Disclaimer: Ranma is the property of Rumiko Takahashi, Viz, and a few others. The extremely lovely ladies of DOA, and the male members of the cast, belong to Tecmo, and Team Ninja. The fact that they're allowing some stupid Hollywood loser to make a DOA movie however, proves that they don't deserve to own them! I wonder if it will be as bad as Tomb-Raider, or much worse. I'm getting chills of fear just thinking about it, so on to other things…
Ranma ½ and Dead or Alive
Chapter 2: "Enter the Female Tengu"
"Ah, so she's in Kyoto…" The voice was soft yet hard, feminine yet steely. It was the voice of a killer. The owner of said voice was a young woman who by looks alone could turn heads, though she much preferred to use her hands to turn them, until they snapped that is… She had short violet hair tied with a bandanna of sorts, and was dressed in a seductive purple dress that showed quite a bit of skin. This was of course for the sole purpose of distracting her prey if they happened to be male, and needless to say, it worked quite well. She had a face that could be called cute, were it not for her eyes… Dark, vengeful, merciless eyes that seemed to stare right into your very soul. This was the Female Tengu, a mistress of the killing arts, so deadly and skilled, that she was nicknamed after the legendary bird-people of yore, that supposedly invented martial arts. Her name was Ayane, and she was currently feeling quite pleased as she sat in a small room somewhere unknown.
"Running…always running…like a little rabbit…yes, just like a little scared rabbit…" She whispered. She was staring at a photo in her hand. It depicted a young woman with long maple brown hair, and a blue kunoiichi outfit. Ayane pursed her lips in thought.
"I wonder how long you can run from Hayate-sama…" She thought aloud. Finally, a smile broke out upon her face. It made her look beautiful, but it was not a very pleasant smile, it was actually extremely sinister. She tossed the photograph into the air, and flicked her hand with blurring speed. The photo was imbedded into the wall, a kunai stuck in the face of the girl. Ayane smiled wider.
"I think I should pay you a visit…It has been a little while since we saw each other last my dear sweet sister…"
Back in Lei Fang's apartment, Ranma had called her out of her room, deciding that the sooner he told her about the curse, the better. He had been rather blunt, and had simply splashed himself with cold water to prove his words.
"Okay…Okay…let me see if I get this straight…" Lei was having a hard time. Here she was, in her apartment, attempting to understand how her extremely attractive, and obviously quite male fiancé, could possibly transform into an attractive, and obviously quite female redheaded girl, with nothing but a dose of cold water.
"Your Father, the same Father that made a marriage agreement with mine, took you to the cursed valley of Jusenkyo…without speaking a word of Chinese?!?!" She was incredulous. She had heard of Jusenkyo, but had always figured that it was just a legend. A silly tale to be disregarded when one got older. But to see the actual proof in front of her…
"No way…" She muttered. Ranma sighed, absently dousing himself with hot water and becoming male again.
"I'm afraid so…" He said sadly. He was beginning to wonder if telling her was such a good idea. He was getting awfully sick of the curse ruining potential friendships…
"Look…I know I'm a freak…and it's perfectly understandable that you're disgusted by me…so…" He heaved a tired breath.
"I'll just go now…" He turned to do so.
"Wait…" Lei said softly. He turned to her, a questioning look on his face.
"You're not a freak… And you're not disgusting! And…I want you to stay Ranma…It's not your fault you're cursed…and besides…" She smiled.
"It lets you see things from our perspective, and that's never a bad thing for a guy." She crossed her arms.
"Now…I think you should go and take a shower, and then we'll go on that date you promised." She pointed to the bathroom.
"Date!?" Ranma thought incredulously.
"Who said anything about a date?" He wondered. Mentally shaking his head at the bafflement that women continued to give him, he headed for the bathroom. He made sure to put up the occupied sign though. No sense in tempting fate after all…
"All set?" Lei asked through the door of the bathroom. From within, Ranma checked himself in the mirror one last time. He was wearing his tuxedo, salvaged from the failed wedding amazingly enough. It clung to him a bit tightly as he had gained a little more muscle from being on the road once again and upping his usual training regimen. Nodding and flashing his image a grin, he exited the bathroom. There was Lei, her body clothed in a revealing yet practical red dress that, much to his embarrassment, showed a great deal of cleavage. Lei was rather well built, he couldn't help but notice. Not in Kasumi's league obviously, but still…Shaking his head, he smiled at her.
