March 19, 2006 A/N: This story has been long neglected (my apologies), and will someday be revised or merely replaced with a better version. I have changed my penname from Angel MoMO to Morgannae and have no yet changed any information regarding this change in my fanfic besides the first chapter. Please keep in mind that this is my fanfiction and that the name change does not imply plagiarism. I will seek to change this soon. Thank you, and happy reading.

Summary: Kenshin/Kaoru- It's been years since his beloved Kaoru has passed…. he's worked night and day trying to rid his mind of her; to rid himself of the endless pain. When he thought he finally did…a chain of events leads him to a situation where he thought he'd never be in again. A/U

Disclaimer: I do not own Rurouni Kenshin, and any similarities to other fanfiction stories or movies etc. are just accidental and/or I liked the concept BUT I do not own those either.

Angel of Mine

By Morganna

"Kenshin? What are you doing?"

"Nothing…it's just a little something"

"What? You're making no sense."

He looked into her questioning eyes.

"Will you…" he stopped and paused. 'No… I have to check first…the time must be perfect.'

"What? Will I what?"

His prolonged silence ate through Kaoru's patience; he seemed to be in deep thought.

"Well… before I ask you that question, answer me this."

"Okay."

"How much do you love me?"

Kaoru's eye's widened.

"What kind of question is THAT Kenshin?"

"Well…… I wanna know…" He looked down and stared at his shoes shyly.

She giggled and pulled him into a warm hug.

"YOU SILLY! Of course I love you Kenshin Himura, I love you more than anything. You know that!"

"Promise?"

"I promise… I promise my heart … my soul… my world. Is that good enough?"

Kenshin grinned for that was the answer he wanted to hear, 'perfect…' he thought. That's when he pulled away from her hug, showing a small burgundy velvet box. He knelt on one knee and opened the box, revealing a glistening diamond orb with two small opal cubes on each end; all resting on a small silver band.

Kaoru's eyes darted across his face, trying to read his emotions and see if he was really going to do what she think he was.

"Will you marry me?"

"OH KENSHIN! I…" She clasped her hands together as she squealed with joy. Suddenly, her jovial face suddenly dropped as a thought crossed her mind, "I'd love to… but … oh Kenshin. We're still so young, we're only seventeen… its not even the legal age yet."

"Well yea... I know that but, I HAD to ask you before I forgot how much I love you."

"KENSHIN!"

He laughs, "Just kidding, I know we're still young Kaoru, but I can't remember a time where I've doubted our love. You are and always have been the Juliet of my dreams. You are the magnificent rose that makes the pain of the thorns seems like nothing. You are the light that guides me through the darkness. The soul mate I would've never thought I deserve. You are everything I live for; every breath I take is for you. I'd let millions of lives parish just to spare you a moments pain." He takes the ring out of the box and takes a hold of her left hand. "You are my angel, my heart, my soul. If we were too ever part… I wouldn't know what I'd do. But what I do know…is that with this ring," He places the ring on her finger, "I'll promise you my life, everything I am; I'll be the man of your dreams, your knight in shining armor. I'll promise you that even if one day I were to lose you, I will never forget my love for you," He pauses the final time, and kisses her hand softly, "That is why I'm asking you... my beloved Kaoru. Spend eternity by my side, and hope that death will never force us to part. Say you'll marry me Kaoru, and let me grant you the right to make me the happiest man alive."

Her words were almost inaudible through her tears, but he heard her; and that was enough to make his life worthwhile. "Yes, YES!… Of course I'll marry you Kenshin!"

3 months later…….

Blood covered her body, his hands, the pavement…. the car. His life was over… the most important thing to him was slowly slipping away in arms, all because of an accident… and there was nothing he could do about it.

"KAORU! Oh please… please… don't leave me…please.."

"Kenshin… I.. I'm so… sorry.."

"Don't be… don't be Kaoru! Please just--"

"I'm…s…sorry Kenshin… that I couldn't make you the happiest man alive…."

Kenshin's eyes widened at what he heard, "NO! KAORU! YOU CAN'T…you can't leave me.. please… I...I… I love you." His blood boiled with anger and sorrow.

She smiles, "I love you too… but, my time has come… we can't change what God as chosen.."

"God? GOD!" he could no longer hold back the hysterics, "Isn't GOD suppose to watch over us? Isn't GOD the one that sends angel's to comfort us… to make sure everything's okay! Where was GOD when we needed him!"

