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Part Two
By Coutuva

 

As promised, here's Part Two. I'll be releasing
the next parts over the next few days, so if you
happen to miss one, let me know and I'll mail it
direct. A lot happens in this series, so you need to
see it all. This is, as with the previous Series, based
heavily on events and situations from the preceeding
stories, which are available on my Web Site:

http://www.geocities.com/Tokyo/Bay/9295

As always, C&C is anticipated, accepted, and appreciated.
All original Ranma1/2 Characters and Backstory Copyright
Rumiko Takahashi, and are used without permission.

Please Enjoy.
Coutuva.




The Death of a Dream - Part Two
------------------------------------------------------------------


Hitomi wiped her moist forehead and puffed out a breath,
her afternoon's efforts finally showing some progress. Smiling,
she looked proudly over the almost half-completed garden, wishing
she had the rest of the materials so she could start planting.
Her goal was to complete the work in time for the baby to
arrive, but she had a nagging doubt that she would succeed. Less
than two weeks remained before Kikyo's due date, and she knew she
had more work than that still before her.
Packing up her tools and supplies, she cast another longing
glance over the project, able to picture it's completed form in
her mind, and also able to see herself and Kikyo walking through
it arm in arm, enjoying the atmosphere.
Once she had put away her tools, she wandered into the
living room to find Kikyo in the wing chair, feet propped up and
reading her copy of Playboy's Bathing Beauties edition, and Shampoo
busily working away in the kitchen. She had to smile as she
watched, remembering that the day had finally come for Phil to have
dinner with them. It had come about after much prodding from
herself, as she had not yet even seen 'The Man That Conquered The
Amazon', despite the frequency of Shampoo's rendezvous with him.
She was anxious to finally meet him, especially since it was
apparent to her that Shampoo was on the verge of a more serious
involvement.
"Anata... you're done? I didn't even hear you come in..."
Kikyo abruptly called, having finally noticed Hitomi's presence.
"Hai... until I pick up some more lumber, I've gone as far
as I can. How are you feeling, 'okaasan'? You look a bit tired,"
she responded, walking over to get a closer look.
"I am... a bit. Your baby seems to be practicing it's
gymnastics today... I must be black and blue in there." she
smirked, resting her hand on her tummy. "Watch this, Anata..."
she urged, laying her magazine across her tummy. A few moments
later, it jumped up and slid off to the floor.
Hitomi's eyes widened excitedly. "The baby did that?!?"
she gasped through her proud smile.
"Hai... and can I ever feel it." Kikyo acknowledged,
rolling her eyes. "This is one strong baby..." she sighed,
shaking her head. "So, Farmer Jane, are you planning to dress for
dinner or is that what you're wearing?" Kikyo redirected, pointing
to Hitomi's dusty jeans and flannel workshirt.
"Hai... I thought I'd go for the urban look... it's in
vogue these days..." Hitomi quipped, flipping her hair over her
shoulder haughtily and striking a pose.
Kikyo broke out laughing and tossed a magazine at her, then
shook her head in mock disgust. "Hitomi-chan, what am I going to
do with you...?" she followed, crossing her arms and regarding
the redhead sideways.
"Simple... just love me," Hitomi beamed, leaning over and
kissing Kikyo's forehead gently.
"No problem there," Kikyo smiled, winking. "So, would you
like some help getting ready? I've already made sure all my 'toys'
are put away... " she added, slowly sitting up and moving the
ottoman aside with her foot. "I don't figure I need to be packing
tonight," she added, glancing toward Shampoo.
"Ya... you relax. Your ankles look a bit puffy again. I
want to shower anyway, and I already picked out a dress for
tonight," Hitomi responded, walking over and handing Kikyo back
her magazine. "Need anything before I go?"
"Ya... I'm okay."
"Well, in that case, I'll be back in a few minutes," she
smiled, and headed off to the bath.



