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DISPLAY:

Note: This story begins immediately at the end of the splitting personalities incense episode.

Akane was scared. She'd seen Ranma's female side pull whole trees out of the ground and toss them causually with only her mind. She was intent on doing something horrible to Ranma, she just knew it. The way Ranma was always tired and distracted all the time, Akane knew the evil bitch had to be slowly draining the life out of him. In a desperate move she grabbed the ward Cologne had made and managed to slap it on the female Ranma's forehead while she was distracted by Shampoo in cat form.

Both Ranma's began screaming and they stumbled together towards each other in an attempt to embrace one final time. Onna-Ranma screamed for her lover over and over in heartrending agony. There were tears in Ranma's eyes as they reached out with their hands to each other. They touched and there was a flash of light. When everyone's eyes had readjusted to the darkness they saw one figure lying where two had before. It was Ranma in female form.

Akane approached slowly. Ranma seemed unconscious but was it her Ranma or the impostor? With everyone else crowding around behind her she was forced forward and knelt down to check her fiancé's condition. Slowly rolling the body over she realized the person was awake but crying. She had tears flowing down her face.

"Ranma? Are you ok?" Akane asked hesitantly.

Ranma's eyes flew open and she glared at Akane, "You Bitch! You killed her!" Akane never saw the fist that knocked her out.

____________________

Another waste of Hard Drive Space By: John Tannius

Spotted ____________________

Akane opened her eyes and winced in pain. There was a cool cloth on her cheek that fell off as she sat up, "What happened?"

"Ranma clocked you good." Nabiki said from the doorway. Akane looked around and realized she was in her bedroom.

"Ranma? Where is he?" She felt a twinge of panic. The last thing she remembered was girl type Ranma's fist coming at her. What did that bitch do to Ranma?

"Don't know. After screaming that you 'killed her' she took off running. Rather than try to chase after her we brought you home. The Amazons disappeared so I assume they're still looking for her."

"What if she did something horrible to Ranma?" Akane sniffed. She felt like crying but refused to cry over the baka hentai.

Nabiki came in and sat at the edge of the bed, "I think that was Ranma. Something happened. I don't think the Amazons were telling us everything about the splitting incense or the wards they made to defeat her. I think they were using us to further their own goals."

Akane got up and swung off the bed, "We need to find him before they do then."

"I don't know if that's a good idea. If what Ranma said was true then you may have destroyed the spirit of his girl side. He may not take kindly to seeing you again." Nabiki said.

"That's all the more reason to find him. I need to apologize."

Nabiki eyed her sister curiously.

* * * * * * * * * *

Ranma ran, unheeding of the rain that poured down around her. She had no destination in mind, she just had to get away. After an indeterminable amount of time, Ranma came to rest in an unfamiliar park near a quiet road. She sat on a bench near the street and let her tears mingle with the rain. Ranma probed the pain in her heart. The feeling of loss pervaded her being. Her love, the very people she cared for and trusted had snuffed out the one true love of her life like a candle. She had been fused back together with her cursed form, she could feel the familiar tingle of the magic of Jusenkyou at the back of her head. But the familiar comforting presence she had grown used to since she was cursed was absent. No matter how bad things became at the Tendo house, the presence comforted, cared, and even loved the pigtailed boy, keeping him sane throughout the trials of his life. When Happosai had used the splitting incense it was like a dream come true. The presence was given form and the two fell in love almost instantly. They had spent many late nights talking about life and plans for the future. They made love under the stars beneath a full moon. Ranma wasn't having the life drained out of him, he was just tired from lack of sleep.

She bent over so her chest was against her knees. He hands snaked down her sides to caress her stomach. Ranma had been so happy when he'd heard the news. He didn't know how they'd manage to take care of a family but knew they'd be happy nonetheless. She could feel the tiny life in her womb and it brought hope along with sadness. Sad because her love was gone but hope because a part of her would live on in their child.

"Don't worry little one. Daddy will take care of you." She whispered unheard in the rain.

Ranma sat up and looked around. She would have to move soon. She was almost positive Cologne was behind the wards used against his love and suspected the old ghoul knew about the baby as well. Not only would she have to get away to somewhere the Amazon matriarch couldn't follow but to settle down and earn enough money to have the baby.

She heard the sound of a vehicle coming down the road and looked to see the single headlight of a motorcycle coming in her direction. If she could get a ride, there was a chance she could shake her pursuers in the rain. Ranma stood and held out a thumb as the motorcycle came closer. It was a sidecar model. What kind, Ranma hadn't a clue. Motorcycles weren't martial arts. The motorcycle slowed as it came near and the rider, wearing a rain slick raised his goggles and looked at the drenched redhead.

