A Place to Belong…
A/N- This is the return of one of my favorite stories. It was deleted when I broke the sites rules in a fit of frustration. My post explaining why I had Ranma's power level where I did was against the rules and so they deleted my story, something I am still pissed at but I really can't argue that it was my fault. I hope that all the c2 groups and people who favorites it will do so again and I will be more careful so I don't make the same mistake.
... I seem to always forget the incantation... a quick thanks to Locke1 for the reminder.
By Ryoga's best friend
The sun set on the Nermia district, putting an end to one of many surprisingly uneventful days. The boy normally at the center of the chaos sat on the roof of the Tendo dojo looking up to the slowly darkening sky. "It seems things are finally calming down" he said softly. "It's been almost a year since I beat saffron and it's all slowing down…" he continued with a sigh. He laid back, "What the hell is wrong with me? I should be thrilled…Ryoga's been serious with Akari for months now, Mousse and Kuno are hardly a threat anymore. Even the girls are getting along, kinda…" He became quiet as a frown came to his face, he watched the sky darken and the stars peek out. The muffled laughter of his father and Mr. Tendo echoed up from the living room mixing with the muted J-rock from Nabiki's room. "It's not a challenge anymore, P-chan can be good for a work out but he's not even serious anymore…The perv and the ghoul have been avoiding me too. I thought I'd want this but it's driving me nuts. Nothing I do seems to have a point anymore. Laughable rivals, no new challenges, no opponents….all I have now are my fiancées, and no matter what I do that hole just gets deeper," he sighed and closed his eyes. "I guess there's no need for someone like me around here anymore…no need…," he trailed off very saddened at this realization. "Is there someplace I'm actually needed?" he asked the twinkling stars in a whisper.
"Ranma! It's getting late, aren't you in bed yet?" came Akane's voice as a the top of a ladder appeared over the edge of the roof. Akane's head soon followed, already decked out in her pajamas "We're meeting Ukyo at the library tomorrow for our group project. I don't want you sleeping in." she said firmly. Ranma groaned, his thinking time had apparently run out, and sat up.
"Yeah yeah, I know," he grumbled, stood and causally dropped off the roof, landing like it was nothing.
"Show off," Akane whispered, making her way back down the ladder to where the pigtailed boy waited. After lowering the ladder back down she turned to him. "What were you doing up there anyway?"
"Ain't none of your business is it?" he commented wryly before heading inside.
"Well fine! Pardon me for asking!" she stammered, pouting a little as she stomped past him and up to her room. Outside a single star streaked through the sky as Ranma closed the door to the room he shared with his father and looked out the window.
"I wonder if there's a place for me out there," he whispered laying down on his futon. "Damn, I'm thinking' too much." he grumbled as sleep slowly overtook him. Genma snored on, oblivious to his son's discomfort.
"Ranma!" Ranma shot up wide awake, soaked and quite female. She glared at Akane, who stood arms crossed, dripping bucket in hand. The red head stole a glance to her side where her father, now a panda, slept on without a care.
"Akane! What did ya do that for?" She shouted wringing out her tank top, but she received no sympathy.
"It isn't my fault you slept in, I warned you. We're going-"
"Yeah yeah group project, whatever." she grumbled as she got to her feet. Still drowsy a towel nailed her in the head, draping over her soggy red hair.
"Good then I don't need to waste anymore time explaining, go get ready." the youngest Tendo commanded pointing to the hall. Ranma slowly pulled the towel off, glaring lazily at her fiancée.
"Fine…" she stated making her way out. "Damn Tomboy…" she added silently, getting a whap upside her head for her trouble. "hey!"
"Just get going." Akane said almost bored, defusing any kind of fight before it began. The pigtailed girl begrudgingly made her way to the bathroom and took a quick soak in the furo. Making his way back to the room he dressed in one of his usual outfits, he shared a quick breakfast with the Tendo's and headed out. From his perch on the wall he glanced down to Akane dressed in a nice blouse and skirt. He smiled slightly, happy that they were finally getting a long, somewhat, after so much time. Though it was more like friends than fiancée's, which was honestly fine with him. He wasn't really interested in any of the girls that way…it was hard to think romantic after all the crap that seemed to happen and he hadn't really 'hit it off' with any of them. Ukyo would always be his old friend, boy or girl. Shampoo had kinda ruined the romantic vibe with the whole trying to kill him thing…plus she turned into a c-c-cat. Kodachi…riiight. And he and Akane had been arguing everyday since he arrived. He turned his gaze upward to the, for once, cloudless blue sky. He was well aware he'd have to pick one sooner or later…whether he felt anything or not, honor was at stake.
