D/C: I don't own RK…not even one character…
Here goes another RK story of mine. To be honest, I don't know where I got the idea of this one, but it seemed like such a good one I couldn't let it pass without writing it down. I hope you have fun reading it just as I had fun writing it.
CHAPTER 1: In the Rain
FBI agent Kaoru Kamiya crouched low behind a large wooden crate. Her gun lay a few feet away from her, she could just reach out and grab it…but yet, she couldn't. Her heart thumped loudly against her chest, and she began to perspire. She breathed so quickly her lungs ached under the load of too much air. She was an agent without a gun…that, definitely, wasn't a good situation in a criminal-FBI shootout. She found herself wishing she had brought a spare gun along, but it was too late for that now…
Slowly, Kaoru peered around the crate. The coast was somewhat clear. It was now…or never…
She lunged out from behind the crate, grabbed her gun and ducked behind another wooden box, barely escaping the shower of bullets which had showered upon her. She leaned against the wood, holding the gun up to her chest and inhaling deeply, not believing she was still alive. But this was far from over. She gripped her gun and gritted her teeth in frustration. Where the hell did Sano go?
Suddenly, she felt a movement behind her. She spun around, holding her gun in front of her at arm's length.
'Whoa! Hold it!' her fellow agent, Sanosuke Sagara exclaimed. 'You weren't going to shoot me, were you?'
'Don't come up behind me like that if you don't want to be shot!' she snapped, although she was feeling quite relieved to see him. She lowered her gun and sighed. 'Please tell me you've got strategy.'
Sano nodded, grinning. 'I'll go face them and stand in their way of bullets…that'll distract them enough for you to come up behind them and shoot…this way they'll be surrounded and we'll definitely have them then,' he said in a rush.
Kaoru stared incredulously at him. 'Are you insane? You'll get yourself killed!' she hissed.
Sano smiled and shook his head. 'First rule of the FBI; don't get yourself killed,' he reminded her. 'I'm not about to break rules.'
'This from a guy who does nothing but break rules,' Kaoru said, smiling weakly.
He squeezed her shoulder gently. 'Faith is the word,' he told her. He held out his gun. 'Alright, on the count of three I step into the field and you run, okay? One. Two. Three!'
Sano dashed into the open and an immediate exchange of gun fire was heard. Kaoru took in a deep breath and ran. Sano was right; those thugs were completely occupied to notice her. She ran up from behind them and held out her gun. 'Hey, fellas! Look behind you!' she shouted, gleefully. The five bank robbers spun around; apparently confused…and trapped. They stopped their gunfire. Kaoru caught Sano winking at her from the other side. Kaoru fired a couple of bullets near their feet. 'Alright, drop your weapons and nobody gets hurt!'
'Ha! You gotta be kidding!' one crook shouted, probably their leader.
'You know, I forgot to tell you backup is on the way,' Sano remarked. 'You won't be able to escape, anyway.'
Kaoru swallowed hard, but kept her gun steady. She hoped Sano knew what he was doing, because she certainly didn't remember calling for backup, and that would certainly prove to be a problem, but she decided to play along, anyway. 'Yeah, we called them in ages ago so they should be here in a few minutes,' she said.
'That's not a problem! We can take you before your backup arrives,' another crook snarled.
'C'mon, you can't be that upset because we interrupted your meeting!' Sano said, smiling sweetly at them.
'Oh, believe me, we are,' the first one hissed.
Kaoru glanced at Sano, and he nodded. They both unleashed their bullets. The robbers shouted and scattered, struggling with their guns. When the dust had cleared out, they were able to see that two crooks had been hurt in the process. They lay on the floor, clutching their wounds.
'Get up, you morons!' their leader barked, while he, himself, kept shooting at them. He was standing with his back to the wall, so he could keep an eye on both the agents, but even he was able to do a bit of math; they were three against two; which was definitely not a good situation for them.
'Kaoru, shoot at their boss!' Sano shouted, pulling continuously at his trigger.
Kaoru wanted to, but her gun needed loading. She ducked behind another crate, and immediately started loading her gun.
'Kaoru!' Sano yelled, battling against three crooks alone.
'Coming, coming!' she murmured anxiously, stuffing the bullets into her gun. Then came a gun shot…and a strangled yell. 'Oh, my God! Sano!'
She leapt up to her feet and had barely taken a few steps when...
