A Ranma ½ story
Disclaimer: Ranma ½ and its characters and settings belong to Rumiko Takahashi, Shogakukan, Kitty, and Viz Video.
Thanks to KPJAM, Merc, Dracos, Unseen, Ammadeau, hkmiller and DB Sommer for excellent C&C.
"Do you feel it? This evil energy approaching the blue Earth?"
A small creature emitted a sharp gasp as it turned its attention to the speaker. "I I have felt nothing " he whispered in a tiny voice, even though he hardly looked like a being in possession of the necessary self-awareness for speech.
The first speaker turned around. Her long blonde hair, which almost reached the floor, billowed out dramatically with the movement, to catch the light in such a manner as to send iridescent waves rippling through it. "I have felt it " she announced, her melodic voice leaving no room for doubt.
"D-does this mean ?" the second asked hesitantly, trying and failing to keep doubt from his voice.
The blonde woman nodded as she bent down to pick up her companion, who felt tiny and fragile cupped in her hands. "You know how I am constrained in this," she said, her voice thick with suppressed emotion. "I truly wish I did not have to place you in this position, my friend."
The small creature in her hands felt his heart puff up with pride. He had always considered himself but a humble servant, to hear her speak of him as a friend was something he had not expected. "There was never any choice. I will do everything that I can to carry out your will."
The woman nodded sadly, her almond-shaped eyes starting to glisten with as yet unshed tears. "Go now. Go to the blue Earth and guide my champion to defend it from this threat. I " Now a few tears did slip down her porcelain cheeks, as she despaired at just how little she could truly do. "I will lend what power I can to to help."
"Please do not cry," the small creature urged plaintively. "We always knew this day would come, and must have faith that it will turn out for the best."
She gave him a wan, but heartfelt smile at that. "Go," she said simply. "Go with my blessing." With that, she leaned forward and planted a small kiss on the creature's forehead before he seemed to vanish in a shimmer of sparkling motes.
Her long-time companion gone, the woman returned her attention to the blue-and-white orb visible beyond the crystalline confines of her home, and whispered, "I will pray for you, Dokuchu "
Kodachi Kuno merrily bounced along the rooftops of Nerima as she made her way home from school, her delightful laugh advertising her good mood to any who would care to listen.
And why shouldn't she be in a good mood? She was young, rich, and beautiful; truly she was blessed by the gods themselves. All she needed to make her life complete was the love of a good man, and she had just the perfect man in mind.
"Ranma-sama " she breathed out the name of her beloved in a reverent tone while alighting on a streetlight to briefly survey the plebeians who walked the common streets beneath her. But her Ranma-sama wasn't beneath her! If ever there was a man worthy of the Black Rose, it was he. Just thinking of being held in those strong arms of his, rippling with powerful yet well-toned muscle, was enough to send delightful shivers through her body. Truly her Ranma-sama was a man among men!
It was then that Kodachi spotted something, or rather someone, that sent her mood plummeting. "It's that wretched pigtailed girl," she groaned at seeing the short redhead casually strolling along the fence below, her hands stuffed in her pockets while she cheerfully whistled what only the most tone deaf person could ever consider to be a tune. "Oh, how I despise you!" Kodachi hissed as she attempted to burn the little wench to ashes with the sheer force of her hateful glare.
Just looking at the way the bitch dressed in an obviously transparent imitation of Ranma-sama made the Black Rose shudder with barely contained rage. The girl's garb even looked like it was oversized enough to fit on Ranma-sama's larger frame! She might not be able to fault the pigtailed girl's taste in men (except for the few times she led Tatewaki on; it was pretty obvious she was just cruelly playing with him, which was something Kodachi could respect), but her desperate copying of Ranma-sama's appearance and mannerisms hinted at a dangerously unstable mind.
And people called her crazy? The thought was enough to make Kodachi laugh. Which she did. With great aplomb.
The pigtailed girl looked up at the blood-curdling noise and visibly flinched, an act which only increased Kodachi's mirth. If she could still inspire fear in the only person to ever defeat her, then she must be doing something right!
Now feeling more secure of her situation, Kodachi dropped from her perch to land lightly on the chain link fence that the redhead was walking along. "And how are you on this fine day, pigtailed girl?" Kodachi inquired in a syrupy voice, leaning forward and using her superior height to intimidate the other girl. "Coming up with some plot to seduce Ranma-sama away for yourself, hmmm?"
