Canto 32: Partings!
"Well, the idea does sound crazy, Joe. Then again, before we went on this 'trip,' you would have called my insane if I said we could time travel."
"All right! Let's stop stalling, and start talking about this plan of yours, King."
"Patience, Haohmaru. With all that we have done, we must be careful, so as to not damage the already tattered fabric of time."
Haohmaru looked annoyed at Hanzo, and was going to reply, when Charlotte lightly jabbed him in the ribs with her elbow.
Hanzo, and the rest who had recently fell at the madness unleashed by both Ryuji and Genjuro were lucky. This time, there were no fatalities. Several people were severely hurt, and some needed a lot of time to heal, before they could be of any help to the others. The main thing was that they still lived.
"Hey Ling! What's up girl?"
"Hi Joe. I am thinking about what King's talking about. If there is a way for us to--save the ones who died; I would rather have ended our relationship on better terms. The way Rick and I..."
"Don't worry, kid-o. As crazy as it may seem, she does have a point. Until this tournament, I wouldn't have believed time travel to be real. Whatever she has planned, I'm sure it will work out. Then, you and Rick can take as much time as you need. I'll be waiting for you."
"Thanks, Joe!" she threw herself around him, and hugged him tightly, and they each kissed, knowing that it was all over.
"This is my idea. It isn't much, but I think it is a start. We use their time traveling technology and not only do we return home, we use it to save the lives of our friends."
"How do we do that? More importantly, how do we contact those guys in the 'future,' and tell them to pick us up?"
"Galford, I have an idea. Hisame, show them that strange thing we found."
"It looks like a tracer of some kind. It's probably what they use to let their men know to reopen it," Andy answered.
"Now that we have it, I think I know your plan, King. We have those bums pick us up. Then, we use that, and get them before their moment of death, right?"
"That's my plan, Ryo."
"Then let's go people! The sooner we get started, the sooner we can get back to our lives."
"One thing, Sieger. They may not be too willing to simply give us control of the machines. How are we supposed to gain control of it?"
"Easy, Kim," Mai answered, "You just leave it to me and my girls. We'll handle it."
There was that mischievous look in her eyes, one that was shared by her friends.
The portal opened, and the girls went through, and Mai's plan went into action.
It worked out perfectly. There were only four of them. They were almost instantly met with a hostile home-coming, but with Mai's fast-talk, they were out of it, and were making some hot moves on the guards. They were all trapped in the ladies' spells, and were easy to take out. As if inspired with one thought, each of them struck a guy in his groin, before slamming his head into the ground.
"What took you so long?" asked Mai.
"MAI! They're all out! Now how are we supposed to use this machine? None of us know how to run it!"
"Oh. Sorry, Andy."
"I think I found the 'instruction manual.' But I can't understand a word of it. It's, technical."
"Give it to me, Terry. This is my specialty."
It took Ling a few minutes to read through it, and to check how everything in the book related to the actual machine. A few more minutes, and it was running.
"Man, I love you, baby!"
"I know, Joe. Let's do it!"
With a few flips and turns, the machine was alive, and they went through, to prevent the horrid deaths from ever occurring. They would appear as portals of light right next to the person, and then pull them in. Thus, they were sparred their deaths, and were to live a while longer. The explanation wasn't satisfactory, but considering the alternative was death, they didn't argue. They would complain about it later.
"Well, Haohmaru, I guess this is where we part."
"So it would seem, Terry."
"Listen, boys! This thing's running low on power. We are all here, but if you guys ever want to get back home, you'll have to go now!"
"What about Amakusa, Geese..."
"It seems they had a fail-safe, Charlotte. They've already been warped to their places, although they are still out. If you want to be there when they are, then you had better move it!"
Each side took a last look, for respect of their opponents, and the Samurais were gone, back to their own time.
No sooner had the portal closed behind them, than they were in the middle of Amakusa's fortress, with his followers a around them, ready to engage in combat.
"Isn't this where we left of?"
"Who cares, Galford? Let's rock!"
Again, as they had before, they tore into the soldiers. This time, they had added help, from warriors who weren't a part of their initial group. It was going faster than before, when they were suddenly scattered by a violent blast.
"Fools! None shall challenge the might of Zankuro! All who do.."
"Are roadblocks to me. Now that I have my orb back, it is time for my revenge, demon. Don't think I didn't know that it was you that had 'killed' me! Now, we settle it!"
"Agreed. It will mean so much more when I kill a fighting fool."
In a blink, they were gone, and the entire fortress started to shake, and crumble. Hanzo also vanished, determined to find his son, and free him from his curse. The rest of them fled, knowing that if they stayed, they would be crushed under it.
Now that they were far enough from it, they watched it from a distant hillside, as smoke arose from it, and the building itself collapsed. What happened to those still inside? What happened to Hanzo? Would they find out?
On the opposite side of the hills, Genjuro slowly pulled his way out of the few pieces of rock that had fallen on him. He was mad that he had lost the orb, and right out pissed that Haohmaru had gotten away from him again. One day...
"Now that this is over, I return to my sire, and to my bride."
"Keep well, Sieger."
"You also, Galford."
Kazuki and Sogetsu quietly left the group, as they had spotted their sister. They promised to explain it to her, later. She had told them that they had come, but friends warned her, and she was able to escape. She made her way here, to where Kazuki had said they would be. She was glad to be with them once more. Everyone wished their friends luck, and parted.
