The Atoning Cat-Girl

~Noy Telinú~

Warning: this fic is darker than most Noy fics… not as bad as Half a Y… but darkish… sorta… mostly… kinda… not really… no.

Caution: this fic was voted for by a poll. Like The Revenge of Jusenkyo and Ranma, the Mutant Catgirl. It might be as good as those… we'll see…

Thanks: for voting by the way… and tuatara who edited this. Blame goes that way, not to me, the Text…

You have been warned….

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Prologue: Origin story

A tiny boy named Ranma whimpered as he tried to hide from the cats in the pit.

It was already his nineteenth time in the pit filled with starving cats. This time, chibi-Ranma was covered in milk. Of course, the cats attacked Ranma in an attempt to get the milk off of him.

But this time it was different; this time there was no meat to grab. This time the teeth of the cats drew blood, lots and lots of blood.

The young boy, only six years of age, felt the blood running over his ears, his mouth, the tips of his fingers, and his lower back.

Unfortunately for the world, one cat started licking Ranma's eyelids.

Suddenly, things… changed…

Outside the covered pit, Genma was meditating, hoping that this time things would be different.

'My poor, poor scared son…' Genma sighed as he thought to himself. 'I don't know what else to use to get him over this pathetic fear of cats.'

Suddenly, a yowl was heard… and then, Ranma exploded out of the pit… on all fours…

Genma didn't know what hit him.

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Ranma Saotome, six-year-old boy, was purring.

More specifically, purring on the lap of an old woman. An old woman who was smiling with her eyes closed. A smiling old woman, eyes closed, with a boy on her lap… that was purring… like a cat.

That is what Genma saw when he staggered into the area.

Ranma was asleep while he purred, peaceful and relaxed.

Genma decided right then and there not to try anymore with the Nekoken.

'The boy has gone from afraid to insane,' Genma thought sadly. 'My poor insane son… No more of this… This was a bad idea. Who thought of it?'

Ranma eventually woke up.

"Huh? Why is everything so warm… AHHH! Dad! What happened to you?!" Ranma shouted, throwing his arms in the air.

Genma sighed. "At least you're back to normal…"

"Huh?" Ranma tilted his head.

"Nothing… nothing," Genma reassured the boy. "Let's… go back to camp…"

"OK…" Ranma jumped off the old woman's lap and ran towards his father.

Genma took one last look at the old woman, wondering how she calmed down his son.

Unknown to either of them, Ranma's body was tainted. He was unaffected physically, but rather mentally tainted. A split personality was now born. One that would cause Ranma fear, anger, hate, and suffering…

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Ten years later…

Genma could say that he was proud of his son. Over the many years of training, Ranma had grown from a young boy into a young man. A young man who managed to hit him at this last training ground before heading back to Japan.

The older Saotome splashed into the spring below. That is when things changed.

A panda jumped out of the spring into which Genma had fallen.

"What the-?" Ranma spewed.

A portly Chinese man, who had tried to warn the Saotomes about the dangers of the Jusenkyo springs, spoke up. "He fall in Spring of Drowned Panda. Whoever fall in spring becomes panda."

Ranma was stunned by this turn of events and quickly found himself backhanded by the panda into a different spring.

"Ooh, you fall into Spring of Drowned Girl. Whoever fall in spring take on body of young girl," the Jusenkyo guide explained. "So sad…"

Something was wrong, though. Ranma wasn't resurfacing.

Genma, now realizing he was a panda, stood in shock next to the guide.

"Hmm? Very odd. No come up yet. Maybe drown." The guide scratched his head. "Very confusing spring it be, then…"

Ranma, however, wasn't drowning. No… something far, far worse was taking place.

The boy's body became a girl's, which was what was supposed to happen. What wasn't supposed to happen was for it to be painful. Not the stubbed toe or broken bone or even stepping on a Lego painful, though. No, more like being boiled alive painful.

Of course, that wasn't supposed to happen. The water was cool. Keyword WAS. Yet it had started to heat up to extreme levels for some reason.

