Disclaimer: Although I do own some episodes of Ranma½, the series itself and it's characters are not mine :(
All I do is use them in stories.
Warning: Extreme fluff towards the end ^_^
Horror of The Cats
Hikaru Gosunkugi sat in front of the crackling fire and opened the ancient printing in his hands. 'That damned Ranma Saotome!' He thought, his hold on the ancient printing tightening. 'He'd gone too far this time! Calling the sweet and innocent Akane those horrible names…I can't stand it anymore! It's time for him to pay for his cruelty!'
He burned the incense and read the words on the printing aloud: "Sleep, damn child. Fear will engulf your soul. Awake not, awake not." A bright light was created in the circle he drew around him. "Be my help, evil demon. Be my help and defeat the one, who causes me hatred! Sleep, sleep, damn child. Sleep, awake not." The light from the circle was so bright now, that Gosunkugi had to shut his eyes. When he opened them again, a figure stood outside the circle. Gosunkugi smiled, full of pride with his achievement.
"Have you summoned me up, puny human?" The figure asked in a low, hoarse voice.
"Y-yes!" Gosunkugi answered, barely nodding.
"I want power! Help me defeat Ranma Saotome, the one that I hate most!" Gosunkugi's voice quivered with fear. He gulped.
"Ho? And what will I get in return? Why should I, a great demon, help a puny human such as you?"
Gosunkugi thought for a moment, and then came up with a good idea. "You can use my body for the mission, and even a bit afterwards, if you want."
The figure smiled evilly and disappeared in a flash of light. Gosunkugi stayed in shock for few more moments, and the felt something strange in his body. 'The demon is taking control,' he thought before he lost control over his body. His soul remained, though. He could think! 'It was a great idea to take it from the old owner of the Cat-Café.'
He heard a low voice: "Remember, human. You gave me your body. There is no turn back or regrets now."
Gosunkugi felt himself walking. 'Ranma will pay. Oh, yes…' and then his soul was gone, too.
"I'm telling you it's the truth!"
"But Yuka said it isn't!"
Ranma and Akane were on their way back from school and, as usual, were arguing. A pretty dumb argument, but they sure didn't seem to think so…
"It's obvious that Yuki was expelled from school! You heard what he's done!" Ranma said from high on the fence.
"But Yuka saw Yuuichi doing that!" Akane responded.
The argument continued on and on, until Ranma heard the sound he dreaded the most. He froze in his place.
"Is something wrong?" Akane asked suspiciously.
He signaled her to be quiet. "Did you hear that? C-c-" He didn't finish the sentence when a small group of cats rushed down the street, fish in their mouths and a cook running after them, holding a metal pan in his hand and shouting, "Stupid cats! Give me back my fish!"
"Cats!" Ranma screamed and fell from the fence, jumping on Akane and holding onto her tightly. "Cats! Cats! Oh, dear god, help me, please!" he kept on screaming and holding onto Akane with each passing, terrifying moment.
Akane felt him shuddering with fear in her arms, but it might have been her- shuddering with rage.
When the cats disappeared behind a brick wall, Akane dumped him on the pavement.
"Ranma, you pervert!" She yelled at him. He merely stared, the fear disappearing little by little. "What in the world were you thinking?"
"I…the cats-" he stuttered.
"Oh, shut up, will ya? I can't believe it! Gosh, you went too far this time with this fear of yours!"
Ranma gained his composure back at this comment. "It's not my fault! If it weren't for the stupid father of mine-"
"You can't blame your father for everything, Ranma! Not all is his fault!"
"Oh yeah? And what exactly is not his fault?"
"It's not his fault that Shampoo and Kodachi are after you!" Akane said, feeling the right one. She liked to feel this way.
Ranma huffed. They continued shouting and blaming for a few more minutes before the argument was back to where it started.
"I can't understand your reactions. Cats are cute and harmless creatures!"
"Can you say the same thing on a starved cat?" He asked, crossing his arms.
"Those cats weren't starved, you know."
"Sure they're not; they stole fish just for the sheer fun of it," Ranma said cynically.
"I still think that it's a ridiculous fear. Cats are as harmless as P-chan!" She didn't see him roll his eyes at this comment. "When will you get it in this thick head of yours?" At this point, Akane's face was crimson red with rage.
"What do you understand, you stupid tomboy?"
"I understand that you're afraid because of nothing! You have no reason at all to be. You better get over it…and you better not hold onto me!" She yelled the last sentence. "Stupid fear. You're stupid."
