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… >=)

CHAPTER 5- Sano's Confession

 The thin sliver of the moon cast a pale glow on the velvety night.  Kenshin and Kaoru walked side by side along the riverbank.  Kenshin glanced at Kaoru through the silky strands of hair hung over his eyes. Kaoru blushed slightly; she felt his gaze on her but pretended not to notice.  She continued walking, looking straight ahead of her at the night.  But honestly wasn't paying any attention to where she was going.  Her foot hit a root in the ground and she tripped ungracefully. Kenshin extended an arm and caught her before she hit the ground.
 " Are you ok Kaoru-dono?!" Kenshin asked hastily.  Kaoru felt her cheeks grow hot with embarrassment and was thankful for the veil of darkness.  She regained her balance; Kenshin's arm didn't leave her waist though.  She laughed lightly.
 " I'm fine.   We should have brought a lantern… it's almost too dark to see anything."
 " Almost…" Kenshin's gaze was full on her now.  Their eyes locked and Kaoru knew what he was thinking.  He gazed at her with a sort of longing.  She felt his grip on her waist tighten as he drew her closer to her.
 " Kaoru-dono…" he whispered.   His mouth hovered just inches away from hers, nervous to move any further for fear she would pull away from him.  Kaoru's heart beat fast.  She didn't move closer, or pull away, but stood tight in his embrace.  Her hand rested over his heart, she could feel it beating quickly with hers.  They slowly moved closer towards each other's slightly parted lips.  Kaoru closed her eyes, ready to receive his sweet kiss when a sudden pain shot up through her body.  She arched her back and cried out.  Kenshin fell back in shock as white wings emerged from her back, tearing the silky fabric of her Kimono.
 " KAORU!"

 Kenshin's eyes shot open with a gasp.   His vision blurred for a moment and he lay confused as to where he was.  But after a few moments came to realize he was inside a room.  Staring up at the wooden ceiling.  He turned his head to one side, the back of the room. There were other beds about; they all lay empty.  Then, slowly, ignoring the pain in his muscles, he turned his head to the other side and saw a door, which stood slightly ajar.
 " Megumi's clinic…" he thought to himself.  He sighed and closed his eyes again; the memories of his past fight with Enishi floated back to him… Kaoru…
 He clenched his teeth. Why wasn't he dead by now!?  Why was he here?  He didn't want to fight any more… he didn't want to hurt anyone ever again.  The image of Kaoru with the white wings from his dream filled his mind.  The anguish in her face… what an odd dream that had been!  He seemed to remember another similar dream, except it was comforting to think of.  He'd been held in Kaoru's arms, she'd been an angel in a white Kimono, and her wings radiated heat and love and compassion.  That seemed to only magnify her incredible beauty.
 But… it was only a dream, wasn't it?  Even though it had seemed so real?
 Kenshin opened his eyes again as he felt a presence in the room.  He turned his head, expecting to find Megumi or maybe Sanosuke or Yahiko.  But the deep blue eyes that stared back at him from underneath heavy dark lashes where… And that blue-black hair belonged too… and that smile…
 Kenshin sat up in shock. " KAORU!!"  Almost instantly the pain from his wounds caused him to double over.
 " Kenshin!" Kaoru cried as he clutched at his abdomen in pain and began to topple off of the bed.  She rushed and caught him before he hit the ground.  " Mou! Kenshin no baka!  What did you do that for?"
 Kenshin looked up at her in consternation.   It was Kaoru's voice, her fragrance, but-- how could it be Kaoru?  Kaoru was… she was…
 … She was dead!
 " K-Kaoru-dono!"  Kenshin's eyes were wide with shock and confusion.  She looked down at him sympathetically.  She realized he'd probably mistaken their first encounter as a dream, he'd been on the brink of uncontiousness at that time anyways.  "Kaoru-dono…"
 " Yes… it's me." She managed a warm smile.  " And no, you're not dreaming Kenshin…"
 His eyes widened as she spread out her wings which had been folded and hidden against her back until now.  His dream flooded back to him.
 " KAORU! YOU--" He didn't know what to think.  She… was an angel, the white Kimono and the faint yellow glow, and the wings…maybe that other dream, HADN'T been just a dream! A tear ran down his cheek.  " Kaoru…"
 " Kenshin…" She ran her finger across his cheek, wiping the tear away and she smiled at him warmly.  " I came back for you…"
 " You're-- You're a…"
 " I'm your Guardian Angel."
 " Angel---"
 Kaoru nodded, her eyes glistened with tears but she didn't know why.  Why was she feeling this rush of emotions?  Her heart seemed to pound in her chest but the reunion was cut short by the sound of footsteps running hastily towards the door.  Before Kenshin's very eyes, Kaoru's image shimmered and vanished.  He lay on wood floor wrapped up in his blanket as Megumi bolted through the door.
 " KEN-SAN!" She cried.  She rushed over to him and Kenshin looked at her in amazement.  " Ken-san-- what have you done?!  You'll tear your stitches--"
 " --Megumi-dono!  Kaoru…" Kenshin looked frantically around the room for Kaoru, but she was no where to be found.  " Kaoru-dono is…!"
 " Shhhh--- let's not think about that right now… Oh my you're pulse is racing! Quick now, get back into bed, I'll help you!"
 With Megumi's assistance Kenshin got back into bed.   She quickly made sure that none of his wounds had opened and felt his forehead.
 " A little subnormal… you need to get rest."
 " Megumi-dono!  I saw Kaoru-dono!" Kenshin looked at her in earnest.  Megumi stopped her check over and looked at him, pain registering in her face.
 " Ken-san…" She tried to smile, he saw her hands clutched her blue coat tightly.  " Ken-san… The important thing now is for you to get better.  I know how hard it is on you...  but please, if not for your own sake, for Yahiko's.  He sees you as a father to him.  Please-- if you live, live for him!  So that he may still have a person to call his family."  Her voice shook at the last note.  Kenshin's tense face relaxed as he soaked up her words.  She was right.  He didn't know if he'd just been imagining Kaoru then, or if she was real, but up until now he'd only been thinking about one thing, his failure in protecting her.   He hadn't considered the kind of pain he was causing others.  He could see that pain in Megumi's eyes.
 " Megumi-dono…Thank you."  He looked at her with compassion.  Megumi's breath caught in her throat and she hastily nodded.
 " We-- We all love you very much! So get some rest!"
 Kenshin said nothing, only closed his eyes.   Fatigue pulled at him and he struggled to stay awake long enough for Megumi to leave the room in the hopes that he'd once again see the beautiful angel, but the fatigue won and he fell fast asleep.
  Megumi stayed with him for about ten minutes more, she watched his peaceful face as he slept.  The dirt and blood washed away.  She brushed a strand of hair from his forehead and then heard footsteps stop in the doorway.
 " Yo--"
 Megumi turned to the usual, low voiced Sano. He stood in the doorway with hands in his pockets.  She smiled and walked to him.
 " Ken-san woke up.  He--" She bit her lip.  " He said he saw Kaoru… I mean-- he was screaming her name when I heard him!"
 It didn't take a genius to see that Megumi was also suffering.  Suffering for Kenshin.  Sano wished that he knew exactly what her feelings were.  He put a broad hand on her shoulder and their eyes locked.
 " Let's take a walk…" Sano suggested.
 Megumi hesitated and looked back at Kenshin. " But--"
 " He won't wake up for a while.  Come on, you need to get out-- you haven't allowed yourself to leave his side for three days now.  It's not healthy to stay inside."
 Megumi chuckled slightly, almost bitterly.  " You're right… I must be loosing my mind-- because I'm starting to worry over nothing.  Ken-san will recover, good as new in no time."
 The two left the room and Kaoru reappeared.  She crept over to Kenshin on silent bare feet and leaned over his sleeping face.
 " Aww-- I was hoping I'd get to talk to him more…" She pouted.  " But-- I suppose it's better for him to gain his strength." She bit her lip nervously.  " He didn't seem all the excited to see me… it was more confusion then anything else.  Well-- I suppose I can understand that…  I probably would have acted the same way if an angel had suddenly appeared in front of me and said they were my guardian angel!" She chuckled and gave him a quick kiss on the forehead.  " I would probably think I was loosing my mind."


