Disclaimer: I don't own YYH—wish I did, but since I don't, whatever ideas I get go here and not into the actual anime...(sigh)...
Summary: Yusuke goes on one last training trip with Genkai to China after he gets back from Makai. What happens when he takes a hit to the head and ends up falling into an ordinary-looking pool that turns out to be more than what it looks like. Ranma Parody, please R&R!
Pairings: Yusuke/Keiko is the only clear thing for now. :D Or is it? ;;) Hehe—you'll have to find out! XP
Rating: T for language—just to be safe. :D
READ THE SIGNS!
The blazing midday sun was relentless, the azure sky shimmering with the heat. Away from the heavy pollution of the clogged industrial cities, the air swirling about in the mountains was cleaner—but no less unbearable as it did not spread and simply swirled about. Thus the heat did not disperse, and for those who were training below, it added to the brutality of the experience.
At least it did for one of them.
The unbelievably small, bony old woman wiped away the sweat pooling on her brow with the back of her hand, her tired old eyes scanning the murky blue depths of the pool below. She shifted onto her left foot on the pole she was balancing on, which rose from the depths of the said pool. Around her were countless of other poles and their respective pools—the marked trait of the final training ground she had chosen for her favorite student and herself.
After this, there would be no more. At least, not for her.
The weight of her impending doom settled over her heart again and she felt impatience rise in her chest.
"Yusuke!" she barked, her voice sounding harsher and unnaturally cracked in her own ears. She glared down at the pool where she had seen him fall, not believing for a minute that he was seriously harmed. "I didn't hit you that hard! Stop fooling around and get out here!"
She was met with silence and she grit her teeth, crouching and preparing to leap into the water and drag him out.
Lazy fool is probably just hiding from the heat, she thought irritably, yanking up her sleeves.
"Um...excuse me, Ma'am?"
She stopped, blinking in surprise and turning her head to her left, where a middle-aged man was peering worriedly at her, fanning himself lightly with one hand. Dressed in a guard's uniform, it appeared as though he had run a long distance in great haste.
"Yes?" she asked, surprised to find that he was speaking Japanese.
He cleared his throat, straightening and fiddling with his cap. "I'm sorry to bother you in the middle of your training, Ma'am, but the guards at the main gate said that Japanese fighters were in the vicinity, and as I'm the only one who can speak Japanese, they sent me to speak with you." He looked around anxiously. "By any chance, have you started your training? Where is your companion? The guards mentioned a young man was traveling with you."
"My student." Genkai poked her thumb in the direction of the pool. "Skinny dipping, I assume. He won't come out. Why?" she asked sharply. "Is there something wrong here that we should know?"
"Oh dear," the guard whispered, approaching the edge of the pool and looking into it. "This is not good...not good at all."
Her heart constricting, Genkai abandoned her position on the pole and landed on the soft ground next to him.
"What's the matter?" she demanded, not liking how he hovered about the edge. "If my student is in danger—"
"It's too late, if he's fallen in." Catching the blazing expression on the old woman's face he hastily reassured her. "He'll live, to be sure, but once he gets out he'll never be the same."
Her temper rising with her worry, she put her hands on her hips. "What do you mean?"
The guard looked at her testily, abandoning his searching when he saw no sign of a body near the edge.
"Ma'am, I realize you're not from around here, but surely if you've come here you know something about the nature of these training grounds."
"I was brought here as a child to train, and the nature of the area helped me improve a great deal. A few of my companions fell into several pools on occasion, and none of them were worse for it."
"This is a site of cursed pools, Ma'am. In each cursed pool a certain being has drowned, but not all of the pools in the area are thus. It's why we've marked the cursed pools so that fighters who train in the area know the risks of falling in. See?" He pointed to a sign that was propped between two bushes, a few feet from the edge of the pool. "Oh, they should've sent for me before allowing you in! I'm pretty sure you don't read Mandarin if you missed it."
Resisting the urge to shake him so that he got to the point, she looked at the sign he was indicating. "What does it read?"
He sighed wearily, pulling off his cap and fiddling with it in his hands. " 'Cursed Pool of a Drowned Girl.'"
"Hey, Yusuke! Have I caught you at a bad time?"
So much for technology, Yusuke thought irritably as the line got fuzzy and even with his exceptionally fine hearing he had to strain to hear his fiancée's voice. Pressing the receiver more firmly against his ear, he shot the noisy couple outside the phone booth a glare.
