Disclaimer: Ranko 1/2 is owned by Rumiko Takahashi and Viz video. I don't
own Dragonball Z either! If any of the situations described below mirror
those of actual events then you're living in a fantasy world.

A Chance Love Productions
Is proud to present
A Human Saiyajin
Chapter Six


Kuillin sighed.

A few more hours and a full day will have passed since Ranko and Vegita went into the Chamber of Space and Time. Most of the other fighters stayed on Kami's temple except Goku and Gohan, who went down to be with Chichi and let Gohan catch up on his schoolwork. Kuillin was pretty sure they'd be back to see how strong Vegita had gotten at least.

Waiting like this made Kuillin nervous and distracted. It was hard not to be when in nine days they would be facing off a complete Cell. His power was immensely frightening in its intensity. There was a numbness in the back of his head that kept finding Cell on the planet, waiting for them. The same numbness he expected to feel when he died.

Dropping his shoulders, Kuillin looked about the platform where the other fighters were working out or looking vacantly over the edge. He wanted to look just as calm as the rest of them, but he couldn't fool himself anymore. A battle like this is on a power level no human can compete with. This battle will end with Cell and the Saiyajins.

They were all sitting on the power keg just waiting for a spark. Kuillin had his money on Goku. His friend had always come through for them before, why should this be any different?

Because this time it was against Cell, a being designed with the genetic material of the most powerful fighters in the world, including the Saiyajins.

Kuillin looked to the doors to see if they had opened yet already knowing that they didn't, and wouldn't for a few hours yet.

"Wonder how Ranko is doing?" He wasn't the only one. Every now and then Kuillin caught Yamcha looking at the doors with a blush.

The little redhead has definitely become a wild card in this fight. She didn't look like much in terms of power, but she used what she got to a degree that shouldn't be possible. Kuillin had only seen two of her fights, and each time Ranko had done better against Cell than the rest of them. Of course, both times she nearly got herself killed, could she be like the Saiyajins perhaps? She certainly seemed to have the fighting spirit of one.

Alone in a room with Vegita, who knows? A lot can happen in one year.

Ranko's control of her ki was impressive. Maybe she could find a way to boost it like the Saiyajins. Boost her power like the Saiyajins?

"Heh heheheheh," Kuillin laughed to himself before resuming his serious pose.

Either way, Kuillin would train. Even if he couldn't defeat Cell, maybe he could help the others somehow.

Kuillin sighed. Let's hear it for the cannon fodder.

~

He held her body lightly once she had passed out from a lack of energy. Vegita was surprised by her power and ability even more now than he had at the beginning. It didn't seem possible, the things Ranko had pulled off almost casually, and yet the truth was lying unconscious in his arms.

The young redhead had risen like the warrior angels come down to lead the dead warriors to the land of death and glory; a prayer told to young Saiyajin warriors before a fight. He would have to remember to tell Trunks of their tale, when he grew older. Gentle and deadly, Vegita had thought them only myths, now he was questioning those beliefs.

Seeking his revenge for her odd behavior, Vegita had intended to attack the seemingly docile girl. But fire had been burning in her eyes the whole time. Ranko had seen him approach and only smiled as he powered up. It was either courage or stupidity that kept her firm resolve, but with the advances the girl had made in her power levels, Vegita had to believe it was not stupidity.

Eyes beginning to clear just as they were changing, Ranko pushed forth a power akin to Vegita's own. It seared through his skin until he grasped the change of his own transformation. The prince had stared wide-eyed at the powerful woman before him and felt his skin sweat with tense pleasure. A fight was brewing in those glittering black eyes. No hint of Ranko's blue was visible through her transformation, like her soul had been subdued until the only aspects present were those of a warrior. It chilled his skin and set Vegita's spirit afire.

"No blood runs through these veins," Ranko pronounced firmly in a voice that Purred. Iridescent red claws sprang from her fingertips flicking at the air lightly as though cutting through butterflies hovering overhead. But there were no butterflies. A tail lashed lazily behind her back as red as her head. Dramatic as these changes were, the completely obsidian eyes were the most disturbing. "Only fire."

She was strong. Vegita was quickly put on the defensive as she came at him with claws swinging and power blazing. Not half the strength of Saiyajin's first transformation, though Ranko might have destroyed him if he hadn't made his own gains in power through her teaching. Her skill was not dampened, but her body had slipped into a new tier of power that took some time to adjust to.

In time, Vegita had overpowered the girl and caught her unconscious form as she fell from the air. Good thing too, because he felt like doing the same thing. Their clothing was in ruins, tears and rips barely leaving enough modesty on either of them. The environment had also reacted violently to their fight; storming and raging like Armageddon had set in. Now, with Ranko sleeping quietly, the chamber had also calmed down to the gentle blankness.

For a few moments, Ranko remained in her transformed state and Vegita could study and appreciate the changes it had wrought. It was just like Kakorotto's and his own. There was nothing magical to make them grow or become altered in any way. It was the natural state of their souls that forced their change in their physical bodies. Ranko's natural form was that of a small redhead because that is what was reflected within her soul, inscribed in the smallest particles of her ki.

All of that changed as Ranko did. A new layer was placed on top of the base ki. Vegita's hair wasn't golden until his ki coated it so thickly that it was no longer distinguishable. The same went for Ranko's tail, eyes, and claws. Her soul had expanded and pushed forth her ki consequently. The human body wasn't made to contain that much ki, so her spirit fashioned her a new one.

