❯ New Destiny Reloaded – Book I: Roads to Succession – Meetings and Reunions ( Chapter 3 )
New Destiny Reloaded: Book I � Roads to Succession
Chapter Three � Meetings and Reunions
�Take it easy, Akane, you�re going to pull my arm off!�
Akane Hibiki didn�t look back at her husband, whom she was dragging along as she ran towards Furinkan High. She kept her sight in front of her as they raced past random people and dodge cars. �Just get the lead out already, Ryoga! Davis might be in danger, especially if the Mega Avengers are there by now.�
The Hibikis had taken off from the Dojo for the school ever since they saw several MA members pass the Dojo, heading for Furinkan as if something was going on there. Akane didn�t trust any of the MA at all. It didn�t matter if they were current, past, or retired members; ever since Hiei tried to kill her the night Ranma had died, her tolerance towards all of them has nosedived even further. She knew they were just bidding their time, waiting until her guard was down before they would take revenge for Ranma.
[They know about Davis and they�re going to take him hostage,] she thought bitterly. [The whole world will finally see their true colors at last!]
�Hello Akane, Ryoga.�
The neutral, almost familiar voice caused Akane to stop running. Both she and Ryoga turned to see a teen and a woman, most likely his mother, looking at them.
�If you�re worried about Davis, there�s no need,� the teen said, �Everyone at the school is safe. Mom and I just came from there.�
Akane blinked. ��Okay, if you were there, what happened? And how do you know our names?�
Before the teen could reply, Ryoga spoke up. �Wait. You�re� Ms. Takaishi, right?� He then pointed at the teen, slowly. �Then that means� no. No, you can�t be-.�
�Yes I am, Ryoga. I�m TK. And by the way, my folks got back together, so my mom�s Mrs. Ishida again.�
Ryoga was taken aback by TK�s answer. The last time he had seen TK was back at Ranma�s funeral, though Ryoga had to hide behind a distant tree from the gravesite since it was clear he would have not been welcome by anyone who attended. Memories of the little boy came back to him as he took in TK�s new appearance.
�Well,� Akane said darkly, her hands going to her hips, �I guess it was only a matter of time before you came along, TK Saotome. I had heard you got your last name changed. And is that a Pigtail I see? My, what an impact Ranma left on you.�
�More than you�ll ever know,� Mrs. Ishida said, somewhat politely. �My son has dedicated his free time into training so he�d become equal to, if not better, than Ranma had been in life.�
With a snort, Akane looked right at TK. Their eyes met, and although TK�s gaze was calm, Akane could tell there was some resentment in his eyes as he looked at her. Her resentment, however, was much more evident.
�I�ve done my share of training, too,� she said, �so don�t expect me to just lay back and allow you to kill me, or my husband.�
Ryoga was surprised by what TK did next; he had turned away from Akane to look right at Ryoga.
�With his dying breath, Ranma made me promise to not seek revenge against the two of you and the other rivals and fiancées. However, you should remember this; if you push me, and that goes for Davis as well, don�t think I won�t push back. Now, if you�ll excuse me, I was taking my mother home. Good day.�
Akane scowled as TK and his mother walked away from her and Ryoga. How dare he talk like that, and not to her face at all. �He�ll meet the same end as Ranma,� she said to her husband, �that�s the fate he�s made for himself. He�s already on the path Ranma took.�
Mentally, Ryoga disagreed. Although he couldn�t sense ki like Ranma, or even TK if he could do so now, Ryoga could tell TK was hiding something amazing from deep within. [Whether he knows it or not� TK has surpassed Ranma in more ways than one.]
Kari was almost disappointed when Rusty landed on a rooftop and put her down. It was fun to swing around the city. However, she knew why they had stopped. This building, she realized, was where TK was living in now.
�TK and his folks live on floor 21,� Rusty explained, �Apartment 23-6D. With any luck, they should be home by now. If not, here�s a spare key I made from the one TK slipped me.�
Taking the key, Kari looked at Rusty. �Aren�t you coming with me?�
�You know I can�t. Burter left me to go report to King Robert about what happened at the school, and I gotta get to him before the news comes on.�
�Bu-But what will I say when I see him?�
Rusty rolled his eyes, all eighty of them. �Duh! You say �hello,� like any other person would. It�s only TK, for crying out loud. Look, I have to hurry, but I�ll swing by if you need a lift home, okay? TTFN!�
Before Kari could say anything else, Rusty had rush to the edge of the building and leapt off, shooting a web line to swing away with. With a nervous sigh, Kari clenched the key in her hand and made her way to the door leading into the building. It took all her courage to keep walking; the floor and apartment number fresh in her memory. Whether she was ready or not, she was going to see TK again after so long.
