"Blood Calls Out For Blood"
Sailor Moon and all related properties are properties of Naoko Takeuchi. Ranma ½ and all related properties are properties of Rumiko Takahashi. This story is inspired by Vaughan Stevens’ "Recruiting" and I owe him a debt of gratitude for a good story and inspiration.
Chapter 04 -
Ranma - Death and Rebirth
Ranma began to burn with fury as she looked upon the sight in the alley. A hideous creature whose body seemed to be coated in serrated spines was looming over a very familiar woman. In a voice filled with malice, she rasped, "Let her go..."
The Shredder looked away from Nodoka, staring at the diminutive figure. "I could use an appetizer before the main course..." It said in its bone-grinding voice, as it stomped toward Ranma.
Nodoka's eyes widened, and she screamed, "RANKO! GET AWAY!" before she was kicked into a wall almost idly.
The Shredder leaped toward Ranma, who almost blurred as she suddenly wasn't there anymore. Two pieces of rebar were, however. Both rammed straight through the creature, as Ranma swung two more bars rapidly, both lashing hard into the creature, pounding a tattoo into its back.
The creature howled in pain and spun toward Ranma. Ranma threw the rebars in her hands through the creature, before sending a ki blast for its head, tearing off a great chunk. The Shredder stumbled toward him, roaring in pain and fury. It took two steps before being vaporized. When the ashes cleared, Ranma saw three figures on the other side of the alley.
Sailor Moon stepped forward, but Ranma didn't care, as she rushed to Nodoka's side, eyes wide in fear. The fear turned into relief when she realized that her mother was merely unconscious. Ranma picked her up, and leapt for the roofs, heading for the hospital, the Senshi hot on her heels.
A few hours later, the news came to Ranma. Nodoka had suffered a broken rib and a concussion. Ranma's visit to her was unfortunately brief, before she was ushered out. Three girls approached Ranma as she stumbled from the room. "Are you alright?" The taller blonde asked.
Ranma shook her head. "No... My mother's hurt, my friends are dead... and I can't do a damn thing."
The shorter blonde looked to Ranma. "Can we speak with you?"
Ranma shrugged as she was led toward the roof. "So what do you want?"
As they turned the corner, Sailors Uranus, Neptune and Saturn were standing there. Ranma paused and then closed her eyes. "The offer?" She asked, assuming the other three were friends of there or more.
Usagi nodded. "Yes... we felt the crystal break, so we came... I'm glad we did."
Ranma felt a surge of anger at a wounded ego, but Akane's cries of refusal to Ranma's help echoed in her ears, and she kept it down. "Thanks... it was an accident though."
Usagi shrugged. "It's alright. But we were wondering if you had thought about it at all.”
Ranma nodded quietly. "Yes... Yes I have. I wasn't going to. But..."
"That woman is a relative?" Makoto asked.
Ranma swallowed hard. "She's my mother. She doesn't know it, but she is."
Minako blinked. "How could she not know she's your mother?"
Ranma sighed. "Because I wasn't born like this. I was turned into a girl by a curse."
Haruka barely restrained a chuckle. "Looks like you got the better of the deal."
Ranma growled and then sighed. "Thanks to my idiot pop, I've been hiding from her because of this. Because of some stupid agreement he made."
Usagi nodded softly, and then said, "You should tell her. Whether or not you take us up on our offer, you need to tell her. As dangerous as it is, you may never get the chance."
Ranma looked at Usagi. "Taking up your offer means I would go against everything I was ever taught. Needless to say, I'm a bit hesitant."
Usagi nodded softly. "We can understand that. But would you do it to protect everyone you care for? Your mother?"
Ranma froze and sighed. "Blackmail."
Makoto steamed but Usagi waved her back. "No. You can stay as you are, and fight as you are," Usagi said, "or you can join us. We can fight together, and we'll win. We'll do our best to make sure no one else gets killed."