The pigtailed girl's previously nervous expression changed to one of marked distaste, and when she matched Kodachi's gaze, the taller girl realised she probably shouldn't have pushed her like this, for there was a simmering anger in those cerulean eyes, which warned that she was not going to put up with much crap today. "Not everyone is obsessed with stuff like that, Kodachi," she ground out, clenching her small fists at her sides.
"Liar!" Kodachi spat right back. "How could any woman not think of such things when it concerns such a fine specimen as Ranma-sama? You want him just as much as the rest of us do, admit it!"
The pigtailed girl recoiled as if struck before firming her stance once more. "I sure as hell don't, Kodachi! Besides, Ranma is " she paused and her expression once more showed distaste, "Akane's fiancé."
Kodachi snorted in a nonetheless ladylike manner. "Pish-tosh! Ranma-sama is also engaged to that Kuonji girl and married or some such according to the backwards tribal law of that Chinese wench. A man such as he is not to be tied down by the arrangements of others! Ranma-sama will follow his heart to find true love, and I aim to make sure that he finds me!" she postured dramatically as she finished her little speech.
The pigtailed girl looked slightly flustered and blushed quite noticeably, which gave Kodachi some pause as it was not the reaction she had expected. Then, seeming to collect herself, the pigtailed girl blew up her bangs in frustration before looking the other girl in the eyes. "Look Kodachi," she said, trying hard to keep her tone light, but obviously coming across as very irritated. "You should just give up on Ranma it'd be best for everyone if you did."
"Humph. Better for you, perhaps. But I am not so easily deterred. For a prize such as Ranma-sama, I can overcome anything!" With those determined words, Kodachi twirled her ribbon and leapt onto a nearby rooftop, bounding across Nerima and spraying black rose petals as she went. She was laughing of course; laughing loudly and incessantly.
Kodachi had returned to the noble Kuno estate, and was greeted at the front hall by two blown-up pictures of two smiling female faces, one of Akane Tendou, the other of the pigtailed girl. To add further insult, the picture of the pigtailed girl clearly showed she was wearing a leotard, meaning the picture came from the martial arts rhythmic gymnastics match in which she had defeated Kodachi.
Kodachi growled low in her throat. It was an unspoken truce of the Kuno household that she would keep her pictures of Ranma-sama in her bedroom or the greenhouse, while Tatewaki would keep pictures of his two 'loves' in his bedroom or the dojo. All other parts of the house were supposed to be neutral, to avoid setting off the volatile tempers of either Kuno child.
"Looks like Tatewaki woke up stupid today," Kodachi murmured, snapping out her ribbon to shred the offending portraits.
She had barely begun her task when her older brother charged into the hall, bokken held high above his head. "Horrid woman! How dare you strike at the images of my two loves!"
"Oops," Kodachi remarked coldly. "My hand must have slipped." Her ribbon lashed out to slice into Tatewaki's hakama, causing him to step back slightly. "Oh, there it goes again. Be careful, brother dearest, I seem to be awfully clumsy today."
"Foul wench!" Tatewaki snarled angrily. "It is bad enough that you defile such images of feminine beauty, but to strike at the noble Blue Thunder? This defies comprehension!"
"It is only difficult to comprehend for your limited intellect, brother dear." Kodachi lazily twirled her ribbon in a small loop, but remained poised to lash out at the least provocation. "It is unseemly for such garish images of those two harlots to decorate the halls of the Kuno home."
"And what of your foul images of that fiend Saotome?" Tatewaki challenged, visibly restraining himself from attacking.
"You leave my Ranma-sama out of this!" Kodachi screamed, losing her cool exterior for a moment before regaining her poise. "Besides, I only keep those photos where I can see them, so you have no reason to get upset."
Tatewaki raised his bokken high, clutching it so tightly that his knuckles turned white. "The very notion that images of that fiend should find residence in any room within the noble Kuno estate is a crime against our ancestors! The heavens weep at this injustice!" Obviously feeling great sympathy for the heavens, Tatewaki started crying himself, though, of course, in a dignified and noble fashion.
Kodachi sighed at her brother's theatrics. "Speaking of the pigtailed girl, I ran into her on my way home today. She asked me to pass something on to you."
"Truly ? But of course, my sweet pigtailed girl no doubt yearns for my presence! So much so that she even risked speaking with a frightful creature such as yourself! Pray tell, what did the no doubt blushing maiden ask to be conveyed to the noble Blue Thunder?"
"She gave you flowers. Catch." Kodachi tossed a bouquet of black roses which Tatewaki reflexively caught before being stunned by the small burst of paralysis powder from them.
