Neko Love 26. Rescue the Fallen
Disclaimer: I dont own Ranma
Rescue the Fallen
Ranma and Akane sat opposite Cologne as she sighed and tried to find the best words to explain.
So tell us you old goat, what is Shampoo doing? Ranma asked.
The Neko-Ken was too powerful for Shampoo to defeat. She still wants to kill you but two people with the ability of the Neko-Ken was too much for her. So she took the only option she knew, the Dog Demon Temple.
Akane and Ranma stared unbelievingly at the old Amazon. So what, that thing was just a dog? Ranma said.
No, its more than that, the beast is faster than anyone. I dont know what reason it disappeared but it must have to do with Shampoo. It needs her soul to bring it into this world to guide and command it. When it consumes enough souls it can kill Shampoo and be free of its binding spell.
Wait Shampoo is using her soul to control this thing? Akane gasped. What did she want it to do.
To kill Ranma of course, by the beast consuming your soul you are an empty shell and basically dead. Cologne said. Nothing can stop that thing except by disrupting the human host that is guiding the beast.
We dont have to kill Shampoo do we? Ranma asked.
We might have to boy but there might be another way, Cologne sighed. If we can reach Shampoo we might be able to stop all this. At the moment Ranma youre not the person because she knows you dont love her. Shampoo needs someone that truly loves her with every part of his body and soul. That is NOT you.
So Im not needed then. Ranma huffed.
Yes you are, the Neko-Ken has proven to be a good distraction for the Beast. Cologne said. And as we saw you are no longer as obsessed in your cat self with mating. We need to go on a rescue mission. The one person that might be able to reach Shampoo is being held at the Temple as well.
What Mousse? Ranma asked.
Yes, we need to rescue Mousse first if were ever going to have a chance to save Shampoo,
The Temple was silent, Shampoo had collapsed from exhaustion. She groaned as she picked at some food to try and bring back her energy. She had seen everything through the eyes of the demon, it had chased Ranma. It had gone after Akane and her Grandmother was there trying to stop it.
She wiped a tear from her eye and tried to shake herself free from the thoughts. There was no going back now. Shampoo knew that she was going to die as an honourable Amazon. She could go to her heaven without fear of Hell. She winced as she heard a thump from behind her. Mousse was still awake and trying to find her.
Stupid Mousse, she hissed.
The dog was almost re-energised. If she could just eat some more food to help her gain her strength back. Then she could continue with killing Ranma. She picked up her bread and shakily brought it to her mouth. Unfortunately her exhaustion overcame her and she fell back down unconscious.
Shampoo! Mousse shouted. He had heard her falling. He searched for his beloved. He felt along the floor and found a foot. It was warm and human. He sighed and brought the girl onto his lap. She was exhausted and he could tell she was getting a fever. Her head was so hot and sweaty. Mousse didnt understand what she had done but he hoped there would be a way to stop this.
Its going to be okay Shampoo, we can make it. He whispered.
Ranma... Shampoo sighed.
The boy winced at the name but tried to shake his jealousy. No matter how much he wanted Shampoo he could not force her to love him. He hugged her tight and laid her back on the floor to help her cool down.
Stay safe my Shampoo, that Ranma is not worth this...
He looked around the temple, it was just a large blur to him but he could feel a soft snore of something else. Something was sleeping in the room. He could feel the malicious energy from it.
What have you done? Mousse asked his sleeping friend. He got no reply and the only noise was the low grumbling of the slumbering beast.
Near the campsite, a figure appeared in the forest and stumbled down the hill. Ukyo was tired from her trek in the mountains and it didnt help that she had been carrying a certain pig. Ryoga tried to break free to run to the camp. Ukyo squeezed his neck and brought his pig face up to hers.
Look dont you dare think of running to Akane, what will she think seeing her precious P-Chan out here in the mountains?
Ryoga went bwee as he tried to explain that it was fine. Akane never suspected anything when she saw her P-Chan.
Ukyo huffed, she understood a little bit what the pig was saying. That annoyed her more than Ryoga wanting to run to Akane.
Lets get you back to normal first, shes bound to notice at some point if it happens too often. Ukyo explained. She went into her tent and brought out her gas oven. Ukyo put the kettle of water on the gas hob and waited while she glared at pig Ryoga. He could only stare back silently unsure why the girl that claimed to hate him was helping him.
