* 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!
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 >=)
CHAPTER 4 - The Unexpected Coming
Megumi sighed heavily as she looked out the window. There were
few patients seeing her today and her extra time was spent thinking about
Kaoru. No matter how beautiful it was outside, with the blue sky and
pleasant breeze that cooled her, swirling and playing with her hair, nothing
could shake the incredible depression that plagued her heart. Kaoru
had turned into almost a little sister to her. Ever since she'd decided
to give up Kenshin, she'd expected him and Kaoru to be happy. But,
the recent event with Enishi had completely shattered that hope of happiness.
And she had been completely powerless. As good as she was at being
a doctor; no one could bring back the dead.
She couldn't bring herself to visit Kenshin in Rakuninmura. The horror and anguish expressed in both Yahiko and Misao's eyes as they returned from their most recent attempt to snap him out of his depression made it so difficult to bear. Megumi didn't want to see the Ken-san that she knew and loved in such misery.
Megumi sighed again. Kenshin was mourning the loss of Kaoru, his beloved Megumi still couldn't say that she was over Kenshin. But at the same time she felt almost responsible Kaoru was so young and pure and innocent. Definitely not deserving of her fate all because she was the one closest to Kenshin. If only Megumi hadn't allowed Kaoru to have him, then just maybe things might have turned out differently--- no she wouldn't think of that! With or without her, Kaoru and Kenshin would have gotten together sooner or later. She was just fooling herself.
A sudden dark figure appeared in the doorway, Megumi turned her head to see Sanosuke. His hand that had been damaged in the fight with Banjin had been carefully tended, his arm in a sling.
" What do you want?" Megumi didn't feel like being polite.
Sano's eyes narrowed " You-- have to come with me!"
Megumi was surprised by the demanding tone. " Nani? Why?"
He strode over to her and grabbed her arm with his free hand.
" W-Wait a sec!" Megumi wrenched her arm free from his grip and looked up at him defiantly. " What's going on?!"
" Kenshin's missing!"
" NANI?" Megumi's mouth dropped wide open.
" He's missing! Yahiko went to check up on him and he's gone!"
" Did Yahiko ask anyone if they saw him leave?"
" No one would talk to him. We've gotta find Kenshin!"
" How can Ken-san just get up and leave? You said he was so weak he couldn't even--" She couldn't bring herself to finish the sentence. She turned her gaze from his and grasped the cloth of her blue overcoat. " -- He couldn't even stand up on his own "
" You've seen Kenshin push his limits right? He's done it several times!"
" Where do we look?"
" Misao, Aoshi and Yahiko are out looking, I've alerted my friends and they're searching all over the outskirts. We can't let him wander off again! Even with Jo-chan gone, he has got to realize that he has a family here!"
A suddenly loud knock on the door made the two jump. Megumi didn't know how many more surprises she could take today. Sano released his grip on her arm and she walked from the room and down the hallway towards the front door. There was an urgency in the knocking, she hoped it wasn't a patient that needed immediate attention, she wanted to go look for Kenshin with Sano. She opened the door.
" Yes? What can I--"
Sano jumped at a sudden surprised cry from Megumi. He bounded
out of the examination room and down the hall to see the doctor hunched
over a figure, lying motionless on the front porch of the clinic.
The figure wore a torn and dirty Gi and Hakama. His red hair was tangled
and matted. There was a cross scar on his left cheek.
" KEN-SAN!" Megumi knelt by him, immediately checking for vital signs.
" KENSHIN?" Sano skidded to a stop and looked in horror at the thin, frail figure being cradled in Megumi's arms. His cheeks were caved in; he lay limply, a man at his very last breath.
" He's burning up!" she felt his forehead. "Damn it-- why didn't you tell me his wounds were infected!" Megumi looked up at Sano through the tears that had come of their own volition.
Sano hurried and lifted Kenshin easily with his one free arm, and carried him into the dojo following behind Megumi.
" Be CAREFUL with him baka!" She scolded him. Sano winced as he took his arm out of the sling and supported Kenshin with both arms.
"Is he ok? Oi! Megumi answer me!"
Megumi opened the door to the patient's room for him and he laid Kenshin on one of the beds.
" What do you think blockhead? He's neglected himself for too long! How in the world did he manage to get here--" She shook her head and began a quick examination.
" Let's not worry about how he got here tell me what's wrong with him!"
"His pulse is barely distinguishable, but it's still beating, that's what's important. He needs treatment for his wounds, and I need to bring the fever down. Go boil some water, bring in my medical supplies!"
Sano stood dumbstruck as Megumi began to remove Kenshin's Gi, examining the long slash he'd received across his chest.
" Dammit, that needs to be sewn up-- HURRY SANO!"
" Y-Yeah!" Sano bolted from the room.
