"Oh dear." Tae sighed as she looked out the door of the Akebeko, her brow knitting in worry. "It looks like it's going to storm any minute now!"
"That it does." Kenshin appeared beside her, brushing the curtain back. "It's very dark outside. And only an hour ago, it was so sunny and bright!"
"We'd better hurry back..." Kaoru said, walking up to him. "Before we get caught in it!"
The gang had been at the Akebeko that afternoon eating lunch together, and it had been sunny when they left the dojo. The dark storm clouds now rolling in looked threatening and large, warning that the upcoming storm would be a bad one.
Kaoru turned to Tae. "Tae? What's the matter? You look really worried!"
Tae sighed. "Well, the roof in the back of the Akebeko has been leaking for the past couple of weeks, and I still haven't found anyone to repair it! If it pours today, I know I'll have water everywhere!"
"I'm sure a bucket or two would keep the water off the floor until the storm stops." Kenshin smiled.
"That's the other problem." Tae muttered. "We've had so many guests for lunch today, that all the buckets and bowls are dirty or being used! I don't think I have anything to stop the water from getting in!"
"Well then." Kaoru's voice was decisive as she smoothed her kimono out. "Why don't you just borrow Yahiko for the afternoon? He can help repair the leak enough to keep the water out from this storm. At least until you find someone to fix it!"
"WHAT??" Yahiko, who had been blushing and smiling towards Tsubame the entire time, jumped and stared at Kaoru. "What do you want me to do NOW, Ugly?"
"You can stay and help Tae fix the roof." Kaoru snapped, smacking him on the head for good measure.
"Yea." Sano grinned, walking up behind Yahiko and messing the boy's hair up. "Don't pout. It'll give you something to do - AND you can flirt with Tsubame there for a while longer!"
Yahiko blushed fiercely at Sanosuke's statement. Rubbing the back of his neck, he turned to Tae. "Well...Alright. But I don't know how much I can help..."
"I have another idea." Kenshin smiled slyly. "Why don't you get Sano to help you, Miss Tae?"
Everyone paused. Sano glared. "Kenshin, I don't like that idea. I have other things to do this afternoon!"
"Like lose money you don't have on a gambling game?" Yahiko snickered.
Sano nailed him in the shoulder. "Shut up, punk."
"I think it's an excellent idea." Tae grinned. "Sanosuke can help out too. And instead of paying him, I'll just take it off his bill here!"
Sano cringed. Damn, she HAD to bring up that bill of his.
"If Sanosuke helps repair the roof, I won't have to hire anyone to fix it, and I won't lose anymore money." Tae smiled happily.
"Fine!" Sano nearly yelled. "I'll fix the damn roof..." He grumbled while he walked towards the back of the Akebeko. "Come on, kid. You have to help me, remember?"
Yahiko groaned. "I'm coming." He blushed as he passed Tsubame, who giggled.
"We'd better get back." Kaoru murmured, turning towards the door. "Before everything gets soaked!"
Tae nodded. "Alright. Take care! And if it's raining too hard by the time Yahiko and Sanosuke finish, I'll just keep Yahiko here until the storm passes over, okay?"
"Thank you, Miss Tae!" Kaoru nodded and smiled as she walked out. Kenshin waved and followed her.
The two walked in silence for a while. The day had been pleasant up until the storm clouds moved overhead, and now both Kenshin and Kaoru were hurrying through the streets to get back before the rain hit. Kaoru sighed heavily as they neared the dojo, wondering why Kenshin hadn't said anything yet. He'd been so quiet around her lately - as if he didn't WANT to talk to her.
"Oro?" Kenshin suddenly stopped and Kaoru turned.
"Kenshin?" she blinked as Kenshin wriggled his nose a bit.
"I felt a drop of rain, that I did..." Kenshin brushed his nose and looked upward. Another drop landed on Kaoru's cheek. Another hit Kenshin's hand. His eyes grew wide. "Kaoro-Dono, we'd better hurry, that we should!"
Kaoru gasped as the rain suddenly started falling a little harder, and Kenshin grabbed her hand and pulled her along. She could barely keep up with him in her wooden sandels and long kimono. A few moments later, Kenshin pushed the gate of the dojo open and gently pushed Kaoru inside.
