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.

EPILOGUE- Peace, at Last

--Six years after Kenshin's return home--

 " Oi! Kenshin!" Yahiko's voice boomed out across the courtyard.
" Hai de gozaru?" Kenshin looked up from hanging the laundry to dry.
" I'm going out with Tsubame-chan tonight!" He rounded the corner wearing only his Hakama, he towered a good three feet above Kenshin. His intense training in both Kamiya Kasshin Ryu, (and a little Hiten Mitsurigi Ryu that he weasled out of Kenshin over the years) gave him an impressive build. Halting a few feet from the Rurouni, he held up two different colored Gi's. " Should I wear the blue, or the yellow Gi?"
 " Ahh-- I don't know…"
 " Tch! Ok then… which one sets off my baby browns more?" He gave Kenshin a dashing smile.
 " Err--" Kenshin sweatdroped. " The yellow Gi."
 " Ha! Yellow it is then!" Yahiko swung the yellow one over his shoulder and marched towards his room. " I'm taking Tsubame-chan to see the fireworks tonight! It's gonna be great!"
 Kenshin smiled, watching the young man disappear into the house, then resumed his hanging of laundry.
 " Kaoru…" he whispered. " Yahiko is certainly grown up now."
 It was definitely true. The dojo was practically self run by Yahiko. They had lots of money, Kamiya Kasshin Ryu had many fine pupils. Tsubame-chan was over practically every day, and Kenshin found himself bored, with nothing but laundry to do and the occassional babysitting job for little Souzo. Peaceful times had come at last, there were no more lunatics trying to hunt down the famous Hitokiri Battousai, no more psycho's trying to single handedly take over the government, and no more people from his past knocking on his door to seek revenge. But, he forever kept his Sakaba sword at his side. A habit that he just couldn't shake.

