Categories > Anime/Manga > Rurouni Kenshin > M.I.A

Not Dead Yet

by hootowl 0 reviews

The excitement begins.

Category: Rurouni Kenshin - Rating: PG-13 - Genres: Humor,Romance - Characters: Kaoru,Kenshin - Warnings: [?] - Published: 2013-09-04 - 2434 words

Kenshin was warm and full for the first time in—he couldn’t remember. It was a nice feeling, though. He’d like to continue it for many days. Forever, if he could. Miss Kaoru’s couch was an old, lumpy, threadbare thing that was no doubt not as comfortable as his tired frame insisted it was. If he really squirmed, he could feel the center support dig sharply into his hip. His eyes felt heavy and he let them fall closed, contenting himself that he could sense anything unusual in enough time to react. The apartment was dark and soothingly quiet. Miss Kaoru had retreated to her room after dinner with a stack of disorganized papers, claiming work, and Kenshin saw no reason not to believe her. He sighed, tired muscles relaxing in an almost painful manner. Yes, it was wonderful to be warm and full again. And inside. On a bed. Sort of.

The sudden buzz of the door jerked him from the half-sleep he’d fallen into; the muscles that had just relaxed coiled again for action. He rolled onto his stomach, eyes sweeping the area nearby for a suitable weapon if the need for such arose. Drawing his hands under him, he waited. From her bedroom, he could hear Miss Kaoru swearing, papers sliding from the bed to the floor and then quick footsteps across the floor. The bedroom door opened. Light spilled from the door and she closed it a crack, heading to the door and pushing “talk” on the intercom.


A garbled male voice came through the speaker, cheerful and loud, “Yo, Missy! Buzz me in!”

Kaoru growled quietly. “What if I don't want to? What are you doing here anyway?”

“Megumi called me. Said you had a guest.”

Kaoru swore softly and Kenshin felt her eyes dart to where he was on the couch. Kenshin kept still, feigning sleep, and Kaoru looked turned away. “What if I want to be alone with my guest?”

There was a moment of silence and then the male laughed. “I know you’re not like that, Missy. Let me in.”

Kenshin could almost hear her mental curse before she released a harsh sigh. “Fine, but be quiet. He’s sleeping.”

She pushed another button, holding it a moment before releasing it and waited. The casual stride of what Kenshin could only assume was a very tall man approached the door and Kaoru quickly opened the door and pulled him in, hissing for silence.

“Missy, the man would have to be dead not to hear you.”

He grunted when Kaoru punched him, but didn’t sound repentant when he spoke again, though he kept his voice low, “Got him sleeping on the couch already? What’d he do to deserve that?”

“Shut up,” she whispered, reaching out and taking his arm. “We’ll talk in my room.”

“He’s kind of small—”

His words were cut off as Kaoru dragged into the bedroom and firmly closed the door. Kenshin lay quietly, listening to the low murmur of voices behind the door. The words were too quiet for him to hear, but eventually the light beneath the door went out and the apartment was once more silent. Kenshin waited until the count of fifty before he slowly lifted himself off the couch and made a near silent sweep of the apartment. A covert look outside showed softly falling snow. The new car parked on the street was already cool enough to begin to accumulate a thin layer. A long minute of careful watching and Kenshin decided that the man had come alone. Sano, Kenshin recalled. Miss Megumi had mentioned him. He returned to the couch, satisfied the apartment was secure, and settled back down. It looked like he would only have a night or possibly two in the comfort of an apartment. He’d have to move on soon.

Kaoru woke from a sound sleep to the smell of bacon frying and coffee brewing. Next to her, sprawled out on her apparently far too narrow double bed, Sanosuke snored, dead to the world. She could hardly believe she’d been able to sleep through the racket of Sanosuke snoring. She let her head drop back into her pillow, groaning. She should have kicked him out last night. The smell of breakfast teased her nose. Unless Megumi decided to return after her night shift to cook breakfast instead of going back to her apartment and falling face first into her bed, Kenshin was making breakfast. With a final groan into her pillow, she rolled out of bed and pulled an oversized sweatshirt over her head before she shuffled out to the kitchen. Her eyebrows rose when she took in the sight before her. Kenshin had somehow washed and dried his clothes, her father’s clothes neatly folded on one of the kitchen chairs. He moved with practiced ease through her tiny kitchen, turning to smile brightly at her when he caught sight of her hovering in the door. “Good morning, Miss Kaoru!”

