Fallen Leaf

Chapter 1

Disclaimer:- I own nothing, nada, zip, and I claim the same.

A/N Everyone should be able to figure where this little plot bunny is going just by the name. So I won't spell it out for you. If you think I'm being subtle then you'll just have to wait for the next chapter to find out what's happening. Ranma timeline is about eight months after the failed wedding.

Ranma sighed deeply, he wouldn't say nothing had gone right for him this year, but you can only call every challenger being able to find him no matter where he went or how he tried to hide a coincidence the first thirty or forty times. It just seemed to be his luck that they walked past just as someone mentioned his name, yelled his name or on the odd occasion screamed his name giving away his location to the next nut-job to attack.

Then people like his father wondered why he hadn't developed his own art by now. Everything he had was borrowed from other schools, from the traditional styles right through to the totally weird such as 'Martial arts Tea Ceremony' or its contemporary counterpart where instead of using the utensils the practitioner used teabags as weapons. When he'd told Akane about it she'd laughed her head off. That is until he showed her the armour piercing teabag attack, those things went through stone walls. Thankfully the only one that hit him was a glancing blow that gouged his skin much like a bullet would have.

So, what was the point of sitting up here trying to think? He knew they'd find him. 'Alright, time ta stop pussy footin around,' Ranma didn't even wince at the mention of pussy, as long as he didn't try to say the word cat he was fine.

'Pops is right for once. It's time I developed something of my own. Even Pops created two distinct styles of his own. It's time I made my contribution to the art, no way am I going to let that fat lazy bastard outdo me.' The trouble is that every-time he'd tried to find the peace and quiet he'd been bombarded with rivals, challengers and fiancées or all three in the worst case scenarios.

Four months had passed since he began his mastery quest and he'd made absolutely no progress. He was beginning to wonder why he even bothered, from what he could see this world didn't need his type of martial arts anyway. What need had they of a man who could take on a small modern army and probably come out the other side without more than a scratch? As for the average criminal? Well any martial artist would do for that or they could leave it to the police. The police only really needed help when one of his 'type' came along to challenge him.

'So what good am I?' A hundred years ago? Sure he could see the need. Two hundred years ago? Definitely and without a doubt there was a need for him or someone like him. But here in this modern world he was an anachronism, a man in the wrong time. He floundered with the modern technology surrounding him, barely understanding how things functioned. In a way he longed for the simpler times, times when even if there was strife then at least there was equal peace.

Ranma sighed, 'Like that would ever happen. You were born and you lived the life you had. No point in making wishes since it was a total waste of time.' He sighed again.

"If only……" Ranma stopped, like he'd thought many times before there was no point continuing it was only wishful thinking and a total waste of time and emotional energy. Nothing ever changed by wishing for it, if anything was going to change he'd have to do it himself. Now just like the two previous years he had to figure out just how in the hell he was going to do that. He could make all the plans in the world and it wouldn't mean a thing since the other participants in his life were unlikely to act in accordance with his wishes.

Ranma Saotome was sitting in relative peace for the first time in nearly a week. It'd taken him that long to find somewhere he was sure 'they' couldn't find him. Sure it wouldn't last but a guy could hope couldn't he? He was currently contemplating a rash course of action that he hoped would free him from all the problems in his life, other than killing them or himself that is. The trouble was that his honour always got in the way, he couldn't just leave as that would leave both him and the others dishonoured.

Over the last few months he'd been coming to the conclusion that other peoples honour really wasn't his concern. Sure he should do everything in his power to make sure that he didn't cause someone dishonour, but that was his responsibility. It was where him dishonouring other people hinged on the actions of others like his father, Tendo-san, Happosai and the Amazons. None of them gave a damn about his personal honour, all they could see was what they personally wanted and screw the consequences.

