One morning the sun was shining brightly in Kaoru's room. She could feel the warm rays on her face. The birds were chirping happily outside. Kaoru smiled thinking to herself that it was going to be a lovely day. She walked to the window and looked outside. From the position of the sun she knew that it was mid-morning. She frowned a bit. "I must have overslept. Why didn't Kenshin or Yahiko wake me?" Then she got up and looked around the Dojo. She called for Kenshin and Yahiko but there was no response.
Kaoru began to get a little worried. Suddenly she remembered what happened, "That's right. I heard voices outside of my room earlier while I was still half asleep." She put her hand on her forehead trying to remember what the voices said.
Then, she remembered that one voice saying, "Kaoru-dono, I am going to the market to buy tofu, I shall return shortly."
The other voice said, "I got up early and practiced. Now that I have finished, I am going to the Akabeko. Tae-dono wants me to help her out today. Catch you later ugly."
"I'll make him practice harder tomorrow for calling me ugly," said Kaoru.
She quickly dressed herself and walked towards the kitchen. "Well I better get started preparing my breakfast." Before she could start, she noticed that Kenshin had prepared breakfast for her and had left it on the counter. She smiled and said out loud, "Kenshin is so thoughtful. That is why I love him so much." Kaoru felt comfortable expressing her thoughts freely about Kenshin. There wasn't anyone else at the dojo at that time. Kaoru walked out into the yard and looked at the laundry hanging on the line. Everything was so clean and flying in the gentle summer breeze. She walked over to Kenshin's gi. She looked at his gi and dreamily whispered, "Kenshin" as she touched the fabric.
Unbeknownst to Kaoru, Kenshin had quietly come in through the back gate. His footsteps were very soft. He didn't want to awaken her if she was still asleep. As he passed her room he could see that it was empty. When he approached the kitchen, he looked out the window and saw her standing on the other side of the laundry. She didn't see Kenshin because of the sheets and other clothing hanging on the line but he could see her. Kaoru seemed to be in a playful mood. He noticed the impish grin on her face. Kenshin smiled and decided to get closer to see what she was up to.
He quietly stood on the side of the house out of her view. Kaoru wrapped Kenshin's gi around herself as it hung on the clothesline drying. She pretended to be him. She mustered up a deep voice. "How lovely you look today Kaoru-dono.
"Then she stood back and said in her own voice, "Arigato, Kenshin."
She giggled and blushed. Then she wrapped the gi around her again and used a deep voice again, "Would you care to dance Kaoru-dono?"
Then Kaoru stood back from the gi again and replied, "Hai, Arigato Kenshin."
She gracefully bowed before Kenshin's gi hanging on the clothesline. Next, she held the sleeves in her hands and then pretended to dance.
Kenshin smiled as he watched her dance. But then he felt a little guilty. He felt that what he was seeing was too private; but he couldn't seem to tear himself away. Kenshin looked back at her and though to himself how beautiful she looked playing in the sun with his gi. He convinced himself to stay a little longer and watch.
After the dance, Kaoru wrapped Kenshin's gi around her again and said in a deep voice, "You are a wonderful dancer Kaoru-dono."
Kaoru blushed and replied, "Arigato Kenshin. You are a wonderful dancer too."
Kenshin said to himself, "Oro! I better learn how to dance."
Kaoru then said in a deep voice, "Kaoru-dono I have always wanted to tell you something."
Kenshin froze and then he began to get a little nervous. He thought, "Now I know I shouldn't be here listening to her private thoughts. But for some reason, I can't move." He continued speaking to himself, "If Kaoru-dono finds out that I was watching her she will probably be very angry at sessha. But, I will endure whatever punishment she sees fit. I must know what is on her mind." So he continued to watch.
Kaoru standing in Kenshin's gi again said in a deep voice, "Kaoru-dono I have always wanted to tell you that I love you. I fell in love with you the first time we met."
A knot started to form in Kenshin's throat. Kenshin had always wanted to say those words to her but he couldn't. Somehow the words sounded right when it was coming from her. But then he was wondering what her response would be. He eagerly awaited Kaoru's response.
