Title: Days to Remember
Author: Mi-chan
Rating: R
Series: Rurouni Kenshin (AU, Modern day)
Pairings: Read and find out. =D
Special Note: I realized halfway through this that I was calling Katsu, Sano's childhood friend from the Sekihoutai, by his pen-name. There's nothing wrong with that, just be forewarned that Tsunan and Katsu *are* the same person, and that I was just too lazy to go back and change it (HEH--the joys of being a fanfic writer ^^).

Part Five: Remembrance

Himura Kenshin adjusted his Fedora atop his red head. He realized he shouldn't be wearing his hat in doors, but he couldn't help himself--not since Sagara Sanosuke had started taking a liking to it. He needed to keep it under lock and key as it was, for fear that the thief might strike again. He'd already had to wrestle the larger man for it twice today.

Kenshin shook his head, taking another sip of his O-cha. If they were going to leave... they should've done it by now. Standing up and adjusting his jacket, Kenshin exhaled slowly. "We should get going. We don't have time to spare. I'm sure Shishio's waiting for your return, that he is."

"Yeah, I'm sure the bastard is," Sano murmured. "Why are you in such a hurry, anyway? He's going to kill you, you know."

Kenshin sighed thoughtfully, albeit a bit frustratingly. Did Sanosuke not have a heart? "Yahiko... I'm going after Yahiko. Whether or not I am in danger is not the issue here, that it is not." Grasping the handle to one of his daggers, his eyes narrowed dangerously.

Sanosuke felt he could cut the tension surrounding his companion with a knife. "Oi... Kenshin... don't get yourself worked up. They won't kill the kid. And besides, Tsunan's with him, and I know for a fact that he won't let Shishio lay a hand on him."

"You two underestimate Shishio, that you do," the redhead said, lowering his gaze to the floor. "Do you think Mr. Tsunan will stand a chance against Shishio, if he were by chance to do something to Yahiko?"

Sanosuke blinked. He'd seen Shishio... with his well-cooked exterior. True, the man had an air about him that cried out 'Don't fuck with me ', but in all honesty, his bandaged body rose a laugh out of Sanosuke every time he thought about it. Freak tanning bed accident, probably... Sanosuke mentally snickered.

"Sano... I spent a great deal of time around him, that I did," Kenshin turned towards Sanosuke. The cop didn't think the two knew the extent of Shishio's abilities... nor the abilities of his henchmen. Sometimes, his henchmen were even worse. But the only one, Kenshin knew, that they really needed to keep an eye on was the young boy Shishio had taken in when Kenshin left.

To be that young and yet... threatening enough to invoke pain and fear into those you accepted as apart of your 'clan'. We were so young and stupid back then... how were we to know...?

"And I can tell you this... that if I think anyone, even you or your friend, Mr. Tsunan, are in danger," Kenshin began, his face becoming sterner than Sanosuke had ever seen it. "Then I'm going to make you leave, that I will."

Sanosuke smiled his most genuine smile. "Hah. You selfish bastard. You really don't expect me to sit back and watch as you get to have all the fun, do you?"

"No," Kenshin pressed, moving to close the distance between him and Sanosuke. "That I do not. But I do expect that, when the time comes, you will leave Shishio to me."

The freelancer raised his chin a bit, the cocky grin plastered to his face never dithering. "You want to be the one to kill him, don't you?"

"No," the cop snapped. "Killing doesn't solve anything. Only breeds more hate, that it does. I have no desire to murder Shishio only to have one of his men rise up and take his place." It would be a never-ending cycle, that it would, Kenshin thought. And besides...

"And besides, I promised someone a long time ago that I would never kill again," he whispered. "It would be disgraceful to her memory, that it would. And it is for her that I fight Shishio."

Sanosuke knew not whom this 'her' was that Kenshin spoke of, and he was a little reluctant to ask. He'd always felt that sense of loss within the man; there was no mistaking it, for Sanosuke knew the feeling all too well himself. And it wasn't just his intuition about these things; that scar on Kenshin's left cheek was keeping a secret that obviously was tearing the restless cop apart. Sanosuke felt the urge to reach out and touch it... to actually see if he could feel some of said pain.

