A/N: Finally! This one was just written today, as you can see. It's cute. I like it, actually, and I like nothing I write. Hahaha. Anyways.

Warning: Kinda sorta spoilerific for the end of the manga. But not really. It's just vague enough to work.

Dis: Buy them for me and IOU!

5.23.07

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Ever since Himura told her to trust Aoshi, she started thinking.

It wasn't that she didn't trust Aoshi. It was just that she wasn't familiar with things like he was. She realized for the first time, that she didn't know everything he was truly capable of, because she didn't know everything she was truly capable of.

She started taking some things more seriously, started thinking more and not just listening or seeing, but understanding.

When she started asking Aoshi for books, she trusted him to give her books that would help her.

She studied and pondered, and still managed to smile and pour tea both as a waitress to customers and to her Aoshi-sama

When Aoshi started spending more time with her, started seeing the change that had come over her, she trusted that she was doing a good job.

Eventually when her mind was exhausted and she simply wanted to move she started training, started going over everything she did know and, when she thought about Kenshin and even Yahiko, what she didn't know. She realized that it wasn't enough just to expand her mind, she had to work her body as well.

When he stopped observing and started training with her, she trusted that not only had he accepted what she was trying to do, he encouraged it as well.

Her adoptive family started badgering her, asking why she wasn't out with young men her age like other young women her age. Even though Misao resisted, it was obvious that she wasn't the same girl she had been, and it would take more than any simple boy to please her.

When Aoshi noticed like he had been noticing and told her he didn't care who she went out with and that he had no say in that part of her life, and hadn't had any, for quite some time, she trusted that he would see why she didn't listen to him.

She found she liked the new balance in herself, and liked the confidence she had the right to. She started tolerating Saitou without bursting into kunai and liked knowing that neither he nor anyone else could push her buttons so easily. She liked being able to stand next to Aoshi and feeling like they were on equal footing.

And when she caught him smiling and he did it again seeming to care that she was there, she trusted that it was about time to drop the "-sama."


Ever since Himura pinned him with the conviction of philosophy, he started feeling.

It wasn't that he didn't feel. It was just he wasn't used to letting emotions rule him. He realized for the first time that the only times he'd ever let his emotions out had been in negative experiences, and he'd forgotten there might be a chance for positive ones as well.

He started watching those around him, looking at how they reacted and responding without overanalyzing absolutely everything.

When Misao asked him for books, he felt like it wasn't just about learning, but a chance for him to share something he enjoyed with her.

He started sharing little things about himself he never had before, for the first time beginning to see the family before him.

When he caught Misao reading his books time and time again, he felt an urge to share even more with her, wanting to know her feelings too.

Sometimes without realizing it he'd have brief conversations with Okina or even Omasu and be amazed at how he learned things he'd never known before It wasn't just enough anymore to merely converse with someone to gain insight into their character. He'd need to spend time with people, to experience and to live.

When he found Misao training by herself so intensely that he paused to interrupt her, it was only natural to fall into position beside her, so she'd have company, but not distraction.

The others saw it too, but Misao was growing. She smiled as she kicked and Aoshi saw more and more of her everyday. But despite that, Okon and Omasu worried to him that she should be going out with boys and trying to figure out what she wanted in a man. He was skeptical, and initially unwilling to let her go. Because who could ever be good enough for Misao?

When he finally managed to decide that Misao should have the opportunity to make the choice she felt was right, he was uneasy, because choosing what he felt was right for Misao had never been so hard before.

In spite of how things had suddenly become more difficult for him, he didn't want to change a thing. For once it was possible to chat and even to joke like he had once when he was younger and his family was much bigger. He could share things about himself and somehow feel at ease while going about it.

And when just being in Misao's presence somehow prompted him to smile, he felt it was about time to drop the "-sama."

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End A/N: Ok, that's it. I'm out for now. If I write any more they'll probably just be stuck with all of these because it's easier and requires less titling, which I am not good at. Cheers:3