D/C: I don't own Rurouni Kenshin.
Konnichiwa!! I'm back with my third chapter...hold on, I say that at the start of each chapter, don't I? Crap, I must work on my vocabulary. Well, anyway, I just want to thank you all for the reviews you sent me last time...there were so many!! (laughs) Well, anyway, I won't keep you any longer. Happy Reading!!
Megumi felt the sweat breaking over her forehead as she saw one of the two guys in black suits slap a wad of cash into the woman's outstretched hand; they had been on the look-out for her, that was for sure. She quickly gathered her stuff and got up to her feet, and immediately wished she hadn't as the world started spinning before her eyes. Grabbing onto the edge of the booths for support, she headed to the door. She opened it and stumbled outside onto the street. She looked around and saw a hazy image of two black people approaching her.
Pulling herself together, she hurried down the empty street, trying to ignore the wobbly feeling in her legs. She had to get away from those two. If they got her, then everything would be definitely over; they'll kill her and get their hands on the money, and no one will be there to stop them...the problem was is that she didn't think she had the strength to escape from them this time. Tears welled in her eyes, making her view all the more obscured. She didn't see the figure walking towards her until she had bumped into him, and when she did, she could only thump her fists weakly against the broad chest in a pathetic attempt to get away.
'No...please let me go...I didn't do anything to you...please...don't kill my baby...' she pleaded, her vision blurring.
A finger was held to her lips. 'Shhh,' said a soft voice she vaguely recognized. 'Everything's gonna be okay. I'm here now, okay, Megumi?'
'Sa...no?' she whispered, before the world faded completely before her eyes.
When she came to it later, she was no longer in the street. She was in a room, and was lying on a bed. It took her a few moments to realize that she was back in Sano's room. She bolted up in the bed, and looked around frantically. What the hell was she doing here? Was she hallucinating? Dreaming? She followed the only way to make sure of that, and pinched herself...hard.
'Ow!!' she winced. She looked up when she heard a knock on the door, and she gripped the bed sheets tightly with her hands, not knowing what she should be expecting; it could be Sano...but then again, this may be just a dream. 'Come in.'
The door opened and an arm shot in through the small crack in the door. The arm waved, and Megumi stared at it, feeling bewildered. 'Are you decent?' came Sano's familiar voice.
Megumi laughed. 'Of course I'm decent!' she snapped. 'Why else did I tell you to come in?'
Grinning, Sano stepped into the room. 'Good morning!' he said cheerfully. 'How are you feeling today?'
'I'm feeling okay, actually,' she replied. 'But...what am I doing back here in your place? No, hold on...don't tell me I've never even left your place in the first place...oh, God! I'm so confused!'
Sano chuckled and sat down on the edge of the bed. 'No, you did leave,' he told her. 'But I couldn't just let you leave until I made sure you were okay, so I followed you.' Megumi's eyes widened and her face was a mask of indignation, but Sano held up hand to silence her. 'It's a good thing I followed you, too, or else you'd have been a total goner.'
Megumi paused for a moment, and then comprehension dawned upon her. 'The two guys in the black suits!' she cried out in fright. She rounded on him. 'Where did they go? The woman...she put a drug in my burger and...oh, God! My baby!!'
'Don't worry, your baby's fine,' he assured her, and he gestured at her large stomach. She felt it with her hands and sighed in relief. 'I found you walking around dazedly on the street, but by the time I'd gotten to you, you had blacked out completely. So, I stopped a cab and got you back home. Just think...if I hadn't been there for you, those jerks would've gotten their hands on you...and that's why I must insist on you staying here till they get caught.'
Megumi was silent for a moment. 'Okay,' she finally agreed. 'You're right...I'll stay here for a while.'
'Good...I'm glad to hear you say that,' he said, smiling at her. It was only a brief smile though, because his expression quickly became serious. 'But...don't you think you should tell me why these guys are following you? So that I know what I'm against, that is?' Megumi didn't say anything. 'You can't trust me yet, can you?'
'No!' she cried, when she heard the note of hurt in his voice. 'No, I do trust you!! After all, you did save me twice from these guys...that gives me all the more reason to trust you, doesn't it? I just...okay, I'll tell you everything.'
'Thank you...I mean it,' he said.
Megumi nodded. She took a deep breath before launching on with her story. 'Here it goes...almost a year ago, I got married to an American guy, and I came here to live with him,' she said quietly. 'He was a successful business man...and her always bought me all sort of nice and expensive gifts, and in my greediness and stupidity, I really didn't bother to ask him what field of business does he work in or how come he has so much money...but later on, I found out that he was a part of a gang...sort of like the mafia, and that was after I had gotten pregnant...I didn't tell him what I'd found out, of course, and I went and filed for a divorce.'
