Chapter 1 : Burning Bridges
Authors Note/ Disclaimer: This will eventually be a crossover with the Gundam Wing universe. Characters and settings belonging to the creators of GW and Ranma ½ are not mine, any characters that I create are mine. This fic is listed as R for safety purposes since violence and reference to sex and rape will be present. Certain amounts of OOCness will be present. Constructive criticism is welcome especially as this is my first fic and as I have no beta, all mistakes are mine, flames will be used to blow my nose.
"You sold him WHAT?!"
Ranma's sream of rage was heard both through out the Tendo home and for blocks in every direction, yet the only people who heard what he said after his first piercing cry were the two men with him in the dojo and Nabiki Tendo courtesy of the microphones she had planted throughout the room in question after Ranma had first arrived.
"Old Man, yer dead."
The nearly inaudible words were spoken in a voice so cold that Nabiki, holed up in her room on the other side of the house, shivered and said thanks that Ranma had never spoken to her in such a manner and decided she definitely did not want to go anywhere near the dojo. However, she did take the time to call Auntie Nodoka. Then she returned to listening to what was happening in the dojo. She heard Genma's babbling as he tried to talk Ranma out of killing him overlain by the sounds of combat. Her eyes widened as Ranma spoke again, his voice even colder than before.
"Say yer prayers old man. I told what I'd do the next time ya tried to sell me to someone to fuck. Or did ya forget what I told ya after the last time ya sold me? Maybe I should remind ya!" Sounds of scuffling and thumps, bumps, crunches, and impacts told a tale of combat, ending when Genma yelled "Get off me boy!" A cold, cruel chuckle was the only acknowledgement he received that Ranma had heard him.
"Remember when I beat ya for the first time when ya tried ta deliver me ta another nasty old man? I told ya if ya ever sold me again like that I'd begin by breaking yer arms and legs, followed by yer hands and feet."
A series of wet cracks accompanied by howls of pain echoed through the head set Nabiki wore as she cringed.
Once the howls had subsided into sobs and gasps, the cold dead voice continued. "Do you remember what came next? Ah, ya don't. Maybe this'll remind ya." The sound of tearing cloth sounded followed by a shriek of pain echoed in the dojo.
"It hurts don't it ya son of a bitch. I was only nine years old the first time ya sold me. D'ya remember? I do. Ya sold me to a couple a soldiers who took turns with me for damn near two hours. Before they were done, I was beaten and tore up so bad that I almost bled to death. Woulda too if that old man hadn't a found me, and taken me to the hospital."
By this time Nabiki's face was a nice light shade of green, her imagination was running wild and she was glad that there was no one else in the house. She kept listening and recording, and hoped that Ranma's mother would get to the dojo soon, if nothing else, to get her husband to the hospital.
Meanwhile, Ranma continued speaking over the background noise of his father's cries and the retching of the guest. "I'm not that little kid any more that ya can beat up, knock out and deliver to some guy in exchange for booze money, Pops. Now if you try to pull that trick, I can defend my self." His laughter rang out chillingly, and less than sane. "And then some. Ranma's voice dropped to a whisper barely detectable by Nabiki's eavesdropping equipment, "Do remember the last thing I said I'd do old man? You do? Good."
The noise that followed was something Nabiki could find no words to describe when she spoke to the police later. A wet tearing sound mingling with screams of pain that were suddenly muffled and an 'oh dear god' from the stranger followed by a thud that sounded remarkably like someone hitting the floor in a dead faint.
"There, that's where they belong. Now there's no chance ya'll ever have another kid to torture and destroy." These words and the accompanying image drove Nabiki into unconsciousness.
When she awoke stretched out on her bed and covered by a blanket, Nabiki spoke aloud to herself. "What a weird dream. I wonder why I would dream of Ranma doing such a thing to his father."
"Weren't no dream.", came the unexpected reply.
Nabiki shrieked in surprise and fear, shooting up and staring at the frighteningly normal looking boy sitting in her window. "R-R-Ranma?" She stammered, wide eyed and panicky.
"Yeah. Don't worry, I won't hurt ya." Ranma snorted at her disbelieving expression and turned away to look out the window. "Ya ain't done nothin' ta deserve that kinda treatment. Pops now, he done enough ta me ta deserve that and more. Son of a bitch sold' me ta men ta fuck from the time I turned nine till I was fourteen and got good enough that he couldn't knock me out and tie me up so I wouldn't run away or hurt the customers. Bastard sold me ev'ry chance he had. Didn't care how bad I got hurt, next day soon's he'd gotten over his hangover he'd start beating on me again, all in the name of trainin'."
