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!

CHAPTER 3- A Reunion to Shatter the Heavens
*****WARNING****  Mush OVERLOAD in this chapter! ^_~

 Kenshin hadn't moved from his position on the ground.  His eyes were downcast and his stomach was empty.  But he felt no hunger.  He was empty. And he accepted it. He was only a shell of the person he once had been.
 " I'm nothing without her…"  He closed his eyes, fleeting images of Kaoru drifted through his mind.  The time he'd said goodbye to her as he left for Kyoto…She'd cried so much. It had pained him to turn his back, to walk away.  But at that time he could reason it was for her own good.

Then there was the time before he was to set off to fight Shishio…
 "Kenshin… we'll all go back home to Tokyo together…"

 And when they'd finally returned…
"Kenshin, welcome home…"

 And that time in the country, before Enishi's attack…?
 "But Kenshin… I want you to be with me…forever…"

 He'd never had a chance to tell her how he felt.  He never believed he was worthy of her… but he always wanted to protect her.  It had become his only way of expressing his feelings for her…and he'd failed at even that.
 He was a dreamer.  What good was his Sakaba sword? All the ten years spent fighting to protect people? What good was it if he couldn't protect the one he loved and cared for the most?

 " Kaoru---"

 Suddenly, as if from nowhere a warmth surrounded him.  It was as if the cloudy Grey sky had opened, and a sunbeam was projected straight at him.  Kenshin somehow found the strength to raise his head, his eyes opened slowly, the sight he beheld made him forget his weariness in an instant.  His mouth gaped with disbelief as the strong scent of jasmine seemed to envelop him.

 The scent of Kaoru…

 There was something coming down from that beam of light.  The form grew steadily as it came closer and closer.  A giant white bird?  His vision was blurred but slowly focused to make out graceful wings, which beat the air in great arcs and swoops.  The features became clearer.  It was not a bird.  But a woman, with long black hair tied back with a light purple ribbon.  Her off the shoulder kimono was made of a thin, silky material that exposed the curves of her body.  Her light purple obi wrapped around her waist and ended in an elegant bow with edges that trailed behind her in the air almost like two tail feathers.
 She was breathtakingly beautiful.  His eyes couldn't focus on her facial features.  He was too distraught at this sudden apparition… apparition? Could he just be dreaming? Or maybe he's died and she's come for him… but-- if that was true, then a creature of such beauty could not be taking him to hell.

 This couldn't be real…

 The figure landed lightly in front of him and stood with her wings folded to her back, the light about her had not faded and she looked at him earnestly.

 " …Kenshin…I've-- returned…"


 Kaoru saw him as she approached from the air.  He was staring up at her in amazement and she wondered what he was thinking.  Did he recognize her?  She felt a little guilty at not recognizing him.  But-- she SHOULD know him!  If he was who her teacher had said he was.
 " Red hair…"
 That hair that fell matted and tousled over his empty, pain stricken face brought forth a strange feeling inside of her.  Something in her burned… a memory?  No-- she had none.
 " Scars on his cheek…"
 The cross scar sent a small shiver up her spine.  She didn't know how he'd gotten it, but she had a strange feeling that it had to do with her death.  Her heart seemed to ache in her chest.  She took a deep breath and forced the feelings of nostalgia from her.
 Death rode beside her on Mortus.
 " Well, I shall take my leave."
 " Nani? You're leaving now?" Kaoru looked at him frightened.  "But-- what if I mess up! What if he doesn’t come with me? What if he dies?"
 " He won't die-- Fate said so.  And, I don't think it will do him much good to see me.  Good luck."  Death nodded to her and then turned his horse and disappeared.  Kaoru felt for a moment as though the last lifeboat was leaving her stranded on a sinking ship.  She shook her head.
 " No! Courage-- I’m a Guardian Angel now!  I HAVE to help him!"
 She landed in front of him.  His face hadn't changed from one of unspeakable astonishment and bewilderment.  She stood awkwardly for a moment, not knowing what to say.  But then the words just welled up in her mouth of their own free will.  It was as if there was a part of her that she didn't know sleeping deep inside her that was beginning to awaken.
 "… Kenshin… I've-- returned…"

 That voice, those words, the way she said his name.  Kenshin's heart felt as though it would burst.  With all his strength he threw aside his Sakaba and fell over on his hands and knees, his fists balled tightly.
 " K-Kaoru…dono…"

