Author's Note: Trust me, if I owned this series, there would be no Kaoru/Kenshin ever. Thus we prove that I do not own it.
The fifth morning that Kaoru was awoken by the noise of Kenshin being quietly sick, she ignored his protests that 'this one is just fine, de gozaru' and sent Sano to get Megumi. As much as she did not like the vixen being too near Kenshin, she knew full well that Megumi was an excellent doctor, also being more in the confidences of Kenshin's past than the Doctor she was in service of. She would have sent Yahiko, but somebody had to do the chores that Kenshin was unable to complete.
When Megumi did arrive, Kenshin was somewhat recovered, but was still pallid and his face was streaked with sweat. With great difficulty, and much aided by several whacks on Kenshin's head with Kaoru's bokken, Megumi managed to get Kenshin to lie down and began to examine him. So thorough was her examination that if Kenshin hadn't still been too weak to be able to sit up, then Kaoru would have been considerably more upset about the whole affair.
For the longest time, it seemed that, other than the obvious physical symptoms, Megumi could not actually find anything physically wrong with the rurouni. Then, ignoring Kaoru's squeaks of protest, she removed Kenshin's gi, and lay her head to his stomach, appearing to be listening intently.
After a couple of minutes of intently listening to Kenshin's midriff, and equally intensely ignoring the sounds of protest that Kaoru was still making, Megumi sat up and stared at the now far more recovered Kenshin in great shock. Having waited patiently in this state for twenty-five whole seconds, Yahiko demanded,
"Well, what's wrong with Kenshin?"
Megumi was still silent, staring in shock at Kenshin, who merely sighed and nodded,
"You may tell them, Megumi-dono, this one does not mind."
Megumi blinked and then managed to find her voice.
"Ken-san appears to be…pregnant."
For approximately fifty-eight seconds, everyone, except Kenshin himself, stared at Megumi in utter shocked silence. Then, tragically for those listening, Kaoru found her voice again.
Megumi shrugged her shoulders slightly,
"It doesn't make sense, but all the symptoms match and the second heartbeat was ultimately what gave it away."
Kenshin sighed and started adjusting his gi over himself, refusing to meet anyone's eyes. Then Megumi seemed to realise that Kenshin was not having the nervous breakdown that she would expect of a man who had gotten pregnant, or, even failing that, the nervous breakdown of an unmarried woman who had gotten pregnant. Turning on him, she asked,
"You don't seem surprised."
Kenshin shrugged and still did not answer, then Sano regained the use of his voice, another tragedy for those with sensitive hearing and commented,
"Yeah, Kenshin. If it'd been me, I would have freaked."
Everyone was staring at the former rurouni, even Yahiko, who seemed to have just worked out the whole 'Kenshin is a man who is pregnant' problem. Eventually the swordsman sighed and said,
"I've been pregnant before."
The others were so stunned by this calm yet oddly subdued statement that they did not even notice Kenshin's use of 'I' in contrast to his usual self-effacing mode of address. Finally, and tragically, Kaoru managed to speak,
"What? Why didn't you tell us you had kids?"
Kenshin flinched, his eyes sad,
"I don't. I…had a miscarriage."
Megumi spoke then, but in her guise of the doctor, not the overly curious and utterly stunned friend. The doctor side of her was stunned as well, but was hiding it better for the sake of her patient.
"Oh, I'm sorry. Do you know what caused the miscarriage? I need to know what to look out for."
Kenshin looked down for a long moment, and when he looked up, his eyes were burning amber, cold and chilling and more like the hitokiri battousai than any of them were comfortable with.
"My lover kicked me in the stomach. I killed him for that."
The look in Kenshin's eyes had no forgiveness and seemed to suggest that Kenshin wanted to kill that nameless lover again and again. Eventually, Sano managed to work up the courage to ask the question that was on all their minds,
"Kenshin, I'm no genius-" "Big surprise" Megumi muttered quietly and Sano scowled at her before continuing as if she had never spoken. "But even I know that men don't usually get, well, pregnant."
Kenshin sighed and the burning amber receded from his gaze to leave the usual melancholy amethyst tint.
"It is an uncommon trait."
Megumi looked even more interested now, her natural curiosity being magnified by her interest in this medical anomaly that was a pregnant man. Kenshin noticed her curiosity and sighed,
"It is not something that this one can explain, that it is not."
Seemingly reassured by Kenshin's return to his traditional speech patterns, the deviation from which hadn't even been noticed until it ended, Megumi asked,
"You can't explain because you don't know or because you don't want to tell us?"
Kenshin frowned slightly at the doctor, who found herself flushing under his firm gaze.
"This one cannot explain because sessha was never told in a way that made any sense to an adult. The only explanation this one could give was given to this one as a child, on the presumption that when sessha was older this one would receive a more full explanation."
"Why were you not told?"
"The only ones who could have explained it to this one died, that they did."
Yahiko seemed curious at this,
"Who were they?"
Kenshin's gaze was utterly blank,
None of the Kenshin-gumi could think of anything to say to this and they sat in silence, an odd occurrence indeed, until Kenshin started to get up and looked to be leaving. Then Kaoru blurted out,
"Where are you going?"
In the process of picking up his sakabatou, Kenshin turned to looked at her with an impenetrable expression on his face,
"I am going to my lover, that I am. He deserves to know that he is to be a father."
All the others in the room blinked in an almost synchronised manner. Then Sano muttered,
Kenshin smiled slightly,
"Yes, he. A woman most certainly could not make me pregnant, that she could not."
Kaoru stared at Kenshin and asked,
"Who is he?"
Kenshin smiled at her,
"My lover? That is between him and I, that it is."
And with those words, Kenshin slipped on his sandals and out of the dojo, leaving a group of very shell-shocked friends behind him.
Please review, all comments and constructive criticism welcome.
Hmmm, guesses as to who you think Kenshin's lover is would also amusing/appreciated.
This story was inspired by a plot bunny created by the magnificent Cheysuli Night.