Author's Pre-chapter Notes: I'm so sorry for the formatting. I don't know what happened to the dividing lines that separated the sections or any of the paragraph formatting I had going on. All my dividers just disappeared! I have to find a way to put that back in there. Hopefully, this has the lines. If anybody has any advice on this, that would be great. Again, I'm sorry for the inconvenience. -.-

Chapter 15: Pieces of Your Revolution

Death affects all. My father said that to me once. I never thought my father ever cared about my mother. It was an arranged marriage. It was made to strictly benefit their families. My mother was beautiful and proud. My father was a strict disciplinarian. Their families thought that their children would make a good match. Since neither of them were looking for a love match, and their families pressured it, they married. Over time, my father and mother gained tremendous respect for each other. And even though my mother had trouble bearing children, my father never cheated. He stayed in the dojo, swinging away his frustrations.

When I was born, he was happy.

My mother said he was so proud that he boasted to all the neighbors. As I grew up, I watched both my parents slip into despair. My mother could not bear another child. And later on, she became ill. The days went by, and she became more weak than before. She died on a summer day. The doctor shook his head as my father entered the room. I sat outside, awaiting the word, but my father couldn't even look at me.

I remember I cried for days. I cried over her body. I cried over the white sheet that covered her face. I cried over her kimono and her expensive combs. She was gone. And my father, he seemed to not notice. He went on with life, and he swung his shinai faster and more skillfully than before. It was only months later that I had caught his grief.

My father sobbed over one of her kimonos. I found such relief in that. I was afraid he would never remember or never care, but he did. A man who showed no weakness could cry for his deceased wife. But he never was the same after that night. After that night, I was taught Kamiya Kasshin Ryu. I was taught to smile even though it pained me because my father loved my smile. It was something I inherited for my mother. And if that could get him through the day, then it did the same for me.

I dreamt of my father nights after Megumi's death. I wondered if he was all right, and if the days were spent like the period after my mother died. I wondered if he missed me at all.

It was a week after Megumi had died, and spring was coming. I sat up in bed that night and held my yukatta close to me. It was still chilly in late winter, and it was then I wished I were still a child. When I was a child, I could crawl into my parents' futons and cuddle into the warmth. The teahouse wouldn't offer me such comfort. Tomoe and Kiyosato-san spent the time apart. Kiyosato-san no longer had this warmth around him. It was replaced with cold civility. His smiles were empty, and Tomoe was still grieving. She went on with her work, but like Kiyosato, they were empty actions. Nothing seemed real anymore.

It was the last week of winter, and it seemed that looking back, the atmosphere was the coldest at that time.

"Sagara! Where the hell are you!"

Misao's boisterous voice echoed through the tiny home. Sanosuke sat outside on the porch with his back to the wall when he heard her approach. She stomped her way over with a big strides and planted her feet on the ground next to him. The young man paid no heed to her anger, but he found some solace in the crickets chirping outside. Dawn was coming soon, and at the time, he wanted to see it one last time - without interruptions. Unfortunately, his plans went out the window when Misao had found he had left during the night.

"Jeez, weasel! Could you keep it down? We are in the nice part of town, and you might influence my kid brother. You could be a little courteous." Sanosuke informed Misao as she huffed and puffed with her hands on her hips.

"Where have you been all night?"

"I took a walk for a few minutes."

"Sagara, don't lie to me. You left after the house went to sleep. I woke up, and you weren't in your room."

"And what might a woman of your caliber be doing trying to find a young, good-looking guy such as myself in my room in the middle of the night?"

"You wish. You know you're not my type."

"And what? Your precious 'Aoshi-sama' is?"

Misao blushed furiously and slapped him over the head.

"You know that's not true. Don't ever bring Aoshi-sama into this. You know how dear he is to me!"

"Maa maa. I'm sorry." Sanosuke said gently with a wave of his hand.

Misao, albeit pouting in the process, sat beside Sanosuke and crossed her arms.

"Don't just leave next time. You could have died for all I know and left me alone." she spouted angrily.

"Leave you alone?"

