Disclaimer: Sure I own Ranma and DOA! I mean, only I would think of an anime with a guy who changes sex with water, and a game with women who defy the laws of gravity.

Note: I've taken the "plot" of DOA and interpreted it as best I can, but the fact of the matter is that there really isn't much of one, and what is there is extremely disjointed and convoluted. So please, don't e-mail me to complain about the way I characterize Hayabusa, who Genra really is, etc, etc. Thank you.

Ranma ½ and Dead or Alive

"Run Away"

Chapter 1: "Two Lost Souls"

By Gray

"I still cannot believe I've abandoned my own clan. The people I was raised by, the people who trained me in everything I know…My family…I know it was for a good reason, to find my brother …The former master of the Mugen Tenshin Ryu, who mysteriously disappeared, only to reappear with a loss of memory. Now he has regained his memories, and has become the leader of the Mugen Tenshin Ryu. But my status as a runaway is still present. I still cannot help but think that I've made a mistake. I mean, even if I do manage to successfully evade my pursuers everyday, and manage to stay alive, then where will that leave me? I'll still be a runaway shinobi…I'll still be all alone…"

It was a peaceful morning in a forest near the city of Kyoto. The sun had begun its slow climb into the sky, and its golden rays softly spilled through the foliage, giving everything a warm, peaceful glow that relaxed the soul. And despite the fact that she had fought for her life the previous night against former allies, and despite the fact that she had to sleep in a tree, while keeping alert for an enemy presence, Kasumi, formerly of the Mugen-Tenshin style of Ninjutsu, had to smile at the beauty of her surroundings. It wasn't everyday that she could enjoy this sort of thing, so, as she walked, calmly and with a grace that was simply breathtaking, she absorbed the quiet sounds of nature, and smiled.

"I wonder what will happen today…" She thought to herself. She had heard rumors about a new D.O.A tournament, and figured she might check it out. She was on her way to Kyoto, as she decided that perhaps something would turn up there. Besides, she hadn't visited her old friend Ryu Hayabusa in some time. Not since the end of the previous D.O.A tournament, in which he had won, had she seen her friend. Last she heard, he had settled down with his wife and made a small home in Kyoto. Her musings were cut short however, as her sharp ears detected someone nearby, as said person stepped upon a twig. She quietly slipped a kunai into her hand, slowed her steps and cautiously approached the place where she heard the noise. Peering out from around a tree, Kasumi gaped at what she saw. A young man, roughly her own age, and quite handsome she couldn't help but notice, had stopped in front of stream, and was filling his canteen, when, to her utter amazement, he accidentally spilled some of the fresh water on himself, and became a girl! A string of curses erupted from the boy turned girl's mouth, and Kasumi blinked at how colorful some of them were. Finally the girl finished her curses, and walked over to a traveler's pack lying nearby. Reaching inside it, she drew forth a thermos and, after unscrewing the cap, dumped its contents onto her head. Once more, Kasumi felt her jaw drop as the petite girl transformed into the handsome young man from before. The young man let out a sigh of relief, but then stiffened suddenly, whipping his head up and scanning the area warily. Kasumi realized she had been discovered and quickly slid behind the tree before his eyes spotted her. Her heart racing, two things ran through her mind. One was why in the world was she hiding? And the second was how did he hear her? She was a highly trained ninja who would have become the leader of the Mugen Tenshin if her brother hadn't been found.

"Come out! I know you're there!" She heard him yell. A few birds took flight at the noise, but she remained hidden.

"Fine, if that's how you want it…" His voice trailed off, and before she knew what was happening, she felt the tree shake, and then settle as he leapt off of it and landed lightly in front of her. Extremely close to her. In fact, so close, that their breath mingled. Her wide eyes stared into his own, and they both found themselves frozen temporarily. Kasumi decided absently that his eyes were quite beautiful, as they seemed to be bottomless in their deep grayish-blue. She then wondered if perhaps she should do something, as she had never been this close to a man before, save perhaps when she was executing a throw or similar technique that required closeness to perform properly. Finally, the youth snapped out of his own trance and hastily stepped back while uttering an "ACK!" of surprise. Kasumi blinked curiously and took a step towards him, causing him to blush faintly.

"I'm sorry…" He muttered. She held up her hands.

"Oh no, I should apologize, I didn't mean to spy on you…I'm afraid I'm just a tad cautious these days and when I heard you, I thought it might be trouble…" She didn't exactly want him knowing that her former Clan was hunting her, so she was intentionally vague in her explanation. He nodded.

"I can relate…" Boy could he ever…Being on your toes was the difference between dodging a hidden attack and being struck by it, back where he used to live.

"Oh, I'm sorry, my name is Kasumi…" She bowed hastily. He stared at her for a moment, an odd look in his eyes, before he shook his head and bowed.

"I'm Ranma." He said. They both looked at each other strangely.

"No last name?" They said at the same time. They both sighed and nodded.

"Yes, I'm a ronin." Kasumi said sadly. Ranma bowed his head.

"You too huh?" He was sympathetic to her plight, as he shared it himself. Kasumi shrugged, feigning disinterest.

"It's not such a big deal…I mean, what's in a name right?" She laughed lightly, though it sounded a bit strained.

"It's not losing the name that's so horrible…it's losing the family…the friends…" Ranma whispered almost to himself. Kasumi nodded glumly. Her eyes grew pained.

"Yes…" They both let themselves become lost in memories of the past. Happier times. Finally, after several moments, Kasumi decided to ask something that had been bothering her.

