olAuthor's Note: Well, it's time. The festival is here and that means Soujiro/Misao galore! Guess this chapter did come a bit later then the previous one huh? Blame school! I was kind of surprised that I didn't have people knocking on my door waving pitchforks and torches o.O Not like it hasn't happened before... Anyway, since this chapter is FINALLY here, you can FINALLY read.


Misao chewed quickly on the chicken. Having been hungry even before coming to the festival, she was quick to find a stand that sold food. Soujiro, being the kind Rurouni that all fangirls know and love, had bought food for the hungry Misao. Of course, Misao didn't want him to pay for the whole meal, so she made sure to buy the dumplings (Adding a threat as she did so when Soujiro tried to buy the dumplings himself). The dumplings were also delicious.

"I'm glad you enjoy the food Misao," said Soujiro, his smile ever present as he ate a dumpling.

"Fis is reat!" said Misao, her mouth full of chicken. Gulping down the chicken, she smiled before popping a dumpling into her mouth. This was great!

Soujiro smiled. He was glad Misao was having a good time. After her experience with alcohol, he had been planning to make sure that he would make this day great for the ninja girl. And it seems like he was doing a good job.

His heart seemed to flutter as a smile graced Misao's lips as she ate. That seemed to happen a lot.

When he was the Tenken, he took a slight pleasure in seeing the look of terror on their faces. But Misao's smile pleased him more then seeing the look of terror on thousands of men would have. He was glad he was able to make Misao smile. And he would make sure that she would smile more often.

"Ah, that was good," Misao said, smiling after devouring the last of the food.

Soujiro couldn't help but blink. They had bought the food like two minutes ago. And now, the food was gone. Well, except for a few crumbs of course. Other then that, the ninja girl had eaten everything.

Guess he was going to end up cooking when they got married.

Soujiro's eyes suddenly widened at the thought. Married!? Where did that come from!?

Sure, he had to admit that he loved the ninja girl, but thoughts of marriage? That was thinking a bit too fast there. Besides, he wasn't sure if she had the same feelings for him.

'She did say that she loved you,' a voice in his head told him.

'She was drunk,' Soujiro objected. He mentally sighed. When his shoulder angel and devil weren't around, there was always a mental voice to argue with. Hard to believe this had been the same voice that gave him advice on how to kill his opponents.

'And drinking too much alcohol has a tendency to make you talk.'

'Though it may not be the truth.'

'Yet it may.'

Soujiro was about to reply to that until Misao suddenly spoke.

"Are you okay Soujiro?" questioned Misao, tilting her head at him. There was a bit of concern in her eyes as she held a hand to his head to see if he was coming down with something. Though the former Tenken is strong, he could still get sick. Misao remembered when he had caught what she had during her time of imprisonment.

Soujiro blinked, being pulled out of his mental argument when he felt the hand on his forehead. He smiled reassuringly at Misao while he couldn't help but feel at ease with the warmth on his head that came from her hand, despite it being night.

"I'm fine Misao. I was just thinking."

'Wuss!' the voice in his head shouted.

"Okay if you say so." Removing her hand from his head, Misao looked around, trying to see what they could do next. Spotting something, she smiled before taking Soujiro's hand and leading him to it. "Come on let's go!"


On top of a stand, four certain short figres stood on top, their gazes on Soujiro and Misao.

"Well he bought her dinner," said Angel Soujiro.

"Even though she threatened him so she could buy some of it," put in Devil Soujiro.

"Well she's holding his hand," said Angel Misao, smiling at the scene.

"It means nothing," replied Devil Misao. "She's just leading him to a stand."

"Where he can perfectly follow her on his own," put in Angel Soujiro. "I'm saying it's more then just leading."

"Let's get going," said Angel Misao, spreading her wings and taking off before any of the shoulder devils could think of something to say. Angel Soujiro followed her quickly before Devil Misao followed, though she didn't fly.

Devil Soujiro watched them before shaking his head. "I'm going to win this bet." Glancing down at Soujiro and Misao, Devil Soujiro soon followed the others.

Truthfully he couldn't help but have doubts about winning the bet.


Having been dragged into a stand, Soujiro was now crouched next to Misao, who was also crouched down. He wasn't exactly sure about what the game was about. But all he could guess is that it was some kind of game where you catch fish in a small pool of water with little nets. Sounded a lot like fishing to him.

"Here," Misao suddenly spoke, handing Soujiro a little net.

The former Tenken took the net and looked down at the fish awkwardly. Shrugging his shoulders, he dipped his net into the pool and started trying to catch one of the little fish.

