Standard disclaimers apply. Just before the sad incident happened to my cousin SukiHunny, she was able to write her individual shout-outs though if you would read it now, of course it's out of date already. As of now I don't ask her to beta-read, revise or even write yet. But the other day she called and told me to post MY ending version of this story. Sorry if it's a little way too different from Suki's work, I know in time she'd be able to post HER side of the ending. Hope you can bear with me. – Trey Paolo
What if some things went wrong from the way Kenshin planned things for the Aoiya's defense while fighting Shishio—and the love of his life being the one to suffer his mistake? Can K&K still triumph over the trials thereafter?
JadeGoddess: Thanks so much! Don't worry, it has never been an issue for me whether one have signed their reviews or not… its all the same, I guess! What I'm after's the review itself coz it's the one that makes my world go 'round! Hehe! This is the last, hope you like the next story I already have posted last week also. Thanks… really.
omochi: How are you? Thanks a many for your constant review, ne? Gotta love 'em! Ja ne! ^_^
Hitokiri Hatokou: REALLY NOW? You really think I'm that bad? You even compared me to Watsuki-sama though no one beats him in that category of heartbreakers! How could you? *sob* Oh well, ''bout the hentai part, there's no way I could write one! I don't even know what it is… *smirks* Anyways, though I haven't posted this last chap on your birthday, I have managed to send you a message in your mail, hope you liked it. THANK YOU SO MUCH NE? ^_^ Good luck on your computer!
KawaiiChica: I promise there wouldn't be anymore cliffhangers, since this is the last chapter for Oblivion… *sob* I'm happy you liked my version of Sano there in the previous, he just could be a little piss-off sometimes but, for all we care! Like what you have said: GOTTA LOVE THE ROOSTER-HEAD! ^_^ T.Y!
Saby-chan: Nah, its okay, I understand if you haven't been able to reply to my e-mail. Its obvious my cousin was in a hurry when he made that chap. I only edited it a 'lil coz I really can't stay in front of the computer for a very long period nowadays. He was the one who wrote it, I'll tell him it passed your standards! @_@x My leg? Its now black all over but generally, I'm okay at the moment. I'm starting jazz dancing lessons again when this gets well… I don't want to get crampy, you know! THANK YOU! Ja!
SSJKakarott: Thank you so much. Here's the last chapter. I hope you like it. Take Care! ^_^
Kamimura Kaoru: Yup, I'm sure gonna continue on writing just as long as I still have you guys! You are so cool, I don't know how I'm gonna thank you all. You're so sweet, thank you. Ja ne! Good luck too. ^_^
Naomi: Thank you so much for the support, Naomi-chan. I really Do appreciate your constant bearing for this fic… I hope you check out my new one that has already been posted by my cousin. Thanks so much.
LittleDragon5: 'Special degree'? Nah, I don't think so, its just my being too emotional I guess! Thank you if you find the chap a tearjerker. SO MUCH. ^_^
Willow: Heyy!! Its your ever-long-YESSSSSSS again! (God, why can't I imitate that? ^.^) Oh well, here's the final chapter, Will. By the way, THANK YOU for all. You have been there since day one and this is all I could ever say to show my gratitude. Ganbatte!
Azura Dea: I'll be missing that, AD! I wouldn't mind you chasing after me, just as long as you don't hurt me or anything…! Haha! LOL! Whatever! We really have lotsa similarity, ne? I also hadn't got much sleep lately. Thank you so much! Ja!
Kyaa-Kyaff: YOU, are the first ever reviewer of the fic I just had posted. You're really one FF.Net 'frequenter', huh? Haha! I'm so surprised! Bottomfelt thanks, believe me. Yeah, Kao-chan's alive and will stay that way from then on. Hoping for your continuous support, ne? Ja!
sakuracherryblossom: I wanted to write more, Sakura-chan but my fingers really won't budge! You see I did this in the wee hours of the mawnin because I had to stand watch over my boyfriend calling some girl… I'm a bit edgy doing that chap. I thought doing it would while away my time since I got nothing to do, so there! Haha! When his phone got busy, oh-kay… you know that I really had to 'stop there'. Oh well, THANKS SO MUCH!