Sanosuke's light brown eyes narrowed in wonder, and he watched as her eyelids batted away some nearly shed tears. She replaced it with a scowl and turned to him with a fiery temperament.

"Don't change the subject! Where were you?" she asked in a harsh whisper.

"Talking to an old friend in the next town over." she waited patiently as he paused with consideration of his choice of words, "Something's going down. A war..."

"War? What are you talking about?" the young girl asked softly.

"Kanryu and Shishio are lining up their pawns. The final showdown is approaching. It's just a matter of time. And I realize, Aoshi will be affected as well, so we have to leave soon. You have to warn him. He doesn't know what will happen."

"Aoshi-sama..." she choked back a sob as she placed a hand on her mouth and the other on her chest as the tears threatened to fall.

"He might die."

Misao bit her lip and help back her hot, heavy breath.

"It can't be. Aoshi-sama will live. He has to see me first, right?" she asked with hope shining in her eyes as she let her hands fall upon Sanosuke's sleeve.

She clutched them tightly. Sanosuke saw the storm of emotions within her, and with gentle ease, he let his callused fingers brush the hair from her eyes to behind her ears. The moon reflected so innocently in her eyes. He had to find a way.

"I promise that you will see him again."

"Will you leave me?"

"That was the agreement, right? We part ways at the end."

"But what if it's not the end? What if my path is with you?"

"Weasel, you can't possibly follow me. I am leaving this country house, this simple town, and going to travel. I'm a criminal, and I'll bear my tainted past everywhere."

"Your life can't possibly be spent alone. Aoshi-sama has the same burdens, and I will help you both bear your pasts. I believe that together, we could all live a normal life."

"I hate being a third wheel, Misao. Besides, if I leave, you won't have to deal with me. Isn't that a plus?"

Misao smiled wryly and put her hand over his hand that was still connected to her hair.

"Well, you are a pain in the ass. And you're so damn arrogant..."

"Are you always this charming?"

"Only with special clients."


"Well, you have been paying for quite a few meals and nightly stays."

"But I don't want your body."

"God, I hope not. You're a sight for sore eyes."

"Thanks, weasel. Undeveloped isn't exactly my style either."

"We're totally detestable to each other. I don't want to see you at all after I reunite with Aoshi." she declared as she slipped into Sanosuke's arms and lay her head on his shoulder as he wrapped his arms around her.

"You neither. I'll get hot pieces of ass on my travels, and give you their obis as souvenirs."

"Such a good friend. Don't write too much. I wouldn't want your brain to hurt and my eyes from your chicken scratch."

"Ditto, weasel."

It was late afternoon when I had taken in all the laundry into my room. My chores had come in abundance, and many of the women feigned illness when the chore list came around. Of course, being the lowest rank of the girls, I was tossed about from chore to chore. I was tired, and Aoshi had pardoned me from entertaining one of the nights. As I folded the clothes into the basket, I had thought about our kiss. It had been three days since that night, and I wondered where the time had gone. That night, he had kissed my lips, my eyelids, my neck, the inside of my wrist, but he never went any further. We spent the night in the corner of that room talking. He sat against the wall, and I settled myself at his side, enjoying the warmth and the occasional kisses he bestowed upon me. He told me all about his past and the one he held close to him, Misao. He told me about his quest to find her and Kanryu's deal. I felt as if Kanryu had everyone wrapped around his finger. And I began to question everything. My suspicions grew even more as Aoshi hinted of the activities planned for the next day. Still, I kept my peace and enjoyed the night.

Every night since then, I would find some time to talk with him. We would secretly meet in my room or his room. Once, I was walking into my room, and when I opened the door, he pulled me in. As I fell into his form, my lips were embraced by the warm pressure of his own. I let my hands clutch his that held my face close. I never wanted him to stop. I wanted him to keep going, but that's as far as it went. I find myself disappointed after he stops, and I don't know why. I sometimes hate myself for being so wanton and thinking of if he ever went beyond that point.

As I finished the folding, I placed the basket at my hip and turned to see Aoshi leaning against the closed door of the room. I brushed a stray hair from my eyes and smiled sweetly. It was these moments that he admitted he found most peace.