They ran for the cover of the dojo roof and stopped under it, catching their breath. Kaoru looked up at the sky. It was a dark gray, almost black. She shuddered. She hated storms like this...
"Kaoru, you'd best change out of those wet clothes..."
Kaoru startled and turned to Kenshin. "What?"
"You're clothes." he repeated. "You'd best change into something dry, before you catch cold!" He gently tugged on her arm and led her to her room. "I'm going to change too, and then I'll be in the kitchen if you need me." he smiled and disappeared around the corner towards his own room.
Kaoru sighed and slid her door shut. Always so nice. Always so sweet and gentle. "Kenshin..." she whispered. "You don't even know... how much I love you. Why can't you see that? You're with me everyday, and you still don't understand..." Kaoru undid the knot in her obi and let yards of cloth fall to the floor unheeded. She stepped in front of the mirror and looked at her body, her eyes shimmering in the faint light barely coming through the rice paper.
She wasn't as pretty as the other girls in town, or at least she thought that. Kenshin didn't want a plain girl, she decided. She slid her hand over her breast and inhaled sharply at the touch. She would do anything if it were Kenshin touching her, making her breath heavily. "I might as well stop dreaming about something like that." she sighed. "Kenshin...he never does anything to make me think he likes me..." She turned and picked up her kimono, folding it neatly and placing it over its rack.
Then Kaoru pulled on her pratice hakama and wrapped her waist and chest before slipping on her gi. With it about to pour outside, and her hate of storms, she only wanted to be comfortable. Padding down the hall, Kaoru stopped outside the kitchen.
Kenshin turned from where he was standing. They watched each other for a moment, Kaoru's face almost clouded with distance, Kenshin with a faint smile.
"I was picking up..." Kenshin finally said quietly.
Kaoru nodded. "Thank you." she whispered. "I'm going back to my room. It's late and I'm tired... I hope you don't mind, Kenshin."
"Not at all, Kaoru-Dono. Get some rest. You look tired." He turned away, placing a bowl in its place. When he looked back over his shoulder, Kaoru was gone. He heard her bedroom door slid shut.
"Kaoru..." his voice murmured her name without thinking. She was so beautiful. He'd always thought so, but now...more then ever. After fighting Shishio, and almost losing her to Enishi, Kenshin had been watching her more closely everyday. She had grown from a young girl to a woman - a woman HE wanted to love and be with every moment.
But lately, she'd been so distant. Kenshin had asked Sano if he'd noticed, but the former thug only shrugged and said, "Jou-Chan's probably just working hard. Don't worry about it, Kenshin." When he talked to Megumi, the lady doctor only smiled and laughed slyly. "I'm sure Kaoru's fine, Sir Ken! She's just working hard, that's all."
Kenshin sighed and walked down towards his room, his mind filled with images of HER. He'd sworn to never love another again, and yet, he'd broken his promise to himself. Kaoru deserved someone much better then him - someone who hadn't murdered, someone who didn't have the past HE had. So, he swore to keep silent. And suffer. Falling onto his futon, Kenshin closed his eyes and listened to the raging storm outside - and inside his own heart.
A crack of thunder an hour later was loud enough to make Kaoru nearly jump out of her skin. Sitting up, she shivered and wrapped her arms around herself. She hadn't changed out of her pratice clothes, but simply fallen onto her futon and went to sleep. Now though...she was wide awake - and scared. These storms, the very bad ones, reminded her of her father. Of being alone from her childhood. Of being so close, but yet so far, from Kenshin. Standing up, Kaoru crept into the hall, cringing as lightening flashed somewhere in the distance. She hurried outside. It was pouring. No doubt Tae would be keeping Yahiko until morning.
Kaoru whimpered as the rain blew against her, dampening her skin. The last time it had stormed this bad, she'd ran out to the training hall and practiced like mad until the storm passed. Practicing took her mind of her life and her emotions. Kaoru braced herself and sprinted towards the training hall again, her feet splashing water all over her hakama and her legs, the rain soaking her body through.
