December, 1878

Kamiya Dojo

It was early December. Winter had come full force in the night. Kamiya Kaoru had awoken several times to the sounds of snow and wind buffeting the walls of the dojo. The sound of a particularly loud THUMP against the wall of their bedroom brought her again to wakefulness. Her heart slamming in her chest, she turned and surveyed the man lying next to her. If the sounds didn't awaken him, there was nothing to worry about.

Kaoru thought Himura Kenshin was the most beautiful man she had ever seen. His features were so delicate and angelic looking that he was even more ephemeral in appearance than most women. His entire body was slight, delicate, slender. Yet when she touched his chest, she could feel the strong, wiry muscles that held his latent strength. His face was absolute perfection. He had long eyelashes which touched down to his cheeks when his eyes were closed. When open, his eyes were a rich, deep violet color that made her heart flutter when he looked at her. His crimson mane was loose, cascading in fiery torrents down his back as he slept, blissfully unaware of the girl's survey of him. The only thing marring the perfection of this gorgeous man was the litany of scars that covered his torso.

He bore the scars of battles from his days as Hitokiri Battousai, including the infamous cruciform scar, which had been carved onto his features by the doomed couple Kiyosato Akira and Yukishiro Tomoe, whom Kenshin had later married and then accidentally killed with his blade. On his body were the more recent scars from his battles with Udo Jinei, Saitou Hajime, Shinomori Aoshi, Shishio Makoto and finally, Yukishiro Enishi. Kaoru shuddered at the thought of the last one. Only four months ago, all hell had broken lose as Enishi and the Six Comrades unleashed their Revenge on Kenshin and his dearest friends, each member of the Six Comrades having their own reasons for wanting revenge on Kenshin. Enishi's of course, was for the death of his beloved sister, Tomoe.

In the end Kenshin had found the answer to his questions and was able to defeat Enishi. The ordeal had left many wounds, both physical and emotional, the latter of which were just now starting to heal. Using his Watou, Enishi had carved a deep, grisly wound that ran all the way from Kenshin's chest to his pelvis. The wounds were all healed over and Kenshin's arm was long out of the sling, thanks to Takani Megumi's excellent care. The scars would fade with time. Kaoru lightly touched the long scar on Kenshin's abdomen. Finally, finally that horrible wound was closed up and Kenshin wasn't suffering anymore.

Kenshin stirred when Kaoru touched his scar. She pulled away, not wanting to wake him. Kenshin sighed, drifting back into sleep. On their first night back after the return from the island Kenshin had been plagued by a grisly nightmare of seeing the corpse doll, which had made him believe Kaoru dead. He woke up in a sheer panic, crying out for her. Kaoru had come into his room and rocked him in her arms, soothing away his agony and tears with the gentle sound of her voice.

Since they had started sharing a room, his sleep had become more peaceful. The nightmares had decreased to almost none. Kenshin felt safe and content with her next to him, and this allowed him to sleep more deeply than he had during the whole first 29 years of his life. Kaoru shivered in the chill air, thinking of the hell they'd been through in the recent months. She looked again at the man sleeping beside her and snuggled into Kenshin for warmth. It was time to put the past behind them and concentrate on the future. Finally sleep reclaimed her.

In the early morning hours, Kaoru awoke to a choked out sob. Her eyes snapped open and immediately were focused on Kenshin. He was crying in his sleep, tears streaming down his face. Another nightmare about the doll?

"Mother, Father," he choked out as another sob racked his body.

Kaoru's eyes widened. Kenshin was dreaming about his parents! Kaoru didn't know anything about Kenshin's childhood before his time training under Hiko Seijuro XIII. He had never volunteered any information and she'd never asked, sensing that it was a delicate subject for him and she didn't want to pry.

Kaoru gripped his shoulders and shook him gently.

"Kenshin, darling. Wake up. You're having a nightmare," she said.

