Disclaimer: All rights belong to Yoshihiro Togashi and Shonen Jump. No infringement intended, etc etc all that jazz. I'm poor so don't sue.

Rating is T for violence.

The Wreck of My Memories

Chapter Three

A flash of lightning from the Makai sky pulls me out of the memories in which I've been drowning, and I come out of them gasping for air like a man submerged. As the residual shock fades like quicksilver tingles from my body and my heart slows its pounding in my chest, I scowl at the storm and myself.

I had hoped, perhaps foolishly so, that after my death at the hands of Shigure, and my subsequent resurrection at the hands of Mukuro, that my time of suffering and anguish had ended. The frequency in which I am reminded of the pain of my past has taught me otherwise, but I can say that the agony is not quite as sharp as it used to be. The blade has dulled somewhat, although I cannot tell if the change has been for the worse or the better.

These memories, however, are as sharp as they ever were and I know this is because I have suppressed them for so long. I have not thought of Uma for many years or the sacrifice she made for me. I know I am not worthy of it. What I became after her death was the very thing she had tried so hard to prevent. I think she knew what would happen to me if I had nothing to temper my fiery nature and my predisposition for hate. Long ago I realized that I had shamed her and dishonored her memory. Had I been able to kill myself then, I probably would have, but I still had my dreams of revenge upon the Koorimes who had cast me out, and later I would find purpose in searching for my sister. I reasoned that Uma would have wanted me to find Yukina, if only to give me some sense of closure. After that, I buried her memory deep within me and kept my shame inside the festering wounds in my heart.

I am the only one left alive who remembers Uma. I killed everyone else who knew her, Itsuro included… eventually. I made sure the bastard who ate Uma's leg lived only long enough to choke on it. Hers is my deepest secret, the one I have shared with no one, not even my dearest Kurama. Kurama whom I know loves me and would try to "heal" me if I let him.

Let him think I have never been loved. Let him think that I have never known love or that I do not know what it is. Let Mukuro think I am just like her, forever forsaken and abused. It is easier than telling them the truth, better to let them think that I have never had something than to admit that I had it once but lost it. I had six months with Uma. Six months of being loved and wanted against a lifetime of hate, pain and loneliness. It was a brief, very brief, respite from my fate, and it is my treasure, the one thing no one can ever take from me.

Standing, I walk over to where my katana lies resting against the wall and pull the beloved blade from its sheath. The handle is tightly wrapped with strips of cloth to cushion the hilt and make it easier to wield, and my thumb goes unerringly to the small bump positioned in just the right place to make the hilt fit the curve of my palm perfectly. If I were to cut the strap and unwrap the lump I would find the smooth black talisman that had once rested against my heart- the only memento I have of the woman who had loved an orphaned, forbidden mistake enough to die for him.

Scowling, I shove the blade back into the sheath, and with it my memories, and put the sword back against the wall as I return to staring out at the coming storm.

End