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The Time To Wait
The Spark is Lit
By Mardrena

      Anubis walked into the kitchen and slipped off his gloves and jacket. Mia and the boys were at the table eating breakfast. "Hello, Anubis, whereís Michelle? I though she was going to stay here."
     "No, sheís staying at the warlordís apartment. Their place was in dire need of some housekeeping," Anubis replied.
     "Really? I thought that was Kayuraís field," Cye muttered.
     "Well, she wasnít very good to start, but with Michelle helping out she was able to find a job."
     "Kayura? Where does she work then?" Rowen asked.
     "Guess."
Sage: "Calendar model?"
     "No."
      Rowen: "Bar girl?"
     "No."
Kento: "Hooters?"
     "NO!"
     "Well, where does she work then?" Cye asked.

      Kayura blew a strand of hair from infront of her eyes. It sure was boring standing behind the makeup counter at the mall. She took awhile to look over some of the various products on display.
     "Hmmm, sometimes it surprises me how obsessed some people are about Ďlooking youngí. Hee hee, Iím supposed to be twelve but Iím much older than that. If only Talpa had realized the value for this. He couldíve made a killing in the market. Hah hah, a killing, thatís funny.....Hi! How may I help you?" Kayura asked in a cheery voice.

      The boys gave each other unsure glances. Mia raised an eyebrow and tapped her fork against her place. "Oh Anubis, whereís Ryo, I havenít seen him since morning," Mia said.
"      Heís out," Anubis simply replied and grabbed his coat again and headed for the door after warming off.

      Ryo held the Wildfire swords together. He growled in determination.
     "Thatís good Ryo, keep your focus," Sehkmet said.
      The two blades ignited. Ryo furrowed his brow and grit his teeth.
     "Steady, youíre getting there," Dais informed.
     "Yaaaaahhhh!!" Ryo slashed and swept the blades at a target hovering in the sky. A huge swatch of flame shot out forth and struck the spaceship.
     "Wow, totally obliterated that thing. Very good Ryo," Cale complemented.
     "Yeah, but whereíd you get the spaceship?" Ryo asked.
     "We watched Star Wars. Good movie," Dais replied and set to creating more target illusions.
     "Did I miss anything?" Anubis asked as he approached the group.
     "Nope, weíve just been helping Ryo in the meantime," Sehkmet replied.
     "Okay Ryo, try your Fire Wheel technique," Dais said. Ryo joined the two swords together and began to spin them. The blades ignited and he threw the fire wheel up into the air. Then he held out his hands and mentally guided it by force of will. The fire wheel flew towards two ships and plowed right through them. Then Ryo guided it towards all the others. The fire wheel sliced through the underside of one and chopped off the engine of another. The fire wheel returned to Ryo and he caught it in his hands.
     "Six seconds. Good timing," Sehkmet reported.
     "Okay, letís see how good you do under fire." Dais created more targets. This time they "fired" blue laser bolts. Ryo separated the swords and used the blades to "deflect" the shots.
     "Are you sure you want to be training so hard Ryo? Weíve been out here since morning," Cale said.
     "Well itís just that all that about Cyeís vision really bothers me," Ryo began as he deflected more "laser" blasts. "I mean, what if itís true? What if some alien fleet travels ninety billion some-odd light years just to kick our asses and weíre not ready? Thatís what has me worried," Ryo answered.
     "And I assume that you are training yourself harder because you are the only one who can use the Inferno Armor?" Anubis queried.
     "Yep." Ryo slashed at a row of ships and loosed a huge swipe of fire that took out all of them. Ryo panted for a while before sheathing his swords. "Okay.....now letís try using Inferno."
     "You sure?"
     "Yes."
     "Okay then." The four warlords summoned their battle armors then removed their helmets. Each of their armors glowed as they gave their powers to Ryo. The Wildfire armor steadily transformed into the Second Generation Inferno Armor. Ryo threw out his arms and the fins on his gauntlets spread out.
     "Well, you ready?"
     "Iíve been ready. Iíve been wanting to try it out since the end of that last battle. The only way I was able to counter attack was by absorbing Dygraís attack and converting the energy into the Inferno Rage Flare. Plus Shannon helped me out too. I need to see what I can do on my own. If redirecting that attack was powerful enough to open that dimensional rift that banished Dygra, just think what the Inferno Armor can do on itís own," Ryo explained.
     "Considering how different it is from the original armor," Anubis noted.
      "Skies are clear," Cale reported.
      "Then letís do this." Blackblaze walked up to Ryoís side. Ryo drew out the Soul Swords from their scabbards. "Thank you Blackblaze." Ryo lifted up the swords and concentrated. White energy rippled and oscillated around the armor itself and the swords. A low rumbling could be heard. Bits of dirt and fallen twigs and rocks began to skip and bounce.
     "Easy Ryo, try to keep the energy flow steady," Sehkmet cautioned.
Ryo swept the swords forward at the sky and cried out. "RAGE OF INFERNO!!!!"       *Ka-thweoom!!* Blackblaze had to look away. The warlords shielded their eyes as a massive jet of fire several thousands of miles long erupted from the swords.

