And its finished. About time to! So there you all have it, the last and final chapter to Red As Blood with enough fluff and sap to give you all cavities. I hope you enjoy.
I am doing good! Update Amber Linings....finish Red As Blood....
Fluff warning. You might have to brush you teeth from all the sap.
"Sanosuke!" Megumi snapped, her hands full of bandages and a carefully balanced package. Her dark eyes flared as her small mouth pursed into a frown.
"Coming." Sano replied as he moved outside, his body lazy in its subtle movements.
Megumi felt a flash of irritation as he relieved her of her burdens. It was unfair, both his easy strength and the way he always seemed to look good.
"No need to be snippety, fox." Sano informed her as he walked into the house. "I am sure Jou-chan is fine."
Megumi narrowed her eyes. "I am not worried about the Tanuki-princess!"
"Then you don't need to be worried about us either. I'm not going anywhere."
Megumi hissed through her teeth. Stomping forward she snatch the package from the top of the pile and made her way into the apothecary she kept careful stock of.
"I am not worried about you either! Leave whenever you like!"
Sano smirked and nodded to himself. "Coming along fine, fox."
Kaoru stood in the doorway, her eyes scanning the room slowly. Her hair was in a loose damp knot at the back of her neck.
She was looking for her husband of two months. Finding him absent, she took one careful step into the room. Her soft shift twisted around her knees and she grinned in delight at finding the room empty.
Taking a short sprint, she hurled herself onto the full bed of the Royal suite. Landing softly, she bounced once or twice before wiggling around the feather-soft mattress and loving the way she sank into the comfort.
Kaoru could really get used to being the Queen for two reasons: endless hot water, and her feather mattress. Kenshin had laughed at her wide-eyed expression when he had shown her the sunken pool that passed as her bathing chamber.
Her amazed look of wonder had caused him to whisper a single word into her enthralled countenance. "Magic," and he had then proceeded to show her a few good ways to use the large pool.
Kaoru rolled over onto her stomach and kicked her feet like a child. Kenshin had shown her many a ways to approach a room, a table, a bath…and definitely her bed. He was more than happy to leave rather blush-worthy memories anywhere he could, actually.
He also had this absurd notion that as the King, he could simply do whatever he wished. Kaoru didn't know if it stood with only tormenting her body, or if he was applying it to other things, but she wasn't sure she could complain.
Kenshin had done just as he promised in the pear tree. He wasn't always easy to be around, his temper a match for hers, and most of their arguments ended with her and him tousling heatedly on the covers of their gigantic bed.
Kaoru had found, however, that the man under the armor of King was very loveable, if a bit prickly, and she was finding she had married a -very- passionate man.
Kaoru was jerked from her thoughts at the sound of male laughter. Kaoru rolled up onto her knees and grinned unabashedly at her husband.
Blowing her bangs out of her eyes, she stuck her tongue out at him. She had wanted to jump up and down on the bed since she had moved into the Royal suite a week ago, but had never dared when her husband was in the room.
"What, little bird, are you doing?" His eyes were burning suns, with amusement clear in every line of his body.
"Unlike my stiff husband, I was attempting to have a little fun." Kaoru retorted, her mouth twitching as she attempted to hold in her laughter.
The maids would be scandalized if they saw the behavior of their lord and lady. Both had a playful streak that showed itself as often as their tempers.
His eyes flared then, and Kaoru recognized the banked desire smoldering in his gaze.
"I think then, perhaps, that you and I have a different idea of the word 'fun'." His voice was low as he moved out of the shadows, and it sent a shudder down Kaoru's spine.
Kaoru was aware of her appearance. Her hair had come loose and strands were tumbling around her form, while her shift was hiked up around her thighs.
A mischievous spark lit her eyes, and Kenshin paused before he continued to stalk his wife.
"Is that so?" Kaoru questioned, her mouth twitching with suppressed laughter.
Kenshin had reached the bed, and had time to raise a brow before a full feather pillow crashed into his bemused face. His wife shrieked with laughter as she rolled off the bed, still armed with her wayward pillow.
Kenshin shot her a look before he slowly began to walk around the bed, his own mouth twitching.
"Now honey," Kaoru tried, still giggling as she jumped back onto the bed, attempting to dart across it. Kenshin made his move and jumped onto the bed, tackling his wife's soft form into the sheets.
"Gotcha." He breathed into her ear before his fingers began their assault on her ribs.
Kaoru shrieked with laughter and Kenshin kept up his assault until she was breathless.
He watched her attempt to catch her breath, her eyes glinting up at him, her body soft under his.
