Disclaimer: I do not own Naruto or Ranma ½. I merely use their ideas for entertainment purposes.

He hurt all over. It was a simple statement, but there was not any one that could describe how he felt any better. He was blonde haired with blue eyes and had a body like it was carved out of marble. He had laid in the same spot for over a day now and the pain was only at that moment starting to recede. Once the pain receded enough, the man began to think about his predicament.

'This makes no sense. I should be in the belly of the Shinigami (God of Death) not lying in some unknown forest withering in pain. Did I mess up the sealing? Is the demon still loose? No, I can vividly remember seeing the Shinigami stick his hand through my back, then pull out the demon's souls and mine. So I should be dead. Could this be the afterlife? Could the Shinigami granted me mercy and released my soul? Will I see Eiko?' A sudden flash of indistinct images crossed the man's mind. He could clearly make out what sounded like voices, older and more powerful and yet gentle, than he had ever experienced in his extremely eventful life. He could not remember much of what was said but he could definitely make out some kind of argument and then nothing but the pain for the last few hours. 'Could someone or something make the Shinigami give up my soul? But, what could make the Shinigami do anything? Well without a huge sacrifice at least. I really don't want to think about what was given up to free me.'

After another few hours of rest the man felt he was strong enough to move and sat up. When he did the man noticed he was completely naked, covered in dirt and impossibly hungry. He looked at the sky to see if he could recognize any constellations and maybe try and find a way back home. Unfortunately he did not recognize any constellations what so ever. 'Great I'm either in another dimensions or on another planet. I wonder if I can still summon the Toads. If I can they may be able tell me where I am. I'll have to do it later though. To get a decent enough toad will take too much chakra.' Standing up he surveyed the area trying to find any signs of wildlife, 'First things first, I need food and a way to cover myself. I doubt anyone will be willing to help some naked guy in the forest.'

With skill long developed by years of practice the man came to the conclusion that nothing in the immediately area was large enough to make some descent clothes with, though he could get some good amount of food out the fauna. 'Looks the biggest thing around he is rabbit, guess I'll just have to set some traps.' With quick hands he assembled a decent trap with the available material and waited for his first meal in who knew how long. His wait was not long as a plump rabbit came hoping into the small clearing he was in. With a flurry of movement the trap was sprung and the rabbit was dead. Less then fifteen minutes later the man had the rabbit roasting over an open fire skinned and gutted, he used a sharp stone he picked up when he was making his trap. Once the rabbit was eaten the man stood and left the area. 'I have to find an area with water at least then if worst comes to worse I can follow a river or a stream out of the forest.'

When dawn arrived the man was able to see around him better. He had been traveling through the treetops like he had been taught as a kid as this was the fastest and best way to conceal him while traveling. 'The forest seems to be thinning, I may be reaching the edge soon or maybe a meadow,' suddenly the man sensed something and stopped immediately. 'A chakra source! That means a person is near by. By the strength I'd say it's a young kid. What's a kid doing out here by himself? Either way at the very least I may be able to get some clothes.' Quickly changing his direction the man tracked the chakra signature. As he got closer he could feel the signature get weaker then stronger then it seemed to change from a human to an animal and then repeat the cycle. 'What the hell is going on!?' Speeding up the man became a blur and soon he found a rather grungy camp sight with a large heavy looking plank of wood not far from a ratty looking travel pack. 'The chakra signature is coming from under the plank of wood.' After a quick scan to see if anyone was around other than the child he sensed early the man moved over to the plank of wood and removed it. When he did he cringed back at the god-awful smell coming from with in. "What the hell!?" he said.

"Pl…please…pa…papa…n…no…more," came a pitiful cry from in the pit.

Without a second thought the man jumped down into the pit and took the child and jumped out again. "Damn these wounds look serious," he muttered. Placing the boy on the ground the man reached for the ratty pack hoping to find something that he could use to clean and treat the boy's wounds. After dumping the contents out the man was able to find a canteen and some bandages along with some faded Gi's and a couple of scrolls. "This will have to do." After cleaning and dressing the wounds as best he could the man then scouted the area for some herbs to see if there was anything that could be used to help combat any infection. Luckily he was able to find some and forced the child to consume the herbs. After that, knowing there was nothing more he could do, the man went to the Gi's and slipped one on. It was very big on him and he had to apply some chakra to keep it on him, 'Either the owner of this thing is really muscular or really fat.' Moving back the child the man sat down to keep an eye on him and think about what he found.

