Disclaimer: Rurouni Kenshin and all related characters belong to Nobuhiro Watsuki, Shueisha, Sony Entertainment, et al. That means that I do not own them or I make non-profit of this. Do not sue. I only own this story.
Pairing: Kenshin x Kaoru
Rating: PG-13 (A little bit lime appears in this fic.)
Category: One-shot, general, romance, WaFF
Writer's note: Oh, boy. I just had to change this note 'cause a lot of things had happened for this RK fanfiction. First, there are the translations for the Japanese words at the end of this fic. And I have been re-checking this fic and filling out some missing parts by myself. Second, I would like to thank Mir for editing this fic, correcting and making the story "sound" better than before! When thought I had to re-check the fic after the edition, I really appreciate for the editing, Mir! Arigatou gozaimasu!! (February 7, 2002)
Fiction note: This is my first RK-fic! Takes right after the Revenge, when Enishi has been defeated.
Summary: It's a rainy night over the Kamiya dojoeveryone is sleeping peacefully at the Kamiya dojo, except for Kenshin who is having trouble in sleeping.
A Rurouni Kenshin Fan Fiction
Written by k-tiraam (a.k.a. "Fall Angel") (c) 2001
Edited by Mir
It was raining softly and calmly, so calmly that it sent anyone to sleep with the raindrops raping softly onto every houses' roofs. It wasn't one of the cold rains.
It was warm summer rain, a soft lullaby song, sung by Mother Nature herself. Such peace can be only seen or heard on rainy nights such like that night.
Tokyo was in complete silence as the residents of Tokyo were in sleep in their homes. Only some of the restaurants were open for the travelers to eat and drink.
Under the roof of Kamiya Kaoru's house, Kenshin stirred slightly in his sleep but not because of the rain. It was because of his wounds that were half-away healed from his final battle with Enishi, his dead wife's little brother. He didn't show his friends that he was slightly in pain, because he didn't want Kaoru to worry about him.
Kenshin opened his eyes since he couldn't get anymore sleep because of his wounds.
Even her name made him smile. She was something special after his ten years' of wandering around and guilty feeling of his wife's death - thinking of himself as unworthy of anyone. Until he met Kaoru, such a spirited young woman: full of life and innocence, which he had lost for years ago since he became hitokiri Battousai or was it before he became Battousai? He didn't know for sure.
But one thing was for sure...Kaoru hasn't lost hers, which was a good thing. He liked - no - loved her innocence, kindness, spirit and her beauty. Yes, he loved everything about her ever since he met her on the streets.
He loved her sparkling bright blue eyes when she smiled at him, showing nothing more than happiness and her silken mid-night black hair. He has always wanted to bury his fingers into her hair, wanted to feel its smoothness and softness.
Kenshin chuckled to himself softly, amused.
He had realized something about his feelings for Kaoru: he was in love with her. This he had known for long time now, and it was confirmed by her fake death at Kamiya dojo. Even though it wasn't the Kaoru he knew and had learned to love, it still hurt his heart seeing her being stabbed by Enishi's watou through her heart.
But he was glad he had been proven wrong. When he had fought his last battle with his enemies, Kenshin had found himself wandering off on a beach from where he had found Kaoru, standing, when he fell into her arms. The moment he fell into her arms, he felt himself home, in the arms of beloved one.
He wanted to show her his feelings right then and there, but he couldn't. Not just yet. He couldn't show his feelings. Not until his wounds were properly healed and not until they were safe... at their home.
And also, he was unworthy of her - and still a hitokiri.
He was, after all, the famous Battousai, the one Enishi was after when he wanted revenge for his sister's death. And there were others, besides Enishi, who were after him still. He didn't want to endanger Kaoru's life because of who he was. He wanted her be safe from danger.
Enishi has been defeated. Kaoru was safe. Everything was fine. But, why did he still feel guilty of endangering Kaoru's life? Because she was under his protection, his friend, his... new love.
His new love... after ten years of wandering... after Tomoe's death, Kaoru had become his new love. She was his new, young love.
That was other thing that popped into his mind.
