Bun Fu Fighting
Ranma Saotome. Many things in the eyes of many people. Powerful. Honorable. Cowardly. Sneaky. Fiendish. Unintelligent. A Sap. Baka. A Perverted Don Juan. Enemy-Of-All-Women. Possibly Brain-Damaged. A Battle-Maniac. Many of these things are only correct from one point of view, and some of them outright contradict each other. But there was one thing that Ranma Saotome was that could not be denied, despite the fact that nobody had realized it yet.
And that was Dead.
"This... this sucks."
"Thems the breaks, kid."
"I mean... I figured that her cooking would kill me sooner or later, yeah, but I always assumed that it would be a way further down the line. And from me actually eating it."
"This is definitely going on the top ten list of weirdest food-related deaths I've encountered. I'm thinking number four... maybe five."
"What could be weirder than being stabbed to death by a turkey dinner?"
"You would be surprised... actually, have you ever seen that old movie 'The Blob'?"
"Nnnoo.... can't say I have."
"Well, suffice to say that young miss Akane is not the worst cook in the world."
The conversation stopped as the door slid open and Akane herself walked into the room and screamed, attracting the attention of everyone in the house.
"And that... that's just not fair. I scream in horror and pain, and everyone ignores me. Akane screams, and everyone shows up in seconds. Drops what they're doing even. If someone had come when I yelled... And of course, one whack with Mallet-sama reduces the turkey to paste. That just..."
"Meh. Life sucks kid."
"Yeah... so. Is this when I...?"
"Depends... but I wouldn't advise it. Cross over now and... well, the Anything Goes school has built up a whole lot of bad Karma. So, for that matter, have the Saotome's. So much so, that just by being born into the wrong family and practicing Anything Goes regularly, you've picked up enough bad Karma that..."
Death paused and removed a calculator from his tattered black robes. He punched a few buttons, nodded, punched some more, then seemed to frown.
".... Well, if you crossed over now, you'd be stuck in hell for the next twelve billion years or so. What good karma you've managed to accumulate for yourself personally would alleviate that somewhat..." insert another few button presses here. "... but not nearly enough."
Ranma noted that while they were talking, the surroundings had faded into a uniform silver mist.
"So... that's it then? I'm going to be stuck in hell for... how long?"
"Not quite. You see, there are alternatives that I'm sure you'd prefer. You couldn't help being born, or who you were born to, and so the bosses take that into account. Your file also shows that you really didn't have much of a choice in which school you practiced either. So you've got a couple options. You can stick around as a ghost, you can cross over despite knowing you'll end up in hell, or... you could try reincarnation."
"That last one sounds... interesting. But, uh... don't I forget everything? I don't think I like that idea."
"If you would prefer to remember, that can be arranged. Of course with the memories would come all the accumulated bad Karma... but maybe this would be better. We arrange for you to slowly recall important bits and pieces of your past life. Bits that don't involve bad Karma. You'll still remember the gist of your past life after a while, just... not all of it. On the other hand, you'll have a lot easier time keeping your Karma levels 'in the black', so to speak."
"Hmm... yeah... that sounds nice, I guess..."
"And I probably shouldn't have to mention this, but once you reincarnate, every curse you managed to pick up over your lifetime will be gone. Including that incident at Jusenkyo-"
Death shrugged and waved a bony hand. Ranma dissolved into motes of sparkling light and floated away, to be reborn in a fitting form as Death moved on to speak with his next 'client'.
There was darkness and nothingness, as Ranma felt his memories being stripped away from him. He fought, knowing that many of them would be returned, but many of them would be lost forever.
And he wanted to remember it all, if only for a little while longer.
Then there was warmth, and light, and he could feel them slipping out of his mental grasp as he was born.
He was Ranma Saotome, Heir of the Saotome school of... of...
He was Ranma Saotome, engaged to....
He was Ranma Saoto... Ranma Sao... Ranma... Ran... He... he was....
"Congradulations, Usagi-hime, It's a healthy young girl. And the name?"
"Usagi... the second. Isn't that right... Chibi-Usa?"
As the last of his memories left him, Chibi-Usa began bawling at the top of her lungs for no apparent reason.
A.N. Just a quick little teaser of an idea that's been niggling at me for a while.