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Author Note: Okay, Shinji and Ranma are the same person. Ranma or Shinji rarely dream, but when one goes to sleep, the other wakes up and goes through their day. It is the same soul, living two lives at the same moment.
Though Shinji is younger, the soul uses him to live a normal life, compared to the life of Ranma. When Gendo abandoned him, Shinji decided to become more like Ranma in that life, and become strong enough to never have to rely on anyone again.
As such, Ranma became more like Shinji in his life, hiding his true self behind a false mask, which answers the soon-to-be-coming OOC questions.
Once again, same soul, just living different lives. Ranma/Shinji only gets to dream when the other body is injured and cannot wake up.
Shinji sighed as he placed the now empty plate down and returned his hands to the icy water that had been keeping the swelling down.
No, his hands weren't killing him because of how he...showed...his Father how displeased he was with being shot. The mild concussion, three broken ribs, two slipped discs, four bruised ribs, one dislocated knee, one dislocated shoulder, one cracked pelvis, and two missing teeth that his Father now sported had been Shinji's reward for that.
No, his hands were killing him because he had used them to punch through a six-inch reinforced steel door.
Damn it; that had hurt like hell. Of course, using those same fists to beat his Father had also felt damn good.
Well, it was worth it in his final analysis.
"Hey, can I have some more food over here?" he yelled towards the serving line of the cafeteria.
The cooks made quick work of his empty plates, changing them for full portions, and running back, fearful of the man who not only had an armed escort watching over him, but said escort was currently sitting outside the cafeteria doors. So, if he wanted food, he damn well got food.
Shinji groaned a little as he removed his hands from the water to eat. Definitely got to learn the Bakusai Tenketsu. Busting through doors like that might become a habit now.
Dr. Akagi slowly made her way to the cafeteria, where Shinji had gone after beating his Father into a near-coma. She was taking her time, after all, it wasn't everyday that a boy who should have been in a coma for about a month from all the sedatives that were shot into him woke up in under a day, punched through a steel door, beat the hell out of his Father, and then politely asked you where the cafeteria was.
And if he was just waiting before giving her a beat-down...
"WHY DO I HAVE TO COME?" whined her...decoy; Misato Katsuragi.
"Because, you will protect me if he goes berserk again."
Misato snorted. "I'd have gone berserk too if you guys had done that to me."
Ritsuko made a mental note to change the doses when it was time for Misato's intervention.
"Besides, if he punched through that door, what makes you think I'm going to be able to stop him?"
Ritsuko smiled. "Just flash him...like you did to strangers back in college."
Misato pinched the bridge of her nose. "Do something one time to get out of a traffic ticket..."
"And he did arrest you for that."
"Shut up. How was I supposed to know he was the one gay cop in the department?"
As the two walked past the cowering Section 2 agents, they entered the cafeteria, seeing the object of their search sitting back in a chair, his hands now covered with ice, and giving a contented sigh.
"Hey! Shinji! Over here!"
And like that Ritsuko knew that maybe bringing the sacrificial lamb was a bad idea.
Shinji nodded, not removing his hands. His chi and ki was repairing the damage, but he still needed some time. "Hello. None of you had anything to do with me being shot, did you?"
Ritsuko shook her head quickly. "That was all the Commander's idea. I wanted to take you aside and ask you about those abilities you showed."
Misato sat down. "You gotta admit, Shinji, what you did ain't normal."
Shinji snorted. "Trust me, nothing about me is normal. It's not my fault that people went for easier methods than training their bodies. Just cause I can do what others can't doesn't give the old man the right to shoot me like a rabid animal."
Misato nodded. "I agree. I think you got the point across to him."
Shinji smiled. "I think he might need a refresher course every now and again."
Ritsuko coughed a little, trying to get his attention. "So, Shinji, can you please explain how you did everything you did?"
He sighed. He was so hoping to get the body-toughening done today.
He blinked. Maybe...just maybe... "Sure, but I need your help to work on a technique. It just requires a few boulders, some rope, and some trusses."