"Wow…um…you look great Lei." He said honestly, recalling that compliments were an excellent way to get on a girl's good side. Lei was still trying to pick her jaw up.
"He looks…incredible!" She thought, hoping she wasn't drooling. His tux clung to his pectorals enticingly, and his eyes were set off brilliantly by its color. All in all, Lei was really starting to like the idea of having Ranma as a fiancé, curse or not. Ranma blushed faintly at her scrutiny, feeling a tad self-conscious under it. He tugged at his collar and gestured to the door with his head.
"We should get going." He said at last. Snapping out of her thoughts, Lei nodded.
At Lei's suggestion, they had decided to go back to the Chinese restaurant where she worked. It was actually a good idea, as she got a discount there, which meant that Ranma didn't have to pay as much for their meal. He didn't mean to be a cheapskate or anything, but the fact of the matter was, he was poor, very poor. His secret savings that he had stashed away from even Nabiki's prying eyes were starting to wear thin, and as much as he hated to admit it, going anywhere else except perhaps a fast food place, would have been out of his price range. If only he could get some fast cash…maybe a tournament of some sort…
"How does it taste?" He was snapped out of his thoughts by Lei's question. She pointed at his fairly mundane Pork fried rice dish. Ranma had always preferred it to other Chinese cuisine, as it was easy and cheap to get, which was important when one was traveling through the country with an idiot for a parent…
"I bet I could make it better." She said with a smile.
"You cook?" Ranma asked, blinking in surprise.
"Yes…!" Lei growled out. Ranma laughed nervously, realizing that, much like a certain tomboy, Lei was rather touchy about her culinary talents.
"Well then, you'll have to make it for me some time." He mentally patted himself on the back for the quick save.
"Sure!" Lei smiled happily, eager to prove herself, despite the fact that she had never really tried to make Pork fried rice. But how hard could it be? Her Mother used to make it, and it is a native dish of her country, so she should be a natural right?
"So…ya know of any good places to train around here?" Ranma asked, always eager to pick up new techniques and practice his existing ones.
"Huh?" Lei uttered in confusion. He waved his hands in explanation.
"You know! Dojo's and training halls! Places to fight! That sort of thing." He took a bite of his rice. It wasn't too bad actually…
"Hmmm, well…I think there might be…but I don't really know of any in specific…" She shrugged.
"Sorry." She wondered if Ranma ever thought about anything besides martial arts. She loved it too, but honestly! Here they were, on a romantic date, and all he could ask her was where a dojo was?
"It's okay, I was just wondering." He said, already finished with his meal thanks to the lightning fast Saotome eating techniques. He absently looked for their waitress so he could order seconds.
"Hmm…I guess it could work…It would be beneficial for me too…not to mention fun." Lei had just thought of something that she and Ranma could do together…something very…physical…
"I have an idea Ranma…" Lei began.
"Huh? What is it…?" He replied absently. Where was that waitress? He was still hungry damn it!
" It's kind of…personal…" She explained, hoping she wouldn't scare him off.
"That's okay…" He muttered.
"Well…I was thinking…since you're looking for a way to keep in shape apparently…why don't we…" She hesitated. Would he think she was silly for asking this?
"Go on…" He pressed.
"Why don't we train together?" She said at last. At his incredulous stare, she huffed.
"Don't look at me like that! I could teach you some Tai Chi Quan, and you could teach me some…whatever it is you practice." She hoped he would agree. It was obvious that he was a skilled fighter. She had no idea how skilled…
"Um…" He hesitated. Tai Chi wasn't really something he was interested in. He knew a little, but it didn't really suit him at all. Then she did the dewy eyed thing that he did whenever he wormed free food out of vendors in his girl form…
"Oh…alright." He said at last. Lei grinned happily.