Ranma closed her eyes and sighed. As much as it galled her. As much as Ranma would lose... it would be worth it. Worth it to make sure Akane would live to give that beautiful smile. Worth it to make sure mother would be there for her. Worth it to not have the blood of her friends on her hands.
Ranma looked up at the crowd about her. "Give me one day. Then meet me right here."
Without a response, Ranma slipped back into the hospital.
Ranma looked at the slumbering Nodoka, sighing gently. "Mom... I'm sorry. I shouldn't have let pop talk me into lying to you. This stupid curse kept me away from you. I mean how can I be the man you wanted when I have boobs half the time?" She took her mother's hand and sighed gently. "Mom... I'm going to have to do something. It may mean you'll never see your son again. But I have to do this. I have to make sure that you'll be alive..." She whispered, closing her eyes.
Because she closed her eyes, she didn't see the shock on her mother's face. "R... Ranma? Is that you?" She whispered hoarsely.
Ranma looked up, a flash of fear entering her eyes, before settling on resignation. "Yes, mother, it's me. I didn't want to lie to you, but I guess I don't look all that manly right now."
Nodoka blinked, and then hugged her softly. "Ranma... I understand. Your father may have much to answer for this, but I love you, my child. And I don't care whether I have my son back, or I have a daughter. As long as I have you with me, I don't care."
Ranma blinked. She was unable to hold back the tears that had threatened to fall for the last hour as she held her mother tightly.
Nodoka whispered, "So, Ranma, what are you doing?"
Ranma braced herself, and then looked up at her mother. "Those creatures... I don't know how to stop them by myself. But some people want me to help them. They've taken these creatures out, and they want me to join them. But I don't know what it'll do to me. I just wanted you to know before I did it."
Nodoka looked at Ranma, and whispers, "I don't care, my child. Having the courage to come tell me. Having the courage to sacrifice possibly everything to save people... That's all I could have ever asked for. You've proven yourself manly, even if you do have a woman's body. That's all I ever wanted. You have my blessings, my son, my daughter. No matter what."
Ranma nodded softly, and then sighed. "There's someone else I have to talk to, mother..." She stood quietly.
Nodoka paused, and then nodded softly. "Yes. I understand. Take care, my child." She whispered, as Ranma began to leave the room. She could have just left at that, but then paused, before walking toward the bathroom with a glass of hot water. She looked at Nodoka before pouring the water over her head.
Nodoka blinked, gasping as she finally got her first look at her son in over a decade. And in the confusion, neither noticed the door open to reveal a woman in a white coat, who arrived just in time to see the transformation. When Nodoka took her eyes off of her son to look at the doctor, she whispered quietly, “Oh... Mizuno-sensei, could you excuse us?”
The stunned woman nodded weakly and backed out, shaking. Nodoka couldn’t honestly blame her. She looked back to her son and held her arms for him. Ranma embraced his mother, trying not to burst into tears as a decade-overdue reunion nearly overwhelmed him.
“So, what will you do, my son?” Nodoka asked, hugging him close.
Ranma sighed softly. “If I could, I wouldn’t leave you again. But I have to. I’ve got to do something to make sure I don’t lose you like I almost did today.”
Nodoka nodded softly, smiling softly. “You truly are a great person, my son.”
Ranma blushed softly. “Mother, I don’t know what will happen. But if I can, I will be back. But I have to do this. I have to make sure these things can’t hurt you or anyone else again.”
“My brave son...” Nodoka whispered, stroking his hair.
Ranma looked up at the clock, glaring at it. “I’m sorry, mother. I have to go.”
Nodoka nodded softly. “You can send in Mizuno-sensei, now. I’ll go ahead and explain things. You do what you must, my son.”
Ranma stood, bowing deeply to his mother, before stepping out. “You can go in now, isha-san.”
Mizuno-sensei nodded hesitantly and stepped into the room.
