“Blood Calls Out For Blood”
A Ranma ½ / Sailor Moon Crossover
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.
As Kaiba opened her eyes, the first thing she saw was pink. A pair of day-glow odango bounced in her face, before her voice called out, “Pu-chan, she’s awake!” The girl turned back and hugged her softly. “Kai-chan, are you ok?” She asked.
An incoherent groan escaped her as she raised a hand to rub her eyes, and began a rather important question. “W... whahappn?” Well, she tried anyway.
A blur of green was visible out of the corner of her eye “I’m glad you are alright, Kaiba-chan.” Setsuna said gently as she took her hand. “You wore yourself out and expended much of your ki. You’re in my room right now.”
Kaiba struggled to look up “So that’s why we feel like we’ve been run over.” She paused and wrapped her arms round Chibi-Usa. “Don’t cry, kiddo… we’re alright…” she whispered as she stroked the child’s odango.
Setsuna shook her head softly. “You need to be more careful, Kaiba. Also, we need to work on your training, with both your martial arts and your magic. We can’t afford to get caught in a situation like that…” Setsuna sighed gently. “Could you at least try to be more careful?”
The girl sat up, rubbing her temples. “We’ll try. Can we get something to eat, please?” she asks, stretching a bit, and then wincing as felt pulling in her back. “Ugh. That’s gonna be sore.”
Setsuna gave Kaiba a skeptical glance, before nodding as she slipped out of the room to get something for her to eat. Kaiba continued to stroke Chibi-Usa’s hair while thinking to herself…
<<So, just what are we supposed to do then? We can’t just rush full speed ahead like a bull in a china shop.>> One of the voices inside the being named Kaiba spoke. <<Setsuna’s right. We need to figure out just what we can do now, and work out. Not to mention the others.>>
<<Yes, we know. It’s just that we’re not sure just what we’re supposed to be doing. It’s damn frustrating. >> Another spoke. <<All we know is that something is /not/ right here. As much ki as we put out, we shouldn’t have gone out like a light.>>
<<Well, it’s obvious if you’d think for a moment. This isn’t our body. At least, not the body you’re used to. It’s not ready to do the things you’re used to.>>
<<We know that much. That’s not the problem. Why do we get the feeling that something is just… utterly wrong? Like we’re missing something important?>>
<<We don’t know. You’re the one with the intuition…>>
<<Uh, I think she’s trying to get our attention.>>
Chibi-Usa poked Kaiba’s shoulder. “Kaiba-chan? Are you ok?” She asked for about the seventh time in the last two minutes, starting to become rather concerned when Kaiba drifted off into her own contemplation. Setsuna slipped in with a platter, and Chibi-Usa turned toward her. “Something’s wrong with Kaiba…”
Said girl blinked a few times. “Oh, sorry about that, we were just thinking…”
Chibi-Usa nodded softly and then smiled a bit. “’Baa-chan, why don’t we go see if Hotaru wants to go shopping?” she asked.
Kaiba looked at Chibi-Usa and nodded hesitantly. “We guess so. We could use some more clothing we suppose.” Another step down the path, she thought to herself as she stood a bit stiffly. “Let me go take a shower first, ok?” Chibi-Usa nodded and hopped off the bed as Kaiba stumbled to the bathroom. A minute later, she groaned a little as the hot water soothed her abused muscles.
Chibi-Usa returned with Hotaru in tow as Kaiba emerged from the showers in a bathrobe. The two young girls smiled as Hotaru said, “Usa-chan said you need some help with clothing choices?”
Kaiba blinked. “Um, we guess so,” she replied hesitantly, moving toward her old Chinese clothing, then pausing, stiffening a bit. “Do you… well, do you have any clothing we can borrow?” Kaiba asked hesitantly, receiving a soft, almost relieved smile from Setsuna who watched them from the corner.
Hotaru blinked and nodded softly. “I should have some that would fit you…” She left and returned a moment later with a black and gold blouse and a knee-length black skirt. “Let me see… yes, these should work.”
