A New Beginning
by Lerris Smith
Disclaimer: I don't own Ranma 1/2, Sailor Moon or Tenchi Muyo. This piece of work is purely for entertainment purposes. This is just a reposting to insure clean chapters. This story is on hold for now.
Breakfast at the Tendo home in Jubaan was an adventure. Ryoko had decided to help Akane fix breakfast after being awakened by Akane stumbling bleary eyed into the kitchen. Now Akane had improved considerably and as previous breakfasts had demonstrated she was becoming better and better at tolerable food, even without Ranma's subtle oversight. This equation gets all messed up though when one adds in a bored space pirate though.
Achika and Nabiki were just beginning to stir as the suns greeting fell on them where they lay in their beds. Ranma was similarly waking up, but he noticed less the sun, and more the lack of the warm comfy thing that had left a little while ago. The smell of the disaster came forth from the kitchen and accelerated their efforts to wake up and greet the day, or at least their efforts to rapidly open the windows near them.
"It's all your fault!" said an Akane that looked to have just survived a small explosion.
"Hey, don't look at me. I was just trying to help. Your the one who was cooking."
"You distracted me!"
Ranma was standing in his bedroom doorway surveying the scene. Akane mess, check. Breakfast ruined, check. Can I get away unnoticed?
"Don't even try it." came from Akane who turned around and was looking right at him.
"I'm sorry, I didn't mean it." Must wake up.. First things first, stop broadcasting every stray thought, lest I lose my bed warmer.
"Having problems sis?" came from a sky blue haired Nabiki who was estimating the odds of getting a good breakfast. It didn't look good.
Suddenly, a beam of light, came down and enveloped Nabiki, who disappeared. A young woman's voice was suddenly heard saying, "Do not be concerned. Tsunami has her duty and her fate, as you have yours. If all goes well she will be returned to you in time. Do not try to interfere. Prepare for your own battles."
"Nabiki! Give back my sister!"
Ranma looked around, trying to see something, but could see no target, nothing to fight.
Suddenly the phone rang. Ranma was closest to it and picked up the phone. After greeting the person on the phone, Ranma listened quietly for a few minutes. "Thanks Konatsu. Nabiki was taken from here in a similar way. I don't think this is the same as what happened to the others. Everything will be ok. Contact us if anything else happens."
"Father! What happened to my Father?"
Ranma had put down the phone and walked over to near Achika. "I'm sorry, your father has been taken. It was just like Nabiki. Apparently over there the voice said, 'Do not be alarmed, he will be returned when his role is complete."'
Ranma tried to calm Achika and Akane but had little success. The other senshi showed up a few minutes later responding to Ranma's call.
"I've got news, although I'm not sure its helpful. I tried to look at the disappearance through the Time Gate and was flatly refused access to that event. I can view everything else as normal, but those events have been blocked from me. This has never happened before."
"How can that be?" asked Minako.
"It's simple. Someone with a greater knowledge of the Time Gate has forbidden access to that event, which pretty much means those who made it." said Mercury.
"That would mean that one or more gods are involved in their abduction. I suppose thats something. They are probably ok, but why were they taken in the first place?" asked Sailor Pluto.
A few ideas were suggested and quickly discarded until Achika suggested that perhaps it had something to do with Tsunami merging with Nabiki.
Akane and Ranma went over to visit Dr. Tofu and Kasumi and give them the news. Achika came with them, because she didn't want to be alone right then. Ryoko took Ryo-ohki out to look.
Kasumi took the news well. She seemed certain that they were both ok. Ranma assumed it was Kasumi's normal optimism. Later that night at the Tofu house Kasumi broke down in tears in Ono's arms. "Its ok Kasumi. We will get her back somehow." Kasumi held on tighter. "She's my sister. I feel so helpless." She continued to cry for much of the night. He held her to him and did what little he could, but it all seemed so inadequate. Marrying Kasumi had been such a wondrous thing for him. He never truly grew to know the depth of the woman he held in his arms until after the wedding. She is so strong when others need her to be strong, but inside so fragile. He vowed once again to hallways protect her, even as he held her a little tighter.
After visiting Kasumi, they made their way to Nerima to inform Soun. They stressed how they were sure Nabiki was fine, and they were doing everything that could be done. Soun broke down in tears as was his habit. Genma arrived during the end of the explanation. Nodoka followed him in about a minute later but missed most of the explanation. She smiled when she saw her son.
