Something To Return To -Part 2 Rurouni Kenshin was created by Watsuki Nobuhiro; all rights reserved to Shueisha JUMP, Sony, & Anime Works
Jill would like to say that she has terrible grammer. Just gone over and corrected this and MOU!! Can't spell for the life of me!! Does anyone want to be a 'proff-reader'? (Misspelled it ne?) MOU!!!!! 10/14/00

Something To Return To
Part 2

Meiji 16
Kenshin and Kaoru accepted Sayo’s offer and soon there were classes being held at the dojo everyday. A couple days later, after class, Sayo and Kaoru were looking at the children’s work. “There’s lots of improvement over such a short time.” Sayo said, “Being able to watch it - that’s wonderful part of teaching.”

Kaoru frowned. “That’s what I miss… teaching at this dojo.”

“Kaoru-san, you’ll be able to teach again. It’s only until you have the baby, right? Anyway, this only means your happiness will be even greater.”

“You’re absolutely right. Both Kenshin and I are hoping for a girl. That way, we can have Kenji learn his Hiten Mitsurugi Ryu, and she could learn my Kamiya Kasshin Ryu. Plus, I’ve always wanted a girl.” she said, then added timidly, “Ano, Sayo-san, Kenshin and I were wondering if you’d like to stay for dinner.”

“I’m sorry, I can’t today. My fiancé is taking me out.”


“Oh, he should be waiting outside.”

Sayo picked up her things and hurried out the door. Sanosuke and Kenshin were sitting around, wondering where the carriage had come from. “Oi, Kenshin, have one of your politician friends come to visit?”

“Oro, Sano, you still have a thing against the government, don’t you?”

“Of course I do! It’s a f--ked up government!”

“Bye everyone!” Sayo said, walking past them and into the carriage, “See you tomorrow!”

Sanosuke rubbed his eyes. “The carriage is for her?” he gasped.

Kaoru appeared at his elbow. “Yes, it is. It seems her fiancé is really well off.”

“F-fiancé? That little wench has a prissy fiancé??”

Kenshin asked, “So she isn’t going to stay for dinner? I was going to make my special sukiyaki.”

Sanosuke lifted his head. “Aaa?? You were going to make sukiyaki for that…!!!” Kaoru clobbered him before he could finish. “Ow! That hurt! Son of a…!”

“Kaoru,” Kenshin cut in, “I was wondering…since Hiten Mitsurugi is completely unusable and the sakabatou has been given away, not to mention I have time on my hands again…is it possible for you to…”

Kaoru lifted her head. “You want to learn Kamiya Kasshin Ryu?” she cried. He nodded, somewhat alarmed now by her enthusiasm. “Kenshin, you want me to teach you???” she uttered, teary eyed.


Sanosuke elbowed him. “Oi, oi, Kenshin, prepare for hell.” Kaoru clobbered him again. “Ow! Aren’t you supposed to be motherly?!” She ignored him and went to look for Kenji. “Kuso, women these days…”

* * *
The next morning, Tsubame stopped by the dojo. She was all grown up, wearing a pink kimono with butterflies. Seeing Sanosuke, she became very overjoyed. “Sanosuke-san! You’ve returned!”

“Nice to see you, Tsubame-chan. It’s too bad Yahiko is gone. It would have been fun to pester the boy again.”

“It was very sad when Yahiko-kun left. In fact he broke up with me.”

“He did what?!” Sanosuke exploded with rage. “THAT ASSHOLE! I’LL KILL HIM!”

“P-please calm down, Sanosuke-san.” Tsubame pleaded, “I just came by to drop off something for Kenshin-san and Kaoru-san. Please don’t make a commotion.”

But it was too late. Sanosuke was in a violent rampage, cursing nonstop. Kenshin and Kaoru came running from the dojo to see what was up. “Oro? What happened?” Kenshin asked, looking frantic, “Tsubame-dono?”

Tsubame replied, “I’m terribly sorry for the intrusion but I have a gift from Tae-san.” She dug in her sleeve and took out four passes. “These are tickets to the new play in town. She wants you two to go.”

“Tae-san is so wonderful!” Kaoru said, “I haven’t been out in a while. Kenshin, you have to wear that western suit Misao-chan sent you.” Kenshin just dropped his head in defeat. Kaoru was thinking out loud. “Hm… but there’s two extra… Ah, I know! We can ask Sayo-san and her fiancé to come.”

