End Series Notes
Roll closing credits to Baba O'Riley – The Who
The Best of Times originally started out as two aborted attempts at fukufic's original request. With these, I never got more than a few pages in before realizing just how derivative they were, especially after I started checking out the Ranma-Sm Xover scene in depth. First we started out with Standard Fuku Plot #2: Ranma loses memory, fights for love, justice and angst. Second came SFP #6: Ranma meets Setsuna, falls for time bitch therapy session.
See? The originality was just pouring from them.
So we tabled them both and went for the prank war, which I'm proud to say you've all made wildly successful. Thank you for the 75K+ ffnet hit traffic, 650+ reviews, 20 c2s, 193 alerts, 203 favs and crashing my homepage by exceeding its 5gb traffic limit. You people rock.
It should also be noted that I couldn't have done this without a lot of support, or at least not nearly as well. While there are too many people to name, just pop into Fukufics irc. Those people are the series credits right there. Prior to this fic, my knowledge of Sailor Moon was absolutely zero. I am not exaggerating. Without the cast of fukufics (dotcom), this story would have been harder to write and several magnitudes less enjoyable.
And since you all rock so much, we're going out with a bang. Outlined below are the first two aborted attempts at this work, along with a preview of Ah My Ranma ½, which I'll be hitting hard now that this is out of the way. They're raw and unedited, but here it is.
stuff is rough and incomplete for obvious reasons.
All Be All
Aborted Fukufic Attempt, take one.
It was The Plan. The Perfect Plan. The Plan to End All Plans. Shampoo rolled the red capsules around between her fingers with a devious smile. Granted, it had taken a severe stomping of Pink and Link to gain their secrets, but the deed was done and the only thing that remained was its execution. She stared at her newly acquired implements of change. Contained therein was a soporific that when inhaled would dissolve the bonds of friendship within a person's very brain. Not simply dissolve, but annihilate. It would break down those tentative links in the mind, leaving nearly everything else intact. Sure there would be some side effects Shampoo realized, but they were now considered negligible compared to the gains. Among them were dry mouth, nausea and headaches… Oh, and the acute loss of minor details such as ones own name, birthplace and other minutia. For her immediate plan of action, it meant that Ranma would most likely forget her and possibly even his own name, but it was an acceptable risk when balanced with the potential gain of having a completely unbiased Ranma to shape and mold as her friend and eventual lover.
She counted the capsules again. Eight. There was a reason she had made the extras and it was because poisoning Ranma alone would be an exercise in futility. She was going to saturate the entire Tendo compound with the airborne agent in order to ensure nobody remembered or came looking for him after they had gone back to China. First the Tendos then that silly spatula girl. It was a much more elegant solution than Plan B. After all, the amount of bloodletting Plan B involved would undoubtedly attract the kind of attention that she and great grandmother were looking to avoid. Fun? Most definitely. Efficient? Sadly, no. Shampoo rolled the capsules around between her fingers once more before dropping them into a silk pouch.
It was time to kick ass and take memories.
By any measure it had been a good day for Ranma Saotome, heir to the Anything Goes School of Martial Arts. Which is to say it had actually been a very bad one. He had come to realize early on that any good day for him meant that there was a woeful imbalance of karma in the universe and that sooner or later his person would be used as the conduit to bring into balance in a most unpleasant manner. Akane was happy today, which was a bad sign. She had even been humming on their way to school, which by Ranma's standard was the herald to the four horsemen of the apocalypse. He had not been splashed once by cold water, which probably meant the seas would be overflowing with blood soon enough and Nabiki even gave him a pass today. Ranma was certain if he looked up into the sky he would not only find a total eclipse of the sun, but a burning two hundred mile wide meteor poised to smite all of mankind for its trespasses. Or maybe it was just all in his head. After all, it's only paranoia if nobody is out to get you.
