Moon Over Neptune
A Ranma/Sailor Moon Crossover
By: Bob Lobster

Disclaimer: I own pretty much nothing in this story. If I did own any
of this, I'd be filthy rich and wouldn't be struggling to pay rent.

Note: This story was written for the Ranma/Sailormoon crossover
generator challenge. If you wish to check the challenge out or see
more
stories written for it(or vote for me^_^) it's at
www.beeftrapeze.com/challenge
Previous chapters(all 1 of them^_^;;) can be found at
www.geocities.com/ranikkoku
Enjoy^_^

Poem: Fickle Fortune
Poet: Robert Burns(1759-1796)
Published: 1782

Though fickle Fortune has deceived me,
She pormis'd fair and perform'd but ill;
Of mistress, friends, and wealth bereav'd me,
Yet I bear a heart shall support me still.

I'll act with prudence as far's I'm able,
But if success I must never find,
Then come misfortune, I bid thee welcome,
I'll meet thee with an undaunted mind.





Chapter 1: Of Ponderings and Revelations


Ranma sat in his room at the Tendo house, staring blankly down at
the locket in his hand. He'd done this many times in the past and this
time seemed no different as the familiar feelings came forth. Feelings
of familiarity, recognition, like he should know the people in the
pictures. He came no closer today, however, than he ever came to
identifying the strangers that he saw. Today was different though, for
today something important had happened that threw what he thought he
knew out the window. Today he had met his mother.

Not that his mother knew that they'd met, of course. Due to the
stupidity of his father, he had been forced to hide from the woman
he'd longed to know his whole life, for fear of being forced to commit
seppuku because he couldn't live up to a promise. A promise he hadn't
even made, but was still expected to live up to. A promise that he
would be a 'Man Amongst Men'; something difficult to do when a quick
splash of cold water turned him into a cute, busty, green-haired girl.

The promise, however, wasn't really the problem that had Ranma
once more staring at the locket that had been in his possession for
longer than he could remember. The real problem was that things he had
thought were figured out years ago, he was once more in the dark
about. The woman in the picture obviously wasn't his mother, despite
what the green-haired chick had hinted at, and that left Ranma
severely confused. Had he misunderstood what she was trying to tell
him when they had met those years ago? Sure, she hadn't come right out
and said that the woman was his mother, and the man certainly wasn't
Genma, but he had always half hoped that that meant that Genma really
wasn't his father. It would certainly be promising for the future of
his hairline at the very least. Now, however, he had met his mother,
and it wasn't her.

All this led Ranma to once more be sitting quietly, contemplating
the woman who had been the center of his thoughts for longer than he
could recall. So wrapped up in thoughts was he that he didn't notice
someone enter the room until a soft hand came down on his shoulder. He
was in a relaxed, thoughtful state of mind at the moment though, so he
didn't start at the contact, merely looking up from the tightly-held
locket to the worried face of the eldest Tendo daughter standing
behind him. He smiled a bit at her, his heart warming a little to see
such obvious concern for him on her face and waited for her to ask how
he was, as he knew she would.

"Are you all right, Ranma-kun?" She asked, returning his smile
with one of her own, though hers was laced with worry. It was obvious
that all of them were worried about him, and Ranma knew why, though he
didn't feel like addressing it with them at the moment. However, since
Kasumi had been thoughtful enough to come to make sure he was alright,
the least he could do was assuage her worries.

"I'm okay, Kasumi, I just have a lot on my mind is all." He
replied, trying to keep his voice as uplifting as possible, while
increasing his smile a bit. She seemed to accept that for the moment,
although Ranma could tell that she was still concerned about him. It
felt nice to know that someone cared that much about him and he
unconsciously ran his thumb over the silver crescent moon engraved on
the front of the locket. This, in turn, brought the locket to Kasumi's
attention.

"Oh my! That's a beautiful locket, Ranma." She stated, looking
down at it. It was obviously well made, though she wondered whether it
really was made of the gold and silver it seemed to be or if it was
just a beautifully made fake. She couldn't help thinking that if it
were real it would be worth a fair amount of money and, despite not
wanting to think ill of a guest, she wondered how Ranma would have
been able to keep it from his father. "Wherever did you get it from?"

Ranma stared down at the locket for a moment, thinking back to how
long he has had it. Sometime during his talk with Kasumi he had
unconsciously closed it he now stared at the markings on the outside.
He knew them by heart, able to describe every bump, every scratch
(though there were very few), every little nuance of it by heart,
having spent so much time with it, but he still had no memory of
getting it in the first place. Looking back up at Kasumi's curious
face he answered in a slightly reverent tone. "I'm not really sure,
Kasumi, I've had it for as long as I can remember. I asked Pop about
it once, but he wouldn't say anything, just told me it was important."

"Really?" Kasumi replied, curiously. She hoped that, perhaps by
talking about this, Ranma may open up to her a little. She had noticed
that despite his brash attitude, he seemed very sensitive about his
past, not talking about it much and she felt that, with the way he
held the locket, like it was the most important thing in the world, if
she could find out more about it, she may find out more about him.
That was something that had always bothered Kasumi slightly, her lack
of knowledge regarding Ranma's past. She liked to think that he was a
friend, close to being family, but she still knew very little about
what made him tick. She couldn't help but feel if she knew more, she
may be able to help him better when he was feeling down, as he
obviously was now. "Is there a picture in it?"

