Disclaimer: They aren't mine, please don't take me away!
Author's note: All you people with sick minds who took the title way too 'between the lines' can hit the road now, cause that's NOT what this is about. It did catch you interest though ne? Hee Hee. Alright, now my deprived self hasn't seen any of the Revenge Arc, but lets just say they both know about Tomoe. This is my first RK fic so please be kind!
When the Earth Moves...
The sun rose bright and warm, on that early spring morning. Birds sang their bright and cheery song, waking all those who wished to remain asleep. Slowly reaching up from the depths of a deep sleep, Kaoru grasped the first vestiges of awareness. Making a noise akin to a groan she rolled over and came to rest on her stomach. She instantly regretted it. She cursed loudly as she pushed her self to her knees to relive the pressure on her sore ribs. Getting to a sitting position on her knees she took a deep breath. Megumi had assured her that nothing was broken, only bruised. For the way Kenshin was treating her she might as well have a terminal wound. They had been at the market and Kaoru had seen this guy getting a little rough with old merchant. So naturally she intervened. The man himself was drunk and so she had taken him down easily, she had not however realized he had a friend. By that time Sano had heard the noise and finished the other guy off. She had spent the rent of the afternoon being pampered by Kenshin. Which, now that she though about wasn't necessarily a bad thing. She smiled to herself. Putting an arm across her chest she used the other to push herself to her feet. Putting on a robe she slid the door open and headed towards the sweet smells emanating from the kitchen.
Kenshin smiled as he watched the little black cat that lived around the dojo chase a butterfly. He moved the tea off the fire and set it down on the counter. He turned to set the table, he could hear the inhabitants of the dojo begin to stir. He wondered if he should see if Kaoru needed any help. He decided against the idea, knowing that she would only get angry. He felt bad for not being there yesterday, and had told her as much. She had shaken her head and waved it off telling him that he was being silly and that he couldn't be every where at one time. So to make it up to her, and make himself feel better in part, he had become her shadow. He could tell though, the by the time he had helped her to her room last night he could tell she was getting annoyed. So he decided to give her space for today. His thoughts were interrupted by the sounds of footsteps at the doorway. Turning, he saw Kaoru's smiling face step into the kitchen.
" Morning. " She nodded to him as she stepped up to the counter. He smiled in return, pouring her a cup of tea.
" Morning, how are you feeling?" He handed her the cup and she took it nodding her thanks. She looked at him and breathed in the aroma.
"Better actually, I'm a bit sore, but I feel better that yesterday." She took a sip of her tea, letting the warm liquid slip down her throat. Stepping outside she felt Kenshin follow beside her. Leaning against on of the posts supporting the porch she turned her face up to the sun. The temperature was a bit cool, it being only early spring, but the sun was warm and made it just perfect. "Its a beautiful morning don't you think?" She turned towards him, blue eyes gazing into violet ones. He looked to the sky then back to her.
" It is, much warmer that yesterday, the summer is on its way for sure." He smiled then saw Yahiko walk into the kitchen. " Breakfast is ready Kaoru." He gestured towards the kitchen. She nodded.
" I join you in a bit, I want to stay out here for a while." She requested looking at the sky again. Not wanting to disturb her mindset he only nodded and stepped back into the kitchen. Suddenly the earth beneath him heaved, causing him to go off balance hitting the doorframe as he fell towards the kitchen. He could hear both Yahiko's and Kaoru's gasps of surprise. His reflexes honed by years of swordfighting, his hand shot out towards the counter steadying himself before he hit the ground. Cups and bowls began to fall out of place, headed towards the floor. Then the shaking stopped, as quickly as it had come. Braced against the counter he looked to Yahiko who nodded. He had been seated anyway and had nowhere to fall. A small cut on his forehead from a cup that had collided with his head the sum of his injuries.
"I'm fine." He raised a hand to his brow, wiping off the small amount of blood that had accumulated there. A thought hit Kenshin.
"Kaoru!" He shouted leaping though the doorway. She was no longer on the porch. Instead, she was lying in the grass. Stepping down he rushed to her side, but she was already rising on her own.
" I'm OK, Kenshin." She hissed as she cradled tender ribs. Not satisfied, Kenshin reached under her and lifted her lithe form to her feet. Once upright, she swayed a bit and grabbed his arm for support. " An Earthquake?" He nodded. " Is everyone else OK?"