Perhaps it was the dilemma occurring inside that particular pool. The spring turned any living animal into a young girl, but this person was different. Ranma, either by bad luck or some cosmic turn of events, still had cat DNA in his… now her bloodstream. It wasn't attached to the rest of the human DNA, it was just there. Unknowingly biding its time to fuse with the human in whom it resided.

Unfortunately, its presence interfered with the magic turning Ranma into a girl. It IS the Spring of Drowned Girl, after all, and because of magic, turned the boy into a girl. But, since the rogue feline DNA wasn't alive, it wasn't affected; yet its presence caused a feedback loop error.

Jusenkyo's magic is simple: Turn what fell in into what drowned there. And so the spring did. It turned the boy into a girl. However, it still 'sensed' in some way that whatever was in the spring wasn't a human girl, so it repeated the process… only to find that there were still signs of non-human girl in the spring. So it did it again. Since all that happened nearly instantaneously, by the time Ranma was completely submerged, the friction of magic vs. genetic mutation was causing the water to heat up. Not to mention heating Ranma herself.

Neither non-living entity on either side of the fight realized what was going on, being non-living and all.

So, by the time Ranma's feet touched the bottom of the spring, the water was already boiling.

But finally, due to the magic flowing through the young girl's body at such a rapid pace, the little bit of cat became one with the human.

The guide started taking steps away. "Oh no… this no happen before. Jusenkyo angry…"

Genma was too busy looking at his paws to pay attention.

"AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!" Ranma screamed as she launched herself out of the spring, kicking off the bottom.

"Very weird," the guide noted.

Ranma landed with a splat, right onto a patch of grass.

Her skin was burning red from the heat, her body was in pain, and that's when she saw her own reflection in the nearest spring.

Ranma's heart rate skyrocketed as she looked into her reflection.

Staring back was a catgirl. One that was human for the most part… except for the ears… and fangs… and a tail that rubbed up against her leg.

"Ooh, young sir became a mix of girl and cat… a catgirl. This no happen before… you fall in Spring of Drowned Girl," the guide noted with a raised eyebrow.

Ranma's fear of being part cat turned into anger, anger at her panda father for doing this to her. "POPS!"

Genma looked on in terror as Ranma glared at him.

"POPS!" Ranma's anger fell into hate as her rage blew.

Suddenly, Genma turned back the way he came and ran.

That was when the pupils of Ranma's eyes suddenly became slitted in shape.

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Ranma's body changed drastically in less than two minutes, going from a boy on the brink of manhood to a raging catgirl.

And she was pissed.

Genma only made it to the edge of the valley before Ranma tackled him, knocking the panda to the ground. Her fingernails weren't those of a human anymore; they were thicker, and all of a sudden grew longer, extending out from her fingers by a centimeter or two. The nails were the claws of a cat.

Ranma snarled at her father, sinking her new claws into his back.

If Ranma were thinking rationally, she would have wondered where the claws came from… but she wasn't, so she didn't.

*Slash* Four huge cuts were now prominent of Genma's back, deep enough for blood to spray out rapidly.

Ranma didn't care, though. Her mind was long gone, gone into the Catfist, the Nekoken.

The fury in her eyes, like those of a cat, made it clear that she would not be showing mercy.

Sadly for Genma, his mistake a decade before was now spelled his doom as Ranma's fear turned to rage that with a new body easily overtook her conscious mind with the cat personality in her head.

The cat wasn't playing this time; it was hurt in many areas and knew who was to blame. It had evolved with the magic-genetic fusion… somehow.

It didn't care that this panda was her father. The cat only saw red.

With a whimper, Genma was slashed repeatedly, losing huge chunks of flesh as the cat dug in relentlessly.

The Jusenkyo guide looked on in horror as Ranma absolutely destroyed her father within seconds.

Moments later, Genma was no more.

Ranma didn't stop, however. No, the cat mind wanted to grind the panda into paste.

