Ranma 1/2 & Guilty Gear X/XX

Sorrow and Hatred

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

I own none of these characters, I am just a humble

writer with an idea.

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

Book 1

Chapter 1

He woke with the sun shining in his face, cutting a path through the closed slats of the shading the device that was not doing the job it was assigned to do. This job was to keep the sun out and allow him to sleep in peace instead of being rudely awoken by the bright light of the day. It did not use to be like this, he use to get up early and practice before school. Those days were over with though, and they would never come again, he had dreamed the destiny of the town and not even realized it. Destruction, chaos, death, that was all that was left for him now. Pain with every waking day and just wanting to die. He was young yet, only twenty-three but he was wishing for death because he had nothing to live for. For some reason he just could not die, he tried to jump from a building once but he landed on a ledge about halfway down. When he tried it again he tripped and knocked himself out on the way up the stairs.

He woke up in a hospital that time and realized that he would not be allowed to die yet, so now all he had was pain. Rising from the mattress that lay on the floor he leaned his neck to each side once causing it to crack. He picked up his clothes and put them on, nothing special, he use to wear a red Chinese shirt with black loose pants. That was a long time ago though, very different from the black shirt and black pants that were still a little loose but not like his old ones. His hair was still long and done up in the braided pony-tail that he had become accustomed to. He was tall, about six foot nothing and he had the build of an excellent martial-artist. Because he was one.

He walked over to the sink and brushed his teeth and combed his hair as best he could to get rid of some of the unruliness. He then walked out the door and into what was now his life, it was clear and sunny out, everything looked brighter than usual with the light being reflected back into his eye. Since Japan had been destroyed he had lost most of the people he cared about, his attitude had been getting worse and worse. Even on a day like this he did not feel joy in his life. The world was a desolate wasteland after the Gears came and destroyed everything in their path. All the surviving Japanese had been put in "Colonies", he had been put there and had not caused trouble until he had realized what the "Colonies" were used for. Essentially it was a concentration camp.

With all of the security he expected it to be difficult but it was very easy for him to leave that place. All he did was knock out a few guards and steal the key to the main gate, the only hard part had come when he had come across the security system at the front gate. Not only did you need a key but a DNA card with your DNA loaded in it. That he had to get by backtracking and finding a guard that was on the other side of the base then he had to make his way back to the gate and make his escape before the guards he had knocked out were found.

Now he was living free of the "Colonies" but in a little hut in the middle of the woods that had little chance of being found. Until this day, he was out taking a walk and looking for supplies for the coming months when he found her. Laying in a heap with bruises covering her body and a woman in red standing over her with a guitar that was poised to smash down like a hammer on the fallen girl. He was unaware of what had transpired or why there was a girl laying on the ground like this but he had his doubts about the girl on the ground

starting the fight. He was good at reading people, that was the secret to his martial arts style. That and the fact that he could defeat anyone if he got them into the air.

Quickly he scooped up a rock and hurled it at the girl with the guitar. Granted it was rather unorthodox but he was not sure he wanted to let this girl know that he was as powerful as he was. In any case it had the desired effect, for after it hit the woman, she turned only to see a roundhouse kick coming towards her. The speed at which it had happened did not allow her to get her guard up in time and she was sent flying away into a tree. She still had a hold on her guitar which he suspected was more than just a mere musical instrument.

The woman in red got up quickly, a lot quicker than Ranma liked, and smiled evilly at him. She plucked a string from her guitar and sent a beam of electricity lancing towards him. He leapt over it and tried for a jumping kick only to be met by a downward swing from the unorthodox weapon the woman held. Righting himself in mid-air he landed in a fighting stance and waited for the woman to attack. When she stood their and stared at him, he knew that she suspected he was holding his power back. Fine, he would oblige her, if she wanted to see his power then he would show it to her.

"Moka Takabisha!"

A huge ball of energy leapt from his hands unhindered and made its way towards the woman. It was not his most powerful blast because he wanted energy for any fighting that would come afterwards. The girl managed to block the attack and readied herself for a retaliatory move on the man. As the woman played, a path of red traced through the air in a pattern that Ranma could not discern clearly. Then balls formed out of nowhere and floated through the air toward him. Realizing what was happening, he threw up his arms and made an attempt to block the attack. For the must part he was successful but the hits had taken a lot out of him.

There was one last thing to try, and there was no guarantee that it would work. If he could use the heat from this woman's body for the Hiryu Shouten Ha then he would be able to at least get her away from here. This would also prevent him from getting worn out from using his energy because it needed mostly his opponents heat.

He needed to first taunt the woman into moving towards him, this proved easier than expected. He was good at insulting people and this woman did not like to be insulted. As she rushed towards him, he drew her in a inward spiral pattern while turning his soul to ice. As he threw a fist into the air, the hot mixed with the cold in a spiral tempest that sent the woman flying high into the air. She would eventually land hard but he planned on being gone with the girl that was being attacked before that happened.

Walking over to the body he picked her up and made his way back to his small house. There he tended to her wounds and made sure she was comfortable. It was not a long time before the girl woke up, he was in the kitchen when she woke and was already up by the time he came back. She was limping a little from her leg and he quickly stopped what he was doing to force her to lay back down. She struggled only slightly, as he shoved her back to the sitting position on the couch he had put her on. He explained quickly that it was only to help her leg heal the right way so she was not permanently disabled by it.

She only nodded silently at his explanation and he went back to making himself something to eat. He had not expected her to be up so soon in all honesty. The wounds she suffered where not that bad, except for the broken leg, but there were many of them. It had obviously been late in the fight, if it could be called that, when he had broke it up. He looked down sadly at the food he was preparing, he could live with the hunger, he had done it many times before. Walking back out to the room where the girl was sitting up on the couch with her legs stretched across its length, he put the bowl down on the table next to her and silently walked away.

He was gone for some time, and the girl could hear him working on something outside. It was a good hour before he came back, and he held a primitive wood crutch in his hands. She followed his silent movements as he quickly moved over to where she was sitting. He placed them next to her and went back outside to do his own thing for a while. She could hear him grunting and the sound of something striking wood and then the wood straining under the hit. She sat and listened in silent wonder at what the man was doing. It was a long time before he came back in and found the girl staring at him questioningly.

