A/N: Wow, been forever since I updated and I'm really sorry for that. Also, I can't believe we're in the double didgits now :O Amazing! Getting on with it, I don't own RK
Chapter 10 : Spinning
Kaoru yawned as she woke up in the morning, allowing her hands to go above her head as she arched her back, hearing it (with a satisfied smile) pop a few times. But this moment of hazy half-asleep heaven was interrupted as a sudden sound came from her window, causing her to yelp and then fall back into her covers, thankful for not falling off her bed entirely in the surprise.
Now grumbling, she went to investigate the sound to find that something had been stuck to her window. Opening it, she reached her arm to unstick the toy arrow taht had a sucker instead of a pointed edge. Definantly something a five year old would have. But as she turned it, she noticed there was writing on it that said 'Wake up, time for math.'
Groaning, she lifted her head so see a bright blotch of red in the opposite window and grimaced as she saw a waving Kenshin, happily smiling. Oh, how Kaoru hated morning people since she wasn't one herself.
But she didn't have much time to think about this as she saw in his hand a toy gun, which he fired for a second time and she just barely missed the sucker missile as it soared above her head.
"Hey!" She snapped across to him with a growl, hands tightly balled in fists at her sides in irritation.
"Hurry up." Kenshin simply called back as he turned away with gun in hand.
Narrowing her eyes, Kaoru huffed as she went to her closet, throwing on a pair of jean shorts and old shirt before gliding down the stairs, thankful again for not falling. Turning to the noise from the TV she saw Yahiko there with a bowl of cereal as he happily munched along.
"Finally, the monster has come out of her cave." He snickered as she walked past him, Yahiko being able to hear her footsteps on the wooden floor.
"Har, har. You're hilarious." Kaoru only snorted as she continued on to the front door before opening it and going out into the sunlight. As she looked at the driveway, she noticed that her jeep was once again gone, the raven haired teen assuming that Misao had once again hijacked it for her daily coffee run.
Shrugging, she continued on through the short distance to Kenshin's front door and just as she was about to knock, the large door flung open to reveal a still slightly grinning Kenshin.
"You're too happy." Kaoru growled as she crossed her arms over her chest.
"You're just not a morning person." He easily retorted as he turned towards the kitchen.
Not thinking of anything else to say back, as it was the blatant truth, Kaoru only scoffed before changing the subject to, "What did you shoot at me this morning?"
"Oh that?" Kenshin asked innocently as he brought out a pan, "That was Sano's deadly weapon, as he likes to call it. Want breakfast?"
Kaoru's annoyed face bloomed into one of laughing.
Yahiko sighed after he stuck his tongue out at his sister in annoyance as she drove away to park at the other side of the campus. It was weird in how the school was divided in grades, he being a freshman was far away from his senior sister. The only time he really got to see her was during lunch when all the four grades congregated in one giant mob. In actuallity though, he was glad for this. He already had to see her practically every second at home, so he didn't exactly want it at school too.
But leaving those mostly irrelevant thoughts aside, he turned to walk into the school only to be stopped as he saw a big red truck roar in, a petite Tsubame jumped out from the passenger before being thrown her backpack as she giggled at whatever the driver had told her.
Yahiko seemed to be frozen as he noticed her allseeing big brown eyes fall on him, causing her smile to grow the slightest bit more if he wasn't seeing things.
Offering a wavering smile back, that was all she needed as motivation to skip towards him, her hair that she'd styled in pigtails today brushing her shoulders.
"So, I talked to Tae-san, the manager, about giving you the job." She continued to grin as she started walking with him up towards the hallways, so engrossed with Yahiko that she didn't notice a few snickering girls as they passed by the outside locker area.
"What did she say?" Yahiko swallowed, wondering why he was torn for the right answer of being accepted of not.
"He said yes, and that you can start after school today if you want. You'll work Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. If you want to do other days, you'll get paid too, even extra on the weekend." Tsubame chirped just as they saw their homeroom come in sight.
"Cool." The spiky haired teen managed to say in shock, thinking of how it was much easier to get a job here then in the city, no resume needed and no need to ask your age. One of the few perks of living here, he guessed.
"So see you after school? You can ride with me...that is, if you want to." Tsubame asked through a dark curtain of lashes as she looked up at him just as they were about to enter the door.
