Baka and a Fool

It's just those rainy days
Spend a lifetime tryin' to wash away
Until the sun comes out and shines again
Smile for me, smile for me

…………………………

……………………

…………

Kenshin Himura looked lovingly to the woman in his arms, holding her protectively and comfortably. He kissed the top of her smooth black hair.

"I love you, Tomoe", he huskily said and Tomoe sighed in content. Leaning on his hard chest that he earned from practicing Kendo everyday after school lessons.

They sat in comfortable silence on the grass with the shade of the Sakura tree, the two of them in their own little world where there was only the two of them and their love.

Their love had stayed strong for 2 years and it's getting stronger everyday.

"Hey! You two love birds! Come and eat lunch with us, don't be selfish Tomoe and share Kenshin's cooking!", Misao teased as she called them out. The couple chuckled and headed to the bench where there friends are. Kenshin took a seat beside Aoshi who was seating beside Sano and Tomoe was on Kenshin's and Misao's side. On Misao's left was Megumi.

"Oi! Kenshin, so what did you cook this time?", Sanosuke asked eagerly as he leaned over Kenshin's bento. Sanosuke and Kenshin were childhood friends and most of the time Sanosuke would ask food from Kenshin's parent's cooking but now since Kenshin knows how to cook and his parents were resting peacefully on their grave, he always asked for Kenshin's food. Straight to the point, Sano loves Kenshin's cooking.

"Well I cooked Teriyaki tod-"

"Yatta! Gimme gimme!", Sano exclaimed as he neared his chopsticks to Kenshin's bento but they were slapped away from Megumi's and she gave him a glare.

"Hey! What did you do that for,Fox!", he yelled in annoyance. Then the two started bickering as they usually did and the gang just watched them with exasperation or amusement.

Kenshin sighed. These two have known each other since high school and lets just say that their first impression on each other wasn't really good since Sanosuke teased her about how much she used make-up on her face which made Megumi very angry and the two started to despise each other but later on they eventually got into better terms though they would still bicker.

Out of the corner of his violet eyes, he noticed a pair of chopsticks towards his bento and took a piece of his teriyaki.

"Mmmmm…….this is delicious, arigatou Kenshin-kun!", Misao said cheerfully. Always her genki self. Kenshin and Sanosuke met Misao when they were in elementary. She was always cheerful and still is. Though she is also troublesome like Sanosuke but that's what they are. Such carefree individuals.

While he was the calm person, the peacemaker and has control like his other friend, Aoshi who they just met at the beginning of their freshmen years in college.

All of them are now in their Senior year in college and just finished their first semester. Just a few more months until they graduate. They had one particular friend who was always busy with schoolwork that's because she wanted to become valedictorian.

Kamiya Kaoru

Speaking of her, Kenshin noticed that she wasn't around, eating lunch with them.

"Hmm….It seems that Kaoru isn't eating lunch with us again", Kenshin commented with a bit of disappointment.

"You know how industrious Jou-chan is, Kenshin. She wants to become valedictorian afterall", said Sanosuke, waving his chopsticks around with his hand and then tried another attempt to get a piece of Kenshin's teriyaki.

"Kaoru-san is very devoted,ne?", said Tomoe. Kenshin always wondered why Tomoe respect Kaoru like she was older than her when in fact, Tomoe was a year older than Kaoru.

Kaoru skipped her sophomore years in high school because of her outstanding grades. In fact, all of them are a year older than Kaoru. Therefore, she was the youngest of their group but ironically she was the wise one, the mature one. Perhaps, as mature as Aoshi.

"Kaoru, really should lighten up! It's always study, study, study! Work, work, work and even more work!", Sanosuke exclaimed angrily. He was always the concern and protective brother when it comes to Kaoru.

"I have to agree with rooster-head here…", said Megumi then took a glance at the confused Sanosuke and she smirked, "For once"

"Hey!"

Megumi sighed. "Anyway…..Does Kaoru only think about work? I never saw her doing something fun or even different for a change"

"Guys!", Misao exclaimed, catching her friends' attention. They stared at her curiously.

Misao had a smile on her face but for Kenshin, that smile means something else but the genki hid it too well.

"Don't forget that it was Kaoru who paired Kenshin and Tomoe together!", she cheerfully said and everyone was a surprise.

How could they have forget. It was Kaoru who saw the signs that Tomoe had feelings for Kenshin but Tomoe wasn't sure if it was real. It was Kaoru who noticed that Kenshin wasn't happy with the way things were in his life, he was unsatisfied, discontent and very unhappy. For some reason, Tomoe turned to Kaoru for advise about her feelings for Kenshin and Kaoru asked Kenshin on how were things in his life, if he was content with it. Even though Kenshin tried to hide his sadness from Kaoru with his trademark smile, she could see right through him. That he was denying it.

A man in denial who was not happy with his life.

A woman who needed to understand her heart.

So Kaoru became God and answered their prayers.

Kaoru set them up to meet and did everything she could to make their eyes sparkle. She made them feel like they were in cloud-nine on every date. She said the right words to Tomoe for Kenshin on the right time, right place and the right moment.

Then the two finally fell in love and more importantly….

"She did that all for the two of you to be happy", Misao said sincerely. Aoshi noticed that her blue eyes were a bit watery, fortunately for Misao, it was only Aoshi who noticed it. He seems to always notice these things, the little things that were more important. The reasons.

The Truth

"I am very grateful to Kaoru for doing this for us", Tomoe said whole-heartedly. She was really grateful to Kaoru on what she had done. She was very surprised on the words Kaoru said to her, the speeches, the right words to say to Kenshin on their dates or whenever they were together. Tomoe even thought the she was secretly part of a dating agency but Kaoru truthfully said she wasn't. When Kenshin and Tomoe finally confessed their love for one another, Tomoe will never forget on what Kaoru just said to her when she wanted to thank her.

"I'm not doing this for you, it's for my own selfish reasons"

She was very confused and a bit troubled when Kaoru said that. What could she have meant by that?

"Same here, Tomoe. Where is she anyway? Haven't she eaten yet?", asked Kenshin with concern.

Sanosuke raised a brow. "You sound like a father, Kenshin. And knowing Kaoru, I'm sure she ate already or maybe she's probably eating right now in the cafeteria."

"Maa maa…I was just concerned that's all. How would I know if she ate already? She hasn't been eating lunch with us for awhile…..", he said, holding up his hands in defense then a thought crossed his mind.

"Come to think of it, I haven't seen much of her at all…..", he wasn't aware that he was saying it out loud until he noticed the strange looks his friends and Tomoe were giving him. He smiled sheepishly and continued eating his lunch in silence.

Misao sighed. Kenshin and Kaoru were friends since high school. They literally bumped into one another. Kaoru sprained her ankle that time and Kenshin felt extremely guilty and took her to the school clinic. Kaoru didn't think of it as a big deal but it was the other way around for Kenshin. He kept on apologizing to her and checking on her. Kaoru was being patient with him and kept telling him that she's alright. Nothing to fuss about. Once her ankle recovered, she hoped that Kenshin would stop worrying and let things go back to normal.

Seems things wouldn't go her way this time.

Kenshin was persistent on becoming friends with her.

Kaoru didn't want his guilt or pity.

But she saw he was truly sincere and genuine on bonding with her.

And that's how their friendship began.

Because of a sprain ankle.

And they have been good friends ever since.

Kenshin ate in silence and so did everyone else. His mind were wandering somewhere else, a single thought bothered him.

As a matter of fact……I haven't seen Kaoru that much since me and Tomoe were officially a couple…


Bored Sapphire eyes stared aimlessly at the ceiling fan as it rotated repeatedly then she turned her head to the other side to see the clock ticking.

5:39 pm

Kaoru should have left already like the rest of the students, her colleagues. She should have went home together with Misao like she always does but right now, she just feels like sitting on her office chair, her feet covered with leathered shoes resting on a lab table and her hands behind the back of her head. She let a contented sigh. She likes this feelings, just to relax. To have this moment of peace and quiet.

To finally have Peace.

She wandered her eyes on the folder where she compiled her finished paperwork on Biomedical Science. Another sigh. God, she's glad that she finished that project. Took her a week to finish. She shouldn't have gotten on Prof. Saitou's bad side, she should have just shut her mouth when he had given her the project. She should have accepted that she had only two weeks to finish it.

But she did open her mouth. She cussed at the man too, so in result he cut half of the deadline and so she only had a week to finish it.

"Fuck that bastard", she muttered as she rubbed her temple. It's not like she hadn't experienced this kind of trouble before. Ever since her freshmen years, Prof. Saitou had been bugging her.

That's what you get for taking Marine Biology, now you're gonna have to deal with me. I'll show you how difficult I can be. How Marine Biology can kick your ass.

But he hadn't kicked her ass and she wasn't planning it to happen anytime sooner.

"I can be a bitch too, Prof.", she said out-loud then she checked again the clock.

6:00 pm

She stood up then stretched her tired limbs then placed her things back in her business bag that sorta looks like a suitcase and because of her bag she finally got a compliment from Prof. Saitou.

You look like a professional

Coming from him, she takes it as a compliment. Especially he didn't have that sarcastic or annoying amusing tone that he always had in his voice. She placed on her white lab coat then turned off the lights then left the laboratory. Nothing can be heard but only her footsteps.

Or so she thought.

When she passed the gym, she heard a racket. Sounds like that something was falling hard on the floor. So she decided to check on it.

"The guard should have been here…", she mumbled as she opened the door to the gym. She saw kendo sticks and some basketballs lying on the floor. She fumbled her hands on the wall, trying to find the light switch but it was too dark. After several minutes she finally turned the lights on and from the corner of her eye, she saw a shadow behind the benches.

She slowly walked towards the benches, trying to find the figure.

This is ridiculous, what's the use if I walk to whoever the hell he is? Might as well speak up

"Whoever the hell you are, just show yourself already. You know I saw you", she said monotonously. She sighed, it seems that the intruder won't show himself. Kaoru laid down on the bench, placing her arms at the back of her head.

"I ain't leaving until you show yourself to me. I'll count up to 10 and if you're still not here then you are seriously going to get hurt", she said sternly. No matter what the intruder does, he can't escape the gym without her knowing and immediately getting him.

God, I wish I had my gun back!

"1"

She heard shifting noises under the benches

"2"

She heard footsteps

"3"

Silence. He was hesitating

"4"

Footsteps again

"5"

He was stalling

"6"

God! What's taking him so long!

"7"

Finally, he's moving here

"8"

"9"

"10"

"Kaoru?"

Kaoru instantly sat up and turned around. Her sapphire eyes widened when she saw Kenshin and he had that confuse look on his face.

"Kenshin? What are you doing here?", she asked quickly. Out of all the people, she didn't expect Kenshin to stay here this late in the campus.

Kenshin smiled sheepishly. "Well I stayed a little longer to practice a Kata and then I just noticed that it was getting dark…."

Kaoru raised a brow and Kenshin let out a breath. "And…..an accident happen, don't ask", he finished. He saw Kaoru smirked then bent down to get her bag.

"What about you?", he asked. Kaoru turned to him.

"I was just finishing a project, took longer than I thought", she answered. Kenshin nodded then he turned around to clean up the mess that he did.

"Need some help?", she asked

"Sure", he replied

Kaoru placed back down the bag and took off her lab coat then bent down to pick up the basketballs and placed them back in the basket.

"It has been awhile, Kaoru", he said while he picked up the kendo sticks.

"What are you talking about?", she asked as she took another shot of the ball to the basket.

"I mean, I haven't really seen for a long while now. Even though we are students here but it seems you're always busy. You don't have time for your friends anymore, not even me", he said, his violet eyes portraying how upset he is.

"Oh come on, Kenshin. Don't get upset about it. Plus even if I do have time to hang-out with you guys, I'm pretty sure you got your hands full because of Tomoe", she slyly and with a wink.

Kenshin finished placing all the kendo sticks back in the rack. "That's not true, Kaoru. I will always have time for you. You're one of my best friends"

Kaoru scoffed. "What kind of friend are you for spraining my ankle?", she joked but she noticed that Kenshin wasn't feeling humorous about it. He had a serious look on his face.

