Disclaimer: Rumiko Takahashi is the greatest, but then again so is <whoever did SM>. All Ranma ½ and Sailor Moon characters… and the occasional Devil Hunter, as well as any other character that belongs to someone else belong to someone else, not me. I ain’t that good. Jiejie and Tian Huan are my own creations, as are Inago, Kaji, Sansai, and Fusei.

C&C: C&C is both welcome and desired greatly at dancingimp@yahoo.com. This is my first fanfiction work to make it past Chapter Half. Also, though I have certain things set in mind, I am willing to modify the story as it continues if it becomes necessary. If this story is located elsewhere, the original can be found at http://www.geocities.com/dancingimp. Thankies!

Big Thanks: To my prereaders/editors/mallet-wielders, James Thomas <who has written one of the best Dragonball Z/Ranma Half crossovers, http://www.provalue.net/users/heed452/fanfic>, and Greg Beauchamp. Thanks for the mallets to the head and red ink to the paper.

What Went Before: This was starting to get long, so I think I’ll just say ‘Read the previous chapters’ from this point on. Sorry. 8)

 

Chapter 10

“Demon Dance”

 

 

 

Ryo-Ohki, somewhere over the Sea of Japan

 

            Shampoo looked worriedly at Ranma and Akane’s sleeping forms. “What happen to Ranma?”

 

            Tenchi and Ayeka shook their heads. “I don’t know,” Tenchi said. Ryoko stayed silent as she sat in the command chair.

 

            Shampoo frowned. “We should go to great-grandmother. Maybe she know what to do.” Tenchi nodded and Ryo-Ohki changed course. Within a short while the small ship was hovering over the Nekohanten in Nerima. A few people looked at the strange object hovering in the night sky, but for the most part people ignored it as just another strange occurrence in a strange town. After the group had transported to the street in front of the restaurant, Shampoo led them inside, placing Ranma’s and Akane’s bodies on tables. When Mousse stepped into the main room and saw Ranma unconscious and looking blue, he cheered. He was promptly knocked into a wall by Cologne as she came out of the kitchen area.

 

            “What happened, child?”

 

            “Ranma fight demon in underwater city. The city flooded and Ranma knocked out. Now this.”

 

            Cologne looked closely at Ranma’s sleeping form and frowned. “He has definitely been possessed. I am guessing by the demon you fought.” Cologne turned to Tenchi. “You should return to your grandfather, child. He will no doubt be worrying and you can not help us now.”

 

            Tenchi wanted to argue, but could find no real logical response. In the end, he agreed. “Let us know if you need any more help.” He smiled at Shampoo and waved as he left. Shampoo gave him a small glomp before he went, which surprised him.

 

            After the others were gone, Cologne frowned at Shampoo. “What was that about, child?”

 

            Shampoo blinked at the Elder. “It no like that, great-grandmother. Tenchi seem almost like brother to Shampoo. Shampoo still only want Ranma.”

 

            Cologne nodded in acceptance, hiding an inner smile and frown. ‘I wonder if she can tell?’ The Elder mused. “Now, tell me exactly what happened, child.” Shampoo settled in for a long story.

 

 

Juuban district, the next morning

 

            Mamoru knocked on the door to Ucchan’s, ignoring the ‘Closed’ sign. Getting no response, he knocked again. Finally the door slid open and a bleary-eyed woman answered. Mamoru recognized her as Konatsu. “We’re closed temporarily. Pardon the inconvenience.” Konatsu started to close the door again but Mamoru put his hand in the way.

 

            “Konatsu, it’s me. I wanted to know how Ukyo’s doing.”

 

            The kunoichi looked closer at Mamoru before finally recognizing him. “Oh, my apologies. She’s not well. She was hurt in an attack last night.”

 

            “I know, I was there. Remember the car that blew up? It was mine.”

 

            “Oh? Was the young blonde girl with you the mysterious ‘Usagi’ we’ve heard about?” Konatsu let the smallest part of a smirk creep across her face.

 

            Mamoru blushed a bit. He didn’t care, but he knew a lot of people found it creepy that he was dating a girl who was quite a bit younger than him. “Uhm, is she doing any better?”

