to be or not to be
A Rurouni Kenshin fanfic by Tin
part one: to be (kaoru)

Kamiya Kaoru loved mornings, especially those which fairly burst with sunshine and cloudless blue skies. Spring, the season of flowers and colors galore, was also a favorite time for her. Having said all that, the reader will probably conclude that spring mornings will see Kaoru in a state of blissful ecstasy, right? Right?


For on this particular morning, Kaoru started thinking about her life.

And found it horribly boring.


Uh-huh. And when a person starts pursuing that train of thought, we all know that there are only three foreseeable ends in sight.

One: Hopeless confusion

Two: Helpless resignation

Three: Hardened do something about it

And that last part is quite a dangerous endeavor. Doubly so when Kaoru (yep, KAORU) decided to choose it.

Sou desu ne?



Kaoru sighed. 'What's wrong with me?' she fretted. 'I live in a beautiful home. I have lots of friends. The dojo has many students already. I've finally learned how to boil an egg without it cracking into a thousand pieces before I even place it on the pot. I'm pretty. I'm smart. But there's just no excitement anymore! But why? Why do I feel this way?'

"Ohayou, Kaoru-dono." The familiar grin was in place. The (gorgeous ^_~) red hair was impeccably tied back in place. The well-worn but clean gi was dutifully in place. The sakabatou was in place. The violet eyes were crinkling in the corners at just the right place.

"Ohayou, Kenshin," Heck, even her response was inserted at just the exact place.

EVERYTHING was in the right place.

And you wonder why unexcitement is your motto. No, your middle name.

Damn it.

"I'll start breakfast now, shall I?"

"Hai," Kaoru said automatically. 'He's gonna smile again.' He did. 'He's gonna hum on his way to the kitchen.' He did. 'Fifteen seconds tops and his knife's gonna go--' Thirteen, fourteen, fifteen...

"Chak, chak, chak, chak," Kaoru muttered in perfect synch with the sound coming from the kitchen. Kaoru squeezed her eyes shut and stamped her foot in exasperation. When that wasn't quite enough, she buried her face in her hands and screamed, "Aaaarrggghh!" She was tempted to bang her head on the wall but decided against it when she saw that it was newly varnished. 'Probably Kenshin again,' she thought sourly.

"Is something the matter, Kaoru-dono?" Kenshin's voice rang out over the sound of chopping.

'Yes!' "No," she called out in response. "I was just thinking-- 'How life wouldn't be such a routine if you'd only stop acting like a damn housekeeper and stop treating me like I need a babysitter--'

"--that there was something I needed--"

'Damn right there is. I want you to lighten up. I want you to buy me roses or flowers or whatever it it is lovers give to their sweethearts. I want you to tell me over and over how special I am to you in the most romantic way possible. I want you to take the initiative, damn it!'

"to, uh, look for..."

'Right. Specifically a huge placard saying, "Kenshin, COME AND GET ME! I'M READY! I'M WAITING! Most of all, I'M WILLING!!!"' But, of course, beggars can't be choosers. She'd have to settle for subtle hints every now and then and hope desperately that he get the drift.

"Oh," the cheerful voice said. "Well, um, I hope you find it!"

Not likely, toots.

Patience is a virtue. Cluelessness, however, is a work of the devil.


Kaoru recalled the time when she, dressed in the skimpiest robe she can find, accidentally stumbled into the bathroom while Kenshin was taking a bath. To top it all off, she had also somehow (due to her unspeakable carelessness heh-heh-heh ^^) fallen right into the tub with him. Kenshin had stared at her for the longest moment and then, when she had finally begun to hope that maybe, just maybe, he would turn the situation to his advantage (hell, she had her dignity to consider, too), he asked her: "Kaoru-dono?"

"Yes?" she whispered breathlessly.

"Did you forget something?"

Facefault. Gods, he was the limit. But, Kaoru blushed, she did have a revealing, er, view of his well-proportioned, um, body, when he stood up from the tub in his haste to assist her from it. Sugoi.