"Boy. How have you been?"
"I have been well. I won't ever thank you for how you went about it, but I find I must thank you for your part in leading to me meeting Akane."
"It is good to see you two. So, are we going to be grandparents anytime soon?" asked Nodoka.
Akane said, "We will have children when both of us are ready." Akane tried to nudge Ranma to the door, but it didn't work. He proceeded to repeat what happened to Nabiki and Achika's father quietly to his mother.
"Oh, I'm so sorry. If their is anything we can do to help.."
"Thanks. If there is we will definitely call."
"Mr. Tendo, I was wondering that since we are here if perhaps you and the panda would care to watch me and Akane spar.
Why are you doing this Ranma?
For better or worse they are our parents. I think perhaps I overreacted before, and it is such a little thing. Perhaps it will help take their minds off of Nabiki being missing a little until we can come up with something.
Akane starred at her husband for a moment. A small smile formed before her face became thoughtful. A short time later, Soun and Genma went off to watch Ranma and Akane spar. Nodoka stayed behind with Achika and tried to comfort the girl that she barely knew.
Ranma and Akane restricted their sparring to ordinary martial arts with only ki enhanced physical abilities. It was still an impressive sight, especially for Soun who never dreamed his daughter could become that good.
Your father is staring at you, you know. I think he's proud of you.
Akane glanced over at her father, and was rewarded with a leg sweep.
"You tricked me."
"Tricks are part of anything goes. You know that."
Soun and Genma appeared confused. How had Ranma tricked her?
The fight resumed and got faster and more intricate. As Ranma continued to push his speed and make his attacks even more wildly unpredictable Akane began to falter, until finally he declared her dead and the match ended.
Genma and Soun both did a reasonable critique of the match, including noting several places Ranma could have improved.
"You are getting sloppy boy. Without Happosai or me to fight with you are losing your edge."
"I could still beat you easily."
"Perhaps, but without your new tricks it wouldn't be as easy as you think."
"Your on, and if I win you teach me how you did that invisible attack you know. I will use nothing I didn't know before Jusendo. To make it interesting lets rule out any kind of external ki attacks as well."
"Fine, but if I win you have to tell me how to do the super speed."
Ranma pondered in thought. He really didn't want to teach Genma, but if he won that attack could be very useful.
"I could probably figure out the attack if you just showed it to me a few more times.. Oh well. If you win I will set aside a couple hours a week for a few months to try to teach you it. Many cannot learn it."
"Let's do it then." In a few minutes the battle was joined. Genma fought tenaciously using every trick he knew. He got in a lot of hits too. Since when has he been this good? Perhaps I have been slacking.
Akane was tempted to reply to his thoughts, but didn't want to distract him.
In the end Ranma won the fight for the simple reason that Ranma had much greater endurance and recovery abilities even when he was doing nothing. Genma reluctantly gave him copies of the scrolls.
"I sealed these techniques away many years ago, and vowed never to use them again."
"You used them in our fight after we came back from Jusendo.."
Genma actually looked ashamed of himself. The look only lasted a brief time before he continued. "Be that as it may, I ask you to be careful with the those. They were sealed for a reason."
Akane was quite tired when she walked alongside Ranma and Achika back to the train station.
"You know hes right don't you? Your normal fighting skills have suffered a little due to your new reliance on magic. From how tired I am, I suspect you only won that battle since I was nearby."
Ranma frowned and then paused in thought for a few moments before replying. "I don't think it is so much that I've lost skills since Jusendo. Now that I think about it, it was at Jusendo that I lost some of my skill in the art. I hadn't thought about it much till now, since what I gained more than made up for it. I have been training to integrate all that I know into my art, but perhaps it is a mistake to rely too much on magic."
The scene opens onto a beach. It is warm outside and a cool breeze blows in from the ocean. A forest can be seen beginning off into the distance. The curve of the beach hinted at an island, but it was impossible to tell. A red planet can be seen just over the horizon.
Nabiki splashed down in her pajamas at the edge of an ocean. Her legs and arms were soaked. Great just great. Well I'm saved from that breakfast I suppose. So someone with a lot of power to play with decided to dump me on a moon in the middle of nowhere. "I hope your being entertained." She got up and started to look around. Seeing no one she took off her pajamas long enough to wring the water out of them. "You know you could have at least waited till I dressed." I wonder if they are even listening to me.
