by Trisar Alvein
THIS STORY IS HEREBY DISCONTINUED
I don't own Ranma ½, nor do I own Sailor Moon. I'm just...uh...borrowing them, is all. Really. This takes place after Ranma's gotten back from the battle at Mt. Horai and just before the arrival of the Death Busters in the Sailor Moon manga.
"Ranma, you jerk!" echoed in his mind. He was vaguely aware of having left the ground behind long ago. A part of him questioned where he was flying to this time. It went mostly unheeded, as he was in a state of semiconsciousness, and couldn't coordinate the different parts of his mind together. Another part of his mind wondered why Akane didn't trust him, if she would ever trust him. The thought ran unsoothingly through Ranma, even as he realized he was descending. A hazy examination revealed no one in his direct path before his mind shut down completely.
"What was that sound?" Rei asked, looking up from her studybook as a loud CRASH! echoed in from outside. Makoto was already up and running toward the door. Instead of meeting at the game center, the girls had chosen to have their usual gathering at Makoto's apartment, where the boy-crazy martial artist had cooked up a bunch of snacks. If that was a monster attack, thought Rei, then it's a good thing we chose to come here today! Following behind Makoto, the other girls had enough time to hear her exclaim "No way!" before she ran down to the ground level like a maniac.
"Mako-chan! What're you doing?" yelled out Usagi, running down the stairs at a much more sedate pace, given her aptitude towards clumsiness. Ami was walking down the stairs behind her, not as panicked now as she'd been, since Makoto hadn't even transformed before her panic-sprint toward the ground. Minako and Rei, thinking along those same lines, were also walking down the stairs.
"Ranma-sempai! Ranma-sempai! Can you hear me? Wake up!" yelled Makoto, and the three who hadn't gone into panic-mode reached ground level to see Makoto with an older boy, high school age by his looks, resting with his head in her lap. Rei thought he looked somewhat familiar, but also thought he was kind of cute, especially with his black hair done up in that pigtail of his.
It was about then that what Makoto was yelling filtered into everyone's brains. "Sempai?!" they yelled as one.
"Yeah! This is my old sempai, Ranma Saotome! I haven't seen him for a couple years now, and I was wishing I could see him again just now instead of sitting around and studying. If I'd known how he'd show up, though—"
A groan from the pigtailed boy caught their attention, and all eyes snapped toward him. "That...stupid...tomboy," he grumbled, apparently recovering consciousness. He suddenly froze, stiffening, causing the girls to blink in wonder. One of his eyes slowly opened, casting a wary glance at the girl whose lap he was in. "Oookay. You look familiar, but my head hurts too much for me to even guess what your name is."
"Ahh...it's Kino. Makoto Kino," murmured a suddenly blushing Makoto, who'd caught herself glancing into Ranma's eye. They were the same as they'd always been. Bright blue and filled with a childish happiness that seemed impossible to keep down for long.
"Makoto Kino, huh? Mako...MAKO-CHAN?!" The girls were caught off guard as the boy, who had apparently been just barely conscious, suddenly leapt up and turned to face Makoto, none the worse for wear. "Mako-chan, that's really you?!" he asked, lifting the tall girl up to her feet with obvious ease, examining her face. "It is! Wow! It's been so long! How have you been?"
"I've been fine, sempai," replied Makoto, still blushing. "H-how have you been?" She was beginning to mentally curse herself for not being able to focus past those blue eyes of his.
"Been better. Been lots better," he replied, looking around. "I don't recognize this area. Where am I?"
"Tokyo, Juuban prefecture," supplied Ami helpfully.
"Juuban?! That stupid tomboy knocked me all the way to Juuban?!" yelled Ranma, eyes widening. Ami blinked, uncertain of how to answer. "That's it. Somethin' has to give. She can't keep goin' like this, hittin' me for no reason at all. She might start hittin' people who can't take hits the way I can, and if she hits 'em that hard..." He sighed, then looked up. "You're SURE I'm in Juuban?"
"Any reason why you shouldn't be?" asked Rei.
"Yeah. I WAS in Nerima just a few minutes ago," replied Ranma blandly. "Juuban... Juuban... Isn't that the place with all the monster attacks? With the superpowered cheerleaders and all?"
S...superpowered cheerleaders?! thought Rei, her eye twitching slightly. "Well, isn't Nerima that place with the freak martial artists and psychotic school administrators?" she asked, hoping to score a hit against Ranma.
"Yeah, it is. What's your point?" he returned, apparently unfazed by her comment, and as such, completely unprepared for her facefault into the ground. "While I'm thinking about it, what time is it?"
"About, um... five thirty, I think, sempai."
"Aww man, I'm gonna miss dinner because of that stupid, uncute girl! Mako-chan, it was great seeing you again and all, but I've gotta get going." Much to the bewilderment of the five girls, Ranma proceeded to make a standing leap onto the roof of Makoto's apartment. Looking around from his new perch, he picked a direction, then sprang off, eventually disappearing into the distance.
It took him a while to actually reach Nerima, and by the time he did, he was tired of jumping over roofs, and settled down on the ground. He needed time to think, anyway. His thoughts had barely had time to start working on something when someone called out to him, a quiet, "Good evening, young man."
