Disclaimer: Ranma Saotome and the Nerima Wrecking Crew are copyright of Rumiko Takahashi. I, in no way, shape, or form, own any of the characters used in this art of fandom.
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She could remember it like it was only yesterday. The savage beating she had endured, the begging, the pleading, and all the pain. The pain of remorse, regret, and cowardace. It wasn't as bad as her daily fights though...
But it had hurt so much... And it was only one man needed to take her down from her high-horse.
Heh... Wasn't that what she herself had been? A horse, fighting against all that would attempt to tame her? No, she was the shell of the wild horse. She was merely a shadow of what HE was.
But, that's the price you pay for peace, isn't it? Sometimes destruction of the highest order is necessary for order to return.
But she could still see it, in her dreams, her nightmares. Her begging, her pleading for him to stop hitting her... The tears falling down her face... And yet he would not stop. He just wanted to beat her, to be the best, and he was so angry...
'Hibiki Ryouga... That thrashing you gave me still haunts my dreams...' She thought, getting out of bed. As she moved through her room, moving over to a small shrine in the corner, she kneeled before it.
Along the shrine were a few pictures of a boy she had nearly forgotten. Saotome Ranma, martial artist extraordinaire, in male form.
'Hibiki, you couldn't just leave it at the beating, could you? Had to lock me too...'
All thoughts of those times, and her nightmares, left her immediately, as a bundle of energy with red hair flung itself into her arms. And as she held the little child in her arms, she began to think.
If Hibiki had not harmed her, she wouldn't be where she was today. A shrine priestess, giving people hopes and dreams of their own. With a family that loved her dearly.
Like the little bundle of energy in her arms.
"Yuriko, have you seen daddy today?"
"I thought he was with you, mama."
At those thoughts, Ranma blew a strand of hair out of her gaze, before turning a smile to her daughter. "He must be at work, then. How are you feeling this morning, dear? You had quite a fever yesterday..."
"I'm all better now, mama. Feel like... like..."
"A billion yen?"
Ranma smiled once again, looking down at her red-headed child before scooting the girl out, claiming to need to get ready. As she closed the door, she sighed and put her back to the door, sliding down to the floor.
The door to the master bathroom opened.
Ranma looked up.
Into the loving eyes of her husband.
"I thought you were at work. I didn't hear the shower."
"I know. I heard Yuriko out here and had to wait to come back in."
"Forgot a change of clothes."
Ranma blinked, then a smile formed. That smile gave way to giggles, then to light laughter. "Is something funny, my wife?"
"Oh, nothing you need to worry about, my husband. After all, I love you just the way you are."
"As do I you, my dear." He said, before moving to the dresser to get some clothes.
And Ranma watched, as the father of her child got dressed. She couldn't believe that one of her rivals, one of her former enemies, would be the one she would love and cherish in life. But, alas, life works in many strange ways, and love keeps its secrets to itself.
But as she watched him, she could only think back into the past today.
"Is something on your mind, Ranma?"
"Just the past, dear."
He was silent for a few moments, before asking his question that she knew was on his mind. "The dreams again?"
She nodded her head. "Yes. Hibiki continues to haunt me, even after all these years..."
"It's not your fault he was killed for hurting you, Ranma."
"Ranma, I want you to listen to me. No one has any right to blame you. Not Happosai, not Genma, Nodoka, the Tendos, Cologne, or Shampoo... Or any of the others... None have the rights to blame you. He used demonic resources to gain his power, and paid dearly once he won."
"But, I still feel that..."
"Ranma, please... What about... him?"
"Yes, him. What about him?"
"Oh... He has forgiven me, I only confess every time it becomes too much, but..."
"If he has forgiven you, then why can't you forgive yourself?"
"I will not have a wife of mine be depressive like that maniac. His death may have hurt you greatly, but think of what you gained."
And Ranma thought about it. And the many things that came to mind only began to piece it together.
"If I can forgive myself, I would do it right now. But please, dear... I did care. That may have been my mistake, I CARED..."
"Are you saying you shouldn't care about others anymore?"
"You're saying you should stop caring for others."
"Dear, you know well enough..."
"Ranma, you know it well enough too. It's been seven years... You have to let the past go. If you don't... I fear it'll begin to hurt you... And it might hurt Yuriko too."
"If not for me, then for our daughter."
Ranma could only think on it. After everything, after it all...
And it could all only amount to null.
Closing her eyes, seeming to regain a light glow to her older features, she smiled. Opening her eyes, she regarded her husband.
"You know I'll do anything for you, my love."
"The Urashimas next door might like to see their godchild again... If we send her over there... We could have a little time, just the two of us..."
The thought was oddly arousing to Ranma, as she finally, and long into her relationship, finally accepted the hand life had dealt her.
A pair of aces, and three sevens.
"I forgot to tell you..."
"Yes, my wife?"
"Woe ai ni, Muu Tsu."
"Woe ai ni, Ranma."
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Just a little piece I thought up. It takes place, as said, seven years into the future of the end of Ranma 1/2. Ranma has changed, and I might write this in a more complete form later on. Maybe write up what happened to Ranma to cause him to be locked and how she fell for Mousse. I hope you all will enjoy it, and I hope you enjoyed this short piece.