what happens now - finale rurouni kenshin's creator is watsuki nobuhirou-sensei (c) shueisha JUMP, sony, fuji TV, anime works
notes: remember this takes place towards the end of volume 28. also, please excuse the excessive cussing; Chou is in this chapter. also, i love having fun with the misao&aoshi pairing (a&m fans do not be offended, i like them too, just i laugh at almost everything) jill 6/3/1

What Happens Now

Kenshin woke up with a jolt. It was sometime in the morning, but the sun hadn’t risen. Sitting up in his futon, he gazed over at his roommate, asleep in her own futon not far from his. Crawling to her side, he studied her face, the peaceful expression, the bit of drool on her lip. She kept muttering about cake. Tucking her in the blanket, he touched her cheek ever so softly.

“Kaoru, this is something I have to finish once and for all… I’ll come back to give you my answer… I promise, so please wait for me.”

She simply replied, “Mmm… seconds, onegai…”

Chuckling he leaned over and kissed away the drool, savoring her one last time. He then left, just as the sun rose. ‘This battle determines everything…’

* * *
When Kaoru woke, she heard chatter in the room. Her vision focused and she saw four faces surrounding her. “Minna… ohayou…” she yawned, getting up and rubbing her eyes, “I must’ve overslept.”

”Sou ne!” Misao chimed, excitedly taking her friend by the shoulders, “What we all wanna know is – did you stay together here with Himura – all night?!”

“H-Hai… demo, where is…?”

“YOSSHA!” Sanosuke cried happily, “I won the bet! I actually won for once! YATTAZE!”

Megumi glared at him, “You didn’t win anything.”

“That’s right, I won!” Misao exclaimed, “So pay up, Fox Bitch!”


Kaoru blinked. “What bet?”

“Jotto! Let’s not be hasty!” Megumi argued, totally ignoring her, “Misao-chan, are you sure you won at all? I mean, if Ken-san and this Tanuki actually went through with it, then where is Ken-san? Hm??”

Yahiko chuckled, “I say he turned heel and ran off somewhere. Heheheh!” Kaoru simply clobbered him into the wall. “OI! TEME BUSU!”

“Mou! I’d like to know what’s going on and where the heck is Kenshin!” she demanded, looking quite scary.

Aoshi was standing off to the side. “You and Battousai did do it, didn’t you? That’s what they were betting, as sickly as it is.”

Kaoru turned to the others. “How dare you bet such a thing! What goes on between Kenshin and me is personal! I can’t believe you guys – making this whole big deal over whether or not we slept together! What kind of friends are you?!”

They just stared at her, as if waiting. Sanosuke then blurted out, “But you’re not a virgin anymore, right?”

“BAKA!” she exclaimed, throwing him across the room, “OF COURSE I STILL AM!”

Megumi started her evil laughter, “Ara, I was right! Ken-san is too smart to waste his time with this tomboy. Seems you lose, silly Weasel girl! So pay me now! OHOHOHO~!”

”NANI?!” Misao exclaimed, waving her fists, “That’s not the deal! I said if they had a ‘romantic evening’ and an exange of feelings! I didn’t mention any of the nasty stuff you and the Tori Atama were talking about!”

Aoshi stepped in. “The more you two talk about it – the more obvious is the tension between you two. Might as well get married and get it over with.”

Megumi slapped him across the face. “Iresai! What kind of nonsense are you implying, Ki-sama!?”

Misao took out her knives. “KORA! How dare you strike my Aoshi-sama!! Let’s take this outside! Right now! You and me, Fox Bitch!”


Kaoru, getting a headache, slipped out of the room and walked outside, ‘Kenshin, where are you?’

* * *
Kenshin was sitting somewhere, finishing up his letter. ‘Kaoru should be awake by now. I wonder how she’s taking it. It’s not like I’ve left for good… well, I might just die, but that’s besides the point…’

Gazing up at the sky, he remembered how long it took her to fall asleep. After tickling her for over a half hour, she was so tired she could barely talk. And he couldn’t believe he had touched her in so many places. He wanted someone to punish him for doing such pleasing things. But the way she looked at him, even his bloody crimes were washed away.

“Ne, Kenshin, how about a massage? I can give you a good one like Genzai-sensei’s. He taught me how.”

