Disclaimer: I do not own the cast of Rurouni Kenshin, nor do I own the real version of Winter Sonata nor the plot.

Author's notes: New story! On top of the ones that I haven't finished! Yay for procrastination! Anywho, this is the first time I've written an RK fic...please be gentle? I'm trying my best, really.

Anyway, aside from that, let me just say...


Not enough to obscure the plot...but I had to make Battousai a separate person from Kenshin, and it was kinda hard trying to turn a mental state of mind into a full-fledged character.

Okay, this is dragging on, so without much (more) ado, my story.

* * * * *

Part One: Overcast Skies

~ I ~

* * * * *

Kaoru was comfortable. Lack of sleep from the night before was catching up to her. She used what little time on the public bus to help make up for it. The last thing she wanted to do was move.

The bus said otherwise.

It was an unusually bumpy day. The vehicle was almost purposely running into all of the holes in the road. Every few seconds, Kaoru's head knocked into something solid. She dismissed it as the back of the seat or the window and continued sleeping. After one particularly big bump, she grimaced but made no move to awaken. A deep rumbling came from her makeshift pillow. Something poked her head and Kaoru snuggled further into her pillow. The rumble was heard again, this time resembling a chuckle.

"I think it's time to wake up now, sleeping beauty."

Kaoru frowned. Pillows don't talk do they? Groggily, she opened her blue eyes and looked around. The bus was empty.


"Keh, I was wondering when you would notice." The voice from before spoke up. Kaoru's head turned to her side, boiling mad. Of all the people, she had to get stuck with an arrogant jerk.

"Well, if you knew I was going to oversleep, why didn't you wake...me..." Kaoru's words and anger died in her mouth. The youth sitting next to her was beautiful. He had dark auburn hair tied in a high ponytail with ragged-looking bangs framing his face, a tanned skin and the most startling amber eyes. He was looking at her with amusement, an eyebrow cocked and a grin playing on his lips. After the longest time, he cleared his throat.

"Are you going to get up or are you going to stare until the bus goes on its evening rounds?"

Kaoru's eyes widened and she forced herself to look away from his face. She could feel the heat rising in her cheeks as she mumbled something of an apology. She was replied with another chuckle.

"Ah, don't be. I get that a lot." He smirked. Kaoru looked at him from the corner of his eyes and saw that he was getting up.

"Where are you going?" Kaoru blurted out before she could stop herself.

"Where do you think?" He asked over his shoulder, "To school." Kaoru looked at him quizzically and noticed his uniform. It was the male counterpart of hers.

"But if you go to that school," Kaoru pointed rather frankly at his jacket, "Then didn't you miss your stop too?"

"I figured as much," He shrugged nonchalantly.

"You overslept?"

"Nah. I'm new."


"Well, are we gonna go?"

Kaoru nodded dumbly and together, they got off the bus. Kaoru surveyed her surroundings and judged roughly that they were miles away from school. If they were lucky, they'd get there in time for lunch. She sighed and motioned for the boy to follow her.

* * * * *

Kaoru sighed again when she saw the school come into view, this time out of relief. The several hours of walking had not been easier on her. The skirt didn't help make things any more convenient and the school had just issued high -heeled shoes for the girls. Plus, carrying her thirty-pound book bag didn't make the distance go by any faster.

"Nice day for a walk, don't you agree?"

Kaoru glared at the boy at her side. Oh sure, he decides to talk NOW. After hours of one-sided conversations, he decides to open his mouth, and tease her, no less. She growled, earning a chuckle from the guy. She sped up her pace and stomped off towards the general direction of the main gate. Kaoru stopped abruptly and groaned.

"Today of all days."

"Let me guess, you left your books back on the bus?" The redhead said from beside her.

"No, you idiot. The main gate is locked now. We have to get in some other way!" With another groan, she grabbed the boy by the wrist and dragged him towards the back of the building. Kaoru leaned against the high brick wall and began to take off her shoes.

"Get on your hands and knees." She commanded without looking up. Soon after the words left her mouth, her eyes widened. She tried to correct herself but the damage was already done.

"Well," He chuckled, "You sure are a feisty one. Wasn't that supposed to be my line though?"

"That's not what I meant!" Kaoru blushed furiously. "I'm just going to step on your back and climb up the wall!"

