A/N: This is my very last chapter insert sad face here But I hope that you enjoy the last chapter! I had a lot of fun writing this story and I have two new ideas for fics coming up real soon! One of them is for YYH and another one is traditionally RK. I figure I'd throw something new out though. Sorry for the long updates, too. School can be a real killer... Anyway, on with the story!

DAY EIGHT- The Finale

Sanosuke POV:

Suuuucker! He totally lost no matter what anyone says. I mean, he had a freakin' day to do it and I bet he either chickened out or decided to turn gay. No ifs, ands, or buts about it. But in Kenshin's case butts are probably acceptable. Especially from behind! Man! I crack myself up! Whoo boy… but yeah anyways, I'm goin' over to the doujo to at least SEE if Kenshin decided to be a man or not. Probably not but hey, there could be such things as miracles, ya know. I mean, just last night I won at dice! I think it was the first time too… and it was such a blur to me after, too. Probably kicked back with sake to celebrate? Sure!

Okay. Weird. Usually when I come here, it's all noisy and Jou-chan's usually gettin' ready to pulverize Yahiko for whatever reason. But now there's none of that. Kinda freakishly quiet, if you know what I mean. Anyways, I'm really not used to quiet in the first place and so I find it in my best interest to snoop around for SOME kinda life force around this place… "Yo, Kenshin! Jou-chaaaaaaan!" I call out. No answer. And it really ticks me off when no one listens to what I hafta say sometimes. Ever get that feeling? Whatever.

So now I'm finding myself playing a game of cat and mouse all around Jou-chan's doujo. I checked the bathhouse, the training hall, the kitchen, the courtyard where Kenshin usually puts all his laundry up to dry, and Yahiko's room. Sure the kid's there but apparently he had a late start, considering he's still sleeping. And I know that Kenshin's never like that 'cause whenever dawn comes, it's like he has a built in radar and is somehow programmed to act like a dutiful 'housewife' around the house. Ugh… y'see THIS is why I thought he was gay…

For the hell of it, (and 'cause I'm bored) I go into Jou-chan's room but she's not there. Even her futon is all neatly folded. Damn, what the hell is goin' on? She's not usually this orderly… All right now I know someone's tryin' to mess with my level of sobriety. Well, there's no use on dwelling now that I'm here. I wanna confront Kenshin and tell him that he's gay once and for all! And there's only one place that I haven't checked yet…

"Ohayou…Kaoru-koishii…" Kenshin whispered, amethyst eyes suddenly fluttering open. The first thing that he had set his sight on that morning was Kaoru. She was still in his protective embrace from the night before, his arm still wrapped lovingly around her bare waist. She came to as well; the sound of his voice was the first thing that she had heard. "So you're awake are you? How are you feeling?" Kenshin inquired, rolling over so that he was again on top of her, looking down into pools of blue.

"I'm fine…you don't have to worry so much, Kenshin," Kaoru teased.

"Well, I can't help it, that I can't. After all, you were exhausted last night and I'm just checking to see if my love is all right now." Kaoru nodded. "I'm happy to hear that…" He brushed his lips lightly against her own, teasingly massaging her shoulders with his nimble fingers.

"Mmm, not again…" A smile made its way to Kaoru's face as she shut her eyes tightly and let out a small squeal. "…What if Yahiko…?"

"He won't…"

"What makes you so sure?"

Kenshin merely shrugged. "I believe that he would take advantage of this situation. Do you recall the last time that you were able to sleep late?" Kaoru contemplated that she had been very strict with Yahiko for the past few months and waking up early to train hard was always a requirement. "…Well, with all of that training…I'm sure he'd be glad to have a day off… as would you." Kaoru giggled, the heat creeping to her cheeks as Kenshin allowed his lips to trail to the nape of Kaoru's neck. "Of course I'd be more than happy to oblige…and…comfort you on your day of relaxation…"

"Hmm, but I thought I was pretty relaxed with you last night, Kenshin…"

The swordsman raised an eyebrow in question. "You were actually very tense…" he whispered huskily in her ear.

"Okay, okay, I can't argue with you there…" Kaoru giggled.

"But that's all right, that it is…because I didn't mind," Kenshin muttered, holding her close while resting his head on her collarbone. "Kaoru…did I come on too strong? Did I do anything unexpected that you wished that you could have waited a little longer…?" Kaoru immediately shook her head. "I don't know…what came over me…it was when you kissed me. That probably made me want to…"

"But I liked it! You don't have to make it seem so bad…"


Both Kenshin and Kaoru knew the owner of that shrieking, high-pitched male voice.

