Minako's First Loss

London: That Crazy Swinging City

Disclaimer: I own nothing related to Sailor moon or Ranma

Author's Notes: This is a story based off of Bob Lobster's story "Hell Hath No Fury". And the opening scenes were based on his story, with his permission. His story is a great one, and while not completed, is definitely worth reading.

It was sunny out, and there wasn't a cloud in the sky to block the morning sun streaming into Minako's room. Normally she would force herself to get up and slowly get ready for school, but not today. Never today. Minako pulled the covers back over her head.

"Minako it's time for school" Her ever present advisor Artemis tried to wake her up but all he got in return was a baleful eye glaring out from under the comforter. His cat body really wasn't the best form to force someone to wake up who was ten times his height. Luna would probably agree with him about that, especially considering she had an even lazier partner most days.

"Are there any Youma attacking?" The muffled voice came out muffled by the comforter. Artemis looked a bit worried. Normally Minako would play around a bit before finally letting herself be convinced out of bed.

"No." Artemis answered truthfully trying to place why Minako was in such a bad mood today.

"Is there a threat to the future, or to any of the scouts?"

"Err Pluto did say that everything seemed to be in order for the next little bit."

"Then I'm not going." Minako withdrew back into her comforter.

Artemis finally realized what day it was. "Right. Uhh I'll go tell the others you won't be at the meeting today." He knew from experience she wasn't going to be pleasant company today, or for the next few days either. He jumped lithely off of her bed and onto the windowsill

As he slipped his feline body through the slightly opened window Artemis paused. "He wouldn't want to see you like this. I wasn't your fault." He jumped quickly onto the nearby fence as the window was violently slammed behind him. Artemis shook his head. He sympathized with her though. It had been a greatly traumatic incident for one so young.

Really if Ranma wasn't already dead, Artemis would have killed Ranma himself.

"So Mina's sick and can't come today? And that's why she wasn't at school either?" Rei didn't seem to accept Artemis' carefully crafted lie.


Rei remained unconvinced. "Are you sure she didn't see a cute boy and just ran off after him?" Admittedly Minako had done that a few times recently. Artemis only now realized why she had been so agitated the past few weeks.

"Rei, stop being so mean. If Mina's sick we have to go visit her. My mom always gives me soup when I'm sick, so we should make some." Usagi's sincerity and worry made Rei shrug. There was no point arguing with Usagi when she was like this.

Artemis tried feebly to halt the current train of thought. "She's feeling really ill right now. She won't want visitors." And this was probably the most truthful thing out of Artemis' mouth in the past half hour.

Usagi's eyes started to water. "But, but, we just want to make Mina feel better. What if she doesn't get better, or it's a youma bac… bact… bacteria. " Usagi had been studying for science class recently with Ami, and Ami had wondered why none of the youma ever chose illness as a method spreading. Ami needless to say regretted asking that question, or at least having asked it aloud to Usagi.

Makoto reached over and put a hand on Usagi's shoulder. "We can still drop by and bring some food with us. That'll help her feel better. Right? So don't worry about her, ok?

"Her uhh mom left some food with her before heading off to work." Mina lived with her family but they never really talked. Artemis doubted they'd even notice that their daughter skipped today's classes.

"You're acting awfully suspicious over there." Rei looked closely at Artemis who started backing away slowly.

"I don't know what you're talking about. Mina's just sick and doesn't want to pass on her flu."

It was Ami who finally spoke up and destroyed any chance of Artemis convincing the scouts. "I'll drop by after the meeting and check up on Minako. I've been helping out often enough at the hospital that I could most probably help treat her illness." The other scouts immediately agreed to this.

Luna on the other hand just kept staring at Artemis. She had been around him far too long to not know that he was currently lying his head off. Finally Artemis spoke up. "It's not an illness you can treat. It's the 4th anniversary of the Dark Company's defeat."

Makoto looked over at the white cat curiously "The Dark Company?"

"That's the name the Dark Kingdom used when she was still Sailor V and lived in London." Usagi chimed in holding up a few of Rei's Sailor V mangas. Usagi was an avid reader of Sailor V even after meeting the source of the story.

Rei quickly plucked her books back from the ever quick manga 'borrower'. "Stop stealing my books. They're mine."

