"...he's not the WORST father, but you'd have to make an effort to find a worse one."

Toltiir raised an eyebrow, which wasn't that obvious on a cat. "So you think you could do a better job than him?"

"Not only yes, but Hell Yes," responded the youth.

The cat waved a paw and the youth vanished. "Fine. 'Put your money where your mouth is' or something to that effect."


A phone rang in the main office of the Rival Relief Office.

The person in charge of the desk picked it up, trying not to show her inexperience with such things.

"Rival Relief Office. Your problem is our business. Errr, or something like that. This is Sasami! Can I help you?"

Sasami listened for a few moments, then tried to suppress a giggle. She failed. "Oh my. So you're currently *Genma's* replacement? I can see where that would be stressful. Uh huh. Yes, I agree, if your wife found out she *would* be rather upset that you were engaged to Ranma's mother."

Sasami rolled her eyes and smirked. "Oh. Married? Oh dear. Leapt in right during the ceremony, eh? Nodoka Saotome? What's going on in the background anyway? Oh. Locked yourself in there? She's trying to batter in the door, huh? Well, those *are* husbandly duties."

Sasami giggled at the sounds of breaking wood in the background. "I'll let people know you need some help with this one. Nah, just Bast and Mambo Jack. Yes, I *am* aware he's the god of (ahem) male endurance. With Nodoka, that'll help her get over Genma."

Sasami held the phone away from her head briefly. "Now, now. Try to enjoy it. You've been saying you could use a vacation."


Sixteen years later:

Tatewaki Kuno stood at the back of the crowd, awaiting his turn.

A boy he'd never seen before came walking down the street, cracking the knuckles of one hand, then the other. Kuno dismissed the peasant after a moment, obviously of no consequnce.

The crowd had not yet firmed its position, Akane wasn't expected just yet. There was plenty of room for the boy to pass their ranks.

Instead the boy stood in front of the gates and looked them over with cold eyes. "Excuse me. Do any of you remember a girl about 5'4", bow in her hair who was a new transfer student last week?"

There were a few puzzled looks and a number of winces. She'd been as cute as Akane, and so (quite naturally) they'd attacked her so that they could date her. Same principle right?

"I see you do, she's a friend of mine. In case any of you are interested, she's out of the hospital and will be attending another school now." The boy stretched his shoulder slightly. "She's a very nice girl, and will probably forgive you. I, on the other hand..."

Without any other warning at all, the boy blurred and started punching and kicking. Unlike with Akane's battles, there were cracks and pops and audible crunches. Members of the Sumo Team went flying. A member of the dance club went down clutching his throat. Arms were broken, legs were broken, joints were dislocated.

Nabiki, watching from the second floor, noticed something. Each opponent ended up with a different injury. Even when an arm was broken, this boy broke it in a different area from one target to the next. When the boy shattered Hiroshi's leg, the boy screamed like a wounded rabbit. When Daisuke's leg was bent backwards, Daisuke just fainted.

Flicking bits of gore from his hands, the boy looked around. "Now where's this Shooting Fart kendoist and the bitch that started this mess?"

"You dare to speak of the Blue Thunder in such a manner, peasant?" Kuno stepped forward, and if he noticed the mewling piles of those classmates who weren't mercifully unconscious, he didn't show it. "I am Tatewaki Kuno, rising star of the kendo world, the Blue Thunder of Furinkan High School! Your superior in breeding, skill, and manners."

The boy simply cracked his knuckles again. "Ranma Saotome. Heir to the Saotome School of Anything Goes Martial Arts. Any last words?"

Tatewaki Kuno began his forms. "The words you will take with you, foolish one, is that none can better the supreme skill of Tatewaki Kuno. I am URK!"

Ranma had blurred again, and had buried his fist into Tatewaki Kuno's stomach. Kuno curled up and was flying backwards when Ranma moved again at that blurring speed. A punch to the jaw straightened Kuno up, and a sweeping kick changed Kuno's trajectory again to throw him sideways into a tree. The tree cracked in half from the impact. Kuno didn't get up.

Ranma stepped over and grabbed Kuno's bokken, then snapped it in half casually. "Now where's this bitch Akane who can't settle her own fights?"

Akane looked up from the school gates where she'd been looking over the carnage. "Eh?"

Ranma began walking towards her. "Akane Tendo, I presume? A friend of mine got hurt because you can't seem to just say no to these guys. Apparently you even encourage this shit."

Akane went into a combat stance, eyes slitted. "These idiots can't take no for an answer! Stay out of my fight and my business if you know what's good for yaaaghhH!"

Again Ranma had blurred. Now he slowly retracted his hand from where he'd bloodied Akane's nose. "Sorry. I didn't quite catch that. You were saying that you're going to resolve this little problem before anyone else gets hurt, right?"

Akane stared at the trail of blood that stained her hands after she'd checked her face. "You? You hit me! You aaaaaa!"

Akane had tried to hit the boy. He'd grabbed that arm and casually snapped it before stepping away again.

"Miss Tendo. Fix these problems. Or I'll be back and this will look quite tame."


"End simulation," said Serafita with a wince.

"Well, 'what if Ares had raised Ranma' is clearly a case of someone worse than Genma at being a parent," admitted Celeste. "You win."

"I'm not so sure," interrupted Rikard. "Ranma raised by Ares has superior fighting skills, doesn't blow things off, and is considerably more intelligent. You'll note that he fought to avenge a friend, nobody died, but they all got an 'eye for an eye' regarding that payback. While he still has some rough edges, rather like Phoenix Ikki from 'Saint Saeya', he even gave his opponents warning before he started crushing them. Brutal, perhaps, but efficient. It's quite likely that this will stop the Horde, though neither Kuno nor Akane are likely to permanently alter their behavior."

Celeste checked something and nodded. "You're right about the Horde. They drop Akane, stating that someone now must defeat Ranma to date Akane since he managed to beat both Kuno and Akane. Kuno goes after Ranma for revenge. Ranma admits to being a black sorcerer and starts playing around with the trappings, he isn't of course, but enjoys screwing with Tatewaki's head. Hmmm. No Jusenkyo curse. No Amazons. Though he does run into serious problems with the Tong later on."

"Could be worse," agreed Serafita.


Yet another Ranma opening you've never seen:
What If Ranma Was Not Brain Damaged?

Akane glared at the BOY. Kasumi and Nabiki merely looked concerned. A girl dragged in by a panda had requested that she use the bath real quick, Akane had walked in to see if this girl Ranma had needed something, seen a boy, and pretty much everything had gone to pot.

"So you see, I can't marry nobody with a curse like this. Gettin' a cure is the first thing I need ta do," said Ranma reasonably, trying to hold back all the levels of thoroughly pissed off he was feeling over recent events.

"Well, while you were playing around in the tub," said Genma, slapping Soun on the back, "Soun and me decided. You will marry Akane!"

"WHAT?! ME? WHY SHOULD I MARRY THIS PERVERT?!" Akane alternated glaring at this *pervert* and shooting glares at her Father.

Ranma pursed his lips and didn't say anything for a moment.

"Ah, they're a perfect couple already!" Soun laughed.

Ranma closed his eyes and stood. When he opened his eyes, he seemed to have a blue glow flitting about him.

"PERVERT! YOU THINK I'M GOING ALONG WITH THIS, YOU'RE CRAZY!" In Akane's mind the fact that Ranma wasn't arguing meant that he had accepted this insane plan.

"That's it. Oyaji." Ranma said this quietly and it almost went unheard between Akane continuing to rant, and the two fathers making wedding plans. "That. Is. It."

This got a little bit more attention because Ranma's fist came down and smashed the table into tiny little pieces at the point of impact.

Ranma held up one finger, shaking and his face a mask of anger. "Leaving home and mother." A second finger joined the first. "Leaving my best friend Ucchan behind." Third finger. "That pushing down the cliff crap." Fourth finger. "That pit of cats." Thumb spread before the hand became a fist and knuckles popped from how tight it immediately went. "That damn boys reform school." Finger from the other hand. "All the times you made me steal." Second finger. "All the times you stole my food or other lame training exercises." Third finger. "SWIMMING the Sea Of Japan to get to China." Fourth finger. "JUSENKYO!" Thumb joined fingers into a second fist. "AMAZON VILLAGE!" Ranma growled as he stood there, shaking. "Now you want me to get married to SOME PISSED OFF LITTLE DYKE?!"