 

            Konatsu opened the door enough to let him in, and then closed it behind him. “A little. I would guess that she would wake soon. In here, please.” The kunoichi led him into a bedroom. Mamoru glanced around and guessed instantly that, unless he was completely oblivious to her ego, this was definitely not Ukyo’s room. The walls and ceiling of the small room were plastered with photos, drawings, and posters of Ukyo. ‘Obsess much?’ Mamoru thought to himself. ‘I guess I should be used to relationships like this, what with Haruka and Michiru, but still… this borderlines on the psychotic.’ Lying on a mat in the middle of the room was the okonomiyaki chef. From the dampness Mamoru could see on her blanket, she had apparently been running a high fever for most of the night. Touching her forehead carefully, he figured that the fever had broken.

 

            “What was she doing out there, Konatsu?”

 

            “Mistress Ukyo wanted to patrol the city in case she could find Ranma before the Sailor Senshi did. She’s worried that he might get hurt.”

 

            Mamoru had figured as much. “What were you doing out there?”

 

            “Trying to keep Ukyo from getting hurt. Obviously, I failed.” Tears began to form in Konatsu’s eyes.

 

            Mamoru put a comforting hand on the Kunoichi’s shoulder. “Ukyo’s a fighter. She’s going to get hurt from time to time. But you did save her life, just as she saved Usagi’s and mine. Focus on the good.”

 

            Konatsu nodded, still a bit miserable. Just then, Ukyo began to stir. Her eyes slowly fluttered open and she saw Konatsu and Mamoru staring into her face. She sat up slowly, holding her head. “Ow. Hey, Konatsu… you get the license plate of that truck?”

 

            The kunoichi shook her head. “Only if the truck was called Kuno.”

 

            Ukyo frowned. “What was with him? I’ve seen him go nuts and injure people before, but he looked like he was going to kill somebody.” Something occurred to her and she checked her side, but she could find no evidence of the wound Kuno had given her. “Or was it a dream?”

 

            “More like a nightmare,” Mamoru grumbled. “Kuno nearly killed us, nearly killed you, and did kill two police officers.”

 

            Ukyo stared at him in shock. “Two police officers? Kuno? No way…” She looked at Konatsu, who nodded somberly. “Oh shit…”

 

            “I think he was possessed,” Mamoru and Konatsu said simultaneously.

 

            Ukyo cocked an eyebrow at the two of them. “Probably that sword. It wouldn’t be the first time either.” Mamoru looked at her funny, and she sighed. “A year or so ago, Kuno got his hands on an old bokken. Turns out the damn thing possessed him and he went around tearing up the school and beating people up, but he never killed anyone.” She looked at her uniform and saw the rip in it, proof to her that she had been injured. “What I want to know right now is, what happened to my wound? I know Kuno got me pretty good with that sword of his.”

 

            “One of the Senshi healed you,” Konatsu answered her. “I hope you’ll forgive me for trusting your life to them.”

 

            Ukyo smiled. “What’s to forgive, sugar? I’m healthy and you saved me from Kuno. What more could I ask?” Konatsu seemed to actually glow as she began dancing around the room. It was only then that Ukyo saw the decorations. She had made it a point not to look in Konatsu’s room and now she realized why. A shudder ran through her as she thought, ‘We have got to have a talk.’

 

            Mamoru suddenly had a bad feeling. Excusing himself hurriedly, he walked quickly out of the restaurant and into an alley. After transforming into Tuxedo Kamen, he flew quickly over the rooftops. Sailor Moon was in danger.

 

 

Shopping mall, Juuban district

 

            “There goes another one! Get it, Mars!” Moon cried out as another spirit emerged from a wall and began mauling a shopper. The Senshi of fire hurled a piece of paper with a spirit ward towards the ghost. The paper smacked the creature dead center and it let loose an unholy shriek before dissipating. Unfortunately, another set of spirits was emerging from the floor as panicked shoppers ran in every direction. Moon, Mars, Mercury, and Venus were the only Senshi present right now. The others were on their way. Venus let loose with her Crescent Beam to cut down two spirits before they could reach some fleeing civilians. Mercury was trying to analyze where the spirits were coming from.