Skipper: T H A N K Y O U S O M U C H ! ! ! (If only I could show you the banner I made for all of you guys! Haha! Of course I'm a big bluff! ^_^)
Joey: I'm also happy you like it. I'm sad this has finally getting to end. This story has been very significant for it is where we all got together to celebrate, cry over and sometimes smile with sugar, Kaoru and Kenshin's life. I know it's a bit OOC when it comes to her parents because we all know what has become of them but, as a FFreader myself, I don't like sad endings that's why I have resorted to that kind of ending for them. Am I too cruel to you? Haha! This'll be the last, so lemme have some fun okay? By the time you have read this you have probably finished that test… don't worry, I have prayed for you. You need to unwind after it, WRITE! I'll be constantly waiting just here. Good luck!
marstanuki: You're lucky if what had happened to you was just a fair chance of miscommunication, honey! But mine's really… I don't know. *sigh* He's been cheating on me right to my face and guess what I did? I hit him in the nose right inside the busy cafeteria in school. His 'girl' couldn't do anything but cry. Hah! Some guy huh? The next day? He was at my doorstep. But no sir-ee! Its over, I told him. Whew! Its really frustrating! Anyway, thank you so much. ^_^
Sereko: You know what? The very first anime I have ever loved was SailorMoon. I was crazy with it, I tell you! Up until now, my collection of its toys and small figures are still in my closet. I have that passion in collecting them. When a suitor comes by, I tell him to buy me SM stuffs… I'm just so bad. Hey, I'll try to write about SM too, though my fad nowadays really is RK. Good to have ya, though I've only knew you when this is about to finish! @_@x THANK YOU!
Susy: Hice't sabe que usted habla Español, tan si jamás hice puedo've fue hablar a usted consigo. ^.^ Gracias! No, yo me puse el español del estudio ahora mismo, pero sé algunos de lo. Acaba de ocurrir a mí que algunos de nuestros revistados de amigo aquí están español tan pensé quizá un pequeño de lo no lastimaría. Sé un español del pedacito porque mi Papá quiso que mí supiera tanto idioma como yo puedo desde que viajo con él la mayor parte del tiempo antes. Sé un Portugués del pedacito, el Francés, el Alemán y por supuesto, el Español. ¡Pero sólo un poco! Tome el cuidado. ¡Gracias tanto!
Ice-chan: THANKS SO MUCH!!!
Bunny: Thank you very much, if that's the case. Good day!
Crystal: Thank you, this is the last. I'm looking forward to more of you! Ja! ^_^
Oh my God… I can't believe I'm finishing this story already! I'm really sorry guys if it's a 'lil sooner for me to end this, I just can't write very long 'epic-style' stories! Reasons are (1) I get bored; (2) Some new ideas for a new story suddenly comes up; and (3) I just loooove multitasking—its like you're doing one and at the same time you're also doing another. You see, I sometimes 'get lost' from the story I do once I do the other so in this case, I'd be writing one after the other from now on. My future plans will be finishing my other stories too, then start doing the second chapter for my 'new baby', La Femme Fatale (please do check it out, its been out for a week now) and then I'd be posting the other stories stuck here in my laptop. Its just so not cool, my files looks like the Recycle Bin now… @_@;;
Thank you all for letting me blabber every once in a while…! (H-huh???)
The Last Chapter
"Are you sure about this, Kaoru-chan?"
Kaoru looked thoughtfully at her mother. Glancing over Kenshin once more, she nodded.
"Hai, Kaa-san. I've never been so sure all my life…"
Katsuro reached for his daughter's hand and squeezed it tight. Smiling proudly at her, he said, "Kaoru, I'm happy you have made the right decision. I'm so proud of you, my daughter."
Kaoru looked at her father. She misses him so much, its just too bad they would have to be parted again. Without saying anything, she embraced him tight.
Nanako's eyes filled with tears again as she had witnessed a very touching scene between the two love of her life.
'Kaoru has grown up to be a young lady now… I wish I had been there for her.'