He went red and started to protest, “Kaoru-dono, dame…!” But she had already crawled over, her hands moving to his shoulders. Within seconds, she started work her magic. “Ooooooh…” he sighed, collapsing under her touch, “Arigatou, Genzai-sensei~!”

“Yokkata ne? Jaa, if you let me stay in your room more often, I’ll give you a massage every night. Of course I’m sure Misao-chan wouldn’t complain being roommates with Aoshi-san. It’d be her dream come true!”

“Tabun, Yahiko would have some problem.” he replied, rolling over. Lying on his back, he gazed up at her, blushing. “Sessha mo… men and women shouldn’t sleep together, er, in the same room together… warui de gozaru yo…”

Suddenly, her fingers moved to his scar. “Ara, I’ve never looked at it so up close before. It’s really deep, ne? Just a bit more to the right and you would have gotten cut in the eye. And this area still looks a bit tender, even after all these years…”

”Aaa!” he gasped, gazing at up her in surprise. At the touch of her fingertips, he nearly fainted. “Ugly de gozaru na…”

“Iie, sou ja nai.” she replied, her hands cupping his face, “It’s a part of you and I love everything about you.”

“Kaoru-dono…” he uttered. They were so close; both of them were shaking with nervousness. As he moved up to close the gap, Kaoru suddenly let go of him and moved away. “Oro? What’s wrong?” She silently turned around and lowered her robe a little, making her back visible. Kenshin’s eyes widened. “W-Where did you get scars and bruises from?”

“Training and some accidents… I don’t really have a beautiful body.” Kaoru sighed. She then escaped into her blanket and pulled it over her head, her voice becoming muffled. “I feel bad for my future husband; he’d have to look at me everyday. Maybe if I was more feminine … demo, I can’t go back and change things.”

“Sessha finds you to be very attractive de gozaru.” Kenshin replied, going towards her, “Shikashi… Kaoru-dono’s future husband de gozaru? W-who did you have in mind?”

“Dewa, it most certainly can’t be you, because you said you don’t want to get married ever again.”

“Ahaha, did Sessha really say that? Demo, if Kaoru-dono were to bring home a man, Sessha would have to beat the shit out of him. Sessha can’t stand the thought of any other man touching Kaoru-dono.”

“Mou! That’s not fair!” she exclaimed, “You say I can’t have any lovers at all, including yourself?!”

“Hai de gozaru!” he blurted out. He then mentally kicked himself in the shins. ‘Do you really want her to be unhappy, Baka! Demo… I can’t…’

The mound under the blankets uttered timidly, “Kenshin, if you don’t want me to, I won’t have any lovers… demo… is it all right if… if we stay up the whole night?”

Kenshin smiled and pulled the blanket away. “Aa, we can,” he told her, touching her soft cheek, “Daga, aren’t you tired yet?”

”Iie,” she replied, hugging him, “I’ll never get tired of you. Datte, Kenshin… AI – SHITE – RU~!”

And so, the night went on and on. Kenshin must’ve only had one hour’s sleep. Thinking about their endless night, he fell off the log he was sitting on. ‘Oro... let’s hurry up this battle so I can go home… to her.’

* * *
Soon it was afternoon and hunger was burning in everyone’s stomachs. “Chikuso, Kenshin’s not here to cook and there’s like nothing to eat anyways!” Sanosuke complained, lying on the floor, “Who has money – let’s go out!”

“A-ra~! The weasel girl will treat us, since she owes me a ton!” Megumi noted, “She should pay for Aoshi-san and my date tonight! Ohohohohoh!”

Misao lifted her head. “NAN DE?! LIKE HELL!” she cried, flinching, “MOU, ITAI!” She was covered with bandages from their latest catfight. “Kono fox bitch and her claws… you stay away from my Aoshi-sama or next time I’ll…!”

Aoshi firmly held her still. “Misao, if you continue to move like that, it’ll hurt more. Please try to calm down.”

“Datte! Kono kitsune ga… hidoi yo! Aoshi-sama, how can you let her flirt with you!”

He gazed at her nervously. “M-Misao, chigaimasu. There is no flirting going on.”

”Usou! I know flirting when I see it! And you’ve got make her stop! You’re my fiancé so…” She paused to notice the wide-eyed looks turning her way, “Nani? Oh! If you all didn’t know already, Aoshi-sama and I are secretly engaged!”