Kenshin frowned. He hadn't fallen asleep, and even through the thunder, he could hear footsteps. Quiet, soft...Kaoru's. He stood up and stepped out of his room. A dark, slender form disappeared around the corner of the hall, and Kenshin heard a door slid open and shut. He narrowed his eyes. What was Kaoru doing, going outside at this hour, during such a storm? He slowly followed outside, and then watching in amazement as Kaoru sprinted towards the training hall...
"HAAAAAYAAAAA!!" Kaoru's voice was drowned out by a clash of thunder and the howl of the wind, but she didn't need to hear herself as she swung the wooden sword. There was water everywhere - dripping off her clothes and forming puddles on the floor as she practiced. She could see it flinging off of her body whenever the lightening lit the hall up. But she didn't really care that she was wet and shivering. She was frightened of this storm - of everything that went with it...all the memories, the fear, the chaos. Kaoru closed her eyes tightly and swung the sword again, letting tears mix with the rain on her face.
Suddenly, the tears took over and all the pain of loneliness in her heart flooded her, and the wooden sword clattered to the floor as Kaoru crumpled into a ball, sobbing uncontrollably.
*I miss my father...I miss my mother...I miss my childhood and everything else I've ever loved... and even Kenshin doesn't seem to notice me...* Tears streamed down her cheeks and crashed towards the floor.
Suddenly, strong wet arms wrapped around Kaoru's waist, pulling her up into a sitting position. She felt her back rest against a hard, firm chest - and she gasped loudly as the embraced tightened.
"Kaoru, are you alright?"
"K-Kenshin?" Kaoru whispered his name, wondering if her mind had taken over and given her a fantasy illusion to satisfy her desires and her pain.
"You shouldn't be out this time of night...not with it storming so badly." Kenshin's voice was soft and quiet, but so audiable through the thunder.
"Gomen nasai, Kenshin... I hate storms like this." Kaoru felt her throat dry and crack, and her heart tighten as Kenshin's arms remained locked around her. "They remind me of everything I've lost...my parents, my childhood... any chance of love." Her head dropped as she whispered the last part of her confession, shamed by even admitting it. Her long black hair fell around her face, creating a curtain that blocked her from Kenshin's burning gaze.
"Love?" Kenshin blinked as his grip around her loosened. "Kaoru, why would you ever think you've lost a chance to be loved? You're so..." his head dropped into her long wet hair, breathing in her scent. "You're so beautiful. So many men would die to have you...to hold you this close..." Kenshin felt his face burn. "I would do anything to... hold you...forever...like this." Kenshin inhaled deeply, tightening his arms around her again. "Kaoru..." his voice growled slightly, sending shivers down Kaoru's back and arms.
"Kenshin?" she turned to face him, pushing her hair behind one ear, her eyes wide and innocent as she met his violet ones. "Why did...you come out here?"
"To find you." Kenshin's eyes flickered in the darkness.
Kaoru supressed a squeak of surprise as Kenshin's forehead nuzzled her neck and her jaw. "Kaoru..." his voice was husky as he gently pressed his lips against her jaw. "I don't want you to be lonely. But you deserve someone better then me..." He moved his lips slightly and touched another spot on her jaw, sending a wave of electricity through her. "If you don't love me, tell me so now. I'll never mention it again."
Kaoru felt tears filling her eyes again. Kenshin...loved her? She whimpered as she buried her face into his neck, surprising him.
"I don't want anyone else! I want you, Kenshin!" Her arms found their way around his waist, and she held on as if her life depended soley upon him; it did, she decided. "I've always wanted you...only you..."
Kenshin didn't need anything more to make him continue. Maybe he hadn't come out to tell Kaoru he loved her. Maybe it had just happened that way. But as a crack of lightening lit up the training hall, Kenshin's lips gently found hers and pressed against them lightly. They tasted of lavander and rain and tears all mixed together - and he swore silently that he would wash the pain in her heart away.
When he broke the kiss, the roar of rain filled Kenshin's ears as his mind spun. "Kaoru, those clothes...they're soaked. You'll catch a cold, that you will..."
Her eyes were focused on him, and he could hear her breathing was more rapid that usual. "I'd hate for you to catch cold, too." Kaoru smiled shyly, tugging at his gi.
