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A Ranma ½ / Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon crossover story
by Benjamin A. Oliver

Disclaimer: Ranma ½ and its characters and settings belong to Rumiko Takahashi, Shogakukan, Kitty, and Viz Video. Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon belongs to Takeuchi Naoko, Koudansha, TV Asahi, and Toei Douga, and DIC.

[Begin Part One.]

There was a quick flash of lightning and rain began to pour.

"Great, just great," the blonde girl muttered, tossing back one of her two long pigtails.

She looked into the reflective surface of a darkened shop's window, attempting to readjust her ornate, white gown to compensate for the dampness. She looked at the golden crescent moon on her forehead, then glanced to the two buns on either side of her hair. Her appearance was surprisingly elegant, especially considering that she was soaked at the moment.

"THIS again," she muttered in annoyance, picking at the wet material of her dress.

Next to her, a much younger girl half-giggled. She was wearing a loose, white gi and had a white bandanna tied around her head, just beneath her 'rabbit-ear' style pink hair. "I don't know what you're complaining about, Odango-atama. It's just a little rain."

She looked up to the cat-faced balloon that was following her around and grabbed it. She dribbled it on the ground like a basketball, then threw it into the air. "Luna-P Henge!"

The balloon vanished in a puff of pink smoke, and was replaced by a small umbrella, which the young girl caught. She opened it above her head and continued walking.

The young woman glowered for a moment, then trudged along in the rain behind the small girl. "Please, just… stop calling me 'odango-atama.'" She glanced around. "Where was it you wanted to go, anyway?"

"I told you," the younger individual replied, "We're going to visit an old friend of mine. Don't worry. It's only a little farther."

The blonde sighed and shrugged. "Okay."

The pink-haired girl paused. "First, though, I think you should know something."

The young woman wearing the flowing white gown frowned, suddenly feeling a great sense of foreboding. "Like… what?"

Tendo Soun read the postcard in his hands in joy. "They're coming." He held the card to his chest and began to weep. "Oh, how I have longed for this day…" He placed the postcard on the kitchen table. "I must inform my daughters."

Barely managing to contain his joy, Soun left in search of his three beloved girls. He paused. "Where would they be now?" he asked himself, then snapped his fingers in realization. "I know!" His middle daughter was probably out working on something…

On the floor inside the garage adjoining the Tendo household, a tall, somewhat androgynous short-haired blonde individual chuckled as she finished tightening the last bolt on the back wheel of a very souped-up motorcycle.

"Nitro-powered motorcycles?" she asked herself, wiping the sweat off her brow as she stood. She took an exhausted breath and smiled. "Sure, why not? Could probably top two-fifty on this baby now…"

"Haruka!" a man's voice called.

"Dad?" Tendo Haruka asked, looking toward the door to the rest of the house as her father walked in. "What is it?"

Soun had a very excited look on his face. "There's something I need to tell you and the other girls. Could I see you in the dining room in a couple of minutes?"

Haruka shrugged, grabbing a rag off a tool shelf to wipe her hands. "Sure, Dad. What's this about?"

"I'll tell you when everyone's together," Soun said as he hurriedly left the garage.

The tall blonde blinked, frowning. "Hmm…"

In the Tendo dojo, a raven-haired girl dressed in a white practice gi took a deep breath as she relaxed, preparing to begin her morning kata…

"KIYAAA!!!" she shouted as she threw a one-foot-long knife towards a circular target painted on a cement block on the opposite side of the room.

*Thunk!* The knife hit dead center, cleaving the block into two perfectly equal halves.

The girl calmly picked up two smaller daggers that were on an unobtrusive wooden rack next to her, and flung them toward a practice dummy, also on the other side of the room.

*Shing*Shing* The daggers severed both cloth "hands" of the dummy, pinning them to the wall behind it.

She took three more daggers of exactly the same type and, with calculated precision, threw them in rapid succession.

*ThudThudThud* Each weapon was imbedded in the practice dummy's forehead, mere millimeters from each other.

The longhaired girl fluidly acquired eight more knives, somewhat thinner than the others, and placed them between each of her fingers.

She held her hands up, poised to strike.

Soun walked in and leaned against the wall, smiling at his daughter proudly. "Ah, there you are!"

The teenage girl instinctively whipped around toward the noise and threw her weapons.


"Ah… Rei?" Soun asked, glancing nervously to the throwing knives stuck in the wall behind him, which perfectly outlined his head.

Rei held a hand to her mouth in embarrassment. "Oh! I'm sorry, Father. You surprised me."

"I'll never do it again," Soun promised emphatically, unmoving against the wall.

Rei laughed as she walked over and pulled the knives out of the wall, freeing her father. She casually tossed them over her shoulder toward the practice dummy, where they made a sort of rough "happy face" on its chest. As she tossed the final dagger, it hit the side of the weapons rack with a little too much force, tipping it over. The numerous bladed objects sprang towards the dummy… and imbedded themselves in such a way around the "happy face" to look like a perfectly texture-mapped rendition of the Mona Lisa. "I thought you knew not to interrupt me while I'm practicing."

"I'm… sorry," the black-haired man said, still somewhat dazed from his near-death experience.

"It's alright, Father. It's alright," Rei said in a comforting tone.

"Oh… what a lucky man I am to have such daughters!" Soun exclaimed, his eyes full of tears.

"Now," Rei said, smiling at her father, "what made you forget about my morning practice and just barge on in here?"

Soun dried his tears. "There's something I have to tell all of you girls… Can I see you in the dining room in a couple of minutes?"

"Of course," Rei replied. "Just let me clean things up around here." She indicated the equipment rack and the daggers imbedded in various things all over the place.

Soun nodded. "Of course."

Slipping into his previous euphoric state, the happy father hurriedly exited the dojo.

"I wonder what he's so happy about…" Rei whispered.

Soun climbed the steps to the upper floor, looking for his eldest daughter. "Where could she be?" he asked himself, glancing around in the darkened, misty hallway. "She can be so difficult to find, sometimes…"

"Hello, Father," a mysterious voice from behind him said.

"Aah!" Soun shouted, jumping in shock as he whirled to face the speaker.

A somewhat tall, dark green-haired woman looked back at him, an unreadable expression on her face. Her long hair was neatly brushed back, and she was wearing formal woman's business attire. "Hello," she repeated.

Soun relaxed. "Oh, there you are, Setsuna." He took a moment to catch his breath. "Could you come downstairs? There's something important I need to tell you and the others."

Setsuna smiled in such a way that made it look as if she was aware of more than she was willing to tell. "I know, Father."

Soun frowned for a moment. "You do?" He smiled and shrugged. "Of course you do. You always do."

Setsuna nodded. "One has to in my line of work," she said. She began to walk off, then paused and turned back, adding, "I will be there."

She almost seemed to disappear into the shadows as she left…

Soun, however, didn't seem to notice. He walked back down the stairs, blissfully considering how to present the arrangement to his daughters.