Everyone face-faulted onto the ground. “W-we are?” Aoshi uttered, still monotone, but sweaty-faced.

Misao walked over and hovered over him, nodding. “Sou yo! I overheard you and Jiya talking about my marriage arrangements. I understand you wanted to keep it secret, demo I can’t let it go like this! I have to let the world know!”

Yahiko and Sanosuke were busy trying to muffle their chuckling, as Megumi decided to go along with the charade. “Aoshi-san, is this true?? Are you… you leaving me to marry this weasel-girl?!”

Aoshi sweat-beaded. He hadn’t a clue what was going on. “Ore wa…” He looked over at the anxious Misao, then at the tearful Megumi. “Ore wa…” He kept looking back and forth, trying to figure out which answer they wanted him to give. “I’m not Misao’s fiancé.”

“EH?!” Misao gasped, “Demo! I heard you two say…!”

”You misunderstand.” he replied, “We were planning your marriage arrangements with another ninja group. This alliance would help the Oniiwabanshuu gain support in protecting Kyoto and other cities. We were hoping to introduce you sometime later in the year. Daga, not soon, because you’d react like…”

”AOSHI-SAMAA!” she yelled, tearfully waving her fists in the air, “How could you do this to me?!”

“…Like that.” he uttered, still expressionless.

Crying, Misao clobbered Megumi and the others and ran into the house, right past Kaoru. “Eh? Doushita no??” Kaoru stammered, looking back and forth. “Misao-chan… minna… eto… anyone wants lunch??” The pile of bruised people groaned. Aoshi just stood unfazed.

* * *
Meanwhile, at the police station, an ex-Shinsengumi was having his afternoon cigarette when his door went flying opening. “Don’t you ever thought about knocking?” he hissed, glaring towards the door.

Chou shook his broom-top head and grinned. “Gomen dammit~! Was jus delivering ya a fucking message! Some shitty wannabe downdastairs told me to giv it to yas! Heere yoos go, and don’t I get a fucking ‘thank you’?”

Saitou examined the note. “Hm… it's from the Battousai. I recognize this damn ugly handwriting anywhere... Shikashi he wants to challenge me for a duel. How very interesting.”

”Sou ya!” Chou noted, “Weren’t that fucking Jinchuu thing just ended a week ago? I mean, he’s still on the fucking injured and recovery list if ya ask me! Waz his problem anyways?”

“Hmp, I don’t know, and I don’t care. As long as I get to kill him good.”

”Aahaha!” the broom boy chimed, “Honkii da yo! Kill that fucking rurouni good~!”

Saitou flinched and gazed out the window. ‘Rurouni… hmp, or that’s what he calls himself… what fun is it to kill a rurouni. Will I be guaranteed the same battle from 10 years ago, or…?’

“Yo, you ain’t looking so good.” Chou said, walking over, “You nervous or sumtin? Naa, Saitou!”

The cop just singed the broom with his cigarette. “Iresai. I have no time talking to you about it. Go get some work done before I hurl you out the window!”

”ITAI!!” Chou cried, still trying to put out the flames in her hair, “TEME! What’s the big fucking idea?! I’ll go to work but yoos gotta calm down! CHEH!” He then ran out of the room screaming.

Saitou shook his head and sighed. He then turned back to gaze outside. “Battousai… are you really prepared to meet this challenge… and throw away everything?”

* * *
Kaoru stood outside the room with a tray full of food. “Ano, Misao-chan?” she called, “I’m coming in.” Walking inside, she saw that the girl was lying on the floor, sobbing into her knapsack. “M-Misao-chan…”

“Aoshi-sama, you’re so cruel!” Misao sighed, “Doushite?! Why do you always try to push me away!”

Kaoru put down the food and sat by her friend. “I heard what’s going on. Aoshi-san really feels bad about hurting your feelings, Misao-chan, demo you can’t blame him for not being able to show his feelings. He really does care for you. For what other reason does he takes care of you and protects you?”

”What are you saying?!” Misao snapped, “I don’t want him to do those things – I’m not a child anymore! H-He just doesn’t want to be with me… I’m not his type at all. I’m not even close to anything that he wants…”

“Misao-chan…” Kaoru uttered, frowning. She really didn’t know what to say. She knew exactly how she was feeling and wanted to start crying too. Clenching her fists, she shook her head. “Don’t talk like that! It’s not very useful at all!”