It was then that he finally got a good look at her, he knew she was a Gear from the beginning with the wings on her back, tail, and the blue hair adorned with yellow ribbons. But those red eyes would give it away even if she did not have the wings and tail. She looked about twenty years in age and was wearing cut-off denim shorts and a white short sleeve shirt. She was just about as tall as him and well built, with just enough tone to let him know that she did have some muscle.

"What were you doing out there?" she blinked innocently at him.

The man blinked back at her, then his face became blank and he turned away, "Training, not that it really matters."

"Why wouldn't it matter?"

The man faced her with a cold glare, "And why should I tell you? I don't even know why I helped your kind. Damn Gears ruined everything, killed my family, destroyed my country."

The girl looked like she was physically hit, then bowed her head and replied quietly, "I see, so you hate me. You are just like everyone else."

The man raised an eyebrow, "Should I pity you? Are you just the innocent victim of circumstance? Don't make me laugh."

"Then why did you not kill me yet?" the girl asked.

The man let out a short humorless laugh, "I wouldn't be much of a martial artist without honor. I'm not a common thug lady, honor is important."

"So you don't like Gears, but you don't kill anything if you don't feel you should?" the girl looked at him with the look of a little kid trying to understand an intricate puzzle, "are you willing to forgive some for what they have done?"

"No."

The girl sighed, "I see, even if they would not want to hurt anyone, you believe they are inherently evil."

He clenched his fist, "I think that you are trying to get me off track, and the only reason I have been helping you is because you were getting beat up. Meeting you any other time would make the outcome a whole lot different."

The girl bowed her head again, "I see... Then everyone truly does want to kill me."

He tilted his head to the side as a thought suddenly hit him, "Why do you care, when the gears were controlled by Justice they were mindless killing machines. You're not a full Gear are you? I've heard of your kind but thought it was just a story."

The girl looked away as if frightened, "That won't change anything though, will it?"

He put his arms down to his side and looked to the side with his eyes shut. His face was expressionless, he looked like he was meditating on something. He let out a sigh, opening his eyes and turned back to look at the girl on the couch. He unclenched his fist for a second and the clenched it again, this went on in silence for a couple more second before he spoke again, sounding different. Almost unsure of himself.

"Maybe, I can't guarantee it, but you don't seem like you want to hurt anyone," he sat down across from her, running a hand through his hair, "do you cause this kind of doubt in a lot of people?"

The girl smiled at him, "Those I've met, I only know people from the Jellyfish Pirates."

He narrowed his eyes again, "Bandits..."

The girl seemed surprised at his expression, "They are not bad people, they just try to make a living."

"I see," He said, "so you were just taken in without question?"

The girl nodded, "Johnny likes to help people, you seem hesitant to help people."

"If your talking about the way I'm treating you, you are not a person."

The girl reacted as if he had physically slapped her, somewhere deep down he chided himself for being so mean. He knew that he did not use to be like this, it had been the war that changed him. He had witnessed his whole country destroyed by mindless machines, huge numbers that just kept coming no matter how many he killed. He had tried every trick he knew, but nothing had stopped them. His father had died trying to protect them, then his fiancees father, then his fiancee. His world fell apart after that, it started with anger, then his anger subsided and left emptiness. And longing. He cut himself off because he had to, not because he wanted to, because it was that or the "Colonies". Still, some part of the old him existed, and it was screaming at him about how stupid that was. Now the girl he had just met was mad at him. And sad because of him, and he did not like it when girls became sad due to his actions.

"I'm sorry," he said quietly, "that was rude, it's not a good reason but my anger at... your kind... can not be easily controlled."

The girl nodded, "I understand, it's difficult for me too be half Gear because people hate me just for what I am. I know you have probably faced much tragedy as many people have, nobody even takes what I want into consideration though. I really just want to live my life in peace."

"Yes, that is not a bad wish," He got up suddenly and bowed to her, "I am Ranma Saotome, and I'm sorry for being so rude."

The girl blinked, "Oh, well, my name is Dizzy."

There was a moment where it was quiet except for the animals outside and the wind blowing through the trees. Then there was the sound of people yelling. It was not the yelling of people who were in pain, it was the yell of people who were frantic. Their voices carried a name on the wind and it traveled unhindered to the ears of the two people in the small little shack. Ranma immediately went on guard.

"That sounds like them," Dizzy said, "they actually came looking for me."

Ranma raised an eyebrow, "That's what you generally do when someone you care about is missing."

Dizzy looked up at the man as he stared off towards the door with a look of concentration. It was almost like he expected whatever came his way to want to start a fight with him. As protective as Johnny was of her, she really would not doubt that he would start a fight if she was seen to be hurt. The question was, how easily would the pirate Captain dispatch this young man, or would he even be able to. He had stood up to that woman after all, and she was a lot more powerful than Johnny was.

"We had better go to them, this place is hard to find," Ranma said suddenly, "C'mon, I'll help you."

Ranma went to reach for the girl, but just as he touched her the wings that adorned her back sprang forward, the black one changing into a kind of axe. The man jumped back in surprise and looked at Dizzy as if he was hurt by what happened, not physically, but mentally.

"Oh, I'm sorry, I forgot about Necro and Undine," the girl said frantically, "they are my protectors."

"Some protectors," Ranma said as he glared at the wings, "I could have been killed."

Dizzy stood unsteadily, grabbing her makeshift crutch to keep the wait off of her hurt leg. She hobbled over to the man who now seemed to have reverted back to treating her like the first time they met. It hurt her to see the look of distrust in the man's eyes.

"I really am sorry, Ranma," She said, "they were just trying to protect me."

She saw the hardened look in his blue eyes soften, "I know, you can't help power like that. You must have a strong will to keep all that in check. Anyway, let's get going, and try not to attack me again."

Dizzy nodded and started to walk towards the door when she suddenly felt herself being supported in the air. It took her a moment to realize that Ranma had picked her up and started running towards the sound of the voices. She also noticed that he had forgot the crutch he had made for her. It seemed that he was in a hurry to get rid of her, for what reason she could only guess at.

