Mizuki, Kyoshiro, King, Ryo.
"Haohmaru? I's wondering...that is...how is Mary? Is she recovering? She's not going to die, is she?" asked Kyoshiro. He had just heard the results of the match between Mary and Mizuki.
"Mary's ok, Kyoshiro. When the Demon-Dog came, and altered her, it then rushed Mary. She'll live, but she'll be hurting for a while. I know how this must hurt Terry--and you."
Kyoshiro turned, his heart heavy, filled with thoughts and hopes that after her defeat, she would be free from her curse. They had started to get along well, and maybe, something more. However, Charlotte disappeared, and rumors flew. Amongst them were that Amakusa and Zankuro were working together to bring about their demise.
"Hey, Kyoshiro! Don't be too hard on yourself; it's not your fault--and it ain't hers. We thought she was totally freed from the Demon; it seems we were wrong. We WILL free her, I promise."
"...Thank you. I know we will. I must go and try..."
"You aren't going to try and reach her now, are you? It's insane! Even if you get to her, what's to say her dog won't attack!?"
Kyoshiro was already too far, or more accurately, too deep in thought, to hear him.
He was deep in thought, thinking of what had happened to Mizuki. She was the one to organize the second tournament. The Demon's key had two parts. The first was Mizuki's pride. Her overconfidence let it control her easily. The second, her pet. It held the essence, so that when she came into contact with the innocent animal, it could gain total control of her. This was how it gained control of her the first time. How did it happen this time? The Beast was there, but Mizuki was anything but confident as Mary was beating her--hard. Maybe, deep down, Mizuki somehow called for help, and without knowing, the Demon answered.
Why, he couldn't guess. Perhaps she still had too much pride, and the Demon seized it. He then froze at a familiar, yet dark laugh. He turned, and saw Mizuki. Mercifully, her dog wasn't in demonic form.
After a friendlier, almost girlish giggle, she spoke, saying, "Why hello, Kyoshiro. I knew you would come. You are so predictable. The moment we were reunited, we knew you'd come. Come, talk with me."
After a brief hesitation, he replied, "Why? I thought you had learned from your arrogance before not to try and control the Demon. It's too powerful, and it has possessed you once more. I thought..."
"Ignorant whelp! We are one, now and forever! Mizuki's fate and mine are intertwined. Together, we will rule this world. You may rule under me, or be crushed. It is up to you. Keep in mind, I could easily eradicate you for the final separation. I offer you this chance because I do feel like we can do something together. You may take a few moments to let your mortal mind comprehend all that I've said, as I know it is overwhelming."
Kyoshiro was in disbelief. His mind raced. He knew he couldn't talk her out of it, for the Demon was set in its ways. If he tried to back out, or press for an advantage, she'd fight. In that case, he'd be killed, whether or not the foul beast interfered. So deep in thought was Kyoshiro, that he forgot his weapon. All he could do was stall, and hope that his friends would come.
"Well, Kyoshiro, what is your decision? Serve me, or die!"
"Why are those ALWAYS the choices they give you?" he responded, stalling, "Well...this is a big choice. I mean, what with ruling the world and all."
"NO stalling! Answer!"
"Listen, Mizuki! Granted that we haven't had the time we should, but...I love you! I don't want either of us to be in a death match, yet we know neither of us will change our mind. I had hoped that we wouldn't have to come to this. I don't want to have to face this alone, but I need your help to turn the Demon away!"
"Why, Kyoshiro, I didn't know you felt that way. I guess we know what's next!" the words had just reached his ears, when the dog howled, seemed to explode, and rammed into Kyoshiro. A dark void then sucked him down, through the ground. He then reappeared before Mizuki, stunned.
She put her foot on his stomach, lifted her blade above her head, and spoke in a voice of Death, "It's a shame, my love. I knew you would pick this path, but I felt obliged to let you try and say otherwise. Sadly, you must die. Pity, I guess we will never know, will we?"