"Yeah." He agreed before he went in, only to be hit by one of Yutaro's famous spit balls.
"Happy day." Yahiko added to himself as he growled and started stalking to his blond best friend, not noticing how Tsubame had started giggling as she went to her own front row desk.
"I get this!" Kaoru squealed in happiness as she clasped her hands together to hide her wide smile on her face.
"Of course, I'm an awesome teacher. You'll get a B or better if you keep coming to me for help." Kenshin laughed under his breath as he continued with his notes.
"Hey, you've never taken notes before." Kaoru noted as she craned her neck to look at his neat numbers.
"Well your skrippling is inelegable, probably even for you, so i thought one of us needs to take notes that you can understand and actually learn from them."
Kaoru brought her head back to her own paper while muttering a 'smart-ass' comment with a stain of chagrin pink across her cheeks, so intent on trying to clean up her notes that she didn't notice as Kenshin laughed under his breath.
"Hold up man." Sano yanked Kenshin by the collar of his t-shirt before dragging him to the back of the line in practice, at this moment they were doing ladders.
"What?" Kenshin asked in slight annoyance, having been first in line only to be replaced.
"Just wondering how Sunday went for you, I was so busy with sleeping and doing homework so I don't fail classes and I can still play and I forgot to ask in class..."
Kenshin took a step up in the line before saying, "Kaoru came over again for tutoring and we did that for a few hours. Then we went into the backyard and we played for a little, I taught her a trick or two. After that...she went home and I did my English essay." He ended it with a shrug of his boney shoulders.
"Sounds nice." Sano said, Kenshin knowing he wasn't talking about the essay, as he elbowed the shorter of the two in the ribs.
"Yeah, it's kinda weird talking to a girl because I haven't since..." But Kenshin drifted off before he finished, shaking his head before giving a smile.
"I know man." Sano sighed, yet Kenshin didn't hear it as it was his turn for the hard footwork line.
Practice commended as usual, but as everyone ran in, Kaoru felt like her lungs were more on fire then usual.
"Is it me...or is practice...getting harder?" She managed to get out through pants. But the other boys just raised an eyebrow and shrugged, lightly panting themselves.
"It's probably your body not being able to adjust to so much work, telling you to stop." Kenshin explained as he was suddenly at her side, surprisingly not breathless like her at all.
"If you're trying to make me quit, try again." She stated as she straightened and flashed a grin to Kenshin, to which he shrugged off again.
"And Mondays are really pure conditioning." Sano said with a sympathetic smile, remembering how his freshman year he'd aching all over. Sure, Kaoru had played before and was really good, but a boys soccer team was entirely different.
"Alright team, now I have an important announcement. We've been invited to host a scrimmage against a team from some nearby islands. The team is only moderate, not a very important one, but it'll be a good chance to shake off that rust since last year's season. And especially since the season is coming closer and closer, we'll need all the preperation we can get." Hiko ended, pointedly glancing over at Misao who took over.
"Now, they'll be arriving on Wednessday and our game will be Thurday afternoon, and we'll be trying to publisize it in school to get everyone pumped for the upcoming season. We don't want any last minute requritments, just support because when a game's tight that's what can sometimes pull a team through." She explained in a cheery voice, ending it with a smile.
"And where will they be staying?" Sano asked as he stuck his pinkie in his ear, making Kaoru blanch.
"I was actually going to ask Kaoru." Misao sent her best friend a glimmering smile that made Kaoru how groan. Of course, with her now huge house it'd be practically like a hotel.
"Sure, but I don't have any beds and there's only the hotsprings." Kaoru reminded, hoping that this would discourage the decision.
"Oh, they don't mind. As long as they have a roof over their head. They've actually slept on the beaches back home quite a few times too, so they've gone through worse."
"And how do you know all this?" Kaoru wasn't going to let this go too soon.
"Cause I already told them that, talked to them. That's what managers do." She chirped.
"And I'm sure you've already said that they're staying there, haven't you?"
"...ahehe..." Misao drifted off as her smile wavered a little. Kaoru knew her too well.
"Fine. Whatever. But I'm not cooking for them, they're gonna get instant ramen." The raven haired teen sighed.
"Good, I don't want them to get poisoned." Misao said without thinking, throwing a hand over her mouth a second later as her already big eyes widened.