Sanosuke mumbled, “Forget about the fiancé, let’s hunt down that Yahiko. Come on, Kenshin, he took your sakabatou and who knows if he’ll ever return.”

Kenshin scratched his head. “But Yahiko’s already an adult. And I have to worry about my own schooling.” He was wearing a white training hakama with a towel around his neck. He had spent the whole morning trying to hold the wooden sword properly. Since he was little, he wasn’t good at it. “I’m so used to a sword…” he muttered.

Kaoru pointed at him. “It’s no wonder, you learned it all backwards! Bokken first! Sword later!” She paused to note, “Come to think of it, I don’t believe Yahiko was even ready for a sword. What was the big idea giving him the sakabatou anyway? I thought for sure you’d give it to Kenji.”

Sanosuke whispered, “Maybe that’s why he hates you.”

Kaoru lifted her head. “I think Sayo-san is here! I’ll go greet her at the gate. Excuse me…” she said, running off, “Kenshin, keep practicing!”

Kenshin sighed, “Sano, I knew it. Kenji really does hate me.”

Sanosuke nodded. “You sure he’s even yours?” At this, Kenshin and Tsubame went pale.

The three turned to see Kenji walking from the bathroom. The ‘miniature-sized Kenshin’ tripped on his sandal and fell over with big swirly eyes. “Oroooooo…”

Sanosuke turned back to see Tsubame and Kenshin still in panic. “Aa, it’s just a joke! Of course he’s your son!” he laughed. As they sighed in relief, Sanosuke squinted his eyes, 'Hm... maybe it is possible that Jou-chan could've fooled around but it's hardly likely. She's too smitten for Kenshin. She wouldn't let anyone else...' He started chuckling to himself.

Kaoru swatted him from behind. "What the heck is so funny?! What are you thinking?!"

Sayo sighed, "Please don't make him say it out loud. I'm sure its something vile and nasty coming from such a ruffian." Sanosuke glared at her, while being restrained by Kenshin and Tsubame.

* * *
While class was in session, Kenshin practiced outside. Sanosuke was off to the side, gnawing on a fish bone. “Take it easy. You’re retired, remember.”

Kenshin uttered, “I might not be going from battle to battle anymore, but I still have important people to protect. I have to use whatever means possible. ”

“Kuso! This is what you consider ‘settling down’? Just don’t overdo yourself. It’ll just worry Jou-chan and the others.” Sanosuke replied. Kenshin nodded and gulped down a glass of water. “But your swing has gotten better. Still a bit off-balance.”

“Maybe you’d like to practice with him.” Kaoru said, from behind, “I’m not able to, but it would be nice if there was someone Kenshin train with.”

“M-me??” Sanosuke gasped, “But the only sword I know is a zanbatou!”

“Figures." she sighed, "Kenshin, I’ve set a dummy over by that tree for you swing at. And you need to make your swings more higher and centered.” She poured him another glass of water, “Oh, and Sayo said she would love to come. Plus, Tsubame-chan has agreed to baby-sit Kenji for the night.”

Sanosuke crossed his arms. “Oi, what about me? I’m going to still be here.”

Kenshin laughed, “We trust you, Sano… just not that much.”

“What was that, smart ass!” he growled, picking Kenshin up by the collar.

“Cut that out, Sanosuke!” Kaoru exclaimed, prying the two apart, “The children are trying to learn!”

“Actually, class is already over.” Sayo said walking over. She paused to examine the situation. Kaoru had Sanosuke in a headlock. “My, what’s going on here?”

Kenshin cleared his throat, “They’re just having fun. So, Sayo-dono, you and your fiancé will be coming along with us tonight?”

She smiled. “Yes, of course! Ah, there he is!” She rushed off to the carriage on the street and walked up to the window. She was speaking with her fiancé but no one could see him.

“I wanna look at this prince charming.” Sanosuke muttered as he and Kaoru strained to peer into the window.

Meanwhile, Kenshin was practicing on the dummy. He stopped to see Kenji, surrounded by classmates. One of them knocked him down into the dirt and left him there. Kenshin hurried over to his son. “Kenji, daijoubu de gozaru ka?”

Kenji pushed him away. “Leave me alone.”

