Ranma Trigger

Part 2

The life of Ranma Saotome

++++++++++++++

"So, what's yer name?" Ranma looked at the
girl who stood beside him and gave a weak smile as
they sat on the steps of the apartment complex
where the Tendo dojo should have been. No one
inside had ever heard the name before.

"Miyaka Hotori," replied the girl
uncomfortably. She was hugging herself and had a
saddened look in her eyes. After a moment of
silence, she spoke again. "Ranma, what's going to
happen now?"

"Well, I guess I'll have to find you a way
home," he replied with a small shrug.

"This place, it was your home?"

Ranma nodded, frustration clearly written
across his face.

"What happened?"

"I dunno," he responded quietly. "It's
just...gone."

"We should find out what happened," replied
the girl with a small sigh. "You saved my life. I
wouldn't go back until I was sure everything was
all right."

The boy nodded at this and smirked slightly.
"Yeah, I guess we should. Where do we start
though?"

"Well, everything else is the same right?"

"Hey! You're right, I'll bet that old ghoul is
here, maybe she might know something."

"What about your parents?" said the girl in
confusion. She didn't like the sound of going to
see some ghoul. "Are you sure you're not an Oni?"

"Yes? Why do you keep askin me that?" he
snapped irritably.

The girl started to tear up at his tone and
stared at him cutely. "You just said we were going
to see some ghoul!"

"Oh, that. She's just some old lady from China
I know. This mirror used to be hers, before it got
stolen a long time ago." Ranma lifted the small
cloth bag that now held the remains of the mirror
inside it.

"Oh," replied the girl with a small sigh of
relief. "You should respect your elders more
though."

"I'll respect that old bat when she earns it,"
he replied simply as he stood up. "Come on. It's
late, we should get going."

"Right," said the girl with a small sigh.

++++++++++

A short time later, the pair found themselves
walking through Nerima. It had just gotten dark
and most of the businesses were still open.

"It should be right around here," said the boy
as he nodded in the direction they were heading.

"Sure," said the girl nervously.

"Where the hell have you been?" snapped an
angry sounding voice from behind the pair.

"Huh?" muttered Ranma dumbly as he turned to
see a girl standing in the street behind them. She
was tapping her heel on the asphalt and glaring
directly at him. The girl was wearing a rather
plain looking skirt and a turtle neck sweater.
"Um. Do I know you?" he said in confusion.

"What?" she snapped as she almost blew her
top. "You jackass! How dare you say something like
that to me!"

Ranma paled as recognition hit him like a ton
of bricks. "Ucchan?"

"Don't Ucchan me! You've been gone all day!
I've been worried sick about you!" cried the girl
angrily as she walked up to the pair.

"Ranma, who is this?" said Miyaka as she
looked back and fourth between the pair.

"This is..."

"Who the hell is this?" snapped Ukyo as she
turned her attention on the girl beside him.

"Her name is Miyaka, she's from the past,"
said the boy dumbly.

"The past?" muttered Ukyo as she looked at him
again, her anger somewhat abated. "Has something
happened again?"

"Oh boy," said the pigtailed boy as he
scratched the back of his head.

"Who are you?" said Ukyo as she stared at the
girl for a moment, distrust clearly visible on her
face.

"My name is Miyaka, Ranma saved me from some
bandits, and this weird guy attacked us. He
brought me back with him when he came..."

"Well, that would explain where he's been,"
said Ukyo with a small sigh. "Can't you stay out
of trouble?"

"Um, I'm sorry to be a bother, but who are
you?" said Miyaka as she continued to look just as
confused as ever.

"I'm his wife," said Ukyo as she glared at
Ranma. "You did tell her about me didn't you?"

Ranma passed out cold on the ground.

"Oh, I didn't know he was married. I suppose
he didn't bring me here to be his concubine then.
I'm so relieved." Miyaka paused and looked down at
the boy's body for a moment. "What's wrong with
him?"

"I'll make you a list if you have a couple of
years," said Ukyo with a rough sounding snort as
she hefted him over her shoulder.

