A/N – This is a scene I worked on and changed around for my 'Intro. to Fiction and Poetry Writing' class last semester. It's a stand alone piece. You may recognize the basic format from chapter seven of Silver Cross, although the two scenarios wind up ending much differently. Enjoy.

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Disclaimer – I do not own Rurouni Kenshin.

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Toy Store

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He grabbed her arm from behind as she stood in the downpour, staring through the wet window of a toy shop. An ornately decorated miniature train chugged its way slowly around the perimeter of the main room on a track hung suspended from the ceiling.

"What do you think you're doing? It took forever for me to find you in all these people."

The sound of his voice almost compelled her to turn and face him, but she didn't want to react to his presence. "You left, so I left. I knew you'd find me eventually," she forced herself to say coolly, focusing her eyes on the toy train. It made its way around a fake Mount Kilimanjaro halfway across the store, and circled back towards her.

He pulled her towards him by her arm, forcing her to turn around and face him. His drenched shirt dripped rain from the sleeves and his jeans were a dark, saturated blue. His hair cascaded water down his face in mini rivulets of moisture, though he was now half-covered by her umbrella. His face displayed blatantly mixed emotions, none the least of them frustration.

"You could've gotten hurt," he accused.

"And whose fault would that have been?" she asked, forcing her temper to stay in check. He drew away from her a little, as if she'd just slapped him, but he didn't let go of her arm. She decided to get to the point. "I never told you what Megumi said."

He frowned. She could see him visibly shrug off whatever emotion her words had invoked. He'd switched to defense mode, the classically cold, impersonal, business him. "Tell me now."

"Megumi wants you to meet her at her house in an hour," she said slowly, vainly searching her mind for an explanation that kept him innocent, but she couldn't come up with one.

He lowered his head, thinking, so she couldn't see his eyes. She wondered what play of thoughts wound through his mind.

"How do you know Megumi," she asked when the rhythmic sounds of the downpour and the rush of cars going by soothed her pride enough for her to break the silence.

"She's an acquaintance from my first job," he replied.

"Should I care about her?" She couldn't resist the urge to question him, now that she felt their relationship rending apart.

He blinked rain water from his eyes. "No. You don't even know Megumi," he dodged the question.

"But you're going to meet her," she persisted.

"Yeah," he confirmed.

"Should I come?" she asked.

"If you want." He shrugged uneasily. His hair had stopped dripping now.

"Do you want me to come?"

He dropped her arm. "No."

Her shirt was damp where his fingers had touched it. She half-wished she could stare at the train again. At least she could buy that if she really wanted it.

"You'll never trust me again." His words were flat. She was angry because he felt he had the right to blame it all on her.

"I had no doubts about you in the beginning, but I can't stop doubting you now." Her voice rose seemingly on its own. "I'm not the one who has to trust you anyway."

"You'll tell your sister your side of the story and she'll believe you, not me," he protested.

"There are no sides, but I will tell my sister what happened if you don't first. I'm not here to muck up the relationship. I have a life. That's why I was at the party in the first place. Go meet Megumi. I don't care as long as you tell my sister."

She couldn't keep the stomp from her step as she walked away towards the curb, leaving him in the downpour once again. Her sister's boyfriend watched her hail a taxi, and then watched the taxi as it butted its way into traffic. Decision made, he turned away from the site of the impromptu meeting.

Behind him, the train rounded a scaled down Mount Pompeii chugged off into the depths of the toy store.

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A/N – I thought of putting up this story just before I went to sleep last night and had to do it. It's short, but the assignment for class was a two page piece. I think I was lacking inspiration at the time, so I just took a scene from Silver Cross. Of course my professor went over it with a fine tooth comb, so it ended up very different. I hope it's not to soap opera-ish. Tell me your opinion if you happen to have the motivation. Until next time,

Aryanne