Hearing those words, Kenshin’s face saddened. He took out his handkerchief and wiped the side of his son’s face. Kenji pushed his hand away and ran off. “Kenji…” he uttered as he picked up his bokken.

* * *
“What do you mean he can’t come?” Kaoru gasped, as Sayo had walked back from the carriage and told them the news. The carriage had left, without even a glimpse of the fiancé at all.

“I’m sorry, Kaoru-san, but he has to work late again. You see, he’s doctor at the hospital in the city. He has lots of patients.” Sayo explained.

The word ‘doctor’ made Sanosuke cringe. The image of the fox lady smacked him in the face. “YAMERO!!! LEAVE ME ALONE!!!”

“What ever is the matter with him?” Sayo gasped.

“Beats me.” Kaoru replied, “But more importantly, what are we to do with that extra ticket?” The two of them stared at each other, then stared at Sanosuke. That broke them out of their spell. “Maybe Tae-san can come…”

“Yes, or maybe Kenshin-san has other friends...”

Sanosuke waved his fists in the air. “Oi, oi! What about me?!” he exclaimed, “I know you’re all just want to f--king eat without me!”

Kaoru glared at him. “Is all you think about is food??”

He patted her stomach. “Well, same shit goes for you, dammit!”

Sayo rubbed her eyes. “If we agree to let him come, will he stop the profanity??”

And so it was decided that Sanosuke could come, however he needed to take a bath and find suitable clothing to wear; both of these being very difficult tasks. “Oi! I took a bath last week! And what’s wrong with the clothes I’m wearing??” he pouted.

Kaoru crossed her arms. “You smell like a horse and you look like a sea pirate!! Look, if you aren’t ready in two hours, we’re going without you!”

“What? Two hours?!” he cried, “That’s won’t be enough time!!” The two women proceeded towards the house. “Oi! Aren’t you even going to help me!? Jou-chaaan!!!”

Sayo sighed and turned back towards him. “If you really don’t have anything… “ she started to say. She paused to look him over. She reached over and pulled at his clothes.

“OI! Just what the hell are you doing?!” Sanosuke cried, turning all red.

She glared at him. “I’m just measuring. Just as I thought… you’re about the same size as my fiancé. I’m sure he has an extra dinner coat lying around.”

“Oh…” he uttered, calming down, “Will it be okay if I used it.”

She nodded. “I’ll go get it. Just stay put, okay?” She then left, carrying her things with her. Sanosuke frowned. Was she trying to be nice to him?

Kaoru noted, “You know, you really over-reacted.”

“I can’t help it! I’m shy!” he argued.

* * *
An hour and half later, Sayo returned with the dinner coat. “It’s one he doesn’t use anymore. I’m sure you’ll be able to keep it too. There you go; it’s a perfect fit!”

Sanosuke had tried it on. It was perfect. He had taken a swim in the river, so that horse smell was gone. Sayo was now pulling at his sleeves. “What are you doing now??” he questioned.

“Just removing the wrinkles. Relax will you?” she told him, “You’re acting like a child!”

He was going to argue, but Kenshin came walking out, looking embarrassed. He was wearing a blue western suit and looked absolutely red in the face. Sanosuke tried so hard to muffle his laughter, but it escaped in full volume. “Sano…” Kenshin muttered, resentful.

Kaoru, wearing her finest maternity kimono, crossed her arms. “I don’t see what’s so funny. I think Kenshin looks very handsome.”

“But Kaoru…” Kenshin uttered, “Can’t I just wear my hakama? Onegai?”

She dropped her head. “You don’t like it?”

“No, it’s not that. I’m just not used to it yet. How about I wear the polo and tie, with my nice gi and hakama, huh?”
(jill: "like Soujirou-san! SIGH!!! Okay, back to the story...")

Kenshin was pleading. Kaoru reluctantly nodded and he rushed back inside to change. Kenji climbed onto her lap and hugged her. “Mommie, where you going? Can I come?”

“Sorry, Kenji, it’s just me and Dad tonight. You get to hang out with Tsubame-chan.”

“Oh, but…” Kenji sounded hurt, but at the sound of Tsubame’s name he cheered up, “Will she stay the whole time? Until what time??”

Sanosuke glared at the kid. “He has this thing for women doesn’t he? What a little player…”

Kenshin stepped out, more relaxed. “Oro, that’s so much better. Let’s get going.” He turned to Tsubame. “Take good care of Kenji.”