"Okay, we're here, Dad!" Haruka called, drumming her fingers on the table impatiently. She looked at her younger sister. "What do you think he's up to?"

Rei thought about it. "I'm not entirely sure, but if what I saw in the fire at the temple yesterday is right… Then we're probably going to have some new guests in our home very soon."

Next to them, Setsuna shook her head and sighed. "I am afraid that it is going to be far more complicated than that."

Haruka chuckled at her older sister's sudden appearance and turned to her. "Want to tell the rest of us anything…?"

The green-haired woman just smiled at them.

Haruka returned a wry grin, reclining back against her seat. "Didn't think so."

Soun finally came in. "Ah, my daughters!" he exclaimed with outstretched arms. "This is truly a momentous day!" He moved closer to the table. "It is the day when the uniting of the Tendo and the—"

"Cut the dramatics, Father," Rei said. "Just tell us what's going on."

Their father stopped. "All right, all right…" he said, taking a seat in front of them. "My old friend is coming with another to fulfill an agreement we made long ago…"

"What kind of agreement?" Haruka asked, leaning forward.

Soun took a deep breath. "A betrothal."

Rei blinked. "With… us?"

Haruka coughed, wide-eyed. "Uh, Dad… please tell me you didn't."

"He did," Setsuna added in a very certain tone.


"Humph. Have a little respect, Odango-atama," the pink-haired girl said, continuing to walk toward her destination. As she noticed that her companion was not following, she stopped and turned around. "Are you coming or not?"

The other girl shook her head, her blue eyes wide in disbelief. "NOT A CHANCE!"

The smaller of the two narrowed her eyes at the taller and let go of her umbrella, which turned back into a floating, cat-faced balloon. She grabbed it and moved into a combat stance, dribbling it on a patch of earth that didn't have a water puddle on it. "Okay, Princess, are you gonna come quietly, or am I going to have to use force?"

"I'm not the only 'princess' around here, PRINCESS," the blonde muttered. "And I'm NOT going with you just so I can be part of some crazy agreement you made who-knows-when!" She turned around and started to walk away. "I'm going back to—"

"Luna-P…" the pink-haired princess started, leveling her balloon at the young woman.

The pigtailed girl stopped and whirled around, moving into a defensive posture. "Your mind tricks aren't going to work on me THIS time!"

The young girl grinned. "…ATTACK!!!"

The blonde girl blinked, frowning. "What…"

*WHAM*THUMP*SLAM*BAM*POW*WHAM*THUMP*THUMP*THUMP* All at once, it seemed, she was hit from every angle by the Luna-P… AND an assortment of umbrellas, baby bottles, vases full of violets, medkits, wooden figures of humpback whales, fire hydrants, and practically everything else imaginable.

Somewhat battered, but still standing, the older princess started to laugh at the pink-haired girl. "That was it? Hah! That wasn't—"

*CLANG!* A large, white porcelain sink slammed into her head from behind. She stopped, and was only able to watch dazedly as the younger girl approached her with the Luna-P in her arms.

*WHAM!* The pink-haired girl hit her on the head with it, then caught her as she fell limply forward.

The young princess nodded to herself, looking very determined as she carried the larger girl off.

Off to the side, two old men sitting on a high balcony had been watching the short battle.

"Now THAT's what I call going at it like rabbits!" the first said to his friend.

The second man nodded. "Yeah, I'd say the situation down there was getting a little… HARE-y."

They looked at each other and laughed, pointing at the two departing girls. "Oh ho ho ho!"

"So, when are these people going to show up?" Rei asked, looking somewhat fascinated at the idea of having a fiancé. "I can't wait to meet them."

"Soon," Soun said, "very soon."

"Rei," Haruka said to her sister in disbelief, "you're acting like you actually want to be engaged to someone you've never met."

"Well, you never know," the raven-haired girl said, smiling, "this one might be cute."

Setsuna shook her head sadly. "There will be no need to worry about that… but it could at least have been someone older than me…"

"Do they know martial arts?" Rei asked.

Soun nodded. "Yes, as a matter of fact. One of the main points of this engagement is to join our two fighting styles. They practice something similar to what I've trained all of you in."

Rei nodded, starting to like this idea even more. "It would be nice to have someone equal to spar with…"

"What am I?" Haruka asked, glancing sideways at her. "Chopped liver?"

"It's nice to practice with you, Haruka," Rei said, then held her shoulders up in a long shrug, "but it's not really a challenge anymore. I'm so much… better than you at martial arts."

"Oh, really?" the shorthaired blonde asked, standing.

Rei nodded, smiling as she folded her arms.

Haruka smirked, motioning to the hall outside the dining room. "Let's take this one to the dojo, shall we?"

"All right," the younger girl said. "If you like the horrible agony of defeat, who am I to deprive you of that?"

"We'll just see about that, won't we, Rei?"

"Um, girls?" Soun asked, motioning for them to sit back down, which they did. "There's something else I have to tell you about my friend and h—"

*Thump*Thump* There was a knock at the door.

Soun brightened. "Ah! That must be them now! Setsuna, could you please open the door for them?"

"Whatever you say, Father," the green-haired woman said, not moving to do anything.

"I'm up," Haruka noted. "I could—" She stopped as a small foot kicked the door open.

Into the room rushed a small, pink-headed girl with her hair tied up in rabbit-ear odangos. This wasn't her distinguishing feature, however. The oddest thing about her was that she was carrying a much larger blonde girl who was wearing a long, flowing gown and whose hair was done into round odangos, from which two very long pigtails fell.

"Let me go!" the blonde shouted.

A floating, cat-faced balloon with a crescent moon on its forehead and an antennae out the top floated in behind them.

"Hello, Tendo," the little girl said to Soun, then dropped the struggling girl she was carrying onto the table. "I've come to fulfill the agreement we made so long ago."

"Errrr…" Soun began in bewilderment. "Do I know you, little girl?"

The girl laughed. "Of course you do! My old friend Tendo, don't you recognize me?"

"Yeah," the blonde said, climbing off the table, "don't you recognize that annoying spore that engaged me to your—"

The smaller girl narrowed her eyes at her. "Don't talk about me like that in front of your future father-in-law!"

"Whatever, you little fungus," the pigtailed girl muttered.




"Takes one to know one!"

"Father," Rei began, trying to ignore the two arguing girls, "would these happen to be the ones you were telling us about?"

Soun attempted to speak, but found that his voice and comprehension skills had just decided to make good on the vacation time they had been earning for the past while. "Ummmm…"

He fainted.

"They are," Setsuna confirmed, catching her father as he fell.

"Hey, maybe this won't be so bad after all," Haruka said, beginning to smile as she looked at the girl in the white gown. She glanced at Rei. "You were right. She IS cute."

"Don't you already have a girlfriend?" Rei asked, snickering.

Setsuna pulled her unconscious father off of his seat and laid him out on the floor. She took a few steps back.

