A disclaimer, in the tradition of fanfiction writers everywhere: I do not own the rights to Rurouni Kenshin, shag carpeting, hospitals, Blockbuster video/s, or the TV show COPS. I am using them without permission.

Notes: Yeah, I got nothin'. Except perhaps a burning desire to finish writing this. It's difficult, fan-fictioning. I had no idea. Also the formatting is weird.

Night Out Chapter 5: Epic Battles

OR

"Weird Al Yankovic's head explodes in this! You'll love it."

No matter how many of her buttons Kenshin had inadvertently pushed, he hadn't meant anything by it.

It wasn't like he was a cruel scumbag like... that other guy. He-Who-Will-Not-Be-Mentioned.

And he did have excellent calligraphy skills, and had given her chocolate.

Her guilt eventually prodded her to her desk, where she wrote a letter... on one of the Japanese cards she usually saved for special occasions.

Dear kenshin.

No.

Kenshin.

Better.

Kenshin,

I apologize for pushing you

No, not that either.

Mr. Himura,

Yes, that was more like it.

Mr. Himura,

please accept my sincere apologies for my rude behavior the other day. I had no cause to shriek and shove you into-

Not quite.

I had no cause to upset you into the-

I had no good reason to push you into that fence. Except that I was scared because I-

No.

I hope you are not injured. I also hope we can get along with each other, at least for the sake of our mutual friends.

Sincerely, Kaoru Kamiya.

She threw on a bathrobe and dashed across the intersection and popped the note into his mailbox.

She almost went back for it half an hour later, but by that time her bed had warmed up. And the night was cold.

She set her alarm for 9:00 and set about getting to sleep.


Deedle beedle beep! Deedle beedle beep!

That sound was her phone. Still three-quarters-asleep, she scrabbled it off of her nightstand and pushed the talk button.

"Guh?"

"I'm nervous about my black belt test! It's today!" That shriek was definitely Misao.

"Eh?" Kaoru rubbed her eyes and looked around. Evidently she shouldn't have bothered with the alarm, since it was 8:45 in the morning. Too early.

"Auugh, I'm gonna die." A deep breath. And then-

"It's gonna be awesome! I'm gonna take out the whole dojo!"

"What-"

"And then we can talk about Kenshin, OK?"

"Sure."

"Thanks for the encouragement! I love ya! See you at noon!"

"Ugh." Kaoru flopped back in bed, and pulled the pillow over her head. So much concentrated hyperness. Some minutes passed, while her brain slowly revved up to cruising speed.

Kenshin. Misao had said something about Kenshin. Talking about Kenshin. Kenshin-

Kaoru grabbed the phone off the table and redialed for Misao.

"Misao! Where did you hear about Kenshin?"

Somehow, in the shuffle of finding the perfect date dress, Misao had missed Megumi's comment about the fence. So when Megumi had called Misao to let her know that Sano had told her that Kenshin had told him he had received a letter, well... weasel-girl had to hear all about it.

"She told me not to call you until you were awake, but then I was nervous so I forgot. Anyway, you get up early for work so it's fine."

"It's not -"

"We have to talk about Kenshin! I can't believe you're sending him letters."

"I'm not-"

"Wait - don't say anything. I'm calling Megumi. Wait a minute."

There was a beep, and Misao's voice came again from the phone in Kaoru's hand.

"So! Megumi told me all about it!"

"All about what?"

"All about what you did to Kenshin!" that was Megumi.

"What I did?"

"Eeeee!" that screech was Misao. "It must have been great! Tell me your side!"

"Shut up for a second, and maybe she will."

"That was a week ago! Why now? How did you guys know?"

"Tuh." An irritated sound from Megumi. "I know because Kenshin came back in looking a little bit ...messy. I assumed you'd pushed him into the fence, because he had some pine needles on his pants. But what we want are the details. Did anything happen to cause the fence? Was there making out? Some tongue?"

"Megumi!"

"It's a valid question."

"Shut up, Misao. No, there was nothing like that at all."

"None at all? I guess he was only gone for a minute."

"True, true. Unless he was a minute man, she could have-"

"SHUT UP! There was no... nothing. I pushed him into the fence, okay?"

"Just into the fence?"

"Is this for some new position I'm not familiar with?"

"No! He wouldn't shut up! He wouldn't stop! I thought he was going to- to- So I pushed him into the fence, okay?"

"But you're sending him letters!"

"I only sent one letter! One!

"Wait, how did you find about about that letter anyway?"

"Sano went to pick up Kenshin, who picked up his mail! And there was a letter from you!"

"Omigod."

"It must be great! So when's your first date?"

