cheeks Disclaimer: I don't own YuYu Hakusho or Ranma 1/2

Ryoga didn't know what he had been thinking when Yusuke led him to an open plain field clearance surrounded by a few cliffsides and stoned platforms while adamantly insisting he was, in fact, going to teach him how to dodge according and when needed.


His approach to "training" him was nothing sort of barbaric and sadistic. Many times throughout Ryoga's insane country-long hikes and climbs up mountain ranges strapped down with a boulder on his back had he wondered was Yusuke just torturing him for his own sadistic pleasure, but he couldn't dare call him out on his brutal and often cruel training regimes for fear of being given an even harsher workload to fulfil.

He learnt that the hard way, having been pushed to his near breaking point as a "punishment" for questioning his master's methods. He didn't even possess the strength necessary to trudge home and Yusuke wouldn't carry him on his shoulder like he usually would whenever his disciple collapsed from exhaustion. He had to crawl, using his chin.

It was gruelling.

Given what he knew of his master's fondness for cruelty, he really should've seen this coming.

"Dodge!" Instead of showing him ways of evasion he simply rushed him without warning, hammering him down with a vicious left hook to the jaw while just shouting dodge with authority, as if he honestly expected his disciple to evade with multiple cinderblocks tied around his arms, legs and torso. And this continued until Yusuke eventually climbed above Ryoga and cannoned him through several layers of ground with a powerful stroke of an air pressure induced punch.

"Ahh." He moaned in an utterly dazed manner, swearing the fluffy white clouds were circling in his vision. Arms splayed out eagle-spread on the rocky surface of the deep pit he had been shovelled into by the mere force generated by his master's arm, Ryoga murmured, "He calls this training? It's more like a tortured period," The sunlight being eclipsed by the shadow of his torturous master forced him to stand, and he did so, but good god was it difficult. With his body heavily fatigued, the cinderblocks suddenly felt like mini mountains crushing his bones.

He could barely stand up straight without folding inward, wheezing like he had heart problems. Once he could stand straight for more than five seconds without stumbling that left another problem he became aware of, surveying his surroundings in hopeless confusion.

"Now how I am supposed to get out of here?"

"Climb up!"

"I could maybe dig my way out and up, but I don't think I have the energy for that."

"Climb up!"

"What do you think, Sensei?"

"I said to climb up!"

"Hm, you mean like using my 'weights' as a ladder? That could work but I thought you said not to take them off unless you gave the okay?"


After what seemed like an utter eternity of seemingly several long hours of gruelling training, Yusuke decided enough was enough and called for a break. The words "That's enough" were music to Ryoga's thoroughly sore ears. All the tension of remaining upright despite his fatigue abated, stance dropping as he allowed gravity to carry him to the ruined grassy ground beneath him.

"Oh, thank heavens!" He exhaled audibly, chest visibly raising up and down with great effect. The shadow of his tormentor eclipsed his sprawled out form.

"Man, you really need to work on your evasion skills, pal," Yusuke commented, hands on his hips.

Ryoga wheezed, prying himself to a seated position with his knees raised to rest his elbows upon, "Oh screw you, Sensei!"

He wasn't sure whether it was out of mercy or pity, but his tormentor broke out in a grin, seemingly letting up on the hoax, "Alright, I was just kidding about the whole dodge thing. That was just strength training."

"No, really. How so?"

"Because getting your ass kicked builds stamina," He answered, insisting when his student sighed in a deflated fashion and flopped back down on the grassy land of their training field, "No, I'm serious. When you get used to getting your ass kicked you get USED to getting your ass kicked, know what I mean?"


Apparently not.

Granted, he probably wasn't explaining his reasoning all that well, like at all. Okay, he wasn't but in Yusuke's defence, he had always been a simple guy with just barely average intelligence at best and a little below at worst. The details were usually left to the smart ones of his crew, like Botan, Kurama, Hiei, etc.

He basically just meant the body naturally strengths the more damage it takes, given proper rest of course. As muscle tissues repair themselves after a savage beating they harden so they can withstand greater damage without the body giving out. Similar to a Saiyan from DBZ, just not as ridiculous.

