Disclaimer: I don't own this series or any other series. I am just floating an idea. I am making no money, nor plan to, off this venture. If you think of suing me over this, then grow up.
I would like to first personally thank all of those reviewing my stories. I enjoy reading your comments, and try to correct the grammatical errors I miss with my final read-through as well as my spell checkers. The suggestions you all make will help make this story better for everyone to enjoy, as well as allow my to fix some plot holes I may unintentionally leave. If you find any, let me know, and I will correct them and repost the chapters.
I find that if I let thinks sit for a while in my head; I can play them out farther. Plus by trying and keeping my chapters between 2500 and 3000+ words, it helps keep me from making the story slide out of control, turning a diamond to a pile of shit.
Please feel free to review, and make comments. If you find a spelling or wordage mistake, feel free to let me know. Thank you.
Also, please check out my other stories. I try to keep a constant level of dedication to all of them.
Thanks to my proofreader, Howard. Without him, my stories would definitely have a lower quality to them.
I wrote this story to get it out of my head, as well as deal with the Chibi-Usa/Ranma/Hotaru match-up that I picked up from Meaning of Life by Kuraiko Kurohoshi. A great and funny story you should read if you have the time.
They all assume it's so easy. They all assume I'm the way they expect me to be.
Why can't they ever ask me?
Ranma was returning to Nerima after a week long training trip, his large backpack holding his gear and his family's sword at his side. His mother had been very…persistent…that he learn to use the sword. Going as far as delaying his training trip two days to show him all of the kata she knew for it.
Granted, after Saffron he knew the wisdom that, just because you were the best with the weapon of flesh, did not mean there was no enemy whom you couldn't defeat.
Besides, with Happosai occasionally summoning demons to send after him for "ruining an old man's harmless fun", he felt it best to have something to use against the demons that he couldn't touch without losing a limb.
If she would have simply waited a few seconds more, I would have asked her to show me that stuff. But no…she had to tell me that I was learning her family art and that was final. She never asked me.
Not that I'm surprised. When has anyone asked me what I wanted?
But that was what it always came down to. He was the one always expected to make all of the concessions. If Akane flew off the handle for no reason, he was expected to apologize. If the others girls jumped him, he was expected to be friendly and apologize to the Tendos for "cheating on his rightful fiancée". His mother and father harped on him about upholding family honor, but they expected him to deal with the problems they themselves created.
Ukyo expected him to marry her and give up martial arts to run her restaurant. Shampoo expected him to accept their marriage by laws he had no idea about and return to China as a docile husband: a second-class citizen.
The Kunos. The Kunos each expected him to either willingly marry them or die painfully, depending on the form he was currently in. The less said about them, the better. Hell, he was almost certain one of his parents would try and engage either of his forms to the correct Kuno. After all, they were rich—which would convince his father—and he could see his mother stating that Tatewaki would give her many grandchildren.
Ranma tried to suppress a shiver. That nightmare he received when Kuno proclaimed his love for the "tree-borne kettle girl" ranked in the top three, right there with the Neko-ken training and…and…
Okay, so there were more nightmares then could fit in a top three list.
But he was sane now. He was fighting his inner demons. He had spent the last few months since the failed wedding studying. In that time, he discovered many things his father and the old ghoul had tried to keep him ignorant of.
For starters, Jusenkyo never held a cure. The springs would only combine the curses, much like they did for Pantyhose Taro. There were many ways to lock or unlock a curse. If a magical artifact was used, its counterpart had to exist. If one was destroyed, so was the other, which meant instant unlocking. Hell, he found out that some cursed victims had an increased life span, as long as the curse remained unlocked. There was even a benefit as well: switching from one form to another would heal most internal injuries in the former form, as long as he remained in the second form for at least half an hour. Well, that explains why I felt so much better when Ryoga changed me into a girl when I was fighting the Golden Pair. Finally, no cure for Jusenkyo had ever been found. So in all likelihood, he would be cursed for the rest of his life.
