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The Phoenix Chronicles Episode Six: Here I Go Again, On My Own.

Beginning Theme: Illusion.

(2004)

Mousse never bothered asking Yui for his pair of glasses, thinking they were on the street somewhere. If he had asked, he wouldíve found that Yui kept his glasses in her lab coat pocket. Sheíd take them wherever she went. It was her reminder that she could lose him anytime, and was therefore more protective of him, and Shinji.

A month later, Mousse stood at the station. His hair was shorter now, he had thinner glasses, and now stood at five-foot-seven-inches. He was waiting for the train with Ritsuko.

They were both nervous. Mousse, who always liked Ritsuko, just didnít know how to act around her, not after that day when Yui found him. He was surprised that Yui let them be together again after that. Yui was around them as much as she could be, and tried not to leave them alone if she could help it. She let him go to the train station with Ritsuko, though, and Mousse thanked her. He also knew that Yui trusted a lot more than Nokoru and the guys.

"So," he told Ritsuko now, "youíre transferring to the Tokyo 2 branch of Clamp, huh?"

"College starts for me next semester, you know that." She told him, then she looked at him, "You want to come with?" she asked.

"I want to, but I canít." he told her hesitantly.

"Come on, youíre such a genius, youíd qualify like that," she told him, snapping her fingers to prove her point.

"Thanks, but I have to take care of Yui-san. I canít leave her alone with Gendou." He told her gravely.

"Yui can take care of herself." she argued.

"I know," he replied.

"She does a good job taking care of you, she should be able to take care of herself." She pressed. She wanted Mousse to come with her, even if to give her company, and Mousse could see that.

"Iíll ride with you to Tokyo 2." He said.

"Really?" She asked.

"Yeah, but Iím coming right back. I donít trust Gendou with Yui. I think he might try to hurt her." He told her, and she could hear the worry, and tenseness in his voice.

"Are you sure you want to come?" she asked hesitantly.

"Youíre my friend. I think I owe you that much." He told her, pulling out the round trip ticket he had gotten while she had gone to the bathroom.

She hugged him, and laughed at his cleverness. She held onto him for a long time, and her reverie was broken when she heard the siren of the approaching train. He stepped aboard with her, and they looked at each other, smiling.

They sat down in a cabin for two. He sat down next to her, and she put her head on his shoulder. He smiled at her, and leaned his head on the cushion behind him. The two saw the robo-waiter scoot up to them It was like a walking mini-fridge, except a lot more slender.

"What would you like?" it asked.

"Well, Iíd like two lime sodas." Mousse told it.

A soda dropped into a vending slot, and Mousse reached into it and picked it out, only to have the second drop onto his fingers.

"Please, be more careful, sir. Trans Japan is not liable for any injury you may receive while on this unit." The machine said from a speaker behind it.

"Thanks for your concern." Mousse said dryly, making Ritsuko giggle.

He settled into his seat, and handed Ritsuko her soda.

"You have such a way with machines, Hikaru-kun." She said, trying not to laugh.

"Whatís so funny?" he asked in mock anger.

"Nothing, nothing." She told him, and moved to open her soda. It started fizzing up the moment she popped a crack in the lid.

"Uh, Ritsuko, I donít think you should open that." He warned, but he was to late because it spurted onto his black turtle-neck, and soaked him thoroughly.

"Iím sorry." She told him.

"Aw, na luk watcha dun, woman," he said, trying to imitate a Scottish accent, and failing miserably.

"Thatís awful," she told him.

"The soda, or the voice?" he asked sarcastically.

"Both." She told him.

"But you havenít even tried the soda." He argued.

"So, why donít you let me?" she asked.

"Here," he told her, handing her his can.

She pushed his hand aside, and kissed him. He reached over, and the armrest dug into his hip.

"Ritsuko," he said from the side of his mouth, "Iím not to comfortable, here."

"Youíre right. Letís go to someplace more private," she said breathlessly, and quickly added, "Uh, to get you cleaned up, I mean."

"And the soda?" Mousse asked suddenly.

"Forget the soda." She said impatiently, pulling him out of the seat.

The two made their way to the bathroom, and Mousse blanched at the thought of Ritsuko going in with him.

"You canít go in with me." He told her nervously.

"Hikaru-kun, why do you think Iím here?"

He shrugged. Then, she hugged him tightly.

"Because I need to get cleaned up too." She said breathlessly.

"Oh." He managed before she pulled him into the bathroom. On the outside, the sign near the knob read, "occupied."

