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 11- On a Thin Line of Sanity

 A few days had passed and no more traumatic episodes had surfaced.  Kenshin was acting cheerful again.  Yahiko couldn't figure it out.  He sat on the porch, watching Kenshin doing the laundry.  Misao plopped down next to him and knocked on his head teasingly.
 " OHAYOU! Yahiko!" She grinned.
 " Hey! What's that for?!" Yahiko rubbed his head startled out of his deep thoughts.  Misao shrugged and looked over to Kenshin.
 " You've been keeping an eye on him too then?" She said softly.  Yahiko sighed and nodded.
 " He's happy again, I suppose that's what's most important.   I still haven't caught him talking with Kaoru yet."
 " Duh."
 " Huh?"
 " Obviously, Kenshin can tell when we're hanging around, he can sense us-- so he doesn't "talk" with her."
 " Well…" Yahiko looked at her flabbergasted. " What are we supposed to do then? I don't think he's insane-- but… he WAS acting really strange.  And when I ask him about it he just smiles and says it was nothing--"
 The low voice of Aoshi cut him off.  " He doesn't want you to worry about him."
 Misao looked up at Aoshi. " Nani?"
 Aoshi simply walked past them and down the steps.  " I'm going out."
 " Where are you going, Aoshi-sama?" Misao stood as if to follow him, Aoshi looked at her coldly and she stopped.
 " I'm going to the police station."
 Misao's breath caught in her throat. "Why?"
 "…" She thought she was a fleeting moment of pain on his face before it was masked by his usual seriousness.  He turned and without responding, continued to walk towards the door.

 " Battousai…" he thought to himself " You may be content to let him escape-- but, I can not forgive him-", his gaze darkened.  " I'll find him…"

 " And you love that cold-hearted bastard?" Yahiko muttered to Misao.  She turned on him with a vengeance.
 " I said ' and you lo--.'"
 Kenshin heard the commotion and walked over towards them.  He found the two rolling on the ground biting and scratching.  He sighed loudly.
 " Maa maa-- calm down you two!"
 Yahiko and Misao instantly stopped and looked up at him.
 " Kenshin!" Yahiko quickly picked himself off of the ground and dusted off his Gi. Misao followed suit.
 " Yahiko, Misao-dono." Kenshin smiled at them both.  " You really shouldn't fight like that… nothing good comes of it."
 " But-- she called me chan…" Yahiko muttered under his breath, dagger eyes at Misao."
 " He called me a weasel girl." She responded angrily.
 " Ha ha…" Kenshin laughed. Both looked at him in exasperation.
 " Just that-- you both are acting so much like children… it's--"
 " WE'RE NOT CHILDREN!" They screamed in unison.  Kenshin was immediately across the yard, head imbedded in the wooden fence.  A faint "Oroooooo." Could be heard.  Misao and Yahiko stalked off towards the entrance together.
 " Hmph-- stupid Himura--" Misao growled.
 " How dare he--" Yahiko agreed.
 They both walked out of the dojo; there was nothing there to do anyways. They walked for a while side by side saying nothing, a tension filled silence grew between them.
 " Why are you following me?" Yahiko finally broke it, eyeing her threateningly.
 " I'm not." Misao said stubbornly.  "You're following ME!"
 " Ok ok--" Yahiko let out a long sigh.  " Sorry-- I guess I've been acting like a major brat… it's just the anxiety.  I’m worried about him-- but he acts like nothing's wrong! And I can't figure him out! I get so damn frustrated!"
 " Yeah-- me too…I'm sorry I've been a total bitch… I don't understand it either.  I KNOW what I heard that night in the rain. He was talking to Kaoru."
 " I can't believe that."
 " It's true! Aoshi-sama even heard it!"
 " But--" Yahiko shook his head. " It's SO farfetched! How can he-- * believe * that Kaoru is there with him? He KNOWS she'd dead."
 Misao grabbed his arm, an idea suddenly springing to mind.  " You'll believe me when you see it right?"

