DISCLAIMER: Rurouni Kenshin and Rurouni Kenshin characters are exclusively owned by Watsuki Nobuhiro, Shueisha, Sony Entertainment, Jump Comics and associated parties. Please note, this is purely fiction and for entertainment purposes only. This story is not meant for sale or profit.

Author's Notes: This is a one-shot angst version of my multi-chapter ficcie Bridge To My Heart (posted only on my website). Like the other one, it is an A/U ficcie and all the characters will be OOC (out-of-character). Kenshin finds a distraught young girl on a bridge. She is preparing to jump. Can he convince her not to jump before it is too late? A Bridge to my Heart (Angst Version), Romance/Angst Fanfiction by Gypsy-chan Enjoy! (Created by Gypsy-chan on 2/15/03, revised 7/2004, re-editied and posted 5/25/05)

A BRIDGE TO MY HEART
ANGST VERSION

One dark and misty evening a beautiful young girl stood upon the highest bridge in Tokyo. The bridge overlooked the waters of Tokyo Harbor. The young raven haired girl stood on the opposite side of the guard railing with her arms looped around the underside of the railing. She seemed to be waiting for the right moment to let go. Unbeknownst to her, a man was watching from the shadows. He noticed how she leaned her body forward, carefully releasing one hand off the railing, before quickly regrasping it. The young girl did this several times as if she was torn between life or death. Finally, after an intense internal struggle, the young girl had made her decision. With eyes closed tightly, she inhaled deeply while slowly lifting her fingers one by one off the guard rail. The man who had been quietly observing her knew it was time to make his move.

"It's a shame you know," the man uttered softly as he stepped under a dimly lit street lamp on the other side of the railing, "Over the years I've watched many young girls such as yourself throw their lives away on this very bridge." The man paused, shook his head and sighed, "It's always such a tragedy, that it is."

The young girl suddenly tightened her grip on the railing and glared at the person intruding on her privacy. "What are you? Some kind of old pervert who likes to watch young girls jump off bridges?"

The man smiled slightly. "No," he answered mildly, "I'm not a pervert and I can assure you that I don't get pleasure out of watching innocent people die. It does puzzle me, however, as to why a beautiful young girl like you would want to destroy your life. You look to be no more than 18 years of age. Surely your life can't be that bad."

"What do you know about my life," snapped the girl. "Judging from your appearance, I'd say you're nothing but a penniless wanderer."

"Ah yes," smiled the man, "but I'm not the one jumping am I."

The young girl became flustered, frowning at him in response. "Go away! Can't you see I'm busy trying to jump!"

"Well don't let me stop you. Please, go ahead and jump." He took his hand and gestured toward the icy waters below.

"I will," scowled the young girl before turning her attention back to the waters thrashing loudly against the steel girders. She closed her eyes again and inhaled deeply in order to concentrate. The man quietly inched closer to the young girl.

"Excuse me again Miss but I..."

The girl snapped her eyes open in frustration.

"What! What do you want this time!"

"May I ask you a question? I was wondering what is troubling you?"

The girl narrowed her eyes at the man. "Why do you want to know?"

"I'm just curious as to what led you to this course of action."

"My life sucks okay," she answered harshly. "It just sucks!"

The man studied the young girl's face for a moment before speaking again.

"Please tell me what you dislike about your life?"

"Everything," she snapped. "My life is really screwed up and that's all I'm going to say. Now go away and leave me alone!"

A cool silence ensued between them. The man glanced over to the girl again before turning his attention toward the clouds in the sky. He smiled as he watched several large billowy clouds drifting lazily across the moon. It reminded him of something from his childhood. He began relating his childhood experience aloud.

"When I was a little boy, I use to have dreams about riding the clouds on a magic carpet. My mother used to tell me bedtime stories about Aladdin and his magic lamp. Once the stories were done, she would kiss my forehead and tell me to go to sleep. I only pretended to fall alseep so that she would leave the room. After she had left, I would quietly tip-toe to my closet and pull out my magic lamp. Actually, it was mother's old tea pot, but to me it was a magic lantern."