She was still young, too young for him. Would a young and beautiful woman like her love an older man like him? He didn't know. He wished he knew, but he didn't. All he knew was that he loved her.
Kenshin sat up carefully so his wounds wouldn't re-open under the bandages, which Megumi had wrapped around his arm and chest. He brought his knees carefully to chest and he began to cry softly. What if the fake one hadn't been the fake at all, and Kaoru had really died? What would he have done then? Live his life between life and death, in Rakuninmura? For the rest of his life, which was so full of guilt and pain?
Since the day they'd met, Kaoru has been a very important part in his life, and he was not about to give up on her.
"Sessha failed you then, Kaoru-d-dono," he stammered the last part, noticing that she wasn't just a "Miss" to him any more. "Sessha failed you... Sessha... wasn't there to protect you... Sessha..." Kenshin could feel his tears falling down his cheeks, and he brushed them away with his good hand until they became less and less. He still felt guilty of everything that had happened to Kaoru.
Just then Kenshin caught a glimpse of something behind the door. A shadow walking by his door.
'An intruder? Kaoru!!' At that thought Kenshin stood up quickly but carefully and took his sakabatou with him. He did not want to lose Kaoru again. Not now, not ever!
Kenshin walked through the halls in silence, following the soft footsteps before him. He could hear that the footsteps were leading him to outdoors.
This puzzled him. 'Why is the intruder going out? There's something strange about this.'
The ex-Battousai followed the shadow quietly to the outside, not making the slightest sound, to avoid waking up everyone in the house. He saw that the shoji was open and stepped to outside, ready to draw his sakabatou if it was needed. But then he stopped, seeing something unbelievable!
'Oro?! Ka- Kaoru...'
"Kaoru..."he softly whispered her name that only his ears heard it, and his face was blank in amazement.
All he saw was Kaoru...standing in the middle of the garden, her face facing at the sky above her, welcoming the warm rain to wash her face with a caress. Her beautiful blue eyes were shut, and her soft and pink lips were holding a gentle smile.
She was wearing only her white under yukata, which was now slightly soaked from the gentle rain and was clutching onto the soft curves of her body as her arms were wrapped under her breasts.
The calmness and sweetness were showing from her face, and she looked so much more mature and wise now than ever before.
All Kenshin could do was to stare at her with awe. She looked so different than during the day. She was always practicing with Yahiko in her family dojo, showing how strong she truly is. So full of life and fire: innocent, good-hearted, and trustworthy. All of those were her, Kaoru.
At first, Kaoru didn't have a slightest clue that pair violet eyes were watching her. Then feeling slightly uneasy, she opened her deep blue eyes, looked around, and met pair of violet eyes staring at her.
"K-Kenshin...?" she stammered, blushing in embarrassment being caught of standing in the middle of the rain.
"Kaoru-dono? What are you doing out here in the rain," the ex-hitokiri asked as he walked to her to join her in the rain shower.
"I-I woke up, and it was raining outside... and um... the rain is so warm. So I... I mean... I like warm rains," she spoke softly, blushing even more than before.
But as she stood in the middle of the warm rain, her embarrassment and shyness were washed away just like magic by the rain. She let her arms drop from her embrace to her side, spreading them slightly as if she was welcoming the rain into her arms.
"It so warm...the rain is so warm..." she mumbled, but Kenshin managed to hear it and he had to agree with her. The rain was warm and soft. It was a summer rain. They were always like this.
Kenshin turned his face at the sky, feeling the rain wash over his face too. "Hai. It is, Kaoru-dono, de gozaru."
Kaoru turned to look at Kenshin who held a slight of smile on his lips as he watched at the sky. Her eyes were half-closed as she looked at him with gentleness shining from her eyes. 'He's so handsome looking...even beautiful for a man. All that red hair,' Kaoru blushed and turned away from the ex-hitokiri to look somewhere else.
Kenshin saw her watching at him and saw her blush. Now this was interesting. Could that perhaps mean that she had some feelings for him as well? Like his for her? He couldn't know for sure. But he did know that they would catch cold if they stayed out in the rain any longer.
