In Err, My Suffering
This version of the story is CENSORED!
Disclaimer: I do not own Rurouni Kenshin or the characters thereof. Used without permission.
Credit: This story was inspired by a fanfic I truly love called "Loving a Killer" written by Tiian. I got the idea from reading that, and the said author's permission to write this piece.
Aoshi sat up, unable to sleep. The weather was humid, making for unpleasant sleeping conditions. He could hear thunder far off and expected the rain would come soon. It was getting to be that season, rainy.
He stood, dropping his blankets to the floor where they crumpled over his futon. His wrinkled yukata felt uncomfortable as his skin perspired just beneath the material, but not enough for it to cling to him.
He slid open his chamber door and stepped into the hallway. Maybe a walk could clear his mind of thoughts he didn't want.
Of thoughts he had many nights... thoughts of her... thoughts about Misao.
The same thoughts that left him aching with desire as much as they left him pulsing with unbearable shame.
As he turned, he caught sight of her by the window at the end of the hall. Her back as to him, her long braid hanging over one shoulder. Even when she slept, she kept it braided?
Why didn't she let it loose? Her hair had to be beautiful, but she kept it bound and tight within that braid.
He wandered closer.
So, she couldn't sleep either?
It didn't surprise him. Misao had never slept well in humid weather, just tossed and turned.
But that had been a long time ago, he thought. He didn't know much about her anymore.
No... not much. Not too much, he thought, recalling the softness of her skin and lightness of her frame. Her hands were so tiny, her body so slight against his own, but her heart beat just as strongly.
The image of pale skin, the rise of her chest as her breath hitched sharply, the wide sparkling eyes... Not much at all really...
Her body was one thing he knew very well, but that wasn't her. The living, breathing entity that was Misao.
He took one step toward her and then another. They needed to talk. He needed to say something. Something about that. Something. Anything.
No... not anything.
She deserved an apology. Even that wasn't good enough. She deserved so much and he could give her nothing. She deserved to punish him, as awfully as he'd punished her, to whip him till he bled. But she wouldn't.
She would never dare hurt him.
He neared, his resolve crumbling each step that took him closer. She sucked the life right out of him, making him faintly tremble. How could he face her this way? So casually, so calmly?
As though it had never happened at all...
Images of Misao in his arms bombarded him, her broken gasps, her pleading voice calling to him as his tongue probed the softest areas of her body. His hands on the inside of either of her thighs as she whimpered brokenly at his touch, arching, pleading, but not a word to stop. No pleas for him not to touch her, only a silent begging with her eyes not to hurt her.
Had it been panic or passion in her voice? He didn't want to know, but the sound of it rung true in his dreams each night. Another hour of suffering as the memory replayed again and again. His greatest torment, his favorite pleasure.
He stopped just so close and she turned only halfway to view him. He'd been silent, her perception impressed him.
That was his girl, picking up on the prescence of others. He expected nothing less of her.
"Can't sleep, Aoshi-sama?"
Even now she called him that. 'Aoshi-sama'. It left a deep, bitter taste in his mouth.
Even after he'd held her to an open forest ground and stolen her virginity from her, she would still refer to him with such respect?
He remembered far too much of that day.
Misao had wanted to share his pain, hadn't she? To understand? To know what he was doing, where he'd been, what he'd been thinking attacking Okina the way he had. All in front of her, all for nothing. An effort wasted, lives destroyed, and irrepairable damage done to his Misao.
The girl he'd raised until he'd had to leave her to keep her safe. A girl he'd seen speak her first words and steps. A girl he'd found a woman when he'd returned staring up at him with painfully soulful eyes inquiring of him... loving him. The same girl inside her when he'd left, all grown up now wanting him to come home to her.
And what had he done, but share his pain by inflicting it on her? Holding her beneath him, hips roughly thrusting against hers, mouth sparing bruising kisses along her skin, her lips.
"No," he replied. "You also?"
She nodded. "Never did like nights like these..." She trailed off, looking back out the window. "Too hard to sleep..."