'What the hell was going on? The kid said something about 'papa' did that mean the kid's father did this to him? And if he did, why? What kind of a parent would torture their own child like this? No even Kiri (Mist) would put a child through this! Going by the campsite I would say that whoever did this to the kid will be back at some point, and when he does I'll be sure to get some answers.' The look on the man's face would have been enough to give a gymnast a heart attack. It was clear that whoever was coming back was not going to be for pleasant time.

An hour later the man sensed another chakra signature approaching at a leisurely pace. 'Hmm this guys at least as strong as a high Chunin or low Jounin but less refined then a Gennin. Self taught most likely, unless this world does not know how to properly mold chakra that is. Judging by his pace he's not expecting anyone to be here. I should ambush him, but I don't want to leave the kid for any reason. Guess I'll have to confront him directly.'

A few minutes later a fat, bolding, and glasses wearing middle aged man trotted into the campsite. He took one look around and started to yell, "Who are you what did you do to my campsite!?"

"I don't have to tell you my name," the man said, his voice ice cold. "But if you value your life I would suggest tell me why this child was in that pit." The fat man lost whatever forcefulness he hand and started to stutter incoherently. "Answer Me!" the man yelled adding a no small amount of aggression in his voice.

"EEEPPP!" the fat man squealed like a five-year-old girl and started to speak quickly yet this time clearly. "It's a Martial Arts Technique, the Neko-ken (Cat Fist), I was teaching my son the Technique so he could be a great Martial Artist. You throw a kid into a pit of starving cats wrapped in fish until he learns the technique."

'A Martial Arts Technique!?' the man with extreme anger. 'I know some techniques are harsh in their practice but what could ever come from sticking a child in a pit of starving cats!?' The then stood slowly and turned to face the fat man. His cobalt blue eyes were as cold as a glacier his face as hard as a piece of granite.

Seeing the look blonde man's face the fat man started to kneel and scrap begging for his life. "Please don't hurt me, please don't hurt me! I'll do anything you want, give you anything you want! Take my son, he'll be a good husband for any daughter you have! Please don't hurt me!"

The blond frowned in disgust. 'Pathetic,' was all he could think. 'I should kill him, but he's just too pathetic to bother with.' "Leave now." The man did not have to be told twice and quickly bolted from the scene in a cloud of dust. 'If I ever see that man again I won't show him mercy.'

A day later the boy finally regain consciousness. When he opened his eyes the blonde man moved closer to him. "Don't move, you're still weak from your injuries. Stay here and I'll get you some food."

The boy just nodded slightly and waited for the blonde man to return. When he did he had several small pieces of cooked meat and gave them one piece at a time to the child. When he was finished eating the boy asked, "Wh…where…papa?"

"He's gone," the blonde man said. "My name is Kazama Arashi, What is yours?"

"S…Saotome R…Ranma," the boy answered.

"Thank you Ranma," Arashi said. "Now don't worry, when you wake up you'll be long gone from here."

"But…" Ranma tried to begin but Arashi made some quick hand moves and soon Ranma fell back asleep.

Almost a week later Arashi was sitting next to Ranma inside a hospital bed waiting for the boy to wake up. In the past week Arashi had come across a large town, by his standards anyway, and immediately sought out a Doctor for Ranma. When he arrived the nurse took one look at Ranma and immediately escorted them into the emergency room. Hours later the Doctor came out and started asking several questions and Arashi answered them. Then the police came and started asking questions and once again Arashi answered. In both cases Arashi told the truth of what he found but had to lie about who he was and where he came from as he doubted they would believe he was not from their world. With his life as a shinobi he was able to lie very convincingly and the police and the Doctor bought his story. After that Arashi took the effort to pick several people's pockets to understand what kind of I.D.s this world had. After that he used a Genjutsu (Illusion) on everyone around him to make them think he showed them the proper I.D. and paid for the hospital bills.

