"Akane, why did'ya have to drag me all the way here to go shopping?" Ranma asked curiously as he followed a dark haired girl down a street in the bustling retail district of Juuban.
"I 'dragged' you here because of this!" Akane flourished a newspaper cutting to her companion and pointed to an ad. "I didn't want to tell you back in Nerima because with your luck, everyone who's cursed would find out and want to come too. And I didn't want this place destroyed in one of your fights!"
Ranma slowly read it out. "'Magic Curios Shop. Can cure curses and repel demons." His eyes bugged out. "CURE CURSES?" Then the hopeful expression on his face died and became sceptical. "I dunno, Akane. I don't trust magic any more. Usually things just get worse after." It was the voice of hard won experience.
"I know you haven't had much luck with magic and the cures, Ranma, but I thought it's worth a try," Akane said. "Besides, Sayuri said her cousin bought a lucky charm here, and apparently it works."
At this, Ranma's eyebrow quirked upwards. "How so?"
"Well, the same week she bought it, she had narrow escapes from three out of control cars, two youma attacks, a mugging, a lightning strike, and a bank robbery."
"Huh. Sounds more like the charm's cursed than lucky," Ranma said bluntly.
Akane gave him a swat on the arm. "The point is she got out of it all without a scratch! Everyone else around her were all injured in some way."
"Still, youma attacks?" Ranma's voice was full of disbelief. "Oh please, next thing you know, you're going to tell me that those Sailor chicks are real."
His fiancée glared at him for the 'chick' remark. "You're the one to talk! Considering what goes on in your life, I'd think that you'd have a more open mind!"
He just shrugged in reply.
Akane led Ranma to a stop next to a store. "Ah, here it is," the Tendo girl said as she read the shop sign. "Come on, Ranma!"
Ranma shook his head internally as he followed her inside. "Guess it couldn't hurt," he muttered.
Famous last words.
A Ranma ½ and Sailormoon crossover.
By Ms Spooky
Disclaimer: No, I don't own Ranma ½ or Sailormoon either.
Notes: This is a spamfic – you have been warned...
As soon as Ranma entered the shop, he knew something was wrong. His hand quickly latched onto Akane's shoulder as he spun her around behind him.
"Ran-ma!" Akane growled. "What do you think you're doing?"
"Shhh!" Ranma said, his senses on full alert. "Careful, something doesn't feel right here."
Akane swallowed her retort as she looked around. Much as she didn't like surprise manhandling by Ranma, she had long since learned the hard way not to ignore his danger sense.
That was when both Nerimans felt a sudden wave of weakness hit them.
Ranma was intimately acquainted with the sensation thanks to a certain shape-changing teacher. "Akane, get back outside! Something here's draining our energy!"
They made a move back towards the door, but stumbled to a stop when a vaguely humanoid shape blocked the way out.
Ranma and Akane blinked as they took in the vision of the first Juuban youma they had ever seen.
It was a giant voodoo doll.
It reared itself up on its straw legs, and waved its straw arms menacingly over the martial artists. "BWAHAHAHAHA! I want your life energy!"
The teenagers stared.
Then Ranma face-palmed. "You've GOT to be kidding me!" he groaned.
Akane wasn't impressed either. "All right, who sent you?" she seethed, her rage empowering her to withstand the energy drain for the moment. "Was it Happosai or Cologne?"
Obviously she had forgotten that she wasn't in Nerima anymore.
The voodoo doll paused at this unexpected reaction.
A minute passed.
Then it scratched its head. "Um… who?" it asked finally.
"They're like several hundred years old, shrivelled up, and about this tall." Ranma pantomimed with his hand at knee height, trying to jog its memory. "Oh, they're also humans," Ranma added, as an afterthought.
"Nooo…" the youma replied after thinking hard for a while.
"Maybe y'know a guy called Gosunkuji instead?" Ranma asked, just to cover his bases.
"I don't thi-" The giant doll big-sweated as it suddenly remembered its mission. It shook its head and tried to get back on script. "Um, you will give me all your life energy!"
It wasn't much of a script. Then again, the doll didn't have the brain power to remember much more.
"Yeah, right," Ranma snorted, eyeing the energy vampire/youma with barely concealed disdain.
The drain was tiring, but it wasn't as bad or as fast as when Miss Hinako Happo Goen-Satsu'ed him. Maybe it should get some pointers from her. If it had been his teacher, both martial artists would be skeletal husks by now. As it was, it shouldn't take them long to recover once out of draining range. Ranma assessed the creature with his senses, and realised that its actual power level and threat factor was below that of Kuno.
Which meant it was going to be a pushover. Unless it was hiding its strength, in which case Ranma might get a good fight out of it. But he was afraid his first opinion was going to be the correct one.
Finished with his threat assessment, Ranma tapped his still fuming fiancée on the shoulder. "Come on, Akane, let's get out of here. This shop's a bust and I don't think this strawman knows anything."
