I do not own Rurouni Kenshin; I just love the series. All rights are reserved for the original author and publishers. I am a long time Fanfiction reader, first time poster. This story has been in my head for a while, and the first 7 chapters are done. I am hoping that publishing a new chapter every week or so, will motivate me to finish the story. I hope you enjoy the ride!
In the 17th year of the Meiji era, the breezes were blowing softly in early March as Winter gave way to Spring. Tokyo was buzzing with local and foreign merchant ships alike; the streets were filled with tourists and shoppers.
At the Kamiya Dojo, Kaoru was up with Kenji cooking breakfast while Kenshin had already started on the laundry. Ayame and Suzume were running around playing with a paper ball, patiently waiting on "Uncle Ken" to finish his chores. Kaoru poked her head out of the door for a moment after ensuring that the food was still ok, "Kenshin, do you know when Yahiko and Yutarou should get here? Breakfast will be ready soon, and it isn't like either of them to miss food!"
"I am sure they will be here any minute Karou-dono, that I am. We don't have to worry about them."
"I guess your right! It is just unlike them, and their classes will begin within the hour after all. And I need to talk to Yutarou today anyway."
As Kaoru finished her sentence, Kenshin turned his head towards the gate, sensing a presence approaching. "I am sure that is them approaching now, that I am."
The gate door was opened, revealing two young, strong men standing side by side. Yahiko took a step inside, and faced directly towards Kaoru, "Yo! Ugly! I could smell your poison from down the block! What the heck are we going to have to shove down our throats today?"
Kaoru's face turned into a fearful scowl immediately, and you could almost see the steam coming out of her ears. "Why you ungrateful little brat. You could always go find your food elsewhere you know! And you better watch out, I may be a house-wife now, but I am still the Master of the Kamiya Kasshin style, and you're still only the apprentice!"
Yahiko took another step forward into the open field of the dojo grounds, an air of confidence following him as he went, "I could take you any day, and with my eyes closed, ugly!"
Kenshin looked back and forth from Kaoru to Yahiko with exacerbation, "Oro?"
Yutarou stood between Karou and Yahiko waving his hands around to grab both of their attentions. "Come on now! This really isn't the time for this you know! We have classes soon Yahiko! And Kaoru-dono's cooking has gotten a lot better over the years! Now can we please move on?"
Yahiko let out a loud laugh at the frustrated expression his friend was giving him, "Ya sure. I was just messing with her anyway!"
And so the group of friends sat along the porch eating their breakfast in peace, chatting about local gossip around town. As breakfast was winding down, Kaoru decided to use the opportunity to speak to Yutarou, "Yutarou, I need to talk to you for a minute."
Yutarou stood up, and placed himself in front of Kaoru, in order to give her his full attention. "Sure Kaoru-dono, what do you need?"
"I would like you to leave tomorrow for Aizu for two weeks. We received a request for lessons at a dojo there. The master was a friend of my father's from the revolution, and he wants some of his more enthusiastic students to learn some of our teachings. I can't send Yahiko this time because he is just too busy with the local lessons. This is a good opportunity to further your skills as the second Kamiya Kasshin style apprentice. Will you please go for us?"
"Sure Kaoru-dono. I don't mind at all; it is like you said, it will be good for my training anyway."
Just then, Yahiko picked his head up and turned towards the group, "Oh ya, I almost forgot, I got another letter from Sanosuke."
Everyone in the group turned their heads towards Yahiko immediately, surprise clear on their face; however, Kaoru was the first one to act. She smacked Yahiko over the head and chided him saying, "How could you forget something like that Yahiko? You always forget Sanosuke's letters! What does he have to say this time? Quick"
"Hold on ugly! I forgot because first we were fighting, then we were eating, and then you started talking to Yutarou."
"Well Yahiko, why don't you tell us what it says," said Kenshin with a peaceful simile on his face.
"Sure, lets see…
Hey, Long time no see! I hope everyone is still well! I am currently in Shanghai! Next stop is home! Should be home in time for the cherry blossoms. So make sure you have a cup of rice and a bowl of miso ready for me when I arrive!
Karou continued to stare at the letter in amazement, "Wow, I can't believe that dumb free-loader is finally on his way back! We will have to throw a Sakura party! Yutarou, you should make it back just in time. Will you please try to convince Megumi to return with you for a short stay?"
"Sure Kaoru-dono, I am sure she would love the visit anyway."
"Great, well why don't we have dinner at the Akabeko tonight to see Yutarou off?" said Kaoru cheerfully when she stood up with Kenji.
"Sure thing, I will let Tsubame know when I see her after practice." Said Yahiko as he was walking towards the dojo.
But Yutarou grinned at him and said, "Or I can tell her personally. After all, I need to say goodbye to Tsubame!"