She waited for a retort, but it didn't come. Ranma was looking at her with his blue eyes wide with hurt and anger, his fists clenched. "B-baka!" He said quietly, his bangs covering his eyes. He jumped over rooftops- away from there.
The cold wind blew on the face of a sad and shocked Akane. "Ranma…" she whispered.
From behind the shadows, a figure was watching, satisfied.
Akane was strolling back home, looking at the ground. She couldn't believe she hurt Ranma so much. After all, it's obvious that Ranma would be afraid of cats after what happened to him so long ago. It was her temper that took over and made her say these mean stuff to him. Ranma ran away after the fight, hurt and sad, and she perfectly understood why.
When she closed the gate behind her, she thought she saw something moving on the roof. 'It must be Ranma,' she was sure of it, but when she looked up again there was nothing there. She decided to check, anyway.
She went up the ladder the leads to the roof and glanced around. Ranma sat on the farthest end, his legs crossed and his back turned to her.
"Go away," he said coldly.
Akane's heart sank. "I won't."
He just shrugged and let it go at that.
Akane broke the silence. "I came to look for you," she said.
"Why? He asked in the same cold tone of speech.
Her gaze was fixated on the tiles of the roof. "Because I wanted to apologize for what I said earlier today." He didn't respond. She went over to him, sat down next to him, and put her hand on his thigh. She felt him tense a bit at her action, but he still didn't look at her.
They sat in silence for a few more minutes, and then Ranma spoke. "Why did you say that?" He asked quietly.
"I said I'm sorry, Ranma. It was my temper the said these things- not me. I still don't understand, though-" With a swift motion he turned his head to look at her, his blue eyes wide, a serious expression on his face. She stopped for a moment and then continued. "I still don't understand why are you so afraid?"
He turned his gaze to the moon and didn't answer the question. Akane stared at him. He was beautiful- the pale light of the full moon making his blue eyes brighter, and his skin paler. She knew she loved him- she admitted to herself some time ago. If only she knew his feeling for her…
"I was six", he suddenly said.
Akane's train of thought was cut at this. "Huh?"
"I was six when it happened." He turned his gaze back to her. She was silent, allowing him to tell his side of the story. "Pop said he has a new technique to teach me. I was excited- even at this young age I wanted to learn as much as possible about martial arts. He took me to a deserted place. I think it was a few miles away from Yokohama. I got suspicious when he wrapped me with fish-sausage. He said to me 'show me what you got, son' and threw me into the pit." Ranma shuddered at the memory. "It wasn't so bad at start- I could stand the bites and scratches, but then-" he stopped for a moment, and then continued his story. "But then it really pained me, and I saw all the blood. I didn't even think of removing the fish-sausage; the fear was too intense. I thought I was going to die. I remember screaming…and pain, but I don't remember what happened afterwards. When they attack you don't think- the time stops, and when the time stops- you stop."
'That cruel, stupid, thoughtless, selfish father!' Akane tried to think on a way to punish him, but no way was proper enough.
"Now," Ranma got up and climbed down the ladder. "If you'll excuse me…"
"Wait!" She called after him. He stopped climbing down and looked at her with a questioning look. "Come on, let's take a walk. I want you to explain more".
"What is there more to explain?" He asked, tugging at his pigtail.
"I want to understand more," she said.
"You couldn't understand…unless, of course, you'll go through this nightmare yourself. Oh, the things I'd give so no one, especially you, will have to go through what I went through." He said the last part just above a whisper.
"Still," she put one leg on the first level of the ladder. "I want."
Ranma shrugged and began walking towards the park, Akane in pursuit.
Both of then failed to notice the figure, who watched from the dark.
The Cat-Café was empty at this time of day. Shampoo cleaned the tables and Mousse was busy quacking to be released from the rope around his neck. Cologne was behind the counter, cooking Ramen. Earlier today a strange, young boy entered the place and wanted to have a special technique to defeat someone. "He stole the one I love," the boy said with teary eyes. Shampoo, since being in this kind of situation herself, begged her to give him one.
The boy seemed so poor and miserable, and got her mercy. She decided to give him a simple technique that supposed to put the enemy in a bit of pain for a few minutes, and that's it. She gave him the scroll; he thanked her with bright eyes and left, singing all the way to his home. 'Weird boy,' Cologne remembered thinking, and then took out the trash. When she was outside she was able to feel the evil presence of a demon. She got a strange feeling in her gut. Something was wrong- terribly wrong. Then it hit her.
