Title: An Evil Plan Gone Horribly Wrong
Author: Sephira jo (contact at: )
Archive: With permission only
Series: Rurouni Kenshin
Rating: PG for this chapter
Genre: Romantic Comedy/Drama
Pairings: Kenshin/Kaoru, Sano/Megumi
Disclaimer: I'll say it once, and I'll say it again, I don't own the damn show.
Author's Notes: Sorry this took so damn long. It's only an epilogue though, and honestly, during the time it took to write this I lost my job, my dog died, been being hounded for money, and harassed by my mom. Please don't hate me for how long it took or the fact that there isn't any dirty bad fun in this chapter. I've really loved writing it, my only regret is the last part took so damn long to finish. Hope 'ya all forgive me. On with the epilogue! The end is here! Oh yeah, I consider the last Kenshin OVA to be a work of AU (but dramatic and good AU at that), so I don't follow that, sowwwy.
Kenji, with all the grace and poise of a three-year-old version of his father, ran straight into the dojo's wall. Unfazed, the small boy picked himself up, shook off and ran off in the other direction laughing madly. Kaoru would've given chase, if she wasn't seven months pregnant. Besides, she had gotten used to her son's interesting personality a long time ago.
Speaking of the son, the father should be home soon, Kaoru thought happily, her gaze moving to the gate of her home and school. The students, though not many, had left earlier, which always seemed to be the cue for her husband to return home. Not long before Kenji was born he had been convinced to take a by assignment job from the police department. After the initial, and prolonged, conflict with Saitou Hajime, Kenshin found he actually enjoyed the work. And though he'd never admit, Kaoru suspected that the two former rivals had developed some sort of odd friendship based entirely on insults.
The gate opened. After years, Kaoru's ears had become attuned to its sound, though Megumi blamed psychosis, Kaoru knew she could hear the gate. And proving her right a second later was Kenshin's voice calling out the daily, and welcome, phrase of, "I'm home."
"Welcome back!" Kaoru and Kenji called out at the same time, though the un-pregnant child beat Kaoru to Kenshin easily.
Kenshin smiled simply, picking the jumping child up and holding him in his arms. In that moment Kaoru smiled, a warm joy spreading through her. If possible, he grew even more handsome daily.
Kenshin caught her eyes on him, and a more heated and private look passed between the two, along with a smile. The moment was quickly broken when Kenji started to pull on his fathers face, but both knew it could be easily resumed later. Who could be angry at such a cute interruption? And one so much like the father.
"How was your day?" Kaoru asked, finally making it over to her husband.
"Fine, you?" Kenshin asked, but he could hardly be understood with his son still pulling on his face. Kaoru laughed softly and took the squirming child and held him. He wasn't a heavy bundle at all, just an overactive one.
"Today was good," Kaoru said simply, "We're going right?" she asked, a hint of excitement in her voice.
Kenshin looked perplexed for a moment, "I don't know," he started, trying to sound serious, but there was a playful undertone to his voice that Kaoru knew all too well, "This unworthy one is very tired, and Kenji is very hyperactive, it might be best if we stayed home, that it would."
Kaoru's cheeks puffed out, he was always so... so evil! And here, it had been her own 'evilness' plus that of another that had brought them together. Little had she known at the time that the real evil one had been her soon to be husband, "How can you say that!? Sanosuke comes back from wherever the hell he ran of too, was it America? And he's finally getting off his ass and marrying Megumi-san, and you spout tiredness and a your son's normal behavior as an excuse for not going?"
"Oro?" Kenshin loosed his all purpose phrase. This time the meaning was What did I say? When he got that vacant look on his face Kaoru could never stare him down seriously. And that may have been his plan the entire time.
Kaoru sighed, defeated, "Sometimes, I swear, I hate you."
Kenshin just smiled, Kenji pulled at her hair. "As soon as this unworthy one bathes, we can go," Kenshin said, his voice had a hint of laughter in it, and he reached out and touched Kaoru's cheek lightly, "It is at the Akabeko, right?"
"Yeah, Tae-san said something about putting it on his tab. Which should be even worse by now, if she's been adding interest while he was gone, like she threatened to."
Kenshin chuckled. Kaoru smiled. Kenji seemed extremely fascinated by the neckline of Kaoru's kimono. For a quiet moment they painted a standard domestic picture. Then Kenshin spoke up, breaking the silence, "Then I suppose we'd better get ready then, that we should, huh?"
"Yep, I guess we should." Kaoru smiled as their son squirmed in her arms, trying to reach a butterfly that was flying by.
