A Rended Breath of Life
A Ranma ½ & Sailor Moon Crossover Fanfic
By: Tomas Megarson
Email: NighthawkTM@yahoo.com
Webpage:

Disclaimer. The characters, settings, and places of "Ranma ½" belong
to Rumiko Takahashi. The characters, settings, and places of "Sailor
Moon" belong to Naoko Takeuchi. The events, situations, and words of
this particular piece of Fanfiction belong to me and are in no way
part of the original stories created by the two very talented people
mentioned before. There is no profit being made off of this story, so
if you would be so good as to not sue me, I'd be very grateful.

WARNING! THIS IS A VERY DARK STORY DEALING WITH VERY DARK AND MATURE
THEMES! IF YOU DON'T LIKE VERY DARK STORIES AND VERY DARK AND MATURE
THEMES, DO NOT READ THIS!

Chapter 1:
The Hardest Part is the Night

Pushing open the door, Ranma Saotome stepped out of Furinkin
High School and into the freezing cold night air. A dusting of snow
was drifting down from the sky adding a meager sum to an already deep
covering of snow. Even in his thick coat, the chill of the air caused
Ranma to shiver.

As his feet trudged him through the schoolyard and toward the
gate, his mind did nothing more then wish for being home. His soft
black shoes, great for walking quietly, soaked through fast with the
snow and his toes began to freeze. Ranma didn't really pay attention
to the feeling though. He was too busy being depressed to worry about
a little thing like cold toes.

The wasted expression that covered Ranma's face was thankfully
hidden in the dark from anyone who might pass by. Of course, given
the weather, that was unlikely. Stopping at the gate that led to the
streets of Nerima, Ranma turned to look back at the school.

"Stupid detention." His voice was soft, the words muttered so
only he could hear. His breath, on touching the air, turned to a
white fog that drifted up into the night. With an almost disgusted
expression taking over his face, Ranma turned and walked out of the
school entirely.

As his feet sloshed through the snow that covered the
sidewalk, Ranma's mind tried to rationalize with the rest of him. He
knew it wasn't the school's fault he'd been in detention, and he knew
it really wasn't the detention's fault he was going home so late. If
he had actually done his homework for once, the teachers wouldn't have
piled the loads of after schoolwork onto him. Being the son of Genma
Saotome, however, didn't let these realizations come forth, and
instead his upbringing shot them all down. "Stupid school," he
muttered.

Moving far slower then he normally did, and along the ground
rather then the fence, gave Ranma a lot of time to reflect on his
life. Had he not been in such a funk, he might have done so. Instead
his mind just kept listing reasons why it was pointless for a martial
artist like him to bother going to school. He was so caught up in the
list that as he passed by a small ally, he almost didn't notice the
small form slumped against the wall.

Turning his attention to the form, he blinked as he tried to
work out what it was. Slowly, Ranma took the three steps he needed to
get into the figure, almost fearing it was Cologne, or worse, Happosai
with a bucket of cold water. He did not want to get wet in this
weather. And he didn't want to deal with the old hag, either. It was
just too damn cold. And he was too damn hungry. Stupid Detention.

Reaching the figure, Ranma poked it, and blinked as it fell
over onto his side. He blinked a couple of more times before he
realized what the figure was. His eyes took in the young girls dirty
face, the blood stained and torn clothes, and the uncontrolled shivers
that were racking her body. "Kuso..."

Ranma stood stunned for a moment, in shock at the sight. His
mind went blank as he tried to figure out what to do. Time passed by
as Ranma stood in silence as his blue eyes stared at the scene.
Suddenly the scene went bright and then dark again as a car passes by.
In that brief second of time Ranma got a look at the girl's face, a
painful and haunted expression painted on it. The look sent him into
an extremely short lived rage as his mind began working again.

"Tofu! He'll know what to do!" The thought just popped into
Ranma mind and just as fast he dropped to his knees so he could scoop
the girl into his arms. Before he got that far, however, his eyes
again took in the girl's almost naked for. "Crap, she needs something
to wear." No longer hesitating, Ranma quickly yanked off his coat and
wrapped it around the girl as he scooped her into his arms.

