New Lamps for Old – Death is but a Doorway
Disclaimer: I own no anime series or franchise.
He stretched and looked around him. He was in a crater and his head hurt. Come to think of it, most of him hurt, but especially his stomach.
Recognizing the effects of a strong poison he quickly induced vomiting. He was surprised someone had tried to poison his food. It usually took enough poison to change the flavor and color of the food in obvious ways just to affect him.
After evacuating the contents of his stomach, which contained far too much blood for his liking, he climbed out of the crater to see where he was.
He was in a park somewhere, a mostly empty park and the few people that were left were quickly evacuating the area.
A loud explosion behind him let him know that he wasn't the cause of the mass evacuation. Turning around he beheld the strangest sight he'd ever seen.
A bunch of girls in brightly colored outfits with the shortest skirts he'd ever imagined were fighting a vending machine with arms and legs.
They were throwing around some impressive attacks. It was too bad they couldn't seem to hit what they were aiming at.
* * *
The vending machine youma dodged like mad, really wishing she hadn't run into the Senshi. She looked big and boxy, but she moved like greased lightning to avoid the attacks being shot at her.
"I sell used panties, and I was just draining perverts! I'd think you'd be in favor of that," she yelped, ducking an attempted exorcism by Sailor Mars.
"Then why did Haruka get weak?" Venus demanded, only to fall silent as everyone froze.
"Heh," Uranus laughed nervously, blushing as the rest of the Senshi rolled their eyes.
"I'm not a bad girl, don't fry me!" she pleaded, trying to hide behind a bench.
"Don't worry, this won't hurt a bit," Sailor Mars promised as Sailor Moon cast a huge blast of white magic which missed the hastily dodging youma by several feet.
"How do you know?" she snorted incredulously, looking for something bigger to hide behind. "Ever had it done to you?"
"Have you seen her aim?" Mars retorted. "Of course we've had it done to us!"
"Hey!" Moon protested, but was ignored by everyone.
"Well, I'm not you! What may tickle you may feel like burning alive for a youma!" she yelled, running for it.
"Sorry, but it's what we do," Sailor Moon said before hurling a literal wall of power at the possessed vending machine.
The Senshi watched in shock as the youma dodged behind a battered figure, just as the wave of purifying magic hit.
* * *
He blinked a couple of times to try and clear the afterimages from his eyes as he realized he was sitting down, leaning against a vending machine while surrounded by the short skirted girls. A word seemed to come from deep inside him, "Beautiful!" and then it all went black.
* * *
"How are you feeling, Mr. Satome," the doctor asked.
"Beautiful," he repeated the last word he'd said when he awoke, finding himself in a hospital room.
The blue haired doctor laughed, "Save that for my daughter, she's the one who brought you in here. She said she found you in the park following a youma attack. You're healing at an incredible rate, not something completely unexpected from someone caught in one of Sailor Moon's attacks, but you were suffering from several cracked ribs, a serious blow to the head, and some kind of neurotoxin."
The doctor frowned. "We dealt with the toxin as best we could, but we'd like to keep you under observation until it's completely out of your system."
"That's fine," he replied. "I know better than to go against a doctor's orders. I do have one question before you go though..."
"Sure, what is it?"
"Who am I?"
"You're joking, right?" she asked looking down at her patient in shock.
"Nope, I wish I was, but I'm not."
"I've never ran into an actual case of amnesia outside a soap opera, but considering the head wound I suppose it's possible," she muttered to herself.
"You are Ranma Satome, I've already spoken to Mrs. Satome and she's on her way over. She'll be able to tell you far more about yourself than I could. If you don't mind visitors, I have some girls who are very anxious to meet you."
"Sure, send them in," Ranma said as the doctor left.
A group of familiar looking girls crowded around him, all talking at once until a blonde whistled to get their attention. "Hey! One at a time, he can't answer everyone at once you know."
Ranma looked at the group of girls. "What was with the short skirts, and wasn't there two more of you back in the park? Another blonde, and a girl with light green hair?"