He was almost relieved to find out Akane was cooking since Kasumi was on a date with Doc Tofu. Ranma would take his punishment like a man and karma would be brought back into alignment for nothing more than a stomachache and a week's worth of indigestion. It was a fair compromise in his opinion. Better him take the karma bullet than watch as all of civilization collapsed around him simply because he couldn't take Akane's cooking. Of course, sometimes it fought back harder than Ryoga, but then the life of a martial artist is fraught with peril, right?
A smiling Akane sat the dish down in front of him and Ranma knew he was in trouble. She had mentioned that she was making chow mein and what was on the plate actually looked like chow mein. His sense of dread grew exponentially at the realization that she had actually cooked something that bore a superficial resemblance to its namesake. All eyes were on him of course, being the official Tendo sacrificial lamb. He was their canary in the coalmine, because if he keeled over the food was toxic and not to be touched under any circumstances by the rest of the family. In fact, his fits of agony would probably provide them with the perfect distraction in order to escape the evil daughter's culinary masochism. Ranma steeled himself and took the first bite of noodles. His life flashed before his eyes and he knew it with certainty…
They were all gonna die.
It would be a sick and painful death, undoubtedly riddled with screaming torture and anguish. It would be suffering on a magnitude never before seen, unimaginable in its scope. And just how did Ranma Saotome know such a hideous fate awaited him? Quite easily, actually.
The food was good.
AN- This scene was so good that I just had to reuse it in tBoT pt.2
The wall caved easily and a purple haired SS shock trooper stepped through the improvised doorway and into the Tendo living room. It was almost a hilarious sight for them if it hadn't happened so suddenly and destructively. She was clad in her standard lavender silk attire with rich purple locks hanging around… A gas mask? The device was of World War Two vintage and its rubber and hosed molding contrast sharply with her usual dressed to kill ensemble. One hand held a single festively colored bonbori while the other a silk pouch.
The day's pressure coiled and snapped inside Ranma with instantly realization-- Karma had come home to roost. His body went to high alert and adrenaline poured wholesale through his body in response to the new threat. Normally Shampoo by herself wouldn't have warranted the DEFCON one reaction, but today had been a good day and he somehow had identified the Amazon as the catalyst that would lead to the end of the world as he knew it. Ki discharged into his system and his battle aura snapped to life. Ranma was off the table and sliding into a combat stance before even being consciously aware of the fact. All of this happened within seconds and it gave Shampoo reason to pause. Did he know! She was less than a minute into the operation and it was already in jeopardy!
For his part, Ranma Saotome had no idea, but there was one thing he did know and it was that the karma sledge hammer was on its downward stroke. For everything else Ranma was, he was a genius. It didn't show in his grades. Or his social skills. But it did in battle and the tactical computer that was his brain snapped into place, immediately identifying the silk pouch as the greatest threat in the room. There was a reason the Amazon had forced an entry, just like there was a reason she sacrificed offensive power in favor of the pouch. There was no way of knowing what it contained, but it was important to drop a single bonbori from her normal pair and don a freakin' gasmask. A small part of Ranma couldn't help but to noted the irony. He had been expecting the biological warfare threat from Akane's cooking tonight.
No turning back, Shampoo thought as she steeled herself for the engagement. All she did was have to get one solid hit and the cloud of spores would take care of the rest. Her fingers dug into pouch and drew the first red capsule. Her thumb flipped the capsule and it streaked into Ranma at high speed who realized two things at once—First, a gas mask meant an airborne threat. Second, the family was still at his back and vulnerable. Ranma took a quick step back and kicked the dinner table vertical with the back of his heel while hardening the battle aura around him. The red capsule scored a direct hit, but detonated off the aura instead of his body. A clouds of pink smoke erupted around him and Ranma flashed the aura, vaporizing the atmosphere in his immediate vicinity. The upturned table took the brunt of the flash and scorched the lamination, but kept the family safe.