Sano was a nervous wreck. And here I always thought it was the bride's job to be this nervous, he thought quizzically, so why is Megumi so calm? It just doesn't seem right. Nope, not right at all, and I'm going to go tell her that, right now! Sano thought, and managed to walk to the door of the 'room' he was borrowing as a dressing room before stopping, a devilish grin lighting his face.
Wedding kimono are really complicated, Sano thought, which means that Megumi is in the process of changing. Which means, I might get to see her naked! Grinning from ear Sano snuck like a young boy, which is to say not very good at all, towards the room Megumi was using for dressing.
"Oops!" Sano shouted out happily, expecting a feminine scream and the sight of the white curvy flesh that had been lost to him on his 'vacation.' He flung the door open with his shout and looked, only to see that Megumi was fully dressed and looking at him like he was an idiot. His expression became that of a wounded puppy. I really wanted to see her. Not fair!
Megumi just shook her head, and walked over to him slowly, the heavy garment half the reason for her slow motions, but in it, Megumi looked like the goddess her name implied. The crimson, silver and gold garment brought out the paleness of her skin, the dark black that was her hair. He still stood struck, he could imagine it falling open in just the right tempting places, over the shoulder, down the neck line.
"Speechless, huh?" Megumi smiled evilly, "I think I like that, you're a lot easier to deal with when you don't talk."
Sano just nodded dumbly, unable to think of any swift comeback as she stood in front of him, her large dark eyes shining. Her words were always harsh, but the meaning behind them had been the same for the past four years. Megumi laughed and Sano still stood in his stupor.
"You traveled abroad," Megumi said simply, "I think you know that some countries consider seeing the bride before the wedding bad luck."
"Uh-huh," Sano said nodding.
"So," her voice was sly, her hands found her way to his chest. Sano wasn't thinking of much else, "You know you shouldn't be here, right?"
"Good," Megumi's evil grin intensified and with a glib action, she pushed him backwards out of the room, "Go be nervous somewhere else. I actually have to look good, you just have to stand there."
Sanosuke landed on the floor outside the doorway, Megumi looked down at him with a sweet grin on her face. Which, in its own right was very scary. It seemed to say you'll get yours later, dear. Sano responded with a stupid grin of his own, in this way, they had spoken without words since he had returned.
He stood up, brushing off the formal clothing, wishing fervently for his normal vest and pants, but Megumi would hear of it. So there he was stuck in a men's formal kimono, brushing the dust of rejection off of his rear end when he heard a familiar snicker behind him.
"This unworthy one thinks you have a death wish, that he does," said Kenshin. The swordsman stood off to his left, in his arms a wide eyed Kenji, who had been one of the many surprises that had greeted him on his recent return from overseas.
It had been the final forgiveness for the transgression that had got Kenshin and Kaoru together in the first place. Sano grinned and stood up, "Oh, you know I do. What's life without a little danger anyway?" He quipped easily, patting Kenji on the head, the three-year-old still wasn't sure what to make for the giant ex-mercenary and just stared at him, while burying his face into Kenshin's gi.
"A lot safer, especially for you," Came a voice walking up behind Kenshin. Kaoru smiled and thrust a small finger at the large fighter, "Then again, you're marrying Megumi-san today. You'll never be safe again, you pointy haired moron. Are you sure today isn't your funeral instead? Any more stunts like before, and I'm sure we'll find you're bones in some western medicine school somewhere."
"Look whose talking," Sano returned, "I feel sorry for anyone who has to spend the rest of their life tied to you. Poor Kenshin, spending his life with a woman who can't even boil rice correctly and beats people about the head and shoulders with shinai for the slightest mistake," Sano grinned at Kenshin, who now had a blank 'oro' look on his face, "I'm surprised your still alive buddy, I knew I should've taken you with me. Some time away from the shrew here would've done ya good, but now she has ya all tied down with these kid things," He finished laughing, and gesturing to Kenji, then to Kaoru's swollen belly.
"I'll show you shrewish, you... you... chicken headed idiot!" Kaoru puffed, her eyes burning with anger.
"Kaoru-dono...." Kenshin made a half hearted gesture to stop his wife, and Kenji, familiar with the coming storm he had seen unleashed on various students of his mother, buried his head deeper into the one safe place in the world: his father's gi.
Brandishing a shinai that seemed to come from nowhere, Kaoru, stomach sticking out and kimono clad started advancing on Sanosuke, who kept his hands in front of him, like a peace offering.