It was not long before he had arrived at the place that Johnny was waiting. There were a few trees around the area, a lot of them were knocked down, they looked like something had hit them to cause them to fall. It was a clearing of unnatural origin and in the middle was standing a blond haired shirtless man with a long black trench coat, black sunglasses, a wide full brimmed black hat and what looked to be a stick on his hip. Next to him was a girl of about seventeen years old with long brown hair, an orange pirate outfit, and carrying a large ship anchor slung over her back. It was total chaos as soon as they saw Ranma carrying the blue haired girl in the jean shorts and white shirt.

"What the hell did you do to her?" the man asked dangerously.

Ranma did not answer but let the girl stand on her own and stagger over to the group. Once she was in the possession he turned and started to walk away slowly. There was no need for him to explain his reasons to these people, and they would not understand even if he did. How could they understand that it was his hate for Gears that had caused him to help her. How could he explain that he saved her when he should have left the girl to die. He could not even explain the reason for such things to himself.

"Wait, answer us," that must be the girl who was with them, Ranma stopped but did not turn, "Why did you hurt her, and why did you just let her go?"

"I don't know," he said, "I was not the one to hurt her but I wish I was. I couldn't though, Gears wiped out my whole country, and killed my family, and basically destroyed my life. I killed so many that I lost count. Yet I could not kill her."

It was the man who spoke this time, "For what it's worth, I thank you. We owe you a debt of gratitude."

Ranma bowed his head, "No, you don't, it would only be a waste. I only wait to die."

"So young, too young to have a death wish," the man said after a pause, "you lose everything and you give up on life?"

Ranma turned quickly and anger showed plain in his eyes, "Yes! Tell me you could lose everyone you care for and still have the will to live. You can't, you don't know how it feels to be helpless to prevent people you care for from dying before your eyes!"

"You assume to much," Johnny said, "I have lost someone also. My father was killed by the Gears when I was very young."

Ranma crossed his arms, attitude changing rapidly, "I see, so you think that makes it better. In either case I would appreciate if you left."

Ranma turned and slowly started to walk away, not looking to see if the group was leaving.

Johnny frowned but turned, the two now stood with their back to each other, "You know," the blond man said after a while, "it is much harder to find someone in the air. Just a suggestion."

Ranma looked over his shoulder, "And if I take this offer, what then?"

"I can offer you nothing but a place to live and steady food," Johnny said, "of course I will have to ask you to work for me to earn your keep."

The dark haired man nodded, "All right, I guess it is better than living where I do right now, and I am use to working, I will accept your offer."

If you asked him then he could not tell you why he accepted the offer from the Captain of the Jellyfish Pirates. Ranma was not sure of a lot of things he did now days, he was just hoping that he would at least have release. Release from his life, release from his pain, he wanted to be free from all the memories. So he followed the people to the airship.

=======================================================================

The end, short and to the point. There will be more, any clarifications or questions contact me at chrisloporchio1@comcast.net. Thanks.

=======================================================================

Sparrow and Hatred

Chapter 2

It was night and he could not sleep, this was not all that unusual for him. His pain kept him up... kept him alive. That was one of the problems he had. The whole living thing was just not working out for him, but he could not die. There had been a point were he had tried countless times to throw himself from buildings, swallow pills, even drive a blade through his body. It never worked. Now he was laying awake on the Mayship, in nothing but his black pants, and staring at the ceiling.

"Mom, pop, Nabiki, Kasumi, Mr. Tendo..." there was a pause as if he had trouble getting the next name out, "Akane, I'm sorry."

There was a knock on the door just then, soft and hesitant, they did not want to wake him. It was weird but since he had come aboard this ship had not seen a single male besides himself and Johnny. It occurred to him as he walked to the door that none of them were really dating material either. They were either too old for the Captain or too young. Except for Dizzy. Ranma answered the door.

"Oh, did I wake you," speaking of blue haired Gears, "I'm sorry, I just wanted to make sure you had everything you needed."

Ranma nodded, "I'm fine Dizzy, and you did not wake me, I don't sleep that good any ways."

Dizzy nodded, "I see, well if you need anything just tell me, and please try to sleep, it isn't healthy for you to stay awake. You're body needs rest."

The man nodded, "I'll try," there was a slight pause before he continued, "and thank you for the second chance Dizzy."

The blue-haired girl nodded and turned to leave, Ranma closing the door behind her. Going back to lay down, he continued his staring contest with the dark ceiling. He drifted back to the first night he had witnessed the Gears. How afraid he had been at first sight of the beasts, like lumbering wretches. Not fully human but not fully machine either, they were like zombies when they moved. When it came to fighting them it had not been that hard to defeat them even. Some had been tougher than others, but the sheer number had almost got him killed. He had been too scared to face the seemingly infinite number of monsters that came. Even after they killed everyone, after he had done everything to protect those he cared for, they had kept coming. Until Japan was one flaming wreck of stone and metal, like a post apocalyptic shell of what he used to call home. Without knowing it he drifted off to sleep, dangerously unpleasant thoughts trap in his head.

He had slept for a few minutes when Dizzy came back by his room, making her rounds on the ship. She had been "volun-told" to take the watch tonight. It was very unusual that she was ordered to take a watch in the first place as Johnny was very protective of her. Maybe he wanted to make sure the new guest did not get out of hand. Her thoughts on him had been mixed. She was however starting to understand him, though she was not sure everything made sense quiet yet. Every time she thought she was getting close to understanding him he did something that would boggle the mind of anyone. Even when he was not depressed he seemed emotionally neutral. He had not smiled once since she saw him, not that she could blame him, his life was just too sad. She had in fact never comprehended the destruction of the Gears until she met him.

She realized that she had walked into the darker section of the ship where the man was staying. She had been on her way to check all the gauges in this section any ways, in order to make sure they are reading correctly, she had not noticed how deep in thought she had been though. She walked a little farther into the back until she neared the gauges she needed to check. Seeing that they were all reading correctly, she turned to walk to another part of the ship when she noticed she was passing Ranma's room. She had checked on him earlier, and he did not seem like he wanted to have anything to do with her. He was so full of anger that she could barely stand being near him without feeling guilty. Though she knew he did not blame her, he was truthful in that fact, but he also could not hide the hate for her kind that shone like fire in his eyes.

"No, get away, please," that was his sleeping voice, muffled behind a door, curious she put an ear to the door, "damn Gears. I hate you! You took everything, Akane..."

