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 21- A Dying Soul

 Kenshin had always been an early riser and this morning was no exception.  He awoke to the rays of the new suns light streaming in through the open windows.  Kaoru was cradled in his arms, still fast asleep. He closed his eyes again, running over in his mind what had happened that night.
 " It was real…" he thought, " Kaoru and I…" He smiled and looked over to her sleeping form, lighting kissing her forehead. It was true that they'd made love.  And she'd been so open and trusting too.  Now, he was closer to her than he'd ever been before.   "But…" he also remembered what else she had told him that night.  That she was ill… because she was in love with him.  What they'd just done-- was that a mistake? At the time he'd been so smitten that he didn't really think about it.  She was there, crying in front of him, wanting to be held and loved-- and he hadn't been able to control himself.  The moment had been so perfect, and he'd wanted a smile on that beautiful face.  But, had it really been such a good idea?
 " Baka me---" Kenshin told himself.  " You always worry too much.  That's what Kaoru says…  It's probably true.  I'm sure we'll figure something out- she's my guardian angel, after all."
 Kenshin gingerly swept some hair out of her face, setting it behind her ear. He thought that the motion would have woken her, but she gave no response to his caress.  She continued sleeping soundlessly.
 " She's probably just exhausted from last night-- and from all the things that have been happening." He thought.  " I should probably get started with breakfast, everyone will be awake soon."
 He didn't really want to leave her alone in his bed.  But he crept out from under the covers as carefully as he could so as not to disturb her sleep.  He dressed, and left the room.  Kaoru didn't move a muscle.


 " Yo Kenshin." Yahiko greeted him with a sleepy yawn and stretched. Kenshin was at the stove, making rice for that morning's breakfast.
 " Ohayou Yahiko." Kenshin responded, looking back with a large smile.
 Yahiko looked at him puzzled.  " Why are you in such a good mood this morning? I thought you were sick with worry over Kaoru."
 " Oh, it's nothing." Kenshin hummed to himself, it was true.  That morning he just couldn't stop smiling.  He was eager for Kaoru to wake up and join them.  But a little disappointed of the fact that she had no body--therefore couldn't eat… and therefore, he couldn't make her breakfast in bed.  He was preparing some fruit, chopping it into expert slices and setting them neatly on the platter.
 " What aren't you telling me?" Yahiko folded his arms annoyed.  " Kenshin!"
 " Yahiko, why don't you go get some water?" Kenshin changed the subject.
 Grumbling Yahiko turned and stormed out of the room.  Just a few moments later, Misao charged in, looking around frantically for something.
 " Himura! Himura! Kaoru-san's missing!!!"
 Kenshin whirled around shocked.  " NANI?! What? But--"
 " --She's not in her room!! I woke up and she wasn't there!" She waved her hands around, wildly gesticulating. Kenshin instantly relaxed.
 " No no… Misao-dono…" Kenshin laughed.  Misao stopped her insane runoff and looked at him awkwardly.
" Why are you laughing Himura-san, this is serious!"
 " No-- I mean… Kaoru-dono is in MY room.  It's ok.  She's asleep."
 Misao blinked. " In… YOUR room?"
 Kenshin nodded and went back to preparing breakfast.  It took Misao a moment to piece two and two together.
 " So-- wait… she's in your room… sleeping, in YOUR bed… Himura-san… did you--"
 "-- So, where did Enishi go?" Kenshin hastily changed the subject, again.  " Did the police find him?"
 Misao crossed her arms. " Oh! Well, even though Enishi didn't kill you, he's still wanted for killing Kaoru-san, destroying various private properties, and trafficking illegal weapons to Japan.  We have no idea where he's gone but---hey WAIT!" She pointed an accusing finger at him. " NO FAIR CHANGING THE SUBJECT!"
 And instantly she was between him and breakfast, she stuck her face up close to his nose, her eyes huge and watery.
 " So-- did you? Ya know-- DID you?!"
 Kenshin blinked back, " Umm- Misao-dono… I don't think that I should--"
 " YOU DID, DIDN'T YOU!?" Misao laughed, she slugged him playfully on the arm. "Wow-- Kaoru-san sure is lucky! Now-- If ONLY Aoshi-sama would be so bold!!" Her eyes were all starry as she clasped her hands together, blushing furiously.  " Ohhh-- But I really shouldn't THINK about that sort of thing… ya know?  Oh hoho-- It's SOOOO shameless… but-- then again…SO ROMANTIC!"
 Kenshin regarded her with a large sweatdrop. He easily moved the girl aside to continue his preparations.
 " What's so romantic?" Asked Yahiko as he walked in with the bucket of water.
 " Kenshin and Kaoru just Mrrrfffffffff!!!!!" Kenshin's hand hastily swept over Misao's mouth before she could give too much away.  She waved her arms at Yahiko, trying to get the words through.  Yahiko, unbeknownst to Kenshin, did know something about adult life.  And the red faced Rurouni gave it all away.  He snickered.
 " Sooo--- finally got busu in the sack didn't ya?" Yahiko snickered.  Kenshin let go of Misao; she gasped for breath and turned around in a rage.
 " HIMURA! DON'T DO THAT AGAIN YOU--" Then she stopped in mid sentence and looked back at Yahiko.
 " Y-Yahiko… you…say that again…"
 Yahiko blinked.  " Umm-- what?"
 " That part when you called her busu…. Say busu again."
 Yahiko tilted his head confused. " Ok…busu."
 Misao waited silently, and Yahiko instantly understood.  There was no rain cloud.  He said it again louder.  "Busu!"
 Nothing happened.
 Kenshin narrowed his eyes.  " Yahiko-- say something more offensive…"
 Yahiko grinned, " This is my specialty!" He yelled up towards the ceiling. "Kaoru is a pigheaded, boar-faced, ugly OLD HAG!!"
 Still, nothing…
 Misao exchanged looks with all of them.
Kenshin remembered what Kaoru had told him the night before.