Vegita's respect was a hard thing to garner even for those of his own species. Kakorotto came the closest, but that hardly compared to what Vegita gave Ranko since entering the Chamber of Space and Time. All the months, learning and growing, Vegita felt their fates becoming more intimately intertwined, like a new person had been placed over the old. The serious, gruff manner could be put aside when he was with Ranko. It was a courtesy only one other had been afforded, but Bulma was not with him here.

He could feel his affection for this little girl, this Ranko, this death goddess from myth grow. He always lived his life around death; perhaps he is beginning to grow to love her. La Belle Mort.

Ranko's image melted backwards into her original form and Vegita adjusted his hold on the smaller girl. More innocent, but no less deadly. . . desirable. Vegita had to mentally restrain himself and force his hands and leave the redhead to her bed.

~

Some days just didn't pay to wake up in the morning; especially when it had to do with training. Ranko had never felt so tired after such a long night. Despite it all, however, her mind was clearer than it had been in a long time. Why, she didn't know, but it was refreshing in its own way.

"Morning, monkey," she greeted the Saiyajin prince with a smile and continued towards the kitchen.

She wondered what was wrong with the buffoon. He had a stupid look on his face, a drastic change from the usual scowl. Ranko had to admit; he was kind of cute with his hair sticking up in all directions like he hadn't gotten much sleep. Wonder what was wrong with him?

Finishing a bowl of cereal quickly, Ranko tossed the dish into the sink for later and headed for a quick bath and then on to training.

"Cold?" Vegita asked with a smirk as she went by.

Ranko gave him a weird look and scratched her chest. There was a bit of a breeze, but what did he care? Shrugging her shoulders in a way that distracted Vegita greatly, Ranko headed for the bath.

~

She scowled after getting dressed and heading out into the training area. Vegita could have told her the uniform had been shredded. The stupid monkey had just leered at her while she walked around butt naked.

To get her mind off of the amused expression on Vegita's face, Ranko had started trying to recall the change and how it happened. It was definitely a result of the Neko-ken, but she wasn't sure how. The power had seemed to come out of nowhere, but Ranko knew that wasn't true. The loss of her family and friends had driven her to the edge and now it felt like she was starting over in life.

"I can't believe I forgot why the hell I'm doing this in the first place," she muttered angrily to herself. Ranko stared at her open hand; without tension or strain. "I should at least be angry still."

It had been a long time since she thought of any of them. Akane, Ryouga, even her mother, they had all fallen to the back of her mind with the things she regretted, like a dream slowly fading from memory. Cell's image was etched in her mind though. Either way, Cell dies, but she even remember why.

Memories of a life falling through her fingers, it wasn't always like this, was it? How much of her life did she remember while she was on the training trip? She didn't even remember she had a mother until they met. Maybe it's this room. Maybe people needed a constant reminder of who they were or else they lose themselves to what they become?

Ranko shook her head, "Maybe I'm just full of shit! Damn it! I never use to think this much!" Perhaps the only reason Ranko was now questioning herself was because she never use to ask herself questions. This didn't help figure out how to control the transformation though.

It came to her when she thought of calling up her power. Like one of Ryouga's fits, she had expended herself completely. Ranko had driven herself free of her depression with the transformation. All of her emotional energy had been bled off, so to speak. No, not bled off, it was more like obliterated into millions of pieces and they were floating around her. She could almost touch it if she reached out. She could feel her happiness and her depression, her anger, all on the tips of her fingers. It was like nothing she ever experienced before. If ki blasts were like walking, this felt kinda like blowing up a mountain. Energy rushed around her, above her, through her, making her giddy.

What was left in its wake was a well of ki so deep Ranko felt like a child fallen down a pit and then filled with water and drowning. She could only gain so much ki after using so much of it at once until total muscle shut down.

That was the thing with ki. People thought it was attached to the soul and every time you used it you were stripping away a part of your very soul.

That wasn't true at all, though ki and soul were affected by one another in different ways.

The soul, that curious unseen thing, is like a bow. To gathering strength or energy required the soul to be able to bend. Of course, the farther you can bend the bow the more power you had, but you could only bend the bow if had the strength to bend it. Ki is the arrow. Ki without a bow is useless, likewise, a bow without an arrow is equally as useless. Well, actually you can make a pretty good campfire with a bow. But the analogy still stands.

From the other direction a person cannot have a soul without ki. If Ranko ever used up all of her ki, impossible considering she would be rendered unconscious before being able to dig that deeply, her soul would no longer have enough power to tie it to her body. And when the bow breaks, the cradle will fall. A soul was attached to the body's energy and without ki it sought out the next most compatible source of energy; what most referred to as heaven.

The use of ki was important to martial artists as it could improve the clarity of someone's soul, making it easier to gather energy, a requirement since ki builds on itself every time it is used. This is the reason people like Cologne and Happousai are the way they are. Three hundred years of using ki had sharpened Happousai's soul so much he was the embodiment of lechery. His entire life had been directed towards perversion that his soul had been permanently disfigured by it. Cologne was more stable in that she didn't depend on emotions to touch her ki. Hence the Soul of Ice was one of her most devastating techniques. She didn't distort her soul by having emotions clinging to it. Her soul was broader for that reason. Ranko was almost certain that she could beat Happousai in the shear amount of power she could gather with a broader focus.

That's what Ranko was doing now, meditating in the emptiness of the Chamber. For sixteen years her soul had affixed itself to her pride, and if she wasn't careful, it would have asphyxiated her. It has only in the past year had she been using it to any great extent. The damage was not beyond repair yet. Gaining power extending from every facet of her soul would be hard, but after her transformation Ranko had a very large bow to work with.

