Things happen in one's life. Decisions can change what happens to someone. Decisions such as sticking around to fight or not, mode of transportation, even the people that you meet. Two people's liv...
Disclaimer: I don't own Gold Digger, Fred Perry does. I don't own Ranma 1/2, Rumiko Takahashi does.
This is an A.U. fic. It happens before the start of the Ranma 1/2 manga and during issue 47 of Volume 2 of the Black and White series of Gold Digger.
It was late at night, the moon was out, the stars were shining, a cold wind was blowing and all this was over-looking a beautiful landscape of mountains and caves. Inside one of the caves, there was a fire going on, and sitting in front of it was a person with golden-blonde hair with brown spots, this person was about five foot six. She was female and had a fur coat that was yellow with black spots and a white undercoat. She had an eye stripe over her right eye, a slender build, greenish eyes with a touch of blue in them, she was sitting around the fire in just a rather torn up hospital gown, rags really, and it was barely holding itself together. The girl had human ears and a tail, and she didn't have a real name, but rather she went by the name Grave Digger, one she had given herself. She shivered as she sat in front of the fire. She didn't want to risk going to any town, cause she knew that she was unloved, un-cared for and everyone wanted to kill her.
"After all," Grave said irritably. "Everyone I've ever met has wanted me dead. From Genn, Britanny, and Gina to those Edge Guard, Mages and Brianna."
The petite girl, who looked like a Werecheetah in hybrid form, shivered as a strong gust of wind came up. She couldn't afford to go to any civilization or see any people; they just kill her on sight and not ask questions. Oh sure, she wanted to kill off Britanny Elin Diggers and Gina Babette Diggers, but that was only so that she could make her own light, be her own person. As long as those two remained, she'd always just be a mere shadow of them. "Why couldn't Brianna see that? We are nothing more than a mere clone of those two." Grave then frowned deeply., "Is she right? Does she actually have her own life even with her "sisters" still living?" Grave shook her head. "That's impossible. There's no way that Brianna has her own life."
Grave thought back to what happened when she and Brianna split off.
Flashback . . .
Grave looked around, she wasn't showing it, but she was damn scared right now, she had just heard Brianna whisper to her that these Mages were going to kill her, well hell with that, she wanted to live, she glanced at Sheila, a petite Jagwere, and gave a look that screamed, 'I thought you were my friend. Why are you trying to have me killed?'
Grave raised a hand up and blasted a hole in the roof and started levitating up. She blinked as she saw the mages standing around. 'Aren't they going to kill me? Am I too powerful for them?' She shook her head, 'No way, they were able to split me and Brianna apart, they just want to trick me so that they can kill me when the moment is right when I let my guard down.' She frowned. "Okay old folks, try this, Lightning Bolt!"
Grave thrust her hand forward and a bolt of electrical energy arched toward the mages who sought to kill her. Grave gasped as she saw the old Werecat, the one who split them, deflect her shot with no problem.
It got worse when Brianna called for something called the L.B.D. Grave didn't know what that was, but then suddenly a reclining chair with a bunch of weapons; cluster bombs, lasers, gatling guns and a whole slew of other weapons showed up to try and kill her.
She dodged the first strike easily enough, but then Brianna got into the chair of that thing and started firing back, for some reason, none of her magic blasts were phasing the darn thing. She was able to trick Brianna into firing at her by staying still long enough for Brianna to fire some bullets at her, she merely teleported herself right next to Brianna and watched, horrified, though she looked rather smug, as the mage deflected the bullets easily.
Even though she was terrified at the moment, she still had a smirk going, that is until she looked at Brianna, who was pointing a quad-magnum blaster in her face. Fortunately for Grave, Brianna had the safety on and it allowed her to get away from the direct path of the bullets.
Grave flew out of the way and was prepared to fight back in earnest when suddenly the bullets, or Peebees as they were called, started moving on their own and started blasting her in earnest. This continued for several minutes and when Grave finally had a chance, she teleported out of the explosions. She hid it well, but she was hurting terribly. Her clothing was in tatters and her hair was in disarray.
