Grave s New Lifer
Disclaimer: I own nothing. Wish I did though. Ah well.
Special thanks to Lawra and Red Priest for their help and inspiration.
Grave sat on the porch, watching Ranma work out, well, her mind was only partly there, instead she was thinking back on the past few days, trying to make sense of it all. The tip of her tail twitched lazily to the side as she thought about her life. What was she going to do now? Cutting off her connections to her old life wasn't something that she had ever imagined being able to do. Honestly, she felt as though a giant weight had been removed from her body. Maybe it was a cliche thought, brought up from memories from various books read and video games played in the past, but she really couldn't explain how she felt any better than that.
Still, that had been over a week ago, and she really didn't have a lot to do but think. Honestly, with all this time and nothing happening, she understood Britanny just a little bit better. Thinking sucked. She smirked as she saw Ranma finally come to a stop and relax. 'This'll' be fun.' She thought to herself. Not to mention it would give her something to do.
Stopping as he came down from his last kata, Ranma stretched and turned around. That had been a good workout. Nothing too serious like he was used to while living on the road, but it was enough to get his blood flowing and sweat just a bit. His eyes widened as something collided with his chest and the next thing he knew, he was on the ground on his back, looking into the face of his favorite blue-eyed girl. "Hi, Grave, Um, Why'd you tackle me?"
Smirking slightly, she tilted her head to the side as she looked him over. After a few moments, she leaned in and gave him a quick peck on the lips before sitting up and grinning cutely. "I wanna go for a walk. Want to come with?" Really, she was bored and things were always more fun when she had someone to be with.
"Sure." He smiled at her. "Um... Wanna get off?" He could easily push her off, but he usually only pushed people off of him that annoyed him.
"Oh, sorry." She giggled and stood up, grabbing his hand to pull him up as well. Shall we go?
Talking about nothing and everything wasn't too bad, Ranma decided. Taking in the odd sight here and there, seeing those flying ships over in the north was interesting, but they really didn t care to go over there. Both of them knew better than to go mess with things that didn't concern them directly. Ranma through his interactions with Genma and Grave just didn't want to deal with any new problems.
"Hey! Is that..?" Grave suddenly called out, looking across the open playground, before her eyes lit up in delight as she rushed away from Ranma. "It is!" She giggled as she rushed up to the seats at the far end. "A swing!" She giggled as she looked the swing set over. It wasn't the biggest one in the world, but it was bigger than most of the swings found in school yards. Six swings, half of them for small children to be strapped into, the other three were made with hard seats that were quite solid, instead of being made of softer leather and had been hung so that a short, medium, and tall person could swing freely. Jumping on the middle one, she grinned as Ranma caught up to her. "Come on! Give me a push!"
Ranma smiled as he grabbed the chains, his hands wrapped around them just above hers, as he pulled back on the swing to give her a big push.
He chuckled as she started giggling. It was nice to see her so happy, rather than silent and thinking too much. Push me higher! She giggled at him as she swung back, causing him to grab her seat, pull back and push harder. "WHEE!"
Chuckling and letting Grave swing herself, he jumped on the swing next to her, pumping back and forth before getting some momentum going, his height quickly matching hers. He chuckled as he continued on, this was rather fun.
"Well, this is interesting, I wouldn't imagine that such a fighter would be doing something as simple as playing on a children's playground." An older voice spoke up, causing the two to stop quickly and look at a nearby tree, one without many leaves on it, seeing some sort of short old troll-like thing on it and a purple-haired girl that Ranma knew all too well.
"Shampoo!" He hissed softly, memories of when she was chasing him and Genma all throughout China coming back to him in force. He had hoped that he had seen the last of her when his old man used that scroll to get him out of China.
"How you know who Shampoo is?" The purple haired Amazon demanded, frowning. No, she was certain that she hadn't ever seen that boy or the cat-girl next to him in her life, at least until she showed up in Japan with her great-grandmother.
"Uh, no reason, none at all!" Ranma chuckled nervously. He had honestly forgotten that the Amazon didn t know of his curse. He still didn t want, nor need, to deal with her though. His nervousness increased as he saw the short thing by Shampoo narrow its eyes at him.