 

            Moon was fighting hard against something that looked like it was half centipede, part mantis, and part porcupine. Fortunately, her clumsiness kept saving her life. Every time the creature tried to fire one of its spines at her, she would trip and fall out of the way. The creature was getting quite annoyed with this. Suddenly Jupiter landed between Sailor Moon and the monster. A powerful punch sent the monster flying back into a wall. Moon went to hug her rescuer, but tripped over her own feet and ended up tackling Jupiter just as something whizzed through the air where her head had been. Jupiter looked to the side and saw a spine sticking out of the wall.

 

            Jupiter got angry, and when Jupiter got angry, she got very violent. The creature never had a chance to attack again as powerful punches slammed into it over and over and over again. First its arms were broken, then its back, and finally its neck was bent at a bad angle and it finally quit moving. Jupiter pulled herself off of the creature as she popped her knuckles. “That felt good.” Mercury’s computer began beeping madly as it detected a power spike nearby.

 

            “Pathetic.”

 

            Jupiter, Mercury, and Moon turn towards the source of the voice. Moon took a step back in fright as she recognized the insane swordsman from last night. The zombie-like man standing next to him didn’t help her fear any either. “If that is the limit of your fighting skills, then I see no reason to waste my servant on you.” Turning towards the samurai, Kaji’s voice changed to that of a woman’s. “Kuno, your pigtailed goddess would dearly love for you to kill some of those peons running around, screaming their heads off. Be a dear, won’t you?” Kuno nodded and charged towards a screaming cluster of people, demonic sword raised over his head.

 

            Mars started to intercept, but an energy blast from Kaji’s hand brought her up short. “You, children, will deal with me. I am Kaji Bachiatari, Warmaster of the T’kara Ri and Priest of the Forge.”

 

            Moon stood up bravely. “For love and justice, I’m the pretty soldier Sailor Moon. In the name of the Moon, I’ll punish you!”

 

            Kaji looked less than impressed. “Now that the formal introductions are over, let us dance.” Kaji held up his hand, revealing a small red gem. The jewel glowed brightly for a moment and then several spirits emerged from the walls and floor of the mall. With a snap of his finger, Kaji sent the spirits charging towards Mars.

 

            Before anyone could react, the zombie-man closed with Jupiter and blasted her back into a wall with a crescent kick. Mercury was torn between helping out her Princess and trying to stop Kuno’s rampage, but when Venus joined Jupiter in making holes in the wall, her decision became clear. “Shabon Spray Freezing!”

 

            A blazing barrier caught the icy blast as Kaji held up a hand. “Nice try.” Clenching his hand into a fist, he sent a red blast of energy at the blue Senshi. She barely managed to duck under it as it flew over her to shatter a support pillar. Mars had just finished off the last of the spirits attacking her as she saw the pillar falling towards Mercury. Crying out, she dove for her friend, barely knocking her out of the way in time.

 

            Moon fired off her Moon Princess Halation, catching the evil zombie on a shoulder. She cheered as the rotting arm fell off and turned to dust, but her cheering died as she saw Kaji shrug. One handed, he grabbed Mercury and threw her across the room, slamming her with bone-rattling force into Jupiter, who was just struggling to get up. Mercury and Jupiter slumped to the ground. Mars screamed in fury and sent a Flame Sniper right into Kaji’s face. The zombie rocked back from the impact, then was knocked down as Mars sent a double kick into his gut.

 

            Sailor Moon used her Moon Princess Halation again, striking the fallen monster in the chest. Half of Kaji’s torso disintegrated from the blast. To her amazement, however, he stood up, albeit very slowly. Horrid laughter emerged from his ruined throat as he pointed behind Moon. The Princess couldn’t resist looking behind her and what she saw made her throw up violently. Kuno had not been wasting his time. Dozens of people had been torn apart, their body parts resting all over that section of the mall. Some were men, many had been women, and a few had even been children. There was no blood on the floor. As she recovered from losing her lunch, the bodies began to fall apart. Kuno turned towards her, but his face was no longer visible. He now appeared to be clad in traditional samurai armor, including facemask, but the material was blood red and seemed organic.

 

            Mars screamed in absolute fury, “Mars Inferno Pillar!” The new spell formed a series of rings around Kaji that began to spin and wobble before suddenly exploding in a violent column that tore the roof off the shopping mall and melted a hole thirty feet down through the floor. Kaji’s form wavered and crackled inside the column. As Kaji’s body disintegrated, Mars saw him throw the gem towards Kuno. The small jewel bounced once before coming to a stop, hovering in front of Kuno’s face. “Seijin Shouten!” Kaji cried before the last part of him disintegrated. The gem glowed brightly and then faded. As Kuno held out his hand, the gem fell into it.

