Disclaimer: I don't own RK!!!!!!!!!!!!

Notes: Having grown up in a Buddhist family, and after reading the billionth reincarnation fic on FF.net... I have to wonder. How many people actually know how reincarnation is really supposed to work? XD

Warning: I am not responsible for anything that happens to you when reading this story. (Btw, some things are exaggerated/twisted a "little", just to make a point, so please don't take it too seriously. Ehehehe.) And oh yeah, Seisouhen spoilers. Kind of.

To eriesalia, if she is reading this: Sorry!!!!! Midterms tend to put me in... interesting moods. I'll get back to the "normal" stuff after this one, I swear... (I must admit this was partly inspired by one of the photographs you put on your Deviant Art account... Heh. Heh. Heh.)

Final Atonement

Do you believe in destiny?

Once, long ago, in the darkness of the Bakamatsu, there lived a man they called the Hitokiri Battousai. And his hands were drenched in the blood of thousands. He was a killer, a murderer, a demon entrenched in the shadows. But then, one day, a chance meeting, and the scarlet rain... The smell of white plums... Snow, stained crimson with tears, and a red cross etched upon a pale cheek.

When the war ended at last, the Hitokiri Battousai was the Battousai no more. Instead, he had became Himura Kenshin, tired wanderer. Walking alone for ten years, in the Meiji, the era of light, seeking what redemption a demon of the darkness such as he might find. Until, one day, a chance meeting...

"Tadaima... Kaoru."

"Okaeri nasai... Shinta." Pink petals, drifting in the breeze, and scars, fading with the dying light.

In the end, he found his forgiveness. Redemption for blood and tears and pain and death... for even a demon could be freed from the weight of his sins, at the bitter end. Yet there was still one thing he had left to atone for.

The wife he had left. The son he had forgotten.

This, indeed, would be his final atonement.

Do you believe in second chances?

"Kowruuuu! Wake up!"

Kaoru groaned and rolled over, pulling the pillow over her head. It was Saturday morning, damn it, and her roommate had the most annoying voice in the world. And why-oh-why had her parents even named her Kaoru? No one ever pronounced it correctly. Besides, one of her Japanese friends had informed her that it was a guy's name. Specifically, the name of some pale, moon-faced playboy (Ewww, bad mental image) in some famous old Japanese novel called the Tale of Genki or something, which was basically a series of horribly sappy romance stories some lady had put together because she apparently had had nothing better to do. She wasn't even Japanese, damn it! Why couldn't she have had a normal name, like Mary, or Sue?

Kaoru was not a morning person, obviously.

"Ka-oh-rew! Remember, the festival's today! Your boyfriend's already here to pick you up!"

Festival? Boyfriend? Oh, shit, oh shit. She had completely forgotten. Kaoru jumped out of bed and hurriedly threw on a shirt and ran a brush through her long hair (I really need to get that cut, one of these days...), which was black, for some reason, although both her parents were brunettes. Then again, she didn't really get how genetics worked anyway, so she supposed it was possible.

"Coming! Hold on a sec!" she yelled.

She supposed this was where she was supposed to start daydreaming and gushing in her thoughts about her sexy boyfriend and how sweet he was and everything, but she really wasn't that type of a girl. Well, the guy was sweet and everything. Sexy too. But she must have mentally listed all of his virtues a gazillion times already -- she had, after all, been dating him for a year now -- and she really didn't find it necessary to do it twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. She had a life beyond just him, you know.

Her half-Japanese boyfriend Ken (Strange, she seemed to have a LOT of Japanese acquaintances) was waiting at the door. "Hey there, K." (Most of her friends had started calling her just "K", simply because it was just near impossible to say "Kaoru" all the time.) "Lookin' good today, aren't we?"

Kaoru smacked him playfully on his arm. He was tall and well built, while she was rather short, otherwise she would have aimed higher. Like, at his face. "You know I hate waking up in the morning."


Kaoru smacked him again. "Hey!"

Ken merely grinned. Sometimes, Kaoru thought, he acted just like a little kid. With his fiery red hair, a product of his Irish heritage, no doubt, and innocently charming purple eyes, he sure looked like one at times, too.

While they were on the car, Ken suddenly spoke up.

"K... do you believe in fate?"

"What? What do you mean?"

"Sometimes," he whispered, "I feel as if we were destined to be together..."

Kaoru stared at her boyfriend incredulously. "Ken. That. is. just. SO. corny."