"Kanryu is with Tomoe and has dismissed me for the night." he stated, "I feel sorry for her."

I wished I could've held him close, but I just stayed there - glued to the ground.

"I do, too. I wish you all weren't under his control. I wish you both were free." I said sadly, but I tried to smile for him; he liked my smiles.

"Why not yourself?" he asked with a voice that seemed to have a shaky start.

I paused and thought a bit before placing the basket down at my feet.

"I chose this life. I have no reason to cry or loathe what I've become. It's made me who I am. If I would've stayed, I would be clean, childish, and insecure of my future. Here, I know I am dirty. I know I'm still insecure, but I feel the child in me is growing for you. I want to be thinking for others. I want to be like Tomoe and be refined. I want her maturity. I want her beauty. I want her strength to carry on. I want to be there for you. I want you to see Misao again. I want you to look at me and not see a child-."

I paused as he sprang forward and caught me in his arms. He nuzzled the top of my head, and I clutched his gi to me.

"You can never be Tomoe. She has been through far too much and is way too unhappy to be you. Her pain transcends into her very being. To be her would be the saddest thing. And I..."

His voice drifted off in my ears, so I urged him to speak.

"And you what?"

"And I want you to stay."


"Stay with me."

His grip loosened, and I felt him descend from his tall stance to crouch at my feet, burying his head in my stomach. I put my hands upon his forearms as he spoke.

"I'm a horrible man. I've killed so many in the name of a scoundrel who plagues the underground. I do it for a so-called cause, but it's all meaningless now. I need someone, too."


"I want you as a woman, as Kamiya Kaoru. I don't care for Kaoru Sasaki. She's a liar, and she's hiding someone very beautiful away from the world. I want Miss Kaoru to love me just as much as I cherish her."

I crouched down to his level and saw his eyes search for mine. I bit my lip as I let my hands raise themselves to his face, and let my fingertips brush over his lips. We looked at each other for a second, and he saw it in my eyes. I was worried about him. I was uncertain of what the future was to hold. I was uncertain - period. The tears threatened to build up, and I found myself shaking my head. He closed his eyes for a second in disbelief and raised his hands to rest on my shoulders. I could only lower my head as he looked to me for more than I was giving.

I couldn't.

Uki watched as Misao cleaned the dishes while singing a cheerful song. She occasionally stopped to admire the utensils she washed and made a random noise of approval. This entertained little Outa. He clapped his hands and laughed out loud while Misao would stop to smile at the gangster's little brother.

"So you like that, huh?" Misao bent over and placed her hand atop his head, "You're not so bad, kid. Maybe one day, you'll grow up to be handsome and these days will be just a distant childhood memory to you."

Outa displayed his protruded lips in mock defiance and shook his head.

"I'll never forget you Misao-san! Never!" he declared defiantly with this child-like innocence that made Misao's heart clench.

He was so young - so innocent - that she could never allow him to remember the whore who stayed in his house. Misao tried to act as if she never felt guilt or emotion to what he said, playing it off as a child's whim. But Uki had seen that brief second of her cheerful guise disengage. It was enough to stop the needlework she was doing and walk over to the two young ones.

"Misao-san, you don't need to work on the dishes. I can do it. You've been more than enough help." she said with a slight, easy-going smile.

"You're so lucky. You never need to hide. You never need to run. And you are loved. I envy you." Misao said in a slight whisper - to the point where only Uki could hear.

Outa, oblivious to the adult exchange, began to whimper about his boredom. Uki was frozen in place, but Misao was back to work with her cheerful disposition and grabbed the little boy's hand.

"Let's go outside!" she announced happily and the two ran off into the sunlight, drowning in the warm radiance of the early spring's atmosphere.

"Piece of work, ain't she?"

Uki looked up to see her older brother, Sanosuke, leaning against the door frame. He stood with a loose black yukatta on and his hair free of its usual red bandana. His brunette locks were a little drenched. She could only assume he had been in a bath prior to his entrance.

"Nii-chan, who is she? Honestly." she asked with her arms crossed.

"A friend."

"Not 'what is she to you?' I mean, what was she?" she asked carefully.