They arrived in Tokyo 2 an hour later, and Mousse helped Ritsuko with her bags, which both weighed a ton.

"Why do you have to carry so much?" he complained.

"A woman has to be prepared for any situation." She told him sternly.

"Okay, so what does that have to do with me getting your luggage?" he asked.

"Well, thatís why Iíd need you, or any other guyÖyou know, so I wonít have to carry it myself." She replied, and he could tell she was trying hard not to laugh.

"That makes me feel so needed." He said dryly.

Then she held him close, and kissed him. "You are needed." She whispered.

"But-"

She put her hand to his lips, as she had seen Yui done from time to time, and shook her head slowly, and whispered, "No more words." She could see him smile behind her lips. It was an understanding smile.

"Iíll get these sir." A baggage carrier interrupted.

"Well, Iíd better go." Mousse told Ritsuko.

"Hikaru, that round-trip ticket is for a week. Couldnít you stay at my dorm for a week?" she asked.

"But, Yui-san is-" and he stopped himself when he saw the hurt look on Ritsukoís face.

"Okay, Iíll stay." He allowed, and she kissed him again. This time, he hugged her back.

He went with her to her dormís front door, and were met by the caretaker, who shoved Mousse away, yelling about how Ritsuko dared to bring a boy to the girlsí dorms, and she should be ashamed of herself. Ritsuko asked her to take care of the bags, and pulled Mousse along.

"Hey, ouch, that hurts." He told her, when he looked to her again, he saw the water hose in his face, and groaned.

"Whyíd you do that?" Mousse groaned in her female form. She hadnít had to worry about the curse since she, Yui, and Ritsuko stopped going to the beach.

"Itís the only way theyíll let you in." Ritsuko told him.

"Well-"

"Itís better than sneaking in through the window."

Mousse groaned again, and followed Ritsuko back to the dorms. "I should have stayed home."

"Then, you wouldnít be having this much fun." Ritsuko laughed, pulling him along.

----------

Gendou knew that Seele was funding Yui, and that they were funding Mousseís studies, as well. He didnít know, however, why they would spend so much on that brat. It made him even angrier that he found a broken pair of the bratís glasses in Yuiís drawer.

-----------

She had asked him to get something in her drawer, and then told him to forget it, "Iíll get it, actually. Donít worry about it."

"Iíll get it, Yui. Some socks, right?" he dug into her drawer, and felt something scratch against his hand. He twisted his hand to grab at it, and pulled out Mousseís broken glasses.

Yui reached out to grab them from him, but he held it away from her, "I wonít give them back unless you tell me why you have them."

"I was thinking of getting them fixed, actually."

"It doesnít look like it. At any rate, these are useless to him, and you certainly donít need them." he finished, holding his hand out over the wastebasket in their room.

"Hand them over, Gendou. They mean something to me."

"What, Yui? You need to be reminded that weíre burdened with a stupid, worthless, arrogant brat?" he bit out, and softened when he saw her eyes fill with sadness, and anger.

"Heís not a burden. You donít take care of him. You donít watch over him. You donít have to deal with him. Heís MY ward, and I donít think Iíve asked you for anything on his behalf."

"You asked me to get along with it, Yui. What do you call that?"

"What did you just call him?"

"You heard me. You shouldnít waste your time trying to accommodate it. Itís not worth your timeÖYui, I think youíre losing sight of the fact that heíll be old enough to leave soon. At least, then, we can start our lives, without having to worry about it. Such a thing doesnít deserve your attention."

"Heís not a thing."

"What else do you want me to call it, Yui?"

She snatched the glasses away from Gendou, and went to open the drawer on her nightstand. She placed the mangled glasses gently into the drawer, and closed it. Then, she moved to lock it. She lay down, and didnít speak to him for the rest of the night. As he lay next to her, he began to hate Mousse even more. He felt the strong urge to go into the boyís room and strangle him right then, but he restrained himself.

----------

Late at night, Gendou looked at the files that SEELE kept within the Halls of Knowledge, which were located near Terminal Dogma. He looked through it to see what SEELEís true purpose was.

They said they were trying to bring man to heavenís door, whatever that meant. He saw the files regarding a certain "Masaki, Hikaru."

He looked through the file, and it confirmed that Mousse had lived while his parents were believed to be dead. He read further, and what surprised him was a letter in the writing of Gendouís now dead associate, Dr. Katsuragi.

It said,

For SEELE Council Eyes Only,

Members of the council, I have found a host for Gabriel. After extensive research, I have confirmed that a young high school girl, named Achika Masaki, will survive the birth of the being we have code named Gabriel.

