Another story by me. Series included are Ranma 1/2 and Magical Lyrical Girl Nanoha. I hope you enjoy. Please forgive any errors, and HTML code that I missed.
It was a lovely evening, the sun was just beginning to set and the sky was slowly fading into orange and gold colors. Today was a good day, even the few remaining people traveling too and from work seemed to think so. Smiles were prevalent, and every now and again there was a laugh.
One such person walking home seemed to be particularly cheerful. A tiny nine year old girl dressed in a white school uniform skipped happily across the sidewalk, not a care in the world. Her name was Nanoha Takamachi, she was a third grader. By all accounts, she was a lovely little girl, her light auburn hair was done up into two tiny pigtails, and her dark blue eyes laughed as she skipped and hummed a random tune.
In contrast was the boy in front of her. He wasn't laughing, or humming. He was staggering along, breathing heavily as he tried to recover himself. His once white gi was now a faint brown, and he looked remarkably exhausted. Every step seemed to be in agony as he clutched his side and winced. This boy, was ten. He had a black ponytail, and bright blue eyes. His name was Ranma Saotome, and a less kind person would call him a vagrant. His eyes weren't laughing as he stepped one step after another, and another, and another.
Most of the people on the street ignored the boy, even as they smiled at the girl. He was dirty, and the few people on the street were more comfortable ignoring the boy than acknowledging the boy. One or two people stopped him to see what was the matter, but a scowl from the boy scared them away.
On a different day, Nanoha might have ignored the boy as well, or maybe Ranma would have not been on the street at this time. This day however, this day, this future would became quite..... Interesting.
Magical Lyrical Nanoha 1/2?!
A Ranma 1/2 and Magical Lyrical Nanoha fusion.
"Ummmm." Nanoha hesitated a moment as she spotted the dirty boy in front of her.
On one hand, he didn't look like he wanted help, but on the other he might need help. It was an interesting thought, but ultimately Nanoha was a kind girl, and she hated to see people suffer. So she sped up her walk until she was right beside the boy and leaned forward, ignoring the rank smell of his unwashed gi.
"Are you ok?" She asked the struggling boy.
The boy glared at her as he continued to walk forward. His hand never moved from his side as he took another staggered step and a deep shuddering breath. "I'm fine!" He barked out. "Just got a cramp from runnin', that's all."
"It looks painful." The girl in the white uniform replied. "Are you sure you don't need help?"
"Humph." Ranma snorted slightly and moved away, uncomfortable at the proximity, the girl moved right with him. "Not as if a girl could be any help anyway."
Nanoha frowned mightily, and got in front of the boy, forcing him to stop. Crossing her arms she leaned forward and gave Ranma a look. "I will have you know that girls can do just as much as boys can do."
"Nah, girls are weak." Ranma straightened up as he ignored the stitch in his side, trying to not to be obvious about how uncomfortable Nanoha was making him.
"Really?" Nanoha smirked slightly. "I bet I can prove you wrong there."
"As if." Ranma stuck out his tongue. "Whaaa!"
Both children tumbled to the ground as Nanoha tackled Ranma. She ignored the fact that she had a skirt on, and her backpack was still strapped on her back. Her only thought was winning what was rapidly escalating into an all out wrestling match. At his peak this would have been little problem for Ranma. He was incredibly strong for his age, and almost inhumanely skilled. He was scared though, scared of hurting the girl, scared of her proximity, and just pain scared in general right now. He was also tired from his run.
The rolled around the sidewalk, Ranma trying not to hurt the girl, Nanoha laughing as she tried to pin Ranma in one of the few holds she knew. At some point she lost her backpack, and her clothing rapidly became scuffed and dirty.
"Hey watch it!" Ranma cringed as a flailing knee just barely missed hitting him square in between his legs. "Knock it off you crazy chick!"
"Admit it!" Nanoha laughed as she rolled Ranma onto his back. "Girls are just as strong as boys!"
"Nuh uh!" Ranma snickered himself as he rolled Nanoha off him, getting to his feet and picking up the kicking girl. One knee hit his chin perfectly, and the boy flopped to the ground, dropping Nanoha as he saw stars.
"Umm, are you ok?" Nanoha got to her feet and looked at the stunned boy.
"Ok, you're just as strong as me." Ranma got out woozily. "Can I go now?"
"Hehehe......" Nanoha scratched her head as she looked around, finding several of the bystanders staring at her and the boy incredulously. "Ooops."
"Huh?" Ranma got to his feet and dusted himself off. The boy blinked at the surrounding people and sighed. "Commere."
"Whaaa?" Nanoha blinked as she found herself and he backpack scooped up. "Eeeeeck!" She squeaked once as she found herself almost flying as the boy jumped onto a fence and began to run. For a brief moment the girl was scared, but once she found herself not falling she giggled.