Ranma smiled a bit before nodding the affirmative and handing the
locket carefully over to Kasumi. Seeing how important it seemed to be
to him, Kasumi knelt down in front of him and very gently took the
locket, gazing at the design on the front. She had been right in her
initial judgement, the locket was gorgeous, the gold and silver
beautifully wrought making her upgrade her impression from fairly
expensive to 'Nabiki would be drooling' expensive. Gently tracing her
thumb over the design on the front, she carefully released the catch
on the top, allowing the locket to fall open. Inside were two
pictures, one of a couple and, presumably, their child, the other of a
group of people, of which the couple was a part of. All of them were
very beautiful, formally dressed in long gowns on the women and
tuxedos on the men, though the man in the first picture wore what
seemed to be some sort of armour. What caught her attention the most,
however, was the hair of the woman in the first picture. Although a
number of them had interesting coloured hair, it was the woman with
the baby who instantly peaked Kasumi's curiosity. Her hair was a
peculiar shade of aquamarine that Kasumi couldn't recall ever seeing
before the rainy night when Ranma first arrived at their door, though
for some reason it seemed strangely familiar at the same time.

Looking up at Ranma, she could see him smiling at her, as if he
knew exactly what she was thinking. She glanced back down at the
pictures before raising her eyes to once more met Ranma's.

"They're very beautiful, Ranma." She began, thinking about how to
proceed. Ranma tended to be very closed mouth about his past and she
didn't want to seem intrusive for fear that he would go back to
avoiding questions. The fact that he had shown her the pictures at
all, though, was rather encouraging, so she continued with her train
of thought. "Who are they? The woman in this picture has the same hair
as your girl side. Is she a relative?"

Ranma shook his head a bit, looking down at the picture again
before answering. "I'm not really sure. I figure she must be a
relative. I talked to someone once, a few years ago, who seemed to
know, but she refused to say. She hinted though, and I thought I had
it figured out, but...."

He trailed off for a moment, staring off into space and Kasumi
gave him a moment, realizing he was lost in memories. After a moment,
he shook his head and looked a bit embarrassed that he'd drifted like
he had, but Kasumi gave him an encouraging smile before quietly saying
what she felt he had left out. "You thought she was your mother,
didn't you?"

Ranma's expression turned a bit sad at that but he quickly covered
it up with a smile. "Yeah, I did. Especially after Jusenkyo, that just
seemed to clinch it for me. After all, how many people can there be
with hair that colour?

"Apparently, I was wrong though." Ranma seems to deflate a bit at
that. He quickly managed to cover his disappointment up though,
slipping on another semi-false smile and continuing. "But that doesn't
matter much, I guess. I mean, mom seems like a nice person, if a bit
odd."

"You're still disappointed though, aren't you, Ranma-kun?" Though
it was said as a question, it was obvious Kasumi already knew the
answer. What surprised Ranma, though, was that she seemed
understanding about it. Despite her naturally kind nature, Ranma still
expected her to be disappointed that he felt that way about meeting
his mother, especially since she had lost her own so long ago, but she
seemed to accept what he felt without any real judgement. "It's
alright to be. I know you feel guilty about it, but you had a lot of
expectations built up. It's only natural to feel a bit of
disappointment."

Ranma smiled up at her as Kasumi laid a comforting hand on his
shoulder. There were times he was willing to go through with the
engagement if only to have her as his real sister, but at the same
time, he knew she'd always treat him as a brother, whether he was or
not.

"I guess I did have some big expectations. After thinking about
her for so long, wondering what she was like, I sort of built up a
picture in my head, you know. How she'd come into my life, bringing
comfort and understanding; things I didn't really get when I was
young." Ranma sighed a bit to himself, looking down at the picture in
Kasumi's hand. Kasumi just stayed as she was, hand on Ranma's
shoulder, not saying anything for fear of breaking the mood. She knew
that Ranma wasn't normally this open with his feelings, and feared
that if she did anything to upset the mood, he would clamp up again,
bottling his feelings up inside himself. That type of repression was
unhealthy and Kasumi knew, with the stressful life Ranma led, that he
really needed to confide in someone, especially after the debacle with
his mother earlier. It took a moment before Ranma collected himself
enough, but he eventually continued. "I guess having my real mother
show up, only to find out she'd kill me for something I couldn't even
control killed the image I'd built up pretty quick."

Kasumi gave him a sad, but sympathetic look as he was obviously
keeping a lot of emotions in check while talking to her. She wished he
would let them out, even if just this once, but knew that that was
asking more than he was capable of at the moment. Just having him talk
to her like this was a huge step from the brash, cocky mask he
normally kept in place and really showed how hard the meeting with his
mother had hit him.

Deciding that he needed some uplifting thoughts, as she could tell
their conversation was about to come to a close, Kasumi put on her
best smile before speaking. "Perhaps your first meeting didn't go as
planned, but that doesn't mean you should give up hope, Ranma-kun.
Even if she is a bit...odd, Auntie Nodoka does seem like a very caring
person. And besides," She turned the locket around so the picture was
facing Ranma before placing it in his hand, "You still have this girl,
right? And I have a feeling she'll give you all the things you wanted
her to."

Ranma just stared down at the picture in his hand for a few
moments, a small smile forming on his face as he considered Kasumi's
words. He slowly closed the locket, clenching it in his hand, before
looking up at Kasumi with a happy expression on his face. "Thanks,
Kasumi. I...well, umm, just...just thanks."

Kasumi smiled brightly before pulling herself to her feet, Ranma
following her up. "Of course, Ranma-kun. Anytime you want to talk, I'm
always here for you." She then turned from him and headed for the
door, glancing back at him to see him staring at the locket again, a
pleased expression on his face. As she left the room, Kasumi couldn't
help but feel like she'd really helped Ranma for the first time since
he'd shown up months ago and it made her happy knowing she'd improved
his mood so much.