Despite the fact it was as cold as before, Ranma no longer felt it.
The weather was no longer a factor to him as he dashed out of the ally
and down the street, his strong legs propelling him forward. He took
the blocks at a reckless pace, his feet sliding out from under him the
times he hit patches of ice, but his agility and sheer willpower kept
him on his feet and moving toward his destination.

His vibrating bundle in his arms, Ranma skidded to a stop in
front of Doctor Tofu's clinic and began kicking at the door. "Hey,
doc, open up! I need to get in, Damnit!" Kicking the door again,
Ranma's tried to see through the windows, but only darkness greeted
him. "What the hell!?" Kicking the door again, Ranma blinked as his
mind began working once more. Doctor Tofu was gone, off to some class
in Kyoto for a month. "Shit!"

Looking down at the girl cradled in his arms, Ranma's eyes
tried to bore through the girls closed lids, attempting to will the
girl awake and ask her what he should do. The adrenalin pumping
through him, Ranma began to hop up and down, his mind working double
time trying to figure out what to do. His mind once more came with a
response. "Kasumi! She borrows books from Tofu! She may know!"

Spinning, Ranma took off at a mad dash once more, thankful
that the sidewalk was empty and that he didn't have to dodge anyone.
His legs pushing him as fast as he could, Ranma raced for the Tendo
Dojo, his home. On approaching the place, his legs propelled him into
the air, letting him jump over the fence rather then take the time to
get to the gate and open it.

His landing, however, wasn't smooth at all, hitting a patch of
ice, Ranma's legs slipped out from under him, sending him and his
bundle crashing into the snow covered ground. His head slammed into
the hard packed solid water, dizzying him for a brief second. His
arms managed to keep their grip on his bundle and prevented the girl
from hitting anything other then his chest. With a feat of dexterity,
Ranma scrambled to his feet without using his hands and moved quickly
to the door.

Kicking at the door once more, Ranma waited for someone to let
him in. When no one came, he grimaced and shifted his grip on the
girl slightly, freeing up one hand so that he could open the door.

"Kasumi!" Ranma's voice screamed into the house as he went
through the door. What greeted him were a dark living room and a
silent house. "Damnit, where is everyone!?" Ranma kicked backward
closing the door and rushed his way into the house, stumbling over a
piece of furniture as he moved through the living room and to the
kitchen. Making his way into Kasumi's domain with his bundle, he
blinked in complete puzzlement as a quiet and dark kitchen greeted
him. "What the..." Ranma trailed off as another memory made its way
back to him. "The restaurant! Damn, they're all there!"

Ranma's eyes turned to his bundle, difficult to see in the
dark house. Though his vision of the girl was limited, he could still
feel her shaking in his arms. "Kami-sama, she's freezing. I gotta
get her warm, but how?"

Even as Ranma asked that, he felt a shift, and his perception
changed slightly as the snow that had been clinging to his finally
turned to cold water and triggered his curse. "Now of all time. Damn
I need...that's it, hot water! The furo, that'll warm her up!"

Having a plan finally, Ranma dashed out of the kitchen and up
the stairs, leading to the Tendo's furo. He raced into the dark
changing area, shifting and kicking back with his leg, his foot
catching the light switch and brightening both the changing room and
the furo proper. Quickly making his way to the tub, he deposited the
girl in it and unwrapped his coat from around the girl before turning
the water on, beginning to fill the tub with a mixture of hot and cool
water, praying he didn't make it so hot it hurt the girl more.

As the water heated up, Ranma reached out and splashed some
onto his face, changing him back into his true male form. As he did
so, he noticed that his arms were shaking uncontrollably. "Damn I'm
cold," he muttered. Looking at the hot water that was filling the
furo, he hoped the girl wouldn't mind if she woke and submerged his
arms in the water, gritting his teeth at the pain it caused him.

As his arms began to warm up, Ranma took his first good look
at the girl. Her clothes were dirty and torn, bloodstains covering a
good portion of them. Her shirt seemed to be more like ribbons then
actual clothing, and as the hot water began to cover the girl's body,
he could see her skirt begin to soften as the ice melted away.
Thankful that the girl's body wasn't sliding down and bringing her
head under the water, Ranma pulled his arms out and turned the water
off.

