Review Comments: Ameamepeaches, arigatou for reviewing! Aishite'ru is the artificial way of saying "I love you." My friend told me that no one in Japan really uses aishite'ru and they use daisuki dayo/desu. They especially wouldn't use aishite'ru in the 1860s. I hope that helped! Kenjutsu Princess, I'm so happy that you liked this story! And I want to apologize again for the mix up. I'm very happy that everyone liked it on animespiral! And as I promised, here's the epilogue! Ji-chan. I don't even remember what you told me since it was so long ago. I did spend six hours at the computer typing the last chapter! And yes, Kenshin did figure out that she was worried about the baby thing. Haha! I have better descriptions than you! Haha! Sorry. Even though it's been so long since I've read these reviews, I have Hikari stuck in my head! Ah! Yay for randomness! Dai-chan, I'm glad that you liked the ending. You probably don't even remember the epilogue, do you? I don't think so. Yahiko's fun! I liked writing him. I like writing all of my characters!
Author's Note: Hey, all! I know that no one probably even reads this story anymore because you don't know that I wrote an epilogue! Haha! That's funny. I just want to let you all know about my other stories and that True Feelings was posted on a website called The girl who posted it is called Ginta if you want to read it there! Well, on to my stories. I'm in the process of writing a tentative one-shot called Forbidden. It's so long so I don't if I'm going to make it a one shot. I have a Teen Titans fic called The Betrayal Journals that's almost done and I have the sequel in my head. That's called Remembrance. I have a Cowboy Bebop one-shot called Life Without Him and on , I have an original called Unmei no Kodomo (Child of Destiny). That's all!
Disclaimer: Yeah. The whole thing in Japan didn't go over so well, so simply… I don't own these characters. I do own Kage, Hikari, Mayonaka, Tsuyoi, Fumeiyo, Fujitaka, and Mitsuki. Kenshin's 32, Kaoru's 21, Sanosuke's 23, Megumi's 34 (I think), and Yahiko's 14.
Chapter 16- Epilogue
Two years passes after Kenshin admitted his feelings for Kaoru. They had been married for over a year. Megumi and Sanosuke had finally gotten married, though they fought constantly.
"Don't you two ever stop?" Kaoru asked them one night, while they were over for dinner along with Fumeiyo and Fujitaka.
"No one asked you, Jo-chan!" Sano joked. "We stop once in a while."
Megumi rolled her eyes. "He won't sell his old home! He doesn't even live there anymore, but refuses to let anyone live in it!"
"It has sentimental value!" Sano whined.
"I'm sure it does, Sano," Kenshin said. "But, you're wasting your money. You probably would get more money by selling it."
Everyone stared at him.
"What!? It would make sense!"
"Wow, Kaoru," Fujitaka drawled. "Your Kenshin has become quite the business man."
Kaoru sniggered. "Yeah."
"Hey," Fumeiyo said suddenly. "I just noticed that Yahiko hasn't come back yet."
Kaoru and Kenshin smiled at each other knowingly. "He's with Tsubame-chan," they said together.
"So, he's trying to woe her already?" Sano mused. "Amazing."
Later that night, Kaoru and Megumi were in the practice room talking while the men cleaned up. Yahiko still hadn't come home and Kaoru suspected that he wouldn't.
"Kaoru," Megumi said. "How have you been? We haven't talked in so long."
"You can't help that people need you," Kaoru said. "I haven't been feeling well in the mornings. I get sick and I don't want to tell Kenshin. Ever since what happened with Kage, he's been so protective and worries so much."
"Hmm," Megumi hummed, tapping her chin. "Well, do you think that it's something you've eaten?"
"No. Kenshin and Yahiko are perfectly fine."
"Sou ka. How long has this been going on?"
"For a long time. About twelve weeks. Kenshin's been saying that I look like I'm loosing weight and that I'm pale. Of course, Yahiko says I'm getting fat."
"Kaoru!" Megumi reprimanded. "Don't ever do that! You should have come to me! And you should have told Kenshin or someone! That's not smart! Something bad could have happened!"