She rushed back inside and entered the back room. She skimmed through the different scrolls, and sure enough, one was missing. The scroll that was missing held a powerful and dangerous technique- and she gave it to the boy.
"Shampoo!" She called when she entered the dining area.
"What is it, great grandmother?" The young Amazon asked, getting the attention of the duck beside her.
"I have to go out for some time. Watch the place while I'm gone." Cologne said.
"Okay. Shampoo will be good." Shampoo smiled.
The old woman nodded and left.
Ranma and Akane arrived to the park. Ranma was walking in front of Akane, his hands stuffed in his pockets and his head bowed. He was walking this way all the way from the Dojo- no one says a word the entire time. Akane knew Ranma was thinking hard on something, but it was just plain weird to see Ranma so deep in thought.
"Hello, Ranma," said a deadly voice.
Ranma stopped walking and turned his head towards the voice. "Gosunkugi…what are you doing out here so late at night?"
"I'm here to carry out my revenge on you, of course," he answered. Akane looked at him; his eyes were big and vacant, and his face was threatening. 'That's not Gosunkugi,' she decided. Something possessed him. She wanted to warn Ranma, but it was too late.
With a wave of a finger, Gosunkugi created a hole beneath the two young martial artist's feet and they fell down, screaming.
"Meow," said Gosunkugi coldly, covering the opening with a piece of wood. He decided to stay near and hear the two teenagers scream with terror until they die.
Inside the dark pit, Ranma and Akane were waiting for whatever is to come. Two by two, pairs of eyes began to appear in front of them. The eyes became closer while Ranma murmured things Akane didn't understand. When she saw him back away, she noticed the eyes belonged to some starving cats. 'We're their prey,' she thought, terrorized.
The cats attacked, and even though they had plenty of prey, they only attacked Ranma. Her fiancé screamed with terror, trying to get away without much success. She knew that if his fear escalates, he'll become a cat, and god only know what will happen then. He could decide the she seems tasty and attack her. She had to prevent the transformation. She ran over to where he was and threw the cats away from him, taking a hold of him immediately. She laid his head on her thighs, and the cats returned to attacking him viciously.
Now the situation was extremely complicated. On the one hand, the cats bit and scratched him. On the other hand, Akane was holding him, preventing his transformation this way. After all, she was the one, who brought him back after every time.
The most terrible thing he could think of was that the cats might decide to attack Akane, and he won't be able to do nothing about it- his body was numb, and it pained him more than any cat that tortured him.
Akane caressed his cheek. He seemed so helpless and fragile, and it broke her heart. She suddenly saw something shining in Ranma's eyes. A tear rolled down his cheek, then another, and then another. Then she remembered what Ranma told her earlier today: "When they attack you don't think- the time stops, and when the time stops- you stop."
He wasn't sobbing. He wasn't even crying softly- he just let the tears roll down from his wide-open eyes. Then his eyes drooped and he lost his consciousness in her arms, and the tears kept on trickling down.
When the cats saw their first prey was "dead", they decided to attack the other one.
The cats scratched and bit her, and she screamed and ran to the other side of the pit, leaving Ranma alone. He was right; you don't care too much about it when it begins, but then the thought of death penetrates the brain, and you see the blood. Her sanity was disappearing, and she just waited for the moment of breaking.
Ranma wanted to turn into a cat. He wanted it so much! That way he could destroy those evil cats, which were attacking them. Akane wouldn't let him, though; she held him for dear life, trying to prevent his transformation. There was only one thing left for him to do, and he did just that: He lost his consciousness.
In his dream he stood in a dark place.
"Akane? Akane, are you here?" He called into the engulfing darkness.
Then he saw a pair of shining eyes getting closer to him. He got a sick, yet so familiar feeling in his gut.
The evil eyes kept on getting closer, when suddenly he saw whom they were belonging to. 'Akane?' He thought. No- it was not she. It was a cat with human face- Akane's face.
He wanted to ran away, but couldn't. Something was holding him back: he was chained. He couldn't attack, either. Not only because he couldn't move, but also because, even though it was a cat, it had Akane's face. Ranma would never hurt Akane-not physically, at least.
The cat attacked, and Ranma felt himself going crazier than ever. He screamed, the cat screamed…the cat screamed? Why would it, and in Akane's voice, no else?
