Disclaimer: I don't own Rurouni Kenshin. I do, however, own a very disturbing mind...

Notes: Part of the "Monk" miniseries (I named it! XD Includes "drums" and "old man's regrets"). This one takes place sometime after Kyoto but before Jinchuu.

I know I said "outsider" would be out first, but my muse was beating me with ideas for this one. I also originally named this one "fly". And I also said that "old man's regrets" was the least weird of the series. I was obviously lying -- it actually turned out to be the weirdest thing I've EVER written, stylistically, period. XD Which really isn't saying much, I suppose. Ahem.

All grammar errors are intentional. (As everyone should know by now. *coughs*)

~ paper cranes ~

can paper cranes fly? he wonders.

do they float on the breeze like cherry blossoms in the spring? or flutter about like butterflies? or hover around like bees? or zip to and fro like dragonflies? do they soar proudly like the white gulls by the sea?

or do they fall whoosh rip splat (baka, paper doesn't go splat)

he sits there folding birds from fragile yellow paper (so fragile) for the little girl he wronged (too many -- start from the easy ones, then work your way up) the way he used to always the way he used to and he wonders. splat splat splat

rip crumple toss his hands shake. has he forgotten? (so much) in his hands he holds monsters. monster crane, demon bird. rip crumple toss. (can paper cranes bleed? blue black white yellow green or red? purple or orange, perhaps) heads fly off. (heads fly, paper cranes...?)

crunch crack (gleaming white bones) splat (shiny warm red spilling. gray paste -- like dirty mochi. she likes mochi, doesn't she? he doesn't remember) monster birds die. he cannot give demons to the little girl. so they must die. die die die. evil monster cranes. evil evil evil.

chop (1 finger 2 finger 3 finger) chop (4 toe 5 toe 6 toe) slice (7 hand 8 hand 9 hand) slice (10 foot 11 foot 12 foot) pluck (13 eye 14 eye 15 eye) rip (16 arm 17 leg 18 head) aoiya is busy today. perhaps he should help. he knows how to cook (chop chop splat) but instead he sits outside in the back, folding paper cranes. (monster cranes. demons. how how how he has forgotten)

splat and there went his tea. he thinks vaguely that it looks like blood. everything looks like blood. it seeps into the dry dusty ground.

if he flew up into the sky far far away would it still look like blood? whoosh rip splat probably. he has good eyesight. he can see bullets fly fly fly fly bam whoosh splat thud ichi, ni, san, shi, ... ichi, ni, san, shi, ... bam bam bam bam splat thud.

he wants his tea back. but the thirsty greedy ground has drunk it all up. (ichi, ni, san, shi) he sighs and stands up.

rip crumple toss demon crane remains lie headless on the ground. he walks inside to get some more tea. rip crumple toss

when he steps back outside there is an old old monk standing there staring at his crumpled monster cranes with a smile on his wrinkled wrinkled face. he looks closer and sees that there is a paper crane sitting in the monk's outstretched palm. nicely folded. (not demon.) he remembers suddenly what he has been doing wrong. just two more folds and he could have done it himself, he thinks. (baka) he is angry.

what do you think you are doing, houshi-sama. calm and cool. monks are to be respected. damn monks. damn old fool.

the old monk laughs. a dry, hacking laugh. but does not look up. a sudden wind arises and carries the paper crane from the old monk's palm off into the distance.

Paper cranes can fly, says the monk in a slow, cracking voice, still chuckling. eheh heh heh heh (shut up shut up) If there is a wind strong enough to carry it.

old monk limps away. still chuckling. eheh heh heh heh (shut up shut up shut up)

he wonders what is so funny.

he closes his eyes and sits down. the tea spills. again.

and he wonders.

if paper cranes can fly,

then can they sing?

owari

ichi, ni, san, shi: one, two, three, four

mochi: yummy gooey dessert stuff (Hitomi loves green tea and vanilla!)

.

What is up with the monks in this series? XD Jeez... ^_~