Five Things That Never Happened to Yukishiro Tomoe

1) Silence

She sits on the veranda porch, staring at the sky as the sun slowly sets. From behind her, in the small, modest house, her mother screams.

She clenches tiny fists together and doesn't make a sound, though she flinches, gently, at each cry.

Finally, the noise stops. She relaxes, and listens for the sound of a baby crying.

Nothing.

She waits. She was at Sakura-chan's house when her older sister had a baby, and she knows it sometimes takes a while for the baby to make noise.

Still nothing.

She rises, and enters the house. There, she can see her father standing, shattered; a midwife washing bloody hands - and two wrapped figures, one grown, and one heartbreakingly small – her little brother, who would never take a breath, or look at the setting sun.

She moves silently to her father, and gently takes his hand in her own. They are all each other have left now.

The empty house echoes with silence.

2) Happiness.

She stares blankly as he talks, just as she did when he proposed. She wants to cry, to scream, to rage, to yell 'please don't go, don't leave me'- she can't. She never could.

She can't show her emotions to anyone but her diary…

Her diary.

She raises a hand to cut him off, gestures to him to stay as he blinks surprised at her, and runs, cat silent, to her room. Scopes up the diary, flicking through pages franticly, searching for the right date – there!

Running back to him, she presses it into his chest, begging him silently, pleading with her eyes.

He stares into her eyes for one long moment, then lowers his eyes to read.

Akira-san proposed to me today, and even though I'm so happy, all I could was stare at him in amazement…

Kiyosato Akira never went to Kyoto.

3) Witness

She is drunk.

In plays, when there is a great tragedy, they always say 'and a rain of blood fell'…

She sees the look in his eyes, shocked blue hardening to amber, and can practically hear his train of thought – no-one must know the face of the Hitokiri, there can be no witnesses, not even an innocent woman.

He raises his sword.

But you really made it rain blood.

She doesn't make a sound as she falls.

4) Death

I had to hate someone, or I would have hated myself…so I went to Kyoto, and got involved in a plot against your life…

She stares at the tanto. It had been her mothers, a long time ago. Her mother, who had been a good wife, who had never had to use the tanto – who had never killed her fiancé.

She closes her eyes.

Even now she cannot cry.

Face expressionless, she draws the tanto, blade glinting in firelight – and plunges it into her chest. As blood sprays across the white cloth under her knees, she faintly hears the shoji slide open, the horrified cry of 'Nee-san!', and regrets that she cannot even do this right. Poor Enishi…but he will understand, will know that she is happy in death as she is reunites with Akira, married as they never were in life, as her cursed mask had prevented them from being…

Anata...If only I could go where you are…

Yukishiro Tomoe smiles as she dies.

5) Tanto

I will not let him die again.

She smiles once, joyfully, then runs into the snow - and stabs her tanto deep into the grey haired ninja's back. As she does so, her husband's sword comes down in a sweeping slash that cuts the ninja almost in half. As Tatsumi falls, she sees him, barely standing, wounded all over, his wounds dying the snow as red as his hair, and her heart sings.

"You made the bloody rain fall again," she whispers.

Then he is falling into her arms, and she cradles him as she kneels in the blood red snow.

She will always be there to catch him.