Disclaimer: I do not own Ranma 1/2 or All Purpose Cultural Catgirl Nuku Nuku.
Author's Notes: Writer's block sucks big time. I needed a project to help me recover from my little problem and this came to mind. There have been stories that crossed these two before but I hope that I'm taking a unique approach to it. The first chapters may be a little serious. As always, comments are appreciated and flames make good barbeque. Thank you and let's get on with the show!
It All Began With the Pit
The tiny kitten was hungry. In all of her short life she had never felt hunger like this before. It was with firm conviction that she decided she didn't like it. All she could remember was a fat man that smelled terrible reaching down for her. The kitten couldn't run away because he had thrown a rock for the back of her skull and knocked her almost unconscious. The man's leering face was fresh in her mind. Her tiny tummy rumbled in dissatisfication.The bigger cats seemed to have found something good to eat judging by the way they were clustered around a small heap on the ground. She rushed over to maybe get some food as well when she skidded to a halt so suddenly she fell on her rump. Her eyes widened slightly as her little kitty brain registered what she was seeing.
They were swarming a small child who appeared to be covered in food. A war erupted in her tiny mind. On the one hand there was food in front of her and the little one wasn't fighting back. She wasn't starved enough that she would just attack the food source. On the other hand it was a kid. Much like her. Other cats would laugh at her but she didn't care. Then her ears twitched and she heard the child crying for someone over and over again. The words were alien to her since she was too young to understand people yet beyond the most basic of feelings. The child in front of her was radiating despair and pain. She tried to slink over to him but a big tom knocked her away and left her battered. The kitten painfully got back to her feet just in time to hear the boy yowl like a cat. It was a call for battle.
"Stop hurting me! Stop hurting me! STOP HURTING ME!" he was screaming out powerfully in her native language. The scared neko huddled against the wall fearfully as the caterwauling of the other cats changed from feeding frenzy to a frenzy for their lives. She spared a glance to the child and watched the tears falling down his face as he killed all of his attackers. He looked in her direction and for one terrible moment she thought she was doomed. His eyes changed slightly from vengeful to curious as he padded over to her but then they heard the fat man bellow something. The boy snarled hatefully.
"You won't hurt me like this again..." the cat boy swore and barreled out through the hatch at the top of the pit. The kitten stared out at the clear sky and shivered slightly. Her eyes trailed to the carnage with another shudder. She remembered the boy's pain and began crying as well. Her sobs muffled by the earthen walls. If she ever saw something like that again it would be too soon.
Nuku Nuku sat up in bed with a start. Her memories were always fragmented from when she was just a normal cat but lately her computer brain was fixing her memories. That particular one was bad. What did Ryuunosuke call them again? Dreams right? Well she could answer Papa-san now if he asked if androids dream. The purple haired girl laid back down, brushing a strand of hair from her face. In the time since she gained this body she had done everything she could to learn to be a better "person". She wanted to make Papa-san and Ryuunosuke proud of her.
"I wonder what he's doing now?" she mused quietly about the boy in her dream. Talking in the third-person was cute and it was her own little game. She wanted to see how long it would go on before they asked her to use pronouns. Her green eyes stared at the ceiling as the dream came back with renewed terror. She had been trapped in that pit for another three days before the fire department showed up to get her out. Apparently someone heard her crying and called them. That wasn't the worst part of the ordeal. Even the boy killing all those cats wasn't what was frightening her. It was the sheer level of despair he radiated. She now knew what the words he had been using were. "Daddy save me," and "Mommy help me", and then "I've been a good boy".
"Mrrrrr..." her voice synthesizer was now well used to making her cat noises but displeasure was the one used least. She just couldn't hold a grudge. Which was a good thing because otherwise she might be vindictive the next time a Poison helicopter came after her and her family. No, what was bothering her was the memory of the fat man. He had stunk of sake and other things. The boy was presumably his son. It obviously took a very drunk and disturbed individual to do that to their son. She checked her internal clock and found out that it was almost five thirty in the morning.