Now, if only she could shake the feeling she'd seen the girl in
the picture before.

*********************************************************************

Kasumi Tendo was in her kitchen, cooking for her family. This, of
course, was a normal thing, as she spent a fair amount of time in her
kitchen, cooking for her family. Normally, however, she was a very
focussed young lady, putting together meals with an ease that only
comes from years of practice. This was far from how she felt tonight.
Tonight she was feeling rather distracted, as she had for several
nights in fact, ever since she had a conversation with a certain
cursed young man who was staying with her family. It was nothing that
he had said or done that caused her to be this way, mind you, it was
more the feeling she got when she looked at the picture he had shown
her. Kasumi knew that she had seen the woman in the picture before and
it was bothering her to no end that she couldn't recall where she knew
her from, something that caused her to make more mistakes in her meal
preparation than she had in years.

Strangely, very few people seemed to notice her preoccupation,
despite the lower quality of the meals served. Nabiki noticed quite
quickly - not at all surprising considering how observant she was -
and had become somewhat worried as it was fairly out of character for
Kasumi to worry about anything like she obviously had been the past
few days. Also to notice was Ranma. This would have surprised her
normally, as he wasn't the most observant person in the world, but she
felt that he probably felt responsible since she had only started
acting this way after they had spoken. She felt a bit guilty that she
was worrying them so, but she simply couldn't get her mind off of the
strange woman who she was so sure she should know.

Kasumi was startled out of her train of thought by someone
entering the kitchen and she put the knife she was currently using
down in order to face them. Said person turned out to be her sister,
Nabiki, who was standing before her with a slightly smug look on her
face. Kasumi felt a moment's apprehension at the look, hoping that it
didn't bode too badly for Ranma, before putting on a nice smile and
inquiring how she could help her sister.

"Well, a funny thing happened today. Seems one of the people that
owe me money didn't have any on hand. He offered me something else in
it place, but to tell you the truth, I don't really know what to do
with it. I thought you might be able to help me with it." She gave
Kasumi another smug look, as if she was merely playing with her,
before digging into her school bag for a moment. Kasumi gained a
confused look on her face, wondering what Nabiki was playing at as she
was obviously being set up for something. Despite what people thought
about her sister, Nabiki never manipulated Kasumi the way she did
others and it made her wonder what her sister was doing now. She was
about to ask when Nabiki found whatever it was she was looking for and
brought her hands out of her bag, holding what looked like a couple of
tickets of some sort. "As you know, I'm not much of a classical music
fan, and he gave me these two tickets to Michiru Kaioh's concert. I
don't know, do you think I should just throw them out?"

Kasumi's eyes widened at that and, in an action that would have
surprised most people who knew her, she squealed and rushed forward,
pulling Nabiki into a tight hug. Nabiki, despite being one of the few
people to ever see her react that way about anything, was still caught
off guard by her action as her sister bowled into her in an embrace
that would put an Amazon to shame. Kasumi pulled back a bit and
started talking animatedly, a huge grin plastered on her face. "Oh,
Nabiki-chan, you're the best! That concert's been sold out for weeks,
however did you get tickets?"

"Well, what can I say? I'm the best." Nabiki smiled widely as she
handed the tickets over to her big sister. She knew that Kasumi was a
big fan of the talented Miss Kaioh and so, when she'd heard that there
was to be a concert she'd pulled a few strings to get the tickets.
She'd actually had to cash in several favours and do some quick
dealing to get the tickets from on of her classmates, but she felt it
was definitely worth it to see the happiness on her sister's face,
especially with the way she had been so distracted the past few days.
She wasn't sure what had caused Kasumi to begin acting the way she
had, though she suspected it had to do with the conversation she had
had with Ranma a few days previous. She only hoped that a night out
would help bring her out of whatever funk she was in. "So, who are you
gonna bring with you to the concert?"

This brought Kasumi back to earth a bit. Who could she bring,
after all? Nabiki obviously didn't intend to go with her, their tastes
differing rather drastically. Akane wouldn't appreciate it much
either, as she didn't like Classical much more than Nabiki did.
Besides which, it didn't seem proper to go to a concert such as this
with one of her sisters. It had been so long since her last date
though; she didn't really even know any men she could ask. The only
guy she was even remotely close to was Doctor Tofu, and he acted far
too strangely around her for her to consider asking him. He was a nice
enough man, but his antics definitely wouldn't be appropriate for a
show such as this. There was Ranma as well, of course, but it was
hardly appropriate to invite her sister's fiancee on a da......

At the thought of Ranma, her train of thought immediately derailed
as a connection she had been struggling to make for days finally came
together. Her eyes widened significantly and her breath caught in her
throat momentarily as she came to the realization. She quickly excused
herself from Nabiki, rapidly asking her to keep an eye on the pot on
the stove for her before rushing up to her room. She practically flew
into her bedroom, pulling open the door and heading quickly for her
desk, above which was a corkboard, on which she had pinned up several
momento's. Amongst the family photo's she had there, and several
newspaper articles that she had found interesting was a picture of
Michiru Kaioh, Kasumi's personal idol.

She gasped again, seeing the picture and confirming what she
already knew: Michiru Kaioh was a dead ringer for a younger version of
the woman in Ranma's photo. Running a finger across the picture, she
wondered what it meant. Was Miss Kaioh a relative of Ranma's? Perhaps
the daughter of whomever was in the picture. Kasumi wasn't sure, but
this certainly solved the problem of who was going with her to the
concert. Now the only question was how they would convince Akane and
her father that it wasn't a date.

