A Special Training: Epilogue
Disclaimer: You know the drill- not mine, and I make no money.
The next morning after the battle had dawned peaceful, cool dew on the grass, and the warriors that had participated.
Ryouga woke up, sneezing, wondering why he wasn't a pig at the moment. He was cool and wet- that should mean pig. Sitting up with a start he looked around, seeing that he was still in the rough circle that they had formed to protect the Princesses from being drained dry. The Lost Boy realized he didn't remember the last time he had seen Phoenix- and went nearly hysterical when he didn't know if she was alive or dead.
"OH MY KAMI!" he yipped, turning over and seeing her lying on the ground, sprawled in an untidy heap, hair silver as snow and minus an arm. He had to do something, stop the bleeding- dear god dear god!!
Shaking her hard, he didn't notice she was awake until she tried to slap him off.
"Ryouga? What are you-" then she noticed the stump on her of her arm.
"Damn," she muttered, sounding annoyed."It must have happened when we had that final blast... I tried to keep the others shielded..."
"How can you be so calm? You lost your arm! Dear god you are maimed for life! I am so sorry," he tried to console her tearfully, starting to glow green with all the heavy ki he was generating.
"Ryouga, Ryouga, its okay, really. Its not that big a deal. Help me up."
Not understanding, but thinking she wanted to get to a hospital, he didn't notice her start to growl low in the back of her throat. He did see the crescent on her forehead glow fiercely-
Phoenix concentrated on forming the new limb in her mind, seeing the fingers and skin the way it should be, and felt it form to her will. Snarling with effort, she pulled off the damaged part, making Ryouga jump up and scramble away in fright. Green slime dripped down- and the new arm shot out of her shoulder, complete and perfect. Phoenix riggled her fingers experimentally.
"You- you-" Ryouga was still backing up.
"Its my Namek heritage. Nameks are able to regenerate anything that isn't their heads. I wouldn't want to try to regenerate THAT," Phoenix grimaced. Blinking, she looked at her white hair in surprise. She was also still in her Princess gown, another surprise. Shrugging, she pointed at her clothes- and was then dressed in jeans, a button down shirt, and a new bandana.
Ryouga was rapidly going into shock.
She grinned at him. "Its like cold water, you get immersed, you get numb."
"I don't like cold water, at all," Ryouga said, slowly shaking his head. Blinking he remembered something. "I need to see how the other Nerima people are doing. They should be home right now-" starting to walk off (in the wrong direction), Phoenix grabbed his arm and started to take him back with her to Nerima.
Ryouga didn't mind, in fact, he clutched her hand, with a very, very goofy smile on his face, his tale weaving back and forth lazily. He felt... very cheerful.
Phoenix craned her neck back, looking at the group she was leaving behind. Smiling, she saw her younger self cupped protectively in her father's large hands. Her mother was showing signs of waking. Smiling herself, knowing that things were finally going the way they should have, she walked along with Ryouga- and kept steering him towards Nerima.
Their reception back at Ucchan's was mixed at best.
People knew that he was an alien- it seemed more that Akane was mad at Ryouga for being her P-chan than anything else. She still hadn't forgiven him for it. Shampoo and Mousse ignored him, Ukyou just gave him and Phoenix a hard stare. Ranma...
Ranma was in his girl form, looking at them both thoughtfully.
All of them were nursing some kind of wound.
"Get out of here, Ryouga," growled Akane, her mallet hand twitching to do damage. Ryouga looked at her sadly. Once, he would have done anything to make her happy, but now, she was just a girl. One that he didn't want any more.
"I was here just to look in on you, to see if you were all right," the Lost Boy said softly, letting go of Phoenix's hand. "I can't explain myself to you, other than to say that your kindness to me meant so much that I risked you thinking of me a pervert and a freak. You can be a truly kind person, Akane. I know I abused that, and I am leaving now. Goodbye." Turning, he took Phoenix's hand, and they made to leave. Closing the door, they walked a ways down the road until they heard something scramble on the fence. Both being trained warriors, they turned immediately-
To see Ranma running towards them.
Phoenix and Ryouga blinked at each other.
Ranma landed in front of her rival, looking into his eyes for a long moment, weird emotions flashing across his face.
"Goodbye, man, you were the best rival I ever had," she said, twisting her fingers. "You beat me. No one has ever really, really beaten me like that."
The odd expression on her face seemed become etched there- then without warned she jumped up and kissed him softly, before running away as fast as she could. Ryouga touched his lips, watching her leave.
"I didn't know," Ryouga murmured. "I had no clue..."
"Sometimes the line between love and hate is so thin that you can't tell them apart," Phoenix answered, standing at his shoulder. "However," she paused- then grabbed his shoulders and gave him a fierce, passionate kiss. "However, I claim you, and she would have to go through me to get you."
Ryouga nearly got a nosebleed- then grabbed her and kissed her back. "No competition there," he said, grinning like an idiot.
"So, where are you heading to?" he asked, after a moment of silence.
"I don't really know. I've wandered so long, I don't really have a home," Phoenix replied, as they started to walk off towards the sun together.
"Really? I know the feeling. Could I, well, stick with you for a while?" Ryouga asked. Phoenix shrugged.
"Think you can keep up?"
"Damn straight I can keep up," he said, puffing out his chest. Phoenix laughed and easily knocked him off his feet.
"We'll see about that," she cackled, and started to run off.
"HEY!" Ryouga yelled, chasing her-
Both laughing, they left, to face their destiny, wherever it led, but it was together.
Setsuna smiled, the spirit of a dead queen watching beside her.
"I can't believe they have five kids," Serenity said, shaking her spectral head.
"Its not happened yet, my queen," Pluto replied, smiling. "They could have six."
"But they both finally have some happiness... Fate is cruel, my friend."
"It is," Chronos answered. "No one ever said it wasn't. However, sometimes things do turn out right."
"Its a long chapter, finally over," said a new voice, and Larania showed up to speak. "Nothing really has a happy ending, because it never really ends. But- for now, it is. The characters are the same, though they go by different names. Its up to them now, not us, not anyone else, to make their lives. Now I can finally get back to my own journey."
The two regal women, Setsuna and Serenity looked over at the wryly grinning Larania, the Dragon's Daughter and wanderer in her own right.
Then Rachel, Larania's imouto, showed up. "YOU HAVE TO GET BACK TO MAKING OTHER PEOPLE'S LIVES HELL, YOU KNOW!"
The two other women looked at Rachel as she berated Larania, who meekly nodded and stared at her sandals like they were the most interesting things in the world.
"You gotta go to another universe and get Usagi with Bardock and then yadda yadda yadda..."
"I know, I know, I KNOW!"
Larania and Rachel faded away, with Rachel still wagging her finger at the older girl.
"Did that make any sense to you, Serenity?" Setsuna asked, sweatdropping.
"None at all, my old friend."
There are many stories that need to be finished, and not many that lead to happily ever afters. This story, however, is at an end. Piccolo may burn the rice, Ryouga may be up nights with teething children, and there will always be the odd energy draining monster- but they were happy enough.