Last Exit to Eden

Disclaimer: Okay, here I go again. Rurouni Kenshin is not mine, I'd probably mess it up if it was, I love it the way Watsuki-sensei made it. I just like to borrow the characters (okay, mostly Kenshin... but who can blame me??) once in a while. ^.^x This is a Jinchuu Arc story, and it's kinda like Battousai's reflection on it. I dunno, I wrote it in math class. Gratuitous (is this how you spell it?) Thank-Yous: Thanks to Miyu-chan for introducing me to RK, thanks to Vision-chan for supplying me with fanfic challenges, thanks to everyone else... and thanks to the reader for reading!

I first saw salvation in a teahouse in Kyoto. Or perhaps she saw me first. She smelled of white plums, sake, and strangely enough, of fresh blood. She saw me kill. No one is supposed to see a hitokiri unless it's within that flash of time before the icy fang of a blade severs flesh, bone, and life. She fainted, and I had no other choice. I brought salvation back with me. At first I was reluctant. Who is worthy to have such an angel stay with them? Certainly not a cold- blooded hitokiri with a slashed cheek. She entranced me, enchanted me with her calm silent ways and rare but beautiful smiles. How could I resist tumbling into love with her? And not just shy, puppy-eyed wide-mouthed love. The kind where your heart beats stronger at the memory of a smile, the sound of her name bringing your face a smile of its own. The kind where you would lay your own worthless life at her feet just to hear her tell you she loved only you.

Tomoe... I held her in my arms under the blanket, telling her that I would protect her and her happiness, that I would eventually stop my blood-stained ways and protect the happiness of others, one by one. To feel the touch of her plum- scented silk and her cool fingertips brushing my hand... it was heaven. And one thought entered my enraptured mind. This is your last exit to Eden. Grab it while you can.

The next day I awoke alone. The scented angel, who haunted my heart and turned my daily existence into a living dream, was gone. And a challenge letter was in her place. I fought back to save her, first without my sixth sense, then deaf, and finally blind. And only the thought of Tomoe and those quiet smiles, the sweet scent of her clothes and hair, the touch of those slender fingertips, the hidden sadness in her black eyes; that was the only thing that kept me fighting. I fought blindly, using what little senses I had. I attacked- And that sense, that sense of smell, the one which hadn't left me in that battle- White plums. Mingling with fresh blood. Tomoe--!! I took her into my arms, crying her name, ignoring the fresh slash across my face. She told me not to cry, that it was okay. And as I mourned for my sweet dying angel, my only salvation, my fading hope, that creeping thought once again crawled into my anguished mind. Perhaps Eden wasn't made for someone like me.