'I'm guessing it doesn't all end there, does it?' he asked, and she shook her head miserably.
'I only wish it does,' she mumbled. 'After a while, I heard from my husband's attorney that he had died mysteriously and that I had to come to hear out his will. I knew that he hadn't died mysteriously as he claimed; it had all been kept a total hush, but I knew that the gang had rebelled and killed him...but that's not really important now. Anyway, I went to attorney's office and...you'll never guess who he left his rather big fortune to.'
'You?' he mused.
'Nope,' she replied, and patted her stomach. 'He had left everything to his unborn baby...but until this baby became of legal age, I would be responsible for the money.'
'Alright...but I really can't see the link here...' he said, confused.
Megumi smiled patiently at him. 'The gang had had the idea that my husband had left everything for them, and that's why they had gone and killed him in the first place, because they wanted to get their hands on the money,' she explained. 'So, when they found out that the money had been left to his baby, they went totally ballistic...so, what should I do? What I think happened is that they got together and thought that the best idea to get their money was to kill the baby, because the will clearly states that unless the baby and his mother are there to collect the money, the esteemed colleagues of my husband would get the money.'
Sano's eyes were as wide as sea-saucers. 'Whoa,' he gasped. 'So...in order to kill the baby, they're gonna have to kill you as well!'
'Exactly,' she replied. 'Of course, they did try to force me to have an abortion, but I wouldn't let them. In the end, when the threats became too serious, I had to leave my house and run around the country, hoping to lose them.'
'Well, why don't you back to Japan, then? Or to any other country?' he suggested.
'Sano, I can't do that!' she exclaimed. 'I'm pregnant!! What airline company in its right mind would allow a pregnant woman in her seventh month to board one of its planes? It's a danger to both my life and the baby's life.'
'Oh,' he murmured, grinning sheepishly. 'Sorry, I didn't know that.'
'That's alright,' she assured him. 'A lot of people don't...sorry I snapped like that; I'm just too frustrated.'
Sano nodded. 'Well...then, why don't you ask the police for help?' he asked. 'I'm sure they'll be able to get their hands on the gang and offer you the protection you need, if you ask them.'
Megumi shook her head. 'It's not as simple as that,' she told him. 'The thing is, the police wouldn't have enough evidence on the gang; they've always been too secretive. Never been caught in the act even once. They're just too smart, you know? I can't just walk up to the police and tell them my story without a hint of evidence...they'll probably hear my sob story and think I'm some kind of derived lunatic or something.'
Sano chuckled. 'I heard your story and I don't think you're a derived lunatic,' he offered.
Megumi smiled at him. 'If only the police were as nice as you are, I wouldn't have any problems,' she told him.
Sano tried to ignore the warm feeling in his cheeks. 'So...erm, what will you do, then?' he asked.
'Well...I'm was trying to lay low until my baby was born, but it doesn't seem like my plan is going the way I want it to, so...' she said, and sighed. 'I don't know. I don't know what I'm going to do; I'm just at complete loss.'
Sano was quiet for a moment, and then he rubbed the back of his neck; Megumi noticed that he tended to do that whenever he was nervous. 'Well, this doesn't seem much of an idea, but why don't you lay low here at my place till you deliver your baby?' he asked her, leaning forward towards her. Megumi looked at him in surprise. 'Please don't think I'm a pervert because I want you to stay here with me; I swear I'm not like that. If anything, I only just want you...and your baby to be safe.'
Megumi felt completely overwhelmed. Her eyes brimmed with tears. 'I...it's been a while since anyone treated me this nice...' she said.
Sano noticed the tears in her eyes and started waving his arms around frantically. 'No, don't cry!! I haven't done anything even remotely nice!!' he exclaimed, and she laughed. Sano relaxed and he smiled gently at her. 'You're so pretty when you laugh, you know that?'
He held her gaze for a few moments, and Megumi felt herself blushing. She looked away from him. 'Um...thank you for the compliment,' she murmured. She felt, more than saw, him get off the bed and she looked up at him. 'Hey, Sano...for letting me stay here, thank you so much.'
Sano smiled at her. 'Don't thank me,' he told her. 'Just take care of yourself, okay?' She nodded. 'Hey...out of curiosity...and if you don't mind me asking...you baby; is it a boy or a girl? Did you find out yet?'
Megumi shook her head. 'I wanted to leave it a surprise,' she explained. 'It really doesn't matter if it's a boy or a girl, what really matters is that it's going to be my child; a child which was being created inside me...you know?'
