D/C: I don't own RK, don't press on the wound when it's bleeding!
A/N: Hi there every one. It's been ages, I missed getting reviews! I really worked hard on this one, so without further ado...
CHAPTER 1/ How It All Started:
Kaoru Kamiya walked carefully on the deserted pathway from Kazuya elementary to Kazuya secondary school, holding her promising science project carefully in its box. She didn't know whether she should be glad it was recess time or not. For one thing, the pathway was completely deserted, therefore less chance of accidents such as being tripped by some one or being hit by a ball or anything. But on the other hand, she didn't feel safe. Not one bit.
The unusual thing about the Kazuya School is that it has secondary, elementary and high school classes. Each in a separate building but linked together by several pathways. This thing was exactly why Kaoru was forced to join this posh school. She was smart beyond her age average. Teachers thought she should take classes with the secondary students although she was still in the sixth grade. She couldn't see the point in it, one more year and she'll be in secondary school, so what's the big rush for? Not to mention it made her very unpopular as elementary students avoided her for being a know-it-all. They thought she was a snob. They didn't like the fact that she could outsmart them all any time. Also, she couldn't make friends with the secondary students. They thought she was 'too young'. They don't like hanging with her because she 'wasn't cool', although she was smarter than most of them. In addition, neither side liked her because although she was a great athlete she was slightly full. Even obese kids would call her names.
She quickened her pace, looking down on her path. She could feel eyes watching her back. She had to deliver her project to the science teachers of the secondary school for a science competition before the recess is over. She worked so hard on it for so long; she'd die of heart break if something happened to it.
"Ya, Brainy blubber"
She gulped as she looked up. She saw the last group of people she would like to see now. In fact, ever.
"What do you want?" she tried to sound brave but her voice faltered fearfully.
"What do you want?" one of the bully girls mimicked her in a shrill babyish voice.
One of the things that made Kaoru loathe this school was that there was just no escaping those bullying group of girls. They used to make her life as miserable as possible when they were all still in elementary school, and now, even though they some how managed to pass their exams-by cheating as every one presumed-and became secondary scholars, they were still next door neighbors. They passed by any time they wanted to give younger kids hell, especially Kaoru, who was their favorite punch bag.
Knowing desperately that there was no way on earth that they were going to let her pass peacefully and unharmed, she turned and ran for it. She tightened her grip on her precious project and charged her legs with as much speed as she could muster. They followed her in hot pursuit, determined to enjoy seeing her in pain.
Kaoru knew that she could turn any minute and use her Kamiya fighting style on them, the style that her Father taught her so well. But she didn't; she lacked the self-confidence and respect of herself. She could also turn to her Father or a teacher, but she'd never do that; she wanted to get through this all by herself, even if she couldn't see how.
Soon and after circling almost the entire elementary school building perimeter, Kaoru started running out of breath, but the girls were still hot on her tail. She was now half way through the pathway to the high school, the exact opposite direction of where she wanted so desperately to be. The oxygen dept became too big for her to handle, she began staggering, feeling like an exhausted deer being hunted down by lions. The girls behind her were telling each other how tired she was becoming and encouraging each other to move faster; 'She's wearing down'.
Suddenly he appeared almost out of nowhere. A person stood at the small gate to the high school. Kaoru saw him too late to come to a proper halt. She stopped her legs but the inertia threw her off balance and into the person's open arms knocking him down, and they both fell back to the ground. Her project flew out of her hands in its box and she looked up at it from on top of the person in horror as it came closer and closer to making threatening contact with the ground. She closed her eyes tightly shut; she couldn't bring herself to watch all her hard work go down the drain. She expected the soft sound of shattering glass but none came, only the gasps of the girls behind her, who she realized must have stopped or otherwise should have stampeded her by now.
"You okay, miss?"
Kaoru hesitated but finally decided to look.
She was on top of a guy with long red hair, who was sprawled on the ground beneath Kaoru's weight, and they were almost nose to nose. A jolt of mysterious emotions erupted in her chest. She could feel his breath on her face. She was staring right into his eyes, a wonderful shade of Lavender. She recognized them at once. This was the 'brooding highschooler'! The used to see him sometimes wandering alone in this area. All she knew about him was that he was a home schooler and he came to school every once in a while to check his progress. She knew that because he was on the honor list, like her. She wanted to break eye contact but he was staring ever so hard into her own.
