Continuing Tales

Destiny's Child

A Crossovers Story
by Fire

Part 10 of 26

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Destiny's Child

Ranma had been back to see Rei twice in the last week since they had met. It was amazing really, he could not remember anyone he had gotten on so well with in a long time. It seemed that from the moment he stepped through her door to when he left at nightfall, they would be at each other's throats. At least half their conversations degenerated into shouting matches, and mindless name calling. Last time she had even started to throw things at him.

It was great fun.

Every time he saw her they would compete drawing wards, or showing off their mystical talents. Rei had an edge on him in some of the pure learning associated with Japan and the local regions, but he could always simply outdo her in terms of shear spiritual power and the speed he could deliver it.

Today, before she had thrown him out of the shrine, they had held a competition. Each had a small candle, endowed with the power she used in fire readings. Then they set about extinguishing that power, banishing it using wards or holy incantations, while at the same time the other was trying to block using the same means. It was an exciting way to practice, and great for developing speed and power.

While they played at it, and Rei knock up ward after ward, Ranma thought back to how he had played this against Mahidmaja in the late 1600s. The wrinkled old man had been a master, truly one of the greatest of the age. He hardly concentrated on Rei, thinking of the good times he had, learning at his master's feet. Ranma simply sat there, smiling calmly, occasionally bothering to make a few marks on the paper in front of him, delivering just enough power to deflect or oppose whatever attack Rei would launch.

Rei just kept getting more and more frustrated. 'What am I doing wrong? Is he reading my wards while I'm preparing them? All right, this time for real!'

In a blur of motion, she scrawled out a mighty channelling, enough power to seal a demon, and directed the ward at the candle. With something like this, she had freed people who had been possessed by youma, and no upstart boy was going to beat her. To her shock, Ranma held out one palm, and calmly deflected the spiritual energy into a bright flash.

What happened next defied her experience. Pointing at her candle, Ranma whispered the words "Moko Takabisha" and a tiny little ball of spiritual energy emerged from his hand. She could feel it's power as it sailed through the air and snuffed her candle.

"Wow, you're pretty good."

"Sorry about that, Rei-san. A lady called Deodorant taught me how to focus my Ki for Martial Arts a long time ago. If you can knock down a wall, it gives you a little edge in a competition like this."

'Such power! Even though he's lying about knocking down walls.' She had never realised it was even possible for someone to do that, and he had done it so casually. He was not just some student, he must be a fully fledged master! "Oh, so you come here and play with me? Try and make me look bad? You insensitive jerk! Take this!"

Throwing her now unlit candle, she bonked him on the head, and started chasing him around the shrine courtyard, yelling insults and trying to catch him. After a while, Ranma jumped straight over her, doing a pirouette on her head with one finger. Before she could turn he was past her, running outside, laughing at her.

"Come back here, you jerk!"

"Stand still and get what's coming to you."

When Rei reached the entrance to the shrine, Ranma turned and stuck his tongue out at her. 'Blargh!' He laughed all the way home. Rei-san was so much fun!

"Ohhh, I hate that boy!"

Ranma was almost home when a cry rent the air. "Tendo Ranma, prepare to die!!!"

Jumping back, he narrowly avoided being made into mincemeat by the crushing impact of an umbrella driven into the ground. Looking down into the three meter wide crater in the road, he saw a boy who looked around his own age. He had wild black hair tied back with a yellow and black bandanna. When he looked up at Ranma, he also looked really mad.

"Um, do I know you?"

"You dare to mock me? I shall destroy you!"

Swiping his umbrella through the air, the boy tried to smash his opponent again, but Ranma leaped back, putting some distance between the two of them. "Listen, pal, I'm sure we can work this out."

"Tendo Ranma, because of you I have experienced the worst hell has to offer! I shall destroy your happiness!"

Once again the bigger boy closed in for a fight. With lightning strikes, he whipped his umbrella around, attempting to flatten Ranma. Once he got close enough worry the martial artist, but Ranma dodged under the blow, and planted a foot in the boy's face. "Feh! I didn't even know I was happy."

The big boy began a dazzling array of strikes, each one lightning fast, and judging by the damage that they were doing to the ground and nearby walls, they were not short on power either. Finally he got close enough to worry Ranma, and Ranma struck back. In the blink of an eye, Ranma had struck the boy almost a dozen times, pounding on his torso and knocking him back through a concrete wall.

Shaking his hand in pain, Ranma admired his knuckles. 'What was that guy wearing? A steel plate under his shirt?'

Ranma had just started to move off when the pile of rubble stirred and the dust covered boy emerged. "Truly pitiful, Tendo. I'll crush you like a bug!"

Barely dodging under the deadly umbrella strike, Ranma back pedalled frantically. This guy was inhuman! Ranma had destroyed concrete buildings with weaker punches, and he got up, looking none the worse. Sighing, Ranma decided he had better take him down quickly. Hmm, nothing too dangerous, just something to persuade him to settle down so we can talk. "DIGGER BOLT!"

