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Author's note: Here is part two, if you're reading this I'm assuming that the first chapter wasn't too horrible. I hope you like this one!


When the Earth Moves..
Chapter Two
By Athena


The torrent of suffering in his head was the first thing that he felt. The sharp ache that seemed to permeate his entire skull was enough to bring him the rest of the way into awareness. His chest sent sharp pain as well becoming a companion to his head. He wiggled his fingers, first one, then the others. Check. Then he moved to the legs, first one, and then pain. He tested it out, searching for the source of the pain. It was his ankle, felt like a sprain. He shrugged it off; he had had much worse. He stilled trying to recall just what had happened. Searching his half-functioning, pain addled brain for an answer, it began to send him some answers. * Cave, rescue the woman, another earthquake, falling rocks and, and Kaoru! * He panicked, remembering his last action was accidentally calling her into this cave, where he was most certain to get crushed. Moving his hands underneath him he became more aware of the weight on top of him. He paused, afraid that he might send some avalanche of rocks on himself. As intelligence began to overtake instinct in his mind, he began to realize that the weight atop him was much to soft to be a rock. Horror dawned on him at the comprehension of his situation. Pulling him self out from under the weight confirmed his dreadful suspicions.
" Kaoru!" He cried out frantically, his hands quickly going to her wrist, looking for a pulse. His heart almost stopped when he couldn't find one at first due its weakness. Setting her wrist down his eyes were begging to adjust to the new levels of dark. Glowing mushrooms lighted the small newly created cavern enough for him to see his surroundings. Eyes adjusted, his gaze moved to find the reason why Kaoru had felt so heavy. Her slight weight was compounded by the addition of large rocks that had piled on her back; her legs were buried in a pile of rocks that blocked the entrance to the cave. Just when he thought his gruesome tally was done, he found that a foot long spear of rock had impaled her shoulder. For the first time in his life he felt truly helpless. He realized as he began to move the rocks away from her legs and back that the rock in her shoulder was right where his head had been. She had saved his life. Thousands of thoughts went though his mind as he frantically lifted the broken stone away from her legs. One was prevalent. He would not let Kaoru die. An almost in audible sound reached his ears. He whipped towards its owner.
"Kaoru!" He exclaimed, ecstatic that she was awake. She was still stuck on her stomach, and now that she was pressed against the ground was having a hard time breathing. Her shallow breath came in pitiful little gasps. Ignoring his own pain in doing so he laid down on his side allowing him to get face to face with her turned head. Her gorgeous blue eyes were cloudy with pain, but amazingly she managed a smile when she saw him.
"Kenshin." She managed; the smile pulled at her dirt smudged cheeks. He smiled back and brushed a strand of hair back from her face. Then if faded and he turned serious.
" I can't risk taking that rock out of your shoulder just yet, it's the only thing that is keeping you from loosing a lot of blood. I need to get you off your stomach though, you're having trouble breathing aren't you?" He asked worriedly. She nodded and coughed, her face pinching up in pain.
"Dr.Genzi is gonna be angry, I really broke my ribs this time." She gasped out as he lifted a heavy rock of her tender back. Her shoulder was pure agony; she was glad that she couldn't see exactly what was causing her the pain. She pushed it to the back of her mind with the rest of the pain that she was feeling.
"Gomen" He apologized. Then asked," your ribs? How do you know that they are broken for sure?" She pushed herself up a bit with her one good arm, and settled on her one elbow. It wasn't much of a difference but at this point she would take what she could get.
" Because I heard 'em" She didn't get a response from Kenshin and craned her neck to see was wrong. " Kenshin what is the matter?" She asked coughing a bit. He looked at her a look of great sadness on his face.
" Kaoru, your legs.." He trailed, as if he couldn't find words. It was really scaring her.
"What, there's nothing wrong, they don't hurt at all." As soon as she spoke those words she came to realize that they didn't hurt because she couldn't feel them. Besides her shoulder and her ribs couldn't feel any pain at all. Horror seeped into her mind. " Kenshin, I can't feel my legs!" Her terror filled voice shaking. His voice dropped a few octaves to a calming tone, he didn't even know if he was speaking words at all, but Kaoru's panicked breathing slowed. He only wished he were as calm as he sounded. Her hakama were scrunhed up to the knee, revealing her lower legs. They were hard to see in the dark but one was twisted at an impossible angle mid-shin and the other was swollen and hardly recognizable as a limb. He turned to Kaoru who had become two silent all of a sudden.
" Kaoru?" He asked moving towards her upper body. He took her wrist again and found her pulse had returned the shallow beat of unconsciousness. She had slipped under again. He closed his eyes and took a deep breath. * Just as well that she isn't awake for this. * That splinter of rock had to come out of her shoulder. He pulled off his gi and laid it on his lap. He found a seam and began to rip out the white lining to use as bandages. Once finished with that he had to smile. He was really glad that she wasn't awake for this part, she would have had a fit at what he did next. Rising to his knees he straddled her back placing on hand on her back and the other at the base of splinter. It was slick with blood, but Kenshin knew that the spear had thankfully missed hitting her collarbone. Taking a deep breath he pulled it out swiftly not wanting to prolong any suffering. She made a low moaning sound but remained unconscious. He immediately pushed several folded pads of the rags he had ripped onto the wound stopping the flow of as quickly as he could. Taking some of the longer strips he had ripped, he lifted her off the ground a bit to slip them around her chest and tied the bandages in place. Swinging his leg to one side, he slipped his hands under her waist he pulled her up and as gently as possible turned her onto her back. He moved towards the nearest wall of the cave only a few inches away. Leaned up against the wall he pulled Kaoru into his lap leaned her head against his chest. He could hear her begin to shiver and realized that it was actually getting quite cold in the cave. Reaching to the remains of his gi, he pulled it over the both of them. He wrapped his arms around her, hoping that body heat would warm her up. He leaned his head back against the smooth stone; he began to realize just how tired he was getting. *Must be the head injury * He thought warily as the heaviness began to become very insistent. He tried to fight it but he realized that it was useless. His body was determined to make him sleep some if it off. Holding his precious bundle a little tighter, he gave in to his body's demands. As he slipped under into sleep he could only hope that help was on the way.