Kaoru smiled again, and brought her hand to his face, gently brushing away his tears…only to have more cascade down his face.

"Sometimes God has ways of doing things we don't understand… and sometimes we just have to accept them…."

"But…. Why? Why Kaoru? Why'd it have to be us…why couldn't He just let us be? Why couldn't He let us live happily ever after like the story says? Why--"

Kaoru brought her index finger to his lips, cutting him off mid-sentence. "Shh…. It's alright…... it's alright."

"No…its not Kaoru," he whispered, "What… what am I going to do without you?"

"You'll be fine, I have faith in you… love will find a way to conquer all, remember?"

Kenshin's face scrunched up in sheer pain as the severity of the situation sank in, HIS Kaoru is being taken away from him; and he couldn't prevent it. Out in the distance sirens could be heard.

"Please… please hold on Kaoru, they're coming! In no time you'll be in the emergency room. You'll be fine…" he desperately brought her into a warm embrace, "Don't leave me….. please."

He pulled back and gently pressed his forehead against hers, she smiled an all-knowing smile.

They both knew the ambulance wasn't going to make it in time.

"I won't… I'll always be with you Kenshin, I'll always be there when you need me."

"But I need you now, more than ever..."

She placed her hand on his heart, "Then here is where I'll stay…. That is," she paused, "Kenshin? Did you really mean that promise?"

"Of course I did Kaoru, you mean everything to me."

She smiled, "I know... but even with that promise I want you to remember that I don't want you to live in the past…move on…be happy."

"I can't Kaoru…I can't… how can I move on and be happy when I promised you everything that I am? You ARE my joy. I could never forget you…I promised--" He choked another sob.

"You can Kenshin…I know you can…you have a long life ahead of you…live happily my love."

"I can't…I--" He shook with uncontrollable sobs.

"Kiss me Kenshin…please… this one last time."

Without a moment's hesitation, he pulled her close, never wanting to let go. Her soft lips with his… her breath against his cheek… her beautiful azure eyes…everything he loved about her... were now his last. He reluctantly pulled back, only to see her last genuine smile.

"I love you…"

"I love you too, Kaoru..."

With that, her eyes fluttered shut, never to open again…and never to return the heart he'd so willingly given her those many years ago…

Ten years later…. New York City, New York.

9:46 AM

The phone rings.

"Yea? Oh hey Sano… Uh-huh…okay. Bye."

It was a typical morning, just like any other one. I got out of bed, took a shower, brushed my teeth, tied my hair up, got dressed, etcetra. I couldn't really bitch about it, but I wasn't exactly jumpin' for joy either. Actually… I can't remember the last time I was jumpin' for joy. Anyway… Sano had called me to check if I was still meeting him at the coffee shop so I can meet this 'friend' of his. He's probably going to try and hook me up with her. Nothing new, nothing interesting… barely anything ever happens in this so-called existence of mine; well nothing GOOD. So why tell you about it? Maybe it's 'cause you might just be the only person that'd EVER be remotely interested in what I have to say.

It was the middle of winter, so it wasn't really a surprise that there'd be snow everywhere when I walked out of my apartment building… kids were running around throwing snowballs at each other. Laughing. Couples walked by hand in hand. Smiling. Families going about their daily strolls. Happily. Seemed like I was the only redheaded loner walking around. Pfft…oh well, life's a bitch then you die…that's just how it is.

There must be a reason I can't keep myself in a committed relationship…there must be a reason why I'm so withdrawn; so… miserable. I know there was a time I was happy… a time where life seemed to be at its best. The guffawing, the joking around, and the warm feeling of joy like a nice cup of hot cocoa during the winter blizzards; everything seemed so perfect, so in place. Yet, something happened…something so devastating that I had to forget. I can't completely remember the reason behind it, but I DO remember the pain. The excruciating pain. Pain so intolerable, no physical torture could've surpassed it. All I knew was that I had to forget… to forget the guilt…to forget the loss. I remember the therapies…the psychiatrists… the many nights I had to have Sano confiscate all the sharp objects I possessed. The pain, the guilt, the loss, the mental beatings I gave myself. I remember all these horrible things as if it were yesterday, yet the reason behind my behavior faded; leaving me with no memory of WHY I became the way I was. I spent all those years trying to forget… and now I spend my time alone trying to remember. Funny how the way the world is; you'd spend (what feels like) eternity trying to not live in the past and it'd still come back in some way to bite you in the ass. So that is how I became this pessimistic walking zombie, void of all genuine joy…and of course, love.

