rurouni kenshin was created by watsuki nobuhirou-sensei (C) shueisha JUMP, sony, fuji TV, anime works
ending theme: "yongwonhan sarang (everlasting love)"; performed by fine killing liberty;
translated by my sister's good friend, Ci Nae
notes: here it is! happy reading & enjoy the music. yup, i'm a big finkl fan. "yongwonhan sarang" is on the 'white' album. domo arigatou for your support. jill 6/15/1 (*6/16/1: changed 'baka yarou' to 'baka na')

Happy Tomorrow

Her legs couldn’t carry her as fast as she wanted, but Tsubame could see them ahead of her through the strands of her hair. Throwing herself as far as she can go, she collided with Yuji’s back, the three of them tumbling over onto the grass. “Kyaaaa!” she cried, as she landed on her stomach, the shinai rolling out of her hands.

Yahiko reached for the sword and pulled himself up, only to see that Yuji was up himself, laughing at this minor display of bravery. “You keep making this easy for me!” he noted, grabbing hold of Tsubame, “Now I can get away! Miyako-chan, let’s get out of here, using this girl as a hostage!”

“Yahiko!!” Tsubame cried, as Yuji’s arm wrapped around her front, using her as a shield. Miyako had came to his side and the two were backing away. “YAHIKO!!”

“What does it matter.” Miyako laughed at her, “You’ll be killed after we get away. It’s better without your loved one watching. Oh ho ho ho!!”

“Bastards!!” Yahiko growled, fire burning in his eyes. Something about how the wind was picking up slowed their escape. But in a split second he broke into a run towards them.

‘Yahiko!!’ Tsubame gasped with a smile. Behind her, she knew their astonished faces. But she wasn’t afraid of what was going to happen. ‘I’m not Yahiko’s weakness…’

“HAAAAAAAA!!!” Yahiko let the sword fly, the mighty swing coming directly at her. The impact got her right in the chest, vibrating through and hitting Yuji as well. The two of them shaking with pain, Yuji let her go and started to numbly fall. But Yahiko wasn’t finished there – still lifted on the ground, he reversed the weight on sword and spun around, attacking him from behind; blood came spraying from his mouth. Yahiko landed on one knee, panting. “It’s over!!”

“That’s… what… you … think…” Yuji uttered, still managing to stand. All of a sudden, he collapsed into the grass, still shaking with pain. “Damn… it… all…” With that, he passed out.

Miyako tried to get away, but was surrounded by her brother and his friends. “Where do you think you’re going??”

Yahiko stared down at Tsubame, “Daijoubu?” he asked softly, brushing away some dirt off her face.

“Iie… I hurt all over… I think I might’ve bruised some ribs… and I can’t move…”

He bowed his head somberly. ”Gomen na…”

She shook her head happily. “There’s no need to apologize… datte… I love you.” she explained, “Because of Yahiko-kun, I’m able to handle the pain. I knew you wouldn’t let me die… I trust you with my life…”

“Just like how you wouldn’t let me.” he replied, holding up the shinai she had brought him, “Tsubame… arigatou. Your love and courage made me strong, made me be able to do what I did.” He then smiled and took her hand, whispering, “Tsubame… ore … I love you too.”

Tsubame could taste blood, as her lip was bleeding. She could also taste the earth around her. But she knew wasn’t dead, even though she had sworn that if she ever heard those words she would’ve died. With that shining smile peering down at her, she knew all the pain was worth.

“Yahiko… mou ichi dou… give me one more good attack…onegai…”

”Heh?? You want me to hit you again?” he gasped.

”Hai… so I know I’m not dreaming…”

Shaking his head, he sighed at her, “Baka na.” He then lifted her up in his arms and pressed a kiss on her check, “Not right now, okay? But if this is a dream… I don’t want to wake up…”

She nodded, giggling into his shoulder. “Atashi mo… Yahiko-kun… atashi mo…”

* * *
Kenshin arrived at the dojo. The doors were wide open and the place looked sacked from the police who had searched the premise. Walking inside, he figured that Hidaka would come looking for him, so it didn’t really matter where he went. He’d rather battle him on his own turf. And perhaps when it was over, he could just go lie down and rest in his own room. All the same, he wanted to get this over with.

It seemed he didn’t have to wait long. As he was finished only a single cup of sake, he heard the gate open and close. Turning slightly, he bowed his head at the guest. “Hidaka… care to join me for some sake?” he asked politely.