"Nope, not us..." the blonde with her hair up in buns said nervously, just as a blonde with short hair came in with a girl with long light green hair behind her.
Ranma blinked as the girls groaned before continuing, "No, seriously what is up with the skirts? You need something to protect your legs, because leg injuries inhibit your mobility and mobility is life in battle."
"You sound like someone who knows," the short haired blonde commented curiously.
"I guess I do. We'll have to ask my family member when she gets here," Ranma replied. "Because all I remember is waking up in a crater and wandering over to see your fight, the doc had to tell me my name."
Quickly remembering their manners, everyone introduced themselves with Usagi and Minako introducing their cats as well.
"You've actually got amnesia?" Minako asked.
"There seems to be a lot of that going around," Usagi said, thinking of the moon cats and Tuxedo Mask.
"So I'm not the only one?" Ranma said hopefully, figuring multiple cases likely had a common solution.
Usagi winced. "Sorry, different cases and theirs were caused by youma. You were hit by my- Moon's Purification attack so if it were caused by youma you'd be fixed already."
Ranma sighed and then winced as his cracked ribs made themselves known, and before anyone could stop her Hotaru reached out to heal him.
Ranma sighed and gently removed the pale girl's glowing white hand from his side causing the rest of the girls to wince as they expected him to react badly as people often did to the young girl healing them.
"What's the first rule of healing?" he asked sternly.
"There's rules?" Hotaru asked, shocked.
Ranma frowned. "No one taught you the rules?"
Haruka spoke up, "We weren't aware there were any rules, much less that anyone else could heal people like she does."
Ranma's eyes widened. "A natural healer, wow... I guess I'll have to let you off the hook for not knowing the rules then."
Hotaru's puppy dog eyes would have floored him if he wasn't already in bed. "Please tell me the rules!"
He folded like a cheap napkin.
"Rule number one; never heal someone without their permission unless it's an emergency."
"What if their life is in danger?" Usagi asked.
"That's an emergency," Ranma agreed.
"Or they have the access code to the bomb that the villain set to destroy the dam and kill everyone?" Haruka added.
"That's also an emergency," Ranma agreed.
Michiru smirked. "You and your political thrillers."
"Rule number two; never heal minor injuries unless the situation calls for it."
"Why not?" Hotaru asked curiously as everyone leaned in, interested themselves.
"There are a couple of reasons for that, for one thing; pain is the body's way of telling you something. If you heal someone who keeps overeating and getting a stomach ache, they'll never learn to stop doing it, and the toll on their body increases with repeated injuries."
Everyone nodded, seeing the sense in that.
"You also have to consider this, when injured your body strengthens the area. That is the whole basis of physical improvement. Exercises that leave you sore are doing damage to muscles so the body will rebuild them stronger, healing negates that by putting them right back at where they were."
Everyone looked over at Amy who nodded that he was right.
"Also, healing fractures in bones weakens the skeletal structure because it takes the calcium from your bone marrow to heal it. Leaving them to heal naturally does the same thing, but to a far lesser degree as the body will also supplement that calcium with the calcium from your diet. This effects older people more than younger ones, as younger people can absorb calcium and add it to their bones easier."
Everyone looked at Amy who shrugged, showing that it was beyond her.
"The final point to that is also rule number three; healer be stingy with your energy, because you may be called on to save a life at any time and if you fall, who will keep your precious people alive?"
Hotaru stared at him wide eyed. "I broke all of them."
"Yep, but don't worry about it. Even experienced healers break the rules, because good healers hate to see people in pain even when it's for their own good," he said and ruffled her hair, causing her to blush.
With a simple ram sign he focused green healing chakra into his left hand and ran it along his ribs. "I'll just take some calcium supplements and be good to go, I don't have to worry about calcium deficiency."
"If I train, will my healing energy turn green too?" Hotaru asked.
