From One Hell to Another
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Ranma exhaled slowly as he got dressed in the furo. Today had been a nightmare he could have easily done without.
The failed wedding...
The last cask of Nanniichuan gone...
The Fiancée Brigade's assault...
He looked into the mirror, forcing himself to smile. It wasn't that he was upset at losing the Nanniichuan. Unlike the other Jusenkyo cursed victims, he had been smart enough to remember Taro, and how he didn't change into an octopus, he changed into his usual cursed form with added tentacles. That water would have truly turned him into what the people around there would even consider a freak.
That seemed weird, considering Tsubasa and Konatsu.
But the main sticking point was that the bastard fathers had used it to bribe Akane into doing it.
Ranma lost all possible proof that Akane felt for him enough to have done it without the cask. Maybe I should have told her it wasn't a cure for me?
He discounted that thought. If he told her, then he would have revealed to someone how much he really wore a mask. He would have truly opened up to her, and risked her spilling the beans about who Ranma Saotome really was.
Not that anyone cared. Nabiki sold out the wedding, and he would have to charge her for that. The fathers had betrayed him yet again, and thus Ranma no longer felt the need to care about their desires. Shampoo and Ukyo decided to attack the wedding, instead of simply asking if this is what he truly wanted. The Kunos showed up, acting like they were doing what the Heavens had ordained. Happosai took the cure for pure spite, not that Ranma believed the letch knew how worthless the cure was, but more than likely did it to ensure Ranma-chan would always be around.
And his Mother...
Here, as there, I am truly alone.
He shook his head. Such depressing thoughts wouldn't do now. Soon, he would be there and free of this world for a bit.
At least...until he went to sleep again.
Sighing, he opened the door, to see the face of his would-be wife preparing to open it. "Hey, Akane. I know I put the sign out." He looked at the front of the door, noticing that yes, the sign was still there. Guess Nabiki is too busy counting her money to have stolen it tonight.
Akane blinked. "So, you were gonna look at me?"
Ranma arched his eyebrow. "Um...you were the one gonna barge in on me."
Seeing that she was going to stand there and sputter for some time, he sighed once again and left her there. He wasn't in the mood to keep the mask going for much longer. For now, he just wanted to leave this life for a bit.
Laying down on the futon in his room, as Nodoka had dragged Genma out to the dojo for the night to discuss his actions that had cost her son his "cure", Ranma closed his eyes...
...and opened them once again. "Another familiar ceiling."
Shinji stood from his bed, stretching his body to prepare for a new day. While this life certainly lacked the excitement from the life of being Ranma, it was not without its charm.
Here, he could make friends, stay male, cook, hang out, and practice martial arts moves without a new challenger of fiancée arriving to interfere.
Of course, he merely needed to deal with a guardian who acted as if he was a minor nuisance at best, a Father who appeared to care only for his own needs, and a shadow that seemed to want to document his every move.
Though Shinji had to admit it got easier to avoid them when he started using the Umisenken.
After all, it was Ranma Saotome who promised to seal them; not Shinji Ikari.
Smiling, he grabbed his bathing supplies and got a bath, enjoying the waters of the furo. Here, he could lounge as long as he wanted, and was safe from prying eyes.
Well, safe from the eyes that sought him as Ranma.
Soon, he was cleaned, relaxed, and heading downstairs to cook breakfast.
It was something else he enjoyed about this world. Here, he could work out the recipes that Kasumi taught him, enjoy the feel of making a meal, without an overweight panda barking about how useless it was, or a she-demon too upset about her own lacking of culinary skills to be happy for one who had such talents.
Sitting at the table, Shinji began to take his time and enjoy his meal. Here, no one would steal his food if he didn't act quickly enough.
After placing the plates in the sink, he noticed his guardian enter the kitchen. "Shinji, you have one hour to pack your belongings. Your Father has sent for you."
Shinji just shrugged. "Whatever." As he went upstairs, packing what he could in his subspace pocket, he wondered what was going on. He knew from tapped conversations—a blessing thanks to learning from Nabiki and Martial Arts Computer Hacking that unscrambled the conversations between his guardian and his useless Father—that his Father and his guardian had been scheming to ensure his life was hell. Shinji had some clue as to what was going on. Obviously, the old man wasn't happy that his son was...happy.
