Chapter 2: The Present! …Dream…

By the time Yahiko had gotten home that night, both Kenshin and Kaoru were dead asleep, or so he thought. This was kind of strange, considering Kenshin rarely went to bed so early. But, since Yahiko had found food waiting for him, he was very content.

Now can we talk about something else, maybe something important?

Kaoru sat in her room, reading silently to herself. The hush of the night and the peacefulness of the world around her was one of the most wonderful feelings. Then she heard a soft knock on her door.

"Kaoru, I have a present for you…"

She rose quickly to her feet and swiftly opened the shoji.

There stood Kenshin, wearing a red yukata. "Kaoru," he said. "I have something for you…" He opened his yukata and there was only a red ribbon tied around his…

Kaoru woke with a start, her whole body felt on fire. "Of all the dreams," She said, feeling her forehead. "None of them have ever felt so real…or have been so CLEAR! He would never do that!" It was almost scary. She shook her head, and rubbed her temple. "Go away dreams! Go away." She said to herself silently.

"When the hell are these dreams gonna let up?" She demanded from herself. She rested herself back down.

Of course, she knew the answer to her own question, but admitting it, would mean having to tell him. That would be harder then dealing with dreams.

Kenshin's eyes couldn't close; no they could close, he was just too afraid to do so. Why was he so afraid to do so? Because every time he closed his eyes…

There she was…

Yea, she wasn't bad at all, but if he saw her, he'd get all hard.

AH! Kenshin sat up. "Oh damn…" spat Kenshin. "That was horrible. How could Sessha think such wrong things about Kaoru-dono!"

Cause you're a man, a celibate man who is in love, said his inner voice.

Kenshin's reply to himself was a groan! It isn't fair! "What am I supposed do?" he whispered harshly to the heavens.

"Ah fuck this." His head hit the rest and he fell right to sleep.

Perfect!

It was a hot night and Kenshin found himself bathing in the river, which was odd because he had not done that since his days of wandering, so he swam.

He made his way towards the deeper part of the river and dove down. He felt his hair go loose from its band and when he resurfaced he gasped for air. It was colder now, and he sighed.

Nothing really made sense, but he was enjoying the feeling of uncertainty. He tilted his head back towards the sky and took in the feeling of the current against his body.

"Kenshin…" he heard a voice from shore call so lightly, you could barely tell anyone called at all.

But Kenshin heard and he turned his head slowly and gasped. There stood Kaoru, her yukata draped over her shoulders and she held the fabric tightly against her.

She stepped in the water and made her way towards him, tripping over slippery rocks and the harsh current of the water. He made his way towards her, catching her before she fell in. She grabbed onto his arms. She looked up at him, her bright blue eyes wide. "Kenshin?"

"Hmm?" he answered back, he put his hand on the small of her back and lead her closer to shore, noticing the way he yukata clung to her curves. She was goddess-like to him.

"Kenshin," she smirked, "I have a present for you!" She opened her yukata and…

Kenshin's eyes flung open; he sat up in his futon and ran his hand down his face. "What the fuck was that?" he asked himself. "She would never do that!"


The next morning, Kaoru asked Kenshin if he would come with her to the market. He obviously said yes, and they quickly left, at Kaoru's command of course.

They browsed through stands. Kenshin smiled at Kaoru when she'd stop and gaze at kimonos or hair ribbons. So innocent, yet…so not! Kenshin rolled his eyes; that doesn't make any sense at all baka!

He sighed to himself then focused his attention back on Kaoru. She looked up at him and grinned. "Do you think this would like nice on me?" she asked, holding up a white ribbon with some kind of red decoration, flowers maybe?

He looked at the ribbon and then at Kaoru. Of course she would look nice with it! He thought, Kaoru well, she'd look nice…Kenshin stopped himself before thinking anything else.

"Kenshin, do you?" She asked, breaking through his thoughts.

He blinked back into reality, "Uh, of course, you'd look nice in anything Kaoru-dono!" Kenshin wondered where those words came from, thanking god, because those certainly weren't the words he was thinking.

She smiled and titled her head to the side, "Thank you!" She blushed. She stood up and walked to the clerk. She handed him the ribbon, "How much is this?"

The old clerk smiled at her, "You're a pretty girl," he said, "It was ten sen, but I'll let you have it for seven."

Kaoru grinned at him and clasped her hands together, "That's perfect! Thank you so much!" She handed him the money and he handed her the ribbon.

"Good-bye now." He said waving slightly to Kaoru. "Bye!" she said back as she wandered to other stalls.

Kenshin bowed his head and started to follow her.

"Wait!" Said the old man.

Kenshin stopped and turned to him, "Hai Sir?" he asked, a little confused, hoping this guy wasn't going to ask for the other three sen.

"Is that girl yours?" he asked. He glanced in Kaoru's direction. She had stopped at another stand nearby.

Kenshin didn't know how to answer that. He thought for a minute. Technically, she wasn't his, but then again, he was sure as hell not going to let anyone else have her. So, he guessed that was the right answer.

"Why?" he said instead.

The old clerk shook his head, "I was just going to say, that you are a lucky man. She seems like a wonderful woman." The old man smiled, "And I usually don't say things like that about woman."

