Hello, and thank you for taking a look at my story. This is a first attempt POV, so don't be too quick to judge.

Enjoy!


Dead…

My body was frozen like ice; my blue eyes wouldn't budge from the sight of the broken stone with the name 'Kamiya Kaoru' carved into it.

I don't know how long I stood there, my hectic mind trying to come up with answers for this. All my friends were standing behind me, not knowing what to do either. Finally, my knees gave out and I collapsed onto the cold dirt, but my eyes never left the name, my name. I don't see how this can be! If I'm dead, what am I doing here?

A warm and familiar hand gripped my shoulder from behind me. I finally tore my gaze away from the stone to look up at his beautiful violet eyes. I could see they too held the same chaos I did.

"Kenshin," I choked out. "W-What is this? What happened?" My voice quivered as the words spilled out from my mouth. I looked past him to where my other comrades were standing. They turned their heads, not wanting to look at me.

I looked back at Kenshin, our eyes connecting. His bloody hand clutched my shoulder even tighter, to the point where it began to hurt. A sob finally broke out of me as he whispered lowly, "I missed you, Kaoru-Dono."

OOO

A few hours had past and I finally felt I had control over my thoughts again. I was home, in my father's beloved dojo, and that's all that mattered.

After showing me the evidence of my 'death', everyone explained what had happened after Enishi took me to his island… well at least in minor detail. Many things didn't make sense, but I had an idea of what was going on. I wanted to ask Kenshin personally, but Megumi had put him on immediate bed rest and was asleep in his room.

My thoughts were spinning around in circles, nothing seemed right. I decided that I needed some time to go through everything, alone. No one objected as I left and headed towards my room.

I have been sitting in here since, but everything is back in order. For finding out you're dead, I thought I was taking this pretty well.

'And, that's what you should be doing!' I scolded myself. 'The real Kamiya Kaoru would never sulk. She should be the same as she always is; a strong, sweet, wonderful person! If you continue to sit all alone in here, you're no different from the Kaoru in the cemetery!'

My self-encouragement worked as I jumped up and began to undress. I took off the kimono Enishi had given me and carefully put it away. As beautiful as it was, I could never wear it again. It was nothing but a memory now…

I hastily tied my hair up in my favorite ribbon. Though stained from Kenshin's blood, it was still my favorite. I loved it even more, knowing that his blood was on there from protecting me.

Looking down both halls, seeing no one, I left my room and headed for the kitchen.

OOO

I peeked inside the kitchen, hoping to see the red-headed rurouni. I knew he was wounded and was still asleep, but… you never know. Sadly, he was not in there. I frowned as I walked in, looking at all the utensils and different foods that were sitting around. It looked as though nothing had been touched for weeks… was no one at the dojo?

My frown quickly disappeared when my eyes spotted a large watermelon. It was nice, ripe one, perfect for eating. It seemed like the perfect victory treat, so I picked up a knife and began to cut.

OOO

I finally found everyone after looking all around. They were all outside, talking about something. I was tempted to listen in on them, but stopped when they heard my foot steps.

"Jo-chan?" asked Sanosuke, looking surprised.

"Want some melon?" I asked as I set the plate down. No one said anything, so I sat down and took a piece. "It's goooood!"

Finally, Misao smiled at me and took a piece. "I want some Kaoru-san! I love watermelon!" she told me as she sat down next to me. Everyone else, looked around, but then nodded.

"I'll take any food that's free" Sanosuke winked at me.

Megumi nodded and took some.

Even Aoshi asked for one… but two people were missing from this.

"Are Kenshin and Yahiko still asleep?" I asked

Misao pointed to the dojo. "Yahiko went in there, but I don't know where Himura is" she told me as she took her 3rd piece. "But, if they don't get their butts out here, I'm taking their shares."

I nodded and headed towards the dojo. "Kaoru" Megumi stopped me. "Ken-san is still asleep, and I hope to keep him that way for a while. So should Yahiko, but he does whatever he wants." I couldn't help but smiled as I nodded and walked towards the dojo.