Her eyes seemed sad. She always seemed sad at night. He'd watched her take walks around the grounds when dark was long set in and everyone was in their beds. As though she couldn't reveal she wasn't such a bouncy person in the daylight, always worried about people worrying about her. That if she didn't act and speak a certain way... No, he didn't want to think about that.
They didn't know.
They couldn't. Misao would never tell. She would never ...
"You shouldn't want me here," he tipped his head back, turning his empty gaze up. "You shouldn't want me anywhere near you."
Sometimes he couldn't look at her. Sometimes he feared one day he'd be looking into eyes accusing him. Eyes full of hatred and bitterness. They never were... but someday... he thought. Someday they could be.
He slid to the floor, pulling his knees up feeling weak. She made him feel weak, worthless. Hadn't he ruined the treasure given to him by the former Okashira? Hadn't he broken the promise he'd made to take good care of her? Hadn't he?
The feel of her mouth, soft and wet beneath his caused him to shift. He could hear her whimpering, hands on either side of her as she lay beneath him.
She obediently kept her hands up, high above her head, the soft inner skin of her thighs against his hips as she had wrapped them up around him. Such a good girl... Such an obedient one. He silently cursed himself, trying to shove away the memory.
"Who more than I has seen and felt the devil in you, Aoshi? Who, more than I, should decide if you stay here?"
Her voice was so sweet in the dark, a perfect silky caress. He pushed aside thoughts of caresses. It was not the time for such.
Felt the devil in him? What a way to say it... but how true, who more than her should decide that?
Her maturity startled him and he was suddenly and amazingly proud of the woman she'd become. Even if she did hide that part of her away from the others most of the time. So beautiful, so perfect in the darkness. Only loosing her in-bound maturity beneath the dark veil of night...
He groaned sharply.
He turned his ashen gaze up to her to find her looking back.
"Sometimes it's hard having you around, I won't lie. Sometimes I can't sleep, sometimes I wake up from sleep with only you and that afternoon in my head... Sometimes it bothers me because it makes me feel weak. But in the end it doesn't matter as long as you're here where I know you're safe and healthy and not under a bridge starving somewhere."
Even now, she could say such things about him? To worry about him when he still caused her pain? When he caused her worry? Enough that she couldn't rest comfortably?
She kneeled, pressing his knees apart so she could get closer to him. The material of his yukata parted, but darkness was filmed over their bodies, coating them.
"As long as you're okay, I'm okay. It's all that matters to me."
"You could do so much more with your life... if I wasn't in it."
Her smile surprised him. "You're it, Aoshi. The only reason I get up in the morning is for you." Her voice was soft and breathy. He grit his teeth. "It's always been that way. When I was little- I wanted to make you happy, when you left- I wanted to bring you back, now that you're here- I want you to stay. You're my personal shrine, without you I'd be completely lost."
Her attempt at humor was almost lost in the darkness. Her closeness was heating his skin even further. He'd been fighting arousing thoughts of Misao all night...
Fighting so desperately what he in equal desparity wanted...and didn't want.
Imagine, he thought bitterly, the Okashira of the Oniwabanshuu... Once described as being able to tame and have any woman he wanted... Fighting himself over a pained lust for his previous ward...
Misao put her hands up on the wall at either side of his head and leaned slowly closer to him.
His heart was pounding hard in his chest.
Don't... He thought.
Her breath fanned gently against his lips before they touched.
A feathery caress that had his muscles twitching as he restrained himself from moving, desire seeping deeply into every pore.
Misao... He pleaded futiley, the words never reaching the lips she occupied.
How he longed for her. As powerfully as he had that afternoon as she stood there, gazing at him. He'd wanted her so badly, wanted and saw no reason to wait. He hadn't been coming back, he was marching toward death. He wasn't going to see her again, ever. What was one afternoon between them? One afternoon full of mutual anguish and desire?
She pressed her lips more ardently against his and he groaned, her arms sliding down from the wall to work themselves around him as she did what he hadn't allowed her to do before. What he hadn't allowed her to do the last time she'd been so close in his arms: embrace him.
Her tongue slid along his lips as he struggled to keep his body still and not slide her yukata off her shoulders and plant kisses across the delicate curves of her body.
