The small creature shook its head from side to side as it considered its fate. A woman washing the sidewalk, a splash of water and the world had changed...

Again. It hadn't really been the world, of course, just him. Sigh...

It had been like this ever since that fateful day in China. Perceptions changed, too. Sounds became more intense. And people became giants. He shook cold water off himself, then bounded into the shadows... or at least in their direction. It was time to embark on another quest for warmth and its welcome magic. Suddenly, an unearthly force interrupted his journey just as it started. Sheer power totally overwhelmed his puny struggles. Even as the feel of cement beneath his feet gave way to that of... claws? Pinchers? No this was softer. Hands, it was a girl's hands, holding him securely. Despite his frantic efforts to leap from its clutches to safety, he remained held fast.

"Kawai!" An enthusiastic voice thundered as his captor raised his face to her own for closer examination. His eyes, closed shut as if to protect him from any force he couldn't see, opened. First a sliver of light gave him a shadowy view of a monstrously huge being that had him under its complete control. As his eyes opened fully, additional details changed the picture from imagined horror to a girl. She was... well... beautiful. Her hair was styled somewhat oddly, with two long ponytails dangling from two small balls of hair on either side of her head. She was, simply, the most beautiful giant – girl - he'd ever seen. Maybe Sailor Io was cuter, but he doubted he'd ever see the fiery tresses of that magical girl who claimed to be a Sailor Senshi again.

He remembered her blush as a new flush burned beneath his dark fur, fueled by his predicament.

It was hard to know, exactly, what the light-haired girl looked like as the eyes of his current form allowed him scant color perception. Soon, he had to turn away from the radiant smile that occupied much of his view, as his inherent shyness closed his eyes while the fight to leave his captor's arms just melted away.

His ears took over, with an even deeper perception than he was used to. Simple speech became a symphony of subtle sounds lost to his other form. "Usagi-chan," A cultured voice, colored with something resembling a cat's mewing cry, interrupted his euphoria and fetched his vision as he looked down to see... a concerned looking feline talking to his captor. His eyes bulged in surprise.

"What, Luna?" the giant asked her companion.

"What on Earth are you going to do with that... well, thing?" The cat replied.

The creature tried to scowl at the feline's insult, his angry expression hidden beneath his shiny black coat of fur. He then took pause, That cat spoke! He thought. There's a way for me to speak in this form!?!

"He's cute. I'm gonna keep him as a pet." The giant girl's mouth cocked slightly as her brows knit in contemplation of what to say next. "His name's B..." Synapses that were well used in Usagi's brain, those that formed excuses as to why her homework wasn't done and other creative works went into overdrive. Names like, Bugs, Babs, and Buster filtered through, each one rejected until she picked the perfect one. "B-chan!" she said at last with a smile. Then she looked straight into the creature's eyes as she continued. "Let's get you home, okay, B-chan?"

Luna's eyes grew wide at the originality of the rabbit's name. "Usagi, Usagi, why is everything named Usagi? Your future daughter and now that... thing..."

B-chan couldn't think of what to do as the girl's proximity again froze his mental capacity for several seconds. Eventually, panic jumpstarted his mind again. He had never thought much about girls but now, as the girl began to walk again, he considered his fate as a girl's pet, of all things. As the girl... Usagi, he recalled... brought B-chan closer to her chest, new sensations chased away the creature's consciousness as he swooned.

Usagi looked down at the sleeping, furry bunny, "You're tired, aren't you B-chan?" the blonde asked as she saw her new pet nod repeatedly while he tiptoed along the border of unconsciousness. "Well, I'll see if I can set up a nice bed for you at home."

"This is a poor time to get involved with stray animals, Usagi-chan," Luna pointed out as she followed her charge.

"What if I'd thought that when I found a wandering cat a while back?" she replied, with a quick glance back to the small creature padding behind her.

Luna blinked, "I guess you are right Usagi-chan. It's your heart that has serves you well both as Usagi... and Sailor Moon."

B-chan's eyes opened wide again at the remark. With strength and speed he didn't know he had, the rabbit leapt from the girl's arms. It bounded toward the shadows, and freedom. What weird thing will happen next in my accursed life? He wondered as he ran into a fence, caution having given way to panic.

Usagi looked down at the woozy little animal, who offered no resistance as she cradled it to her chest again.

***

Ranma 1/2 Honor and Love

(Yet Another) Ranma/Sailor Moon Crossover

Episode 11: Take My Revolution

By Kevin D. Hammel

Ranma 1/2 is property of Rumiko Takahashi. Publication Rights are held by Viz in The US and Shogakukan in Japan. Sailor Moon is property of Naoko Takeuchi. Publication rights held by Kodansha Ltd. in Japan and Mixx Entertainment in the US. My purpose is to honor these creators and their works. No infringement intended.

***

Io watched as Rhea leapt to another rooftop. She couldn't keep the warm feeling she had from spilling out her chest to her whole body as her eyes followed the taller building-hopper. They'd endured a tough battle today, just the two of them, strengthening a bond weakened over a decade of separation.

Sure, Io had her friends amongst the Neo Senshi, and she felt even closer to her... sisters... amongst the Jovian Moon Senshi. Except the enigmatic Ganymede, who remained a mystery. It was wonderful to be part of the team that was growing closer with each training session. Both those hitting the books to study, and practicing the Art together. That bond was also increasing with each test on the battlefield, and on paper. But this link was older, and had grown stronger than any of the others she had... left.

Rhea, sensing Io's absence, pirouetted 180 degrees to see the look of pride and love on the smaller girl's face. The tall Senshi couldn't help blushing as she realized the admiring looks were for her. A leap and a bound put her at the smaller girl's side in an instant.

Io looked up and gave her taller companion thumbs up. "I was just thinkin' Mo... Rhea-san. What we did today was pretty cool." She said as she looked at the Anti-Sailor's pendant. "We gotta get this to Mercury-chan. Maybe Charon can look at it too."

