Forsaken

by Crossover Maniac

Prologue.

Ranma 1/2 and all characters except Paul Sherman belong to Rumiko Takahashi.

Nermia: 11:00 p.m.

Mousse sat Indian-style on the railroad tracks running on the outskirts of Nermia. It was pitch black at this time of night. Clouds covered the stars during the night of a new moon. Mousse hugged himself tightly shivering. How fitting, he thought, that the night he would end his existence would so readily fit his life: cold, dark and bleak. A light a few miles down the tracks stabbed the darkness. The 10:48 freight train to Nermia is always a few minutes later, he thought. He started rubbing the fresh scar running down his arm. It hurts to think about it, how she... Mousse stopped in mid thought when he heard a voice calling out to him.

"Hey kid, you might wanna spend a day to two thinking over your decision to meet your maker on account that suicide's a little permanent." The voice seemed to Mousse strangely familiar.

Mousse stood up. "Who are you, how did you know I would be out here, and what's business is it of yours?"

"One: I was at the Neko Cafe just a while ago," the voice called out as its source stepped out of the shadows and into the light of a streetlamp, "two: I've seen that look on your face a dozen times before and each time it was just before some poor idiot got zipped into a body bag, and three: I make it my business." The figure was very tall. In fact, he was taller than any man Mousse ever seen before.

"Now I remember you," Mousse replied. "Go home, old man. You can't force me off these tracks." The train whistled in the background. The man pulled out a gun from his coat pocket. Mousse was a bit surprised to see it since he was trained to detect conceal weapons by his sensei in the art of Hidden Weapons. "So, you're going to save me the trouble of suicide and kill me yourself." Mousse stretched his arms out as if to embrace the Grim Reaper himself. The tracks were shaking as the train's headlights were illuminating the spot where Mousse was standing.

"Kid, I don't feel like dragging you back to town, so get off those tracks, NOW!"

"I'd rather you'd shoot." Pleads to get off the track were being shouted by the conductor of the train.

And the man did just that. It wasn't very loud, due to the fact that the gun was equipped with a silencer on the end of the barrel. Mousse was knocked back a few inches. To Mousse's surprise, instead of blood staining his ceremonial fighting robes, a cylinder with hairs on the end was sticking out of his chest. He pulled the object out of his chest and saw a needle on the end. As he did, he felt light-headed; the world was spinning; the lights from the train and streetlamps were blurs. "What did you...do to.... do to... to me?" Mousse tried to say over the roar of the train. Then he felt something impacting his chest knocking him to the ground. All he could make out now was the passing of the cars of train.

Neko Cafe, Nermia-one hour ago

Things were rather slow at the cafe. It was almost closing time and only four customers came in for the whole day. Near the doorway between the cafe and kitchen stood Cologne on her ever vigil watch for customer. She pouted with her walking cane leaning against the wall beside her. Business will have to pick up or else she wouldn't be able to afford to stay in Japan, and that would mean her Amazon tribe would not have Ranma's offspring, as its next generation of warriors. Cologne then heard the bell on the Neko Cafe door ring. Ah, a customer. I'd better send Shampoo to great him, she thought. "Shampoo!"

"Yes, Grandmother," Shampoo replied as she leaned out the kitchen door.

"We have a customer. Do your best to make a good impression on him." Shampoo made her way to the door. "I hope the customer is a man," Cologne whispered to herself. "They are always more receptive to pretty young girls."

Shampoo smiled as she skipped over to the door. "Welcome to Neko Cafe. Me am Sham..." Shampoo stopped in mid-sentence and twisted her lips as if she swallowed an entire bottle of lemon extract. Cologne didn't like the looks of things. Of all the times for Shampoo to make a customer feel unwanted... Cologne rushed to the door. Then she got a look at her newest customer.

He stood almost at six and a half feet and was around sixty to sixty-five years old. He was wrinkled and balding at the top of his head, and what hair he had looked like gray wool. But his most noticeable feature was his skin color. His skin was ebony. "I heard this was the best restaurant in the area," he said. By his accent, he was American. He was also black.

"An understatement I assure you," bragged Cologne, "this restaurant is the best in all of Japan, Mr. ..."

"Paul Sherman. My name is Paul Sherman."

"Well, Mr. Sherman, I'll have my granddaughter sit you to a table." Cologne poked Shampoo with her cane. "Granddaughter!" Shampoo just stood there with that same sour look on her face. "Remember, good impression on the customer." Cologne said in Chinese hoping the foreigner didn't understand that language.

"Yes, grandmother." Shampoo led Paul Sherman to the table in a corner away from the windows. "Servant boy will bring menu."

Shampoo walked in the kitchen and called out for Mousse. Almost instantaneously, Mousse ran to Shampoo's side. He was covered in garbage and wreaked of the fowl odor of rotten vegetable and sour refuge. "Yes, my love."

Shampoo's lips became even more twisted upon Mousse's greeting. "Grandmother has customer. Mousse, get cleaned-up and give him menu."

Mousse looked a little perplexed. "But can't you go out there and serve him? Is there something wrong?

"Stupid duck boy! Look out and see!" Mousse peeked out the door and saw Paul sitting in the far corner tapping his feet, impatiently. Mousse ducked back into the kitchen (no pun intended). "I don't see anything wrong."

Shampoo grabbed Mousse by the collar. "Customer is filthy negro. Shampoo don't want black rubbed off on her. Make you go out instead."