"But you have so many of them." Rei just glared at Usagi. "Cheapskate." muttered Usagi beneath her breath.

Makoto, not dissuaded by the arguing duo, continued questioning Artemis. "Wouldn't she be happy about that?"

Ami shook her head. "Haven't you ever noticed that Minako doesn't mention her time as Sailor V often? In fact I cannot recall her talking very much about the Dark Kingdom's activities in London at all, other than that she stopped them." Ami directed a quizzical look at Artemis "Did something happen?"

Artemis bowed his head and spoke softly and with a heavy voice. "Yeah, I guess you could say 'something' happened." All of the inner senshi gathered around the white cat listening raptly to him.

"Well what happened?" Rei finally burst out when it became clear Artemis wasn't going to continue.

"You have to tell us so we can help Mina. We can't do anything unless we know what happened. We're her friends and we just want to help her." Usagi's mature side finally came through as it always did when matters of friendship came up.

Artemis looked thoughtful for a moment before he nodded. "Maybe it would be a good idea for Mina to talk to you guys about it. Well let's start off at the beginning. Do any of you remember the sidekick from the first season of Sailor V?"

Makoto and Ami shook their heads as neither had paid much attention to the series at all. Well other then what they had been forced to read, and watch, by their more interested friends.

"Yeah. It was Ryo wasn't it? He was always getting into trouble and Sailor V had to rescue him. He left for Japan at the end of the season because his parents moved away." Rei quickly recalled the minor character. Usagi nodded sagely in agreement.

"Yeah they never got his name right." Artemis grinned at that. "Probably annoyed him a lot, considering how much he thought of himself."

"What? You mean that Ryo actually existed?" Usagi burst out. Did this mean that some of the other characters were real too? She loved Mamoru dearly, but that one guy in the 5th season was pretty cute too.

"Yeah. His name was Ranma Saotome. And he was a lot better than the series made him out to be."

"Well he'd almost have to be, considering how often he got caught by the Dark Company and used as bait." Rei smiled in memory. The character had always been used as comic relief.

Artemis shook his head. "He was as good as Mina back then. He helped her out with a lot of the mobsters and crime groups. Even though he couldn't beat any of the Youma by himself he still helped Mina when she fought them."

"Was he from the moon kingdom as well?" Usagi wondered since this Ranma sounded kind of like Tuxedo Kamen.

"No, he wasn't. He was completely human."

"Then how did he help out Sailor V? Human's can't fight Youma." Luna finally entered the conversation.

"He was fast, and while he couldn't hurt the youma, he distracted them and lured them into position for Minako. He was a high level martial artist." Artemis left out that Ranma had been physically stronger than Minako even with her magical armor on. No need to make the scouts doubt him.

Makoto nodded. She had been forced into fighting a youma back in the day, once or twice, without her armor on. She hadn't been able to do much but she had been skilled enough to distract it and dodge its attacks.

"He died didn't he?" Ami spoke softly and the other scouts stared at her.

Artemis looked regretfully up at the sky for a moment before continuing. "Yeah he did. Mina was lured into a trap set by the Dark Company's Division Leader and Ranma showed up to rescue her. Mina was knocked out and when she came to the building was demolished. She never found Ranma's body. Just a lot of blood."

"He could still be alive couldn't he? Mamoru was abducted, but he was alright." Usagi tried to be positive about everything.

Artemis shook his head. "No. His father tracked us down and said that because of us his son was gone. And that he never wanted to see us again." Those words, along with the ones earlier in the evening, had badly hurt Minako for many years.

"Why didn't she ever tell us?" Rei asked.

Artemis's voice became even more somber. "Mina doesn't like to remember it. Normally she'll ignore today and fight whatever evil we're facing." His voice picked up for a second. "She's a good kid and didn't want to get in the way of saving people."

Ami looked pensive "She has shown a remarked preference for taking risks in past years around this time."

Artemis was once again amazed by Ami's perfect recall of past event. "Yeah. So just give her a bit of time. She'll get over it in a few days and be right as rain."

Usagi shook her head. "No. We can't just leave her like this. We're her friends, and she needs us right now."

"She just wants to be alone. She's thrown me out the window on previous years." And despite rumors, it was possible for a cat to not land on its feet.