"Fair enough," Sanosuke shrugged his shoulders. "But if it looks like you're losing, I'm stepping in to save your scrawny ass."

Kenshin nodded; he knew better than to break the spirits of a warrior.

"Ne, Kenshin," the freelancer questioned. "Do you mind if I ask you a question?"


"How'd you get that mean-looking scar on your face?"

The look of confusion on Kenshin's face, as if he had forgotten the scar existed, made Sanosuke laugh. "Oro?" Kenshin uttered, then his eyes widened. "Oh... my scar....."

He went quiet then, trying to think of the best possible response. Something like this was hard to put into words, and yet... When he looked into Sanosuke's eyes, he saw no mockery; only sincere concern. He couldn't believe that only a day ago this same man wanted revenge. How fast things can change...

"I...," Kenshin began, the words becoming caught in his throat. "Let's just say... it's my constant reminder of all the sins I have committed in the past."

Sanosuke cocked his head to one side; his eyes half-closed in thought. Maybe someday he could get the answer from this man; someday, if Shishio didn't kill them first. Kenshin felt a blush creep up on his face at the attention. Is he so afraid to let go of something so dark and sad... that he won't allow himself to feel? Sanosuke wondered, reaching a hand out for Kenshin's cheek.

Kenshin inhaled deeply at the touch; no one had touched him there since she was alive. His lips pursed slightly, his skin tingly as tiny prickles of pleasure danced through his body. Why did it feel so good, this touch? Kenshin didn't know or didn't care, really; and he was too caught up in the feeling to wonder when it would stop, and they'd have to go fight Shishio.

"You're afraid," the freelancer breathed. Kenshin didn't dare reply; his mind was racing too fast for coherent speech to be fathomable. Instead, he leaned into the touch, surrendering. It felt so good... and yet, a part deep down inside screamed at him not to let this continue any further.

"I know what it's like," Sanosuke said, his nose barely touching Kenshin's forehead. "Ever since Sagara-sensei died... "

Swallowing hard, as if to un-cloud his foggy mind, Kenshin spoke, "What happened to him, Sano?"

The memory was bitter, but Sanosuke's honor and respect for Sagara was too strong for him to keep it secret. "He was murdered, as you know... I was eight at the time. We were a small group of freelancers working for Shishio; the one's who did all his dirty work at first. But later on, he tipped the police off about our... 'activities'," he began, his voice trembling a bit. He cleared his throat, then continued. "In the end, we were betrayed. We spent months out-running the police... until the government hired Shishio and his clan under the table in a deal to kill off our leader, Sagara Souzo."

Kenshin could feel the tears in his voice. Lifting a slender hand to brush his fingers against Sanosuke's olive-colored skin, he smiled softly. "And you thought... I was the one who Shishio sent to kill him, that you did."

"To be honest," Sanosuke bit his bottom lip. "I don't know what to think anymore. All I know is... I like touching you."

That was enough to drive Kenshin mad, and Sanosuke knew it. He hadn't been trying to seduce the cop or anything... he just... felt; he felt very, very attracted to this man. The silky red hair, the eyes that shone bright amethyst, the hard outer exterior that hid so many secrets... The man was a total knockout.

Lowering his lips to Kenshin's, Sanosuke was a bit surprised when the redhead accepted graciously and kissed him back. Sanosuke responded accordingly, pulling the shorter man to him, molding their bodies together perfectly. He could feel Kenshin's heart beating through the fabric of his clothing.

Kenshin whispered through the kiss, "Sano... stop..."

Sanosuke ran his hands down Kenshin's back, rising another shiver out of the cop. "I'm not going to bite you, Kenshin--" the freelancer breathed into his ear, pausing to run his tongue along the lobe. He grinned evilly, finishing that thought: "--Unless you want me to, that is."

