Rurouni Kenshin Fan Fiction ❯ Let's Just Pretend ❯ Making the Grade ( Chapter 16 )

[ P - Pre-Teen ]

“Sano says he's never speaking to you again.”
Kaoru hummed, turning a page in her textbook. Exams were fast approaching and she was in desperate need of raising her grade. Too much day dreaming about lack of boyfriends and potential boyfriends. Not including the red head that lounged on the sofa across from her with his own textbook spread across his chest. At his expectant silence, she looked up, tucking her pen behind her ear. “What?”
He sat up, putting his book on the cushion next to him and giving her a serious look. “You don't look very concerned.”
She blinked. What was he talking about? “The final? Are you kidding? I'm losing sleep over that thing. Why do you always pick the most obscure facts? I bet you'll have something crazy like: What are the different legends surrounding the Defenestration of Prague? or Write the history of history and cite examples.”
Kenshin laughed, “No, but that's a great one. I was talking about Sano.”
Kaoru frowned. Why was everyone talking about Sanosuke? She did not want to talk about him. She didn't even want to think about Sanosuke. “It's not the first time he's declared his intentions of not speaking to me. Last time it lasted three days.”
He grinned a little, relaxing. “So, I take it that, when he said the next time you hear his voice will be at your funeral, he wasn't serious?”
“Did I fail to mention the melodramatic threats?”
Kenshin shook his head. “So I shouldn't be concerned.”
“Definitely not. He'll eventually forget why he's not talking to me.”
Kenshin moved his book, searching for his own pen. “That sounds like Sano though I don't know how he could forget... Now, what's this about my tests?”
Kaoru grinned, hefting her notebook. “You're always so detail oriented. Does it really matter the exact year the Gauls invaded Rome for the first time or when the telescope was invented?”
“The telescope is very important to the scientific revolution.”
“I never said it wasn't. Just, this type of thing can be looked up.”
Kenshin sat back, smiling at her. “You can say that about all of this, Miss Kaoru. Why study history?”
Kaoru blushed, looking away. “Why not? It develops research and writing skills needed for law school.”
She wasn't about to include that a hot student aide didn't hurt. Pages rustled as Kenshin gathered his lecture notes. “That's why you might study history—which, by the way, I don't believe—but why should anyone study history at all?”
They stared at each other in silence and Kaoru bit her lip, finally dropping her eyes to her notebook. Kenshin chuckled, setting his notes in a neat stack on the table between them. “Don't worry about it, Miss Kaoru. You'll have time to think about it for the final, that you will.”
“Is that a hint, Kenshin? Can't you get in trouble?”
Kenshin blushed faintly. “I did not say anything wrong, that I did not.”
She laughed. “Well, I'm tired of studying. Want to do something else?”
He looked startled and she could see his confusion as he struggled to make some kind of decision. “Miss Kaoru...”
“We're friends, right?”
His face blanked and Kaoru felt her stomach turn. Perhaps that was the wrong thing to say. Kenshin seemed to spend an inordinate amount of time organizing his books and papers in his satchel. Finally, he turned and smiled at her. “We are friends. How about a coffee break? My treat?”
She huffed. Stupid men. “I'm up for coffee but I'll buy my own.”
They stood, Kenshin scanning the library and waving to the librarian behind the desk, motioning that they'd be back. “Are you always so stubborn, Miss Kaoru?”
She shrugged. “Comes with the territory. I don't want people to get the wrong impression.”
“Of course.”
Her eyes narrowed. Why was he being so flippant? She certainly didn't want an angry, possessive girlfriend beating down her door. “How is Kagome?”
Kenshin turned to her, a curious frown pulling at his lips. Kaoru frowned in return, attempting to feign casual interest. Surely he wouldn't read more into it. Hopefully he wouldn't read more into it. Her thoughts stumbled. Not that there was anything to read. She was just being a good friend. Gaw, she was a moron. Could she be any more pathetic?
“Miss Kagome was fine when I last saw her, that she was. She was glad her boyfriend came back safely.”
Kenshin nodded. “Miss Kagome's boyfriend is in the military. He just got back from his tour, that he did.”
Kaoru's mouth opened, snapped shut, and opened again. “But I thought...Weren't you...she wasn't your girlfriend?”
His head tilted and a small frown pulled at his lips. “No.”
“Sano said—”
His expression cleared. “Ah, Sano was angry that he couldn't get her attention. She turned him down for a date, that she did. Miss Kagome must've told him she was already seeing someone.”
Her finger rose to point at him. “You never said you weren't!”
Violet eyes blinked owlishly at her. “Oro. I didn't think you believed him, that I did not.”
Kaoru's jaw dropped. After all that, he wasn't even dating? He let her believe that he was? Was this some kind of game? No. He probably didn't realize... “You're an idiot!”
“Oro? Miss Kaoru—”
She snatched her backpack from the floor, leveling a glare at him cold enough to freeze water. “You're buying me a coffee.”