 

            Mars turned to Kuno and glared. “Your master’s dead, and so are you! Mars Flame Sniper!” The fire spell blasted towards Kuno. With a flick of his wrist, Kuno created a blazing bowl-shaped shield that sent the flames straight into Moon. The Princess threw her hands up to cover her face. A horrified look came over Mars’ face as she realized what she had done. Moon suddenly felt herself thrown to the ground as a wave of heat rolled over her. Looking up, she saw her beloved Tuxedo Mask, looking a bit singed, standing where she had been.

 

            “I… live… again,” Kuno said slowly. “It feels so good to have flesh pulsing with living blood again. At last I have been restored and my avatar is complete.” Before Mars’ stunned eyes, Kuno held up the sword to look at it, then absorbed the blade into the armor over his body. “Thank you, my dear, for destroying my old body. It was getting a bit ripe.”

 

            Suddenly a voice rang out from the distance. “KAJI!”

 

 

Nekohanten, Nerima district

 

            Shampoo watched over Ranma’s sleeping form. She had been sitting at the table all night, keeping her vigil. Just as her eyes started to drift close, Ranma stirred. Shampoo sat up in hope as Ranma’s eyes blinked open. She was shocked to see that Ranma’s normally blue eyes were almost pure black, but she shook it off. Ranma clutched at her throat for a moment, then croaked, “Water.” Shampoo ran to the kitchen, trying to decide whether to bring Ranma cold water to drink or hot water to change back to a guy. She couldn’t make a decision, so she went ahead and brought both.

 

            Ranma sat up, taking the kettle of hot water and drinking it down, much to Shampoo’s surprise. What shocked her more was the strange smile on Ranma’s face. “Thanks, sweety. You and I will have to play together sometime. Ta-ta.” With that, she stuck her finger into the glass of cold water. Her body seemed to flow, as she turned translucent. With a popping sound, she disappeared.

 

            A few streets away, the cover of a storm drain suddenly rocketed into the air. Coughing and hacking, a miserable looking female Ranma pulled herself out of the sewers. “What in the name of all-that-is-burns went wrong? I should have been able to get further away than this!” She cursed. Pulling something rather repulsive out of her red-and-blue hued hair, she glanced around. “How in the name of flame did I get to Japan? Yasha, what have you gotten yourself into this time?” Yasha struggled to remember what had happened.

 

            In her mind’s eye, she saw that… girl. ‘How did she have Gui Huo’s power?’ Yasha wondered to herself. She felt the earth-based spell rip through her, shattering her control over part of her own body. She hissed as she remembered the pain of whatever the boy did to her. She had been expecting them to run out of the dome, leaving her for dead. She had expected to be stuck on the bottom of the ocean until she could heal. What had happened, however, was that the boy, who had strangely turned into a girl, had come back to her, looking for the gem. She had remembered deciding to use the girl’s body as a temporary vessel to get away from the destroyed dome and heal up a bit quicker. She had found the possession remarkably easy, almost like the girl had wanted it. She had lost awareness for a while, and then regained it a few minutes ago.

 

            Yasha opened her eyes and frowned. She could feel the girl-boy’s presence and knew he-she was still asleep. Looking back at the sewers, Yasha had a wicked idea. She jumped back in and released her hold on the body. She laughed at the thought of the youth waking up in such a place, but her laughter died as she suddenly found she couldn’t leave the body. Exerting her will, she tried to flee, but could not. Yasha began to panic. She couldn’t understand what was going wrong. She crawled back out of the sewer drain again, ignoring all of the people looking at her. Grumbling she snapped her fingers and a small rush of water cleaned her of most of the debris from the sewers.

