Chaos Lord Productions Brings You.
Stars in the Sky
Written by Chaos Lord
Disclaimer: All entities and devices in this story belong to their respective owners.
WARNING: Extreme OOC ahead. If slavish adherence to the originals are your bag, read no further.
Prologue – Death, Family, Love, and New Beginnings
Nodoka Saotome stared at her only son as if he were some horrid monster. "You want me to what," she gasped. Silently, she hoped that what she had just heard her darling Ranma say was some sort of temporary hallucination.
The young man sighed wearily, he had long resigned himself to this fate. Now all he needed to do is convince his mother that this was the right course of action. Given her intense love of honor, it shouldn't be difficult, even for a man of his limited intellect. "I want ya to help me die." His words and tone were those of a man who had seen the end of the tunnel and knew that the only way to save others was to throw himself in front of the oncoming train.
"But why," asked the Saotome matriarch pleadingly. "Gods! Why must you take him away from me again," she mentally wailed. After ten long years she had finally been reunited with her missing son. Now, that same child wished to have his spark of life snuffed out.
Ranma barked a tired laugh, "Why? Why?! Haven't ya been payin' attention to anything happin' to me?!"
Nodoka looked at her son with astonishment. Never had her offspring spoken to her in such a manner before. Ranma had always been a dutiful son, especially so when he had been Ranko. The pain, resentment, and resignation in his voice proved enough to cut through the haze of honor she perpetually lived in. How much did she really know about her son, other than what little she saw of him and the stories Genma had told her? Everything she knew pointed nowhere near to what she was seeing and hearing right now. To her knowledge, Ranma had always been happy with his life, but how could she continue thinking that in the face of such pain? "I suppose I have been lax in my duties as your mother. But I am here now. Can you tell me your story before I make a decision?"
For a moment, Ranma appeared hopeful. No one really stopped and admitted a problem on their part. Asking for his side of the story, and actually seeming like they were going to listen, was an equal rarity. But the moment of hope faded as he remembered that he existed an untenable position. So, with a tired sigh, Ranma Saotome told the truth. He told his mother of how he cried when he first left her. How his tears only flowed that much harder when he had been forced by Genma to hide them under the guise of sleep. Though the tears of loss faded with the passage of time, a new woe fell upon him. The Neko Ken had torn his mind apart, and Nodoka was sparred no horror. For the first time someone else knew how terribly scared he was as fear slowly robbed him of his self. She knew that, to this day, there were nights where he awoke to the sound of his own fear filled screams echoing in his ears.
When Ranma got to Jusenkyo things really started to pick up. He spoke of the water, and how utterly cold it was. Despite the numbing effects of the frigid pool, he could feel every inch of his body changing. "And when I reached da air! Gods, I was so scared mama. When I looked down," he shuddered at the memory. "I'm ah guy, with everything that goes with that. But in that spring, I was a girl; and it scared the hell out of me. Part of me didn't think what I was seeing was real. Unfortunately, what I felt was sooo good. I know you live with them every day mama, imagine just getting a full set of breasts though. I didn't want to like it, but I did and it freaked me out. What was worse was that I could feel that my thing was missing. I can't really explain it to ya, but I knew that it was gone. It hurt, a lot. For all my life, being a man was the most important thing. Women were weak and needed ta be protected. Now I was one, and I was liking it. I was angry, sad, and scared all at the same time. I even wanted ta kill myself before I went too girly. It was only the guide telln' me about hot water that stopped me."
Ranma went on to detail his journey from Jusenkyo to Nerima. But while there were insights, trials, and tribulations along the way, the real misfortune came once he arrived at the Tendos. Nodoka heard how even upon first introduction her son had faced negativity. Even though he fell for Akane's smile, it hurt when the curse was revealed and all he got was looks of revulsion and declarations of perversion. It didn't stop there. Nabiki sold pictures of his female form to anything with a penis and 500¥. Kuno and the others at school lusted after him. She heard of the new nightmares that tormented her child; terrible dreams where men violated his female body. And as if the dreams and unwanted advances were not enough, the curse itself presented a constant source of stress. As time passed, the girl half of him had pressed itself on his thoughts more and more. A need that had started the first instant he held his breasts only grew as time passed. With cries of perversion to the right, the amorous thoughts of classmates to the left, and his own desire within him, Ranma broke down and submitted to her carnal needs.
Despite how absolute the pleasure was when Ranma reached that climax, the act only served to terrify him. It was if, bit by bit, his girl side was taking over. In his fearful state, Ranma took any challenge, no matter how inane. He allowed the girls to fawn over him whenever they were about. And, if a possible cure came to light, then there was nothing, not even his own honor, which would get in his way to obtain permanent manhood. In the end, that was the root of all his problems, he wasn't enough of a man; and he never would be. So, to bring an end to the pain and sorrow, he had to die.
Nodoka looked at her offspring with sad and aged eyes. She had known that the journey was not the epitome of pleasantness, but Genma's letters and stories had made her believe that it was mostly okay. Now though, she saw how terribly wrong her husband had been. But still, she could not let her son die without a fight. "My dearest child, is there nothing, no light, no love, no small spark of goodness in this world to keep you here? What of Akane, do you not care for her? And what of me? We have just found one another. I do not wish to loose you again."
"Akane," replied Ranma sullenly. "I cared for her. But, I can't. Not anymore. Ya don't see it mama, but I do. Every time I look in her eyes I see her disgust with me. She may like me, but I don't think that's enough. As for anything else," he asked, "there's nothin' I can think of. Everything is too wrapped up in other things."
Ranma sighed and looked away, his mother's last question hurting too badly to answer to her face. "You don't haveta' lie to me mama. I know ya hate me. I'm a freak. You deserve to have ah son, or ah daughter. I'm not either of those things."
Her son's words were like a knife to her heart. She loved her son, with all her heart. What real mother would not? But, from how Ranma spoke he did not see that. All he saw was a woman who hated him and was disgusted with a core component of his being. What made things even worse was the knowledge that, no matter how hard she tried, she would not be able to convince him otherwise.