She had to avoid the Peebees for some time, but then smirked when she saw that the Peebees attacked anything that was acting like a bad guy. She glanced over when she felt a lot of magic being used, she was deathly afraid that one of those Mages got their acts together and was about to kill her, but was surprised when a non-magic was fighting that Werecat that split her and Brianna apart. She'd watch it after she took those Peebees out. She flew to where Brianna could see her and spread her arms out to show the destruction that the Peebees were causing. "Oh Brianna! Oh, you horrible villain you! Just look at the destruction that you caused to this peaceful little town! You must be the most foul, despicable, HATEFUL, EVIL villain of ALL time!!! Have you no HEART?!"
Grave giggled at the fact that Brianna's own attack turned against her and blew up her L.B.D. and knocked her silly. She then turned back to watch the mage and non-mage fight. She started shivering when she felt such strong magic spells being used. She was even more frightened when the non-mage just shrugged off most of the magic like it was nothing. Finally the mage used some kind of super spell that would've killed nearly anyone, and the non-mage used her weapon and seriously hurt the mage.
Grave shivered, she didn't want to meet that fate; she wanted to live.
Meanwhile down below Genn was watching Grave and wondering why she wasn't doing a thing but standing, err, floating there.
Grave shook her head violently and started chanting, softly at first, but with increasing loudness. "I don't want to die. I don't want to die. I don't want to die. I don't want to die. I don't want to die. I don't want to die. I don't want to die." She then glared at everyone that was still there. "I'M GOING TO LIVE!!!" She then turned and teleported herself out of Seer's Hamlet and continued to fly and teleport till she got to the mountains to rest.
Back at Nali's clinic, or what was left of it, Sheila turned to Genn. "What did she mean by 'I'm going to live' Genn?"
Genn shook her head. "I have no idea."
End Flashback . . .
So now Grave was sitting here, scared, confused, cold, hungry, tired, hurt and a bunch of other stuff. She had no illusions what would happen if she went to a town. They'd grab her; hold her until someone came to kill her. She wasn't stupid. "Everyone wants me dead. There isn't a soul out there that understands this."
Meanwhile on Earth, in China . . .
A small redheaded girl, petite, yet very well endowed girl, about five foot five and a half, wearing a training Gi, hair done up in a pigtail, blue eyes and carrying a rather large backpack was currently running, with a heavy-set panda, who was amazingly, running upright on it's hind legs, and carrying a backpack just as large as the girl's was.
The girl stopped and sneezed a bit before addressing the panda. "So now what? That crazy Amazon chick won't stop chasing me until she kills me. I can't believe that she's such a sore loser."
"Growlf!" The panda exclaimed and held up a sign that, amazingly, had words on in. *Boy! Don't underestimate her! Sure, she's a weakling, but she's determined to kill you."
The girl frowned. "I know that pops. I mean, I understand that she wasn't happy about us eating the food, but I mean, she really shouldn't have taken it that hard." Most people would think that the redhead was nuts, calling a panda her father, but they were people who didn't understand what had happened to her.
To understand, we must slip back a couple of days to when the girl, a boy at the time, who was named Ranma Saotome and his father Genma Saotome arrived at Jusenkyo, the pools of sorrow. Ranma and his father Genma were both powerful martial artists in their own right. Seeing the training grounds, both were disappointed as they had thought that it was going to be a place with incredible dangerous training, not just a bunch of pools with bamboo sticking out of them.
The two jumped to separate poles and began sparring by jumping at each other and attacking. Eventually, Ranma got a good shot in on his father, who fell into a pool and stayed there for a few minutes. What came out surprised the young man, a panda, who apparently knew martial arts and was able to deck him a good one, sending him into a pool of his own. When Ranma resurfaced, he was a she. She had gotten incredibly mad and had attacked the panda, chasing him all over until she calmed down. Then the guide who led them to this place had told them about what had happened and had told them how to reverse the effects temporarily.
Ranma shook her head about that and glared at the panda. If he hadn't eaten that feast, she wouldn't have had to fight that crazy chick. Contrary to popular belief, especially since Genma had taught her otherwise, Ranma didn't believe that girls were weak and stupid. While she didn't like fighting them, she knew that thinking that girls were weak was stupid, any fighter who underestimated another because of their gender was just begging for an ass kicking.