While the two exchange parting messages for each other, Nanako took time to whisper against Kenshin's ear, "Young man, I know you have seen and felt almost all the atrocities in life there is. As I have seen, you treasure my daughter as your comfort, your solace… your life. Then so be it. All I wish for is that you take care of my precious… love her unconditionally as we, her parents, would have… and give her all there is for her to smile always…" she paused, her face suddenly filled with worry.
"… and I hope your principles in life would not get in the way of your love for her. You two are destined to be together… though many trials are yet to be faced."
"Are you ready to go back now, Kaoru?" Katsuro asked. Kaoru only nodded, fidgeting her fingers from nervousness.
Her mother hugged her for the last time. "Take care of yourself, Kaoru. We will always be here to watch over you. I love you so much, Hime-chan."
"And I love you too, Mother… b-but," Kaoru seemed to hesitate.
"What is it?"
"I-I'm sorry for what I've said a while ago, I-I didn't mean it—"
Nanako caressed her back. "Sshh. Don't be, Kaoru. What you have said is true, and I don't have any intention for you to take away what you have wanted to say to me all these time. Its nothing, believe me. I deserve every hurtful thing that might come out from you because I have never been the mother you have dreamed of—"
Kaoru shook her head. "Iie. Mother, if there would be a chance for me to re-live my life once more and also the chance to choose the parents I will take as my own," looking at both her parents, "I would still choose the both of you."
Nanako and Katsuro were silent.
Kaoru continued. "I know fate has never been that good to me—to us—but despite that fact, there's something inside me that longs for the love only you two can give…"
"There are days that almost break me, almost make me want to give up… but, I don't know. At the end of the day, its to you that I still pray for guidance and strength. Do you hear me during those times?"
The two nodded, smiling at her… so did she.
"I just have one question to ask before you go back, Hime-chan." Katsuro said.
"Are you happy with Kenshin?"
Kaoru sighed and thought of her happy days with Kenshin and their friends.
"Hai, Tou-san. He might be the densest, the most imperfect, insensitive man I have met… but, I love him nevertheless," Kaoru beamed happily. "Kenshin and I share a different bond that no one could ever break. We share our hurts, happiness and viewpoints—a thing seldom couples have." She said, giving her parents a wink.
Nanako chuckled. "I'm happy for the both of you, Kaoru. May you be happy together, ne?"
Kaoru only smiled.
"Now close you eyes…"
"So, are you just gonna stand there and stare at me whole day?" Kaoru said, smiling brightly at them
Kenshin remained standing motionless, felt as if his tongue rolled up to his throat. Looking at the others, who were now crying with joy, still couldn't believe that the one they have just been grieving a while ago is now, well, alive.
"Well…?" Kaoru raised a brow.
Sanosuke pushed him inside the room towards Kaoru playfully, "Go on, Kenshin! We're all dying to hug Jou-chan ourselves, can't you see?"
"Yeah, Himura! I thought you'd be happy to see her!"
Megumi, with tears streaming down her face patted him lightly on the shoulders. "The Rooster's right, Ken-san. Go to her. Tell her what you feel. If we are all dreaming or seeing just a ghost, then at least we know she's be hearing our sentiments…"
Kenshin dropped his gaze. "I…"
The others looked at him inquisitively.
Huh? They all frowned.
"Himura, what are you saying??"
Aoshi shrugged as he glanced over Kenshin. "They'll be just in the Tea Room when you're finished with her." He said walking straightly, leaving the others behind as they frowned doubly.
'When you're finished with her'? Misao thought, watching as Aoshi disappeared from the corridor. Tugging Okina, she asked. "What did Aoshi-sama mean by that, Jiya?"
The old man coughed, looking at Himura menacingly. "Misao, let's go. Okon, Omasu—prepare something to celebrate Kaoru-san's return..." he said following Aoshi's direction.
"But Grammps! Heyy—!"
Okon and Omasu treaded alongside Okina, who winked at each other as they walk. "Misao, there are things that young girls still not oughta know!"
"WHAT? And just what do you mean by that, Omasu?" the ninja ran in front of them, demanding explanation.
Yahiko, followed by his eyes the four, with Misao still seething with confusion. "What was that all about, huh?"