"Yes, Dear." Rhea replied in a distracted voice, uncolored by the importance of the artifact they had stolen from Azurite's minion. Other, more personal, concerns weighed heavily on her mind. How could she show Io how she felt? She was so proud of her... Rhea covered her eyes in shame. She had been thinking daughter, not son.

"Rhea-san, what's wrong?" Io asked in a voiced laced with worry.

"Dear... Io... Ranma..." Her voice was taken away as she realized what she had said...

"Oh, now THIS is interesting," a sarcastic third voice replied before Io could. From the shadow of a sign on the rooftop stepped...

"Ganymede..." Io whispered.

The tall warrior glared at Io in response as she continued, "I think you know who I am, Io. So, let's finish this conversation..." A flash of lights later and a young man still in his school uniform replaced the young lady.

Io stared the young man. "So, boys CAN be Sailor Senshi after all," she whispered. Detransforming, Io became a girl wearing a boy's uniform that was MUCH too big. She was joined by a middle-aged woman wearing a kimono.

The elder woman spoke first. "What do you have to say for yourself, young man?" She asked in a stern voice.

"What do I have to say... What do you have to say for yourself, Mrs. Saotome? After all, your husband engaged me to a girl when Kikuko and I were CHILDREN. I lost EVERYTHING because of what the jerk did." With a fluid motion, the angry young man pulled a huge spatula from behind his back and lunged at the woman with the weapon. "You're living out another sack of lies, just like your good-for-nothing husband. Kikuko? HA! You think that was going to keep me from finding her? Well?"

Mrs. Saotome gulped at what was being said, regretting even more the pseudo deception she had perpetrated on her son.

The young man turned to Kikuko, shouting, "Ranma, you and your father have made my life a living hell. Hiding behind another name..." She clenched her hands, forcing the blood from her fingers in anger. "So, what's your REAL name? Never mind, I don't care." The tide of bitterness continued, as he shouted, "I lost EVERYTHING! You hear me? My childhood! My inheritance and even my husband!"

As his glare went from Kikuko to her mother, Ukyou pulled out his spatula, ready to extract his pound of flesh, "Where is he? Tell me now or I'll beat it out of you!"

The elder woman pulled out her katana in response, but Ukyou was far more skilled and swung a blow that ripped Nodoka's family blade from her untrained hands. The sword clattered to the flat asphalt rooftop, leaving its owner defenseless.

"Mom!" Kikuko shouted while leaping to intercept the spatula's return swing with an arm positioned to block. As the redheaded martial artist landed softly, the cooking implement impacted on her forearm. The girl grit her teeth to stifle a cry of pain that tried to force its way from between her white, tightly pursed lips.

"Fine! Ranma, or whoever you are, prepare to die!" He kicked the girl away from the weapon and raised the blade for a killing blow. Ukyou took a good look at the pain within the eyes of his intended target and felt just a tinge of remorse. Taking a moment to reevaluate his opponent, he asked, "What do you have to say for yourself... Ranma?"

"U... Kuonji-san... Why?" Kikuko pleaded.

The young man pulled the spatula slowly back, a look at the pain in the small girl's face giving him pause. Holstering the weapon behind his back again, he couldn't help but let a few tears fall. He had lived for this moment, but his heart had denied him the revenge he had sought.

As her opponent replaced the spatula Kikuko relaxed her stance, while keeping her guard. As the pain in her forearm lessened, her lips relaxed into an expression reflecting her calm wariness.

"Where is he?" Ukyou spat, to be answered only by the sounds of traffic far below.

The elder woman broke the silence, "Please, tell me what my husband did to you, Mister..."

"Kuonji... Ukyou Kuonji" the shaken youth replied in a measured tone, still only a misspoken answer away from flying into a berserker rage.

Kneeling down to check on her confused and frightened child, Nodoka looked up at the boy with motherly concern. "Very well, Mr. Kuonji. Tell us your story."

"When I was little, I used to spar with a... boy... named Ranma." The young man started as his eyes went from the older woman to settle into a glare at the girl. "Everyday we would fight a little and when he won he would swipe an Okonomiyaki off our cart. I really grew to like Ranma a lot." He shot a glance at the red-haired girl, trying to see if the color on her scalp was the real color or a dye job. The face matched her childhood friend perfectly, making Ukyou very suspicious of the separation between fact and fiction in the Saotome family.

Wariness flowed to an expression that tried to become an understanding smile, as Kikuko visibly brightened, "Ucchan..." Kikuko whispered. "I... remember."

The boy scoffed at Kikuko's remark as he continued, "Finally, my father decided that it would be best if I was engaged to Ranma to continue my line since I was the only heir to my family business. Genma agreed and took my father's cart as a dowry."

Nodoka's eye twitched. She silently pondered whether Dearest had thinking about cursing Ranma back then? The elder paused in thought as the facts didn't add up, "Dowry?"

Ukyou, while staring at his fake fiancee in disgust, recalled his tale. His eyes were tearing at the horrible memory. "I was supposed to go with Ranma but that stupid, lying, stealing damned jackass took the cart and left me by the side of the road." He pointed at the elder with the look of a judge about to pass sentence. "Your husband took my life away and cast me out like yesterday's garbage. I had to go..."

He sniffed away the collecting tears under his nose and wiped the remainder with his sleeve. "I had to go back to my father in disgrace. And I ceased to be who I was. I lost my womanhood because of him." Face turning red and hate returned to his eyes, as a battle aura formed around the boy. "I became my father's son. I was supposed to be Mrs. Ranma Saotome and now look at me!"

"LOOK AT ME!" He shouted at the pair on the ground. His face softened as his anger was spent, trying to find a piece of what he was and failing. "I had to live my life as a boy. My father had no daughter... Anymore..."