“You know I didn’t chase you down for a cup of sake.” Hidaka uttered, “I’ve been looking for you for the past eleven years… to finish this!!”

“Finish what?” Kenshin asked, putting the cup aside and leaping off the walkway, slipping into his sandals. “We never even started anything… and you didn’t have to chase me down. I’ve been here for the last three years or so.”

“Don’t play around with me! You know what I’m talking about!” Hidaka exclaimed, “I’m tired of living in your shadow… I wanted to be the ‘Battousai’… and having heard what you’ve been up to for the last couple years, you don’t deserve to be the Battousai. I should’ve been the one!!”

Kenshin sighed. “If that’s all you’ve ever wanted, then you can take the title… I don’t care for it anyhow. I don’t see why a man should be honored for killing people. Shikashi…” He reached for his sakabatou and stepped forward, hair falling into his angry eyes. “When you threaten my wife and child, that’s something I cannot allow.”

”I wanted to get your attention!” Hidaka exclaimed, “It’s the only way you’d fight me, right??”

“You really want my title, don’t you? Well, come and get it!!”

Hidaka smiled and charged at him, drawing his swords. The two clashed, Kenshin blocking both with his sakabatou and saya. He then thrust forward, sending Hidaka flying back. Hidaka regained his footing and stared at him. ‘Even after all these years… he’s still strong! Still!! He isn’t the Battousai I knew – I can beat him!!’

“HAAAAA!!” he yelled, charging him again. This time, Kenshin disappeared from sight, and appeared behind him. He was so fast that his movements were gone. But Hidaka was expecting a move like that and attempted to attack him with his back turned. The swords stabbed at air, for Kenshin leaped up high in the air, preparing his ‘Ryu Tsui Sen’. Hidaka lifted his sword in time to counter it, he and Kenshin clashing in midair.

“Chikuso… I should’ve known a bastard like you should know me so well.” Kenshin chuckled, grinning at his old comrade.

“Sou yo! I’ve watched you since the first time we met! And so badly, I wanted to be as strong as you… even though, I knew I probably never could, I had try!!” Hidaka said. He slid back to allow Kenshin to fall back to the ground. Kenshin landed softly on his sandals and readied a stance. “No matter what, I won’t let you go this time!!”

Kenshin bowed his head. “I have no intention of running away.” He then broke into a run, his blade still sheathed. “I will teach you to this final lesson!”

“And what lesson is that??!” Hidaka asked, going to meet him. The unsheathing was swift, but Hidaka was able to dodge it. And when Kenshin tried to follow up with his saya, Hidaka blocked it with his sword, slicing right through it. “I’ve trained hard for the last twenty years to see what it was like to battle the Battousai, I think I deserve know what this lesson is that you could possibly teach me!”

“It’s simple...but I can’t tell you yet.” Kenshin replied, as he kicked one of the swords out of his hands to even the odds.

Their blades clashed at every assault. And any hit was a miss, as Hidaka crushed the laundry basin and also part of the gate. Kenshin slid the sakabatou down the worn sword and watched him struggle to regain its balance. But Kenshin got him right in the hands, an aching cry coming from him. “GUUUAAA!!!” And yet, he wouldn’t let go of the blade. “It’s not over yet!! I’ve waited too long for this!!”

“You look tired. And that sword appears to be at its final use. Are you sure you want to go on?” Kenshin replied, “I’d much prefer drinking sake with you and talking about old times… than fight you, old friend.”

“If you don’t fight me, I’ll kill your wife! I swear I will!!” Hidaka snapped.

Kenshin’s brow darkened. “You leave me no choice.” Without another thought, he charged him, this time using the nine-hitter, Kuzu Ryu Sen, something that Hidaka had never seen. Even after taking the hit, he still remained standing, but with a face of shock. Kenshin then readied another attack. “If you threaten the one I love most, I can’t go easy on you… even if you are my friend. I’ll answer to any attack, and I won’t stop until you promise to leave my family alone.”

”Why don’t you just kill me?” Hidaka sighed, falling to his knees, “I’ve wasted my life hunting you down, envying you… wanting your title, your family and skill… just kill me, Battousai.”

”Baka, you really did waste your time.” Kenshin replied, tapping him on the head with the sakabatou dull side. “Daga, you’ve also trained well… you’re a very skilled swordsman. We need people like you in this era. I may not be the Battousai fighting for freedom anymore… demo, I fight to protect people in need and people I care about. Your life doesn’t have to end here, Hidaka.”

