This is my first Fukufic . Please provide feedback. Spelling mistakes, things that don't make sense, etc. Please tell me what I should do to make this story better. How is the characterization? Is everyone reacting to the situations in ways believable for their character? The quality cannot improve if there is no feedback.
This chapter has an important plot twist... and again, thanks a lot to Hiryo from #fukufics for editing this chapter.
AN1: English is NOT my native language, thank you.
Episode 04: Deception
It was a very painful memory, but she had to endure it. She had to remember, to stop blocking it, if not for herself, then for Ranko-chan at least.
She was dying, but at least her mission had been complete. The artifact was safe, the Dark Kingdom would never get its hands over it. They had captured her, tortured her, break her, and tried to read her mind. Queen Beryl had even tried to use Queen Metalia's power in her, to force to reveal the location of the artifact. It was useless, even if she had never endured the seven days of fire to sharpen her mind, she didn't know where the artifact was. All they would have got if they broke her was that she had given the artifact to a friend. And the Dark Kingdom would never get its twisted claws in said friend. After all, it was almost impossible to find a kitsune if it didn't want to be found. But she had to make time, wait until they got impatient, until they did what she couldn't do, bring her so close to death her powers would make her be invincible.
That was it, even with her chi healing abilities, even with what little her fire could do to stop her bleeding, she was beyond the point she could save herself. The mental block that prevented her full access to her powers was now removed.
Rose screamed, her whole body burning with fire, exploding all restrains and burning anything and everyone in the prison block that wasn't made of stone. Now free of her restrains, her torturers turned to ashes, she fell to her knees, breathing hard. Rose continued to scream crying, she only had one haft of the phoenix, but for what she wanted it would be enough. The flame of life, once activated had given her less than an hour of live. Well, better put what little time she had left to use.
Rose let the flames consume her body to ashes, but for her it wasn't death, not yet. Rose was reborn as a blue and small flaming bird. The bird went outside and started to destroy the youma army with a rain of blue fire. She could feel her soul brother trying to reach her, but it was too late already and she ignored him. Since she walked the path of fire, she would die on fire, but not before making the Dark Kingdom pay.
The Burning Rose had died by the power of the phoenix, but the phoenix was not only a power of destruction, but also that of rebirth. Someday, she would be born again, in a different body. Maybe then, she would see her son and her soul brother again.
Then, after her flame of life had extinguished, Rose saw something she shouldn't have seen, something when she didn't live back then.
She saw how half of the youma forces had died that day, both by her efforts and the Sailor Senshi. Unfortunately, it wasn't enough, and Queen Serenity was forced to sacrifice her life to seal the Dark Kingdom forces away and make the Sailor Senshi be reborn in the future.
She saw Queen Serenity being consumed by the Silver Crystal, and just then, the queen heart was open to her. She didn't want her empire to be rebuilt, she didn't want revenge. The Queen's only desire was that her daughter, her 'Little Rabbit' would be accepted, that her new parents would love her as much as she did. That whatever happened, the princess would find happiness.
Rose woke up sweating, wearing the other redhead body, Ranko consciousness was asleep. The last part wasn't a memory... how could she remember what she didn't live? Another vision? Yes, a vision of the past. She had been right, the period was messing up her prophetic powers. She looked herself over, Ranko's body was so similar to the one she used to have, yet younger and smaller.
She thought about what she had seen, she could understand Queen Serenity feelings. She had felt the same for her son and for Raven. Her son... had he been reborn in this time? Or it had happened long ago?
Rose did never love her husband, she only saw her as a friend, as a way to fulfill her duty. Her tribe accepted love among women, but she still needed to have descendants. When her husband died, it was the loss of a good friend, when she had to kill her own son to save his soul, her heart broke.
Then Rose remembered why the war had started, and had to cover her mouth to avoid screaming. The princess didn't deserve happiness, it was the damn brat who had started the war in the first place!
Rose took a quick shower, then wore a new pad and put on the ninja costume. Maybe she could find a youma to fight and throw her frustrations at? She felt the pain of guilt, she was using Ranko... no Ranma's body, without permission. She would be sure to tell Ranko-chan later, right now she honestly needed to go out. She looked at the time, it was haft past six in the afternoon.
Using Ranko's memories as a guide, she slipped into the Umi-Sen Ken and went outside, jumping over rooftops. At the same time, she let a small but constant flow of her magic into the costume, it would help to protect it from her own powers and from most fire based attacks.
Then, she felt a familiar pull in her mind, she had just detected a youma. She let a terrible grin form in her face. It was time to kick some ass!