Kaoru gave him a small smile. "I was kidding, Kenshin. I really didn't mean it"

Kenshin sighed, he had a sad smile on his face and Kaoru was very much aware of it.

"What is it? Something wrong?", she asked with concern which surprised Kenshin a bit.

"So you do still care"

Kaoru narrowed her eyes, wondering what was up with Kenshin right now. "What are you talking about? Of course I care."

Kenshin beamed a smile then, to Kaoru's surprise, he laughed. It was a different laugh, it came from his heart.

"Gomen, it's just that….. I thought we didn't mean much to you anymore", he said sheepishly then all of a sudden he got hit straight on the face with a basketball.

Kaoru smirked. "Baka"

Then she turned to put on back her coat and grabbed her bag. "Oi! Aren't you leaving yet?", she called out then walked ahead

Kenshin saw her leave and hurriedly quickened his pace to catch up to her. "Chotto matte!", he called out

They turned the lights off and closed the door. They bid goodbye to the guard who was standing by the school gate.

"You didn't bring your car with you?", Kenshin asked

Kaoru shook her head. "I let it tuned up today", she answered

Kenshin looked at her curiously. "Then how did you get to school?"

"Sir, dropped me off before he head to work", she answered dryly.

"Aa", was the only thing he could say once he found out that it was her father who dropped her to school. Her father, Koujiro Kamiya, was always a strict man. Even to his daughter. He didn't like being called father and so he preferred being called Sir, and Kaoru had been calling him that even since she was 8 yrs. old.

Her father was the chief of the Tokyo Police Department for 25 years and at the age of 18, her father gave her a gun.

She became a damn fine shooter.

Kaoru noticed that Kenshin was staring at her. "Is there something on my face?", she asked

Kenshin shook his head then continued looking at her, much to Kaoru's dismay. "You've grown", he said all of a sudden

Irked. Kaoru glared at him. "Hey! I'm just an inch smaller than you!", she exclaimed

Kenshin smiled. "You've changed too"

Kaoru was taken aback on what he just said. "Huh? What are you talking about? I look the same as always"

Kenshin sighed then he stared down on the pavement. "Maybe because I haven't seen you for such a long time.", then he looked up at her again with a sincere smile

"Your hair is longer, you have high cheekbones, your blue eyes are more bright, you have a sharp nose too"

Kaoru blinked, feeling dumfounded then she laughed. "You talk like a doctor, Kenshin", she teased then she stifled a giggle but she was still smiling

Kenshin smiled back at her. "And you have cute dimples when you smile"

"Oi! If I had known better, I think you're flirting with me, Himura", she jibed which only made Kenshin frown. Kaoru sighed then shook her head. She placed a hand on his shoulder.

"Kenshin, lighten up. I was just kidding. I know you would never cheat on Tomoe", she said sincerely then she saw Kenshin shook his head.

"That never crossed my mind, Kaoru. Besides you were the reason why me and Tomoe are-"

"Don't give me much credit, Kenshin. I was just giving you guys a little push. It was you two who did the magic. Ah, young love…..", she said the last statement dramatically. Kenshin smirked.

"Kinda ironic, since you're younger than us", he said as he crossed his arms and they continued walking.

"Ah, that is true but that doesn't mean that you two aren't young, are you not?", she countered with a smug look on her face

"Heh! You have a point there", he answered back. Then continued walking the busy streets of Tokyo in comfortable silence.

"I am quite happy today….", he whispered

Kaoru sighed. "What is it with you, saying random things out of the open", she mumbled but Kenshin heard her so he chuckled.

"But I really am happy", he said

"Well you have a lot of reasons to be happy about. You're doing very well with studying Business, you have good friends and most of all you have Tomoe with you", she stated then she turned to Kenshin who still has that goofy smile on his face.

"Right now, I am happy because I get to spend some time with you again", he said which almost made Kaoru trip but she regain her balance and composed herself.

Then out of the blue, Kaoru bonk the back of Kenshin's head.

"Ow! What did you do that for?", he said as he rubbed the sore part of his head.

"Hn. Baka! You talked like I just came back from vacation", she said then she noticed that they were finally on their street. Time to separate ways.

Kenshin was about to say something but Kaoru beat him up to it.

"I do care about you guys. My friends means a lot to me and that includes you, Kenshin", she said as she looked sternly at him. For some reason, Kenshin feels a bit nervous from her expression.

"So enough with your doubt about our friendship, Kenshin. I know that you could be clueless sometimes but please don't be as dumb as Sano", from that comment, Kenshin chuckled then he was taken by surprise when he saw Kaoru's genuine smile.

Then his heartbeat quickened it's pace when Kaoru walked up to him. They were just inches apart.

Then Kaoru placed her hand on the top of his head then ruffled his fiery red hair.

"So be a good boy, alright? I don't want to hear anymore stories from Misao that will make me worry about you"

Kenshin's eyes widened. "You worry about me?"

"Baka. I told you to stop doubting me. Sheesh, we have been friends since high school, Kenshin! Isn't that enough proof that I care about you?"

Kenshin started to blush. "G-gomen…."

Kaoru scoffed. "Baka"

Then she turned away.

"Oro?"

Kaoru smirked, not looking back, she waved a hand. "Until next time, Kenshin"


"Helloooooo! Earth to Kaoru! Is anybody home?"

Kaoru snapped out of her thoughts then she turned to Misao who was looking at her curiously. She gave her best friend a sheepish smile.

"Gomen, Misao. I must have spaced out,he.heh..he", Kaoru answered sheepishly

"Yeah, you must have", she said dryly and Kaoru rolled her eyes.

The two of them are on the rooftop of the school building, eating their lunch.

"So what have you been think-"

"Konnichiwa Minna!", Sanosuke exclaimed as he burst the door open with Kenshin, Tomoe, Megumi and Aoshi coming from behind.

Misao punched Sano on the head. "Oi! Watcha do that for, weasel!"

"For being so loud, Rooster head!"

"Oh I'm loud? Look who's talking!"

And the two started bickering. Kaoru sighed.

"Ara? Kaoru? You're actually here!", Kenshin exclaimed in astonishment.

Kaoru sighed again. "Nice to meet you too, Kenshin. And I wouldn't be here if it weren't for Misao. She kept on me pestering for eating lunch with her but I didn't expect you guys to be here as well."

"Ouch, Jou-chan. Sounds like you didn't want us around", he teased as he sat down beside Kaoru.

Kaoru smirked. "Well I wouldn't mind not seeing you, Sano"

"Ah, shut up!"

Kaoru laughed a bit.

"Anyway…….", said Misao as she took a seat on Kaoru's other side, "as I was saying before I was rudely interrupted, what have you been thinking about?"

Kenshin paused from eating his onigiri. "Oro? What are you talking about Misao-chan?"

Misao grinned. "Well….I finally found Kaoru spacing out. It seems our little Miss Perfect is normal after all", she teased which earned her a glare from Kaoru.

"Sou ka….I wish I could have seen it", said Kenshin innocently

"Baka", Kaoru muttered under her breath then she busied herself with her sushi.

"Sooooooooo?"

Kaoru looked up at Misao who was looking very eager then she looked around friends who had that same look on their faces, she was even surprise to see Aoshi to be mildly intrigued about this.

"There's nothing to tell", she answered then she stuffed her mouth again

"Awww…..come on, Kaoru! Tell us! If it's really nothing, then there's no need to hide it from us", Misao tried to reason but Kaoru ignored her.

"Maybe Jou-chan is secretly seeing someone", said Sanosuke which made Kaoru almost choke on her food. Tomoe helped Kaoru get her canteen of water.

"Arigatou, Tomoe", Kaoru said politely

"No problem, Kaoru-san"

"No need to be formal with me, Tomoe. I told you a lot of times to just call me Kaoru, or any of my nicknames, heck make your own nickname for me", she teased which earned her a laugh from the compose and quiet girl.

In the meanwhile, Misao and Sanosuke were still busy about Kaoru's supposed thoughts.

"See! Kaoru chocked when I said that! Meaning, she IS seeing someone! Right, Kaoru?", asked Sano and Kaoru gave him a glare then she continued eating her food. Let them think what they want, it doesn't really bother her anyway.

But someone is

"It probably must be Kaoru's mechanic. You know he mostly visits Kaoru", said Misao

Kenshin seems to be disturbed about this. "Excuse me? Kaoru has a mechanic?", he asked

Sano answered for him. "Yeah? Didn't you know? His name is Seta Soujiro, he tunes up Kaoru's car"

"Oh…..I did not know that", said Kenshin then he turned to Kaoru who was busy ignoring everyone by eating her food.

Megumi decided to join in the conversation, she always loved teasing Kaoru. Ever since Kaoru and Megumi met, she loved getting on Kaoru's nerves but she seems to fail miserably. No matter what she does, she can't tick Kaoru off. Such self-control.

"Maybe……..she met her childhood friend, Yojiro-san", said Megumi

Kenshin looks confused again. "Kaoru had a childhood friend?"

Megumi shrugged. "That's what Kaoru told me. It took me weeks to get her to tell me"

Tomoe decided to join in the fun. "You never know, she must be secretly dating my cousin, Enishi"

"Tomoe?", Kenshin questioned her and his girlfriend just smiled innocently at him.

"Gomen, I couldn't help it", she said sheepishly

Kenshin looked at his friends with a stern look. "You guys are being harsh on Kaoru, she didn't do anything and yet you're picking on her"

This time it was Kaoru who spoke after drinking her water. "Chill out, Kenshin. It's okay, they're just like that since they're bored. I know this gang wouldn't have fun without me", she said cockily and they all just rolled their eyes and smirked at her.

"But I'm quite surprise that Tomoe joined in the fun", said Kaoru then she turned to Tomoe.

"Enishi,eh?", Kaoru grinned and Tomoe blushed. "Gomenasai Kaoru-san"

Kaoru waved it off. "I told you, no need to be formal. But how did you know that I know about your cousin?"

The rest of the gang gasped or looked shocked.

Tomoe laughed. "Enishi-kun was very fond of you when the two of you first met, he kept on talking about it over and over again"

Sano did a high-pitched whistle. "Didn't know you had it in you, Jou-chan", he grinned.

Kaoru rolled her eyes. "It's not what you think. We just simply met, that's all. Plus all of you guys guessed wrong on what I was thinking about"

Misao leaned on to Kaoru eagerly. "Then what is it!"

Kaoru looked around her friends, was it just her or was Kenshin looking very intense at her. She shrugged it off.

"I was thinking about…………"

They practically leaned in, seems that they are very interested.

Kaoru smirked. "My car"

Dead silent.

"WHAT!", Sano and Misao exclaimed, making Kaoru burst into laughter. She was laughing so hard that she had tears in her eyes.

Megumi groaned. "I should have known that it will never be a guy"

Tomoe sighed. "Kaoru-s"

"Tut-tut-tut….Tomoe, what did I say?", said Kaoru who finally controlled herself from her fit of laughter.

"I mean….Kaoru-chan, should find someone to hang-out with", said Tomoe

Kenshin looked confuse. "But she does have someone to hang-out with"

"I mean to date, Kenshin.", Tomoe turned to Kaoru

"What do you say?", Tomoe asked, looking at Kaoru expectantly who looked not interested at all.

"If you're trying pair me up with someone, just forget it. I'm content with being single and I'm not interested in crossing with love or any attraction to a guy"

Everyone stared at her. "I'm not lesbian also, you know", she groaned

"But Jou-chan, you haven't date with anyone at all! Just experience it, it's not like you have to be committed with someone"

"Yeah Kaoru-chan, when was the last time you even loved someone?", asked Misao

Kaoru turned to Misao and gave her a look that only Misao could interpret. She grinned evilly. "You should know, Misao", she said, "You guys even met"

Everyone looked stunned. "Does this mean that you are in love with someone?", Megumi asked in earnest, this is the very first time that Kaoru actually opened up to any love life that she has.

Kaoru shrugged. "Love? Hmmm….probably I am in love but the guy is in love with someone else. You know how it is"

Then the girls frowned, when it comes to love, they get very emotional. Except for Kaoru, of course who doesn't look bothered at all. Sensing the tension in the air all of a sudden, Kaoru tried to lighten things up.