"Yep, healing chakra is a specific blend of your body's energies and the most efficient blend to heal with." Ranma held up his hand and let chakra gather in it, causing it to glow blue. "This is what trained chakra looks like for everyday use." He reached out and ruffled her hair with a glowing blue hand making her hair stand up and bringing color to her cheeks. "And it's great for pranks and giving someone else a little energy."
Hotaru giggled as she tried to control the puffball her hair had turned into.
"How do you remember all of that, but not who you are?" Makoto asked.
"The brain stores memories in different sections," Amy pointed out. "So it's possible to forget everything about yourself, while remembering everything you've learned, it's just rare."
"Cool, I didn't know that," Ranma said. "Or if I did I didn't remember it. How's that for irony?"
"Ranma?" came a tentative voice from the doorway.
"That's me," he replied. "Or so I've been told."
"Oh, my poor baby!" the red haired missile sobbed as she suddenly latched onto him.
"Uh, there, there..." Ranma tried, patting her back awkwardly.
"I'm sorry dear, it's just so rare to see you actually in a hospital unless you're almost dead," she said, standing up and wiping her eyes.
"Ok, then I'm guessing you're either my daughter or my wife, or perhaps my sister. I seem to have mislaid my memories of who I am at the moment."
"I'm your mother Nodoka," she said, smiling at his look of shock.
"Whoa... Either we age incredibly well or I'm adopted."
"Thank you for saying so dear, but you are my baby boy. I had you eighteen years ago, and I have the baby pictures to prove it." She smirked.
"I'm eighteen?" Ranma asked stunned.
"How old did you think you were, dear?"
"I dunno, somewhere between sixty and eighty...I mean I have an enormous amount of techniques in my head which makes me being eighteen a bit hard to believe."
Minako held up a mirror for Ranma to look in.
"Wow, ok I guess I am eighteen, apparently a really well educated eighteen year old."
"Not that well, son. Your father took you on a ten year training trip, focusing on nothing but martial arts, so while you are the best martial artist of your generation and one of the top martial artists in the world, you are woefully uneducated in many areas."
"He didn't even bring you home to visit, so I never got to correct that," Nodoka said sadly.
"One question," Ranma asked.
"What's martial arts?"
"Oh dear..." Nodoka said numbly
"Is something wrong?" Ranma asked the stunned group who understood exactly how bad things seemed.
"Um, martial arts are basically combat skills that use your body as a weapon," Haruka explained.
"Oh, well I'm pretty handy there. From the description it sounds like you're talking about straight hand to hand combat. I have some skills there but I excel in energy manipulation," he explained, flipping through a few hand seals; causing a small water dragon to shoot out of the bathroom and circle around the room before returning.
Nodoka's hair tinged out almost as bad as Hotaru's, who had given up trying to smooth it down. "Son, can I test something?"
Ranma shrugged. "Sure."
Nodoka went to the bathroom and got a small cup of water which she poured over Ranma's head, causing a change that stunned everyone.
"Sorry son, but I had to make sure you were you, because we've had people try to impersonate you before, but they've never managed to copy your curse."
Ranma was currently looking under the covers. "Yep, it's gone."
The girls were staring wide eyed except Hotaru, who had reached up and was feeling one of Ranma's breasts while he examined the other one.
"Dear," Nodoka said, attracting the attention of Ranma and Hotaru. "Don't play with your breasts in public."
"Sorry," Ranma apologized.
"Sorry," Hotaru apologized to him, turning a bright red.
Ranma waved it off. "I can hardly expect you to apologize when I was doing it too. It's a bit surprising and hard to believe they're real."
"Ok, what's my curse?"
"Cold water turns you into a girl, and hot water returns you to your natural form," Nodoka explained.
"How hot?" she asked.
"Enough for tea, but not enough to scald," Nodoka explained.
Ranma made several hand signs, and a tiny water dragon, with steam rising off it, zoomed in from the bathroom and hit her in the face, retuning her to his male form.
Ranma lifted the sheet as he and Hotaru reached down to check. Nodoka pushed the sheet back down and quickly and Haruka quickly hugged Hotaru, preventing either of them from grabbing it.