 Sano and Megumi went down the steps and opened the front gate to the clinic.  The door opened to reveal Yahiko jump back with a start to avoid smacking right into Sano.
 " Yahiko! There you are-- where have you been all day?" Sano looked down at the boy.
 " Oh… nowhere in particular." Yahiko folded his arms and looked away.  Sano and Megumi exchanged glances.
 " Well brat, we were about to take a walk." Sano began to walk past Yahiko and turned to give him a good slap across the back that made Yahiko almost fall flat on his face. " So, watch the clinic for us will ya?"
 " Ack!" Yahiko caught himself and turned around to see the two retreating figures.  He clenched his fist, thinking of a thousand different things he could say in retort, but instead let out a long sigh and retreated into the courtyard, closing the door behind him.
 Megumi glanced back worried as the door closed.  " Do you really think you should be teasing him at a time like this?"
 " I'm just trying to lighten the mood.  Yahiko has retreated into a shell lately."
 " I don't think that's quite the way to handle kids." Megumi looked at him a little annoyed.  Sano scratched his head.
 " Yeah, well I have no experience with kids…"
 " It doesn't surprise me." Megumi smirked.  Sano looked down at her exasperated.
 " WHAT'S the smirk for?"
 " I was just thinking about how clueless you are when it comes to family life… if you don't start acting more gentlemanly, you'll NEVER catch a wife.  What woman would want to marry an unemployed, drinking, gambling, scummy man like you?"  She laughed lightly.  Sano's expression turned pained and he stopped in mid stride.  Megumi noticed and turned to face him.
 " What's wrong?"
 Sano narrowed his eyes at her. " What was that supposed to mean huh?"
 Megumi blinked. " I was being blunt."
 " Yeah-- but I want to know what that REALLY meant."
 " W-What do you mean? It meant what I said it did!"
 " Are you so sure?" Sano walked up very close to her and looked deep into her eyes.  Megumi bit her lip nervously at the intense stare.  But she couldn't find the strength to pull away from that gaze.  " You sound more like you're trying to convince yourself than anyone else."
 Megumi's reply caught in her throat.
 " Wh-what are you implying?" she stuttered.
 Sano was silent for a long moment, then turned from her. " Forget it."
 " Wait! I want to know what you mean by that!"  Megumi grabbed his shoulder but he shrugged her off.
 " I said forget it!" He began to walk away.  Desperation grasped Megumi; she didn't want him to be angry with her.
 " Wait Sano! I was only joking! I didn't mean to--"
 " It's nothing! Don't worry about it."
 " But-- why are you angry? I'm sorry!!  Sano, I--"
 " -- Why don't you go back to the clinic and fuss over your darling Kenshin." Sano's voice was cold and icy; it cut through Megumi like a knife.  " Kenshin's no drinking, gambling, scummy guy that knows nothing about family life."
 Megumi froze.  She watched Sano saunter off down the street but couldn't bring herself to go after him.  Tears welled up in her eyes.
 " S-Sano…" The realization of his unintentional confession of love completely took her by surprise, she sank to her knees. His retreating form continuing to grow smaller and smaller in the distance until he disappeared from her sight. 
Megumi hung her head, allowing the tears to flow freely. " Sano no… baka…"