Thanks for all the feedback

Part IV

From: bridalshower363 (atmarkodotcom)

To: bokkenprincess44 (atmarkodotcom)

Date: Friday 2/27/09 4:36 pm EST

Subject: Weird!!

Did you sleep with my boss at the wedding? Naughty Kaoru! I was going to do that!

Madonna

--

From: bokkenprincess44 (atmarkodotcom)

To: bridalshower363 (atmarkodotcom)

Date: Friday 2/27/09 7:35 pm EST

Subject: Re: Weird!!

Excuse me? No, I didn't sleep with him? I didn't even realize he was at the wedding! Eww! You just got married, Madonna, what is wrong with you? At least wait til after the wedding for God's sake. Your boss is my e-pal, or something similar. Does he know you planned to sleep with him? Should I tell him?

Kaoru

--

From: bokkenprincess44 (atmarkodotcom)

To: bakadeshi666 (atmarkodotcom)

Date: Friday 2/27/09 7:23 pm EST

Subject: Fwd: Weird

Did you sleep with my boss at the wedding? Naughty Kaoru! I was going to do that!

Madonna

Tell you didn't sleep with my cousin. Please. Otherwise I will be horribly scarred for life.

Kaoru

--

From: bakadeshi666 (atmarkodotcom)

To: bokkenprincess44 (atmarkodotcom)

Date: Saturday 2/28/09 3:45 pm EST

Subject: None

I didn't know Madonna was your cousin...nor did I want to know you were related to...her. I hired her as a favor to a friend who owed her fiancée a favor, and discovered why I haven't ever had a secretary beforehand. She was only mostly useless, although she did keep my friends amused when they stopped by for lunch. I've been trying to fire her, but she keeps crying and crying and crying. Does this job mean that much to her?

Were you at Madonna's wedding? I was there.

Kenshin

--

From: bokkenprincess44 (atmarkodotcom)

To: bakadeshi666 (atmarkodotcom)

Date: Sunday 3/1/09 4:56 pm EST

Subject: None

Yes, I was there. In fact, I think I ran right into you and didn't know who you were. See, if you had just sent the picture...Madonna just likes to have her way. She's gotten everything in life by being pretty or pathetic, and she figures if she cries you'll give in. I prefer to get things through my own merit, but whatever. Is it obvious I don't like her? Maybe it's because we're actually cousins by marriage...

You slept with her, didn't you? You never said you didn't in your email!

Kaoru

--

From: bakadeshi666 (atmarkodotcom)

To: bokkenprincess44 (atmarkodotcom)

Date: Monday 3/2/09 7:45 am EST

Subject: No

No. It was implied. That was you? I told you, I have no pictures of myself. I'm going to fire Madonna, and not care if she cries.

Okay, I'm going to call when I know she's not home and leave a message, then lock my office door and not take her calls. But I'm still firing her. I figured out you were cousins by marriage by the fact she was blonde.

The internet at this café is awful, but my computer died a horrible death via Sano's coffee so I have to use it.

Kenshin

--

From: bokkenprincess44 (atmarkodotcom)

To: bakadeshi666 (atmarkodotcom)

Date: Monday 3/2/09 3:00 pm EST

Subject: Re: No

Why aren't you at work on a Monday? Sano as in Sanosuke Sagara?

Please say you don't know him or else I can never, ever have contact with you again.

Kaoru

--

From: bakadeshi666 (atmarkodotcom)

To: bokkenprincess44 (atmarkodotcom)

Date: Tuesday 3/3/09 5:45 pm EST

Subject: Re: Re: No

I've known Sanosuke Sagara for...five years, maybe longer. After I beat him up during a bar fight. I wasn't at work because my office is being remodeled, against my will. I was working from home, but my computer is shot, so I ended up at the café.

Some reason I shouldn't know Sano?

Kenshin

--

From: bokkenprincess44 (atmarkodotcom)

To: bakadeshi666 (atmarkodotcom)

Date: Wednesday 3/4/09 8:34 pm EST

Subject: This is a bit embarrassing...

You're the guy who beat him up?

He's been trying to convince me to let him set us up for the past two years. Don't tell him that you know me; he'll laugh, and lord it over me forever.

Kaoru

--

From: fishbone99 (atmarkodotcom)

To: bokkenprincess44 (atmarkodotcom)

Date: Thursday 3/5/09 5:58 pm EST

Subject: Kenshin

Meg will drop you off for dinner on Friday. Wear something date-ish.

