Author Notes: Another day another one-shot RK fic. I was meaning to start a longer fic, but I just haven't worked out the kinks in that one. It's about robots. I can imagine all the raised brows and three-fourths of my readers already deciding not to read it. Anyways, read this more conventional fic in the mean time. As always, read and review!

Disclaimer: The Rurouni Kenshin world and all characters depicted are a creation of mangaka, Watsuki Nobuhiro.

A Believable Courtship

By Hoshi-ni-Onegai

Kenshin's lips feathered against her neck. Kaoru could feel his warm and solid chest against her back. His skillful fingers swept her hair to the side and over the other shoulder as he nibbled his way up to just below her ear.

Kaoru sighed in exasperation. "Your highness?"

He snaked an arm around her waist and pulled her closer to mold against his form. The sheer weight and size of the skirt of her gown prevented a certain amount closeness but he didn't seem to care. "You know I don't like you calling me that my lady."

She rolled her eyes, "Your majesty knows you're only pretending to court me right?"

His lips continued to work on her neck and nerves. "I'm just keeping a bit of realism in the situation."

"And your hands are going to go from realistic to a distant memory if they travel any further north or south, your majesty."

He wrapped his arms around her small waist, a gesture that Kaoru deemed a little too familiar.

"Are you going to harm your king my lady?" His hot whisper ghosted over her ears, "And don't call me that either."

She shrugged and attempted to pull away from his firm embrace, "You call me 'my lady.'"

Kenshin spun her around and pinned her up against the armoire. He smirked down at her, "Would you rather I call you something more personal? More endearing?"

His scent made her dizzy, but years of training and resolve prevented her from folding under his weighty seduction. "My lady will be fine."

She leveraged her arms against his chest and pushed away, but he barely budged. Kaoru groaned. She should be used to the odd ease the king had started to show her since he was placed under her protection, but she couldn't. She wondered if there was a woman in the world that could get used to his scorching attentive eyes.

"I would prefer it if you called me Kenshin."

She finally decided to take a bit of liberty and shove harder at his chest. He finally surrendered and stepped back. Kaoru made her way toward the mirror and adjusted her hair and dress. "I would be executed for calling you so informally."

Kenshin fell back onto her bed and smirked, "Don't worry. I wouldn't allow the woman I'm wooing to be executed."

Kaoru pointedly gave the man a stern look, "Pretending to woo, your highness."

"It's a very fine line."

"Just remember which side of the line you fall your highness." She sighed and stepped her left leg up on a stool. Hiking her gown up she allowed a significant amount of thigh to show as she strapped a sharp blade from her bureau to her leg.

"If that's the case, I'm enjoying the view from this side."

She ignored the comment as she repeated the same gesture with the other leg. "I think you're losing sight of why we're in this situation to begin with your highness."

"Of course I haven't. It's because the head of my guards is overly paranoid."

"Captain Aoshi is not being paranoid." She sat on the seat in front of the bureau and began hiding sharp pins in her hair, "You are being targeted your highness. It's best for the enemy to think you have a weakness. They'll attack me thinking they can get to you. You'll be left in the clear."

Kenshin frowned, "I don't want you getting hurt."

"It's my job your highness." She stuck in the final pin and turned her head every which way to check her work. "I'm here to protect you by Captain Aoshi's orders. Not that a man of your swordsmanship needs protection."

He sauntered up behind her, sweeping firm fingers from the nape of her neck down to the exposed portion of her back. "I requested you."

She shivered slightly under his ministrations, but her voice remained steady. "I was the only option your highness."

"Because," he emphasized the word. "I requested you."

"No. Because I'm the only female member of the royal guard." The hair on her arms stood on end when she felt his attentive lips graze her shoulder. "And I'm not sure how you knew I was a woman your highness. No one aside from Captain Aoshi and Sano knew."

"Give yourself a bit more credit my lady. No matter what armor you adorn and how you ride a horse, your feminine essence seeps from you."

She scrunched her nose, "My feminine essence? That sounds gross."

He smiled against her skin and traced the curve of her hips with his strong hands. "It's not gross my lady. It's what gets men tripping over their own feet."

"Then I would rather not have it. Men are idiots to begin with. They don't need pheromones to help them in that department."

He pulled back a bit and allowed a bit of humor slip into his voice. "Did you just call me an idiot?"

"Of course not," She said in a tone humoring the king. "You would have me killed for my insolence."

"I'm not going to have you killed." His fingers played with the ties on her bodice.

