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Arc 1: A Shadow in Nerima

A Ranma ½ multi-crossover story
by Shade

Disclaimer: Ranma ½ and its characters and settings belong to Rumiko Takahashi, Shogakukan, Kitty, and Viz Video.

The Darwin Awards: A recognition of achievement for idiots so stupid that they do the rest of humanity a public service by leaving the gene pool with all due haste.


Act Four: Dark Knight of Desire


"Today might be a good day to die, but I prefer that it happen to somebody else."

—Shadow

 

Ah, how sweet doth shine the maiden sun!

Fair indeed is this dawning day.

For at last the glorious Fates have revealed to this humble samurai the means by which great justice will strike down the foul boil on the gleaming buttocks of the civilized realm that is Nippon.

No longer shall foul and cowardly magics bar the path to the twin keepers of purity and loveliness that hast ensnared this noble heart of mighty manliness.

For it is too much to ask that these girded loins forsake the ferocious passion that is the fair Akane or deny the bountiful reserve of the demure pig-tailed princess. To choose one and forsake the other, 'tis a crisis of gravest measure that would be boundless cruelty to deprive either blushing temptress of the scion of magnificent virility that defines their womanly world.

Ah, to taste the sweet nectar that hides waiting within those coral lips, those softly heaving mounds of bountiful plenty who begged to be grasped by these blessed hands of purest blood, and enter the pearly gates of paradise for the heavenly reward that is this humble noble's privilege.

Ah! To do this and tha— look there at yonder gate! The Unclean Spawn of the Netherworld approaches now!

Ha! The wretch doth hide his demon's eyes behind foreign shades of darkness! How fitting that he be dressed in truth as the honorless scoundrel that he is!

"Foul Sorcerer! Today you shall feel the long awaited wrath of the heavens themselves!"

All your pigtail girls are belong to us!

This morning Tatewaki Kuno was a contender for a Darwin Award.


To your average student, the disaster taking shape outside was part of the normal schoolday.

"Check it out. Looks like Kuno's going up against Ranma again."

"And this is new how?"

"But this time I think he's using one of those cursed magic swords again!"

"What? Is he nuts?! Didn't he learn anything from that Phoenix Egg fiasco?"

"Well it is Kuno."

"Point."

"I wonder why Nabiki isn't here to take bets?"

"Who'd be dumb enough to bet against Ranma?"

"Hiroshi, Gosunkugi, Daisuke, the entire Chemistry Club…"

"Oh yeah, the loser squad."

Remember that old saying about assuming things?


Oh, this promised to be good.

Normally the sight of a charging, frothing-at-the-mouth lunatic like Kuno was enough to ruin his day. But now he looked toward the upperclassman who held delusions of grandeur with what could only be described as a delightful sense of anticipation.

Of course, nobody else could see that at the moment, thanks to the timely donation of a pair of expensive black shades from a yakuza wannabe. Really, what had that idiot been thinking? Trying to set up shop in a place like Furinkan was just asking for it.

He wondered if there was any kind of record for stuffing a human body feet first through a mailbox slot without killing them. If there weren't any, then they should make one just for him. It took skill to do that kind of damage without them passing out from the pain at any point of the process. Who knew? With enough therapy, the guy might even be able to handle solid foods again at some point in the distant future.

Yes, this was definitely turning out to be a great day.

Bokken-boy had this one coming for the LONGEST time.

Oh, he had a list, a long little list. And the interest had been collecting on those accounts for far too long. It was time that people learned that Ranma Saotome doesn't stand for 'Chump you can push around without having to face the consequences'.

So many victims to choose from.

So many different methods of mayhem to inflict.

So few hours in the day to do everyone in.

And then Ranma Saotome did the most horrible thing imaginable.

He smiled.


Even after the fact, none of the witnesses were ever sure how he did it.

One second Tatewaki Kuno was taking a wild swing at his grinning opponent.

The next, he was struggling to pull out the blade that had somehow become lodged all the way down his throat. He struggled to pull it out with both hands grasped around the thick handle sticking out of his big mouth, but lacked the leverage to do so. The upperclassman's face quickly turned cherry red with strain as he dropped to his knees.

Ranma strolled past him, whistling a cheery (though slightly off-key) tune.

Behind him, Kuno's efforts were turning frantic as his face started turning to a dark purple.

Two minutes later the chimes announced the start of yet another school day.

Five minutes after that, two very pissed off Tendos came running in.

Half an hour later, Kuno (his mouth still crammed full) managed to drag himself to class.

Around noon his teacher finally had the presence of mind to page the school nurse.

Eventually the nurse remembered him long enough to call an ambulance.


Hiroshi and Daisuke were known as many things at Furinkan High.

