Authors Notes – Hey everyone! I'm really sorry that I haven't updated. But the summer is here and I don't have to worry about school, except for summer reading for excelling English ;

Well anyway, this is the chapter of Waterfall soooo enjoy!

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Chapter 26 – Remembrance

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"Kaoru! We want to see Kaoru!"

The voice of the 'enemy' outside was shouting out at the Ishin shishi base. The comrade who bared news of the 'enemy's' arrival continued to deny the request of the woman leading the 'shinsengumi' members.

Kaoru, who still remained in the room where Kenshin was, stared almost confused at the closed paper-rice shoji doors.

"…I know that voice."

Kaoru slowly rose from her sitting position while Kenshin quickly limped after her, also in confusion of the familiar yet unthreatening voice.

"Wait! Battousai, Miss Kamiya, you mustn't go out there!"

Kenshin turned back at the man who quickly latched his fist around both Kenshin's and Kaoru's arm.

"Let go of us! We know what we're doing!"

The harsh glare he sent him quickly resulted in the release of their arms and a small step backward from the man. Kenshin almost felt guilt. It was only concern in which the man was presenting, but he wouldn't have let go in any other way .

Kaoru didn't break her gaze from the doors even when she had been restrained. Finally able to move her arms again, though, she slowly slid the shoji open and crept out onto the deck of the base in the face of the 'enemy'.

A bright smile suddenly lit onto both Kaoru's and the face of the woman.

"Kaoru, there you are!"

Quickly retreating from her post, the girl pounced on the very much surprised Kaoru.

"Misao! What…what are you doing here?"

Misao, who was mysteriously dressed in the outfit of the shinsengumi, drew back from her tight hug and smiled up at Kaoru.

"We've come to rescue you!"

Kaoru blinked in utter shock. She shifted her head to gaze at the army of members…well, more like squad.

Aligned in a clumsy huddle were not shinsengumi members, but her friends back at the Aoiya. Yahiko, Sanosuke, Aoshi, and all the rest of the group.

Kenshin, leaning against the dojo post for support, asked the bubbling question in everyone's mind.

"Misao…how did you manage escaping through the forest…and how did you get the outfits…?"

Misao turned to Kenshin and flashed a friendly 'hello' smile before giving a thumbs-up.

"Simple. We entered the forest a while back and knew that we'd most likely get into trouble. And to our luck, we stumbled across a bunch of sleeping shinsengumi members and took our chances. We knocked 'em out and got their suits. Simple as that."

Kaoru wanted to gasp. The sleeping members…it must've been the group that had taken her hostage. Their lack of awareness actually made her doubt if they were truly shinsengumi members.

Suddenly, the smile on Kenshin's face was quickly wiped away.

"…You've got to get out of here."

Both Kaoru and Misao turned to Kenshin in confusion. Not answering the questioning gazes, Kenshin quickly drew his sword while holding his abdomen in pain. Kaoru quickly drew back from Misao's embrace and ran to his side.

"Kenshin, you can't fight! You're too hurt!"

Kenshin didn't seem to listen to her. He was glancing around sternly when suddenly his eyes drew wide.

"Gun powder…"

With no time to spare, Kenshin quickly shoved Kaoru away from himself, and within a seconds time, a large explosion erupted, throwing everyone off of their feet.

Hissing in his pain, Kenshin slowly drew back to his feet, clutching his sword with his free hand while rubble of the ground and part of the base continued to rocket through the air, unsettled dust acting as a smoke screen.

"We're being attacked!"

Kenshin wanted to roll his eyes. Of course they were being attacked. But instead of being cocky, he answered back to the call of his teammate, covered in the smoke-screen of dirt.

"By whom?.!"

Another voice rang out from the cloud of smoke, sounding more distressed in the middle of defending himself from the unknown attackers.

"Not sure! I can't tell!"

Then, a pained cry was sounded, indicating that the man had been injured. Kenshin cussed under his breath, gripping his sword tightly.

Kaoru. He had to get her out of here.

"Misao!"

Coughing multiple times and shading his eyes from the blinding dust, Kenshin staggered over to where he assumed Misao was located.

"Misao!"

"Himura, I'm here!"

The faded image of Misao frantically waving her arms slowly came into view of Kenshin's sight. Rasping from the build up of dirt in his lungs, Kenshin slowly limped over to her. Finally coming in contact with her, he got out his message.

"Take Kaoru away from here!"

Misao nodded hesitantly, giving him the questioning look if whether or not he needed help. He simply shook his head, not daring to spare any more conversation.

The effects of the dirt had slowly worn off and Kenshin realized just in how much trouble his group was in. Instead of a small occult of samurai, a large group had stormed in. How they managed to attack them to their unawareness irritated Kenshin to the most.

Kenshin frantically looked for Kaoru in the sea of enemy-samurai and finally spotted her being dragged by Misao. She was waving her arms in protest and desperately calling out for Kenshin.