"Growlf!" Boy! I've got an idea.
"What? Something like the N-n-n-Neko-ken again? Going to use that to try and get this crazy chick off of us?"
"Growlf!" No! I've got something that'll get you away from her! It was something my M-m-m-Master gave to me before he left.
Ranma blinked. "Oh?"
The panda nodded and produced another sign. Yes. A scroll of escape. I can't cast it on myself to escape, but I can cast it on you to escape.
Ranma blinked, Genma had never done anything like this before. "Why you doin' this? There's gotta be a reason for it."
If you die, then they're be no one to continue our school.
Ranma groaned. "At least you're honest this time."
The panda nodded and reached into the backpack and took out a thermos with just a bit of warm water and splashed himself, in his place was a rather portly man by the name of Genma Saotome, who was wearing a dingy Gi, a bandanna on his head and glasses. "Now boy, just stand still, this will only take a second."
Ranma nodded, she was wondering what the heck was going on when Genma started to chant and the area was glowing brightly. Genma meant to send Ranma to the Tendos so that they could fulfill the engagement by the time he arrived. Unfortunately, Shampoo showed up. "Girl-type Ranma! Shampoo KILL!!" It was enough to startle Genma just as he said the last word and then Ranma was gone in a flash of light.
Genma blinked. "Crap! I didn't have a destination in mind. Ranma could be anywhere."
"What fat man talking about?"
Genma scowled and turned to the girl. "This is all your fault, prepare yourself for the might of Anything Goes."
Three minutes later, Genma stood triumphantly over a thoroughly beaten Shampoo, Genma had to admit that the girl had a bit of skill, but she was just slow, weak, sloppy and pathetic in comparison to his son, though against most other fighters her age, she would be able to defeat them. "Not bad girl." Genma said as he walked away. "But you aren't even at my level, not to mention the boy, err, girl's level." Genma frowned as he continued to walk away. "How am I supposed to tell Soun? Or even," Genma gulped. "No-chan that some crazy Amazon may have just killed Ranma off?"
Back on Jade . . .
Grave was surprised when a white light appeared above her and a small redhead with a large backpack fell out and crashed down on top of her, knocking her out.
Ranma, or rather Ranma-chan, groaned as she got up, she blinked when she saw a body was underneath her. She marveled at the look, the girl was exotic, extremely so, and furry, and amazingly, to Ranma at least, she had a tail sticking out her body, just above her butt, but she was shivering as another blast of cold air came through the cave. Ranma shivered a bit seeing that the tail was so c-c-c-cat-like, but with the exception of the tail, the fur and her right eye-stripe, she looked human, he then frowned as he saw what she was wearing, a torn up hospital gown, indicating some kind of fight. She quickly got off of the girl, grabbed a blanket or two and wrapped the shivering girl up so that she'd get warm.
Ranma-chan frowned. "I wonder what happened to her."
Several minutes later, the girl continued to shiver from the cold air, Ranma-chan had to admit that the air was chilly, though not as bad as when the time when the old man had her, before she got the curse, run naked through the mountains in a winter snowstorm.
The redhead just had to wonder how long the girl had been out in the cold with just the gown on. Seeing the girl continue to shiver, Ranma-chan sighed, she heard the girl mumble something about how everyone hated her and wanted her dead. Ranma-chan could sympathize a bit, being on the road most of her life with her pop and usually on the run from angry shop-keepers and now a psycho Amazon who wanted to kill her, she understood it a bit. Ranma-chan pulled the blankets off a little and crawled in with the poor girl. When she was situated properly, she wrapped the blankets around her and then pulled the other girl, so that her back was to Ranma-chan's front and discovered something that shocked her, 'She's freezing!' Ranma-chan thought in surprise. She pulled the cold body to her and hugged the girl, pressing her front to the girl's back. The fuzzy girl started shifting back to get closer to the warmth that she was feeling. Ranma-chan looked at the fire that was there and shook her head, that fire was barely big enough for a small campfire; it was nowhere near big enough to keep a person warm, even if they had a fur coat.
