Disclaimer: If I owned Rurouni Kenshin I'd be friggin rich. I'm friggin poor. That implies that I do not own Rurouni Kenshin. Got that, you stupid lawyers?

Notes: A satirical little piece, courtesy of my evil sadistic slave-driver muse. (Who is apparently refusing to let me take a break.) Btw, I doubt anyone (other than people who really know me) will actually get the whole point of this story. I guess you can try, though…

                                                                                ~ All That Mattered ~

            Misao was a very happy girl.

            Yesterday had been a bad day, but then everything had turned out all right in the end, so she was happy.

            Yesterday morning, when she had brought tea to her Aoshi-sama (hers!) as she always had, Aoshi-sama had actually spoken to her. She had been so delightedly surprised that she'd almost dropped all the tea she'd been carrying.

            "Misao," he had said, gazing straight at her with those beautiful, beautiful blue eyes of his. (So beautiful!) "Misao… Please understand, but… I cannot love you the way you wish me to."

            She had felt her heart shattering, her eyes filling with hot tears. "What? What do you mean?"

            "You are like a sister to me, Misao, and I love you… Just – not that way…" His voice was perfectly calm as he sat there, gazing at her with beautiful, beautiful eyes (such a pretty shade of blue).

            And then she had dropped the tea, and run out, tears streaming down her face. Because she loved him, and he was her Aoshi-sama (hers!), and he did not love her.

            Or did he?

            Outside, as she had wiped fiercely at her tears, she had stopped to think about the true meaning of his words. And then she had realized, Of course! Aoshi-sama does love me – he just doesn't know how to say it! Or maybe he doesn't want me to know, because he wants to protect me – or maybe he feels guilty and thinks he doesn't deserve me! Of course! (Of course he loves me!)

            It had made her feel better, sort of. But how was she to convince him that it was, in fact, okay for him to love her?

            It had turned out that she needn't have worried so. For that very evening, Aoshi-sama had asked to speak to her in private.

            "Misao…" he had said, gazing at her with beautiful, beautiful eyes (such a pretty shade of blue). "I'm sorry about what I said to you this morning. I didn't mean to hurt you…" And his voice had been genuinely sorry.

            "Ano… It's no big deal," she had told him as her heart fluttered with joy. "I forgive you, Aoshi-sama."

            But Aoshi-sama (her Aoshi-sama) had not finished yet. "Misao…" And then there'd been a long pause, as if he had been trying to gather up his nerves for something. "Misao… will you… marry me?"

            And then she had laughed, and cried, and laughed some more as the words finally sunk in. "Of course!" she cried, hugging him tightly. (Of course he loves me!) It was like a dream come true.

            Misao was a very happy girl.

            They were married a month later. They had a big, festive Western-style wedding, with plenty of sake for all. Everyone came: the Himuras, Yahiko, Tsubame, the rest of the Oniwabanshuu, even Hiko. Well, Megumi-san didn't come, because she lived in Aizu, and Aizu was too far away, and she had patients to look after. The ahou Sagara didn't come either, because he was off somewhere in Mongolia on his crazy adventure. And Saitou, that bastard of a cop, didn't come, but who cared about him? Himura Kenshin smiled softly and wished her well, and his wife Kaoru winked and said, "See, I told you it would work out!" (Of course he loves me!) And Jiya nudged Aoshi-sama, asking impertinently when he could be expecting grandchildren. She beat up Jiya for that, of course, while Aoshi-sama merely stood by, saying nothing. (Of course he loves me!) But Hiko (jerk!) raised an eyebrow at Aoshi-sama (hers!) and proceeded to empty yet another jug of sake.

            And when Aoshi-sama did not kiss her, the way she had seen the gaijin couples do at their weddings, she was only mildly disappointed. She shrugged it off. After all, her Aoshi-sama was a proper young Japanese man, not some wild barbarian Westerner.

            That night, her Aoshi-sama (hers!) got drunk for the very first time she could remember. And she laughed, realizing that he must have been very nervous about their wedding. But it was all right, because all that mattered was that her Aoshi-sama (hers!) loved her and they were married and she was happy.

            And that wasn't all – Aoshi-sama had begun to smile lately. And if his smile was just a little too strained, and if it only lasted while she was looking, she did not notice, because she was happy, and she was in love, and that was all that mattered.

            But then, one day, her Aoshi-sama disappeared. It had only been three months since the wedding. She cried and cried and wondered what had happened to him and if he had gone on a mission without telling her and why, and nothing Jiya and the other onmitsus did could make her happy again.

            Finally, she managed to force Jiya, against his will, to hand over the note that her Aoshi-sama had left behind.

            "Open your eyes and see the world," it said. "You are still young. Take some time – look around at all that you are missing out on."

            She threw a tantrum, then. She had grown out of such petty emotional breakdowns long ago, but this really was the last straw. Couldn't Aoshi-sama see? He was her whole world! How could he leave her like this? (Of course he loves me!)

            After more nagging, she finally got Jiya to admit that her Aoshi-sama was merely on a dangerous mission, and hadn't informed anyone because he was worried for her. (How dare he! She was the okashira!) She vowed then and there to follow him, and find him, and bring him back home again.

            Because she loved him, and that was all that mattered.

            So she left the Aoiya, ready to follow her Aoshi-sama (hers!) to the end of the world.

