Midi: Well, I've been thinking about writing something else for a while, but I could never think of what to write. That's when this came to me outta nowhere. It's really silly and full of laughs. There are, now that I think about it, a few angsty parts, and a few parts that mean a great, great deal to me. (I'll explain that at the end.) Like I said in ItheAofaS, I really have no idea how long this fanfiction will be. I hope you enjoy it.
Disclaimer: I don't own Rurouni Kenshin, so you don't have to rub it in. T-T
Ch.1 Published: November 18th, 2004
Edited: November 19th, 2004
It was a beautiful day. A soft breeze was blowing, birds were chirping, the sun was shining . . . Too bad no one was outside to enjoy it.
Everyone at South Takamatsu Preparatory School was stuck in a classroom, each and every one listening to the same long, boring lectures that every single teacher gave. South Takamatsu Prep. may have had a reputation as being one of the best preparatory schools in Japan, but that didn't mean the teachers were creative. Oh no, they were, sadly enough, the drastic opposite. Which meant bad news for the poor, poor students of S.T. Prep.
Well...for most of them.
One person had managed to escape from the monotony and was currently lying down outside in the school's lunch area flat on her back, staring up into the branches of a cherry blossom tree in full bloom. She was wearing the mandatory school uniform of a bleak gray skirt and a short-sleeved white blouse. Her gray blazer, complete with school emblem, was lying off to the side in a crumpled mess. She didn't exactly look beautiful in the school's uniform, but I think it's safe to say that no one did anyway.
Kamiya Kaoru was a short girl with extremely long black hair that was constantly up in a casual ponytail. Lengthy bangs hung around her pale face, framing slim features and wide light blue eyes. Despite a fragile appearance, she literally 'packed a punch.' The only thing that Kamiya Kaoru was more notorious for than her perfect grades was her perfect right hook. Despite being what everyone else called 'The Teacher's Pet', she got into more fights than anyone else in the school - even the bullies and the Twelve Years - which was rather surprising.
When not in a snarling rage, though, she definitely preferred to spend her time alone where it was quiet (like the school's gardens), sometimes meditating, sometimes just resting. Her fellow students had never really seen Kamiya Kaoru as a peaceful person, but they were ignorant to many things. Such as the fact that her mother had died when she was three, and that her father had been diagnosed with cancer almost a year ago, or even that she had medical conditions of her own to deal with. In fact, the only people on earth who even knew about her epilepsy were her two best friends, one of whom had moved last spring and was currently living overseas. The other was a girl named Misao who was also suffering from the disorder that she had met at a convention for the Young Epileptic's Society a few months ago. Unfortunately, Misao went to another school entirely and was a year younger, so they hardly got to see each other outside of the Society's meetings that took place every other month.
As a whole, Kamiya Kaoru got along with most everybody. Everyone, even those who didn't like her, held a certain respect for her, all for different reasons. She definitely wasn't the most popular girl in the school (which can probably be blamed on account of being 'Teacher's Pet'), but she wasn't too badly off. She only had one friend that she was on friendly terms with, and he was a boy, which meant that most of their classes were separate. Sanosuke was usually too busy following Megumi, a cheerleader, around to spend much time with Kaoru anyway, so she had practically given up relying on him for company. All in all, only one person really spoke to her at school, and those conversations she was very passionate about.
But I don't mean passionate in a good way - Himura Kenshin, in her opinion, was the Spawn of Satan and the literal bane of her existence. They only things he ever said directly to her were either insults or challenges to battles of wit. You see, Himura Kenshin had a reputation of his own, based on a few primal facts; Fact One being that he was tied in intelligence with Kaoru, which automatically made him her rival, while Fact Two was a little more practical: he was the star of the school's soccer team and a whiz at kendo. But it was Fact Three that you'd be able to usher out of the female population at the school as easily as spreading margarine on bread, and a little more difficultly out of the men. Himura Kenshin was drop-dead gorgeous.
So drop-dead gorgeous that he practically had a fan club. So drop-dead gorgeous that, if asked, a large majority of the girls would easily admit to being in love with him. So drop-dead gorgeous that he made celebrities look like the people that applied for Extreme Makeovers. So absolutely, perfectly, drop-dead gorgeous that there was only one person in the entire city of Takamatsu that wasn't intimidated by his looks. That's right, you guessed it - Kaoru herself.
Sure, she noticed his appearance -it was impossible not to- but she found that she really couldn't look past his 'evil and cynical outer shell,' as she so daintily put it, and into what Kenshin would read in his daily love letters at least four or five times a day - 'his drop-dead gorgeous soul.' Kaoru knew that this was the term her fellow females used because one day she had found a couple of letters he'd thrown away when searching through her fourth period's trash can after accidentally dropping her ring. Unable to stifle her curiosity, she'd opened one up and, seeing Kenshin's name written in swirly, unappealing letters, almost lost total interest - that is, only right before she unknowingly found herself reading the first line. And then the next, and the next, and the next....