Three weeks. It had been three weeks since the Angel attack, and Shinji was starting to make some progress towards achieving Ranma-like levels in this world.
Not to say the strain wasn't hurting. While he did gain some satisfaction and enjoyment in mastering a new technique, it lost the fun when he had to constantly explain why he was doing it, as either Ritsuko or Maya was always following him around, documenting his actions. They had damn near tranqued him again when he began the Bakusai Tenketsu training.
Luckily, he had already mastered the Kachü Tenshin Amaguriken in order to help with his reserves, or they just might have carried that out.
School on this side had offered a respite of sorts. Since all the teacher ever did was talk about how the world had changed from Second Impact, he was able to catch some relaxation on the computer checking out websites for new techniques. After all, the network here was better than in his old home.
The only problem was he had to spend several days hacking the school's software to get into some first person shooter games.
Then of course were his classmates. Now, while none of them were as fun to hang out with as Usagi—who had just informed him last night she was now dating a new guy named Tenchi—they did have their quirks that made them fun to watch.
Hikari was almost ridged, but showed some symptoms of a crush on Toji.
Toji seemed to be the local tough guy, and was still quick to anger if someone mentioned that he had cried when he had found his sister hiding in Tokyo-3 after Shinji had killed the Angel.
Man, luckily I killed the thing before it hurt her. Better take the next one out on the first encounter.
Then there was Kensuke, who simply wanted to be his friend because he piloted Evangelion, but was starting to like Shinji as a person, most likely the result of Shinji explaining how he had...practiced...with Section 2 to improve their abilities to defend.
Really, it's like the old man doesn't care if the base is breached or not. That place has more security holes than the Kunos have delusions.
Then there was Rei. The girl was a mystery to him. Not only was her aura slightly off, but so was her whole demeanor. He knew she was upset that he had beat up the Commander, but had made no move to question him about it, as if she was trying to come up with a way to discuss it with him.
As the lunch bell rang, Shinji pulled out his lunch, preparing for the joys of cooking he had performed this morning, even arousing his drunken roommates from their beds, then walking to the table more like zombies than humans.
Looking up, however, he noticed a red eye staring at him from a porcelain white figure standing before his desk. "Pilot Ikari, I wish to converse with you about your treatment of the Commander."
Shinji never even heard the sounds as the other students literally fled from the classroom, but did notice their quick departure.
Sighing, he placed his lunch back on his desk, feeling depressed those sandwiches would spend yet more time out of his belly. "Okay, Rei. What would you like to discuss?"
"Why did you throw the Commander into the LCL storage containment of Unit 01?"
He smiles. "He called me useless. He lost the right to do that when he dumped me on a stranger and then ordered the guy to make me weak and easily manipulatable. Since I don't enjoy my self-worth being called into question, I had to...demonstrate the consequences of his assumption to him."
"By throwing him into the LCL?"
Shinji appeared to think about it; in reality he was remembering the look on Gendo's face as he was launched. "Yes, it was the most efficient method I had available at the time."
"And the attack on him?"
"He attacked me first; I was simply responding to his earlier actions and showed my displeasure."
Rei blinked. "He is still the Commander. He deserves respect."
Shinji began to set out his lunch, not liking how this conversation was looking. He had guessed Rei had some sort of relationship with his Father, especially if she was defending him. But to be so blind... "Respect is always earned. To give it freely otherwise cheapens it. My Father destroyed any respect I had for him a long time ago, and his recent actions have only reinforced my personal belief that he deserves no respect at all. Just because he somehow got a job over some base doesn't impress me one bit."
Rei stood silently, trying to come up with a counter argument. She had not prepared for his responses, basing her debate models more on the data she had been given on the Third Child before his arrival. I need to update my information.
"You know, you'd better eat lunch, otherwise you'll never heal fast enough."
Rei blinked. "Why are you concerned about my health?"