Kaoru watched the two running back and forth. What a stroke
of luck! Kenshin must know this doctor personally! She called him
Ken-san after all
Kaoru bit her lip; a weird emotion took over
her as she watched Megumi undressing Kenshin. Jealousy?
She shook her head. No! How could she be jealous? Megumi was a doctor. She needed to help Kenshin, and she seemed very professional about it. Besides, it was very un-angel like to get jealous. It wasn't an emotion angels could feel. That's what her teacher had told her. Kaoru excused it as nothing more than worry.
Megumi's urgency made the anguish of waiting to find out if he'd be ok more and more unbearable. Kaoru bit her lip as she remembered how she'd held him in her arms during the teleport. She'd been scared that his body wouldn't be able to handle the shift in dimensions. Indeed, his heart had faltered once they'd disappeared, and she'd had to stop and wait for his body to recover in the dimension she was travelling through. That had considerably delayed the teleport.
She sat and watched Megumi as she disinfected the long gash on Kenshin's chest and performed her surgery with intricate precision. She was certainly a doctor that knew what she was doing.
Kaoru couldn't hear what Megumi was whispering. It sounded as though she was talking to Kenshin. She moved to the opposite side of the bed across from Megumi and leaned over to listen. The doctor took no notice of her, of course-- Kaoru had made herself invisible to all eyes but Kenshin's.
" Ken-san don't worry! You'll make it! You've GOT to hold on!" She pleaded with him as she worked. Kaoru looked down at Kenshin, it didn't seem like her words were being heard
Sano came in with some more supplies and handed them to Megumi.
" How's he doing?" Sano asked.
" He's growing weaker " Megumi muttered under her breath.
Kaoru bit her lip. What could she do? Kenshin wasn't going to die! Death has said that he was off of his list. But all the same Maybe if she could lend Kenshin some of her strength then he'd recover quicker She placed her hand over his forehead and concentrated. Kenshin's face seemed to relax almost instantly. She could feel his life force spring back.
After a few hours, Megumi sat back and wiped the sweat from her
forehead. She walked from the room and saw Sano standing in the hallway
looking sick with worry. She smiled slightly and then took down her
" Well?" Sano asked.
" He'll be ok." Megumi glanced back at the room and closed the door. " The fever broke, Ken-san just needs to rest, and regain his strength, I don't know what it was, but halfway through the surgery, his pulse made a sudden comeback, as if he'd suddenly found the need to live again. He's sleeping peacefully. "
" That's good news! I'll go find everyone and bring them here." He turned to go but stopped and glanced back to Megumi when he thought he saw a shutter go through her body.
" Hey-- are you all right?" He turned to her concerned.
" I'm fine." She tried to smile reassuringly. " I'll stay and watch over Ken-san."
Her voice cracked and gave away the stress she still felt. Megumi clenched her fists. All the pent up emotions and trauma of the past few hours surfacing again as the practical doctor lost it's foothold and the sensitive, worrisome woman came screaming to the surface. Megumi began to cry.
" Hey now no need for that. He'll be ok." Sano bit his lip. She stood with shaking shoulders, trying desperately to hide the tears with her long black hair.
" I'm just-- after everything he's he'll be ok!" She wiped her cheeks with the sleeve of her jacket, trying to convince herself of his comeback. Sano wanted to comfort her. And without thinking he drew his arms around her and brought her to him. She folded easily to his strong frame, and buried her head in his bandaged chest. She was sobbing now. He held her tightly, resting his chin on the top of her head and a small smile spread across his face.
" You did great Megumi, and it's over now. Things are gonna be ok. Don't worry."
Kaoru watched the exchange in the hallway with a warm smile.
" Arigato, Megumi-san "
She then passed through the wall of the door into Kenshin's room. She saw him sleeping soundly on the bed. His chest rising and falling in deep sleep. She walked over and sat on the edge of his bed and looked down on his sleeping face. He looked peaceful now.
" Kaoru dono " he mumbled her name in his sleep. Kaoru's eyes shot open as his face retorted. " Kaoru "
" He's dreaming?" She bit her lip, took his hand in hers and then leaned over to whisper in his ear.
" I'm here Kenshin it's ok."
He instantly quieted and his tense body relaxed at the sound of her voice. A small smile lighted his face. Kaoru straightened and then dizziness came over her. She put her hand to her forehead, feeling suddenly fatigued.
" It must have been from the strength I'd lent him in order to get through the operation." She thought to herself. But it had been worth it. He was going to be ok!
Yawning, she rose and walked over to another one of the patient beds in the far corner and lay down, wrapping her wings around her as a blanket of feathers. As soon as her head hit the pillow, she was sound asleep.
