Cherie's Goodies:

Time for Cherie's gobbledygook (got that from my handy-dandy dictionary—hey, that rhymes ^0^)!  My computer was very, very, very ILL, okay?  So I couldn't update.  And then, my dad had to *erase* *all* the data in drive C.  Ooh, the horror, the horror.  Besides, I get this really persistent writer's block… I lost my writing voice.  It became all crappy and everything again.  Finally… I had to read tons of other fics to get it back.  Exams are also coming.  This very short chapter needs a week to be written down, can you believe that?  I wrote the last chapter in a mere 2 days!  I was thinking to change my author profile, but the damn sick PC… *glare* Luckily, I still have some songs to put in here.  Chotto matte kudasai *puts up a "Back in Ten Minutes" sign* *returns and puts down the sign* *waves a green floppy disk* Gotcha!  Uh… *insert disk* Okay then.  Back to my ranting.  And I lost ALL the data in my Temporary Internet Files folder which was VERY FULL OF VERY IMPORTANT THINGS I FOUND ONLINE!!! *pantpant*  Rant is over.  Go scroll down and read.

P.S: The song is again by S Club 7.  Why?  Because I only have their lyrics right now.  Soh-reeee =P

Disclaimers: I don't even have MY DOCS!!!  How are you hoping to sue me?!!  Get real, man.

Crucify My Love

Sometimes it's wrong to walk away, though you think it's over
Knowing there's so much more to say
Suddenly the moment's gone
And all your dreams are upside down
And you just wanna change the way the world goes round

Tell me, have you ever loved and lost somebody
Wished there was a chance to say I'm sorry
Can't you see, that's the way I feel about you and me, Baby
Have you ever felt your heart was breaking
Lookin down the road you should be taking
I should know, cos I loved and lost the day I let you go

Can't help but think that this is wrong, we should be together
Back in your arms where I belong
Now I've finally realised it was forever that I've found
I'd give it all to change the way the world goes round

Tell me, have you ever loved and lost somebody
Wished there was a chance to say I'm sorry
Can't you see, that's the way I feel about you and me, Baby
Have you ever felt your heart was breaking
Lookin down the road you should be taking
I should know, cos I loved and lost the day I let you go

I really wanna hear you say that you know just how it feels
To have it all and let it slip away, can't you see
Even though the moment's gone, I'm still holding on somehow
Wishing I could change the way the world goes round

Tell me, have you ever loved and lost somebody
Wished there was a chance to say I'm sorry (I'm sorry)
Can't you see, (ohhh) that's the way I feel about you and me, Baby
Have you ever felt your heart was breaking
Lookin down the road you should be taking
I should know, (I should know) cos I loved and lost the day I let
Yes I loved and lost the day I let
Yes I loved and lost the day I let you go

have you ever ~ s club 7

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

Chapter Eight : A Talk Underneath the Ebony Skies

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

"Aoshi-sama?" Misao called.  What's he doing here?

A silent debate ensued inside her.  Should I approach and talk to him?  Or should I just stay here and not make another mess?

"Misao."

The onmitsu jumped slightly in shock.  "That, is a bad habit, Aoshi-sama."

"What?" He chuckled slightly, tapping the wooden floor beside him as a gesture for her to sit.  "What's a bad habit?"

"Well…" She trailed off, "For once, you can stop giving people goosebumps by sudden appearances or stuff.  I still wonder how the heck Shoko-san could keep up with you until now."

A quite amused smile crept up to his lips as he glanced at the slim figure sitting next to him.  "Well, you're still snappy, aren't you?"

"Humph." She snorted in an irritated way, "And you are still the smart-ass jerk, Shinomori Aoshi."

"Seriously, Misao.  I don't want to fight right now."

"Then you better stop that attitude of yours." The girl retorted.  "Because I'm in no mood to argue with you either." She grinned.

He smirked. 

"Fine."

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

Moments of silence passed, without any of them making a sound.  Their shades of blue pools were looking heavenward, gazing at the innocent Prussian blue sky.  It was filled with countless twinkling stars, winking at the mortals who were asleep beneath them.  Misty clouds possessed no power to envelope the bright light cascading from the beautiful crescent moon.