"But aside the fact that I actually had feelings for someone, if you guys ever met him, you would know that I have great taste in men", she said with a wink then her friends laughed, even Aoshi slightly curved his lips but Kenshin wasn't in the mood at all. All of a sudden, this discussion about Kaoru's love life and the mysterious man that she fell in love with, perturbed him.


Prof. Saitou Hajime scanned on the papers intently, checking every word of every category, every detail and every theory. Normally, he wouldn't even take a glance on a project right away but this one belonged to his menace, Kamiya Kaoru.

He couldn't understand why but since the first time they met, he felt it was just natural to give Kaoru a hard time or just tease every once in awhile. Sure she pissed him off and the only person who never feared him before but genuinely respects him. That's why she is very interesting to him but even though he admires the young woman, he ain't stupid to hear her cussing at him when he's not around. Saitou smirked.

He placed down the folder and looked up at Kaoru who was just staring at the clock.

"Got a date?"

Kaoru snapped out of her stupor and looked at him with a puzzled look. "Excuse me?"

Saitou placed the folder in his drawers and averted his attention to his students. "You're dismissed", he said curtly

Kaoru stood up then reach for the door. "Kamiya", she turned to her professor. "Yes?"

He showed her a cigarette, "Want one?"

Kaoru smirked. "No thanks, Prof.", then she left his office. Saitou had a small smile on his face and lit himself a cigarette then he blew out a puff of smoke.

The only student who turned down his offer of a cigarette. "Darn, freakn' saint…."


"So what do you want to do today?", asked Kenshin to Tomoe as they walked towards the parking lot for Tomoe's car, holding hands.

"Hmmm…..can we go watch a movie in your place?", asked Tomoe and Kenshin nodded.

"Sure, I actually bought some dvds the other-"

"Kaoru! Wait up, will ya!"

"Jou-chan!"

Just a few feet away from Tomoe's car was Kaoru going to her car and Misao and Sano running up to her.

"Eh? They must be going out somewhere", said Tomoe then Kenshin pulled her along with him.

"Let's go talk to them for awhile", said Kenshin. Tomoe looked at quizzically. "Uuuhh…sure, Kenshin"

Sano noticed that Kenshin and Tomoe are heading their way. "Hey, Kenshin and Tomoe are heading this way", he said as he placed his bag inside the car.

"Honto ni?", asked Misao then she turned to Kaoru who just went inside the driver's seat and started the car then checked her glove compartment for her shades.

When Kenshin and Tomoe approached them, they greeted each other and talked.

"So where are you guys heading?", asked Kenshin

"We're going to where Kaoru-chan works!", Misao exclaimed, very excited

Kenshin blinked. "Kaoru, works?"

Sano looked at him with a puzzled look. "Geez Kenshin! It seems like you don't know anything about Kaoru at all! And you two had been friends since high school!"

Then Kenshin bowed his head, feeling guilty. It's true, he doesn't know what's going on around Kaoru lately. He didn't know she had a mechanic, or she had a childhood friend, or she met Tomoe's cousin and he didn't even know that Kaoru had a part-time job.

He felt a hand on his shoulder and he turned around then saw Kaoru, smiling at him.

"Don't feel guilty, Kenshin. It's not your fault. I had been very busy lately that I didn't get to tell you stuff like these", she said then glared at Sano who smiled sheepishly and scratched the back of his head.

"Thank you, Kaoru but I can't help that Sano is right. You're one of my best friends but it seems I don't know much about you….", he said sadly

Kaoru sighed then turn to Tomoe. "This is your man, comfort him. I'm tired of being a mother to this baka", she teased and Tomoe giggled. She turned to Kenshin who wasn't feeling funny about it at all.

"Ok ok ok……Got plans next weekend, Kenshin?", she asked

Kenshin and Tomoe looked at her quizzically. "Kaoru-chan?", questioned Tomoe, her eyes betraying her suspicion.

"Relax Tomoe…..don't think nothing of it", said Kaoru, trying to ease her suspicions and Tomoe just nodded then the two girls turned to Kenshin.

"Ummm….well….I haven't made plans yet….", Kenshin stammered

Kaoru smirked. "Great! I'll pick you up in your place at Saturday, 7:00 am. Wear something comfortable, until next time!"

Before Kenshin could say anything or for Tomoe to protest, Kaoru went inside her navy blue Astra then drove off the campus.

"That was odd…….are you sure you're going out with Kaoru-chan, Kenshin?", asked Tomoe

Kenshin beamed a smile. "Of course! It's been a long time since I spend some time with Kaoru", he answered with enthusiasm then he noticed Tomoe's frown. He wrapped his arms around her, pulling her close and making her blush.

"Do you trust me?", he asked huskily

"Yes….", she answered meekly

"Good, no doubts Tomoe", he said then sealed his lips with hers. With that kiss, Tomoe forgot about her doubts and her suspicions on Kaoru.

It's pretty stupid to suspect Kaoru to do such a thing, after all, she's the one who paired them up and it's true that Kenshin and Kaoru haven't seen each other for so long already.

Kaoru was busy with her schoolwork

Kenshin was busy with Tomoe

From afar, Megumi and Aoshi watched Kenshin and Tomoe. Megumi let out an exasperating sigh. "Is she really happy with this?", she asked even though she knew that Aoshi won't answer.

"How could she be content with this? What made her give up for this to happen?"

Silence

"Doesn't she want to be happy?"

"She is", answered Aoshi which surprised Megumi. She turned to him.

"If he is", he said, referring to Kenshin's smile

Megumi wiped a tear from her eye.

Their friends knew the truth except for Kenshin.


"See you tomorrow, Kenshin", said Tomoe from her car and Kenshin leaned for a kiss and she returned the gesture.

"Take care, Tomoe", he said with a smile and she smiled back then drove off. Kenshin watched her car until it was out of sight then he turned around towards his house. He was the only one left who lives in that house. Ever since his parents died.

Sinjin and Regina Himura died from a car accident that occurred when he was 16 years old. He got a call from the police and was told that his parents died from the accident and he just lost all of his sanity. He never left his house since then, he just keep on repeating the fact that, his parents died.

They are never coming back.

Kenshin shook his head. He didn't want to remember, he didn't want to reminisce. He was over with it. Why recall a memory when it gives you nothing but pain, endless pain.

He dropped his bag on the desk and plopped down on his bed, staring at the ceiling.

But there was one moment that made him happy, that made him want to live again.

One night……..

Kaoru Kamiya took control of everything in that moment.

He woke up to find out that he was lying comfortably on his bed, he was sure he fell asleep on the couch from all that crying and moping about. Kaoru was there, she took care of him. She wasn't good at cooking so she only made instant noodles for him. After finishing his noodles, she hit him.

She repeatedly hit him!

She told him it was to literally knock out his senses. At first they argued, Kenshin was being a jerk. He didn't want her around, he just wanted to be alone but Kaoru didn't listen to him and the next thing she did was….

She made him sick

That night, it was raining. She dragged him outside to the cold rainy night, both of them were soaking wet.

Kenshin chuckled. He remembered that night all too well, the memory is still fresh in his head. It was absolutely cold that night and when they got back inside his house, he kept on coughing and sneezing. He eventually had a cold but he was amazed that Kaoru wasn't affected at all. She was purely enjoying the rain that time. They dried themselves up, Kaoru borrowed his shirt and shorts. Though Kenshin was sick, he helped Kaoru on making hot soup for the both of them and they watched movies together. When it was time for them to hit the hay, Kaoru helped him up to his bed. She tucked him in like a mother would.

He expected her to leave his room and sleep in the guest room but she didn't leave yet. She stayed with him. He made her stay.

Flashback

Karou took hold of his hand and gave him a stern look. "Let it all out, Kenshin. Vent out your pain, your anger, your tears. Anything!"

Kenshin glared at her and he slowly sat up. "You want me to vent out everything? Well here's one for ya, I am fucking pissed that you're here! I told you that I didn't want you around! I don't need your pity, your sympathetic looks or your damn sincerity! It doesn't work on me!"

Kaoru just stayed silent and let him continue, she was still holding his hand. Kenshin pulled back his hand away from hers.

"And who told you that you could hold my hand or even take care of me! Why are you being selfish? Can't you see that I just wanted to be alone! I don't need you! I don't need you……", then tears began to spill from his eyes

"You're not the one that I need, not you……I want them back……I know…it's stupid to say these words, they are never coming back. Never…I missed them so much! I missed mom's cooking, dad's nagging about being a true man, to look more manly then feminine……hehehe…I really want to see them again…even for one last time…I wanted to say goodbye properly to them…I miss my family!"

More tears were spilling from his violet eyes, he couldn't stop them anymore. He should have cried outside the rain back then……

"Thank you…"

Kenshin looked up to her with his watery eyes, Kaoru was smiling at her. "Thank you for sharing your tears with me"

In that moment, Kenshin hugged her. He hugged her tight and cried some more. She returned his embrace and stroke his hair. She slightly laughed. "You're soaking your shirt"

"It's your fault, you made me cry…", he muffled against her shoulder. Kaoru released the embrace and pulled back, she wiped away his tears and pushed him back to lie down on his bed.

"Goodnight, Kenshin", she said and stood up but Kenshin caught her wrist

"Please……stay with me…", his voice was weak and he was pleading at her

Kaoru smiled at him and laid down beside him. She pulled him in her arms, he felt so little and vulnerable in her arms but he felt comfortable and safe. His head against her chest and he wrapped his arms around her waist.

"Tomorrow……we're going to see your parents", she said

"Aa", was all he said and the nightmares stopped haunting him and he wished for another rainy night like this.

End of Flashback

Kenshin sighed. "I really wished for another rainy night like that again…."


Kenshin expected that tomorrow in the campus that things will get better, especially with his friendship with Kaoru but nothing seemed to change for the better. In fact it got even worse, he never saw Kaoru for the entire week even though she was around the school, he asked Misao for her new number and tried contacting Kaoru but she won't answer her phone and he was scared to dial her landline because her father might answer the phone.

Her father scares the shit out of him.

He sighed, he'll just have to wait tomorrow for Kaoru to go to his place then.

I wonder if she's avoiding me……but why would she? I haven't done anything wrong

His amber eyes narrowed. If anyone who's doing wrong around here, it should be her. Godammit! They've been friends since high school and then all of a sudden she had been distant to him for a years. Sure, he sometimes saw her around but their relationship seems to be taking a wrong turn, its like they weren't even friends anymore.

Was that it? That she didn't want to be friends with him?

Was that why she's making these plans for the weekend to tell him that she wants nothing to do with him?

"I do care about you guys. My friends means a lot to me and that includes you, Kenshin"

Kenshin clenched his fists. He just didn't understand anymore. Just what the hell was going on?

"Ken?"

"Huh?", he uttered as he snapped out of his thoughts and averted his attention to Tomoe who was looking at him with concern.

"Anything wrong? You kinda spaced out back there", she said.

Kenshin stared at Tomoe, then it hit him. It was because of Kaoru that he and Tomoe ended up together. He couldn't quite understand why Kaoru was so insistent on pairing them up. But for whatever what reason it was, he was extremely grateful for that. When he started courting Tomoe, he was immensely enjoying himself. He had the best days he had ever experience in his entire life. She said those words, the rights words at the right moment. The way she looked at him with such love. He never would have thought that Tomoe was his type. She was always the silent and composed woman but the saying was true, looks can be deceiving. She showed him a side of her that he never knew existed but some reason……it was familiar.

But whatever that is, in result……he fell in love with Tomoe

Kenshin looked down at his girlfriend with a smile. "Nothing wrong, baby. Nothing wrong…….."

Tomoe placed her arms around his neck and he placed his around her petite waist. "You should eat more, Tomoe", he said with concern

"Eh? Am I really that thin?", she asked and he nodded.

"Yes, you really are. In fact, you have always been thin. You should eat properly", he said and she pouted.

"Awww…..I guess you're right. I was just afraid that I'll be gaining too much weight"

Kenshin chuckled. "Your looks isn't the only thing why I'm in love with you"

Tomoe blushed and smiled then she leaned forward for a kiss and Kenshin without hesitation responded back. Minutes later they broke off the kiss, it was Kenshin who broke the kiss and Tomoe wanted to get back to it.