Now feeling slightly better, Kodachi headed towards her room, leaving her insensate brother behind.
Dokuchu took in his surroundings with a faint sense of awe. Admittedly, the narrow street overlooking one of Tokyo's numerous storm canals and bordered by middle-income housing wasn't all that impressive — especially compared to the crystalline cathedral high above the Earth which he called home — but the very newness of his situation was enough to impress the small creature.
"I can feel it the one with the potential definitely passed here recently!" he said as his senses stretched out to find the one who could protect the world from the approaching threat.
Wrinkling his pert little nose, Dokuchu looked this way and that. From what he could tell, there were actually several people in this city who possessed the right aptitudes and potential
"Oh, this is rather confusing I wish I'd had more practice at this," he lamented while trying to isolate the one which would best serve to become a protector against evil; since he only had one chance to bestow the power, if he chose the wrong person it could prove disastrous!
Deciding to take a systematic approach, he set off to find the nearest candidate. After he viewed all of them, he'd make his decision.
Arriving at the location of his first possibility, Dokuchu had settled into a comfortable spot under a bush by the koi pond to observe things before he made any attempt at contacting the girl who could potentially save the Earth. This gave him the perfect opportunity to witness such insanity as to tempt him into letting the 'approaching evil' have its way with the planet.
"Boy! Your fiancée is cooking dinner! Be sure to eat it all up. Tendou and I are going on a training trip!" a portly, balding man in a dirty white gi yelled at the petite redhead whom Dokuchu was observing.
'Boy'? wondered the small magical creature.
The girl seemed enraged at these words, and started yelling furiously, "No way, old man! I'm not gonna suffer by myself! Either we all eat it, or none of us do!"
"Ranma-kun, can't you show some loyalty to your fiancée?" the other man wailed, this one taller than his companion and also possessing a full head of hair.
"Can't you show some loyalty to your daughter?!" the girl, now identified as Ranma, shot right back.
At this man curled into a ball and started crying while his friend patted him on the back in an ineffectual effort at comforting him and glared at the girl. "You made him cry. Have you no shame?"
Before Ranma could retort, another girl entered Dokuchu's field of vision. This one looked about the same age as Ranma, and appeared rather harried with her short hair frazzled and her apron covered in filth. "Would you all stop yelling?! It's hard enough to concentrate on dinner without hearing this!" she screamed loudly.
"Uh Akane " Ranma piped up timidly, no doubt intimidated by the other girl's verbal barrage, "If you need to concentrate on cooking, you shouldn't leave the kitchen."
Akane blithely waved off those concerns. "Don't worry, Ranma. I left the heat up on full so it won't get cold. This'll be the best dinner you ever ate, trust me!"
There was a loud sizzling noise of pots boiling over, followed by a series of loud pops and wet squelching noises coming from the kitchen.
"Probably be the last dinner I ever eat " Ranma mumbled quietly, though not quietly enough.
"What did you say?!" Akane asked politely. As politely as one can ask when every vein in your forehead is visibly throbbing and you're desperately reigning in the overwhelming urge to severely maim the person you're talking to.
"I have come to claim my bride!"
"Huh? I didn't say that!" Ranma protested, looking around frantically for the source of that booming statement.
"Nay, 'twas I, Prince Ynesbrg!"
Everyone's eyes turned to rest on the figure alighted on the wall surrounding the Tendou dojo. He was a fairly unimpressive figure of a man, even if you discounted the fact that his skin was a rather unhealthy puke-green colour, standing at a full four-and-a-half feet tall and dressed in little more than a loincloth that looked like it was made of seaweed. Perhaps the oddest thing about him — besides the green skin — was the fin-like protuberances coming from his back, upper arms and calves.
"What the hell are you doing here, then?" Ranma demanded, though she did look slightly relieved, probably because his appearance had distracted Akane from meting out punishment
Prince Ynesbrg postured dramatically before speaking up in his booming voice that was incongruous with his diminutive stature. "The portents of the dreamers pointed me to this place where I may find my bride; the one whose dark recipes will provide fuel for the awakening of the Old Gods who slumber deep beneath R'lyeh! Akane Tendou, I have come for you!"
At this, Ranma doubled over in mirth. "Ha-ha! That tells us everything about your cooking, Akane!" she guffawed merrily, until a small piglet emerged from underneath the table and leapt up to scratch at her face with its little, surprisingly sharp hooves.