"Enough of this," the pink-haired girl said, turning away from the verbal combat and walking toward Soun. She grabbed him by the shoulders and started shaking him. "Come on, Tendo. This is no time to be napping!"

"Emmm…" Soun mumbled, sitting up, then looked into the girl's eyes. "I… No, I don't know you, I don't think."

"Think back to grade school. Early on," the young girl said. "Remember, we both agreed that if you were to have any daughters, they'd be engaged to my—"

"Oh, oh my… It is you," Soun whispered in shock, then fainted again.

"Soun-kun," the little, pink-haired individual whispered in a high, blood-curdling saccharine voice, "wake uuu-uuuup. We have business to discuss!"

Rei shook her head, and started to laugh. "Well, I guess this plan has pretty much fallen through."

"Too bad," Haruka said, chuckling. "I was beginning to think that this was one of Dad's better ideas…"

The pigtailed girl glanced around at the others in the room, looking somewhat flustered. "Okay, look… Um… Sorry about this." She grabbed the smaller girl by the arm and started to drag her out.

"Lemme go!" the pink-haired girl protested. "Luna-P Heng—" she began, before the other princess silenced her by clamping her hand over her mouth.

"Whatever this scheme of yours is," the blonde half-growled, "it won't work. I don't want any part of it."

"Poor girl," Rei noted. "She looks so sad and confused…"

"Yeah," Haruka said, starting to frown, "dragged in here in the middle of the rain by her little sister or whatever… getting told that she was going to be married against her will…" She shook her head. "Isn't that one of those scenarios that has to have a knight in shining armor coming in to rescue her or something?"

Rei nodded slightly, and then, as the visitors reached the door, she stood, holding up a hand. "No, wait," she called to them.

The blonde sighed, then stopped and turned around, holding her struggling companion in a firm grip. "What now?"

"Look, we'd hate to leave a bad impression," Haruka said.

Rei nodded. "Right… I mean, you just got here… and you're drenched." She glanced outside. "It's still raining, and it doesn't look like you even have an umbrella. We can't just kick you out into that."

"In addition," Setsuna said, kneeling by her father, "you appear to have with you our father's friend…"

"So," Haruka said, maneuvering close to the blue-eyed blonde girl, wrapping her up in a friendly— perhaps a little too friendly— hug, and escorting her back into the main room, "take a load off, stay a while."

The girl in the damp gown frowned, deep in thought during this, then shrugged. "Uh… Okay, sure. I don't really have anyplace I need to be right noOOW—" She broke off as the smaller girl she had been holding onto bit one of her fingers, forcing her to let go. "Owowowowow…" she said in pain, shaking her hand. "Why you…"

The blonde tore out of Haruka's grasp and started to chase after the pink-haired girl.

The chase ended when the younger one hid behind Setsuna. "Don't hurt meeeeee!" she cried.

"Don't think acting cute'll help," the pigtailed girl said, narrowing her eyes as she approached.

"Stop," Setsuna intoned, protectively putting her arm around the little girl's shoulders.

The blonde stopped. "Why?"

"It is improper etiquette to murder in another's home."

Haruka chuckled. "Yeah, leaves too much of a mess."

The pigtailed girl blinked, then gave a sheepish grin. "I wasn't going to…" She trailed off, looking down at her ornately slippered feet. "Um…"

"Haruka, please assist me," Setsuna said, releasing the young girl and taking her father around the arms.

Haruka nodded, then picked up Soun by the legs and, with her older sister's help, carried him off.

The 'rabbit-eared' girl followed them out. "Poor Tendo… He always did take shocks rather poorly."

In the dining room, there was silence for a few moments. Neither Rei nor the other girl could think if anything to say.

Finally, Rei spoke up. "So… you're a martial artist?"

The blonde perked up and nodded. "You bet I am."

Rei smiled. "So am I. Do you spar?"

The pigtailed girl laughed. "All the time!"

"Care to have a quick match?"


Rei nodded. "Follow me."

Rei walked into the hall, then paused and looked back at the girl. "You aren't going to practice in that dress, are you?" she asked, indicating what the blonde was wearing. "It looks like it'd be kinda… cumbersome while fighting."

The other girl fingered her gown. "Well… I don't have anything else with me right now."

Rei laughed. "Come on, I'll lend you a gi."

"Umm… One of… yours?" the blonde asked, almost nervously.

Rei frowned and nodded slowly. "Yes… That would be the idea."

The girl frowned, looking somewhat uneasy at this, for some reason. "That won't really work."

"Why not?"


"Hey, it's not that big of a deal," Rei added, looking sideways at the blonde and folding her arms. "I mean, it's not like I'm lending you," she paused to think of something that would be a problem lending out, "underwear or anything like that."

The shorter girl laughed nervously, putting her arm behind her head and turning beet red. "Oh yeah! Um… Yeah, I guess it's okay, then."

"You act like you've never borrowed clothes before."

"Err, I have, I have, it's just that… Oh, gimme the gi!"

From inside the bathroom, aside from the sounds of moving fabric, there was some muffled muttering that almost sounded like cursing.

"Aren't you done yet?" Rei asked impatiently, tapping her foot against the floor.

"Uh, just another minute!" another girl's voice called, then continued muttering, "Stupid dress…"

"That's what you said ten minutes ago," Rei said, rolling her eyes. "It's a gi! You just sort of slip it on… It isn't supposed to take that long."

"I'm sorry, I'm just -ACK- having some -YEESH- problems here."

Rei turned her back to the door and folded her arms, looking up at the ceiling. "Hmm… Did you fall in or—"

"—No!" the other girl cut in. "It's… Oh, whatever. I guess I'll come out now. Promise you won't laugh."

The raven-haired girl frowned. "Laugh at what?"

The bathroom door opened, and the blonde girl tentatively stepped out.

As soon as Rei turned around, she coughed and let out a disbelieving chortle. "What in the world?!"

The 'odango'ed girl was wearing something that looked to be somewhere between a sailor fuku and an ice-skating costume: It included a white leotard topped with a red, sailor-style ornamentation, blue bows on the chest and lower back, and a pleated skirt made out of a rippling, ethereal white material. The girl's face fell into a pout as she noted Rei's reaction. "I thought you said you wouldn't-"

"Where did you get THAT outfit?!"

"You handed it to me, remember?"

Rei shook her head and stared. "Nnnnnnnnno I didn't. Did you have it on under your dress or something like that?"

The blonde sighed, holding her shoulders up in a long shrug. "Ehh… something like that."

Rei regained her composure and smiled. "I take it you're not going to be wearing my gi after all, hmm?"

The other girl returned half a nervous smile and looked down at her bare feet. "I guess not…"

"But," Rei began, examining the outfit, "I guess you could practice in that. It doesn't exactly look… confining." She laughed. "A little advice, though: Don't go near Haruka wearing that. You might give her the wrong idea."

"Who's Haruka?"

"My older sister."

"Oh… The one with the green hair?"