Dizzy looked at the door in surprise, she was not sure of Japanese language but from what she had learned that sounded like a woman. Had he also lost his girlfriend in the war? Not only his family but the woman that he had given his heart to. It tore at the half-Gear to know that her kind had done such horrible things.

"BASTARD!" the girl recoiled at the sudden scream, "I'll kill you! If it takes every last breath in my body I shall make you pay for doing this! After I kill Justice I'm coming for you!"

The blue-haired Gear put her head against the door, eyes shining with the sadness that she felt for the boy. How could she understand how devastating that war had been, she had not been alive for it. Now that she had clearly heard the terror and anger in this man's voice as he slept she got a feeling for how all those people must feel.

Slowly,inexplicably, she opened the door he was on his bed on top of the covers. The bedding was all messed up, evidence of his tossing and turning during his fitful sleep. The girl walked over and looked down at the sleeping young man. His forehead creased in concentration and his eyes moving rapidly under his eyelids. She let instinct guide her actions, her hand reaching out to touch his softly. He almost instantly calmed. Then she was surprised when his hand turned and grabbed hers tightly. His steel-like grip unbreakable, she struggled to keep her power at bay so as not to hurt the man. She found his blue eyes glaring at her coldly.

"You aren't making a strong case for yourself," those were the only words out of his mouth, yet they spoke volumes with their tone.

Dizzy struggled to answer, she was under the strain of holding her power back, "Please stop, you're hurting me."

Ranma sat up, but kept his grip on her hand, "Listen, just leave me the hell alone. You're kind are filth, I don't know why I even trusted you. You just tried to attack me."

"No, you misunderstand," Dizzy was pleading with him now, "I just wanted to... I wanted to help."

This provoked a definite reaction in the man, dropping her hand he took a big step back, "Help, why? Gears don't help humans."

Dizzy fell to the floor and held her hand in pain, "I don't want to hurt people. I want to help, I wish I could go back and stop everything from happening. But I can't, so I have to do what I can here."

Ranma sighed and closed his eyes, "So you don't want to hurt people, you realize that this goes against everything I have come to learn about you're kind. But then, I keep forgetting you are different."

He bent down and grabbed her hurt hand, examining it for a few seconds before letting go. He walked away for a second, opening a small fridge they had provided him with in case he wanted to eat in his room instead of at the galley. Getting some paper towels from the bathroom and some ice from the fridge he wrapped the ice and set the ice against the hand where he had squeezed her.

"Keep ice on it," He said as he took her hand and placed it over the ice pack to keep it on, "the coldness will help the swelling stay down."

Dizzy looked at the man in wonder, "That's twice now, why do you help me if you hate me so much?"

Ranma struggled to find the words to reply to her question, in all truth he did not know the answer, "I don't know, maybe it's because you remind me of someone in my past life. Not my fiancee, this girl was like an older sister. No matter how crazy my life was she was so innocent."

The blue-haired girl walked over to sit down on the bed, "So you see me as innocent."

"No, more like you are young," the young man said, "I... you just don't act as old as you look.

The Gear nodded, "Yes, I know, I have a lot to learn about this world."

Ranma raised an eyebrow, "You look twenty, you can't have that much to learn."

Dizzy looked down at her iced hand, "I'm really only three, mentally and physically I am about twenty. Do to my heritage my growth was accelerated."

"Makes sense, that would explain a lot of things about the way you act," Ranma said, "though I would not be so accepting of such things if I didn't live such a chaotic life."

"But you still hate me?"

Ranma stood still and stared at the girl for a second, taking in the sight of her. She did not look dangerous in any way, in fact if it was not for the wings and tail Ranma would not even think her to be a Gear. They were there though, and he was forced to take that into consideration. The whole theory surrounding her had thrown him for a loop, considering the Gear evil incarnate was easy enough considering what they had done. This girl was different, and he was having trouble making head or tails of what she meant to him. He felt that he was slowly getting use to the "Innocent Gear" but was not sure if it would be soon enough. And the question of hate still remained in his mind, did he hate her, probably not. At least not anymore.

"No," he said after a long pause to give himself time to think of an answer, "that would be too easy. That feeling is reserved for Gears that are mindless."

"I see," Dizzy said, "I should be getting back to my watch now."

Ranma nodded, "I'm sorry for everything Dizzy, even for my dislike, but I am trying to get better."

The girl smiled gently, "It's okay, please just try to sleep now."

Laid back down on the as the girl stood and started for the door, he wanted to try to sleep at least. It was not even ten seconds from when he lay down that he ship listed suddenly and a siren sounded. The blue-haired Gear lost her balance suddenly and stumbled backwards over the edge of Ranma's bed. Unfortunately this meant that she fell on the man as he was trying to go to sleep. The explosion and the sudden rocking had woke him up in the first place, but he had not been prepared for the sudden weight of the girl.

"Oh, that hurt," the man groaned, "let's find out what's going on."

Dizzy quickly got up and nodded, "Yes."

The two started for the door but the ship rocked again, throwing the two toward the metal bulkhead of the ship. Without thinking, Ranma grabbed Dizzy and put himself between her and the wall. There was a thud as they hit and fell to the ground. Slowly they got to their feet and looked around. The girl was fixing Ranma with a worried look as he seemed to be in pain from the crashing around.

"Are you okay Ranma?" she asked in a worried voice.

The man nodded and made his way towards the door, still looking hurt. Dizzy caught up with him and tried to help him but he shrugged the Gear off. He was fine, he just had his body sandwiched between two heavy objects. He had dealt with worse.

As they made their way down the corridor they ran into the girl in orange from before. She looked frantic as she ordered the other girls on the ship around. Sparks flew in great arcs, threatening to strike down anyone who got to close. As she saw Dizzy, the girl ran towards her and started to talk frantically to the girl.

Ranma took the time to listen to the noise around to see if he could make out what had happened. As far as he could make out, the ship had been attacked by some person, using an attack to tear the ship apart. Johnny had gone out to face whoever it was, but that was as far as anyone knew. Getting enough information to find out that the fight was out on one of the wings of the ship, Ranma took off to see what was going on. Getting to the hatch of the ship was a pain, he felt like a fish trying to swim upstream.

By the time he arrived, the Captain of the Jellyfish Pirates was just getting dispatched, by the same woman in red that Ranma had faced before. She was holding the Captain by the neck, squeezing the life from him ever so slowly. The dark haired man did not want to fight the woman again but if it would save someone's life then he would. Besides, this woman was obviously one of the evil Gears he had based the meaning of his life off of.

