Author's Note: I sat down to write something short, and this popped out.

Disclaimer: I do not own Rurouni Kenshin

Title: Watcher
Rating: PG-13
Words: 449

I was strange. Weird. My actions were unexplainable. I tried to reason with myself. I tried to make myself stop. There were several times when I had finally thought I'd kicked my horrible habit, but, when I would least expected the urge to make itself know again, it would wrap around me like a boa constrictor and squeeze and squeeze until I surrendered.

I knew when and where to be. I knew where to hide to prevent from being seen. I knew that my heart would thump at an unreasonably unhealthy pace. God, I was weak.

My traitorous feet carried me through the trees and tall grass. I mentally screamed at them to stop, turn, and take me back in the other direction. I began to sweat when they didn't listen and continued to trudge on through the mud. I would have closed my eyes, but I was too afraid of tripping or walking into a tree.

My steps slowed and quieted as I neared the lake and my hiding spot. There was a small cluster of trees that lined the bank, creating a small hidden alcove that allowed me to spy. To watch. To yearn.

When I heard the soft splash, I knew he was there. My gaze found his form quickly, his bright red hair standing out in brilliant relief against the blue of the water. His body was slicing swiftly through the water as he swam toward the shore. When he reached an area that was shallow enough for him to stand, he straightened.

I wheezed when the water came to a stop mid-thigh. His back was turned to me, giving me an amazing view of his butt. And what a butt it was. Typically, he moved quickly from the water after his swim, but today he just stood there. And stood there. ….And stood there.

An uneasy feeling settled in my gut as I shifted in the grass. The need to flee became so overwhelming, I shuffled back a little. A sharp sting on my ankle made me hiss and lower my gaze to smack the mosquito on my skin. With a mumbled curse, I wiped my hand nervously on my shorts and lifted my gaze again.

I froze and my eyes widened in shock. He was staring at me.

I felt like throwing up. This had to be the most humiliating moment of my life, and it was because I was a nosy moron.

I tried to get my feet to move. I tried to breathe. My body refused to cooperate.

And then as I began to panic for real, he smiled. A knowing smile.

My brain dissolved into mush. I was a goner.