The once Battousai took off his dark blue gi and held it over Kaoru's head and his so they wouldn't get any wetter than they were now. He felt a slight pain in his right arm but paid no heed of it.
"I don't want us get cold. Especially you, Kaoru."
'Kaoru?? He didn't say 'Kaoru-dono' like he always says.' Kaoru stared at Kenshin for a brief time, then she realized that Kenshin has been calling out for her name for couple of times.
"Kaoru?" Kenshin blinked at her as he saw her staring at him.
"You didn't say '-dono '", she said in disbelief.
"Aa. I didn't," Kenshin said with slight smile on his lips.
"Why? I mean...you've always called me 'Kaoru-dono' ever since we met each other."
The ex-hitokiri shook some of the water off his haori as they arrived under the roof of Kamiya dojo. "Aa."
"Shh Kaoru. You'll wake Sanosuke and Yahiko from their sleep, de gozaru." He held his finger to his lips to keep her voice down so she wouldn't wake the others. "Kaoru...what if I make a bath for you so you can relax before you go to sleep?"
"That sounds a good idea. After that standing in the rain I need to go to the bath anyway. But Kenshin, you don't have to do this for me. I can warm the bath for myself. I mean you should get some rest. You haven't healed properly from your wounds yet."
Kenshin smiled to her and brought his right palm onto her cheek, which made her blush, and looked into her bright blue eyes with his violet ones.
"Kaoru... you don't have to be worried about me. I'm fine. Most of my wounds are already healed so they won't bother me a much anymore. Now you go and get your bathing things, and at the meanwhile I'll get the bath ready for you." He stated calmly to her and waited for her to answer.
There were none.
The only answer she gave him was a nod of agreement before he went to the bathroom to heat up the bath for her as she went to fetch her bathing things and a dry yukata for her to wear after the bath.
As she went to get her things, Kaoru thought of Kenshin's weird behavior and him not calling her "Kaoru-dono," like he used to. It wasn't that she didn't like it but still, it made her puzzled. But she shrugged it off her mind and went to her room.
As Kaoru went to get her things, Kenshin made the fire to warm up the bath for Kaoru. He put some more firewood into the fire and stirred so it became warmer. As the fire warned the bath, Kenshin stared at it, and his violet eyes held calmness and gentleness as he watched it.
The fire crackled as it heated the bathtub and hypnotized Kenshin into deep thoughts with its flames. Somehow, the fire remained him of a young and beautiful woman with a similar fire within her. How she was warm-hearted and full of life's fire, never living in the past, always thinking for the others and not of herself, and placing her friends' needs before hers.
That was her true character, and that was what he has been looking for the past ten years. That's what he's being looking for besides peace and forgiveness for what he had done in his past.
A woman... like Kaoru.
Though Yahiko thought of her as a hag, a tomboy and ugly, to Kenshin she was beautiful, strong-minded, and kind.
To tell the truth, Kaoru was different from Tomoe, his dead wife, but he couldn't help it. He couldn't help of his feelings for her. He was truly and deeply in love with Kaoru, but he hasn't told her yet. But soon, very soon he'd tell her of his feelings.
'Kaoru...' He sighed and stood up, was about to leave from the bathroom when he almost bumped into Kaoru who was just coming back to the bathroom, still wearing her wet yukata.
Kenshin blushed slightly as he saw her youthful body clearly through the clinging wet clothing. He bit his lower lip, to prevent himself from commenting.
"Y-your bath is right about ready, Kaoru."
She blushed a lovely hue of pink. "A-arigatou, Kenshin. Mou... I won't be long in it...I do need some sleep...so..."
"Sessha understand, Kaoru. Just take your time and tell me when you're finished."
She nodded to agree and went to the bath as Kenshin left her to enjoy the bath in privacy. He was so close! So close to holding her in his arms, and whispering words of love into her ear and kissing her on her lips.
Kenshin breathed in and out, trying to control his feelings. This was new to him. Mostly, he was the patient and calm-type, never losing control over his feelings. 'Take it easy now. Breathe easily...it's not like you haven't seen a woman's body before...yeah. At least...not for ten years...'
