Ranma/Sailor Moon crossover fan fiction
Started - 1 April 2001
Completed - pending
Last revised - 24 October 2009
Reason - new partial chapter
Disclaimer: Ranma ½ and all associated characters are the property of Rumiko Takahashi, while Sailor Moon and all associated characters are the property of Naoko Takeuchi. Both are used without permission. This fan-fiction isn't intended for commercial use but is rather a tribute to both Ranma ½ and Sailor Moon.
Setting: This is set several years after the last Sailor Moon episode and right at the very beginning of Ranma - this is mostly a Ranma alternative with some Sailor Moon crossover. The 'outers' will heavily interact with Ranma et. al. but the 'inners' will make only cameo appearances at most.
I decided to publish an old file that had once been uploaded on a private site of mine but not here before. It may have been edited recently but it's actually over a decade old now. Cloud Dreamer
Sailor Mom? By Cloud Dreamer
Chapter one - Kidding around
Sailor Pluto was going to kill herself. She gestured with her time staff and lightning flashed in the deep purple hues of pain as Sailor Pluto's time key nearly ripped a jagged hole in the innocent fabric of space-time instead of merely opening a portal to the future. She was beyond angry . . . pissed was much more accurate. She wetly stomped up to her future self at the time gate and snarled, "Why the hell didn't you warn me about Jusenkyo?"
Her future self glanced at her and was having obvious trouble suppressing her laughter. The younger Pluto looked like something the cat had dragged in . . . then out and in a couple more times. Her hair, normally immaculate, was in disarray and she suspected that not all the steam rising from her head was from her recent dose of hot water. Elder Pluto forced a grin, "Get used to it."
The sound of water dripping off the younger Pluto sounded like thunder in the otherwise absolute silence surrounding the Time Gate. "Get used to it?"
Seeing her future self nod sadly, she sank to her knees and knelt there in shock. "You mean . . . that I . . . you, I can't go back and change this?"
"No, this is part of who we are now" she sighed sadly. "I once had an opportunity to get cured, but MY future self stopped me. She said that it was an unfortunate nuisance but our curse was now part of who we were and forbade me from changing it."
The disheveled Pluto looked at her future self and noticed the glimmering of tears. She stood and then embraced her before whispering to herself, "I still say it sucks. What can you tell me about it?"
"I hate it." She sighed then continued, "But it has saved my life at least twice now." She paused for a long moment. "I'm not so proud anymore, and I have even made some real friends too because of it. But I still hate it."
"That bad, huh?"
The elder Pluto nodded.
"I'm stuck with this?" She asked hoping that she'd misheard.
The older Pluto nodded again and then opened up a portal. "Yes, and so are the others with you. It's time you went back. You've unfinished business there."
The younger Pluto sighed in resignation. 'If only I had not volunteered to help Haruka,' she mumbled. She waved to herself as she stepped back to when she'd left Jusenkyo. Still lost in thought, she recalled how this whole mess had started just a few days ago.
. . . . . Three days earlier, Hotaru's twenty-third birthday party.
The young woman hugged all three of her surrogate parents as she gleefully laughed at the 'family' birthday party they had managed to surprise her with. "Haruka-papa, Michiru-mama, Setsuna-mama, this is wonderful! Thank you for remembering." She enthused as she looked at the childish streamers and balloons that one would think more suitable for a little child than a young lady.
Michiru tousled Hotaru's hair and grinned at her. "Hey, we couldn't forget our little girl, even if she's not so little anymore."
Setsuna chuckled, "Thank goodness the diaper phase only lasted a couple of days before your accelerated growth returned you to your real age." She grinned, "Well, at least we didn't have to go through giving birth. I hear that that is a real pain."
"Ha!" snorted Haruka. "You have no idea, why when I gave . . . birth. Uh oh, I mean, I've heard . . . don't look at me like that!"
Michiru grabbed an ear as Haruka started to retreat. "Dear, you've said both too much and too little."
Haruka's face stiffened in stubbornness. "And I'm not going to say anything else either."
Setsuna only grinned as she reached out and took her time staff from its storage space. "Oh, we'll SEE about that, won't we?"
Hotaru ran and hugged her papa. "So, do I have a brother or a sister?"
Haruka sighed in defeat. There was nothing she could do to prevent Pluto from looking over her past now that she had become interested. She sat down and began her story.
"I guess my parents had a premonition about their death. Anyway, when I was twelve, they arranged a marriage for me . . ."
"TWELVE!" yelled both Michiru and Hotaru.
"Yeah, it was legal back then. Anyway, he was about twenty at the time and a serious martial arts student. He was about as enthused over the marriage as I was, but he was dirt poor and had no choice. Neither did I." She sighed. "We were married a month later and three weeks before I turned thirteen, I was a mother."
Tears glistened at the edges of her eyes; "I was too young. The birth tore something and the doctors told me that Ranma was the only child I'd ever have." She continued listlessly, "I think that that was one of the reasons why Genma abandoned me just before Ranma's fifth birthday. That and the fact that the trustees wouldn't let him have access to my money." Her shoulder's slumped and she murmured, "I vowed I'd never love another man again because of what he did to me. After he left, I took back my maiden name and started going by my childhood nickname. Nodoka Saotome was no more."
"He just abandoned you with no reason or warning?" Asked Michiru.
"He . . . , he left a letter that said he was doing this for my own good. He said that he was sorry for stealing my childhood and he hoped I'd have a better life with him and Ranma gone." Haruka sniffled, and then softly said, "That pompous idiot. I don't think he even realized just how badly he hurt me."
The other three women gathered her into an embrace as she softly whispered, "He took my boy from me and left. I haven't seen him since then and it's been over ten years."
The four of them said nothing for awhile. Finally Michiru spoke. "Then that means that you and I met and moved in together only a few months after your husband left." She paused before continuing, "I don't understand, when we met you were a high school student and already an accomplished race car driver. How could you have been a mother and a wife at the same time?"
Haruka blushed, something very rare. "Ah, well, you see. Most of the time Genma and I were together - we weren't." Seeing the puzzled expressions they wore, she clarified. "Genma was training under his master much of the time we were married. He'd be gone for weeks or months at a time. So I let his parents baby-sit while I stayed in school and amused myself with racing." Haruka continued after pausing a moment, "Yeah, he wasn't too happy about it. He wanted me to spend more time at home. So I made a deal with him that as long as he was home, I'd be home too." She forced a grin, "I made him teach me martial arts while we were home." Correctly interpreting their puzzled looks, she explained, "It gave me an excuse to beat the hell out of him." As her grin became a little bit more natural she continued, "He really hated sleeping on the couch too, so he didn't resist me too much when I insisted on being trained." She paused, and then reluctantly added, "I guess he didn't like the kind of girl I became. Sometimes I think that the way I behaved drove him away. It embarrassed him that I usually dressed like a guy. So he left. He took Ranma and left."
Haruka's grim smile faltered and she whispered, "I wonder what happened to my son?"
Setsuna hugged her friend, "Let's transform and go see what the Time Gate shows," she suggested.
With that the four grabbed their henshin pens and transformed amid a kaleidoscope of flashing colors.
Sailor Pluto studied her Time Staff a moment before opening a gate to Castle Charon and the Time Gate. Once there she inserted her staff into the gate controls and hummed to herself as she adjusted it to find the setting that she sought.
The other three Sailors watched the Time Gate images with varying degrees of increasing vertigo as the images twisted, rolled and fuzzed. With a snarl of frustration, Pluto kicked the base of the control console and the view immediately centered on an image of twelve year old Haruka. Pluto grimaced as she said, "This thing is way overdue for maintenance."
As they scanned forward through Haruka's life, the four women sat before the Time Gate munching popcorn. They 'ohhed' and 'ahhed' while watching the young mother Haruka giggling with her absolutely adorable little son Ranma.
Michiru snuggled next to her love. "You really loved him didn't you?" she asked.
"More than anything in the world; I was even willing to stay married to Genma for his sake," Haruka sighed in response.
They watched as Genma prepared to take his leave. "What's that letter say?" asked Hotaru.
Haruka's jaws clenched and she snarled, "Genma rationalized taking Ranma from me on three counts. First he wanted to give me back my life, then he said that staying with me would make Ranma too soft and confused about the differences between men and women, and last he swore that he'd make Ranma a man among men or they'd both pay with their lives. THAT ASSHOLE," she swore. "As if I'd kill by own son, Genma on the other hand . . . well, I've already got a reason, just give me a chance. That's all I ask."
They watched Genma flee with the Kuonji yattai in disbelief. But it got worse. Haruka broke down in sobs for the first time in all the years since they had first met her as they watched the cat-fist training inflicted on her son. Ranma's bravado as the trembling boy agreed to the training brought a faint smile to their faces but the result was almost more than even the hardened Pluto could stand.
