I Saw a Light Shining and Thought of You.
A R1/2 and GGX/XX crossover. This takes place after chapter 8, which does not come as a surprise as it is chapter 9. I hope you enjoy it as a many of you seem to have, I appreciate the support. By the way, I'm sure you're wondering why this has taken so long, one word virus. Specifically Backdoor-CVT. Had to totally reload my hard drive and lost a lot of data, sorry for the wait.
Chapter 9: More and More Like Then.
Threw one more punch, feeling the heat beat down on his body and the sweat drip from his toned body. It had been a while since he had actually been in a practice that made him push himself hard enough to sweat and it felt good. He had become rusty after years without fighting anyone of his skill level; Ranma was the only one he knew that was even close. Lifting his bamboo umbrella over his shoulder and twirling in a circle, using his momentum to extend his arm and add force to his attack. Hitting his desired spot, the man planted his foot and stopped the motion of his body, the heavy umbrella spinning around behind his back and allowing the man to draw it above his head and bring it to a halt with a two-handed grip on the hilt of the umbrella. Ryouga swung it a few more times before he placed the weapon on the ground at the edge of his practice area and switched to strait punches and kicks for another hour, jumping into the air and spinning in a flurry of kicks and punches that worked with the momentum of his muscled body rather than just relying on his strength as he usually would. After an hour of this the man came to a halt, took a few deep breaths and let his aura build up around him, he had been experimenting with using another form of energy that was not driven by negative emotions. So far he had not come up with anything that worked consistently but that did not stop him from trying.
Concentrating, he brought a slight aura around himself, using his normal emotion and working on kneading it into something different. He had been close these last few days but it was hard to change something you relied on so much. Keeping the aura tight around his body, the man concentrated harder and slowly the color started to change to something different. It had been getting a little easier lately and Ryouga felt he was close to figuring out how to change it. Opening his eyes, realizing that he had closed them in concentration just a bit earlier, the man looked at his aura and noticed the change. It was not devoid of green but it was bluer. Dissipating his aura the man tried to walk but felt his body go numb and he collapsed to the ground with a heavy thud that sent spirals of dust spinning into the air. The man blinked in confusion and experimentally tried to move one hand, clenching it and unclenching it, then the other. Once he was confident that his arms would move he tried his legs and found that they responded sluggishly. Picking himself up from the ground, Ryouga slowly hobbled into the house and collapsed on the couch.
At that moment Baiken strolled into the room with snacking on a few crackers, her hair handing loose and her kimono closed just tight enough to keep her modest. Unusually, she was not carrying her sword, and Ryouga knew that she was also not carrying her assorted collection of other gadgets she used to make up for her lost arm. She paused to balk at him for a second before she sighed and shook her head at him and walked up to his weak form. Leaning down, a few strands of her pink hair falling over her shoulder, she inspected him for a second with her one good eye and shook her head before straitening up and clucking her tongue at him.
"See, this is what you get for overworking yourself," The woman stated.
Ryouga blinked and grunted.
The pink haired woman drew the strands out of her face and sighed, "You are hopeless, Ryouga. What were you doing anyways?"
With a sigh the man started explaining, "I was trying to develop some attacks that did not rely on negative energy. I've become so reliant on it that my body started to shut itself down."
The woman sat down in the chair across from him with a heavy sigh and shook her head at him. It was not the first time he had done this, she knew that, but it was the first time that he had gotten so far. She applauded him for his attempts and even encouraged it even if it was starting to take its toll on him. He knew that it was taking a toll on his body and still he insisted on causing harm to himself. The only part that worried her was that he stood a chance of pushing himself harder than he could take.
"Why are you doing this?" The woman asked
"I need to get rid of my reliance on this energy," The man said simply, "It's like a drug I'm addicted to. It may be harmful in the end to keep relying on it."
"I see," Baiken said, "Excuse me for a second."
With that the woman disappeared into the kitchen and after a few minutes came back with a hot cup of coffee and sat down in the chair again. She took a sip from the cup and set it down on the table in front of her, studying the man for a second. Sweat had dried on his face and she noticed a slight twitch every so often in his muscles. Even now, at the end of his power when he was almost ready to pass out, he was still trying to fight against the odds.
"I understand why you do this," the woman said as she looked towards an open window that shone on her across the room, "I just can't accept it. We've been through a lot and to lose you now would be… I don't even know how to say it."
The man stared at her in silence, though he was unsure of what to say in response he opened his mouth anyways, because he figured right now anything was better than nothing, "I'm doing this for people that are important to me. The very fact that I'm still here just means I've held out longer than most. I don't want to hurt others because of this monster eating me from the inside. I care about everyone too much."