Ukyo shook her head unable to find the words to express her hatred of this moment. She got up and raked through her tent for something else. She came out with a blanket and what looked like a rope. She tied one end to the nearest tree and the other to the opposite tree. She put the blanket across the clothes line shed made.
Ukyo picked up the little black piglet and threw it over the other side of her makeshift screen. The kettle began to whistle and Ukyo wrapped her hand in a towel and lifted the boiling hot kettle. She carelessly poured the scolding hot water onto the pig and covered her eyes.
There was a cry in pain and Ryoga leapt naked and burnt onto Ukyo.
Get off me you pig!
Another lightening strike hit suddenly behind them and Ryogas mood changed instantly. He glomped onto Ukyo who hugged tightly back. Both their eyes were glazed over but they stared at each other the thunder rumbling as an aftershock of the lightening. Their lifeless faces got closer to each other the hypnotism taking the full effect. Ukyo cuddled into the naked Ryogas chest as he lifted her effortlessly up. They began to run quickly away when something flew from the sky and cracked over Ryogas head. He dropped Ukyo breaking the spell.
Wow, now thats interesting. Cackled an old voice. I wonder where you would have got to if I hadnt stopped you.
Ukyo awoke to see Ryoga face down in her chest. She kicked him off and the lost boy sat up slightly dazed. They both looked up to see Ranma, Akane and Cologne looking at them. Ranma was trying not to laugh but Cologne was cackling like an old witch and holding a small rock. Only Akane seemed concerned and she shook Ranma to stop him from laughing.
Ryoga quickly covered himself in the blanket and blushed furiously. Akane wasnt looking at him anyway she was more interested with shaking Ranma. Ukyo stared at Ranma he knew something about the sudden attacks of affection that her and Ryoga were experiencing.
Ranma... Ukyo said in a dangerously low voice.
What? he asked as innocently as he could.
You know something... She hissed.
I know nothing... honest!
Ummm... actually... Akane said carefully, It may have been something in my cooking, sorry. She blushed and bowed her head.
Well okay, I convinced Akane to put the hypnosis drug into the stew. Ranma said quickly watching Ukyos look of betrayal. Its only temporary... you know its only because of Akanes thickheadness that the spell stuck with her.
Akane elbowed Ranma in the back of the head and made him bow down.
I am not thickheaded, Akane growled. Its just a coincidence Ive learnt the Neko-Ken...well okay maybe Im a little thickheaded... but I dont believe Ryoga and Ukyo will stay this way. It is as Ranma said only suppose to be temporary.
Ryoga felt his world crumble, Akane had gone along with Ranmas devious plan. Ukyo was experiencing the same feeling. Ranma Saotome was just as bad as his father, maybe worse. He was responsible for her sudden affection for Ryoga. Her formal feelings that no man could be trusted were starting to return.
I cant believe it... Both Ukyo and Ryoga gasped.
Sorry, Ranma and Akane said in unison.
What exactly did you hypnotise us with? Ukyo demanded.
My exact words were, run away and be very close to each other... Ranma lied, he had forgotten.
Those werent your exact words, you did something weird with your knuckles as well, Akane butted in. Remember there has to be a trigger and you mentioned something about them being a great couple!
Wait a minute! Ryoga objected, I do not want to be in any relationship with that would be woman. Shes more a man than girl!
Take that back! Ukyo snapped, I am feminine when I want to be!
When you want to snare Ranma, Ryoga snarled. Youre just as bad as all the other women that go sniffing round Saotome!
See I told you Akane, their a great couple. Ranma whispered to Akane.
Ranma this is not the time. Akane hissed.
I want this spell reversed! Ukyo spat at Ranma. I am not having an affair with this pig everytime some noise triggers it.
Gee, Ive been hypnotised by the mushrooms before, it wears off. Ranma quickly said.
That may be so but for now we have to take a chance that Im stuck being randomly in love with this girl! Ryoga yelled pointing at Ukyo.
Oh so now you admit that Im a girl, you were having an interesting time finding that out in the hot spring! Ukyo spat. Your grope on my chest stayed a little too long!
There was silence four teenagers stayed red faced from Ukyos words and unable to think of what else to say.
Now, this may seem like bad timing, Cologne butted in shad had been enjoying the conversation, But we have bigger problems than your little soap drama. The Hell Beast that Shampoo has released will soon return. It is better that we rethink our strategy.