Nabiki stared at the boy she thought she knew in shock at what she'd learned about him in what had been, confirmed by a glance at her alarm clock, only the last three hours.
Ranma turned back to look at her. " Don't worry bout the dojo, I cleaned up the mess after the ambulance took pops to the hospital and the cops left." He started chewing nervously on his lip, as he gazed at her shocked face.
"Nabiki? Yo, Nabiki! You there?" When she finally nodded, still in shock, he relaxed slightly, hopped off the window sill and walked towards her holding a book with a letter in it and a packet of envelopes he'd pulled from somewhere in his shirt. "Nabiki, would you make sure my mom gets the book and the letter? I don't care if you read them or what you do with what's in them." Ranma relaxed further as Nabiki nodded and held what he'd given her as if the items were a ticking bomb, watching as he walked back to the window, getting ready to jump out.
Ranma stopped just as he was about to jump and turned back to look at Nabiki one last time. "There's a letter for you there too, Nabiki. I left somethin' for everyone, and I hope ya'll see they get what I left 'em, 'cause I'm leavin' for good this time. Gonna use the Naban mirror to go somewhere no one'll ever find me. Ain't never comin' back here if I can help it. Though, I gotta say, even though you got me real mad at times, of all the girls I been engaged to, yer the only one I woulda married willingly. Bye Nabiki."
Then he was gone, as if he had never existed. The only evidence of his presence the packet of letters and the small book he had left with Nabiki.
Ranma watched from the roof of a nearby house as the paramedics loaded the mass of flesh normally known as Genma Saotome into the Ambulance and drove away, followed by a police car containing his mother and the man Genma had sold him to. He remained on the roof as he watched the police run their routine of photographing and sampling the 'crime scene' as he could hear them calling it. He later found it amusing that they had spent almost two hours in the dojo and talking to neighbors, yet no one had found Nabiki passed out in her room, he had thought for sure that the cops at least would have searched the rest of the house more thoroughly. At the time he was more concerned that no one had found out what she'd recorded that night.
As the street once again became dark and still, Ranma slipped back into the house through Nabiki's window to wait for her to wake up. He'd gone up to check on her as soon as he'd left the dojo, and finding her slumped over her recording equipment, had moved to her bed, covered her with a blanket, and turned off her light. He'd slipped back out of her room just as his mother walked into the dojo and screamed. He listened as she ran through the house to reach the telephone in the kitchen, then moved up to the roof as soon as she hung up on the hospital and called the cops.
It took more than two and a half hours before the Tendo Dojo was once again quiet and dark. Ranma spent the time writing letters to various people to leave with Nabiki. Once the cops had left, Ranma went down and spent a few minutes cleaning up the dojo. When that was done, he first wint up to the roof and got the Naban mirror from the hidden pocket heed made in the roof while repairing one of the many 'skylights' he'd madewent to the guest room he had shared with Genma, packed all the things he planned to take with him, and retrieved his money from it's hiding place behind a tile in the bathroom.
When he was ready to leave, Ranma left his pack on the roof outside of Nabiki's window and sat on the sill, waiting for her to wake up. After a bit, he heard her breathing change signaling her shift to consciousness. As her bedside lamp clicked on Ranma heard her mutter, "What a weird dream. I wonder why I would dream of Ranma doing such a thing to his father." He watched her jump then turn scared eyes in his direction and stammer his name when he told her it hadn't been a dream. He did his best to reassure her, going so far as to tell her something he'd never told anyone before, that his father has whored him out for drinking money. Her shock was almost tangible, followed by a narrowing of the eyes that he knew from experience meant that she was furious. Not that she ever resorted to Akane's methods, her own style of revenge was infinitely more subtle and considerably more painful in the long run. Genma was in for major trouble.
Once he'd given her his journal and the letters, he went to leave. Just before jumping out the window and grabbing his pack, he told her another of his most closely guarded secrets. She was the one he'd wanted, not Akane. He didn't need to add that he'd hidden it to protect her, he could see the pieces click together in her mind. Besides, it was in the letter he'd written her.