"Aww, I was looking forward to that too!" His amber eyes flickered with laughter. Kaoru blushed ten shades of red and shoved him rather roughly onto his hands. She climbed up her makeshift stepstool and made sure she was firmly on the high wall before telling him he could get up.

"Hey, could you pass me my shoes?" Kaoru said as an afterthought. As he held out the shoes to her, she stuck out her foot, hinting that he should help her put them on.

"You can't put on your own shoes now?" The mass of red hair tilted upwards, amber eyes looking at her curiously.

"Not without hiking up my skirt or toppling over." Kaoru crossed her arms and pouted, "Can't you just do it for me?"

"Well," he tilted his head, pretending to think, "You made me miss my stop, screamed at me rather rudely when I woke you up, made me walk all morning, and shoved me onto the ground. By majority vote, I should say no."

"Please?" Kaoru put on the best puppy face she could muster. She thought she saw the amber in his eyes flicker for a moment but it was gone before she could tell. He gave a sigh of mock defeat and he went to help her with her shoes.

She expected that he'd attempt to buckle the strap too tight or make that her foot got smushed into the shoe, being arrogantly annoying as he was. But he was unusually gentle. He took one foot in his hand and easily slipped the shoe in. His touch was warm and light. He held her ankle for a moment longer than necessary before starting on the other foot. Kaoru's breath caught in her throat. His touch was doing something to the insides of her stomach. For her, it was over much too soon.

After she fought the blush off her face, she held out a hand to him. He cocked an eyebrow at it. She sighed, exasperated.

"How do you expect to get up here? Give me your hand, I'll pull you up."

He flashed her a grin and put her hand back on her lap. She looked hurt and puzzled at the same time. With one swift movement, he jumped over the wall and landed neatly on the opposite side. She could almost see his ego inflate when she sat there gaping at him.

"I've lost track of how many times you've stared at me now." He grinned back up at her. "But if you keep at it, you may damage your eyes. People need to blink." She regained some self-control and shot a glare at him, to which he replied with a chuckle. She turned up her nose and made a move to jump down.

"What are you doing?" He asked, somewhat curious.

"I'm jumping down you idiot!" Kaoru snapped.

"And twisting your ankle? I don't think so. Give me your hand."

"I'm very capable of getting down myself!"

"Not in those three-inch heels."

Kaoru looked at her feet and realized that he had a point. However, she had pride, and that was valued much more than any stupid point he had. She leaned forward and jumped anyway. She expected to hear a crack from her ankle, or a face-plant into the dirt, so she closed her eyes and hoped for the best. The contact never came. Tentatively she opened one eye to be face to face with the redhead's neck.

"Idiot," He said, with some level of admiration, "I told you not to jump." His arms were wound tightly around her waist, thus lessening most of the impact that had promised to come.

Kaoru straightened herself so that she was standing upright instead of in a half-crouch. She looked levelly into his eyes and realized dazedly that he was still holding her. They stood for what seemed like an eternity and a day before a rather loud chime interrupted them. Kaoru jumped back, rather flustered, and racked her brain for something coherent to say.

"Erm...I-I guess that means, um...lunch is over n-now." She blushed and cursed herself for not being able to keep herself from stuttering.

"I still have to get to the admissions office. I'll see you around." The boy nodded a goodbye and left. Finally getting enough courage, Kaoru looked up and watched his retreating figure. Still in somewhat of a haze, she briefly remembered that he never told her his name.

* * * * *

"Looks like my favorite idiot finally arrived."

The redhead stopped in his tracks and silently counted to ten, ignoring the things he could have easily done to the source of the voice.

"What do you want now, Hiko?"

"Tsk. Isn't there a rule about calling your elders by respective terms?"

"Isn't there a law about keeping you away from sane people?"

"Five seconds. Last time it took you a good minute to get annoyed enough to insult me. I'm disappointed Battousai. Your tolerance is wearing thin."

"Do you have a point or did you want to give me a seminar on my habits?"

"Impatient as always, Battousai." Hiko replied smoothly, ignoring his last question, "I see you've been making some new friends. Glad to see you're showing interest in girls. I was worried about you for a while."

"Hiko..." Battousai growled.

"Don't get your panties in a bunch. I still have to go over the rules of the school with you, and then show you where your classes are. But being as late as you are, we'll have to skip it. Go figure out where your classrooms are, idiot boy. Tomorrow make sure to report for detention."

"Tell me again why I agreed to see your face every day?"

"Because I'm your new guardian, and I love you oh so dearly."

Hiko laughed at his own joke and held up a schedule. Battousai grabbed the paper with a growl and stalked off.

* * * * *

Kaoru peeked in through the door of her music class and noticed that the teacher was droning on about something with his back turned. Perfect time to sneak in.

"Kaoru!" Misao caught her eye and tried to whisper, but failed at keeping her voice low. Thus the teacher's daze was broken and he looked towards the door where the guilty Kaoru was standing.

"Ah, Kamiya. How nice of you to join us."

"I'm sorry, sir."

"Sorry doesn't cut it. I hear you were out for most of the day. Decide to skip school, Kamiya?"

"No, sir. I overslept on the bus."

"I don't care what your excuse is, you're late for my class. This doesn't normally happen so I suppose I must let you off easy. Be prepared to perform your practiced piece in a few minutes."

"Yes, sir." Kaoru replied meekly and slid into the seat next to Misao. The teacher called off a student's name from the list and victim nervously approached the piano by the front of the room. Misao made sure the teacher wasn't looking before turning to Kaoru.

"Where the heck were you?" She whispered loudly. Kaoru flicked her eyes to the teacher in silent warning to keep her voice down.

"Like I said," Kaoru whispered back, "I missed my stop and I had to walk here."

"No matter," Misao shrugged, this time successfully keeping her voice down, "You missed my performance, though! He only corrected me five times today! I'm getting better!"

"Must be," Kaoru grinned, "I bet you actually practiced this week."

"Kamiya!" The teacher's voice boomed, "First you walk in late, now you're talking? Let's hope your piece is good enough to save your hide. Get up here."

Kaoru sighed and made her way to the front of the room. She sat down comfortably at the piano bench and placed her fingers on the keys. Smoothly, she began to play the piece she was assigned. As she neared the middle, the door opened with a loud bang. Startled, she looked up towards the source of the noise. There stood the red-haired boy from earlier today.

"Are you late as well?" The teacher glared at him, "No matter. Your turn will be up after Kamiya here. Find a seat and wait." He nodded back towards Kaoru and she continued from where she left off, this time a little more self-conscious, now that HE was in the room. Eventually, she finished despite her trembling fingers and returned to her seat. The teacher nodded and wrote something down in his grade book before looking up.

"You there, Red. It's your turn."

The boy made a move to stand up and Kaoru suddenly burst out.

"Please excuse him, sir! He's new!" The boy, the teacher and everyone in the room settled their gazes on Kaoru. She blushed and cleared her throat, "He just got here today so he didn't get a chance to practice a piece yet."

"I was wondering why you didn't look familiar. I'll find you a piece later, but you have one week. No excuses just because you're new, you hear me?"

The boy did a half-bow and sat back down. The teacher cleared his throat and called up the next student. Misao jabbed Kaoru in the ribs.

"Hey!" Kaoru whispered harshly, "What was that for?"

"You know the new kid?" Misao asked incredulously, ignoring her last question, "You knew someone as cute as that and didn't tell me?!"

"Sorry. Slipped my mind," Kaoru smiled apologetically, "And besides, I thought you already had your eye set on Aoshi."

"Yeah, but it doesn't hurt to widen my horizons," she gave Kaoru a good-natured grin to which she was replied with a stare.

"Oh sorry! I didn't realize he was yours!" Misao feigned innocence. Kaoru opened her mouth to reply but the teacher reprimanded them again. Shooting Misao a dull glare, she turned her attention back towards the student in the front.

* * * * *

The rest of the day passed unceremoniously. Kaoru didn't get to see boy in any more of her classes, nor did she catch his name. At after-school cleaning duty, there was word going around the female population of the class.

"He sat behind me in math today!"

"His red hair looks so exotic!"

"I love his eyes!"

"I hear he's from America!"

"Must be! All the guys are cute over there!"

"Did anyone catch his name?"

"Did anyone even hear him TALK?"

At that, all the gossiping died. All the girls halted their activities and thought for a moment.

"No, I don't think I did."

"I wonder if he's a mute."

"Maybe it's a silent vow for something! How romantic."

"Maybe he got into a fight and someone ripped out his vocal chords!"

"No matter, he'll be MY boyfriend!" Megumi's voice rang loud and clear through the rest of the girls'. Kaoru, who had been trying to ignore the girls for now, stopped where she was cleaning a desk and listened. The other girls voiced her mental questions.

"How do you plan on doing that, Megumi?"

"Yeah, he doesn't even talk!"

"Well who could resist me?" Megumi flipped her hair over her shoulder.

"Who couldn't?" Kaoru said under her breath and resumed her work.

"Excuse me little girl, did you say something?"

"I was just saying," Kaoru whirled around, anger building, "that if you stopped talking about him and actually talked TO him maybe you'd all get somewhere in life!" She had no idea where this irritation came from but she let it build.

At that comment, the girls all looked at each other and a soft murmur arose. Some of the girls looked terrified at the prospect of approaching him. What if he really did turn out to be dangerous? Megumi herself held an unsure look in her eyes but stood her ground.

"Well, why don't you go do it, Kaoru?"

"You know what?" Kaoru glared, "I think I will." Ignoring the silent protests from Misao, Kaoru walked out into the hallway where the boys were cleaning. She searched around for a red head of hair and stomped off in that direction.

"Kaoru?" A masculine voice called out to her, briefly interrupting her. Kaoru turned and saw a tall boy approach her.

"Hey, Enishi."

"Hey, why weren't you in morning classes?"

"I overslept on the bus."


At this, they burst out in good-natured laughing. Cold, irate amber eyes were observing the scene.

"Listen, Enishi. I have to do something. I'll see you later." Kaoru smiled and continued in her previous direction.

"No problem." His voice was equally light, "Walk you home today?"

"Sure." She smiled over her shoulder and continued walking. As soon as she turned, Enishi's smile faded and he glared at the person that took Kaoru's attention away from him.

The amber eyes flicked back to whatever task he was currently responsible for once the short conversation was over. He listened as light footsteps and the smell of jasmine made their way over to him.


"Hey yourself." He replied without looking up.

"Um, I just realized that we weren't formally introduced yet. So, um...I'm Kaoru Kamiya!" She stuck a hand out. The redhead turned to face her. He looked coolly into her eyes and ignored the outstretched hand.


"No last name?"

"Not that you need to know of."

Kaoru nodded and withdrew her hand. What happened to the teasing boy that she met only hours ago? She stared awkwardly at the floor and while he observed her. After a moment or two of silence, he spoke.

"So won't your boyfriend worry that you've been hanging out with a stranger?"

"Boyfriend?" Kaoru looked up, confused. Realization struck and she laughed, "You mean Enishi? He's not my boyfriend." The aforementioned heard from where he was working and his eyes turned cold.

"So he walks you home everyday out of goodwill?" Battousai asked, giving her a dull look.

"No," Kaoru shrugged and smiled, "He lives close by and we've been friends since way back when."

"Ah." The cold glint from his eyes faded.

"So," Kaoru sighed inwardly, glad that the awkwardness was over, "did you ever pick up your piano piece? I could help you practice, if you haven't played before, I mean."

"No, I didn't get a chance to pick it up yet. I forgot where the room was," He said with the first sheepish grin of the day appearing.

"I'll take you." Kaoru smiled. She grabbed his wrist and led him towards the staircase. Two sets of cold brown eyes watched them leave.

* * * * *

"Here we are!" Kaoru entered the empty music room and flicked the lights on. She walked towards the piano and searched through for a piece marked with his name. Once she found it, she placed it on the stand and beckoned Battousai over. He took a seat next to her on the piano bench.

"Okay, first things first," Kaoru began, "This is a keyboard." She motioned with her hands. Battousai looked at her with amusement. He had a retort ready but she silenced him with a glare.

"What you do is you place your fingers on the keys and play. Like this," She played a simple scale with her right hand, her long fingers gliding over each key. She placed his hands on the piano and told him to mimic her. Battousai made sure his fingers were limp and watched as Kaoru made them move to eventually play the tedious eight notes. After she was done he turned to her with hidden laughter in his eyes.

"I'm sorry, Kaoru, but I don't think you're that great a teacher."

"I'm trying to help!" She huffed and crossed her arms.