The magic blast left his palm, striking the boy in the chest, knocking him to the ground, where he slid along until he knocked over yet another wall. Ranma was wandering up to the resting place to dig him out when the debris flew everywhere. Standing there with a faint red glow surrounding him was the boy. Glaring at Ranma, he bared his fangs and brought his hands together: "FIRE BALLLL!"

"Wharg!" Ranma jumped aside, but only just, and the fireball smashed into the house behind him, setting it alight, and throwing bits of brick and glass over the street. By the time Ranma was back on his feet, his inhumanly strong opponent was readying another spell. "Ha! I see now I should have expected so little from a second rate sorcerer as you! If you can stuff up a simple summoning, how could you get combat spells right? FIREBALL!"

Expecting this one made it easier to dodge. While Ranma was unharmed, the neighbourhood was definitely looking the worse for wear. Suddenly it all clicked into place. The single minded hatred, the fangs, the magic, the fangs, the inhuman strength and endurance, and especially those FANGS. "Ryoga? Hibiki Ryoga? Is that really you?"

Giving up on the fireballs for the moment, Ryoga closed in for another attempt to pummel Ranma into a fine paste. "Of course it's me! How many other demons have you tortured this way?"

"Hey I only summoned you the once! I held that circle open for you for three days, but no, you were off raiding villages or something."

Ryoga had paused momentarily. "I was trying to find my back to the summoning circle! Four days of pure torture it was! If you only waited for me, I could have gone home then! Ranma, I shall destroy you!"

Ranma took off, leading Ryoga in a chase around the city. If Ryoga felt a need to break things, perhaps he would go easy if his target was out of reach. Maybe. Or maybe not. "Look, Ryoga, if you want to get home, I can create a portal for you in a minute, just stop attacking me."

Running along behind him, Ryoga had started slinging his headbands, breaking parts of roofs and chopping electrical poles and trees down. "I got home, some nice young Mamono Hunter was kind enough to send me back. It's what I found when I got there that made me so mad. Now stand still and die!"

Seeing Ryoga was preparing another fireball, Ranma charged in. Locked in close combat, the two slugged it out. In their fight they almost levelled an entire residential block before Ranma could disengage enough to try and talk again.

"What's so bad about being home? You belong in the hell of wild boars!"

"I know, but you didn't cast a summoning, you cast a binding. While you live, I share your curse!"

Ryoga threw a massive punch at him, cracking the pavement. Damn, I think I see those Girl Guides coming. "What?"

"That's right, I'm locked in this pitiful form until your death. No more can I be Ryoga, the mighty raging boar, terror of all who dwell in forests. Now I become, Ryoga, the insufferably cute little baby piggy. Blargh!"

"Water activated?"

"Yes, but..."

Moving faster than Ryoga could react, Ranma tackled him, throwing them both through a burst water main. Even as he felt Ryoga's massive arms preparing to crush the life out of him, the change occurred, and cute little Hotaru stood up with her pet pig in hand. Oh, oh, Girl Guides approaching at ten o'clock. Deep in his heart, Ranma felt a sudden urge to speak with them, but to do so would mean the certain death of his friend.

Turning his back on the approaching girls, Hotaru sprinted down an alley and ran off into the city. Ryoga was biting her the whole way, but even he was smart enough not to call attention to himself while the Sailor Senshi were around. Some people liked to send you back to the darkest pits of whatever hell spawned you, but the Senshi had a nasty reputation for killing demons first and not bothering to ask questions later.

Sailor Mercury held up her computer and turned around in the ruins of the house. "This is definitely the right spot. I have readings of magical residues from those fireballs, and this is the last spot that demon was."

Even as Sailor Moon tripped over the one piece of loose brick in the entire street, Sailor Mars was looking like she wanted to throw some fire of her own. "Disappear? How could it just disappear? Demons magically appear, they don't just vanish. Where can it have gone?"

Everyone shrugged their shoulders. They picked over the remains of the house for a moment, looking for some indication of a dimensional portal or the Daimon eggs they had been seeing recently. Nothing. Venus eventually spoke up. "Well, if it's not here, it must be hiding somewhere. Lets split up and look for it. Don't look for too long, but we might be able to find it this way. Stay in contact."

With that the pretty soldier, Sailor Venus, ran off down a street, searching for a demon she was not destined to find.

Somewhere near the Tomoe family home, little Hotaru stopped and looked down at her cute little pet pig. Sitting down on the curb, she placed the pig between her feet and frowned.

"Ryoga, since you can't attack me now, I've got to say that it really is just a big mistake. I never wanted to hurt you, I was just practising the spell. Now, I really don't plan on staying cursed like this forever, and I sure don't plan to let you kill me, so you better get used to the curse for a bit longer. "I'm sorry about all the problems I've caused you. I swear on my honour that I will not tell anyone about you being a demon, or about your curse, so just stay calm for a while. OK? "The good news is that I'm getting closer to a cure than I ever was before. In a few months, we should both be free men! How's that sound?"