Kaoru, so tired from practice, could only weakly growl in bluff.
Yahiko gulped, ran a hair through his gravity-defying hair, before getting up from his seat on the locker bench, slinging his bag over his shoulder in one fluid motion.
"Hey, wanna come over?" Yutaro asked as he was getting up too, having just finished yanking off his dirty shoes from cross-country, the sport both he and Yahiko were in for this trimester.
"Sorry man, gotta go work." Yahiko awkwardly laughed, but only suceeded in making Yutaro's eyebrows furrow.
"Well, guess there's nothing I can do about that. See you tomorrow." The blond offered a wave over his shoulder before he was gone in a flash, leaving a slightly desolate Yahiko behind.
Groaning, he started walking out too, thinking about all the video games he'd just given up on along with any food he wanted since Yutaro had a private chef. Yet those thoughts were run off course as he saw a hand waving in front of his face, making him stop in a startle.
"Zoning out?" Tsubame asked him with a shy smile.
"Yeah." Yahiko forced a laugh again to cover his embarrassment.
"My brothers do that a lot too, I think I'm the only one who hasn't inheritated it in my family." She continued to gush, making Yahiko feel a little more comfortable as he nodded in agreement.
"So speaking of my brothers, one of them is going to pick us up today. And don't let him bully you, he's like a big dog. Looks frightening at first, but is really just a puppy at heart."
The teen didn't have much time to dwindle on this because the same big red truck that had dropped Tsubame off this morning came barreling back. As Yahiko finally got a good look at the truck, his eyes widened in recognition. So when he opened the passenger door and saw the older teen's face, he wasn't so surprised he couldn't say,
"Hey Sano." Through a croocked smile.
"This is the new worker ya were talking about?" Sano asked Tsubame with a raised eyebrow.
"Yes, since you don't seem to work at all." She shot back as she sqeazed closer to her brother, motioning with her arm for Yahiko to jump up too. He succeeded, glad that he had enough bounce to get up since it was very high and he didn't like to admit it, but he was a little below the average in height.
"Hope you've been treating my sister nice. If you're anything like your sister, you might be a little bipolar in anger and happiness." Sano commented as he turned on his blinker to get out of the now jam packed parking lot with freshman parents that were very wary of both Sano's giant, almost monster, truck and his insane driving habits.
"I couldn't agree more, and I take pride in being different from her." Yahiko snorted in amusement that he wasn't the only person who thought she had a personality problem.
"I bet she's much nicer then you guys make her out to be." Tsubame pouted as she crossed her thin arms, making her rub shoulders with Yahiko in the process.
"You haven't met her yet." Yahiko laughed back, glad he had the excuse of just having run six miles in cross-country to use as a ready cover for having slightly painted cheeks.
"So, are you ready to welcome the new arrivals?" Misao gushed as she hopped next to Kaoru down the halls after class, the taller teen heading towards her locker and then to practice.
"Why are you so happy? I thought you only had eyes for your precious Iceberg." Kaoru snorted as she threw in her Enviormental Science book to grab her Calculus one. She held down a groan as she thought of all the problems she'd have to do tonight.
"That's why I AM happy, I got to sit next to him in English." She leaned up to whisper in Kaoru's ear, to which she only hummed at. "PLUS there was a pair assignment so we had to put our desks close together, it was fanTASTIC!" She squealed the last two syllables, causing Kaoru's eyes to widen at the high frequency poured directly into her ear.
"Well good for you." Kaoru noted as she rubbed her ear to try and get the ringing to subside.
"How's things with Cinnamon?" Misao asked, using their nickname for Kenshin.
"Eh, I'm not trying to kill him if that's what you mean. I really feel bad about being so hostile to him now, he's a nice guy."
"Go on..." Misao encouraged with a hidden laugh.
"Well, he's really helped me out in math and so I think I'll be soon passing and so I'll be able to play soccer. He also taught be a few tricks, very generous. Plus he's an awesome cook." Kaoru grinned widely.
"FanTASTIC." Misao repeated as she allowed her laugh to finally surface from her glossed lips.
"So...that's them over there?" Sano asked as looked across the field to the group of mystery boys as he sat down next to Kenshin on their own side of the grass, both of them strapping on their shin guards.
"I guess. I haven't really meet them before either you know." The red head answered as he finished with his left shin guard, continuing by unrolling his long golden socks from last year.