"Blonde," Rei corrected. At the perplexed look the other girl gave, she continued, "She walked you back in, remember?"

The pigtailed girl blinked and frowned. "That's your… sister? He," she paused, "SHE looks kinda… Um… You know."

"Kinda mannish?"


"It's just the way she likes to dress."

"Oh," the blonde whispered with more than a hint of envy in her eyes.

"Anyway, since you're not going to use my gi, can I have it back now?"

The sailor-fukued girl frowned, nervously fingering her collar. "Ummm…"

"Oh, I'll take it back later," Rei added with a casual wave of her hand. She motioned toward the hallway. "If that's all, let's go to the dojo, okay?"

The blonde smiled, cracking her fair, dainty knuckles. "Now you're talking!"

Now wearing a nurse cap with a red cross on it and carrying a first aid kit, the pink-haired girl attended to her unconscious friend, who was lying down on his bed.

"You ever see a balloon turn into first-aid kit before?" Haruka whispered to her sister as she watched the scenario with fascination.

Setsuna smiled mysteriously.

"Guess so, huh?"

The green-haired woman's smile deepened slightly.

The young girl rummaged through her kit, looking for something to awaken her friend.

She pulled out an oversized metal drill and toyed with it for a second before tossing it over her shoulder.

Haruka moved her foot out of the way as the drill landed. "Oh, please… You'd need a MUCH bigger bit on that to wake up OUR dad!" she said in jest.

The pink-haired girl 'humphed’ in response, and drew a large plastic band-aid out of the kit and put it on Soun's forehead. "There," she said sweetly, "all better."

The man began to stir.

Haruka winced. "That was so cute," she gagged, "I think I have to go shoot myself now." She turned around to leave.

"Just wait for another moment," Setsuna whispered. "We are almost to the interesting part."

The tall blonde had already stopped and returned to her previous standing position. "Hold it… I wasn't really going to leave."

Setsuna's eyes seemed to glitter. "Of course you weren't."

Haruka chuckled softly. "I love this game."

Soun sat up and looked at the little girl beside him…

"AAAH! The pink-haired demon!"

…then fainted once more.

The girl narrowed her eyes. "That wasn't funny, Tendo." She paused in thought, and smiled after a moment. "Ahem… Souuun-kun, if you don't get up right now, I'm going to… GIVE YOU A GREAT, BIG HUG AND A KISS!!!"

The black-haired man jumped out of his bed and cowered before the small individual. "Y-yes, master!" he exclaimed, then paused and blinked at the girl before him. "If… if nothing else, this proves it… No one else would remember the master's… morning conditioning." He shuddered, then scowled. "And thank you for bringing up such a painful memory."

"Going to have to remember that one," Haruka whispered to her sister, who nodded.

"Tendo, Tendo," the little girl said, calmly waving the man off, "we have more important things to worry about. Our agreement?"

Soun nodded, beginning to look out the window with a far-off expression. "Yes… the agreement. How long ago did we think of this?"

"Grade school," the girl reminded. "We lived in Juuban back then. Then your family just picked up your entire house and moved over here." She looked around. "How'd they move this place, anyway? It's huge!"

Soun sighed and held his hands up in a gesture of cluelessness. "I don't remember." He looked down at the 'rabbit-eared' girl. "What happened to you, old friend? You—"

The girl had jumped up on the bed and started looking around. "How much do you think it's worth? I know entire homes the size of this room, and they're expensive!"

Soun slowly shook his head. "You haven't changed a bit." He paused. "Back to our agreement, though. How did it go?"

The little girl cleared her throat. "If you, Tendo Soun, had any daughters, they'd be engaged to my—"

"Write that down," Setsuna whispered to Haruka. "It is going to be important later."

Haruka pulled out a pen and a small notepad. "You got it."

Soun nodded as the girl finished the description of the marriage contract. "For the family honor."

The girl jumped into a sitting position on his shoulders. "Yes! For the family honor!"

The man pursed his lips as his mind took up another train of thought. "How did this happen to you? Why are you…?"

"Hmm," the girl began, and tossed her nurse cap onto the medkit, which vanished in a puff of smoke and was replaced by the cat-faced balloon. She looked at Setsuna. "Quick! Boil some water!"

Haruka threw back her head and burst into laughter.

Setsuna looked at the young girl with an amused expression.

"Do you get it?" Haruka asked, snickering. "The bed… he was lying down earlier… Boil some water?" She went to her knees, continuing to laugh at some inner joke.

The pink-haired girl narrowed her eyes. "Alright, fine!" She turned to Soun. "You get it, then."

"Are you ready?" Rei asked, currently in a ready combat stance.

The sailor-suited pigtailed blonde was standing a short distance away with her arms behind her back and her eyes closed.

"First one to hit the floor," Rei said with a smile, "loses!"

The other combatant nodded.

"Ki-yah!" the raven-haired girl shouted, diving forward, feinting a punch, then going down for a low, sweeping kick.

The blonde stepped out of the way, almost casually.

Rei frowned momentarily, then brought back an open, flat hand and thrust it at her. Her moves were swift, but without much force. This was only practice, and she had no particular wish to harm her new sparring partner.

The other girl stepped aside, lightly tapping her on the shoulder.

Rei attempted to salvage the move with an elbow jab that could easily have cracked the rib of an enemy… if she was going all-out.

Again, the pigtailed girl effortlessly avoided the attack. Her eyes still closed, she grinned at the black-haired girl.

As the battle wore on, Rei began to get rather annoyed. Her opponent was obviously much more skilled than she was, which was something of a blow to her ego. Before this fight, she had been the most powerful and skilled martial artist she had known… with the theoretically possible exception of her sister… that is, if Haruka was having an extremely good day.

With each new miss, Rei grew more and more impatient with her current foe. It wouldn't have been so bad if the other girl didn't seem to be making every effort to rub in how superior a fighter she was. She hadn't said anything yet, but how casually she was dodging and the fact that she hadn't pushed her down to finish the battle showed that she was just doing this to taunt her.

There was a difference between being a better fighter not taking one's sparring seriously, and being a better fighter and not taking one's sparring partner seriously.

And Rei did not appreciate being toyed with.

"Alright," she said, narrowing her eyes, "let's finish this!"

Rei crouched down, then jumped directly over the blonde's head and landed behind her, chopping downward with both hands in a final, powerful finishing move.

The pigtailed girl opened her eyes and lightly hopped out of the way, making her own overly showy front flip away to the other side of the dojo, where she folded her arms in front of her, and smirked. "Ha! Is that all ya got?"

Rei simmered for a moment, her fists clenched angrily at her sides. Finally, she smiled at the blonde, a little too pleasantly. "No… Here's something that should impress you." AND wipe that annoying smirk off your face, she added silently. She clasped her hands together with her index fingers extended forward.

The sailor-suited girl looked on with a confident expression.

"Kaki…" Rei began, a small, swirling ball of flame appearing mere centimeters from her fingertips.

