As it says on the tin, a Ranma and Sailor Moon crossover, heavily including Nodoka. Again, it's up here to see what you guys think of it before we work on future chapters, so don't hesitate to tell us your opinions.
Hope you enjoy the show.
Ranma Saotome was not a happy gender changing martial artist. It wasn't for the descriptor on the beginning of his job title, or even the fact that he was in an entirely new part of Tokyo, where he felt about as lost as Ryoga Hibiki on a good day, but rather due to the letter he had clenched in a white knuckled fist. It had only been a week since his mother disappeared, without a trace, into thin air. Everyone from the Amazons to Kodachi Kuno had claimed responsibility for it, the former in an attempt to leverage him into marrying Shampoo in order to get her back, and the latter because she thought she'd disposed of the red haired harridan and his heart would now belong to her. Well, when he said the Amazons, he wasn't being entirely fair, since it had been Shampoo who claimed it, and Cologne who hit her in the head so hard it knocked her out and left a dent in the table.
Still, none of her tracking or scrying magic, most of which he'd been quite fine not knowing about, thank you very much, had turned up a hair of the Saotome matriarch. Other than in her hairbrush, but that was hardly helpful. Even the old man had been gone for days, and he looked like he hadn't slept for most of them when he'd come across him in Chiba the day before.
Now, he was in the tenth district of the Minato ward, holding a cryptic letter that told him that his mother would meet him in an apartment there. Checking the number of the building he was standing in front of, he nodded shortly, shoving the paper into a pocket.
Ami Mizuno really, really wanted to reach for the Mercury Computer. She knew she shouldn't, but it had the largest technical and encyclopedic database she'd ever seen, and the biology homework she was doing now was fascinating. She'd gone over the entire chapter in her textbook, but she knew that it'd be impractical to go out to the library at 8:30 at night to get more reading material. Unfortunately, she knew that reading up on the information in the computer was a bad idea. Not only would she likely get so engrossed in the articles that she would forget to do the rest of her work until midnight, ending up with almost Usagi-esque hand writing, but the one time she'd accidentally quoted Silver Millennium findings in an astronomy assignment, she'd gotten a much lower grade because the stars had shifted so much over the last 10,000 years.
She caught herself as her hand crept towards the computer once again, and sighed, putting down her pencil. Her mother would be home in about half an hour, and she was usually rather irritated when the blue haired girl missed meals. She would pick up on her studying afterward, hopefully with a little more self-restraint.
Standing from her study desk, Ami thought about what to eat, but eventually decided on yet another cup of ramen. She was half way through deciding between chicken and beef, and was half way across the apartment's small living room when a loud knock came at the door. The teenage girl jumped, wondering if someone was shooting at her, before the knock came again. She frowned, asking herself who would be so insistent to talk to her or her mother at this time of night, and wondering if it was one of the woman's patients' parents. Quickly moving to the door, she pulled it open, smiling. "Hell... oh."
The boy in front of her was one of the angriest people she'd ever seen. This was saying something, as she'd seen Youma, angry parents, and Rei within the same short time span. "Where is she?" the boy demanded, shortly.
Ami gulped. She was relatively sure that if she didn't answer his question correctly, something really bad was going to happen. "Um, m... my mother will be home in about half an hour," she offered, hopefully.
The boy glared. That had obviously not been what he wanted to hear, but he didn't do anything to Ami, instead reaching into a pocket and producing a Polaroid snapshot of himself, looking much less murderous, standing between a short, balding man in a white fighting gi and a regal looking woman in a formal kimono. "Where is she?" he repeated.
"Sir, I... I'm afraid you've got the wrong apartment," Ami started, uncertainly. "No one who looks like that lives here... or even near here, that I've seen."
The boy didn't say anything this time, just removing yet another thing from a pocket. At first, the blue haired girl thought it was a wadded up chocolate bar wrapper, but when she unfolded it she saw a neatly scribed note. "Ranma, if you wish to know what happened to your mother, please visit..." the address matched her apartment's. She suddenly realized why he was so angry. If it had been her, she probably would have changed into Sailor Mercury and kicked down some doors, with or without the others' help. "Someone must have played a prank on you, and not a very funny one," she explained shortly. "I really haven't seen her."