As her hopeless reached its zenith, a solution suddenly encroached upon Nodoka's thoughts. Her long-held animosity towards the end result of this new line almost made her reject it. Only the near certainty of her son's death pushed past Nodoka's reluctance and spurred her to action. "My son, your words are greatly disturbing. I require some time to consider how I shall proceed. Until then, I request that you wait. Do not try to kill yourself until I say so. Do I make myself clear?" Though she hated doing it, Nodoka purposely kept her tone coldly controlled.
Ranma didn't want to live a second longer. She was getting closer with every moment that passed. He needed to die as a man while there was still enough manhood within worth mentioning. But his mother had given him an order. And while he may have proved to be a disappointment to this point, he would not fail in this most recent task. "Okay, I'll wait." It may cost him his soul, but at least he wouldn't see that look in her eyes.
And for his trouble's, all Ranma received was a small nod of his mother's head before she left the room; and him. From his senses, he knew that his elder stopped at the far end of the hall. What she could be doing there, he did not know. For the next hour, he remained seated at the Saotome dining table as Nodoka did whatever it was she was doing. On several occasions, he heard muffled screaming coming from where his mother was. Nothing about them sounded like she was under attack, so he remained in place and allowed her however much time she needed.
After an hour Nodoka returned to her son. She looked harried but resolute. A brief smile graced her features as she saw that her son had moved nary a muscle since she had last left him. "He is trying so hard to prove himself to me," she thought with somewhat mixed feelings. Ranma began to stand as she entered but Nodoka shook her head. "Please remain seated my son." Instantly, he sat back down and looked at her expectantly.
Joining her son at the table, the elder sighed. "Ranma, I have made my decision." Her child's almost happy expression chilled her soul. "But before I tell you, I have a story. It begins in the years just after our war with America."
Ranma shivered unconsciously. He had heard about the devastation the war had wrought across the entirety of the Pacific. While he likened himself to a warrior, such destruction was simply chilling.
"The Americans sent envoys to our country to oversee us and ensure a similar conflict would never occur again. The aid to one of those men was a young, fiery-haired, college graduate by the name of Joseph Alexander." From the way she spoke of the man, Nodoka obviously had some first-hand knowledge in regards to him "For the first few months Joseph remained aloof to the locals as he performed his duties to his superiors. One day, one of our government officials held a meeting with his envoy. In attendance was the official's daughter, Yori. The instant their eyes met, the two felt a spark. Of course," she said with a wistful smile, "with relations between the Americans and ourselves being what they were, Joseph and Yori were reluctant to act.
Had they been left to their own devices then nothing would have come of that spark. Luckily, outside forces conspired against them. Not knowing that the object of their desires were on the other side, both Joseph's and Yori's friends convinced the pair to confront the one they had fallen for. What followed was a whirlwind romance right out of some feudal tale. The pair often met in secret and soon what began with a spark became the fires of true love.
Initially, no one suspected a thing about them," explained Nodoka to her enraptured son. "What meetings between the new couple were written off as diplomatic exercises. But, when Joseph proposed Yuri insisted upon asking her father's permission." Seeing Ranma wince, she nodded, "Yes, you can only imagine his fury when his daughter asked to be wed to a gaijin, that it was an American only made things worse. He forbid Yuri from ever seeing her beau again, to say nothing of marriage. Stubbornness ran deeply in her family though, and in that way Yuri proved herself a member of her clan. Over her father's objections, she married her love and in the process sacrificed her family forever.
As time passed, Joseph and Yuri had four wonderful children, three boys and a girl. Into each they tried to distill a mix of our honor and American freedom. Most of the children were able to firmly latch onto both principles, unfortunately, the Alexander girl was not as capable a student as her brothers." As she recited this bit of her story, Nodoka's voice took on a rather bitter tone, almost like she was speaking of herself. "She became enamored with her mother's tales of brave samurai warriors. The heroism of a bygone age shaped her vision of the world around her. Honor became the center of all her thoughts and she yearned for a life like her heroes of old. So, it was only natural that, when she met a wondering martial artist, she fell hopelessly in love.
When she told her parents, the unthinkable occurred; they forbade her to see him! They, who had taught her of honor and had been shunned by their own elders, sought to do the same to her," by the way she spoke, it was clear that the situation angered Nodoka as well. "And so, in a move that showed her lineage all too well, the young woman sought out her estranged grandparents. Yuri's father was more than happy to accept his wayward descendant. Though it was clear that he did not exactly approve of her choice in suitors, it would upset her parents and that was more than enough for him."
For the longest time, Ranma hadn't a clue as to why he was being told this story. Eventually though, the reason pieced even his unusually thick skull.
As the look of recognition spread across her son's face, Nodoka nodded. "Yes, this story is about me."
"My grandfather was an American?"
"Not was, my son. Daddy is still alive. Besides," she added with a smile, "how did you think we have red hair and blue eyes? They are not exactly the most Japanese of traits."
"I guess you're right," replied Ranma in embarrassment. He hadn't really thought that through much. With all the weirdness in his life, the peculiarities of genetics tended to be forgotten.
"But why didn't you ever tell me about him till' now?"
"Ranma, what my parents did hurt me greatly. It is only recently that I have begun to see Genma as they did. The reason I am telling you about them now is that I just got off the phone with them."
"Was that who you were talkin' to?
"It was. After much discussion, I was able to get them to agree to my proposal."
"Which was," asked Ranma warily. In his experience, it was never a good thing when adults talked to each other.
Nodoka took a steeling breath before making her announcement. "As of this moment, you are no longer a member of the Saotome clan. If, by the end of one year, you have proved yourself worthy, you will be allowed reentry into the clan."
To Ranma it was as if a knife had suddenly been plunged into his chest. Loosing his manhood was a hard blow, but this? It was the loss of everything he had left. He couldn't even end his life with the most meager measure of honor. "B, but why?"
Normally, Nodoka was a woman who deeply believed in, and adhered to, the Japanese ways of handling interpersonal relationships. But this was an unusual situation, and she felt decorum could mind its business while she dealt with her distraught son. With a quick motion, she was around the table and had her child in her arms. "It is necessary to help you my son." The way Ranma looked at her it was plain that he didn't find her actions all that helpful. "Not being a Saotome releases you from many of the promises made in your name, including the manliness pledge. And do not concern yourself with being a ronin, my parents have agreed to accept you into their family."