"You! Are you after the girl again," his voice held no room for error, no forgiveness for this woman.

The woman in the red witches had and mini-skirt had turned to him, "Oh, so you want to go another round. I must say that I am happy about that. I would love to have the taste of your blood on my lips."

It was then that Ranma noticed the strange scent coming off the woman, it was the smell of battle, the smell he had worn during the war, it was the smell that made him lose his sense of self, "Blood... you smell of blood and death."

The woman did not say anything back but instead proceeded to attack him. Only the speed of his training prevented him from having his head caved in by the steal of the guitar the woman wielded. As he leaned to the side, he used the momentum to half-cartwheel onto his hands and kick the woman in the face. The woman was knocked to the side, giving him time to spring back onto his feet, towards the woman and give her a double footed kick to the waist. The whole process was unorthodox and looked strange, but he had planned it that way. The more he kept his opponent off guard the better.

As the red musician stumbled back, the dark haired man took the time to press the advantage. As long as he kept her from using that damn guitar of hers he was fine. Other than that, she had no way of protecting herself. Then he had to pause to set up a move and the hesitation gave her the time to jump away, throwing an attack in mid-air. The bolt of electricity the guitar gave wrapped around him and made him scream in pain. Then she prepared for the move that had caught him off guard the first time. Everything went black as the path was traced in red, Ranma took the time to try to build a defense against the attack. All he could think of to do was to try and block the attack as much as possible.

Then something happened that neither of the fighters were prepared for. A giant ship anchor slammed down in between the two fighters just as the attack was launched. The proximity blocked almost all of the attack and what had got through was harmless. The man was silently thankful that he did not have to deal with that again, he was not sure that he could take it.

"You lucking son of a..." the red musician glared at him in anger, "I'll kill you this time for sure."

The woman charged towards him and made to swing the guitar down on top of him. He jumped back and the weapon sailed harmlessly past him in a downward arch. The woman blocked his return attack and countered by grabbing him and throwing him across the wing of the plane. He struggled for footing on the slick wing as the wind threatened to rip his feet out from under him. This fight had suddenly taken a turn for the worst, he felt the pain and hopelessness start to rise within him again. He had only failed once, and it cost the people he cared about everything. Now his screw up would cause these innocents their life.

"Well this is just too bad, I wanted to personally kill you but I guess I will have to settle for watching you fall to your death," the woman was taunting him.

He felt the pain spread through his body and the sadness of knowing he was going to fail make him numb. Slowly he stood strait and looked at the woman hard, his soul was ice now. It was colder than the wind that threatened to make his fall to the hard earth below.

"You're right, but if I do drop you will come with me," Ranma said sharply, "I will not allow this pain to spread."

With the declaration the man charged at the woman as fast as he could. His speed blinding the surroundings and causing him to develop tunnel vision. He hit the woman and they both flew through the air toward the edge of the ship. The two did not go strait off but rolled across the metal of the giant flying machine. Ranma righted himself in time to see that the woman was starting to get up. In a kind of controlled slide, he swiped the woman's feet out from under her and sent her over the edge. The man soon followed the woman, and the realization that he was about to die comforted him. He looked up to see the ship get smaller as he fell, then the woman disappeared in mid-air. He stared in disbelief for a second before he felt a pair of hands grab his waist. Looking back he saw a certain blue-haired gear holding him tightly.

Ranma's mind reeled, how the hell could this be, she had just risked her life for him. It was not just his own life that was in danger now, it was hers, he could not live with himself if he let another innocent die because of him. She was even trying to use her wings to slow the fall, but that would not work because of his momentum and added weight. Damn you woman, he thought, always ruining everything!

Now he had to cushion the blow for both of them, granted the wings slowing the fall would help, but not by as much as he would have liked. All that was left was to release the power he had kept hidden from these people for so long.

Dizzy had been doing a good job of slowing him down but she knew they were still going to hit the ground. It would be the second time she had fallen from the ship, though they were not as high the first time. It was all because she did not want to see him die, he was so lonely but he was also trying to throw his life away. The girl could not understand such a desire, she had been lonely also but never felt the need to give up on life. When she saw the look of irritation he aimed at her she thought she had screwed something up, then she realized he intended to die in this fall. Why, he had a life to look forward too, he could be happy again did he not realize that. Then he started to glow.

It was barely noticeable at first but soon the aura grew thick and dark red. The warmth of the energy flowing through his body could be felt all throughout her body. She did not know what the man had planned but judging by how close the ground was he had better do it fast.

Then he slowly cupped his hands out in front of him and closed his eyes, brows wrinkled in concentration. Then the glowing in his body started to move to his hands before a ball of energy formed there. Slowly it got bigger and the ground moved closer. Then when they were a good one-hundred feet in the air he let the giant ball of energy loose. It was more of a constant stream as it left his hand, the back-blast of the attack killed the momentum of their fall almost completely. Dizzy's outstretched wings caught the wind and she slowly guided them to the ground.

As they approached, Ranma took the liberty to release himself from her arms and jump to the ground. They were about ten feet away when everything settled down. The man was looking at the blue haired Gear with slight irritation while the girl looked back at him with a look that was very close to pity.

"You tried to kill yourself back their," it was a quiet declaration.

Ranma nodded, "Yes, and what's the point, I want to die."

"How can you want to die? I thought humans had a high sense of self preservation," Dizzy was obviously confused by his want, she had never met a human so bent on killing themselves.

The man did not answer but instead sat on the ground, then leaned back and stared at the sky in silence. Confused, Dizzy laid down next to him to see what he was looking at. Seeing nothing after a while, she blinked and looked over at the man, he had his eyes closed but he was not sleeping. He was smiling to himself, then his smile turned to a light laugh as he put a hand to his head.

"You are quiet different," Ranma said humorously, "were you trying to see what I was looking at. I was not looking, I was thinking, and trying to do it without being preached to."

Dizzy rolled over and frowned, "Has anyone told you how rude you are?"

"All the time, though not since they were killed in the war," Ranma again looked to the sky, "It was a day like this you know. Clear, sunny, a perfect day for being lazy. That was when the first one showed up at our door."