Accepting that he wasn't Kurama, master of exposition, Yusuke dropped the matter, sauntering over to their things consisting of his coat and Ryoga's travel pack and trusty umbrella to retrieve his phone before returning to his exhausted disciple several yards away.

"So, did you get trained like this?" He looked idly in the process of switching on his cell at his student's question, who scowled at that expression of earnest curiosity, feeling like he was being played for Yusuke's own amusement, "Did. Whoever. Train. You. Make. You. Dodge. Like. This?" He specified, enunciating each word with deep aggravation.

Yusuke sat on it for a moment before being taken back to memories he thought he had suppressed, featuring him climbing a massive mountain, getting rifled by a flurry of punches while climbing up said mountain as a consequence for stopping, sleeping with snakes, or even on a bed of nails as the better option when he whined about his roommates. Just thinking about his time with Genkai was enough to send shivers down his spine.

There was no question about it. She had run him through his paces through hell and back again. No wonder he wussed out the first time and only went back when Toguro showed up and demanded he attends the incredibly lethal Dark Tournament.

"Yeah," Yusuke murmured, inhaling slowly. Ryoga stiffened at the sudden change in demeanour, mouth agape at Yusuke's darkening eyes, "You can say that again, pal."

"Uh… huh." Ryoga said, this time with a noticeable nervous shudder. He avoided his noticeably peeved trainer's eye but looked back when he cursed under his breath, "What?"

The sunlight perfectly shadowed the light illuminating a small part of his face from his phone's screen, "Got a bunch of missed calls, voicemails and a text from your dream girl," He deadpanned in irritation. She was going to be livid with him. To her, it had to have felt like he was blatantly ignoring her.

"Akane?" Wide eyes blinked at him. "What does she need you for?"

"Don't know, but I got a bad feeling about why she does," He said, facial features hardening in a sobered glare. He tucked his phone away neatly in his jeans pocket, "C'mon, let's roll. She might need us."

"Right." Ryoga agreed without hesitation because of course he did. Just put Akane and assistance in the same sentence and the lost boy would travel to the ends of the earth to find his way to her to offer her the hand an angel like her deserved. He couldn't have gathered his belongings fast enough for his liking. He would've taken off his cinderblocks too if his sensei allowed it, but surprise-surprise, he didn't, much to Ryoga's annoyance.

Alas, time was of the essence and with every second thrown away was another of his precious crush facing dire life-threatening circumstances, if the shher number of times she had tried to get in touch with his sensei was any indication. Unless, she was calling him for another reason, such as confessing her interest in him, but that would be ridiculous.

His master wouldn't betray him like that. Granted, they hadn't known each other for long (only a short time) but he felt fairly assured of his opinion of the young man. Yusuke Urameshi was a good man, of this, Ryoga was nearly certain.

He was far better than most guys he associated with around the crazed land of Tokyo by a country mile but that wasn't saying much. The standards of "alright guy" were at an all-time low in these ends of Tokyo, but such was the case when everyone and their grandmother was a major asshole. Standards had to be lowered for what one considered nice around the "shady" parts of Tokyo.

So here they were blitzing through the countryside travelling at Mach 5, casually overtaking any car in sight as they stopped and stared after the two insanely pacey wonder kids running alongside the road as if they were meant to.

"Hey, sensei," Ryoga prompted, looking at the overpowered combatant sidelong as the intense wind of speed whipped the bangs of his hair about, "Can I ask you something?"


"Why do you have Akane's number?"

Coasting Through Life









Son of a Demon

There was no lingering about for the now drenched redhead in the pool. She was out in a fiery red dash, subsequently drying herself off, only to get showered again when her assassin dive-bombed straight into the very much formerly known pool. What once was a place of bustling activity and competition was reduced to a mere rocky crater by the sudden impact of the one-man destroyer of all things-built rocketing into it.

The water shot upward in a ferocious upheaval, accompanied by the deafening roars of a TNT explosion blaring in the distance before rapidly curling at its edges and pouring down on the ruined centrepiece in waves as though it was actually raining.