The Jusenkyo guide had gotten hot water when the Saotomes came into the valley. After all, no one ever listened to him.

Thus the guide grabbed the water and threw it onto Ranma, hopeful that by turning back to normal the boy would break out of his madness.

The splash did its job, causing Ranma to snap out of it, eyes returning to normal.

"Huh? What just happened? Why am I covered in blood? Why… AHHHHH!" Ranma saw the bloody, barely recognizable carcass of Genma as a panda.

The guide, as relieved as he was, scratched his head in confusion.

For Ranma was still a catgirl.

'The water was hot enough. This is very, very confusing. How was the curse locked?' the guide wondered to himself.

"I… I didn't do this… did I?" Ranma stared at her hands, her bloody hands. "I couldn't! No… I… I couldn't have… It must have…"

The catgirl started crying. "No, no, NO, NO, NO!"

The guide stood there awkwardly as Ranma cried her eyes out.

"Pops…" Ranma sobbed. "Pops…"

Ranma screamed at the top of her lungs before hugging what little remained of her father, crying all the while.

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The self-made orphan watched solemnly as the fire burned the remains of her father to ash.

'At least this way he gets back to Japan…' Ranma thought as she stared into the fire.

Normally a funeral cremation would take a few days, but Ranma didn't want to wait that long.

And so, the catgirl watched on as the fire consumed her father, planning on what to do afterwards.

In time, the fire died and Ranma put the ashes into a small urn provided by the guide.

Then she took a tanto knife and kneeled down.

"Please mail this to Japan… Pops deserves to get home…" Ranma asked, a tear running down her cheek.

"Aiyah! What you doing?" the guide asked in alarm.

Ranma sniffled. "I'm going to redeem my honor… somehow. I'm a monster…"

The guide was frantic. "What with Japanese people and killing themselves?! You no, no monster!"

"YES I AM!" Ranma yelled. "What kind of person would murder their own father, HUH?! Murder him in cold blood… Sure, he was mean at times… but still… I'm going to end it and pray my ancestors can forgive me."

"This place is pools of sorrow, yes… Many die here… But why kill self? That do nothing!" the guide countered. "You only make valley worse!"

"LOOK AT ME!" Ranma screeched. "I'm supposed to be a guy, a MAN! But what sort of man kills his own father!? And not just kill him, but RIP HIM TO SHREDS! I'm not even HUMAN anymore! I snapped and did THAT! I could do it again! Something has changed me… I can't allow myself to harm others. I WAS a martial artist. They're supposed to protect the weak… not kill in cold blood…"

The Jusenkyo guide sighed. "Killing yourself be easy way out. It make you look weak… very weak. You no think better to not kill self, but help others? You good martial artist, me saw, use that for good."

Ranma looked down at the knife in her hands, its reflective surface forcing her to look again at her new appearance.

"Live… like this?" Ranma spoke slowly. "How? I look like some weird creature. Others would kill me."

The guide shrugged. "Perhaps…"

Ranma sighed. "I don't know what to do…"

The guide stood there, watching Ranma for a while, before grabbing the small urn and placing it in front of her.

"What father say?" the guide asked.

Ranma tear-ed up. "Nothing… He's DEAD!"

"No listen good enough," the guide said. "Listen to heart."

Ranma glared at him. "Why do YOU care if I live?"

The guide smiled. "You very, very different. You no normally angry like that, are you?"

Ranma huffed. "No… One of the first things you learn as a martial artist is to control your anger. Still, why do you care?"

"This never happen before." The guide took out a pipe. "You fall in Spring of Drowned Girl. You supposed to be girl, not catgirl. Something happen to you long ago, yes? Maybe you cat demon…"

"Oh, so I'm a demon, not a monster?" Ranma rolled her eyes. "That's sooo much better."

The guide nodded. "It is. Demon very powerful. They destroy land. The Musk and Phoenix keep demon out of China. Most demon no exist today. Some end up nice, especially half ones. Everyone hate them. One go and save world, kill almost all other demon. From Japan, Inuyasha. You heard of that story, yes?"

