Disclaimer: I own none of the following material. (I refuse to list each thing separately. There are far too many things. It would be a page.)

Notes: This is it. The final update on this story. I hope you all enjoy it. Some of it is amusing. Some of it is just nonsensical babbling. All of it is somehow relevant. (Don't look at me like that. I wouldn't lie! Well… I'm not now, in any rate.)

Warnings: Strange humor. Shonen ai—big time. But it's fluff and humor for those of you who usually jump away from it. And for those of you who don't… it's still fluff and humor. Yeah… that's it, I think.

Lastly, there is what you might call a 'trailer' at the end of this, after the response to the reviewers. It is for the next story. JML suggested that I put in a teaser, so there it is. It is pre-plot, so don't expect any great insights to what's going to happen. Check it out if you want.

And now… on with the fun stuff.

Just so you know the order of things, this is what's in here…

1. Life's a Dance… The Short Story

2. Movies and Television shows mentioned in Life's a Dance

3. Other Anime I used in this fic

4. Music from Life's a Dance aka Life's a Dance Soundtrack

5. If I told you, it would ruin the surprise.

6. Response to the reviewers

7. Excerpt from the sequel

8. Final notes from Fitz

Life's a DanceThe Short Story

Chapter one

Kenshin: Hi, all!

Sano: You're an ass.

Okita: Are you gay or straight?

Kaoru: Hi, Kenshin!

Kenshin: I've got a severe mental disorder.

Kaoru: That's okay.

Chapter two

Kaoru: Go to the basketball game with us, Kenshin!

Kenshin: 'kay.

Hiko: Hi! I'm Kenshin's guardian.

Sano: Eh. Kenshin's not that bad.

Chapter three

Megumi: I'm a cruel teacher.

Kenshin: Let's name our rat.

Sano: *barf*

Reporters: *attack Kenshin*

Kenshin: *attacks reporters* Meet one of my personalities. His name is Rurouni. He hates reporters.

Hiko: Let's make this easy and sedate the brat.

Chapter four:

Everyone: YAY! SLUMBER PARTY!

Kenshin: *prances around in Kaoru's clothes*

Kaoru: *takes a picture*

Okita: I wanna kiss him!

Kenshin: *kisses Okita*

Chapter five

Kenshin: I'm Shinta! Let's play!

Sano: What the hell?!

Aoshi: *holds up a newspaper article* Lookit! Kenshin's plane was hijacked!

Kenshin: Everyone, I've got MPD.

Everyone: Oh. Okay.

Shishio: I'm an ass.

Kenshin: I hate you, you jerk.

Chapter six

Kenshin: Wheee! Look at me! I'm a track star!

Everyone: You'd better come to the party tonight, or we'll kick your butt, Kenshin!

Kenshin: Eep.

Okita: *Makes out with Kenshin*

Kenshin: GAAAAAAH!!!! NIGHTMARES!

(Fitz: Heehee! That made it seem like he was having nightmares about Okita kissing him. It wasn't. But oh well.)

Chapter seven

Dr. Schneider: Hmmm… Battousai… Hmmmm

Kenshin: Lookie! I drew a picture of Battousai!

Schneider: Let me shrink your head, Kenshin. I mean Aya. I mean Rurouni.

Kenshin: Go away. You're a jerk.

Chapter eight

Bank robbers: Stick 'em up!

Kenshin: *waves arms around* I'm drawing attention to myself. Point your guns at me!

Bank robbers: He's drawing attention to himself. Let's take him hostage.

Tomoe: *shoots robbers* Hi there!

Sano: *wipes drool from chin*

Chapter nine

Kenshin: *holds a paper bag over face* I'm afraid of the water.

Okita: My family life sucks. Mom's a slut. Dad used to be on the Top Ten Most Wanted.

Kenshin: I'm sure your dad's not that bad.

Chapter ten

Kenshin: I saw Tomoe at my Fine Arts Night concert!

Hiko: Crazy brat.

Kenshin: *sob*

Okita: Tell me your life's story, Kenshin.

Kenshin: Tomoe… yaddayadda…

Okita: Cool. TICKLE WAR!
Kenshin: ACK!

