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Readers, please not the following :

italics : memory/flashback

*text between stars* : thoughts

*italisized text between stars*: conscience


A Rurouni For Your Thoughts (part 12)

“New Awakening”

“Please! No!” The man’s desperate cry finally allowed Kenshin to locate him. Springing into the alley, he knocked away the blade before it reached the man's skull. The assaulter was pushed back from the impact of the sakaba. Repositioning his katana, he gave Kenshin a friendly smile.

“We were bound to meet, sooner or later, Battousai. Under other circumstances, it would have been a pleasure.” Kenshin didn't react to the stranger's use of his past title, and quickly took him in. He was tall, with shoulder length hair tied back loosely. His eyes were very striking, instantly reverting from cold and cruel, to friendly and mischievous.

“Who are you? Why do you want to kill this man?” The swordsman's eyes twinkled at Kenshin and his smile became broader.

“Don’t tell me you didn’t overhear at least part of our conversation?” Kenshin didn’t answer and held his sword ready.

“Never mind. I have my orders. I’m supposed to dispose of this piece of trash. But I know enough about you, Himura-san, to know that you wouldn’t allow that. Since I really don’t want to fight with you at at the moment, I’ll walk away this time.” He glanced at the terrified man on the floor.

“You’ve really got the devil’s luck Mikizo. You were saved by the only man who could want to kill you more than I do.” Mikizo face whitened. “That’s right. Allow me to introduce Himura Kenshin. I don’t need to tell you that you’d better keep your filthy mouth shut. If you don’t, he will save me the trouble of killing you.”

Kenshin glanced at the shivering man on the floor. Surprisingly, the man showed even more fear upon hearing his name, Himura Kenshin, than when the title Battousai was mentioned. Kenshin looked back up at the swordsman, his eyes searching.

“We will meet again, Himura Battousai, and I will look forward to it.” He stated, retreating into the darkness.


In Kyoto…

A tiny, buxom woman with long hair looked over her shoulder and quickly entered a brothel house. She shielded her eyes from all the ‘courting’ that was going on and quickly made her way into one of the empty rooms. Walking behind the bed, she found a loose board and moved it out of the way. She walked the low, narrow path that led to a small hidden room. A trim, handsome man, sitting on a desk, smiled pleasantly at her.

“Ah Rei-san, it’s been too long since I last had the pleasure of your company. How are you these days,” he asked, rising to greet the beauty before him.

“Hello Morio. I have had better days. My brother left Kyoto last week. I want you to find and follow him.” The older man smiled.

“Aren’t you the suspicious type. Don’t you trust him?” Rei’s narrow eyes became mere slits.

“That’s none of your business. You just do as you are told.” She threw a bag of money on the table. “There’s more than enough money there to cover your expenses. I want your best man on the job.”

“ I am sorry, he’s a little occupied at the moment.”

“Occupied? Doing what?”

“That isn’t really any of your concern, is it?” The woman answered with a glare. “I didn’t think so. But I do have a new recruit who will suit the job well, if you are interested.” Rei nodded absentmindedly. *What would be so important that it required him to send Shun away? *

“Very well. I want to know his every move as soon as he makes it.”

“As you wish. Now, why don’t you sit down and have dinner with me? Perhaps this time I’ll succeed in convincing you that we were born to be together.” His smile was so charming that she almost agreed.

“Some other time, Morio. Perhaps, in the next life. ” She answered as she left the room.

Morio grinned. He could imagine what Shun would say if he were here. *You didn't really expect her to agree, did you?* Of course he hadn't. But it didn't hurt to try and he liked flirting with her. He looked down at the letter he received earlier from his most trusted employee and friend.


I found Mikizo. He isn't dead yet, but might as well be. It seems that the government is getting involved now; Fujita Goro, or should I say, Saitou Hajime showed up, just as you predicted. He visited the dojo and talked to the girl. I don't know what information she has given him, but he didn't seem too pleased when he left. The girl ran away shortly after his visit. I have someone following her at the moment. Now that I've finished from here, I'll track her myself and attempt to discover her intentions. Until now, everything is going as planned and I am awaiting further instructions.



Tsubame came home with Yahiko the afternoon after Kaoru’s disappearance. He had worked with a vengeance all morning, and Tae sent him home earlier saying that he earned the time off. When he protested that he didn’t mind, and would rather stay, she sent the young waitress with him and told them to go out and have fun. So far, neither of them was succeeding. The conversation on the way home had been very bleak.

“So, Kaoru-san left on a trip?” Tsubame started tenatively.


“And she didn’t tell anyone where she went?”


“Well, I’m sure she’ll be fine. She’s a very strong person, she can handle anything.”

“Mmm” *She is strong. * Yahiko thought. *She’s very strong, but she can’t handle anything… *

When they arrived at the dojo, Tsuabame lingered awkwardly at the gate.

“You want to come in?” Yahiko asked hopefully. The dojo was probably empty and he didn’t want to be alone.

“Yes.” Tsubame answered, relieved. She wanted to cheer Yahiko up, even though it didn’t seem like she was succeeding. But he wanted her to stay, which was a good sign. They entered the dojo together.


“I beg you, please. Don’t ask me. Please.” The man named Mikizo cowered on the floor. Sanosuke and Kenshin remained standing in front of him. Sanosuke was furious, Kenshin, grim.