" Yeah, only Yahiko you and myself are here. Sano went to a friend's for the night and your sisters are with the doctor." He noticed the way she was clutching her ribs and was worried. " Are you sure you're alright?" She nodded and removed her hand both from her ribs and from his arm to prove it. He took the clue and let it drop.
" Lets make sure nothing is damaged. That one was small wasn't it? I've never been in an earthquake before." She stepped back on the porch looking for any cracks. She headed towards the kitchen. Kenshin nodded.
" It was actually very small, I was in on a long time ago and it was much worse than that. Lets go over to see Dr.Genzi and Megumi and check on them." *And get those ribs checked out* He amended silently.
"Agreed." She looked at Yahiko who was picking up some of fallen cups and bowls; she saw the cut on his head. " Yahiko are you alright?" She asked worriedly reaching for his head. He smiled and nodded letting her touch the small cut to reassure her.
" Oh yeah, its just a little cut. You two go see if everyone is alright I'll clean up here." He nodded towards the door. Kaoru surprised at the volunteering for chores smiled headed to her room. Yahiko's smile faded as he turned back to Kenshin. "She's hiding it but her ribs are hurting her. Have Megumi check her out. I'll straighten things up here." He bent over and picked up another piece. Kenshin put a hand on his shoulder and squeezed gently, he looked up.
" Thank you Yahiko, I appreciate this." Kenshin released his shoulder and headed outside.
" No problem Kenshin. " He called back as he went to get a broom.
The walk there allowed them to see the extent of the damage to the city. A few broken pots and flustered people was the extent of the damage. The buildings were sturdy and had not been damaged by a minor shaking. It did however leave Kenshin wondering how the older, less reliable buildings downtown, held up.
" Good afternoon Dr.Genzi. " She smiled and bowed biting her lip to keep from gasping as her ribs protested. She hoped that no one had seen it. Wishful thinking.
" Your ribs?" He asked wiping his hands on his apron. She waved him off with a smile.
" Are fine, how are you and the girls? Where is Megumi?" She looked about the room. The old man smiled. The girls are at a neighbor's house, and Megumi is with Sanosuke helping downtown. Apparently his friends rinky house collapsed and there were quite a few injured. They should be back pretty soon, and meanwhile I'm gonna take a look at those ribs."
" When the earthquake hit she fell off the porch." Kenshin offered and ducked from the glare that Kaoru shot him. Dr.Genzi smiled to himself these to were wonderful together. If only.. He stopped himself, and ushered Kenshin towards the door.
" Alright, we'll be out in a little bit, go wait outside. " He smiled as slid the door closed behind him. Kenshin stepped into the hall and move to the sitting room. The front door slid open revealing Sano and Megumi.
" Oi, Kenshin is everyone alright at he dojo? " Sanosuke stepped in to the room, Megumi a step behind him. Kenshin nodded.
" Yes, Yahiko got a small cut and Kaoru might have re-injured her ribs when she fell. How is everyone around town, I head there were some problems downtown." He pulled his sword up and sat, placing it beside him. Sano joined him, but Megumi remained standing. She spoke for the first time.
" Yes, some of the buildings downtown were old anyway, and a bit of a shake was enough to bring them down. Sano helped dig people out, and I provided care where it was needed." She smiled and Sano nodded. The slide of a door admitted Kaoru and Dr.Genzi into the hall. Kenshin began to stand but Kaoru held out a hand to stay him. Instead she sat, with his aid next to him on the floor. He opened his mouth but she spoke before he could even ask.
" I'm fine Kenshin, Dr.Genzi even says so himself." Kaoru nodded and looked to the old man for reformation of her statement. The doctor entered into the room shaking his head.
" I said that you would be alright if you keep your escapades down to a minimum. Your fall put too much pressure on already weak bones, I think that you might have fractured them. I can't find an actual break, but the excess bruising suggests that there is one. Its small, but still, I want you to keep as still as possible." He paused looking to Kenshin. " I put you in charge of making sure of this Kenshin." He knew that when it concerned Kaoru's health, Kenshin would be the most vigilant of choices. He almost felt sorry for her.
" I will make sure she stays put." He gave Kaoru a stern look and she shook her head in resignation. She knew that if Kenshin had been her shadow yesterday, today he would be her clothes.
*Hmm that's a thought.* She thought wickedly and laughed mentally. A loud banging at the door brought her pleasant musings to and halt. Kenshin quickly got to his feet but Megumi put out a hand.