"Um…I don't mean to sound rude…but are you a boy or a girl? I mean…" Well that was blunt! She mentally reprimanded herself.

"Good one…" She groaned to herself. Ranma sighed and chuckled.

"I guess you saw me earlier huh?" At her nod he smiled slightly.

"I'm a guy…I just happen to be cursed to turn into a girl at the touch of cold water…" He shrugged, as if it wasn't such a big deal.

"That must be hard." Kasumi said, honestly feeling bad for him. She could imagine the difficulty he must have making friends, as such a thing would immediately label him a freak to some.

"Though it sure could come in handy on missions…" She thought to herself, recalling the times in which she had been caught while spying on someone or performing some other task stealthily and been forced to flee, and thinking about how much easier it could have been to just change gender and therefore throw her pursuers off.

"Come to think of it…it would come in handy now…" She thought to herself. Ranma was a bit surprised. Normally, when people found out about his curse, they recoiled in fear and disgust. Yet this girl hadn't. She seemed…could it be? She almost seemed… sympathetic.

"That's a new one…" He thought, recalling the time a certain other girl had discovered his secret, and her subsequent treatment of him. This naturally reminded him of other unpleasant thoughts, making his mood take a nosedive. Kasumi seemed to notice and looked at him worriedly.

"Are you alright?" She asked concernedly. He nodded.

"Yeah, I'm fine…" He hoped she wouldn't pry, though a small part of him desperately wanted to spill all his problems and the reason he became a ronin to a kindly ear.

"Okay then." She said. There was an uncomfortable silence, before Ranma walked over to his pack, placing his canteen and thermos in it. He casually slung it over one shoulder and turned back to Kasumi.

"So…where ya headed?" He asked conversationally.

"Oh…just Kyoto. I figured I would visit a friend there." She replied, absently brushing a strand of hair from her forehead. She liked her hair long like this, but the fact of the matter was, it could be a pain at times. Though she figured it was better than her old pigtail look. Which come to think of it looked good on Ranma. He adjusted his pack slightly and started walking towards her.

"That's where I'm headed…shall we travel together?" He asked. He hoped she would say yes. It got lonely traveling alone sometimes. It would be nice to have someone to talk to, and she was really nice… Kasumi shook her head quickly. The offer was very tempting, but she couldn't bear to place him in danger. She watched sadly as his face fell, before he swiftly fixed his expression into a neutral one.

"I see…That's okay."

"I'm terribly sorry…It's just that…" What could she say? He held up a hand, preventing her from speaking further.

"Never mind…I understand…" He didn't to be honest, but he figured it was none of his business. Maybe she wasn't as accepting of the curse as he first thought. Maybe she just didn't want to travel with some sideshow freak. It was alright. He was used to people being disgusted by his condition. With a weary sigh, he turned to go.

"Goodbye…" He said absently. Kasumi watched him go, a sigh of her own tugging at her lips. She couldn't let them go their separate ways like this…

"Wait!" She called. He turned to her, puzzlement written across his face. She smiled at him, making him a tad embarrassed.

"Give me your hand…" She commanded with that same smile. Ranma stared at her cluelessly. She almost laughed at his face.

"Come on. Give me your hand." She held out her own. Shrugging, he did as requested. She took his hand, turning it palm up, and peered at his palm as if it held the answers to the universe within. She muttered a few things to herself, before looking back up at him.

"It says that you'll live a long and difficult life, but one that will be very fulfilling." She loved fortune telling. It was her favorite hobby actually, and she was quite good at it. Though a tarot reading was something she had yet to learn. He looked confused.

"Oh don't worry…It's just a little harmless fortune-telling. I thought you might like to know that's all…I'll have you know my readings are known to be quite accurate." She said to his incredulous face. Ranma blinked at her for a moment, before they both realized that she was still holding his hand. Hastily, they dropped their hands to their sides, redness adorning their cheeks. Kasumi coughed into her fist and looked away to hide her embarrassment. Ranma was also looking away, finding the sky quite interesting all of a sudden. He finally worked up the nerve to ask her.

"Um…Kasumi…since you can um…tell fortunes…do you uh…know if…we'll…meet again?" He waited for her words while mentally bashing himself in the head with a mallet for being so stupid. Her eyes widened and she turned to him, a curious expression on her pretty face. Finally she nodded.

"Yes…I believe so!" She said with a smile. She certainly hoped so…

"Good…" He said before thinking, making their embarrassment rise once more.

"Moron!" He screamed in his head. She didn't say anything about it though, and he finally turned to go once again, adjusting his pack as he did so.

"Goodbye." He said once more.

"Goodbye…Ranma…" Kasumi whispered.

"Well…alone again…" Ranma muttered to himself. Still, he hadn't really expected the beautiful girl to want to travel with a freak like him. At the thought of her beauty, Ranma formed a picture of her in his mind. Everything about the girl screamed attractive, and even better, she was obviously a martial artist, a skilled one too considering she had managed to sneak so close to him before he detected her. Judging by her outfit, he assumed she might have been some sort of kunoiichi, as it certainly looked like the sort of outfit a female Ninja might use, and the addition of the tanto and hidden kunai and shuriken strengthened that assumption. But despite all that, despite being a Ninja, she had an aura of…innocence he supposed. She didn't have that feeling of blood and sneakiness he associated with them. Well, the only ones he had prolonged contact with were Sasuke, if the little spy could be called that, and Konatsu, who was a little too naïve to be a killer anyway. Still, he had met a few on his journey with the old man…

"Enough…Concentrate on the present. She was a nice girl, but you don't need to drag her into your life and further complicate it. It's better this way…" The words were half-hearted, but he couldn't fault them, as they were the truth. His life had become rather simple since that little incident several weeks ago, and he didn't need to mess it up once more by getting involved with mysterious girls. With this in mind, he decided to concentrate on the task at hand. That of reaching Kyoto.

