Prologue

The sun rays shone straight through the open window of the clinic, casting their golden light over a woman's sleeping face. It was still early, about eight o'clock in the morning, and already people outside were bustling busily about to complete their daily tasks. The lady doctor, however, was still in bed.

Megumi frowned slightly at the bright shimmer that reflected off her long dark eyelashes and she turned to her side to curl up to her fiancé and hide her face in his chest. But she curled up to nothing.

Instantly, Megumi's eyes shot open in surprise and she bolted upright in her futon, her gaze scanning over the entire room for her love, only to find that the room was empty; not a soul in sight except for the weary-eyed twenty-three year old woman that stared back at her through the mirror.

She had forgotten again.

That is what Megumi hated most about mornings. The night always seemed to take away a person's memory for a while, but it never lasted long enough. Time would eventually catch up with her and bring her memories heaping back in giant handfuls that she couldn't digest all at once.

Silent, she brought her knees up to her chest, resting her head atop them as she coiled herself up into a tight ball, her own little barrier that never seemed to protect her from her horrid nightmares that were not actually nightmares at all. She did it none the less, every morning for every time she forgot and remembered again.

How long had it been since he had so suddenly disappeared? Three months? Four? Five? Megumi no longer counted. It only brought closer the day that she would bear the tiny child she beheld in her stomach.

The growing swell of her abdomen seemingly worked against her, a constant reminder of her loss. What made things worse was the fact that it was not only her loss; it was the child's as well. Her baby would be denied what every single child in the world took so much advantage of: having a father. She had fought with herself numerous times on practically every occasion if she should even keep her descendant, knowing fully well that she wouldn't be able to fill the aspects of both parents and that the child would grow up being a bastard. She lost her nerve every time she contemplated taking the herbs she had secretly stored in the back room and at long last, when she was too tired to fight it anymore, she had drained every last grain into the kitchen sink.

Megumi wasn't a fighter, but she was strong, strong enough to realize that her child was to be a blessing and not so much a memento of all the "what if's" that she no longer had the possibility of having come true.

The months that passed were still not enough to give her a peaceful wake in the dawning of day. They did not give her the warmth she longed for at night, and they did not give her the steady feeling in the bottom of her heart that could only be produced by happiness. Mornings were the worst. They meant the start of a new day, maybe not a better one, but a day none the less. She no longer cried, but she would always remember.

Megumi tightened her fists on the base of her futon, the silver band on the ring finger of her left hand pressing deep into her flesh, as if pinching her back into reality. Confused at the slight sting, she turned her face to stare at the culprit, and her mouth contorted into a small circular shape as she caught sight of the familiar glint of the tiny diamond in the middle of her engagement ring.

The light pouring into the room caught on the shimmer of silver and portrayed Megumi's reflection in its powerful gleam. Her eyes looked so bland, so utterly cold that Megumi had difficulty realizing it was her. But as she sat there staring off into her reflection for what could have been hours, it became more apparent to Megumi that an aspect in her image was missing, a part of her was not there. She was all alone.

She bit at her bottom lip, felt it quiver beneath her teeth and she swallowed. Strange and foreign rivers gushed from the corners of her eyes, forgotten tears, and she immediately buried her face in her knees again, disgusted with looking at her sorrow.

"Sanosuke..." Megumi whispered as she slipped off her engagement ring, clutching it tightly in the palm of her left hand, "Where are you...?"

With a crack, the beautiful pinks and greens of the clouds separated as lightning tore through the hemisphere, crashing down on Earth with a whip of its long tail. Raindrops splattered above on the bamboo roof of her clinic, creating a raucous pitter-patter sound that matched the rhythm of her heart.

Slowly, Megumi's grip on the silver engagement ring leisurely loosened and it tumbled from her hands, rolled onto the tatami mat and slid underneath her hardwood dresser. But she paid no attention to the missing ring, already too subdued and frightened of the undoubted loneliness that came with today that she fell back down onto the futon and covered herself with a thin blanket that was no substitute for Sanosuke's loving embrace.



A/N: Sorry, I forgot to write up a disclaimer. I do not own RK, never have, never will. Okay, that takes care of that business! I know the prologue's kinda short but don't worry, things start picking up after this. Leave a review if you want more!