I kneel beside him in the snow, resting my hand on his shoulder as he holds my empty body close and cries.

After several long moments of watching him cry, I can no longer bear to do nothing; but I am dead. Unable to watch his suffering, my gaze moves away, unconsciously studying him to see if he will be alright. Only then do I notice that my hand rests on a bloody wound, and I jerk my hand away before remembering my touch cannot hurt him now.

Frantic, worried that my second love will join me far too soon, my eyes fly over his form. He is more injured than I had truly realized - I had seen how close he was to death, the swing of an arm away, but did not know that all the blood on him was his own. His shoulders are covered in deep cuts, his face bloodied and bruised. I wonder if Kiyosato looked like this before his own death.

Did he receive slash after slash? Did he cross blades frantically, avoiding death until that last moment, just as Kenshin fought with the general?

I clench my hands helplessly. I can do nothing. Not anymore. I used my only chance in seconds passed.

(This is the way it has to be. Please don't cry. I've done enough of that for both of us.)

Foolishly, I recreated the situation which caused me such sorrow. Because of my silence, I allowed the man I loved to die at the hand of one stronger. I stayed silent, and my love left to achieve honor and bring me happiness. I stayed silent, and my love left our home to protect myself and my happiness.

I couldn't bring myself to show my feelings - I was already happy. I couldn't bring myself to tell him - he was my happiness, and through every moment I tried to forgot, every moment I didn't confess, I was betraying him.

I wasted every opportunity to tell him. It all fell into place around me, the situations I had constructed, too soon, too fast. Then he was here, and I saw him, and he was just like Akira in that moment, and I knew.

I had been given a last chance, a chance to make things right; and I am glad.

(I don't want to let him die again. So...)

He won't be alone, in the future years. I will watch over him, just as Akira did for me, though he will not know it. I will stay with him, and when he has again found happiness, then I will rest. I won't let him make my mistakes, sorrow holding him from the life within his reach.

Because in the end, I find I am just like him: too little realization until far too late.

Look at me, all typing at crazy hours again. I decide, 'Hey, I'll work on that unnamed fic for a bit, take down a few notes.' type type type 'No, that isn't the right word in that phrase, let me fix that.' type type type '... Am I almost done? Hm... Better just finish now so I don't lose my train of thought/inspiration.' type type type. So wow, here you go, I didn't think I was going to work on this for a while. I'm happy to post it, though. One more thing off my to-do list, whoo hoo!

Peacebunnie, 1:11 am
RK not mine.