Charon – A Ranma 1/2 / Sailor Moon Crossover Fanfic

by jimra

I don't own 'em.

Prologue

His katana raised to point at his opponent's throat, the man allowed his black cloak to slide to the ground from his shoulders.  With a negligent flick of his head, he resettled his black ponytail between his shoulder blades and faced his opponent, a confident, even arrogant, smirk crossing his lips.  Eyes narrowed and katana in guard position, the man stepped forward, the arrogant look falling from his face into one of concentration.

He wore black plate armor, lacquered and shining in the wan light of Neptune.  Each piece, from bracers to greaves, was flawless, as though never used.  However, it was obvious from the man's preternatural grace as he moved forward and his opponent's worried face that the armor had seen a good deal of combat.  The man's black, soft leather boots made no sound as he stalked forward, and his blue-grey eyes spoke of nothing but death for the one who would challenge him.

The opponent of this dangerous, black-armored man was actually a tall woman with short, blonde hair.  She wore the standard white body suit and short skirt of a Senshi, and the colorful uniform contrasted with both the man's armor and the desolate landscape that was the only witness to this duel.  She visibly shored up her courage and dropped into a fighting stance, low and defensive.  Slashing her hand through the air, a sword suddenly appeared in her hand, and she raised it to counter the man's katana.  A cold wind stirred her short blonde hair as she took a brief, calming breath.  Finally, as the dramatic moment ended, she spoke.

"Well, Charon?"  The woman's voice was cold and dead, as though she were a ghost.  "You stopped us from going to the aid of our Queen!  That same Queen you swore to defend!  And now you dare come here and face me?"

Though he didn't lower his guard, the man smiled.  "You know full well why I stopped you, Uranus.  There was nothing you could have done.  So it was ordained by the Gate.  The Silver Millennium had to end today, and there was nothing any of us could do.  I would not see a temporal paradox destroy any chance of regaining what has been lost."

Through out his speech, Charon's voice was calm and cold, no emotion betraying his own pain at allowing the Silver Millennium to die.  He was the guide of death and the Senshi of Space; nothing would pierce the cold shroud he used to smother his emotions.

"Now it is time to sleep, Uranus," Charon continued.  "You may choose: it can be the cold embrace of a suspension tube... or the colder embrace of death.  Either way, we will return when we are needed.  Now choose."

Uranus' eyes widened slightly when he spoke, but not too much.  She had to know the choice she would be given: Sailor Charon, the Senshi of Space and Death, held sway over Hades itself.  There was a good reason he was named after the boatman of the river Styx.  He was not as powerful as the Senshi of Silence, but he was definitely a close second.

Before either spoke again, a brief flash of light indicated a teleportation spell entry point opening to Charon's right.  Knowing Uranus would do the same, he lowered his weapon and turned to the new arrivals.  His face softened as two of the three walked toward him, the rest of the world tuned out.

Sailor Pluto gently slipped her arms around her husband and kissed him; it was not a kiss of passion but one of comfort and love.  After a moment, the two separated and Charon knelt to greet the smallest Senshi, a smile always on his lips for Saturn.

"And how are you, Aeris?" he asked in a soft, kind voice.  "I'm sorry we couldn't do anything for them."

The little fuku clad girl tried to smile, but Charon could tell she was barely holding in the pain.  "I'm..." she started shakily, but then stopped.  Visibly taking control of her emotions, she forced herself to smile back to him and spoke in a much stronger voice.  "I'll be okay...  I just hate the idea that we didn't do anything."

"I know, imouto-chan," answered Charon, his voice heavy with regret.

Standing, the pony tailed man turned to face his wife and fellow Senshi of Death.  "Setsuna... I didn't expect to see you until returning to Charon.  Is something wrong?"

"No... At least, not with the plan," the green haired woman answered.  "I just finished my conversation with Neptune faster than expected."

"Which did she choose?" Chiron asked gravely.

"The stasis tube," replied Pluto quietly.  "But Aeris wants to join us.  I don't really want that for her, but it is her choice."

"I understand your apprehension, but it isn't particularly dangerous.  We just have to die for a few millennia."

Charon briefly reflect on how strange that must sound to anyone who didn't know that he and Setsuna were the Senshi of Death, but he quickly quashed that line of thought as unimportant.

After a moment more of thought, Charon turned to Uranus, who was now being held by her lover, Neptune.  "Well Haruka, Michiru.  Have you decided?"

Anger still froze Uranus' face, but her soft voice was resigned.  "We will take the stasis tubes..."

There was nothing more to be said; Charon nodded once and drew on his powers from the Gate of Time and Space.  Raising his hand toward the two, his palm glowing black with power, he saw Pluto mirror his action.  At an unspoken signal, the two Senshi with power over time and space released their combined spell.  Standing before the remaining three Senshi stood two tubes, their silvery exterior shining in Neptune's light.  Through the blue-tinged stasis field, Sailors Uranus and Neptune slept, their faces peaceful in their repose.

With a negligent wave of his hand, Charon bent the fabric of space to deposit the two frozen Senshi each in their respective planetary castle.  Then he turned to Saturn.  "Aeris, think carefully.  Are you sure you want to come with Setsuna and me?  We can put you in stasis, just like we did to the other Outers."