"Are you all right?" the rider asked once he'd stopped.

"I'm fine. Could I trouble you for a ride?" Ranma asked.

The man blinked and looked around. This was a fairly deserted area because of the large park and he wondered what this girl was doing here all alone.

"Uh, sure. My name's Keichi." He replied.

"Ranma." The redhead offered back. Keichi gestured to the empty sidecar and Ranma climbed in and put on the spare helmet there.

"So where are you going?" Keichi asked.

"Anywhere that's warm and dry will do." Ranma responded.

"There's a temple nearby, is that all right?"

Ranma nodded. She'd rather be farther away but it would do until the rain stopped. The last thing she needed was to get sick in her condition.

They traveled for a few minutes until they reached a fenced off hill. Ranma recognized the torii gates indicating a sacred place as they drove through them and onto the temple grounds. They pulled up to an empty patch in front of the caretaker's house and Keichi shut off the motorcycle. Getting off he waited for Ranma then walked up and entered the house. Ranma raised an eyebrow but didn't say anything.

"Belldandy, I'm home!" Keichi called out.

"You live here?" Ranma asked.

"Uh, yeah." Keichi said embarrassed.

Belldandy came out from the kitchen where she was fixing dinner and Ranma gasped. The woman was a fairly tall blond haired woman, obviously a foreigner. She seemed to radiate peace and tranquility. She reminded Ranma a lot of Kasumi. What's more was the aura of power Ranma could feel even with his still developing ki senses.

"Oh my, we have a guest." Belldandy said, further reinforcing the Kasumi similarity.

"Uh, yeah. This is Ranma. She was over in the park as I was coming home. I offered her a ride to somewhere warm and dry, this was the closest place."

Belldandy looked at Ranma and shook her head, "You're soaked to the bone. Come with me and I'll get you in a warm bath before you catch a chill. While you're bathing I'll dry your clothes."

Ranma looked embarrassed, "You don't have to go to all that trouble. I'll be fine and leave as soon as the rain stops."

Belldandy narrowed her eyes and Ranma gulped nervously. For some reason he felt incredibly guilty for upsetting the woman before him. Of course he couldn't say no to Kasumi either.

"There will be none of that. A girl in you condition should take better care of herself."

Ranma's eyes widened in shock, She knew! Realizing there would be less pain and trouble all around, Ranma acquiesced and nodded her head.

A short time later, Ranma emerged from the furo dressed in a white robe that Belldandy had left for her. As Ranma had feared, the hot water didn't change Ranma back to a guy. It had to be some sort of magical failsafe to protect the baby. She briefly wondered if she would be able to change back after the child was born and sighed when she realized it was no longer all that important anymore. She made her way back into the main room of the house and saw two more girls sitting at the dinner table. One, a platinum blonde that looked taller and older than Belldandy was wearing tight robes that showed off her assets. The other girl looked about twelve or thirteen with long black hair. She was wearing a modest skirt and blouse and was eyeing Ranma with a certain amount of suspicion. Ranma also noticed both of these women had powerful auras like Belldandy.

"You must be Ranma." The older woman said, "I'm Urd and this is my kid sister Skuld. You met our other sister Belldandy."

Ranma bowed politely as she could all the while wondering who these women were. They certainly didn't move like martial artists. And what was the deal with the weird facial markings they had?

Urd moved over and gestured for Ranma to sit down, "Belldandy is almost done with dinner so sit down and have some tea while we wait."

It was really late to be having dinner Ranma thought. Although that Keichi guy was on his way home from work or something so that may be why they were eating late. Ranma looked around and found a clock. It wasn't even eleven yet it seemed so long ago already. Not long enough it seemed as the pain of loss shot through her again. She shuddered in her seat trying not to break down and cry in front of these people who had been kind enough to open their house to her.

"You ok kid?" Urd asked.

"Yeah, I'll be fine. Just been a rough night." Ranma replied.

Skuld seemed to be playing with a gameboy or something and kept glaring at Ranma. She looked away when she was suddenly reminded of Akane. The wounds were too fresh and open to do any serious contemplation.

A few minutes later Belldandy came out with trays of food and set them on the table. Keichi came from somewhere in the house dressed in dry clothes and sat down next to Belldandy. Ranma realized they were together in a relationship after a couple of minutes and it made her heart ache. Her chopsticks picked idly at her food.

"So how did you come to be on the road by yourself in the rain like that?" Belldandy finally asked, breaking the silence.

Ranma froze. What could she say? The truth? No, too unbelievable. Ranma knew she couldn't lie worth a damn, that was why Nabiki always took advantage of her.

"Did he run off and abandon you when you told him?" Urd suddenly asked.

"Huh?" Ranma looked up blankly.