There was a knock on the glass, barely loud enough to wake up Akane. Grumbling, the blue-black haired girl opened her eyes and looked out the window. Irritated, she sat up and moved toward the window, opening it. "Ranma, what are you d..." Her protest died upon her lips, however, as she saw the resignation on her iinazuke's face. "Akane... I need to talk to you. It's very important."
"It'd better be for your sake," Akane protested weakly.
Ranma slipped in and closed the window. "Akane... I've got to do something. I might not come back. Or I might not come back the way you knew. But I've got to do this."
Akane looked at Ranma, confused. "What are you talking about?"
"Someone offered me a way to stop the monsters. But I don't know what it'll do to me." Ranma said simply. "I... they said I should talk to you, let you know."
Akane blinked, a bit awed. "Ranma... why are you telling me this?"
Ranma paused, and then sighed. "Because I love you. I've wanted to tell you for so long. Now I have to tell you, before it could be too late," he said, sighing as he sank a bit.
Akane looked over Ranma with tears in her eyes, before hugging the demi-girl tightly. "Ranma, you don't have to do this..."
Ranma sighed and hugged her tightly. "I have to. Because I can't lose you. I can't lose mom. I've already lost possibly the only two people I can call friends. I can't lose the ones I love. I have to do this. Even if I lose myself in the process."
Akane winced and sighed. "Alright... But promise me you'll come back. No matter what."
Ranma paused, and then nodded. "I promise, Akane. On my honor."
Akane began to cry softly, as Ranma rocked her gently.
The next morning, Ranma stood upon the roof of the hospital. As promised, the Senshi were waiting for her. Ranma sighed. "Alright. What do I do?"
Sailor Moon nodded. "Follow us. I'm sure Rei won't mind..." She said quietly as she led the Senshi and Ranma toward the Hikawa Shrine...
The shrine was quiet, almost suffused with a funereal air. The six Senshi and one half-girl were joined by a seventh woman in a fuku, bearing a key-like staff, a child in a pink fuku, and a man in a mask and tuxedo. The girl and woman nodded to Ranma in recognition, and the man in resignation. Behind the two were two small memorials, each bearing a picture. Upon those memorials were small glowing orbs.
“Ranma, this is Sailor Pluto, Sailor Chibi-Moon, Sailor Uranus, Sailor Saturn, Sailor Neptune, Sailor Jupiter, and Sailor Venus.” Each of them bowed or nodded to Ranma, though the youngest looked at Ranma as if trying to place her somehow. The first seemed to have a knowing expression, almost akin to Nabiki’s when she had information nobody else did. It vaguely unnerved her, but for some reason, it also gave her some hope that things would go alright.
Ranma looked them all and nodded. “I have to show you something first,” she said quietly. “Can I have some hot and cold water, please?” The collected warriors looked confused, but Sailor Saturn walked out of the room, returning, slightly winded, with two glasses. Ranma looked at her with concern, but nodded her thanks as she turned toward them. “I’m not really a normal person.”
Sailor Uranus murmured, “I’ll say.” She
promptly received a subtle elbow from
Ranma looked at the water. “I received a curse a couple of years ago. It transforms me.” She then poured some of the water over her head, revealing his male form.
All but two of the Senshi showed a great deal of surprise. Pluto seemed somewhat resigned, while Chibi-Moon blinked and looked toward Pluto, but thought it safer to say nothing.
“So which are you?” Uranus asked, curious.
Ranma flinched and looked away. “It doesn’t matter anymore.”
Moon paused, a look of terrible concern on her face. “What do you mean it doesn’t matter? I couldn’t let you do this if-“
Ranma interrupted with the shake of his head. “No. I’m ready. I have to do this. I can’t let my family’s blood be on my hands. Even if I have to lose myself.”
Most of the Senshi went deathly pale. Some wondered how someone could just give up everything that made them what they are. Others were horrified at the concept of losing such a handsome specimen of manhood. Need you really have to ask who those others were? Some were amazed that someone so young would have the courage and determination to sacrifice so very much.
