Ranma 1/2 Fan Fiction / Sailor Moon Fan Fiction ❯ When Angels Fall ❯ To Say Goodbye ( Chapter 5 )

[ T - Teen: Not suitable for readers under 13 ]

When Angels Fall
Chapter 5
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The dojo was covered with chairs, all facing a simple photo of Ranma; split down the middle with each side showing a form: left side was male, right side was female. The picture was surrounded by a few lit candles. To the right of the photo sat Usagi and her children; minus Usa—who was currently sitting beside her Grandmother Ikuko.
There were no proud declarations this day, no people proclaiming justice served with Ranma's death—at least, none claiming it in the open where they might get blasted by one of his children or his mate. Mousse kept his mouth shut, showing no gloating at the loss of his one obstruction to Shampoo's heart—at least the only one he'd admit to. His ribs were still sore from the hit he had taken the last time he had done such.
On the right side sat the Tsukino family and the Senshi, including Mamoru. Each sat there, either crying, petting a cat, trying to figure out what was the right thing to say or do, or was just there to be supportive. In the end, they knew today was for Usagi and her new children, and now was not the time to be childish.
On the left side sat the members of what could be called the Nerima Wrecking Crew.
Ryoga sat with Akari, trying to not make a nuisance of himself as well as stay in the building. He may no longer hate Ranma as bad as he once did; a tribute to the healing voice of Akari's love, but he still felt like Ranma had cheated him of something. There would no longer be any tests of will, of incentive to learn new techniques, of rivalry and constant spars, of the thrills of testing your limits. Only now, could Ryoga admit what he had truly lost this day: a friend.
Shampoo sat with her great-grandmother and Mousse, as she wiped her eyes, the tears refusing to stop. While she had made friends with the other women after her beloved husband, she still felt her heart cry out for what could no longer be. She had always dreamed that it would be her and Ranma that would have children, that he would profess his only love for her. She wasn't going to dwell on that now, as even she realized that Akane had held the lead in that affair for a while, even if none of their group would admit it. But she held onto the dream, and would never diminish the time she had spent with Ranma over such a small matter.
It didn't make the hurt any less.
As Shampoo cried about her lost love, Cologne found herself still in awe of the children, gauging potential and trying to decide if it was even possible to bring them into the tribe, as each one held power inside themselves that far outweighed Saffron at his best. But for now, she postponed such actions until after the funeral, perhaps a week or longer, when the children would be more stable. She had no desire to be beaten as the Kuno children had been.
It didn't mean she was heartless. She still mourned the loss of Ranma as something other than a great fighter. He had been a joy for her to teach, a source of unending amusement as he seemed to get himself into almost as much trouble as what sought him out. In the end, she would admit that she had been starting to consider him family. If his spirit was still around, she hoped that would appease any harshities he might feel towards her.
Ukyo sat with Konatsu, as the kunoichi handed her yet another Kleenex. Ukyo had about been destroyed when hearing the news, her heart still telling her that Ranma would have chosen her had he not been banished. While her time with the Tendo siblings had helped her begin to heal, it still did little to remove the pain of loosing him again. Her Father had sent word that he wanted her back, her mission of vengeance either completed or changed. Not that she cared. The man she had loved was dead, and she'd be damned if he thought he could order her to try and seek compensation though his children. For now, she would seek solace with her new friends in the Tendo girls, try to learn of him through his children, and maybe find some peace in that life. But for anything concerned with the Kuonji-Saotome agreement, it was over with, and she would not hold his children to it.
They were not Ranma, no matter how hard she could wish.
No Kuno would show up, a testament at how badly the children of Ranma had beaten the insane family. Only Sasuke had come to pay his respects, finding that in this one respect, he would not cower to the wishes of his masters. If nothing else, Ranma was a friend to him, and in the short time the boy had stayed at the Kuno mansion when Genma had sold an engagement, Sasuke would always remember the kind teenager who had not demeaned him. Ranma had been the one thing Sasuke had always hoped the Kuno children would be: a friend.
Last was the Tendo/Saotome group.
The Tendo girls cried, feeling sadness long since accustomed to their thoughts on their mother. For them, Ranma had been family, a concept even Akane could admit now; her fears and pride torn down by the death of someone who had loved her, even if he couldn't admit it. As it stood, they had already formed a friendship with Usagi and her children, Akane trying to grow into replacing the hole in her heart with a new source: one of happiness. She wasn't trying to replace Ranma with one of his sons, nor was she trying to replace it with anger at the woman who had seen a side of him she had wished she had gotten to know.
No, she would be the type of martial artist Ranma would have been proud of. She was glad that at the least, his children had agreed to train her, even help her gain control of her temper. She would not want him looking down on her, feeling sadness at what she had become.
She would make him proud.
Nabiki and Kasumi cried as well, having realized they had lost their “little brother”. Unlike Nodoka's first reaction, they would not diminish the life of Ranma to just the sum of his children, but to the sum of his life. He had been a source of light in their lives, and had helped them more than he could have ever known.
For that, they would be grateful.
Even now, a silent Tofu sat beside Kasumi, holding her hand. With the death of a friend before him, it was enough for the moment to keep the kind doctor from leaping off to dance with random strangers. He had made a special trip after being tracked down by Nabiki to attend this funeral. He would keep himself civil for this ceremony, no matter what. He owed Ranma nothing less. Afterwards, Usagi had asked him to perform a checkup on one of her friends, who seemed to suffer from constant bouts of weakness, in the hopes that he might be able to help her live a fuller life.
