Disclaimer: I don't hold any rights to the series and characters portrayed within this story. Those belong to their rightful creators, not in some piece of horrible fan fiction.
The Quest To A Cure
A Ranma ½ Crossover fic
Here I am sitting on a chair, earlier I woke from a nap to find myself in this office. My Pop beside me is sitting back on the couch while he was talking with some old geezer across the room. I wasted time looking around the room, it was huge for an office! But I didn't want to be here.
We should be back in China looking for a cure for this damned curse, not talking to old geezer! I have no idea why we went there in the first place. Our trip there was supposed to take place after going through all of Japan, we weren't even three-fourths of the way done!
When I look back at the day Pop decided to go to China, all I remembered was that he came in the room while I was practicing my meditations and breathing exercises, he seem angered by something while holding a torn training manual. The front of it detailed some drawings about a cat doing martial arts, I didn't really pay it much mind as I focused on him.
All Pop said was 'we're going to China', I chocked.
Swimming to China in my small body and back again to Japan in my new weaker form rated a seven to eight out of ten on my list of near death experiences. I think I blacked out from exhaustion on the way back and fighting off hungry sea predators both times sucked.
I didn't complain, it built up stamina. I liked Pop's body training.
So when I heard the words "Ranma, school, living here" enter the conversation I drove Pop's skull into the nice big desk in front of me.
The sound brought the old geezers lackeys running into the office. He dismissed them with a wave of his hand as he looked to Pop and then to me. I did the best glare I could at him. He chuckled, I was ready to throw the chair at him when Pop got up from the floor. He had a bruise forming, must have caught him off guard.
I shoved my anger down and asked him, "Why?"
"Because, you need this boy, ever -"
"Don't you mean girl?" interrupted the Old Geezer.
Ya, that's right I'm a girl, a short redheaded one. The condition is permanent if that guide and the amazons were correct. There's supposed to be a temporary cure in the form of hot water and a true one by bathing in the Spring Of The Drowned Man. I used to be a guy, and I will cherish every memory of it for the rest of my existence. You see Pop raised me to be a man greater than other men.
Which was all ruined in one of his stupider moments of existence when he smacked me into one of Junsekyo's few permanent springs. The only reason he didn't get a curse was because I was too weak to knock him into one at the time.
I immediately snapped back, "No he doesn't, unless you want to experience the feeling of having a chair shoved up ya ass."
"Its 'your ass' Ranma," he corrected with an amused expression. "and my what colorful language you've learned over the road."
I was just about to make good on my threat before Pop took out my legs with a few pressure points to the spine and my arms a second later as I futilely turned to swing at him. I went down like a brick.
Screw you Old Man and you too Geezer, you'll get what's coming soon.
I could do nothing but growl as my asshole of a father placed me back on the chair. At least he left me with the ability to talk. I swore and shouted out curses that would make sailors blush. They blocked out most of what I was saying. Feh, wimps.
"Konoemon, forgive my insolent son for a moment, life has been hard on him lately. Now calm down boy, I didn't teach you to use your anger like that. Its harmful to you and those around you. Remember the watermelon exercise! You know what happens when Ki laced with bad intentions interacts with those not fortunate enough to protect themselves from it!"
He wouldn't respond till I calmed down, "Yes… Father," I answered after breathing in and out, "but I'll say again, why?"
"As I said before, you need this boy. I think school would be good for you, just look at yourself! Filled with anger and hate! Oh, where did the happy son of mine go to?"
"Jusenkyo," I stated flatly, Pop winced. "and what about my training? Do ya think I care about school? Homework? Grades? I want to train, to fight, and be the best of the best. Not sit in a classroom for half the damn day! Ya know me Pop, tell me the truth. Why?"
"You remember our stay in the Amazon Village?"
I nodded, working out the kinks as the pressure points wore off. They used to last longer but I've gotten better at defending myself from them.
"You remember when I gave you my oath?"
I sighed and leaned back. To a Ki user making an oath can increase one's abilities depending on the restrictions, its meaning and the amount of emotional value to the user when the oath is created.
Pop's oath is that he would find me a cure to Jusenkyo no matter what. He made it like his life depended upon it.
He also added a punishment, I didn't want him too do, that he'd seal his Ki if he couldn't find a cure. Punishments further increase an oath's power depending on its severity. Being unable to use Ki is pretty harsh in my case.
"Well I'm going to uphold that oath, but you can't come with me." He stated with a seriousness that took me off guard and caused me along with my chair to fall.