"Why do you ask?" Sanosuke responded testily.

"Well, something tells me you weren't in the best of circles, and she seems..."

"What? Scandalous?"

"No. She seems incredibly sad. She seems to be burdened with so many regrets at such a young age. We are so different - she and I." she paused, considering her words carefully as she continued, "I live for today with the burdens of laundry and dinner. She seems to live wondering if it will be her last day of peace. I live so dully without pretending to be entirely happy. She walks around with this smile on her face, convincing everyone that she is like an average girl, but her eyes give off troubled vibes. I don't understand it myself. I wish I knew. But I feel inevitably sorry for her, don't you?"

Sanosuke understood what his sister was trying to convey, and he wish he could tell her everything. But it was not in good taste. It would only ruin the perfect illusion of normalcy. It would only worry her.

"Misao was not in a secure home growing up," Not entirely false..."And now, she is looking for someone who she knew in the past. Only he can help her at this stage. She needs him desperately to return with her to their home."

"And you? Will you go with her?"

"Naw!" he said with a wave of his hands then started rubbing his stomach in false famish, "Are you kidding me! I heard about the mainland and their way of making noodle dishes. I'd like to experience the culture and especially the food."

"Always thinking with your stomach...?"

"As always. The wind blows west of Japan for me."


"Or maybe...I could travel further..."


Uki sudden interjection caught Sanosuke's ears, and he looked to his little sister who's face was downcast while her back was slightly turned to him. She wore her hair up in its usual loose bun, and her maroon kimono collar loosely hung off the back of her neck though not revealing to much skin. Her black obi was tied in a loose bow, but it was neatly put in its place behind her. She looked like a girl - plain and simple. He would never forget the moments he saw his sister. Every moment he would keep locked within his memories for who knew if that day would be his last. But he noticed that her hands were fumbling about in front of her, and her bottom lip was quivering.

"There is something I wanted to give you before you go." she said as she turned to him with a smile as bright as the sun, "I have presents for both you and Misao-san as you depart today."

He watched as she hurried off and returned with a repaired article of clothing with the symbol for "bad" on the back. As soon as he was done inspecting it, the ex-prostitute entered with a flushed face. She wiped off her forehead with the back of her hand, and sighed.

"That boy, Outa, is a hand-full. It must take you all your energy to-."

Misao was interrupted by the sight of Uki holding folded clothes in her arms. Misao saw the beamed radiance of her smile, but the sadness in her eyes.

"What are you-?"

"Please take this. This is my present to you. Please, take care of yourself on your journey to Kyoto." she said with a bow of her head.

Emerald eyes filled with wonder and yet understanding to the humble girl before her. And she hated that she was taking away the girl's brother. But Sanosuke was a stray. He didn't belong in such a world full of normalcy. She knew they were leaving that day. And she was going to see the one she longed to meet with again. She would be reunited with her beloved and estranged companion from the old days.


"Forgive me, Uki-san..."

"Tomoe, you'll always be my side, right?"

Tomoe froze as she poured Kanryu a cup of tea. She looked up to meet his eyes. They looked desperate for an answer that she knew in her heart she could not give. But she tried her best to be calm as she always was. She turned to him and laid her hands on her lap.

"I am only bound to you, Kanryu-sama." she said with a bow of her head.


"Yes." she insisted softly.

"Would you give up everything for me?"

She paused and placed the tea pot down as she smoothed out her red kimono. She wore this kimono because he had brought it back for her the previous day. It was pure silk in a dark shade of red. And on her bottom half, there was a gold phoenix embroidered into flight. It was too dark, too resonant of betrayal and blood to her eyes. The only life was the phoenix. It gave her hope that among the color's meaning, life can still rise from it. How she wished the phoenix represented her.

"I already have." she said in a volume slightly above a whisper.

She quickly turned her body back to the tea set and picked up the tray. Slowly, she made her way to Kanryu's side at his desk and placed the tray down. As she took his cup and set it down before him, he grabbed her wrist.

"I gave Aoshi the night off. He'll need his strength." he said in a tone that she knew all too well.

"Strength, Kanryu-sama?" she inquired with a tilt of her head.

