Reflections in the Mirror
Disclaimer: I do not own Ranma ½ or Sailor Moon. I'm writing this simply because I enjoy writing, and my muse jackhammered the idea into my head one day. Took half a bottle of aspirin to get rid of the headache after that.
Warning: There will be some OOC. It is an AU though, so that can almost be expected.
The shrine sat atop a small hill. Considering it was located in the middle of Tokyo, the size of the shrine's grounds was rather impressive. That it had been in the Hino family for centuries was a little known fact. On this particular morning the shrine's young miko was tending to the sacred fire and reflecting on the previous day's events. A day where she learned of her aunt for the first time. But what really threw off the teenage girl was that her aunt Nodoka was heavily touched by magic.
From the feel of it, the magic had been on her for decades. And it was quite strong too. From the feel of things, the biggest source of magic was likely an old curse. Which was why the teen was going through old scrolls in the shrine's library. While her grandfather had no special talents as a priest, the family shrine had long been a place of spiritualism and healing. Many generations of Hino had been priests fully capable of warding against demons and other such duties.
Comparing notes made on the curse's affects on her aunt's aura to old records lead to a scroll on water based curses. Naturally enough, this lead to more research. Most of the weekend was spent as such. By the time Monday came around the young miko had a good grasp on what she could do, as well as the likely consequences. But first she had to get permission. After all, she decided, it was rude to preform any cleansing on someone without their knowledge.
It was at breakfast when she decided to pose the question. "Aunt Nodoka, what sort of curse do you have? I know it's water based, and currently always active. But not what it's nature is."
The woman in question raised an eyebrow and answered. With a sorrow filled voice she told her tale. It was one of abusive fathers and torturous training. It was also a tale of ghosts, demons, water based transformational curses, and unwanted fiances. She talked of vengeful rivals who couldn't or wouldn't accept reality. She spoke of the magic and curses the same rivals used against her repeatedly. And finally Nodoka told them of how she finally escaped the nightmare of her old life, and it's high cost.
After decades living as a woman Nodoka knew she had changed. So it was with a heavy heart she finally said "No, I don't want it unlocked. That's not who I am anymore. I just hope my son can forgive me."
"But Aunt Nodoka, are you sure? I might be able to remove it completely."
"I understand Rei-chan, but I no longer am the person I was. This is who I am."
There are some people who are just naturally compassionate. Such people usually find themselves incapable of holding a grudge. Even the most heinous of crimes gets forgiven. And yet there are limits even to this. One rarely finds them. After all, it takes a lot to shatter such inherent faith in humanity. Yet it should be noted that three individuals had already pressed their luck with their reincarnated princess.
Of them, one was really straining the limits of forgiveness. As the blond teen listened to her pet cat those limits could almost be heard to creak. But that's silly, metaphorical objects don't make noise when strained. Over the course of the weekend the girl named Usagi had learned far more then she'd ever wanted to know. Not only had Sailor Pluto gotten her engaged, but also had at some point had legal guardianship transferred from her parents.
And that was on top of learning her surprise fiance had been traumatized by cats due to something the senshi of time probably wrote. The boy in question was still unconscious though. Luna hadn't left his side once all weekend. She'd said something about deep scarring that made little sense to the blond. And while the moon cat had muttered something about violent maniacs, that too didn't make sense.
"... no 'kane, don wanna eat it." The muttering came from the unconscious boy. "... you eat it then. Not … 'spital 'gain."
The boy finally seemed to be waking up. That was Luna's cue to leave the room it appeared. He looked around in confusion for a few minutes. Those eyes, Usagi thought in shock as he looked her way. So much sadness. She'd intellectually known the boy had suffered. But the depths of pain she saw in his eyes deeply troubled Usagi. The boy had come into her life suddenly and unwantedly. Yet those eyes were haunting.
Ranma's attitude might have been that of a brash jock. But the eyes told a different story. They spoke of abuse long suffered. Of horrors seen that could never be forgotten. After a year and a half as Sailor Moon Usagi knew eyes like that intimately. She saw them in the mirror and in her friends faces. It made her wonder just what this boy had been through. No one had eyes like that without a very good reason behind it. But whether or not he'd tell her why was another question entirely.
