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A Rurouni ForYour Thoughts (part 11)


“Mysteries Left behind”



"KUSO!!!!!" Sanosuke's fist went through the door of his home. Why is that something always had to be wrong? Why couldn't everything be okay for once? Kaoru was nowhere to be found, and right now, he couldn’t care less where Kenshin was. Probably still looking uselessly around town for her. Jo- chan is not here. She wouldn't have taken her stuff if she were just going for a walk.  Sano remembered the argument he had with Kenshin. Actually, it was more like a very hard exercise for Sano's patience. Unfortunately for Kenshin, Sano's patience had been very limited these days…



They had been searching the woods till way after nightfall. Going around, running aimlessly in search for an apparition that wasn't there. An apparition: that was what Kaoru had become. She had disappeared into air, without a trace. Yahiko caught up with them started yelling out Kaoru's name. Later, he was crying her name out. Sano had lifted the ten-year-old on his shoulders and gazed at Kenshin meaningfully. How long were they going to stay like this? She had left hours ago and they had no idea which direction she was headed. Keeping this up was pointless. Kenshin had given the woods one last glance then they headed back home. Yahiko was asleep by the time they got back and after dropping Yahiko on his futon, Sanosuke went to have a long overdue discussion with Kenshin. Sano remembered how he walked up to Kenshin who seemed to be studying the sky very intently. He had stared at him some when the question that he had been holding inside burst.


"Why the hell did you tell Jo-chan that you didn't love her?" he asked with barely controlled fury. Kenshin's eyes widened in surprise as he turned to look at Sano. 

"Yes Kenshin, I was there. I heard the whole thing. Now, explain to me why you refused Kaoru when she needed you the most. Why did you say that you didn’t love her!!" It was a demand and, as much as Sano tried, he couldn’t keep the accusing tone from his voice. Kenshin stayed quiet for a while. Then, he answered in monotone.

"I never said that.  I just told her the truth."

"What’s that supposed to mean?"

"Sano, I can't lie to Kaoru, or to myself. You can't just tell someone that you love them when you don-” Kenshin caught himself just in time and thought about what he almost said.

 "Oh? So you 're saying you don't love Jo-chan." Sano stated in a dangerously low voice.

"I didn't mean that," Kenshin said, helplesslly.

"Well then what did you mean?" Sano asked, frustrated.

"I don't know," Kenshin replied, looking at Sano with confused eyes. Seeing Kenshin like that made Sano more sympathetic to the situation Kenshin was in.  Still..


"Che. Well Kenshin, you still could have handled that better. I mean, what exactly did you have in mind when you answered Jo-chan?"  Kenshin answered Sano truthfully.

"That she is young and that she has been through a lot. Her emotions are in conflict and her mind is in a dangerous and unstable state. If I said I returned her feelings merely to humor her, I would cause her even more pain and instability." Kenshin then looked pointedly at Sano and continued, "I don't think she needs that kind of confusion right now. What she needs is a friend."  Sano looked at Kenshin skeptically. 

"Kenshin, after what happened, you really believe all that crap?" Kenshin didn't answer.  "Let me see if I got this straight. Jo-chan needed a friend, so you became that friend. In fact, you were such a good friend, she would’t talk to you about what happened to her. No, she would rather tell Saitou about her problems and then leave you without an explanation. Wake up Kenshin. Jo-chan didn't need a friend. She needed you. You say that you didn't want to lie to her. That she's 'young' and her emotions are in 'conflict'. For someone who can see all that you sure are blind. All she needed was for you to show her that you care about her as much as she cares about you. But you just couldn't give her that could you!"


Sano pulled his hand out from his door as he remembered the pain in Kenshin's eyes when he answered him.


"No, I couldn't." Sano had instantly regretted his words. Kenshin's eyes when he said that, Sano never saw anything like it. The intense pain in them rivaled the fierceness of Battousai's lethal gaze. For once, the pain in Kenshin's eyes was unclouded. The usual veil had been torn away from them to reveal pure anguish. The ex-gangster cursed himself for his words. But, it was too late to take anything back. Kenshin is trying to convince himself that he doesn’t love Jo-chan.  Just like you’re trying to convince yourelf that you don’t love Megumi?  Dammit, that’s different. Kenshin doesn’t have a reason to refuse Jo-chan. I have more than enough reasons to ignore my feelings for the fox. Name one. Pride.


Sano shook his head in disgust as he walked into his shack. Feeling bone tired, he lay on his futon. He stared at the ceiling for a while, trying to clear his thoughts. When that didn't work, he turned to his side, and found a note next to his head. He grabbed it and quickly read it.



Sorry for leaving so suddenly, there is something I have to take care of. I won't lie to you, I don’t know whether I will come back or not. It is really not in my hands. If I can, I will. Meanwhile, take care of everyone: Genzai-sensai, Ayame-chan, Suzame-chan, Yahiko, Megumi-san, Tae-san, Tsubame-chan and Kenshin. There might be someone after them and both you and Kenshin have to stay to protect them. This was my fault so I went to solve the problem. Don't waste your time trying to find me; you won't. Sanosuke, I trust your judgement. Show this note only to the people who need to see it. And tell Kenshin that my leaving has nothing to do with him. I don't want any of you to get caught up in this. Don’t make the mistake of getting involved. I won't forgive you if you do. See you in good health.