The doll was outraged. "Hey! I'm a girl, thank you!"
Ranma gave it another once over, unconvinced. Just because it wore a dress didn't mean anything in his book. "Yeah, right," he said again.
"Hmph!" Akane concurred. How dare this thing insult females everywhere by pretending to be one?
No way that voodoo doll monster was a girl. Or even human. Besides, they had seen better crossdressers in their time. Ranma and Akane looked at each other and rolled their eyes.
"Man, even Pop and your dad made more realistic looking girls," Ranma commented idly. "Remember that time they dressed up as French maids?"
His reply was a snort, then a giggle. Akane had tried, really tried, to control herself. She was supposed to be angry here! But she couldn't help herself as her mind conjured up that very image of the crossdressing fathers during what their families had taken to call 'The Picolette Chardin Affair'.
Meanwhile, as Akane's temper cooled, the youma's heated up.
"Excuse me! I'm standing right here you know!" the voodoo doll shouted, shaking one of its arms in front of Ranma's face in indignation. "I'm a girl!" It sweatdropped and gave itself a mental slap on the head. 'The script! How could I have forgotten the scrip again?' "You WILL give me your energy!"
"Whatever." Ranma grabbed hold of the offending limb and flicked it away with growing irritation. In the back of his mind, he was wondering what his options were for dealing with this… thing. Beat it up? Kill it? Or find some way to banish it?
The strawgirl-youma was confused. It was used to people screaming with fear, running away, and fainting from energy loss, but it never had people act so blasé about it before and not collapse from the drain.
"I don't care what your problem is, buster, but you're going to give up your life force whether you like it or-"
"Shut UP!" Ranma growled. Dammit, he was trying to think! "Enough about the energy already!" What was it with these weirdos and their one track mind? "You want energy? Well, OK, I'll give you energy." He cracked his neck, a dangerous note in his voice as his hand started to glow.
Stuff tactics. This stupid monster was going down.
"Eat this – MOKO TAKABISHA!"
So he got a little irritable when he was tired. So sue him.
It wasn't as if he had asked for some monster to drain him of energy. If he had not been so tired and annoyed, Ranma might have given it…her… whatever… a fighting chance.
That is, a chance to actually fight.
And it wasn't like the scarecrow was actually a real girl or human anyway, which Ranma could confirm from what he could now see of its insides.
"…wa... (wheeze) ...nnnt… (groan) …en..eeer..gy…" the doll insisted, a huge smoking hole in its stomach.
Ranma rolled his eyes. The doll just didn't know when to quit! Ranma didn't have to be a genius to figure out that it had no brains, just like that strawguy from that gaijin movie, 'Oz something' or other. He casually batted the silly thing out of his way, before grabbing his fiancée's hand to lead her out onto the street.
"…owW…OW!…OoFF…ooww…" it whimpered as the martial artists trampled over it as they exited.
As soon as the affianced couple strode back into the light of day, feeling instantly better as they stepped out of range of whatever was draining them, they were stopped by a voice.
"Halt! For tricking people with lucky charms and pretending they worked, in the name of the Moon, I, Sailor Moon, shall punish you!"
"As will I, Sailor Venus!"
"And I, Sailor Jupiter!"
Then Venus and Jupiter ruined their cool group entrance by groaning, "Why always the cute ones?"
"Huh?" was Ranma's eloquent reply.
Akane was equally gobsmacked by the sight of a group of girls in some kind of Happosai inspired fantasy schoolgirl fukus standing around them, especially when they contorted themselves into even more bizarre poses.
Apparently, the senshi weren't urban legends after all.
The blonde girl with the twin buns on her head who had spoken started to launch an attack, when her companion in a blue visor stopped her.
"Wait, Sailor Moon! They're humans!" It was Sailor Mercury, of course. "The youma is… behind them!"
"… (wheeze) …en.. (pant, pant) … er….gy…." a straw arm waved pathetically from the heap on the ground.
The senshi sweatdropped.
"Um, Sailor Moon?" Mars said. "Why don't you put it out of its misery?"
Afterwards, Ranma would regret staying back to see the creature get dusted by Sailor Moon, although in his defence he was curious.
But how was he to know that Sailor Moon's final attack would take about two minutes to launch? Although he had to admit that the whole sequence of elaborate twisting and dancing around accompanied by a light show was awfully… pretty, in a cutesy little girl kind of way.
If only he had known what he knew now, he would have used that two minute window to escape! Then he wouldn't be in this situation right now, with Akane glowing red in rage behind him, and his face pressed into the generous bosom of a new sailor suited soldier of love.
God, how many of them were there?
Mars and Mercury gaped, while Jupiter and Venus were outraged by someone else pre-empting the cute guy. They saw him first!
Moon just wondered when she got here. It had just been the Inners when it started, right? But then she did have a habit of making surprise entrances…
Sailor Pluto hugged the pigtailed martial artist tightly into her chest. "Sweetie, how I've missed you!" she squealed, delirious with delight, then proceeded to kiss him all over his face.
