I added some more on the end, for those of you who asked for it. Hope you enjoy!
Warning: The author wrote this while she was under a severe case of delirium herself. Though not exactly the same kind of delirium. XD (You'll see.) She would like to point out that this fan fiction has a large amount of adult content, though nothing so solicit as a rated R movie. Now that you have been warned, please read with the knowledge that I typed this out within a two day span, with one extra day for editing, and was laughing the entire time I was doing it. Enjoy.
Koishii - beloved, darling, wanted
Mou - exasperated expression
Maa maa - placating expression
Gomen nasai - sorry, beg pardon
Koibito - lover, sweetheart
Ano - umm…
Disclaimer: This is everything it sounds like.
She was beautiful, standing outside of her room in her soft flowing yukata, its thin material barely enough to hide the skin beneath it. Dark hair fluttered in a nonexistent wind, the loose folds of silk rolling in waves down to her waist, tickling her hips. She smiled at him, her lips curving sensuously, and one slender hand lifted to beckon him forward, offering more to him than the sensitive inner flesh of her wrist. Accepting the temptation, he moved toward her.
Callused fingers wrapped around the offering, tenderly caressing the smooth tissue, his other hand took more, sliding around her back. A gentle nudge and she was flush against him, her quickened breath puffing down the nape of his neck, her rapid heartbeat drumming on his ribcage. Sweetly her voice took flight, calling his name in a mixture of triumph and pleading, wanting more than the heated contact of their bodies through clothing. "There's more, koishii. I promise."
Planting a delicate kiss on the skin below her ear, he skimmed his lips down to the neckline of her yukata, listening with satisfaction as she whimpered. Releasing her wrist, his hand slid lightly up her arm, dipping beneath the supple cloth to part the fold down her shoulder. Pale skin now bared to his gaze, he bit back a groan and shifted his grip, his hands bracketing her shoulder blades to brace her as his mouth teased the cherry tip of her chest. Twitching, her body arched further into his embrace, her own toughened grip digging into the muscles of his shoulders. Using the opportunity, he took all of her weight in one hand, slipping the other one down to the simple tie that kept them apart. Tugging teasingly at the knot, he echoed the sigh it gave as it slid free.
With such a small show of release, her clothing parted, the side already disrupted by his play falling down her back to glide fully off her arm and slither onto the floor. Covered only partially now, she looked more seductive and wanton than ever. Growling softly as he shifted back to take her in, his patience left him and he yanked the clothing from her other arm in one swift motion. Recapturing her in the curve of his embrace, he hugged her fiercely, his emotions no longer under his control. "This is mine, koishii. You are mine."
Her voice answered in assent and he lifted her, bracing her against the wooden wall to take everything that she offered, her cries sweet in his ear.
Kenshin woke with a jolt, his breathing quick, and his heartbeat unstable. Covered from head to toe in sweat, he yanked rather harshly on the neckline of his sleeping yukata to relieve the choking sensation and to try and steady the air pulling through his lungs. Red hair plastered onto his cheeks, his clothing stuck to his skin, and all in all he felt completely miserable. Especially with the flush of desire that was still ravaging his body.
Frustrated and confused he flung back the blanket covering his legs and stood to change. It was definitely going to be a long day.
A long, long day. Clutching his chopsticks desperately, hoping for some return of sanity, Kenshin sat at the breakfast table and prayed that he would not catch any more views like the one tormenting him. Sitting next to him, all sweet in her innocence and ignorant in her sweetness, was the very vision of his torture. She was eating, like Yahiko and himself, but for some reason today she could not seem to eat one bite of her food without turning it into something alluring and tantalizing. Tilting his head and begging for the meal to be over, Kenshin tried not to think of the image of her licking a small speck of rice off of the tip of her own chopsticks. Nor see in vivid detail the way her pink tongue could lick over his chest in such a furtive way.
Fire flushed his body and he stood quickly, his hands sweeping up the dishes in a hurried motion that startled his breakfast mates. "This one will do the dishes today, Yahiko-kun. You should really get a head start on your training, that you should." And he fled the room without a glance at the blue eyes watching him.
The menial chore of washing their dishes helped to distract his mind for a time, and as he hummed while he scrubbed the ceramic bowls he forgot that his position in the kitchen lift him near the window. A window that let in the breeze. A breeze that liked to carry sounds to his ears. Sounds that liked to echo from the training hall. Feminine cries, the words lost in the space between, but the emotion conveyed none-the-less. She was pleased. And he liked that note in her voice.
Shaking his head abruptly, Kenshin frowned and growled at the tea cup in his hands, its rinsed form the last of his dishes to wash. Sitting it aside to dry, he realized that he now had nothing left to do to distract him. This one should see if there is any laundry that needs washed. Drying his hands, he stepped from the kitchen to the engawa and paced down the porch to the other side of the yard. Turning the last corner of the house he stopped as he found the shoji to the dojo flung wide open, giving him a perfect view of an out of breath kendo teacher.
Bokken raised high, she brought it down in a precise swing, Yahiko's own wooden sword meeting it in defense. Sweat clung to her temples and hair, sticking the beautiful strands to her cheeks and the back of her neck. Pink lips were parted to ease her breathing, her labored breath making itself known with the rise and fall of her chest. Sapphire irises sparked with determination and a focused will, her movements hard and yet graceful. Oh how he would love to see her look at him like that.
A daring gaze that met his own fire with hers, their steps equally matched. Her voice would not be soft and affectionate this time. This time her cries would demand more, her tone would convey her want, not for any gentle brushes and tender caresses. No, she would have no patience for that. She would want everything, and he would give her everything.
Distracted, his foot slipped off the side of the engawa, his tabi giving him no traction, and Kenshin lost his balance.
Stumbling, Kenshin dropped to his knee, his unprotected foot slamming into the ground to catch all of his weight. An overlooked twig bit sharply into his flesh, and he gave a hiss of pain, his precarious position on the porch turning him away from the training hall. Hopping slightly, he levered himself back up onto the ledge and cursed at his throbbing appendage. Crossing his ankle up onto his other knee, he removed the tabi carefully and looked at the tender skin of his inner arch. Thankfully it was not broken, but it did carry a bright red burn from the friction. Closing his eyes on a sigh, he shook his head at the way his thoughts were distracting him. Baka.
Smooth fingers slid around his ankle and he jumped, her voice anxious as she asked him what had happened. Too stunned to speak a reply, he watched the dark bangs covering her eyes from his view as she inspected his foot. Sweat still clung to her, and with her kneeling before him, he could watch as it slipped down her chest and tucked itself away between her breasts. Sucking in a breath, he forced his eyes to her lips when she spoke again, her voice now relieved that he was not terminally injured.
Instead of smiling and happily standing to resume her training, however, one of those tender hands lifted to brace on his thigh, her fingers curving further to the inside as she leaned into him to capture his gaze. Her next words were innocently teasing, full of chastisement for his clumsiness, but her position was taunting him in a much different way. With his knees on either side of her body, and her head level with his stomach, she was doing nothing to save the situation by brushing her fingertips ever so slowly upwards on his sensitive thigh. "I could make it better, Kenshin." Eyes wide, his breathing started to labor, and all he could think to do was nod. Yes you certainly could, koishii. A light giggle tickled his mind and he trembled as her hand finally found…
"Kenshin." Startled, Kenshin jumped, his eyes lurching upwards to stare across the yard at Kaoru's figure standing in the doorway to the training hall. "Are you ok?"
"Hai." His voice squeaked, her brows furrowed, and he stood quickly at the worry he could see he had caused within her mind. "This one is just fine, Kaoru-dono. You should not worry." Smiling forcefully, he turned to proceed down the engawa to his original destination.
"If you say so Kenshin."
He sighed as her words, spoken softly and not for his ears at all, whispered to him. Great, baka, now you have worried her. Grabbing up the laundry tub, he threw it a little too roughly to the ground then went to the well to get water to fill it.
Kneeling next to the tub, he started into the pile of clothing, scrubbing the dirt and sweat out, wishing it was just as easy to scrub the dirt and sweat out of his mind. Somehow, on that day, it seemed he was unable to think of anything without associating it to Kaoru. A Kaoru that he had never seen but in rare dreams in his sleep. Never had they followed him to his waking hours, and certainly never so vivid that he was actually feeling her hands on him.
Taking a calming breath, he let the rhythmic motion of the scrubbing lull him into a meditation, searching for a peaceful seclusion that would take him away from the worries of the world. Half pulled into sleep, his mind happily swam through its master's favorite thoughts of the day.
Strong and willful, she was the dominant; telling him what she wanted. Showing him how she wanted to be touched. What she wanted him to do to her. Skin flushing hot with desire at her forthcoming attitude, he merrily went along with her every suggestion. Longing for the moment she would relent and let him take over.
Startled out of his daydream a second time, Kenshin's body wailed in frustration and he almost growled in anger. "What?" Snapping at the tall man in front of him, he watched him blink in confusion, then lift an eyebrow as he looked him over.
