Note: Written originally as part of the 31 Days challenge to the quote "Look into their eyes, and you'll see what they know: everybody dies." And for these two, it is so very, very true. The title, on the other hand, is Kambei's statement to Katsushiro after Katsu has taken his first life. And again, for these two, it is so very, very true.

I imagine that this story takes place after the initial attack on Kanna (just before Syusai and Sobei show up).


A Samurai is One Who Kills

They sit in silence for a while, the petite white-haired samuraiko and the tall fair-haired assassin, watching the moon slowly make its way across the sky.

"Kyuzo-dono?"
"Hmm?"
"How many people have you killed?"
"I stopped counting."
"Why?"
"Too many to remember."

They sit in silence for a while, the woman burdened by her past and the man avoiding his, watching the stars go by above them.

"Do you ever wish you could stop killing?"
"I'll stop when I'm dead."

They sit in silence for a while, the woman whose eyes see too much and the man whose eyes give nothing away, watching the clouds drift across the blackness of the night sky.

"What about you?"
"What about me?"
"How many?"
"Personally?"
"Yes."
"Four hundred and thirty-seven."
"Including the ones today?"
"Yes."

They sit in silence for a while, the samuraiko who lives for life and the samurai who lives for death, watching the shadows fall around them.

"I can't remember all their names, though. I used to know, but now..."
"Don't bother trying."
"Why?"
"Because in the end... everybody dies."
"Especially us."

They sit in silence for a while, the woman whose eyes are on the stars, and the man whose eyes are on the woman beside him.

"Nasami?"
"Yes?"
"Don't die."