Well, I knew I'd snap sooner or later. Here's another unedited fic purely of my own perverse and twisted mind. I'm not posting this to get reactions (though they are appreciated) but just to warn you right now, if the idea of a flamingly homosexual alter ego Aoshi turns you off, I suggest you leave now. Immediately. On the other hand, if it makes you curious, then you won't be disappointed.Disclaimers: No, Aoshi is not a flaming homosexual, but if Watsuki-sensei and I had met before, he would have considered it... *smiles* So obviously, I had no influence over Kenshin and never will, maybe thankfully...
They Say Cameras Are Only
Good For Pictures...
"C'mon already Sano, you can be such a wimp sometimes." Megumi stubbornly straightened the midnight black tie that just wouldn't stay flat.
Sanosuke picked a stray piece of lint off his pants and whined, "C'mon yourself fox! You know, I read somewhere that every flash from a camera steals exactly one millionth of your eyesight. You as a doctor should apprecia—" He was silenced by the glare gleaming in her eyes. He settled for something weak that ran all the words together, "... plusitstealsyoursoul."
Kaoru laughed and fanned herself with the back of her hand. "Yeah, and you thought that trains were the work of devils, but we got you on one just the same."
He fidgeted in his seat. "Well, you've got to realize that the man is stronger than the machine." Just at that moment, the ground chose to shake in protest to his comment. It buckled and heaved, making the very bolts and seats shiver. Like a child, Sanosuke covered his head with his hands and cowered in his seat. "All right! I lied!! The man is weaker than the machine that runs on kettle steam!"
What a sight he looks... Megumi mused. A grown man in a suit trembling like a baby...
"Kaoru-dono, you look... lovely..." Kenshin been strangely quiet throughout the whole train ride, but Megumi knew why. The redhead had not been able to keep his eyes off Kaoru for more than two seconds, and what man didn't notice? She didn't miss the light in Sanosuke's eyes when he said that "The little girl has finally grown up" and dare she say... Megumi was just a bit jealous at all the attention.
Of course, that was the point were Sanosuke turned to her with an even more feral grin and said, "And it looks like the big girl has finally decided to dress for me."
Of course, that was also before they had gotten onto the train... now Sanosuke was reduced to a shuddering mess. Tuning out all the declarations of love Kenshin and Kaoru were exchanging, Megumi rolled her eyes and hugged Sanosuke's back. "Are you going to talk to me or are you going to just sit there comatose? If you'd just look outside, you'd see all the beautiful scenery..."
The comment made Sanosuke sit up, almost making Megumi fall over in surprise. "What are you talking about 'beautiful'?" he said angrily. The outburst made Kenshin and Kaoru stop talking and look at Megumi in shock. What did she say that could have cause such a violent reaction?
Megumi could only motion with her hands; something she did when she was at a loss for words. She scanned his eyes for an answer, but there was nothing there but fury.
Had she offended him in some way? What did she say? Did I say something wrong? Did I...
His gaze softened and the corners of his mouth turned into a grin. The action made everyone in the vicinity gasp for breath. Sanosuke draped an arm over her shoulder, and she didn't know whether this was the act of a madman or a tender one. "All the beauty I need to look at is sitting right here beside me."
Kaoru and Kenshin both let out a sigh of relief before gazing into each other's eyes again. Megumi snorted while Sanosuke smirked lecherously. "Honestly, do you have to make my heart stop like that?" She removed his arm from around her shoulders, but he didn't seemed to mind.
Instead, he put an arm around her heavily decorated waist, resting on the mounds of taffeta fabric. He jerked his head towards Kenshin and Kaoru, "Do you think we could ever look like that at each other?"
Megumi exhaled sharply. "Please, I think I'd get a cavity if you look at me with that much sap." She shifted to the farther corner of the seat while simultaneously rearranging the giant heap of fabric. The way that the lace and taffeta shone when the light hit it just right made Megumi smile; it was absolutely luxurious. While Kaoru's dress was a soft blue, hers was a bright red. She liked to scandalize the other members of her small party. The top was a tight bodice that outlined her hips perfectly, and Megumi couldn't help but feel constricted.
Such is the price for beauty...
While Kaoru chose to leave her hair down, Megumi had hers in an elegant upsweep and two loops of hair on the side of her head. It was such a beautiful dress, she didn't believe Genzai-sensei when he explained it was just "something he thought to pick up". The fabric even smelled like money, and Megumi was left wondering why in the world he'd go out of his way to pay for that dress and Sanosuke's suit.
She also felt the stares of everyone when she and Sanosuke walked by; hand in arm, just like a proper escort. If one didn't know any better, the couple looked like a foreign diplomat and his wife.
Foreign diplomat maybe... just maybe if the rooster would cut his hair...
