Disclaimer: If Ranma 1/2 were mine, you would have seen less fighting and more RanmaxAkane snogging and an entirely different ending.
And ever has it been known that love knows not its own depth until the hour of separation.
- Kahlil Gibran
W r i t h i n g
Half of the blade of his knife now grew smaller and smaller as it disappeared deep into her heart. The hands that closed over the weapon's grip trembled along with his entire arm and his entire being as he gazed at his victim.
Those eyes of hers. They were unfamiliar yet warm.
He heard her gasps of pain. He heard her cries. She had kept calling him by his name. (How did she know?)
It was not supposed to come down this far. But for a mere captive, she had bothered him in a way more than what was usual. She elicited too many emotions from him as she fought him tooth and nail, adamant and determined to capture not the price of winning. She seemed to want something else. The way she fired her attacks towards his most vulnerable of spots and the way he caught them with ease, but just in the nick of time, revealed a very odd, very disturbing chemistry between the two of their auras. A chemistry that only she seemed to understand.
He mocked at how easy it was to counter her every move. But he never pointed out how odd it was that she knew just where to hurt him.
He tried to discourage her spirit by lying that he was invincible, lacing his words with the great number of enemies he had swept under the rug.
But she knew better than to believe him. He was strong but he was vulnerable. Of course, he was vulnerable. He was just very good at pretending and locking away his tiny little defects. But she, he cringed that one time she pointed out his ailurophobia, she seemed to have found the keys.
And before he knew it, his mind had already planned out to eliminate her. This mere girl who suddenly called him Ranma.
"You goddamned idiot!" She cried out and sprinted backwards as she very narrowly missed a kick to the gut. He followed through with his right hand that held a knife.
"Stop it, just stop it, Ranma—"
And it made him stop, though one could say at a time too late. His knife was already plunging into her chest. Her eyes widened with shock and pain as they bore through his, searching, asking. (How could you?) Only the echoing sound of his name from her lips restrained him from driving it any deeper.
Only one person called him by the name his mother had given him. And it was the love of his life that now stood by the far corner of the room, watching as he disposed one of the hundreds who suffered the same fate under his wrath.
But, with the ache that now squeezed at his heart as he looked at this girl, he knew she was not a mere part of the hundreds.
His knife stayed embraced by her flesh. He couldn't move his grip; he couldn't move even the tiniest muscle. And yet, something now screamed inside him to withdraw the knife, to spare her. But what difference did it make? He had already planted his weapon, done the damage. She was already starting to drift towards Death.
The mere thought of it sent a wave of tears that blurred his vision. And he could only ask why.
She had enormous strength, he noticed. It was admirable, really. She used every remaining ounce of it to her final advantage. This girl had remained standing, though weak in the knees, in front of him, just staring through him with her eyes that were crystallized by pain.
"Ranma..." The word sliced him. She had called him by his name again.
Her hands at her side, he noticed, she had lifted. Her fingers rose to touch his fingers, the ones that gripped the weapon, the ones that decided to kill her, and upon contact, their skin seemed to fizzle. Ranma's hands shook.
Just die already.
Her tears were streaming as she looked at him. Gasping as she tried to voice out his name again. He knew it hurt the more she tried to cry through the pain. The quiver in her chest only gave way for the knife that impaled her to slice further through.
And yet, she didn't seem to mind. She didn't look as if she felt anything at all.
Just pain. Not by the blade. But by something in his eyes that she stared so stubbornly at.
She moved to step closer to him, her hands reaching out. Ranma felt the spark of her intensifying body heat and the handle pressing into his palm as its blade burrowed even deeper inside her.
She had just inched her way to a quicker demise.
Gasping, he stepped back and almost stumbled. As if by impulse, his fingers wrapped a deathly grip on his weapon and unsheathed it from her chest with a speed and force that sent her to follow its direction, towards him.
She grumbled in pain as he caught her by her arms, the knife on his hand forgotten as it slid and clattered, sputtering the blood it had gained towards the pristine marble floor.
It wasn't supposed to be like this.
Ranma shook with fear and confusion as he realized their position.
On his chest fell both her head and her hands, savoring the warmth he radiated. The blood from her open wound seeped from her and made its way through his clothes and to his flesh as they held each other. As if they were in an embrace. Enemies in an embrace.
They both trembled. One from the weakness that dominated her body. And one from the confusion and sadness that ate at his heart.
What the hell are you doing?
His mind was screaming to let her go, push her away and let her drop cold on the floor. To return to his wife and let the guards carry her corpse where he could never lay eyes on her again.
But once he thought this and tried to breathe sense into himself, it was her familiar scent (like the wind) that made his hands hold her trembling form a little closer to him and shut his eyes closed, sending out to flow freely the tears that he didn't know were lingering there.
She basked in his touch, as if it nourished her, strengthened her. And then she called out his name again.