*********************************************************************

Ranma had been having a fairly typical day. Well, typical for him,
anyway. It had started in the usual way: wake up, spar with his
father, end up female and have a wonderful breakfast by Kasumi. Though
in truth the last one was something of a worry for him since he knew
that the breakfast wasn't up to her usual standards. He knew this was
because she had been distracted for the past few days, something he
suspected had to do with the talk they had had in his room the night
his mother had visited, though he couldn't think of anything that may
have upset her in any way.

Kasumi's distraction had, in turn, caused Ranma to be a bit
distracted, which caused him to allow Kuno a shot through his guard,
something that hadn't happened in months. Of course, he had
immediately pounded Kuno into the dirt after, but that hit showed just
how distracted he had become. The thought that he was causing worry
for someone he looked up to as the sister he had always wanted
troubled him a good deal. He spent a fair amount of time thinking
about it during the day, incidentally causing the teacher to leave him
alone as it actually looked like he was working for once, as opposed
to the sleeping he usually did in class.

He managed to get through most of the day without trouble, but his
distraction led him to ignore Akane's attempts to speak with him on
the way home from class, which led to where he was now, walking into
the Tendo home attempting to convince Akane that he wasn't ignoring
her while trying his best not to antagonize her further. As they both
removed their shoes, however, they noticed Kasumi standing before
them. They both immediately stopped talking, since she rarely ever met
them at the door.

"Ranma-kun, do you mind if I talk to you for a few moments?"
Kasumi inquired politely, but with a sense of great importance to her
words. Ranma immediately wondered if her wanting to talk to him had to
do with the reason she had been so out of it the past few days and
nodded to her request, a curious and slightly confused look on his
face. It was Akane, however, who actually spoke up.

"What's up, Kasumi?" She asked, curious what her eldest sister
wanted with them. Whatever she wished to talk about had to be directed
at the two of them, of course, since Kasumi rarely spoke with Ranma
about anything that didn't involve both of them.

"Oh, I just need to speak with Ranma privately for a few moments,
if that's alright, Akane-chan." Akane blinked in confusion at that but
accepted it. If any other girl had made the request she would have
immediately been suspicious, but she trusted her big sister
implicitly. Besides, her birthday was coming up pretty soon, so
perhaps they were going to talk about her present. Smiling at Kasumi,
she nodded and stated that she would be in the dojo before heading out
to get some practice in. Kasumi waited until she was gone before
looking back at Ranma and continuing. "Would you mind coming with me
Ranma-kun? I wish to show you something."

"Umm, sure thing Kasumi, lead the way." Kasumi nodded and headed
up the stairs towards her room, Ranma following closely behind her.
She led him up the stairs and opened her door, motioning for him to
enter. After he had, she followed him in, closing the door behind her.
She turned towards Ranma and waited a moment as he looked around a
bit, this being his first time in her room. His attention was captured
by one of her posters and she was somewhat surprised to see what had
caught his eye.

"You like it, Ranma-kun?" She asked as he focused on the print on
her wall. It was one of Kasumi's favorites, actually. The colours were
blended so beautifully that she could admire it for hours.

"It's beautiful. It's Monet, ain't it?" Ranma responded, nearly
causing her to fall over in shock. The painter in question was well
known and, as with all his work, the picture in question was rather
easy to decern as one of his but for Ranma, uneducated as he was, to
know it was nothing short of astounding.

"That's right, Ranma, however did you know?" Ranma glanced over at
her before blushing slightly in embarrassment. Scratching the back of
his head, under his pigtail, in a show of nervousness that he always
did when confronted by something he considered embarrassing, he
answered her in a slightly hesitant voice.

"Well, back in junior high, we had to take an art class." He began
before turning back towards the picture. Kasumi was actually a bit
surprised that he was opening up to her again and wondered if this
meant that it was going to become something that happened more often.
She hoped so, Ranma kept things far too bottled up for it to be
healthy. "It was back when me and Ryoga were still in school together.
They gave us a choice of either art or home ec. Since I cooked most of
the meals for me and pop, and Ryoga always cooked for himself, we both
ended up taking the art course.

"It was actually a lot of fun, although I wasn't really any good
at it. Ryoga turned out to be really good at drawing, but I guess he
did it a lot when he was on the road. I wonder if he still does." He
seemed to get lost in thought for a few moments then, his eyes going
distant for a moment and a small, contented smile forming on his face
as he thought back over happier days. "I really liked painting, so the
teacher had me studying different artists. Monet is one of the only
ones I really remember, cause he was my favorite, and it's pretty easy
to recognize his pictures when you see them. That's how I could tell
this was one of his."

"How come you don't paint anymore, if you enjoyed it, Ranma-kun?"
Kasumi asked, though she had a feeling she knew the answer already.

"After the class was done, pop said that I should stop doing it.
It wasn't part of the Art afterall, so he didn't think it as
important." Ranma seemed to sadden a bit at that thought, but he
quickly put a smile on his face as he turned to face Kasumi once more.
"Doesn't matter though, I wasn't too good at it anyway. So, what did
you want to show me in here, Kasumi?"

Kasumi headed over to her desk and picked up the picture she had
laid out on it earlier. Sitting down on the chair she motioned to
Ranma to sit as well, waiting until he was comfortably seated on her
bed before beginning.