"Shampoo, you don't--
"Shampoo have Airen, nobody else!" She declared and launched three more capsules simultaneously, each rebounding off his aura, bursting and flash vaporized within seconds. The Amazon scowled. Four more left and her odds of success were dropping with each one spent. Direct strikes against her Airen were out of the question, she realized. He would just keep vaporizing the clouds before they had a chance to infect anybody and she would lose. Not only would she lose, but they would remember who had made the hole in their wall and send the bill to the Neko Han Ten. Maybe even make her pay for the charred table that the rest of the family was hiding behind now. Not good. She would have to hope for proximity strikes then. She'd rather have direct impacts, but her last four capsules should saturate the room with enough spores to do the job against everybody at once. Shampoo's thumb flipped out again and the last four capsules shot out, each aimed at a different part of the room.
She didn't have a chance. Maybe if Ranma had been unprepared or otherwise distracted, the tactic would have worked. Today wasn't that day, if only because he had been expecting karmatic justice to rain from the sky to crush him at any moment. Ki fuel his next movements and his hands flew out at Chestnut Fist speeds to intercept the projectiles. None of the four capsules found their marks as they were snatched out of the air by Ranma's hands and buffered by his aura to prevent their detonation. Ranma took a moment to examine his red capsules before giving Shampoo a long look.
"Don't suppose you want to explain these, huh?"
Shampoo let the bambori fall to the ground in equal parts amazement and disgust. Her mask came off as well. The perfect plan had failed! How? How had he know? She fell to her knees and began to sob. There were few things that could have cracked Ranma's armor at that point. His body was ki fortified. His reflexes were lightening enhanced. He had the offensive firepower of a battalion of tanks. But one thing he didn't have was the stomach to watch a girl suffer a total mental breakdown in front of him, especially one he considered a friend. …Well, most of the time, at least.
"Aw, come on! Don't do that!" Ranma complained and walked over to tearful Amazon. Besides, it wasn't as if she was a threat any longer. If the karmatic sledgehammer was still out there, it wouldn't be coming from Shampoo.
"WHAT ARE DOING!" Akane raged, popping her head up from behind the charred table. She stood up and stomped over to Ranma. "She almost killed us!"
"Don't 'look Akane' me!" She yelled, her rage building in fine form. "She just tried to assassinate me and here you are playing kiss and make-up!" Ranma's eyes widened as she pulled a familiar shape from behind her back.
"Can you give it a rest for once, Tomboy!" Ranma gasped. He had too much stress, adrenalin and crisis to deal with for one day to even think about checking the more inflammatory words in his vocabulary.
With a mighty swing of her mallet-- the very instrument of the Universe's karmatic justice – Ranma was 'go' for liftoff.
Ranma Saotome, heir to the Anything Goes School of Martial Arts found his ballistic arc across the Tokyo skyline rudely interrupted by the ground as he proceeded to turn a nice fifteen-foot patch of grassy park into cratered rubble. The sudden plume of dirt and rock had been expected as he braced for impact, maxing out his ki buffering abilities for the sudden stop. What hadn't been expected was the pink fog that erupted with the plume and Ranma choked on both as he struggled to come to his senses. He climbed out of his six-foot deep crater hacking and spitting dirt while a wave of nausea rippled through his body.
Damn, she musta hit me harder than I thought, Ranma thought, finally stepping out on to undisturbed park grass. Wait… She? He struggled to put a name to the memory fragment without success. Another wave of nausea dizzied him. 'She' was how I got here… But how…? Ranma found himself staring at his hands for some reason, watching pieces of four red capsule shells drift away with the evening breeze. That should mean something to me, he thought. How had he gotten here again? A few drops of rain began to patter her and there as he brooded over his fate.
A scream pierced the evening air followed by an unnatural howl. Suddenly the memories took a back seat to the here and now as Ranma's pushed his aura back up through the exaustion. God, I'm tired… A crash echoed across the park and he fought off the darkeness that tried to claim him. He had stumbled to a sidewalk and saw it… The 'It' in question had a slimy pinkish skin and looked vaguely humanoid; Almost like a human female if one were feeling generous with the descriptive. Its arms ended in long foot long razor fingertips and it was using them with startling efficiency, cutting down victims left and right. Another scream cried out but this one was much younger than the others. She couldn't have been more than eight years old. Blackness threatened to claim Ranma again as he watched the pink un-woman lock on to the girl cowering in the park bushes. The beast lumbered over to her and it triggered the one thing Ranma Saotome could remember even as his memories faded from the world—The first duty of a martial artist was to protect those unable to protect themselves.