Kaiba nodded as she took up the clothing, moving to the bathroom once more to change into the outfit. << What do you think? >>
<< Hotaru has good taste, but we need to find our own style. >>
<< Used to just put on whatever I had and could fit. I never thought about fashion, to be honest. >>
<< Perhaps she can help us out. >>
<< I’ll be glad for all the help we can get. >>
As Kaiba looked in the mirror, she trembled a bit. << Is that us? Wow… >>
<< Definitely wow. >>
As Kaiba, Hotaru and Chibi-Usa walked into the mall, Kaiba shivered a little, as if disturbed by the crowd about her. Chibi-Usa offered her free hand, as her other hand was already taken by Hotaru, and with a moment of hesitation, Kaiba took it. The trio made their way to a clothing shop, and Hotaru and Chibi-Usa began to winnow through the various outfits. Kaiba looked around, but the outfits all seemed to pass by her eye, more intent on the conversation within.
<< I’ve never really done anything like this before. >>
<< You either? Well, that will make things trickier. >>
<< I guess we’ll have to rely on their advice, and hope they don’t get too weird on us… >>
“Ooh! This is perfect!” Chibi-Usa called as she returned with a slightly shorter than knee-length skirt of dark green with a matching blouse and gold vest. “Kai-chan, you’ve got to try this!”
Kaiba looked at it. “We guess that might work.” She held it up to herself for a moment. “Should fit.” A three part groan could be heard from Chibi-Usa, Hotaru and within her own head. “What?”
“You’re supposed to put it on, Kaiba,” Hotaru said softly, shaking her head.
Kaiba nodded hesitantly, and then walked into one of the changing rooms. << I’m sorry. I didn’t know what they meant. >>
The girl began to change, pausing as she looked into the mirror for a very long time. << I can’t believe I’m doing this and… >>
<< And it feels so right? Why shouldn’t it? We are a woman now, after all. >>
<< And it’s just hard to think of myself that way. >>
<< I know it is, but there we are. And it looks nice. >>
Hesitantly, Kaiba nodded and stepped out of the changing room.
Tendou Akane stepped into the mall, her mind in turmoil as she walked toward a small shop. She had a long talk with Nabiki about the date the night before, but the feelings about said date were another story. Even living them, it was difficult to say exactly how she was feeling. There was fear, nervousness, anticipation, hope… and that was before Kaiba even arrived at the Dojo. As the two talked and ate, there was discomfort spawned of the possibility of a long term romance with one of her own gender, embarrassment of being seen in public on a date and with another woman no less. Terror of being renounced by someone within the restaurant.
Yet there was also a fear of being rejected by someone more important that the strangers about them. There was the fear of being rejected by Kaiba herself. She realized she did love Kaiba, at least part of her anyway. But she was also riddled with doubt. Could she love all of this new woman who was borne of the ashes of the man she loved? She felt as if she were stepping into a room that could either be a trap, a pleasant surprise, or both at the same time, and she had no clue what to do in any of the situations. She stepped into the clothing store, which was surprisingly quiet, save for a pair of young girls chatting near the dressing room, looking at a rack of dresses. She wandered her way toward another rack of clothing, looking through it as she heard the two girls talk.
“I think she’ll look great in it. And perhaps she’ll be able to get straightened out. Are you sure about this though, Usa-chan?” The taller dark haired girl asked.
“Yes, I’m sure. She’ll be fine… Come on, Hotaru-chan, relax. We’re supposed to be enjoying ourselves.” The shorter child had the most outlandish hairstyles Akane had ever seen, and in a color that almost left the girl wondering if the child were a member of the Amazons. Akane slid another dress over as she strained to listen. “I’m sure Kai-chan’ll be fine.”
“I hope you’re right, Usa-chan,” Hotaru said in reply as she looked at something in hunter green. “I really do. She’s had it almost as bad as I have.”
Intrigued, Akane walked forward just as the door to the changing room opened.
Kaiba was frozen in place as she opened the door only to see the face that haunted each of her dreams, both blissful and terrifying. “O… Ohayo, Akane,” She said in a hoarse whisper.
Akane blinked. “Kaiba. Uh, hi. I wasn’t expecting you.” Almost instantly she was berating herself in her mind. Brilliant, Akane. Smooth move.
Chibi-Usa looked to Kaiba and was going to speak but closed her mouth and reached for Hotaru’s arm, leading her away from the transfixed couple.
Kaiba bit into her lip softly and nods. “Our friends suggested we should get some new clothing.”
Akane looked at the green and gold outfit, and said, “It suits you… it looks very nice on you.”
Kaiba smiled weakly, as she replied, “Thank you.” She paused, then said, “Akane, We’re sorry our date was cut kinda short.”
Akane blinked a bit at the plurality in her pronouns, but didn’t bring it up. “No, don’t be. It sounded like you were needed for something. I am glad we were able to spend some time together though.”