"Cheater." Her tone was breathless as she blew her bangs out of her eyes.
Kenshin looked smug. "I will always win."
Kaoru stuck her tongue out at him.
"Promises, promises," Kenshin mocked. Kaoru started to reply indignantly but was stopped by his warm mouth.
Their play turned into something else entirely.
Kaoru sighed, her fingertips twisting thick stands of dark red between them. She rested her chin on her husband's naked shoulder and contented herself with listening to the sound of his breathing.
He was wearing himself out again. Snuggling closer to his warm, solid form Kaoru gave a contented sigh at the feeling of flesh on flesh.
"I love you." Kaoru murmured sleepily, one hand tracing down the smooth muscles of his forearm as she released his hair. Tugging the thick comforter over their bodies, Kaoru allowed the regular sounds of the night to lull her to sleep.
Kaoru woke to the familiar sensation of being watched. Without opening her eyes she swatted at the person next to her.
"I thought I told you not to do that." Her voice was sleepy, sexy, and she felt him brush the bangs that always drove her crazy out of her eyes.
"I like watching you sleep." His voice was amused, but something in the underlying tones forced her to open her eyes and to blink sleepily at him in the morning light.
He smiled then, and Kaoru was breathless at the sight of it. His smile always stole her ability to concentrate on simple things, like breathing.
"You're so relaxed, vulnerable to the world." He shrugged. "You're trusting me to guard your dreams." His eyes took on a wicked glint that stole her breath as quickly as his smile.
"And your lips part just so…" He leaned in and demonstrated exactly what he was referring to.
Kaoru, a little breathless, asked what time it was.
"Don't really care." Kenshin mused as he rolled on top of his wife, his mouth curving into a particularly devilish smile.
"Ken...shin!" Kaoru laughed, drawing out his name deliberately. He kissed her again for her efforts but pulled back as she attempted to wrap her arms around his neck.
Kaoru blinked at him.
He was giving her the most peculiar look.
"What now?" Kaoru questioned, her expression exasperated.
"I heard you last night." His tone was secretive and Kaoru blinked…last night.
She turned bright red. He traced a hand down the smooth column of her throat. "Did you mean it?"
Kaoru raised her eyes to him. "Hai."
Kaoru found herself caught back up in his arms, the words that had fallen from his own lips curling around and around in her brain as he proceeded to prove that he meant the three words he had spoken.
He loved her.
Kaoru laughed as she tucked her feet under her, the cool breeze ruffling the papers she held in her hand and the soft dark bangs that fell into her eyes. She smoothed the letter with a practiced move, her other hand falling into her husband's hair. He was lying on the bench, using her lap as a pillow, reading his own letters.
"Yahiko and Tsubame say hello." Kaoru absently informed her husband, her tone distracted as she continued to read. "They promise that Yutaro plans on writing to us from his mage school as soon as he gets time. Both express their happiness at being apprenticed and can't wait for the holidays to come and see us."
"That's nice, Koishii." Kenshin replied his tone distracted as he continued to read the letter he had gotten from Sano.
He and Sano, surprisingly, had hit it off once they had met. They had gotten to know each other while they fixed the damage done to the main palace and city during the small skirmishes that had broken out while Kenshin had been searching for Yumi.
"How is Megumi?" Kaoru questioned as she rolled her letter and placed it in the basket she had brought with her. It kept the light paper from disappearing in the wind.
"Good." Kenshin told her, and then he sat up suddenly, his face darkening.
"What?" Kaoru questioned, slightly alarmed at the expression on her lover's face.
"Megumi is expecting." Kenshin gritted out.
Kaoru blinked at him and then smiled. "But Kenshin, that's great news! We shall have to send a gift!"
Kenshin raised his eyes to hers, and Kaoru attempted to keep from giggling at the expression on his face. He looked affronted and downright indignant.
"Kenshin?" Kaoru asked, her voice muffled as she attempted to stifle her laughter.
"Who was married first?" Kenshin asked, his voice lowering at some hidden challenge.
"We were." Kaoru answered, confused at the line of sudden questioning.
"Exactly." Kenshin made one swift move, and tossed his wife over his shoulder. Kaoru screeched at the suddenness of it and pounded lightly on her husband's muscled back.
Kenshin ignored her and moved through the Royal gardens, heading towards the Royal bedroom. There was a particular look in his eyes that sent any and all servants or dignitaries scrambling.
"Kenshin!" Kaoru cried again, her face dark red from embarrassment as she caught sight of courtiers who she knew well. "I am going to hurt you!"
