WHEN THE WORLD REVOLVES AROUND YOU
Disclaimer: I don't own Rurouni Kenshin…all original characters are mine to claim though.
AN: Guys, a pointer to those who are absolutely sad about this being the last chapter: please read from the heart, and remember, I am a K/K fan too. With that said, here is the last chapter of WHEN THE WORLD REVOLVES AROUND YOU.
Chapter 48: - EPILOGUE: The Road that Comes Together
Roses are red
Violets are blue……
So many people were milling around in crowds by the double doors leading into the building. It was kind of frustrating if you think about it. If one was late for his class, he would not be able to even get to it.
It was nearing summer time, making it almost unbearable to be smothered by so many people in the hot weather. Luckily, there was no uniform, allowing the students to wear what they wished; comfortable clothing suited in both style and season.
There were many nationalities at that school, surprisingly enough. However, they were what is called, "La crème de la crème,' or, "The cream of the crop.' Every student had worked their brains dead trying to get into the best University in the city.
It had been a year since Okita´s death. Never again was examination week looked at the same. In fact, all of his friends dreaded it, with the dark memory of what had happened so long ago.
And Hikaru? What had happened to her?
Believe it or not, she was still in a coma.
But hope never dies. One day, she would be able to awaken and experience life again.
As for Ai, her relationship with Aoshi had begun to bloom. In her time of sadness and need, he was always ready to support her. Misao and Soujiro were still good friends, though, it was in everyone´s thoughts that they might get together too.
Sanosuke was still single. He couldn´t bring himself to find someone else to love just yet.
Those memories were all so bittersweet…….
They ran through Kaoru´s mind as she shoved her way through the throng of people, a bit ticked off. She would be late for her class. Again.
Roses are red
Violets are blue
After all this time
I still think of you.
"Kamiya-san, wait up!' A voice called.
Sighing, Kaoru stopped. She turned slowly to face the person.
It was a gangly boy, with at thin frame and a head full of dark curls. He had big adorable brown eyes that shone when she turned around.
"Yes, Sakamoto-san?' She asked. This young man had been at her heels ever since she entered the university only two months ago. She had grown into a beautiful girl who hadn´t the slightest idea how many men were attracted to her. Heads always turned her way whenever she walked in the hallway, and almost every time she was going to open a door for herself, someone was already doing so for her.
However, there was a certain red-haired individual that was always on her mind, and she couldn´t quite forget him just yet. Even if it had been a while since she had seen him, she found she couldn´t get over him. Thus, the adoring looks she received were always unnoticed.
Kaoru got mad at herself sometimes, since she knew it wasn´t healthy to dwell on the past. She had to move on. Already, she had made new friends, as Misao and the others had gone straight to Kojimachi Private University.
Things were not the same anymore. There was much more homework, and for the first time ever, Kaoru´s marks went below 90. It must be confessed that her average didn´t even make it to the 80 range. How difficult!
Her family was doing well though, and Yahiko was looking forward to his examination period to try and do as well as his sister had. Suzume had started school too, and the little girl was thrilled with the prospect of having made new friends.
Despite the fact that she was still in touch with her friends and had her family, Kaoru still felt so alone.
So terribly alone.
Roses are red
Violets are blue
It´s been a year
What´s happened to you?
Kenshin leaned against the wall, with a sigh. He was dressed in a normal pair of comfortable baggy jeans and a t-shirt that read, "Don´t you just wish you were me?' On the back it said, "Too bad, you´re not.'
He had made new friends himself. Chou, a tall guy with blonde spiked hair, and his friend Anji, a silent tower of muscle. Despite Anji´s size and build, he was gentle and peace loving. Chou, on the other hand, looked weak and puny, but had a warrior´s heart. They were both totally opposite from each other: that was probably how come Kenshin had made fast friends with them. They were two years older than himself, but age didn´t matter.
At the present moment, Chou was staring at Kenshin´s shirt. "You´re so conceited kid.' He chuckled. "But you look depressed: what´s wrong?'
