-double checks stock portfolio and all licenses- Nope; I still don't own Rurouni Kenshin. Drat.


It was a letter.

Of course, what Kenji didn't realize until he began to read was that it was not a letter from Aunt Megumi to him, outlining several points about his parents, arranging arguments about the legitimacy of his question, the way his aunt tended to answer when asked a question. There was no note from Aunt Megumi at all, no explanation of her behavior in sending him what he realized was a very personal letter. And it was a letter, a very old letter, from his mother to his aunt. Apparently, from what he could see, his Aunt Megumi had once asked a similar question of his mother. In her own words, his mother had answered.

Kenji settled in to read.

I cannot think of a moment I did not love him.

Even from the beginning, something about him captured me. In my deepest of hearts, something sang out so sweetly, calling for him, knowing that no matter what else might happen, we two were tied in ways that not even death could break. I was his. Everything else was details, and details could be worked out, adjusted for, maneuvered around. It was that simple, and that complicated.

It's true that we didn't have the most conventional of courtships; in the end, though, had we been conventional that wouldn't have suited either of our natures. Neither of us is "normal" by anyone's standards. Even so, we just fit together, one to the other, each of us filling in the empty spaces the other lacked. I have never been more whole than when I am with him.

Even now, though we've been together for so many years, when I look at him I still find that I feel such happiness, such joy. It bubbles up inside me like water from a spring and I'm certain it must be showing on my face but I can't find it in me to restrain myself. We both fought so long just to make it to each other that I believe if I were to suppress my feelings, even a little, it would be a denial of all we've been through together.

But I know I'm not alone in this. He'll never be the kind of man who showers a woman with flowers and compliments. It isn't in his nature. But I'll often catch him looking at me, and there's such joy and peace in his eyes, such love; my own happiness doubles knowing that I'm the reason for that look. And sometimes, especially when we're alone, he'll wrap his arms around me and hold me, for no particular reason at all other than that he loves me. We share a common bond; it is quiet and nearly intangible, yet I feel it tying us together as surely as chains might. Between us, we've developed a silent communication. I trust him, and he trusts me. We believe in each other's abilities, and make adjustments for each other's weaknesses.

And when I need the words, he always has them for me, reminding me that of all the women he could have chosen, he chose me. And I chose him. At night, in the dark, when he used to have the worst time, we can reach for each other. He touches my face, traces the lines of my eyebrows and lips, strokes the angles of my jaw and the curves of my neck. He lays his ear at my breast and listens to my heart beating, and I whisper to him that it beats for him and him alone. I hold him close to me, but no closer than he holds me to himself. We pass many nights like this, in such peace, in such joy.

We two shall never be separated. No matter what the future holds, no matter what dangers we will meet, I am his and he is mine. Only the gods themselves can separate us, and should they try, then I would spend the rest of eternity, fighting to be back in his arms. And he would do no less for me. We are each other's shield and comfort, each other's blade and advocate. Our souls will be entwined even beyond the ending of the earth.

Does this answer your question, Megumi? I hope it helps, even a little bit. I have a feeling that you'll understand me better than you think; you have your own love to look to. Be brave; it's worth the risk. Love is the only thing that ever has been.

There was more written, but Kenji didn't need to read the rest of it. The letter was signed with his mother's familiar kanji, the letters neat and precise in a way her cooking never was.

Kenji smiled. He refolded the old letter and tucked it away. He'd return it to Aunt Megumi later.

For now, his mother was calling him in for the meal his father had finished preparing.

All was right with the world.

-Owari-