"Ya know, you shouldn't be going after me right now. I saw Yahiko down making doe-eyes at Tsubame, with the age those kids are at, who knows what they could be doing right now! So, why don't ya put down the stick like a nice shrew and I'll forgiv-" Sano never got a chance to finish his plea, as Kaoru brought the shinai down upon his thick skull in quick rain of blows.
"Oh dear," the silky feminine voice that was Megumi intoned smoothly as she viewed the carnage that was a pregnant Kaoru beating on her bridegroom. "Kaoru-chan, you shouldn't be doing something so strenuous right now, should she Ken-san?" Even on her wedding day, Megumi couldn't resist flirting with the married redhead who just shook his head, Kaoru suspected that he was somehow used to the chaos that unfolded around him now.
"Why doesn't she ask about me?" the wavering voice of the beaten Sano filtered up from the corner, "Why doesn't Megumi ask how I'm doing?"
"Because," Megumi said, without looking down, "We all know your head is way to thick to take any damage from that beating."
"I'm so unloved..."
"Nonsense, I'm going through with this wedding all for you."
Whatever other bickering might have started was prematurely stopped when Tae, Tsubame and Yahiko made their way to the crowd, "Everythin's ready," Tae drawled out in her distinct accent, "So if ya'all are ready, we can get started." Tae smiled, and Tsubame looked beyond excited, but half of that blush might have come from standing near Yahiko, who looked slightly ruffled, as if he had put himself back together quickly. Kaoru was going to have to have a talk with him later it seemed.
But in the mean time, there were more important matters afoot. Everything for the most part had to be done smoothly, and for this Kaoru took charge. Her two friends shouldn't, and wouldn't, have to worry about the mundane details, she had already made sure most of that was taken care of. Now it was only the little things, and Tae and Kaoru handled those expertly.
Megumi was slightly nervous. Normally when chaos ensued, she was firmly in its center. And true, she was the center here, along with Sanosuke, but the chaos seemed of a very different nature. The ceremony itself was simple, and traditional, none of that moronic stuff her beloved idiot had picked up over seas.
And somehow, as if by a miracle everything seemed to go off perfectly. There was nothing spilled on the expensive wedding garments. No disaster caused by a freewheeling Kenji, and best of all, the wouldn't have to worry about Kaoru's cooking.
It all seemed to much. A few years ago Megumi had nothing, even less than that, as she sank through the cracks of life and somehow ended up her. Sano's brown eyes smiled at her, as if he could read her thoughts exactly, and to a great extent he could. She smiled back, slightly of course. They held hands, and the celebration after the fact began.
Kaoru looked form Kenshin to Kenji, the three year old having fallen asleep on the table about an hour ago. Somehow, for things having starting out so out of whack between them, everything had ended perfectly. Like a story book almost. Kaoru smiled, and suppressed a yawn, leaning her head on Kenshin's shoulder she smiled. Perfect.
Kenshin's free hand strayed to Kaoru's hair, stroking it absently, while he engaged in laughing conversation with Sano, Megumi and the other varied guests. Except for Saitou, how he had gotten invited, Kenshin would never figure out. But earlier he had promised Kaoru that he wouldn't bicker on their friends' day. Besides, when she was with him, he always felt somehow complete.
Megumi was laughing quietly and still flirting a little with Kenshin. A married woman couldn't afford to let herself go completely, after all, without a little jealously to add spice to their relationship, where would she be with Sano? They owed their entire relationship to Sano's own jealously inducing stupidity, there was nothing wrong with keeping that spark alive, at least not in Megumi's eyes. Her wayward Sano had returned, and now nothing would keep them apart again. The were together.
Sano was having a great time, except for one thing, a vow to himself form a few years ago was coming back to haunt him. He hadn't touched a cup of sake. Everyone else was laughing and having fun, and though he enjoyed the company of his wife, Megumi and their friends, he was itching to break the vow. But he remembered all the trouble sake had gotten him into the last time, he just couldn't do it.
Kenshin noticed his friends pain apparently, because he poured and passed Sano a glass of the rice wine, and smiled. "Go ahead," he said then winked evilly and said, "I think I can trust you not to sleep with my wife after a couple cups, after all, you're married now too, and you'll soon know my pain."
"KENSHIN!" Kaoru shouted, waking up their three year old son. Megumi just started to laugh. Sano looked at the glass and downed it and smiled. You know, he thought simply, in the end, this is best done with friends anyway. Then I know I won't plan anything stupid...