"Twins should do it…"Kenshin mused as he hurried along, uncaring about the scene they were making. Anyone who said a word about it could learn to see things differently along the blade of his katana.
He nodded to a gaping Aoshi and Misao –looking up from what was surely wedding plans- before he slipped indoors and carried her up to the bed. Tossing her lightly onto the soft mattress, he followed.
"Ken…" Kaoru tried again, but was cut off by his very persistent mouth.
"Shut up, Koishii." Kenshin suggested as he proceeded to disperse every piece of cloth between them.
So Kaoru did.
Kaoru placed a hand on her protruding stomach and gave the room one dark glance before stepping back and attempting the maneuver again.
"Koishii, what are you doing?" His voice, soft against the backdrop of bustle, surprised her. Kaoru turned, her face turning a dull red.
"I can't find my shoes." Her mouth twisted into a pout, and she crossed her arms, resting them on the portable table she called her stomach.
Three more weeks, Kaoru repeated it over and over in her mind, holding that date close to her heart. Three weeks until the little person was hers to hold. More importantly, three weeks until she no longer looked like one of those whales Misao had shown her once.
Kenshin, to his credit, didn't laugh. He simply found them for her, and then proceeded to help her get them on.
"This is not funny," she warned her husband, sensing his amusement even if he refused to show it by laughing. "You carry around a child for a few weeks and we can compare notes."
First, it had been the morning sickness, then the cravings and mood swings, and now she was just tired. Bone-weary of caring the baby, and yet strangely exhilarated too.
Personally, she was just ready to have him or her and be done with it. Yet on the days she thought she could scream at how large she was, Kenshin would get the most peculiar look on his face.
It was the single most tender look she had ever seen, and it squeezed the air from her lungs and wrapped a tight band of emotion around her heart. It was moments like that that allowed her to bear the humiliation of having someone else tie her shoes on her small feet.
Well…her feet were small when they weren't swollen.
"This is all your fault." Kaoru primly informed him, hanging onto his shoulders for balance as he adjusted her small shoes.
"If you say so." Kenshin informed her, his tone slipping into the sultry tone that always curled her toes. "I remember quite distinctly there being two of us in that bed."
Kaoru huffed. "I distinctly remember someone getting overly enthusiastic after a letter from Sano."
Kenshin shot her a golden-eyed glance of amusement. "I don't remember hearing you complain overly, Koi."
Kaoru pouted. "Yes, well it's still your fault I am fat."
"You look beautiful." Kenshin assured her, standing and leaning forward to kiss her softly, uncaring of the soft giggling of the maids.
Kaoru made a noise in the back of her throat but leaned into him, getting as close to his chest as the bulge between them would allow.
She was going to be happy when she could hold her husband again.
Kaoru awoke to stillness.
Tossing the covers back she slid to the floor and moved towards the nursery. A two-week-old child at this time of night was not still; it normally wanted to be fed.
Kaoru was looking forward to sleep.
The sight she found caused her to pause.
Kenshin was walking up and down the length of the nursery, his hair loose and running around his shoulder like liquid flame.
He was holding his son in his arms and quietly talking to him. Kenji's matching red tuft of hair stuck out in all directions, but the little boy's eyes were peering around, in the unfocused manner of babies.
"Let's give your mamma a few more moments." Kenshin soothed. "She had a long day, as you did."
"I'm up, Kenshin." Kaoru whispered, moving forward so she could feed her son. Kenshin had offered to locate a wet nurse, but Kaoru wanted to feed her son for as long as possible. She knew that soon she would have to go back to her active duties, but Kaoru was determined to feed Kenji for at least the first two months of his life.
After that, she would contract a wet nurse. It had only been two weeks but balancing her royal duties and feeding Kenji was a tough ordeal. A wet nurse would at least take over the nighttime feedings, allowing them to sleep.
Kenshin watched as Kaoru crooned to their son and fed him. She bounced him occasionally to wake him up and then moved to place him on her shoulder to burp him.
Kenshin stepped forward, took Kenji from her, and walked along, tossing the burp cloth over his shoulder. Kaoru watched Kenshin as he patted his son's back, his eyes a light gold.
Finished! I know some of you are thinking…Battousai was awfully OOC. Well, in the words of a great friend of mine…
He has a limited amount of people he can love, but he loves them fiercely.
Battousai: My wife and my son. Touch and die. If I get a daughter then the men of the world had better watch their step...
So there! I hope you all enjoyed and leave a nice, shiny review for Ravyn. (Shameless plug)