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A Life Once Lived/5

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Chapter Five: Violated Edit

Ranma seemed adamant about his decision. "But I don't want her knowing unless its absolutely necessary."

"Well, Ryoga already knows, and you know how good he is at keeping secrets."

"Hell yes, did Akane ever find out who he really was?"

"Yeah. Just before she got sick. She refused to see him for weeks. Then after you died, she didn't care anymore. She just needed a shoulder to lean on."

"So Ryoga showed up. How convienient."

Soun interupted. "It wasn't like that, son. Ryoga showed up just after you, Mousse and Shampoo left. He originally wanted to follow you, but the chances of him actually finding you were... well... you know..."

"But still..."

"I know son", Soun walked over and put his hand up on Ranma's shoulder. "But it wasn't like that at first either. After you died, Ryoga blamed himself, but Akane didn't want him to leave. She needed a friend to lean on, and Ryoga was the only one left. Shampoo had gone back to her village, and Ukyo had been missing for several months. In fact, if it weren't for him, Akane would probably still be in the same condition."

"DAMNIT!", Ranma shoved his fist into the table. "Its not fair. I'm not supposed to be here, I'm not supposed to be alive. If Malebolgia thinks I'm going to serve him, he's got another thing coming!"

Mousse placed his hand on Ranma's free shoulder. "You can count on my help in whatever you need."

Soun nodded. "Yes. Anything."

Kinami smiled. "Hey, don't forget me!"

Nabiki looked up from her account book and mumbled an agreement.

Ranma was about to say something, when the door suddenly swung open. It caught everyone off-guard, especially when they saw who was at the door.


Akane stared open-mouthed and wide-eyed. She had expected her sister and Kinami to be there, but she also noticed her father, a man in a very strange costume. And someone she hadn't seen in a very long time. Someone she had thought was dead. She saw Mousse.

"M.. Mousse?", her mind reeled. Mousse was somewhat distracted, and looking at the man in the center. The man in the red costume. Billions of possibilities ran through her head. Mousse was alive. He was alive, but scarred. If he was alive, could that mean Ranma was alive? If they were alive, could that mean Shampoo had lied? That the last five years of pain were for nothing? That she had made a mistake by marrying Ryoga?

"Uhh... Hi.. uhh.. Akane.. Long time no see..", Mousse greeted.

"Yes, dear.. uhh. Mousse here just showed up. We were going to call you, but we were too busy.. uhh.. going over old times."

"Mousse...", Akane began, "How..?"

"Uhhh... Its hard to explain, Akane. I just.. uhh... well, I managed to survive."

"Ranma..?"

The man sitting in the center of the room shook his head. Soon after, everyone else either followed, or verbally answered her question. Even Kinami.

"I'm sorry Akane, he died.", Mousse informed her.

Akane looked towards the ground. She felt old feelings beginning to swell up. Her tear ducts had started to produce the salty liquid. But she snapped up. *No sense in crying over something you realized a long time ago*, she told herself.

"Mousse, its good to see you again.", she said, then tried her best to keep a straight face. "Has anyone seen Ryoga?"

Everyone snapped up for a moment, and then all started to shake their heads. Even the man in the costume. She finally decided to ask what her mind had been asking for the best few moments since she walked into the restaurant.

"Do I know you?"

The man immiediately shook his head. But the look in the two slits in his cowl told her otherwise. She decided it best not to push the matter. Her suspicions arose for a moment, but a look at her father pushed them back down. Her father wouldn't lie to her, never has, and most probably never will.

"Is pig-boy lost again?", Nabiki asked.

"Yes, he was doing so well too... Oh well, at least he's getting better though."

"He left the dojo around 4:00 today. It's 7:30 now, could he have gotten far?", Soun asked.

"I doubt it. He knows when he's lost, and he knows to stay put if he's hopelessly lost. I'll just drive around some more, I might check Kasumi's though."

"You might want to check out the livestock trucks.", Mousse suggested.

"No, they know to avoid a little black piglet with a yellow bandanna."

"He still wears that?"

"Yep. Even when he sleeps."

"Well, you'd better get out and find him.. We'll keep an eye out for him though."

"Thanks Nabiki. I'll probably be back when I find him. I know he'll be interested in talking to you again, Mousse."

"I'll probably be at the dojo."

"Okay, well... We'll catch up later, okay?"

"Sure."

"I'll introduce you to little Ranma then."

"Little Ranma?", Mousse asked. The man in the costume also seemed to perk up for a moment.