"There we go!" Ranma stopped at a deserted section of the street and hopped off the fence. "All set."
"Wow!" Nanoha smiled brightly at the boy. "How'd you do that?"
Ranma blinked at Nanoha. "It's easy, you just get on, and run. Pops can do it a lot better than me tho'." His tone was slightly confused. "It's not that big a deal, you should see me hop on the roofs. That's a lot harder right now."
"You can jump on roofs?" Nanoha looked to the building and to Ranma, measuring the height.
"Well... Small ones." Ranma blushed and scratched his head blushing slightly.
"That's so cool!!!" The little girl gushed. "What else can you do?"
Ranma blinked at the now dirty girl, and shrugged. The two began to speak as they walked. Ranma forgetting about his training, and Nanoha forgetting about the fact that she was due home. In fact, they talked for far longer than either of them realized. It was only when Nanoha's phone rang that they both realized that it was dark out.
"Hello?" Nanoha's eyes grew round as she realized what time it was. "I'm so sorry mom! I'll be home soon!"
Ranma tilted his head as he watched the girl speak on the phone. He had never really actually watched someone use one of the things before. They looked kinda neat.
"Yes, I found a new friend! His name is Ranma, and he's so cool! He can jump on buildings and bend metal bars, and he's just like superman!" Nanoha gushed to her mother. "Of course I'll bring him home, everyone wants your cooking!"
Ranma shrugged as he listened. Free food was more than enough incentive for him. That Nanoha probably should have asked him never really mattered to him.
"Umm." The girl slid up to Ranma looking coyly at him. "Do you think you could do that fence thing again so that we can get home fast?"
"Sure." Ranma replied nonchalantly as he scooped up Nanoha, and hopped onto the fence and began to run.
"Wheee!" Nanoha pointed. "That way! Turn!" She shouted out, laughing all the while.
In short order they arrived at Nanoha's house. Setting down the giggling girl, Ranma slumped to the ground panting. That had about reached his limit of how much he could do in a day.
"Wow." The male voice from the house made Ranma look up. "And here I thought little Nanoha was exaggerating."
The man had brown hair and a small smile on his face. He looked like a normal father figure. Ranma saw them every day while he walked around. None of them made the hairs on the back of his head raise up.
"Daddy!" Nanoha smiled and waved. "This is Ranma!"
"Hello Ranma, I am Nanoha's father, Shiro." The man bowed briefly and continued "So tell me, are you the reason that my daughter looks like she got into a fight?"
"More like she attacked me...." Ranma mumbled briefly, then blinked as Nanoha began to blush.
"Ah kids these days." Shiro sighed and began to walk into the house. "Be sure to get cleaned up Nanoha. Ranma, you too, if you want to eat at this table you need to be clean."
"Huh!?" Ranma looked down at his dirty gi. "Why? I don't have a change of clothes. I am just gonna get dirty again!"
"You can wear some of big brother's old clothes!" Nanoha began to drag Ranma.
"Hey wait!" Ranma shook off the brief feeling. It was like he had just had a noose around his neck for a moment there. Weird, Shiro looked completely normal too.
"So little sister found another stray eh?" Nanoha's big brother chuckled "This one sounds really interesting."
"Yes, he is." Shiro replied as he sipped at his tea.
Dinner at the Takamachi's table was always an interesting affair. Subtly formal, yet relaxed, it was dominated by the good food and loving family. Currently Nanoha's mother, Momoko, was slowly placing the plates of food out. At the table was Nanoha's brother, Kyoya, her sister, Miyuki, and her father. It was easy to see the resemblance between them. Nanoha took after her mother, with long auburn hair and a soft smile. Her siblings took after her father.
"So he can bend metal bars and jump buildings." Kyoya smirked at the image of a ten year old imitating superman.
"I saw him run in carrying Nanoha." Shiro replied as he continued to sip his tea. "There are rumors of people capable of becoming far greater than anything you think might be possible. This, Ranma, seems to be one of them."
"Hey! Lemmie go! Wait!!!" SPLOOSH!
"Umm.." Miyuki chuckled slightly as she heard the yelling from the bathroom. "I think we should be more worried about what Nanoha will do to him than what he will do to Nanoha."
"She's a good judge of character." Shiro nodded at his wife as the woman walked to the bathroom with a worried look at her face. "Our dear Nanoha is far more mature than her age suggests."
"No fair talking about me when I'm not there!" The girl in question bounced into the room with a smile. "Ranma will be here in a minute! He has to dry off!" All the dirt that had been on the girl was off, and she was in a simple colored dress instead of her now dirty uniform.
