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Disclaimer
Standard disclaimer applies. I do not own anything.

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Word Count
3134 words

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# 1 - A for Alcohol


Kaoru almost jumped out of her chair at the suddenness of the noise. She stared heatedly in irritation at the door, her hand unconsciously placing themselves above her wildly beating heart.

Who could it be?

She glanced at the alarm clock beside the stack of papers and books scattered everywhere across the tiny space that was her table. She scrunched her eyebrows in further annoyance when it read a good few minutes past midnight.

Her head whipped back to the direction of her door. The banging hadn't stop.

Sighing, she practically threw her pencil at her thick textbook, making her way none-too-hurriedly towards the source of her irritation. As her hand reached for the knob however, she halted herself. Her eyes narrowed in sudden suspicion before she questioned,

"Who is it?"

Instead of answering, more force was put into the attempt of, according to Kaoru, breaking through her door. She sighed. At times like these, she wished she had a peephole. But, whatever.

Slowly, and somewhat hesitantly, she opened her door; just enough to see who it was that had caused such a ruckus in the middle of the night.

Maybe that wasn't such a good idea.

The next moment, Kaoru founded her self staring blankly at the figure of her boyfriend as he had pounced at the door the moment she opened it, slamming it across the wall in the process of opening it with too fast of a speed.

She immediately scrunched up her face in distaste. Strong chemicals are making their way to her nose…

"Kenshin, are you drunk?" she questioned, not really expecting an answer. Her tone was accusing and shocked at the same time.

Kenshin, with his ruffled red hair and crumpled collar (did he just get off work?) smiled awkwardly at his girlfriend, as if he was high or, stating the obvious, drunk. The next moment, he forced himself in to her apartment, effectively pushing Kaoru a few steps backwards. He landed his face on her neck, inhaling deeply.

Kaoru, not really expecting to see a drunk Kenshin on her doorsteps at midnight, frowned and, before saying anything, crunched up her nose in disgust.

"You stink." She declared, but not really pushing Kenshin away. Hearing this, Kenshin chuckled, his hot breath burning sensations on Kaoru's skin. She threw the emotions out of her mind immediately. Now was not the time to be all lovey-dovey here. Before she could form questions on her confused mind however, Kenshin smiled, his lips brushing past Kaoru's skin.

"You, on the other, smell like heaven."

He had droned out his words. Kaoru rolled her eyes despite the compliment.

"Why are you drunk?" She practically had spit out her words as she tried to get Kenshin off of her and placed him somewhere where he could sit down and actually breathe.

Kenshin didn't resist her as she gently yet firmly pulled him towards her couch, sitting down loosely as he shrugged.

"Poker night. Looser gets to drink a couple cans of beer."

"And you lost." Kaoru predicted, sitting back on her chair before her desk. She didn't sound all too happy listening to Kenshin's explanation so far.

Kenshin shrugged once again, trying hard to pry his eyes open. He seemed tired. Kaoru sighed.

"Just who could have come up with such a stupid idea?" She questioned, keeping a mental note on hanging and torturing whoever said person would be. Daring to make her Kenshin drunk on a weekday was not a smart thing to do.

"It's not…" Kenshin tried to make himself comfortable by arranging his position so that there were a few pillows below his head, "… stupid. Sano actually did manage to make all of us loosened up with…" he hesitated, as if trying to think of the correct word. Then he smiled. Kaoru's eyes narrowed at that stupid smile of his.

"He managed to make all of us loosened up with alcohol."

So it was Sano. Go figure.

Kaoru rolled her eyes as she speculated over the situation. It was a Wednesday night, well, Thursday now, and she had a huge midterm in just a couple of hours. If Kenshin was going to pull this stunt now… let's just say she's going to need to release her anger somewhere.

That somewhere would probably be at someone who had caused this mess in the first place. Namely, Sano.

She sighed.

"Why are you here? You should be home." She voiced out, clearly knowing that he had work tomorrow.

Kenshin pouted upon hearing her words. It was so very uncharacteristic of him that his face amused Kaoru for a second.

"But, cheesecake, I wanted to see you."

Cheesecake?

Kaoru blanched at the new nickname bestowed upon her.

