Disclaimer: I own NOTHING. All characters are fictional, with the exception of Oda Nobunaga, who is a historical figure and only mentioned, he makes no appearances. The events spoken of in Saizo's story are fictional, any similarity to any real events at that time are completely coincidental and unintentional.

Two To Tango . . . Three to Die . . . the title no one ever understands . . .
Part: . . . do you really care?

After negotiating a few booby traps, fending off a few surprise attacks by the Kuno family miniature ninja, who's name Ryoga couldn't really remember for the life of him, the three reached a room that seemed close enough to a living room to sit down and begin the tale telling.
"Well . . . it all started about five hundred years ago, during Japan's feudal era, with Nobunaga, and Tokugawa and--"
"That's more like four hundred years." Cologne pointed out.
"Hey, are you telling the story? Quiet!" Nabiki cried. "Now, as I was saying the story began about five hundred years ago . . ."
Ryoga leaned close. "Yes?"
"What?" Nabiki raised an eyebrow.
"The story . . . you just . . . stopped . . ." Ryoga said.
Nabiki stretched out her hand. "Please deposit one thousand yen for the next five sentences."
"Ha ha ha!" Ryoga scowled. He gave Nabiki the money, she smiled and went to work on the tale.
"Well, there was a family, the Hidetatsu family, they were relatively wealthy, serving under a lord, Matsu, who in turn served Oda Nobunaga."
"Oh-ho . . . I do not understand . . ." Ryoga observed.
Nabiki sighed. Then suddenly she slapped him. "Oda was a big shot back then, those who opposed him suffered terrible deaths, or whatever, he was like . . . *the* Warlord of Japan."
"I don't watch much TV." Ryoga scoffed.
"Ever pick up a history book?" Nabiki scoffed.
"Yes!" Ryoga said defensively.
"Yeah, well Matsu was ambitious too. Just serving Oda didn't satisfy the head of the Matsu clan, he wanted more power than he could handle. Oda did not like that. Matsu rose in arms to attack a neighboring lord, but Oda struck first . . ." She extended her hand.
"What? That want five sentences . . ." Ryoga frowned.
"I asked you about a history book." Nabiki pointed out.
Ryoga frowned. "Here." He tossed her some yen.
"Thank you. Well anyway Oda nearly crushed Matsu with that one attack, it was through a mixture of luck and desperation that Matsu managed to win through. Yes, Nobunaga's men were defeated, but Matsu's men were nearly wiped out, he'd captured some of Oda's men and added them to his troops, but that was nothing compared to what Nobunaga was getting ready to throw at the upstart. Matsu summoned every healer he had in his lands, every cleric, priest, shaman, if they knew how to dress a wound they were called in, some were dragged. Enter, Yama Saizo."
"The witch." Cologne nodded.
"Uh . . . right." Nabiki said . . . she held out her hand.
Ryoga hadn't even counted the pauses, he just took her word for it and tossed her the money.
"Saizo had a nephew serving Matsu. Yumetaka or something. Yume had come out of the battle with barely a scratch, but next time he might not be so lucky. Saizo was a little older, but she'd grown up with Yume, the thought of his death was a bit too much for her. So when one of her patients was lost, she took his armor and when Oda returned she was there to fight alongside Yume."
"All this for her nephew?" Ryoga raised an eyebrow. He didn't know Saizo incredibly well, but he doubted she'd do such a thing.
"Yes well . . ." Nabiki trailed off, Ryoga suspected she was keeping something hidden "they fought together, brilliantly, Sakon, Yume, and Ryuko--er . . . well they were doing well, real fighters. But the rest of the army was being pushed back . . ."
"Pay the woman." Cologne sighed.
"Can't you handle this one?" Ryoga asked.
"I did not bring my purse." Cologne batted her wrinkled eyelashes at him. He shuddered and gave Nabiki the last of his money.
"Succubus." He spat at her.
Nabiki smiled and shrugged. "I guess this should cover the rest of the story. Well the Matsu commander called a retreat and ordered some men to play rear guard. They were all either overrun or killed by Oda's cavalry, so Yume turns back to try and cover the fleeing rearguard. Sakon and . . . some other guy follows him. Saizo, who has managed to survive by more or less hiding behind the people she came to protect, sees them going back into the melee, what can a girl do but follow?"
"She could run like a maniac." Ryoga pointed out.
Nabiki shook her head disapprovingly. "Well she didn't. She turned back and she tried to help them. After a few moments Saizo rushes forward only to find herself surrounded and loses her helmet after a particularly nice blow to the head that leaves her dazed. She's nearly killed, then Yume jumps in and saves her, kicks her back and Sakon grabs her and runs, as you put it, like a maniac. They left Yume, but it's fairly easy to guess what happened to him.
"After that Matsu was executed. Sakon went into the service of the new lord of the region, but was eventually released. As for Saizo? Well she changed a little, she was overcome with darkness, the story got hazy after that she began trying to seduce Sakon, which didn't work. She managed to poison him and trick her sister, his wife--"
"Yuki." Ryoga put in."
"Yeah . . . shut up, I'm trying to tell a story." Nabiki snapped. "Anyway she tricks Yuki into going to China after some wonder flower, which she'd made up off the top of her head."
'Now that sounds like Saizo.' Ryoga thought.
"Well the poison made Sakon nuts, she got him to marry her, but I think he really wanted to anyway, I mean Ranma would be able to tell the difference between me and Akane."
"Ranma . . ." Ryoga scowled.
'It's a lie! I didn't want to marry her! That part's a lie!' Ryoga heard Sakon in his head, but the ghost hadn't taken physical form . . .
"So what happened?" Ryoga asked.
Nabiki shrugged. "Next? Saizo didn't remember much. Yuki came back, miracle huh? She had the flowers and everything! She also had the killing half of a spear."
"So she stabbed them in bed like your dad's story?"
Nabiki smiled wickedly. "No. Not at all. She was thrilled to see her sister again, and her husband, they weren't in bed when she got there. But Saizo . . . she panicked, what would Yuki do when she found out what she'd done, eh? She started talking to herself, it was like there were two people in her head! The good side, and the dark side."
'She's got a good side?' Ryoga wondered, at the same time he heard Sakon scoff it.
"A confused, frightened and I'd like to think 'insane' Saizo grabbed the spear as Sakon left the room for some reason. Her sister acted . . . well the way I'd see Kasumi acting. She was afraid it might be too heavy, but at the same time she offered to show Saizo how to hold it. She came too close, Saizo ran her through."
"Ouch." Ryoga shuddered.
"So she is evil. I should destroy her." Cologne reasoned.
"I'm not done. She stood over her sister, she went nuts, she was laughing inside, crying outside, then Sakon shows up, they fight for a moment, and she gets him in the stomach just as he gets her in the chest with a dagger."
Ryoga shuddered. "So . . . that's it? Why are their kimonos singed?"
"That's all she knows, they were probably burned after their deaths." Nabiki shrugged. "I'd started showing her *my* past after that while she tried to remember her first conscious thoughts as a ghost."
"You have a past?" Ryoga raised an eyebrow.
"I haven't always been this teenage sex goddess you see before you." Nabiki shrugged.
"Well . . . I see no reason not to destroy this evil spirit." Cologne pointed out.
"Oh c'mon, she's not that bad." Nabiki said.
"Well I suppose *you* wouldn't think so." Cologne mumbled.
"Nabiki . . . while you were possessed by her, you spent all your money on army guys . . ." Ryoga pointed out.
Nabiki's eyes narrowed. "It was *my* money? You're sure?"
"Yes." Ryoga lied. He'd just sort of assumed.
Nabiki glared at the jar, Saizo was shaking her head violently in denial of the act of money spending. "Well neither of us was really in control. But I guess you'd better release her, so she can start paying me back. I don't care how." Nabiki growled.
'How is Saizo going to pay Nabiki back?' Ryoga wondered. 'She cant get a job . . . she'd have to kill or steal for it . . .' he frowned and decided, for the sake of innocent people to be overly noble, "I'll eh . . . handle her expenses." He said.
"Excellent. Well then Cologne, release her so she can thank Ryoga and get back to her eternal torment.