"Considering the ruckus that happened, I am not surprised." Kyoya smiled into his drink.
Nanoha wrinkled her nose. "For such a strong boy, he was sure a wimp about taking a bath."
The table chuckled. In a moment, Momoko came in, guiding a sheepish looking Ranma. The boy was dressed in a simple black tee shirt and pants. Cleaned up he looked remarkably handsome, but whipcord thin, and every time he moved you could see his muscles ripple through his shirt. At his age there should be baby fat, a certain roundness in almost all children. There was none in Ranma.
"Have a seat here." Momoko pulled out a chair and settled in Ranma.
The boy's eyes went wide as he looked at the table. "Whoaaaaaa."
"Hehe." Nanoha giggled at the boy. "Have as much as you like!"
For one brief moment the boy looked at the smiling table, before he began piling up his plate. That got a few raised eyebrows, until the entire family realized that Ranma had already eaten half his plate and showed now sign of slowing down.
"Umph!" Ranma gulped and burped. "Its really good!" Everyone at the table was a bit wide eyed as the boy filled up his second plate. "Really really good!"
"You know, before I thought he wasn't being fed." Nanoha's father murmured softly to his wife. "But now I think he just ate his family out of house and home."
"Wow.." Nanoha blinked a few times, then looked at her plate. "Hey! Eat your own food!"
"But its so goood!" Ranma gulped down a few more bites.
"I don't care how good it is, it doesn't excuse you being rude!" The little girl scolded Ranma.
"Steal some back!" Ranma smirked at Nanoha. "You have to be fast if you want to get as good as I am!"
"Humph." Nanoha kicked Ranma in the shin underneath the table. "Play nice or you won't get invited back!"
Ranma immediately slowed down, and looked at Nanoha with wide eyes, cradling his third bowl of food. "But, but, but..." His eyes began to tear up.
Nanoha giggled at Ranma. "Ok, ok.."
"I think we should be sure that we have advance notice." Momoko murmured at her husband. "That boy will triple our food bill if we were to feed him full time."
"Hehe." Shiro chuckled at his wife.
"Thank you for the food!" Ranma called out as he began to leave the house.
"It was a pleasure having you." Shiro bowed to Ranma as the boy left. "Perhaps next time you can demonstrate a few things that Nanoha was bragging about?"
"Sure." The little boy began to walk out into the night.
"Oh, Ranma?" The boy in question turned around "When you get home can you tell your parents to speak with me?"
Ranma shrugged at the older man "I guess, it's kinda hard ta get pops to do anything though." With that Ranma jumped onto the fence again and began to trot gracefully away.
"He's a good boy." Shiro sighed and turned in to head inside. "I am not sure I want to know what he had to go through to be as strong as he is right now though."
"He is interesting." Momoko replied from her place inside.
"Did Nanoha say why she was so attached to the kid?" Shiro tilted his head at his wife. "She usually doesn't bring in human strays."
"She just said that he had such scared eyes at first." The woman sighed. "But I didn't see any of that.
"Nanoha's greatest strength is her empathy." The man smiled at his wife. "She is a very good daughter, and takes after her mother."
The next day was another sunny day. It was warmer, but just as beautiful as the previous day. Summer around this area was usually fairly mild, and often times the days drifted by in an almost dreamy haze.
At the Takamachi house, little Nanoha went through her early morning wake up, slowly and steady dragging herself out of bed in the almost comedic mockery of a zombie. The girl was obviously not a morning person, but she got up anyway. Her mornings consisted of a sleepy stumble forward and out of bed, then right to the bathroom to clean herself up. It was only after a long soak that she was able to function the rest of the day.
At the Saotome's campsite, there was a different approach for a wake up. Full contact sparring. The two figures almost danced around the campsite, sometimes in the air, sometimes on the ground. There was one large tent, and a small fire with a very large pot on top of it. The two figures were very obviously avoiding that part of the site.
"HIYAH!" Ranma punched forward, his fist impacting against his father's forearm to no noticeable affect.
"Faster boy! No opponent of yours is going to sit there and LET you hit!" Ranma Saotome's father was a large man, burly, and well muscled.
Where Ranma's build was lanky and build for speed, Genma was obviously built for strength. Dressed in one of his many white gi's and with a handkerchief wrapped around his head, with a pair of glasses that gleamed as he fought, the man looked like one of those old martial arts teachers. While Genma looked built for strength however, he was actually trained in speed as the man so aptly demonstrated on Ranma's next attack.
A quick leg sweep knocked the boy off his feet, and another kick flipped him into the air. Ranma had the briefest moment to defend himself before he found himself knocked backwards and into a tree halfway across the campsite. The boy hit the tree upsidown, and slumped down with a groan of pain.