"As you've probably noticed, I've been a bit distracted ever since
our talk the other day." Seeing Ranma immediately nod confirmed to her
that he had in fact noticed, and seeing the slightly saddened look on
his face also confirmed that he had blamed himself. "Don't worry
though, I wasn't upset or anything, I merely had some thinking to do.
You see, when I saw the picture in your pendant, I immediately felt
like I recognized the woman in it. That's what has been bothering me
the past few days is that I couldn't figure out who it was."

Seeing the look of desperate hope that crossed Ranma's face almost
broke Kasumi's heart. He may try to hide it, but she knew that he
really needed for this to work out. She truly hoped that this didn't
turn out to be a coincidence. Though with Ranma's life as it was, she
had trouble believing that anything was truly coincidental for him.
"Well, earlier today Nabiki brought home some tickets that someone had
given her to a concert by a classical musician named Michiru Kaioh,
who happens to be one of my personal favorites. She knew this, of
course, and planned on giving me the tickets so I could see the show,
but when she did it finally reminded me of where I knew the woman in
your picture from."

Ranma looked at her confusedly before asking the question on the
forefront of his mind. "I don't get it. What does my picture have to
do with some musician?"

"You see, Ranma-kun, this is Michiru Kaioh." With a smile, she
held out the picture in her hand for Ranma to take. He did so with a
bit of apprehension, not knowing what to expect. Whatever he had
expected, however, was not what he was presented with. The instant he
laid eyes on the picture his breath caught in his throat. It was her.
It took a few moments for him to come to his senses enough to realize
that the woman he was looking at now was obviously far too young to be
the woman in the picture he had, but the resemblance was uncanny none
the less. Looking up at Kasumi, the confusion was obvious on his face,
so much so that she answered his question before he even asked it.
"It's obviously not the same person, Miss Kaioh is only my age
afterall, but the resemblance is uncanny. They must be related
somehow."

Ranma stared at Kasumi for a few moments, his face a mix of
excitement and apprehension. It was obvious that being this close to
solving a mystery that had plagued his life for so long left him
somewhat worried about what may happen. He looked back down at the
picture in his hand once more, his eyes going over every detail as he
seemed to think things through before he spoke up again. "The question
is, how are they related? And how can I find her to talk to her?"

"The first one I can't help you with, Ranma-kun, but for the
second one," Kasumi smiled serenely, holding up a pair of tickets in
her right hand. "How would you like to go to a concert with me?"

*********************************************************************

Michiru Kaioh sat on the small love seat in the living room of her
family house. Next to her, on the small end table, a cup of tea sat
cooling as she fiddled nervously with the violin on her lap. She
muttered a small curse to herself when, after testing it, one of the
strings came up off-tune, before going back to attempting to tune it.
She quickly put the instrument down, though, as she found herself far
too nervous to effectively tune it. Laying it on the coffee table in
front of her, Michiru took a sip of her tea before putting the cup
back down and leaning her head against the back of the love seat.

Running a hand through her long, aquamarine hair, Michiru sighed
to herself as she attempted to calm her nerves. She closed her eyes
and took several deep breaths. She wasn't even really sure why she was
as nervous as she was, she just couldn't seem to calm down. This
certainly wasn't the first concert Michiru had ever preformed, and no
doubt it wouldn't be the last. It wasn't even the hardest, really, as
the pieces she would be playing were relatively easy. No, the concert
couldn't be the reason for her unease, but what could be causing it.

She was brought out of her reverie when a pair of arms wrapped
around her from behind, the soft face of her lover pressing against
the side of her head. She brought her arms up, one hand intertwining
with one of the hands of the person holding her while the other ran
through her lover's short hair. She felt her lover's breathe hot
against her neck and held in a moan of pleasure at the sensation. She
turned her head and placed a soft kiss on the waiting lips of the
woman behind her, savouring the feelings assaulting her senses for a
moment before pulling back and opening her eyes to look into the blue-
green eyes of her lover. Sensing her unease somewhat, Haruka pulled
her into a tighter embrace and just held her for a few moments before
speaking up.

"What's the matter, love? You seem nervous." Michiru smiled a bit
at the worry in Haruka's voice and the gentleness she used when
holding her. People tended to think that she wouldn't know how to be
gentle, given her rough exterior, but Haruka was never anything but
soft when she held Michiru like that, something that Michiru loved
about her. "You're not usually this nervous before a show, especially
since it's not till tomorrow. Are you feeling alright?"

"I'm fine, dear. I'm just..." She trailed off, trying to find a
way to describe the way she felt. It was like a buzzing in the back of
her senses, like a vague feeling of, not danger, but change. Like
something big was about to happen and it would affect them all
greatly. She shivered slightly and Haruka pulled her tighter into her
embrace. Michiru took a deep breath before attempting to explain her
feeling to her lover. "I just feel like something is going to happen.
Something big. Not necessarily bad, just big. It feels the way it felt
before Setsuna came to us for help, like something huge was about to
occur and it would change my whole life. I don't know, I guess I'm not
making much sense."

Michiru sighed lightly, frustrated at her inability to describe
the feeling she was getting, and leaned back so her head was resting
on Haruka's shoulder. Haruka kissed her lightly on the neck, making
her purr in pleasure, before speaking up again. "No, it makes sense to
me. I've been having weird feelings for the past few days as well. It
hasn't been very strong, just a gnawing feeling that something was
gonna happen."