A small smile appeared on the young girl's face as she continued listening to the man's story.

"I would take my "magic lantern" and sit on the tatami mat by the window. The old worn out tatami mat served as my magic carpet. I wanted to be ready to fly when the genie appeared. After rubbing the magic lantern several times, I'd sit and wait patiently for the genie to come and grant my three wishes. I must have waited by the window for hours but the genie never came. By morning, I found myself safely tucked into my futon. I never remembered getting back into it though. When I got older, mother told me after she had left my room, she would hide in the darkness of the hallway to watch me. After I had fallen asleep, she quietly entered the room and tucked me back into my futon. She would then return my "magic lantern" and "magic carpet" to its proper place. I laughed after finding out what she had done."

The girl let a small chuckle escape her lips as she kept attentive to what the man had to say.

"Sometimes, while staring out into the clouds, I wondered if it were really possible to have our wishes granted." He paused briefly and shifted his eyes to the girl. "Tell me, if you were granted the power of having a wish come true, what would it be?"

The young girl blinked twice in surprise to his question. "Huh?"

"I said, if you could have anything you wished for, what would it be?"

"What would I wish for," the young girl repeated softly.

The man nodded. The girl began eyeing him suspiciously. "Hey... what are you? Some kind of guardian angel that goes around granting people wishes before they die or something?"

The man shook his head and chuckled lightly. "No, I am definitely not an angel. See," he turned his back to her and pointed, "no wings."

"So... who are you," the girl asked curiously.

"I'm no one special," he stated simply. "I was just wondering if you had an opportunity to have whatever you wanted, what would you wish for, that's all."

The young girl began to think deeply. "Hmm... What would I wish for? No one has ever asked me that before... Hmmm... Yes! I know what I want!" She turned back toward the man in ernst. "If I could have whatever I wanted, I would want to have my father back. Life was good when my father was alive. We had so much fun as a family. I loved my father so much." A single tear drop trickled down her cheek. "But then he died and everything changed."

"I'm sorry to hear about your father. May I ask when did your father die?"

"Four years ago," the girl answered with her head lowered, "when I was fourteen years old. It was very hard on mother and me back then. She had to work two jobs just to make ends meet. I really didn't mind being poor. We were still happy, but then things got worst."

The man noticed the frown upon the young girl's face. "What happened... if you don't mind my asking."

"Mother remarried," she answered sourly. "We lived in a bad neighborhood. We were robbed twice. Mother thought if she had a husband, we wouldn't be such easy targets. She married a big strong man named Hiruma Gohei. He was a horrible man. Gohei pretended to be nice while he was dating mother, but after the wedding, he turned out to be a real creep. He gambled and dranked all the time. I watched him sneak into my mother's purse, after she had fallen asleep and steal her hard earned money. Gohei would then sneak out of the house and gamble all her money away. Whenever he lost a bet at a poker game or the race track, he would come home drunk and beat mother. I tried to protect mother from him but she wouldn't allow me to. She would lock me in my room and go back and take all the beatings.

One day, things went too far between them. Gohei saw my mother hiding the rent money. He demanded the rent money from her. She refused. The landlord had threatened to put us out if we were late with the rent one last time. Mother tried to explain that to Goehi, but he wouldn't listen. They got into a big argument. He finally wrestled the money out of her hand and left the house. Mother chased after him. She caught up with him in the middle of the street. They began arguing and fighting again. Unfortunately, the roads were very slippery that night due to the heavy rains. A man driving down the street suddenly loss control of his car and hit my mother and Gohei. Gohei suffered minor injuries whereas my mother was killed upon impact."

Tears began to stream down the young girls cheeks. "Things has never been the same since mother died," the girl uttered sadly through her tears. "Gohei stopped drinking and gambling for a while. Mother's death apparently affected him in a small way. However, after the settlement money from the accident came in, Gohei reverted back to his former evil ways. He started drinking and gambling heavily. Within in a matter of months, he lost all the money from the settlement. Gohei began beating me, the same as he did mother. That creep went so far as to promise me out to a couple of his gambling buddies after losing several bets to them. I overheard him telling his disgusting friends that I wasn't his real daughter so he had no problem with letting his friends have sex with me as payment. I knew then that I couldn't stay in that house any longer. I hurried and grabbed all the money that I had secretly saved up and quietly snuck out my bedroom window. I ran as far away from my house as I could. It's been over three weeks now and I haven't gone back."