"Damn you," Ranma wheezed on her hands and knees, just outside the newly made bottomless pit, "Destroying the pool like that." She understandably felt incredibly awkward saying such a thing considering she hated any temperature of water below warm as she wobbled to her feet, "I-I mean, just 'cause I don't like swimming, doesn't mean others don't, you jerk!"

Ugh. That was lame. No wonder people thought she was an asshole. The nice guy gig was unbearable.

She didn't get any time to dwell on her supposed mean tendencies, though, not with her aforementioned killer burrowing toward her at breakneck speeds, driving through the ground like a drill to spring at her from below like a sleeping dragon awakening from a long slumber with a vengeance. Her reflexes were sharp, instantaneous-like speed be damned.

She flipped high and over the new crevice the little military-dressed machine of destruction created, hooking her fingers under the edges of her lips and prying open her mouth to wiggle her tongue out in brazen immaturity, "Na-na! You slowcoach! Gonna have to be a lot faster than that to hit this!" Recruit flashed in front of her, seemingly responding to her bait with action, "Whoa!" A rush of explosive air split the shoulder of her blouse to pieces whilst she soared, flipping to a handstand on Recruit's head, "Ain't you learnt anything yet?"

She asserted her superiority with an overhead throw, shaping legs swinging downward and arms twisting to an angle. The startling tremor and slight quake beneath her feet was heaven, "The air's my domain," She finished, a hand on her hip with an air of superiority hanging over her.

Recruit twisted around rapidly like he was pulling off some serious dance moves, kicking out a heel which his target flipped away from, even commenting on his wild unconventional style.

"Hey, those your dance moves?" She mocked cheerily, already in the motion of backpedalling away with extremely pacey steps even before the onrushing tornado that was the proclaimed dance machine flew toward her, "Go get 'em, tiger!" She didn't even know if the soldier could feel emotions like annoyance (given how his facial expression had remained entirely neutral up to this point), but a lack of definitive knowledge wouldn't stop her from trying to rile him up.

It was a habit. Not to mention poking fun at her opponent kept her from panicking from being pressed so immensely. She just inched closer to being on the receiving end of one of Recruit's building-level punches and went that happened, well, it was nighty-night for Ranma.

And to make matters worse – as if they weren't already – her movements were stalled by solid stone. A feeling of dread plummeted in her gut when she realized she had backpaddled against the wall of her school building with a look over her shoulder, a lapse in concentration which would prove costly.

It was all Recruit needed, ploughing into her with all the "grace" and "poise" of a wrestler tackling another, spearing her inside the vacant establishment of an abandoned classroom with all the equivalent force of a freight train. And my word, did she feel it.

To put the unbelievable pain inflicted upon her into perspective, the combined force of the perverted midget terror of the day, Ryoga and Akane would hurt ten times less than the slim guy charging into her. The collision alone generated powerful winds, sprawling desks everywhere like a tumble dryer.

She had no winds to spare and Recruit wasn't even done with her, not by a long shot and especially now that he had a hold of her. He gripped tightly onto the braid of her luscious shiny red hair, swinging her around in numerous three hundred and sixty turns like she was a rag doll. A high-pitched squeal of agony involuntarily ripped from her vocal cords, tearing springing to her eyes.

"Kyaaaaaaaaaaa!" Even as the burning sensation of her hair being pulled settled from a grip being released, her skyward momentum carried her through all upper floors of her school, rubble flying into and scarping her face before the sunlight finally flooded her once more; but even hanging in the clouds the dazed girl struggled to regain control of her own momentum, 'Darn it! He's too much for me!'

This would likely mark the first time that she had admitted an opponent was too much for her to handle. Recruit was relentless, showed no reaction to being mocked and was nearly as fast as her while being twice as powerful.

The utter helplessness of it all was dousing out Ranma's usually inextinguishable fire of unbreakable tenacity, reflected in her darkening eyes of a defeated spirit.


Recruit essentially flew above her, hanging over her like a god looking down at a mortal. In all honesty, she felt like an ant in the shadow of a deity from above nigh emotionlessly glancing up at her tormentor. It wasn't until she saw that eerily red glow flaring to life in between his goggles did her eyes light back up, but in horrified recognition.