Chapter eleven

Okita: Look, Kenshin! An air plane.

Kenshin: Hide me!

Okita: My dad's not such a bad guy.

Kenshin: Looks like Okita needs a hug. *hugs Okita*

Chapter twelve

Kenshin: Help! I'm being attacked by all the dateless girls and guys of our school!

Tae: I'll be your prom date, Ken.

Kenshin: 'kay.

Kamatari: Wheeee! I got to dance with Kenshin and Aoshi!

Chapter thirteen

Sano: Party at Tasuki's!

Kenshin: I'm taking drunken Kaoru home. Oh. Hi, Okita!

Okita: Let's go see my psychotic friend. But I don't know he's psycho.

Enishi: heheheheh.

Kenshin: *In a coma*

Hiko: Okita, you suck. Go away.

Okita: Eep! *Runs away*

Chapter fourteen

Kenshin: *sob* Okita won't talk to me!

Kaoru: There, there.

Enishi: I am one screwed up bastard.

Kenshin: Okita! Let's fight!

Okita: Okay! And you're crazy!

Kenshin: Gah! Okita insulted me!

Enishi: Hey, Battousai. We've gotta talk.

Kenshin: Eep!

Chapter fifteen

Kenshin: I'm Rurouni, you jerk.

Enishi: I've come to exact some sort of revenge on you.

Kenshin: Oh. Okay. Now, I'm Battousai.

Enishi: Yipe! *runs away*

Okita: Gack! Kenshin's attacking random people with a switchblade! I'll save you!

Kenshin: Wait. Now, I'm Shinta. Hold it… okay. Kenshin again.

Tomoe: I'm with NSA.

Kenshin: Wow. I hate you. But I still like you. Don't forget me!

Chapter sixteen

Kenshin: I wanna ride the carousel!

Sano: What do you mean you were raped?

Kenshin: That's a rumor. It's a lie.

Okita: We love you anyway.

Kenshin: Cool.

Chapter seventeen

Kenshin: I've got a job!

Kaoru: Shh. We're throwing Kenshin a surprise party.

Everyone: SURPRISE!!

Kenshin: These gifts are cool.

Okita: So, Kenshin. Dinner and a movie?

Kenshin: Sure!

Chapter eighteen

Seniors: Yay! We're finally graduating!

Kenshin: Uh… Aoshi? Your speech sucked.

Everyone except Misao: CHEESE!

Misao: Pickles!

Fitz: *Sob* The end.

^_^

Movies and Television shows mentioned in Life's a Dance: (in order of appearance, including Omakes)

1. Stuart Little—Note, Fitz spelled it 'Stewart' in chapter three. Sorry.

2. Secret of Nimh—Melt

3. The Matrix—cool movie. I'm still appalled over what they did to it when they put it on TV. They cut out the spoon scene! The spoon scene! So when he mutters, 'there is no spoon' does it make sense? NOOOOOO! *snickers* And when they dubbed 'shucks' over 'shit.' That was priceless.

4. Miss Congeniality—cuteness abounds.

5. Star Wars—If you have not heard of this, then you need to go look it up.

6. Terminator

7. Terminator II—I have never seen either of these. Are they good?

8. A Clockwork Orange—*shudder*

9. Shrek—the movie's pretty good. I like my sound track. *starts singing* And then I saw her face!

10. Saturday Night Fever—Honestly, I've never seen it. Travolta and disco is a combination that frightens me.

11. The Godfather—A very famous movie. I think there's four of them. I could be mistaken.

12. Titanic—well, I took quotes from it anyway.

13. Not Without my Daughter—eh (noncommittal response)

14. The Little Mermaid—I loved this movie when it came out. I still like it. I annoy all my friends by humming along with the songs.

15. I Love Lucy—I don't think there's an American out there who doesn't know about this show. People who are of other nationalities… I haven't a clue. You know this show?

16. Andy Griffith—Another famous television comedy. When was it made? Sixties? Seventies? During the transition time from black/white TV to color. If it was in the eighties, I may have to hurt someone. *feels old*

17. Frankenstein—I saw about three minutes of this movie. I came in at a really bad time, and have refused to ever watch the movie because of it.

