Rurouni Kenshin was created by Watsuki Nobuhirou; all rights reserved to Shuiesha JUMP, Sony, & Anime Works
Took time out from studying to finish part 4. Heh, hope you're enjoying the story thus far. Just a reminder, the title was previously "When Sano Met Sayo" but I've decided to change it because of the progression of the storyline. Feel free to send me your comments. Jill 10/14/00

Something To Return To
Part 4

After getting some rest, Kaoru got up and peered outside. It was somewhat late in the afternoon when she noticed that Kenshin’s absence had left her cold. From the door, she watched him train vigorously with the bokken, trying to concentrate in his swings. Sanosuke was sitting not far, eating breakfast. She could see Kenji playing with a paper ball by the woodshed. Sighing, she sat next to Sanosuke and picked off his plate.

“Oi, Jou-chan. Get any rest?”

“Kind of.” she muttered. She couldn’t believe they had spent the entire night talking. She couldn’t believe all the things she remembered. Her head hurt and she felt sore all over. Being in her sixth month, things were getting rough. Sanosuke seemed to understand that she wasn’t feeling well and fetched her a pillow and poured her a cup of tea. “Arigato.”

“Don’t mention it…” He paused to look over at Kenji, whose ball had rolled over to Kenshin. Kenji stopped and looked at his father, who had picked it up and smiled at him. The boy blinked at him, trying to decide on what he should. Slowly he went over to retrieve the ball.

Kenshin looked into his son’s eyes. ‘It’s understandable that he can’t forgive me… I wasn’t there to protect them… but that doesn’t mean I wouldn’t have… please, please… believe me.’ Kenji broke away from the gaze, snatching the ball from his hands. Kenshin put his bokken aside and put his hand on his shoulder. “Kenji, maybe after I train, we can play together?”

“… don’t you have other things to do?” Kenji muttered.

“No, I’d rather spend time with you if that’s all right.”


Kenshin blinked. ‘Why?’ Kenji’s face pouted. ‘Stubborn, just like his mother.’ Kenshin chuckled, sensing Kenji’s confusion. Knowing all about his past and knowing that he had let him down, Kenji still couldn’t hate him, couldn’t hold it against him as much as he was trying. Kenshin could see past those defying blue eyes, those eyes his mother had given him. ‘He’s trying to fight his feelings. But everything shows. Now if only he’d stop fighting me.’

“Ne, Kenshin,” Kaoru and Sanosuke were behind them. Kaoru held out two fishing rods. “I was wondering if you could go catch dinner and possibly teach Kenji how to fish.” Kenshin blinked his eyes. It was a clever idea. He had wanted to make up an excuse to spend time with Kenji, and this was perfect. Smiling, he accepted the fishing rods. Kaoru knelt down to Kenji. “Why don’t we go get ready while Dad finishes up his training?”

“Okay, Mommie.” Kenji uttered, looking from her to Kenshin with worry. Kaoru took him by the hand and led him towards the house.

Sanosuke turned to Kenshin. “Well, this is it. Your one chance to get your son to love you again.”

”Nope.” he chuckled, swinging the bokken cheerfully, “I know he already does.”

* * *
After doing his daily 100 swing exercise, Kenshin went inside the room to change. As he was looking around for a clean gi, the door opened and closed. He turned around and saw Kaoru. “Ano… Kenshin…”

”What is it?” he asked, getting up from the pile of clothes.

”Are you going to be all right? I mean, you and Kenji hardly are ever on your own…”

Kenshin walked over to her, putting a hand to the side of her face. “Just like you… Kenji’s blue eyes tell the truth. I’ll be able to read him now that I know the reasons behind his feelings. I’ll make him understand how much I love him, how much I’d protect him if I had the ability to.”

Kaoru smiled. “Like how you made me understand?”

“Oro…” he uttered, as she rested her hands on his bare chest. He found himself tumbling backwards onto the unmade futon. Chuckling, he tried to restrain her. “Maybe now’s not the good time. Sano and Kenji are just outside.”