He planned to follow her. He wanted so desperately to run after her. But it was useless. He clawed at the see of samurai with his sword, trying to break through, but to no avail.

"Kenshin!"

The desperate cry of his name made him want to weep. He had no idea if he'd make it out alive. If he'd ever see her again.

Continuing to slay the pack of nameless enemy-men, Kenshin desperately searched for Kaoru's form once more. He couldn't spot her anymore. She had escaped from the raid of slaughtering along with the others.

Relief blossomed in his stomach.

But also, fear surprisingly found it's way into his stomach as well. It was a foreign feeling. What was he afraid of…?

Death?

Pain?

He shook his head…

Departure.

He closed his eyes and swallowed the large lump that had formed in his throat. If he ever saw Kaoru again in his life…he just prayed.

But first, he needed to survive. He needed to fight…

He needed to live.

Slowly letting his eyes drift open, steely gold eyes presented themselves to the oncoming attackers. The hand that was cupped over his abdomen slowly left its side and clutched the empty part of his swords hilt.

And raising up his sword to strike down upon his enemy, the thoughts that ran through his mind rang out just to fall upon deaf ears. But it was a promise…and he planned to keep it.

"I'll Live…"

And that night, the blood of many men had been so cheaply spent and tossed about the ground without a second glance. Loss and regret with a mixture of many other emotions was felt among the surviving men.

No victory, nor defeat occurred. To be proud in ones death was no victorious achievement, and neither was the loss of your team members a defeat.

Men who stood their ground, stood with one purpose only.

To fight in the war that had started the day they picked up a sword to kill.

And that war had just begun...

4 y e a r s l a t e r . . .

The rush of a waterfall drew the attention of a passerby. The steady pace of his feet slowed down to a stop as he stared in the direction from where the sound came.

The hooded stranger continued to keep his gaze fixed on the direction of the roar.

Slowly, his steps turned their direction and headed toward his sudden interest.

Memories rushed back to him as he passed through the trees and small plants. Memories he wished to keep and wished to discard.

As he walked, the sword strapped to his waist clacked and flopped against his hips due to the case of his stride.

"Four years…"

It was a mere whisper, but it held so much weight to its meaning. The throbbing of an unhealed, permanent wound on his left cheek slowly began to throb as a palm went up to caress the aching scar.

"Has it really been that long…?"

The question was meant to be unanswered, but he wished it to be answered like-wise. He missed her terribly. And yet, he didn't know if she was still in his area. If she was still waiting, or even still a maiden at that…

Or even still alive.

The thought of her gone made him want to gag. It clenched at his heart as the thought surrounded him. Many thoughts.

Was she still alive? Married? A mother? In love with another man? Injured?

He felt the urge to smack himself due to his useless panic. He'd know when he'd know and that's that.

But it didn't cease. So many thoughts suddenly swarmed through his mind that had somehow managed to lie dormant for the four years prior.

He was about ready to rid his thoughts by busying himself in the actions of banging his head against a tree repetitively in attempts to slow down his nineteen-year-old hyper active mind, but the keenness of his ears suddenly spared him the pain.

…Singing?

Blinking a few times, then rubbing his ears to test his hearing, he still came with result of a sweet voice. Soft, but strong.

And to his surprise, the song was familiar to him.

Quite familiar indeed.

His heartbeat slowly started to pick up its pace in unison with his feet. His lips mouthed the words that his ears picked up from the memory.

There's a song…

As he neared the roaring of the waterfall, the singing too, became louder.

That's inside of my soul…

Mouth dry and hands clammy, he tried to keep his balance, and prayed that his ears didn't deceive him.

It's the one that I've tried…

When he emerged out of the woods and onto an oh most familiar waterfall, the singing that he'd heard wasn't as much as he had hoped…

It was more.

"To write over, and over again…"

Containing the mixture of many emotions, he took a deep breath and clenched his fists in anxiousness.

"I take it that you like that song…"

His voice had obviously startled the girl who was perched serenely at the edge of the high cliff where the booming echo of the water pulled by gravity displayed in front of her. Gasping at the sudden presence, she quickly whipped around and stood up to gaze at the hooded stranger.

So many things he wanted to do at that moment when her unforgettable sapphire eyes locked with his shadowed eyes.

To embrace her, to scream in joy, to kiss her senseless.

But he knew it'd be too much of an overboard. He took one deep breath to calm his hyper-active nerves.

She glared at him with a stern curve of her lip.

"Who are you."

He smiled at her, but was not granted the smile back, for his smile had been left unseen by his dreaded hood that was connected to his cloak.

"A friend…"

A small bow was granted to her.

"…Or perhaps a foe."

He lifted his head before bringing his body back up into a standing stance. With his meaningless warning, she took one step back.

