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.)
  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 10- Kenshin's Simple Solution

( Go get a soda-- this ones a long one! ^_^ )

 The storm outside raged.  Yahiko looked out the window worried.  It was because Kenshin had left (and was still gone).  He'd had to feed Ayame and Suzume.  The two girls sat at the table forcing one mouthful after the other.
 " It's SO salty!" Ayame said, her nose wrinkling as she made a face.
 " Yahiko-nii… you can't cook very well." Suzume laughed.
 " Not at all!" Ayame agreed with a laugh.  " Worse then Kaoru-neesan!"
 Yahiko reddened at that.  " It's not like I've EVER tried to make a meal before! Be happy that you get anything at all!" He looked out the window again with steadily increasing annoyance. "Damn you Kenshin-- Why'd you just take off like that?"
 Ayame and Suzume exchanged glances and then quickly dashed from the room, they're plates weren't even halfway empty.
 " I'm not hungry anymore!" Suzume yelled.
 " Me neither!" Ayame said.
 Yahiko sighed and took the plates to the Kitchen.  "Where is that damn Kenshin…  the storm is really bad… And what was he talking about as he left?"
 Yahiko washed the dishes in a dishearted manner; he looked around at the dim, candle lit kitchen and imagined Kaoru standing in the doorway.

 " Yahiko! When you're done with the dishes, I want you to scrub all the floors until they're spotless!"
 " I'm not your personal slave, ugly!"
 Kaoru's face grew red. " UGLY!?"
 " Ha!" Yahiko flew from the room, almost knocking Kaoru off of her feet in the process. " YEAH! WHY don't you do the dishes UGLY! That's woman's work after all!"

 Yahiko chuckled to himself as he wiped the last dish clean and set them to dry.  " Kaoru wouldn't believe, I'm doing them without her asking me too-- "
 The sound of the front door opening interrupted his thoughts.  Yahiko's eyes shot open.  " Kenshin?!"
 He bolted from the kitchen and came bounding towards the entrance.
 He rounded a corner and slammed straight into Misao.
 " AHHH!" Misao fell back with Yahiko and hit the ground.  The two lay in a knot of tangled arms and lets. " YAHIKO! GET OFF OF ME!"
 " MISAO?!"  Yahiko struggled to his feet and helped her up.  He looked up at Aoshi who stood in the background coolly.  His dripping wet hair hid his eyes completely.
 " Yes it's me baka!" She wrung out her ponytail.  " Sorry for being so late-- the storm delayed us…"
 " Sorry- I thought you were Kenshin." Yahiko's face failed to hide his disappointment.  Misao tensed for a moment as her gaze fell on him.
 " -Himura?"
 " Yeah-" Yahiko looked up at her.  " You didn't see him did you?"
 Misao glanced at Aoshi, who gave only a slight nod.  She turned back to Yahiko and put a hand on his shoulder.  " I think you'll need to sit down for this one…"


 " WHAT?" Yahiko had been in the middle of sipping his tea, his surprise at what Misao had just said made him spray it out all over the ground.
 " EEWWW! Yahiko look at the mess you just made!" Misao said disgusted.
 Yahiko ignored her " What did you just say? Kenshin's WHAT?"
 " He's-- gone insane… Aoshi-sama and I think." She muttered with closed eyes.  " He's lost his mind."
 " But- HOW?  What makes you think that?"
 Misao described the one-man conversation he was having with "Kaoru."

 " I-- don't believe you." Yahiko muttered, he clenched his fists and stood up.  " It CAN'T be true."
 " It's true Yahiko! Aoshi-sama and I heard him speaking with-- ummm... 'Kaoru.'"
 " I won't believe it, until I see it for myself." He glared at her and then ran from the room.
" YAHIKO!" Misao moved to follow him but stopped at Aoshi's raised hand.

Yahiko ran down the hallway and out into the rain.  He was going to sit by the entrance and wait for Kenshin to return.  He was going to see with his own eyes that Kenshin WASN'T mad.  True, Kenshin had been melancholy lately-- but it WASN'T because he was insane.  The more and more Yahiko thought about it, the more he denied it.  It was impossible.  How could anyone believe they were talking with someone who was dead?
 " Kenshin-- idiot!" Yahiko muttered under his breath.  He leaned against the gateway entrance, shivering in the rain, feeling the drops slide down his cheeks and slowly soak his Gi.
 It didn't take too long before he noticed a dark figure walking towards the dojo.
 " Kenshin?"
 He took a few steps forward with a wide smile on his face.  But stopped short as Kenshin got closer.  The red-haired ex-Rurouni looked miserable.  His face was downcast, the long red strands of his hair were soaked all the way through, they stuck to his face in disarray.   His Gi and Hakama were drenched.  It looked as if he'd jumped in the river with all his clothes on.  He trudged sadly past Yahiko without even a glance and entered the dojo.
 Yahiko watched from the entrance as Kenshin crossed the courtyard and entered the building.
 " Kenshin…"
 He clenched his fists and ran after him.  Bursting open the front door and looked about for any sign of him.  The trail of water headed towards Kenshin's room.  Yahiko set forward determined and came to the closed door.  He knocked on it loudly.
 " Oi! Kenshin! It's Yahiko.  Can I come in?"
 There was no answer.
 Yahiko slowly opened the door and peered in.  The room was completely black.
 " Kenshin?"
 He froze as the light from the hallway spilled into the dark room.  Kenshin was slightly illuminated, sitting against the back wall of the room in a fashion all too familiar to Yahiko.  Sakaba sword chained and resting on his left shoulder, his eyes downcast and face a complete blank.
 " Yahiko…" the voice was faint. " Please leave me alone."


