AN: Whoo hoo, two chapters in a row! Now all I need is to continue on doing that....
Chapter Ten ~ Arrival
Kaoru woke up bright and early the next morning, prepared to drag Yahiko out of bed for morning practice. She smiled to herself as she tied her hair back in its usual ponytail. Kenshin had been really sweet to her yesterday. Well, he had always been sweet to her, but the day before was different. He had been unusually sweet to her, which she didn't particularly mind. She shook her head out of though, mentally smacking herself. Kaoru-chan no baka! You've got work to do!
"Yosh!" she shouted in front of Yahiko's door, rolling up her sleeves. "Yahiko, get your----"
She blinked in confusion at the sight before her. Empty. "...Yahiko?"
Small footsteps were running towards her excitedly. She turned around to see the twins chasing each other down the hallway. They stopped as soon as they saw her.
"Ohayou, Kaoru-neechan!" Ran greeted.
"Ohayou!" Rikku echoed.
Kaoru smiled, kneeling down to their height. "Ohayou, Rikku-chan, Ran-chan. How come you two are up so early?"
"We went to say 'bye to Ken-nii and Yahiko-nii," Ran informed her.
Enishi wrapped the remainder of his weapon left uncovered and slung it over his shoulder. It would be all he needed today. He stepped out of the home, making his way towards the gates, when he suddenly stopped and glanced up. His eyes narrowed.
"Why are you two here?" he asked.
Akito pushed himself off of the fallen pillar and gave Enishi a grin. "What do you think? We want to help."
Ayeka too pushed herself off the pillar, nursing her shoulder. She blew back a wisp of hair. "Yumiko's not just important to you. She's also our sister."
"Besides, we kinda have a grudge against Youji anyway," Akito added. "What's that saying again? The more people you have, the better?"
Enishi gave a smile at Yumiko's siblings, a true one that he hadn't given in days. "Okay, you got me. But we don't have that much time left."
"Oi, Kenshin," Sanosuke asked. "Are you sure about this? I mean, sure, we're busting into a major organization, but with Enishi?"
Kenshin chuckled at the younger man's apprehensiveness. "Daijoubu de gozaru yo, Sano. From what I've seen Enishi nowadays, he had changed somewhat. Can't you see it through his eyes?"
Sanosuke folded his arms, gnawing on a fishbone. "Maa, they do look a little different than before..."
"From what Ran, Rikku-chan, and Myung-san say, I believe them," Yahiko blurted out. "He's normal...sorta."
"Hmph. And why are you here, kid?" Sanosuke asked.
"Why else am I here?" Yahiko retorted. "I wanna help out, too! And don't call me kid, rooster head."
"Che, whatever you say, Yahiko-chan."
"Don't call me 'chan' either!"
"You're just going to et in the way."
Kenshin calmly held back an enraged Yahiko who was tempted to kill Sanosuke with his shinai, if it was possible. Sanosuke just shrugged, grinning maniacally.
"Maa, maa, Yahiko..." Kenshin tried to say.
"What're ya doing, Yahiko-chan?" Sanosuke teased. "Swinging flies?"
"I'm gonna get you, rooster head!" Yahiko shouted.
"Would you two children stop playing around? It's getting rather annoying," came Saitou's voice from the boat.
This time Kenshin had to hold back both Yahiko and Sanosuke from pummeling Saitou, if that was even possible. He and the other police officers nearby sweatdropped as the two began a swearing spree that would make even Buddha ashamed.
"Maa, maa, you two know that's his way of saying 'stop', de gozaru," Kenshin tried to explain.
Saitou ignored the two rooster head look-a-likes, noticing three lone figures walking towards the harbor in the morning fog. "You're late. I was beginning to think that you ran away."
Enishi shrugged, brushing aside the comment. He could feel Ayeka's anger boiling next to him. She hadn't been having a good morning. Now I can see why she gets so angry easily...Akito only cocked his head to the side.
"It's just my style," he replied.
"Tagging along, huh?" Sanosuke muttered, referring to Akito and Ayeka.
However, Ayeka had heard him. She growled, clenching her fists tightly. "Tagging along my ass. We're not henchmen, ahou. The one who's tagging along is you."
Sanosuke eyes narrowed. He didn't have enough sleep the night before after losing his money once again to gambling. "Nani?"
"Hmph, you've got nothing to do with this, so why're you coming with us? Wanna make sure that Enishi doesn't do anything to your friend or something? You've seen it for yourself already; he's just fine!" Ayeka argued.
"Hey, listen, tomboy. You're pulling my nerves," Sanosuke rebutted. "And I ain't gonna fall into this BS that Enishi's 'just fine'!"