"Come on, I'll treat you out in a restaurant", he said and Tomoe's eye widened with glee.

"Really?"

Kenshin laughed. Such a demure and innocent woman, oh how he loves her so. "I'm your boyfriend, Tomoe. Of course I will!"

Tomoe blushed again and hugged him, her head resting on his chest. "Thank you"

After school they took a walk to Dimsum Harbor, a Chinese restaurant, and ate there. They chatted and later they ate in comfortable silence. After eating they paid the bill and walked out of the door. Just walking aimlessly on the sidewalk, hand in hand.

Ahead of them was a building, Tokyo's Police Department. Where Kaoru's father worked since he was the chief of police. And right in front them was Kaoru and some man, getting off from a motorcycle. The man was holding a box, must be a package sent for the Police Department.

"Hey, isn't that Kaoru? What's she doing there?", asked Tomoe. Obviously she doesn't know about Kaoru's profession. Even though Kaoru helped them out with their relationship, Tomoe doesn't really know much about her.

"Well…..Mr. Kamiya is the Chief Police in the police department. She must be sending a package here, don't know why though…..", was the only way he could explain to her.

As we got near to the building, Kaoru and that man exited the building with smiles on their faces. It seems to be that they're laughing. Kenshin looked down at his hands and just noticed for the first time that his hands were clenching into a fist.

Strange…why is that?

"Hey Kaoru!"

Kenshin snapped out of his reverie and took a glance at Tomoe. She was calling Kaoru. He looked back at Kaoru and the stranger, her blue eyes were staring straight back at him. He could pretty tell that she was shock but the guy with her was amuse. The stranger was whispering something in her ear and Kaoru glared at him.

"Come on, Kenshin", said Tomoe then she dragged Kenshin towards the other pair.

"Hey Kaoru", she greeted again with her smile and Kenshin was just silent. He wanted to ask Kaoru a lot of things but he couldn't get himself to speak. Tongue-tied?

"Hi guys, didn't expect to run into you two here", said Kaoru with a nervous laugh

Tomoe nudged on Kaoru's side with a sly grin. "Who is this friend of yours, Kaoru?", she said slyly and Kenshin couldn't help but be slightly annoyed on what Tomoe was assuming here, she couldn't possibly thought that this…this stranger here could be Kaoru's…lover.

"Oh….almost forgot! Soujiro, I would like you to meet my friends Tomoe and Kenshin", said Kaoru

The man named Soujiro who was still smiling offered to them his hand. "Pleasure to meet you, its been awhile since I saw Kao-chan's friends"

Tomoe shook his hand with a smile, obviously happy to meet him but for Kenshin's case he was peculiar about him. He doesn't look threatening at all really. He just looked like some ordinary guy with dark-blue eyes, short black hair and who was inches taller than Kaoru, almost the same height as Kenshin but Soujiro was a bit taller which he hated to admit so he won't say anything about it.

But Kenshin still felt strange and suspicious about this guy.

Maybe it's the fact that you haven't met the guy and surprised the fact that Kaoru made some new friends.

Then a thought hit him. Was that it? Was Kaoru making new friends because she got fed up with them?

"Ah….so have you met Kaoru's other friends as well?", Tomoe asked

The smiling boy nodded. "Hai, I met Misao-chan, Megumi-dono, Aoshi-san and Sanosuke. I'm sure you've heard of them"

"Of course we do, they're our friends as well. Just our small group of friends", Tomoe responded then she glanced back at Kaoru was silent and looked a little bit nervous.

"So Kaoru-chan…….have you been dating with this guy recently?", she slyly asked with a wink and Kaoru was shock, she didn't expect Tomoe to ask such a thing or for anyone to assume something like that!

Kaoru was about to say something when Soujiro cut her off. "Actually, we're engaged"

"WHAT!", Kenshin exclaimed while Tomoe gasped in surprise

"Sou-kun!" Kaoru yelled and Soujiro laughed.

Kaoru glared at her friend then turned her attention back to the couple who looked extremely surprise.

She sighed. Why wouldn't they be shock? Even she was, since she was NOT engaged!

"Ano….-"

"Kaoru"

It was Kenshin who cut her off and finally had the voice to speak up. She was wondering when's he gonna say something. Kenshin looked at her straight in the eye with a stern look.

"Explain yourself", he said in commanding tone. It's been years since she heard a tone like that coming out of his mouth. He never even used that to Tomoe or to Sanosuke even though he had a lot of opportunities to since that guy just annoys the hell out of anyone.

But its just gotta be her. She seems to be the only to get on Kenshin's bad side.

"I was about to explain in the first place….", she groaned

"Then explain already", the red-head said impatiently. Kaoru raised a brow at him, just what the hell was wrong with him? Even Tomoe was looking at her boyfriend strangely but Soujiro still had that trademark smile on his face like nothing bothered him at all not even the fact that he lied about his and Kaoru's engagement.

"Soujiro was just joking, okay? This guy here", she strike his ribs with her elbow and Soujiro bent down with a groan, "just love to get on people's nerves, especially mine"

Kenshin couldn't help but feel relieved that it was a lie and at the same time feeling disturbed with his reaction. Why did even have to snap at Kaoru like that?

"Sou-kun", Kaoru said to with a warning tone and he smiled sheepishly

"Gomen…..I just couldn't resist", he said lamely

"Then what are you to Kaoru?", asked Tomoe

Kaoru took a glance at her watch then back to Tomoe. "Sou-kun is my mechanic, he helps me fixed my car or tune-in up whenever I called him to"

"Ouch, Kao-chan! I thought I meant more to you than that", he teased and Kaoru just rolled her eyes.

"Yeah, Kaoru. It seems like you two are even close", said Tomoe, obviously on Soujiro's side.

Then an evil glint crossed Soujiro's eyes before they went back to innocent. "We even slep-"

He was cut off when Kaoru smacked her hand on his lips. "Shut up, you!", she hissed then smiled sheepishly back to the two

"Well I think we should be going now, we've got things to do. See ya guys!", and with that she dragged Soujiro to the motorcycle while arguing who's going to drive this time. In the end it was Kaoru who will be driving. Kenshin's eyes flared when Soujiro placed his arms around Kaoru's waist.

"Seems to me that those two are a bit too friendly", he said not knowing he just said it out-loud

"Aren't they? Those two looked adorable together and who would have thought that he was Kaoru-chan's mechanic!", Tomoe said with glee and very excited about the news that they just heard. Then Kenshin took Tomoe's hand without looking at her, not even a glance.

"I'll take you home now", was all he said


"What was that for!", she yelled loudly as she could while driving the motorcycle with Soujiro seating behind her.

She could hear him laugh and she scowled. "You know how I am, Kao-chan!", he answered back

"Yeah, too much…….", she groaned

"Did you say something, Kao-chan!"

"Nothing and just shut up! I'll kill you when we get back to my house!"

Soujiro just grinned from ear to ear.


After Kenshin dropped Tomoe to her house, he walked aimlessly around the park. He glanced at his watch.

6:00 pm

He should be getting home but he didn't feel like it so he just wondered around the park, not really aware of his surroundings. Not noticing the dark clouds slowly appearing from above.

He was too occupied with his thoughts.

Thoughts on what just happened in front of the Police Department.

They didn't even find out what they were doing there in the first place, though it wasn't really important on knowing but that should have been the logical reason why they should conversed.

Instead, the main topic was about Kaoru's relationship with that Soujiro guy.

The one who lied about their engagement.

Bastard

He thought it was funny just to lie something about that? Not everyone can be as passive as Aoshi or someone who wouldn't care less about it?

Did this mean that he does care about it?

That it really bothered him if Kaoru was actually engaged with that guy?

He shook his head. He shouldn't think about that, it was actually stupid really. Why on earth should he be angry about it? He doesn't really have the right or a say in it.

For God's sakes Kaoru was not actually engaged! So just drop the subject already!

She didn't even mention about their plans this weekend awhile ago. Did she forget?

Kenshin shook his head. Kaoru? Forget? Impossible, especially when she's the one making plans. In fact, it was him who was forgetting to ask her on why didn't she answer her phone when they met.

Maybe he should pay her a visit. Yeah, that's what he'll do. She wouldn't actually mind and it's been years since he paid her a visit. Then Kenshin suddenly felt guilty. He kicked a rock that was his way. What kind of friend was he for not visiting his best friend? Maybe it was his fault that their friendship wasn't going well lately.

Perhaps, Kaoru felt neglected

And it was all his fault. He didn't even had the guts to call her house because he was being a coward if he faced her dad.

"Such a friend you are…..you wouldn't even take a risk just for her….", he said to himself

His violet eyes changed into determination. That's it, his mind had made up. He will go pay Kaoru a visit. What's the worse thing that could happen?

As if right on cue, it began to rain heavily and everyone ran for shelter except for Kenshin who had a frown on his face. Someone up there, wasn't on his side tonight.


"I win!", Kaoru exclaimed and Soujiro groaned. He just lost in playing Rock, Paper and Scissors. In other words, he just lost the chance on picking a movie tonight, again.

After arriving in Kaoru's house, Soujiro was teaching Kaoru on how understand her car and how to fix her car if ever it's in a bad condition. Though Kaoru never had trouble with her car, she always takes good care of it. She probably loves it more than being valedictorian.

Kaoru rummaged to the shelves, finding a movie that she would like to watch tonight. It was always this routine, after school or work, Soujiro would come to her place every night or even earlier and they would watch a movie or play video games. Though it took awhile for Chief Officer Kamiya to agree, he didn't like having visitors in the house unless it was important to him but Kaoru earned his respect so he allowed it.

And for once in Kaoru's life she was deeply thankful that she never questioned her father's motives ever since she was little. She didn't understand why her mother married a man like her father. She didn't even see her father cracking up a smile when her mother was around. He always looked passive and strict. A man with pride.

Regina Kamiya, Kaoru's mother, ever since she was around, almost everyday she would tell Kaoru that she reminded her so much of her husband, of Kaoru's father and she couldn't really understand why was that. But bit by bit she eventually understood what she meant.

Kaoru picked Tremors II

"Tremors? Haven't we seen it already?", Soujiro asked from the kitchen, he was making popcorn.

"We saw Tremors I and IV before. Really, IV really sucked! That was just pathetic! I mean, I was expecting Burt to be there, the gun man who is the master of destruction. But we got his grandfather who was a wuss! Yeesh! It was a waste of my precious money", Kaoru ranted and Soujiro chuckled then he looked out the kitchen window while waiting the popcorn to be done.

"It's raining cats and dogs out there", he said

Kaour placed the DVD in the player and sat on the couch, waiting for Soujiro to come. "Yeah, I hope it won't rain tomorrow", she said

Soujiro went to the living room and placed the popcorn on the table then went back to the kitchen for drinks. "How come?"

"Well I got plans with Kenshin this weekend", Kaoru answered

Soujiro came back with a Royal and Sprite. He handed the Sprite to Kaoru. "Thanks", she said and he sat down beside her.

"Really? You're on a dat-"

"It's not a date, Sou-chan. We're just going to catch up some time that we missed lately. He's been really nagging me about that we didn't spend some quality time together and the fact we barely see each other lately."

"Uhuh…….so he made plans for it", he said with an amusing smile on his handsome features

"Actually, I'm the one who proposed the idea and planned it", she said. Soujiro raised a brow at her and she looked at him with a questioning look.

"What? He was pestering me about his doubt on our friendship and it was really annoying me"

"Are you sure its only about friendship?", he asked with a sly smile on his face.

Kaoru smirked. "Don't even think about it. He has a girlfriend who is the right one for him, believe me I know since I'm the one who set them up"

Soujiro laughed boisterously. "Oh my god! Kaoru Kamiya, a matchmaker! Hahahahaha!"

Kaoru whack him with a pillow as hard as she could. "Yeah and it will be the last time I'll be doing something like that", she groaned while hitting him with the pillow. She stopped eventually and the settled back down.

"So how long have they been steady?", he asked

"Two years in fact", she answered

"Just how on earth did this happen?"