"No, wait! You can't-!" She pleaded, twisting her head over her shoulder to look down into the gaping hole that used to be a roof, and that was when she saw it. Or, to be more precise, them. A group of dots she assumed were people hurrying away from Furinkan High School, "…Or maybe you can." Ugh, of course, every single member of the faculty and student body would evacuate first chance they got. No one would feel safe sticking around where so many explosions were going off with massive pits opening up immediately after.

She felt silly for overlooking such an obvious instinct bore from natural self-preservation even as she looked back to find Recruit's eyes clad in two spherical red shells of destructive power, goggles in his hand, "Oh boy."

She was so doomed it was a downright miracle.


Pandemonium was in full swing by the very first crater that opened up over the school's playground. Students and faculty alike were on their proverbial bikes, hurrying through colliders while aggressively shoving against each other's shoulder in a contest to see who could escape the pit fire first. It wasn't like that at first; total disorder and panic.

At first, the teachers had attempted to maintain order, collectively ushering the students out in an orderly manner, but soon as the massive tremors were felt they threw all semblance of professionalism out the window, and from there, well…

It was every man, woman and children for themselves.

So there was Akane, behind everyone else watching her fellow students sprint for the hills and away from the danger zone, merely jogging at a hesitated pace.

"I've got to go back and help Ranma," She decided, face hardening in resolve. Even if she couldn't get a hold of that jerk Yusuke she couldn't just leave Ranma to face the running disaster by himself. She stopped and did a U-turn, heading back the way she came as fast as her shapely legs would carry her.

The solider's power was absolutely terrifying.

She couldn't recall any of Ranma's previous opponents causing such damage to the environment around them just by moving, even Happosai and Ranma himself, and that conclusion frightened her more than anything.

"Hey, Akane! Wait up!" Ukyo's voice rang loud behind her, the chef elite catching up to her before matching her stride, "I'm coming too."

Akane's expression soured, "Why? So you get in his good graces?" She quipped dryly.

"Ugh! This is no time for that!" She snapped back, though paused and added almost as an after-thought, "Though I certainly wouldn't mind."

The Tendo heiress rolled her eyes, "Whatever. Like I said before, you can have him."

"How could I forget?" Ukyo quipped with a winning grin, holding up the peace sign for victory. Akane rolled her eyes once more, but on that note of Akane spontaneously pulling out of the race for Ranma's hand, Ukyo's curiosity got the better of her, "Hey, who was that guy you were trying to call in class? Yusuke something?"

Akane turned her nose up at the mention of the missing redefined delinquent, "No one! Just a jerk who'll not be named!"

"Oh boy. So you already have another fella in the doghouse huh?"

Akane stumbled in her pacey steps, hastily recovering with a flushed face, "Y-You shut up!"

Oh, she should've known Ukyo was never going to with that reaction. It was all too inviting and the wave of teasing had to burst through, "Oh, I see how it is," Akane glared, wishing her enraged stare could turn into death beams like Recruit's to incinerate Ukyo's sly, smug grin, "No wonder you gave up on Ranchan. You knew you didn't have what it takes to win so you settled for second best."

"Shut up!"


Speak of the devil and he shall happen. When she didn't want to see him, didn't want to hear him, Yusuke turns up, hollering playfully, "Is it too late to crash this party?!" So overwhelmed with such annoyance at Yusuke's untimely arrival, she didn't even hear Ryoga's concerned voice following right after Yusuke's brazen call.

'Huh?' Ukyo blinked, looking back and forth between Akane's seething form of barely self-contained fury and the running duo heading toward them, 'This the guy she was talking about?' She wondered, observing Akane's deeply heated expression of barely restrained anger and loud growls rumbling from her throat.

It didn't take the boys long at all to reach the two girls which meant it didn't take Akane long to exact her revenge on the young man with Ryoga, "You jerk!" She screeched, swinging a roundhouse slap with the turn of her body, glare intensifying when her wrist was casually snagged out of the air by Yusuke.

"Uh-huh." He deadpanned.

"You jerk!" She wailed, bursting into tears. Yusuke looked entirely unaffected by the girl's waterworks, only having his feathers rustled when she admitted and cushioned her head against his chest, "I was worried about you!"

