Brother where are you?

A Ranma and Naruto crossover.

Disclaimer: I don't own Ranma ½ or Naruto.

Genma Saotome was a happy man at the moment, nothing was like a little training trip to clean out your system. Only the sky over your head, as you strived to perfect your art. Now he had returned in glory after training several weeks in the wilderness of Japan. Here he was, a man in his best years, entering the local pub and café again. There had been some close calls during the trip, one had nearly cost him his life. Fortunately his quick wit and excellent thinking saved him once again from the wrath of his katana wielding wife.

Since it was midday the place was half empty, just some families refreshing themselves from the brutal rays of the sun and in one corner a young girl, well young might not be the right word. She must have been around eighteen years old, but still she looked frail and lost.

Genma having been here before managed to navigate to his favourite seat in front of bar with no hassle. His young son, wrapped in a white blanket with a red and white fan embroidered on it., was laid on the bar and given his baby bottle with milk, which he started suckling on instantly.

"Hello there old boy," a voice full of mirth greeted him. "Back so early? You haven't been gone for more than a few weeks, your age starting to catch up to you, eh?"

"Ah, Issei," Genma visibly relaxed at seeing the old bartender with his grey hair and moustache, some of the other employees had grudges against him and would probably outright refuse to serve him, if not even calling the police on him. Issei on the other hand he had known for several years and the old man liked to hear the stories of his exploits and sometimes he would even start to tell the stories of his younger years. "Well you know me, I wouldn't even think of leaving Nodoka alone for too long. I'm much too considerate of her feelings."

Issei's eyes had a mischievous twinkle in them. "More like you wouldn't dare to take her first born son away for months just some weeks after she gave birth to him. Honestly Genma she might have your hide for this."

When Genma cringed, Issei just couldn't keep it inside anymore and burst into a roaring laughter.

"The usual I presume?" Issei said as he poured up a cup of sake and slid it over to White-dressed martial artist. Genma accepted the glass with a nod of thanks and started to sip down the content slowly, knowing that this would annoy the old man.

Issei knowing his friend's usual way of drinking sake was to gulp everything down and then pour himself another glass, before the information collected by the taste buds had reached the brain. This really irked him. Here he was an old guy without any source of excitement in his life, except for the occasional visit by his long time friend. Well, not really the visit, though he certainly found Genma amusing. No, it was the stories of adventure and excitement, most of them being glorified versions of reality, but still they brought some life into his old gloomy days. It wasn't long before he cracked.

"So tell me did anything interesting happen or was it just the same old?"

Genma started to look ill as he gulped down the last of his beverage, before placing the glass on the bar for a refill. "There were some accidents, but they are quite boring and I wouldn't dream of forcing you to listen to a young mans rambling."

Reading his friend's body language the old bartender came to the conclusion that something really interesting had taken place. Interesting as in "anther stupid stunt Genma Saotome style." If he just got kept on pouring up drinks, Genma would soon be drunk enough to revel even the most horrendous things that had taken place during his trip with master Happosai.

The white clad martial artist accepted the bottle offered to him and chugged it all down.

"It was close this time, really close," mumbled Genma as he put his bottle down,"it all started two weeks ago…"

The sun was high in the sky and the heat made the air ripple. No grass could be seen and crows were flying high in the sky, preparing for a feast. On the ground a man wearing a white dogi marched a man. A crutch in his hand and a brown bundle on his back contain a dark haired infant. Those poor wanderers hadn't had anything to eat for almost a week and now they were out of water. The brave father (remember this is Genma telling the story) had forgone their last piece of bread several days ago to the young baby and now he was screaming. The disgraces of fathering such an ungrateful son could not be described.

"What was that?" Genma was suddenly snapped out of his mental rant by the smell of something being grilled. Without realizing that he had just asked himself a question, the bald martial artist set out to find the source the wonderful smell.

A little further ahead another man with his child was preparing lunch. The fish being grilled over the small fire making it fairly obvious that this was the source of the smell. The little baby girl gurgled in her sleep and the big eared man reached over to pat her check.

Genma struggled on, closer and closer to the source of that sweet aroma of heavenly delights. Hills were climbed and plains crossed. Then suddenly there it was. A roasted fish on a stick along with a bowl filled to the brim with rice. There were even pickles. The starving martial artist drooled as his mind filled wit vivid images of him sinking his teeth into the crispy texture of the grilled fish. Wait a minute, what was that man doing to his lunch? Not eating it, right?

Mr. Daikoku was just about to begin his lunch, when he felt something off. Opening his eyes, which earlier had been closed in rapture, he saw something that definitely wasn't normal. A man dressed in a white dogi trying to lick his fish.

"What do you think you are doing, weirdo?"

Genma not prepared for the outburst, backed of a little, while contemplating what to do. Surely this man wouldn't mind sharing his lunch after hearing his tragic tale.

"A week without food I have wandered, not a grain of rice nor a drop of miso. I'm not begging name your price and I will pay it." The little bundle on his back made slight, obviously making it's displeasure at being wakened known.