"Mmph!" was Ranma's reply as she crushed his face into her embrace again. Caught by surprise, frozen in shock, petrified with fear, and energy levels still not fully replenished, he was sadly no match for a transformed senshi in the throes of happiness.
Ranma slowly turned blue.
"Um, Pluto?" Mercury said, taking pity on the poor boy at last. "I think you better let go before he suffocates."
Pluto gasped. "Eep!" she said as she loosened her death grip on the martial artist.
That was when Mount Akane erupted with jealous fury. "RAN-MAAAAA!"
Obviously, anger had a revitalising effect against a youma energy drain.
Ranma coughed, trying to get his breath back. Then he paled and back-pedalled when he saw his fiancée descend on him like an Angel of Death, her steps leaving smoking footprints in the footpath from the heat of her red hot aura.
"WHO IS THIS WOMAN!"
Hey, that was what he wanted to know too!
Before he could answer, Venus and Jupiter interrupted. "Halt, youma! For pretending to be a girl and terrorising that poor cute boy, we shall punish you!"
Akane saw red. More girls! That pervert!
Then she took in the senshi's attire and seductive smiles on their faces as they glanced at her fiancé!
It would have been interesting to see which would win – the Mallet, Jupiter's Oak Revolution, or Venus' Love and Beauty Shock.
To understand this statement, one had to remember that although Akane was ranked at the bottom of the Nerima Wrecking Crew pecking order, she was still a great martial artist in her own right. It wasn't her fault that all these super-powered martial artists had converged where she lived.
So she could have conceivably clobbered Jupiter and Venus into LEO in the time it took for them to finish their respective attack sequences - which while short by Sailor Moon's standards, was still far too long when facing a martial artist of Neriman calibre.
But the matter would have to remain academic, because Mercury played the partypooper once more. "Jupiter, Venus, STOP! She's human!"
"Damn!" the boy-hungry girls said.
Luckily for the two, Akane was distracted from punishing them when she caught sight of that woman moving towards her fiancé again from the corner of her eye.
Pluto made as if to hug Ranma again, but this time the boy managed to slip out of her grasp. He held up a hand, panting, whether from fright or the exertion, he didn't know. "Stay back, lady! What d'ya want from me?"
Pluto looked hurt. "Can't a mother say hello to her son?" she asked sorrowfully.
Akane's anger fizzled out abruptly.
The earth shook with the force of multiple violent facefaults.
Pluto winced. That had to have hurt.
Ranma picked himself up quietly and dusted his clothes, ignoring the hopeful woman to his side.
After about five minutes, Pluto decided that maybe she needed to remind him of her presence. "Ranma, honey. It's me, Mom!"
The boy slid his hands into his pockets and rocked back on his heels. He sighed. 'Damn! She's still here. Why couldn't she be a hallucination or something?' "Look, lady, I don't know what to tell you, but you've got me mistaken for another guy!" Ranma would have added some snide remark about a mother not knowing her own son, but then he remembered Nodoka mistaking several other boys for him before, so he held his peace.
Pluto smiled, undeterred. "No, I'm sure you're mine. You're the splitting image of your father!"
"Sailor Pluto, that's not proof of your maternity, you know," Mercury's sensible voice broke in chidingly.
'Hmmmm. Mercury has a point,' Pluto reluctantly acknowledged. But still, her maternal instincts couldn't be wrong. As soon as Pluto had seen the boy while she was observing the latest battle, she had known in her heart who he was – her long lost darling son.
But… how to prove that?
When the strange woman who claimed to be his mother snapped her fingers as if struck by a good idea, Ranma started backing away as the hair started to stand up on his neck.
"I know just the proof!"
Ranma had a baaaaad feeling about this.
"What is it?" the other senshi wanted to know.
Ranma would realise too late that he hadn't moved fast enough.
"If I remember right…" Pluto pounced on the hapless boy, and before he knew what was happening, she had pulled the back of his pants and boxers away from his body and peered inside… "AHA! You do have the birthmark on your bottom!" She looked back up, teary-eyed. "SON! I've missed you so much!"
Ranma had turned to stone.
Venus and Jupiter grumbled because they couldn't see anything, but they were sure it would have been to die for! Next time, they would request that Setsuna pull his pants down instead.
Mercury surreptitiously switched on her communicator to contact the Outers. Setsuna had gone bonkers, and if they were going to take her down, they needed all the firepower they could muster, FAST!
The other senshi just gawked.
And Akane blew up. "You pervert!" she screamed at the green haired woman who was molesting her fiancé in broad daylight! The girl stomped over and pulled Ranma back behind her, out of Pluto's reach. "Get your hands off him!" Then she turned to the pigtailed martial artist. "And you! How dare you show another woman your body!"
Cracks appeared in the Ranma-statue.
The oldest senshi alive beamed beatifically as she held up her hands. "Oh, there's nothing to be jealous about, Miss! After all, I am his mother!"
"I'm NOT jealous!" Akane screamed in emphatic denial. "And there's no way you're his mother! His PARENTS are at home!" Akane's tone was scorchingly scornful. "So you leave Ranma alone!"
Pluto put her hands on her hips. "And who are you, little girl, to tell me what to do?"
"My name is Akane Tendo, not 'little girl." Akane glared back. "And I'm his fiancée!"
Venus and Jupiter groaned in disappointment.
"I'm Sailor Pluto and his MOTHER!"
"Sailor Pluto, my ass! You're nothing but a perverted pedophile!"
"And you're a hot tempered shrew!"
Lightning crackled between the two.
Everyone looked at Jupiter who held up her hands. "Nah huh, wasn't me," she said, shaking her head rapidly.
Meanwhile, Ranma had slowly recovered from his mortification. He stayed still to avoid drawing attention to himself, and listened to his fiancée chat with his new, self-appointed mother.
"Ranma can't be your son because he's already got a mother and father back home! You're delusional, lady!"
By this time, the other Outer senshi had arrived too, and their jaws dropped at the scene.
"I gave birth to that boy over fifty years ago, before his father ran off with him! How dare you try to keep him from me after I've finally found him?"
"Fifty years! Get real! Ranma's only a teenager!" Akane sneered. "Besides, even if it's true, I'm not surprised his father ran off with him seeing as you're a child molester!"
"How dare you imply I have improper thoughts about my own flesh and blood!" Pluto was outrage personified.
"Says the perverted person who was feeling him up and using any excuse to look at his private bits!"
It was like watching an episode of Jerry Springer, titled: 'Family Feud: Perverted Mother-in-law versus Bad Tempered Daughter-in-law! And they really hate each other's guts!'
Which was probably why nobody noticed the camera crew that had been filming unobtrusively in the background for some time now.
"I wasn't doing anything of the sort! I'm his mother! I've already seen everything!"
Pluto and Akane stared each other down like gunfighters at the OK Corral.
Their fingers twitched.
If looks could kill…
"He was just a baby then!"
Snort. "That just proves how perverted you are!"
A vein throbbed on Pluto's forehead. "That doesn't make any sense, you silly bitch!"
Akane's nostrils flared. "Delusional psycho!"
The news crew was having a field's day.
"Anyway," Akane tossed her hair, wishing it was its old length just to give it more attitude, "Ranma wants nothing to do with you." She turned to her fiancé. "Come on, we're leaving!"
The boy nodded, glad that for once, the worst of Akane's anger was aimed at someone else.
"Wait!" Pluto implored, latching onto his arm when he made a move to go. "Don't leave me!"
Ranma tried to shake her off, but her Plutonian strength was nothing to laugh about. "Let go off me, you crazy woman!" he cried. 'Why me? God, WHY ME!'
A red haze settled over Akane's eyes. She charged the two, and with a mighty uppercut, hit Pluto square in the jaw and knocked her skyward.
Luckily for Ranma, his self-proclaimed mother had loosened her grip from the shock of the blow, or he would have been taking a trip along with her.
"Whoa, good form!" breathed Uranus, the tomboy senshi.
"Oh. My. God. I can't believe she punched Pluto!" Moon gasped.
Neither could Ranma, actually. Normally, he was the target of Akane's ire.
Then Sailor Moon paled. "Ohh, she's so not going to be happy about this!"
The two martial artists followed Pluto's trajectory for a while, before turning slowly to look at each other. While they were tremendously relieved to be finally free of that persistent woman, they both knew that this reprieve would not last long.
It was just a great deal too bad that Akane had failed to punt Sailor Pluto into actual orbit. Instead, she had sent the woman straight up. And what went up, would always come down… invariably somewhere close to the launching site.
Which was where they were standing right now. And it wouldn't be long before Pluto landed again, seeing as her flight was already losing momentum.
As they both reached the same conclusion at almost the same time, they screamed, "Saotome Final Attack…. RUN AWAY!"
The senshi gaped at the disappearing dots in the distance. They had never seen untransformed humans run so fast!
And weren't they supposed to have been partially drained by that voodoo doll youma just minutes ago?
Up in the air, Pluto watched their departure with narrowed eyes. Then the ground rushed up and all she saw was darkness.
"…ooommmMMPPPPHHH!" she groaned, and pulled her head out from where it was embedded into the ground with some difficulty.
"Pluto, you OK?" Moon asked hesitantly.
Pluto wiped the dirt and trickles of blood from her lip and her nose with an impatient hand. Then whipped out a handkerchief from somewhere on her person to wipe off the blood and grit from her temple, cheeks, chin and in her eyes. Then she threw the bloodied rag onto the ground with a wet flop, mumbled something and teleported.
"Um, what did she say?" Moon asked. It was really hard trying to understand someone speaking through a swollen face and broken jaw.