Akane blinked for a moment until the insult registered. "HEY!"

"Father knows best Ranma. Honor demands that you..."

"ARRRGGGHHHH!" Ranma gritted his teeth hard enough that his jaw ached. "Yet another of your little schemes. O-ya-ji. I *will* do the honorable thing. AFTER I commit patricide I will do what I need to do."

"That's right, you'll marry..." Genma's voice trailed off. Had Ranma said what he thought Ranma had said. "Excuse me?"

"Son, you shouldn't joke about these things." Soun said, laughing again.

"DIE OYAJI!" Ranma launched himself. He wasn't holding back, he wasn't sparring, he wasn't trying to fight at the level of his opponent, he wasn't concerned about what collateral damage might be incurred by the Tendo home. They'd gone along with this, therefore they were as guilty as that damn panda.

"hey, uhm," Nabiki was a little shaken. That wall needed to be replaced now. Oh and that boy was in the process of trying *literally* to kill his father. "Wait a minute..."

Akane tried to get involved. Ranma spared a moment of his attention to kick the girl in the gut hard enough that she wouldn't be able to breathe for awhile. His father counterattacked in that breather. Ranma renewed his own assault.

Genma was a formidable martial artist in his own right. It took nearly fifteen minutes for him to die.

After that, Soun was much less insistent that Ranma marry a Tendo.

And so it was actually a happy ending, in that Akane got what she originally wanted.

**i got this from reading a story (Ranma Ichibunnoni) which started out promising but quickly deteriorated into an uncursed Ranma being stuck immediately engaged to Akane and then getting into that rut. i've only read two chapters and it doesn't look to break out of the usual forced relationships. *sigh*



"Yeesh, that Ranma fella sure got a passle of problems," the stranger in the hooded robes said in an obviously fake accent, looking at the Well from a distance.

The long neck craning out of the mists was the why. Currently no one was allowed near the Well Of Mimir, after a minor imp had thrown one of Bast's favorite cats into a Ranma timeline.

"Not all the time," said the dragon. "It's just that the more chaotic and strange timelines are the ones that get the most attention. Some are relatively peaceful."

"A peaceful Ranma timeline?" The robed mortal said it as if the entire concept was alien.

"Relatively," repeated the dragon. "Observe."


The pudgy man in threadbare clothing ran up to the ledge. "RAN! Get back here! This is not over by a long shot! Listen to your father, boy!"

Ran rolled his eyes in mid-leap, landing lightly in the saddle and reaching for his thick gloves. "Get off that noise, old man! You know the old saying as well as I do."

Gen yelled and waved his fist at his wayward son. "You get down here! You have greater responsibilities than to go joyriding across the continent!"

Ran waved at his father, only using one finger. "Don't care for any more of your schemes, old man, no matter what it is. Just came by to say goodbye, and now we're out of time. 'Dragonriders must fly when Thread is in the sky!'"

With that, his green dragon lifted off and went Between. Now was not the time for yet another idiot scheme from his father. Nor time for that old rivalry with Ryo from Fort Hold, nor the curious relationship between himself and that other green rider Uccha, or even that friendly young Healer he'd met from Honshu - Kasumi. No, now was the time to fly and fight Thread.

This would probably be one of the last Threadfalls, but even then - why return back to his father's care when the old man was definitely persona non grata in three Holds? He'd had enough of that, and Ran was making a name for himself - not interested any longer in trying to redeem his father's.

Nope. Thread was falling, and he was the rider of the green dragon Akane. Now was the time to fly.


"You see," said the dragon. "Same spirit, same soul, many of the same elements. However, the Pern dragonrider Ran is much more at peace."

"Boring," countered the stranger. "And it's a darkline. Ranma doesn't end up with a HUMAN Akane, after all."

"If that's your definition of a darkline, yes." The dragon sighed. "As to the boring part, admittedly it doesn't feature gender-changing curses, and until the Abominators injure that Healer friend of his, he isn't nearly as violent. An adventure is someone else having a hard time, after all. No, the life and times of Ran of Honshu doesn't feature quite the same flavor of insanity you might expect. There is still conflict, however."

"I don't even consider that a Ranma timeline. No Kodachi or Tatewaki Kuno. You can't consider it a Ranma timeline if he doesn't get cursed and isn't an obnoxious jerk."

The dragon considered the odds of just tail lashing this fellow out of the area. Would he get in trouble, or wouldn't he? "Well, if *those* are your only objections."


"Stupid old man. Ya just had to steal food from THEM!" Ranma knelt by the gravesite. "Ya never could think past yer belly, could'ja? Now look at what's goin' on. They cursed you to lose weight, so you could eat all you want but never digest anythin'. We almost made it back to civilization though. Don't know if the docs could'a done something but we almost made it.

"Of course, they cursed me as well, damn 'em. Said that bein' the son of a thief and a thief myself, I needed a new life. And that cause I wasn't manly by THEIR standards, that I ought to be 'un' manned." Ranma looked down at her hands. "Accordin' to THEM, I'll get more 'girly' the longer I'm like this. The only cure from what they were sayin' is for me to act manly by THEIR standards. And then if I do something 'unmanly' like insult someone, steal, or hit someone 'without just cause' - then I'm back to bein' a girl. And if I've really screwed up, they said I'll get even more girlish, whatever *that* means."

Ranma looked down at the hastily dug grave. She wouldn't cry, it wasn't manly. THEY had a largely stoic warrior culture, similar to samurai in some respects. Well she'd beat this thing. She'd *be* a samurai and beat the curse, then she'd go back and beat the snot out of that old witch doctor.


"Where's the Kunos, the Tendos, the Chardins, the Golden Pair?" The robed mortal was demanding of the dragon. "What makes this a real Ranma timeline?"

"There's your curse. He meets the Kunos, does a formal challenge of Tatewaki, defeats him *in Kendo*, and thereby earns Kuno's enmity. He never gets involved with the Tendos, the Chardins, Happosai, the Golden Pair, or those because his father never told him about the Tendo arrangement." The dragon gestured and the view changed. "See. He starts to lose some of his bad habits and we see less and less of the redhaired girl. Flavors kind of 'Ruroni Kenshin' but not bad overall."

"Not a comedy, more a character study." Holding both thumbs down, the robed man made a disgusted noise. "If Akane doesn't get Ranma, it's not a real Ranma story. And none of these wimpy Akane stories either, no fair exchanging Akane and Kasumi's personalities. Remember: Akane always wins and is never wrong."



The blue haired girl in the blue and white sailor seifuku backed up against a wall, shaking her head. "No, please..."

The teenage girl raised her cane. "That's enough! Freeze card, your power be confined!"

"Noooooooo!" Sailor Mercury screamed, her body dissolving into white mist which quickly resolidified in a different form.

Akane held up the Freeze card - engraved with the image of a sleeping Sailor Mercury. "All right, *another* easy capture. Maybe the next one..."


"What the HECK was THAT?!"

The dragon blinked down. "Akane learned the ways of magic, and approached it with the same fine attention to detail she uses in cooking, as well as the same obstinate manner she insists on using in trying to breathe water in order to swim. So she follows the instructions in some old scrolls by a guy named Clow Reed where he was making notes on how he created a Key Of Clow."

"Ranma is the FIGHT Card?!"

"She got some details wrong," the dragon said. "Her first capture was unintentional. She turned her eldest sister into the Cooking Card. She also hasn't found a way to permanently release anyone, though she currently thinks that if she's defeated, her cards will be released. So far nobody's managed."

"But that's..."

"Tatewaki became the Sword Card, Kodachi is the Ribbon Card, Genma escaped after seeing his son turned into a playing card, Kasumi is the Cooking Card. Nabiki panicked on finding out that little sister's playing at magic was for real and Kasumi was now just a card in a deck. She shouldn't have told Akane she was going to try and stop her. So Nabiki ended up the Sneak Card. Akane's been challenging youma, the Sailor Senshi, Devilhunters, and anyone else she thinks she has a chance of defeating her."


"She's never wrong, she's never been defeated. Of course, at this point she's gone off the deep end. Usual obsessiveness level, don't you think? She's got Ranma. Hmmm. Looks like she just got Sailor Mars/Fire Card too. Racking up quite a score, isn't she?"

