A/N: This was my fic that I entered into the live journal community rkchallenge for their February challenge: Luck. It took first place. Have a Live Journal account? Please check out the community! We are always looking for more writers! Also, for anyone reading my other story Violet Eyed Angel, I'm warning you now it might take awhile for me to update it. I've been having trouble finding time to write. When I do have time I tend to force myself to write and I think Nekotsuki said it best when she said I seemed: burnt out. I'm still working on it, I'm not giving up, just letting you know to be patient please!
Kenshin yawned and sat up in bed, one hand brushing through his long red hair. He grinned to himself as he quickly dressed, it was Kaoru's birthday and he had planned a special breakfast just for her. He had forgotten her birthday last year, this year would be different!
He tiptoed quietly to the kitchen, not that he needed to be extra quiet or sneaky, he was always up this early and was always quiet, but when one is making an extra special surprise one can't help but be sneaky.
He had gone shopping the other day and bought all of Kaoru's favorite foods, he had even manage to buy a small bar of chocolate from a French man. What little money he had been able to save up was now gone, but it would be worth it. He made his way to the kitchen, visions of Kaoru's happy, excited face dancing through his head, that is, until he saw the kitchen.
The poor man's heart dropped. It was a mess. Apparently Yahiko had raided the kitchen in the middle of the night, all the food he had bought was gone. He starred in dismay at the empty kitchen.
After getting over his initial shock, Kenshin quickly scrutinize the kitchen, looking for anything eatable. Finding none, he sighed in defeat. He felt his chest grow tight as he realized his visions of Kaoru's excited face would never come true, his head slowly lowered. This just wasn't his day.
He didn't blame Yahiko, he was a growing boy after all, and he had hidden the food in more obvious places so that it wouldn't draw too much attention. He hadn't said anything to the other residences that the food was meant for Kaoru so the boy just didn't know.
Scowling at the floor the wanderer was hit with a marvelous idea! He would go fishing! After all, if he were to catch and cook something just for Kaoru that would make it even more special! Not to mention it had rained during the night, if he hurried there might still be some worms on the ground.
Sprits refreshed he practically skipped out of the door. Dashing quickly around the yard he snatched up some worms to use as bait. The ground was wet and muddy making his feet squish nosily on the ground. He wrinkled his nose as he looked down and saw the mud seeping through his socks. It just wasn't his day.
He managed to catch six wiggly worms. He hurried back inside, just long enough to change his footwear and leave a note saying he was out for the morning. With fresh socks on his feet and fishing pole in hand Himura, Kenshin took off for the river.
A grinned plastered on his face, he tossed his line in the water as he watched a fish jump out of the water. He hopped to catch a nice big fish. Sitting and waiting for a fish to bite he let his mind wander. There was so much to be done, laundry, his socks needed to be clean… badly, he should make Kaoru a nice hot bath when he got back, what would they have for lunch? His mind circled around these thoughts until it settled on one that made him grin with excitement, he still had the chocolate! That was still in it's wrapper, sitting innocently in his room. Yahiko hadn't eaten that!
He smiled happily as other fishermen dropped their lines in, although he began to grow envious as they were soon catching fish, and his line continued to do nothing. He pulled his line in and found, to his dismay, the worm was gone!
An old fisherman chuckled. "Looks like they stole your bait."
Kenshin sighed in return and mumbled a yes as he quickly put a new worm on his hook. He tossed it in and waited. He didn't have to wait long! Soon there was a hard tug on the line, nearly pulling the poor redhead into the river with him.
The old fisherman looked on with excitement. "You got a big one! Hook the line! Hook him! Give your pole a good yank!"
Poor Kenshin, oro-ing like mad, pulling with all his might, but he was rewarded when he finally pulled it in and there on the line was the biggest fish he had ever laid eyes on! Even the old man who had seen his fair share of large fish before commented on it's size.