 Kaoru watched Kenshin in horror.  She was right back where she'd started.  She'd completely destroyed him.
 " Kenshin…"
 She noticed Yahiko open the door, and Kenshin sent him away just as quickly.  The boy had a tortured, confused look on his face.  Kaoru crept over to the still form and kneeled next to him.
 " Kenshin…"
 " …"
 " Please! Look at me!" She pleaded.  Kenshin slowly raised his eyes to gaze into hers.
 " Kenshin, don’t do this to yourself! I--"
 " Kaoru-dono…"
 " Hai?" She looked at him hopefully.
 " Leave me alone."
 Kaoru's voice caught in her throat.  After a long pause, she slowly nodded and then disappeared.

 She reappeared outside, materializing so that she could feel the rain run coolly down her face.  She looked up at the dark sky and closed her eyes.  Wishing the rain could wash away everything she felt.  Her frustration, her pain, her sorrow, the tearing feeling in her heart…  She felt it soak her to the bone.  Tears mingled with the drops that ran down her cheeks.
 " I've failed completely…I-- I NEVER should have come here! I never should have been a guardian angel."  Her whole body trembled.  She hugged herself, staggering towards the coy pond.  She looked down into the water.  Her reflection was barely distinguishable due to the thousands of tiny raindrops that broke the surface of the water.  Her mind was a carousel of deep-seated thoughts and emotions.  Going around and around and never coming to a stop or an end.  The frustration gave way to anger.  She scowled.
 "DEATH!" She cried angrily, she yelled up to the heavens, " DEATH! PHANATOS!" " WHERE ARE YOU?! DEATH!!"
 There was no answer.  Kaoru collapsed on the bank near the pond, waiting, letting the rain pound down on her.  Death never came.


 Yahiko couldn't sleep a wink all night.  His mind ran over the events with Kenshin over and over again.  He desperately tried to find a reason for his friend's sudden behavior.  He'd thought Kenshin had been over things-- maybe it wasn't true, maybe he'd just been pretending to be over Kaoru for Yahiko's sake.  Yahiko grimaced at the thought.  He tossed and turned, the wind of the storm died down, and he realized he no longer heard rain pelting the wooden roof of the dojo.  Time seemed to stand still and before he knew it, the light from the rising sun was slowly beginning to creep through the windows.  He gave up the idea for sleep at that point and got up wearily.
" Might as well start breakfast-- I'm gonna have to feed Ayame and Suzume chan at least.  Dr. Genzai should be back from his trip by mid-day." Yahiko sighed heavily as he trudged towards the kitchen.  Passing by Misao's room (used to be Kaoru's) he smiled slightly as he heard her heavy breathing.  At least Misao had been able to sleep that night.
He stopped when he passed Kenshin's door.  He hung back, looking at it in earnest.  Should he check on him? Was he still acting the same?  Yahiko took a deep breath and slid the door open a crack, peeking in.  He looked to the back but Kenshin wasn't there!  Yahiko opened the door wider and scanned the room.  Still-- no sign of Kenshin.
 " Oh shit…" Yahiko muttered.  He closed the door and looked around wildly.  " Don’t panic stupid!" He told himself.  " Look first and THEN wake everyone up!"  He bounded towards the main entrance, looked in the training hall, outside near the clothesline, in the bathroom… no sign of Kenshin.
 Yahiko was beginning to really panic now.  There was one place that he hadn't checked.  The kitchen.  He sprinted into the building and slammed the door wide open.  Yahiko face faulted as he saw Kenshin in the kitchen, back to him, preparing breakfast.
 " KENSHIN?!" Yahiko pulled himself from the ground and stalked over to him angrily. " Kenshin--"
 " Shhh--" Kenshin put his finger to his mouth and Yahiko promptly shut up.  "Everyone is still asleep.  Misao-dono HATES to be woken up, you know that." Kenshin turned and continued his preparation.  Yahiko's face grew red with frustration and he put his hand on Kenshin shoulder, spinning the redhead around with surprising strength.
 " Oro?"
 " WHAT'S up with you? What about last night?!" Yahiko was ready to take his Shinnai to him for making him worry so much.
 Kenshin looked at him innocently.  " Ohh-- last night? Heh-- it was just a rough night, that's all.  I'm ok now." He gave him a reassuring smile.  Not his usual fake one, which surprised Yahiko.  The boy sighed heavily.
 " I was really worried about you Kenshin-- just a rough night?  WHAT happened to make you so-- soo…"
 He stopped when Kenshin put a hand on his shoulder.  " You don't need to worry about that… it's over.  Now, why don't you go and get cleaned up-- you look like you didn't sleep a wink."
 Yahiko nodded solemnly and then turned to walk from the room, muttering under his breath. " Yeah- cause a certain redhead decided to have a little tantrum last night and make me worry to death--"

