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.)

CHAPTER 8 - The Desperation of an Unrequited Love

( And the drama hightens!)

 Yahiko sat on the porch of the Kamiya Dojo, it had been two months since Kenshin's return to them and Kenshin was back on his feet, and acting--- well--- better then how he was just after Kaoru had died. He remembered the time when everyone had arrived back at the clinic to find Kenshin back in his bed as if he'd never left.  Only he was calm and-- almost happy.  He wouldn't tell anyone the reason, but after that, his recovery had been very quick.  Things were on the upturn.  Sanosuke and Megumi were engaged to be married as soon as Megumi found out she was pregnant.  Yahiko thought, for a while that things were going to go back to semi-normal.  Though they would never be completely the same without Kaoru around.
 Only now in the past few weeks,  Kenshin was acting weird again….  quieter then usual.  He seemed more withdrawn and spent a lot of time just by himself.  He still helped out with the chores, doing the laundry and cooking, not with the same enthusiasm that he'd shown before when Kaoru was alive.  But Yahiko couldn't help but wonder if there was some way to get Kenshin out of his shell.
Misao was the expert on people who had retreated into shells (i.e. Aoshi) and she told Yahiko that he just needed to give Kenshin his support and always show that he cared.  Of course, when Yahiko pointed out to her that her advice probably wasn't the right way to go about it because she'd used it on Aoshi and it hadn't made any effect so far… he'd received the most gruesome bump on his head.  He rubbed the sore spot, even without Kaoru around; he still managed to get pummeled.
" How can I make him cheer up?" He thought.  He sighed heavily and glanced back towards the kitchen where Kenshin was cooking lunch.


 Kaoru sat on the counter next to Kenshin, who was slicing up a large white radish.  She tapped her fingers on the wood and eyed him.
 " Kenshin…"
 " Oro?"
 " Why don't you smile anymore?"
 " Oh! I’m sorry Kaoru-dono…" Kenshin gave a faint, forced smile and she  whacked him upside the head.
 " Don't think you can fool me with a fake smile baka!  What's wrong? You've been getting sulkier and sulkier lately!"
 " Oh--- It's nothing… I guess my wounds are bothering me." Kenshin lied.  He didn't want to tell her it was because she hadn't responded to any of his 'hints.'  He didn't know if he could have a relationship with an angel, it was heresy for all he knew.  But having her around, in that off the shoulder, incredibly sexy kimono with those dark eyelashes and the hair that always seemed to flow around her as if it was moving through water… That smile, that fragrance… it was driving him insane.  He wanted to touch her, hold her, kiss her, even make love to her… he wanted her to be his, to hear her say that she loved him.   But Kaoru always stayed at a safe distance from him.  Was he wrong in believing that she loved him?
 Kaoru knew he was lying.  She had a sixth sense for it and sighed inwardly.  She honestly knew what the problem was, and had picked up on all his hints.  The ribbons he bought for her… making her favorite meals… the ways he would subtly say "Kaoru" instead of "Kaoru-dono…" The flowers, the western candies called "chocolate" that he bought for her… the list went on and on.  She could only thank him and accept the gifts in gratitude.  But she could not return his feelings.  She couldn't bring herself to tell him the reasons.  She was hoping that he might get over her on his own; that he might realize that she wasn't interested… but so far, it wasn't working.
 " Kaoru-dono…"
 Kaoru was snatched out of her thoughts and looked at him a little nervously. " Hai?"
 " Could you please pass me the soy sauce?"
 " Ohh-- Hai…" relieved that was his only question, she flitted across the room and grabbed the bottle of soy sauce. Then brought it to him.

 Yahiko blinked twice.  Was he imagining it? Or was a bottle of soy sauce floating through the air?  He shook his head and looked again but it was on the table next to Kenshin… he couldn't remember if it had been there before.
 " Damn-- maybe I'm just hallucinating or something… but it's not like it's hot outside though."
 It was actually getting to be very windy.  The clouds were coming in and it looked like there was going to be a storm.  He got up and went around the complex to find Ayame and Suzume playing catch.
 " Ayame-chan! Suzume-chan! Come inside! It looks like it's going to rain!" Yahiko called to them.  The wind was beginning to blow harder; leaves whirled around Yahiko and the two little girls as they followed him inside.
 " Hey Kenshin…" Yahiko waved as he walked in.  Kenshin nodded to him in response.  Ayame and Suzume ran in laughing and grabbed onto each pant leg of his Hakama.
 " KEN-NII!!! PLAY WITH US!" Ayame said excited.
 " KEN-NII!!  LET'S PLAY TAG!!" Suzume pleaded.
 Kenshin put down the knife he was cutting the vegetables with and shook his head slowly.
 " Gomen-nasai, I have to finish lunch…" He didn't smile, the two little girls slid off of his Hakama, looking disappointed.
 " Well, after lunch then?" Ayame asked.
 " Perhaps…" was Kenshin's reply as he turned from them and continued cutting.  The coldness in his voice made Ayame's lower lip tremble.  Yahiko quickly jumped in.
 " I'll play with you Ayame-chan! Suzume-chan! What shall we play?"
 " WAIII!!" Instantly forgetting Kenshin, they ran out of the room with Yahiko close behind.  He stopped outside of the door and looked back at Kenshin worried.  Kenshin continued to chop with his usual precision.  But no smile alighted his face.
 " He used to love to cook… before Kaoru--" Yahiko sighed again and then ran off after the two little girls.