It was difficult to hear such a meek and waning tone. Her fingers, splayed and soft, clenched against his clothes. Though muffled, her voice held a trace of a sob, and she tried to hide it as if it were a detestable sign of weakness. She burrowed her head even deeper into his chest. And her voice broke and the hint of a sob grew more evident as she said it again.
Even such a strong woman as she couldn't help but cry.
It was all he could do not to envelope his own arms around her, and kiss her, and maybe even the pain away.
Who are you?
Inside there was something writhing. Something trying to get out of him.
But the more he tried to point it out, the more confused he became. The more frightened he grew. There was something wrong within him. It was strange how he desired so much to let her live, how he grieved so much over watching her die, over hearing her plead for his name like a last chance for life. She was a mere girl for god's sake! But as she withered against him, he found himself wishing to wither with her too.
He felt her head slowly redeem itself from his chest. And then, as if never seeing anything quite like it before, he saw her smile.
Through her eyes that drowned with tears, he saw her smile, content and loving as one of her hands rose to touch his wet cheek. And it all of a sudden grew familiar. Like a blinding light that flashed in a mere moment and changed everything.
This girl... he knew this girl...
Not once did he let anyone have a chance to witness the falling of his tears. Not his wife, not his mother. But here, with this stranger, he had allowed her to see them, touch them. And never did she wipe them away. As if for once, there was someone who understood the humanity he somehow held.
His heart rammed at his chest. And suddenly everything was thumping inside his ears, it was all he could hear, as he stared at her. Her brown eyes. Those beautiful, dying brown eyes. In them, he saw the flames of her soul start to wane. He noticed the brilliant smile on her lips crack through the pain. And he felt a strong gush of reality strike him in the gut, as if it was he whom the knife had impaled.
He was hearing all of it, seeing all of it. Like a shedding of heavy curtains from windows that held so much light, so much sun, from a room that had been bathed for a long time with darkness.
The days and nights he spent with Ukyo.
The amusing little moments of a dreary day-to-day routine of a married couple.
The ugly fighting and ranting and crushing of feelings.
And then the sweet reconciliation that always came after.
The healing of wounds and the hushed apologies floating adrift the hot air in the midst of making love, making peace.
All of them. They were never with Ukyo.
His mouth flew open to suck in air, only to result into a tiny, broken gasp. His eyes trembled and burned with warm tears but he tried to focus them on the face that resembled the most precious of names.
Akane with the short, blue hair he loved getting his fingers tangled in, and the wide, chocolate eyes that melted the walls that encased his soul from the first moment they had smiled up at him.
She was his wife. Akane.
"Akane," he said, staring, and for a second, there had been more life in her smile.
She nodded at him, her eyes glossy and trembling as her own tears fell.
His lips quivered, suddenly a jumble of words were dying to be said. Akane, she was his Akane.
She shushed his unease with the cupping of his face by her soft, cool hands. Her chin lifted towards him, offering her parted lips as she gazed at him through half-closed eyes. And it took every fiber of his control to not crash into her with longing and grief.
Instead, he let her pull him and kiss him as she wished. Softly, tenderly, both their eyes shut out from the world as if they have reached the best part of a dream. He felt her hands dive into his hair. And he whimpered, tightening his grip on her body. He moved his lips further into hers to offer warmth and possibly break the process of Death that started to crawl into her system. It broke his heart as the way she kissed him dulled in comparison with the memory of the fervor that she used to possess. Now, she was all too weak, felt all too cold, even for this.
"Ranma, you dummy…" she whispered, smiling as she broke away, letting their noses touch. His eyes remained closed as she looked at him. He savored the scattering of her breath over his skin. Sad how it used to be so warm.
His forehead connected with hers and he shook his head as if to will this nightmare away. No. No, this can't be happening. This can't be happening. He pulled her closer to his chest, feeling the blood from the wound he had inflicted mesh more into his clothes. It clung to him, accusing, reminding why exactly everything was happening this way. And he thought he was going to die from so much loathing for himself.
In her neck he sought escape and buried his nose to breathe in her last of scents.
She smelled like roses.
"I'm so sorry…" his own words now cut through him. His shoulders shook with his cries as his hands clung tightly on her head and on her back. "I'm so sorry…"
Contented, she stayed crushed against him, resting her head on his shoulders, smiling while he didn't see.
"Ranma?" she whispered. Her breath was silent and heavy. He nuzzled his head against her neck, against where her pulse weakened. And with her last intake of breath, he heard her say, "I still love you."
Throughout the time that they had known each other, three words were never said.
Hearing them now, hearing her now, and slowly pulling away, he tried to glimpse once more at her face, wanting to tell her exactly the same.
And that was when her eyes have fallen closed, and her lips held no more trace of a sound.
All he could hear were his unspoken words.
(I should be studying. :|)
Thank you for reading this rather "confused"/"confusing" oneshot. I tried as hard as I could to make it "tragic". Lol. :) I hope you guys take the time to tell me what you think! Take care. :)