But, Kaoru's face darkened, he had also politely turned his head away when her robe, again accidentally (TIN: I think that's one of the most abused words in the English language ^_^), fell open to her waist. To add insult to the injury, he had also politely advised her to wear thicker clothes especially since the nights were chilly and she might get sick and all that crap. She had bashed him to the ceiling for that.

Kaoru sighed. "Kenshin," she muttered. "You are such a prude."

All right. He's a gorgeous prude.

But he could also be a gorgeous NON-prude.

And that, Kaoru decided, was what she was after.


A few hours later, Kaoru walked in the marketplace, aimlessly swinging her shopping bag to and fro. She had agreed to buy the groceries because she was being distracted by Yahiko and his teasing (calling her 'ugly' again, the brat) and she wanted some space to think and to consider her options. Forceful kidnapping was out. The game would be up before it even started. Ditto for elopement. A deathbed scene (where she would gasp, seemingly in her last breath, ", do you love me I mean?") would be nice but she doubted if Kenshin would go along with it. She had been tempted to ask Megumi for help but she would probably have to endure hours of embarassing questions and snide comments, too. Nope. Kaoru shook her head. Talking to Megumi will be last priority, when she had already exhausted all her options. Yeah, that's it.

What options?

Kaoru scowled. Well, she could -- seduce him, but she didn't think she could face another "Um, Kaoru-dono, what are you doing?" or "Kaoru-dono, you really shouldn't go out dressed like that" or "Kaoru-dono, do you want me to mend that hole in your kimono for you?" without going berserk. And killing Kenshin is definitely not a feasible alternative.

Aaarrggghhh...That man was impossible! It can't be that he's shy. On certain occasions he can be rather -- forward. It's just that he can be so DENSE! Kaoru swung her bag fiercely, connected with wood, and promptly toppled an entire stall which was unfortunately standing in her line of fire.

"Oh shoot," she sighed. Broken glass littered the street along with overturned bottles. Enraged screams were coming from underneath the rubble. Kaoru knelt down hurriedly to extricate the stall owner from where he seemed to be stuck under a large wooden box. As she heaved the box slowly away from its unfortunate victim, she caught sight of a crystal bottle near her feet. What the--Kaoru squinted as she tried to read the bold letters printed on its label.

       Personality-Enhancement Potion.

What the heck is that? Kaoru shrugged and was about to turn back to her work (the poor old man was already turning blue) when she suddenly froze. Wait a minute. With a muttered "sumimasen" (entailing a howl of pain by the stall owner) she let go of the box and grabbed the bottle. She read the next lines with bated breath.

       You want romance?

       You want thrill?

       You want daring?

A big YES to all of the above.

      Then this potion's for you. A drop of this
      and your lover's gonna take you to heights
      you never knew existed.

Oh my.

And to think she was busy thinking up wild and outrageous schemes when all along she should have known that the tried and true always works best. Kaoru grinned as she tightened her grip on the bottle. Take me to heights I never knew existed, huh?

Can't wait.

She grabbed some money from her purse and placed it on the top of the box. She smiled at the old man who was sputtering in rage and quickly took off at top speed. Back to the dojo.

Kenshin was drying clothes in the yard when she arrived, panting and hot and exhilarated. He smiled at her, "Okaeri. Did you get your shopping done?"

Kaoru smiled back brightly, "Hai."

Did she ever.



Whew! I finally got this part done! OK, I know the plot's not at all original but I just wanted to see how this formula applies to Kenshin and Kaoru ^_^ I know that Kaoru's a little bit aggressive here but she's always been a very alive person and I don't see her waiting passively for Kenshin to make his move. Besides the poor dear's probably gonna take forever before he even goes so far as to say, "Kaoru" so I decided to hurry 'em along.

Writing this was really fun and I do so want to finish this, especially since I'm in need of some sort of diversion from my studies and thinking and thinking and thinking about how the hell I'm gonna end "Of Love and Honor" ;;

Oops. BTW, this is a rough draft so... you get the drift ^^

Ja ne! ^_~

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