"Hmm... Interesting," Cologne muttered to herself as she looked the boy over. She smirked internally as he tried to hide his nervousness around her and Shampoo, but failed. After all, who wouldn't be nervous with two very pretty, if she did say so herself, women after him.
"What do you two want?" Ranma asked, shaking off his nervousness at seeing that crazy Amazon again. Couldn't she just accept that he was better than her and leave it at that? Well, he really didn't mind that she wanted to fight him again, but to want to kill him over knocking her off that log? What the hell was she thinking? Honestly, the contest was for food, not life and death.
"What we want," Cologne started, eying Ranma curiously, "Is many aspects within one goal." She hopped on her stick to get closer to Ranma. "We are on a training trip, seeking to improve my granddaughter's skill through fighting opponents. We are hoping to find a strong male and... A certain woman while we're here."
Well, he could respect that, training to get stronger. But he knew just who the woman was that they were looking for. He just hoped that there was no rain coming. The last thing he needed was to get wet. "Really? Why are you looking for that woman?"
Cologne nodded her head to that question for a moment. "First you must understand we are an old people that believe in and celebrate our traditions and history. This redheaded child has become part of it and we must fulfill it. We are most certain she came to Japan, hence why we have chosen this land for our training journey."
"Yeah, I can understand that." Ranma nodded, he knew to care for tradition well enough. "But why come to Japan? Don't you think she could have gone to Taiwan or Korea instead?"
"No, I recognize the Japanese," Cologne replied as she looked Ranma over with whimsy, grinning. "Like you, she chose to keep her hair in a ponytail. She also had blue eyes, like you. AND..." she grinned. "She was speaking Japanese in China."
Well, shit, he really didn't think that she knew what to look for. "Well, fine, but I don't have a sister, if that's what you're thinking."
Cologne laughed. "Oh no, you misunderstand. I was implying how all you Japanese look alike," she said, teasing the young man. "Although..." she allowed. "I can tell you're different from most."
Grave rolled her eyes and muttered how, to her, most people from the Orient looked roughly the same.
"Well, yeah. I guess I'm different than most. Then again, I ain't ever seen someone so..." He trailed off, trying to describe the way that the old ghoul looked.
And, honestly, he didn't have any way of describing her... The little... Creature in front of him looked like a shrunken gargoyle that he had seen when he was a little kid in front of that haunted house.
Fortunately for Ranma, Cologne cut him off before he could stick his foot in his mouth. "I am curious," she said suddenly. "You are a martial artist, no?"
"Well, yeah. I ve been training as long as I can remember."
Grave bit her bottom lip as she looked at the Amazons, something was up, she could literally taste excitement in the air.
Seeing that her great-granddaughter s interest was piqued, Cologne smiled in amusement. "Young man, would you be kind enough to do us a favor?" She asked him with a voice that conveyed complete innocence.
"Depends... You aren't going to tie me to a tree, dump paint on me while dancing some weird American dance for the hope that you'll get stronger, will you?" Seeing everyone stare at him stupidly, he shrugged. "My old man had weird ideas for teaching."
Shaking her head, Cologne replied, "No, no... Nothing like that." She smiled. "I want my great-granddaughter Shampoo to get experience fighting various martial artists. She's won a good deal of fights so far but I've yet to really see her challenged. Would you be interested in having a match with her?"
"Depends... She ain't going to try and chase me down and kill me if I beat her, will she?" Ranma, contrary to what some people would have thought about him, did, in fact, learn from past mistakes. The last thing he needed was someone trying to kill him in both forms after beating her.
Cologne raised an eyebrow. How the heck did he know about Amazon Law? "Oh no, no... That's only for female warriors. Can't have any rival nations surpassing us in that regard, you understand..."
"Riiiight..." Ranma drawled out and shook his head. "Well, if she won't try and hunt me down..."
Grave looked at him sharply. "You aren't serious, are you?" Something about all this was bothering her, she just couldn't figure out what it was just yet.
"Why shouldn't Fighter be serious?" Shampoo asked as she slinked up to get closer to Ranma. "Male consider self, fighter, yes? He want get to sample Shampoo's skills, yesss?" She practically purred as her eyes gazed over the pigtailed youth.
Ranma sweat-dropped and stepped back a few steps. "Yeah..." He shook his head and took a stance. "Ready?"
Grave stepped back and frowned slightly. "What is your reason for being here?"
