A story that popped into my head and forced me to write it. This will be staying a one-shot for now while I focus on other things. Only lots of reviews will convince me to turn my attention to this over my other stories.
Disclaimer: I don't own Ranma 1/2 or Naruto. If I did, I would be filthy stinking rich and not writing fanfiction. Lawyers be gone.
Anything Goes...Ninja Style! Chapter 1
On a bright and clear day, sunlight shone down the vibrant green leaves of the forest, glistening through the canopy as birds sang their joy. Soft beams of light illuminated a dirt path meandering through the trees as the sounds of a nearby stream create a gentle background noise. In this picture perfect scene, all was right with the world.
A soft groan interrupted the stillness. Laying in the middle of the path, a large bundle of red and black fabric twitched and then shifted, appearing to grow upward until revealing it's true nature.
Sitting upright with a pained wince, an attractive young girl of maybe sixteen or seventeen years looked around trying to get her bearings. Messy vibrant red hair framed confused sapphire blue eyes that took in her unfamiliar surroundings. Her worn clothes made of obviously high quality silk trying to conceal her lush, nubile body managed to only just preserve her modesty.
"What happened?" Her soft husky voice seemed to echo in the quiet. Rubbing her eyes in an effort to clear her pounding headache, she tried to recall the day before.
'The last thing I remember was...going to sleep? No, Akane was trying to feed me some of her toxic waste...I think. That, or I was in a fight with Ryoga. Gah. Why can't I remember yesterday?'
Taking stock of the area, another question popped up. 'Okay...where am I?' With no familiar landmarks, getting back home was starting to feel harder by the minute. 'Don't tell me Pig Boy was right all along. If he really does end up in all the places he says he's been to, then I owe him an apology.'
Looking down, she noticed the state of her clothes. "Aw man, this was my favorite outfit." Concentrating on her Ki, she tapped into what she called 'stuff space' and pulled out a large over-sized backpack. "Heh heh, I'm sure glad I stole this technique off of duck boy. He should have figured I would've figured it out with all the times he's used it on me."
Opening the pack and rummaging through it,she grumbled. "Man, when was the last time I went through this thing? Some stuff in here I don't even remember getting." Sorting the contents out, she finally laid out a group of clothes. A cute red Chinese dress was considered, then disregarded, while a white sundress was also turned down. A frilly pink dress was immediately placed into the 'burn as soon as humanly possible' pile. After a while of sorting and repacking, three outfits remained. An old, slightly dirty Karate gi, a pretty blue kimono she wore to a festival a while back, and a female school uniform from Furinkan High School. Considering between them, she finally decided on the gi. "If I'm in the backwoods of nowhere, then I might as well wear something I don't care about getting dirty."
Quickly redressing into the gi, along with a pair of blue panties that were her only clean underwear available, she randomly chose a direction and started walking. After several hours, she stopped to rest. Sitting on a nearby rock she rubbed her feet. "I almost forgot what it was like being on the road. I sure hope I find something soon."
A soft murmur of noise broke through the trees, causing her to perk up. Quickly heading down the path, she discovered a larger, well traveled path intersecting the one she had been on. Down the large path, a group of old-timey looking people were traveling together with horses and wagons. Brushing off the oddity, she called out to them and walked over to meet them. Getting closer, she noted that all of them were wearing older style clothes. 'Must be some kind of festival.'
A middle-aged man, probably the leader, stepped forward to greet her. "Can I help you, young miss?" Some of the younger guys stared openly at her with a glazed look in their eyes. Meh, typical perverts.
She grinned sheepishly, "Yea, I'm really lost. Can you point me towards the nearest town?"
He shared a look with his companions, then answered. "The Leaf village is not far from here. We were headed there for the festival."
She considered for a bit, then nodded. "Sounds good, don't have anywhere else to be. Is it alright if I tag along with you guys?"
He seemed to hesitate before nodding slowly. "I suppose that would be acceptable."
As they moved on, she walked along side one of the wagons, casually observing her surroundings as they went. An older woman sitting in the wagon noticed the slight limp in her step. "Are you alright, young miss?"
"Yea, just not used to walking barefoot. I'll be fine."
The woman chewed on her lip, then spoke again. "Perhaps you could ride with us and rest. If that is acceptable to you."
"Really? Thanks!" Pulling her up into the wagon with a small hop, she sat down between the older woman and a young girl about her age. "Have to get used to walking everywhere again. I haven't been on the road in a couple years." Besides the older woman and the girl, there were two females in the wagon, both seeming to be in their early thirties.
"Where are you from?" The girl asked before the older woman scolded her.