He'd done so before in a wild frenzy, teeth nipping at her soft skin. Pinching her sweet skin between his teeth leaving little bruises with the force.
She pressed herself against him completely, sliding her body against him and he checked a groan. Her hands slid up, tilting his chin down toward her before sliding her mouth against his again, her tongue sliding past his lips.
His body trembled with restraint. He tried, desperately, to remember her. His ward, his little girl, but the thought would not come to him. He couldn't remember...!
He couldn't remember her!
She was someone else, that little girl. He only remembered this one, this woman, and the hot, tight feel of himself inside her.
He longed to scoop her up and pull her legs across his lap. How easy, how perfect it would be to have her. Here, against the wall, on the floor - anywhere.
Did she know what she was doing?
Oh, she knew, he thought as she arched herself against his aching body, again, and repeating the motion, rocking slowly. She knew.
Was she punishing him? He deserved it, he told himself.
Ah... Punish me...
She pulled back just enough to moan his name, a sweet whsiper against his lips and his restraint slipped slightly.
He drew his hands up to cup her head and pulled her mouth back to his, thrusting his tongue between her lips. He dropped his hands to her shoulders, sliding his bare fingers beneath the collar of her thin white yukata. He pulled, sliding the material off her shoulders clear down to her elbows, his hands crumpling the material. He wanted to rip it... Rip it clear off so nothing could keep him from her.
She belonged to him, always, his little girl or not. He no longer cared.
His body throbbed with wanting her, his hands tightening, sliding down to the tie at her waist. He pulled and the sash obliged, loosing around her.
He pushed the fabric farther, as her lips pressed more ardently before she broke away, heaving for air.
He licked his lips, eyes staring up at her, glittering in the darkness as the material pooled at her waist. He shoved it further, and it slipped past her narrow hips. He trailed his fingers lower, itching for the feel of her again. He wanted her. Now.
He was seconds from pushing her back onto the floor and taking her when there was a scuffle farther down the hall.
They broke apart breathlessly, bodies hot and wanting.
"Someone's awake..." Misao mused staring down the dark hall.
Aoshi moved to stand, he had to get away from her. Immediately. Before any damage was done to their precarious relationship.
But her hands on his shoulders stilled him a moment. She leaned close, her lips brushing his cheek and then his ear.
"It's not always a bad memory, Aoshi. Sometimes all I can remember is your hands lifting my hips and you being inside me and wanting so desperately to feel it again."
He pushed her away abruptly and clamered to his feet. No, he had to get away from her.
Why did she have to tell him that?
He walked back to his room, closing his door primly behind him. He breathed unevenly, his body twitching.
He turned his head upward, breathing hard.
Who? Who was punishing him?
Was it her?
Or was he doing this to himself?
He no longer cared who was responsible. He just wanted more of the sweet torture.
She watched him go, pulling herself up from the floor, sliding herself back into her yukata. He slid back into his room silently, no closer to sleep than she was.
She leaned back against the wall, fanning herself lightly, dropping her head back staring up at the darkened ceiling as Aoshi had done.
There was no doubt he was tormented over her. As much as she was over him, but... probably in different ways. She had thought it would happen... Here on the hall floor...
Since he'd returned he'd looked at her several times with a glint in his eyes that threatened to scald. Most of the time that look caused her to ache, her body responding to that one singular glance that almost always vanished before she could even think to act on it, let alone contemplate it.
But he pushed her away, not unexpected. Always one to deny himself, he'd always had that annoying quality. But she wasn't willing to push him just yet.
She wanted to, her body ached, throbbing for him, but she refused.
At least, not yet.
She wasn't ready for him yet. She could still feel the harsh grating of his hips in her memory. His touch had made her ache like nothing she'd ever known before.
She sighed softly, feeling even hotter.
Sometimes her memories left her feeling wistful about what could have been, other times she woke in cold sweats, heart beating furiously, an irrational fear causing her to tremble where she lay.
She would never get over Aoshi. She would never forget that day, but nor would she ever regret it.
It had been the single day she'd gotten a lead on him, only after he'd fought Jiya. Only after she'd found him. Only after he'd told her he never wanted to see her again. Only after all the things that had completely broken her heart.