      "Holy shit! Look at this sir!" a technician cried out then he saw a huge red streak on an infrared screen.
      "What the hell was that!?" another tech demanded.
      "Dunno sir. Seems to have originated from the Pacific. Good God! It punched all the way through the atmosphere and into outer space!"
"@^&%ing El nino."

      Cale let out a low whistle. "Damn Ryo! That thing wouldíve killed Dygra had you used it," Sehkmet commented.
      "Ryo."
     "Huh?" Ryo seemed to have been shaken out of a daze.
     "You look kind of tired," Anubis said.
     "I guess it really drained me. Ohh....." Ryo tottered to one side. Blackblaze caught him and roared in disapproval.
     "You should rest some before we continue any further," Dais advised. The Inferno Armor slowly changed back into Wildfire.
      "Yeah, for like an entire week," Cale snorted.
     "Iíll take Ryo back to the House. See you guys later," Anubis waved good-bye as he and Blackblaze walked back to the House. Ryo rode on the Nether tigerís back. He shook his head from side to side.
      "You should go straight to bed. Itís almost night anyway," Anubis said.
     "Yeah, I feel so tired I canít even chew," Ryo whispered as he slumped forward.

      Ryo managed to power down and dress. He slowly shambled to bed and slipped under the covers. Mia rolled over to face him. "Ryo, what took you so long, what were you doing?" she asked sleepily.
     "Agnmmmmmgh...." Ryo mumbled. Mia placed a hand on his shoulder.
      "Ryo, come on."
      "Come on what, Iím tired."
      "But Ryo," Mia complained and squeezed his shoulder.
      "Mia! What are you doing, I said I was tired. Lemmme......ahhhhhlone," Ryo yawned.
      Tanya sat up when a muffled noise disturbed her. She rubbed her knuckle against her eye and blinked. Again that sound. Anubis opened his eyes also. Tanya glanced upstairs. "Iím not even going to ask," she muttered and grabbed her pillow and blanket. Without any further word she stood up and walked out of the House. Anubis doubted that he would have any sleep himself. He grabbed his own blanket and pillow and followed Tanya.
      Sage rolled from side to side on his back and clutched his pillow over his ears. He scowled angrily and tried, without much success, to block out the noise. He was a very sensitive sleeper.
      Rowen was just content lulling himself to sleep with his headphones and some of his tapes.
      As it is Kento slept like a log.
      Cye felt as if he was going to go crazy any minute. He almost was about to dunk his head into his fish tank and drown himself if that wouldíve helped any.
      "Goodnight Anubis," Tanya said and fluffed up her pillow before lying down on a thick tree branch.
     "Goodnight Tanya," Anubis replied and pulled his blanket over his shoulders and dozed off.

      Ryo opened his eye a crack. "Uhhh......hey!" he felt around under the covers. "What are my pants doing down there?" he asked himself. He temporarily disappeared under the covers to retrieve his missing clothes. When he was done he got out of bed and slowly shuffled over to the bathroom. Ryo didnít notice the pleased smile Mia had.
      Ryo lifted his gaze to the mirror. "Ack!" he exclaimed when he saw how mussed his hair was. He quickly fixed it then dressed in his regular clothes. He made his way downstairs but looked up when he heard the door slam.
      "Damn Ryo, couldnít you have kept the volume down there?" Tanya complained.       "Huh?"
     "We had to sleep outside. You two sounded like cows in there."
      "What are you talking about?"
"Hey Ryo! I heard that you finally made your rite of passage!" Kento cheered as he and the others came downstairs.
      "Yeah, what was it like?" Cye queried.
     "Wha?"
     "You officially consummated your marriage with Mia," Rowen said.
     "I still donít get it." Anubis walked over to Ryo and whispered something into his ear. Ryo recoiled in shock.
     "I WHAT!!!" *scraped record* Suddenly the other boys and Tanya frowned.
     "You.....donít.......remember?" Sage asked.
      "NO! I was tired! How could I remember anything!"
      Jeez Ryo! How could you not remember!?" Tanya shrieked.
     "Tanya, I was totally exhausted last night," Ryo answered.
      The other boys shook their heads. "Apparently they are a bit disappointed by not being able to glean any significant details on the experience," Anubis commented. Then Mia emerged from the bathroom with a towel wrapped around her dripping hair.
     "Well, if it isnít the other partner," Rowen snickered.
      "Hmmmm....what time is it?" Mia asked sleepily.
"Half till nine," Sage informed.
      "Oh gods! Iím going to be late!!" Mia cried and darted upstairs to her room. It seemed as if she came out merely seconds after she had closed the door. She emerged fully dressed with her carry bag in hand and hurriedly dashed downstairs. She ran past Ryo but then pivoted and ran back to him. "Work, gotta go! See you," she said as she gave him a parting kiss on the lips before sprinting out the door. Tanya let out a low whistle.
      "Whoa, you sure do hang out with fast women big bro," she commented.
      "Look, I donít know what the f*** you all are talking about. I am going to go upstairs and back to sleep and hopefully Iíll find out that this has all been a bad dream," Ryo shouted as he stormed upstairs angrily. He entered the bedroom and slammed the door behind him.
      Tanya cupped her hands over her mouth. "You lost your virginity Bro! It wasnít a freakin dream!" she yelled.
      "Hmmm...having sex in your sleep. Brrrr...thatís a scary thought," Anubis commented and shuddered at the notion.
      "Well what are you complaining about? Youíre the one who made out before any of us did," Cye reminded.

