Crossed Moon: The First Season
A rather strange Ranma 1/2 / Sailor Moon fusion
Part of the RanMoon project
Part the first
By Robert Haynie
(And this is the disclaimer bit. The Ranma bits are Rumiko Takahashi's. The Sailor Moon bits are Naoko Takeuchi's. The RanMoon project was started by someone else. But this strange blending is mine, all mine! NYAHHHHH!)
Two months ago, Usagi Saotome was what could best be called an unusual girl.
Actually, in the opinion of many, that was the case right now.
But two months ago, she would have been considered a VERY unusual girl, because at the time she wasn't a girl at all.
Lying back in her favored relaxing clothes- a crimson Chinese tang and loose black pants- she mused on the past months.
There was a lot to muse on.
She had been born a boy named Ranma. Then her father took her-
then a him- to a place called Jyusenkyo.
At that moment, the old phrase, "You learn something new every day" was once again proven correct. That day she learned her father couldn't read Chinese.
And as far as she was concerned, that was a good thing.
A dark-haired boy became a golden-haired girl- and couldn't have been happier. Somehow, it was as though a deep uncertainty that had been plaguing her spirit was lifted, and for the first time in as long as she could remember, she felt RIGHT. While her father began to bewail the loss of her manhood, she reveled in the fact that that manhood was lost, and that a new womanhood had begun.
She wondered idly why her father changed from human to panda with a simple application of properly chilled water, where she didn't turn back into a boy with the opposite temperature. Not that she WANTED to, but it did seem odd. The old Amazon Elder, Cologne, had been reluctant to discuss the matter with her.
She'd arrived back in Japan a month ago.
Then things started to get weird.
She'd made a few friends. Akane Tendo, who was a pretty decent fighter- not up to Usagi's level, of course, but that wasn't really surprising. Kasumi Tendo, Akane's eldest sister, who was a really really great cook, and appreciated Usagi's enthusiasm for her dishes.
And Doctor Tofu Ono- usually just called Doctor Tofu (Although with her usual informality, Usagi had shortened that to "Doc", which he found amusing).
And of course, there was Ami Mizuno, her tutor, who she felt a strange bond with. It was nice to have a genius as a friend- maybe some of her brilliance would rub off. Besides, she felt that Ami needed a friend more than anyone she'd ever met... except possibly herself.
She had also made a couple of enemies.
The most notable of these was Kodachi Kuno, sister to Tatewaki Kuno, or as Usagi thought of him, the Blue Idiot. Kodachi felt that the "peasant whelp" was being quite unfair by (a) throwing her out of the window when Kodachi came to fight her in all fairness before the match at 2:00 am into the neighbor's rosebush, (b) defeating her in Usagi's first match by using an unusual weapon- a Frisbee, of all things, and (c) basically acting towards her without the proper amount of deference. In fact, acting towards her with the same deference she showed her brother- that is to say, about as much as she showed anyone else.
Said brother was in a sort of love-hate relationship with Usagi.
He had come to the conclusion that Akane refused his ardor because Usagi, in vile jealousy, had poisoned her mind against him. The evidence of the previous year was swiftly (and conveniently)
forgotten as he now realized that if he could defeat Usagi, then Akane would realize that he was worthy of her, as no-one else could possibly be. (And, perhaps, after his inevitable victory, the jealous Usagi would be granted a date to ease her loss.)
Then there was Ryoga. He'd showed up looking for Ranma... and that day would NEVER leave her memory...
Usagi glared at the Lost Boy in what could best be referred to as feminine anger. She was, instead of her usual cheery self, glaring at Ryoga in a dripping wet school uniform after he'd dumped a bucket of hot water over her.
"You... you didn't turn into a boy."
"And WHY the HELL would I turn into a BOY, you MORON?" screamed Usagi.
"But, Ranma, you used to be a boy-"
"No, I did NOT!" As far as the blonde was concerned this was completely true. She had always been a girl- she'd just never known it until she got the right body. "And my name is Usagi! And YOUR name is MUD!"