"But why not let me die? Wouldn't it be easier for ya?"
"Easier yes," replied Nodoka with a smile. "But if you had learned anything from my little story, our family does not go for the easy path. Besides," she added a with some seriousness, "I do not think what is going on is as bad as you fear."
"How can you say that," screeched Ranma. "You don't have'ta live with it, but I do! Do you know what happened yesterday? DO YOU?! I saw a pair of pants in a window and I actually wondered how my ass would look in them. It was a girl's store mama! I'm becoming a girl!"
"But what if you are not? What if you are just getting used to the curse? They say that when someone gets a pair of glasses for the first time, they feel it at every moment. As time passes though, they become part of a person until the wearer can not remember what it was like not to have them. Perhaps the same is true for you. Being interested in how clothes look on you, and how your body feels, is only natural. Maybe your curse is trying to show you that there is more to life." By the end, it was all she could do to get the words out; and even then it was between sobs. She was in a battle to save her son's life. And though she hadn't been there in over a decade, here, now, Nodoka would fight to her dieing breath to save him.
In all the time he had known her, Ranma had never seen his mother in such a state. If he didn't know better, he would almost say that she was genuinely concerned with his well-being. There was one thing though, her words. Even in his life, when so many words and emotions were used against him there was something about what his mother said, and the way she said it, that held for him a ring of truth. "Could she really be right," he asked himself slowly. "What if I am just getting used to the curse?" Still though, even if what she said was true, there were many questions that remained. "Won't you be disappointed with having a half of a son?"
Nodoka pulled her son to her so tightly it felt as if her arms would pull themselves from her. "Ranma, I am not disappointed in you now. And you are not half of anything, you are my son. You just happen to be my daughter as well. For the longest time the only difference between the two was your body, and maybe that is changing. And when you return, if my daughter is a total tomboy or if she is a dignified woman, I will not be disappointed in you then either. In fact, the only way you could disappoint me now would me if you gave up." Looking her son in the eye she added, "Can you promise me that you will try to explore this new side of yourself to its fullest potential?"
Ranma knew he had the hardest time gauging people out of combat, it was why Nabiki was able to walk all over him. But for some reason he KNEW that his mother meant every word that she had said. Still though, what she asked of him was hard. It was harder than anything he had ever done. Suddenly, Nabiki's voice popped into his head, "What's this? Is mister macho, kick-ass, I can do anything, Ranma Saotome sacred of a little challenge? Maybe I should be placing bets on how long it takes you to be like Daddy." Ranma shivered at the mental image of himself crying like Soun did on such a regular basis. Even in his most feminine state of mind, he was far too manly to do something like this. But while the mental image scared him, the thought behind it inflamed him. He was Ranma Saotome! He didn't loose to nothing! Even if the guy he had to beat was himself dammit. "I promise mama. I won't disappoint ya."
"I know you will not," replied Nodoka tearfully, but with a smile. "Now my son," she continued as she withdrew a sheet of paper from the folds of her kimono, "here is the address for your grandparents. Its best that you be off sooner rather than later."
"Will you ever come and visit?"
"Of course I will, my son. Though I will probably wait a while. I do not want to tip off your suitors." She paused for a moment before smiling, that old familiar gleam appearing in her eyes once more. "At least that will give you some time to find a nice young lady to give me some grandbabies."
As was proper with such statements, Ranma rolled his eyes. "Mooooom."
"Ha ha. Do not worry my son, I know you will have fun."
Taking that as his queue to leave. Ranma got up and hugged his mother. "Bye mama. I'll miss ya."
Nodoka tightened her hug greatly. "I will too son."
Several hours after leaving his Mother's home, Ranma finally climbed into the home he shared with his father at the Tendo's. This place had been the first real home he had known. Though the time here had been filled with its fair share of triumphs and tragedies, a part of Ranma felt reluctant to leave. A look at one of the many patch jobs in the room though quickly quelled any thoughts of staying. He needed to leave, despite all the pleasant memories associated with it, his time here had brought him to the hair's edge of suicide. "I just hope this place Mom picked out is better."
With the silence of the creature that he feared, Ranma sneaked through the room and gathered what few possessions he had scattered on shelves and such. Had anyone from school seen the inside of his room they would have shuddered at the sheer lack of things which Ranma called his own. They, who slept comfortably surrounded by posters of whomever had caught their fancy and a seemingly endless array of distractions, did not know the true meaning of essentials.
For Ranma, that was all he wanted or could afford; one never knew when some villain may break in and start wrecking the place. So, his traveling pack ended up being filled with the few changes of clothes that belonged to him. These were supplemented by a small collection of photos. Some were of the Tendos while others were of the various other people in his life. Few knew it, but Ranma had learned something from Nabiki and that was to love photography. He didn't get many opportunities to practice, but when he did his pictures allowed him to capture things that his meager drawing skills couldn't come close to. A few scrolls of various esoteric martial arts and his camping equipment joined it all before Ranma sealed the bag for travel.
Taking one last look around him, Ranma spotted Kasumi standing in the doorway. Her eyes seemed sad as they reflected the pale moonlight which flowed in through the open window. Even her smile, an ever present feature of his time with the Tendos, seemed strained and weakened. Almost independent of his thoughts, Ranma's body moved towards the melancholy young woman.
With nary a sound, the pair traveled down the hall and descended the stairs. The silence may have comforted another, but for Ranma it weighed down on him like the core of a neutron star. So oppressive was it that, when Kasumi finally spoke, he jumped like he had been shot.
"So, you are leaving," it wasn't a question, simply a statement of fact.
"I have to," he replied sadly.
"I know. Ranma I am . . ." That was as far as Kasumi got before he wrapped his arms around her in a clumsy attempt at a hug.
"Don't. Ya don't need to be sayin' you're sorry for nothin'. You're the best friend and sister a guy like me coulda asked for."