During the next few days, they skimmed Ranma's life as they attempted to trace his current whereabouts. Then, after several frustrating days spent scanning Genma's continuing idiocies, their search finally ended only about an hour ago when they locked onto him at a place called Jusenkyo. The four outer Sailor Scouts were so pissed that they didn't even consider making a battle plan. Wordlessly, Pluto opened a portal just out of sight of Genma, Ranma and the Guide. They all stepped through, de-transformed and waited for Haruka's lead. After all, this was her husband and son. First blood was her right even though the others fully intended to get a piece of Genma as well, assuming Haruka left him alive.
Haruka waved the others back as she reached into storage space and pulled out her katana, a weapon that transformed into Sailor Uranus's Space Sword when she transformed.
Seeing the only two men in her life perched on bamboo poles in the midst of a plain dotted with over a hundred springs and a thousand poles, Haruka jumped onto a pole between them but to one side so that they formed a triangle. "Hello husband," she hissed.
Genma's eyes were riveted to the katana clenched in his wife's hand, a glowing katana. Inexplicably, a smile grew on his face and he shouted out enthusiastically, "I see you've kept your training up! Did you learn a new technique? Will you teach me?"
Haruka was momentarily put off. Obviously, this wasn't what she was expecting. Her shock quickly wore off, however, and she was soon charging over the pools toward the man who had stolen her son, her arm back and ready to slash. "Yeah, I'll teach you a thing or two!"
"Dear, wait. I can explain . . . whatever it is. Dear . . . ? Oh, shit!" Genma yelled this last as he began dodging frantically. Genma quickly found that he could not dodge the sword strikes adequately while staying on one pole. Jumping to a nearby pole bought him some breathing room, but little time as his wife soon followed him. A running battle over the springs ensued. He took off across the plain of pools with 'Nodoka' in furious, very furious pursuit. After a few moments it became apparent that Genma had decided he couldn't out run his wife on the ground and had elected to stay airborne on the poles. He was now starting to loop back toward Ranma in his efforts to avoid Nodoka.
Meanwhile, Setsuna hesitantly hopped onto a pole near to Ranma. "Ranma," when he turned to look at her, she continued, "Your mother has some issues to work out with your father. Let's wait them out. OK?"
Before Ranma could respond he heard two splashes, one close and the other a bit further away. He noticed that the noise apparently startled the green-haired woman next to him and as she started to fall off the pole, he attempted to save her from the discomfort of getting wet. He was not successful, unfortunately. But he tried. For his efforts, he was rewarded with his own dipping. Michiru and Hotaru saw him grab Setsuna while catching the top of her pole with his feet. He swung up to another pole, which held momentarily before breaking. In that moment, Ranma attempted to toss Setsuna to safety before he took his own fateful plunge. Setsuna just ended up in a different pool than Ranma did.
In shocked disbelief, Michiru and Hotaru watched a short, busty, red-haired girl rise from the pool Ranma had fallen into. Hesitantly, both turned to look at each other before looking for the other two Sailor Scouts that had accompanied them. Both silently fainted at what they saw.
Genma hesitated as he clambered out of the pool. He didn't see his wife anywhere. Nor did he see his son. He was pretty sure he had an idea of how Nodoka's new technique worked, but he wanted a couple more demonstrations just to be sure, just not right now. Not until he figured out what she was so angry about. Shrugging, he took another quick look around for Ranma and then took off while the coast seemed clear. Ranma could catch up later he decided.
Chapter two - - - oops
Such were Genma's amazing skills of observation that it took him about a dozen steps before noticing something was wrong. He held his arms out and saw paws instead of hands. About that time the Guide stopped him with the announcement; "Mr. Customer fall in spring of drowned panda. Too, too tragic story of panda that drown in spring 2000 years ago. Now Mr. Customer become panda whenever splashed with cold water. But can become fat, old man again by splashing self with hot water."
Dazed, Genma took a second look around the springs. There was a redheaded girl dressed in his son's clothing climbing out of a pool and glaring at him. Genma paused for a moment in thought, then decided that it really didn't make that much difference anymore as his wife was already trying to kill him. The seppuku contract didn't mean that much anyway; especially since it was Nodoka's fault that Ranma had fallen in.
In the pool behind him he noticed a katana sticking out of the mud and an angry jaguar struggling to get clear of the clothes his wife had been wearing. The Guide fished the thrashing cat out of the water and explained as he pulled Nodoka's clothes and katana out as well. "So sorry, but you fall in spring of drowned jaguar. Is tragic tale of circus animal that escape and drown in pool 8 years ago. Now you take jaguar's form every time you splashed with cold water. Return to normal form with hot water but cure is only temporary."
Both he and the Guide stared at the final figure rising out of the water of a small pool at the base of the cliff and nearly obscured by dense brush.
The Guide gulped and walked over to Setsuna, "Miss Customer fall into most ancient of all of cursed pools. Is not so tragic story of how last warrior of dwarven race fall from cliff and landed headfirst in pool almost 5000 years ago. Miss Customer is now 'hoary old battle-dwarf' every time splashed with cold water until curse temporarily reversed with hot water."
Shocked, Setsuna examined her arms. They were very heavily muscled and hairy. They sprouted from broad shoulders that were nearly a yard across and bulged with massive muscles. Her palms were large with stubby fingers that were covered in calluses. Her legs, once long, lush, and elegant, were now like hairy tree trunks but were so short that she was now barely over four feet high. But that wasn't the worse thing. Her legs came together and . . . and she was a 'he'.
He buried his face in his hands and froze. Carefully he began to examine his face only to discover a moustache and a heavy, long beard that swept to mid-waist. It was mostly gray with streaks of what he assumed to be the original color, red. He felt behind him only to discover that his hair was a match for his beard though not quite as long.
With a yell he rushed toward the Guide's hut to get some hot water. Finding himself in a waddling stagger instead of a sexy gallop, he realized a couple of problems. One, he was abysmally uncoordinated in this form and nearly fell on his face with the second step. Two, the remnants of her clothing, destroyed by the bulk of his new form, finally slipped from his body and entangled his feet, completing his inadvertent trip to the ground on the third step.
Embarrassed, frustrated and naked, which is okay if you're a hot chick but not so good when you're an ugly dwarf, Setsuna finally stumbled into the Guide's hut. Once there, he slammed the door shut behind him before grabbing her henshin pen. Nothing happened. He tried calling out the words again for the transformation. Again nothing happened. Suddenly scared, Setsuna paused and replayed the last ten minutes again in his mind. He glanced about the small hut noticing the several kettles steaming on the stove. Hopefully he grabbed one, tested the water carefully and then poured the hot fluid over himself.
Restored to normal form, she once again raised her henshin pin, transformed to Sailor Pluto and opened a portal with her time staff. She had a bone to pick with herself. Ninety seconds later she disgustedly reappeared in the hut. She paused in thought, opened another portal and went home to get some new clothes. She reappeared again only a minute later in local time. She powered down and was now dressed in somewhat baggy but durable and stretchable clothing. Setsuna was not happy with her new wardrobe. It had taken her over six hours of shopping about a week ago in her own past to find these clothes and ensure that they would survive the transformation.
The door opened a moment later as Michiru entered carrying Haruka's clothing. Hotaru leading an angry jaguar followed her and was telling the large cat, "Look, I know you're mad at him. But even if he's a panda now, that still doesn't mean you can eat him."
Setsuna grimaced and poured the hot water over the spotted cat. The three girls watched in awe as the jaguar changed into their friend. Fighting back tears, Michiru handed her lover her clothes. Her composure lasted only until Haruka was dressed, then she embraced the other woman and wept. Haruka held Michiru and whispered, "I really need to watch my temper I guess. I'm sorry to drag you three into my problems."
Before anybody could ask, Setsuna volunteered, "No, we can't change what has happened. I don't know why, but we're stuck with these curses, both of us. The good news is that I was able to experiment a little and I discovered that when we are powered up, the curse is deactivated. On the bad side, we can't power up in our cursed forms."
Earlier outside, things had been a bit more hectic just after Ranma had discovered her curse. Both Michiru and Hotaru had fainted as Ranma had screamed her discovery of her new gender. Fortunately, they had recovered in time for both to hear the Guide's announcements concerning the four curses, Ranma's last of all.
Genma had quickly discovered that though the jaguar was half his mass, she easily had twice his strength and the lumbering bear was little match for the lighting quick cat that was attempting to skin him alive without benefit of either tools or anesthesia. Genma was further handicapped by his reluctance to hit his wife even if she was seriously trying to kill him.
Ranma had frozen in place as soon as she had noticed the large spotted cat. Her eyes wide with fright, she had dimly noticed that it was trying to kill a panda.
