You Had Me From Hello

You Had Me From Hello

*spoiler warning*- for Jineh, Kyoto, and a tiny bit of Memory

Kaoru stands with her back to Kenshin on the porch of the dojo. This sun sets, its red light casting long shadows across the outside wall. Kaoru is very obviously upset. Kenshin tries to calm her. Abruptly, she turns to face him, tears cracking her voice.

"I have to know! Please, don't avoid the question... just tell me... Do you love me?"

[Music starts.]

Whatever he had intended to say is cut off the directness and desperation of her question. His heart stops as his mouth tries to produce an answer. In his mind, memories rise, unbidden.

[One word

That's all you said]

Kenshin walks down a Tokyo street early in the day. He hears a voice yelling, "Stop!"

[Something in your voice called me to turn my head]

He turns to see a young woman wielding a shinai, yelling out a name he had abandoned ten years earlier.

[Your smile captured me

You were in my future as far as I could see]

His mind skips forward to her waking from her faint. He is in the yard of her dojo cooking lunch. Smiling, she offers him a place to stay.

[And I don't know how it happened

But it happened still]

After some convincing, he accepts her offer.

[You asked me if I loved you?

If I always will?]

His mind brings him back to the present where the shock at her question relaxes from his face. A gentle smile replaces it as more memories emerge.

[Well, you had me from "Hello"]

The shinai-wielding girl yells out his abandoned name and attacks him.

[I felt love start to grow]

He avoids the charge and convinces her that he is not the man she is after.

[The moment that I looked into your eyes]

Even convinced of that, she still censures him for carrying an illegal sword.

[You won me]

Hearing a police whistle, she runs off to defend the honor of her family's kenjitsu discipline.

[It was over from the start]

He follows, _needing_ to help her in the fight which will take place.

[You completely stole my heart]

Later, after the killer is revealed, after all opponents have been defeated, after his past has been exposed to her, when this Kamiya Kaoru should reject one so unworthy...

[And now you won't let go]

... she invites him to stay. When he does not answer immediately, she turns her back and says he can leave if he wants to.

[I never had a chance, you know?]

Looking at her back, seeing the tenseness, the expectation wound so tightly within her, he cannot bring himself to leave.

[You had me from "Hello"]

He closes the door behind him and waits for her to turn around.


I built a wall]

His memories skip forward several weeks until they find him sitting by a river trying with all of his willpower to convince himself that he can leave this place, this young woman, after his coming fight with Jineh.

[So high around my heart I thought I'd never fall]

An irate, but welcome, voice growls his name from behind, startling him. He turns to see Kaoru.

[One touch]

She undoes her ribbon, letting the silken waves of ebony hair flow down her back, and offers the strip of fabric to him.

[You brought it down]

Momentarily stunned by the angel standing before him, he attempts to refuse her gift.

[Bricks of my defenses scattered on the ground]

When he finally accepts it, the shock on his face belies the unfamiliar warmth growing in his heart as she asks such an unworthy one for a promise to return to her.

[And I swore to me that I wasn't going to love again]

As Kenshin makes the promise, he tries, unsuccessfully, to stamp down the feeling growing within him.

[The last time was the last time

I'd let someone in]

Memories of snow and the scent of white plums haunt him, holding him back.

[But you had me from "Hello"]

Several months later, necessity forces him to leave.

[I felt love start to grow]

Unable to leave without bidding her farewell, Kenshin goes to her.

[The moment that I looked into your eyes]

Fireflies dance around the couple as they stand on the river shore. He explains his reasons. Still, she tries to convince him to stay.

[You won me]

Giving in to impulse, Kenshin steps forward to embrace Kaoru, hoping to convey all of his pent up emotion in a single gesture.

[It was over from the start]

He walks away, without turning back, knowing that if he saw her weeping form, all of his resolve would be lost and he would stay.

[You completely stole my heart]

Kenshin leaves for Kyoto, never expecting to see Kaoru again.

[And now you won't let go]

In Kyoto, when he is pleading with his master to teach him once more, she is there, standing in his master's doorway.

[I never had a chance, you know?]

When asked why she came all that way, Kaoru answers that she just wanted to see him again.

[You had me from "Hello"]

Finally, after his training, after the first battle, on the roof of the Aoiya, Kenshin promises to return to Tokyo with her.

[That's all you said]

Kenshin, standing on the porch, looks at the woman before him and remembers each time she stole his heart.

[Something in your voice called me to turn my head]

Nervously, she stands in Hiko Seijiro's doorway, bringing with her hope and love.

[You had me from "Hello"]

Smiling, she holds out her ribbon and its promise.

[You had me from "Hello"]

Expectantly, her back to him, she offers him her home, and his redemption.


On the porch, in the waning light of the setting sun, Kenshin reaches toward Kaoru, pulling her into a tight embrace, hoping to convey all of his pent up emotion in a single gesture. Burying his face in her silken, ebony hair, he murmurs,

"I've loved you from 'Hello.'"


*disclaimer*- I don't own the characters or the song. The characters are Nobuhiro Watsuki's (sp.?) and the song is done by Kenny Chesney on his Everywhere We Go album.

This was a present for Tae but she let me post it on my page. (Isn't she nice?^_^) Anyways, it is dedicated to her and all of her wonderful stories that served as inspiration for it.

What do you think? WAFFy? Melodramatic? A big load of mush? Well, anyway... I hope you enjoyed reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it.