OOO

"Yahiko…" I called as I closed the door to the dojo. "You where are you? If want some watermelon, you better hurry!" My lips curved upwards when I saw him.

He was standing toward the front of the room, back to me. He seemed to be staring at something on the wall. I walked slowly up to him, but he didn't turn around. My evil half got the best of me, and I gave him a bop on the head.

"What was that for ugly!" he screamed, finally turning around. "You shouldn't hit wounded people!"

"I was calling for you. You should come when your teacher calls for you" I answered, waving a finger in his face. "On another note, you shouldn't even be here. You should be resting. Tsubame-chan would get very mad with me if she knew I was letting you run around in the condition you are in."

He scowled and turned back towards the wall. "Hey now, come on. I know how much you like water-" I stopped dead, finally realizing where this was. I remember Enishi taking me here… which means, this is where he put…

My eyes slowly traveled to where Yahiko was staring. Nothing much was there, only a deep vertical gash.

"Is this where…" I trailed off. Yahiko nodded, never taking his eyes off the wall.

We stood there silent for a few minutes. I patted his shoulder and began to leave.

"I didn't see it" he said out of the blue. I stopped and walked back over to him. "When I woke-up, I was already in the clinic… and you were next to me, well the doll was." A forced chuckle came out and I saw his shoulders begin to shake.

"Yahiko…"

"We were all so stupid; we should have known that wasn't you. I should have, I mean, when I looked at that corpse, I knew it couldn't be you. But, we all still believed it… except, of course, Aoshi."

A great sense of guilt crashed on top of me when Yahiko turned around, his big brown eyes shining with unshed tears. As tough as this boy is, no matter how many bad guys he can take down, no matter how skilled, he was still a 10-year-old boy that saw his life turn up-side down.

I don't know which of us made the move, but next thing I knew, his small arms were wrapped around my waist and my own around him. I could feel his tears soaking through my kimono, so to calm him my fingers brushed through his stubborn black locks.

It was a strange feeling, holding him so close to me. Though I always considered him like my own brother, even to go as far as my son, we had never embraced each other before. As foreign as it was, I really enjoyed it, and I almost wished it wouldn't end.

We stood like that for a few minutes before he pulled away just enough to look up at me. He had stopped crying, but his eyes were beginning to redden and puff-up. I smiled at him and wiped up the remaining tears with my sleeve. He returned my smile, but only for a second. He looked are current position and pulled away from me.

"Ah, Kaoru…" he hesitated, again turning his back to me. "Could you not tell the others about… this?"

I felt my eyebrow go up in confusion, but let out a small laugh. "Don't worry Yahiko, I won't tell anyone of our secret love affair" I teased, knowing it would get him upset.

And, I am right, as always!

He turned his head to glare at me, while trying to hide the slight redness on his face. Honestly, no one can take a joke anymore. I sighed and knelt down so I could look at him straight in the eye. I relaxed my face, trying to seem very serious. "I promise Yahiko. I will not utter a word, but you have to do something for me." He rolled his eyes, but nodded. "You can't be sad anymore. There is nothing to be sad about, I'm here, you're here, Kenshin's here, and everyone is here, safe and alive."

He seemed a little shocked, but non-the-less, he smiled and agreed. I stood and brushed the wrinkles out of my kimono as he walked toward the way out.

"Are you coming?" he asked as he opened the door.

I shook my head no. He shrugged, and began to head out, but stopped and turned back around.

"Thank you…" he mumbled so softly that I had a hard time hearing it. Before I could say anything to him, he shut the door. I still don't know what he thanked me for, but whether it is for not telling about our hug, or me coming back alive, it felt good to hear those words.

Enjoying the silence and the slight darkness of the room, I closed my eyes, feeling like I was floating on all the memories I had that took place in this room.

Though, I couldn't help but smile when my peaceful moment was ruined. Even through closed doors, I could hear Yahiko and Misao yelling at each other about watermelon.

OOO

Three days had passed when Kenshin had finally awoken. Everyone was truly happy that he was doing better. When Megumi gave the okay, everyone was in his room, visiting him… with the exception of me.

