Title: Goukanzai

Author: KawaiiChica

E-mail: KawaiiChica@hotmail.com

Rating: R

Disclaimer: Not mine

" " Speaking

[ ] Thoughts

+++ Flashbacks

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"No! No I´m not ready yet!"

Kaoru let out a small scream as she felt the horse tense to jump, tightening her hold on Enishi´s waist. After they flew over the log and landed on the other side, she let out a relieved sigh and pinched him. "Get me off this thing now!"

"Just a moment," Enishi laughed and urged the animal forward a few paces, stopping at the edge of the woods. Jumping off, he turned to see Kaoru clutching at the animal´s mane. With her hair askew, wide frightened eyes begging for help, she looked absolutely adorable sitting atop his black stallion.

"Can I get down yet?" Kaoru begged, tightening her hold on the animal when it took a small side-step and neighed. "Please?"

Enishi laughed, lifting his hands to her waist to pull her down. "You shouldn´t be afraid of him, he wouldn´t hurt a fly unless told to."

"Great," Kaoru held onto his shoulders as he lowered her to the ground. "But he´s so big and dark."

"I´ll have to take you riding more often," Enishi hesitated a moment when her feet touched the ground, not wanting to let go quite so soon. He was startled suddenly when his horse whinnied and came towards them, Kaoru let out a squeak and jumped into his arms, face buried into his shirt. "You´re really terrified of them aren´t you?"

"Uh-huh," Kaoru looked up into his eyes, surprised at how close they were. Having been frightened by the horse, she hadn´t realized she was pressed up against Enishi´s side until that moment. A blush stained her cheeks and she slowly pulled away. "Gomen nasai for being such a coward, what did you want me to see?"

"This," Enishi took her hand and led her down a small path away from his horse. "Be careful, there´s a small dip here."

"Ok," Kaoru followed him furthur into the woods, copying his steps. They reached a pair of trees that were very close together, over a small edging in the ground where a small space was between the edge and a large rock wall. Jumping down before her, Enishi turned and lowered her beside him again, keeping a hand at her waist as he showed her the rock wall.

"You brought me to see a rock?" Kaoru teased, arching an eyebrow quizically.

"Oh yes, this is just SUCH an amazing rock that I thought you HAD to see it," Enishi replied dully. "Of course not, the suprise is inside."

"Inside? How do we get...?" Kaoru watched him move some shrubs she hadn´t noticed before and a small dark opening appeared. "You want me to go in there?"

"Yes, that´s why I told you not to wear one of your best kimonos today," Enishi kneeled and suddenly realized a problem. "Can you crawl in your kimono?"

Kaoru bit her lip, "Well if I´d known we´d be getting THIS dirty I would have brought my hakama and gi, but I think I can manage to follow you."

She watched him crawl on all fours into the opening and giggled, [He´s such a big child sometimes] Getting down onto her knees, she pulled up her kimono a bit to allow her to move better. Making her way through the small space behind him, she was relieved to see a bit of light not far ahead from the entranceway. Halfway through the small tunnel, she gave a slight gasp as she felt a small pain in her leg.

"Are you all right?" Enishi asked, coming out of the tunnel and turning to help her. Reaching into the small space, he waited a second until she could reach his hand and took hold of her arm, pulling her out carefully so as not to hurt her. Without thinking, he set her down in front of him, sitting with her back slightly leaning on his chest.

"I cut my leg, " Kaoru looked at the small gash that had been made on her kimono a small bloodstain forming aournd it.

"You´ll have to clean it up," Enishi took her into his arms and stood, heading over to another side of the cavern they were in.

Kaoru finally looked around and noticed the walls were dark, a small hole in the ceiling letting in the light she´d seen. She was surprised when he set her down on a flat rock and reached behind another for a container of water. "How did you find this place?"

"Hiding from the police," Enishi shrugged, "I was a kid when my sister died so I had to surrive as best as I could, and sometimes that meant I´d have to borrow something without asking for permission."

"In other words, you had to steal," Kaoru corrected, giving a sudden sigh, "That can´t have been easy for you, all alone and so little. It kind of reminds me of Yahiko, athough he´s not alone anymore."

