Meiji: 11

"Kenshin!! Kenshin!?" Kaoru rounded the dojo questioningly, looking for her husband and hoping that at least one of Kenji's parents knew where the boy was. Kenshin popped up happily from behind a corner with a wide, dumb-looking grin on his face.
"The love of my life-"
"Where's my son?" Kaoru cut him off laconically and took the time to put her hands on her hips.
"Well…"
Kaoru raised one eyebrow dangerously.
Seeing no chance of escape, Kenshin did what he was best at: charming his wife. All of a sudden he was behind her and his whole mood changed. He wrapped his arms around an unsuspecting and slightly confused Kaoru and daringly kissed her neck. "What if I told you I asked Sano to babysit him so that you and I could have some time alone?" he purred.
Surely Kaoru wasn't totally numb to the affect of his words… but still, she was unconvinced, "I would say either I didn't believe you- or that you're an idiot and my son is in more trouble than I thought."
Both parents got the image of Sano trying to shut Kenji up in various ways- including getting their two-year-old son drunk-
"A- he he he… Sessha wa baka…" Kenshin tried to edge away…
"Mmhm, anata wa," Kaoru spun around, "BAKA!" Shinai and pots flew.

"Case 0001401. Kenshin and Tomoe never met, Kenshin almost went insane during the Bakamatsu and was reassigned as a bodyguard when it was realized nothing could be done for him. He was so messed up in the head by the time the war was almost over the same thing happened- he went wandering. However, he ran into Kaoru in Tokyo year 8 of the Meiji, right after her father died. The girl helped him through his mental problems, he helped her through loneliness, they fell in love, had a son, Yahiko and Sano are still about, and Kenshin did fight Shishio but there's no Jinchuu to speak of. Enishi is still at large at the top of the illegal crime ring and I have no idea what happened to Tomoe… she probably killed herself."
Ixil rubbed his head, "You've been studying these people for twice as long as I have… and its still creepy to hear you refer to them like you know them."
"I do know them," the mouselike man continued, "I know them inside out, from as many angles as there are."
"So what's the advantage to this one?"
"Since Kenshin settled down sooner and people started attacking him and Kaoru from year 8 his skills have been in practice longer and the wounds from the Shishio fight weren't as bad. His body and mind are in better shape than anyone could have hoped for- BUT he has a family- and he's going all soft. He's about ready to give up the sword without passing it on to Yahiko. In this case he isn't as close to Yahiko or Sano, and Yahiko isn't Kaoru's only student so he's not as well trained, and Sano didn't even learn the Futae no Kiwami, or participate in the Shishio fight. He didn't follow Kenshin."
"Hm… well, if you have better-"
"Sure, there are millions. Of course, I only know about 30,000 of them, and only a couple of hundred this intimately. The ones I know are the most dramatically changed ones, those millions can ravel down to- 'and Kenshin cut his hair on this day instead of this day' -and that's the only difference. Here-" he indicated that Ixil look at the screen, which currently still held the last case. Right then Kenshin and Kaoru had resolved whatever and were kissing, abruptly the screen changed.

Carnage, blood, burning, death, murder, war, weapons, slaughter-

"Whoops… wrong channel!" The mouse man kicked his machine and smiled a toothy grin.
"What was that last one?"
"Shishio won. Case: 1200343"
"What? But then- without all the members alive how-"
"No, right now everyone's still alive. Well… except Katsuhiro."
For a moment Ixil couldn't remember who Katsuhiro was, but he recalled as the mouse man spoke his next words.
"Katsuhiro died with the rest of the Sekihoutai. Sano never rediscovered him; Katsu never gave Sano the bombs… Shishio's ship made it to the port in Tokyo and he's currently taking over the crumbling government. Believe me, you don't want Kenshin-gumi in this scenario… Kenshin would be uselessly depressed, as would Kaoru (which goes without saying), Sano is suffering and paralyzed- he was hit with the Gatling gun on Shishio's boat. I guess you could take Yahiko-"
"No, move on, you were right."
"Rightio-" The pool screen rippled and changed with the click of a button.