Within minutes, she was heading down the right hallway towards the apartment. However, after making a turn, she stopped to see someone or something standing at an apartment door. Who/whatever it was, it was nervously trying to decide, to Kari, whether or not to knock on the door.
Suddenly, Kari knew at once who this was, and walked over. �Cell?�
Startled by the sound of his name, Cell turned in Kari�s direction. �Oh, er� hi! Uh, do I know you?�
�Kari. Kari Yagami. I�m TK�s friend.�
Cell�s jaw dropped. �Kari?! Little Kari-? Well, you�re not so little anymore, obviously. And you�ve become quite a looker.�
�It�s the curse of being female. So, why are you here?� Kari noticed the number on the apartment door. �Oh, I see, you�re here to visit TK, too.�
�Uh, yeah, that�s it! But I guess he�s not home, so I�ll just drop by later. Or maybe tomorrow.�
�Oh, I have a key. Rusty gave it to me. We can go in and wait together. I don�t mind. TK probably hasn�t seen you in years, either.�
�Well, no�� Finally, Cell gave a heavy sigh. �To be honest, I couldn�t bear to show myself to him after� after I let Ranma die. TK probably blames me for what happened. Look, I�ll come by later. You get to be first since you�re his best friend. Just� don�t tell him I was here, okay?�
��I won�t. But I don�t think TK blames you at all-.� Kari never finished as Cell had vanished. Turning to the door to the apartment, Kari slid the key into the lock and opened it slowly.
�Hello,� she called into the door, �Is anyone here?� Hearing no reply at all, Kari let herself in, locking the door behind her.
[Guess I�ll have to wait until he gets home.]
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Cell walked along the streets of the city, deep in thought. He shouldn�t have gone to TK�s apartment building. It didn�t matter what Piccolo and the others had told him, he knew that TK blamed him for Ranma dying, and he knew it was true.
[All this power within me, in my fingertips� and I couldn�t save one life. Akane may have rejected you, Friezor may have wounded you, but in the end it was me who killed you, Ranma. That cross is mine to bear, and mine alone.]
Suddenly, Cell stopped as he noticed he was in front of a small building; a very familiar small building. He looked at the sign above very carefully, and his eyes widened.
�The Neko� Hanten? �Grand Re-opening?!� But what are they doing back here?�
Deciding to investigate the matter, Cell walked into the restaurant. Inside, everything looked brand new; the tables, the chairs, the decorations, even the paint and wallpaper. It was almost as if the restaurant had never closed, only renovated.
Suddenly, a woman with purple-haired came out from the kitchen. She spoke with a slight Chinese accent, and her Japanese was broken up. �Excuse, please. Nekohanten no open until� AIYA! Cell!�
Cell never had the chance to say anything as the woman gave him one of her usual glomps.
�Aiya, Shampoo too, too happy to see friend Cell,� she said, almost sobbing. �Shampoo, great-grandmother and Mousse miss you all so much.�
�It� it�s good to see you, too, Shampoo,� Cell said, gently freeing himself. �But, I�m a little confused, why are you here?�
�My wife and I were banished from our tribe only recently,� came a voice Cell also knew well. Emerging from the kitchen was a tall man with long black hair and thick, coke-bottle glasses.
�Mousse! �Wait, you mean you and Shampoo-?�
Shampoo nodded. �Yes. Mousse become husband when he defeat Shampoo when Shampoo try kill Akane after Ranma die. Yet Mousse no say anything to great-grandmother, not even when we back in China. Years pass, and Shampoo finally challenge Mousse against wishes of Amazon elders. He win, we marry, and we banished.�
�Cologne helped us set up back here,� Mousse added. �We both thought it would be better to have Shampoo and I start our new life together in a familiar place. Although, I was worried being back here would cause� painful memories to surface.�
�But Shampoo okay,� Shampoo finished for Mousse. �Shampoo still sad for Ranma, but he can no be hurt anymore. Cell, you come to re-opening tonight, yes? We make all you can eat, on house.�
�Tempting, but� I�m not sure. I have some personal things to work out that may take some time. Then again� if Akane and Ryoga show up-.�
At the mention of those names, several daggers popped out of Mousse�s robe-sleeve. His voice was cold. �They won�t stay long. I�ll see to that. Ranma and I didn�t exactly get along very well, but he considered me a friend, and I will not let anyone badmouth him while me within earshot.�
Not liking where this was going, Shampoo took Cell by the hand and started pulling him towards the door. �Well Shampoo and Mousse have much work to do before opening. Goodbye, Cell. Come visit later.� Once they were outside, Shampoo lowered her voice.
