I do not own Robotech or Ranma
Isn't insomnia wonderful? I thought I'd finish going over the prologue by Saturday but hey not being able to sleep forced me to do something. I realize the prologue is choppy, which is intentional and I don't think it's my best work but honestly I wanted to really get to grips with the Robotech universe. That starts in chapter 1 and goes on from there. If anyone thinks of specific scenes from the Nerima years I might put them in at some later date.
One of the things I have noticed in most of the crossovers is that Ranma either has feelings towards or has been in a relationship with Akane. This will not be the case in my story which to anyone who has read any of my other works should come as no surprise. I will also be making nods toward John Ringo's work in the Troy series, as well as others and I hope my readers can spot them all.
Pairing is Ranma/Kasumi/Lisa/Miriya. I will not be changing this though who I pair Max up with instead is up in the air (I'm thinking Shampoo lol)
I also changed global to gloval like in the original and his first name to Henri because it gives him a more European feel.
* Look for the * for new content!
Prologue: Young minds are malleable minds
Ranma looked up at his grandmother, or the woman he thought of as his grandmother anyway, as she watched the TV her face creased by a bright smile. "What are you watching grandma?"
The old woman looked down at the young boy, a boy who had shown up a few weeks ago and swiftly befriended her with his inquisitive nature and general kindness. The fact that he came from his fool of a father's loins never ceased to amaze her. Genma was a louse, a lying, cheating, lazy fat man with very few redeeming qualities. But the young boy had made a distinctly different impression on her even before she had to save him from himself after the crazy technique called the neko-ken. He helped out around the neighborhood, and had responded well to her husband's stories and moral tales. Indeed, within the few days she had met him she had seen a marked increase in both his intelligence and his moral character, which before this had been completely comprised of his father who as previously stated, was scum. "I'm watching the news Ranma. There appear to be some kind of spacecraft or something crashing into an island in the Philippines."
Ranma immediately turned and stared at the TV. Grandmother was a bit of an astrologer, and had tried hard to get across to Ranma her love of space, in all its glories. The boy had not really been that interested in the stars or anything like that before, but grandfather had also told him that that space was the final frontier, a place where exploration and adventure could always be found. Of course up till this point that had only been for astronauts, but Ranma was young, and didn't know that he really had little to no chance of getting into space. The young dream while they can.
"Really?" he said excitedly, "wow!" And the two continued to watch the news as the ship, the alien ship that would twelve years later be renamed the Macross was discovered and reported by the news agencies the world over.
The time spent there did more than settle Ranma down after his first brush with the demonic neko-ken. After all obaachan was not the only one around that he talked to. Her husband a retired police officer, who had joined up after a stint in the army, saw the potential in Ranma and was quick to capitalize on it. He told the enthralled boy story after story of his time on the force, capturing criminals, rounding up drunks and clashes with gangs and even a few shootouts, interspersed with stories about serving in the UN peace-keeping forces and the JSDF.
He once told the young boy "It's one thing to be a martial artist and another thing to be a policemen or a soldier. Martial artist have the skill to defend people and many say that is part of their code, but most only give that lip service. Policemen and soldiers, their job is to defend other people, citizens who can't or won't defend themselves." And so it went on, one filling Ranma's head with made up stories of outer space and the real happening in the Pacific, and the other filling his head with stories of defending others, of combat and fighting for a cause not just because you enjoy it (though that too was a major consideration, after all you are generally good at something you enjoy).
And so when Genma finally escaped from jail five weeks later his son was greatly changed from what he had been. His dreams had changed from being the best marital artist to either becoming a police officer or going to space. But he still wanted to be the best of course.
This would show in several ways as the years went on. He was friendlier with other people, and listened earnestly to the martial arts masters his father brought him to about far more than just The Art. He also went out of his way to befriend the police in any city they stayed in, often helping them out with other martial artists and keeping a lid on his father's own duplicitous acts.
He made it clear as often as he could that his actions and his sense of honor was different from his father, causing a rift to grow between father and son which caused more and more problems between the two as the train trip went on. This was exacerbated by Genma not changing his plans at all, and by Jusenkyou, where despite his distrust of his father Ranma was still smacked into the pool of drowned girl. But later thanks to his ability to speak and understand Chinese instead of both of them being blamed for eating the Amazon tournaments victory feast, it was only the father who was blamed. Jusenkyou proved to be the straw that broke the camel's back and he began to secretly plot against his father, plans which began when they arrived in Nerima.
