Just a spur-of-the-moment oneshot inspired by a friend's dream.

On a side note, mochi is totally awesome. If you've never had any, you're missing out. :D

Disclaimer: I don't own Rurouni Kenshin. I sincerely doubt I ever will.

xxx

Mochi

--

He weaved through the throng easily, skills he had attempted to suppress resurfacing subconsciously. Finally, he reached the tofu vendor, silently waiting in line with his eyes downcast, lest someone should recognize his distinctive features. The sounds of the market were overwhelming, not suited to his tastes. Shifting from foot to foot impatiently, hand drifting to where his swords would have been at any other time, he almost failed to notice the diminutive woman who suddenly thrust a paper-wrapped wad into his face.

"Mochi, mochi! Dozo, dozo, take a sample, please, please! Come buy some, come! Mochi, mochi!"

The wrinkled old woman darted away into the masses, basket of mochi dangling from her arm as she attempted to peddle her wares. He opened his hand to look at the piece of sweet rice she had forced him to take, turning it over curiously. There was nothing remarkable about it, nothing different from every other piece of mochi. But one could never be too cautious.

A girl caught his eye. She, also, was nothing particularly special. Just another dark-haired girl dressed in a kimono that had seen better days, probably one meant for someone larger than she. Still, something about her tugged on his senses, and he found himself staring at her as she turned to face him. Surprise registered on her face as she met his gaze, before a slow, shy smile spread across it. Before his mind registered what he was doing, he had already smiled faintly back at her, extending the hand holding the mochi. She looked at it with wonder and fascination, taking several bold steps towards him to retrieve the treat from his open hands.

She was jerked away from him, just as she reached for the paper-wrapped confection. "Maemi-chan! Don't take food from strangers!"

The girl glanced back longingly, apologetically, as she became just another part of the throng, dragged by her mother's hand.

He stared at the place she had occupied a moment prior, before his gaze flickered to the mochi still sitting in his open palm. A wry smile twisted his lips as he considered the encounter.

Of course they would not take mochi from him, a dangerous face. Only someone like the aged woman peddling confections could hand out potential poisons without fear of rejection.

Only those who truly appeared innocent could steal innocence so easily.

Those like him.

His eyes flickered briefly before he stepped forward to purchase his tofu.


Glossary:

Mochi- Glutinous sweet rice that has been pounded to a paste. It tastes like cookie dough. :D

Dozo- Sort of like "please" or "go ahead"

Kimono- If you don't know what a kimono is, you haven't read/seen enough RK. o.o;