Kikuko tried to smile in understanding as she said, "Ucchan..." Kikuko answered, "Your father took you to Jusenkyou?"

"Jusenkyou? What's that?" Ukyou asked with a puzzled expression.

"You can change back with hot water." Kikuko beamed, hoping to have found an answer to this boy's problem.

Ukyou blinked. "Back into what?"

"A girl!" Kikuko stood up, glee in her eyes. "We can change you back."

Still puzzled, Ukyou responded, "Uh? You're not making any sense, Sugar. I'm a girl."

Nodoka and Kikuko froze, eyes blinking as their minds tried to figure out just what was going on.

Nodoka tilted her head, looking at Ukyou far more carefully until she saw the faintest outline under the fabric of the boy's chest of something where a bra should be, but wasn't. "Are you wearing bindings Ukyou-kun?" the mother hesitantly queried.

Ukyou, torn between exasperation and laughter responded, "Of course, how else am I supposed to live like a man? How else can I pull this off?"

Kikuko looked to the sky in embarrassment. Nodoka nodded in understanding. "Please, Ukyou-san, why did your father do this to you?" the latter asked.

"I just told you. My life as a woman ended when that fat bastard took my dowry. Without that, I can't get a husband, so my father made me his son." Tears filled her eyes again as the memories of a lifetime of living a lie came back. "My father told everyone that my 'sister' was married off and that I'm the new heir to the family school."

"I was sent to an all-boys academy. Lived in an all-boys dormitory and had to be a boy." Anger took hold again as a decade of pain poured out. "Do you know what that was like! Well, do you?" She closed her eyes as she continued, "Hiding, making excuses, and all the close calls. Oh and that pervert Tsubasa..."

"Tsubasa?" Nodoka asked.

"I'm not going there. But I had to practice my art by the ocean, away from anyone seeing me. Because..." She slumped, spent. "It was the only time I could be... me." Tears were all she had left, so she cried.

The cries of the youth her family had hurt drew the elder woman toward the distressed girl. She could not keep some tears of her own as she embraced the younger woman.

It felt so good... and right to be held like she was Ukyou thought as rationality returned, after summons by catharsis. Composing herself, Ukyou pushed lightly away from the woman, who released her. Taking a step back, she noticed Kikuko had shed tears too.

"MISS Kuonji..." Nodoka said as she looked at the girl before her. "I need to verify what you have said... BUT if it is true, I will do all I can to see justice done for you. Revenge, however, is not possible. My husband... died recently." A slight quiver of her lips was all that betrayed the lost love of ten years ago. A living child had reduced that pain to only a small ache.

"He couldn't have gotten away." Rage again filled her heart as she shot a glance at the Saotome elder, "Where's his body?"

"He's buried at the Saotome gravesite. I'll take you there myself." Nodoka offered.

Still not completely trusting the elder, she turned to Kikuko. "And who are you? Really?"

"I'm..." Not wanting to say, Kikuko's tear-filled eyes searched for an answer. "Ranchan." She smiled.

Ukyou softened her stance. She couldn't figure out why she trusted the red haired girl but she wanted to escape from her old life. The new one thrust upon her by her recent Senshi-hood was warm and inviting and for now, seemed free of pain.

The seated girl was part of that new life, and friends were something Ukyou desperately needed.

Kikuko held out a hand, "Ucchan, I missed you."

A sudden rush of pleasant thoughts, of times gone by that Ukyou had secretly dreamed would return, gave her a feeling she thought she'd never experience again. Grabbing the hand like a lifeline, she gathered Kikuko into her arms, "I missed you too." How could she blame Kikuko for what had happened? And her childhood friend's mother had offered comfort, not disdain or anger. Hate begat hate. It was hard to dislike people who had not caused her suffering. Again she felt the warmth she had missed for so many years, as Kikuko's mom embraced both of them.

"Let's go," Nodoka said while rising. "We'll need to transform to get to street level, but there's a place down there that I want to take you girls."

***

Kikuko and Ukyou followed Nodoka for a few blocks when a familiar storefront brought a smile to the short redhead's face. "Ice cream!" She said as she looked up at her mom, who nodded in response.

Two high-school girls, currently wearing boy's uniforms, and the mother of one sat around a small glass table in an ice cream shop. Before each of them sat a dish of brown and red streaked soup that had once been ice cream. Anger and sadness had been replaced by an unreserved smile on the smaller young lady and a guarded one on her friend's face. The mother of the smaller girl watched the other two warily, glad she had read her child right.

"I'm really a guy Ukyou... Ucchan" Kikuko said as she put a spoon down,

every centimeter of her small body giving lie to the ridiculous statement. She then took her spoon and seconds later made an entire sundae disappear down her throat.

"Well, you sure eat like one." Smiling, Ukyou undid a few buttons of her shirt to show a tightly bound chest. "See, I'm a guy too," she tossed back, then stuck out her tongue.

Both girls couldn't help laughing at each other's comments.

"Kikuko!" Nodoka stuttered. "That's not how a lady..." She stopped in mid-sentence, trying to figure out just what she was going to do about raising her child. She wished for a moment there were parenting guides from Jusenkyou Press on this subject.

Ice cream and laughter had dissolved a lot of tension, Nodoka thought as she smiled. At least Ranma's childhood friend was a friend again. Now, matters of honor had to be addressed. When both girls were finished their laughter, she finally spoke, "let's go home."

"Okay, mom!" Kikuko said as she popped up from her chair.

Looking at an uncertain Ukyou, Nodoka offered a smiling entreaty, "Miss Kuonji you are welcome to visit, of course."

Ukyou nodded, confident only that she had found an old friend. The tide of anger and rage which had sustained and directed her for a decade was already receding. Only the hope of friendship remained to guide her uncertain steps. She stood, turned, and followed her friend out the door.