"Yes. Strength. My strategy has just begun. I will be attacking Shishio once and for all. Then I shall be the only one to dominate this region. I shall be the strongest man in Japan."

"Kanryu-sama, I-."

She was suddenly pulled in his lap, and she fell into his arms. She looked up as he grabbed her ivory white wrist and brought it to his lips. He placed a gentle peck there and let his thumb rub that spot gently.

"But tonight..." he drifted off as he lowered himself to a few centimeters from her face, "I plan on relaxing and dominating only one thing."

"Kanryu-sama, we can't. The tea will get cold." she said in a lame defense to stop his intentions as she started to stand up, evading his persuasion.

But he got up and rested his hands on both sides of her on the desk. She leaned back on the desk and nervously tried to find a way out. Her hand knocked over the tea and the light green liquid dripped to the ground. Kanryu leaned forward and parted the bottom of her kimono. Tomoe could feel her heart break and the tears threatening to release themselves as he pushed his way between her thighs. All she could do was whimper in defeat.

That night, she felt trapped and wished she could stop everything. She wanted nothing more than to die. But as she was forced into relations with Kanryu, she could only think of Akira and his smile. That saw her through to the end and made things bearable. After Kanryu had fallen asleep, she had cried until sleep invaded her as well.

That night, I had felt horrible of how I left things with Aoshi. He had confessed nothing short of adoration. But could I be enough? Could I be enough to support him through those painful days? Those were my thoughts. I was so weak, and I feared to depend on him. I feared that I would never be strong enough to be with him. That I was just a naive and stupid girl and that he was so much more than I.

But I loved him more than anyone. Deep down, I knew his smiles were only for me and the girl Misao. He never had a chance to be a child, and deep down, he needed comfort - someone to come to. I wanted to be that someone - I realized. I understood that our lives would be filled with such torture and pain, but I was willing to feel brief moments of happiness with him. I wanted him to know that.

I watched as he gave the other girls at the teahouse attention as they flirted with him. They weren't blind to Aoshi's good-looks, and every once and a while would advance upon him. I never knew if he took them to bed, but I know that he wasn't in to them. If he did, it was probably to fulfill a certain need - business as usual, I suppose. During the night, he had slipped away after having a few drinks, and I lost sight of a few of the women. I just shrugged it off, and I decided I would see Aoshi later.

After I was done with entertaining, I slipped into his corridor and opened his door. He was nowhere in sight. The room was dark and unoccupied. My heart sunk, and I thought maybe he was with another girl. So I closed it, but it jammed half-way. Panicking, I tried my hardest to close it all the way, but it wouldn't budge.

"DAMN IT!" I swore with kick to the wooden frame, and I heard a deep chuckle behind me.

I looked up to see that the door was being secured by a hand, so I turned to see Aoshi with a quirked eyebrow and a slight smirk.

"Don't do that! I thought I broke your door..." I muttered with a slight whimper, "Then I thought, 'Oh, Aoshi's going to kill me! But not if I run away!'"

"Do you often ramble in doorways?" he asked with another chuckle.

I blushed as I realized I was doing just that and started to press the ends of my index fingers together. It was kind of a nervous habit.

"Sorry." I apologized quickly and looked downward.

I was surprised to not hear any more dialogue as he ushered past me into his room; the sweet smell of alcohol wafted under her nose. She watched as he soberly walked across the way. He quickly got out a match stick and lit the lamp on the other side of the room. The darkness melted away to reveal his hardened face. The light accentuated every tensed muscle. His jaw was clenched, and his eyes were filled with intensity. She knew he was thinking.

"So, did you have a good time tonight?" I asked hesitantly.

"Yes." he paused and made his way towards me.

I stepped inside his room as I saw him move to close the door. With a swift slide, the room was private to us.

"So what brings you here?" he asked nonchalantly.

"I..." I looked around, but I was fresh out of ideas, "...don't know."

"That makes two of us." he said with a scoff and plopped down onto the ground with an ironic laugh, "You puzzle me."

"Pardon?" I questioned as I peered at his expression.

