Written for the RK Challenge for the theme: "Keeping Watch"
I want to see you smile
Summary: Sometimes revenge can lead to forgiveness.
It was funny really. How was it that this woman, a tool for revenge, could be the one to offer him hope? His sister and mother figure had been lost to him in childhood due to the double-edged sword of the relationship with her supposed husband.
Tomoe had married the small red-haired warrior for revenge. Enishi had taken the Battousai's new woman in revenge. Both siblings had started with the same motive and resulted in the same ending.
Enishi watched from the balcony of his island mansion as the young woman walked along the shores, picking up seashells. The wind tossed his short white hair about. It had been over a month since he had left behind the doll at the dojo where his former brother-in-law lived.
By now they should have figured out that she wasn't dead. Any time now they would be coming to his island fortress. A battle was brewing of his own concoction as he sought his vengeance for the loss of his sister.
As if she sensed his thoughts, Kaoru looked up from the sandy shore. Their eyes locked. Sapphire and turquoise held one another. Quickly, she averted her gaze and began to walk back towards the mansion.
Enishi's hands fisted at his side. She was doing it again.
She would look at him with that silent understanding look in her eyes.
That look of acceptance and forgiveness was too much like the one he saw in his sister's dark eyes before they lost all their light.
"You are a tool for revenge, nothing more." Enishi spoke to the empty air around him, staring at the shoreline where his captive stood not a moment before. If he said it enough times he might start to believe it.
Evening came and the sun set over the western horizon. Enishi walked towards the room where she was being held his prisoner. He stood outside her door and kept watch. Minutes slipped by.
"I know you're out there," Kaoru called from the other side of the door, surprising Enishi. "You might as well come in."
He wasn't sure why he would take orders from his caged bird. He slipped the necklace off from around his neck. The key to her room was always around his neck. If anyone tried to get to her, they would have to get through him. But that was to protect his investment, not for her safety.
That's what he told himself.
He walked inside the room and saw her sitting in the rocking chair near her window. There were fireflies buzzing against the glass and they seemed to have mesmerized her. She turned towards him offering a small smile when he stood beside her. "It's been a long time since I last saw fireflies."
Enishi said nothing, but continued to watch her. He wasn't sure what he should do anymore. Tomoe wouldn't smile at him. That's all he wanted. But, the small smile that Kaoru had just given him caused his heart to flutter in a way that his sister's never affected him as a boy.
The smile slipped off Kaoru's lips as she turned back towards the window, the feeling of sadness radiating from her in waves.
When Kaoru stopped smiling, the feeling of contentment Enishi had felt vanished. He needed to make her smile again. He needed Tomoe to smile at him. But he needed more so to have Kaoru smile.
"Will you smile for me?" He asked, his voice gruff from lack of use.
He startled Kaoru, but she recovered quickly. "You want me to smile?"
Enishi nodded. "I want to make you smile."
Kaoru's brows furrowed at his request. "If you want me to smile then you have to release me from this prison." She looked up at him and reached her fingers towards his wrist.
"A caged bird still sings," Enishi argued.
Kaoru shook her head, fingers grasping around his wrist. "But the song of a caged bird is sorrowful."
Enishi looked down at her hand upon his wrist and quickly flipped his hand, catching her palm against his. He pulled Kaoru to her feet to stand before him. With his other hand he reached for her face, tracing his fingertips towards her lips. "You don't have to sing Kaoru. I just want you to smile."
Kaoru sighed at the look of longing and sadness in the eyes of the man standing with her. He was lonely and driven mad with his own sorrow. He was wrong for capturing her and bringing her to the island in the middle of nowhere.
However, he needed her more than her friends did. Kenshin's gift was the ability to protect the weak. Sano had the talent of brute strength. Yahiko had fire. Megumi had her medicine.
Kaoru had her compassion. "I'll smile for you Enishi," she agreed.
A single tear trickled down from the stoic, young man's eye. Without warning he pulled Kaoru into his arms, crushing her body against his chest. He buried his face in her dark tresses of hair and the flesh of her neck grew wet with his tears.
His arms remained steel bands around her delicate frame when he pulled back to look her in the eyes. "Tomoe's been keeping watch all these years," he whispered, bracing his forehead against hers. "Finally, she's smiling at me."
Kaoru smiled at him, truly glad that he seemed to have finally found some sense of peace. She squeezed her arms around him gently.
"I won't kill the Battousai," Enishi promised. "I know that would make you upset, but please." He paused, closing his eyes. "I don't want you to go just yet."
"I'll stay until you've learned how to smile," Kaoru agreed.
"I'm so tired of being alone," Enishi confessed, closing his eyes.
"It's going to be alright, Enishi." Kaoru waited until he opened his eyes to look at her again. "I'll watch over you now."