Disclaimer: If I owned it, the second OVA wouldn't have been allowed. That said, I obviously don't own it, Nobuhiro-san gets credit for all. I only play with them for fun.

AN: Wow, um… so I haven't written in so long I hope you haven't forgotten about me. Here's the end… I'm not sure if it's worth the wait and I may be tinkering with it, but the writing bug finally bit me and I wanted to get this up. It's short and sweet.

Kokoro Kara

By Lady Callista

Chapter 11 - Ai

OrOoRoOrOoRoOrO

Seduce my mind and you can have my body, Find my soul and I'm yours forever.

OrOoRoOrOoRoOrO

Kaoru slid slowly towards wakefulness, her mind still sluggish. It took her a moment to register the aches of her body, and then another moment to remember their cause. The warmth pressed along her back, cocooning her in the scent of sandalwood and man, helped her remember, and she went unnaturally still. She was more nervous now than she'd been the night before, when her and Kenshin had finally made love. How was she to act around him now? How could she look at him without seeing him naked, with that magnificent body covering hers? How…

"Ohayoo gozaimasu, koishii." A sleep-roughened whisper breezed past her ear. Kenshin had been awake for some time now, relishing the feeling of just being with her. Of holding her in his arms and knowing he could do so again. He'd known she was awake the instant her breathing changed, and wondered why her energy had shifted to nervousness. "Are you alright?"

"Ohayoo. I woke with your arms around me." He heard the smile in her voice, although he still sensed a hesitation. "How could I be anything but wonderful?"

"You feel worried." Kenshin offered gently, sliding the arm that had been around her waist up and down her hip in a gesture meant to sooth. He knew he was being a little intrusive, but after what had happened the night before he felt he had a right to be, since whatever was worrying her probably concerned him as well.

Kaoru took a breath, cursing for the first time his ability to read energy and emotions. The hand that was caressing her hip didn't help her concentrate. "I guess I'm just not sure what to say." She offered finally, knowing he would call her on it.

"About what?" He asked as he dropped a kiss on her shoulder before asking carefully, "Do you wish we had not…"

"Iie." She cut him off and turned in his arms until she could stare into his violet eyes. Eyes that now held caution and concern. Berating herself for putting those emotions there, she caressed his scarred cheek. "I have no regrets. I love you and you made last night beautiful for me. I just never knew I could feel so much… I feel like I'm the happiest person in the world, like I'm flying through the skies and may never come down. But then I think we're not married, so we shouldn't have, but then I don't care because I want to do it again, but then I wonder what you see in me, I mean I'm so young and I didn't really know what I was doing, and then I wonder how I can ever look at you again without seeing you naked, and then I'm back to we shouldn't have, because anyone who sees us together will know by how I look at you, and oh gods just make me stop babbling…" Kaoru wailed the last as she finally realized what she'd been saying and buried her head in his chest.

His chest which was shaking with what could only be laughter. He was laughing at her!

Kaoru lifted her head enough to glare at him, and was about to speak again when he kissed her gently.

"Let me see if I followed all of that." Kenshin said, managing to stop laughing. She'd never been more wonderful to him. "I love you as well, and am glad I could show that to you. If you're flying I'm right there with you, because for not knowing what you were doing you somehow managed to make last night the best night of my life. Anyone who sees us together will see that we love each other, which according to our friends has been obvious for some time now. I enjoy the thought of you picturing me naked," Now Kenshin's grin came back, "because I will be doing the same with you. I would have no objection to repeating what happened last night, as often as you like, and although I wanted to do this in a different way I will put your mind at ease now by asking if you will let me stay here with you, always." His voice grew serious again as he caressed her cheek. "Will you allow to me always love and take care of you? To have a family with you?"

Kaoru's eyes grew huge as her heart lodged in her throat. Although she'd known on one level that they would marry sooner or later, that they were meant to, she'd never been able to erase that grain of doubt that one day he would feel the need to become rurouni again. That one day he would leave her. But if he was willing to take vows…she knew he would never break them. Never leave her. A tear slipped down her face as he whispered to her.

"Kaoru, will you marry me?"

The tears burst forth as she managed to say yes before burying her head in his chest again and sobbing tears of joy.

His arms came around her and held her lovingly.

"I'm sorry." She managed as she pulled away, kissing him softly before adding, "I was just afraid you would never ask me."

"You must forgive me for making you think that." Kenshin replied, then decided to be honest. "I was simply afraid you might say no."

"How could you think that?" Kaoru wasn't sure if she was amused or exasperated, and settled for bopping him gently on the head.

"For the longest time it was because sessha felt no one could love him after what he'd done." He held up a hand before she could yell at him. "You made me see myself in a new light, by seeing me the way you did, but even after we visited Tomoe-dono and began growing closer I was worried. Even after everything you'd said to me, even knowing you loved me, I was afraid. Because my life has never been happy. I was afraid to ask you to marry me because that would make my life perfect, and every time my life has been even close to perfect something has come along and destroyed it."

Kaoru's heart shuddered at the simple words, and she pulled him in until his head pillowed on her chest. His arms wrapped around her and held on. "Your life won't be perfect. No ones life can be. But our lives will be better together than apart, and that is all that matters in the end." She held him for a moment, caressing his hair gently, then asked, "So what gave you the courage to finally ask?"

She felt his grin. "I could hardly allow you to have my child without being married to me."

Laughing now, she hit him softly on the arm. "So on the small chance that one night, one time, got me with child…"

"Ah, but you see, now that I have touched you in this way, I wish to do so again. And often." Kenshin was laughing with her now, the last of his worries chased away by her wise words.

"Not until we're married." She managed to say primly before she melted under the touch of his mouth on her breast. "Well okay, once more."

OoOoOoOoOoO

"I love you not only for what you are, but for what I am when I am with you.

I love you not only for what you have made of yourself, but for what you are making of me.

I love you for the part of me that you bring out."

Elizabeth Barrett Browning

OoOoOoOoOoO

THE END

AN: AHHH!! It's finally up! I'm finally done! I'd like to thank everyone for their kind remarks, their helpful critiques, and their patience.

I'm not sure what I'll be writing next; I've still got a Buffy fic or two to get up here, I have ideas for another Kenshin fic, and I'm thinking of branching out into Inuyasha. Or possibly Furuba. Stay tuned…

Glossary: (alphabetical, if it's in a previous part it will not be here.)

Ai: Love