"Like I said, we re trying to find a certain female fighter that visited our village and I wouldn't mind having my great-granddaughter fight a few strong opponents. Oh sure, they were going to kill the redheaded girl for what she did to Shampoo, dishonor such as that wasn't to be taken lightly. And finding a few strong male prospects for Shampoo and the rest of the Amazons wouldn't be too bad either. Still, it looked like this one wasn t going to be worth much, if all he could do was dodge No, wait, Cologne's eyes widened slightly as she gave the fight a second look. The male wasn't fighting back; he was just gauging Shampoo's abilities before fighting back. She had to hold back a cackle. Such a delight! The boy was actually a good fighter. Better than she would have thought, based on what she had seen before. The fact that he was almost able to trick her was something worth noticing in her opinion.
Grave turned back to the fight and sighed as she saw Ranma grow tired of dodging that Amazon, not that she thought he was getting tired, but he was growing bored, as evidenced with the kick to the jaw he gave her, knocking her into the air and into a tree. That had to hurt. Grave winced as the Amazon was practically bent in half, her head sticking into the tree for a few seconds, before falling to the ground.
"Indeed." Cologne nodded, though she knew her grand-daughter was quite durable, the youth did hit her rather hard. "It's a good thing that she can handle such pain then, isn't it?"
Grave sweat-dropped as Shampoo got back up almost right away. "Yeah..." She said slowly as she turned from the purple-haired girl to the old prune in front of her. "You aren't going to let her keep this up are you?" It was obvious to her who was the better fighter. Heck, she could just knock out that girl with a quick spell, no need to let her keep fighting and risk hurting herself.
Honestly, she was just getting sick of all the fighting that was going on. She just wanted to spend time with Ranma without dealing with the idiots that wanted to mess with her or Ranma. 'Of course, with men like Ranma's dad...' Her thoughts trailed off as Cologne started chuckling. "What?"
"Oh, you are quite right, girl. There really is no way that my grand-daughter can win like this." It was slightly disappointing that Shampoo was taken out so easily, but that was probably for the better.
"So, that's all that you wanted then, right?"
Cologne chuckled in a way that caused Grave to step towards Ranma nervously. "Oh, yes and no... I'm just glad that he proved to be a capable fighter. You see, girl, when an outsider male defeats an Amazon female, she becomes his wife by law."
"HEY! You said that..."
"My grand-daughter would not hunt you down and kill you. I never said anything about not marrying you." Cologne smirked as Ranma paled noticably.
"What the hell?!" Grave growled, tensing as she glared at the little gnome in front of her. "You didn't say anything about that!"
"You never asked." The old woman replied cooly as Grave started to glow with arcane energies. "So this is the mage that I felt." Cologne commented to herself as she narrowed her eyes. Against most people, this would be worrisome. Then again, a 300-year-old Amazon with 3,000 years of martial and magical techniques at her beck and call wasn't most people. "Girl, you'll find that I'm more than a match for most mages that exist." It was a bit of a bluff on her part, if she was perfectly honest. If the girl was anywhere near a master mage level of skill and power, she'd be hard-pressed to do anything to her.
Growling, the Lycan-girl held up a hand that crackled with lightning. "I'm willing to take my chances." She blinked as Ranma squeezed her shoulder. "What?"
"See? The boy has more sense than you do."
"But, Ranma, she..."
"Let me take care of her." He grinned at her. He wasn't one to turn down a challenge. She couldn't possibly be better than that Dwarf he fought on Jade.
Grave nodded, but narrowed her eyes at the Amazon, who was chuckling to herself. "Fine..." She didn't trust the Amazon in front of her though.
"Foolish child. You think you can take on an Amazon Matriarch?" Granted, she wasn't much to look at, being only two feet tall, but there was no way a young pup like him could beat her.
"Yeah, I do." Ranma grinned as he jumped at her. He was certain that this wouldn't take too long.
Chuckling, the woman lept up with him, striking out with the tip of her staff at his legs, hoping to take him out by the time they hit the ground again. A fighter that couldn't walk was one that couldn't fight very well.
Seemingly defying all laws of physics, the boy managed to twist around her weapon to punch at her. Smirking, she grabbed his hand, pulled him down, before slamming his head with her staff, knocking him out of the air and into a tree. "Is that all?"