"If I walk all day, I should make good time…" He could have gone by means of train he supposed. He was pretty bare in the way of money, but a train ticket was feasible. The thing was though, he liked walking. Maybe it's because he had spent his entire youth doing it, but traveling by any other means just seemed…"alien" to him. Besides, it was good training and it enabled him to meet the occasional fellow martial artist…like Kasumi.

"Man, what a coincidence…though I suppose it isn't an uncommon name…" Still, it was sort of a coincidence that after leaving Nerima behind, he would meet another Kasumi.

"Though the two of them are pretty different. At least from what I could tell anyway…" Shrugging, Ranma continued his trek, absently noting that it was going to be a very nice day weather-wise.

"It's not going to be a very nice day…" Hayate thought to himself as he looked outside his window. Oh sure, the weather was nice enough, but the day itself was going to be terrible. The reason for the current leader of the Mugen Tenshin Ryu's depression lay on his dresser beside his bed. It was a message from his spies, and it told of the last sighting of his sister. In a forest near Kyoto…It wouldn't be long before she was caught…but the last few squads had failed, as his younger sister was just too skilled for her own good. In a one on one battle between them, he could defeat her…he had done so in the previous tournament after all. His mastery of both Mugen Tenshin and Karate was exceptional, and his unique blend of the two styles was amazingly powerful. Up until this point however, he hadn't directly involved himself in her capture, as he feared he would not be able to bring himself to fight her. Every day the wound carved in his soul grew larger as he was forced to send out trained Ninja to hunt his own flesh and blood down like some runaway dog. It sickened him to no end, but what could he do? As the leader, he had a responsibility to his clan, and that included making sure that Kasumi did not spread the secrets of their sect.

"If only there was another way…" He thought to himself, a frown creasing his lips. Sighing at his inability to come up with anything, Hayate dressed himself in his attire and after making sure his gear was secure, he opened his door.

"Like it or not…it will end soon…" He thought with a hardening of his jaw. Outside his window, a cloud passed over the sunlight, darkening a picture sitting near his bed. On it, two children smiled happily at the camera. One boy, and one little girl. The girl had her hair in a long braid, and both of them looked happy, not realizing the tragic destiny that lay before them…

"I feel sort of bad for doing that to him…but it's for the best…" Kasumi could not get Ranma out of her head for some reason. She had met many men in her life. And many had been handsome, or strong, or charming…and yet, none had caused such a strong reaction in her. It was strange that a young man she had barely met could provoke such a response in her. Sure he was very good-looking, and was obviously a martial artist of great skill judging by the way he carried himself and the immense strength she had felt lay behind the somewhat lean frame, but that didn't explain the attraction she was feeling for him. It was all just too bizarre.

"Well, best to just forget it and concentrate on reaching Kyoto…" She thought to herself. It was close. She would arrive shortly.

Kyoto was as peaceful and rustic as ever. The former capital of Japan was teeming with tourists as usual, but the quiet beauty of it still stirred Ranma's soul. Peace was something he had come to savor whenever he found it, as it was rare for him to ever experience it at all.

"I should find a place to stay before I do anything…" He nodded at his decision. It would be for the best. Living on the road once more had taught him the value of shelter all over again. He had grown a bit soft while living in Nerima. He had gotten used to having hot meals and a warm bed waiting for him every night. Though now that he thought about it, the bed hadn't been so warm. He had slept in a bedroll and the coldness, both outside and inside of himself gnawed at his heart every night. Sometimes, in the dead of the night, when the other members of the household were fast asleep, he had no choice but to think about his life. The rivals, fiancées, battles, mallettings, blackmailings, and everything else. He would curl up into a ball sometimes and will it all away, but to no avail…that was why he had…

"Hey! Watch it!" A voice snapped him out of his memories. He had been so lost in thought that he had accidentally bumped into someone. Taking a look at who it was, he blinked at the sight. A fairly tall, extremely voluptuous blonde woman stood in front of him, a slight glare on her face that gradually melted into an appraising look as she examined him from head to toe.

"My, I'm certainly lucky to run into such a handsome man my first day on vacation…" She murmured almost to herself. Ranma blushed faintly at the praise. The woman was a foreigner, that was for sure, but her Japanese was surprisingly good, if a little Kansai-sounding. He then noticed that she was, if not a martial artist, then at least a fighter, as she possessed a good deal of muscle on her body, not enough to make her appear masculine, but enough to show that she could punch and kick well. She also had a certain casual way of standing that showed a readiness for combat if necessary.

"Hey handsome, I know I'm gorgeous, but if you keep staring like that, you're going to make me embarrassed." She smiled as he hastily apologized, bowing several times in the process.

"Hey, hey, it's okay, no harm done. I can't complain right?" She held out her hand.

"Name's Tina, Tina Armstrong…" Ranma realized that she was waiting for him to grasp her hand and recalled that this was a typical Western greeting. Shaking her hand, he introduced himself.

"Sorry, I'm Ranma. It's nice ta meetcha." He was surprised at her grip, as it showed that she was quite strong, much more so then she looked.

