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! ( well-- there WILL be quite a bit of conflict...) 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.)
  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.


CHAPTER 2- Rule Number Three…

Kaoru sat perched on a cloud outside under a shady tree.  She stretched and her long white wings arched high in the air.  Unlike Tomoe, she emitted a much brighter glow, her Gi and Hakama that she'd arrived in was replaced by a snowy white off the shoulder Kimono with long sleeves and a light purple silk Obi, tied in back with an elegant bow that flowed down to the ground.
 " Kaoru-san?" The teacher eyed her and the two other angels in the class turned to her.  Kaoru sighed loudly, intending to hide a yawn.
 " Yes, Juniperia-sensei?"
 " You understand the importance of this class don't you?  You're going to be a Guardian Angel for a human in trouble.  One that needs guidance."
 " I know that-- I'm sorry… I'll pay attention."  Kaoru looked so sweet and innocent, Juniperia-sensei sighed and then returned to her lesson.  She was a tall angel with large white wings and wore a Greek style white robe.  Her silvery hair was done up in a bun and her fair skin showed few wrinkles.
 " The first and foremost thing a Guardian Angel must know is the rules of the handbook.  I've given each of you a copy. There aren't many rules, the first one is the most important.  Please open to page 1."
 Kaoru opened the book, the characters were not Japanese, but she could read them with no effort at all.  She didn't really notice their difference, because she'd forgotten that the home she had once lived in was Japan.  She spoke the language of Angels now.  A most archaic language consisting of nothing more than different pitched chirps and coos… as if a bird would try and talk.
 " Rule number 1…" Juniperia-sensei read from the handbook.  " You read it, Kotori-san."
A young angel with flowing golden hair looked down at the book.  " Clients are always free to do what they wish, never impress your views or make them do something they're not sure about.  The most important aspect of being a Guardian Angel is building trust between you and a client."
 " I have a question!" Kaoru raised her hand. Juniperia-sensei nodded to her to continue.
 " Well… will we speak and communicate all right? We don't speak the same language as any of the languages on earth--"
 " On the contrary, you know every language there is to know on earth."
 " Really?" Kaoru's eyes widened.
 " Yes-- you just have to listen. Next rule?"
 Another young angel, with long brown hair tied high up in a ponytail raised her hand.
 " Nanami-san-- Please read."
 " Rule number 2, you may make yourself known only to the client and the clients immediate family or friends.  No one outside that circle shall know you exist."
 " That's a very important rule." The teacher went on.  " If we have a ton of people all over the world knowing about Guardian Angels, then Heaven will get bombarded with prayers for them and we won't have enough Angels to answer them…. It can get messy."
 " Can I read next?" Kaoru raised her hand.  Juniperia-sensei smiled a nodded.
 Kaoru read aloud.  " Rule number 3, Guardian Angels may not have any romantic contacts, feelings, or affiliations with any mortals under any circumstances."
 " That's right.  And that's sometimes the hardest rule to follow. You all are God's messengers and you are to love and serve only God.  Besides, you're client to one and only one mortal during their lifetime.  It would be foolish to grow romantic attachments to them because you're life is eternal-- when they die--- You will continue to remain on earth and help the next client in need."
 " What happens if we break one of the rules?" Nanami asked.
 " If you break one, the punishment is severe.  You risk losing your ranking, your wings, and could even be expelled from Heaven if the offense is bad enough."
 " Where would you go?" Kaoru looked at her nervously.
 " To Hell…"
 " Wow, that's harsh…"

 A figure in a black cloak approached the group and the teacher looked up surprised to see Death standing in front of her.  All of the apprentice Angels gasped at him.
 " Thanatos… since when do you pay visits to Heaven?" Juniperia-sensei said dryly.  Death's gaze fell on Kaoru, she was staring at him wide eyed and a little frightened.
 " I need to speak with you, this is a matter of the utmost urgency." Death said. Juniperia-sensei nodded and turned to her students.
 " Please read the first chapter of your handbook while Death and I have a little chat."
 They all clumped together and began whispering while the teacher walked off a distance with Death at her side.
 " Is it really Death?" Kotori asked.
 " Just look at the black cloak. I think it is!" Nanami said.
 " What could Death want here though?" Kaoru couldn't shake the eerie feeling she was getting.  Death had looked at her first and foremost.  Even in those gaping eyeholes of the skeletal mask she saw the faint red glow directed towards her.  What did he want?

 " Out of the question!" Juniperia-sensei cried exasperated.  " She only just started training today!"
 " I need Kaoru to go to earth and talk this man to his senses.  If not-- he's going to go to Hell."
 " What makes this man so special? Do you realize how many people have died of grief over loosing a loved one?"
 " This man is Himura Kenshin."
 The teacher gawked at him.  " THE Himura Kenshin? Who caused the death of Shishio Makoto?"
 " And who saved an entire country!"
 " But-- How is it that he's going to Hell?  He should surely be going to Heaven!"
 Death sighed and explained the scenario to her.  She glanced over at Kaoru who was watching them intently.
 " I don’t like this-- I'll send another Guardian Angel…  If she was his former love… this could get VERY messy--"
 " Only she will do.  No other angel will be able to pull him out of his depression.  Fate told me so."
 " You talked to Fate? Well-- then I'll believe you… But--" She bit her lip nervously. "What does the Archangel say about this?"
 "  He's given me his permission. " Death grinned; the truth was that the Archangel owed him money-- so much in fact that Death agreed to just "forget" about it if he said "yes."
Death cleared his throat, "She may be a rookie, but she's the best thing for him right now."
 " She doesn't even remember him."
 " So we may not have any problems…"
 " But-- we could GET problems…  I NEVER unite Guardian Angels with their former lovers-- rule number 3 could get broken, then poor Kaoru-san could be in deep trouble."
 " There's no other choice, I'll take responsibility for her-- she won't get into trouble, believe me!"
 The woman angel stood silent for a long time and then finally buckled under Deaths penetrating gaze.
 " Very well… I leave her in your care.  When do you need her?"
 " Right now."
 " NOW!?"  She almost burst.  The three Angels looked up at her surprised.  She quickly lowered her voice.  " But-- just give me a few days to cram some Guardian Angel 101 into her… she doesn’t even know the extent of her Heavenly powers yet!"
 " I need her right now…  He only has ten hours left."
 " Give me seven hours…"
 " Six…"
 " Fine then, Six and a half."
 " Fine-- I'll be back in six and a half hours."
 The teacher shook her head and Death disappeared.  She walked back to the small group.
 " Class is dismissed for today."
The angels all exchanged glances and then chattered excited.  Gathering up their books, they took into the air.  Kaoru was about to follow when Juniperia-sensei called to her.
 Kaoru stopped and hovered in mid air, looking down at her teacher puzzled.
 " Yes?"
 " You stay here-- There is an urgent client that needs your attention."