"You're wrong. She might want to be alone. But she'll just be stewing in her pain, it's not right." Usagi spoke passionately and the other scouts were slowly convinced. Sometimes comfort was what was needed.

They ignored Artemis' protests as they left the shrine and began their trek to Minako's house. Luna looked over at Artemis. "You aren't coming?"

"Are you kidding? Mina's going to want to kill me for telling everyone."

"She'll thank you later."

"Yeah, later being the key word."

Luna finally turned to follow her fleeing charge. But before she could sprint after her disappearing charge, Artemis sheepishly called out "Luna, ehehe do you mind if I sleep at your place tonight?"

Luna didn't even dignify that with a response as she took off after Usagi.

Well there was always that one nice old lady who liked to give Artemis treats every once in a while. He'd stay at her place for a while.

Artemis knew he probably shouldn't head back to Minako's place any time soon. He wanted to keep all of his eight remaining lives. He figured surviving the moon kingdom's destruction only used up one. Seeing Minako right now might cost him seven.

The inner senshi gathered around the door to Minako's house. Finally Usagi, oblivious to the apprehension felt by the others, rang the door bell. And when it went unanswered, she continued ringing it again, and again.

"Meatball head, if you keep ringing it you'll just put Mina in to worse mood. Didn't your parents ever teach you manners?" Rei criticized Usagi's enthusiastic doorbell ringing skills.

"Wahhh! Rei stop being so mean." Before the two could start arguing again, the door finally opened revealing a pajama clad Minako. She looked mildly annoyed, but quickly smiled and tried to appear cheerful.

"Hey guys. Sorry about bailing today, I just really felt under the weather."

Usagi leapt forward and hugged the senshi of Venus close. "Mina you know we're always here for you right? We want to help. Ok?" Usagi's eyes were watering as though she'd cry if Minako lied.

Minako sighed and patted Usagi's head. "So I guess Artemis told you huh? Me and him are going to have a few words when he gets home." Minako clearly didn't look happy about it.

The scouts looked as though they wanted to defend Artemis but decided against it. They wanted to find out more first. Minako gestured to the scouts and lead them into her room up stairs.

"So what did he tell you exactly?" Mina was completely unlike her normal cheery self. Her voice was sullen and tired.

"That you had a friend named Ranma who fought beside you in London." Makoto said quietly, not wanting to remind Minako of her loss.

Mina finally cracked a slightly smile. "Yeah I fought beside him, behind him, and against him pretty much daily sometimes."

"You fought against him?"

"I'll tell you how I first met him."

5 Years Previously

Ranma was glaring at his pops which was a pretty much normal occurrence these days. His pops had once again pawned him off, this time to a small monastery on the outskirts of London. Ok, Ranma knew that meditation and 'being one with the earth' was important for a martial artist, but it was still boring.

But his pops kept on insisting that mastering the more advanced chi techniques required absolute control and concentration. Ranma just shook his head at that argument. He had been manipulating his inner chi since he was 8 to strengthen his body. This was just another excuse to put Ranma somewhere safe while Genma had the chance to 'acquire' some more 'traveling martial artist funds'.

To supplement his boring day classes at the monastery, involving meditation and learning human anatomy, Ranma had taken to following his pops around after dark. Mainly just to keep his pops from doing something too idiotic.

Ranma wasn't entirely convinced that his father wouldn't have gone through with that fiancée thing a year back if Ranma hadn't found out about it. He was only 13 for crying out loud. He didn't want to even think about marriage. But he was pretty sure his pops had only tried to engage him that one time. Hopefully.

But morbid thoughts of marriage aside, things were starting to look interesting below. His pops was dodging around a young girl in short skirt. The girl's movements, to put it bluntly, sucked. His pops wasn't even taking it seriously. Finally, getting bored, his pops jumped onto a nearby building before being shot from behind by a golden beam.

His father had decided in all of his 'vast' wisdom that stealing from a church would be a good idea. Ranma found it mildly disturbing that his pops had no qualms about palming his son off to one monastery only to go and rob a nearby church in the same city.

Watching his pops fall off the building and onto the ground, Ranma had to smile. It was kind of like divine punishment and funny to watch.