She got up and started walking.
Green grass filled an area about half the size of a football field. The field sloped upward slowly to the side of a mountain and was surrounded by cedar trees. In the middle of the field two men faced each other.
"So your Kagato. You have caused a lot of death on my home world. For that you will die."
Yosho brought out the Tenchi-ken and came at him.
"Fool. If you want to die, then so be it." Kagato came him with an energy sword and the dance began. The fight continued at a breakneck pace with neither giving ground.
Nabiki found a path that led into the forest and was following it when she heard the fight. She made her way up to the fight. Yosho was clearly tiring. "Yosho!" Nabiki's comment caused Yosho to hesitate. Kagato sliced deep into his stomach, but Yosho used his strike as an opportunity to decapitate Kagato.
Nabiki ran up to Yosho and carefully turned him over. So much blood. She dropped down beside him and placed her hands into the pool of blood on his stomach. The blood splashed covering her pajamas and arms with it. Some even covered her face. Nabiki began to glow a brilliant blue.
"Don't waste your strength. Our people need you. Achika..."
"Your goddess commands you to shut up and try to live."
Yosho tried to look annoyed, but lacked the strength to do so, so decided on staying still.
He is so badly injured and so far away from Funaho. Wherever we are there are no Jurian trees nearby either so I'm on my own. "Just relax and stay still. You don't want to aggravate your injury and make it worse. This is going to take some time."
Nabiki continued to hold her hands still covered in blood over Yosho's chest. Slowly the wound was closing. After a few minutes Yosho fell asleep, exhausted from his fight and the injuries. Finally after nearly half an hour the exterior of the wound was closed. So much damage. Too tired. Nabiki yawned and placed her head down gently on Yosho's still blood covered chest above where he was wounded. A gentle blue glow continued from her into Yosho through the rest of the day and into the first part of the night. The glow around Yosho centered around the wound. The night was beginning to grow cold. Such was the size of the planet they were orbiting that everything could still be seen clearly through the reddish light reflected from its surface.
Yosho woke up and immediately regretted it. He looked down to find unbroken skin where he knew a mortal wound had been. She did it? He smiled. It had been so long since a woman had been able to touch his heart. Indeed it had been 17 years since his wife died giving birth to Achika. Tsunami, no Nabiki was so different than Airi. Airi had a smile that would melt your heart, while Nabiki had one that would steal it away and start charging interest. Interest that he would pay with a smile. Interest he hoped he would always be able to pay. Now where did that thought come from? He looked over at her sleeping form and noticed the cost of his own health.
Tears came to his eyes then, as the guilt washed over him like a physical blanket threatening to smother him. He guessed that she had aged perhaps ten years overnight.
It is my fault. How could I have been so stupid? I know better than to let anger cloud my fighting. I've beat that lesson into enough students over the years. Now Nabiki has paid the price for my stupidity.
"Nabiki are you ok?" He gently shook her.
Nabiki yawned and got up. "I'm glad your ok."
"And what of you? I know your not nearly as strong since you merged with Nabiki and you have spent your strength freely on so many things. Are you ok? I almost wish you had not done that. Our people need you."
Nabiki gave her best "Your being an idiot" expression to Yosho and said, "And they do not need you?"
"They need you more."
"If I had not healed you, you would have died. As for me, well normal people get by all the time without special powers. I will just have to live as a mortal for a little longer. If I can get to a Jurian tree I can recover some of my strength."
Yosho just looked at her, taking in the blood covering her pajamas, and the pajamas that no longer really fit her. She had grown several inches and was even more breathtakingly beautiful. He imagined her briefly in Jurian battle clothes and could not stop a smile from appearing on his face.
"Penny for your thoughts?"
"Oh, I.. Um.. oh... oh.. I just wanted to say thanks. I have never had anyone give so much for me."
Nabiki laughed. She was very good at reading body language before, and now she was nothing short of phenomenal. Nabiki almost purred when she replied, "Your welcome."
Yosho was continuing to look at her. "You have aged.."
Nabiki shrugged. "Perhaps ten years. You were gravely injured and we are far away from anything of Jurai. Don't worry I'll be fine. I am still a goddess. We should go find something to eat." Nabiki was somehow sure he would continue to blame himself. She wished she had the power to undo the aging so he wouldn't feel guilty, but it would be a long time before she could do so.