“Yes, Kenshin-san.” she said, smiling towards Kenji, “We’ll be all right. Won’t we?”

Kaoru hugged her son and kissed him on the forehead. “Don’t cause Tsubame-chan any trouble, okay? Be a good boy!”

Kenji nodded and returned the kiss. He looked over to Kenshin, who gave a him a peculiar smile. Reluctantly, he walked up to him. Kenshin patted him on the head. “Have fun. Don’t stay up too late.” He said. Kenji nodded obediently then ran up to Tsubame.

Kenshin let out a sigh. It was so cold and unfeeling. It wasn’t the warmth that child showed to his parent. Kaoru had taken his arm and tucked hers around it. “Let’s go.” Her warm smile made him forget his woes and he nodded with loving eyes. Kaoru turned towards Sanosuke, “Ne, you better behave yourself tonight!”

“Oi! What’s that suppose to mean?!” he yelled after them. His eye caught Sayo laughing at him. “OI! YOU TOO?!”

* * *
Throughout the play, Sanosuke kept yawning. He couldn’t help it. Theater wasn’t his biggest interest. At times he poked at Kenshin and make some obscene comment, causing everyone around to hush them and Kaoru to give them 'the look of death'. “But it’s boring…” he muttered.

“Nothing boring about it.” Sayo had said, “If you watch closely, the two main characters are in love with each other, but they can’t tell their feelings. So they go on as if nothing is happening.”

“Heh, really. Sounds like someone I know…” Sanosuke grinned, towards his friends. Kaoru turned red, as Kenshin had taken her hand into his. They shared a brief dokidoki moment, then turned back to the play. Sanosuke also turned back just in time to see the ending. The two main characters were confessing at long last. ‘Finally!’ he chuckled to himself.

Afterwards, the four of them walked along the street. They felt hungry so they decided to go into a restaurant for dinner. “The Akabeko most definitely!” Kaoru chimed, dragging Kenshin along.

“Oro, I hope Tae-dono doesn’t ask me to work there again.”

“Maybe she’ll ask Sanosuke to.”

The two leered over Sanosuke who glared at them. “What the hell for?!” he snarled, “Let’s just go and eat! I’m starved!”

Sayo giggled, “Looks like somebody gets cranky when he’s hungry.”

“Not the up-tight priss too! Quit making fun of me! I’m starving!”

So they all went to Akebeko and Tae gave them their usual table. She was very impressed by Sanosuke’s wardrobe. “And who might this girl be, Sanosuke-han? Hm???”

“She’s just someone who’s been teaching at the dojo.” he muttered.

Sayo bowed her head. “Hajimemashite, Amakusa Sayo desu. I’m a school teacher for children.”

“Aa, sou ka. That’s why Ken-han was able to quit his job. I’m glad that things are okay at the dojo and thank you, Sayo-han, for helping them out. I’ve been so worried.” She eyed Sanosuke over. “You know, that brute over there can be nice if he wants too. Don’t misjudge him at first glance.”

Sayo’s face was vexed. “Uh, yes of course.” Sanosuke blinked. She had misjudged him at first glance, when they had first met. She had been rude, but he was equally as rude. He could tell that she felt bad about it. He had to admit that he did too.

“Mou, Kenshin!” Kaoru uttered, picking up her napkin, “You’ve got sauce all over. Come here.” She took his face in one hand and proceeded to wipe the sides of his mouth with the other. Sanosuke, Tae, and Sayo broke into giggles. “Ne? What is it?”

Sayo noted, “It’s just that the two of you are so cute together. It seems like it’s natural, that it’s so right.”

“Oro…” Kenshin’s face was bright red.

“I hope some day Shouzo and I will be that way.” she uttered. Sanosuke noticed a slight look of sadness pass through her face. But thought he had imagined it. It was good as gone in a minute.

* * *
On the way home, Sanosuke and Sayo straggled behind the married couple. “It’s better to give them some space.” Sanosuke uttered, “I bet with the kid and all, it must be rough. In the old days, those two barely had a moment alone. But then, we all left and finally…” He stopped to watch Kenshin put his arm around Kaoru, another dokidoki moment shared.

“Why exactly did you leave?” Sayo asked.

“Had some… issues. I was running because of something I had done that, after thinking about it, shouldn’t had done. It’s six years later… at least I had something to return to.”

