Summary: Just a short piece written as if by Kenshin just after Kaoru is kidnapped by Jin'e...contains spoilers for OVA's as well.

title: Patterns of Blue
rating: PG
author: Mir

disclaimer: Rurouni Kenshin is written by Watsuki Nobuhiro, published by Shueisha in "Jump," and produced by Sony Entertainment. All rights are theirs. I have no money to speak of, so suing me will not make you rich. This story contains spoilers for the OVA's, manga volumes 2,20, and 21 and episodes 6 and 7 of the anime...I think that about covers it. Many thanks to maigo-chan for her manga translations.

AN: This is my first piece of Rurouni Kenshin fanfiction (I
usually write Sailor Moon fanfics), but I discovered this series
earlier this year and am most certainly hooked. I'm actually
supposed to be studying for my AP examinations...but one
can only study for so long before all the words begin to blend
together (Now did W.E.B de Bois speak about the talented
tenth or about the laws of thermodynamics...? - it's the former,
if you're wondering). Anyhow, bad jokes aside, this is a piece
that takes place between when Jin'e kidnaps Kaoru and
Kenshin confronts him at the shrine in the woods. Enjoy!

--------------------------------------------------
repeating patterns
cycle in the grasp of time
silent ghosts watch on
--------------------------------------------------

1878: Tokyo, Japan

The boat was swept away, thrown and tossed by the insensitive blows
of the rushing waters - I stood at the bank of the river and watched it disappear
into the blue horizon. I stood, hands clenched tightly into fists at my side. There
was nothing I could do.

It's my favorite ribbon, indigo blue. I'm lending it to you.

As my eyes strained to follow the vessel around the curvature of the
globe, tried vainly to trace its path to eternity and back, my fingers closed
around the liquid softness dangling forgotten at my side. The wind reached
forth with its delicate touch and tugged playfully at the fluttering edges.

I'm only lending it to you. Be sure and give it back.

I brought my hands instinctively to my chest, wrapping the cloth around
anxious fingers. A faint scent teased my senses, light as the morning's trembling
glimmer of dew, but hauntingly familiar. white plum Life cycled forever,
without mercy.

It's all right . . . So please don't cry. (1)

Even as the harsh metallic aftertaste of blood lingered in the back of
my throat, I wore her sent forever afterwards. Never in the years following
did the incessant rain of crimson stain the blue fabric tucked into my gi. Never
again did I forget the reason I was fighting. I had struck down the one I loved -
but I would not bury her memory as well. And then, when the violence had faded
into dying tremors and echoing cries, I left the sent behind - left it with my
abandoned katana as I walked calmly in the opposite direction.

Until there can be an age lit up by these small happiness, I will wield
the sword. But when the new age comes . . .

The new age had arrived. In a sweeping flurry of brilliant colors and glittering
remembrances it had descended upon an unsuspecting population still caught in
the securities of a defeated era. And even as the massive trains rushed frantically
past on thin rails of iron, the sent of yesterday lurked silently in the shadows, and
I turned away with guilt and shame.

After you fight Jin'e, if you forget and go off wandering again, I'll
never forgive you.

The river was calm again, quiet as the expansive sky above and leaning
pensively against its banks. I exhaled softly, the air drifting from my nostrils to
diffuse back into the world around me. No, history would not repeat itself again.
Without looking down I folded the ribbon neatly and tucked it against my chest.
The sent vanished as though it had never existed - but I knew better.

I understand. I'll be sure to come back to return this. You can wait at
the dojo without worry.

Once again I had failed. 'Sumimasen Kaoru-dono'. Twice had I washed
the rusty blood of Tomoe's happiness from my calloused hands. Twice had I
turned and left my past behind me . Three rough stones, now carpeted with a
deceptive blanket of velvety-green moss, rose from old graves dug by a child's
hands. Nearby, the tattered remains of a worn blue scarf fluttered dejectedly in
the ever-blowing winds of time.

May you find happiness in the next world . . . (2)

No, Jin'e - you will never find happiness anywhere. Never. I will hunt
you down until your blood runs in crimson rivers at my feet, and after the ground
has drunk until it can drink no more, I will haunt you forever in the afterlife. As
one, with an inserted finger, can break the cycle of a spinning pinwheel, so will I
retaliate tonight and halt the future's morbid unfolding. You will not escape me.

end

- - - - - - - - - -

I wasn't really planning to end it so darkly...but you know how these
things tend to take control of themselves and run off in directions you
never anticipated...or maybe that's just me . Anyhow, drop me
a note and let me know what you think (I promise I don't bite!)

- Mir (05.12.01)

- - - - - - - - - -
Notes:

(1) - this is Tomoe to Kenshin as she's dying
(2) - this is Kenshin to Akira's corpse