Liquid Fire

(Ranma/Sailor Moon X-over)

By Shad4c

Disclaimer: Ranma and Sailor Moon belong to their respective copyright owners. Not me. This is

Purely done for entertainment purposes and no profits or claims are made from or to the series mentioned in any way, shape or form.

Chapter 1

Flickering Flames

The winds howled across the lofty battlefield as the two combatants glared across at each other. On one side the mighty and ever so slightly insane God-King of Phoenix Mountain practically floated in place as his wings lazily beat while the air shifted his clothing dramatically in the wind, the Fire Glaive, Kinjakan, clenched tightly in his hand. While his clothes may have been reasonably tattered from the intense battle he had been fighting against his present opponent over the past hour and a half. His body was unmarred because of his Phoenix Heritage granting him regeneration repairing all the damage inflicted on him. Despite his incomplete state Saffron still managed to ignore the increasing level of fatigue that came with successive regeneration.

In the eyes of the king this alone was enough to prove his superiority over the insignificant landling that dared to interrupt the ascension to his rightful position as both a full Phoenix and High Lord of Jusendo and all the lands touched by its magic. He was only one step away from safeguarding the future of his people for hundreds of years yet this landling dared to stand in his way!

Across from him, crouched down low against the ground was the landling that dared to defy the Fire-Bird. Garbed in a Very battered Chinese style red shirt and black trousers and with a girl-turned-doll tucked in the front of his shirt he was set in a defensive stance, the Ice Glaive, Gekkaja, the twin weapon of the one his winged opponent was wielding in his hands.

Ranma was battered and bleeding from multiple wounds as he could feel his strength faltering after the long battle, having thrown practically everything that he had at the annoying godling. Even though he was on his last legs his spirit still burned with the inner fire he had always had.

Saffron smirked down at the human that crouched in front of him like the lowly landling he was, as amusing as he had found the fight to be it was now time to stop playing around and finish it. Drawing on the full extent of his powers for the very first time the lord of Mt. Phoenix stared down with a cruel smile as flames started flickering around him.

"This battle has been amusing landling but I feel that it is now time for you to truly experience the reason why I. AM. A. GOD!!" Saffron's voice rose to a scream.

He raised his Glaive so the circular blade was over his head and flared out his wings to each side, the power the phoenix was gathering soon became obvious as waves of flame spun around him. The blade of the Kinjakan glowed a deep crimson as gold symbols appeared. The tendrils of fire whipping around his form intensified, rapidly gathering around the now glowing red blade.

Ranma stared up at the arrogant bird-boy in dismay at the immense concentration of power he could feel the King of Mt. Phoenix generating, as he watched the flames gather into a large, tightly concentrated ball above Saffron's head he frowned and kicked his mind into overdrive. So far he'd been, as much as he hated to admit it, very lucky. The combination of his skill, the power of the magical Ice Glaive, Gekkaja and the natural resistance he had always had to the element of fire had worked together in his favour in order to even the playing field against the insanely powerful Saffron.

The last advantage of his had always left him wondering a bit, not complaining but wondering since where a fire would burn someone right next to him it seemed... Reluctant to harm him, if an element could be reluctant! Whenever he was knocked in a fire during the training trip and even during the Cat Tongue fiasco fire seemed to bend around him instead of burning him if it could. Still, that protection he knew from both past and present experience was definitely not total. No amount of reluctance on the part of the fire in the ball he was watching Saffron gather would save him from becoming Crispy- Fried Martial Artist. He did however have one last trick up his sleeve, something that could turn the immense firepower that the Phoenix was gathering against him, all he needed was one...clear...shot!

"Come on bird-boy! Give me your best shot you overgrown chicken!?" Ranma shouted up at his floating opponent as he began to generate as much cold ki as possible, a thin layer of ice forming around him and the Akane-doll.

The Phoenix's eyes narrowed in anger at Ranma's taunt although the cold smile never left his face as his attack finished forming.

