rurouni kenshin is by watsuki nobuhirou (c) shueisha jump, sony, fuji tv, anime works
"kaede", performed by 'spitz'; words by kusano masamune; translated by ryuichi-san
notes: yatta, minna! here's an action packed one. thank you to those who took the poll. but to tell you the truth it's just a survey & i already decided on the end. but seriously, how would you answer shizuka-san's question? also, can you name where the 'flashback lines' come from?? well, on with the fic! jill 4/25/1

A Summer's Wait
Part 7: "Reasons"

Aa, kimi no koe wo daite aruite iku
Aa, boku no mama de dokomade todoku darou
Aa, kimi no koe wo...
Ah, embracing your voice I'll keep walking
Ah, I wonder how far I'll get as I am
Ah, your voice...

Yahiko sat by the river, his arms tucked away in his sleeves. Still in his face was a look of shock and bitter tears for what he had done. ‘What am I becoming…?’ he wondered, staring into his reflection, ‘All along I thought I was growing up, demo…’

His hands shook at the thought of Yutaro… the scene of the shinai bashing him in the side of the skull, the wood breaking and blood erupting. They trained and laughed together, they shared a bond in kenjutsu and understood each other best… the one person he trusted most and considered his best friend was the one he had brought senseless harm to.

‘Naze… why did I…??’ he yelled at himself, ‘My goal… I’m so close… demo, what was my goal to begin with? Why did I want to become stronger? It’s so long ago… I don’t even remember the reason why I wanted this so badly… and now…’

He could still feel Tsubame’s eyes piercing into his heart. Obviously, this was the last straw for her, and never again would she give him a chance in the world. He had lost her for good.

The boy grasped at his hair and clenched his eyes close. “What’s the point…” he sighed sadly, “Without the one I love…”

* * *
Kenshin and Saitou hurried to the pier, but already the Igarashi and his squad had left; the full boat off in the distance. “Yakuso… they didn’t even wait for us.” Saitou grunted, lighting a cigarette.

“Sano will have to handle things until we catch up de gozaru.” Kenshin said, looking around at the boats, “Let’s find someone who will lend sessha-tachi a ride to the island de gozaru…”

”Nan de? Let’s just confiscate it.” the cop replied, going to a random boat, “Besides, you’re acting very calm, Battousai… considering the news you’ve just learned.”

The samurai paused and closed his eyes, remembering the scenes that had taken place in the station. Ishida brought forth the parcel sent to them by the Reisengumi. Inside were three pairs of women’s garments. One of them was definitely Kaoru’s, her favorite blue maternity kimono… now covered with bloody gashes as well as the others. When he saw this, he instantly went dizzy and threw up. Just the sight of it brought to mind the events that had taken place.

“Dakara,” Kenshin uttered, staring past his rival, “I won’t believe it until I see it with my own eyes. Kaoru wouldn’t give up so easily, and the ‘real’ Reisengumi wouldn’t kill without cause. Somehow, I feel it can’t be true and that there’s still hope… ”

“And what if it is true… then what?”

“Then,” he replied, clenching his fists, “I’ll still go there and take back her body, burying it where she wished. If that is the case… demo, if she had gone from this world, I know I’d feel it. Yet, I only feel that time is the essence and that perhaps right now she needs our help.”

”Hm? You really have faith in her?”

”Aa,” Kenshin said, leaping onto a random boat, “Now untie the rope and let’s get going!”

Saitou grinned. “Now that’s the way to talk, Battousai.”

As soon as they got the boat cast off, the owner came out from the store he was in and started screaming towards them. Saitou simply laughed it up, smoking all the while. Kenshin could only stare towards the island ahead and the boat that had reached ashore.

‘Kaoru, if you’re still there… please, hang on… I’m coming…’

* * *
Sanosuke stood on deck, helping with lifting the ammunition. “Yo,” he whispered to one of his comrades, “Ya think these Reisengumi are really scary??”

”Cheh, what are you talking about?” he snapped, “Look, we ain’t suppose to be talking right now; we’ll get in trouble. Just work and mind yer own business!”

Another guy noted, “You must be a new guy, chatting during routines.”