A bitter laugh worked its way free from the tight core she normally packed such things into. "A sister? Oh gods, I really messed up that first day."
"Wha," he asked dumbly.
Not trusting herself to say the right words, Kasumi took hold of either side of Ranma's flustered face. Before he could pull away, or she could chicken out, Kasumi brought his face to her own. Knowing that this would be her only chance to express what she had long suppressed, the eldest Tendo sister poured into this one act every ounce of love and lust she held for the man pressed against her. For a moment, as Ranma stiffened in her grasp, she feared that her secret love would flee from her arms. To her boundless joy, not only did he stay, but he began to reciprocate. As his hands moved across her body, caressing her through the thin satin of her nightgown with a deftness she had only felt in her most fevered of passions, she began to ache for him with an intensity greater than ever before. But, even as heat and desire assailed her senses, the one thing which she felt with crystal clarity were the warm tears cascading down her cheeks.
Finally, the combination of raging hormones and a need for air caused Ranma to reluctantly break the kiss he shared with Kasumi. As he slowly pulled his head away from hers, their eyes met and he became entrapped by those glistening orbs. In their depths, he saw the possibilities of a lifetime never lived. The first meeting, when a wet, young, red-headed, girl was introduced to three anxious females. Revealing the curse to people who had no concept of magic's existence. One of the girls, Kasumi, taking up the engagement to the surprise of all. He saw two people who had lived very different and lonely lives finding solace in each other. Slowly, as time passed and chaos swirled around the pair, a love grew. There was the night when he finally proposed and enforced the deal their fathers had imposed upon them. A moonlit proposal flowed into a morning wedding. She looked so beautiful, the sun just cresting the horizon behind her gave her a divine radiance. Time went pass and soon children joined their family. A boy and girl, both equally loved by the most loving of parents. He saw it all as clearly as if he lived it, for he had. In an instant Ranma had shared something with her that he would never be able to adequately put into words.
There are moments in life that are so profound they can change the way we see the world around us. For Ranma, one such moment was upon him. Ten minutes ago, he knew, without equivocation, that Kasumi was nothing more or less than a treasured sister. During all his time in this place, she had been the only one to offer comfort unclouded by an ulterior motive. Around her, he felt calm and safe in a way he could never imagine. But now, new light was thrown upon old memories. Her acts of kindness suddenly took on a newer and deeper meaning. Gone was the loving big sister, and in her place was a vibrant young woman, full of life and hopes but mired in the desires of others. The tender touches she had given him over these last few months were seen for what they truly were, the desperate cries of a woman who wanted so much yet received so little. This new insight into the woman in his arms forced Ranma to kick himself for his own damn shortsightedness.
"Gods! I can't leave her." In his minds eye, Ranma saw the spark slowly dieing within her. She would endure as the common housewife life had imposed on her. But she wouldn't be happy. It was a selfish thought, and he knew it. He had to save her from that fate. Otherwise, his own life would have no further meaning. "How quickly can you be packed?"
Just as Rama had seen a life in her eyes, so had Kasumi in his. What she saw only confirmed all the secret hopes she had held. In turn, every sight she beheld turned the icy dagger in her soul a bit more. She desperately held onto each scene that flashed by. And as the children faded away she just wanted to curl up and die. The only reason she remained standing was that she still had Ranma's strong arms wrapped around her. Looking into his handsome face, she could see that he was thinking hard about something. "He's probably wondering how he can let the old maid down gently," she thought sadly. Despite her ample physical and spiritual beauty, Kasumi had severe self esteem issues. Over the years it had only built until she came to the conclusion that she was unworthy of anyone's affection.
Those doubts took a massive blow when Ranma asked her about packing. With those few words, he rekindled her hopes like a phoenix rising from the ashes of its own demise. "Really? You want me to come?!"
"Well, yeah. I mean, if ya can stand to be with a sex changing pervert."
Once again, Kasumi felt the warm flow of tears on her cheeks. This time though, they were a symbol of the boundless joy which threatened to explode out of her. For the first time in memory Kasumi made a wholly selfish decision. Jumping up in his arms, she wrapped her body around his own. Between kisses, she managed to gasp out, "Of course I'll go."
The outpouring of emotion was not just one way, for the first time ever, Ranma returned the advances of an attractive woman with equal fervor. Normally, such actions would have had him running for the hills, but after the vision he had just witnessed, there was no way he would deny Kasumi anything she desired. That it was also one of the best experiences in his life made the acquisition of her happiness all the sweeter. Just as his hormones were a hair's breadth away from running totally amok, she pulled away from him with a mischievous little smile.
"Come on," she said happily, "let's go get me packed." She giggled softly at the stupefied expression on her love's face before rushing upstairs like a teenager rushing to get ready for a date.
Ranma stood in shocked silence for a moment as Kasumi ran away with a carefree air he had never seen her possess. He couldn't help but smile at her antics. "She looks so happy," he thought as he chased his newfound girlfriend up the stairs. So caught up was he in her happiness, Ranma never realized that he was in a similar state of mind; the depression of hours earlier but a distant memory. As he turned the corner into her room, his chase was brought up short by her absence. "Where did she go?" As soon as he thought that, Kasumi betrayed her location with the muffled sounds of giggling emanating from behind the door. Grabbing hold of the partition, he quickly pulled it back revealing a smiling your woman.
"You found me."
He took a step towards her. "Do I get a reward?"
From his grin, it was clear that he was hoping for another one of her smoldering kisses. But Kasumi had other things in mind, and this first step she hid behind her back. "Yes you do," she said shyly. As he leaned in to receive the kiss he was sure awaited him, Kasumi pulled out a glass of water and threw it into his face.
In an instant, the water performed its job and Ranma was reduced to soft flesh and bountiful curves. "Wha?"
In answer to his question, Kasumi drew him in close and kissed him deeply. When they first kissed, she gladly allowed him to make all the moves. Now though, she was the aggressor, and she made sure Ranma knew it. Pulling him against her, Kasumi ran her hands across his feminine form in a reasonable facsimile of what he had done to her downstairs. From the way he went limp in her arms, she was pretty sure that he was responding more than favorably to her ministrations. Once she was sure that the red-headed beauty in her arms was suitably worked up, Kasumi broke the kiss. Ranma still had his eyes closed, but soon they opened and she saw that he had some questions in regards to her actions. "I wanted to show you that, when I fell for you, I fell in love with all of you. And that includes your female side."