I have collected a sample of her blood. It has maintained the same molecular state after exposure to extreme cold, extreme heat, lack of oxygen. The blood has maintained a liquid state after being exposed to temperatures up to 100 Degrees below zero, and has shown the same resilience after being exposed to boiling temperatures as well.

I, therefore, propose that we immunize her with the DNA we have kept in stasis thus far.

Dr. Katsuragi

Gendou took that file and he saw the picture attached to another file. He looked at it, and it had been stamped with the gold insignia of the Clamp Academy Detectives, and inside he saw another picture of Mousse, a file on a report his mother had filled out, and it had been signed, Achika Masaki. Gendou crossed referenced both files, and perceived that SEELE had been planning to use the boy.

"It appears as if the stupid brat isnít as useless as I first thought." He muttered, putting the files under his arm, and leaving the Halls of Knowledge.

------------------

While Gendou planned his use for Mousse, Yui was in the park with Professor Ranma Saotome. . She was with Shinji that day, Mousse was in school.

"Nothingís changed. Even these days, I still miss the fall. With the power SEELE has, they could end it all. It would be quite easy for them to cause the Third Impact." Ranma complained.

"Seele exists to prevent that." Yui replied warily.

"To Seele, it doesnít matter what we think, one way or the other." He bit out.

"It would be foolish and dangerous to unseal that gate into this world. Yet, my husband and Seele are racing to claim that false Grail. What madness." Yui told him.

"I gave all the materials for such to your husband. Well, itís out of our hands now. Iíll never make the same mistake. I even got a warning from them, telling me they could kill me easily."

"They can kill you, or you can kill one of them. I say, even a lone survivor can destroy and entire race." Yui said.

"I appreciate your concern." Ranma said dryly..

"Before I was found by SEELE, I was drifting. When I joined them, I found my purpose. I did this for Shinjiís and Hikaruís sake."

"I donít like it, Yui, not one bit. These SEELE bastards are dangerous. I donít think you understand that." He said, looking at the lake.

"I do." She told him, kneeling the by the stroller.

"I suppose I should take comfort in that," he replied, looking at her over his shoulder. She was wearing shorts, so he looked at her legs. He stared at them for a long time, and then turned back to look at the lake.

"But I canít. I know what they want. They are trying to bring mankind to heavenís door by their own means." He heard Shinji cooing, and he turned to look at Yui over his shoulder. He saw Shinji reach for her breasts, and he envied Shinji. She saw him from the corner of her eye, and picked Shinji up out of the stroller. She held him, and Ranma turned back to look at the lake.

She stood up, and said, "Professor Saotome, that is precisely why weíre in Gehirn; to prevent their godly act. They are extremely dangerous, and at this point, we canít really challenge them. We have to wait until we become vital to them. Then, we can hinder them." She told him.

"They were planning to use your ward to initiate that. Did you know that?" he asked.

"Yes, I did."

"If he were still their key to heaven, would you end his life now?"

"Of course not. I would let him fulfill his destiny."

"Is it wise to put mankindís fate into the hands of a boy as lost as he is?" Ranma asked her, testing her for reaction.

"Yes. Heís not a bad child." She told him.

"No, heís not. My wife and I saw that when he first came to you, and even though sheís gone now, we both knew he had a good heart."

"Not just that. He shows more promise than the Eva. He truly is a good child, and heíll grow to be a kind man. His heart will shine bright, and though heíll feel alone, heíll still lead everyone on."

"Your true messiah?" Ranma asked, looking at Yuiís face, seeing the love she had in her eyes as Shinji touched her face.

------------

Yui had taken Mousse to Gehirn. She showed him around, and let him take a look at the Evangelion Unit A, One, and Zero, all of which were still highly experimental.

He looked at the colossal bio-mechanical Unit One, a single horn jutting out from the forehead, like a single horned devil, and it was the yellow eyes that made him feel as if he should even have been there, as if Yui-san shouldnít have been there, either.

"Youíre going to get into that thing?" Mousse asked.

"Hikaru," Yui told him, " Do you know why I brought you here?"

Mousse shook his head.

"Well, I brought both you and Shinji so you can witness the dawn of a new age, the Age of The Evangelion. And you will see me spearhead this new age."