"Are you going with Haohmaru and Charlotte, Shizumaru?"
"I, uh, don't know. You're going back with Nakoruru and Galford, huh?"
"Hisame! You can stay with them. Charlotte and I can handle ourselves. You want to be with Rimmy. Now, you'll be able to have a life that you need. You won't get much of one with me. You've your chance, kid. Go for it!"
"Thank you, Haohmaru," he hugged his 'brother,' and followed them as they went to the girls' village.
"I think you handled that well, Haohmaru. Your technique still needs improving, but that will come, with enough practice."
"So, how about you help me to practice, Charoltte."
He took her hands in his, and brought her close to him. She could hardly believe that he was finally making a move, without her getting him to. Then, she pushed him away, but gently. She said it would wait until nightfall, when they weren't out in the open, and could have privacy.
I swear, as long as I live, I'll NEVER understand women! Haohmaru then sighed, and followed her, on their long journey back home.
"They are happy together, aren't they, Galford?"
"You know it. It looks like Hisame won't have much to worry about, now."
"Will you return to the US?"
"It doesn't matter where I go, so long as I can make sure justice is met, just like it doesn't matter where you go to protect mother nature. Besides, I wouldn't want you to get bored, with me not around."
No sooner had she opened her mouth, then he put his over hers, and caught her with a deep kiss. Unfortunately, their animal friends pulled at them, and they knew they had to move, before nightfall. Night wasn't the best time to fight, as long as it could be helped. Later, they each thought.
"Once again, The Three Lone Wolves have emerged victorious. Chalk up another win for the Master Of The Universe!"
"Actually, Joe, Terry is the one who came out on top."
"Hey! Would you stop ruining my perfect moments of victory! What is it with you, anyway?"
"Oh, nothing much, Joe. You just happen to be an easy target!"
"I should show you you're place, Mai!"
"Oh no! Andy! Save me!"
"You go, Joe!" encouraged Ling.
"I sometimes wonder about them, Terry. After all of this, and they can just act like it hasn't even happened. I just can't forget about it that easily, especially Ryuji..."
"It's ok, Mary. It's over now. It's time for us to live again, and worry about the next fight when it comes."
"King, are you ok? You know you did very good. You made it all the way to the finals. Out of us all, there was only one who could stop you. Maybe, you'll win in a rematch...You're worried about Jan, aren't you?"
All she did was nod to answer him. Now that they were finally back, she had to see her brother. He wasn't feeling too well, when she had left. She hoped that by returning, it would help him, even if it was only a little. She would be glad to learn that it had.
"This isn't over!"
"Hey! Hey! Hey!"
"Not again! Can't you two stay down?"
"You can only wish, Kim. The boss and I got other plans."
"Not so fast, Geese. You have forgotten about Krauser, and myself."
"Laurence? Krauser? Most, unexpected. Another time, then. Billy!"
"Have it your way, Geese. Krauser doesn't forgive so easily. Next time, it'll be your end."
What Krauser didn't mention was that he was still feeling weak from the drug. He could fight, but not for long. It wasn't fatal, but it was still enough to drain him fast in a battle with any of them. Thus, the two crime lords, with their escorts, left. Having allegiance to neither, Axel left on his own.
Several days had past, and they were all getting ready for their special edition tournament. Half of the winnings were to go to local orphanages and children's homes and hospitals. King had insisted on handling the new make-over of the club, never once allowing Duck King to forget about his choice and what happened last time.
"Hey! Get back here, you little brat! Kids aren't allowed in here!"
"It's ok, Tom. He's my brother."
"Thanks, sis. You've been so busy, since you've come back. You haven't spoken to me much. I'm just wanting to see what's up."
She grabbed him tightly, and hugged her kid brother. He mumbled to ease up, and she did, slightly red. He said he'd wait for her at home, and not to be late!
"He's a good boy. He learns from a great guardian."
"You're trying to hit on me, Ryo."
"I guess I'm not that subtle, am I?"
"That's the way I like you."
"Think fast, Andy!"
Mai was dressed in a wedding outfit, and tossed a bouquet to Andy. It landed in his arms, and before he could react, she tackled him, and kissed him.
"If you ever break me with those stunts..."
"...It would be a miracle. Oh, you mean that way. That's ok; I've always wanted to play nurse!"
Mai then whispered in his ear that instead of paying for her jeans he messed up, she would join her and the girls while they went shopping. Mai giggled again; Andy groaned.
Joe and Rick were training together. Each gave the other some pointers, and each had a new respect for the other man.
Rick let Ling go. They took some time, and they each came to an understanding. They would still keep in touch, which was enough for each. Each warned Joe that if he tried to keep in touch with Ling the wrong way, there'd be trouble.
"Come on! You really think that I would do that?"
"YES!" they each replied.
Then, they all laughed.
Terry knocked on Mary's door. She said he could come in. He asked if she was ready to go. They still had another hour to go! Terry said it would be good to leave early, to get a good warm-up. She snatched his cap, and threw it across the room. She then grabbed his arms, and said that she'd give him a warm-up he'd never forget!
So, there you have it! This ends FFvSS! The winners are the choices of the voters. I hope it's been as fun to read as it has been to write. I'll soon be posting what I plan to do next! Thank you all for your support! (=