Disclaimer: I don't own Ranma 1/2 or anything else anime related. Only the characters and story is mine, and even then it's debatable.
Further Note: Yes I know I need to work on Kingdom Comes Again, but I've forgotten where I was on that. I'll get something out soon, I hope.
And yet another note: Yes, for those who have read Moon Cats one, two, or three, I like cats. Is that so wrong?
Ranma groaned, and rubbed his eyes, putting the book he had been reading on the grass. His blue eyes felt the strain of his unusually long study session. As a bonus, however, no one had attacked, or attempted to glomp, him in hours and he was actually beginning to understand the study material.
The book, Fundamentals of Human Psychology, was for one of the college courses he had his freshman year. Everyone had been surprised when he decided to go to college, but his mother had been thrilled. He didn't admit to anyone that part of the reason he chose to pursue a higher education was to avoid the fiancee issue for a few more years.
His chosen major, was Physical Education, but Nabiki had suggested, sarcastically, that he minor in psychology "since he draws nuts, anyway." Her joke had actually made Ranma think, and he had taken her tongue in cheek advice.
Stretching again, me muttered "I might as well work out for a while, since it's quiet."
He froze, half risen from the ground. The cursed martial artists slowly turned his head, looking for the monster stalking him so he knew which way to run.
And he froze again when his eyes locked with the green eyes of the creature, which was perched on a tree limb above his head. The fear turned to surprise.
The young girl meowed again, before pouncing.
Shampoo-Neko crawled out of the pit, finally dragging the bedraggled kitten she was carrying behind her. She winced in pain as she was forced to put weight on her right foreleg, the bite wound burning hotly with the added pressure.
The small kitten she carried in her mouth mewed, it's own tiny body also covered in wounds in spite of Shampoo's best efforts. That worried the pink cat-girl since she was sure one of the cats in the pit was rabid.
The mess Shampoo found herself in started the day before. She had been returning to the Nekohatten after a trip to visit family in China. The return trip had been unusually quick so she was a couple of days early. She was walking home planning to surprise her Great Grandmother when a rainstorm had come out of no where and activated her curse.
That wouldn't have been a big deal except a skinny man in a black gi had grabbed her before she could find her self hot water water and had carried her off to a pit. The pit was filled with cats, most of them starved and half crazy. She knocked the two whom attempted to bother her aside, planning to hide in a corner until she had a chance to escape, when she noticed the smell of blood.
Her eyes turned toward the coppery smell, only to watch in horror as a group of toms killed calico, and attacked the kittens she had been trying to protect.
A few short moments later the toms were themselves bleeding, and backing away from the pink cat, who was guarding the last kitten, her attacks barely coming in time to save her.
Over the next twelve hours Shampoo was forced to stand a constant vigil. The kitten, who was fortunately eating solid food, happily ate the worms Shampoo knew to dig for while the other cats, with the dulled instincts of domestic pets and their lack of human intelligence, went on starving.
Then, what Shampoo had been afraid of happening, happened. The pits wooden cover opened long enough for a screaming young girl to be dropped into the pit. She was wrapped in sausages, just like Ranma had described to her in the past, and the cats attacked almost before she hit the ground.
Shampoo, desperate to help the screaming girl, jumped into the chaos, and slashed the ropes tying the fish to her, the girls own flailing tossing the bait away. For her troubles, Shampoo took several minor wounds, but accepted them.
The pink cat had returned to the kitten, picking it up by the scruff intending to escape with it when the sadistic moron opened the pit to get the girl. Unfortunately the toms had gotten brave, and too little fish, and she was busy fighting them off to escape that first chance.
The second time found the girl coated with fish oil and sardines. While most of the cats went after the fish when she again clawed the twine, some didn't forcing Shampoo to battle any who went for the girl's face. Again shortly after the Chaos died down she had to fight the damn toms again. This time she suffered a fresh bite wound.
The third time the girl was dropped in Shampoo had almost slipped into a stuporous sleep around the kitten, exhaustion of almost two straight days awake catching up to her. She snapped to awareness just in time to hear the yowl pour out of the angered, neko-ken possessed girl.
Shampoo forced the kitten into a corner of the pit, making them as small as possible while the girl killed the aggressive, hungry cats around them. The girl finally broke free of the pit and left Shampoo and her kitten as the only survivors.
'I have to get help.' Shampoo thought to herself. She recognized the area she was in, woods just outside of Nerima, and turned to try and get to Dr. Tofu's. She collapsed after only fifty meters. 'Damn it!'
"Shampoo? Is that you? What the hell happened?" The voice, from behind her, caused her to turn her head. Ryoga, his pack over his shoulders, was crouching down looking at her.
"Oh man your hurt bad!" The lost boy said, lifting her and the kitten she was still holding off the ground. "What the... Who is this?"
"Oh yeah, you can't talk." Ryoga started running in the direction he thought Nerima was. Okay Shampoo, I'll get you both to Dr. Tofu so don't you...OW!"
Shampoo had just bitten him, though she hadn't (And frankly didn't think she could) broken the skin. She yowled and wildly gestured with her mostly uninjured tail in the opposite direction.
"Oh, the other way...Right!"
Shampoo sighed as he turned towards the city. 'At least he can follow visual cues... but I don't know if I can keep giving them.' Her vision was already graying, but she fought to stay awake and aware.
"This is very weird." Ranma muttered leaning against the same tree he had been studying under. The girl trapped in the Neko-ken lay on his lap, seemingly asleep but Ranma hadn't risked moving yet.
The girl had jumped from her tree limb straight at him, causing him to fall in panic. She landed gracefully in his lap and had curled up, apparently intending to sleep. That was fifteen minutes ago.
Over that time Ranma had taken the chance to look over the girls multiple injuries. The hundreds of scratches covering her bare skin were all too familiar to him, the marks of over a dozen cats attacking. Almost more disturbing to the pigtailed boy were the even dozen deep bruises scattered over her body, some visible on her back through the tattered mess of a gray gi. Ranma was a veteran of hundreds of such bruises and the sickly green color of some of them told him she wasn't moving well when she was tossed into the pit.
"Somehow..." Ranma muttered "you managed to find a trainer worse them the old man!" Even Genma had made sure he was in relatively good physical health before trying the Neko-ken.
Genma had also had topical antibiotics handy to prevent infections, which her teacher hadn't bothered to do either as the angry red skin around the older looking claw marks attested. Carefully Ranma tried lifting the girl, smiling when she stayed asleep.
"Okay, who ever you are, Doc Tofu can help ya out." He muttered, and started running.
AN: Yes, I'm giving the girl a father worse then Genma. Yes this fic is going to have some VERY dark bits.... But I promise not all will be pain and fear. I swear it (Cause I'd get depressed, and don't wanna Shi Shi Hokodan my computer.)