Kaiba’s smile grew in strength ever so slightly. “So are we… We’ll have to do it again some time.”
A slight shiver ripped through Akane as her mind once again went to war, then after an agonizingly long moment, she asked, “Maybe the day after tomorrow?”
Kaiba nodded and smiled a bit wider. “Certainly! We’ve some people we need to talk to tomorrow, so that would be great.”
Chibi-Usa and Hotaru stepped forward, holding some articles of clothing for Kaiba. “Akane, these are our friends, Hotaru and Chibi-Usa,” Kaiba introduced the two to Akane, who bowed gently.
“It’s very nice to meet you, Akane-san,” Hotaru said as she returned the bow. “Kaiba has spoken a lot about you.” Chibi-Usa bowed softly in return, to hide a slight smirk of amusement.
Akane replied, “It’s nice to meet you two as well.” She paused, contemplating asking them how they met Kaiba, then decided not to. “So, what brought you here?”
Chibi-Usa held up some articles of clothing. “Kai-chan needed some more clothing, so we decided to help her out.” She then offered the clothing to Kaiba, who nodded. “That looks good on you, Kai-chan,” she remarked, gesturing to the outfit she was already wearing.
Kaiba nodded softly and gave a soft smile in Akane’s direction before slipping into the changing room. Akane bit into her lip and then looked back to the two children, before giving into her curiosity. “How did you meet Kaiba?”
Chibi-Usa paused before speaking up, “Well, she saved us from some bullies. She also offered to teach us how to protect ourselves,” she explained, thinking quickly to answer the question as best as she could without giving things away.”
Akane looked wistful and nodded. “Yeah… that sounds like something she would do alright,” she admitted. “Wish she would have taught me.”
Hotaru and Chibi-Usa looked at each other, then grinned to themselves before looking back to Akane. Hotaru suggested, “Well, why don’t you join us? I’m sure Kaiba would love to have you in her class.”
Akane nodded softly. “I would love to,” she answered, just as Kaiba emerged once more.
The trio looked at Kaiba, and nodded. “That’s great, Kaiba,” Hotaru said with a smile. “Is there anything else you’d like?” Kaiba paused as she looked about, before choosing a silk green blouse, similar to her usual outfit, though much smaller, as to fit her, and a pair of blue sweatpants.
Akane looked at the neo-girl, curious. Kaiba replied, “To work out in.” Three nods replied to the explanation.
After the quartet paid for their purchases some time later, they wandered to the food court, to eat and talk about inconsequentials, though Kaiba never let her eyes go away from Akane, Akane never looked up from her food, and Hotaru and Chibi-Usa looked back and forth between the other two. It was obvious that both were dancing around subjects like an maddened acrobat, and neither girl were adept at small talk.
It was about this time that Akane left and returned for more tea, when she was bumped into by a pair of children, causing the cup of tea to fall out of her hand, colliding with Kaiba’s shoulder. A look of intense dread crossed the girl’s expression, but the only thing that changed was the sudden dark stain on the shoulder where the tea was beginning to soak into the dress. Kaiba almost passed out, but a sigh escaped her, though whether it was of relief or regret, it was hard to say.
Chibi-Usa asked, “Are you alright, Kai-chan?” The girl rushed to Kaiba’s side.
Kaiba nodded slowly. “Just… we didn’t change. It’s going to take some getting used to.” She looked down at her hot shoulder, reaching to wipe as much of the tea off as she can.
Akane stared at the girl. Kaiba had told her that she was no longer the Ranma she knew, but there was a part of her that wondered if she was lying, or hoping she was wrong. That all of this could go back to normal, to the baka she knew and loved. That part died as she looked at the girl before her.
It was fortunate that Haruka and Michiru showed up to give the others a ride home, at least, fortunate for Akane anyway, as their presence stopped her from just breaking out crying. She swallowed hard and nodded to the couple. Kaiba looked confused as she looked to Akane. “We’ve got to get going,” Kaiba said gently. “We’ll see you the day after tomorrow?”
Akane nodded, nibbing her lip, before she gave Kaiba a feeble embrace. “I’ll see you then.”
Kaiba stiffened in the hug, but nodded. “Be careful, Akane,” she said softly before leaving with the quartet of fellow Senshi.
Nabiki stepped into Akane’s room without knocking, to see her sister sobbing as she clung to a stuffed piglet. “Akane, you want to talk about it?” She asked. “I’m sure Kasumi would be better for this, but I think I’m more involved, wouldn’t you say?”
