The Wild Horse Thesis
By Calamity Cordite
Developed by Calamity Cordite and James R. Axelrad
Edited by James R. Axelrad and Weebee
AN: Thanks for all the fantastic reviews and the warm reception this story has gotten. Some have felt like the last chapter wasn't quite up to the quality as the rest of the story. Perhaps this is so. I literally had to force the chapter out since action sequences are not particularly my most enjoyable thing to write and I think it showed at times. Add to this, my knowledge of 'End of Evangelion' (the movie) is limited to second hand information and action sequences seen on AMV's. The result being, my frame work wasn't nearly as strong as it was with the rest of the story. My apologies if you felt it was sub-par.
As for how I dealt with Kaoru, yes, the fight was a bit one-sided. The reasoning for this is that beyond his AT barrier and ability to levitate, Koaru's main offensive capability appeared to be controlling an Eva remotely. By confronting him before he could take possession of an Eva, Ranma pretty much defanged his offensive capability from the beginning. I couldn't see any other way for that battle to go.
As for concerns that Ranma receiving an S2 organ making him god-like, I think that's completely unfounded. Getting control of the Nekoken was a much greater power-up. For the purposes of this story, an S2 organ is largely a ki amplifier. The primary effect it has on Ranma is that it allows his ki reserves to last longer and recover faster since he's using less ki to do the same things.
After Misato pulled herself together and the teens were checked out and given a clean bill of health by the medics, Misato sent them to a secure suite inside NERV. Though they were ready to fight on, now that the fight was over, all of them were mentally and emotionally spent. They needed food and rest badly.
After the three of them returned from the cafeteria where they had made the staff there earn their salary, Ranma, Rei, and Asuka lay in each other's arms on the large bed in their suite.
"R-Ranma?" Asuka asked hesitantly. "W-when do you think you'll know if you have to go back?"
"I'm not sure, Koi," Ranma answered. "As far as I know, the world is safe from the Third Impact now. If it happens, I think it will be soon."
"Oh," Asuka said somberly. "I know we're all tired, but do you wanna...you know...just in case we don't get another chance?"
"Yes, I would like that as well," Rei agreed.
Ranma smiled at the girls and began to kiss them. The three of them made desperate love to one another for the next two hours before collapsing, sweaty and spent in each other's arms and drifting off to sleep.
Basking in the afterglow of their lovemaking, the girls didn't notice when Ranma began to slowly fade from their world.
"Well, now this was unexpected," a familiar female voice said in consternation, startling Ranma awake.
He looked up to see the perplexed face of Bastet regarding him. Then he noticed he was laying on the ground. A quick scan of the surroundings revealed he was laying in the yard of the Tendo home. Then something else penetrated his awareness. It was so common and reassuring for him now, he didn't register it as odd for several moments. Obviously it was the source of Bastet's concern.
Laying beside him, snuggled tightly to each side lay two girls, one with pale, blue hair and one with vibrant red. Joy welled up within Ranma as he realized that while he had been returned to his home reality, the girls he loved had been brought along with him.
Ranma hugged them tightly and in doing so, jostled them awake.
"W-wha?" Asuka asked groggily, noticing she was laying on the ground.
"Where are we?" Rei asked, sounding much more alert.
"I'll be right back," Bastet said, vanishing.
"I think somehow you guys got pulled back to my reality with me," Ranma said in awe. "You know what this means?"
"Does it mean we get to stay with each other?" Asuka asked, hardly daring to hope.
"That would be a reasonable conclusion," Rei observed, then began smiling broadly.
Ranma nodded enthusiastically and matched her smile. However, a moment later, they noticed they were all lying naked in a quite public place. Ranma quietly led them to the dojo so they would be out of sight until he could get them all some clothing.
Before he could go though, Bastet reappeared. Seeing the teens blushing and trying to cover themselves, she grinned and waved her hand. Instantly, Rei and Asuka were wearing fine silk Cheongsams. Rei's was pale blue, matching her hair and was embroidered with a beautiful red and gold phoenix. Asuka's was red and sported a gold and blue dragon. Ranma was wearing his accustomed silk tang and kung fu pants, only in black, and decorated with a red and blue tiger on the back of the tang. The teens were soon fawning over each other about how beautiful the girls looked and how gorgeous Ranma was.
"Ahem," Bastet cleared her throat to get their attention. The goddess couldn't help but smile at the three.
"Who's she, Liebling?" Asuka asked.
"Girls, meet Bastet, Goddess of motherhood, pleasure, and cats," Ranma introduced. "Apparently, she's my patron goddess and she's the one that sent me to your world."
The girls both bowed deeply to Bastet.
"Thank you, Bastet-sama for sending Ranma to us," Rei said.
"Yes, and thank you for not making him leave us," Asuka said.
"Um...yes, about that," Bastet laughed nervously then waved her hands at the alarmed expressions on the teens faces. "Relax, you get to stay together. It wasn't what was supposed to happen, but it seems you've found a way around it."