The breeze blew and ruffled her ebony hair, but she still looked beautiful as she helped Kenshin do the laundry. She smiled as she passed him another piece of cloth to hang and he made sure that his hand brushed hers in the process. They loved doing household tasks together. They both loved the peace.
Her smile almost faltered as she saw the single vertical scar on his left cheek, unfaded, and thought of her long dead fiancé…

"What the hell is this?!" Ixil said in a normal voice, but the shock was apparent. Then he berated himself as he saw the scar. It was obvious that there would be some universes in which Kenshin didn't kill Tomoe… he should have been prepared for them.
Mousy sighed, "Well… I can't remember his name- that traitor of the Choshu that ordered Kenshin to kill Tomoe-"
"I know."
"Okay, Case: 0116572. So he was caught before he had a chance to get to Kenshin when Tomoe disappeared. Kenshin was confused, but not nearly in as much turmoil and all around still in okay shape when he faced that gang leader. He defeated them all before Tomoe had a chance to shield him- they both survived, worked through their differences, and lead a happy married life… mostly."
Ixil lifted an eyebrow, "Worked through their differences."
"Hey, they're married, they're happy, and they've had 12 years or so to work it out. Time heals most wounds…"
"What about Shishio?"
"Saitou killed him before he gained too much power."
"What about Enishi?"
"Tomoe's alive, don't forget. He hates Kenshin still, but at least he never made it to Shanghai."
"Fascinating…"
"Kenshin hasn't fought in years and years… he's completely useless to you."
"WHAT?! Then why are we even-"
"Not so loud!! No need to yell! Jeez… We're here not for Kenshin, but for Kaoru. Lemme change the scenery," as he worked by using his fingers to point into the pool and slide realities places about he explained, "With the help of our dear friend Hiruma Gohei, and the lack of Kenshin's chivalry… Kaoru has turned out like a nice little female version on our perpetually smiling creepy little friend: Soujiro."
"How'd she manage that?" Ixil asked as pictured flew around the screen and finally settled in the pool. The largest, centered picture started moving, and Kaoru was in it.
"Oh, she learned that a sword was meant for killing, that the strong live and the weak die… She ended up killing a lot of Tokyo's underground in the end, including Hiruma and his gang, and now she runs the show- in the disguise of a man. No underground lackey would follow a woman at that time, in Tokyo. Of course she's not entirely stable, what with all the rape, abuse and such, but she is very, very good.
"She learned that no one would follow her if she tried to do what was right, like stopping all the crimes and drug running. She also learned that once you're in the underground there's no way out."
"There was for Sagara-"
"'Sagara' didn't kill half of the major gang leaders before trying to leave. She would never be able to live in peace if she went back to teaching her dojo- not that she had any students left after she disappeared and Hiruma turned up dead- she's sunk pretty low to get people to follow her for protection. Currently she's preparing to war with what's left of Shura's followers. I think Genji leads now- who knows what happened to Shura…"
"Was that… the pirate girl?"
"Yea… they'd have a lot in common right about now, except Kaoru's given up on her morals."
"I don't know… Kaoru - without her morals… doesn't seem like Kaoru anymore."
"See for yourself, I'm telling you, she's good."