"Great! We can start tomorrow okay?" She felt a sense of joy fill her. With Ranma's help, maybe she could finally beat Jann Lee?
"Ha ha ha!" She laughed out loud again. Ranma sweated."Me and my big mouth…" He thought.
The two walked home after dinner, both feeling a sense of embarrassment at what they looked like. Which was of course, a couple out on a date. They refused to meet each other's eyes. Ranma had his hands in his pockets and was attempting to study the night sky, while Lei examined the dirty ground. So absorbed were they in their musings, that they almost failed to notice that they had passed by Hayabusa's shop. What stopped them however, was the sight of Kasumi sweeping the front.
"Hey Kasumi!" Lei called cheerfully. Kasumi blinked, recognizing the voice, and rose her head to see her friend Lei, and…Ranma.
"Incredible…" Kasumi thought, mirroring Lei's thoughts from earlier at the sight of Ranma in a tuxedo. She felt her mouth become very dry all of a sudden.
"H-hi…" She stuttered. Ranma grew a concerned look on his face.
"You okay Kasumi? You look a little red…do you have a temperature?" He asked. Kasumi realized she was blushing furiously and quickly nodded while trying to keep it to tolerable levels.
"Um, yes…o-of course I'm fine. It's uh, nice to see you again Ranma. And um, you too Lei…" She cursed herself for acting so foolish, but she couldn't help it. He looked so good…
"What are you doing out sweeping at this hour?" Lei asked curiously. Kasumi smiled slightly.
"Ryu went out to do something, and I figured I might as well make myself useful somehow…" She shrugged.
"I admit it's not exactly something most people do at this hour, but it's a nice night and it's so relaxing." She explained while continuing to sweep. Ranma nodded. He could relate. Being able to relax was a very important thing, and one he had almost forgotten about while living in Nerima…
"So, what are you two up to?" Kasumi asked innocently. She had a rough idea…
"Oh you know…Ranma asked me out so…" Lei trailed off. Kasumi inhaled sharply.
"You sure you're alright Kasumi?" Ranma asked again as she began coughing. Kasumi nodded vigorously while sweeping in a more erratic and nervous fashion.
"Oh yes! Everything is fine! I just uh…had some saliva go down the wrong tube…" She groaned inwardly. What a stupid excuse…
"Oh, alright then…" Ranma said, unsure. Lei turned to him.
"Well, we should probably be getting back. Say hello to Hayabusa-san for us Kasumi" She turned to go. Ranma trailed behind for a moment.
"Um, goodbye Kasumi…" He said softly. Kasumi nodded, smiling faintly.
"Yes, goodbye Ranma…" She answered. Nodding, he ran to catch up to Lei.
"Goodbye…" Kasumi whispered as she watched him go.
The morning sun rose in Kyoto without fanfare the next day. The warm rays of said sun were peaceful and spoke of a pleasant day for the people there. Unfortunately, the sun wasn't always right…
"Goodbye Kasumi…" A familiar male voice whispered.
"NO! Wait!" She cried.
"Don't leave me!" But he was gone. She sank to the ground, feeling tears staining her bright eyes.
"Don't leave me all alone again…" She whispered. She saw her Father, a frown of disproval on his face. Then her brother, an unreadable expression on his features, so similar to her own. Then her sister, a look of hatred dancing in her eyes, while an evil smile adorned her lips. She bowed her head to them all.
"Weak! You're weak!" They cried.
"No! Please! I'm sorry!" She pleaded with them.
"Pathetic! You are no ninja! You are a disgrace! A Runaway! A failure! Trash!" Their voices beat down on her harder then any physical blow.
"Please stop! Please! PLEASE! I DON"T WANT TO BE ALL ALONE!"
"PLEASE!" Kasumi sprang up out of bed, a wild look on her face. Her eyes scanned the room hurriedly, well-trained senses soon came back, and she realized where she was. Sighing slightly, she moved to get out of bed. The guest room Ryu had provided her with was sparse, but nice enough. He had admitted that his wife had used it before they had gotten married.