 

            Looking down, she noticed that she was wearing both a red top shirt and a white undershirt. ‘Why do humans wear so many clothes?’ she asked herself. She kicked off her shoes as she shrugged her way out of the red shirt, taking off the black trousers while she was at it. Now people actually stopped to stare at the strange looking girl, who looked a lot like a certain martial artist they knew, stripping down to her underwear in the middle of the street. “Much better,” she said rather loudly. She reached up and undid the string that was holding her hair in a pigtail and let it fall to her shoulders. “Much, much better.” Feeling more comfortable now, she closed her eyes and tried to sense anything familiar. Her eyes flew open as a smile crossed her lips. “Kaji!” She ran down a few roads until she located a river. Diving in, she teleported in short bursts, speeding her way to Juuban.

 

            It only took her a few minutes until she found her goal. It was a large structure that seemed to house a large variety of shops. Or at least it used to, until the battle she had apparently walked into. Standing in the entrance to the mall, she saw a man in classic samurai armor and instantly recognized his aura as Kaji’s. “KAJI!” She cried out to him.

 

            She saw her beloved Kaji look in her direction and a wonderful sensation raced through her body. Then, to her dismay, he looked away. “My mission here is complete. Farewell for today.” In a blast of flame, Kaji disappeared. Yasha’s legs went numb and she fell to her knees, staring at the place where Kaji had stood. ‘Maybe he just didn’t recognize me… that has to be it… Kaji wouldn’t leave me like that.’ Her rationalizing was broken when Mars yelled out, “Another one! She’s a demon!” and pointed at her.

 

            “Oh, INFERNO!” Yasha cursed. She rolled to the side as a blast of fire blew past her. She was weak and there wasn’t enough free water nearby for her to power up any of her attacks. Unless she wanted to give the Senshi a short shower, she was going to have to move quick. As Moon powered up her Moon Healing Escalation, Yasha sensed the spell’s purpose. “Blazing Pits! What did Kaji get me into here?” An idea sprang to her head and she suddenly dropped bonelessly to the ground. The beam passed just scant inches away from her, scaring her badly.

 

            Recovering, Yasha sprang up and began to run. Her flight was brought up short as two more Senshi landed right in front of her. Yasha didn’t know who they were, but due to the fact that they were wearing clothes similar to her other enemies’ outfits, she guessed they were reinforcements. “Going somewhere?” The tall blonde one asked.

 

            Uranus looked down at the shorter, strange-looking girl and a glimmer of recognition ran through her mind. The hair shading, the badly beaten Senshi who looked like someone had opened up a can of whoop-ass, and the demonic presence all meant one thing in her mind. This demon was just like the one that had hurt Hotaru. “World Shaking!”

 

            Yasha sensed the elemental nature of the spell and was terrified into action. She dove underneath it and rolled between the blonde’s legs. Pushing hard with her legs, the demoness slammed her head into Uranus’ groin, stunning the woman and sending her off balance. Yasha was a bit off balance as well and could do nothing to avoid Neptune’s Deep Submerge attack. The moment the spell hit her, however, Yasha got a power boost.

 

            “YES!” She cried as she used the water-based energy to replenish her own magical reserves. Suddenly feeling a lot faster and more confident, Yasha grabbed Neptune by the lapels and smiled, revealing fangs as pronounced as Ryoga’s. “Do that again!” She taunted as she picked the woman up and threw her into Uranus, who was just beginning to recover. Both women crashed to the floor.

 

            Yasha prepared to dive for Moon when she detected a familiar presence approaching. Looking behind her, she saw the one who held Gui Huo’s essence teleport in a black, swirling cloud. Yasha frowned, having always remembered Gui Huo using fire as her personal mode of transportation. The distraction was enough for Mars to launch her Flame Sniper again.

 

            Yasha erected a small shield of water to block it. She hadn’t really expected the attack to hurt much, since she was made of the very enemy of fire. She hadn’t counted on two things, though. One was that she currently possessed a mortal, and therefore was not made of water. The second was the Jusenkyo curse. The Flame Sniper heated the water shield as it broke through and blasted it back into her. Her skin burned for a few moments before the wave of water struck. Suddenly the Senshi were staring at a black-haired boy wearing only boxers and a white shirt. The boy’s eyes rolled into the back of his head and he collapsed. Jiejie saw her opportunity and ran in, grabbing Ranma’s body around the waste. Mars finally saw her and snarled. She sent a Flame Sniper towards her, but Jiejie held up her hand. Her hair shifted to red as a small barrier of flame blocked the fire spell. Before Mars could react, Jiejie got Ranma into a better position and ran for the exit.

