By Mizuki


The moment he sees his father shrink away from him in fear, Kenshin knows he needs to go.

So when his mother leaves for her errand, and his father busies himself in his room, avoiding him, he grabs a backpack, fills it with a change of clothes, a blanket, and some money, then drafts a note explaining his choice and expressing his deepest apologies and regrets, and finally opens his window and prepares to jump.

With one foot on the windowsill, he pauses and looks back and looks at the tidy room he's about to leave behind.

Then, he leaps.

Katie knows she's not being very sneaky when she shows up at Sean Jackson's place on a Saturday morning to collect her car. She half-hopes that he will somehow notice her through the kitchen window and come out to talk to her (truth is, she misses him), but she knows it's probably better to leave him alone for a while. He needs time to adjust.

She's startled out of her thoughts by the sound of breaking branches and a sudden thud.

"Oww!" cries a muffled voice. "Crap!"

Intrigued, she goes to investigate.

She finds him lying in a heap of limbs on the ground next to the house, his red hair vibrant against the shrubbery.

Kenshin has lived through a number of undignified moments in his life, but this one is very high on the list of the most embarrassing. He can't remember the last time he's ever had problems with jumping. He lies on the grass, feeling alien in his own body. The height, the balance, the muscle memory – all are different. He can't rely on his reflexes anymore, either.

He's snapped out of his epiphany by the sound of footsteps. Somehow he's not entirely surprised to see Kaoru when he looks up.

She takes in his sprawled form and the backpack lying at his feet and scowls.

"Slinking away already? Over my dead body."


A/N: Hi guys! I'm back! I haven't abandoned the story... My only explanation for my long absence is that I fell completely head over heels in love with another fandom, and my little fangirlish heart just couldn't handle all the feelings... So I lost some inspiration for this particular story... But I'm by no means abandoning it :P

Thank you wholeheartedly for your continuous support and reviews! It means the world to me to know that you all love my story :) Thank you so much :)

The updates will be pretty irregular for now... but don't lose hope :) I hope you enjoyed this installment. :D