Surprise, One-Year Anniversary Mayhem

By Shin Sankai

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"Oh, man, where is this shop?" Misao fumed as she squeezed her way through the mid-morning crowd in Kyoto. She had snuck out of the Aoi-ya when no one – or more importantly – Aoshi wasn't around to see her leave and ask her questions.

She could never lie to him.

Not when he knew her so well, both mentally…and physically.

Tomorrow would be one year exactly that Misao would be married to her beloved Shinomori Aoshi and the concept of actually being the shinobi's wife still sent tingles throughout her body and that was without his skilled hands raking over her supple skin.

Slapping her hands against her cheeks, Misao knew now was not the time to be thinking of such things, especially in the company of everyone else in Kyoto.

What she was doing at the moment, was trying to find a specific alleyway which housed a small store which not only dealt in selling literature (since her husband was quite the reader in his spare time) and weaponry.

What she was looking for was both. Omasu had told her about this specific store, only her knowledge of where it was actually located was a little hazy. This is why Misao had been out of the Aoi-ya by 9am. She was dressed in a plain green yukata and one hand occupied a small hand drawn map. While her blues eyes were trained on it, she didn't notice the figure moving out of a high fence until it was too late.

She bumped straight into the side of the solid person and stumbled back several feet.

"Oh, I'm sorry!" Misao blurted out instantly, head bowed in apology. Over the years and the year she'd been wed to Aoshi, Misao's behaviour around those she did not know had subdued into being one of a proper lady. "Please, do you know the way to-" Misao never did finish her question as a gasp broke through her lips, wide eyes gazing up at the blinking man staring blankly down at her. "A-A…"

"Misao, what are doing in this part of town?" Came the strong, deep voice from the man who Misao was now pointing at in a very unladylike manner. Her mouth was gaping open and her cheeks were turning red as she watched a woman, a very beautiful woman call out for him.

"Shinomori-san, I'm sorry to keep you waiting, shall we keep moving?"

"Yes, lets keep moving on." Misao's mouth remained open as she watched her Aoshi, her husband walk off as though she weren't even there!

Misao didn't jolt from her place until she watched Aoshi move around the street corner with the unknown woman laughing at his side. With the image of the beauty and him together – alone – Misao bit her lip, turned and ran all the way back to the Aoi-ya.

She burst through the shoji and ran straight into her adoptive grandfather Okina who was just on his way out to try and find some nice pretty girls to share tea with him.

When he pulled Misao away from his chest, he was finally able to catch the last of her muffled ramblings.

"Am I not attractive? Why does it have to be me who thinks she gets a good guy and then he turns all sour and gets a mistress?"

"Misao-chan what are you babbling about?"

"Aoshi-sama of course! The man couldn't be happy with one woman, he had to go get another!"

"What is all the shouting about?" Omasu and Okon who had been cleaning the Aoi-ya (the lunch rush now over) had appeared behind Okina to see Misao's fuming face.

"Misao-chan assumes Aoshi-kun is cheating on her."

"I don't assume, I saw straight evidence. He snuck out of the Aoi-ya just to meet up with some pretty woman with long black hair and big brown eyes and a body to die for and when he saw me he acted like I wasn't even there!"

"Well when you act so immature around him Misao-chan, maybe Aoshi-sama just needed a grown woman at his side for once." Omasu pitched in.

"Yes, I have to agree, even being married to Aoshi-sama, Misao-chan still hasn't learned to be a proper lady or wife to him. Perhaps she isn't fulfilling her duties."

"I HATE YOU ALL!" Misao screamed and rushed upstairs.

As they watched Misao go, their eyes flickered to the opened shoji to see a frowning Aoshi looking between them and the fleeing Misao.

"I'm sorry Aoshi-sama, maybe our teasing went too far."

"You all should know how emotional my wife can be. And how she can irrationally jump to conclusions as well." Three pairs of eyes blinked at Aoshi's words, especially the 'wife' remark, before watching the 30-year-old slip off his shoes and head towards the stairs. "I would ask you to not joke about such matters, it will only sadden her…and that I cannot stand to see."

Aoshi made his way up the stairs, his hands deftly undoing the buttons of his black western jacket before he turned the corner and made his way to his sleeping quarters…their sleeping quarters.