Well, at least he wasn't so pissed now at losing that cask at the wedding.
Then there were the Amazon laws that Shampoo and Cologne kept trying to force down his throat. Imagine his surprise when he discovered that both kisses from Shampoo had no power over him. Her Kiss of Death when he first met her was void because the fight had been declared for a prize, not a symbol of battle. Since it was for the food he and his worthless father had eaten, Shampoo had no legal standing to give that kiss. Hell, she had more obligation to get him—then her—to join the tribe. The first Kiss of Marriage was also void because Shampoo had attacked someone else. Since it wasn't declared as a battle for marriage, it never counted. Hell, when she was under the effects of the Reversal Jewel, that one never counted as well, seeing as how both participants could not be under the effect of any magic at the time of a challenge.
Basically, he was free, and there was nothing Cologne could do about it. He had spent several hours going over that literature in the library and online to ensure the old ghoul wouldn't raise some obscure law to quash his appeal.
Then there was the Nekoken. Imagine his surprise when he discovered that, while the technique was ancient, it was meant to be done after months of mental preparation by the trainee. It was also meant to be followed by constant observation, and more months of getting the individual past his fears of cats, so as to access the technique by will. Had his idiot of a father bothered to research the technique before using it, right now Ranma would be a full master of it. As things stood now, he would have to spend twice as long as the first trainees ever did to overcome the fear and make the Nekoken his to control, if he was lucky. So far, he had gotten himself to the point that he could look at pictures of cats without cringing. But that only shaved a month off his time table. But still, he would have complete control before he turned eighteen.
And finally, there were his marriage agreements. He was happy to say they were voided as well. When Genma had sold him for food when he was a baby, Ranma legally was no longer a Saotome from that point on. When they defeated Kaori, he won his freedom from that family, as was agreed to before the Takeout Race. Any promises by Genma Saotome for him had no meaning, including seppuku agreements. He was free to choose who he married now.
But did he want to choose Akane?
While true, he did tell her he loved her at Mt. Phoenix and, for the most part, he was willing to marry her when they were being forced into it, her attitude lately had begun to worsen. She had returned to attacking him for perceived misdeeds, never hearing his side of the story. It had only taken a few days before the Fiancée Brigade had returned to seek his attentions with a vengeance.
And of course, Soun and his parents only yelled at him that he should tell them off and stick with Akane.
Like Akane ever gave me a chance.
That wasn't true. He knew that. She was nice a few times, but her anger was making it harder and harder for Ranma to care about her. At this point, he was just about willing to return the sword and keep on walking. He had a way out for himself, even if it would hurt those that claimed to care about him, and he was quickly approaching the point where he would use it.
After all, why should he take measures to keep others happy when they refused to take the same measures for his happiness?
Normally, Ranma tried his best to keep everyone happy. He was more than willing to be friends with those who attacked him...who laid claim to him like a trophy. But after a while, even the most hopeful will stop giving chances.
Those people were slowly killing any attachment he had to them, and Ranma was getting ready to cut the cords the rest of the way. His mother had seriously frayed her cord in the short time he had known her. First was the seppuku contract, followed by how she frowned whenever he was in his cursed form, followed by her own hand in the wedding, followed by her joining the other parents in blaming him for not telling the other girls he wouldn't marry them—but oh, it was okay with her if they became mistresses.
Once again, never bothering to ask him what he thought or how he felt about the situation.
But at least the training trip had gone well—better than what he originally feared when he informed his family. Soun and Genma had told him he should take Akane with him, but his mother turned that down, saying that her son would be practicing her family's art. Genma was about to yell out his much hated view of weapons, but she silenced him with a look—one Ranma had finally managed to perfect in his girl form, but had yet to find the appropriate counter for in his male form.
But once again, she simply told him he would be doing it, not asking him if he wanted to.