"Hey, don't insult my cooking! You're upsetting P-chan!" Akane yelled, brandishing her mallet threateningly.
"Dammit, pig! Why don't you eat her cooking, then?!" Ranma gave P-chan a vicious kick which sent him flying against the wall underneath Prince Ynesbrg.
This was where Dokuchu decided he had seen enough. Deep One cults were not under the purview of magical girls and their cuddly mascots. No way did he want to get involved in that. Besides, seeing how Ranma had treated that cute little piglet did not bode well for any relationship she might develop with a cute magical girl mascot such as himself.
Dokuchu ran from the Tendou dojo as fast as his little legs would carry him, the sounds of explosions and screaming seeming to follow him as he fled
"Okay choice number two " Dokuchu remarked to himself as he snuck in through the slightly open window on the second floor of a small house only ten minutes away from the Tendou dojo. Of course, at the speed he was fleeing, that made for a considerable distance.
He could feel this one was weaker than any of the others with potential, but since that Ranma girl had been the strongest, Dokuchu was quite aware that raw power wasn't the be-all and end-all.
Looking at the sign on the bedroom door where her aura was most built up, he read the name 'Sayuri', which was most likely the name of the girl he wanted. She wasn't in that room right now, though, but he could hear someone moving around in the bathroom across the hall, and sensed her aura in there, too. There was no one else in the house as far as he could tell.
Dokuchu's head snapped towards the bathroom door in alarm at that frightened yell. What was wrong?
"Oh god, I don't even know who the father could be it's probably either Soichiro-sensei or Daisuke I doubt it's Shiro Damn! It better not be Hiroshi, or Yuka's gonna kill me!"
Comprehension dawned over Dokuchu as he listened to the girl's panicked babbling. Well, pregnancy would rule her out for the hazardous job of being a magical girl. Besides, he didn't really want the future of the Earth placed in the hands of such a loose girl
Dokuchu looked around in confusion. He could have sworn the third person was here, but all he could see was an old lady rinsing her front porch and a wet cat. Straining his senses, he confirmed that the aura was coming from the cat.
Well, that's no good, he decided. A cat can't become a magical girl to save the planet. Besides, cats just plain creeped him out.
"I hope this one is okay she's my last hope " Dokuchu told himself as he entered the large house, blissfully unaware of the many fatal traps he had avoided thanks to his tiny size.
Making his way through the mazelike interior of the mansion, Dokuchu followed his esoteric senses, which unerringly guided him towards the last potential magical girl he had been able to detect.
Entering the room she currently resided in, Dokuchu was able to stealthily observe her from where he clung to the ceiling.
She was hunched over a desk, still dressed in a school uniform and concentrating intently on the books scattered haphazardly in front of her.
She's studious. That's always good! thought Dokuchu with some good cheer as he noted that the chemistry problems she was working on seemed to be at a rather high level.
Looking around the room, he noted it was very clean and well-kept, with many different flowers dotted around to brighten things up; although most of the flowers were black roses, there were a few others which provided a nice contrast. Also, the bookshelf was filled with difficult-looking books on chemistry and botany, and a large cabinet contained lots of trophies for various gymnastic competitions, and also revealed that her name was Kodachi Kuno.
A healthy mind and a healthy body! Looks like I've hit paydirt with this one! Dokuchu was more than pleased as he prepared to reveal himself to the girl and bestow upon her the power to protect the planet.
Kodachi yawned as she closed her book and stretched languidly. A glance at the carriage clock on her nightstand showed it to be just after five. "I suppose I had best make a start on dinner. Father will be home soon, and Tatewaki will be waking up as well "
She was then rather startled as a small animal dropped from the ceiling to land on her bed. It looked like a rodent nearly half a foot in length, with a short fluffy tail. Its fur was mostly purple except for on top of its head, which was green and slightly longer than the rest, giving a shaggy effect.
Kodachi's mouth formed a small 'o' as she stared at the bizarre little creature, and her shock only increased when it started to talk. "My name is Dokuchu; I've been looking for you, Kodachi."
The gymnast wobbled in her seat for a second before collecting herself. "How odd. It appears that the extract from those lilies I was working on this morning have a delayed hallucinogenic effect. I shall have to make a note of this "
"I'm not a hallucination, Kodachi! You have to listen to me!" Dokuchu protested earnestly in his squeaky little voice.
"Of course you're a hallucination," Kodachi said in a condescending manner. "But don't worry; it should wear off soon enough, so I can ignore you until then."