Ukyou had felt a mother's love for the first time in over eleven years. Her life had changed today. Hope had replaced hate, and would guide her. For now.

Doubts, concerns, and misgivings had to be set aside. For now.

She would be Kikuko's friend. For now.

Moments later, three Sailor Senshi leapt from an alleyway and roof-hopped toward the Saotome home.

***

Nabiki looked across to her sister Kasumi in the small room the three Tendou sisters shared at the Saotome residence. The two sisters sat on one of the three futons that provided bedding each night in their temporary home in Juuban. Concern was evident on both girls' faces, because their host and her child were missing. A knock on the door brought the elder sister, Kasumi, from her seat to answer the summons.

"Yes?" Kasumi asked as she opened the entryway.

Through the open portal, she saw Sailor Saturn, who with Sailor Neptune and Shampoo, had joined the others at their vigil. "I... Jupiter thinks Io is nearby."

Kasumi bowed in respect to her planetary sensei, "Thanks, Ho.. Saturn-chan. That is good news."

"Yeah, thanks!" Nabiki called out from behind her sister.

With a bow before turning, Saturn left the two sisters alone again.

Kasumi returned to her seat. "That is good news," The eldest girl stated with relieved cheerfulness.

"Yep... But..." Nabiki said thoughtfully as she captured her sister's eyes. "She obviously had more to say than she let on."

"Yes." Kasumi replied with a slight nod. "I could sense something."

"Was it Sailor Senshi intuition?" a sarcastic Nabiki asked.

Kasumi curtly nodded her head once. "Yes. That's it, I think."

"Uhhh... ri-ght. So, what did you want to talk about, Big Sister?" Nabiki questioned, a little concerned for her sister's sanity.

"Well... I was thinking. The marriage pact can't be fulfilled since it would hurt Mako-chan feelings. It has been so long since mother passed away and father is so lonely." Kasumi said while staring at her two hands as the lay folded in her lap.

Nabiki paused, taking in Kasumi's thoughts. "So, it looks like that's it. It's not like Akane's in love with him, her... whatever."

"Don't be too surprised about what Akane thinks," she answered in her all knowing tone. "And from I know Saotome-san is very lonely as well."

"You're not..." Nabiki wanted to roll her eyes at first, but then the idea took root and didn't want to let go. "You know, I think you've got something there."

"After all," Kasumi continued while staring at her two hands as the lay folded in her lap. "I think Ki... Ranma was probably in love with Kino-san before he even came to our home. It wouldn't be fair to them force enforce that agreement. They looked so happy together."

"Yeah," Nabiki nodded, "for a pair of weirdos. I'm sure glad I didn't get stuck with him."

Kasumi acknowledged as she shook her head once again. "That's not nice. Ranma has a little problem, that's all. I'm certain that they'll work around it. I can understand why Akane still wishes to acknowledge the pact, but Ranma and Makoto make a nice couple when Ranma is either a boy or a girl. Getting in the way of that would do more harm than good."

"Look at it this way sis, Akane hates boys." Nabiki added.

"Yes, and Ranma is half girl. I can see Akane's attraction to him." Kasumi agreed.

Though her face betrayed her, Nabiki concentrated to keep from laughing as she replied, "Sis', I don't think that she hates all boys. It's just those perverts she fights off every morning at Furinkan. She wants to marry a mature man and I think you know who I'm talking about."

"Akane wants to marry someone?" Kasumi asked in surprise.

Nabiki retracted her statement instantly as she realized the minefield she just entered. "Well, marry is a strong word. But I know she's got a crush on someone..." Nabiki silently added, "And that someone has a crush on you."

"Please tell me, who does Akane like?" Kasumi wanted to hear the juicy gossip and sat expectantly.

Nabiki thought for a moment, deciding a little white lie was best, "uh... I don't know his name, just that Akane seems to like some guy. Still... What do we do about Akane and Ranma? Though she's not head over heels for him, I think she likes her... errr... him." Nabiki smiled as she continued. "It's hard to think of her as a guy, we don't see Ranma much."

"Yes. She has been a girl a lot recently. But it's not our place to tell her how to live her life." Kasumi helpfully added.

"Anyways... About Dad..." Nabiki interjected, hoping to get the conversation back on track.

" Yes, about Father." Kasumi collected her thoughts on the matter at hand. "There is a way for the families to join and I think it's for the best. Father has been so lonely."

"But," Nabiki sighed in relief, after expertly avoiding an embarrassing sequence of questions only to go into another touchy subject, "I dunno. Is that what they want?"

"I think so. Father desperately wanted to join the families, and it's been so empty here with Mother."

"Saotome-san," Nabiki contemplated the proposal with businesslike precision, "as a mother, I can see that. I like her a lot."

"Yes, a mother would be nice." Kasumi answered with a smile.

"That's for sure." Nabiki replied as she winked at Kasumi.

"Let me go get Akane-chan. We should talk to her and get her feelings on this." Kasumi said as she rose from the futon.

"Okay. I'll be here." Nabiki replied as she rolled over to dig out a history book from her book bag. Being a Senshi wasn't a valid excuse for missing homework.

Kasumi left the room to go find Akane.

***

Now downstairs, Kasumi heard a thump, and then noticed the forms of three Sailor Senshi for an instant as the trio leapt from the rooftop. She got up to open the door for the highly anticipated arrivals. The open portal revealed Kikuko, her mother and a girl she hadn't seen before.

"Hey, Kasumi!" Kikuko said excitedly as she thrust a strange looking pendant in the eldest Tendou daughter's face. "We got this from some weird sailor-wannabe in some weird place."

"Maybe Ami-chan or my sister would like to see it," Kasumi replied, backing away from the door.

