DOUBLE DISCLAIMER: First, Rurouni Kenshin doesn't belong to me – I will obviously never be a genius like Nobuhiro Watsuki. Second, the idea of this fic doesn't belong to me either; it's actually based from Moments in Passing, an Avatar: The Last Airbender fanfiction by PallaPlease, which is her response to the livejournal theme-challenge community 1sentence, the goal of which is to write a single sentence for each of the fifty themes below. I was awed by the artistic use of poetic prose in that fic, and I decided to try it out for my own. It's not as beautiful as the original fanfiction; constructing a single, meaningful sentence is not easy, and I have spent more time on this than any single chapter from any of my stories. It's mind-boggling, I tell you.

That been said, constructive criticism is very much expected and welcomed. I'm interested to hear your thoughts on what themes struck you and what didn't. Theme numbers eight and forty-nine are a few of my favorites. ;)

Some of the themes are interrelated, while some can stand on their own. All of them are based from canon, both the manga and the anime; I'm not a big fan of AU, and much less a fan of the OVA's. I like developing and giving more meaning to the real story of Rurouni Kenshin. :)


FIFTY

a Rurouni Kenshin fanfiction

by shirotora-san


one: comfort
unlike him

But the fireflies are there to be her companion and her light; so he walks on, into the darkness, alone.

--

two: kiss
return

Always he would kiss her before they go to sleep – a reminder that his days, his journeys, end with her.

--

three: soft
memory

He remembers, only faintly, her voice: sleep, don't worry, I'm here, and always, when Shinta wakes, he finds his mother gone; he remembers, more distinctly, her voice: sleep, don't worry, I'm here, and always, when Kenshin wakes, he finds Kaoru right beside him.

--

four: pain
distance

And even now, as she whispers his name in longing, "Kaoru-dono" he calls her; Kaoru-dono.

--

five: potatoes
simple joys

She discovered, to her amusement, that the rurouni liked sweet potatoes, and she loved the look of pleasant surprise on his face when she bought them for him as a treat; and she wondered, suddenly, why no one bothered to discover how easy it was to make him happy.

--

six: rain
drenched

She approached him with an umbrella, a towel, and a petulant scowl on her face, and he laughed; he forgot he wasn't a wanderer anymore.

--

seven: chocolate
parting

He bought her a box after their friends had departed; it was bitter, but sweet.

--

eight: happiness
a new day

He woke without his sword by his side, and found he didn't need it.

--

nine: telephone
from far away

"Kenshin!" she cries, and Battousai leaps towards Saitou's attack; "Kenshin!" she cries, and it is deafening, and the whole world hears her, except for the one who means the world to her.

--

ten: ears
in the silence

May 14, evening: the sound is loud in his ears as he holds her close; her heart and his, beating as one.

--

eleven: name
encompassing

"Kaoru-dono," says his voice; Kaoru says his mind; beloved says his heart; yours, always, says his soul.

--

twelve: sensual
the swordsman

He touches her the way he carries his blade: precise, careful and gentle, his movements devoted, passionate and determined.

--

thirteen: death
immortal

They do not surrender to death: not he, to Shishio's flames, nor she, to Enishi's sword; a promise to be together – even death cannot part.

--

fourteen: sex
talk of the town

The townspeople see the man who keeps house ("He cooks, cleans, babysits and… is that pink?") and the woman who fights for a living ("She's loud, sweaty, violent and… is that food?"); Kenshin sees the woman; Kaoru sees the man.

--

fifteen: touch
heal

"Your wounds are healing," she touches him, "the balm Megumi gave must have worked," and he covers her hands with his own: "Yes… but it wasn't the balm."

--

sixteen: weakness
no surrender

I am not Kenshin's weakness; the smoke clears – he has come for her; but I will be if I die; fiercely she turns and faces him; and that is why "I will not die here, Enishi!"

--

seventeen: tears
saved

Every dying person cries for life: Don't kill Jin-e, don't go back to being Battousai; but even as she was dying she cried for a life not her own.

--

eighteen: speed
déjà vu

Too slow, Enishi seems to mock him; too slow, the mantra runs through his head as he follows the scent of white plum; too slow to save her… and there, pinned to the wall, his heart – again.

--

nineteen: wind
no escape

Slipping from his grasp, chasing after him, surrounding him, the air he breathes: and now, a whisper of the wind: "Are you angry at us for coming to Kyoto?"

--

twenty: freedom
so it begins

Tokyo, one morning in 1878: "Hitokiri Battousai!" came a cry – and he turned around to face, unbeknownst to him, the woman who would free him from that name forever.

--

twenty-one: life
rebirth

The wind howls, leaves snap, fire explodes, and he rises; he can't die, he can't possibly die (and in the distance, a firefly, in the distance, her voice) – not when he has only begun to live.

--

twenty-two: jealousy
by his side

He picks up the sword: "Let's go, Sano," and leaves her behind.

--

twenty-three: hands
inseparable

Her hands were small and pale, so different from his, and yet as they curled around his fingers, her calluses matched his – together, she seemed to say, whatever battle, we shall fight together.

