[FFML] [R1/2] Hearts of Ice, Epilogue
skyefire at skyefire.org
Mon Jun 29 10:35:37 PDT 2009
Krista Fisk wrote:
> 13 years.
> I started this fic in July of 1996. And now, with the exception of
> whatever editing I do thanks to whatever C&C is provided, it is done.
> Complete. Over. The story I set out to tell has been told.
> Hopefully you enjoy it.
It was worth the wait.
> *Shampoo,* thought Cologne. *I do this for love and honor of only you.*
> *Please... be happy, child.*
> Cologne plunged the dagger into her chest, aiming for her heart.
> She did not miss, and as she fell, she caught the scent of mold on
> the wind and felt the caress of Yin Wu Ch'ang Kuei's cold, dead hand on
> her face....
...so, Cologne throws herself on the grenade for Shampoo.
I have to say, your characterization of Cologne really works. She's...
nuanced. She's not blindly following her laws like a zealot, and
honestly dislikes using the Dragon's Blood spell on Akane... but once
she's taken the first step, absolutely refuses to turn aside until the
bitter end. Sort of Lawful-Neutral, in a way.
> Obviously pleased that he had finally gotten a reaction out of his
> tengu friend, Susa-no-o smirked. "Well, for one thing, who in their
> right mind would want to spend one more moment than necessary in Hoso-no
> Kami's disgusting body?" Susa-no-o shuddered dramatically. "I only
> wanted to stick around long enough to see how things turned out. The
> Council, they're so ridiculous. As if sending me to Yomi was
> punishment. I guess they don't remember that Daddy Izanagi created me
> by washing off excess Yomi after he visited here trying to get Mom to
> leave. Had to 'purify' himself after coming to the land of the dead,
> and blew me right out of his nose." Susa-no-o threw up his hands and
> waved them in mock distress. "Oh, no, don't banish me to Yomi! Please
> please *please* don't throw me in that there briar patch!"
I should'a known.
> Susa-no-o chuckled. "I think he finally realized that, after coming
> to terms with his feelings for Akane, then facing down and utterly
> conquering his worst nightmares, and then even coming back from the dead
> all for the sake of the woman he loves... well, what could be so scary
> about marrying her?"
> Masakazu barked a laugh. "He has no idea."
> "That's right," Susa-no-o agreed seriously. "Dying is easy.
> Marriage is *hard*."
Wait, I thought that was comedy... never mind.
> Masakazu snorted, then gestured to the board. "So are we going to
> play or what?"
> Pouring himself another cup of sake, Susa-no-o settled down
> comfortably on the other side of the board, drank, and immediately moved
> a piece. "Your turn."
Wonder if they play like Soun&Genma?
...actually, one could make a case that Masakazu and Su-boy, and the
parts they play in Ranma and Akane's lives, could be characterized as
what Soun and Genma could/would have been if they weren't so screwed up.
> "That's the ring," Nabiki said, watching as the rain steamed in the
> cool around Ryoga. "As long as you wear it, no cold water will ever
> touch you."
Funny to notice how, after everything else that happened, clearing up
everyone's J-Curse problem is almost an anticlimactical afterthought.
> Somewhere, deep in a dark corner of Ryoga's soul, a part of him
> wanted to say, no thank you. Celebrate without me, I don't really need
> to see Ranma and Akane together as husband and wife, even if they do
> think of me as their friend...
> The rest of Ryoga, the part that, for the first time in a long time,
> saw real hope in the future, stomped on that deep dark part firmly.
> Ryoga found himself smiling at Nabiki and saying, "Okay."
I remember liking the amnesia-period Ryouga, way back when, and being
worried that he'd revert after he got his memory back. Glad to see
things are working out for him.
> This boy had dared defy his authority over the dead and had found a
> means to return to life without his power. This boy needed to be taught
> that one did not escape the inevitable that easily. It was time to end
> this farce now. The god of the dead leaned over and reached toward the
> boy's face.
"Saotome School Neo Technique: GOD-KILLING FIST!"
> "Well," he said gruffly. "It's unconventional. But," he continued
> as a crestfallen look spread across her face, "I suppose I could do as
> you ask. *If* this is what you truly desire."
> The look of devastation was replaced with wild hope. "It is, my
> lord. This is what I desire. Take my life and spare the boy."
> Emma-O sighed. "I do this for your sake, and for the sake of the
> ages of service you have faithfully rendered. Yuki-onna, rise and take
> my hand."
> Incredulously, the Snow Woman stood, reached out and took his hand.
> "Take one last look at this one for whom you sacrifice your life and
> tell me that this is what you want."
> Yuki-onna looked down at Ranma and Akane. They slept peacefully,
> and even in their sleep, they looked happy.
> She looked at Akane. *For you, my dear one.*
> She lifted her gaze and looked at Emma-O. "I desire nothing more
> than this. I am ready."
> Emma-O looked at her, and deep black eyes seemed almost sad. "Then,
> my dear lady, I take your life for his."
> Yuki-onna gasped as there was a sudden, wrenching pull....
...and so, all debts are paid. Strange, how you took me from very
nearly despising Yuki-san to actually being sad that it had to end this way.
...except, of course, that:
> Yuki-onna stumbled forward in a daze, unable to comprehend it all.
> Grandchildren, her daughters said. And great-grandchildren. And
> great-great grandchildren. They all came to her with smiles and welcomes.
> "You know, usually it's the ancestors who greet the descendants, not
> the other way around," said a teasing voice.
> Yuki-onna turned, and there was Shin.
> He smiled at her. "Yuki... beloved. Welcome home."
> And it was only then, as she ran to his open arms that she realized
> she was crying, weeping tears of joy.
> The tears on her face were warm.
Emma-O seemed a big enough jerk, I have to wonder if this was just
lucky chance... or if the Big D actually has a spark of compassion to him.
But... nothing about Ukyo and Nabiki's sinister plot to take over the
world of fast food? Surely they own half of PepsiCo by now! :)
> Though they go mad,
> they shall be sane
> Though they sink through
> the sea, they shall rise again
> Though lovers be lost,
> love shall not
> And death shall have no dominion.
> ~Dylan Thomas
If there was a closing credits song to go here, Rush's "Bravado" leaps
to my mind.
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