Baiken nodded and rested her arm on the arm of the chair she sat in with her head leaning against her fist and stared at him, "I know, and the problem is that I sense that this is a family legacy for you somehow. Do you know the history of your family, Ryouga?"
The man looked over at her and shook his head, "No, I have never known my family that good. Our curse is to get lost all of the time, at first I thought it was only blood inherited but it has to be in the name. Mom is the same way."
"I see. There has to be some reason for it," Baiken said in a thoughtful tone, "is there a way to find out?"
The man shook his head, "Probably my father knew."
There was a knock on the door then and Baiken rose to answer it since Ryouga could do little else but twitch. Closing his eyes with a sigh the man let his tiredness take over and drifted off into sleep for the time being. As he did, dreams came to him and then memories of a life that had passed him by so long ago. A young Ryouga was standing at his father's side, about three feet tall with shaggy black hair unbound by his normal bandana. The young boy looked up at the figure, face blurry and unperceivable; he could see the figure looking down at him. Rain was falling and the sky was gray and hazy as Ryouga blinked away the rain that fell in his eyes he heard words spoken from his father.
"Ryouga, my son," The man said as he knelt down and the boy got a clear look of the man, smiling though obviously sad with unkempt hair that was short in front and long in back, he had a close trimmed full beard, "Remember this always, our curse and our power was dictated by our ancestors. You are the inheritor of the curse but your blood has also gained the power that lies in the Hibiki blood. Make no mistake though; this power will consume you if you can't control it. Son, be careful of this because it feeds on negativity and to give into that is to lose control of yourself."
The young Ryouga stared at his father blankly, "I'm sorry, dad, I don't understand."
Smiling the man ruffled his son's hair, "I know, and unfortunately you'll probably forget about this by the time you do. Just try not to let the negative things get to you son. I have to go now."
With that the man stood and turned to walk away, and the young child watched him walk away. It took him a while but he realized that he had just been left behind by his own family with no way to get home. Running after the shadow, Ryouga tried to keep the man in his sight but he tripped and landed in a puddle. His knee was skinned and blood and one arm had a bruised but he eventually stood and wiped the tears from his eyes. As he stared at the retreating form of his father a hand landed on his shoulder and he turned to see a smiling kid his age with a braided pig-tail. Even then, Ranma had been there for him even in the weirdest way.
The man opened his eyes, waking up from his dream and finding himself staring at his hand. It was a normal hand that any other person could have but through it flowed something that he had never even though of as being strange. It was his blood, the blood of his ancestors, which was his curse and his blessing. He would be forever burdened by the life that was given to him. With a sigh the man looked around and saw that he was in the same place he had been when he had gone to sleep. Standing from the couch he was sleeping on he started to walk up the stairs and then paused and looked around slowly. Something was not right; there was a certain smell in the air and a dark stain on the floor.
Bending down, Ryouga wiped a finger through it and sniffed it, blood as he had thought in the first place. There was a trail leading up the stairs and he followed the trail with a cold feeling in his veins. Coming to the door to his own room he slowly opened it and when he did there was a scene he had trouble coming to terms with at first. On the floor was Baiken, her robe tattered and her hair disheveled. Her sword was still held in her hand if loosely, she was on her knees but that was only because she was being held upright by her neck. The blood had not been from her though, she was cut but the fight had not started while they were downstairs. Then he saw the creature that held the pink haired woman up was not exactly human, as evidenced from the multiple cuts and massive blood loss that it suffered while just standing there.
The thing let out a small sound, like rattling bones, and then it threw its head back and began to laugh. Or at least Ryouga could only assume it was a laugh because it sounded like someone playing the xylophone on someone's ribs. It began to squeeze Baiken's throat and the man that was paralyzed with disbelief was then the man that snapped forward like an atomic rubber band. His fist landed squarely in the monsters face and it dropped the woman from its hands before falling to the floor with its face firmly caved in. Ryouga did not even pause to see if Baiken was alive, he continued his relentless assault on the body. Eventually there was nothing left but pieces that he had torn apart from the thing, and yet somehow they still moved. The man had never seen anything like it before but he knew that if he vaporized it there would be no need to worry about what would happen next. Picking up all of the pieces the man ran out of the house and precede the shoot blast after blast of energy at them until there was nothing left.