"Say if that thing you have on your back is what I think it is, I might consider parting with my fish in exchange for him. You see I don't have an heir to the Dikoku style of martial arts, so I'll marry him to my Kaori and it will be happy ever after for the Daikokus."

Genma didn't need long to make up his mind, after all his son wouldn't like his father to be suffering, would he?

"You got a deal if you throw in the rice and the pickles too."

"So let's see if I got this right," Issei's right eyebrow twitched furiously. "You sold your son, whom isn't more than a couple of months old, for a fish and some rice? You are so dead if Nodoka ever finds out about this."

"Don't forget the pickles. Oh, the sweet taste of pickles, like ambrosia for a dying man," by now Genma was slurring his speech, obviously drunk as a skunk. Two empty bottles lay knocked over on the bar beside him and another one in his hands.

"Ok Genma, I'll make sure to remember the pickles," a slight chuckle could be heard from the older of the two men. "Just tell me how you got Ranma back?"

By now Genma looked kind of like a kicked puppy left all alone outside in the rain. "I didn't get him back," he sniffled out while tears went flying from his eyes, "My attempt to use a rope and a stick to get him back was foiled by the damn stick breaking."

"So who is he then?" Issei said while pointing towards the little toddler sleeping contently on the counter.

"That's my replacement Ranma, given to me from the heavens. As I wandered the woods thinking about how to tell Nodoka that I lost her son, he just appeared in front of me. There was a flash of bright light and then there he was. How lucky for me!"

Genma took another gulp of sake and went of on a tirade about how smart he was. Meanwhile little Ranma slept, not knowing what he had gotten himself into.

A couple of hours earlier in Ranma's home reality it was a beautiful day, birds were singing and small fuzzy animals playing. Nobody could have foretold that this day a tragedy would strike a family, the worst ting for years to come. Eventually it would be surpassed by greater things but today those things far away in the future wouldn't matter even if they could have some faint knowledge about what was coming. It all began this day. The Story of a boy that lost his little brother.

Still nothing of this had happened yet and the residences of the house were happy, in particular a proud big brother. He had been there minutes after his mother delivered the little bundle of joy into the world and he had most defiantly heard the little bugger first.

Uchiha Itachi smiled, fondly recalling the memories of the past weeks. He was a four year old prodigy in the ninja arts, respected by those in his own age group, friends or foes, even feared by some of the bullies that had brought his wrath upon themselves. All that was far away now, he was a loner, distanced from those of equal age by his blood and his ambition to be the best for his father and the family. So most of his time went to training or spending time with his parents or private teachers. It wasn't as if he didn't have any friends, he certainly did, but most of them were from within

Although even if he was busy with training or his father had important business, for the clan or the village, they had a weekly ritual of going down to the nearby lake for a picnic. His mother would prepare a basket full of tasty treats and they would sit down to eat in the cool shade of a willow. They would talk about the week that had passed, his father would whine about the idiots at work or his latest assignments, like any normal father, Itachi would describe how his training was progressing or if he had done anything special with his friends. The important thing was that he knew he was loved and he couldn't wait until he could bring his little brother down to the lake. Maybe he could teach him how to swim or they would practice their jutsus together, nothing would ever come between them.

The young ninja was brought out of his musings by the scream from the main house. Obviously his brother was hungry once again, he certainly did have a healthy apatite.

The four year old giggled slightly. This wasn't the time for thinking, after all it would be a long time until he got another chance as good as this to test out the cool jutsu he read about the day before his brother's birth. Both his parents had been at the doctor's office and he had been home alone. This meant that he had unrestricted access to the library. Normally he wasn't allowed into the section containing the scrolls with advanced techniques. During the years the Uchiha family, with the help of the copying ability of the sharingan, had accumulated a vast record of nin-jutsu and gen-jutsu. Usually Itachi was only allowed to read scrolls containing low to midlevel techniques, but this time he had snuck into the advanced parts.

The young boy's face lit up with glee as he recalled all the interesting and amazing things he had found stuffed away in old scrolls, long forgotten by the outside world.

The technique he finally decided on was one that formed a mind bond between the user and the recipient. This would greatly benefit him in his self appointed task of protecting his little brother. The bond would give him a general idea about how his brother was feeling as well as where he was at the moment.

Now the only thing he had to do was to wait for his mother to finish up feeding the baby. The little one usually slept after getting fed and that was when he would put his plan in motion.

A mischievous twinkle shown in his eyes, Itachi slowly sneaked towards his brother's cradle.

Everything had gone off without a hitch, nobody had interrupted him and he had been able to execute an advanced technique flawlessly. Itachi was giddy with pride in himself as he skipped down the hallway. In the back of his head a little bundle of emotions.
Author's notes: My first published attempt at fanfiction. This idea has been harassing me for months and I just had to write it. I know that this prologue is really vague and that it basically leaves the reader with lots of questions. Basically Ranma is living with the Dikokus and an unnamed Uchiha baby has taken his place.

About the mind bond thingy, think about the warder bond from "Wheel of Time" and you basically got it.

So did you like it or hate it? Are there lot of spelling and grammar errors or does my way of writing bother you? If so please let me know, after all I am writing this to improve my English and to provide others and myself with enjoyment.