When have we ever had a strategy? Ranma asked.
Silence boy, we need to move quickly. Cologne said. The beast will only get stronger the more it is linked to Shampoo, we have to cut that tie. That is its only weakness.
So what we have to rescue Mousse? Ranma asked remembering the last conversation. I dont get it.
Its critical for saving Shampoo, come everyone. The Elder Amazon ordered. To the temple, we can talk some more on the way and for safety sakes I believe we should split up the lovebirds.
Ranma and Akane looked at each other blushing.
Colognes wrinkled face came in between them. I meant those love birds, she said pointing at Ryoga and Ukyo.
Oh right, laughed Ranma and stood beside Ukyo who gave him a hard stare.
The walk to the temple was quiet, Ranma had been paired with Ukyo who wasnt speaking to him and Akane was with Ryoga. Cologne hopped ahead wishing that she could have spent longer with the soap drama of the teenagers. She did love the little arguments and love triangles they got themselves into. She guessed if the didnt succeed then there would be none ever to witness again. Though she didnt want to tell them this, they were young and foolish. Knowing the full danger they faced would only make them nervous and careless.
Ah youthful ignorance... Cologne reminisced. How I really dont miss it.
Akane looked over at Ryoga but swallowed whatever words she wanted to say. He seemed so angry that he had been set up with Ukyo. She guessed he really cared for Akari. She felt terrible, the poor girl was waiting for him and here he had been in a hot spring with another woman. If someone had done that with Ranma she would hate to think of the betrayal she would feel. Akane hung her head down and watched her feet as she walked.
Ranma looked up at Akane as she walked. She seemed to be daydreaming about something and looking sad. Is she thinking about us? Is she regretting what happened?
Yeah Uc-Chan? Ranma said noticing the lack of his Ran-Chan nickname from Ukyo.
If we get out of this I dont want to see you again. She hissed.
Im sorry... Ranma sighed.
Pairing me up with the lost boy is really my last straw, Ukyo huffed. I dont think I can trust any man again.
Yeah, I understand.
Or any woman for that matter, Ukyo growled looking at Akane. Just shut up and dont speak to me.
Ranma hung his head his face red, he had really hurt his friend. He had been so desperate to spend time with Akane.
Were here! Cologne shouted. Any regrets you have say them now before we go in. The demon dog if its awake will not give you a second chance.
Huh? Ranma was confused. But were just going right out again after we get Mousse.
Fine, fine whatever, Cologne sighed. Youthful ignorance, such a tiresome thing.
You say something? Ranma asked.
No nothing, Cologne shook her head. The Temple has two entrances. Ranma and Ukyo should take the front entrance, Akane and Ryoga go down the side stairs here theres a secret entrance.
Ill lead the way, Akane said holding Ryogas hand. She didnt want him to get lost.
Ryoga felt his face blush and whatever gloom he had been feeling previously had vanished. Akane is holding me hand!
Hey you be careful Pig-boy! Ranma called after them. Akane dont do anything stupid like you usually do!
Ill be fine! Akane shouted back. Just take your own advice as well and dont do anything stupid like you usually do!
Ranma laughed and waved to his fiancée. She did seem a bit angry at his remark but she waved back.
You two are getting on well. Ukyo said.
Oh Uc-Chan I thought you didnt want me to speak to you.
I guess it cant be helped, Ukyo said in a tired voice. Just think of this as a kind of truce for now.
Sure if you want, Ranma said. Lets go into the temple then.
Ranma theres something I want to ask you...
Um cant this wait? Ranma asked. Were kinda about to start fighting a demon dog.
Its just Cologne said we should say our regrets, its got me thinking. Ukyo said.
The old hags just being superstitious.
Yeah, but if I dont say this now, I might regret it. Ukyo explained. Its something that I thought about saying to you since we started this camping trip.
Um... Ranma looked around, he hoped Ukyo wasnt going to confess her love or anything. Sure he was a handsome guy and all but he had Akane, how would he explain that without hurting her feelings?
I know about P-Chan. Ukyo spat.
Huh? Ranma stammered, that was unexpected. What Akanes pet?
Yes, her little pet Ryoga. Ukyo snapped looking directly at her friend.
Heh, heh is that so? Ranma chuckled nervously. Ryoga is Akanes pet, that doesnt make sense.