"Ha! Not on your life!" He yelled as he sprang to his feet. Sure, that blow hurt a bit, but he had taken worse from his old man before.
Cologne smirked as the boy jumped at her again. Oh, he had no chance, but at least he was amusing with how he could try to beat her. Most people would think twice before trying that again. Her eyes widened slightly as he managed to seemingly defy physics and flip around her staff thrust before lashing out with a kick at her face.
Grave frowned as she watched the fight progress, Ranma did hit the old creature with that kick, but that left him open just long enough for her to grab his foot and throw him back to the ground. He was good, she wasn't doubting that, but that old crone was reminding her too much of G'nolga for her tastes. Just a lot shorter and uglier, if such a thing was possible.
Ranma shook his head and grimaced. The way things were going, he was going to lose and fast. "How about you give up, sonny boy?" The old crone smirked, the scuff mark on her face and clothes doing nothing to detract from the fact she was winning the fight.
"Heh, I was about to ask you the same thing, you old hag." Ranma chuckled as he shifted stances, crouching lower towards the ground.
Cologne frowned, something about that stance had her on edge. When she felt his Ki level start to spike, she narrowed her eyes. 'What is he doing?' She asked herself, slipping into a more serious combat stance as she ran her mind over every piece of lore she could think of at that moment to figure out what he was trying to accomplish.
She never got a chance to find out as her eyes widened as she felt a very strong Ki surge heading their way. "What the..?" She started to say, before the area in front of her perspective son-in-law was blown up by a Ki blast. She was no stranger to the stuff, having seen them from the Musk before, but she hadn't expected anyone outside of the Jusenkyo valley could use them.
"RAAAAANNNNMMMMAA!" An irritating voice screamed as a large body landed on the ground, fist first, causing the ground and trees to get pushed up and out. Both Cologne and Ranma were tossed into the fallen trees, mostly so that they could avoid being seriously hurt by the destroyed ground.
"Ryoga?!" Ranma's eyes widened. "How'd you get back here so fast?!"
"Anything to kill yooMPH!" Ryoga cried out as he got slammed with an invisible force, sending him back and through a tree. "Who dares?!"
"Leave him alone!" Grave yelled as she glared at the large cursed boy.
"Oh, you..." Ryoga said, and for the first time, Ranma actually noticed that his voice sounded like two people. "You remind me too much of another Werecheetah. She wasn't anything to worry about when Benji and I fought her though, you aren't much to worry about either."
"Ryoga, what the hell are you talking about?!" Ranma demanded, his eyes seemingly slitting as he got out of the tree that he had crashed into after Ryoga had smashed the ground.
"Ryoga? Oh you mean who I used to be." The cursed boy chuckled darkly before firing several Ki blasts at both Grave and Ranma, causing them both to jump out of the way to avoid being hit. "Call me... Peachbody Hibiki!"
"As amusing as this is..."
"Stay out of this, old woman!" Peachbody yelled and quickly brought his left hand up and over his shoulder, a whip of Ki flinging towards Cologne, who easily dodged it, Shampoo, on the other hand, wasn't so lucky, being disoriented from the initial attack of the fusion of Ryoga and Peachbody, took the full force of the attack. If she wasn't trained in using her Ki, she'd be dead, as it was, the cut went deep into her, from her left shoulder diagnally down to her hip, causing her eyes to widen as she screamed loudly.
"Shampoo!" Colgone wasn't one to get angry, at least not very often, but seeing her great-grand-daughter get hurt from an attack that she didn't have any real chance of avoiding really got to her.
Turning, her eyes narrowed as she saw the large Ki user and the one she was fighting before face off, except that the boy, Ranma, she thought it was, was doing better against the larger fighter than she had seen him do the last time. 'Ask questions later, kill the oaf now.' She thought. She knew she shouldn't let her emotions get to her, she knew what happened to people who were ruled by their emotions, she also knew that Shampoo was the last in her line, if she was dead, then her family's future was forfiet.
"Lightning!" Grave growled, sending several powerful bolts arching across the field, hitting Peachbody in the chest and causing him to crash into another tree.
"You're getting annoying, girl... Aegis Burst!" Peachbody cupped his hands together before lashing forward, a far stronger Ki blast flying forward at Grave at tremendous speeds.