Time seemed to pass by so fast as I walked down the streets of Manhattan, crossing crosswalks, and stopping occasionally for the daily jackasses that still haven't figured out what a red light means.

I was asked to fly to New York about four years ago due to my job. My boss, Seijuro Hiko, had insisted that I'd move to New York to help his business partner, Aoshi Shinomori, in the advertisement department of Hiko & Shinomori Inc.. My english had improved a lot over the years due to working with so many executives from the Americas, so Seijuro decided to send me to Aoshi's for a few months. Apparently I did very well while I was there and both of them agreed that I should move to New York permanently. Long story short, Sano came along to 'watch over me' and that's how the two of us came to live here.

Before I knew it, I was in front of the oh-so-loveable Sakura coffeehouse.

"YO! OVER HERE KEN!"

No doubt that was Sano's voice.

I looked over the crowd of people only to see the usual commodities. Most of the occupants were either smoking… choking on some sort of pastry…or were arguing over the stupidest topics like how many different kinds of coffee beans there really are.

Other than that the Sakura coffeehouse was actually quite nice, there were stained-glass Tiffany lamps and bar stools… leather couches were scattered around various corners with a few tables covered with magazines such as Time, National Geographic, Us Weekly, along with some coffee-stained newspapers---

"KEN! OVER HERE!"

I look over, and what do y'know. There was rooster-boy with an arm wrapped around the shoulders of a not-so-rooster-like blonde.

"Don't call me that Sano… you know very well that my name is Kenshin."

He grins, "Why…aren't we the hypocrite? Callin' me Sano when I can't call you Ken."

I felt like I was shooting daggers at him (I'm positive I was doing more than glaring), but then again I had to restrain myself, for we had a guest.

"Hey calm down, I was only kidding. You know I'm Sano and always will be Sano." He turned toward the blonde next him.

"Jennika, meet Kenshin. Kenshin…Jennika."

She smiled, her greens eyes shone genuinely as she did so. Her hair was a dirty-blonde color with bright highlights, and only reached down to her shoulders. She was wearing a burgundy sweater with the cuffs and collar of her white shirt showing, black cotton gloves, and khaki pants. She had a bronze tint to her skin, causing one (meaning me) to question her tanning habits.

"'Allo… it's a pleasha' ta meet you." She spoke with British accent, or at least I think she did…never really met anyone from Britain before.

"Uh…hi, nice to meet you too." We shook hands.

Sano motioned to get up as he drew his arm away from her, "Well…I think I'm gonna go get myself something to drink…. 'scuse me."

"So what am I supposed to do now?" I whispered to Sano as he walked past me… not trying to hide the fact that I'm pretty perturbed.

"What normal people do, talk to her Kenshin." He whispered, shoving me toward the empty seat beside her.

I naturally sat next to her, considering I couldn't really avoid it. Seconds ticked by uncomfortably, I stared at a spot on the floor a feet few ahead of me while she played with the tag of her tea bag. This wasn't getting us anywhere, so I finally broke the ice.

"So… Jennika, how'd you meet Sano?"

She looked at me… she seemed hopeful for something. Hopefully that something isn't me…I'm not one for relationships.

"Actually it's quite interesting on how we're still friends if you ask me… he was dating my bestfriend when we met… he's a very charming fellow… they fought a lot… then we …bla bla bla bla bla."

Well she didn't really trail off with 'bla-bla-blas', but that's what it sounded like after a while. I couldn't help but get distracted by how she was looking at me; the vibe she was giving was as if she wanted to get to know me better in a more love-related way… or something to that effect. Ugh…this love mumbo-jumbo really gets to you after a while. I mean I know she wouldn't want to be "just friends", and I don't want to be in a relationship…but then again I don't want to lead her on. Damn it Sano! "…'allo? Kenshin? You there?" I snapped out of it, apparently she had stopped talking.

"Uh…yea…sorry about that. I kind of got too involved in your story for a second."

She laughs.

I congratulated myself mentally.

"Why you're just a character aren't yea? I've never met anyone that was that interested in me at a first meeting before."

" Yea, well…I guess I'm not just anyone." She giggles again. Is she flirting?

Her eyes once again had that hopeful glint. I couldn't take it anymore, she seemed like such a sweet girl and I really didn't want to lead her on… I had to break it to her.