Ranma looked around confused, he was in the middle of a beautiful flower garden, most of the flowers where orchids, but there where also a few roses. Ranma stood up and looked himself over, he felt happy to be in his male form and on his usual Chinese shirt and pants. Then he noticed a familiar redhead looking at him.
"Rose, is that you?"
"Nope, I am Red-chan!" The redhead smiled, she was wearing Ranma usual clothes, no bra, and Ranma guessed the girl had boxers instead of panties.
"Red-chan? Who are you?"
"I am everything good you see about being a girl, the girl you would like to be if you wanted to be one. Wanna spar?"
Ranma looked at the redhead, normally he would never reject a fight, but after Rose sucked him into being some kind of magical girl, he decided to edge in the side of caution.
"What's the catch?"
"No catch, Rose been training me, I will show you some moves you don't know."
"What? Why the hell she would train you and not me?"
"Oh, I dunno, maybe 'cause you been mean to me?"
"Mean to you? What are you talking about?"
"You just use me when you want free stuff, or when you have one of your crazy plans. But you also hate me, you want to kill me, suppress me, and make me go away. How do you think that makes me feel?"
"I... I never knew you existed!"
"Well, you do know it now!"
"Wait a goddamn minute! You have any idea how much I have suffered because of the stupid curse?"
"That's true, but what about the times being a girl has been helpful? It was girl Ranma who made it possible to get the cure of the Ultimate Weakness Moxibustion, not you. And let's not start by how you would have never defeated Happosai without distracting him with my body."
"Your body? It was me who did at all, who suffered for it!"
"So, you admit that the girl's body is part of you?"
"Of course it is!" Ranma noticed a second later what he had just said "Hey!"
"Bingo!" Red-chan smiled and crossed her arms
"What do you want from me?"
"I want you to admit that you do enjoy some things about being a girl. And besides, is not like you can do the whole magical girl thing if you are a guy, right?"
"I am a man dammit!"
"Yeah sure, a man that sometimes is a girl."
"I will not get stuck as a girl again, not now, not ever!" Ranma aura started to flare up
"Hey! I don't want you to get stuck as a girl, Ok? Just stop being so mean to me." Red-chan was extending her arms, palms in front, in the usual stop it pose.
"But... if... if I never get a cure, mommy... she... she will never accept me..." Ranma fell down, he wanted to keep on denial, to fight this stupid girl and prove he was a man. But like it had happened with Rose, he felt it would be useless. Red-chan was a part of him, and there was no use to lie to himself like that. Ranma didn't want to end like Kuno or Kodachi, so warped up on their own lies it was like they lived in their own private world.
Ranma felt arms warping around him, two soft something's touching his chest. He looked up and saw Red-chan hugging him.
"Is okay to cry, even as a man. You are in your own mind, no one else will see you."
"But... is not manly..." Ranma felt tears falling from his face. Damn period, even when he saw himself as a man in his own mind it was still making him an emotional wreck.
"Stop with the manly crap! Rose may be willing to let you deal with mommy alone, but I am not! What kind of mother just stays away of our lives for ten years and then comes back trying to kill his son if he doesn't fit what she wants from him?"
"It... is not really her fault, it was the stupid panda..."
"You can't blame dad on this! A real mother would have tried to look for us, to try to keep in contact besides the postcards and letters Genma sent her. Heck after five years, she should have declared you missing and have the police looking for you!"
"I... I don't wanna lose her, I don't want to quit my family name, or kill myself. How... how can I fix this mess if there is no cure for us?"
"True love knows no bounds. You can keep the lie for now, but someday, you will have to tell her. I am perfectly okay with you expending a lot of time as a girl... even if I don't particularly like girly stuff."
"Now that was mean Red-chan..."
"Well, maybe there is no real cure for us, but Rose knows magic, maybe she can find a way to control how you change and stop you from being a water magnet?"
"That would be nice... ARGG! How long is this damn period gonna last? I hate being so emotional!"
"You are just lucky you didn't get pregnant..."
"DON'T YOU EVEN DARE TO JOKE ABOUT THAT!"
Red-chan bend her knees, placing both palms on the ground, and then bowed and scraped for forgiveness shouting "I am sorry, I am sorry, please don't kill me!", doing one of the best impressions of the Crouch of the Wild Tiger Ranma had ever seen.
The library, the youma was in the library, it also didn't seem like the youma they had been fighting lately. For starters, this youma was using a human disguise. Second, said youma wasn't punching everything and everyone, causing mass destruction. It seemed to be one of the old energy draining schemes, it was also kind of low key. Most people found libraries boring, so no one would find weird if people felt tired and felt asleep in the library, right?