Another transformation would help her if she could get it to work.

Staying in that transformed state uses a lot of ki all at once and will help shape her soul in a very short amount of time and it will extend her "ki well" at the same time.

Ranko hadn't been wrong completely when she told Vegita that his transformation was like a contracting bicep. His transformation, and Ranko's own, was a result of their ki. And just like a muscle, ki can build on itself. Every time you flex it you work it out and strengthen it. Ranko's transformation had been a very intense work out that created a large void of space in her reserves to be filled with new ki. The one change had more than doubled her ki well. That sort of change won't happen again unless she finds a transformation beyond the first like Vegita had.

"Okay, Ranko, start slow and start building it up." Her eyes were closed and she stood in a tense ready stance. Ranko's power level elevated with every deep breath until she got to her highest point in her normal form. She noticed immediately how much higher it was than before and was not surprised. Now all she had to do was cause the transformation.

That was apparently easier said than done. "How did I do it the last time?"

Her frustration was obvious an hour later when Vegita found her still searching. The girl had been avoiding him all morning and he was looking forward to another sparring session with her transformed state. With his new sight into ki, Vegita could follow her probing through her body and soul for that power again. "You can't do it anymore?" he asked, very irritated.

Ranko scowled and opened her eyes. Sweat was rolling down her face after holding her battle aura to it's highest for as long as she could. By now it was almost halfway gone. "Shut up, asshole! I can do it, I was just trying see how it was done!"

Crossing his arms over his chest, Vegita snorted and looked down on the redhead over his nose. "Don't lie to me, woman. I don't need to be able to read your ki to see you are tired and frustrated. Even if I could it would have told me the same thing! You're tired and weak, and of no use to me!"

Hands starting to clench, Ranko met the Saiyajin's eyes and snarled. "What the fuck did you say, you monkey?! I may not be the over-muscled, pea-brain you are, but I am not weak!"

Vegita blurred for a moment and his fist was planted in Ranko's stomach.

Her body folded in half and she flew several meters further into the training area. "That super form of yours could have avoided that hit with ease. Now you're just a useless little girl again. At least before you could have at least amused Cell for a few minutes. Why don't you just stick to training the real fighters?"

Though her stomach felt like it had been flattened against her back, Ranko stood up and hissed at the arrogant Saiyajin. She wasn't useless and she wasn't weak, but she had also never beaten Vegita or Cell without some trick. When they had figured out her tricks she'd been like a snail before the proverbial steamroller. Ranko so wanted to wipe that smirk off of Vegita's face.

Across the way, Vegita had to hold back a grin when he felt Ranko's ki begin to boil over against his face and claws flash around her fingers. "Better yet," he taunted, arrogantly, "why not tend to the kitchen like a proper woman. Fighting is a man's business."

Everything stopped. Vegita was startled by the sudden drop in Ranko's battle aura and almost decided to find out what was wrong.

Ranko's eyes had gone wide as she stared at her hands when they went lack.

She used to be a man. A man! Those memories were starting to fill her mind the way a fox would stir up a hen house. She had so many memories of being a guy, named Ranma, not Ranko. She had dark hair and was engaged to several girls by her father. How long had it been since she had even thought of that? Was this one of the first things of her old life that Ranko had truly pushed behind her?

Tears sprang up in Ranko's eyes and fell to the ground at her feet. "I . .

. I . . ." Ranko sobbed and tried to brush her eyes clear. Her vision blurred again and she looked up at the frowning warrior before her. Hate filled her then, deep hate that circulated through her entire body.

The battle aura returned in a furious response and Vegita tensed slightly.

Whatever he had said to cause this made him slightly wary. The first time they had fought in Ranko's transformed state she had been new to the change and only playfully vicious. Focused rage, he'd learned, could lead to a great deal more pain before Vegita would win. Ranko tended to come up with nasty tricks in that state of mind.

In an instant, Ranko found a trigger and she was rapped up in a deeper level of power that made her short hair stand on end and her eyes change to a yellow color.

Smirking, Vegita transformed himself and got ready for another good fight.

"There goes that theory..." Ranko thought to herself as the Nekojin transformation overcame her.


~

It was nearly eight hour later when Ranko finally ran out of energy to keep fighting. Vegita had taken some serious hits from her ki claws but so had she gotten a real pounding by his ki blasts. Vegita was clearly the winner through sheer stamina.

Neither of the fighters were unconscious this time, but Ranko at least wouldn't be getting up again for a little while. Laughing deeply, Vegita dropped to the ground on his back and enjoyed the high slowly tapering off in his body. The sparring session had been invigorating in a way Vegita hadn't felt since his last match against Kakorotto. There was a name he hadn't thought of in a long time. He wondered what the other Saiyajin was doing now. Was he even a match for Vegita any longer? That would be a fun idea to test.

He felt, Vegita tried to come up with a word for it as he stared into the distance. He felt . . . like a man again. The previous worries over his heritage and the future of his race had fallen to the wayside. Vegita could identify that soothing each time he breathed it, it was peace. Something he hadn't felt since Frieza had destroyed his home world. But let's get real, Vegita never really felt it before his world got destroyed either.

The reason for his current state was on her knees, leaning against one arm and panting heavily after her extreme exertion. Vegita's eyes traveled over the redhead's form and found himself desiring a human female for the second time in his life. With Bulma it had been a desire to propagate with the only woman even remotely worthy enough to bear his child, a half-breed at that. While he did have some affection for the blue-haired scientist, she wasn't available to him. With Ranko . . . she was a warrior, a powerful one at that. She was more than just strong and beautiful; Ranko was worthy of being his mate. Vegita's passion filled mind had even found affection for the slight redhead, the way he'd imagined he'd feel for a Saiyajin female. Plus she was here.

