Author's note: As most of you can tell, I know nothing about how they serve people in Meiji Japan, so I'm pretty much make it up as I go along.

Chapter 4

Unfortunately, on his way out, he ran into Sano. The moron was immediately on the defensive, like Saitou didn't have better things to do than track him down and beat him up.

"What are you doing here," the aho demanded.

He gave him a disinterested glance.

"On vacation."

Sano scoffed.

"You expect me to believe that? You better stay the hell away from Kenshin!"

Saitou chuckled. He leaned close to Sano, speaking to him in a dangerous whisper.

"Trust me, when I go after the Battousai, there will be nothing you can do to stop me."

He leaned back again.

"However, I am really on vacation. Police officers get those."

At that moment, sounds of a crash emanated from the hotel behind them. A familiar voice rang out.

"I LOVE YOU!"

"ORO!"

"LEAVE HIM ALONE, YOU PERVERT!"

"AHHHHH!"

"I wonder where that idiot got his crazy idea," Saitou mused aloud.

He did not miss Sano's wince and sheepish look.

"Moron."

Sano was defensive again.

"How was I to know the bastard would be that desperate to make Kenshin his boyfriend? Anyway, I don't want to take any crap from you. I had to tell Kenshin and Kaoru the second day this was going on. I think he might actually be mad at me. I was worried at first, but that guy has absolutely no skill whatsoever. He hasn't even come close to touching Kenshin. This has been going on for a while, now. I'm sure he'll give up soon."

Saitou frowned. He had seen the fanatical gleam in the artist's eye.

"I highly doubt it."

He turned and headed to spend the day reading until dinner.

***

Saitou chose to rent a room that night. It was his vacation and he was not lacking funds so he could spend it wherever he wanted.

Saitou studied the sketch before him. Kenshin looked so peaceful sleeping. He was interrupted from his reverie by a sound at the door. Quickly, he put the sketch away.

The server slid open the door.

"Excuse me sir. Your dinner is ready," With a pleasant smile on his face, Kenshin entered the room carrying a tray. He froze when he saw whom it was. "Saitou?"

Surprise made Kenshin's eyes widen and mouth open slightly. He was again dressed in the hotel staff uniform, a green robe that emphasized his slimness and made him look much less imposing than he did with his hakama.

"What are you doing here?"

Kenshin was wary. Saitou didn't really blame him. Whenever they were together, bad things tended to happen.

"Everyone needs a vacation," Saitou responded calmly.

Kenshin seemed to take that at face value.

"You did order dinner?"

"Yes."

Kenshin kneeled next to him and set down his dinner, pulling clean chopsticks from his apron and setting it on the tray.

"Why are you working here?"

"I need to pay off my hotel bills, de gozaru," Kenshin replied absently, pouring Saitou his tea.

"Certainly you could have paid them off by now."

Kenshin graced him with a sheepish smile, placing the teapot back on the tray and sitting back on his feet.

"I kind of like it here, de gozaru. It's relatively peaceful and the others don't seem to mind sticking around."

The door suddenly burst open. Ryuzaburo sprung in.

"Beloved!! Please forgive me, but I must do this so we can be together and I can bring true art to this godforsaken world!"

He lunged at Kenshin.

Kenshin dropped, grabbed at the artist's feet as he went sailing above him and flung him out a conveniently open window.

Kenshin looked at Saitou apologetically.

"Sorry about that," he said as he closed the window, muffling the sounds of pain drifting up from below.

"What an idiot."

"He's not that bad, de gozaru," Kenshin protested. "He's just a bit. overly zealous about his art.

"If a person were to defeat you, would you allow them to court you?"

Kenshin turned a bit pink.

"Sano made that up. He thought he was helping."

Saitou pressed the matter.

"Would you?"

". I suppose so. I mean, I wouldn't just jump into bed with them right away because they defeated me. That would just be wrong, de gozaru." Kenshin thought for a moment. "If the person defeated me and declared his intentions, why not?" He smiled a small smile. "I guess it would be kind of sweet in a really twisted way, de gozaru."

Kenshin stood up and dusted his green robe off briskly.

"Well, do you have everything you need?"

Saitou nodded.

"That's good, de gozaru. Someone will be back to pick up your dishes later."

Saitou watched him go with a strange gleam in his eyes.

***

Tonight was the night, Ryuzaburo decided. Tonight was the night he would have his beloved and at last complete his quest.

He had watched the redhead from the shadows all day. He knew that the dirtiest tactics were in order. He would wait until the evening when Kenshin was sure to be tired from a hard day's work.

