A Rurouni Kenshin/ On a Pale Horse Crossover

By Ashley Auld

* Disclaimer* All rights to the Rurouni Kenshin Characters are Watsuki-sama's, Jump Comics, etc.  All right to the character " Incarnations" Are property of Piers Anthony.  There are references made to his book " On a Pale Horse." But you do not need to have read the book to understand what is happening. =) This is only a little fanfic by a crazed Kenshin fan, I'm a poor college art student, and not even worth suing!  Enjoy!

Authors Note-
 Well, I came up with this fic when I still believed Kaoru was dead.  But I liked the idea of it so much that I decided to keep on writing it. (Even though it's been established that, yes… she IS alive)  Consider this a "what if this happened" fic.  Kind of like an alternative where Enishi does actually kill her.   I know, it sounds awful, but believe me; this ISN'T going to be depressing! I'm determined to make it happy!  And to appease all those Kenshin and Kaoru fans out there…well… >=)

  * A little pre-fanfic know-how about "On a Pale Horse." *

The incarnations mentioned in this fic are taken from " On a Pale Horse."  In Piers Anthony's book, he takes these aspects of life and creates people for them-- much like we imagine there being a "Father Time," and a "Mother Nature."  Here, I will be making references to human incarnations of " Death," "Fate," "Time," and "Nature." ( so far-- I don't know what other ones I shall bring in from his book yet besides these.)
  Oh-- Death also rides a horse, Mortus, which can also conveniently be a car (limo), boat, etc.  Whatever Death might need as a mode of transportation in the moment.

PRELUDE- The Coming of Death

 Kaoru's body felt strangely light.  It was as if she was floating on air.  She opened her eyes and looked around her in surprise.  She WAS floating!
 " Nani?" She said it quickly with growing disbelief.  She was in the dojo; the entire room was silent.  She couldn't hear a thing; the silence was overwhelming, almost suffocating.  She looked below her and froze in shock.
 Her eyes fell on herself!  Her lifeless body propped up against the sidewall of the dojo; a sword cruelly imbedded in her heart.  She gasped and then looked frantically around.
 " No-- No this isn't happening!! NO!"  She wanted to scream, to cry aloud.  But she couldn't make her voice raise any higher than a small squeak of horror.  She was steadily floating upward.  She tried to angle her way down; she didn't want to leave.  She extended her arms and tried with all her might.  But the attempt was useless.  It was as if there were a magnet connecting her with the ceiling and there was no way to escape.
 " Let it go…"
 Kaoru stopped her feeble attempt and looked up from where the soft woman's voice came.  A sudden light appeared above her and it spread it's gentle, warm glow on Kaoru.  For a moment, she felt at peace and stopped her struggle, letting herself float slowly upward.  But a sudden wail in back of her instantly halted her approach towards the light.  She looked back in shock to see Kenshin stumble into the room.  He stared at her empty, lifeless eyes and fell to his knees.  His sword clattered to the ground.
 " Kenshin-" She turned from the light and tried to go down towards him.  She struggled with all her might against its pull on her. " KENSHIN!"
 Again, the soft voice echoed in her mind. " Just let it go, Kaoru-san…  You don't need to feel the pain anymore…"
 " But-- Kenshin… NO! I can't leave him!"  Tears streamed from Kaoru's eyes as the pull on her tightened.  She continued to drift up against her will.  She now saw Sano and Megumi enter the room and hung back in shock.  Tears flowed from Kenshin's eyes.
 " What was the meaning of Hiten Mitsurugi Ryu? What did it mean to be Himura Kenshin?  Now, when I could not protect the one that I cared most about… Kaoru-dono…KAORU!"
 That cry echoed in Kaoru's ears.  She struggled against the gentle but forceful pull on her. " NO! LET ME GO BACK! NO! I CAN'T LEAVE HIM!"
 Kaoru suddenly felt what seemed like soft hands on her shoulders.  Their touch brought peace and she instantly relaxed.  Tears continued to flow from her eyes, but she no longer felt the strength to resist.  And she floated up towards the light.
 " Ken…shin…"