”Sou da…” he uttered, “Let me think a bit more… whether or not I want live…”

Kenshin then smiled. “Let’s think about it over sake de gozaru!”

* * *
At the police station, Ishida was gazing out the window, feeling quite pleased with himself. Already, someone from the Kamiya dojo had confessed to being Nightsword and General Yamagata was even there to commemorate him on another successful case. ‘I’ll get my promotion for sure!’

Just then the door opened and someone his officers came in. “Chief, the General will see you now… shikashi, there seems to be a problem. Some students of Maekawa dojo claim that the serial killer, Nightsword, has been captured and requesting us to send some officers over to arrest him.”

”Bull! We have the Nightsword already!” Ishida grumbled, turning towards them, “You go there and silence them. Don’t let the General know anything about it this. I’ll be up there to meet him in just a bit…”

”I don’t think you’ll be able to make it.” replied a voice. Everyone turned and saw Kaoru, sitting on his desk, glancing through a folder, “Datte, when I’m done with you, you won’t be able to move.”

”How’d she get in here?!” Ishida exclaimed angrily, “Shut the door! All of you get her now!!”

Kaoru stood on the desk, drawing her shinai. Grinning, she kicked some papers at them to stagger their assault. She then leaped at them, letting out a battle cry. “HAAAAAAAA!!!” The next moment, there were officers and furniture flying everywhere. “Maa maa, where’s the impressive kenjutsu I heard the Metropolitan katana police had. Come by the dojo for a free lesson, ne?” she sighed at the unconscious cops lying on the floor.

“Stop right there!” Ishida snapped, taking out his gun and aiming at her, “You little bitch will ruin everything!”

She smiled at him and turned slightly. “Wakkata. That’s why I’m here. And I don’t intend on leaving without my students. They’re my responsibility and I can’t allow anything to happen to them.”

“I’ll make sure you and all your students are all locked up – if not you, dead!” he yelled, his hand on the trigger, “DIE!!!”

But as he shot the gun, Kaoru leaped up, the bullet hitting a vase. She flipped over the desk and jabbed him in the chest, the gun falling from his hands. “Kamiya Kasshin Ryu - Makinukemen!" She landed in front of him, holding out her shinai as he clutched his chest, “What’s the matter? All your men are down and it’s just you and me. Draw your sword and let’s fight like real swordsmen.”

Glaring at her, he reached to his side compartment. But the shinai went loose and struck him in the hand. He let out a cry and cradled his trembling fingers. “What the hell?!”

”Too slow.” she replied, “Demo, you should’ve drawn your sword instead of trying to get that spare gun in there.”

”So cocky and full of it.” he grumbled, “You’ve come to ruin me, haven’t you?! Hmp, well I’ve worked to hard to get where I am.”

Kaoru held the pointed end to his throat. “Taking advantage of people to get your position. I know it all too well. Ishida… until now, I’ve been afraid of you. Since that day that you brought me in here and gave me the beating of my life to silence me… I was ashamed of my weakness and my naivety. I was a foolish and brash girl, who was deceived by the police… an institution that should be protecting the people.”

”You still are very foolish and brash. Otherwise, you wouldn’t be in this police station, trying to assault the head chief.”

She nodded. “I might be still cocky in my thinking and I might still be easily deceived by others… demo… what you’ve done to people, I’m here to stop it right now. Now draw your sword!!”

Ishida finally decided to give her want she wanted, his hand moving to the hilt. But as the blade became visible, Kaoru took no time waiting, but broke out into attack, the multiple hits sending him flying against the window. Glass flying everywhere, he would have fell out but she grabbed him by the collar and held him to her face.

“This is how it feels to have someone else holding your life. I could let go and let you fall onto that street below, feeling a resolve to all my suffering… demo… I’m not like you. And I want you to live with this shame of being defeated by this lowly dojo girl.”

“You… bitch…” he hissed, “I’ll have you put away and locked up! You’ll never see your baby or husband ever again! Where I’ll put you, you’ll be in Hell!!”

“Already been there.” she replied with a smile, “And I have much better things to do with my time, like taking care of my family.”

At the door, Kuma, Hachi, and Yamagata were standing, having seen and heard as much. The two cops had got to Yamagata first and filled him in with the information they had gathered about Ishida’s secret conduct. There were special guards there to take Ishida away. “It’s good I found out.” Yamagata uttered, “I’ll have to have the old chief of police transferred back here. Seems there was an illegal dealing with that transfer too.”