"What do ya mean 'what?' You're the one staring off into space. I walked right up on you and you didn't even notice." Dark irises roved over his face a second time and Sano surprised him by lifting a hand to his forehead. "Are you sick or something? Your face is really red."
"Iie, this one is…"
"Kenshin's sick?" Kaoru's voice piped up from behind them, and Kenshin sighed, glaring at Sano when he grinned.
"This one is fine, Kaoru-dono. He is not sick."
Sano stepped back when Kaoru came around, making room for her to stand in front of Kenshin's kneeling form. Half-bent in front of him, she studied his face as well, worried when she saw a fine sheen of sweat collecting on his brow. It wasn't hot enough yet outside for Kenshin to be sweating, not when he was only doing the laundry. "Are you sure, Kenshin? Sano's right. Your face is flushed," One hand lifted before he could say anything and she was testing his temperature compared to her own. "and your skin is burning up."
Distracted by the movement of her mouth, Kenshin turned off the words she was saying and watched in fascination as her tongue moved with her speech. She was really close to him, bent as she was, and if he moved only a few inches closer he would be able to feel her hot breath pressing against his own lips. Swallowing, his head tilted without conscious thought, and his body swayed forward when Sano spoke up again, causing Kaoru to stand.
"If you're that concerned, Jouchan, I could nip over to the fox's place and ask her if we should be worried. If she thinks so I'll bring back whatever he needs. If not, I'll probably just stay in town." Kenshin glanced back up at Sano and frowned at the look he was giving him. The smirk on his face was too knowing for Kenshin to feel comfortable with. The wink was more than he could handle.
"Ok." Happy that the situation was going to be taken care of, Kaoru smiled and nodded her head.
"Where's the brat? If he's not busy, I'll take him with me."
Kenshin's frown deepened.
"Oh, he's already on his way to the Akabeko. Tsubame-chan was just here to fetch him. They needed his help for the afternoon." Sano shrugged then waved his hand as he turned away.
"Well, if I don't come back you'll know he's fine." And the tall man disappeared back out the gate.
"You really do look a little overheated, Kenshin. Maybe you should take a break and relax on the porch for awhile." Companionably her hand came to rest on his shoulder, her blue eyes studying his face. Afraid of their close proximity and the sudden press of aloneness in the yard, Kenshin smiled shakily, but declined her offer.
"This one is fine. He will finish the laundry and then start lunch. You should relax in the bath in the meantime, Kaoru."
A moment of silence buzzed in his ears and he stared in confusion as her own face flushed, then stuttered in horror as he realized what he had done. "Oro…. This one is terribly sorry, Kaoru-dono, he didn't mean to…"
"It's fine, Kenshin… I uh… think I'll take that bath now." Turning back to the engawa, she nearly skipped in her hurry to get away. Sighing Kenshin looked down at the bundle of cloth in his hands, finding her sleeping yukata wrapped around his fingers. Kaoru in the bath… that's just what this one needs to be thinking about. Groaning, Kenshin went back to work. A very, very long day, indeed.
Emptying the tub and rinsing it out, Kenshin set it aside for the day, watching for a moment as the laundry flapped in the breeze. Sighing he untied the string of cloth holding back his sleeves and shook out the bunched up material, frowning at the damp stains from sweat. Maybe a bath wouldn't do him any harm later. After Kaoru was finished, of course. It wouldn't do to walk in on her.
Though making love to Kaoru in a hot tub of water did have some appealing aspects. Like how having her wrapped around him under the embrace of the liquid would double the intimate feeling. Water was already half-way sensual. Would she be even more seductive under the influence of such? Did she feel that sensuality when she took a bath? Would it make her even more attractive? Sucking in a languid breath, Kenshin imagined running his fingers up one side of her bare leg, following the curve of her hip up to her waist, loving the way she shivered even in the hot water. Fingers gripping firmly on the rounded flesh, he pulled her closer against him, the water rippling around them. A soft sound, somewhere between a sigh and gasp, parted her lips as she closed around him and his grip on her tightened. She felt so wonderful and warm, like the water surrounding them, and the feel of her chest and torso gliding against his tore a groan from his lips.
Bumping into the engawa, Kenshin only just realized his eyes were closed and he was daydreaming again as he slammed both palms down flat against the wood to regain his balance. Allowing his body to follow through with the motion, he rapped his forehead onto the porch as well, in hopes of regaining his composure. You are going to drive yourself crazy if you keep thinking about Kaoru-dono like this. Kicking off his shoes, he stepped up onto the wooden walk and turned toward the kitchen to start lunch. Striding lightly around the corner of the house, he ran headlong into Kaoru's yukata clad form.
Steadying her automatically, her squeak of alarm flailing her arms around in unconscious defense, he wrapped solid fingers around her shoulder and ducked back to miss getting knocked in the chin.
"Kenshin! You scared the hell out of me!" One small hand braced against his chest, her breath huffing out of her lungs in exasperation. "Really, greatest swordsman in Japan my foot."
A surprised smile lit his face, and he laughed in amusement at her indignity. "This one is sorry, Kaoru-dono. He was not paying attention."
"Well, geeze, Kenshin… it's alright. It's not like I couldn't have been watching too." Contrite that she had said what she did, she shrugged her shoulders and lowered her eyes. With nothing else to focus on, Kenshin found his own gaze slipping from her face to the soft robe she was wearing. An outfit not unlike the one she had worn in his dream the night before. Brow furrowing, he tried to banish the thought, but found he liked the intimate way it brushed aside the formality that stood between them and brought about something else. Caught by the way thin silk followed the outline of her training hardened body, softening the muscles to a very feminine form, he didn't notice his hand was still touching her until his fingers slid along the curve of her ribs to stop at the junction of waist and hip. With only the contraction of a few muscles she would be pressed against me. The thought floated temptingly through his mind, and he blinked before lifting shocked eyes to hers.
Sapphire irises were surprised, wary and anxious. Surprised that he would be so bold as to touch her, especially in such an intimate way. Wary of his intentions of touching her, especially in such an intimate way. Anxious… that he was finally touching her… and wondering if he would try a more intimate way? Stunned with the range of emotions, he opened his mouth to say something, to bring the situation back to something resembling a normal interaction between them, but the hand resting lightly on his chest rose to press over his lips. "I know you want me, Kenshin. So why shouldn't you have me?"
Indeed why not? He could take her right there and no one would interrupt them. Sano was in town, and he knew for a fact that he would not be back, and Yahiko was at the restaurant, a setting he would be at until late evening. He could have her, right there, on the engawa, with nothing to hide their actions but his own body shielding her naked form. Carefully taking her wrist in his hand, he lowered it away from his mouth, leaning forward to capture hers. Slim arms lifted to wrap around his neck and he happily let his mind sink into a delirium of pleasure.
Blinking rapidly, he stared at the curve of his fingers resting lightly on her hip, his thumb brushing ever so slightly at the underside of her breast. Swallowing in trepidation, knowing his thoughts to be another frustrated dream, he slowly lifted his eyes to meet hers for a second time, his gaze now wary and fearful.
"Mou, Kenshin! Are you sure you're alright? I've been talking to you for over a minute now and you haven't been responding?"
Taking a second to realize that she had not truly noticed his hand touching her, he smiled a distraction and cautiously let go, balling his fist and dropping his arm back to his side. "G-gomen nasai, Kaoru-dono. Maybe this one isn't feeling well."
Her lips twisted into a wry frown. "Why didn't you just say something in the first place, Kenshin? Now I'm pretty sure that Sano isn't going to come back, and I'm not leaving you here alone to hurt yourself or something stupid." Sighing, she pushed him back with the hand she still held on his chest. "Go rest while I make something for lunch, alright? And if you need anything, you just ask me, ok?" Her hand lifted back to his forehead, and she clicked her tongue at the heat still permeating his skin. "I can't believe I let you persuade me into thinking there was nothing wrong with you."
Oh there's something wrong with me alright. Shaking his head, Kenshin agreed to take a nap until lunch and left down the opposite way from Kaoru's bedroom. He needed to get away from those nurturing hands as fast as possible before his over-starved libido gave him any more ideas.
Kenshin spent the rest of the day ducking her presence, and trying to survive those situations that required him to stay. He wasn't quite sure why his fantasies were following him into the daylight hours, but he could plainly see his innocent little kendo instructor ravishing him at inopportune moments. From nibbling on his ear lobe; to sensually running her hands under his gi; to outright plopping herself in his lap and demanding a lesson in the more intimate side of sword-fighting. At one point he thought his mind was going to take him step by agonizing step through a seductive strip tease when the real Kaoru had complained of her kimono being a little too stuffy. Then stating that she might have to remove a layer. At another she was illicitly suggesting they play a game of tag… wearing blindfolds and nothing else. Though how the large radish she was holding in her hands had anything to do with it, he was not quite sure.