Ken grinned. "Sorry."

Kaoru could not help but grin back. "Silly..."

"Well, 'cause we were talking about reincarnation the other day in World History, so it got me thinking... Did you know that enemies in this life are supposed to have had disagreements in former lives that carry over to the present? And some people owe others debts from previous lives, that they are forced to pay back because of karma? And I've heard that sometimes lovers from previous lives who met tragic ends are given second chances, where they meet again in their next lives..."

Kaoru said nothing. In fact, she had sometimes felt as if she knew Ken almost too well. With the way he acted at times, she almost felt like his mother or something. And then, there had been those dreams, before they'd even... Kaoru blushed. What the hell, those dreams had nothing to do with what they were currently talking about.

"So tell me, Ken, do you think we were former lovers in our past life?"

"Who knows? Maybe we were. Don't you think that would be really romantic?"

"Corny, Ken. Just corny."

"All right, all right, I'll stop, K."

By the time they reached the festival, it was already mid-morning.

"Professor Myoujin is such a jerk," Kaoru was complaining.

"Agreed. Well, I mean, he can be okay, when you get to know him. It wasn't exactly the smartest thing in the world for you to call him 'Ugly' though..."

"Hmph!" sniffed Kaoru. "He deserved it."

They laughed.

"Hey, Ken, check that out!"

"A fortuneteller's tent? I didn't know you were interested in that kind of stuff, K."

"Well, it looks kind of neat," defended Kaoru. "Let's go check it out."

Inside the tent, sitting on a pile of scented cushions that made Kaoru gag, was an old lady with only one eye.

"Well, my dearies," cackled the old lady. "What shall I do for you today?"

"I'd like to have my fortune told," Kaoru declared.

"Very well," cackled the old lady again. "Come here," she said, crooking a finger at her. Kaoru sat down before the pile of cushions as the fortuneteller went into a "trance."

"Phony," whispered Ken. Kaoru giggled.

A cold breeze blew past.

"Lovers, reunited; the loving husband pays back his debts at last; The wife, abandoned, feasts on her husband; the son sleeps with his mother, desiring only her happiness; the teacher becomes the student, the student becomes the teacher -- Oh!" The old lady fainted.

"That was... weird," whispered Kaoru, as they tiptoed off, without bothering to pay.

Ken shrugged. "There's lots of weirdos around at this carnival. It was even worse last year."

"Oh," said Kaoru, feeling strangely... uneasy? Disappointed? She couldn't really tell.

"How about let's stop for lunch? I know this good stall nearby."


As they neared the stall, Ken shouted out, "Oi! Mr. Hiko! What's today's special?"

"Pork," replied the old man, handing him a stick with chunks of meat. "A special type of pork. Comes from a very rare breed. Fur redder than the fiercest fire" -- here Kaoru nudged her boyfriend, smirking -- "Eyes as purple as an amethyst" -- nudge, nudge ("Hey!") -- "And... A strange cross-shaped mark on its left cheek."

At that, Kaoru burst out laughing. Ken had a sudden coughing fit. The old man glared. "I speak the truth, young lady. It is tenderer than normal pork, for the pig is so complacent that it doesn't even give a fight when it's taken off to be slaughtered!"

Kaoru nodded, clasping her mouth with a hand. What a crazy old bastard!

"Don't mind that old coot; he says that kind of stuff to everyone who comes by," confided Ken, as they sat down on a nearby bench after ordering a few more items.

Kaoru giggled. "Everyone here at this festival is just weird, huh?"

Ken grinned back. "I think they just like scaring us college kids with stories like that. But you know, this ­is pretty good. Here, take some."

Ken held the stick of meat before her mouth. She opened her mouth and took a bite. As she chewed, a look of bliss came over Kaoru's face.

"Mmm, you're right, Kenji, this is good."

"I'm glad you like it, K."

Do you believe in love?


No, that is not why Buddhists are vegetarian. XD Not the main reason, at least. (I'm non-vegetarian, myself.)

My brain is hurting from typing such... clichéd crap... (Other than that twist, there...)

Hope you had a good laugh, and/or that I have sufficiently disturbed any K/K fans out there reading this. (K/K as in Kenshin and Kaoru XD :cracks up:) I think this one proves, once and for all, that I am indeed an evil, twisted b1tch. (Um... are parodies supposed to be under "humor"? So far I have one under tragedy and now this one under horror... heehee.)

Have a nice day! :sits back waiting for the flames: