Rurouni Kenshin Fan Fiction ❯ The White Rabbit ❯ Warmth ( Chapter 3 )

[ T - Teen: Not suitable for readers under 13 ]
Inside the dojo, Kaoru's stomach was knotted with worry and panic. The blizzard had hit so suddenly and Kenshin and Kenji hadn't come home. She paced all over the house, frequently going to the back to see if they were coming in through the gate. Had they been trapped in the blizzard? Were they able to find shelter? Were they even still alive?

The sound of her son's crying voice and the sudden appearance of the little boy brought Kaoru to her feet. Kenji's skin was pale, his eyes were wide and he was CRYING!

"Kenji!" cried Kaoru, throwing her arms around her son. Her relief at seeing Kenji was quickly replaced by worry. Where was Kenshin? Why wasn't he following Kenji in?

"Mommy, I made Daddy die!" wailed the little boy.

"What do you mean? Where is Daddy? Show me," said Kaoru, trying to keep her voice even to avoid upsetting the child any more.

"He fell down outside by the back gate," sobbed Kenji. "He's not moving, just like the white rabbit. I made him die."

"Kenji-chan, you go to your room and change into some dry clothes. I'll go get Daddy," said Kaoru, giving the little boy a hug.

"Make him alive again, Mommy," said Kenji tearfully before disappearing to his room.

Kaoru ran outside as fast as she could without bothering to put on a haori. She was horrified when she saw Kenshin lying on the snow.

"Kenshin!" she almost screamed. Wasting no time, Kaoru latched onto Kenshin's arms and started pulling him toward the dojo. Kenshin weighed only a little more than Kaoru, so it wasn't too hard for her to move him. Adrenaline borne of fear helped a lot too.

Kaoru got Kenshin inside the dojo and then into their bedroom. Laying him down on the futon, Kaoru put two fat logs in the fireplace and got a roaring fire going. She had to get Kenshin warm. Time was of the essence. Once she had the fire going, Kaoru went over to the futon, dragged it and Kenshin over near the hearth and began undressing her husband.

Once she had him unclothed, Kaoru covered Kenshin with the blanket, trying to get him warm. Her efforts were rewarded when she felt just a little bit of warmth starting to emanate from Kenshin's body. Kaoru decided that Kenshin needed to be warmed on the inside as well as the out. After tucking him under the blanket up to his chin to keep him warm while she was gone, Kaoru ran out to the kitchen and poured some of the tea she'd set to steep into a cup, then hurried back into the bedroom.

Cradling Kenshin's head in her right hand, Kaoru poured the hot liquid into his mouth, being careful not to spill it onto his bare skin. Kenshin swallowed the tea automatically. Kaoru kept making him drink it until the cup was empty.

Kenji entered the room just as Kaoru finished giving Kenshin the tea. He'd changed into warm, dry clothes and was really quite alright considering what he'd just been through. Kenji walked over to his parents.

"Is Daddy alive?" he asked.

"Yes, Daddy's alive, but he's very cold. We need to warm him up. Let's both get into bed with him. The more people with him, the faster Daddy will get warm," said Kaoru as she unfolded the blanket and motioned for Kenji to climb in next to his dad.

Kenji climbed in and snuggled up against Daddy. Mommy climbed in on the other side and tucked all three of them under the blanket. Kaoru and Kenji snuggled with Kenshin on both sides, trying to warm him up.

After what seemed like an eternity, Kenshin's body began to warm up noticeably. His skin started to revert to its usual pallor instead of the unsightly blue it had turned to. Kenshin's brain started to function and he gradually became aware of lying under a soft blanket next to a hot fire. His violet eyes opened and saw Kaoru and Kenji's anxious faces watching him.

"Daddy!" cried Kenji, hugging his father as tightly as he could.

"Tadaima," whispered Kenshin, smiling at his wife and child.

"Okerinasai," whispered Kaoru, relieved to see her husband awake again.

For the next two hours, the three laid together on the futon, neither Kaoru nor Kenji wanting to leave Kenshin's side. Kenshin gradually woke up and became more aware. His color was much better now. Finally Kaoru was of the mind that they could use some food.

"Are you hungry, anata?" she asked softly.

"Starving," said Kenshin with a sleepy smile.

"I'll get some food for all three of us and we can eat in here. I'll be back in half an hour tops," said Kaoru, getting up and exiting the room.

Kenshin saw the look of sadness on Kenji's face. He stroked his son's titian hair for a minute. Why was the little guy so distressed?

"Why the long face?" asked Kenshin.

Kenji's lower lip was trembling. He didn't want to cry in front of Daddy, never in front of Daddy! He wanted to be strong and brave like Daddy. But now he just couldn't help it.

"I'm sorry I made you die," said Kenji, tears rolling down his face.