"Um, Ranma?" Akane's voice broke through his muddled thoughts. "Are you okay?"
"It's just," Akane paused. "You've been really down lately."
"Eh, don't worry 'bout it. I'm fine," he dismissed his concern hopping down next to her after running out of fence.
"But," she began to speak then trailed off. As she started to gather herself Ukyo appeared on the horizon sitting on the steps of the library, a scene the meant the end of alone time. The chef stood waving, dressed in her usual gear sans weapons.
"Akane, Ranchan you finally made it." she teased as they approached.
"Hey Ukyo. Sorry we're late." Akane said with a small smile elbowing Ranma a little. "Sleepy here didn't want to get up." Ranma snorted as the chef giggled.
"I can imagine."
"Ah calm down Sugar, no need to get testy. Let's just head inside, this paper isn't gonna write itself." Ukyo said happily heading inside followed closely by Akane. The two were finally starting to get along.
"Heck I bet if I weren't around they'd be good friends." he said placing his hands in his pockets and making his way inside. As the girls started to pick out books to help them in the project he noticed a familiar figure slinking through the shelves. The local voodoo priest of Nerima, Hikaru Gosunkugi. The martial artist watched as the pale boy looked about suspiciously an old book under his arm and a creepy smile on his face. "humph, I don't like the looks of this…" he took a momentary glance to his fiancée's which were already occupied and slipped off after the sickly boy. "At the very least it will postpone me working on that dumb project." he whispered. Akane and Ukyo took a seat each with a couple of books in front of them.
"The feudal era? Come on Ukyo everyone is going to pick that. Why can't we do something more modern." Akane said with a groan.
"But it'll be easier this way 'kane, everyone know it's Mrs.
Takahashi's favorite time period." Ukyo replied with a big smile. "Heck I heard she even writes a manga based in that period as a hobby." She added with a stage whisper.
"Really? I had no idea." her companion said thinking it over. It took only a moment before she realized someone was missing. "Wha? Where's Ranma?"
"hmm, thought he'd be here already." she looked around and narrowed her eyes. "He ditched us…"
"I think not." Akane said standing up. "Come on Ukyo, he's going to help with the project whether he wants to or not." she said with a clenched fist.
"I'm right with ya sugar." the chef replied with a nod.
Gosunkugi paused at the door to the libraries basement, looking around. Satisfied he was alone he took out a key and unlocked it. "It's only a matter of time now Saotome." he said with a dark snicker. As he disappeared down the stairs Ranma dropped down from the top of a book shelf.
"Heh, you ain't doing anything to me ya little creep." he said with a mean smirk cracking his knuckles. "Maybe beatin' on you will cheer me up." he said mostly to himself as he followed down the stairs. As he reached the bottom of the stairs he pause eyeing the dimly little room. He waited in the shadows while Gos made drew a strange set of symbols into the ground, his headband mounted candles only heightening his paleness.
"Finally…after so much waiting. Watching that smug Saotome walk around thinking he was the center of the universe."
The boy in question twitched.
"I'll be able to show him the power of my magic." he said sitting down and opening the aged book. He closed his eyes began his incantation. "Ajora, master of all things…I call upon your power to destroy my enemy…By the power of the heavens I summon y- ack!" his incantations were cut off when Ranma grabbed the book from his hands, smudging the wet paint on the symbols as he stood right on top of them.
"Hey Gosunkugi ya freak. You need to get a hobby." the martial artist taunted. He glanced to the title confused. 'The Zodiac Brave Story? Have you flipped this is some fantasy novel." he said with laugh.
"Damn it Saotome, give it back!" the skinny boy demanded but got kicked aside. "I'm warning you…" he growled, but was ignored as his opponent opened the book and looked it over.