"Humph, sloppy." Genma adjusted his glasses. "At least you took the fall right. Remember that combo, tomorrow I am going to use it again."
"Owwwy." Ranma groaned and fell over.
"Nothing is broken, you're just bruised boy." Genma frowned mightily and moved forward, lifting up Ranma by the back of his gi. "Work through it, and practice your healing mantra's while you train today."
The young boy grumbled as he dangled from Genma's grip. Crossing his arms he pouted. "I gotta run again today don't I?"
Genma snorted to himself. "No boy, you did a good job of it yesterday. I DID say I would make sure you were doing it, didn't I? Never underestimate your father!"
"Lazy old man." Ranma stuck out his tongue, slightly relieved.
"Go get cleaned up, and make sure you scrub this time." Genma growled out at Ranma. "You took a bath yesterday, got free food, and still came back absolutely filthy."
With that Genma tossed Ranma in the direction of the stream that served as a bath for the two of them. Ranma flew into the air, and landed like a cat almost out of sight. Rubbing his head a moment to remove the vertigo of the throw, the boy began to trot off to the stream.
At the campsite Genma grabbed the large pot and stirred it for a moment. It was generic rice, but it was enough considering the amount he and Ranma could eat. A quick check determined it was cooked, and Genma began scooping out several large scoops of rice.
"Bleck, just rice again." Ranma muttered as he walked back into the campsite.
"Either rice, or starve boy." Genma replied as he sat down across from Ranma with a mighty scowl. "Make sure you eat the vitamins too, if I find you didn't we are going to do some special training."
"Urk." Ranma paled slightly as he sat down across from his father. Special training usually involved something terrifying. The last one involving a chair, a bunch of wolves, and a swamp had given him nightmares for weeks.
"I think that there is a train nearby that we could do something with." Genma watch his child with a small smile. The boy had noticeably paled and was now eating as fast as he could. "Be glad it's breakfast, I got something good lined up for lunch, and if you aren't fast enough it's just going to be just rice again for you."
Ranma blinked at his father, eyes going round and watery.
"Bah!" Genma looked away, he knew his son was faking, but the puppy eyes got him every time. "Practice your speed, and be back here in time for lunch."
"Yes pops!" Ranma saluted and finished off his bowl. "What do I gotta do today?"
"Today is a very important lesson." Genma intoned, looking as wise as he could. "I want you to go around the block, memorize every street sign on the block, where it is, and what every house is numbered."
"Don't question your teacher boy!" The older man growled out. "If you can figure out the exercise before tonight I'll go easy on you tomorrow. If you can't you get a double block of sparring."
"I'm going, I'm going!" Ranma began to run off, still not sure what was going on, but not willing to risk Genma getting any new ideas.
Genma snorted lightly to himself as his child ran away. He wasn't going to get it probably, but who knew? Honestly it was an easy way to give the boy a rest from yesterday, and try to teach him something important. Knowing how dense Ranma could be really didn't give him hope for the second reason any time soon. The first reason was rather important though.
Now time to see if he would have to change his plans. With that thought Genma got to his feet and began to slowly meander out of the quietly hidden campsite and into the city street. The rush hour was just starting to begin, but the pedestrians gave Genma a wide berth. His quiet confidence and hefty build precluded anyone getting in his way. One or two people did bump him as he went on his way, but for them it was like hitting a steel wall more than hitting a person.
Finally the martial artist found himself at a quaint home. You could almost feel the family vibes coming from the place, and right in back was a small family owned dojo. This was probably the place, but considering who gave the directions.. With a loud, put upon sigh, Genma walked up to the house and knocked on the door loudly. Either it was the place or it wasn't.
"Hello?" Nanoha's mother blinked as she opened the door. It wasn't every day that a man wearing a gi knocked on your door after all.
"Good morning." Genma bowed quickly in greeting. "I am looking for the parent's of Nanoha? My name is Genma Saotome."
"Oh! You're Ranma's father aren't you?" Momoko brightened up slightly. "I am sorry if we kept the boy too long."
Genma just shook his head with a small laugh. "Don't worry about it, you fed my boy. I can imagine what he might have done to your table."
"Well.." Momoko giggled slightly before she took a step back. "Oh! Where are my manners, come in. My husband would like to speak with you."
Genma gave another bow and took a step inside, politely removing his shoes. "Thank you for inviting me in. I'm sure we have much to talk about." The man could already hear the accusations of child abuse and other crimes.
It was almost comical how many times he had to deal with this exact thing. Sometimes he had to talk the parent's down, other times he actually had to leave the area. In a way the police were easier to deal with. So long as he could prove that Ranma was perfectly happy and healthy they usually backed off. It was hard on the boy too. He was naturally friendly, and almost too kind sometimes.