"Y you like me like this," he asked with a touch of awe.
Kasumi shook her head, "No, I love you like this." The light blush she had held ever since that first moment she made the decision to kiss him, erupted into a full red face. "And when we get settled, I'll show you how much I love you. No matter the form."
Upon realizing the implications of her words, he could not help but swallow with anticipation. "Is that a promise."
"With all my heart."
He looked away in an effort to hide the tears which threatened to break loose from him. "Well, I guess we should get started."
Instead of confronting Ranma on his emotional display, Kasumi simply graced him with a quick hug before moving into the room. As much as the kitchen was her domain, so too was her bedroom. In the darkness she moved about her task with a speed and precision few could hope to match. Before too long, a small pile of clothes and precious items had accumulated on her bed. Though she had more, she only packed what she deemed essential to either her physical or spiritual well being. With her choices made, Kasumi went over to her modest closet and withdrew a box which lay at the back of the space. The box had but one purpose, and that was to keep safe her mother's traveling pack.
It was one of the few items of her's that Kasumi had kept to herself, and today she was grateful for that rare act of selfishness. "Mother, please forgive me for this." A part of her feared disappointing the long deceased Tendo matriarch, but that was side-lined by Kasumi's realization that this was probably her only opportunity to escape the malaise of her life.
Prayer said, she began to methodically pack the bag. Those things she would need with more frequency sat at the top, while less vital items rested safely below. In less than ten minutes, she had managed to condense a lifetime's worth of treasures into one manageable container. That realization left her torn. On one hand, it her hurt to know that she had left so little an impression on the place she had spent so many nights in. On the other, it was a further sign that she needed to leave and find a place where she could truly make her mark. And though the first saddened her, the second buoyed her spirits and helped push her along the path she had started down when she first kissed Ranma.
As she went about her work, the constant gaze of Ranma did not allow doubt to gain a foothold in her soul. He was her rock, and that made her feel better than he would ever know. But, what she had to do now didn't really warrant his staring, at least not yet. "Um Ranma?"
Said young man had been in a daze the whole time Kasumi was packing. "She actually kissed me, as a girl! " Several times, he would glance down at his round breasts. "Man, I can still feel her hand there." Of all the women who laid claim on him over the last year, she was the first to be so incredibly forward with his female body. Not only did that piece of knowledge surprise him, it surprised him how good it felt to know someone loved him like that. It made him want to be there all the harder. She accepted him, without any conditions. For that, he would do anything for her. Such was his desire to support her that he was unconsciously projecting a stream of confidence leaden chi towards her. When she finally spoke to him, the chi vanished into the either as he stepped forward. "What's up?"
In the darkness, her blush was hidden by shadow, but that did nothing to hide the twinge of embarrassment in her voice. "Can you turn around. I need to get changed."
The thought of an unclothed Kasumi caused Ranma to return her blush with one of his own. "S sure," he mumbled as he turned around. With his eyes no longer on her, Ranma became aware of how acutely his other senses were perceiving her. In the quiet of the night, he could actually hear her silken nightgown slide against her perfect skin before it landed softly on the wood floor. But, instead of the sounds of her getting dressed, Ranma clearly heard her stepping towards him.
It was an impulsive thought that caused her to walk up to him in her current state of undress, but once she took that first step, Kasumi couldn't stop herself. In spite of their previous sessions, he stiffened when she pressed herself against him. Had he been in his male form, her ample bust would have been delightfully compressed against his muscular back. Now though, with the reduction in Ranma's height brought about by his transformation, her breasts were split apart as his swan-like neck was pressed between them. "Don't worry," she whispered huskily, "when things calm down a little, you are welcome to see it all."
Her hot breath sent delicious shivers through his body. But they were nothing compared to the pleasurable sensations that were produced by Kasumi's slim fingers gently massaging his breasts. "I I'm goin' ta hold you ta that."
Kasumi grinned wickedly as she tweaked Ranma's nipple through the thin silk of his shirt. "That's good to know."
Just as Ranma was about to lay back and let Kasumi continue until the explosive end, she removed her hands from his chest. It was all he could do to keep standing in the wake of such sensations. But a needful whimper did work its way from his lips. To his frustration, all it garnered from Kasumi was the light twitter of her laughter.
She knew it was probably wrong to leave him in such a state, but it felt so good. "Its not like I was lying when I made that promise" she thought as she secured the latch on her bra. As she continued to get dressed, a corner of Kasumi's mind, the version of her that had gone through life as a smiling housewife drone, was aghast at her actions. It was well suppressed by the joyful emotions that pervaded her being.
When she finished dressing, Kasumi did not give the all-clear. Instead, she walked over to her desk and pulled out two sheets of paper. As she had been getting dressed, a quick thought had punctured the heady mix of emotions which buoyed her soul. Her housewife side reminded her that the rest of the Tendos would worry if she just disappeared without some note as to where she was going and why. So, for the family as a whole, she wrote a brief note telling everyone that she was safe and with Ranma. On the other sheet, Kasumi spent more of her time so she could explain herself to Nabiki.
After what seemed like hours to Ranma, Kasumi spoke once more. "Okay, you can look."
Over the time with the Tendos, he had seen her in various outfits. Most consisted of variations to her housewife attire. But every now and then, like the time on Toma's island, she appeared in less standard apparel. Today, it seemed, was another one of those days. The white turtleneck was certainly new, and it did little to deemphasize the prodigious mounds that had been pressed against him a short while ago. What really caught Ranma's eye though were a pair of tight jeans which left little to the imagination. "Wow."
In the darkness, Kasumi blushed before flexing her legs. "I think I put on some weight since I bought these."
"Nah, they must have shrunk," he replied helpfully.
