Standard Disclaimers Apply. Prologue (Rated R)

            It has been a year since the Enishi incident and things at the Kamiya dojo are starting to return to normal. I never thought that it would take this long for us to recover, but it did. The whole jinchuu thing shook us to our very core and until now, I can say that Kenshin still bears some of the guilt. Does he still bear it? The scar on his cheek has slightly faded but has the scar in his heart fully healed yet? I don't know. All this time, he keeps his distance. Maybe not as much as before, but the barrier remains, I feel it. It used to hurt so much but I guess, as time flew, I had gotten used to it. Is that a good sign or a bad sign? Kaoru gave an audible sign as she sat on the porch, waiting for the men of her life to come home.

            The sun set as the cool autumn breeze swept the sakura leaves, bringing them in a rhythmical dance. Times had changed since that fateful day, the day they came home to start a new life. Kaoru closed her eyes as she succumbed to her reverie, What a good time to reminisce, eh? For a time, I feared that this dojo would become as empty as it is now. Yahiko decided to live on his own and then Megumi said goodbye to us to return to Aizu. We were deeply saddened by the news but when Sanosuke also bid us farewell to travel the world, I guess that was the time I really got sentimental. Hmm…it didn't last long though, I guess two hearts that are meant to be cannot be separated for long.

            Not more than a month had passed since they left, when Sanosuke went back to Tokyo with Megumi, they came home with a surprise. Nope, it wasn't only that they were moving back permanently. It was that they got married the day Sano visited Megumi in her clinic to profess his love.

            Kaoru's musings were cut short when the dojo doors opened. She ran as fast as her kimono allowed her and said in a cheerful voice, "Okaeri nasai!"

            Kenshin gave her a warm smile and said, "Tadaima, Kaoru!"

            "Mou! Kenshin! What took you so long? I was starting to feel lonely!" Kaoru said giving him a cute pout.

            "I needed to take my time to make sure everything will turn out perfect," Kenshin replied, trying to hide his mischievous grin.


            Just then, the dojo gates had slide completely open revealing a grinning Sano with his pregnant wife, Megumi, Dr. Genzai, Ayame, Suzume, Yahiko, Tsubame and Tae. They flashed Kaoru a million dollar smile and said, "Happy Birthday Kaoru!!!"

            "Mou! I thought you have completely forgotten! Please come in," Kaoru said as she made way to her guests. She sighed and rolled her eyes as she pinched Kenshin's ear, dragging him to one corner, "Kenshin!!? Why didn't you tell me we were going to have guests? We don't have any food prepared yet!"

            Kenshin sweatdropped and opened his mouth to start his explanation but he was cut off by Tae. Tae held Kaoru's shoulder and led her inside the dojo, "Don't worry, Kaoru-chan! I brought some food from the Akabeko. You don't need to worry. Ken-san made sure everything went perfectly for your special day."

            Kaoru blushed at Tae's comment as she turned around to glance at Kenshin.

            Kenshin acknowledged her glance by nodding as he followed them towards the dojo.


The party ended earlier than expected. Surprisingly, Sano did not even touch a single bottle of sake. With their child coming soon, Sano is starting to act like a responsible father as soon as now. He did not leave Megumi's side for one minute, coddling her in every way he knows. By nine in the evening, the married couple went home to give Megumi her much needed rest.

After a few more hours, all the prepared food was already consumed. It was also getting really late so, the rest of the gang prepared to leave.

"Happy Birthday Kaoru!" Yahiko hesitated for a moment as he lowered his head to kiss Kaoru on the cheeks. He grinned embarrassingly as he walked out of the door, holding Tsubame's hand.

Tae also kissed Kaoru's cheek as she followed the pair on the way home.

            "Thanks for coming!" Kaoru yelled as she waved her hands in the air. Turning around, she placed her hands on her hips, feigning a pout, "Mou! Kenshin! You didn't really need to throw a party for my birthday! I was just planning for an ordinary family dinner."

            Staring into her eyes, Kenshin tilted her chin and said, "Kaoru-dono, an ordinary family dinner just won't do because you are not ordinary. You are the most special person I have ever met. You are our family's compass. Without you in our lives, we would have been…" Kenshin trailed off and looked into the stars. Momentarily, he gazed back at her and whispered, "Without you in my life…"

            That moment, Kaoru's heart was beating rapidly as she fought to stand on her weakened knees. She gazed back at him with the same loving affection as she waited for him to continue.

He took her hand and caressed it to his scarred cheek and said, "I would have been…"

            "Kaoru-chan!!" Dr. Genzai called out from the back.

            Kaoru immediately turned around, the flush apparent on her face as she asked, "Coming Dr. Genzai!" Kaoru flashed Kenshin an apologetic smile as she ran towards the dojo.

            Kenshin's heart sank in disappointment as he thought, I guess the timing wasn't as perfect as I thought it was. Slumping his shoulders, he walked back to the dojo, following Kaoru.

            When he entered the dojo, Dr. Genzai held a faraway and nostalgic look on his face.

            "Dr. Genzai, are you alright?" Kenshin said worriedly.

            Snapped out of his stupor, Dr. Genzai scratched his head and replied, "I'm alright." Turning to Kaoru, he said, his eyes softening, "Kaoru-chan, you have grown up as a beautiful and strong woman. I know your mother is so proud of you wherever she is now."