She forced herself to look around for her project and another jolt ran through her but it was clearly a happy one; her project had safely landed in the hands of that guy.
"You alright?" he repeated.
Kaoru was snapped out of her happy trance of not losing her work. She nodded shyly and scrambled off of him.
"Kenshin-sama, did that moron hurt you?" the girl who always seemed to be in charge of the mob asked sincerely.
Kaoru stiffened. "You're Kenshin!" she exclaimed as she blinked at the long maroon hair before she could stop herself.
She wanted to slap herself hard for that. Kenshin rubbed the back of his head embarrassedly. Obviously lost for words just as much as she was.
"Well, yeah, I am!" he replied handing her back her project. "And I assume this is yours?"
Kaoru nodded as she accepted it gratefully. She this was the Kenshin! He was hot alright; no wonder the girls were drooling all over him all through the three schools. Even with his red, long hair he seemed so manly. But there was something wrong with him. His eyes were ever so sad even though he was smiling so pleasantly.
"So, what's going on here?" he asked Kaoru but she just stared hard at the ground. She wanted neither his pity nor his help.
"Ladies! Where are you run-" he started, but Kaoru heard the loud and scrambled thudding as they hurried away. Obviously, they could think of nothing to tell him. 'We were just chasing that brat to beat the crap out of her' wouldn't score high points with this hotty.
Now Kaoru was left alone holding her project awkwardly with a heart throb.
"Do you mind if I walk you to"-he squinted at the writing on the box she was holding-"the Kazuya High School Science competition 2005?" he offered gently.
Kaoru flushed. She felt like she had written her entire life story.
"So, you must be Kaoru Kamiya," he said, holding a hand out.
Kaoru nodded as she struggled to settle the box on one hand and stretch the other to shake his hand.
"Let me carry this for you," he said and Kaoru obediently handed him the box, her cheeks a deep shade of pink.
He started walking towards the secondary school with Kaoru quietly by his side. All the time Kaoru wishing, desperately, against hope that she could be suddenly somehow, someway at least six years older, slim, beautiful and tall.
Kenshin noticed her frown and decided to start a conversation. "So, Kaoru-dono, are you going to the fun fair tonight?" he asked casually.
Kaoru looked up at him. Right! Today was Friday and there's a new fun fair in town. Everybody was going, but she wasn't planning to.
She nodded despite her self.
"Me too," he said smiling. "I'm going with some friends of mine."
Kaoru flushed her deeper shade so far; she had no friends, but there's no way she's tell him that. "Me too," she lied, feeling a pang of shame.
"Good, then I guess we might see each other there," he said cheerfully, and she smiled weakly.
Kaoru couldn't decide what to feel at that moment; too many things jumped in her head at the same time. She felt excited that he one way or another liked the idea of seeing her and she didn't think of a reason why her Dad won't agree to her going to the fun fair; he was the one always complaining she spent too much time alone. But, where on earth could she whip up some friends instantly? She had none. Also, she knew herself very well, she was bound to say or do something stupid and make a joke out of herself, and the entire school was going to be there, could she risk it?
"Yeah," she said slowly, but cheerfully, and his smile widened.
She decided she didn't care. She always admired Kenshin from a distance, and although there was an age difference, he was worth a shot.
They reached the secondary building and walked in together silently. Heads turned to see the handsome red head and then eyes narrowed in disgust at the shortie trotting next to him. Kenshin ignored them completely while Kaoru kept her stare fixed on her expensive shoes.
"Well, here we are," Kenshin said as they entered laboratory number 3.
He set the box on a table in front of the teacher, who smiled at Kaoru as she entered, and then stepped back and waited silently while Kaoru registered her project.
"Thank you, Kaoru-chan," the teacher said as she scribbled something on her clip board. "The results will be announced on Monday during an assembly after recess, make sure you attend."