Michiru had dithered for a moment, but upon seeing Ranma's expression of sheer terror barely held in check, she had opted to comfort her step-son-daughter-whatever. All four of the sailor scouts had seen the effects of the neko-ken on Ranma, and Michiru knew Ranma was moments away from an uncontrollable response of some kind.
Shoving Hotaru toward the battling panda and jaguar, Michiru had quickly turned and embraced the redhead, blocking Ranma's view of battle. "Ranma?" she asked. "It's ok, that's not a real cat. That's your mother. She'll never hurt you. Ranma, listen to me, that's not a real cat. Do you hear me?"
"No, I'm not your mother. That cat over there, that's your mother. She's angry with your father, but she loves you. That's why she's here. She came as soon as she was able to find out where your father had taken you. She was so angry with him for stealing you and for hurting you. Let them work it out but know in your heart that she will never harm you."
"Cccaaat! Not real? Mom? Girl? Panda?"
"What the heck was that supposed to mean? Please speak in complete sentences."
Ranma sighed and pushed away from the girl a bit. "That cat is actually my mother? And what's with me being a girl and what's that panda doing here?"
"You are temporarily a girl, your mother is a not-real-jaguar and your father is an idiot panda."
Ranma chuckled slightly at the description. "Idiot isn't new. He's always been that."
Meanwhile, the panda had taken refuge on top of one of the poles. The jaguar couldn't balance on one paw like the bear and was reluctant to risk another dunking by making leaping attacks.
Hotaru arrived to lead the jaguar away from Ranma and the panda, taking a circuitous route toward the Guide's hut in order to stay away from Ranma.
Ranma's eyes followed the large cat. There was look of fear at first, then regret and sorrow as she watched her mother retreat. Finally they filled with anger as she glared at the panda balancing on the pole. As Michiru gathered Haruka's clothes, Ranma attacked her father.
The four outer Sailor scouts exited the hut ten minutes later only to see a redheaded girl beating a badly clawed panda by volleying his rotund body off a cliff face using a stout tree limb like a tennis racket. Every once in a while he would weakly try to escape, but she would pound him into submission before volleying him again.
"Ranma!" Haruka called her child warmly.
Ranma missed her next swing as she suddenly turned to the four women. "Mom?"
"Yes, Ranma; Mama."
Ranma hesitated, and then asked. "For real? I mean the old man hasn't sold me to ya or something like that, has he?"
"No, Ranma, I am your mother. I'm not one of your father's schemes."
"Then why hasn't he ever said anything about you before?"
Haruka sighed and replied, "Because he wanted to forget me. Our marriage was arranged and there was little love lost between us."
Ranma's face darkened and he responded, "Yeah, I know all about how little love he can have or deserves."
Haruka moved to stand next to her son. "It's okay, Ranma. I saw it all. I know about the neko-ken, the thefts he made you commit, the abusive training he put you through, and the hard life you've lived. I promise you. He will pay. He will pay with his life. You're mine and he'll never hurt you again."
Haruka sat and pulled Ranma into her lap.
Ranma reluctantly allowed this stranger who said she was her mother to embrace her. Ranma asked, "Are you sure you want me as your son? I mean look at me now. And your cursed form scares me. Ain't I just gonna cause you problems?"
"Excuse me" interrupted Michiru momentarily. She was about to pour the hot water on Ranma when Haruka's hand intercepted the kettle and placed it on the ground beside them.
Smiling in understanding, Michiru nodded and left the two alone for the moment. She wandered off to see what Hotaru and Setsuna were doing with the panda.
"Yeooocuch" screamed the former panda.
Hotaru grinned at Setsuna. "I wondered why you insisted on taking the kettle that was actually boiling."
Genma shakily stood and glared at the three strange women.
Setsuna grimly smiled, it reminded Genma of death warmed over. "Genma, I recently had cause to use a magical device to show your wife what has happened to her son over the past 10 years. We saw everything. Needless to say she wasn't happy."
"Yep!" confirmed Hotaru. "Ukyou, cat-fist, the weird training. Everything. You are so dead." She paused and added, "I hope she let's us help."
Genma's mind was working frantically. Normally he wouldn't be worried about four weak women. But he had taken the time to check out their auras and all four had auras as powerful as the master's. He broke another promise and unsealed one of his forbidden techniques. Jumping away from the scouts, he vanished from their sight as soon as his feet hit the ground. While they saw his pack vanish and could dimly hear his retreating footsteps, they couldn't catch sight of him. In a few moments, even the sounds of his passage ended.
Meanwhile, Ranma was oblivious to all of this. She had finally reluctantly embraced Haruka and was obviously still struggling with the concept that she had a mother who cared for her. "You sure me being cursed to be a weak silly girl doesn't bother you?"
"Hush Ranma. I know you couldn't help it. I really do know about the cat-fist training, too. I know it wasn't your fault." Haruka hugged Ranma closer again, "I'm just so glad to get my little boy back again."
"Humph" snorted Ranma. "I ain't so little and I certainly ain't a boy anymore."
Haruka poured the hot water over Ranma and asked, "I see what you mean about the little part." She then reached out as if to pull open his pants top. "But are you sure you aren't a boy?"
"Hey!" screeched Ranma as he teleported off Haruka's lap.
"Yes, my manly son?" innocently asked Haruka.
Ranma's retort was cutoff by the sound of hysterical laughter behind him. He stared at the other three women who where giggling together as they looked between Ranma and his mother. He looked over at his mother only to hear her announce.
Ranma turned toward her and then asked, "Where did Pop go?"
"Doesn't matter, I'll find him, and when I do. He's dead for what he did to you," snarled Haruka.
"Mom, I know he's an idiot, but do you really have to kill him?"
"How can you defend him after all he's done to you?"
Ranma paused in thought only for a moment. It wasn't enough time to prevent him putting his foot in his mouth. "He was there for me and you weren't."
Setsuna glared and hissed, "He tossed you into a pit of starving cats."
Ranma shuddered but responded, "I agreed to it. Sure some of his ideas were crazy, but he's also a great sensei."
"He's an abusive, dishonest thief not fit to be called a man let alone a father," retorted Michiru.
"Yeah, whatever; still, he was there for me." He looked at his mother and repeated sadly. "He was there for me."
Haruka was fuming. This reunion was not going according to plan. Genma still lived and her own son was beginning to doubt her. "I will not have you question my judgment like that. He dies and I will not hear anymore about it."
Ranma shrugged and commented as he started to walk away. "It's not something I'm really worried about. He's hard to catch and he's a lot better martial artist than you."
"Ranma! Don't you dare turn your back on me! I deserve some respect as your mother, if nothing else."
Ranma paused and looked over his shoulder, a sad look on his face. "But that's just the problem. There is nothing else other than that between us. The first time I ever remember meeting my mother, and she has nothing but murder on her mind." He looked at her speculatively, and then asked. "I don't understand. Is there a reason that pop never mentioned you? Did you abandon us?"
Hotaru took Ranma's arm and gently turned him both toward herself and facing Haruka. "Ranma, I consider your mother to be my parent as well. She raised me when I had no else. She would never have let you leave her if she had had a choice. Your father 'stole' you from her. She never had a chance to even say goodbye."
Ranma sighed and looked down at the slight young woman. "You're not hitting on me, are you? Ah… what's your name?"
He smiled and softly said, "Then I guess that makes you my older sister, Hotaru."
She waved toward the others and started to introduce them as well. "Along with Haruka-papa, these are also part of my family." As she pointed to each as she added, "I call them Setsuna-mama and Michiru-mama." She hugged him; "we are a family."
Haruka still knelt but now was beginning to massage her temples. She whispered, "Kami, not now. Not this complication, not now."
Michiru lightly scowled at her daughter but clarified anyway. "Ranma, after Genma abandoned your mother, she was really, really hurt. She couldn't stand the idea of another man in her life, but she still had lots of love to offer to others. She offered it to me and I became her lover. I'm sorry if that bothers you, but it is part of who we are."
Ranma shrugged. He looked over at his mother. His look was curious; hers was warm, wondering and a bit pensive. Ranma hesitated a few moments, then knelt facing Haruka. "Mom, I think that maybe we need to talk."
Chapter three - Lovers' nots
During the next few hours, Genma learned an important attribute of his rarely practiced invisibility technique. In the process of hiding him from others, it also distorted his perception of reality, more than it usually was anyway. One of his backpack pockets had a few metal items not yet repacked completely. As he ran, these rattled and the distortion made it sound as if a horde of demons was pursuing him. Either that or his wife; personally he was hoping it was the demons as he felt he might have a chance then.
