author's notes :

before reading, i want to make sure that you know that this is a pro- KAORU & KENSHIN fic ... plus a side romance ( Misao & Aoshi ) ^^ ... but don't worry, it's NOT the sappy/mushy type that would make you want to spill your guts out ... heck, it's a work of art ! ... *dodges tomatoes thrown at her* ...

this is an ALTERNATE UNIVERSE fic ... if you do not know what that means, sigh, let me explain ... the setting is different ( in this case, it's modern, as in present times ... and definitely, there aren't any samurais or anything like that ... but yes, Kaoru still retains her dojo ) ... OOC ( out of character - ness ) is very evident, but hey, it's my fic ...

this ( first ) chapter is actually just the introduction, so as to, ahem ' get to know ' Kenshin ... the actual romance begins in the next chapter, and will totally overflow in the third ... so basically, the first chapter is more focused on misao and kenshin's background ...

i rated it PG 13 because there are a couple of mild swear words ( but definitely there are no *F* words ) ... oh and yes, Kenshin is engaged to Megumi ( only in the start though ... bwahahaha ) - ENJOY !

anata ^ _^

Chapter One - Battousai the Corporate Slasher

Kenshin Himura was known as Battousai the Corporate Slasher. His nickname was derived from his ruthlessness when it came to business matters. Fresh out of college, he had taken over the stock market during its lowest point, investing more than he should have despite the whispers of his foolishness by his peers. He was a risk taker; a businessman who used his sharp instincts combined with common sense to eventually become richer than society could have ever imagined.

Ten years ago when Kenshin first started, people had laughed at him. Now, they were all falling over each other in their efforts to gain his approval. Supermodels, actresses, housewives and women of all sorts - even some besotted gay men, all sought to catch his attention. Their advances ranged from seductive winks, all the way to sexy suprises in bed, which weren't unappreciated or unwelcomed by the receiver.

The past few years, he had dated and even brought home some of his ' conquests ', but recently he had begun to tire of this uninteresting game of cat and mouse. She was exactly what he was looking for in a woman. Long ebony colored tresses adorned her delicate face, greatly contrasting her flawless ivory skin. Her lips were red as blood, Kenshin's favorite color. In short, she was a gorgeous, modern day Snow White with long hair. Not only was she beautiful, her IQ and love-making skills rivaled that of Kenshin's. She was a hundred percent sexy, but unfortunately, equally as annoying.

He was rich. He was powerful. He had even been on the covers of such magazines as Time, GQ, and much more. Hell, he was Battousai the Corporate Slasher ! So why the hell was he letting this woman control his life as if he were nothing but a puppet ?

Kenshin sighed in annoyance. Hell, he had no choice.

" Megumi, darling - have you asked your father about his decision concerning the merging of our companies ? I really - "

" I'm sure daddy will agree wholeheartedly as soon as we're married. The merger has been in his mind for quite some time, I'm sure. He's been more worried about our relationship though, after all, he doesn't want anything to happen to me before our wedding night, Kenshin. " , purred Megumi.

Sighing inwardly at her blunt assumption about a marriage which had never even crossed his mind, Kenshin frantically thought of an excuse to leave her presence before anything else happened. With Megumi, a slight nod from him would mean he agreed and in no time flat, she'd have him walking down the aisle and exchanging vows with her.

/ Damn she's hot. I want her, but I'm not crazy enough to marry her just to satisfy my lust. I have no choice though about going out with her. Megumi's father is the key to bringing my company worldwide, and he only listens to her for business advice. Why couldn't the old coot just trust me ? Oh yeah, he's got a stick up his a$$, also know as his daughter. Sometimes I wonder if she's the real brain behind the business. / thought Kenshin to himself.

Kenshin glanced down at his Rolex and feigned surprise. He quickly made up an excuse about his being late for an appointment, and quelled her protests with a short, but steamy kiss on the lips. After paying for the expensive meal, Kenshin sauntered out of the door, pausing only to wave goodbye to his pouting date before entering the waiting limo.

/ I will make him mine, no matter what it takes. Oh yes, and before we get married, I'll be sure to get him a plastic surgeon who will remove that hideous x-shaped scar on his face. / vowed Megumi as she watched his retreating figure, and admired the view his delicious backside provided.