Kaoru stepped from out of Kenshin's gi. She dreamily looked at the gi, held both sleeves in her hands and said in her voice, "Oh Kenshin, darling, I love you too. I was so lonely before you came. But now I am so happy."
Kaoru wrapped herself in Kenshin's gi again and replied in a deep voice, "You have made me happy too. I love you Kaoru."
Kaoru stood back and looked at his gi. Then she began to giggle and twirl around joyfully singing, "He loves me! He loves me! Kenshin loves me!"
As Kenshin watched her giggling and twirling around he was overwhelmed by her innocence and beauty. He was relieved to hear that she loved him. He was always afraid that she would reject him because of his past. He said to himself, "Kaoru, darling, I truly do love you. If only you knew how much." Then he continued watching her.
Kaoru stood back into Kenshin's gi again and said in a deep voice, "Kaoru darling let's seal our love with a kiss."
Kaoru blushed and giggled.
Kenshin blushed too. Then he got hold of himself and looked back towards her.
Kaoru stepped out from Kenshin's gi and responded in her own voice, "Kenshin, darling, this is so sudden." She blushed and said, "I… I don't know how to kiss. I never had my first kiss. Will you teach me?" This time she blushed a crimson color and giggled.
Sweat started pouring down Kenshin's face. His face was very red. He began pulling at his clothing and said to himself, "I didn't realize how hot the sun was today." But actually it had begun to get a little cloudy and breezy. But Kenshin was still hot with sweat pouring down his face.
Kaoru stood inside Kenshin's gi again and said in a deep voice, "I will be glad to teach you my love. First you must close your eyes and then bring your lips close to mine."
Kaoru stood back and replied, "Hai, my love." She blushed. But then she had a serious look on her face. She moved closer to Kenshin's gi hanging on the clothesline.
Kenshin said, "What I wouldn't give to be in my own gi right now."
Kaoru still pretending that Kenshin was standing in the gi that she was hugging; closed her eyes and pressed her lips up towards the gi.
Kenshin couldn't take it anymore. He knew that it would be risky but he decided to go for it. With godlike speed, he ran up to Kaoru, lightly kissed her on the lips, and ran back to the side of the house. His heart was pounding. "What have I done? I shouldn't have taken advantage of her innocence like that. I know kami-sama will punish me for this." Then he looked back at her and saw that she was still standing and holding his gi that was hanging on the line.
She opened her eyes slowly and touched her lips. Her lips felt moist as though she had been kissed. She blushed. She was puzzled and a little embarrassed. Kaoru looked around the yard and began calling out, "Kenshin? Sano? Yahiko? Is anyone there?" But there was no answer. Before she could say anything else she felt several drops of rain on her face. She tilted her face toward the sky. It was cloudy, cool and raindrops were falling on her face. She laughed and thought, "That's it! The breeze I felt before the kiss and the moistness on my lips. It was all the change in weather. Just a few raindrops and a little breeze that's all." She laughed again.
Kenshin gave a sigh of relieve. Then he pretended that he was just coming home from the market. He rushed toward the gate and closed it loudly. His footsteps were heaver as he entered the yard this time. As he approached Kaoru he smiled and greeted her.
"I made it in time from the market. I have already put the food inside."
"It is beginning to rain. I better hurry and take the laundry down."
Kaoru cheerfully replied, "I will help you."
They both began quickly taking the laundry down. Then they came to the last piece, Kenshin's gi, the one that Kaoru had been playing with earlier. Both their hands touched the gi at the same time. Kaoru and Kenshin both felt something special from his gi. Kenshin tried to take the gi from her hands. Kaoru hesitated for a moment not wanting to let it go. They both seemed to be in a trance while staring deeply into each other's eyes. Kenshin could see that her beautiful blue eyes seemed to be searching his. Kaoru could see that his violet eyes seemed to be hiding something from her. They were so close. Kenshin could feel the warmth of her breath. He was trying so hard to control his emotions. But the barrier that Kenshin had always kept between them was beginning to crumble. He desperately wanted to kiss her again.
Suddenly Yahiko ran into the yard. He saw both of them standing in the rain, staring at each other while holding Kenshin's gi. Yahiko shouted, "LET GO OF THE GI YOU UGLY GIRL!! CAN'T YOU SEE IT'S RAINING AND KENSHIN IS TRYING TO BRING THE LAUNDRY IN!!"