"Thank you," Kaoru said, and then bowed slightly and walked back to Kenshin.
"Thank you so much, Kenshin-sama," she thanked him as they walked out of the lab.
The bell rang shrilly announcing the end of recess.
"I'm sorry, Kaoru, but I have to run now," he told her sincerely. "I wish you all the luck in that competition and I hope to see you tonight."
Kaoru flushed again as he mentioned seeing her and nodded feverishly. Kenshin smiled then turned and ran the way back. Kaoru watched his back till he disappeared.
She smiled to her self.
He's so adorable...
Kenshin ran all the way back to the High school building; he had to receive some extra homework from the biology teacher before he could go home. He was smiling all the way. That girl he just met had something about her. He couldn't take the image of her eyes out of his head. How can any human eye be so blue? They were also so deep and full of emotions. It was hard to think that she was still in the sixth grade, although her body proved it a little too harsh but her mind and her spirit were much older. He knew it. He saw it in her eyes, there was too much pain in them for an eleven-year old.
His smile widened. He remembered that he was going to see her again tonight and it brought him a twist of excitement he couldn't explain and rather felt ashamed of; he is seventeen.
It is absolutely wrong to think of her that way, he scolded himself.
He is too old for her. And even if they were the same age, he still couldn't have her. He wasn't going to allow himself to come close to any one, not after what happened with Tomoe.
His smile faded into a frown. Never.
The car sped smoothly on the road to the fair. She kept absolutely silent as her Father drove, so did he and the radio. It wasn't unusual for them to be so silent when they were together, even when there were so many things to talk about, like how the road was not crowded unlike expected, the science competition or even the weather.
Within a comparatively short time, Mr. Kamiya pulled the car gently to a stop right in front of the main entrance. Without a word, she opened the door and got out.
"Where are your friends?" Mr. Kamiya asked, looking past her in an attempt to spot any group of kids looking at his daughter.
Kaoru flushed guiltily. "Th-they're inside, waiting for me," she lied, feeling rather embarrassed.
He fixed her with a steely stare. "Alright then," he finally said. "Have fun."
Kaoru nodded and shut the door carefully. She took a step back and watched the car as it sped away.
She took a deep breath and turned to face the main entrance and the bright lights of the carnival.
Butterflies fluttered uncomfortably in her stomach; Kenshin was in there.
She felt like turning back and running home. She had tried to look her best and deep down she knew she failed terribly. She had spent the entire day searching for the right outfit. She wanted to look mature and grown up and she realized bitterly that she looked shabby instead. She had the idea to go through her late Mother's wardrobe and found it. She took a red, little, cotton dress with minute, white flowers. It looked so beautiful and it smelled like her mother. But it was too big for her, even though her Mom was very slim and she was rather full. By the time she finally decided that this dress wasn't making the trick, it was too late. Her Father was going to drive her there now or never. In a hurry, she made one good choice, she wore a jeans jacket to cover the upper part of the dress which covered up the fact it was over sized fairly well.
She sighed; there was no backing now. She slowly walked into the fair, passing through the couples and groups. She seemed to be the only one to be alone there. Feeling self-conscious, she sped her pace, the sooner she found Kenshin, the better. Or is it?
Her breath caught in her chest as she saw him, standing at the end of the line to the rollercoaster. He was with some friends that she saw often around the school. They all were chatting excitedly amongst themselves except for Kenshin and another friend, who was smoking and had a few hairs flying over his face. She squinted her eyes angrily at that friend; she hated smokers, especially young ones. She hesitated terribly, but decided to go for it. She walked towards the end of the line, trying not to look directly at him and hoping that he'd turn towards her and spot her. Her wish was granted. Kenshin turned and spotted her and flushed. Kaoru smiled weakly and held her breath; was he blushing because he didn't want to be seen around her? Did he expect her to know her limits and never show up?
To her relief he smiled sincerely and waved at her excitedly, as if she had just fished him out of a very boring business meeting. She stood behind him in the line.
"Hi, Kaoru-dono," he said cheerfully. "Great to see you here."