My heart was torn in half; one part wanting to jump into his lap and kiss him while I told him of how happy I was he was alive. The other part wanted to curl up in the corner of a dark room so he wouldn't see me.

I didn't know why I was afraid. I shouldn't be… Why should I be afraid of the man whom I love? Just, ever since I saw my tombstone… he looked at me with such uncanny eyes. I know it's really stupid, but I wouldn't know what to say. I mean, I was dead…

Ugh! I here I was thinking I had sorted everything out!

I decided to go sit outside… maybe that would clear out my mind. I sat on the porch, with my legs dangling over the edge, my head resting on a beam. Such a nice breeze was blowing and I suddenly found myself feeling very sleepy. I let my heavy lids shut…

I knew I was dreaming when I opened my eyes. I was in a large field, snow covering the earth like a blanket. I looked up to see nothing but grey clouds as the snow continued to fall endlessly. Everything was white, besides me. I stuck out like a sore thumb with my deep red kimono.

I felt no cold as I gazed at the beautiful scenery. I stood there for a while, when a scent hit my nose. It took me only moments to recognize the soft smell…

"White plums…" I muttered. I quickly turned when the snow behind me crunched as weight walk on it. My eyes opened in surprise to see a beautiful woman standing there. She looked like a glass doll; skin as white as the snow descending around us, her raven hair pulled back, a silky light pink kimono and a blue shale wrapped around her. Her eyes were most drawing… pure black, like a star-less night.

"He's waiting for you" she said in a small voice. I must have given her a stupid look, because she smiled softly. "He needs you… and I can see why."

I tried to say something, but words wouldn't come out of my mouth. It was like my throat was numb.

She smiled a bit wider and then turned to leave.

"WAIT!" I finally screamed.

I felt my body stiffen as she turned to look at me with her black eyes. She said something to me, but I couldn't make out the words as the snow began to fall faster and the winds picked up.

I opened my eyes as my body jolted awake only to be staring into Sanosuke's brown eyes, while his finger… was poking my face.

I didn't have my bokken with me, so I resorted to my fists, punching him square in the nose.

"What the heck do you think you're doing!" I shouted at the ex-gangster. He stood from his hunch position, holding his nose, but still flashed me a cheesy grin.

"Getting better Jo-chan, I actually felt that one" he teased, releasing the hold on his nose. I was slightly upset to see it wasn't broken. "You shouldn't sleep like that, you remind me of some drunken homeless man."

I furrowed my brow, glaring at him. "What, you mean like you?"

He chuckled as he sat next to me. "I'm not homeless…"

"Yeah, more like moneyless" I snarled back at him. I don't know why I was so angry at him, it wasn't like he hadn't done this before. I suppose it was because he interrupted my dream… though, I can't remember a lot of it. Something about a doll? Oh well.

"Can't help being me…" he mumbled through the fish bone he was chewing on. "Have you seen Kenshin yet?" he asked.

I didn't answer for a moment, trying to answer without him asking why. "…no, not yet."

"Well, why not? I thought you'd be his first customer."

A sigh escaped my lips. "I thought everyone else should talk to him first."

"That's a dumb answer" he replied. I had to silently agree with him.

The minutes seemed to go by like years as he waited for a better answer. One that I could think of. I considered telling him how it really was, but… this was Sanosuke. His solution to everything seemed to relate to violence or alcohol.

Before I could tell him I was going to go take a bath he stood and flashed a grin at me. I cocked my eyebrow at him, silently asking him what he was doing. He ignored me and grabbed my wrist, pulling me up from my sitting position.

"What are you doing?" I asked, jerking my wrist from him. I had to look up several degrees to stare him in the face. As tall as he was, I still felt like I could look down my nose at him.

"Let's talk a walk Jo-Chan…" he ignored me as he began to walk towards the front gate. When he didn't hear me reply, he stopped and turned around. "I know two people who have been dying to see you…" he mumbled.

That got me. I sighed and began to follow him.

OOO

I looked up at the multi-colored sky while walking next to Sano.

