BU- TOH SHIN DEN: To Challenge Fate -/U/BP
Ia Battle Arena Toshinden fanfiction by Athena Asamiya and Kasumi Todoh/I
BEPILOGUE: Aftermath/B
DDIee/I - yeah
DDIminna/I - everyone
DDIyakusokushimasu/I - I promise
DDIniisan/I - informal version of Ioniisan/I; elder brother
DDIne/I - used on the end of phrases to ask for agreement to the statement made
DDIhai/I - yes
DDIgomenasai/I - I'm sorry [polite]
DDItsuzuku/I - to be continuedP
DDThe sun was setting slowly the following day, low and deep in the sky, flaring off solar rays of bright crimson and orange into the atmosphere. On an above hill by the main roads, overlooking the site of the finished Toshindaibukai tournament, with its now-empty dormitories and grand coliseums, five warriors stood. The same people they were when they began at the tournament, but also different somehow. Almost as if they had grown up for a second time, realizing things that they would never had learned any other way than to come here, and face their destinies. It was this and other facts that were keeping them lingering for "a little while longer" before they all parted ways for who knew how long.
DD"So here we are again," Sofia commented quietly, wearing her black leather jacket and toting only a small black bag. "I cannot believe so much has happened in so little time."
DDEllis, once more in her street clothes and clutching her suitcase, nodded in apt agreement. "I know. Isn't it hard to believe that this really did happen? We were practically fighting for the sake of the world."
DD"It was all up to us," muttered Kayin Amoh, watching the sun set. "Mankind's last hope, eh?"
DD"So's it seemed," Tracy said with a cocky grin. "But hey, at least we got to kick some ass! And we won, right?"
DD"But did we really win?" mused Eiji Shinjo thoughtfully, carrying his bag and the Hyakko no Tachi, in its sheath. "Is it really over? Who knows? I have a feeling that it's far from over."
DD"Fighter's instinct, right, Eiji-chan?" poked Kayin. "It was right the first time."
DDEiji sighed. "Ee...I suppose it was."
DD"Is it bothering you that much, Eiji-kun?" Ellis questioned, looking up at him. "You think they will be back for us?"
DD"Maybe someday," Sofia said, nodding. "Even with the death of Uranus, there will soon be a replacement for her in the Himitsu Kessha." She glanced into the sun, shading her eyes. "I doubt we will ever be rid of them now."
DD"That's destiny for ya though!" Tracy added smartly. "Maybe this was fate, that we'd all come here, meet each other, and fight for our world." Remembering that she had never been a big believer in destiny, Tracy looked away hastily. "`Least that's what I think."
DD"The red string of destiny..." murmured Eiji, lost in his thoughts again.
DD"What was that?" Ellis asked.
DD"It's a old Japanese belief. That all things are tied by the red string of destiny."
DDSofia smiled. "You never can tell. It could be true. Though we never DID get to fight each other in the elimination rounds...How are we going to know who is the best out of us?"
DD"We could take each other on right now, but we'd probably end up ripping each other to shreds," Kayin laughed.
DD"You may be right." Sofia smiled, but then suddenly took on a questioning look and asked, "Eiji, about last night...why did it take you so long to find Kayin?"
DD"Uh...well..." Eiji said uncomfortably. "You see, the story is..."
DD"I had gone back to my cabin, and then went out again to see if I could get back to the arena," Kayin jumped in quickly. "Eiji and I practically crashed into each other, then argued for a while. Uranus showed up soon after."
DD"Um, yeah," Eiji agreed. "That's right."
DDEllis looked at them suspiciously. "Then why were you all beat up when we found you two, Eiji-kun?"
DD"You didn't kick each other's asses, did ya?" Tracy interjected.
DDSofia grinned. "I sense a lie here."
DD"Really, Sofi-san," Eiji answered hastily, "it was nothing. We just had a little fight, that was all."
DD"All right. If you say so."
DDHowever, Ellis was not satisfied. She pulled Eiji off to one side and hissed, "Oh no, you don't. You were way more thrashed than either of you could have done to each other. What really happened?"