 " See what?"
 Both turned at the sound of Sano's voice.  He stood with hands in pockets, non-chalantly chewing on his fishbone.  He eyed the two mischief-makers warily.
 " Sano!" Yahiko looked at him surprised. " Where've you been? I haven't seen you around in a while.
 " Heh-- got a job."
 " …" The two stared at him for a full moment in utter disbelief.  The silence made Sano slightly annoyed.
 " I know I know!" he threw up his arms,  " ME-- get a job… But--" he smiled "With the baby and all, I want to help pitch in for the costs it will create."
 " …" Yahiko and Misao still stared at him with wide eyes.  Finally- Yahiko burst forth in laughter.
 " WHAT'S SO FUNNY?!" Sano growled down at him.  Misao soon joined in and they both were rolling on the ground in no time.
 " You're joking!! Right? That was great Sano! Heh heh--" Yahiko wiped a tear from his eye as he slowly stood up.
 " You really had me going there for a moment." Misao laughed.  She held her sides, still chuckling.
 " …" Sano was unamused.  " It's true."
 They stopped laughing at his dead-serious tone and resumed their shell-shocked posture.  Then exchanged looks and burst forth in a new peal of laughter.  Sano finally exploded.
 Laughter instantly halted, they jumped into rigid posture and hastily nodded. Frightened of the Chicken-heads wrath.
 " Sorry Sano--" Yahiko was the first to venture forth to speak.  " Heh… It's just hard to believe I guess."
 " Where are you working?"
 " I load cargo at the shipping docks. It's pretty good money-- Megumi doesn't want me to be fighting people… which is really what I'm best at." He shrugged. " But-- if that's what makes her happy-- then…"
 " Aww--- how cute." Yahiko gave him a sly grin.  Sano slugged him.
 " Ouch! HEY!" Yahiko retaliated by tackling his spiky hair, knawing on it with a vengeance.
 " You really are a kid." Misao said with a grin to Yahiko.  The boy instantly stopped and looked down at her indignantly from his perch upon Sano's head. But he said nothing.
 Sano smoothly plucked Yahiko from off of his hair and set him on the ground. " Anyways, where are you two going? I was just dropping by to see how Kenshin was doing.  Last time I heard, he was kinda depressed."
 Misao and Yahiko exchanged looks.  Yahiko slowly nodded to her and Misao grabbed Sano by his arm and started to lead him to the side of the road.
 " Sano-- this is going to sound unbelievable to you… but--"


 " WHAT?!" Sano cried. Misao nodded solemnly her confirmation.
 " That was my first reaction too." Yahiko said seriously.  " I'm not sure if I believe it, I haven't seen it for myself.   But something is definitely going on with Kenshin.  A few nights ago he left the dojo in the middle of that huge storm.  He looked SO angry.  And then when he returned, he was soaked to the bone and wouldn't talk to me.  He was totally depressed.  I didn't know what was wrong-- he just went into his room and sat in the back.  Just like when he was in Rakuninmura. "
 " He sounded distressed when he thought he was talking to Kaoru. I heard him out in the storm! That must have been the reason." Misao concluded.
 " That's really serious." Sano furrowed his brows, deep in thought.  " Is he still like that now? Why didn't you come to get me?"
 " No-- the next morning he was fine.  I can't figure it out." Yahiko sighed heavily and shook his head.
 " Hmm-- well, one way to figure it out." Sano started to walk off towards the dojo.
 " Wait! What are you going to do?" Misao caught up with him, followed by Yahiko."
 " I’m gonna ring the truth out of him." Sano said seriously.
 " What? That's not going to get you anywhere-- Kenshin's not the type of person who spills his feelings out to people… the only person that was able to reach inside him was Kaoru-san-- but… she's gone now." Misao stood in front of him and Sano stopped, he looked down, clenching and unclenching his fists.
 " Well-- what do I do? If you think he's gone insane, then we should have Megumi look at him to make sure."
 " Wait Sano… what if it's not true?" Yahiko interjected. " I don't see how he could be insane."
 " Well-- we'll need proof then."
 " How?"
 Sano got a sly grin. " Where is Kenshin now?"
 " He was doing the laundry, last time we saw---" Misao said.
 " No--" Yahiko muttered to her. " He was half unconscience with his head imbedded in the fence!"
 " Shut up."
 " Ok you two… don't start." Sano put a hand on both their shoulders.  " We're gonna find out once and for all--"