"Explain," Rei said.
"Evidently, when you and Ranma healed Asuka, you both soul-bonded with Ranma and you and Asuka both acquired a piece of his soul," Bastet explained. "That was enough to cause you both to be pulled back with him. When that happened, The Ultimate Force, which is more powerful than any god or goddess and is responsible for preventing paradoxes that could damage the fabric of reality, moved to correct the fact that the two of you shouldn't exist here by establishing your existence."
"Huh?" Ranma asked adroitly.
"They now have an identity and history here," Bastet grinned, handing each girl an envelope. "It's a pretty sweet deal too. Asuka has all her degrees and Rei has some of her own. You all have the funds you were paid by NERV in bank accounts in your names. That comes out to a substantial piece of wealth in this economy so the three of you are quite well off. Asuka and Rei are emancipated minors as well."
"Awesome!" Asuka cheered.
"Yes," Bastet smiled. "Well, there is a downside. The pair of you are about to be dropped into the chaos of Ranma's life here. It won't be easy. As for you, Blessed One, I am proud of you. You have learned what I wished for you to learn and I expect you to keep on learning, and not just martial arts. Now, it's nearly time to face the music, so I have to be going. They all watched your adventures so they know what happened to you. One last thing, take your time, but in the next few years, I do expect kittens..."
Bastet faded away, laughing at the blushing teens. No sooner than the goddess was gone, the shoji door to the dojo slid open.
"Ran...ma," Akane stammered. "Ranma! You're back! Hey! Everyone! Ranma's back!" Akane yelled toward the house.
Ranma didn't quite know what to expect. He had been away for over a year from his perspective so much of the conditioning that had been repeatedly pounded into him had faded. However, having his arms full of excited, uncute tomboy was definitely not on his list of possibilities.
"Oh Ranma, you really did it!" Akane gushed. "We saw the whole thing on video. You managed to change the whole ending and save everyone! Well, almost everyone. That was so sad about Dr. Akagi, but she really turned herself around from how she was. She was very selfless and I was proud of her!"
Chaos erupted as the rest of the Tendo household burst into the dojo with Genma in the lead.
"Boy! How could you be so weak as to allow yourself to be banished from your family duty!" the Fat Panda bellowed. "You must restore your honor by marrying Akane immediately!"
"Waaahhh, Ranma's back and the schools will finally be joined!" the Human Flood added.
"Welcome home, Ranma-kun," Kasumi greeted pleasantly.
"Yes, welcome home, my manly son," Nodoka chimed in.
"Really, Saotome, you've collected more girls?" Nabiki said, causing everyone to freeze as they noticed the two additional girls sitting near Ranma.
"Um...well...yeah, I couldn't just leave them behind," Ranma laughed nervously. "Everyone, I'd like you to meet Rei Ayanami, and Asuka Langley Sohryu."
"Ranma! How dare you cheat on my little girl!" Soun's demon-head screamed.
After facing the horrors that Ranma had, Soun's technique impressed the pigtailed warrior not a bit. However, when Genma jumped in and began lamenting about his dishonorable son, Ranma became annoyed.
"SILENCE!" Ranma commanded, projecting an aura of, well...Absolute Terror.
The two older men pissed themselves and cowered as Ranma seemed to loom over them in spite of the fact that he was shorter than both.
"Hold it a second, Saotome, it says here that Rei is our cousin?" Nabiki asked, looking through the papers they had been given. "How could she possibly be our cousin? She's a fictional character from an anime."
"Not anymore," Ranma smirked. "Call it Divine Intervention."
"Oh my, does this mean you will be taking up the engagement on behalf of the Tendo family, Rei-san?" Kasumi asked serenely.
"If Ranma wishes it, I will gladly agree to such an arrangement," Rei responded.
"What about you?" Nabiki directed at Asuka. "Are you going to be chasing him too?"
"Ranma is my best friend," Asuka shrugged. "I love him dearly. Rei and I both decided that we would never make him choose between us. Besides, I love her as much as Ranma, so I don't see a problem with the three of us being together."
"I too am not adverse to sharing Ranma with Asuka-chan," Rei added. "We are bonded to each other on a profound level."
"My son is so manly!" Nodoka cried, whipping out her victory fans and dancing around the room.
"Right," Asuka agreed. "Besides, Ranma is twice the man anyone else is so it all works out."
The redhead grinned triumphantly and high-fived Rei behind Ranma's head.
"Some would say Ranma was only half a man," Nabiki smirked.
"Ranma's condition does not bother me," Rei said. "Nor does it affect his manhood. Also, is it not desirable to be in a relationship with a set of twins?"
Rei's lips quirked up slightly. With her dry delivery, it was the only indication that she had just cracked a joke. As such, only Asuka and Ranma caught the humorous intent, leaving the others to gape as the two of them began laughing hysterically. Rei's smile became noticeable as she watched her friends appreciate her sense of humor.
When Kasumi joined them in their mirth, Akane and Nabiki found their faces firmly planted on the floor.