"Sano... it's just...," he began, his mind screaming at him. They were wrong... this was wrong! "I can't--"

Sano pulled away gently, clasping Kenshin's hands with his own. "Kenshin... I won't hurt you," he began, his cheeks becoming flush with anxiety. His voice trembled, a clear sign of his nervousness. "When I first laid eyes on you, despite my thirst for revenge," he said shakily. "I though you were the hottest, sexiest thing I had ever seen."

"B-but Sano--" Kenshin gulped, his throat suddenly dry. "I'm a guy --"

"Yeah? So? And you're gay, obviously."

Kenshin flinched, taken aback. "What, you don't believe me?" Sano purred, snaking a hand down to cup the cop between the legs. He caressed that sensitive area slowly, tightening and loosening his grip until he had Kenshin shaking with ecstasy. Kenshin pushed himself forward into the touch, clasping his hands around Sanosuke's neck for support.

He could do nothing but feel... and oh God, what he felt... "S-sano," Kenshin's hot breath blew into his companion's ear. "I d-don't think I..."

The freelancer stopped suddenly, running his hand up Kenshin's torso to cup his chin. Kenshin's cheeks were flushed bright crimson, a little stream of sweat trickling down his forehead. Sanosuke brushed the sweat away with a quick flick of his tongue, sending the panting man into a fit of pleasured gasps once more. Damn, he's so hot...

Sanosuke pulled away reluctantly. "It's all right, Kenshin. We don't have to do anything." He knew that look Kenshin was giving him, through those half-lidded eyes... that look of utter and total confusion, clouded by desire and passion Kenshin never thought possible. Kenshin obviously had never even contemplated the idea of two men kissing before, let alone being intimate. Sanosuke had been there once himself, back in his earlier days as a pre-teen. He never liked going with the flow of everyone else at school. All his childhood buddies had taken a liking to girls, when he had started taking a liking to them instead. The only one who had ever fully understood him was Tsunan...

"Besides... Tsunan," Sanosuke said, reaching for his black trench coat. "Shall we go save him and Yahiko and kick some mummified ass?"

Kenshin adjusted himself, regained his composure, and smiled despite himself. "Y-yes, that we shall."

* * *

Yahiko sighed. Being held captive was so boring! And here he thought they'd be prying secret information about Kenshin outta him via Chinese water torture or something. Ah, well... he thought sluggishly, stifling a yawn. Never question a good thing.

He couldn't help but wonder, though... what exactly did this Shishio guy want with Kenshin? Yahiko knew all too well what the Yakuza were capable of, having fallen into that pit in the past. He didn't quite understand... well, he knew that Kenshin had a shady past. But a Yakuza? Kenshin used to be one of them?

Was it that hard to believe, though? Not really... he saw how Kenshin fought, and what the cop was capable of. Beneath that gentle, goofy exterior was a man who could tear you in two with merely a piercing glare. Yahiko had seen it a couple times... once when he was captured by the Yakuza and Kenshin saved him. The other time was when he refused to do his homework. He shuddered thinking about it; he had never got on Kenshin's bad side from thereon out.

And now... things were great, despite the fact that he was captured. Kenshin was a great foster father; hell, he put a roof over Yahiko's head and for that the teen was eternally grateful. Kenshin had never once demanded Yahiko call him 'Dad', nor had he expected Yahiko to participate in any awkward 'father-son' activities. Kenshin was just... cool. He gave Yahiko what he desired most: privacy.

Of course, Yahiko needed it. It wasn't until he met Yutarou that he started feeling things within himself he never thought imaginable: love for another male. He wasn't sure if Kenshin would understand or not, didn't really care either, it was just the principle of it all. He had his privacy and he and Yutarou could go about their business and Yahiko didn't have to explain a thing.

"Yutarou," Yahiko whispered, fidgeting against his restraints. Whoever tied him up sure did a damn good job of it... however, for an ex-pickpocket, busting loose was something Yahiko could probably do in his sleep. He didn't break free, however... he knew that Tsunan guy was lurking around here somewhere. That guy freaked him out the most so far, next to that smiley guy. He hated to have to guess which one was more dangerous. Inside the Yakuza, looks weren't always everything, and they were very deceiving.