He blundered at full speed half way around the Jusenkyo valley before finally entering the surrounding forests beyond the cliffs that backed the pools. The path up the cliffs was a gradual ascent, which was fortunate as he barely saw the trees, bushes or people before he passed them. He missed the trees; but some of the bushes and Ryouga were not as fortunate.
Things got somewhat better when Genma entered the forest; the distortion, his speed and the sudden forest darkness resulted in Genma impacting a tree face first at full speed. He woke up refreshed several hours later. It was late afternoon and he could see that he seemed to be safe for the moment. So he found a spot to pitch camp and try to make some plans to salvage his hopes.
. . . . . Meanwhile back at the springs . . . .
" . . . so let me see if I understand what you are telling me, Mom," said Ranma. "You don't consider yourself a lesbian, it's just that the person you fell in love with happens to be a woman like you?"
"Yes, Ranma," replied Haruka. She continued, "I always was a bit of a tomboy. That is why I went into racing and why Hotaru calls me 'papa'. As for Setsuna, she wanted to help raise Hotaru so she became a second foster mother for her, like Michiru." She shrugged her shoulders and added, "and that's how the four of us became a family. For me it was a family to replace the one that Genma had stolen from me."
"You mean me, Mom?" somberly asked Ranma.
She glanced over at him. He was sitting beside her slightly facing her as they both faced toward the valley of springs about a hundred meters to the west of them. It was coming on to evening and the setting sun was starting to illuminate the springs as it glanced off the pools before them. The golden-red light of the setting sun highlighted the angles of his face. She noticed that it was no longer a child's face even if not all the baby fat had left it yet.
She sighed with frustration. She had decided her son was naive, ignorant and innocent but also very intelligent, at least when it came to some subjects. He had unfortunately apparently inherited his father's 'foot-in-mouth' failing as well.
"Mostly you," she answered her son. She paused and clarified, "but he was also a part of my family. When Genma left, he not only stole my son; he took my husband from me too. The sense of betrayal I felt was very, very deep."
She noticed the single tear making its way down his face. They were both careful to ignore its existence. "Ranma, I'm not sure I can forgive him for that. Not on top of the other things he did to you."
Ranma sighed unhappily. "I still can't believe that my friend Ukyou is really a girl." He paused and shook his head as he pulled faint images of those times from his memory. "I always wondered why we ended up with their Yattai. Pop said it was a gift and I was too young to question it. But in hindsight, it all makes sense now that I know my buddy was a girl." He grimaced, "She probably hates us. We took her dowry and abandoned her. I wonder what happened to her."
Setsuna sat next to him as Michiru and Hotaru both sat next to Haruka, one on each side. Setsuna laid a hand on his shoulder briefly, "I can find out and tell you when we get back home in Japan." She smiled, "Trust me on this; it only took me two days to track you down once your mother confessed your existence. It won't take me much more time than that to find out what happened to your friend either."
Ranma's fingers idly doodled in the dirt before him. Finally he looked up at his mother and asked, "Mom, why did it take so long for you to come?"
Haruka blushed, "Ranma, this may sound stupid, but I just didn't think to ask Setsuna if she could do this for me. I never talked about you to them because it still hurt even after ten years." She glanced at him pensively and added nervously, "Ranma, I never forgot about you. I just didn't think I had any way of finding you. I came as soon as I could. Please believe that, please."
Ranma studied her for a moment before nodding, "I believe you Mom, I do believe you." He turned to Setsuna but before he could ask, she answered.
"Sorry Ranma, I can't tell you." She grinned, "How I found you is a secret of my 'school', I'm sure you understand things like that."
Ranma frowned but nodded his acceptance. He rose, stretched and commented, "Well, I better see if I can find my pack. It's late so we should set up camp." He looked around and asked, "Where are you four ladies staying?"
Hotaru laughed gaily, "Come on. We set up camp just up the road while the two of you were talking and we have a place for you also, little brother." She smiled at him, "we came to get the two of you for dinner, it's all ready now."
"Dinner?" Ranma grinned back at her, "Now that is one of my favorite words."
The next morning dawned bright and mostly clear. It was the 'mostly' that was giving everybody fits. A sudden and brief shower had triggered Ranma's, his mother's and Setsuna's curses as they were talking while they were breaking camp together. That had in turn resulted in Ranma's sudden departure.
Setsuna looked at the Ranma shaped hole in his new tent. He glanced at the rapidly retreating redhead who was yelling 'caaatt' as she fled. "Pathetic" he mumbled to his companion.
His companion just snarled as the spotted cat stalked over to where her daughter and lover waited in shocked silence by the dying fire.
Hotaru studied Setsuna for a moment before grinning. "Setsuna-mama, I see why you've taken to wearing that loose baggy clothing. You're a hunk!" She snickered as she noticed that what had formerly been a loose spandex shirt and shorts were now a tight pair of spandex trousers and a painted on tank top that left the well-muscled battle-dwarf's abdomen bare.
Setsuna held up a hand for forestall the hot water which his foster daughter offered. "No, much as I wish otherwise, I had best try to get used to this form. Besides, with the weather as changeable as it is today, I'll just be changing again shortly anyway."
The jaguar angrily disagreed. After Hotaru poured the water on her, she snarled at Setsuna, "At least you have a choice. If I stay in my cursed form, my son goes crazy. Not to mention, I have no voice or hands. Except for the heightened senses and reflexes, my cursed form sucks." She glared at the sky. "What the hell am I going to do?" She wearily asked.
Setsuna sighed and responded, "Normally it's not a good idea. But in this case I suggest that you power-up and stay that way. It prevents your curse from activating."
Haruka glared at her, "Yeah, that makes a lot of sense. I can see it now, Ranma comes back and sees me and our whole 'Sailor Scout' secret goes out the window."
"Idiot," snapped Michiru as she lightly bopped her lover on the back of her head. "Power up, then put some regular clothes on over your uniform. He'll never know."
Haruka cocked an eyebrow and grimaced, "Oh, yeah, easy solution. And just what do I tell him when I eventually get splashed and DON'T change?"
"Don't borrow trouble," grinned Setsuna. "Besides with your 'disguise' field active, he'll never know that it's you. Don't worry, we'll figure out something when the time comes if it happens."
"Ok," Haruka paused to look around and make sure no one else could see them. She transformed and then hurriedly put a set of her regular clothing on over the Scout uniform. "Ready, lets see if we can find my son, er, daughter. Maybe the Guide has some ideas." She frowned and then asked, "Setsuna, didn't you once say that there was a way to deactivate the disguise field? I think that if I'm going to be wearing my 'chivvies' and be part of this group, it only makes sense to be recognized as Haruka instead of being perceived as a stranger."
Setsuna smiled in understanding and nodded, the explanation was brief.
. . . . . Amazon village . . .
Once Ranma had regained her senses, she looked about herself trying to figure out where she'd managed to get to in her terror. She noticed that she was on the edge of a village. One that seemed mostly deserted except for the large crowd in a large field to one side of the outer wall. It seemed that it was a tournament of some sort. Ranma could see a couple of girls fighting on a log suspended between several other logs.
Spotting her father approaching the crowd from the opposite direction, Ranma proceeded toward him. In her hurry, she didn't hear her name called out behind her.
Frustrated, the four sometime Sailor Scouts and the Guide began to jog to where they had seen Ranma disappear around the outer edge of the walled village. They arrived just in time to see Ranma confront her father. Moving closer they soon could hear their argument.
"Pop, why'd you run out on mom?"
"It was for your own good, boy. She'd have made you soft, cuddling you and sissy stuff like that."
"You hurt her a lot, pop."
"She got over it." He snickered a bit, "She probably took it like a man anyway."
"That ain't funny, pop."
"Tell me about it," Genma sneered. "That was the other reason I left. I didn't want you to get confused by her." He paused and a look of sadness briefly flashed over his face. "Sometimes I think I ruined her life. Staying there would have made it worse. At least this way she had the chance to choose how she wanted to live. In a way, it was best for us both. I got a chance to train you, she got her life back." He sighed theatrically, "I only did what was best for us all, Boy."
"Die!" screamed Haruka as she launched herself at her husband. She'd overheard these last comments and it had infuriated a battle-dwarf and the four women that had heard it, namely Ranma and the four outer scouts.
Setsuna and Ranma were about to join Haruka, Michiru and Hotaru in pounding on Genma, when their attention was distracted by the culmination of the local contest. Both turned in time to see a cute girl with purple hair launch a tall, mannish woman in a high arcing flight toward them.
Setsuna automatically calculated the probable impact point and quickly realized that the tall woman would land in a pile of racked weapons, a potentially fatal event for her. Without thinking, the battle-dwarf sprang forward and then upward and intercepted the falling girl, easily catching her much taller figure in his broad muscular arms. Interestingly enough, the large girl both looked and felt petite in his arms even though she was held barely a foot off the ground.
