Disclaimer: We've been through this before. Nothing belongs to me except the ideas and writing of this story.

A/N: I can't even begin to say how sorry I am for such a late update. I did have my reasons though. For one thing, I had to reformat my whole computer, causing me to lose all my files, PLUS the half-written chapters that I had already done -_-. I thank everyone for all the reviews that have been written in, and I really appreciate them =) thanks everyone! Too bad I'm too lazy to answer them all right now. Lots of things have been going on in my life lately, and I lost the interest to write for a bit…but I still managed to spit this chapter out, even though its pretty short and not as exciting as the other chapters *sigh* University starts the week after, and I have to say, it's a very busy schedule, which will probably give me little time to relax, let alone write. The chapters will be slow-coming, and from here-on, I seriously have no idea how long it'll be till my next update. So, until then, hope you enjoy this. This one's rated R. Bit limey-ish :p

Chapter 22: Something Else

Thoughts are in ' '

Speech is in " "

Telepathy is in italics

Soft breath tickled against her cheek and Kaoru frowned at the sensation on her face. Her mind was still hazy from sleep, clouded in layers of lethargy, the outside world all but dead to her sleepy brain. Wake up, love. Kenshin's voice cut through the layers and she grumbled an unintelligible response; much as she loved her HalfSoul's voice, he wasn't exactly helping her, since she wanted to sleep! She felt rather than heard the rumble of his chuckle through her back, where his chest was pressed up against. Time to wake up, koishii. You've been sleeping for so long, it's more than enough sleep now. The red haired assassin tried to coax his beloved awake.

"'s too early." Kaoru grumbled, trying to squirm away from him so she could get some peace. The ordeal she had been put through had taken its toll on her, and she figured that sleep was the best way to get her energy back. Or at least, that was what her body was telling her to do.

Kenshin wouldn't take no for an answer though. Taking a few locks of her midnight black hair, he brushed the tips of it into her ear, tickling softly so one of her hands drew up to try to stop the irritation. The smile on his lips widened as he continued to do so relentlessly and she soon began to crack one annoyed eye open. "Are you ready to wake up now, koishii?" She ignored him and her eyelids slid close once again.

He frowned slightly. Apparently not, it seemed. Well, he would just have to take more drastic measures, wouldn't he? He shifted around in the futon that he shared with Kaoru so that his arms were upon either side of her, supported by his elbows. Kenshin hovered over her for a moment before his lips descended upon the alabaster flesh of her neck.

The unexpected feel of his lips upon her neck woke her up more than a little bit, and she fought to keep her eyes from opening; HalfSoul or not, she would not give in to his games so easily. Kenshin smiled secretly to himself as he saw her reaction to him, small, but still there. If she still wouldn't wake up, he had other things up his sleeve. Mischievous gold flecks formed in his amethyst eyes as his fingers slipped under the fabric of Kaoru's shirt while his lips moved upon the one ear not hidden within the pillows. His tongue slid into the little crevice of her ear, teasing at the pink skin lightly; barely touching but enough for the sensitive hairs within to give him a response which was reflected upon Kaoru. Blue eyes shot open to the unexpected new 'touch' and the almost erotic sensation that traced itself along her body. She couldn't help but give a small, almost inaudible groan, but Kenshin most certainly heard it from the telltale curve of his lips against her ear.

Will you wake up now, koishii? She could hear the laughter tingle through her mind; he was enjoying this far too much.

Never! She returned with a devious grin and a playful shove at his chest.

Well, then… Kenshin let his weight drop onto her body, bringing their faces impossibly close together so that their noses were touching, their lips fleeting millimetres away from each other. He could feel her squirm beneath him, trying to pull herself out from under his deadweight, but still he kept still; hooded golden eyes watching her face as she turned a pretty pink, suddenly realizing that her squirming was just getting him more aroused. It was impossible not to feel his length pressing against her groin as he moved his hips against hers, and she couldn't suppress the moan that escaped her lips.

Kaoru watched as Kenshin's eyes seemed to flare a darker gold for a moment before returning to the hot amber gaze. Her cheeks turned red as the devious assassin fed her images of what he wanted to do to her; the knot of desire between her legs seemed to tighten impossibly so as he let his lips fall onto hers without warning, hot and demanding; Kaoru couldn't help but respond to her HalfSoul. She could hear the rustle of the blankets as one of Kenshin's hands left her hips and started to trace down, down to caress her legs; a fingertip tracing intrinsic patterns there, then moving slowly to her inner thighs before inching upwards slowly-

The door to their room slammed open and their heads snapped up to the sound of intrusion within their private world. Sanosuke stood there, head mussed in its normal 'rooster head' style as everyone called it, eyes slightly wide for a second before a knowing grin settled across his face.

"So, Kenshin, finally making the moves on our jou-chan, are you?" He laughed and ducked the flying objects that were thrown his way by a sputtering red Kaoru who was only held back by a grinning Kenshin.

"Sano, I don't think the word privacy is in your vocabulary," the redhead retorted, "If you would please excuse us?"

Although Kenshin's tone held no underlying menace, the fire within his eyes told Sanosuke that if he didn't step out that instant, there would be hell to pay. The tall assassin raised an eyebrow before consenting to his request and shutting the door behind him.

"Ooh…! I could just strangle Sanosuke right now! Why that little--!" Kaoru's face coloured again as Kenshin's arm tightened around her waist and he buried his face within her hair; lips pressed a soft kiss against her neck and she could feel the upturned smile of his mouth.