Akane looked up, wiping her face. “What do you mean?”
“Well, I was the one who convinced you to go with Kaiba. What did she do wrong?” Nabiki asked quietly.
Akane shook her head weakly. “She didn’t do anything wrong. She did everything right!”
“Then why are you sitting out here bawling your eyes out?”
“Because she’s not what I was expecting! She didn’t stick her foot in her mouth, she didn’t act like a jerk. She even asked me on another date,” Akane protested
Nabiki nodded slowly. “And what’s wrong with that? She sounds like a perfect person to be with.”
Akane shook her head. “She scared me. She loves me, but she’s a girl.”
“And you’re not a lesbian?” Nabiki prodded.
“I don’t know what I am. I think I love her but can I love this Ranma?” Akane asked in a quiet voice.
“Well, first, this isn’t Ranma. She may be part of Ranma, but she’s not the Ranma you know anymore,” Nabiki remarked. “You’re in love with this Kaiba, but you’re still seeing her as the baka you knew before. If you really want to be with her, you’re going to have to realize that you’re starting over. You’re not dealing with someone you were shoved into marrying. You’re dealing with a young woman that may not even know who she is, but who loves you.”
Akane curled up around her stuffed animal, staring at her feet. “But what if I’m not into girls?”
“Then you can at least be her friend, perhaps her closest friend. She needs help, and you might be one of the only ones who can give it to her,” Nabiki explained. “And if you do love her, then let her know. Even if it isn’t a romantic thing, you can at least be there for her. If she gave up her manhood to protect us, then at least show her she didn’t do it needlessly.”
The girl stared at her feet, then nodded hesitantly. “You’re right, onee-chan,” she said softly as she sat back. “Thanks.”
Kaiba sat down on her bed, staring down at the dress in her hands as a light knock was heard. “Come on in,” she said as she ran her thumb over the cloth.
Chibi-Usa and Hotaru stepped in, with Hotaru moving to her side. “Kaiba, what’s wrong?” Chibi-Usa sat down on her other side, placing a hand on Kaiba’s shoulder.
“It’s kinda obvious, isn’t it?” Kaiba said and set the dress aside. “The truth? We’re kinda scared.”
Chibi-Usa nodded slowly. “And what’re you scared of?”
Kaiba looked up toward the two and sighs. “Scared we’re gonna lose her. Even if we couldn’t admit it, we’ve loved her for a long time. And now we’re gonna lose her.”
Hotaru looked at Kaiba, concerned for her new friend. “Why do you think that?”
“Well, she’s not necessarily like Haruka and Michiru…” The two understood. “Always before there was the fact that we were a guy, even if we changed into a girl. Now we’re a girl full time, maybe she can’t take it anymore.”
“You have to admit, Kaiba, this can’t be easy on her,” Hotaru explained. “After all, what if you were suddenly told that a guy loved you, only to find out that guy was a girl you liked.”
<< She has a point there.>>
Even as Hotaru and Chibi-Usa spoke, a conversation occurred within. The beings within were much closer in appearance to each other, save for height. The shorter of the two sighed gently. <<I’m sorry. I love Akane, even if she and I are both girls now.>>
<<No,>> The taller one spoke, <<I find myself loving Akane too. As much as you do. And I think it’s as wonderful as you think it is. Neither of us had loved before Akane, and now we don’t want to let it go.>>
The two pressed close, side to side, though as intangible as they were, the proximity meant far more than any physical contact. <<Thanks, Ami-chan. I just worry that I’m becoming just as bad as Shampoo or Kodachi… trying to be too close to Akane.>>
<<Don’t even think that, Ranma-chan. Akane loved you before and she still does. After all, you already changed the mind of a straight little wallflower.>> The taller spoke.
<<What’re you talking about?>>
<<Me, baka-chan. I love her as much as you do, Ranma. We don’t lose, and we’re not going to. This might be more important than any other fight we’ve ever been in, but I think it’s worth it. We just have to be careful not to push Akane too far. Let’s give her the time we didn’t have. As far as I know, we have a very long time.>>
Kaiba looked up from her internal conversation, as her two friends looked at her. “We’ll manage. We have before and we will again. Saotome Ranma never lost. And Saotome Kaiba won’t either.”
Hotaru and Chibi-Usa looked at each other, and then nodded, moving to embrace the girl.