 Kaoru hung back behind the door to the Kitchen as Yahiko left.  Confusion plagued her.
 " What? What's wrong with Kenshin now?" She muttered to herself.  " I thought he was depressed." She shook her head and sighed.  " I don't get it at all-- only one way to find out!"  She waited until Yahiko was out of hearing range and clenched her fists.  She turned and walked into the room determined.
 " Kenshin!" She said, calling him to attention.
 " Oro?" Kenshin turned and gave her a warm smile.  " Ohayou Kaoru-dono!"
 Kaoru stood speechless at the happy go-lucky tone of voice.
" D-Don't 'Ohayou Kaoru-dono' me!" She said nervously.
" Oro? Why not?"
Kaoru shifted weight from one foot to the other." Well-- ummm…I thought you were depressed!"
Kenshin smiled at her and then turned back to his cooking.  "  I was."
" Quicker recovery then I thought…" Kaoru mumbled under her breath.  She quickly shook her head and put on a large smile. " So-- tell me why the change in attitude all of a sudden?"
There was no answer.  Kaoru's fist tightened, she tried to keep her voice calm.  " Ohayou, Kenshin."
 " Ohayou again, Kaoru-dono." He said without turning.
 Kaoru's vein stuck out on her forehead, why did she have the sudden urge to punt him?
 " SO… KENSHIN!" Kaoru said with more force.  She couldn't sort out whether he was avoiding her, or if he was so far in a shell that he was lying to her.
 " Hai?"
 " WHY are you happy this morning?"  She demanded.
 " What's wrong with being happy?" He looked up at her a little confused.  But his face met fist as Kaoru slugged him with all her might.
 " OROooooo…." Kenshin flew across the room and crash landed amongst some empty crates.
 " OH MY!" Kaoru looked at her fist and then looked back at Kenshin amazed. "Wha? What have I--? KENSHIN! I'm so sorry!" She hurried over to him and tried to help him stand.  Kenshin's eyes twirled.
 " Orooo…"
 " I- I don’t know what came over me…I guess I was frustrated with you being SO evasive about my questions--- but… Please forgive me!!!"  She bowed to him repeatedly.  Kenshin only laughed out loud.  At this, Kaoru looked up at him completely shocked.
 " Why are you laughing? I just HIT you!"
 " Because… you're remembering-- I can tell.  The Kaoru-dono I know would have punched me for my first evasion." Kenshin winked at her.  Kaoru looked at him in consternation.
 " Come again?"
 Kenshin returned back to the meal he was making.  " I thought about it a lot last night, and came up with a solution to the problem."
 " Solution?"
 " Hai--" Kenshin looked at her, slightly saddened.  " Last night, I thought that it was all over-- what could I do if you didn't remember and love me?  But then, I thought about it some more and found that the solution is really quite simple."
 Kaoru got a sudden sinking feeling. " Yes?"
 " I lived with you for only a year and a half before you --died…  but in that short period of time, I have countless fond memories of the times I've spent with you.  You don't have any of those memories-- but…"
Kaoru swallowed hard. " But?"
" Well, what I'm trying to say is that… I'll remind you of those times we were together… You're already remembering, I know you are."
Kaoru had a sudden flashback of the time she'd been sitting with Tomoe.  She couldn't explain how-- but she knew how she'd first met Kenshin.  It was like she'd been there to witness it.  " My memories-- are… coming back?"
"  Hai," Kenshin rubbed his sore cheek. " And this proves it…" He chuckled.  "To tell you the truth, I've missed that--"
Kaoru blushed a bright red.  " Did I really punch you when I was alive?"
" Not just that-- it was pretty painful when you use the bokken, and when I brought home Megumi-dono that day for the first time…you came down with a vengeance!" Kenshin laughed at the memory. Kaoru stared at him open mouthed.
" I'm so sorry! I had no idea I was such a violent person!" She turned from him and muttered to herself.  " Maybe THAT was why I was only 92% good."
" Nani?"
" Oh! Nothing!" She gave him a nervous smile.  " Soo-- reawakening my memories? Heh-- heh…" She didn't know how to get past this one.  She'd hoped that the "not remembering him" would make him give her up, but that obviously wasn't the case.  She hated to admit it, but something inside of her was secretly pleased that he hadn't-- Something inside her was-- happy to receive those memories.  She couldn't sort it out.  Did she- WANT to have her memories back?
" That's right." Kenshin said.  " I'll make you fall in love with me all over again."