"Shit! Which one?" Sanosuke exclaimed as he got a look at just how many caves there were. He turned back around and gestured for the rest of the rescue party to come down the hill. Not that it was much of a party, he grumbled to himself. Tae had come running into the clinic telling them that Kenshin and Kaoru had gone into the forest to get a woman stuck in a cave out. He knew it wasn't really his help they needed but Megumi's. It wasn't like he was going to let her come up here all alone. Yahiko, who had been wondering what was keeping Kaoru and Kenshin so long hand ran into them on their way out of town. The three of them had been on the newly cleared trail when the huge earthquake had hit. Aside from a few scrapes and bruises they had fared well. It didn't take them long to all come up with the same worry. If the small quake that morning had caused a rockslide in the caves, what had this one done, and had their friends been inside? Running the small distance to the clearing Sano had wasted no time in running down the slope to the cave fronts. He looked at back to them; Yahiko was helping Megumi down the slope. Sano moved onto the small rock clearing and looked at the rockface sullenly. Neither Kaoru of Kenshin were outside. That most likely meant they were inside one of the caves. There were seven cavern openings, some small and some large. The one at the very far end had a huge boulder rolled in front of the entrance. *We'll its not that one, they couldn't have even gotten inside of there. * His eye suddenly captured something. Against the pale rock dark strands lay caught half under a rock. He kneeled down and pulled some free. He knew this hair color immediately. *Kaoru. It she must have fallen when the quake hit and her hair might have been caught on some fallen rocks, so when she got up.. * He looked up at the two caves nearest him one with the huge bolder, and the other had a cleared entrance with in cave in a ways back. *Bingo. * He stood, Yahiko and Megumi jogging up to his side.
" Where are they?" Yahiko asked is large brown eyes wide with worry. Megumi nodded asking the same question silently. Sano nodded his head towards the caved on opening and they paled. " You mean under that?" He asked his voice shaken bit.
"Hopefully behind and not under." Sano nodded gravely holding out his finding. Megumi took and looked at it.
"This is Kaoru's." She stated understanding why Sano had picked that cave he did. Sano had already headed into the cave and began to pull rocks away from the pile. Megumi turned to Yahiko and spoke seriously. " Yahiko, we're going no need help clearing this away. Go back as fast as you can and get some help and supplies. Tell Dr.Genzi what has happened and he will give you the supplies needed. I don't know how bad the damage is and people will be too busy with there own problems to listen to one more plea for help, but we need as much help as you can get. Understand?" He nodded and took off the way they had came. She watched him go, and turned to helped Sano. She had a great about of respect for the boy and knew that he would get the best help he could. Despite his often childish actions he was quite capable of doing what ever he wanted to. She only hoped that it was enough.
If only they knew they were digging out the wrong cave, and that for the pair huddled in the dark, time was running out.


To Be Continued..




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