Eyes widening as she saw her impending death heading her way, Grave could actually see her life flash before her eyes; fighting with Gina, fighting with Brianna, meeting Ranma, traveling with him, getting captured, returning to Earth, having fun with Ranma, smiling and laughing while he was nearby.
"GRAVE!" Ranma yelled as she was consumed by a large explosion. His eyes teared up as he turned towards the laughing Peachbody. "You... You will PAY for that!"
"Oh, I'm sorry, did you care for her? She really shouldn't have gotten in our way." Peachbody chuckled as he blocked an attack from the enraged pigtailed martial artist. "URGH!" His eyes widened as the arm he used to block suddenly had several slash marks across the forearm. "How did ARRRGH!" He screamed as the back of his knee was hit hard enough to cause him to fall to his knees. "Who?"
"You should think twice before attacking a Chinese Amazon, fool." Cologne said gravely as Peachbody turned his attention from Ranma to her, leaving him open to the kick to the head that not only sent him tumbling end over end, but also cut up the left side of his face.
Growling as he sat up from that attack, his face bleeding and dirty, Peachbody glared daggers at the two that were charging him. "I was going to toy with you for a bit, but now you made me ANGRY!" He yelled, a powerful aura suddenly exploding around him, causing the trees and ground to get pushed away from him. "Now you DIE!" He yelled, crossing his arms in an "X" pattern and quickly pulling them down, an X-shaped Ki blast heading towards the two of them, causing them to jump to the side to avoid it. The trees and the random Budda statue behind them weren't as lucky as they fell into pieces.
Peachbody grimaced and grunted as he grabbed an incoming kick, his hand getting lightly slashed in the process. "I never would have guessed that you were as bad as he said you were."
"What?" Ranma asked, growling as Peachbody held him at arm's length. And considering how long those arms were, he was nearly eight feet off the ground, not that he couldn't handle such a fall, it was still slightly discerning.
Peachbody smirked at him. "Oh, you remember, a few days ago when you defeated the fool who kept challenging you?"
"Yeah, it was you." Ranma grimaced as he felt Peachbody squeeze his hand tighter, a few bones cracking in the process.
Peachbody chuckled slightly before throwing Ranma at Cologne, who was forced to jump back and break the spiral motion that she was attempting. "Oh, you would be right... If Ryoga and I didn't make a little... Agreement."
Cologne's eyes widened. "Wait... You were someone who fell into the forbidden pool?!" NOW it made some sense. She had never seen anyone who had fallen in, but all accounts of people who did always went insane.
"Yes..." Peachbody chuckled even more as his aura bloomed into existence once more. "I never would have guessed that Benji and I drowned millions of years ago, but that's fate... And now I have another chance to get revenge on Gina Diggers, the one who sent me back in time!" He stopped smiling and his eyes hardened. "But first, I do have to keep my promise to Ryoga and kill you." Smirking, the big guy taunted the two that glared at him. "Just like I killed those two girls."
"YOU! PREPARE TO DIE!" Ranma yelled as his eyes practically glowed while he jumped at Peachbody, who jumped up to meet him. Even with his rage at a peak, Ranma still managed to keep a clear enough of a head to avoid the kick that Peachbody lashed at him. Grabbing the leg, his fingers dug into the muscles, tearing at the flesh as his Ki sharpened his fingers to a point that made any blade seem dull in comparision.
Peachbody growled his eyes squeezing shut. What Ryoga had told him hadn't indicated that Ranma was this dangerous. Hell, Ryoga had flat-out stated that Ranma couldn't hurt him in this form, what had changed?
"Are you sure?"
"Of course." Ryoga smirked at the floating black dog in front of him. "If you meet up with him, you won't have any trouble with him, as long as you don't get hit with hot water."
"Okay, fine, but what's the deal with hot water? And where's Benji?"
Ryoga looked at him and frowned. "Sorry to say, but you and this Benji guy are both dead."
"Dead?!" The dog's eyes widened. "But, I'm still alive!"
"No... You two fell into a pool of water and drowned a long, long time ago."
"Well, that's what the guide said. If you get hit with warm to hot water, you'll turn back to me. Cool and cold water will turn me back into you."
"...Very well. So, if I help you kill him, then I get to go after Gina and kill her?"