While Ukyo observed Akane's snuggling of Yusuke with a keen eye, Ryoga offered Akane a sympathetic glance, 'Akane.' He tried to ignore his gut feeling telling him she was enjoying the closeness to his sensei.

"Damn, my bad," Yusuke apologized, offering the emotional girl drenching his shirt in tears comforting strokes to her hair, "Didn't mean to make ya worry. Should've kept my cell on," In response to his gentle confession of his fuck up, Akane pressed herself tighter against him. Eyes softening further, Yusuke snaked his other arm around her back, ignorant to his disciple's mystified stare. He gave her a moment to hug out her teary stress, either not caring or not seeing the intensely inquisitive look of the weird girl in the boy's uniform before prying Akane off him, holding her by her shoulders, "But look, I'm here now. You don't need to worry anymore, okay?"

Akane nodded, subdued, "Okay."

Yusuke's warm smile of approval heated her cheeks, "That's my girl, now c'mon! Let's roll." He exclaimed brassily, taking her hand in his, "We got a pal to save."

"Okay," She repeated, almost in a trance. Before she knew it, her feet were marching the pacey strides of the young man of her current affections, leaving an inquisitive Ukyo and a bamboozled Ryoga.

"Akane," He moaned, longingly.

"Well, that was interesting," Ukyo noted, nodding to herself, "At least this explains why she was willing to give up on Ranchan. Guy's pretty good looking," She rose her head with an assured confidence, placing her palm to her chest, "Of course, not as sexy as Ran-chan, but still a nice-looking guy for her."

"What the hell are you saying?" Ryoga snapped.

Ukyo blinked his way, "Huh? Are you blind? They clearly have a fling."

Ryoga's face turned red in anger, "Shut the hell up! Yusuke-sensei would never do that to me!"

Ukyo shook her head in pity of Ryoga's jealousy, "Even if he doesn't like her, she sure as hell likes him. She was all over him!" A sympathetic smile curled across her face to Ryoga's escalating fury. Seeing him growling and clenching his fists, she placed a comforting hand on his shoulder, "Hey, it's okay. Plenty more girls where she came from, you know?"

"Shut up!" He demanded, tussling her hand off.

Ukyo held up her hands in a placating manner, backing up, "Okay, soak all you want but word of advice. Moping isn't going to get Akane to like you and not 'Yusuke-sensei'" She jibed and walked off to her man, leaving Ryoga's fiery temper to simmer into passive aggression.

"Yusuke-sensei wouldn't betray me like that," The tightening of his balled hands thundered in the deafening silence of his silent rage, "He promised me," His face scrunched up, "But then, why was he so bashful when I asked him why he had Akane's number?" He wanted to stop doubting himself, but when the seeds were already planted, there was little he could do to cease them from blossoming.


'I'm so screwed,' Ranma mulled, tearfully, actual tears of sadness springing to her eyes watching the reaper of death drawing near her. She felt ashamed closing her eyes from death's merciless frosty clutches beginning to ensnarl her curvaceous figure.

A distinctively naughty fanged grin flashed through her mind. She bristled, 'Why am I thinking about that jerk?' She was about to die and the only thing she could envision was Yusuke's cheeky, leering smile admiring her female form. She hated how strangely warm it made her feel, even with death's embrace surrounding her. In fact, it seemed the more she thought of Yusuke's sassy smile the more she was loosened from death's hold, 'Get outta my head!'

A strong, yet comforting hold wrestled her from death's grip, warming her body right back up. Crushing metal assaulted her ears; a bizarre substitute for the burning sensation she assumed she would've experienced in Recruit's death beam.

"What the fuck!?" Yusuke's immense roar of dumbfounded confusion violently whipped her back to reality just in time to find wires and screws scattering before their eyes, flying off in every direction, topped off with Recruit's decapitated head shooting upward, "He's a bucket of bolts!"

Ranma didn't know what jarred her more; the fact that it was a robot who had been utterly rag-dolling her about or that Yusuke had eradicated said cybernetic warrior so easily. Sadly, her jarring confusion was only hiding the inevitable; her wounded pride.

