SUMMARY: Ten years have past and the cast of Rurouni Kenshin are definitely older, more mature, some more than others cough Sano cough, and some even have children. But the one thing they truly share in common…their appetites for arguments!

A/N: Just a lil note here about the pairing. When I first posted it I got minimal reviews cuz I didn't specify a pairing, so not many people knew about the fic as such. So I decided as the first pairing was a MisaoAoshi fic why not use that as the starter? The other pairings include SanoMegumi and KenshiKarou so you have been warned. I hope u like my collage of pairings and lemme know what u think k. Arigato ;)

PART I: I married Buddha!

It's noon and once again Misao is burdened with solely care-taking her children whilst preparing lunch and cleaning the house. Aoshi…he's in their shrine praying of course. I mean, he did a lot of hard work by 'helping' bring their children Rikou (8 yrs.), Airishii (4 yrs.) and Hoji (2 yrs.) into the world, the least Misaw could do is everything else!

"Aoshi, I can't take it any more!" cried a weary Misao, her looks now revealing her elderly age. At her side, Hoji bawls in hunger. His mother tries her best to multitask cooking lunch and giving Airishii a bath, but the poor infant is too incomprehensible to do all but cry for attention instead of lessening mommy's stress.

"All I ask is that you take Hoji off my hands for five minutes, sufficient time to finish Airishii's bath and get through most of lunch. Please honey," she pleads. So deep in meditation is he that he appears to be ignoring her rather than trying to reach Nirvana.

"AOSHI!" she screams, completely infringing him from his trance.

"I almost reached complete enlightenment Misao. Do you know how important that is?" he replied rather calmly for one who takes his religion so serious.

"More important than your family I assume?" she lashes back.

"I have no time for insensible arguments now Misao."

"Insensible? Aoshi I have been slaving day in and out and I'm tired and fed up and it's about time you help take care of OUR family!"

"Second noble truth Misao, 'all suffering is caused by ignorance of the nature of reality and the craving, attachment, and grasping that result from such ignorance'. Third noble truth, 'Suffering can be ended by overcoming ignorance and attachment.' These are the teachings of Buddha and if you'd only learn them as you should, then you won't be in this predicament," he replied ever so placid.

With those words Misao's temper was boiling over, her fists pumped with blood and her pupils so dilated that her eyes appeared entirely white.

"DAMN YOU AND THESE TEACHINGS!" and she threw a nearby vase bull-eyed at his head. "Hoji, go by Rikou, this is not going to get any prettier!" The meager boy scarred stiff finally got the strength and scurried off to find his sister for protection. Aoshi, during his state of unconsciousness, mentally reminded himself of the offense Misao committed and quickly bounced back up bowing a thousand times per minute pleading Buddha to forgive his foolish wife.

"Please Almighty One; forgive her for she does not know what she says! She blasphemes your name naively! Forgive her that one day she may see the error of her ways and come to you for redemption in hope of finally reaching enlightenment," he pleaded. Furious that he never heeded a word she said, Misao began to thrash all miscellaneous items around the shrine, avoiding religious statuettes in the process, then stormed out with her children close by, leaving behind an anxious Aoshi who began his prayer recital for Misao yet again. But before arriving at Kenshin's, she silently prayed that Buddha would forgive her actions and help her with her marital problems.

"Rikou!" yelled an eager Kenji upon seeing his friend's arrival. Then, recalling his manners greeted his guests formally and informed his mother of her visitors.

"Oh Misao it's so good to see you again, but, why so tired? You look like you need a good cup of chamomile tea" or a shot of sake! Karou mumbled to herself as she observed Misao's livid state of being.

"Kenji, take the girls and boy out back and play with them. Mommy has to talk 'important businesses' with auntie Misao now okay?" Karou instructed her youth. "I think he has a crush on your Rikou! Look at the way he plays with her in comparison to Airishii," she giggled.

"I see what you mean," Misao smiled back as Karou guided them inside to converse.

"Where's Kenshin?" Misao asked.

"Oh, he's out at the market. He's fixing dinner tonight…Fried fish and white rice!"

"How do you do it? I mean, Kenshin's always been a helpful before, but how do you manage to keep him like that throughout the marriage?"