She was feeling so excited she didn't know what to say. His friends went quiet and turned to look. They spotted her and froze, seemingly aware that she wasn't even in secondary school. She saw a girl eye her from top to bottom and turn back carelessly. Luckily, not all of them were so mean to her, the rest just turned back after giving her half a smile. Kenshin didn't pay them any attention.
"So, where are your friends?" he asked, rolling his eyes at his group.
Kaoru giggled a little too shrilly, completely clueless so as to what to say. She looked around desperately for any inspiration.
"You lost them?" Kenshin asked, but not worriedly or sincerely, but in understanding.
She looked up at him and was sure that she was a deeper shade than his hair. He smiled warmly at her.
"Most people don't like those who are smarter or better than the average," he told her sadly. "They're almost afraid of them."
Kaoru nodded slowly. "You have friends," she found herself saying before she could stop herself.
To her surprise, Kenshin shook his head. "Don't judge a book by its cove," he said quietly.
Kaoru felt confused; she didn't know what to say.
Suddenly, she saw Kenshin narrow his eyes in a calculating manner at something behind her. She turned slowly and stiffened.
"Hello, blubber brain"
If only the earth could split open and suck her in. Or even better, suck that group of bitches in.
"Hello," she said weakly and turned back to Kenshin. Pulling her jacket closed even tighter.
"Hi, Kenshin-Sama," the leader of the group said but Kenshin-although Kaoru was sure he heard her- was deafened by the sudden loud screech as the rollercoaster took another sharp curve.
Kaoru kept absolutely silent, ignoring all the snide remarks they made about her as if she wasn't there. She saw out of the corner of her eye Kenshin, his face beet root red, his hands in his pockets, looking away from her and at the rollercoaster which was slowing down to come to a stop. She felt that her fingers might penetrate the cloth of her jacket if she grabbed it any harder; was he ashamed of being seen with her?
Finally, the ride stopped and the line started to move. A man in uniform was standing leaning on a tall cardboard at the very front of the line taking three dollars per person to allow them. Kaoru fumbled hurriedly in her purse and got three dollars out and held them tightly in her hand. Kenshin had given the man the money and was already taking the seat at the very front beside his smoking friend. Kaoru stretched her hand to give the man the money but he shook his head.
"Ya too short, Miss," he said gruffly.
Kaoru's cheeks flushed as the girls behind her burst into a fit of giggles.
"Excuse me?" she asked, her voice slightly shaken with shock.
The man pointed at the card board he was leaning on.
"You have to be at least this much tall to be allowed to ride," he explained as he pointed at a line barely three inches above her head.
"But-" she started, the girls behind her were laughing so aloud they were turning heads. Her hand trembling slightly with the embarrassment, Kaoru put the money back into her purse, then nodded slowly and walked away with her head down, not looking back until the ride moved and she could hear screams. She saw Kenshin's hair wild as the rollercoaster jerked down. Her vision blurred with tears for a few seconds before she burst crying. People around looked at her quizzically and she broke into a run to anywhere she could be alone. She only stopped a short distance away from the fair. It was a dark, deserted area. She found herself an old wooden seat bench and sat there crying alone. She regretted coming here. She knew everything would be messed up, but she thought she'd give it a try. How stupid was she? Her desperation led her to believe that she could be friends with the mysterious/popular high school kid just because he was on the honor role like her and was nice to her once. She felt very stupid and humiliated. She wished she could be grown up, tall, slim and beautiful, just like her late Mom. She wanted more than anything to be like her Mom, NOW!
"Ooooh, lookie who's here!" a sneering voice said.
Kaoru looked up. The group of girls stood between her and the fair. The glow of the neon lights behind them, casting their long shadows against Kaoru.
"What do you want?" she asked, fighting to hide any signs of fear.
The leader took a few steps towards her, making her budge slightly on the bench away from her.
"We'll play a game with you since you're too short," the leader sneered. "We'll give you a five seconds head start to run, then we'll follow you and when we catch you we'll beat you up."
Kaoru gulped in fear.
"Wha-" she started but the girl snapped her fingers.
"When I snap my fingers again your five seconds will start," she said smirking then snapped her fingers again.