"A warrior takes his sword in hand, clasping a gem to his heart. Engraving vanishing memories into the sword, he places finely hones skills into the stone. Spoken from the sword, handed down from the stone…." Ranma read, clearly not understanding what this story was talking about. "What the heck is this?"
"hmm, the books open…the spell might still work." Gos whispered getting to his feet and bellowed out the rest of the incantation. "By the power of the heavens I summon you, St. Ajora!" he shouted throwing a glass vial with some odd liquid in it to the ground at Ranma's feet. There was a long pause…and nothing happened. "Damn what did I do wrong…"
"Honestly you were starting to scare me there for a moment." Ranma said shutting the book, "when are you gonna wake up and realize you can't do magic?" He continued with a shake of the head. Though when he tried to walk forward, he found his feet stuck to the ground. "Wha?" he glanced down as the painted symbols began to glow. The pale boy gained thin smile.
"It…it worked!" he yelled happily. The glow brighten and sparks started to arch out of the ground up through Ranma's body, Gos backed against the wall. "This isn't suppose to happen, the symbols, of course!"
"What's…happening…" the martial artist grunted as pain coursed through his body.
"It's a magical backlash, you went and smudged the mystic symbols so the spell is back firing." he said fearfully hugging the wall as he worked his way to the stairs. Ranma fell to his knees.
"Help…me…." He managed out as the pain started to intensify. Gos smirked from the stairwell removing his candles.
"I don't feel like it. Hope you enjoy the endless abyss Saotome." he sneered before scurrying up back to the library. Ranma dropped the book and reached toward his fleeing foe.
"Gos…you little…rat…." he managed before the arches grew larger and the pain became blinding.
"Where is that boy?" Akane grumbled from the libraries lobby, Ukyo ran up.
"He's not upstairs…You think he left?" she asked thoroughly annoyed.
"I don't know maybe-" she paused as the lights went out and lightning crashed outside. "Lightning? But it was clear today…it's not even cloudy out." she wondered looking out the window. Ukyo stumbled a bit as someone knocked into her, she looked back to see a frazzled.
"Hikaru Gosunkugi? What are you doing here?" the chef asked confused.
The pale boy didn't respond and scrambled to his feet and ran out the door. "What in the-"
"Aaaaaarrrrgggghhh!" A painful scream echoed though the library chilling the girl's bones as is suddenly stopped with a clap of thunder.
"Ranma." they said in unison running toward where the voice came. Noting the open door they headed down, the dim room lit only by a few candles strune about. The floor was pot marked with burns, an old book smoldering slightly off to the side accompanied by a few scraps of red fabric.
"R-Ranchan?" Ukyo stuttered unsure what to think at the scene. Akane kneeled down noting a hand print shaped burn in the cement floor. It was still warm.
"Ranma…." she whispered softly.
It was a stormy day in the rocky Mandalia plains. The wind blew fiercely through the tall grass at the approaching storm. An armored figure with a green cape stood firmly opposed to two white clad men. One stood in a tunic with a bow drawn while the other was decked out in armor with a shield baring a lion symbol. Sweat trickled down the men's face as the green knight watched on unphased, sword in hand. The sky darkened as their cape fluttered wildly, the skull emblem taunting the men in white.
Unable to stand the tension any longer the bowmen raised his weapon and fired. Even as he was drawing another arrow the knight casually deflected the projectile with their sword and rushed forward, fairly fast considering the weighty armor. The white knight came to his companion's aid, moving into his opponent's path. He swung toward the knight's midsection but was blocked. Lightning flashed revealing the cool demeanor of the eyes behind the helmet. The white knight growled as he was pushed back.
"Die like the dog you are!" he bellowed as he charging forward to exchange blows with the green knight. The weapons chimed as they crossed and locked, his silent opponent ducking and weaving with practiced grace. Taking a step back the knight swung with a powerful downward slash. The man in white scrambled to get his shield up. The blow was met with a loud thunk. A fissure slowly formed on the shield as it fell to the ground, the man staring in shock at the useless straps in his hand. The green knight suddenly turned its blade behind him, an arrow fell point first into the ground.