Sanosuke rubbed his head, “Oh… I’m fresh outta the academy. Cheh, aren’t you all? I mean I heard that Igarashi’s troop is fairly green. That’s what makes him a top-notch military leader – he’s always training the youth.”

The two guys exchanged looks, whispering to each other, “What’s he talking about?? He must’ve been missing when the boss went over our plans. Hmp, hope he doesn’t screw up the mission.”

Sanosuke turned away, whistling and pretending not to hear. His eyes then glinted. ‘Something is fishy around here. Kenshin and that damn sonofabitch cop better hurry up. I don’t think I can take on all these people. But if I have to…’

He paused to crack his knuckles. Already, they had reached shore. He could see the villa just beyond the beach and some trees. Igarashi gave the okay for them to get off the boat and line up on the sand. Obediently, he got in place and strained to hear the commands.

“It seems they have taken refuge inside the villa and are playing to use it as their headquarters. There was reported over a hundred men involved. Rather than risk an ambush, we’ll have to use methods to force them out to surrender. Men, let us surround the building and set it aflame. In other words, we’ll smoke them out of hiding.”

Immediately, they all started to work. But Sanosuke slipped off to the side, glaring towards the villa. ‘What if they don’t come out to surrender? A hundred men could be killed… or worse, Jou-chan and Tsubame-chan might still be alive, but unable to escape and be left for dead… iya! I gotta do something! But what??’

He glanced around at the large and muscular troops, pouring gasoline around the villa. They sure didn’t look like green soldiers or middle-class fishermen. And the armed boat they had used to get there was fairly new. Slowly by slowly he was putting the pieces together.


* * *
For some reason the shaking would stop. Maybe because it was cold, or because she was losing blood by the minute. Tsubame gazed into the dark basement, trembling. ‘Maybe because I’m scared… of dying…’

She turned to the others, who like her were in their undergarments. Shizuka was leaning against the wall, still very stunned. Kaoru hadn’t responded. She was lying on the ground; unconscious from the blow she took to the head. They had tried to stop the bleeding by ripping up some curtains for bandages, but she still hadn’t come to.

‘This is all my fault.’ she sobbed, clenching her eyes close. She remembered leaving the hospital in haste, needing to talk to someone, anyone. For some reason she thought about Shizuka. When she reached the pier, she hadn’t figured out how to get to her, since it was always Yutaro who gave her a ride. Then, that man showed up…

“I’m on my way to see Shizuka as well.” he said, “Would you like a ride on my boat? We can see her together.” When she asked who he was, he replied, “I’m her fiancé.” At these words, she was surprised, because Shizuka had never mentioned that she was engaged. But the way he said it wasn’t lying, and she ended up trusting him.

When she got to the villa, she went ahead first. She was very happy to see Kaoru there, but before any word could be said, a gun had appeared at her head. “Don’t move or I’ll shoot the girl!” said the man.

Shizuka gasped, “T-Touru-san?? Doushite?!”

”Nani? You know this guy?” Kaoru asked.

Shizuka explained that Igarashi Touru was an acquaintance, and that his father was trying to set up a marriage between them. Of course she refused: “Why the heck should I?”

“And why should I?” Touru replied, he and Tsubame coming closer, “My father is just another Inshin Shishi. I don’t give a damn about corrupt politics and I don’t want forced into something I don’t want. That old man wouldn’t listen to me even if I tried – he’s been controlling me all my life and I’m sick of it!! Sou, to end this episode, I will just have to get rid of all those involved, and then blame it on some poor sap. Everything is going smoothly to plan, and all what’s left is you!”

He pushed Tsubame aside and opened his gun to show that it was empty all along. But then he took out a single bullet, which he loaded. Grinning, he pointed at Shizuka. “Wakkata.” she replied, not flinching. “If it means that you let the others go free, I won’t mind being sacrificed.”

“YAMETTE!” Kaoru cried, jumping Touru. The two of them struggled a bit, but then he knocked her aside with a good elbow to the face. She went crashing into a pillar, her head hitting the stone, drawing blood.