He chuckled at her and his laugh triggered her. There was something about him…

"What do you want!"

To her dismay, he slowly began to advance upon her, more laughs bubbling from his bobbing chest. Blast her and her awful sense of picking the place to be sabotaged. Between the strange man and the waterfall cliff, and her childish fear of heights, she scolded herself for being at the wrong place at the wrong time.

"I want nothing more then to just…Well, words can't quite describe what I want to do. Let me show you then."

His steps started to proceed in their speed, and were viciously eating at the space between herself and him. The fear in her eyes that mixed with confidential hope amused him, but also made him want to fulfill his actions even more, when her bottom lip became intertwined with the top of her teeth.

"S-Stay back!"

She whipped her arm out to emphasize her attempt to ward him off, while her ebony hair whisked in and out of her face. But he didn't stop, and she was limited with nothing else but to just stand there like a sitting duck and hope he didn't bring any crave for evil deeds with the sword strapped to his belt.

But to her utter surprise, when the stranger finally closed the distance of air between them both, his hands didn't gripe or claw, they gently wrapped around her head. It was that action that got her thinking that maybe she preferred the clawing more.

His movements were quick and labored no skill, or at least made her presume that his actions were like a natural born talent. And as her mind got lost in comparing this boy's traits to one of her past, her lips were suddenly claimed by non other than his own.

She wanted to scream, to kick, to burst into a fit and scold this disgusting stranger of his vial actions but the feel of it…the sudden rub of his lip's texture against her own made her doubt her first assumption. She couldn't decipher, once he had pulled away, whether the kiss was short and sweet, or extended and lustful.

All she could seem to muster up in her actions was a brain dead star into the black face of the boy who had just shamelessly kissed her.

When he spoke, she could practically taste the coy that he openly presented.

"Why, I've left you speechless… I'm flattered."

She could feel her innards want to sputter nasty comments at this arrogant stranger. To kick and stomp her anger out and hope to aim either on his foot, or exactly where it hurts with her flailing. But her body didn't seem to do anything she commanded. Instead, her mouth was the thing that took action.

"Who…?"

The word seemed so pathetic to her ears, but it was her turn, and this time, he was the one who was struck speechless. With a bow of his head, he slowly lifted his hands and clutched at the cloth of his hood, but hesitated.

Her impatience didn't let him hesitate with his actions. She quickly gripped his stationary hands and continued to push the cloth off of his head. When the sudden bright color in which she assumed was his hair, met her eyes, she could no longer continue to proceed on her actions of revealing him.

But she was granted the pleasure of his own responsibility, and he continued to finish her unfinished business. When the fabric had finally lost it's place on his head and back onto his shoulders, he brought his head up and locked his now vivid eyes with her own.

A swirl of gold and violet eyes entangled themselves with her wide sapphire. Fire colored hair thrown back into a semi pony-tail and tussled bangs that spread over his forehead presented itself and clashed with her ebony, while a smooth, tan face with yet but one 'X' scar on the left cheek finished the presented features.

"I'm whoever you want me to be…"

His words were but a whisper as he gazed down at the girl before him. Her sapphire eyes had suddenly glistened with tears as she stared at the boy.

"Kenshin…"

His name from her lips couldn't do anything but warm him as a smile touched his lips. He slowly dipped down and rested his forehead against her own while her smiling lips began to quiver and her eyes water.

"Kenshin…that's what they call me…"

He looked thoughtful for a moment before smiling back at her and raising a palm to wipe her tears away, his smile slowly disappeared while his hands cradled her jaw.

"But to you…I'm nothing but yours…"

His words were whispered, and breathed onto her lips before he closed his demand with a kiss.

Four years it had been since they had seen each other, and four years they had yearned to be with one another.

"And me…? What am I to you…?"

The question he got from her didn't surprise him, for he had expected one like that from her.

"Kaoru… dear, sweet Kaoru… did you really have to ask…? Mine…you're mine."

And without thoughts of the future or past, the present lay before them and they ravished it with love-hungry hearts. Touches and feels from the years they'd spent alone were made up with no hesitation.

So many days, so many hours, so many minutes without each other. Every single second in which they were apart were paid back with golden coins. Riches of the biggest kind. Body and soul, exchanged amongst the two with no regrets.

And while their hunger for one another had rose, exploded, and then repeated it's cycle, one thing in their midst did keep a constant flow.

The waterfall…

In which they had met in the dead of night with a whisper of dying hope..

And in which they had met once again…in mid day of Kyoto, Japan. 4th year of the Meiji, with nothing but each other.

And that, is all that they ever needed.

THE END.

0o0o0o0o0o0o brag

Lendra-chan: well folks, this is the end of waterfall.

I hope you enjoyed my story, even though in the beginning it sucked lollipops oO;.

I'm sure I've improved ;;

Please Review!

End of Waterfall