Kenshin pulled her up to her feet and looked around the darkened hall, searching for a place they could sit down - a dry place. Kaoru seemed to read his mind, because Kenshin felt her pull him towards the back of the hall.
It was darker towards the back, because the thin rice walls didn't allow the light to illuminate that far. Kaoru stopped suddenly and faced him. "I put some blankets back here one night in case something happened, and I needed them." Kenshin could almost see her blush through the darkness. "But if we go back to them soaking wet, then..."
Kaoru felt his hands run over her clothes before she finished. He gently pulled the practice gi out of her hakama and tossed it to the floor. His own gi joined it shortly after. "We probably don't need to try and run back to the dojo with it pouring outside." his voice was soft and quiet in her ear. Kaoru inhaled deeply as he began to unwrap the bandages she'd tied around her torso. The wraps pooled on the floor.
A streak of lightening lit the dojo training hall at that moment, giving Kenshin a full view of the woman before him. He noticed her blush creeping around her cheeks, and he instantly decided she was the most beautiful woman he'd seen. It was true; Tomoe had been beautiful... But Kaoru had a natural beauty that captivated his soul.
Kaoru managed to forget that she was naked for a moment when her eyes scanned Kenshin's body. He was perfect. Every muscle was toned underneath his skin, rippling slightly as he moved towards her again, like a cat.
They both gasped at the touch of skin against skin. Kaoru bit her lower lip as Kenshin's arms wrapped around her body, taking her down to the blankets on the floor in the darkest corner of the room. She moaned softly as Kenshin slid his hands to her hips to hold her still.
His lips found hers again and he kissed her, gently pushing his tongue against her mouth and begging for entrance. Kaoru willingly parted her lips and their tongues brushed together, then started a dance that seemed to last forever. As he kissed her, Kenshin pulled the blankets around them, drying them both off. Kaoru moaned softly as his hands slid over her breasts and her stomach, removing the cold wet rain and replacing the feeling with warmth and passion. This was what she wanted so badly...what she'd dreamed of every night since she could last remember.
"Ken...shin...." she whimpered against his his mouth, and he kissed her again. "Shhh, I'm not going anywhere, koishi..." his mouth moved to her neck and trailed hot kisses and licks downward to the small of her throat, where he nipped her skin just slightly - enough to make her cry out softly.
Kaoru stared into the blackness around her, her mind racing. She listened to the thunder and rain outside. Koishi...he'd called her koishi... She ran her hands over his back, feeling his muscles react to her touch. His voice was so husky and low, so wonderful... everything about his was wonderful, she decided happily. Her fingers found his hair, and she begin playing with it, curling the red strands around her fingertips. Kenshin stopped kissing her neck when he felt his hair tie snap out and heard Kaoru giggle.
"Koishi..." he raised himself up and looked into her eyes, almost black in the darkness. "What are you doing?" His voice was teasing and playful, with a hint of mischief in it.
"I don't believe you, that I don't." he leaned down and kissed her deeply, running one hand towards her breast. He broke the kiss and smirked at her, his long hair falling over one shoulder onto her.
"I was only playing with your hair..." she answered sheepishly.
A loud crack of thunder caused Kaoru to instantly forget about Kenshin's hair. Her arms locked around his neck in fear.
"Kenshin!" Her voice was so full of panic that Kenshin froze for a moment.
"Shhh, Kaoru...I'm right here. I won't let anything hurt you, I promise." He kissed her again and decided that he might as well move on some more. He lowered his head to her chest and gently ran his tongue over her right nipple.
Kaoru gasped and arched towards him, and Kenshin smiled slyly at her movement. He'd make her forget the storm. He'd make her forget everything except him. He suckled her breast for a few moments, holding her hips down as she tried to push towards him. He could hear her voice murmuring his name over and over...it was something he knew he loved hearing. He nipped at the swollen peak and Kaoru screamed slightly, her hands grasping his back towards her. Kenshin switched his attention to the other breast, giving it the same treatment he had the first. Kaoru writhed underneath him.
Kenshin slowly kissed a path towards her stomach, and once he reached the patch of black curls that hid who she was, he looked up at her, his eyes flashing in the darkness with love. "Kaoru?"
