* 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 >=)
? 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 14 - Kenshin's New Rendezvous
She stood with her chin up, regal like a queen. Her kimono
flowed about her as if it was moving in water. Kenshin couldn't help
but gawk at her. She looked even more beautiful now as she stood looking
at the group of friends.
" K-Kaoru." Yahiko repeated breathlessly.
" Yahiko," She smiled at him. That one smile seemed to fill him with comfort. She looked to everyone. Sano was the only one that didn't look completely astonished. He folded his arms.
" Oi do you all really see her? I don't see anything!"
" Hush." Megumi hastily put a hand on his arm and Sano quieted.
" I'm sorry I've kept myself a secret until now." Kaoru said slowly.
" Kaoru-san " Tears began to slide down Misao's cheeks. She made no move to wipe them away. " Kaoru-san, you're really there " her voice trailed away as she buried her face in her hands, unable to control her sobs. Megumi knelt by the girl and put her arm around her comfortingly.
A look of pain flashed over Kaoru's face as Misao's sobs carried over to her ears. She swallowed hard. " I knew this kind of effect would happen if I showed myself. But I couldn't allow you to lock Kenshin up. He's not insane. It really is me. I am his Guardian Angel."
" Forgive me, Ken-san." Megumi look up at Kenshin appolegetically, she shook her head. " I never should have doubted you.
" It's ok, Megumi-dono." Kenshin smiled at her. " I can understand why you wouldn't believe it. It's pretty crazy to try and talk about it."
" Yo-- Kaoru, is this some kinda joke? Why can't I see you?" Sano said annoyed. Everyone could see her but him, he could hear her-- but that was all. It was making him feel more than excluded.
" You can't?" Kaoru blinked surprised. She glanced at Kenshin who shrugged, then bit her lip. " I can't say why You should be able to---"
She was suddenly cut short by a sudden cry from Yahiko. The boy up until now had been desperately trying to contain his emotions. But the sight of her brought about feelings that he never knew existed. And he was fighting a loosing battle. He realized how much he really did love her, like an older sister. He told himself over and over that he should be a man, and not cry-- but it was too much. He took a step towards her, then before he knew it; he was running with arms outstretched.
" Yahiko!?" Kaoru turned from Sano and gasped as the boy lunged towards her and passed straight through her body. She cried out in pain, arching her back. Everyone watched in horror as she began to fall forward. Her eyes rolled back in her head until all you could see were the whites.
" KAORU-DONO!?" Kenshin rushed and caught her before she could hit the ground. Yahiko looked back from where he'd landed with eyes wide, tears pouring from them.
" W-What happened?" He said breathlessly.
" What's going on!? Hey!" Sano yelled as everyone got up and dashed around Kenshin. " Why did she scream like that?! What happened!!!!"
Kenshin shook her slightly. " KAORU-DONO! KAORU-DONO!"
" Kaoru-san?" Misao put her hand out but it passed through Kaoru's body as easily as Yahiko had. Kenshin seemed to be the only one who could physically hold and touch her. " Himura-san what happened?!"
Kenshin ignored them. He hugged her to him protectively. " Kaoru-dono!! Kaoru-dono wake up!"
Kaoru found herself standing on the familiar bridge in Tokyo. The day was sunny and warm.
" Huh? What am I doing here?"
She looked around her and froze as she caught sight of an all too familiar couple walking towards her: Kenshin and Kaoru.
" Another memory?" She said softly to herself.
The two passed by her as if she was invisible. But she
heard soft footsteps and before she knew it Yahiko had run up and rammed
himself into Kenshin. The boy was quick and agile, and as Kenshin
recovered her past self dove at him and knocked him down.
" WAIT JUST A SEC!" She yelled angrily.
" Wow-- I can do that IN A KIMONO?!" Kaoru blinked amazed.
The Kaoru of the past held up some wrapped coins. "
He's a pickpocket, Kenshin! Check your money!"
" Aackk! Get off of me you ugly hag!"
She gawked at the boy before she picked him up by the front of his Gi angrily. "What!? How RUDE! Do you know who I am?"
" Screw you Ugly!!" The boy retaliated still.
" Maa maa " Kenshin put his hand on Kaoru's shoulder and she released Yahiko. " I guess it was my fault for not being more careful. Here you go." He put the money in Yahiko's hand. The boy looked up at him surprised. " Don't get caught next time." Kenshin said with a smile.
He got up and began to walk away.
" W-Wait a sec Kenshin!" Kaoru ran after him. " Are you sure about that?"
Kaoru blinked at the scene and giggled. " So is this how I met Yahiko?" The background around her darkened and she found herself in the dojo.
" Huh? What now?"
Almost on que, Yahiko rounded the corner with his Shinnai in
hand laughing. A flustered Kaoru in hot pursuit, waving her own wooden
" YAHIKO! GET BACK HERE!"
" HAA! WHO'D WANT TO TAKE LESSONS FROM AN UGLY RACCOON GIRL LIKE YOU?!" He snickered back at her.
" R-Raccoon Girl!?" Kaoru eyed him angrily. She watched
the two of them joust outside in the courtyard. The Kaoru of the past finally
got the better of the stubborn pupil and after giving him a few good whacks
upside the head, dragged him back into to dojo.
" Heh-- can't say he didn't deserve it " The angel folded her arms. " These must be Yahiko's memories of me."
The scenery darkened again, and Kaoru now found herself in a place, which was unfamiliar to her. The building was traditionally Japanese, but it was not her dojo.
" Where am I?"
There was a large crowd in the courtyard, some wearing Ninja suits and a strange girl in a green Kimono with a giant scythe. A really fat ugly guy and a short, lanky man wrapped in a black cloak with a black mask.
" Looks like a fight."
She saw herself and Misao both facing the woman with the scythe, and Yahiko ready to fight the man with the black cloak.
" Yahiko, there's a lot more to learn in Kamiya Kasshin
Ryu." The Kaoru of the past said seriously. " If you die,
I'm not teaching you another thing."
" I won't die." Yahiko said determined.
Kaoru stood speechless as she watched the battle. (Not to mention
when she found out that " pole woman" was really a "rod man.")
She screamed when the first bomb hit Yahiko. And laughed triumphantly
with the rest when he defeated the man using Kenshin's Ryu Tsui Sen.
" Yahiko " an overwhelming feeling of pride filled the Angel. He was her student. Such a strong young man he was turning into. More memories came before her. When she beat Kamatari. The time they went to Kyoto in search of Kenshin. When they first found Misao and how she had been in Kenshin's company.
An incredible ache filled her heart when he burst into her room as she lay in bed weeping and demanded that they go find Kenshin in Kyoto. She watched as the Kaoru of the past nodded solemnly.
" I- I really want to see Kenshin "
Even through Yahiko's memories, her feelings towards Kenshin were
" Yahiko-- thank you." She said quietly, she knew he couldnt hear her, but she didn't care. She wanted to reach out and hug the boy. He was her student, and not only that-- he was like a younger brother. Someone that she had to look out for.
A faint voice filled her mind. She turned from the scene
Now the voice was louder. " KAORU-DONO! WAKE UP!"
Kaoru winced, as she became aware of someone shaking her. She slowly opened her eyes and looked up at the worried face of Kenshin.
" Huh?" She blinked confused as he held her to him.
" Kaoru-dono are you ok?! I was so worried!"
Kaoru smiled. " Hai. I'm fine." Kenshin relaxed his grip on her and she saw Yahiko sitting next to him silently.
" I--I'm sorry Kaoru " The boy said softly.
She smiled, remembering the scene's she'd witnessed and reached her hand up towards him, though she couldn't touch him, she could feel the warmth of this body.
" No-- Thank you I can remember you now."
" Kaoru-dono!" Kenshin's grip on her tightened. She could tell he was nervous of her making contact with Yahiko again. Kaoru looked up at Kenshin's concerned face and smiled in reassurance.
" Don't worry Kenshin I just don't think I was prepared for that-- I'll be ok. I'd never shown myself to anyone but you before, I think that's why it happened."
Kaoru looked over at Misao. The girl swallowed hard and wiped a tear from her cheek. " Welcome back."
Everyone had been surprised at Aoshi's reaction to the news.
more his lack of a reaction. Kaoru decided to keep it a secret
that he'd known of her presence since the beginning.
Days passed and they celebrated non-stop. Kaoru wasn't sure why-- maybe because she was among them again. Even if she was an angel, there was no denying the fact that she was still dead. But the parties were fun. Sano still couldn't see her and she made a mental note to ask Death about it on his next visit.