With a deft tug it was free and her gown slacked a bit around her. At the sensation of being undressed Kaoru pulled away from the king and stood up with the bureau hitting her backside. She made quick work and secured her gown. "Whoa there your highness."

"Do you deny your king?" Kenshin loomed over her as he supported himself with both arms on either side of her on the bureau.

She was taken aback by his words. Sure, he had been very hands on but he never stepped over the line she had set out. She would have described what he had been doing up to his point as pure seduction. He was the king. He could have any woman warm his bed. He was used to attention being thrown at him. She had allowed a certain level of physical invasiveness, but she would be damned if she became another notch on the royal bedpost.

Kaoru steeled her navy eyes and glared into his amber ones. "Yes."

He furrowed his brows and a slight frown tugged down his lips. He pressed his body forward. Every line of his conditioned form pressed into the soft curves of her body. "Yes, you deny your king? Or yes to my proposition."

His words breezed over her face, but her gaze did not waver. "I'm denying my king."

Kaoru readied herself. There really was only one place this situation could take her. If it came down to it, she would fight. She would not whither like a submissive flower. Even though it would be a losing battle, even though he could best her in strength, and even though he was the most attractive man she had ever laid eyes on, she would fight.

Kenshin leaned in closer. His right hand traced her fingers, her delicate wrist, her arms toned from sword practice, her gently sloping shoulder, her graceful neck. His warm calloused palm cupped her face. Any woman less stubborn than her would have probably crumbled under his touches, but she kept her shaky ground. His unruly bangs tickled her eyelids and cheeks. His lips inched closer and her breath lodged in her throat.

His whisper was hot against her ear with his unexpected response. "Good."

He turned away from her and walked toward the bed. He picked up the sword he had unstrapped when he had first entered the room. Securing the sword at his hip, he adjusted his tunic and buttoned it all the way.

Kaoru's eyes followed his movements around the room, but she had yet to step away from her place against the bureau.

With a swing of his arms he strapped the cloak on his shoulders. He looked expectantly at her and extended his arm out to her. "Ready my lady?"

She stared at him but didn't move from her spot. "That's it?"

He smirked and walked toward her. "Would you rather I force myself on you?"

She ignored his question and asked her own. "What if I hadn't denied you?"

Kenshin reached for her hand and drew her away from the bureau. "You would be screaming my name in pleasure from between those bed sheets." His pleasant smile betrayed nothing of the content of his words.

Her body froze. She didn't have a vocal response to the image he suddenly presented. She did, however, have the decency to blush.

He smiled and guided her arm to rest within his looped one. "I'm glad you said no to me though. It would have been really disappointing if you hadn't."

Kaoru carefully looked at the king, "Disappointing?"

He nodded, "After our time in bed, I would have put an end to this courtship."

She frowned, "Pretend courtship your highness."

He was the one to ignore her comment this time. "I can't have a wife that won't stand up to me and say no."

She shook her head, "You're just teasing me now. You will take on a proper wife with a proper title. Not a cross-dressing orphan who got picked up by the old captain of the royal guards."

"And who do you think told Okina to look for a crying child by the back gate of the castle?"

Her eyes widened. "What are you saying?"

His smile was endearing and predatory. "I was still in my adolescence when I stumbled on a little girl sobbing. I was the crowned prince. I couldn't just pick up any old stray. So I asked Okina for a favor."

"You've been planning this?"

"Planning? To seduce a child? That's crossing the line. But planning to seduce the young maiden I saw swimming in the forest pond a few months ago, yes."

Kaoru tried to pull her arm away but he kept it in place. "You were watching me?"

He shook his head, "I usually swim in that pond. I just so happened to have an intruder that day."

She glared at him, "I was naked!"

"I'm very aware of that." He grinned, "You have nothing to be embarrassed about. Trust me."

A blush rushed across her face at the intonation of his words.

"Now, my lady, are you ready to join me to the ball?"

She looked away, but gripped his arm. "You're jumping to conclusions."


She snuck a glance at the man, "What if I wanted to marry a different man?"

He raised a brow, "I didn't realize you had prospects."

"I don't, but I could."

"And now you do." He leaned in to whisper into his ear, "And with all the rumors that I'm sure are flying around about the king entering your chambers..."

Kaoru's eyes widened, "Kenshin!"

He was taken aback at hearing his name, but after a beat he let a genuine smile split across his face. "I look forward to hearing you call me that for the rest of our lives Kaoru."

She huffed then tugged him toward the door. "Let's go you idiot." She spared him a glance before reaching for the doorknob, "And yes, I did just call you an idiot."

Kenshin grinned, "Good."