"Oh my, Rei-san. You're so funny," Kasumi giggled innocently.
"Ranma will marry Akane!" Genma bellowed, his stupidity overriding his sense of self-preservation, there by proving that Genma's stupidity was boundless.
"Quite right, Saotome," Soun added, also proving that the stupidity was infectious.
"Nonsense, Father," Kasumi said. "It's Ranma's choice and he is obviously quite taken with Rei-san and Asuka-san. Akane, you don't have any objection to Rei-san taking your place, do you?"
"I-I...I guess not," Akane stammered. "If the perverted jerk wants them, then that's his choice." Akane added a small smile to show that, while disappointed, she was willing to let it go.
"Thank you, Akane-san," Rei said, bowing to her.
Akane returned the bow. Contrary to popular belief, Akane was a romantic at heart and she had seen the three of them come together on the video. In spite of her feelings of jealousy, watching Ranma try so hard to befriend them, she thought it was beautiful how they came to care for each other. If Ranma had tried that hard with her, she was sure that they would have been deeply in love by now. It irked her that she watched Ranma become the man she always wanted on that video, but she found she couldn't blame him. Instead, she decided that she would just be his friend and be happy for him.
"B-but what about me, Ran-chan?" Ukyo stammered.
Ranma looked at her compassionately.
"Sorry, Ucchan," Ranma said. "You were always my best friend, but I love you like a sister, not like I love Rei and Asuka."
"B-but what about my dowry? What about the ten years I wasted looking for you?" Ukyo asked bitterly.
"I'm sorry, Ukyo," Ranma said somberly. "I can try to pay you back for the dowry, but the rest you have to take up with the one that ripped you off."
"That's right, Dear," Nodoka said. "I already said that I've dissolved all Ranma's engagements. You shall just have to speak with my husband about compensating you for his duplicity, although, some of the blame rests with your father as well. He knew fully well that Ranma was already obligated to another arrangement when he offered your yattai as a dowry. He expected for my family to dishonor another agreement in favor of his. He knew an agreement based on dishonor had no honor itself."
"But..." Ukyo said, searching for some way to salvage this. "My father...he will never let me return without revenge or Ranma's hand in marriage."
"If he should disown you, Dear," Nodoka grinned, her eyes gleaming at the prospect of another source of grandbabies, "I would be happy to adopt you into our clan as the sister that Ranma feels you to be."
Ukyo shuddered at the unholy light in Nodoka's eyes and quickly decided to quit while she was ahead.
Shampoo decided it was her turn. She wasn't quite sure how to deal with this situation. On the one hand, the odd, blue-haired girl and Airen's twin were obstacles. Everyone knows 'obstacles are for killing'. On the other hand, something told her that any attacks on them would make her Airen very angry. Airen was also a blooded warrior now, something of a respected status in the Amazon tribe and someone that was not to be trifled with. Still, she had to know something.
"Is true what Airen said? Airen really want to forget about Shampoo?" the purple-haired Amazon asked hesitantly.
"Huh?" Ranma asked, not recalling the incident Shampoo was referring to.
"Is true Airen no love Shampoo?" she asked again.
Ranma looked extremely uncomfortable. His mouth opened and closed a few times before he looked down.
"You hunted his female form across China," Rei spoke up. "You threatened his friends and family, and then used deceitful tactics in order to force him into a relationship."
"If you ask me, you're asking the wrong question," Asuka chimed in, her tone harsh. "You should all be asking his forgiveness for what you put him through."
Shampoo bristled at this.
"Is Shampoo's husband!" she insisted. "Is law! No need ask husband for forgiveness!"
Cologne sighed tiredly as she saw Ranma's eyes come up and harden.
"Which is exactly why I would never marry you, Shampoo," Ranma growled. "You see me the same as Pop sees you; inferior because of my gender and not worth your respect as a person. No Shampoo, I don't love you. There's been times I really debated whether or not I could even be friends with you given the casual way you view use of lethal force. You haven't crossed that line so far, so I'm still willing to be friends with you, but I'll never be your husband."
"You already is," Shampoo insisted. "Is law!"
"I don't recognize your laws," Ranma snapped. "In case you haven't noticed, we're not in your little village anymore. You have no power to enforce your laws on me. If you did, I would have been hauled back to China a long time ago."
"He is quite correct, Shampoo, though I am loath to admit it," Cologne said sadly. "I had hoped you would have realized that before now."
"But Great Grandmother..." Shampoo argued.
"No buts, Shampoo," Cologne said. "A warrior knows when the battle is lost. I won't let your stubbornness alienate as powerful a potential ally as the three of them are. I am dissolving the Kiss of Marriage. You have already paid for your failure to fulfill the Kiss of Death, so Ranma is no longer subject to that either. Don't let your foolish pride lead you into another situation you cannot hope to win."
"But Great Grandmother cannot dissolve Kiss of Marriage!" Shampoo argued. "Is not allowed!"