"Are you sure we should go right now?" I asked. "Dusk is their busiest hour and I don't want to take them away from their work."

Sano shook his head, also looking up at the sky. "No, they wouldn't care. Besides, we can get our dinner there."

I could almost hear his smirk spread across his face.

"Is that why we're going there!" I said a little too loudly. I felt my face envelope into a blush as passer-byers stopped and gave me a strange look. I looked down in embarrassment and began to walk faster. "What about everyone else?"

"It's just the two of us, Jo-Chan. Kenshin and Yahiko are sleeping, Kitsune went back to the clinic for the night, and Aoshi and the weasel-girl went somewhere. Had some business or something…"

I sighed in defeat and continued to walk.

"Besides… we need to have a little chat" he murmured.

OOO

A smile crossed my face as we entered the familiar building. I was glad to see it had been rebuilt and looked just as it had. The regular customers didn't seem to mind, as it was as busy as usual.

"Hoy!" the ex-gangster bellowed. I wanted nothing more than to slam his face into the wall, maybe teaching him some manners. But, I didn't want to destroy Tae's new restaurant.

"Eh? Sanosuke, is that you?" a familiar Osakan accent hit my ears and I felt tears starting to form. I hadn't realized how much I missed her voice…

"Of course! You know I can't die, and I brought a little present back with me." He grinned at me and pushed me in front of him.

I was surprised to see Tae's face turn pale as she finally pushed pass all the people and saw me. Her mouth was slightly agape and her eyes, usually shut, were wide open.

"K…Kaoru…Chan?" she shuttered, here eyes meeting mine. I nodded and smiled.

Our gaze was torn from each other when a large crash occurred. Poor Tsubame had dropped the tray she was carrying. The crowd went silent for a second, but then carried on with their business. She, on the other hand, continued to stare at me, her hands clutching her apron.

"See? What a gift!" Sano said while putting his hand on my shoulder. "Now, is there a table open?"

OOO

I was asked so many questions while there, I hardly got to eat. Tae-san and Tsubame-chan were constantly around me, not that I minded. I understood what they went through… how crazy to have been to a friend's funeral than she her again in just a few weeks? Even some of the customers there had known my face, and were asking questions.

Finally Sano shooed them away, telling them it was annoying to eat with people hovering everywhere. I had to silently thank him for that.

"How is Kenshin-san and Yahiko-kun?" Tsubame asked my as I finished my tea.

"They're fine. Kenshin has been sleeping for a while, which is fine. But, Yahiko just doesn't want to stay still. He's injured, but even that doesn't keep him down." I saw her eyes grow widen concern. "Ah… he's fine! Don't worry!"

Her worry-stricken eyes then turned hard and full of anger. "He shouldn't be up. Doesn't he know that if he were to have something happen to him, people would be sad...? I already lost you Kaoru-san; I don't want to lose him."

Tsubame-chan is such a meek and timid girl, but I could tell her love for Yahiko was making her feel things that she was never allowed to feel. Power, the job of having to watch over a man; anger for making her worry.

I put on my best smile and clutched both her shoulders. "He needs you Tsubame-chan… to tell him that. You need to become stronger of you want to be there to support him."

"But, I don't have any physical strength!" she interrupted. I shook my head and looked into her big eyes, shimming with un-shed tears.

"You don't need physical strength; you need the confidence and mental strength to take on the role of being there for someone. Especially someone as stubborn and cocky as Yahiko." I smiled a bit wider as she lifted her head a little higher and smiled slightly.

"Yeah…" she nodded as she wiped her eyes with her apron. She bowed and thanked me, but I stopped her before she could leave.

"Besides…" I whispered into her ear. "They say behind every strong man is an even stronger woman." I smiled as I saw her blush and nod.

I looked up to see Sanosuke grinning like a fool as Tsubame-chan ran off. I gave him a puzzled look, and then began to eat.

OOO

The sky had turned a deep blue when Sanosuke and I finally left the Akebeko. There was a strange silence between us as we took the long way back to the dojo. He stopped as we approached a small field with tons of fireflies soaring in the air.

