"It's all over... We lost Kaoru... And you know who he is? He's the guy that's planning to take down Japan... Kayo Andrews... I should've guessed... Dammit why didn't I!?"
Then, as swiftly as a falling star, an arrow whizzed by Ginta's ear.
"The hell...?" Miyu murmured as she caught the arrow with grace and practiced ease. Nonetheless, the arrow grazed her skin and she began to bleed slightly.
Then, upon further inspection of the arrow, both Ginta and Miyu saw that there was a note attached.
You will return Kaoru-sama right now if you wish to live.
I will go get her at the Kamiya Dojo. Be there.
"What!? I thought they got her already!" Miyu shouted. Then with energy that came from nowhere, she began to run back to the dojo with incredible speed.
"H-Hey!! Wait up!!"
"Look, we don't have your Kaoru-onee-sama! One, you already took her! Two, even if we did have her, what makes you think we are going to hand her over?" Yahiko screamed at the bulky man.
The man scratched his head and sighed. "Look, I really don't want to fight you. All I want to do is take Kaoru-onee-sama!"
"Sanosuke. I don't think he gets it," Tokio murmured. Then, taking a breath she started yelling, "WHAT PART OF IT DO YOU NOT UNDERSTAND!?"
The man opened his mouth. Then closed it. Opened it again. Closed it. He seemed shocked. "Then where is she?"
"MINNA (Everyone)!!!! KAORU'S NOT KIDNAPPED!! SHE'S FREE!!"
"Miyu!! Ginta!!" Tokio greeted.
The muscled man growled with frustration. Then his eyes snapped open and looked around.
"I thought I told you to get her?" A voice hissed, walking into the gate of the dojo.
"I tried! You think I just stood here with my hands in my pockets?" the bulky man snarled.
"That certainly would suit you, you bumbling idiot!"
The man finally came into view. He was as tall as Sanosuke but his ki reminded them of Saitou.
"Well, if we don't get her soon, Mr. Andrews is going to be furious. Though I wonder, what does this girl have to do with anything?"
The bulky man grinned, though somewhat nervously. He shot a glance towards Tokio, then at Miyu.
Miyu gasped slightly, then quickly covered it with both hands. She looked around nervously, then after seeing that no one had noticed, she smirked slightly.
"Look, just give us Kaoru, and everyone will be nice and happy. All right? Or..." he said as he slid out his sword, "we can torture you to give her to us."
"That won't be necessary, who ever you might be. As you can see, I'm right here!"
They all simultaneously cried, "KAORU!"
"You've all missed me that much, huh?" Kaoru smirked from a tree and hopped off. She had a similar type of wearing that Misao usually had on. Except it was dark red of color and a bit more revealing. The neckline plunged to form a V and the shorts were in a Chinese style.
She looked at Tokio, Miyu and Ginta then nodded. "I suppose you all know what's going on? You are ready?" She finished, mouthing the words silently.
"Kaoru-dono!!" Kenshin yelled as he ran up to her and embraced her. "Are you alright?"
Kaoru blushed at the show of affection and nodded. Then she pulled away from him to face the man.
"Okay, so you didn't have her after all. Now, Kamiya-san, please come with us." The man bowed his head.
"Look, you little twerp, first of all, it's Shinomori-sama to you. And second, what makes you think I'm going to go along with you?"
The man looked a bit shocked but then flashed her a gorgeous grin. "Of course I didn't expect you to just come with me. My name is Kiang. I've come to pick you up."
Kaoru sighed, closed her eyes and flipped her hair.
"Take this back to Maiko-chan. Tell him I don't love him. Tell him... tell him I said come talk to me face to face. Also include that the Kayo Andrews façade was a mean thing to tell and do to Saitou. Also-"
"I may not have to tell him. For he is just outside the dojo." The man grinned and looked sharply towards the bulky man.
"Ahh, it was Minukiku was it not? Your betrayal has been noted by Maiko-sama. He will have an appropriate punishment for you."
Kaoru sighed and asked, "He still does the punishment thing? Isn't it a bit too old?"