"Well if you told me to play a scale..." He placed both hands in position at one end of the piano and played the length up at twice her speed, flawlessly. She stared incredulously at him. Finally gaining some of her senses back, she slapped him on the arm.

"Why didn't you tell me you could play?!" She glared, "You could have saved me from embarrassing myself during class! Not to mention some energy from trying to teach you!"

"Because you look so cute when you're angry." Battousai replied, grinning, earning himself a blush.

"W-well...uh, I suppose you could...um, t-try to play the piece he gave you?" Kaoru fiddled with her hands in her lap.

"I have time to do that later. I want to hear you play."

"But you already heard me play!" Kaoru desperately tried to fight the blush off her face, but to no avail. The look he was giving her didn't help, "I played during class, remember?"

"Nope. Play something else."

"Must I?"

"It's the least you could do. You put me through hell this morning."

Kaoru sighed and put her fingers on the piano. She tried to relax but with Battousai watching her every move, she grew nervous. Her fingers were not cooperating. After a particularly out of tune chord, he interrupted her.

"You're too tense."

"I know. I'm not usually like this."

"I can tell. You were playing fine in class until I walked in."

"But I didn't miss any notes like I did now!" She objected.

"Still, it didn't flow as easily as before. Try closing your eyes." He said with the most sincerity that she had heard that day.

"Fine," She sighed, "but let me warn you, I'm more likely to mess up with my eyes closed."

"Care to make a wager?" He smirked at her. Kaoru looked at him curiously but closed her eyes anyway. She completely shut down her mind and focused on the piece. The song took over her mind and her hand. She wasn't aware of anything but the notes and dynamics. When she finished, she opened her eyes and stared at her hands in wonder.

"I had no idea I could do that." She murmured to herself. A deep laugh brought her out of her stupor.

"What do you owe me?" Battousai grinned. After the thought finally processed, Kaoru crossed her arms and pouted.

"I never agreed to the bet."

"No, but you didn't object either. 'Silence is its own consent.'"

"Whatever," Kaoru huffed, "You probably have something evil planned out for me, don't you?"

"I don't know yet. I'll have to think about that." He gave her a grin that made her stomach tighten. She didn't know if she should've been excited or terrified.

Quickly making an excuse to go to the bathroom, Kaoru left him in the room along with her uneasy nerves. What was it about this guy that made her react this way? After she convinced herself that she wouldn't get weak in the knees around him, she re-entered. She opened her mouth to call out a greeting when she realized that he wasn't even paying attention. Instead, Battousai was playing the most beautiful song she had ever heard. She stood there stunned, as he continued playing. He paused after a few minutes and called out to her without turning nor taking fingers off the piano.

"You don't have to stand there."

"That was beautiful." Kaoru breathed.

"You could call it that," He shrugged, "It's my personal favorite."

"What is it called?"

"'Winter Sonata.'"

"Beautiful name, too."

"Hear it again?"

"That'd be great."

Battousai turned back to the piano and closed his eyes. Kaoru leaned against the wooden frame of the piano as the music wafted through the air. Between the two of them, they had no acknowledgement of time or anything else but the music, and each other.

* * * * *

Outside the building, Enishi checked his watch impatiently before looking back towards the empty gates. The sun was setting and Kaoru wasn't out yet. Taking one last glance of the area, he stalked off towards home.

* * * * *

That wasn't too bad, was it? ^^() I tried not to make it a plotless highschool drama thing where everyone is over melodramatic and pmsing about boyfriends and such. I already had 6 beta readers, all of which are very helpful. I particularly liked the scene with the brick wall...and the whole piano thing. (Some authors write their favorite lines so I thought I'd do the same thing.) My favorite line was "You there, Red! It's your turn." I ono why though...And yes, they did have lessons like this in Japanese/Chinese/Korean schools (as far as I knew). I had always wondered why no one else mentioned them.

As for the updating...as of now, I have 5 chapters done (and counting), including this one. I'll be away at camp for the next 4 weeks so I figured that I'd update one every week. Well, I'll find someone to update for me. If they don't, please don't hurt them too much. The chapters are relatively long so hopefully you'll be content with that.

And last but not least...review please? I don't like to grovel but this is the first time I've written something...non-funny and I'd like to know how I did. I won't be able to answer reviews for a while (unless I email you) but review anyway please? Thanks and wait for the next chapter next Sunday night! ^_^