Still she found she missed being known to Kenshin, and ONLY Kenshin. She certainly got no time alone with him anymore which was good in several ways. Namely, no romantic angst. But it put off her decision to tell him about rule number 3.
A month had passed and the parties were beginning to die down.
Kaoru sighed as she sat on the front porch, contemplating just how she was
going to tell him.
" It'll have to be at a good time maybe when he's drunk. He gets really happy when he's drunk-- but " she grimaced at the last party, when Kenshin got drunk and then tried to get her to elope with him. He didn't remember a thing of it now of course. " It'll be hard to do it without really hurting him. Arrghh!" She put her hands to her head, tearing at her hair. " What am I gonna do!?!?"
Kaoru froze and then quickly composed herself. She put on a fake smile and invited him to sit next to her. " Kenshin! Good morning!"
" Ohayou." He didn't sit next to her, but instead walked down the steps. " Kaoru-dono. I'm going out again and I won't be back until late. See you later."
Kaoru watched openmouthed as he casually walked out of the dojo. Then shook her head. "Wait-- I must have been imagining that " she shook her head in denial. "He ALWAYS sits next to me and we talk in the morning. He seemed a little cold. What's he up to?" She admitted that recently, Kenshin had been going out a lot. He would be gone all day and come back just in time for dinner. But this was the first time he'd left so early in the morning.
But a sudden loud banging coming from the other side of the building interrupted her thoughts. Kaoru stood up and flew towards the sound. She was surprised to see Yahiko on the roof, surrounded by boards, extra shingles, and tools.
" Yahiko, what are you doing? Get down from there! You'll fall and break your neck!"
" I'm trying to fix up this run-down dojo! You know this entire training hall has been completely demolished ever since " he trailed off. Kaoru looked at him nervously. Kenshin never went back to this part of the dojo. And the blood staining the wood at the far end of the training hall gave her a good idea why. She never asked, but had a feeling it was where she'd died. Yahiko sighed loudly. " Ever since that Bastard came "
" Yahiko!! Is this enough?!" Misao's cheery voice floated up to them. Kaoru looked down to see Misao and Aoshi both laden with wooden boards. Yahiko walked to the edge of the roof and nodded his approval.
" Yeah! Just put it with the rest!"
The two Oniwa Banshuu deposited the wood in a neat pile. Misao picked up a large hammer; she teetered a little from the weight but steadied herself as she widened her stance, gripping it tightly.
" ALL RIGHT! LET'S FIX THIS PLACE UP-- huh!?" She blinked as Aoshi silently took the hammer out of her hands.
" This is too heavy for you." He said seriously. " Let me do this."
Misao watched as he began to strip the broken boards away from the wall. She smiled to herself and instead began to take away the loose boards as he set them aside.
" What are you doing this for?" Kaoru asked Yahiko.
" To get this Dojo back in working condition of course!" Yahiko said matter of factly. He tore off a few broken shingles. " You left me and Kenshin little to no money at all and if we're going to survive, we need to fix this place up and get some more students.
" But--Who's gonna teach this school!?" Kaoru asked exasperated.
" Me of course!"
She gawked surprised. For someone who was just entering puberty, he was amazingly adult sometimes. She smiled and shook her head.
" Is there anything I can do?"
" You can pick things up right?"
" Why don't you take these broken shingles and put them where Misao is taking the debris."
Kaoru gathered up a bunch of shingles, surprisingly they weren't heavy at all, (but then again, nothing was heavy to her) and flew down to the ground, dropping them in the steadily growing pile of debris.
" Hey everyone!" Sano waved as he sauntered up. " Came to see if you needed a hand."
" I was wondering when you'd show up!" Yahiko yelled down at him. " Get workin'! You made some of this mess too!"
" Hmph-- He's the new owner of the Kamiya Kasshin School and now he gets all cocky " Sano muttered irritated.
" Now now." Megumi put a hand on his shoulder. " Yahiko has a lot of responsibility suddenly. As the successor to Kamiya Kasshin Ryu, he's got to rebuild everything. So be supportive!"
" Yeah-- But he doesn't have to be so god damn righteous about it all!"
" Hey Sano!" Kaoru playfully hit him upside the head. " Stop talking and start working! I want you to fix that wall over there by sundown!"