"You remind me of Misao. You're always so damn cheerful, but when it comes to matters of any kind of actual depth - you know what I think it is..." At this point, he was interrupting himself, and I could only watch in amusement, "...I think it's naivety. No, you're too smart for that. I don't know...what was I saying again?"

He was drunk. I shook my head and tread over to his side. I sat down beside him and placed one of my hands on his shoulders.

"You were drinking, weren't you?" I asked softly.

"A little." He admitted with a weak smile, "I'm very good with sake."

"I can see." I said with a giggle and took his head into my arms to cradle him.

"Don't play with me, Kamiya. I'm a very dangerous man."

"So I see..."


"Honestly, you need to sleep. Maybe I should wait to tell you whatever I wanted to say." I said coyly.

Mr. Ice Blue Eyes clutched my shoulders and stared me straight in the eyes. I bit my lip at the sight. His hair was mussed from a rough night, and his eyes were full of excitement.

"Whatever you wanted to say, tell me now." he demanded in a very stoic tone.

Ah, so we were back to the cold-toned Aoshi Shinomori. I could play hard ball, too.

"Well, I think it's about time I take my leave." I declared and moved to exit, but he glued me to my seat.

"You know, Kamiya, I'm starting to get really annoyed. I've tried to be sincere. I've even tried to give you time."

"What? Now you want to get rough?"

"You know that's not what I want. I just want you to know, before you go, that I care for you."

"Care for me?" I said skeptically.

He was silent, and I knew that Aoshi was now a very verbal man. So the relationship I had with him was just miraculous. He was honestly concerned. It was cute.

So I placed both of my hands on both sides of his head, leading him towards me, and gave him a kiss on his forehead.

"I enjoy my time with you." I said softly.

He froze and looked me in the eye.

"You what?" he asked in a voice devoid of emotions.

I smiled at him and sat back against the wall.

"I like you, Aoshi-san. I thought you always knew."

There was only silence from him afterwards. It was like he was shocked. I watched as he sat back against the wall, too, and leaned the back of his head upon the wall.

"So please return to me at the end of every day. Okay?"

He could only blankly stare out into space.

The next morning, Sanosuke's whole family went outside to say their farewells to him and Misao. Sanosuke wore the bad on his back as usual. And Misao was wearing a costume akin to a ninja. The gauntlets she adorned on her wrists were secured to her middle fingers. They were dark blue with light purple trim, matching her outfit. Her outfit was composed of a sleeveless tunic that had the same trim as her gauntlet at the collar and the shoulders. Her bottom was short with the same style, and topped off with a pink sash wrapped around her abdomen. In the back, the sash was tied into a bow, tied by Sanosuke's mother. As foot wear, she had on mid-calf-high dark blue tabi socks and lightweight sandals. This was the outfit Uki had made for her.

Sanosuke's mother was calm and demure as she saw her son straighten out his clothing for the trip. The bad symbol apparent in the sun.

"Now, inside your satchel, you should have a meal for the road."

"We know, 'kaa-san!" Sanosuke barked, and Misao discreetly kicked the back of his knees.

"Don't worry, Higashidani-san! I'll make sure we eat and that Sano behaves." Misao said in a neutral tone and turned to harsher tones for emphasis.

"Why, you little-!"

"Ne? Where's Uki-san?" Misao asked innocently as she looked around.

Outa hopped up to Misao and grabbed her legs.

"She's not feeling well." Outa shouted as Misao patted his hair lightly.

"Yes. I'm afraid she's come down with a fever." his mother implemented.

Misao saw the look Sanosuke's mother briefly gave her, unnoticed by the gangster himself.

"Well, then, we must take our leave! Take care!" Misao shouted as she turned on her heel and Sanosuke began to walk off ahead of her with his hands aloofly in his pockets.

The mother and Sanosuke's little brother waved them off with smiles, and Misao couldn't help but smile back. But she noticed that Uki was not there. Instead, she was in her room with her head bent just enough so that Misao could see her through the side window. Her mouth was covered by her hand and her body was shaking with uncontrollable sobs.

Uki was crying.