"Oh my!" responded the girl with a blush on
her face.

+++++++++++++

"Tendo Dojo?" said Ukyo as she blinked in
confusion. "I've never heard of that place." She
was standing behind a small grill and making
dinner for them. Three Okonomiyaki were set out in
front of them within a few seconds.

"What's this?" said Miyaka in confusion.

"Okonomiyaki. What, they don't have this where
you're from?"

The girl poked at it with her chopsticks and
frowned. "No."

"Well, you're in for a treat then," replied
Ukyo cheerfully.

"If you say so," responded Miyaka as she
started eating. Within a few seconds she was
eagerly gulping down the substance.

"Still out cold," grumbled Ukyo as she lifted
her husband's head off the counter where he was
slumped over one of the stools and dropped it back
down again.


"He said something about living in a place
called the Tendo Dojo. He never mentioned this
place," offered Miyaka cheerfully.

Ranma groaned and finally lifted up his head
again. "Ooh, where am I?"

"What the hell is this Tendo place?" snapped
Ukyo angrily.

"Ucchan?" said Ranma as he stared at her
again. "Why the heck are you wearin a skirt?"

"What the hell else would I wear?" snapped the
girl as she hit him over the head with a large
spatula that had been hanging on the wall.

"A yukata?" offered Miyaka. "This is too
weird."

"Well, for this idiot, it's normal," replied
Ukyo with a small sigh. She looked somewhat
wistful and smiled lovingly at her husband's head.
"I guess I can put up with it though."

"He does things like this all the time?" asked
Miyaka in disbelief.

"Well, to tell the truth, he is acting a bit
strange. It's almost like he didn't recognize me
at all." Ukyo got a worried looking frown on her
face.

"Akane," muttered Ranma as he lifted his head
off the counter.

"WHO THE HELL IS AKANE?" screamed Ukyo as she
belted him again.

"He's not going to answer if you keep knocking
him out," pointed out Miyaka.

Ukyo blushed as she lifted the huge spatula
off his head and put it back on the wall again. "I
guess you're right."

After a few seconds Ranma shook his head again
and sat up, jumping away from the counter before
he could be hit again. "What the hell is goin on
here?"

"That's what I'd like to know," growled Ukyo
as she glared at him.

"You're dressin like a girl all of a sudden?
Where the heck is Konatsu?"

"Konatsu? We haven't seen him since he left. I
kind of miss him," said Ukyo with a small frown.

"Left?" asked Ranma in confusion. "When did he
leave?"

"He was only here for like a month," said Ukyo
in disbelief. "You forgot about that? He left one
night, with a note that said something about him
being a burden on us. I wish he'd stayed though,
he was good help, worked cheap too."

Ranma simply stared at her for a moment with
his jaw hanging down. "What?"

"What's with you?" asked Ukyo in confusion.
"Is something wrong?" Worry etched onto her face
once again and she frowned.

"I...What the hell is going on here?" he cried
as he backed into the wall and simply stood there
clutching his chest.

"Ranma?" said Miyaka through her full mouth.
She had helped herself to his plate of food after
he'd not shown any interest in it.

"What the hell? This is wrong!"

"Wrong?" muttered Ukyo dumbly. "What the hell
are you on about? This girl is right, you are
acting weird Ranma."

"This has got to be some kind of trick! I know
it!" cried the boy as he crouched low and glanced
around.

"What's wrong with you?" muttered Ukyo as she
tried to approach him carefully.

"Miyaka," said the boy as he turned to look at
her. "Come on, we've got to find that ghoul and
find out what's wrong."

"What ghoul?" replied Ukyo dumbly.

Ranma grabbed Miyaka's wrist and dashed out
the door.

"Ranma!" cried the Ukyo as she rushed out
after him. "What? Where are you going? What's
wrong with you?" A cold fear started to form in
her chest as she watched him dash away across the
rooftops. There was no way she could follow him at
the speed he was moving.

+++++++++++++

"It's not here?" said Ranma dumbly as he
stared at the building in shock. The Cat Cafe, did
not exist. "Oh man!"