"Ken....sh....in....." Her voice was distance. Kenshin smiled.
Kaoru's eyes shot open as she felt his fingers gently stroke her womanhood; slowly, deliberatly... She opened her mouth but no words came out. She couldn't even think straight. She didn't care that she was a virgin; she loved Kenshin. Everything he was doing felt so perfect...how was he doing that?! She gasped as she felt one of his fingers push inside of her, stretching her open. A second one joined the first, and Kaoru closed her eyes and gripped Kenshin's hair.
Kenshin's tongue dipped inside her. He heard her calling his name somewhere mixed in with the rain and thunder, and a flash of lightening sparked in his own eyes as he tasted and craved more of her. He drank her in slowly, teased her...
Kaoru could see lightening even behind her eyelids, and she could hear distance cries that she recognized as her own...but the lightening didn't scare her - it felt incredible. And suddenly, one final crack of lightening sent her over the edge and she screamed.
Kenshin smiled and pulled himself back over her, his eyes searching her face for a few moments until her own eyes fluttered open. The sound of rain pouring outside filled the training hall. Kaoru looked up into his face, her eyes shimmering in the darkness.
"Kenshin...That felt so...wonderful..." she breathed.
He leaned down and kissed her again, and she could taste something different. Herself. Mixed with his taste. Kaoru wanted to taste him now. Her sword training kicked in, and she flipped him over, landing on top of him.
"Kaoru?!" Kenshin stared wildly at her. He had to admit, this was a turn of events he wasn't expecting. HE'D been the one seducing HER!
"Now it's your turn." she smiled shyly. "You should enjoy what I just did."
"Wait a second...I don't know..." Kenshin squirmed beneath her, blushing. "Kaoru!"
"Shhh." she smiled and kissed the center of his chest. Her hands traced each faint scar on his body gently, as if she were afraid of hurting him. Kenshin closed his eyes and groaned as her lips touched one scar after another on his torso, tracing them with care and love. After she'd finished his chest, Kaoru pulled herself up to his face. Kenshin's eyes flew open as her finger ran over his cross-shaped scar. He stared at her and watched the pain in her eyes.
"Kenshin...you have so many scars..." she whispered. She kissed the center of the cross, and Kenshin felt his own tears on the brink of his eyes. She cared for him so much...he could almost feel her love with every movement she made.
Kaoru suddenly pulled away from his face and placed butterfly kisses down his chest again, across his stomach and towards his manhood. He forced himself not to arch off the floor.
"Kaoru..." his voice was so husky. Kaoru ran her hands over his shaft and blushed. She'd never done this before... Slowly, she kissed the very tip of his manhood, and Kenshin nearly lost his mind.
Kaoru ran her tongue down his length and back up, tasting the salt on his skin and the juice inside of him. She repeated her motions and smiled inwardly as it was his turn to writh behind HER. Her hands idly traced patterns on his thighs as she continued her task.
Kenshin couldn't think at all. His mind was swirling and spinning at such as speed, that only his action in a battle could have matched it. Any will power he'd had when he first entered the training hall had completely disappeared with Kaoru's touch. His hands gripped her hair, mused it up, tangled with it...his body took over his thoughts entirely.
He suddenly exploded, and Kaoru did her best to drink him in, still unsure and inexperienced. After a moment, she crawled back over his chest.
...and gasped loudly when he flipped her over and she landed beneath him once more.
"Kaoru..." He kissed her deeply again, and pushed her legs apart. She could hear the deepness in his voice, a level that he only used when he was dead serious about something. She spread her legs even more for him.
"I don't want to hurt you." His voice was so compassionate, even as serious as he was. Kaoru met his eyes.
"I need you, Kenshin...please..." she snuggled her face into his neck.
He slowly pressed the tip of his manhood into her. She was so tight and warm, everything he'd dreamed of and more, and somehow made him feel unashamed of himself. Kenshin closed his eyes and continued pushing himself deeper inside her, until he reached the barrier he'd dreaded reaching. He could almost feel his tears about to fall.
"Ken....shin...." Her arms were wrapped tightly around his neck, waiting for him to continue. She shifted slightly, adjusting to his length inside of her.