"Kasumi! Are you alright?" Ryu burst into the room, a look of concern and fear etched onto his face. Kasumi realized that she was in her nightgown, and blushed.
"I'm fine Ryu! But would you please let me get dressed!" She said, obviously quite embarrassed. Ryu realized what was wrong, blushed, and hurriedly left the room, shutting the door on his way out.
"I'm sorry!" He yelled as he left. Kasumi sighed again, shaking her head at her friend's antics, and at the fact that the normally stoic and cold Ninja had been embarrassed and red-faced. She giggled at that. Feeling a little better, she got dressed and decided that no matter what happened today, she would meet it without flinching, as a true Ninja should. Oddly enough however, she couldn't recall if the male voice in her dream had been Ranma, or Ryu…
"C'mon! Ranma! Wake up!" Lei yelled from in front of Ranma's door. It was already 9:00. Shaking her head, she tried the knob. Finding it unlocked, she entered, and found her guest fast asleep, an admittedly cute look of contentment on his face.
"He looks so innocent when he's asleep…" She thought.
"Okay Ranma, time to get up." She yelled. He barely twitched. Groaning in annoyance, Lei tried shaking him. No dice…
"Go away…uncute tomboy…not… school… yet" He mumbled in his sleep, snuggling up to his pillow with a frown. A murderous look appeared in Lei's eyes. A look that was usually referred to as righteous feminine fury.
"Why you…" She raised her leg.
"Jerk!" Ranma sprung awake just as her foot impacted with his head, sending him flying into the wall.
"Ow…" He muttered intelligently as he slid down said wall. Lei stormed off in a huff.
"Get dressed, we're going to the park to train…" She growled on her way out. Ranma twitched in reply, while feeling an unmistakable sense of déjà vu.
"Why me…?" He muttered to no one in particular.
"So, what exactly do you practice Ranma?" Lei asked as they stood facing each other in a slightly more secluded area of the park. Ranma smiled.
"Oh, a little bit of everything, though I suppose Anything Goes would be the main one…" He stood casually, hands in his pockets, his favorite red shirt glistening faintly in the sunlight. Lei was dressed in a t-shirt and shorts, and stood in her traditional Tai Chi stance, with her legs spread apart and her arms constantly in motion so as to avoid predictability and therefore disorient her opponent.
"Shall we begin?" She asked eagerly. Ranma grinned.
"Let's." With that said, Lei moved towards him, not at the charging gait that Akane or Ryoga might use, but a slow, measured movement that brought her within range to properly do battle. Ranma knew that Tai Chi was primarily a defensive art, so his usual method of counter-attacking a new opponent would not work too well. So, he decided to make the first move. He went to the right, and as Lei's eyes tracked him, he suddenly diverted, going for the left instead. Before Lei's eyes could catch up to him, his arm shot out in a punch, to test her defenses. Lei managed to bring her own arm up in time, and with a quick movement, she hooked his limb by the elbow, and tried for a throw. Ranma saw it coming a mile away however, and with a fluidity that shocked Lei, he slipped from her grasp and leapt back to get some room.
"Not bad, you've got some good speed, though you have to remember not to take it easy on me just because it's a sparring match. I can't get an accurate gauging of your skill without you going all out." Ranma told her. Lei looked at him with worry.
"But what if I hurt you?" She asked. Ranma smirked.
"You won't." He answered simply. Lei growled.
"Is that so?" She asked.
"Yup." He really did want to see what she could do, and much like Akane, she was probably at her strongest when provoked enough. So the old Saotome insult-until-your –opponent-is-blue-in-the-face technique was put into use once more.
"I'll show you!" Lei yelled. Ranma was surprised when she charged forward, but quickly recovered in time to dodge a fairly potent double crescent kick followed by an attempted sweep, which he nimbly leapt over. Landing lightly on his feet, Ranma ducked another kick and tried one of his own, which Lei promptly grabbed in mid-air. Tensing her muscles, Lei lashed out with her leg aimed at Ranma's ankle on his still grounded leg. Ranma kicked his foot upwards, hitting the arm that held his other leg and as Lei released him, he caught himself with his arms and back-flipped onto his feet with casual ease. He smiled slightly.