Kaoru blushed and quickly moved back and said, "Gomen, Gomen, (sorry, sorry) Kenshin." Then she released his gi.
Kenshin blushed slightly and said, "Arigato for helping me Kaoru-dono. Please go inside before you catch cold from staying out in the rain too long."
She nodded and went inside.
As she ran inside, Kenshin was looking at her. "That was too close," thought Kenshin. "I am grateful to Yahiko. If he hadn't called out to us I would have lost control and kissed Kaoru-dono. I have to be more careful next time. Maybe I should start mediating more like Aoshi." Then he hurried into the house with the laundry.
Later during dinner, Kaoru noticed that Kenshin was wearing the gi that was hanging on the clothesline earlier. She kept staring at it remembering how much fun she had playing with it while it hung on the clothesline.
Kenshin noticed her staring at his gi. He smiled slightly also remembering her playfulness earlier.
Kaoru blushed and giggled.
Yahiko frowned, looked at Kaoru. "What's the matter with you ugly?"
Kaoru didn't respond. She started thinking about the "kiss". She put her fingers over her lips and slowly began to retrace the kiss.
Kenshin watched her. He began to get a little uncomfortable. He also became a little nervous. He tried to detach his emotions so she wouldn't catch on to him.
Kaoru looked at Kenshin. She had a suspicion that something was different about him but she couldn't confirm those suspicions. Kaoru thought to herself, "Even though I have never been kissed before, that kiss felt so real. I wonder if Kenshin did…" Then she remembered how tightly he was holding on to his gi. Kenshin never made a big deal out of clothing. Whenever she was cold, Kenshin would always offer his gi. But for some reason when their hands touched his gi at the same time, she felt something a little different. She had to know if he kissed her. Kaoru looked at Kenshin and nervously called his name, "Ken-shin?"
Kenshin looked at her. He was being careful to keep his emotions hid."Hai, Kaoru-dono?"
Kaoru blushed feverishly and asked, "Kenshin? I… well…I want to know… uhm… well… Kenshin did you… uhm, uhm…"
Kenshin blushed slightly then stuttered, "Hai… Kaoru…I mean Kaoru-dono?"
Before Kaoru could respond. Yahiko stood up and looked at Kaoru. He yelled, "HEY YOU UGLY HAG! ARE YOU GOING CRAZY? WHAT'S THE MATTER WITH YOU TODAY? First you attack Kenshin over his gi, then you stare at him all during dinner and now you can't speak. You are making Kenshin nervous and making me sick. If you are trying to flirt with Kenshin it wont' work. You are too old and ugly to flirt with Kenshin."
Kaoru grew angry. She shouted back at him, "WHAT DID YOU CALL ME YOU LITTLE BRAT!!"
Yahiko started laughing saying, "Ugly, Ugly!" Then he started to run.
She chased after him and they both began fighting.
Kenshin sighed and softly said, "I really owe Yahiko again for his little diversion."
Kaoru and Yahiko were rolling all over the floor fighting and destroying the rest of dinner. As Kenshin watched them he smiled and shook his head.
Later that night Kenshin passed by Kaoru's room and saw that she was asleep. He went to his room and began preparing for bed. Kenshin pulled off his gi and held it close. He could still smell Kaoru's scent on it. Kenshin looked at his gi, held it up and said, "You sure saw a lot of action today, right gi?" He smiled remembering the kiss. "One day I will get the courage to tell Kaoru how much I love her. But in the meantime, at least I have you to wear. I will think about her every time I wear you." Kenshin pointed his finger at his gi and scolded it. "Next time gi, don't' try to steal my kisses." He chuckled a little to himself. Then he folded the gi neatly, put it away and fell asleep.
Kaoru had been quietly standing outside of Kenshin's room the whole time. She heard his private conversation. She smiled and softly uttered, "I see Kenshin likes to play too." Then she put her hand up to her lips remembering their first kiss. She blushed deeply, sighed and said "My first kiss."
Kaoru went to her room and fell asleep dreaming about her first kiss with Kenshin.