Tangy Time Travel

Kenshin cradled Tomoe in his arms as her blood soaked into the snow covered ground. She was dying, and he knew it. The young woman took her knife and dug it into her husband's face, dragging it down his cheek and across the scar her fiancé had left him as his own dying gift. Now she and Akira would be together there as long as Kenshin lived. Her eyes grew heavy and blackness began to encroach upon her. Kenshin's voice was distorted and fading. She felt warm. She felt tired.

Her eyes snapped open and she found herself staring into the face of a man of seemingly European descent looming over her. Light blinded her and she tried to lift her arms to cover her face, but she found herself restrained. "Wha... what's going on?" she wheezed.

"Great job, Lieutenant," the man above her said with a sarcastic tone. "This is the third time we've had to pull you out in order resuscitate you. Next time do us a favor and try not to die."

Tomoe licked her lips for a moment before finally nodding in understanding. "Doctor Craft," she replied. "I... failed in my mission. I'm sorry."

"Don't be," the doctor sighed, his light blue eyes flicking away sadly. "Just... be more careful next time, okay?"

In the next moment, a dark skinned man with a head that looked as if it had been recently waxed marched through the doors. "Doctor," he said in a deep bass, "Is Lieutenant Yukishiro recovered?"

"Yes, Captain," Dr. Craft replied. "But I would strongly suggest against any more time trips unless you want to risk temporal psychosis."

"I'm afraid that's not possible," the Captain responded. "Tomoe is the only one who can repair the incursion. While it's true that the last several attempts failed, I believe we have enough information for one last attempt to repair the timeline."

"Captain Chapel," Tomoe interjected, rising from the medical bed after being released from her restraints. "If I may suggest... I believe we have been going about this the wrong way, entirely. We may not be able to repair the incursion. It was masterfully executed by someone who knows Kenshin's history and its players better than perhaps even we do. Therefore, instead of attempting to preserve the integrity of the original timeline to such a degree, perhaps it would be best to allow the results intended by the incursion to occur."

Chapel's eyes widened and he snorted. "Lieutenant, have you lost your mind? You know the consequences if Kenshin doesn't--"

"I do know. But who says he will not? I believe we have an opportunity to... what was the term... 'have our cake and eat it too?'" Tomoe suggested. "When you recruited me after the first time I met Kenshin, you told me it was my unique perspective and position that made you choose me for this task, did you not? Well, allow me to use my perspective and position in order to allow the incursion; yet, still foster the results that the integrity of the timeline demands."

The captain narrowed his eyes. "Very well, Tomoe... I'm listening."

- - -

As Kenshin lay dying in Kaoru's arms, he felt a great weight lifting off of him. The disease that had ravaged his body for years was now finally taking him. The pain that he had lived with for not only the years of his disease, but since the earliest memories of his youth were finally dulled into a blissful warmth. He stared up into his second wife's face and sighed. He could feel her run her fingers across his cheek, where he had always felt the burning scores of his two most tragic victims, but now felt only a cool and loving touch. He closed his eyes and began drifting into unconsciousness.

Suddenly, his eyes snapped open and he was in midair. "Oro?" he exclaimed before splashing into some sort of vat full of a warm liquid. He reemerged from the fluid and spat some of it out as he pulled his wet hair from his eyes. "Eh? Tastes like oranges, that it does," he remarked of the golden pool. He looked to the other end of it and felt his heart sink, and yet it was strangely light.

Tomoe sat at the other end of the pool with her arms across her breasts, though the majority of her body was obscured by the opaque water. "Hello, Kenshin. It has been long... and you are looking well."

The red haired swordsman looked as his body, finding his skin glowing healthily. As an afterthought, he reached up and touched his left cheek, finding it smooth. "My disease... my scars..."

"All gone, Kenshin," Tomoe replied.

"Is this heaven?" the wandering samurai asked. "It must be... this one never believed he would see you again..."

Tomoe smiled softly as she gazed at her former lover. "No, Kenshin," she whispered, rising from the pool. She uncrossed her arms, exposing her bare bosom, and snapped her fingers. The lights dimmed and candles lining the warm tub flared to life. "But, tonight, we're going to make it heaven!"

- - -

Lt. Commander Li worked the controls as planned when the signal came, turning the lights down and activating the self lighting candles. Then he took out a CD from its case and popped it into the disc reader. The smooth, sensual tunes of Barry White filled the bath chamber. "I have to say, this was a pretty damn good idea she had," he commented.

Commander Brakkis nodded. "You're right. But who's idea was it to fill the tub with Tang?"

"Well," Chapel said, coughing into his hand. "I would have filled it with chocolate, but we're running a tight budget here. These time incursions don't come cheap, you know."

"Ahh," Brakkis said.

"Hmph," Li groaned. "Lucky guy. Even if he doesn't remember all the different timelines she's schnookered him in, I'd give up my left foot to get a little of that action."

"Agreed," Brakkis said as she adjusted her collar. "But it's only out of necessity that she's had to do this. She always has to be taken before the mission is complete, and time travel is unfortunately much too turbulent to support an unborn child."

"That's right," the captain said. "And that is why Kenshin shall instead impregnate the lieutenant here in the present so she can come to term without danger."

"Truly a wonderful plan," Dr. Craft interrupted. "But... ah... didn't Tomoe say something about turning off the cameras after they... got started?"

The occupants of the observation deck looked at each other sheepishly before the captain responded. "I think it may be best to monitor the situation a little longer, Doctor. After all, she's been forced on a time trip three times which has led to significant temporal fatigue. It's... for her health."

Dr. Craft shook his head and sighed.

- - -

Kenshin looked lovingly at his new baby son. It was as wonderful as the day he had first seen Kenji. "But," he asked Tomoe. "What will become of him, now?"

"He is meant to become a man whose actions will have the eventual effect of changing the history of the entire world. Only because of his natural talent and his heart will he become such a force of peace." Tomoe looked back at the father of her newborn child. "He will be sent to the approximate time he was originally meant to be born and adopted by a samurai family. The simulations show that, though he will go through hardships after his adopted father's death, he will eventually meet you and take in your skill and wisdom as he was meant to. If all goes according to plan, we should have a 98 restoration of our present timeline."

Kenshin nodded. "It is unfortunate that I will be unable to know him as my own."

"Oh, I don't know," Tomoe said. "I have a feeling that both you and little Yahiko will understand... eventually."

Author's Note: This was kind of based on the stuff in the Kenshin OAVs, though partially not. Who knows about that kind of thing? In any case, this was the result of a fanfic challenge on LJ in which one Shukashi challenged me to write a Kenshin/Tomoe fic with a CD as the prop. Look how uncliche it is! Well, anyway, part of the time travel idea comes from that one episode of Star Trek Voyager when Seven has to do stuff w/ Braxton. If that makes any sense to any non-Trekkies. In any case, you'll just have to guess who was responsible for the incursion in the first place, 'cause I feel like being lazy/mean.