Disclaimer: The characters of Ranma 1/2 belong to Rumiko Takahashi. The characters of Sailor Moon belong to Naoko Takeuchi. This is an alternate universe based on the combination of both. This won't make us any money, so please, don't waste your time.
Authors' Note: This is the second and final revision of our story. It can be found at the following sites in different stages of revision:
Nighthawk's Fanfiction: First Draft
The Sword of Destiny's Homepage: Incomplete First Revision and Second Revision
Fan Fiction. Net: Second Revision Only
Lord Dragonbane and Count Stacko
Story concept and idea by:
Tomas "Nighthawk" Megerson
(Part of the Uncles Challenge)
Chapter One: It's All Relative.
The massive doorway stood in a white void, swirling mists obscuring the landscape in every direction. A woman approached through the mist, her long green hair swaying behind her. She was of medium height, dressed in a black and white uniform with a very short skirt, green bows at the chest and back, and knee high black boots. In her right hand, she carried a staff shaped like a key with a crimson gem set in the top. Her name was Setsuna Meiou, but most knew her simply as Sailor Pluto, Guardian of Time, and this was her domain.
As she approached the Gates of Time, they opened and began showing images in rapid flashes. Suddenly she stopped it, sensing a disturbance in the flow of the future time stream. She went through it again, at a slower pace, trying to pinpoint the source without success. It was as she attempted to discover the source for the third time that the image vanished.
"Don't bother trying to find it anymore," A calm, female voice she recognized instantly as her own said. "I've sealed that portion of the time stream to keep you from interfering." Setsuna whipped around and glared at her future self. Sailor Pluto changed to Setsuna, indicating she was from the future.
"Why are you hindering my work?" Sailor Pluto demanded of Setsuna. "How can I ensure Crystal Tokyo existence if I can not view the entire time line?"
"This affects all of the Senshi, Sailor Pluto, even you." Setsuna replied. "I know that I was surprised by it, and I also know how you would react with any foreknowledge. You will simply have to trust me that it is for the best that you not know what is going to happen."
"There weren't supposed to be any major events until after the Great Freeze." Sailor Pluto grumble, annoyed and confused by her future self's stubbornness, then glared when Setsuna gave her an amused look. "What am I allowed to know?"
"Only that now is the time to activate your backup plan regarding Sailor Saturn." Setsuna replied.
"This threat is that dangerous?" Sailor Pluto asked in shock "That was supposed to be a worst case contingency plan."
"Fate has a way of changing things." Setsuna replied, "That is all you need to know for now." Raising the Time Key, Setsuna transformed back into her uniform and vanished. Setsuna considered this new twist in the time stream, then sighed and set her backup plan in motion.
"I just hope I know what I'm doing."
An organic looking black spacecraft landed in a forest near the outskirts of Tokyo. After a full sensor sweep, it began to sink into the ground as dust billowed around it. When the dust settled, the clearing showed no signs the craft had ever been there except for a bare patch of earth in the middle of the meadow.
"We have landed, sir." A technician informed the ship's captain, who nodded in acknowledgement.
"Are there any signs that we were detected as we entered the atmosphere?" The captain asked his second in command.
"None sir, the stealth system worked perfectly." The first officer replied. "Data from our scan probes is coming in now."
"Report," The captain barked, startling the probe technician who had been filtering the data.
"Probes one and two report frozen wastes in the Polar Regions sir." He began. "Soul energy concentrations are low, as expected. Probe 3 was showing extreme high energy readings on day side before it was shot down. Probe 4 was picking up higher concentrations, but its sweep area took it over a high radiation source, which burned out its sensors before we could get anymore than a long-range report. Probe five met the same fate as number three over the minor continent in the southern hemisphere after reporting a relative low population density with equally low energy levels."
"And probe six?" The first officer asked.
"Probe six is in geosynchronous orbit over our landing site." The technician replied. "It shows extremely high concentration of soul energy on these islands, completely out of proportion to its population density. It is an excellent choice for our base of operations."