As Kasumi retreated from the entryway, Kikuko, Ukyou, and Nodoka all entered the home. As Kikuko bent to remove her shoes, she was buried in the hugs of Naru, Akane, Sailor Jupiter, and Shampoo. Sailor Saturn gave Nodoka a concerned, but relieved expression as she opened her small arms wide. Nodoka bent down to receive a hug. "I'm so glad you're all right, Saotome-san." The young girl said as she embraced her Senshi.

Nodoka could feel the Warrior of Silence's tears as she held on to the small girl. Her mind replayed the horror her son had rescued them from, not to mention the bizarre revelations of one of Ranma's friends.

Kikuko was overwhelmed. "Thanks guys," she tried to say. "THANKS GUYS," She yelled when conversational tones didn't do the job. "Please, let go, we've gotta get the others."

After Kikuko had escaped the hugs, she held up the device she had stolen so all could see it. "Who knows what that bogus Senshi would a done to us, but..." As her chest puffed out, almost unnoticed behind the oversized boy's uniform, she continued, "I got the drop on her and stole this from her. Then I pushed one of these buttons and one of those weird blue bubbles took us back to Japan."

Nodoka couldn't help herself as she whispered, "So manly."

Fortunately, only Saturn heard her, answering with a smile as she looked up at the elder of her two Senshi.

Nabiki, who had come down the stairs after the commotion made study impossible, transformed to Charon as soon as her name was mentioned. She walked over to Kikuko, who offered her prize after turning to the sound of Charon's heels against the floor.

Nodoka's child offered her treasure to the black clad Sailor Senshi. "Here, Charon. See if you can figure out what makes this thing tick."

"Thanks," Charon offered as she took the small device into her hands as she summoned her goggles. Again, the display was alight with numbers, but her lack of training didn't provide an explanation of their meanings. "Magnify," Seemed to be the command that might be most useful. "Enhance," brought a fine tracery of lines around the face of the device. Shaking her head, she looked up. "Look, I'd love to help, but I think Mercury's going to have to help me figure this out." She turned to Kikuko, "Sorry, Kiku-chan. I'll help Mercury... and maybe learn from her. But I'm kinda a rookie at this sort of thing."

"I understand." Kikuko replied as she took the device back. "Thanks for checking it out."

"No Problem. And, I hope I'll be able to help Mercury figure it out." Charon said with a tiny smile.

"Anybody called Mercury yet?" Kikuko asked the assembled guests.

"I did, Kikuko-san," Saturn replied. "She's on her way."

Kikuko looked around, noticing Naru and Shampoo. At least she would get two of the people told today. "Naru?"

"Yes," the girl with an auburn perm replied.

"Naru, There's something I want... need to tell you." Kikuko herd the click of another pair of shoes as Jupiter stood behind her. Having her first friend in Juuban at her side made talking a lot easier. "You and I both shared our secret identities with each other. I like being straight with people. But I need to tell Shampoo too. So you'll have to wait a bit."

"That's okay, Kiku-chan, " Naru replied with a smile.

Kikuko walked over to Shampoo, "Shampoo... first off. I don't even know it I'd be here today if it wasn't for you. When I stumbled into your village, I didn't even know if I wanted to live any more. Or would be able to. Cause my..." Tears interrupted her speech.

"Is Okay, Ranma. Shampoo remember. Respect for elders is good, even for man.

Shampoo was happy to help a warrior, even if Ranma from outside."

Shampoo was now next to her. "Ranma Amazon in Shampoo's mind. First

outsider Shampoo says that to."

Naru turned her head between Shampoo and Kikuko, looking at both people strangely. "Ranma? Why is she calling you Ranma? Is that a nickname she gave you?"

"Thanks Shampoo. Your friendship meant a lot to me. So I was careful not to spoil it. You living in a village of girls and all. But, lies just get bigger and bigger until they blow up and hurt people, so I need to tell you something." Kikuko turned to Naru, "you too Naru-chan. It has something to do with my name."

"But you're Kikuko, right?" Naru was getting a little concerned.

Shampoo also raised an eyebrow. "Kikuko? Who that? You Ranma."

"Gimme a minute to explain. Let's go get some water." She pointed over to the kitchen area and started walking in that direction with Jupiter holding her hand for comfort. Her two friends followed closely, watching the sign of friendship of the pair ahead with a little concern.

Stopping in the kitchen, Jupiter reached into the cupboard extracting two mugs to help in Kikuko's explanation. Filling them with the proper temperature waters, she set them on the counter in her friend's reach.

"Thanks, Jupiter," she said, grateful for the unspoken communication. She glanced up at Jupiter, and could see pride in her face, a pride echoed in Nodoka and Charon's faces. "This is gonna seem really weird but, when I was training in China with my pop, I got a weird curse that changes me in water. In fact, it changed me into a..."

"Jusenkyou," Shampoo said in heartbreak. "You fall in spring. How could you fool Shampoo like that? You lowly man!" Yanking the mug of hot water from Jupiter, more than enough was splashed out to effect the reversion of Kikuko to Ranma. When the transformation had stopped, Shampoo slapped the deceitful man hard enough to draw blood. Exhaling loudly, the Amazon warrior pivoted and stormed from the room.

Naru gasped at the transformation. Kikuko grew to a towering height and his clothes suddenly were a perfect fit. A strong boy replaced her friend and she took a step back, stopping when she hit the door frame.

The young man who looked a lot like her... former? friend Kikuko turned to Naru, "Naru-chan, don't be afraid, I'm still me. I can explain."

"What are you?" Naru said to the tearful, bleeding boy. She felt along the doorframe until she found the exit. After backing through the opening, she bolted through the living room in fright. Streaming tears marked her path through the room, down the hall and out door.