The younger boy shook his head. "Nothing.' He answered automatically. What was he supposed to say? That he missed someone that he could never be with? He thought he had gotten over the fact that there were some injustices in the world that could never be dealt with.
The truth of the matter was, he still loved Kaoru, and could not help but think of her every single day. He couldn´t help but wonder where she was, and what she was doing with her life now. Who she was with, and if she was happy.
He´d feel better if she was happy. Maybe not very happy on his part, but it didn´t matter.
She was probably with another man, much more deserving than himself. Chou had heard the story from him, and had sympathized. He was trying to hook Kenshin up with a girl by the name of Seirizawa Miki. She was a nice girl, intelligent and well-off, but she didn´t have that inner spark, the thing Kenshin was looking for.
"My ass, it´s nothing.' Chou grunted. "Did you get a bad mark on your test?'
"Not really.' Kenshin answered. He had been resigned to not doing very well at school nowadays.
Chou pulled out a pack of cigarettes. "Wanna try one, kid? It´ll help you loosen those nerves.'
Kenshin stared at the offered stalks for a moment. It had been a long while since he had lit one. He would do anything, to free himself of depression at the moment.
Since he didn´t have his pills on him at the moment, his quaking fingers reached out to snag one.
After the events of the year passed, Kenshin had slipped into serious depression that deprived him of sleep, of food, and of mental state. His Uncle had been very worried about that, and had him go to the doctor. He had been put strictly on depression pills: Paxil to be exact, just to help him out.
He had never OD´d before on them, but he found that he was becoming more reliant. Maybe if he started smoking again, he could be free of them for a little while…..
Roses are red
Violets are blue
I´ll always remember
And always love you
He was about to light it and get a whiff, when all of a sudden, he felt someone bump into him, and on instinct, he gripped the stalk harder so that it wouldn´t fall. Still, irritated, he turned around to glower at the person who had done that so carelessly.
"Watch it, will ya?' he demanded.
"Sorry about that.' A girl muttered, just as irritably.
Purple eyes widened at the voice, and at the figure. Was his eyes playing tricks on him, or was it his heart?
Kaoru, desperate to get away from Sakamoto-san, had turned the boy down for his offer to go to lunch. But talk about persistent! The boy followed her, begging her to reconsider. What would he give to go out with an angel like her?
She had tried to lose him in a crowded hallway, and had been looking over her shoulder to see if he had managed to follow, when…….she bumped into someone. And the someone hadn´t been who she expected.
"K-Kenshin?' Kaoru asked, in disbelief.
The cigarette did fall, at his shock.
"What are you doing here?'
Kenshin couldn´t help but stare. His heart thumped so loudly, he was positive everyone could hear it. All rational thoughts left him, and all he could do was stare openly.
He felt someone nudge him, and stuttered, "H…..hi.' like the stupid idiot that he was. His hands unconsciously ran themselves though his long red hair – yes, it went all the way past his shoulders now, his bangs still unevenly cut. He seemed flustered and embarrassed.
He hadn´t been expecting to bump into her, as the University of Tokyo was a huge place, and one hardly saw anyone more than twice through the whole year unless they were in the same classes or friends. This was certainly a surprise for him.
Having graduated from Queen´s High School, he had made it into the Tokyo University to his delight and surprise. Jae had made it in too, and sometimes, the two, who were now close friends, chilled after school. Sanosuke, attending Kojimachi Private University, joined them when he had the chance.
"I…….uh……..' Before he could say anything more, he was interrupted.
Sakamoto-san had found out that Kaoru had tried to ditch him, but hadn´t really understood the implication. He found her in the hallway talking, and made his way toward her. "Kamiya-san! Wait, please……..!' He cried. He stopped short when he saw Chou, Anji and Kenshin with her.
Without thinking, Kaoru stepped to Kenshin´s side and took his arm. "I told you I can´t, and won´t go out with you, remember?' She said, sounding exasperated. "I have other plans tonight.'
The boy slowed down a bit, disappointed. "Oh, sorry…..' he mumbled, more than embarrassed when he saw her hook her arm into Kenshin´s. He hadn´t heard anything……he felt like an idiot. "I didn´t know you already had a boyfriend.' His face reddened, and he apologized before he turned his heel to leave.