            On the way out, she was stopped by a boy about her age.

            "Ano… Maki – Shinomori-san!" said the voice, sweetly as ever. "Are you… going after him?"

            It was Soujirou. Seta Soujirou. She remembered now. He had reformed, come back to Kyoto, and now worked for the Aoiya. She had forgotten about him. He had been sending flowers to her room every morning, ever since her Aoshi-sama had disappeared. No, even before that. He sent flowers to her whenever she got upset. She had forgotten.

            "Of course!" she huffed indignantly. (Of course he loves me!) She got ready to hurl her kunai at him, just in case he had come to stop her.

            But instead, Soujirou said, "Let me go with you."

            She blinked. And then blinked again. "Fine, but if you even dare try to make me turn back…"

            Soujirou laughed (like bells tinkling), a twinkle in his light blue eyes (pretty not beautiful). "Of course not," he said.

            (Of course he loves me!)

            So they set off, and they journeyed together for many weeks. Often when they stopped at a town, Soujirou would recognize it from his own wanderings, and offer to take her on a tour.

            But she didn't care. She didn't want to see. All she wanted to do was find her precious Aoshi-sama (hers!).

            Two months passed, and she began to despair of ever finding her dearest Aoshi-sama (hers!). And Soujirou often glanced at her when she wasn't looking, worried.

            Finally, one day, he said, "Maki – Shinomori-san…" And his voice was as sweet as ever. "Ano… do you really love him? Or…"

            "What?" she snapped. Really, Soujirou was a nice boy, but she was getting sick of making small talk with him all the time. Didn't he understand? All that mattered was finding her poor Aoshi-sama! Who knew what could have happened to him! (Of course I love him!)

            "Never mind…" he said quietly, in his sweet, worried voice. "I just… You should stop and relax a while, ne? I'm sure… I'm sure your… husband… is fine. He can take care of himself."

            She glared. What did he know about her Aoshi-sama? Well, of course Aoshi-sama could take care of himself (Of course he loves me!), but she loved him so she was worried! Soujirou was so naïve that he probably had never loved anyone anyway. "You promised," she hissed at last.

            Soujirou shrugged helplessly. "Ano… I mean… I wasn't trying to get you to turn back or anything… just… I think – I think you should open your eyes a little, and see the world and look around at everything… Ano… I mean…"

            "Just shut up!" Nothing mattered. Nothing except for her dearest Aoshi-sama (hers!).

            Soujirou fell silent for the rest of their journey, speaking to her only when necessary. (Always polite.) She didn't care, because all that mattered was finding her Aoshi-sama (hers!).

            They found him at last sitting on a rocky shore by the sea far up in the north. He looked surprised to see her there.

            She grinned cockily. "I came to help you, Aoshi-sama," she said.

            His eyes (beautiful, beautiful blue) flickered over her, and then over to Soujirou. There was a strange look in his eyes.

            Was he jealous? She laughed. "Don't worry, Aoshi-sama. Seta-kun here just offered to come with me as a guide."

            "Aa," replied her Aoshi-sama (hers!). He looked pityingly, in sudden realization, at the young man accompanying her, and the young man nodded sadly in acknowledgement. But she did not notice, because all that mattered was that she had found her Aoshi-sama (hers!) at last.

            It turned out that the mission had already succeeded, and her Aoshi-sama (hers!) had just been about to head back. Or at least, that's what he told her, but of course the mission had been a success! (Of course he loves me!)

            The trip back was a lot faster than the journey from the Aoiya. And if her Aoshi-sama spent most of his time meditating alone instead of spending time with her, and if he seemd to be constantly glancing at her and Soujirou with a sad look in his eyes, and if Soujirou did not seem to be his normal sweet, cheery self, she did not notice. Because all that mattered was that her Aoshi-sama (hers!) was back, and she loved him, and he loved her.

            Two weeks after they got back to Kyoto, she was informed that Soujirou had committed suicide. She felt sad, of course, for he had been such a sweet boy, but she got over it soon enough.

            "Do you love me?" she asked her Aoshi-sama the day she learned of Soujirou's death.

            "Aa. Of course I do," was his automatic response. He spoke in a monotone, but she knew he was a man of action, not of words.

            "Good," she said. "Because I love you too."

            (Of course!)

            He leaned down and kissed her forehead gently, then turned away.

            If she had listened carefully, she would have heard him whisper, "Are you sure…?"

            But she did not hear, and if she had she would not have cared.

            Because all that mattered was that she was in love, and her Aoshi-sama loved her, and her Aoshi-sama was her entire world, and she was happy.

            (Of course!)


Go ahead, ya know ya wanna flame me! ^_^ (I'm bored… Please flame me! Please! Please!)

Hitomi ------ The screws have kind of come loose…

It's satire. It's supposed to be weird and disturbing in a strange and somewhat dark manner. :-P It was actually pretty fun to write (Though that may also be because I was doing it during a veeeeery veeeeery boring class…), though when I reread it I seriously scared myself with its not-so-subtle darkness. It was fun to format, too. And I also did it in a rather experimental style. It's sudden and abrupt on purpose. Like I said… I'm bored. I have no life.

And yes, I am on a "break" from RK. *glares at muse* (My muse is most productive when I don't want him to be productive. Grr.)