"Are there any defenders in this area?" The captain asked, thinking.
"Several groups," The first officer said contempt for them in his tone. "Only one of them could be a threat however. The test drones are being prepared as we speak."
"Very well, keep me informed of your progress." The captain replied, and then turned to watch the reports coming in from the probe above them.
The Next Day
Since it was a school holiday, Hotaru decided to sleep in. When she finally got up, she took a shower, dressed in her 'fun' clothes and went down for breakfast. As she was eating, she noticed the house was very quiet and decided to go looking for Haruka and Michiru. After a five-minute search, Hotaru finally found them in Michiru's practice studio looking at a pile of official looking papers. As she came in, they looked up, startled, and exchanged worried looks.
"Haruka-papa, what are you and Michiru-mama doing?" Hotaru asked while trying to see the papers Haruka and Michiru had been reading. Michiru quickly gathered them together and put them back into the envelope on the table, looking at Haruka pleadingly.
"Hotaru-Chan, are you happy living with us?" Haruka asked nervously, trying to think of a way to say something.
"Of course I am." Hotaru said in confusion, and then looked at them in fear and bewilderment. "Don't ... don't you want me here any more?" She asked.
"Of course we do Hotaru-Chan." Michiru said quickly, giving her a reassuring hug. Haruka threw up her hands in exasperation when Michiru glared at her. "The reason she asked is because these documents arrived early this morning from your father's lawyers."
"Really?" Hotaru said curiously. "What are they about?"
"Your family, Hotaru-Chan," Haruka replied. "You see, your mother wasn't born into the Morigawa family, she was adopted. Your father and his lawyers knew that, and before your mother died, he promised to look for your biological grandparents."
"She was?" Hotaru asked surprised. "He did?"
"Yes, but a lot of your family papers were lost when his lab exploded." Michiru explained. "That's why we didn't know until recently that you might have living relatives."
"Is that why you asked if I was happy here, Haruka-papa?" Hotaru asked. "Because you were worried that my relatives might want to take me away?"
"Yes." Haruka replied, glancing over at Michiru who nodded. "You see, your father's lawyers have discovered who your maternal grandmother was, as well as the fact that your paternal grandfather is still alive and that you may have two uncles who are close to your age. They are trying to locate all of them right now to let them know about you."
"I have grandparents?" Hotaru said in surprise, shocked by the idea. "And... And two uncles?"
"Yes, that's what these papers are about." Haruka explained, pointing at the envelope. "We have someone looking for them as well."
"Would it be okay if I went to the park?" Hotaru asked feeling very confused. "I need to think about all of this."
"Of course Hotaru-Chan," Michiru replied, nodding in understanding. "Please come back in time for lunch though."
Hotaru nodded, and then left the room. A few moments later, they heard her leave the house, and sighed. Haruka took Michiru's hand and smiled at her encouragingly, and then went back to searching for clues to the possible whereabouts of Hotaru's grandparents. They were terrified that if they did find them, they might take Hotaru away, but they kept searching, knowing that her relatives had a right to know about Hotaru's existence.
Same time, Tendo Dojo
"Ranma! You're wanted on the telephone!" Kasumi called from the living room. Out in the yard, Ranma stopped practicing in surprise, then came into the house.
"Who would be calling me?" He said to himself, then shrugged in confusion and picked up the phone.
"Hello, this is Ranma Saotome," he said nervously.
"Hello Mr. Saotome, my name is Setsuna Meiou." A soft female voice replied from the other end. "I'm a private investigator."
"What can I help you with?" Ranma asked, relieved that it wasn't another fiancée his father had 'forgotten' to tell him about. Then he realized she might be working for one.
"It's actually not what you can help me with, but rather how I can help you." Setsuna replied cryptically. "How much do you know about your family history, more particularly your mother's side?"