"You jerk," She sniffed, drawing Yusuke's pensive look to her lowered head. He scratched his cheek unthoughtfully. He hadn't assumed a tough-guy supposed like Ranma would cry over a measly loss, but as she lifted her head, she hit him where it hurt the most with her glistening eyes of unshed tears; the feels, "You coulda at least pretended to struggle against him." She wailed and the dam broke free. Waves of pure liquid manifested from her grief-stricken heart shot forth from her eyes.

Yusuke figured his eyes were turning to wet cement with the number of times they were softening, "Hey, hey, c'mon!" He urged frantically, looking out of his depths, "Turn off the waterworks already. You don't want people to think you're a wuss."

"Oh, shut up!" She demanded defensively, droplets of tears splashing from her eyes like water, "I'm a girl right now! it's okay to cry as long as I'm like this."

"That's not how it works, but okay," Yusuke compromised with a forceful smile. Ranma huffed and lowered her gaze away from his, dropping his smile immediately, "Look Ranma," He began, softly tightening his hold on her and lowering his voice, "it's okay to lose and need a hand to bail you out of crap sometimes."

"Easy for you to say!" Ranma retorted, not realizing their slow descent. Bitterness oozed from her tone, "Mr Invincible!"

"You make it sound like I'm a god or something."

"You might as well be!" Yusuke chuckled despite himself, reigniting Ranma's temper. The battered redhead swatted his arm, reminiscent to a wife nagging at her lazy husband, "Stop that!"

"You hold me in too high regard, little sis," He quipped, eliciting a sulky scowl from Ranma at the reminder of her current gender which prompted her to cross her arms and turn away from him in a huff, "I'm not all that." She turned back to him with a dry deadpanned stare comparable to the desert.


"Well, uh, maybe to you guys, I guess," Yusuke amended awkwardly, "I got perks you and the others haven't."



"What kinda perks?"

"I'm the son of a demon."

The sound seemingly vanished; silenced like a television being muted for Ranma's blank stare of absolute incomprehension.


"You heard right."

Ranma glared, wishing she could burn his nonchalance away, "Oh no! Don't you dare try and play this off like it's nothing!" She demanded and Yusuke caressed the back of his head in bashful discomfort.

"It's not that big a deal, really," He assured.

Ranma had a face of someone who entirely felt their companion was from another planet, "Uh, yeah!" She retorted sassily, "I think it is, genius. You don't just tell your friends you're a frickin' demon outta nowhere."

"Well, I'm not really a demon if it helps," He made a face, screwing it up further when Ranma peered up at him questioningly, "It's complicated."

"How so?"

"The old guy I inherited my demon blood from was my ancestral Father. Hell, I had to die twice to just awaken my powers."

"Uh… huh?" Ranma nodded along, utterly lost in the woods of complication to Yusuke's ascendancy to demon hood, "Wait! You died? Twice."

Yusuke shook his head, "It's complicated."

Ranma frowned dryly, "Boy, ain't you the enigma?" Yusuke just shrugged, continuing their descent to ground level. It didn't take any longer for them to reach the earth, though the petite redhead almost wished they had. The second her feet touched ruptured concrete, she felt the full force of her depleted adrenaline with the extreme pain of her injuries bombarding her all at once like a military's all-out assault, "Kyaaaa!"

"I gotcha," Her saviour, maybe wanted or unwanted, coolly assured, swinging one of her arms around his neck, providing her leverage and weird comfort with the skin on skin contact. Her body betrayed her, sending a jolt of pleasure up her spine from their closeness. She could feel her involuntarily warm.

"Thanks," She mumbled, turning her cheek from him.

Yusuke looked at her curiously, 'Huh? What's her deal?' He didn't get the luxury of pondering Ranma's unusual demeanour because Akane chose that moment to join them, jogging worriedly up to them.


The redhead glanced up at her impassively, "Akane?"

Akane wasted no time verbally tearing into her, "You reckless idiot! Why didn't you just wait with the rest of us? He wasn't going to attack you if you were with us!"

"Butt out of it!"

"You could've died!"