"I'm not getting back to sleep." she decided as she sat up. Her eyes were watering terribly. Papa-san was proud of his achievement but right now she wished that the tears would stop. She scrubbed at her eyes because big cat girls don't cry. Well she didn't really know about that since she was the only cat girl she knew. Atsuko "Nuku Nuku" Natsume got dressed in a faded tee shirt and blue jeans that had seen better days. The constant attacks generally turned any new clothes to rags in a few days. She stepped quietly into the kitchen of the apartment only to find her father sitting at the table. He looked up from the spread out papers on the table and gave her a big smile. His hair was long and covered his eyes which always amused her.
"Good morning Nuku Nuku. Wait...it is morning isn't it?" he asked. It wasn't unusual for him to work through the whole day. The cat girl giggled slightly and gave the scientist who saved her a hug. He gave an affectionate squeeze in return and watched as she sat across from him.
"Yes Papa-san. Nuku Nuku slept well as always." she said brightly though her usual glow seemed to be missing. He pretended not to notice for that she was grateful.
"Good to hear. Listen, due to the constant attacks we've been evicted. I know I should wait to tell the two of you but I figured you could help me with him. Ryuunosuke's gotten used to living here and now we have to move. There is a place in Nerima ward for rent and I figured we could go over there today to check it out. Sound good to you?" he asked with a hint of a smile. The cat girl gave him an affirmative nod though her mood turned pensive. The good doctor reached across the table and took his daughter's hand.
"It's not your fault sweetheart. You've done everything you could. The fault lies with Mishima." he told her firmly. Slightly surprised by the force in his voice she could only nod dumbly which earned her another smile. Ryuunosuke came out from his room, shuffling sleepily, only to gape owlishly at the sight before him. Nuku Nuku giggled at her little brother's response since it was usually his duty to make sure she was awake. He shook his head to clear it and sat down at the table.
"What's going on? Family meeting no one told me about?" he mumbled sleepily. Nuku Nuku scooted her chair closer to her little brother since she figured this would be hardest on him. Their father once again went over with him what he had told the cat girl. As predicted he did not take the news well. Atsuko hugged him tight as he cried. After he dream she discovered something that had long been missing. It was anger. She really could not get mad at someone and now it seemed that it was coming rather easily.
"Nuku Nuku won't let them bother you again Ryuu. No she won't." the cat girl let go of her brother before she gave him a pneumatic hug. His eyes were free of tears as he registered her current state of mind. Kyuusaku sat back in his chair with his hands behind his head. He had expected her to blow a gasket eventually. Too bad it wasn't the kind of gasket that could be replaced. She almost laughed at her machine humor but it wasn't funny really.
"Well, let's have some breakfast before we go. I think we have a full day ahead of us." Her father said as he got up to make something to eat only to have Ryuunosuke stop him in fear. The boy then went to make breakfast instead of their father. Kyuusaku was a genius inventor but a terrible cook.
Ranma lay on the futon staring at the ceiling. The dream was as vivid now as it ever was. The only different part was a strange disjointed image of a tiny kitten in the pit. The look of fear in her eyes was clear and had cut through the neko-ken fog somehow. She wasn't one of the ones trying to harm him but even that charitable thought wasn't enough to stop him from shivering. The whole ordeal was a festering wound and not a mental scar like they think. The pit was still very real to him. He had even gone back to the place to bury it once again only to find that the city had filled it in already. The one shot of closure he had was gone until he remembered what had started this mess.
His pop had been pissed that he burned the manual but it didn't matter to him. The Neko-ken should never be taught to anyone else. Pop had said that martial arts knowledge should not be disrepected. It didn't matter to Ranma that the fat fool was upset with him. Life in Nerima had become a rela grind. A steady stream of monotony that threatened to engulf him and sweep him under. He was a god slayer and still he was treated like shit. The only people who treated him like he mattered was Kasumi and Cologne.