He pulled the shoji across and located Misao sitting in a polished chair they'd gotten from Okina as an engagement present. Of all chairs, it was known as a rocking chair and there his wife sat, rocking furiously away and…knitting.

Quite sometime ago she would have been out in the back garden, pinning her kunai to a straw practice doll tided to a tree.

How married life had changed her.

"Misao…?"

"What?" Her tone leaked acid in that one word and Aoshi knew he would need to tread very carefully here. He placed his jacket on a spare chair near a small desk he occasionally worked at if he wasn't in his office and made his way to Misao. His rested his hands on the handles of the chair stopping Misao from rocking back and forth.

"You misinterpreted my actions from earlier."

"Oh you mean when I saw you with some woman and then you act like a total bastard and pretend to not even notice me? You mean those actions?"

"Yes those, but I wasn't being a bastard Misao. And I don't like you using that language or this tone with me."

"Oh yeah?" She jerked slightly when Aoshi's strong hand cupped her chin, turning her head up and towards his.

"Yes…" His lips were in a serious thin line and it made Misao gulp.

"I had an appointment to keep with Chiaki-san that I made with her a month in advance."

"An appointment?" He watched her eyebrows furrow at the beginning of his explanation.

"She owns several estates around Kyoto. I was merely enquiring about them."

"Estates? Aoshi-sama, I don't understand?"

"For one Misao…" Her breath inevitably hitched within her throat as Aoshi drew ever so closer, his lips brushing teasingly against her own as he confessed quietly, icily to her. "I know as of tomorrow it will be a year since we were married. And two, I wanted to buy us a gift, something that we could truly call ours. That is why I was with Chiaki-san."

"Wh-What kind of gift?"

"A home of our own." He watched her lips part, almost to defend the fact that the Aoi-ya was their home and so Aoshi quickly placed his fingers against her pink lips to explain more. "The Aoi-ya will always be a part of us, but I want us to build a home for when we wish to decide to expand on our little family of two. That is why I bought the place next door. You won't be far from your loved ones and I won't be far from my work."

"OH AOSHI-SAMA!" Misao thrust herself into Aoshi, sending him sprawling on his back on the wooden floorboards. He stared up at the ceiling before him, the room he'd taken shelter in so many times and the room he'd grown up in. His personal quarters where he'd spent countless nights with Misao snuggled against him and in here was where he made love to her for the first time. There were so many memories in these quarters, but Aoshi wanted to be selfish for once. He wanted to begin new memories and wanted to start them by having a house with Misao. That way he wouldn't have to worry if they'd wake the others with their escapades.

"Do you honestly think I would ever settle for another woman when I have you as my wife Misao?" Perhaps there was hurt in his eyes, but when Misao looked again; there was nothing but his usual deep green colouring.

"Ah!" Misao gasped lightly when Aoshi's expert fingers crept up her back, sending shockwave after shockwave of nerves spilling into her stomach.

"My little responsive woman against an older woman who already happens to be married?" Aoshi muttered against Misao's skin, knowing she would be blushing in mortification at her silly little conclusion of him having an affair. "There is no comparison, especially when the one right here has taken care of me, watched over me and loved me for most of her life. Who could ever refuse such devotion like that?"

"Well, when you say it like that…" Misao muttered out before gasping pleasantly as expert lips kissed the side of her neck.

"However, for doubting me…" Aoshi left it at that, sitting up effortlessly and shifted away from Misao's flushed body.

Her chest heaved slightly and she made a noise in the back of her throat that made her seem like she was five years old again as she watched Aoshi refuse her needs and head to their closet. His fingers undid the buttons on his crisp white shirt and the material slid away from his scarred bronze skin.

"Aoshi-sama how could you?" Misao pouted as she rose from the floorboards, her hands fiddling with the tie of her yukata, wondering if she could ever seduce the man before her.

"How could you Misao?" Aoshi threw it straight back at her, deciding to feign hurt, even if it was slightly true at her lack of trust in him. "When did your trust in me diminish? When we got married?"

"NO! Its just…" Aoshi looked back at Misao, to see her bowed head and her clenched hands. She was just…so adorable that he couldn't help but move back towards her and lift her face to look up at his once more.