"Those guys DO have some intense tans and bleached hair though...I wish the ocean was closer to us." Sano sighed.
"It's only three hours." Kenshin snorted as he put on his first sock.
"For them I bet they literally do LIVE on it like Misao said yesterday. I bet they get to surf everyday...God! I'm SO jealous!" The lanky teen continued to rant as if he hadn't heart his best friend at all, making Kenshin chuckle as he put on his other sock.
"Well if that's the case, they maybe they won't be so good at soccer and we can beat them easy." Kenshin joked as he slipped on his specially cleated shoes for soccer.
"Getting cocky are we?"
At the feminine voice, both Sano and Kenshin looked over their shoulder to find Kaoru behind them with hands on her thin hips, ready for practice.
"No, just being hopeful." Kenshin smiled as he started tightening his laces.
"Hn. I haven't played a game in a while. I'm almost nervous." Kaoru said as she sat crouched down next to Sano, not wanting to get her long black shorts dirty on the ground.
"You should be, this isn't a girl's game." Sano said as he got up, clapping a hand to her back before going off to talk to the other members of the team.
"What's he talking about? Soccer is soccer." Kaoru questioned over to Kenshin who got up himself, dusting off his similar black shorts of dust.
"Well, girls are...let's just say they follow the rules more."
"And boys don't?" She continued to ask with now crossed arms.
"Only when the ref is watching." He grinned devilishly before he was off, leaving Kaoru to blink at where he once stood before she turned around to follow him where everyone was already congregating around Hiko.
"Now, we will be using only half of the field today so that the other team can use it too." He explained with an impassive face as usual.
Kaoru only shrugged this away, not having much time to think about how they'd be sharing the field before Kenshin barked at the team to line up and start the laps, Kaoru sighing as she took her place of dead last, knowing to now show respect in her spot on the team since the first day when she'd sprinted ahead and tried to overtake Kenshin.
As she rounded the first corner of the side where the islanders were starting to stretch and get ready, her eyes widened as she took in how tall and built they were, her wondering if she weighed at least half of any one of them. One in particular, who she could only guess was six three, saw her quick stare and gave her a glittering smile. Looking away with a light blush, not used to such open fliration, Kaoru continued on with running.
Practice continued on without any other events, although Kaoru began to feel bitter to the newcommers because, since they'd taken up half the field, Hiko had decided that they wouldn't do their usual practices and would rather do more conditioning and then straight shooting, something that Kaoru found boring in practice when they could be doing something all together.
Yet as always, practice came to an end, it being a short hour because Hiko wanted everyone to keep their strength for tomorrow.
As everyone was dissmissed, Kaoru sighed as she stripped off her muddly shoes, socks, and then shin guards, allowing her toes to flex a few times in their rejuvinated freedom. Sighing in relief, Kaoru lied back on her back and looked up to see some grey clouds in the sky. Looked like it was going to rain yet again, like it did practically every other night around here. She liked it, not only because of the clean smell but because it made everything green and lush.
"So, ready Kaoru?" Misao asked as she oddly looked down at her sprawled best friend.
"For what?" She questioned in a drawn-out tone as she got up.
"To welcome our guests." She giggled as she extended an arm to the group of fourteen boys who had started to walk from their side of the field to theirs.
Suddenly feeling the prickle of hairs on her neck, Kaoru had to force a smile as she waved the boys over to her and Misao, finding with a sigh of relief that Hiko had come to stand behind them to welcome them also. It was nice to have a giant on her side. She was also surprised as she saw Kenshin and Sano appear on the either side of her and Misao, thinking as an afterthought of how they were acting as bodyguards.
"Yo, yo." The one who had smiled at Kaoru greeted first as he raised a hand, that same glittering smile plastered on his tanned face.
"Welcome to Meiji. I'm the manager Misao, this is Coach Hiko, and these are players Kaoru, Kenshin, and Sano. It's very nice to meet you." Misao rushed to introduce everyone with a smile.
"You're a player?" Another tall player blinked as he pointed at Kaoru.
"Yes." Kaoru said as she lifted her head, wishing that she was taller so that they wouldn't have to look down at her to such a degree.
"Anyway," Misao interrupted, "You all will be staying at Kaoru's house tonight and tomorrow night after the game too."