"Yes, my son.", Akane smiled, "I'll explain later."

And with that, she left.

After the door had closed, and Soun walked over to lock it, in efforts to avoid any more intrusions, Ranma began to speak.

"They named they're son... Ranma?"

Soun nodded. "Yes. It was Ryoga's idea. I guess he felt it would honour you."

"Amazing.", Ranma shook his head.

"Well, _THAT_ was certainly unexpected, wasn't it?", Kinami stated the obvious. "Oh yeah, can I ask a dumb question?"

"As if all your questions weren't dumb?", Nabiki quipped.

Kinami stuck her tongue out at Nabiki and then continued. "Livestock trucks? Black pig?"

Ranma looked briefly at Kinami, then looked towards Nabiki. "You never told her about Jusenkyo?"

"Not really. I mentioned _YOU_ were cursed, but I never really brought up how you were cursed, or the fact that there were other people cursed as well."

"Well, before today I don't think I would have believed you. But this guy was shot right in front of me, and you guys are talking about Chi-attacks like its yesterdays news."

"Ranma here.. Well.. Ranma, are you still cursed?", Nabiki asked.

"No. I was in contact with cold water earlier, and nothing happened."

"Okay, well Ranma here was on a training trip with his father about seven years ago. He went to a place called Jusenkyo. He fell in a spring, and was forever cursed to turn into a girl whenever splashed with cold water."

Kinami looked at Nabiki, unconvinced.

"Its true, even Mousse has a curse.", Nabiki looked towards Mousse, "You _DO_ still have the curse, right?"

Mousse nodded. "I do, but I'm not going to demonstrate. I haven't been in cursed form in nearly four months, and I'm not about to start now."

Kinami still looked skeptical. "I can accept the _IDEA_ of curses, but this is ridiculus. I mean, seriously. Changing sexes just by getting splashed with water? I mean, come on! What do you take me for!"

"Actually, Ranma was the only one who changed sexes. Mousse turns into a duck, Ryoga turns into a pig, Genma turns into a panda, and--"

"Genma? Mr. Saotome?", Kinami asked.

Ranma looked up. "You knew my father?"

Kinami nodded. "Yeah, he and your mother were regulars, before they moved."

"ANYWAYS!", Nabiki interupted, "And Shampoo turned into a cat.", she finished as Ranma seemed to tense up for a moment. "Oh, and dont get me started on Tarou."

"You mean that guy that was here a few months ago?"

"Yes, him."

"What was Tarou doing here?"

"What else, looking for Happosai. He worked here for a week until he had made enough money to pay for the information."

"So you told him."

"I told him Happosai was in America, nothing more."

"Why did he work for the information?"

"I don't know. I think he's gotten a bit soft since the last time we saw him."

"So, old Pantyhose went to America."

Kinami looked up for a moment. "Uhh.. Pantyhose?"

Nabiki looked at her friend. "Happosai named him."

Recalling the stories she'd heard of Happosai, she found it easy to believe. "Why didn't he just change it?"

"Oh, some kind of dumb law he follows. Apparently, only Happosai can change it."

Kinami nodded wide-eyed. "You guys certainly are a weird bunch. Hey Mousse, why don't you prove to me you can turn into a duck?"

"I'd rather not, thanks."

"Come on, I wanna see."

"No."

"Just for a minute?"

"NO."

"Ah, your probably faking anyways."

Mousse stood silent.

Kinami waited until that moment to grab the thermos of water at her side and spray it at Mousse. Mousse had apparently been prepared, and was already dodging the stream of water. Soun got a faceful of cold water, however.

"Nice try."

"Oh come on!"

"_NO_."

"Stop already!", Ranma interupted. "Akane has probably already found Ryoga, so we'd better decide whats happening, and fast."

Nabiki agreed, and began to tidy up the restaurant from the previous mess, and Kinami reluctantly helped.

"Yes, you two should come stay at the dojo. Ranma, you haven't slept yet, it may be good for you to get some rest."

Ranma shook his head, "I'm not tired. I don't think I need sleep in this condition anyways."

Mousse nodded. "I doubt I would need sleep after whats happened tonight."

Soun nodded. "Agreed. Nabiki?"

His daughter looked up at him. "Yes Daddy?"

"You and Kinami stop by tomorrow, we'll have to plan whats going to happen about San Francisco."

Nabiki nodded, and resumed her work. Kinami eyed Mousse quickly before continuing. Mousse and Ranma said they're goodbyes and exited, Soun followed soon after, leaving the two women to do their work.