"Well handsome, as long as we're talking, why don't we sit down someplace and get to know each other better?" She offered with a wink. Ranma wasn't "quite" as dense as he had once been. He recognized flirting when he saw it, but for some reason he found himself nodding his head in the positive. Something about this woman intrigued him. Not necessarily her looks, there was just something about her that fascinated him. So he found himself being led to a fairly non-descript restaurant for a drink. It was a Chinese restaurant he noticed. It reminded him a little of the Nekohanten, but he willed the memories away and concentrated on the present. The waitress led them to a small table and Tina ordered a beer, while Ranma asked for some tea. His alcohol tolerance was pathetic, and besides, it was too early anyway.

"So handsome…you're obviously not from around here judging by the pack you're carrying…so what's your story?" Tina asked while they waited for their drinks. Ranma became apprehensive at her words, and she grew a sympathetic look on her face.

"Don't want to talk about it? I can understand the feeling." She shrugged and crossed her arms.

"As for me. I'm trying to hide from my stupid old man while at the same time furthering my career as a model. I figure he wouldn't find me in Japan, so here I am…" She shrugged. Now this was something Ranma could relate to. Father trouble was something he knew all too well after all…

"My Pop's a pain in the ass too." He muttered. Tina smiled.

"Really? Well, we already have something in common." They laughed, and Ranma found himself loosening up a bit. They talked about little inane things for a bit. His travels and her modeling career, and finally their drinks arrived.

"Sorry about the wait. Your waitress had to go home for some reason and…" The new waitress was cute, a bit tomboyish in Ranma's opinion, but then again, compared to Akane, she wasn't so bad. She had her hair in braided buns on the sides of her head, and she wore one of those familiar Chinese dresses with the slits along the legs that Shampoo had been so fond of. He was interrupted from his analysis by a cry of surprise.

"Is that you Lei?" Tina said with a smile. Lei Fang blinked for a moment at the woman, before her eyes lit up.

"Tina! It's been a while! How are you!" The two girls grinned and Ranma felt a bit uncomfortable.

"Just fine. I met cutie here today, and we're just having a drink. Though I never expected to run into you of all people!" Tina was happy to see her old friend again. The two had met in the first tournament, and had been friends ever since. Last she heard though, Lei had been searching for the fighter known as Jann Lee. Lei turned to look at Ranma, and she beamed.

"Wow Tina! You certainly got yourself a cute boyfriend." She giggled at Ranma's red face.

"Do they even realize I'm here?" He thought to himself, before clearing his throat.

"Umm, we're actually not…" He didn't finish as Tina had interrupted him.

"He's not my boyfriend, but I wouldn't mind if he was. Right Ranma?" She grinned and he blushed faintly. She was teasing him again he realized. Lei's eyes grew wide.

"R-Ranma? As in…Ranma Saotome?" She asked. Warning bells went off in Ranma's head.

"Uh-oh…I know where this is going…" He quickly moved to intercede.

"Actually I'm no longer a Saotome and…" Lei cut him off.

"You must be the man my Dad told me about! Your Father made a deal with him many years ago that we would be fiancés. So we're engaged to be married!" She beamed at him. He slapped a hand to his forehead and groaned.

"I knew it…"

After trying to explain to Lei Fang that he was no longer a Saotome and therefore could not fulfill whatever pledge his Father had made to her family, Ranma finally gave up as she continued to give reasons as to why he could. It seemed she was dead-set on having him be her fiancé. It was almost scary, though it did bring a sense of nostalgia to him. He would figure something out. He hoped. As for Lei Fang, she was ecstatic. She had a handsome fiancé!

"This will make Jann Lee jealous for sure! Ha ha ha!" She suddenly realized she was laughing out loud and hastily stopped and ducked her head to avoid the stares of the various patrons of the restaurant.

"Um…So…Now that you two are engaged…what do you plan on doing Ranma?" Tina asked at last, while Lei Fang simmered in embarrassment. Ranma shrugged.

"Dunno…but I want to keep traveling and…" He was interrupted yet again. It was starting to get annoying.

"That's fine! I love to travel! We can go wherever you want! I'm on summer break from College, and I wouldn't mind doing some sight-seeing…" She smiled pleadingly at him. Ranma shrugged. Earlier he had wanted some company, so why not?
"If ya want…though I'm going to warn you now…my life ain't exactly terribly safe. I'm always getting into fights and sticky situations, whether I like it or not…" He figured he'd give her a fair warning.

"That okay too! I like excitement." She smiled.

"Man, she really wants to go with me. There's gotta be some catch somewhere, but I guess it doesn't really matter…" He stood up.

"I should get going…" He said, grabbing his pack and tossing a few bills on the table to cover the drinks. Lei and Tina also stood up.

"I'm off work in an hour. Can I meet you at my apartment?" Lei asked. He sweated but nodded his head. She hastily scribbled the address down on a napkin and handed it to him. He took it with a nod.

"Thanks. I'll see you there…" He then turned to go, Tina following him.

"Yes! I just know Jann Lee will go insane with jealousy and reveal how he really feels! Not to mention the girls at school and their reactions. Ha ha ha!" Once again she laughed out loud without realizing it, and once again she grew embarrassed and ducked into the kitchen to avoid the peculiar looks.

"I have got to work on that…"

Once outside, Ranma turned to Tina.

"Well…I guess I'll see you around then." He said. Tina wagged a finger at him.