Kasumi sighed sadly. Their new guests were not of the type that she would normally welcome into her home, but alas it was not her place to comment. Her father spoke as the head of the household, and he had purposely welcomed them both in as guests. The young boy seemed pleasant enough, but the other man was obviously not very bright or helpful. And it didn't help matters that young Ranma had not gotten to the best start with her younger sisters. Still, he had helped set the table for dinner, and had not gone out of his way to respond to Akane's anger or irritation with him. Still, the obvious dislike between the two made her wonder if she did the right thing when pushing the marriage onto her youngest sibling, but she had been startled by his curse and his belligerent, even combative attitude toward his father had thrown Kasumi off her stride.
Her thoughts were interrupted as the object of them coughed behind her. She turned startled and saw Ranma standing in the kitchen doorway. His bright blue eyes caught her soft brown ones.
Since he had entered the house Ranma had known that the oldest sibling was the center of the household. His ability to read auras was nowhere near the best, but he had learned some tricks, and being able to tell the person a house, dojo or temple revolved around was one of them. That coupled with Kasumi's gentle aura and kind demeanor was why he was here now. Genma seems to be taking this marriage contract more seriously than any of the others that have hunted us down and that means we may be settling down for a time and that means that someone in this house needs to know what to expect from him and the trouble he can bring. If anyone in this house can handle that, Kasumi's the one. Maybe the middle girl later, but she doesn't give off the same trusting vibes as this girl. "Can I help you clean up Ms. Tendo?"
Kasumi smiled realizing that this was a chance to get to know Ranma without either of their parents interfering. The two cleaned up the kitchen, putting away the dishes and generally repairing the eating area from Akane's attempted assault on Ranma and the ensuing argument with his old man. At the end of it, the two sat down to share a cup of tea. As Kasumi was searching for the right questions to ask, Ranma took out a small note book and slid it across to her.
Kasumi looked at him quizzically but before she could ask what it was Ranma brought a finger up to his lips indicating the top of the staircase with a twitch of his head. Kasumi nodded, having heard Ranma's rant about his father's misdeeds and began to flip slowly through the notebook with an increasing fervor as she read.
Ranma had begun the note book at age 10 to catalog his father's misdeeds and misdemeanors, and it contained literally everything his old man had done for the past six years. Stealing food from restaurants and street vendors, scrolls from temples and martial arts masters who had let them into their homes and notes about broken agreements between Genma. It was all there, it even had copies of police records and places to call for more information. She slowly placed the little notebook in her apron pocket looking at Ranma quizzically asking in a low voice, "If all this is true, then what are you going to do? What are you asking me for?"
He smiled gently at her and said, "I will be eighteen in two years." The unspoken words were 'and at that point I will be a legal adult and he will have no power over me'. Slowly, so slowly Kasumi nodded.
Ranma never did confide in Nabiki, the mercenary middle sister having proved unworthy of that trust within a week of his arrival. Only Kasumi knew his secret, that he had a plan and wasn't just an angry jock lashing out without a clue. The two became close playing their parents like fools but kept that closeness a secret from everyone.
Yet changes began to occur inside Kasumi and with her interaction with her family. Watching as Nabiki became more and more coldhearted almost like a Yakuza in training, and seeing how, even with her help, her younger sibling started to enjoy her anger, enjoy attacking Ranma who would never hit her back, only dodge and even then would be berated for it by their parents, she distanced herself emotionally from her family. Outside she was still the kind, caring, and rather ditzy individual that they had come to know since their mother's death, but inside she watched, learned and began to wonder about her own future.
*Ranma dodged from side to side as Kuno kept on slicing at him. "Look Kuno, I keep tellin' ya, if ya want ta date Akane, do it! I don't care either way, she ain't exactly my type, hell I don't even know what my type is yet! And the redhead isn't under my spell or nothin' she just don't want anythin' ta do with ya!" Kuno ignored his declaration as he had been doing for days, trying to slay the foul sorcerer and free his two ensorcelled loves. Behind Ranma he he sense Akane getting ready to add in her two cents to the conversation in the form of her mallet to his head.