But the week had not been a total bust. He got the chance to work on some moves he had seen on those anime shows Nabiki was always watching. From that Dragonball show, Ranma had learned a pure ki attack; the Kamehameha Wave, as well as the idea for a flight technique that was better then Herb's. For that one, he simply encased himself in a light ki field that made his body extremely light, and used a combination of mini-vortexes and altering the field's density to move about in the air. It was definitely less draining on his ki reserves than Herb's technique. He had been able to circle the main island of Japan before he had to return home. He figured, in a few more months, he would easily be able to circle the globe, since he didn't have to worry too much about wind resistance inside his field.
From the Yu-Yu Hakusho show, he even managed to make the Spirit Gun work and a variation since he still couldn't pull off that Shotgun attack: the Ten Gun Salute, which was basically multiple blasts out of each finger tip. Now he had a great weapon against those demons he always seemed to run across. And to think, my old man always said those Shinto priests didn't know what the hell they were talking about. That Soul Energy is just as potent as my ki energy.
Not that he could use them. If he showed how easily the Kamehameha could plow through Ryoga's chi attack, the little pig would just blame Ranma, get depressed, and probably hurt someone. And then Cologne would try even harder to catch Ranma for the tribe, more as a teacher, but still mainly for breeding stock, with Shampoo at the head of the line. Hell, his old man and Akane would demand he teach them as well, and blame him when they failed.
Hell, striking out on his own was looking more and more favorable compared to staying with these people, a feeling that increased as the distance to go decreased.
Was it even worth it anymore?
The Tendo home was bustling with activity. Kasumi and Nodoka were in the kitchen preparing a meal since Ranma was due back soon. The two fathers were playing another game of Go, talking about how to get the schools joined yet again. Nabiki was in her room, planning on what outfits she would need Ranma to pose in for new pictures. Akane was breaking bricks, upset that Ranma hadn't taken her on the training trip, as well as being banned from the kitchen when she wanted to help cook as well.
Everything was normal...well, as normal as Nerima ever gets.
Of course, a small gnome of a man named Happosai was not acting normal. He had been upset that Ranma had left after kicking him for insisting his student should wear the "silkie darlings" he had …procured…for him. After all, he should gladly do it to please his master.
Ranma had slapped Happosai away and burned said articles.
So now, the perverted little man was searching through his pilfered magical artifacts looking for something that could teach his wayward student a lesson that he should never question his betters.
The demons he had previously summoned had been utter failures. The boy had always managed to eliminate them, leaving him still well off enough to handle the perverted grandmaster of Anything Goes. He needed a spell to summon something big, mean, and quick enough to teach Ranma that he should never question his master.
But, for once, Happosai had a problem. He had used every scroll, every item to summon something. They were all useless now, as the particular demon or creature they summoned was dead.
"This'll never do. I need somethin' to teach the boy some respect."
It was then he spotted one last scroll, still sealed with wax. Cracking the seal, he opened it, noticing how it was an all-purpose spell to create a portal and draw a creature through who would be what the summoner needed.
Not bothering to finish studying the spell, Happosai rolled it back up, an evil glint in his eye. This…is…perfect.
By the time Ranma arrived at the front of the dojo, he was seriously scared. Throughout his journey back to the Tendo Dojo, he had not been splashed, glomped, assaulted, poisoned, tricked, blasted, felt up, or even noticed.
Anything that should have happened to him…didn't.
It was safe to say his danger instincts were screaming at him, his anxiety reaching "I just shit myself" levels.
I know this will end badly. It always ends badly when it's calm, and this is the calmest I have seen things. He had been hiding outside the dojo for ten minutes, waiting to hear a bicycle ringing, an evil laugh, butchered poetry, a proclamation that he should prepare to die or release some girl, a cackle of an elderly woman, or the bucket of a perverted old man.
After ten minutes, nothing had happened.
