Synopsis: Ficlets and drabbles from the 'Tendrils of Sunset' universe. The majority will be from the past, while I might add some snippets from the present. None from the future will appear until 'Tendrils of Sunset' is completed.

For those who haven't read 'Tendrils of Sunset', these won't make very much sense. So if you're interested, click out, read the story, then come back here for the random goodies. (wink)

Author's Note: 'Pieces of Sunset' will be an outlet of creative randomness for me. There is so much from the Kenshin and Kaoru's past in 'Tendrils of Sunset' that I won't be able to write in detail because it just won't fit in the storyline. I'm all for flow, and the ideas that will appear in this would disrupt the flow...What I have planned so far are all drabbles from the past. I want to do this to help keep myself in the mood to write these characters for current chapters, and because I think it'll be really fun. So everybody can read these while waiting for me to update. What's really nice about drabbles…they're usually around a hundred words and take no time to write, so maybe this little project will be updated rather frequently…and also help me to update the main story more frequently as well.

They won't be in any particular order. I plan on skipping around alot. Essentially I'll write whatever comes to mind at the time.

This particular ficlet takes place while Kenshin and Kaoru are in high school. This one is longer than most of the ones I'll post. I figured it be nice to have the first a little longer...

Disclaimer: I do not own Rurouni Kenshin.


Contest Photos

This was a stupid idea.

It was too cold to be outside. The wood she was sitting on felt like a block of ice through the material of her jeans, and the wind was like an icy slap against her face. Kaoru shivered and tried to lose herself in the folds of her heavy coat.

Kenshin was late again. It seemed these days he was always delayed. It was their designated day to meet at the wooden platform placed up in the braches of a tree. They had deemed it their tree-house getaway, an isolated place that was a convenient escape to during their lunch period. It was a short jaunt through some trees behind the school building. Admittedly, sometimes it was a little tricky to get around the many teachers mulling about the high school, but the both of them had always been able to sneak away.

Kaoru shivered, clenching her teeth together to keep them from chattering. She should have told Kenshin earlier that morning when they had arrived at school to call off their weekly meeting. She was all for spending time with her best friend, but in sub zero temperatures? She groaned.

Glancing around her, Kaoru sighed. She might as well do something productive while waiting for her errant friend. Reaching frozen fingers out, she grabbed her backpack and pulled out a worn red folder. Opening it and thumbing through the contents, she pulled out three 8 X 10 photos she'd developed the previous day and laid them out in front of her on the wooden platform.

Kaoru studied them, her eyebrows pinched with concentration. Then her breath caught.

"No, no, no," she wailed, grabbing one of the photos. Gritting her teeth, she eyed the scratch marring the glossy finish. "Just my luck," she ground out.

A creaking of wood caught her attention and she watched as a head of familiar red hair became visible as her friend made his way up the wooden rungs to the platform. He threw a large, navy blanket onto the wood so he could climb the rest of the way unhindered.

"You're late."

Glancing at her as he crawled over to sit beside her, Kenshin made a face. "I got caught by Ms. Grainier. She wants me to help tutor some of her freshmen students." Noticing the annoyed slant of her lips, he raised an eyebrow. "What's the matter? What were you yelling about?"

Frowning, she shoved the photo in his face.

"Is this the one you were going to enter in the photo contest?"

"Well, I was."

Glancing bemusedly from her to the photo, Kenshin replied. "Was?"

She made a noise similar to a growl. "It's scratched."

"Develop another copy. You still have the negatives right?" he asked, reaching over to the grab the blanket he had brought with him. Throwing half of it over his shoulders and then giving Kaoru the other half, he watched as she shook her head.

"The darkroom is completely booked. There's no way I can get in there now. I have to turn in my entry tomorrow."

Motioning to the other photos she had displayed in front of them, Kenshin said, "What's wrong with those. They're just as good. If not better…"

She grumbled something under her breath and snatched the damaged photo from his fingers.

"What?" he asked, amused.


"What do you like so much about that one?"

She was silent for a moment. Grabbing the end of the blanket, she curled it more tightly around herself. "It has you in it."

Kenshin sighed. "I don't see why you like to use me as your subject most of the time. Am I the only warm body besides your geese that you can get to stand still long enough for your torture?"

"It is not torture."

He chuckled. "Uh-huh."

"I can get plenty of people to pose for me."

He arched a brow.

She smiled wickedly. "I just like that photo because you have such a silly expression on your face."

"Do I?" he frowned.

Kaoru nodded. "I took it right after I put that frog down the back of your shirt."

Enlightenment dawned on his features. "Ah, yes. How could I have forgotten?" Glancing at the photo with a new understanding, Kenshin leaned closer to her. "Are you sure you can't get into the darkroom in time?"

She nodded.

"You know, you need your own darkroom."

Kaoru smiled morosely. "I do, don't I?" Moving to shove her materials back into her backpack, she sighed. "Hopefully one day I'll be able to put one together. I need to get a job so I can pay for the supplies."

Kenshin shifted from where he sat and stood. "I think I heard the bell. We better get back." Holding his hand out, he helped her stand. They made their way down the rungs and into the small clearing.

"You'll help me put it together, though, when I get all the materials, right?" she asked, eyeing his retreating back as they walked through the trees toward the school building.

"Of course."

"Good. It would be hard without you."