“D-Demo… it’s the truth ne?”

“You don’t know that. I’ll try to speak with Aoshi-san… and see his side of the story. It really can’t be that terrible. I mean, you two go well together. I really want to hope for the best.”

Misao nodded. “I guess you’re right. And being sad isn’t going to do me any good. I’m so hungry. Arigatou, Kaoru-san.”

”Iie, it’s no problem.” Kaoru replied as her friend turned towards the tray. She smiled then headed out the door, thinking about what she should do. ‘Yoshi! I’ve got to talk to Aoshi-san… demo, how in the heck am I supposed to do that??’

After a while, she came up with an idea. Going into the kitchen, she made some hot tea and wandered to the other side of the house. Outside Kenshin’s room, Aoshi was sitting, gazing into oblivion. Kaoru figured she should try her luck. “A-Ano… Aoshi-san…” At the sound of her shaky voice, he even didn’t move or acknowledge her presence. “Eto, would you like some tea? C-could we drink together?”

There was a long pause. Sweat beads rolled down her face. ‘How in the world does Misao like this guy? He’s like a stone statue!’ Finally, since she didn’t go away and kept waving the tempting tea in his face, Aoshi turned his head slightly. ‘If I wasn’t doing this favor to Misao and if he wasn’t a friend of Kenshin’s, I’d clobber this guy!’

“… nan de?” he suddenly ask, not looking her, “Why do you want to have tea with me?”

Kaoru’s face went red. ‘Mou! If this is some kind of a dirty joke…!’

He continued, “Does it have something to do with Misao? You’re worried about her as a friend… that’s why you want to talk with me and see if she still has a chance.”

She slowly nodded her head, going to put the tray down. He then gestured her to sit. “Misao-chan was very upset. She’s starting to think that you don’t care at all about her… which is false ne?”

Aoshi was gazing into his cup. “Maa… so what if it wasn’t?”

“Misao-chan will love you regardless.” she replied.

”Sou da…” he uttered, “That’s one of the things about her that I admire. Shikashi, Misao has trouble realizing the whole picture, that some things are not as simple as they seem.”

Kaoru crossed her arms. “Are you talking about the giant age gap?? You know that doesn’t matter to her! And… it doesn’t matter to me either! Misao may be much younger than you, but that doesn’t mean her heart isn’t matured! You’ve got to give her a chance!” Aoshi finally gave her eye content. The attention made Kaoru embarrassed, since she had burst out yelling. “G-Gomen…”

“Iya, it’s just the same words I told Battousai. Daga, it doesn’t look like he followed my advice so soundly.” he uttered, “Don’t misunderstand. I don’t care about the age gap either. I can’t help but notice what a remarkable woman she’s grown up to be. It’s just the rest of the world makes it more difficult, other people’s demands and ideals… we really couldn’t survive in this kind of a world.”

”Aoshi-san…” she replied, “You’ve got to give it at least a try. I know you think by turning her away would be best for her, but what’s best for Misao-chan is being happy – and the only way that can be is if she’s with the one she loves. And that person is you, and will always be you.”

Aoshi didn’t respond. He just sipped his tea quietly. Then, after finishing, he placed the cup back on the tray. “Arigatou for the tea. I think I’ll go talk to Misao now…”

He then got up and walked off. Kaoru’s head tilted to the side. ‘I really don’t get this person…’

* * *
Later, Kaoru was locking up the house. Standing at the entrance, she took one final look at the empty road. ‘Kenshin… it’s already been one whole day without you. There’s an ache in my heart when you’re not near me…’

Sighing, she walked back towards the house, wanting to change into her evening ware and go to sleep, hoping to dream of Kenshin. But as she neared the door to her room, she heard some strange noises. ‘Eh?? Nani kore??’ Peering inside, she nearly screamed. ‘Masaka! Aoshi-san and Misao-chan??!’

“Oooh… Aoshi-sama… d-dame yo… sou na… aa!”

Kaoru’s face went red. ‘I guess they’ve finally decided to settle things… just do they have to settle it in MY room on MY futon?!’

