-This spamfic has been inspired by an old 1960's sci-fi short story entitled, 'the 9 billion names of God' which I suddenly remembered after watching the 13th volume of Evangelion. (Those two episodes do weird things to people) Anyway, on with the story.

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last curtain

a ranma1/2 spamfic

nikolas 'mayhem' f. toledo

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It was a cool, clear night and somewhere in Nerima, Daisuke and Yuka were sitting on a parkbench and gazing quietly at the stars, enjoying the way the evening breeze wove it's way across the branches of the nearby trees. A question popped in Daisuke's mind. "Don't you think it's weird"

"What's weird?" Yuka raised one of her eyebrows in that familiar questioning way. "That every single thing that has happened in Nerima is somehow linked to the Tendo-Saotome families, particularly to Ranma and Akane"

Yuka thought for a while. "Come to think of it... Before Ranma came, there weren't that many martial artists in Nerima"

"You mean insanely powerful martial artists. There weren't any before." Daisuke ticked off the strange events that had happened over the past few months in his hand. "Or dimunitive perverts who go around stealing people's underwear, monsters, enchanted magical items"

Yuka added, "Jusenkyo water, ghost cats and other spectres"

Then Daisuke mentioned the weirdest one of all. "And the fact that there had been three winters this school year alone"

For a moment, no one spoke. Both of them were thinking of the same obvious thing. "How come we never noticed this before?" Yuka's question sent shivers down Daisuke's spine. "This is like that frog-in-boiling-water scenario. Do you now that Yuka"

"A frog placed in boiling water would jump out, but a frog that's placed in cold water that's slowly being heated up, would boil to death." She paused, catching the drift of Daisuke's thoughts. "So you think that ever since Ranma arrival in to Nerima, events have been going on, sequences of events that we would have noticed immediately if they had happened on their own, but we have overlooked since our definition of normalcy has been changed ever so slightly each time, that we find ourselves now stuck in some very very deep shit." She glanced at him slightly. "What do you think is going on, Daisuke"

He shrugged in reply. "I don't know... I don't even know if we're just being paranoid and all that..." He suddenly laughed. "We are just being paranoid, right"

Yuka laughed, the gloom that had prevaded the air was suddenly gone. "I can't believe we actually managed to believe ourselves this time..." She giggled some more, and for a moment, everything seemed alright once again.

The stars were shining in her eyes as Daisuke gently brushed a stray lock of hair from her face as he reached down to kiss...

"I know what's going on!" Hiroshi appeared from the bushes, causing Daisuke and Yuka scampering to the opposite sides of the bench.

"WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING HERE, HIROSHI?" Daisuke yelled into Hiroshi's face as he strangled him.

"It's all because of Ranma and Akane..." Hiroshi choked.

"Huh?" In Daisuke's surprise, he let go.

Hiroshi brushed the grass of his clothes and sat on the bench beside Yuka, who was trying to hide the reddish tinge of her face. "Fine..." Daisuke groaned and sat down. "So what's with Ranma and Akane?" he asked.

"Everything," Hiroshi waved vaguely with his hands. "I've been thinking about the same things that you have. That's why I went out this late for a walk." He looked at them teasingly. "I think you guys went out for different reasons now, weren't you?" he sniggered.

"So what about Ranma and Akane?" Yuka pointedly said.

Hiroshi sighed. "As I was saying, the reason why everything in Nerima happened the way it had is for the one goal: of making Ranma and Akane end up together."

He said that like it was the most obvious thing in the world. Daisuke laughed. "Where the heck did you get that idea, Hiroshi? Ryoga is very much against a Ranma-Akane relationship"

Yuka nodded her head. "And there's also Shampoo, and Ukyo, and---"

"Ryoga's here to make Ranma jealous," Hiroshi explained. "If it weren't for Ryoga, Ranma would at most become Akane's friend. Ranma's the type who likes challenge and if Ryoga wasn't a rival, he wouldn't have made any moves on Akane"

"And Shampoo's like Akane's rival..." Yuka surmised.

Daisuke hit his open palm with his other fist with an audible ponk. "And Cologne's here to teach Ranma all those martial arts techniques, which he used to defeat all those villains who would go after Akane."

Each of them went over the things that happened over the school year, from the time Ranma first came up to the failed wedding last weak and how it somehow affected Ranma and Akane's relationship with each other. Fearfully, they began to realize that somehow everything had happened just has Hiroshi had said. The cool evening brezze seemed suddenly cold.

A sudden thought came to Hiroshi. "Yuka, is there anything going on between Dr. Tofu and Akane?"

Yuka bit her lip. "Well... I don't know if I should tell you guys this, but Akane used to have this really big crush on Dr. Tofu. But that was before Ranma came."