This was looking like one of the times where Genma would have to pick it up and move on. It was rather sad in a way. Ever since that incident the boy had been twitchy and withdrawn. Last night had been almost a miracle in how much more lively Ranma had been. It would take effort to make sure that the boy didn't backslide.
"Genma Saotome?" Nanoha's father got up from his place on the couch. "I am Shiro Takamachi. It's a pleasure to meet you."
"The pleasure is mine." Genma bowed slightly and took the seat offered. "My boy said you wanted to see me."
"Indeed I did." Shiro smiled at his wife as the woman sat next to him. "We were wondering about your boy Ranma."
"Of course." Genma sighed internally, here it came.
"Exactly how strong is the boy?"
Genma found himself slightly startled at the topic. It took a moment, but he got the idea of where this was going. A bit different than the usual accusation. "Strong enough." Genma sighed a took a deep breath at the parent's look. "If the boy ever got it in his head too, he could probably break a grown man in half. You don't need to worry about that though, I have beat it very thoroughly into his head to be gentle."
"Nanoha apparently got into a fight with the boy when she met him." Shiro murmured something to his wife, and the woman got to her feet with a smile. "She was a bit scuffed in places, but she didn't have any broken bones, or for that matter bruises. I was more curious as to why you trained him to be capable of that."
"I want my son to be the best martial artist, period." Genma gave a shrug. To him that was everything, no matter the hardship, no matter what he had to do to him or his son.
Momoko came back into the room with a small tea set and a few cookies. With a smile she offered Genma some, and then sat down again, leaning against her husband lovingly. Despite himself, Genma felt a small pang.
"He's a sweet boy." Momoko smiled warmly. "He can visit anytime."
"Indeed." Shiro smiled at his wife before turning to Genma. "What are your plans for now? I assume you aren't local, since Nanoha hasn't dragged your son here earlier."
Genma snorted slightly, but was honestly surprised. Usually he had at least a death threat by now. "I am probably going to train my son here a month or so, he recently got into a training accident, and needs time to find his center. There aren't any dojos here with anything Ranma could learn, so I would probably have to pick up and leave soon."
"Well.." Shiro trailed off with a look at Genma. The gi-clad man sat impassive. "Perhaps we could arrange something. I would hate for Nanoha to loose a friend so soon after meeting him, and Ranma is honestly a very interesting boy. Maybe we can teach a few things."
"That would be very kind of you." Genma adjusted his glasses. He knew where this was going now.
With that the two families began to hash out a few details. It took a few hours, but in the end Genma had decided to find an apartment, and stay in the area for a good long while. Some of these family styles could get very formidable, and Genma was willing to take a few risks to get his son trained.
"Bleck, still don't know why pops want's me to do this." Ranma scowled to himself as he looked up at the street sign. "Now how do you pronounce that one?"
Squinting at the street sign did nothing to help him read it. Sure he could tell what the letters were, but the signs were starting to blend together. Ranma had been trying to memorize the streets all day, and if he was lucky could recite perhaps half of them right now. The thing was this entire area was rather upscale, and a single city block was larger than he had thought when he had started the task.
Rubbing at his eyes Ranma scowled at the sign and tried his best to memorize the name. That was the best he was going to do right now. He almost preferred having to run all day. Sure he wasn't dirty today, but at least he had something to focus on. This was getting ridiculous.
"Ranma!" A female voice made the boy look behind him. "What are you doing glaring at the street sign."
"Pops has some weird ideas of training." The tiny martial artist muttered in reply, turning around to see Nanoha walking up to him with two other girls. "I gotta memorize all the street signs and buildings around the block."
"That's kinda weird." The purple haired girl at Nanoha's side commented.
"You don't know pops." Ranma shrugged. "I can't figure out what the heck he wanted though, so I'm just gonna run around the block a few times then try again later."
"Umm, Ranma.." Nanoha placed a finger on her mouth in thought as she looked at the boy. "How long have you been doing this?"
Ranma blinked a few times, then looked up at the sun. "Let's see. Got up at sunrise, sparred with pops, ran around a bit looking at the signs, ran around a bit more, ate lunch and beat on pops some more." The boy trailed off. "Since the sun came up I guess."
Nanoha sighed, and the two girls next to her giggled slightly in disbelief. "Well, it's almost time for cram school for us, but we were going to get some snacks, you want to come with?" Left unsaid was that she wanted him to take a break.
Ranma visibly brightened, and ran in front of Nanoha with a big smile. "Food!"
"Typical boy." One of the girls at Nanoha's side sighed. "You say food and he forgets everything."