The price was non-negotiable.
"Kijin Raishü Dan !"
The beast suddenly found its groping arm cleaved into a stump as two vacuum blades sliced through the pink appendage that sought out the terrified girl. It wasn't so much pain than shock that cause the female parody to turn away from its intended victim and over to the newcomer. The youma's primitive brain comprehended only two things as it assessed the new threat. First, it was dangerous and thus a priority. Second, it had exactly what the master required. The creature began its stumbling charge and was greeted by a Moko Takabisha , pink bits of flesh burning away from its demonic frame. It staggered, but continued to advance…
Ranma dodge the remaining arm and went hand to hand. Even if his reaction times left something to be desired, he was moving on instinct alone and it kept him one step ahead of the aggressor as he opened up its guard and unleashed a pulverizing combo into the youma's torso. He could feel the hate roil from its being and something clicked. It wasn't heated ki, but it was close enough to satisfy The Dragon. Ranma took a step back to set up the spiral and was treated to another crushing wave of nausea while more of his brain shut down. His guard faltered and the remaining claw plowed in, snapping around his head like a vice. Ranma could feel it sucking down the ki through a link the monster had established. He had once chance. The martial artist activated the Soul of Ice and concentrated the technique into his fist with his last remaining seconds.
"Hiryu Hyu-Toppa !"
The whirlwind unleashed.
A sliver of awareness penetrated the darkness as it registered the light concussive patter of rain on the body it was only now dimly aware of. More strands of awareness joined the first more and more complex information began to circulate, such as pain. Pain in every muscle and every bone. A throbbing pain in her head and another in her chest. She cracked an eye open, only to have a droplet run down into it, causing her to blink furiously. She tested her muscles and joints on reflex and was rewarded with pain. Yes it was painful, but everything appeared to be working. Why would she be in pain? She forced both eyes open this time, noticing her view of the world consisting of grass and dirt. A shiver ran down her spine and her limbs wearily obeyed her bidding, propping her up off the cold, wet earth. The blur that was her vision began to clear and she tried to take stock of the situation, even as a migraine racked her brain.
Okay, so it's a park, she thought and scanned her surroundings. Well it feels familiar, but what am I doing here? She plumbed the depths of her brain for the information and found it sorely lacking in its ability to cooperate. The questions beginning with Who, Where and Why also came up empty, and it wasn't long before she began to expand that list of just how much she didn't know. For instance, she knew she was a consummate martial artist but had no idea of who trained her or where that training took place. She could cook. Liked to cook even. Who she actually cooked for was a bit beyond her grasp at the moment. Where was she born? No idea.
My memory is Swiss cheese and all I got to show for it is this massive headache, she complained internally. Hell, I don't even know what my name is. Somehow it was more annoying than anything else and she pushed herself off the wet grass and to her feet. That was when she saw the corpses and the disintegrated remains of the pink youma. I had something to do with that, she realized somewhat calmly. From her view it was obvious that the attack had not only ripped clean through the monster, but a semi truck and the trees beyond, leaving a carved circular pathway through them.
ANs- Rejected. I thought by combining so many well use plot concepts together I'd be able to create an original, chaotic read. I'm sure it would have been a good read in retrospect, but not a great one, let alone gain tBoTs stature. The mood is also considerably darker for this fic, which was intentional. I normally do comedies and was purposely aiming for a higher degree of angst this time around. Alas, I already have another fic to fill that role handily.
So next we came up with….
Just Droppin' In
Aborted Fukufic Attempt, take two.
"ARE YOU SAYING MY COOKING SUCKS!"
Akane was in total meltdown mode now, her favorite hobby having been slighted by yet another poor choice of words on the part of her fiancé. She took a menacing step forward, soupspoon in hand. Why she was wielding a soupspoon at the moment was beyond the comprehension of her current audience since there was nothing spoonable about their meal. That, and they were pretty sure it was burning a hole in their plates, though nobody had been brave enough to point out the fact… Well, nobody but Ranma, God rest his soul. They'd hold his funeral later. After they escaped the evil clutches of one Akane Tendo. Maybe.
