Disclaimer: Ranma and The Melancholy of Suzumiya Haruhi are not mine.

Friendly reminder: Knowing Ranma One-half is the only requirement for understanding this fic. I'll be giving all the necessary information about The Melancholy of Suzumiya Haruhi as needed.

Demiglace Graffiti: Prologue

By ToastedPine

When was it when I should have noticed something strange about Haruhi? Probably since the day she was born. She was stronger than any of the other kids, always lively and independent. The energy she had then continues even now, and I cherish seeing it every day. Heh, yeah, what I'm saying sounds like the typical fatherly thing: my daughter is special and I want the world to know. A decade or so back, I wouldn't have been able to imagine myself in such a position. Actually, most of my visions of the future back then involved me being dead for one reason or another: insane martial arts challengers, toxic cooking, dying of a fever from being splashed with water one too many times. Heck, maybe Ryoga finding a genie and having him wish me dead. You can see why I made a lot of mistakes back then—thinking even a few minutes into the future was pretty depressing.

Back to more important stuff, I should have known that Haruhi's strength wasn't normal, but it didn't seem like a big deal (she had my blood after all). Boy was I wrong. My wakeup call came on the night of Tanabata. It was another event in a long series that showed I really was as big an "insensitive freak" Haruhi's mother claimed I was...

"Suzumiya, Suzumiya!" the angry, piercing yell echoed through my skull. Looking up, I saw my new boss, Yamazaki. He was a scrawny willow of a man who managed to carry a bark worse than his bite.

"Suzumiya, why the hell don't you respond when I call you? It's as if you don't even know your own name."

Heh, you don't know that half of it, but that's not a story I'll ever tell you. Jerk, making me work on Tanabata. I told Haruhi I'd take her to the festival, not that I'm certain she was even listening to me at the time...

Shrugging, I swiveled my chair back towards my desk and shuffled through a stack of papers. "I told you, Ranma's fine." I found the finished sketches and handed them to him. "Here."

He frowned while pushing his narrow frameless glasses back onto the bridge of his nose. The lenses covered his squinty eyes completely. They say that if you hold an expression long enough, your face would get stuck that way. The narrow slits beneath his eyebrows seemed permanent. He calmly took the papers from my hand and surveyed my work. I guess he wasn't really mad. "As expected, Suzumiya, your reputation precedes you. I'm glad I won you over to our side."

"Eh, this is closer to home," I said, shrugging in a way calculated to set him off.

Strangely enough, all he did was bow to me.

"I deeply apologize for making you work tonight. I needed to ensure that new employees like you are committed to YS. I humbly ask you to take the rest of the day off and accept the bonus I will be giving you at the end of the week as compensation."

Okay, he wasn't a jerk, but he didn't have to test me like that. I had my honor... maybe. He hadn't done me that much of a favor since there was only an hour left before quitting time.

A short bus trip later, I was about to open the door to our apartment when I felt a chill run down my spine. This wasn't your regular, I've-been-caught-with-an-amorous-amazon-warrior-in-my-bath kind of chill, this was worse, like the time right before Soun came back from the doctor.

Something was up. Something big.

It may seem like an overreaction, but I had trained since I could walk to trust my instincts. It was a hard habit to break.

"Haruhi!" I door splintered violently into a totally empty apartment. Where was she? I concentrated hard, sensing the different life forces in and around the building.

I felt her to the west. She must be at school. Running straight for the window of our second story apartment, I jumped out. It may have been more than a decade since I left Nerima behind completely, but I still hadn't lost my touch.

Unfortunately, I had gotten so used to walking that having a community pool right next to our building never registered as an important fact.

…until then.

"Crap!" I cursed while trying to swim through the air. Who would have thought that my water-magnet days would come back to haunt me?

After dragging myself out of the water, I rushed to the school. Thankfully, I spotted her standing on the schoolyard, her back turned. Her body was small, but she was always had her head high- confident and larger than life. "Haruhi!" I called while waving. Only then did I notice the… bounce. Gurk!

I jump into the branches of a nearby tree before she could see my curse.

"What was that?" Haruhi asked, facing my direction. There was a guy behind her a few meters away. Classmate? No, he was too old. And why would they meet up here at school at... 8:30 PM? Boyfriend? Over his dead body!...which, might make Haruhi stop talking to me for good…. Arrghh! I didn't know- she never tells me anything important anymore.

I took a deep breath slowing the rapid beating in my chest. "Okay Ranma," I muttered, "watch and wait." If that pervert so much as touches her, he'd be a smear on the pavement.

Author's Notes: Many thanks to Fallacy and the people at Night for helping me out with this idea.