Kaoru was calmly cutting up a daikon radish in multiple uneven pieces. She
flinched as a few bits of the cutting board came off as well. She could easily
see why she was a bad cook, but she’d never really had anyone to teach her. She
sighed as she scooped up the pieces in her hand and added them to the already
almost full pot. The others would be returning soon. She looked up as she heard
the gate open, and rushed to the front. The food wouldn’t taste any worse
so she didn’t have to worry about watching it.
As she rushed out of the dojo she stopped suddenly and raised a hand to her
mouth as she gasped.
Enishi?! What was he doing here! She thought to herself. He was looking
at her with the most… with those eyes. She couldn’t quite make anything of it
until he spoke.
“May I stay here” he asked her “I haven’t any place to go” he finished silently.
Kaoru said nothing. He took that as a clue to continue on “I can pay my way…”
Kaoru interrupted him
“No no it’s not that,” she said, hand still curled near her mouth “It’s just
that I never expected to see you again” she said. “Please come in, have
something to eat” she ushered him in and sat him down. He really looked
exhausted, as if he had been wandering for the full six months since he had
escaped from the police. She looked at him worried. He had really not been that
bad of a guy, but how would the others react.
She watched him as he ate silently. He never taunted her overmuch about her
food, except for that one time she’d commented on him being better already. She
smiled at the though, gaining a curious look from Enishi. She turned around
abruptly and walked towards the bathroom.
“Please feel free to take a bath. I’m sure you’re tired from your journey. I’ll
go heat up the water” Enishi nodded at her, finishing the last of his meal. He’d
never finished one before, he must be really hungry.
Kenshin and the “troop” came home shortly after Enishi had settled himself in
the bath. Kaoru sighed; she didn’t want to explain him quite yet. She still
didn’t know what to say. They ate her odd and soggy stew, making the usual
complaints. Kaoru, as usual huffed and told them to make their own food, but
Kenshin noticed that her heart wasn’t in it as usual and she seemed preoccupied.
He wondered if anything had happened and looked at her, his expression
Kaoru looked at the table, brushing off her daze. Something was missing. She
blinked. Sano. He had left earlier than usual. He often stayed around and
bantered. She looked at Kenshin in question. He seemed to know what she was
asking, like he always seemed to… except when it was convenient not to.
“You didn’t hear?” Kenshin asked, “He went to go take a bath. We worked hard
helping the workers at the school” Kaoru’s eyes went wide and she covered her
mouth, preventing the laughter from bubbling up. Sure enough, there was a
Sano walked down the hallway whistling to himself. It had been a long day and he
was looking forward to a refreshing bath. He slid the door open as he started
shedding his clothes, not noticing the pile that was already there. He had all
but his pants off when he open the door to the bath. His hand, which was on the
drawstring of his pants, froze. There was someone else in there.
Likely a bit taller than him, a similar yet different hairstyle topped the head
which rose above the water and rested on two strong looking shoulders. The man
was a little ragged looking with a few scratches. His eyes had been closed, but
soon after Sano had opened the door, Enishi opened one eye and looked at Sano
lazily, before shutting it again. Sanosuke screamed and ran out of the bathroom,
almost tripping over his own clothes as he went.
He rushed into the room where the others were looking at Kaoru’s odd expression
with suspicion. He panted, hands grasping either side of the open doorway. He
stuttered for minutes before he finally made out a sentence. Weather or not it
made sense was still to be decided
“There’s a, ... It’s a, white tall… he… in the water” he panted out, finishing
waiting for their response. They all just stared at him. Kaoru was the first to
speak up, eager to get him back for all the taunting he’d sent her way.
“Oh my, is that what my food does to you?” She said pointing out his state of
disarray, which revealed his dreadfully skinny waist. Kaoru laughed as she
wondered if he wasn’t thinner than her. Sano blushed. Kenshin narrowed his eyes
at the figure that appeared behind Sano.
Enishi handed Sano the shirt he’d dropped, and Kaoru couldn’t help but laugh at
the expression on his face, on both of their faces for that matter. Sano looked
horrified while Enishi looked, well, just about the same as he always did. Kaoru
stopped laughing as she realized everyone was looking at her in hopes of an
explanation. She sat up and cleared her throat.
“Ah, I’m sure you all remember Enishi” she said. “He’ll be staying here from now
on.” She finished. Enishi walked into the room past Sano, who avoided him like
the plague after he snatched his shirt back. Kaoru smiled faintly at Enishi.
Kenshin didn’t like the looks of that smile. His eyes narrowed, he had tried to
help Enishi before, but this was not what he wanted. Kaoru’s smile belonged to
him. He paused, a confused expression crossing his face. Now where did that come
“But Kaoru, didn’t he try to kill you?” Yahiko spoke up in a mix between anger
and complaining. Kaoru looked at him reproachfully.
“No” She said simply, giving everyone a glare that said this is my house and if
you object, I can always throw you out. Yahiko backed off resentfully glaring at
Kaoru herself was surprised at how well she was talking this, you would think
that if someone who had caused so much trouble showed up, you’d likely freak out
more than just “oh, ok” as it seemed to be for her. She sighed, looking down at
her hands, she had to admit she had been thinking about him recently. She looked
over at the wall, of course she was still afraid of what she felt, but it was
probably best if she didn’t run away from it and sorted her feelings
Kenshin watched Kaoru’s smiles and sighs. There weren’t all that many of them,
but still even one directed at this person who had tried to take her from him
before, was too much. He didn’t like Enishi being here one bit, and suspected
the younger man was up to something. He would be sure that, whatever it was,
Kaoru wouldn’t be involved.
Enishi watched on in amusement. Apparently he did have a chance from the way
Kaoru was acting. It wasn’t disturbingly obvious, but for one who paid attention
to details, it wasn’t obscure either. From the looks of Kenshin, he paid
attention to details too. The red-haired man was not happy. He smiled, his face
shadowed as no one else could catch his expression.
Or at least he had thought his expression went unnoticed. Sano saw it and was
unnerved. This whole situation was just very… unnerving. He shivered. Something
about Enishi, he didn’t like, but whatever it was had only happened since he
walked in on him. Now that… was unnerving. He cursed quietly to himself… it was
unnerving, how often he was using that word. He winced as he realized he had
just done it again.