It was precisely 10:01am in the morning, when Kenshin Himura— Marquis of Darcia, fell through the roof.
He landed with a gut wrenching splatter on the floor of a humble abode, the wind knocked cleanly from his lungs. Through the resulting storm of dust and debris, he squinted up to find a pair of hovering blue eyes. It took him a moment to realize (he was not hereto familiar with this particular phenomenon), that the pair of eyes in question was flashing with anger at him.
The young woman, to whom the lovely eyes belonged, finally seemed to realize that the culprit who was responsible for demolishing half her home could have been hurt in his endeavors.
"I say--" She remarked inanely. "Are you alright?"
Kenshin Himura grunted, holding up the index finger of his right hand.
"If you would give me a moment mademoiselle." He gingerly fingered his ribs—sure that he had broken at least one or two. A good stretching of his legs happily indicated however, that neither were broken beyond repair.
Kaoru Kamiya, mistress of what had once been a very nice home, watched the sprawled man across her living room floor with wary eyes. In her hands, a well used broomstick was poised over her head ready to strike the man if he made any sudden maneuvers. Upon further observation, it was clear to her that the burglar was genuinely stunned from his fall. And it didn't take a great leap of imagination to conclude that this man clearly had no skill in his profession.
Kenshin Himura looked up at the girl, noticing the frayed broom in her hand—and the precarious way in which she held her weapon of choice.
"Beg pardon miss, what are you doing?"
Kaoru frowned at the man. Objectively speaking, he was one of the most beautiful male specimens she had every laid her eyes on. The morning glow streaming through the gaping hole in her roof cast the man in a spotlight that highlighted the high ends of his cheekbones. Under that same light, his hair was a fiery swirl of wine red. Kaoru Kamiya, in her impeccable good sense however, had never been one to be swayed by good looks.
"Do not attempt to be sociable you fiend." She said, waving her broom threateningly. "I know what you're up to, and you've been caught red handed."
Kenshin blinked up at her without comprehension.
"I beg your pardon?"
Kaoru glared, boring her eyes into the man's skull.
"Do not feign innocence; how naïve do you think I am that I would fall for your trickery?"
Kenshin blinked up at her, still not comprehending.
"Mademoiselle, I fell through your roof. I assure you, there's nothing tricky about that."
Kaoru snorted inelegantly.
"Except for the reason you were up on it in the first place." She snapped. "Though clearly you should choose a different profession because you're quite hopeless as a burglar."
The marquis' eyes widened perceptively. "WHAT?"
Kaoru stared down at him, her expression unchanging, as the cad tried to feign outrage and innocence. It was almost convincing, his complete look of horror at her suggestion he was involved with the nefarious arts of robbery. Perhaps the man should join a traveling show and become an actor, she thought spitefully. He would surely garner more money than his current profession.
Kenshin Himura, Marquis of Darcia narrowed his eyes and pierced the insolent woman with his best "I-am-the-marquis" glare. It was the same glare had hereto been quite successful in rendering the ton speechless and spluttering. So when he bit out—
"Mademoiselle, I am not a burglar."
He fully expected her to believe him. It wouldn't have hurt either, if she had nodded her agreement, put down her ridiculous broom, and apologize profusely for her erroneous judgment of his character. Thus Kenshin was baffled when quite the opposite happened.
The woman speared him with her most contemptible "ha!" A single word of disbelief that spoke volumes of her regard for his claim. Kenshin Himura, whom had never in his adult (or childhood) life had been spoken to in such a matter was rendered speechless. If she had been a man, he would have called her out on the spot. Unfortunately, she wasn't, so he could only console himself that glaring up at her on the ground was understandably less effective.
"If you aren't a burglar, then what were you doing sneaking up on my roof?" Kaoru demanded.
The man before her turned red; a reaction that suspiciously resembled embarrassment.
"I assure you, I was not sneaking." He muttered.
Something ticked in Kaoru's temple, and she said with a perfectly deadpanned face. "You have exactly three seconds to explain yourself sir, before I beat you into oblivion with my friend, the broomstick, here."
Kenshin choked, the molten gold of his eyes flying up to her face.
"You're threatening me." He said somewhat mystified.
Kaoru wanted to roll her eyes.
"Yes I'm threatening you. You break in to my house, albeit inelegantly, rob --beg pardon, try to rob me. Naturally, the next step if you get caught, which you have, is the injured party's full right to threaten, maim, and or kill the guilty party."
Kenshin raised his brow at her matter of fact analysis, and Kaoru was sure that the shifting gleam in his eye could only be attributed to humor. By god, the blasted man was amused! He tilted his head, favoring her with a lazy smile.
"I'm the injured party."
Kaoru was superbly proud of herself, that she didn't bat an eyelash. "I assure you, I can make it worse. Now, are you going to explain yourself? My patience is wearing thin."
"By god--" Kenshin exclaimed, aghast at her vehemence to do him bodily harm. "You really aren't a lady are you?"
Kaoru drew back, ridiculously stung by his callous remark. She gritted her teeth at him. "If you mean I haven't swooned at the sight of you, you can be reassured that I have no intentions to. Your explanation now please. And by now, I mean NOW."
