|Legacy of Sorrow
Author: Firebird2083 PM
Oneshot taking place after the manga. Akane reveals her deepest secret upon her death at the hands of the Amazons.Rated: Fiction M - English - Tragedy/Drama - Akane & Ranma - Words: 3,051 - Reviews: 8 - Favs: 9 - Follows: 8 - Published: 04-17-06 - Status: Complete - id: 2897473
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Legacy of Sorrow
Disclaimer: I do not own the characters of Ranma 1/2, yada, yada, yada... You should know the drill by now. And if you don't, then I will flog you with a rubber chicken until you memorize the whole thing.
Akane dodged a bonbori attack just in time to receive a hard whap to the base of her skull. She heard a sickening crack as something in her neck snapped, and she fell to the ground, unable to feel her body or even twitch a muscle.
She'd known that this had been coming. Known that her life was forfeit if she and Ranma happened to fall in love. Knew that she was dead before Ranma ever declared that he had made his choice.
Off to the side, Akane could barely make out Ukyou's broken form. The chef was full of broken bones, some of which had broken through her skin as she had struggled to get away. Akane could already see the early signs of rigor mortis setting into her body.
Forced to watch as Cologne and Shampoo fought with and killed Konastu and Kodachi, Akane recited a mantra in her mind, hoping beyond hope that Ranma would receive her last will and testament as she had planned.
She never noticed when darkness ultimately claimed her.
Ranma flinched as a bad feeling overwhelmed his 'sixth sense,' causing him to shudder visibly. Something bad had happened.
He knew he had promised Akane that he wouldn't follow her to the Amazon's challenge. That he'd promised that he'd stay in her room no matter what. But the sense of great loss he felt was just too much for him to bear. Ranma stood up to go check on his family, but stopped as many things happened at once.
Throughout the house, he picked up the sounds of ominous signs. An altar in the dojo fell apart. The shogi board snapped in two. A whole cabinet full of china shattered for no apparent reason. Akane's bedroom window cracked. Her school dress fell off its hanger and onto the floor at the base of the door.
But, most damning of all, a flash of light on Akane's desk revealed a small box labeled 'Last Testament of Tendou Akane.' Ranma cautiously picked it up, unsure of how it had gotten there. When a thorough look-over revealed nothing more than a deep sense of foreboding, Ranma opened it and sifted through its contents.
He found a couple of pictures of Akane with various people, along with several hand-written notes addressed to their extended family, one of which was addressed to him. He noted that there were no pictures with or of the Amazon women and wondered if that had any significance as he picked up the note with his name on it and opened it up. Quickly scanning the date and discovering that the letter had only been written the day before, Ranma turned his attention to the letter itself. His blood ran cold as he read the first sentence.
I am sorry to say that if you are reading this, then I am already dead.
If you kept your promise and didn't play hero like you usually do, then you're probably wondering how this letter came about. To put things simply, I am a low level magus with a special talent for pre-cognition, or the ability to see into the future using various methods. This talent gave me a recurring vision that went numerous ways, but always ended with the same basic outcome: one or both of us would be dead. If you don't believe me, then you can press the blue-tinted area near the back-bottom-left-hand corner of my closet to reveal my spell book and my mother's staff, which was handed down to me when mother died.
Ranma gulped, unable to believe what he was reading. Akane... capable of seeing the future? And not just anyone's future, but her own death?
He quickly did as the letter said and grimaced as a golden Buddhist staff and a red book lined in silver appeared in the corner. Taking them out of the closet and placing them neatly on Akane's bed, Ranma knelt down over it.
Fighting back a sob, Ranma continued on. He never noticed the tears that were already rolling down his cheeks.
Anyways, I feel I should describe the vision's basic course for you. It always starts out with a phoenix, which in my visions almost always represented me, and a boy who was also a girl, you Ranma, coming together and creating a powerful bond as other entities such as a bokken, a boar, a black rose, and a dolphin tried to pull them apart. There were also a tiger and a ghoul of some sort that exuded a sense of deep foreboding about them as they also tried to pull the phoenix and the boy/girl apart. They go on like this for a while with other entities making an occasional appearance until the boy/girl triumphs over a flock of birds led by a giant phoenix. At this point, the bond between the two suddenly grew much stronger just before the foreboding aura around the tiger and the ghoul grew exponentially, snuffing out several of the other entities. Always among the ones lost was either the phoenix, the boy/girl, or both. I'd been having these visions since nearly a month before you came.
