Kaoru and Kenshin listened intently to Sano's recount of his day. Both of them seemed to blush a bit at certain parts near the beginning, but as he came nearer to the end, Kaoru's face was reddening with pure indignation. When Sano finally finished, he took another deep breath and looked at them both, as if hoping to get an award for surviving the entire ordeal.

"Are you done now?" Kaoru asked through clenched teeth.

Sano nodded. "Yes"

"Good….", she said in a calm voice. Then she lost it. "HOW DARE YOU ASSUME I'D DO SUCH THINGS! I AM NOT A COLD BLOODED KILLER!" She looked at Kenshin rather apologetically as soon as she'd realized what she'd said.

Kenshin pretended not to notice. "Of course you're not, Kaoru-dono. Sano, maybe you'd like to hear what really happened today…"

Sano nodded again.

Kenshin nodded as well. "Okay, then. I'll start…"

[---~---]

Many hours earlier…

It was another bright morning at the Kamiya dojo. Kenshin had woken up at sunrise to start on breakfast. He was in the kitchen, doing just that, when a sleepy looking Kaoru walked in. He instantly turned to greet her.

"Good morning, Kaoru-dono."

"Good morning, Kenshin." She replied. "Is there anything I can do to help you?"

Kenshin shook his head. "No, I have everything under control. I really would like some company, though." His face turned a soft shade of red. "That is… if you don't mind."

Kaoru smiled. "I'd love to keep you company." She quietly walked over behind him and was about to start up a conversation when he suddenly turned around and ran right into her. Shocked, he grabbed her waist and spun her and himself around, so that he was now going to be the first one to hit the hard, wooden floor. Which he did. He immediately felt a sharp pain directly between his shoulder blades. Kaoru landed softly on top of him. She looked worried.

"Kenshin…" She whispered softly. "Are… are you alright?"

"Yes…" He said just as quietly. Then the situation seemed to dawn on him. "Gomen ne, Kaoru-dono. Please excus--"

Kenshin and Kaoru just then noticed the faint snickering at the window. Yahiko was outside it, looking at them both and seeming as though he was holding back a giggle fit.

Kaoru let out an anguished cry and immediately ran out the door, chasing Yahiko into the street. Kenshin quickly followed her, with a worried look on his face.

[---~---]

"Oh, so that's what happened this morning!" Sano interrupted, sounding relieved.

Kenshin and Kaoru both nodded, their faces a little pink from having to share the morning's events with their friend. But it seemed that something was still bothering Sano.

"But… But what about the head?"

Kenshin now looked utterly confused. "Oro? The head?"

Kaoru was thinking… "Do you mean… the sauce I was cooking?"

"Sauce?!" Sano exclaimed, "That was not sauce! It was Kenshin's head!"

Kaoru sighed. "No, it wasn't. I guess I'd better tell you this part…"

[---~---]

Kaoru had been chasing Yahiko for over half an hour now. Yahiko was starting to run out of breath, but his sensei showed no sign of tiring. Kenshin was still following them both silently, not sure of what to say. Now scared out of his mind, Yahiko ducked into the Akabeko and hurried into the kitchen. Kaoru ran in right after him, still furious. Luckily for him, Kaoru ran into Tae before she found him.

"Ohaya, Kaoru-san"

Kaoru forced a smile, "Ohaya, Tae-san. Have you seen-"

Just then Kenshin burst into the Akabeko entrance. He spotted Kaoru and Tae, and walked over to them. He stopped beside Kaoru.

"Oha-"

"Tae", Kaoru interrupted him. "Have you seen Yahiko?"

Tae shook her head and tilted it towards the kitchen. "He's probably back there, though. He's started coming to help us out with our morning crowd recently."

Kaoru looked a little surprised. "Well… if he's working… I guess I shouldn't bother him."

Tae smiled. "Good. Would you and Kenshin-san like to sit down and have some breakfast?"

"Um… we did kind of just leave the breakfast at the dojo…" Kaoru smiled, "And I'd bet Sano's already gotten his hands on it…. Sure, Tae-san. We'd love some breakfast."

So, they both sat down and enjoyed a very-well prepared breakfast together. When they had finished, Kaoru asked what the recipe was. After Tae had explained it, Kaoru was convinced that she could make the dish.

Kenshin looked at her nervously. "Are you sure you should do it? You've been so busy lately…"

Kaoru firmly shook her head. "I'm not that busy. Besides, dinner last night was a disaster. I'm going to make up for it tonight." She took out a piece of paper and scribbled out a list of supplies for Kenshin to get. Tae glanced at it and said, "When you're done getting those, you can keep them in our freezer if you like". He reluctantly took the list, got up, nodded at Tae, and left. Kaoru got up too, but not before turning to smile at Tae. "Arigatou, Tae-san." Tae returned the smile and went back to serving her customers.

Kaoru left to buy the sauce.

[---~---]

Kaoru stopped for a second to catch her breath.

"But that still doesn't explain the head!" Sano said anxiously. "What about the head!"

Kaoru sighed. "I'm getting there, Sano." She glanced nervously at Kenshin. "Um, Kenshin, could you maybe… plug your ears or something?"

Kenshin and Sano both looked confused. "Why?" they asked simultaneously.

