I didn't create any of the characters herein. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Please don't sue me!
Tail Kinker Presents
Only Half A Wish
Ranma scratched the back of his head. "Okay, Kasumi--"
"Yeah, whatever. You claim to be a goddess who is here to grant me a wish."
"Yes. I work for the Goddess Relief Office. It is our business to find worthy people who have made great sacrifices, and give them a wish as a reward."
"Has Dr. Tofu raised your Thorazine dosage again?"
The woman blinked.
Ranma sighed. "Okay, assuming that I buy this story, and not write it off as a drug-induced fantasy - on your part, I mean - Why me?" He shrugged. "I ain't done anything worthy of a wish or nothin'."
"True." The woman nodded. "Under our normal rating system, you normally would not qualify." She sighed. "But it seems that even Heaven is not exempt from bureaucracy. Someone up There has decided that it would be good for some of the other Gods and Goddesses to receive cross-duty training."
"So within our test region - Nerima - you came the closest to qualifying. My presence in the district was required to allow the other Immortals to come here and grant their own wishes."
Ranma scratched his head again. "I woulda never figured it to be me. Seems that you - sorry, that Kasumi shoulda outranked me. I mean, she put everything on hold for her family - her schooling, hre career, even her own chance at starting a family."
"Her devotion to her family is quite well-known, but even she ranked only second. Her father ranked third, due to his devotion to the community, and you ranked number one. But as it happened, a large number of your friends and acquaintances in the district also ranked high enough to get at least half a wish."
"Half? So I'm getting sort of a defective wish?"
"No, your wish will be of the normal type I deliver - backed by the full power of the Ultimate Force. Kasumi and Soun will receive powerful wishes, but not backed up by the Ultimate Force. Consider them runners-up prizes. But as for the others..." Her smile became a touch forced. "Well, rather than waste very powerful wishes, straight from Kami-sama, we had a collection of wishes gathered from...less reputable sources." Her smile now looked a lot more like a grimace. "So my Brothers and Sisters roam the streets of this city armed with slightly baked wishes."
"And are granting them to slightly baked people. I hope the town is still here in the morning." Ranma grimaced. "I wish I could see how they make out."
"A wish! Can it be true?" Ryouga looked rather stunned. "Of all the things in the world, I most wish to be free of the pig!"
Thor looked rather concerned. "You sure about this?"
There was a crack of thunder, and Thor lowered his hammer. "Your wish is granted." He shouldered the hammer and turned to go. "Of course, it's too bad. A lot of people are going to starve. But they're all gone."
Thor turned back. "All the pigs."
"What about all the pigs?"
"They're all gone. You are well and truly free of the pig, for all eternity. But don't worry!" The God gave the Lost Boy a thumbs-up. "I'm sure you'll replace that food source in nothing flat!"
"A trillion yen?" Freya looked rather uncomfortable. She glanced down at the scroll in her hands. "I don't think I can do that."
"Why not?" Nabiki crossed her arms and frowned at the Goddess. "You said you could grant any wish, right?"
"Well, according to this..." Freya consulted the scroll. "I can only grant a wish worth up to five hundred golden crowns."
Nabiki's eyes widened in disbelief. "Heaven has a credit limit?"
"No, just this wish. At the current exchange rate, that would be five million yen."
Kuno flourished. "Truly, it is a simple matter. A mere trifle for one as yourself. But still, it is a goal that has frustrated this mere mortal for many--"
"Yeah, yeah, get on with it." Loki did not like this job. Even if it did get him out from under that damned mountain for a time.
"I wish to possess Akane Tendo and the Pigtailed Girl! Truly their beauty far surpasses anything on this mortal plane!"
Loki smiled. "So, just to possess the body of these two girls, eh?"
"Crudely put, but apt."
"Well, nothing simpler." Loki produced two buckets of water. "Simply pour these two buckets over your head, one after the other, then go look in a mirror." He set down the buckets and vanished from the room.
Back in Asgard, Loki smirked. A bucket from Nyannichuan and a bucket from Akanenichuan...a cheap price to pay. And likely the Monkey's Paw wish would have granted exactly the same results. But this way, he got to keep the wish to spring on someone else.
It wasn't really Heimdall's fault. After all, his job was to guard the Bifrost Bridge, not to grant a wish to some surely undeserving mortal. And since he could see better than a thousand eagles, hear better than a thousand cats, and still had way more than half of his attention focussed on the Bridge when she'd made her wish...Well, perfect hearing didn't make for perfect understanding.
"Well, I've finished the job. It took some research - I'd forgotten all about the Jushenkyou bit - but I can assure you, your fiancee is no longer a woman."
Akane fumed. "That's not what I meant! I wished he'd no longer be a womanizer!"
