This fic is set in the universe of Innortal's fic "Shared Life", and set immediately after chapter 4. Go read it. You'll like it. It can be found here: http://www.fanfiction.net/s/2149999/1/
A Ranma 1/2 songfic by Wolff
This fic is set in the universe of Innortal's fic "Shared Life", and set
immediately after chapter 4. Go read it. You'll like it. It can be
found here: http://www.fanfiction.net/s/2149999/1/
The song "Don't Give Up" is by Peter Gabriel, from the album "So".
I don't own the song, or the Ranma 1/2 universe or characters. I'm just
playing in someone else's sandbox.
This fanfiction has been brought to you by the letters Gin and Beer, and
by the number 4.
Nabiki, Kasumi, and Ranma went to bed early that night. All three were
still weak from the demon attack the day before. The stresses of a
brand new soul bond, and the reactions of their families and friends
just exhausted them further.
After changing into nightclothes, and the ensuing embarassment and
blushes, Nabiki slid into bed first. She settled in, her back to the
wall as Ranma slipped in next. She immediately put her hand on his
chest and her head in the crook of his shoulder. Maybe it was the bond
they now shared, maybe it was something long repressed, but something
about this just felt right. Ranma's arm circled her shoulders, and
Nabiki squirmed in close, finally relaxing with a heavy sigh.
Kasumi switched off the light and snuggled into Ranma's other side, her
position mirroring her sister's. She pulled the blankets up, forming a
warm, special nest just for them. Her heart leapt with a quiet thrill
as Ranma's arm held her close. No man had ever touched her this
way, and while Ranma might not have been her first choice in an ideal
world, the feelings created by and shared through the soul bond washed away
any lingering doubts.
Ranma smiled as the girls settled in close. Ordinarily, being this
close to any girl would make him extremely uncomfortable, but somehow,
this was different. This was ok. He still couldn't help wincing a
little when Nabiki put her hand on his chest, but when he opened his
eyes he realized that neither of these girls would ever hit him. He
smiled at that. Maybe this wouldn't be so bad...
Ranma fought off sleep, even after he felt the girls drift off to
dreamland. It was the most peculiar thing he'd ever felt. He heard and
felt their breathing change, and that was normal. The strange part came
when he actually felt their minds shut down, passing out of conscious
thought into deep, dreamless sleep. Yet another effect of the soul
bond, he supposed.
And that brought his thoughts back to the root of this. Kasumi had gone
to the market, like she did every day. He went with her, both to help
and to keep her company. Not many people realized, but he and Kasumi
were quite good friends, often spending time together away from anyone
else. It was one of the few things that kept him sane in his otherwise
fucked up life. Nabiki had gone with them, for the simple reason that
even Nabiki needed to unwind once in a while, and a quiet walk to the
market with her sister was just what she needed. Besides, while being
Nerima's best racketeer was profitable, it was exceedingly lonely.
The demon came out of nowhere, dropping on Ranma like a steel girder.
He barely managed to shove the two girls out of the way before the demon
was on him.
Ranma knew he was in trouble. From the first swipe of the thing's
claws, he realized that he was outmatched. It was both faster and
stronger than he was, and those claws were leaving strange after-images
in the air. 'Aw hell,' he thought. 'That can't be good.'
Kasumi and Nabiki had moved back to give Ranma room to fight, but they
weren't too concerned. For all the general wierdness in Nerima in
general, and in Ranma's life in particular, it was unheard of for an
innocent to get caught in the crossfire. They couldn't know that all of
that was about to change.
Ranma held the demon off for three minutes. They were the longest three
minutes of his life. He'd forced his body to operate above his upper
limits, and the strain was starting to show. Pretty soon, he knew,
something would have to give. And then, it did. A bit of gravel on the
sidewalk, a step misplaced by half a millimeter, and Ranma felt every
bone in his body creak as he hit a concrete wall at an appreciable
fraction of the speed of sound. He picked himself up out of the crater,
opened his eyes, and saw something that made him sick to his stomach.
The demon, standing between Kasumi and Nabiki, it's arms thrown out at
the end of a strike. Kasumi and Nabiki, falling like puppets suddenly
bereft of strings. And white-hot rage, stronger than anything he'd ever
Ranma let out a quiet sigh, trying not to wake the two girls. Now that
it was loose, those last few minutes kept playing over and over in his
head. Innocents, caught in the line of fire. People he cared for, cut
down right before his eyes. A martial artist protects the weak, yet
Nabiki and Kasumi were hurt, hurt bad. He had failed. Ranma Saotome,
who does not lose, had lost.
"In this proud land we grew up strong,
We were wanted all along.
I was taught to fight, taught to win.
I never thought I could fail."
That Ranma had killed the demon seconds later made no difference. He
had failed to protect the weak. The innocent. Gods, who was more
innocent than Kasumi? And Nabiki, though she annoyed him on a regular
basis, couldn't protect herself against something like that. He had
"No fight left or so it seems,
I am a man whose dreams have all deserted.
I've changed my face, I've changed my name,
But no one wants you when you lose."
Ranma felt moisture at the corners of his eyes. When the chips were
down, when it mattered the most, his art had failed him, and he in turn
had failed those who needed him. He bit down hard on the scream of
despair that came boiling up from deep within.
He was crying when he fell to his knees between the still forms of
Nabiki and Kasumi. He wept as he checked them for wounds, and found
nothing. He opened his eyes wide, to examine the girls' auras. His
screamed denial echoed for miles.