Upon her one year and some-months relationship with Kenshin, she had only seen him drunk once. And even then, he was more tipsy than drunk. So, suffice it to say that she was not used to this, uhm, 'side' of Kenshin.

"How did you get here?" Kaoru interrogated, wondering if he had the nerve to drink and drive. If he did, ooh, he's going to get it bad from her.

Kenshin placed his feet on the other end of Kaoru's couch, making himself even more comfortable.

"Someone dropped me off." Then, seeing the look of relief on Kaoru's face, he added, "Don't worry, sugar, I know you hate drunk drivers."

Sugar?

Talk about… gross.

Instead of showing her disgust on her face however, Kaoru sighed once again. She glanced at her alarm clock to realize that it was half past twelve. Okay, either she's going to spend the rest of the night being productive studying, or she's going to spend it being productive sleeping.

"Who did?" She questioned as Kenshin yawned. She was still observing her alarm clock.

"Aoshi."

Out of the corner of her eyes, she saw how Kenshin was falling asleep. Deciding there was nothing better to do than to let him spend the night with her, she left her chair, making a bee line for her closet.

Effectively, she fished out a huge blanket to spread over her sleeping boyfriend. She professionally covered every inch of his body that would not effectively suffocate him. However, as Kaoru was tucking the blankets so that Kenshin's shoulder was not exposed to the cold winter air, she realized something.

Kenshin's left cheek had turned slightly purple. Squinting her eyes to make sure what it was, she gaped when realization hit her.

Immediately, not caring that Kenshin had dozed off to dream land, she lifted her hand to move his face to the right, none-too-gently at that, exposing his left cheek even more clearly. There it was, the bruise.

Putting two and two together, Kaoru gaped at her boyfriend, who was currently waking up due to the sudden interruption of his serenity.

Her eyes narrowed dangerously as she placed both hands on Kenshin's shoulder to shove his body even deeper to her couch, shocking the poor, drunk man to bewilderment.

"You had a fight?" she hissed, her tone dangerously accusing.

Kenshin had to blink a few times, registering the indictment slowly in his alcohol-filled brain. Apparently, at the time when he finally knew what Kaoru was talking about, his eyes had also sent the correct nerve signals to his brain to know that Kaoru was looking dangerously… well, dangerous.

"Sweetheart," he started, still drunk and really having no idea what he was saying. Was it really necessary for him to explain? "It wasn't a fight. More like…"

Kaoru waited impatiently as Kenshin's slow brain processed the words together. After all, interrupting her studying, finding a stinking, drunk Kenshin in front of her doorsteps past midnight, and to learn that he had a fight too boot it all off was all the right ingredients to make Kaoru furious. And indeed, she was not happy.

Kenshin closed his eyes and for a second, Kaoru felt bad for having waking him up. He was obviously tired. And, chances are, it wasn't his choice to get drunk in the first place. Kaoru noticed he wasn't opening his eyes any time soon. He was probably falling to sleep right this instant.

"More like, a one side beating…" He finally finished.

What?

Kaoru didn't like the sound of that.

Obviously, Kenshin was talking about the other man, whoever it was, that was beaten up until a drunken Kenshin was satisfied.

What did the guy do?

Of course, Kaoru was making the assumption that it was a guy. If Kenshin had beaten up a girl…

She didn't even want to go there. Sighing, speculating, she watched as Kenshin blinked furiously to try and keep himself awake.

"What's wrong?" Kaoru asked, leaning in to take a better look at his face. More specifically, at his bruise. This time, she noted that it wasn't too bad. The person, whoever it was, had probably landed nothing but a light punch on his face. But still, it's going to hurt. Probably. She didn't know. It's Kenshin she's talking about here.

"Kiss me, cupcake." Her boyfriend responded, smiling like a drunken fool. Kaoru rolled her eyes.

"Don't call me that." Kaoru bit out. "And I won't kiss you. You smell like… bad cabbage." She said, coming up with the best metaphor in the span of less than two seconds. Kenshin didn't seem too care all that much however. The next instant, he was snoring lightly, his right hand lying limp from the couch, towards the floor. He was heavily drunk. Seriously drunk. Dead drunk.