Miyaka was getting scared, the boy was
dragging her all over town, and she couldn't run
away from him. He was acting erratic, but he was
her only way home at the moment. "Ranma! Stop!
You're scaring me!"

"You're scared?" he replied as he landed and
set her down. He backed away and leaned against a
nearby wall. "What happened? This isn't the way I
left this place! Everything has changed!"

Miyaka simply looked at him in confusion.
"What do you mean changed?"

"Everything is different! I never married
Ukyo! The Tendo dojo is gone! What the hell
happened?"

Miyaka frowned and hung her head. "I don't
know. I'm scared, I wanna go home."

Ranma winced as she started to cry softly. She
slumped down and clutched herself. He sighed and
stood up. "Look, I'm sorry. I forget that girls
cry over stupid stuff sometimes."

"Stupid? You kidnapped me!" she snapped as she
glared at him.

"Hey! I saved you! Of all the ungrateful
little..."

"I could be home by now if I'd stayed!"
snapped the girl.

"Ranma! Prepare to die!"

The pair turned their heads in unison, only to
find a boy glaring at them from the other side of
the alley.

"Ryoga?" said the pigtailed boy.

The lost boy stalked forward, growling angrily
as he approached them. "You..."

"What is it?" snapped Ranma irritably.

"You've got to save me!" cried Ryoga as he
fell on his knees and clutched at Ranma's leg.

"Huh?" said the boy in confusion. "What the
hell?"

"She's after me again! I can't escape!"

"Who's this?" asked Miyaka.

"Um, Ryoga Hibiki, I think," said the
pigtailed boy as he looked down at the figure
clutching his leg.

"Damn it! This is all your fault!" cried Ryoga
fearfully as he lifted up the boy by his collar.
"Come on Ranma! Hide me! I'm begging you!"

The boy glared down at Ryoga. He was being
pushed up the side of the wall rather roughly.
"You call this begging?"

"Here they come!" said the boy pathetically as
he looked down the alley.

"Ryoga! Come back!" cried a feminine voice at
the end of the ally.

Ranma looked up again and blinked. "Akari?"

The girl was sitting atop her giant sumo pig
as she cheerfully rode up to them. "Well, hello
Ranma. How are you?"

"Um, things have been weird," replied the boy.

"Oh really? I'm fine too," squealed the girl
happily.

"We gotta get outta here!" cried Ryoga as he
pulled Ranma away by his collar.

"Hey! Watch it porky!" cried Ranma as he found
himself being dragged down the street by his
shirt.

Miyaka blinked and looked on as the pair
rushed away. "Hey! You can't leave me here!"

"Oh dear, who are you? You aren't after my
Ryoga are you?" asked the girl sitting on top of
the giant pig.

"No, I'm here with Ranma, are you an Oni?"

"No," said Akari cheerfully. "Hop on, I'll
give you a ride. Ryoga won't escape me this time."

"Okay," said the girl as she shrugged and
grasped the extended arm offered to her.

A moment later, they were dashing off on top
of Katsunishi's back.

+++++++++++++

"Damn you! This is all your fault Ranma!"
screamed Ryoga as he hid in the bushes and glanced
around nervously.

"What the hell are you talking about?" snapped
the pigtailed boy.

"It's all because of my stupid curse that
Akari is after me!" snapped Ryoga hatefully.

"What the heck has that got to do with me?"
snorted Ranma irritably.

"You shut up! If you hadn't knocked me off
that cliff I'd..."

"Yeah, yeah," muttered the pigtailed boy
irritably.

"Shut up!" snapped Ryoga. "Who the hell are
you calling 'porky' anyway?!" He bopped his hated
rival on his head.

"Jeez Ryoga, I know you can hit harder than
that," muttered Ranma as he rubbed the spot in
irritation.

"Damn that thing's sense of smell! When I get
my hands on it, I'll make sausage out of it!"
snarled Ryoga as he shifted a little further into
the bushes.

"Whatever, why'd you have to drag me along
with ya? I was fine on my own," snorted Ranma.

