Rurouni Kenshin Fan Fiction ❯ Return of the Rooster ❯ Setting the Plan into Motion ( Chapter 2 )

[ T - Teen: Not suitable for readers under 13 ]
After lunch, Sano took Kenji outside and told him stories of his world travels, being careful to leave out all the racy stuff, lest Kaoru inflict great bodily harm on him. Kenshin told Kaoru all about his and Sano's conversation during fishing, laughing himself sick over the memory of Sano's utter cluelesness.

"I knew he was dumb, but that's bad even for Sanosuke," said Kaoru in amazement.

"We have to find a way to get those two together," said Kenshin when he was able to speak again. "But how?"

"I have an idea," said Kaoru. "I'll send a telegram to Megumi saying that you're very ill and ask her to come down here."

Kenshin hated the idea of lying to Megumi, but there was really no other way since Megumi wouldn't be back for a whole year. He nodded his tacit approval.

Kaoru went to the telegraph office in town and sent this telegraph to Megumi:

To Takani Megumi:

Kenshin has fallen gravely ill. Oguni-sensei doesn't know what's wrong with him and he's getting worse day by day. You're the only one who can help him! Please come down to Tokyo at once.

From: Himura Kaoru

Megumi was getting ready to close down the clinic for the day when a telegram courier arrived and handed her the telegram. After tipping the man, Megumi sat down and read it. When she read about Kenshin's impending doom, panic flooded into her eyes.

'Ken-san's ill? How can that be? He was fine when I examined him two weeks ago!' she thought frantically. There was no time to be lost.

Megumi packed up a change of clothes and her medical stuff, informed Saranou of what had happened and then bought an express train ticket for Tokyo. All the way there, she brooded over Kenshin and wondered how she could've missed this. When the train pulled into the station, Megumi got off and saw Kaoru waiting for her. She ran over to the younger woman and hugged her.

"This way Megumi-san. We don't have a moment to lose," said Kaoru in mock horror.

Kaoru and Megumi ran as fast as they could in their kimonos, which restricted their leg movement. Kaoru felt rather badly for dragging Megumi down under false pretenses. She hoped that getting Megumi and Sano in the same place would make this all worthwhile.

Back at the dojo, Kenshin dragged Sano out to the front yard and handed him a broom.

"Kaoru-dono wants you to sweep the front walk," he lied.

"Whaaaat? Noooooww? Can't I do it tomorrow?" moaned Sano.

"No, best do it now if you don't want her to clobber you," said Kenshin.

"Aw, shit," said Sano, taking the broom. It was only his second day living here and already Jou-chan had turned him into slave labor.

Kenshin picked up Kenji who was standing watching them. "C'mon Kenji-chan. Let's go inside and start dinner, shall we?" he said, smiling at his little boy.

"Okay, Daddy," said Kenji. "Bye, Rooster."

"See ya, Midget," said Sano, starting the onerous task of sweeping.

"What are the symptoms Ken-san is displaying?" asked Megumi as she and Kaoru hurried through the crowded streets.

"He's very hot to the touch," said Kaoru, suddenly coming to a stop. "That reminds me. I need to get more ice to pack him with. You go on ahead to the dojo while I get it and I'll meet you there."

"Yes," said Megumi, and she took off again.

Megumi came through the front gate and slammed on the brakes when she saw Sagara Sanosuke standing in front of the dojo, sweeping the walkway. Sano dropped the broom when he saw Megumi and the two of them spent almost a whole minute just gaping at each other.

Kenshin and Kaoru (who had actually taken a shortcut back to the dojo) were sitting on the roof, watching the Rooster and the Vixen silently, hoping their little plan would come to fruition.

After what seemed like an eternity, Sano found his voice.

"What are you doing here, Vixen?" he said, brown eyes almost popping out of his face.

"I might ask you the same thing, Rooster. When did you get back?" said Megumi, recovering from her shock.

"A week ago," said Sano. "I've been staying here for two days. I thought you went to Aizu."

"I did. I found my brother and with him, started our practice up again," said Megumi. 'Besides, you left without saying goodbye,' she thought to herself.

"What are you doing here?" asked Sano again, causing Megumi to remember why she was there in the first place.

"Ken-san! He has a raging fever that I need to treat right away. Excuse me, Sanosuke," said Megumi, starting to head into the dojo. Sano grabbed her.

"Fever? What the hell are you talking about? Kenshin's fine. He and I've been hanging out with Kenji all day. He doesn't have a fever," said Sano.

"But Kaoru-chan sent an urgent telegram," protested Megumi.

Suddenly the lightbulb turned on in Sano's head (a rare occurrence indeed). "Wait a minute... Yesterday when Kenshin and I were talking, he was asking me stuff like if I was happy and how I was gonna live my life now that I was back," he said.

"He asked me if I was happy too when I visited here last month," said Megumi.

"Kaoru sends me a telegram about Ken-san's health, knowing I'll rush right down... Oh, I smell a pair of rats," said Megumi.

"Me too. When I get my hands on Kenshin, I'm gonna kill him," said Sano.

"Those two have some nerve!" said Megumi.

On the roof, Kenshin and Kaoru looked at each other and smiled. Wordlessly, they descended the roof and snuck into the dojo, quickly packing enough food for three in a picnic basket. They took Kenji and went out to the woods in the back of the dojo, having left the dining room table set for two. Two picnics in one month; Kenji was thrilled!