She could never forget the coal black eyes that burned with a hatred for life. They had burned for her. She had seen it and not escaped from it and she'd suffered for it.
He'd brought his suffering to her and burned them both.
He never once looked away from her. Never. His eyes, burning bright with darkness, clouded with desire had seared her. He had pulled her hips into his lap as he kneeled easily, leaning over her, his elbows on the ground, his arms curled up behind her, holding her while...
She gasped softly.
Pained... She recalled. She couldn't repress the wince each time their bodies came together or the startled cries that escaped her throat.
Why couldn't she regret it?
But it was okay. She'd be fine and Aoshi-sama was safe. That was all that mattered really. She could deal with the dreams and the cold-sweats. Those eyes scared her somtimes, but only when she slept.
She could deal with her fears and worries fueled by her dreams. It was the desire the worried her. The lust, the craving to slip down the hall and beg him touch her again. The uncontrollable throbbing that made her want him to pull her hips to his again and make her feel the sweet anguish all over again, to see his eyes...
Those beautiful eyes not longer clouded with the haze of darkness... To watch him, to see his pleasure at touching her... even if it afforded her some discomfort. She could handle that - she could handle sating his pleasure.
Beacause it was Aoshi and the desire was for her. He wanted her. That made her desire for him to touch her only magnify... She wanted it... She wanted to let him do whatever he wanted with her - she wanted to so badly... but...
It was that, that worried her.
Wasn't it wrong?
She hadn't told anyone. She had never said a word about seeing Aoshi that afternoon.
He knelt over her, panting. Her body relaxed against him, as she just laid there.
Omasu and Okon had been honest and forthright about sex with her. Somehow the thought had left her as numb as it did tingly. Aoshi's seed inside her...
It was something she'd wondered of, but only when alone. Her dark little fantasies, replaying the women's words in her head as she wondered what it would be like... Being with Aoshi like that.
She'd known then, her body burning from his touch, sore and aching and hurt.
Aoshi had given her his seed.
Why? Why when her body was still painfully stretched around him, could she think like that? Given her... Why was it a good thing when it had caused her so much... discomfort ?
Wasn't it... forced in her?
No... No... Not forced. She had pushed the thought away desperately, clenching her eyes closed.
She hissed when he drew back. More burning pain, but it was almost a numbness now. So much friction inside. She could feel the wetness... his ... hers...
His eyes met hers again, when had he looked away? She couldn't remember.
His eyes still burned with emptiness. Dark voids... He leaned down, pressing his mouth to hers.
The kiss was soft only a moment, before his head slanted against hers and she gasped in surprise at the sudden, violent pressure. His tongue plundered her mouth as he silently demanded she respond to him, not letting up upon her until she did... Hesitantly, she returned the abusive kiss.
His touched didn't turn gentle even then. He had sat up, dragging her up with him, fisting a hand deep in her hair while he assaulted her mouth with vigor.
She had groaned against his lips and he released her then. She crumped to the ground, her hips still raised, legs still pulled over his lap.
His eyes darted over her quickly and then slowly, they worked their way up.
Slowly, he drew away, fixing his clothes and standing. He towered over her, eyes staring down at her impassively.
There was nothing in those eyes. No regret. No compassion. No hunger. No sadness.
He'd left her there, sprawled upon the ground. She hadn't cried. Couldn't, maybe she was just unable.
The numbness that was settling over her quickly was far more welcome than the friction pain.
What an afternoon that had been. She pulled herself to her feet and walked back to her room, sliding inside. She needed someone with a giant feather fan, she thought, retreating to her futon.
She trembled, trying to shake off the remnants of her desire. She closed her eyes.
Tomorrow was another day. She'd deal with it all then.
Author's Notes: Aoshi was probably more than a bit OOC because of his violence displayed toward Misao. Even when he was "on the dark side" he never wanted to see Misao hurt and I'm certain he would never do anything like this to her. But it was fun though, wasn't it?
Are there more chapters? Oh yes, there are. I will post them later... eventually. If you'd like to read the original chapter in all its lemony glory please see my profile for the address. If you think this story needs further censoring please tell me and I will comply.