All he really ended up doing though was moving his net this way and that in the water, not really trying to snag a fish. Instead, he was once again lost in his thoughts, mostly about what happened just a minute ago. Even now he could still feel the warmth from her hand in his.

She wasn't holding his hand now. But he could still recall how her small pale hand had fitted into his perfectly.

"Hey Soujiro, you okay?" Misao asked the second time, seeing Soujiro staring off into space. Though she had caught three of the little goldfish in the small pool with her net, Soujiro caught none, surprisingly considering that Soujiro was such a good fisherman. Misao couldn't help but stare at Soujiro's net as it moved this way and that in the water, the fish only swimming away when it got close.

At her voice, Soujiro blinked out of his stupor and turned to look at the ninja girl. "Yes Misao?"

"You seem to be...like..." Misao paused, trying to find the words. "Like...you're not here."

Soujiro only smiled at her. "I'm sorry Misao. I was just thinking."

"Again?" A small smile appeared on her face. "You've been doing a lot of that."

The smile on Soujiro's face turned a little sheepish. "Yeah, I'm sorry."

Misao only looked at him. "We're at a festival Soujiro, you should stop thinking and have more fun."

"Yeah I know."

Smiling again, Misao suddenly handed him a small container that held the three fish that she caught. "You can have these as a gift. They can keep you company."

Soujiro blinked, looking down at the fish before looking at Misao. "But you caught them Misao, you should keep them."

Misao only shook her head. "Think of it as a gift. I never really thanked you for teaching me how to swim."

Smiling, Soujiro nodded. "Thank you Misao." He looked down at the fish before looking up at Misao again. "Though I don't really need them for company, I have you."

Misao's face took on a shade of red as she suddenly averted her eyes away from him. Spotting another stand, she immediately pointed it out to Soujiro before walking over before Soujiro could say anything.


Nearby, Kaoru was giggling like a school girl.

This was perfect! All to perfect! This was working just like she planned it to! Operation G.I.D.C.T. was becoming a success!

"All thanks to my amazing mind." Kaoru couldn't help but cackle insanely.

Behind her, Kenshin was only able to stare at his soon to be wife, a large sweatdrop on his head. Somewhere in the back of his mind, Battousai was cackling at how insane Kaoru was and how Kenshin was the fool to end up with her.

Arms suddenly wrapped around him and Kenshin blinked out of his thoughts, feeling Kaoru snuggle against him.

"Aw, I know I have been neglecting you Kenshin." Giving him a soft kiss on the lips, she pulled back and smiled at him. "Don't worry, once this is all finished, we'll be able to have plenty of time together."

Seeming assured by those words, Kenshin was only able to smile.

And send Battousai off in defeat.


Smiling as always, Soujiro followed the ninja girl. Occasionally he would glance down at the fish he carried that Misao had given him, always feeling happiness about what had happened.

Of course, he was going to repay Misao for the kind gesture. Looking up from the fish, the former Tenken looked around. There were plenty of stands around. Some that sold food, others had games.

Soujiro suddenly stopped and looked at a cart where a merchant was selling goods. Something caught his eye. Smiling, he walked toward the cart.



Blinking, Misao turned around. Having asked Soujiro a question, and receiving none, she had turned to see if he was "thinking" again.

And saw that he wasn't there.

She blinked again. "Soujiro?" She looked around, wondering where he went.

She caught a mat of brown hair at the corner of her eye and she turned to see Soujiro standing at a cart, his back to her. Curious, she walked over to him.

As she got closer, she raised her eyebrows as Soujiro pulled out some yen out of his pocket and handed it to a merchant before taking something that he was obviously buying. Misao couldn't see what it was, but the moonlight was easily able to reflect off of it. Curious, the ninja girl walked over.

It was at that time Soujiro turned around and saw the ninja girl coming. If it was even possible, his smile seemed to widen even more as he saw her approaching. "Hello Misao."

"Why did you disappear on me?" questioned Misao, staring at Soujiro with an accusing look.

Soujiro smiled sheepishly as he scratched the back of his head. "Oh, nothing Misao."

The ninja girl raised an eyebrow, and her gaze trailed down to Soujiro's other hand, which was closed into a fist. She could see the moonlight reflect off of some metal that wasn't hidden by his hand. Blinking, she looked back up at Soujiro. "What do you have in your hand?"

Instinctively, Soujiro hid his closed hand behind his back. "Oh, it's just something I got."

The corners of Misao's lips twitched into a smile. "And what would that something be?"