"Are you nuts? That crazy chick is still
trying to kill you!" snapped Ryoga.

"Kill me? What for?" said Ranma dumbly. He
thought really hard, and couldn't think of a
single instance where Akari would ever be that
angry with him.

"Dope! Have you forgotten about that already?"
snarled Ryoga as he shook his rival by his collar.

"Yeah, kinda," muttered Ranma irritably. This
new Nerima was quickly getting old.

"She's still peeved about the time you beat
her pig. You were already married, and she thought
I was the one destined to do it because of this
stupid curse! Now she's trying to get me to fight
that monster, and she's trying to kill you so her
grandfather will accept me!"

"Oh," said Ranma flatly.

"We should get moving, it won't take that damn
thing long to find us," snarled Ryoga.

"Yeah, I guess...Miyaka!" Ranma's eyes went
wide suddenly. "No!"

"Huh?" said Ryoga in confusion.

"You jerk! You made me leave Miyaka behind!
Now I have to get her back!"

"Are you nuts? You'll die!" cried Ryoga.

"What are you talking about? She didn't seem
mad at me," replied the pigtailed boy with a
shrug.

"Oh man," grumbled Ryoga as he hung his head.
"We'll get that girl back later! Come on!"

"When did you turn into such a coward P-chan?"
snorted Ranma.

"What? Who the hell is P-chan?" said Ryoga in
confusion.

Ranma's eyes darkened and he glared at the boy
for a moment. "You too huh?"

"What are you talking about? You're acting
nuts!" snapped Ryoga.

"I thought you didn't like me, why did you
save me anyway?"

"And leave me alone to deal with her? Ha! I
wouldn't be so kind Saotome! There's no way I'm
gonna let you die and clear the way for her stupid
engagement!"

Ranma sighed and shook his head. "Fine,
whatever."

++++++++++

Akari growled as she stared down at the
unflinching Ukyo Kuonji in the middle of the
street.

"Well, if it isn't the farm girl," said Ukyo
with a smirk forming on her face.

"What do you want?" snarled Akari.

"I want you to leave my Ranchan alone,"
snorted the girl calmly.

"Hi! Hi Miss Ukyo!" said Miyaka from behind
Akari's back.

"What the? What the heck are you doing up
there?" said Ukyo in shock.

"She said she'd take me to Ranma, some guy ran
off with him," said the girl with a small shrug as
she jumped down off the animal's back.

"Ryoga," snorted Ukyo in disgust.

"How dare you speak about my Ryoga that way!"
cried Akari.

"What are you gonna do about it? Kill me?"
said Ukyo calmly as she leveled a glare at the
girl. "I'm sure that would make your grandfather
so happy. What, with you being able to marry my
widowed husband and all. That is what you're
really supposed to be doing isn't it?"

Akari growled at this, but held back
Katsunishi. "Bitch."

"Eep," muttered Miyaka as she backed away.

"She won't attack me," said Ukyo without
taking her eyes away from Akari. "She needs me to
stay alive in order for her plan to work out."

Akari turned her head away and blushed. "I've
got no business here."

"Then leave, chase your boyfriend some other
night," responded Ukyo flatly.

Akari snorted, and her pig followed suit. The
pair turned away and wandered off into the night.

"Is it all right if I wait for Ranma here?"
asked Miaka sheepishly.

"I guess so," replied Ukyo with a small sigh.
"Where is Ranma anyway?"

"I don't know, some guy took him away,"
replied the girl with a shrug.

"Oh, right. I remember now. Ryoga," said Ukyo
with a small nod. "I hope Ranchan's all right.
He's been acting strangely since he showed up with
you."

The girl shrugged her shoulders and smiled. "I
haven't known him that long. Only a few hours
really."

"Right," grumbled Ukyo as she motioned for the
girl to follow her.

++++++++++++

An hour later...

"Damn it Ryoga! This is where we started!"
cried Ranma as he found himself staring at the
Ucchan.

"What? Oh, you're home," said Ryoga as he
noticed the store. "Great."

"We're still not any closer to finding
Miyaka!"

