nagia: (rk; a/m; blue eyed psycho romeo)
YOUR CHILDREN DESERVE LEXCORP JETPACKS ([personal profile] nagia) wrote in [community profile] terzarima2010-10-18 06:53 pm

Rurouni Kenshin; Rated M; "Hard Times" [2/3]

Title: Hard Times
Fandom/Pairing: Rurouni Kenshin; Aoshi, Misao
Rating: ESRB Rating of M for Mature
Notes: A response to Western Ink's "Daughter Figure", and also half a remix. With many thanks to [personal profile] leviathanmirror

Hard Times
two: interlude


She's fine for a week. But eight days out of Kyoto and she's not fine at all, because she remembers this road all too well.

Two days later, Misao remembers the city gate, too, and the little minshuku she snuck out of because she couldn't sleep, and back into because --

Misao stops to wonder why she snuck back in. The cut on her thigh had burned with every step, and sent agony jolting down her legs when she climbed to her window.

Had she wanted to make sure nobody saw? Even that soon?


She has a hard time sleeping her second month out. Three or four times a night, she crashes into wakefulness with a taiko drum beating in her chest. It pounds so hard she can feel it throb in her ears.

She's just used to city noises, she tells herself. It has nothing to do with never being snuck up on again.


Spring blossoms into summer with no sign of Aoshi. Not even the hint of a rumor. Summer gradually ripens from red and green to gold and brown, and when the breezes blow longer, she treks back to Kyoto.

This time she heads straight for the Aoi-ya. Okina gives her an armpit hug of doom that's a little less sweaty, but his noogie's a little rougher than it was last year.

And she keeps her cool. She doesn't feel caged in when Omasu and the others gather around her. They cover her in hugs, in questions, in affection and she needs it, she wants it --

She doesn't feel caged in. She doesn't. It's ridiculous to feel trapped when they're your family.

And she starts to hate herself again.


She can't sleep at home, either. She opens her window and looks at the city she loves, even if she leaves it every year, but that doesn't calm her jangling nerves.

So she crawls back into her futon and pulls the covers over her head. Despite the blankets, she can still hear footsteps on the street, cats meowing and dogs barking. Laughter drifts from distant teashops. Somewhere, someone plays a bamboo flute. Badly.

She thinks about slipping out the window to sit on the roof until she's tired, just like she used to.

But her gaze falls to the scar. The angry red has mostly faded into an old purple, though it's bright pink at the edges.

At the edge of the street, smoke rises over a bath house.

She pulls the wooden shutter closed.

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