Soujiro's smile twitched. "Nothing."

Misao grinned. "Yeah right." And immediately she reached forward, trying to snag whatever Soujiro was hiding behind his back.

But of course, with Soujiro being a former Tenken, he only sidestepped away from her roaming hand.

The ninja girl saw some amusement flicker in the former Tenken's usually emotionless eyes. And that was what fueled her to reach for the item again, only to have Soujiro maneuver once again.

"It isn't polite to try to take something Misao," said Soujiro, smiling as always.

"I have a problem with listening sometimes," replied Misao, a smile of her own on her face. Again she reached, and again Soujiro only sidestepped. As she pressed forward, he only moved backwards.

Misao suddenly stopped this little game and frowned. "Okay fine, I didn't want to see it anyway."

Soujiro only smiled. Even though Misao had supposedly given up, he knew the ninja girl too well to give up just like that.

And was proven right when Misao leapt forward in a last ditch effort to snag the item. Unfortunately, this time her kimono got in the way and the ninja girl was suddenly stumbling forward. Acting on instinct, Soujiro's arm suddenly shot forward and wrapped around Misao's waist, stopping her from impacting into the ground.

"Stupid kimono," Misao grumbled to herself.

"You okay Misao?" asked Soujiro.

Misao looked up at Soujiro. A smirk blossomed on her face. "Now I am."

The realization suddenly hit Soujiro but it came too late. Misao's hand suddenly came forward and before Soujiro could react, she snatched the item in his closed hand and pulled it away from him quickly.

Grinning, Misao suddenly jumped backwards to put some distance between her and Soujiro. "Now let's see what you were hiding." Looking down at the item that was now in her closed hand, she slowly opened it.

And the grin was suddenly replaced with a gasp as her green eyes widened.

Green eyes that resembled the emeralds that were used for the dragon's eyes.

Staring with wide eyes, Misao raised the item to her face and slowly inspected it. She had felt the long chain of the item, and thought that it was some kind of necklace.

Hanging from the long chain was a dragon. Two tiny pieces of emeralds were used for its eyes, and its wings were practically encased in red rubies. The body was equally covered with pieces of amethyst and the tail was made of diamond. With still wide eyes, Misao looked up at Soujiro, to find him smiling at her.

He shrugged at her, the smile still on his face. "It's a bit of a thank you gift."

"For what?" Misao managed to ask, amazement in her voice.

Soujiro thought for a moment, the smile never leaving his face. "For...everything. You gave me a new life Misao, a life that I'm glad to have. I have a home, even what I consider a true family. And it's all thanks to you."

"But..." Misao blinked and she looked back down at the necklace. The ability to speak suddenly came rushing back and her head shot back up to look at Soujiro. "I can't take this! This must've cost a fortune!"

Soujiro scratched the back of his head. "Yes. I bought it with the money I," he paused, trying to find the right word, "earned from Shishio. Though it came from the deeds that I had done as the Tenken, I wanted to use it for something special. I am no longer the Tenken after all."

Misao blinked. She looked at the necklace, then at Soujiro, back at the necklace, then back at Soujiro again. "But..."

Soujiro suddenly took the necklace from the ninja girl's hands and the long chain suddenly fell around Misao's neck and the dragon now hung from there, the moonlight reflecting off of the several crystals. Dumbfounded, Misao couldn't help but stare at the necklace for a minute before looking back up at Soujiro.

"I...thank you. I'll make sure to repay you for this."

Soujiro shook his head. "No, it's okay Misao. This is repayment for all that you have given me."

Misao wasn't able to say anything. She once again looked down at the necklace, then up at Soujiro, down at the necklace, and so on.

And suddenly she was interrupted by a loud bang.

The ninja girl wasn't able to help but jump a little in surprise from the loud noise. Whirling around, she looked up at the sky just in time to see the pretty pink explosion of a firework disappear.

"Looks like the fireworks are starting Misao," said Soujiro.

This time, Misao stopped herself from jumping when she suddenly felt Soujiro's hand grip her own. Blinking, she looked at the still smiling Soujiro.

"Let's go Misao."

Unable to do anything else, Misao only nodded.


"Nervous yet?" questioned Devil Soujiro, that confident grin still on his face as he looked at his counter part.

"No..." replied Angel Soujiro, even though his voice seemed to crack.

"Well you should. The end of the fireworks means the end of the festival."

"Hey, leave Angel Soujiro alone!" said Angel Misao, who suddenly latched onto the arm of Angel Soujiro. This caused the male shoulder angel to jump in surprise, blush creeping up on his face.