There had been one vision, though, in which none of the entities were lost. One in which the boy/girl failed to bond with the phoenix and instead bonded with the tiger. I'd decided then and there that I would do my best to keep myself from falling in love with you. But it was already too late.
That vision had come three days after you arrived. But I had already fallen in love with you by then. I fell in love with you the moment I first met you.
Ranma, unable to hold his despair back anymore, sobbed as he put his head down on the bed. His anguished cry drew the attention of the entire household as his extended family rushed into the room. He was dimly aware of someone trying to take the letter from his hand, but he clutched it tightly, preventing anyone from reading it. Whoever it was instead went over to the desk and took the box before rejoining the others by the door.
After some time, once he felt sure that everyone had left, Ranma returned to reading the letter. He was still sobbing, though more quietly.
I tired to push you away from me, but I think I didn't push hard enough. Because you never really drifted the way I always accused you of doing. When Shampoo came, I instantly recognized her for the tiger in my vision as I could sense the feeling of foreboding around her, and I pushed you even harder. But it was far beyond too late. Something gave me the feeling that you had fallen in love with me before even Ryouga had shown up.
And, yes, I do know about Ryouga and P-Chan being the same 'person.' It was just another part of my scheme to try and drive you away from me.
Ranma smirked ruefully. He should've known better. Nobody could be that dense.
As time went on, the sense of foreboding I was sensing from Shampoo and her great-grandmother became a sense of impending doom, specifically shortly after the fight with Saffron. I was no longer scared of death, having lost that fear as the fact that I was already as good as dead had settled in about when Mousse showed up. This is why I accepted the challenge and made you promise to not follow me. I tried to get the only other magus in the area to help me, but he was away on council business and couldn't help. And Happosai was also missing, leaving him out of the running for people who I could call upon to help me.
Ranma felt another sob wrack his body, but he was long past caring.
I think now I should tell you about my most recent vision. 'Plan A,' so to speak, had failed. As a consequence, my visions changed as time went on, the details of what might happen becoming increasingly clearer as time went on. Last night, my dreams hit a crystal clarity as my sense of impending doom hit its peak.
Last night, I dreamed of exactly how I will die. The Amazons will challenge not only me, but Ukyou and Kodachi too. Ukyou will be the first of us to fall, beat down in the first thirty seconds until her body is so broken that she won't be able to move. Konatsu and Kodachi will distract Cologne as I fight with Shampoo, managing to score a few hits both ways. Then Cologne will hit me at the base of my skull, snapping my neck. Kodachi will fall next, her head caved in by a strike from Shampoo's heavy bonbori. Konatsu will be killed in the most humiliating way possible, a low kick between the legs from Shampoo disabling him long enough for Cologne to paralyze him with a pressure point, pull out a dagger, and carve him up from the bottom up while he's still able to feel it. Kamisama, I hope he finds peace in the afterlife.
Ranma flinched, not even wanting to try to imagine that image which Akane had obviously been carrying around in her mind for the past two days. He was beyond tears now, his mind slowly going into shock as his mind failed to cope with the emotions he was feeling.
I bet you're wondering why I didn't use my magic to protect myself, aren't you? It all boils down to the magus' code. Essentially, if I had used my magic to fight Shampoo and Cologne, Cologne would have been justified in killing me since Shampoo isn't a direct magic user, and Cologne was far more powerful than myself in the magical arts. This way, my death will bring the council of mages down on Cologne, since talents such as mine are extremely rare. This will ultimately protect you as the council will strip Cologne and her family of all their power and honor. Cologne cannot force you to marry Shampoo anymore since she doesn't have any leverage to use against you.
And why did I make you stay behind? If you had come, Cologne would have paralyzed you the moment you tried to interfere. She would have finished us off, then used poisons to kill your soul and make you Shampoo's slave. I knew you wouldn't like that, so I made you stay behind. There was also a chance that she might've killed you, so I made the choice of dying without you there to try and protect me.
'What good is that to me, Akane,' Ranma thought despondently. 'You're gone... Ucchan's gone. I've got no one left who I care for except Mom.'
Anyway Ranma, I want you to continue living life as best you can. Live it to it's fullest and try to be happy for me, as I died saving the one I love. You, Saotome Ranma, the boy who never backed down from a challenge and never failed to achieve his goals.
I loved you in life, Ranma, and I will continue to do so in death. My love will burn brightly til the day when you finally join me in death, and the it shall be at peace, balanced out by the love I know that you hold for me. No matter what happens, Ranma, remember, that it was always you whom I loved.
Ranma heard a wail of despair, and it took him a moment to realize that it was himself who was wailing so pathetically. He'd thought the numbness would make him cry less.