18. Garfield—this was a newspaper comic strip, actually, but I thought I'd put it here.

19. Center Stage—very much so a chic flick. And I like it, thankyouverymuch. *glares at anyone who dares to say it's not a good movie*

20. Sybil—this was perhaps the darkest, most depressing thing I have ever watched.

21. Care Bears—I know that, at one point, I mentioned this. *shrug* It's stuck at the end because I can't remember when I said it, and I'm too lazy to go through and search the entire story again to find it.

^_^

Other Anime I used in this fic: (in no particular order)

1. Evangelion—Kaji

2. Fushigi Yugi—Miaka, Yui, Tetsuya, Nuriko, Hotohori, Tasuki, and Mitsukake. Did I miss anyone?

3. Slayers—Lina, Amelia, Zelgadis, and Filia (you know that pretty woman with blond hair in chapter 18? Yeah. That's her.)

4. YuYu Hakusho—Keiko and Kurama/Shuuichi

5. Sailor Moon—Minako and Rei

6. Ranma 1/2 —Ranma Saotome and Tendo

^_^

Music from Life's a Dance aka Life's a Dance Soundtrack: (in the order of appearance)

1. Daisy, Daisy (I don't know if it's the actual name of the song) *Hums* Daisy, Daisy, give me your answer true. I'm half crazy over my love for you! 'tis a cute song.

2. 'NSync—I could not tell you one of their songs from Backstreet Boys from a hole in the ground. But as I pointed out the band, I thought I would acknowledge it.

3. Get down tonight!—(What's that called?) Do a little dance! Make a little love! Get down tonight! (I don't knooooooowwwwww!)

4. Joy to the World—No, not the holiday song. The other one. Jeremiah was a bullfrog and all that.

5. Dancing—This may not be the title. It's a song from the musical Hello, Dolly. Hey, don't laugh. It was good!

6. I'm a Believer—Smash Mouth version from Shrek. Although I recently discovered that the Monkeys sang the original version. (I thank Trafeane for that.)

7. In the End—Linkin Park.

8. Turkey in the Straw—with different words.

9. The Way You Make Me Feel—Yes, it's Michael Jackson. I actually like the song. It's a rare thing when I like his music.

10. And We're Dancing—out of Center Stage. It's a pretty song. Kind of along the lines of Life's a Dance.

11. Beautiful Boy (Darling Boy)—this was the reference to that John Lennon song I made in Kenshin's speech. Actually, I pulled it off the Mr. Holland's Opus soundtrack.

12. Life's a Dance—Yes, it's a country song. John Michael Montgomery happens to be one of my favorite country artists. WHY does everyone hate it so much?! *pantpant* At least I don't run around with an accordion and shout for everyone to polka.

13. Kenshin's song—I have no idea what it's actually called. It starts out with something like Aisuru Hito o Mamoru Tame Ni. Whoa, I think I just slaughtered the romanji. I love this song, though. Easily my favorite of his. The line I had him sing was the only English in the song.

14. American Pie—some lyrics in the following ditty. The song popped into my head.

^_^

And the surprise! *drum roll*

My Date with Kenshin

            Khakis and a dark blue polo shirt. It hardly seemed adequate. Kenshin stuck his tongue out at his reflection. It would have to do. Besides, he could not imagine that Okita was stressing out over what he would wear…

Meanwhile, at Okita's house…

            "MOM!!" Okita's voice rang through the small house. "HELP!"

            "Relax, honey," a tired-looking woman told him. She sat at the kitchen table, a cigarette butt dangling from her fingers. "Just wear your light khakis, a plain shirt, and that nice sports coat of yours."

            Okita stared at her. "How do you do that?"

Five-thirty…

             The doorbell rang. Kenshin sat on a kitchen stool, frozen for a minute.

            Run to get the door? Make him wait? Run to get the door? Make him wait? It was a silent mantra that he struggled to ignore.

            Kenshin ran to the door. In a fit of nervous excitement, he flung the door open, smiling brightly and opening his mouth to greet his date.