Kaoru's deep voice boomed, it wasn't naturally deep, but she had perfected the sound and the right amount of projection, "Now comes the time, when we get what we've been working for! Those idiot pirates have stooped so carelessly low that they are sure to be caught any day by the government!" The crowd seemed to agree. There was only about ten of them there that she could count on, she new, but at least twenty more that would follow her for this case, and the rest would be spectators.
"Why let all that good money go to waste? If we take them over before they get brought down we can use their enterprise as a side profit to our own. I say 'side' because if we lower the amount of drugs and the rate we ship it in, the enterprise can be kept going much longer, and we can bring it up to strength as time passes and the government gives up suspicion!" Cheers were heard.
"Our profits will increase as 34% and the interest that we can charge will give us even more with time! We might even make more connections that Genji had by tracing his lines back to Surrounding countries and finding the roots of the trade right here in Japan!"
"Huh…?" about a quarter of her crowd ended up saying as they had lost her…
But the rest were cheers.
"Now that I have your support I must consult with my council on a plan of attack!" More cheers sounded, and there was even some chanting of her fake name by some in the crowd.
"Shinsei! Shinsei! Shinsei!"
It either died down or Kaoru walked out through her personal exit cave until she couldn't hear it. She hated the name, and she hated the sound of it, what it implied, and the memories that went with it.
Unfortunately before she could get back to her room and sulk about the past she encountered one of her "acquaintances". She was with him one time before, ONE TIME, it should have meant nothing to him, she was just one out of many. Certainly he meant nothing to her, the only reason she had ever slept with him was because at the time she was desperate for protection and money, both of which he could amply provide her, and besides that he had helped her escape originally, if not just because he wanted her to kill his rivals at the time. She'd hated every second of it, but regretted none of it.
He just would not get it through his head that there would not be a repeat performance.
There was still less fortune to be had, not only did he want her; he was also one of the two people who knew that she was female.
The other was dead…
Images flashed through her head that made her cringe and want to tear her skin. Her fists balled up and she was in no mood to be blackmailed into bed.
"Hello lover," syrup seemed to lather his words.
She acted like his name sickened her, which it did to a point, and turned her head to the side as he walled his arms on either side of her and pressed her against the cave wall. She didn't push him away; that would have been bad for business. He wasn't revolting really, he smelled okay, he was a clean guy, rather handsome as well and usually polite, he was just… horny… that's all.
He used a finger to get her to look at him, "Hey," he pouted.
She rolled her eyes with her head to meet his, "Fine, what do you want?"
Luckily for him he didn't kiss her, she would have kicked his ass despite the consequences if he'd done that, but he was too smart for that, he knew that to get what he really wanted he'd have to be a bit more patient. "This is an important attack for you, isn't it? It could make or break your popularity…"
"Oh, for Hell's sake, Ozabu, hurry up and blackmail me!" She glared at him for good measure.
His smirk filled her vision as he effectively pinned her by holding each shoulder and kissed her lightly on the head. She cringed and glared darkly some more, but tolerated it. "As you wish. You know what I know," he paused for effect, "and you know that you can't get me killed just yet. I want you, you know that too."
"The deal-" she said impatiently.
"You become mine in bed for as long as I want you-"
"Not if it interferes with this plan-"
"Deal-"
"And not starting today," she added defiantly.
He looked at her queerly, "Always so defiant, aren't you? Such a stubborn-" he whispered, "woman." He had grasped her chin and she daren't pull away just yet.
"I'm not in the mood, and that's not going to be fun for either of us," you pervert, she added to herself.
"Fine, you have your day dearest… but starting tomorrow, the night becomes mine." He left her with a slow kiss on her still, dead lips, which she wiped off afterward.
With a growl she stalked back to her room, her sanctuary, opened the door, and closed it behind her… and wept.
"I hate myself," she wanted to hear it, "I hate myself." It came off her tongue so easily, "I wish I was dead. I wish I could die…" Then she started sobbing too hard to tell herself how and why she hated her.
I deserve to die. I'm loosing myself in this and all I want to do is die… but… when there's still a chance that it might work, that it will be worth it… how can I give up? I don't deserve the peace that comes with death, I have to complete my plan first…
"Don't worry… your wish is about to come true," a different voice answered her previous pleads. Kaoru jumped at the realization that some one that wanted to kill her was in the room. An assassin? "Death is not far behind you!" The unrecognizable weapon the person was holding above his head came down with a strong swing, but Kaoru had only just seen the silhouette shiver with movement against her light.



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Kaoru's name means life/death, or life and death. I wanted life through death, to signify the story of how Kaoru came to be where she was… but I couldn't find it ^.^o
Should I continue this fic? I only partly know where its going… PLEASE tell me if I should continue >_-MaraJadeblu