Sanosuke smirked at Yahiko. "Oi, didn't you hear what Okina had said? You're still too young for this!" he said, carrying the boy by the leash.
"HEYY! Let me go, Rooster-head! Let me go! I want to stay with Kaoru!"
Sanosuke grinned at Kenshin and Kaoru. "You guys hurry up, 'kay? We'll get 'ya later, Jou-chan…"
"LET GO!" Yahiko continuously complained.
Wiping her cheeks with her palm, Megumi went up to Kenshin again and whispered, "She still might be sick so be gentle with her, ne, Ken-san? You have to wait 'til I have given her a thorough check-up. Hohoho!" Fox ears popped out of her head as she followed the two. "Rooster, wait up!"
Kenshin stared at the three as they walked down the corridor. Sanosuke even put an arm around Megumi.
"Get your filthy hands off me, Rooster… of you know what's best for you," Megumi warned.
"Haha! You're one scarety-Chicken, huh, Sano! Ha-ha!"
"Ouch! Why did you threw me??!"
"You talk too much, Yahiko-chan…"
"Do. NOT… call me… CHAN!"
And the chase went on.
The sound of his own name sent Kenshin back to his own self. Looking back inside the room, Kaoru was there, now looking impatient.
"Is the show out there finished?" she asked.
Kenshin was still fixed to the floor, with also his eyes fixed on the ground.
What's happening to him? Is he not happy I'm back? Kaoru frowned. "HE-LLO? Kenshin! I'm talking to you!"
That's just it. Kaoru walked up to Kenshin and tried to meet his downcast eyes.
"Kenshin, if you don't say something I'll—"
Kaoru was muffled in between words as Kenshin caught her jaw and kissed her passionately.
When the kiss had ended, Kaoru's eyes misted with tears. "I missed you too," she said, smiling at him.
But Kenshin did not say anything, just stared at her, with an amused expression.
Kaoru's cheeks tainted with red. "W-what?"
Kenshin grinned all the more. "I-I can't believe you're back… you just don't know how I've missed seeing you and blush like that, Kaoru."
Kaoru turned redder. Hiding her embarrassment by pouting, "Mou! What welcome have I been getting from you? Do I look like I just came from heaven or something? Well, here's a clue: I didn't."
Kenshin chuckled to himself, enjoying the sight he was causing Kaoru. "Is that so?"
Kenshin reached for Kaoru's hand and pulled her to his chest. Kissing her on her forehead, he closed his eyes.
Kaoru, who frowned at this gesture of Kenshin, decided to let herself be drifted by the sweetness of the moment.
Kaoru's eye popped open as she heard snuffling noises from the one hugging her. Freeing herself from him, she was surprised upon seeing him crying.
Kenshin blinked many times to prevent him crying more but its as if his eyes have a mind of its own.
"Kenshin?" Kaoru asked again, cupping his jaw with her hands. "Why are you crying? Are you not happy to see me?"
The ruruoni shook his head repeatedly. "No, no… Kaoru. Its just I'm crying due to so much happiness. I can't believe you're back… with me. I swear, Kaoru—if you happen to did, die, I don't know what I might've done. I could've…"
Kaoru hugged Kenshin again. "Sshh… I know… I know…" she said thinking of what her father had said about Kenshin if ever she decided not to come back. The thought of it was unable for her to bear as she closed her eyes, trying to erase the lingering images of his desolation. "Sshh, don't cry Kenshin. From now on, we will not cry. We will start anew, I promise. With our friends, our loved ones… we can make it. Because I trust you."
"You promised me you'll come back as soon as the fight with Shishio is over, and you did. We were left fighting his faction, and the last thing I remember I was praying for your return, safe and sound—"
Kenshin interrupted her. "But you were the one who was hurt because of my foolishness, Kaoru. I shouldn't have let you fight. Imagine how I felt when the others told me something happened to you. I felt devastated, Kaoru… never have I felt so distressed all my life!"
"But," Kaoru said. "Kenshin, everything happens for a reason. If I hadn't helped fight the Juppongatana, it would be an unfair fight. What could've happened was butchery! Murder! For the odds were against us ever since the beginning. They were too many. And if the Oniwabanshuu had lacked one fighter with them, things have turned out differently, Kenshin. You might have found me dead, anyway. And not just me, but Yahiko and the others too."
