AN: I herewith disclaim any write to the characters of this story, although the plot is my own. All due respect to the creators of Shall we date: Ninja love.
Kotaro didn't speak until he and Oboro reached their room. Even then, he took a few minutes checking to see if there were any ninjas close enough to eavesdrop on their conversation. He then turned to his wife.
"Oboro, do you trust me?" he asked uncertainly in his quiet voice.
"Of course." Oboro was confused.
Kotaro nodded, still looking uncertain.
"If I asked you to do something that sounded crazy without giving you a reason as to why I wanted you to do it, would you?"
Oboro looked quizzically at her husband. What had brought this on all of a sudden? Realising that he was waiting for her answer, Oboro nodded.
"Of course." She reiterated. "It would not faze me in the least, because I know you never do or say something without a very good reason, no matter how strange the request may sound to me or others at the time."
She smiled as Kotaro gave a relieved sigh and then smiled the smile that always made her go weak at the knees.
"Well then, I want you to listen carefully-and don't ask any questions, Princess, I'll explain everything later." Kotaro spoke quickly and quietly, as if he were relaying a conspiracy and were worried about being caught, even though he had checked that they were alone and was still (Oboro was sure) attuned to the slightest sound heading towards the two of them. "I'm going to go out. While I'm gone, I want you to pack a couple of bags, not too much, just enough for the two of us to be able to travel for a while."
Oboro lifted an eyebrow at her husband and parted her lips to ask a question when Kotaro quickly closed the distance and kissed the question away before his wife had a chance to utter a single word. He looked down at Oboro and chuckled at the dumbstruck look on her face.
"Please, my Princess, I promise I'll tell you everything as soon as I can." he smiled gently down at his wife. "However, we don't have any time."
"Very well, my lord, I'll do as you say, since you have your reasons." Oboro smiled up at him. "But allow me to ask just this one question."
Kotaro nodded in acquiecence.
"Alright. What do you want to ask?"
"Where are you going?"
Kotaro smiled warmly.
"To ask for assistance from our only ally."
Oboro's eyes widened slightly and Kotaro was sure that she was starting to grasp his plan, since her intelligence was only matched by her innocent obliviousness to certain situations, something that had caught his attention early on and which he still found endearing. With a last smile at his wife, he released her and nodded to wards the closet.
"Well, you know what to do." Oboro nodded and Kotaro smiled at her, a little sadly. "I don't want to leave you for even a second, but I'll not be long."
Oboro smiled the soft, understanding smile that always made Kotaro crazy for her. It made him want to grab hold of her and never let her go, but he squashed the feeling flat.
Now's not the time! he thought. We have to do this if we are to have any semblance of a 'normal life'! I do wish she wouldn't look at me like that, though.
For, although her smile was warm and sincere, Kotaro could see the worry and uncertainty in Oboro's eyes.
"I understand." Oboro told him. "Don't worry, I'll be fine! You just go do what you have to."
With a last thankful smile and a quick kiss, Kotaro headed for the door, but stopped short just before he reached it, as there was a quiet knock. Backing away slightly, and throwing his wife a warning look, Kotaro answered.
The door opened and a young ninja entered the room, bowing low as he did so.
"Forgive the intrusion, Lord Kotaro, Princess, but Lord Katashi wishes to speak with his brother."
The young man quivered slightly and Kotaro, noticing this, gave the lad a kind smile. This seemed to put the young man at ease. Or his shoulders seemed less tense to the couple watching him, at any rate.
"Very well. You may tell my brother I'll see him in his room momentarily." Kotaro dismissed his brother's messenger.
However, the boy didn't leave. He stood resolutely, but seemed somehow even more nervous for ignoring such a clear dismissal.
"F-forgive me, mi'lord." the young man stuttered slightly. "But Lord Katashi is not in his room."
Frowning slightly at the boy, making him even more nervous- and thus, in Oboro's eyes, not far from having a heart attack- Kotaro turned back to him.
"Then where is he?"
"In all honesty, mi'lord, I don't know." the young man confessed. "He just told me to give you the message that he was waiting at the place yet to be found, then he disappeared."
Now none of that sentence made any sense to Oboro, nor did it seem to make sense to the messenger, but Kotaro clearly understood, since he nodded once and then smiled at the boy.
"Very well, I'll be off then." Kotaro turned to his confused wife. "I'm sorry, Princess, but this may well take longer than anticipated, since the place the boy refers to is quite a ways away."
"That's fine, sir knight." Oboro told him teasingly, for she refered to him as her shining knight. "You had better be off then, for the sooner you leave, the sooner we'll be together again."
Kotaro sighed, then turned to the lad, who stood uncertainly just inside the room, unsure whether he was to leave or not.
"Tell me, boy, what is you name?"
"Akio Takahashi, mi'lord." The lad answered nervously.
Kotaro smiled kindly at the young man, making him feel relieved, as it seemed he wasn't in any trouble.
"Ah, so you are the youngster who has my brother's full trust." Kotaro said genially. "You must be quite the remarkable young man, to have Katashi's full confidence."
"Mi'lord?" Akio asked, slightly confused.
"It's quite a feat to have Katashi trust you so completely." Kotaro smiled mischievously as he came closer to the lad. "You see, my brother doesn't even trust me that much. And I'm his own flesh and blood."
Akio shook his head vehemently.
"I'm sure that's not so." Akio disagreed, looking quite surprised at his own daring. "Lord Katashi trusts you with his life, mi'lord!"
"And that's all he trusts me with." Kotaro smiled at Akio. "My brother has not trusted me with a secret in his life. Not once. And it was the same with Kenshin. Even when he was up to something that was sure to raise our father's ire, he never gave us an iota of info on what he was up to, though whether it was to save us from being his accomplices or because he didn't trust us not to rat him out, I'll never know."
"I'm sure it was to save you, his brothers, the people he loved the most, from being dragged down with him, mi'lord."
Akio seemed on the verge of cardiac arrest again, but he had a determined look in his eye, almost daring Kotaro to go against what he had said, that made the older man decide to trust the boy. This boy had his younger brother's trust, after all, and that alone was nothing short of a miracle.
"Perhaps you are correct. I'll have to leave now, or I won't be back before tomorrow morning." Kotaro gave the boy a piercing look. "Akio, could I ask you to help my wife, without asking any questions?"
"Of-of course, mi'lord!" Akio looked relieved that he wasn't going to be chewed out for his brazen words, and more than a little surprised and proud that the heir of the Fuma family, the topmost family in Fuma, would ask a favour of him, a low-ranking ninja from a low family. "I'll do my utmost to help!"
Kotaro and Oboro both smiled at the youngster's enthusiasm. Kotaro nodded, heading to the door.
"Very well then, Akio, I'll leave my wife in your capable hands." he said. "I'll be back as soon as possible."
With a last smile, Kotaro left the two of them in the room and closed the door quietly behind him, and headed off to a hideout he hadn't been to in years, but still knew the way to perfectly.
A/N: And so we come to the end of the second chapter. Hopefully it wasn't too bad... please read and review!