Sanosuke watched helplessly as on of the thieves grabbed Kaoru as she stepped out from behind the crate and pinned her arms behind her. Her gun flew out of her hand and clattered to the floor. He winced in pain and clutched his arm where the bullet had hit him.
'Drop your gun or your little friend gets it!' the man yelled.
'No, Sano, don't!' Kaoru cried, but the man holding her put his hand over her mouth, muffling the rest of her words. Her eyes were wide and terrified, but she still shook her head.
Sano winced again; the loss of blood was making him feel a bit drowsy. Nevertheless, he kept a firm grip on his gun.
'Drop it!' their boss shouted.
Sano didn't know what to do. He wouldn't forgive himself if something happened to Kaoru, after all, he was the one who had talked her into coming with him to this warehouses' area, which was a good distance away from town. He had gotten information about the whereabouts of a bank-robbing gang, and had wanted to go there quickly. He had brought Kaoru along…and now he and Kaoru were probably going to be killed, and it was his entire fault.
'Drop the gun!' the leader commanded.
Sano grimaced. 'I'm sorry, Kaoru,' he whispered, and loosened his grip around the weapon.
But he stopped, and he stared.
'Yes, by all means, drop the gun,'
'Captain Sagara!' Sano exclaimed, feeling relieved. He was never this happy to see the Captain's face.
The Captain held the leader at gun point. 'Do I have to repeat myself? I said, drop the gun,' he said. With an angry growl, the man dropped his gun. 'Now hold up your hands where I can see them,' he ordered, and turned to the guys holding Kaoru. 'Let go of her or your boss gets a full blast of my gun…then I want you and your friends to drop your guns, too.'
The two thugs hesitated, but a sharp glance from their leader made them do what they had been told.
Kaoru rushed to Sano's side. 'Are you okay?' she asked anxiously.
'Fine,' he grunted.
Captain Sagara summoned the other agents, who were apparently waiting outside the warehouse, and after he'd made sure that the five crooks were securely captivated, he walked over to Sano and Kaoru. 'How's your wound?' he asked, sounding grave.
'It's okay,' Sano murmured, avoiding eye contact.
The Captain sighed. 'What were you two thinking?' he demanded. It was remarkable how quickly he was able to change the tone of his voice.
Sano gulped. Captain Sagara was more like a father than a Captain to him, but that didn't earn him any special treatment and it certainly didn't stop the Captain from being strict. 'Please, Captain…keep Kaoru out of this,' he pleaded. 'It was all my idea.'
'I don't care whose idea it was, you shouldn't have come here,' the Captain said.
'I know, but once I knew the whereabouts of these guys, I…' Sano said.
'You decided to work of your own account and catch them single-handed without notifying me…is that it?' Captain Sagara said sharply. 'And after I've continuously warned you about acting on your own...wasn't that what happened?'
Sano stared down at the floor. 'Yeah, something like that,' he murmured. 'But I only did it because…'
'I don't care what the reason is!' the Captain said angrily. 'You did wrong, you both could've been killed…you had no right to do what you did…it's just lucky I discovered where you were going and followed you, or else we'd probably be cleaning up the mess left by your bodies.'
'I'm sorry,' Sano murmured.
'Sorry isn't enough, mister…' Captain Sagara replied.
'Stop yelling at him! He told you he was sorry!' Kaoru interrupted him. 'Can't you see he's hurt?'
'Kaoru, what are you doing?' Sano hissed.
Kaoru ignored him and went on. 'Being his father or guardian or whatever you are doesn't give you the right to scold him from every single mistake!' she said. 'Others have made the same mistakes and haven't got so much as a glare from you! Heck, he did this to make you feel proud!'
'But I am proud…' the Captain sputtered.
'Yeah? Well, your pride and joy needs medical treatment!' Kaoru snapped. 'C'mon, Sano.' She grabbed his hand and pulled a baffled Sanosuke after her, leaving an even more baffled Captain behind her.
Kaoru sighed and let go of Sano's hand. 'Don't mention it,' she muttered.
Being his best friend, she knew Sano would've never let anyone scold him or yell at him, but with Captain Sagara it was a different case. Sano would never stand up to himself in front of the Captain. He was strongly afflicted to the Captain, and he deeply admired and respected him. Sano was possessed with the idea of making the Captain proud of him, and he would never do a thing to disobey him. But she just couldn't stand by and watch him being scolded…even if it were by Captain Sagara.
