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WFY Epilogue: Till Death Do Us Part

Waiting For You
A Ranma 1/2 Fanfic By Stiffanie Flores

Disclaimer : Ranma 1/2 and all characters belong to Rumiko Takahashi. This fanfic is written for enjoyment and self-fulfillment purposes only.

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I need to talk with you again,
      Why did you go away?
All our time together
      just feels like yesterday.
I never thought I'd see
      a single day without you.
The things we take for granted
      we could sometimes lose.

And if I promise not to feel this pain
      will I see you again?
'Cause time will pass me by
      maybe I'll never learn to smile,
but I know I'll make it through
      if you wait for me.

And all the tears I cried
      no matter how I try,
      they'll never bring you home to me
            won't you wait for me in heaven?

Do you remember how it was
      when we never seemed to care?
The days went by so quickly
      'cause I thought you'd always be there.
And it's hard to let you go
      though I know that I must try.
I feel like I've been cheated
      cause we never said goodbye

And all the tears I cried
      No matter how I try
      They'll never bring you home to me
            won't you wait for me in heaven?

'Cause i miss you so
      and i need to know
            will you wait for me?

- Will You Wait For Me?

[Final entry in Tendo Akane's diary. Date : two days before her death]

It's been so long. Sometimes, I still can't believe that Ranma's dead. It's as if I wake up every morning half-expecting that this is all just a bad dream. But it's real.

I thought I could forget him. In a way, perhaps I have. I can think about him now without crying, and other people can bring up his name without being afraid I'd make a scene. It has been two years, after all. I have to get on with my life.

Once I had thought that without Ranma, I had nothing to live for. Overcome with grief at the news of Ranma's death, I'd tried to kill myself. In a blink of an eye, my world had turned upside down. My fiance - the person I love... he's dead. I didn't even have the memory of his love to tide me over, because I didn't know if he truly loved me.

But he did. My family and friends have assured me that he did, and I believe them. I have to believe he did, or else I would go insane. That's all I have now - painful, and yet so precious memories.

I remember him sitting beside my hospital bed, holding my hand, his blue-gray eyes filled with concern as he watched over me. During that time, his was the last face I saw before I drifted off into unconsciousness, and when I woke up, he was still there, watching over me.

He left on a journey to find a man who knew a cure for the poison, my family told me. He left to find a cure to save me, as I'd once again managed to get myself into trouble, leaving it up to him to come to my rescue. Nothing too surprising.

Except now, he never came back. He was gravely injured, Ryouga told me, after fighting the bandits who were taking advantage of two young girls.

That's my Ranma. Brave, honorable Ranma. He would never turn his back on anyone in need, even when he was in a hurry to get back to me. I would always remember him like that. He never turned his back on me, either. If not for me, maybe Ryouga could have gotten him treatment in a nearby village and he would have been saved. But even as he lay dying, his only concern had been for me. And in my dreams, I see him lying in a pool of his own blood, as he called my name. He died for me.

Sometimes, the pain is unbearable. It's so hard to go on without him, pretending to be happy when there is nothing left of me but a hollow shell... And then, just when I think I can't stand it any longer, my mind conjures an image of him, his face contorted in pain, as he called my name... and that gives me the reason I need to keep on. Because he died for me. Because I love him, and this is really the least I can do for him. Because I want him to know that I will always love him for that. For loving me that much. For everything.

It's by far the hardest thing I've ever done, to go on living, putting on a happy mask for my family's sake, even as I felt empty inside. For how could I ever be happy again, when the one person who's ever brought me happiness is gone forever? How could any little joy I have now ever measure up to the happiness and contentment that came with being with Ranma, loving him?

Time does heal all wounds, as I'm sure it will mine. But even as the hurt grows less and less with each passing day, it digs a deeper hole within me, a void, which I know could never be filled. He has burned himself into my soul, and like carvings against stone, I cannot do anything to undo them.