Shinji sighed again. Damn, I just know this is going to get me in trouble. I'm getting that same feeling I get as Ranma right before a new fiancée rings the doorbell. "Because I consider you a coworker and friend."
"I have not been ordered to be your friend."
Shinji just shook his head. "Have you been ordered to not be my friend?"
Circular logic was a fun point for him lately as Ranma. Thanks to that, in the last three weeks, Kuno now thought his pigtailed goddess was a spell placed on him by the foul sorcerers Genma and Soun, Shampoo thought Ranma was sneaking off to have a good time with Mousse the way she wanted to have with Ranma, Happosai was now after Herb to find out what panties a dragon wore, and Kodachi was certain that Akane was out to "take her purity in the ravages of hormonal bliss".
Needless to say, he was looking for a new way to mess with Nabiki. After all, he needed to make certain no one felt left out, and Ukyo and Konatsu hadn't been around too much for him to plan anything for.
"No," said Rei.
Shinji smiled, this was going to be fun.
Then, the Angel alarm sounded.
Shinji just stared at the screen inside the EVA, looking at the new Angel. "Are you certain I'm not a Power Ranger? These things look like bad movie monsters."
"For the last damn time," growled Ritsuko, "no! It is an Angel. Now, got out there, do that Kamehameha thingy, and let's all go home."
"It's not a Kamehameha, it's a Möko Takabisha!"
Misato smiled, loving this new game her friend and charge played. She would call his attacks stuff from anime, and he would call the EVAs and the Angels stuff from those old shows as well.
"Same thing," said Ritsuko, smiling as Shinji screamed.
Shinji just growled. Yes, the Angel would feel his wrath since he couldn't take it out on Ritsuko. "Damn high voltage stun gun...where the hell did she get that thing from?"
Ranma awoke quietly, enjoying the room to himself.
When Happosai left on his...quest, Genma had been forced to clean out the old pervert's room and set it up for him and his wife to stay in. Add to that the fact that Ranma blasted him every time he tried to wake him up; eventually the panda got the message. And with the self-installed lock on his door, even Akane couldn't barge in to wake him.
He had to smile at how off base he had gotten everyone. As Shinji, he had taken out his stress on his Guardian and the occasional bully who tried to make a name for himself by defeating him.
Now, with giant Angels being more stressful than the life of Ranma, he was forced to find...new avenues...of stress relief.
Two weeks ago...
Shampoo was smiling as she stood before Ranma on a roof. He had stopped her on the way back from a delivery, and said he needed to talk to her. Maybe he'll tell me that he wants to head to my home right now for some quality time!
Ranma, however, kept his face neutral. "Shampoo, I think certain people are trying to take me away from you."
She blinked. "Shampoo know of other girls."
Ranma shook his head. "Not them. Listen, if by some odd chance Mousse does defeat me, what does that get him towards you by Amazon Law?"
She smiled. "Mousse no get anything. Him can no be husband unless he defeat Shampoo first. Only then can stupid duck boy challenge Airen for Shampoo."
Ranma nodded. "So then why challenge me?"
"Cause Mousse is too too stupid!"
Ranma shook his head. "Nope. Remember, by your laws, I am an Amazon, even when female."
Shampoo thought about that for a moment, before her face paled. "No can be true, is it?"
Ranma sighed. "It's the only thing that makes sense from that idea. He would only be attacking me if he wanted to have me for himself."
"But...but he keep saying he love Shampoo!" she frantically said.
Ranma shrugged. "But if he loved you, then he'd challenge you. Instead, he only fights me."
Shampoo fell to her knees. Has Mousse really been using me to try and steal my beloved? It can't be! In her mind, she began replaying all the fights she had seen between the two. Mousse often went out of his way to keep Ranma from a cure, sometimes farther than one would expect if he was simply trying to secure it for himself.
