Author's Notes:

Hi Minna-san! **Every one of the readers and reviewers glares at Shiomei menacingly** Uhmm are you mad because I took a really long time to update? **Everyone nod and keep glaring** All right, I must accept that it's entirely my fault. In fact, It wasn't a matter of lack of inspiration, it's just that I didn't have the time to write. I know I always say that but, please, believe me, it's true. University can become a living hell

Anyway, I wanted to thank all the people who wrote to me an e-mail and encouraged me to write this chapter. Thank you very much, you are all so great. Also thanks to my reviewers. This time I will not be able to write an answer to each one but be sure that I love you all!!! ^__^

Just another thing this chapter is NOT EDITED, at least not yet. My editor has not sent the edited chapter yet so I suppose there are going to be a lot of grammatical, spelling, etc, etc, mistakes so bear with them, please!!! I hope you find this chapter enjoyable enough.

NowGo, read and review!!!
Make me a very happy girl!
I am sure you can!


Neither do I own Rurouni Kenshin nor the rights of this terrific anime. The genius who created this story is Watsuki-sama. He and the ones who are associated with him are the owners of everything. **that lucky people ** and I definitely do not belong to that group. Come on! I don't even know Japan! U_Uu


Written by Shiomei

Chapter three

The day had been very difficult for him. He had to communicate to everybody the news and explain the best he could how everything had happened abstaining himself from giving away his speculations. It was safer that way. Doctor Genzai had asked to read Kaoru's letter by himself. He certainly wasn't satisfied by his explanations and that was completely understandable. After all, he had taken care of Kaoru since her parents died and now she just left him without saying good bye face to face. He knew Kaoru better; something terrible may have happened to make her go away like this. The old man was wise and knew very well how this mess started but he preferred to confirm it first by asking Sanosuke what he thought of all this. But before Sano could tell the old man that he didn't know anything he seemed to guess his intentions and told him that he didn't have to be a wizard to know that all of this was related to Himura in some way, as always. He gave Sano a very sad but stern look and told him before disappearing into his house with two confused kids at his side:

- "I knew something like this could happen someday. I just didn't have the heart to approach Kaoru and advice her. Now I regret it. Perhaps, I also hoped that he could understand one day how lucky he really was to have found her. Sanosuke, please, tell Himura-san that I would like to have a word with him".

Sanosuke couldn't do anything but nod and go back to the dojo lost in his own thoughts. He had left Yahiko with Tae and Tsubame in the Akabeko. The both of them were shocked with the news but they didn't say a thing the moment he told them everything. Tae excused herself and left the place in the act not wanting to cry in Sano's presence. Tsubame just asked Yahiko "why" with watery eyes and a very sad expression. He just shook his head in denial and embraced her. It was the first time he had the bravery to do so; it was an impulse but he needed her more than anyone right now. He didn't know either about the reasons that Kaoru could have had to leave, the only certain thing he knew was that she hadn't tried to explain it to him, just a letter, a very impersonal good bye. She left him! And she had always said that she would be there for him, she made him believe that he had a family again and then she left him behind. He would have gone with her if she asked him to do so, but no, she went away alone, leaving him as if she didn't care about him. He would never forgive her for that. The two teenagers were lost in their embrace, oblivious to the world, trying to console each other.

Sano thought that it was better to let them be so he went out of the place and decided to head towards the dojo. It was inevitable and even if unconsciously he'd been trying to put off the encounter he couldn't do it anymore. It was time to look for answers and get them, ay any price.


The mist was everywhere, blocking her vision and making it difficult to walk. There had been many times in which she almost fall. In fact, she had been stumbling all the way, looking for a shelter to spend the night. She was hungry (she had not eaten a thing since yesterday), sleepy and terribly tired. Even though she was suffering, she couldn't allow herself to stop. She was afraid of getting asleep and losing conscience of her surroundings, exposing herself to all kind of dangers. Being alone in your home is a complete different story than being alone in the street. Walking into the woods and getting used to all kind of insects and animals, then going back to the road and seeing nothing more than the long and dusty path you must follow was such a hard task to accomplish, even more, with a heavy and broken heart.