"Then who's that?" asked Ryoga as he pointed
to the girl standing in the doorway with her arms
crossed over her shoulders. Ukyo was right behind
her, mirroring the expression.

"Oh man," grumbled Ranma.

"Well, I'll see you later," said Ryoga as he
turned away.

"No way! You're not leaving me to face this
alone porky! This is all your fault this time!"
snapped Ranma as he pulled the boy behind him by
his collar.

+++++++++++++

Ranma hung his head as the two girls stared at
him. "I can't believe you left me!" cried Miyaka.

"I couldn't do anything about it!" snapped
Ranma in retort. "He dragged me off!"

"Hey!" snapped Ryoga.

"How could you just leave her there with that
woman?" snapped Ukyo irritably as she glared at
Ryoga.

"I didn't know she was with him!" muttered
Ryoga sheepishly. He had the sense to look
apologetic and embarrassed about it.

"Now, Ranchan, you're going to tell me exactly
what's going on!" snapped Ukyo as she glared at
him for a moment.

"The ghoul ain't here," said the boy as he
looked at Miyaka.

The girl nodded and frowned. "Are you sure
you're home?"

"No, I'm not," said Ranma as he shook his head
and sighed.

"What are you talking about?" said Ryoga as he
frowned at the boy.

"I'm from the past," said Miyaka as she
pointed at herself. "He says he used some sort of
magic mirror to go back in time. He saved me, and
we ended up here. He says it's different here."

Ryoga and Ukyo turned to look at the pigtailed
boy for a moment and he frowned at Miyaka.

"Different?" asked Ukyo.

"Yeah," said Ranma with a small sigh.
"Everything's changed. I ain't sure what happened.
Maybe I'm on a different world or somethin? This
ain't what I left behind."

Ryoga frowned. "What are you talking about?"

Ranma put the bag containing several broken
pieces of mirror on the table and carefully laid
them out. "This thing took me back in time. The
old freak used it and sent us back in time. When I
got back, everything was different. Maybe because
it broke?"

"Different?" muttered Ryoga.

"Yeah, you actually like Akari where I come
from, and I ain't married to Ucchan!" said the boy
as he looked at them.

"What?" muttered Ukyo as she suddenly went
pale.

"Me? Like that witch? No way!" snapped Ryoga.

"There's all sorts of different things though,
the Tendo dojo ain't there anymore. That's where I
was stayin," said Ranma as he glared down at the
mirror. "Me and pop lived there with that family."

Ukyo frowned at this. "Why?"

"Some kind of engagement. To this crazy uncute
tomboy named Akane," said the boy with a small
sigh.

"You were engaged to someone else?" asked the
girl with a short intake of breath.

"Yeah, sorry," said the boy as he hung his
head.

"Then, where is our Ranma?" asked Ryoga.

Ranma and Ukyo looked at him in surprise. It
was probably the most intelligent thing he'd ever
said around either of them.

"Maybe you got switched, when the mirror
broke?" offered Miyaka.

"Happosai had this?" Muttered Ukyo as she
glared at it. "Wait! I remember this thing!"

Ranma looked at her in surprise. "Huh?"

"It was after your father brought us back from
China! Happosai had this!"

Ranma frowned again. "Yeah, I know. This guy
showed up and killed the old freak. When he died,
he sent me back to meet Miyaka here. It was sort
of an accident."

"When we came back, the mirror broke. Maybe
the same thing happened to your Ranma, and we got
mixed up somehow?" offered Miyaka with a slight
frown. She had started to suspect that she was the
smartest person in the room right now.

"Ya know, that makes sense. So, if we get it
fixed, maybe we can use it to switch back?" asked
Ranma.

"Might work," agreed Ryoga. "How do we fix
this thing?"

"I dunno, Cologne's place is gone, she'd know
how, but..."

"Cologne?" asked Ukyo.

"Yeah, she's some old chick from this crazy
man hater tribe in China that I know," said the
boy as he looked at Ukyo for a moment.

"Amazons?" Ukyo said the word like it was a
curse.

"Yeah? I didn't think they were around here!
Where are they? Cologne will know what to do!"