" If that is what you wish landling then I will oblige. Feel honoured landling, I haven't used this version in over 10,000 years. Take this small comfort to your grave." Saffron spoke haughtily as he slowly pointed the flaming Glaive at the pig tailed martial artist.

"Hah! Your brain's to small to know what an honour is you overgrown fried turkey!" Ranma shouted back

"Shinsei Tenka Shunmetsu Koukyuu Dan!" Saffron called out his attack.

Bracing himself for his last gambit Ranma was caught by surprise as the ground beneath him exploded into flames, breaking his concentration for a few crucial seconds as he shook off the shock and pain the relatively small attack had caused. Refocusing quickly just like he'd been taught to during many exhausting and painful training sessions the Saotome heir drew cold ki into his fist and began to swing it into the path of the incoming fire.

Only to be engulfed in the roaring inferno of the attack as a combination of the distraction and the speed of the attack itself lead to Ranma misjudging the needed moment for a counterattack and being struck full force by the supernatural flames.

Screaming in pain Ranma could feel himself burning as the intense fire ripped through both his icy defences and protective aura. The fire licked at his body destroying his clothing once its protection was gone, with a feeling of despair he could feel Akanes tiny form slip away from him and away from what little protection he could offer her. He felt it as the last of her ki vanished as his hand passed through the ashes of her vaporised form, futilely grasping at nothingness.

A pain greater then that of his growing burns blossomed within his chest the instant he the felt the youngest Tendo's final moment. A single word reverberated inside his mind as his feelings plummeted into a Ryouga like state.

'Lost, lost, lost, lost'

The feeling of despair and hopelessness clawed at him, screaming his failure into the deepest pits of his soul. Wishing nothing more then to curl up and mourn Akane's passing, the pain coming from his body drew him back and sang a message of suffering and terror to him of why this was happening.

Why his fiancée had died so far from her home and in such a terrible way.

The despair gathering in his heart was incinerated by a cold, blinding rage that flared up from deep inside him and seemed to fill every corner of his body with a deadly will. The flames still eating at him seemed to ripple slightly at its emergence.

'The monster would fall, if it was the last thing he did' Ranma vowed within his mind, lips too badly scorched to form the curse he so wanted to make known aloud. Digging deep within Ranma instinctively reached for the source of the new feeling that infused him. Dug for a power to make his vow a reality as he felt his life being burnt away by Phoenix fire. As he fell to his knees his spirit found the power he sought and grasped it desperately, pulling it to the surface.

' Anything, any cost at all. I won't lose again!' Ranma's thought's echoed towards the power seeming to call it, calls that with a mighty surge the power answered.

A new glow came into existence as the pig tailed Saotome shifted to his female form despite being in the middle of a fire. The wavering of the fire around her body increased only to start being unnaturally sucked into her while a new pulse of fire blasted out of her in all directions as a large expanding dome of fiery death.

Above the ongoing inferno Saffron's private gloating was cut short as the wall of flames surged towards him with deadly intent. He watched unconcerned as the element closed in on him, he was after all a Phoenix and such held no fear for him and he was curious as to what trick the landling had performed to produce such a display of true power when he hadn't done so before. Just as the attack engulfed the winged man a violet ball of energy struck him in the back with incredible force. The energy clawed at the very essence of the winged ruler, tearing him apart. The impact of Ranma's attack tipped the balance of damage beyond what even his immortal form could handle, killing him instantly.

The dome of fire was enhanced as the fallen Firebird ignited with flames of rebirth and Saffron reverted to his egg form. The flames managed to reform Saffron into a falling egg and cushioned its impact on the rocky ground below. Just as the flames of Saffron's earlier attack were absorbed by the pig tailed girl at the centre of the maelstrom so too were parts of this new flame, leaving a mark that would shift the paths of destiny.

When the firestorm subsided a lone figure strode quickly but carefully towards the centre of the devastated area. Ignoring the rigid form of a phoenix egg the stranger finally reached her goal, bending down she picked up the limp form of a 8 year old girl. Adjusting her precious cargo in her arms the woman looked at the redhead with a bittersweet smile.