"It is if the circumstances in which it had been given were questionable," Cologne stated. "And these certainly were. Ranma never defeated you in a formal challenge aside from the one that led to the Kiss of Death, in fact, he never defeated you at all. You were knocked out by your own weapon, which you shamefully failed to avoid when it was broken. Therefore, you had no grounds to give him the Kiss of Marriage to begin with."
Shampoo looked at the ground in shame.
"Excuse me, but if that's true than why did you allow this girl to pursue my son for so long?" Nodoka asked.
"The answer is simple," Cologne chuckled. "Ranma is quite frankly the most talented martial artist I've ever seen. As long as he hadn't made a decision, there was still a chance to get him into the tribe and take him as the heir to my knowledge of the art. Also, watching the chaos that takes place around him was the most amusing time I've had in years."
"But how could I be your heir when...?" Ranma asked.
"You're male?" Cologne chuckled. "Surely you've realized that males are permitted to be warriors in the tribe. How else would you explain Mousse? That, and given your curse, you could have achieved honorary female status among the warriors. As to why I wanted you for the heir to my art, I'm sad to say that Shampoo will never be your equal in the art, so while she would have been my political heir, you would have been the heir to my most powerful Amazon techniques."
"Elder, I don't know what to say," Ranma said, stunned. "You honor me. I'm sorry I can't take you up on that."
"Easy come, easy go, Ranma," Cologne smiled. "It will be enough for me if you would consider the Amazon people in a friendly manner in the future."
"I'd like that, Elder," Ranma said respectfully. "You have helped me out when I needed it."
Meanwhile, Shampoo was fuming. She had had her heart broken, been told she would never be the equal of a mere male, and would now have to face going back to the village in disgrace yet again. She would have vengeance.
The next day found Ranma, Rei, and Asuka moved into the Saotome house in Chofu. Genma had been forbidden to return until he made restitution to all those he had duped during the training trip. They were currently on their way to meet the Tendo sisters at the ice cream parlor to celebrate Ranma's return.
"I can't believe that went as well as it did," Ranma mentioned again. "I mean, no fights broke out or anything."
"I am pleased," Rei said. "I am very pleased that Asuka-chan and I got to stay with you, Koishii."
"I'm pretty thrilled about that myself," Ranma said, giving the girls a squeeze with her arms around their waists and ignoring the odd looks the three of them were getting from the populous.
"So what are we gonna do now, Liebling?" Asuka asked.
"Well, I suppose I have to finish school," Ranma said. "Are you sure you guys really want to go with me?"
"Well, it can't be that hard," Asuka smirked. "And I still need to work on my Kanji if I'm gonna live here in Japan."
"Yes, attending school with you will help us become familiar with this world," Rei stated.
"Yeah, well, at least Jin Dai is a normal High School," Ranma said wryly. "I can't say I'm upset about leaving Furinkan and its craziness behind."
"But I meant after we graduate?" Asuka said. "What are your plans, Liebling?"
"I-I don't know," Ranma said hesitantly. "I mean I'm kinda sick of the whole war and international intrigue thing, ya know? And somehow just running a dojo seems a little tame after all that. How about you two?"
"I dunno, Liebling," Asuka said seriously. "I mean I do have my degree in science, but like you said, I have a hard time seeing myself as just a scientist. I hadn't really given much thought to what I wanted to do beyond piloting an Eva. Maybe police work? I kinda like the idea of taking down bad guys."
"That doesn't sound like a bad idea at all," Ranma agreed. "I might have to think about that for myself as well. What about you, Rei-chan?"
"I-I do not know," Rei said, blushing. "I never considered living past the purpose I was created for." Rei smiled a small smile. "Perhaps I can stay home and take care of the 'kittens'?"
Ranma and Asuka burst into gales of laughter.
"You'd be a great Mom, Rei-chan," Ranma said affectionately.
"Do you really think so?" Rei asked, blushing self-consciously.
"Yup," Ranma nodded. "I think both of you would."
Ranma grinned happily, noticing that both girls were now blushing.
"Yo, Saotome!" Ranma turned and saw Nabiki waving to her as she, Akane, and Kasumi hurried to catch up.
"Hey, 'Biki, Kasumi, Akane," Ranma smiled.
"Hello, girls," Kasumi smiled pleasantly. "I'm so happy you made it. How was the train ride?"
"It was okay," Ranma said.
"Yeah, at least we got to ride on the female-only car to avoid the perverts," Asuka quipped. There was a rash of broken male fingers on the train the previous day when Ranma, the girls, and Nodoka had traveled home.
"I hate boys," Akane growled, then grinned to show she was joking...mostly. "I just wish I could get away from Furinkan High too. I'm worried that things are going to go back to how they were before Ranma got here with the morning fights with the hentai-horde."
"I'll be happy to be away from the Kuno's and their insanity as well," Ranma said. "If it does start again, maybe you can move to Chofu and go to Jin-Dai with us too."
"You'd really let me move in with you guys after the way I treated you, Ranma?" Akane asked in surprise.