With a growing smirk, Vegita stood up and made his way over to the nineteen-year-old girl. Age did not mattered to a Saiyajin, only strength. Ranko's eyes tracked his progress until he stood over her. "What?"

Without a word, Vegita scooped the girl up into his arms and pressed her body against his. One hand went down to her ass while the other brought her head up so he could kiss her.

Ranko was at first too shocked by the action to realize exactly what he was doing, after she identified the act, she still couldn't quite make the connection. It felt too right to be wrong though. Vegita's tongue invaded Ranko's mouth. A Power surged through her, and the mist in her thoughts was cleared away by instinct. With no longer a care Ranko's own tongue playfully flickered against Vegita's.

Vegita pulled his head back after a long minute of wrestling with Ranko's tongue and he stared deeply into her eyes. "You belong to me now, woman."

A deep growl rolled on the bottom of her throat, "I belong to no one."

"You would like to think so." Ranko could feel her body being carefully deposited back onto the ground with Vegita's frame still hovering over her. His hands slid up her sides to rest on her breasts and she groaned with pleasure.

Focused on his lusts, Vegita grabbed a hold of Ranko's new uniform and tore it quickly from her body. This was the third time he'd seen her naked, but this was the first time he could truly appreciate it, the way it responded to his touch.

Ranko would have responded in kind, but she was still weakened from their workout that she could only run her hands over armor and exposed arms. After mauling her breasts for a few moments, he came back up to her face and she could tell he was tugging at his own pants. Before he could do anything more, Ranko attacked his neck where it connected with his broad shoulders and sank her teeth deeply into the flesh. Blood flowed into her mouth and she drank of it deeply, intoxicated by it.

A deep rumble began to build within Vegita's chest when Ranko did this. It was so primal and perfectly Saiyajin. He could not get Bulma to do this to him or he might have felt something more for her. The fight had ignited something deep within Vegita and he could not deny the connection he felt for the young redhead. As soon as she released him Vegita sank his own teeth into her soft, sweet flesh. He heard her scream in ecstasy and the rest of his body was ready to respond.

The moment Vegita's teeth touched her skin, Ranko's body was aflame with passion. She wanted to feel him, to be surrounded and filled by him. She ached for this, to begin this new life, to be transformed by Vegita in more than body. A love unlike anything she had felt for . . .

Ranko ended her cry and stared up at Vegita as he positioned himself at her crotch and felt her eyes unfocus without going blurry. Vegita's powerful form, stood above her. Thoughts once again began to cloud her mind

Nearing the height of his passion, Ranko startled Vegita again when her body suddenly went cold, his own skin began to feel the chill. He looked back up to her eyes look upon him sadly. Vegita hadn't said anything when Ranko brought her hands up to his chest and spoke two words softly.

"I'm sorry."

Vegita watched the girl pull herself out from under him and then carry the remains of her uniform back to the temple. Without anything to direct his anger at, the Saiyajin exploded with energy and began to fling powerful ki blasts all about the area.


~

He wasn't sure how long he'd been lying there. The effect had been something like one of Miss Hinako's ki draining attacks. Thankfully he had avoided those a lot more often than Ranma since he had spent so much time training in the wild.

The last thing he remembered was Ranma-chan's smiling face as his great depression ki fell down on the both of them. It was his first true victory over the pigtailed martial artist. She had looked at him like someone accepting their fate and as terrible as their final moments had been Ryouga's chest had swollen with pride for his greatest achievement.

Releasing a deep sigh, Ryouga tried to take in his surroundings. This darkness and claustrophobia was not what he expected of the afterlife.

Ryouga was expecting something like big white clouds and pearly gates. The Hibikis were a Catholic, bunch unlike the Saotomes who were Shinto. You had to be Catholic to go on about Hell the way Ryouga did.

Maybe that was a problem. Going to church while he was younger had freaked him out a few times. Ryouga certainly didn't want to get on the bad side of a wrathful god. So he tried to follow all of the rules as best he could and yelled at anyone who strayed off of the path. Unfortunately it was after he lost his way to church that they actually got into the New Testament and so missed learning about God's new forgiving side.

Whatever his belief though, Ryouga was getting seriously annoyed by the struggle it took to walk down this long hallway to the light at the end of the tunnel. Why did the tunnel have to be so tight anyway?!

By the time Ryouga was able to stretch his shirtsleeve wide enough to wiggle his piglet body through he started to think there might be something wrong.

"Oh my God! I died and went to heaven as a pig! I probably went to piglet heaven too! Damn you, Ranma! This is all your fault!"

Nobody heard him, however. Even if someone had been around they wouldn't have been able to understand the squealing anyway.

Very depressed, Ryouga-buta looked about the ruined school courtyard and tried to find his bearings. These were definitely not fluffy white clouds.

Maybe he truly was in hell. He couldn't think of anything he'd done to deserve this kind of fate though.

Well, there was that time he'd slept in someone else's bed, but he'd thought he was in his own house.

Then there was that time he'd gone around town in a dress, but he'd lost his clothes after getting hit with some cold water!

He'd also raised his voice to his father a few times not realizing who he was at the time. Ryouga didn't see his family that often.

There was also that time . . .

Ryouga big sweated and wondered if he should have confessed those sins to a priest or something before going out in that final battle.

