*laughs maniacally* This idea came to me after that one reality show that has three people being handcuffed together (two guys, one girl) for a fixed amount of time and... well... This may turn hentai in subsequent chapters, but for now... it's clean!
Disclaimers: Rurouni Kenshin belongs to Watsuki-sama and Shounen Jump. It certainly doesn't and will never belong to me. So there.
The Handcuff Chronicles--
Megumi's face went through the color spectrum so quickly Kaoru was afraid that she might pass out from shock. First white, then greenish, and finally it was bathed in crimson. "What... what..." Sanosuke was faring no better either; his mouth was opening and shutting like a halibut out of water.
Saitoh coolly puffed on his cigarette. "Talk often?"
It was the gangster's turn to go all red. "Is this some kind of joke you policemen do to pass the time?!?" He was babbling, but no one could miss the bright flush that lingered on his cheeks. Sanosuke took a step closer and reached out for Saitoh's collar, but the ex-Shinsengumi was too quick for him. He grabbed Sanosuke wrist in a death grip, bending it backwards almost to the point of fracture.
"As I was saying..." He took a long drag while efficiently making Sanosuke wince in pain, "This is one of the only ways that we can control citizens that are less than... model." Saitoh glared at Sanosuke on the last word, which evoked a scowl from the gangster.
"So..." Kenshin tried to hide a grin with the back of his hand. "And that's the best excuse you can come up with?"
Megumi had finally composed herself and smoothed down the folds of her smock. Thank God she was sitting down. "That will be enough Hajime...san." She frowned at how proper she sounded, after all, the name felt foreign to her lips. It was certainly a change from "you dumb cop!"... She just couldn't get used to the fact that Saitoh Hajime was now the police chief and would be answering all the calls for trouble in Tokyo.
For better and for worse.
Saitoh released his hold on Sanosuke's arm, and for that Sano hissed. "You bastard..."
Megumi closed her eyes and tried to make sense of the situation. "Now start again. No, wait. What is the real reason?" She was staying surprising calm under the circumstances, and she didn't know how it was possible.
A smile (or as close to a smile as possible) slinked over Saitoh's face. "Because it would be amusing."
That's it. "This is ridiculous!! What makes you think you can—" Sanosuke and Kenshin pulled back at the suddenness of her outburst, Kaoru was obviously startled, but Saitoh held his usual calm. Megumi settled on a weak finish, "—ruin people's lives like this?" Megumi became aware of the unwanted redness pervading her face, and the look on Sanosuke's face was making her lose all track of what she wanted to say next. Saitoh's smirk just grew bigger.
Sanosuke stepped in. "I'm not going to agree to this because..." His eyes darted to where the doctor was breathing heavily from shouting. His eyes grew distant for a moment, then they gleamed with a different light. "I don't want to... see her face first thing in the morning."
"Likewise, you idiot."
Kaoru and Kenshin both exchanged knowing glances, grinning happily. It was painfully apparent, the two harbored something for each other, maybe love, maybe not. Whatever they thought they had, they would deny it with their dying breaths. This came to mind the legend of the husband and wife in Kyoto, the man came home from the barber shop and said that his beard was trimmed. The wife argued that it was merely clipped. The husband got mad and dragged his wife to the river, arguing back and forth the whole time that it was trimmed and not clipped. He shoved his wife's head under the water and demanded that his wife say it is trimmed. Her last dying movement was to raise her hand above the water and move her forefinger and middle finger in a scissor-like motion, indicating that it had been clipped.
Megumi laughed at the story, but Sanosuke confidently said that the fox would be the type to do that. She retaliated by saying that a husband like Sano would force her to jump in the river of her own choosing. Thus began another of their verbal combats, adding another piece of the puzzle. If this scheme was pulled off, who knows what it would do for their "relationship with benefits".
Saitoh shook his head mockingly, eyes narrowing and his lips pulled taunt. "Of course you wouldn't want to see your lady's face, right Zanza?"
Sanosuke glared at him. "And what the hell is that supposed to mean?" His voice had gone deadly soft. Sanosuke no longer cared about that backhanded "lady" comment, the focus of his anger was on the use of his alias. Zanza. Saitoh Hajime was venturing into dangerous territory, but kept plodding right along. Nearly everyone in the room all fervently hoped that the "chief" knew what he was doing.
"Counting all the misdemeanors committed while you were operating under the assumed name of 'Zanza', there was disturbing the peace..."
"...I can explain that..."
"Trying to overthrow the Meiji government..."
Saitoh stopped counting the crimes off on his fingers and sneered at Sanosuke. "And basic public mayhem." Saitoh really had unorthodox ways of containing so called menaces to society.
Megumi didn't understand what the two were discussing, it seemed like everyone in the room knew what was going on except her. She knew that Zanza was a feared gangster... The similarities were so obvious, but she had never sat down and thought about it until Kenshin had told her one day. Sanosuke is Zanza? Of course! The jacket with evil... the red bandanna... how could I have missed that?
She realized at that point that he had a past just like her, and for that she felt it in her honor to defend Sanosuke. After all, he would do the same for her... right? "If I recall correctly Hajime-san, you have some skeletons in your closet as well, so I don't see where—"
"Takani Megumi, daughter of Takani Ryuusei, a prominent doctor in Aizu... opium trafficking and production."
"Involvement with a crime lord..."
"Endangerment of public safety..."
Sanosuke must have seen the clenched knuckles that Megumi tried to hide. The fact that Saitoh used unwanted memories from her past to achieve his purposes made her angry. Why not let sleeping demons lie? The gangster went for a second shot at Saitoh, eyes gleaming. No one tried to stop him.