Michiru smiled at that. At least, if Haruka was feeling the same,
then she knew she wasn't simply crazy. She figured it was probably a
Senshi thing. That would explain why Haruka was feeling it as well.
They were both fairly new to the whole superhero deal and didn't
really know what to expect, especially since, according to Setsuna
they weren't even supposed to be active yet. Perhaps, since they had
been called early, so to speak, their powers were messed up or
something and that was giving them these feelings. It was all rather
confusing to her, this Sailor Senshi business. They didn't have much
in the way of memories from their past lives but what they had seemed
to confirm the things Setsuna had told them, which was comforting. She
found it strange, though, that even with the extra help she and Haruka
provided, the Senshi were still only barely holding their ground
against the enemy, led by the dark General Jedite. Setsuna had said
that one of the Inner Senshi was missing, supposedly their leader, and
that was where the difference lay, but Michiru couldn't help but
wonder how one person could make the difference that both of them
couldn't.

That was a worry for another day, though. Right now, she couldn't
do anything about either the missing Senshi or the strange feeling she
was having, so her best bet was to just ignore them both for the
moment and try to relax. She didn't want to be too tense for her
concert tomorrow, afterall. Thus decided that stress relief was in
order, Michiru turned her head and once more captured her lover's lips
with her own. While Haruka was distracted, Michiru wrapped her arms
around her neck and pulled her lover down on top of her, eliciting a
startled yelp from Haruka.

*Yes, a little stress relief is definitely in order.* She thought
to herself as she allowed her hands to wander down her lover's form,
deepening the kiss and allowing herself to get lost in the moment.

*********************************************************************

The sun was shining brightly, there wasn't a cloud in the sky and
the local junior high school students were taking full advantage of
it. It was lunchtime, and so all the students were sitting outside,
enjoying the weather, or using the school fields to partake in any
number of different sports. As was usual for lunch at Juuban Junior
High, the large tree that dominated the view in the front of the
school was claimed by three students that spend nearly every lunch
hour there. The third of the group, a small girl with short blue hair,
had just sat down, joining her companions, a tall brunette and a
pretty blonde. They greeted her warmly as she sat and then the blonde
turned her attention to the question she had wanted to ask all
morning.

"So, Ami-chan, did you get the tickets for tonight?" The brunette
also awaited the answer as the smallest girl, Ami, smiled at them and
reached into her bag. When she brought her hand back out, she held
four tickets in it.

"Was there ever any doubt Mina-chan?" Ami returned, waving the
tickets at them. The brunette just smirked and answered for Minako.

"Of course not, Ami-chan, we all trusted Michiru-san to deliver."
She smiled a bit at her friend, before her smile turned slightly evil.
"It was your ability to get them from her to us that we wondered
about."

Ami held her hand to her forehead, sighing dramatically and making
like she was going to swoon. She spoke up in a put upon voice. "You
wound me, Makoto-chan. And here I thought you trusted me." She sighed
heavily once more, turning her head away as if to hide tears. The mood
was quickly broken, however, as she failed to hide her giggles, which
in turn got the other two going as well, leaving all three rather
breathless once they had regained control. Once they could breath
properly again, the three settled in, wiping tears from their eyes and
began to eat their lunches.

"So, Michiru-san dropped the tickets off at your place last
night?" Minako asked as they ate their meals, breaking the comfortable
silence that had fallen over them. All three of them were looking
forward to the upcoming concert, and Minako had secretly worried that
Michiru would forget to deliver the promised tickets, despite the
trust she had for the older girl. They had only really known the two
older girls for a couple months, afterall, and barely saw them outside
of fights so it was hard to know how trustworthy they were in anything
less than a life and death situation. It was nice to know that she
kept her word at least.

Ami glanced up from her food, taking a few moments to finish the
morsel she had in her mouth before answering. "Actually, Haruka-san
came by to drop them off. She said that Michiru-san was helping set up
for the concert and asked her to."

"Ahh." Minako replied, thinking to herself for a few moments as
she absentmindedly munched on some pickled radishes from her bento.
They fell into another silence as they continued to eat their lunches,
each thinking about the evening coming up. Once they'd all finished
eating and had cleaned up their respective messes, Minako decided to
shift the conversation to the more interesting aspects of the evening.
"So, have you girls gotten your dresses yet? We have to impress any
guys we come across, afterall."

*********************************************************************

Setsuna Meiou sat in her living room, deep in thought as she
sipped absently at the cup of Earl Grey Tea she held loosely. She had
spent most of the morning in the Time Gates, making sure nothing
unexpected came along to ruin her carefully constructed plans. It was
a very easy thing to happen afterall, where Ranma Saotome was
involved. Or, more specifically, his supposed father, Genma. It was
almost scary the way the man attracted chaos, something she hadn't
realized about him when she had picked him to take care of Ranma. In
her defense, though, she realized now that whatever it was about him
that attracted such huge quantities of disorder had been steadily
growing over the years, so hadn't been apparent when she had first
seen him. On the upside, that very same chaos had put Ranma in enough
weird situations to make him more powerful than she thought a human
could be. When he was boasted by magic, he would be nearly
unstoppable. Of course, Setsuna could have easily lived without the
Neko-ken complicating things, but hey, even she couldn't predict
everything. She had made sure to minimize the damage as much as
possible, though, by making sure Ranma had stumbled on the old lady
that had brought him out of it.

Now, however, wasn't time for contemplations on the past or
questions of what could have been. Now was the time for action. She
stood up, lifting her empty teacup and walking calmly into the
kitchen. After washing it and putting it away, Setsuna turned and
headed towards the bathroom area of her large apartment. It was time
to get ready for the concert.