She got into a skin-tight body-suit. Mousse had to admit that he rather liked seeing her in that suit. If you ever asked him if he had a crush on Yui, he wouldnít deny it, but he would very red by the time he would actually answer. She saw the funny look on his face, looked to see if anyone was around, and then she kissed him, full on the mouth. "Wish me good luck." She whispered. He nodded quickly, and that made her laugh lightly. Then she went through a door that went to the lab.

Shortly after, everyone else entered the room where he and Shinji were. They spent five hours preparing for the Evangelion activation. Professor Saotome, Dr.. Akagi, Ritsukoís mother, and Gendou, as well as dozens of other staff, walked around the lab.

"What are these children doing here?" Saotome asked nervously.

"Dr. Ikari has brought them here." Dr. Akagi replied.

"Ikari, this is not a daycare center. This is an important event." He snapped.

"Iím sorry, Professor. Iím the one who brought them."

"But Yui, today is your experiment."

"Thatís why I brought them, I wanted to show them how bright the future would

be."

--------------------

A letter from Dr. Naoko Akagi to her daughter,

"Those word proved to be Yuiís last. A freak accident wiped her from this existence, just as I had hoped it would. What a disgusting woman I am. Ritsuko, after that day, your friend, Hikaru ran away, blaming the entire incident on the commander. Also, commander Ikari, himself, changed completely."

Those were the last words he heard from Yui Ikari. According to some of the operatives in the test room, her experiment had gone wrong. As she was absorbed by the Evangelion Unit 1.

-----------------

At the funeral, a week later, Mousse lay the lilies against the waist-high, silver monument that bore her name. He did cry, not caring if Gendou was watching him. He wore a black suit, which Yui had bought him, and wished that he were in his own grave. It didnít matter to him if no one came to visit. Dying, and knowing that Yui was still alive and well, wouldíve been enough for him.

He went into his room to get his bags packed to leave. He went to the door.

"Hikaru, where are you going?"

"Away from here, away from you."

"Hikaru, you may find this hard to believe, but I really did love Yui, more than you probably did."

"Love? What the Hell would someone like you know about Love? I should have kept her away from you, that wouldíve shown I love her. She said you would take care of her, and you failed."

"Hikaru, I understand how you may feel, right now. Iím not used to being liked. Actually, Iím quite familiar with hatred. "

"I donít care. Leave me alone."

"Hikaru, you must not run away. You will encounter many things in this life that are unpleasant. But you must do your best to face them, even if it means injuring yourself, but running away is the very worst thing you can do."

Mousse stood there for a moment, contemplating it.

That was until Gendou grabbed his wrist. Mousse hit him to make him let go, and after punching him twice in the jaw, just as this man had done years before, Mousse left.

All the older man could do was let him go, making his resolution, to make the boy suffer, grow stronger.

Gendou had called for Gehirn Intelligence to maintain surveillance on Mousse,

and follow him.

-------------

The grieving commander sat in his darkened office, and Ranma was standing in front of him, maybe even concerned.

"Where have you been all week? I understand your grief, but you must understand that you no longer belong to yourself." Ranma reminded him.

"I know. Saotome, as of today, we will begin a new project. Iíve already made the arrangements with Chairman Keel." Gendou said bitterly.

"You mean itís approved?" Ranma asked, internally cursing Ikari.

"Yes. The path to becoming one with God, the Human Instrumentality Project."

---------------

(2005)

Mousse sat in his chemistry class, not noticing that others were looking at him. He was still brooding over Yui. He asked himself constantly why it wasnít him instead. At least Yui could make a difference, and she made so many others glad to be around her, even Gendou. Although, to Mousse, it seemed like Gendou just wanted to have her, as if she were some sort of possession.

"Teníou-kun?" he heard a girlís voice say.

"Yes?"

"I was wondering if youíd want to go with me to the festival this weekend."

He looked up, and saw a girl with shoulder-length, light brown hair. It was combed back, save for the two bangs that fell to cover her forehead. She was surely shorter than he was. Her skin was a light pink, and her eyes were gray. He wondered why she was standing there, while everyone should have been sitting down. So, he looked past her, and saw the clock. That was when he noticed it was noon..

"Iím sort of booked this weekend, actually."

"Doing what?"

"Studying."

"You always study, Hikaru-kun."

He was about to ask her if Ritsuko had sent her. He wondered if there was some crusade to make him feel better. He dismissed the thought, and looked back to the girl.

"Well, I do a lot of that. You are?"

"Moeko Neruse, and youíre Hikaru Masaki."

"How do you know my name?"

"Iíve known youíre name since seventh grade, silly. So, would you like to go to the festival with me?"