�Cell come to opening in case Akane and Ryoga come, yes? Shampoo know Mousse no hold temper if they do. Please come Cell?�
Cell would have protested, but the way Shampoo looked at him, she was actually begging him. She was even giving him puppy-eyes, even though she had fallen into the Spring of Drowned Cat years ago.
��I�ll try to bring some back-up with me.�
Once again, Shampoo glomped Cell. �Thank you Cell. Oh, Shampoo almost forgot, how TK doing?�
�That�s� one of the personal things I mentioned.�
�Shampoo see. Cell� Shampoo blame Akane for Ranma dying, no Cell. Shampoo know Cell love Ranma also.�
��Thanks a lot, Xian Pu.�
As soon as she heard the door open, Kari practically jumped off the couch and onto her feet. Someone had come home; but was it TK, or Matt, or one of their parents?
TK walked into the apartment first, talking to his mother behind him. �I know we didn�t get the tour, but it�s not my fault hostile aliens showed u-.� He froze as he noticed Kari in front of him, stunned that someone, a girl at that, had gotten into the apartment.
Nancy also saw Kari, though neither she, nor TK recognized her at all. �Can we help you?�
Despite the millions of butterflies in her stomach, Kari gathered her courage to say just two words. �Hello TK.�
Those words and that voice; that was all it took for TK to realize who this girl was. ��Kari��
Kari gave a nod, and soon she rushed up to hug TK tightly. Her waiting was over; TK was back in her life. A few tears squeezed out of her tightly shut eyelids. �Oh TK, I missed you so much.�
TK�s arms encircled Kari, returning the hug. �I missed you, too.�
With a cough, Nancy caused the teens to look at her. �It is good to see you again, Kari, but how did you find our apartment and how did you get in?�
�I spoke with Rusty back at the school. He brought me to the building and gave me a spare key. He would have stayed with me, but he said he had orders to report to King Robert about the incident today.�
�Wait, you�re the one girl I saw at the school today?! Then that guy I saved from being killed was-?�
Kari frowned. �Daisuke Hibiki, my self-appointed boyfriend, or so he thinks. It doesn�t help that I�m taking martial arts lessons from his cousins.�
TK raised an eyebrow. �Funny, they never mentioned you when mom and I ran into them earlier.�
�They saw you?!�
It was Nancy who answered. �And Akane thinks TK will go after her to avenge Ranma, but TK made a promise not to, and he�s being held to it.�
�After what I saw, or kind of saw TK do today, I can understand why Akane would think that. You should have seen it, Ms. Takaishi-.�
TK laughed a bit. �Kari, my parents got back together. That�s mainly why I�m here now.�
�Really?! That�s great! Anyway, Mrs. Ishida, this alien was about to shoot Davis with this space gun when suddenly TK showed up and did something to stun him and then, a split second later, knocked him out. I�ve only seen someone like Cell move that fast.�
The mention of the name caused TK to grab Kari gently so she looked at him. �You�ve seen Cell? Where? When?�
Kari was about to say that she had talked with Cell just earlier, but then remember what he had asked of her. �Sorry, TK, but I haven�t seen Cell since� since Ranma�s viewing.� She felt his hands slowly let go of her.
�I see. I was hoping he�d stop by��
Deciding to change the subject slightly, Nancy went over to the kitchen and pulled out some pots form her cupboards. �Kari, why don�t you go with TK and have him tell you about his training while I cook up lunch for all of us. I�m sure you both have much to catch up on.�
�Just how the hell did a group of Friezor�s troop even set foot on Earth without any of us knowing,� he said harshly to Rusty and Kaiba, who were standing before him as he sat on his throne. To say that King Robert was unhappy at the news of the Furinkan Hostage incident would have been an understatement.
�Is he always like this when he gets bad news,� Kaiba whispered to Rusty.
Rusty slightly shook his head. �This is nothing. It�s when his skin turns emerald you have to run for cover.�
Queen Ami, seated in her throne next to Robert�s, put a hand to his arm. �Robert, please clam down.�
Though he didn�t appear it, Robert did calm down a little, but not by much. �Have those soldiers interrogated thoroughly! Turn them over to Ginyu if that�s what it takes. I don�t want this to happen again. We almost got in deep with the one tabloid that said we let Ranma die and got paid for it.�
Rusty bowed quickly. �Say no more, boss; we�re out the door. C�mon, Kaiba.�
But Robert raised his hand. �Just you, Rusty. I�d like to speak with Kaiba a bit longer.�
�Remember, if his skin turns emerald, run,� was all Rusty said to Kaiba before he left the throne room.