My friends, my family... they've all tried so hard to help me fill that gaping hole in my life. I drowned myself in schoolwork, my training, teaching classes during the summer... But somehow, it isn't enough. *Nothing* is enough.

Nabiki once told me that perhaps the only way to purge Ranma from my heart completely is to fall in love again. But I can't help thinking, can I ever love someone that much again?

Shinnosuke... he's been a wonderful friend. I can't even imagine the past two years of my life without him. God knows he's tried so hard to help me, to make me forget...

And he just told me that he loves me. Can I tell you just how much of a surprise this was? Shinnosuke loves *me*. Not only that, he knows I'm still not over Ranma. He told me he would wait for me, until I'm ready.

I have so much to live for - my family, my friends. Shinnosuke. Here is a man who promised to wait for me until I can accept him. He told me that he would always love me, no matter what happens. I know he can make me happy, take care of me. He's given me everything I wanted, what more could I ask for?

I remember, I used to want those things from Ranma. I wanted him to say he loved me, and that he would take care of me forever. I wanted from Ranma a sense of security and an assurance that he would always be mine. But he died before he could do any of that. And now, Shinnosuke promises me all of that, and much more.

I do love Shinnosuke. Not in the way I loved Ranma, but still, I believe I do love him. I love him for all the things he's done for me, for all the good things that he is.

But I can't love him like that. I'm not sure I can love anyone. Not right now. Maybe not ever. I don't know.

But I know I can't let things go on, can't continue to deceive both of us that I'd be able to return his love. I'm so sorry to have let things go this far, for not realizing the truth until now. But when he was telling me he'd wait for me, until I've forgotten Ranma, I couldn't deny it anymore. I can't go on pretending anymore.

I can't let him do this for me. He deserves more than what I can give him. He deserves to be happy. I want him to be happy. And yet, how can he be happy, if I let him continue to love me, letting him hope I'd love him someday, when I don't even know if I can ever find it in myself to love again? Until I'm sure I can love him, the way that he wants me to, I have to let him go.

I will continue living, and maybe one day, I would be able to open my heart to another. But until that day comes, I'll continue to love Ranma. Even though he's gone, in my heart, I know we'll always be together. I'll always remember him, keep the memory of him safe in my heart, until we're together again.


A soft wind rustled through the leaves in the forest. Shinnosuke closed his eyes, and inhaled the clean air. After two years in Tokyo, two years amidst modern technology and modern people, he still came back.

After all, he reminded himself, he only stayed in Tokyo because of her. Without her, he had no life there. *This* was where he was needed, where he should be. *This* was home.

He stopped beside a tree, laying his hand against the rough bark. It seemed so long ago, but he could remember it like yesterday. The scene replayed itself in his mind. The woman he loved threw caution aside, stripped off her shirt, risked her life to rescue her beloved. The strong young man, leaping from inside the Orochi's mouth, launching himself at his fiancee, covering her body with hers, shielding her from harm.

Moments later, he'd stood aside, watching the couple a few meters away. From the distance, through the surrounding mist, he couldn't see their faces, only the young man, tall and proud, standing protectively beside the young woman, looking ready to take on the world for her. And she'd never looked happier, or more content, than she did at that moment, at her place beside him.

At that moment, standing in this exact spot, he'd known that nothing he could do would make her look at him the way she looked at her fiancee. They were literally meant for each other, in every sense of the word. Even death couldn't separate them.

Shinnosuke looked up at the sky, endless blue with white wispy clouds. If he concentrated hard enough, he could imagine the young man standing amidst the clouds, his arm around his fiancee. Unlike in the forest, however, he could see the smiles on their faces, the love shining in their eyes.

The couple turned and walked away, their fingers entwined. Shinnosuke watched them as their figures grew smaller and smaller, until they disappeared completely among the clouds.

"I wish you happy, Akane," he whispered to himself, as he continued walking home, where grandfather was waiting.

And he knew that she was, wherever she may be.

*** End EPILOGUE ***