With a last glance at the only person he'd ever had a serious interest in, Ranma jumped out the window, grabbed his pack and hit the ground running. He kept running until he was out of Tokyo, at which point he found himself a room at an inn to sleep in. It was also a place to mourn burned bridges.
For Kasumi it began like every other morning. Wake up at 5 am, scrub down and then soak in a nice hot bath for half an hour, get dressed then begin breakfast and lunch preparations at a quarter to six so that breakfast would be ready to serve at 7:30 and bentos would be ready for Nabiki, Ranma, and Akane to take to school.
The first surprise of the morning was that Ranma didn't fly out of the guest room window
At 6:30 to land in the Koi pond, signaling the beginning of the Saotome morning sparring session. It was a little odd, but not that strange. Saotome-san was known to sleep in occasionally, which meant that Akane would be the one to wake Ranma up in time for breakfast, usually done by tipping a pail of water over him.
Kasumi sighed and shook her head as she thought about the way her youngest sister and her fiancé treated each other. If things kept going the way they had been, then she was fairly certain that one or the other of them, was going to end up very badly hurt or possibly killed. Akane's temper was getting worse, as was her treatment of Ranma. While he did have a tendency to insult Akane with out thinking, Kasumi could place only a small portion of the blame for the deterioration of the relationship he had with he little sister.
If anyone asked her, the real problems in the relationship were the interference of her father, Saotome-san, the other fiancées, and Ranma's rivals, but even those were relatively minor difficulties. The most damaging thing was Akane's treatment of Ranma, Her tendency to not only leap to conclusions, but also her habit of always blaming him for any conflict he was involved in, and always assuming the worst about him. Of course the fact that she was terribly jealous of any time he spent with either Ukyo of Shampoo, voluntarily or not, paired with her refusal to admit even to herself that she cared about Ranma only made things worse.
Kasumi could remember the way Ranma used to look at Akane, during the first year of the engagement; she could also remember when the spark she saw in his eyes when he looked at Akane disappeared. She found it sad that Akane herself had ruined any hope she'd ever had of marrying Ranma. Poor girl.
Kasumi sang to herself softly as she prepared the lunch boxes for her sisters and Ranma while keeping an eye on breakfast as it cooked. She almost dropped the bentos in surprise when she turned around and found Nabiki watching her from the doorway between the kitchen and the rest of the house. Nabiki looked awful, as if she hadn't slept much, and her eyes were red. The weak smile Nabiki sent her way only alarmed her more, she hadn't seen her little sister with that expression since their mother's funeral.
"Nabiki, what's wrong?" She asked as she placed the bentos on the counter and moved to comfort her sister.
"Don't bother making a bento for Ranma. He's gone.", was the only reply she got before Nabiki started silently crying on her shoulder.
"Gone? Ranma's gone? What about Saotome-san? Did they go on a training trip?" She asked while maneuvering her sister onto the bench by the kitchen table next to her. Nabiki's tears ran faster and she shook her head. Kasumi's eyes widened, but she kept silent until the girl she had her arm wrapped around had calmed down.
"No." Nabiki croaked, "He's gone for good. He left two days ago after he put the damned panda in the hospital." She chuckled weakly. "It's a good thing I stayed behind while you, Akane, and Father went to visit mom's parents. Otherwise we'd have been coming home to a real mess."
Kasumi was shocked. Ranma hurt someone badly enough that they needed to go to the hospital? And, his own father? "What did Saotome-san do?" she asked.
Tears formed once again in Nabiki's eyes. "He sold Ranma to a man he met at the bar as a sex toy. From what I overheard and from what I've read, it wasn't the first time he'd sold Ranma to some dirty old man. In fact the bastard did it for years, until Ranma got big enough and strong enough to stop him." Nabiki turned her head to glare at her older sister as she stared at her in shock. "He deserved it. For what he did to Ranma, the baka panda deserved what happened to him." As Nabiki got up and moved away towards the bathroom, Kasumi heard her mutter "It's not like Ranma didn't warn the moron."
Kasumi sat at the kitchen table, shocked, until the sound of a pot boiling over brought her attention back to the present. She rushed to the stove, to rescue breakfast, wondering all the while, just what would happen next, and making plans to deal with the inevitable mess Ranma's leaving would create.
Not that she blamed him.
AN: After due thought, I decided to take DalSharDar's advice and condense some things into chapters under the title Burning Bridges instead of separate stories. Otherwise, this will be a series of really short stories.
Thanks for all the Reviews!