Turning his body and leaning back against the wall, Ranma
closed his eyes and wondered just what he was going to do now.
Leaving the furo was the smart thing to do, for him, anyway. If the
Tendo's came home and saw him here with a girl in the tub, it'd be
hell to explain. Given the shape the girl was in, though, made it a
bad move for him to leave. If she had problems he wouldn't be around
to help her.

"Kami," Ranma whispered, "why does this happen to me?"

Opening his eyes, Ranma turned his attention back to the girl.
"Damn, and who'd hurt a kid like that?" Looking a bit more, Ranma
asked himself, "And why is the water red?" He pondered that for a
moment before shooting to his feet. "Damn, she's bleeding!"

Reaching into the tub, Ranma quickly pulled the girl out and
laid her out on the floor. Looking at the girl, he grimaced as the
only wounds he could see went back under the shredded remains of the
girl's clothes. A feeling of dread filled Ranma as his slightly
shaking hands grabbed the girl's shirt and quickly pulled the remains
apart exposing the girl. The sight that greeted him caused a deep
rage to fill him.

The girl's chest was covered in a mass of welts, poorly healed
scars, bruises, and fresh cuts that were bleeding. Her stomach had a
few faint bruises and a thin cut running up from the remains of the
girl's skirt. Fighting away the anger, Ranma grabbed a nearby towel
and pressed it as hard as he dared against the girl's open wounds.
"Damn, this isn't going to work," Ranma muttered to himself.

Gathering his legs under him, Ranma shifted his body so that
he was facing the door. Kasumi's first aid kit was just through the
doorway and on the right, and he wanted to get it and back as fast as
he could. Dashing out of the furo room and into the changing room,
Ranma's left hand reached out and grabbed the doorframe, halting his
motion while his right hand snapped out grabbing the first aid kit
from its resting place. His left arm then pulled taunt, almost
hurling him back to where the girl lay on the floor.

Dropping and sliding the last few feet on his knees, Ranma
tore the lid off the kit, his hands deftly removing the familiar
contents. The disinfectant came first, a clear liquid in a brown
bottle that hurt like hell when used. Grabbing some cotton balls,
Ranma opened the bottle and soaked them in the disinfectant before
putting the bottle aside.

Removing the towels, Ranma slowly began to clean the various
wounds, stopping after each individual cut so that he could apply
bandages to them. He was thankful that the girl wasn't awake to feel
what was most probably a lot of pain. He was also relieved that she
wasn't awake to call him a pervert and hit him with a table. As he
finished cleaning the girl up, he grimaced, sure that Akane would get
around to that later. Looking at the bloody mess he'd made of the
bathroom, turned his gave to the girl's face, trying his best to
ignore her nude state. The sound of chattering teeth slowly filled
the room as the girl continued to freeze.

Sliding over a few feet to the furo, Ranma yanked out the plug
and allowed the bloodied water to begin to drain. Turning back to the
girl, he could see her visibly start to shiver. Not really thinking,
Ranma finally tore off his winter coat, which was stained in places by
the girl's blood, and then removed the clean white shirt he had been
wearing underneath. As quick and as gentle as he could, Ranma dressed
the girl in his shirt, immensely glad that it was long enough to
almost reach the girl's knees. Continuously seeing the girl almost
naked had been putting an extreme strain on his mental state to keep
him from fainting. Glancing back at the furo and seeing it finally
empty, Ranma re-plugged it, and turned the water back on to begin
filling it once more with the hot liquid.

Moving back to the girl, Ranma gently picked her up and placed
her back into the filling furo, hoping that the warm water would help
her. Sitting down on the edge of the furor, Ranma watched as the
water slowly filled up, his mostly fried mind taking these few moments
to blank out and cease functioning. As he watched the water rise up
to the girl's chin, Ranma reached out and turned it off, keeping an
eye open for the water to change color again showing that the girl was
still bleeding somewhere.

Turning his attention back to the girl's face, Ranma blinked
as he saw the water was now up to her lips. Turning to look at the
faucet he saw it was still turned off. Thinking for a few moments, he
turned to see the water had now moved up to the girl's nose. Even as
it hit him like a ton of bricks, Ranma practically dove for the girl
to keep her from sliding under. Not really sure what else to do,
Ranma wrapped an arm around the girl and under her far arm to help
keep her head above the water so she could breath.