"The father. Did he run off when you told him you were pregnant?" Urd expanded.

Ranma drooped her head, holding back tears, "No. No, she's dead."

"She?" Urd looked puzzled until Skuld gave a triumphant sound of success.

"She's a boy!" Skuld pointed to her scanner, "It's a level four shapeshifting curse!"

Suddenly things seemed to fall into place for Ranma. Three unearthly beautiful women with powerful auras and strange markings on their faces all living in a temple. Now Ranma may not be the most educated of people in the world but she had been exposed to enough crazy magic and mysticism in her life to be relatively open to strange and wondrous ideas. So it wasn't hard to believe what her mind had presented to herself.

"You're all Megami aren't you?" She said calmly.

Urd choked on her tea while Belldandy just gave an enigmatic smile. Skuld started pushing buttons on her scanner again.

"How did you know!?" Urd demanded.

Ranma shrugged a little, "The signs were there. Beautiful women, powerful auras, strange markings on your faces, the fact you live in a temple. I guessed. I've seen enough strange things in my life that it wasn't that hard to think of."

"Wait a minute, what did Skuld mean you're a boy?" Keichi interrupted.

Ranma sighed and settled back, "This is a long story so maybe we should finish dinner first."

"That's a good idea Ranma." Belldandy said pushing more food onto Ranma's plate, "You should eat more. After all, you have someone to take care of now."

Ranma looked at Belldandy then nodded her head, "You're right. Thank you."

* * * * * * * * * *

Cologne frowned as she reached the end of Ranma's trail. From what she could tell, Ranma had gotten on board some sort of vehicle at the edge of the park. She tried following the tracks but they seemed to suddenly disappear.

"What matter Great Grandmother?" Shampoo asked.

"Ranma's trail has grown cold. It seems as if it was deliberately erased. We won't find him tonight." Cologne sighed in resignation, "We must find him before he realizes his condition if it's not already too late. We will search again in the morning. There can't be too many places around here for him to hide."

"Why we use wards on Ranma's girl side? If we kill her then Ranma cured!" Shampoo complained.

"It wasn't that simple child. If we killed the girl then Ranma would have died as well. As it is, the spirit of Ranma's curse has been banished to the next life. All that remains is to remove the child as well and bring your prize home, by force if necessary. The time for games has passed. It is time the boy learns what it means to oppose the Amazon nation. Come, let's go home, we'll begin our search again at first light."

Shampoo silently bowed to the matriarch's wishes and adjusted her heavy raincoat before the pair disappeared into the rain.

* * * * * * * * * *

Ranma had begun her tale beginning when her and her father began their ten year training trip. She told about meeting Ukyou, the Nekoken training, the various insane training methods, finally leading up to the events of Jusenkyou. After a round of tea, Ranma continued. Starting with her encounter with the Chinese Amazons and Shampoo's vow to chase the girl down and kill her, she continued through the forced engagement, Kuno, Ryouga, Shampoo's arrival and subsequent engagement, Ukyou's return, and finally the splitting incense.

"It was love at first sight. I guess it's kind of egotistical, loving yourself. We thought we'd always be together until all my so called friends teamed up to 'save' me from the 'demon'." Ranma finished, "She got pregnant and told me about it just tonight. We were so happy. Somehow when we were re-fused, the curse kept me female to protect the baby but my love didn't survive the fusion."

The three goddesses and one mortal were sitting in mild shock. For a single mortal to have gone through so much pain and suffering was almost unheard of, and for the poor child to have turned out as well as she had was noting short of a miracle.

"Skuld, could you go look up Saotome's file? I'd like to see what flags we have on it." Urd finally said.

"What are your plans now Ranma?" Belldandy asked as Skuld got up and left the room.

Ranma hung her head, "I'm not sure. I can't go home, too many bad feelings there. Besides, I have a feeling the Amazons are looking for me. I can't shake the feeling they're behind the whole mess I'm in. It was the old Ghoul who made the wards the sealed my girl side back into me."

"You could stay here the night and then discuss it when you've had some rest." Belldandy offered.

"No, it would be safer for everyone if I left as soon as possible. I don't want anyone else involved in this mess of my life. The amazons believe in removing obstacles in a permanent manner."

Belldandy smiled again, "Do not worry Ranma, no one can find you here, I promise. As a goddess I can guarantee it."

"Oh yeah, you guys are kami. I don't see the Amazons being able to stand up to a bunch of gods. All right I'll take you up on your offer. But just for one night, I don't want to be a freeloader like my father. I have to set a certain standard for my child." Ranma gave a trademark smirk showing that she just might be strong enough to survive her ordeal after all.