An hour later found Yosho and Nabiki resting near a small inland stream while Yosho cooked fish over a campfire. Nabiki and Yosho had cleaned their clothes and themselves as best as they could.
"I still wish whoever brought us here would have waited till I got dressed. Pajama's are not meant for camping. My feet are killing me."
Dinner was plain, but they were too hungry to complain. They both needed food badly because of the healing and the length of time since they had last eat. After dinner Yosho showed that it was possible to make the Tenchi-ken blade very small when he carved a pair of shoe bases out of a tree branch. Nabiki donated the feet and part of several inches of the leg area of her pajamas to the cause, and Yosho took the strings from his shoes and strips of cloth from his pants to make Nabiki's shoes. He replaced his shoe strings with more strips of cloth. It worked, after a fashion, once the holes were made bigger.
"Well they aren't quite my style, but they are definitely better than nothing."
"So what are we going to do now? It is obvious we were brought here for some reason. Don't take this personally, but I doubt you were the reason. I've been thinking that perhaps my fellow gods and goddesses wanted to test me since the change..."
"Why? What would be the point?"
"I am neither fully goddess, nor fully human. Indeed right now I can do little more than a normal human. It could be that one of them decided to see if a half human like me deserves to continue to live. It could be that someone I annoyed long ago finally found a chance to play with me. It could be something else entirely."
"Why take me as well though?"
"Perhaps because you are Jurian, or because we care for each other... We will just have to find them and ask them. Unless we find some advanced technology or something, I can't think how else we will get home."
"Do you really mean that Nabiki?"
Nabiki said in her best innocent voice, "Mean what?" Yosho was suddenly at a loss for words. Nabiki felt pity for him and gave him a small mysterious smile.
Three days passed with them searching the island and finding nothing even hinting to a way back. Their clothes were beginning to show wear. Yosho had to repair Nabiki's makeshift shoes several times. At the end of the third day he decided to continue his training. Nabiki could no longer form an energy sword, and it wasn't ideal to train with anyway, so Yosho made wooden practice swords with the Tenchi-ken.
"You are improving a great deal Nabiki."
"Thanks, but it almost seems pointless. Somehow I doubt an ordinary sword will be much help in the battles ahead."
"Ranma has done a great deal with only the skills of an ordinary human."
"I am not Ranma."
The fourth night grew too cold to consider sleeping apart. Needless to say Yosho found his new blanket to be very distracting by her mere presence even with the thick pajamas and his clothes between them. He never gave any indication of this of course. The fifth morning saw them huddled together under the branches of a low hanging pine tree. Yosho had cut down many tree branches and placed them around the area to shelter them from the wind.
The sixth day it rained, but the tree kept most of it off of them. The rain made it safe enough to build a small fire under the tree as long as they kept a close watch on it.
"Why do you pretend to be a humble priest?"
"Pretend? I suppose thats fair, yet it is all I really ever wanted in life. Father wishes me to take the throne, yet I have no wish to rule anyone. I certainly have no interest in marrying my half sister. I suppose that sooner or later she will track me down though. Ayeka was never one to give up."
"When I was in the place between the space trees I could sense Ryo-oh. She was very far from Earth still."
"So she is coming. Well there's an incentive to hurry back. It doesn't matter. Achika yet needs me, and I have promised my aid to the others. I must return."
"You cannot run from your destiny forever. In time Azusa will want to pass on the throne, or something will happen to him. Will you abandon your home when that happens? If the throne falls in the wrong hands, our people will suffer greatly."
"I had hoped Achika or one of her children might want the job someday, or even that Ayeka, or Sasami might. It is traditional for the Jurian ruler to be male, but that doesn't mean it must stay that way."
Nabiki laughed. "Does Achika know this? For that matter I'm not sure Ayeka or Sasami are good choices either. Perhaps in time, but last I saw Ayeka she was a bit spoiled."
"I haven't got around to telling her about that possibility. In truth I had really hoped to give her as much of a normal life as possible, but that has kind of fallen apart."
"She deserved to know her heritage and to have the choice. What will you do if you are given the choice between taking the throne and letting someone you know unsuitable have it?"
"What I must, as I always have. I truly do not want the throne, but I will not abandon my people when they most need me. I just hope that the cup passes me by."
