It was past midnight. You didn't need a clock to tell you that much. Just the feel of the air around you and the stars so far up in the sky gently whispered you the time that you really had no desire of knowing. Sometimes I wish that time would just stand still because time can be an evil thing sometimes. When you need more of it, it's never there. And when you run out completely, you can never get it back. It's just wasted space…something that doesn't exist and yet we all depend on it like it's the thing that runs our lives…

Because it does.

The times took my mother and father away from me, and now I sit here, alone with a stupid toy I won at a stupid festival. I watch it bounce back and forth, into my hand, out of my hand. It's stupid really. Why do I even bother?

Because I'm lonely.

I keep playing with this ball attached to a rubber string. It takes a second for it to return to my hand. More wasted time. But I don't stop. It won't stop. Time will never stop.

"Kaoru-dono?" Calls Kenshin from behind me. I turn around and look at him from under my long, over-grown bangs.

"Yes?" I say back. Almost forgetting he was here with me. Another thing time will take away from me. So why do I even bother to try to keep him here with me? Once a wanderer, always a wanderer, right?

Because I love him.

"Kaoru-dono what are you doing out here?" He says in a soft, yet scolding voice to me. I stare at him and try to think of a good answer so I can reply to his question.

"I'm thinking." I answer honestly. I drop the ball to the ground, for you see, I was thinking of a million different things. So many different things it almost made my head hurt.

Because all I wanted were answers.

"And you can't possibly think of any of the things you are thinking of in the morning?" He questions. Wanting me to go inside so he can stop worrying for my safety and well-being. It was sweet, but unnecessary seeing as he may leave me like all the others any day now.

"No I can't." I reply to him. Turning my head away from his beautiful eyes and back on the less then dazzlingly moon. Nothing can compare to that man's eyes. I close my own eyes and study them in my head. The violet, the unmistakable violet that can calm or frightening any human who looks into them. I'm sure many a woman has fallen in love with him just by looking into his eyes.

I hear him sigh and walk towards me. "You can drive a man crazy, you know?" He says under his breath letting me hear but also, letting me know that it's better I don't hear it at all.

I don't reply to his statement and sigh into the sky. "When are you leaving?" I ask casually. "Because I know that time will take you away like all the rest. And that, you need to start a new beginning…and I know you think there's no way you can do that staying here…with me…"

"Kao…"

"No, no. I want to finish." I quickly say, wanting to finish my thought. "And I'm trying to understand that…but I really do want to be with you Kenshin and I want you to know that you can always come back…always…I'll miss you." I sigh into my hands and bite my lower lip to keep my tears from escaping…

"I mean, everyone else had left me, why shouldn't you?" I turn my head up towards the sky and gaze at all the stars smiling at me. I knew they were smiling…I just felt that something so beautiful couldn't be any thing but happy. Right?

Because I had forgotten that they were so far away from each other.

"Really?" I spoke to myself now then to him. I didn't even dare to look into his face and see the pity that he was so obviously feeling for me. "My mother left me, then my father, then you went away, then Megumi, the Sano, and now Yahiko's moved out…and soon you'll live again to find a new beginning. And I'll be here…and that's all. Isn't it sad? Poor Kaoru…alone for the rest of her days because no one can stand to be with her."

Because right now, I hate myself.

"Poor Kaoru, not even the kind wanderer wanted to stay another moment with her." I stand up and turn around as quickly as I can but he's too fast for me. He's always to fast because he grabs my wrist and turns me towards him…and now…now I see his face.

Kenshin doesn't pity me.

Kenshin is angry with me. His brows are slanted and his eyes are fierce.

"How can you?" he asks me.

Because it's all true.

"What?" I bite back, "How can I speak the truth so openly? It's easy once you have the answers." I try my hardest to pull away from his grasp but he refuses to let go.

"Well, you have all the wrong answers Kaoru." He drops the –dono on my name and pulls me closer…so close I can feel his breath tingle my nose.

"But you said so yourself, 'It is not parting but embarking on a journey…it is not the end but a beginning…it will be lonely but that is how it is…' I know that this is your home…but I know you want to leave. I know it and I hate it damn it! Why can't you stop? Why can't you love me and be with me?" I shout. "Fuck…" I whisper harshly.

Kenshin closes his eyes and I feel his grip tighten on my wrist. "Sessha admits that is true. Those words were spoken. But…"

"But nothing…."

"Kaoru, listen damn it!" He says to me harshly. I listen though my heart is dying in my chest. "I am not leaving you. And I never will." He pulls me ever closer towards him. This is a Kenshin I have never seen before. He looks at me with these intense, passionate eyes, and his lips I notice now, that maybe his lips are slightly chapped, but looked hungry. How can that be?

Because he wants us to kiss.

"Kaoru, the times have taken things away only to show you that you are a wonderful person who has some much hope that nothing will ever bring her down. Sessha saw that in you the second you spoke to me…I heard that in your voice."

I blink, wordless at his honest compassion.

"It angers me now that you think that I will ever leave you, that I would break your heart wholly knowing your feelings for me. It angers this one to know that you would lose all your hope in an instant. What can this one do to bring that hope back to you…Kaoru."

He knows I love him? How can that be?

Because Kenshin loves me too.

"I…I…" I don't know what to say. Like an instant, all the anger and hopelessness is gone and now my whole being is filled with warmth. I smile at him and he smiles back.

"Feeling better?" He asks. He lets go of my wrist and places his arms around my waist. I nod and snuggle into his chest.

"Thank you."

"It isn't necessary." He laughs.

I start to pray now…silently…that we will always be like this…

I know it now…we always will.

…Wait…

…I'm forgetting something…

I look up into his eyes now and lean forward to kiss him…I was right…

His lips are chap.