Taking Heart

BY : Aquene
Category: Rurouni Kenshin > Het - Male/Female
Dragon prints: 124
Disclaimer: I do not own Rurouni Kenshin, nor the characters from it. I do not make any money from the writing of this story.

Old sandals crunched rhythmically on dirt as Kenshin steadily approached the dojo, admiring the bursts of flame reflected from the surface of a sunset river.


“I’m home,” he called as he crossed the threshold and onto the grounds.


He was met with a stony silence.


Strange, he thought, for he had sensed the presence of his friends just a moment ago.


He passed the kitchen, setting down the tofu bucket and bag of rice he had bought from the market. Making a mental note of what to cook for dinner, he carefully arranged the ingredients on the table, before making his way into the courtyard.


“Ah, there you are!” he smiled.


They turned to stare at him - both the boy and his master - but neither of them greeted nor acknowledged him with words.


There was an odd… change of energy, in the air.


“Uh… is everything alright?” Kenshin asked, into a charged silence.


Yahiko gaped, wide-eyed and grinning, while Kaoru remained rigid, waves of tension rolling frighteningly off of her as she averted her gaze, ignoring the question.


“Shut up!” she hissed at the boy. Her ears were bright red.


Yahiko snorted, earning himself a murderous glare.


“Yo, Kenshin,” smirked the boy, eager eyes gleaming far too eagerly.


Kaoru was not amused.


“Get out!” she screeched, but something had clearly gotten a hold of the boy. That, or he had some sort of death wish.


“Did you know-“ he continued, and…


No sooner than the words had been blurted, there was a loud THWACK, and the boy was nursing a fresh bump to the head.


“Oro,” peeped Kenshin.


Yahiko was still wearing a canary-eating grin as he headed toward the gate with an unusually submissive chuckle.


“What about dinner?” Kenshin called after him, puzzled, but Yahiko waved his hand dismissively without even looking back.


“What was that all about?” he wondered aloud, turning back to Kaoru.


“N-nothing!” came her agitated reply, and now her entire face and neck matched the same furious red in her ears.


She somehow managed, all at once, to be a vision of frighteningly scary yet disarmingly vulnerable… loveliness. There was a funny warmth in Kenshin's belly as he made the curious observation that it was almost exactly the same shade of red as the hakama she was wearing…


“Um,” he cleared his throat, sensing an urgent need to ease not just her tension, but also the one that was rapidly rising within his own body.


“…I guess it’s just the two of us for dinner tonight?”


“Y-yes, I suppose so!!” Her breath hitched oddly as she spoke. “God knows w-where that, that s-stupid rooster-head is…!”


“You’re stammering,” Kenshin blurted, without thinking.


“Is that a crime?!” she cried, before turning on her heel and escaping to her room. The door slid shut so forcefully that Kenshin was surprised it didn’t break.




He paused, uncertain as to whether or not to go to her.


Maybe now wasn’t the best time, he decided a moment later.


“I’ll just be in the kitchen, then,” he announced, to no one in particular.

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