"Eventful day, wasn't it?", Kinami asked.

"Amazingly.", Nabiki replied. "Well, you've met the great Ranma Saotome, even if a little..."

"Living impaired?"

Nabiki chuckled. "Couldn't have said it better myself."

"So, What are we going to do about the restaurant while we're in San Francisco?"

Nabiki shrugged. "Well, I'll probably collect on a favour someone owes me."

"Who?"

Nabiki smiled. "Now Kinami, am I one to divulge my secrets freely?"

Kinami rolled her eyes. "The Ice Queen returns..."

"Hey!", Nabiki shot back, "I'm paying for the trip to San Francisco."

"I guess you've got me there. But I'm assuming your buying one- way tickets until we see who survives the trip?"

Nabiki stared at the floor for a moment. "Kinami... Its not like that. I don't want a death anymore than you do. No price is worth a human life", she looked at her friend. "Frankly, I'm appaled that you would even think that."

"But its a possibility."

Nabiki nodded. "This Kenoru person is powerful if he could defeat Ranma, Mousse and Shampoo all at once. When we get there, we'll have at least three more martial artists with us. Four if Ryoga comes along, and Maybe even Five if Tarou finds Happosai, considering he'd help us."

"Considering this Shampoo and Happosai are still alive."

Nabiki nodded. "Considering. Look, I don't want to even think of that as a possibility. Lets just finish cleaning up, and we'll talk to the group tomorrow. I'll set up some plans for the trip."

Kinami nodded her agreement, and continued.


"Brother dear, I'm home.", the voice came from the entrance of the house.

Tatewaki looked up from the book at his desk and paid attention to his sister. "Yes, sister. I'm in the study."

Kodachi soon showed up in the study and set her breifcase down. "Why didn't you return to work?"

"I had a very... Disturbing experience."

"What happened? From the looks of you, I'd say you had a fight."

He nodded. "Indeed, sister. However I was the dishonourable one."

"Whatever do you mean?"

Tatewaki took the book he was reading and pointed it towards his sister. "Ranma Saotome."

The book was in fact an almanac of Obituaries published in the newspaper over the past several years, and he had picked it up on his way home. The obituary in question was that of Ranma Saotome.

Kodachi remembered the name. She scowled at the thought of the man who had broken her heart for that of Akane Tendo. However, her brother forbade her to do harm to either one.

"What of him?"

"I am beginning to think..", he leaned up towards his sister, "He may not be dead."

Kodachi scoffed. "Of course he's dead. The obituary is right here."

"Yes, but the man I fought today. He called himself... Ranma Saotome."

Kodachi looked at her brother for a moment. "Are you sure? Could you have been mistaken?"

He shrugged in reply. "I do not know. He was hidden beneath a costume and cowl. I could not get an accurate view of him. Most of his body was hidden by his cape and chains, as well as many other.. Rather preturbing ornaments."

"Cape? Chains? What type of Ornaments?"

"Small, jewel-sized replicas of skulls. Whether they be human or not, I do not know."

"Ranma Saotome was not a practioner of the black arts. Why would he have such ornaments?"

"I do not know. My previous beliefs of him as a sorcerer were unfounded. But now I am not so sure."

"What shall we do?"

"I shall go to the Tendo Dojo tomorrow and inquire about it, however I did sense some... Familiarity in him. It could have been him."

"Would you like me to accompany you, brother?"

"No. I am quite able to handle such a situation by myself. If another fight were to break loose, you would not be prepared."

Kodachi nodded. It was true, she hadn't practiced her gymnastics for years now, ever since her father had returned to Hawaii. She hadn't had her heart in it anymore, and just gave up.

"Very well, brother dear."


"Mousse, you may stay in Nabiki's room, just up those stairs and-"

"Second door on the left.", Mousse interupted, "I remember."

Soun smiled and nodded. "Of course. You've been here enough times in the past. And Ranma, you may still have your old room, if you wish."

Ranma nodded and stared off into the night from the tea room. He paused long enough to give an assuring nod and then went back into his trance.

"It's getting late, maybe we should retire for the night.", Soun said, "I'll talk to you two in the morning."

Mousse nodded. "Half past eight. It took us that long to get here?"

Ranma nodded. "We would've been here alot earlier if you two hadn't been talking so much."

"True. But I doubt I'd be able to sleep. I was.. up a little late last night, so my sleep pattern might be a little out-of-sync."

"Mousse?", Ranma asked.

"Yes?"

"You killed someone last night, didn't you?"

