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Strange human....

The searat had been on many ships and docks in its existence, but it had never seen anything like this room's occupant. The rat jumped back into hiding as the cocoon engulfing most of the small room pulsed and a weird moan escaped it. This human girl, pretty by human standards, it guessed, with the long dark hair down her back got on board the ship with this other strange group of people two days ago. Even then, the rat could sense something wrong with this human, unlike anything it had encountered in it's existence.....

So it had watched her from that point on, with morbid interest....not completely understanding what it had seen in that time.....The girl's behavior changing from normal to more animal like as day approached. The stalking and attacking of random members of the crew unfortunately alone and unaware at the time, feeding of some red mist that rose from the victim as she grabbed them by the throat until they almost died of strangulation....always letting go and retreating to her room. Looking more and more like a corpse as she spun a cocoon around her and slept within until dusk, restored back to her previous beauty.

And the cycle repeated.

Ignoring it's instincts to stay the hell away from the cocoon, the rat walked up it's sticky, translucent surface to stare inside.

What are you?

The girl's eyes snapped open, glowing.

The rat barely had time to squeal as it's pondering and short existence was extinguished by her hand snapping through the cocoon to crush it as easily as paper. The cocoon melted away to reveal a naked Tomoe.

She looked at the crushed rat in her hand, a small wispy cloud of red mist rising from it and snaking around her body before she inhaled it with a deep sigh, and smiled ferally as she examined herself.

Human again, Thank Kami-sama.

Animals weren't enough anymore. Now she could only get enough of the life-force needed to keep her 'alive' from humans. A complication she did NOT need.

Damn you, Ashura.

She tried to ignore that little voice in her head as she dressed in one of Karou's Kimonos she borrowed. The one telling her that she didn't have to live like this....that there was another way to prolong the time she would be human and not have to worry about Kenshin seeing the side effects of 'starving' herself.

Never....She growled. I refuse to murder just to extend my.....'New lease on life'....

She ripped off the cocoon slime holding the door shut and walked out into the ship.

"To feel the sun and be with you, again, Kenshin....If only......"

Premium Spirit Productions Presents...

A Rurouni Kenshin/Ninja Scroll Crossover

Darkness before Dawn.

By Sentora

Rurouni Kenshin and all it's characters belong to Nobuhiro Watsuki, The great guys at Sony and Jump magazine, I'm just borrowing them for this crazy fic. The new ones, however, belong to me...So ask nicely if you want to use them, Kay? ^_^

Chapter 3: Six-guns and Sakabas

America....Kenshin grinned. Never thought I'd be going there....

Not as if he had a choice, he mused as he leaned on the railing of the ship.

According to Shuriken, her father was the only one who knew the full legend of the swords, so they had to seek his advice.

So the Kenshin-Gumi were going to New York....And so far it wasn't a pleasant trip. Yahiko sick as a dog most of the time and arguing with Shuriken the little time he wasn't. A moody Sano avoiding Megumi, Megumi spending more time with Jubei as a result.

Soujirou taking it all in stride as usual, although Kenshin figured the constant training he was doing was so he wouldn't snap and Kill somebody.....

And that didn't even count his problems....


He was so wrapped up in his thinking he didn't know she was there until she touched his shoulder, startling him so badly he almost jumped off the boat.

"K-Karou-dono!" He sighed, willing his heart to slow down. "You scared me."

Karou's eyes flashed dangerously at hearing him calling her dono again, Kenshin missing the warning signs.

"Gomensai, Kenshin." She faked a smile. "Enjoying the view?"

It was a lovely night indeed....a clear night lit only by the stars and full moon....

The only thing better was standing beside him.


He gave himself a hard mental shake. Stop that, he berated himself. How can you think like that when.....

"Stop it."


Karou looked at him with such anger he took a step back. "You've been avoiding me ever since we got on this damn boat, Kenshin, and I'm sick of it! What's wrong with you?!"

Kenshin just looked away.

"It's Tomoe, isn't it?" Kenshin not answering was enough for Karou, who made an effort not to whack the Baka before she said what she had to say.

"Look at me, Kenshin." She squeezed his shoulder.


Despite his mind warning him not to, he did....and regretted it when he saw the sadness in her eyes. *My fault, as always.... No matter how hard I try I still hurt her.*

"Leave me be...."

"And let you drive yourself into the ground over nothing? Is that what you want?" Karou was starting to lose her grip on her temper. "Haven't you learned that hiding from me doesn't work?"

Nothing she says....Kenshin felt a small rush of anger. Why can't she ever wake up? If there was ever a sign that two people weren't meant to be, his former wife coming back to life was one of them.

And now, I'm not sure I've really let her go in the first place....

Karou swore. Not just swearing, but a full Sano style rant that made Kenshin's ears burn. Then after she finally ran out of words she sighed and looked him deep in the eyes.

"Tomoe and I had a long talk the other night." Kenshin raised an eyebrow in surprise.

"And to make a long story short, She wanted me to remind you of what she told you that night...and you should think for yourself once in a while because you deserve to be happy."

Kenshin blinked....Then his surprise turned into a rueful grin. Sly as always.... ne, Tomoe?

"It's unfair for two to team up on me, you know...." Kenshin watched the worry and hurt bleed out of her eyes, feeling cleansed himself. Agratou, Kami-sama, for blessing me with these two.

“Although I have a feeling that's not all you two talk about...."The wicked grin that slowly appeared confirmed his fears.

"Tomoe did have some...." Her tone was mischevious, "interesting stories to tell...."

Kenshin's complexion rainbowed. "Ooorrrrrrooooo...."

Karou was so happy to hear him back to normal, she hugged him. From the shadows, Tomoe watched with a smile.

"They belong together, ne, Jubei?"

To her amusement, Jubei swore in surprise, slinking out the shadows to stand beside her. "Yeah, I guess so." He glanced at her. "And you're ok with it?"

Tomoe chuckled. "Am I jealous, you mean? A little...But Kenshin's happiness is more important than anything to me now, and if that girl has healed his poor heart then she has my blessing. Besides...." Tomoe flashed him on of his trademark sneers. "I had him first.... and I know I will always be a part of him, as he is a part of me."

"Oh, I see." Jubei snorted. "Never figured you to be the martyr type. Then again, I never understood you anyway, Tomoe." Tomoe sniffed haughtily.

"Flattery didn't work last time, Kimagami-san, It won't work now." Jubei snickered. He remembered that time he came for Battousai while he was still married, thinking he could charm his way past Tomoe as an 'old friend.' Not only had Tomoe seen past that, but she warned him in a oh so 'conversational' tone that she wouldn't like someone bothering her husband for a fight today. He also didn't fail to notice the cooking knife she 'subtlety' waved at him while she said it. So he ended up staying for dinner and waiting for another day, when she wouldn't be around, hopefully....

And make Battousai pay for that knowing smirk he had to put up with the whole time.

"As you wish, Tomoe-sama." He said sarcastically. Tomoe sighed. I just hope it lasts.....