"Uh-uh, you're going to show me around. I haven't been here in years and I'd like a guide. You have an hour right? So let's go!" She winked at him.

"Now wait a minute! I haven't been here in years too and I'm not really sure…" She reached up to put a finger to his lips, silencing him.

"Whatever, we'll wing it! C'mon! Let's go sight-seeing!" She grinned at his incredulous stare.

"Fine fine…it's not like you're going to take "no" for an answer anyway…" He grumbled. She smirked.

"Now you're getting it! Let's be off!" She turned and started walking, and Ranma quickly caught up to her. Two words repeated in his mind over and over.

"Why me?"

"Hey look! A Curio Shop! Let's go in!" Tina had dragged Ranma around for over half-an hour, and if he saw her buy one more stupid souvenir or clothing item, he was going to go insane. Naturally he carried everything. It wasn't that he was a gentleman, he wasn't, but saying no to Tina was like trying to convince Akane that Ryoga was P-Chan. It just wasn't going to work. Now they stood in front of a knickknack shop that resembled that stupid store where Kuno had gotten the Phoenix egg. The sign above the door read: "Hayabusa Curio Shop". Tina frowned in thought.

"That name sounds familiar for some reason…" Shrugging, she dragged a protesting Ranma into the store. Inside was a menagerie of strange and peculiar items, ranging from ancient vases, to small carvings, and even a polished egg that looked familiar, which made Ranma blink. Heck, he even found some of that stupid "instant Jusenkyo" powder that Shampoo had been such a fan of. He detected a presence behind him and turned to greet a rather shocked face of a man a few years his senior.

"I'm impressed. Not many can sense my presence…" The man complimented. Ranma shrugged.

"Yeah well, I used to know a guy who did the same sort of thing actually. He was a Doctor…" He trailed off as he realized he was going off on a tangent. The man nodded.

"You must be a skilled martial artist…I can tell by the way you carry yourself…" He smiled and bowed respectfully. Ranma returned the bow.

"Thanks…" He took a look at the man for a moment, and smirked.

"And you keep those shuriken very well hidden…I almost missed them." The man was once again shocked.

"Truly…you are skilled…" He muttered. Ranma waved off the praise.

"Once again, I used to know a guy who was a master of that sort of thing."

"You must have lived a very interesting life…"

"You…could say that…" Ranma replied uncomfortably. The man smiled.

"My name is Ryu Hayabusa."

"Ranma." The cursed boy replied. Ryu gave him a puzzled look for a moment, before realization dawned.

"Ah…A pleasure to meet you Ranma." He said honestly. Tina walked up to Ranma and grinned.

"Hey! I found this really cool…" She trailed off as she caught site of the other man.

"Hey! You're Hayabusa right?" She recognized him as the winner of the last tournament.

"Ah! Tina-san! A pleasure as always to see you." Ryu said with a bow. Tina smiled and returned the bow awkwardly.

"Yeah! I haven't seen you in a while." She turned her gaze to Ranma.

"I knew the name sounded familiar." She said. Ryu motioned to a door in the back of the shop.

"Would either of you care for some tea?" He asked politely. Ranma shrugged and Tina nodded. He led them into the back, which revealed a staircase leading up. The trio climbed the stairs and entered a modest apartment above the shop.

"Welcome. Please make yourselves at home." He went into the kitchen to fetch the tea. Ranma and Tina dropped their shoes at the door and sat at the small dining room table to wait for their host. Ranma's eyes fell on a picture sitting on a table nearby. It depicted a slightly younger Ryu and a lovely woman, both smiling happily.

"My former wife…" Ryu answered his unspoken question as he entered the room once more, three cups of tea and a pot balanced expertly upon a tray in his arms. He set the tea down and passed the cups to the other two.

"She…could not deal with the stress my life placed upon her." He said sadly. Tina nodded in understanding, and Ranma began to realize that Ryu was more then a simple curio shop owner.

"Anyway, I hope the tea is to your liking." Ryu said. Ranma and Tina nodded.

"Aren't you worried that a customer will need you?" Tina asked. Ryu smiled faintly.

"If a customer did come in, and I assure you that is a rare event, then I would know Tina-san." He said mysteriously. Ranma nodded in understanding.

"Yup, he's definitely more then a shop owner…" The shuriken helped to prove that fact. They all descended into simple small talk while sipping their tea, but after a little while, Ranma remembered something.

"Aw geez! I need to go meet Lei Fang now!" He hastily stood up, bowing to Ryu on the way.

"Sorry to leave so suddenly, but I promised I'd meet someone and…" Ryu nodded in understanding.

"It's fine. I enjoyed meeting you Ranma. I hope you stop by the next time you're in the area." He stood up as well to show his guests out. Tina and Ranma slipped on their shoes hastily.

"I'm real sorry." Ranma repeated.

"It's fine, really, I don't mind." Ryu answered with a smile. Tina gave him a friendly pat on the back.

"See'ya Ryu!" She said in farewell. Ryu smiled and waved them goodbye. The two exited the store and Ryu walked back upstairs to clear the tea set. His eyes fell on the picture of himself and his wife.

"Oh Aileen, I miss you so much…"

"Whew! Finally arrived!" Kasumi smiled to herself as she wandered the streets of Kyoto.

"Now where was Ryu's shop again?" She wondered. She knew it was somewhere nearby.