Judging by the way the psychotic black piglet was trying to gnaw off her leg, it still didn't sound too good. Pulling Ryoga off by his bandanna, she looking into his big piggy eyes. "Perhaps I should put that another way. Which would you prefer: you wait patiently till I'm cured, or I have bacon for breakfast?"

The frantic struggles ceased. "I knew you'd see it my way. Come on, follow me and we'll get some hot water at home."

It was only three blocks to her home, but by the time she reached it and looked for her travelling companion, there was no sign of the pig. Heading inside, she set about getting some dinner. Apparently one of her father's assistants was actually the housekeeper, but these days Kaolinite seemed to be out doing odd jobs more than she was home.

Cooking up so stir-fry from the assortment of vegetables in the refrigerator, she headed down to her 'father's' lab. Knocking on the door she opened it with one foot and carried the food in.

Souichi was sitting at his workbench, a massive quantity of concoctions bubbling and boiling away in front of him. He was staring intently at one of the containers, watching a particularly nasty looking black mass bubble and boil, and failed to see her come in. She placed a meal beside him, and watched quietly for a moment as he consulted a thermometer and tapped the side of the beaker a few times.

The food seemed to catch his attention, and be reached down and placed her on his lap. Mistress 9 had warned Ranma that this sort of thing might occur occasionally. Souichi actually thought that Ranma really was his daughter Hotaru, who had died tragically. Something about a lab explosion... Lots of strange chemicals... bubbling and boiling... Ranma began to get a little nervous.

"Just a moment. Any second now... Done!"

With that, the elder Tomoe whisked the beaker off with a pair of heat tongs and poured it's disgusting, thick black contents into a pair of smaller beakers. Taking one of them, he lifted it to his nose and inhaled deeply. Taking a sip he smiled and gestured for Hotaru to join him.

She looked at the beaker and wondered how she could get out of it. The smell of chemicals in the lab was overpowering, and she hesitated to think what sort of combination could have caused such a disgusting looking mess. After a few gentle nudges, she picked up the warm beaker and closed her eyes.

Bringing it to her face, she silently reminded herself of the horrors she had suffered in her life. The medicinal infusions which Tomoe had prepared for her to help Mistress 9's work were far from the worst, but this mess seemed to rival even Akane's capabilities. With one last gasp she put the glass to her lips and took as large a swallow as the temperature would allow.

As soon as it his her taste buds, her eyes flew open and she stared at her 'father'. With a wink he touched the side of his nose. "Don't tell Kaolinite. If she knew I was using all this stuff to make the ultimate cup of coffee, she'd have a fit."

Relaxing onto his shoulder, Ranma reconsidered her opinion of the man. He might be a bit odd, he might see her as his dead daughter, and he might have vats if distilled evil stored under the floorboards, but anyone who can make coffee this good can't be all bad.

As Hotaru lay in her bed that night, the nightmares began again. Ever since the day she had seen those girls at the ticket office, they had been getting worse. Strange dreams, sometimes she could remember them, other times just the feelings of fear, danger and sadness.

He was walking through the halls of Akane's home. It was the third time he had come here, and he had yet to see another soul. As he looked around, he admired the paintings on the wall, and wondered what he could fetch for such items. In his dream, Ranma looked down and saw his black clad feet stepping lightly on cold stone floors.

'Stone floors? What stone floors?' As he looked up again, he could feel the anger in him, rising again. What gave them the right? What allowed them to live like this while he was forced to live on the road, and fight for everything that he ever desired?

For a time he held his anger in check, but as he walked through the halls of the castle, it just kept rising. 'Castle? Akane didn't live in a castle.' When he reached the main dining hall, it was all too much. There was a feast laid out, on a large oak table. Enough food to feed half a dozen, and just the one small woman eating. How could she?

He marched forward, yelling abuse at her, and she kept her head lowered, her short, dark hair falling forward and covering her face. Felling he was being ignored, he yelled again, hurling insults. Evoking no response, he struck the table, shattering the expensive hardwood, and sending the food to the floor.

"Do you know how I feel? Can you even imagine? To be hated by your mother? To be nothing more than a pawn to your father? To be looked at with fear and hatred? Do you know?"

Finally he had her attention. Slowly her head rose and he looked into her eyes. Bright purple eyes, so deep and perfect that you could fly forever in their depths. And as he looked into those eyes, he saw his own pain mirrored.

"Yes, I do."

It was all she said. So simple, so quiet. But she may of been the one person in the whole solar system who could have said such a thing and been believed. Looking into her face, he saw his own needs there, saw his own desires. Here was someone who finally understood. She spoke again.

"Do you want to be friends?"

Ranma awoke bathed in sweat. It wasn't a dream, it was a nightmare. Besides, Akane had brown eyes. Big, beautiful, perfect brown eyes. He didn't know any girls that had purple eyes. Shuddering she lay back on the bed and tried to get some sleep. Please, no more dreams tonight, just let me rest.

Destiny's Child

A Crossovers Story
by Fire

Part 10 of 26

<< Previous     Home     Next >>