"Kaede, don't ask questions!"
She shrugged. "It's ok. I'm from a town called Nerima. No idea where it is from here, but it's probably really far away."
The women tensed up. "You don't know?"
She shook her head. "Not a clue. I can't remember a thing from yesterday. One minute I'm back home, and the next I'm stuck in the middle of nowhere missing a full day of memory. Lucky I'm not missing anything else, though." She said with a slight shudder.
The women seemed to relax and act more sympathetic towards her after that. Spending the next few hours in idle chatter, the sounds of the forest and soft shaking of the wagon lured her into the grasp of sleep.
"Young miss? Young miss, wake up."
She slowly blinked the sleep away to see the older woman next to her. "What?"
"We're setting up camp. The Caravan master wished to speak with you."
"Oh, thanks." She stretched out her muscles, then gently climbed out of the wagon. In the dimming light, she could see the rest of the wagons rounding up around a growing pile of wood, likely meant for a bonfire. Beyond the wagon circle, she could see that they were sitting in a clearing just off of the main path. Standing by one of the wagons, she saw the leader guy was giving orders to some other men. Walking over to him, she waited until the others left and he turned to her. "You wanted to see me?"
"Yes, I know you are not part of our caravan, but I would like to ask for your assistance in setting up camp. Are there any...skills you have that could be useful?"
She tilted her head in thought. "Well I'm stronger than I look. I'm also pretty fast and not to bad at cooking."
Setting out, she was directed to several people in the camp for various chores. Everyone seemed a little on edge around her, but she brushed off the feeling with a smile and nod to each person she met. Deciding to keep her abilities toned down, she quickly and efficiently aided in whatever way was needed of her and the camp was swiftly up and running before nightfall. Smiling at the thanks she received from the cooks for helping them out, she took the plate of food that was given to her and headed toward the fire. Seeing the leader calling her over, she sat down near him. "Thanks for the food, don't get venison like this very often."
He nodded to her. "You are more than welcome. It's not everyday we encounter Shinobi as helpful as yourself."
She started at the comment, then laughed. "Shinobi? Hah, I'm no ninja. The only ninja's I know are pretty boy Konatsu, and that rat faced Sasuke from the Kuno clan."
The leader and the others with him seemed shocked. "Not a shinobi? But you are clearly a warrior from your skills and manner of walk. May I ask what you are then?"
"Sure. I'm a martial artist, the best there is."
He frowned in confusion, "A martial...artist? I have not heard that term before."
"Well, a martial artist is somebody who fights with just their body. Sometimes with weapons, but not always." She explained.
"Ah, that is what we would call a taijutsu specialist, I believe." He considered her for a moment. "You seem a very interesting person, young miss. Might I ask your name?"
She blinked owlishly at him. "I never did introduce myself, did I?" she chuckled, scratching at her neck, "I'm Ranma Saotome, heir of the Musabetsu Kakutō Ryū martial arts school. Sorry about that."
He nodded. "Thank you, miss Saotome. I am Kohaku Tanaka, journey master of this caravan."
After a pleasant conversation and a filling meal, Ranma fell asleep in one of the wagons, feeling happy to be accepted by these strangers.
'I wonder what tomorrow will be like...'
On the next morning, there was an air of excitement around the caravan. With Ranma being accepted by the caravan master, the others felt more relaxed around her. Soon, she was being drawn in to the happy conversations of the other women folk. While the women where bathing in the nearby stream, she made excuses to go relieve herself in private. While away from the others she tested her curse, heating a small cup of water with her Ki. When she dumped it over her head, she discovered to her annoyance that her body stayed stubbornly female without feeling even a tingle of energy. Sighing, she grumbled in frustration. 'Figures. Not only do I lose a day of memory, I also get my curse locked. Just my luck.'
Heading back to the others, Ranma helped break up camp and the caravan set out on it's way. With the Leaf village less than half a day away, it looked like they would arrive before the festival started in the afternoon, allowing the merchants in the caravan to set up their wares. Ranma allowed the chatter to wash over her, soothing her glum mood, until some of the other women pulled her into one of the wagons and started having her try on clothes. Ranma's attempts to decline their efforts went unnoticed and soon she was dressed in an elegant flower-patterned dark blue kimono with white trim and a bright red sash. Her promises of returning it after the festival where all turned down, the women telling her that it was a gift. Soon the caravan reached the edge of the woods and a mere half-kilometer away stood the imposing walls of the Hidden Leaf village.