It was so mushy, so incredibly sappy, that she'd burst into uncontrollable laughter and almost gained an after-school detention. (She definitely would have if not for her special status, which I believe does not have to be re-stated.) And so, it was a well-known fact and the most popular piece of gossip constantly circling through the school's many 'social societies'...Kamiya Kaoru hated Himura Kenshin, and Himura Kenshin hated Kamiya Kaoru.
Now, as things usually and most always go, there were, of course, many calls of speculated suspicion toward what was rumored to be 'unrevealed emotions' between the two. Whenever Kaoru managed to hear of this when walking through the halls from one class to the next, she'd have to use all of her self-control to keep herself from attacking the accusers with her famous right hook. Despite having told everyone she knew, and some people she didn't, numerous times that she absolutely despised her rival, it had yet to sink in completely and her fellow classmates found it impossible to resist poking fun at her every once in a while.
Which was, as we return to the present, why Kaoru was absolutely enjoying her few moments of peace under the tranquil cherry blossoms.
Thank God, she thought, bringing a hand to her forehead to block the sunlight from her eyes, which had appeared as a cloud shifted from its position of blocking the sun and moved onward through the sky. I thought I'd never get a moment alone. I don't know what it is about this school, but it seems that most everyone is totally crazy. Whatever happened to teenage normality?
It was around that time that she realized that there was no such thing as teen normality - never had been, and, if things kept proceeding as they were, never would be. She let loose a long, heavy sigh, containing all of her stress and all of her worry and, most importantly, all of her anger and hatred for a certain amber-eyed, red-haired Eleven Year. Today she was feeling particularly pissed off at him - he'd been in incomparably good spirits that morning, which already was enough to get Kaoru into a bad mood but his 'little prank' (shoving ice down the back of her shirt in the middle of math class) had crossed the line so far to the point where Kaoru had found it essential to make an escape. This explained her presence outside and her low spirits.
Kaoru reflected back on this for a while before glancing down at her watch and sighing once more. In ten minutes the period would end and she'd have to go to fifth period lunch. Well, Kamiya, she told herself strictly, forcing her tired muscles to stretch and strain as she got to her feet determinedly. Only four more hours of school. That's all. No more, no less. You can make it through this. You do every day. Besides, it's a Friday, God be praised. Enjoy it.
While this didn't make up for being iced earlier, it certainly made her feel a little better and gave her the extra push she needed to drive herself into the cafeteria.
Himura Kenshin found himself glancing suspiciously back toward her seat. Yes, that was right - the Cynical Female, his mortal enemy. Kamiya Kaoru wasn't in class, and he was extremely wary. She'd been there this morning, and he wanted to know why she wasn't in position. This was going to cause all of his planning to go down the toilet. It was fruitless, he supposed, to even try and complete his second practical joke of the day. Kenshin sighed and leaned back in his chair only to earn a sharp glance from the teacher. He rolled his eyes and sat forward again.
All that planning for nothing, he thought, ignoring the teacher's droll lecture. What a waste of time. I can't believe Kamiya skipped class. This ruins everything. And I wanted revenge for that kick. He shuddered, rubbing his left ribs as he remembered the powerful display of anger from earlier. That girl was dangerous. It was a miracle that she hadn't already been suspended from school. The only way Kenshin ever fought was with a sword. Unfortunately swords weren't allowed on school grounds, otherwise he would have taught Kaoru a lesson a long time ago.
This idea made for an entertaining fantasy. He grinned happily and supported his head with threaded hands, leaning back as he contemplated the many ways he could slice various limbs from her body. How enjoyable it would be to finally teach her a thing or two about messing with the Himura Kenshin. No one pissed Kenshin off and got away with it for long. And Kamiya had been his rival since the beginning of the school year, which was already nearing four months. Sooner or later he'd have to take ultimate revenge and he was already scheming up a couple of theories that were beginning to sound very, very interesting.
Suddenly the bell rang for fifth period lunch, surprising him out of his fantasy and back into reality, which was a little disappointing. Still, almost satisfaction was coming out of this - he had lunch with Kamiya. Maybe he would have time to plan a little something to continue his desperate search for revenge. He refused to let anything go for longer than a few hours, and, in his opinion, his payback was way past due.
Kaoru's eyes narrowed as determination filled her and she set her fists up around her face. It was going to be a long fight, but it would be worth it in the end. Lunch time was here, and it was Fridays, which meant...Pizza Day. Preparing herself both mentally and physically one last time, she broke through the crowd and used shoulders, elbows, and fists to knock people that were fighting to get ahead just as viciously out of the way as she made her way through the crowds and toward the Holy Salvation that was pizza.
A few minutes and a couple of bruises later, Kaoru found herself near the front of the line. Grinning in victory, she leapt into place right behind the next person, only to realize with absolute, complete horror who it was. Red hair tumbled over his shoulders and down his back. That meant one person and one person only...Himura Kenshin. Kaoru was definitely beginning to regret that cry of triumph she'd let loose as soon as she'd made it to the front, because Kenshin had immediately turned around and was now smirking superiorly at her. If there was one thing Kaoru couldn't stand, it was that smirk he gave right before starting to condescend to her.