"Calm down, Akane! I didn't say it sucks!" Ranma protested, taking a step back. No, it rates much worse than suckage, he thought. His fiancées face suddenly bright red and an angry crimson aura began to flicker around her. Ranma looked over to the rest of the family who all wore masks of abject horror now. He looked back at Akane and small nuclear reactions were flaring in her eyes. Realization finally hit him.
"I just said that last part aloud, didn't I?"
The rest of the family nodded once in unison. The soupspoon snapped in Akane's hand and the other began to pull something out from behind her back. This time it wasn't a mallet, but an honest to God Dwarven War Hammer. Ranma sighed in resignation. Yep, time to take my medicine. He leaned forward with his left cheek and she swung for the fences.
"RANMA NO BAKAAAA !"Ni
Ranma accelerate sharply through the roof's newest hole and out into open air with a painful crack. Even as he gained altitude, rain drops began to sting against the martial artist's face and seconds later activated his curse. The world was blurring by as the chiseled pigtail boy became a shapely pigtail girl who absently wondered where she would land this time.
Damn she put a lot of power to that last hit, Ranma mused as more rain streaked by. And where the hell had she gotten that hammer! Don't you need a license for those things or something? She stabilized her uncontrolled tumble with a little influence of ki and absently noted that he was quickly approaching the overcast ceiling. Nothing to worry about there, she thought. The arc should be flattening out any time now.
Contrails begin to streak off the redhead and she marveled. Akane will be happy to hear that she's setting a new distance malleting record. Hell, I'm clearing the Nermia suburbs right now, Ranma thought darkly. One thing was for certain though… It was going to be a long walk home.
Ranma felt a tingle along her spine as the ballistic arc began to flatten out. Give me a few more seconds and I'll be able to predict my landing zone, she thought, failing to notice her hair beginning to stand on end. May take two days to get back at this—
Some people would argue that Ranma Saotome, heir to the Anything Goes School of Martial Arts was a lucky guy. After all, what manly man wouldn't want three to twenty fiancées throwing themselves at your feet at any given moment or jump your bones if you so much as look at them wrong? These people, of course failed to notice the details and the devil therein. Drugged food. Rivals. Kidnappings. Extortion. Villains of the Week. Malletings. And of course the lightening bolt that Ranma had just flown into.
1.21 gigawatts of power blasted through the martial artist's body and light flared around him. A loud yip was heard as the bolt interacted with his unusually high levels of ki, which promptly vaporized him in a tempest of chaotic energy. By the time the lightening had spent itself there was nothing was left of Ranma but two flaming shoes falling from the sky.
Sailor Pluto stared at the Gates of Time and affected a labored sigh. It was one of those days, days where she felt as if her all-important station in life was nothing more than that of a glorified data entry clerk. Get up, check the time gates, maximize the probabilities, make some tweaks and go home. It wouldn't be so bad if the job were nine to five, but sometimes her 'shift' would stretch for decades on end as she plotted the surest path to Crystal Tokyo. Of course she had some conveniences in her own private section of hell, but there was one thing she could never escape and it dug into her soul.
Loneliness that was staggering in its magnitude.
The woman with flowing green hair used the gate key that was her staff and exerted control, switching to another possible reality. All things considered, it was actually a good day for Sailor Pluto. She was at a ninety-five percent probability for Crystal Tokyo's existence and all was quiet on the western front. No Generals. No youma. No daimons stealing crystal hearts. Sure, that would all change in about a month or so, but the girls had earned some rest, herself included.
She was about to alter the gate's view once more when it fuzzed with static. Sailor Pluto squinted into the gate. A malfunction? Impossible! She could see through the interference, but the fact that there was any at all was quite disturbing.
Thmp! Thmp! CRACK!