Finally Ranma stood up balancing easily on the window ledge and stretched lightly. "Yeah I know my pops shouldn't have stolen, but I can't let him get arrested." Ranma muttered to himself. Jumping off the window ledge and onto the street, he yelled out "Leave pops alone!"

Minako was having a bad day. Not only had she nearly flunked her test and gotten reamed out by her parents, but now she was fighting the most infuriating thief around. No matter how hard she tried, he just kept on dodging her attacks. The old man looked far too fat move the way he did, but he kept on dodging.

Finally, looking completely bored he said. "Go home girl and learn to cook. Fighting crime is no place for a woman." His thick accent didn't hide his clear disdain of her. Minako felt furious and quickly defended the honor of women everywhere, by using her V Crescent beam on the back of the now retreating man. Unfortunately for the thief, he had jumped up to the window ledge to try and escape the church. As such, when the beam hit him, he went sailing through the open window, and landed noisily in the street.

Minako grinned. Using the V crescent might have been a bit of over kill, but the guy definitely deserved it. She ran out of the church through a nearby door and quickly found the downed thief. His body was still twitching slightly. Clearly the attack and fall hadn't been pleasant for him.

"Serves you right for stealing from a place of hope." Minako began tying him up rather harshly when she heard someone yell from behind her. She quickly rolled out of the way as a young man landed where she had previously been.

"Yeah, I know my pops probably should go to jail but, he's my pops so no can do." The youth that appeared in front of her looked to be about her age and Asian. His accent was only a little better than the older thief's. But the young teen was kind of cute in a way.

The older man grunted something that sounded suspiciously like "Ungrateful son."

"What's that pop? You want me to throw you to safety?" The older man tried feebly to shake his head.

Minako looked confused at the banter, not sure what to do. But as the young man began helping her target get away, she decided that cute or not, he couldn't be allowed to beak the law. Throwing a light jab, she fully expected to grab the youth. Instead she was left wondering why she was laying flat on her back staring up at the sky.

"Aww man sorry 'bout that. Reflex and all. But yeah you should really go home and play with dolls or what ever it is girls do." The youth looked mildly embarrassed at having reacted without thinking.

But all Minako heard was the last line. "Dolls? Is that all you think girls can do?" These two were obviously related, no doubt about that now. And Minako planned on teaching this boy that girls were just as good as boys, if not better.

"Uhh yeah. That and cook… uhhh clean… not sure what else really." Had Minako known that Ranma had nearly no previous experience with girls, other than what his father had told him, perhaps she might have understood why he held such horrible chauvinistic views. As it was, she promptly tried to throttle him.

Which lead to her trying and failing miserable to hit him. The boy just kept looking bored. "So are you actually trying to hit me here? Just wondering." Needless to say Minako didn't appreciate having her skills ridiculed.

As they fought, the older man finally recovered enough to get to his feet. "Boy you're fighting like a girl. Ohh woe is me for having such a worthless student in the art." The boy just looked over his shoulder as he continued to dodge.

"Right pops, and that's why you were laying flat on you back a few minutes ago waiting to be carted off to visit the police again." The older man made no response as he jumped onto a nearby roof and made his escape.

Minako really didn't appreciate being ignored. "Crescent V" She shot her most powerful attack at the youth who side stepped it. The beam blew a hole in the wall of the building across the street.

"You know that was kind of half way impressive… if it actually hit, that is." The boy just continued grinning as Minako tried to kill… no beat the lad in front of her.

"Wow, you can actually kick. Well, I mean with those dumpy legs of yours, I wasn't expecting it."

The fight continued on, but as Minako became more and more furious, she came closer and closer to hitting the infuriating boy. Anger made her sloppy, but passion and magic are closely linked. As such she was slowly speeding up.

It was at this point that boy looked horrified at something over her shoulder. Using his distracted state to her advantage she finally managed to get a hit in. Ok so it wasn't her best hit, but she finally managed to get him straight in the chest. And Minako knew, from experience, that one good hit was more than enough to bring down a grown man with the magic armor she wore.

As it was Ranma winced heavily before taking off as fast as he could. "Get back here you thieves!" Minako tried to follow the fleeing lad but he was too fast. When he jumped onto an adjacent building she had to give up.

"So Mina how was tonight?" The voice of her companion Artemis came from behind her. Minako grimaced. "Ok not so good I'm guessing. But you'll do better next time right. So what happened?"

