All Ranma characters belong in their original forms to Rumiko
Takahashi. All Magic Knight Rayearth/Rayearth characters belong in
their original forms to CLAMP.

This story begins at the start of the Ranma manga. The setup for
Hikaru and the other MKR characters is borrowed from the OVA, with
some details being taken from the TV series. Just take for granted
that things are pretty altered as far as the MKR and Rayearth side of
this crossover is concerned. You'll see as you read.

This chapter follows the previous one.

On to the story:

Bridge to Cephiro: Day Two
By Thermopyle (thermopyle@tds.net)
http://thermopyle.anifics.com/index.html

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Ranma stared as his fiancée attacked a group of obviously insane boys.
The idiots were all dressed up in sports getups, most of them decked
down in padding that made movement difficult, yet they still went
charging at the girl like she was the only thing standing between them
and paradise. But their shouted comments made it sound like they
thought that paradise was her. Odd.

All of the school's students, except for the ones fighting, were
watching from the windows. Some of them were counting out seconds
with their fingers. Nobody seemed upset about what was going on. Did
this happen every day?

There were only a few boys left so Ranma got ready to step forward and
ask Akane what that was all about. Sure, his fiancée had declared
that while at school they were pretend to not know each other, but
wouldn't a stranger want to know anyway?

"Ranma!"

Hikaru was at one of the third floor windows, waving down to him.
Everybody was looking at her now, except for the few punching bags
that remained functional, and Akane, who was working on breaking them.
The redhead went "Eep!" but continued to wave.

Ranma waved back, tentatively. Akane didn't seem to notice.

"You'd better hurry," Hikaru yelled down to him. "The bell's about to
go off and you don't want to be late for your first day!"

Well, he didn't really care, but...

"Which room is 3-F?" he called up.

She hung almost her entire body out to smile at him. "It's this one!
Are you in my class?"

"I think so." Check the distance. Not too far. Hell, he could jump
that while carrying Akane. "Step back for a minute!"

"What?"

She moved away from the window, though, and Ranma bounced down to
midway between the school wall and the building, then leapt up as soon
as he hit the ground. His feet landed neatly on the window ledge, his
hands at the top. Everybody stepped back to make room, big eyes all
around.

Hikaru grinned at him. "That was neat! It's a lot higher than I can
jump."

Heh. "I guess you aren't mad at me about the thing with your dad and
the rock garden?"

"Eh? No. No, Father is already planning to make it even better.
Something about the way you messed the yard up inspired him to make a
series of tiny rock waterfalls." She frowned. "Have you ever heard
one of those? They're really loud."

"Uh, well, sorry for that, then."

She smiled again. "Oh, it's not your fault! He'll be in a good mood
for a long time now, he always is when he has a project to work on."

The door opened and suddenly everybody was in their desks, except for
Hikaru and Ranma. Hikaru grabbed his hand and pulled him to the front
of the room as the teacher walked in. "Mr. Tatsuya, this is the new
student!"

The man barely glanced at Ranma before replying, "Well, make your
introduction and then you can sit next to Ms. Shidou, since that's not
taken."

"Uh, right." Ranma turned to the class, opened his mouth to speak.

"His name is Ranma Saotome and he practices the Saotome School of
Anything-Goes Martial Arts," Hikaru declared. "He moved here because-
-"

The door opened and Akane stepped into the room. Everybody looked at
her.

"You're late, Ms. Tendo. Please go stand in the hall," said Mr.
Tatsuya.

With a glare at Ranma, she did so. What was she mad at him for? The
door slammed shut.

"Ranma moved to Nerima because he's been engaged to Akane Tendo."
Hikaru looked over at him when Ranma's palm smacked into his forehead.
"That's right, isn't it? You didn't walk to school with Nabiki, so I
just figured..."

"Yeah, that's right."

The door jerked back open and Akane started to step into the room,
which was now in an uproar. What was the big deal?

"The hall, Ms. Tendo."

The door shut again.

"Okay, Mr. Saotome, Ms. Shidou, please sit down, and we shall begin."
The teacher's voice was deliberately loud and caught enough attention
that a few people quieted down. Everybody else quickly did the same,
Hikaru lead Ranma to his chair, and class started.

Ranma explored the geography of his desktop while Mr. Tatsuya did the
same for Japan. They were both boring, with lines of whatever
crossing their surfaces. Contours of the land, Tatsuya said. Was
this desk made of real wood?

He looked around. Hikaru noticed and smiled at him, then returned to
taking notes diligently. A few boys glared at him like his pop did
after having a meal stolen. Some girls whispered to each other. He
sighed and contemplated what lay beyond the window next to him.

"WHERE IS SAOTOME?"

The door burst open and a kid dressed in a kendo outfit stepped into
the room. "Where is Ranma Saotome, that base peasant who would defile
the gates of heaven?" the boy demanded. He held a bokken forward in
an attack position.

