This is my first time writing a fanfic, so sorry if it's bad! Constructive Criticism is ok, but please be nice! Hope you enjoy it!

The Gate

He felt nothing, saw nothing, sensed…nothing.

The stoic warrior tried to move, but to no avail. It didn't seem like he was numb, rather that his body simply wasn't there. But how could that be..?

No, wait… The event that put him in this state came flooding back to him. Kambei. The Nobuseri. The boy. Katsushiro, he picked up a gun. He shot at the bandit. A cold pain followed. Then that would mean that…

Kyuzo was dead, and this was the afterlife.

It's not what he thought it would be like. He had never really given any thought to what it might have been, but this just didn't seem like it. It felt so hollow, devoid of all things.

"You're not at the end just yet." said a rough, aged voice. Where it had come from, he could not tell. It seemed to come from everywhere and nowhere at all. As it the words just appeared in his mind.

"What do you mean?" he questioned coolly, uncaring as to who or what the voice belonged to.

The voice chuckled at his composure, "This is the gate way between worlds, samurai. I must judge you, to see if you are worthy of the life beyond."

Kyuzo thought for a moment, "And if I am not?"

"You will stay here, in this purgatory…" it whispered. "Do you have some business in the afterlife?" the seemingly invisible spirit asked, in mild amusement.

"There is someone I must wait to face." He stated with conviction.

"Ah yes," the voice chimed "the Samurai in white, correct?"

"…"

The spirit continued, "I can see many things from my place here, at the gate. I'm sure the battle between the two of you would be glorious."

Kyuzo was getting impatient, "Am I getting through, or not?" he growled into the void.

The nameless voice was unaffected by the scarlet samurai's outburst. "My, you really are in a rush, for being a dead man and all!" it snickered.

"…" He had to get to the afterlife. He had vowed to battle against Kambei, and that is exactly what he was going to do. No disembodied voice would keep him from that.

The spirit paused for a moment, "You really are determined, aren't you?"

"This is something I must do," he affirmed "I cannot rest until I encounter him again…"

"And you can only do that if you get to the afterlife now." It murmured.

Yes. Kyuzo waited intently for the spirit's verdict.

"Your hands are as red as the garment you wear..."

"…"

"But," it added "you are a truly admirable soldier. You have done many terrible things, but you have also done good, and remained true to yourself, never bending to others will."

"…"

"You had many chance to kill the white clad one, yet you didn't…"

"It would not have meant anything if I had." Kyuzo responded handily.

"No, I suppose not…" it said thoughtfully.

Then it was silent for some time. Kyuzo wondered if the spirit was still there, not being able to sense it, even when it was. And then…

He saw something.

A small glimmer that seemed far away but gradually got closer. He could feel it. It was warm…alive.

"The one you're waiting for will join you soon enough, great samurai…" it whispered somewhere in the distance.

And so Kyuzo treaded forward to the world beyond, which would soon play host to the most epic duel this world will never see…

a/n: So what did you think? I really want to know so please review! Thanks!