Sano

PS: I told you that you two were compatible! HAHAHAHA!

--

She would kill Sano. Slowly and carefully. Even if the whole forced-date thing worked out: in fact, especially if the whole date thing worked out. If he gloated one more time...there would be pain. Oh, there would be pain. Inwardly, she laughed evilly.

"Kaoru, get that weird smirk off your face! You'll scare the poor guy off." Misao had decided to help Megumi. Oh, joy.

"And I let the guy you were dating know it was over." Megumi added.

"Thanks, guys. Your desire to do what is best for me, instead of what you want to do to me is so apparent."

"Close the window, Kaoru; you'll mess up your hair." Misao ignored her and continued to talk to Megumi. They pulled up into a small parking lot, illuminated by several lampposts. The sounds of yelling drifted in through the open window.

"Give me my keys, Sano."

"After the date."

"Give me my keys or I will hurt you."

"Yeah, sur-dammit, stop putting me in a headlock every time I annoy you!"

"Stop annoying me then. Now give me back my keys or I'm going to wait here until Megumi gets here. And let her take pictures."

Kaoru hurried out of the car to see what was going on. Megumi, hearing her name, followed her after locking the car, and Misao, distracted, ran after them.

"Hey! Wait! What are you- what the heck?"

There a short, red-headed person who Kaoru recognized form Madonna's wedding there. And he had Sano, who was at least a foot taller, in a freaking headlock.

Immediately, all three girls starting taking pictures.

"Stop it! Here, take the keys and let me go!" Kenshin picked up the fallen keys and dropped Sano, who fell flat on his face.

"Sorry." He said, unrepentant.

Kaoru walked over to him. She couldn't help but smile, looking at Sano sprawled across the ground. "How did you do that? How did you even reach his head?"

"You're Kaoru, right? I kicked him first."

"I can't put Sano into a headlock. I'm impressed."

"You guys! Come on, they'll take away out reservations." Misao whined. "Stop beating on each other!"

"'Our' reservations?" Kaoru asked suspiciously. She really hoped it didn't mean what she thought it meant.

"We'll be watching." Megumi said creepily.

"Kenshin, which car is yours?"

'The red one over there."

"Great. Run for it!"

There was stunned silence as Misao, Megumi, and Sano saw the two get into Kenshin's car and drive away as fast as they could.

"Damn, Kaoru's going to kill me." Sano cursed. "Kenshin's driving sucks."

--

"Um...where are we?"

"I don't know."

"Have you just been randomly taking turns for the last ten minutes?"

"I didn't know where we were going."

"So we went nowhere at all. Fantastic. Now what?"

"There's a restaurant over there. We can go eat."

"You're actually taking me on a date? Seriously?"

"Where did you think I was taking you?"

"Home, moron. Where else?"

"I didn't know where you lived until Sano told me."

"Sano told you where I lived? That's...never mind, I don't want to know why he told you that."

"Are we going?"

"I'm hungry, why not."

--

"Why do you work so much?"

Kenshin looked up form his steak and blinked. Kaoru flushed.

"Was that too personal a question?"

"No, I was just surprised you asked. It started when Tomoe...my wife...died."

"Ten years ago...how old are you?"

"Twenty-five." He paused to observe her reaction. She was definitely surprised. "I was fifteen when I met Tomoe in the Hallmark store. She was buying a birthday card for her little brother, and I was getting out of the snow. She had a lot of groceries in her hands, and she was on foot. I walked her home. Two months later, we were married."

"Wow. How old was she?"

"Eighteen. She was killed six months later in an...accident."

Kaoru sensed the lie in his words, but didn't ask. She knew some things were better left untold.

"I started devoting all my time to my schoolwork. Then I got into college, found out an old mentor was giving me his company, and threw myself into college. Then I did the same with my work...it just became a habit."

"Um." She let the words sink in. "What do you do, exactly?"

"Security consulting firm."

"You're lying." She said immediately.

"Yes, I am."

"And..."

"And I'm lying because I don't want you to know the truth."

"I was kidding when I said you wee lying, you know. Now I won't tell you what I do."

"Sano told me you were a teacher."

"I'm really going to have to kill him- not only did he gloat in my face, now he's telling you all about my life without my permission. If you become a stalker, I will so blame him."

"What is it with you and stalkers?"

"I had some issues in high school. I teach English and History to teenagers...why is that woman waving at you?"

"That is Tokio Takagi, and she's waving at me because she wants to talk to me."