Eventually, after several minutes, the girl calmed down as her body quit shivering so much and she started to relax and rest. Ranma-chan smiled a bit, normally she wouldn't even try to get into the bed of a girl, no matter how cute they were, and this girl was very cute, however, Ranma-chan had nothing against getting into a girl's bed to warm them up if it would save their life. Ranma-chan shook her head. "Just who are you? And just what happened to you?" Seeing no answer forthcoming, Ranma-chan decided to get a bit of rest and snuggled up to the girl and dozed off.
After about thirty minutes Grave cracked an eye open and blinked. 'What the heck? Why am I inside a blanket? Why is it so, so warm?' She frowned trying to think as to why she was there, she knew she hadn't gone to town to get anything it was just too risky. 'Let's see, the last thing I remember is a light and then someone crashing down on me and. .' Grave lost her train of thought as she felt a warm body pressed up against hers. Grave gasped. 'Okay Grave, think. This person could've killed me when I was asleep if they wanted to.' She then frowned. 'Unless they wanted me awake so that they see what they're up against.' She growled and jumped out of bed, startling Ranma-chan enough to wake her up.
Ranma-chan blinked, the girl was up and moving now. "So you're finally awake huh?"
Grave glared at her. "So, I guess you're here to kill me as well."
Ranma-chan blinked. "Huh? Take it easy, you were freezing to death."
Grave sneered at her. "You're just like the others, all the people I've ever met wants me dead!" Grave started powering up and Ranma-chan knew that she didn't want to be in the way of what ever the furry girl had planned. "I'm not letting you get the chance to kill me!" Grave fired a raw magic blast at Ranma-chan, fortunately for Ranma-chan's supplies, the redhead had moved so that her back was facing the cave's entrance.
Ranma-chan ducked the blast as it flew overhead; unfortunately, several trees in the forest outside the cave were not so lucky. "GAH, WAIT, WAIT! I'M NOT HERE TO HURT YOU!"
Grave had tears rolling down her face. "Yeah right! Everyone wants me dead! From that shape changer Genn, to my "sisters" Britanny, Gina and Brianna, to those Mages and those Edge Guard. Everyone HATES ME!!"
Grave threw another blast, this time a fireball at the redhead, who dodged it, but winced as the heat from it passed by her. "Listen to me, I don't hate you, I don't even know you." Ranma-chan frowned. "And I don't want you dead. I'm serious. I just showed up here and saw you freezing so I tried to help warm you up."
Grave frowned, but started to calm down since this girl in front of her had yet to make any threatening moves towards her, but then she started remembering her short life and how no one was nice to her, it caused tears to start flowing down her face. "I know what you plan to do. You plan to get me to lower my guard so that others can come and kill me."
Her whole body shook with silent sobs as she tried to hold back tears, Grave looked at the ground as she spoke. "Everyone's like that, trust them a little bit and then they stab you in the back, using someone else to get rid of you. I trusted Gina when we first met, and that was just a distraction so that Cheetah could take my weapon and try to kill me when I said I cared for the same guy she did. I wasn't going to do a thing to Sheila and she and her brother got Genn to try and make me go away." The Lycanthropoid tossed her head up and glared at Ranma-chan. "You'll just do the same thing the first chance you get."
Ranma-chan sighed but held her hands up. "Look, I am not going to hurt you okay. I don't hurt people like that."
Ranma-chan took a slow step forward, but Grave, in her agitated mind, saw this as a threatening move. 'Fine, if I can't hit her with direct strikes, I'll try an area-effect.' "SCALDING MIST!!" Normally the spell 'Mist' was just an area-effect spell that caused cool water to fall down on an area, great for putting out small fires, and watering plants. However Grave combined it with a 'Heat' spell, making the mist hot, boiling hot, and causing a certain effect to take place.
"EYYOWCH!! HOT, HOT, HOT!!" Came a male voice, Grave blinked when instead of a redheaded girl about her height, was a black haired youth, about three inches taller than her, muscular, handsome face and pale blue eyes.