Both Fathers were currently sporting a neck brace as well as several casts. The two had made the foolish mistake of assuming that they could pressure one of Ranma's sons into fulfilling the Tendo-Saotome pledge. Add to that that Kenji threatened to sue them if they ever tried something like that again, as well as Ikuko informing them that the children had already been added to the Tsukino registry, and most of the wind had been taken from the foolish men.
Not that anyone believed it would stop the fools from trying again...and again...and again. But their current state left them unable to even ruin the funeral, for which everyone else was grateful.
Nodoka was currently sporting a black eye and her left arm in a sling, after wishing to discuss her grandchildren with Ikuko.
Now, while Ikuko was far from being a martial artist, she was well versed in physical affairs; notable getting her daughter to school on time and disciplining her husband for doing something stupid when her daughter was beginning to date. As such, she was easily able to subdue the Saotome matriarch, who had only practiced with the family sword for the sole purpose of delivering the beheading blow for a seppuku ceremony.
This had of course upset Akane, who had bet that Nodoka would have at least landed a punch, and cost her ¥1000.
What followed was a dressing down given to Nodoka from the Tsukino elders about the true meaning of family, the true purpose of a parent, and the true depth of love for a child.
After three hours and seven wooden spoons and one borrowed mallet later, eventually Nodoka began to come out from her dream world. She was allowed to visit after calling and obtaining permission first. Even then, it would be touch-and-go as to whether or not the children or even Usagi would want to keep spending time with the woman. In the end, it was truly up to the Saotome woman to change her ways, and earn the respect of her grandchildren. One day, they might even take the Saotome name.
But not today.
Today was a day of mourning the one who had passed, whose final victory had come at the ultimate cost. Today was the day to pay tribute to the focal point of the Nerima weirdness.
Today was the day to celebrate the life and times of Ranma Saotome.
The new Tsukino family simply lowered their heads, before Ranko stood up. “I'll deal with him. I need some more release for my inner rage anyway.”
Thus, Pantyhose Taro learned that a funeral was not the place to call a dead man “femboy”, especially since his children loved to protect their daddy's image.
Usagi sat on her roof, watching the sun set. She remembered doing this many times with Ranma in the Null Point Prison, when she had been trained enough to use the Crystals to create such things as a home, furniture, clothing...
Tears began to slowly go down her face, her soul still feeling somewhat...empty, as though she would never be whole again.
She turned, seeing Mamoru climbing over the roof's edge, the tall rails of a ladder the only sign of how he had gotten here. “Yeah?” she asked, her hand quickly checking her face for tears.
“Are you...are you going to be alright?”
She turned slightly back towards the sun, trying to find an answer to her path. Did she still care for Mamoru? She was certain she did. She knew after 300 years, even Ranma still carried a spark for Akane.
But was she ready yet to jump into a relationship like that? “Not for a while, Mamo-chan.”
He chuckled. “You haven't called me that since you got back.”
She sighed. “It...it still feels like I'm going to see him hop up here, telling me to stop brooding, stop feeling sorry for myself.” She pulled her legs up, burying her chin into the crook of her knees. “Is it wrong for me to be like this: knowing he can't ever come back, but still believe he can?”
Mamoru carefully walked over to her, fighting the urge to hug her, try and comfort her, but he knew the pain was still too new, too fresh. “I don't know, Usako. He's given you a strength you never knew you had, one I failed to be able to provide. As long as you keep that fire burning, he'll never really be gone from you, will he?”
He nodded. “Should I go?”
She smiled at that—usually it was him running off without a word. “Yeah. I...I expect you at the meeting tomorrow. Setsuna's throwing a hissy about Crystal Tokyo. I guess she doesn't like the idea of me...balancing...it out.” It brought a bit of joy to her drab week to make Setsuna cringe. Her mind drew on Ranma's words.
“Usagi, it ain't right. Removing evil like that kills a soul. I mean, look how well those Black Moon jokers beat those Senshi. The only thing you guys had that they didn't was a dark side.
“Face it, Usako; you have to be balanced. Light within the darkness, darkness within the light; yin and yang.”
As Mamoru made his way down the ladder, Usagi turned back towards the sunset, the last rays of light fading. I won't forget, Ranchan. I can never forget.
Part of her still dreamt he would still come back, that maybe his soul wasn't destroyed when the wormhole collapsed. Time and space were such tricky things, so much so that even the Crystals had no knowledge on the subject to offer her, still only holding the known facts from the Silver Millennium. For all I know, his soul could have been sent back, to eventually become Mamo-chan.
It was a nice idea. They both had that roguish look, those deep blue eyes, the wavy hair... Both had that quality that drew her to them.
But, even if it was true, a soul is never really the same after reincarnation. If Endymion was Ranma, then they were no more each other than she was Princess Serenity. They had both changed, for better or for worse, and it would be folly of her to assume such things. No, she would move on. If that little daydream proved true, she would be grateful to whatever controlled the fates. If not, then she would still find her way.
She would not forget the lessons she had learned.
She lowered her legs and placed a hand on her abdomen. “And I'll make sure you know as much about your father as I can, little one, when you're ready to greet the world.”
The End??? Well, if you like the fact Ranma stayed dead, then it is. If you are begging “Please, Mr. Innortal, we wanna see him live!”, then read on. The Epilogue will be posted next week.