"NO! NO! NO!"

The dragon snorted a cloud of frost. "Okay, if *that* didn't work, then how about this one?" Upbeat and brassy theme music began to play.


"Yo, Pops, are you sure about this?" Ranma pulled the car up to the front curb, eyeing the place. "Well, it's fairly sizable for Tokyo, but it's kinda declasse too."

Genma wasn't sure how far he could press this stranger. If only he hadn't lost Ranma all those years ago. Now, reunited when the boy had dropped by to say hello because it was his 16th Birthday, the Ranma he was facing was almost entirely different from the child he'd wanted to raise as a socially inept, dependent, martial artist.

Ranma opened his door, stretching out as he uncramped himself. "So, what kinda treasures are in this place, ya been kinda vague so far."

"Uhm, *great* treasures. You'll see," Genma said, heading for the front door at full speed.

Ranma stared for a moment, then shrugged with a smirk. Tapping a cufflink, he spoke quietly into it. "Y'all there?"

Curiously enough, two voices emanated from the cufflink a moment later. "Am listening." "Hai, Ranchan!"

Ranma's smirk deepened a little bit and he twisted the cufflink to "Transmit Only." Just in case the old man was selling him out.

The interior of the house wasn't as bad as the outside. Kinda homey, actually. At the doorway, Ranma turned and thumbed a remote at his car. The door shut and the alarm system bleeped. Just in case.

Then some human water fountain tried to grab him.


"Hey, I didn't mean to hit him that hard, he kinda startled me." Ranma spread his hands as if to say "what else could I do?"

Akane glared. Not only was she (or one of her sisters) supposed to be engaged to this BOY, he had just used some underhanded sneaky manuever to knock her dad out!

"So, uhm, Ranma?" Nabiki decided to cut to the heart of the matter. She thought he was fairly cute, his clothes were fairly expensive, and that watch certainly was. Was he rich, or wasn't he?

"Yeah?" Ranma looked the place over and decided that if these people had a treasure, it would have to be a secret because their security was nonexistent.

Soun awoke, groaning. "What hit me?"

"Sorry about that," Ranma said. "You startled me. Not a healthy thing to do. So, Pops, you wanna go ahead and tell me where the treasure is?"

"You will marry one of Soun's daughters. Who are, after all, treasures." Genma tried to look solemn and all-knowing from his position behind the table.

Ranma stared for a moment, then chuckled. "Yeah right. Ya had me goin' there for a minute. Now come on, ya been telling me about some great treasure I was supposed to inherit..."

"That would be the Tendo Dojo, after you've married one of my little girls. This is Kasumi, she's 19. Nabiki is 17, and Akane is 16. Pick which one you'd like and she'll be your new bride."

Ranma's smile slowly evaporated. "Ya gotta be kidding me? Why would I even *want* a dojo?"

That question seemed to catch Soun AND his daughters off guard. "B-because it's a matter of honor. You MUST marry one of my daughters and carry on the School of Anything Goes Martial Arts."

Ranma scratched his head. "Well, if it's Anything Goes, I've already got it, and a dojo would just kinda be superfluous to that kinda style wouldn't it?"

"GENMA?!" Soun rounded on his old friend for an explanation.

"Errr, six years ago, I, uhm." Genma began sweating heavily as he tried to cover himself.

"Six years ago he sold me to some guy to pay off his bartab," Ranma said smoothly. "The guy he sold me to tried to use me in a scam, then leave me off with some police. 'Cept I didn't want to be left behind. Food was better, and this guy happened to have tricks that Pops here couldn't pull off if his life depended on it. So I stuck around, applied the old 'anything goes means *anything* can be martial arts training' schtick, and trained with this guy and his gang for awhile. At age 16, I seperated from my sensei, and last I heard he was going into retirement. At least if Zenigata will let him."

"Errr, so. That's nice? Which daughter did you say you'll take?" Soun glared at his friend's son. There were only three answers he was prepared to accept.

Ranma shrugged and stood up. "Don't see any reason to remain. By selling me, Pops essentially sold me out of the clan. Far as I'm concerned, the guy he sold me to is my new clan. So it's not Ranma Saotome no more. It's Ranma Lupin, adopted son of Arsene Lupin III."

"Lupin?!" Kasumi blinked in astonishment, having read of the masterthief's exploits.

"Lupin?" Nabiki mused that over and considered that this might be a *very* good match.

"Lupin?" Akane said. Well, he couldn't be much of a martial artist then. Waitaminute, that meant that this Ranma was an international thief too! Therefore it was the duty of a true martial artist to apprehend him. "Well, I'll just call the police. Stay there and I won't have to hurt you."

Ranma's smirk returned. "Just try."

"Watch me!" Akane said confidently.


"Wow, good aim!" Nabiki said after a moment. "Dead center in the koi pond."

Ranma straightened his vest. "Hey, if it's worth doing, it's worth doing with class."


"No, this is STILL wrong! Akane never makes mistakes! She's perfect and unsullied. Sweet and demure. Even tempered and gentle and trustworthy! She's a perfect virgin goddess!"

"Which Akane are we talking about... ?!" The dragon lunged forward, snagged the cloak, and tugged it away. "AHA! i thought so!"

"Hey! That's mine! Give it back!"

"Got lost again, eh, Ryouga?"


Ranma has Kittens, an omake

"Uhnnnn," Ranma slowly struggled back to consciousness. "Stupid old man, hitting me from behind like that! What ya do that for, anyway?"

"Because if I told you what was waiting for you here, you'd have left the country," Genma said from nearby.

Ranma looked around. There was his father and some other guy about the same age. "Yeah, and what the blazes was the reason we needed to get here anyway?"

"There is a matter of old honor, an agreement between families," began Genma.

"Cut to the chase scene old man! What the hell is so damn important it has to be done *now?*"

"Many years ago, we served a terrible Master. Who did something horrible to my wife, a threat he made to use magic against her unless she gave in to his demands. She did not. He followed through."

Ranma settled down slightly. Vengeance he could understand. Magic could be like the curse, so maybe it had a bearing after all and wasn't just another stupid idea of his father. "Yeah, yeah, so why me and why now?"

"You just turned sixteen," pointed out Genma.

Ranma nodded. Okay, but all that meant was that he had just fallen into a legal twilight zone. He wasn't supposed to drink sake, or drive, or do a lot of other things. "So what was this curse? She didn't turn into a panda with cold water, did she?"

"Worse," said Soun, looking into his tea. Then the waterfalls began as Soun Tendo lost it.

Genma cleared his throat. "She died, Ranma. The Master attempted a spell that would turn her into his 'pet' - but it was not completely successful. He never *did* get that curse right."

"BWaaaaaaah," continued Soun.

"Originally, we were going to have you marry one of Soun's daughters," began Genma.

"WHAT?!" Ranma found himself standing and glaring at his father.

"Unfortunately, that isn't possible," finished Genma, raising an eyebrow and meeting Ranma's gaze.

"Oh." Ranma sat back down, now feeling bad about his outburst.

"Ohhh! Poor Kimiko!" Soun said between wordless wailing. "Not only to die but have her humanity stolen!"

"Something like a Jusenkyo curse?" Ranma asked his father.

"No turning back to normal with hot water," said Genma solemnly.

"Kasumi, Nabiki, Akane. My three daughters. They were born after the Master..."

"His three daughters are not legally human. Therefore you can't marry them." Genma evidently regretted it. "Almost but not quite. So you can go search for a cure, but after you adopt them as pets."

"WHAT?!" Ranma found himself standing again. "What kinda agreement is..."

"Oh myaow! This is Ranma?"

"Nyaa! He's pretty cute!"

"Yeah, mya, maybe this could work out."

Ranma stood paralyzed and slowly turned towards the interruption. One girl was wearing a frilly apron. Another was wearing a pair of shorts and a tight top. The third was wearing a gi.

They were catgirls.


Three sets of ears went flat as their new owner went racing through a door without benefit of opening it.

"Well, *that* didn't work out," summed up Nabiki.

"We ought to give chase," suggested Akane, who'd seen this in an American cartoon about a French skunk.

"That's the ticket, don't let him get away," encouraged Soun.

Genma shook his head. If he'd only read the last page of that manual... Oh well. It wasn't his fault after all.

