Rurouni Kenshin Fan Fiction ❯ Return of the Rooster ❯ Confessions ( Chapter 3 )

[ T - Teen: Not suitable for readers under 13 ]
Sano and Megumi walked into the dojo, looking for their victims. Just then the scent of fresh fish tickled Sano's nostrils. He gestured toward the dining room.

"Let's go and make 'em choke on their food," he said, the right corner of his mouth twitching into a grin.

"Sounds good to me," said Megumi.

Upon entering the dining area, Megumi and Sano found the table set for two. There were plenty of freshly cooked fish, seasoned as only Kenshin could get them. There was a jug of sake and two saucers on the table. The phono and a pile of cylinders with the most romantic music on them were suspiciously set up near the table.

"Can you believe this?" said Megumi in awe.

"Yeah, they just took off without eating," said Sano, causing Megumi to roll her eyes in exasperation.

"Well, there's no sense in letting all this delicious food go to waste," she said. "Why don't we just finish it off for them and kill them later?"

"I'm with ya. That fish smells great," said Sano. He was about to plop down in front of the table and start stuffing his face, when something stopped him. Sano held out his hand and helped Megumi into sitting position across the table from him. He then poured her a cup of sake. Sano set up a record with soft violin music on the phono, which made for a very romantic atmosphere.

"Itadakimasu," they said together and started in on their meal.

Out in the field, the Himuras were resting after filling their bellies. Kenji was curled up with his stuffed rooster in his arms. Kenshin was lying with his head pillowed on his wife's lap.

"I wonder how everything's going," said Kaoru softly as she ran her fingers through Kenshin's hair.

"I'm sure they're fine," said Kenshin without opening his eyes. "We set everything up for them, so I think they'll be OK."

"You're trusting that Sanosuke will use his brain for once," said Kaoru, causing Kenshin to rumble with laughter.

"I think it'll work. I have faith in them," he said, sinking into a doze.

Sano and Megumi sat staring at each other across the table as they ate slowly. Each had so much they wanted to say to the other, but didn't know how to start. The atmosphere was thick with emotion and unanswered questions.

Presently they both started to speak at the same time.

"You go first Megumi," said Sano with uncharacteristic softness in his voice. His calling her by her name also rather surprised her.

"What was it like to travel the world? Did you have any great adventures, meet interesting people?" asked Megumi.

"Yeah," said Sano. "I did some exctin' shit in the States. I went on gold mining expeditions, drove cattle across the plains, hitched on freight trains across the countryside and met Thomas Edison who gave me the phono."

"I suppose you can't ever be expected to work or pay for things like an honest man," teased Megumi.

"Eh, it's just not in my nature," said Sano with a chuckle. "What about you? Kenshin told me you found your brother. That's great! What's he like?"

"Saranou was always a good, kind brother to me," said Megumi. "We're running our parents' clinic and things are going well."

"That's good," said Sano. After a long pause, he spoke again. "Are you happy?"

"What? Of course I'm happy. I..." Megumi stopped speaking. Sanosuke was staring into her eyes. His brown eyes had no waggish humor in them, but actual depth, like he really wanted to hear about her. Something in his gaze loosened her emotions just a bit.

"Sanosuke, why did you just leave without even saying goodbye?" she said suddenly.

"I wanted to. You got no idea how bad it hurt just leaving like that, but the cops were closing in. I had no choice. I had to ditch Japan," said Sano. "I wanted to say goodbye, but there just wasn't time. If I'd had the time I would've... asked you to go with me."

"What?" asked Megumi.

"I would've asked you to go with me. If they just hadn't shown up when they did and chased me off. When I left that harbor and you weren't there, I felt like my right arm had been cut off," said Sano.

"I felt like my heart had been ripped from my chest when Kaoru-chan told me you left. I hated you at that moment. For the past six years, I've tried not to think about you at all. But lately..." Megumi trailed off.

"Same here," said Sano. "I figured you'd be pissed at me, so I didn't think about you either. I just went from country to country, drinking, fighting, seeing the sights, having adventures, just drowned myself in travelling and tried to forget. It was easy at first, but you just kept popping back into my mind. And then I saw you come into the front yard today and it was like 'whoa'. You got into my dreams and you won't get out, Vixen."

"You won't get out of mine either, Rooster," teased Megumi.

Megumi and Sano ate and drank in silence for about 20 minutes after, both steadily sipping the sake, neither knowing what to do. They both still had feelings for each other! Suddenly the door had been thrown open and just on the other side was Possibility, limitless in her wonder and potential. As the sake flowed, tongues loosened.

"So wutcha think, Megumi? You think me 'n you'd be good together?" asked Sano, his eyes hazing over a bit.

Megumi blushed, feeling the sake's effects on her too.

"Foxes do love chickens," she said, fox ears popping out.

"Yeah, to eat," said Sano, pouring her another cup. 'I'd like to eat her,' he added silently.

After another long pause, Sano spoke again, this time about the Himuras.

"I always knew Kenshin and Jou-chan'd get hitched. It was just a matter of time," he said. "They're a great couple. Made for each other and all."

"Yes. They're very happy together. It's what both of them needed, to come together and be one," said Megumi.

"Yeah. Come together and be one and be happy," repeated Sano. Suddenly he looked up at Megumi. "I wanna do that. I mean, I want US to do that! Be one and be happy. How about it, Vixen?"

"Are you proposing?" asked Megumi.

"Yeah. No. I dunno what the hell I'm doing," said Sano. "I wanna at least try. I can't keep running from what's in here," he said, pointing at his nose. Megumi's eyes widened. Was this Sanosuke talking? Bar brawling, gambling, drinking, freeloading Sanosuke talking as if he had a brain?

"Sano..." she whispered. Quite suddenly, Sano was on his knees next to her, taking her hands in his.

"I know I don't have no right to ask anything of ya, not yet. I'm not saying get married or even engaged yet. We can just kinda see each other a lot and you know, see how it goes. I just want a chance. That's all I'm asking," said Sano as sincerely and sensitively as his limited intellect allowed.

"I guess it couldn't hurt to give it a try," said Megumi, recalling bitterly the men who used her services as a doctor but would never be seen courting a woman who practiced medicine. They were hypocrites. Megumi knew that Sano hated hypocrisy and would never sink to that level.

"Great!" said Sano. "Well I guess this little dinner could count as our first 'date'."

"That sounds reasonable," said Megumi. "Hey, do you still want to kill Kenshin and Kaoru? I don't."

"Nah. We'll let them get away with meddling this time," said Sano. "But they do it again and we kill 'em."

Out in the back, listening quietly at the door, Kenshin and Kaoru had to fight to stifle their laughter. They'd heard the last part of the conversation. Their plan had actually worked!

"C'mon. Let's go in the front door," whispered Kenshin, leading his wife and sleeping son silently around the side of the building to keep from disturbing the Rooster and Vixen.

That night, as he was returning to bed from the outhouse, Kenshin met Sano who was on his way to the same place. The two men stopped and faced each other in the darkness.

"Thanks for everything, Kenshin," said Sano. "But if you ever fuck with my love life again, I'll break you in half."

"You're welcome Sano," said Kenshin, ignoring the friendly threat.