Sailor V told Artemis about the fight and the kind of loss that had resulted. Artemis didn't look like he believed her. But he never voiced his questions and the two decided to call it a night.

Ranma gingerly touched the spot where Mini-skirt had had hit him. Yep it still hurt like hell. How such a weak looking girl like her could land such a punch was beyond him. Well, she wouldn't have landed it if that demon hadn't appeared behind her and distracted him. In Ranma's opinion there were far too many fury little demons in this city for comfort.

Ranma decided to make a point of trying to track down the girl at some point latter on. Maybe they could play again, and she wasn't that bad. Sure she sucked at fighting but she wasn't completely hopeless at the art like his pops had always told him girls were.

"And that's how I first met Ranma." Minako looked mildly bemused at the memory.

Rei looked disgusted at how Ranma had acted. "He sounds like a complete prick."

Ami objected to the choice of words, but clearly mirrored Rei's sentiment. Makoto smiled scarily. "I wish I could show him a thing or two about girls and fighting." Makoto was probably one of the better members of the senshi in fighting. And to be honest, she could take most normal opponents even without transforming.

Minako just laughed it all away. "Yeah, he was a bit of an idiot when it came to things like girls. He once told me that I was the first girl he actually spent time with for longer then a few hours. And considering how his father raised him… well he could have turned out worse."

"He still sounds like a pig." Rei clearly didn't like the image she'd formed of Ranma in her mind.

"Yeah, he was, but eventually he got better. I think it was after the second youma that he stopped saying that sort of thing." Minako looked regretful at that point remembering the later youma attacks and Ranma's eventual death.

Rei looked as though she couldn't imagine someone that sexist turning over a new leaf, but decided to let it go. No need to insult the dead. Usagi finally asked the question they had all been dying to ask "What happened to him?"

Minako shuddered. "He died because I messed up. He died because I thought I could trust someone." Minako clammed up at this point and refused to elaborate.

Usagi just hugged her friend "I'm here for you. We all are 'k?"

Minako finally burst in to tears remembering that one horrible night that had culminated with Ranma's death. Danburite's words echoed hollowly in her mind "Your love will be hopeless for all eternity. Now you can go on living without having to torment yourself over the ultimate choice of love or your duty. You will continue to fight for all eternity."

Funny thing was, that as far as she could tell, that two faced demon had been right. If Ranma had lived, she might have been forced to make a choice at some point. Danburite had taken that choice once and for all, a final gift he had called it.

Meanwhile in Nerima, Ranma was lounging around in front of the TV with Kasumi. They were once again watching her sailor scout anime. To be precise, it was the Sailor V anime, not the Sailor Senshi one.

Ranma just lazed around draped over a pillow casually munching chips as they watched the first season finale. Ranma smiled as the credits started rolling. "Aww man I love that episode."

Kasumi normally didn't ask that many questions, as she liked having company and didn't want to scare Ranma off, but she was understandably curious. "Ranma, why is it that you only ever join me for the Sailor V episodes and not the Sailor Senshi?"

Ranma squirmed, not wanting to say what he truly felt, as there was an unspoken rule in the Tendo household, that you just didn't upset Kasumi. "Well the Senshi suck. I mean they're just knock offs of V-chan." Yep, no tact whatsoever.

Kasumi looked mildly upset at this, or as upset as someone like her could. Ranma jumped up waving his hands in defense. "They're not that bad. They're just copies, so they can't help but not be as good as the original."

Nabiki looked in through the open door. "You do know that Sailor Venus is Sailor V?"

"Sailor Venus? Which one's that?" Ranma quickly reviewed which scouts he remembered, Sailor Akane-look-alike, Sailor Tomboy-Red-Skirt, Sailor Tomboy-Yellow-Skirt, Sailor Preteen, Sailor Cries-a-lot. Finally, he figured out which sailor scout Nabiki was talking about. "You mean Sailor Kodachi right?"

Even Nabiki was slightly confused by this reference. "Sailor Kodachi?"

"Yeah, she has that whip of hers just like Kodachi, and she's always going on about love. And Kodachi always goes on and on about love too. Kind of makes you wonder if it's a mental illness, you know." Ranma had a very unusual view of the world. Probably due in part to how he was raised, who raised him, and where he was raised. Actually most of it had to do with Genma. But whatever damage wasn't caused by his pops, was probably due to his rivals and fiancées.