'Yeah, I know,' he murmured. He headed for the door. 'I'll leave now; you probably want to take a shower or something...oh, and this time, I promise I'll knock before I come in.' With a small wave, he left the room and closed the door behind him.
Megumi watched the door for a few moments, and then, with a content sigh, she fell back against the pillows. She hadn't fell this happy in ages, and now, buried in the warm blankets of Sano's bed, surrounded by Sano's musky smell, she felt safe as...she bolted upright in her bed and shook her head vigorously. I'm not sniffing around Sano's bed sheets!! God, that's disgusting!! She pushed the blankets away from her and got up to the bathroom. What she needed was a bath, and she needed it quickly.
'Okay...so what feminine necessities will you be needing, then?'
Sano and Megumi were both in the kitchen. He was sitting at the table, and Megumi was at the counter, slicing apart a large piece of steak. She was cooking lunch for today, even though had Sano had insisted that she rest while he made the meal, she had refused, saying that if he wasn't going to take any rent from her for staying here with him, she could at least help with the house chores.
She looked around at him, frowning. 'Feminine necessities?' she repeated incredulously. 'What the hell are you talking about?'
Sano shrugged. 'You know...' he mumbled. 'You pregnant women probably have some stuff you use in your everyday lives, don't you? Why don't you tell me what you need so that I can go buy them for you?'
Megumi blushed. 'I hardly...! You don't know what...!!' she exclaimed, and took a deep breath. 'What I mean to say is that you probably won't know what stuff I'll be needing, Sanosuke, so why don't you leave all the shopping to me, agreed?'
'No, we're not agreed,' he replied. 'You can't leave this apartment. Megumi, don't you see? This gang might not know where I live, but I'm sure they'll be circling it day and night, asking people about you, and trust me, people around here would do anything for money, like the lady from the diner, for example. So, to be on the safe side, I suggest you stay here in the apartment and I'll go do all the shopping.'
Megumi looked doubtfully at him for a few moments. 'Oh, alright, you win,' she grumbled. 'But, what about you, then? Won't they recognize you when they see you? I mean, they did see you once before; I reckon they have a good idea on how you look.'
Sano grinned cheerfully. 'I didn't tell you what I do for money, did I?' he asked, and she slowly shook her head, wondering what that had to do with her question. 'I'm an actor!!'
Megumi tried to show some enthusiasm. 'Really? Wow, that's cool! What shows have you...?' she said, but broke off when she heard him laughing. 'Hey, why are you laughing? Are you laughing at me, and just when I was showing you some support?'
Sano wiped tears of mirth out of his eyes. 'You completely missed out the point there, Megumi,' he told her. 'What I meant to say is that I have all my acting gear with me...wigs, make-up...you name it! I can simply disguise myself and go outside and nobody will recognize me! I've tried it before; it's totally foolproof...in fact, I use disguises to skip out on my bills sometimes...but don't tell anyone, okay?'
Megumi laughed. 'Okay, don't worry; your secret's safe with me,' she assured him.
'Thanks! Okay, you stay here...I'll go put on one of my disguises and see if you can recognize me, alright?' he said animatedly, and Megumi could only nod. He hurried out through the door, and she waited patiently for a few minutes before finally a fair, blonde guy with blue eyes came in through the door. Megumi stared at him, astonished. 'So...what do you think? It's pretty good, isn't it? You, yourself, can't believe it, can you?'
Megumi shook her head. 'No, frankly, I can't...you look so different!' she exclaimed. She sank down onto a hair, and Sano hurried forward towards her, looking anxiously at her. She wrapped her arms tightly around herself. 'I'm fine...don't worry. I'm just thinking...everything had been so horrible, and now everything's really good and perfect...it's freaking me out a bit, you know? I'm just afraid to wake up and find that all this had just been a weird dream...weird, but in a nice kind of way.' She looked up at Sano, who looked solemnly back at her. 'You understand me, Sano, don't you? I'm just afraid to find out that all this is just...fake.'
Sano smiled at her. 'Megumi, don't worry, you're not dreaming,' he assured her. 'And none of this is fake, too. I'm not fake...I really want to help you, okay? There are two types of people in this world; the good and the bad. I come from the good people; I'm not coming out to get you. You must learn to trust me; I only want to help.'
'Why?' she prompted him. 'Why do you want to help me?'
A blush crept into Sano's cheeks. 'Erm...my good deed of the year?' he said uncertainly.
A/N: Wheee!! I finished it! I finished my third chapter! Ehm...well, what did you think of this? Is the story going okay so far? Don't you want to know what's going to happen next between Sano and Megumi? Well, to find out, you're gonna have to read my forth chappie, won't you? ...Man, that sounded cheesy. Well, anyway, please review, okay? Thanks!!
- S. N. B.