She sighed into his shoulder. ”Kenshin… you’re not actually thinking about going after that yakusa, are you?” she asked, “It’s been over a year. They might not remember. Even more so, it won’t bring back our baby…”

“I know… But all I’m sure about is that I want to take care of you and Kenji, even if it means pushing myself a bit harder. I’ll keep on training. I’ll protect those I love with everything I have.” He paused to rub her stomach. “Especially this little one. I’ll make sure she’s safe from any harm.”

Kaoru’s eyes lit up. “Perhaps we can ask Megumi-san to come and…”

“YAMERO!!!” Sanosuke burst into the room, his eyes slant and face red. Behind him, Kenji and Sayo were looking confused. Kenshin and Kaoru sat up in alarm as he stormed inside, cursing, “YOU CAN’T! Don’t ask that FOX to come!!”

”Why not?” Kaoru asked, “She did deliver my first baby… she’s helped a lot in the past.” She grinned slyly. “Sanosuke, is there any peculiar reason you don’t want her to come? Hm??”

As Sanosuke began cursing again, Sayo rubbed her head nervously, “Ano… I’m sorry if we interrupted something…” Kaoru and Kenshin turned red, seeing that the situation was so obvious.

“Ne, Kenshin! Put on a shirt!”

“Well, I was looking for something until…”

Sayo cringed. “I think I’ll come back later…”

“No, no! Matte!” Kaoru cried, running to her and dragging her outside the room, “What is it you needed? I mean, today there’s no classes right?”

”Yes, I just wanted to drop off the payment for the month.” she said, giving an envelope.

“You don’t know how much this means to us.” Kaoru said, bowing her head, “Arigato gozaimasu!” Sayo smiled, nodding her head. Kaoru then turned back to the room. “So it’s decided? I’ll ask Megumi-san to come!”

Sanosuke sighed and dropped onto the floor. Kenshin had caught his eye. “What?” Kenshin simply yanked the gi he was sitting on from under him, Sanosuke falling backwards onto the futon. “Kuso…”

* * *
Later, after Kenshin had finished getting dressed, he prepared to set out. Kaoru said, “Take care of yourself and bring home a fish, okay?” He smiled and nodded. She then narrowed her eyes towards Sanosuke, who sighed and looked away. He glanced back briefly to see the two sharing a kiss, turning away with a chuckle before Kaoru could catch him.

Sanosuke saw Kenji emerge from the house. By now, the couple had finished their dokidoki moment and was pretending that there was something in Kenshin’s eye. “Mommie, why can’t you come…?” Kenji sighed, pulling her sleeve.

Kaoru knelt down to him. “Now, it’s better if you go with your father. Stay with him and don’t go running off okay? Oh, and have fun.” she said and kissed him on the forehead.

“Well, let’s go.” Kenshin slowly took Kenji’s hand and the two of them walked off.

Sanosuke turned towards Kaoru. “Aren’t you worried?” She shook her head, walking back into the house. He continued to gaze off after Kenshin. ‘Ganbarou…’

“Sanosuke,” Sayo was still there. His attention moved to her. “About earlier… who exactly was that person Kaoru-san was talking about?”

”Her name is Takani Megumi…” he stammered, “Uh, she’s a friend of the family. A doctor too. A damn good one.”

“Sou ka. That’s why Kaoru-san wants to ask her to come. That would help a great deal, wouldn’t it? But… for what reason did you not want her to come?”

Sanosuke blinked. “Well… it’s just… I’m not quite sure... Megumi… she was…”

“An old lover?”

“KUSO!?” He fell over, his face red. She peered over him, her face worried. Suddenly he leapt up, cursing, “NO! It’s nothing like that!!!”

”But I can tell that she was important to you.” she said. He stopped, those words hitting him. Megumi was important. She still is important. Then why…? Sayo finished his thoughts, “Why don’t you want to see her again?”

His brown eyes fell to the ground. ‘I don’t know…why…why can’t I… I mean… why am I shaking…?’