Kaoru sighed. "To keep it short, Kenshin and Tomoe are colleagues in the same school and of course I was there. Tomoe was crushing over Kenshin and months later Tomoe, surprisingly, asked and told me about her feelings towards Kenshin. I could clearly tell that she was in love"

"And Kenshin was in love with Tomoe as well", he said but Kaoru shook her head

"Not yet, once I set them up in a few dates. Kenshin eventually fell in love with her and later on became an official couple. And they live Happily ever after", she said dryly then took a sip of her Sprite

"But Kenshin is your best friend, right? And you don't mind at all that they are together?"

Kaoru looked at him like he just grew another head. "Dumb question, Sou-chan. I set them up remember?"

Soujiro let out a frustrated sigh. "Let me rephrase that…..I mean….what makes you think that Kenshin would fall in love with her or that he wouldn't mind at all to date with Tomoe-san?"

Kaoru stayed silent for awhile then sighed. "Well….Kenshin is always the nice guy and so he wouldn't mind dating Tomoe and even if he wanted it out of the date, he was too nice to reject a girl. Now, about the part that Kenshin would fall for her……..well whatever I did seemed to work"

Soujiro looked at her quizzically. "Huh? Just what do you mean?"

"Tomoe is a demure and silent woman. She's a bit shy as well and so I helped her out on what to do and what to say. Sometimes in her dates I would just be hiding somewhere and I would communicate to her on what to say to the guy. And when they are walking I would follow them and I would instruct Tomoe how to react….blah blah blah…you know how that goes"

Soujiro nodded in understanding but still a bit surprise. He never knew that Kaoru would be a matchmaker, an even good one if he could evaluate considering the fact that she got two individuals together.

"Ok…….well, here's the important question", he started and Kaoru looked at him with apprehension, "why did you do it?"

Kaoru took another sip on her Sprite then looked back at him. "First thing first, it's not an important question and second…….", Kaoru stayed silent for awhile then responded.

"Why not?"

"You're hiding something, aren't you?", he asked

"Sure I am…..", she answered sarcastically

"Just say it"

"There's nothing to say, Sou-chan and we've been talking for almost 30 minutes. We're wasting precious time talking when we should've been watching Burt blowing up those graboids to smitherins!"

Soujiro chuckled. "Well then go and play it already", he said

"Wait, I'll turn off the lights first", she said then stood up and walked towards the wall near the door.

When she was about to turn the lights off she heard the door knocking.

Who the hell would come here at this blasted rain? Sir won't even be here until the rain stops

She turned the knob and opened the door. She gasped when she saw Kenshin, standing and cold in the rain.

Kenshin gave her a wry grin. "May I come in?"

Snapping out of her stupor, she pulled him inside the house. "Soujiro, go get a towel and a new pair of clothes!", she called out

"Who was at the door?", Soujiro asked from the living room

"It's Kenshin! Now go, talk later!", she answered back then they heard Soujiro going upstairs. Kaoru sighed then turned to Kenshin who was soaking wet and without a coat on.

"Just what the hell are you doing here! Can't you see that it's pouring hard out there?"

Kenshin smiled sheepishly at her. "Gomen, when I was coming here it started to rain. Since I'm near to your street anyway might as well go to your place. Hope you don't mind"

"Of course I don't – I mean…you! You're wet! Ugh!", she sighed exasperatingly.

"Kenshin no baka!", she yelled

"Oro?"

"Oro? That's a weird sound", the voice was coming from Soujiro in the hallway with a towel.

"Give me that towel", she said as she grabbed the towel and started drying up his hair. Kenshin was glad that shewas busy on drying up his hair and that his messy long hair was covering his face so Kaoru wouldn't see how beet red his face was from blushing so much.

Soujiro laughed. "This is so cute!"

Kaoru glared at him. "Hush Sou-chan!", she hissed then minutes later she stopped drying up his red hair.

"I'll show you to the bathroom so you could change-"

"Ah, there's no need for that", Kenshin intervened then Kaoru grabbed his hand and dragged him upstairs

"There's a pair of neat clothes inside, okay", she finished, as if she didn't hear him say anything. Kenshin sighed then a smile crept up to his lips. "Thank you, Kaoru"

"No problem", she said then they stopped in front of the bathroom door.

"Go inside and change, we'll just be downstairs, understood?"

All Kenshin could do was just nod but then she smiled at him which caught him by surprise. "Good"

Then Kaoru went downstairs, leaving him alone so he could change. Inside the bathroom was a magenta polo and blue jeans. Kenshin groaned, why on earth did Soujiro picked magenta? Was this one of his jokes again? He was really starting to dislike this guy every second.

Once he was completely dry, he put on the jeans and the magenta polo. He combed his hair and tied it back to a low ponytail. He left the bathroom and descended down the stairs where he saw Kaoru and Soujiro in the living room couch, talking.

Just why was Soujiro here?

He noticed sodas and popcorn on the table. They were gonna watch a movie that is…..until he arrived. He was kind confuse if he was happy about it or not, he picked out the former.

Kaoru was the first one to notice Kenshin on the stairs and she smirked when she saw the magenta polo shirt.

Kenshin noticed her smirk then walked down until he reached the bottom of the stairs then crossed him arms. "Just so you know, it wasn't my idea to pick out this color", said Kenshin

"Yeah, I know", she said, still smirking

"So….just why are you here, Himura-san?", asked Soujiro then Kaoru stopped smirking and looked at Kenshin seriously yet very curious.

"Yes, Kenshin. Just why are you here?", she asked as well

Kenshin took a seat beside Kaoru then sighed. "Why didn't you answer my call, Kaoru?"

Kaoru blinked. "You called the house? When?"

Kenshin shook his head. "No, I mean your cellphone. I tried contacting you the whole week but you never answered", he said with a bit of anger and tried controlling it.

Then unexpectedly for Kenshin, Kaoru laughed nervously at him. "Oh my cellphone……yeah….about that, well I never used that phone for months now so I turned it off, it's just locked in my drawers. Gomen Kenshin"

Kenshin felt like an idiot. Why didn't he think of that before? It should have been obvious since he never saw Kaoru bringing a phone before not even when they were still in highschool. He felt like banging his head on the wall until all of his brain cells disperse. Baka baka baka baka…….

"Hope you're not mad….", she said nervously. Kenshin furiously shook his head.

"No no no! I'm not mad, I should have known that you wouldn't be using your phone. I wasn't thinking things through", he explained with a reassuring smile

"Thanks. So why did you call?", she asked. Was it just her or did she saw something pink on his face?

"Anoo…..well….I was just wondering if our plans for this weekend is still on?", he asked timidly, finding the couch interesting to look at all of a sudden.

Kaoru smiled. "Of course, it's still on. No need to worry about that Kenshin"

Kenshin sighed in relief. "Thanks, for doing this Kaoru"

Kaoru winked. "No problem, excuse me", she said then went inside the kitchen, leaving the two men alone in the living room. Kenshin suddenly looked grim at the moment while Soujiro was still smiling.

"So how long have been friends with Kaoru?", asked Kenshin, looking at him suspiciously

"For almost 6 months now and how about you, Himura-san?"

"Since High school"

"Really? Hmm….Kao-chan did mention some things about you"

Kenshin's curiosity peaked. "Like what?"

Soujiro took a minute in thought then answered. "Well she said about your personality. That you're a very nice guy. Very nice and that sometimes you could be a bit overprotective and a worry-wart sometimes. But she mostly said good things about you"

Kenshin's face dropped at that, he was expecting something interesting. Guess Kaoru didn't say a lot about him.

"But the way….she said it…..she sounded very fond of you. She enjoyed talking about you, Himura-san"

Kenshin could like this guy after all. "What makes you think that?"

Soujiro chuckled. "She seems to be smiling a lot when she talked about you. I just see pure joy in her eyes. When she talked about the others she laughed and she was amused when she talked about Misao-chan and Sanosuke. But to you, well…..I just sense something very different from her"

"Seems like you two are getting along well, should I leave?", said Kaoru with a grin and mug on her hand

Soujiro laughed. "No need to leave, actually we were talking about you"

Kaoru raised a brow as she sat down and handed the mug to Kenshin. "Here you go"

Kenshin hesitantly took the mug from her, he sniffed the aroma of the hot drink. "Hot milo?"

"It was always your favorite", she answered with a shrug. Kenshin smiled. "Thanks", he said then took a sip of it.

"So why was I in your conversation?", she asked, turning to Soujiro

"Oh we were just talking about how long we've been friends with you……also I told Kenshin on your impression of him", Soujiro answered with a grin

"Eh?", she turned to Kenshin with a curious look while he just stared blankly at her and drinking his hot milo.

"He wanted to know if you cared", Soujiro added and his grin widened when Kenshin glared at him

Kaoru let out an exasperated sigh. "This again! Kenshin no baka! Of course I care, I gave you hot milo, didn't I?"

Kenshin smirked at her.

"Well anyway, enough talking. I want to watch the movie already!", she exclaimed then grabbed the control.

"What are you guys watching?", Kenshin asked

"The three of us are gonna watch Tremors II", Soujiro answered

"Let me guess, Kaoru's idea", said Kenshin

"You bet, now hush and lets watch the movie", she said sternly then played the movie. They all watched silently and the only sounds can be heard were the movie and the munches of popcorn.

Soujiro and Kaoru were watching intently on the movie while Kenshin was slowly dosing off, every time he would jerk his head if his head started to drop. He'd been doing it for several minutes now and then Kaoru finally noticed that Kenshin was really sleepy.

"Come here", she said

"Wha?", he asked sleepily then Kaoru laid his head on her lap, Kenshin was about to sit up when Kaoru stopped him

"I know you're sleepy Kenshin so just sleep. Don't worry, I won't mind", she explained to him and Kenshin was too sleepy to argue anyway so he complied and laid back down on her lap. Kaoru took off the band on his hair, letting it free and Kenshin sighed comfortably when Kaoru started weaving her hand through his red tresses.

Soujiro, who was seating on another chair recently with popcorn stuffed on his mouth glanced at the two and bit back a smile.

"I saw that Sou-chan", she hissed

Soujiro blinked back in surprise. "What?"

She had a scowl on her face as she watched the movie. "Just shut up", she answered back then fully focused back on the movie with interest

Soujiro smirked. Sure sure Kaoru

You could have just sent him to bed, you know


"Tremors will be nothing without Burt", said Kaoru while Soujiro turned off the T.V. and placed back the DVD inside it's case.

"Well it's getting late and I should be going but what about him?", Soujiro pointed to Kenshin who recently placed his arms around Kaoru's waist and was still sleeping.

Kaoru sighed. "We'll be going out tomorrow anyway so I guess he'll just sleep here tonight"

"Just where exactly is here?", Soujiro asked slyly with a grin and Kaoru growled at him.

"I'll see you on Monday, Sou-chan", she groaned

Soujiro smirked. "Right…..", he said dryly as he head towards the door, it was still raining but it wasn't stronger than before. He opened the door and waved.

"Make sure to behave, Kao-chan! Bye!", then he closed the door

Kaoru sighed then looked down at the man who was still sleeping on her lap. She'll have to wake him up eventually. She couldn't help but smile when she looks at Kenshin's peaceful face. Kaoru brushed away his bangs from his face.

"Cute"

She laughed to herself then decided to finally wake him up now. She shook his shoulders gently. "Kenshin….Kenshin….", she cooed, Kenshin stirred but he didn't wake up. Kaoru sighed then shook him harder. "Come on, Kenshin….time to wake up…..Kenshin….mou…."

Kenshin still wouldn't wake up. Kaoru let out a frustrated sigh.

"KENSHIN!"

Instantly Kenshin woke up and sat up but accidentally hit Kaoru's forehead with his, painfully hard.

"Ouch….", Kaoru groaned as she rubbed her sore forehead. Kenshin groaned in pain as well then he suddenly snapped when he realized where he was. He turned to Kaoru with a guilty look on his face.

"Kaoru! I'm so sorry! I didn't mean to do it!", he kept on ranting and ranting, saying he was sorry.

Kaoru who was still rubbing her forehead, looked at Kenshin from the corner of her eye. "Kenshin…."

