One of my best jokes was in this chapter. Unfortunately, I moved it to a later chapter.
∼ Entwined Symphony ∼
by Tama Saga
I don't own Naruto or Ranma. The rights belong to the awesome Rumiko Takahashi and the less cool Masashi Kishimoto. I'm just borrowing the characters and the settings to make an amusing and interesting story.
Chapter 11: Blast from the Past
There was a choked gurgle before his target collapsed lifelessly to the ground.
Swiping the bloodied kunai along the man's shirt before storing it away in the holster at his side, Minato surveyed the battleground before he decided that that had been the last one.
It was time to leave, before others arrived in search of the missing group. However...
...looking around, he selected an unconscious kunoichi before he carefully approached. A deft slice across her jugular vein was all that he needed to ensure she would never be able to report what happened.
Before the dying woman breathed her last, Minato was already standing next to the another unconscious nin, a shinobi this time. Repeating the same fatal operation on this nin, he quickly proceeded to the next one. That job was finished as cleanly and as efficiently as the last two.
He only had one body left. That of a black-haired man whose hair was tied in a pigtail.
Ranma was forcefully wakened by a deluge of cold water. Shivering slightly, she blinked and struggled to regain her bearings.
Her eyes remained unfocused as the last moments of her memory soon returned to her. She had just knocked out her third opponent and had turned to leave the area when someone struck her from behind, knocking her unconscious.
She finally regained enough of her senses to look around. Scanning the area, she soon realized that none of the landmarks looked familiar, this wasn't where she had been fighting. Who had moved her?
She whirled around when she heard a near-silent breath. It was the stalker, and he had a strange black gardening tool pointed at her.
Irritation welled up within her as she she waited for him to make the first move. Already, her mind was subconsciously predicting her opponent's next few moves and readying the proper counters. When he tensed, she was ready.
And then she almost facefaulted when the stalker ordered her to go. He was waving the knife in a way that suggested that she was free to leave. It was too convenient.
"How do I know you're not gonna just stab me in the back?" she found herself asking. She found it hard to believe that he would just let her go after the near constant pursuit over the last few days.
"I do not wish to fight," he calmly said, pulling his knife back slightly but still sending signs that he was ready to attack at any moment.
Ranma's eyes narrowed at the other person. "You're up to something."
"What do you want?" Ranma demanded irritably. She was just as tense as the one across from her. It looked like the situation could degenerate into a fight at any moment.
Suppressing her baser instincts, Ranma sat down. "I ain't movin' from this spot until you tell me what you're up to."
The two waited in silence for several minutes before the stalker finally responded. "I will accompany you. Do not question why, or I will be forced to kill you."
If possible, the redhead's eyes narrowed even further. "No thanks."
"You misunderstand, that was not a request." was the cool response.
"Yeah? Well, I don't need a traveling companion." she hotly shot back.
"I do not wish to accompany you either." he said this as easily as one remarking about the weather.
That lack of feeling in his voice was really starting to bother her. "Then why? Why have you been chasing me?" she demanded.
"That information is classified." he had replied without an ounce of emotion. "Refrain from asking again or else."
The two stood in silence for several long moments before Ranma stopped glaring at the man.
"Che, whatever." she spat before a cheery grin appeared on her face. The expression was obviously fake. She pointed in one direction. "Okay. Since you don't want to follow me, I'll go this way," she pointed in the other direction, "and you go that way. Alright?"
The other teenager stared emotionlessly at her.
Straining to hold the grin on her face, she turned around and started to walk off. After several steps, she concentrated a little, casting her awareness out behind her. The results were as she had expected. He was following her.
"Damn!" Ranma cried loudly as she dashed off.
- A month after their first visit, and still about a year from the present. -
Ranma looked up when he heard the closet door open. His eyes promptly bugged out when he saw a pair of people walk out.
"...Die!" he roared as he leapt from the tub and charged toward one of them. He felt a sadistic grin form on his face when Pig-boy turned to him with a look of shock on his ugly mug.
Right before he reached his target however, someone tackled him. There was two people that could have interfered at the moment, and one of them should be in the manager's office studying. That left the only other option.
"Shampoo! What are you doing?! He needs to die for what he's done!"
"Shampoo no let you," the purple haired girl growled from on top of him. He felt her apply pressure across his neck as she tried to pin him..
He struggled. "Get off!"
"You calm down-" Shampoo's breath hitched as Ranma bucked particularly hard and almost threw her off.
"Don't you get it! He has to die!"
Shampoo refused to give up. "Stop and listen!"
She was holding him back. He was so close and she was holding him back. "I didn't want to do this..." Ranma growled as he started to use his superior strength to push himself up. The next step was to throw off off the woman sitting on top of him. Step three was to remove pig-boy from this plane of existence.
He didn't expect that jab to his back that caused his arms to give out. When she struck another pressure point moments later and he lost all sensation in his arms and legs, he was rendered helpless. He could still talk though. "Damnit! Shampoo, whatever you just did, reverse it now. Or I'm gonna..."