"I guess I could ask someone." She thought. She had just turned a corner, when she detected a familiar object coming towards her head. She just narrowly ducked the kunai, and watched as it imbedded itself in a nearby tree. Turning quickly, she narrowed her large eyes as she saw her assailant on the roof of a nearby building. With a leap, she kicked off of one building, ignoring the incredulous stares of the passer-by, and catapulted herself atop the one where her attacker was. Only to find over a dozen Ninja waiting for her.

"Oh dear…" She thought with a grimace.

"This could be bad…"

Ranma and Tina had just exited the curio shop when Ranma sensed that something was amiss. It was a hunch really, but it was increased when he saw a kunai stuck in a nearby tree. He ran over to examine it, Tina in pursuit.

"Hmm, this is weird…where did this come from…" His eyes scanned the streets warily. He glanced upwards and gasped as he saw Kasumi facing off against several men in dark uniforms. He quickly prepared to leap up there, when he remembered Tina.

"Hey! We have to help Kasumi!" She said. Not bothering to ask how she knew Kasumi, Ranma grabbed Tina.

"Hey! Watch the hands!" She yelled. He blushed as he saw that his hand had latched onto an…interesting and rather prominent part of her body. Quickly removing his hand from her chest, he tensed his leg muscles, and leapt. He didn't even notice her blush.

"This is really bad…" Kasumi thought to herself. Her eyes widened however as she saw one of the Ninja remove his mask, and a familiar face was revealed to her startled eyes.

"Ha-hayate-niisan…" She whispered, unconsciously taking a step back. It was indeed her brother. His hair, the same color as her own, was blown slightly by a stray breeze, and his piercing eyes stared into her own fearful ones with a hard edge to them.

"Kasumi…You have dishonored our clan and become a runaway shinobi…" He took a deep shuddering breath.

"As leader of the Mugen Tenshin Ryu, it is my duty to end your life…" He grimaced at the last part, but held firm. He motioned to the others to attack. Kasumi took another step back, only to realize that she was at the edge of the roof. She was out of options…she had no idea what to do now. Seeing her brother once again had completely thrown her for a loop. She needed to get away…but that didn't look possible. She knew she stood no chance in this battle, as he brother was the better fighter of the two, and he had the support of his Ninja as well. All in all, she was in trouble.

"Someone, anyone…help me…" She whispered quietly. Then, as if summoned by her wish, a figure leapt up onto the building. He had a woman in his arms, and upon landing, he hastily set her down, and proceeded to glare at her attackers.

"I'm not sure what's going on here…but if you want to hurt her…" He slid into a stance, fists clenched for battle.

"Then you'll have to go through me first!" He said dangerously. Kasumi gaped at him.

"It's Ranma! What's he doing here?" She had no time to wonder, as her brother had begun to speak.

"This is none of your concern! Leave now, and we will spare your life!" He threatened. Ranma didn't even think about it.

"I don't think so. You're the ones who had better leave, and I'll spare you!" He didn't like being threatened, and seeing Kasumi being menaced by these idiots didn't exactly do wonders for his mood.

"No! Please Ranma! Run away! You'll be killed!" Kasumi cried fearfully. Ranma smirked. Like he could be killed by some stupid loser Ninja.

"Enough! Dispose of this punk!" Hayate yelled. His Ninja sprung into action. There were five of them, and three possessed kodachi, while another had a pair of tanto, and the last clutched several kunai in his hands. Tina took a step back and tried to move towards Kasumi. Ranma smiled grimly and met their charge head-on. Ducking a swing from a kodachi, he kicked upwards and succeeded in breaking the man's wrist, causing him to drop the sword with a yelp. Spinning, Ranma sidestepped a lunging stab from another and before the Ninja could retract his arm, Ranma grabbed the limb and using his superior strength, broke it cleanly. The man screamed in pain, though his mask muffled it, and Ranma quickly moved on. The one with the twin tanto tried his luck, and Ranma was forced to dodge the quick strikes, as the man wielding the blades was actually quite fast. His danger sense kicked in and the pig-tailed one leapt upwards to avoid several kunai burying themselves where he had been seconds before.

"Ninja never did play fair…they even attack an opponent in the back if they can…" Ranma thought with a gritting of his teeth. Immediately after touching down, he snagged one of the kunai and with a surgeon's precision, used it to disarm the tanto user, he then slammed a fist into the man's face, knocking him unconscious and sending him sliding along the ground towards Kasumi and Tina. Both women watched him with awe.

"He…He disarmed and defeated three highly trained Ninja in under a minute!" Kasumi had no idea he was so good! She had judged him to be a good martial artist at first glance, but seeing this display of skill, she wondered absently if he was even human. Her jaw hit the floor as she watched him catch, actually catch the kodachi of the last sword-user, in his hand, and holding it by the flat, he then snapped it in half. Before the awed Ninja could regain his wits, Ranma had kicked him in the head, knocking him unconscious. The last Ninja, armed with kunai, leapt into the air and threw five of the deadly projectiles. Kasumi watched as Ranma calmly stood there, and then, at the last moment, he caught them all in-between his fingers, and then proceeded to clench his fist, breaking them into pieces. Grinning at the extremely scared final Ninja, Ranma let the dusted remains of the daggers fall from his hand, and then dashed forward, executing a flawless crescent kick that snapped the Ninja's head to the side, and took him out. Letting his leg drop, Ranma turned to the last remaining man there.

"Hey! He kinda looks like Kasumi come to think of it…" Ranma thought as he returned his glare evenly.

"You aren't just some punk." Hayate stated. It was not a question really. Ranma didn't reply. Hayate turned to Kasumi.