 They had buried Kaoru.  Sano and Yahiko had come to try and take Kenshin from Rakuninmura* time after time.  But every attempt to get him to snap out of his depression failed.  Even Misao the weasel-girl wasn't able to cheer him up.  And she could usually cheer anyone up.
 Kenshin sat against the wall, he hadn't moved from his position for days.  His chained Sakaba sword lay on his shoulder and his empty eyes were downcast.  The outcasts of the forbidden quarter had brought him some of what little food they had.  It sat next to him untouched.
 Kenshin closed his eyes, he felt himself growing weaker, slowly he would fade away, fade away from existence so that he couldn't live to harm anyone else.  Why was it that everyone he cared for died?  He must have been fated to be unhappy for the rest of his life.
 A figure approached him garbed completely in black.  Kenshin didn't look up.  He didn't care.  The unusual thing about the figure was that as it stepped, it made no sound.  Kenshin didn't feel the impact of the steps on the ground.  Maybe his senses were just dulling.
 " Himura Kenshin…" The low voice was calm and commanding.  The very sound of it sent a tremor up Kenshin's spine.  He slowly raised his head and came face to face with… Death.  Death looked down at him.   He wore a long black hooded robe.  He held a long scythe in one skeletal hand.  The face peering down through the hood was no face, but a skull; his dark eye sockets glowed a faint red.
 " Ahh… so you've finally come for me…" Kenshin looked down to the ground again. " I was wondering how long it would take for you to show up."
 " I'm surprised," The voice behind the skull was actually soft, not cold or harsh as Death was normally portrayed. " Usually, people shy from my presence.  But, do you know the reason I am here?"
 " To take me to hell?"
 " Wrong…"
 Kenshin blinked and looked up at him again confused. " But-- then…"
 " I only serve clients whose souls are in perfect balance; half way between good and evil.  Every single soul has a balance, which determines whether or not they will go to heaven or hell.  You're soul is in perfect balance between good and evil, and therefore, you will go to purgatory and I must judge you."
 " Why are you telling me this?" Kenshin sighed heavily and hung his head. "  I don't care where you take me, just get it over with, I'm tired of this life."
 " Don't be in such a hurry, you're time isn't over yet." Death looked at a watch decorated with several colored jewels on his bony wrist.  It was the only bit of color that he wore besides black.  "  You still have a day before you die of neglect."
 " So, you'll extend my torture…"
 " You still have a chance to save your soul-- If you die in this fashion, it is the same as committing suicide and that counts as sin.  You're soul may be in balance, but when it comes time to judge you-- I will be forced to send you to hell because this final sin you are committing is unforgivable."
 " I don't care…. I'm tired…" Kenshin closed his eyes.  " I deserve to go to hell…"
 " And-- what about the woman, Kamiya Kaoru-san waiting for you in Heaven?"
 Kenshin's glance shot upward in surprise, but Death was already gone.