"This is the part that's going to hurt a little..." he whispered into her ear. "I promise, Koishi...if I could take the pain I would. Are you sure you want me to keep going?"
She nodded and kissed his neck. "Hai...keep going, please Kenshin."
He gritted his teeth and shut his eyes tightly, knowing he wouldn't be able to enjoy this until her pain passed. He plunged inside her, and whimpered when he heard her scream and clutch him tightly. Kenshin felt a single tear fall down his face in pain. Gods, how could he put her through so much pain?
A few moments passed in silence and he could feel Kaoru's body shivering beneath him, hanging onto him. He knew she was crying, he could see her tears glistening in the darkness.
"Kenshin, please...can you move? It might not hurt so much if you move..." Kaoru's voice was so quiet, Kenshin wasn't sure whether to move or not. He gently rocked back, pulling out just slightly from her, and then slid back in.
Kaoru bit her lip and hung on to his shoulders. She was sure the pain would pass soon. As Kenshin continued to rock inside her, she realized the pain WAS subsiding and giving way to pleasure.
And she found that she was soon creating a rhythm with him, rocking and moving in perfect timing with his motions. Kaoru's mind was on the brink of bliss. All she could think of was him.
Kenshin pushed faster, burying himself inside her to the hilt, pulling out and pushing back in, harder and faster with each second. He found himself losing any control he had on his emotions and feelings; all he could think about was how wonderful she was - how tight her muscles clamped around him - how they were slowly becoming one with each other.
It was something he always had dreamed of. She was replacing the void in his heart and in his body. He needed her. He so desperatly needed HER.
He could feel her on the edge, and he leaned down and wrapped his arms around her. "Kaoru...Please...come with me..."
Kaoru arched towards him, burying her face into his neck. "Kenshin!"
Suddenly everything felt perfect as their worlds exploded in a single flash of lightening and another final crack of thunder. White light seemed to fill the dark void each had held within them. Kaoru could hear Kenshin's thoughts, and he could hear hers...and they realized they were one.
"Koishii...I'll never leave you...I love you too..."
Kaoru's eyes fluttered open to the sound of gentle rain, still beating on the roof of the training hall. Her body felt warm and safe, wrapped in blankets. She snuggled down into them, and bumped into something else. Her eyes flew open. Kenshin!
His arm snaked around her and pulled her back against his chest. "Koishi?" His voice was sleepy. Kaoru fought to remember how long they'd been alseep.
Then she felt warm lips touch her shoulder, lingering for a moment. "Go back to sleep, Koishi. I promise, I'm still right here. I'll always be right here...beside you."
Kaoru felt a tear slid down her cheek as she turned and buried her face against his chest. "It wasn't a dream..." she whispered, her arms finding their way around him. "You ARE still here..."
Kenshin smiled. "Kaoru, please don't cry. I told you. I don't want you to be lonely anymore."
She nodded and kissed his collarbone. "I won't. Not if you're here beside me."
"Didn't I just say I'd always be here?" he teased. Then he yawned. "But really, can we go back to sleep? It's the middle of the night, and I'm tired. And we have to get up early tomorrow, unless you want Yahiko coming in here and -"
"YAHIKO!" Kaoru sat up, the blankets slipping around her body. "OH NO. He can't find us... What would he say?! He'd tell everyone, that's what he'd do, I know it! I don't want Yahiko finding out that..."
Kenshin pulled her back into the blankets and held her tightly. "He won't. We can tell him at a better time... It'll be alright, Kaoru." He kissed her lips softly. "For now... go to sleep."
Kaoru nodded and leaned back against him, closing her eyes and listening to the rain outside. For once in her life, it sounded peaceful, and not threatening. She slowly drifted off to sleep.
Kenshin buried his face into her hair. "Ai Shiteru." he whispered. "Ai Shiteru, Koishi..."
Disclaimers: Rurouni Kenshin and related material owned by JUMP comics and rich people - not myself.
Author's Note: Please be gentle with me - this is the first story I've posted on FF.net, though not my first fanfiction or my first lemon. Oh, and on that note, this is a LEMON fic. It contains adult material, so if you don't like this type of story, please don't read! Please R/R! It'd be appreicated, that it would. ^_^