Okay.I'll see if I can get the thoughts different from the dialogue.I noticed the italics didn't work a bit too late, i.e.: AFTER I posted the fic. Haha. *Scratches back of head*.. . I'll use and to indicate thoughts. Anyway, for those of you who don't like Tokio being particularly strong, I must warn that it gets revealed that she is. Strong. Very. Haha. My fic. I do what I want. *pulls at left eye and sticks out tongue*. By the way, sorry for the Japanese..I'll try to hold off on some. It's just that I keep imagining the characters in my head, and I can only imagine their Japanese voices b/c I've never seen a dub, nor do I want to. *Big sigh*, okay, done. Here goes the fic.
Chapter 2: Saitoh Reveals The Situation
"Tokio-dono, just tell me what you want me to do to help, alright?" offered Kaoru as the two were left alone in the kitchen. (Wait..do Jap houses back then have kitchens? .Well, they do now!)
Tokio just gave a small laugh and smiled. "Kaoru-dono, I'm fully capable of cooking for all of you. I just didn't want to leave you in the company of 3 men, 1 of which included my husband. I have an idea of how un- popular he actually is."
Kaoru looked quite embarrassed, as she replied, "Oh, uh..well, I didn't mean to.."
"No need to apologize, Kaoru-dono. Just sit back and relax, and watch the master!"
Kaoru sat down and did as she was told. For some strange reason, Tokio had a way of looking at her that made her feel uneasy if she didn't listen. Kenshin felt it, too, I know. There was something in his eyes when he looked at her.
* * *
Upstairs, Saitoh designated that Sano and Yahiko would be sharing a room, and Kenshin, too, if he didn't want to share a room with Kaoru. To the dismay of both Sano and Yahiko, Kenshin agreed with sharing the room as opposed to rooming with Kaoru.
"Yare yare, at this rate, she'll be an old maid forever," smirked Saitoh.
"Oy, Kenshin! Even Saitoh here sees it. Just tell her how you feel!" grinned Sano who proceeded to elbow Kenshin's side. Yahiko just sniggered on the side.
Getting serious, Kenshin turned to face Saitoh. "So, when are you going to tell me the situation you're in? All I know is that someone has targeted you, because of the fact that you are an ex-Shinsengumi. But, I would like to know more."
"All in good time, Himura. I'll tell everyone at dinner time."
"Dinner time? But Kaoru-dono and Tokio-dono will be there, too."
"My wife is also involved. I knew her back when I was still Captain of the Third Division of the Shinsengumi, although we didn't get married until the beginning of the Meiji era. Therefore, since I am involved as a Shinsengumi, she is involved as a Shinsengumi." Saitoh's eyes narrowed, and his fist clenched at his side.
"You wish she weren't involved, don't you, Saitoh?" asked Kenshin.
Saitoh turned his look onto Kenshin. "She is my wife. Although you would never think it, I do care for her deeply. Also, like you do, I would not wish people I care about to come in harm's way."
Saitoh's explanation seemed to satisfy Kenshin for the moment. Demo, there's something about her I just can't put my finger on. There's something both she and Saitoh aren't telling me. Kenshin lingered on the thought, and was snapped out of it by a voice from below.
"MINNA! DINNER'S READY!" Tokio's voice yelled.
"Damn, she's loud," muttered Sano. As he walked out of the door, an arm blocked his path.
"Sano, I don't think you should talk about Tokio-dono like that. She did cook us dinner," said Kenshin quietly.
Saitoh watched this through his narrowed eyes. So, Himura did notice something. He doesn't want to provoke myself, or her until he knows the truth. Hmph. Smart move, Battousai, as usual.
"A..Alright, Kenshin," agreed a bewildered Sano. He couldn't understand why Kenshin would be saying something like that.
* * *
At the dinner table, Saitoh sat at the head, while, at his right hand side was a place for his wife. Beside Tokio was Sanosuke, directly in front of Saitoh was Kenshin, at Kenshin's right hand side was Kaoru, and Yahiko was beside her, and uncomfortably squirming because of this closeness to Saitoh. As Tokio came in with the food, though, everyone smiled and gasped in excitement. She had concocted a regular feast!
"Itadakimasu!" said the group in unison as they chowed down.
Saitoh, though, only helped himself to the kake soba that Tokio had placed directly in front of him. None of the Kenshin gumi had ever seen him eat, and it was to their surprise, that the man had amazing manners. In fact, he didn't even start eating until his wife did, although he was done putting food in his bowl before she was. Kenshin noticed that the way he handled his chopsticks was cleaner than most. It was due to his skill with the sword, he thought. As Kenshin moved his eyes away from Saitoh, they rested on Tokio. Masaka! Kenshin's eyes widened at what he saw. It's there, too! The way she holds her chopsticks, just like a swordsman, no, wait. Even better. The precision..
"Kenshin, this is really good, isn't it?" commented Kaoru. "Tokio- dono, this is wonderful. Thank you so much!"
"It's nothing, really. But thank you."
"Jo-chan, you didn't help her with this, did you? I don't taste any of your tainted cooking in here," mumbled Sano through a full mouth.
"In the presence of Tokio-dono, I will not give in to the temptation of hurting you. But rest assured, Sanosuke, that comment will not be forgotten," Kaoru's eyes were glowing red, and her teeth were clenched throughout the sentence.
Politely interrupting, Tokio looked up and spoke. "Hajime, anata. Maybe it's time to tell everyone why they're here," here she paused, "Including me. I'm sure they are here for a reason."
Momentarily caught off-guard (Saitoh was busy slurping up his kake soba..mmmm), Saitoh stopped what he was doing to look at his wife. "Now?"
"Well now, I didn't know you had missed my kake soba so much, anata. It seems like you were distracted. Did I catch the Wolf of Miburo unaware?" teased Tokio with a mischievous glint in her eyes.
Saitoh's look turned to cold steel. "Tokio, do not demean me in front of the guests."
The group fell silent as all eyes were focused on the husband and wife. Kenshin's hand fell to his sword, Sano balled his fists, while Kaoru and Yahiko looked on warily. If that bastard so much as touches her, I'll kill him! thought Sano.
"Oh, I wouldn't dream of it. Just pointing out a cold, hard fact."
Minutes passed while Tokio and Saitoh death-glared each other, and the tension was getting to Kenshin. Just as he was about to say something, Saitoh's face softened into a smirk.
"Hmph," he turned his head to look at the rest of the people seated at the table. "It seems I have forgotten the strong will that possesses my wife. However, she is right." Saito put his chopsticks down and began, "This is the story..."