"Not much besides who her parents were and that they're dead." Ranma said uncomfortably. "Why?"
"I have been asked to locate the natural family of a minor child." Setsuna explained. "She was orphaned recently and has been living with some family friends."
"What does this have to do with me?" Ranma asked in confusion. "I hardly know anybody."
"I have reason to believe that you are one of her relatives." The PI replied. "But that's beside the point. I am calling to invite you to a meeting that is being held tomorrow at the child's home in order to determine certain facts. Will you attend?"
"Sure," Ranma agreed, baffled by the conversation. "When and where?"
She gave him the girl's name and address and asked him to meet at the address the next afternoon. After writing the details down, Ranma decided to ask his father what the PI was talking about. After finding his father in his panda form playing Go with Mr. Tendo in the living room,
Ranma went to the kitchen to get a kettle of hot water. He came back with it and poured it over his father.
"What was that for boy?" Genma howled in pain as the boiling hot water poured over him.
"I need to talk to you about our family, Pop." Ranma said seriously. "I just had a call from a private investigator who wanted to talk about..."
"Can't it wait until later?" Genma interrupted. "I'm finally winning."
"No, old man, it can't." Ranma growled angrily.
"All right," Genma said with a sigh, following Ranma to the Dojo. "What do you want to know?"
"Do you know if I have any relatives besides you and mom?" Ranma asked pointedly as his dad gave him a bored look. "Specifically, have you heard of a girl named Hotaru Tomoe?"
"Tomoe? Nope, never heard of her." Genma replied after considering it. "Your mother and I were only children and so were our parents. Both of our parents have been dead for years."
"And there weren't any illegitimate children, right?" Ranma asked, glaring accusingly at Genma.
"Absolutely not," Genma said, offended. "I've always been faithful to your mother."
"So the name 'Tomoe' means nothing to you?" Ranma asked finally.
"No." Genma replied, considering the name again. "Your mother may know about it though. She'll be back from visiting her friends in two days."
"Okay," Ranma grumbled, seeing his father wasn't going to be any help. Leaving the house, he jumped to the roof and lay there for several hours, thinking about this new twist in his all ready complicated life.
Ranma stayed on the roof until Kasumi called him down for lunch, but he continued to think about what the Private Investigator had told him. He was so deep in thought that he only spoke to answer direct questions, and didn't defend his meal very well.
When his plate was empty, he asked to be excused and said he would be back for dinner. No one really paid attention to him and he left, still deep in thought.
Ranma walked around Nerima for several hours before he finally settled under a bridge next to the canal, and threw pebbles into the stream as he thought about his situation. The most confusing part for Ranma was that the private investigator had asked for him, and not his father. He tried to think of anyone he knew with the name Tomoe, but drew a blank. Finally, he gave up on trying to remember, since he was coming up with more questions than answers. Standing up and brushing himself off, he noticed that it was starting to get dark and felt his stomach rumble. As he ran back to the Dojo for dinner, he felt that he was forgetting something important.
"I'm home." He shouted as he came in the front door. The lack of response and sounds of activity from the kitchen filled Ranma with dread, but he gathered his courage and went to find out if he was right. His nightmare became reality as he entered the kitchen. It was Akane's turn to cook, and she had already started the preparations.
"Oh, Ranma, you're just in time for dinner!" Akane said, smiling excitedly when she saw him.
"Um, okay, I'll wait in the dining room." Ranma said, using all of his will power to stop himself from running from the house in fear.
"That'll be fine." Akane replied with a smile. "I'll bring it out in a moment."
Ranma nodded and left quickly before he said something he he'd regret. As he sat waiting for the food, Ranma prayed that Akane had decided to make curry for dinner.
Even though her cooking had improved recently, it was still only marginal at best. The only food that Ranma considered edible was her curry, and as Akane finished setting the food on the table, Ranma noticed with a sinking feeling that curry wasn't on the menu for tonight.