Light flashed around her as two dull pressure waves hit, followed immediately by a concussive shock. She flinched and an angry vortex of energy snarled about the gate, disgorging a human figure that went skidding violently across the surface of her part-time prison. The vortex collapsed in upon itself with a small pop! and Pluto was left stunned. She brought the key to bear on what appeared to be a young man whose clothing was smoldering and singed. The boy shook his head and pushed himself into a sitting position.
"Uuuhh… My head…"
Sailor Pluto blinked with surprise and completely for got the standard verbal challenge she would have normally issued. Instead, she opted for something much simpler.
"WHO THE HELL ARE YOU?"
The stranger turned his head, noticing her for the first time and blushed slightly. He stood up wobbly and shook another round of dizziness off.
"Um, I'm Ranma Saotome… Sorry' bout this."San
Ranma waited for the fog to clear from his vision and found himself staring at cute, yet very pissed green haired woman. While there was no doubt as to her attractiveness thanks in no small part to the tiny white and black fuku she wore, that very same fuku looked absolutely ridiculous in his humble opinion. Scratch that, he amended silenly as his eyes were unwillingly drawn up her long, shapely legs. Who am I to complain about her costume?
The woman waved her staff menacingly in his general direction, anger contorting her features. "Look, I want answers and I want them NOW."
The martial artist scratched his head in embarrassment. "Jeez, I don't know… One moment I'm flying above Tokyo and the next I'm here."
Sailor Pluto was practically dancing with fusteration now. "You expect me to believe that POOF you just decided to drop by?"
"Wasn't my choice…" Ranma shrugged then mumbled something about a stupid tomboy.
"Did you just call me a tomboy?"
Ranma slapped himself upside the head. "NoNoNoNo… The person who sent me here. 'Cides… Nobody could confuse you for a tomboy." After all, tomboys would NEVER wear something like THAT.
Sailor Pluto flushed a bit before regaining her composure. So somebody HAD sent him here! Well let's just find out who that person is… "So who sent you again?"
"Akane." The pigtailed boy stated flatly. A very sour look crossed his face.
No love lost there, she realized. If he's on a secret mission, maybe I can drive a wedge in their organization and find out why they're trying to infiltrate the gates… "And this Akane is…?"
"Violent." Ranma snorted. "She'll kill me just as soon poison me. Hell, I'd probably be beaten just for talking to you."
Sailor Pluto studied the boy, but allowed her staff to waver. Not exactly the typical happy henchman, is he? Of course, being beaten, poisoned and killed didn't exactly endear one to long term employment. This Akane sounds ruthless enough. A new threat to Crystal Tokyo, then?
ANs- Rejected. Again, it could have been a nice, WAFFy love story, but there wasn't enough IMO to really separate it from the rest of the fics already out there. Obviously comedy was the primary focus here.
Yeah, the prank war was a much better choice. After I had written the first two up, I had resolved to create a plot with as much chaos falling out upon Ranma as possible, even to the extent of more curses. One idea (that never moved beyond that stage) was to give Ranma so many curses that the last one he picked up would some how link all the others in harmony and benefit him immensily... After a liberal amount of suffering. Yet another stepping stone to tBoT. Eventially the general frame work for tBoT came into exitance and there were certain elements I was going to insist upon. It would remain somewhat canon. There would be a prank war, but not one that desended into outright death and destruction like too many other fics. Ranma would wear a fuku, but not become be a reincarnated anything, let alone a real sailor (let's count the number of reviews I received on THAT topic). Likewise, Ranma's powers would scale (I don't like uber Ranma, even when making her a Goddess one-one).
People will be somewhat sorry to hear that a Setsuna romance was planned from keystroke one, and I can't even begin to take credit for one of the series funniest running jokes; that being Chibi and her incessant laughter at future events. Details like the Staff of Ascension came on the fly in trying to decide which of Saffron's staves to actually use. (duh, let's fuse 'em together!). There was also a definite ending to this series- Epilogue X1. While there was a number of people who really wanted to see the prank war continue, I just couldn't keep it up indefinitely. There would only be so much escalation before pranks became either boring or downright hostile in nature. That, and I like going places with my fics, not kite them indefinitely.