Well, that was all good in theory, but when everyone in the library but the librarian girl and Ami had fainted, the plan became quite clear. The youma shed her human disguise away.
The youma was white with lizard like skin, it had blue gems covering her forehead, shoulders, chest and feet. She also still looked somewhat human and feminine. She had basically the appearance of a tall blonde with a voluptuous body and huge breasts. Instead of eyes, it had two blue sapphires. Ami was glad the youma was wearing a two piece black swimsuit to cover herself, she wasn't a pervert, but such a body was... distracting.
It also didn't make sense, a jewel themed Youma in a library? Ami watched the youma slowly approach her.
"Oh little girl, why aren't you falling asleep?" The youma said. So, it talked? It had been so long since she saw a youma say something intelligent that she had forgot some youma could talk.
Then there was a crashing sound, and a redhead ninja girl entered the library, breaking trough the closed glass window as if it wasn't there.
"Hey you youma! I need to kick some ass and so it happens to be yours!"
The monster turned around "I was kind of expecting the Sailor Senshi, but I guess I could use a small warm up!"
The gems in the youma body glowed and she unleashed some kind of red energy beams attack from her eyes, the ninja easily evaded the attack, but the wall behind her wasn't so lucky and got a huge hole in it.
"Hey blue hair! Run, I will keep this ugly witch busy!" Ami wanted to stay, use the Mercury computer and analyze both the youma and the female ninja. But she had a cover identity to maintain, so she escaped using the hole in the wall. One she was a few blocks away of the library she ducked into an empty alleyway an opened her Senshi Communicator, then pressed the red emergency button. That would activate the tracking signal and led Usagi to where she was. She double checked to make sure no one was looking, and took out her Transformation Pen.
In the time it took Sailor Mercury to transform and run back to the library, she found the youma tied up to the ground with chains of fire. The ninja was punching and kicking her with a maniacal grin, enjoying the punishment she was giving to the monster.
"Not so fun when you are the defenseless victim, right?" the kunoichi said
"Please... please stop..." The youma was bleeding dark blood, she had bruises, a swollen face and ribs broken.
Ami almost felt pity for the monster, things weren't supposed to be like this. Ami didn't know who the redhead ninja was, but what she was doing was outright torture.
"What the heck you think you are doing?"
The redhead turned around and looked at Sailor Mercury "Oh right, you want to finish her off yourself?"
"That's not what I mean, is one thing to kill youma, but what are you doing is torture!"
"So what? You think these monsters deserve any better? You think they won't torture you, your family and friends if they did have the chance?"
Ami looked at the redhead in shock, she had never considered the fact that youma could do that. That they could kill her or her family yes, but, that they could capture and torture her and her family...
The ninja then ignored Sailor Mercury and turned to look at the youma "What's your name monster?"
"Safaia... just... just let me die... please..."
"Very well..." The chains of fire disappeared and the youma felt down. Her body unable to sustain the grave injuries, it started slowly to turn to dust.
"Master... master Thetis... I am sorry... I failed you..." Ami was surprised to see black tears falling from the youma eyes before her body completely disappeared. Could it be that youma where more than mere monsters, that they had feelings and emotions, that they had a heart?
"So, you must be Sailor Mercury, I am Rose." The ninja said to the blue haired girl in fuku and extended her hand. But Ami had just too many things going in her head to react.
"Ah whatever, see you later!" Rose disappeared in a blur, and just like that, she was gone. Sailor Moon arrived moments later, her prepared speech stooping midway when she noticed there was no youma to be seen.
"Mercury, did you defeat the youma on your own?" Usagi noticed the worried expression in her friends face, just what did that cursed youma do to her?
"No... it was a ninja girl named Rose..." Then both girls noticed the people in the library slowly waking up, as if their energy had been returned. That haven't happened since well... about the time they started to fight youma everyday.
"You said Rose?" Luna asked, looking worried
"Yeah, why?" Ami turned to see the moon cat, then saw the confused faces of the people who had just woke up. "Later, we better leave now."
Both Sailor Moon and Luna nodded and the three females left the library
"You did what?" The fake dark general looked at the almost faceless youma, her red pupil less eyes somewhat showed an expression of confusion and nervousness.
"I am sorry Jadeite-sama, but you didn't send one of those instant youma like you usually do and I thought... I could cover for you?"
"You idiot!" The one who she believed to be Jadeite slapped her face "I was just waiting for nighttime, if those stupid girls are tired then their defeat would be easier. But now, thanks to you, a real youma has died, and Queen Beryl will get angry at me!"