"Gomen nasai," Kaoru said weakly. "You're probably right."
"I am right," she huffed. "Good thing I have an idea of what's wrong."
"Really?" Kaoru asked. "What is it, because I'd really like to know!"
"Have you had your monthly bleeding lately?" Megumi asked.
"Uh, now that you mention it, no," Kaoru said slowly. "I haven't had it in the last two months, but I'm also a week late this month. That does that have to do with me throwing up in the morning?"
The older woman sighed. "Kaoru, you don't remember what I told you two years ago, do you?"
"Ano, no," she said. "You've said a lot of things."
"Congratulations, Kaoru. You're pregnant!"
Kenshin was putting the tea on when he heard someone yell from the practice room. He ran out onto the porch and looked at Sano, Fumeiyo, and Fujitaka.
"What was that?" he asked.
"It sounded like Kaoru shouted," Fumeiyo said.
Kenshin's face became a mask of worry.
"I'm sure she's fine, Kenshin," Sano said. "Megumi's with her."
"I'm going to check anyway," he said and headed towards the practice room. The other men rolled their eyes and followed.
When Kenshin entered the practice room, he saw Kaoru sitting there in a daze. Megumi was sitting next to her, grinning. He eyed Megumi warily.
"What did you do to Jo-chan, Kitsune?" Sano asked, coming up behind Kenshin.
"Nothing," she said. "I just told her very good news."
"Good news about what?" her husband asked.
"News that Kaoru should tell Kenshin first," Megumi said, nudging Kaoru in the ribs. "Right?"
"Huh? Oh, hai!" Kaoru said, snapping out of it. She stood up and walked over to Kenshin. She looked into her husband's handsome face. "K-Kenshin," she began. "I-I'm pr-pregnant."
Kenshin stood there for a moment, silent like everyone else, then pulled Kaoru into an embrace. "Daisuki desu, Kaoru!" he said into her hair. "I can't believe that it's out first child together!"
Kaoru started to cry. "I'm afraid that I'm not ready to be a mother and that I'll be a bad mother!"
Kenshin was startled that she had begun to cry. He hadn't seen her cry like this since her kidnapping. "Shh. You're going to be a wonderful mother!"
Sano smiled down at the girl he loved as a little sister. She came back from the Shadow Gumi two years ago, broken and hurt. Her former student and his sister were killed right in front of her, along with one of her only allies at Kage's syndicate. She also had to seal with the fear of bearing her captor's child. Sano was proud of how she had matured over the last two years.
"Aw, shut up, Jo-chan! You're going to do fine!"
Kaoru glared at him. "No one asked your opinion!"
Sano pushed Kenshin out of the way and hugged her tightly. "Don't upset the baby."
"How far along are you, Kaoru?" Fumeiyo asked.
"I think I'm about four months," she replied.
"That far and you haven't noticed?!" Fujitaka exclaimed. "That's lucky."
Megumi looked pointedly at Kaoru.
"Well," she began. "I've actually had signs."
Kenshin's head flew up. "What have then been?" he asked. "Is your weight loss and paleness because of it?"
"I think so, and I've been sick in the morning."
Kenshin's face drained of color. "Why didn't you tell me?!" he cried. "I was so worried about you!"
"I didn't want to worry you. You've been so protective since Kage."
"Because I love you, Kaoru," he said, moving to her and taking her hand. "I don't want anything to happen to you."
"Gomen nasai," she whispered.
"Wow," Fujitaka said excitedly. "Tae is going to flip when she hears this!"
Fujitaka had been courting the Akebeko waitress for over nine months.
"I think Mitsuki will do the same," Fumeiyo said, referring to a girl who waitressed where he worked. He was planning on proposing to her.
"We don't need anymore women in this dojo!" Sano complained. "Don't bring them here!"
Megumi and Kaoru rounded on him. "What's wrong with women?!" they demanded.
"If you don't want to sleep outside tonight, I'd shut up," Megumi warned her husband.
"Shutting up now," he said quickly.
"That's what I thought."