The most recent occurrence had happened when he had walked in on her finishing up their supper. Since she had refused to let him fix that meal as well, he had thought he might suggest she let him help. Though he didn't know why he was trying to put himself in such a dangerous position. Standing in the doorway, watching her happily chop away at the vegetables, his traitorous eyes had slid over her figure, following the curve of her straight back to the intricate knot of the obi at her waist. Intrigued by the way she could tie such a chore without even being able to see it, he had stalked silently forward, stopping only when she was near enough to touch. Studying the loops and stiff material, he smiled when he found the end and reached out to tug it loose. With a slither and a plop the obi had puddled at her feet, her kimono gapping wide down the front.
It had taken little imagination to divest her of the rest of her clothes, and then her body had leaned back against him, her breath catching and gasping in her throat as he had touched her. The smell of her had overwhelmed the food. The feel of her had ruled out the notion that it was only a little obscene. The taste of the sweat on her skin had killed all other reason, and as she had moaned and writhed in his arms while he led her down her own path of pleasure, she had cut her finger with the knife and cried out in pain. Which then, of course, had forced a whole knew set of problems on him. Especially when she had pouted out that perfect lower lip and then sucked the bleeding digit into the well of her mouth.
Closing his eyes and cursing, Kenshin tugged at the tie of his hakama and kicked his legs out of their confining material. It was a damn nuisance having his mind play with his body all day. His stomach was so cramped he was afraid he was going to have pains for the rest of his life. What was worse, Kaoru seemed to be almost helping it along. Not that she could have known he was thinking about tearing her clothes off and finding out just how loud she would scream his name when he took her. She was only worried about his health, and he knew she was just trying to make him more comfortable, but damn if the woman wasn't making it worse. Fighting his way out of his gi, Kenshin threw it across the room to join the pile of his hakama.
A soft knock sounded on the outside of his door, and Kenshin froze, his stance like that of a deer's, ready to run.
"Kenshin? Is it all right if I come in?"
No! And No again! Pulling at his hair, Kenshin looked around his room and spotted his sleeping yukata. Tugging it on over his naked body, he tied the sash in a quick knot and stumbled over to open the door, hoping that if he kept her outside of it, she would stay outside of it. Kaoru smiled at him from the hallway, and he noticed in one quick glance that she was in her own sleeping yukata, her hands full with a large ceramic bowl and a dry wash cloth.
"What did you need from this one, Kaoru-dono?" Swallowing over the feeling that something else was going to go wrong, he tried for a harmlessness that he didn't feel.
"Well, I thought that since you haven't been feeling good," Brushing past him, she stepped into his room and turned, offering the bowl. "that a cool cloth might help you to sleep better. My mother use to use this for me when I was running a fever."
"Ah… thank you, Kaoru-dono. You are too kind to this one." Reaching quickly for the bowl, he was surprised when she deftly moved it out of his reach.
"You can't do it yourself, Kenshin. I'll have to do it for you."
Staring across the candlelit room, Kenshin looked at Kaoru's innocently offering form and could clearly imagine her bathing his forehead with a wet cloth. Right, and this one is sure he will be able to keep himself from imagining anything else in the process. Not a chance. "It is fine, Kaoru-dono, this one will manage. You should go to bed and not worry about this one."
"It's not going to kill you Kenshin. Just let me help you." She stepped toward him, and he stepped back, his retreat desperate.
"This one does not want to bother you."
"You're not bothering me, Kenshin. I'm the one that offered."
She had backed him into a corner, and he watched as she balanced the bowl in one hand and dipped two fingers into the water with the other, swirling the liquid around. "I'm offering you anything you want."
Rolling his head to the side, Kenshin knocked his head hard into the wall.
"Kenshin! What is wrong with you today?"
Opening his eyes, he plastered a rurouni smile on his face and walked to her, his hands barely touching her as he ushered her out of his room. "Nothing is wrong with this one, Kaoru-dono. He is feeling much better now, and he thanks you for your concern. But you really need to be going to bed now."
Twisting at the last moment, Kaoru shoved the bowl back between them, the water sloshing ominously. "But Kenshin, please just let me do this for you."
Desperate now, his hands wrapped around the other side of the bowl and held her back. "This one is sorry he has worried you, but he is just fine, Kaoru-dono."
"Why do you have to be so difficult?" In one last effort she tried to push the bowl forward to lever him back, a touch of anger darkening her features. Still fearful of his own reactions with her so near, he countered in the same fashion. The bowl tilted, the water jumped, and Kaoru gasped in shock as the entire left side of her yukata was soaked from shoulder to knee.
"Oh no, Kaoru-dono, this one is so sorry!" Is what he knew he should have said, but his lips were too numb to speak as he stared in fascination. He didn't know water did such wonderful things to the white material of a yukata when it was on a woman. Plastered as it was to her skin, he could practically see through the wet silk to every dip and curve on the left side of her body. Not to mention the way the cool liquid tightened the tip of her breast, its budding hardness pushing defiantly against the material covering it.
"We should really be going to bed now, Kaoru." Whispering the words, his eyes unable to look away, he caught onto her confusion when she spoke his name. Shaking his head, he closed his eyes. "Please, Kaoru-dono, you should really be going to bed now."
Angered by her unwillingness to let him keep her out of harms way, his next actions were harsh and half-way on the verge of violence. "I said go to bed!"
Kaoru tripped backwards at the amber eyed gaze staring back at her. Bumping against the far wall of the hallway, she lowered her head in submission and clutched her arms tight to her chest. "Hai, Kenshin."
Contrite, Kenshin looked away and steadied his breathing. "This one will clean up the mess." Words still hard, the only answer he received was the soft swoosh of her sliding door as it closed.
Great, baka. Just great.
The horrible end to the night did not stop his dreams, however, and Kenshin woke the next morning in much the same situation as he had the morning before. Hot, sweaty, and completely delirious with the images of a naked Kaoru teasingly dodging his advances in a game of tag. Soft giggles still fluttering his stomach with anticipation, he climbed out of the futon and prepared himself to struggle through another day. Only this time he was sure Kaoru would not be quite as talkative and warm around his presence. Not with the way he had sent her off to bed. Sadly, Kenshin found he was almost relieved with the thought.
As he had predicted, Kaoru was subdued when he served breakfast, and she did not look at him even once when she thanked him for the meal. Soon after Yahiko was getting up and thanking him as well and they both left to start their morning training. Kaoru determinedly stating that Yahiko was going to stay for the full benefit of it this time.
Late in the morning found Kenshin once again kneeling in front of the laundry tub, finishing up with the last of the clothes. It was strange, but it seemed Kaoru's coolness towards him was actually helping to keep him from fantasizing. The noises of their training was not affecting him today, and the water under his hands did not remind him of his dreams of her in the bathtub. Though he found if he wanted to try even in the slightest, just the thought of her sweat slicked body side-tracked him long enough for it to take half an hour to wash one set of hakama. Sighing and shifting his weight, he looked up and greeted Sano this time when he walked up on him.
"Good morning, Sano. What are you doing up at this early of an hour?"
Shrugging his shoulders, Sano yawned, then plopped down on the engawa. "Thought I'd come over and see if you weren't doing any better." A large grin pulled at his face, and Kenshin sighed.
"This one is just fine, Sano."
"Sooo, took care of that fever of yours?" There was too much teasing in his voice for Kenshin to think he was talking about any kind of real fever. Shrugging his own shoulders indifferently, Kenshin concentrated on scrubbing the piece of clothing in his hands.
"This one was not running a fever, Sano. He was merely hot from scrubbing the clothes and being in the direct sunlight. See," Kenshin smiled and pointed to where he sat, in the shade of a large tree. "he is making sure the same mistake does not happen again. This one does not wish for Kaoru-dono to be worried today as well."
"Cut the bullshit, Kenshin. You and I both know that is not what was wrong with you." Irritated, but amused, Sano snorted. "Hell, if Jouchan didn't notice it's because she's too damn naïve."
"And if she is naïve, this one would rather her stay that way, Sanosuke. So please, keep your voice down."
"Che… if you're going to be like that, why don't you just go to a damn brothel and be done with it." Kenshin's face twisted slightly, and Sano smirked.
Shaking his head, Kenshin sighed, his voice low. "They are just dreams, Sano. They are as meaningless as a gnat in a spider web."
"And it's just sex, Kenshin. If what you say is true, you'd take the easy way out and go to the brothel… And I could sleep with Jouchan and get away with it." Kenshin's features hardened, and Sano held up his hands and laughed at the appearance of amber irises. "Hey, if you want to talk in riddles I can damn well make up shit too."
"And you can go elsewhere and try to be funny."
"What the hell, Kenshin? I don't see what the damn problem is."
"That's because you have no conscience in the matter. This one is thinking only of Kaoru-dono and her reputation."
"Reputation? Kenshin, she lives in this house with you and Yahiko. Yahiko is young enough that nobody questions his presence, but you… shit Kenshin, everybody else thinks you two are already married. It's only after they find out that you aren't that people start to wonder. If you were trying to save her reputation by keeping your hands to yourself, you're doing just about the exact opposite."
Frowning, Kenshin felt his stomach heave in afterthought.
Sighing, Sano stood to his feet, and rubbed a hand over his face. "Look, her reputation is fine, alright. Either way you want to go, she has enough friends that know her to know better than to let some two bit gossip go around about her. If you're still waiting for something, though Kami knows what it is, then… take a cold bath or something." Throwing the suggestion out like he threw out his arm, he tucked his hands in his pockets and walked off. "I'll see ya around, Kenshin."
Kenshin watched Sano leave with a frown on his face. That man sees entirely too much for his own good.
Lunch came and went in much the same fashion as breakfast, only this time Kenshin could not keep his eyes off of Kaoru, his thoughts contemplative. She caught him, from time to time, and after that first furtive glance from sapphire irises, he found that she was relieved with what she saw. She smiled back the second time, and he happily took the opportunity to offer her more tea, which she gratefully accepted.
When the meal was done, and Yahiko up to start his chores, Kaoru stated that she was hoping to enjoy another pot of tea, maybe on the engawa. Glad that she was no longer anxious about his presence, and hoping to apologize in his own way, Kenshin offered to make more, and was therefore surprised when Kaoru declined and took the chore upon herself.
As they sat and watched Yahiko sweep the yard, Kaoru poured him a cup of tea then lifted her own cup to cradle in her hands. Her voice was light as she asked him if she had heard Sano earlier, and Kenshin answered as best he could, nonchalantly stating that he was only there on Megumi's behalf to see if he was still running a fever. They made small talk, a feat that Kenshin was easy at, and after the first cup of tea was gone he gladly accepted another.
Sitting in her presence again, warm and content with the knowledge that she was no longer frightened or upset, Kenshin languidly leaned against one of the posts on the porch. The rhythmic sweeping of the broom coupled with the swishing of leaves in the trees lulled him into a lazy state of carelessness, and he watched in interest as Kaoru sat down her full cup of tea and stretched her arms high above her head. Still wearing her training gear, her breast bindings pushed against the folded material, molding them over her chest and finally sliding sensually back down when she relaxed. Intrigued, he followed the movement of her hands as she fluffed the gi out and back, a huff of air puffing her bangs out of her face as she tried to cool herself off. With each extension of the material he could see the rounded curve of her heavy breast, covered only by the light support of her wrappings. Stomach fluttering, he saw her catch sight of his gaze, a sly grin pulling at her lips.
Slim fingers stopped their hurried movements, slowing to a teasing glide as they traced the neckline up and down once. Then, as if to taunt him, they lifted the material a few inches from her chest, giving him access to the form underneath. Furthering his torment, they slipped the shoulder off completely, baring the blossom soft skin to his view. Blue irises looked first to the offering, then lifted lucid eyes to him, a dare to come and get what he wanted. Unable to move, he shook his head, and she smiled and shrugged. "Shall I come to you then?" Hands gliding softly over the wood, she lifted herself from her sitting position to catwalk her way to him. Swallowing at the way her bottom swayed from side to side, he automatically lifted his hands to curve around her arms when she leaned in to leave a tiny lick on his neck.
Growling, he pulled her forward, forcing her to straddle his lap with the proximity of their bodies. Yanking down the other side of her gi, he planted his mouth over the hollow where shoulder met neck and suckled on the sweet smelling skin. Her hips bucked in chastisement to his actions and he groaned at the pressure of heat against him. Laughing, she dug her fingers into his hair and whispered softly in his ear. "Are you almost ready for me, my love?"
A soft rattling woke him from his doze, and Kenshin jumped, his eyes lifting to stare at Kaoru's figure picking up their dishes. An affectionate smile spread across her face, and she laughed softly. "You fell asleep."
"If you're still sleepy you should rest some more. I'll try not to bother you."
Humming in the back of his throat, Kenshin leaned his head back against the post, his eyes closing. "How can this one rest if you are not here, though?" The rattling stopped and Kenshin frowned at his careless tongue. Parting his eyes carefully, he looked up to study Kaoru's face. The affectionate smile was gone and in its place an expression of pleased surprise, her lips curving ever so slightly upward in a delicate happiness.
"I… could stay, if you wanted me to, Kenshin."
Yawning, he stretched then shook his head and stood. "That would not do, Kaoru-dono. This one has chores to finish and he does not want to take up your time either."
"Very well." She left him with a soft pat on the arm and a warm smile, her figure slipping back into the house and through the door to the kitchen. Shaking himself of the dream, and trying to be content with the warm moments like the one they had just shared, Kenshin set off to chop wood for the bathhouse fire. Though only to heat Kaoru's bath, because he was pretty sure he was going to be using Sano's suggestion and take a cold bath for the next few days. No need to rush anything just because he knew it would not hurt her reputation either way. Who said that she was ready for anything more?
And besides, Kaoru was the type of woman that needed to be courted first. She deserved that type of caring and love. She was respectable, beautiful, and innocent. She was not an easy person, and not someone that tainted their honor by giving themselves to the likes of him. At least, not in the ways his mind was tormenting him with. Maybe after she had accepted him and he had introduced her to such things, but not before… never before.
Which means plenty of cold baths for this one for the next… oh, year or so. Wincing at the thought, Kenshin wondered if his stomach muscles would survive. Especially if he had many more days like the last one.
The last two, he amended later after splitting a decent sized pile of wood for Kaoru's baths.
Walking back alongside the engawa to the kitchen, he passed Kaoru's room in the process, a soft rustling of fabric greeting his ears. Vaguely realizing that she was changing, he threw an off glance at the door, not expecting nor really hoping at that moment to see anything; since his mind had been giving him plenty of visions to keep him occupied. He figured, though, that somewhere in his suddenly perverted conscious he had reasoned that the real deal was quite a bit better than any fantasy, and in subconsciously thinking, acted upon said reason. And when he was rewarded for such actions, a crack in the door giving view to the woman inside, the tight muscles in his stomach clenched harder. Heart hammering when sapphire irises met his through the crevice, he jumped when the shoji slid open with force.
Standing on the engawa in nothing but a gi, one slim hand came to rest on her hip, the movement causing her weight to shift and the short material of her top to pull up further on one side. With all that leg showing, Kenshin didn't know if he would be able to answer when she spoke, let alone look at her face in politeness.
"What do you think you're doing peeking into my room, Himura Kenshin?" Her voice was full of mock anger, and violet eyes shifted to watch her fingers when their loose curl lifted to the tie at her waist. "You know you only have to ask if you wanted to look." Anticipating the parting of her short robe, he blinked when her hand stopped, its slender form beckoning him to come to her instead. "Won't you come and help me this time, Kenshin?" Bare feet stepping back to make room for him on the shaded porch, she tugged at her neckline with the other hand. "I'm tired of undressing myself. And besides," Fingers twining through his gi when he found himself in front of her, he swallowed at the tilt of her lips. "I want to see you, too."
Calloused hands slid under his gi, scrapping sensually over the muscles of his chest, rubbing lightly down his ribs before sliding around to his back, bringing her body closer. Patient fingers walking up his spine, her voice hummed in approval and a provocative longing, her throat vibrating his collarbone. "You're so warm, koibito. Is all this heat for me?" Brushing her lips over his jaw as she pulled back, she placed enough room in between their bodies for her hands to work at the knot of his hakama. "Can I have more?" As the tie came free she sighed in appreciation, his hakama falling to the floor and her fingers parting his gi. Carefully, she grazed her palms over his stomach and down lower to his hips, tickling his tense muscles and teasing them with her almost touch.
His own grip dug desperately into her arms where he held her, unable to act in response as he focused solely on her actions and what they were doing to his body. Aware of the shiver that raced through her, he closed his eyes on a groan when she leaned in to nibble on his ear, her voice slightly urgent when she spoke. "Hurry, Kenshin. I want to feel you touch me now." Reacting only to the command, he yanked quickly on the sash at her waist, the whisper of fabric rubbing fabric a welcoming rush in his ears. Before he could explore the wonderful dips and hollows of her body, however, she was clutching herself to him, gasping as the heat of his body seared hers. "I don't want to wait anymore Kenshin. Please." Nodding in agreement, he braced a hand around the curve of her face, bringing her back level with him, to lean in and taste those inviting lips.
Would he forever wake up to that questioning worry plain in her voice?
Blinking open glazed eyes, he jerked when he found himself staring into large sapphire pools, their deep depths closer than he had expected them to be. Realizing his predicament, in full, he waited with bated breath for the lashing he was sure to receive. For not only was his forehead almost leaning into hers, their noses touching minimally, but his hand was twined into her hair, his other arm wrapped gently around her back. Not to mention he was standing outside of her room, while she had been changing, and had apparently accosted the poor girl when she had decided to leave. It didn't matter that he had done all of this without his conscious knowledge.