 Kaoru yawned as she sat alongside the washbucket.  " Kenshin-- you know you have no life…"
 Kenshin snapped a sheet clean and then rung out the excess water.  " I'm happy doing this."
 " But you never get out anymore!" Kaoru scolded. " I was at the Akabeko-- eavesdropping as usual, and Tae-san was talking to Tsubame about how much she wished that you would come by! Yahiko and Misao go there often enough… but-- you never go out anymore."
 " That's because I'd rather be here and talk to you." Kenshin said matter-of-factly.  He wrung out another white washcloth and set it in the dry bucket to be hung up.
 " …" Kaoru folded her arms frustrated.  " I swear-- I used to be SO scared that you'd always leave and never come back, and now I can NEVER get you to leave!"
 Kenshin stopped what he was doing and looked up at her. "How did you know?"
 " I--" Kaoru straightened. " I-- don't know…"
 Kenshin smiled slightly and continued his washing.  She sat rigidly.  The memory had just sprung to mind.  She'd said the words before she even knew that she was saying them.
 " You're remembering again-- " He said quietly.
 " So what about that!" She said quickly, eager to get off the subject.  " I'm just worried about you! It's not healthy to be such a hermit."
 " I'm-- sorry for making you worry about me."
 " ARRGH!" Without thinking, she sent a tidalwave of water his way, drenching him.
 " Oro…" Kenshin looked at her wideyed and waterlogged.
 Kaoru threw up her hands. " STOP apologizing for making me worry!! All you EVER do is worry about worrying me, start WORRYING ABOUT YOURSELF!"
 " Gomen-Kaoru-dono…"
 Kaoru's anger disappeared a quickly as it had come.  She blinked, beside herself.
 " Oh-- Oh gods, I did it again didn't I?"
 " Heh-- it's ok… really-- not as painful this time." Kenshin smiled nervously at her.
 " I'm sorry Kenshin…"
 " No-- you have a point.  And--" He wrung out his dripping Gi. " You made it quite clearly." He couldn't help but chuckle.
 They exchanged looks and both started to laugh.
 " You really are soaked through!" Kaoru giggled, she splashed a little more water his way.
 " How'd you splash so much water at once?" Kenshin grinned.
 " Heavenly powers." She gave him a mischievous smile.
 " Oh yeah?" Kenshin felt a sudden boldness wash over him.  " I'm possessed of a God-Like speed myself… I bet I can make a bigger wave then you."
 " Oh REALLY?!" Kaoru's voice held the ring of a challenge.  She knew she was walking on dangerous ground.
" It's not flirting…" she told herself, more as an excuse then anything else.  " Just friendly play."  It was fun to be with him when he was cheerful.  She found that she was enjoying his company more and more.  Now, suddenly she'd stumbled upon a playful part to his personality that he hadn't shown to her before.  And was excited about it.  Her heart beat in her chest quickly with the rush of adrenaline.  The feeling was alien to her-- But she didn't mind it.
Kaoru's challenge was too sweet to pass up for Kenshin.  With incredible speed, he swiped at the soapy water and it washed over Kaoru completely.  Kaoru sat stunned for a moment, surprised and totally exasperated.
 " Nani?" Kenshin blinked at her. " But-"
 " KENSHIN NO BAKA!" She lunged at his throat but her foot caught in the folds of her Kimono, she instead plunged headfirst into the bucket of laundry water.
 Kenshin fell back, eyes wide.  " Oro…"
 " Ken…SHIN…." Kaoru's arms emerged and her hands held the sides of the bucket as she slowly raised her head out of the water.  Her eyes filled with the fire of vengeance. She leaned over towards him with an evil smile.
 " H-Hai?" Kenshin backed up a little, fearful of her wrath when his eyes wandered down to the SOAKING wet WHITE Kimono that now was INCREDIBLY see-through.  His eyes widened considerably, he couldn't manage to tear his stare away from her breasts, so round and beautiful and heaving with her angered breathing.
 " What are you looking--" Kaoru stopped as she answered her own question in her mind. Quick as lightning she backed away and turned around, her face red as a cherry with her arms wrapped around her protectively. " HENTAI!!!!!!!"
 " Oro--- Gomen! Kaoru-dono!" Kenshin reached out towards her apologetically but she thwacked him with her wing and sent him reeling.
 " OROOOOOooo…"
 Kaoru closed her eyes and a warm light surrounded her. As it left, she was dry again.  She took her arms away from her chest with a sigh of relief and then glanced back.  Kenshin lay on the ground a few yards from her with a large swelling bump on his head and spinning eyes.
 " Oh no! Grr-- I HAVE to learn to control my violent streak!" She said this more to herself then to Kenshin. "It's NOT going to look good on my record in heaven…"