Ranma stuck out his tongue and pulled down his eyelid, ignoring the twitch he got in return. "Meh, it's not like a girrrl would understand." He drew out girl like it was an insult.
"Why you!" The blond haired girl twitched, and Ranma grinned in victory.
"Ranma." Nanoha's voice was cool and slightly irritated.
Both of Nanoha's friends giggled at the boy's face altered at Nanoha's look, and soon the four began to walk along the street. Ranma running back and forth, and every which way while the girls continued their sedate pace. Really Ranma had kind of wanted a fight of some sort. He was bored as heck, and the training that Genma had given him to do was boring. As it was, the tiny martial artist was trying to tire himself out by just running back and forth.
"Nanoha?" The blond haired girl turned when her friend stopped walking.
"Didn't you hear that?" Nanoha tilted her head as she listened.
The girl with purple hair tilted her head as well in an attempt to hear what her friend was talking about. "I didn't hear anything."
"Huh?" Ranma blinked a few times as he turned around. He couldn't hear anything, but he could tell exactly when Nanoha heard it by the way that she twitched again.
Before her friends could ask the question again, Nanoha took off running. The two girls were caught flat footed, but Ranma just blinked a few times and trotted to catch up with her. She was fast for a little girl, but to be quite honest Ranma was far faster.
"I heard it from this way!" Nanoha cried out as she ran pointing in the direction she was running.
Ranma sprinted forward and into a small clearing. Taking a quick look around he frowned to himself. "There is nothing here Nanoha."
"Awww.." The girl stopped behind Ranma and knelt down. In front of her was a small ferret.
Ranma had overlooked the thing as he ran in. He was far more used to wildlife, and had thought it to be nothing more than an injured rat. Kneeling down next to the girl as well the boy frowned slightly. Now that he was looking at it, this didn't look like the injuries and animal got normally.
"Did it get dropped here?" Ranma refrained from poking it. "It looks like it was someone's pet. It's got some weird necklace on it."
"It looks bad!" Nanoha's friends commented as they caught up. "What should we do?"
"Bring it to a doctor?"
"No a vet!"
Ranma sighed as he looked at the two girls. "Well.. If you wanna keep the thing." Ranma shrugged and pulled off his gi top. Wrapping the top around the ferret he got to his feet and lifted the creature up. "Injured animals bite."
"The vet is this way!" One of the girls pointed out as she got off her phone.
Whack! Whack! Wackwackwackwack THWUNK!
It was night now. Slightly cloudy, but not one of the worst nights to be out in. The noise from inside the dojo that belonged to Nanoha's family really just added to the atmosphere. Ranma had been practicing there since he had eaten dinner anyway, and he wasn't done quite yet.
Then again, maybe he was.
With a nervous look outside the boy slowly and almost stealthily began to walk out. He had a few visible bruises, but looked fairly happy and just a little bit dirty. The boy liked training. Well, training at his own pace at least. Genma's version of training would break lesser folk, and it was only because Ranma had grown up with the man that he was capable of handling it. Ranma had actually lost track of time in the dojo, and it was only with that latest mistake that he realized how late it was.
So the boy was sneaking home right now. Maybe he could get lucky and Genma would be sound asleep. Ranma didn't have high hopes of that actually.
A faint, far off crash made Ranma pause in his way home and frown mightily. He was familiar with a lot of breaking sounds, and that was like more something from a construction site than something you should hear at night. So with a shrug and a small smirk the boy began to run in the direction of the sound. Something that big this late at night was probably far more interesting than sneaking home.
Another crash sounded off, this one louder and far more violent sounding. Ranma picked up the pace at the sound of a small shriek. This didn't sound like something good.
Even prepared as he was for something unusual Ranma was forced to stop for a moment at the sight as he turned onto the street where he had heard the crash.
There was a crater in the center of the street. Not something that Ranma could do on a good day, but something that looked more like it was from a bomb. Whatever had caused the damage was still in there as well. It was black and nearly formless except for the glowing eyes. Eyes which were centering on the figure in white nearby.
Ranma didn't think, he just reacted as soon as he identified the creature's target. Moving faster than he had ever done in his life the boy drop kicked the black creature. It was like kicking sludge. His foot just sunk into the thing and it roared in pain.
"Nanoha!" The boy growled out as he ripped his foot out of the sludge and kicked it upwards as hard as he could. "Get away!"
The girl didn't seem to acknowledge him, concentrated as she was on the gem that the ferret had been wearing. For one brief moment Ranma was afraid the girl was frozen, but to his disbelief the tiny gem flared and grew. Where there once was a gem, there was now a staff and an entirely different outfit on the girl.