The crowd was stunned as they witnessed this event. The girl held tightly onto Setsuna as he tried to set her down. Recovering from her astonishment, the girl looked Setsuna down and downward with a gradually growing smile of pleasure. She obviously liked what she saw. "Wo ai ne" she purred in a throaty bass as she kissed him deeply on the lips.
"Uh oh," croaked the Guide, "that was kiss of marriage." Seeing Ranma's confused look, he explained, "Is two ways to get Amazon bride. One is to defeat in battle; other is to save life. Miss customer is now in deep trouble."
Shocked into non-thinking action at these words and recent events, Setsuna tossed his bride Dowel into the air and bolted. Dowel was immediately in hot pursuit. Boy, was she ever hot.
Setsuna suddenly found that he had much fewer problems handling his new body. With a yell for others to make way, he fled at a very commendable speed. Laughing, the crowd readily made way for the newly engaged couple who was obviously seeking privacy.
The two circled the field twice, the other Amazon girls cheering Dowel's good fortune before Setsuna dodged into the village and out of sight of everyone except the closely pursuing Dowel.
Panicked by the thundering steps behind him, Setsuna crashed through the wall of the first building to block his actual flight path. Luck was finally on his side as it turned out to be the communal baths. Setsuna did a thunderous belly flop into the heated pool as he stumbled into it.
Dazed, Setsuna sat up in the water, trying to get her bearings. She froze as she saw Dowel quickly scanning the interior.
Hearing a noise outside, the huge Amazon girl left the pool area sparing only a puzzled glance at Setsuna.
Shaken, Setsuna quickly transformed and made a portal to her home. Kami, but she needed a drink or three. She shuddered again.
A few moments after Sailor Pluto left, Dowel reentered. She looked around in confusion and then sadly returned to where the rest of the village was gathered.
Ranma meanwhile was helping Michiru and Hotaru cheer her mom on as she attempted to pound the living crap out of her father, an activity that suddenly ended when several elders intervened.
"Child!" Reprimanded the eldest of them, "what is the meaning of this. We are Amazons, warriors of pride. It is unseemly for a warrior such as you seem to be, to be beating one of weaker sex so mercilessly." Seeing their confusion, she re-examined them. Guessing at their origin, she repeated the statements in Japanese.
Fuming, Haruka glanced around at the several hundred frowning armed warriors that seemed ready and willing to back up their elder's words. She swallowed nervously. Not that she was worried about the outcome of a fight with the village while she was powered up; it was just not something that a Sailor Scout was supposed to do.
She hesitated and then pointed at Genma and stated her accusation. "He's my worthless husband. Not only did he abandon me but he took our child too. Now that I've found him, I intend to make him pay for his crimes."
"Your child?" asked the Eldest as she reconsidered the matter. In the background she heard several other Amazons translating the conversation for the rest.
"Yes," Haruka paused and continued as she pointed at Ranma, "my daughter. He took her when she was only five years old. Only yesterday did I finally locate them. But this coward fled."
"I take it you wish a divorce?" the Eldest asked.
Haruka slowly grinned, "That would be most welcome."
"Do you agree to abide by the laws of this village then?" She clarified, "If you don't, then the divorce will otherwise be meaningless."
"Oh, yeah," she smiled. "If it gets me rid of him, definitely. But what about him, doesn't he have to agree also?"
"No, he agrees or he's dead," she snapped.
Genma swallowed as he looked at the hundreds of heavily armed women glaring at him. This was much worse than any situation the master had ever gotten him into. He nodded his head in agreement nervously. At the moment, he felt like the 'weaker' sex too.
"Very well, it is apparent that a marriage confrontation is needed. The terms are simple, fight, if you defeat or kill him, the marriage is over."
Genma hesitantly asked, "Ahh, what happens if she loses?"
Gales of laughter washed over them, the Elder paused until the mirth of the gathered Amazons subsided. "IF you win, then she has to forgive you and keep you." She glanced at Haruka and asked, "You DO understand that condition do you not?"
It was Haruka's turn to be nervous. She glanced at Genma, he didn't really seem all that strong, yet he also didn't seem all that bad off despite the pounding he'd already received. She smirked to herself as she recalled that she was already powered up as Sailor Uranus and decided that she'd just use a few special attacks to make sure of the outcome. She nodded, "I understand and accept the condition."
The Amazon Elder gestured and a very large circle was formed about the Elder and the feuding Saotome couple. It enclosed a number of martial arts training fixtures including the challenge log.
She held her staff up, "Begin," she ordered.
The battle was one for the local history books. Fortunately, a few Amazons had access to video recorders; the tapes they made that day were requisitioned by the village elders and became training tapes for the village for years to come. They studied the fluid easy moves of the Anything Goes style versus Nodoka's excellent swordsmanship and magic. The battle started off pretty easy, mainly Genma dodging and Haruka slashing with her katana turned space sword.
Finally in frustration, Haruka initiated a few of her Sailor Scout attacks. Only then did Genma actually start to fight. He had used the time until then not only to study his spouse's fighting style but also to realize that he had one chance to redeem himself and get a second chance at his future dreams. His only chance was to defeat his wife.
So he began to carefully fight as he demonstrated that he was in fact a master of the Anything Goes School. As Haruka began to use some of her magical attacks like 'World Shaking', he began to get worried. Finally in desperation, he unsealed another of his forbidden techniques. "Kijin Raishuu Dan" he cried out as he countered with his strongest ki reinforced vacuum blade. If he could have, he'd have done anything to retract that blow at that moment.
He watched in desperate anxiety as the lethal blow hit her across the waist. He knew without a doubt that he'd killed his wife and his son would never forgive him. Haruka was most fortunate that day that to be wearing her Sailor Uranus uniform. Its armor like qualities protected her from the blow's lethal effects, though it did not prevent her from being rendered momentarily unconscious.
Genma was cradling her limp body before it even hit the ground. "I'm sorry Nodoka, I'm sorry. I didn't mean to hurt you. Please be ok," he begged.
She opened bleary eyes at him. "Genma?" she hesitantly asked. "How in the world did you DO that? Can you teach me?"
"That's the girl I remember marrying," he smiled happily.
The Elder walked over to the couple. "Thank you for the incredible display. But know this; you ARE bound together as husband and wife." She turned to Nodoka, "and you are honor bound to give him a second chance."
Too exhausted to reply the Saotome couple shakily rose to their feet and made their way to the rest of their family and thence out of the village. Ranma was too tired to change before she left and the Guide made his way back to the springs alone.
Behind them, her friends were comforting Dowel. They were casting suspicious glances at the retreating outsiders, wondering if any of them had a hand in hiding away the sobbing girl's husband.
An hour before sunset, Ranma and her newly expanded family came across a camp that Setsuna had set up. Setsuna herself served supper to Ranma and her father. It was laced with sleeping powder and shortly after the two male Saotomes fell asleep; the whole party used a portal to return to Nodoka's Juuban home.
Two days later, Mousse, Shampoo and Dowel left together for Japan. As village champion, it was Shampoo's job to help the other girl in her quest to find her errant and presumably Japanese husband. Mousse was delegated to accompany them as camp gofer and as translator. From the conversations recorded on the fight tapes, they knew that a possible starting point was Nodoka and Genma Saotome of the Saotome School of Anything Goes Martial Arts somewhere in Japan. They'd start their search in Tokyo.
Chapter four - Promises . . .
Genma drowsily opened his eyes. He recognized the couch, "Damn, No-chan must be mad at me again," he muttered and then fell back asleep; odd how a conditioned response can survive ten years of disuse.
Ranma yawned and slowly took in his surroundings. It appeared to be a sparsely though comfortably furnished bedroom. The bed, desk, chair and dresser seemed to be of high quality though it was apparent that no one regularly used the room since there were no pictures on the walls or any personal possessions other than his backpack against one wall.
Ranma grabbed some clean clothes from his backpack and cautiously made his way out the door. He paused in the hall and then made his way toward the sound of running water. He waited outside the door for only a few moments before Hotaru exited.
She smiled warmly at him and motioned him toward the bathroom, "All yours now little brother."
Ranma-chan sat on the stool and carefully scrubbed most of herself clean. It had been months since the last time Ranma had been able to take anything other than a camp bath. She was hesitant about cleaning herself completely, kami, she'd only been a girl for almost two days now. As she sat there wondering what to do, she heard the bathroom door open and then close quietly behind her.
Ranma's face blushed scarlet as she saw her mother standing there in a somewhat revealing nightgown. Haruka paused a moment on seeing Ranma, then shrugged. She asked, "Ranma? You need someone to wash your back?"
Ranma violently shook her head 'no' and kept her eyes focused on the floor.