 

            Mars started to follow but Moon called her back. “We have to help the others get out of here before the authorities arrive.” Mars nodded and helped Venus get up. Together they carried Mercury and Jupiter over to Uranus and Neptune, both of whom were standing on their own.

 

            “This just keeps getting better,” Uranus grumbled.

 

            A few blocks down from the mall, Jiejie slowed down and stepped into an alleyway. She carefully set Ranma’s body on the ground and checked him for injuries. His skin was a bit red from the heat, but other than that, he was fine. Jiejie leaned back against a wall and considered what was going on. She searched her mind for Akane, but the young lady was off in a corner, sobbing at her failure to stop Ranma. Jiejie knew that most people would try and console her, but it was the half-demoness’ opinion that Akane had failed, and now Ranma was paying the price. She let Akane sulk for a bit as she stared at Ranma’s form. ‘We’re going to have to get him exorcised. The only problem is that the Hikawa shrine is the only nearby place I can think of, and those… women are probably going to be in the area.’ She sighed and let her mind wander to other questions. ‘Yasha seems so familiar… I know I’ve never seen her before, or even heard of her, but her aura is something I feel like I should recognize…’ Jiejie sighed once more and closed her eyes. Focusing on herself, she confirmed that she had enough power to transport herself and Ranma back to the Nekohanten without straining herself to badly. In a cloud of black mist, the two women disappeared.

 

            Shampoo jumped when Jiejie and Ranma suddenly appeared in the restaurant. She was greatly relieved to see Ranma again, even if he was unconscious. She noticed that the pigtailed martial artist’s hair had an odd blue tint to it, but she didn’t care. Cologne pogoed into the room with a concerned look on her face.

 

            “<We have a problem,>” Jiejie commented.

 

            “<Obviously,>” Cologne responded. “<The boy has become possessed by a demon.>”

 

            Jiejie nodded. “<And it has control, at least for the time being. I will teach him ways of maintaining control later, but for now I will have to seal him somewhere safe.>”

 

            Cologne led Jiejie to a storage room in the back of the restaurant and fetched the materials Jiejie asked for. The half-demoness began a long spell nearly identical to the one she used on Sailor Moon. When it was done, floating orbs of elemental energy surrounded Ranma’s body. “<Once every six hours you must replenish the elements or the seal will fail. We must try to locate a true priest to exorcise Ranma.>”

 

            Cologne nodded. “<We can trust Katsuhito.>”

 

            Jiejie snorted. “<He is not a real priest, Elder. He has a great power within him, but it has little effect on demons or spirits. The only other priest I know of nearby is the one from the Hikawa shrine. We know he is real, or at least his shrine is. Someone will have to fetch him, but the attacks have started to get worse.>”

 

            “<If it will help Ranma, I will go. I would do anything for Ranma,>” Shampoo stated. Jiejie glared at the purple-haired Amazon, but nodded after a moment’s consideration.

 

 

            Ranma was dreaming. He dreamed of falling into Jusenkyo and emerging wearing the body of a girl who he later found out was a demon. He dreamed of all the embarrassing accidents with water. He dreamed of all the times he had almost lost Akane. When he dreamed of the time he saw Saffron die and be reborn, a new voice echoed in his head. “That’s quite impressive for a mortal.”

 

            Ranma whirled around, suddenly finding himself in a black void. “What’s going on?”

 

            A patch of the void broke off and flowed like water, slowly forming a body he recognized. “Yasha.”

 

            The demoness clapped her hands together. “Bravo! You got it on your first try.”

 

            “Why am I dreaming about you?”

 

            Yasha walked seductively towards him, slipping her hand along his shoulders as she circled him. She made an appreciative sound and nodded. “Well, if I must share a body with someone, even temporarily, at least it’s a good specimen like yourself. I can’t tell you how dull it is, possessing an ugly creature with no sense of humor.”

 

            “Ah, shit… I ain’t dreamin’, am I?”

 

            Yasha laughed lightly, “Oh, you are a bright one. No, cutey, you ain’t.”

 

            “Wonderful…” Ranma blinked as suddenly they were standing in an enormous ballroom. The decorations and the walls were made from coral, and Ranma could make out an ocean beyond the stained glass windows that adorned the walls. Haunting music began to play as water swirled around Yasha and formed an elegant ball gown.