"Dammit!" Ranma shouted to the heavens. He turned to Jupiter and took the cold water. "And Ryouga says HIS life is hell." Raising it for a second, he lowered his hand, still grasping the mug. "If I ain't gonna lie, I might as well not lie to you too. After all, I know all about stuff like this. Nabiki only THOUGHT she was throwing away her manga," he said as he wrapped his two arms around Jupiter, planting a kiss on her surprised lips.

Jupiter was in shock. Ranma was kissing her. Really. So she kissed back. Really. Surprised by the sensations he felt, Ranma dropped the mug of cold water, which fell to the side, dumping its contents on the floor. Jupiter slipped in the slick pool and fell on top of Ranma, knocking both of them into the puddle. So her boyfriend became girlfriend again.

Ukyou watched the whole thing in utter amazement. She suppressed urges both to attack Ranma for revenge, and push Sailor Jupiter off of the fiancee that was hers by right. The potential for adoption and choosing a life for herself was more attractive than the fleeting happiness revenge promised. Her current life... was hell. Sort of like Ranma's.

Akane felt a lump in her throat. "Sorry, Akane," Her sister Charon whispered in her ear.

"It's okay. I was a dummy for not seeing Mako-chan loved him." Akane replied, as a single tear ran its course down her face.

Charon shrugged, "they were probably in love before the funeral. Though Ranma's a bit slow moving sometimes." Her gaze encompassed the room, as she gave a low whistle, "but when he moves, boy, do things happen." She said, her eyes finally resting on the teleportation device Ranma had stolen earlier in the day. She looked at Akane, who wasn't terribly broken up that her bizarre fantasy had gone for naught. "Akane-chan, come upstairs, Kasumi and I need to talk to you."

Nodoka, having just seen the 'Kikuko' experiment blow up in her child's face was torn between grief and celebration. She decided a victory fan would probably be out of place in the current setting. Still, somehow, the experience had prodded her son into action. Finally, he had taken his place amongst Men.

Jupiter pushed herself off the now female Ranma, who sat up too. Other than a bruised and swelling cheek, Kikuko was physically okay. But her spirits were pretty low, despite her admission of feelings for Jupiter.

Jupiter hugged her. "It'll be okay, Kiku-chan. We can talk to Naru-chan and Shampoo-chan and straighten things out."

"I sure hope so, Mako-chan," Kikuko replied, putting what fervor she could in her currently wavering voice.

***

Naru practically flew home. To think... that guy, girl, THING pretended to be her friend for all those weeks. How could it lie to her? How could it... She slowed down, just before the door to her apartment building.

"How could he?" She spoke softly to herself and she entered the entry code to the glass door. Rationality crept in as the girl realized who she was going to see in a few moments. A person she respected, loved and had lied to ever since she became a Sailor Senshi.

"How could he not?" Naru closed the door and pressed the elevator button. Living his life must have been hell. A girl that changed into a boy... Just the thought of turning into a boy made her stomach queasy. Maybe she was too hard on him, since he did say the he could explain it. She had run before he could tell her about the change and what the "ran ma" was. The silent elevator helped her think, but she had to talk to someone about this. Naru rushed out into the hallway after reaching her floor to call the only other person she knew she could talk to. Seconds after entering her apartment, whooshing past her surprised mother, she called Umino and begged him to stop by.

Just a few minutes later, Naru faced Umino in her room. She shut the door behind her boyfriend to keep her mother from hearing what she was about to say. "Umino, I need to talk to you about something." At her mental command, an orange pen with a little star on the tip appeared in her hand. "This is going to seem really weird... but I'm one of the Sailor Senshi."

"Really?" Umino brightened up. "Did you make the costume or where'd you buy it? I dunno about if I should go as Goku or if I can get a costume for..."

"No... I mean I AM a Sailor Senshi."

He ignored her as he kept rambling, "a good price, or maybe if I search the internet for one of those places that those custom..."

"Are you listening to me?" She grabbed her geeky boyfriend by the collar.

Having gotten Umino's full attention while scaring the living daylights out of him with her newly acquired battle aura, Naru relaxed her iron grip. "I'm a Sailor Senshi, I'm Sailor Callisto."

"Oh..." He stood back, happiness in his eyes, well as best as could be seen though his coke bottles that he wore on his face.

"I already knew that," he blushed and turned away.

Naru held her arm up in surprise, "what? H... How did you know?"

"I saw you transform at school," he sheepishly replied. "I didn't tell anyone."

"Okay." She said, swallowing. "So why the act?"

"Well, I knew that the Sailor Senshi's identities are a big secret and since you're a Sailor and you have to keep the secret I thought that I had to keep the secret so you don't get into trouble."

Naru's eye twitched ever so slightly. How could he say that in one breath? "Okay, well, there's something else I have to tell you." Naru said, swallowing again in trepidation. "There's this dreamy new guy who showed up when we were fighting. Don't get this wrong. I still love you. But... somehow, I really felt a strong attraction to him."

"Naru, I'm sure glad it was you and not someone like Kikuko-chan who fell for the Silver Rose."

"Kikuko-chan... Kikuko-chan... Ha ha... Wait... what do you know about the Silver Rose?"

"Transform to Callisto and I'll show you." Umino replied with a sly smile.

Raising her henshin pen, Naru whispered, "Callisto Lumina Power, Make up!" As she transformed, there seemed to be another light in the room, competing with hers.

Transformations done, Sailor Callisto saw across from her a dashing young man, smartly dressed as a Don of a bygone era. The gentleman reached into a pocket and produced his trademark, a long stemmed silver rose. "So... So..." was all Callisto could say before the handsome, strong, and well-dressed vision she had seen before swept her off her feet. And all the guilt melted away.

"Naru, what was that light and..." Mrs. Osaka asked as she opened her daughter's door. Standing there, were a Sailor Senshi and a young man. Both of them blinked as one.

