Takuni To Ryu

Ok, this is my first true Rurouni Kenshin fanfic! Sorry to those
awaiting my other projects, but I just HAD to write this!

Fic Notes: The first true continuation Rurouni Kenshin fic staying with the
manga. Basically, I'm saying the OVA's never existed(although their
corresponding manga stories in the Remebrance Arc did occur). And Seisouhen
also never existed.(I'm strongly oppossed to greek tragedies).

Chapter One: A change of address?

Kenshin sat patiently in the corner of the dojo as he watched Kaoru
meditate. He tried not to bother her when she was training, but to watch her
at peace, as she breathed slowly, just seemed to allure him. His watchful eye
also observed closely because of a dark fear that was fully realized thanks to
Enishi's revenge. He'd rather not tell her that he's keeping an eye on her
because she might take it for face value, in which she would be right. Two
weeks had passed since the situation was resolved. The dojo seemed a lot
smaller once everyone left. Most of the time, it seems like its just the two
of them because of Yahiko's job and his living in Sanosuke's old rowhouse.

Kenshin was happy, yet not at a true peace yet. Something changed
between him and Kaoru, yet neither really had said anything yet, much to Tae's
disappointment. Kenshin also found that he missed Sanosuke's company. The
larger man was the closest thing Kenshin had to a best friend, even though their
personalities were extremely different. Kenshin dropped his introspection as
Kaoru's breathing changed and her ki became more assertive and less passive.

Kaoru opened her left eye slightly and took a peek into the far corner of
the dojo, surprised that it was empty. She could have sworn someone was there
a moment ago. She sighed and tried to clear her head again to continue her
breathing excercise. Kenshin sighed in relief outside the dojo's doors. He
barely escaped that time. He sighed again in frustration and threaded his
sakabato in his belt and walked back to hang the waiting laundry. After he
took a few steps from the dojo, Kaoru shouted "You better not have left the
laundry waiting while you were watching me!"

Kenshin cringed and replied back, "Yes, Kaoru-dono!"

Back in the dojo, Kaoru frowned slightly at the honorific. She felt it
put such a distance between them. After the Enishi incident, it was clearly
evident that they had feelings for each other, but they seemed to have settled
back into their old patterns, neither wanting to budge forward or back. Kaoru
also noticed something subtly different about Kenshin. It wasn't his actions,
exactly, but more of the way he stood or the hold of his eyes when he thought no
one was watching. Kaoru stood up, knowing it was impossible to continue with
her breathing exercises when this distracted. She has planned on reaching a
conclusion tonight. One way or another, they would know where they stand.


Kenshin just finished the laundry when Kaoru walked outside of
the house dressed for instructing, carrying her bundle tethered to her shinai.

"Going out to Maekawa Dojo, Kaoru-dono? Give me a minute to finish up
and I'll walk you there." Kenshin said as he hastily finished hanging the last
garment in the wash.

"No." Kaoru said firmly. "There are still chores to be done here and I
want dinner to be ready by the time I get back." At her refusal for an escort,
Kenshin panicked slightly.

"But Kaoru-dono! What if.." his complaint was cut short when Kaoru waved
her hand to interject.

"What if what? A bandit tries to get me? Some swordsman tries to
kidnap me? Kenshin, I can take care of myself, and you need to take care of
the house. Got it?" Kenshin nodded and walked back to the house.

"Ok, Kaoru-dono. Dinner will be ready when you get home." Kenshin
watched her walk out of the dojo and tried to contemplate a way to both make
sure Kaoru would be safe AND get dinner ready by the time she got home. Then
he punched himself in the face. 'Idiot!' he shouted in his mind, 'She walked
there and back fine for a year before you got here, and you trusted her enough
to let her fight in Kyoto. She'll be fine!'. Kenshin kept mentally beating
himself up until it was time to start dinner.


Kenshin sat in the courtyard and watched the sky. The clouds slowly
moved, occasionally making shapes the former Rurouni could pick out. It bored
him out of his mind. Dinner was slowly cooking and he patiently waited for
Kaoru's return. Yahiko sat down next to Kenshin and stared at the same blue

"Oi, Kenshin. What are you looking at?" Yahiko asked. Kenshin turned
and smiled at the boy.

