A Demon's Destiny

Chapter 2: The Awakening

犬夜叉と乱馬

By Amerise Athena Rei

To say that Ranma's morning didn't quite start off on the right foot was definitely an understatement. From the enigmatic dream to the unwanted exhibition of his now snow white hair, what else could he do.

After chasing Nabiki to her room and pounding on her door for what seemed like forever, he was greeted by a very irate Akane along with their long-time acquaintance, Mr. Mallet. The only odd thing was instead of flying through the roof – as was a daily (sometimes multi-daily) occurrence in the Tendou household – by Akane's trusty mallet, it came by her punch after she snapped out of her stupor as she watched her mallet all but explode. It was as if Ranma's head had touched the 'Bakusai Tenketsu' or 'Breaking Point' of Mr. Mallet and all but disintegrated into sawdust. Either way, the fates were not disappointed because Ranma still went flying through the ever-repairable Tendou roof.

Now, sitting on the doujo floor, Ranma contemplates his options as he still had a full day ahead of him, and granted, his morning could have been better, but he'll be the bigger person and move on…for once.

"Heh, where did all this patience come from all of a sudden", Ranma thought to himself with masochistic humor.

With that thought in mind, Ranma got up and started his morning kata. Trying desperately to ignore all the events that occurred before he even stepped foot on the school grounds, Ranma's motions were fluid, precise and even graceful. To even the trained eye, the young martial arts master's movements seemed unhindered by anything but focus on the task at hand.

After a slow warm-up, Ranma got down to business and focused all his pent up frustration from the past hour and channeled it towards every kick, every punch, and every forceful movement that he made. Suddenly, images of the past night's dream were flickering before his eyes, yet he didn't stop his motions.

Ranma's fluid movements were now becoming laborious as if he were in an actual combat. Each shift action was not just a well learned stance, but almost a semblance of what he would encounter in a life or death situation.

More and more images were starting to piece together the puzzle of his curious dream until it was a very lucid image of a battle. Suddenly, Ranma felt as if his own movements were not his own and that someone else had possessed his body and actions.

As visions of a certain white-pelted individual came into his mind, an abrupt rage and hatred stirred within him. Ranma could now see himself facing off this individual in an all-out combat of sudden death. His punches turned into a swinging motion and were suddenly weighed by an immense weapon. He almost seemed to be having an out-of-body experience, yet seemed to be very much aware of his movements and very much in control of his actions.

Slashing and lacerating at the image before him, Ranma felt his battle aura flare around him as he gave one final swing and a massive wave of energy followed in suit, now leaving a gaping hole in the Tendou doujo; the mysterious nemesis no where to be found.

At the end of his workout, he was spent and slumped into a cross-legged sitting position on the floor, forced to literally look at the damage he had inflicted. Dazed and confused as to how he could have so much control, yet not have any at all; the events that just transpired now seemed to be blocked out by the ever peaceful chirping of the early birds.

"Mr. Tendou sure isn't gonna like this one bit." Ranma stated as he looked directly at the tranquil Koi pond that would have previously been impossible to see from within the doujo.

"Ranma no Baka!" Akane bellowed after hearing a very loud explosion come from the doujo. "What did you do!"

Akane didn't waste time and climbed through the newly carved entryway into the doujo heading straight toward her target. Her only thought at this point was to pound some sense into the imbecile for being so careless with her family's heritage and pride of the Tendou clan.

Akane stomped towards Ranma's direction in a dark corner of the doujo and noticed that he was slumped almost as if he was wounded. Panic rushed through her system as she rushed to his side not sure what the problem maybe; she could only see his silhouette with his head at his chest from her.

"Ranma!" She called with concern, urgently shook him to get a response, any response from his limp body. "Ranma, are you alright?"

Suddenly, Ranma's head snapped up and the expression on his face was that of which she had never seen. For a second, Akane was actually scared of him and stepped back, startled just by the sheer expression he wore on his face.

Although she could practically feel her pulse throbbing in her head, she couldn't help but be transfixed by Ranma's eyes. For a second she didn't think it was Ranma slumped against the corner. When he lifted his head, he fixed his gaze on her as if he didn't see her.

His eyes! They looked almost golden. I know Ranma has deep blue eyes. What's going on?

"Ranma..?" Akane asked tentatively as she took a cautious step towards him yet again.

As if snapping out of some kind of daze, Ranma blinked and rubbed his eyes as if registering for the first time that the sun was out. After he removed his hands, he jumped to his feet, once again startling Akane.

"Sheez, what's up with you? First, you hit me with your mallet and then when it crumbled, you punched me, now you seem as if you don't know me and I'ma hurt you or somethin'. What gives?"

Akane became conscious that she was forgetting herself, realized that it was Ranma that she was shuddering from. Her disposition of a scared rabbit quickly changed to that of a vicious dog for making her feel so vulnerable. She would have voice her opinion (in a more violent and physical demonstration) when she realized that something was in fact, peculiar about him.

"Your hair!"

"My hair is making you act this way?"

"No, Baka, what did you do to it?"

Ranma sighed in resignation not quite wanting to deal with another episode of what happened just an hour ago in the house.

"It turned white."

"Well, I can see that, dummy. Why did you dye it?"

First she hits me with her mallet, punches me, is terrified of me beyond all reason and now she thinks I'm crazy enough to do this to my own hair!

"Oh, come offa it! D'ja think I'd actually do something that stupid?"

"Considering that you'd cross-dress and don't have qualms about it as long as you get what you want…Yes! I think you are that thick sometimes! So what is it now, huh? A new cure, yet another thwarted fiancée or just another one of your plans back firing on you? What is it this time, Ranma!"

I've had it! I don't need to take this from her!