The blonde's eyes widened as she watched the flame become more intense, mesmerized like a rabbit in front of a car's headlights.


"Gaaah!" the blonde exclaimed as Rei released her strike, the now-large fireball spiraling toward her. By the time she had thought about dodging, the flame had almost reached her.

She quickly dove to the right, barely being missed.

In the process, she accidentally stepped on one of her long pigtails, painfully dragging her head down and slamming her face directly into the floor.

The fireball dissipated just before it could hit the wall.

Rei took a couple of deep breaths, exhausted from the effort of using her ki attack, and collapsed into a sitting position on the floor. She frowned as she looked over to see the girl roll over onto her knees, eyes closed and red-faced, attempt to contain herself, then burst into tears.

"Oooooooooow," she whined, trying not to, but unable to prevent herself from doing so, "that huuurt!"

Rei winced. "Er… Sorry, maybe I shouldn't have done that…"

The sailor-suited girl sniffled and rubbed her eyes, not seeming to have heard her.

The raven-haired girl sighed, shakily standing, then walked over to her, holding out a hand to help her up. "Look, I'm sorry about scaring you like that, but to be honest, you deserved it."

The blonde looked up at her, frowning, appearing as if she were muddling something over in her mind. After a moment of this, she sighed, shook her head, and smiled half-heartedly at Rei. "Yeah… I guess I'm kinda… sorry about… showing off and… Well, sorry." She paused. "How did you do that?"

Rei smiled slightly. "It's an advanced Ki technique. I've been studying it for a while, but I don't use it that often. It really takes a lot out of me."

The other girl frowned, finally realizing an important detail. "Wait, I just got beaten… by a girl."

Rei nodded. "You sure did!"


Rei raised an eyebrow. "Yes, your point being?"

"I can't get beaten by some girl!" the odangoed girl ranted, throwing her arms into the air. "Girls are…" She broke off as her gaze fell self-consciously back toward herself. "Errr, you know what I mean!" She looked back at Rei. "Yeah! The only reason why I lost is because I'm a girl."

The raven-haired girl stared at the shorter girl for a moment, then looked up and rolled her eyes. "I don't believe this…"

The blonde got back into a fighting stance. "So, we have to do it over. Right NOW."

Rei sighed. "I don't know what goes on in that mind of yours, Odango-atama—"

The blonde glared. "Hey! Don't call me that!"

"It's what that other girl called you."

"I hate being called that, especially by that little SPORE!"

"Well, I wouldn't HAVE to call you that if you told me your name."

The pigtailed girl blinked. "Oh yeah…" She looked into Rei's eyes. "What's your name, by the way?"

"Tendo Rei."

The sailor-suited blonde nodded, pushing her pigtails behind her. "I'm Ranma. Saotome Ranma."

"Well, I'm disturbed," Haruka whispered to Setsuna. "How about you?"

Setsuna didn't respond, quietly watching the conversation taking place across the dining room table between her father and the rather large bald man that had replaced the little, pink-haired girl with a splash of hot water.

Haruka smiled slightly. "Funny, you know. On the girl, that gi looked a little loose, but didn't really look like it could expand THAT much."

"Ah, Saotome! Now it all makes sense!" Soun exclaimed, slapping a hand over the man's back. "Why didn't you tell me earlier? We could have avoided a lot of this confusion."

Saotome Genma shrugged, glancing at the Luna-P, which had moved away a short distance, looking almost frightened in its movements, trying to stay out of the man's sight. "Yes, Tendo. But, my friend, we wouldn't have had nearly as good a chance to get over any of our initial trepidation if the explanation of my curse happened later. There are times that things just happen, and you have to go with them." He returned his friend's backslap. "Now, we can continue finalizing the details of the marriage contract!"

Setsuna leaned in to whisper to her sister. "You often like to wash off and spend a little time in the furo after you finish your mechanical work. I believe that the important information has been discussed." She indicated Genma. "And, we may have our visitors for an extended period today. Therefore—"

Haruka chuckled. "All right, you made your point. I'm going, I'm going." She walked out of the room.

"Ah, Genma?" Soun started. "There's still one little problem. You said that your son is also affected by a curse. He was the girl you brought in, was he not?"

Genma nodded. "Indeed, he was." He smiled. "But, it's not so bad: Yes, he turns into a girl when splashed with cold water, but, like my curse, the process is easily reversible by the application of hot water!"

Soun brightened. "Excellent! It really isn't anything serious, then! My daughters' minds and wills are strong! They will not be frightened off by something as simple as this! Engaging this boy to them could perhaps be the best thing that could happen to them." He turned to his daughter. "Isn't that right, Setsuna?

The green-haired woman continued to smile. "Of course, Father. I am certain that both Rei and Haruka will be delighted to share their unparalleled joy with you when they hear of this."

"So you see, Saotome," Soun continued, unable to decipher the sarcasm hidden in his daughter's voice, "all is well!"

In the next moment, Rei walked in. "Hello, Father. Hi, Setsuna. Hello…" She trailed off when she took note of the large, bandanna-wearing man. "Wait, who are you?"

The black-haired boy sat hunched over in the warm furo, muddling over his current dilemma…

"Stupid curse, stupid dress, stupid hair! Made me lose to a GIRL," he muttered in frustration. "Humph…"

After losing to that girl, Rei, he had been advised to go and get washed up. Having been too frustrated to argue, he had trudged off to the bathroom, ditched the sailor suit as quickly as he could, then omitted the traditional pre-washing bucket of cold water and jumped right into the furo.

The boy looked off to the side, where his clothes had been haphazardly tossed. They consisted of a red, sleeveless, Chinese-style shirt, black pants, and a pair of sandals. The gi Rei had lent him lay strewn near them.

He grimaced. Since the curse, clothes had taken on an entirely new dimension, and not one he liked.

"I'm going back to China," he said, "and find a cure for this curse, once and for all!" He stood up out of the water.

At that moment, the door opened, and a tall, well-proportioned, short-haired blonde woman strode in…

Completely naked.

Taking notice of the boy, she stopped abruptly, and raised a confused eyebrow.

The boy looked toward her, and found himself staring in wide-eyed shock. "Oh, uhhhhhh, hi… Haruka?" he said, rather uneasily.

Haruka narrowed her eyes, then wordlessly whirled around and exited, slamming the door behind her.

"Uh oh," the boy whispered quietly, "I… should probably go and tell them about the curse."

He stepped out of the furo, toweled off, and got dressed.

The young man winced as he considered how literal his curse had made that word. He sighed, taking a deep breath, straightened his shirt, opened the door, and walked out…

*THWACK!!* …Promptly getting struck from behind at the base of his skull. Without so much as a groan, he slumped to the floor.

Haruka, now wearing a thick white bathrobe, casually twirled her blackjack around once, then dropped it and pulled out a length of thick, black cable.

"Well, you see, Rei," Soun began, "this is my friend—"

"Hey! Dad, look at what I found!" Haruka called, walking into the dining room, carrying an unmoving young man who had his black hair tied back into a single, short pigtail.