"Well, I canít. I really canít. I would if I could, but Iím not really up to going to the festival. Someone I knew just died a year ago."

"Oh, Iím sorryÖWere you close?" she asked, looking down.

He looked at her, and decided not to say anything. He was angry at Gendou, not her. So he just put his hand on her shoulder, and shook his head.

"Itís all rightÖI probably should get out more. Would you like to come to the library with me?"

"Instead of the festival?"

"If you want, we could go to a movie afterward. Is that alright?"

"Thatís even betterÖCan I invite a friend of mine?"

"Sure." he shrugged.

"Cool. When can we come by your dorm?"

"Well, Iíll go wait outside your building, and weíll go from there."

{What am I thinking?} he wondered, almost angrily. He supposed he still felt the shock of losing Yui, and that was natural. However, he felt somehow responsible for what happened to Yui.

----------------

Later that day, he walked to his class. He felt a sort of daze fall over him. He tried to shrug off the mood, but that was even worse. The more he tried to forget, the more he remembered.

Then he felt someone grab his shoulders. He turned around sharply, and found Moeko standing there.

"Hikaru-kun, are you alright?"

"Yes, MoekoÖThanks for your concern." he muttered, and turned to continue walking. She walked next him, holding his shoulder. He turned to look at her, and she let her hand fall to her side.

"You know, when I first saw you, I thought you were too shy."

"Well, Iím not too keen on talking."

"You used to be. I remember when that guy, Kamui, was still around. You guys were always joking with each other."

"That was a long time ago, Moeko."

"That was only five years ago, Hikaru-kun. Geez, you act like an old man."

"You think?"

"Watch out." She muttered.

Mousse felt like he had walked into a padded wall. He stepped back a little, and looked up. The giant, Mousse bumped into, was at Clamp on a Basketball Scholarship.

He looked down at Mousse, trying to stare him down.

"Sorry about that." Mousse said, he sidestepped, and went around him. Moeko hurried after him, giving the giant a nervous smile.

She caught up to Mousse, and laughed a little, grabbing his arm.

"Hikaru-kun, Do you know who that was?"

"Not really."

"That was Isamu Mano. Heís only the best basketball player at Clamp."

Mousse smirked, "You seem to know a lot about him,"

She blushed at that, "Weíve knew each other since grade school, but he really changed when we got to Clamp."

"Well, he seemed to have noticed you."

"Are you kidding? He looked like he was ready to cream you."

"I donít think so. Iíve dealt with worse."

"Oh? Like what?"

"Nevermind."

"Youíre so strange, sometimes."

"Youíve only known me a day, Moeko."

"Not true. Iíve seen you around. You know who really likes you?"

"Not really."

"One of my other friends. Her nameís Ranko." She saw that Mousse was no longer next to her, and looked back to see he had stopped in his tracks.

"Ranko what?"

"Ranko Saotome. Her dad is a teacher here, I think. He looks like a bit of a pervert if you ask me, though." she whispered. That made Mousse think about the night he had found Ranma trying to force himself on Yui.

"I knew her when I first transferred to Clamp, but we didnít talk much."

"According to her, you didnít talk much."

"Can we drop this, and get back to your old boyfriend."

"Isamu is not my boyfriend."

"Then, why is he looking at us?"

She saw him looking back, and turned with him see the basketball captain leaning on the wall. He was looking at Mousse with a snarl, and cracked his knuckles loudly.

"Looks like your boyfriend is jealous."

"Heís not my boyfriend."

"Well, he seems pretty upset that youíre walking with me. Do you two have a history of some sort?"

"Heís the one that started ignoring me, Hikaru. Can we drop it?"

"Okay, just donít bring up Ranko, okay?"

"Youíve got a deal."

"Whatís up with you two, anyway?"

"Well, she used to like me when we were kids."

"Used to like you?"

"I just wanted to be friends. She didnít take it very well."

"Hikaru, sheís one of the friends I was talking about. You mind if she comes to the movies with us?"

He flinched at that a little, "Well, I donít mind. I was hoping I could relax a little, actually. Thatís why I didnít want to go to the festival."

"You will, HikaruÖUnless you still like Ranko."

"Well, noÖThat was a long time ago. Iím a little older now, if not wiser. Iím just trying to pull myself together."

"The First Honors student for five years in a row, except for 2004, when you were out sick for a full year."

"You knew about that?"

"Well, I donít know what happen that year. Some said pneumonia, others said you were killed in a car accident. Someone even said you were kidnapped by aliens."