"We were in a bad situation, Akane," Ranma smiled reassuringly. "It brought out the worst in us, but I always considered you a friend. I might have even loved you as more than a sister. If I can do anything to help you or your sisters out, you only have to ask."
"Does that mean you're buying my ice cream today, Saotome?" Nabiki smirked. "I'm a little short on cash lately."
"Nabiki? Short on cash? That'll be the day," Ranma laughed.
"Well, you can't blame a girl for trying," Nabiki giggled.
The five other girls laughed as they continued on to the ice cream shop. They almost made it there when a familiar figure stood in their path bringing them up short.
"Ukyo?" Ranma greeted tentatively.
The girl looked up, meeting Ranma's eyes.
"Hiya, Ran-chan," the chef said softly. "I was wondering, do you think I might join you guys?"
"Depends on who's joining us," Asuka answered. "We'd be happy to have Ranma's best childhood friend join us. On the other hand, we'd be less happy about a girl that wants to use that friendship to try and guilt Ranma into being her fiancée."
"I promise, I just want my friend back," Ukyo said, her eyes shimmering with tears. "I wanted to say, I'm sorry for the pain I've caused you, Ran-chan. I didn't understand what we were doing to you because I was so caught up in the competition."
"It's okay, Ucchan," Ranma said softly. "I forgive you. I didn't help things either. I just didn't know how to handle the situation and I was too afraid to hurt any of you."
Ranma opened her arms to Ukyo and Ukyo timidly stepped up to her. Then the two old friends were hugging one another.
"Thank you, Ran-chan," Ukyo said tearfully. "I'm glad you still want to be my friend."
"Always was, always will be, Ucchan," Ranma said comfortingly.
It was a very bad day for the ice cream industry in Nerima that day. Seven attractive girls descended on the place and reduced the counter boys to a mass of quivering hormones resulting in loads of free extras. Between the Revised Anything Goes Uber-Cute Twin attack, Nabiki's powers of persuasion, and Kasumi's smile, it was a miracle that the deed to the shop wasn't given away for free. Not that Nabiki didn't try; she wasn't one to miss an opportunity.
Ranma sat back and looked around her as the seven girls chatted and giggled together. She was filled with a profound sense of joy and pride. Things were finally turning around for her and she was very thankful to Bastet-sama for making it possible.
Suddenly, Rei and Asuka leaned over and kissed her on the cheeks, smearing her face with their ice cream covered lips. The other customers in the shop looked at them strangely as the seven girls all howled with laughter.
"Wow," Ranma said again. "You guys look drop-dead gorgeous in those uniforms."
"Thanks, Liebling," Asuka smiled happily. "I'm not sure though. These skirts are awfully short."
The trio was headed to their first day of school at Jin Dai High and the girls were wearing their new school uniforms which consisted of a short, pleated, teal-blue mini-skirt and a double-breasted, off-white blazer. The skirt wasn't quite as short as one a cheerleader's uniform might have, but it wasn't far off and the long, shapely legs of both girls were displayed to perfection.
"You won't hear me complaining," Ranma grinned and squeezed their hands affectionately.
"Oh I don't know about that, Variable-chan," Asuka smirked. "I bet we'll hear a lot of complaining when we get you into one."
Ranma paled as he realized it would be inevitable. He could refuse the pair of them nothing and the way Asuka said that left it clear that he would be wearing the revealing uniform at some point.
"SHI SHI HOKODAN!" the shout snapped Ranma out of his nervous contemplation.
Before he had time to react, all three of them were slammed by the ki blast and sent tumbling into a wall surrounding a home.
"Are you guys okay?" Ranma asked Rei and Asuka with urgent concern.
"I am well," Rei answered.
"What the hell was that?" Asuka demanded.
"Rrrrryoga," Ranma snarled, fully in 'protect mate' mode, ki claws forming and his pupils narrowing to slits. He quickly spun and projected his AT/ki barrier, causing the charging Lost Boy to crash into it and bounce back onto his rear. "Rrrryoga! What the hell do you think you'rrrre doing?" Ranma hissed at the boy. "You could have hurt the girls, you jackass!"
"You shouldn't have tried to hide behind them, you cowardly dog!" Ryoga shouted, leaping to his feet. "Because of you, Akane hates me! Prepare to die, Ranma!"
"I'm not playing with you anymore, Ryoga," Ranma growled. "You insist on endangering innocent bystanders, you constantly blame me for problems you caused yourself, and you attack without warning, like the dishonorable trash you arrrre. This will stop even if I have to cripple you to stop it. Do you understand?"
"Shut up and die, Ranma!" Ryoga yelled and attacked with his umbrella.
Ranma dodged the strike and negligently flicked his hand toward the umbrella. His ki claws neatly sectioned the weapon leaving only a short section of handle in Ryoga's hand. Ryoga threw the remains of the weapon at Ranma and began to attack him with kicks and punches. Ranma flowed around the blows while delivering his own punishment. The only thing keeping Ryoga in the fight was his extreme durability. While he couldn't hit Ranma, he was able to shrug off Ranma's strikes as if they were nothing.