" I sorry, so very sorry. Yet so very happy at the same time, I hope one day that you can forgive me for what I didn't do." The woman whispered softly as she turned and vanished with her passenger. Taking her from the ruins of her past life and towards a new future of duty and grave responsibility.

Appearing in Japan moments after leaving behind the cursed battlefield that was left of Jusenkyo, the woman's outfit seemed of fade into something else as she carried the redhead on the last part of her journey. The end of her old life as Ranma Saotome and the first step on the path to a much greater destiny. Before she composed herself and stepped out into the general flow of people while donning a long practised mask of calm, with deep sadness she repeated her final thought in the other girl's direction.

' Sorry'

3 months after the battle

A small figure angrily flowed through a kata that was simple on the surface yet weaves a masterful level of faint and deception into each move making it far more difficult then it appeared at first glance. Requiring far more skill to perform then what an 8-year-old martial artist should possess in the eyes of the normal world.

For Ranma normal really had no meaning, particularly in her present situation. She wasn't the child she appeared to be nor was such a routine unknown to her even the first time she had been this age even if she had been the opposite gender that time. Scowling deeper then before the redhead recalled her failed attempts at changing back over the course of the past few months. Something had locked her curse again! She had a suspicion it had something to do with the new power she had called upon in the battle against Saffron combined with the freaky fire-absorbing trick she still had no idea how she pulled off. Thought of that battle caused her emotions to plummet as she lost herself to the magnitude of her failure momentarily before angrily pulling herself out of it and focusing on her practice.

Allowing her mind to wander while her body went through the motions of the kata automatically, Ranma submerged herself in the familiar calm that came to her when practising the Art for the Art sake alone and not to beat the loony challenger of the week. Things were certainly different since she woke up that morning


1 day after the battle

When she had woken up after passing out from using her improvised final attack on the batty bird-boy she had found herself in a strange bedroom, female and almost a decade younger then before the fight with Saffron. After checking her wounds which had been bandaged and treated by someone she had made her way slowly out of the room and through the strange house until she came to stand in his doorway.

In front of her was the living room, a purple haired woman sitting in one of the chairs and watching T.V. Without looking up the woman waved a hand at her casually, indicating that she should come over and join her. Hesitating for a moment as she judged whether or not to take the chance and enter the room, she ultimately decided to go with the strangeness, it tended to hurt less that way, and made her way into the room until she was standing by the woman's chair. As she did this, the older woman turned her head to look at her.

" So you're up, that's good, I was about to go and check on you but I guess that's not necessary anymore huh. How are you feeling, you were pretty beaten up when I found you." The woman asked in a concerned tone, shifting to face Ranma more.

Ranma just shook her head as she took the appearance of her supposed saviour in, as old skirt and blouse hid a striking figure. Her purple hair draped down her back in a ponytail but the most noticeable feature was her mysterious deep red eyes that seemed to shine with care and sadness. Scowling at letting her thoughts wander Ranma leaned towards the red eyed woman.

" Nothing a few days rest won't fix, I've had worse lady. Where am I? Who are you? How did I get here? Like this?!" Ranma shouted

" My house. Ritsuko Ibuki. I carried you and that's how I found you. Now you know my name would you like to give me yours?" Ritsuko replied gently ignoring the method of delivery that the questions were made with.

Staring at the older female oddly Ranma drew back a bit before replying.

" Ranma Saotome, nice you meet you. Now what did…" Ranma's introduction was cut short as the news on the T.V caught her attention.

" Yesterday a massive explosion rocked the Bayankala Mountain range. The explosion is said to have been powerful enough to destroy everything in a little over a 2-kilometre radius. We have some aerial footage of the site, authorities are saying that although they have recovered several bodies from the area causalities should be light as the region is…" Ranma hearing seemed to fade out as she watched the image of total devastation playing on the T.V screen. She hardly felt it as she was picked up and carried back up to the bedroom and placed under the covers gently. Only one thought dominated her existence.

