Burn by the Lady Arianrod

a/n: This will be another Rurouni Kenshin character study... this time, it's Shishio!

Disclaimer: i don't own RK!

Enjoy this dark fic sent during the final battle.... spoilers!

Shishio's POV.

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They want me to lose.

Those stupid, weak bastards.

Japan will cringe in fear at the sound of my name. They will fear me not for my appearance but for my dark heart, of the endless promise of evil that I will bring.

They made me burn!

They will not defeat me this time. Even the Battousai will not overcome my awesome power... He does not have the heart that I do.

You may scoff at this.... Makoto Shishio cannot have a heart, you say.

Bullshit.

All of Japan says this.

But I have the power, the key to survival. I have the power over other pathetic human beings, people that will cut out an eye if I tell them to.

I have a woman who loves me even though I slice into innocent flesh in front of her eyes.

To Yumi, I can do no wrong.

That is why I love her.

She is slightly more than a pawn to me at times. I am far superior to her in every way, but she is a companion that makes up for some of that lost space in my so-called heart. I don't mind having someone like her around.

But Kenshin... he does not have this same power. He is weak, weaker than that traitor Soujiro. Kenshin is all about love and equality.

He values life.

The Battousai is just making a fool of himself. By sparing others, he makes himself appear powerless to kill them. In the end, he just creates more enemies for himself.

Why is he so strong though?

It's amusing to watch him, dripping blood from every corner of his weak body. He fights for useless causes, the usual hero story.

I enjoy ending the lives of these optimists, because they're too hopeful to ever have imagined that they would lose in the end to Makoto Shishio.

I spar with the Battousai until I feel the old pains. The searing flames eat up my flesh once more, unable to be extinguished by my destroyed glands. In a way, I love that feeling. It empowers me, but...

It is unbearable.

I feel myself losing all control as the world whirs past, blood and faces intertwined in a haunting chorus.

I can hear my agonized shrieks, the blatant, manic pain filling the air.

Hoji and the others stare at me in horror and shock.

Those weaklings think I'm going to lose!

Ha. They have not realized that the Battousai's days are over. Even as these old pains return to me, I will never lose.

I cannot control these flames that leap up, the past that I did not cause. The government burned me, but I will retaliate.

I let out a final sound: a jarring cackle.

Inside my head, I scream a final thought: Look at this life that I have lived, the lives that I have ended, the people I have controlled.

The government thought that they could stop me, but I came so close...

It doesn't matter to me that the Battousai is still living.

I overcame those archaic obstacles, burned fear into the hearts of millions.

That euphoric joy alone fills me as I am consumed in flame one last time...

I have not lost. Others will follow me.

The End.

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End notes: Criticize, comment, review, etc.! Tell your thoughts on Shishio and remark on if I captured him in this vignette!

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Thanks!