"Sounds good. Before I forget, my name's Izanagi and I'm the captain, our coach is coming tomorrow if you're wonderin. Everyone else here is..." His rich voice continued on to name the other thirteen boys on the team.
"Hey, where do we shower? I stink." One of them, Kaoru already forgot his name, said as he took his shirt off right there to smell his armpit, making both Misao and Kaoru gag and Sano to hold down a laugh at their reactions. Obviously since these boys had lived their entire lives by the beach, they were perfectly content to be constantly half naked.
"You can take it in the lockers here or wait till you get to my house, there's hot springs in a little behind my house." Kaoru managed to find her voice and put on her smile again.
"Sounds nice." Izanagi said as he rubbed his chin with enlightened blue eyes, "How about it boys? Wait for the hot-springs, yeah?"
"Ya-Ha!" They answered in chorus, and Kaoru couldn't help but giggle as it reminded her of her overenthusiastic brother.
After Kaoru drove up her driveway and put her jeep in park, she got out and turned around to see that the van that carried all the visiting team had followed her along the entire way successfully.
"Why are they here again?" Yahiko drawled as he got out himself, Misao popping out from the passenger side.
"Because there isn't a hotel around here and it's only right to offer the people you're playing a place to stay. It's morals Yahiko, I thought I taught you some during your lifetime." Kaoru snorted.
"Yeah, yeah. I'm gonna go eat and then I'm going out." He shrugged off, glad that he had already taken a shower in the locker room so that he wouldn't have to go to the hot-springs with fourteen complete strangers who were all older, bigger and so stronger, than him. He was also almost glad that he had work tonight.
"We-HO!" Izanagi whistled as he got out of the van first, being the driver himself.
"Nice place ya got here." He continued to say as the others agreed in their own way.
"Thanks, I just moved here. The hot-springs are just a little behind my backyard, you should see a path. Once you're done, come on in and I'll have dinner ready."
"What a nice little girlie you are!" The first boy who ran walked past her said, making Kaoru roll her eyes as she went into the house.
Deciding to take a shower later, she changed into some simple shorts and t-shirt before bounding down the stairs. Just as she started opening the cabinet doors to see how much ramen she had left, her phone that she'd pocketed started to vibrate and ring.
Looking at it, her eyebrows lightly furrowed as she didn't recognize the number. But she still flipped it over and answered with a, "Hello?"
"Kaoru?" The voice on the other side questioned.
"Yes...this is her. Whose this?" She questioned herself hesitantly.
"Kenshin. Mind if I come over to help you cook?"
Kaoru 's eyebrows furrowed as she said, "But they're only going to get ramen."
"I thought I'd help you cook something for them. I think they deserve more then instant food for their long travel, don't you think?" He asked.
Kaoru sighed, knowing that she needed to become more hospitable, "Alright, sure. That'd be great."
"Ok, be over in a minute. Literally."
"Thanks, you're a lifesaver." She ended herself but a sudden thought made her say, "And where did you get this number?"
"Huh? Misao." He answered truthfully before saying bye, Kaoru grimacing as she should have known it was her best friend's doing who was currently in her room doing homework.
True to his word, Kenshin arrived a minute later with arms full of ingredients for many dishes.
"You know...I'm not very good at cooking. That's why I made a point of saying I wouldn't do it for them." Kaoru admitted as she watched him take out a knife to cut up some vegetables.
"I already knew that." He answered with a small smile.
"Yahiko." He answered with her brother's name, making Kaoru curse under her breath. Of course it'd been that little snitch who was lying not too far away on the couch, lazily flipping through the ten channels as he slurped ramen.
"Hey, finish cutting these vegetables up for me?" Kenshin broke her from her murdering thoughts.
"Ah...you sure? You're not scared I'm going to stab you accidentally...?" Kaoru was wary as he offered the knife to her.
"Come on, I know you're not that bad."
"It's you funeral." She said with a smile that Kenshin returned easily.
It wasn't long before the boys finished their baths and came through the front door again, their sun highlighted hair now weighted down with water. As they smelled the delicious aroma of cooking, the immideatly went to the kitchen and living room area, finding in glee many ready dishes and even more coming out from Kenshin and Kaoru who were absently chatting and cooking at the same time in the kitchen.
