Disclaimer- I don't own Rurouni Kenshin.

It was an oddly poignant picture.

One man, holding a woman, in a field of white and red.

But closer inspection reveals horror.

Pure white snow, stained by crimson blood.

The half buried bodies of the man's enemies, caked with blood, dirt, and snow.

And even closer... Tragedy.

The redheaded man is holding the woman, her ivory kimono stained with her own blood. His eyes are clouded with angry grief, his cheek bleeding from a cut, a cut that would form the physical representation of his crimes.

Hitokiri Battousai wept bitter tears above the body of his dead lover, amid a field of crimson and ivory.

It had only taken a moment, a single moment in which he had lost sight and everything was but a haze of rage and bloodlust...

And then she was gone.

His stained sword lies a small distance away, covered in the blood of his enemies and his love.

Only a slip...

Just one mistake...

And just like that...

She was dead.

He continued to weep.

Life was so fragile, he reasoned.

The Battousai had never noticed, never taken the time to realize it.

His sword had slain scores, hundreds of men, their blood had spilled over him, their screams ringing in his ears, but he had never realized just how easy it was to take a life.

It had always been simple, and he had been glad.

Killing them quickly seemed best.

A mercy, he had so ignorantly reasoned.

What a fool he was.

That he could take a life with a single swing, a single second...

Not just killing a man, but killing a future, killing a husband, a father, a brother, a son...

An Angel of Death... or a Devil.

He continued to weep.

It was so terribly easy to take life, and yet now, looking back, he wondered how he could.

Could he do so now?

Continue on, continue to fight? Knowing that every single person he slew was another Tomoe?

He didn't know anymore.

Only one Truth remained.

He was a merchant of death... and had been selling profitably for years.

But now, at last, he had found out just how brutally overpriced death was.

And so he wept on.