Sitting with his back against the wall, a tired sigh was
released from Ranma's lips as he wondered just how much longer this
day could get for him. A rumble from his stomach reminded Ranma that
he hadn't gotten a chance to eat since breakfast. Turning his
attention to the girl, Ranma wondered when the last time she had eaten
had been. The haunted expression which she wore when he had found her
still covered her unconscious face, and the beating it had been clear
she'd taken didn't seem like it'd have allowed her to keep what she
might have eaten before it happened in her. The poor girl's stomach,
when he had been able to see it, seemed to be one large bruise.

Shaking his head in disgust, Ranma looked at the girl again,
and was taken by surprise to see her eyes blinking open. A low moan
of pain came from the girl's throat as Ranma continued to hold her and
his mind wandered what to do. Ever so slowly as though time thought
to stop drifting forward, her soft violet eyes came into focus, and
her head tilted slightly so she could see Ranma.

Then she screamed.

The girl's voice was rough and horse, but it still had the
effect of Ranma throwing himself away from the girl, his hands coming
up and waving franticly. "Calm down, calm down! I ain't gonna hurt
ya.!"

The screaming went on for only a short time longer, and Ranma
was unsure whether it was his words that did it, or if it just hurt
the girl too much to scream. He remained on the far side of the room
where the girl could see him and where he hopefully didn't seem
threatening. After a bit of time of silence, Ranma finally dared to
speak. "I found ya in an ally earlier. Doc Tofu is outta town or I'd
have taken you there. Sorry about this." He paused for a second
before continuing, "I'm Ranma."

The girl finally turned her head away from him, and he could
tell she was struggling with something. Something quiet came from
between her slightly moving lips, but he couldn't hear what she had
said. He remained quiet, wondering what it was when her lips moved
again, her soft voice barely reaching his ears.

"I'm...I am...I'm...Hotaru."

A silence once again grew between the two as both were at a
loss as to what to say. Ranma struggled in his own mind to find
something that wouldn't sound horrid at that moment when Hotaru spoke
to him again. "Thank you. For saving me, I mean."

"Umm...you're welcome." As the girl looked to him once more,
Ranma knew he had to say something. "I, uh, I'm sorry about the
shirt. Your's was...umm..." Ranma's glanced to the blood soaked
clothes and towel, and suddenly a blush grew on his face as his mind
chose that moment to recall he'd seen Hotaru naked...that he'd touched
her...and dressed her...he was starting to think his head would
explode from all the blood rushing to it.

For her own part, Hotaru looked to where Ranma had glanced and
realized just what the bloody rags were. It then hit her just as fast
that she was out of them and why Ranma was blushing so bad. Just as
quickly a blush of her own formed, as deep red as a freshly picked
apple. "You..." her voice was again a whisper, and her blush deepened
more as she saw Ranma had moved somewhat closer to her so he could
hear her.

"Yeah," Ranma's voice was tight and he nodded slightly, trying
to banish the images from his mind. Damn, but this was worse then
that time he'd seen Akane naked. "you were bleeding and stuff. I
could let ya die, ya know? And no one else's home."

There was another silence between them before Hotaru's voice
quietly filled up the room. "Thank-you."

"Uh...yeah." Ranma nodded and again shifted a bit closer to
the girl, his ears starting to tire from the strain of hearing her
speak. "So, uh, what happened to ya? Gah, I'm sorry, I don't wanna
pry or nothin'."

Before Hotaru could respond, however, the cry of another
female filled the furo. "RANMA! HOW DARE YOU!"

Ranma spun around, still sitting on the ground, to see an
insanely angry Akane staring at him. His hands immediately came up in
a warding gesture as he stumbled over the words he tried to speak.
"A..Akane...it ain't what it looks like! Listen to me, it ain't like
it seems..."

"Ranma...how dare you cheat on me in my own house! Aren't
those other floozies enough for you!" In her anger, Akane had torn a
shelf out of the wall and was holding it over her head in preparation
to smite Ranma as she stalked forward. Her advance and anger were
both halted when the girl behind Ranma screamed, her entire features
moving to terror.

"NO! Don't hurt me like mommy! I'll be a good girl, DON'T
HURT ME LIKE MOMMY! PLEASE!"