            "Hi—uh…" his grin fell away as he stared up at a blue-eyed, brown-haired man with handfuls of brochures in a bag over his shoulder. He scowled. "What?"

            "Hello, I'm with the Jehovah's Witness—"

            Slam.

            The man blinked at the door. Sighing in frustration, he turned and walked away, nodding politely at the startled young man crossing his path.

            "Careful," the man warned. "They're rude."

            Okita stared after the poor man, snickered, and walked up to knock on the door. This time, Kenshin opened the door more cautiously and studied the person before him. Then, he grinned and waved Okita inside.

Six o'clock…

            Water and a salad. It was typical and boring. Kenshin picked at it, absently swinging his foot back and forth under the table. He tried to ignore the fact that Okita was watching him.

            "You're really quiet tonight," Okita remarked, words slightly muddled around his cheeseburger.

            "If you'd stop staring at me like that," Kenshin grumbled.

            "It's not like we've never gone out before," Okita teased.

            "Never on an official date," Kenshin retorted, frowning at his friend… date. "It's weird. Stop it."

            "My eyes would be appalled if I turned away from you to look at something as mundane as a waitress," Okita replied smoothly. The blood rushed to Kenshin's cheeks, and he glared at the tabletop.

            "If you start spouting poetry, I'm going to hurt you," he declared.

            "Note to self," Okita said contemplatively. "Scratch Homer reading from to-do list."

            "Homer was not exactly the poetry that came to my mind," Kenshin chuckled.

            "It's an epic poem."

            "I know what Homer wrote," Kenshin smirked.

            "Ha-ha!" Okita grinned and poked his finger toward Kenshin's face, earning a startled blink. "I got you to smile."

            "Congratulations," Kenshin laughed. "It's not exactly a great accomplishment. Have you planned the evening already, or are you going to make me choose?"

            "We are going to finish dinner—all of it," Okita pointed at the barely-touched salad in front of Kenshin. "Skinny boy."

            "Yes, Mother," Kenshin rolled his eyes.

            "We will then go to a movie of your choice," Okita continued, oblivious to the jibe. "Followed by a romantic walk through the park."

            "The park with the swings?"

            "…Yeah."

            Kenshin grinned. Okita sighed as if greatly frustrated. Then he laughed.

            "But first!" he leaned back in his chair, folding his hands behind his head casually.

            "Happy birthday to you. Happy birthday to you!" a chorus of seven waiters and waitresses approached their table with a candle-topped brownie. Kenshin groaned but leaned back to watch them put the desert in front of him. "Happy birthday to Kenshin! Happy birthday toooooooooo yooooooouu!"

            "Make a wish, Himura," Okita snickered.

            "I wish you weren't such a moron," Kenshin declared before blowing out the candle. The dining room burst into polite applause, and Okita thanked the restaurant staff. Kenshin was smiling until one waiter leaned forward to wish them well.

            "You two make a nice couple," the man said lightly. Jokingly, he patted Okita's shoulder and winked at the boy, although he made a show of allowing Kenshin to see him and hear his words. "Get her to eat some of that cake. You know how girls can be."

            "Hey!" Kenshin protested.

            "Relax, Kenshin," Okita was almost doubled over with hysterics. "You are awfully skinny."

            "But--!"

            "Enjoy your meal, kids," the waiter stepped away before Kenshin could continue his complaint.

            "Stop laughing!" Kenshin complained.

            Okita snorted, his laughter increasing. Two minutes later, he caught his breath.

            "It was funny," he pointed out.

            "I do not look that much like a girl," Kenshin muttered.

            "Come on, honey," Okita reached across the table and picked up Kenshin's dessert fork, using it to cut a piece free of the brownie. He waved the chocolate under Kenshin's nose. "Let's have a bite."

            "I can't eat this, and you know it," Kenshin scowled, but he snatched the fork from Okita's hand and ate the single bite. He lifted the plate and held it out. "Want it?"

            "You know it!" Okita claimed the dessert. "Now eat your salad."