--

twenty-four: taste
delicious

The boy is a pickpocket; the man, an estranged fighter; the woman, a maker of opium; and himself, a killer of men; and they dig in to Kaoru's cooking; and how sweet, the taste of home, better than the taste of hunger and sin and loneliness.

--

twenty-five: devotion
believing

Every night Enishi tells her: he's not coming, he's dead; and every night Enishi finds her staring at sea, waiting.

--

twenty-six: forever
promise

"Daddy, what does forever mean?" asks his son, and he smiles as he holds on tightly to the child and reaches for his wife beside them: "This, son, is forever."

--

twenty-seven: blood
beating

Blood, she murmurs as she caresses his hair, and he is repulsed by the thought of tainting her fingers; but she takes his hand and places it over her heart: Blood… is what keeps this alive.

--

twenty-eight: sickness
missing

Never, until now, had he caught the disease: the cause – travel; the diagnosis – homesickness, the cure – Kamiya dojo.

--

twenty-nine: melody
mother

It is nighttime, and she sings, a gentle lullaby for the children: Kenji, for the child he is, and Kenshin, for the child he once lost.

--

thirty: star
stargazing

It's not just me and Megumi, everyone wants you to come out of this all right: and he realizes this is the last time he will sleep under the stars; forever, the nights after this, will be spent under one rooftop with her.

--

thirty-one: home
going in circles

Tomoe was from Edo and Kaoru was from Tokyo: ten years of wandering and he found himself back home.

--

thirty-two: confusion
irony

At the Aoi-ya, after Shishio: Yahiko and Sano are squabbling over breakfast, Megumi is cackling in the corner, Okina is drunk and dancing, Misao is wailing for Aoshi, Okon and Omasu are loudly pining for Hiko, and Sae is complaining about the rising tab: "This is chaos," Kaoru flops down beside him with a sigh; "No," Kenshin answers with a smile, "This is peace."

--

thirty-three: fear
nightmare

Disgust, hatred, repulsion: "Battousai," she spat, and he woke – a dream, he breathed deeply, only a dream.

--

thirty-four: lightning/thunder
dangerous

A flash of steel, a thud, and bodies fall on deck; his warning to the pirates, low and feral: "This woman is under my protection."

--

thirty-five: bonds
temporary

Carefully she wraps the bandages around his wounds, and silently she wishes that the time will come when it is not the battles that bind him to her.

--

thirty-six: market
no worries

She has lost him again in the crowd, but she doesn't look for him, for he is a rurouni no longer and he isn't going anywhere except: "Come Kenji," she urges her son, "Your father will be waiting for us at home."

--

thirty-seven: technology
image

Excitedly she shows him the picture ("It's from a camera; it's clearer and lasts longer than paintings," she explains) and instead he looks into her eyes and cups her cheek as he murmurs, "But this… lasts forever."

--

thirty-eight: gift
second chances

Even the damned in hell is reached by the voice of heaven: the girl who most wants to see your smile is waiting for you: get up and go to her.

--

thirty-nine: smile
one magic moment

She watches as he playfully throws their toddler son into the air and catches him with a triumphant smile; she watches as, for a moment, his scar disappears.

--

forty: innocence
blind faith

"I want you to stay," she proclaims, and he blinks; she doesn't even know his name yet.

--

forty-one: completion
whole

Kyoto, again: he stands in front of the grave, one hand around his wife's shoulders, the other atop her growing belly: past, present, future – he has nothing more to say.

--

forty-two: clouds
turbulent

There is simplicity to her strength: clouds gather in her eyes, and silently she weeps; then after the rain, a smile: the sun has to shine for him.

--

forty-three: sky
within reach

He used to look to the sky and think, impossible to reach, and thought the same of his happiness; she sits beside him and suddenly the sky is near.

--

forty-four: heaven
always

He opens the gate and there, her smile: "Welcome home, Kenshin."

--

forty-five: hell
waiting

Evening, at the Aoi-ya, after the giant had fallen: Kenshin's coming home; and she looks to the horizon, but he isn't there.

--

forty-six: sun
end the night

Dawn, the day of battle, and the sky is still grim; then a promise: Let's go back to Tokyo together; and now, a rising sun.

--

forty-seven: moon
never again

In moonlight the bloodstains are glaringly clear, and he grips the indigo ribbon with a renewed vow: his blood would be spilled before he lets anyone take her away from him.

--

forty-eight: waves
lost

Drowning, the first wave, bloodied snow and a frozen smile; deeper, the second wave, lifeless eyes and a sword through the heart; thrashing in his fevered dreams, he finally finds anchor in her arms: I got you, I'm back, I'm safe… I'm home.

--

forty-nine: hair
indistinguishable

Together they sleep on the futon: his crimson mane, bright as the sun, tangles with her midnight tresses, deep as a starlit sky; as day spills over into night, where he ends, she begins.

--

fifty: supernova
in the beginning

She presses his hand to her womb: "Kenshin, you're going to be a father…" and she laughs when he blinks at the sleeping child in his arms: "…again."