Enishi and Kenshin exchanged long glances at each other as the arguing ensued. Yahiko remained silent as he watched the argument with a keen eye while Saitou yawned out of boredom. The police officers accompanying them looked at each other in confusion. Their yelling still continued, each shout one step closer to a brawl, until Akito stepped in between them.
"Oi, oi," he said. "I'm not sure what went on between you two, but let's just try to tolerate each other, ne?" He looked at his sister, whispering, "Ayeka-neechan, calm down will ya?" He then looked at both Ayeka and Sanosuke. "Whatever's between you two can be settled after getting oneechan back, so let's get on the boat, okay?"
The two gave one last evil glare before nodding in agreement and entered the boat. Akito quickly followed behind them, giving a thumbs-up sign to Enishi telling him that he had everything covered.
"Two hot tempers flirting at each other," Yahiko murmured as he got on. "Megumi's gonna be M-A-D."
Kenshin and Enishi watched the young samurai go in silence.
"That young man, de gozaru," Kenshin finally said, "is he related to Ayeka-dono?"
"Aa," Enishi replied. "That's her younger brother, Akito."
"Myung-dono was telling us a lot about you," Kenshin said. "I'm guessing you haven't told you, have you?"
Enishi looked down at his shoes, contemplating his answer. "Now that I think of it: no. I'm beginning to think that she does know, though. The only person I've told my past to is Yumiko."
"Then Myung-dono and Yumiko-dono have seen what I saw in you that other's can't see at a first glance," Kenshin said enigmatically as he stepped onto the boat.
Enishi snapped his head up in surprise, watching the back of Kenshin's shrinking form. What did he mean by that?
Fukihara Youji finished hooking in the belt of his pants before getting out of bed and heading out of his room. He took one last look at Yumiko's sleeping form before leaving, smiling sinisterly to himself. The drugs had worked well for him. Her resistance was too weak, and she had given up after realizing that fighting wouldn't work. His smile turned to a sinister grin as he remember the sweet taste of her flesh and her whimpers and cries to stop. She could do nothing against his advances. She was his after all.
Now all he had to do was to get those who got in his way...
"Fukihara Youji's villa is divided into four areas: the north end, the south end, the east and west ends," Saitou quickly explained. "From what my spies have said, the entrance to the villa is heavily guarded with mercenaries."
"So we can't go and make a big scene, huh?" Sanosuke muttered.
"Why? You're scared of getting killed?" Ayeka asked sarcastically.
"Where's the least guarded area?" Kenshin asked in order to keep on the subject.
Before Saitou could give an answer, Enishi replied from the corner of the room, "The west end."
Everyone turned to look at him in surprise, but he shrugged. "It's a guess."
"So, then let's land on the west end," Akito said.
"We can't," Saitou replied. "The west end is complied of rough waters and rocky cliff side This boat isn't built to withstand those conditions."
"So then how're we going to get in?" Yahiko asked.
Silence. Then Saitou strolled over to Enishi, handing him the map of the villa. Enishi looked at him with a blank stare.
"You seem to be familiar with the place," Saitou said. "Don't mind if you tell us how to get in, do you?"
Enishi stared at Saitou then at the others. He sighed, rubbing the side of his ribs.
"The west end is the least guarded area, but it's filled with traps that had been built in the villa a long time ago. Even if we do pass through the traps, there's also rooms in which each of Youji's trusted men are guarding. If we're going to get in on that side, then I recommend that you listen carefully to what I'm going to say..."
Youji turned around at the call of his title, katanas in hand. Tsuke, too, turned as a soldier came stumbling in the room.
"What is it?" Youji asked.
The soldier bowed respectfully at his superiors, his eyes not daring to look up. "Okashira, a ship has stationed itself a ways off from the island."
"Nani?" Tsuke exclaimed.
The soldier took a deep breath of air. Even though his okashira wasn't angry, that didn't mean that he could not face death. "We're not sure why, but some of our scouts have seen a man with red hair and a cross scar on his cheek on board."
Youji arched a curious eyebrow. "Was there a man with white hair next to him?"
"...Hai. There were also a few more people on board, but I'm not sure how many."
A small chuckle crept up to his throat. His lips curled in a cruel smile as he burst into maniacal laughter. Tsuke and the soldier stared at their okashira in a mixture of fear and confusion.
"...Okashira?" Tsuke asked.
Youji stopped his laughter, but his grin remained. "So, he asked Battousai for help? This is truly amusing."
"Battousai? As in Hitokiri Battousai?" Tsuke asked incredulously.
"Tsuke, tell the others. We need to welcome Yukishiro Enishi's guests."