At precisely the right moment he ducked, letting the mallet swing miss him and knock Kuno's bokken out of his hand. A swift kick to the noggin, and Kuno was out of it. Ranma glared at Akane who was trying to pull her mallet out of his grip. He casually ripped it out of her hands and tossed it away to the right, where it would come down later to bean a hapless duck who was in the area looking for his love.
Ranma sighed as Akane, now sans mallet began to verbally berate him. Just another day in Nerima, where crazy was normal.
Ranma stood over the twitching and pummeled body of the strange kid with the huge umbrella and the bandannas. "Next time you endanger other people when you attack me I won't be so nice. We're martial artists, our job is to protect people, not endanger them." Ryoga groaned something that might have been an agreement.
The night after Akane and Ryoga beat the Golden Pair Ranma snuck out of his room and made his way up to the roof as silently as he could, anxious not to wake his father up from his drunken stupor. Once there, he closed his eyes reaching out with his still amateurish ki sense, he had felt something earlier and he wanted to see if he was right. Barely, just barely, he could feel someone two houses over, someone familiar. Turning in that direction he jumped from one roof to the other in that direction and was unsurprised to see Shampoo and Cologne waiting for him.
What did surprise him was that they were not alone. Several other girls of Shampoo's age were also there, standing in a semi-circle with Cologne at the center. All of them were good looking and the young girls looked at Ranma hungrily. He shuddered a little but bowed to the elder formally before speaking. "All right Elder what's the deal here? I know Shampoo isn't here for me, you and the council said I was exempt from the kiss of marriage or kiss of death until I found my mother."
Cologne cackled. "How true young one you did get out of those laws quite adroitly. Further, I don't think you'd be happy in our society. You're already nearly as good as we are comfortable with a male being, and I know you have no intention of stopping your training."
Ranma nodded affirmatively, he doubted he'd ever stop training it was so much a part of him now, and the better he was the better he could defend others, which he saw as the most sacred duty of a martial artist. "However, you are also one of the few outsiders that have ever impressed the Council with your strength and honor. We need an influx of new blood into the tribe, and it was felt that if we simply stayed around you, we would find many strong males and perhaps some females who we could induct into the tribe."
Ranma was about to answer back quickly that the whole idea was stupid, but then he paused. Kuno and Ryoga came to mind rather strongly, as well as the skating lecher. But when he thought about their personalities... "All right Cologne you got a point, in fact I've already met several men that might catch your interest. However, I have ta ask that ya don't immediately give them the kiss of marriage. Some kind of waiting period or something, so that you, Shampoo and the others can determine if their personalities are a match for them and your people would be a really good idea."
Cologne nodded thoughtfully. It wasn't the way it had been done for hundreds of years, but it was a good idea nonetheless. In his talk with the Council after his father had been knocked out for eating the champion's prize, Ranma had impressed them all with his intelligence as well as his cunning. After all hiding the fact one had a brain from the only parent you knew for years was an amazing feat. His knowledge in several areas was sorely lacking, but there was nothing wrong with the brain behind those blue eyes and if he said that a waiting period was necessary she was willing to go along with it. "All right Ranma so perhaps you can tell us about these targets you think we should be looking for?" She cackled, this looked to be both exciting and fun, something that was in very short supply when you were as old as she was.
Ranma grinned. "Well," he said. "First, there's…"
*Ranma walked into the Tendo household followed by Ukyo in a frothing fury. He didn't even stop to say hello to Kasumi, something he made a point of doing whenever he came home after school. The two younger sisters were already there, but before they could even start on Ranma for leaving school so early Ranma had already crossed the distance to the panda in the corner and began to thrash it severely.
The panda, who had been trying to play his 'I'm just a cute little panda' card tried to defend himself, but his son batted his attempts aside and laid into him until a gentle hand rested on his shoulder. Looking back he saw Kasumi, as well as Ukyo looking at him with concern and he took a deep breath to control himself.
"That's right sugar" Ukyo said, deeply concerned with the amount of anger her childhood friend had inside him, "after all, we need him able to speak right?"