"I'll go get it, it probably just a patient. She moving to the door quickly, sliding it open. The knocker was halted mid-pound. He was a tall man in his late fifties. He held a younger boy in his arms. He spoke in heavily accented Japanese.
"Are you the doctor?" He half stepped into the doorway. Megumi nodded.
" I am." She held out her hands for the boy. " Here give me the boy." He handed her the child and the turned to the back rooms. " What happened?" She looked to the man over he shoulder.
" Some pottery fell loose in the earthquake and it hit him on the head. I was told that you were the nearest doctor." He rubbed his hands together and looked about nervously, seeing for the first time they weren't alone. Turning back to Megumi he bit his lip. " Will he be OK?" They entered a room and she set the child down on mat. Eyeing his head carefully, she smiled and brushed the unruly mouse brown hair back off his forehead.
" Yes, he'll be fine. Please go join my friends outside while I dress his wound and give him some medicine." She said calmly, reassuring the man. She gestured to the door and Dr.Genzi showed him to the sitting room. He entered nervously, his wide brown eyes darting about. He straightened a bit then bowed.
" Good afternoon. " He offered, nodding his head. Kaoru stood and she and Kenshin bowed in return. Sano didn't move, but he did nod his head a bit. The man visibly relaxed.
" Good afternoon." Kaoru offered kindly gesturing for him to sit. He did so, while he pulled out a handkerchief and wiped his brow. Her face turned concerned. " Will your son be OK?" Her dark blue eyes, worried orbs. The man nodded happily.
" Yes, but he's my nephew." He saw the look on her face and smiled and shook his head. " No it's alright, it was an honest assumption." He carefully folded the handkerchief and put it away. Kenshin nodded.
"That is well." He sat, joining Kaoru who had just made her way to the floor as well. The man reached over the table extended his hand.
" I'm Liberman Tom." Kenshin grasped the hand shaking it; he couldn't help but laugh at the obvious pause before the man had reversed the name. The man looked startled. " Did I say something wrong?" Kenshin only smiled.
" No, but it was kind of you to speak so. I am Himura Kenshin. This is Kamiya Kaoru," He gestured to her and she smiled. " At the man there is Sagara Sanosuke." Sano nodded again. Kenshin wished he would say something, the poor man was probably worried that he was going to eat him or something. Then again, sometimes Sano said things that he perhaps should have thought about a little more before letting the words come out of his mouth. Giving up on the idea entirely, he changed the subject.
" Are you visiting from England?" Kenshin asked politely, giving Sano a small glare under his gaze. The man shook his head.
" Close, right language anyway. I'm an American. My sister had to take a trip away and so I had to take care of her son, but I got a chance to meet with a colleague who is staying here in Tokyo. I couldn't pass up the opportunity so I just took little Steven with me." He paused looking around as if for an eavesdropper. Satisfied he leaned forward placing his elbows on the table, his hands gesturing in the air. " Tell me, this earthquake, have there been any like it recently?" Kaoru shook her head.
" I've live here all my life and never have I felt one, But Kenshin has been all over Japan so I suppose I'm not the one to ask." She paused looking to Sano, trying to get him talking. " What about you?"
She gave him and evil eye and turned back to the man.
" Why, do you know anything about earthquakes?" She asked curiously. The man nodded.
" Indeed, I study such things. I would like to call myself a man of science. My college and I were conducting a study on this very phenomenon actually. It seems that both Japan and California both have regularly occurring earthquakes as well as other countries around the Pacific Ocean. We are attempting to see if there is a correlation. The last earthquake in this area was recorded 22 years ago." He leaned back as if thinking. Kenshin was curious as to what the man's original inquiry had been leading to, if anything.
" Why is earthquake of concern? It was small, and as you say, earthquakes in this area of the world are relatively common in occurrence correct?"
" In any other case I would not be as concerned, but I am in this one. The theory is that earthquakes are caused by pressure under the ground. In certain parts of the world the pressure is greater that others. We don't know why yet but that is what we are currently studying. The belief that two such places of excess pressure is Japan and California. Now California has small quakes often, thus relieving any great pressure from building up in to a much larger quake. The thing that has me worried here is that if the pressure hasn't been relived here in such a long time that a much larger problem could be on its way." Sano crossed his arms and looked down at the man.