"Hey Jennika…I uh…need to tell you something."

"Yes?" There! Her eyes had that hope again…god, it's hard as it is.

"Well…the things is that I haven't been in a relationship in a long time, and I don't think I'm ready to start now. It's hard to explain why I have this strange…habit, but just know that it has absolutely nothing to do with you. I've just been like this for as long as I can remember. I honestly do think you're a great girl and I'd love to be your friend, but I'm not ready to be in a committed relationship."

During my 'speech', her face dropped…and the hopeful glint disappeared. She looked so…rejected.

I sighed.

"Listen, It's seriously not you…It's me…" I paused realizing I was saying one of the most cliché and oldest excuses that really meant the opposite of what you said. Shit.

"Seriously, I have this fear of commitment…I can't help it. Even ask Sano, I've been this way forever. Just please don't take this in a offensive and personal way."

Finally she smiles. Then she laughs.

"Wow… you are a character."

Okay…now I'm confused.

"You're just so genuine, and honest…" she paused and actually looked thankful, "Thank you… I really appreciate you for telling me the truth, can't tell you how many guys I've met that are too much of a coward to tell a girl that."

I grinned…Hey, this chick isn't so bad.

At the exact moment… my pager beeps. Perfect! I can get out of this mess without having to make up an excuse. And if my day couldn't get any better, it did; Sano came back with his drink.

"Well… I guess I'll be going. I have some business to tend to."

"But.. y--" I cut him off, there was NO WAY Sano was going to try and talk me into to staying.

"NO… actually I really should be going," I looked at Jennika and smiled, "Nice to have met you and Sano…" I turned to Sano giving him the best where-the-hell-do-you-come-up-with-this-shit look I could muster up, "I'll talk to you later."

With that… I got up and left Sakura's. Although I wasn't exactly sure why Seijuro was sending me a page on my week off, after that encounter I knew nothing could succeed it.

How wrong was I……

Sano watched his redheaded friend walk out of the coffeehouse. He sighed.

"Sorry about that Jen, he's…" but before he could finish she held up her hand to stop him.

"It's quite alright Sano. He told me he's not ready for a relationship, I respect that."

Sano swore under his breath… 'Damn it Kenshin, can't you just get that stick out of your ass and move on? I'm tired of you constantly moping.' Jennika noticed his act of frustration.

"It's really quite alright Sano…I understand…please don't be cross with him."

He chugged down the rest of his coffee and placed it on the table next to him; he then turned to face Jennika.

"No seriously Jen, I'm sorry… I should've known he would've acted the way he did. It's just…he's been through a lot."

Curiosity struck Jennika and was about to ask what caused Kenshin's actions, when she decided against it. She just nodded.

Jennika had become such a good friend to Sano over the years, even when he would do the stupidest shit (involving alcohol) and piss off his ex, Megumi, who had eventually ending the relationship. Sometimes he wondered if she thought of him as more than a friend, but that thought was immediately thrown out the window after she met her ex, Akira Kiyosato, and dated him for two years. Sano had never seen her so happy…that is until she found out Akira cheated on her with this woman named Tomoe. She was so devastated, and along with dealing with Kenshin's depression problem…Sano couldn't help but think that he should at least attempt in setting the two together on a date. Obviously, it didn't go too well as always; and although he loved Kenshin as a brother, he couldn't let Jennika go not knowing why Kenshin had turned her down like that. She deserved to know, Sano trusted her…and although it was a pretty sad and personal story, Sano knew she wouldn't even hurt a fly let alone blab it to anyone.

Jennika watched his face as he was in deep thought…not really caring about the awkward silence between the two. Suddenly he snapped out of his trance, making her jump a little at the sudden sound of his voice.

"You see the thing is…Well…."

"Sano… if you're going to explain Kenshin's actions…I've already told you I'm quite alright with it. I understand--"

"No!" He broke in, "You're a great person…and although Kenshin is close to me, so are you… and you deserve to know why he did what he did, why he lied to you about his so-called 'commitment-phobia'."

Jennika was in shock, 'Kenshin seemed so sincere…I would've never thought he'd lie. Well then again, I can't say I'm not naïve.'

"He lied? So he really didn't have a problem with relationships and dating?" She was hurt.