The boy lost some of his tension, but not much. "Ya mind if I look around?" he asked, though she was pretty sure it wasn't a request.
Even so, she nodded, stepping back from the door and letting him enter the room. The gaze he swept around it reminded her of Luna when she thought no one was looking and she was stalking mice. Abruptly, he started forward, his eyes locked on her room. Ami considered stopping him, but doubted she could without transforming, given how determined his stride was.
Opening her door, he entered, approaching her desk and bending over the Mercury Computer, which was vibrating and beeping softly. The Senshi of Mercury flinched as he opened the little palmtop up, peering into the screen. He squinted at it, before handing it to her.
"Oh, sorry, this is just my Gameboy, I was playing with it before you came in!" she said, quickly, hoping he'd assume that it was a new model or something and leave it at that. She was studying the readout, noting that it was reporting a very unusual energy source nearby, when the boy said something that made her almost drop it in shock.
"Um, since when did they make video games with magic?"
"Um, erm," the girl said, realizing that she sounded a lot like Usagi trying to explain to Haruna-sensei why she was late again. "Because, um, what do you mean?"
The boy looked at her incredulously, and she was only saved from continuing to flail about by the sound of the front door opening. She was startled at the speed he displayed as he turned, taking up what sort of looked like one of Makoto's martial stances facing her mother, and another woman, who looked suspiciously like the one in the picture earlier.
"Mom!" He blurred forward, out of the stance, across the living room and past Ami's mother so fast that the dark haired woman had to brace herself against the door frame, grabbing the auburn haired one in a hug that looked like it could crush bones.
"Well, that went well," Saeko Mizuno said, as she, her daughter, Nodoka and Ranma Saotome sat around the apartment's small coffee table, cups of tea set before each of them. The young martial artist looked as though he needed his, almost jumping in place.
"Look, um, sorry for bein' so nuts earlier," the boy muttered, looking down into his cup. "'S just that I didn't expect anyone to go after Mom. Akane or the others, yeah, but..."
"That's all right, Saotome-san," Ami nodded across the table to the pigtailed martial artist. "I understand."
"Wow, No-chan," the older Mizuno said, causing her daughter's eyes to widen. "He's really much more polite than you were."
Nodoka blushed slightly. "Well, I didn't say it was a perfect emulation," she justified.
"A what?" Ranma asked, confused, while Ami looked intrigued.
"It's... a very long story," the auburn haired woman returned, before taking a sip of her tea. Just as she suspected that her son was going to burst at the seams, she continued, "It starts off with my informing you, Ranma, and you, Ami, that you have a new sibling. Or, well... not really a new one, but..." She stopped, looking confused.
Saeko sighed. "Ami, Ranma, you're brother and sister," she clarified, wishing that Nodoka was a little less prone to beating around the bush.
Ranma did a little bit of quick thinking. He was obviously related to his mother. If nothing else, his cursed form's bright red hair proved that much, and Ami's blue hair was obviously from her own mother, which meant... "The ol' bastard..." he growled, half way out of his seat before his mother put up a hand.
"Genma didn't cheat on me," she clarified, quickly. "I sort of, accidentally, cheated on him."
"Sort of accidentally?" the words were spat out in an incredulous tone before Ranma could stop himself. "Then who's my father?"
"Genma is your father," Nodoka said, assuredly.
Amy looked on, confused, as did Ranma for a few moments, until his brain seemed to click through a train of thought, the look on his face changing from unsure, to concerned, to shocked in about five seconds. "You... what?" he sputtered, clearly unable to articulate what he was thinking.
"Seems he's a lot smarter than you acted, too." Saeko said, causing Nodoka's eyebrow to twitch.
"Excuse me..." Ami said, her voice starting out quiet, "But could someone tell me what in the world is going on here?"
"Well, Ami..." Nodoka started, reluctantly.
The blue haired girl's mother sighed, as the redhead next to her hemmed and hawed. Picking up a small glass of water from the center of the table, she dumped it over Nodoka's head. "This is your father."
Ami fainted. Ranma's reaction was much more measured. "Damn it, why is it I'm only right about the really bad stuff?"
"Well," Ranma leaned back in his rather comfortable chair, holding the cold remnants of his cup of tea. "At least you didn't piss off the Amazons," he muttered, surprised that he was saying something like that to his mother, and she was looking sheepish about it. "Wait, you didn't, right?"