"You've certainly picked a strange one to be your protector Kasumi." He said. Kasumi blushed.

"He's not…I mean…We're not…" She sighed helplessly and bowed her head to hide her embarrassment. Tina glared at Hayate.

"What the hell is your problem Hayate! She's your sister! Why are you trying to kill her?" Tina asked. Ranma's eyes widened.

"Sister!?"

"I have no choice…" Hayate whispered.

"Bullshit! There's always a choice! Nobody's twisting your arm! I swear! You Japanese and your damn twisted ideas of honor! Explain to me how it is honorable to murder your own sister!" Tina yelled angrily. Hayate bowed his head.

"I wouldn't expect a gaijin like you to understand Tina-san…" He said at last, making her scowl. She crossed her arms and glared at him.

"Whatever…" She muttered. Hayate raised his head and faced Ranma.

"I won't ask what your intentions are towards my sister, as it is no longer my place to question her, but I will not let you or anyone else get in my way." He slipped into a karate stance.

"Let's see how good you are! Hold nothing back!" He followed his own advice and shot forward, executing a string of powerful kicks that came at incredible speeds, forcing Ranma to go on the defensive.

'Damn, this guy actually has some skill!" Ranma thought to himself as he dodged and blocked the kicks. Hayate, frustrated that he couldn't seem to hit his opponent, backed off for a moment, and motioned Ranma to attack. Ranma grinned slightly.

"Okay then…" He muttered, he dashed forward, but at the last moment, leapt upwards, causing Hayate to quickly look up, only to receive a foot to the face for his trouble. Shaking his head to ward off the pain, Hayate charged Ranma and the two exchanged a flurry of blows, testing each other's limits. Kasumi raised a hand to her mouth as she watched her brother, one of the best martial artists she had ever seen, fight Ranma, who had shocked her with the amount of skill he possessed. As for Tina, she was enjoying the fact that Ranma, who was amazingly skilled to her pleasant surprise, was going to hopefully kick some sense into Hayate's head, and the fact that the two men were quite good-looking, and therefore, fun to watch fight. Okay, so she was a little odd…

"He's good…" Hayate thought to himself as he blocked a particularly forceful strike with his arm, causing it to nearly buckle as Ranma pushed forward. Cursing to himself, he released the block and spun to the side, lancing out with a vicious kick that would hopefully catch Ranma in the side. Ranma however, was not there, as he had ducked. Watching the leg sail over his head, Ranma shot upwards after it had passed, and caught the off-balance Hayate in the stomach with a punch. Hayate grimaced in pain, as the breath was forced from his lungs. Ranma pressed his advantage by winding up his other fist and smashing it into his enemy's jaw, sending him sailing to the ground. Hayate's eyes shot open and he quickly pushed his arms outward, using the momentum to catch himself onto the ground and flip backwards onto his feet. He rubbed his aching jaw gingerly and stood to his full height.

"It's unbelievable how good this guy is…" He thought to himself. If this was indeed Kasumi's protector, well, then he had his work cut out for him. A part of Hayate was glad though. And deep within himself, he hoped that this young man would stop him from slaying his sister.

Ranma saw an odd look take shape in his opponent's eyes, and it gave him pause. Hayate slid into a new stance, this one resembling Ninjutsu, and beckoned Ranma to attack. Ranma wasted no time in charging the man. Just as he was about to strike however, his ears detected something, and he leapt away in time to dodge several shuriken. Looking upwards, he saw a man leap from another roof and land in front of him. The man was dressed in a black garb befitting a Ninja, and everyone's eyes widened as they recognized him.

"Ryu…" Ranma and Hayate spoke at the same time. Kasumi's eyes were widened.

"It's really him…" She whispered. Ryu glanced at the two combatants for a moment, before turning to Hayate.

"Hayate, what you are doing…" He shook his head.

"I beg of you…Stop." He bowed low to his friend. Hayate stared at the prostrated from of his friend for a moment, before sighing.

"I'm truly sorry…" He said quietly, before turning and leaping off the roof. When Ranma ran over and looked over the edge, he saw nothing. Though a few leaves swirled in the air. Ryu sighed.

"He is burdened greatly…I feel sorry for him…I can tell his heart isn't in this…" He bowed his head. Kasumi ran up to him.

"Ryu! I've been looking for you!" She smiled warmly at him. Ryu smiled.

"Kasumi…I am glad that you are well…when I heard about you becoming a runaway…I feared…" He could not finish. Ranma rubbed the back of his head and walked up to them.

"Hey, you alright Kasumi?" His eyes were clouded with worry. Kasumi turned to him and smiled widely.

"Oh Ranma! I'm okay! Thank you! You were magnificent!" She said, obviously quite impressed with his prowess. Ranma blushed faintly.

"Er, um, thanks." He said. Ryu chuckled. Tina walked up and patted Ranma on the back.

"Nice job handsome! You saved the damsel in distress!" She laughed at the steadily growing redness on his face. Tina then remembered something.

"Oh damn! You've gotta go meet Lei! You're late! She's going to be pissed!"

"Oh damn!" Ranma cried. Kasumi blinked.

"Lei is here too Tina?" She asked. Tina smiled and nodded.

"Yup! Works as a waitress! But now she and Ranma are going to travel together! They're apparently engaged to be married."

"Oh…I see…" Kasumi said, a downcast tone to her voice, which puzzled Tina.

"Hey! It was arranged by our parents!" Ranma yelled hurriedly.