Kaoru felt sorry for him. "I guess I just didn´t have the heart to tell you.' She told him, a bit apologetically.
He nodded his understanding, and sullenly left.
watched him go, and when he had turned the corner, the girl breathed
a sigh of relief.
Chou whistled, breaking the absent atmosphere. "Oh, Kenshin…..a girlfriend? You´re over that Kaoru girl, now?'
Kenshin stiffened at the mention of the name. Kaoru, realizing that she was gripping his arm, slowly took her hands away. "Chou……this is Kaoru. Kamiya Kaoru.'
At her sudden introduction, Kaoru bowed.
Chou whistled again. "You´re right: she´s nothing like Miki at all – she´s better.'
Kenshin winced. "Chou……..' He muttered, feeling his face go red.
Enjoying the fact that he had Kenshin flinching and uncomfortable, Chou continued. "What a surprise, I can finally meet the infamous Kaoru.' He gave Kaoru a gracious bow back. "Kenshin talks non-stop about you.' He informed her.
Kenshin felt as if his face was on fire. "Chou!' He admonished
Kaoru´s blue eyes glanced at him in question.
Roses are red
Violets are blue
I hope what I´m seeing
And hearing is true
"It´s nice to meet you, uh…….' She faltered a bit.
"Just call me Chou!' He sang. "Man, Kenshin, if you hadn´t already snagged her, then I would have tried.' He elbowed Anji, who was just looking on without comment. "This is my pal, Anji.'
"It´s nice to meet you both.' Kaoru managed, behind a giggle. Chou was almost as jumpy as Sanosuke. It was only a wonder that Kenshin had made friends with him.
He snagged Anji´s arm, and began pulling him away. "We´ll leave you two lovebirds behind for some time alone.' He said, winking.
He shoved Kenshin toward her slightly as he left, and the two disappeared behind the corner, to spy.
Kaoru, class now forgotten, felt awkward. What was she to say? "Did you…..' She paused, before continuing – it was too late, she had already started. "Did you really talk about me, all the time?' She asked.
Kenshin cursed Chou mentally, and felt himself flush. "Not all the time,' He said, noncommittally, "because it´s harder to forget.'
She looked away. "I see…….' Her hands clasped themselves in front of her. "…..do…..you want to forget?'
His voice came out in a low whisper. "No…….never…..' His eyes locked with hers, and in them, she could see something so unmistakable.
He decided to change the subject, since he felt really uncomfortable with the way the conversation was headed. "So…….how have you been doing?' Without me…..he added, silently.
"Not too good – not too bad.' Could have been better with you by my side, she thought, but she didn´t voice that out loud. She switched her book bag to her left shoulder. "Yourself?'
He didn´t think twice. "Terrible.' Realizing that he had said that, he tried to cover it with a smirk. For some strange reason, he couldn´t look away. He tried to make an excuse. "My grades aren´t the greatest, but at least I try.'
She smiled a bit at his last statement. "I see you managed to get into Tokyo University – congratulations. However, I thought that you were going to go to Kojimachi.'
shrugged. "Since I was no longer a student at the high school, I
couldn´t go to the university. I wanted to go for business and
commerce, but I had to take another exam: so, I tried the exam for
Tokyo University.' He spread his hands out for emphasis. "So,
here I am.'
Her warmth and nearness was making him lose his cool. How was it that she always managed to do that?
A silence hit, which was so uncomfortable that all Kenshin could do was swallow. It had been his plan to never see her again – hopefully, move on….but now that he knew she was there too, he began to panic. How could one possibly forget…….?
Roses are red
Violets are blue
I would rather die
Then forget about you
Kaoru broke the silence and their eye contact by stepping back. "Sorry about earlier…' She said. "I had to get him off me somehow.' She was referring to when she had grabbed his arm to keep Sakamoto-san away.
Kenshin looked down at his feet, which were in comfortable sandals. He wiggled his toes self-consciously. How wonderful. She just had to bring that up. "It´s not a big deal….'