Nodoka nodded. "I did recall enough about them to stay well clear."
Ranma rubbed his forehead, as Dr. Mizuno came back into the room from her daughter's bedroom. The boy looked nervously at her, not terribly sure how to treat her or react around her. Technically, she was his mother's... what, Mistress? Girlfriend? She'd always been pretty accepting of him having those, but he'd never considered it, and certainly never considered her doing it. And her explanation... "A time traveling tennis shirt?" he finally asked, just for something to say.
His mother shrugged, before reaching into a bag that was sitting by her feet and tossing a wadded up piece of clothing at him. He caught it, and read the tag. "Warning: Do not tumble-dry. Product of China. Tod Tennisson's Temporal Tennis Shirt. 'Whenever you go, then you are.' Please note: 100 years between uses. No returns, no refunds." Underneath the original lettering, was a scribbled street address in what looked like permanent marker, covering a "Do not remove under threat of prosecution" warning. He rolled his eyes. By now, he should have learned not to question this sort of thing, and the most unbelievable part of it, really, was that Kodachi had touched such a 'common garment.'
Having gotten past all of the questions he'd needed to ask, and noting that the auburn haired woman before him was looking at him expectantly, the pigtailed boy closed his eyes in thought. "Um," he continued after a few moments, "How're you gunna tell the old man about this?"
Nodoka just froze, her expectant look fading before being replaced with a consternated one. "Damn," she muttered, causing Ranma to twitch, though he did make a mental note to remind her of the lapse next time he swore in female form and she muttered about young ladies and foul language.
When her eyes shot open, Ami Mizuno was surprised that she wasn't in a cold sweat. Granted, her dream hadn't been scary, exactly, but it had definitely been surprising. Turning her head, she saw that it was still dark out the window, the only light that filtered in being that of the streetlights below.
On her computer, which she'd left open at her bedside the night before for some reason, the current time shone out at her, informing her that it was far too early for her to be awake. She was about to roll over and try to go back to sleep, when she noted the large box of streaming data in the middle of the palmtop's tiny display, "Unknown Energy Reading" still visible on the top line.
She shot up and grabbed the device immediately, realizing that the same reading had been part of her dream, and was in fact showing the exact same graph. Putting it down, she swung out of bed, realizing that she was still in her clothes from the night before. Tiptoeing out of the room and into the living room, she saw two forms, one on the couch, and the other curled up in the middle of the floor.
Slowly, the blue haired girl crept towards the darkened lumps, wishing to confirm or assuage her fears, but not wishing to wake them, if they were humans rather than large traveling bags, or something. She was abruptly assured of that fact, when the lump on the floor lashed out an arm, grabbing her by one leg and yanking.
"Nngh!" she articulated, the end result of swallowing a scream as a set of blue eyes met hers, and she realized that she'd been caught before hitting the floor.
"Oh, Ami, right? Sorry 'bout that," the owner of the eyes whispered, letting her roll onto her back. "I'm always sorta jumpy the first night in a new place."
"That's all right," the Senshi of Mercury said, relieved that the other could, probably, not have seen the panicked look on her face when she first fell. Staring into the ceiling, or rather, the darkness where it was, she muttered, "Last night wasn't a dream, was it?"
The sigh she heard in return was far more world weary than any eighteen year old had a right to be. "Afraid not," he responded.
"But... how?" she finally decided to say, after a few more seconds of silence.
"Like Mom said, it's a long story," Ranma replied. "Mom's rolling around a bit too much; ya mind if I try and explain it somewhere we won't disturb people?" What he actually meant, of course, was somewhere her outraged or disbelieving exclamations wouldn't be heard, but for once, he had the common sense not to say it.
The blue haired girl considered. On the one hand, the request the boy she'd never met had just made was so suspicious even Usagi would have noticed, but she did have her transformation pen in her pocket, along with her Senshi communicator. "All right," she finally said, climbing to her feet and heading for the entry alcove to get her shoes.
