AN: Edited October 12th, 2012. I have majorly revamped this story in hopes to some day complete it. I started it when I was still in high school. Badly written, atrocious grammar, and yet the ideas and imagination that I am known for today were there and I just can't find it in me to leave it abandoned. Not after I reread it the other day and went "I can't remember what I was going to do with this, but I know what I can do with it now." Bear with me.

This story will involve the pairings of Soujiro and Misao, as well as Battousai and Kaoru. There is serious character mutilation to fit the setting. This is my pathetic attempt at a darkfic that I failed at writing a decade ago. You have been warned.

Please note this story only loosely follows what I had originally. If you have an amazing memory then you will want to reread it again in its entirety as much as changed. I also have replaced these chapters without a beta read, so there are likely mistakes. This will not be the pinnacle of my writing, but it will still be leaps and bounds better than what I had. If you notice anything glaring, drop me a PM and I'll be glad to fix it. The chapters start out short, as I wrote short chapters back then. When I start adding the new chapters, they will be remarkably longer.

Disclaimer: I don't own RK or the characters.

I Am...


The night was cold and bitter. Clouds wafted over the placid, pale moon that bared its teeth into the black of winter. A chilling drizzle kissed the outstretched limbs of trees, robbed of their leaves by the recurring midnight frost. Dim street lamps illuminated the streets blanketed in a dangerous, thin layer of ice. The cold, icy air ripped away all sense of life. The plants were brittle with death and the living numbed with cold. The advisory on the radio warned to stay off the roads and inside where it was warm. Many had listened.

However, not all of those greeted the near-arctic chill with a need to burrow in heat and distaste for the cold. She walked down the streets in clothes fit only for a cool autumn's night. Chapped lips pulled into a cold smile as the wind licked at her skin. She could no longer feel her face, and that only encouraged the grin stretched across pale skin, and it certainly held no warmth.

She moved across the ice as if it did not exist, her motions fluid and well-practiced. Sharp green eyes watched the world around her behind tinted amber glasses that did no more for her vision than shield it from the day. The denim of her jacket and jeans did nothing to combat the chill around her, and yet she moved on, walking as if it were a warm, spring day.

Those who dared to be in the wee hours of the morning took notice of her and how out of place and foolish she seemed. Only a trained eye would be able to pick up on something more there, that she was no ordinary creature. To them she was but a child, young and idiotic as she moved across the otherwise barren streets, a purpose in her stride matched only by her shadow that moved with her.

She was super-human. Darkness and cold only aided her. The numbing she felt was the foundation for her fortitude. The world around her recognized her for what she was, and pitied humanity for not understanding as well.

Reaching up, she brushed long black bangs from her face, and her braid whipped behind her as the wind picked up, calling to her.

She would answer. She always did.

Question. Who am I? My name? I used to have a name. My story? It can be whatever I say it is. My cause? At one point I thought it was to give the world hope. I lost that ideal a long time ago. They don't care anymore. I fight for myself.

I am alone.

I'm not even sure how or when this game began. Actually, I am sure of when it began for me. But that is not the point. People thought we were rising when really we were falling. Falling down, down, down into a pit that we'll never be able to climb out of to see the light again. From then on the balance of power shifted toward the wrong people. Tentacles of corruption sprung out and devoured everything around it. And nothing was the same. Now everything in this damnable place is overrun with terrorists, thugs, and mafia leaders. Let's not get started on the corrupt government, too. If you're not part of the above, you do best to hide and keep your head down. You do what you're told, when you're told, and no questions asked. Or you'll be shot between the eyes on the spot.

And no one will care.

I often ask myself a question I think I'll never know the answer to.

Why do I do this?

But I already do know the answer. I just don't want to admit it.

They had been trailing her for some time now. She was not sure who, but whomever it was...they were good. The only reason she knew they were there was that unsettling sense she had grown to trust over the years of honing her skills. It was this soft, nagging feeling. Nothing more, nothing less, but it spoke volumes. It also bothered her, because few had trailed her so well that nothing else stood out.

They were dangerous.