In the end, it was the female who broke the stillness.  "Ne, Aoshi-sama, what're you doing outside in the middle of the night?"

Instead of answering her question, Aoshi replied by saying, "I should be the one asking."

Misao rolled her eyes and answered, "I've had enough sleep.  Too much sleep is bad for your health, you know." She said matter-of-factly.

He smirked for the nth time and she glared at her.  "You haven't answered my question."

"Well…" He moved his gaze to the azure sky, "I had a nightmare.  This may sound stupid but it is the truth."

"That's terrible…"

"It's recurring, too." Aoshi paused, and lowered his head to rest it on his bended knees.  His ebony eyes were clouded with a shade Misao couldn't see very well.

As an attempt to comfort him, she said, "Aoshi-sama… I-"

"There were four men, four unique men.  And I stood in the middle of them.  In front of us were a mad guy with glasses and a machine gun." He told her emotionlessly.  "The mad man tried to shoot me, but the four other men protected me.  A very muscular man used his scarred body as a shield."

The girl gaped. 

Kami-sama… Kanryuu… ah… his lost memory is coming back again.

"And then another two were killed in front of my very own eyes, they seemed so loyal to me… Even though I don't know them.  The last one was a man wearing a pretty odd mask…"

Hannya!

"Again, he was killed.  More than ten bullets were shot through him…"

Misao's aquamarine eyes flashed a look of concern.  "Aoshi-sama…" 

"I didn't know them, that's true, but… I felt angry.  Something inside of me twitched, and I wanted to avenge them.  It's… strange, that I want to get back on the mad, freaking man… I didn't even know the name of those people.  I just can't seem to find the answer."

She kept quiet.

"You know something, Misao?" He glanced at the girl who was shaking her head.  "I also don't know why I am telling you this.  So uncanny… is it because I'm too stupid?  My mind seems to be very blank right now."

"Aoshi-sama, stop thinking that you're a brainless idiot." It was more like a command.  "Because you're not.  And you can trust me."

Another little moment of quietness passed.

This time, he cracked it.

"But… sometimes, I get nice dreams too."  He said slowly, his eyes looking down to the wooden floor.  "It's about this little girl… in the age of six or eight… Her braid of dark strands flew so freely, she was running all around me, calling me 'Aoshi-niichan' and such."

Her blue-green orbs widened.  God.  Impossible.  No.

The girl looked exactly like you…   

It's just plain impossible.

But… it can't be you…

Okay, Misao, you can stop it now…

The sapphire-colored eyes… braided black hair…

He continued.  "And there was something about her that I couldn't get it off my mind…"

"…What's that?" She asked, a bit—no, very uncertain of her own voice.

He took out an object from his pocket and showed it to her.

A paper crane.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

A little seven-year-old girl beamed widely, her small hands waving a piece of origami paper in front of a teenager's face.

"Aoshi-niichan!" The girl called, "Make me another one of those cranes!"

The so-called "niichan" smiled, taking the piece of paper gently out of her hands.  Then his started to move, folding the material into a paper bird. 

"Wai!  It's so pretty, Aoshi-niichan!" She said loudly after he had finished, "I can't seem to stop wondering how you did that!"

"Well, you have to practice, Misao-chan."

"Mou… I've tried to do it like a million times, but all I came up was a…a… a thing.  A weird and ugly thing!"

He smiled once again.  "Misao-chan, come here."

"Nani ga?"

"Give me your hands."

The little girl stretched her tiny palms in front of him. 

He gave her another piece of origami paper. "Hold this."

Misao was a bit confused, but she didn't protest.  Slowly, he enveloped her hands in his own.  He moved them gracefully, four hands folding the same piece of paper.  A few minutes had passed.  They had to start over again and again, because Misao kept scrunching up the paper in an annoyed manner, followed by Aoshi's light chuckle.

Eventually, "Waaai!!  Done!  Done!!" Misao exclaimed happily.

He smiled at her who was grinning proudly.  "I knew you can do it, Misao-chan."