"Right" Ranma growled "you want to tell us what we want to know now old man?"
The panda flipped up a sign but Kasumi simply poured a cup of boiling water over him. The man screamed and once again wondered what it was with Tendo's oldest daughter but made him her think that it was only scalding hot water that could change them back into a man. The middle daughter caught her older siblings face for a moment, though and saw the grim satisfaction she took in that act. After of millisecond however it was gone and she wondered if she had seen it all. After a moment's reflection, though she decided that maybe she should start distancing researching a bit into their houseguests past. If there was something in the man's past that made gentle Kasumi look like that even for instant then Nabiki wanted to know about it.
"how many old man?" Ranma spat dangerously, "How many families of you made deals with?! First the Tendo's, then that girl with the takeout martial arts and now U-chan! How many more! I thought I knew what you were up to while we were on the road, guess your old tricks weren't as plain as I thought they were!"
"Don't you understand boy" the older man growled, trying to save face "I did for us, without the food we got from those deals we would've never survived on the road!"
"Of course," his son drawled sarcastically, "and getting a job and actually paying for it legally never occurred to you, of course not. What am I saying, that would've taken actual work!"
"Don't take that tone with me boy!" the older man shouted. "Getting a job would've taken away from our training time!"
Ranma was of course unmoved by this declaration. "how many families?" He ground out.
Soun rose then, trying to keep the peace in his house, after all repairs were still ongoing from the last fight these two had. "I'm sure there's an explanation for this Ranma if you just calm down and let your father…"
Nabiki interrupted him just then, "actually I think we need to know this to. After all, what if most of them aren't as selective in their attack as Ukyo here was. You're living under our roof Genma, shouldn't we know if you're past dealings will put us at risk?"
"Now Nabiki," her father replied, "Genma is my guest here."
"Oh, of course. I'm sorry that of course makes him unable to, you know have manners at the table, or pay the rent and of course it allows him to endanger us, your daughters!" she snapped back and he wilted under her glare.
"I may have made deals with one or two other families boy but that's all water under the bridge, I never meant to honor any of them."
"Honor," Ranma scoffed "you don't know the meaning of the word! You fucked up our family honor badly old man. Now, how many girls damn it?!"
To the side Akane watched this, wondering if this meant even more girls would be coming round after the pervert. If so, maybe she could find a few of them and they could gang up on father and son and put them down permanently. That way her life could go back to normal (and, a little thought inside her brain said, you wouldn't be constantly remained how little of the art you actually know, Ms. 'best in Nerima', but she ignored it with the ease of long practice).
"I don't know the exact number" Genma answered loftily, "but why does it matter if the only one that has any validity is the one with Tendo, and if you're so worried about other girls showing up you should do the honorable thing and get married to Akane right away!"
"See previous answer, you don't know the meaning of the word honor!" Ranma stood back, closing his eye and calming down a moment to actually think. He hadn't wanted to do anything drastic just yet, he didn't want Genma to know about his plans for the future, but this situation could get so bad he had to do something. "The only way to separate my honor from yours and the agreements you made is to do something drastic.
Genma gulped and was about to reply when Kasumi asked. "Drastic, like what Ranma-san?"
"Like this" Ranma answered calmly, looking around at all of them and Shampoo, who had turned up for their daily training with a few of her Amazon sisters behind her "I vow never to marry anyone from any family you have had dealings with old man! Period, never ever! I'm moving out tonight, I'll camp out in the park before I spend one more minute with you, or make it seem as if I favor one agreement over any of the others! They're all invalid to me," he said with tone of finality.
Genma sat there stunned for a moment as Ranma walked past him up to his room, grabbed his backpack and left via the window. Before the panda man could regain his senses his son was gone. As everyone began to react to what just happened in their various ways, Kasumi, smiled a small secretive smile as she saw her friend start to take control of his life.
*Ranma glared over the body of the strange long haired boy who had attacked him while he was out with Kasumi, Ukyo and Shampoo shopping (i.e. being their personal bagboy) for dinner at the cackling Cologne. "I don't how but I know you're somehow behind this old ghoul." Ranma had lost some of his awe at the older woman, and his normal insouciance had returned in force.