Phil looked at his watch and sighed. The time had come for
him to start getting ready to go, and for the first time since
meeting Shampoo, he wasn't looking forward to it. Folding up the
newspaper, he tossed it on his coffee table and rose to his feet,
deciding he had best get started or he'd be late.
He had developed a strong, sincere affection for Shampoo in
the time they had been dating, and he knew that it wouldn't take
much for him to admit that he was actually falling in love with her.
She was everything in a woman that he had always wanted, and had
become convinced that he would never have. Even now, after numerous
dates and many, many sparring sessions, he still couldn't believe
that she was real, and that she was actually interested in him;
A nobody who spent his life travelling China in the pursuit of
Martial Arts, hoping to gain some self-esteem. He sighed sadly at
the irony of it happening as it had.
The situation he now faced made him regret even more deeply
his 'moment of weakness' several years ago, and the vanity and
self-pity that made him give in to the tempting offer. It had
improved his life, there was no disputing that, but he had come to
feel that the price he had agreed to pay for that improvement was
far too high. It also made him wonder, deep inside, whether it was
the real reason Shampoo was attracted to him. Sadly, he realized
that if he carried out his instructions, he would probably never
know.
Walking toward the bath, he glanced up and noticed the
mirror, and frowned as he saw the glass distort once again, and
slowly but surely turn black. As he approached it, the two
yellow spots appeared once again.
His heart sank.
"You have done well. The time has come," the voice
pronounced, ominously.
"I know... she is attracted to me, and I have gained her
trust," he agreed, resignedly.
"Then you will complete your part in our bargain, and do
what we have required of you," the voice instructed, it's
commanding tone rankling Phil's temper.
"I don't want to do this!" he snapped back, snarling at
the image. "Not if I have to kill her... she doesn't deserve to
die!"
"Enough, mortal!" the voice yelled angrily, as a wispy
grayish hand erupted from the glass and grabbed him painfully by
the face. The impact and the ensuing pain dropped him to his
knees in shock.
"Erk! NO!" he gargled, clutching at the ethereal
fingers crushing his skull.
"You have two choices, mortal... fulufill your bargain,
or suffer the penalty. Speak!" the booming voice commanded, as
the hand's powerful grip tightened.
"Auugghhh! I will... I will... Kami help me, I will..."
he gasped, his voice strangled.
"We expect nothing less," the voice replied smugly.
Abruptly, the hand disappeared as suddenly as it appeared, and
Phil collapsed to the floor, shaking and covering his face.
"Miserable... bastards...!" he croaked, glaring angrily
at the now stilled and normal mirrror.


The moment had at last arrived, and Hitomi, Kikyo and
Shampoo all stood in the entry, waiting for the doorbell to ring.
Hitomi helped Shampoo with her last-minute primping and preening,
and was about to check herself over once more when the bell
finally tolled for them.
Shampoo gasped, Hitomi took a deep breath, and Kikyo
smirked at her friends. As Shampoo finally found the nerve to
step up and open the door, Hitomi and Kikyo stood back and smiled
pleasantly.
"Nihao, Phillip. Please come in," Shampoo greeted him in
Mandarin, smiling brightly.
"Thank you," he replied politely, bowing slightly as he
stepped in. He knew from various conversations that Hitomi and
Kikyo were both Japanese, despite Hitomi's Chinese appearance, and
was about to try out his usage of the language when Hitomi
abruptly bowed to him and spoke.
"Greetings, Phillip. I am Seirei Hitomi and this is
Okimiyaki Kikyo, whom I believe you have met. Welcome to our home,
and we hope you find it pleasant. I am very pleased to finally
meet you," she stated, in flawless Mandarin.
Kikyo, Phil and Shampoo to a person all turned and gaped at
Hitomi, who only looked back at them and shrugged. "Ano... I could
understand him, so I tried to talk back," she explained, shrugging.
"No fair...!" Kikyo complained, pouting affectedly. "I'm
the only one here that doesn't," she griped, crossing her arms over
her large tummy.
After everyone stopped laughing, the conversation shifted
into Japanese, which made Kikyo quite happy... and relieved.
As everyone settled in for the exquisite meal that Shampoo
had prepared, Kikyo soon noticed that Hitomi seemed preoccupied
and almost upset during periods where the conversation went around
her, and her mood seemed to worsen as the meal went on. She also
noticed that Hitomi was spending a lot of time looking at Phil, as
if trying to figure him out.
As the two of them stood in the kitchen about an hour
later, well in the midst of preparing their dessert course, Kikyo
was surprised by a strange remark from her girlfriend.
"Something's not right, Kiko-chan," she abruptly stated,
quietly.
"Ano... what do you mean?" Kikyo blurted, caught looking
by the statement.
"Phil... something's not quite right about him. I've felt
uptight and edgy ever since he got here, and it's been getting
worse. And I have this sickening feeling of foreboding... it's
really spooking me, Kiko-chan," she responded levelly, looking
back into the living room at Phil all the while.
"Why, Anata...? He seems like a perfect gentleman, and
it's obvious he cares for Lin-san... What's bothering you about
him?" Kikyo blinked, surprised by the seriousness in Hitomi's eyes.
"I dunno... maybe that's it... he's too perfect. Perfect
manners, perfect clothes, perfect hair, perfect face, perfect
body..." she responded, her sapphire blues narrowing slightly.
"It's just too... perfect," she added, all seriousness in her
tone.



