The Enishi & Kaoru Project
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Affiliates: The Sheath :: The Crouching Tiger's Realm

Blood and Snow
So It Begins

by: Yasai-chan

           The girl stirred as the ship rocked on the water, Enishi glanced over, hoping she wouldn't wake up until they got there. He didn't want to be around when she awoke, hell he'd prefer to pretty much stay away from her altogether. A frown appeared across his face as he realized he was still watching the girl. With a short growl he stood up and walked out of the cabin, nodding to one of the attendants outside the door to watch her. He slung on his jacket haphazardly and grabbed a cup of tea from an unsuspecting lackey, then continued across the ship. At the bow, he paused and stared out into the horizon, sipping the tea.

           Kaoru laconically stretches as sleeps hold starts to fade away, Yawning loudly she sleepily mumbles. "Mmm…s'breakfast ready yet Kenshi…n…" she pauses seeming to hear an answer although no one replies. "Ok then…just five more minizz…." She trails off and falls back into bed. Less than a few moments later, she bolts up again, in panic.

           "I don't remember what…." She gasps as she realizes the last thing she remembers is Enishi grabbing her. She glances around, and takes in the whole image of the room. Although sparsely furnished, it's far from poorly done. Kaoru sighs and looks down at herself. She jumps out of the bed with a short yelp.

           "Why am I wearing a bathrobe!?" her eye twitches as millions of possibilities flash through her mind, but she shakes them off. "I feel to refreshed for anything like that to have happened… and he said that he meant me no harm…." She trails off, wondering why she feels she should trust him. She frowns and picks up a vase.

           "In any case, I need to get out of here. Kenshin needs me." She smiles fondly as she says his name. She walks out of the room and blinks as the sight of the island faces her. How am I… she thinks to herself, but is interrupted by a voice.

           "There's no use trying to escape" the voice says dully. Kaoru spins around ready to strike, but pauses, as she sees the speaker. Enishi is covered in bandages save for most of his face, and his arm rests in a sling, jacket hanging of the shoulder of the injured arm. His eyes also have a dull look to them, and Kaoru is taken aback at how different he seems. Enishi watches her as he continues.

           "It's a deserted island, a relay station my organization uses to ship goods by sea into Tokyo. It's at least 20 kilometers to the nearest island, and there are sharks in the area. On top of that, except for the inlet you see before you, it's all shear vertical precipice. Aside from the weekly ferry, no one can get in or out. In short, it's a natural prison. You'll just have to be patient. Sooner or later I'll send you back to Tokyo." He finishes, Kaoru still frozen looking at him.

           After a minute of silence, she finally asks almost meekly, "…how soon" she says, still looking quizzically at Enishi, as if trying to figure something out. Enishi smiles in response, thinking to himself As soon as battousai is dead, yet he only responds,

           "Well…. Not long." Kaoru finally seems to regain her composure, and she bluntly asks "Just one more thing, why didn't you kill me? I was sure, I'd be killed….." Enishi stops smiling.

           "That's not something we need to talk about" he says as he turns around and walks back toward the house. Kaoru watches him go. I can't figure any of this out. She thinks to herself. Was it pity? . . . No. That can't be it. He all but said during the fight that there was no such thing in his heart. I don't understand. She recalls his smile. But it seems like his revenge is complete. Something's happening to Kenshin. Kenshin-- . . . I can't leave it like this. Somehow, I have to get off this island! Still, she stands there looking after Enishi, making no move to go anywhere despite her mental pep talk. There's something about him that…bugs me somehow… she trails off, not even knowing how to finish that thought.

           Enishi eyed Gein as he walks down the hallway into the house. That's right he thinks, his job here is finished… I'd better get rid of him soon. He looked ahead again as he continued walking.

           Kenshin still sat there, staring off into the silence and ghostly whispers that plagued his soul. Kaoru was dead… Dead like he killed Tomoe, dead like countless other people he slaughtered with his own hands, feeling the blood drip down, seemingly soaking into his very soul, where it would forever drip like the tears of his victims. His mind felt blissfully, yet still painfully numb.

           How could I have believed I could atone, because of my foolishness more people suffered, and Kaoru…? Why her… She was the most…she was so alive. His face twitched ever so slightly, had anyone been watching it would be doubtful they'd even notice. He sat there still silently, chained to his guilt like he'd chained his sakabatou to its sheath.

           Yahiko spat up blood in one violent heave, as he flew into the wall of one of the shops. It dripped down his chin onto his twitching hand, his hand that was straining to lift his body off the ground. He cursed as the whale of a man approached before he could recover. I'm going to die; I'm going to die right here, before I even… Yahiko winced as the huge hand lifted him by his skull in a painfully squeezing grip. He screamed out as the pressure intensified. No I can't I've got to somehow…. And Kenshin…. He groaned.

           Tsubame watched in horror as all that blood, and the screams… Her face contorted in a troubled mask of agony as she looked on until she couldn't stand it anymore. Shaking her head back and forth she backed up a few steps, and then turned around and broke out in a full run, determined to find someone to help. Glancing back and forth across the street to the scattering villagers, and some people watching in horror, she didn't see the figure that stood right before her, and crashed headlong into him. The figure caught her with an uff and then set her to the side.

           "Where are you off to in such a frenzy" a cold voice said, followed by an odd breath that sounded like someone was inhaling a cigarette. Tsubame looked up to find a ominous looking figure with almost demonic bright yellow eyes looking down at her. For a while her mouth moved but no sound came out, and then finally, she squeaked out Yahiko's name. The figure looked up towards the town, looked back down at her, and then abruptly walked past her. Tsubame could do nothing but stare after him.

           Yahiko winced as the crushing pain only continued, and then suddenly everything stopped, and he tumbled to the ground, where he lay, half unconscious, but still conscious enough to look up one last time to se the huge man bellow and fall. Yahiko used the last of his strength to roll out of the way, where he collapsed for good.

           Saitoh wiped his sword of the blood coating it and sheathing it, walked away from the corpse. Kaoru crouched low, sneaking down the hallway to where Enishi was sitting on the porch. I've got to get on that ship she thought, determined as her grip on the makeshift broom handle weapon tightened. Enishi leaned back, barely thinking of his meeting with Heishin, brushing it off like so much dust. Kaoru crept closer. Enishi Abruptly stood up, Kaoru darted behind a corner just before he purposefully strode by. Kaoru waited minutes, before she too, followed behind him at a distance.

           Gein looked down the path from the beach watching after Heishin lost in a train of thought. As opposed to the daring Enishi, who rules by fear, the prudent strategist Heishin, who rules by planning . . . He's much as I've heard. The delicate balance between them has guided the organization for many years . . But, to put it another way, if either of them moved to disturb that balance . . . He stared towards the ferry he would soon be leaving on.

           "Oh well, it has nothing to do with me," he mumbled aloud. He turned around to glance down the path just in time to widen his eyes in surprise as his body was cut apart in two swift strokes. Blood splattered across Enishi's face as the four quarters of Gein's body fell to the ground with a sickening thud, speckling dark splotches of blood across the sand, which soon soaked into the beach, a crab scuttled away from the masked face, forever frozen in a death mask underneath that no one would see. Heishin and his bodyguards came back down the path.

           Kaoru nervously looked on, her hand covering her mouth to stifle a sound of horror building up inside her. Heishin eyed the body with distaste as he spoke to Enishi,

           "I see you decided to take care of it yourself." He observed.

           "I prefer not to take any chances with my vengeance." Enishi replied, wiping off his blade and holding it off to the side.

           "You remember your agreement" Heishin said, more a statement than a question. Enishi threw a sidelong glance at Heishin.

           "I told you so earlier did I not? I care nothing for the position after this is done, you're welcome to it." Enishi said in a slightly dangerous tone, annoyed that Heishin brought it up for the second time this day. "Take those with you," he gestured to the bloody corpse lying on the beach, "and have them disposed of in the sea." Enishi turned around and started walking towards the house once more. One of Heishin's bodyguards made a gesturing glance towards the jungle. Enishi replied with a curt nod. Striding down the pathway, he didn't even pause in step to haul Kaoru out of the bushes and fling her over his shoulder, continuing to the house. Kaoru was still fighting her bile rising from the sight of the slaughter. Enishi dropped her none to gently on the doorstep of the house, Kaoru immediately rushed to the side and vomited into the bushes. Enishi eyed her with slight amusement, though it barely showed.

           "I would have thought you'd be used to seeing blood, Kenshin gets cut up so much." Then as abruptly as a summer storm, his tone changed cold. "It's useless to try and escape, I told you before." He hauled her back onto the doorstep and into the house, forcing her against the wall. "Do you think you could have lasted the whole trip without being found? Do you know what they'd do to you if you were found?" A malicious glean lit Enishi's eye. "Many things far more depraved than you view my slaughter would be done to you, and afterwards you might even be hauled off to china and sold as a whore or a concubine, but that's only the nicest of scenarios" He let go of her suddenly and started walking down the hall "I suggest you wait here and bide your time until I return you." Still shocked, Kaoru barely forced herself to call barely above a whisper after him

           "He was… your own man..." She looked at him, troubled. Enishi glanced over his shoulder at her as he paused in stride. After what seemed forever to Kaoru, but was in fact only a few seconds he answered.

           "He'd already served his purpose, He was no longer needed." He said bluntly, turning around and walking away once more. Kaoru collapsed in the hallway once again, astounded at Enishi's cruelty, yet on the other hand, confused by his outburst of possible…concern. As she wondered what to expect next from him, she aimlessly glanced at her hand, realizing she must have dropped her makeshift weapon somewhere

           Kaoru woke up suddenly from a nightmare, Kenshin's decapitated head still stared at her, and the image imprinted red on the back of her eyelids. She panted hurriedly as she tried to wipe the image of Kenshin cut into four pieces from her mind, cut up just like Enishi had slaughtered his own man. Still disoriented, she stood up unsteadily and almost stumbled into the far wall before she caught her balance, she had to get out of here. Glancing about the room she couldn't find anything that would work as a weapon, so fearfully, she crept out unarmed.

           Shivering the whole way down the hall, she was startled by a whisper of a sound coming from the porch. Forgetting her fear, curiosity took over, and she crept towards the sound. She stopped crouching in the doorway, as Enishi sat hunched over his hands in what seemed like a sob.

           "Tomoe…..Onee'san…." He whispered in a boyish voice, as if reliving the past. "I didn't even get to say goodbye.." Kaoru looked on with an emotion she couldn't quite distinguish. She stood up and made like to take a step forward, and just as she did, Enishi screamed.

           "Why! Why aren't you smiling!" He screamed out at the air, jumping up out of the chair. He slumped a bit dejectedly "Don't look at me like that… Tomoe…." He said barely above a whisper,

           Kaoru had to strain to catch it after the surprise of his outburst. Enishi was now facing her, but he didn't seem to notice. Kaoru opened her mouth as if to say something when he continued with a dark hiss, "So that's it," he said looking up at her, but almost looking past her "Sheeee's alive, you're replacement, substitute…" Before Kaoru even realizes what happened, he has her by the throat. "She won't be content until you're killed! Die… Die!!" He yells strangling her, yet not conscious of her presence. Kaoru chokes out a breath and tries to speak, only a strangled squeak escaping her throat. Just as she's about to black out, Enishi contorts backward, stumbling, as if thrown. Seemingly seeing her for the first time, a troubled look of horror crosses his face as he stumbles into the chair and falls over to the ground retching violently. Kaoru looks on in a state of wonder, rubbing her throat. So that's why he didn't kill me…Kaoru thought, The image of his sister's death when he was young . . . The shock, so great it turned his hair white, left a deep scar on his heart. He can't face any young woman without seeing his sister in her. So no matter how much he wants to kill me in his head, his body will refuse… She watched him curl up into himself on the ground,

           Weakly Enishi whispers to the wind,

           "Why… why won't you smile for me Onee..san….Tomoe…" Kaoru glanced at him one last time before creeping back to her room and falling onto the bed, mentally exhausted for some reason.

           Kaoru awoke under the covers, with no idea how she got there. She remembered blacking out on top of the bed…Shaking her head, she decided it didn't matter and headed off to find the kitchen, there was obviously no one else on the island but her and Enishi, and it was doubtful he could cook. Upon finding the kitchen, she was surprised there was even supplies there, but she immediately rolled up her sleeves and grabbed a knife, quickly butchering a radish.

           Pausing, her thoughts strayed to Enishi. Hrm, come to think of it….

           Enishi looks up to see Kaoru carrying a tray of rice, miso soup and fish.

           "What are you doing" he asked. Kaoru didn't look at him until she set down the tray in front of him.

           "Nothing. Only if you're cooking for one you might as well cook for two. You've barely eaten anything since you've been here. I know no one's using the kitchen but me. So eat up!" Enishi looked at the tray, as Kaoru turned to go. The weakness I saw in him--if I attack the scars on his heart, it could make my sudden escape easier than I thought…

           "You can clean your own dishes" she said as she walked off. But… I don't like this. She sighed. I'm too nice…

           Enishi stared at the tray as he remembered a time when Tomoe used to greet him as he came home. You must be hungry. Wait a minute, I was just making dinner … He picks up the miso soup and sips it.

           "It tastes bad…"

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Disclaimer: Site created by the ExK no Tenshi-tachi. Enishi, Kaoru & other Rurouni Kenshin characters belong to Watsuki Nobuhiro-sensei, Sony, and Shonen Jump. The rest are products of the webdominatrices' imagination. Please don't sue us. We're very poor.