"Arigatooooou, Aoshi-niichaan!  I was getting crazy!!" She looked at the paper crane on her petite palms.  "Mouu… this one's not perfect.  It still has scratches everywhere, and look, there's a humongous ugly crease on the bird's neck!!  Aah!"

"But I like it." He said.

"Well, it's okay then!" She took his right hand, "Because if you like it, I like it too."

Putting the small crane on his larger palm, she said merrily, "For you, Aoshi-niichan."

His pale pools of blue extended a little.  "But Misao-chan, you usually keep your 'first-thing' as a treasure."

"That's true, but I want to give it to you.  As a thank you gift for helping me!" Her lips curved in a genuine smile.

"Arigatou then, Misao-chan." He couldn't help murmuring, "I'll keep it as a treasure too."

She showed the crane he had made for her earlier.  Beaming, she piped, "And this is my treasure!"

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

It was unquestionably a figment of memory she could never erase from her head.

The crane…

But was it the same with him?

"I found this in my trench coat's pocket.  I'm not sure why, but I can't let go of this thing."

She made no move to answer.

"And there are still a lot of questions in my head.  Why can't I remember anything from before one year ago?"

…That's because you lost your memory…

He smiled weakly.  "Everyone would sigh whenever they look at me back then.  Luckily there was Shoko-san, or else I would be insane."

A sudden pain attacked her heart.  Right…he already has Shoko-san.

"But some things still manage to keep me wondering…"

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

He stared at the round, colorful object on the desk.

A small paper ball.

"Aoshi-sama," Okon called, sliding open his room's shoji.  Putting down a tray of miso soup, teriyaki, dumplings and a bowl of rice, she continued, "Dinner's ready."

He didn't answer.

Okon looked at the paper ball sadly.  'It was a tragedy indeed', she thought.

"Okon," Aoshi said slowly, "Whose ball is this?"

She sighed before answering, "It's yours, Aoshi-sama."

"I see."

'Misao-chan, please come home'… She silently wished.

He sipped his green tea.  Okon was ready to leave when she heard him murmuring, "Something's missing."

"I'm sorry?"

"No, it's nothing… This tea… Something's missing, the taste's not complete without it."

"What is it?  You need sugar?"

"No… It's strange… I can't seem to name it."

Okon smiled dimly.  'I know.  The tea lacks love.  We all have affection for him, but Misao-chan's tea is the best for him…'

"Aoshi-sama, I'll be downstairs if you need me."

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

Another brief moment of silence went by.  Both of them were lost in their own thoughts.

It's my fault.

I need an answer.


I'm the one to blame.  I wasn't there when he needed me.

Where's my angel?

I ran away…I'm a damn coward.

I need her too…

But I don't care about him anymore, right?

A breeze of night wind swept through the two, giving them a sudden chill.  Seeing a slight shiver running through Misao's slim body, he asked, "Are you cold, Misao?  Do you want to go inside?"

Misao shook her head.  She answered absently, "Iie.  It's okay, I'm fine right here."

I just want to be by your side...

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

He was only an inch from sleeping when he felt a shift of weight on his right shoulder.

"Misao-"

The words came to a halt.  Misao's head was practically leaning on his shoulder, her eyes closed tight. 

She's sleeping…

He smiled at the sight of the girl. 

Cute.

Aoshi frowned when he caught a few words Misao's lips were muttering vaguely.

"…Gomen, ne… Aoshi-sama… Go…men…"

But he brushed the thoughts away.  Putting an arm beneath her slender neck, and another under her knees, Aoshi stood up with Misao in his arms.

He saw something slipped out from her night yukata.

A paper crane.

He frowned again.  Not bothering to pick it up, Aoshi walked to Misao's room with questions rummaging his head.

I'll have to ask her a few questions tomorrow.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

Two paper cranes sat side by side on the porch. 

One was a little scrunched, creases could be seen here and there.  The other was very neat, no damage could be found.

One was leaning against the other, snuggling close to it as a girl would to her boyfriend.

One was possessed by a girl who was confused by her own feelings, the other by a man who was searching for his identity.

But one thing for sure, they belonged to two lovers, so distant from each other, yet so close.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

Cherie's Goodies:

*wrinkles nose* Eew!!  I had a hard time writing that mushy "crane" scene.  D-I-S-G-U-S-T-I-N-G!!!  And this chapter is very crappy!!!  Aaww… I like this one, but I'm not *satisfied*!  Insatiable… bleh.  Now, now, after reading this short and yucky (and a bit mushy at that =P) chapter, I'll give you five minutes to throw up ^____^ I'll wait, don't worry.  Ah, you're finished?  How do you feel?  Okay?  Great.  Now, please leave your comments, critics, anything, by clicking the button down below.  For those who actually *enjoyed* this chapter, don't scroll down so fast.  Uhurm.  Time for some ranting.  I have been working very fine by myself now, but I think it's time for me to get a beta reader *sigh*.  Man, I was so sure I could do things on my own!!  Mou… Anyway, it's because the lack of time, and my writing voice's getting even worse and worse.  Boo-hoo.  And!!  I need someone with some very good knowledge on Rurouni Kenshin, I will need advice on my characterization (since it's my first RK fic and I'm not really good with it…) and grammar… sigh. 

Oh well, on to the credits.  Credits-guy, roll it!!

KatanaDevil (Kiao1004@hotmail.com)

2002-05-27

8

Anonymous

What's so funny with a chuckling Aoshi?  I mean, he's still human and all... and, uh, oh yeah, please don't review twice (with the identical comments) next time, okay?  Thanks!

Arvia

2002-04-14

5

Anonymous

Ooh, Arvia-chan...you are excited, huh?  Well, here it is!  A new chappy for you and meee!!  Tralalalalalalalalalaaaaa...

Arvia

2002-04-14

2

Anonymous

Arigatooooou....

Sai

2002-04-11

8

Signed

Thank you, Sai-san!!  Apparently you're a constant reviewer...

Emiri-chan

2002-04-11

8

Signed

Calm down!!  Woooooo... calm down, girl!!!  There's nothing to be so freaky about... ^^;;  Here's a new chapter just for you!

chitchat (chitchatwa@hotmail.com)

2002-04-10

8

Anonymous

uhurm. 

1. they (a/m) will *not* kiss so fast, not now, nuh-uh, soooorry.  Why?  Because i hate mushy fics, and all a/m's are usually full with mush... gomen, hontou ni gomen nasai.  They will kiss, and you won't find only one kissing sequence, don't worry.  Just be patient, kind readers!

2. uh... why?  *thinkthink* i think she still regrets what she had done, and...well, yah, she's not used to this new aoshi.  Besides, i love snappy girls, hahahahaha.  Weps, mustn't show the selfish side of me..

Arigatooou ^0^!

KnK4ever

2002-04-10

8

Signed

*blush* *blush* *blush* i really love snappy misao, gyahahahahaha.  Oh, geez, you don't have to call me that... i'm still new to rk ficdom.  Thaaaaanks!

Mica-Chan

2002-04-10

8

Signed

Of course i will!  I am evil, but not THAT evil, sheesh!  What's wrong with you people?  Hehe, kidding... yeaaa, i love their inner thoughts...i just love writing them ^^ thanks!

Ano Onna Oji

2002-04-10

8

Signed

Thank you!  I'm getting back my self-esteem here ^0^

shu san (rynyanne@yahoo.com)

2002-04-10

8

Anonymous

Of course i know So7!!!  They're the best band around!!  Mungkin kini kau t'lah menghilang tanpa jejak... ah, ah, ah...  lalallalalala.  Thanks btw!  *psst* i luv the first track in their new album, 07 Des ^__~ *winkwink*

E-chan Hidaka

2002-04-09

8

Signed

I hope you like this one, thx!

musank

2002-04-09

8

Anonymous

Commercial?  Uh...can't argue... i love their songs but i'm not so crazy about the band itself... i only *listen* to their *songs*.  I don't buy their souvenirs or go to their concerts... thanks!!

Thanks for reading and keep those reviews coming!! ^__~

Glitterz,

Takahachi Cherie