 " Do you realize you almost made Ayame-chan cry?" Kaoru scolded Kenshin.
 " Did I?" Kenshin looked back at the empty hallway and then shrugged and continued to chop.  " I had to make lunch…"
 " What's WRONG with you!" Kaoru wasn't sure what else she could do, she jumped off of her perch and grabbed Kenshin's shoulder.  The redhead made no move to oppose her.  He dropped the knife on the table once more and allowed her to spin him around to look at him.  He lowered his eyes.
 " Nothing's wrong…"
 " Yes there is-- You've got to cheer up!  Live!  You may be recovered but you're worrying Yahiko-- everyone is worried about you!  Don't you care about that?"
 " I don't mean to… I just--"  He continued to look down at the ground, his fists clenched.  Kaoru's heart quickened and she quickly took her hands off his shoulders.   Kenshin looked up at her with grim determination.  " I know why-- I think I do…."
 " Know… what?" Kaoru's voice caught in her throat.
 " You-- you still blame me don't you?  I guess I deserve it… for not protecting you from Enishi-- that's why you…." He trailed off, afraid to complete his sentence.
 Kaoru was shocked.  " W-What? What do you mean I blame you? Of course not!!  I don--"
 " Then WHY won't you respond to my feelings!?" His voice heightened.  Kaoru was getting desperate, she didn't know how to handle this.
 " I-- DON'T know what you're talking about… Kenshin… are you sure you're ok? Do you feel ill?" Kaoru reached up to feel his forehead but he grabbed her wrist and brought her too him, he pressed his lips to hers, kissing her with an incredible hunger.
 Kaoru froze as an incredible surge of emotions welled up inside of her.  Her heart leapt in her chest, part of her wanted to kiss him back.  Part of her wanted to be held in his strong arms, protected and loved.  But her practicality made her tear away from his grip.  She put her fingers to her lips and backed away from him.  Kenshin looked at her in shock.
 " K-Kaoru-dono… I’m sorry!" He stammered, taking a step closer to her. " I don't know why-- I don't know what came over me…"
 She had tears in her eyes, she was crying.  She shook her head and she clutched her heart as if in pain.
" Kenshin… no…baka…" she muttered.  Tears poured down her cheeks.  Why was she feeling these emotions?  Why did they tear at her so?  It was driving her insane.
 "Kaoru-dono… I'm sorry… I'm sorry!"
" Why'd you do that…  baka--" She shook her head.
"  I love you! I can't help it-- I love you so much, I was desperate to find out if you loved me… please… forgive me." Kenshin took another step towards her, she backed up against the wall, his advance halted and he looked at her devastated.  " Kaoru…dono…"
" I--" She swallowed hard, for some reason, the words couldn't come… it was so painful.  Her body felt like it was being torn in half.  " I… don't… love you---"
"Kaoru…" his voice cracked, giving away the overwhelming feeling of despair that suddenly plagued him.  He felt as if everything was in slow motion.  The world seemed to stop in that one instant.  Kaoru could have gone and torn out his heart, holding it above his head and laughed, and it wouldn't have hurt as much as those four words.

" I don’t love you."

 " Naze…why?" was all he could manage to choke out.
 " I'm sorry…" tears poured down her cheeks like silver droplets.  She began to fade, then disappeared.
 "KAORU-DONO!"  Kenshin moved to catch her, but only caught thin air.
 " What... What have I done?" Kenshin sank to his knees, the last of his hopes flew away from him.  Then something caught his eye.  He blinked as he saw a feather lying on the ground where Kaoru had disappeared.  A wing feather?  He picked it up and examined it.  The peculiar thing about it though, was that it was not white; but Grey…
 " Kaoru…dono…"  His gaze darkened as he clutched the feather, quickly dismissing the color.  He flung it away, fingering the hilt of his Sakabatou, he strode confidently towards the closed door of the dojo.  Yahiko almost ran into him as he rounded a corner.  Ayame and Suzume were in hot pursuit.
 " WOAH! Kenshin?  What are you doing? It's a raging storm outside!" Yahiko said exasperated.
 Kenshin ignored him as he opened the door.  The wind instantly sent his red hair flaring around him, Yahiko took a step back in surprise of Kenshin's sudden movement.  Ayame and Suzume nervously hid behind Yahiko.
 " Yahiko-nii… what's wrong with Ken-nii?" whimpered Suzume.
 " I don't know…" Yahiko said slowly, he reached out to grab hold of Kenshin's Gi, but the red headed samurai's cold gaze that fell on him made him stop.
 " I'll be back." Was all he said.  He plunged into the storm, instantly swallowed up by the torrents of rain.
" I'll be back when I find out why…"