"Shan Pu, that was indeed a wonderful meal. You have the
gift when it comes to food," Phil complimented genuinely, never
having experienced such a delight before, even in China.
"You flatter me Phillip... I am glad you enjoyed it, but
it was no big thing. I cook like that all the time here,"
Shampoo flushed, deflecting the praise. "I am also glad you could
make it tonight. My friends have been anxious to meet you, and
they seem to like you well enough."
"And I like them. They are charming, wonderful people,
and I'm glad I did finally meet them. So, tell me about
Kikyo-san... I see she's very pregnant. I take it that she will
have the baby soon?" he noted, glancing over at the object of his
curiosity.
"Yes. She's due any time. They are both very excited
about becoming parents," Shampoo smiled in response, wondering
how Phil would react to that statement.
"I see... " he responded, looking at Shampoo curiously.
"I won't ask," he finally stated, shaking his head. Shampoo only
smiled knowingly.
"Phillip... would you like to go for a walk? I feel like
I should do something after eating like that, and it's a warm,
pleasant night," the Amazon abruptly suggested, her eyes sparkling
slightly more than usual as she awaited a response.
"Agreed," Phil replied, happily. "I could use it too,"
he added, smiling.
"Good," Shampoo nodded, then rose from the couch,
extending a hand toward Phil. The two of them made their way to
the door, and as Phil put on his shoes, Shampoo leaned over the
bar counter and called to the girls.
"We are going for a short walk... hold everything for us!"
she winked, casting a hinting glance at Kikyo.
"Hai, Lin-san... see you in a few minutes," Kikyo
responded, smiling.
As the pair closed the door behind them, Kikyo shot a
knowing glance at Hitomi, who was watching the door worriedly.
"What's that look for...?" Hitomi asked, eyeing Kikyo
questioningly.
"Lin-san... I think she's going to set the hook," Kikyo
replied, wagging a thumb towards the door.
"Kuso..." Hitomi responded, biting her knuckle.



Shampoo and Phil walked along the beach in the quiet
twilight, a respectable distance between them as they engaged in
idle pleasantries about the weather, the other girls et al.
Soon, however, Shampoo couldn't contain herself any longer.
"Phillip... I have something I'd like to give you..." she
abruptly stated, stopping him in his tracks by stepping in his path.
"Oh...? And what would that be?" Phil replied, eyebrows
raised. He felt his heart rate double as he noticed the look in
the Amazon's large, simmering eyes.
"This!" she said, then stepped forward and planted a
passionate kiss on the stunned Phil, wrapping herself around him
before he knew what had happened.
His mind felt like it exploded in a blast of total euphoria,
his wildest dream suddenly coming to life. The passion in Shampoo's
kiss seemed to reach to the very depths of his consciousness,
sending a warm, powerul rush through his entire body. His arms
instinctively encircled the Amazon's soft, warm form, drawing her
to him as tightly as they could. Shampoo took the hint and turned
up the heat, driving Phil to within a heartbeat of passing out.
Finally, she broke the empassioned kiss and snuggled into
his broad chest, sighing appreciatively. "Phil... I love you," she
breathed at length, tightening her hug for emphasis.
Phil instantly forgot his pact, his fears and his doubts,
and responded from his pounding heart. "Lin Shan Pu... I am in
love with you, too. More than I have loved anything else in my
entire, miserable life," he whispered urgently, placing his hand
on her head and holding it to his chest.
"I prayed for this moment..." Shampoo smiled, lifting her
head and again meeting Phil's lips in powerful kiss.