Haruka studied the soap pattern she could see, and made a guess. "Ranma, it's ALL your body. Don't let the fact that you become a girl sometimes cause you to reject or be scared of part of yourself."
Ranma blushed and answered, "Ain't afraid of nothing. But . . . well, it feels real funny to touch, I mean wash myself . . . there."
Haruka smiled, "Yeah, I know what you mean. It's normal, just be gentle but do wash yourself." She paused as she turned to leave, "Ranma, it doesn't make you a pervert either, just because you were born a boy. Finish cleaning up and make the soak a short one, Ok?"
Ranma sighed and did as directed, though 'his' senses were reeling. 'He' was a normal guy at heart who now had 'his' hands all over a really cute chick. Kami, 'his' libido was doing laps around her skull as Ranma finished scrubbing herself. Ranma finally sighed both with regret and relaxation as his internal tension gradually eased when the hot furo water restored his birth form.
While Ranma was briefly soaking, his mother and his stepmother were having a rather interesting conversation downstairs. It started off with Haruka relating her observations to Michiru about how uncomfortable Ranma seemed with his cursed form.
"You know Love," observed Michiru. "Maybe Ranma just needs some time to acclimate himself to his alternate form?"
"Humph! Don't be ridiculous. He's my manly son. His alternate form is just a pain to be avoided, just like my cursed form is. Trust me. I know this." Haruka almost snarled these last words.
As the two walked down the hall, they suddenly encountered Setsuna as she exited the kitchen carrying a pitcher of water. Somehow Michiru managed to stumble in such a way that the water splashed Setsuna, Haruka and Genma (who was still sleeping on the couch until the water hit him) without being splashed herself.
From her position sprawled out on the floor, Michiru guiltily looked at the three cursed individuals who were looking at each other and then at themselves with mutual resignation. Finally she couldn't hold it in anymore and began to giggle. This brought the other's attention to herself. "I'm sorry. Really, I'm sorry. It was an accident. But isn't it really strange how all of you got splashed and I didn't? It's kind of funny, but I'm really . . . what are you doing Setsuna?"
Michiru screeched as the battle dwarf emptied the remaining water out of the pitcher onto Michiru's head. Meanwhile, the panda gawked at the impromptu 'wet-tee shirt' show that was happening in front of him. At least until Haruka noticed. Noticing his 'wife's' tail whipping angrily about, the panda bolted out the back door with the jaguar slashing at his rump as they started doing laps on the inside vertical surface of the stone wall that enclosed the back yard.
With a cross look at Setsuna, Michiru fluffed out her wet nightgown and proceeded into the kitchen to start breakfast after first drying herself off a bit.
Setsuna speculatively watched the morning exercise of the newly 'remarried' couple for a few moments until he became aware that Ranma had just entered the top of the stairs above him. Grimacing as he recalled the cat-fist training, the dwarf hurriedly filled a basin with hot water from the tap. Timing it carefully, he tossed the hot water onto the 'courting' pair just as they passed the back door. Somehow Genma returned to his normal form clothed in his usual gi. Haruka on the other hand . . . Michiru grinned in appreciation, the former panda fainted while running at full steam and plowed a trench in the yard with his face as he slid to a stop against the wall. Ranma blushed and hurriedly turned his back while holding his nose just in case. Ranma thought to himself, "Wow, so that is where my girl side gets her good looks."
Haruka yelped with embarrassment and momentarily seemed to have four hands as she attempted to hide herself with them rather unsuccessfully. She dashed past the snickering dwarf and went upstairs into the bathroom.
Later during breakfast, after putting a stop to Genma and Ranma's breakfast duel and enforcing a semblance of manners on both, Haruka looked over at Ranma and commented, "Ranma, today we'll see about getting you registered for school and some new clothes as well."
Genma spoke up "I've already made arrangements for Ranma to attend Furinkan." He paused at his wife's glare and swallowed noisily.
"Genma, that school is quiet a ways from here. Is there some reason you've chosen that school that I don't know about?" She asked.
"Ah, I've heard it was a good martial arts school?" Genma said hopefully.
"Humm," the sound drew all eyes to Setsuna. She looked at Genma and grinned, "I'm a high school counselor, and that school is near the bottom in almost every category." The only thing it is noted for is the high number fights that occur daily."
Haruka's frown erased the grin forming on Genma's face. "MY son is not going to a school like that! Is that understood Genma?"
Genma hesitantly nodded. Noticing that the liquor cabinet was still in its usual place despite the decade that had passed, he strode over to it and helped himself to one of the larger sake bottles.
Ranma sighed and remarked, "Well, that's all for pops today. He'll polish off that bottle and any others he can get before sleeping it off." Seeing the concerned glances of the others, he added, "Pops is mostly Ok about drinking. He usually doesn't overdo it, but occasionally, when things aren't going just right, he takes a break from reality for a few days."
Michiru grimaced, walked over to the cabinet and locked it. She pocketed the key and remarked to Hotaru, "What say we go with Ranma and papa-san?"
Hotaru smiled and asked, "Is Ranma going to get some girl clothes too?"
"NO!" yelled Ranma.
Haruka exasperatedly replied, "Michiru, I agree with Ranma and besides, we already talked about this. Ranma's cursed form is not something to encourage."
Ranma sighed with relief. The relief turned out to be short lived. The shopping party didn't make it out the door before Haruka stumbled against a vase and splashed herself and Ranma.
Haruka disgustedly padded into the furo and then her room to change again while the others coaxed Ranma off the ceiling. This time she transformed into Sailor Uranus before dressing in slacks and shirt again.
In a way that didn't help as the cursed members of the party got splashed three more times in the first hour they were out. Fortunately Haruka had come up with an explanation as to why she didn't change; something other than the truth that is.
"Mom?" Ranma-chan glared at her equally soaking wet mother. "Why didn't you change? Is there a cure you haven't shared with me?"
Haruka sighed and replied, "It's not really a cure. I have a family amulet that protects the wearer from curses, but it's only effective if you are female."
Ranma paused a moment in thought before concluding, "Then I could use it to stay in my cursed form but not stay a guy."
"I'm sorry son, but that's right."
By the end of the first day, Haruka was convinced that she was going to have to spend most of her waking moments powered up in her disguised Sailor Uranus form. She was also reconsidering her stance on Ranma's cursed form.
Ranma's attitude toward women was beginning to be a real pain. That first evening just after supper, Ranma had made one too many depreciating comments concerning the fighting skills of women much to his father's amusement and obvious agreement. Sweet gentle Hotaru had finally challenged Ranma to put his skills where his mouth was.
While Ranma was rolling on the floor in laughter, Hotaru had gone upstairs. Only Setsuna noticed the symphony of lights from Hotaru's room before she came back downstairs clothed in a gi. However both Michiru and Haruka noticed the Sailor fuka that was barely visible beneath it. They exchanged grins in anticipation of the lesson Ranma was about to get.
The beating that sweet Hotaru administered with the Silence Glaive was brutal. Unfortunately it was also neither short nor merciful. After she was done, Hotaru turned a baleful eye to Genma. "You next?"
Genma was stunned. He was sure that not even his master (whose name was NOT to ever be mentioned) could have beaten this girl. He nervously shook his head 'no' and she continued, "Then I trust you'll not be criticizing my fighting skills again?" She paused and added, "Otherwise I may have to teach you the lesson next time."
Haruka and Michiru carried Ranma upstairs out of Genma's sight where Hotaru healed him before she powered down.
Thereafter each of the outer scouts would take turns sparring with Ranma. They did so in disguised form and they did it because he was often a pain in the ass as well as Haruka's son. After the second day, they required that Ranma spar in female form both to train that form and to ensure that Ranma gained a measure of respect for the fighting powers of both genders.
On the other hand, his respect for his father was gradually diminishing each day, well except for martial arts. The old man was still an exceptional sensei there. On the fourth day there though, and Setsuna took Ranma aside and explained about his friend Ukyou.
"Ranma, I found out what happened to your friend Kuonji Ukyou." Setsuna paused and added, "You aren't going to like it."
Seeing that she had Ranma's attention she continued, "After Genma accepted the Kuonji family yattai as Ukyou's dowry; he abandoned Ukyou on the side of the road. She was shamed before her family and forced to renounce her femininity. She's lived as a boy ever since and has sworn revenge on both you and Genma."
Ranma sat there quietly for a moment, his face a frozen mask of shock and anger. He forced a grin toward the green haired woman and said, "Excuse me, please." He then got up, found his father focused on scarfing down some leftovers and proceeded to pound him into paste. An activity that was repeated after Haruka was told of his actions concerning Ukyou.
Haruka then contacted her lawyer and directed him to begin the process of contacting and resolving the problem.
About a week after arriving, just after breakfast was over, Haruka asked "Well, Genma, shall we start our lessons? I want to learn just how you defeated me."