Now he was beyond being scared shitless. Every sense and instinct in his often battered body was yelling at him to keep on walking, to come back tomorrow, or the next day, or just move to Tibet and sit on a mountain waiting for an endless stream of idiots to ask him for the meaning of life.
Five minutes later…
Ranma had just finished writing his Last Will and Testament. He was requesting to be cremated and scattered to the winds from atop Mt. Fuji, his goods given to his mother, and all debt and dishonor placed in his name to his father.
He also wrote out his true opinions of everyone. Not like he cared what they thought of him after he died. Besides, once he was dead, he really could care less what happened to his body, not like he would need it.
Taking in a deep breath, followed by murmuring a quick prayer for a quick and painless death, followed by cursing out whatever deity or demon seemed to enjoy making his life a living hell, he made his way inside.
In his head, Ranma could only hear one phrase repeated: Dead Man Walking.
The meal had gone off quite well. Ranma ate his food at a normal pace, easily breaking his father's chopsticks whenever he tried to steal his food, only answering questions with a concise yes or no answer, and generally looking around.
Of course, even inaction in Ranma's case can start trouble.
"Oh my, Ranma. Why are you so nervous?"
"WAH! HE'S FINALLY GOING TO PROPOSE AND MARRY MY DAUGHTER!"
"About time, boy! Come, Tendo. Let's prepare the wedding."
"I'm not going to marry that pervert!"
"Son, how was the sword training? I know you will be flawless when we practice tonight. You'll be so manly."
"Don't get too injured, Saotome. We still have a photo shoot for tonight."
It was this time everyone turned towards where Ranma had been sitting. All that remained were several empty plates. No one there noticed our favorite pigtailed martial artist making his way to the perimeter wall, backpack on his back, sword at his side, eyes scanning everywhere to locate where this deadly attack would come from.
I should have just kept on walking; I should have just stayed in the woods for another few weeks. But noooo, I just had to come home. Now I did it, this is the day I die. Probably by something stupid, like I'll be found dead from a crushed skull after a flower pot hits me from above. That sounds about right: the man who defeated a god, killed by a five pound clump of pottery.
"Where do ya think you're going, m' boy?"
Ranma stood up straight, drawing the sword from its sheath. "I really don't have time for you, old letch. Go bother someone who gives a damn."
"How dare you disrespect your master!"
"How many times I gotta tell you, you ain't my master. You never were, you never will be, and I ain't going to bow to you like those cowards. I've beat you enough times to deserve the title of Grandmaster, but I could care less. Now leave me the hell alone before I reduce your height by half." Ranma held the sword at a ready position, waiting for Happosai to either summon something or launch one of his firework attacks.
Happosai only smiled, pulling out a scroll and saying a final set of words. "I now summon a creature capable of defeating this impudent child." With that, a blue portal opened, drawing out a creature of sickening appearance.
Well, anyone outside of Nerima might get sick. Ranma, however, had faced off against Akane's cooking, and this creature didn't even look like he had half the firepower those things did.
Ranma simply smiled and placed the sword back in its sheath. This thing had little in the way of power—Akane's fried chicken looked more deadly, and that had to be fought with chi attacks, since it stayed boiling hot. "Is this the best you could summon, Happi? Looks like you finally went senile."
Happosai only jumped down beside the monster, not bothering to look at what sort of powers it had. In his haste to summon it, he had forgotten something: magic tends to follow the simplest path. When he had said "impudent child," the magic looked for the worst child there. Since Ranma was a man of honor, it looked for the next closest child who it might be referring to.
Which of course happened to be Akane.
This creature could only defeat Akane.
Ranma was so going to kick its ass.
The monster just stared at Ranma, noticing how much life energy this person had. If it could bring it back to its masters, it would be greatly rewarded. Lashing a quick chain around Ranma, the creature hopped back through the portal, knowing that the portal itself would drag Ranma through.