" I couldn't fly-- I couldn't do as much magic…My feathers fell out and changed colors. I've been feeling weak and dizzy…Oh Kenshin!  I love you so much and yet to do so is costing me my life!"

   And…she hadn't moved a single muscle that morning when he'd awoken.  Kenshin instantly dropped his knife and dashed towards the door.
 " Something is wrong…" he muttered.
 " Maybe she just lifted the curse?" Misao called after him.
 " Naw-- Kaoru wouldn't do that." Yahiko said concerned, they both followed after him.
 Kenshin was across the yard and at his door in the blink of an eye.
 " DON'T COME IN!" He yelled at Yahiko and Misao who had just left the door to the kitchen. They saw him open the door to his own room and disappear inside, shutting the door behind him.  The two exchanged glances and then dashed towards Kenshin's room.
 Kenshin was at Kaoru's side in an instant.
 " Kaoru-dono!" He called.
 No answer.
 He shook her. " KAORU!"
 Still… no answer.
 " HIMURA!" Misao threw open the door with a bang.
 " GET OUT!" Kenshin screamed.  Misao froze in instant shock.   She'd never seen him so angry, especially when his anger was…for the first time, focused at her.  Yahiko quickly grabbed her by the shoulder and yanked her out, closing the door behind her hastily.

 Kenshin returned to Kaoru.  He gingerly lifted her slim, fragile body up and cradled it to him.
 " Kaoru-- wake up!" He whispered.  He rocked her back and forth, pleading, demanding, and entreating...  But she was like a rag doll… limp and completely unresponsive.  He shook his head; tears welled up in the corners of his eyes.  She'd shown signs that morning that something was wrong-- but-- he should have known!  What had he done?! "KAORU! WAKE UP!!!"
 Then he saw it-- her wings.  He stared for a full minute, horrified.  They were a dark, coal black. Not just the feathers-- but the wings themselves hung lifeless at her back.


 Misao hung back from the door when they heard a wail like no wail they'd ever heard before.  It was a wail signaling complete agony and despair. She saw Yahiko had gone a very pale white.  An uncomfortable lump rose in her throat as she grabbed at his shoulders.
 " Yahiko! What's happening?! WHAT'S WRONG WITH KAORU-SAN!?"
 Yahiko didn't respond.  Desperate for answers, Misao slapped him.
 " I DON'T KNOW WHAT'S WRONG!" He bellowed back at her.  Misao took a small step back in shock at his harsh tone, but didn't realize there was no porch where she stepped, with a cry she felt herself falling.  But before she hit the ground she was gathered up into someone's arms.
 " Aoshi-sama?!" She looked up at him quickly.  Apparently he'd heard Kenshin and come to see what the matter was.  Aoshi narrowed his eyes, still holding onto Misao protectively. Misao looked back towards the closed door, tears in her eyes.  " Himura-san told us to stay out… but… what's wrong with Kaoru-san? Has she lost her powers?"
 "…" Aoshi was silent, a few moments later Kenshin burst out of the door holding a wrapped bundle protectively in his arms. Kaoru's eyes were closed, and he supported her head on his shoulder.  Yahiko looked away from her ghostly pale face, he was horrified by how limply she hung in Kenshin's arms.
" Kaoru-san." Misao whimpered.  " What's wrong with her?"
Kenshin turned to Yahiko.
 " Yahiko-- I'm taking Kaoru to see Megumi-dono.  Please take care of things until I get back."
 " Ahh-- oh, Kenshin wait!!"
 But Kenshin was already out of the yard.  Yahiko dashed over to the door, hoping to catch him.  But the Rurouni was already out of site.  For once, Yahiko cursed Kenshin's god-like speed.
 " What's wrong Yahiko?" Misao asked as he trudged back over to her.
 " Megumi and Sanosuke have already left on their honeymoon.  They left last night after hearing that Kaoru was going to be ok-- They should be in Yokohama by now."
 " Should we go after Himura-san?"
 " It may be best…" Aoshi remarked.
 Yahiko bit his lip.  " Something's happened to Kaoru-- what could it be?"
 "… Kamiya-san is ill." Aoshi said slowly.
 " What do you mean?" Misao asked him.  She was still being held in his arms.  He let her down and then turned towards the open dojo gate.
 " You haven't noticed?" Aoshi asked.
 " Huh?"
 " That she no longer flies?"
 Misao looked to the ground. " Well-- not really…"
 " That she would go and cry where no one could see her, all alone?"
 Yahiko shook his head. " Kaoru-- cry? Why?"
 " Her soul is dying… it's becoming burdened… I don't know the reason why-- it could be in connection to her relationship with Battousai.  Considering that the two were together last night may also be a deciding factor for her current condition."
 " Aoshi-sama… Why didn't you say anything earlier?!" Misao was appalled.
 " Kamiya-san seemed to be doing her best to keep her illness a secret…" Aoshi muttered.  " I didn't know why she wanted things that way, but I saw no reason in complicating it by getting involved."
 " Come on." Yahiko ran out of the dojo, heading down the street towards the clinic.
 " MATTE!" Misao called. " I'M COMING WITH YOU!"

 "…" Aoshi turned back towards the dojo, deep in thought. " The first time she died, he almost died with her.  But-- if she is to die a second time… will Battousai ever recover?"