Grinning proudly at his catch, Kenshin went to remove the hook just as the fish spit it out of his mouth. With a cry of dismay Kenshin grabbed the fish before it could flop back into the water, only to get pricked by the sharp spines on the back of the fish's fin. He yelped and dropped the fish as the fisherman yelled at him to 'Get it! Get it! Get it boy!' He tried to 'get it', he tried really hard, Kenshin felt like cursing as he watched the fish slip back into the water.
"Too bad, I told you to hook your line."
Kenshin glared at the water, angry at the fish… that was just resting at the bottom. Eyes wide with excitement, he slowly leaned over the water. The fisherman peered at Kenshin then back to the water. "Just give it up boy, it's not going to work."
He didn't listen, he was desperate. He would cook Kaoru her breakfast if it was the last thing he did. Watching the fish carefully, Kenshin shot his arm into the water in an attempt to snatch the fish out of the water.
The old fisherman couldn't help but snicker as he watched the strange man with red hair fall with a cry into the icy water and the fish swim away. Poor boy. He watched to make sure the boy would resurface, and he did, red hair plastered around his face and the most defeated look on his face. "It was a nice try," he commented "you almost had it."
Kenshin climbed grumpily out of the water. It was freezing! He rung out his gi, re-baited his hook, threw his line back in shivering, and sat sucking on his injured hand.
Kenshin stared, depressed, into his into his bait box. It was nearly lunch time and all the other fisherman had left, even the old one left saying that the fish had stopped biting. He only had worm left and still no fish. This just wasn't his day, that and he was starting to think his little swim earlier was starting to make him sick.
He had been very unlucky, after his swim, he had broken his line, had hooked an old sandal, and brought his line in twice to discover his worm gone. With a sigh he baited his hook for the last time and threw the line out.
After waiting awhile he felt a small tug on the line, with hope slowly rising he pulled the line in. He held the fish up to his face, it was such a pitiful fish! Just barely fitting in the palm of his hand. He sighed, well, at lest it was better than nothing. He removed the fish from his hook and placed it in the basket. To his dismay the little fish had managed to eat his worm, he was all out of bait.
Defeated and dragging his feet, Kenshin headed for home.
He saw Kaoru standing at the gate, she smiled when she saw him. "Kenshin! Where have you been all day?" She ran up to him and saw the fishing gear in his hand. "Did you catch anything."
He showed her his pitiful catch. "Not much, sessha isn't much of a fisherman."
Kaoru wrinkled her nose. "Ew, those types of fish taste horrible." Kenshin felt his heart fall into the pit of his stomach. "Put that in the kitchen and let's go shopping. I need you to help me. Yahiko," she stated angrily "ate all the food again."
He ran inside and set his fishing stuff down and accompanied Kaoru grocery shopping. He followed behind miserly, taking and carrying any item Kaoru bought. As they were making their way home, he remembered something he could still do for Kaoru. "Kaoru-dono, sessha could draw a bath for you when we get home."
She turned to face him with a smile. "Thanks Kenshin, but I already had a bath, right before you came home actually." He smiled, until she turned back around, it slowly faded; now he couldn't even offer Kaoru a nice hot bath for her birthday.
He cooked everyone lunch and did the laundry. He scrubbed angrily at his socks, the mud just wouldn't come out. He scrubbed, and scrubbed, and scrubbed, and riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiip! Kenshin's lip curled into a snarl as he held up his ripped sock. It just wasn't his day.
Kaoru came up to Kenshin and noticed he was literally glaring holes into his sock. "Hey Kenshin?"
He was startled by her voice, nearly falling into the soapy water. He laughed meekly and turned toward her with a smile. "Yes, Kaoru-dono?"
"I just wanted to tell you that Yahiko is staying the night at the Akabeko. So we'll only need dinner for the two of us tonight."
His heart flew. Dinner? Alone with Kaoru? He grinned. "Yes, Kaoru-dono." He turned and went back to the laundry, humming happily to himself. Kaoru smiled at his improved mood and wandered back into the house.