Ukyo blushed and turned her head away, a look
of pain flashed across her face as she clutched
her belly for a moment. "There aren't any Amazons
around here. We only knew one, and she's dead."

Ranma stared at her for a moment. "Huh?"

"Shampoo, our Ranma killed her when she was
trying to kill me back in China. He did it to
protect me, we almost didn't make it back home."

The boy stared at her for a moment and his jaw
simply hung. "What?"

"I haven't heard about this," said Ryoga as he
uncrossed his arms with a surprised looking frown.

"It wasn't any of your business. He was
protecting me, and the girl was using all kinds of
nasty weapons. It was an accident, but that
doesn't change things."

"So, they'll still be in China then?" asked
Miyaka.

"Probably, I don't think it would be a good
idea to go looking for them," said Ukyo.

"Shampoo isn't dead where I come from," said
Ranma quietly. "I...he killed her?"

"Yes," said Ukyo with a slight shiver. "I
don't think he ever forgave himself for doing it
either."

"Man, this place is even more messed up than
my life was!" said Ranma in awe. "I gotta find a
way to fix this thing."

"What about the old freak?" asked Ryoga. "He
might know a way!"

"He's dead," said a chillingly familiar voice
in the room.

"You!" cried Ranma as he jumped to his feet
and put himself in front of Miyaka.

"Yes, me," replied Chronos as he glared at
them all from the doorway.

"You! You caused this!" snarled Ranma.

"Ha! I did nothing, it was you who did this!
Foolish boy, don't you realize you're home?"

"What?" snapped Ranma angrily. Chronos had
made no move towards them, and he now had Ukyo and
Ryoga backing him up.

"Who the hell are you?" snarled Ryoga.

"Yeah! Get the hell out!" snapped Ukyo.

"I am Chronos, and I'm afraid I cannot leave
just yet. I will not attack you tonight Ranma
Saotome, for you have much to think about."

"What?" said the pigtailed boy in shock.

Chronos chuckled again. "Don't you realize
what has happened yet?"

"What the hell are you talking about?" snapped
Ranma.

"Calm down, and I'll tell you," said Chronos.

Ryoga and Ukyo started to drop their guards.

"Don't! If you drop your guard, he'll kill
you!" hissed Ranma.

"No, I'm only interested in killing her.
She'll die like she was supposed to." Chronos
pointed at the cowering Miyaka and chuckled again.

"You won't lay a hand on her bastard!" snarled
Ranma.

"Even if killing her will bring everything
back? Make everything right again?"

"What do you mean?" gasped Miyaka weakly. She
clutched at Ranma's back fearfully.

"Foolish boy, this is your world. There is no
other Ranma running around. You changed the past,
and now, this is the future."

"Changed the past?" gasped Ranma in shock.

"The reason there is no Tendo dojo is simple,
because she's still alive," said the man as he
pointed at Miyaka. "She was supposed to die, now
she lives, and everything is changed."

"What?" gasped Ranma in shock.

"It's quite simple really, the tiny change
will ripple out across time, becoming larger and
larger until the outcome is completely different.
When you saved her...you changed everything. Now,
this is the future. Everything you knew and loved
has been wiped from existence by your own foolish
action. I had hoped to save you from this fate,
and take the mirror from you. Now, you'll just
have to live with it."

"Bastard!" snarled Ryoga angrily. "You're not
making any sense!"

"Miyaka shouldn't have survived. It could be
something as simple as her bumping into someone at
the wrong time, preventing a fateful meeting of
the Tendo family's ancestors, or even falling in
love with the wrong man. It might not even be her,
but one of her descendants that are at fault. No
matter how you look at it, because she survived,
all you know was destroyed."

Ranma gasped in shock. "You're lying!"

Chronos laughed again, rearing his head back.
He slowly reached up and pulled the mask away from
his face. "Am I?"

Ranma's jaw dropped. He simply stared at the
face looking back at him with cold blue eyes. "No!
It can't be!"

