Hey everybody! Ranchan-akari speaking. This fic is a Misao/Kenshin, Sano/Kaoru (still debating because I'm not sure if I want poor Sano to be stuck with the b Kaoru…I'm biased, so sue me), Megumi/Aoshi one. Kaoru is kinda evil. Please don't kill me! If you really like the couple Kaoru/Kenshin or you really like Kaoru, you shouldn't read this fic, because I hate her (in fanfiction, I can stand her okay in manga, but only barely…)

Disclaimer: I don't own this

A/N Reposted for easier reading. Sorry for the false alarm! ;

Chapter 1

Kenshin, Kaoru, Aoshi, Megumi, and Sanosuke sat at the Sunset cafe, comfortably chatting about high school. Aoshi was just sitting and listening silently, sometimes adding a comment or two. Kaoru was blabbing her mouth away energetically. Kenshin was answering questions faithfully and oroing in reply for some comments. Megumi was talking at a regular pace and was reprimanding Kaoru again and again for not being lady-like. Sanosuke sat sometimes arguing with somebody, another time teasing somebody. For them, it was just another regular meeting between friends.

Megumi and Aoshi had been going steady for a couple months. Kenshin and Kaoru just started going out. Megumi suddenly said loudly, overriding any other side conversations going on, "I forgot to tell you guys, but my cousin is coming to meet me here in a couple of minutes. I hope I can introduce her to you guys. She just moved into the city. She's going to attend the same school as us." She paused for a minute to take a sip from her drink, "And don't talk about her parents. They're dead."

Curious, Kaoru asked how. Instead of Megumi answering, a quiet voice from behind Kaoru said, "That's none of your business."

Startled, Kaoru whirled around. A petite girl met her eyes. She was slim, but had a slightly muscular build. Her eyes were a turquoise. They looked like they have seen happier times. She had wild bangs, some framing her face. The rest of her hip length hair was braided. She wore blue jeans and a long sleeve purple top. She stared at Kaoru. Seeing her, Megumi gasped, "Misao! I didn't think that you would get here so fast! I'm sorry about telling them about your-"

"That's okay." the girl, now identified as Misao, sat down on the empty chair next to Sano. "I know you were just trying to help me."

Hearing that, Megumi sighed in relief. "Anyways, that's Kenshin, his girlfriend Kaoru, Sanosuke, and my boyfriend, Aoshi." She pointed at each of them in turn. Misao just nodded. When Megumi reached Sano, she stared. Looking at him she said, "So this is where you moved to Sano."

The others just stared at her. Finally, Megumi managed to get out, "Y-you know each other?"

Sano nodded, his eyes still on Misao, "Yep. Before I moved here, I lived across the street from her. We went to the same school and had some classes together. She was my best friend. The other kids at our school were too afraid of me to even get close."

Kaoru, said, without thinking, as usual, "How come Misao was best friends with Sano? Didn't she have any better friends?"

Kaoru clapped her hand to her mouth when she realized what she had just said. Misao just looked at her. Her eyes were nearly emotionless except for the sadness that dimmed her entire spirit. She replied, "It's because the other kids scorned me. I was too cheerful in their opinion. It was weird for them. Sano was the only one that understood me."

The table was silent for a while. Misao broke the silence by turning to Kenshin and asking him, "Are you a girl?"

Everybody froze. Then they all burst out laughing. Except, of course, Kenshin. He, turned a lovely shade of red. Finally, when everybody could control their laughter, Sano asked Misao, "You were just trying to break the silence, right?"

Misao nodded her head, "Hey, I'm not in depression, you know."

Sano and Megumi shook their heads sadly. Misao, ordering a drink did not see it. They chatted for a while, but then soon, they started leaving. Misao sat there after the others had all left. She slowly sipped her drink, savoring the flavor. Her thoughts went to her parents. Her clear turquoise eyes clouded over at the thought of it. Then they flashed with anger. How dare Shishio kill her parents because they worked for the government! She hated him! Then she shook her head furiously, she mustn't hate! Then her shoulders slumped over in defeat. She couldn't help it. Her parents were people that she loved deeply. She would never forgive Shishio for what he had done. Pausing in her thoughts, she went to the counter and paid for her drink That done, Misao walked out the door resuming her train of thought heading toward her new apartment.

She sighed then in relief. At least Shishio was now in jail so he couldn't come after her. She mind went back to the night of the murder-

Misao and her parents were all seated around a great big fire. A ritual they went though no matter what. They were just sitting there contently. Then came a knocking on the door. Mother went to open it, curious about who would come to call so late at night. Misao and her father sat waiting for mother's return. She didn't come back for a while. Finally, father stood up and said that he was going to check up on mother. He reached the corner and looked around it. His eyes widened. He walked calmly back to Misao, only the shaking of his voice betraying his nervousness. He told Misao to go to the local convenience store to buy a bottle of water. Misao seeing the nervousness of her father and hearing the urgency of his voice, she went and grabbed her coat and left.

When she came back, her house was surrounded by police cars and an ambulance. Seeing them and panicking, she ran past the yelling cops and into her house. She was just in time to see her parents bodies. They were sprawled on the ground, all cut up. The wounds were deep and were bleeding furiously. The doctors seeing her asked her why she was here. She just managed to say that she was their daughter. A doctor shook her head sadly and said that she was sorry. Misao's eyes had widened some more. She opened her mouth. And the closed it. She asked them if they had caught the person that had done it. They had. He was already on the way to prison.

Misao, her emotions finally catching up, ran to her room and cried her heart out. The people managed to leave her alone. She stayed in the house. A lawyer came to her and questioned her. She found out who had killed her parents and why. She sued the man. She got 59 million from the case. She got even more from her parents will. She got some more from pitying neighbors and the government.

Misao stayed at the house for another month. She arranged her life back to order. In a different city, a good distance from her old house. She rented a new apartment that was close to her new school that she was applying to. She collected her things and moved to it. Taking her family's prized weapons with her. Her mother's set of kunais. Her father's two katanas. Her own two kodachis.

Misao finally snapped out of her reverie as she nearly tripped. She was just outside of the apartment complex. She walked into the air-conditioned front room. She walked past to the elevator, going to the fourth floor. She walked in to her apartment, the last one on the right side. She had chosen that one on purpose because she knew that the ones on the end were always slightly bigger than the other ones. Closing the door, she retired for the day. Unbeknownst to her and the red-headed occupant living across from her.

Tbc

A/N My note is the typical: R&R please!