"Not bad, you've got talent, but your main problem is that you rely too much on your legs except when it comes to throws and grabs. Now if you were using Tae Kwon Do, then that would be okay, but Tai Chi users should use both their arms and their legs to maximize their attacks." He lectured. Lei groaned.
"But that's how I prefer to fight." She muttered.
"Then I'll train you in some kempo to help make use of your arms more." He said with a smirk. Lei sighed but nodded. Kempo was about as different from Tai Chi as one could get, but if it made her stronger, then she was sure as hell going to try.
"I can't believe how good Ranma is though. I feel like a trainee all over again…" She thought.
Unbeknownst to either of the two combatants, they were being watched.
"It figures that I just had to decide to take a walk through the park today…" Kasumi thought with an inward groan from her position behind a nearby tree.
"Seeing Ranma and Lei together sure makes me feel odd…" She wondered what could be wrong with her…
"Maybe it's my loneliness talking…" She thought, recalling her dream. Usually she forgot dreams, but that one had been so vivid…Deciding that thinking about it all day wasn't going to get her anywhere, she made up her mind to leave. She had just prepared to move away, when a kunai came whistling towards her with deadly accuracy. Gasping, Kasumi dropped down just in time to avoid having her head skewered, though the lethal instrument did catch a few of her hairs. She looked at it; buried deeply into the trunk of the tree, before her finely tuned ears picked up several more incoming. Rolling to the side, she avoided them, and then sprang up into a leap to dodge a few more.
"Where are they coming from…?" She asked herself, scanning the area even as she sidestepped another. Her eyes caught a glint of sunlight off of metal in a nearby tree.
"There you are…" She thought. She caught a rock on her foot, and with a single motion, she kicked, sending the rock flying towards her target. The assailant managed to leap out of the tree, and landed in a crouch a few feet away. Kasumi gasped when she saw who it was.
"Ayane…" She whispered. Her half-sister, dressed in black Ninja attire, chuckled darkly.
"So good to see you again sister…How are things?" Despite the friendly greeting and the sweet voice, Ayane's eyes were cold and calculating. Kasumi knew her sister well, and she knew that Ayane would not hesitate to cut her throat if she got the chance.
"Why do you insist on trying to kill me? I thought we settled this already…" Kasumi stated evenly. Ayane smiled darkly.
"Settled this? You think…" Her face turned murderous.
"…that this will ever be settled so easily!?!?" Her hand lanced out, a shuriken sailing towards Kasumi. Kasumi did not have her tanto with her at the moment, but as a Shinobi, she always possessed a few weapons on her person. With stunning speed, she drew a shuriken of her own, and threw it with unerring accuracy. It struck Ayane's shuriken in mid-air, sending the two weapons to the ground harmlessly.
"I guess someone has been practicing…" Ayane muttered.
"Perhaps Hayabusa has been training you? After all, you are his little whore are you not?" Ayane smirked. Kasumi fought the urge to charge forward and break her sister's neck, and instead met her gaze with an unreadable one of her own.
"If insults are the only form of attack you can come up with, then I think this battle will go exactly as it did the previous time…" Kasumi said coolly, reminding Ayane of the humiliating loss she had suffered from Kasumi at the last DOA tournament. Ayane growled, losing her temper for a moment before reining it in. She would break the little bimbo's spine over her knee soon enough…
"A mere fluke I assure you, but I think the time for talk has ended…" She drew a kodachi from a sheath at her hip.
"Let us finish this!" She charged forward, and with a brief look of sadness, Kasumi met her attack.
"What was that?" Ranma asked aloud, staring to the side. Lei blinked in puzzlement, she hadn't heard anything.
"What was what?" She asked curiously. Ranma frowned.
"Something's going on…" He muttered. Without another word, he took off into a sprint towards the source of the noise he had heard.