Once he was done with that the man turned back towards the house and ran back upstairs to see if his wife was okay. What he found when he got there was not too promising, there were multiple cuts and bruises and blood was running from the corner of her mouth, indicating there might be internal injury. She was still breathing though, even if it was very ragged and sounded too labored to be normal. The man did not even waist the time to check if she was coherent, picking up the woman's body he ran out the door and into the street towards the nearest hospital he could think of. He was out of breath by the time he got there so instead of trying to speak he kicked open the doors and slid to a stop in front of the reception desk. The nurse looked up at him with her eyebrow cocked questioningly.
Ryouga took a deep breath and managed to rasp, "She got in a fight and was hurt, she needs a doctor or she might die."
The nurse looked at the woman in his arms and turned to a phone, speaking into quickly she hung up and moments later a group of people with a stretcher came into the waiting room and managed to pry Baiken from Ryouga's hands. All the man could do was watch as they began their actions to try to keep the woman alive. He sat down heavily on the seat in the waiting room and rested his head in his hands.
"You look depressed," A voice said from his side as he sat there, "I'm sure she'll be okay. This is a good hospital."
Running a hand through his long black hair Ryouga turned towards the voice, an old woman, and asked, "Do you have a phone on you? I need to call someone."
"Why yes I do as a matter of fact," The woman pulled a phone out and gave it to him, "Here you are."
"Thank you, I'll give it back but this is kind of a private conversation," Ryouga said as he walked to an inconspicuous corner.
A couple of miles away a phone rang and a sleepy hand reached out from under the covers after a while to answer it, "Yeah," the sleepy voice grumbled, "Who is it?"
There was a break and for a minute there was no reaction, then Ranma sat up in his bed a look of anger on his face. It was so intense that he woke up his companion and she sat up and, upon seeing the look on his face, started to worry. His hands were white and his hands shook with the emotion.
"Who did it?" Ranma asked the person on the other side of the phone, "What do you mean you don't know? Okay, sorry, I'm just a little angry. Not it's not you're fault. I know. I know! Look, were are you… Okay we'll meet you there in a few minutes. Of course I'm bringing everyone. Especially Kaneda!" With that Ranma hung up the phone and looked over at Dizzy, "Get Hinata and Kaneda, we're going to the hospital."
The half-Gear looked over at him with concern, "What happened?"
"Some-thing, attacked Baiken and she's in the hospital," Ranma said as he rolled out of bed and got dressed.
Dizzy followed him as he ran out of the room, putting a shirt on as he did so and running into Hinata's room where both Kaneda and her where sleeping. Waking them up he turned and told Dizzy to call a cab, it would be easier to drive everyone there even though it would be faster by foot to run there, at least for him. The car arrived quicker than expected and Ranma held his three companions into the car. Closing the door after them he told Dizzy to take care and he would meet them at the hospital. Quickly, Ranma ran off towards the hospital, hoping he would get there before the bad feeling he had grew into a reality. He already knew that Ryouga did not handle negative things well and if he let this build up too much Ranma could not even imagine the consequences.
Leaping from building to building, using the rooftop and street alternatively to keep his momentum going, the man eventually came upon the hospital and ran inside to find the man sitting down in the waiting room and handing a phone back to a woman next to him. Ranma took a deep breath to regain his breath and walked up to the man slowly, he seemed alright for now so there was no need to worry for the time being.
"Hey, buddy," Ranma said as he approached, "How you doin'?"
Ryouga turned to him and shook his head, "I don't know; I just don't know right now. Angry, sad, irritated, among other things."
The pig-tailed man sighed, "I wish I could do something for you right now. This is something that all my martial arts can't fix."
"No, there's no need for any vengeance here," Ryouga said as he stared back down at the floor, "I already killed the thing that did it to her."
Sitting down next to Ryouga, Ranma placed a hand on his shoulder, "The only thing to do now is let the doctors help her… And be there for her."
"Ranma," Ryouga whispered the name and turned to him, "I wish that I could take this all back. Her life has already been so bad. I was just starting to try to make it better and then… this…"
"That's enough," Ranma exclaimed as he squeezed the man's shoulder, "Getting depressed over this won't help her. Baiken needs your support."
"Do you know her story?" The question caught Ranma off guard.
"No, I know she lost a lot, but other than that I know nothing," He answered honestly.
Turning in his seat, Ryouga looked at him for a second before he looked back down at the ground. There was nothing he wanted more than to tell her story to him but he had no idea if it would be okay to divulge such a secret in front of so many people. Rising from his seat he motioned for Ranma to follow him and they went off into a side passage. When he was sure that the two of them were alone where nobody could sneak up on them and listen in private the man started to talk.