Then, another thought hit her. The Lost Boy had also been attacking Ranma much more often than before Jusenkyo if their history was correct. Before, it took Ryoga months to find Ranma, if not years. Since Ranma was cursed though, Ryoga showed up every few weeks, constantly attacked Ranma as well to prevent a cure from Ranma. I knew he wasn't stupid enough to fall for all those disguises Ranma wore to mess with him. That bastard was enjoying holding my beloved! He must have felt love for Ranma and followed, and now that Ranma has a female form, he can finally take Ranma. And since Ranma's girl form is Amazon because of our marriage... "AIYAH! They Shampoo kill! She keep pig-boy and duck-boy from claiming Airen!"
Ranma held her back. "Shampoo, think about it: are you really strong enough to take them out?" Truthfully, he had been hoping that she would believe Mousse was after him, but never did he suspect Ryoga would play into this trap. This is turning out better than I could have hoped for! "You need a lot of training from the Old Ghoul to surpass Ryoga. I'd offer to train you, but that would arouse their suspicions. And if you fail, they will use the Amazon Laws to further stake claim to me."
Shampoo nodded. That had made sense to her. If they saw the two of them training, the evil males trying to take Ranma from her would up their attempts to secure Ranma for themselves. "Shampoo get Great-Grandmother to train Shampoo, so she defeat too too stupid perverts!"
She smiled and raced off on her bike, as Ranma smiled, enjoying the dark side on this world.
The next day after that...
Ranma dialed a number he had never needed to call, wanting to enjoy this to the fullest. He was tempted to record it, but that would leave a trail.
Ranma smiled. "Herb; thought I'd give you a call."
"So, Ranma, did you decide to become my bride?"
Ranma forced a calm over him, needing it to keep things going, as yelling at Herb now might come back to bite him later. "No, I called to warn you of a problem heading your way: the type of problem that could work out real well for you."
Herb paused for a moment. "Go on."
"Happosai learned of the Chiisui-ton. He's on his way to steal it from you and use it to lock us." Hearing Herb growl, he continued. "A guy named Taro is on his trail to beat the hell out of the letch, but he'll most likely hit you first to help set up a trap for Happosai. Just in case, you might want to hide it and the Kaisui-fuu, since with Jusenkyo gone, they're too dangerous to leave around anymore. I'd prefer if they were buried far enough in the ground that the letch wouldn't have time to get them."
What Ranma failed to mention was that even if Happosai tried to lock him again, he had already hidden several casks full of the unlocking water, a precaution made when Herb was making some last minute talks with Cologne and his attendants were busy staring at Shampoo.
Now for the kill. "Just to add to the prospect of this fight, he is wanted by the Amazons, as they have always failed to get him. Now, imagine the pride of doing something the entire Amazon Nation had been unable to do, and it being done by a single male..." Ranma knew that if anything, the idea of being proven better than the Amazons alone would get Herb to follow through with it.
After all, Ranma had been real careful about how the existence of the Chiisui-ton was accidentally reminded to Happosai.
"Then I have much to prepare for the pervert's...funeral. Any estimations on his arrival?"
Ranma thought for a bit, trying to not make it seem he had this planned already. "I would say four days, five tops."
He heard Herb fall silent. "Very well then. I appreciate the warning, Saotome."
Ranma smiled. "I'm sure you'd do the same for me."
A hesitant "yes" came from Herb, before he hung up.
Hanging up on his end, Ranma smiled as well; glad he had heard that the Musk Prince had purchased a satellite phone before he returned to the Musk Citadel.
And the next day...
"So, Ranma-sama, what have you to profess to me?"
Ranma looked distressed, part of his act to mess with his newest targets. "Oh, fair Kodachi, I fear that a foul cretin is using your heart, as they have done mine."
Kodachi grew enraged. "Who would dare sully the heart that doth love me?"
He turned to her. "Fair maiden, first I must tell thee a story. You see, a foul witch has cursed me, turning me into the pigtailed girl your brother seeks to wed, while you seek to destroy."
Kodachi paled, grabbing him by his shoulders. "Nay, say this is not true, but a soiled fiction you doth speak to my ears!"
Ranma pulled out a thermos, changing into his girl form. "She doth cursed me so that you would always tear at my heart, fighting both for and against my poor soul." She pulled out another thermos, changing to male.