"No, seriously, I'm a space lemming, and I've come to find you!" Dokuchu said insistently, standing up on his hind legs and making a begging gesture with his forepaws.
"A miniature giant space lemming?" Kodachi asked, sounding quite serious.
Dokuchu blinked at that absurd idea. "Of course not! I'm perfectly proportioned!" he said indignantly, before calming slightly. "Anyway, Kodachi, the earth is threatened by a great evil, and only you have the power to save it!" Well, he sure as hell didn't want to work with that Ranma girl, and the other two options had been duds
"Ohohohoho!" Kodachi covered her mouth with the back of her hand and laughed gaily. "Of course only one such as I could possess the qualities needed to protect the world!" she then blinked and calmed down with a visible effort. "Still, I shouldn't allow my hallucinations to get me so excited. It's not healthy. I'll have to ignore you now, little space lemming thing."
"My name is Dokuchu! And I'll prove I'm not a hallucination!" He started chanting in a strange language as an ethereal breeze seemed to sweep through the room. A nimbus of power began to collect around the space lemming, followed by a similar one around Kodachi. "I have prepared a channel between yourself and the Goddess. Say the words from your heart, and you'll receive her power to protect the Earth from evil!"
Deciding that she would have to give this hallucination points for effort, Kodachi nonetheless felt that things were going too far. She tried to tell Dokuchu so, but a different set of words flowed from her lips.
"Give me the power to defend against evil, the strength to protect love, and the spirit to never falter! I am Cutey Thorn!"
A storm of flower petals, encompassing every hue of the rainbow, flurried around the girl, who threw her head back in rapture at the power she felt flowing through her veins. At the same time, several thorny vines snaked around her body
Dokuchu blushed and averted his eyes when he noticed her school uniform disappearing. Her modesty was protected by the petals and vines, but it was still extremely suggestive. Of course, it didn't do anything for him — he was a lemming after all, not a man — but he had to respect his new charge's dignity.
When the lightshow died down, Kodachi was still standing there, twitching slightly with her head lolled back and her eyes closed. And she had a massive grin on her face. But the most noticeable thing was the change in her attire.
Starting from the bottom, her feet were now covered in black rose petals which overlapped each other and came up to her calves to almost look like boots from a distance. Then her legs were completely bare up to her crotch, which was barely covered by several silver ribbons which snaked in between her legs and looped around her waist, leaving very little to the imagination. Her breasts were similarly on display, being barely covered with a mixture of black rose petals and cherry blossoms, which overlaid each other to form a continuous covering over each breast up to the nipple and around her back, but left the valley of her cleavage totally open for viewing. She had nothing covering her arms except for several thorny vines twisting around each forearm, and although the jagged barbs looked quite wicked, they seemed to cause the girl no discomfort. Lastly, her side ponytail was now bound by another small thorny vine instead of its usual ribbon.
Kodachi's head rolled forward and she blinked a few times, still sporting a goofy grin. "I don't believe I've ever felt a rush that intense, and that's saying something!" She then spotted her reflection in the mirror and blushed furiously, covering her cheek with a palm. "Oh my! Such a scandalous outfit! I simply must wear it to my next gymnastics competition! Oh " Her smile took on a decidedly lecherous quality. "I wonder what Ranma-sama will say when he sees me like this "
Sadly, before she could drift off into a pleasant fantasy about Ranma, Dokuchu interrupted. "You can't wear it for competitions or seducing your boyfriend! This is what you look like when you're the fighter against evil, Cutey Thorn!"
Kodachi arched a delicate eyebrow. "Cutey Thorn?" she repeated the name incredulously. "I think not. My peers have always known me as the Black Rose, and as that I shall continue to be known!"
"No! This is meant to be a secret identity. You can't let people know who you really are when you're like this!" Dokuchu protested vehemently.
"It's too dangerous!"
Kodachi smirked. "I laugh in the face of danger." Putting action to words, she did just that, letting loose a gale of psychotic-sounding laughter.
Dokuchu floundered for a second before recovering his wits. "If people know you're really a magical girl superheroine, they'll constantly harass you! You'll never get a moment of peace."
Kodachi considered that for a second before responding. "I don't really care about that, but maybe having a secret identity would be fun So is this like those shoujo manga where no one can tell my true identity even though I'm not disguised in any way?"
"It's magic." Dokuchu nodded smugly.
A wicked glint appeared in Kodachi's eyes. "Oh yes, I see there is much potential in this "
To be continued.
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