"Haha. Sano's whipped!"
"Shut up, Fujitaka."
Five months later, Kaoru's belly was big and round. Her back and feet ached and she looked like he was about to fall over at any moment. Kenshin was afraid that something would happen to her. Yahiko however, never passed up the chance to tell her how ridiculous she looked.
"Yahiko," she finally said. "If I could move, you'd be on the ground."
"Yeah, but you can't! Might as well take advantage of that!" he retorted jokingly. "So, what are you going to name the baby since it's due in two weeks?"
Kaoru smiled at her student. He may still be a brat, but he had matured so much. "Kenji if it's a boy and if it's a girl, her name will be Kaori."
Yahiko sat down, cross-legged on the floor next to her. His face was reflected in the polished, wooden practice room floor. "What do you think you're going to have? A boy or girl?"
Kaoru rolled her head back and stared at the ceiling. "Hmm. I don't know."
"Do you want a boy or a girl?" he asked, playing with is hakama leg.
"I'd like to have both, but it doesn't matter. As long as my baby is healthy, I'm fine with either."
"Oh," Yahiko said. "W-what if something happens, Kaoru? Childbirth can be dangerous. I don't want anything to happen to you."
Kaoru placed her right hand on his knee. The teenager looked at her. Kaoru couldn't believe how much he had grown in the last two years. He was an inch and a half taller than Kenshin and his voice had deepened after squeaking for three months. Her little boy was no longer a boy. He was a fine, young man with a bright future.
"Don't worry, Yahiko," she said quietly. "I'll be fine. I'm strong and I can handle it."
"But-" he began.
"Yahiko," she said firmly. "I'll be fine."
She began to softly sing a lullaby and the lyrics and melody sounded vaguely familiar to Yahiko.
"Hey! I know that song!" he exclaimed. "That's the song you sang to me that night!"
Kaoru nodded and smiled. "When the little one starts to kick a lot, I sing it and it calms the baby."
"Can I watch the baby for you when you and Kenshin want to go out?"
"Of course you can!" Kaoru said happily. "I think I'd be insulted if you didn't!" Her hands went to her stomach suddenly. "Oh! The baby is kicking! Do you want to feel?" she asked.
"Hai," Yahiko said and shyly put his hand on Kaoru's stomach. He jumped as he felt the baby kick. "The 'little one' is going to be a fighter, just like their okaa-san and tou-san!"
Kaoru laughed and ruffled Yahiko's hair. "Maybe they'll be strong enough to beat you?" she joked.
Yahiko puffed out his chest. "Not a chance," he said arrogantly. "I'm the best student in Kamiya Kasshin Ryu!"
"Don't get a big head," Kaoru warned. "I'll be able to pop it with a pin if it gets any bigger."
Kaoru woke up, feeling wetness and a sharp pain in her abdomen. She grabbed her stomach and whimpered loudly. Her water had broken and she was in labor. She needed Megumi and now. She became afraid for the first time since finding out about her pregnancy and she started to cry,
"K-Kenshin!" she said, voice soft and full of pain. "Ken-Kenshin!"
Kenshin woke up and looked at Kaoru worriedly. He realized what was going on he felt wetness on the futon and saw the lines of pain on Kaoru's face.
"Oh, God, Kaoru!" Kenshin breathed.
"The baby's coming," she wheezed. "I need Megumi!"
"I'll go get her," Kenshin said, making to get up.
Kaoru grabbed his arm tightly. "No!" she wailed. "Don't leave me alone. You can't leave!"
Ever since her kidnapping, Kaoru absolutely hated being alone.
"Okay," Kenshin said, trying to calm his wife. "Don't worry. I won't leave." He gripped her hand tightly. "I promise."
"What's going on, Kenshin?" came Yahiko's sleepy voice from the doorway. Kenshin hadn't even heard the door open.
"Kaoru's ready to have the baby! Go get Megumi-san," he ordered.
"S-she's having the baby now?" he asked frighten. "B-b-but the baby's not due for another two weeks!"
Kenshin could see that the boy was terrified.