”There were lots of illegal dealings.” Kuma sighed, “But we lucked out by tracing them and also getting enough written accounts from victims. His eyes moved to the Kaoru, who was sitting on the desk. “Kaoru-chan, arigatou.”

”For now,” Hachi chimed, “Let’s get some officers over to that field and arrest the real serial killer!! YO- SHI!!”

As the cops rushed out the door and Ishida was taken away. Kaoru let out a deep breath. Her school was cleared, her students released. The killer was about to be captured. Ishida was stopped. She felt relief and resolve, the grave look on her face disappearing. “Maa, I guess it’s time to move on from it. Somehow we all survive ne?” she said cheerfully.

Yamagata grinned towards her and bowed. “Omai wa… you’re a special type of woman. Even though you came in here and attacked a handful of armed police officers, I can’t help but feel admiration for you. Himura-san is a very lucky man.”

”Iie, I’m the lucky one.” she replied, “I’m the one getting away with attacking police officers. I was arrested for doing that five years ago. Demo, I assure you, I won’t be doing anything like that for a long while… unless provoked.”

Yamagata chuckled at her response, shaking his head with a sigh. “Please, don’t lose that spirit… soushite, give Himura-san my regards.” Kaoru respectfully bowed her head low and for a very long time. He walked past her, uttering, “Your father would be proud of you.”

”I know.” she uttered, her head still bowed. Smiling, she closed her eyes. ‘Otou-san…’

* * *
Yahiko and Tsubame arrived to see Kenshin having sake with someone. “Eh? This is a guy who’s been sending you threat notes??” Yahiko stammered, a little confused. “Jaa… Kenshin, why are you…?!”

“Sessha-tachi are old comrades de gozaru yo.” Kenshin explained as Hidaka finished his fifth bottle, “We’re just reminiscing of old times de gozaru.” He paused to blink a little. “Oro? No more drink de gozaru?”

”Cheh, it can’t be helped!” Hidaka sighed, “Maa maa, I guess I better give up and go home then. Daga, I really freaked you out with those threat notes, didn’t I, Himura??”

Kenshin let out a laugh. “You really did scare me, you bastard! Then again, you were already the prankster. Hehehe, next time, I’ll f--king get you back good. Ahahah!”

Tsubame tugged at Yahiko’s sleeve. “It’s strange hearing Kenshin-san switch back and forth in his speech. It’s ‘sessha’ one minute, ‘ore’ the other.”

”Tell me about it.” he sighed, “Most likely it’d be when he’s with Kaoru, and she gives him a good smacking about. Tonikaku, let’s get dinner started. Something tells me Megumi and Sanosuke would be getting here soon with the baby… and Kaoru too. Wherever she went.”

”Hai!” she replied, cheerfully going to follow him to the kitchen, “Then we’ve got to clean up, because this place has gotten a bit messy. Mou, I hope someone punish those cops for doing such terrible things to the dojo.”

”Heki heki. Something tells me that the police will be apologizing to us in no time. I mean, we did capture the real serial killer. And according to that officer, all the students were released. Things will be different for now on, I hope.”

”I hope so too.” Tsubame sighed. She paused to see that Yahiko had put on Kaoru’s frilly apron. Unable to help herself, she fell over laughing at him.

“NANI!?!” he snapped, growling at her.

Kenshin went to see his friend off at the gate. Hidaka suddenly laughed, “The funny thing is… I really didn’t come to Tokyo to find you. I didn’t even know you were here, baka na. Actually, I heard that my son was living here… you see, during my travels in search of you, I fell in love with this country girl. Daga, I was an idiot and left her to continue my training. A couple years later, I hear she had my baby and died somewhere. I just wanted to meet him once. Demo…”

Kenshin put his hand on his shoulder. “Did you find him?”

“Iie… demo, I hear that he’s fine swordsman. That he’s training at Maekawa dojo. Heh, maybe your wife knows him. I don’t have to meet him; I’m just glad he didn’t turn out like me.” he sighed, “Maa maa, it’s time to go. Like you said, I have to start over my life. And maybe I’ll make some good out of it.” He then waved his hand. “Sayonara, old friend!”

“Sayonara.” Kenshin uttered, watching him walk away, ‘Until next time…’

* * *
Kaoru arrived an hour or so later. She had run into Genzai-sensei and his granddaughters, who strangely had her baby. “Yaa, Megumi-kun came by the clinic and dropped him off.” Genzai explained as the girls ran off ahead of them.