The boy had been securely hogtied with a black cable and gagged with a bandanna, much like some of Haruka's other dates, except this one was male.

Genma fainted.

Soun looked at the boy, his lower lip trembling. After a moment, he finally burst into tears. "Waaah! My daughter killed my friend's only son!"

"Yeah, serves 'em right," Haruka half-growled, dropping the limp form to the floor. She paused. "Wait… Your friend's son?"

Rei absorbed all this, remaining cautiously quiet.

"He just came to fulfill an old agreement," the Tendo patriarch continued to cry, "and you killed him… Waaaaah! My daughter's a murderer!

"He is not dead, Father," Setsuna noted, "only unconscious."

Soun sniffled, his whining waterworks slowing to a halt. "Really?"

"Yeah," Haruka added, lightly nudging the individual on the floor with her foot, "we don't kill 'guests' here. But, I mean, even if he is the misbegotten spawn of your 'best' friend, he's still a peeping tom. Humph… You should have seen the way he was staring at me."

The bound young man on the floor stirred. He groaned, spitting out the gag. "You got a pretty good, loooong look at me, too."

Haruka smirked, looking down at him. "Yeah, and I wasn't exactly impressed, if you know what I mean."

The boy paused for a moment, then blinked. "Hey!"

"I've seen some miniscule things in my life, kid, but you take the—"

Setsuna cleared her throat. "Haruka, I believe you have made your point."

"Point?!" Haruka asked incredulously. "Let me get my katana. Then you can watch me make my point."

"Uhhh," the boy began, "I'm sorry?"

The shorthaired blonde looked down at him and nodded. "That's a start. Now how about—"

Setsuna prodded Genma lightly on the cheek with her finger. The large man instantly bolted upright. "NOT THE SQUIRRELS, MASTER!!!!" he shouted. "PLEASE, NOT THE SQUIRRELS!!!"

Everyone fell silent at this.

Sounds of cars, birds, and the wind ceased.

Rei blinked as the silence continued.

*Chirp-chirp!* The quiet trudged on, unabated save for the soft rubbing of crickets' legs.

The lack of normal auditory input became unbearable.

"That's the first time he's done that," Ranma finally admitted.

The background noises resumed.

"Saotome," Soun began quizzically, "what was that all about?"

Cowering in a corner, trembling, Genma looked up at him with feral, bloodshot eyes. "You're one of them, aren't you?!"

Soun blinked, frowning.

Genma returned the blink, then smiled. "Oh, sorry… I thought you were a circus midget." He shook his head and sighed. "Very dangerous men."

"Pop," Ranma said, struggling against his restraints, "I'm really beginning to worry about you…"

The large man glared at his son. "You mean you don't know about the true dangers of—"

Rei coughed in disbelief. "What is going on?!"

Setsuna quietly sipped her tea. "You do not wish to know, Rei."

The raven-haired girl cocked an eyebrow at her. "I think I do."

Haruka shook her head. "Trust me on this one: You don't." She paused. "What happened to that girl, by the way? The one in the dress?"

The young man on the floor began to speak, but was silenced by Haruka stepping on his back with sufficient force to knock the wind out of him.

Rei frowned. "Umm… I don't know, I thought she was in the—"

"Ah!" Genma cut in, moving forward. "Perhaps the best way to explain would be…" He picked up his son by the black cable…

*SPLAAAARRCKAAASH!!!!* …and was spared the effort, being thrown out the open window with Ranma by Haruka, into the large koi pond outside.

Rei frowned.

Setsuna looked on impassively.

Haruka stared.

Floating facedown in the pond were a small girl with her pink hair done into 'rabbit-ears,' and a somewhat older girl wearing a long, white gown and her hair in two very long pigtails.

"Oh my," Setsuna said with a smile, "I think you've killed them."

"Ow, ow, ow, ow, ow, ow," the droning went on and on in the guest room of the Tendo household.

In an attempt to ease the throbbing, the pink-haired girl and the blonde held icepacks to their respective heads.

"Spore," the blonde muttered, turning to the individual lying next to her.

"Odango-atama," the 'rabbit-eared' girl retorted, wincing at the pain and glaring back at her.

"That'll teach you to stare," Haruka said, grinning. "Just be glad the pond isn't any shallower." Her grin became a full-blown overconfident smile. "Though I'd say its victims were."

"One more time," Rei said, her eyes narrowed in skepticism. "Ranma is really a boy?"

"Yup," Ranma replied with a groan.

"And… my father's old friend is really a fat, bald old man named Genma?"

"He is indeed," Soun said proudly.

"Hey, have some respe—" Genma began weakly, then stopped as the pressure from the attempted outburst reached her head. She closed her eyes tightly, the hint of tears forming. "Ow… ie…"

The Luna-P floated nearby, no longer moving in a frightened manner. It almost seemed to smile as it hovered in front of the girl's face.

Rei sighed. "This is really bizarre… How did it happen?"

"Well," the cute little girl began, "it happened like this…"

It was a bright, sunny day, and the little puddles of water glowed in the morning light.

An overconfident pigtailed boy smirked at his father. "Heh heh heh. So you want to fight in this stupid place, huh?"

Genma adjusted his glasses. "Yes, son. I believe that your skills will be greatly improved by this training ground." He looked around. "This may be your most difficult exercise yet. Be careful, though. I understand that these pools may be cursed. It would be wise to—"

"Cursed?" Ranma chuckled, idly toying with his pigtail. "Let's check that out, okay, Oyaji?"

*Thwack!* In a single move, Ranma kicked his dear, innocent father away into one of the large ponds.

With a splash, a small, pink-haired girl began her struggle out of the pond, her poorly-fitting clothes hindering her every move. "Son," she squeaked in fear, obviously losing her already tenacious handhold, "please help me!"

"G'hyuk," Ranma laughed at his 'father.' "Like I'd ever do thaaaaa—"

*Splash* Because of his clumsiness and lack of caution, the undisciplined young man fell backward into another pool, his hair growing long and turning blonde, becoming a rather stunning girl in a white gown.

Ranma climbed out of the pool, stopped, then looked down at the new additions and subtractions. "AAAAAAAAAAAAAH!!!"

"And then," the little girl sniffed sadly, turning on her side in one of the guest beds, "he chased me around, blaming me for it."

"That's so sad," Rei said, replacing the old icepack on Genma's head with a new one.

"That ain't how it happened, Pop, and you know it!" Ranma snapped, flipping her pigtails out of the way as she sat up.

Genma sat up quickly and glared at her son. "Oh, yeah?!"


"What did happen, then?" Soun asked.

Ranma continued giving her 'father' a rather evil stare. "Well, first of all, the SPORE here drags me off to this one training ground, only he doesn't know it's cursed. So we get ready to fight, warm up for a bit, and before we could even get started, he fell right into—"

"No I didn't! You knocked me in!" Genma cut in, slapping her small hand forcefully down to the bedding.

