December, 1878

Kamiya Dojo

The morning after Kenshin took Kaoru's virginity...

Kaoru opened her eyes to the bright sunlight streaming in through the window. Outside was one of those beautiful December days where there were no clouds, just an endless vault of blue sky lit by the bright star. Feeling the warm body next to hers, Kaoru smiled and turned to look at the still-sleeping Kenshin.

Last night had been beyond description. The initial pain at the tearing of her maidenhead had almost instantly given way to a pleasure beyond any she had ever known. Kaoru knew that yesterday, she had left her girlhood behind her forever and was now a woman.

She looked at the handsome face of her titian-haired lover. Kenshin looked so relaxed and peaceful when he slept. His face really did look like that of a young boy instead of a 29-year-old man.

Moving slowly, Kaoru took a handful of red hair and gently stroked her fingers through it. It felt so silky soft and warm that Kaoru wished she would need never remove her hand. She traced her fingers down the slope of his nose and along his jawline. Kenshin stirred a bit, but didn't awaken.

Kaoru's fingers traveled down to his bare chest, tracing his collar bone and stroking over slightly defined muscles. When she got down to his stomach, she stroked it with a feather-light touch, causing the swordsman to smile and flinch involuntarily. Softly and impishly, she tickled him to wakefulness.

Violet eyes opened and locked with blue. Kenshin smiled up to Kaoru who returned the smile with interest.

"Good morning, dearest," he said through a yawn.

"Good morning, darling," said Kaoru, still feeling like she was in a dream.

Kenshin and Kaoru leaned in and kissed each other, then lay cuddled in each other's arms for a while, enjoying the sun streaming in through the window. Kenshin's eyes were half-shut in contentment. Kaoru went back to playing with the rurouni's hair, twining it around her fingers and gently combing through it.

"We should get married pretty soon," Kenshin said at length.

"I'm ready any time you are," said Kaoru.

Because both Kenshin and Kaoru were orphans and had the dojo pretty much to themselves, they were accountable only to each other. This gave them the luxury of being able to plan ahead for a proper wedding even though they were already joined according to the flesh.

"Do you think we should tell the others, or keep things to ourselves?" Kaoru asked at length.

"Let's let them find out on their own. We'll see how long it takes them to guess," said Kenshin after considering.

"That's wicked for you, Himura Kenshin," said Kaoru, giving Kenshin's shoulder a gentle swat. "Let's go to the Akabeko for breakfast today."

"I was thinking the same thing," agreed Kenshin.

After dressing, the fledgling couple made their way through the white and drifted snow to the bridge that would them into Asakusa where the Akabeko awaited them, their breath fogging in the cold morning air.


Akabeko

Kenshin and Kaoru were greeted by Tsubame, who gave them her warmest smile.

"Right this way," she said, leading them to their usual booth.

Kenshin and Kaoru ordered a breakfast of miso soup and some coffee to warm them up. After Tsubame served them, the couple ate together in silence. Kenshin and Kaoru looked up at each other and smiled whenever their eyes met. They felt like a pair of naughty school children keeping a secret from their teacher.

Having a free moment, Yahiko, Tae and Tsubame joined Kenshin and Kaoru at the booth.

"You two look like you're glowing," Tae remarked with a smile.

"Oro? That's because of the new body oil Kaoru-dono and I are using," said Kenshin with his best rurouni smile.

'Good cover-up,' thought Kaoru.

"Yeah, right," said Tae, causing Kaoru to spit out her coffee and Kenshin's eyes to turn to swirls. "It looks like lovers' glow to me."

"Yeah. Did you and Kenshin do it, crone?" queried Yahiko in his usual classy way.

"Have you and Tsubame kissed yet?" flashed Kaoru, glaring daggers at Yahiko as he turned beet red while Tsubame and Tae started giggling.

"No fair! I asked you first!" he barked, trying to save face.

"The answer is, none of your business," said Kaoru with that air of adult superiority that left Yahiko fit to be tied.

"Oh get off your high horse, ya ugly broad. It's pretty obvious you and Kenshin did it. So Kenshin, how was it?" asked Yahiko, eyes snapping with roguish delight.

"Orooooooooooooo," was Kenshin's succinct answer.

"Get your mind out the gutter, you little pervert!" screeched Kaoru, whipping out her magic bokken and beaning the boy one on the noggin.

"OW!"

"C'mon Kenshin, we're leaving! Thanks for breakfast, Tae-san," spat Kaoru, grabbing the still swirly-eyed Kenshin by the collar of his haori and dragging him out of the restaurant.

"Oroooooroooooooorooooo...."


"Of all the stupid, inconsiderate! That brat is probably going to spread rumors all over town now!" fumed Kaoru as they walked back.

Kenshin, having finally recovered his senses, did his best to placate Kaoru.

"Now now, Kaoru. I don't think Yahiko is malicious enough to do something like that. He loves us and is happy for us. That was just his twisted way of showing it," he said.

"For his sake, you'd better be right," said Kaoru.

As soon as they returned to the dojo, Kenshin went to get the laundry, which would have to be done inside due to the cold weather. When he looked out the window, he saw Kaoru chucking snowball after snowball at a small snowman with what appeared to be spiky hair.

'She must be pretty mad. Best to let her get it out of her system,' he thought.

~Owari~

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