Mercury's brow was wrinkled in thought. "I think she said, 'You're not getting away from me!'"
The remaining senshi exchanged troubled glances. This did not bode well.
"What are we waiting for? Let's after them!" Mars commanded.
Several hours later…
The two teenagers from Nerima ran like bats out of hell, occasionally dodging behind signs and into shops, trying to make damned sure to shake off pursuit.
How was that Pluto woman tracking them? She kept turning up whenever they stopped!
This time, they were hiding in an alley behind some dumpsters where they rested for a moment, trying to catch their breath.
Akane was doubled over, stomach hurting. "Is… (pant)(pant) … she… still (gasp) …fol-low (pant) ing…?"
Ranma looked around the dumpster and breathed out a sigh of relief. "No, I think we're clear," he said, leaning back against the wall, his eyes closed.
Ranma and Akane screamed and jumped up in fright.
Pluto smiled warmly at him from in front of them, before levelling a malevolent glare at Akane. The fact that half her head was still swollen so that she could only see through one eye just made it seem more evil.
It was fortunate for Akane that Pluto had an innate healing ability to repair the damage. Otherwise, ruining her good looks would just be another reason for the Time Guardian to remove a certain tomboy from the timeline…
With another scream, Ranma snatched up Akane and ran for it again, leaving a trail of dust behind him.
Pluto snapped her fingers in irritation. Her son was so stubborn! It was probably the malignant influence of that short-haired bitch! But never mind. With the help of the Timegate, he wouldn't be able to run from her forever. And where the son was, the father couldn't be too far behind. Then the three of them could finally have that family reunion she had been dreaming about for the last fifty odd years.
She couldn't wait to get her hands on that no good husband of hers. For goofing off with her baby without permission…
Somewhere in Nerima, someone - who shall remain nameless - sneezed, then shivered.
But before that, Setsuna would make sure that the shrew (who would no longer be engaged to her son if she had her way) got what was coming to her!
No one should keep a mother away from her son!
"Don't worry, Ranma-honey! Mommy's coming!"
The senshi was panting.
They knew Setsuna was using the Timegate to track the two errant teenagers, so it was no surprise she wasn't tired from running around all day.
But those two humans, especially that boy! What is he to have so much stamina? And his speed! They couldn't keep up with him. They needed…. rest… air…
Akane leaned back against Ranma's chest as they rested in their new hiding place, too tired to pull away or smack him one for being a pervert.
Besides, it was a pretty good excuse to plaster herself onto him. Ranma had a nice chest, and it felt good in this position, although she would rather die than admit this to anyone else.
Poor Ranma was still panting a little from all the panicked running he had done while carrying her, not that she was going to complain about it as she normally would have. Akane had finally run out of energy, and she was just glad that Ranma had instinctively picked her up in his escape attempts, thus saving her from having to ask for his help.
What a day! That Pluto woman was sure persistent, popping up all over the place. Nowhere was safe to hide!
Speaking of the woman…
"Ran--ma! A--kane!" came her singsong voice.
The two in question stared at each other, stunned. Then looked towards the voice. Pluto gave them a little wave.
Ranma groaned, grabbed Akane and leapt out of the tree and onto the ground where he broke into a run. He pumped ki into his screaming muscles trying to put more distance between him and her.
Akane just closed her eyes and nuzzled her cheek into his chest as he carried her, bridal style. He really did have a nice chest!
Facedown on the ground, Uranus was grumbling. "Come on, Mercury! There has to be a better way to track them down then following them all over Juuban!"
It was too bad it came out sounding like, "K'on, Mury thes t'betway tackem doenf'lin em a'vr jam!"
"Uranus," Neptune said sweetly. "Can you please not talk with your mouth full?"
"Sorry," Uranus said sheepishly, as she spat out the dirt from her mouth.
A damp Ranma-chan strolled slowly through the park, as she made her way over from the water fountain to where Akane was resting on a bench some distance away. She stretched, feeling the wet shirt sticking to her skin.
Now, why didn't she think of changing forms sooner?
"Ranma, sweetie!" Pluto said, eyes sparkling.
Ranma-chan almost fell over. "Um, sorry, you've got the wrong person." She quickened her steps, head down.
Pluto started walking faster, matching her speed. "Wah! You look just like your father!"
The short redhead came to an abrupt stop.
"I'm a girl!" Ranma-chan screeched in frustration, her hands raised to the heavens in supplication.
Pluto's smile was ecstatic, a scary light in her eyes. "I know…" she cooed, pinching the redhead's cheeks, "and what an interesting transformation ability you have, dear…"
Mercury smiled in satisfaction. "There!" she said. "I've got the Mercury computer locked onto Pluto. As soon as she stops moving for more than a minute, we can Sailor Teleport there!"
"Thank God!" the other senshi chorused in unison as they collapsed onto the floor of Rei's shrine.
This time Ranma and Akane were hiding in the ladies' fitting room at a department store.
They didn't know how that crazy green-haired senshi was doing it, but they had to get rid of her before they got back home. They both shuddered at the thought of that woman following them back. They would never know peace!
Man, and they thought Nerima was bad. Juuban was far worse!
Akane couldn't get over the fact that the females seemed more perverted than the males in this part of Tokyo.
And that Pluto…
It was creepy how fixated she was on Ranma! Akane was feeling conflicted. On one hand, she felt sorry for her fiancé; on the other, she wanted to kill him for getting her involved in this latest fiasco.
At least it wasn't another fiancée. But another mother was new.
Auntie Nodoka was sooo going to love this.
"Ready, Ranko?" Akane called out softly. Hopefully, no one in Juuban would connect RanMA with RanKO. Especially with their disguises on.
"Ready," Ranma-chan said as she stepped out. She held out her arms. "Well, what do you think?"
Akane studied her critically. Ranma-chan was wearing a black wig to hide her fiery locks, and was dressed in a T-shirt and mini-dress combo. Complete with a pair of cheap sunglasses, she looked like a whole different person.
"I don't think anyone would recognise you in that getup," Akane said graciously. She too, had changed out of her clothes into something new.
It was just luck that she had brought extra money today. Although it was ironic how the money she was going to spend on a cure for Ranma, was being spent instead on clothes for his girl form.
She paid for their purchases, and hand in hand, the girls walked out of the store carrying shopping bags filled with their original clothing. And that was how they arrived at the train station, and how they got home, some six hours after they had left for that fateful shopping trip to Juuban.
After the awful day they had, they needed the comfort.
Behind the two girls, Pluto watched them make their escape with narrowed eyes.
Chasing after them wasn't going to work. She needed a new plan…
Luckily, she had managed to tag her son with a tracking device during one of the times she had caught up with him. With that on, Ranma would not be able to escape the watchful eye of the Timegate, even with the protection of his chaotic aura.
Although how on earth her baby had become a chaos magnet when he had been born a being of order, she didn't know.
When she found out, there will be hell to pay!
Her course of action decided, Pluto teleported back to the Gate.
Time for a little research…
The fathers and Nodoka threw confetti in the air when they saw Ranma and Akane stagger home, still holding hands.
"Ranma! Akane! Did you two elope?" Genma Saotome asked, grinning broadly.
"Shut up, Pops!" Ranma mumbled.
"Akane, have you finally admitted your love for Ranma?"
"Shut up, Dad!" Soun Tendo quailed under his youngest daughter's fiery gaze.
"WAH! My son is so manly!" Nodoka danced with joy.
Ranma-chan, still in her disguise, stared at her mother, wondering what planet she came from. She looked around at the older generation. In fact, how come no one was commenting on her getup?
"Oh my, that looks really good on you!"
"What's the occasion, Ranma-kun? Finally decided to join the better half of humanity?"
Thank you, Kasumi and Nabiki! For a minute there, Ranma-chan had wondered whether she had wandered into an alternate universe or something.
Of course, this had the unfortunate consequence of bringing the parents' attention on her less than manly attire. Not that she had been hiding it or anything.
"Son, that's not… manly…"
"My daughter is a lesbian! Waaah!"
"Boy, what are doing dressed like a weak girl?"
"Husband, how dare you say girls are weak!"
Ranma and Akane facepalmed. They turned to each other, shrugged, and left the parents to their own devices. After two years of the same thing, it really became a case of 'in one ear, and out the other'.
Anyway, the important thing was they were both home, safe and sound, and that they had managed to throw that green-haired psycho woman off their trail.
At the Nekohanten…
Cologne was enjoying a quiet cup of tea in front of the television when one of her favourite programs flashed on to the screen.
She perked up in interest. She really enjoyed watching the slapstick comedic action sequences of that all female warrior sentai group in Juuban. And it was such a clever show! Fancy, passing off comedy and soap opera as a real news program! Much better than that other sentai show that took itself more seriously... what was it called again? Mighty Morphine Powerpuffs? Mutant Rangers? Something like that.
The old woman chuckled at the footage of yet another lame monster.
Like that sorry excuse of a giant straw voodoo doll in a dress would scare anyone. It was so… fake.
"Hmmm…. interesting," she commented to herself. "Those extras look like Son-in-law and the Tendo girl."
As the Amazon geriatric relaxed into her chair to watch the show, she wondered what kind of last minute danger that masked rose-throwing boy in the tuxedo would save Sailor Moon from.
Cologne was a closet romantic. She had been waiting a long time for the episode when the two characters finally admitted their love for each other and shared their first kiss.
Sadly, it would not be today.
Instead, there was the sudden appearance of that tall, mysterious advisor character called Pluto. It looked like the story arc would centre around her this episode.
Cologne took a sip. "Ah, the old 'Long-Lost-Son' plot," she commented as she watched Pluto hugging the cute hunk with all her might.
Then came the inevitable predictable plot twist when the son refused to recognise her claim.
