DISCLAIMER: Rurouni Kenshin and Rurouni Kenshin characters are exclusively owned by Watsuki Nobuhiro, Shueisha, Sony Entertainment, Jump Comics and associated parties. Please note, this is purely fiction and for entertainment purposes only. This story is not meant for sale or profit.



Author's Notes: Kaoru gets a painting as a gift. She falls hopelessly in love with the man in the painting. In order to preserve her sanity, Kaoru decides to find the mysterious man in the painting. The Portrait, Romance/comedy/AU Fanfiction by Gypsy-chan Enjoy!


[Please Note: This story doesn't follow the manga or TV anime. The characters will be OOC for the purpose of this story. Also, the characters in various professional capacities and the events in this story should not be taken literal in anyway. So sit back, relax and let's have some fun. ^_^ Enjoy!]



THE PORTRAIT
Part One


Early one Saturday morning, while Kaoru was still lying in bed, she heard someone ringing her doorbell. She slowly turned over and cracked one eye opened to look at the clock.

"Mou! Who could be visiting at this time of morning?" She grumbled while stumbling out of bed. She went over to her door and squinted into the peep hole. There stood a pint sized young woman smiling and waving into the peep hole.

"It's me! Your best friend Misao! I'm here to cheer you up! Let me in!"

Kaoru turned her back and slumped down against the door while muttering, "Great! Just what I need first thing in the morning, a hyperactive Misao."

"Go away Misao," she said while pressing the intercom button. "I'm not in the mood right now. Come back later."

"No! I'm not going away!" Misao flatly replied. "I'm going to stay right here until you open up the door Kaoru!"

Misao began ringing the bell over and over until Kaoru shouted, "Okay! Okay! I'll let you in!"

Kaoru quickly removed all the chains upon the door. As she opened her apartment door, her mouth dropped opened once she caught sight of all the bags Misao had.

"What happened? Did Aoshi kick you out?" she asked while scratching her head.

"No silly," smiled Misao as she entered the apartment. "This stuff is for you. Here take this," she said as she handed Kaoru a yellow rubber duck.

Kaoru glanced over the rubber duck and sarcastically replied, "Gee, just what I always wanted, a rubber ducky."

"I'm glad you like it," smiled Misao. "It's one of my favorite things to use when I get depressed. It makes quacking sounds in five different languages when you squeeze it really fast. I guarantee that by the fourth quack, you'll be "quacking up."

Kaoru sat staring blankly at Misao.

"You get it right Kaoru," she snickered. "Quacking".... "up"..... like "cracking"...."up."

Kaoru blandly replied, "Ha...... Ha....."

"Boy, tough audience," mumbled Misao while biting her lip. "Ok. If you don't like that, I have lots of other fun things in one of these bags that'll cheer you up."

"Whoopee... I can hardly wait," Kaoru glumly replied.

Misao quickly shuffled through the bags hoping to find something before her quick tempered friend threw her out. She pulled out a dress and a pair of earrings. Kaoru's eyes began to widened.

"Misao, isn't that your favorite dress and earrings?"

"Yes, but it's yours now," she cheerfully replied. "I know how much you always loved this outfit. So, I thought to myself, 'Hey, Kaoru would just love this dress and the earrings to match.' So... now it's yours."

Kaoru took the dress and held it against her body. She stood in front of the mirror admiring the way it would look on her. She smiled for a few minutes before guilt set in.

"Misao, I can't take this," she said as she tried handing back the dress. "I know how much you love…"

Misao pushed the dress back into Kaoru's hand and replied, "My mind is made up. I want you to have the dress. And if you insist on giving it back, I'll never speak to you again."

Kaoru's face softened as she looked at her friend. "Thanks for the dress Misao," she said while hugging her, "and thanks for coming over to cheer me up. I'm sorry for trying to brush you off earlier."

"It's okay," smiled Misao as she hugged her friend back. "I know you didn't mean it. We've been best friends since forever."

Kaoru smiled and nodded, "Yes we have."

"Kaoru I've been very worried about you lately. You haven't returned my calls or anything. So I had to come by to see you, especially... today."

"Yes," replied Kaoru as she began staring off into space.

"Today was suppose to be, sniff, sniff... my wedding day, sniff, sniff."

Misao frowned as she remembered what happened between Kaoru and her former fiancé.

"I still can't believe that your ex-fiancé ran off with his best man. I hope it rains on their honeymoon."

"Personally, I don't care what happens to that creep," said Kaoru as she dried her tears. "I've been trying to forget that part of my life."

"It's okay to forget that part of your life, but you don't have to become a total recluse in the process. You're still young and have a lot going for yourself."

"Like what," asked Kaoru as she folded her arms and plopped down on the sofa.

"Well.... you're a 22 year old Phys. Ed. teacher with great prospects for the future. The kids in the class you teach all seem to adore you."

"The kids only adore me because Phys. Ed. is the last class of the day," she stated as she exhaled deeply.

Misao noted the melancholic expression on Kaoru's face. "Hmm.... This is not going well, but I can't stop now."