"He knows I mean business when I say 'go to the market and buy some fresh fish.' Plus, it was his turn anyhow to prepare dinner. He hates it when I cook all the time. Come to think of it, he doesn't really like my cooking…I don't really like my cooking, but he says I'm improving!" Karou chuckled to herself.

"Amazing!" gasped a dazed Misao.

"What, that I get him to make dinner?" Karou boasted.

"No that your cooking's improved," Misao replied, still with an astonished look on her face but a hint of mischief in her eyes.

"Misao!" yelled an upset Karou, but quickly simmered down knowing it was a joke.

"I'm sorry Karou…I just had to…it was too…too good to let slip by," laughed a hysterical Misao as she tried to catch her breath.

"Whatever. So do you want my advice or not?" asked a vaguely irritated Karou.

"I'm sorry, yes. I've composed myself now," Misao replied using a hand gesture to signal for Karou to proceed.

"Well, the thing is to remind him that compromise is the key to your door of marriage and without it your door will never open to love, compassion and honesty. If that key is never used then that door will never be open, it will become old and worn out; eventually your marriage will cease to be one. I know he's a devout Buddhist and all but it's still no damn good reason that he should neglect his rights as a father and a husband," Karou spoke with utmost maturity.

"And if he doesn't want to listen? What next Karou?"

"Make him listen. You're a very influential person Misao, just don't let your temper get the better of you and things should run smoother."

"Thanks Karou, I really needed this talk. Now what happened to that 'sake' I was promised? Don't feel I didn't hear you!" Misao snickered as Karou gasped shamefully at her revealed secret. "Kidding, I'll take the tea…and maybe just a shot of sake before I leave."

Leaving her children there for the night, Misao drearily walked back to her household to start afresh with her spouse and hopefully save what's left of her nuptial. Passing by the defaced shrine she recollects her sins and once again says a silent prayer for clemency.

"Aoshi, are you here?" she calls into the room. Empty. Circling the premises she concludes that he probably went to a nearby temple to pray for her some more and heads to their hot spring in the back yard for her own meditation time. When she arrived, she was welcomed with her backyard made over: the yard was converted into a spa equipped with scented candles around the spring, buckets filled with hot water and towels and an extremely sexy masseuse awaiting her arrival with a robe at hand for her.

"You were right Misao," he told her as he approached her.

"Aoshi, no need to –" but he interrupted her to continue.

"Becoming a devotee is one of man's greatest accomplishments, but nothing will ever be so important that I should neglect my duties as a father, head of this family and most of all, faithful spouse. So tonight is dedicated in rewarding you for being the best wife and mother a devout Buddhist could ever have; for being able to endure my intense and irate recitals, and standing up to it when push came to shove." Before she could even protest to this kind of pampering, he undressed her and guided her into the spring and placed a warm towel on her head.

"Relax my dear, you deserve it," he whispered in her ear in his usual sensual tone that always made her go weak at the knees and he massaged her shoulders.

"I'm sorry that I thrashed the shrine. I must clean it tomorrow and don't worry, I prayed for forgiveness after I did it. I couldn't live with myself if I didn't," she said dolefully.

"It's okay and I'm glad that you took it upon yourself and did the right thing," he replied and gently kissed her on her cheek. "Misao, when was the last time we really, you know, had some 'alone time'," he asked with a twinkle in his eye.

"When Hoji was born," she replied dryly as her muscles began to relax.

"Shit that long! I'm so sorry dear! Let me…let me make it up to you…now," he said as he de-robed himself and entered the spring.

"Aoshi, are we really gonna…?" she asked, thrilled yet doubtful.

"Right here, right now," he replied and covered all her objections with his mouth. Their kissed intensified as the dormant passion between the lovers was awakened at last. That night, they experienced that moment which unites man with woman, husband with wife, and began their life anew as the key of compromise finally unlocked their door to a true marriage.

PART II: Meet the Sagaras.