"He´s a lucky kid," Enishi smiled, "I wish I´d found someone as kind as you."

Kaoru blushed and gave an uncomfortable little laugh, "Oh, I don´t know if he thinks so, sometimes I´m sure he´d rather go back to stealing than put up with me and my yelling at him."

"No he wouldn´t, you don´t know because you´ve never been through it, but a boy like him doesn´t get any satisfaction out of his way of life. For every little thing he has to steal, a small grain of guilt adds to his conscience." Enishi shrugged again, "But anyways, you haven´t seen the best thing about this place."

"What might that be?" Kaoru smiled, noticing the excitement in his eyes.

"Just wait a moment, first we have to make sure you´re tended to," he smiled, removing his jacket and setting it down beside him. Reaching into his boot, he extracted a small knife, using it to cut off the sleeve of his shirt.

"What are you doing?" Kaoru gaped.

"Its as close to a clean bandage as we´re going to get right now, I used the ones I had here during my last visit." Enishi cut the sleeve into strips. Using a couple, he soaked them with the water and suddenly stopped.

"Ano.... don´t take this inapropriately, but you´re going to have to show me your leg."

"Nani?" Kaoru gaped

"To clean your cut I have to be able to see it, don´t you think?" Enishi gave a small smile, "Would it help if I promise not to do anything you don´t approve of?"

"I suppose," Kaoru cleared her throat and shifted uncomfortably for a second to move her kimono off a bit.

[Kuso!] Enishi gulped, his mouth going dry as she slowly moved the material aside. Since the cut was on the side of her leg, she had to expose it completely for him to be able to tend to it. [Kami-sama…] Enishi fingers twitched as he watched her, itching to help her remove the kimono completely and quickly.

Finally sitting with her leg completely uncovered, one hand holding her up and the other across her lap, Kaoru had no idea how tempting she looked, keeping her eyes modestly turned down and hoping he wouldn´t notice the embarrassed flush on her cheeks.

But of course he noticed, for the past month he´d noticed every expression she´d made, every blush, every smile and every small frown or questioning glance. [Himura´s an idiot] Enishi gulped and kneeled beside her. His voice was thick as he spoke, "This might sting a little."

Kaoru just nodded and bit her lip as he cleaned the blood up. His movements were quick and smooth, the cloth barely touching her skin. He finished quickly, tying a couple of strips of cloth around her leg to stop further bleeding and sat back, relieved when she immediately set her self aright.

"Arigato," Kaoru gave a shy smile and looked away, "So what was that surprise?"

"Ah, of course," Enishi grinned and turned to get something out from behind the rock again. "Close your eyes."

"Why?" Kaoru listened as he shuffled through a few things.

"To make the surprise better, just do it," Enishi made her face him with her eyes closed before standing and setting things up. "Ok now I´m going to help you stand but you still can´t open them."

Kaoru giggled, "You´re so mysterious about this."

"Yep," Enishi led her a few steps away from where she´d sat and turned her away from him. "Ok, open them."

Hesitating for a second, Kaoru slowly opened one eye first, quickly opening both and blinking at the sight before her. Surrounding her and Enishi, in what had once been the damp and slightly gloomy cave was now a sparkling cavern, the walls covered in small but glowing colors. "Wow..."

Enishi grinned, watching as she walked towards the walls and touched them softly. She turned bewildered eyes towards him, "They´re just rocks."

"Yeah, although if you take one of them out in the sun you´ll see they´ve all got a glossy edge. It helps the light bounce off and create the colors when the sun goes through this," he pointed up to a crystal he´d hung in the opening of the room of the cave.

"That´s so pretty!" Kaoru stared at the crystal suspended seemingly in the air.

"Yeah, its pretty great," Enishi sat back down, leaning comfortably against the rock Kaoru had been sitting on.

Kaoru kept walking around and touching the walls, suddenly standing beneath the crystal and spinning slowly. "This looks so neat!"

