Disclaimer: I don't own 'em. Check.
Notes: Okay. This is it. The final two chapters. I squished them onto one page thingy because they're so short. I'm glad so many people liked this. But, alas, it is over. I'm off to finish up the latest story I've been writing. Perhaps it won't be too long before I post that. Maybe awhile. Anyway, I hope you all enjoy the final chapter.
11. Return to beginning
Kenshin woke a few hours after he had fainted, demanding to see the baby. Kaoru, unable to deny him (he had threatened with grave bodily harm if he did not get to see the child) went to retrieve the child. Not bothering to hold back his tears, Kenshin curled around the child, crooning soft nonsense to his baby boy. Kaoru smiled warmly and joined him in bed, spooning against his back and resting her cheek against his so that she could watch the baby as well.
After awhile, the baby fell back to sleep, and they just watched him. Kaoru closed her eyes, ready to fall asleep again herself.
"Koishii?" Kenshin's soft question convinced her to open her eyes.
"Now that this is over..." he hesitated, lightly fingering the wispy, auburn fuzz on his child's head.
"Your wondering if we'll go back to being normal again?" Kaoru guessed.
"I don't know," Kaoru said honestly. "Although, I think I'd rather stay the man of the family. Do you think they'd let us stay like this?"
"Don't even suggest it," Kenshin growled.
Kaoru laughed quietly and rubbed her cheek against his tenderly. Her rough skin scraped against his, proving that she had not shaved since the day before. Kenshin shivered, wrinkling his nose in distaste, and Kaoru chuckled again.
"I do kind of miss being a girl," she admitted. "I miss gossiping with Tae-san and the other women in town."
"Gossiping about what?" Kenshin frowned. He had never gossiped with the women.
"The nice thing about girl talk is that guys don't know what we're talking about," Kaoru rebuked mildly. "That includes you."
"Technically, I'm a girl now," Kenshin pointed out mischievously.
"Yes, but with any luck, you won't be soon enough," Kaoru retorted.
Kenshin sighed, not really that frustrated at being shot down. He still could not win these domestic arguments. He decided that maybe it was just him.
"I will not miss being a woman," he announced. He groaned as something occurred to him. "I am going to be so out of shape when this is done! I haven't touched my sword in over six months."
"That can be easily remedied," Kaoru purred suggestively.
Kenshin could not help himself. He snorted and burst into soft peals of laughter.
"To think that I used to consider you innocent," he muttered. "That was not the sword I was talking about!"
"Down, boy," Kenshin smirked. "I'm still female, and you're still very male. We'd just mess with things that are better off left alone."
Kaoru sighed, frustrated.
"You're right," she admitted. "But when we're back to normal, you're mine for a day."
Kenshin groaned softly. He wondered briefly how he would survive an entire day of... that.
"Just don't expect me to have the next kid," he sighed.
"After yesterday, I'm not sure I want to do it either," Kaoru replied.
Kenshin just smiled and adjusted his position so he was sure he would not smother his child. Then, wrapped securely in Kaoru's embrace, he allowed himself to drift off into slumber again. Kaoru, noticing that her husband was no longer responding, smiled and relaxed, joining him in dreamland.
Confetti swirled around the group of partying, incorporeal beings. Hypothetical champagne glasses chinked while a nonexistent DJ played an upbeat tune on a nonphysical record player.
"I told you it would work!"
"No! No! No! No! No! No! No! No! No! No! No!"
"For god's sake, shut him up!"
"A miracle of miracles!"
"I love messing with those two!"
"No! No! No! No! No! No! No! No!"
"Wouldst we changeth them back?"
Scuffle, scuffle. Triumphant snickering.
"He'll never say no again!"
"Just change them back already!"
"Heh heh heh!"
12. Epilogue: Bliss revisited
"Kaoru-koishii?" Kenshin called out worriedly. "Are you okay?"
It was just after breakfast time, and everyone was awake. Yahiko had gone to the Akabeko already, set to work the lunch and dinner shift. Sanosuke was nowhere to be seen. He had returned to his own dwelling once things had returned to normal, although he never missed the opportunity to tease Kenshin about his feminine ways. Fortunately for Kenshin, and not so fortunate for Sanosuke, Kenshin was the quicker wit of the two, and Sanosuke usually ended up eating his words.
And now, Kenshin stood outside the backhouse, a four-month-old Kenji cradled against his shoulder. He tapped on the door again, his anxiety clear in his soft-spoken plea to his wife.
"Kaoru? Maybe you should go see Gensai-sensei today," he suggested.
He heard soft cursing through the door and blinked in alarm.
Kaoru had never been the swearing type before. A few of the things she was saying made him wonder where she had learned to speak so crudely.
The shoji snapped open, startling Kenshin again. Kaoru glared at him.
"This is all your fault," she announced without preamble.
"Oro?" Kenshin stared at her blankly.
"I'm pregnant again!"
"Oro!" Kenshin recovered quickly this time, grinning deviously. "Actually, if I remember correctly, Koishii, you were the one who arranged for Megumi-dono to baby-sit, Yahiko to work, and Sanosuke to stay away. Was it back when you said that I was yours for a day?"
She growled softly, offering another word that was much too inappropriate to write down. Kenshin sighed.
"Where did you pick up these things?" he wondered absently, following the young woman back to the dojo.
"From you, Anata," Kaoru replied, sickeningly sweet.
"Oro!" Kenshin blinked. "Me? When did I-...oh."
He smiled, watching Kaoru disappear into the kitchen to make herself some tea. It was going to be a pleasant nine months.
Kenshin: Is it over?
Kaoru: I think so.
Kenshin: Thank heavens.
Kaoru: Poor widdle Kenshin. Want Kaoru to kiss it and make it all better?
Kenshin: *Sly smile*
Fitz: Get a room! This is not a lemon!
Kenshin: Such the pity.
Kaoru: *Nods in agreement*
Final Notes: *Sob* It's over! Well… as for the title of the story, I once read—well, read several times—that Kenji can be translated as 'path of the sword.' Now, this may or may not be correct, but this is how I am using it. Well, it's been grand. *Runs away humming tunes from Anastasia* Dang it, Chibi Assassin! How could you let me listen to that? I'll never get those songs out of my head.