Disclaimer: I do not own Ranma 1/2 or Sailor Moon or other characters that may be noted from time to time in the author's notes as originating elsewhere. This piece of work is purely for entertainment purposes.
by Lerris Smith
Have you ever wondered how the story was meant to go? Perhaps you've wondered how things would turn out if a great tragedy in history was undone? Yet quite often, even for the entities with the power to do so, it becomes problematic to change things, for in the act of changing, you have undone the reason for seeking the change in the first place. It does not mean the great powers in the universe are impotent in the face of paradox, but it does mean, that they, like everyone else, will usually take the path of least resistance. Of course, quite often, their true actions are based on mere whim or simple curiosity.
Of considerable debate among the higher entities, is the eternal battle between order and chaos. Most, in the most secret areas of their own consciousness, would admit that they themselves are made of a balance between those two forces, even if externally they appeared quite the opposite. Regardless, such things are never to be spoken of, since offending an all powerful spirit of creation is usually a bad idea, especially when they are bored.
One such pair of deities sat in wicker chairs that were floating in the air above a quite familiar island. The each had a favorite mortal that they liked to be entertained by, although sometimes this could change weekly if not daily. One deity appeared to be a mid thirties male, while another appeared to be a mid thirties female. The particular mortal favored by the more chaotic entity was currently cold, wet, and female and appeared to be in danger of being eaten by a rather large alligator that had somehow got into the drainage system where said mortal had ended up. This danger was of course swiftly dealt with as said mortal executed a surprisingly hard punch that knocked the creature away.
The male diety grinned after he realized the alligator was going to land right in front of Tatewaki Kuno's outdoor practice area, where said Kuno was even now deep in practice of his chosen art. If one were to look closely at this particular entity they might see a remarkable resemblance to the male form of his favorite mortal, even down to his current smirk.
Absently, Ranma-chan said out loud, "Can't Kodachi keep her pets at home? Jeez. Oh well, if my aim was good she should have it back, although nursing it after that horrible fall might keep her busy for awhile." Ranma grinned at that impromptu plan. It probably wouldn't work of course, but one could dream. Besides, if the alligator wasn't returned he very much feared she would get something new and truly horrible, like a big cat.
The second diety bore a remarkable resemblance to an older Minako Aino. She looked in on another part of the city, where her favorite was even now reading a magazine. Minako was nominally a creature of order of course, being the servant of a major force of order, but what the deity found perhaps the most amusing, is even by being a creature of order, she sometimes contributed to the most chaotic situations. It was similar to how the other one, being a creature of chaos, often contributed to greater order.
Of course, a tiny bit of manipulation had been required to insure her favorite received that magazine. It was, in fact, the only particular bit of interference the pair had done in over a year and they were hesitant to change matters. Hesitant, however, did not mean they wouldn't do it, if it became useful, entertaining, or better yet, both.
Minako was laying on her bed at her house and leafing through a magazine. It was very professionally done, and if she hadn't known it was made by a girl no older than herself, she certainly would have never guessed. Well, that was not quite true, professional magazines and such usually didn't obsess on high school students, unless of course they were sports stars, and then they seldom went into this level of detail.
Their was a knock on her door to which she said, "Come on in Ami."
Ami opened the door carefully, so as not to drop one of the several books she had with her. She walked over to Minako's desk, but seeing there was no clear space gave an almost inaudible sigh and sat them on the bed next to Minako. She said, "Don't you ever clean?"
Minako replied, "Oh come on. You know I do sometimes, and well it just gets cluttered so quickly."
Ami suppressed a smile as she tried to covertly see what Minako was looking at when suddenly Minako's eyes met her own. Minako's expression turned into wicked grin just before she said, "Um, Ami, you know how last month I introduced you to that guy you were interested in, you know the one you were kissing-"
Ami blushed and put a hand over Minako's mouth before nodding which caused Minako's grin to widen. Perhaps it was a bit evil to suggest that just maybe people might find out that Ami wasn't quite as focused on books as she wanted everyone to believe, but it was effective.
Ami asked, dread in her voice, "What do you want?"
Minako continued, amused, "Your help of course. Look, for someone of your skills and abilities I'm sure it will be easy."
Ami closed her eyes and lay back on the bed with her knees bent and her feet not quite touching the floor before saying, "Okay, I'll do it."
Minako grinned. She knew in Ami's soul was a rebel just looking for an excuse to get out. You couldn't be prim and proper all the time, although she did come close, in her own opinion anyway.
Minako said, "Well, I have this magazine I bought from Umino that shows a lot of information about a high school in Nerima, and in particular about a martial artist named Ranma Saotome. Here is a picture of him on page two." She pointed to a full page picture of Ranma up into the air, in his customary red silk shirt and blue drawstring pants.
Ami blushed and gave a small whistle of approval. That was an incredible photo, that just managed to catch him on his way down with his shirt half billowing around him. She motioned for Minako to flip the page. On it was a picture with a red haired girl about Usagi's height standing on a boy's head with his mouth partially open, as if in speech. It included a caption that stated, " Just wait, I'll find you Ranko and when I do, I'll destroy your happiness." The girl was clearly smirking as the clueless boy continued to look around for his nemesis.
Ami said, "That can't be real. No one is that clueless. The caption even identifies the girl as this Ranko."
In a grand voice Minako replied, "That is our new mission. To investigate and uncover the truth. To-"
"check out a cute guy?"