It started to rain and Ryouga looked up at the darkening sky. Hmm, not the rolling fire he'd expect from Hell. And why would he appear in the courtyard he'd died in? He didn't believe in hungry ghosts. Perhaps, Ryouga's eyes went wide, perhaps he had survived!

"Bwee! Bwee!" He cheered happily.

Oh, right. Still a pig. Well then, he just needed to find some hot water and go see his sweet Akane . . .

A pile of clothes was starting to dampen as rain started to fall. Ryouga stared at them for a long time, feeling they were important somehow.

It hit him with a flash of lightening. It was a yellow gi, the same thing

Akane wore when she practiced. Ryouga had seen her in them often enough to recognize them. What were they doing here though?

He looked about but didn't see Akane or anyone else around. Ryouga figured at least Ranma would pick up the clothes for his fiancee unless he was a real jerk. That would be so like the bastard to treat Akane like this! As soon as Ryouga found some hot water he'd give the pigtailed-

Red hair and sad blue eyes jumped forward in his mind.

Ryouga shook his head and tried to order his thoughts. What had happened?

There was a fight and he had done something . . . what? . . . he'd beaten . . . Ranma? Ryouga had defeated Ranma in a fight?

"Bwee!" At last he had put that smug bastard in his place! Now he could go find Akane and declare his love for her! She'd be so happy to be rid of her unwanted fiancé!

With a great squeal, Ryouga raced off in a random direction he believed would lead him to the Tendou dojo. He couldn't wait to see Akane again!

~

Trotters clicking along the sidewalk, Ryouga-buta was making his way along to the Tendou dojo. He was still feeling good for some reason and couldn't imagine why since he's usually a very depressed individual. It was probably because he'd done something to make Akane happy. She'd give him something to eat and take him to a comfortable bed for doing something good. Ryouga-buta liked that. Akane was so nice.

By some stroke of luck, Ryouga-buta discovered the Tendou dojo was not far from Paraguay. Bweeing at the door, he tapped the wood with his front foot. Any moment now Akane or her older sister would answer the door.

Unless the annoying male answered. Ryouga-buta wanted to bite that one on the butt and chase him off. That one was trying to steal his food all of the time. It made him so mad. He'd give the boy such a thrashing as soon as he got his hands again.

Hands?

~

The door had been open, much to Ryouga-buta's delight. It was easy to nose it open far enough to let him in. Things were quiet in the house, more than he was used to. Usually something was happening or someone was around to find him.

He was feeling slightly worried. There was an air in the place that was just off. An emptiness he wasn't sure how to deal with. With cautious steps he trotted down the hallway to the living room and sniffed about for a familiar presence. He'd like to find pleasant long hair who always had tasty food for him. Nice blue hair liked to take care of him too, but her food was not as good as pleasant long hair. That was okay though. The two were family so Ryouga-buta got to see them both when he was here.

He decided they were just gone for a little while and would be back soon. It was turning into sunrise and Ryouga-buta hadn't slept at all during the night, so intent he was just to get here. Perhaps he'd go to nice blue hair's room and sleep in her comfortable bed until she came home. She would come back and take care of him and feed him and it would be wonderful.

With this thought, Ryouga-buta began to search for the closet that would take him to nice blue hair's room.

~


A gurgling in his stomach woke P-chan up later that day. His owner hadn't been home in a long time and the piglet was getting hungry.

He knew he was on her bed by the scent in the sheets. She would find him without trouble when she got home, but P-chan wished she would hurry up. He wanted something to eat.

Feeling distressed as he was, the piglet rolled onto its side to rub against the sheets that smelled like his owner. P-chan always got petted when he was feeling distressed. Sighing and ignoring the pain in his stomach, P-chan decided to go back to sleep on nice blue hair's pillow. It would make time go by faster and he would be eating before he knew it.

Liking this, P-chan rested and waited.

~

It had been several weeks since that day. Ranko and Vegita moved through their routines without speaking more than a word to one another now. Most of the time though, Ranko would just avoid the Saiyajin and focus on her own training now that he didn't need her help so much. Anyway, more Anything Goes wouldn't do much good with the short amount of time left to adapt them to his fighting style. It hardly mattered much anyway since a lot of the subtler points of the Art were useless against someone as well armored as Cell was.

At the moment, Ranko was recalling the feeling she got each time she transformed. It was not like the Saiyajin transformation as that was a conversion from simple ki to pure ki. A Super Vegita had the same ki, but it was not as filtered by emotions in soul as before. In effect, the Super transformation gave Vegita's more of a transparency, a simpler focus like what a child would have.

Ranko suspected it would be easier for a younger Saiyajin to make the transformation as they felt pure emotions easier. Not at all like older people whose minds were preoccupied with many things at once.

Ranko's transformation was not a simple sharpening of her soul to draw upon purer energy; it was a complete change in the form of her soul. The

Neko-ken, without it she doubted she could make such a transformation.

Perhaps this was the true purpose behind the Neko-ken. Someone with enough focus and control would gain an immense amount of power and relative to a normal human they would seem to be invincible.

For that reason, Ranko was unsure how she felt about using the transformation. She was a different person in her Super form. That much was apparent in her willingness to be ruled by her emotions, the ferocity in a fight, and the cattiness when she was just lounging about. Gaining the Super form required more than a simple excitement of ki like it did for the Saiyajins. Ranko needed to be in the right state of mind to allow the Neko-ken control. She kept control of herself and could remember what she did now when she returned to normal. If she wanted to make any greater advances in her power she would need to stay in that form, somehow make it her permanent form.