Ranma felt a little nervous when the caravan was stopped at the gates, but soon they were passing through into the busy streets. Ranma couldn't help but stare in wonder. The so called 'village' looked more like a modern city then a old time village, but she could see things that didn't fit. There where no cars anywhere. Instead, the preferred method of transport seemed to be horses. Electrical wires could be seen spanning the streets, but there where no TV or display screens and traffic lights where nowhere to be seen. Overall, the entire village felt like what Tokyo must have been like in the Industrial Age.
Once the caravan reached their destination in the village, Ranma went her own way, thanking them for all their help. In the hours preceding the festival, she wandered the streets taking in the feel and atmosphere of her surroundings. As she explored, more things began showing up that revealed differences from her home. The most startling were the shinobi.
Armed ninja's walking down the street and nobody batting an eye! She even noted the occasional ninja hopping across the rooftops like she often would in Nerima. Resolving to try and stay discrete, she casually ignored any ninja's she encountered.
Stealthily pick-pocketing a few people, she studied the money they used. Gold ryo coins seemed to be the standard of currency along with lesser silver and copper ryo. After figuring out the exchange rate between coins, she approached a vendor selling Yakitori.
"Excuse me." He looked up at her and smiled. "Welcome, young miss! Would you like to try some of my wares?"
"Yes, thank you." She accepted a skewer from him. "Would you mind if I asked I few questions?"
Of course, young miss. How can I help you?"
"What's the festival like? This is my first time here and I've never been to it."
"Oh, the festival is wonderful! It's the Leaf villages' celebration of the Forth Hokage's defeat of the Kyuubi no Kitsune. Today will be the sixth anniversary of that day."
"That sounds amazing! Thank you very much!" Bowing politely, she wandered off munching on her skewer.
'A nine-tailed fox? Seriously? Either these people are nuts, or there is some scary powerful fighters around here. She couldn't help the wide grin that stretched across her face. 'Being stuck here might be kinda fun!'
Later on, as darkness fell and the festival kicked off, the atmosphere seemed to electrify with excitement. Children were laughing and running around while their parents followed them smiling at their antics. Couples would break off for private encounters in quiet areas. Several times, different guys would invite her to celebrate with them, but she would decline each one.
As Ranma wandered through a quieter area of the village, she heard what sounded like a fight in one of the back alleys. Entering the alley, she saw a crowd of villagers surrounding someone, yelling and shouting angrily. Getting closer, her temper spiked. The villagers were standing around a small child, hitting and kicking them while they were curled up on the ground.
"Hey!" She forced her way to the front of the crowd and stood between them and the child, "What do you think you're doing?"
"This is no concern of yours! We're finishing the job the Forth Hokage started!"
Her eyes narrowed. "What the hell are you talking about?"
The apparent ringleader stepped forward. "That...thing...is responsible for the deaths of hundreds of people. If you know what's good for you, you'll stand aside."
"Who?" She looked behind her at the child on the ground. "This kid? How would this little kid kill a bunch of people?"
He grinned smugly. "That thing is the Kyuubi no Kitsune! The Nine Tails reborn! Our beloved Forth Hokage died sealing the beast into that spawn and now it's our duty to finish the job!"
Ranma stared at him. "That is...the dumbest thing I have ever heard. Just leave the kid alone or you'll regret it."
"Very well, you've made your decision." He turned to the others. "Get her!"
As the crowd rushed at her, she shifted her foot back and waited. Just before the they reached her, a sadistic grin ghosted across her face. 'Chestnut Fist Revised: Shotgun Strike.'
In a flash of speed, all of the closest villagers were hit with a dozen strikes or more, sending them flying backwards into the people behind them. Turning to face the ringleader, who was charging her with a kunai knife with hate filling his eyes, she drew her hand back to her waist. 'Chestnut Fist Revised: Double Tap.'
Unlike a normal type of 'Chestnut Fist' technique, this move turned multiple light hits into two powerful hits. The first one landed in his gut, stopping him dead in his tracks. The second blasted him across the street and into the wall across the alley, forming a crater on impact.
With a smirk on her face, Ranma gently picked up the child, cradling him to her chest. Pulling a large cloth from her stuff space, she vanished into the shadows with a twirl of fabric. 'Heh, gotta love the Umi-sen-ken.'
"There you go, kid." Ranma said, finishing her work. "All better now, ne?"
Using her first aid kit and knowledge picked up from Doc Tofu, she had patched up the boy's injuries and shifted his Ki a bit to speed up the healing process.
"Hmm? What do you mean?"
The boy's eyes met hers and she held back a gasp. 'Wow, he's got the same shade of eyes as me.' "Why help me? Everyone else tries to hurt me, or calls me a monster or demon brat. Why would you help me?"