Misao smiled brightly and cheerfully said, "Oh! I forgot to tell you about this really cute and available guy that works at Aoshi's job. He's a librarian like Aoshi you know. Anyway, I thought to myself, "hmm… if this guy is available and Kaoru is available then maybe…"

"No!" stated Kaoru while shaking her head. "Forget about it Misao. I'm not going on another one of your wild blind dates. The last three dates you set me up with were total disasters."

"Now wait a minute Kaoru, I only set you up with really nice guys," protested Misao. "What ever happened with that really cute sales clerk I introduced you to. What was wrong with him?"

"That "cute sales clerk" turned out to be a total jerk. We met at a nearby restaurant for our first date. He started off the conversation saying, "You really are as pretty as Misao said, but I thought that you would have bigger boobs."

I wanted to just smack him over the head. He tried to recover by apologizing profusely and saying that women with small boobs are highly intelligent. Unfortunately, the more he kept talking, the smaller his brain became.

When the waiter brought the check, my "date" claimed to have forgotten his wallet. So I ended up paying for dinner. And if that wasn't bad enough, he had the audacity to ask me for taxi money. He needed to take a cab over to his ex-girlfriend's house to pick up the rest of his things."

"Geez! He really was a jerk. But I'm sure the other guy I set you up with turned out better.... right?"

"Oh yeah, he was a real winner too. First we went out to a fancy restaurant. I thought to myself, "he's not too bad. At least he looks like he can pay the check." However, all during dinner, he spent the whole time talking about his mother. I didn't think much about it at first. He had already told me that he was an only child. So I thought he was just real close to his mother, no big deal. But I was wrong.

After our somewhat lovely dinner, my "dream date" turned into a nightmare. He took me back to his place. Upon entering his house, we were greeted by his mother. Apparently she had let herself into his house. She seemed like a pleasant woman. She had made us some homemade cookies and a pot of hot tea. After the snacks, his mother said that she was retiring for the evening and was going to leave the the snacks on the table for us.

Before getting up, his mother leaned over and whispered into my ear,

"I'm glad my son is dating a nice girl like you. Don't worry about getting pregnant or anything, I'm looking forward to having plenty of grandchildren."

She winked at me before standing up and leaving the room. She re-entered the room long enough to put on soft music and dim the lights. She turned to us and said, "Now you two have a nice time!"

I sat on the sofa frozen by what had happened. My date apologized for his mother's behaviour. He tried to help me relax. He asked if I wanted to watch TV. I nodded yes. Just as I was beginning to feel comfortable, his mother yelled down the stairs,

'Hey you idiot son! Don't just sit there watching TV, jump her bones already! I want to be a grandmother before I'm fifty!'

He jumped and replied, "Yes mother!" As he leaned over to kiss me, I grabbed my purse and ran out of there as fast as I could. I heard that he married some girl his mother fixed him up with six months ago. They are expecting triplets."

"Ok, so you wound up dating a mama's boy. But that doesn't mean that the next guy will be an ax murderer or something."

"Geez Misao, aren't you forgetting about the third guy you set me up with? He turned out to be the date from hell!"

"What happened with him?"

"My first few dates with him seemed like a dream. He lavished me with gifts and took me out to the most exclusive clubs for dinner and dancing. Then on our fourth date, he gave me an expensive diamond bracelet during dinner. I thought I hit the jackpot with this one. Boy was I wrong!

One evening, we decided to eat at his place for dinner. He loved to cook. Anyway, after a nice home cooked meal, we cuddled up on the sofa to watch TV.

As I flipped through the channels, I stopped when I saw my date's face flash across the TV screen on American's Most Wanted. Naturally he said it was his twin brother. I sat petrified. Fortunately, one of his neighbors tipped off the police after seeing his picture on TV. The police came and arrested the creep during the middle of the show. I still can't believe that jerk asked me to come visit him in jail."

"Did you at least get to keep the gifts?"

"Misao!!"

"Oh... Sorry about that one Karou. How was I to know that he was a former jewel thief. I thought he was most wanted because of his good looks. Blonde hair, blue eyes... he was good looking though wasn't he?"

"Yes, but that's not the point Misao. You set me up with a total Freak-a-zoid!!!" yelled Kaoru as she threw a pillow at Misao.

She ducked and said, "Sorry Kaoru. I'll do better next time. I promise!"

"Listen Misao, I know you're trying to help, but I've made up my mind. I want to focus on my career and forget all about finding love and romance. That means no more freaks, geeks, has beens, have nots, wannabes and ain't gonna be. This single girl is going to fly solo."

"No, you can't just give up on love," exclaimed Misao. "Where's that Kamiya Kaoru spirit you use to have?"

"In the toilet," quipped Kaoru as she slumped even further into the sofa.

"Tsk, tsk, tsk," said Misao while shaking her head. "I see you need some major cheering up." She rushed over to get her bag.

As Misao began digging through the bag Kaoru sighed, "Oh god, what is she going to pull out next."



TO BE CONTINUED........



Author's Notes: Konnichiwa minna! Hope you like this fic. Anyhoo, this fic was a little something I was working on in between Fatal Love. I'm still working on Fatal Love, but I needed a quick mood change.

As usual, constructive reviews are welcomed as long as they are genuine and not sarcastic. Thank you for reading and being a considerate reviewer. ^_^