He was looking remarkably put together for so early in the day and she wondered just when he woke up. She glanced at the clock to see if perhaps she’d slept longer than she thought she had. “Why aren’t you still asleep?”

He set a plate on the table loaded with four pancakes, scrambled eggs, and bacon, encouraging her to take the seat. “It’s nine, that it is. I thought I’d make breakfast, if you don't mind?”

She sank into the chair, taking the fork he handed her. “No, I don’t mind. Megumi has banned me from touching the stove. Nothing I cook tastes very good.”

She was glad he didn’t try to assure her that her food couldn’t be as bad as she claimed. She wasn’t fishing for a compliment. Instead, he moved back to the stove to load another plate, asking, “Do you want to wake your friend?”

“Nah,” she dismissed immediately, concentrating on drowning her pancakes. “Sano probably won’t wake up till noon. He keeps late hours.”

She missed the thoughtful pause from Kenshin and then the concentrated casualness he gave to arranging the pancakes. “What does Sano do?”

“Oh, a little of everything, from what I can tell,” she said with a shrug.

She looked up when Kenshin slid into the seat across from her. She glanced over her shoulder, leaning across the table and saying in a conspiratorial whisper, “I know he pokes around in a lot of illegal stuff. He doesn't know I know that though.”

Kenshin felt his stomach drop. “He’s an informer.”

“I guess,” Kaoru allowed, her attention focused mainly on the food in front of her. What Sanosuke did during his hours outside her company was an infrequent musing.

Kenshin idly balanced his fork on his fingers, brow furrowing in thought. “Did he make any phone calls last night?”

The odd question was enough to pique Kaoru's interest and she looked up at him curiously. “Phone calls?”

“Or texts?”

Her eyes sharpened with suspicion and she slowly lowered her fork back to her plate. “You’re starting to worry me, Kenshin.”

His head ducked, hiding his eyes behind red bangs. “I apologize.”

She gave him a long, considering look, wondering just what was going through his mind. True, Megumi had warned her many times that she shouldn’t be so trusting, but she didn’t get the feeling that Kenshin was dangerous. She frowned. Megumi’s pessimistic nature must be rubbing off on her. She pushed her uneasy feelings aside and focused on savoring food that wasn’t charred. Kenshin suddenly stilling next to her ripped her from happy thoughts and she suddenly realized just how strong he really was. The uneasy feeling returned and she fought the urge to look over her shoulder. Kenshin’s head lifted slightly and she could almost swear she’d seen a glint of amber flash in violet eyes when he looked at her from beneath his shaggy fringe of hair.

“Miss Kaoru, are you expecting company this morning?”

Her heart leapt to her throat and she swallowed nervously. “No. Why?”

His mouth drew down in a frown and he pushed away from the table, saying calmly, “You should grab your coat, put your shoes on, and wake your friend, that you should.”


Kenshin moved to the window. It didn’t look much different from when he’d looked out earlier, but there were a few people wandering down the sidewalk with a studied casualness that set him on edge. Out in the corridor, he could hear people moving and the faint buzz of a radio. He turned to grab his own shoes, noticing Kaoru was staring at him in alarm. He tried to give her a reassuring smile. “I’m sorry. Please put your shoes on, Miss Kaoru.”

Kenshin moved quickly, entering Kaoru's room and roughly hauling the taller man off the bed. Sanosuke may be a deep sleeper, but anyone would wake up if they unexpectedly hit the floor.
Sanosuke woke with a grunt, eyes flying wide and fists swinging in an automatic reaction to protect himself. To his surprise, a short redhead stood over him, a steely look in his violet eyes. Sanosuke could only gape at him, his mind swimming out of the fog of sleep. “What the hell, man!”

Kenshin ignored the exclamation. “Who did you call?”

Sanosuke’s jaw dropped and his eyes bugged. “Call?”

“Or text.”