 Kaoru didn't want to open her eyes, she was so comfortable and she rolled over, trying to claim a little more sleep before the day started.  She always loved those lazy mornings where she could sleep in and not have to worry about waking up early.
 Still with eyes closed, she giggled at the thought of what Kenshin was doing this morning; he probably had breakfast ready for her, or was out doing the laundry as always.  Yahiko was probably lounging about, He liked to wake up early and relax before she put him to work for the day.
 Finally, she lazily sat up and stretched, arching her back and yawned.  Then slowly opened her eyes.
"HUH?" Kaoru blinked and rubbed them, then looked again, this was not the dojo… it was not her bed that she was sleeping in.  She looked around in shock, memory of the previous day suddenly registering in her mind.  She was sitting on a low, fluffy cloud.
 " Where?" Kaoru looked at the landscape about here.  The ground was slightly foggy, as if made up of clouds.  They gave the impression that you could sink straight through them.  But apparently not, because there were large, leafy green trees dotting the plane, jutting out from the cloudy ground.  Forests were in the distance and great snowy peaked mountains even farther.  She was hovering over a rose garden with roses of every color; their fragrance was heavenly.  At the center of the garden was a marble fountain. She noticed a woman seated by its side.   The woman looked up at her and smiled warmly.  Kaoru's cloud seemed to move of it's own free will, and it settled on the ground next to the woman.
 Kaoru stood up and looked at her nervously.   The woman that met her gaze was about her same height, with coal black hair cut in soft layers that framed her face.  She was slim, wearing a snowy white Kimono, and she seemed to emit a soft yellow glow.
 " Kamiya, Kaoru-san?" The woman asked inquisitively.
Kaoru slowly nodded. Where had she heard that voice before?
 " Ahh-- welcome to heaven, Kaoru-san.  My name is Tomoe.  I was instructed to be here to help start things off and show you around, teach you the ropes…"
 "TOMOE-SAN?" Kaoru's eyes widened. Now she remembered, that was the same voice that had called to her as she was pulled towards the light.   Tomoe was beautiful… she felt a small pang of jealousy-- Kenshin had been married to such a beautiful woman.
Tomoe blinked confused. " Oh? Do you know me?  That can't be true, I died before you were born…" She smiled and shook her head.  " Well, that's not important."
Kaoru looked at Tomoe nervously.  Tomoe produced a clipboard from thin air and studied it carefully.  " Oh dear, died by the hands of a psycho named Yukishiro Enishi-- Hmm… why does that name sound familiar? Ah well…" She shrugged and then continued reading.  Kaoru's eyes widened, Tomoe didn't remember?
" Tomoe-san… you don't remember your own brother?" Kaoru asked.
Tomoe looked up at her with one eyebrow raised.
"My brother? Is he really?"  She looked at Kaoru sympathetically.  " My-- no wonder the Archangel asked me to be the one to greet you…you were killed by my brother on earth?   I'm very sorry."
" Oh, well-- it's not like it was your fault or anything." Kaoru looked at her nervously.  She seemed so nice and lighthearted.  Not the impression that she got when Kenshin had first told them about her.  " But-- can I ask one question?"
" Hai?"
" Ummm…how is it that you didn't know Enishi was your brother?"
" When you enter heaven, and go through initiation you loose all memories of your past life on earth."
Kaoru gasped.  Forget everything?
Tomoe saw her reaction and then smiled reassuringly.  " Many souls are unhappy for leaving their loved ones, or burdened by a harsh past life.  But in heaven you are guaranteed happiness, therefore you remember nothing of your past life.  In order to ensure you a happy afterlife, those memories are taken from you. In heaven you have no worries; no inhibitions; nothing weighs you down.  You're light as a feather and float on clouds.  You're lucky, Kaoru-san."
 Kaoru downcast her eyes.  Did she want to forget? Forget Everyone? Yahiko? Sanosuke? Megumi? Misao and Aoshi? And most of all Kenshin?
 No--- she couldn't forget!  She shook her head in protest.
 " No! I don’t want to forget Tomoe-san!  Please, I don't want to forget him!"
 Tomoe looked at her with compassion.  " Who?"
" Kenshin!" Kaoru quickly put her hand to her mouth.  She'd forgotten for a moment that Tomoe had once been his wife!  Would she perhaps remember Kenshin?  And, was it wrong to have feelings for him while standing right in front of his wife?  She couldn't help but feel a little guilty.
 Tomoe's expression didn't change from that of compassion and understanding.  She flipped through a few pages of the file on her clipboard and read aloud.
 " Himura Kenshin, former Hitokiri Battousai.  Love of Kamiya Kaoru… Oh dear…"
 She didn't seem to remember anything about Kenshin either.  But, she could be faking it-- to not hurt Kaoru's feelings… Kaoru still refused to believe that she could have forgotten her own husband.  Love was eternal, at least in her eyes it was.
Tomoe eyed her.  "You don't want to forget Himura-san? It's true, you won't love him in the afterlife, because you will have no memory that you ever loved him."