Kenshin's eyes opened wide and his gaze locked onto Kaoru. Kenshin yanked her into a vice-like embrace and clung to her. Kaoru stroked his fiery mane and whispered into his ear that it was alright and that she was right there. The sound of her voice and her gentle touch soothed the swordsman's shivering. Finally he lay back down on the futon. Kaoru curled up with him and hugged him, wanting him to feel her touch. She gently wiped the tears from his face with her fingertips.

"Were you dreaming about your parents?" she asked in a half whisper.

Kenshin nodded and looked at her with watery eyes.

"Yes. I haven't even thought of them in so long, but tonight..."

He closed his eyes and took a deep breath. Kaoru stroked his scarred cheek.

"I barely remember their faces. I can't remember what their voices sounded like anymore," Kenshin continued.

"What happened to them?" ventured Kaoru.

"They died of cholera, in the winter, in the snow," sighed Kenshin. "The snow..."

He said this with an unaccustomed bitterness in his voice.

Kaoru hugged him close to her, stroking his long hair. Kenshin nuzzled her and buried his face in her breast. Kaoru snuggled with him till she heard his breathing change as he sank into a blissful slumber.

Kaoru shivered. Kenshin's parents had died of cholera during the winter and of course his first love, Tomoe had died on a very snowy day. In Kenshin's mind, winter and snow were forever linked with death and suffering, nothing pleasant.

'He hates the winter and the snow. To him it's nothing but a time of death and painful memories. He doesn't have one good memory linked with this season. He had no childhood at all. He never got to build a snowman, make snow angels or have snowball fights like I did. That's it! He doesn't have any good memories about the winter, yet. I can fix that,' Kaoru thought to herself.

Tomorrow the ground would be blanketed in snow, a glorious winter's day, a day to help mend Kenshin's heart a bit more.

As the sunlight spilled into their room the next day, Kaoru opened her eyes. She looked over at the still form of her sleeping ex-rurouni.

'He's getting lazy in his old age,' she thought to herself teasingly.

Moving slowly and silently to keep from waking Kenshin, Kaoru disentangled herself from his arms, crawled out from under the blanket, tucked it around Kenshin's shoulders and donned a haori.

Kaoru left the room, shutting the shouji behind her. She slipped on her zori and stepped outside. It had snowed all night, covering the ground in at least two feet of the white stuff, if not more. Kaoru's heart soared. For as long as she could remember, she had loved the snow. When she was a child, she and her father, Koshijiro had spent hours outside on days like this, having snowball fights, building snowmen and making snow angels. After he died, the winter had been a rather lonely time for her, but never tainted with the sorrow and blood as it was for Kenshin.

Kaoru stood outside for a few more minutes, drinking in the beauty of the new day, then decided she had best head back inside. When she opened the shouji she found a just-awake Kenshin sitting up in the futon, rubbing his sleepy eyes. He looked like a little boy who had woken up after a night of bad dreams.

Kaoru knelt down before Kenshin and wrapped her arms around him, hugging him close to her.

"Are you alright?" she asked in a half-whisper.

Kenshin's only response was to hug her closer. Kaoru was glad to have him be open about his feelings instead of denying that anything was wrong as he had used to. She felt privileged that she was the only person he felt this at ease around and that he shared these very private feelings with her and no other.

Kaoru lightly traced her fingers over Kenshin's scarred back. Kenshin flinched at the light touch. Kaoru's fingers moved from his back to either side of his ribcage and pressed in a little more. Kenshin squirmed a bit. Kaoru smirked and then pushed Kenshin down on his back and straddled him. She began tickling Kenshin's ribcage. He couldn't help but laugh as Kaoru mercilessly tickled him up and down his ribs and on his belly. As Kaoru tickled harder, Kenshin half-heartedly tried to squirm away from her.

"Kaoruuu, stop please! Orooroooo!!!!!!!" sputtered Kenshin, eyes shining and smile gracing his features.

Kaoru grinned sadistically, enjoying this a bit too much.

'Two can play this game,' Kenshin thought.

Moving swiftly, Kenshin was able to flip them so that Kaoru was on the bottom and he was straddling her. Then he launched his assault on her, not tickling but licking the core of her neck. Kaoru squirmed and pretended to try to get out from under him, but they both knew she liked it. The two kept up their little wrestling match until Kaoru's stomach rumbled loudly. Kenshin stared at her, amusement playing across his features. She blushed profusely.

"Excuse me," she said quietly.

"That's fine. I think all this wrestling has made us both a bit hungry," said Kenshin. "Shall I make us breakfast?"

"Yes, please!" agreed an enthusiastic Kaoru.

Kenshin rolled off from on top of Kaoru. He quickly pulled on a dark green kimono that set off his titian mane nicely. Still smiling, he took Kaoru's hand and led her to the dining area.

Kenshin heated up two bowls of rice. Normally miso soup was for breakfast, but vegetables were outrageously expensive in the winter. After breakfast, they washed their dishes and chopsticks and put them away. Kaoru decided that it was time for them to head outside. Today would be the beginning of a new winter's memory for Kenshin, if all went well.

"Um, Kenshin. Would you please come outside with me? There are a few things I need to do, but I'll need your help," said Kaoru.

Kenshin wasn't really thrilled with having to go out in the cold. His thin frame made him rather vulnerable to the elements. However he could never refuse Kaoru a favor when she asked him, so he agreed to.

Kaoru and Kenshin stepped outside into the winter wonderland. To Kaoru, it was a thing of beauty. To Kenshin, it was a reminder of the girl he had loved and who had died on his sword. He sighed to himself. Hopefully whatever it was wouldn't take long and then he could retreat indoors.

Kaoru left his side and started rolling a snowball on the ground. Kenshin watched her curiously. "Well don't just stand there, silly. Do what I'm doing," she teased.

"Oro?" asked the perplexed redhead.

"Roll a large ball of snow just like I'm doing," said Kaoru.

"Alright, Kaoru..." said the still mystified Kenshin.

Honestly, Kaoru was so hard to understand sometimes.

Kenshin rolled a large snowball just as Kaoru had. Kaoru directed him to put it on top of the first. She then packed it down so it would stay on top. Kaoru rolled a smaller snowball and piled it on top of the first two while Kenshin watched inquisitively.

"Alright Kenshin, I need two long sticks now," said Kaoru.

Kenshin shrugged and retrieved two long sticks from the woodpile. Kaoru took one from him and stuck it into the right side of the middle snowball. Kenshin hesitated a second, then did the same on the left, his lips tugging into a small smile as Kaoru's project started to take shape.

Kaoru retreated into the dojo and then returned with three cherries. She handed one to Kenshin and stuck the other two side-by-side on the top snowball. Without any coaxing, Kenshin, who was smiling now, stuck the third cherry below the other two.

"A man made of snow," he said.

"A snowman," said Kaoru happily. "Whenever it snowed like this, my father and I would build one in the yard."

Kenshin thought for a moment, then bent down and started rolling another snowball. Now Kaoru was perplexed.

"What are you doing?" she asked.

"The snowman doesn't want to be lonely," said Kenshin with a wink.

Kaoru smiled and started rolling another snowball as well.

Kenshin and Kaoru stacked the two snowballs, then put on the third one. Kaoru went to get three more cherries for the face as well as two more long sticks. While she was gone, Kenshin rolled two smaller snowballs and stuck them on the other snowman's chest, wearing a rather lecherous grin on his face as he did so.

When Kaoru returned she glared at him.

"Kenshin, you pervert," she said in exasperation.

"This is a snow woman to keep the snowman company," said Kenshin taking the sticks and sticking them into her sides.

Kaoru smiled and shook her head, then stuck the cherries in for the face. Much to Kenshin's chagrin, Kaoru took some extra snow and added an extra appendage to the front of the original snowman. When she caught his mild glare, she smiled innocently. When they finished, two snow people stood right beside each other.