Kaoru appeared in the door wearing her coat and shoving her feet into her shoes. Kenshin ignored her, but Sanosuke demanded, “What the hell is going on?”

She shifted, glancing at Kenshin uncertainly. “Just answer the question, Sano.”

Kenshin, though, had had enough waiting and searched Sanosuke’s pockets for the phone despite the man's loud protests. Kenshin found the phone quickly, backing away a few steps in case Sanosuke decided to lunge at him, and turned his attention to the call log. No password. A quick search revealed no calls or texts after the call from Megumi. Knocking on the neighboring apartment door sent him back into motion. He tossed Sanosuke’s phone back to him—ignoring the sputtered demands for an explanation—and moved back out into the hall. There was a loose floorboard just outside the bathroom and he was determined to find out what was beneath it.
“Miss Kaoru, do you know who lives across from your bathroom window?”

“A student. They work in a coffee shop.”

She watched in fascination as Kenshin pulled up the carpet and then an old floorboard. His search brought out a katana and two handguns. He checked the guns, tucking them behind his belt at the small of his back, and unsheathed the katana a good inch to look at the blade before sliding it back with a sharp click. “Do you know how these got here?”

“I never knew they were there to begin with.”

Kenshin considered his thoughts for a moment before pushing them away. He’d think about it when he had a better opportunity. The bag he pulled out was handed to Kaoru and he shoved the few loose papers that remained in his pockets. He dropped the floorboard back in place and rose, kicking the carpet back. It wouldn’t be worth the time it took to cover it completely, they’d find it no matter what he did in the limited amount of time they had. Kenshin moved into the bathroom, sliding up the narrow window over the bathtub. He lifted himself onto the window ledge easily, eyeing the short distance between buildings. If he couldn’t get the window open, they’d have to climb. “What time do they go to work?”

“I don’t know. They work the open shift usually.” She suddenly seemed to realize what he was planning. “You can’t mean to leave through another apartment. What’s wrong with the fire escape?”

Kenshin didn’t have to respond because Sanosuke came stumbling out of the bedroom, swearing, “That’s the fucking SWAT team out there. You’ve got to explain what the fuck’s going on. Now.”

Kenshin sighed, settling back on the window ledge. “It’s not the SWAT team, that it is not.”

Sanosuke’s mouth settled in a grim line and his eyes narrowed. Kaoru looked between them. Whatever passed between them was no clearer to her than before, but she’d hung around a government conspiracy theorist long enough to draw some wild conclusions. “Your name’s on a war memorial.”

Violet eyes flicked away from Sanosuke. “Yes.”

Kaoru folded her arms. She was never going to tell Megumi that she was right. Petite redheads were definitely not puppies. Next time she’d leave him in the snow to freeze. “So what are you? Some kind of war criminal?”

Kenshin winced. “No. Not really. In the war, I was an assassin.”

Sanosuke snorted. “What happens if they catch up?”

Kenshin looked over their shoulder into the apartment behind them. They startled when a loud pounding hit the door. “They will neutralize the situation.”

“Cleanup, huh?” Sanosuke mused, turning to look intently at the redhead where he perched in the window.

Kenshin’s head tilted, red hair sliding over his shoulder. “It would seem so.”

Sanosuke ran a hand through his hair making it stand on end even more than usual. “Well, fuck. I suppose we’re part of that cleanup now.”

The pounding on the door grew more insistent, raised voices shouting for admittance. Sanosuke stepped back to glance around the corner, quickly pulling back. “They certainly came heavily armed to take an unarmed man captive.”

He paused, his grin growing sardonic when he realized Kenshin had a katana looped through his belt. Kenshin hopped the short distance to the other window, working his fingers under the seal. Sanosuke pulled Kaoru into the bathroom, closing and locking the door just in time to hear the front door splinter. In a matter of moments, Kenshin had the window up and had slipped into the other apartment. Sanosuke boosted Kaoru through the window and she could hear glass shattering behind her. “I am never going to get my safety deposit back.”

She jumped the distance with Sanosuke’s laugh following her, thankful when Kenshin reached out to steady her before helping move out of the way. Sanosuke barreled through the window a moment later, still grinning from ear to ear. “It’s not my fault this time, Missy.”
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