NO MATTER WHERE YOU GO

[THERE YOU ARE]

A Rurouni Kenshin Fanfic

by Suppi-chan

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RK is owned by lots of big

scary companies. This fic

belongs to me. Don't post

without permission.

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She's so persistent.

Like Kaoru-dono.

Erk, don't think of Kaoru-dono. Bad. If you think of Kaoru-dono, you'll think of Tokyo and all the people you left there. But mainly of Kaoru-dono and the way she smiled at you, like she really liked you, and the way she wept when you left.

Definitely do not think of Kaoru-dono.

But can you help it?

"HEY!" She's bellowing. Just like Kaor--

Erk.

"ARE YOU LISTENING TO ME? YOU KNOW ABOUT AOSHI-SAMA! TELL ME! ARE THEY ALL RIGHT?!"

The resemblance is quite uncanny. Oro. Stop.

Mission. Yes. Are you going to turn into the Battousai again? It lurks, just beneath your skin, waiting to come out. Waiting to kill. Waiting to destroy. You'll never be the rorouni again, if once the Battousai comes out. You'll turn into the killing machine again, and this fragile peace you have fought for so fiercely will be destroyed.

"YO! PRETTY REDHEAD BOY!"

Definitely Kao -- Erk.

Your master should be alive. You can't imagine anything short of a bullet killing him -- assuming, of course, that there was a bullet stupid enough to try. You have to find him. You have to learn the Succession Technique. Surely, if you do, you can fufill your duty without letting the Battousai out. Surely.

"HEY! YOU! THE VAGRANT WITH THE WEIRD COLORED GI! I SAID, ARE YOU LISTENING TO ME?! WHAT DO YOU KNOW ABOUT MY AOSHI-SAMA?!"

Aoshi didn't deserve her. Oh, hell, you didn't deserve her. But Aoshi REALLY didn't deserve her. Aoshi had ... given up. He didn't think he had, but still.

Were you two alike? You hoped not. You really sincerely hoped not.

"HELLLLLLLOOOOOOOOO~!"

On the other hand, maybe Aoshi was merely not returning for fear of beating the stuffing out of Misao-dono. Lord, how had he stood her for so long? He probably loved her.

Just like you loved Ka --

ORO. If Misao-dono hadn't been right behind you, bellowing, you might have stopped to bang your head against the nearest tree. You. Must. Stop. Thinking. About. Her. You left her for her own good and safety. People die around you. Remember when you got the cross of your scar. That's what happened when you let people into your heart. So you were going to rip her right out of where she had snuck -- well, sneaking was very un-Kaoru-dono, stamped, perhaps -- into your heart, and leave. Be a wanderer again. Forever.

Never again know the warm, comfortable feeling of having a home. Never see someone's face light brilliantly when she saw you. Never --

You began to think that perhaps it was a pity that your sword had a reversed blade. If you kept on that line of thought, you just might try cutting your own throat anyway.

On the other hand, this mission might merely be a prolonged and dramatic version of cutting your own throat anyway.

"HEY! HELLO~! ANYBODY HOOOMMMME?!? IDIOT VAGRANT PRETTY BOY WITH THE WEIRD GI AND SWORD! MISAO-CHAN'S TALKIN' TO YOU, SUGAR! HELLLOOOOOO~~!"

Aoshi had probably told himself he was leaving Misao-dono for her own good and safety, too. Idly, you wonder how he managed to leave without her packing herself into his bedroll. Probably left while she was asleep. At least you had said goodbye to Kaor --

ERK.

But she had been so warm in your arms. So warm and alive.

You wanted to keep her that way. So you'd run away from her and her rundown dojo that was still a home, and her one lone and lonely student, and the gangster that mooched off her terrible cooking, and everyone else that loved you....

And, while you were at it, you might as well try to outrun Misao-dono, too.

It couldn't hurt to try.

--30--