 " I’m leaving now!" Yahiko called out. Kenshin heard footsteps, and then the familiar creak of the dojo gate as it closed.
 Sighing heavily, he finished the laundry, and then walked over and sat down on the porch. The years hadn't had much affect on his appearance. Yahiko said he still looked like he was 20 years old. Though Kenshin wasn't sure if he was just trying to be nice. But it didn't matter much to him. 20 or not, He still had life in him, and Kenshin found himself wondering when the time would come when Yahiko didn't need him anymore. That time, if not now, would be pretty soon.
 Lost in these thoughts, he was startled when he suddenly heard the creak of the gate opening. But, the footsteps that sounded down the dirt path weren't the familiar heavy footfalls of Yahiko, it was someone else. Kenshin stood up, his hand lingering inches away from his Sakaba, and his eyes narrowed cautiously. The dojo was closed for the day, for it was Tanabata, and normal people don't just walk in uninvited.
 He stood very still as the footsteps got closer, and gasped at the figure that rounded the corner.
 " Fate-dono?"
 Lachesis, the middle aspect of Fate rounded the corner and stopped as she laid eyes on him. She instantly clapped her hands excited.
 " Oh! Oh Himura! It's you! I was worried I didn't have the right place. Thanatos gives awful instructions!"
 "W-W---What are you doing here?"
 Fate approached him and put her hands on her hips. "Well, how rude! A little " 'How do you do I haven't seen you in years!' would be appreciated!"
 " Su-Sumanu… Fate-dono. I was just--"
 " Startled? I'm sorry. I always forget my manners." She bowed to him. " Anyways-- I'm here because, I have some news from Heaven."
 Kenshin's heart skipped a beat, he was instantly on the edge of his seat. "Heaven? Is it Kaoru? Is she ok?"
 Fate nodded hastily, putting her arms up. " Yes yes! Kaoru is just fine! Heh-- that's not the reason I'm here…"
" Oh…" Kenshin sat back, relieved. " Then-- what is it?"
"Well-- where do I begin…We, as you know, are Incarnations-- serving Human's through duties such as managing Time, Fate, War, etc. you follow?"
 Kenshin nodded.
 " And-- well, we're also human. We sometimes get tired of our positions, and decide that it's high time we retired, and let another human take our office."
 "Fate-dono, are you retiring?"
 " Who me?" Fate blinked twice, and then laughed. "Oh no no! Not me-- Peace!"
 Kenshin lifted an eyebrow. "Peace?"
 " A lesser Incarnation…The Incarnation of Peace works under God in Heaven. Managing things like the aftermath of a war-- when peace comes to a land, things need to be rebuilt, homes, cities; countries must bring forth treaties, stuff like that."
 " Sou de gozaru…" Kenshin nodded, wondering what she was getting at.
 " And so-- Peace is going to retire. And, well-- God has chosen you as a top candidate for the office."
 " Office?" Now Kenshin was really confused.
 " Of Peace! You're our number one candidate to take the position. What do you say?"
 " You mean, ME?" Kenshin gawked, with one hand inclined to his chest.
Fate nodded. " Yes-- you."
" ME?" Kenshin jumped to his feet, flabbergasted. " Take over as the Incarnation of Peace?" He ran a hand through his hair " B-But-- that would mean---"
 " ---You'll become immortal." Fate smirked.
 " W-Well…" Kenshin nodded, flustered. " Yes, I suppose-- but--."
 " --- You'll go to live in Heaven." Fate leaned her head to one side, smiling slyly at him.
 " I--- yeah… but--"
 Fate smiled. " ---You can see Kaoru any time you want."
 Kenshin's mouth fell wide open. All protests from his mind vanished in that split second. Fate just smiled at him.
 " K-k-k-Kaoru…?" His voice cracked with sudden apprehension.
 " So-- you want the job?"
 " W-Wait a sec…" Kenshin closed his eyes and shook his head, thinking hard. "What about watching Yahiko here?"
 " I suppose you'll have to talk to him first before you decide. He's grown up into a fine young man." Fate winked at him. Kenshin smiled nervously.
 " Hai-- Arigato."
 As if on que, The dojo gate creaked open again and Yahiko's voice was heard.
 " KENSHIN! I FORGOT THE RICEBALLS I MADE!" Yahiko rounded the corner in a second and then skidded to a halt at the sight of Fate. He blinked twice, and then looked at Kenshin confused.
 " Oh- Yahiko, allow me to introduce Lachesis." Kenshin gestured to her. " She's the Incarnation of Fate."
 " Nice to meet you." Lachesis bowed. Yahiko stared for a full five seconds with his mouth wide open, then remembering his manners, returned a swift bow.
 " N-Nice to meet you." He added hastily, then whirled to face Kenshin. "Incarnation of Fate?! Kenshin! What's going on?"
 " It can wait until later, you have to go meet Tsubame-dono don't you|?" Kenshin said.
 " Naw-- I've gotta hear this first. I don't have to meet her for a half hour anyways."
 Kenshin and Lachesis explained the situation to Yahiko. The boy had his brows furrowed, deep in thought the entire time.
 " And so…" Kenshin ended. " If I take the position, I'll be able to go to Heaven to be with Kaoru."
 They both waited, there was a long pause. And then Yahiko looked up at Kenshin and his face broke into a smile.
 " Kenshin, you should go."
 " Oro?"
 " You should do it!" Yahiko jumped to his feet and punched him in the arm. " You have to! This is the chance you've been waiting for! To see her again!"
 " But-- Yahiko, what about you?"
 Yahiko shook his head and grinned. " Don't worry about me. To tell you the truth, I've been worried about you recently cause you don't have anything to do around here anymore other than laundry and babysitting. What kind of boring life is that? I think this is the perfect opportunity for you. And what better chance to do good in the world than to be the Incarnation of Peace! That's so cool!"
 Kenshin's eyes instantly lit up. " You really think so?'"
 " Of course! I know you still miss Kaoru. If you're immortal-- heck, you two WILL have eternity to be together!"
 " You can go and visit Yahiko too, Kamiya-san won't, but you're immortal, and can travel between both worlds." Fate added.
 Kenshin swallowed hard, this seemed to good to be true. He glanced at Fate. " Did-- Satan have anything to say about this?"
 Fate shrugged. " He'll be mad when he finds out-- but he can't do anything about it. God is the one who chooses her Lesser Incarnations. Satan can't have a say. And there was nothing in the compromise that stated you couldn't be with her in Heaven."
 There was a long pause as Kenshin thought this over. He glanced a Yahiko, who returned his gaze with a bright, energetic expression, full of hope. Kenshin knew that he didn't need him to watch over him anymore.
 " I'll take the position." He finally stated.
 " Excellent! " Fate nodded approval. "I believe you'll be a wonderful new Peace. Now, say your goodbye's."
Kenshin turned to Yahiko, who bowed stiffly, and then shrugged and embraced him in a hug so tight Kenshin felt his spine creak.
" Heh-- sorry." Yahiko loosened his grip a bit, Laughing, Kenshin warmly returned the hug.
" Take care of yourself de gozaru." Kenshin said softly.
" I will, say 'hi' to Kaoru for me. And come to visit often, ok?"
" I will, I promise. Will you explain this to Sano and Megumi-dono for me?"
Yahiko nodded and let go of him. Kenshin turned to Fate.
" I'm ready to leave."
"Hold out your hand, palm downwards." Fate said.
 Nervous with a sudden rush of adrenaline, Kenshin did as he was told. And out of nowhere, a Dove alighted on top of his outstretched fingers. Instantly a brilliant white light surrounded him.
 He could hear Yahiko's voice faintly through the overpowering wall of white, it grew ever more intense around him.
" Goodbye Kenshin!! GOODBYE!"