Violence ensued, with a rather off-guard Ryoga being somewhat harshly treated by a sailor-uniform wearing ball of damp and furious girl. Those uniforms might look silly by Usagi's standards, but they were NOT cheap either.
Later, somewhere outside of Shinjuku, Ryoga nursed his wounds.
He'd seen from a clifftop Ranma's fall into the Nyannichuan and had been horrified. With unusual clarity of mind for him, he had resolved to wait until later to challenge the sudden neo-girl until far away from that accursed place.
With his normal navigational abilities, he then turned about to leave and stepped right off the cliff.
Later, he'd discovered that his sudden transformation into a pig- a pig of all things- could be reversed with hot water. (This educational experience was due to the Guide of Jyusenkyo trying to boil what he thought was a decent dinner.) The guide's Japanese hadn't improved much, and the sight of an angry, fanged, and naked young man in his stewpot didn't do a lot for his communication abilities. Ryoga had left with the impression that for some reason Ranma was refusing to change back-
Of course. It was so OBVIOUS. Ranma was trying to use this false form to hide from Ryoga. The coward. Just like him, after running out after a mere three days wait!
But now... this Ranma- no, Usagi. She COULDN'T change back!
And somehow the pool had warped her mind so that she actually thought she was a REAL girl! The agony of such a terrible curse- a skilled fighter like Ranma to be bought so low as to become a weak girl!
(His present injuries notwithstanding.)
So Ryoga resolved to find a cure for Ranma. To return a skilled and powerful fighter to his rightful state of being.
THEN he'd kill him.
Usagi sighed. No, if there was one thing she was fairly certain of, it was that she wasn't going to be a normal schoolgirl after all.
Then again, what was normal?
That concept was soon to be... altered, in ways she never considered.
She was a cat.
Luna didn't yet know that that meant she already had two strikes against her, metaphorically speaking.
She had become, after careful observation, convinced that the boy-turned-girl WAS the One... and had also noticed that every time she had attempted to approach the girl (Who, for some reason had changed her name to Usagi) seemed to shy off. Almost as though she didn't like cats.
Which was silly, to Luna's mind. EVERYONE liked cats. Cats were, well, likable.
But Usagi seemed not to like them.
Ah, well, she'd have to force the matter- what?
Kids can be cruel and kind at the same time. Where one young punk thought it would be fun to tease a stray cat, another saw the crescent moon mark, thought it was a wound, and "helpfully" slapped a bandage over it- and Luna's mind began to fade...
Nodoka sighed. Her neo-daughter had certain things in common with her husband. Mainly sleeping habits, in that both considered sleep the third most important thing in the world... the second being food, and the first being the Art.
The result was that Usagi would invariably oversleep, dash downstairs, eat a full breakfast in the time that most took to eat a single rice ball, grab her bento (She'd never forget that) and start in her usual high-speed dash to school. At least she'd been able to impress on her that roof-hopping and fencerunning was not appropriate when wearing a skirt. Usagi had to save that for coming home, when she regularly shifted to shorts and did a double lap on the local fences.
On the other hand, Usagi found that running along streets was nearly as good training as fencerunning. At speeds that most at Furinkan- or anywhere- would consider impossible, she dashed towards school, bookbag in one hand and a triple bento in the other.
Then the first in a chain of events began- a howling, pained yowl.
A small group of boys teasing- hell, almost torturing a cat.
Like she cared about cats.
But even a cat didn't deserve this.
Usagi did NOT like cats.
She didn't like bullies even more.
"Hey, you jerks- you leave that... that... c-cat alone!"
"Who's gonna make us, girlie?"
A small group of would-be bullies were treated to the somewhat unusual sight of a slender teenage girl breaking something.
Something being the fender of the abandoned car that was in the junkyard where they had cornered the cat. Followed by the hood.
"That works for me," said one of the now resolving never to pick on innocent animals EVER again if THIS was what happened boys.