Ranma was staring at the sky through his hand now, his voice was far away. There was deep sadness in his voice as he retold the memories of the day the first Gear had killed his father. It had attacked without mercy, and without a word, just leapt forward at him. The blow caught him off guard and he thought he would die, then there was the horrible spray of blood on his face as the blade attached to the things hand pierced his father's skin and went strait through. The Gear did not even pause in his second attack, and he was too afraid to do anything.

"My father had just died in front of me, I was in shock and my world just stood still," Ranma let his hand fall back to the ground and closed his eyes once more, "there was yelling, I couldn't understand what was going on. All I saw was a flood of the Gears start to march through the street and people falling. One after another people fell to the things, but they wouldn't touch me for one reason or another."

Tears were now running down the man's cheeks as his shut eyes futilely tried to hold them in. He was choking on sobs as he continued the story of the killing. Yet he somehow was never touched by any of the evil things.

"I even tried just standing in the middle of them as they came at me but they never even tried to scratch me," he wiped the tears from his eyes, "there was no explanation for it, why was it me that they wouldn't kill. It drove me mad, and I guess I just never really recovered from the madness. I decided to try to live alone for a couple years and just wait for death since pursuing it was not working. Then I met you and I thought that maybe this was part of my end, it was a sign by some god that wanted to have mercy on me. Apparently I was wrong."

The blue haired Gear looked at Ranma with sympathy, "If you want to die why did you let me catch you? You could have just broke my grip."

The man looked at her as if she were crazy, "I... never thought to do so. In any case we had better find a way to let the pirates know where we are. It's not safe for us down here."

Dizzy said nothing but followed the man as he started off towards what seemed to be a random direction. She wondered idly if he had just wanted to drop the subject they were on. He seemed to be getting a little irritated with the whole thought of his old life and wanting to die.

The man in question had other things on his mind though, most of all how to get this girl back to her ship. He had no doubt that they would be worried about her. It was ridiculous really. Falling from the same ship just a day after she had gotten back to it. And it was because of that same woman in red.

"Stun Edge!"

The man turned at the yell to see electricity fly from the sword of one man towards another man in red. The man in red jumped over the arch of electricity and kicked the other man in the face. It was obvious who the better of the two fighters were, but the motive was lost to Ranma. He had not even had the intention of stopping to watch the fight but when he looked to Dizzy she was totally fixated in the battle.

"Come on," Ranma said as he grabbed her hand, "we have to get going, before someone finds you."

The girl did not seem to hear him as her attention was still fixed on the two men fighting. Ranma did not care much, he knew that they had to keep going before anyone knew she was down here. He sped up until the fight was out of even hearing range, it was only then that he slowed down. When he did, he could see a look of confusion on the girls face, whether it was because of something else he was unsure, all he knew was that it was unnerving to him.

"Now what is it," he asked in slight irritation, "don't tell you we have to go back and get something."

The girl looked at him in surprise, "No, I, those two guys. They were after me before but why were they fighting against each other?"

Ranma stopped and looked levelly at the Gear, "So you held me up for that? Look, we have to find a way to communicate with the ship, I don't mean to be rude but I don't feel like saving your life again."

Dizzy blinked at Ranma for a second, "What," she said in astonishment, "I thought you didn't hate me anymore."

The man raised an eyebrow at her, "Is that what you think? Look, I just want to get you back where you're suppose to be. I figure if I can protect you then I have a reason for not ending my life right here."

With that he picked up Dizzy, feeling it would be faster to run without dragging her behind him. The surroundings around them became a blur as the man ran as fast as he could in order to find a way out of this place and back on the ship. The pirates had probably overshot this place by at least a day before they realized what had happened. It was doubtful that they would catch up to them; but on the off chance that they saw the area the two fell in and circled back around they had to make a run in the direction of the ship.

It was not long before all the running came to an end at a clearing. This was not normal clearing though, the very essence of it was sinister. At least to the man, for the man knew this place all too well and knew that being near here was a grave mistake. There was utter pain in the man's face as he saw the pools of the clearing come into view.

"Wow, this place looks so beautiful," The blue haired Gear said absently as she walked towards one of the pools.

Ranma was numb, he never expected to come here again, and yet here he was. His body was shaking as he looked at the cause of his problems early on. Then he noticed that Dizzy was standing next to a pool, knowing what usually happened when someone stepped too close to one of the pools, he took off running as fast as he could. It turned out he was too late as the girl slipped in before he got there.

Running up to the pool, Ranma stopped and waited for a sign of the girl. Nothing happened for a while, then a hand reached out from the surface and Ranma quickly grabbed it and pulled. The girl flew into his arms and he lost his balance, falling backwards with her on top of him.

She looked astonished, "Ranma, I, what was that?"

The man looked down at himself, he had not changed into a girl when she touched him. That in itself was weird, but the fact that the girl did not seem to look any different than before. Helping her off of him, he sat up and looked over at the pool in curiosity. When he looked back at the Gear sitting on her knees and staring at him with a confused expression, he decided to try a test.

"Dizzy, do you feel any different?" he asked absently.

The Gear looked at him questioningly, "Well, I just feel wet, other than that I feel fine."

Ranma had an idea as to what that pool was, though he was not sure he wanted to know the truth, "Uhm, could you try to summon your tail please?"

The shrugged but concentrated, nothing happened, "Huh? That's strange."

"I would agree if I didn't know what happened," Ranma said, "that is the spring of the drown girl. Until we get some hot water you are stuck as a regular girl," Ranma looked at the blue haired girl sadly, "I'm sorry, I tried to warn you."

The girl blinked and looked down at herself, "So all that set me apart from a regular person was my wings and tail? Why was everyone so scared of me."

Ranma sat and looked at her in astonishment, "That is not what they were afraid of, though that helped, it was the power you had. The fact that the average human could be destroyed by you so easily is was they were afraid of."

Dizzy looked down as if sad, "I did not want to hurt people though."

"Yes, but hate is a very illogical," Ranma said, "they see a hint of you being a Gear and they think you can destroy the world."

The girl seemed to hesitate for a second, then quietly asked him a question, "Is that how you think of me?"

The man looked at her unsure, then after he thought about it he answered, "No, it was different. I never hated the Gears, I hated Justice and I hated the man who created him. The things themselves were just being controlled. They have no sense of what is right or wrong."