 

            Yasha held her hand out to him and smiled without showing her teeth. “Dance with me. It’s been a long time since I had any fun.” Ranma turned away from her, crossing his arms. “What’s the matter? Can’t dance? Or are you afraid of little old me?”

 

            Ranma boiled. “I ain’t afraid of nothin. Well, except Akane.”

 

            Yasha gave an exasperated sigh. “Oh, what’s it going to hurt? We’re in your mind. It’s not like I can tear your heart out and slurp it down.”

 

            “No way! Knowing my luck, Akane’ll become psychic or something and catch me dancing, and then I’ll be malletted again.” Ranma turned to run, but a grip of iron snagged his wrist.

 

            Yasha spun him around and smiled again, this time showing all her teeth. “Listen, how would you like me to make it so that every time you look at Akane, you break out laughing like a maniac? Or I could make you scream in fear. There’s always the pleasure in making you barf every time you look at her. I saw that in a cartoon once.” She pulled Ranma tight against her as she slipped an arm around his waist. “I want to dance. We are going to dance, or I’m going to make your life a living hell.”

 

            Ranma began to kick at her, but even knowing that she was a demon, he was finding it difficult to fight a girl. ‘All she wants to do is dance…’ “Fine,” Ranma spat as he took her hand and slipped his arm around her waist.

 

            Yasha smiled pleasantly. “How about a fitting song for our first dance?” She changed the music to ‘The Danse Macabre’. She started into a waltz, but Ranma quickly took the lead. Yasha was a bit surprised at his grace. “You’ve done this before, I see.”

 

            Ranma smirked. “Yeah, I learned Martial Arts Ballroom Dancing a while back.”

 

            Yasha blinked her eyes in a fishy way. “Martial Arts Ballroom Dancing? They made a fighting style about…” She was clearly stunned.

 

            Ranma has often been accused of being slow and dense, and normally he was. However, he did have some bright moments and this was one of them. He capitalized on her surprise and twirled her expertly, keeping her from being able to focus her thoughts too clearly. “Sure. Martial Arts Ballroom Dancing, Martial Arts Gymnastics, Martial Arts Tea Ceremony.”

 

            Yasha had seen many strange things in her life, but they were mostly related to magic. The things humans could come up with often astounded her. Her mind whirred as Ranma dipped her low to the music, maintaining his advantage. “So, what about you? Have you possessed people often?”

 

            Yasha smiled. “Not really. It’s more fun to play with them than it is to be them. I just needed you for an easy ride while I healed.”

Yasha frowned. “That little midget really hurt me.”

 

            Ranma continued the waltz with her, slowly spinning her around to keep her from focusing on anything. “Why were you in that dome anyway?”

 

            Yasha’s frown deepened. “Kaji asked me to kill that other boy. He has this small grudge against Jurains. He also wanted me to keep you guys busy while Inago grabbed the gem.” Ranma detected a hint of sadness in her voice as she continued. “And he didn’t recognize me when I went to see him again.”

 

            “What’s a Jurain?”

 

            Yasha frowned as she her mind wandered some. “Their aliens. A long time ago they came here to destroy Kaji and the others.”

 

            “Where’s the gem?” Ranma was a little uncomfortable with the fact that he was actually starting to like the dance.

 

            “Kaji has it.” As the music came to a close and they bowed to each other, a strange look came over the demoness’ face. “Why you sneaky little… you tricked me!”

 

            Ranma gritted his teeth, prepared for the worst, but Yasha merely laughed. “Oh well, because of the lovely dance, I’ll let it slide this time. I’m guessing that your little friend will be having you exorcised soon, at which point I’ll simply go back to Kaji, or they’ll kill you to try to get to me, at which point I’ll go back to Kaji. You see, either way, I win.” She slowly stroked a hand across his face and smiled with all her teeth this time. “If you survive, let me know. I think you’d be fun to play with again.” She laughed as Ranma gulped. Suddenly a bright light flooded through the ballroom.

 

 

 

            Jiejie had to recharge the seal twice before Shampoo came back. Instead of the old priest, however, she had brought a raven-haired temple maiden. A strange look came over the girl’s face when she came into the restaurant and Jiejie thought she detected fear. Shampoo introduced the maiden as Rei Hino, granddaughter of the priest. “Priest no can come. Many bad things attacking Juuban now, so priest stay at temple to keep safe and help others.”