Last week she almost was raped by a couple of drunken men who thought she was a defenceless peasant girl who was lost in the woods. They had found her asleep, leaning on a tree for support. She could still remember their lustful gazes on her exposed body once she awoke startled by a pair of hands disarranging her clothes; the memory of the touch of their rough hands on her virginal body made her want to throw up. That day, no sooner had she awoke than jumped quickly and tried to cover herself the best she could in the state of shock she was in. Then she grabbed her boken and discharged her anger and repugnance on them. After a short period of time those men were laying on the ground, unconscious. She stared at them completely clueless, not knowing what to do in this kind of situations. She felt more alone than ever. Even if she didn't want to admit it she realized how difficult was to be a woman and a wanderer at the same time. Without thinking in the safety of those psychos she ran away as fast as possible and took a new road, hoping not to run into people of that kind again.

But in her desire to escape she took a road she didn't know. After some hours of walking she couldn't deny anymore the fact that she was lost; not that she knew where she was going in the first place but at least before she had an idea of where she was walking, what town came next, etc. Now she was here, in the middle of nowhere, without any clue of what could she do and without a place to rest. God! Not even food! She carried on walking impelled by her fright because she knew that if she stopped she would surely die either by evil-doers or the coldness.

It was, after all, winter. The worst time to set off to any kind of journey.

She lifted her head and looked at the sky. The starless mantle seemed to be darker than usual but it could have been her mind playing tricks on her because all she could really see was the mist surrounding her. God, it was so cold. The humidity in the atmosphere penetrated her clothes making her feel wet and colder than ever.

The four months she'd been wandering were like eternity to her. Nevertheless, she had learnt a lot. She was forced to be auto-sufficient: she had to cook her own food and cheat her stomach with fruits or leaves when she couldn't get meat to parboil. She also was more aware of her surroundings, she could distinguish weird sounds from the usual she heard; she had to be alert in case robbers or any kind of criminals confronted her while she was distracted, etc. She also had time to practise her katas and to do some exercises to warm up when cold. She also knew very well that one thing was getting away of your problems and another trying to change yourself; it was true she really wanted a change in her life but she couldn't give up her skills. After all, it was a way of reassuring herself that she was still Kamiya Kaoru, assistant master of the Kamiya Kashin Ryu, even if she didn't have her dojo, even if she didn't teach anymore.

The last two weeks were especially difficult for her. She had been walking almost all day and resting just when unavoidable. She left the last town hoping to find another in a matter of maximum three days but her suppositions seemed to be wrong. There was not any town, not even a house. Kaoru was beginning to feel desperate.

Kami-sama, help me, please

She tried to warm herself better with the frayed and worn gi she was covered with but after some minutes she gave up. It was impossible. While she kept walking not worrying to look ahead, knowing that she was all alone, she collided with something and immediately fell to the ground. This was the last straw, she couldn't stand this situation anymore! She was alone when she had a family to be with; she was alone when she had a home to stay in; she was nearly dying alone when she could be in her home drinking a hot cup of tea and chatting with her friends. She was alone, here, laying in the middle of a unknown road, crying as if the world was ending, feeling completely defeated when she could have been

Happy, Kaoru? Are you sure you would be happy there? Having next to you everyday the man you love and, at the same time, trying to evade looking at him because his eyes talks of the pity and sadness you have provoked?!? No. You would not be happier there. If you are miserable now just think that you could be even more miserable! Now get up! Do not be such a coward and start moving your legs!

I can`t

Of course you can!

No, I really can´t

She was cold, her legs hurt as hell, her vision was beginning to get blurry by her tears and that damn mist made her feel even more disoriented. She was having difficulties to breath; It seemed that her lungs weren't filled by oxygen anymore

I want to die

There was not case on continuing this senseless journey. God! She couldn't forget anything. She kept longing and longing for the people she left voluntarily. She hasn't stopped loving Kenshin, she was still hurt, she hasn't been able to heal entirely and she doubted one day she could.

I miss his smileI miss everything how could I end up like this?