Sayo bowed her head. “Gomendesai, I’m prying into your business. I should be going now.”

”Yeah…” Sanosuke uttered, as she walked off, ‘Still, I don’t know why…’

* * *
Kenshin found a nice spot by the riverbank. “This looks good enough. Let me tie the line on your pole, Kenji.”

“No, I can do it myself.” the boy pouted. Kenshin simply shrugged and cast his line into the rapid currents. Off to the side another father and son had arrive with fishing gear. Kenji lifted his head. “Daisuke??”

The tall and round spiky haired boy turned to him. “Well! If it isn’t ‘Mama’s boy’ Kenji-CHAN? What you doin here?”

Kenshin already didn’t like this kid. “Kenji and I are fishing for dinner. We’re going to catch a large one.”

Daisuke’s burly father laughed, “I’d like see you try, Himura.” He shoved him over. “Such a wimpy guy like you can’t be the Legendary Hitokiri Battousai…”

At this, Kenshin finally understood. This was the man who told his son who told Kenji about his past. He knew Kaoru or Yahiko wouldn’t do such a thing. Daisuke’s dad was a divorcee and known for his offensive behavior – why’d you think Daisuke’s mother ran away from him? Kenshin bit back on the anger and smiled innocently. “I don’t want to start any trouble. Let’s just fish okay?”

Daisuke elbowed Kenji. “Told ya he’s a whoose!” Kenji frowned and stared to the ground, his face burning with shame. He admitted that his father avoided as much confrontation as possible, this used to not bother him. But ever since his ‘friends’ started picking on him, ever since his father had disappointed him, he wasn’t sure what a father was suppose to be.

Kenshin and Daisuke’s dad were fishing side by side. Daisuke’s dad was treating it like a competition, but Kenshin was just humming to himself, daydreaming about his tanuki wife. The boys eventually got their lines ready and started fishing too. Daisuke sneered, “Me and my dad are gonna catch everything in the river so there won’t be anything left for you losers!”

”But Mommie wants fish for dinner!!”

“Too bad, Mama’s boy!”

“Don’t worry, Kenji.” Kenshin intervened, “We’ll definitely catch something. I promise.”

Kenji blinked. He remembered his mother saying that his father never broke promises. “Yakusoku yo?” Kenshin nodded, but all of a sudden was being pulled into the river. He had a bite! Gritting his teeth, Kenshin started moving backwards, trying to reel it in. “I’ll help!!” Kenji cried, going over to the pull at his dad’s arm. Kenshin smiled, before finally getting the fish. “Wow! It’s big! Mommie will be so happy!”

“Yeah, thanks for your help, Kenji.” The boy lifted his head, very embarrassed. “I couldn’t have done it without you.”

An ill-feeling filled the air. Behind them, Daisuke and his dad were fuming. “DAD!! Why can’t we catch anything!”

“I won’t lose to someone like you, Himura.” Daisuke’s dad clenched his fists, slyly whispering, “Bet I can show your cute little wife what a real man is like…”

Kenshin’s eyes went slant. “What did you say…?” With that, he lost his temper, slamming Daisuke’s dad into the ground with his fishing pole.

“DAD!!” Daisuke cried, going to push Kenji, “This is all your fault!!”

Screaming, Kenji fell into the water, the rapid currents pulling him further away. “KENJI!!” Kenshin pulled off his gi before leaping in after his son…

* * *
“SANOSUKE!!” Kaoru exclaimed, “The water… it’s too cold!!”

Sanosuke grumbled, outside the bathhouse by the furnace, “Kuso. Earlier you said it was so hot that the baby was probably being hard-boiled. Make up your mind!!”

Kaoru pouted in the bath. “Mou, I knew I shouldn’t have asked you! Still, you have to do some work around here if you expect to stay!”

“Is this how you treat guests!? Making them do f--king slave work?!”

“It’s the least you could do after all the baths I fixed for you!!”

Sanosuke threw in another log. “Ch-! Such a nag!”