The blade came slashing down, and Kyoshiro shut his eyes. He then heard Mizuki yell in pain. He opened his eyes to see a triangle fade. He then saw a long burst of power overhead, knocking Mizuki out.
"It seems that we are just in time," said Charlotte, followed by Haohmaru.
The beast looked around, confused. It picked up her blade, delicately put her on its back, and took off. Kyoshiro whispered for Mizuki, but she couldn't hear him. Maybe, her soul would.
"Come on, Kyoshiro. I'll help you up. You've been through a lot, my man. Hey, Charlotte! You coming?"
Charlotte was looking toward the direction Mizuki had been taken. She knew that in time, Mizuki would seek payback, in blood! She had a lot of work: her fight, Shizumaru, Haohmaru, Amakusa, Zankuro, and Mizuki. She recalled a saying from her time in the 20th: "A woman's work is never done!"
How far would you go for someone you love? It doesn't have to be for that one special person in you life. I doesn't even have to be a friend. What if it was a member of your own family, say a brother or sister? Granted, siblings are a pain, getting into our lives, reading about our personal life, and hacking into our computers. At times, it may drive you mad (insane or otherwise), to the point that you want to just get them outa your life.
Suppose that there is only you, and a much younger sibling, and that there are no other members of your family. Now, imagine that they were often in need of medical attention, expenses that financially put you to the point of breaking. No matter how hard you work, there always is just enough cash for the two of you to just "get by."
What if you were a partner of a medium sized business, and your partner had made a few poor decisions, meaning that your funds were cut even more. To add to that, your sibling is once again in the hospital. This time, if there isn't the money for the needed treatment, the kid will die. What would you do? Would you do business with a devil to save the last member of your family? King knows she would.
"Eh? Who's there? What do you want? Oh, King. Sorry. It's just with all this madness, I guess I'm kinda jumpy. What's wrong? You look like someone you love died."
King merely came closer, and was now in the very crude gym. She walked around, deep in thought. She was always quiet, thinking, and was hot to boot. King was a great person, but rarely spoke her mind, nor did she come right out with answering questions. This time, it was slightly different. She sat in a folding chair. With a look of concern, Ryo sat across from her at the small table.
"So, what's wrong, King? Something is eating at you. What is it?"
"I've been thinking of our history together. When we first met, I was working for Mr. Big as a bouncer. You had a mission, to free Yuri. It was at that time that it was revealed that as to who I really was. You cost me that job, probably the one that paid the best. I was irate, and wanted to rip you apart."
"Yea, I recall," Ryo laughed, "You probably would have succeeded too, had Yuri not been there. I was totally unready, and to be honest, I had never fought a woman outside of sanctioned fights. After the ordeal with Big, Yuri had to be hospitalized. There, she met Jan, and you. You became good friends, and little sis saved big bro's ass."
Suddenly, King asked, "Ryo, do you ever wonder about dreams and their relations to your life?"
"Well...sometimes. Not too often though. Why do you ask?"
"I don't want to seem silly, but I had a disturbing dream...it was about Jan. You don't mind hearing it, do you?"
He said no, so she began. She had asked him to come over to the club. Duck King had made some real bad calls, and they had to tighten up with cash. Jan had to be rushed to the hospital last night. Money was too tight, and she couldn't afford to pay the bills on her own. She asked him to come to see if he could help, and Robert and Yuri came too. That was when disaster struck. As they pulled up, they were hit head on by a drunk in a 16-wheeler. All of them died.
"A drunk, in a 16-wheeler? An accident in which we all died? Come on, King. That's kinda nutty!"
"It's a dream, Ryo! Dreams don't always make sense!" and King continued.
Now, King was really devastated. Business was slumping, her kid brother could be terminally ill, and now the three people who were like family to her, especially the man she loved, was now dead. Alone, that is how she felt, and what her thoughts turned to. A week later, she attended their funeral. She wished that Mai, Kagura, and Todo were there, but had no way to reach them.
That night, after work, but before visiting Jan, a huge limo pulled up.
"You! We are through, Big! You let me go because I was a woman. There's nothing..."