Sano realized his mistake, "Well yes and no. He doesn't really have a medical definition of 'commitment-phobia', but I can understand why he summarized it that way." He paused, trying to collect his thoughts, "As you know…both Kenshin and I were born in and grew up in Japan. Well, about 14 years ago Kenshin met this first and only love, Kaoru Kamiya, in Tokyo at the first day of our Middle school. From the way he described it…it was like love at first sight. They got along great, and after two years, when they were fifteen…they were inseparable. Always at the movies together, laughing together, playing cards together, joking around together, they did everything together."

Jennika was pulled into this love story…. 'He had a young love…'

"Another two years passed, and I remember him telling me that he was going to propose to her…I thought he was crazy, but aren't we all when we're in love? So one cool summer's eve, he took her to the park, and had set up a nice picnic. I'm not one to remember all the details, but with his excitement, who could forget? He told me he took her for a short stroll and had poured his heart out to her… in return she promised him her heart, her soul…etcetra. Before we knew it…those two were engaged at seventeen."

He sighed…for this was the part that wasn't so excited in reliving.

"Three months later, the world seemed to end for Kenshin. It was a nice chilly winter morning, both of them were shopping in Kyoto, they seemed to be at the top of the world; everything couldn't have been better. Unfortunately their utopia was broken, for when the two of them started to cross the street toward a nearby café a drunk driver was speeding down towards them…not see them or the red light until the very last second. He swerved, missing Kenshin…but hitting Kaoru, and smashed into a streetlight…killing him instantly. Kaoru's death devastated Kenshin…and weeks after the accident he seemed to have gone insane. Constantly repeating 'I can't…I promised…I promised…' under his breath. Everyone was worried…including me… so his friends and I pulled together as much money as we had and sent him to therapy sessions, the psychiatric ward, and anything else we could think of. I, myself, had busted my ass to help him forget…. throwing away everything he owned that would remind him of her. He was pretty pissed at me for that…but he got over it, as he did with everything else. Eventually he forgot. I know he could never forget the pain he endured, but through all the therapies he had, it is believed that he had forgotten the reason why he became as insane as he did. Ten years passed and love became, and still is, a foreign emotion to him, thus proving why he isolated himself away from you as soon as he could. I tried many times to get him back into a relationship, back into feeling,…instead of his occasional one-night stands. Obviously…it hasn't worked." He sighs, " It's sad that the human mind can be so stubborn when it wants to be."

Sano paused and looked up at Jennika, and the fact that she was crying startled him a little bit. He grinned and wrapped his arm around her shoulders trying to comfort her. She sniffled.

"But…what about his parents? Didn't they care about how he was acting?"

Sano snorted. 'Yea…riiight..'

"Kenshin's dad had signed him up for adoption after finding out his mother had had an affair with a another man, thus not wanting to accept Kenshin as part of the family. He stayed with a foster family, that is until they had to move of the country when he was five…sending Kenshin into a lifetime of many foster families and other pointless 'homes'. Kaoru was the first person that made him feel wanted, loved…and he lost her. Some say it's fate, but I don't believe in that. Because if that was decided before hand…then fate must have a pretty fucked up way of doing things."

Jennika nodded, understanding why Sano felt the way he did and why Kenshin acted in the way he did.

"So it really isn't you Jen, he's just been through a lot. I could tell he thought you were a sweet girl, maybe you two could be friends."

She smiles, "Yea…maybe. Thank you though, for caring."

"No problem Jen. Now," He picks up his jacket from the other seat, "How about we take you home? I'm pretty sure there must be some shoe sale or something you're dying to get ready for."

Jennika laughs.

"Alright… let's go Sano…but.."

Sano stops and looks at her.

"You're coming with me."

"WHAT? Why! Jen! You know I'm not one for shopping!"

"Oh Bullocks! Don't give me that! I know you like it… don't lie… Besides, there must be something that'll look good on you, and I'm taking you shopping to find it."

"Fine…" He agreed… then realizing the hidden meaning, "Wait…. HEY! What's that supposed to mean?"

She laughs, "Nothing! Absolutely nothing!" Before he could protest, she grabbed him by the arm and dragged him out of Sakura's, toward the subway. "Oh c'mon Sano! It'll be fun!"

By 2:05 PM, the two partners in crime, Rooster-boy and Blondie, found their way to the mall, and tore up every store in trying to find something that'd look good on Sanosuke. (A/N: Hahaha..)

Not too far from Sakura's I found a pay phone. I took out my pager and dialed in the number.