Shinji had friends, colleagues, and self-esteem.
Whatever sick and twisted game Gendo Ikari was playing, his son was beating him in it, and it looked like the old man merely wanted to change the playing field.
"I better call Usagi and Keitaro tomorrow. Looks like I'll have to postpone that beach trip."
Lugging the remained of his boxes; containing things that he doubted the shadows would find much use in or most likely try to bug to keep better tabs on him, he looked around, half temped to leave a Happö Daikarin around and blow this place up.
He was tempted...
Oh, so tempted...
Shrugging, he turned towards his guardian. "Well, since your plan failed to make me miserable, I think I'll just leave you with that failure." The guy paled as Shinji smiled and turned away, heading for the train station to Tokyo-3, grabbing a package that had been left by the door, containing the instructions on what to do when he arrived, as well as one weird postcard from a girl who seemed more flirtatious than Shampoo.
Gendo Ikari...yes, he would get a few hundred Happö Daikarins when Shinji was through with him.
Shinji sighed as he hopped from the train tracks onto the platform. The stupid transport had stopped three kilometers back; no reason and no explanation given.
So, Shinji busted open a door and walked the rest of the way.
As he left the train station, he felt as though things had followed him from Ranma's life to this one.
The town looked abandoned.
The phone booth had been even less help. It merely droned on about some emergency, but refused to elaborate.
Sighing at how weird this day was starting to be on both worlds, Shinji sat down, and looking at the postcard he had been given by his guardian. "I'm looking, but after a buxom Amazon flashes you, it ain't doing much."
Shinji decided to sit back, leaning on the steps, and enjoy the quiet. He didn't feel the shadows watching him, or any other surveillance.
That was until the silence was destroyed by the firefight. "Great," he said with disinterest. "I get some quiet time alone, spend all day dealing with rouge friends and family, and now I get stuck in a battle between the military and a reject from Power Rangers."
Shinji just sighed, standing up, and gathering his energy. "Man, just one fucking day without any crazies in my life on either side. Is that too much to ask?"
Looking at the green behemoth, Shinji cupped his hands forward. "Möko Takabisha!"
"WHAT THE HELL?" screamed out a general. One moment, the Angel had been ready to punch through a VTOL.
The next, a large ball of blue and gold energy slammed past the Angel's AT field and cracked the core.
The Angel screamed, placing its arms around the core, and backing up, wanting to rest and try and repair the damage before continuing on.
Gendo merely raised a brow. "This...is unexpected."
Shinji smiled as the green monster backed away behind the hillside again. "Feh, I'll kill it later when it comes back for Round 2."
It was then a blue car sped up to Shinji, spinning to a stop. "GET IN!" she screamed.
Shinji just shrugged. Getting in, he lounged back in the seat as the woman tore off down the road and away from the monster.
Shinji just rubbed his temples as Misato took another wrong turn on their path through the massive Geofront.
Normally, Shinji would be impressed that such a place had been built. Sure, his more...exotic...techniques couldn't be used safely here. But for such a structure to be built, he was certain even Nabiki would sell her own body to get the design specs.
Not that such things mattered to him at the moment. The girl who could pass as Shampoo's sister was trying to lead them where they needed to go, and only several ki markers that Shinji had left told him that this was now the...fifth time...they had gone down this particular corridor. Maybe she has Hibiki blood in her.
Laughing to himself, he nearly missed the appearance of a blond from the elevator, smelling of blood and wearing a wetsuit that as with Misato's picture; did nothing for him. So, Amazons do kill a sex drive. Good to know.
"So, this is the Third Child?"
Shinji glared at her. "I have a name, you know. Would it be that hard to remember it?"
Misato giggled. "Yep, and he's quite the male. Kind of irritating as well."
Shinji switched to the new irritant. "Well, I ain't the one whose been wondering around for the last hour in a place I work, now am I? That was you saying 'Oh, I know where I'm going', wasn't it."
Misato soon was glaring as well.
Shinji just chuckled. "Well, if the Eternally Lost Girl is done, exactly what the hell was I needed here for? Ain't like I have nothing better to do than blast weird Voltron rejects."
