The Sharpest Lives

BY : Jezz-Ra
Category: Rurouni Kenshin > Yaoi - Male/Male
Dragon prints: 4007
Disclaimer: I do not own Rurouni Kenshin, nor do I make money off it, more's the pity.

The Sharpest Lives 6 / ??
Written by Jezz-Ra
Warnings - Not all warnings apply to all chapters. Yaoi, Lemon, Violence, Language, Angst
Disclaimer - I don't own Rurouni Kenshin, don't make money off it. Wish I did.

Archived at - anime.adult-fanfiction.org, fanfiction.net, and mediaminer.org ::: Anywhere else, ask!
Questions or Comments? - Email me at megami_no_remon@hotmail.com

// blah // indicates thoughts.

A/N - I'm so going to burn myself out updating two fics every day like this. LOL Oh well. I won't be able to on the days I actually have to work, I'm sure...
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Sano trudged back towards the inn just as the first quivering streaks of gray began to lighten the sky, a prelude to dawn. He had a bag of bandages and herbs to treat Kenshin's injuries for a long while, and in his hands was the small wooden box of medicine the bandits had stolen from the samurai.

It was a good thing that his boss had been willing to take him and an additional passenger for free, because getting that box back had cost Sano so much of his savings that he didn't have enough left to afford to pay for one of them, let alone both.

// Damn. Half a year's worth of pay, down the drain for this...bastard pawn scalped me good. I don't know how he knew how much money I had on me...must be like Kenshin's sixth sense when it comes to sword-fighting. Bastard had money-sense. //

But, despite the disgusting price he had to pay to buy back the little wooden chest, Sano couldn't really bring himself to be too upset about it. It would save lives...and really, that meant more to him than a few months of working on a ship. // And it'll make Kenshin happy. Keep him from beating himself up over it, at least....and gods only know the guy doesn't need any more ammunition for that. //

Sano didn't know if he should be surprised to find Kenshin actually in bed when he returned or not. Some part of him had expected that the samurai would have stubbornly been making the effort to overcome his current difficulties.

"Sano?"

"Yeah, it's me. I have to say, I almost expected you to greet me at the door."

Kenshin squirmed the slightest bit and tried to look innocent. "Ah, well...you told me I should remain in bed, that you did."

Sano narrowed his eyes. "And you, of course, obediently rested there the whole time I was gone."

"Oro..."

Sano sighed. "You WERE up! Dammit, Kenshin, you'll never recover if you don't rest properly. And if that fever gets worse when we're out in the middle of the water, stranded on a ship, you could die!"

"I'm not going to die, Sano...and I'm fine."

Sanosuke snorted. "Typical Kenshin answer. I can't see and can only halfway hear, can't really walk too well and am wearing almost as many bandages as Shishio did back in the day...but I'm just fine, thanks."

Kenshin gave Sano a look that probably would have been something of a glare, had he the use of his eyes. His expression rapidly shifted, however. "Were you...able to recover the box?"

Sano smiled ruefully. "Yeah, I got it. I got all the supplies we'll need for the trip, too. And I brought you a stick."

"Oro? A stick? Why?"

"Eh, figured you could use it as a walking stick or somethin'. Might help until you get used to...er...your condition."

"Ah. Thank you, Sano." Kenshin sat up and accepted the stick. It was actually a staff, roughly six feet long and straight. It rapidly proved to be a tremendous help for standing and a nice, solid brace every time Kenshin's world wobbled under him.

"Well. If ya want, we can just head out to the ship now. They should be getting ready to pull out of here in just a couple hours, and there's no sense in us staying here since we're both already up."

Kenshin paused and was silent for a moment before sighing. "Would you..help me there, Sano? It will be much faster than if I attempt the journey on my own. I'm not...used to this yet."

"Of course I will."

"Well then...let's go."

"Er..."

"What is it, Sano?"

"Probably should get dressed in something other than a house robe first. I picked you up some clothes that WEREN'T a tattered mess while I was out."

Kenshin blushed slightly. "You've thought of everything, haven't you? I'm sorry. My head is still not very clear. This is all very...disorienting, that it is. I must look dreadful."

Sano chuckled and passed the clothing over to Kenshin. "Eh...you're a little banged up and I think you've shrunk since the last time I saw you, but otherwise, you're fine."

"I most certainly have NOT shrunken any, Sanosuke!" Kenshin replied indignantly.

"What? I think it's wonderful that you've kept up your slender, girlish figure over the years while I was away."

The pillow flew with startling accuracy and speed at Sano's face and hit with a muffled thwump. Kenshin smirked in triumph. "Pillow Mitsurugi Ryu."

"Har, har. Finish getting dressed before I DO leave you here."

It didn't take long to pack up their few things and get ready to go. Kenshin waged a bit of a small war trying to get into the hakama and haori Sano had brought for him, and Sano thought better of offering to help when he saw the determination on the redhead's face.