 " Kamiya-Kaoru-san…"
 Kaoru froze. That voice… so familiar. She slowly turned around and met face to skull with Death.
 " Thanatos!" She said shocked.  Almost instantly, the shock was replaced with a dark frown.  She stood and faced him. " So-- now you show up."
 " I apologize for the other night-- there is a reason."
 Kaoru glanced at Kenshin who had recovered and was looking at her nervously.  A sudden fear registered in her mind and she looked at Death wide eyed.
 " It's not--"
 " No-- I'm not here for Himura."
 Kaoru relaxed.
 " I need to talk with you."
 " I should think so--" Without turning to look back at Kenshin she said softly. " Wait for me here Kenshin-- This shouldn't take long."
 " H-Hai…"


 Kenshin watched the two disappear and he was left alone.  He felt a sudden presence and whirled around to see Sanosuke. Yahiko and Misao were on either side of him looking visibly distressed.
 " Sano--" Kenshin said surprised. " I haven't seen you around for a while-- where have you--" He trailed off at the look Sano gave him.  The street fighter clamped a powerful hand on his buddy's shoulder.
 " Kenshin, I want you to come with me."
 " Nani? Sano-- I…"
 " Kenshin… come with me to see Megumi."
 " Why? I feel fine."
 " Please-- go, Himura-san!" Misao looked up at him with pleading eyes.  Kenshin could see tears were in their corners.  Yahiko looked at him with a similar anguish.
 " Kenshin-- I'm asking you nicely-- but if you resist, I'm gonna have to take you there by force." Sano said slowly.  " You're my buddy-- and you need help."
 " Sano-- what are you talking about?!" Kenshin knew the secret was out.  They had obviously heard him talking to Kaoru… they must think he's crazy!
 " Who were you talking to just now Kenshin?" Sano asked seriously.
 " No one…" Kenshin said carefully.  Sano shook his head and began to pull him forcefully towards the dojo entrance.
 " HEY! Let go Sano!" Kenshin shook his arm free and looked back at him with narrowed eyes.  Kaoru told him to wait there-- and that was what he intended to do.  " I'll go with you later… but not right now."
 " I don't think this can wait Kenshin!" Sano grabbed onto his arm again.  " Please! Just come with us to see the doctor! It won't take long-- you'll be back here by lunchtime!"
 Kenshin was about to protest again, but the look on Misao's face stopped him.  Tears streamed down her cheeks; she clutched the front of her Ninja uniform nervously.
 " Please--" she stepped forward looking into his eyes with passionate concern. " See a doctor, Himura-san."