Disclaimer: Oh sure, I own Rurouni Kenshin. If only… Nope, I don't, or else I'd be freakin' rich… And since I'm not, please don't sue me… Although I welcome comments, suggestions, etc… (hint hint…) all flames will be used to toast my packs of marshmallows (which are seriously running out. NO, NO! Not from the flames… just from my sweet tooth…)


By terminal_insanity

            Sheets of lukewarm rain hit against the roof of the Aoiya. During summer, even the rain felt warm and unpleasant. The air was sticky and humid, and hung still, unmoving. At first, the air was filled with an earthy scent and the gentle pattering of raindrops. But as the minutes passed, the pattering grew louder, and louder still, the smell of rainwater hitting the dirt becoming overwhelming.

            As a bright streak of lightning flashed across the night sky, Misao shot up from her futon, her eyes wide and scared. Another bad dream. A loud boom of thunder broke the otherwise silent night. That very sound seemed to have split the heavens into two, for it began raining even more heavily. Misao shivered. Not from the thunder, but rather from the realism of her nightmare.

She didn't know why, but she had been having the same reoccurring dream quite often lately. It was always the same. The night her parents had bee mercilessly slaughtered by hired assassins. The assassins hadn't found her in the cupboard though; on that identical rainy night she had become an orphan, so she'd had the opportunity to bear witness to the cold bloodshed.

Another bolt of lightning sliced through the sky. It lit up parts of her room momentarily, casting eerie shadows in others. At first, Misao thought she had seen the shadow of a person, cast against her wall. But before she could really process it, the shadow was gone. She hadn't even the time to blink. It was most probably the effect her overactive imagination was having on her sleep-deprived brain. After all, she hadn't had a good night's sleep ever since the nightmares had begun.

Sometimes, she almost wished that she were still a young little girl. At least she'd have an excuse to come bursting into her Aoshi-sama's room, crying. After which, he'd wrap her in his arms the way he used to do, and comfort her until she fell sleep again.

But now that she was all grown up, she couldn't do that anymore, even though he refused to acknowledge the fact that she was almost eighteen. And even if she tried running to him for comfort, at least this late at night, she doubted that he'd entertain her fears. And it would prove to him further that she was still little Misao-chan, in need of his faraway protection, but not his love. Why couldn't he see that she wasn't a child anymore? After a while, she gave in to the protests of her exhausted mind, and went back to sleep. At least this time, the nightmare didn't return.

From her position by Misao's window, Rae watched, as the petite girl crawled back onto her futon and fell into a dreamless slumber, and faded away along with the last beams of moonlight.

Author's Notes:

Well?… What do you think of it? I suddenly thought it up while waiting for my bratty li'l brother to get off the computer. I know it's a little short, but I'm up writing this at 2:43 in the morning with a supplementary paper on the following day (although, theoretically, it is the next day…). This is chapter one. I'll write chapter two real soon. All comments, suggestions, etc… ate appreciated, so please review this and tell me what you think about it. By the way, helpful criticism is not flaming. So… get on with it! Come on!!! The review page's waiting!