"That was fun," said Kenshin with a smile.

"The fun's just starting," said Kaoru.

She pushed Kenshin over into the snow and then lay down next to him.


Kauro started moving her arms and legs in the snow.

"Do what I'm doing," she said.

Kenshin hesitated and then mimicked her again. After a few seconds, Kaoru stood up and so did Kenshin. Kaoru pointed to where they'd been lying.

"What do you see?" she asked.

Kenshin looked and then smiled.

"Angels," he said.

Kaoru nodded, pleased that Kenshin was learning so quickly.

For the rest of the morning, Kenshin and Kaoru played in the snow, building sculptures of dogs, cats, horses, birds and other animals. Kaoru had gone over to the other side of the yard, saying she would be back in just a second. Kenshin was admiring the fish he had just finished. Suddenly he sensed something hurling at him. He dodged the projectile and then saw snow splattered on the dojo wall. Had he remained still, he would have been hit on the face by a snowball.

"Oro?" he said.

He dodged another and then another. He looked and saw Kaoru standing with a whole pile of snowballs by her side, lobbing one after another at him. Kenshin dodged them all easily.

'Oh so this is her game,' he thought to himself.

Using his godspeed, Kenshin disappeared from Kaoru's sight around to the other side of the dojo and promptly launched himself onto the roof, safe from Kaoru's snowballs. Quickly he rolled himself a snowball and waited. Kenshin peered over the edge of the roof and saw Kaoru run to the side where she thought he should be. Kenshin grinned, then began his counter-assault.

Kaoru was standing, looking down the path between the dojo and the perimeter fence for any sign of Kenshin when she was hit on the head by a snowball. She looked up at the roof, but saw nothing. Was he up there? Kaoru bolted toward the storage shed to retrieve a ladder, not knowing that the ex-assassin was following her every move.

As soon as Kaoru was in the back of the dojo yard, Kenshin let loose another snowball and hit Kaoru in the small of her back. She looked up and again, saw no one. She went into the storage shed and came out with the ladder. Kaoru put the ladder up against the the wall and scaled it to the roof. No one was there.

Another snowball hit her, this time directly on the ass, almost causing Kaoru to lose her balance. She gripped the ladder and looked behind her, to set eyes on an empty yard.

'Impossible! Even if he was the stealthiest assassin in the Bakumatsu, he still has to leave footprints in the snow.'

Yet there were none.

Kaoru climbed down the ladder and scanned the whole backyard for any sign of the redhead. She saw absolutely nothing. Splat! Another snowball hit her on her right shoulder. It had come from the large cherry tree. But when Kaoru looked up, there was no one there.

Standing on the roof once again, Kenshin surveyed his quarry searching in vain for him. He grinned from ear-to-ear watching the kendo teacher trying to figure everything out. During the Bakumatsu, Kenshin had relied on his stealth skills to sneak up behind his opponents and kill them before they knew what hit them. Eventhough he loathed killing, he had to admit that he still enjoyed the rush that going stealth gave him. The feeling of being able to see his quarry when they couldn't see him was as intoxicating to the rurouni as it had been to the hitokiri.

Kaoru was still looking up at the tree, trying to figure things out.

'Perhaps he jumped from the tree to the roof. But if he's on the roof, he'll be gone by the time I get up there,' she thought to herself.


Another snowball, this time on her breasts.

"Kenshinnnnn," she growled.

Kenshin was already off the roof and hiding on the other side of the dojo. Kaoru came charging along the side of the dojo with a huge snowball in her hand, ready to pummel the redhead when she saw him. She jumped out into the frontyard without looking behind her. Suddenly she was in a strong embrace with her arms pinned to her sides.

"It seems the cat has caught his mouse," said Kenshin in a silky voice that had a somewhat threatening quality to it.