Sailor Moon swallows hard and looked into Ranma’s eyes. “Ranma, are you sure about this?”
Ranma nodded softly. “I’m ready. I have to do this.”
Sailor Moon paused, then concentrated, as her fuku became a glowing gown of white. "Saotome Ranma, this has never happened before. We have lost two of our number, and now we have humbly asked you to take up the position of one of the fallen. We can only ask that she may forgive us for what we will do today. Do you, Saotome Ranma, promise to
fight for love, justice and humanity and to protect all who live for peace?"
It was time for Ranma's final choice. After this, Ranma realized, he would have to accept any consequences of his actions. He nodded. "I do." A pause, then he reached into a pocket. “If I... Well, if I lose myself, if I just become this Ami, could you... could you tell my mother and Akane, the people in these pictures... that I love them, and I’ll protect them, somehow?”
Sailor Moon nodded weakly. “I promise I will do that.”
Ranma swallowed. “Could you also tell this Ami about me? I... don’t want to be forgotten.”
The leader of the planetary warriors shook her head. “No, Ranma. You’ll never be forgotten. You will be remembered for thousands of years for your sacrifices. I promise that. If that which was Ranma Saotome is lost, then we will fight for you, and remember you always. And Ami will want to know this brave young man who gave everything. She wanted to be a doctor. To save lives. In a way, you are doing the same thing.”
Ranma nodded softly and took a deep breath, before saying, “Let’s do this.”
With tears in her eyes, Eternal Sailor Moon stepped forward, taking up the glowing orb upon the left monument. "Mizuno Ami, Sailor Mercury reborn, fought and died to protect. We now beg you, Ami, to accept this warrior and help her so that more need not die." She then walked toward Ranma, and placed the orb in his hand. "This is Ami's Star Seed, the focus of everything she is and was. Will you accept it, for good and for ill?"
Ranma, not sure what to do, nodded softly and took the orb. Some call urged him to place the orb to his chest. And she-or rather, she-gasped as the world turned light...
A brilliant void surrounded the martial artist as she, or rather he, floated in it. Ranma wondered when he had changed, and where he was, when another form drifted in front of her. An azure shadow drifted before him and whispered, "So you are Ranma." The figure moved closer, revealing more detail the face.
Ranma blinked as he remembered the picture from the monument. "Ami... I'm sorry." He whispered.
Ami shook her head. "Don't be. It wasn't your fault. It's not their fault either. They are doing the right thing. I'm dead. But if I can help them, I will. Even if it means becoming you."
Ranma was unsure whether to take that as an insult or merely a comment. Ami laughed. "No, I am not saying that is a bad thing. It is just that much will happen when we become one." Her voice became apologetic as she said, "You won't have this body anymore."
Ranma blinked but nodded. "I should have figured... I guess I'll have to do it. I can't let them die."
Ami moved to hold Ranma tightly. "You'll do the Senshi great honor... to be willing to sacrifice so very much." She closed her eyes as she began to fade, suffusing Ranma's body with a light. The light grew until Ranma's eyes closed...
A light flared in the Senshi's eyes, as the man changed. First he became an woman, then the light flared... leaving a new woman before them. She was slightly taller than the diminutive redhead they had invited into the shrine, yet not as tall as the woman who had departed. Her hair was a dark onyx, save for near the back where it faded into a red pigtail. Her eyes were a stormy blue, set in a heart-shaped face. Above was a tiara with a stormy blue sapphire at it's front. Framing her body is a sparkling white fuku with a pearlescent blue trim, covering her somewhat more modest bosom. A slightly longer fuku reaches to mid thigh. A pair of knee-length dark blue boots covered her lower legs, but these boots have a trace work of metal along them, with a stylistic horse upon the front. And upon her forearms, instead of the elbow-length gloves of the other Senshi, were a pair of blue steel bracers.
The other Senshi looked on in amazement. "Welcome, Sailor Mercury." Eternal Sailor Moon whispered softly.