"Fate doesn't know time. The baby can't wait. Please go and get Megumi-san."
"H-hai," Yahiko stuttered and ran out of sight.
A small cry of pain made Kenshin look back at Kaoru. In the moonlight, he saw that she was pale and taunt. Her brow was creased and sweat beaded on her forehead. Her grip on his arm tightened painfully as another contraction occurred.
"Kaoru," Kenshin asked shakily. "What do I need to do?"
"Get a-another fu-futon," she gasped. "I'll go on that one."
Kenshin scrambled to get the requested item. After Kaoru moved onto it, Kenshin began to pace.
"Stop that," she said. "I'll be fine. You're making me dizzy by doing that."
"Gomen nasai," he said, stopping and looking out the window. "I'm scared, Kaoru. I'm afraid that I'm going to lose you."
"Don't be so pessimistic," she scolded. "Make yourself useful and get a large bucket of warm water for Megumi-san."
Kenshin smiled at her attempt to be harsh. "Okay. I'll be back in five minutes."
Ten minutes after Kenshin returned with the water, Megumi rushed in." Behind her, Yahiko and Sanosuke came in panting. Megumi put her bag down and kneeled next to Kaoru.
"Konnichiwa, Megumi," Kaoru said faintly. "Gomen nasai for waking you and Sanosuke up."
"Well, you know children, they can't wait," Megumi joked.
"We wouldn't miss this for the world, Jo-chan," Sano said, looking disheveled.
"Is she going to be okay, Megumi-san?" Kenshin asked, hovering close by. "And what about the baby?"
"If you don't stop your worrying, you're going to be the one whose not okay," Megumi said shortly.
"Gomen nasai," Kenshin said, backing away.
"Way to go, Kenshin," Yahiko muttered.
"Yeah," Sano said. "Don't get the woman angry. Especially when she's working."
"Shut up," Kenshin mumbled.
"Let's see how you're doing," Megumi said.
The three men turned around to respect Kaoru's privacy.
"Nothing yet, really," Megumi said. "You have a while."
"Oh, great," Kaoru said, closing as another contraction occurred. "Is there anything to do about the pain?"
"There's not much I can do," Megumi confessed. "There is a tea that can help you. Ken-san, go heat up some water and put this packet into it."
Kenshin took the packet of herbs from the doctor's hand and hurried into kitchen. Megumi checked Kaoru's pulse and made Sanosuke run for a pail of cold water and a cloth. When he returned, she used the wet cloth to wipe the sweat off Kaoru's forehead.
"What time is it?" Yahiko asked, barely even awake.
"Two o'clock," Kenshin said, carrying in the tea. "Or at least that's what the clock in the study said." He handed the tea to Megumi.
"Yahiko," Kaoru said. "Go back to bed. I'll have Sanosuke wake you up if the baby starts to come."
"But-" he began to protest.
"I'm a woman in pain, Yahiko. Don't make me angry because it won't be pretty."
"Hai, Kaoru," he mumbled, defeated. He walked over to her and hugged her hesitantly and kissed her on the cheek. "Oyasumi nasai."
"Oyasumi nasai and yoi yume o," she said, hugging him back.
When Yahiko woke up at nine the next morning, there was still no change. He tiptoed into Kaoru and Kenshin's room and slid the door open as quietly as possible. He saw Megumi and Sanosuke sleeping soundly on extra futons. Kenshin sat next to Kaoru, who was sleeping deeply, stroking her hair. He looked up when he heard the door.
"Ohayo gozaimasu, Yahiko," he said tiredly.
"Ohayo gozaimasu," he said back. "How long have you been up?"
"Since seven thirty," Kenshin replied. "I had to was the futon that was in here."
"Oh," Yahiko said quickly. "Uh, what time did you guys fall asleep?"
"Sano fell asleep around two thirty and after Kaoru drank her tea, she fell asleep. I think Megumi-san put a sedative herb in it. Megumi-san fell asleep right after Kaoru."
"Oh," Yahiko said. "I guess I went to bed pretty early then?"