"Nothing Yahiko. I was just thinking about Kaoru-dono." Kenshin said and
patted the youth on the head affectionately. The two men continued to share
that quiet moment, with the sound of rice and tofu simmering giving the
background noise. Time seemed to pass slowly as Kenshin kept a watchful eye on
the food and Yahiko practiced his strokes with the shinai. In a lot of ways,
it reminded Kenshin of his days back with Hiko, when Kenshin labored over the
fire, cooking meals for the both of them. As he contimplated his past, Kenshin
thought to himself, Hiko was one of the few people he would truly consider
family other than the residents of the dojo. Most recently, Kenshin has been
focusing on the good, carefree memories of his past when he was awake. Even
though the Jinchuu affair had ended, the images of Kaoru pinned against the dojo
wall still haunted his dreams.

'Silly man', Kenshin thought to himself, 'Strongest swordskills in Japan,
and I can't chase away a nightmare'. At that moment, a knock at the outer gate
interrupted Kenshin's line of thoughts. "Yahiko," Kenshin said as he stood up
and threaded the sakabato into his belt, "watch the food, I'll be right back"

Kenshin approached the gate and saw Chief Kawaji standing at the opened
doors with a small box infront of him. "Himura-san, sorry for disturbing you
at this time," Kawaji said with a bow. Kenshin smiled and relaxed his posture.

"No problem at all, sir. Would you like to stay for dinner?" Kenshin
offered as he stepped closer to the gate.

"Thank you for your offer, Himura-san, but at this time, I will have to
refuse." Kawaji said as he coughed slightly, then stepped aside slightly,
revealing behind him two police officers holding up a small, yet apparently
weighty chest. "I'm here to offer you the bounty regarding the Kyoto matter.
I believe we did offer a bounty, right?"

Kenshin smiled and replied, "I went for no bounty, and returned expecting
no reward, Kawaji-san".

Kawaji then smiled slightly."Then don't consider it a payment, or a
reward, but as a gift. It isn't that much, as I expected you wouldn't allow
yourself to receive the original bounty."

"Then I humbly accept your gift." Kawaji moved out of the doorway and
motioned the two men carrying the chest to walk in.

"Where should they put it?"

"Ah, you don't need to worry about such things, just set it down, I'll
take care of it. Thank you again, Kawaji-san." Kawaji and the two police men
then departed leaving Kenshin looking at the small chest.

Closing the dojo's gates, Kenshin then swiftly looked around, spotted
no one, then picked up the chest and hefted it over his shoulder. The weight
was a bit more than he expected, but nothing he wasn't used to. Kenshin
started heading towards the storage shed when the sound of the dojo's gates
opening made him turn his head slightly. "Kaoru-dono! I wasn't expecting you
for another half hour!"

"Some of the students still haven't fully recovered from the attack, so I
got off a bit early.... What is that on your shoulder, Kenshin?"

"Oro? My head?" Kenshin said in a humorous tone, then continued with,
"Oh, this chest is our reward from Kawaji-san! I was taking it to the
equipment shed."

"Oh? It looks a bit heavy, you sure you don't need help with it? You
still have to take it a bit easy, you know" Kaoru said as she set down her
bundle that was tied to her shinai and started walking with Kenshin

"No no, its perfectly alright" Kenshin said with a clear smile, "See?
We're almost at the shed. Nothing to worry about." Kenshin set down the
chest as he unbarred the storage shed's door. Kaoru's eyebrow raised as she
looked at the chest and the seemingly carefree Kenshin.

"Kenshin," Kaoru said in a questioning tone.

"Yes, Kaoru-dono?" Kenshin responded as he moved to pick up the chest.

"How come you complained about carrying two buckets of miso, but you can
heft around a chest that obvious has to weigh around 3 kan without strain?"
Kaoru then walked around to face Kenshin, "Kenshin, what's wrong. You seem...

"W..What do you mean, Kaoru-dono?" Kenshin stammered under her gaze.
"There's nothing wrong."

"You aren't thinking of leaving are you?" Kaoru said with a slightly sad
look in her eyes, "Or there's a fight coming? That's it, isn't it? You
better not keep in in the dark like last time!" Kenshin stammered a bit more
to Kaoru's probing.

'No, nothing like that. Its just some things I sorted out, that's all."
Kenshin reassured Kaoru with a smile.

"Hmm, then could it be...?" Kaoru pondered before continuing, "Just answer
me this: You aren't the Rurouni or the Battousai anymore, right?"