Kodachi fell to her knees. "How could the gods be so cruel as to allow this? Who? Who hath done this to my beloved?"
He sat beside her. "They are Akane Tendo, her Father, and sadly my own as well. But, it gets worse, Kodachi."
"How?" she pleaded. "How could it be worse?"
Ranma sighed, shaking his head. "I was cursed as well so that Akane could take her perversions out on my female form. The Fathers allow this, hoping that she may at one point take such liberties with my male form. As such, all cures for this curse have been destroyed, never to appear again on this world."
Tears began to form in her eyes. My beloved...will never be whole again. This...this demands punishment!
Ranma pulled her face so that she was facing him. "I fear that they seek much the same from you. Does not Akane treat you as she does me?"
As her eyes shot open wide, she collapsed into his arms. The vile woman seeks to take the innocence of my own flower as well! No, this shall not be allowed. First, I shall deal with the two older fools, for surely their magic is stronger than hers. Then, I shall deal with her. "Fear not, Ranma-sama, for I shall free you from them!"
"Take heed not to injure the home, Kodachi, for they have tied my life to it. Should the home sustain injury, I too shall feel it. Make certain that your fights do not disturb the Tendo home, or I shall surely perish as their last attack will ensure we are not together."
As he hugged her, Ranma had to fully enforce the Soul of Ice to keep from laughing his ass off.
And the day after that...
"Ranma, what's the matter?" asked Nodoka as she saw her son come into the kitchen with a depressed look.
Shaking his head, he talked. "I fear I won't be a Father of any good, Mother."
Nodoka stared aghast. "Whatever would give you that impression, son?"
Ranma held up his hands. "All I have for role models are my own Father and Mr. Tendo. Mr. Tendo abandoned his family, and makes no move to ease their burden. My own Father has destroyed my honor by pawning me off for debts, and even now, continues to sell me off to earn himself luxury, at times even leaving my name in coverage of a debt or bill. With these two as examples of fatherhood, why would I ever dream of putting a child through such?"
Nodoka paled. "Son, are you saying you don't want children?"
Ranma nodded. "What good would I be to them? With those two as examples, would I even know how to properly be a father to my children? No, I shall not have a child. I refuse to be a burden as those two are. I refuse to put myself ahead of children like that. Why, even now, with no income, they simply sit on the porch, playing that game, drinking as much as they can stand, and even eat as much as they can hold. Yet the expect children not done growing up to take care of them, like they were invalids, or incapable of handling their own affairs."
Nodoka never heard the rest of that. As Ranma had planned, she had stopped listening when he had informed her he would not have any children. With the possible threat of no grandchildren, she turned away from the stove. "Ranma dear, can you watch this for me. I must go...discuss... the examples they are setting for you and the girls."
He nodded, stirring the soup as he heard his mother begin to yell at the men, the sound of the family sword being unsheathed and being followed by girlish screams soon reached his ears. "Ah, I feel much more relaxed now."
Ranma sat up in bed, still smiling. He had simply reversed the gender roles to deal with Kuno, being the pigtailed girl Ranko who was cursed by the fathers to turn into Ranma, so that the school might be continued, was another series of laughs.
So far since then, he hadn't had to worry about attacks from the NWC. If a male got near him, Shampoo would strike them. The Fathers desperately tried to find work, as Nodoka would chase them with the family swords—both Tendo and Saotome, since Kasumi had been taking care of the family blade—while trying to not get killed by the Kuno siblings. Akane had been getting weird looks in school, and when Nabiki had informed her of the newest sets of rumors being told by Tatewaki and Kodachi, she was not too happy.
Smiling, he got up and stretched. While coming up with something to do to Ukyo was still not generating much progress, he did have a plan to deal with Nabiki some more.
Catching his smile in a mirror, Ranma felt...better. "You know, maybe this is better. After all, I still need to deal with stuff, but I'm not stressed about Angels anymore."