Nabiki just shook her head. To survive in Nerima, one had to know when to just let sleeping dogs lie. Convincing super powered martial artists little things about reality was just too much work, and far too risky. "So you knew Sailor Ven… Sailor V?" If nothing else this smelled of profit so she stuck around.

"Yeah V-chan and I were good friends. I taught her tons of stuff. Like how to take a fall, to keep your temper in a fight, and lots of other stuff. Akane isn't as good a learner." Nabiki took this to mean that Ranma had basically been fighting Sailor Venus and having a great time. She doubted Sailor Venus liked the 'teaching' any more than Akane had.

"So, other then fighting her, did you do anything else with her?" Depending on what he said next, Nabiki could sell the information either to other students, or the fiancée brigade. Actually, if she spun it right, maybe both.

"Well, I did help her out a few times, not that she really needed it." Which was saying a lot. Ranma rarely complemented anyone. "She wasn't as good as me, but those monster things were pretty tough."

Kasumi looked enchanted at this. "You fought youma with Sailor Venus?"

"Nawww. I fought those demon things with V-chan."

Kasumi immediately started asking more questions so Ranma finally broke down and told her about his first major adventure with V-chan. He couldn't very well ignore Kasumi. Nabiki stayed quiet and listened, already seeing the money about to flow in.

Ranma was once more searching through the city of London for Mini-Skirt again. She had actually managed to hit him, so he was inclined to track her down to have some more fun. It was either that, or track down his father, whom Ranma was pretty sure was going to go 'acquire' more funds tonight. What Ranma didn't see, he didn't have to morally object to.

It was at this point he saw some explosions and weird lights in the distance. Kind of similar in looks to the one that had sent his pops flying. Assuming there wasn't another person running around London with Mini-Skirt's abilities; it was pretty safe to say it was her over there. Grinning Ranma went off to track down his newest friend.

Reaching the docks, he saw a huge monstrous looking thing smashing the various warehouse walls. The monster looked like something out of a bad joke. It looked kind of like a cross between a plant and a bug. Only with none of the awesomeness that it sounded like. Sure it had wings, but it had weird branch like hands and weird flowers growing all over it. Really sickly rotten looking flowers, but flowers nonetheless.

The monster kept shooting those flowers off its body in Mini-Skirt's direction trying to hit her. But it had yet to succeed.

Mini-Skirt was currently hiding behind a large crate of boxes, only popping out to take sniping shots at the monster thing. Ranma just had to laugh. "Aw, man you suck. Can't you take down one little monster? I mean its aim is almost as bad as yours and that's saying a lot."

Mini-Skirt looked around for a moment before noticing Ranma's perch on top of one of the warehouse roofs. "Get out of here, you're in danger!" She yelled out.

"From the horror story reject? Aww man you've got to be kidding me. He stinks… and not just literally." Ok, so Ranma had never fought a demon before. But it couldn't be worse than that one time his pops had forced him to fight those bears. Or when his pops thought that the best way to learn how to swim was with sharks. Really there were far worse thing he could fight. And the bug plant didn't look that strong. Hell it looked really thin and weak.

The demon thing who had been content to try and hunt Sailor-V until this point started to get a little irritated at the stupid human. "Iiiiinslent wwworrrm. Youuu darrrrrre mock Belllzzzebug?"

"Yessssss Iiiiiii doooo." Ranma grinned mocking Belzebug's speech. "I mean I know I have a bad accent but come on, there are limits to how bad an accent can be. You're actually trying to mangle it right?"

Belzebug's eyes twitched. "Or are you really that stupid?" Belzebug's eye's twitched again. Ranma then laughed. "Actually you're really smart aren't you? I mean most bugs just know how to be a little ugly. You've taken it to a whole new level."

Belzebug's wings flared and began buzzing. "Diiiiiieee." The giant bug took to the air and flew straight at Ranma.

At which point Ranma realized something. The bug was actually a lot faster than it had looked. It came in fast and kept trying to grab him. Try being the key word. Its strikes were pretty predictable. Finally Ranma decided that since the thing was trying to kill him, it was fair to fight back. Also the thing looked pretty tough. It could probably take a few punches.