Sakon felt a tremor run through him, which was strange since he didn't have a body, he really didn't feel much let alone tremors.
A re-telling of his death, as well as the battle where he'd lost his son. He noted strangely, that Nabiki had avoided mentioning Ryuko.
The third man to turn back to defend the rear guard, the man who'd introduced Saizo, under disguise, to Yume and Sakon. Sakon had found in Ryuko a loyal friend and servant, and he'd suspected that the younger man had some sort of attraction to Saizo, which despite Ryuko's station Sakon had not minded at all. After all, what did Sakon care about some woman back then?
When Matsu called upon the smaller Hidetatsu clan for conscripts, Sakon had taken Ryuko, since the man had a basic understanding of martial arts.
It had been when Ryuko was killed that Saizo had rushed forward and been encircled, it had been then that Yume had recognized her, and against Sakon's command had gone to her aid.
'How could I forget Ryuko?' He wondered. He could remember just about everything else, at least he thought he could, but he'd forgotten all about Ryuko until Nabiki had nearly slipped and mentioned his name.
And why had she tried to hide that name?
He watched as Saizo was released, and suddenly he felt a heavy force of evil in the room. He wasn't entirely sure it was just her.

To Be Continued . . . in less than 6 months.

Check back for the next part . . . soon . . . unless I forgot to pay my bills . . .