The catgirl shook her head.

"No matter, you like him. Evil side want out and kill. You need it to stay in you," the Jusenkyo guide explained. "Save lot of people you can."

Ranma twirled the knife in her hand. "I'm not a demon…"

"You something. No want you die. Very bad things happen when people like you die. I can see." The guide smoked his pipe. "I no believe in people kill themselves. No solve anything."

Ranma grunted. "Your problem, not mine. I have nothing to live for anyway."

"How about mother?" the guide asked genuinely. "Do you have mother?"

That stopped Ranma right in mid-twirl as she dropped the knife.

The catgirl zoned out. "I… I don't know… I never knew about my mother…"

"She may be alive, yes?" the guide suggested with a smile.

"Maybe…" Ranma spoke slowly.

A few minutes passed by without a word.

"She won't recognize me anyway…" Ranma sighed. "Or even believe me. Mom is probably dead as well. This is… this is my punishment for killing Pops. I need to redeem myself."

"So you live?" the guide asked, hopeful.

Ranma nodded. "I guess. At least until I bury this with my mom…"

The redheaded catgirl picked up the urn and stared at it.

"Too bad we can only get this much…" Ranma closed her eyes. "How am I supposed to carry it?"

The guide left for his hut.

Ranma looked around, saddened.

That's when she noticed the paper by her foot.

Ranma picked it up to see her name along with Genma's. There was a third, but it was covered in blood.

She flipped it over and gasped.

On the other side was a photo of an infant Ranma in a woman's arms with Genma standing behind her.

"Mom?" Ranma spoke in shock. "Is that Mom?"

Soon, the guide came back with a chain.

"Here you go." The guide gave the chain to Ranma. "Wear around neck. It help with remembering, yes?"

Ranma took the chain, wrapping it around the urn. "Thank you. I have a lot to atone for…"

With that, Ranma grabbed her things and left the valley for Japan.

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A redhead girl walked down the streets of Tokyo.

Her head was covered by a green Mao-style hat and most of her body was hidden from view in a matching green Chinese suit.

It was rather odd to see such a small girl carry such a large pack effortlessly as she solemnly walked along the streets, her blue eyes looking dead to the world.

A hand covered in a green glove came up and pushed her hair out of her face, for it was raining that day.

Yes, the girl was in the rain without an umbrella… or even a friend in the world.

Ranma stopped and looked to the left, seeing a cemetery beyond a fence.

With a few quick hops, she entered the cemetery, looking for her family name.

'Pops… you'll soon be buried with Mom… It's something, right?' the girl thought to herself as she looked for a name.

Unfortunately for her, the Saotomes weren't buried in that cemetery.

After searching the whole place five times, she sighed and walked out, the rain still pouring down on her.

'That's eighteen cemeteries I've searched in Japan already…' Ranma thought sadly as she went looking for the next one.

Her stomach growled just then. Not that she cared, even if it was bothersome.

Instead, the catgirl trudged on, desperately looking for her family's grave.

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The next day…

Ranma laid in her tent, her energy drained from not eating in days. The rain still poured from the sky, equaling her mood eerily.

The young catgirl just wanted to die right then, to get her meaningless life over with. But she wouldn't… she couldn't let herself die until she buried the remains of her father with her relatives.

Unfortunately for Ranma, she still hadn't found the grave. That meant she couldn't starve herself to death just yet.

With a groan, Ranma got herself up and walked back out into the pouring rain.

'I need to get some food. Stupid search… Stupid me… Of course it would take a while to find it…'

Whether due to hunger, tiredness, or the heavy rain, Ranma didn't read the name of the first store she entered.

However, she was able to tell that she made the wrong choice once inside.

'Oh, goodie…' Ranma thought sarcastically. 'A bookstore. Great. And not just any bookstore, no, I had to wander into the foreign bookstore selling American comics. Of course they call them "manga." Like that's not confusing. "Oh, I'm looking for the newest manga, here is the manga section, huh? What's this? Batman, Spider-Man, Hulk… This isn't what I was looking for!" Whatever, I need to leave and find food.'