'C'mon, I gotta hurry you to the hospital before your wound gets infected,' she said. They climbed into their car, and Kaoru hurried him off to the hospital. The ride was a silent one, and Kaoru knew that Sano was still thinking about the Captain, but she didn't stress on the matter. They reached the hospital, and Kaoru pulled him towards the building. 'Megumi!' she called as they pushed through the double doors of the emergency section.
'I'll call her for you,' a nurse offered, and went off to get the doctor.
They waited patiently in the aisle, with Sano gripping his wound tightly to prevent any further loss of blood. Dr. Megumi Takani appeared down the corridor, an irritated look upon her face. 'Oh, c'mon, please! Not again!' she protested, once she had spotted them. 'This is the third time this month!'
Sano smiled apologetically. 'Well, I don't tell the bullets to hit me, you know,' he pointed out.
She sighed in exasperation. 'Just…let me fix you up,' she said wearily. Sano and Kaoru followed her into an empty room with two beds. Sano sat down on one bed and Kaoru plopped down on the other, exhausted. Megumi pushed a stray lock of hair away from her face. 'Alright, take your shirt off so I can have a close look,' she said, pulling on a pair of surgical gloves.
'Sure, I wouldn't mind showing off my pumped biceps every once in a while,' Sano said, pulling off his long-sleeved black t-shirt.
'Please! I've seen women with stronger muscles!' Megumi mused, rolling her eyes, and Kaoru laughed.
'You don't mean that,' Sano said, rather doubtfully, as he narrowed his eyes at her.
Megumi ignored him and started inspecting his wound. 'Not as bad as the last one,' she commented after a moment. 'The bullet hasn't gone deep inside, I can easily remove it…but I can tell you'll be having a scar.'
'Great! The more the merrier!' he said sarcastically. 'How many scars have I got till now? Four?'
'Six,' Megumi corrected him, and they both frowned curiously at her. 'Wouldn't hurt to be keeping count, but never mind that…you know, Sano, you wouldn't hurt yourself this much if you weren't too reckless.'
'Megumi, the fun in being an FBI agent is doing reckless stuff,' Sano said, saying it as if it was the most obvious thing in the world.
'Spare me,' she drawled, starting to remove the bullet. She succeeded in pulling it out after several minutes in which none of them said a word, since Megumi always demanded quiet while she worked. She finally pulled it out and held it up before his face. Sano grimaced. 'There! Wanna keep it or should I chuck it out?'
'Are you kidding? I'd love to keep it as a souvenir,' he cracked.
Megumi sighed and dropped the bullet into the dust bin. 'Now stay still while I rub antiseptic onto your wound,' she instructed him, as she got out a bottle of antiseptic and a piece of cotton wool, and poured some of the transparent liquid on it. 'This might hurt.'
'Go on, nothing ever…ARGH!' he cried.
'Way to go, brave guy,' Kaoru said, smirking.
Sano scowled. 'Why don't you try it? It stings like hell!' he snapped.
Megumi dabbed the cotton wool on his wound some more, before finally dropping it in the garbage bin. 'Could I ask for a favor?' Megumi asked, as she started working on the stitches.
'No, wait…don't say it…it's Izumi, right?' Sano asked.
Megumi nodded, without raising her eyes from her work. Izumi was her boyfriend, and they'd been going out for over two months now. Megumi never got to see much of him, though, because he spent a lot of time in prison. Kaoru groaned. 'What has he done now?' she demanded.
'Well, the usual, shop-lifting,' Megumi murmured. 'He stole a television this time.'
'Word of advice, have him steal something smaller next time,' Sano said, snickering.
Kaoru frowned at him, and he stopped. 'Or even better, have him not stealing anything next time,' she retorted. She sighed and turned to Megumi. 'Why do you stay with this guy? You can do much better than him.'
A sly smile came upon Megumi's lips. 'Well, you know, he has some good points,' she said, mischievously.
Kaoru smiled knowingly. 'Gotcha,' she said.
Sano blinked and looked from one to the other, hoping that he'd get a glitch of what the two of them were saying. But when neither of them seemed to want to explain, he folded his arms against his chest and scowled at them. 'Are you planning to tell me what that meant sometime soon?' he demanded.
'Oh, Sanosuke, you're such a baby…not understanding the terms of grown-ups,' Megumi teased him.
'Shut up!' he fumed.
Megumi laughed and finished treating his wound. She started packing away her medical equipment. 'There, done…you're as good as new,' she said, patting his arm. 'Just come after three or four days so I could take out the stitches.'
Sano pulled on his shirt and slid off the bed. Kaoru followed suite. 'Thanks for sparing us some of your time, Megumi,' she said.
