A/N: Hoo! This is the last chappie!
Review responses for CH. 10:
Rurouni-maxi – Gah! I made you cry! OMG! Nooo! I'm sorry! And yes, the London bombs… my sister lives there but she's okay!
StormHornet – It's funny, you were like 'Aw' and Rurouni-maxi was all 'I'm crying'… -shakes head- But yes, it is about as long as B4 the Dawn… and the whole Raoul/Ral thing? I don't know. They're idiots.
Review responses for CH. 11:
StormHornet – Thank you! And yes, see you soon!
Rurouni-maxi – Yeah, it is a whole lot darker than B4 the Dawn… but I like this one better! I need to laugh too! –sob- but yeah, in a way they are rather like the Seisou Hen (err… there are several ways to spell it…) OVA's… but – I don't want to flatter myself! Haha! –sweat drop-
Valerie – That is funny, tho I am sorry I made you cry… I'm glad you thought the story was good!
Craziegirl29 – RORO! –huggletackleglomp- I LUFF j00!
aguafinaSEK – Thank you!Recap –
As Kenshin, Misao and Hotaru silently walked away Kenshin turned back toward the grave, his eyes filled with tears, and blew a kiss. "I'll never forget you, Kaoru. I love you."The Color Black-Red – Chapter 11
And slow they trudged out of the castle grounds. Kenshin and the two ladies appeared in the run down village, tear stains marking both Misao and Kenshin's cheeks.
Then Kenshin felt a tug on his gi. He looked down and saw a hopeful child. A woman, presumably her mother, stood behind the child. The little girl said nothing, only tugged on his shirt again. The mother spoke,
"What has happened?" it was the only noise in a scared town. Kenshin saw people peering through their windows and stepping out of their doors to hear the answer to this question.
Looking from the child to its mother, he said monotonously, "Daemon is dead."
Suddenly, like a secret signal had passed, the whole town erupted in cheers. Mothers picked up their children and cried. Men shouted and threw their hats into the air. Though the mother of the little girl seemed sad still. "What is wrong, sir? You have killed Daemon, yet something saddens you."
"Though Daemon is dead, so is my love."
The woman bowed her head. "I am sorry."
"Her name was Kaoru, and she helped me defeat him, even after her death." Kenshin said, starting to walk on.
But then the woman spoke. "I am Kiroka, and from this moment on I decree that on every anniversary of this day, we shall visit the grave of your Kaoru and give flowers."
"Duomo arigato de gozaru yo, Kiroka-san," Kenshin said. "We must be going now."
"Sayonara, Kenshin," Misao said. "I must stay here and help rebuild this village." Using her powers, Misao pointed to Kenshin and Hotaru, who had been silent all this time, and said, "Teleport!"
There was a blast of light, and Kenshin and Hotaru were gone. Misao smiled slightly. Then she turned to the villagers and shouted, "Right then! We have a lot of work to do!
Before Kenshin could blink, Misao teleported Hotaru and Kenshin back to Shiro. When they arrived they were standing in the middle of the town center and people stared at them in shock. Thankfully they recognized Kenshin and did not attack. Seeing the welcoming Village that had been cleared of blood and gore, Hotaru leaped with joy. Kenshin assumed she has not been in a town for a long time. "Hotaru," he said, "Do you see that hall north?" she nodded yes and he continued, "Enter it and say you are a friend."
"All right, Kenshin-san!" she piped and ran off. Kenshin shook his head. He could not she how she could be so happy. That brought back memories and Kenshin buried his face in his hands.
"Himura-san? Himura-san daijbou?" He felt a hand on his arm, but pushed it away and carried on, searching for Kaoru's brother, Sanosuke. "Sanosuke? Sanosuke?" Kenshin called, making my way to the clinic. He knocked on the door, and Takani Megumi stepped out, looking haggard and worn.
Her eyes opened wide in shock. "K-Kenshin-san?" she stammered. She seemed very surprised at his appearance. Blood was dripping down Kenshin's side still, his clothes were tattered, his hair was in disarray, and the man's eyes were rimmed with red and there were dark bags under them as well. Did it really matter?
"Kenshin, what on earth has happened?" she asked, and ushered him in. Megumi led him over to a chair, which he sat on. "Kenshin," she knelt before him, "what has happened?"
"I want to see Sanosuke," Kenshin said flatly. "I need to see Sanosuke."
Megumi stood up, surprised at his demand. "Fine," she said stiffly. "Yes. Fine." She left the room abruptly and came back, Sanosuke following. He saw Kenshin and stared.
"Kenshin?" he walked over and pulled him up. "What happened?"
"I…" Did Kenshin have the courage to tell Sanosuke?
"Kenshin, what has happened? Why –" then suddenly Sanosuke blinked, and his mouth fell open. "Kenshin – where is my sister!"
"Sanosuke, I'm sorry -" Kenshin began, but he cut him off.
He shook Kenshin roughly, unaware of Megumi's cry of, "He's already hurt, Sanosuke!"
"Kenshin! Tell me what happened? Where is Kaoru? What has happened to her?" He paled, and took him aside. "Tell me please, Kenshin, and tell me this has nothing to do with Daemon!"
Regaining control of his tears, Kenshin shook his head somberly. "I'm sorry, but," he took a deep breath, steadying himself, "K-Kaoru is d-"
"NO!" Sanosuke roared. "KAORU IS NOT DEAD! What kind of joke is this?" Tears rolled down Kenshin's face and Sanosuke's expression changed. He fell to his knees and sobbed.
Megumi gasped, though said nothing. Kenshin thought he saw a tear fall down her cheek.
Sano looked up. "Was it you? Did you kill her?" his voice shook with anger. "I couldn't have been you, could it? Was it Daemon? I'll kill him! I will!"
"Daemon is dead. We fought and I killed him." Suddenly Kenshin realized – this had never really sunken in – that he would never ever see Kaoru again. He let out a howl of anguish and fled from the room. Kenshin ran in between couples and he heard them cry out.
"Kenshin-san!" Hotaru appeared, "Kenshin-san!" she grabbed his arm. Kenshin flung her off and she landed on the stone, looking up at him with – what was that? Pity?
Kenshin continued on to her cabin and collapsed on the bed, sobbing. He was curled up in a ball when it happened. He felt a rush of wind in the room and a presence. Kenshin sat up and looked around, no one was there. Then he heard his name. He turned in the direction of the sound and nothing was there. "Kaoru?" he whispered. Kenshin didn't know what possessed him to say her sweet name.
Then he felt soft lips kiss his cheek and he turned to face that direction. Once again, nothing was there. Kenshin's tears slowed, and stopped. "I love you Kaoru," he murmured. He could have sworn that I heard 'I love you too', but perhaps it was just a whisper of the wind. Then the presence was gone.
"Sayonara, my aisuru." Kenshin whispered.
A/N: It's finished! Black-Red is finished! And it was such fun to write, too! SOB!
Please review this final chapter!