Meanwhile, at the Sagara's, Sanosuke and Megumi are once again indulged in their ritualistic nighttime disputes. But before I continue let's recap the events leading up to tonight's disagreement, shall we start with earlier that morning…

"Sanosuke you lazy son of a bitch, get off your ass and do something useful around the house!" Megumi yelled to her slothful husband. From the day they said "I do" six years ago it's been nothing but argue this and argue that…sometimes if he's lucky Sano may get away with it by simply charming his way into some make-up sex (which they say is the best kind, hence the charming), but it doesn't work all the time and he'd be blessed if it did today!

"What is it you want me to do exactly huh? I can't even get into my own house since you've turned it into your private hospital! If you wanted your own office Dr. Ginsei would've been more than happy to give you that…at his place!" he replied rowdily.

"Sano you know how much having my own place meant to me and you did agree to the idea because it was a temporary thing till I find somewhere to rent, or possibly buy that's closer to home."

"Yeah but when you said 'temporary' I thought you meant three months max, not THREE YEARS!"

"Listen to me I'm the one bringing in the bacon for this household baby so you better bear with it if it takes THREE DECADES till I get my own space that I'LL be paying for, GOT IT!!!" Megumi lashed back with a vengeance that stung like a hornet.

"FINE, if it's a job you so desperately want me to get I'll do it and watch and see. It'll be better than whatever income a silly doctor could ever make!" Sano spat back as he left the house in search of employment.

"Well FINE! Just a reminder, a doctor's pay is one of the highest you'll ever get in this town," she shouted out teasingly.

"Dammit!" Sano cursed to himself as he cuffed his noggin for his absurdity. "I just had to go and marry a doctor didn't I?" he said aloud as he was out of earshot from his house.

Maybe if she didn't have such a great 'assets', luscious lips and boobs like melons I wouldn't have been in this predicament. If I'd married Tae…nope; I'd still be in this predicament because there's only so much food she would've let me get away with, Buddha bless her caring soul. Speaking of food…I'm starving! I have 100 yen on my tab from last time so there no way I'm headed to Tae's. I'll just pick something from the market and…wait, there's 40 yen in my pocket? Buddha must be blessing me today! I'll just spend 30 on a few die, nothing much.

With that thought in mind Sano hustled to find the nearest group of gamblers in hope that today he had good fortune on his side. What a way to stray from getting a work considered worthier than Megumi's! Finally, he found a group of youngsters.

Amateurs! I'd just be done with them and have more than enough to pay Tae and get something to eat all in one day!

"Snake eyes!" yelled one of the boys amongst the group. They each held their breath until he removed the cup concealing the dice to reveal…snake eyes!

"Yeah, that's how we do it! Who's next, any challengers?" he asked with a proud smirk painted on his face.

"You've got a taker here," Sano answered back confidently.

"What is an old fart like you doing in a place like this? Be gone and let me see some real challengers!" the boy laughed.

"I'll show you old fart!!!" Sano flared back. "Move over and let me show you how a pro in the game does it!" He shook the dice in the cup, dropped it onto the dusty floor and yelled "Snake eyes!" Slowing removing the cup, he revealed to everyone's amazement two dice each with the number one on its face.

"Fart on this," Sano said as he rose, collected his money, and let out a little flatulence for all to smell.

"Ugh! Gross dude, yuk!" they exclaimed. "Hey, look he's running off with our money!" one of them exclaimed as he caught a breath of fresh air. Of course, Sano won it fair and square, but they didn't care because some old guy just came out of nowhere and humiliated them, and then stunk up the place after taking their money.

"Ha ha, I showed them what and 'old fart' really smells like. Boy I've been holding that one in for too long!" Sano chuckled to himself.

"Get him!" was all he heard behind him before he pocketed his money and spun around to face them, knowing these guys mean business.

"So, it's a fight you want, it's a fight you'll get," he told them as they neared him and well aimed punches and kicks were swung left, right, and smack in the middle of someone's 'sensitive area'. He surely showed them…good enough for someone to report the fight to the police!

"Shit, gotta get outta here pronto." He decided to take refuge behind some guy's market bag which had a rancid scent of fresh fish. It was too much to bear even under such circumstances. When the guy came back to collect his things he found himself the stray who immediately pounced him, informing him of the awful smell emitted from his bag.