"Thatís a pretty unique theory."

"Not really. The guy who said that was a big fan of science fiction movies."

"Oh, alright. Well, you were saying Ranko is one of your friends. Whoís the other?"

"Why? You think you mightíve broken her heart too?"

"No. I donít of myself as likable."

He saw another girl running up to them. She had long, black hair, and skin as white as snow. For some reason, she reminded Mousse of his mother, Achika. He shook his head to clear it.

"Moeko, whatís up, girl?"

"Yuki, this my friend, Hikaru." Moeko went to her friendís side, and grabbed her arm.

"Yuki Tanaka. Pleased to meet ya. Moekoís told me lots about you." Yuki laughed, until Moeko nudged her in the side.

Mousse bowed, "Pleased to meet you." He saw Moeko raise her other arm to the air. She looked past him, and started calling out, "Ranko! Hey, Ranko!"

He felt someone punch into his back, and winced a little. Then Ranko came out from behind him, and went on to hug her friends.

"Hikaru, you know Ranko." Moeko laughed.

"Weíve met." Mousse muttered.

"We sure have," Ranko laughed, and leaned in towards Mousse.

She whispered, "You jerk."

"Well, at least youíre not too angry." he muttered.

"Who says Iím not?" she bit out.

"Ranko, all of us are going to a movie. Want to come with us?" Moeko asked.

"Well, I-" Ranko looked to Mousse, and saw him staring off into nowhere, "Sure, Iíll go. What time?"

Moeko turned her smile towards Mousse, "Hikaru, what time?"

"Um, six is fine."

"Well, come by our dorm, Hikaru." Moeko whispered tenderly, leaning against him, she turned to Yuki smiling, "Then, weíll drop by to pick you up, Yuki."

Ranko couldnít stand it anymore, and purred, "Is it alright if I invite a friend of mine?"

Moeko shrugged, but she had a nervous look on her face as soon as Ranko went up to Isamu Mano. Ranko grabbed his arm, and pulled him over to the small group.

"Isamu," she purred, "would you like to come with us to the movies?"

"Yeah, sure," when he saw Mousse, he snarled, "Is he coming, too?"

"Yeah, but donít worry about him." Ranko told him soothingly. She turned to see Mousseís reaction, which was calm, even indifferent. This made her even angrier, making her reach around Isamuís neck, and pulling him down to kiss her. He held her for a moment.

Mousse looked at his watched, "Oh no, my next class is in five minutes. Iíve gotta go." He waited until Moeko let go of him, and started to run back down the hall as he waved back at the girls, "See you later, Moeko, Yuki, Ranko!

"Darn, we better get to class, too, Yuki!" she grabbed her friends arm, and pulled her along as the two of them laughed.

Ranko was still kissing Isamu when they left, but now he was moving his hand down to her bottom. Then he reached under her skirt, making her release his neck, as she reached down to pull off his arm. She opened her eyes as he began to fondle her, trying to push him off. She looked around and saw Mousseís junior grad ring on the floor, and hoped he would come back for it.

She began to moan in desperation, and felt the footsteps come closer to them. She could see her father come up behind Isamu, his face stern. She could see he was straining to keep from hurting this guy.

"Would you let go of my daughter?" Ranma said calmly, through grit teeth.

Isamu let go of Ranko, but she could feel his hands clench into fists. She felt his knuckles rub against her thighs. He almost dropped her as he turned to face the newcomer, growling in feral anger. That was when he saw Ranma looking back at him with the same expression. Isamu dropped the growl, and forced a smile.

"Professor Saotome, whatís up?"

"I was about to ask the same. What are you up to, Mano-kun?"

"Nothing, sir. Iím serious."

"Mano-kun, lying isnít going to help you. Come with me."

"Daddy, I-"

"Ranko, let me handle this. If you have a class, go now. If not, go to the library. Do you understand?"

She nodded. She waited until they were gone, and went to where Mousseís ring was. She bent down to pick it up, and began to sob, {Why didnít you come for me, Hikaru?}

ContinuedÖ

Ending Theme: ThanatosÖ(If I Canít be Yours.)

-------------

Trailer

-------------

Ranko: Why didnít you come for me, Hikaru?
Mousse: Why do you want me to, Ranko?

Ranko: You seem to like everyone but meÖ

Mousse: Ranko, what do you want from me?

Ranko: Just Show A Little Love, Even If Itís Not ThereÖ.

Mousse: Ranko, how can I?

Ranko: Move, Hikaru, Iím talking to themÖ.