He glanced over his shoulder at the bathroom where the love of his life was, all by herself.
Meanwhile in the bathroom, Kaoru had taken off her under yukata and slipped into bathtub, relaxing at its warmth, sighing blissfully. She closed her eyes to feel more relaxed and eased, feeling how her muscles are starting to relax. 'I wonder what's with Kenshin lately? Ever since he came back to us, he's been acting strangely. But neither Aoshi nor Misao would tell me a thing. They said it's up to HIM to tell me. I wonder what that would be?'
She picked up a sponge and started to wash herself, her mind full of many questions and thoughts of Kenshin's unusual behavior moments ago.
What if...he's about to leave her again? And never return again?
She shook her head violently to clear her mind from thoughts like those! He was here at her home. No. That didn't sound right...at their home! Badly injured, and unable to do dangerous things or go on journeys in his condition.
That hasn't stopped him before...
...Coming to aid his friends when they were in grave dangers...
...Smiling to those who were worried about his conditions when his body had many wounds to be tended...
...Always trying to tell his friends not to worry about him with his smiles despite his wounds...
...Protecting her from danger even thought he was badly injured.
Always...protecting her even though she could defend herself.
When he protected her there was something in his eyes. No. Besides his eyes' color change from gentle looking violet to the raging gold, there was something else in his eyes. Loneness. Sadness. Friendship. Need to protect her. Yearning. Love.
Was that the answer for her unsolved questions? Love? Could it be that he...loved her? How could he? After all, he had a beautiful wife once. How could he possibly love a tanuki-girl like her?? Could it be possible? Gods! How she wished it were so! She knew about her feelings for him but not so surely of his!
'Anoo...I have to find out! This has been troubling me since the day on the beach. The way he looked at me...so lost yet full of emotions. And what happened earlier before I came here...He didn't call me "-dono"...'
At those thoughts she climbed out of the bathtub, put her rope on, and walked to Kenshin's room -- Determined to know about his feelings!
Kenshin just sat in his room, wearing dry and clean rope. He just sat and waited and stared at the wall before him. Just sat and waited for Kaoru finish her bath. Kenshin sighed wearily. He had made a slip from his mouth, calling her by her name. Not that it was a mistake or anything. He had always wanted to call her by her name or lover's name.
But he had been afraid of not being loved by her.
Yet, somehow...the look on her face outside had told him enough. He felt relief, joy and luck to be with a young and strong woman like Kaoru.
With the sight of her face, he had made decision: not calling her "-dono" anymore. He just hoped he had made the right decision.
He sighed relief and pure happiness with his eyes closed and his mind deep in thoughts and his heart full of emotions. "Kaoru..."
His eyes snapped wide open and he stumbled slightly as he heard her voice from behind.
"Oro?? K-Kaoru? You...finished your bath de gozaru ka?"
"Hai...I'm finished. Demo...Kenshin..."
"Then I'll go clean the bathroom..." he stood up was about to leave when Kaoru stopped him with slightest touch onto his good shoulder.
"Wait, Kenshin. Wait," she said softly as she lightly rubbed his shoulder without her knowing to do so. "Tell me... Why don't you call me "-dono" anymore?"
He was silent at the moment, trying to control his emotions and desires for her. His eyes were tightly shut, not letting her see his beautiful violet eyes.
He took a hold of her hand with his left one and turned to look at her, his eyes looking soft and gentle and showing yearning and love.
"Kaoru...the reason why sessha doesn't call you "-dono" is that," he took a breath before continuing to explain, "you aren't a "Miss" to me anymore..."
This explanation almost brought tears to her eyes and she sniffed slightly as Kenshin understood her shock and the way she was clinging to her robe. By bringing his palm to her cheek, he smoothed and calmed her as he continued, "Don't start to cry, Kaoru...it's not that what you're thinking."
"T-then what is it?"
She got her answer by his placing a soft kiss onto her lips and wrapping his good arm around her shoulder. She was shocked and motionless for the moment, but then she relaxed as he encouraged her to answer to his kiss, which she did.