Now Pop's was rarely serious about anything. In fact I can count the times he's been serious about anything on one hand. He uses his spine if he's serious. Great, just great.
"So why aren't ya taking me? Is it because I'm not strong enough? Like ya showed me at Jusenkyo!" I yelled at him. I think I might be crying dammit, men don't cry and it'll be a cold day in hell before I do so in this body.
"It is exactly that boy, you are not ready for some of the places I need to go to. Konoemon Konoe here, the Headmaster of Mahora Academy and one of my old associates from before you were born has agreed to take you in. You'll receive a proper schooling, something I could barely provide on the road. Martial Arts isn't everything in life and its time that you need to be taught that."
I crossed my arms and acted like any angry child should. He isn't taking me, his son and only companion for five years since we abandoned our home for a life on the road. And I could do nothing to stop it, it did more damage more than Junsekyo ever did.
All the more reason to for me to train. He says I'm weak? I'll show him how wrong he is. I won't go down without a fight, Pop is one of the few things I have left.
"I can school myself, like I've always done, I am after all a fast learner. I'll take the required books and we'll be back on the road, like we should be now."
"And what good will that do? You'll hold me back while I look for a cure and I refuse to further your advancement in the art till you learn to control yourself again! I trained a martial artist, not some angry thug."
I threw a look of disgust at both him and myself, he was right after all but that still didn't excuse him for ditching me. We battered on and on for ten minutes, neither of us were very good at debating. Pop had the advantage of experience over me, while I was the hurt child and used it along with his responsibilities as my sole parent to the best of my ability.
Eventually Pop looked towards Konoemon for help. He sighed, it seemed he'd been waiting for this.
"All right Genma, relax it looks like you need it."
Pop let out a breath I didn't know he'd been holding and leaned forward to drink some tea, one of Konoemon's assistants came in with it during the argument. I made him sweat, serves him right. Konoemon turned to me, he pitied me, I didn't care in the least. I'll live my life the way I want to, those who disagree can shove it.
"Ranma, your father is correct on all accounts. The places he needs to go, some I have recommended are far too dangerous for one of your age and skill. Cures for Jusenkyo curses are few and far between, more so since you had the misfortune to fall in a permanent spring."
My expression darkened at the reminder, "I know, the locals were very through in explaining it to me."
"Of course you do, even though your father will be gone it doesn't mean the end of your journey. You see Ranma, in addition to being one of the best schools in the world, Mahora Academy has many growing mysteries and legends surrounding its existence, even I its headmaster could never find the answer to them all. Maybe you could find the right one and cure your curse?"
I fumed as I processed that in.
Konoemon continued on with his speech, I hated every minute of it. My mind soon turned against me, information about what could help me entered in. It caught me off guard, steadily unbalancing me as my interest in staying kept going up the more I listened in. It all soaked into my brain and clot like blood. I didn't want to see his face as I found the floor to be of better company. Dammit, dammit all to hell, stop it! I just want to be on the road with Pop. Why can't I have that?
"- and your only required to stay till the end of middle school. So do you still wish to go with your father Ranma?"
I gave a snarl of frustration and shattered the chair as I shoved my Ki in it with the intent to break.
Pop palmed his face, Konoemon arched an eyebrow and sighed again, The lackeys came running in once more and promptly dismissed with a hand wave.
"I'll take that as a yes then?" He asked in a calm voice.
"My conditions, my rules." I adamantly stated, If I'm going to endure this crap, I'd make the best out of it.
"I'm sure a few concessions can be made in your case."
"First, I want to live alone. Preferably away with space and near the wilderness. If not I'm perfectly fine camping and I'll even get the supplies myself. But I'm sure someone of ya status can easily accomplish this."
Konoemon chuckled, "Oh, that has already been done. There is a cabin suitable for you needs, it's a bit far from the school but I'm sure you'll manage it. If you think that cash might be a problem, your father will be more than happy to provide wouldn't you Genma?"
Pop sweated and nodded in agreement.
I stared at him. "We're poor, Pop needs all the money he can for his trip."
"You didn't know? Genma is paying your tuition and rent, a monthly allowance is minuscule compared to its cost."
"We… have money?" I asked in disbelief.
"Yes, your father's quite well off since the end of his adventures years ago. He was quite the treasure hunter back in the day."
I pointed to Pop, who was hiding behind the couch. Guess he went back to his usual self. Good for me, "Why the hell did we cheat and steal to survive then? When we could have paid for it!"