Kaoru's knees turned to jelly at the sound of that voice. Was this what it had been like for Battousai's victims during the War? Had he played this game with them before he did them in?

"Ken..." she was cut off by Kenshin quickly but gently turning her to face him and then planting a searing, passionate kiss on her lips. Her arms still pinned to her side, Kaoru felt her knees buckle and her legs give out from under her. Kenshin had her in his arms before she collapsed.

This chapter is a lemon! This is your final warning. By highlighting the text and reading, you forfeit your right to sue me for corrupting/offending your sensibilities.

The sun was setting in the west, casting its red light into the dojo's front yard and making the shadows of all the snow sculptures lengthen. Kenshin and Kaoru were gazing into each other's eyes. Kenshin smiled down at the girl in his arms. He noted the setting sun and falling temperature. Without a word, he carried Kaoru into the dojo, shutting the fusuma behind him with a good, firm snap.

Kenshin brought Kaoru into the main room and set her down before the brazier. Wordlessly, he took a fat log off the pile that was lying by the fire pit, put it in and then got a roaring fire going, quickly warming the room.

Kenshin returned to Kaoru and knelt down in front of her, his violet eyes trapping her blues in his hypnotic gaze. Kaoru forgot all about wanting to pummel the swordsman. How could she remember such a thing when he was only inches away from her face and staring at her with Wordlessly and gently, Kenshin untied Kaoru's hakama and pulled her out of it. He pulled her gi apart and pulled it down off her shoulders. Patiently and slowly he untwined the breast bindings, freeing the fleshy globes from their prison. In a fluid motion, he slid her panties down her legs and tossed them aside.

Kaoru reached up and loosened Kenshin's hair from its ponytail, causing it to spill over his shoulders in a fiery cascade. She undid the ties of Kenshin's hakama, and slid it slowly down his legs, over his feet and off. She slowly slid the dark green gi off Kenshin's shoulders. The  breast. Taking the already-hard nipple into his mouth, Kenshin slowly suckled and teased it with his tonguloincloth was unfastened and tossed aside, revealing Kenshin’s evident desire for her.

Kenshin gently pushed Kaoru into a supine position. He sat on her pelvis and looked at the beauty laid out before him. Kenshin traced his fingers down Kaoru's shoulders and over her breasts, sending shivers of pleasure down the shihondai's spine. Fingers and thumbs gently pinched and rolled the red nipples till they stood at attention.

Kaoru's hands traced over Kenshin's chest and torso. Her fingers gently traced the scars, both old and new that marred his otherwise perfect body. Kenshin's eyes never left her face. He saw the sorrow flash into Kaoru's eyes as she traced the large scar from the wound Enishi had inflicted on him.

Kenshin smiled lightly, touched by the girl's tenderness. He lowered himself onto her, his tongue gently touching at her lips, willing them to part for him. Kaoru's lips parted, giving Kenshin's tongue access to hers. Their tongues touched, danced and twined, filling a deep emotional need in both man and woman.

Kenshin and Kaoru's hands locked together as their lips continued to exchange the love between them. Kenshin's lips finally left Kaoru's as he planted a slow trail of warm kisses down her chin and into the core of her neck and then to her right breast, very gently nipping it, causing Kaoru to gasp in pleasure.

Kenshin's mouth left Kaoru's right breast and continued kissing a trail to her left, giving it the attention that it cried out for. Kaoru pulled her hands from his and very softly ran her fingertips up and down Kenshin's scarred back.

Kenshin gently pulled Kaoru back into a sitting-up position. Now it was her turn. She coaxed Kenshin down onto his back and straddled his pelvis. Kaoru's tongue danced over his chest, taking his nipples into her mouth and lavishing her attention on them. Kenshin closed his eyes and sucked in his breath. With her arms still wrapped around his slim torso, Kaoru's mouth continued the trail down to his belly.