Not wanting to argue with Shampoo, Mousse cleaned himself off as best he could and came out with Paul Sherman's menu. "Sorry," Mousse apologized, "for keeping you waiting." He handed Paul his menu, which Paul angrily snatched from Mousse and wrinkled his nose when he caught Mousse's fowl scent. Mousse stopped himself from telling off the old man since he was setting there for so long waiting for his menu, especially with him being the Neko Cafe's only customer at this time. Mousse couldn't get over the fact that his beloved Shampoo could think that way about a person from a different race, but he couldn't bring himself to call her a racist even though it was the only logical conclusion.

"I'll have the squid on a stick, the stew, and some wheat bread as the side order, and to drink, I'll have some beer."

"Sir, our beer dispenser is out of order. We have some sake if you like."

"Actually, I wouldn't. It always left a bad taste in my mouth. Do you have American liquor, Jack Daniels perhaps?"

"No, we don't."

"Are you sure? Because you're menu says it has alcoholic beverages from distant lands."

"The menu's referring to China."

"It also says throughout the world, so that's more than just China."

"Look old man!" yelled Mousse, "I've been here a lot longer than you! I should know what we have and what we don't, and I say we don't have anything from America." Then Mousse felt the painful sting of Cologne's walking stick upon his head.

Cologne bowed to Paul Sherman in a humble, apologetic manner. "Forgive the servant boy's rude behavior. The fee for your dinner will be taken out of his pay for the poor service."

"What!" said Mousse.

"Tell Shampoo to wait on our customer, and go to the liquor store and find that..." Cologne turned to Paul, "what was that drink again?"

"Jack Daniels," answered Paul.

"Find a Jack Daniels for Mr. Sherman."

"But Shampoo said she was busy cleaning the kitchen," Mousse lied covering up for Shampoo's actual reason for not wanting to serve Paul Sherman.

Cologne's answer was a swipe with her walking stick on Mousse's head. "Just go, servant boy." Mousse hesitantly went back into the kitchen to fetch Shampoo. Cologne turned to Paul and said, "I apology for the rudeness of our servant boy. He will not be working here tomorrow nor will he be allowed back into the Neko Cafe."

"It wasn't such a big deal," chuckled Paul. "If I worked in a restaurant at his age, I would have told the customers where to stick their menu."

"I'm glad to here you are of good cheer..." Cologne stopped in mid-sentence when she heard Mousse screaming from the kitchen. Paul and Cologne ran to the kitchen.

When they came in, they saw Mousse nursing his left arm, which was drenched in blood. He was staring on in utter disbelief and shock at the object of his affection, love, and agony, which stood ten feet from him wielding a butcher knife stained in dark red.

"What's going on here!" demanded Paul. "Well, care to explain this." His question was directed at Shampoo who looked cold and had a fierce look in her eyes.

"It was an accident, Mr. Sherman," answered Mousse, grimly and solemnly. "That's all it was, an accident. I should have not been here," he was saying as he marched out the back door of the kitchen leaving a trail of blood behind.

"Look, ma'am," Paul addressed Cologne, "I can come back another time." Cologne was speechless and unable to respond to Paul's farewell. Paul went out the backdoor of the kitchen as well. Cologne immediately snatched the knife from Shampoo's hand. "What were you thinking, granddaughter?"

"Mousse wanted Shampoo to serve negro," Shampoo replied. "Shampoo has to deal at those people in Tokyo, when US soldiers on leave. They all want date with Shampoo. Makes Shampoo sick. Shampoo not deal with their kind here. Shampoo made sure Mousse got point." She made a gesture with her hand as if she still holding the knife and was making a swipe with it.

"You have shamed me granddaughter. You know if you're going to cut a man, you should make sure he's dead, and do it when there are no witnesses."

"What!" said Shampoo surprised at Cologne's words. Cologne then chuckled a little and started laughing. It didn't take long for Shampoo to join in.

"Seeing Mousse's blood spilt on the floor was well worth loosing a customer," giggled Cologne. The two joked some more at Mousse's expense before they started cleaning up the blooded mess on the floor.

Nermia: 11:00 p.m.

Paul shadowed Mousse to the tracks. Now he knew how Mousse planned to end it all: wait for the train to come, all 10,000 tons at 40 mph. Well, Paul never left anyone in need to fend for themselves and wasn't going to start now. The kid sat down on the tracks Indian-style hugging himself tightly, shivering, and rubbing the fresh scar running down his arm.

"Hey kid, you might wanna spend a day to two thinking over your decision to meet your maker on account that suicide's a little permanent," Paul yelled to Mousse.

Mousse stood up. "Who are you, how did you know I would out here, and what's business is it yours?"

"One: I was at the Neko Cafe just an hour ago," Paul Sherman said stepping out of the shadows and into the light of a streetlamp, "two: I've seen that look on your face a dozen times before and each time it was just before some poor idiot got zipped into a body bag, and three: I make it my business."

"Now I remember you," Mousse replied. "Go home old man. You can't force me off these tracks." The train whistled in the background. Paul Sherman pulled out a gun from his coat pocket. "So, you're going to save me the trouble of suicide and kill me yourself." Mousse stretched his arms. The tracks were shaking as the train's headlights were illuminating the spot where Mousse was standing.

"Kid, I don't feel like dragging you back to town, so get off those tracks, NOW!"

"I'd rather you'd shoot." Pleads to get off the track were being shouted by the conductor.

Paul pulled the trigger nailing Mousse in the chest. "I hope the tranquilizers take affect in the next few seconds," Paul whispered. Sure enough, Mousse was wobbling and struggling to keep his balance. Mousse said something but Paul couldn't make out what he was saying from the roar of the train. Paul tackled Mousse to the ground and dragged him out of the path of the train just before it came across the same spot occupied by Mousse a second ago.