"Do you need something? Is it really that painful? Wait, of course it is, what the hell am I saying", he keeps going on and on

"Kenshin", she tried calling him out again but Kenshin was in his own little guilty world. Kaoru rolled her eyes then she just stared at the table. Suddenly an idea popped in her head.

"Kaoru? Kaoru? Why are you so silent all of a-", he was cut off when Kaoru stuffed his mouth with popcorn, now the only thing can be heard was Kenshin's muffling and the crunches of popcorn.

Kaoru grinned. "Aahh….silence….now Kenshin, calm down. It's nothing serious, my forehead will be fine and I will still look beautiful", she teased and Kenshin rolled his eyes while munching the popcorn. He thought Kaoru stuffed 2 handfuls of it in his mouth.

"Anyway, you're going to stay here for the night and I'll take you to your house tomorrow and get yourself ready for our weekend trip, comprende?"

All Kenshin could do was nod.

"Good", said Kaoru then she picked up the bowls and the empty cans then went inside the kitchen.

Kenshin swallowed the last bit of popcorn from his mouth before he spoke.

"What about your father? Isn't he coming home anytime soon?", Kenshin asked as he stood up and looked around the living room. Looking at the small figurines and pictures around.

"Sir said he'll be here tomorrow morning, he'll just stay in his office tonight", she answered from the kitchen

"Why don't he come here right now? It's not raining so hard anymore", he said then, to his surprise, saw a picture frame of their Highschool Senior Prom. Kaoru was Kenshin's date. Kaoru was wearing blue strap gown that hugged her curves with beaded insets and a slit that reach to her left thigh while Kenshin was wearing a black tuxedo with a white point collar shirt and red necktie. Kenshin smiled, he really had a great time with Kaoru and their friends at the prom. One of his memorable moments.

"I don't question Sir's motives, anyway-"

Kaoru saw Kenshin holding a picture frame, she walked towards him. "What are you looking at?", she asked then leaned in to his shoulders and her eyes widened when she saw the prom picture. Kenshin had his arms around Kaoru's waist from behind and his head was resting on her shoulder while they were smiling in front of the camera.

Kenshin saw her surprised look and he smirked. "Remember this?", he asked

She nodded. "How could I forget? It was one of the best times in my life in highschool."

Kenshin smiled. "Mine too"

"Though I couldn't understand why you picked me as your date, there were a lot of girls who asked you out, right?"

"Well its because it's the only way to persuade you to go to the prom", he said

Kaoru looked shock. "Who told you I wasn't going?"

"Misao did", he answered and smirked when Kaoru groaned.

"Why didn't you want to go? I know there were guys who asked you to be their date, Kaoru."

"I just didn't want to go, its really a waste of time. Just dancing, eating good food, drinking punch and taking pictures….blah blah blah"

"Maybe it was a waste of time but you had a great time, didn't you?"

Kaoru tried hard not to blush but it was futile. "Well….yeah…eventually….", she stammered

Kenshin chuckled.

"I'm sorry though", she said softly as she looked away from him. Kenshin looked confused. "Sorry for what?", he asked

"For being your date, I know you wanted to go out with someone else", she said, feeling a bit nervous and embarrassed. Kenshin was even shocked to see Kaoru being vulnerable, it's rare for anyone to see Kaoru to behave this way. She's mostly ambitious, sometimes carefree and a passive person. Not having a care of the world at all.

Kenshin placed a hand on her shoulder, making her looked at him then he shook his head. "You're wrong, I really wanted you to be my date for the prom"

"You did?", she asked

"Of course, though….I was kinda nervous on asking you because I thought you might reject me or you already had a date but when Misao told me that you wouldn't go, I used that excuse so you would be my date….", he said nervously with a sheepish smile

Kenshin noticed that Kaoru was still staring at him and he couldn't help but stare back at her sapphire orbs, strange…..he had a feeling that he saw something different in her eyes a second ago. Then Kaoru grabbed the picture frame then placed it back on the table.

"Well you became Prom King and……..Megumi was the Prom Queen", said Kaoru

Kenshin looked at her quizzically, she was changing the topic.

"Yeah, I was the prom king and so?"

"I just wished the prom queen would have been……", she paused for a bit, "that it was Tomoe", she finished and smiled at him then turned the other way

"Anyway, let me show you where you will sleep for tonight", she said

Kenshin sighed. For some reason he felt….disappointed. But why? What was he expecting her to say? That she wanted to be the prom queen instead?

Kenshin scoffed. She didn't want to go the prom in the first place. Then….why did she come with him? Why did she say yes to him? He shook his head. Because he was persistent on making Kaoru go to the prom with him. Too persistent. He really wanted her to come, to be his partner and to be….the prom queen.

His prom queen.

"Kenshin! Get your ass up here!", Kaoru yelled, snapping him out of his thoughts.

Kenshin hurried upstairs and followed Kaoru to a room. Kaoru opened the door and led him inside.

"This is where you will sleep", she said as she sat down on the bed and Kenshin followed suit.

"It's been awhile since I came into your house", said Kenshin

Kaoru smirked then lied back down, staring at the ceiling. "Yeah, it's been a long while….."

"Gomen"

Kaoru blinked then turned her head to Kenshin. "Eh? What are you apologizing for?"

"What kind of friend am I for not visiting my best friend? For not even calling you in your house every once in awhile! Is that why our friendship is weakening?"

Kaoru gave him a stern look. "It's not your fault, Kenshin"

"Yes it is!"

"No, it's not"

"Of course it's-", but Kaoru cut him off

"Never once did I give you a gift on the holidays, I never greeted you a Merry Christmas but you did. You even gave me a b-day present but I didn't. I actually had time to sit down and eat lunch with you guys but I didn't."

Kenshin was shock from the realization on what she just said. "Naze? Kaoru, naze?"

"Gomenasai, I don't know what came over me", she said softly

"Why!"

"Kenshin…….why do you want this friendship so badly?"

Kenshin felt like he was gonna steam. "That's a stupid question! Why shouldn't I? I've known you for so long, we had a blast back in highschool! You were always there for me……like that rainy night when I was alone in my house, when my parents died….."

Kaoru stared at him in shock. "I…I…."

"I'll never forget that night…..when you held me protectively and I cling to you like you're my last hope…It was even your idea that I should stay and keep this house instead of moving into an apartment. You didn't want me to be a coward, that I should always remember their memories"

"Kenshin…stop…"

"I'm doing the same thing with you, remembering our memories!"

"Enough"

"But I don't want that! I want to make more memories! With you, with Misao, Sano, Aoshi, Megumi and Tomoe!"

"Himura!"

Kenshin fell silent. Staring at Kaoru with horror. "What did you call me?"

Kaoru had a small smile on her face. "Himura, that always gets your attention whenever I call you that"

Kenshin scowled. "That's because I don't want you calling me that. It sounds like I'm some stranger to you"

"Kenshin, you will never be a stranger to me. You will always mean to me more than that. Always keep that in mind."

"I won't take your word for it yet. I want you to show me that you really mean it"

Kaoru grinned. "That's why I made plans for us this weekend"

Kenshin let out a breath. "Ok but tell me one more thing"

"What's that?"

"Are you still a virgin?"

Kaoru blinked. "Ahahahahahahahahahahahaahaha!", she burst out of laughter. She was laughing so hard that she even had tears in her eyes.

Kenshin rolled eyes his as he crossed his arms, waiting for her to stop laughing and answer his question. "Well?"

"Kenshin….hehe….what makes you that I am still a virgin?"

Kenshin's violet eyes widened with shock. "Nani! Are you trying to tell me that you're not-"

Kaoru hit him on the head. "Baka! Of course I'm still a virgin!", she exclaimed

"Itai…. "

Kaoru smirked then, without a care that Kenshin might feel hurt, she forced him to lie down on the bed and tucked him in.

"You didn't give me a bedtime story yet", he teased and she stuck out her tongue to him

"Nighty night, kiddo", she said then turned to leave the room but she stopped at the doorway then glanced back at Kenshin.

"By the way, magenta suits you"

Kenshin gaped in surprise and all he could do was watch Kaoru leaving the room and shut the door.


"Ohayo Kenshin!", Kaoru greeted him while placing down a plate of pancakes on the table and to Kenshin's surprise he saw her father in the living room, watching the news.

"He just arrived this morning", she whispered to his ear and he just nodded then sat down on the chair.

He looked at the pancakes skeptically then to Kaoru, who was pouring a glass of juice for him, then back to the pancakes.

"Don't worry, Kenshin. My pancakes are edible even Sir eats them", said Kaoru with a grin and Kenshin sighed in relief. If her father can eat this than he can as well.

Kenshin sliced a piece and placed it in his mouth, savoring the sweetness. "This is actually good", he commented as he chewed on the pancake and took another bite.

Kaoru grinned. "See….I've improved my cooking lately though I'm only good with frying food like spam, hotdog, bacon….you know those stuff and also noodles too", she said and Kenshin couldn't help his lips curve into a smile when he saw Kaoru's cheerful expression. He really liked it when Kaoru was genuinely happy, it's very refreshing for him.

Sinjin Kamiya took a seat beside Kaoru and helped himself with the pancakes.

"Ohayo gozaimasu, Kamiya-san", Kenshin greeted politely

"Himura", he acknowledged him then looked at Kaoru with a suspicious look but Kaoru just continue eating her pancakes as if she was unaware of her father's strict look staring back at her. Kenshin had a sad smile on his face.

He couldn't help but feel sorry for Kaoru, to have to endure a man like her father everyday ever since she was born. Made him think that he was grateful to have such caring parents while they were around with him.

I wonder if he still remembers me……, he thought

When they were still in highschool, Kaoru's mother was still around and most of the time he and Sano would hang out in Kaoru's place. They would do homework together, watch movies, play board games and eat and Kenshin was the one cooking for them since Kaoru was still a very bad cook.

Regina Kamiya was mostly around the house while Sinjin Kamiya was at the police department. Her mother was a dance instructor, specifically on Latin Ballroom Dancing and whenever she had free time with Kaoru she would teach her a step or two and sometimes she would drag Kaoru to her dance studio and join practicing with the others.

And sometimes Kenshin would often go to the dance studio and watch Kaoru dance. There was even one time that he even danced with her. He wrapped an arm around her waist securely and tightly, holding out her other hand while they danced extremely close to one another and gazing at each other….

Did it suddenly get hot in here or something?

"Well I'm done, I'll go get the car ready so hurry up with your pancakes, Kenshin", said Kaoru as she placed her dishes in the sink then went out to the garage.

"Oro?"

Kenshin blinked then realized that he was alone with her father. He ate his pancakes as fast as he could without looking like a slob which was kinda difficult to do.

"My daughter, really missed you"

Kenshin almost choked on his food. What did he just say?

Sinjin looked at Kenshin with a stern look. "Take care of her", he said then left the kitchen and went upstairs.

Kenshin just stared aimlessly in wonder before he shook his head then placed his plate and glass on the kitchen sink. Outside the window, he saw Kaoru parking her car outside the house and she's sitting down on the driver's seat, her head lying comfortably while listening, he assumed, to some music.

He finished washing the dishes then went out the door and as he got near to the car, he heard her singing.

"All those times of night when you just hurt me …….And just run out with that other fella …….Baby I knew about it, I just didn't care ……You just don't understand how much I love you do you? ……I'm here for you", her sweet voice rang in his ears and he just wanted her to sing some more

"Who's the lucky guy?", he interrupted her

She looked up at him then smirked. "There is no guy, now hop in."

"Liar", he said while getting inside the passenger's seat beside her. "Who is it?"

Kaoru scoffed. "I told you, Kenshin. There is no guy"

But Kenshin didn't believe her one bit. "Kaoru…..even though we haven't seen each other a lot but I still know you very well, especially if you are lying to me or not. And you know that you're a very bad liar when it comes to me"

"I beg to differ", she muttered under her breath

"What was that?"

"Nothing", she said. Kaoru started the engine then drove off to Kenshin's place. While driving to his place, Kenshin kept on poking her. Annoying her to no end.

"Alright alright!", she exclaimed and Kenshin grinned.