            Okita blinked as a crouton bounced off his forehead to land smack in the middle of his brownie.

            "Awwww…"

Seven-thirty…

            "I can't believe we missed the movie!"

            "It's okay, Okita," Kenshin smiled down at the boy from his perch on a wall bordering the movie theater. "Let's do something else."

            "I could have sworn it was starting at seven-fifty," Okita grumbled.

            "We could go for a walk," Kenshin suggested. "You could walk off that half-pound burger, pile of French fries, coleslaw, and immense brownie you ate."

            "You're still mad about that stupid waiter, aren't you?" Okita chuckled.

            "Oh, stuff it," Kenshin sighed.

            "Anyplace in particular that you feel like going?" Okita offered.

            "I haven't seen where you're going to college yet," Kenshin pointed out.

            Okita snapped his fingers. "We're there."

Nine o'clock…

            "How's your hand?"

            Kenshin waggled his fingers lightly, grinning at Okita.

            "No harm done."

            Okita snorted.

            "Yeah, to you," he added.

            "It was their own fault," Kenshin smirked. "I may look small and girly, but that doesn't mean I want to be treated that way. Besides… They were going to take your wallet and car keys."

            "This park never used to be frequented by muggers," Okita sighed. "I could have taken them."

            "Eh," Kenshin shrugged. "It was fun. And it was better to see the look on their faces when I made them eat dirt."

            "It's your birthday! I'm supposed to be taking care of you!"

            "Well pardon me," Kenshin feigned surprise. "Next time I'll pull out my spare gown and sit at the sidelines like a true damsel in distress."

            "I'm sure Kaoru has something that would look good on—ow!"

            Okita limped after Kenshin, hopping on one foot a few times as he whined about Kenshin stepping on him. His redheaded date just grinned at him and kept walking.

            "You know," Okita winced and kept walking. "You don't have to get prissy with me."

            "You're begging for a bloody nose."

            "You nearly gave me one of those last spring," Okita reminded him.

            "And you deserved it, too, you jerk!" Kenshin shot back, but he was smiling. "Race you to the swings?"

            "I can't run!"

            "That's not my problem."

            "Kenshin!"

            Still whining under his breath, Okita took off after the whipping red ponytail.

Ten-fifteen…

            Okita parked his car in the alley behind the garage. The fan stopped blowing, the music died (Bye, bye, Miss American pie! Drove my Chevy to the levee but the levee was dry!), and they sat in awkward silence in the darkness.

            "Ten-thirty is a ridiculous curfew for an eighteen-year-old," Okita decided.

            "Hiko is still jumpy about letting me go out with you," Kenshin said, smiling lightly over at the boy.

            "One little incident…" Okita replied dryly.

            "As long as it's only one incident," Kenshin opened the door and climbed out of the car. Okita stared after him, then blinked when Kenshin turned and stuck his head back in. "Are you coming or not?"

            "Oh!" Okita fumbled with his keys, dropping them in his surprise. He cursed and climbed out of his seat so he could feel the dark floor for the missing keys. In the background, Kenshin was laughing at him. "Oh, shut up!"

            "Tradition states that the boyfriend—that would be you—walk his date—me—to the door," Kenshin teased. "You act like I'm asking you to meet my parents."

            "I've already met Hiko, thankyouverymuch—Hah!" he found his keys and held them up triumphantly. He glared through the night at Kenshin, although the boy probably could not see his expression in the shadows. "Wait until I have you meet my parents."

            "God forbid," Kenshin laughed. "Just walk me to the door. If you're afraid of walking in the dark, don't worry. I'll protect you."

            "Show off."

            "Whenever I can."

Two minutes later…

            "So… here we are," Okita said inadequately, shifting restlessly next to Kenshin on the back stoop.

            "It's a door, Okita, not a firing squad," Kenshin said mildly. "And thank you. I had a good time."

            "Happy birthday."

            "Thank you."

            …

            ………

            ………………

            ………………………………

            "Ooof!"

            Okita yelped as he found himself victim to Kenshin's tight hug.

            "Don't be such a wuss, Okita," Kenshin muttered into the boy's ear. "I'll call you tomorrow."