"Shampoo no fix until Ra-Kushina listen!"
"Agh!" he cried as he struggled to move. But neither of his arms or legs were responding and Shampoo's weight made it difficult to worm toward Ryouga...not that he could do much in that situation.
Left with no other choice, he forced himself to relax. "Fine, I'm listening."
That was when Pig-boy stepped in front of him and crouched down.
Ranma promptly spit at him.
Ryouga slowly wiped the disgusting substance off of his cheek before he confronted his rival once again. "I'm..."
"What? I didn't hear you." Ranma spat out in a nasty tone of voice.
"Stop mumbling," Ranma mocked, getting a perverse pleasure from seeing his hated foe squirm.
"I'm sorry, okay? Okay?!"
Ranma's mouth dropped and he stared blankly ahead for several seconds. Before anyone could say anything however, a furious rage seemed to envelop the pigtailed boy. "Do you think that's going to make this better?!" Ranma hysterically demanded.
"I've been stuck in this hell for 10 years!"
"I've been involved in a major war...fought demons...I've killed. Don't you get it?! I've killed! I'm not the same person that you once knew!" Ranma was practically frothing at the mouth, but a lone tear trailed down his face.
"Is your sorry going to make me forget?!" he demanded.
That stopped him short. Ranma stared at the man...the man who had the gall to make worthless apologize. A minute passed before he finally glanced away, not able to stare at the other man any longer. Disgust, that's what he felt. "Che. Fine, whatever."
Silence descended upon the group for a moment before Ranma finally broke it. "Let me up Shampoo, I'm not going to kill him." he said in a tired voice.
The one sitting on top of him shifted. "Are you sure?"
"Yes." Ranma replied tonelessly.
He felt Shampoo strike a point on his neck and feeling soon returned to his limbs again. When Shampoo got off of him, Ranma waited a moment for the prickly feeling roaming around his body to his disappear.
When he felt his right leg move under his command again, he promptly got up and booted Ryouga into the wall. "I still think you should die." he coldly said as the part-time pig slowly slid down the wall before he turned to face Shampoo.
"Aiyah!" He saw her eyes widen to the size of dinner plates. "Ranma bigger than Shampoo remember." It was then that he realized that he was lacking something important. But before he could grab a towel, she had tackled him, taking the both of them down to the floor.
"Dammit Shampoo!" Ranma shouted before a rapid pattering of footsteps sounded from outside.
"I'm trying to study!" Naruto roared out as he shoved the door aside. He reared up and threw a pail of water.
Limbs tangled and unable to move, Ranma could only watch in horror as the cold water descended.
Ranma froze upon moving her limp red bangs from her eyes. She was mesmerized by the swaying lavender-tipped pink tail poking out from Shampoo's dress. Soon, the creature started to back out and she her apprehension started to grow. When it's head appeared, a small keening started to resound in her head as she finally matched what was in her sights to one of the deadliest creatures known to man.
"C-c-c-c-c-AIIEEEEEEE!" Ranma shrieked before she leapt up and...
...slammed facefirst into the wall.
Jumping back to her feet, she ran into it again before she started clawing at the wall in a frantic effort to put as much distance between her and the monster as possible. The plaster started to fall away in strips.
Naruto for his part was gaping at the scene. He had just seen someone other than his aunt change with cold water. Mechanically raising his hand, he pointed toward the Furo when the cat impatiently turned to him and gestured in ways that weren't possible for an ordinary cat.
After Shampoo had reverted to human form, changed, and grabbed Ryouga before he got lost; and Ranma had pulled on clothes...
...the three adults and 1 six-year-old met in the center of the living room.
"So who's the runt." Ryouga was the first to ask.
An outraged look appeared on Naruto's face. "Isn't it customary to introduce yourselves first," he demanded.
Ranma jumped in. "Oh uh, Naruto," she pointed at the purple-haired girl, "That's Shampoo."
Shampoo eyed Naruto strangely. The boy seemed to have Ranma on a leash. Having had a lot of experience with mind control in her younger days, she searched for the telltale signs. However, aside from Ranma's odd behavior however, she could find none.
Ranma noticed that Shampoo seemed a little distracted. The amazon normally had a cheerful welcome when confronted with a stranger. Deciding that it wasn't important, she pointed at the bandanna clad man, "and that's Pig-Bo-." she suddenly ducked and a large fist passed harmlessly overhead.
"The name's Ryouga." Ryouga coolly introduced himself, miffed that he had missed his target. "Now who're you." he demanded, glaring at Naruto.
She hated it when people looked at Naruto in that manner. Even if it wasn't the same, it was Pig-boy that was doing it. "I already told you, he's Naruto." Ranma's tone was dark and cold, but she forcibly restrained her more violent impulses because her son was in the room.
Ryouga was unafraid. In fact, he was a slight bit angry. "I want to know why you have a little kid in your home."
"I live here!" Naruto shouted up at the tall man.
A pair of eyes flickered to the blond kid for a brief instant before turning to Ranma, demanding an explanation. Their eyes promised pain if she gave the wrong answer.