It was true, actually, his excuse about having an appointment, although time of meeting was much later. He was to meet his stepsister Misao, whom he loved and considered as a true blood relation, in the evening, in order to accompany her to her prom. Not that Misao was unattractive or unable to get dates, but both of them knew that the guys who wooed her were usually after the wealth that entailed her brother's massive corporation. Therefore, Kenshin always ascertained that her boyfriend suited his standards, before allowing Misao on dates. The prom, however, was another story. After watching the movie American Pie with Misao, Kenshin had refused to let his sister go to the prom, much less bring a date with her.

After much whining and begging and crying, Kenshin had finally given in, with the condition that he be her date to the prom. He was a sucker for tears; not the fake dainty sobs and tiny trickles of tears that his ex - girlfriends would employ to get him to pay attention to them, but the real thing. His weakness was Misao's trump card.

Indeed it was somewhat embarrassing, having to bring one's brother as a date to the prom, but if the brother was a multi-millionaire with looks that could kill - Misao had no problem with the agreement. She knew that he wouldn't actually humiliate her by doing anything stupid. The worst possible thing Kenshin would do is subject the guys who would attempt to dance with her, with his famous death glare.

/ Okay, so maybe I'm the only one who's bringing her brother as a date. And maybe I'm the only one who's brother has eyes that change colors from purple to amber, when enraged. At least Kenshin's cool - but for a junior high prom ? Hopefully he'll behave. / sighed Misao, crossing her fingers in worry.

Her reverie was interrupted with abrupt knocking on the door. Wondering who could it be, since she was expecting her brother's arrival much later, Misao was pleasantly surprised to find Kenshin at the door. Not only was he there, a whole entourage accompanied him. Make-up artists, body guards, and more, were all gathered at the front porch.

" Come on in Kenken ! " grinned Misao teasingly.

" Hnnn. Don't call me that ! I look nothing like that florist from that flower shop down the street. What was that store's name again ? Kitty in the - I can't remember. Anyway, that's where I bought your corsage. Ahem, being your brother and date for the prom, I expect you to look absolutely fabulous. So I brought along with me some very helpful people. Think of them as your fairy godmothers. "

" What exactly do you mean by that Kenken ? "

" I told you not to call me that. " he growled.

With a snap of his fingers, they all rushed to Misao and physically dragged her and all their equipment and makeup kits, up to her room. Her protests were silenced by the slam of her door, leaving Kenshin alone in the living room. After rifling through a couple of magazines which were filled with fashion articles, boy advice - normal teenager stuff - Kenshin's eyes fell upon the newspapers which had been left untouched by his sister.

" Now this is something I can actually read without killing my brain cells. Damn ! Where are they ? " muttered Kenshin as he paged through the papers.

His eyes came to a rest when he found what he had been looking for. The comics. Making sure that no one else was present in the room, he settled himself on a striped silver and blue bean bag, and began enjoying the so called ' news '. As the minutes passed, Kenshin began fidgeting impatiently. He was about to discard the newspapers when a headline caught his eye.


What Kenshin found more interesting was the picture that came with it. It showed a woman who looked somewhat similar to Megumi in terms of hair and skin color, but that was where their similarities ended. He was about to read the article when footsteps were heard from above.

Dropping the papers, he looked up in time to be dazzled by the site of Misao. Her normal braided hair was artfully arranged into soft curls which framed her face. Her features were enhanced with the magic of makeup, leaving a goddess in the place of Misao's normal childlike face. Tasteful jewelry adorned her neck and wrist, and her dress … Her dress was absolutely -

" Too skimpy ! There's no way I'm letting you out of the house dressed like that ! "

" I told you he wouldn't allow her to wear that. " whispered one of the make-up artists.

" Shut - up. "

" Kenshin - I want to wear this. C'mon. I've seen a lot of your girlfriends wear much less than what I'm wearing, like Cindy, Elle, Naomi, - " whined Misao, as all the spectators nodded in agreement.

" Remember that time Mr. Himura went out with that woman who wore nothing but that tiny triangular piece of cloth which could have almost been recognized as underwear ? My god, I actually saw her - " added the same make - up artist who had previously spoken up.

" Didn't I already tell you to shut - up awhile ago ? By the way, you're fired. Misao, there's a major difference between my sister and someone I take to bed. Their jobs are to dress like that, while you, you are my sister. "

" Are you trying to say that I'm not as beautiful as them ? Is that it ? " sniffed Misao as tears began welling in her big blue eyes outlined in silver eyeliner. In her mind, she knew victory was near. Just a few more sobs coupled with a wail or two and Kenshin would be putty in her hands. For added effect, Misao was about to let her mascara run when he gave in.

Realizing that his step-sister's stubbornness overpowered his own, Kenshin sighed in defeat. It was useless, really, arguing about a dress with a teenager, on prom night. Nodding in reluctant assent, he sat down on the bean bag once more.