Author's Note: You're probably all mad at me for the lack of K/A. Sorry! I thought that they should slow down a bit. You can't just get to the good stuff. If you want that, read hentai! J/K! I just wanted to focus on other characters this chapter. Anyway...Forgive me! I have been so busy! I am really tired! I had classes and a full time job, so it's been hard to get a chance to write. And...I completed my first year of Japanese classes! . Pretty soon, after I get over the 200 classes, I'll move on to the more difficult classes and take Korean in addition! Yeah! Can you tell that I have an interest in languages? But, I had a good first half of the year. How about all of you? I even got the two Director's cut Kenshin OVAs, so I was a happy camper. I got to see Kenshin and Kaoru's marriage, Kaoru proposing to Kenshin (I am not making this up, she basically asks him to marry her), the birth of Kenji, and Kenji's little antics (pulling his dad's hair, and another where Kenshin is running after Kenji because he got a hold of daddy's sakabatou again! That little rascal!). It was great. I also quit my old job and got a new one. I start this week. I have my own cubicle and everything. Well, I've been getting the reviews, and I am so thankful. So I tried to write as much as possible. Anyway, the story is coming to a close and the sequel is in production as I said before. Personally, I like the story line for the second, and I think a lot of fans of Kenshin will like the second one, too. Well, until next time, folks!

Reader's Response:

Marstanuki - Thank you for finally updating TIMELESS! You rock my world! And thank you for reading!

BelleDayNight - I love Kaoru-Aoshi. They're truly a unique couple. I love your story - Best of Intentions, I believe. I'm sorry I haven't written much for reviews, but I do read. I just don't have much time to do anything lately.

PhoebeOtaku - Well, look no further! The sequel is almost out, and this story is almost done. Thank you for reading!

C.G Forever is Now - LOL! Damn skippy.

XxSilentxDreamerxX - Generally, when you try to kill yourself, the best way would be straight down the arm - not that I've ever tried or anything. They say that if you do it across, you're either never going to do it (being dramatic to get people to pay attention or possibly it's enjoyable) or you're planning to do it. It's just something I've learned over the years, especially from friends who joke about it or tried it. Also, she was trying to do it, but Aoshi was intervening. Therefore, she couldn't kill herself. And thank you for reviewing! .

Wistful-Eyes - I hope you got the K/A action you wanted! Well, it's almost a cowardly suicide attempt. She wants to do it, but is afraid of death. A lot of people who try to commit suicide feel that way. Thank you for reviewing and faithfully reading! .

Kookey - lol. Thanks...I think. But damn straight!

Blue Jeans - Sou desu ne... Izuka ga warui hito. Domo! .

Soda-cola-pop - Thank you! That was worded very beautifully and it's very flattering, but I'm sure I could do better. This story is practice for future novels. Hopefully, I can accomplish in a lifespan's time. BTW, Love Potion #9 was thoroughly amusing! Thank you for reviewing!

Flaming-amber - I'm sorry about the dark parts, but I never intended the story to be taken lightly. I wanted to do a sad piece. Though most of my works seems sad... Hmm...very different from life. In my life, I love to watch feel-good movies and watch stand-up comedy all the time. Now you see what kind of person I am... hee hee...

Monou Hakkai - I love Saitou. He's not used enough. You know what's weird? I actually enjoy his English dub voice, and I even thought "Wow! You know who'd he be great for to VA? Jin from Samurai Chamloo" Then, look no further. To my honest astonishment, there he was in the Cartoon Network premiere. Good going. Though I did watch Samurai Champloo before it was even on CN, I think that it was an okay dub job. Oops! I'm going off on a tangent! Anyway, yeah, I love Saitou. I also wish they'd show Tokio more. But I guess that's what fanfiction is for! BTW, my brother loves that line. He uses it all the time. I should never show anything I write to him again! Grr... At least people find it amusing...

Plumwarrior37 - I remember those days... Ah...high school. And I thought those days were hectic... Then again, I was involved in lots of stuff... Ah ...the days of anime club, dance, varsity choir, work, and a social life to boot. Now it's just work and school with the occasional party. Sad sad sad... But you understand the struggle. And your instincts serve you right, Luke. Use the force... God! I need to see Star Wars Episode III real bad...