'Intelligent', 'attractive', 'well-mannered', and 'Ranma's friends' weren't on that list (despite what they themselves might think). 'Stupid gossiping sexist pigs who liked ogling Ranma-chan's breasts' was a much more accurate description.

And today, the bill for their past behavior was about to come due.

"Hey, ol' buddy! Nice shades!"

"Heheh! Man, that was sweet what you did to Kuno out there!"

The annoying duo kept up their inane chatter, all the while giving each other knowing winks as they prepared to set their 'friend' up for yet another wonderful (to them) experience with cold water. Especially since he was wearing one of those tight t-shirts that normally molded like a second skin when wet, and allowed them to see nipples. Sadly, that was the most they'd ever personally witnessed of the female form, since all of the regular girls at school knew them for the perverts that they were.

Hiroshi gave his compatriot the signal.

"Well, I… oops—!"

Daisuke accidentally tripped and spilled the cup of cold water that he'd just so happened to be carrying. It was one of their standard setups, and had always worked perfectly before. And Ranma had never figured out that they were doing it to him on purpose. It was one of the things that made taking advantage of him so easy. If they'd had even a shred of conscience, they probably would have felt guilty about it.

"Uh, Hiroshi? He's not there anymore."

"What are you talking about, Daisuke? Even Ranma can't just vanish into thin air!"

"But the water is there and he's not— AAAAAAAAAAGGGGGGHHHH!!!"

There is a little secret for applying pressure to that little slot on the inner collarbone.

It's not 'grind-release-grind'.

It's 'GRIND-TIGHTEN-BONES CREAKING', and "OH-MY-GOD-MAKE-THE-HURTING-STOP!"

"Hey! What's wrong with yo— AAAAAAAAAAGGGGGGHHHH!!!"

Two more names were crossed off the list.

For now.


This day just kept getting better and better!

He'd made it to his seat just in time to beat the bell, despite the delay of dealing with his latest victims.

Ranma hoped that nobody was planning on using the men's washroom on the first floor anytime soon. The urinals were sort of 'full' at the moment.

An angry blue-glowing figure suddenly loomed over him.

"Ranma, you stupid jerk! How dare you take my breakfast and my wallet!! I'll make you sorry that you did that!!"

"Oooh! Miss Tendo is being a delinquent!"

"Huh? Wait a minute! It's all Ranma's fault! He—"

"Happo-Fifty-Yen-Satsu!"

"Noooo…!"

He watched with amusement as the withered, paper-thin husk that vaguely resembled a girl drifted out the door. The now-adult teacher tossed a pair of water-filled buckets after her victim.

"And don't think I've forgotten you were tardy today, either!"

Ranma decided that the enticing view of Hinako's swaying (and barely covered) rear was much more interesting then the usual idiotic gossip going on all around him.

{Sheesh, a guy decides to take charge of his own life, and everybody acts like it's the end of the world or something.}

Ah well, right now he had better things to concern himself with.

Like what the inside of Miss Ninomiya's mouth would taste like.


At first, not much attention was given by the class to Ranma's changed appearance. This was Furinkan, after all. But as the hands of the clock overhead made their rounds, a definite pattern started to develop in the classroom. Whenever the teacher turned toward the chalkboard, the squeaking of chairs and desks started up. All of the remaining boys in class found themselves nervously edging away from where Ranma sat, forming an empty circle that was quickly filled by the girls' desks hastily scooting closer to the relaxed martial artist.

Call it pheromones, psychic vibes, or just simple animal instinct.

Whatever it was, the pigtailed youth was putting it out in spades.

They couldn't put their finger down on any single aspect, whether it was the shimmering silver crest in his hair, the lean hunger in his body language, or the way those killer black clothes flowed on him like a second skin.

All the boys knew was that there was something really creepy about the Saotome kid today. Those expensive looking shades he had over his eyes didn't help their nerves either. If one looked too long at them, there was the disturbing sensation that something was glaring right back at you.

The guys started to stare at the clock, as if by pure willpower they could speed it up and end this horrible day.

For the girls, it was a slightly different story. There was a tinge of fear attached to what they were experiencing, but for a very different reason. At some primitive level they could each feel the faint hints of something that teased their senses.

They didn't know what it was, but they wanted more of it. And it was starting to show in the way they were looking at him.

But if Ranma noticed any of this, he gave no sign that he did so.

For all of his attention was solely directed towards his next target.

Miss Hinako Ninomiya. The reform-school teacher hired by that nut of a principal to try and 'tame' him into being a gutless drone like all the other students in this crappy excuse for a school.

Of course, her efforts had been doomed to failure from the start.