Through the false smile on her face, Charon could see her fear.  Even as the Senshi of Destruction and Creation, little Saturn couldn't truly fathom dying in the same way Charon or Pluto could, and she was very frightened.  However, the Senshi of Space could see something else in the little girl he'd adopted as his sister, a fear greater than dying: she didn't want to be alone.  If put into stasis, she would awaken alone in her castle on Titan.

"You know, even though you'd be with us for death, you wouldn't necessarily be reincarnated with us..."  Charon said after reading her face.

"I know..." she answered.  "But I still want to go with you and Onee-chan."

The pony tailed man smiled and held out his hand to her.  "Very well, then it is time to go."

As they were talking, Pluto came to stand by her husband, and when he said that it was time, she reached out and took his other hand, a reassuring smile on her face when Charon looked at her for a moment.

Putting thoughts of his wife aside, the Senshi of Space reached out and warped the fabric of space again, bending it until they arrived on the surface of Terra's moon.

"By Kami-sama!"  Pluto's voice was breathlessly amazed.  "I cannot believe that Beryl did this!  There is almost nothing left..."

"And going with the plan," said Charon.  "There will be nothing at all.  Are you ready, love?"

Setsuna turned to her husband and shared one last passion-filled kiss with him, one that Charon was sure was meant to remind him of all of their love.  In that thought, he returned her passion with equal vigor, stopping just short of allowing himself to fulfill that passion.

Finally breaking the kiss, Charon stroked his wife's beautiful face, gently brushing a stray green hair from her cheek.  "Always remember," he said in a tender voice he reserved only for her.  "I love you."

"And I, you, anata."

With a small smile on his face, he turned to Saturn.  "Are you ready, Aeris?"

Her reply was a slight, trembling nod before she walked over to Setsuna.  The Senshi of Pluto kneeled next to her adopted sister and held her tightly in her arms.  Charon nodded to the two most important women in his life before turning once more to look at the devastation.  Nothing was left of the palace or the grand garden.  The most beautiful places in the Sol system were now piles of rubble, and after he was done, nothing but a white, barren wasteland would remain, bereft of even air.  Finally, Sailor Charon, Senshi of Space and Death, raised his arms and whispered his strongest attack, an attack he'd hoped never to use.

"Charon Void Sunder."

Ranma woke with a scream, still seeing the dream of space being ripped apart.  The pigtailed martial artist sat in his futon, gasping for breath.  The dream had seemed so terrible... so real.  Sweat covered his face and soaked the muscle shirt he wore, and his mind still couldn't shake the feeling that the dream was more than just a dream.

The pigtailed boy looked briefly over at his father's empty futon, but then he remembered that Happosai had taken his pop and Tendo-san on a training trip.  Shrugging the foreboding feeling from his mind, Ranma stood and walked out of the Tendo's guest room.  Quietly walking down the stairs, the dark haired martial artist went into the kitchen and poured himself a glass of water.  Downing half of it, he walked into the living room intending to head for the furo, but the boy stopped when he saw a figure sitting on the tatami next to the table.  In the moonlight, Ranma had to struggle to make out the silhouette of the middle Tendo sister.

"Nabiki?" he said in a quiet, uncertain voice.  "What are you doing up so late?"

As she turned toward him, her face was illuminated by the bright, full moon, and Ranma was shocked to see tear tracks running down the Ice Queen's face.  Her eyes were almost pleading with him, but for what, he didn't know.

Since the failed wedding attempt nearly three months previous, Nabiki had been much nicer to him, and although he was suspicious at first, the middle Tendo sister had managed to work her way through all his defenses and become a friend.  It surprised him when managed to find the real person underneath all the ice she used to deaden her emotions, but that girl was there.  Now, Ranma was really worried.  In a concerned voice, Ranma said, "What's wrong, Nabiki?"

The short haired girl motioned for him to sit, and as he did so, she spoke, her voice both fearful and hopeful.  "I've been having strange dreams lately, Ranma."

This alone froze Ranma in the act of sitting next to her.  Of course this was a bad thing, and while his mind tried to assess this piece of information, his body lost its balance.  The net result of this was Ranma lying on his back with his head cradled in Nabiki's lap, his eyes just a bit wider than dinner plates.

An amused smile crossed Nabiki's face as she looked down into Ranma's eyes, but it didn't seem that a bit of slapstick would make her forget about her problems.

Unfortunately for all involved, this was the moment the lights flicked on.

"RAAAAANNNNNNNMMMMAAAAA!!!!"

Three guesses as to who found Ranma with his head in Nabiki's lap, and the first two don't count.  Unfortunately for Ranma, something other than dodging Akane's mallet froze him in position.  The last thing he thought before becoming airborne was, 'Since when was Nabiki's hair... green?'

Very far away from where kawaiikune fiancées were malleting pigtailed martial artists into koi ponds, the hiss of escaping gas was heard deep within a stone structure that had heard no sound in nearly thirty millennia.  In a stone chamber on Neptune's moon Triton, deep within a castle modern science had no idea existed, a large, silver and blue tube released its containment locks.  After about five minutes, the final locks were released and the blue-tinged stasis field winked out of existence.

A hand emerged to grasp the sides of the tube, and very shortly, Sailor Neptune sat up from her long sleep.