It was only a few minutes later that the two of them were walking down the eerily quiet street, and Ranma was looking up at the lights as they passed beneath them. Ami would have made some attempt to get him to start speaking, however she was instead taking the opportunity to observe him. He was, as Makoto would say, a major hunk, but that only impinged on her brain for a second before she categorized it and moved on. He moved much like Rei did when she was working at the shrine, even though his mind was obviously on something completely different.
"Right," he finally said, nodding. "I'm probably gunna screw this up, so try 'n let me explain before killing me, okay?"
Ami nodded slowly, obviously confused.
"The first question's kinda redundant, since I already know you've got that magic Gameboy, and something magic in your pocket that I can't quite figure out," Ranma started, resulting in a surprised 'eep' from Ami as one hand went to a pants pocket to check that her pen was still there. "I don't really wanna know what they are, but the thing that happened to my Mom is magic that feels a lot like them." He shrugged. "Not that I know what any other magic feels like."
It took the Senshi of ice a few seconds to reconstruct the mangled grammar she'd just been subjected to, but after, she nodded.
Ranma returned it, glad that he wasn't going to have to go through the usual song and dance that came along with someone who didn't believe magic was real, even when they were exposed to it. Of course, now he had to deal with explaining time travel, and even he didn't really know what was going on there. "About a week ago, someone who thought they were attacking me got my mom with a magical time travel artifact." He kept to himself the nature of the artifact. After all, it was hard enough to believe as it was. "She also hit her really hard before doing so, and probably poisoned her with somethin that most militaries consider illegal."
"I hope the authorities dealt with this person," Ami said, deciding that she would take the time travel as a given for now.
"Nah," Ranma shrugged. "She's a Kuno." At the blank, uncomprehending look, he decided to continue. "Well, apparently something screwed up Mom's head pretty bad because when she recovered, she thought she was me."
"She... How could she do that? You're male and a lot younger than she is." Ami burst out, incredulously.
"Well, Kodachi was probably screaming insults at me the whole time," The pigtailed martial artist looked uncomfortable. "As for being a guy," he stepped over to the edge of the sidewalk, kicking off one of his shoes, which Ami only now realized was actually a soft slipper, and dunking a foot into a large puddle that had been left by a sudden, unpredicted and quickly passing storm the day before. Abruptly, his form twisted in on itself, seeming to do the reverse of what she'd seen earlier, until a short redhead stood in his place, adjusting the drawstring on her pants.
"I see." The statement was perfectly deadpan, and the eyes of the person who said it were very, very flat. This was strange; even her own mind thought so. After all, she'd seen perfectly normal looking people morph into demons with pop-off heads or gills, but it also reinforced the shock she'd had earlier, and then, she knew, she hadn't sensed, nor had her computer detected, any dark energy at all.
The redhead leaned in close to Ami's face, staring into her eyes. "You aren't gunna faint again, are you?" she asked, worriedly.
"Oh, no. I'm fine," Ami lied.
Ranma decided not to call her on it, and pressed on. "Yeah, well, she thought she was locked in female form. That's why she's got the curse now, she was trying to fix it."
"But, um, what does it have to do with me, and your mother and mine..." Her brain sort of ground to a halt on the last statement, and Ranma couldn't really blame her.
"Well, the thing about Mom is that she doesn't really know me that well. We only actually met about half a year ago after I went on a really long martial arts training trip, and she's got some… ideas about me."
"Ideas?" the blue haired girl asked, even though it felt like she was charging towards a bottomless pit.
"Yeah, she wants me to be really manly, and sorta thinks I am."
"So... what, you prefer to be a girl?" Ami asked.
"No! I'm a guy!" the redhead said, quickly, "It's just Mom thinks of manly men dating lots of pretty girls and having mistresses..." she shrugged helplessly, obviously not really understanding what she was describing.
"So... your mother," Ami started, slowly. "Seduced my mother, while she thought she was you, because she thought it was manly?"
"That's pretty much it, yeah." Ranma responded.
Ami Mizuno was usually a very polite girl. It had taken her so long to make friends mostly because she was simply too shy to try it on her own, and most students avoided her due to her intelligence and seeming standoffishness. However, even she had her limits. "That's the stupidest thing I've ever heard!" she burst out, her head turned up to the sky.
"Yeah, but it don't stop it from being true," the martial artist returned, casually.
The blue haired girl slumped, her entire frame looking exhausted. "I know." she muttered, quietly.