'Oh, don't worry about that...it's always interesting to treat bullet wounds,' the doctor replied, making a careless gesture with her hand. Sano became red in the face. 'No, really, it's no big deal. In fact, I should be the one thanking you.'
'Yeah, we'll get Izumi out of his cell in no time,' Kaoru assured her, heading for the door.
'Bye,' Sano said.
'Good bye,' Megumi said, smiling.
Sano looked over his shoulder at Megumi as they started down the corridor, who was heading in the opposite direction. 'That Megumi is such a fine lady,' he commented, looking back in front of him. 'Pretty, smart…'
Kaoru stared at him as she stepped out through the door of the ER section. 'Sanosuke, are you saying that you like Megumi?' she demanded.
He shrugged. 'What's not to like?' he said, and paused for a moment. 'Forget it, there's someone who liked her first.'
Kaoru didn't say anything after that, but cried out suddenly as she remembered something.
'What?' Sano asked, alarmed.
She was slapping herself on the forehead. 'Oh, I'm supposed to meet Saitou for lunch! I've forgotten two lunches with him already and I don't want him thinking I'm ignoring him or something,' she said, frantically. 'I'm already ten minutes late!!'
'Ok, you go have lunch with him, and I'll take care of Izumi,' Sano told her. 'Just drop me off at the police station on your way, alright?'
'Sorry I'm late!'
Saitou Hajime looked up as Kaoru plopped down on the seat across from him. 'Hello,' he said quietly.
'Hi!' she breathed, pushing strands of her hair away from her flushed face.
'What took you this time?' Saitou said, frowning.
Kaoru smiled nervously. 'Sorry, we were chasing a bunch of bank crooks… and I got caught up in the action, you know,' she told him. 'And then I had to take Sano to the hospital because he got shot.'
'Again?' he said incredulously. 'That guy's a magnet for trouble.'
Kaoru laughed. 'Yeah, I suppose he is,' he agreed. 'Even Megumi...the doctor at the hospital...was telling him that.'
Saitou smiled lightly. 'But, Sagara aside...' he said. He and Sano had never gotten along, because on their first meeting, Sano had accidentally spilled beer over Saitou, and the latter had taken offence. Kaoru thought it was rather silly, but then again, she was never an expert when it came to the guy codes, so she just tried to stop them meeting again. '...did everything go okay with the crooks? Did you get them in the end?'
'Yeah, we go them...although we did get into some trouble for acting on our own,' she said quickly, and Saitou raised an eyebrow at her. She smiled. 'But everything's fine now!! They're being questioned at the agency this very instant. So, shall we order?'
Saitou nodded, and picked up his menu. 'What will you be having, then?' he asked.
'Oh, whatever you want, I don't mind,' she said, smiling at him.
Yeah, okay, so she and Saitou weren't a match made in heaven, they were totally different from each other and had nothing in common, but that was the fun part; to explore new things and things she thought she hated…it was all so intriguing…besides, she really liked Saitou…and it really did help that he was a cop, which meant that she didn't have to act like some mystery girl who had to leave in the middle of an intimate session because, say, her cat got cancer.
'How does the chicken fillet sound?' Saitou asked, peering over the menu.
'Lovely,' she replied.
Saitou summoned a waitress and had her jot down the order. He waited for her to walk away before looking seriously at Kaoru. 'Sweetheart, when you said acting on your own, you didn't mean that you went and defied strict instructions for the sake of some glory, did you?' he said.
Kaoru was a bit taken aback. Never mind his freaky ability of being able to tell what was on her mind, Saitou was obsessed with instructions and rules and laws. She was positive that if she told him she was an escaped convict, he'd put her directly in jail. 'Yeah, something like that...' she murmured. 'Look! It's started to rain!'
Saitou sighed and glanced out the window. 'I love the rain,' he told her.
'You do?' Kaoru said, surprised.
'Yeah, don't you?' he asked.
'It's fine with me,' she told him, glancing out the glass pane at the people running about trying to find shelter from the rain. 'When I don't have to get wet, though…thank goodness I'm in here and not out there!' Saitou didn't say anything, and just kept staring out at the rain. She cringed; she hated it when he became all silent. 'So...how was your work today?'
'Fine,' he said. '…boring.'
'C'mon, it can't be that bad,' Kaoru said.
'You might think that a policeman's job is wonderful…but it's not, really,' Saitou told her.