Twirling faster, she finally lost her balance and made her way beside him, giggling happily. "I must seem so childish, but I hadn´t spun like that in AGES!" She sat by his side and sighed, "Arigato for sharing this place with me."

"Doo itashimashite," Enishi smiled, watching her closely as she pulled her knees up in front of her and wrapped her arms around her legs, still smiling brightly at the colors on the walls.

After a moment´s silence, he realized, "I´ve never shared the secret of the crystal with anyone before."

Kaoru turned surprised eyes towards him, "Hontoo?"

"Hai," Enishi nodded, thinking over the fact and what it meant. [I´ve been seeing so much of this girl… things are going wrong, this wasn´t supposed to happen… Takaeshi was right, I´m getting attached.] Looking down at her upturned face, he couldn´t help notice the feeling it gave him to see her smile.

"I´m honored to be the first person to see it," she said and looked away after a moment.

"I´m glad I showed it to you," Enishi inwardly smiled, knowing it to be true.

For her part, Kaoru was thinking about what it meant to have been brought there by him. [I´m the first person he shows this to? Why me? What is going on with us?] She kept her eyes forward, feeling him watching her and continued. [I´ve seen him nearly every day for weeks, and each time we have more and more fun. He´s tall, handsome, interesting, funny, charming… could I be falling for him maybe? But what about Kenshin?]

The ex-rurouni hadn´t said anything to her about her outings with Enishi, merely kept about his chores and waving when she left. [He´s always so calm about everything, its like he doesn´t care that I´m going out with another guy!] Thinking things over, she realized the ones who were still bothered by her outings were Yahiko and Sano.

"Oh no," she suddenly whispered, "I promised to have lunch at home today."

"Nani?" Enishi was snapped out of his thoughts, standing beside her as she did.

"I have to go home, they´re going to be so mad!" Kaoru took one last look around before heading towards the opening. Not waiting while Enishi put the crystal away, she crawled out and stood in the small space between the rock and the trees realizing suddenly that the edge to get back up was as high as her shoulders.

"Great," with a sigh, she stepped up and grabbed onto a couple of thick roots coming out of the ground, trying to pull herself up. [Damned kimono!]

Just as she heard Enishi coming, she heard a pair of footsteps coming from somewhere nearby and froze when a pair of boots appeared before her. "Now isn´t this a lovely surprise?"

Looking up the length of the legs before her, past a black gi, and a grey hakama, was one of the most hideous men she´d seen since the troubles with Shishio. Having been caught off guard, she was only able to gap for the seconds he was in front of her and was shocked by his quickness as he jumped down and yanked her down, pinning her against the rock.

"What are you doing way out here and all alone?" the stranger sneered, his scarred face close to hers.

"Nothing!" Kaoru yelled, feeling tears well in her eyes and her body begin to tremble. [Enishi where are you?]

"Don´t you know you shouldn´t be out alone so far from home?" the man chuckled, tightening his hold on her arms.

Just as he was moving towards her, he stopped, freezing as he felt a cold tip at his neck. "Whoever said she was alone?" Enishi appeared from beside them, moving the edge of his sword slowly across the man´s neck. "Get your hands off her."

"Sure," the guy gulped and let her go, raising his hands as he backed away. "Hey it was only a little..."

He swerved suddenly, moving away from Enishi´s blade and pulling out his own pair as he did. Kaoru bit her lip, pressing herself against the wall so´s not to get in their way if they were to fight. [This is such a small space and I can´t get out!]

"Fun," the man jeered.

"Fun´s over," Enishi saw Kaoru´s movements out of the corner of his eye and knew what she was thinking. [There´s nowhere for her to go in this cramped space.] "Look, I don´t want to fight you so how about you put those away and go?"

"Sounds good," the stranger turned away for a second, taking a step as if he were leaving and suddenly turning and lashing out at Enishi.

[Oh kami!] Kaoru tried to move out of their way as they fought. Enishi dodged one stroke of a sword and raised his at an angle, stabbing it through the guy´s right shoulder. The man yelled and stepped back, crushing Kaoru between himself and the wall again. A slight ´thud´ hitting the ground brought Enishi out of his concentration as he realized Kaoru had ducked to step out of the way again and had been behind the guy, only this time he fell against her so hard that her head was knocked into the rock too roughly and she was now unconscious on the ground.