"There is NO date, Misao. I was just sending him a letter to pay him back for sending me that chocolate."

"Chocolate?"

"What kind?"

"Just dark and milk."

"How did he know you love chocolate?"

"He guessed. It's not that special, Megumi. All girls like chocolate."

There was a silence on the end of the phone.

"He got you CHOCOLATE! It must be LOVE!"

Kaoru hung up.


Kaoru had been expecting something traditional from a dojo. Maybe some monks, or at least some incense.

Misao's dojo looked more like a scuzzy car dealership. The door was propped open with a large chunk of wood, and the hall was covered in brown shag carpet. The open area beyond had a long bench on one side, some punching bags on the other side, and a large canvas expanse in the middle.

It was populated by a small group of people in dark karate clothes. Misao detached herself from the group and bounced her way over. "Hi Kaoru! Megumi's not with you, is she? Augh, I'm nervous nervous nervous. Take a seat on the bench. It's right behind you. Right behind you right behind you, yeah!"

Kaoru put a hand on Misao's shoulder. The shorter girl was actually vibrating with nervous energy. "You're going to be fine. Okay? Please breathe."

Misao took a big gasp.

"No, slower. In... and out... In... and hold..." Her attempts to guide Misao went unregarded because at that point Megumi swept her way in.

"Misao!"

"Megumi! I'm soooo nervous! Nervous. Take a seat on the bench with Kaoru, kay? OK? Oh, they're waving me over! Augh, I'm gonna die!"

Megumi and Kaoru exchanged glances.

'"You'll be fine, weasel-girl."

"Kick their asses."

For the first few fights, Misao did indeed "kick their asses." Megumi quickly grew bored with the spectacle and began to question Kaoru.

"So, you and Kenshin?"

Kaoru, for her part, tried to watch the fights very very carefully.

"Was it the spiky iron one?"

"Was it the wooden one?"

"Did you push him into just once fence?"

Kaoru took a deep breath in, and exhaled in a fruitless search for inner peace. "Did you see that kick, Megumi? It was pretty awesome."

"Or maybe those new dwarf bushes?"

"Megumi, I really don't want to talk about it."

"But we're friends, Kaoru. Friends talk to each other."

"Shh- Misao's fighting that guy she hates."

It was indeed that guy Misao hated. And the fight between them was brutal and short. As far as Kaoru could see, it started out with a few passes of kicks, then he got Misao in an arm bar and a leg sweep. The difference in their heights was so great that Misao flew through the air. She landed with a huge bam! and rolled to her feet. There was a pause, then both fighters faced off again. They clashed - this time he took the worst of it - blood from his nose was streaming down his face.

Megumi twitched beside Kaoru, almost standing up. Kaoru put her hand on Megumi's shoulder. "He'll be fine. You're not here as a doctor. And he's an asshole."

On the mat, the other guy was clutching a large roll of toilet tissue to his bleeding nose. Misao had been thrown awkwardly and was rubbing her right arm. There was a small frown on her face. She shook it out-and froze.

"Misao!" Megumi called. "Is your arm ok?"

"I don't know. It hurts."

Megumi was off her bench like a shot, urging Misao to stay down.

"Can you pull up your sleeve?

Misao made a motion to - then winced and shook her head.

"Can you bend your fingers?"

Misao's face scrunched, but her fingers slowly bent, then straightened.

"I want to look at it. Kaoru!"

"Here!" Kaoru had followed Megumi and was standing awkwardly behind Misao.

"Help her get this off."

They carefully pulled Misao's gi down off her shoulder and delicately brought the arm back out of the large sleeve.

Her arm was a bit swollen right above the wrist. Megumi did some kind of medical manouvering that made Misao wince some more. Kaoru patted Misao on the head. "You're a trooper, weasel-girl."

"I think it's just a fracture," Megumi decided. "Does anyone have a magazine? And some kind of tape?"

Both were provided, and Megumi carefully wrapped Misao's arm in two magazines, then taped them down to immobilize it.

"I'm taking her to the hospital for an x-ray."

"What? No!" Misao stood up. "I need to stay here and test!"

"Misao." Misao's sensei had a lovely deep voice, Kaoru decided. He could do those movie voice-overs. "You can test another day. I will not allow you to test with a broken arm."

"But it's immobilized! It's fine!"

"Go."


Misao wanted to take her own car, but Kaoru insisted on driving. Megumi sat in the back seat, hovering. "Misao, if there's even a twinge, let me know. Kaoru! Drive more smoothly!"

They went to Urgent Care, since Megumi had called ahead for an appointment.

The doctor there sent Misao in for an X-ray, looked at them, and said "yep, it's a fracture."