With a shout of glee, Misao hugged her brother and pulled him to his feet. Apparently time had flown by so quickly that it was already seven pm, half an hour before the prom would start. They set off in the limo once more, arriving in time to be considered fashionably late. The hordes of high schoolers enveloped the two, as they were all excited at the prospect of meeting such a famous and rich man. After a couple of glares and threats of ruining their parent's businesses, the people eventually backed off.

As expected, during the course of the dance, Kenshin stayed hidden in the shadows. He would carefully watch Misao and whoever her dancing partner was, occasionally walking over to the refreshment stand to take a drink or two. At the moment, she was resting on one of the stands, tired from all the festivities that had occurred during the past four hours.

Two guys walked by, their glances falling upon Misao's gorgeous frame. One was Jake, the blond captain of the football team with rippling biceps and a brain the size of a pea. In short, he was the embodiment of every teenage girl's fantasy, and every teenage guy's god. The other was a tall exchange student, whose unique, sharply contrasting Asian looks surpassed that of his companion. He was tall, dark and handsome, with an aura of pure confidence that could easily reduced a person's mind and knees to jello. Yet when it came to his lab partner, he was totally tongue - tied.

Narrowing his eyes at blond who was leering at Misao, Kenshin stealthily crept closer, in time to hear a portion of their conversation.

" Yo Shinomori ! Isn't she like totally babelicious ! Like yesterday she was like this total nerd but whoah ! Today she's a total hottie ! Make's me wanna do the bump and grind, dude! If ya now what I mean. Hehe ! But being the totally rad guy, I'll let you go first. " grinned Jake.

Aoshi, the exchange student, grimaced in reply. He was incredibly repulsed by the person beside him, but the teacher had assigned Jake to be his ' guide ' so he didn't have an alternative. He almost didn't recognize the girl as Misao, the cute Japanese girl who had been his lab partner since the beginning of the semester. For days he had working up the courage to ask her out, and now was his opportunity. He wanted to dance with her. He wanted to -

" Nah. I'll take a pass. She isn't sexy enough for me, and isn't she kinda short ? " replied Aoshi, before his mind could even comprehend what he had just said.

Jake laughed so hard that snot came out of his nose.

Aoshi was torn between attempting to kick himself and running away from Jake.

Misao was on the verge of tears.

Kenshin's eyes were turning amber hued. Just as he was about to leap onto the two unsuspecting students, Jake approached Misao.

" Hey babe. I'm sorry about what my buddy said. You're a total babe ! Will you give me the honor of dancing with you Missy ? I love your rad name, by the way. Were you like named after Missy Elliot, babe ? "

Surprised and flattered by the offer, despite Jake calling her Missy, Misao gracefully accepted Jake's hand. As they began, she turned around to chillingly glare at Aoshi, before resuming their dancing. All traces of previous sadness was now replaced by a radiant smile, and any signs of hurt caused by Aoshi's reply was seemingly erased. Aoshi, on the other hand, was miserable.

Kenshin felt somewhat sorry for the dejected guy left standing on his own, but all thoughts of compassion left his mind the moment he remembered Misao's hurt expression after overhearing his reply.

When the dance ended at midnight, Kenshin called out to Misao. As she left Jake's embrace, he whispered something into her ear that made her giggle. After bidding her friends goodbye, Misao then walked towards Kenshin with stars in her eyes. He made no comment, seeing as how she was still enjoying what had happened that night. When they got back to the house, Misao thanked Kenshin before going to sleep. He tucked her in, being the good elder brother that he is, and made sure to check that the house was secure before he left.

/ Sigh. It's back to the business world and Megumi. Sometimes I wonder if it would have been better if I hadn't become rich. Maybe. /

Deciding not to use the limo, Kenshin randomly picked one of the five cars he had bought for Misao on her sixteenth birthday. As he was backing out of the driveway, he noticed flickering lights in Misao's bedroom, which disappeared a second later. Attributing it to his imagination, Kenshin dismissed it from his mind, as he continued to drive.

to be continued ...

Did you get bored ? Continue on to the next chapter ... i swear that it's way better than this one ... REVIEWS would be highly appreciated - ahem, i meant highly DEMANDED ! ... do a review, OR ELSE ... hmmm, I'll send Kenshin over to you with his lawyer ... " oooh, scary " - ( not the sarcasm ) hehe, just kidding ...
reviews - reviews - reviews - reviews - reviews - reviews ... PLEASE ?