"Thank you Ranma," said Kasumi with a smile and a giggle. Taking hold of her bag and the notes she had written, the Tendo daughter walked towards the closed door. "Ranma, can you push this under Nabiki's door while I go to the kitchen and pack some supplies for our trip."
Instantly, curiosity flooded his being as he took one of the letters from Kasumi's hand. But he suppressed it in favor of a smile and a nod. "No problem." The two parted ways at Nabiki's door. Taking the letter in hand, he bent over and slid the folded mass of paper beneath it. To his ire, the slight breeze coming from the room was enough to push the note back at him. "Dammit," he whispered. The battle which ensued was a trying one. Each time he would push it under, the wind would return it to him. Finally, he put enough force behind it to throw Happosai half-way across the ward.
With that minor victory attained, Ranma headed downstairs to help Kasumi with her packing. To his surprise, she stood at the bottom of the stairs smiling up at him. "Need some help packing?"
"Thank you, but no. I have it all in my bag."
He knew that she was a mistress of the kitchen, but that speed rivaled what even he could put out. "Wow, that's fast."
She shrugged and smiled, :"Its all in the packing."
Both shared a laugh as they walked to the entry way so she could put on her shoes. With those firmly in place, the new couple stepped out into the night.
For twenty minutes, Kasumi and Ranma walked in silence. Unlike the quiet that reigned before their first kiss, this one was filled with warmth and the promise of a lifetime's worth of communication. But warm feelings could not prove an adequate ward against the chilly night air. Before long, Ranma began to notice Kasumi's shivering. Despite being his smaller female form, cold did not affect him the way it did others. When one had experienced the depths of the soul of ice, terrestrial chill meant little.
The entire time they had been walking, there was a comfortable space between the pair. This was pierced when Ranma reached out and pulled Kasumi in close. At the same time, he began to put out a field of warm chi; a reverse application of the soul of ice. Looking up at Kasumi's smiling face he said, "Is that better?"
"Oh quite," she beamed. "Thank you."
"So, when do I get to know where we're going?"
"Oh yeah, I guess I forgot to tell you," he chuckled as he scratched the back of his head. "We're headn' to my grandparents' place in Minato."
"That's far. Are you planing on walking the whole way?" As soon as she finished asking that, a yawn escaped her.
"Well I was," he drawled sarcastically. Ranma smiled as he saw Kasumi react the way he hoped; a smile and a blush of embarrassment. "But we don't haveta." Taking a look around him, Ranma quickly ran through a rather short list of places they could spend the night. A park as nearby, but that was quickly denied. There was no way he would make Kasumi camp in a park. Luckily, it looked like he may have an alternative. "Hopefully Mr. Diajobi won't mind getting up." "Think you can keep walking for about ten minutes?"
With his question, a wave of lassitude swept through her. Suddenly, she realized just how late it was. Despite that though, she couldn't help thinking. "Oh Ranma. I would walk forever with you." Squeezing the red-head, Kasumi said, "Of course I can."
"Great! I know a place where we can crash for the night."
When Kasumi heard that Ranma knew of somewhere they could sleep, she had just assumed that the martial artist was going to stop at a park or vacant lot in which to camp. Never, not in her wildest, most tawdry, of dreams did she expect him o bring her to a love hotel.
"Um Ranma. I know I said some things back home, but this isn't the place I had in mind," she squeaked.
"Wha," ask Ranma dumbly as he looked at Kasumi then the place he had brought them. Suddenly, he saw what she must have. "Ack! No! I mean I wouldn't mind, but not here." He continued babbling incoherently for well over a minute until she gently touched his arm.
As soon as he began freaking out, Kasumi was sure that everything was on the level. "Its okay Ranma, I understand."
In one breath, the panic left him for soothing calm. He had been so sure he would get Kasumi's equivalent of the hammer, a frown. Instead, she graced him with a genuine smile. "Oh good!" With that crisis over, Ranma, with Kasumi in tow, walked inside.
As the couple entered the lobby, they were caressed by the warm air being pumped through the establishment. To Ranma's surprise, at the front desk sat the owner, one Hiroshi Daijobi. "What're you doin' up Mr. Daijobi?"
Looking up from his paper, Hiroshi smiled at his visitor "Ranma m'boy! As long as I have customers, I can not sleep. It is the code," he proclaimed proudly. Looking up at he clock, he saw just how late it was. "Why are you here at this ungodly hour? And with such a lovely traveling companion?"
Kasumi blushed at the stranger's complement. "Thank you."
"Merely telling it how I see it," he replied cordially. Looking back over to the red-head, he quirked an eyebrow. "Well?"
That was all Hiroshi needed to hear. Today was long in coming, he was just happy that Ranma appeared to be in good spirits. "I understand. Though Mariko will probably be disappointed."
Ranma barked out a laugh. "Yes, well what girl wouldn't miss this manly body." As a follow up to his bout of pride, Ranma struck a pose emphasizing his generous bust line, and his killer curves.
Hiroshi couldn't help but snicker at the young man's antics. Still laughing, the innkeeper reached down and pulled a certain set of keys from its hook. Without looking like he had even moved, Hiroshi tossed he jagged bit of metal towards Ranma. "Here, your rooms' ready."
Snatching the keys out of the air, Ranma nodded. "Thanks." Thinking he conversation done, the martial artist savant began to lead Kasumi to their refuge for the night.
"Hey Ranma," called out Hiroshi.
Looking back at his friend, he said, "Yeah?"
"As long as my family runs this place, you and yours will always have a place here."
Ranma couldn't help but smile at the mixture of conviction and determination in that promise. So, taking his hand from Kasumi, he turned and bowed low. "Thank you."
"Yeah yeah," he said sarcastically. "Now get along you two." At that, Hiroshi picked up a copy of the daily paper and began thumbing through it.
Though others may have, Ranma found no offense in Hiroshi's actions. As long as he had known him, the innkeeper had always been an odd one. But he could see that the older man meat well. So, with a smile and a nod, Ranma turned back and took Kasumi's hand in his own.
