Disclaimer: Yep, me and a disclaimer...wats this world coming to.

Okay don't own Rk... any members of the Shisengumi, the scene setting or even Ushiro Ryu... i'm so ashamed of myself...lol

The italics are thought...

The scene is from Out Of Time by Sirius Fan 13... 500 words of pure plagiarism...lol

Done in the name OC EXCHANGE...

Well here goes...

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The reds, oranges, and purples purged, the sky was finally as black as the streets beneath it. Moonlight behind opaque clouds, living faces behind opaque shutters.

We are hunted, every street, every alley, the same whispered warning.

The traitor we will protect with our lives, if need be, with our deaths now. The Shinsengumi are on the hunt.

The shadows, my guardians, hiss, of justice to traitors and of treason to the Shinsengumi, as Ki, feral, enraged, predatory, screams and snarls in the vanguard of my skull.

But we must protect him. We need him, Katsura needs him, the Ishhin need him.

A guarded light diffused the solid darkness. A set of lanterns. In the ashen streets two rows of blue clad wolves, the first unit, marched through.

I can see them, can sense them, but in blackness all I can hear is a low lilt, slow, smooth, cheery, the sun was rising, but the face, the words, still in the dark. I shake it off.

The lantern light dissipated, the five men left their shadow refuge. The street was quiet. Then the moon, unleashed, beat back the shadows. And in the street, now ashen white, they were out in the open.

"Move! Hurry, now." My words never reach my ears, but they hear it. They are not moving. The shadows recede, retreating. They are still here.

I turn as my eyes met my parallels', one by one, decided.

I grip the hilt as I eye the traitor. His eyes terrified, blanched. I meet his pleading look. And before he looks away, before he is thrust forward and away I draw my blade in a roar, venting all my anger, and stand determined, patient, ready.

The wolves are coming, the first unit only a street away.

I hear the shout, piercing and clear, as the steel in my hand steadies, flickering silver before mirroring me.

The moonbeams grew bolder, as the black veil of an alleyway a short way away was broken with flaming eyes. The shadows parted as a young man stepped forward and more lupine shades followed.

A child's eyes, a child's smile, a killer's sword, Okita Souji. And just behind him, tall and gaunt, demon eyes', Saito Hajime. His unit in tow.

The four men had slipped into a back street. Speed would allow stealth and given time the shadows would swallow them again.

My eyes meet his, his Ki pierces mine. I tip my blade in salute. And explode towards his leaderless unit. Drawing them away from the trail.

In a rooftop nearby, a gray-eyed Rurouni watched, fascinated. He could see that the Ishhin warrior couldn't live, but he knew that he would. Would Kenshin protect his world, or protect his vow?

The captain of the first unit lunged forward. Smiling as he leapt through the bodies of his felled charges. Bared blade gleaming crystalline, already colored crimson in his eyes. His men drew back as Okita reached the fray and pounced upon Ushiro Ryu.

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Authors Note: Slightly angstier than the usual Ushiro characterization...but then again he is about to die and all.

As always reviews great appreciated. And a big thanks to White Rabbit Tale for the exchange.

Oh and sorry for the mistake in the first post... quick edit strikes again.