"Keiko, I should be asking you that," he laughed, the very thought of Keiko in her home, twirling the phone's cord as she spoke dispelling all gloom and effects of minor aggravations from his heart and mind. "Rush hour must be picking up over there by now."
"They can wait," she answered dismissively, and Yusuke—not for the first time since he'd arrived in China—felt an overpowering urge to hop a plane home. He'd just gotten back from Makai, for crying out loud!
But Genkai had asked him.
And at this point in time, he was willing to grant whatever Genkai asked of him. Outwardly, she was still the same tough old granny who kicked his ass in video games and reality...except that her scent had changed now. The scent had cut through the joy of seeing her again when they'd gone back to Genkai's home from the beach, crushing the euphoria of seeing his surrogate grandmother for the first time in three years.
She now smelled just like Raizen...months before it had happened.
Genkai is dying.
He cleared his throat uncomfortably, pushing away the thought that sent a grim bolt of aching sadness into his heart.
"So," Keiko was saying, "when are you going to be home?"
"It depends—Genkai hasn't really been clear. Heck, we aren't even bunking anywhere tonight, and we just got here four hours ago! She wants to go straight to this place...I keep forgetting the name...er...what's important is that it's this supposedly cool training site for martial artists. She told me she was brought there a long time ago, before she even became a spirit master."
"That must be a really long time then. Listen, Yusuke...about Genkai—"
The old woman's face flashed in his mind for a moment—in the middle of a battle cry as her foot slammed into his gut and her fist swelled before his eyes as she sent it crashing into his forehead.
Barbaric old granny!
His eyes snapped open and he realized that he was underwater. Above him the light broke into thousands of prisms and around him he felt the refreshing bite of cold water on his hot skin. Unfortunately, he also felt it filling his nose and throat, felt himself choking on it as he tried to wave his heavy limbs, wondering how long he'd been knocked out if he was in this bad a shape. His feet were submerged in the thick mud at the bottom of the pool and he knew struggled to free them furiously, adamantly refusing to part with his newest Nike pair. His chest was tightening agonizingly and he knew that if he didn't get out soon, he'd be dead.
Yusuke Urameshi, Champion of the Dark Tournament, former acclaimed Spirit Detective, and Heir to Raizen, former Ruler of Makai—a goner because he took a hit in the head and drowned in a pool that was—what?—ten? Twenty feet deep?
No fucking way.
Gathering his strength and zoning out the pain and the weight that pressed in on him, he focused on the light and gave kicked himself upwards, his arms helping to propel himself further up as the mud clung to his feet, taking away some of the strength of the first impact. He saw the light strength, felt hope burst in his chest even as water seeped into his lungs, pain knifing him cruelly in the chest. He grit his teeth, kicking again just as he gave way, his mouth opening despite himself and taking in water.
He gasped, gargling, choking and swallowing the water almost as much as the sharp, humid air that surrounded him. Still half-blind from the lack of oxygen and from the water filling his eyes, he took a minute to calm himself, pull himself together. He was very certain that he'd almost died, and the thought was filling him with delayed panic even as his body recovered from the aftershocks and he began coughing most of the water out and clearing his nasal passages as he sneezed repeatedly.
Blinking, after a few moments of this and he could more or less breathe normally, he realized that he was facing two people at the edge of the pool. Genkai and a Chinese man who was dressed very much like a guard. Temper blazing at the sight of the old lady who had nearly killed him, he swam his way resolutely to the edge—which wasn't very far away—and prepared to resume the fight. He felt his feet hit the slope of land that led out of the pool and began trudging out, wincing with every splotchy step as he recalled the pristine whiteness of his new shoes.
Damn old woman...Keiko bought me these...
Stopping when the water hit his ankles, he glared at her.
"Oy, you bloodthirsty old hag! You do realize that you almost killed me! What the hell were you thinking, knocking me into the pool!"
He froze, looking around sharply for any other person—Where the hell had that voice come from?—before his eyes widened and a shaking, surprisingly fine hand lifted before his eyes and flew to his throat.
"Oh my God," he whispered, seeing for the first time the horrified look in Genkai's eyes. "Was that...WAS THAT ME!"
Further Author's Notes: What did you think? (-) It might seem a bit rushed—I don't know, you'll have to tell me. R&R, okay? If you read this, I really would appreciate a review—even if it's a quick "I like" or "I don't like". Thanks in advance! XP