Akane stared at the scene, the shelf falling limply from her
hands and landing on the floor behind her. She could see the
terrified look on Ranma's face as he suddenly started waving his hands
at her to back up.

With her anger gone, Akane could finally see the bloody
clothes and towel in the corner. She nodded to Ranma and slowly
backed out of the room as the crying continued until she was in the
hallway and shut the door.

With a sigh of relief, Ranma turned to the crying girl and
promptly freaked out again. "Gah! Don't do that! Hey, Hotaru, don't
cry, no one's gonna hurt ya." Moving the rest of the way to the furo,
Ranma reached out and put a hand on the girl's shoulder in an attempt
to comfort her. He wasn't really prepared when the girl threw herself
at him, burying her head into his bare chest.

Ranma remained on his knees stiff and unsure what to do.
Finally, slowly, he wrapped his arms around the trembling girl.
Quietly he began speaking softly to the girl, not really paying
attention to what words he was saying as they flowed from his lips.
As Hotaru trembled in his arms he just kept holding her and doing his
best to make his voice sound soothing.

When the trembling finally stopped, Ranma pulled himself back
from Hotaru a bit so he could see her tear stained face. Seeing that
the tears had finally stopped flowing Ranma spoke softly and with
purpose for once. "You gonna be okay alone for a bit? I gotta go
talk to the Pop and the Tendo's." Seeing the girl slowly nod, Ranma
fully let her go and stood up. "I'll be back soon, and get ya some
dry clothes to wear. Just wait here, okay?" Seeing Hotaru nod again,
Ranma turned and slowly walked out of the furo and changing room and
into the hall.

Looking around, Ranma had somewhat hoped Akane had waited here
for him, but with no one in site he turned for the stairs, only to
pause and dash into his room to throw on a shirt. Leaving his room,
Ranma made for the stairs and slowly walked down them and into the
Tendo's living room.

"Boy! What's this about you with a strange girl in the
furo!?"

Turning to face his overweight and bald father, Ranma rolled
his eyes. "Don't go think nothing dumb, pops. I found her freezing
to death near school. Since the Docs outta town, I had to bring her
here."

"Saving a girl from the cold, how manly of you Ranma!"

Turning around, Ranma faced his mother, swallowing slightly as
some bad memories came forward, but they were quickly crushed. "Hey
mom, what're you doing here?"

"You were supposed to join us for dinner, and didn't. I
wanted to see my son. Is that so wrong?" A slight edge entered
Nodoka's voice.

"No, no, not at all mom. I love seeing you!"

So, Ranma," came a voice to his side now. Ranma turned so he
could see Nabiki as she spoke. The middle Tendo sister ran a hand
through her page cut brown hair as she spoke. "Akane said there was a
pile of bloody clothes. What happened to the girl?"

With a sigh Ranma shook his head. "I don't really know.
Akane jumped in just as I started to ask Hotaru. That's the girl's
name." A sick look came to Ranma's face. "From her crying though, I
think her mother did it to her."

A gasp caused Ranma to turn and look at the oldest Tendo
daughter, Kasumi. Her face being framed by her long brown hair held a
slightly pained look. "Kasumi, could you go help Hotaru?" Ranma
asked. "You're so nice you're probably the best for it. "Turning to
face his fiancée, Ranma spoke to Akane, "Could you find some clothes
for her? She's somewhat shorter then you are." Both of the sisters
nodded and headed up the stairs.

Finally feeling relief over the entire situation, Ranma almost
collapsed, when Nabiki grabbed Ranma by the arm and started pulling
him to the kitchen. "I need to talk to you Ranma. Now."

"What, hey, Nabiki, let go! I know how to walk, and I ain't
like Ryoga and gonna get lost."

Ignoring the protest, Nabiki pulled Ranma into the Kitchen and
toward the back of the room to keep them out of the way of
eavesdroppers. "Ranma, be quiet and listen."

With a frustrated sigh, Ranma looked at Nabiki. "What?"

"Its good that you helped the girl and all, but this could be
bad." Nabiki raised a hand to stop Ranma's protests. "If this girl's
mother..."

"Hotaru."

"Fine." Nabiki's voice gained some frustration. "If Hotaru's
mother really did this to her, she could go to the cops and claim you
kidnapped her. There are a number of drugs out there that effect
short term memory and it probably wouldn't be very hard for a decent
lawyer to convince people that you're the one who did this."