            Grinning happily, Okita squeezed the boy in return before pulling away and reaching for the door. Kenshin lifted his eyebrow curiously, and Okita offered his best charming smile in return.

            "I walked you to the door, I now hold open the door for you," he said in a teasingly serious tone.

            "You're a dork," Kenshin said fondly. "Good night, Okita."

            "Good night, Kenshin."

            "Good-bye, Okita."

            "Good night, Hiko."

The end.

Okita walked back to his car, ignoring the two oddballs in the yard. Fitz was dancing with Sano, who was upset over his lack of love interest in the story.

"You know, Fitz," Sano smirked. "We could get along just fine. There's only one problem…"

            "What's that, Sano?" Fitz asked, then yelped as Sano dipped her. Sano grinned down at her.

            "I can't stand it when the woman is taller than me."

            Fitz sighed.

            "Such is life."

            And the pair danced away into the mists of Kenshin's back yard.

The end… again.

And my final response to the Reviewers. Thanks, all of you for all of your support!

Crystal: I'm glad. Here. Have a tissue. *holds out a tissue*

Yami no Tenshi: The sequel will be coming slowly… but it's coming.

Jason M. Lee: Sheesh! What kind of school did you go to?! Our graduation party was in the gyms and the cafeteria. I won a hair brush set in the drawings. Figures. There were DVD players and microwaves, and what do I get? A hair care package. Well, I know the morbid side of my humor is not always appreciated. That's okay. Everyone has a different way of looking at things. And sure, I'll post a teaser.

TigerBlak: Eh heh… my story won't be posted quite so quickly if I post as I write. This one was completed before I actually started posting. But I'll try. School does come first.

ChibiAssassin: Twenty is not old—oh! I think I strained my back declaring that… Must sit… *sigh* Apparently, I have to look forward to some of my classmates taking me out on my twenty-first. I'm afraid. *Kenshin follows ChibiAssassin with a broom, cleaning up tossed confetti*

Trefeane: Yeah, I was leery about the whole Tomoe thing myself. Unfortunately, by the time I realized it, she was interwoven so tightly into the storyline that I just had to work with it or toss out weeks of writing. And that is really in the song… *hums* I thought love was only true in fairy tales! Meant for someone else, but not for me! *snicker* That face is my trademark scene change.

Vesca: Hmmm… alternate ending… Nope. *Strikes thought from mind* I would do something bad to my story, and I like it too much for that. Glad you liked. I will write that sequel.

CGP: Thanks. I'll try.

Funkegirl: Welcome back. At the end, granted, but I'm glad to see you… read… whatever. I'll do my best on that sequel.

marstanuki: I now have an image in my mind of a faceless person holding up a ring to me. And… Kaoru's… wow. I can't say anything. It would be a big time spoiler if I did.

moonlight: Gack! Weird computer talk! *yanks out a translation dictionary* Let's see… y = why… B-4 = before… *head hurts* Thanks for reviewing, though. I am planning a sequel.

Black Soul: I've got the story started… it's several years in the future, actually. I've got in mind what I want to happen, but the key is in the execution of the ideas. We'll see how well I do this time.

atlashia: Whoa… *mind jumping to thoughts inappropriate for this story* Ahem. I have to agree with you on the Sano/Kenshin thing. I have a strange thinking for RK. I like Kenshin/Kaoru, but sometimes (okay, a lot of times) I like to jump to alternate pairings. That is, Sano/Ken, as you see, Okita/Kenshin, and oddly… even Aoshi/Kenshin—although it's rare. Let me dig around for a little shonen ai… maybe I'll find something Kenshin/Sano for you. ^_~

Tariq: There really is no reason to be so rude. I'm sorry if you're offended by my choice in making Kenshin bisexual, but I did put up numerous warnings. If you hate it so much, perhaps you should reconsider reading stories that have 'Shonen Ai' written in the description. As for why I did it, well, I did it because it fit with where I was taking the story. As for not writing what you were expecting, I cannot accommodate for people wait until the story has been completed to point out what they'd like to see. As for dark fics, sure I like them. That doesn't mean I'm very good at writing them.