Meanwhile, somewhere not far away, three kittens cornered Ranma Saotome. It was when he started to meow that things got really weird.


Continuing with Unusual Beginnings:


Soun was flabbergasted. He'd gotten a postcard from Genma stating simply:
Need help. Be there soon. Genma.

Then a *panda* of all things had shown up at his front door, looked around, then headed for the furo. This had been followed by Genma at last appearing, though without Ranma despite their old agreement. A demonstration and explanation of Jusenkyo had occurred, but now Soun could hold his tearful question back any longer.

"But what about your son, Saotome? What about our pledge to join the two families?"

"I'm rather curious myself," said Nabiki from her position at the crowded table.

Genma went into his most solemn expression. "The trouble started when we visited a village of Chinese Amazons."

"'Chinese Amazons'? Get real," snorted Akane. Personally she was glad there was no boy to show up, though she'd never admit she was actually curious about this anyway.

"Yes, and while Ranma is supremely confident in his martial arts skills," Genma paused to scarf four rice balls and take a gulp of hot tea, "I was certain to undercut his confidence in everything else in life. To make him more tractable and easily dominated by one of your daughters for the marriage."

"Good thinking, Saotome," agreed Soun, not noticing the frowns appearing on two of his daughters' faces.

Genma nodded. "Unfortunately, even with my sabotage of his friends and social life, making sure he grew up so ready for a friend that he would be truly desperate for any kindness your daughters could show him, something unexpected occurred at that village."


Shampoo smiled confidently. She'd just given the Kiss Of Death. The Guide was panicked and explaining to this interloper what she'd just done. Now, would this Outsider show herself worthy of joining the tribe by courageously standing her ground, or would she be revealed as a coward by fleeing - and therefore worthy only of contempt?

Uh oh. Why was the Outsider girl looking all sparkly-eyed like that? What was with the drifting sakura petals and pink light? Judging from the happy oblivious look on the girl's face, Shampoo made a wild guess that this girl hadn't even heard one word the Jusenkyo Guide had said. What was with all the roses in the background? This wasn't the flower festival!


Shampoo's eyebrows attempted to rise past her hairline. She was being kissed?! A light kiss, almost identical to the Kiss Of Death she'd just given. Now the girl's blue sparkly eyes were brimming over with tears and she was staring right into Shampoo's eyes. Waitaminute, this was NOT how this was supposed to go!


Shampoo considered fainting. The girl was saying something in that odd language and hugging her so hard that Shampoo felt ribs creaking. "AHHHHH! SOMEBODY PLEASE TELL THIS GIRL WHAT I JUST DID!"

A gentle, inexperienced, hesitant, kiss to the lips was Shampoo's answer. Then this girl laid her head on Shampoo's shoulder and said something else in their odd language, almost drowsily.

"Uhm? Excuse me?" Shampoo started trying to get herself free, without success.

Cologne pogosticked up. If the girl had run, she would have been deemed a coward. Shampoo would have been dishonored, then have to chase after the girl and humiliate her. Death actually wasn't the usual way for things to go, but the Amazons had to keep up appearances. If she had stood her ground, ready for a fight, she would have gotten a feast and party as she became a member of the tribe. THIS didn't quite fit.

"Help! Great Grandmother! This pervert..." Shampoo began to choke. The girl was responding to Shampoo's attempts to free herself by practically grafting herself on.

Cologne listened to the barely audible muttering. Shampoo had seen through the curse? This girl had been alone for a long time except for a "stupid father" and...

Cologne listened further to the barely coherent rambling, then fixed her gaze upon a panda who had snuck back to the feast table and had begun scarfing food rapidly.

A severely underconfident young lady, who had never had friends, never known family, never had any fun or home she could call her own? And a PIT OF CATS?!

Cologne encapsulated the girl's rambling into a shorter form. An abused child? One who had been recklessly endangered by her father? Never allowed to know her mother? No friends?

The disgust and annoyance focussed on the Outsider changed to looks of sympathy.

Cologne's staff flicked out. Curses had been mentioned. THAT was the Jusenkyo Guide. A cup of hot tea from one onlooker was launched. A panda turned into an overweight man.

"Kill the panda!" "Abusive fathers must die!" "Let me slash his ears off!"

Shampoo had fainted, otherwise she would have volunteered. If nothing else just to get away from the hydraulic press that was this girl's hug.


"It is a matter of family honor, RANMA'S family honor," insisted Genma. "You know how much weight giri has in Japan..."

Cologne nodded. "Certainly it would be best not to inflict any further dishonor on the poor child."

Genma let out a deep breath of relief. "Fine then. We'll just be going."

"Oh? What exactly is this 'we' you are referring to?"

Genma froze again. "But you just said..."

The wrinkled old crone smiled. "Genma Saotome, upon interviewing with you and young Ranma, it has been determined that you are a loathsome, dishonorable, pathetic, lazy, small time thief and large time glutton."

"HEY!" Genma disagreed with this assessment. He wasn't loathsome!

"The only reason you haven't been sold to the Beijing Zoo is because it was felt that losing even a miserable excuse for a family member like you would have negative effects on your child's precarious mental health." If Lilac's glare was any hotter Genma would have combusted. "Abused children, particularly abused women, have often been adopted by the tribe."

"...but Ranma is a boy..." Genma squeaked, being surrounded by a large number of really old women whom he knew (from three attempts to rescue Ranma and flee the village) could severely kick his butt whether he was in panda form or human.

"Yes, we know." Cologne sat back, considering whether to make just one tiny movement. One little signal that would have this person mailed home in a zip-loc pouch. The one quart variety. No. A pity. But no. "One who has been adopted into the tribe." Though this really upset Mousse. It was quite strange that Mousse simply could not seem to grasp that Ranma and Shampoo were *friends* now. Siblings by adoption. Though on seeing what Ranma looked like as a boy, and what could have been her husband, Shampoo had managed to dent a support post when she had beat her head against it. Still, Cologne thought it was all *mainly* sorted out.

"Therefore, *your* family role is secondary - if existent at all." Lilac was an earthy sort of Healer, and a dirty old woman, and a lot of things. Child abuse was one of those things that caused her to put aside the Healer's role temporarily.

"So you can leave and put things aright back in your homeland. Meanwhile, Ranma can spend time here with his new sister and try to recover from having you as a father," Cologne pronounced.

"Why should I agree to something so ridiculous?" Genma huffed at the old woman.

"It gets you out of our village, and alive," pointed out Cologne.

Genma considered the old women briefly. Survival was a good thing, but greed... "Throw in dinner and it's a deal."


"Saotome, how could you?!" Soun groaned, though well remembering how easily Genma would cave at the offer of food.

"All is not lost, Tendo. If your three daughters travel to the Amazon village, we can present Ranma this as an obligation of honor. They will *have* to let Ranma go so that he can marry one of your daughters, and the marriage can take place on the spot!"

"Good thinking, Saotome!" Soun smiled and turned to his daughters. "You see, girls, he's... Where did they go?"


"An Ultimate Technique?"

Genma nodded to Soun. "Yes. I had considered the Catfist, supposedly an unbeatable technique which allowed the practitioner to fight with feline agility and speed."

Akane frowned, unsuccessfully hiding her jealousy at the thought of learning a special manuever like that.

"Unfortunately," Genma continued, "the next page not only described the idea of training someone in that technique as a moron, but pointed out that the technique is easily defeated by using indirect methods such as throwing a cat toy out."

"Ah, I see," Soun nodded wisely.

"I considered training Ranma in 'Hyuri's Fury' - transforming him into an unstoppable berserker," continued Genma again. "However, that technique also has its flaws." Genma didn't state that his main reason for not teaching that technique to Ranma was that most likely Ranma would be guilty of patricide eventually. Which would seriously put a crimp in his father's plans of living a comfortable and indolent retirement.

"I see," repeated Soun.

"There were many 'Ultimate Techniques' that I considered teaching Ranma. Many were 'Instant Kill' methods like the Hokuto Shin Ken or Shiva's Touch. The problem with those was that I couldn't find the current practitioners of such techniques, much less uncover anything better than a first hand account of having seen the results of the technique."

Soun nodded. This *still* didn't explain why Ranma was not present.