"Jadeite-sama you... you will cover for me?" The female youma heart was beating fast, she somewhat blushed, Jadeite-sama cared for her!
"Yes... I... I will make up something to explain it Thetis. But..." Jadeite slapped a black bracelet around the high ranking youma arm. Any idea Thetis had of having joy because her Jadeite-sama had given her a present died when she felt a sharp pain cursing all her body and she felt down; wanting to scream but unable to do so.
"I don't like anyone going behind my back, I don't care if you are one of Beryl favorite youma. I have won enough favor with her lately to be able to punish you, understand?"
The pain stooped, the black bracelet dissolved into nothing and Thetis silently nodded. She was confused, Jadeite-sama cared enough to cover for her, but he had also punished her. Then she remembered that what she did could be considered a betrayal, even if she had the best intentions in mind. Still, even if she had made him angry, her love had still show he cared.
That alone was worth all the pain the world. Now she just needed a way to win his heart. Jadeite-sama didn't like anyone messing up with his plans, so how else could she prove her love to him? Queen Beryl would never let her go to serve Jadeite, no matter how much favor he had won with her lately.
Then she remembered that the other Dark generals didn't like Jadeite much, maybe she could be his spy, use her position and power to spy on the others and inform him? Yes, that could do, but she won't tell him about it, she would only go to him when she had evidence of any of the other Dark generals planning to betray her Jadeite-sama.
Then, as usual when she thought of Jadeite, she started to have fantasies of her love rubbing the naked back of her human form. The fantasies started to get more daring and the youma didn't notice that Jadeite had already left. Most important, Thetis didn't notice she had changed into her human form, until minutes later, when she finally noticed her love was gone.
Thetis looked herself over, when did she change into human form? Well, maybe she could stay like that a bit longer, she needed practice acting human if her fantasies where one day to become reality. Her stomach growled, weird, she already had her filling of energy today. When she went back to her room and took some energy from a containment crystal, she found that the energy had not totally sated her hunger. Very strange, Thetis found herself going to the fridge he had always filled with human food, so she could practice eating like a human. Unlike other times, where the food caused no effect on her, she found it actually replenishing her energy. In fact after eating haft of the contents of the fridge, she have out a happy burping sound, blushed and noticed she wasn't hungry anymore.
In The Omega base secret room, the real Jadeite was looking at what Thetis was doing, thanks to a crystal ball that showed what the youma saw and reproduced any sound she made or heard.
"I don't understand, why is she eating human food now? And why did she change into her human form?" Jadeite was confused.
"The spy device I installed in her needed an alternate power source, and since she is so obsessed to act human, her getting more human food would be unnoticed. The device also generates the subconscious desire to stay in human form as long as possible. She already did that, so again, it won't draw much attention." Purple Crow answered.
"Why does she need to stay in human form?"
"For two reasons, the first one that way she can actually eat human food, as her default youma form has no mouth. The second is because that way she will look more obsessed with her lovely Jadeite-sama than she already is."
"So, you want your new spy to be killed? That doesn't sound very logical."
"No, I want Beryl to try to brainwash her. If she does, the device reaction to Queen Metalia energy will be... interesting."
"You said it has to be the Senshi the ones who defeat Queen Metalia, so what's that interesting reaction supposed to do if it won't kill Queen Beryl?"
"Oh, no spoilers, you will see it when it happens, if it ever does."
"I am starting to regret swearing my loyalty to you. Considering the fact you want me to become a teenager girl and what you did to Thetis, you do seem like some pervert with a strange fetish."
"Maybe I am, so what? Queen Beryl also has her fetishes, why do you think most youma are female and look like sexy women?"
"Good point, still... I don't have to like it."
"We are playing a game with magical girls, so girls have the home advantage. You had your chance to avoid becoming female and you blew it. So I suggest that you enjoy your last hours as a man."
"I should have insisted in having some female company before the change."
"Want me to get Thetis here?"
"You would ruin your spy plan for me or are you joking?"
"Of course I am joking. Creating that spy device took a full year. I ain't going to ruin it so you can get into some fun. But I can pay for a few girls to give your male body one last hurray if you insist."
"I think I will pass, I haven't got lucky since Beryl brainwashed me, not even with youma. If I try that now... I might enjoy being a guy too much and try to escape. And I know very well that even if I escape you that only means Beryl brainwashing me again."
"I knew I had picked well. Got any preferences in hair and eye color?"
"Why change perfection?" Jadeite smirked "Is kind of ironic, considering how sexist my Dark General persona was, that I will end becoming female."