"And besides, if it didn't happen, I wouldn't have known you really love me…" Kaoru said, teasing him with her look.
The ex-Hitokiri smiled. "But that was a little obvious ever since, ne?"
Kaoru pouted again. "Obvious? Mou! Remind me I have to go to the place you have beaten Shishio to thank him."
"Of course! If it weren't for him, we wouldn't be like this," she said, hugging Kenshin tightly.
The two stared at each other for a long time.
"Promise me you won't leave me again, Kaoru."
Kaoru blushed to her ears again with a different kind of intensity Kenshin looks at her. Smiling coyly, "H-hai. I promise."
Kenshin caught her chin with his two fingers and with just a breath away, he said in a tone that made Kaoru's heart jump. "Aishiteru, Kaoru Kamiya."
Kaoru smiled below her fluttering lashes, "I do too, Kenshin Himura. We will never leave each other's aide again."
Kenshin kissed her. A kiss they both deserve to share after the long agony that had kept them apart. The kiss became ardent, then soulful and finally it consumed them both with prolonged want that they hid inside each other for a long time.
Kaoru felt her knees buckle at the overwhelming sensations that flooded her as she tugged on Kenshin's band which snapped, surprising them both.
Both just stared intensely at each other, eyes misted with passion.
Kenshin became taut inside like his hair band that Kaoru accidentally snapped upon tugging, and the soft evening breeze that came in from the open door did not cool his blood which coursed his veins like liquid fire. His so-called swift toes crisped, his firm muscles crinkled, and his breathing became jagged as he looked at Kaoru, that seemed to be different, lovelier and as if enticing, from the way she looks at the moment.
With hands that trembled a little he stepped back, not taking away his eyes from Kaoru, slid the shoji closed, and approached her again.
"Omasu! You still haven't told me about what Aoshi-sama had said a while ago! What did he mean by that?" Misao asked while peeling potatoes.
Omasu, who seemed fed up by Misao's annoying query, tried to smile. "Why don't you ask Okina instead?"
The small Okashira's eyes brightened. "Great idea!" she said, leaving a 'freed' Omasu happy.
Misao ran from the kitchen to the Tea Room where the others were gathered.
"SSHH!!!" The others silenced her.
Misao only gave them a puzzled look. Fixing herself from Okina's side, she continued to complain about what Aoshi said to Kenshin. Okina shook his head and told Misao to ask Okon instead.
Okon, who heard Okina's 'transfer of responsibility' of explaining to Misao to her, raised her hands in refusal.
Misao sighed. Oh well, I think nobody's gonna give me some decent explanation around here. Might as well ask the source of all knowledge personally! With a defiant look, Misao marched outside the Aoiya heading for Aoshi's temple.
"Hah! Good riddance! That weasel girl sure can piss someone off!" Yahiko stated smugly.
"Shut-up Yahiko! Your voice might distract those two lovebirds, you know. And THAT is a major piss-off, ne Megitsune?"
Megumi's cheeks redden. Tossing her hair, she snickered at Sanosuke. "Ha-ha. Very funny, Sano."
"I bet we won't be seeing them 'till this evening, they'll have a lot of 'catching-up' to do that could reach up until morning." Sano staked.
"Mine's in the noon tomorrow," agreed Okina.
"It's a deal, Okina."
"You can bet on it!"
Megumi sighed at the two.
"What are you talking about, Sano? Okina?" asked Yahiko.
When Sano was about to explain away, Megumi swatted his bandaged hand and covered Yahiko's ears. "Now, now, Yahiko. This is SOMETHING not for the boys, your age. Isn't that right, Okon-san?"
Okon sweatdropped but nodded her head in affirment.
"I think it would be wise for us to retreat and rest to our own rooms, ladies and gentlemen. We all had a long day, didn't we?" Okina said.
"To that I bet!" Megumi replied, raising herself with Yahiko who yawned, still insisting to wait for Kaoru and Kenshin to come out of the room.
"Trust me, boy. You'll only be disappointed waiting for those two."