After that taken care of Arashi sent out Kage Bushins (Shadow Clones) to scout the city, under a Henge (Transformation), to see and learn more about this world while watching over Ranma. It was a good thing he did because this world was very different from his old world. Except for Ranma's father, who he learned was named Genma, no one appeared to have any significant chakra levels, meaning very few high level combatants. On the other hand this world technology was much more advanced. Because he did not know how long he was going to be hear Arashi resolved to find out as much as he could about this world's technology in order to survive.

It was also during this week Genma tried to kidnap Ranma. Arashi quickly stopped that with a few well-placed scalpels he pilfered from a surgeon's cart. If it were not for the fact that Arashi did not want to draw too much attention to himself he would have kept his promise early and killed Genma right there. But because he did not know what this world's Technology was capable of he just wounded the fat man. Soon after that came another round of questioning from the police and further lies to protect his identity.

Today Arashi was waiting for Ranma's mother to arrive. It took nearly a week to locate the woman but she was on her way. During Ranma's recovery Arashi talked to the boy and grew to like the kid. He had a nature similar to that several of the children back in his home. 'I wonder if I'll ever get back, or for that matter if I can get back? Either way I hope Naruto is doing alright and that Sarutobi is hasn't been killed by all that paperwork.' Arashi's thoughts were interrupted by the rapid approach of a strong chakra signature. 'This is not Genma that is for sure! It's not strong enough and feels female.'

The door to the room was almost pulled off its hinges as it was yanked open revealing a worried looking red haired woman dressed in a kimono. "Ranma!" she half cried half yelled then dashed to the bed.

The cry/yell awoke Ranma from his sleep and had just enough time to see the panicked woman's face before he was practically crushed into a hug. "Mama!?" Ranma cried returning the hug. "B…but Papa said you were d…dead!" This caused the woman to hug Ranma even tighter and crying even harder.

Arashi knowing this was a private moment quietly stepped out of the room. 'Just one more strike against you Saotome Genma.'

After nearly half an hour of waiting the woman exited the room and approached Arashi. "I understand it was you who saved my son," the woman stated. She took a deep bow before speaking again, "Thank you, my name Saotome Nodoka, if there is anything I can do for you all you have to do is name it and I shall do everything in my power to fulfill it."

Understanding that nothing he could say would change her mind Arashi returned the bow and simply said, "You are welcome, and I am Kazama Arashi." He straightened up and Nodoka quickly followed. "If it is not to much of an intrusion of privacy, may I ask if how all this came about? I am a bit of a Martial Artist myself and know that some techniques require intense training but this was just torture."

"A little over two years ago my soon to be former husband Genma," Nodoka spat out the name, "wanted to take Ranma on an extended training trip. To my eternal shame I allowed him because I wanted my son to be a strong warrior like our ancestors. You see Ranma is a prodigy when it comes to Martial Arts and Genma convinced me that I would coddle Ranma too much if he were to stay with me." Nodoka's eyes became sad at this point and she turned slightly to Ranma's room before turning back, "And now I would not be surprised if Ranma never wanted to practice Martial Arts again, something that he always enjoyed learning."

"What will you do now?" Arashi asked.

"After Ranma is released I will file for divorce, file a restraining order, and press charges against Genma," Nodoka said with a strong voice, "Then I will take my son back to our home outside of Kyoto to raise Ranma myself and pray that the Kami can ever forgive me for my foolishness."

"Have you been told about what happened earlier this week?" Arashi asked.

"No, as soon I received the phone call about Ranma I rushed here as quickly as possible," Nodoka answered. "Why, what happened?"

"Genma tried to kidnap Ranma a few days ago," Arashi replied. "I was able to drive him off but I do not think that will completely dissuade him. And considering his skill, I do not think a restraining order or an arrest warrant will stop him."

"Yes, Genma is a skill Martial Artist," Nodoka nodded. "You wish to continue to protect Ranma."

Arashi nodded. Whether it was his sense of duty as the Hokage (Fire Shadow) of Konoha (Leaf) or the still fresh thoughts of his own impending fatherhood, Arashi felt very protective of Ranma. He honestly thought that Genma would make another attempt at Ranma and wanted to keep him safe. Even then the long engrained shinobi mindset also told him having a base of operations as he learned about this world was also needed. A place that was free of charge only added to that fact.

"Then I gladly accept your offer to protect my son," Nodoka responded. "And I find myself again in your debt."