"Hi?" Usagi asked tentatively.
The boy froze in panic at the sight of Usagi. Girl standing entirely too close for comfort? Check. Girl actually touching him? Check again. Girl being even a little friendly? Check, check, and check. This lead to one inescapable conclusion. I'm gonna die. Pops sold me again, and I'm gonna die. For most people this leap in logic would be confusing. But for Ranma Saotome it was an everyday fact of life. Not only had he been sold by his father more times then anyone cared to count, but he frequently had people actively trying to kill him.
Usually it was for imagined slights and misunderstandings. The number of people Ranma knew who could put two and two together and come up with Rutabaga was astounding. The fact the least skilled of them was still a martial artist of high caliber was frightening. But the absolute worst part was that they were all after his head. Maybe not intentionally, but they still would try killing him on a regular basis. Which lead to the latest assessment of doom.
Cologne sighed as she examined her great granddaughter. They had moved the cafe to follow the boy. And almost immediately trouble had started. This time it wasn't with martial artists though. This time it was with something that would be foolish to fight; the local government. While Shampoo didn't seem to understand it, the village's laws only actually applied to the village. They had been lucky so far. But that luck had finally ran out.
Now Cologne had to enroll her heir in a local school. That shouldn't have been a problem. Except it was. The scholastic placement test had turned out to be alarming. Instead of being in the local high school like expected her great granddaughter was being put in a grade school. The worst part was that the Elder couldn't reasonably argue against it. She was looking at the test now and it was embarrassing. There was only one thing left to wonder.
"Shampoo, how did you conclude the sum of five plus five is an aardvark?"
He tensed as Ranma waited for the other shoe to drop, or table, or statue, whatever the blunt object soon to impact his head would be. As seconds passed into minutes with no violence he blinked in confusion. Still he didn't move for fear of triggering the expected violence. Eyes shifted left to right as if in search of something. Most likely they were looking for an escape path. Ranma's luck with girls was notoriously bad after all.
"Hi...?" The teenage boy asked in response.
"Would you liketogetsomeicecreampleases ayyes?" The blond asked in a barely coherent stream.
As a young man walked he swore eternal vengeance. The one he swore vengeance against was his rival. It was the one person blamed for everything that happened in his life. At times even things which occurred before they met were laid at the rival's feet. The young man was wearing a tattered yellow shirt with black pants. The shirt had tiger stripes on it, and he had the wrists tied with cord. Similarly the young man had tied the bottom of his pants with cord.
What was the latest atrocity on his mind? It was none other then his rival abandoning the fiance the boy himself coveted. He didn't care about the facts surrounding the event. In the man's mind the one he hunted must have been at fault. So it could be forgiven that he didn't notice his surroundings. In truth the man honestly thought he was in the middle of a desert and not down town Tokyo.
If one were to ask him, the desert was somewhere in the town of Hokuto. Then again he also thought the town of Hokuto held rain forests, vast plains, glaciers, and a penguin colony. It was fairly safe to say the young man was not a good person to ask for directions. He didn't notice his environment until he literally walked into someone. He looked up and saw a vision of loveliness. Dusky skin and red eyes. Jade tresses framed her face. A business suit covered the woman's curvy body.
"Hibiki Ryoga, how would you like to destroy the one named Saotome Ranma?" She asked him with a smirk.
"Who are you?" The man now named Hibiki asked with a little distrust.
The woman's smirk didn't fade as she replied. "Who I am doesn't matter. What does is that I can give you Saotome's head on a silver platter. I know exactly where he'll be in two days time. I can get you there. And I can supply a weapon capable of destroying him. All I ask is you do this then never return to Tokyo."
If her wording raised any warning flags Ryoga ignored them. All he could focus on was that he'd finally get his revenge. This tunnel vision had long been a problem. Yet it was one he had no inclination to solve. So it was that he agreed without even considering how much trouble it might cause. As he shook the mysterious woman's hand an ill wind blew through the great city. In one specific house the face of the living room clock cracked and a bed split asunder.
And one teenage girl heard a warning chirp from a computer far more advanced then anything else on the earth.
Huh, finally managed to finish the next chapter. Sorry it took so long.