"Baka!" Enishi growled, pulling his sword out and quickly slashed him across the neck, ending the fight and pushing him away from Kaoru while he fell.

"Kaoru!" He quickly put away his sword and kneeled beside her, turning her onto her back and wincing when he saw a large bump forming above her right temple. "Kaoru, wake up koishii, come on."

Her breathing was slow and steady, as was her heartbeat. [I´ve got to get her to a doctor!] He lifted her onto the higher ground and quickly climbed up, taking her into his arms and whistling for his horse nearby. [Please wake up Kaoru]

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"She forgot us again!" Yahiko complained while he closed the shoji of the room where Ayame and Suzume were taking a nap.

"I´m sure she´s having a great time with that new buddy of hers!" Sano chewed his fishbone angrily. "And this baka doesn´t even seem worried about her!"

"I am worried Sano, demo what can I say? That she cannot have other friends?" Kenshin replied, pulling a kimono out of the tub in front of him.

"It doesn´t bother you that she´s going out with another guy?" Sano raised an eyebrow, "If I recall, she´s the only person you said good-bye to when you went to fight Shishio, she was the reason you won that fight and came back to Tokyo, AND she´s the one you look out for the most."

"Leave him be, Kaoru´s just a little confused and needing something different for the moment but she´ll be back," Dr Genzai spoke, "The girl´s as hooked with Kensin as he is with her."

"True," Yahiko nodded, "But she has been seeing A LOT of this other character lately, which can´t be good. Not to mention the fact that it was this baka´s fault she was hurt."

"But she knows he meant well and she can..." Dr Genzai was cut off as the doors burts open, Enishi rushed in, a bloodied and unconscious Kaoru in his arms.

"What the hell...?" Sano jumped up and rushed to his side.

"Gomen nasai, she was attacked in the woods and hurt during a fight," Enishi was panting, his hair windblown and his eyes troubled.

"Bring her into the clinic," Dr Genzai led the way, the others following closely, demanding explanations.

"What do you mean SHE was attacked? You weren´t with her?!"

"Enough! All of you out except Enishi while I examine her!" Dr Genzai ordered as she was set down on a futon carefully.

"I don´t think so," Sano stubbornly crossed his arms and leaned against the wall. Kenshin said nothing, but made his way around the bed and sat beside her.

"Very well," the doctor sighed and began to examine her, asking questions about how long she´d been unconscious and what had happened. Halfway through his explanation of what had happened, Kaoru gave a small moan and clasped her hand at her side, making a small fist.

"Kaoru? Kaoru how are you feeling?" Dr Genzai spoke slowly and loudly.

"Shhh..." Kaoru whimpered and tears slid out from her closed eyes, "Don´t yell, my head hurts horribly."

"Gomen nasai," Dr Genzai touched the lump on her head, causing her to cry out and open her eyes.

"OW!"

"Gomen nasai," the doctor apologized again and was about to ask her some questions when she began to speak.

"Did I die? No, when you´re dead its not supposed to hurt, but that space was so small and they were fighting and.... are you an angel?" she blinked, looking up at the blurry figures above her.

"I hadn´t heard of angels until a while ago, I don´t remember who Kenshin fought with, but you don´t look like the angels they talked about. They were cristian you know and they had angels who were blond and blue eyed, but you have red hair and violet eyes like my Kenshin."

[Her Kenshin?!] Enishi listened carefully, stung by her words...

[My Kenshin? I like that.] Kenshin smiled, "You´re right, if you feel pain you can´t be dead so..."

"No, I don´t want to die and leave him, not even for an angel who has his hair and eyes," Kaoru tried to raise her arm to touch her head and whimpered again, setting it down beside her, touching his knee slightly. "And what would Yahiko do? And my Sano? Who´ll feed them? None of them work and there won´t be anyone to take care of them except for Kenshin and what if he leaves?"