Cologne started in on a bowl of popcorns, nodding wisely to herself. "Ah… the old 'Raised-By-Another-Woman' plot."
Cologne really loved watching soap operas.
She watched the long lost son's possessive girlfriend leaping to conclusions and getting into a bitchfest with the tall, mysterious advisor.
Then that girl uppercutting the senshi into the sky…
Cologne choked on a popcorn. The next minute was spent in frantic thumping of her chest. When she stopped, she wheezed, "What the--! That was the Son-in-law and Akane Tendo!"
At Ukyo's Okonomiyaki Restaurant…
It was thanks to his kunoichi skills that Konatsu managed to duck the piping hot okonomiyaki that had been suddenly flung his way, then use a fork to deflect it away from a customer and pin it onto the wall.
Ukyo had been preparing a meal, her new portable television set blaring in the background with its channel set on the Juuban News (which was far more interesting than the other news broadcasts), when her attention was arrested by the footage of her Ranma being glomped by an older woman.
Konatsu wisely took over the cooking duties, and ushered Ukyo upstairs before the girl's red hot battle aura ignited the gas cylinders of the grill.
Ukyo was on auto-pilot.
What had that stupid lard of a panda done now?
Dinner was a quiet affair, well, quiet by their usual standards.
Since Nodoka had moved in with them, Genma and Ranma had stopped sparring for food all together, for which the Tendos would be forever grateful.
As they sat digesting the food with a satisfied groan, Nabiki asked a question that had been plaguing her ever since Akane and Ranma had come home.
"So, Ranma-kun," she began, "what happened to you today?"
Ranma, having changed back into both his natural form and usual Chinese style clothing, leaned back onto his arms with a sigh. As he opened his mouth to speak, his fiancée beat him to it.
"It was another woman!" Akane said, a murderous look in her eyes.
"Wah! My son is so manly!" Guess who?
"RAN-MAAAA!" Soun manifested his demon head over the boy. "How dare you cheat on my Akane?"
Said boy looked up at the fork-tongued fearsome image, but couldn't work up the energy to be scared. "Whoa," he said dully, because he knew some reaction was expected.
"No, it's NOT another fiancée or girlfriend!" Akane interrupted, clenching her fists. How dare that woman call her names? Bitch? Harpy? She'd show her!
At that, everyone paused what they were doing to stare.
Akane was defending Ranma against accusation of womanising?
Was the world coming to an end?
Everybody held their breath, looking around fearfully.
Minutes ticked by in silent anticipation.
'Knock, knock, knock.'
Kasumi was the first to sufficiently recover from the group heart attack to answer the door. Nodoka was the second, and she immediately went to the kitchen to fetch some refreshments. It was probably a visitor, and with luck, another girl over the moon about her manly son!
Nabiki was the third. "So if it wasn't another fiancée, then who was it?" she asked, wanting the answer right now, before proceedings got interrupted by the visitor at the door, who, she could sense, was not going to go away any time soon.
In fact, she could hear the voices and footsteps of Kasumi and her companion coming closer and closer.
Akane opened her mouth to reply. "Well, it was-" she choked off as she caught sight of just who Kasumi was ushering into the room. "-YOU!" The youngest Tendo leapt up, glaring balefully at the newcomer. "Well, if it isn't Sailor PERVERTED Pluto!" The scorn positively dripped from her voice.
"Well, that answered my question," Nabiki commented idly to no one in particular.
"Well, if it isn't the PSYCHO shrew!" Sailor Pluto glared pleasantly back at Akane.
"Ack! You followed us!" Ranma yelped, struggling to his feet.
There was a Plutonian glomp. "Sweetheart! Why did you run from mommy?"
"Only you, Ranma-kun…" Nabiki shook her head.
Soun glared at his friend. "Saotome, you didn't arrange another one did you?"
Genma shook his head frantically. In his panic, he forgot how to talk, so he fell into his default mode. 'I'm just a cute panda!' his sign said.
Akane ignored her family, and stalked over to rescue her fiancé from that molester by pulling him away by his pigtail.
The boy yelped in pain. "Let go, 'kane! That hurt!"
Pluto glared at the girl who dared hurt her precious baby and kept trying to come between them. "You possessive bitch! How dare you keep my son away from me!"
'Son?' everyone else wondered with relief. 'So… not a love interest?'
Meanwhile, it was Potential Mother-in-law vs. Potential Daughter-in-law, Round Two.
"You stalker! Have you no shame!"
Soun raised his hand. "Er, excuse me…"
"STAY OUT OF THIS!" came twin female screams, laden with barely hidden animosity.
"…oh…. Ok…" Soun quietly cowered back down.
"Now, YOU! Stay away from my Ranma!"
"No, YOU stay away!"
Lightning crackled between the two.
Peering over the wall of the Tendo compound, the senshi turned to look at Jupiter.