“EXCUSE ME?!” She didn’t hear anything else, and water started to warm up so she relaxed. Sighing, she closed her eyes, ‘I wonder how things are going with Kenshin…’

* * *
Kenji opened his eyes. He was wrapped in his father’s gi, warm arms around him. “Ano…” Kenshin looked like he was cold but happy. He released the boy and let him sit up on his own. Kenji’s face was red. “You… saved me?”

“Yeah…” Kenshin replied, smiling, “I’ll always do my best to take care of you, you must know that. You and your mom are so important to me.”

“But… why didn’t you… that one time…”

“Do you know where Osaka is?” The boy blinked. He remembered when they took a family trip down there. It was hours away. “I would have come if I could. I’m sorry if I let you down. Please forgive me.”

Kenji frowned. “I know you’re a killer… you did things that shouldn’t be forgiven… but I…”

“That was a long time ago.” Kenshin pulled his son closer to him, hoping to warm up, “Remember when you were little and you kept wetting the bed?” Kenji nodded, very embarrassed. “Well, you don’t do that anymore, right? It’s something that you know is not the right thing to do, but you used to do it because you didn’t know any better or couldn’t control yourself…”

“Did you used to wet the bed?”

Kenshin blinked. “Uh… well… up until I was eleven… Orooo…”

Kenji smiled. “Arigato… for saving me, Father.”

Kenshin returned the smile and hugged him. “You’re very welcome, Son.”

* * *
Back at the dojo, Sanosuke and Kaoru were sitting outside of the house. Kaoru was in her bathrobe, letting her hair air dry while Sanosuke was fanning himself and munching on a sweet yam. He eyed the back of her head. “What are you writing??”

”A letter to Megumi-san, telling her to get here as soon as possible.”

He started choking on the yam. “J-J-Jou-chaaan!! Don’t even think about it!!”

“Mou, I know she’ll be a lot more helpful than you.” she muttered. She stopped to tap him on the back. “Sanosuke, I have a favor to ask…”


“Since Kenshin now knows about those yakusa, do you think he’ll try to fight them…?” Sanosuke shrugged. It did seem like something his short-tempered friend would do. “Could you look out for him? I don’t want him to get himself hurt… and also…”


“Could you also look after Sayo-san?” Kaoru’s face was solemn. “I’m worried about her. I’m not sure if she knows about her fiancé’s past or if he’s still involved. I’m not sure what to think about him either. I mean, he did save my life. I feel like I should thank him… still, it might be dangerous for Sayo-san…”

Sanosuke put his hand on her shoulder. “I got it, Jou-chan. I’ll keep an eye out for both of them for you.”

“Arigato.” she said with a smile. She turned her gaze out to the gate. “I wonder where Kenshin and Kenji are though. It’s getting late. And yams aren’t good for dinner.”

”Hmp!” he grumbled, finishing his fourth. “Maybe they’re still trying to catch something or maybe Kenji ran away from him…”

“Don’t say things like that!!” Kaoru cried. She leaned against the wall, saying, “Kenji’s just afraid … he doesn’t know how to approach Kenshin because of what happened. He wants to get closer but he doesn’t want to be let down again. Until he can get over that fear…”

‘Fear…?’ Sanosuke blinked his eyes, then smiled briefly, “You could be right, Jou-chan.”

Just then, Kenshin came walking through the gate, in his hands his bucket of fish and the fishing poles, on his back, Kenji was wrapped in his gi. “Kenshin! You’re home!” Kaoru cried, running towards them, “Kenji, did you have fun?”

“Yes, Mommie. Daddy caught this big fish and then beat up Daisuke’s dad!”

“HE DID WHAT!?” Kaoru turned to Kenshin, who simply kissed her. “K-Kenshin…!”

Obviously in a good mood, he chuckled and walked past her without an explanation, “I’ll get Kenji changed and then we’ll cook dinner.” He stopped to look at a pensive Sanosuke. “Everything all right, Sano?”

Sanosuke nodded, “Yeah, everything’s fine…”

Back to Part 3
Onto Part 5