He sniffled a bit, trying to hold in his grief. He didn't want to wake
the girls in his arms. The girls who now were relying on him for their
very lives. When it mattered, his Art was meaningless. Sixteen years
of his life spent to train his body, discipline his mind, and in an
instant, everything that mattered was taken away.
"Don't give up, cause you have friends.
Don't give up, you're not beaten yet.
Don't give up, I know you can make it good."
He felt Kasumi's fingertips on his cheek, heard her voice in his ear,
and turned his head, surprised.
"No one else could have done more, Ranma. You saved us, you gave us a
chance to live, to heal. Thank you," she whispered.
Ranma squeezed his eyes closed in pain. "I'm sorry, Kasumi. I didn't
mean to wake you."
"Shhh," she said. "Don't be silly. You're hurting, and that's more
important that a little lost sleep."
"Tell me something, Saotome," came Nabiki's sleepy voice from his other
side. "Could you have possibly done any more than you did?"
In a voice barely audible, he whispered, "No."
Nabiki and Kasumi were stunned by the sheer waves of pain, shame, guilt,
and depression washing over them. Nabiki realized that, in Ranma's
mind, he hadn't just failed to protect him. His Art, the one constant
in his chaotic life, his shelter, his pride, his strength, had failed
him, and without that anchor he was adrift on a sea of self-doubt and
"Though I saw it all around,
Never thought that I could be affected.
Thought that we'd be last to go.
It is so strange the way things turn.
Drove the night toward my home,
The place that I was born on the lakeside.
As daylight broke, I saw the earth.
The trees had burned down to the ground.
Kasumi couldn't help it; she wept for the poor, lost young man next to
her. Her arms tightened around him, and she pushed her caring, her
empathy, her compassion toward him.
Don't give up, you still have us.
Don't give up, we don't need much of anything.
Don't give up, cause somewhere there's a place where we belong.
Kasumi pulled Ranma close to her, sharing his pain and grief and giving
back her own love and compassion. Goddess knew, life hadn't been kind
to this young man. Kasumi hated to see any creature in pain, much less
someone she cared for. She kissed him gently on the cheek and held his
head close. All she could do was be there for him as he wept.
Rest your head, you worry too much.
It's gonna be alright.
When times get rough, you can fall back on us.
Don't give up.
Please don't give up.
Nabiki gasped. This was a side of Ranma she'd never even suspected.
She'd always believed him to be a slightly-dumb jock. It amazed her
that he was even capable of feeling such pain. And, it began to dawn on
her, he was feeling that pain for her. Not because of something
she'd done, not because of anything he'd done, but because she'd been hurt,
and because he hadn't been able to prevent it. He cared for her.
Without wanting anything, without needing anything, for no other reason
that that she was Nabiki.
This brought Nabiki's thoughts to a screeching halt. The last time
anyone had cared for her like this was before... before her mother died.
Her eyes shot open wide, and then she was hugging him hard enough to
make his ribs creak, crying and kissing his face, his eyes, his neck,
anything she could reach.
Finally, when her emotional storm had run it's course, she propped
herself on an elbow and looked him right in the eyes.
"We'll fix everything, Ranma. The fiancees, your parents, our father,
the Kunos, everything," she heard herself say, "I promise." Somewhat to
her amazement, she found that she meant every word.
Got to walk out of here.
I can't take anymore.
Gonna stand on that bridge
Keep my eyes down below
Whatever may come
And whatever may go
That river's flowin.
That river's flowin.
Moved on to another town
Tried hard to settle down
For every job so many men
So many men no one needs.
As he slowly came back to himself, Ranma was surprised to realize that,
while he was feeling a lot of different things from the two girls,
neither one was blaming him for what happened. The were actually
grateful that he'd been there to help them when the fight was over,
that he'd never hesitated to share his life, so that they might have
Don't give up cause you have friends.
Don't give up you're not the only one.
Don't give up no reason to be ashamed.
Don't give up you still have us.
Don't give up now, we're proud of who you are.
Don't give up, you know it's never been easy.
Don't give up, cause I belive there's a place
There's a place where we belong.
As Kasumi and Nabiki settled back into his arms, Ranma slowly became
aware, truly aware, that whatever happened next, the three of them
were in it together. These two women, these two beautiful women,
would be with him for the rest of his life. They were tied to him,
their souls mingled with his at the most basic level, and *neither one
minded*. They cared for him, each in their own way. They were his
friends, and he would never have to be alone again.
First of all, I'd like to thank Innortal, first for his
excellent fanfictions, and second for graciously allowing this fic to exist.
I read his "Shared Life" while listening to this song, and it seemed to
just scream for more. Yeah, some people are gonna think this is a little
too dark, a little too angsty, but damn. Put yourself in poor Ranma's
shoes for a few minutes. Wouldn't you be feeling like shit warmed over?
Second, I love C&C. If you've got a comment, I want to hear it.
If you want to sit down and take the time to pick this thing apart line by line
and sentence by sentence, so much the better. But if you've got nothing
more to say than "this is crap" or "this is cool" without at least
giving me an idea what you liked or didn't like, what I did right or
didn't, well... Then I don't really have much use for what you have to
say. Take that as you will. I write for me, because the muse moves me,
and because I think I have a story to tell.
Some food for thought until next time: What if Sailor Moon had
hired the services of a really good sniper along about episode 3? What
if Ranma had a cellphone and a platinum account with 1-800-AIR-STRIKE?
27 Mar 05
Edit 28 Mar 05: Link to Innortal's "Shared Life". Knew I forgot
Edit 3 Sept 08: Due to the unfortunate closing of www.nabikiandranma.com, I finally had to get off my butt and upload this here. Hopefully the formatting comes out something close to right...