He turned her around to face him, the lazy seductive smile never leaving his face as he sensed her heartbeat speed up and he pressed her to him.

"Thinking of naughty thoughts were you koishii?" Kenshin's words whispered against her lips as she tugged his head downwards by his long red locks.

"Baka." Their lips melded together.


"…And that's the rough gist of what happened, Katsura-sama." Aoshi's voice filtered through the speakerphone on Katsura's table. The fatigue of not having slept for two whole nights carried through the phone line although he was unaware of it. The head of the Ishinshishi thrummed his fingers gently on the mahogany table as he heard Aoshi's report of what had happened during the team's mission to retrieve the Healer, Takani Megumi. The retrieval had gone well without a hitch…

Except for the fact that someone had targeted one of his most talented assassins without the rest of the team even knowing about it until she had been poisoned. It bothered him that the best of his assassins hadn't even noticed it at all, and it bothered him even more than none of the team had figured it out until it was too late. The timely and successful retrieval of Takani Megumi had proved to be a godsend in disguise, although such an event could probably have been avoided if the mission had not taken place.

The other lucky thing that had saved Kamiya Kaoru's life was undoubtedly the HalfSoul link that she shared with Kenshin, and it was pretty obvious now that certain enemies knew that Kaoru was Kenshin's weakness, and was trying to revert him to that single-minded madness that he would certainly go through if Kaoru died. Katsura's eyes narrowed in thought.

No fucking way would he let the enemy manipulate them.

It seemed as if Kenshin and Kaoru needed to be hidden away for the time being, and besides, they surely needed the rest after the painful ordeal that they had gone through according to what he had heard from Aoshi and Soujiro.

"Keep an eye on your surroundings as well as on Himura and Kamiya Kaoru. I'll call you back soon." He didn't wait for a reply and pressed the speakerphone button off. Katsura's dark brown eyes shifted to regard the gaze of the dangerous dark gold eyes - that held a spark of anger within – on the other side of the room.

"Your view on this, Saitou?" He knew the former assassin, now policeman was angry, although he didn't outwardly angry. The lanky policeman had good reason to be angry; his niece had been attacked and would most certainly have died if her HalfSoul, the Healer and her twin hadn't been there to help out. Even if the poison didn't kill her, her own mind would have, and Saitou was thankful to Kenshin for that (albeit grudgingly). He stood up straight against the wall that he had been leaning on when the news had arrived, moving towards the door.

"Give the kids a break. I'm off to see my niece and the chibi-gaki." The door clicked close behind him softly.

Katsura breathed a sigh of relief. It was settled then.

Black Dawn was definitely getting a holiday.


Soujirou, Aoshi and Sanosuke turned their heads towards the sound of somebody, or rather somebodies coming down the stairs. There were collective sighs of relieve as the pair made their way down the stairs, smiling gently at each other, hand in hand. Kaoru's twin moved forward to envelop her in a hug that said it all.

Welcome back! She could hear the edges of his mind within hers as she returned the hug. Traces of frustration, fatigue and worry leaked through his tired mental shields and she realized that he hadn't slept for two whole nights while she, herself had been recovering from the mental ordeal. For that matter, neither Aoshi nor Sanosuke had slept as well; the dark circles under Sanosuke's and Aoshi's pale ghostly face told her that. Making a note to yell at them later for not taking care of themselves while she had been asleep, she squeezed her twin tight in reprimand, making him squeak for breath.

It's good to be back.


His fist slammed hard on the mahogany table; the twinge of pain leapt up his arm but he barely felt it. The blood-red eyes flared angrily, furiousity against white hair and skin, his features twisted in unholy retribution.

"What do you mean she's not dead?!" Enishi hissed angrily at the unfortunate subordinate who was in direct line of his wrath.

The man bowed, shoulders shaking visibly; cowering was a natural instinct before the psychopathic telepath who was prone to uncontrollable rage if something went wrong. And something had gone wrong.

"Yu-yukishiro-sama…the girl, she has supposedly been cured s-s-sir." He stammered, afraid to look up at the white-haired devil and the hellish eyes.

Enishi's eyes seemed to burn a darker red as his rage flared higher. He grabbed the man by the hair, and angled a sharp silver dagger at his Adam's apple; the blade drew a thin line of blood across skin, a warning that could soon turn into something nasty.

The telepath bowed his head, spiky platinum fringe obscuring his eyes from the shaking man who feared moving under the line of the blade. Although Enishi's raving rages were terrifying, the soft silky threatening whisper was even more so.

It was a death warrant.

"Cured?" Enishi whispered. "How exactly?" The edge of the dagger slid silently across his subordinate's skin, collecting cold sweat and blood.

"The…the Healer sir…and something to do with her mind, s-sir."

Red eyes narrowed in contemplation.

"Too vague."

Without warning the dagger was embedded into the man's throat as blood gurgled around it, the silver now crimson-red. His eyes went wide and rolled up into his head as Enishi walked away from the man who he had pinned to the wall like a moth in a glass collection. He, Yukishiro Enishi, had no use for such moronic idiots.

He depressed the intercom button on the phone and spoke into it.

"Kanna, get someone in here to clean up this mess in my room." Turning away from the corpse on his wall, he looked outwards at the city of Tokyo, the magnificent view only obtained from the top of one of the highest skyscrapers in the city. His plans were going amiss and Enishi didn't like that at all.

Not at all.

A/N: Hrm…R&R as much as possible ne? It'll encourage me to write =) Domo~