Ritsuko smiled. "This way then, Shinji."
He smiled. "See, names help keep people friendly."
Shinji blinked as the lights returned, revealing the face of a giant purple robot.
Shinji just shook his head. "So my old man called me here to make me a Power Ranger."
Ritsuko blinked, wondering what was it that the Third Child had the resulted in him recalling old television shows. "No, this is humanity's last line of defense against the Angels: the Evangelion Unit 01."
"Looks like a damn Power Ranger Megazord to me."
"It is not a Megazord!"
"Do I have to wear a special suit to pilot it?"
"Then it's a Megazord."
Misato smirked. "Told you he could be a bit irritating."
Shinji was just shaking his head. "And this little devotion to old sentai series is why the old man called me here?"
Shinji cast his eyes upward, seeing the man known as Gendo Ikari standing in a hallway above Unit 01. "Well, well, looks like the gopher finally crawled out from his hole. And exactly what made you think I needed this Megazord to kill the Jolly Green Giant outside?"
Gendo stared. "You will pilot this Unit and kill the Angel."
"Feh, I cracked the damn thing's little red ball with one shot the last time. I ain't in the market for gifts from perverted old letches."
Ritsuko blinked. "You're telling us you damaged the Angel!"
Shinji smiled, scratching behind his head, an old habit he carried over from his life as Ranma. "Yeah. The little bastard really can't handle chi that well."
The other adults could only stare at Shinji. "What, you all act like you've never seen a true martial artist before? Any dip-shit with enough training can do what I do. I just happen to be the best." Shinji turned his sights towards his father. "Must have got those gifts from Mom. I doubt I got anything worthwhile from Gendo."
"You will pilot the Unit and do as I need you to."
Shinji just smiled. "Man, you must be smoking some good shit. I haven't had any training on how to pilot a Megazord."
"IT IS NOT A MEGAZORD!" screamed Ritsuko.
"Shinji," begged Misato, "you have to pilot it!"
"Why? Ain't like that thing could withstand me if I was serious. Hell, if I knew it was going to be this much trouble, I'd have finished him off at the train station." He shrugged. "Just get me to the surface, and I'll take Smiley out."
Gendo remained emotionless. "The Third Child is useless, prepare Unit 01 for Rei."
Before Misato could complain, she watched as Shinji drew back his fist, firing a punch into the air, and heard the plexiglass Gendo was behind shatter. Then she witnessed the Third Child jump across the LCL and onto the horn of Unit 01—though no one would ever admit to not knowing the true purpose of the horn, and then into the hallway, hauling Gendo up by his shirt, and slamming him into the wall, shorting out several of the TV windows.
"If you ever call me a failure again, old man, then you will truly see hell. Because I will send you there." Shinji had his free hand pulled back into a fist, a blue and gold glow forming around it.
As the complex shook, Shinji looked up and smiled. "Well, I guess I'll give the Gundam a shot. Ain't like it'll be that bad if it fails, I'll just blast out and kill it anyway." With that, he tossed Gendo out the window and watched as the man who was his biological father into the LCL lake housing the EVA.
Shinji just tried to stay in his seat as Unit 01 arrived at the surface. "Mental note for you bookworms: a seatbelt might help inside this thing."
He stared at the Angel, the crack in the core still there, but not as pronounced. "Well, Big O, it's Showtime!"
Misato blinked. "Does this kid even know this thing is an EVA?"
Ritsuko twitched, reaching for a cigarette.
Shinji smiled, closing his eyes, and trying to sync his chi with that of the EVA.
Sachiel stared at the purple beast that appeared before it, wondering what it would do.
That was, before the purple beast cupped it hands, screaming something more like a monstrous grunt, before it shoved its hands forward, as another burst of the blue-gold energy slammed into it, destroying the core.
Shinji blinked. Wow, that was easy. Guess my attacks are magnified inside the mecha. "Um, I'm done now. Anything else?"
The bridge crew could only blink.
Misato turned to Ritsuko. "How'd he do that?"
Gendo nearly lost his perch on his hands. "It appears the reports on the development of the Third Child were incomplete."