"Well, go on, try some." Akane demanded impatiently as Ranma hesitated. "I worked very hard on this meal, so I want you to try everything. Everyone had somewhere else they had to go tonight, so I'm counting on you to tell me how it all tastes."
Ranma realized that his fate had been sealed the moment he'd walked into the house, so he grabbed his chopsticks and slowly reached out to grab a morsel of food. As he brought it to his mouth, Ranma noticed Akane's eager anticipation, gathered his courage, and stuck the food in his mouth. Before he had even begun to chew, several flavors hit his taste buds at once, combining to give it the flavor of gym socks that hadn't been washed in several years.
Turning green, Ranma spat the food onto his plate and downed his entire glass of water.
"What are you trying to do Akane, kill me?" Ranma demanded, refilling his glass and downing that as well. "This is the worst stuff you've made yet!"
"Ranma!" Akane growled in anger, her battle aura becoming visible.
Ranma dove out of the way, as her foot whistled through the space where his head had been. He realized then that Akane was angrier than she had ever been before, and ran out of the house dodging every punch and kick she threw at him. As she screamed insults at him, his anger at the unwarranted attack built until he started lashing out with insults of his own. As Akane threw more punches at him, he accused her of trying to kill everyone with her cooking. That was when her mallet suddenly appeared in her hands, surprising Ranma momentarily. Akane used her momentary advantage to connect with the mallet.
"Ranma no Baka!" She shouted as she continued to pummel him. Ranma stopped resisting shortly after she started beating him, but Akane was so enraged that she continued to hit him with her mallet until she couldn't swing it any more. Then she dragged him back to the Dojo.
Ranma regained consciousness several hours later and just lay there, waiting for the world to stop spinning. When it finally did, he recognized the ceiling of his room and the snoring form of his father back in panda form. As he tried to sit up, Ranma groaned in pain and the world started spinning again, and then suddenly stopped along with his headache. Judging from how sore, he was and the bruises he could see all over his body, Ranma realized that Akane had kept swinging after he had lost consciousness.
"That's it." Ranma growled to himself angrily, getting out of bed. "I've had enough of this." He pulled his backpack out of the closet and started loading his clothes and camping gear. After the Mount Phoenix incident, he had thought his relationship with Akane had been improving, but as he went over the past few months, he realized the abuse had been actually getting worse. It was only after he finished packing that Ranma thought to ask what he would do after he left. Then he remembered the mysterious phone call he had received earlier. Checking the notes he'd written down, Ranma decided to go find out about this new relative. As he walked down the stairs, Ranma was careful not to wake anybody up, and quietly left the Tendo Dojo.
Later that morning, as the sun rose, Ranma woke up in the meadow where he had decided to spend the rest of the night. After a light breakfast, he went through his morning practice, groaning as his sore muscles protested. He continued until he could move normally again, then packed his gear and headed for Juuban.
As he walked the streets, looking for the address he'd been given, Ranma started getting uneasy. At first, he thought it was the crowds in the streets of this more populated district. Then he noticed that several people were staring at him and pointing. Looking down to try to figure out why, he noticed a pog lying at his feet.
Picking it up Ranma turned the cardboard circle over and stared when he saw the face of his female form smiling at him. When he looked up, he suddenly realized there was a crowd gathering around him. He couldn't sense any danger from the mob, but that many of the people surrounding him made him extremely nervous. When they all started talking at once, he panicked and jumped to the roof of a nearby shop. When this move was met with applause, he bowed to the mob and ran. After putting some distance between himself and the crowd, he stopped on the roof of a building and put his pack down so he could rest.
"Man, what was with those people." Ranma groaned shaking his head. The crowd had acted as if they knew him and he was some kind of movie star. Most of the women in the crowd had been asking him for a date, while all the men had asked him to teach them his moves. He looked at the tazo he'd found in confusion. He was absorbed in thought when he heard someone scream in the alley below. Looking over the edge, Ranma took in the scene below, and swore at what he saw. A girl who looked about thirteen had been cornered by four boys of about the same age. They were yelling and making fun of her attempts to escape.