Behind her were footsteps. “Kaoru, what’s goin on??” yawned a sleepy looking Yahiko. “I heard a crashing noise or something… it woke me up…”

She quickly turned and blocked the door. “Iya, bezuni!” she cried, taking him by the shoulders and dragging him along. “Nee, if you don’t feel sleepy I can make you a snack…”

“Yamero!” he gasped, “Don’t go near the kitchen! I’m going to sleep right now!! Just don’t make anything!” He then broke away from her and ran off.

Kaoru slowly turned back towards the closed doors of her room. ‘Mou… now what am I supposed to do?’

* * *
Elsewhere, Kenshin was settled on a giant rock, gazing at his pocket-watch. He had written that the meeting time would be midnight. He frowned a little, as Saitou was half an hour late. ‘Let’s get this over with…’

But as he waited and waited, he couldn’t but think about the girl at home waiting for him. ‘She’s probably worried… I mean, I didn’t come home at all and I disappeared without saying anything. I wonder if she’s sleeping already. I wonder what it’d be like to be next to her… it’s so cold out here. Battling Saitou or being with Kaoru… this question is so easy, daga… why the hell am I here??’

This he answered himself. Saitou and him never really finished their rivalry and needed to find some conclusion. That way, he could finally get on with his life and stop thinking about the Bakumatsu or anything of the past. But he and Saitou had worked together lately and become somewhat friends. Yet, Saitou was the same Shinsengumi from then, but he wasn’t the same Battousai.

‘I’ve changed…’ he thought, hiding his arms into his gi, because of the cold, ‘I don’t want battles or atonement… all I want is…’

* * *
The sun barely up, Sanosuke stood outside Megumi’s house, tossing some dice in his hand. She tried to ignore the man outside her door for the last hour, but finally gave up and opened her door, glaring at her. “We had a rough night as is with that Daigoro-teme escaping and causing a ruckus, so what do you want?”

He grinned at the disheveled, sleepy fox in front of him. “Heh, thought I might even the odds. Let’s make one more bet then call it a quits.”

“Hmm? What are you getting at?”

“The more I think about it – with you holding those two ninja’s money, they can’t go back to Kyoto anytime soon. I’d like to get the weasel out of my hair and also win some money back.”

Megumi had a laugh mixed with a yawned. “Ara, do you really think you can beat me? I’m the one with the winning streak, and so far it’s been a 'no contest'. Forget about it. I dislike taking money from simpletons.”

“Jotto!” he cried, before she could escape into her room, “I know all about you moving away… and let me tell you, it’s a big mistake if it’s over Kenshin. We need you here, Megumi. It won’t be the same without you!” She turned slightly, not saying anything. “Megumi, I mean it… and I’ve been doing some thinking… about what Aoshi said…”

”Hmmm, what did that statue say?? Something like ‘society is damned’?”

“Chigao.” Sanosuke said, his face serious, “About… you know, marriage…”

Megumi just stopped and stared at him. After a moment, she started to laugh. “OHOHOHOHO!”

“W-What’s so funny?!”

“Anta… you said that you’re thinking about… marriage?! Ohohohoho! Omoshirou ne!” she laughed so hard it hurt, “Dare?? With whom, may I ask??”

“With you, Baka yarou!”

She stopped laughing and crossed her arms. He was completely serious. “Hmmm… let’s have that game of dice after all. If I win, I keep the money. And if you win, we get married.” Sanosuke’s mouth dropped open. She just took him by the sleeve and dragged him inside. “Saa, let’s get started!”

* * *
Kenshin blinked his eyes. He must’ve been awake all night. Two nights in a row without sleep wasn’t healthy. Sighing, he saw that the sun was rising. He had been stood up. ‘Saitou… I can’t believe you didn’t show… why do I feel slightly relieved?’

Suddenly, he heard some footsteps in the grass. Turning around, he saw Chou. “Yo Battousai~! Saitou sent me to bring ya a message!”

“Oro? Why didn’t he come himself?”

“Datte… he was freakin’ out last night that he didn’t want to come see ya. I mean he smoked through five packs, sugoi na! Tonikaku, he didn’t come ‘cause he didn’t see any fucking point to it all. I mean, you guys are getting old and shit, do you really want to be fighting all the time over some fucking thang that happened like ten years ago. Like hell anyways… I just came to tall ya all that.”