"But it isn't, koi. In fact it is very effective." A new voice added.
There was one word to describe him. He had dark auburn hair, darker then Kenshin but lighter than Sanosuke's.
Kaoru tensed beside Kenshin. Then she put on a weak smile. Miyu spluttered and Minukiku glared. Ginta looked strangely calm.
"Look you bastard!! You think you can come take our Kaoru?? Not without a fight!"
"But what if she's willing?" Maiko asked, grinning slyly.
"The only way she'll come willing is over our dead bodies!"
Maiko smiled. "That can be arranged."
Miyu scowled at him.
Kaoru sighed. "Stop playing with them. Maiko..." she sighed. "I won't marry you."
This time, Maiko scowled. "Why? Because of Battousai? He killed your mother, dammit! Besides, if it is because of his swordsmanship, I'll have you know that I can beat him in three minutes flat."
"I doubt it," Minukiku muttered.
"Shut it, Minu," Kaoru hissed then turned back to Maiko. "Don't you dare talk about my mother. What do you need to prove? You cannot defeat Kenshin, for you certainly cannot defeat me."
All eyes turned to Kenshin. He had fallen down to the ground, his eyes empty. Kaoru turned to him.
"What's wrong, Kenshin?"
"I... killed your mother, Kaoru?"
"Kenshin... it happened... let go... It doesn't matter to me!! Really! I barely knew her!"
Tokio threw a hurt look to Kaoru. "You say that because you don't love Odoru! If you only knew her!!"
But Kenshin had stopped listening.
"I killed your only source of happiness," Kenshin mumbled. A tear streaked down his face and Kaoru fell at his side, holding him tightly.
"Oh God, can this get any sappier?" Maiko snapped.
Kaoru gently wiped the tear falling from Kenshin's face, ignoring Maiko completely.
"Kenshin...?" she murmured against his cheek, kissing him softly. He's dull eyes brightened for a second and looked at her with wide open eyes. "I want to tell you something."
"Ahh! This would just be perfect!! Now you're going to tell him that you love him! Aren't you!!" Maiko snarled, fire ignited in his eyes.
"Maiko..." Kaoru murmured, pulling away from Kenshin.
"You lied to me. You ran away! Now you've fallen in love with Battousai!"
Kaoru winced at his voice. "Maiko, please!"
"You promised!! You promised to love me forever!! I had to lie and cook up schemes to get you to notice me! While you're always dressing up and acting like another to get his attention who doesn't care!!"
"Hey," Sanosuke countered. "Kenshin loves Jou-chan."
"Don't call Koishi Jou-chan like you know her. You don't even know half of the fucking things she's been through. Understand?" Maiko growled at Sanosuke, keeping his eyes locked on to Kaoru's.
"Why you-" Sanosuke started but was cut off by Tokio.
"This has gone long enough Maiko!"
Maiko whinnied slightly. "Tokio-sama!! You heard her that day!! Kaoru has been given to me!! Kaoru herself promised!!"
"Kaoru will not be given like a thing. She has never been given and will not start now," Tokio whispered. It was very soft, almost inaudible but the way she said it. It sent shivers down everyone's spine. "If you wish," she went on. "I will show you why they called me a child of a cat devil."
Saitou put a hand on her shoulder.
Tokio hissed at him. Her eyes had turned almost a red color and her cheeks were flushed. She blinked suddenly then touched her cheeks with shyness.
"I didn't mean to do that..." she murmured. "I just get so exited when there is the clashing of auras."
"Maiko," Kaoru murmured soothingly. "Look, why don't we settle this over tea?"
Maiko hesitated a bit. "I... Kaoru, before we go in... I have to tell you something."
"I'm sure that can wait until later," Kaoru ushered him in. Maiko got a frustrated noise and said, "It can't wait until later!! It's about your mother!"
"Odoru?" Tokio snorted then hissed. "I'd shut up about it if I were you. You have no right to talk to her about Odoru-chan."
"Toki-chan. Neither do you, since you haven't told the truth about me."
Everyone turned their head at the voice then saw... another Kaoru.