"A Hell of a Life"
by Shaule Sachs

= - = Part 1 = - =

Version 1.1.html.ffnet
#define ahoal/author_notes.h
Author Notes:
Working title of "A Hell of a Life" suggested by Louis-Philippe Giroux.
This is a MEGA crossover, in that there are elements from other series, both American television, anime, and comics, involved in this story. To name a few, "Kung Fu: The Legend Continues", "Wonder Woman", "Bubblegum Crisis", "Dr. Strange", and "Kung Fu: The Original Series".
Appendices will added to help people with non-anime/manga characters...
Chronological Note: The time frame for this fic is tentatively after Japanese Volume 22, part 2, where the character of "Nodoka Saotome" is introduced for the first time. It's "tentatively" because I only have the Viz Graphic Novels up to Volume Eleven, although I have gone to the Ranma 1/2 FAQ, and downloaded a copy of all the manga summaries...
Font key: Italics will between two '//' and denote thoughts.
Bold will between '*' and denote emphasis.
Translated languages will between ''s and ''s otherwise everything is to be considered to be in native speaker's language (i.e. Japanese) #endif

//Ranma IS coming BACK!// Akane thought angrily as she walked to school. True, it had been over a week since Ranma and Happosai had disappeared in a cloud of smoke with that demon they had fought. The possibility that Ranma could be dead did not cross her mind. Only the sorrow of Ranma's disappearance and continuing absence kept her from erupting in anger at the gossip-mongers.

The rumors going around the school didn't help much.... Nabiki had started a betting pool on when Ranma would return. The most popular bet was that he wouldn't. The side bets were that either Ranma was dead or that he didn't wish to return to Nerima. The second most popular bet was that he would return in two days, after the first two days passed, those people joined either the Ranma-was-dead group or Ranma-wasn't-coming-back group.

Although a week had passed, the events that lead up to Ranma's disappearance were still fresh to her. Akane remembered....

= - = - = - =

It was a typical afternoon, Ranma and his father were practicing in the backyard. Ranma was still embarrassed about telling Akane that he loved her during the "martial arts cheerleading" match. Fortunately for the baka, he never denied it when they were lone. Ranma was taking his anger out on his father for preventing him from meeting his mother in the park that she had tried to arrange.

As Akane watched, she marveled at Ranma's level of skill, and how handsome he was as he dodged, countered, and counter-attacked his father's moves. In doing so, she realized that she loved Ranma and had since Nabiki had tried to take Ranma away from her.

After Ranma and Genma had been sparring for a half an hour, Kasumi brought out some lemonade for everyone to cool off with. At which point, Ranma and Genma stopped sparring and went to Kasumi to get some lemonade. Nabiki had just returned from her errands so everyone had some lemonade. Much to Akane's surprise, Ranma had even sat down next to her. She took advantage of it by leaning against him.

Akane was content. It was a beautiful day, she had Ranma at her side, a glass of refreshing lemonade, and her family close by. What more could a girl ask for?

Out of nowhere, a bucket of water hit Ranma, thus triggering his curse. Onna-Ranma and the rest looked surprised. Everyone knew Ranma was a water magnet, but even water did not come out of thin air.

The answer came from a voice attached to onna-Ranma's bust. Happosai, holding up a bra, asked onna-Ranma, "Would you please wear this for your beloved master?"

"Get off me, you old pervert!" onna-Ranma screamed as she threw Happosai at a tree. Happosai used the tree to bounce back at onna-Ranma. Onna-Ranma side-stepped Happosai, who landed a couple of feet away.

Just as Happosai was going to say something, a loud crash was heard. The sound came from the Tendo Dojo wall crumpling as a giant stepped on it. The giant looked just like an Oni out of the old legends. The Oni was a huge, muscled, fanged monster with horns like a bull, red skin and carrying a kanabo, a large spiked iron bar.

The Oni looked at Happosai and said, "I have found you again, monk!"

"And you'll regret it, again, Oni!" Happosai answered back.

Onna-Ranma was as confused as everyone else. Dumbly, onna-Ranma took the hot water that Kasumi handed her and dumped it over her head. After a few seconds, Ranma, now male, saw Happosai battling the Oni. Ranma noticed that Happosai's manners, attitude, and style had changed from the old perverted, babbling Happosai he knew to a serious, quiet martial artist. It was like seeing a completely different person. Ranma watched, slightly in awe, as Happosai attacked and countered the Oni with the skill and determination of a true master of the Martial Arts. It was something that Ranma had never seen in Happosai before. Ranma also noted that the Oni and Happosai were evenly matched. From the ease with which the other could counter the other's special moves, Ranma thought this was a battle that had been fought many times over. Probably to a stalemate, each time.