”Arigatou de gozaru.” Kenshin replied, rubbing his head, “Tell him, Sessha is very grateful to know him.”

“Heh, don’t make me some fucking messenger boy. I did my job – now it’s my vacation. Chikuso, I’m going for the breakfast special! Matta na!” Chou replied, picking his nose as he turned and walked away.

Kenshin jumped from the rock, a burden lifted for his chest. Deciding to go home, he felt nervous to see Kaoru’s reaction of him not being home this whole time, he practiced his approaches. ‘Gomen… Suman! Iya, Kaoru… koishi… I-I… I love…’

“Yo!” said a cheerful voice behind him. Kenshin fell over onto the ground, oroing. Sanosuke grinned down at him. “Heh, Kenshin, you on your way home?? Did you hook up with some woman??”

”ORO!” Kenshin cried frantically, “Iyaa! Chigao de gozaru yo! I-is that what Kaoru-dono thinks!?”

“Maybe. We were all talking yesterday and figured you went to ‘finish some unfinished business’. Jou-chan looked very interested when I suggested you went looking for your ex-girlfriends and checking if you had any illegitimate children before you could settle down.”

”NANI?! Sessha doesn’t… or sessha doesn’t know if he has… DEMO! That’s beside the point! Sessha has to go home and quickly explain everything!” he exclaimed, ready to run off.

Sanosuke grabbed him by the arm, handing him a bundle of cash. “Give this to the weasel girl while you’re at it. It’s her and Aoshi’s fare back to Kyoto.”

”Sano, you won their money back from Megumi-dono?”

”Aa, shikashi I’m kind of… sort or… secretly engaged. Don’t tell anyone though.” he said with a wink. Confused, Kenshin slowly nodded his head, then broke into a run. Sanosuke sighed and fell over, gazing up at the sunny sky, “Megumi…”

"Aaa, love~!" said another voice. Sanosuke turned his head and saw the lovesick Daigoro also lying on the grass. Screaming, he got up and ran away. "Ojou-sama... I'm coming home~!" Daigoro chimed.

* * *
When Kenshin got back, he saw that Kaoru wasn’t in her room, but a couple underneath the blankets. ‘ORO!? What happened here?!’ Blushing, he quickly left the room.

Looking around the house, he finally found her in one of the guest rooms, still wearing kimono from yesterday. She had been sewing, still kneeling with the robe on her lap, her head down in slumber.

“Kaoru-dono,” he called, walking up to her with a warm smile. “You’ll catch cold if you fall asleep like that.”

”Kenshin…” she uttered, waking at the sound of his voice. Turning her head, she couldn’t speak or move; she was just so happy to see him and know that he was all right.

“Tadaima de gozaru.” he said softly, coming closer.

“Okaeri nasai.” she uttered as he knelt down in front of her.

He put the robe aside and touched her hand. Hers was ice cold from being up in that room all night, whereas his was warm from the sunlight. Frowning a little, he noted, “Sorry for worrying you.”

She frantically shook her head. “I’m not at all upset. Whatever the reason why you were gone, I don’t care. As long as you’re all right… and you’re here…I…”

Before she could say anything else, he pulled her into a hug. “Still, I’m sorry… sorry I made you wait for my answer.”

”Kenshin… you know I’ll wait forever for you. You don’t have to answer me now if you don’t want to…”

”Iya, I want to… I want to be with you, Kaoru. Aishiteru, Kaoru!” he exclaimed. At those words, Kaoru’s eyes filled with tears. She threw her arms around his neck and kissed him with all the passion she had. Kenshin responded quickly, his hold tightening around her and guiding her down to the tatami mat.

Suddenly the door slid open. “Erhem.” Aoshi uttered, wearing kimono. Kenshin and Kaoru stopped what they were doing and looked towards him. “Sumimasen… kedo, there’s no breakfast.”

”OH!” Kaoru gasped, red-faced as she pushed Kenshin off of her, “I-I’ll go make something right away! Gomen nasai! Please wait a little bit for breakfast!”

Aoshi noted, “Looks like you settled your business, Battousai.”

”Aa,” Kenshin replied, “I don’t know if I received a compliment or a second chance… demo I’m glad for it… This way I can be with her.” He turned out the door and gazed after Kaoru as she ran towards the kitchen. ‘My woman…’


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