Standard Disclaimer: I do not own Rurouni Kenshin or Rurouni Kenshin characters.  I don't own the movie that I am basing my story on called "Prelude to a Kiss".

This is my response to the Rurouni Kenshin Reader's Choice Monthly Writing Challenge for May.

Give and Take

From the moment I saw her on that foggy morning I have loved her.  I have watched every move that she makes down to the smallest gesture. I know the spectrum of her every emotion.  I know her and I love her.

When she asked me to stay at the dojo with her, my heart leapt with joy.  The time I spend doing laundry, playing with Dr. Gensai's granddaughters, and living a peaceful life will be forever etched on my heart.

My heart broke when I had to walk away from her to return to Kyoto.  I had to finish what was started by me.

Seeing her at my master's cabin renewed my faith that someday she would agree to marry me.  My master didn't have to tell me how she felt, I already knew.  Didn't he teach me how to read other people?    

I will never forget the look on her face when I was finely able to open my eyes after my fight with Shishio.  I don't deserve such beauty and love.

We returned to Tokyo together.  She welcomed me home offering me her hand, which I gladly accepted.

While taking a walk one day, we talked about the different paths that everyone would take.  She told me that she wanted to walk with me, down the path that I had chosen.  I accepted her offer with a kiss.

Then my world fell apart.  When we returned from our walk, there was a note tacked to the gate.  "REVENGE."  I knew in my heart who it was but I had to find out for sure so I left her at the dojo.  He wasn't hard to find in fact he found me.  I tried to talk to him but he was set on destroying me. 

Seeing him brought back many painful memories of a time in my life that I wished I could have changed.  He was just a little boy who came to see his sister but his feelings for her were deeper than even he knew.

Her death had affected us both only in different ways.  I vowed that once the war was over I would find a way to protect people without killing.  And he vowed revenge on me.

That put her in danger but I had no control over what happened next.  When I saw her in the dojo my life ended.  I had failed again to protect the one I loved. 

I crawled in a hole to sit and rot.  Only to be visited by my first wife, Tomoe who convinced me that there was someone waiting for me to come rescue her.

I felt a renewed spark of life after I accepted the fact that she was still alive.  The need to rescue her drove me to crawl out of my hole and back into life.

He kept her secluded on a remote island safe from harm.  I fought him and won the battle but lost the war.  For in winning the fight I couldn't change his heart.  So I offered my life to him. 

She protected me with her body. 

She saved him from his path of destruction.  He loved her even if it was the love for a sister that would never return to him.

After her rescue, we returned home together again.

I asked her to marry me, which she quickly accepted.  Now we are married and I have never felt such joy and happiness.

I look around at all the guests, my eyes stopping on my wife, Kaoru who is now dressed in a soft pink kimono with matching ribbon in her hair.  She smiles at me when she notices me watching her and my heart melts.  Just being in her presence brings me joy.

"Kenshin, Enishi's here."  Sano whispered to Kenshin bringing him back to reality.  His eyes focused searching the area looking for him while his body responded by moving towards Kaoru.  It will not happen again, I will protect her, kept racing through his mind.

Reaching Kaoru's side Kenshin smiles at her while gently taking her arm. 

"Can we go somewhere private?" Kenshin asked on the pretext of getting her to a safe place.

"Hello dear brother-in-law, I just wanted to stop by and congratulate you on your wedding," Enishi said smiling.

"Thank you but we were just leaving," Kenshin stated rather curtly.

"Thanks for coming," Kaoru said while being led away by Kenshin.

Finding a quiet, private place Kenshin stood looking at Kaoru.

"Ok what did you want?" she shyly asked him

"A kiss," he responded unable to think of any other reason.

Kaoru folded her hands, closed her eyes, and puckered her lips getting ready for his kiss. 

Kenshin moved towards her but was suddenly pushed aside by Enishi's hands on his head and shoulder allowing Enishi to close the distance receiving her kiss.  Kenshin's eyes narrowed and his mouth opened as he screamed, "NO."

The kiss lasted for just a few seconds, but it was enough time for the give and take.

TBC