Ranma growled when he heard them taunting her and calling her a freak. Easily making the decision, Ranma jumped down and landed behind them, silently.
"Hey!" Ranma shouted at the boys, getting their attention. "Why don't you leave her alone?" Their reaction was a little surprising to Ranma.
"Oh shit, it's Ranma Saotome. Run!" Their leader yelled and all four of them broke into a panicked run as if there was a legion of demons chasing them. Ranma smiled, shaking his head in confusion as he watched them run away, then grunted when a small body slammed into him. Glancing down he realized it was the little girl and she was crying. Unable to think of anything else to do, Ranma followed his instincts and hugged her comfortingly while she cried herself out.
"Are you okay now?" Ranma asked in concern when she pulled away. "They didn't hurt you or nothin', did they?"
"No, I'm fine." The girl replied with a watery smile. "Thank you though. They've been picking on me like that for months." Ranma looked her over, trying to figure out why the boys would pick on her, unable to come up with one.
"If you don't mind me asking, why were they picking on you?" Ranma finally asked her. "I know guys that age like to annoy cute girls, but that was getting vicious." Ranma smiled when she blushed at the compliment, and then waited for her answer.
"Do you really want to know?" The girl asked cautiously.
"That's why I asked." Ranma replied with an ironic smile. "Of course, if you don't feel like telling me, I'll understand."
"Okay, I'll tell you." The girl said shyly, gathering her courage. "I have the power to heal people with a touch."
"And that's it?" Ranma asked in surprise, not realizing what she meant.
"Let me show you." She said, realizing he wouldn't understand unless she showed him her powers. With a thought, her hand began glowing and she reached out to touch his arm. As her hand came in contact with Ranma's arm, the glow spread until it covered his arm as well.
"Whoa." Ranma gasped in surprise as a warm tingling sensation followed the glow and the pain in that arm faded away. After a moment, the girl removed her hand and the glow faded away as did the warmth. He moved his arm cautiously, and then grinned when he didn't feel any pain. "Wow, thanks a lot!"
"Umm, you're welcome." She replied in surprise. "Aren't you afraid of me?"
"No, why? Should I be?" Ranma asked with a smile. "Is that why those guys were calling you a freak, because you can heal people?" When the girl's only response was a slow nod, Ranma sighed. "Some people are really stupid. All I can say is that I find this ability to heal people a very useful talent. You're lucky to have it."
"Thank you." The girl said softly, blushing. As Ranma smiled at her, he realized two things at once. First, he didn't know the girl's name, and second, he hadn't introduced himself either.
"Sorry for not introducing myself properly." Ranma said with a shrug. "My name is Ranma Saotome."
"I know." She replied with a smile. "My name is Hotaru."
"Glad to meet you, Hotaru." Ranma said with a frown. "Now would you mind explaining to me why everyone around here seems to know who I am, even though I don't remember coming to Juuban once in my life?"
"Do you mean you don't know about it?" Hotaru asked in surprise. "You must know."
"Nope, I have no idea." Ranma said his confusion obvious. "I walked into Juuban an hour ago and within minutes, I was being mobbed. What's going on?"
"I don't know how to tell you this, but you're famous here." Hotaru explained uncomfortably. "Everyone in Tokyo knows about you."
"Famous? Me? How?" Ranma stuttered, trying to take it in. Hotaru could see this was really shocking him.
"You really don't know, do you?" She said, wide eyed at the situation she was in. "Come on, I'll show you what I mean."
She led Ranma by the hand to a nearby toy store. Ranma felt uncomfortable being led around by a thirteen year-old girl, but that was nothing compared to the feeling he got when they went into the store and everyone stared at him. Hotaru led him to the back wall of the store, and pointed. In shocked fascination, Ranma stared at the items covering the wall.
