AN: Sorry this has taken so long and is so short, but this is the only way I can get any time to update.
"…Oi, I wonder where Kenshin's gone."
It had been an hour since the ex-hitokiri had slipped silently from the dojo and the people he had left behind had remained in much the same shocked stupor that they had been in when he had left. It had taken them this long for Yahiko to realise to ask this crucial question. Sano made a face,
"It's obvious, he said he's going to talk to well…the other father."
"That doesn't help; it's not like we know who the other father even is."
"Eh, that's a good question, 'specially from a gaki like yourself."
There was a pause then Sano spoke again,
"Why are you all staring at me?"
Another pause and Sano flushed scarlet,
"Me, and Kenshin? Have you all completely lost your minds?"
Kaoru blushed crimson and, as she was unable to speak from all the blood rushing to her face, Megumi spoke for her,
"Well, who else would it be?"
There was another moment's silence and Megumi continued,
"You're the only obvious choice, every other guy we know has tried to kill Kenni first."
Previously, they would have thought it was impossible for Sano to blush a darker shade of red, but he proved them all wrong in that moment and mumbled something under his breath.
"What was that?"
Sano glared at Megumi and repeated his comment, annunciating clearly,
"I said that When I First Met Kenshin I Was Trying To Kill Him."
Yahiko snickered quietly,
"Yeah, he got his ass kicked"
"Shut up, gaki, it's not like you could last two seconds against Kenshin, besides I'm loads better now."
Undeterred by Sano's obvious ire, Yahiko stuck his tongue out,
"Kenshin could still beat you with his eyes closed and one hand tied behind his back."
Megumi held Sano back as he leapt forward to try and strangle Yahiko, who Kaoru was beating over the head with her bokken – it wasn't that she disagreed with him, but the gaki had to learn to be less arrogant.
When a reasonable degree of sanity had returned, or at least as little as there had ever been, Megumi let go of a still grumbling Sano and Kaoru left Yahiko sitting on the floor, rubbing at the rather prominent lump on his head. The two young women ignored their scowling companions and returned their attention to their previous topic of conversation.
"So if Sano isn't the other father," (at this the former street thug in question nodded vigorously) "then who is?"
The room at large considered the question until Kaoru spoke up hesitantly,
"What about Aoshi-san?"
There was a moment of silence as the others considered this (and as Kaoru and Megumi turned matching shades of pink at the visuals – or at least, Kaoru turned pink and Megumi grinned salaciously). They found that the idea was not as shocking as they would have thought it might have been, nor as impossible to imagine actually happening. Then, Sano spoke, inserting a little bit of reality into Megumi and Kaoru's rabid fangirl-ism.
"There's not a chance – Misao would cut his balls off."
Yahiko cringed sympathetically, both at the imagery and at the thought of what he thought Kaoru would do to Sano for speaking thus. He then found himself frowning in disappointment when both girls burst out laughing. After a moment, Megumi managed to get her laughter under control enough to ask Sano another question,
"She definitely would – but the question is, whose would she cut off?"
Sano rolled his eyes as he considered this, then he answered,
"I don't know, probably Kenshin, for daring to defile her precious Aoshi-sama, but maybe she'd take both pairs, Kenshin's and Shinomori's."
This set the two girls off again, and Yahiko and Sano had a strange moment of unity as their exchanged the immortal look of commiseration shared between men when surrounded by giggling women.
Finally the two girls managed to gain sufficient control of themselves, though their cheeks remained flushed and their eyes glittered mischievously enough to make any man in the vicinity uncomfortable.
There was another moment of silent consideration before Megumi spoke again,
"So, if it isn't Sano or Aoshi-san, who is it?"
Yahiko spoke up again,
"What about that teacher of his Hiko something?"
The two girls frowned for a moment, but then Kaoru whacked him over the head with her bokken,
"Don't be a baka, he's over ten years older than Kenshin – plus he's got to be twice his size."
Sano had recovered enough of his sanity to speak coherently, but not enough to have regained what little self-preservation instinct he had,
"Eh, maybe Kenshin's big enough where it counts."
Before Kaoru could beat on Sano for speaking in such a way, Megumi also spoke up,
"I don't think that's the consideration here – from the fact that he's the one pregnant, I'd say Kenshin was more on the receiving than giving end in these circumstances."
Kaoru did not think it was possible for her to blush any darker shade than she already was, but life constantly proved her wrong and this area was no different. Then Yahiko spoke and she collapsed again into the hysterical giggles that had been threatening all morning,
"Oi, what are you lot talking about?"
It took a good five minutes for them to recover from that laughing fit, and probably would have taken longer if Yahiko hadn't been on his feet; scowling in what he probably thought was a fierce manner and kicking at shins indiscriminately.
Still laughing, she sat back up, some of her nerves about the entire situation dissipated. The Megumi spoke again,
"So if it's not any of them, and we assume it's not one of Shishio's men or someone obviously an enemy, then the only person it can be is Saito-san."
Kaoru gaped at the woman,
"You must be joking, Kenshin and that cop, there's no way…"
Sano seemed equally incensed by the suggestion,
"Kenshin and that government dog, there's no chance in hell…I'd sooner believe that Shishio was back from the dead and that he, Kenshin and Jin-E were in a threesome."
Kaoru made a face at that particular image, but despite her instinctive rejection of the idea, she had to admit that Megumi's suggestion had more likelihood than her gut reaction would suggest. Although she might not like it herself, Kenshin had more shared history and memories in common with the Miburou than he did with anyone else and the two of them understood things about each other that no one else ever could.
In a way, they were two relics of a past age; sword-wielding warriors in a time that no longer openly admitted that it had any use for the sword, although it was more than willing to use it and the men who wielded them when the time came when they were needed. They shared memories that Kaoru herself would never be able to stand against; memories of Kyoto when the sky rained blood and it was easier to trust an enemy than a friend because you knew at least that he was not planning to stab you in the back but would instead attack you to your face.
But still, Saito and Kenshin, there was no way, was there?
I'm sorry for the shortness of this update, but life is a bitch that has just had puppies.
I know a lot of you wanted to see Saito's reaction, but I really wanted to write this chapter and this was the best place for it to go. Do not fear, Saito and Kenshin will return next chapter, when I have time to write it.