One Day Less

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Genre: Romance/Angst, One-shot

Pairing: Kenshin/Kaoru,

Warnings: Spoilers for 'Trust and Betrayal'.

Song: "One Day Less"; John Michael Montgomery

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One true friend,

That's what you've always been to me

One true friend,

That's what I always wanna be

To have someone to love you,

That's true happiness…

May you live to be 100

May I live,

One Day Less…

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They were alone. The sky was dark, and the dojo was eerily quiet; nighttime insects softy chirping in the background. Kenshin smiled softly to himself, hearing his wife's soft breathing. She was only pretending to be asleep- most likely for his sake. He needed his rest, after all. He hadn't been feeling as well as he had when he was a younger man. But, he mused to himself, that was how life was, wasn't it?

You lived, and then you died, never really knowing the true meaning of life. But, to the redheaded former wanderer, there really wasn't a particular meaning to life. You were born, you lived, you loved, and then, you died.

He'd already loved once. And she'd gone. Though he would never forget her, he had found another… Someone who was more to him than a lover; she was a friend. She stuck by him through everything… understood and accepted his problems and mistakes, and she never, ever would let him go.

Her love kept him safe. She was everything he'd always needed, all rolled into one beautiful woman.

He rolled over, throwing a glance at her peaceful face. There she was again- pretending to sleep. He smiled again, his eyes wistful. She was amazing. Everything he needed… Everything he wanted… She was his life.

And he didn't think he could live without her. Tomoe had been his everything… his love, his life… and when he lost her, he'd lost it all. Could he ever live through that again? Could he take the pain, the suffering… the guilt?

No, his mind decided for him. He couldn't. He would be nothing but a shell; a ghost of his former self. Even his own son would never recognize him. He couldn't die of a broken heart again. Couldn't live a day without her there with him, holding onto him, keeping him from falling too far.

He loved her so much, that sometimes it hurt. She held his heart in her hands, and his life, too. He'd never been happier than he had been when he gave himself to her. He knew… Something in him knew that he would be the first to go. He was older… more frail. He'd worked so hard, and for so long… His body would never hold up.

And a part of him was glad. A part of his heart felt peace knowing that he wouldn't have to live a day without Kaoru. Not even a minute. He would always be with her, that way. Would never…be alone.

But the other part of his heart crumbled when he thought about it. Would she be okay without him? She was such a strong woman- capable of anything… But that didn't mean that she wouldn't suffer. He longed to tell her that she would never be without him. But when he remembered how he had felt as Tomoe's death had sunk into his mind, his smile faded. A part of him had died that day, and he didn't want Kaoru to feel the same. He had wanted to die himself, then. Had thought about ceasing to live.

Would Kaoru feel the same way? Would she think about throwing her life away because he was gone?

No… he mused. She was strong. She could take care of herself, of Kenji; of everything. She didn't need him as he needed her. She was his light at the end of the tunnel, his saving grace…

She had broken his fall when he had felt his life spiral out of control.

He could never live even one day without knowing she was there for him.

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A/N: Short, but to the point. The song is beautiful, and if you would like to hear it, let me know. Title and artist are listed at the top.

It's been a long time since I've ventured into this fandom- I really need some practice. Sorry about not updating AMSH, but I just haven't been in a happy mood. Anyway, yeah. Let me know what you think. Critique is definitely welcome- I would love to improve. And practice makes perfect.

Thank you so much for your time! Please review if you read it!