"The idea has crossed my mind, yes. Still, even as sexist as you where, you had respect for your youma and always created plans that didn't end killing humans."
"I was only able to carry those plans for a short while before you replaced me, so I will just have to take your word for it. Who knows how I would have reacted when the Sailor Senshi appeared, how could desperation affect me? "
Purple Crow silently nodded, there was no point in telling Jadeite about time travel or about how things would have gone if he and Golden Eyes hadn't interfered. He didn't show it, but he was nervous, the only attempt so far they had done to create their own magical girl had ended in disaster. Thankfully, they knew why it had failed in that timeline, they just had lacked enough power. Now they had more than enough power stored in the Pink crystal, and Jadeite was powerful on his own to start with.
Still, that didn't meant all would go well if the transformation was a success, the former Dark General would end being very powerful, and there was always the risk the change warped "Jade's" mind and made the new magical girl turn against them. But this was probably their last chance, they had to go all out, or end being killed by the next timeline Sailor Pluto.
Usagi was drinking hot chocolate, it was one of the ways Ami had found out to keep the blonde interested. Just offer her some food and/or drinks she liked and she would listen to even the most boring conversations without protesting or falling asleep, at least while the food or drinks lasted. But this time, it seemed that wasn't really needed, the whole story of a ninja redhead girl with fire powers, and the fact she was also the reincarnation of someone from the Silver Millennium had caught Usagi interest.
"So, we will get a new Sailor Senshi that's also a ninja? That's great!"
"Usagi, for the third time, she is not a Sailor Senshi! Ami looked for this Lady Rose in the Mercury computer, and all is mentioned is that she trained the Sailor Mars from your Senshi generation." Luna said, a vein growing on her forehead.
"She trained a Senshi? Even better! Just think on how cool it would be to have someone like her in the team! I bet she can even teach me some ninja tricks! Just think about it, Sailor Moon, ninja of love and justice!"
Ami looked at the blonde and the cat arguing, and thought about a moment if she should interfere, she decided against it. Whoever Lady Rose was, the fact there was so little information about her was worrisome. Just a footnote saying she trained the Sailor Mars know as Raven. Without anything better to do, Ami decided to use her time to investigate about this 'Raven', it was strange she had found information about her when the information about herself and Sailor Moon was blocked. And that any other information she had tried to get about the rest of the Sailor Senshi keeps giving her an "Access denied" message.
When Ami finished reading the file about the latest girl to bear the title of Sailor Mars, she knew why. Raven had been one of the early casualties of the war, three of the Dark Generals had ambushed her, and had completely obliterated her Star Seed. And because of that, the file said Sailor Mars wouldn't be able to reincarnate. Star Seed? What's that?
The information about Star Seeds said, "To unblock, requires the presence of at least three Sailor Senshi."
Without more information, Mercury tried to think why destroying a Star seed would prevent reincarnation. Maybe the information of the computer was talking about Star Seeds in a metaphorical way, meaning they where like souls?
They... they had destroyed a person's soul...
Ami closed her fists in anger, until she noticed they where bleeding, stupid long nails! Without saying a word, she went to get the medical kit in the bathroom and cured her wounds. That finally seemed to snap Luna and Usagi out of their argument.
"Oh my! Ami are you okay?"
"Yes... just... I am so angry! Those bastards! They didn't only kill Sailor Mars, but made it in a way that destroyed her soul! You know what it means?"
"Uh... no?" Usagi carefully said, they where talking about Lady Rose, had Amy found something about Sailor Mars that made her act like that?
"It means that poor Raven will never be reborn, that she is literally deader than dead!"
"Uh... can the bad guys really do that?" Usagi asked, that was really scary, what if they did that to her? Worse, what if they did that to one of her friends or her family?
"Yes, but it seems it took three dark generals facing against a single Senshi to do that, so we are safe unless the Dark Kingdom decides to go all out on us. And even then, it would be very unlikely, something about the Dark Kingdom suffering the wrath of the heavens some months later."
"Wrath of the heavens?" Luna asked, and something seemed to click in her head "You mean... fire falling from the sky?"
"Yes, why? Do you know something about that?" Ami looked right into the cat advisor eyes.
"I wish, Swiss cheese memory, remember? But I do remember something about fire falling from the sky just before I went into the stasis chamber."
"Wow! So Rose can do that? We have to get her to become a Senshi! Isn't any way we can make her an honorary member or something?"