"I-it was in the name of training boy! I didn't want you to be soft and weak, the true path of a martial artist is one of hardship. And I suffered as you did remember that."
I snorted and turned to the still amused Konoemon, "Secondly, other than you or Pop I don't want anyone to know about my curse."
He seemed surprised at this, "Are you sure? I have a few individuals who might be able to -"
I interrupted, "If I need help I'll tell them myself, its my curse and I'll deal with it. Otherwise don't tell anyone."
"All right, but if you need help feel free to ask. I'm guessing that you have one more request?"
"Nothing comes to mind." I lied, I wanted to object wearing a uniform. Especially a girls uniform, but that would attract attention and I just want to be left alone for now.
I think he didn't believe it. Whatever.
"Now that we're finally done do you wish to speak to your father or do you want to explore the academy?"
"You already know the answer."
"Then I'll be off to finalize the arrangements, And welcome to Mahora Academy Ranma Saotome may you enjoy your experience here." Konoemon walked over reached out his hand, I shook it. He didn't show it, I immediately felt that this geezer had power, much more than me and even my Pop! But it wasn't Ki, more like the stuff radiating around Jusenkyo and some of those old crones in the Amazon Village. Magic, huh? This might worth the next six years.
He rose from his seat and walked over to Pop. They whispered to each other, I couldn't hear or make it out but after a few seconds Pop turned to me and beckoned me to sit on his lap.
We relaxed for a number of minutes after Konoemon left, Pop had his hands on my shoulders and I leaned back on his chest. We always do this if we catch a good view of the scenery. Pop did it so I'd appreciate the beauty and the wonders of nature. I never complained, they were all breathtaking to me. I savored every moment of it, even now in the office.
I yawned, one of us had to initiate the conversation. It wasn't going to be me, the longer we were together the better. Sleep was catching my eyes when Pop finally worked up the courage to talk to me.
I bit back another yawn, "Yes, father."
I don't know why we addressed each other so formally, but the atmosphere seemed right.
"Arguing with others will do that, you kept it up for nearly two hours. Do you know why?"
"I… yelled? A lot of times too. Then I broke the chair…"
I couldn't tell the expression on my face but Pop thought it was funny enough as he burst out laughing at the sign of it. I hopped off and gave him a good hard kick in the tibia.
Pop swore lightly.
"Even as a girl you still pack a mean kick son." He jokingly said, rubbing his leg.
I gave an angry stare. He wasn't hurt, Pop knew it also.
"Sheesh, can't take a joke for the sake of your old man?"
I rolled my eyes and sat next to him.
"Well lets continue. son, you need to control your anger, its leaking into your Chi."
"I know that." I muttered, clearly ashamed by my actions.
"No, you don't. If there had been someone who couldn't protect themselves in the room with us, you would have unintentionally injured them, possibly to a state that they couldn't recover from."
I didn't answer, I've been unknowingly flaring my Ki throughout the discussion. Using it to strengthen my voice, imparting it with bad intentions, I'd have busted the eardrums of people who heard me if they couldn't defend themselves with the basics of Ki or in Konoemon's and possibly the guards case Magic. I felt horrible, to a martial artist control of one's self is everything. I lost it ever since Jusenkyo.
No wonder we've been avoiding people since coming to Japan, he must have put me in a heavy sleep before coming to Mahora.
"I'm sorry." It was all I could say, apologies from me are rare, like my Pop I hate admitting my mistakes.
He gave a sigh in relief, Pop knew that it was genuine. I'd learn from this and better myself as a result.
"So, when will you be leaving?"
"In a few days, after your first class. I'll help you get settled in."
"When will ya be coming back?"
"If I can once every few months, if not there will be a letter waiting for you, and possibly a souvenir or two. The wanderlust still with me after all."
"Wanderlust?" I asked curiously, this might affect me later on in life if its carried to those with the Saotome name.
"It's a desire to travel the world and explore its mysteries. All explorers and adventures have it. Its particularly strong within the Saotome line. You see for as long as our line existed each generation of Saotome has gone on one or more trips around the world to appease it,"
Huh, that must have been why we never stayed more than a month in a single place.
"we take our children with us at times, to make sure the desire is planted for the next generation. My father did so with me, I did the same for you son."
I rubbed my eye, sleep must have caught up to me, I didn't want it but I wasted too much Ki arguing with Pop and Konoemon.
"Thanks for doing that."
"Your welcome boy. Care for a nap?"
"Will ya be here when I wake up?"
"Of course I will."
I didn't say anything, I used Pop's lap as a pillow and slept like the dead.