Mousse silently nodded. Even without looking, Ranma knew his reply. "Who was he?"

"His name was Gendo Satoni. Scum if there ever was any. His police records showed simple crimes. Theft. Extortion. But I got all the real information I needed on him. Murder. Rape. Arsony. This sicko was into all of it."

"What about Makaro?"

Mousse looked down for a moment. "I wasn't paid to kill him."

"So thats it then. Just kill who you're paid to, and if the guy your working for is worse, then who the hell cares?"

Mousse began to argue. "Its not like that--"

"Isn't it?", Ranma looked towards Mousse, "Makaro would have killed Nabiki if I hadn't shown up when I did. You were just going to stand there and let him do it."

"I... I don't know if I would have let him do it or not. Ranma, over the past five years my emotions have been disappearing one by one. Remorse and guilt were the first to go, but when I found out you were.. Here, they _ALL_ came flooding back. Every life I've taken. Every heart I've broken because of my actions has affected me. They've affected me since the day I first took a life, and to the day I die they'll affect me."

"I'm sure that makes everyone you've killed feel a hell of a lot better."

Mousse kept staring at the floor. "It doesn't change anything. I offered to forfeit my life but--"

"Don't make excuses, Mousse. Its not worth it. The reasons I'm not letting you kill yourself are because A. I need your help, and I'm sure Shampoo does as well, and B. Because if and when you do die, I'm not going to let you take a cowards death."

"Ranma... I--"

"I don't want to hear it. Just go. Have your simple nightmares, and I'll live mine."

Mousse didn't say a word. He got up and walked towards the door. He paused and turned his head to look at Ranma. "Every life I've taken _WILL_ haunt me till the day I die. But I know I deserve it. Ranma, you didn't deserve what happened to you. There is no excuse for it. And I will stand by you to avenge your death, and would give my life if it meant bringing yours back."

Ranma didn't reply. He just stared.

Mousse sighed and walked up the stairs.


"There you are!", Akane yelled from her car window. Outside, the familiar form of her husband perked up and turned to face her.

"Akane!", he yelled, running towards her.

"Thank god. I've been looking for you for the past two hours. Ranma fell asleep in the back seat."

"Is he alright?"

Akane smiled. "Yep."

"Sorry I got lost, I got kinda.. distracted after work."

"Get in, we've got to put him to bed."

Ryoga leapt over the car and opened the door. He quickly slipped in and smiled at his wife, his previous worries nearly forgotten.

"Oh, by the way. I.. uhh.. ran into someone today."

"Who?", Ryoga asked.

"An old friend. Someone we haven't seen in a long time."

"Uhhh", Ryoga suddenly began to tense up. "Happosai?"

Akane chuckled for a moment, "No. Someone who we thought was dead."

Ryoga began to sweat nervously. *How could she know? Did she run into him? Did he run into her?* He decided it best to feign ignorance.

"I give up.", he mustered the courage to say.

"Well, I stopped by Ucchans while looking for you, and Daddy was there, with two other people. One of them was Mousse."

"I'M SORRY AKANE! YOUR FATHER TOLD ME NOT TO TELL--- MOUSSE?!?!?"

Akane looked wide-eyed for a moment. "What? You mean you knew already?"

"Uhh.. Yeah. I was going to surprise you when you got home.. heh heh.", he said. *God I hope she buys this.*

"Thats funny, he said he was going to call and tell me. He never told me he told you."

"Must have.. Slipped his mind?"

Akane laughed. "Well, we're probably going to stop by the dojo tomorrow sometime. We were originally going to go there tonight to catch up, but its too late now."

"Thats okay, it'll be fine tomorrow.", Ryoga said nervously.

Akane nodded. "Right now lets just focus on the task at hand."

Ryoga sighed in relief and agreed.


"So, you've made alot of progress, and in under 20 hours! I'm impressed, Spawny."

Ranma looked suddenly towards the source of the voice. He scowled once he saw who it was.

"What the hell do you want, Clown-boy?"

"Clown-boy? Hoo! Thats rich. But if I were you, Saotome, I'd be showing a little more respect. I trust the old fart told you about me."

"Yeah, the 'vomitor' or something."

The Clown started to chuckle. "Thats 'violator', and I'd thank you not to forget it. Unless of course, you think you can beat me."

Ranma waved his hand. "Go away. I'm not in the mood."

"Oh, how I do love these situations. Lets see now, how does it go. Oh yeah. You tell me to get lost, I push the matter further, you get pissed, then you die a second time. Oh, joy!"

