Categories > Anime/Manga > Ranma 1/2 > The Raven

And One Piece Off the Board

by Narsil 0 reviews

Category: Ranma 1/2 - Rating: PG-13 - Genres: Crossover - Characters: Kasumi,Nabiki,Ranma - Warnings: [?] - Published: 2012-08-12 - Updated: 2012-08-12 - 1618 words - Complete

Raven sat on the red brick steps to the entrance of the three-story apartment building, gently rocking the once again sleeping baby, the raven Thought perched in a nearby tree. Just as she had expected, it had been easy enough to find — she hadn’t even had to threaten any of the shopkeepers that Kasumi usually patronized, simply checking out a phone book did it. But now that she was there, for the first time since Hild had taken her down from Rothgan’s trophy wall and made her the offer, she didn’t know what to do.

The redhead sighed at the thought. No, ya know what ta do, she told herself. It’s simple enough — ya kill Akane and get yer new job as a Fury, so ya don’t hafta go back up on Rothgan’s wall. Ya just don’t know if ya should do it.

It had seemed so obvious that Akane’s name belonged on her target list when Hild had asked. After all, it had been her refusal to back off and let her fiancé handle things, her attack in the middle of a lethal fight that had set Ranma up for Mousse’s knives in the chest. After years together, she still —

Raven’s eyes were clenched shut, remembering the last living sight she’d had of her fiancée’s face, Akane’s features twisted by fury, eyes hot with anger — the way Akane had charged forward, tried to stop Rothgan from hauling her spirit off to Hell. You know it’s true, Yuka — I don’t know what Nabiki said to her after her suicide attempt, but you know how she’ll feel about it! If the price of getting Ranma out of hell is her life, she’ll be happy to pay it. Sayuri’s pain-filled words came back to her, and the redhead shook her head. Fine. Let her die, if she cares so much now!

As if picking up her minder’s dark thoughts, the baby in her arms awoke and started to fuss, drawing all of Raven’s attention, her head bent down, cooing to the little one the same way Yuka had. She soon had her bundle gurgling up at her happily.

“Oh, my!”

Raven’s head shot up at the familiar voice, the happy grin vanishing from her face at the sight of the eldest Tendo sister — the eldest Tendo, now that her father was dead. The young woman was standing a few yards away, one hand up over her mouth, the other holding a bag of groceries in a slackening grip. Like a shot, Raven was up from the step and caught the bag just as it dropped toward the pavement.

Kasumi barely noticed, her eyes fixed on the redhead that had so brutally died while the woman that could have restrained her youngest sister had been away from the house enjoying a movie. Against her will her gaze shifted to the familiar katana hilt showing over the revenant’s shoulder. “Are ... are you here for Akane?” she asked in a shaky voice.

Raven nodded without speaking, face grim.

“I see.” Then the baby started fussing, Kasumi’s eyes dropped at the sound, and she found herself falling victim to a giggle fit: here she was looking at a grim Avenger back from the dead, sword hilt showing over her shoulder — with a bag of baby supplies hanging from the other shoulder, a cranky baby complaining in the crook of one arm and a bag of groceries in the other, a panicky expression on her face.

It’s getting close to time for Akane to come home. In an instant, the giggles stopped. Sighing, Kasumi relieved the redhead of the baby, cooing to the bundle. The bundle instantly quieted, and Kasumi giggled again as Raven rolled her eyes in disgust. The long earth-haired girl stepped past the redhead to unlock the door into the apartment building. “Come on in,” she invited resignedly.


“Tadaima!” Kasumi called out as she led Raven into the apartment, baby still in her arms and Thought on her shoulder. Raven glanced around as she slipped off her outside shoes, then followed Kasumi out of the small hallway to find herself in a combination kitchen/dining room. She walked over to put the bag of groceries on the counter of the kitchen area while Thought fluttered over to perch on the back of one of the chairs around the table.

Kasumi, you’re back!” Nabiki called back. “I got a call from Sayuri, Ranma visited the school, he’s on his way here,” she continued as she stepped into the room from a door beside the kitchen area. “What should I tell Akane — ?” She broke off, gaping at the sight of the redhead right next to her, turning away from the kitchen counter.