"I'm sorry but man that shit stinks! You should check your fish sir," Sano shriek, covering his nose and coughing from the stench, not realizing who the 'sir' was.

"I'll do that Sano, thanks," Kenshin replied.

"Kenshin? Hey man, could you help me out here? The police are out for me…"

"What did you do this time Sano?" Kenshin exhaled.

"Nothing I swear! I was gambling with some youngsters, kicked their asses, then kicked the living shit out of them when they attacked me for kicking their asses," he replied, still covering his nostrils.

"In that case, let me talk to the police. I'll pretend to have been a bystander at the scene of the crime, explain the situation and then we're home free."

"Thanks man, I can always count on you." Regrettably, the police that came happened to be a bunch of arrogant assholes and made life quite difficult for Kenshin.

"Listen, this girl here says she saw your friend over there beating the crap out of these guys on the floor here when they came after him 'cause he stole their cash. I say the criminal's right here before our very eyes," the officer said with a stupid grin across his face. The girl was actually the girlfriend of the guy whom Sano defeated. All she needed to do was flash a little cleavage to get the officer to believe her bullshit story.

"I can understand it appears that way officer but I know my friend, he's an honest man and won't do anything of the sort," Kenshin replied calmly though he was more annoyed than ever over the officer's ignorance.

"Well if he's so damn honest what was he doing gambling? Those are dice I see over there, not so? And it isn't far from the scene of the crime. Looks to me that your friend was gambling and couldn't take being a sore loser, so he stole the cash and rendezvoused to you so you could cover for him, not so?"

"Officer, again looks can be deceiving."

"Is that a sword you have there? Or am I being 'deceived'?" he mocked as he pointed to the sword around Kenshin's waist.

"It's a reversed edged sword sir, no harm can be done by it," Kenshin replied, still keeping his cool.

"Don't care; swords carried by unauthorized personnel are illegal. Guess you and your friend here are on some kind of bandit spree now aren't you?"

"Sir, you've got it all wrong," Kenshin answered defensively.

"You getting testy with me boy? Arrest these men here," he ordered his troops and swords drawn they charged towards Kenshin and Sano.

"They asked for it Kenshin, don't feel guilty one bit," Sano whispered in Kenshin's ear as he drew his sword and used his Hiten Mitsurugi Style Nine Ryuu attack and conquered the group. Then, he himself was knocked insensible when the girlfriend threw a rock at his head and screamed "Help, these mad men are trying to kill my friends and the police too!"

"I think it's time to go," Sano told an unconscious Kenshin as he picked up his friend onto his shoulders and fled, determined to leave the chaos in the market behind them. As he met a waterhole not too far from Kenshin's he laid his friend onto the ground and wet his face in an attempt to awaken him from his slumber. Slapping him rapidly on the cheek works well too when all else fails.

"Kenshin, wake up! Kenshin, Karou is going to kill me if you don't wake up now," he said, grinding his teeth as he spoke out of pure frustration at his unsuccessful efforts. Finally, Kenshin arose up, completely out of sorts.

"Oh Master Hiko, I didn't know you wore a dress. You look pretty in pink, so, so pretty," Kenshin said sounding as though he was intoxicated.

"Aw don't tell me this shit is happening, not today. KENSHIN!" Sano screamed in his ears, breaking him from his delusional state.

"Ouch, but thanks, I think."

"Anytime Kenshin," Sano replied gleefully. "Hey Kensh, you know where I could find a place with good pay…hopefully better pay than, oh let's say, a doctor's?" he asked childishly.

"Sano, you know better than anyone that a doctor's or any medical practitioner as a matter of fact's pay nowadays can't get any higher if it wanted to because of their high demand."

"Maybe I should take up her old job and sell opium? That went well for her and a drug dealer's not that bad," Sano grumbled under his breath as he ignored Kenshin.

"I heard that and if you get caught what will you say then?"

"Damn. I was just fooling around Kenshin you know that," he chuckled weakly.

"Sano, what's this really all about?"

"Nothing. I just want to get a job that's…"

"Sano," Kenshin said sternly.

"Okay fine. Megumi thinks I'm getting lazy –er and wants me to help her with the house. But it's no longer a house, it's a hospital, and I'm in no position to do anything involving needles. They make me quiver," he said and began to do so upon thinking about such.

