Standard Disclaimer: Rurouni Kenshin and Rurouni Kenshin characters are owned by someone other than me.   I also do not own the fairy tale of the Princess and the pea which this story is fashioned after.  This is fiction and for entertainment purposes only. This story was not written for sale or profit but pure enjoyment.  So with that out of the way please read and enjoy.

The Princess and the Pea, the real story.

Once upon a time there was a king named Okina who insisted that his only son marry a real princess.  So he sent a proclamation to all the kingdoms to find a real princess.  Each kingdom was asked to send a princess to be tested.  But every princess that tried; failed.  No one was able to pass the third and last test.

With a heavy heart, Princess Kaoru, along with her protector and handmaid Megumi, started on their journey to King Okina's castle to prove that she was a true princess. 

"My Lady, where are we going?" asked the handmaid.

"We are going to King Okina's castle.  Every kingdom was asked to send one princess to be tested to find a true princess.  And if I do not make an appearance to represent our kingdom and be tested, I am sure that Uncle Hiko will have me hunted down and killed.  I was lucky enough to be picked because I am expendable and he knows that as his niece I will pass the test," she said her voice becoming nothing more than a whisper. 

"But your father was the King and you are the rightful heir to the throne," said Megumi the handmaiden.

"That doesn't matter to me and now that Uncle Hiko has taken control of our kingdom things are not the same.  No one can live up to his level of achievement and he likes it that way," Princess Kaoru said blowing some stray hair away from her face, "And if I stayed there I would eventually challenge his position so what better thing to do with me."

"But why didn't he give us horses to ride?  Is he hoping that we will perish on the way?" Megumi asked.

"Who knows what goes on in my Uncle's mind.  Besides I enjoy walking and am in no hurry to get there," Princess Kaoru stated walking faster so she wouldn't have to answer any more questions.   'I want nothing to do with being a ruler of any kind.  I want to visit foreign lands, be free to do what I want and to find my true love.'

The first night they camped next to a small creek.  A small band of Gypsy's had set up camp on the other side of the creek. 

Princess Kaoru could not sleep so she took a midnight walk in the moonlight to clear her head.  "Who is there?" asked the Princess when she received a sign from Megumi. 

"It is just me, a lonely gypsy," the soft voice said from the other side of the creek.

"What are you doing out this late at night?" she demanded of the voice.

"I enjoy walking in the moonlight.   You never know what you might find," replied the voice.

"And what did you find tonight?" she asked trying to get a better look at the voice. 

"A beautiful lady," he replied walking out into the moonlight so she could see him better.  She was able to see a man with flowing red hair standing under a tree on the opposite side of the creek.

Princess Kaoru blushed.

"Why are you out this late at night, beautiful lady?" he asked.

"I have a heavy heart tonight and walking in the moonlight helps to ease my burden," she sorrowfully replied.

"Could we walk together?" he asked.

"Would I be safe walking with you?" she asked with a smile on her face.

"As safe as you were walking alone," came his lighthearted reply.

"Then I will take you up on your offer," she said through her soft laughter.  She didn't feel like telling him about her bodyguard who was just out of site.

He forded the small creek and lightly kissed her extended hand sending shivers up her arm and into her body.  Then placing her hand in the crook of his arm, he led her deeper into the woods.  When they came to a clearing she was able to get a closer look at her escort.  What a sight he was with flowing red hair and his eyes reflected amber from the glow of the moon.  She felt very protected and at peace holding onto his arm.  Even though they didn't speak during the entire walk he managed to capture her heart.

When they returned to her camp, the red haired stranger kissed her hand and quietly told her good night.

"Good night," she whispered to the place where only moments ago he stood.

But Princess Kaoru knew that she must do her duty and continue to King Okina but now her heart wanted her to run away with the stranger.  I don't even know his name, yet he holds my heart in his hands.

The Gypsy walked away from the princess with a heavy heart.  In the short amount of time they had spent together he fell deeply in love with her.  But how was he to tell her this?  I must think of a way to tell her and ask her to marry me.

The second night the princess still couldn't sleep so she went for her midnight walk. 

"So do you still have a heavy heart tonight?" the young man asked her surprising her and Megumi, who was following.