Despite all the problems Happosai had caused Ranma, he could not stand by and let Happosai fight alone. The amount of damage that Happosai and the Oni were causing and a near-miss that had almost hit Akane helped Ranma make his decision. Ranma attacked the Oni with a flying side-kick to the Oni's head which caught it off-guard and sent the Oni tumbling down.

The Oni quickly got up and attacked Ranma. While Ranma dodged, Happosai attacked it. When the Oni directed its attention to Happosai, Ranma would attack. Unable to defend itself from a two-sided attack, the Oni decided to leave. As the Oni was teleporting, Ranma and Happosai saw an opening and attacked.

There was a flash of light and a cloud of smoke. After the cloud disappeared, the Oni, Happosai, and Ranma was gone. All that remained was a stench similar to one of Akane's cooking attempts.

= - = - = - = - = - = - = - = - = - = - = - = - = - = - =

Kasumi while cleaning noticed Nodoka Saotome entering the walkway that lead to the house. While Kasumi was happy to see Aunt Nodoka, she did not like the fact that she had to lie to her about Ranma and his father's wherabouts. So, when Nodoka asked after Ranma, Kasumi was happy that she did not have to lie. She could honestly say she did not know where he was or when he would return. Kasumi was surprised when Nodoka did not sigh as she usually did nor did she inquire about her husband.

Instead, with a neutral face, Nodoka said, "I know..."

Those two little words worried Kasumi but Manners must be observed. So Kasumi invited Nodoka for tea but Nodoka simply said, "Please forgive me, but I must see to something first...."

It was then that Kasumi noticed two things as Nodoka walked toward the backyard. First, the Saotome family sword which Nodoka always carried on her back was missing. The second was that Nodoka had a thermos in her hand.

In the backyard, Soun Tendo sat next to the shogi board contemplating his next move. By the pond, a wet panda was playing with a tire. A sign near the panda said, "I am a simply a panda."

Nodoka simply walked over to Mister Panda, unscrewed the thermos she had, and threw the thermos' contents at the panda. Upon being splashed with hot water, the panda changed into Genma right before Nodoka's eyes.

Kasumi, who had watched the events unfolded, saw that not a flash of surprise crossed Nodoka's face, only a resigned sadness was present. The silence that descended with Genma's transformation ended with Nodoka's statement of "So, it's true..."

= - = - = - =

During lunch, Akane could hear the various people whispering around her. Just as it was getting to the point where she was going to bash someone, the crowd of students fell silent.

Looking around she noticed that everyone was looking towards the East. She noticed that all the boys had stars in their eyes and all the girls were wild-eyed. After observing the group, she turned her attention to the object that had so captured everyone else's attention.

Walking towards her was a woman. Words like regal, perfect, divine, wonder, and the like floated through her head as she looked at the stranger. The strange woman's hair was like an wave in the ocean as it floated in the air. There was something strange about the woman's eyes but Akane's mind refused to identify it. The strange woman didn't so much as walk as she seemed to glide over the distance between herself and Akane.

The woman stopped a few meters in front of Akane and began to look her over from toe to head. Akane felt naked in the woman's stare. After the inspection, the woman looked down at Akane and stared directly into her eyes.

There was a music element to the woman voice as she spoke to Akane saying, "So you are the one called Akane Tendo..."

Akane felt like she was made out of marble, she could not move or say anything. Not that she had anything to say...

The woman shook her head and said, "I don't see what Ranma could ever have seen in you..."

Akane's anger flared. How could this the woman, who came out of nowhere, just insult her like that. Her shock that a woman seemed to know Ranma held her tongue. After all, all the previous people who had come seeking Ranma had been their age. This woman had to be, at least, her father's age, so what could such an old woman want with....

"You don't look like *competition* to me," the woman continued to say as she gave Akane a second look over.

"Why you..." Akane exclaimed angrily.

"Oh, I can wait," the woman said with an smile. "You'll live what... another sixty... seventy... eighty years at the most. As I said, I can wait."

//Nani?!?// Akane thought.

"You make sure you keep *my* Ranma nice and warm, now, girl," the woman stated. "If not, I'll just *take* him back *earlier*..."

[=== End of Part 1 ===]
Replies to Reviews:

Yes, there are more parts beyond 7. I am currently working on Part 8 and Part 9, now.
Yep... Finally on FF.net. Ch 7 is up now.
Thanks. The identity of the "demon/goddess" is shown in Ch 7.
And she's not alone.