Yahiko turned around and rushed Yutaro immediately attacking with his boken. Yutarou immediately caught the weapon with his fists, and continued into a strike of his own. Yahiko, being the quicker of the two still, used one hand to catch Yutaro's boken.
While Kenshin smiled at the playful exchange Karou stood and struck both boys over the head with one swing of her fist, "Listen you two, we don't have time for this! You can fight over Tsubame's affections later on. Now get to your class!"
Late that evening, the full moon was bright overhead, and the stars shone brightly. There was a cool winter/spring chill in the air, that made the occupants of the home bundle themselves up tightly. Kaoru, having much weighing on her mind, was unable to sleep; so she slipped out from the bed quietly, not wanting to disturb Kenshin, and slipped her rob around her. She quietly slid the screen door open and slipped through, closing it again behind her. The cool air startled and awoke her senses, and she shivered slightly underneath her thin robe. She continued down the walk way until she reached the garden, and perched herself against one of the support beams of the porch. Letting out a sigh, she continued on with her thoughts.
Sometime later, the absence of Karou woke Kenshin. He grew slightly nervous when he did not see her in their room; figuring she must be outside somewhere, Kenshin grabbed a blanket and continued to look for her. A few moments later, he could spot her silhouette, highlighted by the soft moonlight, by the garden. He stopped for a moment, his breath taken away by her beauty, and reminded of how lucky he was to have her in his life. "Can I take this seat Kaoru-dono?"
Kaoru, not realizing that anyone was behind her was startled momentarily, "Huh? Oh Kenshin, of course. This is your home too; you're welcome to sit where ever you please."
Kenshin smiled at her warmly and sat down beside her, wrapping them in the warm blanket he brought with him. "It is a beautiful moon, is it not?"
Kaoru looked up at the sky again pondering, "Yes it is. You know, there were many nights when I was worried that this was only a fleeting dream. It always seemed like fate was trying to drive us further apart rather than together."
A brief pang of sadness crept into Kenshin's heart as he remembered the less peaceful times, as he remembered Jinchuu. "Yes, it did, but your faith in both me, and in us, was stronger than the force of fate Kaoru-dono, that is was."
Kaoru turned her face back to Kenshin and smiled weakly, "Yes, I guess it was. I am glad that everything worked out in the end Kenshin. I am not sure how life would have been had I never met you Kenshin, but I am sure on one thing. It would have been lonely to have met you, only to lose you."
Kenshin wrapped his arm around Kaoru's shoulders and leaned his head against hers, "I know exactly what you mean. That one time I tried to leave you behind in Tokyo was the third hardest night of my life. It felt like I was leaving myself with you outside that dojo. I am glad that I underestimated you, because you brought myself back with you. I would not have been able to defeat Shishio without knowing that I had you to come back to Kaoru-dono."
Kaoru rested her head against Kenshin's peacefully, "Well, I am glad that I could be of help to you. That is all I ever wanted."
And they remained that way under the stars for quite some time, just enjoying the silent company of one another. "Kaoru-dono, what is bothering you so much this night that it caused you to ponder alone under the stars."
Kaoru turned her head to the sky, not wanting to worry Kenshin, but fearing that facing him would give herself away. "Nothing Kenshin, I just couldn't sleep is all."
Kenshin frowned at Karou, sensing her stress, and knowing her well enough to pick out her lies. "Kaoru, you can confide in me you know? I will always be here for you."
Kaoru didn't want to make Kenshin worry needlessly, or to think less of her. What Kaoru was truly worried about was finances. With her family, Yahiko, Yutarou, Megumi, and Sanosuke, expenses, especially food, were sure to skyrocket. Although the dojo was much busier these days, the larger student body also meant more expensive upkeep for the dojo. In reality, they were no better off now than they were 6 years ago. She was worried about how she would support so many people. Even in marriage, her pride and independence had never wavered. The Kamiya Dojo was her responsibility, and therefore everyone under its roof was under her care; motherhood only enhanced these feelings. She felt like it was her place to make sure everyone was provided for and cared after. After all, everyone else was her guests, and Kenshin already had to go through so much in life, he deserved to rest. However, Kaoru just wasn't sure how she would find the extra funds. As strange as Kaoru seemed to the town, it would defiantly be looked down upon if she were to go find a job while Kenshin stayed at home. Not to mention, this would cause Kenshin to worry needlessly. So until she figured it out, she was resolved not to bother Kenshin with her fretting. "It really is nothing Kenshin. I just couldn't sleep, so I decided to enjoy the stars."
Kenshin knew that she was still holding back, and was saddened by this; however, he felt it would be rude to intrude any further, and left the subject alone. "Well then my love, how about we return to bed?" Kenshin inquired with a sly look on his face.
Kaoru was glad that he let the subject drop and stood up with his aide, "Yes, lets."