“Yeah, I should’a figured she’d call,” the revenant said, then turned, face hardening as Nodoka stepped out of another door across the room and froze at the sight of her child. “Saotome-san,” Raven greeted her, voice leeched of all emotion. She looked her mother over, eyes widening slightly. In the light of day, upright rather than curled up on a bed, Nodoka’s pregnant state was obvious — and advanced, at least six months along. “Ya sure didn’t wait long before tryin’ fer a replacement,” Raven said, voice shaking slightly.

“Ranma —” Nodoka managed to get out, only to break off as the redhead turned back to the Tendo sisters, pointedly ignoring her.

Kasumi glanced sympathetically toward the older woman, then down at the baby in her arms as it started fussing again. “I think somebody’s hungry,” she suggested.

“Oh, right.” Raven swung the baby bag from her shoulder to the table, pulled out the baby formula and bottle, then paused, unsure of what to do next.

With a sigh, Kasumi handed the baby back to the redhead and grabbed the supplies. A few minutes later she had the bottle ready, and took the now crying baby back from a desperate Raven. A moment later the cries stopped as the baby happily sucked at the bottle’s nipple. “So, Ranma, is it a boy or a girl? What’s its name? Where did you pick it up?” Kasumi asked, smiling down at her armful.

“Don’t call me that,” Raven replied coldly, face hardening. “Since Genma and Nodoka decided ta just throw me away, they — she can keep the name, too. Call me Raven.” Ignoring Nodoka’s gasp, she continued, “I don’t know what her name is, I didn’t ask Mousse an’ Shampoo before I killed them.”

The others stared in shock at the redhead. Finally, Nabiki asked, “So, what are you going to do with your victory spoils?”

“I ...” Raven, paused, face softening into confusion. “I don’t know. I was gonna ask Ukyo to raise her, but ...” She shrugged as the others flinched. “I’ll think a’ somethin’.”

Kasumi’s mind raced. She owed Raven for the way she’d failed him, and maybe if she offered, when Akane got home ... “I’ll do it.” she asserted. Then glanced around and smiled for a moment in the stunned silence.

“But, Kasumi, I ... Akane ...” Raven managed to get out.

Kasumi sighed, eyes, dropping to the little one in her arms. “Raven ... Ranma, what-t-t-ev-v-v-ver ...” Breaking off to fight for control, she continued after a moment, “Whatever happens between you and Akane, I owe you.”

“But, ya didn’t do any —”

“That’s right,” the eldest Tendo interrupted. “When Akane was jumping to conclusions and taking out her frustrations on you, when Nabiki was selling candid photos of your girl side to perverts,” — beside her, Nabiki flinched — “when the fathers were hatching bizarre plans to marry the two of you, I did nothing. I’d like to try and make it up a little. Besides, it doesn’t sound like you have a better idea.”

Raven stared at her, thinking furiously, but finally shrugged. “You’re right, I don’t,” she admitted. “But can ya afford her? Don’t babies cost money?”

“We will manage, won’t we, Nabiki?” Kasumi asked her sister, voice once again serene.

Nabiki’s gaze switched back and forth between her older sister and the revenant, before falling to the baby in her sister’s arms. Her mind flashed back over the “harmless” pictures she’d sold, the auction when Ranma had briefly been her fiancé, the blowout at the wedding ... and an Akane covered in Ranma’s blood kneeling on the ground, holding her fiancé’s flame-haired decapitated head in her arms like Kasumi was holding the baby now; and the night when the blood spattered about the dojo’s kitchen had been Akane’s, when she’d tried to kill herself with one of Kasumi’s kitchen knives — thank all the kami she’d chosen one that needed sharpening, and had tried to cut across the wrist instead of lengthwise. Nabiki’s ears echoed with the memory of Akane’s throat-ripping shriek of pain when the demon had faded out of sight with his translucent, naked, redheaded prize.

“S-Sure thing, Kas-s-sumi, the rugrat won’t lack for anyth-thing, I’ll s-see t-t-to it,” she finally managed to stammer out.

“Good, I knew I could count on you,” Kasumi approved, giving her sister a sad smile. Then taking a deep breath, she said, “Raven, it will be little while before Akane gets home, so you might as well relax. The family room is in here.” She picked up the bag of baby supplies from the table and walked toward the door Nodoka had stepped out of.
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