Rrrrring……..Rrrrriiing…. Rrrrriiing…….

Rrrii--- "Hello?"

"You paged?"

"I did? Oh yes, oh yes, that's right…I did."

I understand that Seijuro was a very busy guy, but his age and chronic forgetfulness makes me wonder if he's going senile.

"Well Kenshin, I just got a call from your old friend Soujiro. Apparently he needs you to fly back to Japan immediately…"

Soujiro? Man…It's been awhile since I last saw him. The three of us were the closest friends in school, but after both Sano and I moved to the States we rarely ever talked. So why would Soujiro be calling me now?

"Did he say why?"

"He said it was personal business…and that you need to get back to Tokyo." He emphasized the need… what the hell happened?

"Uh… ok Seijuro…thanx."

"No problem Kenshin, Oh by the way…Soujiro said he already purchased tickets for you to fly back tomorrow morning. The information has been sent through your fax."

"Why did he do that? I'm capable enough of buying my own tickets."

"Don't ask me, I'm just telling you what he told me…maybe he didn't want you to use the excuse of not having tickets or money. Anyway, I've got to go back to the meeting…I can't spend all day talking to you kid. Have fun in Tokyo and I'll see you two weeks from now."

"TWO WEEKS? Why am I gone so---?"

Before he could even hear the rest of my question, let alone answer, he hung up.

I slammed the phone back onto the receiver, not really caring about my public display of anger…after all; this is New York City. I really didn't want to go back to Japan…I've left so many friends and memories back there, who knows what kind of trauma I'll get by going back. Regardless of the fact that both Soujiro and I have grown apart, he was still my friend, and I'll help him in his time of need even if it means flying back to Japan and going through another dose of insanity.

After I completed a few of my daily errands for Seijuro, I decided to stop by Central Park to calm my nerves. All the 'What Ifs' that had built up during the day were really causing me to lose my cool. Kenshin Himura can never lose his cool; that'd just defeat my whole purpose of being a cranky-pessimistic-jerk.

The clock read 7:04 PM when I finally decided to 'face the music' and come home. I had tossed my jacket on the couch as I made my way across the living room towards the dreaded fax-machine. I braced myself for the worst as I picked up the stack of paper and flipped through the pages. Then realizing there was nothing printed on the papers besides the time of my flight, what time I was landing, who was picking me up, where I was staying at, and other little tidbits of information I wasn't remotely interested in, I let out a sigh of relief and headed for the bathroom. After the day I had, I deserved a long hot shower.

Then the phone rings.

"WHAT?"

"Whoa…clam down Kenshin,"

It was Sano…. again.

I sighed, "Make it quick Sano…this conversation is cutting into my time."

"Oh c'mon! Don't be such a downer! Anyway…I just wanted to ask you why you didn't even make an effort with Jennika? She's a great girl an--"

"Sano…You know very well why…"

"Yea yea, I know, but don't you think it's time to move on? You guys could at least be friends. You need to get out into the world, meet new faces."

"Sano…I'm not in the mood to talk about it okay? If it's alright with you, I was just about to go and take a shower. I've got to catch an early flight tomorrow."

"A flight? Where you going? And why wasn't I informed about it?"

"First off I'm an twenty-seven year old adult, I don't need a baby-sitter; and second off, Souijiro had called Seijuro because he couldn't get a hold of me, apparently he bought me tickets to fly back to Japan---"

That seemed to piss Sano off…or shock him. One of the two.

"WHAT! WHY? WHY WOULD HE SEND YOU BACK T--"

"Calm down Sano! I'm not sure why…he said it was urgent and I had to fly back immediately. It didn't say anything about what the 'urgent' business was in the fax he sent me. All I know is that I have to go back."

For some reason this news pushed Sano even more over the edge.

"YOU CAN'T! YOU CAN'T! YOU CAN'T GO BACK TO JAPAN! ESPECIALLY NOT NOW! DON'T LISTEN TO SOUJIRO!"

Okay, this kind of freaked me out. I mean Sano has had his share of emotional outbreaks…he was a very outspoken guy after all, but this was just out of character.

"WHOA! Sano, you okay man? Is there something I should know about?"

There was a pause…it seemed like he was hesitating. But why would he hesitate? It's not like I'm going to Antarctica to train penguins or anything.

"N…No…. It's nothing…. it's fine. J…just take care of yourself, alright buddy?"

He was keeping something from me, I just know it.