"Well, well, well," he began in a soft voice that would have, in a different situation and given that Kenshin's personality had been entirely transformed, beautiful and pleasing to the ears. "Looks like Kamiya skipped fourth period. Mind if I ask where you were?'
Kaoru sucked in her breath, resisting the urge to raise her fists once again, and instead vouching to tug at a strand of long, black hair and glare irritably at his handsome face. "Actually, Himura, I would mind very much. Do me a favor and piss off."
He grinned at her, amber eyes flashing violet in the peculiar way they did when he was amused. "I'm sorry, but that would be terribly inconvenient. Besides, I'm hungry and I've been waiting in this line for ten minutes already. I have no intention of leaving. But, of course, you always have the option of leaving yourself." His tone was low. It was as though he was talking to a child that was barely old enough to walk, and it just made Kaoru all the angrier.
"If you don't shut up and turn around, I'm gonna shove your tray up your ass, Pretty Boy," she spat threateningly. Her rival's grin merely widened; by now he was used to the feminine nicknames she called him by.
"I'd like to see you try, Kamiya," he laughed, turning around as the line moved up. He lowered his voice until it was just loud enough for her to hear. "I'd like to see you try."
Not ignorant to the fact that his back was to her, Kaoru stuck out her tongue and made a nasty face at the Eleven Year. Stupid ass, she thought furiously, snatching a tray up off the rack lining the wall leading up to the selection of food. It'll be another ten minutes at least before I can get to the goods and I don't think I can handle anymore of Pretty Boy's sarcasm until then. Lord, send me a savior.
Unfortunately, the Lord must have been on a coffee break.
Five minutes passed as the line slowly progressed and Kaoru came nearer and nearer to the food selection. The aroma of pizza was drifting on warm air coming from the ovens behind the counters and was beginning to drive Kaoru crazy. All the waiting was worth it, though. Soon Kaoru found herself barred from her precious pizza by only one thing - Himura Kenshin, who seemed just as eager as she. Trying desperately to ignore his presence, Kaoru instead leaned forward and took a deep whiff of the intoxicating smell of pepperoni. She shivered in excitement. Pizza Day took place on only the third Friday of every month and it was more than hectic- it was crazy, it was violent, but it was worth it.
She watched miserably as Kenshin happily accepted his slice, turning only once to send her another smirk. "Sorry, Kamiya," he added and snickered before heading off to sit with his stupid friends at their regular table. She mentally cursed him, wondering exactly what he'd meant, but soon forgot to think badly of him when she was greeted by the lunch lady. Kaoru extended her tray forward, waiting expectantly for a large slice of cheesy, pepperoni-y pizza to drop onto her plate, but was shocked when she realized exactly what had made its way forward.
It was a grilled cheese sandwich, left over from yesterday and almost as hard as a rock. Trying to keep her cool, she turned her most pleasant smile on the lunch lady. "Um...excuse me. I was hoping that I could get a piece of pepperoni pizza instead."
The woman cast her an annoyed look before waving her hand vaguely toward the left side of the cafeteria. "That boy with the red hair has the last piece," she told Kaoru, eyes bright with impatience. "So just go sit down. You're holding up the line."
As soon as the words 'boy with red hair' left the lady's mouth, Kaoru felt every bone in her body freeze over and her muscles almost collapsed in on themselves. Looking up from her tray and in the direction the lunch lady had waved, she was met with a satisfied grin and a mocking salute from none other than the Pretty Boy himself. Kaoru, almost in a daze, sat down at the nearest table, ignoring the weird looks that a few of the people already sitting there cast her. All that ran through her mind was the thought that she'd been denied her pizza by Himura Kenshin. Finally overcoming her shock enough to think clearly, her eyes narrowed into slits and she found herself glaring at anyone that dared look at her. She got to her feet, grabbed her tray, and stormed over to where the bastard was sitting. She waited until she had his attention. "What's wrong, Kamiya?" he asked nastily, smirk in place as always. "Disappointed?"
Not giving her actions a second thought, she upturned the tray over his lap, allowing peas and mashed potatoes to spill all over his khaki pants, but not before taking the grilled cheese sandwich and grinding it into the top of his head. Kenshin stared up at her, dismayed, as melting cheese began to drip down his back. His friends were shocked into speechlessness and found they couldn't say a word of protest. "This, Himura Kenshin," came the seething voice of Kamiya Kaoru, "means war."
And with that, the battle of the sexes began.
Midi: Okay, not entirely what everyone was expecting I believe, but still...I want you all to know that I'm all about character development, so don't expect the fluff to appear immediately. I refuse to betray my instinct on character development. –determination glints in her eyes- This chapter is considerably longer than most of my chapters ever are, so please don't yell at me for the length. Please take note that the paragraphs are long themselves. That's the only excuse I can offer. I hope you enjoyed Ch.1 of Shifting the Blame. I can't wait to hear what you have to say.