Sano winced, touched by her worry but bothered by her mentioning it. Yahiko too, felt a pang of guilt as Kaoru worriedly mentioned him. Kenshin took hold of her hand to try to re-assure her. "You´re not dead Kaoru-dono."

"-dono? Did you just call me Kaoru-dono? Only the baka Kenshin calls me that! OOOH I HATE that stupid honorific! You have NO idea! And he uses it with everyone! You´d think that if he just used it for me it´d be like a cute nickname but no, its general! He also calls Megumi-dono and you know she rubs that in when we´re alone." Kaoru closed her eyes, frowning and with her chin trembling.

"I want to go home, my head hurts too bad to think," she sighed and looked up again sadly, "Why do angels look like everyone I used to know? You look like Kenshin and he looks like Enishi who was fighting when I died."

"Why´s she rambling Doctor?" Yahiko asked.

"Its from the hit in her head, things might be a bit mixed up for a little while but as long as she doesn´t fall asleep she should be fine." Dr Genzai assured them.

Just as he mentioned sleeping, Kaoru gave a tired sigh and began to close her eyes, "Iie Kaoru, don´t fall asleep."

"Doushite?" Kaoru asked sleepily, "I have a headache and I´m tired."

She sighed and frowned, "And its a little cold."

"Good, that´ll keep you awake," Enishi replied.

She quirked her mouth slightly, "You´re definitely not an angel, they´re supposed to be nice and you won´t let me sleep."

"What can we do to keep you awake Kaoru," Kenshin interrupted.

"Hm," Kaoru shrugged and closed her eyes.

"Don´t you listen Jou-chan? You´ve got to stay awake," Sano came closer and sat beside Kenshin. "Listen to my voice and keep awake ok?"

"Sano?" Kaoru blinked and tried to focus on him, relieved the blurriness was going away, "Sano I was attacked again, he was horrible, scarred and dirty and he was gonna hurt me again, like that other guy and..."

"Shh... you´re safe now Jou-chan." Sano tried to soothe her.

"Hai, Enishi saved me," Kaoru gave a sad smile, things coming into focus. She could see the guilt in Kenshin´s eyes and knew what he was thinking. [Enishi saved her, but I didn´t]

Dr Genzai came back into the room, having left to prepare a tea for Kaoru and asked how she was feeling. "A bit better, my vision isn´t blurry anymore, but my head still hurts."

"That´s normal," he kneeled beside her again and asked Kenshin for help. "I need her to sit up."

"Hai," Kenshin helped Kaoru sit up and watched as the doctor made her drink the tea little by little. She got halfway through the cup when suddenly she covered her mouth and squeaked.

"Get that bowl!" Dr Genzai ordered Sano, who quickly grabbed the object he pointed at and handed it to him, frowning a bit as Kaoru lost both the tea and her lunch.

"Gross! I´ll wait outside," Yahiko made a face and quickly left.

Kaoru held her stomach as the moment passed, whimpering a bit while Kenshin wiped her face with a wet cloth and handed her some water to rinse her mouth with. "I feel awful."

"I can imagine," Dr Genzai eyed her closely, a slight frown on his features. Setting the cup of tea beside him, he asked the guys to leave them so he could speak to Kaoru.

"We´ll be right outside if you need anything," Enishi patted her hand with a re-assuring smile.

"Arigato," Kaoru lay back and smiled at the three of them while they walked out. After the shoji closed behind them, she focused on Dr Genzai, who didn´t seem too pleased with something. "Nani desu ka? »

"I just have a few questions for you, they won´t take long." Dr Genzai sat down beside her and began.

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A few minutes later, while the guys waited quietly, Kaoru´s scream made them all jump and wonder what was wrong. Kenshin stood beside the shoji and asked carefully, "Is everything all right?"

"Hai!" Kaoru answered, both she and Dr Genzai appearing in the doorway a moment later.

"What are you doing up?" Yahiko asked, rushing over to her side.

"I want to go home," Kaoru whispered, not meeting any of their eyes, keeping hers on the ground before her.

"Is that all right?" Kenshin asked the doctor.

He sighed and nodded, "Hai, but she probably won´t be able to walk over there with her headache."