"Oh?" Heimdall frowned. "I was certain you said...Oh well. I could change it back; it'd just involve a trip to China--"
Frigga frowned. "As the patron of wives and marriage, I am concerned by your wish. You wish to trap this Ranma fellow in a marriage to someone he doesn't love, to commit him to a lifestyle he doesn't want, just so you can get something you want?"
Luckily, the Goddess was fluent in Chinese. Xian Pu nodded. "This is correct, Holy One."
"Are you sure that this is the only way to get what you want? Is it even truly what you want?"
"I'm not sure I--"
"Because this is a very special wish." Frigga deliberately avoided mentioning that it was a defective wish. "It only grants what you truly desire."
"But this is truly what I desire!"
"You had best be certain, child." Frigga raised the scroll and incanted the words. There was a flash of light, and...
"Great-Granddaughter! We've received a message from the tribe!" Kuh Lon opened the envelope and scanned the letter therein. Her eyes widened in shock.
"They've retired me!" Her hands shook with rage. "They've retired me from the Council of Elders, rendered my ongoing judgements null and void, and promoted your grandmother to my position!"
Xian Pu blinked. "This is not good."
"Your grandmother isn't quite good enough to fill my shoes. A little lacking in education yet, but...they kicked me out! And they've declared your punishment null and void. You're to return to China immediately to be cured of your curse."
"Oh, yes. Son-in-law would be quite upset if he knew." She read on. "Except for the fact that they've declared your vendetta against 'the red-haired outsider', and your betrothal to Ranma, null and void. And, named you commander of the Guard." She folded the letter. "You'd best pack."
"But my wish--"
"A Goddess told me my wish would bring me my fondest desire!"
Kuh Lon considered. "Restored to the tribe's good graces, brought home, assigned Captain of the Guard, and certain to succeed your Grandmother, when she is forced down, as the youngest person ever to attain a seat on the Council of Elders...would not all these have come about if you'd managed to snare the boy?" Kuh Lon chuckled. "And bringing such a strong-willed male into the tribe would hardly be a good thing. He'd never learn his place."
Xian Pu blinked...and wondered.
Of course, there was only one wish for Gosunkugi. "I wish that Akane Tendo would fall madly in love with me!"
Frey considered. "Well, that should be within the limits of the spell." He read further. "Uh, oh..."
"Well, it says here that the wish that is stated will be reversed one hundred percent."
"Oh, no!" Gosunkugi despaired. "You mean she'll hate me?"
"What could be worse?"
Frey sighed. "She'll be your best friend forever."
"I wish to marry Ranma Saotome, so that he and I can live happily ever after!"
Sif rolled her eyes. Overly romantic people made her teeth sweat. Should have set Freya on this one...oh well. She consulted the scroll, and giggled.
Ukyo looked concerned. "What is it?"
"Well...this is a half wish."
"Half wish? What do you mean?"
"I mean it only delivers half of what you wish for." She incanted the spell, and felt the surge of power as the wish took hold. "Okay, I'm done here."
"Wait!" Ukyo looked very concerned. "What's going to happen if it's only half a wish?"
"I'm not sure." Sif considered. "Either you'll marry Ranma and both of you will have a miserable life--"
"Or you'll not marry him, but have an excellent life--"
"I don't see how."
"Or you'll become a concubine, or mistress or something, and have a mediocre life." Sif rolled the scroll up. "The magic is still in flux, so you have about twenty minutes to decide how it's going to go. I'd choose very carefully."
Ukyo considered. A miserable life with Ranma, or a happy life without him. Or a bit of both...She came to a decision, and was surprised by how easily it sat with her.
It would be years before the Ucchan's franschise reached its peak in income...and why was it she'd never realized how cute Konatsu was? And on the outside, they'd appear to be a perfect couple...
"Your wish has been approved."
Ranma shook his head to clear the visions. "You mean that was my wish?" He scowled. "I really gotta watch what I say."
"True. But I doubt that you'll be unhappy with the results." She stepped back into the hanging mirror, and found herself back in Asgard.
"Hey, sis." Urd sauntered up. "Mission accomplished. Couldn't really raise the dead with that understrength wish you gave me, but since both Kasumi and Soun wished for the same thing, Skuld and I could co-ordinate on it. Soun will meet someone just like his departed wife, and even his kids will like her."
"I'm glad to hear it. And I see that our Brothers and Sisters have managed to contain the Bug congestion in Nerima."
Skuld snorted. "No thanks to Thor. Who gave him an Overkill Wish, anyway?"
Urd poked the smaller Goddess in the side. "Keep talking that way, squirt, and maybe he won't lend you his hammer anymore."
"Well..." Skuld calmed down. "At least we managed to deBug Nerima finally. That place was seriously getting out of hand."
Conceived and written while half in the bag. The defective wishes idea came from a Dragon Magazine article. Don't drink and write!