* * * * * * * * * *

Akane trudged in the door after one o'clock. She was cold, wet, and miserable and had found no sight of her fiancé. She was just about to go take a hot bath before going to bed when she heard something making a noise at the backdoor. Sliding open the screen she saw a thoroughly drenched duck. Mousse began quacking up a storm when he noticed Akane.

"Hold on, I'll get some hot water." Akane said.

A few minutes later a restored Mousse was sitting in the living room, "I overheard Shampoo and Cologne talking earlier tonight. They always seem to underestimate me just because I'm almost blind."

"So what did you overhear?" Akane yawned.

"From what I heard, Cologne planned on using the wards to destroy the demon that was seducing Ranma just like she said. However it wasn't a demon. The splitting incense apparently was created a long time ago when Jusenkyou was new. It was a method of increasing the population of the tribe after a war or plague. The people would curse themselves in either the spring of drowned girl or man depending on the sex of the person. Then the incense was used to split the person in two. This supposedly created two unique people who instantly fell in love. Overnight the whole tribe could double it's numbers with new children on the way as soon as nine months later." Mousse explained at length.

"So Ranma was really in love with her?" Akane had already had her suspicions about the girl not being a demon.

Mousse nodded, "That's not all. Ranma is pregnant with her child."

The news along with her exhaustion was too much for Akane as she slumped to the floor unconscious.

* * * * * * * * * *

After Ranma had gone to bed in one of the spare rooms in the temple, the goddesses gathered around to go over the boy turned girl's file. There was muttering once in a while about going after the fat panda with divine vengeance but otherwise things were quiet. Finally Urd slammed her last paper down.

"That poor boy has been used and abused almost to death. There must be something we can do." She said.

"He is a kind and gentle soul who cares for others, even those who want to hurt him. The only thing preventing him from getting a wish is that ego of his, probably his father's fault. If he were more selfless Ranma could wish things better." Belldandy said.

Urd growled, "I think there should be extenuating circumstances. There's the baby to think of as well now. You can't tell me it won't make Ranma a more caring mature person to raise it."

"Are you saying we should grant him a wish in the possible event he will someday qualify for one?" Skuld asked.

"You're the goddess of the future, you tell me if he'll qualify." Urd snapped back.

Skuld blushed and bowed her head, "You know I'm not that good yet at looking into the future."

Suddenly Urd snapped her fingers, "He may not get a wish but there's nothing to say we can't help him right?"

"We shouldn't get involved in mortal affairs." Skuld protested.

"You saw his file, there's gotta be someone already involved to make his life that bad. I'm thinking it's some minor demon or something, so that makes it our concern." Urd responded.

"I think you're stretching for a reason." Skuld sighed.

"What do you think Bell, will you help me?" Urd asked the middle sister.

Belldandy thought about it for a moment then smiled, "Of course. It's the right thing to do."

"Great, now all we need is a plan." Urd smiled conspiratorially.

* * * * * * * * * *

Ranma awoke the next morning in a panic. She was in girl form in an unfamiliar place. After a couple of minutes the events of the previous night came back to her. She cried again for love lost and it was several minutes before she realized someone was standing in the doorway. Wiping away tears she looked up to see the platinum blonde goddess, Urd, looking at her with a sympathetic smile.

"How'd you sleep kiddo?" Urd asked.

"No dreams means no nightmares." Ranma shrugged. She stood up and pulled on her clothes. She wasn't sure what Belldandy had done but not only were they clean and dry but they were like new again.

"Well come on out, we have breakfast waiting." Urd replied before leaving.

Ranma came out to the dining area after a couple of minutes and saw everyone sitting waiting for her. She sat down at an open spot. Everyone began eating and Ranma realized her appetite had returned somewhat. Finally breakfast was finished and Ranma sat back satisfied.

"Thank you for everything. I should be leaving soon though." Ranma said after a while.

"Where will you go?" Belldandy asked.

"Dunno, don't have any family 'sides the old man. I was thinking of heading down to Kyoto to see about finding a job and a place to stay. Of course the Amazons could follow me there. I wish I could go somewhere they can't find me where the baby can be safe."

Urds eyes gleamed, "We have a suggestion. After hearing about your life and looking over your file we decided to help you. Sometimes people are chosen to have a wish granted by one of us. Unfortunately you don't quite qualify. However we want to help you anyway. There is a place you can go that is only known to a few people on this world. There you can use your martial arts skills to earn a living, either as a bodyguard or law enforcer. Actually there are lots of options available. You could even treasure hunt. Regardless, the farthest the Amazons could track you would be to this temple if you accept."

"Sounds too good to be true. Where is this place, Europe, America?" Ranma asked.

Skuld shook her head, "Nope, it's a whole other world! It's called Jade."

* * * * * * * * * *