Everywhere he looked, there were posters, wall scrolls, trading cards, videos and even a card game, all dedicated to him and the people he knew. Some of the posters were shots of him in both forms, while others were of fights he'd had. The videos were the same. On a hunch, he checked to see who the producer was and smiled grimly when he saw the name Nabiki Tendo on all of them as director and producer. Ranma felt the stares becoming unbearable and bolted out of the store and into an alley. Hotaru joined him a short time later.
"Are you okay Ranma?" Hotaru asked in concern.
"I am now." Ranma said in relief. "Sorry about running off like that, but I had to get away from that store. Its weird feeling like everyone is watching you. The stuff in there didn't help much either."
"You mean you really didn't know any of it existed?" Hotaru exclaimed in surprised. "But how?"
"I have no idea." Ranma sighed finally relaxing. "I do know who's responsible for it though, and when I get home, I'm going to collect my share of the profits."
"I'm sorry; this must be a terrible shock." Hotaru said sympathetically, inwardly shocked that someone was ripping her hero off.
"Don't worry about it Hotaru, I'll get used to it." Ranma replied quickly when he saw that she was about to cry again. Thinking fast, he counted his money, realizing he had enough to buy ice cream, "Hey Hotaru, why don't we go get some ice cream? My treat."
"S... Sure." Hotaru stuttered in surprise. She had been so miserable that she might have upset Ranma, that his offer stunned her for a moment.
"All right, let's go." Ranma said. After he retrieved his pack, he started off in a random direction, then stopped and swore. "Um, do you know where the nearest Ice cream parlor is?" Hotaru nodded, giggling, and took him by the hand. She led him in the exact direction he had been going.
After ordering their ice cream, Ranma and Hotaru sat in the back of the parlor. Since he was in his male form, Ranma ordered a large dessert instead of a monstrous one, while Hotaru shyly ordered a small one, which he told the waitress to make a medium using hand signals. While they waited for their food, Ranma noticed that every teenage girl in the parlor was staring at him. Just for the fun of it, he waved at them. They giggled in surprise and stopped staring.
"You know, I really could get used to this being famous stuff." Ranma chuckled. "It's kind of fun."
"But I thought you hated people staring at you." Hotaru said in surprise.
"When I don't know why they're staring, sure." Ranma said with a shrug. "It makes me nervous. Since I know why they're staring now, it isn't really a problem."
"It's like all the attacks people come up with to beat you." Hotaru exclaimed happily. "Once you're used to the attack, it doesn't work on you any more."
"Well ... yeah." Ranma said a little shocked. "How do you know about that?"
"Umm ... ahh ... because ... because I'm one of your biggest fans." Hotaru blurted out in a rush. "You have confidence and strength, plus you're popular. Everything I'm not."
"Strength and confidence can be built up, Hotaru." Ranma said encouragingly. "Popularity isn't every thing it's cracked up to be either. I'm sure you can build the first two though."
"Maybe." Hotaru sighed unconvinced. "Why did you come to Juuban anyway? You said you've never been here before."
"Well, I came because of a phone call I got yesterday." Ranma explained. "This private investigator said she had found a relative of mine that my father didn't know about. So I decided to come and find her."
"Do you know the person's name?" Hotaru said, trying to help.
"Sure, I have her name and address right here." Ranma started digging through his pack and finally retrieved his notes. "Here they are."
"May I see that?" Hotaru asked, hoping she could help him find his relative. When Ranma handed her the paper, the name and address jumped out at her and she just sat and stared at it.
"What is it Hotaru?" Ranma asked in concern. "What's wrong?"
"Uhh ... ahh ... umm." Hotaru stuttered, struggling for control. "No, nothing's wrong, in fact I know this person very well."
"Really, who is she?" Ranma asked in surprise.
"She's me." Hotaru said, still struggling with the idea.
To Be Continued...