'My fault, my failure'

[iEnd Flashback[/i

That was 3 months ago when she had first arrived at Ritsuko's house, it had been days before she had left the bedroom again and 2 weeks before she did more the listlessly wander the house. Even that had taken some… extreme measures on the part of her self appointed temporary carer. Ranma snorted at this, Ritsuko was adamant that she was on a sabbatical that would end soon and her job wouldn't allow her to look after a child. Since the people that she had contacted could find no trace of a purple eyed, red haired, female Ranma Saotome they had put her into the adoption system, like anyone would want her, like she needed anyone in that way, Ranma mentally cursed.

Ranma slowed her movements as she switched to a more defensive kata. Now that had been an unpleasant surprise for the martial artist looking into the mirror only to find herself staring not into familiar blue eyes but strange purple ones. The one part that was always unchanged despite the curse, gone. That had led to a lot of hole in the floor and a miserable Ibuki house for several days until Ritsuko was finally able to talk her out of her depression.

Still not all the surprises were bad, when she had been attempting to change back she had discovered that she could heat the water up. The following eager experiment / curse reversion attempt had lead to her burning herself and a scolding from an irate Ritsuko. Later secret tests had let her discover that she could generate heat whenever she wanted and not feel the effects on herself at all. It was pretty useless now her curse was locked but it had made an interesting revenge for when Ritsuko had forced that dress onto her through blackmail. The air conditioning bill for those couple of day must have been through the roof.

" Ranma! They're here, come on!" Ranma heard from the direction of the house.

Sighing, the girl stopped her practice and trudged towards the house to meet her new parents.

The meeting had gone well, just as she had predicted and Ritsuko watched from the entrance of the rented home as the Hinos car vanished around the corner with a heavy heart. As much as she had truly treasured her time with the young girl and however much she would have loved to raise her it wasn't to be. There was far too much that must be put in place and her duty bound her in ways she couldn't defy without terrible consequences.

With a shimmer the glamour around the green haired senshi dropped and Sailor Pluto teleported away.

1 year after the battle

A sullen girl followed in the wake of a professionally dressed woman as the two of them climbed up the long flight of stares leading to a temple. The red haired girl ignored the peaceful scenery around her in favour of staring at the stone steps as she slowing moved up them.

The pair reached the top of the steps to be greeted by the sight of an old temple with an old priest standing in front of it with a smile. The old priest slowing began making his way towards the two females as the woman gently grabbed the 9-year-old and pulled the girl in front of her.

" Ms. Yoruno it's good to see you again, I trust my son is treating a beautiful woman like you in the right way." The priest said cheerfully as he neared to pair.

" Mr. Hino, it's good to see you again. This is Rei, the girl your son and his wife adopted, Mr. Hino feels that the atmosphere and travel involved in his job wouldn't be good for her so she should stay with you. I believe that he explained this to you in his phone call?" The young woman said slowly as she shuffled slightly backward, pointedly ignoring part of the greeting.

" Of course, of course. I'm happy to have my granddaughter living here with me. I haven't really had the chance to get to know you yet so I look forward to this Rei." The priest switched from talking with the woman to talking to the girl mid sentence.

Stepping backwards the woman distanced herself from the two Hino' slightly as she prepared to leave.

"Well I'll leave you both too get to know each other then, excuse me." The woman said with a fake smile before turning around and walking back the way she had come only moments earlier.

The old mans eyes followed her retreating back for a few seconds as his expression flickered from a pleasant smile to quiet disgust and back again as he turned his attention to the child standing in front of him.

Taking in the neat, tomboyish appearance and the disinterested expression as she looked back at him the priest gazed deep into her eyes. Anger and sadness reflected back at him from the recesses of the red heads purple eyes. Anger at the world and at herself, sadness that bordered on despair most likely reduced from that terrible peak by the efforts of his departed daughter-in-law. A worrying mixture to find in one so young.

'Child what happened to you that brought you to this?… Damn you Takashi for leaving this girl when she needs you.' The elder Hino thought with his own mixture of anger and sadness.

