Rurouni Kenshin Fanfic

Rurouni Kenshin & Samurai X Original Japanese Version © 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.


One Moonlit Night

By: Chiruken

1878

As the moon moves through the sky, waxing and waning only to begin anew, so does the cycle of life. It is inevitable and inescapable. I have run from my past for ten years and now it seems it has finally found me. I can no longer deny who and what I am. I have been and always will be…Hitokiri Battousai.

I thought the death and blood forever cleansed from my blade when I threw down my katana and picked up the sakabatou. It appears that I was wrong. Skills I tried so desperately to forget flood into my awareness and only my will alone stays my hand from performing the deadly yet graceful Dance of Death.

I must not give in. I must fight these long buried instincts. I cannot give in to the killer fighting to be free of the shackles I placed on him all those years ago. And yet…and yet the primal urge to rend and tear, to draw blood, is so strong that I tremble with the effort to restrain it.

I step forward into the clearing illuminated by the light of the full moon to face my opponent. I hear my name called in a sweetly angelic voice, so familiar and so very dear to me. I ignore it and focus instead on my target. I cannot allow myself to be distracted.

Hate, the likes of which I've never felt before, floods my senses as I stare into cold, dead eyes. The mouth flaps, emitting sounds that form into words. I answer, but study his moves, not really paying attention to the meaningless exchange. I understand him, possibly more than he'd like to know. Beneath his bravado is fear. He revels in it as a drowning man frantically gulps in air. He's already dead inside and any feeling, even fear, is welcome.

I grip my sakabatou tightly. I cannot kill this man, no matter how deserving of death he may be. To take another life…it would destroy all that I've worked so hard to accomplish. For ten years I've lived a relatively peaceful life with my vow to never kill. I will not give in. I will not set the killer free. I can defeat him without renouncing my vow. I can…and I will.

I move to counter his attack. I can read his moves as if he told me before what he intends to do. I will defeat him. Not as Hitokiri Battousai, but as Himura Kenshin.

White hot pain slices through my shoulder and I fall, stunned momentarily. I was too slow. I saw it coming, yet I couldn't evade the strike. So now he gloats. I fight to block out the pain and my grip on the killer inside of me loosens. The gentle, calming voice…my salvation, I believe…cries out my name. I wish to reassure, yet before I can, he strikes, like a dokuhebi.

I have no choice now. Now, to protect the one I care the most about, I must, once again, kill. He is taunting me and my inability to act. Yet he doesn't realize that the moment he turned his attack to an innocent bystander…and one I cherish above all else…that he sealed his fate.

I gather myself and attack. Satisfaction fills me when I both feel and hear the crunch of the back of my blade connect. Disgust fills me when the fool laughs. He believes I am still playing the role of pacifist rurouni. No matter. It is to my advantage if he is off guard. He moves to attack. I wait patiently. If he is so eager to die, I can do nothing but be accommodating. At the last instant he breaks off his attack. Now he changes his mind? I stifle a growl of annoyance.

And so the fool is posturing, attempting to intimidate me. As if that could happen. What does it matter to me that he can rapidly strike a rock and chip it? Rocks don't move, but I do. Soon, he will see the truth of this. I have only one move that I will use against an opponent of this sort. Battoujutsu should get the job done. I don't need anything more elaborate. However, his reflexes are good and he's strong. My sakabatou isn't suited to true Battoujutsu so I'll have to improvise. I'll use Sou Ryu Sen and immobilize his right arm, then finish the deed.

And so it happens just as I predicted it would. I raise my sakabatou slowly, blood lust strong within me. Now I want to kill him. For revenge for daring to use an innocent bystander to provoke me. For the reassurance that it'll never happen again. And for the sole purpose of protecting the one person who never condemned me for my past. I flip the blade in preparation. "To protect Kaoru-dono, I will become a hitokiri once again!" I bring the blade down for the killing blow.

Time seems to stop.

Ten years of wandering and an eternity of guilt…all for nothing. Meeting Kaoru and having a second chance was just a cruel illusion orchestrated by the gods to appease their sick amusements. This is who I am and who I'll always be. Hitokiri Battousai. I can never return to Kaoru's doujou, not with blood on my hands. It truly is a cruel twist of fate that in order to protect her I must become something that would repulse her.

"Don't! Kenshin…You mustn't…" Kaoru's voice pierces the tense silence of the clearing. "You mustn't use a sword to…" I can hear the tears in her tone. "Kill." Her words freeze my movement and I turn to her as she collapses under the power of Jinei's Shin No Ippou. The desire to kill fades rapidly as I rush to her side. She is my salvation. She has saved me from myself and I know the truth now. As Himura Kenshin, the rurouni, I would kill to protect her. However, as Hitokiri Battousai, the killer, I would die to protect her rather than kill…anything to keep the tears from her eyes.

Owari