 " Himura Kenshin?" The name rolled off her tongue as if she'd said those words five thousand times over.  It was strangely familiar to her-- though she couldn't quite understand why.  It bugged her not to know.
" But-- why me? Aren't there other angels more qualified?"
 Juniperia-sensei bit her lip.
" This is a long, and a complicated story, Kaoru-san.  It has to do with the way in which you died."
Kaoru's eyes widened.
" The rurouni, Himura Kenshin was-- ummm-- a close friend of yours… and because he failed in preventing your death, he is killing himself with sorrow and neglect."  " But-- why me?"
" Himura will go to hell unless you snap him out of his depression.  Phanatos told me that you were the only one who could do that, namely because you were so close to him during your lifetime."
 " But-- I've had my memory erased, why are you going to the trouble of telling me this?"
 " As a Guardian Angel, you're first duty is to your client, you have a right to know.  I suspect that--" she sighed heavily. " --You will learn well enough how you died when you go to earth.  Don't you worry, Phanatos will watch over you."
 " You mean, Death?"
 " Yes-- Phanatos is the incarnation of Death.  But he is not THE Death, THE Death died a long time ago."
 Kaoru blinked confused. " But-- how can Death… die?"
 " Death is immortal, but alive at the same time. He can be killed if caught without his protective black cloak around him.  With that cloak on, nothing can harm him."
 " What happens if Death dies?"
 " The person who killed him takes his place."
 " So-- you mean…"
 " Yes, the current Death killed his predecessor.  The current Death's name on earth was Zane before he became Thanatos."
 Kaoru nodded in understanding.  " Are incarnations powerful?"
 " Oh yes-- very much so." She smiled at the Angel.
" Ok, so I'm to pull him out of his depression… What do I do after that?"
" Well, You stay with him I guess-- guide him, help him…" She wracked her brains.  By normal Heaven standards, Kenshin was NOT the kind of person to get help from a Guardian Angel, he could usually take care of himself… but once he got himself a Guardian Angel, the rules were quite clear….

A client was always a client, until that client passed away to heaven or hell…hopefully heaven.

She bit her lip nervously.  Would it be cruel to send him the woman who he loved so much, but could never touch with love?  It would be horribly cruel…  she didn't like it at all.  But, she had already consented to Death.
 Kaoru saw her inner turmoil and absently bent one of her wings forward, cleaning the feathers with her fingers nervously.  " Sooo-- is he nice?"
 " Himura-san?" The teacher blinked, then relaxed and nodded. " Yes, he's very nice.  I'm sure you two will get along well."
 Kaoru smiled and then stood up. " Well-- I'm ready to go! Which way to earth?"
 " Woah there! Hold on now we're not finished yet-- there's still a lot of things that we have to go over… now-- let's start with the rules again… tell me-- what is rule number 3?"


 Juniperia-sensei drilled Kaoru for a good six and a half-hours on rules, regulations, and Kaoru was also beginning to sense her various powers.  She could control her glow, fly relatively smoothly, understand about 70 different languages (Japanese first and foremost).  She was given helpful hints on giving mortals advice, and above all-- lectured quite extensively about rule number 3.
 " So-- now what will you do?"
 Kaoru rolled her eyes, and stated flatly. " I will not become romantically attracted, affiliated, or have any love relationship with Himura Kenshin! THERE! Are you happy now?!"
 Juniperia-sensei nodded with approval as Death appeared.  She stood up to greet him and Kaoru followed suit.  The apprentice Guardian Angel looked at him a little nervously but managed a small bow of acknowledgement.  Death inclined his head in return.
 " Well-- I think that about wraps it up." Her teacher nodded with approval to Kaoru.  "Good luck Kaoru-san.  I know you'll do very well, you're a good Angel."
 Kaoru grinned at her.
 " Thank you Juniperia-sensei! I'll do my best!"
 Her teacher smiled and waved as Kaoru lifted lightly into the air, Death was on his horse and close beside her.  He leaned over towards her; Kaoru could almost see a smile on his skeletal face.
 " Well-- shall we go?"
 " Oh!  Yes-- but, I don't know the way…"
 " That's why I'm here." Death pushed a few colored buttons on his watch and then took off down the hill from the Parthenon.  Kaoru followed him closely.  As she sailed over the cloud-covered ground of Heaven, she saw Tomoe in the garden sitting underneath a plum tree.  Kaoru waved to her.  Tomoe's face lit up and she waved back exited.
 " THANKS!" Kaoru waved back and they both disappeared from sight.

 Tomoe pondered.
 " But-- what is she doing with Death?  And why is she going to earth so soon after her initiation?"