"I tried to live this life, tried to go on, to
strive through it all. Forget about it for her
sake..." He turned to look at Miyaka and sighed.
"I tried to forget, but Akane wouldn't let me. Her
death, no the end of her very existence was on my
hands. I could not live with that fact."

Ranma fell to his knees, his jaw hanging down
in shock. He was looking at himself, a few years
older, but there was no mistaking it.

Chronos smile faded away slightly. "I tried so
many different paths, so many ways to save her and
keep things as they were. It never worked, now, I
have to kill her. I had merely wanted to stop you
from saving her, keeping us both from this pain.
Now, I cannot bear it any longer."

"No! No! It isn't true! I won't believe it!"
snapped Ranma angrily.

"All paths lead to me Ranma," said Chronos
calmly. "All of them, I've been down a thousand
different paths, and all of them lead back to me."

"I'll find a way!" snarled Ranma hatefully.
"You keep your hands off her!"

"You're going to have to stop me then," said
Chronos coldly. "But not tonight. We'll meet again
in China, and next time, I will not stop until I
have accomplished my task." He narrowed his eyes
at the group and chuckled.

"What's going on?" cried Ryoga dumbly.

"Ranchan?" muttered Ukyo in horror.

Chronos turned away and vanished into the
night.

"What are we going to do?" asked Miyaka.

"We've got no choice, we have to go to China,"
said Ranma as he hung his head.

Ukyo frowned. "But, he'll be waiting for you."

"Without the me, he doesn't exist," said Ranma
as he turned to look at the girl for a moment.

"If what he's saying is true," said Ukyo
firmly.

"We need that mirror, if only to get me home,"
said Miyaka.

"You'll need that mirror to become him,"
countered Ukyo.

Ranma was torn, he glanced back and fourth
between the pair and hung his head. "I promised to
take her home. I'm going."

Ryoga growled at this and glared at Ranma for
a moment. "I'm going with you!"

"What?" said Ranma dumbly.

"There's no way I'm gonna let you go to China
and get cured without me!" snapped Ryoga.

"Cured?" said Miyaka in confusion.

"This isn't about that!" snapped Ranma
angrily.

"The hell! You're just trying to trick me! So
you can keep the cure all to yourself!" snapped
Ryoga.

Ukyo frowned at the display and turned away.
"You're not my Ranchan."

The pigtailed boy looked at her, his attention
away from Ryoga in an instant. "What?"

"I don't know who you are, all this is
just..." She turned to look at them again and
frowned. "You're not my Ranchan, I don't know who
you are. You can stay the night, but I want you
gone in the morning."

The boy stepped back in shock and stared at
her. "I..."

"Don't apologize, I want my Ranma back, and
the only way that's going to happen, is if you do
this. I just hope that man was wrong, and my
Ranchan will come back if you win."

The pigtailed boy frowned at this and hung his
head. "All right. Thank you Ucchan."

The girl gave him a tight smile and turned
away, slowly walking up the stairs. She turned to
look back at them, tears forming in her eyes.
"There should be a few spare futon in the supply
closet." With that said, she continued on her way
up the stairs.

"Come on, we need some sleep," said Ryoga
irritably. "Maybe if I go to China, and get cured,
that crazy chick will lay off me."

Ranma sighed and sat down at one of the
stools. "Go ahead, I don't think I'll be able to
get much sleep tonight."

Miyaka looked very uncomfortable with the
situation, and quietly walked off to find the
supply closet.

"Damn," muttered Ranma to himself as he stared
at the wall. "This is...this is just..." He
couldn't think of a single word to describe it.

He paused and thought about his situation for
a moment and frowned. "Maybe I'll be able to find
another way to fix that mirror? If I go to China
like that guy says...he'll be waiting. What if I
do something he's not expecting?" He mulled over
the problem and turned to look at Ryoga again for
a moment. "Maybe, just maybe I can make this
work."

The lost boy stared back at him, resting
against one of the booths that lined the walls for
a moment. "Humph."

"There's no way. No way I'd ever become that
bastard! There has to be a way!"

++++++++++++

TBC...

Next Time: A slim chance!