"I didn't ask for this, if that's what you mean! And I sure as hell did not do this to myself, not that it's any of your damn business! Jeez, to think that a stupid tomboy like you would understand!"

Ranma, now really fuming, turned away and started to walk in the opposite direction of the doujo when suddenly, he felt as if something had pierced him through the chest. Grasping desperately for something to keep him from falling, he felt that he couldn't move a muscle and collapsed.

"Wait a minute!" I didn't even give him hell for the huge hole in the doujo! Akane thought angrily.

Out of the corner of her eyes, she saw Ranma's body collapse.

"Ranma!" Akane shrieked suddenly regretting her previous thought.

Ranma was curled up in a fetal position, writhing in pain as he clutched his head and chest.

Aaaah! What is happening to me!

Ranma thrashed back and forth as the pain was almost unbearable. Ranma saw images flash before his eyes, but didn't know what to make of them. Different people were popping up in his mind and each total strangers yet each procuring a different emotion from him.

Flashes of people dressed in costumes that would be fit for a history museum of Japan: A little boy with fangs and a tail; a young man with hair shorter than his own but tied back and dressed as a Buddhist monk and a rosary about his right hand; a young woman about the monk's age garbed in feudal women yukata side-by-side with her other self, garbed in a combat outfit and mask, wielding a boomerang larger than herself; a little girl dressed as a priestess but standing along side with what looks to be her older self, crippled and a patch over her right eye; finally another beautiful young woman with long black hair, dressed in a priestess' robe, standing regally with her bow and quiver and then beside her another young women, almost the same one in fact; The only difference was she was obviously a year or two younger than the former (about his own age) and she was dressed in a modern day school uniform with the same bow and quiver.

All of them looked on at him with sympathy and seemed to be saying something to him, yet he couldn't hear a word they were saying.

What is it that you want from me!

Akane felt helpless as she saw Ranma laying on the ground thrashing, waiting for it to be safe for her to go to him. She didn't know what to do at this point and only once in her life had she been scared for someone close to her. After that, she had never wanted to feel as useless as she did then and does now.

Ranma stopped thrashing after a few minutes yet he didn't stop flinching from something that seemed to be causing him some sort of pain. Akane found her opportunity and went to his side.

"Ranma." She called softly to try and wake him but to no avail.

Akane knelt by his side and placed a hand on his forehead

He's burning up! What's going on? I know he was perfectly healthy just five minutes ago and now he's running a high fever! I've got to get him in the house and call Dr. Toufu!

No sooner did she think that did Ranma's eyes suddenly shot open and startled Akane.

"Ah!"

His eyes…they're golden again!

Ranma's eyes looked as if they were glazed over and he was looking at something, someone else when out of the blue, his hands shot towards her neck and started to add pressure.

Suddenly Ranma saw the man in the white baboon pelt as if he was standing right in front of his very eyes. The very same person he had seen flashes of before his eyes while doing the kata earlier which had escalated to a life or death battle; in the end, resulting in a hole in the doujo for trying to blast him. Some unexplained hatred and anger welled up within him yet again and he couldn't explain why he just wanted to shred this guy limb from limb.

The man in the pelt unexpectedly started to laugh at Ranma as if to taunt him or having known some secret delight.

Naraku!

Without hesitation, Ranma's hands went straight for the stranger's neck whose name lingered in his mind like a bad taste. He didn't know how he knew the antagonist's name but his vice-like grip tightened to squelch the spiteful laughter that was unrelenting and continue to echo in his ears.

"Ranma…Wake up!" Akane struggled to speak as Ranma's grip tightened around her neck. "…You're…Hurting me."

Akane's vision was starting to waiver and get hazy due to the lack of oxygen passing through Ranma's steel grasp. She felt her own knees give out yet her weight was still supported. With each passing moment, Akane found it harder to focus on Ranma and try to snap him out of his stupor.

When Akane looked at Ranma's face, she felt as if she were looking at a total stranger: His once blue, now golden eyes glazed over, silvery-white mane, and teeth bared as if he had snarling fangs. He looked on at her with the most contempt that she had ever seen display on his features before he uttered, "Naraku" in a very odious tone.

"Ranma…"

Just as Akane felt that the world around her was going to go dark, she was suddenly propelled backwards. Her lungs were due to expire after deprivation for so long and now felt as if it would explode after the sudden flood of air. Akane coughed and wheezed before she opened her eyes and her vision started to come into focus. Her hands gently caressed neck knowing that if she didn't have any marks on it now, the bruises would settle in a matter of minutes as evidence of the frightful experience. It throbbed as if his hands were still enclosed over it.

"I never thought I would see that day that you'd stoop so low, Ranma!"

Akane looked up towards the direction of the all-too-familiar voice of her "rescuer".

Standing before her was an extremely livid Ryouga Hibiki in a defensive stance before Ranma's now prone form.

A/N:

Thanks for reading. I actually edited this chapter and made a few additions to it since I first posted it on 3/10/06 (just two days ago :P) and the second time on 3/12/06.

Sorry if there are still some errors but feel free to let me know if you spot any.

Please review and let me know what you think.

Special THANKS TO:

Cylon One – I'll get the newest installment in by either late next week or on the first couple days of Spring Break. THANK YOU EVER SO MUCH for catching all my mistakes even in my second posting of this chapter.

Purinsesu Mu-n – ESPECIALLY Thanks to you! Had you not told me, I would not have changed the Chapter, let alone given it another look-over and the majority of the spelling and grammar the first time around.

Niyanna – I hope that this fic will eventually be more than 'all right' but I'm working at it :P. Thanks

Endermon, Dark Dragon of Kaos, & Unhealthy-addiction-to-Manga– Thanks for the encouraging words. The plot will pick up pretty soon…I hope but I might even have Kagome's P.O.V. in this next chapter, but we'll see :P

Amerise Athena M. Rei