This is probably the only het pairing I like, let alone absolutely adore. I was watching the Rurouni Kenshin OAVs, and I was hit with the urge to write something reflecting Tomoe's death. Ultimately this is what came out. I don't read in this fandom so I have no idea if this is similar to any one else's work, though I'm sure the idea has been done to death, so if it is I apologize.

Dedicated to Morgan and her non-yaoi ways, because she told me I should write het, even though she doesn't know the anime. Love you lots!

Italics without quote marks are things that he remembers Tomoe saying to him. i.e. italics

Italics with quote marks is when Kenshin is talking to Tomoe's body. i.e. 'italics'

Regular quoting is when Kenshin and Katsura are talking, all the dialogue is from the fourth OVA, except for the first line which is from either the first or second, I don't remember when they met.

Disclaimer: I do not own Rurouni Kenshin, Samurai X or any of the movies, manga volumes, etc. I mean that literally too, I don't have any of the mangas are movies. XPP

I was forced to do this on word pad so it has not been spell-checked.

You remarkably made it rain...rain of blood.

He sits at her side, hands clenched into tight fists on his lap. Her lips have been painted, her cheeks rouged, and she wears a fresh, white yukata. Even in death, her gentle beauty is undeniable. She is the image of life still trying to desperately cling to a body that lost it days ago.

He does not want to leave her, but he knows he must.

'You should have hated me, but you protected me and allowed me to live. Now you are free from your pain...'

'You will not suffer anymore.'

Love. A feeling that he had kept locked inside of himself for so long. He had kept it locked behind a closed door deep within himself and threw away the key, but when he found her and slowly began to understand her, he realized that she had been the key all along.

With her gentle and loving nature, she managed to coax out his weakest point that he had so desperately tried to bury so that it would not be used against him. She had become his weakness and they exploited it to every possible extent.

He does not understand, how even though he was the reason she was suffering (though neither of them knew it when they first met), even though he was the reason her fiancee died a terrible death with a sword through his neck in a dark alley, and even though he was the reason she was caught in the downpour of blood in Kyoto that one, summer night looking for some answers as to why he had been killed, that despite all that, she had been able to love him so dearly.

Now he was the reason she had been killed, with her blood staining the white ground on a cold, snowy day. He had gone to protect her, and instead he had ended up killing her.

I'm so sorry, my darling.

Even as he looked into her dying eyes, there had been no hatred, no anger...only a happiness that he had been spared.

Was he even worthy of her protection? A cold-blooded assassin, whose only loyalty lies with his clan and his sword. He did not think so, but now he is not so sure.

Katsura comes to pay his respects and tells him that Iizuka had been the real spy all along. He does not know what to think, he had considered him a friend but there is no sadness on his part. All of his sadness has been reserved for her and her alone.

"I asked Tomoe to be a sheath for your ungovernable rage." Katsura tells him. His eyes never leave her body, but he is listening to what the other man is saying.

"I believe that she can still serve that purpose for you. I want you to believe that."

They are silent for a moment.

He thinks upon this, she had given him so much hope, hope for a peaceful life. A life where he could lay down his sword because he would no longer have a use for it. But he knows that it is not over yet and he believes that she knew that as well.

"I will lend my sword to your cause." He says, finally.

But he will make a vow to her, a vow he will never break...even if it kills him. Because she saved his life, after he shattered hers, and he owes her that much.

"But I will never kill again. Ever." He tells Katsura this, eyes still never leaving her face, because it is more of a promise to her than it is to anyone else. And after Katsura leaves and he is all alone with her again, he promises her over and over.

He must leave her now and he does so with difficulty. He gathers what little possessions he has, his sword- the instrument of her death- being among them and sets the rest on fire.

As he walks away from the burning house he repeats his promise in his head. As long as he keeps his promise, she will remain alive in his heart. His heart where he buried his feelings of love, and she will always own his heart because she is the key.

Breaking his promise would mean losing his heart, and he will not cause her any more pain.