The young girl turned to the man with tears in her eyes. "Don't you see," she sniffed, "I have no more money. If I go back, Gohei will beat me for running away and then sell me out to his friends to support his gambling habit. I have no where else to go. That's why I'm here," she sobbed, "I don't know what else to do."

The man lowered his head. "That poor girl. She lived such a hard life."

"I... I'm so sorry...," he started.

"I don't need your pity Mister," she snapped, "I just want to be left alone!" She turned her head quickly so as to hide the fresh tears streaming down her face. The cool night wind whistled silently between the two lonely souls standing on the bridge. The man cast his eyes towards the moon.

"I too have lived a horrible life," he uttered softly.

The young girl turned her face slowly toward his. She sniffed quietly as she listened to him relate his story.

"My father and I couldn't get along. My mother use to say that we were two of a kind," he said with a sad smile. "I wanted to join the local gang. I tried to convince father that the gang I was joining was to protect the neighborhood. Father said the gang was nothing but a bunch of street thugs. He began speaking negatively about my new found family. I became angry and pulled out a switchblade from my back pocket. As I pointed the razor blade into my father's face, I demanded he apologize for insulting my new family. I heard my mother crying in the background. She knew that neither of us would back down at that point. Father, being an experienced fighter, knocked the switchblade out of my hand and wrestled me to the floor. After the fight, father dragged me by the collar and threw me out of the house. As I lay bloodied and battered on the front lawn, father disowned me in front of all the neighbors and forbade me from ever returning home. Mother begged and pleaded for father to take me back. Father ordered her to go back inside the house and to stay quiet. He turned and took one last look at me before going back inside the house. From that look, I knew that I had really screwed things up with my parents. There was no turning back at that point.

Life on the streets for a sixteen year old gang member was very hard. It was nothing like I thought it would be. I went many days without food and slept wherever I could find shelter. Our gang fought all the time. At first it was to protect the neighborhood, then it turned into something else. Whenever the gang became bored, they held fighting contests to see who among us was the strongest. Those were the worst times for me. I hated fighting against my blood brothers. But if I didn't, I would have been branded a coward. I was considered one of the strongest fighter, next to our leader, Saitou Hajime. I could take out most of the gang pretty easily. However, whenever I fought Saitou, it would end once he'd broken a couple of my ribs. Saitou Hajime was the strongest leader there was. The man was unbeatable."

The young girl stared at him for a moment then hesitantly asked, "Is... Is that how you got that cross-shaped scar on your left cheek?"

The man stared out into the dark night and shook his head as the brisk night winds whisked through his firey red hair.

"No. My scar is a result of a fight I had with another powerful gang leader. His name was Shishio Makoto. I had never fought anyone like him before. Someone had started a rumor that I was trying to take his girl Komagata Yumi. Yumi was indeed beautiful in her own way, but I had my own girl at the time. Her name was Yukishiro Tomoe. Tomoe wasn't part of the gang I hung out with. I met her one day outside of one of the bars I frequented. I had gone into an alleyway to take a leak. As I finished, I heard footsteps approaching from behind. It was someone from Shishio's gang weilding a knife. His name was Katanagari Cho. He specialized in various forms of knife torture.

We fought each other for what seemed like hours. Finally, I ended up stabbing him several times with his own knife. He wasn't dead, but he definitely wasn't going to be moving for a while. It was at that moment, I sniffed a faint scent of a woman's perfume. It smelled like White Plum, the fragrance only upper class girls wore. When I looked up, there she was. Tomoe was the most beautiful girl I had ever seen. She had long black hair and skin that seemed to reflect the paleness of the moonlight. Her eyes were dull but yet caring. To me she was truly a quiet beauty.

Without a word, Tomoe bent down and took her blue scarf off her neck and began wrapping my bloodied wrist. As I looked into her eyes, she simply stated, "You're bleeding." I had no words for her then. I just kept staring at the beautiful girl who was attending to my wounds and wondering why she was helping me. Never in my wildest dreams, would I have imagined an upper class girl like Tomoe would fall in love with a street thug like me. She seemed to be so perfect. However, after a few weeks of dating her I discovered Tomoe had a dark side. She kept it carefully hidden from her family. Tomoe liked frequenting bars, going to underground rave parties and hanging out with anyone who had a taste for trouble. I guess that's why she became attracted to me. She liked dating bad boys. Tomoe's family didn't know that I was part of a violent street gang. Whenever I went to visit her, I acted differently so as to make a good impression on her family. Her parents accepted me with open arms. However her brother, Yukishiro Enishi, could see right through me. He hated everything about me. It was he who set me up that fateful night."

The man briefly touched his cross-scar as he continued on with what happened next.

"Enishi told Shishio that I was trying to steal his girl. He had taken letters that I had written to Tomoe and altered them putting Yumi's name on them. When Shishio found out, he came after me with a vengence. We fought long and hard. Shishio was almost as strong as Saitou, however, Shishio fought dirty. In the middle of the fight, Shishio bit me on the neck and then sprayed a chemical mace into my eyes. I was blinded temporarily. Two of his gang members jumped me from behind and held me down. Shishio straddled over me and said, "Pretty boys always get the girls. Guess I'll have to fix that pretty face of yours so that you can be less attractive... like the rest of us ugly guys." Shishio grinned wickedly at me before snatching one of Cho's knives and carving this hideous scar on my face."

The man traced the cross-shaped scar on his cheek, bringing tears to the young girl's eyes. After a moment of silence, the man went on to relate his story.

"By the time Shishio had finished, I felt as if my whole face was on fire and covered in blood. I was in severe pain and agony. Shishio and his gang ran off leaving me on the streets to die. A short while later, Saitou had found out that I had been attacked. He and the rest of the gang came to where I layed. Instead of helping me up, Saitou just stood there glaring down at me while smoking his cigarette. After flicking the ashes of his cigarette over my body, he told me that he had received word from a reliable source of my fight with Shishio. He yelled down at me saying that I went against gang rules by trying to steal another gang member's girl. I tried to sit up and tell him it was all a lie but I was in too much pain.

Saitou took out two letters from his pocket. He knelt down and shoved them in my face. He said that it was my handwriting and it was proof of me trying to steal Shishio's girl. He ripped the letters up and threw them at me. Saitou rose to his feet slowy and said the two words I thought I would never hear, "You're... Out." I was totally devasted. I was being kicked out by my blood brothers, my family.

It was at that point that Okita Souji, Saitou's younger cousin, asked if he could teach me a lesson before they left. Saitou stood silent for a moment. He then slid his hand inside his top pocket and pulled out a pack of cigarettes. After taking out a stalk, he dangled it on his bottom lip while reaching in his jean pant pocket for a lighter. He slowly lit the cigarette and took a long hard drag. As he exhaled the smoke, Saitou snapped the lid to the lighter closed as a means of signalling his cousin and the others to do as they wished. Hajime Saitou walked away leaving me at the mercy of Okita and the rest of the gang. They were quick to administer punishment. The gang began pounding thier fists into me saying that they were going to make me pay for disgracing Saitou's gang. By the time they had finished beating me, I had bruises and blood all over my body.

I heard their jeers and rancid laughter as they ran off into the darkness. The gang I once viewed as family, had now disowned me in the same sense as my father. I had no where to go, no place to call home. I laid on the cold dark streets for hours praying for my death to come. The next thing I knew, I awoke in a hospital. I was told that I was found on the streets by a man named Seijurou Hiko. He was a former kendo instructor who devoted his time to reeducating troubled youths. When I was better, I was released in his custody. He took me off the streets and took care of me. My Shishou gave me a second chance at life."

The young girl looked at him thoughtfully. "That poor man. He's had a hard life too."

"What happened to your girlfriend? Did she try to find you?"

