a/n: Wow! Lots of mixed responses to the last chapter. As a gift and because I'm not an asshole, despite how I played with your emotions, I wrote a second part from Kenshin's POV. Hopefully this will answer some more questions. Enjoy and drop a review!
Disclaimer: I don't own RK
A Table Away
They didn't meet outside. That, in itself, was unusual. But he brushed it off and headed off to the room. He knew he'd find her in there. Maybe she'd already be naked. Or maybe she'd be waiting with her coy smile. Maybe she wanted him to take the lead.
He didn't know.
But he did know that the scene that met his eyes when he opened the door was not the usual sight. She was sitting on the floor with her back pressed against the mattress. In her hand was a cheap bottle of whiskey. It was only three quarters full, meaning that she'd already made a decent dent in it. That was, in itself, unusual. She wasn't much of a drinker in his experience.
She flinched, but refused to acknowledge his presence or even look in his general direction. Instead she took another long pull on the bottle, coughing a little when she drew it away. He frowned. This was not normal. This was not what he was expecting. He tried again.
Just another flinch. He frowned. Again. Since his voice wasn't working, he stepped forward and crouched in front of her. She still wouldn't look at him. He reached a hand out to grab her chin. But she surprised him. She grabbed him by the wrist and her eyes finally met his. They were a burning blue. There was anger in their depths. And hurt. There was so much hurt.
"Kaoru, what the fuck-"
"Shut up!" She screamed it out. Shrieked it, really. He winced.
"I said shut the fuck up! It's my turn to talk now," she told him and he watched her with wide eyes. She dropped his wrist and stood up. She began pacing around the room, looking everywhere but where he was standing. Finally she stopped and turned her stormy eyes on him.
"You're a liar," she settled on. "You're a fucking liar. And you're an asshole. And I don't know why I believed all your lies. But I'm done now."
"What are you talking about?" He was genuinely confused. She'd never been anything but compliant. It was part of why he loved her. And he did. He just didn't... know how to show it. She was his dirty little secret and he ended up treating her as such.
She laughed, but there was no humor in it. "What am I talking about? Really, Kenshin? You're an idiot." The last sentence was a whisper.
He began to think his face was going to get stuck in a permanent frown. Her words were confusing. They made no sense. He had never lied to her. Never. He meant every word he ever said to her. Or rather, he thought he did.
"You." She pointed at him. "You are never going to leave your wife. And you! You're never going to treat me the way I deserve. It took a lot of soul searching, Kenshin, to bring me to this point. You don't love me. You love my body."
He was speechless. He was going to leave his wife. He'd just needed... He'd needed time, was all. Tomoe... She was not happy and that was a confrontation he hadn't ready for. But then again, he wasn't ready for the confrontation that Kaoru was laying down on him right now, either.
"I..." He tried again, after clearing his throat. "That's not true." He hated the way his voice sounded. It was just a mere whisper of disbelief. It would only further her point, he thought miserably.
"I don't believe you," she whispered back. "There was a time where I believed you."
"I've always meant everything I've said to you."
"Liar! I'm just another body for you to put your dick in." Her voice was fierce. There would be no dissuading her tonight, he could tell. So he let her rant.
"I wish you'd never picked me up that night! I wished I'd kept on walking. Other clients were never this complicated." Her resolve began to wane. He saw it. She bit her lip and he bit back his groan. He just wanted her to know. She was more than that to him.
"Kaoru," he choked out, hating it. "You're not just a-"
Her eyes flared to life again. "I am! That's all I am! Just a prostitute who was down on her luck. And I fell right into your little trap."
"I saw you!" she suddenly yelled at him.
And there was the confusion again. She'd seen him? Seen him when? Seen him where? Seen him doing what? He tried to remember if he'd seen her anywhere except this room and parking lot. His mind came up empty.
"I saw you with her," she murmured hoarsely. "I saw you at dinner. I saw how much you love her, still. And I knew. I knew you were a liar. She's not any of the things you claimed, Kenshin."
He froze. He knew what night she was talking about. It was the, 'let's try to fix us,' dinner. He had forced himself to smile. He had forced himself to touch her. He had forced happy conversation. He thought he may have even laughed a time or two. Tomoe had been pleased for the effort.
But he hadn't been able to bring himself to touch her that night. Or any night in the past year, for that matter. But Kaoru wouldn't see that. She wouldn't see it that way. She was set. Her mind was made up.
And in that moment, Kenshin regretted treating her like his dirty little secret.
"Your memory has kicked in, I see."
He nodded weakly and decided to meet her eyes. They were full of tears and he felt a jerk of emotion. He had never wanted her to cry. Had never wanted to be the reason that she cried. But she was. And he was.
All he could do was try. "Kaoru..." She shook her head, the tears finally falling.
"Tomoe and I filed for divorce yesterday." His voice was small, but he knew she heard him from her sharp inhalation of breath.
"Liar." It was just a wisp of a word, but he heard it.
She promptly fell apart at his feet. He moved to help her, but she put a hand up to stop him. He stopped. He didn't want to make it any worse. He wanted to make it better. She was right. She deserved so much better. She had been a prostitute, it was true. But she hadn't been one in so very long. The money... Fuck, he should have never done it, but he'd driven by her dumpy apartment. He wanted better for her.
But she'd never realize that, he thought with another frown. It was just another arrow in her arsenal against him. You always gave me money at the end of the night. Compensation for the whore. He could almost hear the words pass her lips. He knew that's what she would throw in his face.
"I-" She choked. "I need time."
He nodded, understanding.
"I don't know if I'll ever be able to do this."
He nodded again. He had figured that much. He didn't deserve her.
With those last words, she left him in the room. She left him sitting cold and alone in that seedy motel room. She left him to ponder his decisions.
She left him with his regret.
a/n: Realistically, I couldn't give you a happy ending. But I could give you Kaoru taking charge and standing up for herself. So I did. I hope you enjoyed it, despite the ending. Let me know!