And, finally, I am sorry for hurting you so much. Sorry for all the times when I accused you of cheating on me and being a pervert. Sorry for every malleting and every beating. Sorry for never really showing you who I was. It was fear for the both of us that drove me to do such things. Fear for your death or enslavement. Fear of my death. I am so terribly sorry, Ranma.
Please forgive me.
'I do forgive you, Akane, just please don't leave me.' Ranma thought fervently. 'I love you so much it hurts! And Kamisama does it hurt!' He could feel the pain even through the total numbness that was blocking him off from the bulk of his emotions. The Soul of Ice technique Cologne had once taught him wasn't even enough to hold back the pain.
Never forget, Ranma, I will always love you.
Ranma read and reread the letter several times, committing it to memory, then collected her things and went downstairs. The Tendous were sitting around the dining table, not really doing anything. His mother was on the porch, his old man, currently a panda, comforting her in his own strange way. Ranma turned to leave, but Genma-panda held up a sign so only he could read it.
Bring her body back here... He flipped it over. Then we can give her a proper burial. Ranma, not really needing to be told, simply nodded and left. He never noticed the water in the glasses at the table turn to ice.
Roof-hopping to the place of the challenge brought Ranma to a grisly scene. Blood was everywhere, and every death seemed to have happened the way Akane had said it would. He looked away from Ukyou and Konastu's battered bodies, unable to bring himself to feel any guilt or remorse over their deaths through his significant emotional barriers. His eyes next fell on Kodachi. He quickly decided that even the insane gymnast hadn't deserved to die in such an honor less battle, one in which one side clearly intended to kill the other. Finally, his eyes fell on Akane.
Her clothes were missing, and her body had been violated in ways that would've made him sick if it weren't for the numbness brought on by the combination of the Soul of Ice and his grief. He picked up her naked corpse, noticing that there were tear tracks running all over her face, as if she'd been crying as she fought for her life. She probably had been.
He turned to leave, but a spot of movement caught his eye. Turning his full attention on the deep shadow cast by a nearby building and the fence, Ranma caught sight of a bloody Shampoo and Cologne. Cologne, seeming to realize that they'd been spotted, come out. "Son-In-Law, we tried to help them fight off the demon..."
"Liar," Ranma cut her off tonelessly. "Both of you are murderers and liars. I'd sooner die than go to your village with you." He was so numb from pain and shock, not to mention the Soul of Ice, that he couldn't even make his voice sound angry.
Cologne sighed. "I see then that we shall have to do this the hard way. Come Shampoo, time to prove your superiority over him." Shampoo stepped up, raising the very bonbori she'd used to help beat Ukyou to death. Together, they charged at him. They never made it to him.
"CRYSTAL PRISM!" Cologne's startled expression was the only response they had time to make as a crystalline structure sprouted up out of the ground and engulfed the both of them. Ranma turned to the source of the shout, finding Dr. Toufuu walking towards him. Ranma could see guilt written all over his face. "I'm sorry I wasn't here, Ranma. If I was..."
Ranma cut him off. "Akane knew it was going to happen." Dr. Toufuu gave him a startled look. "She knew that in coming here that she would die. That in falling in love with me, she was already dead. She told me that she was a magus through this letter." Dr. Toufuu sighed sadly as he took the note and scanned through it.
"So this is why the council was always so interested in her training. If I had known..."
"So she was something special to them?"
"Yes, only one in half a billion magus' are so strongly capable of precognition, Ranma. And there are only around a million maguses in the world. If I had known she were..." He trailed off with another sigh. He turned to the crystallized Cologne and Shampoo and pointed at Shampoo. "DISPELL!" Shampoo was instantly expelled from the prism, she glared at Dr. Toufuu as he delivered her an ultimatum. "Leave here now and give up your claim on Ranma, Shampoo. The magus council will stand for your tribe's laws no more. If you don't, then you will go to trial with your great-grandmother for the murder of junior magus Tendou Akane."
"Shampoo never give up..."
"CRYSTAL PRISM!" Shampoo was encased in another prism. Ranma turned towards Dr. Toufuu.
"So what now?" Dr. Toufuu sighed.
"It would seem I am now short an apprentice magus, and you are short a loved one and several friends..." He sighed again, suddenly appearing much older than before. "I'm sorry, Ranma."
There wasn't really anything else that could be said.
Author's Note: Depressing little piece. I was quite depressed myself when I wrote it nearly a year ago.
There seem to be some minor inconsistencies, though I don't really feel like dealing with them.
Posted: April 18, 2006