�So,� Robert began, �what are your thoughts about TK, Seto?�
This surprised Kaiba, but he answered quickly. �Saotome? He is impressively skilled as a fighter, I�ll give him that. However, I feel there wasn�t enough time for me to learn enough about him. The other Titans may not accept him just yet, and I did state last time that we need some female members.�
�I�m handling that department,� Ami said, �And believe me, it�s not that easy finding female super heroes these days, especially teenage ones.�
�As for TK,� Robert added, �well, let�s just hope he agrees to attend Furinkan. While Ranma made TK not seek vengeance against the old crew Ranma associated with, he didn�t make TK promise not to hate those guys.�
Genma couldn�t believe what Ran and Taeko had just told him, Nodoka, and Ukyo as they sat at a table in Ukyo�s restaurant. The girls had walked in and explained about the alien terrorists, being held hostage, and the quick rescue by Kaibaman and some unknown teen.
�And nobody got hurt in the end,� Nodoka wondered.
Ran shrugged. �Nah� except for Davis when the one alien started to hit on Kari. He almost got shot if that other guy didn�t show up and save him.�
�He was kind of cute, though,� Taeko said, �and from what I understand, Kari might know him.�
�She did mention a name� what was it? TK, or-?�
�TK,� Ukyo gasped, �no way! He�s here?�
Genma quickly shot a look at Nodoka. �Do we have Matt�s cell phone number?�
�I�ll call him right away,� was all his wife said before she rushed back upstairs to their apartment above the restaurant.
Ran was puzzled. �Okay, who is this guy, and how does everybody but Tae and me know him?!�
Genma adjusted his glasses. �TK is my youngest nephew, on my wife�s side of the family. He and Kari sort of grew up together and were best friends until a few years ago. Nodoka, Ukyo and I haven�t� seen him in almost six years, though I know he�s been training hard as a martial artist under several former Mega Avengers ever since.�
Taeko let out a low whistle. �The MA, huh? No wonder he was so fast.�
Ukyo crossed her arms, thinking a little. �But what�s TK doing back here in Nerima? �You don�t think� it has to do with the Hibikis-?�
�Possibly, but doubtful,� Genma replied, though he mentally considered this option as well. Had TK decided to break his promise to Ranma and take his revenge on Akane and Ryoga? It was possible, but Genma also knew that TK would never go back on his word. Honor was the one thing Genma had drilled into Ranma�s head, though he personally had no right to speak of honor in those days, and Ranma had, unknowingly or spiritually, passed that trait unto TK. If TK were to break his promise, Ranma would never forgive him.
�What does this have to do with the Hibikis?�
Genma looked at Ran, and then grimly frowned. �Let�s just say� my family has a history with Akane and Ryoga.�
Nodoka then came back down before either Taeko or Ran could ask what Genma meant by his words. �Nancy and Malcolm remarried,� she said happily, �They and TK are living here now in an apartment not too far form here. Nancy took TK to Furinkan to see if he could be enrolled there, and they must have been caught up in the attack.�
This made Genma abandon his grim look for a broad smile. �I see now; they wanted to surprise us, I�ll bet.�
Suddenly, Ukyo got an idea. �TK and Nancy may be at their place by now. How about we close the restaurant for the day and pay them a visit?�
Ran liked this idea, especially if this would lead to a party. �Would it be okay if Tae and I come along? Kari might be there, too, knowing her.�
�I don�t see why not,� Nodoka said, �TK could use more friends.�
Soun had just finished planting his last hibiscus into his garden when Nabiki came up behind him. He turned to face her, removing his gardening gloves. �Is something wrong?�
�You won�t believe it, daddy,� Nabiki said, �Furinkan High was taken hostage earlier today; a group of alien solders who used to work for Friezor took it over in order to force the Mega Avengers to release their leader.�
Soun stood up from the ground. �Is the school still-?�
�No, it was resolved with no fatalities, though the rest of the school day had to be canceled. Apparently, the aliens were defeated by Kaibaman and a certain blonde martial artist who just moved into the area. Tatewaki called and told me everything.�
It took a moment, but Soun eventually realized whom Nabiki was referring to. �TK?�
�The one and only. I meant to tell you since last night when I ran into him, but you were asleep by the time I came home. �Daddy, he�s almost like Ranma was, only stronger.�
Soun turned away, looking over his garden. It was actually Kodachi�s garden, but since she had died, Soun spent most of his time in it, tending to the plants as if they were his own. This hobby had done him some good; martial arts and selfish ambitions from the past were but a memory to him, and he couldn�t remember the last time he lost his temper easily, let alone used his demon-head technique Happosai had taught him.