Sayo fell silent. Then she suddenly said, “Running away isn’t the best solution. I know. All too well.” Sanosuke blinked. What was this all about? He looked at her in the lamplight. She looked so sad. But why? She stopped walking and tried to smile. “But I too had something to return to.”

“You mean that Shouzo guy?” he asked, “The guy you’re marrying?”

“Yes.” she uttered, “Even after I left for to try to become a nun.”

Sanosuke lifted his head. ‘EH? NUN?’ He thought of those religious old women in penguin suits he had seen on his voyages. Someone had told them what they were. Nuns. Christian women who were married to the church. He stared at her with wide eyes. ‘HER?’

Sayo continued, “But a single event changed my mind. While I was studying in London, I met a certain ‘ruffian’ who called me arrogant and stuck-up. It was then that I realized that someone like me couldn’t possibly become a nun; that I was only selfishly thinking about myself. That was when I decided that I should try ‘giving’ for a change.”

“Is that why you became a school-teacher?” he asked. She nodded quietly. He suddenly became lost for words. He turned away and stammered, “Hey… back then, what I said… I didn’t really mean to wreck your dream. I guess I was kind of a ‘ruffian’.”

“Not at all. You saved my life and I didn’t utter a word of ‘thanks’. I’m really sorry for my rudeness.”

“But, what about your necklace? I was a jerk not to give it back to you.”

“Oh that? It was my mother’s keepsake. She passed away when I was little.” Sayo uttered. She lifted her head with a slight smile. “But, it’s all right. Don’t feel bad. I mean, it’s all forgotten about.”

Sanosuke stopped walking and stared at the ground. Sayo had caught up to the others. Kenshin turned around. “Sano!” he called, “What are you doing? We’re almost home.”

“Oh, right… “ he said, running up to them.

* * *
The carriage was waiting at the dojo to pick Sayo up. Shouzo came out and they were able to see him for the first time. He was tall, muscular, and good-looking, wearing a western suit. He had short black hair and dark eyes. He bowed towards them and introduced himself.

“Thank you for taking care of Sayo-san for me. I apologize for not being able to attend. Next time we shall all go together." He paused to look at the man standing beside his fiancee. "Is that… my dinner coat?”

Sanosuke straighten up. “Yeah… Sayo said I could keep it. If that’s all right with you.”

“I think it suit you well. Go ahead it’s yours.” Shouzo then turned to Kaoru, “Are you expecting, miss? Congratulations!”

“Arigato gozaimasu.” she uttered, uneasily. Kenshin sensed something wasn’t right. But Kaoru quickly put on a smile and the strange feeling came and left.

“Good night everyone!” Sayo said, leaving in the carriage with Shouzo.

“What a cute guy.” Tsubame uttered, her face red. Everyone turned towards her. “O-oh… it’s nothing. Kenji-chan wanted to wait for you to return, but he fell asleep.” She handed the sleeping child to his father. “You can tuck him in, Kenshin-san.”

Kenshin nodded, in high spirits to be able to hold his child without him pushing him away. Kaoru turned Tsubame, “Arigato. Here’s the usual payment.” Tsubame nodded and accepted the envelope. “After Kenshin puts Kenji to bed, he can walk you home…”

“No, I’ll be fine on my own.”

“You sure?” Kaoru was aware that Tsubame was so used to being walked home by Yahiko. ‘Yahiko, how could you leave her?’ She didn’t want to mention his name, but she felt that Tsubame wanted to talk about him. “Daijoubu,” she said, putting her hand on her shoulder, “Surely someday… he’ll come back to you.” Tsubame smiled slightly. Then she left, walking down the dark path alone.

After locking the gate and blowing out all the lights, Kaoru went to go peer into Kenji’s room. Kenshin pulled the covers over his son, then sat back and watched him for a bit. Kaoru went over and hugged him from behind. “He looks just like you. Handsome, ne?” Kenshin turned back and stole a kiss, then got up from the floor. They blew out the light and left the room.

Still in the dinner coat, Sanosuke sat in his room. After a moment of just sitting, he pulled his duffel bag over and started digging until he found what he was looking for. He held the necklace up to his face and stared at it. Sighing, he leaned his head back against the wall and dropped his hand.

‘A single event can change your life.’

Back to Part 1
Onto Part 3