"Kodak moment!" cried Devil Misao, and her camera was up and the two shoulder angels were blinded with a white flash.

"Warn us when you're going to do that!" cried Angel Soujiro, rubbing at his eyes, Angel Misao doing the same.

"Ah come on we're missing the show," said Devil Soujiro. Looking to where Soujiro and Misao disappeared, he started walking towards them. "Let's get this over with so I can collect my money."


Despite the several loud whistling and bangs of fireworks, Misao was practically deaf to the noises. Instead, her eyes had been lowered to the dragon necklace that Soujiro had given her. Her hand had dropped and was now fingering the piece of jewelry.

Usually, the ninja girl despised wearing jewelry...but she was making an exception.

Slowly, her gaze was removed from the dragon and she looked up at Soujiro, who was staring at the fireworks, his smile never leaving his face.

Despite herself, Misao felt her face redden and she looked away from Soujiro, her heart suddenly pounding.

What was wrong with her? Why was all this happening to her when she was around Soujiro? Every time she was near him, she would get this odd sensation from him. This was like the feelings she had for Aoshi but...different; except they were at a more extreme level.

It was because of that damn dream.

No, she suddenly thought. Not a dream, that really happened.

Still, dream or no dream, she couldn't help but blame the events that were making her act like this. But even when she tried to...she just couldn't convince even herself that the blame belonged to that event.

She had these feelings before. But...they weren't as strong as they were now.

This time she did jump as she felt a hand being placed on her shoulder.

"Are you okay Misao?" questioned Soujiro, looking at her with a bit of concern in his eyes.

"Yes," Misao said. Suddenly, unknown to her, she shook her head. "I mean no."

Soujiro blinked.

"Um..." Blush started to creep on the ninja girl's face. "It's just...uh...er..." She suddenly brightened, thinking of something. "Do you...have someone that...you...really care about?"

Soujiro's smile disappeared for a full second before returning, though his eyes had stayed widened. But soon, he was back to normal, and unknown to a still blushing Misao, that flicker of amusement was suddenly in his eyes once again.

"Actually..." he began, and Misao was suddenly looking at him with anticipation. "There is."

And just like that, unknown to Misao, she suddenly felt like a cold hand had suddenly gripped her heart. Her throat seemed to suddenly constrict and she struggled to speak. "O-oh? You do?"

Soujiro nodded, and his gaze went back up at the exploding fireworks in the sky. "Yes I do."


"She's an amazing person," continued Soujiro. "Sometimes I think I understand her, but then I find out that she's very unpredictable."

"I-I...I see." For some reason, Misao's vision seemed to become a bit blurry. It was suddenly starting to become difficult to look at Soujiro and she suddenly looked away. "Do I know her?"

"You can say that."

Misao glanced up at Soujiro but otherwise kept her head down and stared at the ground. "Does she live here?"


A droplet of water suddenly escaped from Misao's eye and started to slide down her cheek. Slowly, more of those tears started to build up in her eyes. "Where is she?"

There was a pause, which was spent with tears gathering in Misao's eyes.

Her eyes suddenly widened, causing a couple of tears to escape, as Soujiro's hand suddenly cupped her chin and he raised her head so that she was looking at him.

She immediately took notice of his smile. It was...different. Though usually emotionless, there was something in that smile...the same something that was in his eyes. Misao suddenly felt that cold hand loosen its grip from around her heart as she looked into his eyes.

Love. That was it.

"She's right here," Soujiro replied.

Misao was only able to stare, not able to say or do anything. Even as Soujiro's face drew closer to hers, she wasn't able to do anything. What could she do? If she was correct, then she knew what Soujiro had just said.

She knew and he knew that she knew. And he knew that she knew that he knew that she knew.

And her mind suddenly went blank as Soujiro's lips pressed against hers.

At first, Misao wasn't able to move, besides the sudden widening of the eyes that were filled with shock and surprise. She wasn't able to move. It was like some invisible force suddenly took over her, stopping any messages that were being sent to her brain to do something.

And then the kiss ended.

Soujiro broke the kiss and now stared at Misao with those eyes, those wonderful blue eyes of his. And at that moment, everything seemed to come into focus for the ninja girl. Everything seemed to disappear for her mind. There was nothing that mattered as a realization hit her.

She loved Soujiro. ...And he loved her.

"I'm...I'm sorry Misao," Soujiro suddenly spoke. "I'm not sure I should've done that. I didn't mean to. It's just-."