 " Do-- you remember Kenshin?"
 " Himura-san? Should I?"
 " Nevermind…"
 " Well, Like it or not, all angels must be initiated.  Please follow me."
Tomoe began to walk from the rose garden.  Kaoru followed behind in deep thought.
"Ano, Tomoe-san, it was you who called me wasn't it?"
" Hai."
" But, why did you do that? I wanted to stay on earth!"
" You can't stay on earth, only souls who have uncompleted jobs to do can stay on earth."
" But my job IS uncompleted! I left Kenshin like that!  Who knows what he's going through!"
Tomoe stopped and turned to her with a sympathetic expression.  " You really love Himura-san that much?  I admire your caring heart.  But your time on earth is over and it's time to move on.  Don't you wish to be free from this worry?  That is what you're getting… you'll be completely at peace here."
Kaoru stamped her foot; the cloud covered ground rose up like a cloud of dust around her as she stamped. " I don't WANT to be at peace! I WANT to go back to earth and SEE KENSHIN!!!"
" There is a way…"
Kaoru stopped and her mouth dropped open in surprise. " HOW?! HOW CAN I?" " When we get to initiation, you're to be weighed…"
 " Weighed?"
 " To see the balance of your soul." Tomoe smiled at her.  " It's over 50% good, which is the reason you're in Heaven, if you're soul is over 90% good, then you can earn the rank of Guardian Angel, and are granted wings."
 " Guardian Angel?" Kaoru's eyes widened. " Wait-- could I be.. KENSHIN'S Guardian angel!?"
 Tomoe smiled and they stopped on a thick cloud formation at the foot of a hill.  There was a Greek style Acropolis at the top of the hill.  The cloud lifted like an elevator, and effortlessly brought them towards what looked like a giant Parthenon.
" Well, if you are lucky enough to be granted it, you'll have to go through angel training for a century or two…  then, you'll be a full Guardian Angel-- you're the guardian of whoever you're assigned to."
 They stopped and both stepped off the cloud and it floated back to the ground.  Kaoru looked up at the giant Parthenon.  Fluted columns made of sparkling clear marble stood strong on top of the steeped stylobate.  In the fashion of the Ionic order, the capitol at the top of the column was rounded and shaped like two waves curling in on each other. There was a continuous frieze running just below the triangular shaped pediment.  (Jeez-- you know when I've been reading TOO much Art History!) Angels were sculpted, sitting along the frieze and doing a variety of peaceful things.  One played a flute, another a harp, others sang and danced, in the center was a male figure of a mighty angel that looked over all.  The Archangel. )
 " Wow-- it's amazing!" Kaoru stood breathtaken.  Tomoe grinned.
 " They all say that!  This is where the Archangel will weigh you to see what ranking of angel you are."
 " Oh yeah!" Kaoru had almost forgot. "Can I be Kenshin's Guardian Angel?!"
 " Chances are VERY slim Kaoru-san.  There aren't many Guardian Angels in the world, more and more people fall into sin these days… and very few humans on earth are granted the guidance of a Guardian Angel, simply because they're so hard to find.  But, you said you wanted to go back to earth, and that is the only way that I know how."
 " But-- what if I request Kenshin?"
 " You won't even remember him."
 " But-- I can ask for him before my memory is erased!" Kaoru was determined to return to him, even if it was as an angel.  And she would definitely remember him!  How could she forget all the happy times? The sad times?  The painful times?  She formed a strong picture of him in her mind, she silently vowed NEVER to forget it.
 Tomoe laughed. " Don't get ahead of yourself, You don't even know if you fall under 90% good."
 " What were you?"
 " 55% good."
 " Ahhh--"
 " It's because of the way I died.  I don’t remember of course, but I think I brought about my own death.  I was lucky that I didn't go to hell, God took pity on me cause I was so unhappy during my life."
 Kaoru bit her lip, she knew exactly how Tomoe had died, and that death had caused immeasurable suffering for Kenshin and everyone.  And here, Tomoe didn't even remember any of it!
 " Tomoe-san…" She clenched her fists determined. " I'll become a guardian angel and go to earth…and I'll see Kenshin again."
 " Well, good luck Kaoru-san."  Tomoe stopped at the stepped Stylobate to the Parthenon.  Kaoru took a deep breath and stepped up, entering into the building.


Death walked out of Rakuninmura as silently and stealthily as he'd come.  He passed by a few vagabonds; they took no notice of him.  To them, he was an insignificant figure, one who passes and then is instantly forgotten.  Death walked across the street and got into his long, black stretch limousine. Even though the car wasn't even invented in the Meiji era yet. No one seemed to notice it's existence. They passed it by without a second glance. Once inside he sighed loudly.
 " That boy… he doesn't deserve Hell-- After all he's done for the world… Damn it, I hate this stupid system. "There's got to be something that can pull him out of his depression in the next 24 hours."

 End of Prologue-

How was that? Not TOO depressing I hope! ^_^;;