Blushing and stuttering in embarrassment, Kenshin released her rather quickly, only to find her own hand halfway fisted into his clothing. Waiting for the recoil of her punch, he jumped when instead her palm came to rest on his forehead. "Are you sure you're really feeling any better today, Kenshin. You look like you've been walking around, delirious from fever or something." Shifting her grip on him, she placed the cool skin of the backside of her hands on both of his cheeks, and he sighed at the slight relief. Though he was considerably confused as to why she hadn't beaten him to a bloody pulp yet. The only sign that she had even reacted to his overzealous actions was the stain of a blush still dusting her cheeks.
She must really think this one is sick if she is not hurting him yet. Now what does this one do?
Smiling a rurouni smile, Kenshin backed up to the edge of the porch. "This one is not sure what is wrong with him, Kaoru-dono. Maybe this one should see Megumi-dono just to be sure. We are needing supplies for dinner tonight anyway, and this one was just coming here to tell you that he was going into town to fetch them. This one will stop by the clinic on his way."
"Do you want me to go with you, Kenshin?" Her voice was still full of concern, but she hadn't made another move to come closer to him.
"No." Trying to sooth over his sudden urgency to keep her away from him, Kenshin held up his hands and waved them in front of his body. "That's not necessary, Kaoru-dono. The clinic is not far, and if there is anything wrong with this one he will take care of it there." Not a chance in hell this one will take care of anything there. Amending the statement in his mind, Kenshin let the words go, knowing they would make Kaoru feel better.
"Well, I was hoping to stop by and visit Tae this afternoon. Are you sure you'll be ok?"
"This one is fine, Kaoru-dono. Please do not worry about him. You have fun visiting with Tae-dono and this one will have the bath ready for you when you get back."
"Now Kenshin, you don't need to do that. You should probably be resting right now as it is." Fisting both hands on her hips, Kaoru glared at him. "The only reason I'm letting you go into town is so you can go to the clinic. If I come back and find the bath ready for me, I won't forgive you."
"Maa, maa, it is not a big chore, Kaoru-dono." Stepping down off the engawa, his feet slipping back into his sandals, Kenshin placated her. "But this one will not argue with you."
"I'm glad you're finally seeing it my way."
The statement could have been a lot more provocative than it was, and Kenshin made a beeline for the kitchen to wash up without a backwards glance, afraid of what his imagination would show him if he did.
Splashing his face with cold water from the well, Kenshin shivered as the cool droplets ran down the back of his neck and dripped off his chin, soothing the overheated skin and relaxing the tense muscles of his shoulders. Satisfied that the water had done its work well, he adjusted his clothing and made his way out the gate into town, hoping to finish up his shopping as quickly as possible so that he could take a full dunk in the bath before Kaoru came home. There was no way in hell he was going to waste time at the clinic when he knew already what was wrong with him. And he knew for a fact that nothing Megumi-dono could do would help him in the slightest. Nor any other woman for that matter.
Thirty minutes later Kenshin was hurrying back through the gate, his lungs heaving slightly at the sprint he had made through town. Dropping off the food in the kitchen he hurried his way to the back of the yard, straight to the bathhouse with the intent of soaking in the hopefully cold water. Even without the images of Kaoru dancing through his head or the daydreams that hit him at random, his skin seemed to be flushing at intervals, catching him off guard with sparks of desire. Closing the door to the outer room of the bathhouse, he quickly stripped himself of his sweaty clothes and wrapped his hips in a towel, wanting to be in and out before Kaoru came home and wanted her bath. He was hoping to have the water warm for her before then, no matter how angry she was going to be.
Anticipating the shock and relief of the water, Kenshin slid open the inside door, his left foot already taking a quick step inside, before it froze midair. Staring in horror at the mistake he had made, Kenshin's head snapped back, his eyes unable to break away from the blue blinking back at him. Half-raised out of the water, her own bath apparently finished, Kaoru stood clenching the sides of the tub for support, everything from the tips of her pelvic on up bare to his gaze. And with her hair bound up in a towel on top of her head, nothing but the angle of her body kept him from seeing everything. From the gentle flare of her hips into her flat stomach; to the wonderful slope of her smooth back; to the unbound curve of her chest, their heavy weight perfectly rounded, the tips tightened by the cooler air.
Stunned by his own latent response, ashamed by the length of his perusal, Kenshin lifted his eyes back to hers in time to catch the parting of her lips. Anticipating a scream, he jerked back and slammed the door shut, ripping the towel from his waist and tugging his arms through the sleeves of his gi. Tying the sash quickly, he swept up his hakama, throwing them over an arm and bolted out the door, forgetting his tabi altogether. Shoving his feet into his sandals, he sprinted his way up the yard to the far side, stopping around a corner of the house to jump into his hakama. Knotting the tie in harried motions, he quick walked to the gate and ran into Yahiko on his way out.
"Hey Kenshin!" Lifting an eyebrow at the mussed state of his clothing, Yahiko stopped and stared. "Uh… where are you going? Supper's in an hour or so."
"Just taking a walk, Yahiko-kun." Laughing, the sound slightly hysterical, Kenshin hopped away from the boy and walked backwards out the gate. "Tell Kaoru-dono not to worry, this one will be back for supper."
Unsure of where he was going, Kenshin walked to the outside of town, back behind the dojo where the river ran through. Knowing he needed to get away from everything civilized, he weaved his way through the bamboo forest, stopping at a small pool the river collected in before making its way further on. Breathing a deep sigh of relief at the stillness of the haven he had found, cool earth and water filling his lungs, he stepped to the edge of the pool and dipped his fingers in the liquid. It was quite cold and the longer he stared at his reflection, the better the notion became to just tip himself in. Especially with the way the sun was beating down on his head. Course of action decided, he stripped down and waded in, sucking in a sharp breath at the shock it sent through his system. If nothing else worked to keep his mind off of Kaoru's naked body, this definitely would.
Within five minutes his body was blessedly numb from the cold, and he swam in lazy circles to keep the blood halfway circulated. Contented with the clarity of his mind and the absence of desire and heat, Kenshin finally pulled himself from the pool a quarter of an hour later, his body dripping puddles on the dry bank and his skin rippling in goose-bumps from the gentle breeze. Without a towel to dry himself off with, Kenshin simply put his dirty clothes back on, their material sticking to his wet body, his soaked hair plastering to the back of his gi and turning the rich red into an almost black. Sighing, Kenshin felt that he was not yet ready to head back to the dojo, so he settled himself down in the grass. Besides, he would need to let his clothes dry first or he would get bombarded with questions when he went home.
Home. That was what it had become to him. A place of shelter and love that accepted him no matter the consequences. No matter his actions. He hoped he could still call it home this time. No matter how sick they thought he was he doubted he would get away with walking in on Kaoru while she was bathing, and then seeing most of her naked, wet body in the process. Hopefully he would get a hard whack on the head, a sharp rebuke, and a threat that if he ever dared do that again she would beat him to a bloody pulp speech. It wasn't like he had done it on purpose.
Sighing again, he raked a hand through his hair in agitation, frustrated with the last couple of days and the actions his fantasies had led him into. Then jumped when a small hand lightly touched his shoulder. Turning quickly, he found Kaoru standing over the top of him, a dark purple kimono wrapped around her slight figure and a small smile pulling at her lips. At first he was afraid his imagination was working on him again, but after a couple of seconds she shifted her weight and gestured at the patch of grass next to him. "Ano… is it ok if I sit next to you, Kenshin?" Stuttering softly, he settled himself back down and nodded his head. "H-hai." Her smile widened slightly, and she braced a hand on his shoulder before carefully kneeling on the ground, aware of the grass stains she could inflict on her clothing. Finally situated, she turned to him, a small blush darkening her face. Searching for something to say, she reached out and picked up the end of his sleeve, lifting its wet material for reference.
"Did you take a dip in the pool Kenshin?" Her voice was teasing, and Kenshin laughed, his cords slightly strained.
"It seemed like a good idea to this one."
"Hmm… I bet it was lovely in this heat." Agreeing with him, her smile was less guarded and she looked out over the water with a slight wonder in blue depths. "My father used to let me take swims out here when I was younger, but… I'm afraid it wouldn't be appropriate for me anymore." She sighed, and his lips twitched into a smile. More relaxed in her presence with the cool down of his system, Kenshin encouraged the conversation.
"It would only be a problem if you thought someone was going to be walking by. This place is still secluded enough that the chance would be slim. This one is sure if you had someone to come here with it would not be such a bad idea. That way you could take turns keeping a look out."
"Someone like who, Kenshin?"
Blinking, he blushed slightly and looked away. "This one is sure Misao-dono would come here with you."
