HikkomiHouou – Part 1 Avoiding phone calls. -Corrected-had some time related issues that needed to be fixed.

TheGreatest,Bah' he thought to himself. He looked down and the slip of paper in his hand, and the out on the waters of the ocean speeding past him below. 'TheGreatRanmaSaotome,Grandmasteroftheanythinggoesschoolofmartialarts,failureExtraordinaire…'. The smell of the salt and spray permeated his nose, as the ship he was on sailed back to Japan, from Australia . ding ding went the bell, as the ship swayed from side to side. Turning back to the gangway, he went back to his cramped cabin to await the rest of his voyage.

His married life had been fast, that part is true. The marriage took place under cover of darkness, to keep the previous mess from happening, again. The chaos did not end of course, and the pain spread across the district. So much so that it was decided that for the time being, they would move, to try and be together alone. Steps were taken to ensure that everyone left them alone. And for a time, it worked. But not long. See it was Still Ranma, still the happy, flamboyant, and egotistical martial artist he is. Moving from Japan did nothing to change that. Sydney did nothing to change that. New martial arts techniques, new folks met, new master beaten, new flights on Akane-air, nothing changed but the scenery. The fights got worse and worse though they were becoming more and more one sided. Being married, she stopped pulling punches, and got things vicious. Nothing left to restrain them anymore you see. He started closing off more in response, to her anger, taking trips into the outback, to get away, coming back only to be assaulted again. It continued until he came home early and walked in on her, and a man, one whom he later found to be her divorce lawyer.

He looked down at the paperwork, finished in his hands. He was cold inside. All tapped out. He had not informed anyone he was returning to japan. Of course right then, his mother could ask him to committee seppuku, and he would not bat an eye. It takes desire for life to change these things. He had nothing left. 18 years old, and as far as he or the world was concerned, dead already.

High above his head, the Misery star twinkled, down on Ranma. As it had his whole life. If he knew this, he would not be surprised. It might even bring him some small comfort, as he would at least know why his life had become such a hell. And higher above that, a woman sat very still in front of a phone, waiting. The universe itself connected everything to that one phone, to make sure that heaven could act, when it chose too. Kami-sama himself had moved the file over, and placed him in the debt of heaven, but, Ranma decided to travel home by a phone less boat, rather than by plane like a normal person would have done.

"Home, whatever that is". The waves on his ship tossed slowly. As he steamed back to Japan. Oddly, in the hold, an unattached phone kept ringing, though Ranma never heard its ring. The sailors on the boat begin to think that their cargo is haunted, until one brave one throws the box with the phone over board.

Through it all, Ranma never notices the phone, nor would he have picked it up if he had.

Of all the types of stars in the universe, the Stars of Misery were the ones you least wanted to follow you. Morisato Keiichi had had one following him for years, until the timely intervention of a goddess, Belldandy, who protected him from the stars light. One would assume, that in the vast universe Kami-sama would only let one such star into being but, one be wrong. There are many, and each star has its own favorite beings to watch. Most but not all of these being mortal, but a few gods have been known to attract the attention of one of these stars. As each star moves through the universe, watching their chosen, sometimes they see a better person to watch. This occasionally leads to more than one star, following the poor sod around. In Ranma's case no less than 6 stars followed him, each bringing additional misery to his life. In all of the history of the universe, no one else has ever had to bear so much misery, for so long. Genma, Akane, Ryoga, Happosai, Ukyou all owe Ranma a debt of thanks for his assuming the burden of their misery. His life has proven this. In Each case, his presence lessened their misery, while increasing his own.

It was the light given by these stars that caused the chaos of his life. The lights all shown as one, the day he fought, and killed Saffron. In fact it was their lights joined that let Akane live, for nothing would cause him more misery, than her existence. The heavens noticed too, the strange conjunction of lights, and for all Loki wished it to stay hidden, Ranma's name became known to the heavens. Enough so that through general consent, his name was placed in the system, to be given a reprieve from his misery. But he would have to be willing to accept heavens help, once offered, and that may be the real problem.

Walking through the streets of Oura, he dwells in his own thoughts. All around him, Green and yellow phones seems to come to life, but go silent as soon as anyone goes to pick them up. He cannot notice, but more than one person see's the phones who are not supposed to ruing, seemly following him. One brave soul even tries to stop him, and tell him. Ranma ignores them, merely telling them to answer the phone if its ringing and leave him alone.

This scene of phones ringing at him, continues unabated from town to town as he makes his way towards Tokyo. The rainy season makes her travels harder, but she is barley able to notice that. She is going until she finds a place to stop, but her mind has nothing to direct her. She just travels on instinct.

Eventually, she walks up to a shrine, and rests there. No phones, as far as he can tell, just an old man, who is the priest, and the small but ornate shrine. She sits, here and waits under one of the tree's, having no will to move on.

'what was so wrong with me, why doesn't this get any better…' Ranma-onna thought to herself. 'its just one long unending pain, worse than anything Ryoga ever did to me. What was so wrong with me Akane…'. Suddenly as he thought that name her mind grew colder again, as she subconsciously kept pushing those memories, her memories from his mind.

For two days she stays here, sitting in the courtyard, and the old man watches. On the third morning, the old man comes up to her.

"if your going to stay, you must work" he says handing her a broom. The old man looks at her, expecting something

"…." She begins to sweep, in the rain. In a moment the priest returns with another broom, and they sweep together in the sounds of the gentle rain. Three days she has been here, and only after sweeping in this rain, with the strange old priest that she looks up and see's the name of the shrine she is at, one of the Hikawa shrines.