"I said get lost, fatty."

"Fatty? Oh, _THATS_ original. But seriously Spawn, I don't understand what the master sees in you humans, you're weak, emotional beings. And most of you don't have the guts to even watch a decent torture session."

"Does it matter, your 'master' means nothing to me."

"I'd show some more respect if I were you. You don't get to be ruler of hell for several millenia by being disrespected."

"I'll disrespect whoever the hell I want."

"Oh really? Well, then I guess I'll just hafta make you respect him. I suppose if I had a little chat with, say Akane, you would--"

"You touch her and I'll rip your demon head off!"

"Ooh, touched a sore spot eh? Want me to make Akane kiss it better? I can, you know. I can make her do anything I want. I can get her to s--"

"SHUT UP! GET THE HELL OUT OF HERE!"

"Jeez, at least let me finish my taunting before you go ahead and challenge me."

"This won't be a challenge.", and with that, Ranma launched an aerial assault of kicks and punches to the Clown's body. It sent him flying back towards the wall of the grounds, as he smashed into it with great force.

Ranma just grunted and turned away. "Not even.", he muttered.

All of a sudden, a gruff laugh came from the direction of the wall.

"Not bad. It usually takes a bit more than that to finish me off.", he said as he began to glow. "My true form, however is a little bit harder."

The light had come seemingly from underneath his skin. The blood red glow seemed to eminate from under his flesh as it began to ripple, and expand. The flesh seemed to melt off as his true form came forth. The pitch of the laugh changed as the Clowns body turned into that of the Violator.

"Now, Spawn. Lets see you take me like this."

"What the hell?", it didn't come from Ranma, behind him, Mousse had come downstairs to see what the commotion was. He stared wide-eyed at the grotesque form of the demon.

"Mousse, get back inside."

The Violator laughed. "Ahh, a toy. Lets play, shall we?"

"What is it?"

"Mousse, GET BACK INSIDE!"

"Not a very bright boy, is he?"

"But--"

"JUST GO!", Ranma began to launch another aerial attack, this time with some variations. It threw the demon back for a moment, but he just stood there, smiling. If you could call it a smile.

"You think that could take me, Saotome? It may have put the Clown away, but I'm more ready for it."

"KACHUU TENSHIN AMIGURIKEN!", Ranma yelled as he tried to land a flurry of punches on the creature. He succeeded, but unfortunately, Violator just stood there, laughing.

"Interesting Technique. Picked up from the Joketsuzoku, I believe. Well, Saotome, who the hell do you think _THEY_ got it from?"

"What?"

"Talented folks, but they're nothing but a bunch of plagiarists."

"I'm not going to put up with this... MOUKOU TAKABISHA!", The Chi attack flushed outwards from his fists. A Thick black chi-stream hit the demon square in the jaw, but it kept standing there, laughing.

"Your chi has no effect on me. You're a creature of darkness, just like me. Don't even try it."

Ranma refused to give up. He closed his eyes and kept straining for a moment longer. He began to feel dispair welling up inside of him, and for an unknown reason thought of the one thing that had kept him going for as long as he did. Akane.

The chi blast suddenly began to turn slowly from black, to dark red. The demon grunted in surprise as the tickling sensation turned into a slight burning pain.

"Impressive. But it does nothing to me but- UGH!", he flew back against the wall as the beam turned from dark red to a more solid red.

He got up slowly and growled. "That _FUCKING HURT_!", he yelled, and suddenly went into a full attack mode. He blocked every single one of Ranma's attacked, as he laughed. He finally put a stop to it. He picked Ranma into the air with a single hand and began to speak.

"I'm impressed, Ranma. I'll give you that much. But you've got no hope to beat me at full strength. I've gone easy, but you pissed me off, and now you pay the price."

The demon began to squeeze harder and brought his other hand and positioned it over Ranma's chest. He smirked as he began to put pressure on it.

"DIE!", the scream was heard from behind them, momentarily distracting the demon long enough for Ranma to get loose. Mousse has sliced a fair sized gash in the demons side with a kitchen knife, and was busily making identicle slits all over its body.

"Damn you!", he yelled, Ranma began to start attacking the demon in an effort to help Mousse get away.

"Hey, no fair two-on-one!", the demon chuckled.

"Mousse, get out of here, I'm alright now."

"This--"

"GO!"

Mousse frowned for a moment, then threw the knife into the demons back and made a hasty retreat inside the house. Ranma was left to finish the job.