Genma hesitated and then slyly replied, "Humm dear, that's not how we agreed to do it in the past. We, ah . . . well, I . . . shouldn't be on the couch, and . . . well, if you and me, then, then I'll teach you. Besides you did agree to take me back." He finally concluded.
Haruka didn't need to look over at Michiru to know she was scowling. She could feel the heat of the glare. She sighed and muttered to herself, "I just knew that my mouth was going to get me in trouble again."
She looked between the old and present loves of her life and tried to explain. "Genma, I know what I promised, but, well, after you left I needed somebody. That somebody turned out to be Michiru. I can't and won't desert her. That means we can't go back the way we were."
As Genma tried to puzzle this out, Michiru moved over to where Haruka was sitting and plopped herself down in her lover's lap and pulled Haruka into a passionate kiss. Genma's eyes nearly bugged out but the visual data uploaded the situation into his brain past all his usual mental blocks. He gulped then demonstrated standard Saotome wit as he slowly grinned and asked, "Does this mean we're going to be a threesome?"
Genma noted the glowing auras of the two women and made a rapid tactical decision. "Come on Ranma, I want you to meet an old friend of mine." With that he slung his startled son over his shoulder and vaulted over the back wall and out of sight.
In the dining room behind him, Haruka was left fuming and unable to pursue immediately because of Michiru's position. By the time the couple untangled themselves and went to look, Genma and Ranma were gone.
Seeing their mutual look of disgust when Haruka and Michiru returned, Setsuna sighed, transformed and opened a portal to the time gate. As she approached the gate, she was surprised to note that she was already there.
The other Pluto noted her questioning glance and remarked, "Yes, I am 'elder' – from your future. I have instructions for you; specifically that you are not to use the time gate to look into Ranma's future either directly or indirectly. He's both too close to you and too important in his own right for you to interfere with his destiny."
Younger Pluto quizzically asked, "Destiny?"
"Yes, as we are the avatar of time, Ranma is an avatar of chaos."
"That can't be true! He can't be aligned with chaos or I would never have been able to track him in the first place."
Elder Pluto shrugged and clarified, "That's partially true. He was born with merely the potential to be a chaos avatar, but when he fell into the cursed spring, that aspect became fully empowered by a kami. He's one of their toys now."
Younger Pluto absorbed the information for a moment then sighed. "Ok, so I can't track him and I'm not allowed to interfere either, but that doesn't apply to Genma!" She then strode up to the time gate.
Elder Pluto smiled slightly and moved away. She watched as her younger self struggled to locate Genma unsuccessfully before she commented, "Ranma's chaos aspect is very, very strong. So strong that anybody him near cannot be traced either until they move away from him both in space and time."
The younger Pluto sighed and rubbed the bridge of her nose in frustration before she patiently began to work the gate again. Shortly thereafter she was able to get an image of Genma presently talking to a mustached longhaired man in a brown gi. She noted the location and left to get the others.
Elder Pluto sighed and idly twirled her wedding ring as she watched her younger self leave.
. . . . . Tendou Dojo . . . .
Soun looked as his friend worriedly, "What's wrong with your son? He's still asleep and it's been hours!"
Genma had just enough decency left to blush as he admitted, "Well the boy was a bit reluctant to leave his mother, and so I had to knock him out in order to bring him over."
"Oh my," sighed Kasumi as she rose to take a better look at the young man now lying on a futon in the guest room.
Kasumi smiled in admiration as she examined Ranma. She was relieved to note that the large bump on the back of his head did not seem to be a concussion. A few moments later as she carried a basin of chilled water and a wash cloth upstairs, her sisters Nabiki and Akane arrived home from school.
The two younger girls immediately spotted the basin but Akane beat Nabiki with the question for once. "Kasumi! What's the water for? Is something wrong with daddy?"
Kasumi paused and smiled warmly at the other two before replying. "No, daddy is fine. It's just that his friend brought his son over after knocking him out because he didn't want to leave his mother." She glanced down at the water and added, "He's been unconscious for hours. I was going to see if a cool damp cloth would help him."
Nabiki and Akane exchanged glances filled with rare mutual understanding. A father who assaulted a boy to keep him away from his mother was immediately dubbed an enemy. The boy was provisionally someone who deserved their help – after all, he tried to stay with his mother.
Akane and Nabiki paused to glare at the man seated with their father before ascending the stairs behind Kasumi. Neither bothered to greet their father.
Genma wasn't completely oblivious to the feelings of others. His well-developed survival skills included hostility detection. Both the younger girls momentarily pegged his internal hostility meter when they paused to glare at him before leaving without any word of welcome or introduction.
Soun began to whimper as his daughters ignored him. Genma started to remind him that they had agreed to talk with his daughters as soon as they got home, but was helpless to do anything when Soun grabbed him in a bear hug and began to wail how his daughters no longer loved him.
Both men were completely unprepared when the four women walked out of the dojo together and stood watching them in shock. Haruka began to chuckle and finally couldn't hold it in. "Genma, so that's why you were able leave my bed so easily; you sneaky hypocrite you." She leaned in to obviously peer closer at Soun before adding, "Well, he is a bit girlish I guess what with all the crying and sobbing about 'love', oh well, each to his own taste."
Soun and Genma turned startled eyes to each other and were instantly apart on opposite sides of the table.
Soun sputtered, "How dare you insult me with that implication. That was a 'manly' hug between old friends, nothing more!"
Genma meanwhile snarled, "I can't help it if my oldest friend is a wuss. Trust me, I am ALL man, you should know that."
Soun's eyes narrowed as he turned to glare at Genma, "Wuss?" Suddenly his demon head was is full glory as he shouted "WUSS?"
In a panic, Genma immediately executed the 'crouching tiger' maneuver "Sorry, sorry . . . were mumbled several dozen times as he repeatedly banged his head on the floor."
Michiru looked between the two men is disbelief before commenting to Haruka; "They've got to be kidding. It looks more like a weird lover's quarrel than anything else to me." She paused and continued, "humm, just how much of man was he anyway?"
Haruka sighed and held her hands apart. The other three women glanced at her then at Genma and began chuckling. Genma blushed.
Meanwhile, Soun's demon head had faded as he heard Michiru's comment. "I am not like that," he yelled. "We're just friends."
Michiru smiled sweetly and said, "That's ok, Haruka and I understand. That's what we tell other people at first too."
Soun paused and then asked, "Just who are you people anyway?"
Genma sighed and answered, "Soun old friend, this is my wife Saotome Nodoka, her special 'friend' Kaiou Michiru that I told you about earlier. This is their adopted daughter Tomoe Hotaru and family friend Meiou Setsuna." He glanced at his wife and added. "My friend Tendou Soun and I trained under the same master together. He's like a brother to me but he's become a bit emotional since his wife died some years ago." Seeing the beginning of a knowing smirk on his wife's face he continued, "No, we are not like that. I haven't seen him until today for even longer than I was gone from you." He gestured to the house and dojo. "Tendou Soun owns and operates this dojo. He is the only other master of the 'anything goes school' Nodoka."
'Nodoka' grimaced and added a correction, "After Genma abandoned me, I changed my name to Ten'ou Haruka." She fixed a stern eye on him and asked, "Ok, now tell me why you had to bring our son here?"
Before Genma could answer, a trio of shrieks in eerie harmony shattered the tension between them.
. . . . . A few moments earlier upstairs . . . .
Kasumi led her two younger sisters into the room where Ranma laid unconscious. The two younger girls cast an appraising eye over the young man and Nabiki remarked, "Oh, he's kind of cute."
Akane grimaced and replied, "Jeez Nabiki, he's only a BOY. They're all perverts and certainly not the center of my world."
"One would think that you were a lesbian," smirked Nabiki to Akane; "considering how you hate boys."
Akane fumed but had no real come back.
Kasumi paused as she wrung out the cloth, "I wonder why father's friend brought his son over here?" She then laid the cool cloth on the youth's forehead and smiled down at him as he somehow seemed to relax a bit.
Nabiki paused in thought then frowned as a probable reason occurred to her. She hesitated then decided to share it with her sisters. "Well, there is one reason I can think of." Seeing she had their attention she continued, "The tax and inheritance laws have one loophole that would allow daddy to pass the house and dojo on one of us instead of losing it to taxes." She sighed and continued, "If daddy makes it a wedding gift."
"You mean this boy . . ." Akane began angrily only to be cut off by Kasumi.
"Let's not jump to conclusions." She smiled and added, "Besides, even if that is what father is thinking of, this young man isn't at fault."
Seeing Kasumi remove the cloth, Akane started to push the basin toward her. Nabiki urgently hissed, "Careful Akane, you'll spill it on him."