�Does Akane know yet?�
Nabiki put a finger to her chin. �Most likely she knows by now.�
��Good. I believe it�s time the self-proclaimed �strongest human fighter in Nerima� was dethroned.�
There was a calm, sincere look on his face as Soun once more looked at his middle daughter. �I have no intention whatsoever in provoking a fight between Akane and TK. What I just said was merely a speculation of what is to come. Now� I believe the hyacinths are ready to be picked. Perhaps, as a welcoming present, we could send them to young TK.�
��He�s allergic to hyacinths.�
�Oh. Well, maybe something else, then.�
�Sora and Tai are getting married?�
Kari nodded. She, along with TK and Nancy, were seated at the kitchen table, eating a lunch consisting of pasta primavera. It was the best Nancy could come up with on such short notice.
�They got engaged just last year,� Kari continued her story, pausing only to eat a forkful of pasta. �They�re waiting till they�re done with college. I�m surprised Matt never told you.�
�He knew I was busy training, but he still could have let me know. I wanted to get in touch with you ever since you moved and I lost your email when my mother changed our accounts without giving me a chance to backup my address book.�
�It wouldn�t have helped,� Kari stated, finishing her plate. �We got a new email service, too, after moving.�
�Tell, me, Kari,� Nancy said suddenly, �why are you training under Akane?�
A heavy frown crossed Kari�s lips. �My mom arranged it for me without my consent. And until I find another school with a more competent teacher, mom says I can�t quit. The worst part is I have to train with Davis, and Akane does nothing about his advances towards me. At least Ryoga tries to make him stop.�
This news caught TK�s attention most particularly. �Ryoga tries to dissuade Davis?�
�Unsuccessfully, I might add. He�s also trying to find another martial arts school for me to go to behind Akane�s back. He thinks I can learn more than what they have to offer elsewhere. Say, maybe you could train me, TK.�
But TK shook his head. �I�m still training as I go. Although� maybe I can ask Burter to take you as a student.� He then stood up from his chair. �If you�re finished, Kari, I�ll take your plate to the sink for you.�
Kari gave a nod and handed her empty plate, along with her fork, to TK for him to take it to the sink. �Thanks for letting stay for lunch, Mrs. Ishida, and I�m sorry for inviting myself in earlier.�
�You don�t have to apologize, Kari. You�re family as far as I�m concerned.�
TK turned on the sink and started rinsing the dishes. �Speaking of family, mom, when are you going to call Aunt Nodoka and Uncle Genma? They�d want to know about us moving.�
Just then, the doorbell rang. Nancy got up and opened the door, and gasped. There was Nodoka, along with Genma, Ukyo, and two girls she didn�t recognize. Her focus was on her sister and brother-in-law. �Nodoka!�
The former Takaishi sister hugged before the group was ushered into the apartment. TK shut off the faucet to run over and greet his relatives while Kari rushed to greet her friends, Ran and Taeko. Greetings were exchanged, introductions were made, and Nodoka made her explanation about calling Matt to get the address and apartment number after Ran and Taeko told the Saotomes about the incident at the school.
�We never got a chance to thank you for saving us,� Taeko said, bowing to TK. �It was amazing what you did to those aliens.�
�Amazing doesn�t cover it,� Ran added, �it was totally awesome! Where�d you learn how to be so fast, and where do we sign up for lessons?�
�Well done, my boy,� Genma said, giving TK a gentle slap to the back. �You must be very proud of your achievements to have saved an entire school.�
TK�s cheeks flushed with embarrassment. He wasn�t used to having so much attention. �I-I didn�t do it alone, uncle. I had help from a guy calling himself Kaibaman.�
Kari couldn�t help but giggle at how TK�s face was turning pink. Suddenly, she realized she had yet to let her family know where she was. �Mrs. Ishida, could I borrow your phone to call my parents?�
End Chapter 3
Author�s notes: I know a lot of people will probably dislike this chapter as it kinda goes nowhere, save for TK seeing the Hibikis and Kari, and the return of Shampoo and Mousse. However, I�m trying to decide where to go from this point. There will be other appearances by other Ranma alumni, including Kiren and Tomoe from the two Ranma movies, and Prince Herb from the Manga series. TK will be facing those three, and expect Pantyhose Tarou to come a-calling as well as Gosunkugi near the end of this first book.
And, yes, eventually Cell and TK will meet again. I just have to set it up.
So what have I got planned for the next chapter? Well, there is the grand re-opening of the Nekohanten. And eventually, Davis will challenge TK once Akane tells him who TK really is.
But, we shall see, we shall see.