"Impossible…" The seemingly forgotten archer whispered as he took a step back when the knight turned his way. It took only a moment before it was on him, with a quick slash they knocked the bow from his hand and was caught by a second lightning quick stab through the middle. The man's eyes went wide as a stain as red as fine wine slowly marred the pristine tunic; he clutched the wound and fell to the ground.
"Landon!" the white knight shouted his grip tightening on his sword
Even as the green knight stared on emotionless, the archer's life blood dripping from his blade. "You Death Corps bastard, I'll kill you!" He growled charging forward, and the battle was joined. Lacking his shield for much needed defense he quickly found himself outclassed by his opponent. After a short exchange of blows the white knight stumbled back, exausted, to one knee. He could picture the smug smile beneath his foe's helmet, and grit his teeth in futile anger. "I shall not die at the hands of a peasant dog!" he growled, lunging forward in desperation. The knight appeared to effortlessly ward the blow, but a soft grunt escaped his lips nonetheless. The very tip of the sword had pierced through its armor. Almost as an afterthought the knight brushed aside the blade, and slashed out, cutting a chunk of flesh from the white knight's throat. He gurgled and cover his throat, the knight removed it's helmet. Long brown hair tumbled free from it's container reaching to her shoulder. Her fierce brown eyes glared down at the dying man.
"You nobles are all the same," she spat as the man gurgled, blood dripping through his fingers to mar the swaying grass below. Lightning arched across the sky illuminating her shadowed features. She was in her early twenties, pretty but not beautiful, though to the man it was death itself glaring down to him. "Give my greetings to the rest of you
Hokuten dogs in hell," she added turning and heading off, the skull adorned cape the last thing the white knight saw before dying. The woman sighed as she took a seat on a nearby rock removing her gauntlets revealing a viscous gash. "Hmm, it's not too deep, but it's affecting my grip." she said to herself, clenching and unclenching her fist. "I'll have to have Madeline look at it." A clap of thunder was heard but this one was accompanied by a scream. She quickly donned her glove and turned toward the sound. A boy lay in the grass only a few yards away, his body, and the ground around it, scorched. "How strange," she said lowering her weapon as she approached. Sheathing her sword, she knelt by his side. "He's still breathing, but where did he come from? He's dressed so oddly," she wondered aloud, noting the clouds were starting to dissipate as suddenly as they'd arrived. "Hmm, I can't just leave him here. No choice but to bring him to the fort." she muttered bundling the unconscious boy to rest on her back, and began to walk south. The wind blew calmly through the now silent battleground, the grass stained red…
Deep in the swampy land to the south there lay a single wooden structure. Milling about inside were several green clad men and women, chatting doing what they could to pass the time. On the roof sat a tall young man, he was in his early twenties and wore a brown bandanna to cover his short cropped hair. He idly spun a strange coin on the tip of his finger and sighed, "Damn it all, I hate watch duty." He complained as he began to pass the coin across his knuckles. He paused the coin's movement and squinted, there was movement on the horizon. "Someone's approaching," he called getting to his feet, quickly pocketing to coin and slinking to one of the roof mounted windows.
Though as he reached for it, it burst open knocking him backwards, and almost off the roof. He glared at the raven haired girl who was smiling happily, unaware of his near death experience.
"Really Andy?" She asked trying to see herself, but unable to tell.
"Is it Lady Miluda?" she persisted. 'Andy' pulled himself away the roof's edge and tried to regain his composure.
"Yeah, it looks like her." he replied evenly, squinting a little longer. "But she's carrying someone," he continued, "a boy." He finished, surprised. The girl awkwardly climbed through the window, and took a seat next to him. She smoothed out her white dress and her green apron as she settled in.
"A Boy? Is he one of ours?"
"I don't think so, I've never seen him before. He looks hurt," he continued as he stared off into the distance, not paying much attention to his newfound companion.
"Hurt! Oh no, he must have been caught in the middle of a raid. I'll have to prepare my spells," she said, suddenly serious. But it was short lived when she smiled brightly. "Is he cute?"
The watchmen finally turned to look at her with a bored gaze. "Honestly Madeline. Don't you have any shame?" he said calmly but the girl was unphased.