Licensed to Kill - That woot reminds me of Fai from Tsubasa. You should read it! It makes me laugh. He can't whistle, so he goes "Weet whoot!" Whistling is hard; I feel his pain... Gosh! I'm going off on tangents! I need to stop that! Thank you for reviewing though! And thank you for your kindness!

Nakkie - Well, I don't know how to reply to you. I never claimed to be an expert in death, and this teaches me that maybe I should do more research before writing about things I don't know about. I was trying to go for something, like say character description or rather how people view her natural beauty as she was laid on the ground. This is probably after they've closed her mouth or rolled up her tongue and stuck it back in her mouth, closed it - Hell if I know! But it's nice to know that you're talking to some up-beat people in the universe...

Furygrrl - Wait no more! Thank you for at least checking in and reading! Any feedback is appreciated!

The-Wolf-of-Stars - Well, you never know what's to come in the sequel. Kenshin is one of the main character though. So look no further for your favorite flame-haired rurouni!

Crystal Snowflakes - I believe I gave some recommendations for some nice A/K stories that you can read in my reviewer's response for Rhysati in the chapter entitled "Prayers Bound to Despair." In fact, a couple of the reviewers of this story write some. One I can think off-hand is BelleDayNight, and I've been reading one by d-strike (I believe) called, "Anything but Ordinary (another I believe. I'm not sure if that's the exact name...)" Good reads!

Dewey - Hope you like this chapter! And thank you for waiting! So sorry!

Broken Lavender - And here, I've updated! Yay!

Midnight Scribbler - That's okay. I've got something close to me that's a lot like rabid mother... So do your worst! lol

KatsunoCZ - Thank you, but I'm sure there's room for improvement. I should go over the story and see what needs to be done...

Dagorwen of Ithilien - I've been trying! Here's the fruit of my labor(?).

Rumor - Well, rumor, you aren't the only one who feels that way about her... But I suppose she has her reasons for the things she says... (I don't know! I'm just trying to be nice and give her some back if she were real...).

Polyx Terajima - Yeah... well...(since I know who this is) You little twit of a boy-girl, you need to get off your butt and get a job! Yeah, you heard me, you little pencil-chin. And CALCULUS is spelled right, otherwise, I dunno...SPELL CHECK would have told me it was wrong. But I guess that's something sumaru diku couldn't comprehend, eh? Weet whoot! Damn skippy. Oops! Did a kitten just die...? Shame on you, Chibi Kaijuu!

Mokusei - He isn't a rurouni, and he isn't a hitokiri. He's just Kenshin. I just picked that outfit because he looks better in it.

Tenshi-fluffy-inu - chotto...

Orchidaceae - Is that name inspired by something Greek? Just a question because I just got done with a course on mythology, which had a deep root in Greece. Thank you for your commentary!

Cutemara - I will update...twenty minutes ago (or whenever you started reading this)!

Blonde B-Ball Star - Well, first of all, this is my motto. If readers are kind enough to go out of their way, give time to a review (or a short blurb or what they thought), then they deserve to have a response or something of equal value in return. It never hurts to respond. Second of all, I don't plan on the story being too much longer. It's coming to a close - unfortunately. But the sequel is a continuation, so I don't think you'll miss the story too much. Thank you for the grammar points! That means a lot to me since I should know grammar by now. And every little thing has something to with either character or plot. Nothing is meaningless. Thank you for you review! Keep on trucking! Wheet whoot!

Via x Infinito - Chotto...aa...iie...iie...watashi wa heta desu...

Pego - When was Tomoe ever a bitch? That's what I don't like about some fiction. They automatically hate anyone who is a "rival" for whatever character they want the main romantic interest to be paired with. Forget that she died ten years before Kaoru even met Kenshin and that Kenshin is at a different stage in his life... But yes, I'm glad that I didn't make her bitch. She's got a fricken' purpose. Go pego! I don't mind that this is a short review! I welcome any! Thank you for adding me to your favorite's! It's an honor.

Call It Karma - I am here - wherever here is... And I have faithfully come with a chapter in hand (on my disk). Tada! Thank you for your review!