"What the..." Ranma almost forgot about the creature that he had been kicking, but years of Genma's sneak attacks had prepared him. The creature roared and its eyes glowed as almost taffy like it stretched itself out, lashing tendrils of itself across the street and just missing a dodging Ranma.
Then with one mighty heave the thing whiled itself into a large ball and leapt, far higher than it had a right too and barreled itself towards a cringing Nanoha. Ranma panicked for a moment, the angle was all wrong for him to intercept it, and it was going to hit the girl.
"Nanoha! Move damnit!" The boy cursed as he pushed off the side of the crater and into the air. He was going to be too late.
Ranma blinked at the pink barrier that formed. The creature was frozen in place as it attempted to crush the girl under it's weight, and you could see the battle of momentum that was taking place. It was decidedly in the girl's favor. The creature exploded under the force of the rebound and splattered everywhere. The shear force of the explosion caused the pieces to act more like shotgun shells than the taffy like texture that the creature had before. It was not kind to the person without the magical barrier. Nanoha was protected fine, but Ranma took the full force.
He coughed from the pain as he touched down, several new bruises and cuts adorning his body. Turning around he glared at the damage the creature had caused to the surrounding area before he realized that the pieces were still moving.
"Ok, explanations later." Saotome final attack then. "RUN!"
Grabbing the still slightly stunned Nanoha the boy began to sprint across the street. He barely took note of the ferret still clutched in Nanoha's grip, that is until it spoke.
"We need to seal it."
"WHAAA!" Ranma's eyes went wide as he looked at the rodent. To his credit he didn't drop Nanoha, but he was still very freaked. "The rat thing is talking!"
"His name is Yuno." Nanoha said simply as she waved the staff. "This is his staff I think."
"So you need to 'seal' that thing?" Ranma questioned as he took a quick corner and jumped a fence. This place was relatively clear, so he could fight it without having to worry about smashing important things. "How does a weasel seal something like THAT?"
"Nanoha is capable of doing it, she just needs time to feel how to." The ferret answered, still rather calm, well as calm as rodent could be while being jostled along.
Ranma couldn't help but think that there was another conversation going on behind the two, but to be quite honest with the big black thing chasing smashing the streets he was willing to make a few allowances. "Ok, so I distract the thing and you do whatever."
Setting down Nanoha the boy leapt back on top of the fence to look for the black thing. Behind him Nanoha pointed her staff forward and began to concentrate. Looking around Ranma thought for a moment that he had lost the thing, but then was able to spot it lurking, and then leaping into the air.
"Here it comes!" The boy called out as the thing barreled downwards into his perch. A quick back flip allowed him to avoid the impact crater. Blurring his hands, Ranma was able to catch some of the flying debris, and deflect the rest that had been heading towards Nanoha.
"Hit it just right and it will turn back into a jewel seed!" Yuno called from the side, and out of the way.
"Got it!" Nanoha called out as her staff lit up. "Jewel Seed Seal!" Pink ribbons of power shot forward and engulfed the black beast, just barely missing the dodging Ranma.
The thing roared once, loud and long as the ribbons wrapped around it's form. Then right between it's glowing eyes the roman numeral XXI lit up, and the thing dissolved in a bright flash of light.
"Huh." Ranma blinked as he watched the last remnants of the creature disappear. "Cool."
A small jewel like thing dropped to the ground. Approaching it warily the boy blinked at the almost innocent looking diamond. He was tempted to poke it, but considering the fact that it had just been a big raging beast he was probably best not. Nanoha seemed to have the same idea, but she poked it with the staff, and the diamond disappeared into it.
"Receipt number twenty one." The staff spoke as it lit up.
"Ya know, it means something that I'm not more freaked at the staff talking too." Ranma commented, looking back at the ferret. "Huh?"
"Yuno!" Nanoha ran to the downed rodent. "Are you ok?"
"Fine.. I just overexerted myself." Yuno replied as he was lifted. "We should probably get out of here though."
"Erk." Ranma paled noticeably as he heard the sirens. "I don't like police."
"Umm." Nanoha's magical staff disappeared along with the white clothing that came with it. "Lets run!"
Ranma snickered slightly and lifted up the girl and began to sprint away. Nanoha didn't even squeak as the boy jumped over a few fences and sprinted to a deserted park. Once there he set the girl down at a bench and dropped to the ground while taking a deep breath.
"Now what the heck is going on?" Ranma finally asked as he looked at the ferret.
"It's a rather long." The ferret paused as he propped himself up. "Explanation. I am sorry for getting you involved in all this."
"It was pretty cool." The boy shrugged.
"Oh!" Nanoha perked up as she thought of something introductions first. "My name is Nanoha Takamachi, and this is Ranma Saotome."
