Chapter 105: A Beautiful Night

Copyright© 2011 by Murasame

Sanosuke: Here's pretty much what Saitou has to say. He won't be done with making arrangements for the four thousand arrested soldiers and pursuing the survivors till half the day. So we'll set out for the final battle break of dawn tomorrow. If it were up to me we'd be outta here by now, but hey.

Okina: Himura, all this happened while I was laid up?

Kenshin: Yes, but nine of the Ten Swords are still at large.

Okina: And one more thing.

Misao (pointing to Sanosuke): Since you're in my house and all, who are you?

Okina: That's what I was going to say.

Sanosuke (to Kaoru): You didn't tell them about me?

Kaoru: We've been kinda busy... (sorry... )

Sanosuke: All right fine. I'm Sagara Sanosuke. A friend from Tokyo.

DOUBT (hangs in the air)

Sanosuke: Don't you believe me???

Misao: Sure, that's what you say.

Okon: He's just some punk.

Omasu: I don't like the look in his eyes.

Okina: Anyone whose hair sticks up like that can't be any good. (Like Chou.)

(He glances at Kenshin.)

Kenshin: There's no one in the world I'd trust more than Sano.

Okina (pounding Sanosuke on the shoulder): Good to meet you, Sanosuke!

Sanosuke: Oh shut up.

Okina: Well, now that Himura's friends are all together, we'll have to have a drink tonight to send you off before the battle!

Omasu: No way! You're not healed yet. Definitely no drinking!

Kenshin: Thank you for the sentiment, Mr. Okina, but we'll be leaving early tomorrow. After dinner we should get to bed early.

(The middle of the night. Kenshin sits atop the roof, surveying the city.)

Kaoru (climbing up beside him): Kenshin...

Kenshin (startled): Miss Kaoru...

Kaoru: You said you were going to bed early. Are you all right? You're up...

Kenshin: I got some sleep. Half an hour

Kaoru: Half an hour? Is that enough?

Kenshin: Miss Kaoru, it's the middle of the night. (What were you--)

Kaoru: Ah, nature called. (smacking him) Don't make me say it!

(A pause)

Kaoru: Hey, Kenshin.

Kenshin: Yes?

Kaoru: What you said this afternoon. "After this, it depends on my heart." What did you mean? I've been thinking about it, but I don't really understand...

Kenshin: You don't really need to understand.

Kaoru: I do! Since, it concerns your life.

(Kenshin smiles slightly.)

Kenshin: I understand the technique itself. The Amakakeru Ryuu no Hirameki, battou-jutsu whose speed surpasses speed--but even with the reverse blade, I almost took the life of my master. If I forget myself, as with Saitou and Chou, I will kill again. But if I hold back too much of my strength, speed alone won't be enough. In a fight to the finish, the secret technique is what stands between life and death ... If I can do that, it will mean I have mastered my Amakakeru Ryuu no Hirameki. So ... it depends on my heart.

(Another silence.)

Kaoru: Kenshin ... here. (holding out Megumi's jar) I keep missing my chance to give it to you, but I brought it for Megumi. Her wishes that you'll be safe. It's not just me and Megumi. Everyone wants you to come out of this all right. So...

Yahiko (jumping out of nowhere to whack Kaoru with his shinai): There you are, Kaoru!!

Kaoru: Ow! What was that for!

Yahiko: All right, c'mere a second! (pulling her to the other side of the roof) I've been watching you for a while and what do you think you're doing, building up all this atmosphere!

Kaoru: What do you mean, for a while? Since when have you been a voyeur?

Yahiko: Megumi's bad enough, but you were going to k-k-kiss him or something!

Kaoru: What are you saying! I'll tell Tsubame where your mind is!

Yahiko: There's nothing between Tsubame and me!

There is more of this chapter...

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