"Not really," Kenshin said, smiling. He stretched. "Are you hungry?"
"Don't worry about it. I'll make breakfast today."
"Arigatou, that's very responsible of you."
"Shut up, Kenshin."
Kaoru woke up at ten thirty, smelling food. She was groggy and it took her a minute to get oriented. When her vision cleared, she saw Kenshin.
"Ohayo gozaimasu, Kenshin" she said rasply.
"Ohayo gozaimasu, Kaoru-chan," Kenshin said.
"What's with the 'chan'?" she asked. "You make me sound like a child."
"It's because I love you and you're precious to me," Kenshin said, leaning down and kissing her forehead.
Kaoru smiled, and then winced slightly at a contraction. "Daisuki dayo," she whispered.
Kenshin kissed her softly on the lips. "So," he asked slyly. "Do you feel like having another child?"
"Himura Kenshin!" she exclaimed. "I haven't even had my first child and you want another!"
"Of course," he said, grinning.
Kaoru shook her head and said, "Maybe in a few years. You don't know how uncomfortable being pregnant is."
Kenshin laughed and said, "Okay."
After Yahiko brought food to Kaoru and Kenshin, he went with Sano to get Fumeiyo, Mitsuki, and Fujitaka. Fumeiyo and Mitsuki were married now and Fujitaka and Tae were engaged. Yahiko went to the Akebeko to tell the pair and Tsubame the good news. While Yahiko was at the restaurant, Sano went to Genzai-san to tell him that Megumi was helping Kaoru.
The old man was delighted to hear that she was about to have the baby. He had stopped making house calls two and a half years ago because he joints had begun to ache. He has a new apprentice and told the young man to go to Megumi's practice and tell her patients to come to them for the day. Sano thanked the old man and went to get Yahiko.
"How much longer, Megumi?" Kaoru asked.
"I believe that you will give birth late tonight."
"I don't know how much longer I can take this pain!" she cried.
"Then you shouldn't have gotten yourself pregnant," Megumi said.
Kaoru's face paled. "You make it sound like I was a prostitute that was stupid enough to get pregnant," she said quietly.
Megumi looked at the younger woman's shadowed face and was surprised to see tears in her eyes. "Oh, Kaoru!" she said, kneeling and hugging her. "I didn't mean it like that. I was joking. Gomen nasai!"
Kaoru wiped her eyes. "Don't about it," she said. "Having this little one in me had my emotions all out of whack."
"Then I'm guessing that it's a boy."
"When do men not make our emotion go crazy?"
About three thirty that night, Kaoru let out a loud cry. Everyone who wasn't room, rushed. Sano nearly threw Megumi's bag at her. Yahiko chewed on his bottom lip.
"What's going on?" he asked in a small voice. "Is Kaoru okay?"
Megumi smiled. "She's ready to have the baby."
Sanosuke lost a little color and pulled on Yahiko's collar. "C'mon, Yahiko. Let Jo-chan and Kenshin do this alone," he said, looking green. "Plus, I don't think I'd be able to handle any of this."
"But," Yahiko said, looking at Kaoru frantically. "What about Kaoru?"
Kenshin put his hand on Yahiko's shoulder. "I won't let anything happen to her," and with that, he gently pushed the boy the door.
"Ke-Kenshin!" Kaoru choked.
Her face was white and creased with effort and pain. Her cheeks were wet with a combination of sweat and tears. She held a shaking hand out to him. He took it and winced as she squeezed it hard.
"Come on, Kaoru," Megumi said. "Push!"
"You can do it," Kenshin said encouragingly. "You doing fine, darling."
"Work with me, Kaoru," Megumi said loudly. "Come one! You need to push a couple more times!"
Kaoru let out a cry. She was crushing Kenshin's hand and her hair was matted against her face.
"Two more big pushes, Kaoru!"
"I-I ca-can't," she panted, tears running down her cheeks. "I d-don't ha-h-have the strength!"
"Yes, you can!" Kenshin whispered in her ear. "Please, don't give up now!"
Kaoru squeezed her eyes shut and pushed.