Before long, the train had stopped at their destination: the middle of Kyoto. Kenshin briefly thought of informing Aoshi and Misao of their visit, but Kaoru decided against it. She didn't want to force themselves on them; besides, the true motive behind this trip was just to take a picture and go back to Tokyo. With a cunning smile, she said that not only would Kenshin be in a suit, but Kaoru would also con Sanosuke into coming.
Megumi was hooked instantly.
When the two couples stepped off the train, Sanosuke let out a giant sigh. "Can we walk back?"
All three other members looked at him with disbelief in their eyes until Kaoru growled and pushed down her bodice. "I can't even walk two feet in these things! How are you going to expect me to walk from Kyoto to Tokyo?" Megumi was still confounded; the idiot wanted to walk?!?
Kenshin quieted his wife's rambling by placing a hand on hers. "If you don't want to walk, I can carry you."
That stopped Kaoru right out. The resulting sappy scene that followed made Megumi sigh and turn to Sanosuke angrily. "You didn't even offer to carry me! I understand how this is going. You'd rather see me suffer for hours on end than you suffer for the short train ride over here..." She turned her back towards him and dramatically folded her arms. She saw everyone within twenty feet perk up his or her heads. A seemingly angry woman was great entertainment, even more so if she was angry with a man.
Sanosuke pleadingly put a hand on her shoulder, but in an impressive display Megumi turned it away. "C'mon fox, I didn't mean it like that..." He shot a glare at Kenshin for getting him in trouble, as if his suggestion had somehow made Megumi jealous. However confused the men were, Kaoru saw right through Megumi's ploy. She knew her mind too well to know that this was just revenge for that moment of suspense on the train. She smiled; one look at Sanosuke and you would know that the mission had been accomplished.
Without once looking back, Megumi walked off the platform, taffeta and lace swishing. "Let's get this picture taken so we can start walking. I'd like to get home before tomorrow evening. We'll get to watch all the beautiful scenery."
Sanosuke was confused for a couple moments until he strode over to where she was defiantly standing and wrapped an arm around her waist. Kaoru strained to hear what Sanosuke was whispering in Megumi's ear until Kenshin took her shoulder and shook his head. Kaoru sighed pathetically; but the short redhead in the suit stood firm. Whatever Sanosuke said had made the other woman giggle with happiness.
"Say, you look like a lovely couple. Would you want to get your picture taken? It's only one yen..."
Kaoru nodded and was about to reach into the satin drawstring purse around her wrist until Sanosuke whistled. "Oi, this one's on me, jou-chan."
Collective jaw dropping and mayhem ensued. Minutes later as the man was rearranging everyone to fit the mood of the picture, ladies sitting on high backed chairs with hands folded in their lap, the men standing behind them with hands on the chair, Sanosuke looked back and thought...
That was the worst mistake of my life.
And... I wasted a yen...
"Oh God... hello hello, what've we got here?"
"... do not poke it Shinomori, you talk as if you've never seen one before..."
"Aww, don't be so mean Battousai, I just want to pet him..."
Sanosuke groaned. What the heck just happened? His head felt like it had been right underneath a bag of flour when it hit, and he felt like ice. Judging from the way that he was oriented, he must have fallen on the ground after the picture was taken.
His much worked up composure had been blown to hell.
"He's moving! Hey batty, get over here again! He's moving!"
A scowl seemed to reverberate all around the room. "How many times have I told you not to call me 'batty'? You either call me Battousai or Himura Kenshin!" A sound of a scuffle, then a yelp. "Shinomori! Why don't you fight with your sword instead of your nails!"
Sanosuke sat up and groggily rubbed his temples. "Kenshin? Did I... did I pass out?"
"Pass out? No, I think you're a little bit beyond 'passing out' sweetie."
He dared to open his eyes and see just where the voice had come from. If it was whom he thought it was... "A-Aoshi?" he asked timidly.
"In the flesh!" came the cheery reply.
In all his years of wandering around, picking fights with people, none of it could have prepared him for this. He sometimes wondered how he would react to odd things like this, and what would happen if he were a different person. No such plan now, when all else fails; stare. Stare like there was no tomorrow. The man known as Aoshi blinked for a moment, and then put his hands on his hips and looked at Sanosuke like he was sick. "What, do I have something on my face or something Sano-chan?" He then pulled out a reflective piece of glass from nowhere and started checking his visage for any offending pieces of food.
There was a strangled, "Oh God Aoshi, why are you walking around naked?" that only one of the two could hear, and the one who did hear shook his head in pity.
"Aww, what are you talking about sweetie? There's nothing on my..." Aoshi stopped when he saw that the new arrival was slumped over again, no longer of this consciousness. "Daaaaammmmnnn, how come I can never get this right?"
Battousai sighed. "You know, you just can't treat alter egos like this. For example..." he pointed at the body on the floor. "Where he comes from, he doesn't remember this world. In his world, clothes are important."
"Clothes?" Aoshi scrunched his face. "Of what importance are clothes here in Gehenna?"