"Nabiki, that's insane!" Ranma was completely shocked and a
bit disturbed by the suggestion.

"I know Ranma, but it could happen. Its best you convince
this girl," seeing Ranma's face darken slightly, Nabiki changed it,
"Hotaru to go to the police first. This isn't some martial arts fight
you can win with your fists, its serious."

As Nabiki's point broke through, Ranma's shoulders slumped.
"I know, I know. I'll do what I can, okay?"

"Alright." Then Nabiki's face changed once more, and Ranma
was surprise to see some concern form on it. "Are you okay? You've
been acting strange."

"What do ya mean strange?"

"Don't get offended." Nabiki's voice took on an almost
calming quality that took Ranma back yet again. Hearing such a voice
from the 'Ice Queen' was certainly different. "You eyes are
almost...frightening."

That caused Ranma to stop and examine himself for a moment.
Finally, he shook his head. "No, I'm not alright. You didn't see
Hotaru, Nabiki. I had to bandage all of her cuts, and there were a
lot. I didn't even look that bad after the Neko-ken training. I want
to find whoever did this and hurt them, a lot."

"Just don't loose control here, okay? We can't afford the
repairs."

"I won't. We got school tomorrow. I'll beat up on Kuno, and
get some of this out of me." Ranma shook his head and gave a tired
sigh. "Its early, but I'm beat. I'm gonna check on Hotaru and then
go to bed. Night Nabiki."

"Sleep well, Saotome."

As Ranma left the room, Nabiki stared at his back. She
couldn't recall Ranma being so defensive of anyone other then Akane.
She wondered if the girl...Hotaru was really in as bad a shape as
Ranma said.

***

Reaching the top of the stairs, Ranma blinked as he saw Akane
and Kasumi standing in the hall, both of them ashen faced. "What's
wrong?"

Kasumi's lips moved without saying anything, but Akane
replied, "We can't go in there. If either of us does, she starts
screaming and crying again." Akane was clearly shaken by the
experience. She thrust out the clothes she held to Ranma. "Here, you
give them to her." Akane's shaken gaze turned to slight anger for a
moment. "You've already seen her naked, right?"

Ranma's hands came up defensively. "Hey, she was bleeding to
death, Akane. I had to do something!"

The tired sigh that came from Akane surprised Ranma. "I know,
I saw the clothes. I...guess I don't blame you." After slowly
depositing the clothes into Ranma's hands, Akane turned and walked
almost Zombie like down the hall. "I'm going to my room."

Ranma watched as Akane left, with Kasumi silently heading to
her own room after her. In somewhat of a shock as well, Ranma opened
the furo door and walked in. He immediately saw Hotaru through the
next door and still in the furo. As he took the steps needed to take
him through the changing room, he saw that she was slightly crying
again. Walking over to her, he bent down and again after tossing the
clean clothes aside, he wrapped his arms around her.

Hotaru latched onto Ranma for a few moments, crying out her
tears before speaking in a harsh whisper. "I'm sorry. They came in
and...and...I saw mommy's face, and I was scared...I'm sorry."

"It's okay, Hotaru, they'll understand." Ranma kept his voice
soft as he spoke. "They'll understand, Hotaru."

"They...they won't be angry, will they?"

Ranma shook his head. "They're not angry at all, Hotaru. A
bit sad, but not angry. They'll be over it by morning." At least,
Ranma hoped they would be. He wasn't really sure what to do with
either of them. "Are you hungry?" he asked, instead.

"No...but I'm sleepy."

Ranma nodded his head, and slowly helped Hotaru up and out of
the furo. "I've got ya some clean clothes. After ya get changed I'll
help ya to me and pop's room. You can sleep with us in there tonight.
We're both highly trained martial artists, so you'll be completely
safe, I promise."

After Hotaru's nod, Ranma pointed her to the clean clothes and
turned his back so she could change in some privacy. He was sure this
would be a long night for her, but he wanted her to feel safe.

Author's Notes: Well, there we are, chapter 1 is finished. This
isn't going to be all that happy a story, as I'm sure you can tell by
now. Anyway, let me know what you think about it.