But her attempts had also aroused his interest.

She was a fascinating blend of contradictions.

Innocent and scatterbrained as child; but in her adult form possessing an earthy, sensual allure, and a natural flair for teasing the opposite sex. He should know, as she had used that against him during their initial battles at school.

Her powers made her dangerous to underestimate, but by now he had learned all of her weaknesses. And this time the tables had turned. The huntress was going to find herself on today's menu.

{It's going to be fun making her mine.}


Hinako Ninomiya was no stranger to the looks that her adult form attracted from both boys and men alike. It was a natural obstacle to her chosen profession, and one she had learned early on to either ignore or punish through some creative teasing. Not that any guy actually had a chance with her. The beautiful teacher had already decided awhile back that she only wanted a strong man in her life.

Someone who didn't debase himself trying to constantly please her.

Someone who refused to let himself ever be tamed.

Someone who broke all the rules.

In short, Hinako was looking for a man who would dominate her.

But the search had always been in vain. Even Soun Tendo, a man she'd originally had high hopes for, had turned out to be a big baby like the rest of them. It seemed that she would never find someone that would meet her needs.

Except for one.

The only male who had ever successfully defied her will.

Ranma Saotome.

And he was forbidden to her.

The line between teacher and student was set in stone.

A boundary Miss Ninomiya dared not cross no matter how much she might desire at certain times to do so.

It would mean the end of her career. Her honor. Her pride.

All of which were cold comforts when she went to her bed all alone, night after empty night. She didn't even have the option of purchasing a few battery operated 'friends' because of the higher moral standards that a female teacher in Japan was held to. Never mind the fact that she couldn't buy such things in her child form anyway, even if Chibi-Hinako could have remembered long enough to try.

It was a volatile situation, set with plenty of kindling.

One that needed only the right match to spark a blaze.

{He's looking at me?!}

This particular match had brought along nitroglycerine and C-4 for the ride.

{It can't be!}

But there was no mistaking that sudden aching awareness.

She could feel the invisible caress of his eyes running along her back and rear as if it were a tangible thing. Slow and sensuous, like a warm ribbon of liquid chocolate. If she closed her eyes, it was almost too easy to imagine that his hands were trailing along her…

No!

She couldn't allow this to continue!

Hinako found herself torn between terror and delight. Every illicit fantasy she'd ever entertained filled the teacher's head, as she fought to maintain her composure in front of the rest of her students.

Her confusion was compounded by a strangely pleasant mental pressure, which steadily ground away at the foundations of her willpower and self-control.

It would be so easy to just give in… No! This was wrong!

She had to put a stop to this at once—

As if sensing what Hinako was thinking, Ranma casually raised a hand to briefly lower the sinister black lenses long enough give her a glimpse of the endless hunger that burned so hotly behind them.

And then she realized that he knew.

Dear sweet Kami-sama, somehow he was aware of exactly what kind of effect his actions were having on her.

His eyes pulled her gaze into their bottomless depths, luminous sirens that beckoned her toward sweet oblivion.

Hinako managed to turn away first. Barely.

But not quite fast enough to miss the unmistakable grin of predatory satisfaction directed towards her.


As the flustered teacher turned back to the lesson, Ranma pulled out a banana. It was perfectly ripe, with just a hint of brown freckles forming on the yellow skin.

He savored the tropical fruit's sweet (but not too sweet) flavor as the bell rang outside to signal the start of the lunch hour.

There was a general exodus as the boys scrambled to beat the rush for the school cafeteria, and the girls each prepared to 'surprise' Saotome with a private invitation to eat together, when he went outside.

Unfortunately for their efforts, none of them were inclined to share him equally, which inevitably led to sabotage among themselves, and in some cases even all-out brawls breaking out as the girls tried to determine a pecking order. And as a result of their infighting, they would totally forget about their original intent until it was too late to do anything about it.

Chibi-Hinako just wanted to find some candy.

It was all a matter of timing. Life was funny that way.

But at any rate, the classroom was soon empty, save for the presence of the pony-tailed martial artist and one other.

"RANMA!!!"

No need to guess who that was.

"BAKA-BAKA-BAKA-BAKA-BAKA!!!"

The target of young Tendo's rage calmly finished off the rest of his snack and tossed the empty peel in front of the charging girl's path.

"BAK— aaaaaaaaaahhhhhh!!!"

As soon as her foot hit the slippery obstacle she went skidding along the floor… and right out an open window.

Too bad she only fell three stories.

*CRASH*

"Oh, that's right! The school pool is on the other side of the building. Well, Akane's always saying that she's a tough martial artist, so there shouldn't be any problems."