She stepped into a local bar, her fingers pressed hard against the frigid metal of the door. Heat hit her face like a fire's burn, and with it came the stench of cigarettes, alcohol and sweat. The onslaught should have bothered her.

But it did not.

She slithered in like the night itself, her long braid swaying gently as she took seat at the bar. Green eyes perused the crowd, none of them more than scum itself. Her lips almost quirked up. She fit right in.

The bartender approached, the dingy white of his cloth polishing a glass that she was not quite sure looked clean. She regarded him only briefly over yellow lenses before she murmured in a voice just a touch throaty, "Scotch."

The glass was there in the short span of time it took for the huge digital clock above him to turn from 1:59 to 2:00. No one noticed but her.

And then she felt him. Just a tiny prickle that made the hairs on the back of her neck rise to attention. Her stealthy friend had arrived. She was not so sure his motives for following her into a very unpopulated bar. It seemed like an unwise move on his part. Although he sat concealed in a dark corner, it took little casual observation to pinpoint who it was. It helped that she had taken a mental picture of who was in when she arrived.

He was young. Perhaps around her age. Not much larger in build, either. She suspected he was a quick bastard by that observation alone. And he was smiling. Into nothing. It was creepy. So creepy that she suddenly did not feel like finishing her drink in any enjoyable fashion. She chugged it back, ignoring the burn and slapped her money down on the bartender.

He was hot on her trail the moment she was back on the street. Her lip curled in annoyance and frustration, and she deeply suspected he was much closer this time. With fluidity that suggested the motion was premeditated and not erratic, she moved into a shadowed alleyway, watching movement in the shadows as rats scurried.

She counted to five and moved. Her own surprise registered on her face briefly when she found him pinned to the wall by her own hands. He had not struggled, and that bothered her greatly. She recovered quickly, her expression snapping back into a fierce glare.

"Why are you following me?" She hissed, her breath curling around his jaw in foggy wisps. Now this close, she could see how blue his eyes were, how his bangs shadowed them from the moonlight, how his skin seemed as fair as hers. How almost... pretty he looked. It was disgusting, and she bit back a sneer.

To her ire and agitation, he simply smiled at her, bright blue eyes holding far less emotion than they should, which was unnerving. "I am not trailing you, per se. I am trailing them."

Her heart skipped a beat at the dawning realization of two things. Two very different and important things. The sharp crack of a gun firing and the dust that sprayed as the bullet hit the wall beside them made her curse under her breath. She released her captive and moved away, her braid whipping behind her as she spun. She was angry. Angry, because she had thought what she had been feeling was him. Angry, because she realized now that she had not felt him at all.

Her gun was in her hand with speed from years of this kind of life. Jade colored eyes narrowed into slits as she skimmed the rooftops in cold calculation. She needed only a moment, a tiny chance of opportunity. She saw movement and fired.

The man in black stumbled out of his half-hidden spot atop the roof, and she did not hesitate to fire again, watching him collapse without a concern for his well-being. Movement at the corner of her peripheral vision made her whip her head around, gun following, but to her surprise the man jerks violent before slumping down. Behind him stands the guy she had cornered.

How had he gotten up there that fast? And when?

Her eyes were wide, the whites of them visible in the pale moonlight as she stared at him. Angry, because she did not know how he had done what he did; angry because he helped her, protected her.

Angry that she had let him.

She stared at him, her frustration rolling off of her in near deadly waves. He regarded her with that same smile, seemingly unconcerned that her rage was directed at him. After a moment of watching her with distant curiosity he waved and melted back into the shadows.

She ran her tongue over her teeth before jerkily holstering her weapon, trying to reign in her temper.

Some few minutes later found her on the roof, though it had been a fruitless effort. The bodies had no I.D. Chapped lips pressed into a tight line. She had enemies, many, but she knew not from whom this attack had been directed. Irritated, her night thoroughly ruined, she jumped off the ladder of the fire escape, feet landing on the ice like it was not there. Cold fingers shoved into the pockets of her jacket and she whirled on foot, stalking back onto the main street.

Just another night for the girl once known as Makimachi Misao.

She really hated life.

End Prologue