"That´s easily fixed," Sano came up and scooped her into his arms, "See you later Dr Genzai."

"Kaoru?" Enishi stopped them at the door.

"Gomen nasai," Kaoru apologized, tears in her eyes as she looked at him, "I really liked your surprise today, arigato gozaimasu for showing me."

"Doo itashimashite," Enishi came up to her side and gave hr a kiss on the cheek, "And forgive me for letting this happen to you."

"It wasn´t your fault," Kaoru waved good-bye, resting her cheek against Sano´s shoulder, careful of her aching temple.

The walk home was silent, Yahiko and Kenshin following a feet steps behind. Sano kept glancing down at the silent girl in his arms, a bad feeling in the pit of his stomach as she kept sniffling and wiping her eyes. "What is it Jou-chan?"

"Nothing," Kaoru sighed, relieved when they reached the dojo. Instead of going inside, she asked Sano to set her down beside a small tree in the yard.

"Tell us, what´s wrong, we can´t help if we don´t know what the problem is." Sano sat in front of her, trying to force her to look into hus eyes.

"I´d rather think about it for a while... try to figure things out on my own." Kaoru looked away, "Its my problem."

"Kaoru, are you sick?" Yahiko asked, a slight catch in his voice as he watched her with worry evident in his eyes.

"Come here," Kaoru patted the spot beside her and had him rest his head on her shoulder once he´d sat. "I´m kind of sick."

"Kind of sick?" Yahiko tried to sit up, "How can you be kind of sick?"

"I had guessed already what was wrong with me, I hoped I was wrong but..." Kaoru curled up and hugged him close, "I wasn´t."

"What´s wrong Kaoru-dono? Like Sano said, we can´t help if we don´t know what the problem is." Kenshin spoke up.

"This is something I have to figure out on my own though," Kaoru sighed and ran her hand through Yahiko´s hair. "How do you fel about Enishi?"

"Nani?!"

That got the three of them to worry, although Yahiko was the only one to answer. "Well... I can´t really give you an opinion about someone I don´t really know. I mean, he seems nice, the few times we´ve talked he´s been pretty friendly and Ayame and Suzume seem to like him a lot."

He shrugged, "I dunno, what´s he got to do with your being sick?"

Kaoru bit her lip, "I´m not sick."

"But you just said..." Sano stopped.

"There´s a difference ok?" Kaoru interrupted him, "I need to think about things for a while, could you guys leave me here?"

"What the heck is it already?" Yahiko asked, sitting up and turning to face her. "What´s Enishi got to do with anything?"

Kaoru remained silent for a few minutes, looking down at her lap before speaking, "Did I tell you that he´s proposed to me?"

"Nani?!" Yahiko turned to see Kenshin´s reaction. The rurouni kept silent, his face devoid of any tell-tale sign of emotion. "You´re not going to accept are you?"

"Shit Jou-chan! You can´t marry that baka !" Sano stuck his fishbone in his mouth and ground his teeth against it roughly.

"I might have to," Kaoru hesitated a moment before looking up at both Sano and Kenshin. "You see... I´m not exactly SICK... its just that..."

Kenshin blinked, the thought of what else might be wrong with her suddenly dawning on him as he remembered her symptoms from the last few days. Her lack of appetite, queasiness, how tired she´d ben feeling and even her sickness earlier the day before.

[Morning sickness is associated with...] Her voice brought him out of his reverie, confirming his suspicions.

"I´m pregnant."

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*dodges flying objects*

Cliffhanger!

^.^ Hope you liked this chapter. I know it took me nearly a year to get it out but I had writer's block and then I moved and you know - life happens. I'm working on the next chapter already, but I'm not promising any dates on when it'll be out, just be sure it won't take another year ok?

Gomen nasai once again to all of you who've reviewed and waited for this chapter, I hope it was worth it. Don't forget to leave a review so I know what you think! (I'm always open to comments or suggestions, often times a reader's suggestion will do wonders to help when dealing with a bad case of writer's block.)

Thanks again and see you next time!

~ K.C. ~