thestoryweaver: baccano: rachel (Default)
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 Title: Empathy
Rating: PG-13
Fandom: Rurouni Kenshin [Watsuki Nobuhiro]
Notes: Based on one of my old crack-ish OTPs - Seta Soujirou and Makimachi Misao. (Which I still think would work.)

She leaned against the wall, her arms folded across her chest. Pensive green eyes watched the young man seated across her. Suddenly, he stopped whistling, although he continued to scrub the dirty plates.

"Makimachi-san? Do you need anything?"

She nearly jumped. He moved so fast, I didn't notice that he was standing in front of me! How could he have known I was watching? Of course he would know, he's the former Tenken, baka!

"Is everything all right?"

Misao nodded.

"Good." Soujirou replied cheerfully. "Well, I'd better go back to my chores---"

"What makes you sad?"

He looked at her curiously. "I beg your pardon?"

"Is there something that makes you sad?"

He blinked in confusion.

"Oh, forget it. It's stupid of me to ask you that. It's just that you're always smiling and---oh, really!" She smacked her forehead angrily. "I'm so rude for asking about something personal! I think I should go---"

"Don't."

"Eh?" She wondered why he stopped her from leaving.

He wiped his hands on the apron, smiling happily as he did so. "Now we can talk. What were you asking again?"

Misao giggled, and coughed discreetly. "Are you sure you want to tell me about it?"

"It's only polite custom to answer someone's question, isn't it?"

"Yes, but---"

"I really don't mind." Soujirou calmly replied.

There was something wrong. A former assassin doesn't suddenly become friendly, even if he did work in the Aoiya now. And it wasn't right for him open up to her that easily, since they were total strangers.

So why did Soujirou want to answer her question?

"Makimachi-san?"

Misao smiled impishly. "If you're going to answer my question, then you should call me'Misao'. And I should call you 'Soujirou', since you're technically not the Tenken anymore, right?"

Soujirou grinned. "All right...Misao."

"So. Soujirou. What makes you sad?"

Her scratched his head, smiling sheepishly. "Anou...I've never felt what it is to be sad."

"Oh." Now I remember...Himura-san told us that the Tenken knows only one emotion, and that is joy. How sad. She was lost in her own thoughts that she didn't see him turn away from her to wash the dishes once again. "I should have never asked you that---"

Soujirou waved her off, his back facing her. "I told you already, didn't I? It's all right."

Misao giggled half-heartedly. "Anou...I have to get going. Jiya probably needs me, and---"

"How about you, Misao? What makes you sad?" Soujirou didn't turn around; he continued on rinsing the fully scrubbed plates.

"What?"

"I thought it's fair that I should ask you the same question."

Misao frowned in thought for a few seconds, then she smiled wistfully. "What makes me sad...is that no one would ever love me...in the romantic sense. I mean, look at Aoshi-sama...he only sees me as a sister even if I feel otherwise." She laughed weakly. "Weird, ne? But that's life for me."

"Aa."

The two were silent for a while until they heard voices. Misao then ran out the kitchen, bidding the former Tenken farewell and leaving him alone to his chore

She failed to notice the thoughtful frown on his face.

Then, Soujirou smiled. "Don't worry, Misao-chan. I'll try to make you smile."

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