 Kaoru bit her lip. What could she say to comfort him?  This was already way too awkward for her--- she was supposed to act like she'd known this man for a long time.  But in truth had no idea exactly who he was, or what their relationship had been… or even how to comfort him!
 But Kenshin was the first to speak.
 " This can't be real… I must be dreaming-- I even see Kaoru in my dreams now… and hear her voice."
 Kaoru's eyes widened.  He didn't believe she was real!  She knelt beside him and softly put one hand under his chin, she brought his face up and looked deep into his pain soaked gaze with a look of incredible serenity and forgiveness.  His breath came in a sharp intake as he realized that she WAS real.
 Once again, the words came by themselves.  They rolled off her tongue naturally even though she didn't know what she was saying until they were said.
 " You don't need to worry anymore…" She smiled at him.  A smile that brought sunshine and filled up the empty shell that was once Himura Kenshin.  " Because… we're together again… like we always will be… Forever."
 He was suddenly shaking.  His shoulders, his entire body, he lowered his head and tears welled up in his eyes, raining down once again when he thought he had no tears left to shed.
 " K-Kaoru…dono…" his voice shook in between sobs. " K-Kaoru… sessha…sessha…"
 " There… don't… it's ok…" She enfolded her arms around him comfortingly and Kenshin leaned into her warm body, full in her embrace.
" I couldn't protect you!"  He tried desperately to control his sobs, but they came unbidden.  He clenched at the fabric of her long sleeves tightly.  She stroked away a few separate strands of hair from his tear soaked cheeks and then folded her wings around the both of them.  Heat radiated from them in warm waves and Kenshin could feel his body relaxing.
" I-- I couldn't-- Kaoru-dono…" His voice was not as broken now.  But it still shook with the undeniable conviction that he'd laid upon himself. Kaoru once again put her hand on his cheek and lifted his head to look up at her.  She smiled at him in reassurance and Kenshin almost felt at peace.
" Shhh… let it go… you don't have to suffer anymore-- now that I'm here…"
 He felt the silky fabric of her kimono between his thumb and forefinger. It was real--- he slowly brought his hand up and wiped the bangs from her eyes…They were the same exact eyes.  He ran his callused fingers down her cheek gingerly, he felt the soft skin and finally rested his fingers on her lips, those same lips that he'd longed for for such a long time… it was true… she had returned to him…"

 And… she was an angel.


 Kaoru sat with Kenshin in her arms for a long time.  Her eyes closed and her cheek rested on his head.  She finally opened her eyes and looked down at him.  His eyes were closed.  She blinked and then shook him slightly.
 " Kenshin!"
 He didn't respond.
 Kaoru's heart skipped a beat.  Had he died?!  She checked for a pulse and was relieved to find a barely distinguishable one… But a pulse nonetheless.  He had only fainted.  He'd neglected himself for so long, that his body was exhausted to the point where he couldn't remain contious.  She bit her lip nervously. What was she to do with him? He needed treatment for his wounds, and food, and water…  and she certainly couldn't carry him anywhere…
 " What are you doing?"  Death's voice startled her.
 Kaoru turned around.
" Death! What are you doing here?  I thought you left!"
" I lied… I stayed around and watched to make sure you didn't botch up your first job."
Kaoru looked at him a little indignantly and then turned and sighed.
 " Well-- I don't know if I did any good.  All he did was say my name, and he kept talking about not being able to protect me…" She looked up at Death pleadingly.  "Help me! He's uncontious and I don't know what to do next!"
 " Well, think practically… he needs treatment… where do you take him?"
 " Ummm… to a clinic?"
 " Good girl."
 " But- I can't carry him!"
 " Use your heavenly power.  Didn't Juniperia-sensei tell you how to teleport?"
 Kaoru blinked.  " Oh my-- I forgot about that!"
 Death shook his head and chuckled.  " Just use a little common sense… it's a virtue all Angels have, they just have to look for it."
Kaoru puffed up a little and then her expression turned to one of nervousness as she looked up at him.
" Well-- you saw it… how did I do?"
" You handled him very nicely." Death nodded in approval.  "  To be honest, I was amazed.  I would have thought that you still remembered him by the way you looked at him."
 Kaoru blushed slightly and then shook her head.  " I guess… I'm a pretty good actress then hmm?"  She laughed nervously, and felt strangely guilty.  But, what was there to be guilty about?  She didn't remember him at all--
 Kaoru looked down at him again, staring intently at his face.  Something about that peaceful look as he slept made her heart ache.  She wished she knew why.
  " Well… I must get back to work." Death smiled and looked at his watch.  " Very good… well, he's off my 'Death List.'  Take care of him now.  I don't want to see him again."
 " Hai-- I will.  Arigato… ummm.. Death."
 " Please, call me Thanatos."
 " Thanatos."
" I'll come to check up on you in a few days.   Good luck."
Kaoru smiled as he turned and walked down the long narrow street towards the awaiting Death Mobile.
" Hmmm…" She reflected.  " I never thought Death would be so… nice."
 She looked at Kenshin's peaceful sleeping face, and then bit her lip determined.
" Ok Kaoru--" She told herself as she folded her wings around Kenshin tightly. "You're going to be the best Guardian Angel to him in the world!!"  She made a silent vow, that she would make him happy so that he would never suffer to such an extent ever again.  Holding him and the chained Sakaba in her arms, she closed her eyes and willed herself to the nearest clinic.  The light around her grew brighter and brighter.
 As it slowly receded, Kenshin and Kaoru had both disappeared.