'Yeah, right,' Kaoru snorted.
'Yeah, I mean, with you taking all the big cases, there's really nothing left for us policemen to do,' Saitou said. 'You get all the big gigs, and all we get are the left-overs, and you know, it's no fun cleaning up left-overs.'
Kaoru was about to say something in reply when her beeper rang shrilly. Sighing in exasperation, she unhooked it from her belt and glanced at the screen. She groaned. 'What could he possibly want now?' she fumed.
'Who is it?' Saitou asked.
'Captain Sagara…he wants me back at the agency…pronto,' she mumbled. She wondered inwardly what the Captain wanted to see her for, and hoped that it wasn't to punish them for acting against his orders today. She looked timidly at Saitou. 'Oh, I'm really sorry, Saitou, but I really have to go!'
'No, it's okay,' he muttered. 'I'll cancel out your order...and you go do what you have to do.'
'Thanks...I'll try to make it up to you, okay?' she said softly.
'Yeah, okay,' he murmured.
Kaoru gave him a quick kiss on the lips before hurrying out of the restaurant to get her car. She pulled her jacket over her head and ran to the parking lot. Oh, the irony of life. A few moments ago she was ridiculing the people running in the rain, and now she had become one of them.
She got to her car and dug into her jeans pocket for her key. It slipped from her hand and fell underneath the car. Sighing in exasperation, she bent down to look for it, cursing under her breath as the rain fell against her back. Then suddenly, the rain stopped. Frowning, she looked around. No, the rain hadn't stopped, it had only stopped raining on her, but all around her, the rain fell quite heavily. Slowly, Kaoru grabbed her keys and straightened up, all too aware of the shadow which had fallen over her.
She looked up…and saw him.
He stood there with his long crimson hair which was tied back in a ponytail, and his violet eyes which seemed to be seeing right through here, and a cross-shaped scar on his right cheek. He stood there, holding his large black umbrella over her to provide her shelter.
'I…' she murmured, getting up to her feet. She smiled sheepishly. 'I was just getting my keys.'
The man didn't say anything; he just kept staring at her with those intense eyes of his.
'Um…thanks for the use of the umbrella,' she said awkwardly.
Again, he remained silent. Then he quietly bent down and gently grabbed her hand. Kaoru felt totally bewildered as he pressed the umbrella's handle into her palm. She gaped openly at him as he smiled, took a couple of steps backwards, then turned on his heels and walked away, his long black coat swishing behind him, and the rain pouring down on him.
Kaoru couldn't find her voice or she would've called him back.
What was that all about?
Kaoru stepped out of the elevator and hurried to her department. She pushed in through the doors and looked around for the Captain, and found him standing by the desk of some other agent. She rushed over towards him. 'You...paged?' she asked, slightly out of breath.
'Yes…we have a new case…follow me,' said the Captain.
Kaoru followed him into his office, and found that Sano had already gotten there before her. He was sitting on one of the leather sofas next to the desk, and Kaoru could tell from the uncomfortable posture on the sofa that he had his legs on the desk and had quickly brought them down when they came in. 'How'd your date go?' he asked, snickering.
'Rub it in, why don't you?' she hissed, throwing him a dirty look. 'Did you get Izumi out?'
'Yep,' he replied, puffing out his chest. His shoulders slumped a moment later and he smiled guiltily at her. 'But there was this moment where I was actually considering not to...you know, maybe I should leave him there and go have a shot at Megumi myself.'
Kaoru laughed. The Captain, however, didn't seem to notice that they were talking, and if he was, he was just ignoring them completely; Kaoru could tell he wasn't entirely pleased with them yet. She leaned forward towards Sano. 'Hey, what happened between you and the Captain?' she whispered.
Sano was about to open his mouth when the Captain spoke up. He was sitting at his desk and was checking something on his computer. 'Come over here,' he told them. 'I want you both to have a look at this guy here.'
They both leaned forward and studied the character displayed on the screen.
'Nice scar,' Sano commented after a moment.
A flicker of a smile passed over the Captain's lips. 'You're looking at the picture of Kenshin Himura, also known as Battousai the Manslayer,' he told them. 'He's also one of the most wanted criminals in the world.'
Kaoru just stared in shock at the face of the man whom she had met a few minutes ago…
A/N (hopping up and down anxiously): so…did you like it? Huh? Did you? I'm being a pain in the neck, ain't I? I'll waste the last of my dignity and ask those who read to please review! It's not difficult, really…
- S. N. B.