Kenshin studied the agitated woman, noticing for the first time how very lovely she was despite her unladylike anger. A heavy sheen of black silk hung over her shoulders, and framed her heart shaped face. Long lashes incased her startling blue eyes that were still drilling contemptuously into him. A second look indicated however, that he would not gain her good graces for calling her beautiful at the moment. And perversely enough, he was mildly intrigued by her obvious loathing of him. Granted, being mistaken for a burglar did not cast him in a favorable light, though he was under the impression that most women found him appealing in any light.
So appealing in fact, it was for that exact reason he was in this awkward predicament at the moment. That, and the fact this girl did not have a very strong roof.
"If you must know," He said irritably. "I was trying to escape someone."
Kaoru blinked, regarding him with suspicion. It was on the tip of her tongue to flat out call him a liar before the door of her cottage blasted open with startling force. The locks which had been fastened in place, gave a screech of protest before it gave way, hanging uselessly on the door.
Kaoru let out a yelp, swirling in the moment to aim her broom at the new intruder, feeling only a little bit ridiculous considering the new fiend had kicked down her door.
Out of the corner of her eye, she noticed the man's resigned shutting of his eyes—and wondered, for the first time, if he was really telling the truth. She was distracted however, by the form of a bouncing, red headed female.
"KENSHIN! I FOUND YOU!" The red headed bouncer gushed, flouncing into the room. She pointed her lace incased finger in Kenshin's general direction and happily announced. "Did you think you could hide from me?"
Kaoru watched Kenshin bodily resist the urge to play dead, and instead said without preamble.
Kaoru Kamiya flitted her eyes back and forth from the young woman whom had burst into her home, and the man whom had burst through her roof. She wasn't sure which one she wanted to maim more, but she was suddenly filled with an insane urge to laugh hysterically. It was either that or melt into a puddle and weep.
Her sloping roof—which had once boasted a good ten years of service laid in a hopeless disaster on her once immaculate floor. And her door! Her beautifully carved red wood door was hanging uselessly on its side.
All in all, her home looked as if some mythical giant had stepped on half of it.
A dark haired man, whom was nearly as striking as the red haired one on the floor, came in through the open doorway.
"Didn't I tell you not to chase around his lordship?"
Kaoru flitted her eyes to the man on the ground in horror, the same instant he turned to her and flashed her a knowing grin.
The girl did not seem the least bit intimidated by the black haired man, or notice the subtle exchange between Kaoru and Kenshin, because she turned and jabbed her finger in the black haired man's face and declared.
"Aoshi Shinomori, you do NOT have the rights to tell a lady what to do."
His face darkened.
"Lady Makimachi…" He warned.
Misao Makimachi turned her head away from the man's glowering stare, instead noticing for the first time—a stunning black haired woman holding a broom over Kenshin's head as if she were in the midst of beheading him.
"HEY!" She screeched, suddenly incensed. "Are you hurting Kenshin?"
Her eyes darted to the wincing Kenshin sitting in the midst of the debris.
"Oh my god! What did you do to him?"
She turned a murderous glare in Kaoru's direction, so quelling that Kaoru nearly felt remorse for the sad state of the man sitting in the remains of her roof. It was quickly drowned out by Kaoru's own sense of injustice.
"I didn't do anything to him!"
The man known as Aoshi Shinomori, turned a quick look in Kenshin's direction and glanced up to the ceiling, or lack thereof.
"What is going on here?" He demanded, glancing around at the two people in the room.
Kaoru glared at all of them in turn. "Who are you people?"
A telling silence filled the room as the intruders looked at one another. Misao, suddenly sheepish, pointed to herself and said. "I am the Lady Makimachi, heiress to the Remling estate. And that man," She pointed to the tall man filling Kaoru's doorway, "Is Mr. Aoshi Shinomori. The constable of this region, and also my protector." She pointed again at Kenshin.
"And he is my fiancé."
Kaoru turned back to the red haired man on the floor, suddenly realizing just what it was that he had been trying to escape from. Apparently, he was not a thief, merely an errant husband-to-be running from his future wife. She did laugh then, earning her a disproving look from Kenshin. Had she been more observant, she might have noticed a sudden change in his demeanor. But since she did not know him well enough to notice his moods, she missed the telling signs of a plan being hatched and brought into action.
Kenshin stood slowly, drawing lazily to his full height with a feral grace. Prowling forward he snaked his hand around Kaoru's waist, pulling her to his side. The laughter died immediately upon Kaoru's lips as he turned in the same instant to Misao who was frowning in confusion.
"I'm afraid I couldn't possibly be your fiancé my lady. For you see, I'm already a taken man."
He smiled darkly, the hard slash of his mouth tilting to one side as Misao still stared at him curiously.
"You see, I have decided to marry this lovely lady here. She is my fiancé."
Kaoru whom had always thought of herself as a fairly intelligent, level headed individual, could not have described what had brought on her actions next. If she had been less confused, if her house had been in better shape, if strangers did not just kick down her front door—she might have not done what she did.
But they had.
And so, without preamble, Kaoru smashed the flat side of her broom across Kenshin Himura's face with all the strength she could muster.
In the next moment, amidst screams from Misao, Kaoru found herself bodily dragged from her house by the head of the guards, Aoshi Shinomori to destinations unknown. Though if Kaoru could surmise a guess, it would most likely be the constable station—in which case she would no doubt be hung for bodily injuring nobility.
It was, in her opinion, not a very good day. And it was only 10:43 in the morning.