Still by The Lady Arianrod

a/n: This is my first fanfic in a while. It's an Aoshi fic, directly after the Oniwaban members die.

Disclaimer: I don't own Kenshin.

Enjoy!

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Succumbed.

You all succumbed.

You gave it up, all of you. Damn you, why did you go away? You didn't have to end it all here. I know it was your choice to leave, but..

The silence is unnerving.

And still it welcomes me with its sweet and velvety promises of oblivion.

You can forget it all, it tells me.

You can leave just like they did.

No one will remember Shinomori Aoshi, and the Oniwaban group will sink into oblivion with its long-lost members. We shall all become one with the silence, my friends, and I will not have to face the voiceless pressure any longer.

Will you remember me when I finally come for you?

I can imagine it now: with Misao far off and the others lost to time, I, Aoshi Shinomori, will stand alone with a choice. If I leave to rejoin my lost comrades, I may find some kind of peace. If I live, however..

They will always follow me.

The constant taunts of their lifeless, bloody forms will echo in my mind, just as they are now---

"You are alive, Lord Aoshi. You have a chance that we do not."

"We gave you that chance, but it does not matter.

"Our lives have ended and yours must continue, Lord Aoshi. "

Hanya, Beshimi, Hyottoko, Shikijou..

Damn you.

You died and at that instant, depleted all desire to live. you took away your strength and desire to see the sun's light for..

Me.

Perhaps it is a cruel trick of the silence to echo your voices and invite me ever closer to the edge. Would you all wish for your beloved leader of the renowned Oniwaban group to crumble under despair?

Was your sacrifice for nothing?

Do I, by joining all of you, make your final efforts worthless?

The forked path separates further as your voices crush me.

But they do not command defeat.

"Get up, Lord Aoshi."

"Take another step, just one little movement of your foot."

"Forget about us."

No! I will not forget you. Why do you insist that I continue away from the past, from our once proud glory? My meager repayment for your gifts should not consist of erasing you from my memory!

I will continue.

The Battousai will pay; he is to blame for your absence. Each time that any of you spoke or even took a breath were all in vain. you gave up these abilities, great and small, for me.

You traded your existences for the endless dream beneath the soil. Your identities became one general group.

"Those Oniwaban members that died a while back".

For this I thank you, and for this I will never forgive you.

Hanya, Beshimi, Hyottoko, Shikijou...

I will continue on, but not for my sake. I forfeit my existence so that we may all get revenge.

Aoshi Shinomori is gone, but the Oniwaban group shall prevail.

End.

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End notes: Eh, I always wanted to do an Aoshi fic. This one ended a little weak but I don't think it's too bad.

Review ^-^