"Uhh... mom..." Sailor Callisto haltingly tried to speak. The Silver Rose threw open the window and leapt through to the ground three stories below. Callisto crunched her face as a painful sounding crash was heard out the window from a three story fall into a dumpster. A shriek of a startled cat followed, then a loud banging of trashcans as the Silver Rose fell out of the dumpster and slipped on more garbage. Callisto smiled slightly as sounds of honking, yelling of motorists and screams of "masher" receded into silence.

Mrs. Osaka stared dumbfounded at the oddly dressed girl who seemed familiar in some way. "Mom? What is the meaning..." The woman's question died as a magical lightshow swirled around the orange-clad girl revealing... "Naru-chan?" With her mind on total overload, Naru's mother passed out.

As the older woman sank to the ground, her daughter did what she could to cushion her elder's fall. Yanking a pillow off her bed, Naru tried to make her mother comfortable by placing under the older woman's head. Another tug, and a few moments' work, had her mom covered in Naru's quilted bedspread.

Ms Osaka struggled to consciousness. The last thing she remembered was a nightmare where Naru was... "Naru?" The woman asked as she sat up. A wet towel fell from her forehead in the process.

"Mom? Are you okay?" Naru asked, her face a picture of concern.

"I... I think so." She shook her head as she continued, "So... are you a Sailor Senshi, Naru-chan?"

"Mom, I'm Sailor Callisto, and I have a very important job to do." To confirm it, she transformed for her mother. Thinking about Kikuko's confession, she continued, "my friend took a big risk telling me about herself tonight. And I had to talk to Umino. I decided that what she did was the right thing to do and I had to tell you, although you kind of beat me to that one." She beamed for Kikuko's sake. "I don't want to keep secrets from you mom. For everyone's sake," Naru concluded with a smile.

The shocked older woman shook her head slowly in agreement. A bemused smirk formed as the reality of a daughter who was a Sailor Senshi took hold, "So Mister Spaghetti Western..."

"Was Umino, yeah... I didn't even know 'til tonight." she said with a wistful smile, which soon became a grim expression that spoke of courage... and fear... her mother had never seen before on her daughter's face. "Mom, the world is in trouble, and I need to help. I'm sorry... but I've really gotta help them."

"Although, this is going to take some getting used to. I'm so proud of you, daughter... Thank you for letting me in on your..." She looked at Naru's uniform, admiring its craftsmanship, "occupation. Callisto-chan. Still, you're my only child so... try to be safe, okay?" Naru's mom said, her face now betraying pride and fear... an expression almost mirroring her daughter's.

"Of course, mom. I'll be careful. All... almost all of us have parents. And all of us have loved ones. That's why we're doing this. To protect everybody. But, for me, especially you to keep you safe, mama." Callisto smiled at her mother as she finished. Both of them were crying as they embraced each other.

The truth had been far less painful than she had thought, but then her mother didn't run in terror. Breaking the parent-child embrace, she decided there was something she had to do to try to set things right, so she went to the kitchen. It was only the work of seconds to become Naru again.

***

Ami arrived on the scene only a few minutes after Naru and Shampoo had left. Makoto let her in. All that remained of the heartbreaking incident was a patch on Kikuko's cheek. Ami's eyes locked on that very wound and dressing as she asked, "What happened Kikuko? Please, tell me."

Usagi silently followed Ami, her concerned gaze also falling on Kikuko. She held a fidgeting black rabbit with a yellow-polka dotted kerchief wrapped around its neck. "Yes, Ranma. Tell us."

B-chan turned to see his most hated enemy. And saw a... a girl. Japan was a big country. Who knows how many Ranmas there were. It was sure a dumb name for a girl, though.

Kikuko, seated at the table next to Charon turned to her friend's voice. "Me and Sailor Rhea got captured."

"Who's Sailor Rhea?" almost everyone asked.

To illustrate, Nodoka summoned her pen and transformed.

"Wow, a parent joining our team. That's kinda cool, actually," Usagi said with a smile. "Welcome, Rhea-san."

Rhea reddened, "When I'm transformed, just Rhea, please. Don't treat me any different."

Charon had looked up from her study, "You know, you don't look much older than any of us, so Rhea-chan it is."

"Thanks," Rhea said with a flush of embarrassment.

Nodoka's revelation made Kasumi, seated with Akane after their conference, even more convinced their plan would work. Looking down at her sister, she found complete agreement. A glance at Charon elicited a wink and a victory sign.

Kikuko couldn't contain herself, so she transformed too. The story would be better told as Io anyhow. "So, Rhea-san and me got captured today. We were on the way home from school when these monsters jumped us. Then it went dark 'n we woke up in some kinda room. I tricked the baka who captured us and took her well... uh... buttony thingy. I pushed one of the buttons. One of those blue bubbles came. Poof! Me and Rhea were back in Japan."

"We had a nice ride back with on the train an old school friend of Ranma's." Rhea added.

Io looked at Rhea with a bit of exasperation, "I ain't sure Ryouga's really a friend."

B-chan couldn't believe it. Ranma was a Sailor Senshi? And a cute girl? And he thought... Fueled by righteous indignation, he leapt from Usagi's arms and attacked Sailor Io. Or tried to.

"What the heck is this thing doing?" Io asked as the black bunny hopped onto the table, snapping at her gloved hands like a crazed carnivore. The gloves' magic was more than enough to turn aside teeth made for eating grass and other vegetation, however.

"B-chan!" Usagi shouted, as she jumped up and snatched the rabbit away from Io. "What are you thinking?"

"Probably not much," Io laughed, "they don't call 'em dumb bunnies fer..." Io swallowed as she received the first glare she ever had from Usagi-chan. The Princess. Her Princess. All she could do was look down.

"That's okay, Io-chan, really." Usagi said, her expression warming again. "And my new pet B-chan did act pretty strangely." She turned to the rest of her friends. "I'll just take my bunny home. I don't know what got into him." She squeezed him close again. B-chan passed out.