"You know she is like us, one of the few surviving Japanese from the ruins of Japan. Her family was also killed just like ours, everything sent into burning ruin with her looking on helplessly. The way she lost her eye and her arm was the difference between her and us. In some ways, she was braver than us, you see, I can not speak for you, Ranma, but when those monsters attacked I froze. I imagine you did to." He looked over at the man for confirmation and saw a subtle, regrettable, nod, "On the other hand she tried to fight the people that killed her friends and family. They believed they were being merciful when they did not kill her but in the end that only made it worse. It started with depression then escalated into a need for vengeance, after that she honed her skills so she could get to "That Man" and kill him. You see, he was the one that decided to give her mercy. That was only after he decided to take her eye and arm from her. This all happened when she was only twelve. I estimate she's in her thirties right about now."
Looking over at Ranma he could see the surprise on the man's face, "Twenty-something years. That's a long time to hold hatred in your heart."
With a nod, Ryouga conceded that point, "Just recently she told me that she was done with her quest. I was happy to know that because I knew I would not have to worry about her leaving me for some foolhardy reason. Not that I would not try to follow her but it would still be hard to stop her even if I did find her."
It was about this time that Dizzy walked through the door with the children in tow and Ranma waved at them as they did, "The others are here," Turning back to Ryouga, Ranma spoke, "I know you're concerned about her wanting vengeance. I don't think she'll be that way, you married a strong woman and I guarantee this is not going to do anything but make her angry."
"Thank you, Ranma." Ryouga said gratefully, "Let's go join the others and wait for her to get better."
Ryouga nodded and the two of them started walking over towards where the others were waiting for them. It would be a long time before the doctors were done operating and there would be a lot to talk about. Days passed quickly, Ryouga only left to change clothes and take a shower. Ranma had gotten a job outside so he had to keep leaving but he kept with his friend as much as he could. It was a night in the emergency room and several nights in critical condition staying in the recovery room. Days passed, then several weeks, until a doctor came out and informed Ryouga that she was in stable condition. Ranma arrived around noon and found out himself. Calling Dizzy at home he told her to bring Kaneda and Hinata with her, she acknowledged him and arrived a couple hours later. There were only a couple visitors allowed at a time so Ranma allowed everyone to go in before him and waited patiently in the waiting room.
In the room, before anyone came in, Ryouga was sitting by the side of Baiken's bed as she woke, "It feels so good to see you're eye open."
The woman smiled at him as best she could, "You're a sorry sight, Ryouga."
"I know," The man said as he grinned in relief, at least she was in a good mood, "For a while there I was worried that you would never wake."
The pink haired girl reached her hand out and put it on top of his, "Hey, I'll have none of that. You know I don't like anyone pitying me."
Nodding the man looked down at her hand, so delicate even after years of handling a sword and yet so strong, "I hope it's alright, I told Ranma your story."
She looked away towards the light of the sun coming in through the window then, deep in thought he could only assume, "No, that's fine, I'm not ashamed of my life. There is a lot that I regret but nothing I would take back, I would never have met you and I would never be where I am right now."
"If you never met me you would have never got hurt," The man retorted and there came a disapproving noise from the woman.
"No, I would have gotten killed," Baiken responded as she turned back to him, "That is the simple fact. I have given up my quest for vengeance because of you."
"So you are still going to keep your promise?"
Frowning the woman made another disapproving noise this one with her tongue, "Idiot, I don't have any reason to start it again. You think just because I lost to some random monster that I'm going after "That Man" again? How long have you lived with me Ryouga? You know better than that."
There came a knock on the door then and it opened to reveal Kaneda, Hinata, and Dizzy standing in the doorway. Kaneda took one look at his mother laying in bed and ran up to her, looking as if he was going to pounce. He stopped at the last second and settled for just a hug as he let tears fall from his green eyes. Baiken smiled down at the boy and ran her hands through his spiky black hair. The boy stayed like that for a long time and the room was silent as the young boy just took comfort in his mother's warm embrace.
Finally the boy stopped and looked up, "I'm glad you're alright mom, when are you coming home?"
The woman smiled at him and grinned; "Now if I had my say in it but the doctors want me to stay here a little long to make sure I heal alright."
Dizzy and Hinata walked up as the young boy nodded and stood back, wiping his eyes, "How are you feeling, Baiken?"
"I'm feeling alright, just a little tired," She answered Dizzy's question as best she could; "Really I'm surprised I'm alive. That thing just did not die."
"It does if you disintegrate it," Ryouga muttered.
"What?" Baiken said.
The woman cocked her eyebrow at him but turned back to Dizzy, "I Ranma doing alright? I expected him to be with you."
Waving her hand, the blue haired girl dismissed Baiken's worries, "There are only a certain number of people allowed into your room at a time. He decided to wait outside, I'm sure he'll be in to talk with you later."