"So….there is a guy…..that's all I'm saying. I'm NOT going to tell you the name", she said and Kenshin frowned. He wanted to know more about this guy who captured Kaoru's heart. For some reason, he felt a bit angry. He shrugged that off.

"Come on, Kaoru. Just tell me something about him. Do I know the guy? What does he do?"

Kaoru groaned. "You know the guy…….that's all!"

"Hmmm…..I know the guy…..just tell me one thing you like about him?"

Kaoru glared at him. She really didn't want to talk about it but seeing Kenshin will take no for an answer, she might as well answer his question. She sighed then gave it some thought on what to say. Kaoru grinned.

"He's a damn good cook.", she said

"He works in a restaurant?"

Kaoru shook her head. "No, he's just very good in cooking. He used to cook for me before when we were younger…."

"Where is he now?"

"I'm not gonna say anything else so just drop it or this weekend trip is off", she threatened and Kenshin sighed in defeat. Kaoru smiled in triumph.

"Get a CD from the compartment", she said

Kenshin did what he was told and got the CD out, he blinked in surprise. "Keith Urban?"

Kaoru grinned. "Remember that?"

"Yeah….I gave this to you last year as a birthday gift. You told me a lot of times that you like him", he said then without a thought, he inserted the cd in the stereo. He clicked it to song no. 5

Kaoru smiled when her favorite song was being played. "You'll think of Me….see, Kenshin? You still know me very well"

Kenshin couldn't help but smile, a genuine smile.

"I went out driving trying to clear my head……I tried to sweep out all the ruins that my emotions left…..I guess I'm feeling just a little tired of this…..And all the baggage that seems to still exist….It seems the only blessing I have left to my name….Is not knowing what we could have been…..What we should have been"

When Kaoru sang that song he could see a flicker of bittersweet sadness in her eyes and he couldn't help but feel sad for her.

"Is that why you love that song?", he suddenly asked

"Huh?"

"The song is for him, isn't it?"

Kaoru smiled a bit. "I guess you could say that….but I really like the song itself so it's just mere coincidence really…."

They just sat there in silence. Kenshin didn't know what to say anymore even though he wanted to say something to her while Kaoru was just content with the silence. Kaoru took a turn on the curb and stopped by in front of Kenshin's gate.

"You can come inside and wait there though I wouldn't take long", he said as he got out of the car.

Kaoru shrugged. "Sure, besides I haven't seen your place for a long while", she said then she got out of her car and they walked side by side to Kenshin's porch then Kenshin unlocked the door and opened it for them.

Kaoru surveyed around the living room then one thing caught her eye. "You got Advent Children! Kenshin, why didn't you tell me!", she exclaimed as she hurried to the shelf and took the cd in her hands, admiring it like it was a brick of gold.

Kenshin laughed. How could he forget that Kaoru was an otaku? A big anime fan since elementary. "We could watch it once we're done with our trip for today, I haven't seen it either, yet."

"We definitely will! Remind me also, okay? Now go take a bath and change", she shooed him upstairs while Kenshin was chuckling.

When Kenshin disappeared to the bathroom upstairs, Kaoru lied herself down on one of his sofas. She wasn't aware how long she was staring at the ceiling but then Kenshin's head popped out of her vision.

"Aaaahhh! Jesus, Kenshin…..you still have that habit on spooking me out", she said as she let out a heavy breath. Then she checked on his person. She raised a brow.

"You're still wearing the magenta polo shirt?", she asked in disbelief

Kenshin grinned sheepishly. "Well….why not? Besides you said it suits me. I always want to look good"

Kaoru snorted. "Vain"

"No, it isn't. It's not bad or wrong or vain to look good", Kenshin said as he followed her out of the house and then ride back in the car.

"Sure, Kenshin….sure…..", she said dryly then started the engine again

"So….where are we going?", he asked

Kaoru grinned. "To my second favorite place"


"No wonder we left so early…..", Kenshin said to himself as he stared in awe at the enormous building in front of him, Kaiyukan also known as the Osaka Aquarium. Probably the best aquariums of Japan. It took them almost 8 hours to get to Osaka from Tokyo.

Kaoru grinned when she saw Kenshin's awe-struck expression. "I always come here every month", she said

Kenshin looked at her with surprise. "Really? Wow…..you really do love the Marine life, Kaoru"

Kaoru took hold of his hand with a smile. "Come on! Let's get inside, I have a lot to show you!", she said with enthusiasm and Kenshin suddenly felt his heart doing flip-flops from the pure enthusiasm of her voice. Kenshin let her drag him inside the huge and amazing aquarium.

Inside, they start their tour of the aquarium on the 8th floor and slowly spiral down floor by floor around the central tank. Some of the tanks stretch over several floors, making it possible to observe the animals from different depths and perspectives.

Each floor Kaoru talked with one of the staff and she introduced them to Kenshin. The aquarium exhibits numerous creatures including fishes, plants, invertebrate animals, batrachians, reptiles, birds, and mammals. Kaoru showed Kenshin the main creatures of the aquarium. First was the Whale Shark.

"Her name is Yu-chan, isn't she beautiful? I also got the privilege on feeding her once when I came to visit her", she said then took him to another fish, the Ocean Sunfish.

"Now his name is Ricardo, he's very sensitive and easygoing", said Kaoru and together they fed Ricardo with cuttlefishes then Kenshin chuckled when Ricardo was disappointed because his feeding time was over, he found it funny and adorable.

Kenshin enjoyed watching the Sea Otter, Nicholas. Sea Otters have big appetite, and they exercise more actively than many other creatures. They also enjoy a kind of mischief.

All in all it took them 2 hours exploring around the aquarium but they weren't finish yet. Kaoru still had a lot of plans for their trip but it will have to wait since the two were extremely famished.

"Oh! I know a great place to eat. I know you love seafood, Kenshin and trust me you will love this restaurant", said Kaoru with glee just like a little kid.

Kenshin chuckled. "I'll take your word for it"

Kaoru grinned, she brought him in ocean restaurant called Kama Iruka. They took a table on the porch where they could see the ocean.

"Hime-chan!"

Kaoru was tackled by a young boy who was at the age of 16. "You're here early! You should have told me sooner! Hime-chan, I miss you so much!"

"Ahem"

The young boy looked at Kenshin who 'coughed' then realized that Kaoru wasn't alone and he was killing her air supply so he instantly let go of her.

Kaoru gasped. "Oh….thank god…..never….do that…again….", she said in between breaths and the boy smiled sheepishly.

Kaoru straightened herself then introduced the two. "Kenshin this is Yutaro Reyes, he works here as a waiter. Yutaro-kun this is my best friend, Kenshin Himura"

"Nice to meet you, Himura-san", Yutaro said politely as he handed him his hand.

"Please, call me Kenshin. Any friend of Kaoru's is a friend of mine", said Kenshin as he shook his hand

"As long as you call me, Yutaro"

"Deal"

"Now then", Yutaro started as he took out a small notepad and pen, "what can I get for you two?"

"Umm…..let's see what you have something new here….the Seafood Grille", said Kaoru

"Haha! Always trying something new, eh Hime-chan? And what about you, Kenshin?", said Yutaro, looking at Kenshin expectantly

"I'll have the Lobster and Shrimp Cocktail", said Kenshin

"And what about your drinks?"

"I'll have a root beer and you, Kaoru?", asked Kenshin

Kaoru had a mischievous smile on her face. "What about you order the drink for me, Keshin?"

Kenshin looked at her with a bit of shock then gave it some thought on what Kaoru would like for a drink. "Chocolate Shake, extra thick", he said and Kaoru laughed

Yutaro listed it all down then took the menus from them. "I'll be back with your orders, lets talk after, Hime-chan", said Yutaro then he left.

Kenshin still saw that grin on her face. "So….did I guess, right?"

Kaoru giggled. "That is always my favorite drink", she said

Kenshin chuckled. "You're such a child, Kaoru or should I say Hime-chan?"

Kaoru looked away, hoping he wouldn't catch her blush but Kenshin took notice of it. "So…..what's up about that Hime-chan nickname?"

Kaoru stared at the ocean, looking at the reflection of the sky as she relaxed on the breeze's touch on her skin and ebony hair. "The first time I came here was the day that Yutaro-kun started working here. We met that day and I gave him a boost of his self-esteem because he felt a bit nervous on his first day of work. I was around while he was working and we became good friends."

"That still doesn't explain on why he calls you Hime-chan", he said with a sly smile and Kaoru stuck out her tongue to him.

"Hmm….his sister is England taking culinary arts, he really misses her a lot and he sees me as a big sister as well so he started calling me that like he used to call his own sister.", she explained

"Why Kaoru, I never knew you had a soft heart", he teased

"Ah shut up! You're talking nonsense", she said as she waved her hand in dismissal.

Kenshin's expression softened. "Actually I do….I always knew that you were a caring person"

"I told you that before, baka….", she groaned then continued looking at the ocean

"Yeah….it's just that….I don't really see you being this sincere before and the thought that you are showing it to me….is…"

"Is what?", she asked with a stern look

Kenshin smiled warmly. "It shows that I am someone worthy to you"

"Baka, since when did I ever show that you weren't worthy to me"

Kenshin looked down, his long bangs hiding his expression. "I don't know….I just feel like you're pushing me away…..that I'm losing you…"

Kaoru waved it off. "Kenshin, you don't have to worry about that. You've got other important things to worry about"

"Don't tell me what's not important to me, Kaoru", he said sternly which surprised Kaoru, she never heard him with that tone of voice before. It seems that she really was the only one to get into his bad side. Kenshin looked up to her with a firm look.

"One of those important things in my life are my friends, you're important to me", he said then he took one of her hands. Kaoru stared down at their hands, she had a sad smile on her face.

"Arigatou"

"Here's your order!", Yutaro exclaimed and in an instant Kaoru pulled away her hand. Kenshin stared at her in confusion, somehow he felt disturbed when she did that.

Yutaro placed down their meal and drinks then left not without winking at Kaoru.

"What was that about?", he asked as he poked on his food

"It's nothing, just eat the food", she said then started eating her own food. .They ate in comfortable silence and sometimes they would share their food to the other but Kaoru wouldn't share her chocolate shake to him which Kenshin found it very adorable and typical of Kaoru.

"Kaoru"

"Hmmm?", she made a sound as she gazed at the ocean with content.

"Your father told me something"

Kaoru felt stricken, the hand under her chin clenched, hardening her gaze at the ocean. "What did he tell you?"

Kenshin blushed. "He…told me that…that you missed me..", he stammered then he thought he heard Kaoru saying something. "What was that?"

"I didn't say anything"

"Oh…"

They fell into uncomfortable silence. Kenshin occupied himself by drinking his root beer, avoiding his gaze on her. He cursed himself. He shouldn't have brought that up, he ruined Kaoru's plan for this weekend trip. Why did he even bring it up anyway? Ever since Kaoru's father said those words, it got stuck inside his head. Kenshin sighed.

"I never knew…", she started then Kenshin looked up to her, "that Sir was really paying attention to me"

Kenshin was confuse. He thought that her father's words bothered her as well. Well it did but not the in the same as his. He couldn't help but voice it out. "You're not bothered on what your father said to me?"

Kaoru smirked. "Kenshin, I would be an idiot for not missing you"

At those words, Kenshin choked on his drink and coughed vehemently. Kaoru looked at him with a puzzled look. "Are you okay, Kenshin?"

"I'm fine", he gasped as he pounded his chest with his fist to regain himself.

Kaoru shrugged then continued looking at the ocean. "Anyway, I'm just surprised that Sir is aware of these tiny details. Things that I never knew he would see."

"Your father loves you, Kaoru"

"Then why didn't he cry at okaa-san's funeral?", she hissed, her blue eyes flaring

"Your father just wanted to be strong for you"

"He is always strong and even if he cried that doesn't mean his weak. If he cried for okaa-san then that means he loves her. If he loves me so much then he would have cried with me. He should have shared his tears with me!"

Kenshin could see her eyes watering so he took a seat beside her and wrapped his arms around. Kaoru was too upset to push him away so she just let him be. Kenshin placed his head on her shoulder.