The girl suddenly shivered and Ranma realized just how late in the night it had become. Getting up, the black haired man looked around to see if there was any shelter within viewing distance. Then he saw a small shack at the edge of the pools, it was a small wooden construct about the size of a tool shed.

"We better get to shelter, we don't know what could happen out in this place at night," Ranma said.

Nodding, the now human Dizzy got up and proceeded to follow Ranma through the mist of the valley. She wondered absently how he knew so well the path through mist of the valley. It also led to the question of how he knew that she had been curse from falling into that pool. The evidence was there, but she did not want to jump to conclusions and make him angry at her. The two of them were just starting to get along after all. As they got closer to the small hut, she noticed that the man's pace had slowed down. She could almost see the tenseness in him, as if he suspected an attack to come at any second.

As he touched the door of the shack, he felt his hair stand on end, almost as if he was being watched. In fact he had felt this way ever since he had started walking toward the shack. Fighting against his better judgment, Ranma opened the door, enduring the horrifying squeaking of the rusted hinges, and stepped inside. It was dark and the pale light from outside lit enough to see dust swirling. Searching around the wall near the door he felt a switch and threw it. A single bulb lit the inside of the place.

The light was dim but still enough to see the one bed and the single radio contained in the small single room house. There was a stove and a bed in the corner with what had to be drawers for storage underneath. Those were the only things in this place, looking back outside at the rapidly fading daylight, Ranma decided this would be the best place they could get in such short notice.

Walking in with his female companion behind him he sighed at the sparse surroundings. The door shut with a creek behind them and the vibration caused the light to flicker off. As luck would have it Dizzy happened to be walking as it happened and she totally lost her surroundings. The girl felt herself falling as she tripped over something hard. She screamed in panic as the darkness prevented her from seeing the ground. Then she felt herself stopped, and the light came on to reveal Ranma holding her just inches above the ground, his arms around her waist.

Helping her stand he looked at her as if he was concerned, "Are you okay?"

Dizzy nodded and sat down on the bed which had been stripped by the owner before he left, "Yes, I was just scared."

"Well we better get to sleep then," he proceeded to look around for some blankets but found none, "damn, this sucks."

"It's okay," Dizzy said, "I feel warm enough as it is."

Ranma turned to the girl, "You sure, it can get pretty cold at night here."

Dizzy blinked, she had never really had trouble with cold before, but now that he mentioned it she did feel a little chilly, "Well we don't exactly have anything for heat."

Ranma sighed, "Hold on."

When he was looking for the blankets earlier, Ranma had found some pans. If he could get some water and use the stove to heat it up he could change her back to her original self. Of course his whole theory revolved around the fact that her wings were used as more than just weapons.

As he sat and waited for the water to heat in the stove, which luckily enough still had some wood next to it, he wondered just what was the cause for his recent actions. He knew that his views towards Gears had been changing, at least his views toward this Gear, but the fact that he was even helping her in any way was something he would never have thought of doing. Ranma checked the water, and determining that it was hot enough, poured it over the girl.

"Ouch," she said in surprise, "that hurt."

He put the bowl that held the water down he responded, "Yes, I know it can be hot, and I apologize about that. I did not mean to make it that hot."

The girl blinked as her wings again made themselves known and her tail appeared again, "Why did you turn me back?"

"I was thinking your wings could be used to keep you warm," Ranma said as he sat cross legged in the middle of the small room, "we seem to lack blankets."

Dizzy looked concerned about something, "But what about you?"

Ranma raised an eyebrow, did she actually care what happened to him? "I will be fine, we have to get moving early so get some rest."

The girl looked like she was about to say something for a second but only nodded her head. Laying down on the bed, she folded her wings over herself. Ranma looked over at her as she closed her eyes and seemed to go to sleep. When he saw her eyes closed he followed suit, laying down on the floor and closing his eyes with his arms folded over his chest. As he drifted off into sleep he could have sworn he felt something soft and feathery cover him but dismissed it as just being tired.

=======================================================================

End of this chapter, on to the next. Thanks for reading this far.

=======================================================================

Chapter 3

There was blood, everywhere was blood, fire engulfed all buildings around him. People writhed in agony as their torn flesh was infested by the dancing orange fire. It was licking at his skin, yet he felt cold, like the fire was not even there. He saw all of his family laying dead in front of him, his loved ones burning in the angry fire that turned everything it touched to ash. In the middle of the flame was were the Gears, led by one in particular that towered over the rest. It was like a robot with long black hair, and it, glowing red eyes regarded the man with a coldness born of it's hatred.

The man stood and wiped the blood and tears from his face, sweat from his exertion flowed down his body and drenched his clothes. He charged the thing only to have it's tail come up from the ground in front of him. The appendage lanced through the middle of his body and came out the other side, missing his spinal cord by inches. The tail withdrew from his body and they all turned to leave him dying and bloody on the ground. Weakly he struggled to get up but his body refused him, betrayed him, he was going to die in cold blood. Just at the peak of his pain he felt someone grab him, female, they were holding on to him and weeping for him. He could not see their face but only saw a feather float to the ground in front of him.

"Ah!" Ranma sat up with sweat covering his body, he was shaking not from the pain but from the dream, "what was that?"

Then he saw that the feeling last night had not been just his imagination. One of the girls wings was indeed covering him in an effort to keep him warm. Looking over at her he saw her still laying in bed with her eyes closed and sleeping quietly. That dream was familiar, but the feather never happened, he had just woken up healed without any knowledge how. Then there was the feather, what did that mean, he did not see a feather in the original battle. It was all too confusing, he needed to practice and clear his head of the thoughts before he got even more confused. He would not be able to fight good if he could not concentrate on his fight.

The girl had woken when she had felt him sit up suddenly, though she did not actually get up. She knew he had a wrestles sleep because she could feel the vibration of him moving through the wing that she had covered him with. She only got up when she had heard him leave the house by way of the door slamming. He did not slam it as if he was angry, it was not hard, it was almost as if he was just too distracted to think about shutting it quietly. Getting up she summoned her normal clothes, being a Gear had its advantages as far as wardrobe went, she followed him out the door.