The cat backed away, screaming. The chains, which held Ranma back, broke and he was free to move again. The darkness became brighter, and he slowly came back to reality. If you can call it reality, that is. It was his biggest nightmare.
Blood trickled on her arms and legs from the many scratches and bites she received, and her vision blurred. She heard a deep growl from the other side of the pit- a growl, which she knew too well. She fell to the ground and heard the growl again. The cats stopped what they were doing and turned to the direction of the threatening sound.
Ranma was approaching them, his eyes bright red. He exposed his teeth and claws and charged at the cats.
Akane was grateful that he transformed on time and prevented the trauma he's been through from her, but what about him? All the times she saw him as a cat, he was never that threatening and cruel. Will this incident take a toll on him, or maybe he'll be back to his old self in no time?
A noise cut her train of thought, and she saw the cats' bloody bodies on the ground next to her. She turned her gaze to Ranma, and saw him licking his dry lips and approaching her. She backed away with fear. It sure was the worst time ever, and yet, maybe it had it's' bright side: she'll turn into a cat as a result, and they'll have another thing in common.
He charged at her, and she shut her eyes tightly and waited for the impact, but it never came. She opened her eyes with much effort and looked around. Ranma wasn't anywhere in sight, and the pit was a bit brighter. She looked up and saw a hole in the wooden lid- Ranma probably jumped up and made it with his claws. She barely managed to climb up the slippery slope, and fell down many times, but she didn't give up. Finally, after numerous attempts, she made it and peeked outside. As soon as she was out of the pit completely, it was gone as if it was never there.
She wobbled on her feet and searched around for her fiancé. She heard a frightened scream from behind a bush, and decided to go check. Sure enough, Ranma was there, holding someone down. He snarled, preparing to devour his fresh prey.
She turned her confused gaze to the prey. 'What the heck? Gosunkugi?'
Suddenly, Gosunkugi was engulfed with a bright light, and she saw something leave his body. 'Probably the thing that possessed him.' She took a battle stance.
The light became a figure, and the figure was a demon.
The demon laughed evilly, and his eyes were mischievous. "So…" he said in a low voice. "I see that you two got away from my little trap. Oh, that's a shame- I see it didn't take much toll on you. He's a lost case, though. Unless you destroy the mighty me, which, of course, you won't, your little friend here would never become human again."
Akane's face reddened with rage. "What did you do to Ranma?" The demon merely stared at her. "What did you do inside Gosunkugi's body?"
The demon smirked. "The puny human called for my help. He wanted to defeat the one you call Saotome Ranma."
"Wha…?" She stuttered in surprise. Someone always wants to take revenge; someone always wants to kill Ranma. Most of the times, Ranma didn't even do anything to deserve such fate. They want to destroy him to win her. They'll never win her. Never! It's partly her fault that they want to kill him- her fault because she exists, her fault because he's hers.
Her fault because she loves him.
Ranma was more than ready to attack. The demon stared at him, and then narrowed his eyes and a red light surrounded Ranma. His muscles tensed and his eyes were back to their lovely blue-gray color. "What's going on here?" She heard him say before he paled and screamed in pain.
"What are you doing to him?" Akane was too scared to move. "Let him go!"
The demon laughed again. "There's a mission to be accomplished, and I shall accomplish it," His voice was low and deadly, and the light that surrounded Ranma became brighter.
"What are you doing?" She screamed again, tears in her brown eyes.
"Slowly…" The demon said. "Slowly I kill him."
"Stop…" She whispered, her voice barely heard between the pained screams of her fiancé. She couldn't watch him suffer like that. "Please stop that, please!" Ranma was convulsing with pain on the floor, and she screamed. "Enough!!"
She ran forward, trying to tackle the demon down, but he lifted his arms and his power threw her back against a trunk of a tree. She felt numb, and tears trickled down her face, combining with her blood. "Enough…" she whispered.
"Destroy the world," the demon heard a voice say from afar. His eyes widened, and his power weakened. "Damned demon, return to thy world. Awake, child. Awake."
"No!" The demon yelled and tried to grasp his remaining strength, without much success. "No!!!" His voice echoed through Nerima as he disappeared into the air.
Akane got up and immediately ran up to Ranma and hugged him tightly. "Ranma…oh my god, Ranma." Tears fell from her eyes onto his face.