Kamiya Kaoru.


Sano stood motionless. The hand holding the letter lowered to show his furious face.

"THAT IDIOT!!!!" He screamed in rage,  waking the whole neighborhood.




In Kyoto…


Morio crushed the letter he just received, and set about writing a reply.


It is good that the child doesn’t remember anything; perhaps her young mind couldn't bear with the shock and blanked the incident out, meaning that we won’t have to kill her. However, kidnapping her was very stupid; it was unnecessary and could have endangered the secrecy of my organization. All I wanted was the Kamiya girl, and you say that she is gone. It seems that the men I sent with you were unqualified and incompetent. Not to mention disobedient. I expect you to arrange their retirement immediately. Also, find the girl as soon as possible.







                Saitoh was trying to fall asleep in his carriage, a feat that proved difficult to accomplish when he had so many things on his mind. He was very annoyed at the amount of information he had gotten. Other than that the men he wanted had left for Kyoto, he didn’t have any new facts. Also, he would have to wait around for the Battousai's woman before he could even start to look for them. He hadn’t expected her to agree with his deal at all.Why she would rather endanger herself than tell him who the assaulters were was something beyond his understanding.

 He hated the fact that since she was the only lead he had, he was dependent on her. But, he appeased himself by thinking how of furious Battousai must be now; for the girl had clearly shown that she had no intention of letting him know about what she planned to do. But, a rare stroke of conscience nagged at him. Perhaps he should have let them know that she would be safe. On the other hand, it was not in his nature to do something for nothing. He had absolutely nothing to gain by making it known that the girl would be with him and therefore, would be safe. Ahh, now there was an image that appealed to him. Thin lips curled into a smirk as he thought of how 'irked' Kenshin would be if he found out that Kaoru was traveling with his former enemy. His smile disappeared as he wondered what the girl had in mind. From what he had seen, she held personal feelings for the former hitokiri. Not that he himself cared, but the fact that she wasn't willing to let Himura get involved made him wonder just how delicate the situation at hand was. Perhaps the girl's father crossed paths with the former Hitokiri? Taking into account the information available so far, the possibility didn't seem unlikely.


                Mikizo ran as fast as he could. Every so often, he turned to look over his shoulder. Dammit! Someone is following me for sure!   He quickly dashed behind a crumbled building and sat close to the ground trying to regain his breath without too much noise. This was supposed to be an easy job. If I knew I was going to be hunted down like this, I never would have accepted it, not even for all the money in the world!  He peaked around the building, and seeing no one there, started to get up, and felt the tip of a katana prick his back.

"I wouldn't move if I were you." Mikizo froze, not from fright, but because he recognized the voice. He turned around slowly.

"You! Why are you following me? What do you want!"


Kenshin walked, unaware of his surroundings. He knew that Kaoru had probably left Tokyo but he needed some space and a part of him still was hoping that she would appear. He had had a chance to rethink what he told Sano and he realized that his words were only partly true. It was true that he didn't want to involve himself with Kaoru because she was vulnerable now, but it was also because it wasn't right for him to be with her. She was young, innocent, and had very limited knowledge of the world he had lived in. That was the way he wanted it to be. He wanted to protect her from the harms of the world, without exposing her to his past, his dark side. His hitokiri side. And yet, in order to protect her, he was forced into being the hitokiri more than once. Now, he felt the hitokiri rise within. And what he feared was that it wasn't just the hitokiri who wanted to vengeance. He wondered if it would be enough for him to only hurt whoever was responsible. What if, when finally everything was cleared up, he lost control? The fact that he may never find her attacker did little to comfort him.  Kaoru-donno, where is she. Where did she go?  Kenshin was suddenly aware that he didn't know where he was going. He looked around and saw that he had wandered downtown, where Sanosuke usually went to gamble. Turning to go back, he heard a commotion.


"But, kidnapping the other one was your plan! I just carried it out!"

"True, but the boss didn't like it. Now, he demands someone take the blame."

"But you can't do this!" Mikizo argued, knowing it was useless. The man looked at him with cold eyes. "I told you to keep an eye on the girl. You knew that if she was harmed, then you'd be responsible." Mikizo eyes widened, as he grasped the meaning of those words

"But I didn't touch her! I didn't go near her! It was those other two. The new-"

"When the okashira hired them, he knew they would probably assault her. Whether they did or didn’t wasn’t important to him. That was why I told you to go along and not let anyone, including yourself, harm her." Mikizo was now confused as well as terrified.

"But I don't get it! If he doesn't care what happens to her, why should you?"

"That does not concern you. What does is the fact that you didn't fulfill your purpose. I have no use for you now."



Authors note: 

Oooh..the plot thickens. I know what you're thinking. After all the wait, I still leave you with a cliffhanger. Put those guns down for a while. I know you deserve to read more but I finish school in less than a week. I'll have the next chapter much sooner than I had this one. If you still want to send me hate (or love) mail, I can be reached here. I'd love to hear from you people (I think ^_^) so don't hesitate to mail me. Hope you enjoyed the chapter. Till next time!

onto next chapter!