*********************************************************************

As he wandered down the stairs, Ranma considered, not for the
first time, merely leaping from his window rather than making his way
out the front door. Had he been going alone, there would have been no
question as to which way he would have gone. With Kasumi with him,
however, he felt it best to stick with the more traditional method
over the most expedient. Knowing that didn't help much, though, when
he thought about the people that would be watching them go, or trying
to stop them from going. He was only lucky he had managed to talk with
Shampoo and Ukyo before hand, making sure they both knew that it
wasn't really a date, just two friends enjoying a concert. Truthfully,
had he been going with anyone except Kasumi, he had no doubt they
would try to interfere regardless of his reassurances, but they both
seemed to respect the older girl somewhat. Besides which, as jealous
as the two could get neither really considered Kasumi as anything but
'the nice girl who cooks for the Tendos'. Once Ranma had told them
that this was more of a day off for Kasumi than anything else, they
readily agreed that she deserved it. They were both professional
cooks, afterall, and so knew how stressful it could get doing it
everyday.

Not having them to worry about left him with only the more
immediate problem of the immediate family. Ranma somewhat regretted
not having dealt with them earlier, but knew that the sooner he told
them about this night, the more time their idiot fathers would have
had to come up with a way to use it to their advantage. This, of
course, led Kasumi and himself to informing the rest of the family
until the morning of the concert itself. Nabiki knew ahead of time, of
course, as she had pestered Kasumi into telling her who she was
taking, but the other three had only found out that morning. It had
surprised Nabiki a bit to find out who she was taking, she hadn't
realized that Ranma liked classical at all, but she quickly decided
that for once she would help with the damage control. She had wanted
the night to be enjoyable to her sister, afterall, and that could
hardly happen if Ranma's usual problems followed them. She was
surprised again when Ranma had told her he would handle the fiancees
himself but as a precaution she still got a couple of girls to keep an
eye on both the Nekohanten and Ucchan's, just in case they broke their
words. She had even managed to talk to Ryoga ahead of time, more by
luck than purpose as she had bumped into him outside the school, and
had explained the situation to him. It would hardly do to have him
attack Ranma on some half-baked idea that Akane was being cheated on.

Ranma shook his head a bit to clear it before taking a deep breath
and walking down the stairs into the main room. He glanced around
once, taking in all the present players and noting that Kasumi wasn't
there yet, most likely still getting ready. Everyone glanced at him
before reacting in ways that managed to surprise him slightly. Soun
looked disapprovingly at him before turning back to his game of shogi.
His father barely seemed to even notice him, giving him an appraising
glance, as if checking to see if he was dressed well enough, before
also looking back towards the game. If Ranma hadn't known better, he
would have sworn he saw a proud look on his father's face, but it was
gone so quickly he felt he must have mistaken it.

He looked over in Akane's direction only to see her looking at him
from her place by the TV, a deep frown adorning her face. She had P-
chan in her lap but for once the pig wasn't glaring at him as he
usually did. Instead he held a fairly neutral look on his face,
content in the knowledge that Ranma was merely doing a good deed for
someone who more than deserved it. In some ways, Ryoga was actually
pretty glad that he had run across Nabiki when he had. Though he would
never admit it to anyone, he knew that he tended to jump to
conclusions around Ranma, something that struck him as odd since,
though it did happen, it didn't happen nearly as often when they were
younger. He sometimes wondered if there were something in the area
that caused him to act so irrationally. Whatever it was, though, he
really would have felt guilty about ruining what should be a nice
evening out for Kasumi, someone who always treated him so nicely
causing him to think very highly of her.

Breaking eye contact with both Akane and Ryoga, Ranma made his
way over to the table and was about to sit when he saw Nabiki walking
calmly down the stairs, a happy smile on her face. When he came within
her sight, she gave him an appraising look, scanning him up and down
as if looking for flaws before smiling once more at him. "Looking
good, Saotome." She stated, a sparkle in her eyes. She made a point of
looking him over again, this time more slowly, as if he were a piece
of choice steak as opposed to a person, before continuing. "You clean
up quite nicely when you want to."

"Umm, thanks, Nabiki." He glanced down at himself, making sure his
clothing was all still in its proper place. He was wearing some
clothing that Nabiki had brought him out shopping for specifically for
this evening. Once she had found out that Ranma was going with Kasumi
she had insisted on making sure he was properly attired. Though she
had allowed that a tuxedo wasn't necessary, regardless of how much she
thought it would look good on him, she had gotten him, with the
promise he would pay her back when he could, some black, dress pants,
a rather nice royal blue, silk dress shirt, which she insisted brought
out his eyes, and a black tie. The last of which, Ranma was of the
opinion, was designed for the sole purpose of leaving the man to short
of breath to say anything stupid but he had to admit that it did look
good on him. Not that he would look bad in anything, in his opinion,
but he looked especially good dressed up like he was. His new apparel
was topped off with a pair of black, dress shoes and a jacket to go
with it all and had set Ranma back enough that he would need to get a
part time job for a while to pay Nabiki back what he owed her. Still,
if it made the evening better for Kasumi and helped him get closer to
his goal of uncovering the secrets in his life, he thought it was
definitely worth the trouble. "Is Kasumi about ready to go?"