The catgirl walked out the door, being shoved rudely by a guy wearing all black.

Ranma snarled, too hungry to retaliate, and continued walking on in the rain.

She could hear yelling coming from within the store, but she was too exhausted to pay much attention and trudged towards the next building.

That is, until she was knocked to the ground by the same man in black, this time wearing a handkerchief tied under his nose… and carrying a large bag.

"That's it!" Ranma stood up, her anger rising. "That guy is asking for it!"

With adrenaline fresh in her body, Ranma hastily followed the guy into an alley next to the store.

'Wait a minute… That guy's a thief!' Ranma realized. 'And he has a sandwich! Alright, thief, prepare to be spooked.'

The guy stopped under a canopy and was smiling wickedly.

"Heh, heh…" he chuckled. "Let's see how much yen I was able to get…"

"None," Ranma said suddenly, her face hanging down over the canopy.

"AHHH!" The guy jumped. "What the hell!?"

Ranma, her hat off and her eyes slitted like a cat, smiled evilly. "From hell? Maybe… just maybe… it's where you'll be going soon."

The guy quickly pulled out a gun. "Stay back! Whatever you are!"

"AND you have a gun in Japan?" Ranma laughed, showing off her fangs. "Yet another law you broke. My, my, my… Isn't that something. Stupid, but something."

"I'll shoot!" the guy warned, shaking badly thereby ruining the threat.

"Go on… I DARE you!" Ranma narrowed her eyes.

*Boom* The gun fired.

But Ranma wasn't there.

The thief looked left and right and up, but didn't see her.

'Did I just imagine that?' he thought as he shook his head. 'Stupid conscience.'

"Talk about slow. I saw you pull the trigger you know," Ranma said all of a sudden behind him.

"AHHHH!" The guy turned around to find no one.

'This is really freaking me out…' The thief breathed deeply.

"Nice sandwich. The tuna was great," Ranma spoke from behind the man again.

Once again he turned around to see nothing… except a wrapper.

"Alright, who are you?!" the thief demanded angrily, eyes darting, as he searched for any sign of someone.

"Me?" Ranma's voice seemed to echo around him. "Nothing much. Just a monster… especially for people like you."

"What's THAT suppose to mean?!" The guy panicked, head turning constantly.

Ranma laughed. "It means that I've killed before… and I'll do it again if I see reason to. A monster in the dark… waiting to get you."

The guy was shaking like mad. "You're n-n-nnot get-t-t-ttting me-eee-e-ee."

"Ooh, but I am. The cat always gets its prey… especially when the prey is helpless and stupid," Ranma laughed.

"Show yourself!" the thief shrieked.

"Gladly…" Ranma smiled.

The catgirl knocked the gun away easily, and then hit the man nine times.

*CRACK*

Breaking his arms and legs… and a few ribs.

"AHHAHAOWWW!" the man screamed as he crumpled to the ground in agony.

Ranma grabbed the man by the chin and brought it up to meet her face.

Said thief was crying. "Are… are you going to kill me?"

Ranma smirked. "No… that would make me worse than you… But I have found out in my life that there are fates worse than death. For your punishment must be more severe. I will haunt your nightmares, not allowing you to have a moment of rest. You WILL tell others about me. But no one will believe you. You will go mad and think that this didn't really happen, that it was impossible, that you're just insane. In the end, you will beg me to kill you, to put you out of your misery."

The thief whimpered.

"And I'll say no. I have a new life and purpose now, a way to atone for my sins, a way to make everything better and it's all thanks to you robbing that comic shop. And that sandwich. It was a good sandwich. I know your type, hiding in the dark, threatening others to get what you want, stealing for needs and pleasure alike. But you weren't born of darkness; you just use it for your own advantage. And that's why I'm better than you. I was born of darkness, raised by the best thief in the world. You never stood a chance. And you will suffer. Every. Single. Day. Goodnight, thief. When you wake up, you'll wish you hadn't." Ranma grinned evilly, showing her fangs.