"There were evasion techniques like the Instantaneous Teleport and the Shadowleap, but those evaded me as well. There were hints and rumors of methods to awaken one's full chi potential, the power of magic, or psychic talents within a disciple." Genma sighed deeply and tried to look stoic and dignified.

Kasumi thought that Genma looked constipated and made a note to get some high fiber foods.

"I tracked down rumors of strange and esoteric martial arts manuevers. The 'Hadoken', 'Limbic Kai', 'Drop Dead Gorgeous', 'Soul Fist', 'Sarcophogus Surprise', and many others. Some I was able to have Ranma learn, and add to the boy's arsenal. We travelled to Tibet and India where he studied under masters of chi."

Soun interrupted eagerly. "Wait a moment. Did you learn these methods yourself?"

"Uhm, no, actually. All of the various sensei refused to show me the secret of their craft, and one of them used some manuever on Ranma so that he would only reveal those secrets to a worthy heir."

Nabiki snorted. Well, from what she had seen so far of her father's friend, she could see why some martial arts master would be reluctant to show Genma their secrets. Ranma though must be pretty special or at least promising for them to confide in his son.

"So did you succeed in teaching him an Ultimate Technique?" Soun pressed.

"Well, that would depend on what you mean by an Ultimate Technique..." hedged Genma.

"An Ultimate Technique, also called a Combo, a Hissatsu Waza, a Finishing Move, or a Special Manuever, is either a single manuever which bypasses the target's defenses, or (more often) is actually a set of related moves which are a next stage in martial arts," recited Kasumi with her eyes closed. She read a lot. "They are as advanced above a regular martial art such as judo as a judo master is above an untrained person. Often the Ultimate Technique carries a price - either in difficulty in acquiring the technique, pain and suffering in learning the technique, special bloodlines or ceremonies to even begin learning the technique, mental instability or insanity caused by the technique, demonic or divine possession, quests, an Epic Fate, or some other great hardship which is laid upon the practitioner's karma."

Everyone spent a moment staring at Kasumi as she finished.

"Yes, well," Genma began.

There was a knocking at the front door. Nabiki brightened immediately and began running towards it. This could be Ranma at last.

"Hello, are... you... Ranma?!" Nabiki stared at the tall, muscular, handsome boy. No, not handsome. He was drop dead gorgeous!

The boy sighed deeply, reached down to the fallen girl, and used a pressure point manuever to restart her heart. "Yeah, I'm Ranma Saotome. Sorry about this."


Display: Chronos' Bet Entry
SimLine: RN-MK-201310

"...recently they crossed into China," said Soun.

"Wow! China!" Nabiki exclaimed. China was neat!

"What's so great about China?" Akane said with a hmph. The Chinese weren't so hot. If they were, they'd be Japanese.

"Is he cute?" Nabiki said with a grin. Cute would earn her overlooking a lot of little problems with the situation.

"I don't know about this, father. Aren't we too young?" Kasumi, the ever practical one, fretted. Just her luck it would turn out to be some old man.

"What kind of boy *is* this Ranma?" Nabiki and Kasumi chorused while Akane played with one of her toys.

"Don't have a clue," laughed Soun. "No idea."

"'No idea'," said Nabiki, disbelievingly.

"I've never met him," admitted Soun.

A few moments later, a panda had brought a young girl in and set her before the four Tendos. However, Akane's reaction was a lot more positive.

"Wai wai, panda! Wai wai, a panda! Giddyup, Panda-san!"

Such as straddling the panda's neck with her legs while repeatedly hitting the panda with a plastic shovel. Which lasted until the stranger girl got tired of all this, went into the kitchen, returned with a kettle of hot water and doused the panda.

"Okay, Pop, what the heck were you thinking when you came up with *this* plan?" Ranma wanted to know.

Tendo looked at the panda-turned-man. "Uhm, Saotome, can you explain this?"

"What about you Tendo?!" Genma gestured at the three girls.

"After we talked, well," Soun shrugged. "Kimiko and I decided to wait on having children. Ranma, these are my three daughters. Kasumi, she's fourteen. Nabiki, she's twelve. Akane, she's ten. Pick anyone you like. She'll be your new fiancee."

"He's a hottie," proclaimed Kasumi, not really knowing what the term meant.

"He's a girl?" Nabiki reached up and squeezed. Felt like a girl.

"Please don't do that," Ranma groaned. He couldn't believe this. Well at least marriageable age in Tokyo was 16. He had at least two years to find a way out of this.

"Okay, then *she's* a hottie," declared Kasumi, glomping on and emitting serious cuteness rays.

Akane scowled up at Ranma. "You better not try to be my Mommy!"

Ranma scowled as the littlest Tendo started kicking him in the shins. "I'm a guy damnit."

One demonstration of Jusenkyo curses later.

"NEAT!" Nabiki said, a glass of hot water and a glass of cold water in each hand. "I wonder what would happen if I hit you with both at the same time, would you be a boy and a girl?"

"I'm not instant ramen, you know," grumbled Ranma.

Kasumi splashed water around in the bowl as she tried to make tea.


"Ranma, you, you," Ryouga looked at the little girl hiding behind Ranma, "you *pedophile!*"

"Hey, it ain't like that! Our fathers came up with this weird idea!" Ranma stopped abruptly. "What's a pedophile?"

Nabiki sighed. "Later, Ranma. Fight now, expository dialogue later."

"Oh. Right."

Kasumi stalked forward. "You big meanie!"

"Excuse me?" Ryouga found himself backing up before this girl's wrath.

"Stop picking on my Ranma!" Kasumi stood under five feet. She somehow managed to loom over the taller Ryouga.

"Uhm, Kasumi, this is my fight." Ranma gave a helpless look towards Ryouga.

Ryouga misinterpreted that look. "So Ranma, you hide behind helpless little girls!"

Akane twitched and stalked forward. "HEY! Who are you calling helpless?!"

"Uhm," Ryouga hedged. "Well, it's nothing personal. I mean you're just a little kid..."

Akane twitched some more. "KID?! KID! You're saying I'm some weak little girl?!"

Ryouga put his hand down on the ten year old's head as she windmilled her arms in an attempt to hit him. "Uhm. Shouldn't you be playing with your dollies or something?"

At that moment Akane filed Ryouga under "people whose butt I will kick when I get older".

Ranma shrugged. Maybe he could run into Ryouga somewhere away from the kids. They tended to steal any scenes they were in.


Herb groaned. "And I would have gotten away with it, if it weren't for those meddling kids."

Akane stuck her tongue out and pulled back one eyelid. "Beeeeee DAH!"

"I don't wanna pose," Ranma said, sulking.

Kasumi reached into her pack. "Would you do it for a Ranma-snack?"



once again with an attempt to radically depart from the standard "Meet The Tendos" opening. Reworking of an earlier attempt.


Soun nodded to himself as his three daughters dutifully gathered. He schooled himself to try and restrain himself from getting too emotional at this moment. When they were finally settled down, he merely produced the postcard. "Ranma is coming."


Akane stared at the card now in Nabiki's hands. "He's coming?!" *bounce bounce bounce*

"Oh, thank goodness," Kasumi said, wiping away tears. "I'm not getting any younger, you know."

"Finally! Thank the kami!" Nabiki made a note to visit a temple and light some incense. Ever practical, Nabiki shot a glance at her father. "You'll deal with that father of his?"

Soun nodded, a gleam entering his eyes. Bonds of friendship forged through mutual suffering was one thing, but to harm HIS little girls... Soun Tendo might be a blubbering weenie but he was a blubbering weenie who had his limits.

Kidnapping his little girls so they could be thrown into a pit with some other girls and starved so that Genma could try and teach his son some lame martial arts manuever had not sat well with Soun Tendo. Nope.

Nabiki was mumbling with an eerie light in her eyes. "...and I will pet him and pat him and love him and squeeze him and rub his tummy and..."

Kasumi was listening to Nabiki and nodding. Sounded like a game plan. Akane merely continued to bounce around like Tigger.

A commotion out front served to penetrate Soun's reverie.

"That must be them!" Akane squealed, rushing for the door.


A panda groaned from the ground where it had been knocked down, then run over. A redhaired girl moaned likewise from the same treatment.

"Where is he?" Kasumi asked, feeling *very* disappointed. "Oh... poor Ranma... I'm sure he hasn't been eating well. I..." *sniff* *sniff*

Akane stopped prowling the compound as well and began sniffing. "That scent!"