Gates of heaven? Ranma raised a hand. "Over here."

The boy marched up to his desk, swinging the stick haphazardly to each
side with every step. Most of the other students retreated to the
opposite wall. The teacher sat quietly, saying nothing. What was
with that?

"What's up?" Ranma didn't stand yet. He didn't mind getting in a
fight but trashing the classroom would only get him in trouble.

"I forbid it!" declared the boy. "I will not allow this travesty of
an engagement between you and the beauteous Akane Tendo!" The stick
pointed at him menacingly. The boy looked around as if for outraged
support and everybody stared at him with smug looks of superiority.
They'd known first, of course.

Ranma noticed that Akane was standing in the doorway, also watching
quietly. Was this her boyfriend?

"Who're you?" he asked.

The boy posed magnificently. "I am a rising star in the field of
kendo, the undisputed and undefeated King of Furinkan. I am-"

"You're standing too close, Kuno-sempai," Hikaru interrupted.

Kuno froze, looked down at the redheaded girl with disbelief.
"Pigtailed goddess-"

"You're standing too close, Kuno-sempai," she repeated.

The boy hesitated, looked at Ranma with hate, back at Hikaru with
adoration and confusion, then at Ranma again. "Very well. We will
continue this later!" he told Ranma, then turned and marched out of
the classroom. Akane stepped aside to let him pass.

"You can sit down now, Ms. Tendo," Mr. Tatsuya said.

Akane entered the room and sat a few desks back and to the side of
Ranma. There was an empty seat next to her, even after everybody else
returned to their seats. He was surprised that the teacher hadn't had
him assigned him to sit there, since he was engaged to the girl.

"Now, contours of the land," Tatsuya continued.


Class let out for lunch. So far they'd had geometry, math, and
English. Science and Japanese and gym were after the break. Even gym
would be boring.

There was a bento in his schoolbag. He was surprised, since his
father had given the thing to him. If he'd had no lunch packed,
wouldn't he have had to ask his fiancée to share hers? It was a
missed opportunity on his pop's part.

Ranma dropped out the window, hit the ground lightly, and looked
around for a place to eat. There were already a number of student
sitting in different locations, some groups small, some groups big,
although most of them were just beginning to open up their lunches.
They must have rooms on the ground floor, because Ranma's classmates
weren't even outside yet, though they had all rushed out the door
immediately. Even Akane and Hikaru.

Ranma jumped up into a tree that nobody was eating near, grabbing a
branch with one arm to steady himself. Then he scuttled his way to
the trunk and sat where a clump of branches jutted out in seat-like
fashion. Perfect.

He was almost finished with the meal when he saw movement at the base
of his lunch spot. A red head spotted through brown limbs and green
leaves. It was alone. Looked like Hikaru, from what he could see,
but with the way she'd run off right away he had figured she was going
to eat with some friends.

Ranma snapped his bento closed and descended the tree quickly,
stopping just above the girl. Yup, nobody there but Hikaru. He
dropped to the grass a few feet away from her, sitting cross-legged
upon landing. "Hey."

Hikaru froze, chopsticks halfway to her mouth, and stared at him.
Musta surprised her. She smiled. "Hi!"

"So how come you ran off right away? I thought you had a lunch date
or something."

"Oh. Well." Hikaru made a show of looking around, so Ranma did too.
A few people had their heads turned in their direction. Akane's was,
too, and she seemed annoyed. "I thought it might be better if you
found someone else to eat lunch with."

What? "So how come you weren't eating with your friends, then?"

"I don't have any friends," she said quietly. "Not here, anyway. So
how did you end up engaged to Akane?"

"Um. My pop was pretending to be knocked out again, as soon as I put
him down and turned away he hit me in the head with a sign and dragged
me off to the Tendous. I was still in my girl form," he added. "Oh,
Akane, you hate boys, and he's half girl! He's perfect for you!" he
mimicked.

Hikaru laughed. "That sounds like Nabiki."

"Yeah, well... After that the macho chick smashed me in the head with
a table. It was heavy, too." Ranma rubbed the top of his head, which
was still a bit sore.

She grinned. "Didn't damage anything, I hope."

"Eh? No, I'm used to it. That was the third time I got knocked out
by a blow to the head yesterday. It gets old."

"And now you're going to school with your fiancée. How romantic!"
Hikaru had little hearts in her eyes.

"It's not funny!"

She laughed again. Ranma noticed the moron in the kendo garb glaring
at him from thirty feet away.

"How would you like it if you were engaged to Kuno?" he asked.

Hikaru stopped. "Okay, it's not funny." She frowned, glanced over at
the kendoist. "Kuno is a bit crazy. Well, a lot," she clarified.

"Yeah, I guessed that from the outfit. Is he any good?"

"I'm better, but yeah. Except for me, Kuno-sempai really is
undefeated."

Ranma nodded. "I guess that means I'm better than him, then, since I
can beat you."