"Well, Kaoru-dono," Kenshin said with a small smile, "I have a home, so
how can I be a Rurouni, and I am a killer no longer, so how can I be Battousai?"
He didn't mean to be insulting or even humorous, and he knew what
she meant by her question. He just... couldn't stop himself from saying it.

"Kenshin!" Kaoru shouted as she fumed, "You know what I meant!" Upon
saying this, Kaoru's grip on her shinai handle tightened slightly.

"Maa maa!" Kenshin held his hands up to ward off what he suspect would
come next, "Sorry sorry, Kaoru-dono! I know what you meant, and I'll explain
myself when we eat dinner."

"Well... alright, Kenshin, but you better not tease me again!" Kaoru said
as she ran to the house. Kenshin sighed as he watched her run, her ponytail
flowing behind gracefully. Kenshin finished storing the chest in the equipment
shed, then barred the door and walked back into the house and saw the table,
which Kenshin was glad to see Yahiko had the sense to set.

"Yahiko!" Kenshin called out.

"Yes Kenshin?" Yahiko replied as he stepped into view from inside of the

"Yahiko, Kaoru and I will be," Kenshin paused as he thought of an
appropriate way to phrase it, "discussing some important matters tonight. It
may get... akward if you are here." Upon hearing this, Yahiko chuckled loudly,
and had to cover his mouth to stop from laughing outright. After calming his
amusement a bit, Yahiko nodded.

"Alright. Kenshin, I 'understand'" Yahiko said with a big grin as he poked
Kenshin gently in the gut with his elbow, "Just don't 'discuss' things too much,
because I still need my lessons in the morning."

"Oro? What do you mean?" Kenshin was talking to Yahiko's retreating back,
confused. Then it occurred to him what Yahiko was implying. "Yahiko, I
didn't mean THAT!"

"Didn't mean what, Kenshin?" Kaoru asked as she carried some of the meal
to the table, dressed in her kimono.

"Nothing. I sent Yahiko home so we could talk, Kaoru-dono." Kenshin
said as he sat down on his cushion. "So you wanted to know who I am now,

"Kenshin," Kaoru started with a somber tone in her voice as she brought in
the last dishes, "I don't want you to feel unwelcome just because you are
different now. I just want you to know that first and foremost. As long as
you want to live here, I will never tell you to leave." Kenshin relaxed
slightly and nodded.

"Alright, then I shall stay." Kenshin accepted a bowl of rice from Kaoru
and started to explain himself. "My change first began upon the comprehension of
the ougi, yet even then, I was still in half. It was the recent events that
truly completed the change. Sitting in that purgatory of my own soul, I
rested. When I stood again, this is what I stood up as, Himera Kenshin."
Kenshin paused to take a bite, then continued, "I am not Battousai or Rurouni.
I am more, because I am less. Neither half, yet both at the same time."

Kaoru stared at Kenshin as he ate dinner, paused from explaining himself.
She said, "But then, why do you still call me 'Kaoru-dono'? I won't be
offended by just 'Kaoru', you know."

"Ah, I'm sorry, Kaoru-dono, I just kind of got used to it." Kenshin said
with a smile as he held out his empty rice bowl. Kaoru refilled the bowl and
handed it back.

"Well, can't you at least try calling me 'Kaoru'? We're friends, right?"
Kaoru asked with a slight hopefulness in her voice.

"I think," Kenshin said as he set his bowl on the table, "there is more to
'us' than that." Kaoru smiled at hearing that, "So, if you wish, I will call
you 'Kaoru'"

Author Notes: This fic has been begging me to write it since forever.
I've been having problems deciding how merged Kenshin should be written, but I
think I've finally found it. Still polite, but a little bit teasing, and more
self-assured. Stay tuned for the next chapter! I keep the honorifics of the
japanese language and 'sound effects' like Oro and 'maa maa' since I think it
helps with the flow of the story. I can never get 'de gezaro' translated
right, and at first wanted to go with 'I say' or 'my pardons' as some
translators do, but it still didn't have the right 'feel' I wanted, so I dropped
it all together. I also just kept 'sessha' as 'I' since 'Sessha' means 'This
humble/unworthy one', and 'This one' is hard to write without messing up the
flow I wanted.

Stay Tuned for Chapter 2! In which we shall see how Kaoru deals with the fully
merged Kenshin in public!


Disclaimer: I by no means own Rurouni Kenshin or the characters. They belong to
Sony and Watsuki-Sensei!