Kaoru found herself jolted awake as the door suddenly opened wide
with a creek and two figures crept in. She rubbed her eyes and squinted
in the darkness to see who these visitors were. They crept over to
Kenshin and stood looking at the peaceful sleeping Rurouni.
" I don't get it!" Said one adolescent male voice. He scratched his head of spiky hair and glanced at the other. She was a teenage girl wearing what appeared to be a Ninja outfit, with a long braid of black hair that fell down her back.
" I wonder how Himura got here!" she said as she put her hands on her hips. " He couldn't have made it by himself. You remember when he tried to get up that time didn't you?"
" He had no strength! But then again, Kenshin can always surprise you." The boy couldn't help but smile. " I guess what's important now, is that he's going to be ok. Megumi said so!"
Misao looked around. " Hey! Where'd Aoshi-sama go? He was right behind us!" She turned and walked briskly out of the room. " AOSHI-SAMA!!"
Yahiko was left alone in the room standing in front of Kenshin, Kaoru watched him as he clenched his fists. His smile disappeared.
" Dammit Kenshin, you really had all of us scared." He whispered, biting his lip and lowering his head. " I thought you left and-- with Kaoru gone I don't think-- I " Kaoru saw silvery tears roll down his cheeks. Yahiko quickly wiped them with his sleeve. " I couldn't You're the.. only family-- I've got left!"
Kaoru's mouth dropped open. This boy-- was he part of her family? She wanted to reach out and hold him and reassure him. But she didn't think it would be a good time to show herself. Not yet, she would wait until Kenshin recovered and all the trauma settled down. It would be too much for the boy to handle right now.
Sano appeared in the doorway and Yahiko looked up.
" Hey brat let's go get some food and bring it back here for everyone. I think Tae-san might just let us have it for free considering the circumstances. Megumi won't leave the clinic until Kenshin wakes up. "
Yahiko didn't say anything in response to 'brat,' but just nodded solemnly and looked back at Kenshin.
" He'll be fine. Don't worry Yahiko." Sano put his hand on his shoulder. " You've gotta be strong at a time like this, for Kenshin's sake. Now that he's back with us, we'll need to give him all the support we can."
Wordlessly, Yahiko nodded as Sano led him out of the room. Kaoru stood watching the doorway for a long time.
" Sano, and Yahiko " she muttered. " I wish I knew who you were "
Three days later, it was late in the evening and everyone but Megumi
who kept a constant eye on Kenshin had gone out for food. Kaoru lounged
on the porch in the full rays of the setting sun. She stretched lazily,
her snowy white wings arched high.
" How are things going?"
" AAHH!" Kaoru jumped at the sudden appearance of Death behind her. She whirled around. " Phanatos! DON'T do that!"
Death chuckled and swung his large scythe onto his shoulder. " I apologize."
Kaoru smirked, " Well, what did you come for?" she turned back around and began preening. Then suddenly froze when a horrible thought passed through her mind. She jumped up in a flash. " NOT KEN--"
Death silenced her with a shake of his head. " No no-- I'm not here for Kenshin's soul. You've saved him, and done a very nice job at it too! Heaven is very proud of you!"
Kaoru's mouth dropped open. " They know?"
" Oh yes, the Archangel does routine checkups on all the guardian angels to make sure things are in order and they're following the rules and everything. It takes about three weeks to go around to all of them in the world."
" Three weeks?"
" Yep! Unfortunately, there aren't many guardian angels out there. You're a guardian angel for eternity-- or until you get careless "
" Yes, break a rule and lose your rank. You'll be judged by your misconduct."
" Yes, Juniperia-sensei said if it's bad enough, you can even be sent to Hell."
" Well-- you've got to do something PRETTY bad. I've only heard of that happening once before."
" Do you know what happened?"
" She fell in love with her client."
" Oh was that all?"
" Well-- let's say she was very intimate with her client "
" Oh " Kaoru understood instantly. She bit her lip, anxious to change the subject. " So-- you avoided my first question. What are you here for?"
" Well-- First wanted to congratulate you on your success with your client. And now I wanted to say that in 2 minutes he will wake up."
" HE WILL?" Kaoru looked at him in exasperation. " Oh! What do I do?!"
Death laughed. " Be natural I guess. You seem to have a talent for this sort of thing."
" Oh-- natural huh? Well ok " Kaoru didnt know if that was really much help.
" Well, I must be off-- I'll pay another visit soon. And I want you to know that you can go back to visit Heaven anytime you'd like. Tomoe says hello."
" I can?" A smile lit Kaoru's face. It was true; Tomoe had been the first angel she'd met in heaven. Death nodded in response. " All you need to do is fly towards the light. It's very simple. Good luck!"
Death disappeared before Kaoru had the chance to thank him. She sighed and shook her head. " Well-- If he's got to get to work, then so do I!" She turned and entered the clinic, determined to be there when Kenshin awoke.