There was a pause.

Then an argument.

"No, I didn't!"

"Yes, you did!"

"No. I. Didn't!"

Then a brawl.

*WHAM!* "Oh, yes you did!"

*BAM!* "Did not!"

*SLAM!* "Did too, Odango-atama!"

*POW!* "Did not, you spore!"

Setsuna cleared her throat, at which the fighting ceased…


"If you cannot agree on what truly happened," the green-haired woman said, "we will have to seek other resources to determine the level of authenticity of either story."

Ranma and Genma blinked as they looked at her. "Like what?" they asked in unison.

Setsuna held up a thin magazine; a copy of Very Tragic Story: Jusenkyo Guide Monthly. On the cover was the picture of a drenched blonde girl in a dress glaring at an equally wet, and all-too-familiar pink-haired girl.

"Oookay," Ranma said. "What does it say happened?"

The ancient, cursed martial arts training ground, Jusenkyo, glistened in the morning light as the sun crept over the high, Chinese mountains surrounding this land. Thousands of small pools with bamboo poles protruding from them dotted the landscape.

The Jusenkyo tour guide, whom we shall call José, was a middle-aged man with features that highlighted his Chinese and northern Siberian heritage. He looked across the valley, took a deep breath of fresh, cool air, and began his journey from his small home toward the entrance of the grounds. There were undoubtedly overzealous tourists waiting to get in…

Surely enough, there they were: two of them, having for some reason simply ignored the large, multilingual warning signs that adorned the entrance. Obviously unaware of the danger that surrounded them, they casually walked amidst the springs, coming frighteningly closer to falling in with each passing step.

José cleared his throat and called to his new customers in hopes that they would heed a verbal warning, "Ah, greetings, sirs! It would be a good idea to avoid the springs. They are far more dangerous than they would first appear."

The larger of the two, a bald man in a white gi with a bandanna over his forehead, turned toward him and waved him off. "Bang, bang. Cooka Cola. Cheese and fish with rice!"

The other visitor, a black-haired boy in a similar gi with his hair in a short ponytail also turned toward José and waved. "Tuna noodle goulash!"

"I… see," José said, frowning. He recognized their Japanese accents, and knew from their stunning lack of linguistic skill in the local form of communication, they were going to be trouble. He continued speaking, this time in Japanese. "Here, sirs, we have the cursed training ground of Jusenkyo."

"Ya ready, Pop?" the boy asked the large, bald man, getting into a ready combat stance.

The man nodded, moving into position in front of him.

*Bambambam*Thwack!*Whooshwhoosh* The two spontaneously leapt into the air, each a flurry of punches and kicks as they fought, using the bamboo poles sticking out of the pools for the occasional need to land and maintain balance.

José watched in fascination, but not particularly impressed, considering that he had seen some of the Amazons from a nearby tribe fight, and then there were the Musk—

*Splash!* That thought was cut off, however, as the smaller of the two combatants dodged a midair kick and made a double-fisted blow to the other's back, knocking him into one of the springs. The boy landed on one of the other poles, maintaining a ready position in preparation for the next counterattack.

*WHARSH!* Out of the pool that the man had fallen into leapt a giant black and white panda.

"Gaaah!" the boy shouted in shock as the animal bounded toward him.

José shook his head. "Oh, very bad… He fall into Spring of Drowned Panda. Very tragic story of panda who drown here five hundred years ago. Now whoever fall into spring take body of giant panda."

The black-haired young man glanced wide-eyed at the guide, leaving himself wide open for the panda's attack…


José sighed. "Oh, you fall into Spring of Drowned Girl… Very tragic story of young girl who fall into spring fifteen hundred years ago. Now whoever fall into spring…"

The newest member of the drenched club paused, frowned, looked down at herself, took a look down her gi, and quickly looked away, quickly becoming pale with shock and confusion.

"…take body of young girl," the guide finished.

The panda took a moment to look down at itself, then looked at José. "…Growlf?" it asked bemusedly.

The redheaded girl scrambled out of the spring and rushed toward the guide. "WHATTHEHOWDIDCANYOU… AAAAAAH!!!" She ran around in a circle, pulling at her hair, screaming.

José produced a kettle of hot water he always carried around for such emergencies. "Now," he began, "hot water will—"

The girl, still in a deep state of trauma, looked toward the guide and pointed at the panda. "So… Is that… thing my pop!?"

José nodded, preparing to explain how the curse could be reversed.

*SHING!!!* "DIE!!!!" the girl screamed, pulling out a large meat cleaver and beginning to chase the panda, who wisely decided that running would be the best thing to do at this point. "BRING ME TO A CURSED TRAINING GROUND WILL YOU?! THIS IS THE LAST STRAW, AND I MEAN IT!!! GRAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHH!!!!!!!!"

"Grolf?" the panda asked weakly as it ducked under a slash.


"Mister… Miss… whatever, sirs… You will just make things worse," the guide said with a sigh, looking down at the ground and shrugging in a gesture of surrender. He paused, noticing a faded character on the sign posted near the Spring of Drowned Girl. "Oh, very sorry, sirs!" he called to them. "That was Spring of Drowned Psychotic Murderer Young Lady With A Bad Temper And An Evil Gleam In Her Eye Who Hates Pandas And Their Fathers Who Turn Into Them. Very tragic story about talk show host who—"

*SPLASH!* The redheaded girl finally chased her prey into another spring. She stopped at the edge of the pool, her eyes burning with anger and malice.

"Waaaaah!" a little, pink-haired girl with her hair in 'rabbit-ears' cried, desperately splashing around in the pool as she attempted to stay above water.

"ThAt'S NoT gOIng TO SaVE yOU," the redhead twitched, her voice taking on an extra vibrato as she spoke. She raised her meat cleaver in preparation to throw it.

"WAAAAH!!!" the little girl cried, tears starting to pour from her eyes. The hint of a golden crescent moon flickered on her forehead before vanishing.

*BOOM*CRASH*WHAM!!!*SPLASH!* There was a quick flash of lightning and a purplish-black cat-faced balloon appeared, slamming itself into the older girl's stomach with enough force to send her flying several meters away into another spring.

The balloon hovered near the struggling pink-haired girl, and, with a puff of smoke, turned into an obnoxiously cute blow-up rabbit life preserver, which quietly slipped around the girl. With its assistance, she swam to shore, pulling herself onto dry ground. She took a moment to catch her breath and look to where the other girl had gone.

"What's going on?" a blonde with two long pigtails asked, dazedly, climbing out of the spring, dripping water. She pulled back and smoothed down the wet material of the short white skirt of her leotard-like sailor fuku and- "Wait, what am I wearing…? AAAAAH!! I'M A GIRL!!!"

José sighed sadly. THIS was going to take a bit of effort to work out… "Sirs? Madams? Whatever you like be called, I could explain this if you just come over here!"