DDEiji smiled sadly, and looked over his shoulder at the setting sun. "I guess you could say I found what I was looking for."
DDEllis's sapphire eyes widened in surprise. "You found your brother??"
DD"In some ways, I did. In others, I didn't." Eiji shook his head. "I have to accept that I'm not always going to understand my niisan. But I can live with that. We're all different people with different minds."
DD"I suppose you're right, Eiji-kun," Ellis said knowingly. She glanced up into his eyes. "Is it true what you said to me...that you'll protect me always?"
DD"Yakusokushimasu, Ellis-chan," Eiji said in a quiet, but kind tone.
DDEllis didn't answer, but instead looked over to where the other three were watching them intently, guessing that this was more than just a little conversation. Ellis blushed, and Eiji, equally embarrassed, called over to them, "No, no, it's not what you think, minna, uh..."
DD"Come on, Shinjo," Tracy laughed. "We all know there's something up between you two."
DDKayin fairly pounced on Eiji. "Want some romance tips from the master?"
DD"Master of morons, you mean," Sofia said, shaking her head.
DD"Hey!" snapped Kayin, insulted. "At least I don't look like a hooker!"
DD"Well," Sofia snidly replied, "at least I do not have to wear kilts."
DDThe whole group laughed at this, even Kayin himself. "So," Eiji began again. "Where are you all headed now?"
DD"I'm goin' back to New York to see if I can get a promotion from this," Tracy answered. "Lieutenant, no...Captain Tracy. Sounds good to me!"
DD"I think I'll return to Scotland," replied Kayin. "There's still some things I have to do. Try to ditch this whole messy business is one. Learning how to forgive and forget is another."
DD"Back to Russia for me," Sofia said. "I am going to try and find out if the Himitsu Kessha is really finished, and if not, I will see to it that they are. And I will try to make new memories for myself, rather than living in a past that exists no longer."
DD"I'm going to go back to my gypsy troupe," said Ellis. "There are children there who need me, and I really do love performing. And maybe someday..." She finished with a determined look. "Someday I'll see my father again."
DD"And I'll start adventuring again," added Eiji. "We're all headed our seperate ways."
DDIt was only then they all realized how much they would miss one another. Eiji put out his hand, palm down, followed by Kayin, Sofia, Ellis, and Tracy.
DD"Until we are united when fate brings us together again," Eiji said softly.
DD"Until then," everyone chorused.
DDAnd with that, the Toshin fighters parted ways. "Until next time, minna!" called Eiji at last. And with a knowing smile, he quietly added one final thing.
DD"Until next time...niisan."P
DDOn a cliff far above, another figure was watching as the five fighters parted. She smiled gladly, and whispered, almost to herself, "They really did do it. I still can't believe it. Five of the most unlikely heroes ever seen since the dawning of time." Her eyes's focus shifted over to the side. "Don't you think so, Sho-sama?"
DD"That's the way destiny meant it to be, Cupido-kun," Sho Shinjo replied, coming up from behind her. He cast a knowing glance downwards at the fighters. "They could have only done it if they believed in themselves and their power. That was all there was to it."
DDCupido nodded. "And our plan worked out well, ne?"
DD"And it will still work out well," Sho replied. "Don't forget, we're still not finished. The Himitsu is far from over, and even though the Master will not find out of your treachery, we have to keep up our little game." Sho looked at his partner approvingly. "But your interfering against Uranus was a risk."
DD"I had to do it. Fate would not have continued if they had died."
DD"And you would know that, Fortuna."
DD"Please, Sho-sama, I'm calling myself Cupido now. I'm still a goddess, just under a different name."
DD"I remember that well." Sho turned away from the cliff's edge. "We must go. There could be suspicions."
DD"Hai." Cupido turned as well and in an instant, teleported out, disappearing into nothingness. However, Sho stayed for a moment after her departure. IGomenasai, Kayin, Eiji.../I he thought sadly. IYour destiny is far from over. Never forget your power, and never forget who you are./I He looked down at the small figure of his little brother, leaving again to search for the continuance of his destiny, and quietly said one phrase. He was smiling.
DD"Until next time...little brother."P
To be continued...BR