"Now where have I heard that before…" He thought, while wondering why he had said that in the first place. Ryu cleared his throat.

"Anyway…I suppose you should be going now Ranma?" He asked. The other man nodded and turned to go. Tina called after him.

"Hey! I'll see you around cutie!" She grinned as she could almost see his red face even though his back was turned. Ranma tensed his legs in preparation of a leap.

"Ranma! Wait!" Kasumi cried. Turning to her, he blinked in confusion. Kasumi suddenly grew self-conscious and looked down at her hands.

"Um, you'll be staying with Lei then?" She asked hesitantly. Ranma shrugged.

"Yeah, I guess so…I mean, for a little while…" He wondered why she was asking. Kasumi smiled faintly.

"Do…do you think, I could come visit you?" She asked hopefully. Ranma smiled.

"Yeah…I'd like that…"

The journey to Lei Fang's apartment wasn't very long. She lived a short ways from the restaurant she worked at, and Ranma soon found himself in front of a modest complex with only about a dozen or so apartments really.

"Lessee here…Apartment #8…#8…8…Ah! Here it is!" He walked up to the door, knocked once and waited. A scrambling was heard and soon the sound of a lock being undone was heard. The door swung open, and there was Lei, a hastily thrown on robe being the only thing covering her body. It hadn't been tied properly however, and Ranma soon found his view becoming much more pleasant…(cough).

"Er, hi!" She said brightly.

"You were late, so I decided to take a shower…sorry." She apologized, not noticing his large blush and slight trickle of blood from his nose. Ranma held up his hands.

"Oh no! It's my fault! I shouldn't have been late…I ah…ran into some trouble on the way." He said delicately. Lei's face grew concerned.

"Are you alright?" she asked worriedly. If anyone hurt her new fiancé, well…they'd regret it…

"Oh yeah, I took care of 'em, no problem." He boasted with a grin. Lei nodded in relief.

"I'm glad." She stepped out of the way and motioned with her hand.

"Please, come in." He did so, and blinked as he saw a fairly non-descript apartment with a few martial arts posters adorning the walls, as well as some newspaper clippings that depicted a certain man. Taking a closer look, Ranma read that the man was named Jann Lee, and was apparently a fairly well known Jeet Kune Do fighter with an impressive tournament record.

"Oh! Pay no attention to those!" Lei said hurriedly, quickly trying to divert his attention elsewhere.

"You must really admire this guy." Ranma said. Lei blushed.

"Um…yeah, you could say that…" She fiddled with her hands and stared at the ground. Ranma being Ranma, didn't notice anything amiss.

"So…wanna get something ta eat? I'm starved." He had a little bit of money, and figured he could treat the girl to something, since she was letting him live with her for a little bit during his stay in Kyoto. Lei blinked.

"Did he just ask me out?" She wondered. she was torn however.

"On the one hand, going out with him would be nice, and he is really handsome, but then again, wouldn't I be cheating on Jann Lee?" She groaned.

"Geez! It's not like Jann and I are together…yet…so it's not cheating…" With her mind made up, she nodded at Ranma.

"Sure! Let me just get dressed!" She said. Ranma quickly nodded.

"Yeah! Okay!" He wasn't sure how much more of this he could take. Today he had met three amazingly…well endowed women, and it was beginning to get to even him, who changed into a girl…

"Oh crap! Lei doesn't know!" As usual when he met someone new, Ranma was unsure if he should reveal his curse or not. Having been burned once with Akane, he wasn't too sure he should. But then again, if he didn't, she would find out eventually, and then she'd be mad at him for keeping it from her. With a sigh, he decided he would tell her as soon as she came out of her room.

"This isn't going to be fun…" He muttered.

Author's Notes: Well, originally this was going to be a one-shot with Ranma meeting Kasumi, but then it sort of grew into something much larger, particularly after I played DOA3 for Xbox and found out that Kasumi had become a runaway shinobi. So I thought it would be neat if Ranma helped her in that regard. I'm not sure if Tina being from Texas would affect her Japanese at all, but since Kansai and Osaka if I'm not mistaken, are sort of like the southern parts of America for Japan in terms of speaking, I figured she might talk sort of like them,  being from Texas, but if not, well, sorry. And as for Kasumi's fortune-telling, well, I wasn't sure what sort she did, so I figured palm-reading would be as good as any. So now I have yet another series that will need to be finished. Sigh, I need to stop doing this to myself. Anyway, hope you liked it, and give me your preference for which of the lovely ladies of DOA Ranma should end up with. It can be any of them, from Christie to Hitomi, just let me know what you think. It might influence me, you never know. Well…back to the salt mines…

Best Character to use in DOA3: Ein (Not Hayate mind you, but Ein.)

Best Character: Kasumi or Ayane.

Best New Character: Hitomi

Worst Character: Zack or Brad.

Best Song: Either Kasumi's or Hitomi's

Stupidest part of DOA3: Aerosmith songs…uggh! Vomit inducing. (Here come the flames…)

If I spelled any of the Japanese words wrong then I apologize. I try to use as little of it as possible, as I feel that an English fic should be in English, period. Though I do think attack names and weaponry should remain in Japanese, and I don't mind things like "chan" or "niisan" so long as it isn't excessive. But these authors who write half a fic in English and the other half in Japanese…well, to me, they should make up their minds about what language they want to write in. Anyway, enough babbling. Sayonara minna-san! (Heh heh, you could guess I was going to throw that in huh?)