Frustrated with his inability to hit his hated nemesis, Ryoga stabbed a finger at the ground, unleashing the Bakusai Tenketsu. Ranma quickly threw up his AT barrier to deflect the shrapnel.
"Ranma! Look out!" Asuka yelled.
From behind Ranma, Mousse appeared and launched a swarm of shuriken at the pigtailed warrior's unprotected back. Ranma moved with cat-like agility, dropping to the ground and releasing the AT barrier. The shuriken flashed through the space Ranma had been in and not finding their target continued on. Ryoga was caught off guard and suddenly found himself in the path of the weapons. He threw up his arms to protect his vital areas and several of the spikes embedded themselves in his forearms and legs.
"Ranma, for disgracing Shampoo, I will kill you!" Mousse screamed, ignoring the fact he had just hit his ally with his attack.
"Fool! You couldn't beat me before and you can't beat me now!" Ranma snarled. "This shit is getting real old, you know that?"
Ranma maneuvered himself where he could see both his opponents. Ryoga wasn't looking too good as he began plucking the shuriken out. As the Lost Boy removed the last shuriken, he collapsed. Mousse began to grin wickedly and Ranma assumed that the shuriken had been coated with some sort of drug to knock him out.
"I might not be able to beat you, Ranma, but I don't have to," Mousse declared.
Suddenly, the wall behind Asuka and Rei blew outward, knocking them down with the shower of debris.
"ASUKA! REI!" Ranma shouted. He could tell they weren't seriously hurt, but he was furious that they had been attacked yet again.
"Shampoo kill husband-stealer sluts!" Shampoo said, leaping through the hole she'd made; bonbori at the ready.
Asuka rolled out of the way as the vengeful Amazon viciously swung the bonbori at her head. The sidewalk cracked as the blow narrowly missed the German girl. Rei used her AT barrier to deflect a blow sent her way as she struggled to her feet.
"Weird tricks not help you against Shampoo," Shampoo snapped.
"Shampoo, stop this right now," Ranma commanded. "If you hurt either of them, I'll make you suffer for a LONG time!"
"Shampoo already disgraced. Suffering no matter to Shampoo," Shampoo said angrily.
"You may be disgraced but at least you can still fight," Ranma growled icily. "How would you like to experience the Ultimate Weakness Moxibustion?"
"Shampoo no worried," Shampoo said confidently. "Great Grandmother know counter."
"Yeah, but are you sure she'd use it if I told her why I applied it?" Ranma questioned.
"Of course," Shampoo said. "It no matter if Shampoo kill weak outsider womans."
"Then you really are the brainless twit you sound like," Ranma answered.
"I won't let you talk that way to Shampoo!" Mousse cried and attacked.
"MOUKO TAKABISHA!" Ranma shouted and fired a ball of red-gold energy at Mousse.
The myopic Amazon was caught in mid-leap and sent crashing through a stone wall before being stopped by another. He collapsed, unconscious, and wouldn't be rejoining the fight anytime soon.
It was then that the police arrived from the neighborhood Koban responding to reports of a disturbance.
"What's going on here?" the ranking officer demanded.
"We were on our way to school when these people attacked us, Officer," Asuka explained, not taking her eyes off Shampoo.
"You no interfere," Shampoo snarled at the police. "This woman to woman fight."
"There's not going to be anymore fighting," the officer in charge declared. "This isn't an arena. It's a city street. You are all coming with us for disturbing the peace and destruction of private property."
The officer took a step toward Shampoo, who whirled on him with her weapons at ready.
"Shampoo say you no interfere. Now Shampoo teach foolish males their place," the Amazon said menacingly.
"If that's the way you want it," the officers took out their tonfa.
"WAIT!" Ranma shouted at the officers. "Don't get near her, she's way too skilled for you. Please let me handle this. I can put her down."
Naturally, the officers, not having seen the things their counterparts in Nerima had, didn't listened to the pigtailed boy's entreaty. They approached the purple-haired Amazon with the intent to subdue her. They soon found out they were woefully outclassed as the first one came within range and got sent flying by a bonbori to the gut.
They instantly backed off and one went to check on their comrade while the rest pulled their service revolvers.
"Drop the weapons NOW!" the ranking officer commanded. "Don't make us have to shoot you!"
"Officer, please, let me take her down?" Ranma pleaded. "I can make sure nobody else gets hurt!"
"Stay out of this, Son," the policeman said.
"I'm afraid I can't do that, Officer," Ranma sighed. "As much of a pain in the ass as she is, I won't let her get shot when I can stop her. Rei, Asuka, protect the officers."
With that, Ranma blurred from sight. Shampoo found herself flying through the air holding the severed handles of her bonbori. Her flight was abruptly stopped as she found herself slammed into the ground on her stomach and then she felt a searing pain on her back. She began screaming in her native tongue as she realized what had been done to her. She attempted to push herself up, but was unable to due to Ranma's foot resting lightly on her back.