She cocked her head to the side. "Why not?"
She grinned at him. "If what they say was true, that you were some kind of giant monster fox, don't you think they would be a little more scared of being mean to you? If you got mad, you would probably squash them or something, right?"
He stared at her for a bit, then rubbed his neck with a sheepish smile. "Yea, I guess."
'Aww, so cute! He's like a little blond mini-me!' Her grin widened, "Say, how about some food? Know anywhere good?"
"Well...there is that ramen shop that doesn't kick me out. The're pretty nice people."
"Okay then, let's go!" She lifted him up onto her shoulders. "Lead the way, boss!"
He giggled with a smile on his face and pointed down the street. "That way!"
"Aye aye, boss!" She replied as she raced off down the street.
The two of them sat at a little ramen shack called Ichiraku Ramen, slurping down tasty noodles and rich broth. After a while, Ranma spoke up.
"So what the deal with those losers, anyway? Why would they be picking on you?"
He looked glumly into his bowl. "I don't know. It happened last year and the year before that too. Most of the time, it's not so bad, but during the festival..."
"Don't you have any family to help you out?"
He shook his head. "I got kicked out of the orphanage when I was four, been living on the streets since then."
She thought for a while, observing him, then nodded. "Alright, that's it. From now on, I'll be your family!"
The look on his face was priceless. "R-really? You mean it? For real?"
She nodded, "I promise. And I never break a promise."
Tears started filling his eyes. "Onee-chan!" He catapulted into her arms and started sobbing. Gently hugging him and rubbing his back she held him until he fell asleep in her arms. "Poor kid."
She looked over at the shack owner. "Mind keeping an eye on him for a day or two? I don't have a job or a place yet, so I need to start looking."
The older man nodded. "Sure, I've got a cot in the back he can use. I'd adopt the kid myself if I could. But with the shack and my daughter, I'm barely making ends meet as it is."
"Thanks, I'll check back in tomorrow. Try and keep him out of sight for now." She stood up, leaving the money for the food plus extra, and turned to leave.
"You really mean it, don't you?"
Looking back at him, Ranma could see something in his eyes. An iron core that warriors often have. "You're not going to hurt him, are you? Because if you do, I'll kill you myself."
She studied him carefully. "What is he to you?"
He hesitated, then sighed. "His mother was a good friend of mine. And you look a lot like her."
She considered his words, then nodded slowly. "I meant what I said. I never break a promise. My honor won't allow it."
He studied her carefully, then accepted her words. "The name's Teuchi."
She smiled. "Ranma Saotome."
Walking out of the shack, Ranma wandered down the street. 'Well, now what?'
Ranma woke up in unfamiliar surroundings. Stretching out her senses, she could feel a warm female body cuddled up next to her, and the air smelled of booze and sex. 'Oh boy, this is going to be interesting...'
Opening her eyes, Ranma observed her bed partner. Shoulder length messy blue-black hair pooled around her head and the sheets only half covered her attractive, well developed body. After a few moments her eyelids fluttered open showing pupil-lees light brown eyes. When her eyes focused on Ranma, a gauntlet of emotions flew across her face before settling on surprised contentment. She leaned in close to Ranma and gave her a soft kiss on the lips that Ranma returned. "Good morning."
"It is a good morning, isn't it?" A male voice spoke up.
The two girls froze and turned to face the male voice. Standing at the foot of the bed was an elderly man wearing long white robes and a red conical hat. Amusement sparkled in his dark eyes as he wiped away a small bloodstain from his nose. Flanking him on either side were two black clad ninjas wearing white animal masks.
"H-Hokage-sama! I..." Ranma's bed partner sat up, then realizing her lack of clothes dived back under the sheets with a small squeak. The old man chuckled. "Chunin Mitarashi? After you get dressed, I expect you to report to Ibiki for debriefing." Getting a nod from the mortified girl he turned to Ranma. "Miss Ranma Saotome, was it? I believe there are some questions we would like you to answer."
"Yea, yea." Ranma yawned and stretched, her movements causing her chest to do interesting things. "Just let me get dressed."
Standing up, she walked over to the pile of clothes on the floor, completely heedless of her naked state. Sorting out her clothes and redressing herself, she stayed oblivious to the old man wiping away another nosebleed and the masked ninja discretely adjusting themselves. Retying her sash, she turned to the old man and gave him a sarcastic grin.
"Take me to your leader?"
"Miss Saotome, I am the leader."
Start to finish in less than two days and now I feel burnt out. I hate my brain.
Leave reviews, let me know what you think. Flamers will be shot on sight.