Kyoto, Again
You can never go home again; sometimes, this is a very good thing, indeed.

After ten years, this place is still the same.

A soft rain begins, sifting through the overhanging branches and plopping gently into the bucket with its yellow spider mums. He kneels, and removes the bandage from his cheek, wishing to bare all before the small, simple stone.

Can you hear me?

Always, koishii.

Hai, I know.

The past decade spins through his mind, so full of extremes of chaos and peace, of discovery and change. He finds he is no longer alone; this surprises him. It is his new strength.

This place is still the same, but I am not.

Review Responses: Lolo, you know it always pleases me when you like my work! Aikawarazu, thanks for finding and reading this piece--I'm glad you liked it so much. Wistful, so happy you liked it! (btw, what does "cyz" mean?) Anithene, on your favorites? Wow, thanks! Moeru, the last line really rang for me, so I'm glad it worked for you as well!

More Responses: Skenshingumi, Yes, ALL those you mention, those who are "his new strength", they are really what this story is about. Kenshin sort of "thinks" he has visited for the sake of the last ten years, for his loss, his past, his burden, but discovers instead that he is there to cement himself in his new present, his future. Terry-McElrath, it's so gratifying to hear that my writing affects you. Don't be envious, because I can tell from reading your stuff that you have this ability, too, so write and post for the sake of the rest of us!