"Hey! Wait for me!" Lei yelled, running after him. Ranma grimaced. The noise he had heard, it had sounded like a kunai hitting something…
"Not bad! I may have to actually work a little bit in order to kill you!" Ayane taunted. She stabbed forward with her kodachi, but Kasumi was able to side step her attack. Kasumi didn't hesitate to kick her sister in the ribs, but Ayane dodged and brought the small sword back, aiming for Kasumi's face. The maple haired warrior moved her head to the side, but was hit in the stomach by Ayane's fist even as the deadly weapon sailed past her ear.
"Ha! Perhaps you aren't so good after all. I can't believe you were ever Father's favorite!" Ayane sneered contemptuously at her sibling.
"Or Hayate-sama's for that matter!" She finished coldly. A look of pure fury passed over Kasumi's face.
"You have no right to speak his name! You, who worked for the very man responsible for his memory loss and injuries!" Kasumi yelled, bringing her knee up to try and hit Ayane in the gut. She found it stopped by her rival's hand however, and instead tried to land a punch on her. Ayane growled, blocking Kasumi's fist with her arm, and retaliating with a sideways slash of her blade. Kasumi gasped and ducked the strike, dropping to where her arms supported her weight, and gritting her teeth, she propelled herself forward, feet first, slamming both of them into her sister's chin. Ayane was knocked backwards, but managed to catch herself and flip onto her feet. She rubbed her aching jaw tenderly.
"Hmmf, you have gotten better…" She muttered. Kasumi frowned.
"You and I have always been roughly the same in terms of skill…" She said calmly.
"Don't flatter yourself." Ayane said.
"I guess I have no choice but to use my little…surprise." She whispered, sheathing her kodachi. Kasumi blinked in confusion. What was she talking about? Ayane closed her eyes, and almost seemed to chant to herself. Her lips moved but no sound emerged. She held her arms in front of her, and then brought them towards her chest, stopping about a centimeter from it, she held one hand with two fingers out, and cradled it with her other. Kasumi gasped as she saw kanji begin to appear in the air beside Ayane.
"What in the…" Her eyes widened.
"No…it can't be!" She realized what technique her sister was about to unleash."But how could she have mastered it? Only Father was ever able to…" She wasn't able to finish, as Ayane had completed the technique. Her eyes, so cold and cruel, snapped open, and without a word, she launched a tremendous blast of spiritual energy, or "ki" at her hated sister. Kasumi could only hold her arms in front of her face and brace herself for impact. Closing her eyes, she silently wished that she could have fallen in love just once before she died…
"Kasumi!!!" That voice…it sounded like…
"Ranma!" Kasumi cried as she opened her eyes, and found herself greeted with the sight of Ranma, standing in front of her, and firing a ki-blast of his own to cancel out Ayane's.
"Mouko Takabisha!" The powerful blast of confidence eradicated the opposing ki, but dissipated afterward, its power gone.
"Are you alright?" Ranma asked worriedly, turning his head to face her.
"I, yes, I'm fine…" She replied, shocked that he could perform a ki-attack, something only true masters of the art should be able to do. She wasn't the only one who was surprised. Lei's jaw had dropped noticeably, and as for Ayane…
"How!? How could this interfering fool cancel out one of, if not the most secretive and powerful technique of the Mugen-Tenshin!?" Ayane asked herself. She decided to tread carefully around this person. His power was obviously great…
"So, is this your newest protector then?" Ayane asked condescendingly. Ranma smirked.
"You got it lady! And my name is Ranma Saotome! And if you want to mess with Kasumi…" He slipped into a loose stance. This woman was a serious threat. She could perform a ki attack more powerful then a customary Shi Shi Hokodan. Ranma decided to take her seriously.
"Then you gotta go through me!"
Author's Notes: I probably screwed up in some way on this chapter, but hopefully it wasn't too bad…uh, right? The attack Ayane used at the end isn't a creation of my own, believe it or not. She actually performs it in the game. Or at least in DOA 2. Watch the opening movie and you'll see what I'm talking about…More to come soon! I hope…