Luna then looked at Usagi, fear showing into the cat eyes. If Usagi found out she was the princess, then she would be able to grant Lady Rose provisional status as a Senshi, and so the Mars Transformation Pen would work on her. If that fire falling from the sky had been her, then making Rose a Senshi would probably make her powerful enough to destroy Tokyo in a single attack.
"Only the princess could do that."
"Then we must find that princess!"
Luna crashed her head to the ground, of course Usagi would say that! How could she have been so stupid? She should have lied and said it just wasn't possible. But then, she already felt bad enough for lying to her princess, she didn't want to add more lies unless they where really needed.
"About that princess..." Ami said, getting Usagi's attention.
"What about her? Did you find anything in the Mercury computer? Is she cute? Do you think she likes shopping and videogames too?"
"Well, no, that's what worries me. If we are supposed to find the princess, why can't I access information about her in the Mercury computer? Is not like the Dark Kingdom doesn't already know who she was in the past, so why can't I?"
"Well..." Luna said, of course the information would be blocked, Sailor Mercury was very smart. If she had been able to read about Princess Serenity, she would piece together that Sailor Moon was the princess. She had already deduced what planets the rest of the Inner Senshi had.
"Yes?" Ami asked, looking impatient.
"There was no way to know if the Sailor Senshi reborn would side with the princess, or be found earlier by the Dark Kingdom and brainwashed to serve Queen Metalia."
"Don't our Senshi powers protect us from being controlled by Metalia?"
"Yes, but..." Luna thought fast what to say, "If your Senshi powers haven't been active when they brainwashed you, or you had been convinced to join willingly..."
"But besides avoiding being drained by youma, my Senshi Powers didn't really work until you gave me the transformation pen. If I have access to the Mercury computer, doesn't that mean I deserve some trust?"
"Ehh... if you had been turned into a youma, said youma would have Sailor Mercury powers..." Luna had just thrown a shot in the dark, she was getting out of excuses.
"Can they do that too?" Usagi asked, destroying your your soul so you couldn't reborn, tuning people into youma, the Dark Kingdom was sounding really scary today.
"Uh... maybe?" Luna was looking really nervous.
"But won't have my powers have protected me? Like they did from energy draining?" Ami was sounding suspicious, just what was Luna hiding?
"The... the people of the Silver Millennium were really, really paranoid?"
Then it was Usagi who was eying Luna suspiciously "Luna, what are you hiding?"
"Ehh... I can't tell you, not until we get the other Sailor Senshi to join us."
"Okay!" Usagi said in a happy voice, and since she was out of hot chocolate turned around and picked to read a teen magazine that was over the table.
"You could have just said that." Ami said, with her arms crossed.
"Really? You aren't even gonna ask why I can't tell you about the princess?" They... they had so much trust in her? It made her feel like a rat for being forced to lie to the girls.
"While I admit having a cat bossing me around isn't my ideal way to pass the time, and that the fact your memory seems bad worries me, you must have your reasons." Considering the conversation was over, Ami picked a book to read, maybe today she would finally have enough time to finish reading The Odyssey by Homer.
With the two girls ignoring her and being busy reading, Luna lazily sat in the couch next to the blonde. Sometimes, it was really bizarre how those two could go from discussing about Sailor Senshi stuff to do other things just like that. It was also annoying both girls would just go to do other things once they considered a Sailor Senshi conversation was over, just ignoring Luna. But then, being a Senshi had taken time out of both girls' personal time, Ami was sometimes quite blunt when acting as Sailor Mercury and Usagi had a short attention span.
As strange as it was, they had a team dynamic, and it worked. Ami tried very hard to make Usagi study and be a better Sailor Senshi, but basically all she had in common with Usagi was being a Senshi, so who could blame her for just going to do what she wanted once Senshi business was done for the day? It's not as if Ami didn't get along with the blonde, is just that they where very different.
Usagi... well, she was Usagi. Sometimes she was the typical blonde klutz, others she acted like a ten year old instead of her own age. But occasionally she acted smart, hinting that perhaps the way she acted was because of personal preference and not because she was stupid. She was surprisingly good adjusting to other people, that made it weird that her only frequent friends where Ami and Naru. Her way of thinking was something like "A talking cat? Big deal, I see that on TV all the time. Being Sailor Moon and saving the world? Hey at least the costume is cute and being a heroine is cool. There are other Sailor Senshi? I wonder if Sailor V is real, that would be amazing! Sailor Mercury is a genius? Great, she can help me with my homework!"
So, it shouldn't have been a surprise she was so eager to welcome Lady Rose to the team. At least Ami and Luna had hammered in Usagi's head enough times that they shouldn't involve non-Senshi in their fight against the Dark Kingdom. Or, just the fact Rose was a ninja with fire powers would have made the blonde try to recruit her right away.