"You didn't beat me! I got you at the same time!"

He snickered, looked over at Akane. "'That didn't count, I wasn't
ready!'"

Hikaru followed his gaze. "Ah. She said that? You sparred with
Akane, then?"

"Yup. She tried this whole 'Wanna be friends?' routine when I showed
up, but since you said she hated boys I changed into my guy form
before she could get the wrong idea. Then she insisted on fighting
me. She lost." Rather bitchily, too.

"Akane gets mad easily," Hikaru agreed. "She seems nice with her
friends, though. It's just boys and anybody she has reason to dislike
that she's mean to."

"And I'm a boy, and her unwanted fiancé."

"Yes, that's exactly what you are."

Heh. "Could be worse, Pop coulda engaged me to a guy." He would have
died for it, too. The old man wasn't that stupid.

"Mr. Tendou's wife is dead, isn't she? He's unattached." Big grin.

"That's sick."

Hikaru looked at her watch and Ranma noticed that a number of people
were standing, getting ready to go back inside. "Class starting back
up?" he asked.

"Yeah, in a few minutes."

"Great. I love class." He just loved sleeping more. And fighting.
And eating. Class was in there somewhere.


Gym was boring. A few tricks on the beam and everybody breaks into
applause and acts like it's the Olympics. Well, except for the lack
of competition.

After the teacher had them run through various exercises they were
released to pursue some form of private competition. All of the guys
wandered over to watch the girls' baseball game. Two of them
introduced themselves to him.

"Hi, I'm Hiroshi!"
"Hi, I'm Daisuki!"

They were poorly drawn characters and he couldn't tell the difference
between them, not really. But they were the first two people other
than Hikaru to not keep some kind of odd distance from him. It was
weird.

So they sat under a tree, enjoying the shade and the way the sun
didn't glare into their eyes while they watched the girls. His two
new friends kept up a running commentary on each one as she went up to
bat, or if that girl was ugly, discussed one on the defensive team.
But mostly they talked about Akane and Hikaru.

"So how long have you been engaged to Akane, anyway?"

"Is this some kind of shotgun wedding? Did you two meat at a
bathhouse and forget to use protection?"

"Hey, you're friends with Hikaru, right? Do you have any of her
panties? I've been wanting a pair of those."

"Yeah, me too!" said the other one.

The teams switched, Akane going in to be first at bat. What were her
sizes? No, he didn't know.

"Hiii, Ranma!"

Hikaru was in left field, waving to him again. He waved back and a
ball smacked him in the eye.

"Wow, I thought you were a martial artist?"

"Couldn't you have dodged that?"


Ranma walked out the school gates and Kuno was standing there in front
of him. Akane and Hikaru had both disappeared after everybody went to
change and shower, class ending for the day. The redhead had said she
needed to go home right away and would see him tomorrow. But Mr.
Loony Toons himself had arrived.

"Yo," Ranma said. His injured eye was swollen and teary. Wonderful
time for this.

Kuno's bokken pointed at him like some obscene version of Pinocchio's
nose, tattling of perverse thoughts instead of lies. "Halt, foul
villain! The time has come at last for a final showdown! You, who
hold no decency, will be struck down for your crimes against the
beauteous Akane Tendo, and for hounding the pigtailed goddess!"

The boy attacked, his bokken blurring, everywhere as Ranma dodged
frantically. He was fast! Hikaru had beaten him?

A strike's distance was misjudged, vision through salty water being
the culprit, and a blow smashed into Ranma's side, knocked him back
through the school wall and into the courtyard. That hurt, just a
bit.

Ranma stood. Kuno was charging forward, yelling something about a
finishing blow. The rhythm of fast attacks the boy had established
was broken up; instead there was just a blind forward run. Ranma
attacked.

Kuno was starting the first in his pattern of fast bokken strokes when
Ranma's foot caught him in the chest, then slammed repeatedly into
softer parts of the body. Kuno went down.

He stared at the boy. Even in unconsciousness Kuno mumbled about
fighting on. What an idiot.


Dr. Tofu's door stood open, inviting in any patients who happened to
need assistance. Ranma considered. The bruise wasn't that bad. It'd
be gone by morning. Same with the black and slightly swollen eye.
Better to just leave things as they were.

He continued on towards the Tendous, strolling along the fencetops.
His pop was gonna demand to know why he hadn't walked his fiancée home
the minute Ranma stepped in the door, he knew. Then Mr. Tendou would
wail like a banshee, protesting the cruel fates that would leave his
daughter an unmarried widow, however that worked. The pair were
bizarrely suited to each other.

Ranma stopped. The canal he'd knocked his father into was right below
him, opposite the sidewalk. On the other side of the water was a
park. Hikaru was there, near the far edge of the canal, reading under
a tree.

He frowned, then continued walking. She hadn't rushed home to study,
obviously. He'd ask her about it later.

#####

End of Day Two.