"Yes." Ryoga smirked. Saotome would pay for making him go insane. "Just remember, your body is going to be a lot stronger and tougher than his. My fighting skills and your power, we can't be beaten."
"Now then... How do I get out of here?"
"This is your mind, idiot! Just wake up!"
Peachbody crashed onto the ground, grimacing as he flipped to his feet. His eyes widened as he realized that the damage to his legs was severe enough that he couldn't stand on them. 'Dammit!' He cursed mentally. At least he could still fight. "Oh, you think you're good, huh?" He pushed himself off the ground and into the air, above Ranma, who looked up in time to take three Ki blasts to the back, sending him crashing to the ground. 'Now, where's that old woman?' Peachbody looked around as he stayed in the air, looking for the other problem he had to deal with.
"Looking for me?" Peachbody's eyes widened as he heard her voice from his shoulder. "I must say, you really are tough, to keep fighting despite your injuries. If you weren't someone who would destroy the entire village in anger, I might consider dragging you back to China for breeding stock." She then drove her staff into his shoulder so deep that it went through his back and out the front, causing his eyes to widen as he started to lose feeling in his right arm.
Before she could do any more damage, Peachbody grabbed her staff on the bottom and pushed it back out of his shoulder, causing her to lose her balance slightly, just long enough for Peachbody to twist his body and force her to jump off, or risk getting hurt from the fall. "You two... DIE!" His eyes glowed as he held up his left hand, a ball of Ki condensing in it. "Now... AEGIS BOMB!"
Cologne and Ranma's eyes both widened, that was larger than a small car and the power they felt was pretty impressive. "Boy, grab onto something, or you'll get hurt!" Cologne commanded as she quickly went into a spiral pattern. She didn't know if this would stop it, but at the very least, she could deplete it of a lot of its power.
Quickly scrambling to a fallen tree, Ranma dug his fingers into it and grimaced. This was going to suck if whatever she was going to do failed. He may have been tough, but he could feel his control over the Neko-ken slipping. He didn't know what was going to happen next if he lost control, either he'd lose his mind or he'd lose the power he had gained from tapping into this state of mind. It wasn't the first time that he cursed his old man's stupid ideas of training, but right now, Ranma just wished that his old man had known about the meditation techniques to gain control of the Neko-ken.
"Hiryu Shoten Ha!" Cologne yelled as her staff struck upwards, colliding with the giant Ki blast. For a moment it was quiet and then...
The world exploded around her.
She had to close her eyes and crouch down as a tornado, far more powerful and concentrated than even she had anticipated, erupted upwards, pulling at the ground, the trees, the Buddah statue fragments, and even a few pipes out of the ground. Grunting as she tried to keep her feet on the ground, she had to wonder just how strong the fool that launched this really was. "No." She gasped out as she was pulled up and into the air. "Too... Strong..."
Peachbody's eyes widened as he saw the tornado roaring up at him. Looking down, for a moment, he could have sworn he saw a Dragon's mouth as it opened up to eat him. "AUUUURRRGH!" He screamed as the tornado envolped him. He could have avoided it if he wasn't already so torn up from the fight already. Covering his face, he tried to lessen what damage he was taking to himself. "NNNGH!" For some reason, he felt himself getting more and more worn out as debris slammed into him from various angles, his eyes widened and he gasped as a large log slammed into his ribs. "This... This isn't possible..." He gasped as his world started to go black.
Ranma grimaced as he felt the tornado attempt to pull him into it. 'What kind of technique can do this?!' He thought to himself as he clung desperately to the tree. If it got pulled out of the ground, he'd be in real trouble though. As he felt his strength ebb, the control he had over the Neko-ken slipping away completely, the tornado died away with a snap, the spinning winds ending as quickly as they had started, all objects in the air hovered for a moment, before gravity finally reasserted itself and pulled everything to the ground.
Ranma grunted as a log hit him on the back, that had hurt, but at least he could still feel his feet. 'After all,' he thought to himself, 'what kind of weakling gets killed from a log falling on them?' Crawling out from underneath it, he groaned and slumped against the tree, feeling as though his old man had sparred with him for ten hours straight. He could easily attribute most of his exhaustion to controlling the Neko-ken, the scrolls he had read mentioned that feeling like this was actually normal. "Note to self," he muttered, "get more control over this dammed technique."
