:So that’s why the Call was so intermittent!: Whickering with glee, Sano pounced, clamping red hair between his teeth. :I found you I found you I finally, finally found you-:
“Sessha can’t be a Herald!”
“Why not?” Kaoru was on her feet, steam all but rising from her head. “It’d solve everything! You’d be one of us – you’d be safe-”
“I would be in service to your Queen, and that I will not do!”
Kaoru froze, eyes wide and wounded.
“Kaoru… dono,” Kenshin whispered. “Please. Please understand.” He swallowed dryly. “The first principle of Hiten Mitsurugi: the sword swung in my name is wielded to protect the innocents of the world.”
A killing style… meant to protect? If he hadn’t been holding red hair, Sano would have shaken his head. And why are you surprised, Companion-baka? You were Called for this man. You never would have been, if his heart wasn’t pure….
“But Heralds-” Kaoru started.
“Heralds serve the Monarch, and Valdemar. Hiten Mitsurugi must never serve any power.” Reaching behind him, Kenshin gingerly pried his hair from white lips. “Never again.”
:I think I understand.: Sano nudged the swordsman with his head. :I could still Choose you.:
:I could,: Sano went on deliberately. :But I won’t.: Even if it hurt. Even if it broke his heart. This man deserved to be a Herald, and Companions had gotten around their Chosen’s oaths before…. :You’re hanyou. I’m – well, you know enough to know our powers come from different ends of the spectrum. If I Chose you, our bond would have to do what Megumi’s does to Kaoru; suppress your youki. Forever.
:Only that’s half of what you are. It’s your Gift, your magic, and you’re never happier than when you’re using it to pound some dangerous idiot into the ground. I won’t take that from you. Ever.: