DRAGON'S DESTINY 1: Here's Ranma?
a Ranma 1/2 fanfic by Gregg Sharp
ranma 1/2 and related char (c) Takahashi Rumiko

Asgard, Mimir's Well:

"Hmph." Toltiir was in his black cat guise again. The Elder of mischief looked over at his companion with a smirk. "All right, I admit
that causing Genma to send that letter two weeks earlier instead of a postcard from the port was a good use of a Gamma class intervention. You did three nudges that I'm sure of, though."

"Whatever," Takahashi waved off the objection. "Did you think you could do better?"

"Why don't we see, if we take this timeline here where Ranma dies at Ryoga's hands while the lost boy was using the koi rod. And then I change THIS."

Energy flowed out from the cat, forming a stone out of metaphor, and made a minute change in the timestream.

"Interesting choice." Takahashi smiled in anticipation.


"-Training ground guide, yes?-" Genma offered five of the little round coins to the street merchant.

The street merchant in question looked Genma over and thought about what a disreputable person he had found today. Holding up three fingers he handed Genma a booklet. Genma gave three coins and the deal was done.

"Hey pops, what you got there?"

"Boy, this is a guide to the great martial arts sites in China. Look here's one called 'Jusenkyo.'" An errant breeze blew the page over, revealing a cavern. "Here's another one called the 'Cave of the Dragon's Fist' that looks good."

"Great. That even sounds like someplace to learn secret techniques. Let's go."


The cave had been carved out in ancient times, but had an unfinished look. Genma walked to the center of the cave, Ranma wandering behind him as he looked over the area.

"Man, this doesn't look special at all."

"Quiet boy," Genma pointed to a plaque hanging in midair in the exact center of the cave. "What do you suppose this is?"

Ranma looked it over. "Damn, it's written in Chinese. Why couldn't it be in Japanese?"

Genma was about to reply that they WERE in China when he noticed the kanji reshaping and moving around.

Ranma swallowed as he watched the lettering finish moving. The sign was now in Japanese. "Uhm, neat trick."

"Frivolous wishes are cause for immediate termination of wisher." Genma read the first line and sweated slightly. Frivolous by WHOSE standards?

"So, I guess using this for getting a decent meal would be out of the question." Ranma shrugged and wandered off to check the cave out a bit. Only the area with the sign was lit, and that as if with a spotlight from above. Though there was no apparent source for the light.

Genma bit back the first thing he had thought of. "Ranma, did I ever tell you about the promise we made your mother when we left for this training journey?"

"Huh? What promise?"

Genma explained that Ranma had to be a "man among men" when rejoining his mother, or both father and son would have to commit seppuku.

"Is that why I've been carrying that tanto all this time?!?" Ranma was shocked and had backed up against the wall, noticing that there were bones rolled up against the walls. "Uh oh."

Genma blanched. Where did THOSE come from? Pieces of skeletons shoved up against the far confines of the wall in all directions except the path from the door. He could have sworn they weren't there a minute ago. Had they suddenly appeared, the cave underscoring the consequences of making light of its magic.

"I wish that Ranma were truly a man among men, a paragon, uhm, with powers and abilities far beyond mortal man, uh, so incredibly heroic that his mother couldn't possibly doubt that he was a man among men, uh or something like that." Genma sweated. He hadn't intended to say anything of the sort, but he'd gotten unnerved by the sight of all those bones.

"Oyaji! What are you....arrrrrggggghhhh!" Ranma dropped, twisting in pain as an emerald glow washed over him.

"GRANTED," came a voice echoing from all over the cave. "An interesting choice, as I see a use for a True Hero in these times." The voice was impossibly deep and had a growling, raspy quality to it. It also spoke flawless Japanese, which impressed Genma even more than the magical glow.

"Father," came a deep voice. Genma turned back to Ranma after failing to find the source of the voice. Ranma stood again, but Genma might not have recognized him if he hadn't known he was there.

Ranma stood taller now, and his frame had also filled out with a tight musculature. His hair was a bit lighter in color, and now reached his mid-back. The muscles were tightly packed but without the bulk of the professional weightlifter.


"Yes, father." Ranma appeared thoughtful. "Shall we go?"

"Uh, yeah, I guess so." Genma didn't want to consider what might occur if he tried wishing again.

Shuddering, Genma moved to catch up with his transformed son, hoping that there wasn't a hidden pricetag that would catch up with him later.


"Excuse me," Takahashi said from her chair. "What exactly was THAT about?"

"The contract?"

"No, the wish." Takahashi materialized a cup of Earl Grey, hot. "You wouldn't be manipulating the father in front of Shen Long, would you?"

"Who, me? You must have confused me with someone else." Toltiir blinked and looked smug in the manner that cats have been perfecting for generations.

"Play fast and loose with the rules, Puck, oh no. Certainly not you. I must have been mistaken."


"So this is Jusenkyo," Ranma looked about at the pools of water covering this section of the valley. "Interesting."

Genma glanced over at his son, he was somewhat unnerved by the changes he'd detected in his son as well as what his son could do now. "C'mon, Ranma, follow me!"

Ranma shrugged. "Actually, I don't think this is such a good idea."

Genma's leap took him to the top of one of the bamboo poles. Ranma landed a split instant later on one of the others.

Ranma looked at the various springs. "I REALLY don't think this is such a good idea."

"Ranma, concentrate on the fight!"

Ranma glanced back, his father had already leapt and would strike him in two point three seven seconds. Plenty of time.

Ranma struck out, slapping his father and diverting the heavier man on a completely different trajectory.

Genma impacted the waters of one of the pools.

"Oh no, sirs, what you do here! It very dangerous, no one train here anymore!"

Ranma spared a glance at the newcomer. "See, father, I told you this didn't look like a good idea."

The panda who slowly crawled out of the pool couldn't help but agree.


"This, sirs, is Amazon Village."

"You can knock off the pidgin," Ranma smirked. "I saw some of the books in your little hut there."

"Sorry, sirs, not speak Japanese that well."

Ranma shrugged and turned his attention back to the fight, pausing only to slap his father away from the prize table. "Pops, you don't want to do that. See, it says 'First Prize' on it."

"Sir, you read Chinese?"

"I'm not fluent, but I read through one of your Japanese-Chinese dictionaries while you were trying to make dinner yesterday." Ranma noted idly the weaknesses and strengths of both fighters on the log. The pretty girl was obviously the more skilled, though her weapons looked pretty silly. The other woman was wielding a tetsubo one-handed.

Taking three point seven seconds longer than Ranma had estimated, the prettier girl finally knocked the heavier one off the log.

The winner turned, looked towards her prize and quite nearly fell off her log. She said something too fast for Ranma to follow and charged towards him.

Dodging, Ranma tried to smile and be reasonable. "-I sorry. Not speak Chinese very goodly. Please slowly speak.-"

Shampoo (you knew it was her, right?) didn't look impressed. "-Stranger male, I challenge you!-"

Ranma noted that she had looked him up and down and licked her lips. They weren't cannibals here, were they?

Suddenly another girl stepped forward. Again more of this odd Mandarin dialect spoken too quickly for Ranma to follow. He looked towards the Guide.

"She challenge her for right to challenge you."

"Damn, they must really hate visitors." Ranma didn't notice the Guide facefault. A third girl had apparently challenged the second girl, quickly followed by a fourth girl screaming something that sounded extremely unflattering at the third Amazon.

Only a few more moments of this, then someone shoved someone else and that sparked it. Ranma, Guide, and panda fled as a free-for-all developed.

Over it all could be heard the little old woman judge standing on her stick and yelling for the entire group to act like Amazons and get their hormones under control.

Cologne watched the three fleeing figures. Good riddance. The village had enough troubles without anyone fighting over a mere male. Mind you, if she'd been three centuries younger...

Shaking her head at the odd fancy, Cologne set her attention back to the riot at hand. She idly noted that her great-granddaughter was missing from the crowd.


"That must be them!" Nabiki ran for the door. They couldn't possibly be rich, but she had spent too much time pondering her loneliness to not want SOMETHING to fill the void in her heart. Maybe if he was cute...

She opened the door, saw a huge panda and almost turned and bolted back into the house. Then her eyes caught a glimpse of the boy standing there.

Her hand reached back and closed the door behind her, incidently shutting it in her father's face.

"Hi there," she said, realizing a moment later that it had come out in a squeak. "I'm home, welcome to our Nabiki..." Something didn't sound right about that but she was feeling thoroughly out of sorts and couldn't spare the time to analyze what was wrong.

"Uhm. Hello. My name is Ranma Saotome."

Nabiki was shaking, sweating, and would have been drooling if her mouth hadn't suddenly gone all dry. The voice was perfect, a deep silken smooth sort of voice that could have been used for radio commercials. She'd be his agent, with a voice and looks like that, he'd make her rich. She could have a boyfriend like this, AND be filthy obscenely rich. "Excuse me a moment."

Running around the corner she thanked her ancestors, kami, and any deities/angels/spirits that she could think of. "YES!"

Running back to the door, Nabiki noted her father had come out of the house.

"Well, come in now. I want you to meet my other two daughters."

Nabiki panicked. *No, no, no. MINE!* She ran in after the group. "Oh, Daddy? uhm. DIBS!"

Ranma looked a little puzzled. What was going on? They were just visiting his father's friend's house, weren't they? He was still puzzled by the reactions he was getting from women, he was still himself wasn't he? A few physical changes since the Cave, but he hadn't changed that much, had he? He didn't FEEL different.

Kasumi watched as her father entered, followed by a huge panda. "Well, father, you certainly have interesting friends.....?!?" A boy had just entered the room. Why was it getting so warm all of a sudden?

Akane's glare vanished as if someone had thrown a switch. Her mouth refused to work as she gazed up into those crystalline blue eyes.

"Y-y-y-you wouldn't be...." Kasumi managed after a false start. It wasn't polite to stare but she just couldn't help it. He was breathtakingly gorgeous, beyond idol singer levels of cute, with an air of confidence and quiet strength that seemed to make something melt within her. And he was just so... manly!

Akane nodded. He couldn't be. This would just have been too good to be true.

Nabiki stood behind the group, trying to get her father's attention. "Uhm, Daddy, like I said. Dibs!"

"I'm Ranma Saotome," he said with a bow, showing respect to the still sitting girls. "Sorry to trouble you."

"Oh my," Kasumi realized that she really should be a better hostess, that she should offer them some tea or something, but she didn't think her knees would support her at the moment. She'd completely forgotten that the other visitor was a panda.

Akane nodded again, still trying to get her mouth working. She was so afraid that she would say something wrong, the idea of those eyes filled with hurt was not something she thought she could face.

"Well then, these are my three daughters. There's Kasumi, she's 19..."

"Yes," breathed Kasumi, her eyes glazed over as she went off into a private fantasy somewhere.

"Ah." Soun seemed a little put off, what was going on here? This guy looked more like a model or actor than a real martial artist, but Kasumi was all flushed. She couldn't be sick, could she? "You've already met Nabiki, she's 17."

"DIBS, I said DIBS! I saw him first!"

"Uhm, right." Soun glanced at Nabiki but decided to ignore what he didn't understand. "Then there's Akane, she's 16."

"Me?!? I couldn't, I wouldn't...Well, if you insist. Okay."

Soun looked at Akane as if she'd grown a second head. All her complaints had stopped and she had turned the same color as that Ferrari on that gaijin TV show about a Hawaiian private eye. Maybe Kasumi's illness was contagious?

"Pick anyone you like, she'll be your new fiancee," Soun smiled. Maybe they liked him, this would be easier than he'd thought!

"Excuse me, did you say fiancee?" Ranma looked at the panda with some displeasure.

A sign appeared in the panda's paw. [Oh, didn't I mention that?]

"Just a moment, please." Ranma sighed deeply. The girls were all lost for a moment in the contemplation of how his pectorals and those broad shoulders moved. "Do you have any hot water?"

"Of course!" Kasumi tried to get up, finally scrambling and half falling as she moved towards the kitchen. "Justamoment. Don'tdoanything until Igetback!"

Soun Tendo watched as his eldest nearly tripped on the way to the kitchen. "Maybe we ought to hold off on this, I think my daughters may have caught a cold or something." Concern for his daughters briefly overwhelmed his obsession to unite the families.

"No, no, no, no, no. Daddy, I clearly called dibs on this one."

"Nabiki," Akane finally got her mouth working. She was NOT giving up this easily. "That's not fair!"

"Life seldom is, sis. Besides, you snooze, you lose." Yen signs began to appear before Nabiki. With someone like this, she'd be able to make even more money than SHE could spend. The thought of all those stuck up girls with their boyfriends being envious of HER formed a private little fantasy that had her grinning.

"Daddy, it's not fair. Besides, it's for the dojo, right? So the best martial artist in the family ought to be the one to marry Ranma, right?" She turned her best smile on Ranma. "Right, Ranma?"

Kasumi stuck her head out of the kitchen. "As the eldest, shouldn't it be MY responsibility to meet the family honor?"

"Well, I..." Soun looked around. They weren't sick? This was...

Kasumi rushed in, bringing Ranma a kettle. She blushed and her knees nearly buckled as her fingers brushed Ranma's as he reached out to take the kettle.

Pouring a little of the hot water on the panda, Soun noted that it had turned into his old friend Genma Saotome. Ranma prepared to explain about Jusenkyo when it became apparent that none of the three daughters had noticed the transformation.

Ranma checked his shirt. No stains, he couldn't see anything out of place. He blushed at the attention, not realizing how cute it made him look.

"Sugoiiiiii," Akane breathed. Her sisters nodded.

"Uhm, Pop. Do you want to explain about this engagement thing?" Ranma smiled at the three girls. They didn't look as upset with this arrangement as he was, maybe they'd had time to get used to it?

Kasumi nearly fainted. Nabiki sighed and absently wiped drool from her mouth. Akane smiled back and seemed to be quivering.

"Uh, maybe we should go somewhere quiet and discuss this."

Genma looked at the three girls and was puzzled as well. His son looked like such a wimp, though he knew better, why did Soun's daughters act so strangely towards him? "I think that's an excellent idea, son."

The three girls in question, of course, had other ideas.


Blocks away, a purple haired girl got directions from a street vendor who couldn't help but remember the boy she described. "Ranma, I find you SOON!"


Well, this is the first chapter of Dragon's Destiny,
which is intended as an "altered-destiny" story
companion to the "Neutral Ground" tale. Just posting
this chapter to gauge reaction while working on
finishing "The Art."

Next chapter: Ranma goes to Furinkan. Kuno fights Ranma.
Shampoo gets directions. Nabiki makes money. The
timeline gets further divergent.