“Kaoru-san!” Tsubame exclaimed, getting onto her feet. But as she was about to run towards her, she saw Touru lift his gun to the anticipating Shizuka. “IYAA!! DAME!!!”

The gunshot went off. Tsubame managed to rush over in time to push Shizuka off to the side, the bullet brushing against her arm and hitting the wall behind them. Touru cursed for using up his own ammunition that he had used on his other victims. In the end, he took out a knife and forced them to give him all their outer garments. He then locked them in the basement. They had been there since.

“Doushite?” Shizuka finally spoke, her eyes moving to the bleeding girl, “Why did you do that?”

Tsubame clutched at her injury. “Kaoru-san… she would have been devastated if you died. She doesn’t need to go through that pain once again. If that was what happened, I wouldn’t forgive you.” She smiled weakly towards her, “This pain is nothing to what Kaoru-san or I would feel if we lost someone we care about.”

Shizuka slowly nodded. The three of them were shivering in the cool basement and barely light was there. They wondered what was going on upstairs. And what Touru had done. Her answer would come with smoke. “N-Nani?! What’s going on?!”

* * *
The fires had already started outside. Sanosuke was sneaking around, trying to find an opportunity to attack at least a portion of the army. ‘My gut says to stop these guys, and I sure as hell can’t wait for Kenshin any longer. Here goes!!’

“RAAAAAARURURAAAA!!!” he called out, charging the group. They of course were stunned, especially when one of their own started beating on them. One of them managed to scurry away and call for help. “Chikuso!” Sanosuke grumbled as herds were coming at him.

“It’s that guy again!” shouted one, “I knew he would be trouble!” His comrade replied, “The fires have started, so let’s get him before he does something else!” And so, they drew their swords and started to attack him at once.

“You ain’t soldiers are ya?!” Sanosuke snapped, fighting five at a time. He kicked one aside and threw another into two people. “Who are you working for?!” he yelled, punching two at the same time, but then only more came. They soon because thick like bugs, crawling all over him. “Y-Yamero!!!” he cried, all his limbs being grabbed and pulled at, his entire self becoming lost in the crowd, “YAMEROO!!!”

It was then someone lifted their sword and…

* * *
Saitou and Kenshin had finally reached shore. The scene they found was absurd. General Igarashi was tired, bounded, and beaten. The villa before them was on fire. And now, soldiers of the regiment were charging to attack them. “Hmp,” Saitou said, throwing down his cigarette and drawing his sword, “Easy come easy go.”

”Finally I understand,” Kenshin uttered, “The boat we couldn’t trace because it was bought by government ‘secret funds’. And the Reisengumi isn’t inside in the villa! In order to make it look like Igarashi was working with them, the Reisengumi infiltrated as soldiers. Putting him together in the blame. Demo, who is the one pulling the strings?!”

”Battousai, would ya shut your mouth and start fighting!” Saitou hollered, taking down two soldiers, “More importantly, we’ve got to stop these bastards and live to tell the courts the truth!”

Kenshin drew the sakabatou, bashing four men, “Aa, demo… where’s Kaoru?!” His eyes glared towards the house. “Saitou, you look for Sano! I’ll head towards the house!”

”You want me to look for that dumbass rooster?!” Saitou snapped, disabling two more men with a double hit combination of right hook and the back of the sword to render them unconscious, “Fine! But if he gets in my way, I’ll have to kill him!” He then took off, with soldiers on his trail.

Kenshin looked at the remaining men, standing behind him and the burning villa. ‘Kaoru…’ His feet started moving, quickening within each step, “HAAAAAAAAA!!!” Eyes flashing, he charged into battle.

* * *
‘Yakuso…’ Sanosuke had already been stabbed four times and he could taste his own sweat and blood. Trying to breath as well move, he found himself covered with the swarming fighters. “YAKUSO!!!” he cried, grabbing one by the face and throwing him aside. He collided with some other men, but more only came. Sanosuke grit his teeth and endured the collisions.