Kenshin thought excitedly about dinner as he washed the rest of the laundry. He told himself he just had to keep thinking positively. He still had the chocolate after all! He still had the- ACHOO! He looked down at his shirt, now covered in snot, sighing he put the shirt back into the water and washed it again.
By the time he had the laundry up and drying he had developed a steady sneeze and shivers, but he wasn't going to let that stop him. He went inside, stopping by his room to put the chocolate in his pocket, and began cooking the fish he caught for Kaoru's dinner. In the midst of cooking he let out a sneeze.
"Geeze Kenshin, don't sneeze all over the food."
He smiled sheepishly, turning to look at Kaoru standing in the doorway. "Sorry Kaoru-dono."
She seemed worried as she stepped towards him. "Kenshin do you feel alright?" She placed a cold hand on his forehead. "You look flushed!"
"Sessha is fine! Just a little tired." His sneeze said otherwise.
Kaoru frowned at him. "Maybe you should lay down, I could make you some tea."
"No, really sh-" sniff. What was that? Sniff. "Kaoru-dono… do you smell something?"
She shrieked and covered her mouth with her hand. "Kenshin! The fish!"
He turned and saw Kaoru's dinner on fire. With a startled yelp he began beating the small flames out… with his hand. The flames were quickly put out, with only minor burns to Kenshin's hand, but the fish was thoroughly burnt.
Kenshin found himself sucking on his hand again, staring sadly at the brunt fish he had so much trouble catching. This just wasn't his day.
Kaoru saw the troubled look in Kenshin's eyes. "It's alright Kenshin, it's my fault for distracting you. We'll have something else, it's no big deal."
He felt all of his energy slowly drain from his body. The last time his body felt this old was after that day with Tomoe, and remembering that just made him feel older. "Sessha is so sorry Kaoru-dono."
"Sorry? Kenshin, why are you-"
"Sessha just wanted to do something nice for you on your birthday, but Yahiko ate all the food, so…" he told her everything, even falling in the river. "And now I've burnt your dinner." He reached into his pocket, brightening for a moment. "But sessha has one thing he can still give you." He held out the chocolate to her.
His heart soared when he saw the delighted look on her face. "And I thought everyone forgot that it was my birthday!" She exclaimed, trying to take the chocolate's wrapper off, but it was stuck.
At first Kenshin didn't understand why Kaoru was having so much trouble opening the chocolate. Slowly, very slowly, it dawned on him. It had been in his pocket, up against his warm leg, while he was in the hot kitchen. The chocolate had melted and gotten stuck all over it's wrapper. He hung his head defeat. It just wasn't his day.
Kaoru quickly guessed what was wrong when Kenshin hung his head. She didn't mean to, she couldn't help it, she giggled. "You poor man." Kenshin shot his head up, not sure how to respond to that. She took his arm and led him to his room. "Go and get changed, you shouldn't have let me taken you shopping when you had damp clothes on!"
"Let me handle that, go change!" She pushed the poor rurouni into his room and shut the door. "Meet me in the living room when you're done."
Kenshin sighed to himself, today had been a complete failure. He dressed slowly, depressed. He padded out of his room and into the living room where he found Kaoru had dinner all set up, the main dish, one burnt fish.
She smiled, and took his arm. "Come sit down, I made you some tea." She lead him to his seat and wrapped a blanket around his shoulders.
"Hush." She placed the tea in his hands. "Drink this."
He did, and it tasted so good. It warmed his chilled body. He smiled at her and told her so.
She sat down at his side with a smile. "You said this fish was too small. But, I think it's perfect. The perfect size for two people to share."
Kenshin blushed, and nodded his agreement. Together they shared the fish in silence, enjoying being with each other. After it was gone they sat and cuddled in Kenshin's blanket, thankful Yahiko was spending the night at the Akabeko.
As they tiptoed together back to Kenshin's room he reconsidered his earlier statements. Today was his lucky day.