Seeing as she was sort of preoccupied at the moment, Ranma decided to check her bags. He'd forgotten to get his lunch from Kasumi this morning, and was hoping to stea— er, find it in the tomboy's belongings.

He did find a bento, but judging from the weight Akane had been cooking the night before. And since Miss 'My cooking isn't that bad' never ate any of her own food, that meant she had intended to force-feed it to him today.

{Yeah, like I'm going to let that happen ever again!}

With a smile that boded ill for the recovering Tendo, Ranma decided to 'help' the tomboy out by dropping her lunch off.

Literally.

"Bombs away!"

Akane raised her head from the ground just in time to see thirty pounds of her own home cooking come crashing down on her skull.

*CLANG*

Thump.

"Oh my kami! You killed Akane! You bast— *gack*"

Ranma was surprised to recognize the poor fool he was currently strangling with one hand.

"Hmmm? Gosunkugi? When did you get here?"

*Gag**Choke**Wheeze*

"Nah, it only hit her head, so she'll be fine. It's not like she's actually using anything important up there anyway."

*Hack**Gasp**Everything… getting… dark*

"If you don't believe me, then you should see for yourself."

He casually tossed the sickly voodoo-obsessed nutcase out the window.

"Aaaaaaaaah—" *Thwomp*

"Oh, you shouldn't forget these, either."

Several silver stakes and a heavy iron hammer soon joined their owner on the ground.

"Ouch! Ouch! Ouch! Ouch! Ouch! Iiiiiiiiaaaaaa!!!"

The last scream ended on a high note.

"Wow, and here I thought all this time that Gosunkugi didn't even have any nuts to crush! Guess you learn something new every day."

After closing the window behind him, Ranma left his classroom in search of fresh prey.

"I wonder who's available for lunch?"

 


—Welcome to the S.I. Zone.

"This must be the place."

Although the main building looked sturdy enough, there were telltale signs of wear and tear if one looked hard enough. The white paint was faded and flaking in many places.

The steps up to the porch creaked and groaned like the wails of the damned. It almost sounded like it was saying "Don't go in there!" and "It's a trap, you moron!" But of course that was just plain silly.

{It's only my imagination.}

*Knock* *Knock* *Knock*

No response.

"Hello? Anyone here?"

{Please tell me I didn't go to the wrong place again!}

He tried the door.

Locked.

And the last bus for this route had already departed by now.

"My luck sucks."

Head hanging low, Shade prepared for a long hike back to town.


—This little baka went wee-wee-wee…

Special Agent P.S. watched with unbelieving eyes as six weeks' worth of preparations went straight down the toilet.

"Why didn't he go in?! Doesn't he know the door's open?!"

"Uh, Fearless Leader, sir? You told us to always lock up when we leave a room after that time somebody walked into the holy temple and defaced the sacred goddess's portrait with a mustache."

"You didn't…"

"Yes, sir! That place is sealed up tighter then a drum full of plutonium."

P.S. smacked his forehead in disgust.

Then he reached out and whacked the back of his subordinate's head.

"Ouch, sir!"

Feeling a little better, the servant of Darkne— Her Grand Supreme Mightiness, turned to address his cannon-fodder minions.

"Okay, we'll just have to go to Plan B."

"Uhh, what's plan B, sir?

"We shoot him, you dolt!"

"Sir, I'm not a Dolt! They're all on sentry duty. I'm an Idiot!"

"What?!"

"Private First Class Idiot reporting, sir!"

"Who allowed you into the Holy Ranks?!"

"My cousin, Major Idiot, did, sir!"

"You… you…"

"And General Idiot says we're the best examples of the KOTF you could ever find, Sir!"

"How many of you Idiots are there?!"

"Yo!"
"Yo!"
"Yo!"
"Yo!"
"Yo!"
"Oy!"
"You got it backwards again, Complete."
"Yo!"
"Yo!"
"yo!"
"What's wrong with you, Total?"
"i've been sick."
"Yo!"
"YO!"
"You'll have to forgive Freakin, sir. He's deaf."
"Yo!"
"Yo!"
"Yo!"
"Yo! Ho! Yo! Ho!"
"Damn it, Bloody, this ain't Treasure Island!"
"Yo!"
"Yo!"
"Yo, yo, yo!"

"Oh Holy Mallet-sama! I'm surrounded by Frigging Idiots!!!"

"Well, sir, that's because they're triplets."

*Whap*

"Ow, sir!"

"Shut up and prepare to fire!"

"Yes, sir!"

*Sound of ammunition being chambered*

"Not at me, you dolts!"

"Idiots, Sir!"

"Whatever!!"

 

To be continued.

Arc 1, Act 5
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Last revision: May 21, 2007

Old Gray Wolf