A flash of light from his hands recalled him to the decision he had to make as it reflected off of the precious item he held. It was a chance where before there had been none. It was a small item, a mirror with a gold frame with beautiful bas-relief of tigers and other wild animals. It was a masterpiece that had fallen into his hands by default since no one else had wanted the useless broken artefact. He'd been told the mirror was a relic of the Amazons. They'd held it for thousands of years, until the Grand-master of the Anything Goes style had stolen it from them that is. A magic item of great power, or at least until the Nerima Wrecking Crew had gotten hold of it and managed to smash it. Oh there had been hell to pay for that one but in the end the need of the Amazons to take Ranma back with them had curtailed any further repercussions. They'd abandoned their claim on the then defunct mirror as it's value had lain in its ability to transport a person to a place where their wishes could be granted, not necessarily would but a place where the possibility lay for your wish to come true if you were willing to reach out and grasp it.

Ranma had set about learning as much as he could about magical mirrors, and had learned an interesting fact. The thing that everyone had missed was that the magic didn't lie in the mirror itself but in the frame which was still intact. Gosunkugi in a rare bout of being helpful, that I can neither deny or confirm may have had something to do with the fact that Ranma had dangled him off the Furinkan High School clock tower by his ankle, had explained that glass couldn't hold a magical charge, the gold in the frame on the other hand could hold a massive amount of magic. Then he'd gone on to explain that the mirror was ancient and was probably backed by another metal that was extremely useful in magic. Silver was valuable as in magical terms it would act as a transmitter of whatever spell was placed into it. So Ranma had figured out that the gold anchored the spell to wherever the mirror was and the silver allowed the spell to lock on to wherever the wish needed to take the person making the wish. Simple in explanation but a whole different matter in practice.

So he had saved as much money as he could with Nabiki around and went in search of a replacement, and got a nasty shock. Antique mirrors manufactured with the required amount of silver were rare, extremely rare and as expensive as they were rare. His money wouldn't cover that kind of thing so he'd decided to make his own, silver in and of itself was a rather cheap metal and a small oval sheet of glass was even cheaper. He'd used ki to melt the silver and to heat the glass so it didn't crack. Then he'd removed any impurities from the silver and poured the resultant molten metal over the glass. Six sheets of glass later he'd perfected the technique and slid the completed mirror into the frame with an audible click as the two fused into a whole.

Now here he sat thinking about what he should wish for and if he should make the wish at all. At first nothing had come to mind, after all just wishing to be somewhere else could be detrimental to his health, since space was such a vast place he could end up….Ranma shuddered slightly, it really didn't bear thinking about, except in how to avoid a vague wish that could backfire like that.

The mirror had been complete now for nearly eight months or about five months after the failed wedding and he still hadn't been able to come up with a proper wish. Peace and quiet for him was such a rare thing and anytime he tried to think about something important someone would come along and disrupt his concentration. He could force the time if…Nah, something always came up to disrupt his plans. Just sitting here looking out across the cityscape had him so tense he could hardly call it relaxing. The supposedly unexpected attacks had become more than expected attacks nowadays. Amazons, Musk, Phoenix, deranged martial artists with even more deranged martial arts styles, eventually they'd find him. It was enough to make him wonder if it was actually worth it, breathing was becoming such a chore. Where the only reason he hadn't just given up and slit his belly was that 'Ranma Saotome doesn't lose!'

"Yeah right!" he snorted. He had lost count of the times he'd been beaten in combat since the failed wedding, the thing was…The thing was, and this was why they kept coming to challenge him, the thing was he never gave up. You can't defeat someone who comes back, and back and back until he's made everything you used to defeat him his own. And so the art known as 'Anything Goes' had evolved to become one of the most deadly arts in the history of the world, or at least he liked to think so. Of course Pops claimed that everything that Ranma was, was because he was such a great teacher.

"Yeah right!" So here he sat atop a pole on top of Tokyo Tower, watching the city below as it sparkled with flashing neon signs and street lights, cars flowed in rivers along the distant streets. Even directly below him there was a string of flashing red lights for which he was very thankful since with the good old Saotome luck he'd probably be stuck by a low flying aircraft if he stayed here too long.

Sighing in resignation he pushed the mirror into a small sub-space pocket abandoning the idea. The few times it'd been used before it had distorted the wish made on it and made the person wish to return to their normal life which was strange as it always did that with perfect accuracy. It was like it was a training tool so that people would accept their lot in life. Deciding that he might as well use the time he had left for something constructive Ranma closed his eyes of the distant scene and contemplated his life as it was and how he wished it was. Time slowed down, as did his breathing as he entered deeper and deeper into his trance state.

