Subject: [FFML] [Ranma][Mystery] Finding the Past - Prologue
From: Firestorm2004
Date: 11/17/2005, 5:39 PM

                  *           Finding the Past          * 
                  *           By Firestorm2004        *
  Prologue - Remembrance 
     Akane sat down on her bed and turned on the stereo she had in the corner.
Swapping through the five CDs she had previously loaded, she picked the one
she thought best suited her current mood. *After all,* she thought as she
pressed play on the remote. *Nothing like Evanescence to make you more
depressed.* She changed it to the correct track, and then lied down on her
bed as the song started playing.
         "I still remember the world,
        from the eyes of a child.
        Slowly, those feelings were clouded,
        by what, I don't know."
     *Yes,* she thought, *I certainly can remember the world from when I was
younger. Life was so much simpler. No classes to teach, no sisters to need
babysitters. If only the bliss had continued. Sure, there was school, but I
was at least, somewhat happy.*
         "Where has my heart gone?
        An uneven trade for the real world.
        Oh, I, I want to go back to,
        believing in everything 
        and knowing nothing at all."
     *Where has it gone?* she thought. *With a young man who disappeared five
years ago, never to return. Why did he have to go? I know life here wasn't
exactly easy; hell, I probably made it worse for him, but if he'd only stuck 
around, we� we might've actually gotten somewhere. At least, right before he 
left, we stopped fighting so much. Life was getting better. He'd dropped 
almost all of the other fianc�es, much to both of our relief. In fact, 
Shampoo was the only one to continue to pursue him, and we where working on 
a way to stop her too. So, why? Why did he have to die?*
   Akane's thoughts turned to the darker side as she reflected what'd
happened over five years ago. Every time she heard this song, her thoughts
and feelings would return to, what she dubbed, her 'darkest year'. What made 
it worse, was she always chose to listen to the song, knowing it put her in
that mood. In some ways, it was like her way of remembering what'd happened, 
making sure she'd always pay homage to the man who'd changed her life; for
better, and for worse.
         "I still remember the sun,
        always warm on my back.
        Somehow it seems colder now."
     *How true,* she commentated as she continued to listen to the song. *It
does seem to be darker now days, but is that because you're no longer here?* 
she asked her memories. She'd asked that question like clockwork, every
single time the song was played, or she was just thinking about her fianc�e
in general. Life hadn't been easy for her, and this, although it was
depressing, was one of her ways to unwind.
         "Where has my heart gone?
        Trapped in the eyes of a stranger.
        Oh, I, I want to go back to,
        believing in everything."
         "Iesu, Rex admirabilis
        Et triumphator nobilis,
        Dulcedo ineffabilis,
        Totus desiderabilis."
     Even though she didn't know what the French part said, she still couldn't 
believe how closely the song fit her relationship with her fianc�e, even 
when he'd died. Just like in the song, her heart was trapped with him. Sure, 
she was asked out a lot by everyone, but she never dated. Many claimed it 
was just to cheer her up, but Nabiki kept telling her there were ulterior 
motives. Either way, she'd never accepted.
   Shinnosuke had asked her once, when he'd managed to leave the forest
where he was living and went to Tokyo. It'd been a year after the funeral, 
but he'd just heard about it. She'd just begun to come out of her 
depression, and didn't really appreciate the way Shinnosuke acted like the 
boy she loved wasn't important. He quickly got the idea to never try dating 
Akane again. It'd only taken two broken arms for her to get that across, 
     Kuno, on the other hand, was the most surprising one out of all her 
'suitor's. Everyone expected him to be jumping around, shouting for joy and 
trying to date Akane, but he never did. When he came to the funeral, 
everyone was surprised by the way he was quiet. He hardly spoke a word, 
except for his parting words to the closed casket. <"I have never found a 
better opponent, nor a truer man."> No one ever questioned his speech, but 
it was passed around the town for months following.
     After about two years, Nabiki finally did something productive with her 
life. She asked Kuno out on a date. Surprisingly, he readily accepted. Soon, 
the two were a regular item. They'd gotten engaged, then married just last 
year. There'd been a bet going on around the town, without Nabiki knowing, 
about whether she was after his money, or not. Akane knew differently. 
Nabiki wasn't the type to marry for money. She'd much rather earn it, so 
Akane knew it was for love. Plus, seeing her sister's happy face helped that 
decision even more.
         "Where has my heart gone?
        An uneven trade for the real world.
        Oh, I, I want to go back to,
        believing in everything."
     The song continued to play in the background as Akane reminisced. This 
was strange for her, though. She'd never been able to listen to the song 
this long without breaking out into tears or becoming horribly depressed. 
*Maybe I'm finally moving on,* she thought, not liking the idea. To be 
truthful, she never wanted to move on, or find another person to become 
engaged to. 
     Her father had made the mistake once, as had a lot of other, broken and 
beaten men, but she'd refused. He'd even tried to get her to accept the new 
engagement by claiming it was necessary for the honor of the school. Well, 
she'd set him straight. She out right told him, she was not marrying anyone, 
and bringing the school in on it wouldn't do any good. If he tried, she'd 
fight, or quit the school. He'd eventually backed off.
     The song always reminded her of her engagement, and she thought that 
might be why she'd listen to it regularly. It seemed to remind her of her 
promise to not marry anyone else. Of course, she still wished she could go 
back in time and change the past. Go back, and trust others.
         "Oh, where, where has my heart gone,
        Trapped in the eyes of a stranger.
        Oh, I, I want to go back to.
        Believing in everything."
         "I still remember�"
     *I still remember you, Ranma,* she mentally told him. *And I hope you're 
happy, wherever you are. I hope you're proud of me, too. I've worked hard, 
to become the martial artist you should've been, I should've been. I'll be 
it for both of us. I miss you.*
     A man walked down the road, seeming to ignore everything around him. He 
was covered with dust and grim, which drove everyone who came across his 
path to move away. It was like he was a plague, and if you got close, you 
might catch it. The man did not care who came near and who didn't. The faded 
white cloak protected him from the sun's heat, so he didn't see a reason to 
worry about anything else.
     Up head, he could see a sign. 'Welcome to Nerima' it said. Nerima, that 
was where he needed to go. Why? He had no clue. He hoped to find the answers 
when he arrived at his destination. He pulled the cloak closer as the wind 
tried to push it away and continued on his journey. A journey of 
  Disclaimer: I do not, in any way, shape, or form, own Ranma One-half or the 
  song by Evanescence. The rights belong to Rumiko Takahashi, Viz Video, and
  the artist. This is a fanfic, for the sole purpose of enjoyment. I own only the plot 
  of the story and a few OCs.

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