Chapter One: True love doesn't change when it finds reason to change. Yahiko realizes what true love is…through his master's words.
Standard Disclaimers Apply.
I wasn't totally aware of what true love really is.
In fact, before, I didn't even believe that such a feeling existed.
It was a wonder to me, really. How does love differ from other feelings? From anger? Happiness? Sadness? Isn't it true that you experience these feelings too when you're in love? It didn't make any sense to me at all.
Love is just a feeling. Yes, just a feeling.
But still… Why? Why is it so powerful?
Is it madness? Maybe yes, maybe no.
Damn this word for being so mysterious.
Damn me for not asking other people. But then, can other people answer my questions? Do other people know what love really means?
I've heard some people say that it's the greatest feeling; it is the bittersweet part of life; it is the strength of one and the weakness as well. Those didn't answer my questions at all. In fact, they only got me more confused.
Damn this word for being so confusing.
…Love. I wasn't aware of it before, but I want to know it now.
Maybe, just maybe, she could answer my questions.
I walked towards her.
We just finished practice and I can say that we really tired ourselves during the last spar.
I sat beside her. I can ask her now.
She looked at me with a confused face. Maybe it's because I didn't call her ugly. Well, she really wasn't ugly at all.
"I'll be direct, okay. What is true love?"
Her pretty face showed shock and confusion before wiping her cheek with a towel. I watched her as she looked at the clear sky, and waited for her answer.
"It's a strong feeling."
I made a face. I'm such an idiot for expecting a wise answer from her.
"It's…" She started again and I looked at her with curious eyes. I saw her sigh before she continued. "It's something unexplainable."
Right. Like that answered my question.
"Before, when I was about your age, even if I'm a girl, I didn't really know what true love is. I had many questions, many contradictions of what people older than me say about love."
I saw her make a smile and I found myself silent, waiting for her to continue.
"'Was it madness?' I always ask. I even thought that such a feeling doesn't exist…"
"…Until now, that is."
I looked at her with surprised eyes. There she was, sitting beside me. But her eyes… her thoughts were somewhere else. I caught her staring at him. Yes, him. That same rurouni who changed everyone's life, including mine.
Pieces were beginning to fit.
"…and then, I just knew." Kaoru said and stared back at the surprised me. She smiled, and I can't help but appreciate that beautiful smile – a smile that only my master can give. She stared at the clear sky again.
"I knew what true love is…" She rested her hand on her chest and closed her eyes. "I felt it. I always feel it. When he is with me, staying here and giving the sincere smile that he rarely shows."
I thought I saw Kaoru glowing at that time.
"I witnessed his other persona. Others may say I'm afraid of that side of him, but I'm not. What I'm afraid is, is the fact that I can't protect that persona, I can't protect him. I'm afraid that I can't do anything for him while he did everything for me…for us." She sighed.
Yes, the pieces were beginning to fit.
"No matter what he reveals in the past, I will still accept him. It wouldn't change the fact that I love him. He was the one who made me realize what true love is without even telling me about it. Every day, he makes me realize how much I truly love him."
I stared at her as she stared back at me, still having that smile of hers. "Yahiko, true love doesn't change when it finds reason to change. It isn't something that one will just forget just because one has found something new. True love is the bond that only gets stronger when there's a barrier, destroying that wall and walking further."
"I haven't even experience the full of it." She smiled again.
Somehow, I feel, for the first time, that I had a master-student quality time with Kaoru.
The weird thing was it wasn't anything about kendo, but about love.
But somehow… Some of my questions have been answered.
"…doesn't change when it finds reason to change, huh…" I uttered, and my master nodded at me. She looked at him again and her smile went wider.
"Yes… in fact, it only grows more."
Back there, Kaoru seemed more like a woman to me.
I can't believe I just thought about her like that.
But still… I was right.
She was able to answer some of my questions.
I guess some things remain unanswered, and I guess I have to experience this feeling to understand it completely. Just like Kaoru did.
I looked by the dojo and saw Kenshin lean on a beam and close his eyes peacefully.
It wouldn't hurt to ask him too, right?
A/n: I was planning to make this a one-shot. But I thought, 'what about Kenshin's side?'
So there you go. It became a two-shot fic.
Please review, and I hope this inspired you.
True love doesn't change when it finds reason to change.
-Shakespearian Sonnet 116