Cologne debated attempting to whack the boy on the head, but decided she'd been called far worse. Besides, the boy provided such amazing entertainment. "I don't know what you're talking about sonny, I had nothing to do with Shampoo's childhood stalker showing up in Nerima." The mangled form on the ground tried to protest this label, but his jaw wasn't cooperating.
Ranma kept on glaring. "I will get you back for this you know. I don't when I don't know how, but I will get you back for this."
'I shiver in anticipation," Cologne replied dryly before hopping away on her staff. If the boy was as good at pranks as he is at picking up techniques, then I'd be worried. And thus the Age vs. Youth Practical Joke War began, a war that while bloodless, would cause untold mental and financial anguish for all in Nerima.
Ranma walked into Kasumi's room on silent feet and found Kasumi sitting at her desk weeping silently. He, now currently she, moved toward her and put a comforting hand on her shoulder. Despite Ranma's many hidden talents dealing with emotional situations was not in his/her repertoire. The best s/he could do was to offer a friendly shoulder to cry on. Kasumi's head whipped around but seeing Ranma let herself sag back against her still crying softly.
After a few moments Ranma broke the silence, awkward yet sincere. "I'm sorry Kasumi. I hoped yer time with Dr. Tofu woulda gone better. I never thought he'd lose it so badly just running errands with ya."
Kasumi sniffled a little but looked up at him with a wan smile. "That's alright Ranma-kun it's not like this is the first time this happened. I've tried to get him over his antics for years but nothing I do seems to calm him down. Maybe it just wasn't meant to be."
Now Ranma felt even worse. "Oh don't say that. I'm sure he'll get over it eventually. Or maybe it's some kinda curse, ya know, and we can try ta find the cure, anything's possible. Ya just gotta think positive." He grinned, trying to get Kasumi to smile at him but all he got for his efforts was another watery smile.
"You're right Ranma I need to keep trying, but I won't wait forever." She paused looking into the boy turned girl's eyes intently before continuing firmly. "He has until March 13 of next year and if he has not improved before then I will start looking elsewhere." She smiled thinly as Ranma got the reference and the shorter girls eyes widened. March 13 had just passed two weeks ago, taking with it his 17th birthday. Next year Ranma would be 18 and he would be legally an adult, able to put his own plans into motion. Ranma thought about what Kasumi was really saying here and looked into Kasumi's gentle brown eyes, slightly puffy and red from crying. Seeing the sincerity and hope there he slowly nodded, and his assent brought a wide smile and a sparkle to Kasumi's heretofore sad face.
* Ryoga had finally caught up with Ranma at his campsite, a remarkable feat as Ranma kept moving around to keep Genma from attacking him in his sleep and drugging or otherwise making him go back to live with the Tendos. Ranma had started doing this after he learned that Genma had seen Shampoo use her formula 411 on Pink and Link to make them forget their grudge against her. He knew his old man was almost as quick to pick up martial arts techniques as he was. The fact that technique was a mix of herbs, unguents, and pressure points hadn't occurred to him just yet.
So when Ryoga attacked him, he took the pigtailed marital artist by surprise at his dinner. Ryoga was able to get in a few free shots, and if Ranma hadn't studied the Steel Soul School's techniques of body hardening while on the 'training trip' he would have been out of the fight then and there, Ryoga was a walking powerhouse.
"Ranma for harming the precious goddess Akane, you will pay!" Ryoga shouted.
For a few minutes Ranma was too busy defending himself to work that out. "Wait what did I do to Akane? And FYI, I ain't interested in her or engaged to her or nothin' like that Ryoga, so you want her, go for it dude." What the hell is it about that girl that attracts the nut jobs? On the other hand, at least I know it ain't just me that does it.
Ryoga however didn't care for his reply, the news he had heard as P-chan about how Akane and Ranma were supposed to marry had all his attention. The fight continued until Ranma and Ryoga splashed into a nearby stream.
Ranma looked down in shock at her opponent aas he turned into a little black pig. "Damn, and I thought I had it bad changing' inta a girl, at least I'm still human." The redhead got out of the water, and picked up a cup from his campsite. Filling it with water he tried the ki heating technique Cologne had used in their last spar, but he couldn't get the water to heat. He shrugged, some techniques took longer than others, and he set the cup next to the fire as Ryoga dragged his piggy body out of the water towards him. As soon as the water was warm enough, Ranma dumped half over himself, before offering it to his opponent.