" GRR! STOP THAT JO-CHAN!" Sano swiped the air but Kaoru giggled as she easily evaded him and pushed him playfully towards the pile of wood.
" What did I say Chicken Head?" She continued to tease him. " Get to work!"
" God Damn it no fair, I can't even see her." He muttered angrily as he picked up some wood and walked over to where Aoshi was working.
" Well, I suppose I should get to work myself!" Megumi rolled up her sleeves and picked up a bucket of soapy water.
Sano stopped his work and looked back at her in protest. " Oh no-- You're not doing ANYTHING in your condition. Why don't you go rest in the shade or something?"
" Hmph! What condition? I'm ONLY three months along."
" No buts, I'm fine."
Kaoru giggled as the two fought. It finally ended when Sano physically picked Megumi up and carried her over near the coy pond, depositing her under a cherry tree.
" S-SANO!" She looked at him angrily.
" I said-- I dont want you working!!" He growled down at her. Then stood and walked back to his work leaving her looking very ruffled.
Work went smoothly for the next few hours. Sano stretched and wiped the sweat from his brow.
" Hmph! Where is Kenshin? He should be here helping too." He muttered more to himself then anyone else.
" He said he had something important to do today." Misao said.
" What's more important than fixing the dojo?"
Misao stopped and looked back at him a little sadly. " Maybe he just doesn't like to be reminded of this " she glanced at Kaoru momentarily, then back at Yahiko. " This particular part of the dojo."
" " The two were silent and then wordlessly turned and continued working. Kaoru sighed. She would need to ask them exactly what had happened there eventually. But now wasn't the time. It was obviously still too painful for anyone to talk about. But they did have a point. Where was Kenshin? She deposited another load of shingles and then yelled up to Yahiko.
" I'm going to look for Kenshin!"
" Huh?" Yahiko looked up but before he could answer, the angel was gone.
" Grr-- that stupid Kenshin." She muttered to herself
as she glided above the houses of Tokyo, keeping her eye out for any flashes
of red hair. " What's he doing anyways?"
She landed at the bridge where she'd found him the first time but he wasnt there. Sighing heavily, she sat on the rail and watched as travelers passed by.
" I can't exactly ask them if anyone's seen him. How will I know if he's been by here? I'll try the Akabeko."
Kaoru disappeared and relocated at the restaurant. She hung around for a bit, listening in on conversations. But nothing about Kenshin was brought up. She was beginning to consider showing herself to Tae or Tsubame when a conversation between two policemen caught her ear.
" That redhead, you know him-- Himura Kenshin?"
" Yeah! Inspector Fujita is always talking about him."
" Yeah anyways, I hadn't seen him around much, after that Kamiya girl died but I saw him earlier today with some new chick."
" So what?"
" So what!? I saw her, that girl is GORGEOUS!"
The other officer was in the middle of sipping tea; he choked, spraying it in his friend's face. " REALLY?! Who is she?!"
Kaoru's mouth dropped open. " Kenshin's with some girl!?"
" Ack! Damn it --" The other cop looked at his friend disgusted and brought a napkin to his face.
" Sorry Anyways, who is she?!"
"Dont know who. She just moved here. She's TOTALLY rich, and young about 17 I'd say she's from America."
Kaoru could feel her temperature rising, she clenched her fists. " Some 17 YEAR OLD AMERICAN GIRL?!"
" She's blonde."
" With blue eyes."
" Whhooooo hoo! He can pick 'em! Lucky son of a bitch!"
The other officer laughed. Then stopped as a sudden chill ran up his
" What's wrong?" The other officer asked.
" Woah-- Don't know I just got some weird feeling just now."
Kaoru stormed out of the restaurant. She growled under her breath.
" Kenshin with some 17 year old blond?! I can't believe it! It's not true!" She bit her lip. " Then again he's been going out a lot recently and NOT telling me where! And this morning he wasn't acting like himself " She shook her head. " ARRGGHHH! What am I thinking? No way! He wouldn't cheat on me--" she caught herself. " What am I saying!? We're not even together---But--" she clenched her teeth angrily. " He SAID he'd wait for me-- But-- AAAHH!! WHAT AM I THINKING! It's GOOD that he found someone else-- But Why do I have the urge to break something "