"Yahiko....?" a rough voice, obviously parched, called from inside the room. Yahiko nearly hit the ceiling he jumped so high. The restraints on his feet prevented him from getting up; or else he would have bounded around the room to see who else was occupying the room with him. Observing to his right, he could see a bed... the voice had come from the other side of the bed.

"Who's there?" he asked curiously, albeit a little scared.

"Oh Yahiko!" the voice cried again. "Where are we, why are they doing this to us?!"

Yahiko's jaw unhinged. He couldn't believe his ears.... he could barely utter the words that tore from his throat.

"Yu... Yutarou?! "

* * *

Seta Soujiro poked his head out the door to Shishio's quarters, making sure the coast was clear. He hadn't meant for him to appear to be sneaking, he just... didn't want to have to make eye contact with anyone if he could absolutely help it. That, and he didn't want anyone to see him limp away from Shishio's quarters and have them suspect something.

He knew Shishio would be out for a while; activities like that always left him spent, and his energy was something that was very limited giving his state of health. Soujiro was silently thankful for that, despite how sadistic it sounded.

Soujiro winced as he took the first step through the door way, making his way towards his room... he really, really hated Shishio for doing this to him... isn't that why the man had bought Yumi out of prostitution, so she could be his little sex slave? Soujiro adjusted his smile, realizing it had slipped a bit. It would do no good for someone to see him that way. He needed to act natural.

And Soujiro knew why Shishio did it to him... he always did this to him before battle. It gave him an edge, for afterwards was when Soujiro was near his breaking point. It was afterwards that Soujiro felt like he could take on the whole world and rip them all a new one.

He just couldn't get over the pain... the hot, sticky feeling of being filled, then rammed into over and over again... and then grossly brought to his own climax by those dirty, scarred hands...

Soujiro shuddered visibly.

"Boy," Yumi popped up behind him, shaking her head. "You should have gotten ready by now, we're expecting Mr. Sagara back any time."

Yumi noticed the trembling from the dark haired boy, and raised an eyebrow. She had seen him leave Shishio's room, where she thought that they had been discussing their plans. Soujiro was to meet their visitors and be their guide, and, if they struggled, he was ordered to kill them both. Even Yumi knew the plan well enough by now... so what on Earth was Shishio--

Yumi remembered the faltering steps the boy was taking before she called out his name. Now, he merely stood, back facing her, refusing to meet her questioning stare; and yet, she could still feel the boy smiling at her.

She knew from time to time that Shishio liked it that way, with other men, but.... She had no idea Shishio was using Soujiro for that. "Boy--"

"I'm sorry, Ms. Yumi. I'll get changed right away," Soujiro said cheerfully, flashing her his wide, ear-to-ear grin before walking off to his room.

Yumi frowned. Now he wasn't limping at all.

to be continued...

Notes for part five:

sniff sniff, WAIL! Yeah, aren't I mean? I made Soujiro into Shishio's little toy. How sick *am* I? wipes nose with tissue Oh, and for those of you who wanted a lil' side-serving of YahikoxYutarou, coughSILVERcough you got your wish, as I will explore things a little further with those two now that Yutarou's joined Yahiko. Tee hee! Oh, things just keep getting more and more mysterious, don't they? How DID Yutarou wind up there? Hmmm....

As for the whole SanoxKen thing... I'm getting there, can't ya tell? ^_^ Hey, at least now they're starting to show some interest in each other. We just need to get Kenshin over that lil' speed bump of an obstacle where he admits to Sano he likes men. =D

As for how long this is going to be...? Hopefully not much longer, as I have some other projects I wanna start. But don't worry, y'all'll get your lemon eventually. It's just that right now my conscience is being a little stingy bitch, limiting my perverse imagination. -__- Ah, well, gomen ne. I promise though, it's coming. ^_^