As the group sat around the dining room table, it was
obvious to Kikyo that something was different... especially around
Shampoo. Hitomi, oddly, looked entirely crestfallen, despite her
efforts to cover it.
"So... tell me, Lin-san; What's going on? Ever since you
got back from your little walk, you've been just buzzing about
something. It's driving me crazy." Kikyo prodded, having finally
caught the Amazon alone in the kitchen.
"Ano... nothing too big. He told me he loves me." the
Amazon replied, casually.
"He did?!? Lin-san! That's wonderful! If I could reach
you, I'd hug you!" Kikyo gushed, breaking out in a wide smile.
"Hai!! It *is* wonderful to be told that... especially by
someone who really does!" Shampoo almost squealed, her own
excitement escaping her guard.
"Tell me how it happened!" Kikyo inquired, taking the
Amazon's hands and leading her back toward a chair.
Shampoo giggled happily and pulled up a chair as well,
all too happy to tell her story.
Hitomi meantime, sat alone at the dining room table,
finishing the last of her dessert. She already suspected what had
transpired, based on Shampoo's euphoria and Phil's silly grin. Her
face darkened as sighed resignedly, unable to shake the feeling that
something about him was wrong.
Meantime, in the washroom, Phil wiped his flushed face
with a damp cloth, then looked up at himself in the vanity mirror.
His mission had been simple... and should have been, given the
tools he had to work with. However, now there was an entirely
unforseen complication. He was completely in love with Shampoo,
and knew that he was no longer able to willingly carry out his
instructions.
Almost as if in reaction to that thought, Phil's eyes
widened as she felt the urge to complete his task suddenly
becoming more and more pronounced. He fought the urge with
everything he had, but could feel himself starting to lose control.
"I must.. get out... of here..." he gasped aloud, realizing
that getting out of the house and away from the girls was his only
chance. Turning, he took one step toward the bathroom door, only
to freeze in his tracks. It was too late. A deep, angry voice
suddenly filled his mind, rendering him immobile.
"Useless mortal! The time has come to pay the price for
your weakness!" the voice snarled, as Phil felt his world growing
black.
Hitomi shuddered as she felt a powerful chill run her spine.
It was a cold, clammy shock that seemed to reach into her soul,
filling her with an overpowering feeling of horror. Jumping from
her chair, she sensed the source coming from their bathroom, and
raced off down the hall. The other girls were too preoccupied with
their conversations to notice her rapid departure, and simply
continued to discuss the events of the evening.
Hitomi braked to a halt as she came face to face with a very
innocent looking Phil, just closing the bathroom door behind him.
"Seirei-san? Is something wrong?" he asked, regarding her
questioningly.
"I was just gonna ask you the same thing. I sensed
something... 'bad' coming from here, and I can still feel it. Is
everything okay...?" she explained, eyeing him carefully.
"No problems that I can see... are you sure?"
"Hai... it's really strong," she noted, looking past him
down the rest of the hall, then back up at his eyes.
"Well, I didn't notice anything, Seirei-san. Shall we go?"
he smiled, gesturing for her to precede him up the hallway. She
lowered her eyebrows for a moment, then slowly turned and started
back up the hall. As soon as her back was to him, Phil's expression
instantly changed to a wicked sneer.
Hitomi, sensing something, stopped and started to turn, but
it was too late. Phil grabbed her viciously by the base of her neck,
his fingers sinking into her flesh. She screamed in agony, grabbing
uselessly at his hand. As the scream echoed down the hallway, she
felt her entire body suddenly go limp and slump back against the
wall, trembling.
Smiling, Phil lifted the helpless redhead to his face and
sneered at her angrily. "Now there's nothing to stand in our way...