"Ah." The ferret gave a small bow. "I am Yuno Scrya. I am glad to make your acquaintance." One could hear how timid the thing was talking with the two.
"As for why I am here and what the monster was.." Sighing the ferret began to explain. "It's my fault. I was the one who found them, and I am the one responsible for collecting them. They are called.. Jewel Seeds..."
Ranma frowned as the ferret began to lecture. He knew it was important, but getting the boy to stay still was about as easy as convincing a bird not to fly. The only way you could do it is either break something or make him so exhausted he couldn't move. So Ranma did what he always did when he had to pay attention, he found something to play with.
"My clan and I are archeologists. " Yuno continued, unaware the direction of Ranma's thoughts and actions. "It was on a dig that we found them. They are part of an ancient civilization, and particular artifacts of this classification are called Lost Logia. These Lost Logia in particular are called Jewel Seeds. They are believed to be capable of granting wishes, but as that creature showed, they can have far different affects."
"So someone wished for that creature to appear?" Nanoha asked as she tilted her head.
"Not exactly. Whatever their original purpose the Jewel Seeds run on desire, and when there is no one around they start to coalesce into something like what you saw. Their powers can be rather random and unpredictable, so we decided that it would be best to have them sealed and stored." Yuno sighed and curled up in Nanoha's lap. "Instead though, they were scattered across this world in transit. I was the one who found them, so I am going to be the one to seal them back up. I just need to rest first, just a few days."
"We will help." Nanoha stated in reply. "Right Ranma?"
"Hmm?" Ranma looked up from the object he had been staring at. "I was kinda gonna help anyway. That was rather fun."
"You can't." Yuno got to his feet in consternation. "It's my responsibility!"
"And you got beat up." Ranma rolled his eyes at the ferret. "Not that big a deal if we help. Better that then people getting hurt."
"Right!" Nanoha nodded then blinked. "What're you playing with?"
"Huh?" Ranma held out the red gem that had been Nanoha's staff. "Wanted to see if I could make it do what you did." The boy frowned at the gem. "I can feel it tugging at me, but it's not doing it."
"Eh!?" Nanoha reached inside her shirt, where she had hidden the jewel. "When did you grab that!?"
"Just now." Ranma shrugged. "I think I got it though!" Ranma closed his eyes and frowned.
"Access Denied, insufficient mana." The gem flashed as it chimed back.
"Hey!" Nanoha snatched the gem back. "Sorry Raising Heart, Ranma's a bit rude and didn't know any better."
"It's ok, my master." The gem chimed again and went silent.
"Wait, wait, wait." The boy glared at the gem. "How does she get the staff and I get that weird message."
"Raising Heart has a threshold in which it will deny a user. " Yuno sighed and curled up into a little ball, he sounded very drowsy. "It's actually really conservative, and can be overridden, but if you can't access it usually means you could only maintain it for a few hours at best. An Intelligent Device requires mana almost constantly, and at it's lowest setting you would probably be drained dry after a week or so."
"And the little girl can do better than me?!" Ranma replied with outrage.
"Master Ranma, magical level rated at rank D. Master Nanoha magical level rated at rank A." The device flashed in answer.
Ranma just grumbled in reply as Nanoha looked at the gem in shock. "Is that good?" The girl finally asked.
"E, D, C, B, A, S, S plus." Yuno mumbled out as he began to snore. "D is below average, and A rank is something like one in one thousand on Mid-Childa. That's just magical level though, most people can't really use it right."
"I think the thing is broke." Ranma grumbled out.
"Incorrect." Raising Heart replied.
"I think it's time to go home." The girl laughed as she lifted up Yuno carefully. "We can talk again tomorrow."
"Yeah." Ranma got to his feet and wiped at the blood that the monster had drawn. The skin underneath was completely clean and unmarked. "I just gotta go wash up real quick first. Don't want pops to figure something's up."
"Wow.." Nanoha looked at Ranma. "You're completely healed."
Ranma winced slightly at the reminder. "Yeah, I don't scar either. Weird training technique, really, really painful to learn though. Little stuff is easy, but the bigger it gets the harder it gets."
"I want to learn that." Nanoha giggled a bit. "No more ouchies."
"No." Ranma stated flatly. "The training hurts, bad."
"Ummm." The girl looked at the boy curiously. "Really bad?"
"Yeah, really bad." The tiny martial artist replied flatly. "Only reason Pops even started it with me was cause I broke both my legs, and that hurt LESS."
"Urk." Nanoha turned slightly pale. "You broke both your legs?"
"Not talking about it." Ranma finally sighed and began to walk away. "I will see you tomorrow."
"Umm, bye." Nanoha waved and sighed. "I think I touched on something a bit sensitive. I will apologize later." The girl commented softly to the ferret in her arms.