"So... where will you live?" Ryoga had been doing his duties in the temple with Kiseki the kitsune just following him around for hours now. He had tried his best to avoid talking with the excuse of work, but now that all work was done, he would have to face her.
"With my big brother of course!"
"You are a tad small for being a temple maiden."
There was a poof of smoke and in place of the small fox girl now was a fifteen year old temple maiden with long black hair and green eyes "You said something?"
Ryoga blushed and looked down, it was one thing to deal with a five year old, but this... why she had to be so beautiful as a teenager?
"But what about..."
"Oh Ryoga, I see your have meet Sakura Kiseki, Miss Kiseki, this is Ryoga. I hope you two learn to work well together." Master Hino said smiling and winked at Ryoga.
"Ryoga, I might be an old pervert, but even I know better that to chase after a girl her age. You on the other hand, are what, eighteen at most? The perfect age for love."
"I err..." Ryoga didn't know what to say, and his imagination wasn't helping.
"Now Master Hino, you should know better that to tease Ryoga-kun like that!"
"Well, I know he is obsessed with a girl named Akane Tendo, but it's not like I find much fun at my age."
Kiseki, back into her five year old form, grabbed a coloring book. "Hahaha! This coloring book is mine, all mine! I will draw without respecting the lines and use the wrong colors!" She said laughing like a villain.
"I guess you are buying that, right?" The bookstore owner said.
"Yes, small sisters can be such a bother, right?"
Ranko woke up taking a shower. Weird, she didn't remember getting there, her body felt a bit sore, like she had been doing a lot of exercise.
"Welcome back Ranma Saotome. I... the Burning Rose, kind of used your body, and I killed a youma."
Ranko was about to say something, when the memories of what had happened since Rose woke up wearing her body rushed into her head. It seems that after meeting Sailor Mercury and running away, a certain ninja had been roof hoping for hours, as if to delay certain confrontation. That did explain why Ranko felt so sore. Ranko didn't get the memories of Rose flashback for some reason, so she didn't knew about Rose sacrifice, or the fact she had lied about never being a mother since she had a son.
"This wasn't what we agreed." Ranko... no... Ranma's female voice sounded cold.
"I know, and I apologize. But... you just weren't there. Did something happen?"
"I talked with... a girl me, she said her name was Red, told me you been training her. She also told me how much she hated the fact I don't enjoy being a girl. We also talked about... my mother."
"I see, anything else you wanna share?"
"Well... I think I might feel a bit less bad about being female from now on. But I still prefer to be a guy. Can... can you do that too? Drag me inside my head?" Ranma sounded a bit insecure and scared, if there was an enemy she didn't know how to fight, were inside her head. The neko-ken was bad enough and now she had two girls inside her mind that could manipulate her.
"You where technically having an intense dream, but guess the answer is yes if certain conditions are met. You might have been thinking about what being a girl means to you, that's why you talked to Red. My awakening has also opened your mind."
"Opened my mind?"
"I was as much as a Martial Artist as I was a user of fire magic. My senses where trained in ways you only barely had begun to tap. Now you can sense auras, way better than you used to do. You will able to detect if someone has magic, not only strong ki as your did before. You might be able to sense when a person isn't human, like a youma, demon or even a Kami in disguise. We could say that you have beginning to open your third eye."
"Will this new senses keep getting stronger?"
"Yes, give it a few weeks and you might be able to see behind a disguise field."
"So, we will know the Senshi civilian identities?"
"Like it was that hard, a girl with blue hair and a blonde, both teenagers. Probably go to the same school together. School most likely in Juuban. Heck, when we start school here we not only probably go to the same school but we might even end in the same class!" Rose sounded overconfident, like she had all the answers in the world, but Ranko knew it was a mask, its what she would have done.
"Start... school here?" Ranko didn't even dare to say what that would involve, wearing a girl's uniform... someone up there must really have it for her, probably Genma's fault.
"Please, you think this whole magical girl thing was a summer job? We have to stay, that means going to school once summer ends."
"Wait, I thought the same thing the other day, only you weren't talking in my head!"
"We need a job..."
"The Shrine, right?"
"You weren't putting those thoughts in my head, where you?" That was a scary thought, even if Rose had said she didn't want to take over, today had proven Rose didn't deserve trust.
"No, but technically we are the same person, is not so weird we where thinking the same thing." Rose didn't say it, but this was proof that even if Ranma Saotome wasn't getting more flashbacks of her life as the Burning Rose, the merging of personalities was happening anyway.