"He's uhh...my son." Ranma meekly said to no one in particular.
One full second passed...
...and then Ranma let out a high-pitched squawk as a pair of enraged martial artists lunged at her.
Ryouga soon had the redhead suspended by the collar of her shirt. "We were searching heaven and hell for you, and you went and got married?!" He started to shake her angrily.
Shampoo's words were far less coherent, sounding more like grunts than anything else. She was too busy trying to get Ryouga out of the way so that she could choke the life out of the redhead with her own two hands.
"No...W-Wron" Ranma struggled to say as she started to feel dizzy from all the back and forth motion that her head was experiencing.
Ryouga paused. "What?"
"You've got it all wrong." She gasped out.
"Kaasan isn't married." Naruto had an odd look on his face as he said this.
Both pairs of eyes turned to the brat. "Kaasan is my aunt!"
Ranma let out a yelp as she was dropped unceremoniously to the floor.
Soon after, Naruto left for his room without giving a reason. Without Ranma's son to occupy their attention, an awkward atmosphere had descended upon the three adults.
It probably wasn't the best time to stand around, so Ranma sat on one of the couches. Shampoo immediately plopped herself right next to the redhead without asking. That left Ryouga to occupy the other couch.
If anything, the awkward atmosphere seemed to worsen as Ranma alternated between shooting Ryouga hateful glares and regarding Shampoo with dismay.
"You return with us, yes?" Shampoo finally cooed out as she hung heavily off of the redhead. "Everyone will be so happy to see you alive."
Ranma suddenly started to struggle. "Will you let go already, Shampoo?" She asked uncomfortably.
"Why you avoiding the question?" The purple-haired girl cutely asked.
"What?!" Ranma cried in outraged. "I ain't avoiding anything!"
"You-" Ryouga started to point out.
"You shut up," Ranma growled angrily, shutting up the eternally lost boy.
"Then why don't you want to return?" Shampoo asked before her eye flickered to a yellow-haired boy that had just entered the room. "Is it because of him?"
Ranma vehemently shook her head when she realized who Shampoo was pointing at. "...no! Of course not!"
A strange look passed over Naruto's face in that instant. It disappeared as quickly as it came and he continued on his way. Of the three, only Shampoo had noticed it. She mentally filed away this tidbit of information before returning her attention to Ranma once again.
"So you no can return yet." Shampoo contemplatively said before she eyed the redhead curiously, "Shampoo still not understand. It's easy, come with us and we go back. You already say that he," she looked at the boy that was standing before the front door, "not keep you here."
Ranma's eyes fell on Ryouga. "I ain't lettin pig-boy lead. He got me here last time, I don't trust him not to do it again."
"..." The room stayed quiet for a brief moment.
"Shampoo understand," the amazon finally said as she got off of Ranma, stood up, and stretched. There was a strange lilt in her voice as she said this, as if she did not fully believe the redhead's excuse. "Maybe trust pig-man more next time."
"Please don't call me that," Ryouga quietly said in a pained voice.
"I'll call you whatever I want." Ranma snapped before an awkward silence descended upon the three once again.
Before Ranma could ask how everyone was doing, Naruto chose that moment to interrupt.
"We have ninjas at the door." he called out while he stood next to the open doorway. A small group of black-clad figures stood before the doorframe.
Ranma jumped from the couch, a panicked look on her face. "Quick, get out of here...I'll..." her voice died when she noticed the team of ANBU assembled in the middle of the room.
"...hold them off. Aren't you guys supposed to wait until someone invites you in?" she demanded exasperatedly.
The Third appeared in the open doorway. "I'd like to see you in my office, Kushina." It was obvious that he wasn't happy.
"Can it wait until tomorrow?" Of course it couldn't, but it was worth a try.
Shampoo and Ryouga hadn't been imprisoned for long when a wall blew outwards, scattering large shards of rock everywhere throughout the prison courtyard..
While it's interesting how the purple-haired prisoner was escaping again in a manner similar to last time, the second even-larger explosion was far more phenomenal.
Standing outside of the gaping hole with a wide-eyed expression on her face, Shampoo soon realized that her travelling partner of many years still had his arms tied tightly to his body.
Her surprise quickly turned to excitement as understanding struck her. She bounced up and down happily. "Aiyah! Ryouga learn to use Bakusai Tenketsu with head. It great achievement for Amazons."
"Just untie me Shampoo!" Ryouga growled at her, the chains clanking loudly as he fidgeted a little.
Annoyed at his less-than-cheery behavior, Shampoo turned away. "No see why Pig-boy can't break out by self." she sniffed.
Ryouga winced...he would...
...if something pointy wasn't digging in a sensitive spot.
A nin entered the office.
"Sir, the recent detainees have somehow escaped again. All of those held in cell block E have escaped as well."
"Stay in the office." the Third said in a frustrated tone of voice as he left the office.
"Dammit pigboy," Ranma raged quietly before she started searching around the room for an unguarded escape route. No way was she going to stay in here for another three hours.