For her part, Kasumi was positively buzzing with curiosity. Other than the friends who attacked the dojo, and the occasional adventure, she was beginning to realize that she knew rather little about the man whose life she had tied to her own. And, instead of that thought terrifying her, it made her treasure the opportunity she had all the more. Despite that though, she was willing to let him tell his tale on his own schedule. "Besides," she though with a tired smile, "he's just as exhausted as I am."
With practiced ease, Ranma navigated his way through the serpentine labyrinth of corridors. Eventually, he stopped at a door at the end of one particularly long hall. In golden numbers, 268 was proudly scrawled across the wooden surface. For those who frequented the establishment, the room had another name, "Ranma's Suite."
The room wasn't exactly he biggest ever conceived by the mind of man. It did have a shower, and a king-sized bed, and for Ranma that was more than enough. Kasumi took in all this and more as she sat her pack down on the bed. Behind her, she heard the unmistakable sound of running water, followed by a masculine sigh of relief. Half-turning in that direction, she saw that her boyfriend had once again adopted the rugged physic of his male form. "Feeling better?"
"Much," he sighed happily. "Its good to have all the right parts in the right places."
Turning completely to face him, Kasumi leaned against his hard chest. "Mmm," she purred as she ran a slender hand across his muscles. "I agree." Suddenly though, Kasumi ceased her ministrations and looked Ranma in the eye. "I meant what I said before though. I love your other side just as much as I do this one. Never forget that."
"Thanks," replied Ranma, his voice thick with emotion.
"You're welcome. But we have a problem."
The sudden change in topic both confused and worried Ranma. "What's up?"
"I forgot to pack any night clothes," she admitted with embarrassment.
"Oh." Without any biding, a mental image of a naked Kasumi popped into his head. That glorious scene died a horrible death at the hands of a mental representation of Akane bashing in his skull for being a pervert. "I guess you could wear one of my spare silk shirts."
"Thank you. That sounds wonderful."
To procure the garment in question, Ranma was forced to break away from Kasumi and walk towards his pack. Upon reaching it, he began to rummage through its contents in search of the perfect shirt. He soon found it about half way down. It was a perfect on for her. Not more than a month ago had Kasumi given him the sea-green garment to replace one that had been destroyed in a fight.
Shirt in hand, he began to turn back towards Kasumi to hand her the garment. In the midst of the turn, the unmistakable sound of a zipper being opened proudly rang out through the room. As it entered his mind, the sound acted as some sort of post hypnotic command. Ranma suddenly found that his body was no longer obeying the commands he was frantically sending. Instead, he just kept turning until he faced her fully. With perfect clarity, his blue eyes took in every minute detail of what lay before him.
Oh so slowly, the eldest Tendo daughter lowered her pants. She could feel Ranma's eyes following every movement she made. Instead of the embarrassment such knowledge would have engendered in her just a few days ago, Kasumi felt a surge of boldness. Once the tight jeans were off, she used one of her long, slender, legs to kick the item towards him. When it hit him, she could barely contain a giggle. "Oh my god," she though merrily, "look at him. I bet his brain would explode if I took off my panties." That though tempted her greatly, but she reluctantly pushed it aside in favor of removing her shirt.
"Holy crap! She's taking off her shirt," cheered Ranma mentally. At first, he had desperately tried to look away. That lasted until the moment Kasumi stood up and proudly stood with her lower half covered with only a narrow pair of white satin panties. Somewhere at the back of his mind a small, feminine, voice groused that Kasumi looked better in them than he would. Said voice was ignored by the rest of Ranma as he gleefully watched the display.
In all his years, Ranma had seen many a woman in various stages of undress. A brief stint as a bouncer at a bordello to pay of Genma's debt to a Yakuza-owned bar had done much to desensitize young Ranma to the sight of female flesh. Don't think such images provoke no reaction, he just didn't feel the need to jump the first half-naked thing with boobs like those numbnuts at Furinken. Once the curse hit, women like Shampoo stood no chance in hell in getting him to slip his control and screw them. Now though, as inch by inch Kasumi exposed more of herself to him, Ranma felt that control slipping at a breakneck pace.
As Kasumi's perfect breasts came into view, Ranma felt his hands twitch with anticipation. "Oh god, I've got to touch them." Suddenly the memory of what she had done to him back at the dojo came up. It had felt so good and, when her hands pulled away, he had felt his whole body ache for her touch. The memory of her giggles evoked a certain evil thought within him. It was almost blown away though by what she did next.
Reaching behind her, Kasumi deftly unhooked her bra. Catching the satin garment just before it fell to the floor, she looked at Ranma with a blush. "I hope you don't mind, but I can't sleep with one of these on."
Before he could stop it, he nodded knowingly. "Yeah, I know what you mean. Its so damn uncomfortable for me to wear one in bed too." Finally, Ranma's brain caught up with his mouth and he quickly slammed both hands over the offending orifice.
Kasumi smiled, "Don't you just hate how bound up they feel when you do that?" Her first reaction had been to laugh at his slip up. But upon further consideration, the eldest Tendo daughter decided to take a more friendly route with the conversation. "I should probably be creeped out by this, but I'm not. Why does it comfort and arouse me to talk about our bras?"
Again, the words came without real thought. "Hell yeah. I mean they hurt when they bounce alla round, but just standing or laying down it feels great to just let it all hang out."
"You mean like this," she asked seductively as she allowed gravity to take hold of both her bra and her breasts.
"So that is the perfection the monk's talked about," thought Ranma lustfully as he drank in the sight of her mostly naked form. He was almost tempted to just stand in place and admire the present view, but that prior malicious thought popped up once more. "Oh yes," he growled out throatily. Sliding towards her, he used his superior speed and agility to get behind her. "A lot like that." Taking the shirt in both hands, Ranma clumsily attempted to put it on Kasumi. Silently, she aided his efforts by sliding her arms into the sleeves as he offered them. All that was left was to secure the ties along the shirt's front. This was preformed with the same agonizing slowness she had adopted when she disrobed, all the while Ranma ensured that he was pressed tightly against her. As his fingers neared the swell of her bosom, they lingered and slid across the slick fabric. By that point he gave up any pretense of securing the shirt and just concerned himself with gently kneading her flesh. "You know," he whispered hotly, "what you did in your room was really mean."