" So what your saying is that the one this morning was just like that little feeling you get in your stomach before you hurl the big one right?" To the surprise of everyone the man only laughed. Sano looked aghast that he hadn't scared the man off. * I guess Americans are heartier than those pansies from England.*
" I suppose that is one way of putting it. But yes I am worried that this morning's little one is only a warning of sorts to a larger quake. I would suggest.." He paused as Megumi stepped into the room, with a small boy clutching her hand. His head was bandaged, but he had a smile on his face. " Steven!" Tom exclaimed holding out his hands. The little boy came running forward and hopped into the embrace. He spoke rapidly to the boy in English. Kenshin understood a few words of it, Kaoru even less, but Sano hadn't a clue. The boy nodded vigorously but stopped when he realized that nodding hurt. He sat down in his uncle's lap and promptly fell asleep. Megumi smiled and leaned up against the wall.
" The medicine I gave him will make him a bit drowsy but it relives most of the pain. He had a bit of a bump but, as energetic as he is, he'll be fine I a few days."
" Thank you so much. He asked me to tell you Thank You for the sweet." He stood lifting the boy carefully. He bowed slightly to the others. " It was good to meet you all. As I was saying I would be careful, just be ready." Kenshin and Kaoru rose and bowed back. Sano even nodded, and a smile puckered his lips. He headed towards the door, and you could hear the edges of the conversation of working out a payment. As soon as the door slid closed, Kaoru crossed the room in two quick strides and yanked hard on the end of Sano's headband.
"Oi, Jo-Chan what was that for?!"
" Baka! You were sooo mean to him!" She yelled at him, yanking the headband another time for good measure. " He is in a foreign country, with an injured loved one in a room full of strangers, the last thing he needed was the you glaring at him! You're so mean!!" She glared at him indignantly. He leaned over her using his impressive height to his advantage. He was about to shout back when Megumi entered the room with a small purse in her hand.
" Oh stop it Sano, you're just grumpy from this morning, so calm down." She spoke as if she were speaking to whiny child. It only made Sano even angrier.
" I have a right to be grumpy!" He stomped his foot and glared at Megumi. Kaoru shook her head.
" Some one woke up on the wrong side of the bed this morning." She turned to Kenshin who smiled and shook his head.
" I did not. I woke up to find a house on my head! Of coarse I'll be grumpy!" He crossed his arms and made a pouty look. They all laughed at him and he just walked outside with a 'humph'. Megumi smiled and began to follow him. She stopped and turned back to Kenshin and Kaoru.
" Why don't you go back to the dojo, I'll talk to him and then we will meet you there. I'll stop by the market and pick up the ingredients for dinner." She smiled and headed out after Sano. Kaoru shook her head.
" They are so funny together, always fighting. I think they like each other." She gave him an evil look and Kenshin laughed as he took her gently by the elbow and guided her out the door.
" That would be interesting, wouldn't it?" She nodded.
" Interesting indeed." They smiled and headed out into the bright afternoon sun.
The two of them walked that way through the streets of Tokyo, watching the hustle as business went up and the market opened, selling all sorts of foods and useful goods. Kenshin pulled up short when he heard a peculiar noise. He looked to Kaoru who blushed.
" Sorry, no breakfast or lunch. It was my stomach that made that the noise." She smiled sheepishly. Kenshin grinned warmly and steered her towards the Akabeko.
" We can bring some home to Yahiko as well, but right now lets get some food in that stomach before you scare someone." They stepped in and were seated. Ordering some soup and tea, Kaoru sat back fingering the soreness around her ribs. The wooden pole that had connected with her ribs had luckily broken on contact, leaving time for her to move before he could have hit her again. By the time he had caught up with her again, Sano had arrived on the scene. She didn't ask what he had done with them.
Kenshin saw her holding her ribs and he felt the pangs of guilt stir up again. Yahiko was the one who had gotten him when it happened. He had been a few blocks over buying Tofu, when Yahiko had almost rammed into him, panting that Kaoru was in a fight and needed help. By the time he had got there Kaoru was on the ground, clutching her side tightly. He didn't want to think about what might have happened if Sano had not been close by. He was so deep in thought that he didn't even realize that Kaoru was calling his name.
" Huh, oh Yes?" He looked at her letting her know that she had his attention.
" I was thinking about what Mr. Liberman said. Do you think that he could be right, about a larger earthquake coming?" She leaned forward placing her elbows on the table waiting for him to answer. He leaned back against the wall of their booth. He looked at her a while before answering her.
" I see no reason to not believe him. We should take his warning seriously. Perhaps we should have some supplies ready incase one does occur and supplies become hard to secure." He leaned forward when Tae came with their meal. " Thank you."