When she exited she found him in a apparent fight with an invisible opponent. His movement was slowed but controlled, on second evaluation it looked as though he was actually a moving piece of art. Each muscle movement was precisely calculated to start and stop in a particular place and his breathing was slow and controlled. The flow of his form could only be compared to water, as if he was ready to flow around any counter attack that might present itself. Dizzy moved closer in order to get a better look at what he was doing, unfortunately not paying attention to where she was walking and stepping on a branch.

The snap of the cracking sound seemed to echo across the valley, and Ranma stopped in mid-kick. With his leg still extended high in the air he pivoted his grounded foot to look in the direction of the sound. When he saw Dizzy looking back at him he brought his leg back down to the ground and started to walk towards her. The girl was unsure of how he would react, his actions were so unpredictable that she was not sure if she should be afraid of him. He stopped about three feet from her and crossed his arms over his chest, staring motionlessly at her.

Finally he put his hands down to his side, "I know you are powerful but you don't know how to fight, do you?"

Dizzy blinked, "No, I never had the need to learn."

Ranma smiled and shrugged, "Yeah well, I was just kind of thinking that I should teach you some. After all, I won't always be around and if you were attacked in your cursed form you couldn't defend yourself."

The girl paused and looked at him, blinked, then blinked a little more before she answered, "Uhm, sure, I think it would be a good idea to learn. I just don't want to hurt anyone."

"Nah, you won't hurt anyone but me," Ranma said in a cheery voice, "I've been hit so many times it hardly even hurts anymore, besides, it will just be basic to get you out of some scrapes."

"Yes," Dizzy said, "I just don't like hurting anyone, I don't feel like I should be fighting."

Ranma became serious as he put a hand on her shoulder and looked her in the eyes, "Listen, do you think I like hurting people anymore than you do? I do it because I have to, and trouble seems to find me, if it wasn't for my training I'd be dead already. Martial Arts does not come down to whether you want to do it, but when you use it."

The girl looked back at him with astonishment, "You seem so passionate about it. If you believe it will help me I guess it would not hurt to try."

Ranma nodded, "All right, first of all, there should be no such word as try in your vocabulary. The only thing trying gets you is hurt, you must succeed, never make a move unless you know it will counter a move. Keep in mind also than countering is what this is all about, you don't have to hurt them, just give yourself time to get the upper hand."

As Ranma explained he proceeded to show Dizzy, albeit very slowly for him, how to counter certain moves. For the most part it was basic and she seemed to get the moves very easily. Even as she was practicing though, Ranma could see the trepidation in her movements. It happened especially when she was supposed to hit him, which he had her do only because he needed to see if her form was correct when doing so.

Finally getting tired of this the man stepped back and turned away for a second, then turned back, "Look, I realize that you don't want to hurt anyone but I can't get a good idea of your form if you don't put some power behind the punch. Unless your opponent is going to fight in slow motion this won't help."

Dizzy looked downcast, "I know, but I just don't want to hurt you, it would make you angry."

The man looked over at her with a look in between mirth and confusion, "You're starting to sound like a broken record. Look Dizzy, I know, for probably the hundredth time I know, but you won't hurt me by doing this. Well then again, you might with the power you have inert inside you, but it's not going to kill me and that's all that matters. As for getting mad, I'm past that."

Dizzy looked at him with an expression that very well could have been happiness, if Ranma had ever seen her happy before he would know for sure, "You won't be mad? you always seemed angry before."

"Well, it's hard to-" Ranma stopped suddenly and looked over his shoulder at the horizon.

As she followed his gaze, Dizzy could see nothing at first, then after a few seconds a small black dot came into view in the distance. As it got closer, the form of a person could be made out, though the details were nearly impossible. Still the figure came closer and eventually revealed itself to be a man, in a brown cloak.

"Dizzy, go inside," it was rare that she had heard him talk like that, but the times he had left no room for argument.

Reluctantly she walked inside, turning before she entered to see Ranma and this stranger stare at each other. Neither of them moved for a while, then the man shed the pack he had been wearing. The pig-tailed man did not move, only regarding the figure with a neutral expression. Finally the figure smiled under the cloak that partly covered his face and got into a stance as if he was about to attack.

"So you came," Ranma said calmly, "for her no doubt. It's nothing personal but I can't let you have her... why is not important."

The figure cocked its head to the side, "So, you have sided yourself with the evil. I shall destroy you also if I have to."

Ranma looked to the side, seemingly ignoring the man, "You can try but you won't succeed. I will do only what is needed to protect her, if it requires breaking a few bones then I won't hesitate."

"Same Saotome I always knew," the figure almost seemed nostalgic, "you wear your pride well."

Looking back to the figure, Ranma stared coldly at the man, "I have no pride in what I do. I simply wish to die, and this may be the fastest path, as for suicide, well, let's just say it's been done. I have only death in my wake and hopelessness in front of me. Try and kill me and you will fail."

The figure did not respond but launched forward with a punch that was easily dodged. Ranma did not touch the figure even with the obvious opening, but waited again for an attack. A kick aimed at his face which was deflected easily, and countered with a sweep. Getting up from the ground the figure grit his teeth at Ranma. Launching into a flurry of attacks that were very fast, the figure moved around the man with the long braided hair. Still Ranma was too fast for the attacks and seemed to weave effortlessly between the attacks. The figure had spent his energy on the attack.

"Is that it, you seem to be out of practice," Ranma said as he stood in front of the figure, "how the hell did you survive with those atrocious moves."

The figure growled, "Damn you, how could you move so fast? You have to have cheated somehow. I have increase exponentially over these years, yet you still move faster than me."

Ranma shrugged, "Look, do you want to at least come in and meet her? I hold no hard feelings for you, I feel the same way, but she is special. Don't asked me what but there is something about her that makes her important."

The figure seemed surprise, "I guess I have not choice, I might as well find out what I can about it."

Ranma nodded, "Fine, just take off that ridiculous outfit, you look stupid like that Ryouga. Oh, and 'her' name is Dizzy."

The man pulled the hood off and revealed his face, he had the same build as Ranma, a little more muscular in the upper body and a little taller. His hair was unruly and black, held in place by a bandanna, and his green eyes regarded Ranma with irritation. He picked up his huge backpack, which held everything he needed to survive in his life of wondering, and followed Ranma as he started off towards the shack.

=======================================================================

End of 3. Thanks for Reading.

=======================================================================