DISCLAIMER & OTHER STUFF: Rurouni Kenshin is the creation of Nobuhiro Watsuki (All hail!!). No copyright infringement is intended, no profit is being made off this. This is merely a piece of fanfic meant for entertainment purposes only. This story is supposed to take place after the Kyoto and Revenge arcs (assuming Kenshin kicks Enishi's ass to hell and beyond and gets Kaoru back) so those are the spoilers to watch out for. There are also spoilers in here from the RK movie. Go easy on me, please! It's my first Ruroken fanfic. Comments and helpful criticism would be most welcome. Flames will be blasted away by the Revenant Prince & Alucard of Castlevania (mwaahahahahahahahaha!).
Beyond death and rebirth,
There are ties that can never be broken.
Memories that refuse to be forgotten.
Paths that remain the same. And a destiny that cannot be changed…
Shadow in The Sun
A Rurouni Kenshin/Samurai X
Fan Fic by the Kat
My care is like my shadow in the sun,
Follows me flying, flies when I pursue it,
Stands and lies by me, does what I have done.
--Queen Elizabeth Tudor of England
from the novel "Legacy" by Susan Kay
The rurouni was wandering down a long corridor, doors lined up on either side of him. Behind each door was a memory—some of happy days filled with sunlight and the bright laughter of children. But most of those memories were of dark nights filled with terror and pain, of the stench of blood and entrails, of the screams of the dying.
The rurouni chose not to open these doors tonight. He'd been down this way too many times as it were. Tonight, he stared straight ahead, walking steadily towards the door at the end of the room.
He slid the door open. The room was pitch dark. The rurouni went inside, unerringly finding his way to the middle of the room. He sat down on the floor, placing his sword in front of him and waited.
Somewhere, a light was struck, slowly brightening up the room. The rurouni was sitting in front of a small table. A pot of tea and a small bottle of sake had been set there, along with two cups. A young samurai was sitting across from the rurouni, on the other side of the table. The two were a study in contrasts. The samurai wore a simple, yet well-made uniform in shades of purple and blue. His long red hair was pulled up in a high ponytail and his eyes seemed to flicker from a pale violet to a deep gold. Two swords—a katana and a wakizashi—lay in front of him. Though he was small and seemingly slight of form, a palpable aura of danger surrounded him, leaving no room for doubt that he was a deadly and formidable swordsman.
On the other hand, the rurouni looked as if he'd seen better days. His gi and hakama were patched and worn. His red hair was caught by a strip of cloth at his nape and his eyes were an unusual shade of violet. The sword that lay in front of him was a sakabatou—its sharp and blunt edges reversed, a sword unsuitable for killing. He looked very young, his delicate little face always wearing a sweet, gentle expression, giving him an innocent and harmless air, except for the shadows in his eyes and the cross-shaped scar on his cheek.
As different as they seemed at first glance, the rurouni and the samurai shared one thing in common—their faces were exactly the same. But then, that wasn't surprising, since the rurouni and the samurai were essentially the same person. Only, they were just different sides of the same coin.
The rurouni spoke first. "Battousai. Why have you called me?"
"We need to talk."
"I thought we had more or less settled things already." The rurouni bent over a little to pour himself some tea.
Battousai laughed softly. "It's not that. Though I did have a hell of a time getting you to accept me."
The rurouni flushed slightly. "It's not easy for anyone to come to terms with their dark side."
Battousai shook his head. "I'm not really your 'evil twin', Kenshin." He paused to pour himself some sake. "I am the part of you that is capable of cold, ruthless action. I hold all your shadows, all your dark emotions. And I am also the one who ensures we survive. You—and all those that we love."
Battousai smiled faintly. "She's wonderful."
The rurouni's smile was an echo of the other's. "We don't deserve her."
"True. And then, there's the rest of our little family too. I will not let anything happen to them. Especially now." He sipped his sake and made a face. "Feh. It still tastes like blood."
Kenshin—the rurouni, shook his head. "It's the guilt, Battousai. That's why we stay away from sake, remember?"
"Hn. Guilt's a poisonous emotion, Kenshin. We'd better work this out sooner or later, if only for the sake of our sanity."
"Careful," said Kenshin, a mischievous glint lighting up his eyes. "Do you want to start sounding like Saitoh?"
"Che! Kenshin—" Battousai choked for a moment, then, he struck back, devilment in his golden eyes. "Well, we share more in common with him than you think."
Kenshin shuddered. "No thanks! Let's not even go there."
Battousai sipped again at his sake. "Blood or not, I still need a drink. All Shishou's fault—of course, the one thing we must've picked up from him. You'll be wanting one too, after I tell you what's going on." He set his cup down. "Something is wrong, Kenshin. I don't know what it is and I don't like that. But it bodes danger for us and for our family."
In the waking world, the rurouni would not consciously remember all his dreams. But now, here in this place, he did. "The blood dreams..."
"Hai." Battousai poured himself another cup of sake. "The dreams where we stalked Kyoto as the hitokiri, when we killed all those people—"
"—and enjoyed it," concluded Kenshin sickly. "Delighting in it, especially when the blood ran on the ground. But we never—"
"No," said Battousai harshly. "I enjoy the battle, Kenshin, you know this. As I've said, I hold all the dark emotions you feel. But bloodlust—berserker furies, this is not me. Not us. Never us. You don't remember the dreams when you wake—I've tried to protect you from them. But now, you must remember."
"But why are we having these dreams? If it's from guilt, I can understand. But this--?" Kenshin was baffled.
"The last time we were haunted by dreams of the past, Saitoh came to challenge us. Then, we had to leave for Kyoto to battle Shishio."
"These dreams are a warning then."
"Not quite." Battousai paused, obviously trying to grope for words. "The dreams aren't just warnings. They're something else." His golden eyes were troubled. "Some thing is making us dream these dreams, Kenshin. I can sense it. You know we have certain talents—our warrior's sixth sense is one of them. It warns us when danger is coming. And it IS coming. Watch out for it, Kenshin. I am afraid…"
And then, Himura Kenshin woke up.