The others didn't comment, being too busy running.
Usagi suddenly shivered again. (Why am I protecting a cat? I'm late for school! Why...)
The cat stared at Usagi, blankly.
Usagi stared at the cat in... something other than fear.
(I'm... not scared. Why ain't I scared? I been scared of every cat I ever saw until now...)
She noted the bandage on the cat's head, which the cat pawed at from time to time ineffectually. "Huh, wild. A not-scary cat.
Creepy, but not scary. Hey, that bandage buggin' you?"
The cat meowed, and pawed.
"Huh. Okay. You hold still, I'll take it off."
Gingerly, and somewhat fearfully, Usagi reached for the bandage... and removed it, to reveal...
"Huh, funny looking bald spot... AHHHHH!"
The cat leapt back as her intellect flashed back into her mind in a rush- but the leap had again triggered Usagi's ailurophobia. "I was just helpin'! Don't be MEAN!"
Before Luna- yes, that was it, that was her name, Luna- could even think to respond, Usagi was a mile away.
There were times Haruna-sensei wished she had never transferred from Juuban Jr. High. Oh, yes, she had a larger salary here, and she couldn't deny that it could be interesting... but still...
(Five, four, three, two, one- and here she is.)
"Stupid Kuno," growled the girl who had become the idol of half the girls at Furinkan, as she once again arrived in class in her accustomed fashion- barely on time, and via the window.
"Miss Saotome. Is it POSSIBLE that you will arrive by the door?
Usagi blushed. "Gomen, Sensei, but I had to help a... animal,
and so I had to deal with Kuno-SEMPAI (Her dislike fairly bleeded in her tones) and, well..."
Haruna sighed. "Of course. Still... I suppose there are no real rules against it..."
Usagi took her place at her desk, just as she remembered something important.
(I think I forgot to study for today's English test.)
Usagi sighed. "Ohayo, Akane-chan. I think I'm in trouble."
"What about? You've already dealt with Kuno and his idiot sister today-"
Usagi presented her test paper, reluctantly. Akane stared at it... and shook her head. "Your mom's going to be upset, all right."
"Upset ain't the word. And I did so good on the last two tests too. I just BLEW this one. Haruna-sensei is SOO unforgiving..."
"You know, it's all the martial arts that you do. I mean, I'm a martial artist too, but I have a life outside that."
Akane paused. "Um... well..."
"Ain't boys, that's for sure."
Akane shrugged. The morning fights had stopped shortly after Usagi had arrived- mainly because Usagi had impressed on the Horde of Idiots that she wasn't going to have HER friend harassed in that manner- not with violence, but rather by pointing out that it was just plain STUPID to try to get a girl to date them by fighting her.
Well, mostly not by violence, there had been a couple who needed "reinforcement", and Tatewaki Kuno had yet to clue in.
But in general Akane wasn't being harassed anymore. No, Usagi had THAT all to herself from Kuno. Joy.
Akane shrugged. "No-one's asked me- as if I want one to."
"I think that that Umino guy likes you a bit."
Akane shrugged again. "Well, he's pretty, well, geeky, but at least he didn't hit on me like THOSE jerks did... and he's new at school, so we don't know anything about him..."
Usagi grinned. "You mean you ain't heard?"
"Your sister hired him- he's GOOD at finding out stuff, and she's even paying him an equal share."
"I can't believe that-"
"Well, I guess that's mostly 'cause if she didn't he'd be able to go into business for himself- and she's got the connections he don't."
"Hmmm... then I CAN believe it. Honestly, she shames me so much sometimes... Well, good luck with your mother today. Oh, and do me a favor?"
"TRY to get along with my brother?"
Mamoru Tendo was somewhere between friend and enemy. On the one hand he was the brother of her best friend in the world, a passable martial artist, and - if she allowed herself to think about it -
fairly good looking. Usagi wasn't sure she LIKED boys, but if she did, he'd be at least easy on the eyes.