"Made me die? What are you talking about?" asked Kenshin, fighting back the urge to laugh at his son's very serious distress.

"At the gate. You fell down and didn't move, just like the white rabbit," said Kenji.

"No, koshishi. I wasn't dead. I was just very cold and tired," explained Kenshin. "You did a great job of keeping me going. I would've died if I'd been trapped in the blizzard and you weren't there. You saved my life, son."

Kenji seemed to feel a bit better hearing this. "Really?" he asked.

Kenshin drew his son into his arms. "Really," he said. "You're a very brave boy. You'll be a fine man one day."

Father and son spent the next half hour just lying together, enjoying the quiet of the room with each other. Finally the shouji slid open and in came Kaoru, carrying three plates of steaming rice and grilled fish. Kenshin and Kenji sat up and accepted the plates, thanking Kaoru. The three sat down to eat together, Kenshin with the blanket wrapped around his shoulders for warmth.

"Itadakimasu," said Kenshin before all three tore into their food.

After Kaoru had tucked Kenji into bed in his room, she returned to their room where the fire created eerie, yet romantic shadows on the wall. Kenshin was lying on his side, staring into the fire. It felt great to be warm again, although his muscles were very sore from having slogged through the snow.

"How do you feel?" asked Kaoru. "Be honest."

"I'm alright. My muscles are a bit sore though," said Kenshin, wanting to be honest, but not wanting to unduly worry Kaoru.

"I have just the thing for that. Roll over on your belly," said Kaoru. Kenshin did as he was told, a smile gracing his features. Kaoru exited the room and returned with a small pot of oil, which had been warming over the hearth in the living room. Megumi had given it to her and explained that when rubbed on sore muscles, it helped to relax them. This was just what the doctor ordered.

After pealing the blanket back, exposing Kenshin's nude body to her, Kaoru poured the oil onto his back. Kenshin sucked in his breath through his teeth. The oil felt surprisingly good. Slowly, deeply and thoroughly, Kaoru pressed down into Kenshin's sore muscles, working the oil in. She could feel tense muscles relax and turn to yokan as she rubbed them. Kenshin let out deep guttural moans of pleasure. Kaoru smiled, pleased that she could elicit this kind of response from the normally reticent man.

Kaoru rubbed the hot oil over Kenshin's lower back and shoulders, working it in very thoroughly on his shoulder blades, then out over his arms, to the very tips of his fingers. Having finished with Kenshin's upper body, Kaoru turned her attention to the lower part. She rubbed the oil onto his smooth, round buttocks and then his legs, which were very sore from walking through the deep snow.

"Ooooh, woman what you do to me," moaned Kenshin, forcing Kaoru to bite back a giggle. Finished with the legs, Kaoru helped Kenshin to roll over onto his back. She rubbed the oil all over Kenshin's torso, starting with his belly and working her way up over his chest, and out along the upper sides of his arms.

Kaoru slid her hands down over Kenshin's torso, not wanting to break contact with him as she worked on the front side of his legs. She rubbed the hot oil onto Kenshin's thighs, knees and then his calves and feet. Kenshin's mind was floating, lost in the pleasure of the experience. His brain was melted to warm goo by the oil and the semi-erotic touch of his wife spreading it all over his nude body. Needless to say the soreness was completely gone, having been replaced by feeling like yokan. Kenshin wouldn't have been able to walk now, even if he'd felt the inclination to move, which he most certainly did not.

Kaoru set the pot aside and replaced the blanket over her husband. She quickly got undressed and then slipped under the covers beside Kenshin, who promptly wrapped his arm around her. Kaoru rested her hand on her husband's oily chest.

"Feeling better now, anata?" she whispered.

Kenshin smiled languidly and nodded.

"Thank you for giving me the day off, even if it didn't turn out as planned," whispered Kaoru.

"You're welcome, but could we wait till summer for the next one?" murmured Kenshin.

"Ano, Kenshin. Kenji mentioned a white rabbit. What was that all about?" asked Kaoru, absently stroking Kenshin's chest.

Kenshin sighed. "He saw a white rabbit die in the forest today," he answered, still not opening his eyes.

"Oh..." said Kaoru. "I guess he had to learn about that sooner or later."

"Yes," said Kenshin. "He's a very brave boy. The spirit of a warrior..." Kenshin's words trailed off because he was exhausted. Kaoru stroked her husband's scarred cheek.

"We can talk in the morning. Get some sleep," she ordered gently.

Kenshin turned over on his side, buried his face in Kaoru's breast and let out a contented sigh. Kaoru stroked Kenshin's gorgeous mane and stared into the fire for a while, thinking about how blessed she was that she had two such wonderful guys in her life and how she'd almost lost them today. She was very glad that they hadn't ended up like the white rabbit.