Nabiki, with the sharpest senses, dropped next to the girl and began sniffing her. "Smells like Ranma - but the hormones are different."

"oooooo." The redhead propped herself up and tried to focus on the fuzzy shape sniffing at her. "Nabiki?! I..."

Nabiki was joined by her two sisters who continued to sniff. After the girl passed out again, a decision was reached.


Ranma awoke and shot to the ceiling in a single motion.

Nabiki looked up at where Ranma was clinging to the ceiling. "Nyaa. I told you not to groom him *there*, Akane."

Akane merely smiled and licked her lips.

Kasumi merely crouched down and prepared to spring.

"Hey, waitaminute, I..." Ranma managed before three catgirls pounced on him and commenced cuddling.

Soun watched for a few moments, wiping tears from his eyes. "That's the way! Don't take no for an answer. Ah, you do your father proud!"

"What are they doing, Tendo?" Genma mumbled from where his head had been imbedded in the ceiling.

"Well, Saotome, you know how the Master cast that spell on my wife - turning her into a semihuman animal? And how my daughters are fortunately more human than Kimiko ended up, but are still catgirls?"

More mumbling from Genma that sounded like an agreement. After all, it had been that cute lil' catgirl Ukyo who had thrown the martial arts training manual in that canal. With the ink wet and pages stuck together, Genma had needed to rely on educated guesses as to the contents.

"Well, legally, they can't marry Ranma," said Soun in a sad voice. "Not in Japan, anyway. Yet. However, he *can* adopt them as his pets and if children develop it will prove that they *are* human. Tails and ears and fur and claws not withstanding."

"mmmmmf!" Genma protested.

"By the way, Saotome, I just made a few calls." Soun smiled at how well his daughters were getting along with Ranma. There may be new kits on the way before long, at least if Akane had *her* say in the matter. Such a perverted little kitty she was.

"Calls?" Genma said, still trying to get his head out of the ceiling.

"Yes. When you rounded up all those daughters of victims of Happosai's 'sexpet curse' experiments to use that pit of catgirls, you certainly made an impression on them and their families. Did it work, by the way?"

"Uhmm. No. Not really," said Genma from his position. "Instead of being starved for three days and then attacking my son to get the fish sausages tied to his body, they instead apparently took the sausages off and cuddled with him to get warm and due to some odd affectionate instinct. I tried everything, Tendo. Fish paste, salmon cakes, catnip. I starved them for almost a week once. They didn't attack him. They *bonded* with him. It got so that he was begging to be thrown into the pit just so he 'could feed the kitties'. Shameful. What a worthless son!"

"And then, when they tried to escape *with* Ranma, you beat them down," said Soun, eyeing his friend as if the overweight man was a pinata and the shinnai in his hands would be used to break it open.

"I *had* to, Tendo! It was for the sake of The Art!" Genma paused in his efforts to work himself free. "Errr. Waitaminute. What phone calls?"

"Oh, that cute lil kitten Ukyo works nearby," said Soun casually. "Then there's those girls from Juuban. Though I don't expect those girls from that village of warrior catgirls (Nekojoketsuzoku?) to arrive here for quite some time yet."


Genma froze as the front doorbell rang. Then, on hearing an angry feminine voice, finally managed to rip his head free of the ceiling. He had to reach up to pull his glasses out, and the sight that was then revealed was *not* very comforting.

There was the lionlike Katsumi, err, Kasumi. Pleasant little smile on her face while she looked on. There was the housecatlike Nabiki, eyes narrowed and gleaming. There was the tiger-striped Akane, teeth gleaming and claws extended.

There was also a number of other girls: some catgirls, a foxgirl, a pair of bunnygirls, a mousegirl, and a few other types. All looking very very peeved.

Soun sighed and cleared out of the way. "Comfort yourself with this, Saotome. My daughters and your son will likely get along very well. And what they do to you is only practice for when and if the Master ever returns. Girls? Try to clean up after you're done."

"Tendo?" Genma blinked as his old buddy Soun walked off without a backwards glance. He couldn't actually be...

Somehow Genma *knew* that the Crouch of the Wild Tiger wasn't going to get him out of this.


Kuno stood before the gates of the school. Here were the two abominations, joined by their sister this time! Clearly this could not be tolerated.

"Hold, thou mockeries of humanity! The noble Tatewaki Kuno defends this institution from thy influence! The Blue Thunder of Furinkan High shall not tolerate thy presence in the hallowed halls of learning. Animals such as yourselves need only learn obediance to thy master, and the great Blue Thunder doth think that only he can put thee in thy proper place."

"Geez, is this guy fond of hearing himself talk or what?" Ranma frowned as he noticed how the girls had cringed at this guy's posturing. What had this moron done to them?

"You there!" Kuno pointed his bokken at the boy standing with the catgirls. "How dare you address these subhumans so familiarly. Only by being properly owned by myself can their fate be salvaged!"

"Huh? Oh, I'm Ranma Saotome. Anything Goes School of Martial Arts. And well..."

Akane saw the chance for mischief and to distance herself from Kuno. Just because she *was* a fierce tigress didn't mean she wanted to have Kuno keep up with this stuff. "He's staying with us. And he's my little Ranma-chan!" *GLOMP!* *SNUGGLE!* *PURRRRRRRRR!*

"Hey! Waitaminute!" Ranma protested but it was too late. "I never agreed to..."


Steam practically shot out of Kuno's ears as he saw the three catgirls hugging themselves to this interloper. "You... you... FIEND! I SHALL SMITE THEE!"

Three cats looked up as one, letting go of Ranma.


Kuno was still staring at the nub of his bokken, his clothes falling shredded around him, while Kasumi delicately cleaned the blood from her mouth where she'd bitten his arm. "ouch..."

Akane grabbed the front of Kuno's hakama and dragged his head down to eye level with her. Her ears were back, her teeth were bared, her eyes narrowed, and her claws were fully extended. She didn't look happy, in other words. "Kuno. How *dare* you threaten my Ranma!"

"...but I wanted to be the one to defeat him in a casual yet aggravating manner," sulked Ranma.

Akane glared deeply into Kuno's eyes. "You threaten my Ranma again and you'll regret it."

"...*our* Ranma," corrected Nabiki. She was the neko ninja, after all. Akane would likely hurt Kuno, whereas Nabiki could be very clever in her means of vengeance.

Kuno broke out of the hold, leaving Akane clutching a torn piece of cloth in her hand. "I shall not tolerate this! I..."

"Hurrrrr?! Someone's threatening *my* Ranchan?" Cute little kitten Ukyo's eyes were slits as she stalked forward, having just arrived, transfer papers getting tucked into her bookbag.

"Morons is for killing," suggested Shampoo, stalking forward with Ukyo.

"Morons is for killing?" Ukyo said speculatively.

"It has a ring to it," agreed Akane.

"Morons is for killing," mused Nabiki, picturing t-shirts with the logo. Hmmm.

Kuno pulled a spare bokken out of nowhere. "Know that you face the undefeated Blue Thunder. I shall prove my prowess and free thee of this unwanted ownership. Then we may..."

Battle auras flared. Claws were extended. Tatewaki Kuno got hurt.

Ranma sulked some more. "...but *I* wanted to fight..."

Meanwhile, Akane (acting on ancient instincts) was currently digging a nice big hole to drag the school's unconscious star kendoist in.

It was instinct, of course. Not planned at all. Nope. Akane was a nice kitty after all. The others joining in was also likely just instinct.



"What if someone *else* had fulfilled Genma's role," mused Toltiir.

"With Ares, we saw a capable martial artist who frankly didn't take much crap off anyone," reminded Bast. "Unfortunately, or fortunately if you prefer, he had little in the way of traditional Western morality."

"Yeah, none of this 'don't hit girls' or 'let other people push me around' sort of thing." Ares felt that he'd done a pretty darn good job there. And it had been strangely fulfilling to take on the role of father-sensei. Much better than he'd done with his two real sons.

"I disagree, Genma did a much better job of raising Ranma," argued Fleece. "Look at that Ranma! Anybody who jumps him shouting 'Ranma, prepare to die' is gonna get killed! Heck, if the Nabiki in *that* world tried half the stuff I did with *my* version of Ranma, she'd be lucky if she didn't end up in the hospital!"