"One more. One more and then you're done!"
Kaoru gritted her teeth, causing her jaw to hurt. She gave one last push and crying filled the air. She collapsed on the futon in exaustion.
"Congratulations! It's a boy! Let me cut the ambilical cord and clean him up. Then you can hold him."
Kaoru began to sob and Kenshin hugged her tightly. She clung to him with what strength she had left. Megumi returned a minute later, carrying the little boy in a blanket. Tears were shining in her eyes.
"Here you go, Kaoru. Your baby boy." She placed the bundle into the waiting mother's arms.
"Oh, he's beautiful," Kaoru breathed.
He had a tuft of dark red hair, a few shades darker than Kenshin's and azure eyes like hers. He looked at her curiously. She smiled at him.
"Oh, Kaoru," Kenshin breathed. "He's gorgeous, just like you."
Kaoru blushed slightly and said to the child, "That's your otou-san. He's the best man in the world. You're going to be like him in more ways than you know. Want to hold him?" she asked Kenshin.
"Of course!" he said immeadiatly. He took the fragile bundle in his arms and began to rock him. "See that woman?" he asked. "That's your okaa-san. We're both so happy that you're finally here."
There was a knock on the door and it slid open.
"Can we come in?" Yahiko asked quietly.
"Sure," Kenshin said, placing the baby back in Kaoru's arms.
Yahiko, Sanosuke, and Megumi walked in to see the bundle of joy in Kaoru's arms. Megumi came up to her first.
"I'm so proud and happy for you, Kaoru," she said, kissing the girl's cheek.
"Arigatou," Kaoru said. "This is your Megumi-obaasan. She's the one who delivered you and she's a great doctor."
Megumi blushed and stood off to the side to wait for Sanosuke.
"Hey, Jo-chan," He said to her, kissing her forehead. "Good job. He's very handsome."
"Arigatou, Sanosuke. I assume that you'll be a good ojisan?"
"Okay. This is your Sanosuke-ojisan. Don't listen to what he says. He's a liar sometimes. A selective liar."
"That's not nice, Jo-chan," Sano said. He bent down to kiss the tiny boy's cheek. "Hey, little one. Grow strong, 'kay?"
"You're going to scare him," Megumi said, looping her arm with Sano's.
"Aw, shut up, Kitsune."
"Crangratulations again to both of you," Megumi said. "We're really happy about it."
"Yeah," Yahiko said.
"This brat here is Yahiko. He's my first student in Kamiya Kasshin Ryu. He'll be the best nii-san ever."
Yahiko blushed and muttered, "Busu!"
Kaoru looked at him. "Well, I hope you're ready to run class tomorrow."
Yahiko looked at her. "W-what?!"
"You're sensei for a few months since I can't do it."
"Are you serious?!"
"Arigatou, Kaoru!" he cried. "Well, I better get to sleep so I can teach!" He bounced over to Kaoru and kissed her cheek and the baby's head.
"We're going in on of the spare rooms," Megumi said, finishing cleaning up.
"Sure," Kenshin said. "Arigatou for everything."
"No problem, Kenshin," Sano and they left.
Kenshin turned back to his wife. Even thought she was pale from pain and her face was matted to her face, she looked amazing. She had just begun to breast feed the small bundle. She looked as if she were made to be a mother.
"Daisuki desu, Kaoru," Kenshin said, kissing her.
"Me, too," Kaoru said, smiling at him. "Look how tiny he is."
"He's so fragile," Kenshin said, amazed.
"Yeah," She said, then whispered to the nursing baby.
"Welcome to the world, Kenji."
Wah! So sad! This really is the last of the chapters! Sorry that it took so long. There really aren't that many words that you don't know, but I will translate the ones that you don't know.
nii-san- big brother
sou ka- I see
I wanted to have the last line in Japanese, but I didn't know what it was. I know world is sekai and that welcome is konnichiwa, but I couldn't figure out 'to the' and I don't know the order. Oh well. Please read and review the last chapter! Minna-san, arigatou gozaimasu!