"What are you doing here, Sanosuke…?" Kenshin inquired in a dreary monotonous voice. Two pairs of glazed eyes bore holes through Sanosuke, the aforementioned teen whooping and hollering. "You know it's rude…" Kenshin's eyes suddenly flashed amber so that Sanosuke might just get the hint and leave, "to walk in on such a thing…"

No such luck.

Sanosuke had every intention of staying put.

"Jeez, Kenshin. I had no IDEA that you had it in you! I mean, come on, if I fed you to the sharks and put you in a whorehouse, I thought that you'd probably have a nosebleed and run away but now that's SO not the truth, is it?" The giddy ex-gangster clapped his hands several times before promptly running around the room in sheer ecstasy.

Kaoru looked worriedly at Kenshin when the mere thought of a whorehouse came into play. "You wouldn't…right, Kenshin?" He looked forlornly into her eyes and shook his head. His expression was overly sincere. He hadn't wanted her to think that he would dump her for someone else because he knew that that would never be the case, no matter what the circumstance was. And he certainly did not want Sanosuke to flood Kaoru's thoughts with 'what ifs' either.

"Sano…I have to talk to you…" Kenshin said in a dangerously low tone, Kaoru clutching the futon sheet close to her chest as Kenshin went to reach for his clothes. "But first, leave… I'll meet you in the courtyard…" Sanosuke nodded happily and almost dared to frolic out of the room if it weren't for Kenshin's menacing glare.

"So what's up now?"

"You know perfectly well what you said…"

"About the whorehouse? Kenshin, I was just kidding about that, jeez, Buddha mustn't have given you ANY sense of humor at all. You're impossible, ya know that?"

Kenshin let out a heavy sigh, his shoulders dropping dramatically. "I just didn't want Miss Kaoru to think that… I don't know if you could convince her to believe that I could in fact act in that manner but you know that I would never do that to her." Sanosuke nodded thoughtfully. "I had just told her that I loved her! What if she took what you said to heart? What then? I'd hold you responsible for anything that happened afterward…"

Sanosuke merely shrugged. "But she didn't. You know she trusts you anyways…"

"I know but still…"

"Well that part's over and done with! And so is the bet apparently. I hate to admit it, but I'm not as sharp as I thought I was. You won, fair and square!" Kenshin suddenly felt a wave of relief crash into him as Sanosuke threw his arms up in the air in complete and total defeat. "I never thought that I was gonna lose. And I was so sure that you would totally kick the bucket…I mean, you had one freakin' day left and must've dragged yourself through hell and back if you were actually able to do it."

"Sano, I know that I did it. But I feel guilty…" Kenshin turned around to avoid looking at the ex-gangster, quickly busying himself with his laundry line just a few feet away from where they were making conversation.

Kenshin POV:

"Lies!" Battousai screamed inside my head. "You know that you don't feel guilty one bit! I mean, sure, maybe you did before but after that night of bliss? Hah! I don't think so!"

"I meant to say that I didn't want to make it seem that I just used her!"

"Well, I don't care if you did or didn't, to tell you the truth." His voice buzzed angrily into my head as persistent and as irritating as a bee on a summer day. I really couldn't stand it but there was nothing I could do. Battousai was clearly interested in warping my entire opinion. "This was the first time in a long time that I actually benefited from a woman's touch. And whose fault is that? Hmm? Yes I believe I would pin the blame on your ignoramus, girlish, and pathetic self."

"You can stop now," I shouted back sternly.

"So you've got a spine after all! Well, just to clear something up, I had absolutely no problem with the way you romanced Kaoru at all. In fact, she's perfect. I can't go much farther and say that she's beyond perfect. But you know what I mean and you should count your lucky stars that she's the one who started it all yesterday."

"Orooo… your intention was to give me a headache, wasn't it?"

"I never meant to…make it seem like I had to trick…Miss Kaoru into what we did last night…" Kenshin muttered as he looked down at his feet. Sanosuke merely shrugged. "Because I would hate myself if I didn't love her and went through with it. If I merely did it to claim the virginity of one woman and be done with her for the rest of my life… I'd find that barbaric and I wouldn't care what you would call me. It would still be wrong and I wouldn't be a part of it."

"Figures a guy like you still has his morals…"

"Granted," Kenshin replied. "But Miss Kaoru means the world to me…and I wanted to tell her that I loved her…"

"I get it…so you saw my bet as a window of opportunity for yourself, was that it? You wanted to tell her that you loved her anyway so you figured that you might as well do it within a week, right?"