Really, a little drop of cold water and you can see the most amazing transformation. Ukyo said. I just wonder if Akanes ready for your betrayal of her as well as her so called friend, that pig-boy Ryoga!
Ranma stood back unable to speak.
If Akane finds out shes going to be hurt and I think youre the worst kind of man to keep that secret from her. Ukyo said angrily.
But, but I had a sworn oath! Ranma defended, realising denial wasnt going to work.
Listen to me Ran-Chan, Ukyo growled pulling Ranma by his shirt. If you dont tell her when we get out of this I will! Believe me when I say a betrayal of trust is the worst thing for a woman. Understand?
Heh, you called me Ran-Chan again. Ranma chuckled.
Ugh! Ukyo threw him back letting go of her grip. I cant stay mad at you, idiot! Fine lets go, Ill have no regrets now. Ive said my thing.
Yeah but youve still to say to P-Chan that you like him.
Ukyos large spatula smacked Ranma on top of his head.
There is no love between me and that pig and if you mention him again Ill gut you and make Ranma okonomiyaki!
Wow, such a deep love for him.
You have a warped sense of whats affection you know that Ran-Chan?
Eh, never really thought about it Uc-Chan. Ranma said as they entered the temple.
Cologne watched them go. She had decided to stay outside. She needed to get Mousse understand what he had to do. She didnt like the fact she had to depend on the lovesick fool but was the only one. The only one completely in love with Shampoo.
Just get the fool quickly, the Elder Amazon thought.
Inside the temple Mousse sneezed and rubbed his arms. It was starting to get colder. He moved to open his jacket and wrap it around Shampoo but she sat up.
The girl cocked her head and growled. Bad Mousse, down! She slapped him across the cheek and he flew into the wall. The boy collapsed confused at what had happened. He looked back at his beloved and could only see a strange blue and black blur. He passed out mumbling for Shampoo in his last conscious breath.
Shampoo stared emptily at her fallen friend. Her eyes were now a yellow colour and a blue aura surrounded her.
Intruders... she hissed. They will not escape.
Akane stepped down into the basement of the temple.
This is so weird that theres a basement. Akane said.
Yeah, especially one with an outside entrance. Agreed Ryoga.
The two looked around, it was dark and damp, only a strange green glow made it possible to see anything.
Follow me Ryoga, I think I can see some steps over there.
Yeah, okay. Ryoga said. He was still in shock from the truth about Akane agreeing to the spell. His mind was busy thinking of what excuses he could make to pardon Akanes actions. Did Ranma trick her? Was she hypnotised first by Ranma?
Ryoga are you okay? Akane asked. You seem a little spaced out.
Oh Im fine. Ryoga muttered. I just think we should be the first to rescue Mousse and Shampoo.
Okay, lets do our best! Akane said.
They walked silently, Akane unsure what to say to her friend. It was bad enough being paired up with him in what seemed like the least dangerous part, the back entrance. Ranma and Ukyo would definitely get to Shampoo and Mousse first, the front entrance had to be the quickest.
Um... Akane... Ryoga blushed. About that spell, I-I forgive you...
Um, yeah I know its all Saotomes fault.
Thats not true! Akane gasped. I betrayed you how can you forgive me.... wait do you hear something?
Was thats Shampoos voice? Akane asked confused.
Eh... I think so.
In the distance a sound that terrified Ryoga could be heard, rushing water. They looked around and could see holes on the side of the wall were now running water from them. Ryoga squeaked loudly and watched the water in horror.
Cmon to the exit! Akane said dashing back to where they had entered.
They hit against the door but it was shut firmly.
Damn, why did we have to close the door behind us! Moaned Ryoga, If only we had no manners!
Nows not the time Ryoga, lets run to the stairs over there!
Im not going to make it in time! Thought Ryoga as he saw the puddles formed from the side taps getting larger and larger. They would soon be swimming in a pool of cold water.
Run Akane, you cant swim! Ryoga pleaded. Run, because I really dont want to turn into a pig!
The pair quickly bolting for the stairs that had to lead into to temple. The water slowly filling up behind them.
Authors Note: Oh no! Bathtime!
Hurray for a quicker update from me! Yeah and Ukyo finally confronted Ranma about P-Chan, (its about time.) Although now it seems that Akane is going to find out the hard way or will Ryoga make another miraculous escape?
I still love cliffhangers, heh, heh, heh.
My next update will be in a month or so, promise!