Despite him caring deeply about her and noticing that she is quite a beautiful girl, she was still just that, a girl. Her young eyes hadn't yet seen firsthand the cruelty of this world, and hopefully they never will. She was so young and so pure, completely opposite of him.

So, he would settle for protecting her with all his willpower. He could not stand the thought of wandering off again and leaving her and Yahiko to fend for themselves. Although Yahiko and Kaoru were quite capable of defending themselves against the common burglar, the girl was a bit naïve, if he dared to admit. Opening her home to a complete stranger such as himself, is proof of that.

Opening the door to the dojo, Kenshin was immediately shaken from his thoughts as he took in the sight of every person. Sanosuke and Megumi had already arrived. With the look on Sanosuke's face, he could tell Megumi had just been teasing him about something. Yahiko was sitting down against the wall, breathing hard with sweat dripping from his forehead and his bokken on the floor next to him as he had just finished his practice.

"Hey, where's missy?" Sanosuke asked Kenshin as he watched him come in alone.

Surprised, Kenshin answered, "She hasn't gotten back yet?"

This time all eyes were on him. He noticed immediately the surprise and confusion from all of them. They knew she was supposed to come home early today.

"No. We thought she was with you." Yahiko said standing up.

Kenshin glanced at the clock again, 3:50 pm. He recalled back to when Kaoru left this morning. She had specifically told him she'll be back by two.

"Perhaps the lessons took longer than she planned for." Megumi said hopefully.

Kenshin felt a sudden dread in his chest. Kaoru knew the importance of this day. She wouldn't take so long to return, and she had promised Yahiko she'll come back early to continue his training. Maybe Megumi was right, but he wasn't going to take his chances. Not when his mentally unstable ex brother-in-law was out there looking for revenge.

"Sanosuke, stay here in case Enishi comes. I'm going to run to the Soukoya dojo to see if she's still there." Without giving Sanosuke a chance to respond, Kenshin stormed out.

….

Kenshin rushed to the Soukoya dojo, praying to the gods that he will find Kaoru there. Even at the speed he was going, he was quite aware of his surroundings, assuring he didn't miss her. He arrived in just a few minutes and immediately knocked on the door.

A medium height, bulky man who he knew was the owner of the dojo, opened the door.

"Mr. Himura, welcome. What brings you here?"

"Mr. Soukoya, is Ms. Kaoru still here?" He asked in a serious tone and straight to the point, very unlike him.

After a long pause with a look of confusion, Mr. Soukoya finally answered. "No, Mr. Himura, I'm afraid Ms. Kaoru didn't arrive today. We were waiting for her all morning thinking she was running late. I ended up teaching the entire class myself." Seeing Kenshin's sudden dark, fearful expression, he quickly added, "Please, is something wrong? Do you know where she could be?"

Kenshin didn't answer. He stood motionless with eyes open in shock, as the air around him suddenly became thick and he felt a painful knot forming in his chest. Earthly justice. He painfully understood now the meaning of those words. Enishi never intended to kill him... He probably never even intended to fight him. No, he was going to hurt him far worse than that. He was going to hurt him through the person he cared for the most... Kaoru.

….

First chapter up! Please let me know what you guys think. Review, review, review!