      "I have a doctor appointment today. Iíll be back late though, so someone else will have to do the cooking," Mia called out as she left the House.
      "Hey, whereís Ryo?" Kento asked.
"Out training again," Tanya answered from where she was folding clothes.
     "As if he didnít come back zonked out before," Sage muttered.
     "Maybe we should keep Ďem in separate rooms so we donít have something like last week happen again," Rowen snickered.

      Later that night Ryo was lying on the sofa. This time he had practiced sword stroke timing with Sehkmet. For a while old Ronin Warrior instinct kicked in and he almost sliced poor Sehkmet to ribbons. Fortunately Anubis prevented him from doing that. He looked up sleepily when he heard the door slam. He slowly sat up and stood when Mia walked into the living room.
      Something was wrong. She kept her gaze lowered and was wringing her hands nervously. The others looked up from whatever they were doing. Ryo frowned. "Whatís wrong Mia?" he asked in a concerned tome.
      Mia bit her lip and continued to wring her hands. Then she looked Ryo in the eye: "Iím pregnant," she said bluntly.
      Ryo gasped in shock. Then his eyes rolled back and he slumped backwards onto the floor. Tanya glared at Mia. "Oh great, you killed him!"

      Ryo slowly opened his eyes and was surprised to see a large black and white mass right in his face. Whiteblaze stood over Ryo and had his nose inches away from Ryo. "Get off Whiteblaze. Ow! Oh man," he groaned as he sat up and rubbed the back of his head. The others were gathered all around him "Uhhhh....I had this weird dream. Mia came in and told me that she was....."
     "Ryo." Mia held up a small white card so he could read it. Then Ryo blacked out again.

      Ryo was violently jolted awake by something slapping him repeatedly on either cheek. "OW! Hey! Cut that out Tanya!" Ryo grabbed his sisterís wrist.       "Look," Tanya began as she got off from where she was sitting on Ryoís chest. She grabbed him by the collar and pulled him up. "your wifeís gonna have a baby, so donít go blanking out again or Iíll kick you," she threatened. Ryo rearranged his collar and looked at Mia.
      "Is it true?"
      "Yes," she replied. Ryo gulped and scratched the back of his head.
      "When.....when are you supposed to be.....uh...expecting?"
      "September." Ryo turned around and rested his hand on the sofa arm.
      "Ryo, is there something wrong?" Anubis asked.
      "Itís just that.....this, this.....I-I didnít expect for it to come so soon! I....I donít know if Iím ready to become a father just yet. I, I donít know what to do, I donít know how I can handle this if thereís still going to be fighting going on!" Ryo turned to face his friends. "I-Iím scared."
      "Donít worry Ryo, weíll help you out," Kento offered.
      "Yeah, you wonít be going in alone. You have us to help you do things right," Rowen added.
      "Besides, youíre Ryo of the Wildfire, Leader of the Ronin Warriors. Youíve defeated the forces of evil hundreds of times. This should be a piece of cake!" Cye reasoned.
      "Thisíll be our greatest fight yet: raising Ryoís kid," Sage laughed.
      "Weíre in this together bro. You can count on us," Tanya said.
      Ryo smiled. "Thank you guys. We do this together?" he asked and held out his hand to Mia. She grasped his outstretched hand and nodded, smiling in agreement. Then, one by one, the others put their hands over theirs. Then Whiteblaze placed his huge paw on top of the pile.
      "This will require a higher level of experience; adjusting to family life," Anubis joked.       "Yeah, we can all be like the Brady Bunch." Everyone looked at Tanya. "Okay, so weíre not like the Brady Bunch."
      "God forbid," Anubis said. They all burst out laughing. Ryo and Mia hugged each other.
Their greatest battle ever had yet to come......

------------------------------------------------------------ Now that Mia is expecting the forces of evil will stop at nothing to destroy the Heir to the Armor of Wildfire. In the mean time the other Ronin Warriors have to worry about protecting their world from scores of newer, more deadlier enemies, leaving them too busy to completely focus on raising the son of Wildfire.
There is only one person who can keep the Ronin Household in line.
Only one person who can take care of them all.
That person is also the only one strong enough to humble even the mighty Ronin Leader himself.........
His mother.
"Who do you think you are going off and getting drunk like that!" *spank!*
Mothers Day 2000
"And you call yourself the Ronin Leader!" *spank!* "Shame on you, you
naughty,"
*spank* "naughty boy!" She returns to watch over them all...............