I see two paths for Ryuko as a parent: either she responds to her painful and warped past by becoming conservative and overprotective, or her strong, fiery personality openly persists even as she has a family of her own. The latter is something I'm exploring in a multi-chapter fic called "Thread of Fate." This short fic "Wild Side" explores the possibility of Ryuko being an overprotective mom. This 1st chapter is also an experiment on a no-dialogue approach, a character study of Ryuko, if you will. Leaving any kind of critique would be appreciated.
Wild Side (1)
Girl To Woman
Ryuko's days as a scissor-toting, superpowered uniform-wearing teen fighter were over. The fighting spirit seemed to have left her the same time Senketsu did. Life Fibers no longer threatened the world, and the world no longer needed a hero. The violent urge to satiate her vengeance and thirst for battle was a flame that dwindled with time and the advent of a more normal life. Ryuko made the ultimate decision to settle down and straighten out once she married Aikuro Mikifugi at age twenty. They had a baby boy the following year. Ryuji was the name they gave him.
Becoming a mother changed everything.
The moment Ryuko held the newborn baby and felt that small, precious bundle stir in her arms, she swore on her life that she'd love and protect her son in the best way she possibly could.
Denied of a normal life and a proper family in the past, Ryuko wanted her child to have all the love and attention she never got from her distant father and the twisted Ragyo Kiryuin. Over the years, she realized that she might be overdoing it. Far from being a detached and aloof parent, Ryuko found herself being the opposite. All the dangerous, reckless, and frankly stupid things she had done as a child and teen were things she'd never wish for Ryuji to experience. Taking heed of her former life of mayhem and craziness, she took it as a warning to avoid instilling it in her son. Ryuji had no idea of what his mother did before she...well, became a mother, so he just took it as her being overly conservative and protective.
Ryuji was a boy who got embarrassed and flustered easily; unbeknownst to him, that was a trait he inherited from his mother. He didn't appreciate being smothered with public affection, nor the constant texts to check up on how he was doing to and from school. He was ten years old now. It would only get worse when he got to middle school and maybe even get a girlfriend. Ryuko sometimes wondered with amusement if he'd ever inherit his father's charm and quirks once he hit puberty. Only time will tell.
Ryuko always took pride in her son's academic successes, something she never came close to achieving when she had been his age. She used to be a hotheaded delinquent who took much more interest in fighting than in studying. After the climatic battle against the Life Fibers, she didn't bother to enroll in college after the crazy days spent at Honnouji Academy. Despite this, she harbored no envy for Ryuji being more accomplished. Quite the contrary. It was all about raising the next generation to be better than the last, wasn't it?
Ryuji was known among his classmates and teachers for being well-behaved and studious. On top of that, he was popular and well-liked. He had a lot of friends, though his best friend would always be the cheerful, quirky, yet freakishly strong Hatsumomo Gamagori (better known as "Momo.") Since Ryuji was the only child with no brothers or sisters, good friends were exactly what he needed. His success with social life and school made Ryuko feel that she needed to set an example, and be a good role model as a parent. As a result, she strived to be as "normal" as possible. Sticking out in a crowd like a sore thumb was something she constantly and effortlessly did in her teenage years, but that time had passed. Now she tried to blend in by making a mundane routine of picking up her child from school, shopping for groceries, keeping the house clean, and cooking for the family like any other mom would. Ryuko had essentially purged the craziness out of her.
Aikuro found the change in his wife to be quite amusing. He loved married life more than anything; it meant that Ryuko no longer blushed and reacted with hapless discomfort whenever he made moves on her. Considering the couple's frequent bouts of flirtatious banter and intimacy, Ryuji would have more siblings if it weren't for the dangerous and painful ordeal Ryuko had endured to give birth to him.
The delivery nearly cost Ryuko her life. As a human being infused with Life Fibers, complications arose. Both Dr. Mankanshoku and Iori were involved in aiding her with the delivery. The pain had tormented Ryuko and violently elicited such agonized screams from her that Satsuki, a woman of immovable stoicism, was moved to tears and overwhelming worry for her little sister.
Much to the relief of her family and friends, Ryuko survived in a sheer stroke of good fortune and, not surprisingly, out of her own fiery determination to live. The preservation of her life was not without great cost. She had to undergo urgent, lifesaving operations that left her unable to have any more children in the future. Ryuko accepted this loss with admirable fortitude. She staked all her love and affection on the only child she could ever have. She left behind her past, much like the way she had outgrown and outlived Senketsu. She did this in order to be involved in Ryuji's life as the best mother she could possibly be, not the girl she was before.
In doing so and adopting that philosophy, sometimes Ryuko felt like she lost an important part of herself. But if that was what it took to have her son live a happy, normal life, she accepted the change.
Ryuko made a promise to herself that she'd never ever put Ryuji in a situation that'd make him feel abandoned or unwanted. She distinctly remembered how the first few days of leaving him in daycare had pained her. Unlike most kids, Ryuji never cried upon being separated from his parents. It was only for a short time, after all. It was Ryuko who was close to tears when she had to bid farewell to her toddler son. Aikuro helped her get over it with his comforting assurances that they weren't abandoning Ryuji. Of course they'd come back for him. Looking back now, Ryuko would think with wry amusement how much she overreacted.
As years passed and Ryuji grew, Ryuko still kept to her rule of being firm with him without having to raise her voice. She always strived to be sensible in tone and volume; she had seen how frightened and distressed kids became when adults shouted at them. Frankly, Ryuko was surprised she could actually keep her voice under control, even when she had to lecture Ryuji. Back then, it was all too easy to shout and rage and curse at some foe she and Senketsu were about to beat.
Her fears of upsetting her child weren't completely unreasonable. To her, nothing felt worse than feeling unloved. She had seen the pain in Satsuki, and certainly felt it in herself. Ragyo was the culprit responsible for inflicting such horrifying damage upon her daughters. Ryuko hadn't always known she had been abandoned. But the moment she learned the terrible truth from her mother, and from then on, the pain from abandonment truly hurt her. It hurt her still. Sometimes she blamed her deceased parents for failing to give her the love and attention she tried to invest in Ryuji.
In the end, it did no good pining over the past and wishing for a different outcome that would never happen. Ryuko learned to accept the life she had back then, and move on to continue it for the better. She had a family of her own now, and she couldn't be happier. Aikuro, Ryuji, and Satsuki meant the world to her. Sometimes she wondered what Senketsu, once part of that world she cherished, would say if he could see her now.
Would he laugh and say that he missed the loud, wild girl he once knew? Ryuko thought that answer seemed likely.
More to come soon! The next few chapters will be from Ryuji's perspective. Mostly concerning his mom and a bit of his dad, of course. There will also be some dialogue. I hope you like it so far.