"It's over, Officers," Ranma called out. "You can come take her into custody now. She's not a threat to you anymore."
The policemen cautiously approached the downed Amazon and quickly cuffed her. She struggled but her attempts to break free were pitiful now that her strength was sealed.
Ranma went over and performed the Moxibustion on Mousse as well before dragging him back out to the street. He then moved to Ryoga, intent on the same treatment. It was then that he realized how badly this had all gone. Whatever was on those shuriken was deadly. The Lost Boy had fought his last fight.
"GODAMMIT!" Ranma roared in anger. "They killed him!" Ranma spat when everyone looked at him in question. "He was a pig-headed moron but he didn't deserve to die!"
The police quickly came over to check on the fallen boy to confirm Ranma's statement. Ranma warned them not to touch the shuriken because of the poison he was certain they'd find on them.
"Who killed him?" the lead officer asked.
"The one in the robes, Mousse, threw them at me," Ranma said sadly. "This one, his name was Ryoga Hibiki, was trying to distract me so I wouldn't be able to avoid them. I ducked. He didn't and got hit with several of them. I didn't think any of them were serious wounds. When he collapsed, I figured the shuriken had some sort of drug on them to put him to sleep."
The Chofu division of the Japanese National Police got a crash course on things their Nerima counterparts dealt with on a daily basis. The curses were demonstrated, as was Ranma's ability to produce a ball of ki. They were, quite frankly, stupefied that such things existed and had no clue how to deal with it.
In the end, they called up the Nerima division for advice. What they were told didn't sit well with them. The Nerima division followed a hands-off policy. They allowed the martial arts community to police themselves given the fact that they were ill-equipped to deal with people with as much power as the martial artist that resided there.
The fact that there had been a death changed things a bit. The police had to be involved under the circumstances. Fortunately, Ranma had rendered the suspect impotent to escape custody.
Cologne arrived a couple hours after the attack looking grim.
"I'm sorry, Ranma," Cologne said somberly. "I had no idea they were planning something like this."
"The question is, what do you plan to do about it?" Ranma asked, his anger and frustration clear. "Ryoga was killed over this foolishness. It has to stop."
"And so it shall," Cologne agreed. "I understand that you used the Ultimate Weakness Moxibustion on them both?"
"I did," Ranma admitted.
"I expect that they will both be deported," Cologne said. "If that happens then I'll be using the Cat's Tongue on Mousse. I'll be leaving Shampoo's strength locked for now as a punishment for disobeying me. She will have to face the council to receive punishment for defying an Elder's orders. She'll be lucky if she doesn't get her curse locked as well."
"Frankly, Cologne, I don't care what happens to them as long as they don't come back here again," Ranma sighed. "They crossed the line. The next time they come after me or my girls, I'll make sure it doesn't happen again."
"Understood, Ranma," Cologne said grimly.
"Please understand, Elder, I can't tolerate this stuff anymore," Ranma said. "I want to have a family someday and I can't risk my children being hurt when some obsessed idiot feels the need to attack me for some asinine reason."
"You are a blooded warrior now, Ranma," Cologne said seriously. "I wouldn't expect any less. You've grown a lot since you got sent to that other world. I respect that."
"Thanks, Cologne," Ranma replied. "I just hope this is the last of the fools from Nerima, but I don't think I've heard the last of the Kuno's. I'm afraid I might have to follow through on my threat to be through with them."
"Actually, the Kuno boy shouldn't be a concern," Cologne grinned.
"Oh?" Ranma asked.
"It seems when young Akane...er...rejected his advances while you were gone, the loss of his...virility...had much the same effect as when a dog is neutered," Cologne cackled. "It calmed him right down. I understand he's keeping a very low profile now."
"I can't say I feel sorry for him, but I am sorry it had to come to that," Ranma commented. "Kodachi could still be a nuisance though."
"True. However, while the Kuno's may get a pass in Nerima, I doubt they will receive the same benefits here in Chofu," Cologne pointed out. "Were she to make herself a threat to you here, you could always handle her the same way you dealt with Shampoo and Mousse. The authorities could then deal with her."
"Hopefully it won't come to that," Ranma said. "That still leaves Happosai and Taro though."
"I wouldn't worry too much about Happi," Cologne chuckled. "He knows when he's out matched. Ever since you came back your aura has been as bright as the sun to anyone that can sense it. The same with those girls of yours. He won't bother you much. It'd be more trouble than it's worth to him. As for Taro, I'm afraid he is someone you may have to deal with."
After spending the day at the police station being questioned, Ranma and the girls were released. Ranma was even unofficially thanked for his assistance in subduing Shampoo.
"While I know this was not your fault, Son," Nodoka said as they walked home, "I don't wish for you spending the day at the police station to become a habit. It's unseemly."
"Believe me, Mom, I don't want it to be a habit either," Ranma said. "I'm just worried that more of Pop's stupidity will come lookin' for me."
"He had better hope for his sake it doesn't," Nodoka said darkly.