Kenshin ignored the man's last comment; "She is a wonderful woman," he said to him, "Good-bye Sir."

He walked over to Kaoru and tapped her on the shoulder, "Shall we go to the Akabeko Kaoru-dono?" Kenshin asked. He believed she should be treated today.

"Hai!" She said happily. She turned around and almost skipped on the way there.

She was in a very good mood it seemed, so Kenshin smiled at her.

Because they were in Asakusa District, Akabeko was nearby. It was then, Kenshin spotted a tall dark haired man eyeing Kaoru, he walked up and stopped in from of them, and he smiled brightly at Kaoru. "So beautiful," he said taking her hand and kissing it lightly.

Kenshin's eyes widen, then narrowed angrily. He turned his head, clenched his teeth and tightened his hands into fists.

"Surely," the man spoke to Kenshin without looking at him, "You must have kidnapped a geisha..." he still kept his eyes on Kaoru, who seemed to turn redder every second, "To have a wife as goddess-like as this." He grinned at her and kissed her hand again. "Madam, what is your heavenly name?"

"K-Kamiya... Kamiya Kaoru..." She trembled as she spoke. He's very handsome, dark hair and eyes...but...She looked at Kenshin, who seemed to be struggling with something inside himself...Compared to Kenshin, he's nothing special. She grinned at her deduction and the man thought she was grinning at him, opps.

"Kaoru, that is such a wonderful name. It suits you, so lucky Sir..." he said to Kenshin again. What was this guy's problem!

Kenshin took Kaoru's hand from the stranger's and cringed, "Sadly Sir..." he said, trying to be AS POLITE as possible, even though he felt like going AMAKAKERU RYU NO HIRAMEKI on his ass...best stay calm...DAMN! "She is not my wife, that she isn't"

The man's eyes narrowed, "Really!" He said, a little too excited.

Kaoru blinked, what was going on here? "Then let me court her..." he said grabbing her hand and getting on one knee. "Couldn't I?"

Then Kenshin snapped...

Oh shit...

"WHO THE HELL DO YOU THINK YOU ARE!" Kenshin shouted, he grabbed Kaoru's hand and brought her behind him.

Kaoru was taken aback; she had never seen Kenshin this angry...when he wasn't in the middle of battle. What was he...?

Kaoru gasped in realization..."he's..."

The stranger, who was just a little bolder then he ought to be, stood up, towering over Kenshin.

This didn't faze him; Saito Hajime and Udo Jin-e were a billion times scarier then this creep. "What are you trying to do?" Kenshin laughed coldly, "Scare me?"

The man glared down at him, trying to hide his fear, so he thought if he acted bolder, this short guy would back down. "Listen, I can wipe the floor with you!" He shouted, his voice, somewhat shaky. "So you better be prepared for a rough fight!"

Kenshin rolled his eyes, "You better listen, I'd rather not fight, but since you'd rather taste the ground. Go right ahead..." He gave him a cocky smile and fingered his sword.

The man held up his hands and stumbled a bit, "Uh, you know," He said chickening out, "You can have her, she isn't all that pretty anyway!" He started to run, but fell to the ground in heap.

Kenshin stood behind him, his hand clenched in a fist. "She's beautiful...and you're lucky that's all I did! You bastard!" He turned around, grabbed Kaoru's hand and walked her away from the scene.

"WHAT WAS THAT?" She shouted, hitting Kenshin on the back of the head.

"OROOOO." He fell to the ground, head first. "Nani Kaoru-dono?" he asked, from the ground.

"Why were you acting like that, he was just being…nice…" She said, slightly smiling, "Maybe I wanted him to court me…" She crossed her arms over her chest and turned away, so he wouldn't see her smiling. "Maybe, you just ruined all my chances of happiness…"

Kenshin's eyes widened, "Do you really mean that Kaoru?" He asked, dropping the honorific. "I only want you to be happy, and if being with that man is what you really want…"

Kaoru spun around; seeing as her plan didn't work the way she wanted it to, "NO! BAKA! Let's go, okay?" She grabbed his hand and pulled him along, and he walked lamely behind her, a completely idiotic smile plastered on his face.

Kaoru walked into Akabeko, Kenshin numbly behind her. Tae grinned wickedly and got that funny gleam in her eye when she spotted the couple she so wanted to be together. She rushed to aid them.

"Ah! Kaoru-chan! Ken-san!" said Tae. "Are you too on a," She giggled, "date?"

"Maybe," said Kaoru, smirking.

Kenshin chuckled. Kaoru held his hand. Now where was the loser who wanted to be with her? He was probably in China. Ha!

"Hai!" Tae lead them to a booth, and they sat down. "I'll be back you too." They nodded, and then looked at each other.

"Well…" said Kaoru.

"Yes?" Kenshin asked.

"Um…" Kaoru looked down, "Nothing…"

Kenshin frowned, "I see."

Soon after, they returned to the dojo. Not many words were exchanged, like some wall had built between them. It was uncomfortable, and they both hoped it would be gone by dawn's rays.

They retired to there separate rooms…

This time hoping for dreams…

Next Chapter- Stars and Snow! …Dream…