with your death, so dies the key to our only obstacle!" he snarled,
arrogantly. "And as long as I'm here, I'll take your two friends,
too!" he added, then turned and dragged her up the hall toward the
living room.
Kikyo was already racing toward the scream in a panic when
she saw Phil dragging Hitomi's limp, twitching body into the room.
Without even thinking about it, she reached behind her back and
pulled out her .45, levelling it on Phil.
"Let her go! NOW!" she screamed angrily, fighting down her
rising panic over Hitomi's condition.
"Begone, Human!" Phil snarled back, launching a bolt of
energy at Kikyo, narrowly missing her. Kikyo dropped behind her
chair and squeezed off a shot, catching Phil in the shoulder.
Stunned, he reeled back from the impact, growling his anger
and losing his connection to Hitomi, whose still-limp body rolled
off to the side. Turning, he glared at Kikyo with wild, angry eyes
and launched another bolt, this time sending Kikyo and the chair
sailing across the room. As she crashed into the wall behind her,
Shampoo raced out of the kitchen just as Phil spotted her.
Instantly, his face changed to a soft, pleading look, and she froze
in her tracks. She had seen him blast Kikyo, but when she saw his
face, she hesitated, torn with indescision.
Sensing her hesitation, Phil smirked evilly and spun around,
grabbing the groggy Hitomi once more. The redhead's painful scream
snapped the Amazon out of her trance, and she instantly went into
full attack mode. Gathering herself, she leapt into the air
toward Phil with a fearsome battle cry, both swords drawn.
Phil, seeing the flashing blades descending toward him,
leapt into the air just as Shampoo's swords sliced the carpet,
carrying the helpless Hitomi with him. Just as he reached the apex
of his jump, he screamed in pain as three bullets tore through his
chest and abdomen. His control gone, he crashed into the wall of
the living room, then landed in a crumpled heap beside the
fireplace, the hard landing allowing Hitomi to fall free.
Phil's body lay still beside Hitomi, and Kikyo approached
it first, keeping her gun trained on him just in case. Waving
Shampoo forward, she pointed to Hitomi and had the Amazon move in
and drag her back a short distance.
Joining Shampoo a few seconds later, she immediately set
her gun down and knelt beside the ravaged redhead.
"Hitomi! Can you hear me?" she almost cried, lifting the
Chinese woman's head into her lap.
"H... Hai..." Hitomi responded, weakly. "Not hurt...
just... very weak..." she breathed, barely able to find enough
energy to speak. "He's... trying to... kill me... stealing...
my life force..." she gasped, closing her eyes briefly.
"Why? Why would he do that?" Kikyo replied, upon shaking
off the shock of the statement.
"Not Phil... demon. Realm... of the Dark..." she explained
weakly, to the chorussed gasps of the other girls. "Wants me
dead... don't know why..."
"Kuso... not if I have anything to say about it. It's
okay now, Hitomi-chan... he's down for the count," Kikyo tried
to assure her, forcing a smile over her worried visage.
"Ano... you're hurt..." Hitomi breathed suddenly, noticing
the slight trickle of blood from the corner of Kikyo's mouth.
"Eh..?" Kikyo responded, wiping her face. Glancing at the
red streak on her hand, she puffed condescendingly. "No problem...
I've taken worse than this," she winked, wiping her face again.
Shampoo meantime, sat gape mouthed and completely stunned,
arms hanging at her sides. She was utterly shattered to think
that her wonderful Phil had actually been a demon, and had used
her to gain access to Hitomi. And not only had he tricked her, but
he tried to kill her best friend. As the reality started to sink
in, her large eyes began to tear up and her head slowly turned from
side to side.
Neither of the girls, however, noticed the greenish glow
that had begun emanating from Phil's body, soon rising like a wisp
of smoke to take on the shape of something inhuman. Silently, it
coalesced into a strange half-man, half-monster looking creature,