"You sure? You sure there isn't anything I should know? Because if there is--"

"No…It's nothing… it's fine… just have fun and take care of yourself."

And he hung up.

Geez, that was a great close to a great day….uh-huh...it sure was. After the estranged phone call from Sano, I didn't want to spend another second in that room. I immediately walked into my bathroom, and took the longest, hottest, shower I could. I could tell there was going to be a lot of surprises ahead of me.

A LOT of surprises indeed.

"No…It's nothing… it's fine… just have fun and take care of yourself."

Sano had hung up the phone hastefully. His worst fear has just become reality…. It was January 4th, a week and a half before the tenth anniversary of Kaoru's death, and Kenshin was going back to Japan. Soujiro had called him back, breaking the vow the two of them had made those many years ago. That moron, what the fuck does he think he's doing by calling him back?

"Sano? Is everything alright?"

Sano turned around to face Jennika. She was holding two cups of tea, and the look on her face held obvious concern. He had to admit his hostility in screaming into the phone didn't really help either.

After their little 'adventure' at the mall, Jennika had insisted that she'd take Sano back to her place for some tea. She just had to repay him for surviving through the day with her; and of course, being Sano, he couldn't turn down free food.

"I'm fine Jen. But umm…" He turned toward the couch, grabbing his coat. "I'm sorry I can stay…Something just came up and I have to go."

"Oh…" Jennika placed the cups down on the table as he made his way toward the door, "Alright… well…I hope everything is going well with you." She smiled.

"Yea," He smiled back, "Me too." And he closes the door.

"10:56…Damn it Soujiro. It's too fucking late to have to worry about this kind of shit…" Sano had made it home a half an hour after his stay at Jennika's, and he was already digging through his book shelves, in search for phone book that had Soujiro's number.

"AH-HA! Got it!" Sano ran to his phone and began to dial rapidly.

There was a pause as Sano waited for someone to answer.

"Moshi-moshi…"

"Soujiro?"

"Yes? May I ask who this is?"

"Oh c'mon….please tell me you haven't forgotten the voice of the oh-so-memorable Sanosuke Sagara."

"SANO? Wha…What is it? You're not usually one to call people on a Saturday morning…considering you're usually hung-over."

"There IS a time difference Soujiro….This is long distance so I'll get to the point. What the hell are you doing calling Kenshin and sending him back to Japan? And how did you get his fax number?Don't you remember our vow? Our promise!"

"I have my ways. Of course I didn't forget Sano…But you don't understand what's happened--"

"WHAT IS THERE TO KNOW SOUJIRO? DO YOU WANT KENSHIN TO GO INSANE LIKE HE DID?"

"Sano….listen to me for one second and hold your tongue for once!" That shut Sano up….Soujiro isn't one to yell.

"Remember what happened? With…Kaoru…."

"Yea.."

"Well…strange things have been happening…and they all seem to be occurring around the cemetery…around her grave."

"Like what…?"

"Strange markings appear on tombstones and then disappear the next day…music plays from out of nowhere in the middle of night."

"So? It's a cemetery….it's its job to be haunted."

"But…all the marks lead to Kaoru's grave…. Every night it'd be found starting at one end of the cemetery…but it'd always lead to her grave. The music plays… and gets louder and louder as you walk toward her tombstone. She's desperate Sano…she wants Kenshin to know…"

"But he can't… he can't Soujiro…"

"He needs too… she knows he's ready…and when she knows… we know."

"Are you sure?"

"Yes, I'm positive… and besides Sano…we may not know the whole story…we may only be a small speck in the whole picture. It's time Sano."

"You're right… Damn it. You're always right." He sighed, "You take good care of him Soujiro."

" I will."

"Alright… well I'm gonna go. Call me as soon as anything happens okay?"

"Okay.. I will Sano…Ja!"

"Ja."

In the silence of Sano's apartment, the sound of a phone being placed on a receiver could be heard.

"Now boarding Flight 764 to Tokyo, Japan.."

I wish I could stop the constant fluttering of the butterflies in my stomach.

"Alright Kenshin, this is it. No turning back now." I grabbed my bags and walked toward the gate. Everyone around me seemed to going on a business trip, visiting family, or gong on a vacation. But me…I was going to my past. To my nightmares.

To what I've forgotten…

A/N: Wow… that was longer than I initially planned lol. Hopefully it wasn't too bad was it? Well… REVIEW! momo