The following weeks went by without incident. The trio actually managed to make it to school. Ranma, Rei, and Asuka all joined the Martial Arts Club. Asuka also went out for the softball team and made it.
The three had caused quite a stir when it became clear that both girls were dating Ranma. Several of the guys took exception to this, but a few casual displays of power deterred all but the more determined. Ranma was quite amazed that no obsessive loons came out of the woodwork to attempt to claim Rei or Asuka.
The only trouble Ranma had was with the school gangs. They had sought to assert their dominance, but had quickly found they had bitten off more than they could chew. Ranma quickly tracked down the leaders of the gangs and promised if their gang gave him any trouble, or if he caught them bullying other non-gang members, he would personally come by and make it painful for the gang leader.
"If you and the other gangs want to cause each other trouble, I couldn't care less," Ranma told them. "But you won't do it on school property and you won't harass innocents or I'll harass you...painfully."
It took a few demonstrations of Ranma's resolve, but eventually the gang activity was greatly curtailed. The Chofu police were impressed with the drop in the juvenile crime rates.
It was a month and a half after Ranma returned with the girls that it happened. Rei came out of the bathroom one morning looking vaguely distressed.
"What's wrong, Rei?" Ranma asked, concerned.
"I-I appear to be bleeding," Rei said shakily. "From down there." She gestured toward her abdomen.
Ranma looked at Asuka, who looked back at Ranma.
"Asuka-chan, I think it's your turn to handle this one," Ranma prodded.
"Oh, no, Variable-chan. You did such a good job with me, I think you should explain it to Rei-chan," Asuka smirked.
"But I'm a guy," Ranma said in an overly-reasonable tone. "I shouldn't have to explain it. Rei-chan would be much more comfortable if YOU explained it to her."
"But you're more experienced than I am with it," Asuka pointed out, "so you should be the one to explain it."
"I would suggest that SOMEBODY explain it, before I become unpleasant," Rei said ominously.
"Explain what, Dear?" Nodoka asked, coming in the room.
Ranma and Asuka looked at each other and grinned.
"Mom, Rei-chan's having...you know..." Ranma said blushing.
"Female issues," Asuka added, "Her first time."
"I see," Nodoka smiled.
"Right, and since I'm a guy, I didn't think it would be too manly if I had to explain to her what to do," Ranma pointed out.
"But you did such a fine job with Asuka-chan, Dear," Nodoka smirked.
"That's what I said," Asuka said smugly.
"Indeed," Nodoka continued, her eyes sparkling with mischief. "So there won't be any problems explaining to your co-wife what to do then, right, Dear?"
"EEP!" Asuka backpedaled. "Actually, Mom, we were thinking that since you're the mom and you've had a lot more experience that maybe you could explain it to Rei-chan."
Meanwhile, nobody noticed Rei's lips compress into a thin line or that her eyes had narrowed slightly. They did notice when a loud crash came from the backyard.
"I better go check that out," Ranma said quickly, thankful for the excuse.
"Not without me you're not," Asuka added hastily.
"My garden!" Nodoka exclaimed, rushing to follow Ranma and Asuka.
Rei stood silently looking at the now empty room. The sound of grinding teeth could be heard as her hands clenched into fists.
Outside, Ranma discovered that Taro had decided that today would be a good day for a visit. In cursed form, he had crashed through the back wall and was trampling Nodoka's garden. Regrettably for him, he had an unfortunate sense of timing.
Before anyone had time to do anything, the shoji doors blew open and out stalked a blue-haired fury, complete with glowing red eyes and hair that floated around her head as if being blown by a strong updraft.
"Dageki no Shinku Tenshi!" Rei spoke sharply. (Strike of the Crimson Angel)
Suddenly, where Taro was standing, a huge, thirty-foot high, cross-shaped explosion bloomed violently, launching Taro into LEO and forming a ten-foot crater about three feet deep.
"Whoa," Ranma breathed in awe as he watched Taro disappear in the distance, trailing smoke.
"Now then, would someone like to tell me what I need to know, or shall I be forced to become...disagreeable?" Rei asked, a clear tone of menace in her voice.
Needless to say, Rei was quickly filled in on what she needed to know. Further, it was agreed that irritating the crimson-eyed girl when she had PMS was definitely in the 'for the love of God, please don't do' category.
AN: And so it concludes. I hope you enjoyed it. I know there's probably some questions you are asking at this point.
What happened to the rest of the NGE cast left behind? Who knows? Feel free to divine your own philosophical theory about what became of them.
Here's some food for thought about the future. Ranma has an S2 organ. Rei has an S2 organ. Will their kids have one as well? Will Asuka and Ranma's kids have one? How about this thought...Ranma and family move to Chofu about 15-20 years before a certain somber sergeant arrives at Jin Dai high. A certain tomboy has teal blue hair and her best friend is named Kyouko (which was Asuka's mother's name). Coincidence? Perhaps, but that, as they say, is another story.
Thank you so much for reading.