"Guess I'll have to find out on my own." she giggled getting up and heading back to the window. "I'll tell everyone to get ready." she said in a sing song voice as she crawled back through the window.
He glanced back as she headed through and stood back up on the other side. "Hmm, pink," he muttered, snickering a little just before a book nailed him in the back of the head.
"Pervert, hmph." Madeline said, closing the window and locking it.
Miluda paused on the ramp entrance to the fort, members of her squad already waiting for her approach. She kneeled down and gently laid the still unconscious boy on the damp wood. "Get Madeline." she ordered firmly.
"Yes ma'am!" One of the green clad men rushed inside.
Andy moved forward to look over the strange pigtailed boy. "Who's the kid?" he asked.
She stood up and shook her head. "No idea, he just kind of, appeared," she replied softly turning her eyes back to the boy. His breathing was labored but he appeared stable. Considering the look of those burns he must be one tough character.
"Appeared?" Andy shot back confused.
"Yes." she said distracted. "There was an unnatural storm that appeared while I was crossing the plains. He just appeared in a burnt patch of grass."
"Hmm," was his only response, as Andy mulled over the possibilities. The was a rush of footsteps as the raven haired healer made her way out with the soldier from earlier. She stopped next to the others and gave the boy a quick once over.
"He is cute."
"Focus Madeline!" Miluda narrowed her eyes, spooking the healer into action.
"Right!" she squeaked crouching low to examine the wounds. "Oh my, these wounds were made with powerful magic. We need to get him inside." she spoke calmly, her voice serious.
The female knight looked to the gawkers by the entrance. "You heard her. Move!" At their leader's command they came to their senses and rushed the boy inside.
"And when your finished with the boy I need a little first aid myself," she said receiving a nod from the healer before disappearing inside. Miluda and Andy stood in silence for a long moment before he spoke up. "This might be a trap by to Hokuten you know."
"That is possible." she said with a small smile. "But it might not." she headed inside.
The watchmen chuckled close behind, "You got me there."
"Bring him in here." Madeline instructed, leading the convoy into the makeshift infirmary. It was one of the larger rooms of the fort which was filled with supplies and books, she'd tidied it up a few months before when they made camp here. It had one bed, and some minor decorations, mostly because it was also her room. "Lay him out here." and shortly following the boy was laid out on her bed. "Thanks, I'll call if I need assistance." the men made their way out and she went to work right away. She removed his tattered shirt and pants and examined the burns. "What happened to you?" she whispered getting no response. "Let's see what I can do," she said to herself taking a step back, and placing her hands above his body. She closed her eyes, focusing. A blue aura sprung up around her hands, suffusing the room s with a dim light.
"Life's refreshing breeze, heal from the sky." she spoke, voice distant, the glow leaving her hands and spreading over the boy's body. The burns started to fade away and a cool feeling washed over the room. The magic coursed through him healing the damage and trauma, his breathing became visibly easier as the glow bled away. Madeline opened her eyes and smiled slightly, the nasty burns were gone leaving a series of scars. "He might have those scars the rest of his life, but he appears to be okay now." she said happily, the serious air leaving her now that it wasn't a life threatening situation. "Well, now to start the non-magical part of the procedure." she told herself before scouring one of the bookshelves and coming back with gauze and a jar of cream. She blushed lightly as she admired the pigtailed boy, even as she started the treatment her mind was already in other places. "My my he's quite handsome, and well muscled. He must be a warrior." she said slightly red faced, wrapping the gauze around his midsection. "My age too, I wonder," she paused, looking down to the sleeping boy. She shook her head, "No, I can't do those things to a patient, I'll wait until after he's well." she smirked a little at her own thoughts, and giggled as pulled a sheet up on him. "Cuuute, oh right! Lady Miluda wanted to see me." she suddenly realized running out and heading for the leader's quarters. Though just outside she bumped into Andy, which knocked her onto her butt.
Andy smirked, reaching down, "You're so clumsy."
"What are you doing here anyway?" she asked suspiciously taking the proffered hand.
"Miluda's orders, I'm supposed to keep an eye on the kid." he said with a chuckle as Madeline pouted at the news.
"But it's my room." She flinched as he ruffled her hair.