Ranma flinched, remembering just how close she came to getting annihilated off the face of the Earth and unfortunately, how completely terrified she was. That heart-beating, heavy breathing fear was comparable to the immense fright she felt during her cat torture; something she wished to never have to experience again. She couldn't come back from that.

Akane was right. She was foolish and thin-skinned, letting her pride get the better of her and dictate her judgement.

"Wait. That robot-guy I just wiped out didn't endanger the other kids?" Yusuke asked, taking pity on Ranma by his deflection from her impetuous nature.

"That's right," Akane nodded at him, "He wouldn't attack Ranma so long as she was with the rest of us," She then glared at the downed redhead, "But then this idiot just had to get all prideful and run out into the open."

Ranma's cringe at the added insult to injury went unacknowledged by Yusuke, "So I take it there's someone trying to smoke Ranma, huh?" He asked, cupping his chin with his free hand.

Akane released a heavy sigh, "I don't know! Ranma's always been a trouble-magnet but nothing like this!" She exclaimed. Ranma didn't know whether to feel pleased, satisfied or annoyed at Akane's backhanded compliment.

"Gee. Thanks."

"We think he even killed Mousse!"

Yusuke's eyes narrowed, "Hold up. Mousse? You mean that bonehead I scared away the other day? The one obsessed with Shampoo?" He lifted an eyebrow, "That Mousse?"

Akane nodded, "That's the one."

Yusuke inhaled sharply in awkward agitation, "That's real messed up, but why'd that guy, or whoever created him, wanna do Ranma and Mousse in?"

"Because of our curses," Ranma said so softly Yusuke barely heard her.

"What was that, Red?"

"I said it's because of our curses. Mousse has one too," She clarified, trying to straighten under her own power, "I'm fine. I can stand on my own," She tried, brushing off Yusuke's hesitance when the older teen moved to hold her again when she removed her arm from his neck. She staggered drunkenly, snapping an arm to her thoroughly damaged ribs.

"You sure about that?" The resurrected demon probed, earning a glare from her.

"Anyway," She took a deep breath, cringing massively at the sharp pain of her bruised chest, 'Darn, hurts just to breathe.' She did her best to ignore Akane's deadpanned stare and Yusuke's concerned eyes to preserve what little pride she still clung to, "About two months ago, this big buff guy and creepy guy showed up claiming me and just about anyone with a curse had broken their 'code of conduct' and came after us."

Yusuke adsorbed her recap of events with thoughtful nonchalance, "And you're sure that robot showing up is their work?"

"Who else could it be?" Ranma shot back with a slow, agonizingly shrug of her bruised, heavy shoulders, "I mean, no other jerk I've faced before has ever threatened to kill us for ticking them off," She argued, "And I mean like legitimately threatening to kill us. Heck, they even kidnapped the others, including my old man!"

Yusuke considered this, "So it's a revenge thing, huh?"

Again, another shrug from the injured redhead, "Probably."

A look of concern from his admirer, "What will we do now, Yusuke?"

If Yusuke noticed Akane's referring to him by his first name he made no mention or indication of it. Instead, he gestured his arms near Ranma, causing her to tense up, "First, we should get Red patched up." He made a move to lift her up, but the spunky redhead jumped out of his radius, consequently aggravating her injuries.

"Hey, I can walk just fine on my own, you know!" She insisted strongly, fighting back a cringe of pain jolting through her system.

Yusuke deadpanned, "Uh-huh. Then try leading the way."

Ranma pouted, but took the challenge anyway. She didn't even make a step before taking a stumble to the ground, "Kyraa!"

Or she would have if Yusuke hadn't of caught her and lifted her up like a husband carrying his newlywed, "See? I told you. You're way too beat up."

"Oh shut up!" She demanded, burying her flushed face into his shirt.

Yusuke sighed, looking at Akane with a raised eyebrow.


She was glaring at him before she donned an artificial sweet smile.

"Oh, nothing."

Oh, Yusuke. What are we gonna do with you, buddy? You're making the girls fall for you with your glowing charisma. Anyway, lemme know what you guys think of the chapter. I'd very much like to hear your opinions. Peace and take care.