"Your so pretty Aoshi-sama, I just…don't compare if beautiful rich women come along to grab your attention."

"I'm…pretty?" Misao bit her lip at the perplexed look on Aoshi's face. Had she never voiced how gorgeous he was to him before?

"Are you that blind Aoshi-sama?" Misao broke from Aoshi's soft grip and headed towards a large western wardrobe. She waved Aoshi over and once he came to her side she pulled the door open and found hers and Aoshi's reflection staring back at them thanks to the mirror. "Just take a look at yourself Aoshi-sama." He had been staring at her, but now his green eyes focused on himself.

"And?" Misao rolled her eyes.

"You have a beautifully sculptured face Aoshi-sama. You've got green eyes that any woman would drown and they even turn grey when you're angry or annoyed, giving away your emotions just for a moment. Your lips…are very kissable and your skin is soft and warm despite the scars and your cold exterior. You have shiny black hair that makes me wonder how you can get it so soft and silky."

"You have bathed with me Misao, you know I don't use…"

"I know! Its just annoying!" Misao snapped back, slightly miffed he'd interrupted her musings of his looks. "And your body is nicely built Aoshi-sama…and I don't mean down below." Misao watched Aoshi's eyes narrow at that remark. "Ah, I mean you are built but I was talking about your overall physique not…ah…there." Misao flushed bright red. Even though she'd spent many nights lying against Aoshi's naked body and gazing upon it as well, she still felt slightly embarrassed about openly confessing what her mind would now never forget about him.

"I'm flattered women think I'm good looking Misao, but I've never paid any attention to them and I never will. There will only ever be one woman whom could ever truly love me 100 percent…and I her."

"Anata…" Misao let out in a soft whisper, eyes glassy as his hand had cupped her cheek. How could she have ever doubted him at all? "I…I'm so sorry Aoshi-sama, I just…I don't know…I'm just not wife material yet, but I promise to learn every day!"

"I never asked you to be the perfect wife for me Misao. I adore you just the way you are and you needn't change just because we are now wed. Of course, your temper does need some work and behaviour around those you don't know, but everything else remains as is." Misao placed on a sheepish grin knowing the man was right. "And secondly, do say 'anata' again, I like it very much coming for you lips."

"Hai, Aoshi-anata…" Misao murmured and drew her lips to Aoshi's.

XxXxXxX

The two lay sedated within their double futon and Misao gazed over at Aoshi's relaxed features, his eyes closed and his inky hair spiked in all directions.

"Aoshi?"

"Mm?"

"I'm sorry I didn't get you a gift. I kind of…got distracted."

"I could say something along the lines of you being the greatest gift I'll ever receive."

"Isn't that kind of sappy for you Aoshi?"

"I could change if you wish it."

"No, I love you just as you are. Though…" Aoshi opened an eye to watch his naked wife crawl out from the folds of the blankets and make her way on all fours across the floorboards towards the rocking chair.

"What is it Misao?" Aoshi sat up now, the blankets pooling in his lap as Misao unashamedly collected something from the floor in one hand and then made her way back towards him.

"Here, a gift for you Aoshi." She placed her knitted items within one of Aoshi's large hands and watched him lift one of the items up to inspect it with his scrutinising eyes. "It's a sock…and it unfortunately won't fit my feet Misao."

"They are actually a pair of booties."

"Booties?"

"Yes, small socks to keep your babies feet warm."

"Small socks? Baby? Misao are you…" At the astonished surprised look on Aoshi's face, Misao giggled merrily before throwing her arms around Aoshi's shoulders and hugging the man tightly to her bare skin.

"Oh Aoshi, you are just too adorable when you are caught off guard."

She was getting worried when he voiced nothing back, no sarcastic remark like he sometimes surprised her with, but she sighed when his strong arms crept around her petite body to hold her impossibly close.

"Thank you…for the gifts Misao."

"Well, you did help with this on you know."

"Aa…" And Aoshi felt compelled to help again as he pulled Misao into the futon, under the blankets and under him once more.

Xx The End xX

Authors Notes: Um, random and lame? Maybe? Oh well…thanks for reading if you read it.