"I agree..." A voice said, causing him to look to the side, where Cologne was, looking worse for wear. Her skin, hair and clothes were burnt, cut and slightly torn up from the attack.
"Surprised you're still alive."
Chuckling, the old woman nodded. "I'm older than some countries, boy, and I've survived attacks like that before." She looked up and her eyes narrowed as she saw a prone figure laying face-down on the ground in the middle of a spiral crater. "Excuse me, I need to take care of him." She knew that when he recovered he'd be an even bigger threat than he already was. She had thought that the rumors of people going insane when they fell into that pool was just rumors. Now that she knew, she couldn't take any risks. She grimaced as she hobbled forward, her body felt horrible, and her insides felt like she had just been put into a blender and set on puree, but she could recover. She wasn't sure if Shampoo had survived that attack, and she was kicking herself mentally over not checking before attacking this fool, emotions were dangerous things.
She turned to him with a sharp look, one that made him reel back slightly. "Fool. He has a Jusenkyo curse, one that's horrible. There's no cure for a curse once you have one, if the curse wasn't so dangerous, I'd lock him in that form." She knew there were ways to block Ki, but it was better to kill him than let the fool have a chance to get his strength back. "Sometimes, the curses drive people insane, not from getting a curse, but from what the curse itself is. He's unlucky enough to have one like that. And... It's more merciful to kill him and put him out of his misery than to let him live."
Ranma didn't say anything, he didn't want to kill Ryoga, but after what happened to Grave, he really couldn't say no to what she had planned. "..." He was silent, not able to say anything one way or the other.
Cologne nodded as she hobbled over to the prone figure. A few pressure points would make his heart explode and that would be that. When she got within a foot of Peachbody, his body suddenly moved, his arm lashing out as a wave of uncontrolled Ki lashed out, slamming into her, sending her flying back into a toppled tree. "You... WILL PAY!" The dual voices of Peachbody and Ryoga screamed as he forced himself up with one hand. "I... Will..." He grunted as he forced his torn up leg to work enough to stand on it. "K..." He grunted, his face looking like tapioca pudding, his left eye black and swollen as he slowly limped towards Ranma, who was struggling to get back to his feet after getting hit with the edge of that wave burst.
"To think..." He coughed a couple of times before reaching out to grab Ranma with his right arm. Ranma ducked the slow-moving arm before rushing up to Peachbody and punching him in the chest a couple of times. "What's the matter?" The larger being sneered as he grabbed Ranma's shoulder with his left hand and squeezed, causing Ranma to grit his teeth as his shoulder was dislocated. "You were much stronger not too long ago, what happened to all that strength?!" He then moved his right arm back and grabbed Ranma by the throat, lifting him up with his right hand and pulling his left one back, charging up some Ki into it. "At this range, fool, you won't survive." Considering how weak he seemed, Peachbody was almost guaranteed a kill.
Before he could fully charge his Ki and fire it, Peachbody stumbled slightly as he felt something hit the back of his head, turning, he saw the purple-haired Amazon glaring at him as she picked up another rock. "You... You survived?" He could see that she was still in horrible shape, blood was flowing freely down her body, but the mere fact that she was able to keep moving was nothing short of astonishing.
"Shampoo... Not lose... To you." She growled and threw another rock. Or attempted to as her leg gave out on her, causing her to fall to her knees. Oh, she knew that it was stupid to try and take on that monster. Even as hurt as he was, he had managed to beat down on both her great-grand-mother and the boy that had defeated her earlier. She really didn't have a chance in hell against someone that good.
Peachbody sneered at her. "Looks like you already did." He turned back to Ranma, who was smirking at him. "What are you... ARRGH!" He groaned as Ranma wrapped his legs around Peachbody's arm before knife-thrusting his good hand into Peachbody's viens near the wrist, causing his weakened hand to spasm lightly and let him go. "You... DIE!" He screamed, glaring at Ranma as he quickly charged Ki before Ranma could react.
A force of power struck him in the back, sending him flying face-first into a tree, and making him scream out in pain. "ARRRGH!" Falling to his knees, he turned and looked in the direction he came from. "Who? What the?" His eyes widened before he sneered. "Doesn't anyone that I kill ever fucking stay dead!?"