"Not so fast, Kingy. Although I wasn't behind it, I wish I was. They cost me a lot. Of course, I couldn't even thank them, for they died too. I guess that way's less painful."
"I don't care for your sick thoughts. I'm gone!"
"Ah, but visiting hours won't end for a few hours. I'm sure you would be interested in a small business proposition, hmm?" and with a snap, the driver opened the door for her.
She looked at him like he was crazy, to which he pointed toward the hospital, knowing that Jan was there. Praying for forgiveness and that she is doing the right thing, King entered. She sat across from him, and looked out the window, disgusted by the hoes that sat near him. Big laughed, and King watched the hospital slowly vanish.
"As I'm sure you are busy, I'll make this one fast. Spend some time with Jan tonight, to help you decide if you've made the right choice. Then, come in tomorrow, and we will set you up. What do you say?" and he smiled as she slowly nodded.
"Hi, sis. How was your day?" Jan asked, dreamily as his older sister sat down.
"Ok. I've been doing a lot of things, mostly thinking. Mostly of you."
"Heh. Always looking out for me to help you get ahead. What have you been thinking of?"
"Oh, how much I love you, and that I'd do anything for you. I'd make a deal to work with a devil if need be, my angel."
Jan laughed, before replying, "You always do get so into these things, sis. Too many movies. Will you stay until I'm asleep?"
King was about to reply, when a nurse put her hand on King's shoulder, and said she could.
The next day, she was back in her old stomping grounds. She guessed it wouldn't be too bad. This, and her club would help pay for Jan.
"Hello King. Now, to business. Alas, you won't be able to have your old job, as I have several bouncers of that kind. Instead, you'll be a bouncer of the other kind--the one befitting a woman."
King flushed with rage from the suggestion, pushed him and slammed him into the back wall. However, Big laughed mockingly.
"Ah, ah, King! Temper, temper! If you don't do this, then how will Jan live, eh?"
"I didn't know what to do. I knew I had no way to raise the cash in time. I vowed to do anything, even dealing with a devil. The worst experience EVER! Each and every time, I did whatever was wanted. Although they said I was like a zombie, they were always satisfied. Thinking of Jan was the only thing to keep me under control. He's my young, special brother. At times, he's like a son. I knew I'd do this for him, as any ma would do for her boy."
Finally, Jan's time came. King waited, nervous and felt like she would die. The doctor came out, and King shot past him, the only thought in her head was Jan. He was laying in bed, in a deep sleep.
"Ms. King, I'm sorry," but before he could go on, she turned on him and lifted him off his feet by his neck.
"S-sis? What are you doing? Why are you so mad?"
She dropped him, and turned to Jan, tears swelling.
"Oh, Jan, I'm sorry. It's just that I gave it my all, and I failed."
"No, you didn't. You are everything for me: my sister, mama, and even papa!" he laughed, and after a bit, King did too.
"Jan...soon, we'll be apart. This time, you'll watch over me. I wish I could go with you. I'd be able to protect you from anything...But you're strong...and will survive."
"Yep. We both know I'm the strong one. I think I recall Tiny Tim saying `God bless us, everyone!' I think He's watching over us, don't you?"
"Yes. After all, he sent me an angel!"
"He smiled, and asked me to hug and kiss him goodnight--and that was all. My last connection to the living--gone. Then, I woke up."
There was a knocking at the door, and they both looked at each other blankly, and went to open the door.
Before them was Joe, Andy, Terry, and Kim. Joe spoke.
"I'm sure you're wondering what we're doing here. Well, we've decided to pool our stuff to help you, and Jan."
Tears fell down her face and she smiled at the offering her friends made. She thought to what Jan had said: "God bless us, everyone!"
I've chosen not to reunite Mizuki and Kyoshiro because Mizuki is better known as the boss of SS2. Keep watching though; it'll happen.
As for King-Ryo, trying something new. Let GFD know what you think.
Happy Holidays...any donations to GFD is gladly welcomed ;)