”I-Is anything wrong with him??” she gasped as they walked through the gate. She didn’t not notice Kenshin’s run towards them, him tripping on a rock and landing at her feet. “Is my baby okay?!”

The old man laughed at her frantic face. “Daijoubu! Nothing’s wrong with him at all! They just wanted me to look after him.” he said as he handed her the infant, “He probably misses you and cried a bunch when you were gone.”

“Gomen nasai!” she replied, cradling the happy baby. Already, he was grabbing for her breasts. “Mou!! Dame yo!! Stop acting impatient like your father! I’ll feed you in a second!” she playfully scolded him.

”Oro…!” Kenshin sighed, lifting his painful hand as she was stepping on his head. “K-Koi…shii…!!” Fortunately, Genzai helped him off the ground. “Jaa… where did Megumi-dono and Sano go??”

Genzai rubbed his head and blushed. “Actually, they’ve… eloped.”

”EEEEEH?!!?” Kenshin and Kaoru exclaimed in shock.

“I was a bit surprised at first too… demo, I think it’s all for the best!”

“Honto ni!” Kaoru noted, “Even if it sounds a bit sudden - I’m happy for the both of them!”

Kenshin nodded, going to put his arm around her waist. “Aa, yokkata de gozaru.” Meanwhile, Yahiko and Tsubame were calling them. With that, they headed for the house, where dinner was waiting.

* * *
A week or so passed. Kaoru received a letter from Megumi saying that they were on a honeymoon and should be returning in a few days. She read the letter in the lamplight, as Kenshin got ready for sleep. “Looks like they’re having a good time. I’m glad they finally worked things out.”

”Aa, and Sano was so sure she’d never marry him.” Kenshin chuckled, as he went to lie down, “It just shows that you can’t give up on the one you love.”

”Hai hai…” Kaoru replied, leaning over him and kissing him a few times, “The baby is already sleep and so should you. Now is the time for you to rest ne? I want you to recover and be back to strength for the next time someone thinks they want to kill me.”

”Eheheh, I don’t think you need me to protect you sometimes. Even so, it’s my pleasure.” he replied, enjoying the massage she was giving to his shoulders, “Koishii, whatever you want me to do… ”

”I want you to rest.” she giggled in his ear, before getting up and staring down at him with mischief. “I’ll be with you in a little bit. I’ve got to lock up and everything. Oyasumi nasai!” Sighing, he watched as she blew out the light and left the room.

But that little bit of time turned into an hour. Kenshin began to wonder… and worry. ‘Hmm, what happened??’ Getting up, he realized that the baby was suddenly away too. Carrying him, Kenshin left the room in search of his wife. Outside the moon was shining orange and the leaves were covering the ground. He walked through the courtyard and stepped into the dojo. He saw her sitting in the moonlit corner, holding a shinai.

“Oro…” he uttered, making her lift her head. “What are you doing in here? It’s much too cold and dark…”

”Gomen ne.” she replied, her blue eyes sparkling, “Tomorrow classes resume … I guess I’m too excited to sleep.”

He smiled and walked across the dojo, towards her. Everything had been returned to them from the police and she with Yahiko’s help had polished everything. Her eyes were focused on her nametag on the wall. Kenshin stopped right in front of her and put his hand on the side of her face.

“Kaoru, you know I can’t sleep without you near… soushite the baby can’t sleep without you, either.” he said softly, “You too must rest...”

She silently agreed, getting up off the floor and taking his hand. Huddled close together, the three of them walked out the dojo and back to the room, finally going to sleep.

* * * * * * *
Ending Theme: Everlasting Love

Now, be my love
All I have, I want to give them to you
Tell me you’ll protect me forever
Promise me an everlasting love

Don’t turn around from me, hiding your love
It’s too early to worry about your future (I love you…)
I don’t want you to be better
With love like this, I’m happy

Always stay by my side
Only to you, I want to give my dreams
Listen, the only one that’ll ever be in my heart…
Only you

The path we’ll have to walk together, it might be hard
But you’ll have my trust
Now do you understand how I feel?
With all my heart, I love you…

Always stay by my side
Only to you, I want to give my dreams
Listen, the only one that’ll ever be in my heart…
Only you

Look into my eyes
With your hugs, I’m happier than anybody
When time pass, until the day we close our eyes, with your love
Be with me…

* * * * * * *


minna-sama, please wait for the next fic: 'quiet rest'. sore jaa \(^o^)/
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