As a reflex, Kaoru shut her eyes and let him teach her. This was like a dream come true for her. She had always dreamt of this, kissing him on his lips. At first, his lips were gentle but then they became rougher and desperate as he hugged her still-damp body closely to his.
Low moans and sighs came from her throat and were muffled by his mouth as tongue sought an entrance into hers.
She obliged and opened her mouth for him to enter and they began their tongue fight. It was then when his control snapped away from him. He brought his right hand at the base of her neck, crushing her mouth closely into deep kiss as his other arm tighten his grip around her waist.
They had kissed for some time when Kenshin broke off from the kiss - from their FIRST kiss. His and Kaoru's. Kaoru sighed, her eyes still remained shut as she tried to calm her breathing and her cheeks were flushed from the passionate kiss she just received from him.
The ex-Battousai chuckled softly and gave a peek to her redden cheeks. "Did that answered to your question?"
Kaoru opened her eyes slowly and blinked twice, "h-hai...I think it did. Anou... You..."
"Aishiteru, Kaoru. That's why I stopped calling you "Kaoru-dono"...because you're "Kaoru-koishii" to me from now on and in the future," he placed a soft kiss to the back of her palm while looking into her blue eyes, which held disbelief and joy.
"Kenshin...I love you, too," she whispered softly when the tears of joy came falling from her blue eyes. "I just...thought that you wouldn't love me...I..."
"Enough, koishii... please don't cry. There's nothing to cry about, Kaoru."
"I'm not crying out of sadness... I'm crying because I'm happy," she captured his cheeks between her palms, her right one caress the cross-scar on his cheeks with kindness. "That the man I love, loves me back, too."
"But I can't lie you that I was scared of your rejection and that you wouldn't love me as I love you," she said softly as she placed her head onto his good shoulder, feeling his heartbeat beneath her palm as it lay on his chest.
"Kaoru-koishii...you shouldn't have been scared of showing your love to the one, you love most. Sessha, in other hand, was protecting you with love sessha felt for you since the day we met de gozaru."
Blink. "Nani? That long??"
"Aa. That long, koishii," he smiled kindly to her and gave a peek onto her damp hair. "And sessha couldn't show you my feelings freely because of the dangers that my past brings with me. Dangers, like Enishi. Sessha... sessha doesn't deserve a beautiful woman like you. My past is full of grief and blood..."
"Mou! Kenshin..."she said with a mocking threat in her voice.
He only chuckled softly. "Yare, yare. Kaoru-koishii... You should get some sleep, ne?"
"Hai. I yawn I do feel a little bit sleepy now."
"You go to your room to sleep. I'll clean the bathhouse for later use."
"Kenshin," she called out his name softly and yet, it sounded like a gentle pledge to him. So he turned to look at her. "You don't have to go to clean the bathhouse. At least, not tonight. It can be done in a morning."
She came closer to him and touched his cross-scar on his cheek with gentleness and love. "You should also get some rest. Your wounds haven't healed properly."
She stared at the scar keenly and he noticed it. Once it bore guilt and sorrow in his life but now with Kaoru's touching it with caress, the guilt and sorrow vanished. Now he had been given a second chance for him to begin with his new life...with the woman he truly loved.
Kaoru blushed as she saw he noticing her stare at his scar and was about to take her hand away from it when Kenshin grabbed her wrist.
"Iya... Sessha doesn't mind...Sessha...I mean I like it. Your hand...it's so soft and warm..."
She blushed again, "K-Kenshin..."
"Demo...it's true de gozaru na..."
"Anoo...Kenshin. Could you...iie...it's too embarrassing to ask..."
"Go on...ask, Kaoru-koishii."
She bit her lips for the moment and then she looked into his violet eyes, "Could you...iie, could we sleep together?"
Now it was his turn to blush with deep red on his cheeks, which almost match to his hair color.
"Not in THAT way!! I mean...just sleep...nothing else..." she said shyly, looking at her toes to hide her redden cheeks.
Kenshin chuckled and lifted her face so he could look into her eyes. "Aa...Kaoru. I don't mind spending the night together. Perhaps...you could take away my nightmares with your love..."