From every corner of her being, Kasumi was bombarded by pure pleasure. Ranma's menstrations to her chest sent zings of ecstasy throughout her soul. As her back was pressed tightly against him, what truly turned her on was something no fevered fantasy could have imagined, the hard rod sandwiched between the two of them. To her mind, it was as if she could feel every ridge and bulging vein in that most male of organs. Though she had thought about such things in the past, actually feeling it against her round rear only served to magnify the pleasure from elsewhere. It no longer mattered that she wanted to wait a little while before making love to Ranma, she needed him now. "Oh god Ranma," she moaned, "I've been sooo bad. Please punish me."
Unseen by Kasumi, Ranma smiled evilly. "Oh, I will. Just remember, you asked for it."
As she waited anxiously for that final push over the edge, Kasumi felt Ranma release his hold on her completely. The loss of his heat and his hands on her flesh was as painful as if he stabbed her in the heart. Turning to him, she half begged, half sobbed out, "Why?"
Seeing the loss and hurt etched into her face made Ranma feel like the lowest of the low. "I was just trying to joke with her," he thought frantically. "Oh god! What do I do? WHAT DO I DO!?" Suddenly he heard Nabiki's voice in the back of his mind. "Kiss her, hug her, apologize, do anything stupid. Otherwise your great-grandchildren will be broke." Having no other ideas, he reached out and gently pulled Kasumi to him. With tears in his own eyes to mirror those in Kasumi's, he said, "I am so sorry." Ranma followed his apology with a quick, but heart-felt kiss on the lips.
With the embrace, all was forgiven in her eyes. That forgiveness allowed the powder keg of her desire to explode in a glorious display of ecstasy. Though she was still kissing Ranma, Kasumi could not restrain the moan that escaped from her as her body shook in the throws of pleasure. Her climax seemed to last forever, but when it did finally ebb into a pleasant glow she opened her eyes and saw the look of concern on his handsome face. "If all our kisses are going to be like that, then I may just glue myself to you. By the way, apology more than accepted."
Kasumi followed up with a cute little yawn. Seeing it warmed his heart, "Thanks. I guess we should get to bed."
"Mmmm," she nodded sleepily. "I agree."
Author's Notes: WOW! This really was a wild chapter for me. For those who have read my oneshot, Of Furos and Memories, this prologue would have led to a Sailor Moon fanific where Ranma and Usagi get together. When I started writing this I had planned out a great deal of the story. Even in Furos, the girl that walked in on Ranma was Usagi. That whole plan hit a rather large snag though. As I was writing the scene were Kasumi thinks she is saying goodbye to Ranma it got away from me. You see, the way I write I tend to try to get into a particular character. Usually all this means is that I give various people their own motivation and voice. In this instance though, I stopped writing the story and Kasumi and Ranma took over. It just felt so right, them being together, and the more that was written the more right it felt. It actually got to the point where I felt so into it that I couldn't leave Kasumi alone just so that Usagi could get Ranma. The very thought made me feel dirty. So, after a rather copious amount of cussing, I scrapped about 99 of the original story. I'm still sticking with the crossover, but aside from that, I am going in a whole new direction. And I feel that this new story will be a lot better than the one I had intended. Though I will continue to let the story tell itself, I don't foresee another complete shakeup occurring. According to the new plan, I can assure you all that Ranma will not be the uber super guy. I mean he will be kick ass, but there is a line between awesome and redonkulous. I hope not to cross that line.
Now, I am sure everyone and their brother is foaming at the mouth in regards to the portrayal of Ranma and Kasumi in this work. Yes, I did get them together quickly, but sometimes that happens in life. Sometimes all you need is to see someone in a different light and then all of a sudden all the pieces fall into place and you know that the person standing in front of you is the one you have prayed for all your life. I will not apologize for that, and anyone who has a problem with that should probably stop reading. Another issue I foresee is the way the couple interacted in this chapter. I realize that it is highly OOC, but that is the point. Originally, Ranma ½ was targeted to boys in elementary and middle school. What that means is you end up with one dimensional characters who are more character traits on a RPG sheet and less of a real character. In the manga and anime, Ranma was a clueless simpleton when it came to women and Kasumi was the vapid housekeeper who was immune to the chaos whirling around her. These are interesting starts, but a fully formed character they are not. For this fic, I want to attempt to write them all the characters, Ranma ½ and Sailor Moon alike, as realish people. And real people, especially of the ages we are talking about, are sexual creatures. Kasumi is a woman, and Ranma a man. Both have long suppressed their core in order to please the world around them. As soon as Ranma asked her to come along, Kasumi is operating under pure euphoria. I've been in something of a similar state, and if such a situation presented itself I may have acted as open as she does in the chapter. I will pull her back some since that initial high will be replaced by reality, but the genie is out of the bottle and I'm not going to put him back. So get used to a Kasumi who kisses, touches, yearns, has orgasms and the whole nine yards.
As for Ranma, well he is coming off a severe emotional low, one that I think he would have reached if it was anyone but Rumiko Takahashi writing the story. He is still questioning his manhood and what it means to be a man who can also be a woman. With Kasumi's revelation of her feelings, Ranma sees a real, and uncompromised, love. Not only does he fall for her, but, whether he knows it or not, he is latching onto her as a stabilizing factor during a time where the rest of his life is inherently unstable. This isn't to say that he is using Kasumi, his actions are genuine, but they are also emboldened by an unconscious desire to prove himself to the one person who, in his mind, never judges him. Further, Ranma is a guy and I don't care how thoroughly Genma worked to keep him away from girls, I can't realistically imagine that a male of Ranma's age would have zero interest in women. I am using the bordello bits from Furos in this story so that adds more dimensions to his character. Don't worry, he isn't going to become a sex fiend any more than Kasumi is, but they are young adults in a loving relationship, so expect further physicality between the two.
Finally, for those of you who enjoy my other works, I have not given up on them. It is just that my muse has decided that it will advise on this right now. Given its capricious nature, I expect that it will switch back to the other two stories at a moment's notice. So courage.
King of the Wicker People.