So Ranma, dodging around Belzebug's punch, leveled a punch of his own to the monster's gut.

"Gahhh." Ranma jerked back jumping away trying desperately to avoid the pain. When his fist had touched the bug's body it had ripped a lot of his chi from him. And it hurt.

"Foooolish Huuuumannnn. Youuuu cannot hurrrrt Belllzzzebug." The thing didn't even looked hurt by Ranma's punch. Now Ranma, despite being only 13, had seen grown men taken out by a punch like that. Clearly this thing was a lot more dangerous than it looked.

"Right. You're just sayin' that cause you don't want to lose." Ranma gave the thing a cocky grin. "I mean, you'll need this advantage. Otherwise it would be too easy. I've squashed mosquitoes faster than you." Ranma, when faced with the possibility of a tough fight, always let his mouth just go on auto. Because you never knew when you might uncover a sore spot, to make the fight easier.

The fight continued, but Ranma was slowly realizing that maybe, just maybe, he could lose. Sure he could dodge the bug's strikes. But he couldn't keep it up forever. And after having that chunk of chi pulled out of him, he was definitely feeling like he'd gone three rounds with his pops.

"Crescent V!" A bright beam appeared and slammed into the monster's side, knocking it off the building. "Get out of here. You're in danger, you idiot." It was Mini-Skirt. She had climbed the stairs to the roof of the warehouse.

"Riiiiight." Ranma just gave her a flippant grin. "I'm Ranma Saotome and I never lose." The bug reappeared and instead of running Ranma grabbed a steel pole and went back to fighting the monster. Sure he couldn't hit the thing with his hands, but the anything goes school was a school of adaptation.

Every time the bug tried to hit Ranma; he dodged around the strike and leveled the steel pole for a counter attack. Sadly, all Ranma seemed to be doing was irritating the ugly thing.

Minako grimaced. The irritating boy just kept getting in the way. She couldn't get a second clean hit off with the boy dancing around the demon like that. She was more likely to hit the boy than her target.

When he had first appeared, she had been convinced that he'd die. Now she was just surprised that he had lived as long as he had. It was almost like he wanted to piss off every person he met.

"Just get out of the way and leave. This isn't your fight." Minako let loose another Crescent V this one aimed at the floor creating a large hole near the fighters. If she couldn't aim for the bug she could at least try to distract it.

"Ha… I'll be finished here in a bit… I don't need your help." The infuriating boy was starting to slow down, despite his claims. Minako was actually kind of impressed he'd lasted this long already. It was at this point, the bug finally managed to clip the boy's body for the first time.

The hit was barely a graze, but from the boy's grunt it had obviously hurt a lot. The boy's movements became slower and the bug came close to a second strike but the boy slipped under the bug's strike in time. The boy's movements were becoming sloppier.

"You aren't even hurting him. Normal people can't fight demons. You're too weak for this." Minako bit out as she leapt into the fray, kicking straight into the bug's side. She didn't like the boy, but eventually he'd slip up and die. This wasn't his battle.

She struck quickly and with a vengeance, hoping to force the bug back into fighting her.

"Bzzz. Fooolish huuuuumaaaaan. I wooold have deallllt with youuuuu afterrr, diiiiis." The bug's attention was once again focused in her. But no matter how she dodged it she couldn't retreat far enough to get off a V Crescent to finish it off. There was a reason that Sailor V didn't fight hand to hand with demons. It wasn't that she didn't want to get close to them, well not entirely at least, it was that magic worked better then any physical hit ever could.

Ranma was currently being ignored by the giant bug, and was taking a moment to regain his breath before jumping back into the fray. He also glared at Mini-Skirt, he would have finished it off… eventually. Ok, so what if his strikes were ineffective, he would have done something.

But his body was really hurting at this point. Just being around that bug was kind of draining. And having to dodge those deadly strikes wasn't a walk in the park.

But Mini-Skirt wasn't faring any better than he had. She was barely dodging Belzebug's strikes and only making a few good hits of her own. It was at this point he noticed that the bug's injuries from that beam thingy hadn't healed. Maybe there was a reason Mini-Skirt had stayed in the background to fire off pot shots.