All three girls stared at the busty redhead that was sputtering as she tried to get the cold water out of her eyes and mouth.
A trio of shrieks in eerie harmony shattered the tension between them.
"OH, MY" as Kasumi fainted momentarily.
"PERVERT" Akane stormed.
"EEP" shrieked Nabiki as her mind went off line and her worldview of reality shattered.
"What? Where am I and who are you?" whispered Ranma, confusion rampant on her face. "How'd I get wet? Damn curse anyway." As Akane lunged at Ranma, her reflexes kicked in and she defended herself against this unknown assailant and tossed Akane out the window behind them.
They all heard her impact the pond a moment later.
"You changed!" accused Nabiki.
Ranma sighed and said, "Yeah, it's a Chinese water curse I picked up there a week ago due to my idiot father." She shrugged disgustedly, "Cold water activates the curse and I turn into a girl. Hot water temporarily undoes the curse and restores my birth form. It sucks, especially since I seem to have turned into a water magnet as well."
Kasumi had awakened in time to hear this and she commented, "Oh that's too bad. I'll bet that has made your life difficult."
Ranma smirked sheepishly, "Yeah, you can say that." She paused and asked, "Where am I and who are you?"
Kasumi giggled a bit with embarrassment and introduced herself and Nabiki. "It's Ranma, right?" At her confirming nod she continued, "Ranma, I'm Tendou Kasumi, this is my next younger sister Nabiki and that was my youngest sister Akane that you tossed out the window. Your father brought you to our house; he said that he knocked you out because you didn't want to leave your mother. Is that true?"
Ranma's face took on a wistful expression as she replied, "Yeah, pops and me just got back from a 10 year martial arts training journey. The first time I've seen mom in 10 years and he drags me off to meet his friend after only a week at home."
"Do you know why your father wanted you to come here?" Nabiki hesitantly asked.
Ranma blushed and nodded. Instead of answering right away she looked back and forth between the two girls and to the floor occasionally as her blush deepened.
Nabiki gently slapped a hand to the middle of her face and mumbled, "Let me guess, from your reaction I'd say your father told you that he had arranged a marriage for you?"
Ranma nodded, "Yeah, something about him and your father agreeing to joining the two branches of the 'anything goes' school by marriage even before either of them had kids."
A sopping wet Akane stormed into the room and snarled, "Well forget it. There is no way I'll marry a freak like you and you had better stay away from my sisters if you want to stay healthy."
Ranma sighed and replied, "I'm pretty sure that mom won't allow dad to do this anyway. I know he's already stolen one girl's dowry after he promised me to her."
Yes, I've already excluded Akane, live with it. Shampoo and Ukyou are still possibilities as are Nabiki and Kasumi, but that's for future chapters. Another future question would be 'is a sailor scout half-time daughter a potential scout heir?'
When I first posted this, there was a bit of adverse commentary about 'weak, gentle Hotaru being capable (physically & emotionally) of beating the shit out of Ranma (best martial artist of his generation). My first thought was to ignore it as this was merely fan fiction. Then I reconsidered and decided to extend the courtesy of an explanation to those who took the time to read what I'd written.
With respect to (wrt) Hotaru, of all the reincarnated senshi, she remembers the most of her silver millennium life, specifically including warrior training. Two, she is 10 years past the 'series', more than time enough to grow, become stronger and put her memories into actual use. Three, she is the daughter of Haruka, the best of the senshi wrt martial arts. It follows that 'papa' would have continued her interest and passed on additional skills to Hotaru. Four, when powered up, her speed, strength, healing and toughness are all enhanced. Five, she has magical attacks. (True she didn't use them against Ranma as her weakest would be overkill). But related to that is the Silence Glaive, a magical weapon. As far as her 'training' of Ranma, this pole-arm has a trait that is inherent to being a magical weapon. It's called 'inertia paradox'; this means Hotaru can swing it like it's a willow switch (zero inertia) while Ranma perceives it as a wrecking ball (infinite inertia); he cannot ever 'block' it, dodge yes, block no. Sixth, Hotaru knows she can heal Ranma, thus she's willing to actually do some damage.
Wrt Ranma, this is at the beginning of the series. He has no ki training other than the unconscious use of it to increase his body's speed, strength, healing and toughness (sort of equivalent to the senshi power up but a lot less at this point). Next, Ranma also has no special techniques, not even the crouching tiger has been demonstrated yet. He is also 7 years younger than his 'sister', which encompasses a lot of physical, mental and emotional growth that can make a difference in a conflict. Last, Ranma will hold back against a girl, especially someone cast in the mode of being a sister.
Conclusion, Hotaru will consistently beat the shit out of Ranma for awhile yet, especially since senshi magic is not something that can be taught to others; it's an inborn (potential!) gift, that's the only way it happens.
Chapter Five – Getting to NO you.
The six adults were sitting around the Tendou table discussing recent events in a rational manner. Sigh, 'not in this lifetime', Setsuna wistfully thought to herself as there was a lot of dis'ing and plenty of cuss'ing going on at the moment instead especially after watching a dripping wet and fuming Akane storm upstairs. The dis-cuss'ing was mostly being done by the 'Saotome' couple she noticed. She grinned slightly to herself, 'I am going to have to keep rubbing that in' she decided.
Genma frowned as he noticed that Soun kept losing track of the argument about joining the schools that they just had to win. Instead he would glance over at Michiru and get this sort of distracted look on his face. Finally unable to stand it anymore he dragged Soun out the dojo for a quick strategy meeting.
"Idiot!" he screamed into Soun's face, "What's up with you?"
"Kimiko," Soun blubbered weakly, "except for the green hair she looks and acts almost exactly like Kimiko."
Genma paused as he processed this fact with reference to value to himself. A slow smile spread over his face. "Soun, old buddy, I think you are right. The kami must be giving you a second chance. Did you happen to notice how she kept glancing at you too?"
Meanwhile back in the Tendou home, four female teenagers had descended, Ranma made the introductions to the four adult women. She was a little disturbed by the star stuck expressions that had appeared on Akane's and Nabiki's faces though. Hotaru distracted her when she rushed up to her younger 'sister' and embraced her partially masking her hand on Ranma's head as she used her natural talents to heal the contusion there.
Akane broke out of her awe and eagerly asked Ranma's mother, "Are you really Ten'ou Haruka, the famous woman race car driver?"
Taken aback momentarily, Haruka had nodded as she slipped into the familiar role of dealing with a fan. "Sure am girl, hummm, Akane wasn't it?" She grinned slightly as she ran a practiced eye over the girl.
As Akane began to nod frantically, Nabiki hesitantly bowed to Michiru to get her attention before she asked, "Excuse me, but your name and appearance . . . are you the Kaiou Michiru that is the famous classical violinist?"
Michiru sighed as she nodded. The two of them sat to the side and quietly talked of music. Nabiki was surprisingly knowledgeable of modern classical music Michiru discovered.
Kasumi had settled next to Hotaru. Hotaru was getting a bit nervous as Kasumi had been glancing at her frequently and had made an effort to stay near her ever since Hotaru had healed Ranma. Hotaru cursed her carelessness in letting Kasumi see her do that but she had developed strong sisterly feelings for Ranma and seeing the contusions on her head had just caused her to heal 'little sister' almost without thinking about it. Just as she was almost getting enough nerve to ask the other girl about it, Kasumi spoke.
"Hotaru-sama," she hesitantly asked very respectfully, "that was wonderful what you did for Ranma. Could you teach me how to do it also?"
Hotaru sighed in relief. "Kasumi, please call me Hotaru. If I could teach you how to heal like that I would but it seems to be an inborn gift."
Kasumi sighed softly in disappointment and then offered as she fixed her oblivious facade in place, "Oh, my, perhaps I should prepare tea for everyone."
As Kasumi started to rise, Hotaru gently tugged on the waistband of Kasumi's dress causing her to momentarily loose her balance and thus remain seated. Hotaru studied the girl who was now looking back at her curiously. Hotaru had seen the mask go on and she could sense the other girl's aura, it radiated peace and was as pure as Usagi's she realized. "Kasumi-chan, would you like to be friends?"
A look of shock crossed the other girl's face. "I . . . I would like that. I don't really have any friends right now." Kasumi glanced around the house and softly murmured not realizing that Hotaru and two others heard her anyway, "at least not since school ended for me and I became trapped at home."
Both Ranma and Setsuna sat side by side in front of Kasumi. Setsuna smiled warmly and said, "I would like to be your friend as well, if I may?"
Ranma just silently held out her hand.
Kasumi looked at the three in shock before she grabbed Ranma's hand and pulled her into a quick hug and exclaimed to all three, "Yes, oh yes."
Author's note: Additional Ranma fan-fiction can be found on my Web Page