"Dear, its back – check in private later," Nodoka admonished him.
Ranma rubbed the back of his head in embarrassment. "Sorry mom."
"So how did this happen?" Amy asked.
"Well, Ranma's father took him to the Cursed Springs of Jusenkyou to train. Neither of them could read Chinese, so they couldn't understand any of the warnings. Anyone who is knocked into a spring will take the form of what drowned there when hit with cold water. Ranma was knocked into the Spring of Drowned Girl, while his father was knocked into the Spring of Drowned Panda. Fortunately it's only a physical change and the mind remains unaffected."
"Are there any other surprises like that I should know of?" Ranma asked concernedly, because he'd certainly never expected anything like this to happen to him.
"Well, there is the Nekoken," Nodoka said sadly.
"Nekoken?" Ranma questioned.
"Yes, an ultimate technique with a fatal flaw. It makes you terrified of cats, and if you can't escape from them you mentally become a cat."
"Your strength, speed and agility go up to ridiculous levels and you gain claws made of energy that cut through steel as if it were paper. Trust me when I say that when the details became known to me that I had a "talk" with your father that it took him months to recover from. The technique is banned because it kills most of the trainees and turns the rest into mindless berserkers who have to be put down. You were truly lucky and only became a friendly cat unless someone attacks you. Letting you take a nap or activating your curse snaps you out of it."
"Um," Moon said nervously holding Luna.
Ranma shrugged. "It'll have to wait until we can find some cats to test that out, but I think I misplaced that along with my memory."
Nodoka looked at Luna. "Dear, I believe that's a cat."
Ranma looked over at Luna as everyone tensed up waiting for his reaction.
"No, that's a nekotama." Ranma said, confusing everyone.
"Oh? How can you tell?" Nodoka asked.
"Well, I'm not an expert on cats, but I do know several things about them. Cats aren't allowed in hospitals, well normal cats aren't, and smuggling them in is a chore and the person to do so would be bleeding from several deep scratches. Cats also don't sit patiently and follow conversations as those two are doing." He grinned. "Or suddenly become fascinated by anything but the person speaking when it's pointed out."
Artemis sighed and returned his attention to Ranma while Luna tried to play dumb.
"Of course the most damning piece of evidence is..." Ranma trailed off as everyone leaned forward.
"I can sense them, and their spiritual presence is more like a human's than a cat."
"Yeah, well yours is more like one of the girl's than Tuxedo Mask's," Artemis retorted, annoyed.
Luna screeched, "Damn it! He could have been bluffing."
"I wasn't." Ranma shrugged. "And you two make lousy cats anyway. Anyone with half a brain can see you're intelligent just by the way your eyes move when you enter a room. You evaluate everything you see, so I'd peg you as advising spirits because you even pay attention to things fighters would dismiss as unimportant."
Luna seemed to calm down at Ranma's explanation. "Well, trying to hide one's intelligence is a pain."
Ranma snorted. "Tell me about it, it's easier when you can open your mouth and say things that no one with half a brain would ever think much less say, after that anything smart you do can be written off as dumb luck."
"The evidence is in puddles," Minako said, then winced, quickly covering it up by pretending something was in her eye.
"That's the proof is in the pudding," Amy corrected automatically, before looking at Minako suspiciously.
Ranma quickly drew everyone's attention back to himself. "So, we really don't know if the Nekoken will still affect me, because Artemis and Luna aren't in fact cats."
"You're taking this awfully well Mrs. Satome," Rei said. "Don't you find any of this in the least unusual?"
The red haired woman laughed. "This isn't all that unusual for something my son is involved in, with the exception of having amnesia and actually staying in a hospital, this is a pretty normal day in my son's life. He's got multiple fiancées, suitors, foes and challengers every day. Mainly because my husband makes poor decisions in everything but martial arts and I'm not quite sure it isn't simply more advanced training at times. Thanks to the multiple women, dearest has engaged to my son, he has fought everything from ghosts to gods. Every month Nabiki sends me pictures of Ranma battling myths and legends to save someone or get a cure for his curse."
