Author: Kitsanken PM
A brutal attack, shattered ideals, a rage unleashed beside fierce protective instints. Tears shed for lost innocence, grief over what could have been. Rated for Mature Themes.Rated: Fiction M - English - Drama/Angst - Kenshin & Kaoru - Chapters: 10 - Words: 15,822 - Reviews: 65 - Favs: 23 - Follows: 10 - Updated: 09-21-03 - Published: 09-16-03 - id: 1522804
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Rurouni Kenshin Fanfic
Rurouni Kenshin & Samurai X Original Japanese Version (c) N.Watsuki/Shueisha * Fuji-TV * SME Visual Works Inc. * Sony Pictures Entertainment
All Fanfics created by Chiruken (me) were written for the sole purpose of shared entertainment and not intended for publication or sale.
He walked slowly, eyes cast on the ground, emotions in turmoil. He was angry, understandable. A woman under his protection had been brutally attacked, hurt beyond endurance…a woman he cared for more than he originally thought possible. He was saddened, also understandable. He couldn't conceive of the pain she must be enduring within the privacy of her mind, somewhere he could never offer comfort, even if she would accept it. He was disgusted, another understandable emotion. He couldn't imagine the type of man who would intentionally cause so much pain to a member of the gentler sex, someone they should all strive to protect at all costs. He was filled with regret, something he also felt was understandable. If he hadn't forgotten to purchase the tofu when she'd asked, she never would have gone out by herself so close to nightfall. And he felt guilt, something he understood all too well. He felt personally responsible for her pain, the torment she was being forced to endure even now. If he had only insisted on accompanying her, she would never have been attacked. There was no way he could ever erase her ordeal, yet he longed to do so, to return to the past, alter the events, protect her from the nightmare she'd been through.
He became aware that his steps had faltered and he was now halted, standing in the middle of the deserted street, hands clenched into fists at his sides. The turmoil of his internal struggle was reflected in his expressive violet eyes, now becoming infused with a decidedly amber hue. He'd failed her. He should've protected her. Now she would be plunged into the hells of nightmares for kami knew how long. He was powerless to save her from reliving the ordeal. He wished to spare her the torment of going through the brutal attack over and over, yet he knew that it wasn't possible. He may not be experienced in such things, but he knew the trauma would play out repeatedly until she had healed herself. He couldn't bear the thought of her being in pain, yet he could do nothing but stand by and watch as she endured it alone, lost within the terror of her experience.
He raised his hands and lowered his head, closing his eyes tightly, fighting the urge to weep for Kaoru's pain. For all that he was capable of, his nearly unmatchable sword technique, the skills he'd honed throughout his life, he couldn't even protect those around him from the ugliness of the world. All that he'd fought for during the revolution, the hell he'd been forced to endure for his ideals, the near loss of his humanity in the bloodshed of the chaotic battlefield known as Kyoto, the suffering he'd caused with the hopes for the future…it was all for nothing if the streets were no longer safe for young women like Kaoru. His failure ate away at him, weighed heavily on his already heavy heart. How could he face her knowing that it had been within his power to spare her such needless suffering? If only he'd insisted that he accompany her to the market.
Slowly lowering his hands to close into fists at his sides, he threw his head back and stared up at the cloudless sky, noting distractedly that the stars seemed to be shining brighter than usual despite the terrible things that had occurred that night. How could they appear so unaffected when such suffering was going on just beneath them? For a moment he hated the coldness of the tiny twinkling lights, longing for clouds to cover their shameless display. Kaoru was hurt, tortured nearly beyond endurance by the cruelty of fate, and the heavens had no right to continue as if nothing had happened.
Shaking his head at the futility of railing at the stars, he resumed walking, his steps the only sound breaking the silence of the stillness of the lateness of the hour. How long had Kaoru endured the torment before he'd found her? How much time had he wasted by merely standing at the gate, worried but unmoving? Could he have spared her the ordeal if he'd acted sooner? The questions plagued his conscience. He was horrified at the thought that if he had only gone after her when he'd begun feeling uneasy that he could have spared her from the attack. Logically, he knew that he'd had no way of knowing that she was in danger at all, that his uneasiness could have merely been caused by the unusual weather plaguing Tokyo. Yet he couldn't shake the feeling that it had somehow been a premonition of the disaster occurring just beyond his reach.
He hoped that Megumi had been able to give Kaoru something to ease her night, to spare her the nightmares he knew would come in the wake of the horrendous experience. To sleep dreamlessly would aid her in recovering physically. If her physical strength returned, he knew that she would be able to cope easier with the emotional trauma. The bruises would fade with time, but the emotional scarring would last a long time to come. He wondered if there was any way that he could aid in her recovery. He would have to speak to the lady doctor and hear her thoughts on the matter. At the moment, he was reluctant to be near her, their earlier confrontation still close to the surface of his memory. He knew that she'd had every right to be angry with him, and as he'd said, he knew he'd probably deserved it. He lifted his hand to trace his fingers over his cheek, the sting of her slap having faded except from his memories. No, discussing his thoughts with Megumi would have to wait until their emotions had had a chance to cool, their usual composure returned with the light of day.
Pausing outside the gate to the doctor's home he hesitated. He really should return to the doujou, if only to reassure Yahiko that Kaoru had been found. Despite the way the boy insulted his sensei, he knew that he cared for her deeply. In Kaoru, he had found the family he barely remembered and complete acceptance. He almost smiled, thinking that neither of them would wish for it to become common knowledge, but anyone watching would know that the caring was deep and true between them. He looked at the darkened house and sighed. He couldn't leave. Not now, not even to reassure the boy. He had to be close to Kaoru, close enough to protect her if need be. He knew it was unlikely that she was in danger here, of all places, but it didn't ease his mind despite the logic. He would remain close, prepared, and never again would he fail in his vow to protect her.