Finally, Epilogue X2 was decided at the last moment simply because turning Ranma's brain inside out with Setsuna's memories was just so darn attractive and the key scene could have gone either way. Rather than write an entirely new fic (uhg, got too many of THOSE already), I thought a branching reality would be pretty cool. It wasn't long before I was writing myself into a paradox… We were killing off Pluto before she brought Chibi back, who has a complete set of memories concerning her timeline. Again, I had several of the fine people at fukufics to bounce ideas off of and came to (what I think) was one of the more workable solutions available.
I probably left out a lot of details, but hopefully the chapter ANs fill in the gaps.
Now, the preview of
AMR ½ Part 5.
My Ranma ½!
No Need for Wishes!
Forward: The Tenchi universe has no less than three alternate timelines to choose from, so be advised I'm going to play fast and loose all of them from here on out. Don't expect strict adherence to any one since you can't make everybody happy all the time. I'll make every attempt to keep the core plot surrounding Tenchi intact, however.
Ranma popped out of the lake with ease and floated lightly onto the property of the Masaki shrine. It really was a beautifully place, she decided. Secluded on a nice hillside with the house and lake below, surrounded by forest. You could get used to it, she thought agreeably and popped her head into one of the structures.
Tenchi Masaki scampered across the wooden floor he had been sweeping with a small start, but recovered his wits when he recognized Ranma. The student gave the floor another swipe and wiped the sweat from his brow. He noticed she was in her casual Chinese attire and Tenchi smiled at the Goddess as she stepped closer.
"So what's up, Tenchi?"
"I don't think that wish thing worked. Not that I need it I guess," He added hastily, "But it would be a shame after all the trouble I put you through."
Ranma shrugged. "Well that's why I'm here. To make sure it does work." …And that you don't get abducted by aliens or something, she amended as an afterthought.
"Really?" Tenchi seemed taken back. "I mean, I don't want to keep you from something important, you know."
Well I'd love to do that, she thought sarcastically, but you had to go and wish that stupid— She stopped her train of thought short and began to examine her attitude very carefully.
This was her job. Granting wishes. It was important. A matter of honor even, if she wanted to put it into a martial arts context. Maybe things hadn't turned out the way she would like them to, but it was still her job to make sure it turned out right. Quit yer whining Ranma, she rebuked herself. You knew full well what you were getting into when you signed on the dotted line with kami-sama. This was the sacrifice He was talking about. This was the servant's duty Urd had explained. If you can't perform these duties with the same honor as The Art, you probably shouldn't be teaching it either!
Mentally redressed, Ranma favored Tenchi with her trademark roguish grin.
"Hey, don't worry 'bout it. I'll just stick around here with you and see what we can dig up, kay?" …And still make sure you don't get abducted my space aliens, she smiled quietly. Tenchi nodded with enthusiasm. "So where's your grandfather, anyway?"
"Probably on the other side of the lake…" Tenchi replied, setting aside the broom. Even as he finished, the mischievous gleam of realization gleamed in his eyes. "And that means now's my chance!" Ranma looked at him curiously as he ran over to the desk and began rifling through its contents.
Ranma bent over beside him as he flipped through another folder. "Whatcha looking for?"
He paused momentarily. "Keys. I'm going to finally see what we've been keeping in that old shrine."
"And what's supposed to be in there?"
"A demon slaying blade!" Tenchi replied, pulling open another drawer. "Gramps keeps going on about this old legend about how an ancient warrior named Yosho defeated a demon that could destroy mountains with the thing."
The Goddess of Luck watched him hurry through his search and weighed her options. She could either sit around and watch him do chores all day, waiting for some alien to come along and marry him or… She smiled mischeviously. "What do ya need a key for?" Tenchi paused in his search. "I am a Goddess after all."
Tenchi's eyes widened momentarily before the implication set it "Alright! Let's go then!" Tenchi quickly abandoned his chores and the two vacated the room with haste.