It was possible, she realized if she could meld the two souls into one.

But could she do that to herself? Could it even be done at all? There was no way of knowing what sort of person she would be if she let it happen. What if she lost all control one day? Ranko could end up being as bad as Cell. If someone made her angry she might just slice them into pieces with her claws.

Then again, if she didn't do it and wasn't able to help the other fighters destroy Cell then they would all be dead anyway. Good news bad news: she could put herself through transformation that just might make her end up psycho, or let the everybody on the planet die. Decisions, decisions. "Kami," Ranko sighed deeply to herself, "should I do this? What if I end up a killer?"

Those thoughts plagued her mind for several more days while she explored the process of her transformation. Couldn't there have been another way to find power without sacrificing so much? Hadn't she lost enough as it was?

"How long are you going to stand there staring at the food, woman? I'm getting hungry," Vegita announced grumpily. He'd been like that for a while now. Ranko had gotten used to staring at him without looking at his eyes. She needed to focus.

Ranko had a purpose. Ranma had given it to her the day she woken up on the

Turtle Hermit's island and let Chichi brush out her hair. Ranko had to become strong enough to kill Cell.

The knife still in her hand, Ranko turned to see Vegita in the kitchen. He was shirtless after taking a bath to wash away the sweat from their last fight. She felt a blush form and fought to keep it down. "Hold your horses, monkey. It'll get done when it's done!"

Vegita scoffed and took a step towards her. "I'm getting tired of this attitude of yours, woman."

"I ain't got no attitude," she answered petulantly. He was getting awful close, Ranko noticed.

"All of your whining," Vegita sneered, "you're starting to sound like one of those pathetic weaklings."

"I am not a little girl!" Ranko snapped automatically.

He was right in front of her then, staring at her intently. "What are you then?"


Ranko hedged about for an answer and eventually dropped her eyes to the counter where she'd been working before.

Vegita snorted. "This indecisiveness of yours is getting annoying. Maybe you should stay in your Super form. Then at least you'll commit to something."

"Shut up. You don't know anything about that, you dumb-ass monkey!"

He caught her wrist just before the knife in her hand could touch him.

"Don't know what, woman?" He squeezed and Ranko let the blade drop. "I've seen you change since we came here. You were a weak human before, but in a little while you became a warrior. Now, after all of that work your slip backwards again. It's pathetic and irritating. If all you want to do is die tell me now and I'd be happy to oblige."

Ranko pulled at her wrist, hurt and angered by his words. She didn't want to have to deal with this right now. There was so much more she had to worry about. Her problems were her own and they weren't as important as the rest of the world. Ranko was a tool. Ranma had made her promise; she would find a way to kill Cell and then meet her family in the next world.

"Well?" Vegita shook her by the wrist angrily. "Speak up, woman. Are you just going to go somewhere and cry again? I won't let you. You can blubber all you want, but you will answer me!"

Tears were streaming down her eyes as Ranko fought wildly against the powerful grip on her wrist. She had to kill Cell. She had to get strong. She didn't want to disappoint her family. She . . .

"Do you want to die?!"

"NO!" Ranko howled and turned her attack against Vegita, letting the Neko-ken take control and taking the Saiyajin by surprise. Super Ranko sat on Vegita's stomach and beat against his chest with her fists. "I don't want to die! I don't want to die! I love them and Cell killed them, but I don't want to go yet! I don't want to DIE!!"

Letting the transformation pass through him, Vegita grabbed the flailing catgirl and pulled her close enough he could whisper into her ear. "Then I won't let you."

Ranko froze in place and turned to stare at Vegita's face. She could see his firm resolve, the way his jaw clenched, and the healed bite mark she'd left on him weeks before. Her eyes went up to his eyes to stare into their depths as hard and defended as he kept them.

Two powerful arms went about her smaller frame as he stared back at her.

"You are mine, woman. I will kill Cell and you will stay with me. You are mine until I am dead, and a weak pathetic fool like Cell can't kill me."

Eventually Ranko's soul would have melded with the Neko-ken whether she wanted it to or not simply from the fact that she used it so often. Melding them quickly was actually a simpler process then she conceived, so of course the merger came as a complete surprise to her, as well as Cell. Pieces of both were lost and gained, but in the end Ranko was transformed forever. Her physical form found an intermediate compromise while maintaining her new upper power limits. The extra fur was gone and her physical claws were trimmed, but the pupils in her eyes remained slitted and her tail swished about as brightly as before.

"I . . . I-" Ranko didn't know what to say and yet she wanted to tell him something. A smile forming on her face, Ranko leaned forward to kiss him and purred, "Thank you."


~


Kuillin sighed as he continued to wait for the large bronze doors to open.

A little while ago Goku had had to rush off to keep Cell from destroying the Japanese army.

After spending a little time with the Sons, Goku still insisted that he wasn't strong enough to defeat Cell. Kuillin wondered how his friend could say it so casually and yet be so confident they would win. He had to be pulling his leg. Gohan had become a Super Saiyajin after a year in the Chamber of Space and Time so Goku must have made a huge leap in his power levels as well.

Of course, Vegita was in that same room right now. This was the prince's second time and this time with a martial arts master. Ranko had been something else and yet she had such a low power rating. If she could teach Vegita to be that good and with his power level so high, would he be able to destroy Cell imself?

Kuillin shuddered at the thought. Though Vegita had changed since the first time they had met him, the Saiyajin prince was still a dangerous person, an unpredictable ally at best, a person who routinely pisses on the line between good and evil. There were times when Kuillin thought the Saiyajin might destroy the world in his pursuit to best Goku by proving himself against powerful enemies like the androids.

