I do not own Rurouni Kenshin. If I did, he'd stop calling Kaoru 'dono.'

Note: For purposes of this story, just believe that Kaoru's dojo has a stove and that you can run from Aizu to Tokyo in a day.

A Rurouni Sickness

By Shiara-dono

Chapter 4

A week passed quickly, and Kenshin was growing irritated. Once home, Kaoru had barely looked at him, or blushed profusely if she did. But she refused to tell him why, and it bothered him. He was better now, though still a bit shaky, but enough was enough. He finally told Kaoru one night that he was going to bed early, and disappeared down the hall. Then he crept into her room, sat against the wall, and waited.

Kaoru came in not too long later, muttering to herself. "Kenshin went to bed early. I hope he's alright." She started to undress to get ready for bed.

"Kaoru." Kenshin called softly.

Kaoru jumped, startled, and spun around, her eyes locking onto Kenshin's. "Ke… Ke… Kenshin! What are you doing in my room?!"

Kenshin stood, wincing as his body protested. "I needed to talk to you."

Kaoru's face instantly flamed. "A… about… what?"

"Well, that. I want to know why you blush every time you see me."

"I, uh… don't know what you're talking about." She said, averting her eyes.

Kenshin gently placed his fingers under her chin and turned her back to face him. "That you do, Kaoru-dono. Please tell me."

Kaoru looked into his questioning amethyst eyes and sighed. "To be honest, I don't know why I'm getting so worked up over it. I know it was just the fever talking."

"What was?"

"W… well, you… th… that is… um…" She took a deep breath. "You told me you love me. And… and you kissed me. Twice."

Kenshin suddenly found it very hard to breathe. He dropped his hands to his sides and looked at the floor. He could feel his face growing blisteringly hot. "W… well… I…"

Kaoru just stood quietly, watching him.

After a minute, Kenshin chuckled. "W… well, that's not how I… planned to tell you, indeed it isn't."

Kaoru stared, wondering if she'd heard that right. "It's okay. I… I know you were delirious. I mean, you even forgot who I was."

Kenshin raised his head. "Yeah. Am I am truly sorry about that, Kaoru-dono, that I am. But delirious or not, I… I still love you."

A new blush spread across Kaoru's face, and her mouth fell open. "You can't mean that." She whispered.

"But I do, Kaoru-dono. I do mean it." He blushed a deeper color and gulped. "W… w… would you… al… allow me to… to kiss you, Kaoru?" He stammered.

"Oh." She began. "Sh… sure."

Kenshin stepped the half a foot closer, using his fingers to angle her face up. He watched as Kaoru's eyelids fluttered closed, and the butterflies in his stomach began a frenzied whirlwind. He blew out a long breath of air. "I… I can't do this!" He cried, turning away from her.

Kaoru opened her eyes. "Kenshin?" When he didn't respond, she put a hand on his shoulder, surprised to find him shaking. "Kenshin, what's wrong? Why are you so scared?"

"Tomoe." He whispered, almost too quietly for her to hear. "I killed her. I don't want that to happen to you."

"Kenshin, I… that wasn't your fault! She chose to protect you, and you know that!"

"But, Kaoru-dono, I already almost lost you once!"

"Again, not your-"

"No, it is! Enishi would never have targeted you if not for me!" A deep, shuddering breath ran through him.

Kaoru groaned. "Okay, fine, it's your fault. So what? Did you forget that I ran after you when you left? That I want you around? Just kiss me, Kenshin. We can deal with the repercussions later."

Kenshin slowly turned to face her. His eyes glistened with unshed tears.

Kaoru closed her eyes and waited. It was difficult. She wanted badly to kiss him again, but knew he needed to make the move. So, she waited.

Kenshin gulped as he looked at Kaoru. When it came to her, it was difficult to know what was right anymore. He debated for a few moments, before deciding to give in.

Kaoru had almost given up hope, when she felt Kenshin's lips touch hers in a gentle, hesitant kiss. She sighed happily against his mouth.

Quite suddenly, Kenshin found he wanted more. One of his arms snaked around Kaoru's waist and pulled her closer. The other entwined itself in the hair just above her neck. He pressed against her, savagely assaulting her mouth.

Kaoru gasped as Kenshin forced his tongue past her lips, deepening the kiss even further. She hadn't known he could be so rough. She was beginning to feel a lack of air, but it was obvious to her that Kenshin wasn't going to let up. She tried fighting him, but it only made him kiss her harder.

She was to the point of passing out from lack of oxygen when he pulled away, panting. Kaoru collapsed in his arms, gasping for air.

"Ka… Kaoru?" He asked worriedly.

"Kenshin… baka!" She wheezed. "I'm not… going anywhere. So, you can… take it slow… you know."

Kenshin turned red with shame. "Sorry, Kaoru."

He looked so dejected that Kaoru couldn't help laughing. She leaned up and quickly kissed him again. "Baka." She told him, smiling. "Now, let's get the bandages on your burns changed."

Kenshin returned the smile, warmth flooding his heart. "Okay… Kaoru."

Owari

Yatta! I'm done! Not a bad story, all things considered. I'm a sucker for happy endings. Thank you all for reading the story, and for the reviews. Ja ne!