(Has this crossover concept already been explored? Went poking around a bit, but didn't
see anything. I know, I know, I'm messing around with both series' strict chronology, but
hey, I'm still feeling my way through it. This project is ongoing, so may appear to end
very abruptly at times.)

Rurouni Kenshin belongs to Watsuki Nobuhiro. Buffy belongs to Joss Whedon. I'm just
messin' around with them.

(no real title yet)
By wombat

It was a beautiful day in Edodale, too beautiful to be the first day of the school year.
Kaoru Kamiya-Summers grimaced at the bright blue sky that shone through her bedroom
window. She could already hear her younger brother Yahiko showering in their shared
bathroom down the hall, so she pulled her hair up into her usual ponytail and went
downstairs in her pajamas.

Their mother, Joyce, had already prepared breakfast, and was putting together a bento
box for their father, Koshijirou, to take to the martial-arts school where he taught. "Eat
your natto before it gets too sticky, honey. Oh, don't look at me that way or your face will
stay like that."

Yahiko clattered down to join them, his hair still clinging pointily together and dripping
all over the place. "It's not like she could look any worse that way, mom. Can I have her

Joyce pushed both bowls over to Yahiko, then grabbed a kitchen towel to fondly ruffle
his head dry. "You know your sister is a lovely girl, so stop it. Kaoru, at least eat a bowl
of cereal or something before you go."

"Yeah, like she'd be able to make eggs Benedict instead," Yahiko muttered, but quickly
stuffed his mouth full of natto and rice as Joyce gave him her second-warning look.

Kaoru bapped him on the head for good measure as she passed him on the way back to
the stairs. "Gotta take my shower first before the bus comes. If you've used all the hot
water, you're gonna pay!"


The new high school was disorienting, but at least Kaoru would still have some classes
with her old friends from intermediate school. At the start of lunch break, she saw them
together in the hallway and waved. "Sano! Megumi!"

Sano was a little taller, but still the same goofy self, at least judging from what Kaoru
could see at the moment. His back turned to her-- was he ever going to get a new jean
jacket besides this old one with "Aku" on it?-- he was trying to help balance the immense
pile of books Megumi was pulling out of her locker. Nearly invisible behind the stack,
Megumi craned her face up over them at Kaoru and did a complex ballet of eyebrow-
waggles that looked like they meant, "Hi! Can't wave because of the books, and can't talk
because when Sano came over here, he stuck his weird fishbone-thingy mascot into my
mouth to hold so his hands would be free. Sorry, talk to you later!"

Unfortunately, Megumi's facial contortions distracted Sano enough to first stare at her in
bewilderment, and then turn around and spot Kaoru. As he waved back at her, his elbow
knocked over all of Megumi's books again. Megumi handed the fishbone-thingy back to
him and bent to regather the stack as Kaoru came over to join them.

"It looks like your pre-premed summer camp was a blast," Kaoru said. "And hey, you
probably got all buff and pumped from carrying those around, not just the mental

Megumi smiled, pushing her fox-red hair out of her face. "Oh, camp was fun. But these
are old books, actually. I thought I'd clear out some space on my shelves at home by
donating them to the school library. I tried to do that at the end of last year, but our
intermediate school didn't want them."

Sano picked up and opened a book at random. "Ew. I can see why. Couldn't you have
gotten any books on, like, more attractive-looking diseases?"

"Well, there's the plastic-surgery one, but only the 'after' pics are nice. You might not
want to look at the `before' ones. Or the 'during'." Megumi had been sorting the other
books into three separate piles, and pushed one pile at each of her friends. "Come on,
help me out here. The library's that way, right?"


"This is a library?" Sano looked around, bewildered. "It looks like a cross between
'Attack of the Mud People' and Frankenstein's lab. What is all this stuff?" They had been
hopelessly lost in the halls for a half-hour already. While the room they'd entered had
clearly had a "librarian's office" sign in front of it, the interior had no books in sight.
There was a vat full of grey goo, a long table laid out with several open jars of thin grey
liquid, and a small round stool too grimy to sit on.

"There's another door over there," Kaoru said uncertainly. She stepped toward it, picking
her way around grey puddles, but just as she reached toward the knob, someone came
through the door they'd originally entered from.

"Oh, hello there," the man said. He was tall and well-built, with a long white labcoat or
artist's smock sweeping down from his shoulders, but his sheer physical presence was
offset by a strange sense of self-suppression: I am not who I am; do not notice me. He
also had a streak of grey goo on his face. "Are all those books for me?" he asked.

Kaoru shifted her stack back into her hands, having tilted them against her torso for
balance. "Well, we were looking for the library."

"Ah yes," he said, glancing back at the hallway. "I really must have them fix that sign.
This was meant to be my office, but as you can see, I've turned it into more of a
workshop. Pity there wasn't room in here for the kiln, but it's easy enough to walk things
down the hall."

By now, even Megumi looked as confused as Kaoru felt. "We really need to drop these
off before the cafeteria closes or our arms fall off, because we can't eat lunch without
arms, or lunch. So if we leave these with you, can you tell the librarian we left them?"
Megumi asked.

"Of course, I'm sorry." The man wiped his grey-smeared hands clean on his coat and took
Megumi's books from her. "I am the librarian, you see. Rupert Hiko's the name. My
goodness, is that _Principles of Ichthyological Toxicology_? I haven't seen a copy of that
for years!" He looked at them a little more sternly. "I hope you're all prepared to pay
substantial overdue fines for these if they were checked out last spring."

"Oh, I've brought them in as donations. And that's a recent revision of IckTox; the new
editor is so much better. He can turn a fugu into a fugue." Megumi grinned proudly at her
pun, then became immediately crestfallen as Sano and Kaoru gave her their best pithed-
frog looks of incomprehension.

"I see; excellent," Hiko murmured. He riffled through the book, then took a longer look at
the flyleaf. "You must be Miss Megumi Rosenberg, I presume. And your friends are...?"

"Sanosuke Harris, but everyone calls me Sano," Sano said, stepping forward to dump his
own books into Hiko's arms with relief.

Doing the same, Kaoru said, "And I'm Kaoru Kamiya-Summers."

For some reason, Hiko's eyes went wide at that. "Kamiya-Summers? As in the Kamiya

"Yeah, my dad owns it. He's the head instructor."

"There's something important I must talk to you about him, before it's too late--"

The bell rang. "Oooh! We're going to be late for class!" Megumi said. All three students
dashed for the door.

Weighed down by the books, Hiko was unable to do more to impede Kaoru than elbow
her in the ribs. "Miss Kamiya-Summers, this is terribly important. I must speak to you at

She dodged him easily. "I'll come back after class, I promise!"