"I remember here…" I whispered in to the air. Sano nodded as he walked past me and sat down in the grass. "What are you doing?"

"Sitting? What else?" he patted the stop next him, signaling me to sit next to him. I didn't know that to do. Sano had never done this before… I suppose thinking someone is dead brings out a different side to people. I sighed and sat down.

"That was good advice you gave the little girl…"

I looked up at him. His normal cocky smirk was absent from his face, replaced by a serious look. "Uh…" I began, but was cut off.

"You should use it."

I couldn't think of anything to say, he had trapped me in a never-ending circle.

"You know how much I hate hypocrites, right?" I flinched at the word. That was exactly what I really was. "I don't want you to become one Jo-chan. Out of anyone I know, you're the one person that I thought would never be one."

"I'm sorry…" I muttered. "It seems I let you down then… because I don't have what it takes."

"What the hell are you saying!" he shouted at me. "You've always watched over Kenshin, and now, when he needs you, you're abandoning him?"

I tried to block the words from registering through my mind, but I could still feel my heart twisting in knots.

He went silent for a minute. I could see his eyes sorting through what to say to me. "I… don't know if I should be the one telling you this, but…" I looked up, curious. "I remember it being really smoky, so I couldn't see that well. But, I could hear Kenshin screaming 'Kaoru-dono, Kaoru-dono!' and Kitsune yelling at me to follow him. I found her and together we found the dojo…

Kenshin was just standing there, muttering stuff. I remember feeling like my entire body shut down when… I saw you. Kenshin began to walk forward a little, but fell to him knees and began to cry."

My body went numb. I had a pretty good idea of what occurred during my absents, but never could I visualize that.

"It killed him Jo-chan. Though his body was together, his heart and soul died. He was nothing but an empty shell without you." A shiver went through me when he put his hand on my shoulder. "But when he found out you were alive, he was reborn. Now, even though everything is back together on him, it still hurts him. He needs someone to care and treat that wound. It may never heal all the way, but he'll find relief in that."

I stared at the passing fireflies as my mind tried to consume everything Sano had just told me. They scattered when he slightly squeezed my should. I looked up at him, questioning him.

"Basically what I'm saying is, go to him. He needs you."

My eyes widened as a doll-like figured flashed, her black eyes gazing at my softly. Though a lot of my questions weren't answered, the chaos in my heart began to calm down. I knew what everyone was trying to tell me.

"Jo-chan?" Sano questioned. I looked up at him and smiled. As big of a dork as he was, he was truly a kind man and loyal friend. Subconsciously, I lent forward and kissed him on the cheek. He said nothing for a minute… only looked at me with a confused look.

"Thank you…" I told him. A blush was crawling up my face as I finally realized what I had done. He too snapped out of his daze and his normal smirk appeared on his face once more.

"Well, Jo-chan, I never knew you felt that way" he teased. I scowled, but a smile broke through. It really was amazing how alike we were. Just a few days ago, I was doing the same thing with Yahiko. Ack! The way things are going with me, who knows, I may end up kissing Aoshi-san. Misao-chan would kill me though…

"We'd better get going. You don't mind if I crash at your place" he said as he stood. I already he would stay no matter what, so I nodded and walked back with him.

OOO

I was up early the next morning. Even with my mind at ease, I still couldn't sleep well. So, a little after dawn, I got up and began to wander around. This is the usual time Kenshin would get up, and I'd get up about an hour or two later to begin training with Yahiko.

A small knock at the door caught my attention. Who would visit this early? I was a bit surprised to see Tsubame-chan standing there when I opened the gate. She was holding a medium sized bag and a medical kit.

"Tsubame-chan! What are you doing here?"

She blushed with embarrassment, but kept her head high. "I decided to take your advice Kaoru-san. I want to take care of Yahiko-kun, and in order to keep an eye at all times, I would like to ask if you wouldn't mind me staying here for a week or so."

I was shocked, to the point I couldn't respond. This was not the weak Tsubame I knew… Her eyes, usually unsure and shifty, were hard and determined. "Of course," I finally strained out. I put on a smile and opened the gate all the way. "You're always welcome here."