"Sorry, it wasn't my call. Now hurry up, she's waiting for ya." He instructed, walking into the infirmary, leaving the frazzled Madeline to fix her hair. Andy took a seat near the bed and looked to the boy sleeping soundly. "Just you and me now kid," he said calmly, taking out his coin and flipping it. "For your sake I hope your not a spy, it would be a shame to kill you after Madeline went to the trouble bringing ya back." he continued on leaning back in his chair.
"My body, it hurts," was the first conscious thought Ranma had as he lay in darkness. He groaned, slowly opening his eyes, only to be momentarily blinded by the light. His eyes eventually focused and he found two blurry figures standing over him.
"He's waking up!" a happy feminine voice chirped.
"Hmm, I'll get Miluda. Make sure he doesn't go anywhere." a deeper voice replied as one of the blurs left.
"Right." the girl said leaning over him. As her features became clearer he squinted, catching a glimpse of her raven hair.
"A-Akane?" he croaked out, his voice raw from lack of use.
"Akane? Who's Akane?" the girl sounded confused. His vision fully cleared revealing a girl he'd never seen, decked out in weird clothes, like one of those European dresses from the Romeo and Juliet play. He looked around frantically, confused.
"Where am I?" he said trying to sit up only to receive a stab of pain for his trouble.
"Oh no, please be still. You're still mending." she pleaded easing him back down.
Ranma noted the concerned look and slowly calmed down. The girl moved her chair closer and sat down with a smile. "You don't have to worry, you're safe here." she said happily.
"But where is here? Where is Nerima?" he asked slowly before coughing. The girl passed him a glass of water which he drank greedily, chugging half the glass in one gulp.
"Hmm, I've never heard of that village. You must be from far away." She said with a smile. Ranma's stomach sank.
"Never heard of I- but it's a district of Tokyo. I was just there."
"To-Ky-O?" she said confused. "You've been here, unconscious for three days." she said with a frown. The pigtailed boy paled a little.
"What happened to me?" he whispered as footsteps approached. The man returned now accompanied by an older women similarly dressed, with long brown hair.
"That's what we would like to know." the woman said calmly. "I found you almost dead in a field north of here."
"Field? But I was in a library," he said confused trying to collect his mixed up thoughts. "Gos! I remember he was trying to do some stupid ritual, trying to summon something but, ugh, something about magical backlash. Damn, I can't think straight." he grumbled bringing his free hand to his face.
"You survived magical backlash!" the girl's shock catching the attention of her companions. "But that's impossible!"
The bed ridden boy couldn't help but laugh a little. "I get that a lot." He said clearly amused.
The older woman started to laugh and smiled. "I'm starting to like his attitude. What's you're name kid?" Ranma frowned a bit at being called 'kid'.
"Ranma Saotome, heir to Musabetsu Kakuto Ryuu." he said proudly, but gained only confused looks and a raised eyebrow in response.
"A martial artist huh?" the man said interested. "Well Ranma, the names Andy. Archer by trade." he said with a little bow. He placed a hand on the girl's shoulder. "This little vixen is our mage and resident healer Madeline. She's been watching over you."
"Ah hi," she blushed a little sudden feeling shy.
Andy then turned to the woman at his side. "And this is our leader lady
Miluda." he said with a smirk and she groaned in response.
"What did I tell you about the title? Don't associate me with nobles like that." she said glaring at him. "We're members of the Death Corps, but you probably guessed that already." she added gauging his reaction.
Ranma's face was blank, no recognition. "Death Corps?"
"Y-You mean you haven't heard of us?" Madeline said confused. "But we've been battling the Hokuten for over a year now!"
"You're kidding me." Andy said with narrowed eyes. "Everyone knows the Hokuten." he said firmly drawing a dagger. "You're obviously a spy, and a stupid one at that."
Ranma managed to sit up, not sure how the little meeting had gone south so suddenly. "Hey man, I don't have the slightest clue where I am." he tried to calm the situation, but there was little effect. The watchmen brought his weapon into attack position, only to have the young girl step in the way.
"Cut it out Andy, he's still injured!"