 

            Cologne nodded in acceptance. “Has the situation been properly explained to you, child?”

 

            Rei nodded nervously, casting constant wary looks at Jiejie, who was standing in a corner. “I think so. A friend of yours has been possessed by a demon and you need an exorcism performed. Wh-where is the p-poor soul?”

 

            Jiejie couldn’t help shaking the strange feeling she was getting from the girl. She had been around holy people before, and it wasn’t the same feeling. Jiejie pushed away from the wall and motioned for Rei to follow her. Rei gasped in shock as she entered the storage room and saw Ranma’s body in a seal that was, as far as she could tell, identical to the one that had been used against her Princess. “Wh-who did this?” She asked.

 

            Jiejie pointed at herself and scowled. “You sure you able do this?”

 

            Rei nodded slowly, her mind working quickly. ‘What in the name of the kami is going on here? A demon is asking me to exorcise another demon? Is there some kind of civil war going on?’ Rei knelt before Ranma and concentrated, but could feel nothing. “You will have to eliminate the seal for me to do this.”

 

            Jiejie’s scowl deepened, but she did as requested. Working quickly, she countered each globe with its opposing element and the seal failed. Rei filed that bit of information away for future reference as she concentrated again. She could definitely sense two demonic presences, one in the girl beside her and another within the boy in front of her. She did note that the demonic influence on the girl was barely noticeable. Working quickly but carefully she set up the exorcism ritual and began working to free the demon from Ranma’s body. ‘He’s cute,’ she thought to herself. “What are their names? It will make the ritual easier if their names are used.”

 

            “Ranma Saotome is the boy’s name. Gaiyou Yasha is the demon’s.”

 

            Rei nodded and began chanting.

 

 

 

            As the ballroom disintegrated around them, Ranma looked confusedly at Yasha. “Well, that would be the exorcism I was talking about. I’ll be seeing you, Wild Horse.” Yasha smirked as her form began to fade. Suddenly her black eyes went wide and she gave a terrible scream that tore through Ranma’s soul.

 

 

            Rei finished the last of the prayers and placed the ward on Ranma’s forehead that would cast the demon out of him. The ward flared brightly as a mist began to pour out of the boy’s mouth, nose, and ears. Jiejie quit watching Rei’s movements and focused her attention on the mist. Rei, sensing the girl’s change in focus, slipped her hand into her robe and pulled out a second exorcism ward. Darting her hand quickly, she threw the ward at Jiejie’s head. Jiejie, sensing the movements at the last moment, barely managed to duck out of the way. She turned a surprised look towards the maiden. The surprise quickly became anger.

 

            “You leave now,” she whispered.

 

            “I know you for a demon, and I will not let you harm this man,” Rei challenged bravely, starting to reach for the talisman that would let her become Sailor Mars.

 

            “He safe. You not safe if you no go. You go now.” Jiejie glared as her eyes started to glow darkly. Suddenly a fourth person appearing in the room distracted both women. “Yasha,” Jiejie hissed, recognizing the shark-like lady’s form.

 

            Yasha was gasping in pain as she noticed the two other ladies. “Well, nice to see you again. Sorry I can’t stick around.” Yasha bolted for the doorway only to run into Cologne.

 

            “I don’t think so, demon,” the Elder commented with a smirk.

 

            Yasha looked around, recognizing that she was in a kitchen. With a last ditch effort, she forced her body to become water as she dove for a pot of boiling water that sat on the stove. Reaching her goal, she managed to teleport out of danger. Jiejie cursed as she tried to sense where the water demon had gone to, but she could no longer detect her. She whirled back towards the maiden. “You go now.” When she saw the determined look enter Rei’s eyes, Jiejie considered knocking her unconscious, but that strange feeling she was getting made her change her mind. She stalked over to Ranma’s body and, though it was a terrible strain to her, teleported away. Rei wasted little time in leaving the Nekohanten and reporting back to her fellow Senshi.

 

           

Chapter Notes:

Seijin Shouten – Saint Ascension – The spell Kaji used to bind his soul with Kuno’s body.