He smiled when he heard them send Kenshin for a quick trip up the mountain for the night's dinner. The mountain path Kenshin would follow would be virtually deserted at this time. Here was his chance.

***

Yahiko, Misao, and Kaoru no longer worked for the hotel, having made more than enough to pay off their hotel bills and live comfortably for a while. They tried to persuade Kenshin to quit, but he brushed them off. It seemed working like a normal person made him happy and who were they to begrudge him his happiness? They didn't have anywhere to go anyway so they stayed with him for now, hoping he'd tire of the job and return home with them soon.

They lounged on the patio of the room they had rented for themselves.

"I can't believe you put that man up to this," Kaoru berated Sano.

"I already apologized! Besides, we don't have anything to worry about, he has no skills."

Misao agreed.

"Even if he practiced for a century, he wouldn't be able to defeat Himura."

"I still worry. What if, I don't know, he gets a lucky shot or something?"

"Kenshin will be fine. I'll bet Ryuzaburo has already given up by now."

"They sent Kenshin up to the mountains to pick up the night's dinner. He'll be all alone!"

"He can handle himself. Besides, like I said, the guy has probably given up by now. He hasn't attacked all day. I'm glad. I almost feel sorry for him now; he's that pathetic."

"I guess, you're right. It has been awhile."

"I just want my sword back!"

Saitou, who just happened to be near enough to eavesdrop, quietly slipped away.

***

Kenshin chose to carry his sakabatou with him up the mountain. He thought he could handle Ryuzaburo without it, but better safe than sorry. Although he hadn't been attacked all day, perhaps the artist had given up.

He turned at the sound of rustling.

"DARLING!"

Or perhaps not.

His eyes widened as he saw Ryuzaburo fly at him. Literally fly. What was going on? Kenshin hit the ground and rolled away as the artist flew past. The man had a rope attached to his back!

He prepared himself to knock the man down and out when he came swinging back.

"I do this for love and art!" the artist sang out as he raised the wooden sword and came hurtling back to Kenshin.

It was a huge shock for Kenshin when he never made it. A tall figure stepped in front of him and blocked his path.

Ryuzaburo let out a cry of alarm as his rope was quickly cut and he went flying off into the bushes.

Uncertain of the taller man's motives, Kenshin smiled gratefully at Saitou.

"Ariga-"

Without preamble, Saitou turned and ruthlessly attacked him.

Kenshin quickly had his sword out, but he was still terribly off guard. Saitou took merciless advantage.

In seconds, Saitou had knocked his sword away from him. Shortly after, he was relinquished of his hilt.

Disarmed, Kenshin didn't stand a chance. He relied heavily on those two weapons in his encounters with Saitou, not having the advantage of size or strength.

Kenshin was soon pressed up against a tree, Saitou's right hand pressing his shoulder into the bark, left holding a sword to his exposed neck.

Kenshin looked at him with shock.

"Why are you doing this?"

"Do you agree that I have defeated you in battle?"

"What?"

Saitou pressed the sword closer to his throat. Silly Battousai. He was hardly in a position to be asking questions.

"Do you agree that I have defeated you in battle?"

A drop of blood welled up on his throat. Kenshin looked confused by the question.

"Of course, you have, I'm pressed up against this tree with a sword to my throat. Why are-mmmf."

Saitou dropped his sword and gripped both Kenshin's shoulders, bringing his lips to his. Kenshin's eyes widened and then closed as the kiss continued.

Saitou brought a hand up to caress the long red hair and pulled out the navy tie, dropping it carelessly to the ground. The kiss was long, and when he pulled away, Kenshin was gasping for air. He moved down and set about leaving a mark on the pale neck, Kenshin too dazed to protest. Slender hands mindlessly clutched at his shirt.

Pleased with the mark he left for the world to see, he gave Kenshin one last parting kiss and pulled away, disentangling clinging hands from his shirt.

"What was that?" Kenshin gasped out, dizzily leaning on the tree for support, his hair loose, lips swollen and mark forming on his neck.

Saitou smiled, straightening his shirt.

"Just declaring my intentions. See you."

Kenshin put his hand to his lips and watched him walk away.

***

Meanwhile a figure watched from the bushes, mind awhirl.

/Dammit, I NEVER win. What are they doing? Wow./

Suddenly he could easily imagine Kenshin, in various state of undress, moaning and sighing in pleasure. Kenshin ravished.

/At last, I have found the answer to my quest!/

The End (or is it?)