He was also, in Usagi's opinion, the most arrogant, insufferable,
and annoying jerk that the world had ever produced.
It didn't help that her father had started to hint that said jerk would make a good husband for her. Or that her best friend's father had been hinting the same to him. Where they got THAT idea from, she had no idea.
They'd even tried to spring a surprise omiai on the two. The result was predictable-
"ACK! THE INSENSITIVE JERK!"
"ACK! THE MEATBALL-HEADED TOMBOY!"
It had degenerated from there.
Oh, well... at least she wasn't likely to see him today. She sighed, began to hit the fences- having changed to a pair of cut-offs- and began to accelerate-
"OWCH! You MEATBALL-HEADED TOMBOY!"
(Oh, not AGAIN.)
Usagi stopped, balancing on the fence easily, and scowled. "Why don't you watch where I'm running, Mamo-twit?"
"Normal girls DON'T do that sort of thing! Even my sister doesn't! You're a MENACE, Saotome!"
"As opposed to a jerk, that's a good thing. And... Hey, where did you get that?"
Mamoru Tendo snickered at the test paper that had fallen out of Usagi's bookbag. "Well, maybe you aren't smart enough to be a menace. Thirty? Ah, such a high score..."
Usagi grabbed the paper and scowled. "It's none of your business, Tendo."
It infuriated Usagi. Any other boy she could, if need be, pound into an apology- but somehow...
Somehow just by clever phrasing and timing- Mamoru she never even got a hit in.
It never occurred to her that deep down she didn't want to.
"Aw, MOMMA, what with that Ryoga jerk and-"
"Enough. You have been under... unusual pressure, I admit,
but... I think you should go to your room and study for the make up exam. Now. And I shall talk to Miss Mizuno about extra study as well."
"Yes, Momma," Usagi said, weakly.
She sighed. (Baka Kuno. Baka OTHER Kuno. Baka Ryoga. Baka Mamoru. Baka school. I'm SOO bored! It's the same thing every day.
I want something...)
She sighed. Again. (Something... different.)
Lying back on her bed, schoolbooks forgotten, something different happened.
Luna squeaked as the girl, who she had merely tapped with a paw,
shot to the ceiling and clung there like a... actually, Luna couldn't think of anything that was the way Usagi was ceiling-hugging.
"Are... are you all right?"
"GAHHH! C-C-CAT! IN MY ROOM! TALKING TO ME! AHHHH- Wait.
TALKING to me?" Usagi looked down, uncertainly. "Um. Talking to me. Oh. You from earlier. You- you scared me, you shouldn't sneak up on people like that..."
Luna felt oddly abashed. "Well, I'm sorry, I didn't mean to, I didn't think you'd react like-"
"WAIT a sec! You're talking! Cats don't talk! And how come I ain't scared of you? I'm ALWAYS scared of cats 'cause Pop's a stupid panda- so why ain't I scared of you?" said the blonde as she easily dropped from the ceiling.
"Um... because I'm not a ordinary cat?"
"Um.. OK. Besides, I got this figured out anyhow. This is just a dream, and you ain't really here, and that's why I ain't scared."
"No, I'm real. And I'm here for a special reason."
"You're some sort of cat shrink tryin' to make me think cats are okay?"
Luna stared. "Um, no, I'm well, sort of your guardian. You see,
"Oh, SURE you are. I got a cat for a guardian. Next thing you'll be tellin' me I'm some sort of magical girl like Akane-chan keeps readin' about. Now me, I like the boys comics more, especially that Dragonball one, but I guess that's 'cause I used to be one- did you know that? I used to be a boy, and that's a secret, but since you're just a dream I can tell you, and-"
Luna was now officially frustrated.
"I AM NOT A DREAM!"
Talking cats are one thing- screaming ones are another... and ailurophobia once again raised it's ugly head.
Luna was immediately contrite as Usagi went into an almost comatose state at the yell, murmuring to herself a mantra of "Kitty go 'way, kitty go 'way. kitty go 'way..."