"He may not be crying from the outside but he is from the inside. I was also at the funeral and I saw in his eyes that he was very hurt. He didn't want to grieve because he thought he might hurt you as well, seeing that you're hurt already."

"Demo…."

"Kaoru, your father never left you. He never abused you. He treated you with respect. He loves you very much but he is just showing it in his on way. To be the strong father in your life, molding you into an independent woman. He even appreciates your pancakes"

Kaoru giggled and Kenshin smiled then tightened his hold on her. "He loves you Kaoru, don't ever doubt that"

"Baka", she sniffed, "I hate it when you're always right about this"

Kenshin chuckled. "That's what friends are for", he said. Kaoru bowed her head. "Yeah, friends…..", she said softly

They stayed like that for a few moments. "Uuuhh….Kenshin?"

"Hai?"

"You can let go of me now"

"Oro?", he said then let go of her with a sheepish smile. Kaoru giggled. "Baka", she said as she playfully punched his arm then she checked on her watch.

"It's almost time!", she said with excitement. Kenshin raised a brow. "What? What's going to happen?"

"You'll see", she said with a wink then all of a sudden they heard a buzzing noise.

Then out of the blue a dolphin suddenly jumped out from the ocean then landed gracefully back to the water. Everyone who saw was in awe and clapped their hands and that includes Kenshin and Kaoru.

"Her name is Kama Iruka", said Kaoru

"Oh….so that's why the restaurant is being named with it", said Kenshin and Kaoru nodded. They continued watching the dolphin doing more tricks, fascinating everyone in the crowd.

"She's eight years old now and she's a Pacific Whitesided Dolphin", Kaoru explained

Kenshin looked at her with admiration. "You really know a lot of the sea creatures here"

"I'm gonna be a marine biologist someday, I should apply on what I learned and I'm glad that the Osaka Aquarium welcomes me here so I could understand more of the sea life", she said and couldn't help express her pride about it.

"I may not know much about marine biology or the sea life that well but one thing I know for sure is you're gonna be one successful marine biologist. You're very dedicated and ambitious. I'm so proud of you"

Kaoru laughed. "You sound like a father"

"Hey! I don't sound that old", said Kenshin with a tint of humor in his voice

"Well you're older than me anyway so to me you are old", she said with a smirk

"I maybe older than you but that doesn't mean that I'm old", he said as he crossed his arms

"Hah! What's an old man to you, Kenshin?"

"An old man is when he's back is too heavy for him to carry, bald or his hair was being plucked by force, missing fingers and teeth"

"Missing fingers? Plucked hair? Sounds more like the Crypt keeper than an old man", said Kaoru

Kenshin shrugged. "It's possible you know, point is, I'm not old. You're just juvenile"

"Juvenile? I beg to differ, if my memory serves me correct and I bet it does….you're the one who even told me that I'm as mature as Aoshi or even more"

"That maybe true but you also have childish side. Like you're always excited when you talk about sea creatures. You squeal like a little girl when you saw the Advent Children cd. Sometimes the ride coming here, you sing like a demented drunk! And you hit me a lot"

"Hey! Marine life is my passion, okay? So of course I am always enthusiastic about it! I don't squeal like a girl and I don't sing like a maniac. I may not be a great singer but I know that I'm good.", she said with a smirk and Kenshin rolled his eyes on her last statement

"And……there's nothing childish about hitting you. It's just entertaining"

Kenshin raised a brow. "You enjoy making me suffer"

"What can I say? I'm a sadistic person. You're fault for being friends with me", she said and couldn't help but laugh.

Kenshin chuckled. "Yes it was my fault, what on earth have I gotten myself into? Well I'll just have to suck it up and enjoy the ride"

"Trust me, Kenshin. You're not going to regret this ride", she said with a grin

"Oh I don't doubt it one bit"

"Good"

The two laughed, feeling silly about their conversation. "Anyway, back to our conversation. I'm not old for one thing I have perfect teeth and if you don't believe me then let Tomoe be the judge of that", said Kenshin slyly

Kaoru bit the inside of her cheek. "I know you have perfect teeth, Kenshin. And that's too much info, don't ya think?", she said then she took a sip of her chocolate shake

"And you…..you sing like an angel"

Kaoru paused then look deeply into his amethyst eyes. "I need to go to the lady's room", she said then stood up and went inside the restaurant.

Kenshin sighed. He suddenly felt guilty on what he said. "But why should I feel this way? There's nothing wrong about it….is it?"

He ran his hand through his fiery hair. "Maybe I should ask her already….I've been really wondering about this…."

After a few minutes, Kaoru went back to the table where Kenshin was patiently waiting for her.

"Kaoru"

Kaoru reluctantly looked at him and she was surprised to see his serious expression. "Yes?"

"Just why did you pair me up with Tomoe in the first place?", he asked bluntly without hesitation but in the inside he was shaking, he just didn't know what to expect with Kaoru's answer.

Kaoru laughed a bit but it was bitter. "Just what the heck are you talking about? Why are you questioning this?"

"Why not?"

"Is there something wrong between you and Tomoe?"

"No that's not it. I just want to know, can't you answer me this simple question?", he felt like screaming but he controlled his voice. He didn't want to lose his temper. He never wanted to fight with Kaoru.

Kaoru placed a hand on her forehead with a sardonic smile. "God….I can't believe this….Kenshin, why not? You two look perfect for one another"

Kenshin shook his head. "Tell me the truth, Kaoru"

"Well that's true anyway…", she groaned then straightened herself and looked directly to his serious eyes, "You want the truth? Fine. I set you two up because Tomoe told me that she had feelings for you. She was confuse if what she had was a crush but later on she came to realize that she really loves you and asked for my help….normally I wouldn't get involved or didn't want to help but…."

She ran a hand through her raven locks. "If only you were content with the life that you had, if only you were truly happy I wouldn't have helped. I would have refused her to get who she wanted. You're lucky that Tomoe really loved you and she could make you happy because if she didn't I wouldn't have been persistent on making you fall in love with her"

Kenshin's eyes widened at the revelation, on what he just realized. "You did this because…."

"I wanted you happy damnit!", she yelled ignoring the other customers looking at them strangely

"Kaoru….I didn't mean to make you mad"

"You didn't mean to do anything , typical of you", she muttered under her breath but Kenshin heard a bit on what she said and he was confuse and slightly hurt though he didn't understand why.

Kaoru sighed. "I told Tomoe that I did it for my own selfish reasons. And that was my reason. I wanted you happy"

"So you made me fall-"

"No….I don't want you to think that I made you love her…..you eventually love her. I just made you notice her and how a great person she is, that's all. I always knew that if you two knew each other, you guys would end up together and I was right"

Kenshin chuckled. "You were always good on judging a person's character"

"Lucky me", she said dryly then gasped when Kenshin suddenly embraced her tight.

"Arigatou…..I'm very grateful on what you have done. If you haven't introduced me to Tomoe I wouldn't be so happy right now", he said and Kaoru hugged him back loosely.

"Baka….", she muttered as she hid her face on his shoulder. "baka…"


After eating their lunch, they had a chat with Yutaro who constantly kept teasing Kaoru and Kenshin about them being couple even though Kaoru viciously denied it. Then they went to the parking lot and Kaoru took them to Osaka Bay where they were just sitting on the edge while eating their ice cream and watching the cruise ships passing by.

"What made you decide on taking Marine Biology anyway?", Kenshin asked then licked his Vanilla ice cream

"When I was still a baby, I remembered that I was playing by the beach with my parents. Every summer we always go to the beach and when I was in elementary I always visited this small aquarium shop just to see different kinds of fishes and other sea animals. And back in highschool when I have time or just bored, I would go to the pier and just admire the sea"

"Really? You should have brought me with you when you went to the pier", said Kenshin and Kaoru shook her head

"Nah….I prefer being there alone"

Kenshin frowned. "That's sad, Kaoru…..don't you want someone to be there for you? To give you company?"

"I don't get you guys, can't someone just be alone? There's nothing wrong being alone you know"

"I'm not saying its wrong….it's just sad"

"Kenshin, it's not sad at all….I don't know with the rest of the world but for me it's not, at all"

"And that's why you're content with your solitude. That's why you're not always around with your friends because you're more used to being alone… Kaoru, you may not realize this but you're pushing us away"

Kaoru sighed. "Yeah….I guess you're right….but don't worry things will get better, I think", she chuckled

I did that for myself……to avoid what I fear……I don't care if I'm a coward……this is what I want…sumimasen Kenshin

The people on the bay were just lounging around. Old men were playing checkers and chess, children running around and the adults of their prime were just walking and admiring the bay.

Kenshin thought he heard music, he turned around and couldn't help but smile on what he saw. "Kaoru, look", he said as he poked on her shoulder

Kaoru turned around and saw that a small group of men and women, they look Latin, dancing a Cuban song being played by a small radio.

"I know that song", said Kaoru

"You do?", Kaoru nodded

"Mom used to dance with this song", she replied then she couldn't help but reminisce about her mother and how she danced. Unaware to her, Kenshin saw Kaoru swaying to the music then an idea popped in his head.

"Come on", he said as he stood up. She snapped from her reverie, looking at him with confusion.

"What?", she asked and Kenshin grabbed her hands.

"Let's dance", he

"Oh no, I don't----woah!", she exclaimed when Kenshin pulled her up and lead her to the group. The group saw them and they welcomed them with a smile and continued dancing passionately with the music. "Come on, Kenshin. I don't wanna dance!"

"Oh I know you do, come on just let it flow. It'll be fun!", said Kenshin then he pulled her to him, placing an arm on her waist and pulling her hand with this other one. He moved them to the music. "I know you want to, Kaoru. Plus you're a better dancer than me when it comes to this"

One thing led to another then Kaoru started dancing with the music, more spontaneously than Kenshin expected. "Hahaha! I knew you were good but not this good!", said Kenshin then he twirled her around.

"What you see is what you get", she said with a sly smile

Kenshin laughed. "I ain't complaining"

And they danced until their feet ached. Their bodies intertwining as they danced Latin style passionately as everyone else did. Enjoying the heat and enthusiastic atmosphere.


They were back in the car, driving all the way home.

"Hahahaha! I'm glad he's not my professor", said Kenshin

"Lucky bastard", she said dryly

Kenshin chuckled. "But seriously….did Prof. Saitou really threaten you if you didn't join that special funding committee?"

Kaoru groaned. "Yeah….he said he'll talk to Sir and give him a report of how juvenile I am and all the cussing I did to him, talk about total embarrassment. I didn't have a choice so I joined in. I don't know why he had to persuade me. He could have asked someone else….", she groaned and let out an exasperated sigh

"He must have thought that you're really reliable for the committee so he asked you to join"

"He could have asked me instead of fucking threaten me! That bastard…"

"Poor Kao-chan", he teased

"Don't call me Kao-chan!"

Kenshin raised a brow. "Why? Seta-kun calls you that"

Kaoru groaned. "I just don't want YOU calling me that"

"Why not?"

"Because"

"That's not good enough, Kao-chan !"

"You're a bastard as well Himura", she retorted and Kenshin chuckled, not taking any offense on what she said

"Ok ok ok…..I'll stop, it seems that you favor your Sou-chan more than your long time best friend but I understand", he said then did a dramatic sigh

"Baka….I don't favor him", she said

Kenshin snorted. "Sure you don't…..besides, I prefer calling you Kaoru…I like your name"

"Prof. Saitou should have asked you to join that committee instead of me since you're so fucking nice…", she said, her eyes darting straight on the road.

"You're sure grumpy lately", he said as he glanced at the window beside him.

"It's your fault"

"And how is that my fault?"

"Because you called me Kao-chan", she said with a smirk and Kenshin couldn't help but laugh

"You're so silly, Kaoru", he said in between laughs and Kaoru grinned.

"Nah, I'm just a fool", she said

"That too!"

"Hey!"

Yeah…I'm a fool……a long time fool but you don't know why……why am I such a fool…


Pretty long chapter,ne? I ain't going to promise anything that I'll finish this. I did this cause I was just bored, I don't really feel passionate on doing this story. But yeah...boredom really gets to ya,hahahaha! Anyway...Hope you guys enjoyed it!

I'm very interested on what you'll comment about this story and about Kaoru's personality