"What of you? You are the true heart of Jurai, yet now you are part mortal. Have you thought of how our people will react when they find out?"
Nabiki frowned. "I am not the heart of Jurai. The heart of Jurai is the sum of all the people of Jurai, both now and in the past. I have helped those who I felt worthy of it in the past and given them the power needed to due their duty. I will not abandon my people. If the time comes again when they need my help they will have it. As to how they will react, there is little I can do about that. For now it is best that they not know. If it became common knowledge that the goddess of Jurai was reduced to little more than a mortal, it would shake their confidence."
The tenth morning had come and to Yosho's great surprise he was awaken with a kiss on the cheek.
"What was that for?" Yosho was trying and failing miserably in his attempt not to smile.
"Do I have to fill out a form to kiss you?"
"No, it was just unexpected..."
Nabiki laughed. "As old as you are, and yet its still easy to surprise you."
The day proceeded as many others but a certain playfulness was present too. Nabiki really hated Yosho's idea of sword practice while knee deep in water, but after a time Yosho definitely found its merits.
"You planned this, didn't you?"
"Plan what? Training in many environments is important in learning Jurian sword forms."
"You know very well what I'm talking about." Nabiki increased her pace trying to break through his guard and score a hit. Nabiki smirked.
"Whats the matter? Does your side hurt? You seemed a little distracted."
"Everyone makes mistakes." With that the sword match ended and Yosho started on dinner. Nabiki really wished one of them was a decent cook, but then there was little that could be done to make fish cooked over a campfire taste better.
The night of the tenth day there was cold again and they had huddled together for warmth. In the morning, Nabiki woke him with a delicate kiss on the lips. She was surprised when Yosho suddenly kissed back. Both of them were surprised when they were instantly teleported onto the floor of a a room filled with about a dozen people. Nabiki recognized them though, they weren't people but gods and goddesses. She scrambled to her feet and tried to gather her dignity.
"Tsunami, you have been brought here because some of us wished to know what you had become and if you deserved to be counted among us. Your foolishness led to your entrapment in your own creation. Now you are half mortal, and a mortal with a dubious history at that." came from a god on the right.
"You have been tested. You freely gave your remaining power and some of your own life to save the life of this man, who is also one of your people. Your actions since merging with this Nabiki show that you are worthy to remain among us, however you will still have to live with the consequences of those actions." came from a goddess on the left.
A different goddess started speaking. "I am the goddess Ameratasu. I have plead for you because of the help you are giving my people. This is the result. Your power will be restored to the point before we abducted you, but no more. If you are truly to ascend back to the level of a full goddess someday it will be on your own. Furthermore, Sailor Pluto's tampering in the course of history has been taken into account. It was decided that it was past time for her interference to have consequences. She will face her own when the time is right. You are not to inform her of this. You have joined with those that are defending the Earth and may continue to do so. The consequence is the other Gods in the Earth realm have agreed that their will be no further help given until at least the looming crisis is resolved. You are on your own. I pray that you and your friends efforts will be enough."
With that they were summarily tossed back to the positions they were originally abducted from.
It was early morning at the Tendo home in Jubaan. The occupants of the house had just finished breakfast.
"Nabiki, where have you been? What has happened to you? You look older. We were so worried. Your a mess." came from Akane.
"Where is father? Did he come back with you? Is he ok?"
"Your father is fine. I expect he was sent back to where he was taken from. I believe their number is on the speed dial.. As to the other questions. It seems that my fellow gods and goddess wanted to play with the half mortal a bit. On the bright side, they brought Kagato into the game as well, and he is now dead."
"Kagato is dead? I wanted to be the one to kill him."
"Yosho almost died defeating him. I'm afraid my ill timed shouting of his name did not help. I managed to heal him, but it was a close thing, a very close thing."
"Is that why you have aged?" inquired Ranma.
"Yes. Do not worry though. I have enough power to halt my aging, so its not going to matter that much in the end. It was just harder there being so distant from any Jurian tree."
End of Chapter 16.
Author's Notes: This was originally intended to be a sidestory, yet it has some plot elements relevant to the central story, although right now they are not major ones.
I chose to stick with Achika for the name for Yosho's daughter, even though it is shown to be Kiyone some places like in the following url. http/tmau. Remember eats urls, so you'll have to go to my web page if your curious. I will use Airi for the name of Achika's mother, since well its the only name I have found.