The swordsman nodded. "I even asked her if she was all right with going through what we did. Several times. She said not to stop but I give you my word, Sano…I was prepared to stop at anytime no matter the circumstance, that I was. If she was uncomfortable or if she was reluctant in proceeding, I would listen to her first. The bet was the last thing that I was worried about when I was with her. The only thing that I cared about at that time was her well being." Sanosuke shrugged loosely as if he hadn't had a care in the world. "It's true…it's amazing how much she means to me… and I can't believe I bottled up all this love for her for such a long time…"

"So how are you gonna tell her?"


"About the bet…you can't get all dishonest on me…"


"Oh come ON, Kenshin! That's supposed to be my role! You're actually thinking about lying to her, aren't you?" Kenshin's eyes narrowed as he glared at Sanosuke.

"I would never lie to Miss Kaoru… I know that and I can admit that freely."

"Then that's all I need to hear…"

Kenshin's eyes widened as he spun around and locked eyes with her. The one who they were just discussing prior to her arrival. Kenshin's eyes remained widened, as he was worried at what she might think. Had she heard the entire thing? "Miss…Kaoru…" Kenshin breathed sharply, his heart beginning to pound. He had suddenly felt dishonest about what he had just done. He wish he hadn't gone through with the bet, smirked in triumph as he proved Sanosuke wrong, and telling Kaoru so quickly. "Miss Kaoru…I…"

Kaoru saw the intense look of hurt in his eyes. Her eyes followed every move he made as he slowly bent down to bow deeply before her in the grass. "I'm so sorry, Miss Kaoru… by now I'm sure you've heard almost everything and have figured out what was going on." Kaoru looked away and nodded slowly. "I didn't want to go through with it if it meant only proving Sanosuke wrong… I'm sure you heard me saying that I loved you sincerely…and that I did it so I could let you know…"

Kaoru smiled as she knelt down beside him. Kenshin had not noticed, for his eyes were tightly closed, his forehead pressed down against the soil. His body tensed up as he did not hear a reply from the woman he loved so deeply. Kaoru knew that he meant what he said. Her eyes shone with a certain happiness that Kenshin did not see as she placed a hand on Kenshin's back. The rurouni's eyes widened. "Kenshin. I know. I knew you loved me, I could see it in your eyes when you told me. I know you're not lying."

Kenshin lifted his head gradually, reluctant in saying anything. The look in Kaoru's bright blue eyes made him calm down a bit. "I heard everything you said to Sanosuke and I trust you. If I didn't I wouldn't love you as much as I do now…"

Sanosuke lazily pulled out a fishbone fromhispants pocketand rolled his flashing chocolate eyes. "Oh brother, if this gets any sappier I think I'm gonna puke."

He had completely butchered the romantic buildup that was taking place.

And he really could care less.

Kaoru on the other hand was suddenly annoyed with everybody's favorite rooster head and it didn't take long before she shot him a malevolent 'I'll-materialize-my-bokken-if-you-don't-can-it' ™ glare. "Whoa, whoa chill out, Jou-chan! Being sappy is good…but all I'm saying is that you should save it for a rainy day…if ya catch my drift!"

Sanosuke was tempted to start laughing hysterically if it weren't for the looks the other two were giving him. "Whaaat? We both know you'll be putting of your swordsmanship, Jou-chan! Because now you've got other stuff to do… oh wait, let me specify… you've got someone to do. There, sounds better."

"Sanosuke, you're proud of being a hentai, aren't you?" Kaoru inquired. Kenshin rolled his eyes

The disturbing silence gave the two the hint. "Well, I don't know…" Came the vague reply. His eyes roamed the courtyard, trying to avoid the subject. "So now what? Am I gonna get some free food out of this deal, or what?" Kaoru sighed heavily, letting her shoulders drop.

"That's all you care about, you know that?" Kaoru said as she grit her teeth. "Today you're gonna have to work for your keep and fill your quota like a man, got it? In that department, Kenshin's a lot better than you!" The girl pulled Sanosuke by the ear as she walked back inside the doujo. There were plenty of chores to be done and poor Sanosuke would probably be burdened with most of them.

Kenshin smiled innocently as he watched them leave from his sight. His pants were still damp from when he knelt before Kaoru; grass stains formed onto his once crisp, white hakama. The rurouni didn't bother with them. He thought them to be a reminder of what he would never do again. "I promise for as long as I live, I'll protect her and love her till the day I die." Kenshin felt his lips tug upward even further. Looking up at the sun, its warm rays shining down upon him, he proceeded to go about the doujo and doing things that he often did on a day-to-day basis.

A/N: And...there you have it! Please review. I can't believe that this story got to be so popular! I'm so glad! Thanks a lot for sticking with me for 10 chapters! I'll try posting my new story next week. Ja, minna!

Son Christine