She missed Yahiko, Sano, Megumi, Tae, everyone! She wanted to sit in her old porch and look the people passing by; she wanted to keep teaching Yahiko every day and chase him all around the dojo and, if needed, smack him whenever he opened his big mouth to tease her. She wanted Sanosuke calling her "Jou-chan" and chewing on his ever present fishbone, once in a while teasing her about her looks or because Kenshin haven't proposed to her yet. And what she wanted the most was her rurouni smiling for her, even that false smile, she just wanted to sit next to him sharing the silence, one that wasn't as vacuous as this. She just wanted to go back to her old life, she couldn't resist anymore.

I am tired of all this

She didn't care if it was dangerous to sleep in the road anymore. She just wanted to close her eyes and dream about the people she loved and wake up the next morning in the dojo. She could already see herself greeting them with her biggest smile telling them how much she loved to be with them. She is in her favourite spot next to the lake, she is hearing that Kenshin really corresponds her feelings and she is making plans to live happily ever after as she always had dreamt. Yes. It was a sweet dream that luckily wasn't interrupted by anything

If I am going to die I prefer it to be this way. Now what I lost and what I'd never have doesn't seem too far away from me. I can hear them laughing, I can sense them around me I am with them at last.

But before she closed her eyes, drifted into slumber and shut her conscience she heard voices around her saying words she couldn't understand. But despite that she could swear that she heard her surname and Kenshin's but before she could dwell in that thought or recognise the voices she passed out.

She couldn't see the face of the old man who have approached her when he saw her lying in the middle of the road and the shocked expression of the other, a much younger well-built one, who immediately kneeled in front of her and lifted her in his arms. Then both of them kept going; the one with the girl in his arms had an unmistakably white hair.


After walking around the town for a while Sano decided that it was finally time to confront Himura. He opened the door and then closed it trying not to make too much sound. He began to look for him. The sadness he felt before was being overcame by the same feeling of hatred he felt when he discovered that Kaoru had left them.

His steps were longer and firmer. He began to search in the kitchen but Kenshin wasn't there, then his bedroom, Kaoru's bedroom, almost everywhere and didn't find him. He couldn't imagine where could he be.

Maybe he'd also leftthat coward

Then he walked towards the dojo and found him in a corner. His back against the wall and his head down. He decided not to get too close to him. He was afraid of his own impulses.

- So, there you are. I've looking for you all over the house. Were you hiding? If that's the case I'm sorry but the hide and seek game is over. I want answers, Himura, what did you do to her?!

He received no response.

- I asked you a question and I expect it to be answered. What the hell did you do to her?!

Kenshin lifted his head and looked at him. He didn't say anything, he just stared at him for a while and then flashed a false smile and stood up. Sanosuke shortened the distance between them when Kenshin began to walk towards the door, not giving a single look to him.

He is trying to evade his responsibility in all this. No matter who he is, I hate cowards

No longer abstaining himself from a violent behaviour he caught him by the gi and shook him. Kenshin didn't try to do anything to stop him. He knew he deserved this and more.

- What do you think you're doing? Do you think any of us wouldn't say something? Did you think you could hurt her in front of our eyes and we wouldn't say a damn thing?! Was that what you thought? Answer me damn it! The gods know you have a lot of to say!

- What do you want seesha to say?-asked Kenshin in a weak voice.

Sanosuke couldn't believe his ears. He throw Kenshin to the floor and then bent over near him and began to shout,

- What do I want you to say, you asshole? What do you think I want you to say? I want the truth! I want YOU to tell me what you've done to make her leave like that!

Kenshin, for the first time looked at him in the eyes and said

- All of you are so sure about it, right? Seesha has always made her cry, made her suffer and now seesha made her leave

- Who else could it be? Don't tell you notice the effect you had on her? You won't trick me, Himura, I'm not like the others. I don't believe in that clueless and I'm-all-smiles façade You knew very well what you meant to the girl and you still kept hurting her without second thoughts. What did you do now Kenshin? What is it that she has or lacks that makes her co unworthy of you?