Blinking, he turned toward the voice, seeing a heavily cloaked figure standing behind a glass display case. The figure gestured him over, and figuring he had nothing to lose at this point, he actually walked over. Peeking inside the case, he noted several valuable gemstones that he couldn't even hope to identify. Set apart from the mass of glittering rocks were a white one, a green one, a pink one, and a blue one.
"Something catch your eye?" lilted the cloaked person, who Ranma could now identify as a woman, but not one he knew. "Ah, I see you are drawn to those ones. Which one draws you?"
He couldn't help it. He found his eyes fixed on the white gem. "That one," he said, pointing.
"Ah, the false jade. A very tough gem, that one. Very well." With little fanfare, the woman opened the display case, taking the white stone from its place and setting it in Ranma's hand.
"Keep it. Call it a gift, or whatever. Call it chance or destiny. Either way, it's yours."
He blinked, then slowly nodded. There was... something about this stone. He had to keep it. Putting it in his pocket, he prepared to bow to the woman, only to find that she and her display had vanished without a trace. And yet... the stone was still in his pocket.
"Okay. That's too weird."
"There you are!" yelled another voice. Ranma turned, this time with resignation, seeing Akane. "WHERE have you been?! Off with one of your other girls?"
"That'd be kinda hard, Akane! You sent me all the way to Juuban!" he returned, marching past her and back on his way to the dojo.
"Hey! Don't you ignore me! Hey, I said!"
Oh yes. Today was definitely a weird day for him...
Dropping down into a sitting position in the Tendo sitting room, Ranma ignored Akane as she stomped up to her room, instead taking the gem from his pocket and scrutinizing it. It was fairly unremarkable, blandly colored, and pretty light. About the only thing it had was that it seemed pretty damn durable, plus... something else he couldn't quite put his finger on.
"What's with the rock, Saotome?" asked Nabiki, glancing at the stone boredly.
"Someone just... gave it to me. Called it 'false jade,' I think." That stopped Genma's creeping hands. False? If it wasn't real, it wasn't valuable enough to sell.
Nabiki, on the other hand, began tapping her finger against her chin, while Kasumi perked up slightly. "Kasumi, you were always better as mineralogy than me. What's false jade called, again?"
"Oh my... Ah, nephrite, I think. The counter to jadeite, 'true jade.' Isn't nephrite a rather tough stone?"
"Well, this rock's pretty tough," replied Ranma. "And there's... something about it. Almost like it's got ki or something."
"What, is the rock alive, Saotome?"
He paused. Carefully, he considered the rock, his senses flowing over it. "Yeah, it just might be..."
Genma's hand began creeping again. If it was alive, there was bound to be some way of using it to make money besides directly selling it... like defeating the dread master, or making Ranma marry Akane, or—
"Yeow!" bellowed the elder Saotome, clutching at his bruised knuckles as Ranma retracted his fist.
"Watch those fingers of yours, Pops. I don't think you want this rock badly enough to go through me to get it."
"He's right, Genma," intoned the aforementioned dread master, Happosai, from the table. Everyone in the room except for Kasumi jumped back from the table in surprise.
"M-master!" yelped Genma. "Wait, what do you mean he's right?"
"That rock is... protective. If anyone but the true owner touches that particular rock, they'll have the time of their life for the rest of their life."
Kasumi sipped her tea ponderingly. "That doesn't sound so bad."
"The rock makes sure you die with a smile on your face. It crams about four thousand years' worth of pleasure... into the space of five seconds. Your brain quite literally liquifies in your skull. If you can get your hand off the rock in about a second, you'll live, but you'll be stuck thinking about that pleasure. You'll always want to get it back, but you know you can't, so you focus on what pleasure you can get." Happosai shuddered slightly. "It isn't pretty."
Nabiki took on an insightful expression. "You've touched one of these rocks before, haven't you?"
Nodding, Happosai replied, "Yes. Not that rock in particular, actually. It was a sample of pink spodumene."
Ranma blinked as that rattled in his brain, unlodging... something. He didn't know what, but he opened his mouth and... "You mean kunzite?"
The entire room blinked, turning as one to Ranma, then everyone turned to Kasumi for confirmation. She, for her part, nodded slightly. "Yes, kunzite by another name is pink spodumene. How did you know that, Ranma-kun?"
"I... don't know." Truth be told, the dislodging of that knowledge was causing a headache for some reason. "I'm... gonna go lie down. I don't feel so good... and don't no one touch the rock. Got it?" Getting slightly panicked nods from everyone in the room, Ranma stood up, slipping the nephrite into his pocket and heading up to the guest room to lay on his futon. Between a sudden weariness that he attributed to having to return from Juuban on foot and the night's events, and the headache pounding at the inside of his skull, he was all too eager to fall into blissful unconsciousness.
Foreshadowing? What is this foreshadowing you speak of? Does it involve Legend of Zelda and the Four Sword? Or the Fused Shadows? No, wait, I've got it! It's the counter to the four Light Spirits, right?
This... has been in the works for some time now. Personally, I say it's about time I got it up and out. Hope you folks like it.