            Kaoru stared at him quizzically, "Eh?"

            Dr. Genzai chuckled, "Oh Kaoru-chan! Sometimes, I still see you as that six-year old girl that always made me laugh." Wiping a stray tear from his eyes, he handed her a wrapped package and said, "Your mother wanted me to give you this when you are already a fully-matured woman. She told me that when the time comes, I would know. Seeing you like this, I know that now is the perfect time."

            Kaoru unwrapped the gift and stared at it sentimentally, Mother's journal…


            Meanwhile, in an elegant Western dinning room, a tall, muscular man with brown hair, gray eyes and a prominent bone structure entered a rather elegant dinning room. He sat at the end of a fifteen-seat dinning table. He clapped his hands thrice and a servant approached him, bowing her head. He raised his eyebrows, reprimanding his servant sternly, "This is not the porcelain plates I had ordered you to use!!! I told you to use the blue china plate painted by Cheng Quing himself, not this cheap plate painted by that no name Vincent Van Gogh!"

            The woman shook in terror as she whispered, "I'm so sorry, sir. I'll change them right away."

            "Hurry up!!!" the man snarled as he slapped the servant hard on the cheeks. "My daughter will be here soon I don't want to upset her with your idiocy!!!"

            Closing her eyes to fight back the pain, the servant bowed her head for the last time as a beautiful woman wearing a black off-shoulders silk dress entered the room.

            "Enjoying tormenting the help again, Father?" she asked in a cold voice, pausing to do a curtsy as a sign of greeting to her Father. Her father nodded to acknowledge her, giving her a slight smile.

            "Happy Birthday, Regan," the man said, motioning his daughter to sit beside him. The man clapped his hands again thrice and another servant came out carrying a tray of cake. He placed it in front of them. Bowing to his two masters, he left.

            "Father, didn't I tell you that there's no need for a celebration?" she asked flatly.

            "Honey, of course we must celebrate your date of birth! You are the most precious thing in my life!" he said defensively.

            Her eyes narrowed showing a dangerous glint. "Am I supposed to believe that shit again, huh, Marcus!!?"  She yelled spitefully.

            Marcus stood up, towering over her and slapped her hard on the cheeks, causing her to fall off her chair. His face burned with rage as he kicked her ribs with all his strength, "I will not let you disrespect me, daughter. Do you want another reminder of how much I own you?"

            Regan bit her lip to restrain herself from crying out loud. I cannot show weakness. Not now, I had worked hard all my life for this. I won't screw this up! Reaching inside her pocket, she grabbed a dagger and stabbed him on his thigh. Marcus gasped in pain as he fell on the floor. Regan clutched her ribs in pain as she took out a gun she hid under her skirt with her free hand. She pulled the trigger and aimed it in the middle of Marcus' forehead.

"Marcus, I told you there is no need for a celebration, but you just won't listen," Regan said in her most sweetest voice. Shaking her head, she smiled, "Oh well, since you gave me that painful reminder of your authority, why don't I show you mine?"

Marcus' eyes widened as he shook his head in fear. "Regan, honey… are you alright? Are you having those mood swings again? Honey… calm down," He raised his arms to try to pacify his daughter.

"Don't move," Regan snapped. "I'm not playing games anymore. I had waited my whole life to do this… Stand up, Marcus!" She commanded, still pointing the gun at him.

Marcus slowly stood up, not to startle Regan. With one swift move, he turned his hand around to grab Regan's gun from her. His attempt failed when Regan anticipated his move, shooting his feet. He fell down on the floor again, squirming with pain. He demanded, "Damn you, Regan! What do you want!?"

Regan narrowed her eyes and kneeled down to close the distance between them. She pointed the gun on his forehead with her left hand and pulled the dagger from his thigh with her right hand. She playfully trailed the dagger around his face causing blood to drip.

Marcus eyed the dagger in terror as his heart beat furiously.

"Oh come on, Marcus. Don't tell me you're scared." Regan mocked. She held his limp hand and with her own and pressed the dagger on his thumb. She hissed, "I'll be easy on you, father. We can do this the easy way or the hard way. The easy way would be to answer my question immediately and the hard way… well, you have ten fingers, ten toes, two balls and a groin for me to show you the hard way."

Wet trails marked the sides of his pants as he breathed heavily, staring at Regan with outmost fear.

Regan held back a chuckle and smirked, "I had always known you were a coward. Now, tell me what I want. Who is my real father?"

Marcus looked at her in disbelief, How could she had known?

Regan sliced of his thumb causing him to cry in pain. She said in a fierce voice as she held the dagger to his neck, "Marcus, I told you there are two ways… are you going to answer me or not!?"

Marcus nodded nervously. He searched his mind for the answer and stuttered, "Ko…Koshi…jiro Koshijiro Kamiya."

"Very good, Marcus." She flashed him a smile and kissed him on the cheek. She whispered to his ear, "Thanks for the information." With that, she fired the gun, blood smearing all over her.

She stood up and smiled triumphantly, Koshijiro Kamiya…my real father.

Author's Notes:

Special Thanks to Midori-chan who edited this chap! =)

Midori-chan, I'm so sorry if I was so fickle about this chap… I guess I am just kindda nervous about this.

~~~Sorry everyone for the ultimately morbid content. The next chapters will be light and waffy, I promise. All these have a purpose…~~~

Read and Review everyone!!! =)

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