"Sorry, but I'm not risking our safety for your pet project." He said pushing her aside and striking out at the prone boy, only to find his target mysteriously absent. "What the?" he looked up and saw Ranma perched were the ceiling met the wall, limbs shaking from exertion.
"Heh, I don't plan on going that easy." he said obviously straining to hold his position. Miluda watched on intrigued, but continued to let the scene play out. "If you don't believe me I'll have to beat it into you." he managed finding himself slipping. Ranma cursed and pushed off the wall, flipping over Andy and landing awkwardly on the other side where he stumbling back into the table, right into the water pitcher. He noticed the familiar change in perspective as his curse activated, the surprised look of the three Death Corps members helped as well.
"A girl!" was all the confused Andy got out before he took a powerful shot to the jaw falling back on his butt. Ranma stood shakily, arm still extended, breathing hard.
"Feh, come on, get back up, agh." she grumbled before doubling over.
Madeline rushed forward and caught her before she hit the floor helping her straighten back up. It was strange to see this petite redhead in place of the handsome boy she'd been taking care of.
"I've never seen such magic…" she muttered.
Andy got to his feet rubbing his cheek. "Not bad kid, let's see you do that agai-"
"Stand down Andrew." Miluda ordered, the archer looked her way and slowly relaxed, he resheathed his weapon and began fiddling with his coin. Satisfied the women walked forward to the injured girl. "Well given the circumstances I'm willing to hear you out, there are obliviously some things that need to be explained." she said pointing to her form.
"Fair enough," Ranma groaned.
"But first," Andy spoke up taking off his shirt leaving him in a sleeveless under shirt. "You should put this on." he said handing it to her.
Confused the pigtailed girl took it. "I guess but wh-" she looked down to see she was very naked. "Oh. Right." she blushed, quickly donning he oversized shirt. With the archer more than a foot taller than his girl form it hung low almost reaching her knees, plenty covered up. The issue put aside she was lead back to the bed, where she began to explain about how she got here, her curse, and the world she knew. When she finished she waited for a long moment for the reactions.
"Another world, it's almost too fantastic to believe." Miluda stated shaking her head, though as Ranma started to get nervous she smiled slightly. "But I believe you, something tells me you're not lying."
"Eh, if Miluda believes ya, there not much I can do." Andy said calmly, fiddling with his coin.
"So, you're a guy right?" came the healer lastly causing the injured girl to twitch.
"Yeah, that's what I told you. I change back with warm water." She said slowly.
"Good, you had me worried for a moment." Madeline replied happily, completely oblivious.
Both Ranma and Andy shared a sigh, though the martial artist didn't make the initial connection of the admission. Miluda cleared her throat to get everyone's attention. "Well, we'll let you stay here to rest up," she stated calmly. "You best get used to our world, you'll probably be here for a long while. I'll stop by later." She finished with a slight bow before heading out.
Andy pocketed his coin and made his way to the door. "I got make my rounds too. I'll try to get so water for ya, though it may be a bit. We don't usually use hot water around here." he said with a smirk. "Not that I'm complaining." he added with a snicker.
Ranma sighed pulling the shirt tighter around her. "I have a feeling he won't be bringing any back." she said bluntly, laying back on the bed.
Madeline giggled a little. "Well at least you're still cute as a girl."
"That's not that kind of comfort I was looking for," she replied rolling her eyes a little.
"Well I'll let you rest, you added more stress to your body. You need to relax." the healer used her serious voice. Despite her previous air-headedness Ranma was inclined to agree with her in this situation. Madeline helped her lay down and pulled the sheet up. "Sleep well Ranma." she said quietly exiting, leaving the redhead to slowly succumb to the sweet embrace of sleep.
To be continued…
A/N- It returns from the great beyond after it's deletion, new and improved and well condensed… if your couldn't tell this it chap 1 and 2 as I've decided to make an effort for longer chapters at least in this story. I'd like to give a big thank you to S3-cubed aka Six-String Samurai who bared the brunt of my less then stellar grammar to clean up my stories as my beta reader / editor. As well as all those that reviewed and added this to their favorites and C2 groups. I humbly request that you readd this as I won't make the mistake and getting it deleted again and it will be updated in the near future with the newly edited past chapters and all new chapters. I'm back and I plan of sticking around some this time J