"So talk to her."

"If it was important she'd call me."

"But you're right here."

"I'm busy."

"I...am not flattered." She frowned, reaching into her purse. "But my phone is ringing, because Misao is calling me. Oh, snap. Hello?"

"KAORU! Where are you? I went to your house and you are not there!"

"I try not to have first dates at my house, Misao. I will not tell you where I am. Don't call me again unless people are dying or stuff is on fire."

"But Kaoru! I need to know how your date is going! Otherwise you'll elope without telling me!"

"I am not going to elope, Misao!" Out of the corner of her eye, she could see Kenshin laughing. Scowling, she hung up. "You're in a good mood."

"Who are you eloping with?"

"Apparently, you. I try to avoid getting married until I know their last names."

"It's Himura."

"Kamiya. Anyways, Misao's logic is inherently illogical and you shouldn't listen to her."

"Why did you ask me why I worked so much?"

"You mentioned it to me first. I was just curious as to why."

"You are the first person to ever ask that on a date."

"Is that good or bad?"

"Good. When did you meet Sano?"

"I don't remember. It was when we were really little."

"Did he still look like a chicken?"

"He's always looked like a chicken. I used to put feathers in his hair."

"Where did you get the feathers?"

"Pillows. I'd steal his pillow, cut a hole in it, and yank out the feathers. He used to get so mad."

"I can imag-" He pulled his phone out of a pocket. It was Sano. "Speak of the devil. Himura."

"Kenshin, where the heck did you take Kaoru?"

"I don't know."

"What?"

"I don't know where I left her."

Kaoru snickered, imagining Sano's expression.

"Left her? Are you jerking around with me?"

"No."

"Dammit! Let me talk to her!"

"If I find her, I'll have her call you." Sano hung up on him, and Kaoru giggled.

"He's going to kill you later."

"He owes me money."

--

"Megumi, I think they're back." Misao said for the twentieth time. After the eighth, Megumi had stopped following her into the house and waited in the car. But now there was a light in the living room window.

"They must have used the back door." She said. "Shall we join them?"

"Why not?" Misao pulled out her spare key and opened Kaoru's front door. The living room was empty, and there was a pink Post-it note stuck to the coffee table.

Went to Kenshin's place for tea.

-Kaoru

"Figures." Misao rolled her eyes and drew her phone. "Sano? Where dos Kenshin live?"

"Apartment building a block from his office."

"Good, give us your keys."

"I don't have any. Kenshin said he didn't trust me."

--

She was asleep on his couch, and he couldn't figure out how she'd managed to fall asleep in the thirty seconds it had taken for him to take their mugs into the kitchen. She was curled up on her side, her head on her arms, and he automatically reached for a blanket sitting draped over the back of the couch.

Someone was knocking on the door, and he was positive he knew who it was. They were bound to find them eventually.

"Come in." Sano came in, with the two girls close behind. "She's asleep."

"Asleep?" Misao poked her; Kaoru didn't even twitch. "Do you want to keep her, or can we take her home?"

"Leave her; she might wake up if you move her. All the running away made her tired."

They left, whispering and making plans to come eavesdrop in the morning. He sat down on the end of the couch, where her bare feet were sticking out. She looked peaceful, innocent.

He wondered if he ever looked like that when he slept...when he slept at all.

--

Kaoru was not a morning person. Some days she wasn't even an afternoon person. When she first awoke, she didn't move, just lay there. Then she rolled over and found her arm hanging off of her bed.

Wait a minute, her bed wasn't that small. She realized she was on a sofa. Her sofa? No, it wasn't her sofa, it felt wrong. It was wrong. Where was she, then?

"Kaoru?" Kenshin. Why was he here?

"Why are you here?" She asked sleepily.

"I live here." Oh, right, she'd been at his house. Yawning, she turned over, meaning to go back to sleep. Then it hit her.

"Wait, why am I here?"

"You fell asleep."

"Oh." She blinked. "Is there food?"

"I made pancakes." He motioned to the table, where there was a stack of pancakes and a bottle of real maple syrup.

"Yay." She yawned again.

It was a good day.

--

Okay, just to make things perfectly clear, THIS IS THE RAW, UNEDITED, UNFINISHED CHAPTER. This is one possible ending, but I will probably change. I am merely posting this to see what people think- this chapter is forced in some places and downright awful in others. Criticism desired in order to improve this monstrosity.

Much love, chickentyrant5.