"Actually, she is ready, she's just awaiting my cue for her
dramatic entrance. Gotta do it right, you know." Nabiki giggled a bit
at this before straightening her face into a serious look. She walked
to the center of the room, quickly drawing everyone's attention before
speaking again in a tone that would make one think she was introducing
royalty. "Ladies and gentlemen, presenting: The lovely Kasumi." She
held her hand out towards the stairs and waited dramatically. And then
waited a little longer. And a little longer after that. Finally, fed
up with waiting, she turned and quickly walked towards the stairs,
stepping out of sight. Ranma sweatdropped as he could hear her
exasperated tone in the background. "That was your cue, Kasumi. You
were supposed to come out and impress everyone."

"But, is it alright, Nabiki-chan? I mean, do I look alright? Is my
dress alright?" Ranma smirked a bit at hearing Nabiki's deep sigh, but
waited where he was, knowing she'd coax Kasumi down quickly, despite
her embarrassment.

"You look great, Kasumi-chan. You look perfect. Now common."
Nabiki soon re-entered Ranma's sight, dragging a slightly flustered
Kasumi behind her. Ranma's eyes widened slightly before he got his
surprise under control and a warm smile graced his lips. In the
background he could here three simultaneous gasps and the surprised,
and slightly awed, "Bwee" of a small pig. On reaching the bottom of
the stairs, Kasumi got her arm out of her sisters grasp and looked up
at the room's occupants, immediately becoming more self-conscious at
seeing most of them staring intently at her.

Ranma looked her over and knew the reason for them reacting as
they did; he felt like staring himself. She wore a long, formfitting
dress of a matching colour to his shirt, no doubt Nabiki's influence.
It covered most of her form on the front, travelling all the way to
the floor where it fell a slight distance around her feet. At the neck
it covered her entire throat, but left her shoulders bare, instead
plunging down from her neck, straight under her arms. Her arms were
clad, past the elbows a ways in long gloves the same hue as her dress
and a thick but soft, black belt wound her waist, hanging loosely off
her hips and clasping just below her navel. Her hair was curled in
tiny ringlets, which sat elegantly on her head, and her dress was
complemented with a thin golden chain that hung from her neck, a small
sapphire attached to the end, and matching sapphire earrings adorning
her lobes.

As she turned, at Nabiki's insistence, to show off the back, Ranma
heard at least one gasp return at the amount of skin showing. Though
not indecent in anyway, the back showed off a fair amount more than
anyone was used to on Kasumi. Clasping shut on the back of the neck,
it flowed under the arms, as on the front. However, where the front
was solid, the back was open in the shape of a large diamond
travelling from the base of the neck to the small of the back, leaving
a good deal of Kasumi's smooth skin in view. All in all, blushing
prettily as she was, Kasumi had transformed from the plain, housewife-
ish girl into a woman of such beauty that it made Ranma wonder why
Soun didn't have men banging down his door to court his eldest
daughter.

As the people in the room continued to stare at her, Kasumi began
to feel slightly uncomfortable, fidgeting under their gaze for a
minute before speaking up in a hesitant voice. "Umm, does it.....do I
look alright?"

Surprisingly, it was Akane who spoke up first, forgetting for a
moment the anger she felt about the whole situation in favour of
Kasumi's rather stunning entrance. "Wow, Kasumi. You look incredible."

Akane's comment brought everyone else out of their stunned state
and they all rushed to pour compliments on the beautiful young woman
before them. Soun had tears of pride in his eyes as he lamented that
his wife wasn't present to see the beauty that their daughter had
become. Even Genma managed a well-spoken moment when he finally
managed to find his voice. "I've seen a lot of beautiful sights during
my travels, Kasumi-dear, but I don't think I've ever seen anything so
beautiful as you are now. Your mother would truly be proud of the
woman you've become."

Ranma smiled as his father's so-called 'Saotome Charm' truly came
forth for only the third time in his memory. Kasumi merely smiled all
the brighter, her eyes shining happily as she thanked everyone for
their kind words. When everyone else had finished, Ranma stepped up to
her and offered up a white rose(also Nabiki's idea) to her, quietly
speaking to her, though everyone could hear him. "You do look really
beautiful tonight, Kasumi."

Kasumi just smiled at him, surprised he could stay so calm when he
was normally a wreck around girls, and answered back. "You look quite
handsome yourself, Ranma." She graciously accepted the rose, bringing
it close to her nose in order to partake of its scent, which she found
was as beautiful as the flower itself. She then looked back at Ranma,
who motioned towards the door.

"We should get going. The taxi should be here soon." Kasumi handed
the rose to Nabiki, asking her to put it in water for her, before
taking Ranma's arm and allowing him to lead her towards the door. As
they stepped outside, heading to the taxi that sat waiting in front of
the house, Kasumi glanced briefly at Ranma. Seeing him put so much
effort into making the night special for her, Kasumi couldn't help
smiling softly at him. Even if she only thought of him as a brother,
Kasumi couldn't help feeling that tonight would be a date to remember.


To Be Continued....

Authors Notes: As noted above, this was written for the
Ranma/Sailormoon Crossover Creator Challenge, which can be found at:
www.beeftrapeze.com/challenge
I wasn't going to work on this one right away, I had put my other
stories on higher priority, but I just got the urge to write it one
day and I've found it to be one of my easier ones to write. I don't
really know how long a story this will end up being, but I guess I'll
find out when I get there.^_^
Now, obviously, Ranma's hair is a different colour in this than it is
in cannon but as far as I know, at the moment, that's the only
difference from cannon up until the divergence point after the first
meeting with Nodoka.
Any questions, comments and/or criticism is not only welcome but
encouraged at ranikkoku@hotmail.com and you can find my other stories
at www.geocities.com/ranikkoku
Anyway, thanks for reading and I hope you enjoyed it.
Bob Lobster