He looked at her with tired eyes, a weak smile on his face. "Akane…" He whispered, lifting his arm to caress her wet cheek. "Don't cry… you know I hate to see you crying."
"Baka," she said and buried her head in his chest, sobbing. "I was so scared!"
"Are you alright, son-in-law?" An old voice asked. Both teenagers looked up to see Cologne on her staff.
"Old ghoul? What are you doing here?" Asked Ranma weakly.
The old Amazon smiled. "I felt there was something wrong, and I wanted to check things out. I'm sorry, son-in-law. It was my fault. I gave him the scroll by mistake. That's a pretty powerful technique."
"We noticed," Akane smiled, still holding Ranma in her arms. They were saved. "Come on, Ranma. Let's go." She tried to lift him, but he wouldn't nudge.
"Let me rest for a bit, Akane. I feel like I've been ran by a truck." He leaned against a tree, closing his eyes.
"Well, my job here is done. I must go back now- Shampoo must be worried." With that, the old woman skipped away towards the exit of the park.
Akane ran her hand through Ranma's hair, still crying a bit at the frightening memory of what happened. "I'm so glad we're safe," she said quietly.
"Me too," he answered and put his head on her shoulder. "I'm so tired…" his eyes drooped. She rubbed his back until he fell asleep. They sat like that for a few more minutes, Akane almost falling asleep herself, when Ranma woke up suddenly, fear and worry in his eyes.
"What happened?" Akane asked, worried at his actions.
"You, too, were there…" he said quietly. "You were there with me. Oh, my dear god, Akane!" He hugged her tightly. "Please tell me you didn't turn into a cat, please!"
A bit surprised, she hugged him back. "No, Ranma," she said. "You saved my life down there."
He let go a bit. "I saved you?" he asked. "What do you mean?"
"You turned into a cat," she smiled a sad smile. "You killed those cats."
He looked at his bloodstained hands, the blood of those horrible cats. He shuddered at the thought.
"Maybe…maybe there's a good side for it," Akane said quietly and looked down.
Ranma let go of her completely, angry. "How can you even say that? There's no bright side to it! None!" He shouted. "Don't you understand?"
"That's the point, Ranma! I do understand now. I understand why you're so afraid of cats." Tears streamed down her face as she remembered how she doubted his fear. He stared at her, seems surprised. "I won't yell at you anymore. Not about your fear, that is." She giggled. He giggled, too.
Both of them fell silent, drowning in each other's eyes, numerous thoughts going through their minds. Their faced became closer, and Akane could feel Ranma's hot breath on her face. Their hearts beat wildly as their faces net in a tender kiss. The kiss continued for a few seconds, and yet was powerful.
Both teenagers failed to notice their classmate, Gosunkugi is his name, who fled from the scene with teary eyes.
"My dearest Akane," he mumbled to himself. "What do you find in the cursed Saotome?" He asked himself over and over again, crying as he retreated to his home. His revenge wasn't accomplished. 'It would never be, either,' he thought.
"That was nice," Ranma said, his cheeks crimson red.
Akane smiled. "I always wanted to do that," she said.
Ranma's face reddened more as he said, "you know…we can do that again. If you want, of course."
She replayed by wrapping her arms around his neck and kissing him on the lips. This time, the kiss was longer and more passionate.
"I love you," Ranma said quietly as they pulled back. He hugged her, protecting her, as if claiming her as his own.
"I love you too," She said and rested her head on his shoulder. They stayed like that- hugged under the pale light of the moon. How long, they did not know.
And as a cloud covered the moon, and they fell asleep in each other's arms, a gray cat with bright eyes passed by them. It's' fangs full with a pigeon's blood- his prey for the night.
It meowed as it walked around the park, looking for his cat-friends, oblivious to the fact that thanks to his kind, two young lovers were together now.
Why would it know? It's just a cat. It's the greatest fear for some, and the perfect pet for others.
The cloud was gone and revealed the moon, and the cat jumped on a tree, looking for more pigeons to devour…The End
Important author's note: Okay, people. I made a decision! I need a Beta-Reader. Any volunteers? I hope that it's needless to say that if you do volunteer, English must be your native language? If you are interested, please e-mail me to: email@example.com
Woha! That's my longest one-shot so far! ^_^
I think that Ranma's fear of cats should be taken more seriously. I mean, think of what happened to the poor guy ;-;
I know I should continue "Martial Artists Don't Cry", but I have this HUGE writer's block right now, and I'm just beginning to overcome it. ^^;