and the creature itself then glared angrily toward the girls.
"Lets get you out of here, Hitomi-chan... I'm scared for
you..." Kikyo stated, extending a hand to help Hitomi rise. Just
as Hitomi reached toward it, Kikyo shreiked in pain as she was
grabbed from behind and yanked into the air.
"Bitch...! You interefered in things beyond your
comprehension, and for that you will pay... with your miserable
life!!" the demon snarled wickedly, as Kikyo suddenly screamed in
agony. "Haahhhh... there are two lives within you...how much more
fitting!" the creature growled, smugly.
"Let her GO!" Shampoo shouted, again drawing her swords
and launching herself at the creature. Without so much as a
thought, the demon simply swatted her aside, sending her crashing
through the half-wall and into the kitchen.
"KIKYO!!" Hitomi yelled, seeing her girlfriend fall limp
in the creature's claw-like hand. That was all it took. Instantly,
Hitomi flared a brilliant blue, raising her arm and pointing her
fist at the creature. Before the Demon even had a chance to see
what was happening, she fired a blast of solid energy at it that
tore it's arm away from it's shoulder, and sent the demon itself
screaming across the room, leaving Kikyo and it's arm to fall to
the floor.
Raising her other arm, Hitomi, enraged beyond reason,
traced out the image of the dragon's head and encircled it with her
opened hands. Sighting in the crumpled demon, her arms seemed to
catch fire as she charged them with everything she had.
"NOBODY HURTS MY FAMILY!!" she screamed, releasing a
thundering blast that vaporized the demon on impact and blew the
side wall completely off of the house.
Hitomi lowered her arms slowly, the battle lust draining
from her body rapidly. Glancing over toward where Kikyo lay in a
heap, she gasped aloud and ran to her, chest tightening in fear.
"Kikyo!" she called anxiously, dropping to her knees beside
her and reaching for her face.
Relief flooded over her as she determined her girlfriend
was only unconscious, and set about trying to remove the remains
of the demon from her back and neck. Unable to simply pull it off,
she grabbed hold of the distasteful appendage and sent a pulse of
energy through it, disintegrating it gently. Finally, upon
watching the last of it vanish into mist, she gently touched her
girlfriend's forehead, trying to determine the extent of her
injuries.
As soon as her hand made contact with Kikyo's forehead,
Hitomi felt her heart quicken as her heightened senses confirmed
her fears. Her girlfriend was suffering from internal injuries
and was dangerously weak, but their child had fared far worse.
The unborn baby's life energy was all but gone, only the merest
spark remaining.
Eyes streaming with tears, she lifted Kikyo's unconscious
body to her breast, sobbing openly and unashamedly. Tenderly, she
brushed aside a few stray locks of her girlfriend's hair and
gently kissed her forehead.
"Suki da yo, Kiko-chan... Gomen nasai..." she whispered
waveringly, hugging Kikyo once more before glancing down at her
stomach sadly. She touched the unborn child reverently, her lower
lip still trembling as her fingers gently traced it's outline.
Finally, her grief completely overwhelmed her and she began to cry,
burying her face in Kikyo's chest.
As her tears of grief and panic dampened the material of
Kikyo's blouse, she didn't notice the air around her begin to fog
over, slowly thickening until nothing more could be seen through it.
Suddenly, she felt a presence near her and looked up, only
to gasp aloud at who she saw.
"Joy-sama...?" she sniffed, wiping her wet cheeks.
"Hai, Hitomi-chan. Looks like it's finally started, ne?"
the Spirit Child remarked, glancing at Kikyo's ashen form.
"Started...? You mean...?" Hitomi gasped again, her eyes
widening despite how much they stung.
"Hai. This is far from over, Hitomi-chan... it's just the
beginning. I'll tell you more in a little while, though... First,
we have to look after Kikyo," she deflected urgently, walking up
and kneeling beside the two women.