Ryoga growled a little but accepted the hot water and transformed back to normal. "That's right Ranma, my other form isn't like yours, it's a major liability. Promise me, on your word as a martial artist you'll never tell anyone!" Ryoga was almost frantic, a gleam of panic and something else in his eyes.
Ranma shrugged. "Sure dude, I promise never ta tell anyone else about yer curse." Later, when he learned what Ryoga used his curse for, Ranma would curse himself for being too honorable.
Nodoka glanced from side to side wondering and hoping that the message Ranko had slipped to her secretly truly was from her son. She had hoped so desperately that she would finally be able to meet her son when she learned he and her so called husband were living in Nerima only to be disappointed.
Meeting the Tendo's after so long had been nice, though the younger two girls were not pleasant individuals in her mind, Kasumi on the other hand was one of the nicest young ladies she had met in a long time. And Ranko had also been nice though she was such a tomboy it was hilarious, her and her trained panda. Still with no Ranma the trip had been a waste, which was why she was out here at night, waiting on the bridge where she had first met the redheaded bundle of energy.
A male voice from behind her caused her to turn. Behind her stood a young man, not too tall but extremely fit, with black hair done up in a pigtail with bright sapphire eyes. "Nodoka-san?"
Nodoka stood there for a moment, seeing so much of herself in his hair, in his cheekbones, in the shape of his eyes... "Ranma?"
Ranma nodded and suddenly was engulfed in a hug that would have broken a weaker mans bones as Nodoka sobbed into his shirt. He hesitantly put his arms around this strange woman who claimed to be his mother, wondering why the smell of her gave him such a nostalgic feeling as he waited anxiously for her to gain control of herself.
After a moment she pulled back to smile up at him, though her face showed her confusion. "My son, where have you been? If you were in the area why didn't you meet me earlier?"
Ranma gulped and pulled back slightly. "Well, I have a lot to tell you, I just hope that after I'm done you still want to call me your son." Nodoka stiffened slightly, but motioned him to continue.
Even summarized the tale of Ranma's life and Genma's misdeeds took an hour, by the end of which Nodoka was trembling with anger and sadness. Ranma finished with showing his mother his curse, which nearly caused the woman to faint.
Head lowered in sadness at this apparent dismissal Ranma turned to leave though Nodoka, quick as a snake grabbed on, pulling the young boy turned girl into a fierce hug. "I don't care what you change into Ranma, you are still my son, and I am so happy to have you back in my life, don't you dare try to leave me again!"
Ranma's eyes glistened with tears. "Arigato, mama." He returned her hug in earnest this time and the two stood there for a moment.
Nodoka at last pulled back, an angry glint in her eyes. "Genma on the other hand is going to rue the day he ever met me. He has much to answer for, and I intend to collect!"
Ranma grinned. "Wait'll I tell you what I've got planned mom, you'll get a kick out of it."
It took a few moments for Ranma to explain his plans, and the reasons for them, the fact that no prison could hold Genma and his obsession with controlling his son. Nodoka nodded at that then smiled when he mentioned wanting to go into the space program. "You know, I might just be able to help you there. I have a friend who is working on a certain project…"
*Ranma landed on top of the wall around the Tendo compound and stared at the damage done to the dojo and house within. He jumped lightly down, and began to look around for and of the Tendo's . He found Nabiki in the ruins of the dining area buried under the remains of the wall and the sofa she had been sitting on. Only her fast thinking had saved her life. When she was pulled out of the wreckage she groaned and looked up at him. "Ranma?"
"Yeah, Nabs, its me" Whatever their relationship, and it was quite acrimonious, one thought the other a yakuza thug in training, the other thought he was a jock with an over inflated opinion of himself and a outmoded sense of honor, Ranma wasn't about to leave her like this. "Hang on, I'll get ya to Dr. Tofu, he'll fix ya right up."
Nabiki nodded, but answered back seriously. "Ranma, those bird-men, they took them. They took, Akane, Kasumi, your mom, and both fathers. I don't know why, but they took them."