‘Promise me, Sanosuke…’ Megumi’s voice rung in his ears, ‘Please come back…’

‘I’m trying, Fox,’ he said to himself, another bash to the head coming, ‘It’s so hard… I can’t even see anything… what do I have to do?! Why won’t these bastards go down!? Why are there so many?!’ He was struck again, collapsing onto his knees, ‘Megumi…’

Saitou was on his way, taking down men as he walked towards the crowd. “Hm? Is this where the rooster is?? Looks like he’s being eaten alive. What fun. I think I might watch…” All of sudden, there was a cry and the men seemed to be thrown away from the core of the crowd. “N-Nani?!”

”RAAAAAARR!!!” Sanosuke hollered, standing up. His fists were clenched and kenki fired up – the wind surrounding him. “KAZE SAKUSEIGIJUTSU!” he exclaimed, grinning down at the fallen men at his feet. “Whatdya think, Saitou??”

Saitou was smoking and ignoring him. At this, Sanosuke facefaulted, his wounds coming alive with full force. Saitou shook his head at the rookie and then helped him up. “Ahou, let’s go check if Battousai is still alive.”

* * *
”Kyaa!” Tsubame cried as the ceiling started to crumbling, burning refuge falling onto them. “We’ve got to get out of here!” Shizuka nodded, going to put Kaoru on her back. The two of them cautiously went up the stairs. “The door is still locked!”

”Ee, this house was built using a Western design. If it were a traditional house, we’d be able to leap through it. But this door can only be opened with a key, which I don’t have with me.”

”Hmm...” Tsubame suddenly had an idea. “Shizuka-san, sumimasen! But I need to use your hair clip! I’ll replace it later, but it’s urgent!” She was handed the brass dragonfly clip and started to bend it into the shape she wanted. “I’ve got to hurry. The stairs are catching on fire too and could collapse at any time.”

Sweating, Tsubame picked at the lock. All around them was destruction. The air was so thin and the flames were getting closer. “You can do it.” Shizuka uttered, “Hayaku, onegai…”

Tsubame give it one more try and heard a click. She then pushed against the door, it flying open. “YATTA!!” Her relief was only replaced by further fear. All around was flames. There was no way out. “S-Sou na!!” she cried, tears filling her eyes, ‘Are we going to die here… like this?!’ She turned to the unconscious woman on Shizuka’s back, ‘If only…’

“We’ve got to get out of here, but how?!” Shizuka exclaimed as Tsubame came over to help her support the weight. “Hah?” She realized the girl’s tears, her shaking. Death was breathing on their necks, ready to take them away. Shizuka slipped her free hand into hers, “It’s not going to end like this… I assure you…”

”D-demo!” Tsubame cried, “What are we going to do? I-I’m so… so…”

”There’s nothing to fear.” said a voice. They turned around and realized that Kaoru was awake. She got on her own feet and wiped her eyes, her wound still continuing to drain her. She took a moment to look at her surroundings. “We can't give up. I feel some strong battke auras near - surely, the other's have come for us! We’ve got to let them know we’re still in here!”

”How?” Shizuka asked. She paused as Kaoru just started screaming her head off. “Yikes! What boisterous voice!! I can’t think if you’re being so loud…” She took a moment to realize what she was doing. “OH! I’ll help!” She then joined in. Together, they sounded like a pair of seagulls.

Tsubame opened her mouth, but unable to lift her voice. Deaf in one ear from the other’s screaming, she strained to listen to the crackling noise of the fire burning all around them. ‘If only… if I could…’ She clenched her eyes closed, reaching deep for her courage and her voice. “…aaaaa…Aaaaa…AAAAAAAAAA!!!!” The three of them working together made the loud cries surpass the burning sound, finally reaching the outside.

Just then part of the wall exploded into dust. Sanosuke remained, his face a sly grin. “FUTAE NO KIWANI!” The girls came towards the hole, him going to meet them. “Daijoubu da yo?” he asked, helping them out.

“Uhn!” Tsubame replied, clutching at the bloody under-layer of her kimono. Kaoru was wearing the same, where as Shizuka was in a slip. Sanosuke pulled off his soldier’s tunic and handed it to her.

“A-Arigatou.” she replied, “Demo, you have many wounds…”

”Cheh,” Sanosuke chuckled, “Don’t hurt me! I’m a bit above the ordinary.” He started cringing when Saitou poked at the injury on his back. “YAMERO!!!”

“Hmp, while you’re chatting away, your friend is handling the rest of them.”

”Kenshin!” Kaoru cried, breaking into a run.

* * *
On the other side of the house, by the beach entrance, Kenshin struggled to stand. Though he had taken down a great number of the men, they kept coming to him – and he was all alone. ‘Chikuso! The building is already burning down… Saitou and Sano haven’t come back… and Kaoru… Kaoru, where are you!? Are you… ?!’

“AAAARGGG!!” he cried, throwing off someone from his arm, then bashing them with bottom of his sword, doing an entire rotation to get the ones coming from behind. He could see more coming from the boat. Catching his breath, he glared at them, “I won’t give up…”

”Heh, seems the Battousai isn’t as young as he used to be.” taunted one, “What’s the matter? Thought you were the strongest?? Why do you fight so weakly?? Why don’t you just make your life easier and kill us?! We just want to die honorable deaths!”

”Iya…” Kenshin gasped, “All of you will suffer for your crimes – not through the escape of death. There is absolutely no honor in it at all!”

”That’s what you say! But we’ll be honored for killing the legendary Hitokiri!” This time, they all charged him with their swords ready to finish him off. Two of them were coming ahead of everyone else, from both directions. Kenshin felt his legs become numb, his mind in a blur.

‘Kaoru… where are you… I can’t go on…’


Kaoru saw the battle ahead of her. ‘Iya! Dame!!’ It was possible for her to make it in time. But she didn’t have a weapon. Also, there were over ten men surrounding him. The extra heartbeat within her further reminded her of her limits, her responsibilities. ‘He’s capable… I know he is…’ She clenched her fists, her feet coming to a halt. The blades were going directly to him – it was her worst fear come true, but this time … she had to face her fears.


At the sound of her voice, Kenshin’s eyes widened. ‘Kaoru?!’ Within that very instant, he saw a multitude of scenes playing right before his eyes. All throughout, he could hear her, her voice encouraging him, strengthening him:

I want to be with you always…
Don’t ever hesitate…
We’re be all right…
Kenshin is with me…

“I HAVE NO REASON TO DIE!” Kenshin yelled, lifting his arms in time. He caught one blade in his free hand and blocked the other with the sakabatou. He then thrusted the blade back at the user, bashing him in the head, while the sakabatou went out, tossing the other man to collide with his comrades.

“Don’t give up!!” Kaoru called out, watching him. He shook the blood from his hand and removed his sheath. Armed in both hands, he awaited their attack. He anticipated every move, getting in front of them and striking them down before they could even lift their swords. And when the stronger ones regrouped, he picked up his own speed. ‘Ryu So Sen!’ The multiple hits sent them to their knees. He quickly did a reverse, striking the ones from behind. ‘Following up with a Ryu Kan Sen! And then…’ Kenshin could see the final groups coming at him from both left and right. ‘Finish with a…’


He sent the sakabatou and sheath to the ground, erupting a blast of earth on both sides. The flying rocks took down the final resisters in a quick swoop. Kenshin stumbled a bit, gazing up at the woman who had woke him from his nightmare. “Koishii…”

”KENSHIN!!” Kaoru cried, running towards him. Crying and smiling at the same time, she clutched at her garments and leaped over the fallen men, coming closer and closer to him. Behind her, one of the men had gotten up and attempted to grab her, but she took hold of his wrist and threw him aside, then resumed her running.

At this Saitou started choking on the smoke. “A pregnant woman taking out someone like that… now I’ve seen everything.” he uttered, throwing the unfinished cigarette aside. “Heh, only expected from the wife of Battousai…”

”OI!!!” Sanosuke yelled, in SD-form, “Watch where you throw those things! Ya coulda burned me again!!”

Kaoru finally reached Kenshin, throwing her arms around his head and crying into his shoulder. “Gomen… honto ni gomen nasai!!”

He dropped his weapons and embraced her, “Iya, daijoubu da yo… Kaoru…”

She then lifted up her tearful smile. “Aishiteru, Kenshin…”

onto the conclusion!