" Well then granddaughter we're alone at last! I'm sure that you'll come to like it here, this place… it has a peace that flows into the soul and feeds the spirit. I don't think we need to be formal so you can go ahead and call me Granpa, what would you like me to call you?" The Elder Hino asked the younger girl.

He watch her as a spark of interest flickered dimly in her eyes, causing his spirit to soar, and the sad girl seemed to straighten up with near forgotten pride.

" I'm Ranma but you can call me Rei, everyone else does. I figure, why confuse them." The girl responded as the renewed pride in her tapered off before she reached the end of her short sentence.

Nodding the Elder Hino reached out with his right hand and offered it to his granddaughter.

" Well then Rei. Let me show you too your new bedroom. It's a bit barren but I'm sure you'll fix that better then a old priest like me could even do." The older Hino said as the girl took his hand and he led her towards the shrines living area. On the way he heard the girl mutter to herself quietly, something about sleep and annoying pandas?

3 years after the battle

An 11-year-old black haired miko stormed through the shrine towards the room where the sacred fire was located. In one hand she held a broom while the other one clutched a broken bottle of hair dye tightly. Stopping in the doorway leading to the fires resting place the adopted Hino girl took a deep breath and calmed herself slightly before continuing on with a forceful walk, the air shimmering with heat around her.

As she had thought the subject of her anger was sitting calmly in front of the fire. As she approached the older Hino stood and smiled innocently.

" Ah Rei! I take it you've finished your chores then." He said cheerfully as e carefully watched his fast approaching granddaughter.

" Yes I did. You've been trying my moves in the bathroom again haven't you Granpa. That was the last bottle of dye I had!" Rei accused the priest with anger.

" I don't know what you're talking about my dear. I do think that it's a crime for you to deny the world a redhead in this way though." The elder Hino replied in a carefree tone while carefully studying his granddaughter features.

Looking away to shield her grandfather from the old hate and fury that flared up in her eyes despite the iron will she had gained to control it, the former Saotome clenched her fists and exhaled loudly. Covering up her red hair let her hide one of the last reminders of her great failure, it helped keep her sane and dimmed the pain. Still, it wasn't right to lash out at grandpa for it, the man who was the most responsible for dragging her this far back into the light.

" I can do what I what to with my hair! I have my reasons. You shouldn't be trying the stuff I do at your age old man. You'll hurt yourself and your costing me a fortune in hair dye!" Rei complained as she turned back to the target of her ire, the darkness within once again under control.

Taking several steps forward she raised the broom to tap her relative with it.

" So your not interested in the new ki control technique I dug out of the shrines vault, oh what a waste!" The priest said dramatically causing Rei to freeze and slowly lowered the broom to the floor.

The Anything Goes practitioner had discovered that although the older Hino was only a reasonable martial artist by her standards in the combat department, when it came to ki manipulation he was a true master of the Art. Over the years here at the shrine she had achieved a level of ki control that she could hardly conceive of back in Nerima, indeed these lessons were originally the only reason that she had stayed at the shrine and worked as a miko. Giving the other Hino a strained smile Rei hid the broken bottle within the ki folds of the hidden weapons technique and sat on one side of the fire.

" I guess I can get some more later, lets hear this new trick most honoured elder." The purple-eyed girl said with barely concealed sarcasm.

" I'm glad you've seen the error of your ways. Let us begin…" The male Hino said pompously seating himself across from Rei.

The two of them smiled at each other as they once again settled into the old and cherished ritual that had established the bond they shared today.

Author Note-

That has to be the hardest chapter I've ever written, it seemed like nothing would go right, still I hope you enjoy it. The story itself should kick off in chapter 2. Remember that this is chapter 1, things you don't think are right plot/character wise will probably be addressed in later chapters so bear with me here. The tone will also lighten as well, I tried to stop it from being too dark.

Thanks to the fukufics crew for the help betaing this, particularly Dumbledork and Spokavriel.

Saffron's attack roughly translates as 'True Instant-Annihilation-of-all-Mortals-Blast'.