OOO

The whole day seemed to go by slowly. Every hour felt like five as I continuously tried to think of things I'd say to Kenshin. Even though Sano's advice cleared my thoughts, it was only slightly.

Watching Tsubame-chan bully, or at least try, Yahiko was pretty fun. She really was trying, which was really good. But it made me feel horrible… knowing Kenshin was still inside his room.

Megumi-san came to me just before I went into my room for the night, saying Kenshin was asking for me, but told him I was out.

'You need to go to him yourself' she told me in her usual strict tone. 'There's no point in you going to him if you don't want to be there.'

I clutched the sleeves of my kimono even tighter as I thought of her. She could make me so tick sometimes…

I sighed heavily as I looked to my window. It was getting really late, past midnight for sure, but I couldn't sleep. I hadn't even bothered to change into my sleeping yukata.

Leaning my head against the wall, I tried to think of something productive to do to past the time. Looking down at my light blue kimono, I smiled as a memory rushed into my head. It was one of the times Kenshin had complimented my on my beauty. It was completely random, but a memory I cherished.

I was sweeping the steps as I usually did, and stopped to take a break and go see how Kenshin was doing on the laundry. When I turned the corner, he saw me and stood from his squatting position.

'Kaoru-dono…" he muttered.

My head cocked to my side, giving him a quizzical look. "Yes?"

He continued to stare at me. He realized what he was doing and turned around, trying to hide the slight blush on his face. "Oh, nothing Kaoru-dono…" He turned back to face me when he had control over his blush. "It's just that color really suits you. It really compliments your eye color."

"Does it?" I asked as I felt my own face start to heat up.

"I think it does. I've always thought your eyes were lovely…" he gulped, realizing what he said. "Ah… I'll be right back Kaoru-dono… I have to go… somewhere."

My heart felt more and more at peace as I thought about him. And, finally, I felt something I hadn't for a few days… I wanted to go be with Kenshin. I stood and left my room, heading for his.

I stopped before I could open the door. It was past midnight, what if I woke him? But, what if I were to lose my nerve by tomorrow?

Trying to focus on my thoughts, I almost missed the sound coming from Kenshin's room. I stopped and pressed my ear to the shoji door. I heard a moan of pain and I could hear him mumbling things.

I slid open the door and crept inside, closing it behind me. I felt butterflies as my eyes traveled up and down Kenshin's sleeping form. His hair was loose, his red locks spread out all over the pillow. His skin, aside from his X-shaped scar, was close to perfect. Not a wrinkle or freckle graced his pale skin. With the moonlight shining in through his window, he looked like an angel.

"No!" he moaned as his content face turned into one of agony. Fear filled me as I ran to his side. "Kaoru… why couldn't I protect you?"

"Kenshin" I strongly whispered. "I'm here, don't worry."

"What good is anything…NO!" he shouted, tears forming around his tightly shut eyes. He bolted awake, making me lean back in surprise.

It took him a moment to realize I was there. He looked at me with wide violet eyes, shining with tears. "Kaoru-dono?" he whispered. His hand slowly went to my face and began to caress my skin.

My heart literally broke when I heard him whisper into the night air. "No scar..."

I wrapped my hands gently around him, careful not to hurt him. "No scar" I repeated, stroking his hair. A sob broke from him as he began to cry. He dug his head into my breast, wrapping his left arm around me. His right, still in the sling form his wound.

"Kaoru-dono…" he mumbled into my chest.

I kissed him on top of his head and moved over so I could lean against the wall. He crawled up closer to me, never taking his head from my heart beat. I ran my fingers through his hair as my other hand rubbed circles into his tender back.

"Kaoru-dono, thank you" he said after he had calmed down.

I said nothing, but began to hum an old song that my father had hummed to me. Gradually, I felt his body begin to relax and his breathing become natural as he fell into a dreamless sleep. I too, felt sleep begin to over come me.