“Listen, I’m getting very tired of this. I don’t have as much patience as Kenshin here, so you’d better speak up.”

“Kami-sami, no. No.” The man whimpered. “I’ll be killed. They’ll kill me.” Looking at Kenshin he added to Sano, “He’ll kill me.”

Sano grabbed the man’s shirt and pulled him to his feet. “Listen you sniveling moron, I’ll definitely kill you if you don’t start talking.” He said menacingly. The man remained quiet for a few moments longer. He then uttered a doomed sigh, and started to speak, but was interrupted by a sharp gasp from behind. Sanosuke and Kenshin turned around. Tsubame was there, her hands raised to her face in alarm.

“Hey Tsubame-chan, what’s up?” Sanosuke asked, still holding onto the man’s shirt.

The young girl fell on her knees, her eyes locked onto the man in Sano’s grasp, as images locked deep in her mind fought to escape. Mikizo’s eyes widened in terror when he saw her. Yahiko kneeled close to her.

“What’s wrong, Tsubame?” She didn’t answer, but looked at the man staring at her. She blinked out of her trance, then swallowed.

“I…who is that man?”

“You…you’re the…the other girl.” The blood drained from Mikizo’s face.

“Tsubame-chan. Do you know this man?” Kenshin asked gently.

“He…he..” she let out in a whisper, pointing at the figure in front of her. Before she uttered another breath, the man freed himself from Sanosuke’s grasp, and threw himself at the girl’s feet, sobbing.

“No, NO!! I beg you! Have mercy, girl! I never went near you, or the other one. I tried to stop them, but they wouldn't listen! Please believe me! I tried, but there was no way. I couldn't stop them. I couldn’t…” He broke off, crying too hard to make any sense. Tsubame pulled away from him, hardly hearing his words as terrifying images of that night bolted through her like lighting.

"Hey, hey, get away from the girl. I'm supposed to bring her back in one peice.." Mikizo shut his mouth as the bigger of the two men looked at him.

"We take orders from Morio-sama. All he said was to get the girl; he never said anything about not enjoying ourselves while we do so."

“Stop it! Leave Kaoru-san alone!!”

Tsubame's cries fell on deaf ears as the broad man continued fighting the older woman, trying to overpower her. The shorter of the two, however, looked up, running his tongue along his teeth as he started to move towards Tsubame. She didn’t know what he was going to do but she knew she wouldn’t like it. He placed his hands on her shivering shoulders and smiled sadistically. Suddenly, a pair of lips appeared on his neck. Surprised, he turned around to see who it was when they parted; teeth sank deeply into his skin. He let loose a terrible howl. Trying to get away, he turned, but his attacker turned with him. Tsubame briefly saw blood dripping down his neck, but was more focused on how tightly Kaoru had clamped her jaws on the man's throat. After that, everything happened too quickly.

“Run Tsubame-chan! Don’t stop and don’t look back!!"

Tsubame saw Kaoru dig her bokken deep into the man’s stomach. He doubled over in pain. Kaoru’s words knocked her to her senses and she ran as hard as she could. She had made it halfway across the long dark street when she heard a loud smack. Followed by a heart stopping, mind numbing cry.

The scream froze Tsubame on the spot. She heard another smack, followed by another high pitched shriek. Her teeth chattering, she turned around, and saw why the screaming didn’t stop. The two men men, were circling around Kaoru, beating her at random. One of them had a whip that kept flying, while the other kicked and punched alternately. Again, and again, Tsubame heard the whip smack. Finally, Kaoru’s screams died down. She was thrown by the whip’s force against the building, where her blood seeped through the cuts on her clothes and painted the wall red. She sagged against it then dropped in a heap onto the floor.

The repulsive memory hit Tsubame full force, leaving her gasping for breath. Her mind went blank. Yahiko caught her as she fainted while Kenshin quickly pieced facts together in his mind.

Mikizo, you have been saved by the one man who could want to kill you more than I…”

*This man's reaction upon hearing those words, upon seeing Tsubame, and Tsubame-chan's reaction to him; there is no doubt about it. He was present, he was there the night Kaoru-donno was attacked.*

To be continued...


Authors note:
First off, a huge thank you to Sentora for his constant comments/critisizm, title suggestions, and overall encouragement. Rhona Medina: thank you for your editing. Sheena, Amy, and Gyre, thank you so much for your detailed comments. I hope the fic lives up to your praise. Everyone else, thanks for the comments, encouragement, and at times, threats ^_^. Sorry about the time it took to post this chapter. I honestly didn’t expect it to take that long. I won’t make any promises in the future, especially now that I’m in college and I don’t have as much free time as before. Also, sorry about the chapter's length. When I first wrote it, it was twice as long as this, but I ended up taking a bunch of scenes out and saving them for later. By the way, you've probably noticed that I’ve made some adjustments on some of the text formats (dialogue, thoughts, flashbacks, etc.) and some of the characters' names in this chapter. I don't have time at the moment, but eventually I’ll adjust the previous chapters to match this one. As always, comments and constructive critisizm are welcomed with open arms. Hope you enjoyed this chapter and see you next time. I have to go take a midterm now ^_^;

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