Sano held out his arm for Kenshin, not entirely sure what the best way to go about leading him down to the docks was. There was nothing wrong with his legs and he could walk, he simply had balancing issues. Kenshin took his arm and paused, running his fingers over it gently. "Hm. May I touch you?"

Sano stared for a moment, unable to process the request. "Uh...what?"

Kenshin reached over and turned Sano to face him, fingers trailing up his chest experimentally as a faint smile twitched his lips. Sano was frozen, eyes wide. "Well. That explains it."

Sano swallowed, more than a little confused at Kenshin's actions...as well as wondering why his heart was suddenly hammering in his chest. // Relax...jeez. It's not like he's feeling me up or anything. It's just Kenshin. Another man. // "Explains what? What are you doing?"

"It's not that I've shrunken. You simply have gotten bigger, it would seem. And I'm.. seeing you in the only way that I can for now, with my eyes damaged."

"Oh...right." Sano chuckled weakly. He was more than a little disturbed at the way he had reacted to Kenshin's hesitant, feather-light touch. // What the HELL is wrong with me? //

Kenshin chuckled and patted him on the chest before retaking his arm. They headed out the door. "Solid as a rock, that you are. You must have been training rather hard. You seem to have filled out a good deal."

"Er. Yeah. I've done a lot of physical labor and training over the past few years."

"Perhaps I should have you train me some. Then, perhaps, you could stop teasing me."

"Keh...me, train you?" Sano laughed. "Kenshin, you would kick my ass into next week. Besides...you've already done training that was far more hardcore than anything I've ever done, afraid there isn't much hope for you to have a growth spurt in any direction. It's actually kinda funny."

"Thanks," Kenshin muttered dryly, concentrating very hard on putting one foot in front of the other and not stumbling too much. "At least I don't lack the power to amuse you."

"Eh, people underestimate you all the time. I did myself. You didn't look like much of anything...and then you thrashed me soundly."

"You weren't much of a fighter back then. Better than your average street thug, but lacking in skill and discipline, that you were."

Sano's chest puffed and he scowled indignantly, insulted. "Hey now... y'know, it's times like these I wonder why I even wanted to come back in the first place."

Kenshin smiled slightly. "All teasing aside...I am glad you did, Sano. I missed you. We all did."

"I missed you guys too. Do you... ever think about going back? You've been gone a couple years yourself."

Kenshin was silent for a long moment. "I hope to return someday. Perhaps after this medicine is delivered. I have...not yet found my peace enough to do so."

Sano nodded. He then felt like an idiot, remembering Kenshin couldn't see the gesture. "Yeah... I hear ya."

Their walk to the docks continued in relative silence. The sailors on the merchant vessel were hurrying to take care of last minute preparations, as they wanted to be on their way with the rising of the sun. Sano greeted several of them as he led Kenshin up to the deck of the ship.

To Kenshin's credit, he was starting to get a little more used to things and was stumbling less. Of course, the moment he left dry land and was on the gently swaying ship, he was just as bad off as he had been previously. He was more than a little relieved when they finally were settled into Sanosuke's cabin. Sano led him to the bunk and sat him down.

"There's only one bunk, but I was able to get the captain to loan me a futon. The cabin's not much, but this has been home for the past couple years for me."

"Have you enjoyed life on a ship?"

Sano plunked down on the futon with a yawn. "Eh. It's alright. It has its perks, at any rate."

"Sano, this is your cabin. You don't have to sleep on the floor."

"Too late, I'm already comfortable. 'Sides, you're injured. Anyway, you should lay down and get some rest. I should too. We were up most of the night."

"Alright, I suppose. But once I have recovered some, I won't allow you to sleep on the floor. I don't do so well laying down anyways."

Sano folded his arms behind his head. "Yeah...I can probably count on one hand the times I've seen you sleep anywhere but propped against the wall."

"It is...an ingrained habit. I grow uneasy if I am too relaxed. I suppose that is one reason I felt the need to wander again."

Sano grinned and shut his eyes. "Well, you have nothin' to worry about here, my friend. Sagara Sanosuke is on guard. You can just relax and sleep. I'll protect you for a change, let you have a few nights off."

Kenshin was silent. Sano chuckled, guessing - correctly - that the idea of being protected instead of doing the protecting was not something the samurai cared for much.

"Oh, don't get too used to it. I'll keep you safe until you get better so you can keep me safe for the rest of the time you're stuck with me."

Kenshin smiled. "Very well, Sano. I trust you." The samurai slowly laid his head down, somewhat surprised at the truth of his own words. Despite his general inability to protect himself, he was not worried. Sano would keep him safe. It was...strange... relying on another person for anything, especially protection...but somehow, because it was Sano, it was alright. // Oh, my friend... I believe I missed you more than I even realized. I trust none other the way I trust you. Welcome back, Sanosuke. //


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