This little drabble came to life while I was plotting out 'When the Bough Breaks'. I wasn't sure exactly what to do with it, so I'm just gonna go ahead and post it!

As always, not mine.




"Die, foul beast!"

The man brought the sword up for the killing blow.

'Wait…' the insidious hiss sounded in his mind. 'See…'

And in that brief moment Kurosaki Ren hesitated.

He saw himself older, but not yet an old man. His skin was rough, his hair bleached white before it's time; and his eyes! There was something wrong with his eyes! This vision of himself blinked, and bloody tears tracked down his face.

He saw his son, writhing in pain under an unknown affliction, begging for death. His daughter in law, heavy with child, knelt by his son's side.

He saw the daughters of his line born and murdered in their first days, some in their first hours, their only crime; to be born before the heir.

He saw his family becoming withdrawn and secretive through out the years, near prisoners in their ancestral home.

He saw all the way down to the end of his line; raped, and cursed, and left to die in the moonlight.

Ren knew in that moment the price that would be paid to save the village from the snake god. The evil of the demon could be contained but he and his would bear the cost.

But for each Kurosaki lost, 10, 20, a hundred in the village would survive, and prosper, and grow.

A single tear was shed as Ren thrust the sword down…