Shadows of Time

A Ranma ½ / Sailor Moon Crossover fanfic by jimra

Characters from Ranma 1/2 are owned by Takahashi Rumiko and characters from Sailor Moon are owned by Takeuchi Naoko. No infringement is intended by the writing of this story.

Author's Note: So that no one thinks that this is a cop-out, this story was originally posted as 'Disappearance,' and I later removed that story, thinking to absorb it into another of my stories. That didn't work out, and after some brainstorming, I came up with goal for the story and a way for it to stand on its own, so here it is in its new incarnation.

Prologue: Vanishing Lives

--

The flight from Okinawa to Narita seemed to take forever, but the young couple that was just returning from their honeymoon on the small island were truly in no hurry. Ranma held Akane's hand in his and kissed his young wife on the cheek for no apparent reason. Akane smiled back at Ranma.

"So," said Ranma. "Do you think much has changed back home?"

"Oh come on, Ranma," Akane replied. "We've only been gone two weeks."

"Yeah...I suppose our being gone wouldn't change things that much."

The newly-weds' conversation was interrupted by the sound of the captain's voice. "Attention passengers. We are now making our final approach to Narita International Airport in Tokyo. Please fasten all safety belts and make sure that all tray-tables and seats are in the fully upright and locked position. I hope you have enjoyed your flight."

After complying with the captain's request, neither Akane nor Ranma could keep a silly grin from their faces. It would be good to get back to the dojo.

Akane reflected on how her life had changed since Ranma and his father had walked into her life nearly a year and a half ago. At the time, she couldn't believe that her father would engage her to someone she had just met, but now she couldn't be happier. Life through out the first year of their engagement had been nothing short of sheer insanity. There had been numerous fiancées and rivals for Ranma, and Akane didn't think anyone could beat her record for the most times kidnapped by royalty in a single year. Still, the major turning point had been that horrible wedding fiasco.

Since then, Ranma had done an admirable job in tying up his loose ends. Akane still didn't know how, but Ranma had somehow convinced Ukyou that he wasn't going to marry her, and then he turned Shampoo's ways against her. The young wife couldn't prevent a slight giggle when she thought of Shampoo married to Mousse because of a love potion Ranma had stolen from Cologne. Everyone had to admit that she deserved it for all those tricks she pulled on Ranma. Cologne, however, would only agree not to cure Shampoo if both Ranma and Akane agreed to join the tribe, and they both had agreed. Their initiation would take place in about two weeks (even Cologne had agreed that the honeymoon could come first).

A small, satisfied smile appeared on Akane's face when she thought of Kodachi's fate: she had had the sole honor and pleasure of tearing that insane gymnast a few new ones. In fact, that one was still in traction when she and Ranma had left on their honeymoon.

Amazingly enough, Ranma and Ryoga were almost the best of friends by the time he had married her, and Ryoga had been his best man. Of course, Ranma had served in that position for Ryoga only half an hour later as the lost boy married Akari. Ryoga and Ranma had had one final fight, just before putting on their tuxedos, right outside the church, just for old time's sake. The match ended in a draw; in fact, it was a double knockout.

Luckily for all involved, Kuno had been on a business trip in San Francisco when the wedding took place, but Akane wondered if they would regret not finding a more permanent solution for their only mutual suitor.

At last, the plane touched down, and it was only a few minutes before they reached the gate. Ranma, sitting closer to the aisle, stood first and began to collect their carry-on luggage from the overhead compartments. That done, Akane followed her husband down the aisle and they exited the aircraft.

Narita Airport wasn't too crowded this early in the morning, so they had little trouble getting to the baggage claim area and collecting their luggage. Finally, they were going to take the train back to Nerima and home.

As the couple walked through the doors of the airport, the ripple came. That was really the only way to describe what happened: it was seen as a distortion, heard as a silent whisper, and felt as a feather's caress. Ranma and Akane gasped and shuddered as the ripple passed over them, but in an instant the effect was over. Two pairs of eyes blinked, and Akane murmured, "What on earth was that?"

"No idea," answered a confused Ranma. "But it doesn't seem to have done anything."

"I guess so," said Akane, unconvinced.

"We'd better hurry or we'll miss our train!"

With that, both martial artists moved from the airport to the nearby train station at a run. This, of course, meant that anyone other than an Olympic sprinter would have found their speed amazing; the sprinter would have just found it highly impressive. Easily catching their train, the two lovers settled in for the trip to Nerima.

--

The street leading to the Tendo dojo seemed in better repair than when they had left, but Akane wasn't really paying attention. With home in sight, there was little either person was thinking about beyond the breakfast that Kasumi would be making. Dawn had just come, and her oldest sister would be just about done with breakfast when she and Ranma arrived.

The gates to the Tendo house were closed, and they didn't budge when Ranma attempted to push them open. Puzzled for a moment, Ranma pushed harder, stopping just short of breaking the faded wood.

"Akane," he said. "Do you have a key to the gate?"

Already fishing in her purse, Akane answered, "I think so...somewhere in here."

Just as Akane pulled the old key from her bag, Ranma said, "Never mind. The lock's rusted shut."

"That's not possible!" Akane exclaimed. "Kasumi cleans and oils it every week!"

"Take a look," Ranma replied in a soft voice. Sure enough, the lock was well rusted beyond the ability of any key to open. All Akane could say was, "That's...strange."

"Well," said Ranma. "Let's just jump the wall then."

Akane nodded, and in a moment, both martial artists were gaping at the completely overgrown garden within the three-meter-tall wall.

"There's no way this coulda happened in two weeks!" said an incredulous Ranma, but the person he was speaking to had already run into the house.

"Dad?" Akane called. "Kasumi? Nabiki? Uncle Saotome?"

Her cries cut off abruptly as she entered the house, Ranma close on her heels. Even as she stared, her husband was already moved away, investigating the situation. Dust covered every exposed surface like the house hadn't been lived in for over a decade. A majority of the furniture was missing, and those pieces that remained were covered in white sheets. Most worrisome of all, there were no prints in the dust save their own.

"What?" said Akane in a fearful voice. "What could have happened to everyone?"

Ranma, who had been exploring other areas of the now abandoned Tendo home, suddenly cried out. "AKANEEE! You need to see this."

Akane rushed through the house at speeds even she didn't think possible, heading for the source of her husband's voice. The path led her upstairs and into her father's room, but the sight that greeted her was more than enough to rob her of both speech and motion.

Ranma stood frozen before the family shrine, and the comforting face of her mother greeted her from a picture within. However, that was not what stopped her. To the right of her mother's picture was a picture of both of them. In fact, it was their wedding photo from a little over two weeks ago.

"Akane..." said Ranma. "Wha...what does this mean?"

--

Author's Notes:

Well, there it is, cleaned up but still mostly still the same. C&C is greatly appreciated. Later all.