The redhead rolled his eyes tiredly. "You really are dense. Clothes aren't important here because we egos have nothing to hide. But... when you've been out in the real world, the mortals there do have things to hide from each other."
He looked ready to explain something else until Aoshi put his hand up. "Yeah yeah, we've discussed this before, 'batty'. They have 'sexes' there; we don't here. I know, I know..."
"Exactly. The mortal bodies are different then our ego ones, so you can imagine that it was quite a shock to him when... well, you know." He nodded his head towards Aoshi's midsection. "For example, men differ from women in the fact that they have an external apparatus in between—"
"— Batty! You talk as if I don't know what goes on in the mortal realm! Please, spare me your loveless chatter." He appeared thoughtful for a moment. "If we egos have nothing to hide, why do you still wear clothes?"
Battousai smiled a rare smile. "I still wear clothes because I haven't completely gotten away from my alter ego, and I remember the mortal realm." He knelt down beside the fallen ego and cradled his head in his lap. "Now, this is how we deal with things in the mortal world." Aoshi just stood there as the man raised his arm. "And for God sakes, put some clothes on."
While Aoshi was grumbling, clothes materialized around his body. "Well, for not remembering how exactly to wear clothes, I look good, don't I?" His friend was now wearing a pink gi and pants that looked suspiciously like the Battousai's alter ego. "I know that it's not exactly the best, but these things are just so airy!"
Battousai snorted. "You never did have very good fashion sense." Before Aoshi could protest, he raised his hand and hit Sanosuke across the face as hard as he could.
The man sputtered, yelped in pain, and rubbed his cheek. "What the hell was that for, Megumi? I didn't faint on purpose..." He opened his eyes expecting to find Megumi warm brown eyes, only to find that he was staring into angry, amber ones. Sanosuke was so stunned he couldn't move. "M-Megumi..."
The person with the amber eyes dropped him on the floor. "I'm not Megumi, you dim-witted fool. I'm the Hitokiri Battousai and you are in Gehenna." Someone coughed from behind the man who looked like Kenshin, but at the same time, not Kenshin. 'Kenshin' sighed and moved to the side, revealing a rather oddly dressed Aoshi. "And this is Shinomori."
Sanosuke saw Aoshi do a fluid bow. In a rather high and nasally voice, he said, "Don't let this loser persuade you that he's the best in the world. And please, call me Shin-chan."
Battousai could see that this was way too much for the Sanosuke ego to handle, but amazingly, he found his voice. "Now... where am I again?" he asked quietly, his voice barely above a whisper.
"You are in Gehenna."
"Where is Gena?"
The man wearing Kenshin's pink gi stepped in. "Gehenna is where alter egos exist."
"Alter egos?" Every word spoken seemed to rob the hapless Sanosuke off his energy and sanity.
Battousai nodded. "Yes, alter egos. Otherwise known as a person's soul."
"My... my soul..."
Sanosuke's eyes went so wide open in disbelief that Shinomori feared that they'd fall out. He tugged on Battousai's sleeve and pointed like a child at where Sanosuke was dumbstruck. "Saaaayyy, if we have to wear clothes, how come he doesn't!?"
Upon seeing that Sanosuke indeed had nothing on, Shinomori watched in horror as the body crumpled to the floor again, no moving. "Um... batty... what... what just happened?"
Battousai sighed. "Why can't you just keep your giant mouth shut? Now look what you've done!" Shinomori stuck his tongue out at the redhead and ran over to where Sanosuke lay. He leaned in closer to his face, as if scrutinizing it. "No you don't Shinomori, I'm not going to allow you to use this ego as your toy. I simply can't allow that."
"I'm not going to use him as a toy silly!" he screeched shrilly. "He's saying something, it sounds like... ca... ma... ra..."
"Ca-ma-ra? Just what the hell is a 'camara'?"
Shinomori clucked his tongue. "Language, batty, language." He then smiled a rather feral grin. "I suppose we can coax it out of him soon enough."
Battousai fingered the hilt of his ever-present sword hanging around his waist. "Stop calling me 'batty', you sad excuse for a fairy! You know, if I could hurt you, I would definitely dismember one of the male organs that you as an ego are so lacking."
With the threat hanging clearly in the air, Shinomori mock gasped and snapped his fingers. "Darn. Too bad for you."
Author's notes: Yes. Comment on my insanity document right now, er, give me feedback on ff.net's wonderful nifty gadget thing! Like I said before, I'm doing this to laugh myself crazy. If you are screaming "OOC!! Injustice!!", go find Wufei and talk with him. This is the alter ego world, everyone has alter egos, and if you haven't noticed, Battousai is Kenshin's alter ego and Shinomori is... ahem, Aoshi's alter ego that never surfaces.
'Gehenna' is a cool word for Purgatory, but this world is nothing like Purgatory. I just thought it sounded cool.