Staring at his limp form for a few seconds, Kaoru sighed as she gave in and reached out to kiss him on the forehead. He's going to wake up with a hell of a hangover tomorrow, and she's got a feeling she would be the one to soothe him out when it happens.

Dejectedly, Kaoru walked over to one of her shelves, taking out her bottle of aspirin and placing it beside her couch, easily reachable for Kenshin to retrieve the moment he woke up. Then, never missing out the small details, Kaoru also prepared for him a gigantic cup of water. He's going to need those two scientific miracles in the morning.

After observing that section of her room with much skepticism and detail, she dived in for her cell-phone. The first person she's going to victimize is Sanosuke.

At the fifth dial tone (much to Kaoru's impatience), he picked up. Kaoru's eyes narrowed at the sound of his voice. He didn't sound drunk.

"Who the hell is this?" He barked to the phone, clearly not happy with the interruption. Kaoru resisted the urge to snap at him. Instead, she went straight down to business.

"You made Kenshin drink? Who in their right minds would let Kenshin drink on a weekday? Do you want me to bang your head on my apartment wall everyday for the rest of your life?" So she did snap at him. Who cares.

She could imagine Sano grimacing at the other end of the line, but she really could care less.

"Jou-chan, it's a guys' night out thing…"

"You guys have been doing this stupid 'night out thing' since god knows when. Don't pull this as an excuse. Kenshin was never drunk on any of those previous nights." She interrupted smartly.

Sano made a move as if he was about to say something, but Kaoru knew that it was only going to be more excuses. The problem was, she didn't have time for excuses. She needed to study. Or sleep. Whichever it was, it certainly did not involve having a certain rooster yapping at her ears.

"Why was Kenshin drunk?" She had literally spat out those words. She rolled her eyes when she heard Sano wincing it (yes, she heard it) and waited for his response.

"Well, see here, Jou-chan…" he started, trying to find words that would please Kaoru. Well, his options were very limited as far as both of them could tell. "I have an early meeting tomorrow, and you know me, Lady Fortune just hates me whenever I decided to put at stake some dough on the line for my poker games. And Kenshin being Kenshin…"

Kaoru gasped.

"You let Kenshin drink your share?" She questioned incredulously. Sano tried to remain calm, the best as he could, knowing that the next time he sees Kaoru, his Jou-chan would probably hammer him down till he was nothing but a dwarf.

"I didn't ask him to do it! He asked for it!" He quickly defended himself. "He said that whenever he looses, I'll drink for his stake. And whenever I loose…"

"I can't believe you let him do this." Kaoru shook her head in disbelief, despite the fact that Sano probably couldn't see her. "He's got work early tomorrow morning. You're not the only one having to face a meeting at the break of dawn." Kaoru shot out, striking where it hurts.

And Sano did feel bad. He sighed.

"I know, I know, and I'm sorry. It's just that Aoshi had carpooled Kenshin over, so if he's drunk, he wouldn't have to drive."

"You have to try better than that if you don't want me to fry you up and feed you to the seagulls." Kaoru warned. She could hear Sano "eep-ed" in the distance, and it would have been amusing if she was not so annoyed.

Instead of pursuing the matter however, she decided to steer the conversation slightly to a different direction.

"And what's with the bruise?" She bit out, hoping there was a better explanation for this one.

Sano sighed when he heard this question.

"Long story."

"I've got all night stretched out before me to listen to your tale." Kaoru replied sarcastically. Sano mumbled something incoherent but decided to explain it nonetheless.

"So when half of the guys here were drunk, some of us decided that it pizza time, right?" He paused for Kaoru to make some type of a response, but all she did was nodded. And Sano couldn't see that obviously, so he sighed and continued.

"Well, pizza guy came fifteen minutes later. Kenshin, drunk as he was, decided to open the door. Out came this guy who works with you in that coffee shop," Kaoru was about to interrupt but decided against it. "And he noticed Kenshin. Pizza guy started talking about you, asking how you were doing, how's your school work, how's your life…"

"Yeah, I get the picture. Then what?" Kaoru interrupted, sitting down on her bed. Sano sighed.