"Usagi... I'm sorry. But I am real, and... Hmm... Okay. I'm the NICE cat. I even have a present for you."
"Kitty go w- present?"
"Yes! A present! Doesn't that mean I'm a nice cat?" Luna asked, hopefully.
"Watch this, it's a trick, and it's not meant to be mean, and you'll like it!" Luna said, while trying to seem as friendly and as not-threatening as possible. Why the Chosen One was so frightened of cats she had no idea- but best to take it as carefully as she could.
Usagi watched. The cat tensed- and so did Usagi. Then the cat performed a backflip- there was a strange twinkling light- and-
"See? It's for you."
"What is it?"
"It's a broach. It's for you. It's very special."
Usagi looked at the medallion-like accessory. "Well, it is kinda pretty. Say, why is a talking cat giving me presents?" Her voice was now dripping with suspicion.
"Um... because you're a great martial artist."
"Okay. Don't see the connection, though."
"I think that's why you're chosen... to become Sailor Moon."
"Who?" Usagi was trying on the broach, and distracted.
"Sailor Moon. The Champion of Justice. Sort of a hero, and-"
"Huh?" Usagi was hardly listening as she pinned the broach on,
idly wondering how to wear it to best effect.
"Well, if you repeat after me- Moon Prism Power, make up."
Usagi paused. "Why would I wanna say something that silly soundin'?"
Luna sighed. "Please, just say it?"
"Oh, all right. Moon Prism Power-"
And then something inside her removed her lackluster repeat of the cat's words- and with surprising force, she almost yelled-
It was as though she had become a being of concentrated light.
She felt the broach almost explode, she felt what seemed to be ribbons encase her frame- and then solidify into a new garment. She felt the gloves and boots meld, she felt the sudden weight of the tiara on her brow and the addition of earrings and a choker- and most of all she felt-
Power unlike ANYTHING she had known from her years of training,
power unlike anything she could have dreamed.
Power- the power, she realized, of Sailor Moon.
And she opened her eyes, and looked at herself in the mirror-
And at first wondered why she was in such a damn silly pose before she realized exactly how she was dressed.
"YAAAH! What the HELL kinda outfit is THIS?"
"Um... it's the uniform of Sailor Moon?"
"CRIPES! And I thought my SCHOOL uniform was bad! I look like a demented cheerleader! What's with all the bows? What're these things in my odangos? Those ain't easy to fix in the morning, ya know! And this skirt is WAY too short- Mom's gonna have a coronary,
She froze. "Akane-chan's in trouble."
"Yes, that's part of what I meant to tell you-"
And a smallish black cat gawked as Sailor Moon leapt out of the window at speeds that would have impressed Cologne, and tried to catch up- crying, "Hey, wait for ME!"
Akane was beginning to think that trying to cheer Usagi-chan up wasn't a good idea.
Usagi was- to be honest- a tomboy. Well, if Akane was to be honest, so was she. But most Japanese girls wouldn't admit that to be true, where Usagi reveled in it. She was PROUD of being a tomboy.
But Usagi had been rather depressed about the test today. And,
so, Akane had decided to get her friend a little present to cheer her up.
Now, Akane, tomboyish at times or not, was mostly a normal girl anyhow. Including her tastes in manga. Shojo all the way. Usagi,
on the other hand, had a definite preference for shonen manga- and would lament her lack of pocket money to collect the manga she liked.
It wasn't surprising. After all, her father had dragged her all over Japan and China in that training journey- Usagi had only discovered manga recently, and being raised as a boy and all, would logically prefer the Shonen stuff... at least the kind about fighting.
Thus, Akane decided to get Usagi the DragonBall Z volume that she knew that the blonde hadn't been able to afford herself so far. This proved to be... a mistake.
Because the manga saleswoman wasn't- a saleswoman.
Or, really, a woman at all.
Akane was a skilled Martial Artist- she knew that. Not as good as Usagi, but still skilled.