"Do I really go through all that much to get rid of a minorly annoying curse?" Ranma asked doubtfully.
"Your father continually belittled you by saying you were a weak little girl to motivate you during training. A decade of that would leave its mark on anyone. To be honest, I haven't exactly helped things any with my own actions, but I want grandchildren to spoil the way I never got to spoil you," Nodoka sobbed out, wrapping her arms around her son who hugged her back just as strongly this time.
"It's not remotely too late to give me a little brother or sister you know?"
Nodoka recovered herself and wiped her eyes with a handkerchief. "That would require him coming home. He's still staying at the Tendo's, he claims you need his help to settle things, but he always seems to make things worse."
"Sounds like advanced training to me, some sensei are sneaky like that." He looked over his mom, and raised an eyebrow. "Are you sure he's not gay?"
Nodoka blushed and lightly smacked Ranma on the shoulder with a smile on her face. "No, he's simply more interested in training than anything else."
Ranma blinked as the word green seemed to float through his mind. "Huh, that almost sparked a memory. Tell you what, mom, if he's still there in a week I'll beat him senseless and chain him down for you, wanting to be a great anything is no excuse for neglecting your wife."
Nodoka hugged him again. "You're such a good boy. Well, I have your release papers, so whenever you're ready to get up and get dressed I can take you to the Tendo's and introduce you to your father."
"I thought I was going to be kept under observation for whatever I was poisoned with?"
"It's a nice hospital son, and unfortunately you have a tendency to get attacked in your sleep. Dr Tofu is your personal physician and he said we could stop by his clinic in the morning, but truthfully you've been poisoned enough that you've developed a broad based immunity to most toxins."
"Ouch. Do we have any idea who's poisoning me?"
"Lots of suspects and it could be anything from a dodgy love potion to someone trying to kill you so they can date one of your fiancées, but in this case I'm going to guess it was probably Akane. The poor girl can't cook to save her life."
"But she can cook to end mine," Ranma said, climbing out of bed wearing only a hospital gown.
He began to take off the hospital gown without regard for witnesses when his mother interrupted him, much to the straight watcher's disappointment, "Dear, still in public."
"Oops, sorry," Ranma apologized before making a couple of hand signs and turning into Ranko... then changing in front of everyone, demonstrating her natural hair color, including a curious Hotaru who handed Ranma clothes as she asked for them.
Ranma released the henge when he was clothed, turning male once more. "There we go."
Nodoka just shook her head with a smile, noting the way several girls were looking at him. Without trying he always drew women to him, even as a girl.
"It was nice meeting you all, but I had better get back to my life so I can find out who I am."
Michiru quickly pressed a card into Ranma's hand. "Please come by when you're feeling better, Hotaru needs training and you're the only person we've met who can provide that."
Ranma handed the card to his mother. "When I drop my father off this weekend hand the card to me, I don't think I want my playmates knowing where I'm going."
"Thank you!" Hotaru squealed, hugging Ranma around the waist.
Ranma ruffled her hair again, making it lay back down. "No problem kiddo, we'll have you walking on water and controlling water dragons in no time."
"Can we also get my breasts to grow as large as yours?" Hotaru asked excitedly.
Several of the girls winced and Michiru was about to say something, but Ranma fired back, "Of course we can, it's one of the perks of being a healer. It won't happen overnight, but by the time you're fifteen we can have them about that size. Just remember, it takes a lot of hard work to increase your chakra levels to that point, but it'll come naturally as we work on your skills."
Ranma ruffled her hair one last time and left a happily grinning Hotaru and a mass of stunned Senshi.
"That's my girl!" Haruka said proudly with a tear in her eye.
AN: Everyone thank godogma for typing this out for me.
This is story #1 of 4 that have major characters personal memories removed and their souls switched around to see how they'd do.
In case you were wondering this is an old Naruto switched out with a post wedding Ranma in a Sailor Moon crossover verse.