Staring at the doors, Kuillin wondered, "Maybe training with a woman will make him cool his temper." A second later he snorted at the very thought. "If he didn't kill first that is."

That seemed all too likely with Vegita's attitude.

Trunks was among the first to arrive when a day had nearly finished since Vegita and Ranko entered the room. He was anxious yet wary of whatever might appear out of those large doors. Vegita had been something of a story character for the boy while growing up. Though his mother had warned him of what Vegita was like, he still had expectations. So far things had not gone as he expected. Couldn't his father understand the suffering he'd gone through with the androids in his future? Why did he allow Cell to achieve his perfect form? Was his father truly a monster?

Goku and Gohan returned to the lookout, eager to see how powerful Vegita had become. A few of the others were more interested in Ranko and if she survived at all. This would be the first time Vegita chose to work with a human. Surely Ranko's luck hadn't kept for a whole year.

"Do you suppose Vegita could be more powerful than he was before?" Yamcha asked as he arrived alongside of Tien.

"I hope so, though Vegita was pretty impressive before," Goku said, happily enjoying his own obliviousness. Others may be more concerned if he wasn't around to keep Vegita in check, but there was always that chance. Vegita could very easily destroy the planet. Some wondered how it lasted so long arleady. Most people even wondered how the planet Vegita lasted long enough for Frieza to destroy considering the number of violent, powerful fighters born on it.

Tien crossed his arms, deep in thought. "How do we divide the rest of the time? Are you going back in Goku? You've only been in once."

Shrugging his shoulders, Goku shook his head. "Nah, Gohan and I are ready for the tournament. I think it's better that Gohan spend some time with his mother and catching up in his studies."

"Wow," Kuillin smirked at the still blond Gohan, "I never thought I'd hear

Goku agree with Chichi like that on his own."

Gohan nodded in agreement. He had been hitting the books pretty hard since he'd been back. His mother had been very pleased to see it, maybe because she couldn't be a scholar herself. It was a very strange situation considering Gohan was a Saiyajin and gaining in power faster than his father had. Though he didn't much like the method, Gohan knew he was the strongest of anyone for his age.

"What should we do about Cell though?" Yamcha asked cautiously. He was hoping Goku would reveal his plan. Maybe they could all relax then. "We could send in weaker fighters first and maybe wear him down, huh?"

"Maybe," Goku allowed. "But I'd rather just get it over with quickly. Not many of us would be more than a passing annoyance for someone of Cell's power. Who knows though? Maybe Vegita's training will have given him the edge we need to defeat Cell."

Sighing, Yamcha nodded his head wearily. "I guess. I sure wish I had your optimism, Goku."

"C'mon, guys. It will be alright. I'm sure of it."

They each nodded in response and turned to see Dende arriving with Mr. Popo. The young kami simply smiled at them and turned to the doors, which swung as soon as he was there.

"Now we find out what another year did for Vegita," Kuillin muttered.

A confidant gait, smirk on his lips, and black hair, Vegita stepped out of the room and looked over the crowd like he saw something amusing in passing.

What struck the others was the absence of any anger or disgust. Vegita actually seemed quite pleased with himself to the point of almost looking benevolent.


"So how strong are you, Vegita?" Goku asked eagerly.

Vegita just smirked and looked over his shoulder to see Ranko following him out of the room.

The light from inside was still bright and obscured the view for the others. It was a nimbus of power surrounding the young girl like something descended from heaven.

Ranko arrived, a sway to her step and a swish in her tail. The fighters gaped at the sight of Ranko-neko, forgetting Vegita for the vision standing beside him. Aside from her new, exotic beauty, they could all tell Ranko's base power level had risen to something higher than the strongest of the human fighters. How such a thing was possible in only one year, they didn't know.

"Wow, Ranko!" Goku literally hopped from foot to foot. "You've really improved since you started training with Vegita. That's amazing! I didn't think humans could get that strong!"

The others nodded slowly, shock still running through their faces.


"H-How?" Kuillin stuttered.

"A-Are you part Saiyajin?" Trunks asked, very impressed.

Ranko crotched down placed a hand on the floor and let her tail whip about in irritation and counterbalance. "Do I look like a monkey, bright boy?"

"You're a fox," Yamcha muttered without thinking.

Ranko glared at him, but it didn't get through whatever mindless fantasy he was having.

"Gee," Kuillin began slowly, "does that mean Vegita got a whole lot stronger too?"

Crossing his arms over his chest, Vegita sneered and looked down on the bald monk. "Strong enough to deal with a weakling like Cell."

Nodding enthusiastically, Goku smiled. "I can't wait to challenge you after we deal with Cell, Vegita."

The Saiyajin prince smirked in satisfaction. Goku didn't know just how strong Vegita was, but they both knew who was stronger instinctively. It was nice commanding this much respect from Goku, a man who had usurped Vegita so many times in the past. "We shall see," replied Vegita with a smirk.

Floating a bit into the air, Ranko turned to gaze upon the Saiyajin. "I will see you in a few days after I take care of some things." And then she was gone.

A moment later Vegita was gone as well.



~

Flying over Nerima was not as alien as she thought it might be. Ranko often viewed the city from the rooftops or from being knocked over the city byAkane. She almost smirked, but memories were starting to return to her and

Ranko felt a new spring of sadness well up inside of her. So she flew lazily over the area, focusing on the parts she knew best; Ucchans, Cat Cafe, Furinkan High School, and the Tendou dojo only two of them survived well enough to be recognized.