Ranma nodded. "I figured as much when ya were the only one I found, they probably would've taken ya to if they could find ya and weren't in a hurry." Nabiki nodded, not for the first time grateful she was fast on her feet. "Don't worry, I'll get 'em all back. Promise." He spke the last word grimly, blue eye hard with conviction.
Ranma, Nodoka and Kasumi arrived on the island and smiled happily at one another. Ranma reached down and picked up their luggage, as well as his mother's. The trio walked into the port and took a bus out to Macross city, which was slowly becoming humanities first real spaceport, and where all three hoped to move on with their lives. Nodoka in particular was upbeat about the opportunity to, in her words, 'meet up with an old friend'. As they stood up from their seats on the bus she said "Unfortunately as a soldier, even as an officer he probably won't have enough room for all three of us. I'm afraid for at least a few months you two are going to have to look after yourselves."
"No problem mom," Ranma said. "I've saved up enough money for us to get a hotel room for a few weeks, and finding a job will be pretty darn easy." He gently poked Kasumi in the side as they exited the bus at a major intersection where a large restaurant, with a sign saying White Dragon over the door dominated one of the corners. On the side of the door was pasted a 'Help Wanted' sign.
Kasumi looked at it and smiled. "Oh my, yes that would be perfect, wouldn't it? Something we can both do together to get our feet under us." Nodoka smiled and without further ado the three walked into the restaurant."
A young woman stood by the door putting up a new menu on the window. She turned, blue hair swirling to greet them as they entered. "Customers, hi, welcome to the White Dragon, table for three?" She looked up Ranma up and down approvingly for a moment, My God, this boy is hot.
Kasumi stood forward. "Actually Ranma and I are here to apply for the job you're offering."
"Oh sure, just let me go get my uncle." She hurried into the back area and came back with a middle-aged man, short with what had probably been a decent build but which had since faded into a middle aged paunch.
He looked at Kasumi approvingly, a girl as good looking as she was would be great at waitressing whatever her actual skill set. His gaze switched to Ranma with a bit of trepidation. Not many men wanted to apply for a waitress job after all, and fewer still could cook. "Minmei says you want to apply for the job. We have two jobs available right now one as a cook and one as a waitress. I'm afraid with the clientele being largely made up of SDF troopers from the base that we find having two or four waitresses to one or two waiters makes us bring in more business. It's a little sexist but it's true."
Kasumi and Ranma shared a look. Kasumi was an excellent cook and probably could learn to be a very good waitress. Ranma however already had waitress experience. "Well" Ranma said going over to a table where a pitcher of water sat "as long as you have a 'look but don't touch' policy I guess it's okay." He poured the water over his head and grinned as both of the Chinese nationals looked at him in shock.
The red-head was about to go into her normal spiel about the curse when another female voice interrupted her from the kitchen, "Oh my". Ranma turned and saw a middle-aged woman standing there a tall, thin body that might have been in decent shape at one point that had like her husband faded slightly with age. She walked over looked Ranma up and down then asked "Jusenkyou curse?"
It was Ranma turn to gape in shock. The woman went on speaking in Chinese. "You wouldn't happen to have run into a tribe of Amazons would you?"
Ranma answered in the same language. "Yes I have, in fact I'm a close friend with one of the Elders and her family and I'm considered an ally of the tribe." The woman's eyes widened and she turned quickly to her husband.
"They're hired." Her husband made to protest but she shook her head. "Anyone who is an ally of the Amazon's is a friend of mine."
At that her husband shut up and looked at Ranma shrewdly before nodding "all right you'll have to tell the story how you got that curse at some point though, I bet it'll be interesting.
Kasumi smiled "actually I have a pamphlet you can read about that if you want. Ranma was so tired of giving the same story over and over that he had my younger sister write it out. And you needn't worry about us having experience. If I say it myself I am a most accomplished cook and Ranma has been trained as a waitress by one of those Amazons he mentioned."