***

A sliver of light from his mom's room attracted Ranma the next morning. He rapped twice on the door to request admittance.

"Come in," His mother's tired voice responded.

Opening the door slowly, he saw the pack he'd brought back from China. Arrayed about it in neat stacks were papers. His mom turned to him, her eyes bleary from lack of sleep.

Nodoka held up a paper. "I found it." She said with only slightly more animation than before.

"What didja find?" Nodoka's son asked. The three Tendou girls had now joined Ranma in the hallway looking in. All three girls had thrown robes over their night clothes; Pajamas for Akane and Nabiki, a nightgown for Kasumi; to see what the discussion was about.

"The paperwork that promised Ukyou-chan as your bride, Ranma." Nodoka replied evenly.

"What?" Akane asked. "I thought Ranma was promised to us!"

"Give it a rest, Akane. We went over this last night, remember?" Nabiki whispered in her sister's ear.

"I realize that, Akane-chan. But, as I'm sure you know, Ranma has made another choice." She shook her head back and forth as she continued. "Ukyou-chan, who you might know as Sailor Ganymede was promised as a bride to Ranma ten years ago."

"I see." Akane replied, "But Ranma didn't kiss Ukyou, either, last night. Not that he'd probably want to kiss a guy."

"Not terribly observant, are we Akane?" Nabiki asked with a voice dripping sarcasm. "Ukyou is a girl. Still," she turned to face Nodoka before continuing, "That doesn't explain why she pretends to be a guy."

"Let me help you with that question," All five people turned to the call of a sixth as Nodoka walked to stand in her room's doorway. Ukyou, who had spent the night as a guest in the main room, stood with hands clasped in front of her as she spoke. "My dad decided that... after Ranma's pop ran off with the food cart that had been given as my dowry... for marriage to Ranma... That..." She closed her eyes, the old pain still hurt despite the passage of years. "Since his daughter Ukyou had been given in marriage, a SON would take her place."

"Wow," Was all Nabiki could say.

"Ukyou-chan... Ucchan was my best friend back then. Heck I didn't even know she was a girl. We just had fun playin'" Ranma said, adding his own memories.

"Kuonji-san," Nodoka said with her head bowed, "I can only offer you part of what my husband promised."

"Part?" Ukyou asked with a touch of anger, "It's been way too long to settle..."

"Hear me out." Nodoka interrupted. "I offer you the full cost of the cart, with interest as compensation for your suffering. AND I offer you adoption into our clan, if you will accept that in place of marriage."

Ukyou had spent a few hours of her own considering how she would respond. The chance to really put her suffering behind her had finally come. "Both my folks are dead, so I'd like that a lot, Ms Sao... mom."

"Mrs. Saotome, I seem to have fallen terribly ill this morning." Nabiki said in a voice full of theatrical pain and suffering. "Maybe you can write a note and I can help with the paperwork."

"Do you really think you... Oh. Of course, Nabiki-chan. I will write the note for you." Focusing on Ranma, she continued, "Can you take it to school today, Kikuko-chan.?"

"Sure mom!" He said, the turned to Ukyou... "Ucchan's that okay with you? I mean I didn't mean to do anything to hurtcha, but it just kinda happened. I'm really sorry, though."

"No Ranm... Ranchan, that's okay. I think having a mom, finally, is worth it."

"You realize, Ukyou, that you will be a daughter. Not a son?" Nodoka asked.

The girl swallowed. What stability there had been in her life was due to the gender that she had been forced to adopt, "Uh.. yeah, I guess. But my dad legally made me a boy."

"And I will see what I can do to change that. Maybe you can be a boy at school, and a girl away... until I can fix the problem."

"Okay... mom." Ukyou said before she was swallowed in an embrace by her soon-to-be new mother.

A knock at the door signaled an early arrival for the morning training session. Used to quick changes in the morning, Ranma ran into his room. Not ten seconds later, Kikuko ran out in her gi and leapt down the stairs.

***

Kikuko blinked in shock at the girl on the other side. "Naru... chan?" She asked experimentally. She was still in shock and unsure the taller girl was still her friend.

"Kiku-chan. I'm sorry." Naru replied as she thrust a bento in her friend's direction.

"Th... thanks." Kikuko replied, in a soft voice that still betrayed her happiness. "Let me take that inside."

"Sure." Naru replied.

"Naru-chan's here and she made me a bento!" Kikuko shouted from inside the house.

Naru smiled, then looked thoughtful, "Hey Kiku-chan, I have another person who wants to join your training sessions." She shouted into the house. Turning, she motioned a young man to come forward.

"Naru, I'm not sure we can..." Kikuko called out on her way back from the kitchen. When she got back to the door, she blinked at the young man in front of her. It was Umino, Naru's boyfriend and the textbook definition of the word 'geek'. All he needed to move up to the word 'nerd' was a pocket protector. Kikuko wondered if he didn't have one hidden under his jacket. "And... he's a guy. And I thought..."

"He's the Silver Rose too... and could REALLY use some training." Naru said in a low voice. "Do you know a guy who might be able to train him?"

"Maybe I do." Kikuko replied. "Just maybe." She closed her eyes and thought to herself, "Oh, boy, I've got my work cut out for me... as Ranma."

(END)

I am sorry this took so long. My life has been a whirlwind the last three years. I have found I can write again. And, for once, I actually have a story plotted to conclusion, scene by scene.

Thanks to "Burger" Bill Heineman for some ideas on embellishment and Mike "Kino Makoto" Koos for C&C on the first draft.

Josh Temple offered C&C of the FFML post. This is still 'beta', so it might be edited in the future.

And thank YOU for reading!

Please let me know what you think!

Kevin D. Hammel

January 30, 2004

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khammel@mail.anime.sobhrach.com

kevinsff@pacbell.net

http://www.fanfic.net/~khammel/

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