"Helping around the house doesn't necessarily mean income wise. Look, Karou's the main bread winner because of the dojo and all, and I help her with the cooking, you know, making meager errands and stuff because I'm not really qualified for anything else but as a swordsman and I vowed to leave that world behind me. Don't feel ashamed that your wife's the main source of income; just make it easier on yourself by trying to be of use with any and everything else instead of slouching around."

"You're right, I have been acting like an incompetent jackass of lately and since business has been booming for her it's been pretty hard on her behalf to take care of the household by herself," Sano sighed. Then, an idea came to mind, which is such a new feeling for Sano. "Hey, I just thought of something."

"Well, what is it?" Kenshin inquired.

"I'll prepare dinner for us tonight, and I'll whip up a sexy serving of Sanosuke for dessert!" he chuckled.

"Your sense of humor will never change will it Sano, but I like your idea. I'd help you prepare a meal, but I've got one to do so myself and I'm already late. Why don't you see if Tae could help you? I've got to go now, sorry, but good luck," Kenshin said before making a swift departure home.

"Ask Tae? Risky, but I'll do anything at this point to patch up things with Megumi. We've fought before, but this one's serious. She honestly thinks I'm a sloth, and if that's how she feels we've gotta change that Sanosuke, step up on our game plan," he commented to himself. And off he went to Tae's restaurant to learn first class style how to prepare a "Forgive me" dish.

"Who's my favorite manager?" he sang as he entered the kitchen of the packed building.

"Sanosuke Sagara you've got a lot of nerve showing up here without the hundred yen from last time. Oh, and don't forget the THOUSAND you owe for last year!" Tsubame yelled before he could even approach Tae.

"Move aside munchkin while I give Tae a 'help me I'm desperate to save my marriage' hug," he said as he side-stepped Tsubame to embrace Tae.

"Sano, what am I going to do with you?" Tae sighed as she allowed Sano to hug her.

"Your debts will be repaid. Here, I'm even paying for a cooking class today," and he pulled out 20 yen for her. Now don't get me wrong, Sanosuke can cook, but he's more of an 'outdoorsman chef' so to speak.

"Well, at least you're paying for my services today."

"Got any more? I could do with a waitress tip today," Tsubame asked coyly.

"Don't push it sweetheart, you know times are hard," was his dry reply.

"What hard times? Sano you –"

"Tsubame, I need you to tend to matters for me whilst I help Mr. Sagara here. I promise you can take the day off if you do this task for me formidably."

"Yes ma'am," Tsubame replied as she bowed to her mistress's command and proceeded to complete her assigned task, for now she planned to use her free day tomorrow to spend some quality time with her 'Yahiko'.

"Okay Sano, today I'm going to teach you to make…" and off they went to create a meal fit for a queen. But Sano was unaware that Megumi had planned to cut work short today so she could plan a little 'apology dinner' for them when he returned, most likely unsuccessful from job hunting. Reality check; unless he became a minister of parliament within a couple of hours, there was no way Sano was going to find work better than his wife's. So for pushing him into doing such, Megumi sucked up her pride and offered a peace treat, one which Sano was terribly late for. He arrived home around nine o'clock with Tae at his side. She carried the hot dish with her as Sano held a lantern so they can see their way. Upon hearing footsteps, Megumi flew from the dinning area and crept up to the door to investigate. It was Sano, of course, but with a guest. The food was wrapped like a present and seeing Tae with such in her hands didn't look good at all. To put the icing on the cake, Sano gave her a warm hug for helping him with his crisis today, but to Megumi it appeared nothing of the sort.

"So is that where he goes every time we have a fight, by Tae's? I can't believe he'd cheat on me. That bastard will pay," she mumbled lowly and craftily went back to her seating position and acted as though she saw nothing. As Sano arrived inside, he placed the ceramic box of food onto the kitchen table and began to take out the fine china from the cupboards. He entered the dinning room, startled to see Megumi sitting so placidly in the dark, and then began to set the table when she stopped him.

"Dinner's been over for some time now Sano and it's probably cold by now, so why are you bringing out my best china?" she asked serenely.

"You'll see in a while," he smiled and was cut short when she snapped back at him unrepentantly.

"How could you do this to me you selfish son of a bitch? I've given you all that I could possibly give; the best years of my life, great sex, food and shelter and this is how you repay me?" Then she broke down in tears, but her anger still overpowering all her other emotions.

"What are you talking about?" Sano queried quite baffled.

"I always knew you and that slut Tae had something going on. No wonder she never hustled you for your tabs!" Megumi cursed at Sano.

"Megumi are you alright? I'd never cheat on you how could you think such a thing?"

"So why did you come home late, with her, and you gave her a present too? I'm damned when I get something from you for my birthday or our anniversary!"

"Megumi, you've got it all mixed up. I was by Tae restaurant today, but she was teaching me how to make this for you," he said and quickly went for the dish on the kitchen counter. He opened the parcel for her to see, steam still rising from the rice, chicken and chunky vegetables.

"You did this…for me?" she asked bewildered, tears still streaming down her face.

"Yes my china doll, all for you. I should be more helpful, so I'm starting by trying to, at least, help with cooking meals," he gently replied as he caressed her face and dried her eyes.

"Oh Sano –"

"Say nothing more, just try some and relax," he said as he fed her some sending her taste buds on a dancing spree as the seasonings made contact with her tongue.

"Oh Sano, this food is incredible!" she said as she embraced her husband for a deed well done. "So, what's for dessert?" she asked seductively. Sano simply gave her a sensual laugh and broke it with a kiss. As his mouth pressed onto hers, she pushed him to the ground and they made love with such intensity it felt like the first time all over again. It doesn't take much for the Sagara's to get aroused and start sexually interacting with each other all over the place, but a good old fashion argument's a nice way to start. And anyone who's ever doubted that theory, just remember the odd couple Sanosuke and Megumi Sagara. Enough said.

PART III: The Family Guy

But the story can't end without mentioning the something about the daily life of the great Kenshin Himura and his loving wife Karou. Remember, no matter who you are, no man is able to escape a woman's wrath when she's completely pissed off, but see how the tables have turned…

We alas find our hero for the day now returning home to prepare lunch, just as he told Sanosuke, and of course, he was late.

"Kenshin Himura what took you so long?" yelled a furious Karou as her spouse entered the front gates.

"Daddy", "Uncle Kenshin" shouted little Kenji, Rikou, Airishi and Hoji upon hearing Karou 'greet' Kenshin. Then, they smothered him with hugs all around.

"I'm sorry I reached late Karou, I had a little 'delay' at the market," he replied wearingly as the children jumped up and down by his feet.

"No excuses Kenshin, you came late and we have guests' today…very hungry guests," she snapped.

"I wasn't even informed of the kids coming today otherwise I would've made more of an effort to reach on time."

"So what you're saying is that if it were just me and Kenji, you'd have stayed longer? You would have left your family to starve, but you'd make 'more of an effort' for other people's children?" she retorted.

"Kenji, take Hoji and the girls inside, mommy and I have some serious business to talk about, okay?"

"Okay daddy," he replied so innocently.

"Why are the grown ups having so many problems these days? First my parents, and now yours. Who's next?" Rikou whispered to Kenji.

"Beats me," he shrugged as they entered the house.

"Karou, the kids arrived unexpectedly I assume, and yes in the event of such cases I should've reached earlier, but don't make the issue bigger than it is."

"It's always been a big issue Kenshin. No matter what, something must happen wherever you go that you must attend to. But when it comes to family matters, you're never here."

"Never here? Please Karou explain to me what I do so much that I'm 'never here' huh? I break my back day in and out to make sure my family is safe and provided with the necessities everyday. Both of us share an equal part in it; you make the money, I make the expenses needed, we live happily ever after. But with you Karou, there's no pleasing. What must I do for you to truly be happy?" Kenshin asked frustrated and tired.

"You think I nag you?" Karou asked dolefully as tears began to sting her blue orbs.

"Honestly Karou, yes. All I hear is 'Kenshin do this' and 'Kenshin do that'. I have no problem in doing such, not a complaint, but sometimes I feel like your servant instead of your spouse. I wish it were possible for me to get a job, but you know why."