The man nodded approvingly. "Good enough for me. But if you're an ally of the Amazons does that mean you're a martial artist as well?" When Ranma nodded affirmatively he asked "In that case could you teach Minmei some self-defense? Nothing too advanced just enough for her to be able to look after herself?" Minmei made to speak but the man held up a hand. "I know you don't think you need it Minmei and honestly I don't think it's a big deal either just yet. But the bigger the city gets the more dangerous it will be around here and you're a young, pretty woman, you should be able to look after yourself."
Ranma nodded. "Sure, if she's willing to learn. I can teach her some, though if she has any problems in that area she should come to me first, I'll gladly deal with it." The boy turned girl grinned cracking her knuckles.
"Excellent" the older woman said. "Minmei, could you show these two around for a bit? Be here at five this evening for your first shift. And if you have it dress in a Chinese dress Ranma." Ranma groaned and Kasumi and his mother giggled. A perfect excuse to go shopping.
And just like that their new lives in Macross city started.
Later that same afternoon Captain Gloval, the man chosen to command the SDF-1 (once it was fully repaired and able to lift off anyway) looked up from his desk on the base built around the monstrous ship where he was putting the finishing touches on some paperwork before logging out for the night. "Yes?" he asked.
His steward popped his head in. "Captain there's a woman at the gates asking for you. She says her name is Nodoka and that you would like to see her."
Global stared at him for a moment blindsided by memory. Then he nodded almost convulsively motioning the man to let Nodoka enter the base and told him to send a guard to escort her. Minutes later he was still in shock as Nodoka walked in. The years have been very kind to her, his bemused mind reflected. Her beautiful red hair was tied up in a severe bun and not let loose to flow down her back as it had when they were younger and her dress style was old fashioned but her body was still gorgeous from what he could see and she held her head high, a small smile on her face.
Gloval remembered the last time they had seen each other. They had met in Italy many years ago. She was there studying for a bachelors in biology at a college there, and he was stationed nearby going to OTS. They had met when they were both out on a night on the town and hit it off immediately for some reason, the vivacious and outgoing Nodoka and the somber yet insightful Gloval. They had kept meeting whenever their free time allowed and were soon a couple. They remained so for three years until Nodoka went home to celebrate her graduation with her family.
When her traditional parents found out she was in a relationship with a gaijin however they immediately set her up on several omiais (traditional marriage interviews). Unfortunately one of the 'gentlemen' that they set her up with was not as honorable as his samurai name indicated. Genma had long known that he would have no luck with women on his own merits, and when this chance came up through old family connections he took it and ran with it. 'Ecstasy' was easy to come by after all
When Gloval had heard about what occurred it took all of his considerable self control not to fly to Japan and gut this Genma like a fish. Alas once was enough to get Nodoka pregnant and the one thing she and her far more traditional parents agreed on was that children were precious. So within a matter of weeks she found herself married to a man she quickly came to loathe, though she was careful to never show that openly. Luckily she was able to keep her ongoing contact with Gloval from both Genma and her parents until they passed away. Now she was here in the flesh and for a moment Gloval could not believe his eyes. "Aren't you going to offer me a seat Henri?"
Kasumi and Ranma had really fallen on their feet here in Macross city when they found the White Dragon restaurant. Kasumi was likable, personable, and an excellent cook. Ranma was strong, willing to work and had been trained to be an excellent waiter/waitress in a very hard school. Say what you would about her training methods, the skills learned from training with Cologne at the Cat Café spoke for themselves.
Minmei loved the fact that there was another young girl worker with her and she and Kasumi hit it off immediately. Kasumi in turn looked at her and saw the younger sister she had always wanted Akane to be, without the anger, the ego and the privileged attitude.
Minmei first Ranma saw as excellent boyfriend material until she realized that his combative nature and ego would grate on her over time. He just generally liked to fight. With Kasumi and Nodoka's gentle encouragement, he had realized there was more to life than martial arts, but fighting and using his considerable martial arts skills in the defense of others was at the heart of his being. He had hoped to sign up for the RDF, which would allow him to go to space, which was his greatest dream, and to keep defending others, but even with Gloval's recommendation, he couldn't just walk in. Unfortunately his school records worked against him, as did his own anti-authoritarian attitude. Still he was hopeful, and until then staying in what was going to be the world's first spaceport would keep him close to the action. How close he would get would become apparent a few months after they arrived.