"And Ranma knew about it, right?" Hiroshi asked.

Daisuke answered for her, "Ranma knew about it, didn't he? Before Ryoga came, Dr. Tofu was Ranma's rival for Akane's heart. But as time passed by, or as Ryoga took over those reigns, Dr. Tofu's importance began to decrease."

He pointed to Yuka, "when was the last time you saw Dr. Tofu"

She stammered. "I... I don't know!" She stared at them at surprise. "I never thought about it! It's like he just vanished!"

"What about our class?" Hiroshi asked, a slight tremble creeping in his voice. "How many people do you know in our class, Yuka?"

She suddenly found it hard to think. "Uh...There's us four, Ranma, Akane, Ukyo...uh...Gosunkugi...Miyo...those three girls who are members of the gymnastics club..." She stopped and turned away from them.

"Why did you stop, Yuka?" Daisuke noticed that she was shivering. He walked towards her and placed his on her shoulder. "What's wrong"

"I CAN'T REMEMBER!" She stood up, and there was anger and fear in her eyes. "I can't remember any of their names! I can't even remember the girl with blond hair that used to hang around me and Sayuri! And she's my friend! I know she is. I just... I just..." She began sobbing. "What the heck is wrong with me, Daisuke? Am I losing my mind?"

"No you're not..." Hiroshi said solemnly. "They never had names. And that's why you can't remember them. They're not needed anymore, just like Dr. Tofu"

Yuka suddenly slumped to the ground, openly crying, really really scared. The rage that Daisuke had tried to control ever since Hiroshi arrived broke loose. "Dammit Hiroshi! Will you stop this nonsense right now? You're scaring her!"

Hiroshi answered back with the same force. "I'm scared too, Daisuke! I don't know why the heck I'm thinking this way. But the more I think about this, the more right it seems. And don't give me that angry look. You're thinking of the same thing aren't you? Both of you are thinking of the same thing... That when Ranma and Akane--"

"Don't say it, Hiroshi!" Yuka wailed, covering her ears with her hands. "Please, don't say it... PLEASE!"

Hiroshi gulped. "That when Ranma and Akane get married, we're all going to be useless..."

A small breeze blew by, spinning a few leaves across the space between Hiroshi and Daisuke. Yuka wailed, the night echoed her horrified screams.

"That's enough..." Daisuke walked up to Hiroshi treatheningly. "I won't believe that I'm like some kind of... of puppet who is going to be thrown away when I'm no longer needed. I have a life of my own and I don't care about everyone else." He walked over to Yuka and helped her up to her feet. "Come on, Yuka. Let's go home"

"But... Don't you see what's going on?" Hiroshi protested. "I know what's going on, Hiroshi," Daisuke answered back. "I know all about this thing that you have with Yuka, and how you're going to do anything to split us up..."

"What the? This doesn't concern Yuka or anyone..." Hiroshi tried.

Daisuke continued walking, helping a clearly devastated Yuka. "I don't know what your game is, but you've ruined a perfectly good evening. Good night, Hiroshi."

Hiroshi raised his hand to stop them, but it dropped quietly to his side. "Fine, Daisuke! Go live in your stupid perfect world where the sun always rises in the morning and there's only one winter season a year! In my world, there's been three winters this school year alone all so that Ranma and Akane would get to marry at a certain place and at a certain time! And that's the real world, do you hear?"

Daisuke and Yuka continued walking.

"Don't you see, Daisuke? The whole freaking universe is in on this thing and if you don't want to know the truth..." He threw up his arms in despair. "Go and enjoy the rest of your life. You...We don't have that much time left"

"Tell me something, Hiroshi..." Daisuke turned around one last time. "If you're so sure about your puppet master theory..." he looked straight into his eye, "how come you know exactly what's going on? If the puppet master controlled us perfectly, how would she let you find out about the truth? Wouldn't it ruin all her plans since we would automatically work to prevent Ranma and Akane from ending up since it would mean the end of our 'usefulness'?"

Hiroshi looked back sadly. "Daisuke, my old friend..." he pointed behind him, "that's because it's already too late..."

Footsteps echoed on the pavement behind Hiroshi. Sayuri slowed down from her run and paused to catch her breath. "Where were you guys? I've been looking all over for you!" She took a deep breath. "Akane and Ranma just got married!"

She let this fact sink in before she continued. "Akane just called me on the phone. There was this quiet ceremony just an hour ago so that no one would come to spoil--" She looked at them in puzzlement. "What's wrong? Ya all look like you've seen a ghost or something"

With a shaking hand, Daisuke pointed upwards. "Look..."

"What?" Sayuri turned around one last time (there's always a last time for everything).

The stars were fading out...

Mayhem

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