A sudden jerk forward was all the warning he got. When the chain had surrounded him, he was about to laugh. Ryoga's iron cloth technique had a stronger hold than this weak chain. But the sudden pull was more intense than he was prepared for. The only good from it he had was, while he was being pulled towards wherever that thing had come from, he knocked the scroll from Happosai's hands.
But his luck remained constant. The scroll hit the edge of the portal, where normal space met warped space, and exploded in a ball of fire and ash.
Ranma didn't even have time to curse the kami again before the portal enveloped him, closing the instant he was through.
In Asgard, a certain Kami was watching the screen detailing the recent events occurring to his favorite toy. Loki loved the mischief that his toy provided. Hell, many gods and demons paid him quite well for video footage of Ranma's life. The Ranma ½ series was a best seller on both sides.
But his toy just vanished without a trace.
"This…is not a good thing."
"LOKI, COME TO KAMI-SAMA'S OFFICE, SO SAY I."
Loki immediately paled. "And this is definitely a bad sign."
In a park in another universe, on another Earth, two friends were sitting on a bench, enjoying the sunset. These two had been friends for a few years now, helping each grow up in a little way, spanning time itself to stay together.
But like all of their friends, they had one problem.
"Usa, I really need to find a boyfriend."
Her pink haired companion simply turned towards her. "You think you got it bad? Since mom met dad when she was fourteen, she's spent the last two years trying to set me up with just about every noble known to Crystal Tokyo. They're either too fat, too stuck up, too hungry for power, or just want to get into my pants. Trust me, Hotaru, no attention is just as bad as too much attention. I finally had to convince Puu that if I didn't come back here to get away from all that, I might become a danger to the continuation of Crystal Tokyo."
Hotaru looked at her. "How'd you do that?"
Usa smiled. "I simply said I either go back, or I'll start blowing shit up."
Hotaru's eyes immediately doubled in size. "You really wouldn't do that, would you?"
Usa just shook her head. "Trust me; if Haruka and Michiru tried to set you up with losers like my mom did, you'd be ready to level a city or two, yourself."
Hotaru could only shake her head. She tried to imagine what she'd do if she was set up with guys like those bullies at school, and internally cringed. Hell, if she was forced to marry someone like that, it was safe to assume that Earth was on a countdown.
"I got an idea!"
Hotaru turned to her friend. "Okay, I'm game. What is it?"
"Well, how about we find a guy in this time. Then he can be both our consorts."
"Um, is that legal?"
Usa continued to smile. "Sure. I mean, Minako and Makato have several consorts each. I hear the guys are always tired and usually in the hospital for some reason. There are even rumors that they have their consorts collared so they can't leave the grounds. And Mom, Dad, and Rei have their 'special parties' that I'm not supposed to know about. I figure that between the two of us, we should be able to find the perfect guy. Then when I return to Crystal Tokyo, we'll have our King, and we'll always have our best friend with us."
"But won't he be just a normal human?"
She had to frown at that. "Yeah, I suppose so. But there has to be a way. I mean, Ami's husband has been alive for close to a hundred years, and he isn't grey or wrinkly or anything. I figure we could ask Puu. She should know what to do."
"I suppose." Hotaru was trying to work this through in her head. It sounded like a good idea. Between the two of them, surely they could find the perfect man for them. Someone who wouldn't be afraid of the power they wielded, someone who wasn't looking for a way into their pants, someone who would respect them and fight for them; but with a little more effort than they tended to see from Mamoru.
Basically, they both wanted to find someone who would love them for who they were, not what they were.
Hotaru nodded her head. Damn, it must be bad if we're considering sharing a guy. But they do say a good man is hard to find; why hold out for the rotten ones?
Usa bowed her head, motioning for Hotaru to do the same. "Oh, kami that controls destiny. Please grant our request and deliver unto us a man who shall be our husband, the dream that we both wish him to be."
They both looked up to see a new monster not more than thirty meters away. Hotaru was the first to respond, looking up towards the heavens. "That's not funny, damn it!"