Inside of the buildings a phone rings. And the black-haired granddaughter of the priest picks up the phone

"Yes?…. No, there is no Ranma here, you have the wrong number."

At the phone still, Skuld sat dumbfounded. She was stuck on this assignment, till she could complete it. It was not unknown for assignments to take along time to finish, I mean look at Belldandy's assignment, But take a long time to START? It had been a long time since a Direct visitation was called for, and she was about ready to just take matters into her own hands, when on the screen near her, came a summons to Peorth's office.

She knocked on Peorth's office door. The door slide open, with Peorth sitting and screen's dancing around her face, she waves them away a moment. "Skuld, your Assignment has been escalated. You are so ordered to try a direct intervention." Peorth did not look happy about this. She had not had to send someone directly, to present a wish in some time, and she didn't like sending Skuld, with her history with the male gender, into this situation with Ranma Saotome of all folks. Her file from when he was a Saotome was immense, and Skuld had every possibility of screwing this one up. But Belldandy was still on assignment, and she shuddered to think what Urd's solution to Ranma's problems would be. "Skuld, it's Very important you treat this case with sensitivity. He has been abused by females badly, and never learned how to properly communicate with anyone. I know how you feel about Perverts, but just take time to read his file, and understand your charge before judging him. And DO NOT HIT HIM!"

"Of course I will be, I always do my best" she said happily. She was glad to be getting to DO something rather than wait in front the phone. She was also a little hurt that Peorth would think that anything would ever cause her to hit a charge. Skuld would never even Consider that….

The old man shuffles her inside, and tells his granddaughter that they would be helping the young woman who had sat outside the past few days. His granddaughter was a little incensed that her perverted grandfather was in her mind "Taking advantage" of this girl, and swore to do something about it. But he told her to wait, that anyone who looked as empty as she did, needed space and time, before being pushed too much. The priest then lead Ranma-onna from the main hall, and showed her to a guest room.

"My granddaughter will show you to the bath, She thinks I am too perverted to allow me to take you there.

Ranma just looks at him, not saying a word. Something in her eyes however bothers the old man, and he seeks refuge in the main temple. His own foresight he would use to try and dissect some of her secrets.

Ranma still sat, staring at a mirror in the room. She had been here for awhile, moping. She was not trying to be narcissistic, she was trying to see what it was, like what part of her that was so offensive. What part that she needed to remove. He said a girl would show her to the bath. That nagging thought about a bath kept popping into her head. "something is bad in this thought Something I haven't said yet." Still too wrapped up in her thoughts about Akane, to remember the obvious, and perhaps some part of her mind WANTING the pain that was sure to follow, she got up and walked to the door. Ranma could sense the presence of the girl, who came to take him to the baths. The girl greeted her, but she did not say anything in return, still wrapped in that black cloud. Anger is rapidly replaced by concern, as the granddaughter realizes now just what her grandfather meant. "she needs some serious healing…" the granddaughter thinks to herself. She can sense the waves of blackness coming off of Ranma in a wave, and starts to feel pity for her. The granddaughter silently leads Ranma to the baths, and leaves her to go in alone. Ranma stops a moment and turns to her, realizing that the one thing he must do is explain first.

"Wait", She says to the granddaughter.

"Yes, is there something you need?" reply's the raven-haired girl. Ranma still had not completely focused on her, but has learned over the years that he must be upfront on this.

"I have to tell you that I am cursed. I change sex's in water. I understand your trying to be kind, but, I don't want to bother you any more than I already have." She looks at the ground" I can just leave now, and not bother you anymore."

The granddaughter is dumbfounded. Its not like she has an option to NOT believe in curses, or magic. She has seen strange enough things from her friends, and in the temple. What she did know is that this girl who was trying to leave needed help. She also knew that something had happened to her, and that letting her leave would kill any normal person. She had no idea just how "un-normal" Ranma was. She looked at Ranma and said "Tell me that your not a demon, or youma, and I will let you take that bath anyway."

"I am not a youma, or demon, I am just a cursed man, cursed in every way imaginable"

"Well, then a bath at a shrine will do you good. Maybe it can cure you" she said brightly, pushing Ranma into the bath again. Ranma just blinked and for a moment saw this girl who was trying very hard to be nice to her. "thank you.. uhmm, I don't know your name

She sighed, since she HAD introduced herself just a few minutes before. 'Wow he IS out of it' she thought.

"My name is Rei", She told him.

"ohh sorry, My name is Ranma" Rei's mind clicked to the weird person who kept calling for a 'Ranma' "Hey Ranma does anyone else know you're here?"…

Ranma shook her head and finally turned back to the bath door..

Ranma entered the bath and she stripped and just lowered herself into the bath. The bath felt warm, and comforting, his change came without notice, he steeped in the warm bath, and let the silence of the bath, mirror his soul. No thoughts entered his mind, just silence. He almost drifts off to sleep, when he notices the water growing brighter, glowing, more and more brilliant, until he could see the face of long black hair, surrounding a very cute face, with odd tattoos, pushing itself up through the water, attached to a girl, who while she is leaving her pool, realizes that she shares it with a Very nude man. Shock, embarrassment and then Rage pass over her face as she jumps out of the water with a cry of "HENTAI!" and turns away from him blushing. Out of nowhere her BugZapper 2000 appears, but before she can turn to strike him she hears

"uhmm Sorry about this, but I was taking a bath. Do you mind?"

She blanches as she realizes what she has done….

And high above them one star above him, the one he inherited from Akane, loses touch with Ranma, and looks for a new target….

End chapter one