Grave stepped back in shock. "Who are you?"
Ranma winced, that had been a rather 'hot' time. "I'm that girl you saw."
Grave frowned. "So you're just like Genn huh? A shape-shifter." Grave threw another blast of magic at Ranma; tears were streaming down her face. "EVERYONE HATES ME!!" Grave then threw her arms wide and a bunch of electrical lightning flew from her palms out at Ranma.
Ranma ducked the first three, rolled to the side of the next four, jumped back a bit to avoid the next two, but when he landed, he had to roll forward to avoid another shot, and since he was wet, it stung like a sonnavabitch. "YOWCH!! HEY! CALM DOWN ALREADY!" He then spoke in a calmer voice now that the lightning had stopped. "I don't hate you. I've said that already."
Grave sniffled. "You... Stop lying it hurts! People say they like me... but then try to kill me! IT'S NOT FAIR!!!" Grave threw another bolt of lightning at Ranma's head.
Ranma threw himself down to the floor as the magic flew harmlessly overhead. "Please stop. I wouldn't kill you. It goes against my being."
"Ice Lance!" Grave threw her left arm back, shaped her hand like she was throwing a spear, but she hesitated slightly, needing to take a breath as she was starting to run low on energy. She readied herself and threw the lance at Ranma, who twisted and leaned to the right a bit to avoid it. The lance raced past him and he shivered a bit from the cool air as it passed him that was intense cold.
Grave fell to her hands and knees and started sobbing hard, she had only stopped because she had run out of energy to cast spells. Ranma breathed a sigh of relief, as the girl seemed to calm down. He walked up to her slowly, so that she didn't seem as a threat. "Are you going to be okay?"
"What are you waiting for? Just kill me."
Ranma rubbed his forehead and sighed. "What do I have to do to prove that I'm not going to kill you"
Grave remained silent, just waiting for him to drop the act and kill her and be done with it.
Ranma shook his head. "Can you at least tell me your name? Or maybe why you think everyone is trying to kill you? Please? I promise I won't hurt you."
Grave frowned and remained silent for some time. Finally she spoke; she figured that it couldn't hurt for her to know. "Grave Digger."
Ranma sighed; he had finally gotten some useful information. "My name's Ranma Saotome. Grave Digger huh? Neat name." He then coughed into his hand a bit, not wanting to offend the girl, but he needed to know. "So how come you think everyone wants to kill you? I sure don't."
Grave looked at the floor for some minutes, emotions, powerful emotions were coming to the surface and she eventually looked at Ranma with teary eyes. "Because everyone I know HAS tried to kill me."
Ranma blinked. "Oh?" He then placed a hand on her shoulder lightly; while he was no good with emotions and giving comfort himself, he couldn't stand to see a girl in pain. "Tell me about it."
Grave glared at him for several minutes and then decided to go with it. "Fine!" She sat leaned back so that she was sitting down instead of on her hands and knees. "You should know something, I was never born."
"I'll explain. I'm not sure how long ago, for me it was only a few days, but two people, Britanny Elin Diggers and Gina Babette Diggers went to a tomb and picked up a bad-luck curse and a friend named Genn. When they got home, they decided to try and 'trick' the curse off of them. They succeeded, but in the process created two new people, Brianna, and myself with all their memories, experiences and a toned down set of abilities. At the time we were in one body. I then went to them, to find out if I could belong with them. I wanted to get rid of them at first, but I was willing to listen to what they had to say. The smart one, Gina, tried to talk me into not fighting. I was about to let Gina try and cure me, let me be friendly, but it was just a ploy, she tricked me into letting my guard down so that her sister, Britanny, who's got super speed, strength, agility, and senses, could take my weapon away from me."