Ares considered the idea briefly. "Nah. More likely he'd just contact the local Yakuza and tell them that this little girl was poaching on their territory. Once he did that..."

Fleece flinched at the likely consequences of *that* sort of thing. "You see what I mean? THAT Ranma is going to have even more social problems than the original."

"So. You're saying you could do a better job?" Bast purred as she regarded the Nabiki Tendo that had dared to cross path with the gods, and had ended up becoming a minor goddess herself due to the whims of Toltiir. There were times when Fleece was in serious danger of being demoted as per Titania's suggestion - to tooth fairy.

Nabiki *almost* said "Yeah, right." The grins around her were enough clue. "NO! NO WAY! I am *NOT* going to play the part of Genma Saotome!"

"Spoilsport," said Ares. "Put your money where your mouth is."

"Well, who do *you* think would do a better job of being Genma?" Toltiir blinked at the girl, yellow eyes gleaming. "Keeping in mind the following points typical of Ranma timelines:
a) Ranma must be a highly ranked martial artist, it may not be his only focus, but it's got to be in there.
b) His orbit must intersect the Tendos. He may not end up engaged to any of 'em. Maybe neither group knows about the arrangement, but they'll at least meet. The test point is Ranma meeting them, and how different it is from the original.
c) The person who does the raising has to spend at least ten years subjective in the simulation."

"This ain't another Bet, is it, Toltiir?" Bast glared at the cat.

"Heaven forbid, no. Just a possibility of related omake." The cat waved a paw.

"Well, in that case," suggested Nabiki with her own catty expression.

Almost everyone traced her gaze to the side where a visitor had been preoccupied with other concerns. More smiles.

The old man looked up.


"He'll be here any moment," said Soun, smiling at the prospect of joining the two families. Though the calligraphy was much more neat and precise than he'd expect from Genma. The wording had been odd too. "Tendo- I will be bringing Ranma on Mar-11. We shall discuss the engagement then. -S"

"So is he cute?" Nabiki asked, not quite as mercenary as she would later become. In an unaltered timeline, that is.

"How old is he. Younger men bore me," said Kasumi, not quite as oblivious as she would later become. Were everything to remain normal, of course.

"Hmmmph, boys," Akane grumbled. Boy=pervert=target. Math wasn't her best subject but some things were obvious. The entire gender could be deleted from existence or chained into dungeons and she'd be a lot happier. She hated boys. She loathed boys. Boys had ignored her most of her life, and then suddenly she couldn't literally beat them off. Boys were beyond icky.

There came a knocking at the door as if someone had not gotten into a fight on the way to the dojo.

"That must be Ranma!" Nabiki hoped for cute. Rich would be even better. Cute and rich? Too much to hope for. But she would certainly settle for cute.

"I do hope he's older," sighed Kasumi.

"ACK!" Soun made a warding sign. There was no paunchy Genma present, just Nabiki (who had somehow gotten out the door before him) eyeing a tall and broadshouldered young man. That wasn't the ack part. An old man, still standing straight and proud, was eyeing him as if judging him on his entire life experience and deciding that he was just barely worth continued existence.

"Oh my," Kasumi looked over the boy. Tall, strong, lithely muscled, immaculately dressed in a nice dress shirt, slacks, and boots of some kind. Very nice if a bit Westernized in appearance.

"hmmmmph," hmmmphed Akane, then turned around and walked back into the house. Okay, the boy was fairly good looking. THAT didn't mean anything.

"Genma couldn't make it," said the old man. "May we come in?"


"So Genma died and you took over his training," Soun said, nodding.

"Yes, Genma fell into a pit of starving cats. Terrible tragic story." The old man didn't look as if he thought it was terribly tragic. "So we've been wandering back and forth, hither and yon."

"Yes, well, these are my three daughters," Soun said, indicating each girl and her age, then turning back to Ranma, "pick any one you like. She'll be your new fiancee."

"Geez, they're not bagels, Mister Tendo. Pick one? None of them seem interested. Besides there are other more pressing concerns."

"AH?! It's a matter of family honor." Soun glanced over the three. "Akane is a martial artist, she'll be your fiancee."

"Oh my," said Kasumi, who was too old and housewifeish to be chosen. And was regretting it. Ranma was polite and had a cute... he was nice.

"WHAT?!" Nabiki and Akane reacted with entirely different motives.

"You see?" Ranma gave a helpless shrug. A beeping from a pocket caused him to consult a pager. "Ooops. Gotta go. Old man, you handle this?"

The old man nodded.

"But but but but but...?!" Soun was going into shock. If only Genma were here to back him up!

Nabiki, Kasumi, and Akane blinked. Ranma had gotten lost by going off into their backyard. Their reactions were quite different. Nabiki was intrigued by the boy's butt... err purposeful stride. Akane was wondering what the pervert was up to. Kasumi wanted to make sure there were no hard feelings, sometimes her father made a rather poor first impression.

Ranma ducked around the side of the dojo. This really got the three curious, as there was nothing back there. As one they approached from a different angle. Yes, there was that fiance. He was standing still, looking heavenwards, and his mouth opened as he said a single word.


*BOOOM!* Thunder answered.

Nabiki had just realized that she'd leapt up and was being held by Kasumi as all three sets of eyes watched a major hunk fly up and away in a high speed blur.

"That was *Captain Marvel*..." Nabiki said to Kasumi.

"Oh my, oh dear," said Kasumi who had little hearts floating in her eyes. Not a boy at all. Oh heavens no. There had been a nobility and maturity in the Captain that just did not fit any of the categories she placed younger boys in. Nope.

Akane stood where Ranma had stood, took an identical pose, and tried something. "Shatsamu. Shatsam! Sha- tsa - mu! Damnit, why won't it work for me?"

Kasumi let Nabiki go, her arms were getting heavy anyway, and considered. Captain Marvel seemed very mature. Perhaps she should speak up. Running off to save the world probably made for not eating as well as he should normally.

Nabiki thought about this. Let anyone know she knew who Captain Marvel was? Oh yeah, duh! The moment she even advertised something like that, she'd be kidnapped by supervillains and tortured for the information. She was allergic to being tortured. Not to mention she'd be alienating someone who could wrestle Godzilla and any friends he happened to have!

Akane sulked. If some stupid boy could transform into Captain Marvel, why couldn't she? Twenty years ago there had been a Mary Marvel, there was a girl named Aoi Marvel who'd briefly appeared in Osaka, so why not Akane Marvel? She was noble and worthy and nobody could say she wasn't a great fighter! Dang it.

Three girls found their father alone, crying to the extent that there was going to be no answers from that quarter.

Nabiki mused. Captain Marvel made headlines. When he was in China recently, he made news fighting some sort of Juggernaut. All she had to do was wait for him to start appearing in a particular area, then track him down. She was sure that she could make a good press manager.

Kasumi thought. It seemed to her that if the Captain was off saving Japan or the world, he'd need someone to cook and clean and maintain a home. Well, what an amazing coincidence that she currently had no suitors or prospects. Look for where the trouble is, he'd be nearby, then she could grab him and make mad passionate... uhm apply for a job and get to know him.

Akane glowered. She'd catch that boy and make him tell her the secrets of whatever martial arts technique he'd used to transform! Then she could go assist the Senshi!

Soun wailed. Prior engagements?! "Waaaaaaaaa!"


Ranma sped across town so quickly that he was just a blur, and smiled. THIS was living. Everything that was so confusing was suddenly clear, the world was his rice bowl, he felt a thousand times more alive than as plain old Ranma Saotome.

One didn't need the Wisdom of Solomon to see the dangers in staying as Captain Marvel for too long. Black Adam was still around, somewhere, a wonderful advertisement of how power could corrupt. Then there was that mysterious Juggernaut who had appeared in China. Someone who could hurt *him*. But here was the thing that had drawn him.

Captain Marvel came to a halt to observe the battle before he weighed in. It looked like he should do something...



Usagi shrieked like a little girl (which she was actually - being fifteen years old) as the big yoma prepared to bring that gleaming claw down and reduce her to the consistency of fish paste. Her Moon Rod had been knocked out of reach and the other senshi had been scattered about with a few swipes.

"SAILOR MOON!" Several young girls cried as they watched what was about to be a gruesome scene.

Tuxedo Kamen prepared to throw a rose despite that the past three had bounced off the armor plating on the creature.