"G...Grave?" Ranma couldn't believe his eyes. If the situation wasn't so serious, he'd be blushing as her clothes were practically gone, there was only enough left on her body to keep her from being completely nude, and even then, he could have sworn he saw her right breast completely.
Grave sneered at Peachbody while holding her hands in front of her, magical energy condensing between her palms. "I would be... If I wasn't able to get a barrier up in place in time." The amount of magic in her hands was dangerous, she knew it, but she really didn't have any choice. "You... You will die..." She didn't really care about Gina, but to see Ranma as hurt as he was, she couldn't stand it. "Elemental STORM!" She screamed as the ball of energy was unleashed towards the injured cursed human.
Peachbody tried to dodge, he really did, but his body was hurting so much that he could do nothing but look on in horror as the spell connected with his body, causing him to scream as he felt lightning, ice and fire tear into his body, causing him to jerk, twist and fall over as the spell ravaged his body.
Panting as she saw her spell do its work, Grave's eyes started to close as she stumbled forward. "Ran..." She mumbled out as she fell forward, passing out from the events of the day.
Groaning as she felt consciousness return to her, Grave cracked her eyes open, immediately regretting it from the amount of light that hit her eyes. 'Nnn... Dammit, that is the last time I go drinking.' She blinked a couple of times and thought about it. 'Wait a minute... I don't drink. So, what the heck happened?' She thought to herself as she tried to sit up, only to gasp in pain as her side was killing her. "Oww."
"Grave?" A familiar voice spoke up as the curtain next to her bed was pulled to the side. "Hey, don't move, okay? You're lucky you're alive." Ranma smiled at her, his left arm in a sling.
She teared up as she saw him. "Ranma..." A moment later, Ranma was by her side, letting her hug him tightly and cry. "Was so worried!" She gasped out between sobs.
"It... It's okay. I... I was worried about you, to be honest. I thought... I thought you died."
Before Grave could answer a new voice spoke up. "Oh, is she awake now?"
"Yeah, doc, she is." Grave blinked as a man in a dark gray, almost black, Gi and glasses walked into the room, looking over the two.
"Oh, my appologies. My name is Ono Tofu and I'm the doctor of this small clinic." The man said as he pulled the sheets off of her. "Please just wait a moment, I need to make sure that everything's in place."
"Someone named Kasumi came across us, Grave and helped me get you here." Ranma was just thankful that the park wasn't too far away from this place.
"What about the others?"
"The Amazons already left and Ryoga..." Ranma sighed as he thought about his friend and rival from middle school.
"Well, from what I was told, he attacked you and used lethal intent the whole time," the doctor spoke up as he finished checking Grave's ribs out. "You two will be fine, just take it easy for a few days and your foot and arm should heal. And as for you, young lady, try not to over-exert yourself for awhile, your ribs aren't in the best shape right now."
Grave blinked as she looked at him. "You're letting us go?"
He smiled at her. "You aren't in any critical danger, Ranma has my number in case something happens, and I'm sure that you'd rather spend time at home rather than in a hospital room, right?"
Grave nodded at that, she would rather be at home with Ranma than be here. "Okay."
Ranma smiled at her and lifted her up slowly. "Come on, let's go home."
"Uhh... Maybe you should put some pants on first." Ranma flushed as he realized that she wasn't wearing anything under the shirt she was in.
Grave chuckled and blinked as a thought came to her. "Isn't this the way we met?"
"Huh... Yeah, it is..."
"Besides, I like where your hands are." She purred at him, smirking as he sweated. "Come on."
Tofu shook his head and sighed as he watched them leave his clinic. 'They'll be okay.' He thought to himself as they walked off into the sunset. 'Hope things work out for them.'
A few notes now...
What? You honestly thought I was going to kill Grave? This is her story after all, why would I do that?
I blame Deathwings for the inspiration for Elemental Storm. It was something he wrote on TFF that got me thinking, actually.
Sorry for the LOOOOONG delay on this. I actually started working on this chapter shortly after the last one was posted, but Real Life, Writer's Block, a HORRIBLE winter and other things conspired against me to keep me from getting this out.
Plus, I had to go and re-work the final part of this chapter out. I found that I didn't like it at all, the way I did it before.
Well, that's all. I hope you enjoyed Grave's New Life.