"Yes I'm afraid that it has gotten heaver after last night," she confessed not sure how to tell him that she was in love with him.

"My heart has also become very heavy.  Could we both have the same problem?" he asked  hoping that she felt the same.

Princess Kaoru blushed and said, "I must do what is expected of me for I am not free to do as I please."

"Come with me and I can show you the world," he said excitedly.

"But I don't even know your name," she replied wanting more than anything to take him up on his offer.

"My name is Kenshin.  And what is yours fair lady?" he asked holding his breath for fear that she would withhold her name and he would loose her forever.

"My name is Pr..I mean Kaoru, just plain Kaoru," she said.

He took in a deep breath pulling her hands to his chest and said, "Come with me and be my wife.  We can travel the world and never tire of seeing all the wonderful things that there are to be seen."

"Would that I could but there is a problem that I must take care of first then…  Could you please give me three days to complete my task?"  she asked stepping back and turning away from him.

"I would give you the world if you but asked.  Yes, you have your three days.  But I will not give you up and will follow you where ever you go," he said as he turned her around and gently kissed her; leaving her standing there.

The next day true to his word he followed them all day.

When they camped that night Princess Kaoru slept through the night knowing that her true love was near.

While preparing to continue their journey, Princess Kaoru told Megumi, "When we get to the castle you are going to be the Princess, Megumi and I will be your handmaiden. Change clothes with me so that you look like the Princess."

"Princess Kaoru do you really think that this will work?" Megumi asked biting her lip to keep from laughing.

"Of course it will work.  Just don't breath once we get to the castle, got it?" Kaoru said around clenched teeth.

Where Megumi's clothes hung on the Princess, Megumi filled the princess's clothes quite nicely.

"But Princess how am I to pass the tests?" Megumi asked innocently.

"You have taken my place enough so that you know most of the etiquette of a princess.  And I will be there to coach you on the rest so don't worry," Princess Kaoru stated matter-of-factly.

The three arrived at the castle later that day and were properly announced.

"Presenting the Princess Megumi and her court from the castle of King Hiko," announced the King's aide.

Princess Megumi gave a small curtsy, then stood showing her best features to the King with a sly smile on her face. 

"Wonderful we will start the first test after we dine," King Okina said while ogling Princess Megumi.

"Yes my lord," Megumi said seductively hoping that she had addressed him correctly, "would it be possible for us to freshen up before we dine?" she purred.

"My servant will show you the way and return you to the dining area," King Okina said swallowing some drool that was threatening to escape his mouth. 

A servant stepped forward and led them to a room where they could freshen up.

Once inside the room away from the servant Kaoru checked to make sure that they were indeed alone.  "Kenshin try and find out what the tests are while we attend dinner," Kaoru said turning to face him batting her eyes.

"For a kiss I will fight the mightiest…"

"You don't have to fight anything.  Just get some information," she said pulling him to her and planting a kiss on his lips.

Kenshin floated out of the room in search of the information that she had requested.

"Now remember Megumi you need to pass the test for the prince, so leave the King alone or he will make you his wife." Kaoru said dryly hoping that she made her point.

"Oh don't worry, one night with me then the prince would be king," Megumi happily stated, "everything will be okay.  The King is a harmless old man who likes to look.  I can take care of him."

"Just worry about passing the tests," Kaoru said feeling a little more at ease.

The servant led them to the head of the table.  Princess Megumi was seated right next to the King while Kaoru sat next to the princess.

Megumi was very graceful and managed to only make minor mistakes.  The King had a hard time holding a conversation with her as his eyes kept straying to her chest, which protruded nicely.

After the meal was over the King announced that Princess Megumi had passed the first test.  Kaoru breathed a sigh as they left the dining hall.

"What do you think that you were doing at dinner?" whispered Kaoru on their way to the ball room.

"Calm down, I passed the test," Megumi smiled her eyes lighting up.

"Yea, only because the King couldn't take his eyes off your chest!!" Kaoru exclaimed her hushed voice squeaking uncontrollably.

"Don't worry I can wrap that old man around my finger," Megumi laughed strutting down the corridor to the ball room.

When everyone had moved from the dining area to the ball room the King summoned his musicians, grabbed Megumi's hand and headed for the dance floor. 

While waiting for the dance to end Kaoru stood off to the side watching and waiting for Kenshin to return with the information about the tests.

Megumi was having the time of her life slowly dancing as King Okina nestled his head between her breasts.

Kenshin suddenly appeared from nowhere and startled Princess Kaoru.  "For a kiss I will…" Kenshin started to say before a kiss was firmly planted on his lips. 

"Tell me about the second and third test or no more kisses," Princess Kaoru demanded.

Kenshin recovered from his kiss and whispered into her ear, "the second one is dancing and the third test will be sleeping on 20 mattresses with a pea underneath.  As a true princess would not be able to sleep in such conditions.  Do I get…"  Again a kiss was given for the information.

"Find someone who will play with Princess Megumi all night so that she will not sleep," Princess Kaoru said to Kenshin with a sly grin.

"For a kiss…" he started dreamily. 

"No more kisses until you find someone, then you may have a kiss," she said putting on her cutest face while batting her eyes.

Kenshin searched and searched the entire castle but no one would do the job.  Until he reached a gambling house.  There he found a man named Sanosuke that offered to play with the maiden until morning.  But only if Kenshin could beat him in a foot race as Sanosuke had beaten everyone in the kingdom.  Kenshin agreed.

The course was down a lane in the castle around a well and back again.  A fellow gambler offered to start the race.

"Tweet," went the start whistle.

Both men took off running, Sanosuke thought that he could easily win but Kenshin was thinking about the kiss he would get from Kaoru so he used his godlike speed and was half way back when he passed a very surprised Sanosuke; who was only half way to the well.

When Sanosuke finished the lap he said, "Ok, best two out of three."  He knew that he could win the next two laps.

Kenshin agreed.  The same thing happened the second time around.

"You must do the job for me as I have won two races and I am out of time," Kenshin said with a smile on his face, his thoughts went back to the kiss he was to get from Kaoru.

Back in the ball room the King had proclaimed that the Princess Megumi had passed the second test.  Everyone, especially Princess Kaoru, was happy.

"For the third test we will wait until morning after a good nights rest," King Okina said the imprint of two breast permanently imbedded on his face.

Before climbing the ladder to the top of the mattresses Megumi started to get worried.  "What if I fall asleep and wake up refreshed.  You know how I sleep.  You should be the one taking this test not me," she whined at Princess Kaoru.

"Don't worry just get up there and try to sleep," Kaoru said nudging Megumi up the ladder.

When her head popped up over the top mattress she saw Sanosuke.  She looked back down at Princess Kaoru, smiled and said "Goodnight."  Then she climbed the rest of the way onto the mattresses.

In the morning the Princess Megumi and her court were brought before King Okina.

"How did you sleep last night?" asked the King hoping that she slept like a log so that he could claim her as his.

"I had a horrible night.  There was something lumpy under me all night long," Megumi said through a long drawn out yawn.

"You pass the third test then," King Okina said dejectedly, "You shall marry the Prince.  Where is he anyway, he has been gone for days now.  Someone find that brat of mine."

"I am sorry my King but the last time we found him, he was in the gambling hall," one of the Kings servants volunteered.

Prince Sanosuke entered the court room with a crooked smile on his face.

"There you are and here is your wife for she is a true princess," said King Okina sadly.

Kenshin and Princess Kaoru looked at each other trying to decide if they should run when Prince Sanosuke kneels before Megumi and asked for her hand in marriage. She looked at the King and quickly accepted.

Kenshin leaned over to Princess Kaoru and whispered in her ear, "well princess we should go before anyone notices us."

Once outside the castle and well on their way Princess Kaoru asked Kenshin, "You knew all the time that I was the true princess, didn't you?"

"Yes I did but I wanted to see how you would manage to get out of taking the tests," he said smiling.

"Did I pass your test?" she asked looking into his eyes.

For her answer she received a passionate kiss.  And they lived happily ever after.

"And that is the way the true story goes.  Right, Uncle Yahiko?" asked a small voice telling the tale to his circle of friends.

"That's right, Kenji." and laughter could be heard through out the dojo.