She looked down too, and caught sight of the cigarette that he had dropped. In surprise, she asked, "You´re smoking again?'
The disgust in her tone was very evident and he heard himself reply. "No, not anymore…..' he quickly tried to explain himself. "I mean, I was going to, but you bumped into me. Funny – that´s how we first met in high school.'
Smiling, she nodded. "Yeah, that´s right. I remember. You were such a jerk back then.' She fingered her black hair thoughtfully. "But, anyway, if I hadn´t come along, you´d have probably gone back to smoking.' It was more of a scolding than a statement.
He flinched mentally, and nodded. "Yeah……..' he decided it was not best to tell her about his current depression. After all, he had been the one to leave. It still hurt him to know that he loved her and couldn´t be with her.
She knew, for some strange reason, that he was keeping something from him. He seemed subdued, and very different. It was like making friends on the first day of school. Awkward, uncomfortable…..ill at ease.
He was already making mental plans on how he could take another exam to go to another University. That was the only thing he could think of to do: run away. If Jen were there, she would probably laugh at him, or get upset that he wasn´t being manly enough. His hands became sweaty, as he tried to think of something to say to ease the moment. Nothing came into his mind, except how much he loved this girl in front of him.
on the other hand, was also tongue-tied. Here was the man she thought
about every day…..the man whom she had fallen in love with…….the
man who had left her, and she thought she´d never see again –
right in front of her eyes! Her voice was low when she spoke. "Our
paths have crossed again, it seems.'
He nodded, wordlessly. He wanted to bolt and run. Or stand on his spot and cry. Perhaps it was because he had forgotten to take his pills that day.
She eyed him from top to bottom. He had grown a little taller, not too much though, as people still towered over him. His eyes were just as breathtaking as always. And…….he was just as conceited it seemed. "Nice shirt.' She said, laughing a bit.
He colored. "Uh…..yeah…..' he put a hand up to the back of his head, embarrassed. He felt his cheeks flush again.
"Have you found someone?' She asked suddenly. She sounded almost desperate.
"Someone?' He repeated, confused. Their eyes met again.
you are able to love….and are allowed to be with.'
Kenshin hid his face with his bangs. "No.' He took a deep breath. "Not yet. You?'
When she spoke, it was barely audible, but to him, it was as if she had yelled it right in his ear. "The only person I want to be with is you.'
Roses are red
Violets are blue
I would do anything
Just to be with you
He wondered if he were dreaming. "…….Really?' He asked.
After so long…..
"Yes…..' She angrily shook her head. "Sanosuke told me that you once said you would do anything for my happiness…..but, you leaving did not make me happy. Kenshin………' Feeling ashamed, she looked away. "You don´t have feelings for me anymore, do you?' Her beautiful blue eyes filled with tears.
Not able to take it anymore, he reached up and wiped her tears with his hands. The contact of his flesh on hers made him shiver again. "What are you talking about? I told you I´d always love you…….' He tilted her chin up to look at him, "….and that I would do anything for your happiness…….but Kaoru……there´s nothing….'
"Don´t you believe that love can conquer all?' She sounded so upset. "That no matter what comes our way, we will be able to rise up over it? We were supposed to make new memories together.'
Kenshin felt like he could hardly breathe. Her hands reached up to clasp his forearms, sending those familiar sparks flying. She was wearing a blue and white checkered shirt, along with a pleated skirt that fell to just above her knees. Her long black ponytail was tied back with a swath of blue ribbon. She looked like an angel. His heart thumped faster, wanting to draw this girl closer to him. "Kaoru...those things only happen in stories, or fairytales……I told you before, that we can´t.'
Kaoru froze, before slowly taking her hands away from him. She took a step back.
"It´s wrong….' She whispered. "…..it´s wrong…..you´re not Kenshin.'
Confused, he looked at her in dismay. "What do you mean? Kaoru?' What was she saying? Dizziness and fatigue swept through his body all of a sudden. He berated himself for forgetting to take his pills that morning.