"Nightmares? So that's why you haven't sleep well recently...you've been having nightmares?"
"Aa...very unpleasant nightmares."
"Oh, Kenshin..."she smiled softly to him and took his hand and leaded him to his room. Then she sat down onto his futon, patting for him to sit down next to her.
"I'll promise you that you won't see any nightmares tonight."
Kenshin only stared at her briefly but then smiled kindly at her. Then he reached for her hair, noticing that it was still damp. So he took the towel from her arms and started to dry her hair tenderly. After that he stood up to get a comb to straighten out her hair.
This made her giggle softly. She had never had her hair combed by anyone expect her parents. And now Kenshin is doing it for her...which was kind of cute to her.
Kenshin heard her giggle and brought his face close to hers. "Kaoru-koishii? What's so funny de gozaru ka?"
"You...combing my hair like a servant."
"Yare yare... Perhaps I wanted to, koishii..." he chuckled in return as he finished combing her hair for her. "There! All done!"
"Arigatou Kenshin," she let out a soft yawn and felt herself pretty tired all the sudden. "Mou...I feel sleepy now..."
"Then you should go to sleep, Kaoru."
She nodded and let him guide her into his futon. "Join me?" she asked sweetly as she held out her hand.
"Aa...sessha will," Kenshin uttered as he carefully lied down next to her so that she's on his left side on his futon. Then he brought her head so it was resting on his chest and he wrapped his good arm around her and bringing her close to him.
She blushed even more as she laid her head on his chest so she could hear his heartbeat. Kaoru could feel how his heart beat in rhythm with hers. Their hearts beat as one. And for her, it felt like their souls were one also, connected to each other.
Little by little, her eyelids started to close and she snuggled more into his embrace, sighing blissfully in his hold.
Kenshin could feel how tired she really was and smiled kindly. He couldn't believe that she was with him tonight. It was like a dream to him. He couldn't believe that this incredible young woman loves him as he loves her.
Silently, he thanked the gods who were listening to him and praised that she would be with him always.
"Kaoru..." he whispered softly but the only answer she gave was a soft mumble and snuggling more into his embrace. He couldn't help but chuckle softly from his throat and kissed her and placed his scarred cheek on the top of her head.
He listened to her soft breathing and the sound of the rain rapping on the roof. He felt joy and peace. He had finally found peace from her. He finally felt the joy of being with her. Kenshin was no longer a rurouni. Neither was he hitokiri Battousai. He was Himura Kenshin and nobody else.
After a brief period of listening Kaoru's breathing, he closed his eyes and tighten his hold on her, fearing that he'd lose her again. But feeling her presence next to him made him feel eased and relieved.
Then he fell in sleep with a woman he loves deeply.
The summer rain continued on rapping on the roof of Kamiya's house, calming everyone who lived and slept under it. The rainy night was warm and created a feeling like that of cuddling into cozy futon. It was a peaceful and rainy summer night over Tokyo.
...It is the song singed by Mother Nature herself.
...It is Her soft lullaby for the people of Tokyo to hear it through dreams and hopes.
Sweet rainy night...
...Calming every restless soul in Tokyo...
...With its soft music of harmony and peace.
aa yeah, yup; a masculine expression
aishiteru I love you
anoo an interjection; well, um
arigatou thank you
de gozaru "to be" very polite form; used by Kenshin
dojo a training hall for martial arts or swordsmanship
-dono a rather polite suffix and older version of -san; used chiefly by Kenshin
hitokiri a manslayer
iie, iya no; "iya" is a stronger word than "iie".
koishii darling, beloved
mou a mild curse, or an expression of frustration or anger; drat, rats
oro Kenshin's way of showing he's surprised, confused, hurt or just plain clueless.
sessha this unworthy one; Kenshin's rurouni I
shoji a sliding door; made of paper stretched over a thin frame of wood
tanuki a raccoon
yare yare oh well
yukata unlined cotton summer kimono; a rope-like garment worn to bed and at home
First draft: April 13, 2001 - May 7, 2001
Edited by Mir: October 2001
k-tiraam a.k.a. "Fall Angel"