" I'll drop off the other order of soup off before you leave so it is warm." She hurried off to other customers. Kaoru attacked the meal with her usual voraciousness, earthquakes and ribs forgotten. Kenshin smiled, glad she was back to her usual self. He sipped his soup, comparatively silent to Kaoru's hungry slurping. He didn't mind the noise. Compared to the years he ate alone, any companionship, no matter what the noise level was appreciated. They finished their meal in comfortable silence. Seeing that they were done Tae brought a bowl of steaming soup with a top over it.
" You can bring back the bowl next time you come in." She bowed, and Kaoru paid her.
" Thank you, I'll be sure to bring it back." She smiled to the woman and nodded her head in thanks. The young woman scurried off again and Kenshin stood. He reached out and took her hand and helped her slide out of her booth.
"Lets get this soup home to Yahiko while its still warm." Kenshin took the soup from the table. Kaoru nodded and they stepped out of the restaurant. They were immediately assaulted by the frantic voice of a child as he barreled through them almost knocking them over. He was screaming for someone and an older woman emerged from the back of the restaurant, a cook. Kenshin and Kaoru stopped and turned to see what was wrong. The woman kneeled and tried to calm the child down enough to understand what he was saying. The boy, only about seven or eight, was covered in dirt; his clothes were tattered and torn. His hands and knees were covered in scrapes and he was breathing hard.
" Grandma, please you gotta help!" The boy shouted between ragged breaths. He was practically jumping up and down. The woman nodded.
"Shh, just tell me what's wrong." She rubbed her wrinkled hands up and down the boy's arms trying to calm him. The boy took deep breaths and stated over.
" Mommy and I were up in the hills this morning, in some of the caves looking for mushrooms, when the ground went all shaky. Rocks started falling and mommy got stuck. She told me to get help but the old bridge was all broken so I had to go the long way." He stopped begging to hop up and down again. " Please grandma you have to help!" The little boy's eyes pleading. The grandma stood up frantically but before she could say a word a hand on her shoulder stopped her. She turned to see a rather short redheaded man with a x-shaped scar on his face.
" I'll go see what I can do." He looked to Tae. " Go and get Megumi and Sanosuke, they are at Dr.Genzi's." He looked down at the boy. "Where is you mother, do you remember which cave you were in?" The boy shook his head. Then his face brightened.
" The glow cave!" He exclaimed as if that explained it all. Kenshin face-faulted. This was going to be harder than he thought. All of a sudden a slim hand grasped his own and yanked him towards the door. It was Kaoru. They got outside before he pulled her up short.
" Kaoru wait, I don't even know where the woman is!"
" I do, now lets get moving, she could be hurt!" Her voice was insistent and urgent. Kenshin saw the look in her eyes, and it was that determined look that he admired in her so much. But he had made a promise to Dr.Genzi, and letting Kaoru run around the forest and rescue people from rockslides, was most likely the exact thing that the doctor had meant by escapades.
" Then tell me, I won't let you come because of your ribs. I told the doctor that.." He was interrupted be a strange noise that erupted from the blue-eyed woman before him. It sounded almost like a growl.
" Damnit, we don't have time for this! That woman could be dying and you're standing her protesting over some stupid ribs? I think you have your priorities messed up. Now I'm going up there because I'm most likely the only one over six years old who knows what that little boy was talking about. Now are you coming or not?" She looked at him, her eyes both determined and pleading. He sighed, when she gave him that look, he knew that he had no choice but to surrender.
" Alright, but once you show me where it is then you stay back, agreed?" He had to make it seem like he had to have some control of the situation. Or else Sano would never let him hear the end of it. More than that though, he needed to know she would be safe.
" Fair enough, now lets go." She took off at a light jog aware of the distance that was between them and the cave. Kenshin matched her pace, not asking, probably understanding that she was pacing them.
The trip to the cave took them almost over an hour. The bridge that would have made the trip only a fifteen-minute jaunt had collapsed into the river. Kaoru had to take the long way around, and the path hadn't been used in a while. Kenshin's sakabatou proved useful as a deterrent to overgrown bushes. They traveled in silence; both worried about the woman. Eventually curiosity got the best of him. He paused mid swing and turned to her.
" How did you know what that boy was talking about back at the Akabeko?" She smiled as she stepped through the hole he had just made. The boy had been lucky; he was short enough that he could have run right under most of the foliage.