The man shook his head and smiled sadly at the young girl. "Tomoe tried to find me, but I stayed hidden. I was too ashamed of having been beaten and of the ugly scar that was left on my face. Tomoe eventually married a really nice man by the name of Kiyosato Akira. The last I heard they had a beautiful little girl. I'm sure she looks like Tomoe." He paused for a moment to look down into the waters below. "In a way, everything worked out for the best. I always knew Tomoe deserved someone better than me."

"How can you say that," the girl argued, "I'm sure you would have made her a good husband."

The man turned to the young girl and met her concerned stare with a warm smile. "You're very nice to say that, but I'm not worthy of such kind words. When I was in the gang, I committed a lot of violent crimes. Beating up innocent people, while thinking all along I was doing the right thing. I don't deserve happiness."

"Stop saying negative things like that," the girl scolded. "You are a good person. You deserve to be happy just like everyone else!"

Warm violet eyes bore into a pool of sapphire. "What about yourself? Do you think you deserve happiness," he asked in response.

The young girl froze. "Do I... deserve happiness?" She shook her head violently and began stuttering. "Wa... Wait a minute! I... We're... this is not about me," she finished lamely. The young girl turned her head abruptly from the man. A few drops of rain began to fall from the sky. The man looked up into the clouds.

"It's beginning to rain. Shall we go before the rains become heavier." The young girl turned back to see the man extending his hand to her. She smiled sadly as she gazed into the depths of his warm violet eyes.

"I know you think you can save me, but there's nothing left to save." Tears trickled down her cheeks as she turned her head away from his. "What is your name," he heard her asking.

"Kenshin, Himura Kenshin," he replied softly.

"My name is Kamiya Kaoru. Thank you for listening to my story. You sound like a person I would have wanted to know."

"It's not too late," Kenshin replied as he inched closer, extending his hand up further to her. Kaoru shook her head and smiled sadly before pushing her body out and releasing her grip upon the railing. Kenshin stood in horror as he watched Kaoru's body falling downward. The loud crashing waves below signified that the young girl's body had made contact with the icy cold waters. He stared at his hand in disbelief. The hand that only moments ago was so close to saving her. But now, she was gone. Kenshin let out a blood curdling scream.

"Noooooooo! I won't let it end like thiiisssss!"

He jumped off the bridge and plunged his strong lean body into the depths of the Tokyo bay. The moment his flesh made impact with the icy waters, he felt a sharp stinging pain all over his body. Kenshin ignored the searing pain and continued in his search for Kaoru. He prayed hard that he would be able to reach her before it was too late.

Kaoru felt her body falling deeper and deeper into the waters. My body… feels... so heavy…" She closed her eyes and let the darkness of the waters engulf her. "At last... I will have... peace... "

When Kenshin finally spotted her, he realized it was too late. Her body had grown limp and was steadily falling downward. He swam into the direction Kaoru's body had been falling and wrapped his body around hers protectively. There was no warmth left inside her.

"Why did you let go... I could have made you so happy..."

Several tears escaped his eyes and began to mingle with the salty water. He glanced downward at the lifeless body still wrapped protectively into his arms.

"I'm sorry that you had to live such a horrible life. But I do make this promise Miss Kaoru, I will not allow you to die alone."

Kenshin closed his eyes and let himself be pulled downward into the cold dark watery grave with Kaoru.

The next day, the bridge was closed off by the police. News had spread throughout the community of a man and teenaged girl who jumped off the bridge. There were some speculations that the two were lovers trapped into a forbidden love. No one was able to solve the mystery that surrounded their death. From that day forward, whenever young lovers crossed over the bridge, they would toss flowers into the waters for the fallen couple, wishing them happiness and eternal love.

THE END

Author's Notes: Okay all you angst fic lovers, this was my first and last attempt at doing angst. I nearly cried my eyes off while writing this sad ending. I was so depressed. Also, I'm not advocating suicide here. I just wanted to write story with one of those tragic lover's endings that you read about in fairy tales. I hope it came out okay.

Anyhoo, for all those who love happy endings (like me), please read the full version of this ficcie (seven complete chapters) on my website. There's a lot of action and romance in that one. (Bye!)