Atonement

BY : twistedgirl
Category: Rurouni Kenshin > Yaoi - Male/Male
Dragon prints: 2092
Disclaimer: I do not own Rurouni Kenshin, nor any of the characters from it. I do not make any money from the writing of this story.


Disclaimer: I don’t own Rurouni Kenshin or any of the awesome characters, nor do I make any money from the writing of this story.



 



Author’s Note: This is my interpretation of the way things could’ve gone after Enishi and Kenshin’s fateful encounter on the bridge (Vol. 19, part 163) in the Jinchuu arc.   ^_~



 



Warning: YAOI!  This fic contains m/m relationships and m/m sex in future chapters.  Please don’t read if you are offended by such things.



 



 



           



Chapter One



 



 



 



            Kenshin nervously scanned the dim interior of the dilapidated shack that Enishi had led him to.  What was this place?  It appeared as though nobody had lived here in quite some time, being devoid of anything save a few pieces of broken furniture strewn about.  Pale sunlight streamed through the doorway and a small front window, casting an eerie haze through the veil of dust motes.  Kenshin admonished himself for being so foolish as to mistake Enishi’s silence for a willingness to listen to his explanation of the tragic events of Tomoe’s death.  Now it appeared as though Enishi had something else in mind.  Why had Enishi allowed him to follow him beyond the edge of town?  This deserted hovel, partially obscured by a thicket of dead trees, sat at the end of an old, desolate trail.  Why hadn’t Enishi assaulted him along the way—or even back at the bridge where they’d only just earlier crossed paths for the first time in eleven years?  The bundle the man carried on his back was definitely a sword, Kenshin had decided.  So why hadn’t he drawn it yet?



            Kenshin’s thoughts were interrupted by Enishi’s abrupt demand.



            “Give me your sword!”  Enishi repeated, glowering with contempt at his nemesis.  He remained in the far corner of the room, in the shadows.  He didn’t want to get too close.  Not yet.



            “That isn’t necessary.  I have no desire to harm you,” Kenshin replied calmly.



            Enishi scoffed at those words.  “As if you could!” he snapped spitefully.  He thrust out his hand expecting the man to relinquish his weapon without further delay.



            Kenshin shot him a wary look, before reluctantly removing his sheathed sakabatou and tossing it to him.  He couldn’t see Enishi’s eyes, but he felt his piercing glare.  He watched Enishi hurl the weapon aside with disgust.



            “Enishi,” Kenshin began sincerely, then stopped talking when the younger man removed his own mysterious long sword from where it rested, slung over his back.  He breathed a small sigh of relief when the sword was tossed aside to lie near his own.  He wanted to avoid a physical confrontation at all cost.  His relief was short-lived, however, when Enishi stepped from the shadows.  As a former assassin, Kenshin immediately recognized this bloodthirsty glare of a man ready to kill.  Explaining the truth to Enishi would be impossible with the man in this state of mind.



            Enishi, shaking with rage, stared down at the slight frame of the red-haired assassin that had killed so many, including his beloved sister.  He’d only allowed Kenshin to follow him because Tomoe’s smile had assured him that this was the right thing to do; the right place to lead Battousai since he seemed willing to pursue him.  But what did she want him to do now that her killer was here?  Although his own plans for Jinchuu had already been carefully laid out and were set to begin in ten days, it seemed Tomoe wished to give her murderer a small preview of his imminent destruction.  And Enishi wanted nothing more than to keep his precious sister smiling.



            Beneath Enishi’s hateful stare, Kenshin cringed inside, remembering the painful memories of the day that Tomoe died.  Overwhelming guilt stifled each breath.  Even after eleven years, he’d immediately recognized this man as Tomoe’s brother.  Despite the shocking, snow-white hair, his features still very much resembled his sister’s—but now he wore small, dark, round-framed glasses and Chinese garb.  His glasses only partially concealed his menacing turquoise eyes.  No longer a scrawny child, Enishi loomed a good six inches over him with a very formidable physique.  Kenshin had often times wondered what had happened to Tomoe’s little brother.  And here he was, completely grown and ready to crush him.  Kenshin knew he deserved every ounce of the man’s hatred, especially after Enishi had only just earlier, on the bridge, described how he’d suffered in the streets of Shanghai as a child following his sister’s death.



            “Punish me however you deem fit,” Kenshin finally uttered, resigning himself to whatever Enishi had in mind.   “But please, leave the others—”



            “Don’t speak!” Enishi spat as he grabbed Kenshin by the throat and yanked him off the floor.  “You don’t fool me, Battousai!  Your pathetic wanderer act may have your friends deceived, but I know the atrocities you’re capable of!”  He furiously shook the man.  “You stole the only person I ever cared about!”



            Kenshin’s gaze remained stoic as his throat constricted more each second beneath Enishi’s iron grip.  Small choking sounds escaped as he gasped for air, but he made no attempt to defend himself.  Perhaps dying like this would appease his late wife’s little brother.  He certainly hoped so.



            But just when Kenshin thought he was about to lose consciousness, Enishi threw him back, where he landed on the floor with a dull thud.  Kenshin coughed and sputtered as he rubbed his neck.  Panting for breath, he looked up questioningly.



            Enishi had sagged to his knees, his fists clenched at the sides of his head.  “Sister...,” he hissed in obvious agony, visibly shaking.  “What is it you want me to do?”  His eyelids clenched shut, his mouth twisted into an expression of sheer anguish as he searched for his sister’s intentions.  Perhaps she wanted him to physically humiliate her killer, make him feel weak and defenseless...just as Enishi had felt when he’d seen his sister slaughtered right before his eyes, her blood splattered across the white snow. 



            Kenshin stared, slack-jawed at the man.  Enishi exuded so much pain.  There had to be some way to help Tomoe’s little brother.  That’s what she would want.  And even though nothing would ever bring Tomoe back, he had to try to help Enishi cope with his grief somehow.  He was prepared to accept Enishi’s vengeance, but he needed to get Enishi to focus his rage solely on him, and leave the others be.  Still massaging his sore neck, he rose to his feet, but Enishi was over him in a flash, his teeth gritted with restrained fury.



            Kenshin didn’t move nor avert his gaze.  He was fully aware of how strong Enishi must’ve grown over these past years.  Not just anyone would have the ability to rise through the ranks of the Chinese Mafia so quickly.  He was obviously intelligent and an excellent strategist to have planned all of the aspects of these recent attacks–even supplying Shishio’s battleship, Rengoku.  There was no doubt that Enishi’s influence was far-reaching.  And most of all, he was tenacious.



            “Strip!” Enishi ordered.  He wanted to humiliate this man, to please Tomoe.



            After a moment’s pause, Kenshin reluctantly lowered his gaze and began to undress.  He glanced up to Enishi as he untied his hakama, wondering if Enishi seriously wanted him to continue.  But the man still glared down at him with his arms folded across his chest.  Kenshin wondered if this would be the end of his life.  His warrior instincts told him to lunge for his sakabatou, but he instantly dismissed the thought.  He knew that he deserved whatever Enishi had in store for him.



            Enishi saw Kenshin’s eyes dart to his sakabatou.  His lips curled into a grin.  There was no way he was going to let Battousai near his weapon.  “Don’t even think about it!” Enishi snarled.  “Back up!”



            Kenshin did as he was told.  The chilly air bit at his exposed skin.  He did not falter as he took several steps back.  Still, he remained silent.



            Enishi grumbled with disdain to think that this scrawny man was such a renowned assassin.  His critical gaze raked over the swordsman.  How could his sister have managed to live with this man for as long as she did without being killed sooner?  Up close like this he appeared more slight, even though Enishi could see his toned muscles.  This was no god!  “Heavenly Justice!” he scoffed.  “You aren’t worthy of such words!  You’re nothing without your sword!” he snarled, backhanding Kenshin with a force that sent him staggering backwards a few steps.    



            “If only my sister had seen you naked like this, she would’ve—”



            Kenshin quickly looked away upon hearing those words, his cheek red hot from Enishi’s smack.



            Enishi’s heart lurched, horror-stricken.  He grabbed a fistful of Kenshin’s hair and snarled, “Did my sister see you naked?”



            Enishi’s blood boiled when Kenshin didn’t reply.  Oh, God.  Had his beloved sister been soiled by this monster’s touch?  His face contorted with fury.  “Answer me, Battousai!  Tell me now or I’ll destroy everything and everyone you know tonight!  I’ll bring down a wrath upon this city that will be rivaled only by Hell itself!”



            Kenshin still didn’t answer, but his expression and silence made the truth painfully clear.  Enishi gasped and shoved Kenshin back, his face pale with terror.  He stumbled backward, tripping over a piece of broken wood as his mind reeled.  His back slammed against the far wall and he crumpled to the floor, staring incredulously at Kenshin.  Tomoe?  “Is this true?” he rasped to his sister’s smiling apparition.



            Enishi trembled, squeezing his eyes shut for a few moments.  “Are you sure that’s what you want?” he finally whispered to her with disbelief.  His sister’s gentle smile assured him.  He now realized what he’d have to do to avenge her.  This must’ve been why Tomoe had led them here.  Yes, he knew what he needed to do.



            Kenshin warily took a step forward.  Again, Enishi seemed to be having some sort of breakdown; speaking to an invisible person.  Tomoe, Kenshin discerned.  If only Enishi would let him explain how much he and Tomoe had loved each other, then perhaps her brother could find happiness again.  But before he could move any closer, Enishi leapt to his feet, his reddened face strained.



            To Kenshin’s surprise, Enishi snatched the sakabatou from the floor and threw it at him. 



            “Get dressed!” he growled, turning away.  “If you really want a chance to save your friends, meet me here tomorrow afternoon.  Alone.  Ten days from today, I will exact my revenge against those closest to you at the Kamiya Dojo.  You have nine days to change my mind,” he lied.  He glanced back over his shoulder.  “Oh, and if you don’t come...well...use your imagination.”  A twisted grin crept across his face.



            Without a word, Kenshin dressed and took his leave.  He had much to think about.



            After Kenshin had gone, Enishi picked up his sword and made sure the rope that looped around beneath the hilt, where it met the cloth-covered sheath, was still taut.  He slung the weapon over his left shoulder and wound the other end of the rope around his left hand until his hand rested against his chest.  “Tomoe,” he whispered.  “I promise to make him suffer.”  Her phantom smiled in reply.   His heart ached.  If only she were still alive so he could hug her, hold her in his arms...stroke her hair...kiss her...  His tormented eyes filled with tears.  “I love you so much, Tomoe...”  Why hadn’t she just left with him when he’d gone to fetch her from the countryside that fateful day?  He would’ve given her anything and everything she could’ve wanted.  Anything.  Instead, Battousai’s sword had ended his happiness and his sister’s life with one single brutal slash.  And Battousai was going to pay.



           



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            Kenshin trudged back to town in a daze, both heart and body heavy with guilt.  He had a lot of explaining to do to Kaoru and the others about his past.  They already knew he’d been an assassin, but what would they think upon learning he’d killed his own wife?  A wife he had loved so very much.  A wave of fear washed over him.  Would they ever look at him the same again?



            Kenshin’s hand absent-mindedly gripped the hilt of his sakabatou.  He would return to the shack the next afternoon, he decided.  But he wouldn’t tell Kaoru and the others about it.  Perhaps there was still a chance to change Enishi’s mind, and Kenshin was willing to try anything that would spare his friends from Enishi’s revenge–a revenge that only he, alone, deserved.



 



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to be continued...



 



 



Author’s Note: Thank you for reading and hopefully giving this story a chance!  This is my second fanfic–my first for RK–and I’m so excited! ^_^  I’ve wanted to do an Enishi/Kenshin fic for a long time now.  This is my favorite pairing in RK, and nearly an impossible one to find fics for, so I’m very nervous about posting this story!  Hopefully I can do them justice.  Thanks!



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