Sailor Jupiter raised her hands. "Nah huh, wasn't me." Then, because she wasn't holding onto the wall anymore, she fell backward to land on her rump. "…owWIe…!" she groaned.
The tension was stifling.
Pluto made another abortive attempt for Ranma, but Akane casually swung the boy behind her by the scruff of his shirt, while keeping her eyes steadily on the green-haired bitch in front of her at all times.
Ranma had curled into himself, whispering, "I mustn't run away! I mustn't run away! I mustn't run away!"
Pluto stopped trying for Ranma after several failed attempts, and reached out a hand to slap Akane. "Stop it!"
It was Round Three.
Akane held a hand to her reddening cheek in disbelief. Her eyes flashed. "No, YOU stop it!" She slapped back, hard.
Slap! "You stop!"
Slap! "No! YOU!"
The Tendos were too afraid to interrupt and save their youngest from the bitch slapping. Genma was too wise to get involved in women's business (unless his stomach could benefit, in which case anything goes), and Ranma was in no condition to save anybody.
Finally, the angry women stopped, breathing heavily.
"Um, do you think we should interrupt them now?" Sailor Moon asked timidly.
"No way!" seemed to be the general consensus. Pluto was scary, but that short-haired girl was scarier.
Only someone really powerful would have the gall to go toe-to-toe with Pluto.
It was either that, or the girl was ignorant. Or suicidal. Or psycho. Or had delusions of grandeur.
Or all of the above.
None of the options were very reassuring.
"You will not keep me from my son!"
"He's NOT yours!"
Genma was really tempted to say that Ranma was HIS son, but hell, he wanted to come out of this unscathed. Unfortunately, he must have unknowingly made a noise because it attracted the attention of the volatile woman in the modified schoolgirl fuku.
"YOU!" she snarled, her red eyes spitting fire when she recognised him.
When she had done her research with the Timegate on Ranma, she had seen this moron torturing her baby! Setsuna trembled with renewed fury, but comforted herself with the truth.
Genma Saotome was already dead, but just didn't know it.
And it was her duty to correct his ignorance.
"You sadistic bastard! For hurting my son and making his life hell, in the name of Pluto, I shall punish you!"
Genma was confused. "What-? Wait-"
Genma, his body smoking and blackened, collapsed to the ground.
Soun was crying rivers at the sight of his destroyed living room. It was just as well his eyes were blinded by tears so he couldn't see the deep gash gouged into his backyard, and the two feet crack in the outer wall of the Tendo compound.
Mars patted herself all over to make sure she was still intact, then rested a hand over her heart.
Yes, it was still beating.
The rest of the senshi stared, bug-eyed, at how close they had come to losing Sailor Mars to friendly fire.
'Missed her by thaaaat much,' a certain Agent 86 (aka Maxwell Smart) would have said.
Satisfied that she had scored a direct hit on her target, Pluto swung her attention back to the current thorn in her side without missing a beat. "Once my maternity is established, he won't be yours either!"
"Oh yeah? He's already MY fiancé. It's been arranged since we were born! SO there!" Akane wasn't thrown off her stride by what happened to the lazy panda either.
The two obviously hormonal females glared.
The temperature in the room dropped.
This time it was Mercury who held up her hand in denial. The other was holding her computer. "Nope, it wasn't me."
She had taken the precaution to sit on the wall so there was no danger of her having an… accident like Jupiter did.
It was at this point that Nodoka walked back into the room, bearing a tray laden with a fresh pot of tea and some more teacups.
What followed afterwards would forever redefine everyone's definition of chaos.
As she walked in, she ignored the mass of quivering feminine tension to the side – it wasn't unusual when around Ranma, since women had been fighting over her manly son since she knew him – and placed the tray on the table.
"Tea, anyone?" Nodoka asked with her customary pleasantness. That was when her eyes fell on Pluto the same time the senshi saw her.
There was a taut silence.
Even Akane wondered why that psycho stalker had stopped arguing with her.
Then suddenly Pluto was all smiles as she flung herself at Nodoka.
"Darling! Where have you been all this time?" the scandalously clad soldier of love cried as she hugged Ranma's mother, and nuzzled their cheeks together affectionately.
A crash resonated around the room as multiple jaws fell onto the ground.
Happo Goen Satsu – Happosai's 'Five Yen Death'. Hinako's trademark ki draining technique using a coin.
Sentai – fighting teams.
In this story, the youma was draining normal humans of their energy, not super-powered martial artists. That's why their effects on Akane and Ranma were not as strong. Ranma himself probably have some instinctive protection against such drainage anyway, and developed ways to recover faster due to his numerous run-ins with Miss Hinako. Akane was just so angry, she was generating enough ki to prevent collapse!
Edited 22.6.2006 -fixed some minor typos, added missing brackets, andcorrected title of fic.Just realised I'dleft the original title, 'Ranma's Father'instead of the actual one I ended upusing. Gee, how did I miss all this?(Shakes head at self in dismay...)