"So is that it, you feel threatened by me making the money?" she asked, her tears now slowly streaming down her face.

"No, it's not that…just forget Karou, I'm going inside and fix up what looks like dinner now. The kids must be starving," he retreated, leaving Karou and all their issues behind him.

"Kenshin…" Karou silently murmured to herself, still standing as she was. After reflecting on the previous incident, Karou finally left the courtyard to go inside and join her family for dinner. They ate quietly; no one except the children talked amongst themselves. The adults never once looked at one another and spoke only to ask for a condiment. When the time came, the children were bathed and put to bed. Now comes the awkward part; will the Himuras sleep together? Both individuals battled that question within themselves when 'bath hour' arose, each avoiding the bedroom and occupying their time with meaningless tasks. It was 11 o'clock and matters were still unsolved. Kenshin spent the last few hours on the porch, eating watermelon and dreamingly gazing at the beautiful black night sky. Kaoru spent her hours in the dojo, practicing for majority of them, then after a warm bath sat in solitude staring at her father's scribe.

"I can't believe we actually fought. Maybe he's right, maybe I am a nag. Father, what do you think?" As she broke down into tears, she heard a voice.

"Karou stop this whining this instant," the deep voice said.

"What, who are you?" she jumped deeply startled as a cold chill crept up her spine.

"Who do you think?" the voice replied.

"Father? But it can't be, you're…you're dead!"

"Yes, but I'm always alive in your heart. Karou, I know you're distressed, what married couple isn't? But don't throw a pity party because some stupid ill things were said. Get up, stop sobbing and go by your husband and work things out. You said it yourself, compromise is the key. Don't be hypocritical, follow your advice and whenever you need help, know that I'm here for you darling."

"Oh daddy," Karou silently cried out. Doing as she was told, Karou dried her eyes and proceeded to resolve things with Kenshin. Sensing that he must be on the porch, she checked there first. She was right. She couldn't enter immediately; her stomach felt sick and her heart raced like a thousand horses. This was the first time she truly saw Kenshin hurt. He could've fought a million battles in his lifetime and received a thousand scars, but none would cut as deep the way she hurt him she thought.

"You can come if you wish, it's your house too," Kenshin told her, still focusing on the sky above. She forgot how acute his senses were; of course he must have heard her soft footsteps by the door post.

"Thank you," she replied and sat down at a distance from him. "Kenshin…" she stopped.

"It's okay Karou, I forgive you," he replied dryly.

"No you don't."

"Yes I do. We've argued before, what makes this one so different from the others? Let's just move on and –"

"We can't move on, not like this. And this fight has been different from the others. Kenshin I've never in all my life seen you so distraught before than when you admitted that you were fed up of my constant demands and –"

"I never meant it like that Karou –"

"Yes you did. Be honest Kenshin, I understand completely. I did some reflection in the dojo and realized my errors. I do have a tendency to be over bossy, I know that now. You're only regret should be not telling me this sooner otherwise we won't be in this predicament. Do you honestly forgive me now?" she asked somberly.

"How could I ever stay angry at the one I love? Of course I forgive you Karou, with all my heart," he replied. "We should head to bed now, it's already late."

"You're right, and tomorrow I'll make it up to you, but we can't do it when we have children staying over now can we?" she giggled slyly.

"I'll cover your screams with a kiss."

"Kenshin!" Karou said hot with embarrassment. "Behave yourself now and wait till tomorrow, okay?"

"Okay then. It's better that way."

"Why'd you say that?"

"Because time lost makes the heart grow stronger," he replied amiably. The two lovers then held each other's hand and finally went to bed, with heavy hearts now lightened and dreams of a now brighter future with each other overwhelming their minds.


A/N: So what did u guys think, huh? I know it isn't much different than the first time I posted it, but I made the plot seem a bit cleaner (it was suppose to be a mini series of short stories into a day in everyone's lives) so I hope I did a better job. If it still sucks lemme know with constructive critisim cuz if u've got nothing better to do than flame me then just forget this fic existed and get a hobby or something. Thanks again readers and reviewers, ja ne!