Minako was beginning to think she was a bad influence on the blue haired girl, or was that good influence? She handed the magazine to Ami, before saying in a softer tone, "Well, actually there is the little thing I wanted you to check out before we began. Turn to page five."
Ami flipped to the page and read. Minako watched her quickly read the page, and then, as if in disbelief, she appeared to read it again before saying, "Three fiancées? You are interested in a guy with three fiancées?" Ami knew that she had failed to keep the incredulity out of her voice, but then she had not really tried.
Minako said, "That's what I needed you for. Some of this has got to be fake. I mean, who would ever believe in getting a fiancée because he beat a Chinese Amazon in combat. For that matter who ever heard of Chinese Amazons?"
Ami half nodded before saying, "Okay, I'll see what I can find, without doing anything illegal of course." The last was added almost in afterthought and seem to cause Minako's smile to slip just a little. Ami pointed to the pile of books. "While I'm doing that, you get some studying done. It was the purpose for me coming over here after all."
Minako sighed, but just nodded and reached for a book. It was not that school was hard per say, but rather so boring that she sometimes had difficulty staying awake reading the material. She glanced at the cover of the book and groaned. It was world history. She was certain that if only a decent writer had written the book, perhaps as if told from the perspectives of those involved, then history might even be interesting.
Ami removed some stuff from the middle of the desk and stacked it to the side, but when it started to fall, she instead stacked the items on the floor to the side of the desk, and placed her laptop where she could work.
Minutes passed, and then close to a half hour. Ami became more and more wrapped up in what she was doing with her computer and completely ignored the fact that Minako was now silently staring over her shoulder.
When the screen started showing up court records, police records, and then resident alien status Minako was fairly sure that Ami had accidentally forgotten her own words about not doing anything illegal. Minako left the room once, having been unable to keep up with Ami's progress, and returned with a couple of glasses filled with a cola of some kind which she absently set on the little night stand near her bed. She then drank a large drink of one and returned to her self appointed station standing behind Ami.
Ami popped out of her semi trance-like state almost an hour later when she blinked and stretched, almost accidentally hitting Minako in the chin. She turned around, and a mock frown appeared on her face, as if chastising Minako for looking over her shoulder. Minako, for her part, was having none of it. She simply said, "So, what do you think?"
Ami said, "His father has a lot to answer for. Seemingly uncountable petty thefts, selling his son's hand in marriage for various things many times. An old report from a hospital emergency room doctor that suspected his father of child abuse since he found it unlikely that a seven year old child really jumped into a bunch of starved cats, as his father reported. The doctor asked for someone to look into it, but no one ever did. Hmm, this is interesting. The doctor noted down that Ranma appeared to have a remarkable rate of healing."
Minako nodded absently. She hadn't really expected all of this, and somehow the details only made her more interested, although some if it was really kind of sad, yet Ranma had turned out very well if the pictures meant anything. She asked, "What about his current fiancées? He didn't chose to be engaged to any of them, did he?" The last was said, with just a touch of apprehension in her voice.
"Well, the Chinese Amazons exist, and they do have some rather strange rules including that one. Akane Tendo is registered at Furinkan high school along with Ranma. She gets fairly good grades and is in fact in Ranma's class although she did have numerous complaints filed against her for inflicting physical injuries before he arrived. Akane and Ranma are also registered as living in the same house." Ami pressed a few keys bringing up a different window before saying, "As for this Ukyo, I really can't tell you much beyond that it seems she is registered as a male and runs a restaurant in that town."
Ami looked around and spotted a couple of glass glasses filled with what she suspected was Pepsi and ice. Minako noticed her look and reached over and handed her the full one while saying, "Here you go. I almost forgot about getting those."
Ami asked, "Well, what now? Everything seems to check out, except, I almost forgot. There are no records of this Ranko Tendo shown in the magazine anywhere, so that must be a fake name."
Minako said in a conspiratorial voice, "Field research." A small, quickly suppressed, but not unnoticed grin appeared on Ami's normally guileless face before she said, "And just how do we go about doing that?"
Minako said, "Why it is really quite simple. Since our school had that horrible accident last week, and we are all on home schooling until they figure out something, well it is just our moral duty to find a place of learning so that our academic futures are not destroyed."
Ami's cheeks blushed faintly as she remembered that she, or rather her alter ego had accidentally caused or rather precipitated much of that damage. Oh sure, freezing the water in the pool had trapped the Youma long enough for everyone to kill it, but she hadn't counted on what would happen when all of the others attacks hit that frozen water. The initial expansion of the ice had broken the concrete surroundings, and the sudden vaporization of all that water to steam had sent all those chunks flying. Still, she couldn't be blamed, could she?
Ami pulled her focus back to the present. She could almost believe Minako was serious with her righteous tone, but not quite. In a dry tone Ami replied, "Furinkan is dead last in academic standing in the Tokyo area."
Minako looked sheepish before her brow furrowed, as if in thought. Finally she said, in a slightly less righteous although still hopeful tone, "Well, then it is our duty to go to their aid and set an example that will give those there a goal to strive for."
Ami could not help but to add, "Anything goes boyfriend hunting?" It did seem an appropriate name after all, especially considering that guys martial arts style.
Minako said, "You bet. Now, are you in?"
With a grin, Ami said, "Why not? You do realize though, that this Ranma is virtually the poster boy for excess baggage don't you?"
Minako said in a more serious tone, "Yes, but there are so very few people that might be able to keep up with us in our night jobs."
Ami nodded, only too aware of that.