She shook her head, her eyes wide. "You´re not the Kenshin I fell in love with.' She whispered, her voice shaking. Her tears fell freely now, as he could no longer push them away. "The Kenshin I knew would give up everything, to make things right. The Kenshin I knew would not give up so easily.'
It was like getting slapped. She was right: he would have given up his status if it meant being with her.
She suddenly held her head up, her diamond eyes suddenly hardened and angry. It made Kenshin´s knees shake. "I won´t acknowledge you.' She told him. "I won´t beg anymore – you´re nothing but a coward. The Kenshin I know is gone…….'
"He´s not.' Kenshin told her. "Kaoru…….please…….'
She reached up around her neck and took off her necklace. She placed the chain and the jewel into his open palm. It was the star he had given her for her birthday. "Someone else is your star.' She told him. "Someone else, who is worthy enough to be with you. I really believed in you…..I really thought you would do anything to get your way. I was so wrong…..I waited all this time……'
In shock, he realized that he didn´t want her to go away. He would die…..his barriers broke as her words cut them down. She was right. She always seemed to be right. "Kaoru…..' His arms came up to hug her to him, in a crushing embrace.
She went rigid, uncertain how to react. The warmth coming from his body was too much to bear. "Don´t leave me…….' He whispered. How good it felt to have her warmth again! And how much he missed it!!!! "……I´m so sorry. For everything.' Memories flooded back to him, bringing with it a lot of pain and sorrow. Betrayal and sadness…..it was all bottled up inside, and it hurt.
He trembled, and nearly collapsed, but Kaoru clung to him, as she felt him start to cry on her shoulder. His body quaked as he wept bittersweet tears. He mumbled apologies again and again. "I feel so unworthy.' he whispered hoarsely.
"You aren´t.' She told him automatically. "I believe in you.'
He chuckled, the first genuine laugh he had had in a long while. He wiped his tears and looked at her. She too had tears in her eyes. He realized that he loved this girl more than he ever let on..
He pulled away, his purple eyes unclouding, after such a long time. He twined his hands behind her neck, re-clasping the necklace into place. "I believe this is yours…..'
She looked down at it. "You´re my star.' He told her. "If it´s not too late, will you acknowledge me again?'
"…….Kenshin……' How long had she waited to hear those words? How many times had she dreamed that he would come back to her? Now, it was becoming real and she was so happy, all she could do was nod. Then, she began to realize that he might have a hard time because of her. "But what about that line…..?'
"I will find a way, Kaoru.' Kenshin told her, determined. "Nakamura-san always told me to follow my heart, and since my heart is with you, I have to follow you.
"No matter where it will lead me, through hard times and good, I won´t let you go.' She was right: they could overcome anything
It was like fate had brought them together, and he was sure fate would keep them together. He felt like he could go through anything, as long as she was by his side.
And media? Gossip? Rumors? It didn´t matter. He would rise up over it. His Uncle might have a fuss, but he´d convince him. He´d convince everyone. He was determined.
No one should be pulled away from the people they loved.
"I wouldn´t have it any other way.' Kaoru told him, leaning into his embrace. Her fingers trailed his collarbone, toward his stomach, making tremors run through his body. Then, her hand stopped over his heart, where she left it, fascinated as his pulse beat under it. He reached up to clasp it, his eyes deep pools of a dark purple, almost blue.
It was hers, and hers was his.
They would move on…….surely, even though it hurt.
Maybe, fairytales and stories did come true after all…..
And surely, the ending to their tale would be a good one.
Roses are red
Violets are blue…
AN: There you go guys! Not all endings are happy – this was more, bittersweet. I said it was K/K, and I keep my promises. . I wonder if I´ll have a happy ending in my love life….? (What love life?!) walks away mumbling
A QUICK NOTE to all those who are wondering about Nakamura/Hiko –THE IMPOSSIBLE will include that in a chapter, and if you want to know what happened to them after this fic, please do read it. It will be like…..an ending that goes hand in hand with WHEN THE WORLD REVOLVES AROUND YOU.
I want to thank all my readers for the awesome ride - and thanks for all your encouragement and reviews. That said, I hope you leave me one last review before closing the window.
From the bottom of my heart,