"How, Joy-sama? That 'thing'' stole her life energy... and
the baby's..." Hitomi indicated, starting to sob again, but stopped
short as she noticed the knowing smirk on Joy's face.
"She's only going to die if you let her. You see,
Hitomi-chan, real humans can't regenerate like we can... the only
way to help her now is to give her back her energy," Joy indicated,
gently. "The tricky part is that she's pregnant... because the
baby draws it's life from her, this needs to be done very
carefully," the Spirit Child explained, the look on her face
bringing a knot to Hitomi's already tight stomach.
"And that means...?" Hitomi ventured, sensing the
impending second shoe.
"That means we have to put her in a special kind of
suspension. The process takes time, and she'll have to stay in
it until both her life force and that of the baby's are normalized.
If it's done too fast, the cure would be worse than the condition.
And don't worry... her physical injuries will be healed at the same
time," Joy noted, flashing a small smile.
Hitomi looked back at Joy expressionlessly, then turned her
gaze down toward her girlfriend's still form. Lifting her into a
loving hug, she kissed her forehead tenderly.
"Kiko-chan... I miss you already," she breathed, feeling
moisture gathering in her eyes once more. Sniffing back the tears,
she gently laid Kikyo down and then crossed the woman's arms over
her tummy. After a lingering, longing look, she again raised her
eyes toward Joy.
"Ready, Hitomi-chan?" Joy inquired, softly.
"Hai... as I'll ever be..." Hitomi sighed quietly, touching
Kikyo's shoulder one last time.
Joy smiled sadly, then nodded. "Take my hand... I need to
use some of your energy for this," she instructed, extending her
small hand toward Hitomi and regarding her expectantly.
"Like this...?"
"Good. Now, raise your other hand over her, and think about
her getting healthy. I'll do the rest."
Hitomi huffed in response, shooting Joy a pained look.
"Here we go... " Joy noted, and as Hitomi watched nervously,
a bluish, wispy cloud began to emanate from both her own hand and
Joy's, slowly forming a cocoon-like aura around Kikyo's body. She
could feel a slight drain on her energy, which continued until the
coccoon had finished forming. She also felt a strange sensation
wash over her, which resembled the feeling she got when she snuggled
up to her girlfriend in bed at night. It felt so real she couldn't
help but smile.
"There... she'll be okay in there while her life force
regenerates, then it will tell you that she's ready to be released.
She'll stay in this little dimension until then, so she'll be safe,"
Joy smiled, releasing Hitomi's hand and rising to her feet.
Hitomi nodded her acknowledgement numbly, still staring at
the actively pulsing bluish coccoon. She couldn't bear the thought
of leaving the love of her life in such a state, and had to fight
the urge to reach into the cocoon and hold her tight.
"Kiko-chan... I love you... And I promise... I'll be back for
you... no matter what." she breathed quietly, closing her eyes
against the pain in her heart. She knew that this was ultimately
for the best, but she had not been away from her lover's side since
they moved in together, and dreaded the thought of being without her.
"Hitomi-chan... " Joy prodded, gently. "Time to go. She'll
be safe here.... and whenever you want, you can come see how she's
doing," she assured, stepping over and placing her hand on the
redhead's slumped shoulder.
"I know, Joy-sama... but... I don't want to leave her... I
don't think... I'm strong enough to be without her," Hitomi abruptly
sobbed, dropping her head to her chest. "I need her..." she added,
sniffing.
"Hai... you certainly do. But you'll be surprised at how
strong you really are, Hitomi-chan... especially after we get where
we're going," Joy replied gently, regarding the redhead knowingly.
"Going...? Where are we going?" Hitomi sniffed, abruptly
realizing what Joy was telling her.
"Back where it all began... Tokyo," she announced,
emphatically.