Kaoru kissed all the scars on Kenshin's torso. Her tongue delved into Kenshin's navel, nearly sending him over the edge right then and there. Kaoru's eyes came to rest on his now erect member. She kissed it warmly, causing Kenshin to flinch.

Now he felt his member being embraced in wet warmth as Kaoru wrapped her lips around him. Gently she suckled at him, taking control of the man. Kenshin gasped for breath. Never in his life had he felt anything like this. His time with Tomoe, while it had been healing and peaceful, hadn't been anywhere near this passionate or deep. Though Kaoru was 12 years his junior, this was an adult relationship with all the emotion and depth needed to heal his wounded heart.

She continued to suckle him and torture him sweetly with her lips and tongue. Kenshin was almost crying out at the sweet torture. He didn't want to come in this precious woman's mouth. It felt dirty to his conscious mind, but a deeper more primal instinct was in control, preventing him from pulling back.

Kaoru had never tasted or felt anything like Kenshin's erect manhood in her mouth. It was a strange sensation and yet it felt so right. Her tongue gently rubbed up and down the shaft and then to the head. She could taste the saltiness of Kenshin's pre-cum. She continued to pull, willing him to let go.

Kenshin couldn't fight it anymore and with a hoarse cry, he spilled himself into Kaoru's mouth as she drank his essence greedily. It was salty and musky and it was so right to her to take him in. It was like taking a part of Kenshin inside of her. Kaoru released Kenshin's tortured member from her mouth, but was not finished with him.

Kaoru straddled Kenshin and slowly lowered herself onto him, sheathing him. When her maidenhead burst, she let out a little yelp and tears flowed from her eyes. Tears welled in Kenshin's eyes at the girl's momentary pain. Anything that hurt her hurt him too.

"Are you alright, dearest?" he asked, his voice choked with concern as he rubbed her back reassuringly.

"I-I'm fine," responded Kaoru, as she wiped the tears from her face.

The pain quickly subsided and was replaced by a feeling of fullness that Kaoru had never experienced before and wanted wholeheartedly. Moving slowly, she began to thrust up and down on Kenshin's erect shaft. With a return of confidence, Kenshin began pumping in time with her, slowly and gently, his hands grasping her breasts and making her cry out as their movements caused waves of heat to travel between both lovers.

Kaoru lowered herself so that she and Kenshin were lying face to face, wanting to feel his body against hers. Together they thrust in the primal rhythm that is man and woman at love. Kaoru kissed and licked Kenshin's throat, causing him to groan in ecstacy. Kenshin ran his fingers up and down Kaoru's spine, grasping her buttocks as they thrust together.

The heat was rising and building. Kenshin could sense that Kaoru was starting to tire. It was time for him to take over. In one fluid movement he rolled over so that she was on the bottom and he was on top. Now he took over, thrusting in and out gently and slowly, willing the girl to keep the slow pace with him. Kenshin's movements were slow, gentle and patient. He wanted her first time to be special.

Kenshin's beautiful violet eyes captured Kaoru's blue ones again. In them she read the pleading, saying, 'Not without you.' The two kept pace, moving as one. Kaoru and Kenshin's gazes never separated. As the pleasure became more and more intense, Kaoru started seeing stars and lights dancing in the background. Everything disappeared except for one thing, Kenshin's face.

Kenshin reached his peak and then spilled his hot seed into Kaoru's depths. Pleasure crested and then exploded through her. Kenshin and Kaoru cried out together. When the explosions ended, an exhausted Kenshin collapsed on top of the girl he loved more than life itself.

"I love you, dearest," he whispered to her, kissing her mouth before he let his head drop in exhaustion.

"I love you too, darling," Kaoru whispered back, stroking her tired swordsman's ruddy locks until she too fell into blissful sleep.

Outside, the winter winds picked up and the snow continued to fall. Inside, Kenshin and Kaoru were deep in slumber and were aware of each other, even in their dreams. This winter's day marked a new and happy memory for Kenshin, who found he could learn to love the winter for both its pain and pleasure.