So deep in fact that he missed the slight thrum in the pole he was perched atop of. It wasn't the first time the wind had caused the pole to vibrate. This time was different as the pole tipped outwards, the time it took Ranma to come back to himself and figure out that he was in danger it was too late, the post was perpendicular to the ground and there was no way to arrest his fall. The moonlight gleamed off a pair of glasses as he came level with the place that his perch had been severed, a long sword glistened as Mu Tse saluted him.

"Get out of that one Ranma Saotome! My vengeance is complete, no one can survive a fall from this height, not even you!" He gloated, "Now Xian Pu will see me for the man I am, MuWhahahahahah!" Mu Tse missed the approach of Ranma's reply as the Mouko Takabisha struck him in the chest crushing the plastic bottles of water strapped to his body and instantly transforming him into a duck wrapped in an extremely heavy robe that happened to fly off the far side of the tower. The glasses wearing duck watched in satisfaction as he pulled the emergency blades from their subspace pockets and sliced the sleeves of his robe to release his cursed form. The robes fell away from him even as he opened his wings and soared off with a quackle (1) of evil victorious laughter.

The descending Ranma on the other hand realized he'd just served to throw himself further from the tower and from any chance that he could use it to slow himself down. If he'd taken note of his physics lessons at school he'd know that he had less than eight seconds to figure out someway to escape this. The same set of reflexes that he used in battle came online and his descent seemed to slow to a snails crawl, and not the soon to be nearly three hundred kilometres an hour plunge into the concrete jungle far below. Extrapolating that his Mouko Takabisha had done he started drawing ki so that he could fire it downwards. He quickly discarded that plan when he noticed the sheer number of ki signatures below. To save him self he stood a real chance of killing hundreds of innocent people. The next thought that crossed his mind was to aim for the nearest body of water, or in this case the only body of water. From up here it appeared to be a shallow fountain that wouldn't break his fall in any other way than terminally. By now heading back to the tower was just as dangerous as falling into the ground below, since if he struck steel while travelling this fast it'd still do a great deal of damage even if it didn't kill him outright.

"Oooooooooooooooooh! Shiiiiiiiiiiiiit!" he screamed taking up a whole two seconds of thinking time. Deciding that cursing fate, his family, and anyone else's family he'd come into contact with recently wasn't going to do any good he stopped. His mind seemed to clear and he pulled the Nanban mirror from its hiding place. He had one chance to get this right.

"I wish to be somewhere all of my needs and wants can be satisfied, while doing some good for the world around me." Nothing seemed to happen for a moment as he continued to fall. That was when he remembered that a tear needed to fall on the glass and began swearing again in the recesses of his mind along with, 'I'm gonna die!' over and over again. Using his vast experience in aerial tumbling he turned his body so that he'd strike the ground back first, just because he was gonna die didn't mean he wanted to see it

If he could have said 'instruction manual' in ancient Mesopotamian he might have realized that it wasn't the tear that was necessary but the emotional ki contained within the tear that was important. Another thing he might have discovered was that any kind of ki would have done since it wasn't the emotion but the quantity that was important. In fact the ki he'd gathered for his Mouko Takabisha drained out of him and into the frame of the mirror so quickly that he almost blacked out even as the mirror began to glow like a new born star that happened to be falling to earth. The glow became so intense that Ranma had to close and shield his eyes

At three hundred and twenty seven metres the ground below him seemed to swirl, at three hundred and twenty seven and a half metres his pig-tail, (which had grown over the last year), brushed the ground for the briefest milli second only to disappear into an inky void. A moment later the mirror was dull and Ranma was ascending again, this time into a clear blue sky with a sun hanging just above the horizon, was it morning or evening where ever this place was? He had no idea, what he knew was that his problems weren't over as he sailed ever higher.

(1) a 'quackle' is an evil laugh perpetrated by a duck, equivalent to the evil 'cackle' of a mad scientist or evil henchmen.

A/N all reviews are welcome, trust me on this. I need input on this much more than I needed it on anything else I've written. I'm not sure where this is going, so I'm open to suggestions. Ranma appears during the Kyuubi attack, that's all I'll say at this point.