Rurouni Kenshin was created by Watsuki Nobuhiro; Shueisha JUMP, Sony, & Anime Works all rights reserved
This story takes place some time after the end of vol 28 (the end of the manga). But it's as if none of the support characters left. Personally I didn't want Sano to leave. Please enjou; it's one of my better romantic pieces. Jill originally posted - 9/19/00 (4/1)new url! & its SESSHA!!!

No Reason At All
Part 1 - "The Start Of A Journey"

The Kenshin-gumi trekked through the forest, following a small trail. They had started their journey that morning; it was already late afternoon. While Sanosuke complained about his stomach growling, Kenshin rubbed his head sorely. ‘She just had to come, didn't she?’ he thought, looking up to stare at the back of Kaoru’s head. ‘Doushite… couldn’t you have stayed behind…?’

* * *
“You’re human, you know that!” she had yelled at him the previous night. She had barged into his room and yanked him out of bed, waking him with a slap to the face, “What am I supposed to do?! Wait at home and worry my mind off whether or not you were getting yourself killed again?!”

Kenshin blinked at her angry face. It was so full of energy and life. Ever since the chief of police had stopped by that afternoon and asked him for his help, she had said little and done little. It was as if she was saving all her strength in yelling and slapping him at that moment. He smiled at her enthusiasm and held her arms still. “Kaoru-dono, listen to me. There’s no need to worry. I’ll have Sanosuke and Yahiko with me.”

She gave him an unaffected glare. “Oh sure…take Yahiko along. Is he really that more reliable than me?” At this, Kenshin released her. If she needed to slap him again, he would allow it. As long as it meant she would get this out of her system and that she would agree to stay behind. But there was a fiery look in her eyes that told him it wasn’t going to be that easy.

“Kaoru-dono,” he uttered in his most soothing voice. But even that had no effect. Kaoru shoved Kenshin away from her, his head bumping the floor. “Orororo…”

“Don’t ‘Kaoru-dono’ me!” she yelled, “I’m coming and that’s final!” She then stormed out, slamming the door shut.

* * *
Back on the trail, Yahiko led the way, his bokken hung around his shoulder and his knapsack at hand. Sanosuke walked along side Kenshin at the rear of the party. His eyes moved up to the girl in front of them, dressed in gi and hakama. Her ponytail lacked a ribbon today, which only meant one thing…she had come to fight.

“You’re going to allow this?” he asked his friend.

The redhead samurai dropped his head and sighed. Sanosuke was very aware of the hot-blooded tension between the two. According to Yahiko, Kenshin and Kaoru hadn’t been speaking to each other since yesterday, but in the middle of the night he swore he heard yelling. And low and behold, Kaoru was up and ready to go with them in the morning. ‘Seems like Jou-chan had her way.’ Sanosuke grinned and chuckled under his breath, “You just can’t win with women…”

* * *
It was extremely chilly that evening. They were much too far from the next village and much too tired to go any further. Sanosuke built a fire and then examined the map by the light. “We’ll be able to make it there by tomorrow morning. Saa, looks like we have to camp out tonight.”

Kenshin worriedly looked towards Kaoru. “Will this be okay?” he asked, “Sessha thinks it’s only an hour away to the next village. Can’t we possibly just go on a little bit de gozaru?”

Kaoru settled herself by the campfire. “I think we should stop here. Yahiko looks like he might collapse.”

The boy lifted his head and sneered at his teacher. But it was true; he was exhausted and he sure didn’t want to go anymore. Yahiko at last shrugged. “Busu’s right. Let’s just stop. It’s no problem. Us guys are used to sleeping in the woods.”

“Demo…” Kenshin still was staring at the girl. “Kaoru-dono isn’t. It’s much too cold to stay out.”

“Daijoubu.” Kaoru insisted, digging through her knapsack. “I packed blankets. Everyone gets one!”

Yahiko’s face brightened. “You’re the best in Nippon!”

As everyone curled around the campfire in their blankets and fell asleep, Kenshin sat at a distance, his back against a tree and his sakabatou close to his hand. He continued his watchful vigil over Kaoru. Even though they each had a blanket, he could tell it wasn’t enough for her. Under the cloth, he could tell that her petite form was shivering. At last, he couldn’t take it anymore, and swiftly rushed over, placing his blanket over her, then retreating quietly back to his spot on the edge of camp.

‘I should have made her stay behind. This is too much for her.’ he thought, resting his sakabatou against his shoulder, ‘The journey…the climates…even worse, if we ever ran into a battle, shessa wouldn’t be able to protect her then. Just like all those times…’

His mind dug up various memories where he had failed her; starting with her abduction by Jin E by the riverside. Then the time sea pirates hijacked their boat and injured her in the shoulder. Lastly, he remembered Enishi’s Jinchuu. How he told her to flee the scene, but she refused to leave his side.

‘Too stubborn. Too reckless.’ he murmured, ‘If only she knew how I felt when I failed her. When I raced into the dojo only to see her bloody corpse stabbed to the wall…a cross scar on her cheek. How afterwards I gave up on living, just because I thought she was gone forever. But it was a mirage; a terrible dream I almost didn’t wake from. One thing is for sure, I will never ever let that nightmare come true.’

Kenshin suddenly felt quick pressure on his shoulders. His violet eyes popped open and he realized that his blanket was again on him. Kaoru stood over him, curled up in her own blanket. “I packed one each for everyone, you might as well use it.” she scolded.

“Shessa doesn’t need it, but appreciates Kaoru-dono’s unnecessary concern de gozaru yo.”

“Dame.” she uttered, sounding tired of his polite and humble speech, “I want you to have it.”

He consented silently and wrapped himself in the blanket. He then uttered in a low voice, “The town up ahead has a seaport. Sessha thinks you should find a boat going back to Tokyo. It’s for your own good, Kaoru-dono.”

“No, I’m not going home! I’m staying with you!” she arguing, not caring if she woke the others up. “Kenshin, what are you afraid of?”

He responded inwardly. ‘Lots of things.’ The scene where Kaoru ran right in front of him as Gein lifted his gun to shoot – it all resembled too much of when Tomoe had ran in the way during battle, her being slashed from both sides. Kenshin bit his lip. He couldn’t bear the idea that Kaoru could have been killed in the same way, or worse, her being shot to death. He trembled at the thought.

Kaoru seemed to know what he was thinking, one of her hidden special gifts. She rested her hands on his shoulders, this time not forcefully or briefly, but gentle and lingering. “I won’t die, Kenshin.” He blinked and turned his head towards her. Her face was determined. “Everyone I love is here with me, with the exception of my Otou-san and Okaa-san.”


She smiled, her most sweetest smile. “I have no reason to die.”

Kenshin stared lovingly at her. ‘Too stubborn…too optimistic…too naïve.’ Her innocence only made him want to protect her even more. But he knew he had limits. He knew he couldn’t always be there.

He moved away from her grasp, leaving Kaoru disappointed. ‘He’s always like this. Just when I’m opening up to him, he turns suddenly cold and distant.’ She straightened up, trying to keep her dignity. “We better get some rest if we want to have any strength to move tomorrow. Good night.”

Kenshin didn’t respond or watch her return to her spot. He clutched his blanket lightly and fixated on the image of her sweet smile inside his mind. ‘Somehow…I have to convince her to go back home.’

Onto Part 2