More tears came from Grave's eyes as she remembered that day; she wiped them away, not wanting to deal with them. "Then I took off, Britanny caught up to me and demanded to know why I acted like I was. I told her that I just wanted everything she had, including the guy she liked, because I liked him as well. She then tried to kill me by nearly crushing my throat. I was able to trip Gina up so that she knocked Britanny out, I then went and got some weapons, but Gina sent her bodyguards, the hurt-bots after me to attack. All she wanted to do was use them to stun me so that she could kill me personally. I then chased her for the rest of the day trying to kill her before she killed me. I got knocked out somehow, I can't quite remember, but then Gina's father, an Arch-Mage, tried to kill me." Grave's body was wracked with a sob. "I hid, I had to or I would've died. I hid in Brianna's Mind Shadow, where no one would know I was alive."
Ranma was floored, he didn't understand completely what was going on, but he still felt compelled to try and help this girl. "Damn. But, but why do you want to kill them?"
Grave glared at him with tears rolling down her face. "To make my own light! To be warmed by my own light. You can't understand, to know what it's like to live in the shadow of two others, two others that'll always be better than you at everything, to be nothing more than a mere clone, no matter how hard you try, you'll never amount to anything more than what they already are. I have to kill them. Because if I don't I can never become my own person, as long as they live."
Grave shivered as a gust of cold air came through the cave again. Ranma frowned; he looked and saw that the mist hadn't hit his backpack, so he went over to it to get some clothing. Grave frowned as she saw him go to get something from his bag, 'So now he's going to kill me huh? I guess he's no different.' She tensed slightly as he pulled something out of the bag, but was surprised that it was clothing. "For you?"
Ranma shook his head. "Nope, for you. You're freezing right now, and I think that these clothing will be better for you than those rags."
He tossed them to Grave, and she smiled for the first time since he had gotten there. "Thank you." She said in all honesty. She grabbed the clothes, a pair of black cargo pants and a thick green shirt. She grabbed her rags and tossed them off of her, causing Ranma to blush badly when he saw her in the nude. He quickly turned away as Grave put on the pants and the shirt. Grave shivered, but this time it was from being warm. "Nice." She had to adjust her pants a bit so that her tail could get comfortable.
Ranma smiled a bit and turned around, he had to admit that she looked more comfortable now that she wasn't directly exposed to freezing cold air. "Um, I gotta say I'm sorry. For going through that I mean, having everyone trick you and stuff. But, but how can you just be a shadow of someone? I mean, you care if your a shadow or not." Ranma then smirked. "My own shadow doesn't yell at me to move out of the way so it can get light." He then sobered. "I've never met this Gina, nor have I met Britanny before, so I don't know what they can do. But can either of them do what you can?"
Grave looked at the ground. "No."
"Well there ya go! Ya don't need to kill someone to be your own person. Heck, just stay away from them for now and travel with me."
Grave looked up. "Huh?"
Ranma grinned, rubbing the back of his head. "Well, I kinda don't know where I am right now, and I'd rather not be alone. Besides, I can't let a cute girl like you just be alone can I?"
Grave smiled, her eyes teared up and she started sobbing, but it was not out of sadness, but pure happiness. She was receiving kindness that she didn't think existed out there.
Ranma frowned and walked up to her, bending down on his knees and looked Grave in the face. "Is something wrong?" The pigtailed martial artist was then surprised when Grave lunged forward, hugging him and dropping the two of them onto his back as she cried into his shoulder. Ranma's arms wrapped around Grave's shoulders instinctively. "Grave? What's wrong?"
"N-Nothing!" Grave sobbed into his shoulder. "Just hold me."
Ranma nodded and let Grave cry into his shoulder, a part of him was surprised that he was able to give comfort like this; Genma had never been too big on giving comfort at all.
After several minutes of letting her cry, Grave's sobs started to taper off to the occasional sniffle, as her breathing got more even Ranma blinked when he saw that she was sleeping. "Poor girl, must've been a rough past few days." He looked over and saw that his blankets were within arm's length, he reached over and grabbed the blanket and tossed it over them as moving too much would probably wake her up. "Yaaawwwwnnn. Come to think of it, I'm pretty tired myself." Ranma leaned his head back, he was thankful for the lose dirt which was easy to mold a bit to act as a pillow of sorts for him, as Ranma closed his eyes, his last thoughts were 'Just where am I?' and 'Maybe now I have a friend.' He then dozed off.