For all of the lives Cell took, there really wasn't a lot of damage to the city except where Cell was met with resistance. There even seemed to be some people trickling back into the city. Apparently Cell had announced his intentions over the television so they felt it safe to return.

There was a small hope that maybe her own family returned to the dojo after hiding out in the wilderness to escape Cell. She landed softly at the doorand for a moment imagined the surprise on their faces when she stepped through that door. It was quiet, moreso than any home had a right to be.

Numb with a chill on her skin, Ranko entered the house and looked about the area. The front door had been open and a few things looked to be jostled, but no one was there. With heavy steps, Ranko walked through each room, like there was something she had missed by only trying to sense their kis. The kitchen clean the way Kasumi had left it. The dining room had the sake cups the father's used when plotting. Ranko considered going into Akane's room, but resisted. Things were too real as they were. She wanted one more night in this house to think about the happier times. She went to her room to lie down on her cot and stare at nothing. Ranko heard the sound of Akane working out in the dojo, Kasumi humming while she cooked dinner, and Nabiki listening to the financial report on the evening news. Her mother and father getting along as well as they usually did while her pops played Shogi with Tendou-ojiisan.

She couldn't sleep.

Ranko turned onto her side and stared at the other bedroll beside the guestroom window.

"I wonder if pops or anyone else made it. They could have escaped and just be hiding out somewhere now." She shook her head and rubbed at her eyes. She had to stop crying; it was a weakness that Ranko didn't need. "Knock it off, Ranko. They're gone and you better get used to it.

Don't turn into some weak girl now."

The house was dark though it was afternoon out. The sun avoided entering the building and Ranko had the feeling of being turned into a ghost, wandering these empty halls. It would be strange, like the rest of the world was alive, but she couldn't see it.

A creeping feeling worked over her feet when she got off her bed. If the house were infested with worms this is what it would feel like. Ranko realized that this is what was wrong with the house. It used to be somebody's home and it still looked alive, in a fashion. Like everyone had
gone out on vacation and would be returning at any moment. It had been only a few days in the real world since everyone died. The Chamber had given her
too much time to think. Ranko felt ashamed for almost putting this all behind her. It still mattered. Their deaths, all Cell's fault.

Silently, Ranko went over to the dresser and pulled out some of her old clothes. The bodysuit Vegita had given her was a year old and torn in
several places. At the time it was all she had, but she didn't want to wear it anymore.

Black pants and a yellow Chinese shirt were scooped out of the dresser along with some of the women's underwear she'd gotten from the time she played Ranko for her mother.

There was a picture on the dresser that caught Ranko's eye. It was taken a long time ago, only a few months in the real world, from when the whole gang
had shown up during the Christmas party. She realized then that she hadn't put up any sort of memorial for her friends and family. She should have done that sooner.

Taking the picture to the dojo, Ranko fit it alongside the picture of Tendou-san's wife. Lighting some incense, Ranko bowed deeply to the alter.

What did she say to them? They were dead and she was alive. Tears formed in her eyes again, but she tried to hold them back. "I'm sorry." It wrenched at
her heart to think of them now. As much trouble as they were, she didn't want to let them go. "I'm sorry I couldn't save you."

A tear rolled down her cheek, but Ranko grit her teeth and refused to let any others follow. "I won't . . . I'll be strong. I'll get out there and
kick that Cell's ass all over Japan."

Standing up, Ranko stared at the picture of smiling people. After ten years on the road with no one but her father for company, Ranko had loved her time
with the Tendous. She might have complained about some things, but it was easy for her to forgive just to have them around. She wanted them back
again, chaos and all.

"I promise you, Cell will not get away with what he has done." Her clenched
fist drew a little blood as small ki claws cut into her palms. The blood was
the only tear she'd weep from now until she destroyed Cell.

Ranko stepped back into the house slowly, feeling tired. She'd stay here
for the night and head out in the morning. Ranko didn't know where, but
staying at the house felt wrong.

"Bwee!"

"Ryouga?" Ranko gasped and looked around for the pig. It was coming from
Akane's room, of course. Grinning, Ranko rushed for the stairs and up
Akane's room. The duck plate clacked against the door when she threw it
open. There, wiggling excitedly on the bed and staring at her with happy,
little, black eyes, was the cursed boy. "Ryouga! I thought you'd died. I'm
so glad you're alright. I thought I was all alone." Ryouga squealed a little
and she picked him up and walked for the bathroom. The water was still
running and needed only a few minutes to heat up. "Instant humanity, just
add hot water," Ranko chuckled.

The pig wiggled about in her grasp. Without preamble, Ranko thrust him
under the water and pulled back. When nothing happened she tried again. The
pig squealed louder when he came back up.

Ranko stared into his eyes with a bit of panic in her eyes. The same
bandana covered his neck, the same cursed body, but the eyes were wrong.
They were duller than they were before. "Oh."

"Ryouga?" Ranko fell back onto her butt and held the pig against her chest.
It nosed around and then buried its head between her breasts. Ranko had had
her suspicions before, but here was the proof and suddenly it couldn't be
ignored anymore. "You're mommy's not here anymore, P-chan. I'll watch after
you though. That good with you?"

"Bwee. Bweeee."

Ranko nodded and dried P-chan off with a towel and set off for the kitchen.
"See if we can scrounge up something to eat."

"Bwee."

P-chan was a real pig. Ranko was a real girl.

Genma didn't need to be there to tell her what he thought of girls. She
knew it very well.


End Chapter Six
* * *

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