"What do I have to do?" Megumi's voice was barely above a whisper.
Saitoh rubbed his face from where Sanosuke punched him, more annoyed than hurt by it. "What we discussed earlier. That's all."
"And it's for how long?"
"Only two weeks."
"What about my patients?"
"Dr. Genzai can take care of them."
"You're... serious!" Kenshin goggled wide-eyed and couldn't help but note that he had never seen Sanosuke this uncomfortable in his life. By the way Sanosuke always acts so cool all the time, it was hard to believe that he was only 19. The situation had him so out of character he almost laughed. No matter the mortification now, this would do them good in the long run.
In more ways than one too...
The room had one of those silences again. Since her declaration, Megumi couldn't help but wonder at certain things that Sanosuke should be doing by now. Where were the grins? The smirks and jokes? This was a different Sanosuke, an embarrassed Sanosuke. She didn't dare say it, and felt odd just thinking it, but this might actually be fun...
"Fox... what's the deal with... those?!?" Megumi didn't realize why Sanosuke looked ready to faint until she felt her face and head. Kaoru and Kenshin looked utterly scandalized.
My God. I'm smiling! And I've got... fox ears!!!
Saitoh turned towards the door. "I'll come back in a day. I suggest that you two enjoy your last few moments of... freedom."
After he had left, no one spoke for a few seconds until Kaoru broke the silence with her shrill whine. "F-F-F-Freedom?!? Does he think that being with a woman is... like being a slave?" Kenshin braced himself for the hit that was certain to come soon, even if he was undeserving of it.
Sanosuke snorted. "Damn straight..." Megumi and Kaoru both promptly thumped him on the head.
When the imminent hit from Kaoru didn't come, Kenshin resumed sloshing the tea around in its pot and poured himself a small cup. "It's hard to believe that he's married..." The other three occupants of the room went whiter than the sheets that he washed twice a week.
Megumi spoke first. "I'd rather be married to this idiot than that... that... beast."
"Careful doc, you might make me think you like me."
"You've got a face only a mother would love!"
"The same can't be said for you, fox!"
Kaoru smiled. "Calm down you two, you'll have enough time for that when you're... you know..." The fighting duo stopped long enough to look at the floor, the blood collecting in their faces. Kaoru grinned, then grabbed Kenshin's arm. "Well, we'll be going now, Kenshin..."
After Kaoru and Kenshin had gone, another uncomfortable quiet spell fell over the room. Megumi assumed that it was because once they were interrupted in a spat, there wasn't much meaningful conversation that could follow. "Poor guy, he's so henpecked..." Yes, she could try meaningful conversation for once. They could at least try that before tomorrow came.
Sanosuke didn't try to hide his sneer. "I'd rather be henpecked by..." His eyes lost their light and he paused. "... by..."
The devilish light flashed in his eyes again. "... by you, of course!" He made a suggestive move with his hand while Megumi flared. "But then again, I'll have plenty of time to win you over. What was that, two weeks?" He paused to see the effect on the doctor. She was ready to explode. Sanosuke wisely choose the time to start leaving the room before she had the chance to beat him senseless. "You'll be putty in my hands by the time two weeks goes by. Bye... fox." With a cocky, lopsided smile, he exited.
By the time she realized what he was saying , Sanosuke had already left and shut the door. "P-Putty?!? You stupid..." So, the truth comes out: Saitoh did this to make her life miserable. The rest of them thought that their smirks weren't obvious; they were enjoying watching her suffer.
She cringed. Spending two weeks, alone, with Sanosuke would have been enough to make any girl want to...
Jump in a river.
And what's even worse, the circumstances were... mortifying to say the least.
Megumi sighed. This was going to be a long fortnight...
"Kaoru-dono, are you sure that it's all right to drop in on them like this? I mean..." Kenshin looked at her from beneath amused eyes.
Kaoru shook her head. "It'll be ok. I don't think they'll mind. Besides, I'm worried about them. Who knows what... will happen..."
"Who? Where are we going?" Yahiko noticed that they had been wandering aimlessly about Tokyo for the three hours now, and then they were finally headed in the direction of Megumi's clinic. He was getting irritated that Kenshin and Kaoru obviously knew something that he didn't. "Hey ugly, where are we going?"
Kaoru seemed to inflate to twice her size until Kenshin stepped in. "We're going to see Sanosuke and Megumi-dono."
"Why, is he sick?" He was oblivious.
Kenshin laughed while Kaoru shook her head with a predatory grin. "You'll see." They were not in the clinic, but most likely in the other room that was sectioned off. Those were Megumi's living quarters. This way, she could be up at a moment's hesitation in case a patient would come calling at any hour of the night. Kaoru held her ear to the screen. Silence. "Megumi-san? Sanosuke?"
"We're coming in..." Kenshin slid the door about 2 inches before he heard a scream.
"Get off me!!! Off! Now!"
"Aw, c'mon fox..."
The voice, Megumi's voice, rose several octaves. "Certainly not! Ken-san and Kaoru are here..."
"... a... a... off!"
"Fine, have it your way..."
Kenshin and Kaoru's eyes widened, and Yahiko was turning a becoming shade of red. Without another second to think, Kenshin ever so slowly slid open the door to reveal...
Author's notes: Yes, I know. I love cliffhangers ^_^ And I know that everyone acts a little bit OOC in this, but c'mon people, it's boring if they didn't. Everyone changes, even characters in anime. There's a pervert in everyone, even our beloved Rurouni. ^_^ Comment if you like, I like motivation to start writing the next chapter... =)