- How can you say such a thing?!- Kenshin asked lifting his startled face. Now he was glaring at Sanosuke.- Seesha is the one who is not worthy of her, Sanosukeseesha never thought that she

- That she could love you? Himura, you are a bastard! You lead her on! You made her believe in nothing but lies! The reassuring smiles, the "seesha will always protect you, Kaoru-dono", that time you spent in Rakaninmura I thought you loved the girl, Kenshin, where are those words? Because if you had really meant them she would be here by your side with a baby in her arms! She's a human Kenshin and nobody can take that much you must have done something to her and forced her to leave what did you tell her now? Maybe that she's not like your wife what was her name? Tomoe?

That touched a sore point. Kenshin looked at him sternly and with a serious voice he said:

- I'll say this just once, Sanosuke. Don't talk about things you know nothing about. This has nothing to do with Tomoe and I would never dare to compare Miss Kaoru to anyone as I never compared Tomoe to her. I lied to Kaoru and to myself. I thought I was protecting her and I ended up hurting her. And you are right about something: I'm bastard and much more but you don't know how much I regret everything, how much I regret making her go away from what is hers when I should have been the one leaving- he finished in a deeper voice.

Now he was looking at the floor where the letter he'd been clutching some minutes before was laying. Kenshin kneeled and picked it up. He took Sano's hand and made him grab the dirty and wrinkled piece of paper. Then he told him:

- There's your answer.

And he went out.

Sometime later Sanosuke found Kenshin sat in his usual spot in the porch. He was looking at the door but his mind appeared to be somewhere else. He didn't say anything for a minute and then decided to ask in a calm voice.

- What do you plan to do now? I suppose you'll

- No- he interrupted- I won't let her down again.

- What do you mean?

- I'm staying here as she wants.

- What the hell are you talking about?! I thought you real- he began but stopped when Kenshin stood up and lifted a hand.

- I'll face whatever consequences my former acts had, Sanosuke, and I'm doing what she wants me to do, even if my desires tell me otherwise and I'll make sure everybody does the same. She went out to find herself so I won't look for her. I'd be contradicting her decision, one that she fought so hard to take. I know how much has it hurt her to leave you and the others, the ones she love dearly. This is what she wants, this is what she decided. I've made a mistake and I'm not repeating it. I thought I could prevent her from the suffering that a life together could have represented to her but I caused her even more grief in the end. I was selfish in a way. I didn't want to live knowing that I can't make her happy enough, I was afraid of failing her but I did it anyway. I won't try to impose myself on her by trying to make her come back with me, Sano. I hurt her and saying sorry would never heal that wound. Please, understand that all her efforts would be in vain I go to look for her. She needed to leave and I'm nobody to make her come back. So I'll wait for her here, I know sometime she'll come back to us

Sanosuke sighed. He could understand what he meant but

- What if she never

Kenshin looked at him with pain in his eyes.

- She'll come back. This is her home, all of you are her family. She'll come back when she's ready.

- And when would that be? Yahiko and the others will miss her. You know that I love her as a sister and you

- That's also my fault. Seesha didn't think he could affect all of you with his acts and for that seesha is deeply sorry. She'll come back when she's healed, Sanosuke. When she's finally able to face us with renewed pride. She'll come back when she's finally able to forget what she feels for me.

- And you won't do anything to

- I know that's the price, Sanosuke, and I take it. - he said and entered the kitchen to cook dinner for them, as always. But the only difference was that this was the first time he had begun to do shores as a habit, a routine. His only motivation was gone. He just clung to the wish that someday she'd come back and that he'd be able to see her beautiful smile again, even if it wasn't meant for him anymore.

Final Notes:

And what do you think? Too many errors?!? I'm SO sorry about them!!!

Well, this Monday I have my last final exam (at least in this cycle) of Linguistics so I'll have all my summer to carry on writing and updating this fic and my others written in Spanish. My vacations are very near! I'm so happy! But now I have to read Chomsky! Agh! I hate that man!!

So, the next update won't take too long. Sorry about the delay of this chapter, people!!!

Hugs & Kisses