Less than ten minutes later Katsuhito Masaki stood in the doorway of the empty room, finding his charge noticeably absent from his duties. He stroked his bearded white chin, absently wondering where he had ran off to. The grandfather knew it wouldn't be the temple since he had the keys, so Tenchi was probably off taking a break somewhere. Suspicions mollified for the moment, Katsuhito went to kitchen to grab a snack.
Ranma watched Tenchi yank the sword out of the ancient shrine with some curiosity. He flipped it around they both examined it carefully. Definitely not a katana, Ranma decided. The strait lines of the scabbard and the oddly designed hilt were evidence enough of that. While the Anything Goes School didn't necessarily emphasis the use of edged weaponry, it didn't neglect it either. The student growled with strain as he attempted to pull the scabbard free. Wasn't Chinese either, she realized. Infact, the entire hilt design was much too exotic to be—The blade finally snapped free and in Tenchi's hands rested the weapon that once slew mighty demons. Both teens frowned.
"Your sword's a piece of junk, Tenchi." The dejected Goddess commented upon seeing the rust eaten stick of metal that was once a blade.
Tenchi wasn't exactly happy either. "Give me a break… This thing is supposed to cut through rock?" He gave it a careless slice and shattered the ancient blade across one of the warding stones, which promptly split clean in two. Ranma only had a moment to be surprised when a small pebble bounced off her head and the entire cave began to rumble. She looked up in time to find a huge boulder in freefall. A quick sidestep saw the stone imbed itself into the earth beside her and she twitched visibly at the thought of becoming a Saotome pancake.
Tenchi abandoned the stone he was attempting to piece back together just as the boulder slammed home. Both looked at one another, then the now broken sword in his hand. A light breeze brushed by them and Ranma's brush with death was forgotten as they sought the source, a wide fissure in the far cave wall that definitely hadn't been there before. The redhead shrugged and Tenchi squeezed through, Ranma following close behind. The only illumination came from a shaft of light that had somehow managed to piece the cave's ceiling, but it wasn't enough to see the standing water the boy promptly stepped in. Or the stalactite that jumped in front of his forehead. Or the slippery section of the finely machined incline he now tried to stand upright on, with little success. The hilt of the ruined sword clattered into the pit as he flailed wildly to maintain his balance, grabbing on to the first object within reach.
Unfortunately that just happened to be Ranma's arm and the two hit the ground, sliding wildly down the dark shaft where they were deposited a hundred feet later in a most compromising position. It would have been a great position had they been lovers. Urd would have approved. Maybe even watched. Tenchi covered the redhead like a blanket and there was no body part not left touching one another. The pair's eyes were locked on to one another as both faces began to progress through multiple shades of pink. Tenchi, being the passive sort simply laid their in shock on top of her while Ranma was still trying to decide exactly why she was letting him do so. The Boy part of her psyche voted to snap his neck. The girl, Ranma noted with some surprise was a bit of a hentai. She voted in favor of pulling the handsome student into something more than just a kiss. The goddess winced and ruthlessly suppressed her before settling for something diplomatic, yet to the point.
"Get off me before I snap yer neck."
I know it sucks to
give you 1kW worth of text when there is 7k's worth here in my hot
little hands, but them's the breaks. Catch ya later, and again, my
thanks for making this work what is today
-The Best of Times-
A Fukufics (dotcom) Production
Camera One: Alathon
Camera Two: Cyber Skaarj
Sound Effects: DCG
Boom operator: Ellf
Special FX: Delta-Theta
Travel Coordinator: Neko
Stunt Coordinator: Rakhal
Stunt Double One: Stacy
Stunt Double Two: Stratagemini
Trama Unit: Solara
Ferret handler: Trimatter
Explosives Expert: Sunny
Heavy Weapons Advisor: Yarrow
Thanks to Furikan High School,
Mishima Heavy Industries,
Can-Can Teen Publications,
Martial Artists local 182nd,
And the Japanese Dept. of Tourism
for the use of land and facilities.
on location; Nerima, Japan
tBoT Copyright 2005-2006