That was all Soujiro was able to say, as Misao suddenly launched herself forward, wrapping her arms around his neck and bringing him into another kiss.

Surprised, Soujiro's arms instinctively wrapped around Misao's waist as the suddenly embrace caused him to fall on his back. But the kiss was never broken.

Around them, people chatted, food was eaten, and the fireworks continued to explode in the night sky. But that didn't matter to the former Tenken and the ninja girl. Nothing mattered now. All that mattered was their love that had finally been admitted.

The second kiss ended and Misao pulled her face away, but her arms were still around Soujiro's neck, and she refused to budge from her spot.

"I think the girl I know will be very jealous about this," said Soujiro, his smile on his face. But it wasn't the same smile that was on his face. It had changed. Changed for the better.

"Well she can't have you," Misao replied, drawing her face closer to his. "Because you're mine."

"And you're mine as well Misao."

They sealed it with another kiss.

"You know," Misao spoke again. "My memory has seem to have gotten better. I think I remember that kiss in the bath house."

Soujiro blinked. "Oh you remember?"

"Yes." Grinning like a little nymph, Misao leaned closer. "I kind of think that kiss was a bit...ruined." Her grin widened. "But I'm sure there will be plenty of others to make up for it."

Soujiro suddenly grinned as well. "I'm sure there will be."

And their lips soon locked into another passionate kiss.


Nearby, though hidden, a figure burst into a fit of hysterical laughter.

"Finally!" Kaoru suddenly shrieked, giggling nonstop. "Operation G.I.D.C.T. has worked! I knew it would! But of course it would! Why wouldn't it have worked!? I am a genius after all!"

This caused the dojo instructor to burst into another fit of hysterical glee. Many people looked at Kaoru with a worried, and somewhat frightened, look. Slowly, they scooted away.

And even a certain red haired Rurouni couldn't help but scoot away from his soon to be wife.


"Finally!" Angel Misao shrieked. "Finally! They're together! I knew that would!" Giggling like mad, the shoulder angel flew around in the air, flying in circles as her wings flapped.

"Ha!" cried Angel Soujiro, turning to face his counter part. "They got together! And the festival isn't over! Now where's my money!"

"What are you talking about?" Devil Soujiro questioned, that grin never leaving his face. "Haven't you been looking up at the sky? The fireworks have ended. You're too late! So I win!"

At first, Angel Soujiro's eyes were wide with disbelief. But, suddenly, a grin formed on his face.

"Oh I wouldn't say that my devil counter part. I'm sure there is one firework left."

"Have a nice flight Devil Soujiro!" Angel Misao suddenly cried from behind the shoulder devil.

"What?" Whirling around, Devil Soujiro was quick to notice the lit firework behind him.

That, and the piece of string that was tied to the firework...and around his leg.

He suddenly felt a hand dig into his pocket, and Devil Soujiro looked around to see Angel Soujiro, his wallet in the shoulder angel's hand.

"I believe I win," said Angel Soujiro.

"You son of a bi-AAAHHH!!!!!" Before Devil Soujiro was able to complete that sentence, the firework took off into the air, taking the shoulder devil with it.

"This has got to be the greatest moment of all!" Devil Misao suddenly shouted, running over to the spot where Devil Soujiro disappeared. Looking up at the sky, she raised her camera and started to take pictures of the flying shoulder devil.

"Well I guess we can call this a day," said Angel Soujiro, smiling to himself. He turned to Angel Misao and held out an arm. "How about we get something to eat?"

Angel Misao only smiled, hooking her arm with Angel Soujiro. "Why not?" Then that smile disappeared as she suddenly became lost in thought. "You know...I can't help but think that we forgot someone."


All the way back at the Aoiya, the door to the building suddenly opened.

And a very irritated Yahiko stepped out, the large bruises he received still on his head.

He couldn't believe this! How could all of this have happened to him!? Him! The son of a samurai! This was the last time he was going o be dragged off to any festival!

A sudden cry caused Yahiko to look up.

Whether it was because of how dark it was, or the pounding in his head from his bruises, Yahiko thought he saw something, or more of a someone, falling straight out of the sky. Squinting his eyes, he saw the person falling down, coming closer and closer and closer.


Yahiko's eyes widened.

And before he knew it, Devil Soujiro collided right into him and back to la la land he went!


Author's Note: Well, this was it! This was what you've all been waiting for! And I was long for your enjoyment! And this marks the end of Festival! Thank you everyone for reviewing and thank you for your patience! You've all been great! Maybe if school lightens up, I'll start another Soujiro/Misao fic. But until then, PEACE!!!