At the moment, Martial Arts were oddly useless.
After all, monsters weren't bricks or perverts. And THIS was a monster. That had her by the throat.
"So much energy, so much. Oh, Master Jadeite WILL be pleased with me-"
"Let her go."
Akane, weakly, tried to see where the voice came from. Someone-
someone trying to help her- who...
"What?" the monster said, surprised.
"I said- LET HER GO."
"And who are you to-"
"I am..." The newcomer paused, for a moment, uncertainly... and then regained her determination. "Agent of Love and Justice, I am the Pretty Sailor Suited Soldier Sailor Moon! Manga is for fun and relaxation, and your abuse of it is totally unforgivable! And in the name of the Moon-"
Here Sailor Moon struck a dynamic pose, pointing at the youma,
"I ACCEPT YOUR CHALLENGE! Um. Hmmm. Maybe I should work on that bit."
The youma paused. "Never heard of you... and I didn't issue a challenge. Not that you'll BE a challenge anyhow. Take her down, my servants!"
Zombies. Sailor Moon had never seen a horror movie, in fact she'd seen very few movies at all. But she knew what a zombie was.
And as far as she could tell, that's what was attacking her now.
She kicked one- and gasped as the mind-controlled person fell,
coughing in pain, blood trickling from her mouth.
(Aw, crap- these people are still alive! I can't fight them-)
And then she found herself dodging frantically as she was nearly swamped by the huge mass of brain-dead customers tried to attack.
Unable to fight back, she went into a high speed defensive pattern,
but found it nearly impossible to actually GET to the youma and Akane.
(This sucks. This REALLY sucks. THIS SUCKS SO MUCH-)
And she started screaming in frustration. The peculiar ornaments in her odangos began to reverberate, to amplify the angry howl... and to basically send the horde into unconsciousness.
Akane too, passed out. On the other hand, the youma, being of sterner stuff- magical in nature- just clapped her hands over her ears. "YAHHH! STOP THAT HORRIBLE CATERWAULING!"
Sailor Moon paused. "What- AN OPENING!"
And then it came to her.
The Power, again.
Her fist began to shine with a golden light, a spherical nimbus of radiance, highlighted with a brighter crescent at the front-
resembling nothing more than a crescent moon... and she leapt forward, screaming two words-
The magically charged fist impacted with the youma, and literally passed through it- without apparent injury at first. It was as though Sailor Moon's fist had become immaterial. Then light exploded from the "impact" point, and the monster screamed as she shattered,
and became dust.
(Heh. Not too shabby, that. I better check on Akane-chan!)
Making certain that her friend was all right, she turned to leave, only to be met by Luna at the door, panting heavily.
"You're... even... faster... than... in... China..."
"Yeah! Kick in the head, ain't it? Say, this ain't so bad!
MAN, that Moon Strike was COOL!"
"Wait until... pant... you try the Moon Tiara... puff."
Sailor Moon raised an eyebrow. "You mean I can do more neat stuff?"
"Oh, yes," Luna replied, having caught her breath. "You may be amazed."
"I LIKE this! I don't like the outfit, but I like this!"
"And here I was worried that you might be reluctant to fight,"
the cat murmured under her regained breath.
Unseen in the darkness was a elegantly clad man. He had seen the entire fight, and had been about to intervene when it had proven unnecessary. (There's something familiar about you, Sailor Moon...)
In another place, another dimension almost, a blond man stared as the sphere of life-energy he had begun to collect suddenly dissipated. He stared in shock, and scowled.
(Whoever is behind this interference will pay dearly,) Jadeite mused.
"You know, I had the WIERDEST dream yesterday, Usagi-chan. There was this really beautiful girl in these really cute clothes fighting a monster, while I was buying your present."
Usagi nodded, distracted by the adventures of Goku and company in the manga- until an eraser struck her head.
"Saotome. Hall. Buckets. NOW."
Usagi thought it rather unfair that the Champion of Justice had to have bucket duty.
End Episode One.