Kaoru sighed again and turned a rather deep shade of red.

"Never mind… I'll continue…"

[---~---]

After Kaoru bought the sauce, she returned to the dojo. Tae had said this sauce was strange. It was rather thick, so she had to put it over a fire for a few minutes to soften it up. When Kaoru got to the kitchen, she took the sauce out of her paper bag, unwrapped it, and found that Tae had been right. The sauce was thicker then pudding.

She remembered Tae saying that the sauce was easier to melt when it wasn't just poured into the pan, or squished onto the bottom. She had suggested molding it into some sort of shape, and then cooking it. So Kaoru did just that.

She put it in the pan, started the fire, and held the pan over the flame. It didn't take long for her to realize what that little blob of sauce looked like. It looked just like Kenshin's hair. As she watched the sauce-blob wiggling in the pan, melting little by little, she couldn't help but daydream of Kenshin. She was just recalling the smooth, soothing way he always said her name when…

"KENSHIN!" She heard Sano shout from across the dojo, "Are you here?! I better not find out you've been hiding out here all day! You could've at least said good morning or something. I'll wring your neck--"

She instantly snapped out of her daydreams.

"Sano?" She called, "Is that you Sanoske? Come on in."

She shook her head sharply, determined not to let her mind drift again.

After a moment or two, she heard the ex-gangster's heavy footsteps stop at the kitchen entrance.

As she continued watching the little blob of sauce, her mind started to drift, yet again…

She thought about Megumi, about how she was always flirting with Kenshin… Playing with his hair… It always made her so mad.

She imagined the older woman in her position. Melting a sauce and daydreaming of Kenshin. Setting the house on fire. Getting yelled at.

She cackled rather evilly at the thought.

"Um, Jou-Chan…"

It was then that she remembered who was standing behind her. She decided to invite him over for her soon-to-be-great dinner.

"I'll be making dinner tonight, Sano. Would you like to stay and eat with us?"

"Um, no thanks."

Kaoru was a little surprised at that. She had never known Sano to turn down free food. She shrugged it off and continued trying to melt the sauce. He must have made a date or something…

'Date… Dates… Oh! That reminds me! I still have to pick up the other ingredients! How could I forget about then? Kaoru no baka! …. At least I have the sauce done…'

"Well, I guess I'd better go take care of the rest of it..."

She put on a cheerful face, set down the pan, and left the dojo. She was whistling to the tune of a love song as she left.

[---~---]

Sano stared at Kaoru, watching her turn many different shades of red as she told her story.

To Kaoru's eternal relief, Kenshin had left to fix them all some water right before she started talking about her daydreams. He got back a few moments after she finished her story. He set the water glasses down and looked at them both.

"Have you already finished your story, Kaoru-dono? What'd I miss?"

Sano looked at him for a moment, opened his mouth to answer, but ended up laughing instead.

Kaoru looked at him as she turned an even deeper shade of red.

"You… didn't miss anything important, Kenshin."

Kenshin smiled and sat back down on the floor. He turned his violet gaze over to Sano, who quickly got over his laughing fit and looked at Kaoru.

"So… the argument was just an accident. The head was a blob of sauce you were melting. What about the body? And… the shovel?"

Kaoru sighed. "Would you stop saying things like 'the body' and 'the head'. It obviously wasn't Kenshin's body or head you saw. Just take a look at him and you'll see he still has them both."

Sano smirked. "I'll say. You haven't taken your eyes off either of them since I got here."

Kenshin and Kaoru both blushed furiously. Kaoru narrowed her eyes and clenched her fist. She looked like she was about to hit him.

Sano help up both his palms (a sign of peace). "Alright, alright. Sorry. I get what your saying. So… what was in that big blood-stained tote bag, if it wasn't a big blood-stained body?"

Sano was surprised when Kenshin answered.

"The bag had vegetables, herbs, spices and things for Kaoru-dono's dinner. There was a lot of it, so I decided to keep it in that big bag while I searched for the other ingredients. And, that was not blood staining the top. I… accidentally squashed one of the tomatoes when I was stuffing it inside."

Sano looked at him. "And, the shovel?"

Kaoru crossed her arms. "You really need more proof that I didn't kill him?"

Sano frowned. "I... just want to know what the shovel was for."

"Tae borrowed it from me about a month ago." Kaoru sighed. "She wanted to plant a vegetable garden in the back of the Akabeko so she could make some of her foods a little cheaper. She was done with it, so I picked it up while I was getting the bag. Kinda killing two birds with one stone.... not literally."

Sano chuckled and thought a moment. "So... that's really what happened, then?"

Kaoru nodded.

"And… you two have just been trying to make a nice dinner this whole time?"

Kenshin nodded as well.

"And… Jou-Chan hasn't killed anyone today?"

This time they both nodded.

Sano felt immensely relived. He looked at them both and started laughing.

"Baka! I can't believe I got so worked up over nothing!"

Kenshin smiled. "That's alright, Sano."

The ex-gangster grinned back at him and stood up.

Kaoru and Kenshin both did the same, and they all three walked back to the kitchen, so that Kaoru might get a chance to finally finish her "great dinner".

"So… anyway, Jou-Chan… I'm a little curious... just what's so special about Kenshin's voice?"