Ranma leapt back into the fray shoving Mini-Skirt out of the way of an incoming strike. "Oy! Mini-Skirt. I'll handle bugboy here, you hit him with that girly beam thing, 'k?" This said Ranma went back to using his pole to hit the bug.

"It's Sailor V. Not Mini-Skirt." An angry voice came form the direction he'd pushed Mini-Skirt.

"Huuuumannnn, whoooo doooo youuuu think youuu arrrre?" Clearly the bug thing was more than a little pissed at being continually challenged by a normal human.

"I'm Ranma Soatome of the Anything Goes School of Martial Arts. And I've squished stronger bugs then you. Smarter too." Ranma declared as he continued his deadly dance with the demon. Had the bug been a smarter opponent, it would have fled, or tried to deal with Sailor V first. But like most low level youma it was a creature of instinct.

"Diiieee!" It really didn't like being insulted. In Belzebug's current state of mind, it wasn't too hard for Ranma to move the bug's back such that it was facing Mini-Skirt.

"Crescent V." A yellow beam of light blasted into the bugs back. Slowly the bug turned and tried to say something but crumpled into dust before it could do so.

Ranma looked down at the dust, his body leaning heavily on his pole. Every single muscle in his body was sore. And his chi levels were gutted. It had been, probably, one of the most difficult fights in Ranma's life so far. "Took you long enough."

Sailor V just glared at him again. She also looked more than a little tired from the fight. "It wouldn't have taken that long if you had just minded your own business."

"Or if you knew how to shoot straight." Ranma quipped.

"At least I actually killed the youma. You just danced around it."

"I was softening it up ok? I mean I'd have managed it eventually." Never one to give in Ranma tried to make his contribution to the fight larger.

Sailor V gave him a slight smirk. "Right."

Ranma glared back at her. Hearing sirens in the distance, he straightened up. "Well it was fun and all, but I've got to go. We'll have to settle this some other time. See ya later Mini-Skirt." This said, he took off across the roof tops away from the warehouse.

"It's Sailor V. Not Mini-Skirt." A loud angry yell and a bright beam chased after him into the night.

It had definitely been an interesting night for Ranma. First he saw an actual demon and actually was able to fight it. But the fight itself left a sour taste in his mouth. He was a martial artist, and yet he had been unable to fight that thing. Sure it hadn't been able to hit him, well other than that one glancing blow, but dodging didn't count as a win. Not in Ranma's books.

And that girl hadn't been half bad. Not nearly as good as himself, but not as bad as what his pops had always said about girls. Even if she was using some sort of magic, it took a lot of guts to fight a thing like that.

Never one to dwell on the past, Ranma made a resolution to train harder, and track down his new friend in the future. Maybe there would be more demons to fight in the future. At which point Ranma planned on being stronger and able to handle the next one by himself.

"And that's how the fight went."

Kasumi had stars in her eyes after listening to a first hand account of a battle with one of her favorite heroes.

"You mean you couldn't beat it?" Nabiki actually had a hard time believing that Ranma would ever admit to needing help in fighting anything.

Ranma looked a bit upset at that. "It's not that I couldn't beat it… it's just it was easier to double team it. There's nothing wrong with fighting a demon in pairs." Ranma looked adamant about that. "And besides, I sucked back then. I've way better now."

Nabiki looked a bit thoughtful at that. She hadn't known Ranma as a kid. But even comparing the youth who first arrived at the dojo, to the young man before her now, there was simply no comparison.

Kasumi glanced at the clock and sighed. "I have to go start supper now." She clearly wanted to talk more. She then gave Ranma a focused look that almost made what came next seem like an order. "Ranma you must tell me more about Sailor Venus."

Now Ranma knew a couple things about life, one being never ever get between an otaku and their fix. "Sure I'll tell you some more later. I was in London for a few months and we had fun pretty much every night. I mean between the demons, thieves, the mobs, and our sparring matches, there was never a dull moment."

Nabiki smiled, grateful for his accidental phrasing of that last bit. After leaving Ranma to train, and Kasumi to cook, Nabiki reached for the phone.

"Hello this is the Kuno residence."

"Hey Kodachi would you be interested in knowing about a girl who Ranma spent a couple of months with, and had 'fun' with every night?" And after this it was going to be Uuchans, and a few other select places. This story was going to be very profitable.