"Oh." It was quiet for a moment as she thought, the gentle chirp of the birds keeping melody with the wind. "I guess you're right, Kenshin. I'll have to see if Misao-chan would want to come with me the next time she's down. It would have to be before the end of summer, though. If not, we'd have to wait until next year." She sighed again, and the silence descended, a more protracted absence of words than before. Recognizing the uncomfortable atmosphere for what it was, Kenshin realized he was going to have to say something about the incident in the bathhouse if they were going to be, at the least, friends again. Somehow it was much easier knowing that she was not completely mad at him. She had come there in search of him after all.
"Ano… this one is sorry… for earlier, Kaoru-dono. This one did not know that you were home yet and…"
"It's alright, Kenshin. It wasn't your fault." Shrugging her shoulders, Kaoru picked a strand of grass and twiddled with the length distractedly. "I came home earlier than either of us thought because Tae-san was busy at the Akebeko and I didn't want to disturb her. So I thought I would visit her tomorrow and came home to take a quick bath while you were still in town. Apparently you just had the same idea." Her laughter rang out and she flicked the piece of grass away from her. "The look on your face was priceless, though. I thought you were going to faint with shock." She turned her face to him, and he looked in awe at the mirth that tilted the corners of her lips and eyes.
"This one thought he was dead for sure." Nodding his head in mock seriousness, Kenshin laughed softly when she playfully shoved him.
"Now, Kenshin, you know my principles are strictly against killing." Pursing her lips she tilted her head to the side. "Maybe just lose a hand or something."
"Mou, this one certainly does not want that. Would you settle for a finger?"
Giggling, she shook her head and reached around to pull his hair. "Iie, I will settle for nothing less than all of your hair."
"This one's hair?" Surprised, Kenshin turned as well, their bodies paralleling one another's.
"Well, let me trim it at least." Holding up the ends for her perusal she studied the splits and breaks with a large amount of dismay. Grinning at the cute expression, he was about to relax when she lifted her other hand to his bangs.
"You wouldn't mind, would you Kenshin? It'll be easier for you to see and they'll be much healthier." Her face leaned in closer as she studied the smaller strands and he held himself very still, his eyelids fluttering when hot breath ghosted over his neck.
"Iie, Kaoru-dono. This one wouldn't mind. If it repays his debt to you." Words quiet, slightly anxious, dark amethyst irises roved over her face, too aware of the closeness they were sharing. Sapphire eyes lifted slowly to his, laughter still lighting their depths, drowning slowly as they caught on to the look in his. Trembling fingers touched the scar on his cheek, brushing over the indentions in his skin before combing gently upwards through his hair. Taking the invitation, he closed the distance between them and tenderly planted his lips over hers.
Vaguely he realized that he might not have been as cooled off as he thought he was.
Floating blissfully along with this considerably more innocent start to a daydream, he felt the heat rise up to pulse in his skin again and lifted his own hand to brace around the back of her neck. Stuck in the slow spin of desire, he figured he might as well play along a little more freely this time. It wasn't like it was hurting anybody. Only himself and that wouldn't happen until he woke up. So why not enjoy it while it lasted?
Loving the taste and response of her lush mouth, Kenshin shifted his body closer as she encouragingly wrapped her arms around his neck, lightly placing more weight on her kneeling form. Giving a soft sound of surprise, she followed his own gentle push of persuasion until she was lying flat on her back, his own body braced over her. Shifting his angle, he dug his fingers deeper in her hair, placing all of his weight onto his elbow. She was soft beneath him, with her fingers clenching and unclenching in his wet hair and the sounds rubbing against the back of her throat were positive and sweet. Unable to wait for his little lover to further their lovemaking this time, his free hand trailed lightly down her side, cinching in the material covering her thigh and crinkling the fabric to part the split in the kimono.
With the liberation of one slim leg Kenshin was able to place more of his weight on the ground between her knees, his hand now cupped around the underside of her thigh. A breathless shiver of longing trembled Kaoru's lips, forcing his mouth from hers as she bowed slightly back and he took the moment to kiss a path down her offered neck. Slim fingers left his hair in favor of his gi, and he groaned in surprise when she pulled him closer, her bared leg twining with the damp length of his hakama and situating him in a dominant position. Her vulnerability struck him, and he liked the trust she was placing in his actions. Hoping to reward that trust, his hand slid further up under the cloth of her kimono, skimming calloused fingers over the indent of her hip.
"K-Kenshin… as much as I w-would love to do this here, I think it m-might be a little inappropriate." Blinking, he pulled away from the delicate smelling skin of her neck and directed glazed eyes to hers; confused by what she was saying. A light giggle filled his ears and she brushed back his bangs lovingly. "We could finish this after supper. If you want."
Slamming his eyes shut as muscles cried in denial, he shook his head and shifted his weight. Supper? Right. Yahiko will be waiting… and Kaoru… what? Lost and still flushed with heat, he mentally righted himself and sifted through what was going on. This one was dreaming again… that means…! But when he opened his eyes and looked back to Kaoru she was kneeling comfortably next to him, her eyes puzzled as she still held the short length of his hair between her fingers.
"Kenshin? Did you hear what I said?"
"Ano… gomen nasai, Kaoru-dono."
Sighing, she tried again. "I said we could finish this after supper if you wanted to." His eyes widened and his mind panicked. Did she really mean what he thought she did? But then she was waving the short red strand from his bangs in his face and he relaxed in relief. She was talking about his hair. They could cut his hair after supper.
"H-hai, Kaoru-dono. That sounds good."
It was her turn to relax as she dropped the hair and placed her hand once again on his shoulder, bracing herself on him as she stood. "Good. I was afraid you might want to run off or something." Her smile was brighter as he stood with her, and as she turned to lead the way back home he absently picked out a couple stalks of grass from her hair.
Kenshin sighed as he put the finishing touches on the knot of his sash, his sleeping yukata wrapped softly around his body. Lifting a finger to flick over the trimmed bangs in his face, he grinned sardonically then pulled at the tie holding back the rest of his hair. Kaoru had done a good job of cleaning them up and he found he could actually see without having to irritably slap at their length every few minutes. Not that he hadn't gotten used to it and he actually felt slightly bare without the secure covering they gave, but she had assured him that his hair would grow back. Faster apparently since she had cut it back a ways. The thought didn't make much sense to him, but it had made her happy and that was all that mattered.
Sighing again, he unfolded the futon in the middle of his room and fluffed out the blankets before situating the pillow and deciding himself ready to turn in for the night. It had been a long day, and he didn't know if he was going to be able to make it through a third. Shaking the thought, he blew out the candle and climbed into the waiting bed. He wasn't going to think about the next day yet. He needed sleep first and then in the morning… well, he would see. Besides, first he had to survive the night and whatever little dreams his mind decided to bless him with.
Within seconds of laying down, violet eyes were popping open in disbelief as the inside shoji of his room slid quietly open then close. Sitting up quickly in the dark, a vague press of shadows walked to him, kneeling down next to his futon and studying him as he studied it. Tense and expectant, the light smell of jasmine wafting to his nose and making known the identity of his late night intruder, Kenshin shifted uncomfortably when she lifted a finger to brush over his arm.
"Kaoru-dono, what are you doing in this one's room?"
A pause buzzed the air around them and Kenshin felt her body tense, then a shaky breath filled her lungs and her hand wrapped around his wrist, bringing his palm to cradle her face. "I thought we could finish what we started earlier." It was his turn to tense, and even knowing she could not see, his eyes widened in alarm. What did she mean? What had they started? Surely she wasn't talking about his daydream? But that wasn't real. How could she know…? Unless she was a dream too. Yes, that was what it was. He was dreaming again.
"Unless you don't want to…" Her voice trailed off and Kenshin was confused to find a note of uncertainty in her tone. Slowly brushing his thumb over her cheekbone, he brought up his other hand to lovingly hold her face close to his.
"Of course I want to, koishii." She trembled in his grip and he frowned at her response. Tentatively she pecked a kiss on his lips, and unsure of his own reasons, he let her do as she willed, becoming more curious by the moment when her touch was hesitant and light. Shivering at the featherlike ghosting of her fingers, he decided to test his little koibito, rolling his weight and her own until her head lay on his pillow and her upraised knees braced against his side.
"Kaoru…" Eyes adjusted to the minimal light in his room, he followed the outline of her face as he swept back her bangs, finding her blue eyes looking shyly into his. Overcome by the soft creature in his bed, he leaned down to nuzzle his nose into her jaw, feeling warm and comfortable, barely breaking the verge of desire. "Is this another dream, koibito, or are you finally giving yourself to me for real?"
"…Would it matter either way, Kenshin?" Breathless and uncertain, her response made him smile.