"Then he started talking about how lucky Kenshin was to have you or something. Talked about… you know, how hot you were, I guess. Saying something about your ass and all that crap." Kaoru's eyes narrowed dangerously at that. "Well, that pissed the hell out of Kenshin. Pizza guy was seriously quite rude about how he described you anyway, so I didn't really blame Kenshin. Anyway, next thing we knew, pizza guy was screaming like a girl, lying on the concrete floor."

Kaoru's jaw mentally dropped down. After a while, she collected herself. First things first…

"Oh god…" she breathed out. "How bad was he injured?"

At her question, Sano scoffed.

"How the hell should I know? He ran away the next instant. Oh wait, I think he tried to hit Kenshin first. Well, Kenshin's drunk, so he didn't do a very good job at dodging it. But the next punch he gave pizza guy must have hurt."

Kaoru nodded in her shock, but continued on with her questioning.

"Who exactly did Kenshin hit?"

Sano frowned at her question.

"You think I'd give a damn?" He asked. Kaoru rolled her eyes. Should had known better.

"Fine, what did he look like?" She could tell that Sano was concentrating hard to remember.

"Blonde, blue eyed. Medium height, at least taller than Kenshin I think. Some freckles on the cheeks…"

Kaoru gasped and Sano stopped with his descriptions.

"What?" he asked smartly. Kaoru moaned and drew her free hand to her eyes, covering it.

"He attacked James?"

Sano frowned and scoffed at the same time.

"Who the hell is James?"

"My boss' son, you retard!" Kaoru screamed back. "He's the son of the guy who owns the coffee place where I work!"

Sano mumbled a "shit" but didn't say anything after that. Kaoru was just about to rant some more before a groan interrupted her. Telling Sano to hang on, Kaoru glanced at the half-awake, half-asleep Kenshin. He was calling her.

"Kaoru, honey?" He drowned out.

"Yes?" she questioned, moving to be closer to him. Kenshin turned the other way though, so that his back was facing her.

"Pipe down. You're so loud. Could you just please…" here he took a slow, deep yawn, "shut up?"

Kaoru's mouth hanged opened before she resisted the urge to throw her boyfriend out of her apartment. Instead, her rational mind told her that she was being a little too loud. Sighing, she returned back to Sano.

"You do realize I will probably be fired by tomorrow afternoon?"

"Sorry to hear that Jou-chan." He did sound concerned. "But think about it this way, more time to spend with your ever-so-busy boyfriend?" He tried lamely to cheer her up. Kaoru sighed once again.

"Whatever. I think I'll just bury you alive when I see you tomorrow. Until then, you better stay alive and sober." She concluded sarcastically, with the slightest hint of an advice.

"Har har." Sano replied back, with just as much sarcasm. "I'll try to dodge the pile of dirt you'll be throwing at me tomorrow by hiding under my bed."

Kaoru smiled despite herself and told the rooster good night, in which he was all too happy to end the phone call and return back to his poker game.

She sighed, glancing at her textbooks. What the heck, she already knew most of the things for tomorrow's midterm anyway. Spending the night being productive sleeping sounded way more appealing that burrowing her nose under the never-ending pages of her books.

Stretching, she took a deep breath before she made her way to her couch and, of course, her drunk, sleeping boyfriend.

Despite of the fact that due to his actions, she would probably loose her job, she couldn't help but to swell with pride at how much Kenshin would go for her. Sober or drunk, she grumpily added.

So, with happiness bloating inside her stomach, she smiled and reached out to once again kiss Kenshin's forehead.

Perhaps alcohol and Kenshin might not be the best combination in the world, but if that meant that, even when he was half out of this world and half drowned under water, he could still defend her and protect her, Kaoru felt that she could live with that.


Author's Scribbles
Hey! It's been a while since my absence, and I am back! Well, I hope this drabble is good enough. Not really sure, I made it with such limited time... Anyway, hope you guys enjoyed it.

Some things I'd like to say: since I'm planning on being active here on again, I'm looking for a couple beta-readers who can proof-read my writings first before I post it online. If anyone's interested, would you please check out my bio, or just email me at Thanks so much if you decided to do me this humongous favor.

And with that said, wait for the next drabble!

Oh, and reviews do make me happy (hint, hint).


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