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Series are multiple stories that go together; the order they are listed in on the tables of contents and directory pages are their chronological orders within the universe, not the order they were written or posted in. A tilde (~) denotes an original fiction series, while an abbreviation such as HP denotes a fanfiction series.

Rurouni Kenshin Fanfiction: Proving Ground

This entry is part 1 of 5 in the series RK Saitou x Aoshi

TITLE: Proving Ground
CHAPTER: 1 – Oneshot
AUTHOR: Lythande ( setosgirl0 / neferseti0 / Ankh Ascendant )
DATE: 2-21-2012
FANDOM: Rurouni Kenshin
DISCLAIMER: I don’t own Ruroken, or make any money from it.
PAIRINGS: Saitou x Aoshi
TYPE: romance drama
RATING: PG
WARNINGS: none
OCs: none
BETA: none
WORDS: 892
SUMMARY: Saitou and Aoshi are fighting, but not to the death; Aoshi is the prize in this duel. It’s all about the rights.
NOTES: Like my previous Saitou|Aoshi story “Insomnia“, this may or may not eventually accompany a longer story I’ve been working on (if I ever finish it ^^; ) and this would be a sort of prequel to Insomnia. This is for the writing prompt of “Movement”.

* * *

Proving Ground

It really wasn’t fair, Saitou mused, to fight a man with his arm in a sling.

It also wasn’t fair for that same man to be almost a match for him, sling and all. Almost.

His sword slid down a kodachi’s short blade with a bone-jarring scraping, came in toward his opponent’s side, bit only air. A sharp elbow glanced into his shoulder and he turned with it to absorb the blow. His sword swung low to take out his knees, was deflected back toward the ground, and he pulled away.

Aoshi came with, pressing his range, and he kicked him in the stomach to gain distance. Bad idea – Aoshi’s legs were longer and his balance was better, and the sudden shoe to the chin knocked him back and almost took him down. It was gone before he could cut his leg off, but they had distance now.

No time to appreciate it. Aoshi’s blade slashed, he blocked, blocked again, almost missed the third one, thrust forward but knew he would miss and turned the counterintuitive direction to meet the blow coming for his back. Aoshi almost missed it this time, his sword barely came up in time to save his head, and he had to fall back a step. Thrust again, Aoshi slid aside like water, came for him. He used his off hand to grab his wrist and force the kodachi harmlessly up into the air. And he grinned at Aoshi.

Most people wouldn’t have seen it; he saw it just an instant to late to avoid it. Aoshi’s injured arm came up while he was still trying to step away from the blow, took him under the chin and shoved his head back so hard he was thrown off his feet. His head hit the street and he grayed out.

He still raised his sword in time to run Aoshi through when he fell on top of him to cut his throat.

They ended up that way, looking at each other over Aoshi’s sword pressed against his neck, and he grinned up at him, panting shallowly. “And now we’re both dead.”

“You die first.” Aoshi pulled his sword away and sat up on his knees, straightening his sling with a couple expert motions.

Saitou rubbed his neck, feeling a sharp stab of superficial pain and smearing a little blood on his glove. Aoshi’d actually cut him, but not badly. And he thought he might have returned the favor; when he set his sword down on the street, he saw that the fabric of Aoshi’s shirt had a new gap in it.

“You die more painfully.” He took a couple of deep breaths to catch his wind, coughed it away again, and waved off the hand Aoshi offered to help him up. It also wasn’t fair that Aoshi wasn’t breathing as hard; he decided to put his endurance down to his ninja training and not the ten year age difference. Getting old…

“How’s your shoulder?” he asked to divert attention, sheathing his sword again.

Aoshi obligingly felt inside his shirt for a second. “Only tore a couple stitches,” he reported, seeming not to feel the pain as he probed the wound. He held his sword loosely in the laid-up hand while he did it. “How’s your neck?”

“I don’t think it’s broken.” He rubbed his neck and the back of his head thoughtfully. No blood there, thankfully, and he could still move everything. That throw had been dangerous. Good thing he trusted Aoshi. More or less, anyway.

“Good.”

Saitou considered lighting a cigarette, then thought better of it and took Aoshi’s smooth jaw in hand instead. He was rewarded with the kodachi blade pressed against his chest.

“You haven’t beaten me yet,” Aoshi told him.

He tried for a smile and felt he accomplished a smirk. “I just killed you,” he pointed out, running his thumb along his jaw.

“That was a draw.” Not quickly, but pointedly, Aoshi took his chin way and then his sword. Making the order quite clear. “Only once you win.”

Aoshi was already walking away, and he followed, reached out quickly as he came up behind him and grabbed his chin, yanking him around in a way that could have, if he’d tried, broken his neck. Instead it only pulled him back against his chest, almost but not quite prisoner. “I just have to defeat you?” he asked quietly, smiling, even though he had a suspicion Aoshi had allowed him this little victory.

Silence took the place of an answer, but he hardly noticed, considering the moonlight on Aoshi’s pale face and dark hair from a distance of inches. There wasn’t a struggle… there wasn’t even resistance. They stood close, touching, not quite leaning either on the other. Still independent, separate…

He leaned in and took the kiss he’d been denied anyway. For a long moment, Aoshi didn’t seem to mind.

Then the butt of his kodachi hilt pressed into his jaw and shoved his face away, and Aoshi slid out of his grasp easily, but without anger or haste. He stepped back obediently and didn’t try to pull him in again.

“Come back and try again later.” He glanced at him over his shoulder and walked away.

This was fun… Saitou smiled slightly and lit a cigarette, walking the other direction.

~end~

Series NavigationRurouni Kenshin Fanfiction: Denial

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