That was a pretty big surprise actually. Cologne, matriarch of the Chinese Amazons, was treating him with respect. As she put it, anyone who could kill Saffron was best kept as a friend than an enemy. That was certainly true enough and as a result their relationship became one of grandmother to grandson. Shampoo and Mousse still hadn't clued in onthe changes. The bubbly Amazon girl was brought up short, forcefully, by her grandmother. Mousse tried his usual bullshit later.
"Saotome you cad! How dare you hurt Shampoo!" forgetting that it was Cologne who pulled her reigns back. That had been a monster of a battle which had dragged in everyone and their mother into the fray. Well, one mother. It brought Nodoka into the battle and not to fight. At some point in the whole debacle he had become a she. She had demanded that the manly thing to do would be to return to normal to finish the fight. Ranma-chan was dodging sharpened weapons from Mousse, Ukyou, and Ryoga. As well as bludgeoning weapons from Shampoo and Akane. He trembled with anger as he lay there remembering. Nodoka threw boiling hot water on him almost screwing up his concentration fatally.
"None of them deserve me. I don't deserve the shit they put me through." he stated with quiet conviction. Kasumi had seem his injuries when he returned and almost exploded. Oh it was satisfying to watch as the war party came for his head only to get torn into by Kasumi who was pissed off enough to spit fire. She had even manifested a visible battle aura. He snickered at the memory. Kasumi had cowed everyone into submission and rounded out her victory with tea for everyone. That was the funniest part. She had just scolded everyone roundly for what they did only to find a cup of tea in their hands and her apologizing profusely.
"Okay so maybe it was worth it." his aching ribs wanted to argue but couldn't override his good humor. That part had been truly priceless. Cologne showed up shortly thereafter to collect her bemused charges. One by one everyone left save for Akane of course and Kasumi. The violent girl was genuinely contrite for her part in the fight. She confessed to having thought he was cheating on her again but it was a little too obvious that he had been ganged up on. He forgave her as he always did and she left the table. Ranma knew he shouldn't have because otherwise she wouldn't learn but he just couldn't hold a grudge.
Then his mom showed up. She had been conspicuous in her absence and it was clear why she hadn't been there. A rather attractive girl was following her with short blonde hair and a perfect ten figure. His mother introduced her as the first candidate for mistress. What made him truly sad wasn't the fact that his mother suggested it but that he realized that it was normal behavior by now. He shook his head before recapturing his smile at the "first mistress's" reaction to his curse. She screamed and tore out of there like the hounds of Hell were on her heels. Then his mother got a reproving glare from Kasumi which topped off the weirdness factor for the day.
"Wake up Baka!" Akane called out. He was about to say that he was awake when cold water sluiced over him robbing him of his birth form once again. The redhead let out a shrill, murderous scream of inarticulate rage as she leapt to her feet and roared into the short-haired girl's face from not even an inch away.
"I WAS AWAKE YOU KAWAIIKUNE TOMBOY!" the scream reverberated. It was a testament to how powerful the scream was that it had actually blown her fiancee's hair back. Akane blinked stupidly in the face of her furious female fiance for a full minute. The shorter girl was huffing in sheer rage and indignation.
"...My ears..." Akane finally managed to say as she tried to clear the ringing out. Ranma was totally not in the mood to be messed with. Genma grabbed his child's shoulder.
"What's the matter with you boy? Quit being such a gi-urk!" which was not the normal way the morning taunts ended but when an elbow ends up materialized in your gut there's not much you can say about that. The force of the blow ripped the panda man from his feet and sent him careening out the window so fast there was a backwind. Ranma sucked the cool air into her lungs and focused on the Soul of Ice. She focused so heavily that even the water on the floor chilled to sub zero temperatures.
"My ears..." Akane whined again breaking Ranma's concentration. The indignant girl huffed.
"Serves ya right baka. I was already awake." she said with offended dignity before leaving the room angrily. It was time to get ready for the day. If what happened this morning was any indication of what was going to happen today maybe she should just go back to bed.
Author's Notes: I haven't forgotten TNGB but I needed a writer's block breaker and this was the idea. I hope you like this little offering and don't forget to read and review! Thanks a lot and ja ne!