Shampoo awoke groggily, her back aching and arm bleeding from
a large cut, apparently inflicted by her landing on her own sword.
As she tried to get her eyes to focus, she gasped aloud as the
devastation around her became apparent.
The entire livingroom was totalled, with one wall completely
missing. All that remained intact of the kitchen was the small rear
section where she currently sat. Her eyes widened in horror as
she realized what that meant.
"Hitomi-san... Kikyo-san!" she called out, dragging herself
painfully to her feet. "Are you there...?" she followed, stumbling
her way through the rubble to get a look down toward the scene. As
she approached the debris-covered steps that led down to what used
to be the entry hall, her heart sank as she looked out over the
empty floor before her.
Nothing remained of either of her friends, or the demon
that had brought this devastation to them. Her large eyes began to
tear up as she surveyed the area, still hoping for some signs of
life.
Stepping down onto the flooring, she staggered toward the
center of the room, the very spot once occupied by the huge, plush
couch. For a fleeting second, Shampoo could still see Hitomi
perched in the middle of it, looking back at her with her
trademark wide smile. Glancing to her left, she saw the place
where Kikyo had spent much of the last few weeks, her advanced
pregnancy forcing her to spend a lot of time in her favorite chair.
Her heart started to feel like a lump of lead in her chest
as her hopes began to dim, until her roaming gaze caught sight of
the hallway leading to the bedrooms. Excitedly, she pushed her
aching body toward the hall, hoping to find at least one of her
friends alive.
Sadly, it was not to be.
Upon checking all of the remaining rooms, the last of her
optimism drained away. They were gone. Absolutely nothing
remained of them, leading Shampoo to assume that they had been
obliterated by whatever had blown out the wall.
Staggering back out to the livingroom, she noticed a heap on
the floor near where the large fireplace used to be. Her heart
started to beat again as she moved toward it, recognizing it as
Phil's body. However, once she arrived beside it, her heart again
sank. It was all too apparent that he had not survived the incident.
For a brief moment, Shampoo stared at the mangled corpse in
shock, the realization that she was the only survivor crashing home
to her like that fateful first hit from Ranma. Suddenly, a powerful
sob burst from her chest, and as she collapsed to her knees she
covered her face, unable to stop the flood of painful tears.
In an instant, she had lost everything she held dear; her
two best friends, whom she cherished as sisters, and the only man
she felt had a chance of replacing Ranma in her heart.
Even for an Amazon, it was too much to bear.
Wiping her tears, she forced herself to stop crying and
calmed herself as much as her shattered heart would let her. Rising
to her feet, she tore a strip of material from her skirt and made
up a crude tourniquet, affixing it as best she could above her wound.
That done, she headed for her bedroom and rummaged through
what few posessions she had, locating and then pulling out a
carefully wrapped package. Opening it and gazing at it's contents
almost made her break down in tears once more, as she remembered
her purpose in having prepared it almost a year earlier.
Setting it on her bed, she sat beside it and lifted out its
carefully stored items one by one. A wad of Chinese currency and
a smaller one of Canadian, two changes of clothes and a one-way
plane ticket. Sniffing, she put them behind her back, then gathered
a few more personal effects and did the same with them.
Sitting back on the bed once more, she looked over at the
phone on the nightstand, wondering if it even worked. She was
almost surprised when she found that it did, and immediately called
a cab to come pick her up - and take her to the airport.
Upon hanging up, she stared at the device for several
minutes before her gaze happened to catch the photograph standing
behind it. Numbly, she reached over and picked it up. It was a
shot of herself, Kikyo and Hitomi, taken by a tourist at the
CN Tower when the three of them were celebrating the news of the
baby.
A small smile came to her face as she remembered that
night, followed immediately by a sad frown as she realized that
the picture in her hand was all that remained of the two
incredible women that she had come to respect, honor and even love.
Suddenly, she was startled by the wet splat of a tear on
the glass of the picture, and before she could think to prevent it,
she sobbed out loud and broke down completely.




==================================================================
END - The Death of a Dream Part Two A Ranma1/2 Fanfic By Coutuva


Comments Welcomed, Flames Extinguished!
coutuva@vecdev.com

 

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