Kaoru wasted no time, she ran as hard as she could, trying to put as much distance between her and them.
She heard them roar in excitement behind her and then the thumping as they broke into a run behind her. She sped even faster, but she could still hear them catching up. She saw a person standing in the shadow about 200 meters from her and she felt a pinch of hope, her mind racing to Kenshin although she knew that the odds were flat. Maybe that person could scare the girls away; they never did their dirty work in the open. To her relief, that person was running towards her, obviously they realized that she was in trouble.
A silent scream escaped her throat; it was one of the beefiest girls of the group. They had set her a trap.
Kaoru glanced a side way and decided to take her chance; there was no where else to run.
She gasped so hard her tongue might've been sucked into her esophagus by the air pressure; it was a dead end. She heard them arrive and close in on her. She turned to face them, fighting the urge to fight them and use her Father's precious techniques.
Their faces drowned in the shadow as they cornered her against the wall. She closed her eyes and tried to ignore the pain, to convince herself that she wasn't cornered in an alley way in nowhere and is being beaten by a group of older girls for no reason. She bit her lower lips to try and prevent herself from making any sound of pain; she wasn't going to give them that satisfaction. She didn't know how long it took them to finally get bored and leave, she was in too much pain. They left her lying on the ground face up, conscious but praying to die. She couldn't move and was hidden in the dark, she knew that she can't reach out for help and no one would probably find her there. She never felt so humiliated and angry. She wanted revenge. She stared at the starry sky, unable to do anything else, not even scream for help, her tears flowed helplessly. She saw a shooting start and without a clue so as to why, or even the slightest hope, she made a wish with all her heart. She wanted to be at least six years older for the next 48 hours. This would give her the chance to get back at those bitches.
Just for the next 48 hours, please...
A sudden numbness took over her body as if she was being gently immersed in cool water and then every thing turned black.
Kenshin heaved a sigh; he finally managed to untangle himself from that group of squeaking teens. He preferred the peace, quiet and loneliness. He sank his fists deep in his pockets and strolled away from the fair. He felt guilty. Kaoru needed his help and he did nothing, not because he didn't want to help her, but because he didn't know how to without making the situation even worse. He watched her get humiliated and just stood there silently, ignoring the girls just like she did, but he knew he must've looked otherwise. He tried to avoid looking at her as she was banned from riding the rollercoaster, he didn't want to see her blue eyes hurt any more. He felt so ashamed; he should've done something. Situations like these are every kid's worst nightmare, she must be feeling terrible. He tried to look for her after the ride but she was nowhere to be seen, so he assumed she went back home.
He watched his shadow in front of him as he walked further away. Wishing some one would just turn the lights off and every thing would be dark. Even with his back to the neon light they still annoyed him. He saw the group of girls that were haunting Kaoru return back to the fair and wave excitedly at him. He ignored them, his heart racing. Why the heck where they so happy? Did they do something to Kaoru? Or perhaps to some one else?
He sped towards the direction they came from, his mind jumping to the conclusion that he'll see Kaoru cowering some where near, probably in tears. He ran a very long distance but there was still no one. He didn't know whether to feel relieved or more worried. He traced his steps back to the fair.
Then, he noticed it.
There was an alley way to his right. He swallowed hard and walked into it carefully; it was very dark in there.
On the ground, was a young lady, lying face up unconscious. Her long raven hair spread beneath her. Her long, fair, slim legs bent at odd angles. He rushed and knelt next to her then cradled her into his arms gently.
"Miss, Miss, please wake up," he pleaded urgently.
He could see that she was breathing but was still out cold.
"Miss, please," he repeated desperately.
Her eyes twitched in discomfort.
"Miss, you okay?" he asked sincerely.
She opened his eyes and his was dumb struck. They were even bluer than Kaoru's. They were even deeper than hers and filled with ten times the pain and hurt.
"It's you!" she exclaimed weakly, but sounding relieved.
"It's me?" he asked doubtfully. "Miss, do I know you?"
A/N: So, how was that? Please let me know and be nice. I'm really depressed right now and a nice word would do magic to me! I promise to update soon.