"Ah," The other woman said with relief, "I'm glad, it would be no good for such a good couple to be broken up."
Dizzy blushed but calmed down a second later, "Well, I don't want to be long, I just wanted to make sure you were alright," Dizzy turned as if to leave but stopped as she thought of something, "Baiken, I just wanted to let you know that you are like a sister to me also. If you have any trouble, anything you need to talk about, don't be afraid to talk to me about it."
Nodding the woman said, "Thank you Dizzy."
With that Dizzy walked out the door and was followed soon after by Hinata, and a couple hours later by Kaneda and finally Ryouga. As the man walked out into the hall he was surprised to find Ky, Jam, and Potemkin there. He was especially surprised to see a grumpy looking Sol standing behind all of them looking just as disgruntled as he always did. Ryouga shook his head in disbelief, how that man could be so negative he had no idea, and he was the master of being depressed. One by one they went in the room; actually it would have been more accurate to say four of them and then one of them. Sol was the last in and the last out, and he looked with disbelief at Ryouga as he came out.
"That woman has some serious issues," The man said.
Ryouga nodded and shrugged, "Yeah, I know."
"But she's alright," Sol said with a roguish grin that the man had never shown before and Ryouga had definitely never seen, "Take care of her boy."
"I guess it's my turn," Ranma said as he finally stood, "I'll be back in a few."
Ryouga watched in questioningly as he went in, it was strange for his friend to be so hesitant but it was not Ryouga's place to question. Ranma had many thoughts going though his mind as he walked down the hall to the room. The white walls seemed to reflect the sound of his steps; it amplified them in the hospital halls. Coming to the door he stopped and knocked twice, waiting for a second outside before taking a deep breath and entering. What waited him was a woman that seemed unhurt and very pissed at his very presence in the room.
"About time you visited me," The woman said in irritation.
Ranma held his hands up in surrender for a second and replaced them in his pockets, "I just wasn't sure what kind of condition you'd be in."
With a fed up sound, like a kind with a speech impediment trying to say hump, the woman said, "Well as you see I'm fine."
"I see that," Ranma said, "I just want to talk to you about Ryouga. There is a lot I did not know about you. I doubt he told you anything about himself. He's not the most outgoing person."
"You don't say?" Baiken said sarcastically, "What would you know of him?"
Ranma sat down in the chair next to her bed, "You see he has never really had much in the way of friends. Having a curse like his tends to have a negative effect on making friends for long. When I met him we both went to the same school and I would help him get to school. One day I went to pick him up and found him running through the street. It was raining that day and he slipped and skinned his knee horribly. I took him to the doctor and got him bandaged up, he told me later that he was trying to run after his father," Ranma looked at her and she remained silent so he continued with a deep breath, "What I'm about to say, I don't know if I should but for his sake and yours I'm going to. You see, I've always known Ryouga was stronger than me, stronger than a lot of people were. There is a reason for that, which he probably forgot himself, and that is that he has the blood of demons running though him. I don't know the exact details but he told me that a long time ago there was a war between to clans and his made a deal with demons to defeat their enemies. The enemies gave their family name the curse of misdirection, not just his blood, there is no escape from that. The more of the demon blood you have in you the more powerful the curse is."
Baiken blinked, "But Kaneda does not get lost."
Nodding, Ranma conceded that, "I know it seems he did not inherit much of the Hibiki blood. I would suggest you be careful though, if you find yourself starting to end up in strange places, let him know immediately. He has way of dealing with it that I can't even fathom. Also, stay close to him; he has been alone for most of his life so don't stray too far from his side. As his friend I ask this of you, his wife."
Ranma stood and bowed low, his pigtail flopping over his head and inverting itself, Baiken blinked and shook her head, "Stand up, you look ridiculous, I never planned on leaving him in the first place."
The man stood and sighed, "Thank you. I'll let you rest now."
As the man turned to leave, Baiken spoke again, "Wait, Ranma, thank you for coming to talk to me, you are a good friend. Ranma smiled and walked out the door leaving the girl to rest in her room.
This is the end of this chapter and the part. There will be a third part when I get around to it. If it comes out like I want it will deal with Hinata and Kaneda mostly, and they will be a bit older than just children. Hope those who have enjoyed my other stories will like this one also. Also, if you are wondering about my other story, it is on hold until I finish this. I might switch in the middle but do not hold your breath. I already experimented with writing two stories at a time and it is way too hard. Sorry for those who are waiting for an update, the next chapter of Amnesia is almost done anyways. I am sorry, once again, for my own ineptitude on such matters.