"I will always be there for you Kenshin…" I muttered as my eyelashes fluttered shut. "I will protect you and love you forever…"

OOO

He turned to smile at me when we arrived, his violet eyes sparkling. He pointed in the direction to where we had to go. I suddenly felt nervous; my hands clutched the sleeves of my kimono. As scary as it was, I couldn't wait. This was the moment I'd get to meet Tomoe-san.

He asked me the previous morning after the nightmare incident. He had told me how he desired to go to Kyoto and make final amends with his former wife. After all that has happened, I didn't blame him.

I did object, however, to him going in the state he was. His entire body was in bandages, his right arm in a sling, useless to him.

When I told him this, he just smiled.

'That's why you're coming, Kaoru-dono.'

I was stunned when he told me this. 'I couldn't!' I told him. This was strictly a matter between him and Tomoe-san; I didn't want to stick my nose into their business.

I could feel my body melt as his wrapped hand began to caress my face. 'You're more involved in this than anyone. You have a right to come with… besides, I couldn't ask for a better traveling companion.'

We both froze when we reached her grave. There was already a bundle of flowers and incense arrange in front of her tombstone.

"Did Yukishiro Enishi come?" I asked as Kenshin knelt in front of the grave.

"It seems so, from the flowers, but…" he picked up a hair pin that was also laying there. "This is…" Next to the hair pin was a bottle of perfume… white plums was the scent. Why did that smell seem so familiar?

When he continued to stare at the hair pin I tapped his shoulder. "What's wrong Kenshin?"

"N…No, it's nothing" he mumbled as he stood and began to pray. I knelt and also began to pray.

Tomoe-san… I don't know where to start. You've done so much for Kenshin and me, and though I've never met you in person before… it's like I already know you.

My thoughts stopped as a pair of black eyes flashed in my head, and a smile that was of an angel. I could feel my own lips curl into a smile and I continued…

"What did you say to Tomoe?" Kenshin asked after a while.

"I said many things… Thank you, for during Jinchuu and the time on the island. It is because of her Enishi couldn't kill girls, and that's what kept me alive. It's almost like she was there, protecting me." I looked up to see Kenshin smile softly. I'm glad he had invited me to accompany him here. I was glad to be alive and to be with Kenshin. "Other things and various meanings, but definitely 'thank you'."

We began to talk about Enishi… of were we though he was what he was doing. Kenshin told me of how he would live on. As long as he had the smile of Tomoe-san, he would continue to live. I smiled when he told me, that the true Tomoe is kinder than anyone, so she will surely look after Enishi.

I stood and brushed the dirt off my kimono. "Kenshin, what did you say to Tomoe-san?" I asked, my curiosity getting the better of me.

He said nothing for a minute, seeming to be deep in though. I began to regret my question, but he started to talk.

"The same as Kaoru-dono. Thank you." I nodded as I bent down to take the bucket that held our flowers. I was surprised to hear him continue. "That, and sorry…and good-bye."

I almost lost my grip on the bucket. My eyes must have been saucers, never did I think he'd let Tomoe-san go… she was the past now.

He smiled innocently at my puzzled look and held out his left hand. "Shall we be going soon?"

I felt my face soften and my heart being to beat faster. A huge grin consumed my face as I took his hand and we began to walk out. Much to my surprise he shifted his hand, lacing our fingers together.

I don't know what the future holds, but I do know that I would be by Kenshin's side for all my life. No matter how many more angry people come, wanting to take his life, no matter how pressured he is to break his vow, I would be there for him. Kenshin is the only man I shall ever love, and this love is eternal.

And as his grip tightens, I look into his beautiful eyes… I could almost see into his soul. It seemed to be thinking the same thing.

'I'll always be by your side…'


I hope you enjoyed it. This was actually very difficult for me too make. Not only was it my first attempt at a POV story, but I tried extremely hard to capture the emotion and feelings of Kaoru during this difficult time for her.

I tried to think 'What would it be like if I died, but I came back only a few weeks later?' I knew people would show different emotions to you. As they say 'You never really cherish something until it's gone forever.'

Please let me know how I did. I'd love any advice anyone is willing to give me.

CM-Chan