CHAPTER 16: THE END?
Kenshin fumed in anger, the truce was a complete bull. He repeatedly strode the carpeted floor of his office while looking at the helpless face of Enishi and the disappointed stare of Tomoe.
"I'm sorry Ken-san, I never thought she'll disagree." Enishi started.
"What made you think I'll cooperate in the first place Enishi?"
Tomoe hissed back. It was an absurd idea. Why would they think she'll do their stupid truce? She wasn't even 100% sure she likes the idea of letting Kenshin go. Five years is five years, feelings don't just evaporate, in fact they never do.
Kenshin walked towards Tomoe and stopped to sit down adjacently at Enishi.
"Why?" Kenshin asked Tomoe. It was rhetorical of course, then he continued to speak.
"I like Kaoru. I'm not saying it'll be easy afterwards but without her thinking about you, I, at least have some leverage on the matter."
Enishi was getting more alarmed by the second. He was sensing doubt in Tomoe. Was she still ain't over him?
Tomoe looked at Kenshin intently.
"Enishi can you leave for awhile?"
Enishi bowed and excused himself from the room.
Tomoe instantly left her seat and went over the window. She doesn't like to look at Kenshin face- to-face when she reveals how she feels, how she STILL feels. She's too ashamed to tell him the truth. It's embarrassing after all those efforts he did just to bring her back and now would it be too late to win him back?
"I still love you Kenshin" She whispered but Kenshin heard.
"How can you throw away five years? Just because I questioned your intent to marry, doesn't mean I brushed everything else in that little glitch."
Kenshin stepped closer to Tomoe. He didn't know that there was this side of the scenario. IT was getting complicated and choosing was not supposed to be in the picture, only letting go.
"I don't understand. I thought you already chose Akira." He replied.
"And knowing that, you hurriedly find a replacement for me?" She asked with too much hurt. This was their case unclosed. She hoped it was never going to close, at least not yet.
"She was not a replacement Tomoe, you know that!" Kenshin gripped her shoulders and slightly shook her.
"I didn't know Kenshin!" She shouted.
"I didn't know you were having sessions with my sister on top of your car chatting the night away! I didn't know you were charming her, luring her to your charms acting like her goddamn brother! I didn't know."
Kenshin stood in silence. Tomoe was trying to stop crying but she couldn't.
All those revelations, the kept feelings, they were too much to bear. Five years ago they were each others' world. They were the perfect pair. People envied them. He didn't even know where they ended and where Kaoru begun. There was no transition. No proper ending and it was both their fault.
But why is that, knowing everything, he only wants one ending? He wants to appease Tomoe but that's as far as it can get. He can't picture her in the future anymore, but someone else. Someone who he thinks stole his heart so abruptly he's loosing his mind.
"Can I still rob you Ken? Can I still try to win you back? I won't let you go without a fight, I'm sorry." Tomoe said.
Then, she embraced Kenshin firmly and kissed him, kissed him like how she did five years ago, kissed him like how she's planningl for next five years and more.
Enishi was smoking a cigar just outside Kenshin's room. He doesn't want to side on any side. The rules are different now. It was Tomoe verus Kaoru now and he's not going to meddle. The only thing he can do is try to lighten the blow to whoever the target will be. He's just hoping that no blow will be too harsh to tend or heal and praying so hard that the blow will not shatter years of trying to build the family they have all come to love.
He looked at his surrounding before throwing his cigar. He heard somebody closing in so he killed the remaining light of his cigar then ran hurriedly to the door.
What he saw shocked him.
"What are you doing here, Kao?" He asked.
Kaoru raised an eyebrow before creasing them, "Shouldn't I be the one asking? What are you doing here guarding Kenshin's door like a dog?"
Kaoru continued to walk towards the room but Enishi kept blocking. They where trying to outwin each other with their stares. Kaoru back a little so Enishi relaxed his stance. Kaoru saw it as an opening and leaped towards the knob and made it through.
Enishi wasn't able to stop her so instead shouted, "Kaoru, you can't!"
Kaoru confidently continued her strides and said beamingly, "I'm just going to give this report. That's not harmful now, is -----" She saw Kenshin and Tomoe kissing before she was able to continue her sentence, " ------it"
The two broke off.
"I think you're busy at the moment, let me get back to you in an hour, if that's enough I mean."
Kaoru hurriedly went out of the room as fast as she can. IF possible, she wanted out of their life as well. So, this was how Tomoe felt when she saw "that" scenario --- excruciatingly painful. Funny how feelings create illusions, she's not even attached to the man and yet she feels something confusing. She's not jealous, honestly, not at all. But what she felt was more than that. She felt betrayed, on what grounds, she has no idea.
Kaoru spent the whole day wandering around without destination until night came. She parked her car on the side of the road where they, Kenshin and her, usually stopped by for a careless chit-chat without her even realizing what she was doing.
She has reminded herself over and over that Kenshin was chaos yet now she was caught in that whole whirlpool of his world. There shouldn't be any confusion on her part, that was what she was telling herself for weeks and yet somewhere where she remove all inhibitions speak a low voice of appreciation and admiration for him. Yet knowing all of these, she just couldn't -- wouldn't do something to hurt anybody, especially not Tomoe. Seeing how her sister almost threw herself to him, it was pretty obvious what she was trying to do.
Kaoru went out of her car and sat on the hood crossed legs and slightly laid her back on the dashboard. Looking out to the sky, she cried while talking to it.
"You are impossible. You held the shiniest of stars and now there's no way you can let it go. I am just an observer --- always am, always be."
She cried another minute before wiping her face.
"And you know what, there's a part of me wanting, hoping, believing on that impossibility. "
With that, she went back and drove herself home.
Enishi was warily waiting for Kaoru to come back. She doesn't have to say anything and yet he knew how much pain she was in right now. She was the kid who'll take it all in. The kid who likes to play the little miss damsel in distress or the poor Cinderella without wanting to wait for her Prince Charming to come.
He made himself another cup of coffee, making it six cup in a row.
The clock ticked 1:00 am when he heard Kao's car. He hurriedly opened the door and saw a disoriented Kaoru. He hugged her so tightly and Kaoru wept like a cow in his arms --- a cute little cow. They stood there until there were no tears she could afford to shed. She kissed her forehead, picked her up and carried her upstairs to her bed. He tucked her to bed and stayed until he heard her stable breathing before heading out and making a call.
"Hello. Yes, this is me. You're my last chance." Enishi whispered in a very controlled voice.
"Listen to my directions and listen well. Take her. Take her far away for until God knows when. Do you hear me?" He hung the phone and breathed laboriously.
"SHIT" He shouted and threw the phone on the wall.