The catgirl hit the guy on the back of the head, sending him into unconsciousness.

"That was a good talk." Ranma smiled to herself, picking up the bag of money and the thief. "Well… I only need a little money…"

With a shrug, Ranma pulled out a few hundred yen for herself and got onto the roof of the bookstore.

Itabashi police were just arriving at the store and beginning to investigate when suddenly a bag of money and a person fell onto the ground in front of the entrance.

"What the-?" the policeman with a mustache wondered aloud and looked up to the roof, finding no one.

"What… was that?" his partner asked.

"I don't know. But I think we found our culprit," the police stated, walking over to the victim.

"Do you think it was one of those martial artists?" the other policeperson asked.

The mustached man stroked his facial hair. "The Nerima ones? Perhaps… We are close to the border, after all."

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Ranma, hat on and eyes normal, walked down the street feeling just slightly better than before.

The rain was still coming down, but that didn't matter to the catgirl one bit.

'Is this what I'm going to do? Be a vigilante like in those comic books? Why did I even say those things anyway? I was angry and… and I broke his bones… WHAT HAVE I BECOME?' Ranma mentally screamed.

Shaking it off, the redhead picked up her pace, wondering why she hasn't seen any open shops that sold food.

There was a sign that said 'Nerima,' but Ranma wasn't paying much attention.

The rain lessened more and more as she went on.

Eventually, Ranma found an outdoor market that was open.

'Many fruits and vegetables… I wonder why they don't look wet. Wait…' Ranma looked skyward. 'The rain… It stopped!'

Indeed, the rain had stopped pounding Ranma as she walked, but more eerie was the fact that the ground in this area was dry.

'Weird,' Ranma noted as she looked for something to eat.

The catgirl browsed the shops, seeing a great variety of food options.

The redhead girl started browsing some food options when rays of sunshine hit her.

'Huh. Guess the storm is over finally,' Ranma thought absently.

Ranma was just finishing up shopping when she, due to being extremely tired, walked into someone.

Bags of food flew into the air… somehow.

The other person was falling down due to impact.

Ranma was exhausted and weary.

Still… she was a martial artist.

Using her quickness, Ranma caught the stranger, preventing her from hitting the ground.

The food bags fell down on them.

Fortunately, Ranma caught all of the bags, balancing some of them oddly. Not a single piece of food fell on the ground.

"Whew," Ranma sighed in relief. "Are you alright? Sorry about that."

The stranger looked her in the eyes and said, "Oh my. That was amazing."

Ranma chuckled. "Maybe… but… um… it's kind of hard to hold this. So… could you please stand up, Miss?"

"Oh dear, where are my manners?" The stranger stood up and gave Ranma a hand, smiling sweetly. "My name is Kasumi Tendo. I haven't seen you around here before."

Ranma gave Kasumi her bags. "Just got here. You aren't hurt, are you?"

Kasumi smiled. "No, not at all. Thanks to you I'm uninjured. I'm sorry about walking into you. I'm not usually that careless."

"No, no, it's my fault," Ranma admitted. "I wasn't watching where I was going."

Kasumi giggled. "We're both at fault, then. I was shopping for dinner tonight and was thinking about what my father announced and you… Excuse me, but, what is your name, Miss?"

Ranma flinched at that. "I… I was just getting something to eat… You know?"

"Oh, for just yourself? Do you live alone?" Kasumi grew concerned.

The redhead looked away. "Yeah… I do… Sorry, but I got to go… Sorry again for walking into you. Bye…"

With that, Ranma walked away hastily.

"Wait!" Kasumi called out. "I still don't… know your name…"

But the redhead was already too far away.

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Author's notes: wow… dark, huh? And if you do remember the poll that ended in August, yes, yes, it will be. Plus, yuri. ^_^ Until next time, I'm the TEXT! MERRY NEW YEAR!