With vigor, the boys all grabbed plates and chopsticks before sitting along the long wooden table and whole-heartedly digging in just as Yahiko got up to leave for work, glad that he didn't have to stay yet again so he wouldn't get showered in food since they were all fairly messy eaters.
"Whew, that was good." The boys said together as they patted their full bellies after scraping clean every dish. So much for leftovers, Kaoru thought at the sight.
"Glad you liked it." Kaoru beamed at the compliment, overly proud in how she'd made, ok helped, with making something not only edible, but tasted good.
"So...what're you doing here again? Don't you have a house of your own?" One of the boys, Mitsuru if Kaoru was correct, asked to Kenshin.
"Me? I was just helped Kaoru here with making dinner. It's hard to do by yourself when you have so many to cook for." Kenshin easily laughed off the slight hostility behind the boy's words. "And anyway, I live close by." He understated.
"So are you guys, what, going out?" Another asked with a smirk.
At the breezy statement, Kaoru went beet red. Having never gone out with anyone, and her only guy friend being Sojiro, she wasn't used to joking questions like this. Kenshin, on the other hand, simply blinked before laughing again.
"No, no. We're just friends." He gave the truthful explination as he got up to put his plate in the sink and then start doing the dishes.
"I'm gonna go help him." Kaoru managed to smile again as she collected the boy's plates around her and hurried to the kitchen, and so missing the snickering around the table of teens.
They started the chore in silence, the sloshing of water being the only sound yet it did nothing to penetrate the slightly heavy air around the teammates.
"Those guys really have big mouths, don't they?" Kenshin joked as they started washing the dishes, him washing while Kaoru dried.
"Yeah. In both talking and eating." She extended the joke, "Thanks a lot for helping me cook. I don't think they'd take too kindly to be 'poisoned' as Misao put it so nicely."
At that, Kenshin lightly laughed and that awkward air dissipated.
Finishing the dishes quickly, since the other boys came to help after a few more minutes, Kenshin waved goodbye before walking towards his house. Kaoru then turned to the fourteen visitors and directed them each to their rooms, only a few having to pair up since there was a total of fifteen room, and with Yahiko, Kaoru, and Misao each taking up a room, that left twelve empty places.
"Goodnight." Kaoru called to the last person who she had to show a room, sighing in relief as she trudged up to her room were she opened it and threw herself down on her bed. But when she landed on something not exactly soft like she'd expected, she yelped and rolled over.
"Sorry Kaoru." Misao apologized as she appeared from under the blankets.
"Misao?! What're you doing? Shouldn't you be in YOUR room?" Kaoru lightly growled as she rubbed her soar tailbone that she'd just landed on.
"In a house full of boys, I'm kinda scared actually."
"They're not going to jump you in the night." Kaoru sighed with a small smile. Countless times during the time they'd known each other Misao had run to Kaoru for safety, dispite the fact that she was a full fledged ninja and probably had more skill in bringing down someone or dealing with something more then Kaoru. But the older girl didn't mind the least, actually enjoyed it since Yahiko was so independent that he barely ever relied on her. It was a nice feeling to be needed.
"Still, there was one just a wall away from me and a boy whose name I don't even know. Please Kaoru?" She clasped her small hands in front of her as if she was praying to God himself.
"Fine, fine." Kaoru sighed and added, "And you call yourself a ninja."
"Hey! Even with all my skills, I'm a heavy sleeper."
"I thought you all were light sleepers?"
"...We're suppose to be." Misao blushed in chagrin.
Kaoru quietly laughed at her friend, knowing that this was probably the only thing she lacked in the ancient arts that had been passed down in her family for generations.
"Okay, big day tomorrow. Need to go to bed now." Kaoru informed as she felt sleep tug at her eyes again.
"What about you Calculus homework?" Misao asked as she tilted her head.
"And what about taking a bath?" Misao reminded too, the short teen having done her own when they were all eating.
"Well, I guess I'll just fail Calculus and stink up the bed. Maybe that will discourage you from sleeping with me all the time!" Kaoru announced before pouncing on an unexpecting Misao who squealed and tried to get out of the way, but found it too late as Kaoru landed on her.
A/N: I made an RK OC?! :le gasp: actually it's a whole group, but they'll only last till next chapter anyway XD Hope you liked, reviews are nice although I don't blame you if you don't in retaliation for me not updating in forever D: