by Tari Gwaemir
"This red, red moon."

Their first night, she did not close the sliding doors, but left them parted to allow a finger's width of moonlight to fall into the room, illuminating the bright crimson edge of her kimono. The hem touched the floor, tracing along it like a pool of blood. He watched it weave back and forth following the arches of her feet, which stepped to some invisible pattern.

She raised one arm, letting a long sleeve fall back from the white line of her wrist. In her other hand, a fan opened, fold by fold, a curve to hide her face, except for her dark, unreadable eyes that glanced at him sideways. His breath caught; he leaned forward. She seemed unrecognizable, this frozen silhouette, elegant, impenetrable. He wanted to lower the fan from her half-hidden face, but held himself still.

She slid a foot forward; he saw the barest trace of a slender ankle. She tilted her head; he glimpsed the elaborate arrangement of her hair. She arched her arm toward the ceiling; he watched the sleeve fall inch by inch exposing soft, luminescent skin. He could hear his heartbeat, loud and ragged against her silence.

One step, two--the fan fell. He rose to his feet and embraced her before she could slip back into intangible mystery. Her tense body, solid and warm, in his arms.


Rurouni Kenshin belongs to Watsuki Nobuhiro.

Written for 31_days (August 22nd theme). Dedicated to Mackenzie (delentyevox), for persuading me to read Rurouni Kenshin.