"When I was a little girl, my mother and I would come up here to get mushrooms from the caves, same as that little boy and his mother. One of the caves, the largest one, was always my favorite. It had a very special quality about it that made it a highlight of a usually boring trip."
"It glowed?" He pulled back a piece of brush for her then ducked under himself. Her high ponytail bobbed with her head; thankfully she wasn't in a kimono and in her gi and hakama and was able to move as easily as he.
" Yes it glows. At the far side of the cave where it is very dark, some of the mushrooms glow. For a child, it is quite the experience. My mother would always laugh at my awe of such a simple thing. I will never forget her laugh, it was like spring bells.." Her voice trailed off, lost in the sound of a snapping branch has she pulled it back. He heard the edge sadness in her voice and wondered if he should say something. Deciding it was the wrong time and place he decided to say nothing. Suddenly the trees cleared and the sun intensified. Kaoru sighed in relief.
" Here we are. This is the backside of the hills where the caves are. The bridge would have let us come out right in front of them, but in order to bypass the river, we had to come around to the backside. One side is very steep but the other side is shallower, come on." She led him down the side the crest. On the way down, his heart leaped into his throat several times when she lost her footing and almost stumbled the rest of the way down. If this was the shallow side, he didn't want to even see the steep side. To his relief they finally reached to bottom without serious incident. Without a word she moved to the far end of the many cave mouths. It was a large opening, obscured by a large boulder that would have normally hidden the entrance. She began to move inside but Kenshin put a hand on her shoulder.
"We made a deal, your tired and there might still be some loose rocks. You don't go inside ok?" He looked at her seriously, her face turned a bit crestfallen but she nodded.
"Alright, now hurry and see where she is, call if you need me. I'll wait out here and wait for Sano and Megumi, they should only be tem minutes behind us, plus we cleared the trail." She sat on a rock catching her breath, trying to ignore the pain that had been growing I her ribs the whole trip, not that she would have ever let Kenshin know. He nodded and disappeared into the cave. Leaning back against the rock she closed her eyes and sighed. All she could do now is wait.
Kenshin stepped into the cave, his eyes adjusting to the lower levels of light. He realized that in all the hurry to get there, he didn't know the woman's name.
" Hello?" He called out, looking about for any large pile of fallen rocks. He strained his hearing for and response, he almost smiled when he heard one. It was weak, but it was seemed close.
"Over here!" The voice called out and Kenshin followed it to a small corner of the main cave. The woman, looking to be in her twenties had on of her legs pinned under a rather large rock. He kneeled by her and looked at the situation. Nodding he stood.
" I'm going to get you out, but I need you to stay very still alright?" He looked at her and she nodded. He knew that he could cut threw the rock with just the right angle to break it enough to roll it off her leg. Its not like he hadn't sliced threw something like this before. Sliding the sakabatou out, he began to raise it over his head, when the earth heaved under him, knocking him to the ground. * This must be the big one Liberman was talking about!* The shaking was much more violent and rocks had began falling again. Then a realization pounded into his skull. Kaoru would come in here looking for him, and the cave was falling apart! He shouted, hoping to keep her out. " Kaoru! Don't co.." He was stopped mid-word as he had to roll away from a huge rock that had been dislodged from the ceiling. Then he realized his error. All she had heard was him calling for her. It his thoughts he missed the other, smaller rock that had come down with the larger. His world went dark.
Kaoru had been thrown off her seat 'again' when the shaking had started. Landing hard on her back she heard the rib crack this time. * Do the Gods hate me?* She wondered silently. Gasping in pain she tried to get back to her feet despite the horrible shaking and pain. * Kenshin's gonna have a fit! * Then it clicked. "Kenshin!" she screamed.
" Kaoru!" His voice drifted out of the cave, soft and almost unheard with all the noise of the world shaking around them. Forgetting all else, and using balance that even she didn't know she had, she ran into the cave. Rocks were falling and sharp bits of stone raining from the roof of the cave bit at her skin but she didn't care. Suddenly she saw him. He red hair heaped around him, his form lay unmoving. A horrible heave sent her to the ground as well, and a horrible crack exploded in her ears. Her world was nothing but falling rocks and horrible shaking. No, she corrected herself it was falling rocks, shaking and Kenshin. She spared a look heavenward and knew there was only one chance. She couldn't move him, he was too heavy and her ribs wouldn't let her. Praying to any God that would listen, she threw her body atop his hoping to provide any protection that she could. A sharp haze of pain and her world faded away.
To be Continued..
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