 " Kaoru-san! Are you paying attention?"
 Kaoru snapped out of her daydream and turned her head to notice the cross look the elder angel was giving her. She shrugged and gave an appologetic smile.
 " Gomen-nasai! I'm paying attention!"
 " Honestly." The elder sighed loudly and shook her head of long, silvery hair. " You're never going to learn the harp if you can't concentrate!"
Kaoru straightened her back and proped the small, golden harp up against her leg. " But, I always wanted to play the flute instead." She muttered.
 " What was that?"
 " Nothing."
 " Ahh-- what to do with you." The teacher shook her head and motioned for Kaoru to leave. "That's all I'll teach you today. Dismissed."
 Grateful to finally stand up, Kaoru tucked the small harp under her arm and took off running down the slope towards the small Japanese-style home that she'd taken residence in since she'd arrived in Heaven. It wasn't quite like where she'd been before. She didn't float on clouds in this level of Heaven. But life was still luxurious enough to be called Heavenly.
 Kaoru stopped at the reflection pool outside her home and knelt down next to it. She set her harp down beside her and leaned over the cool water, so that her face was just about a foot away from the surface.
 " Kenshin?" She whispered the question out loud.
 The water shimmered, as if an invisible wind had come up and disturbed the crystal clear surface. Kaoru watched as the ripples eased, and a vision of the Kamiya dojo was now seen. She could spy Yahiko practicing his Budo and giggled. He was looking older and more grown-up every day. Kenshin had done a fine job of raising him.
 But, where was Kenshin? She lifted one eyebrow inquisitively and had the pool explore every corner of the dojo, but he was no where to be found.
 "Strange…" She thought disappointed. "He's usually there at this time, ah well.." She stood up and turned to walk into the house.
 " Sumanu!" A familiar voice from afar stopped her dead in her tracks. " Kaoru… is that you?"
 That voice, the tone, it all was shockingly like his, but-- it couldn't be… Kaoru turned slowly, eyes wide and she almost collapsed when her gaze fell upon those hauntingly familiar, deep purple eyes that she saw only in her dreams. That was, until now.
 " K-Kenshin…" She whispered, taking a step forward. " It's…really you?"
 Kenshin grinned, and nodded. " Hai, it's me--"
 It was too good to be true. Tears of joy instantly sprung from her eyes as Kaoru lunged towards him, throwing herself into his outstretched arms and burying her face in his chest. " KENSHIN!"
 They held each other for a long time. Kenshin stroked her silky black hair, and kissed her repeadedly on the nose, lips, forehead, neck, everywhere. Kaoru ran her hands up and down his back. Every curve, every muscle-- it was all him. It was Kenshin.
 " I thought it would be so much longer before I saw you again…That you'd be an old man…" She whispered.
 " But I told you that I would find a way for us to be together."
 " But--" She looked at him confused. " You mean, you're not dead?"
 " No--" He shook his head. " I became an Incarnation."
 Kaoru blinked twice, the information taking a moment to register." Y-you became an Incarnation?"
 " Hai-- The Incarnation of Peace."
 She laughed out loud. " REALLY? You're not pulling my leg?" She gave him a sly grin.
 " No! It's true!"
 Kaoru closed her eyes, and looked down, shaking her head.
" Kaoru?"
" I’m so proud of you."
 " Oro?"
 " And-- Yahiko?"
 " He told me to come. He's fine on his own now-- and, I can visit him whenever I please…to check up on him."
 She pulled away from him just enough to be able to look him in the eyes. " So, you're here with me? Forever now?"
 Kenshin nodded. " I'm immortal, so I'm here, until I decide to retire."
 She wiped a stray tear from her eye and shook her head. " I don't believe it. You live in Heaven then?"
 " God says I can live where I want."
 Kaoru looked down at her hands, and then-- as if instantly remembering something important, she shyly held up her left hand, showing the glint of the ring on her finger. " I still have it."
 Kenshin's eyes brightened. " You were able to keep it?"
 Kaoru nodded and then pulled away from him playfully, running a few meters away and then turned with a twirl, causing her ponytail to whip around over her shoulder. She brought one hand up to her face and ran her fingers through her bangs, moving the strands out of her eyes, only to have them spring back slightly tangled. " I have a lovely little home-- right here…" she gestured, "But, it needs a man's touch." She winked at him.
 " Kaoru…" Kenshin couldn't help but smile.
 " What do you say? Are you up for the challenge?" She grinned.
 Kenshin walked up to her in long strides and stopped just inches from her face. Kaoru blinked back startled at his sudden serious expression.
 " K-Kenshin…"
 " Up for the challenge?" He whispered. " I'll take you on any day-- " And with that, he wrapped one arm around her waist, and the other under her knees to lift her up until she was sitting gracefully in his arms. With a laugh, he turned and started for the front door.
" Ahh! Kenshin!" Kaoru laughed, wrapping both arms around his neck.
He slid the door open with his foot and carried her inside, closing it behind him, "You may call me, 'Anata .'"