Clarus: For your review via email… Thank you for the response. Such praise is high indeed. I'm glad I could produce a story someone enjoyed. And they won't rid this place of the R rating. (Hope, hope.) ^_~

^_^

Teaser from Life Happened (this is a tentative title. It may change periodically until I settle on something I feel suits the story.)

Warnings: The usual. Shonen ai mentions. Reappearance of characters you may not have liked. Yahiko sighting!!

            College was worse than high school. Less time was spent inside of the classroom, true enough, but the workload was ten times worse. Yahiko missed high school. One good thing about college was that Tsubame was going to the same one he attended.

            It was the state university. His father was not a wealthy man, and Yahiko's grades were not good enough to get him a scholarship into any of the private colleges. But Tsubame was in his biology class, thank god, because he hated the subject and Megumi Takani was as strict as professors came.

            His brother had spent a solid five minutes laughing when he discovered the name of Yahiko's biology professor. After complaining of a stitch in his side and too breathless to utter so much as a snicker, Sano finally explained that Takani had been his physiology teacher back in high school. He then went on to describe her short temper and love for dissection. Yahiko did not mind the dissection, but he recalled how Sano reacted to getting his blood drawn. His older brother hated blood and guts.

            The other thing Yahiko liked was the karate school. It was the best in the city, and it was only three blocks away from his dormitory--five blocks from Sano's apartment. The teacher left something to be desired. The man was rude and harsh and not much to look upon, but he knew his stuff. That, and Yahiko got to stay after his class to watch the first half of the kendo class. He had to leave then because his work study job started around the time when the kendo class ended. Not that he liked working in the dorm's cafeteria, but it was money.

            Yahiko was not the only person who stayed after his class to watch the next students pick up their wooden swords and warm up. A pretty girl, that he called ugly just to spite her, always stayed after with him. She had long black hair and blue eyes, and he could have sworn that he had seen her hanging around his brother back when Sano was in high school. Kaoru treated him like a younger brother as much as Sano did, but always forgot him when the assistant instructor for the kendo class walked into the room.

            Kaoru's face always lit up with a strange mixture of pleasure and relief when the guy came in. Yahiko could not see anything special about the guy, other than his skill with a sword. And that was questionable in itself. After all, how good could the guy be if he only made assistant instructor? He was short--shorter, by far, than Yahiko himself*--and slender to the point that a person had to wonder if he ate. But Kaoru would greet the young man with a broad smile, sparkling eyes, and a quick kiss. Then the pair, still holding each other's hands, would stand and talk for a few minutes.

            Yahiko zoned out at this point, wandering off to watch the students trail into the studio. The instructor would walk in and start stretching. Ten minutes would pass, and the class started. It was only fifty minutes long during the week, but they held three sessions a week and an extra long one for the dedicated on Saturdays. Yahiko only had the opportunity to watch the classes on Fridays. Always conscious of his image, he did not want to appear stupid by showing up just to watch these classes when he did not have the excuse of staying late.

            Several weeks into his first semester of college, Yahiko discovered that he had not been mistaken about Kaoru. The girl was an old friend of his brother. And Yahiko learned something a bit unexpected about that weak-looking assistant kendo instructor.

            "Hey!" Kaoru glared at the young man when Yahiko bumped into her on his way to the locker room. "Watch it!"

            "Sorry, I didn't see you there," Yahiko muttered. This girl was even shorter than her boyfriend! He decided that she must have stopped growing when she turned twelve. Then, Kaoru surprised him.

            "You're Sano's little brother, aren't you?" she smiled suddenly. "Yahiko?"

            "You know him?" Yahiko returned carelessly. "An ex-girlfriend or something?"

            "Don't be ridiculous," Kaoru scowled. "I'd sooner date the neighbor's poodle. I knew your brother in high school. We hung in the same circles."

            "I'll be sure to tell him," Yahiko rolled his eyes and turned to go.

            "Don't you usually stay to watch the kendo class?" Kaoru wondered, making Yahiko pause. He did want to stay, but if she was going to play the part of long-lost relative, complete with pinching his cheeks and telling him how big he had gotten, he wanted no part of it. Then, the locker room door opened, nearly smacking into his face before he staggered out of the way.

