Soo...please don't get mad at me! I'll admit, for the HUGE RuroKen fan I am, I have NEVER seen the OVA's, or read the manga. It's just almost impossible to track it down out here in my pathetic niche in the wall... Really, the only anime that sell here are Naruto, Bleach, and Inuyasha, courtesy of our local Hot Topic. Everything else, while definitely not ignored, seems to stay on the shelves longer... that is, until I get there. Then everything's gone. So, if I do get anything wrong, PLEASE pm me at once and tell me! Thanks! Enjoy!

EDIT: Oh thanks to my wonderful reviewers thus far! To Darkened Memories and Scarred Sword Heart, thanks ever so much for helping out with my mistakes! You guys rock.

Alright people, new updated version, enjoy!

Hitokiri never went down easily. Never without a fight, never without bloodshed. But the Battousai was suddenly doing just the opposite of everything a hitokiri should know as pain.

It seemed, now, it happened more and more every day. He would be out, or he would be in. Didn't seem to matter. He thought he was dying of some horrible disease that had no cure. And, how ironic it was, with his current situation sending him to and fro as a medicine salesman.

Today was worse then the others. Today, he thought, would be his ultimate end. The pain in his head was killing him, from the time he woke up, to late at night when he was pacing around in the dark outside like a caged lion, trying to will the foreign pains away.

And she watched. She knew, even if he kept it secret from her, as if to protect her. But, what was left to protect? He had made her lose him, and now she simply wanted revenge. She almost laughed at herself; of all the people in the world at the moment, it was a quiet, seemingly innocent, small woman that was close enough to the Battousai to want the ultimate in blood payment.

But, she wasn't sure what she wanted anymore. Not really.

Still, she sat, undetected at the window, as the pain almost drove her "husband" out of his mind. She winced sympathetically for him out of habit. If she killed him, it would be quick, like she imagined Akira's death to have been, though she knew it was in no way painless. Eventually, she saw, he gave up his incessant pacing and curled in on himself in defeat on the cool ground.

Something in her heart rang out to him, something that forced her legs to pull her from the floor and walk her outside into the sweetly pungent night air. How refreshing to know that there was no stench of blood here, no corpses piled at the side of the road. At least, not yet they weren't. With them staying there it was only a matter of time until…she really preferred not to think about it. Suddenly her feet carried her next to him, as his golden gaze forced itself steady and gentle. The pain was forcing him Battousai, giving him his natural defence against things like this. He was rigid, like a stone idol, but his face was gentle, even through she could see a small tick in his brow whenever the pain got too bad.

He hadn't noticed her arrival, until she sat down beside him, staring up at the night sky. He caught his breath, momentarily stunned by her sudden openness.

"Tomoe", he whispered softly, catching himself before he reached out to stroke her perfect face, her soft hands…

"You are in pain." It was simple, but it meant the world to Kenshin. That she had actually noticed this, when he'd tried so very hard to keep it hidden.

"It's my head…it's throbbing." She turned to look at him now. His eyes, so full of promise and hope, yet a sense of duty that appeared to render him heartless at times. But now, they were only helpless, as he tried not to pass out from the abrupt pain that appeared anytime he moved.

The silence commenced between them, but it was more comfortable then it had been so many other times. Almost like the night was holding it's breath, waiting for one of them to fess up and speak their true feelings…or intentions. Yukishiro, Tomoe, looked her Battousai over quickly from the corner of her eye, and saw nothing to indicate he was in any way sick. In her time with him, she had seen plenty of death, sickness…it followed them, somehow. Even if he wasn't fighting, they always managed to walk in when someone was on their deathbed.

Now she controlled herself and tried to focus on his good aspects. Physically, he was beautiful. Not handsome, though. No, she could never imagine someone calling Kenshin handsome. But beautiful he was. Soft, like he never seen war. The only marring on him she'd ever seen was the one scar on his pale cheek…His eyes, whether amber or lavender, always managed to mesmerize her with their watery depths. Always, always she could lose herself in them. His smile, so gentle. His hands were always light with her, not pushing, only forgiving and forever patient. And his red hair never failed to catch her eye in bright sunlight.

Now that she looked at it, it had gotten longer since she'd met him, hadn't it?


Kenshin's eyes were closed to the world as he breathed in and out slowly, until he felt fingers gently pulling at his silk hair tie. Instinctively he jerked his head up, but the only response from his sudden movement was a faint, tinkling peal of laughter. Hakubaiko enveloped him, instantly putting him at ease as his breathing returned to its former rhythm. Tomoe's smooth fingertips rid him of the cloth and combed out his long hair slowly, so as not to put him in anymore pain then he was in.

Kenshin's focus was not on his head, but the stars, and the soft, soothing touch of his "wife's" fingers against his burning scalp. Tomoe, now secretly enjoying herself, slowly tipped the samurai's head back and began to massage his scalp, knowingly avoiding the very top and back of head, where he was more prone to pain then anywhere else.

The hitokiri suddenly realized the pain was gone, but said nothing, too enraptured to break her sudden touches, even if it was a little sneaky and underhanded not to. He made sure to throw in a few whimpers for good measure, too. At heart, he realized, he was really only 15, and so lovestruck it was a wonder he didn't float off the floor whenever he saw her.

She drew herself up, part of her screaming to plunge something pointy into his back right there, the other fluttering nervously because of a very different type of excitement. Her hot breath was driving her hitokiri crazy, hitting the back of his neck like that.

"Next time, don't pull your hair back quite as tightly. It's getting longer, so it will be heavier against your head and put a greater strain on it."

Kenshin nodded sleepily, daring to let his head rest against her shoulder. He was wary, though, of how she would react. Not until now had she gotten this close to him of her own will… and of this caliber, too. He didn't want to spoil it. Tomoe, on the other hand, was dying of her split heart, battling against hate and love simultaneously. Still, she continued to mechanically stroke his fiery hair back away from his face, until he did end up dozing against her shoulder. She peered around him, to find the goofiest smile she'd ever seen frozen upon his lips, his features relaxed and content.

It was then that she realized which part of the battle had triumphed.

Yukishiro, Tomoe, stared up at the stars with hardly any movement, save for her even breath and the rhythm of her hands in his hair. She would have to wake him eventually to go inside, but for now, the night was young, and she was in love, even if all her principles told her it was one of the biggest mistakes of her life.

Defying her instincts for once, she planted a fleeting, chaste kiss against his scarred cheek, not only for him, but for Akira. Both at once, both now separated by time and space, both heavy in her heart. Both worth fighting for, both worth dying for. Once she knew he was truly asleep, she whispered again in his ear:

"Oyasuminasai, Koi."