The longest part of the whole experience was Misao picking a color for her cast.

"I don't want it to clash with my dress. Why don't they have black?"

Kaoru suggested the hot pink, but Megumi vetoed it. "Hot pink clashes with everything. Aoshi doesn't seem like a hot pink kind of guy."

She finally settled on blue, after rejecting red, green, and purple.

On the way back to the dojo to pick up the cars, she wouldn't leave it alone.

"Kaoru?"

"Yes?"

"Should I have gotten the purple?"

"It's fine, Misao."

"I just think the purple might have been better. And what if Aoshi doesn't like blue?"

"I don't think he'll care what color it is."

"But what if we're on his couch, and the cast gets in the way? It's kind of hard. And rough."

"I don't think Aoshi will mind."

"But what if I want to - and then I can't get my hand quite around to - and then - and he leaves?"

Kaoru couldn't stop her blush. Fortunately, Megumi was there to pick up her slack.

"If he's normal, he won't care."

"And what if I'm bruised?"

"Misao. You know men only want one thing - and that's naked women. You're a woman, right?"

"Yes..."

"And you're going to get naked, right?"

"Yes!"

"Then obviously there's no problem."

"But what if there IS-"

Kaoru was relieved when they got back to the dojo parking lot.

They had another argument at the dojo. Misao wanted to go in and continue her black belt test. Megumi absolutely vetoed that idea, stating that it was a "harebrained thing to do".

Misao claimed that real ninjas "got up and got going, even if they had broken heads!"

Then Megumi pointed out that Misao could do herself actual, permanent damage, and regaled them all with disgusting horror stories about spiral fractures.

Misao, perhaps grossed out at the thought of bone shards spraying around the room, finally conceded to test when the cast was off... as long as she got to drive herself home AND got to pick out one of the movies all by herself.

Megumi conceded that that was a good compromise, i.e. no one got what they wanted.

Kaoru watched as Misao drove off... and Megumi trailed her like something out of COPS. Megumi was so over-protective about physical injuries... it was a surprise she was so snoopy about mental injuries. Like the Kenshin thing. Even if there wasn't really a Kenshin thing, more of a Gohei thing.

Kaoru had been interested in Gohei, at one time. They had had a lot in common: interest in kendo, skill in iaido, hanging around in the dojo all the time... And even though his broken finger grossed her out at first, she had gotten used to it. Everything had been going fine, and they were planning to move in together. And then everything had gone wrong. Kaoru was shaking her head over the foolishness of youth when her phone rang.

"Hello?"

"Kaoru! Where are you? We're at Blockbuster. If you don't come RIGHT NOW we'll choose scary movies like Ring and Grudge and you'll be sorry!"

"Ok! I'm coming. Anything but horror movies."

Kaoru was able to stop them from getting real horror movies, but did get stuck with "Scary Movie."

"It's not actually scary, Kaoru! It's a parody. Even you can't be THAT much of a wuss."

So of course she held out for the most brainless comedy she could think of: Spy Hard.

"Weird Al Yankovic's head explodes in this, Megumi! You'll love it. Or else."

Misao loaded herself down with treats - or at least, a bag of popcorn, which was all Megumi would let her carry. Kaoru was stuck carrying the rest, while Megumi busted out the credit card.

Since Misao had broken her arm, and they wanted her to do as little travelling as possible, they drove next to her apartment. All the lights were on.

This was suspicious. Misao lived by herself, in a classic studio with exposed pipes and radiators. She would never leave lights on and waste energy. That meant there was someone else in her apartment. Kaoru didn't even consider the thought of a robber - they probably would be using flashlights.

"Misao? Who's visiting?"

"Oh... nobody important." She giggled nervously.

"It's Aoshi, isn't it?"

"Nope!" More giggles.

"It IS Aoshi!"

"It's not!"

Megumi pushed both of them towards the front door. "If you don't get a move on, we'll freeze out here, and you'll never find out."

"You'll - wait! You know too?"

"Just keep walking, Kaoru."

A terrible suspicion was creeping over her. They couldn't have - could they? It was supposed to be girl time!

And then Misao had the door open, and all Kaoru's worst fears came true.

Kenshin was cooking something on Misao's stove!

Easy Review Options:

Just Copy And Paste! Or even just write the single letter.

A. You are a terrible person, and should be ashamed of yourself for waiting all this time. Just let it die already.

B. How could you end it on a cliffhanger after all the time you made us wait? And also, be more specific than karate clothes. And the format - what happened with that?

C. You made a mistake here: " "

D. At least it's an update.

E. I LIKED IT AND IF YOU LEAVE ME HANGING AGAIN THERE WILL BE BLOOD.