Humming low in his throat, he nibbled on the curve of her chin, then pulled back to lift the hair twined through his fingers to his nose. "I suppose it could, koishii." Warm golden irises found hers in the dark and his smile widened. "But for now I will simply make the best of what I am given." Releasing her hair in a silky slide he reintroduced his fingers to the feel of her yukata, following the figure beneath with touch and watching her reaction with interest. "Tomorrow, I will know either way, hmm?" Wrapping the end of her sash around his palm, he loosened the knot in an unhurried slide, patiently watching her eyes darken and give him her response. "Whether I wake up with your body curled into mine or not, I think I will have you again in the morning." Flicking aside the silk of her robe he ducked his lips to her ear, listening to her whimper when he touched skin. "Because tonight, I will make you mine."
Yahiko slammed aside the door to the Akabeko in disgust, his dark eyes looking in at the only booth occupied. Three pairs of eyes stared back at him expectantly, but before he could make his report, Tsubame walked in with a tray for tea and he ducked his head and blushed. He was not making his stupid report with her innocent ears listening. By the twist of his face, however, he found that he did not have to say a word.
Laughter, loud and long erupted from Sano's mouth and he jumped up to smack the kid on the back. "Don't look so disgusted. It's only natural."
Crossing his arms Yahiko searched for the words to describe his indignity, blurting out the first thing that came to mind. "It's disturbing."
"Why? Are they loud?" Feigning a sick interest, Sano laughed harder when Yahiko pulled away from him, his face appalled.
"No! I mean… not really." Blushing he looked away. "It's loud enough, alright."
"Sanosuke, leave the poor boy alone." Megumi spoke up from the booth, her lips curved in amusement. "He does have to live with them, after all."
"All the more reason to get used to it."
Back at the table, Tae sighed, her features dreamily happy. "I'm so glad those two are finally together. Poor Kaoru-chan has been rather hopeless these last couple of months. Himura-san has not been giving very good signals to the poor girl."
"Not something she'll have to worry about anymore." Sano elbowed Yahiko suggestively and laughed when the boy glared angrily back at him.
"Would you just shut up."
"Megumi-sensei, what did you give Kaoru-san anyway?" Tsubame, serving their tea, spoke up, her head ducking and a blush brightening her cheeks at her own boldness.
Megumi grinned slyly and leveled a knowing look on the girl. "Oh, just a little something I mixed up by accident one day when I was proscribing a painkiller to a patient. Boy was he surprised." A foxy laugh lifted from her throat, and Megumi covered her mouth modestly. "It was an easy mistake of mine, but I never would have thought mixing up one ingredient would have such a drastic effect on the medicine."
"Megumi-sensei! Was your patient angry?" Shocked but curious, Tae broke in, her eyes wide.
"On the contrary, he thanked me. Apparently there was this woman he was in love with, but he was too shy to make his affections known to her. After a couple of days of my medication, and a good few hours of awkward moments, they… well, lets just say they are happily married and awaiting their first child." Another giggle, and Tae was joining in on her mirth.
"I still can't believe Jouchan had the guts to use it on Kenshin though." Sano plopped back down on the seat next to Megumi, his arm lifting to wrap around her shoulders.
Shrugging, Megumi lifted her tea to her lips. "She's the one who came to me for help, I merely suggested the option. She knew there were consequences and certain risks to the use of it, but… she was determined."
"Risks?" Tsubame's voice was slightly fearful now, and Megumi gave her a comforting smile.
"All so called 'love potions' have risks, Tsubame-chan. In this case, since the mixture increases the persons sex drive and basically leaves them in… well, you get the idea… this opens up many doors for the person who is administering the drug to hurt themselves in the process. One example, maybe the person they are giving it to does not find them attractive in the least, and so, fantasizes about someone else. That is why I do not recommend 'love potions' at all." Pursing her lips, Megumi's eyes turned sardonic. "But in Kaoru's case, we all pretty much know that the only thing holding them back was Ken-san. So… no harm done."
"Yeah, pretty much the hardest part was slipping the stuff into the tea without Kenshin noticing and then not drinking any of it ourselves." Yahiko made a face. "I had to go without anything to drink for the past two days."
"Oh you poor baby." Sano reached over and pinched his cheek. "All you had to do was come over here and Tsubame-chan would get you anything you wanted."
Yahiko attacked the older man with a yell, but his face was as bright red as Tsubame's.
"Well, I thought she was going to give up this morning, especially when Yahiko-kun told us that she hadn't given him the drug with their morning meal."
"Oh, the little twit must have gotten discouraged by something that happened the night before. She's actually lucky that Ken-san didn't suspect anything when it started wearing off."
Sano laughed and pushed the boy off of him. "I wonder if she'll tell him in the morning. Although, he might just think he's calmer because he got some."
Yahiko sat down crossed legged on the floor. "Pervert."
Sano stuck his tongue out at him.
"How many couples have you given this to, Megumi-sensei?" Tsubame spoke up again, apparently curious about the drug.
"Oh, only a few. I don't really like handing it out to people. I don't want them thinking I'm some kind of love doctor." Megumi paused and studied the girl's face, then leveled a stern look on her. "Now Tsubame-chan, you are much too young to be using love potions."
Tsubame blushed, and Yahiko looked up from his position on the floor with a deep set frown. "Who would you be wanting to give that stuff to?"
Tsubame stammered and hid her face behind her tea tray, stating in a high pitched voice that she was going to clean up the kitchen… again. Sano laughed loudly, before standing, kicking the boy in the backside. "Don't think about it too hard, kid." Offering his hand to Megumi he helped her out of the booth. "It's getting kind of late, I think it's time we got outta here."
Trading goodbyes with the others, Sano placed his arm around Megumi's shoulders again as they walked out the door into the night. "Hey fox, did you think of a name for your little love potion yet?"
A soft giggle floated into the air and she tossed him a look. "Yeah, I did…"
Kenshin hummed contentedly in the back of his throat, his body wonderfully relaxed and floating in blissful heat. Sighing at the abrupt change to his morning ritual, thankful that he would not be suffering from the same fate as the last two mornings, Kenshin curled himself tighter around the soft ball of warmth beside him.
Though his dreams had not stopped their wanderings through intimacy with his more than feminine housemate, this time they did not leave him with a feeling of disappointment and frustration. Though there had been several, in fact multiple occurrences, Kenshin was content, if not a little exhausted. Completely comfortable, he trembled in a gentle, wakening desire as jasmine filled his nostrils.
Mind sluggishly churning out the alien intrusion of such a scent into his room, he fluttered open tired eyes and stared at the curve of smooth skin his nose was tucked against. Startled, Kenshin jerked, his legs tangling with the blanket and stalling his violent actions. Caught halfway on and off the futon, he stared as his actions pulled Kaoru's naked body onto her back, her face crunching as her sleep was disturbed so rudely.
"Wha's goin' on?" Mummering, she yawned, her hands reaching for the blanket instinctively. Blue eyes parting, fingers holding the coverings to her chest, she braced up onto an elbow, prompting him to scuffle quickly to shield his own nakedness. "Kenshin?"
Tremulous, Kenshin slowly scooted closer, unsure of what was going on himself, but aware that she would be expecting a response from him for his actions. "Hai?"
"Are you okay?" Close enough to share more of the blanket, Kaoru plopped back down and lifted her freed hand to his chest. Heavily lidded eyes fluttered tiredly, but she struggled with her fatigue in an attempt to make sure he was fine before letting it take her.
"T-this… one thinks so."
"Hmm." Apparently satisfied with the answer, Kaoru relaxed fully, rolling her weight into the crook of his body and snuggling her face into his shoulder. "Good… go back to sleep."
Huffing out a soft breath of laughter at her muffled demand, his arm curled around her regardless of his confusion, his nose nuzzling her hair. "But Kaoru… this one would like to know why you are in his bed."
Loose muscles stiffened under his touch, and he knew he had her full attention. Pulling hesitantly away, Kaoru's blue eyes met his, her hands once again holding the bedclothes to her chest modestly. "Y-you don't… remember?"
"This one supposes it might be good if you remind him."
"But you… I mean…" Dodging his gaze as her cheeks darkened, she frowned at her own anxiety and jabbed a fist into his sternum. "What do you mean remind you? You're the one who kept me up most the night!"
Breathing shakily, Kenshin's mind ran through those vague images he had thought to be nothing more than dreams. Only now understanding that they were not quite so fantastical. Which meant his current state of fulfillment was the direct result of Kaoru's presence in his bed. And even though a part of him had recognized this the moment her naked skin had been discovered, his reality-challenged brain had denied every glancing touch that would have brought him pleasure.
"Kaoru-dono… this one is sorry…"
"Oh no you don't!" Sitting up quickly, Kaoru wrapped an arm around her chest to keep her covered and reached out with the other to yank on his hair. "I did not spend the last week over at that fox's listening to her preach at me about having no guts or charm! And I sure as hell didn't spend the last two days dying of thirst and trying to act normal while thinking about everything she said I was supposed to be doing to make you nervous!" Pulling on his hair again when he sat up to face her, she ignored his grimace of pain and the surprise that expression concealed. "So don't you dare tell me you're sorry now when you didn't mind me being here last night!"