"Excuse me, may I cut in?"

Everyone blinked. Some guy had popped out of nowhere, and was lifting the yoma up into the air by a grip on its outstretched paw.

Tuxedo Kamen dropped the rose, feeling completely and totally inadequate.

The yoma roared and tried to swing at the caped man holding it.

"Shall we dance?" The man threw the yoma straight up, giving the crowd a good look at the chest emblem of a stylized lightning bolt.

"CAPTAIN MARVEL?!" Venus, Mars, Mercury, Moon, and Tuxedo Mask exclaimed.

"My new sempai..." Sailor Jupiter said dreamily, little hearts beginning orbits around her head.

The yoma came down, Captain Marvel stopped its progress with an uppercut. The yoma disintegrated.

Sailor Venus sighed longingly as she checked out a powerful physique and high charisma level. Idol singers suddenly dropped on her priority scale to a new low.

"Well, Sailor Senshi," said Captain Marvel, floating slightly above head level. "I've wanted to make your acquaintance. Shall we arrange a meeting to discuss pooling our resources?"

Seeing that Mars was too starstruck, Venus was drooling, and Jupiter was repeating something about a sempai every so often, Mercury quickly set up a meeting for after school the next day on the roof of her mother's hospital. (Which had the benefits of being remote and accessible. Thoughts of a home court advantage were ruthlessly suppressed.)

There was a group sigh as the Captain flew away.

"I don't trust him," said Luna as soon as the fellow was out of earshot. "He wasn't present in the Moon Kingdom after all, and... why is everyone looking at me like that? HEY! LET ME OUT OF THIS! WHAT ARE YOU DOING?! USAGI!"

"Where'd you get a mailing box anyway," Venus asked Mercury.

"Oh dear, ha ha, I just happened to have one handy," Mercury said, blushing furiously. After all, the Captain was said to be quite intellectual, and well, Ryo hadn't been around for over a year, and well... (blush twitch shrink blush-some-more)

Venus smirked. She knew one way to make sure he was considered part of the group. And if Sailor Venus had to drag the stud off by his cape, she was gonna make sure he knew she was willing to be his... friend. Or something like that.

Jupiter was already gone. She had to make sure she had plenty of cookies baked so she could bring them along and introduce herself to her new sempai!

Mars wanted to check the sacred fire and see if Shinto priestesses and Divinely empowered superheroes were a good match. She was sure they were, but maybe a horoscope would be good too.

Tuxedo Mask waved his hand in front of Usagi's face and sighed. Well, at least he knew that he'd end up with Usagi. And maybe the Captain could deflect some of the looks that had been heading his way lately from the other Senshi.

"LET ME OUT OF HERE!" Luna called from inside the box marked "To: Paris" by Usagi and "by way of Elbonia" by Ami.

"You weren't going to really mail that were you?" Venus turned to find Mercury running off. Wait a minute! She had to get things ready for meeting her new boyfriend tomorrow!

Tuxedo Kamen became Mamoru and picked up the boxed kitty. Looked like their current adventure had gotten more complicated.


Setsuna sat back and let the meeting run on without her attention. It was all familiar patterns under the shock of the little bombshell, or series of revelations, she'd just hit them with.

One day after Galaxia, everyone called together to discuss What Now. Which had made it the perfect time to reveal a few things.

Such as why, in their visits to the future, they'd seen an underpowered Sailor Pluto, a set of underpowered Inner Senshi and no sign of the other Outers at all.

That Sailor Pluto had been her younger self. Not nearly the power she'd later had.

As for the current Outers, the combined magical power level of Pluto, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune couldn't light a l00 watt bulb. No Senshi transformation in the foreseeable future. There was no longer either a Time Key Staff nor a Silence Glaive, both had been broken in the fight against Galaxia.

Likewise the Inners (with the exception of Sailor Moon) wouldn't be able to power up for over a year, and they wouldn't be able to go beyond their most basic attacks for over a thousand years (not counting the time of the Freeze).

Nobody had understood Setsuna's reference that right now they wouldn't be able to fight off a shipful of Tinker Gnomes and a load of Giant Space Hamsters. They got the general idea though.

It took a few moments for Setsuna to realize that she'd been asked a question. She'd honestly thought that Usagi's eating binge, Rei's complaints about the mess, and Makoto's upset to continue a good deal longer. "I'm sorry, Ami. Did you say something?"

"That's exactly what I was talking about. You come from the future and should know all this. Why don't you know exactly how long the Senshi powerup will take to regenerate?"

"Blocked memories. Paradox defense," explained Setsuna.

"Ah," said Ami, "that explains it."

"Exactly *how* does what explain anything!" Rei wasn't the only one who didn't get it.

Setsuna sighed. "Okay. My memory has some blocks put in by myself in order that I not reveal knowledge that would cause a paradox."

"What's a paradox?" Usagi wondered aloud.

Rei was glad Usagi asked, she preferred the impression that she knew what was going on.

"Like going back in time and killing your own grandfather," supplied Ami.

"Or in this case, if you know about an event ahead of time, it can change how the event takes place or prevent it from ever occurring." Setsuna may not have known the future, but she knew these girls and considered ways to explain it further.

Usagi thought about taking a test where she knew what the questions were in advance. "What's the problem with that?"

"For example," Setsuna made a point of looking at the calender. "Tomorrow at 4:15pm at the Mount Momiji Family Market, Makoto bumps into a young man. The two have a relationship for over a year, at which point a relatively minor but annoying menace shows up. At this point she can transform into Sailor Jupiter briefly, and the boy figures it out."

"And becomes a menace to the creation of Crystal Tokyo," concluded Luna.

"And offers to help out as far as transportation and support services, at which point Luna blows a gasket," continued Setsuna, silently motioning for a refill of her teacup. "On Luna's advice, Makoto breaks up with him."

Lots of glares at the romance-wrecking cat.

"I haven't done anything yet!" On seeing the glares increase in intensity, Luna realized that that hadn't been the best denial she could muster.

"Ami however decides to try and patch things up with the boy after Makoto's breakup, realizing that this is just a misunderstanding."

Makoto beamed at her good friend Ami intervening to make sure her romance didn't go bust.

"At least that was her intent," said Setsuna, taking a sip of tea. "However the two of them hit it off and end up in this epic romance."

Makoto glared at the traitorous Ami.

Ami blinked repeatedly and marked down "4:15, Mt.Momiji Family Market" on her notepad.

"And THEN he menaces the future of Crystal Tokyo," suggested Luna.

"No. Actually he never shows up at another meeting. Helps her get through medical school. All you see of him after that is a little extra smile on Ami's face." Setsuna paused to sip at her tea. "Well except for those times Ami is late for meeting with you. On *those* occasions you'd practically require plastic surgery to remove her smile."

Makoto frowned and tried to look unhappily at her traitorous friend Ami and at the evil romance-wrecking feline.

Ami underlined the time and place. She really ought to visit the market. It might be good to see what she was getting into.

Minako wondered if this mystery boy had a name and any cute friends.

"...and THEN he menaces the future of Crystal Tokyo," weakly suggested Luna.

"Actually, he provides good noncombat support, particularly to Ami during some lean times ahead. Other than Ami's patented in the future cat-with-a-ready-supply-of-cream smile, none of you know about her relationship with him until their wedding, which is after her residency." Setsuna set her teacup down. "So you see the problem with paradoxes. Any number of things could cause this future to derail entirely and he's just a minor character. Well, except to Ami eventually."

"Hmmm," hmmmed a number of distracted teenage girls.

"No menace to Crystal Tokyo?" Luna said it as if it were a foreign concept. "Doesn't get kidnapped or mind controlled?"

"No," agreed Setsuna. "Now. It's late, and I have much to do tomorrow. I suggest we meet again in one year."

The meeting broke apart very quickly after that.

It was Haruka who caught up with Setsuna afterwards. "Waitaminute. What happened to not causing paradox or those memory blocks?"

"It'll be interesting to see what chaos develops tomorrow, don't you think?" Setsuna asked the other Outer.

Eyes widened. "It was just an example? There is no boy?"

"I'm going to get a camera myself," suggested Setsuna Meiou, former Sailor Pluto with a wink.

(you know, after i wrote this omake it occurred to me this would make for a heck of a beginning of a crossover story...)