They hopped behind the bench and ran into the woods, changing quickly to Sailor Saturn and Neo Sailor Moon. They returned in time to see a blue portal open and pull the monster through.
The two only stared in shock. "O…kay. I may be new to fighting the bad guys like the rest of you, but don't they usually stay and fight?"
Saturn scratched her head. "I don't think they've ever done that before. I'm not even certain if we should report this."
They stood for a few more minutes, debating what to do about the still-open portal. The monster then reappeared, dragging a chained human behind him, and the portal slammed shut. The captive looked like he had seen better days.
Ranma, however, was in severe pain. While the monster had had no problems going through the portal, he had felt like his body had been nearly ripped apart. His ki shield was all that allowed him to even have conscious thought at the moment. Where before he had seen a monster who was hardly any threat to him, his trip across whatever that portal crossed had left him nearly defenseless. Damn it, I barely have the energy to stand, let alone break these damn chains.
He barely focused long enough to witness some girl in a cheerleader outfit cut the chains holding him with a huge pole arm. As the chains fell and he began to fade into unconsciousness, he raised his finger and aimed at the monster, hoping he had enough strength to finish it off before it could hurt anyone. "SPIRIT GUN!"
Damn my pride. From now on, I finish things off quickly.
With that thought, Ranma Saotome passed into blissful unconsciousness, away from the pain and away from reality.
Saturn had lashed out with her pole arm, cutting the chain holding the new human who had arrived, hoping she could hold off the monster—daimon, youma…whatever—until the others could arrive. She had barely turned around when she heard the new man speak.
She watched as a blue ball of energy leapt from his finger, slamming into the monster and evaporating it, before he himself fell to the ground, out cold.
Rushing over to him, she and Neo Moon examined him, checking to see if he was still breathing. Looking around, the two Sailor Senshi touched the boy and teleported away to the only likely safe spot they knew: Hotaru's home.
Somewhere, in a universe far, far away; a certain tomboy drew out her mallet and smashed her father, screaming "RANMA NO BAKA!" She wasn't really certain why.
Kuno, Ryoga, and Mousse were huddled in a small room inside the palace of Crystal Tokyo. They had successfully managed to hide for the last hour, but time was running out. They continued to whisper among themselves.
"Verily, thou swore to us thee could remove our tortured selves from this…painful prison."
"Hey, it ain't my fault I can't get lost in here. They did somethin' to me. Hey, Mousse. Could you hide us in your fold space, change into your cursed form, and get us out of here?"
"Can't. They set up some field so we can't take our cursed forms here. It's also what keeps us from using our abilities outside of…their rooms."
The three men shivered.
Suddenly, the door burst open, revealing a blond and a brunette, each wearing leather outfits. The blond held a whip in her hands, while the brunette held a riding crop.
Minako smiled. "There you boys are. You've been very bad. First you remove your collars, and now we find you trying to escape. Naughty, naughty."
Makato purred. "I think they need more…punishment."
The three men could only think of one thing to say. "RANMA SAOTOME, THIS IS ALL YOUR FAULT! BECAUSE OF YOU, WE'VE SEEN HELL!"
Outside the palace, a certain pigtailed martial artist smiled while drinking his tea. That'll teach them to attack me all the time.
And best of all, nobody important got hurt.
OMAKE 2! As suggested by my proofreader, Howard.
Ranma confronted the two senshi. "So what you're saying is you want me to be with both of you? The three of us together?"
Usa glanced over at Hotaru. "Well, uh...not all three of us at one time. I mean, I love Hotaru but I can't see myself with another girl like that."
Hotaru nodded in agreement.
"Better get used to it," onna-Ranma said in her bitter soprano.
No one saw the two adopted parents of Hotaru looking in through the doorway, licking their lips. A look passed between them.
Yes, Ranma would not be getting away from the house of the Outers.
If I messed anything up, then let me know including typos.
Any suggestions on how I should continue the story or improve it would also be accepted.