"I'll rip your heart out!", Violator yelled.

"I think you just failed", was Ranma's only reply. The Violator was weakened now, and in pain. But he was still going to win, eventually. He needed some sort of edge. The attack from Mousse had helped, but.. What now?

Mousse had apparently had the same train of thought as Ranma, and quickly came up with an idea. He ran out the front of the Dojo, and into an alleyway. The noises from the battle still extremely loud. He suddenly spotted what he was looking for.

Ranma was quickly getting worn out, and didn't know how much longer he would hold. But then he noticed Mousse, he was no longer inside, but standing on the top of the wall. He had only moments to glance at him, because the fight was taking most of his attention. All he knew was that Mousse was holding something in his hand. He tossed it towards Ranma. Then he noticed.

It hadn't taken effect immediately. Ranma still had to realize what was standing by the edge of the Koi pond, hissing at him. A moment later, a vision of himself as a young man with fish sausage links tied around his neck appeared. He immediately knew what Mousse was trying to do. And Ranma realized, if he was going to win, he would have to submit. He jumped towards the cat and held it in his arms.

The cat was frantically scratching at him, trying to free itself. The demon stood there dumbfounded at what was happening, and shrugged.

"What the hell are you doing?" it asked.

Ranma grunted in response, his heart running into overtime and fear overtaking him. A moment later. It kicked in.

At first, the demon laughed at Ranma, as if it was some kind of joke that he was walking around on all fours, hissing at him like a cat. He wasn't laughing for long, as Ranma launched at him.

The demon hadn't expected it. He had figured that it was some symbol that Ranma was giving up, and found it a humourous distraction. But when it attacked, taking him off-guard, he found it painful and yelled once noticing that Ranma's Chains were now assisting the fight. Violator reached out to try and block another attack, but when Ranma's cape wrapped itself around his arm, and pulled it aside, dislocating the bone, he fell back, having Ranma land on him, and proceed to rip off his flesh as a cat would its prey. It was then that Violator realized, he had no chance in hell of winning. Moments later, it was over, and Violator dissolved into the ground.

Mousse shook his fist in the air and expressed his pleasure from atop the wall. He frowned when he realized he would have to do something about Ranma.

"Whats going on?", Soun asked, groggily rubbing his eyes and comign out into the yard. It had apparently attracted the attention of the creature that had been inhabiting Ranma's mind and sent him running towards him. Soun yelped in surprise, but calmed as Ranma began to rub himself against Soun's legs.

Mousse shook his head. "Might be a bit easier than I thought.", he said as he jumped off of the wall.


The figure that had been silently watching from three rooftops away stared at the figure. *Amazing*, he thought to himself. He had heard of the Cat-fist before, but never had the pleasure of witnessing it. All he knew was that the technique was banned. He smiled under his old beard, his worn face adjusting to the sudden change in shape. Indeed, it had been years since he had used those muscles.

Count Nicholas De Cogliostro jumped down from the rooftop of the building and began to walk. Until moment earlier, he had expected Violator to win, but smiled at the thought of a new spawn being able to best him on the first challenge. Unfortunately, he also knew of the other challenges that would come. There would certainly be an Angel, as well as other abominations that he himself had faced in the past.

He made a mental note to talk to the boy again the next day.


Ukyou sighed in relief as the airplane touched solid ground at the Tokyo International Airport. She watched intently out the window while she waited for the plane to make a complete stop. It was now past Ten at night, too late to worry about going to Nerima. She would have to find a hotel for the night, and leave the next day.

Her mind reeled with possible outcomes of the next day. She would walk right up to her old friends and say, 'Hey, whats up. Sorry for going away for six years, but can ya blame me?'. She frowned inwardly. Of course they would blame her. But this was something she had to do, too many demons had manifested themselves in her closet, and it was time to excorcise some of them. She would leave on a morning train, probably arriving in Nerima around ten in the morning, and set out for a place she knew someone would still be. Her old restaurant. She could envision the route she'd use in her mind. Get off of the train, head down Kasakami street, take a left on Mirasako, and head straight until she reached her restaurant.

Even though the appointed time wasn't until at least a good nights sleep away, she felt the butterflies in her stomach fluttering about. She tried her best to mentally spray them with some repellant, but they remained, still strong and moving.

She glanced at her watch just as the plane came to a complete stop. She removed her seatbelt and prepared to get up, grabbing her carry-on luggage as she watched the stairs extend to the entrance outside.

Ukyou sighed in anticipation. *Soon*, she told herself. *Soon.*

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