            "Excuse me," the assistant instructor blinked up at him owlishly, then smiled when he saw the girl standing next to Yahiko. "Hello, Kaoru."

            "Hey, Kenshin! Do you remember Yahiko?"

            Cringing inwardly, Yahiko plastered a smile on his face as the girl introduced him. If Kenshin's tolerant smile was any indication, the expression was not a convincing one.

            "Ah, of course," Kenshin nodded. "I'd guess you're in college by now, aren't you?"

            "Uh... yeah."

            "That's good," Kenshin smiled again, an apologetic cast to the grin. "As much as I'd love to stand here and reminisce, I told Sensei I'd start the lesson today." He leaned over to touch a chaste kiss to Kaoru's lips. "I'll call you tonight."

            "Not so fast, buster," Kaoru grinned at Kenshin's startled blink. "I'm taking you to dinner tonight, remember?"

            "Was that this week?"

            "Don't give me that! You know exactly what we planned!" Kaoru complained.

            Kenshin laughed and waved at her, walking away. Yahiko frowned.

            "Aren't you two dating?" he blurted.

            "Whatever gave you that impression?" Kaoru blushed in response to his bold declaration.

            "Well, you guys are so friendly and kissing each other when you see..." Yahiko trailed off, feeling a bit foolish at his premature assumption. Kaoru was still blushing, but she was giggling. Yahiko did not like that. "What?!"

            "Kenshin's got a boyfriend," she replied bluntly. Yahiko stared at her.

            "Oh."

            He should have known the guy would be gay. With looks like that, what else would he be? But Kaoru always looked at the man with that strange glint to her eyes, much like how he saw girls looking at his brother. Oh yeah, Yahiko thought with a smug grin. She wants him.

            "Well, I've got to run to a meeting," Kaoru glanced at her watch. "Tell Sano I said hi, and I'll see you next week, Yahiko."

            "...Later," Yahiko stared after her as she disappeared through the women's locker room door. He glanced over to Kenshin. Standing with his back to the studio mirrors and facing the class, the redhead was trying in vain to get the men and women around him to quiet down. It made sense. Yahiko was willing to bet that the students were all older than the petite instructor. Not to mention a heck of a lot bigger. Just when Yahiko was starting to think Kenshin had no balls whatsoever, the young man turned around and proved him wrong.

            "Everyone shut up and settled down, or I'll go home and leave you to teach yourselves!"

            That got their attention. Yahiko smirked as the group quickly fell into place and awaited further instruction. Uncrossing his arms, Kenshin smiled to show his approval. He glanced briefly at Yahiko, a strange, contemplating gleam to his eyes, then turned his full attention to the class.

            The class would be boring without the actual instructor present. Turning on his heel, Yahiko hurried out of the studio. If he got there fast enough, he would be able to eat lunch before starting his shift.

^_^

Final Notes: Yeah… a snippet from the beginning. Now, everyone can skip the first two pages of the story if they bother reading it.

So, preview of the story… It's probably going to be longer than the first, just because I have so much that I want to put into it. It will be a bit darker—more conflict. Don't worry. It still has my weird brand of humor in it. So far, ChibiAssassin has told me it doesn't suck. (ChibiAssassin, you'd better be telling me the truth about that.) *smirk* Yeah, so here's the scoop:

*plops a heap of mint chocolate chip ice cream upon a cone*

No, not that kind of scoop! *Fitz cringes at the cheesy joke* Anyway, this story will not be posted quite so quickly as Life's a Dance. This is because I have less time than I did when I wrote the first. That, and I'm not quite as inspired, although I'm improving on it. I may write a great portion of the story, then turn around and junk several sections only to replace them, decide I hate it, and go back to the original. I am extremely indecisive in such matters. I will try my best. I have never posted like this before, so please be patient with me.

I love you all! (well… not him. Or her… or… what is that? *blink* Fitz needs to stop now. I'm stopping. 'Later, all!)

~Fitz