"Look... you betrayed my trust, you broke your word. I don't think I can trust you anymore, even after you apologized. And... the brutal way you beat that youma... Sailor Mercury was scared of you, and I think she was right."
"What do you mean?"
"Our deal is over, I know I can't really prevent you from taking control if you want to, but don't expect me to cooperate."
"Have you noticed you forgot the waterproof soap with Ryoga?" Rose said, trying to change the subject.
"I did? Then how come I didn't... is the period right?"
"Yes, the curse would probably get locked for a while if you ever..."
"Don't say it!"
"So, is boy Ranma once this period is over... and when that happens... I want to go back to my old life. Will you try to stop me?'"
"Ranma Saotome, will you just let the Sailor Senshi fight youma alone, without your help? What about your honor? Can you really just let those poor girls get killed?"
"Don't talk to me about honor, I am tired of that crap! I am tired of people using the word honor just to abuse me, then ignoring the same honor when it's convenient for them. I want to control my life instead of having others controlling it!"
"You really think you can just run away back to Nerima, like nothing had happened?"
"You aren't a Sailor Senshi, right? And even if you once where, all obligations and debts cease at death. This isn't my fight. As I said before, I can't really stop you, but you can't control me all the time."
"Ranma, I can regulate our body temperature so we don't change with cold water. Is not a cure, but is pretty close. If you decide to stay... I can make it so you can be a boy all the time you want, as long as you are awake."
"You had that ability all this time and never told me? Of course you didn't, you needed me to be Ranko, not Ranma. And now that your plans, whatever they are, seem to be failing, you try to bribe me. Not a chance!"
"I could take control of your body, turn into a boy and ruin your reputation, please don't make me do that Ranma, we need to work together, not against each other!"
"And when a bribe doesn't work, you try threatening me. Ya know, for a while I... I admired you. But... you just are like everyone else in my life, just using me for their selfish goals without caring about what I want."
Silence, Ranma waited several minutes, Rose didn't seem to be in the mood to talk to her anymore. She had done the same when Ranma asked if one of the Senshi was Queen Serenity or the Princess. Ranma tries to calm down, it takes her almost an hour to do so.
"Look... it wasn't just my anger talking. Once, a wise man told me that Destiny is what you make of it, after Jusenkyo, I had stopped believing that. But now, I want to believe that again. I must stop losing time and just go to get what I want. Is after all, what you did yourself, right? Abandoning your father to join the Amazons."
Rose still didn't seem like she wanted to talk to Ranma.
"I will go to China and try to get a cure, I don't care how many obstacles get in my way. I know Red will be furious with me, and you too, but I have to at least try. You said yourself than the Queen was very smart, there must be some backup plan to help the Senshi, even if they don't have Sailor Mars around."
"I am proud of you Ranma Saotome," said Rose, her voice sounded sincere.
"What? How can you say that when I am basically ruining your plans?" Now Ranma was confused, was Rose trying to manipulate him again?
"I have been a hypocrite, wanting to rule your life when myself did everything I could to walk my own path. I don't know if the path you have chosen is the right one or not, but is one you have picked yourself. A true sage is not bossed around by anyone, he or she makes its own choices."
"So... you won't try to stop me?" Ranma sounded hopeful, could it be that finally, things is her life started to take a turn for the better?
"Of course I will try to stop you, where would be the fun if I didn't?"
"WHAT'? Then why you just said you where proud of me? Are you just playing around?"
"Is Ranma Saotome, man among men, backing down for a challenge? Will he be defeated by a weak woman?"
"Good, once your period is over, prepare for war Saotome, I won't go easy on you."
"What about Red? Will it be two against one?"
"I won't let her interfere, this is personal."
Ranma face formed into a confident smirk, she knew that if it was two against one she would surely lose, but one vs. one? At least now, she had a chance. Ranma didn't realize it, but by facing Rose, she had stopped to refer as herself as Ranko when she was female.
"Then let the best warrior win!"
"Ranma, your period isn't over yet."
"Ah right... could you let me be alone until then? I don't want you reading my thoughts and finding out my plans."
"Sounds fair, besides, you need all the help you can get."
"Hey! Don't underestimate me!" Ranma protested, but Rose didn't answer back.
AN2: Some may think this is story derailment, but you are forgetting there are other girls who still have to join Team Senshi, so in a way, it makes sense to have Ranma try going on his own adventure while that happens. Plus, if Rose and Ranma's personalities are slowly merging, why not have Ranma try to do something Rose did in the past? So, who do you think is Rose reborn son, has he even been reborn in this period at all?