Rurouni Kenshin Fan Fiction ❯ Let's Just Pretend ❯ Karma ( Chapter 4 )

[ P - Pre-Teen ]

Horror couldn't begin to describe what Kaoru was feeling. This was almost as bad as that time she was dared to poll-dance— No! She wasn't going to think about that. She still woke up with nightmares. The situation at hand couldn't possibly be as bad as she was thinking it was. Kaoru raised her eyes from the mess at her feet. No, take that back. It was worse than she thought. Maybe if she closed her eyes it would all disappear. Ha! Wishful thinking, Kaoru. She wasn't getting away that easy.
Someone snickered, breaking the stunned silence of the dining hall. The fork she was holding slipped from her fingers, clattering to the tiled floor. The tension broke. Applause broke out and she could hear a few cheers. Okay. So it was ten times worse with everyone watching. Her eyes snapped open, meeting her handiwork in all its glory. What had she done in her past life to deserve this?
Red sauce covered him from head to toe, smudging his cheeks and sticking to his hair. Why did she have to chose spaghetti? She hated the cafeteria's pasta. It was... mushy. Disgustingly mushy. She winced when he sheepishly ran a hand through his bangs, the tomato sauce doing wonders for hair gel. Of course, her masterpiece wouldn't be complete without the flecks of yellow that dotted the red, showing what was left of her creamed corn and what noodles hadn't managed to stick to his slacks, piled around his feet along with the broken dishes. Her face heated when he plucked something off his shirt, holding it up for inspection. Was that a fruit loop? When did she get cereal? Amethyst eyes sparked amusement as he held the fruit loop out to her. Why did he have to have such entrancing eyes? Numbly, she took it.
“Cereal, a college student's staple... though I don't know how well it would go with spaghetti, creamed corn, and... is this meat loaf?”
Of all the people on campus, professors included, it had to be him. Life couldn't get better. She was never going to graduate. The world was against her. If she was going to make it out of college alive, she'd better grovel. “I'm so sorry, Ken—Dr. Himura. I didn't mean—”
Kenshin laughed softly, brushing as much as the food off as he could. “It's just Kenshin, Miss Kaoru. I don't have my doctorate yet, that I do not. Now I must change and you have no lunch.”
Kaoru cast a baleful eye on what was left of her tray. “I'm no longer hungry.”
Kenshin snorted. “Of course not. This stuff is disgusting, that it is. I'll treat you.”
Her eyes widened. “I can't! You... You're a professor!”
Large violet eyes blinked. “Oro? No, I am a T.A., that I am.”
He shook his head, ignoring the way his hair stuck to his cheeks. “I am a grad student.”
Her eyes bugged and she nearly swallowed her tongue. That was almost worse. Grad and undergrads don't mix. She was never going to get into law school. His hand closed around her wrist, giving her a small tug to get her moving. She suddenly realized he was talking. “You should change as well. I think I have a shirt that will fit you, that I do. You can't sit in class smelling like spaghetti sauce. And then we will go to lunch.”
Glancing down she noticed that she hadn't been spared the disaster. This was her favorite shirt too. Her gaze snapped to Kenshin. He couldn't be serious. Wait, did he mean she was to change in his dorm room? People would talk... She couldn't wear his clothes! “I can't wear your clothes!”
He looked genuinely surprised when he turned to her. “I don't think I can wear any of yours, Miss Kaoru.”
She could feel her blush making its way down her neck. She was going to remain red for the rest of her college days. They'd start to called her “tomato” and no law school would want a tomato to attend. Kaoru could see her life goals dancing mockingly out of her reach with each step she took after Kenshin. She'd end up living in a cardboard box under a bridge if she kept this up. Her life was over—
“I can go back to my room...”
She trailed off when he shook his head. “We have class in thirty minutes, Miss Kaoru, and my room is closer. I'll cook you lunch.”
Of all things, he offered her food. Food she didn't have to cook or fix. She hesitated, allowing Kenshin enough time to pull her into the dorm and close the door behind her. She shook his hand off, glaring at him. “Fine but I'm not wearing your clothes and you're not walking with me to class.”
A smirk pulled at his lips and she felt her stomach drop and heart flutter. What was she thinking? That smirk didn't mean anything. The smirk was gone by the time she blinked twice. “You can leave earlier then. I have to get a few things together for class.”
This would be the last time she'd see him outside of class, she decided. She couldn't handle this constant up and down. She glanced at him as he unlocked his dorm room. The spaghetti sauce did interesting things to his shirt. Kaoru sucked in a deep breath and closed her eyes. Sexiness should be illegal.