"Kaoru-dono…" Watching the twitching of muscles in her face speak of a restrained despair, he slipped his hands around her bare shoulders, smiling softly to dispel her anxiety. "This one is only sorry that it seems he has dishonored the person who is most important in his life. Bedding an unmarried lady is very disrespectful and speaks very poorly of my morals." The apprehension on her features lessened and he was grateful his words had worked to soothe, but the way her head ducked in contriteness made him grin. "However, this one is beginning to suspect his choice in the matter may have been robbed from him." Lifting her chin with a finger, one eyebrow echoing the motion, he tried hard to keep his expression neutral. "What is this about Megumi-dono and dying of thirst?"
"Um… nothing important…" Diverting her irises to the side, she darkened again, swallowing hard over the knot in her throat.
Narrowing his eyes, Kenshin thought back over the last few days. While his attention had most definitely been distracted by Kaoru's sudden and rather fierce attractiveness, he was beginning to discern other activities that should have caught his suspicion earlier. Like how neither Kaoru nor Yahiko had seemed to drink a drop of their tea, even when Kaoru had gone out of her way to make another pot just to share it with him. And then the peculiar way no one else seemed to be around the dojo but for a few brief moments. Almost as if they were purposely trying to leave the two of them alone together.
Then there was Kaoru herself. Though he had spent most of his energy trying to keep himself away from her and acting normal while he was around her, he should have noticed the strange way she had directed herself towards him. Like how she had offered to bathe his forehead to help him sleep, or purposefully seeking him out after getting caught in the bath. Touching him, even as innocently as she had, when she would have never touched him before. Invading his room when she had always purposefully avoided it since it was his own personal space.
"Kaoru…" Everything forming together in his mind, since it was finally clear for the first time in days, Kenshin's eyes widened in shocked horror. "just what was in that tea that you wouldn't drink yourself?"
Surprised that he had found her out so easily with barely any clues at all, blue irises rounded and she tried to pull away. "How did you…?"
Hearing her confession, as round-a-bout as it was, forced his fingers to clench so she couldn't escape. "Kami-sama… Kaoru… what were you trying to do?"
Lips pressing together, her eyes rolled briefly before staring off to the side, the hand laying in her lap lifting to cross over her chest meaningfully. An amused laugh forced its way from Kenshin's mouth and his grip loosened. "No doubt, it would seem." Urging her to look at him again, slightly impatient of her stubbornness, his smile was sardonic. "This one's pride is wounded. Kaoru-dono, this one knows how little you like to conform to tradition, but this one would have liked to be the one to make his intentions clear first."
"Oh? Well if I had waited around for you I'd be an old lady."
"Now Kaoru-dono, this one's not sure he would have waited too much longer."
Sighing, it was his turn to look away. "So this one was having a little trouble trying to justify himself, but this one doesn't think that means you can drug him into sleeping with you."
"Well I…" Stuttering, Kaoru's muscles tensed angrily. "Megumi-san said it was perfectly safe and at least I would know for a fact if you cared for me at all. You weren't giving me any clues, so what did you expect me to do? Sit around and wait for you to talk yourself into making some kind of move?" Tapping a finger in his chest, Kaoru huffed. "Like I said, if I'd waited for you I'd be an old lady, and I didn't feel like being old and wrinkly when I finally got a confession."
Laughing outright, his eyes crinkling and his skin glowing with amusement, he leaned his forehead into hers. "This one isn't sure if a confession is all you were aiming for, Kaoru-dono."
Opening her mouth indignantly, her face flushed a brilliant crimson and she stuttered. "H-how dare… I can't believe…" Struggling, she gave up and fell into routine, punching him square in the face. "You should watch what you say, Himura Kenshin. I don't appreciate the implications."
"Orro…" Cradling his jaw, he eyed her cautiously, his lips still quirking at the dark hue of red her skin was stained. Crossing her arms, she jerked her nose up and to the side.
"Really, you deserve more than that."
A warm smile crossed his features, his hands lowering as he studied the soft way muted sunlight caressed her pale skin. He didn't want her to be angry about any of this, because he couldn't truly say that he was angry about any of it. Scooting slowly forward, he carefully situated a hand around the base of her skull, snuggling his nose behind her ear before she could push him away in irritation. Smile turning wicked, he chanced a teasing statement to coax her out of her rage.
"But, koishii, I've already had more than that." Startled, she stiffened, eeping as he pushed her back into the cushion of the mattress. "However, if you are going to be generous, I won't object."
"Well, koishii? How much are you willing to give?" Impatiently tossing aside the blanket half-covering her form, one hand returned to rest lightly on her hip, his golden eyes steady on hers. "I should warn you… that I will not simply settle for anything."
Still unbalanced, Kaoru's lips parted uncertainly, unsure what he was asking and feeling apprehensive over his meaning. "I don't…" Cut off as his hand reached for her neck and lifted her partially off the futon, she scrabbled to find a grip on the bare skin of his back.
"I will not accept any answer but the one I desire, either." Moist air dancing over her skin, she trembled when his teeth nibbled lightly on her earlobe. "Nor will I have any other woman but you." Nudging her legs apart, he fitted himself carefully between, lifting her further from the mattress until she was straddling his bent knees. Listening to her gasp, one hand slipping low on her belly, he stole the breath from her lips with his own and enjoyed the way her hips bucked in silent demand.
Satisfied that she was completely helpless to her desire, he moved moist fingers to her back and cradled her tenderly against him, hushing her soft denials patiently. "Kaoru… I told you bedding an unmarried lady was very dishonorable." Planting affectionate kisses across her shoulder, he closed his eyes as he breathed in her scent. "You, my love, are not even spoken for, and so I am completely ruined of all semblances of decency."
Bracing her delicately with one hand, he shifted and spread her back out on the futon below him. Kneeling, with only the tips of his hair touching her bare skin, he looked her over in wonder, smiling when her eyes parted languidly. One slim hand lifted, spreading over his chest, sliding to his shoulder and neck, trying to coax him into coming back. Laughing softly, he wrapped a hand around her wrist, holding it there to enjoy the warmth of such a small contact. "Will you let me try and restore my honor, koishii?" Her brows furrowed, unable to comprehend what it was he wanted. Settling a firm kiss against the palm of her hand, he snuggled his cheek against the same spot and smiled. "Will you give your vows to me and only me? Will you promise to be with me forever?"
Dark lashes blinked, and he watched realization bloom in her irises; greedily took in her reaction of surprise and then elation. Tears wetting the corners, her free hand joined her other, cupping his face tenderly… and her smile was breathtaking. "Yes. With all my heart, yes."
"Yatta." Breathing the exclamation softly into the space between them, he settled himself closer. "Now, I won't feel quite so horrible for what I'm about to do." She blinked, then pursed her lips. And his smile was wide. "Of course it is only what you deserve after making me drown in my own delirium for the last two days." A giggle caught his attention and he paused, his eyes questioning.
"I'm sorry." Pressing a hand over her mouth, Kaoru's eyes were alight with mischief. "It's just, you're right." More giggles, and she explained. "You see… that's what Megumi called it. Delirium."
"And what a fitting name." Droll, he watched her amusement heighten with his reaction. "I do not suppose you have any of it left for revenge's sake? It would be quite amusing to see Megumi-dono try and counter her own reactions to a certain rooster-head we both know."
"Too late. She already used it on him last week." Nodding her head with a chuckle at his surprised expression, Kaoru shrugged. "I asked her if we couldn't make sure it wasn't lethal before giving it to you." Red eyebrows raised, and she pulled an innocent face. "I didn't necessarily suggest the rooster-head."
"Hmph. How very sly of you, koishii. It seems you are in imminent need of punishment."
"And oh how long I've been waiting." This time it was her own smile that was wicked.
A/N: Well… hope it made you laugh. This story was purely for amusement purposes and was not meant to be anything serious, which is why it was pretty fast paced. It turned out to be longer than I thought it would, though. Ah well, at least it's longer than my other short story. XD So I hope that you could keep up with the difference between Kenshin's dreams and his reality and when the line started to blur a little bit. I thought about putting his dreams into italicized but then it would have been too obvious in places. Did you understand the drug? Did you go back and reread parts just to laugh at them after you knew? Well, if not I guess the whole thing is a failure and I can just laugh at it myself. You see… I'm not very good at comedy, and my form of humor is more on the lines of writing something that I make fun of and laughing about it because of this fact. You see, because I laugh at trashy romance novels, I wanted to try my had at it for a bit and then laugh at it because that was what I was trying to accomplish. Anyway, tell me what you thought about it and hey, don't get offended about the trashy romance novel thing… that's just what I call them and if you do read those… all the more power to ya. I won't deny I have read some in my day too. Thanks for taking the time to read this and hope it entertained you for awhile. At least until I get another chapter up in my other stories.