The pink-haired girl slipped off the life preserver, took several deep breaths, and glared at the blonde. "This is all your fault, Son. If you hadn't gone—"

The blonde looked over to the other girl. "Son? Wait… Pop?"

The little girl nodded.

The blonde narrowed her eyes. "MY fault?!"

The pink-haired girl inched closer. "Yeah," she said, looking over the other's appearance, "Odango-atama."

The older-looking girl frowned, idly reaching back and pulling forward one of her pigtails. She felt back far enough to notice one of the buns on the side of her head. "Hey!"

The situation rapidly decayed from there… and the following battle lasted for hours, ranged all over, destroyed a dozen unwashed shirts, and knocked a poor, unsuspecting soul off a cliff…

Eventually, though, they got tired, and made their way over to José's run-down duplex house.

It was sunset by the time the two made it to the door, red-faced and exhausted from the long, hard conflict.

"Spore," the blonde muttered with heavy distain, barely tolerating the presence of the smaller girl behind her.

"Humph," the girl replied, her arms folded. The cat-faced ball hovered just behind her. She turned toward it. "What are you looking at?" she snapped. The balloon backed off slightly, making confused twittering noises as it did.

The blonde moved to knock on the door, but it opened before she could.

"Ah, sirs!" José greeted jovially, taking the girl in the sailor suit by the hand. "I am glad to see you! Come in and I will explain this to you." He clapped his hands together around the girl's hand and looked into her eyes. "We shall discuss it over tea! We seldom get—"

*Bonk!* The levitating ball lightly slammed into the guide's forehead, then spun around and returned to its position near the pink-haired girl.

"Ah, right!" José said, rubbing his forehead and smiling, looking almost embarrassed. He quickly ushered them in, seating them in a pair of ornate, highly polished dark wooden chairs. "Now wait here while I get the hot water!"

"Whoa," the blonde noted, stunned at how quickly they had been taken inside, "he sure seems enthusiastic…"

"Which is more than could be said about you," the pink-haired girl added.

The sailor-suited girl looked at her, raising a tired eyebrow. "And… just what's that supposed to mean?"

"I don't know," the little girl groaned, resting her head against the back of the chair. "What were we arguing about again…?"

"I forgot," the blonde young woman replied… then caught her reflection in a mirror on the wall. "GAAH!"

*SPLASH!* She stood, bumping into the hot water kettle that the guide had poised over her head.

"AAAH! THAT'S HOT," the black-haired boy shouted, knocking away the white-hot tea kettle.

"Oh, very sorry sir!" José gasped. "We just install new hot water main last week. All bugs not quite worked out. It get really hot. I have to carry with cloth anyway, so…" The guide trailed off as the section of rug the kettle landed on started to sizzle. "Oh, no!"

While José dealt with that little problem, the pigtailed boy calmed down, seeing that he was in no danger of being a girl or wearing a woman's figure-skating costume at the moment.

"That's a relief," the boy sighed, sitting down.

The 'rabbit-ear'ed girl looked at the guide. "Uh, hey, can I get some of that…?"

"Please just a moment," José replied, patting out the flames that threatened to form. "AAH! No, not the eight-tracks!"

The pigtailed boy looked at his 'father' and smirked. "You know, 'Pop'… You look REALLY cute like that… Maybe you should stay that way and—"

*WHAM!* The cat-faced sphere quickly took action to eliminate the forthcoming insult, making a decisive blow to the side of the boy's head, knocking him out of his seat.

"Oooh," the pink-haired girl said, wide-eyed, visibly impressed by the object's prompt action. The ball hovered within her reach. She took it in both hands, examining it closely.

"Unnh," the black-haired boy groaned, using the chair as a support as he made his way back up.

"Ah," José said, tossing aside a wool blanket he had been using to smother the fire, "I am done, I will get more—"

The pink-haired girl looked up at him. "Could you tell us about the curses first?"

The guide blinked. "Well, yes…" He smiled. "Let us begin, then. What would you like to know?"

The boy gave an EVIL glare at the catlike sphere… which somehow returned the glare, forcing him to back down.

"Tell me about his curse," the girl said, pointing at the young man.

José nodded gravely. "Oh, yes… Spring of Drowned Moon Princess." He shook his head and sighed. "That is a very tragic story…"

The couple walked amongst the shining, pristine pools of the valley. One, a tall black-haired man wearing a set of black armor and a cape held the hand of the other, a lovely young woman in a flowing white gown with blonde hair done in two very long pigtails. A golden mark resembling a crescent moon adorned her forehead.

"Oh, Endymion," the woman said, leaning closer to her love, "this is so beautiful… Thank you for bringing me here to see it."

The man smiled secretively. "Good… Because it is the last thing you will ever see."

The young woman frowned, stopping and letting go of him. "What do you mean by that?"

Prince Endymion continued walking, then halted and whirled to face her. "It means…"

Beside him, cherry blossoms swirled in the air, coalescing into a very effeminate blonde man in a grey uniform. He levitated a few feet off the ground and looked at the girl, an amused expression on his face as he put a hand to his mouth and laughed softly. "…your destruction, Princess Serenity."

Serenity's eyes widened. She started taking steps backward, away from the two men. "Endymion… What is Zoicite doing here? What is he talking about?"

The prince's expression twisted into a mask of evil, his eyes bulging and his mouth foaming. He tossed his head back and let off a peel of loud, roaring insane laughter.

"The prince," Zoicite said, smiling knowingly, "is no longer with us…"

"That's right," a small black cat with a crescent moon on its forehead said as it faded into view, "he's under OUR control, and there's nothing YOU can do to break it."

Endymion took a step forward and cackled, unsheathing his sword and leveling it at the Princess.

Serenity looked on, agape. "You too, Luna?" She looked at Zoicite and narrowed her eyes. "What have you done to Endymion?!"

"Why," the effeminate man replied, "I've relieved him of his sanity, and given him a taste of what true Dark Energy can do! He didn't stand a chance…"

The man in black armor lunged forward, thick films of white fluid trailing down his cheeks. He landed in front of the Princess, snarling and waving his sword like a maniac. "RAAARRGHHH!!!"

Zoicite laughed and shook his head. He pointed an open hand at the Princess. "Zoi!" A swirl of cherry blossoms flew toward the young woman in a sudden, intense gust of wind.

"No…" Serenity whispered in despair, her eyes tightly closed and tears beginning to form as she attempted in vain to resist the force of the attack. "Ahhh!!"

*SPLASH!* The pigtailed princess was flung backward into one of the smaller pools. She coughed, struggling to keep her head above water. Soon, though, she found that the pool was shallow enough for her to stand. She did so… only to see the possessed prince and corrupted guardian and advisor advancing upon her.

For a moment, the Prince's gaze became intelligent… and he reached behind his cape, pulling something indiscernible out.

The blonde girl kept her eyes closed for several seconds, awaiting the inevitable doom to overtake her…

*Splash!* The sudden cascade of very cold water shocked her into opening her eyes and taking a deep, surprised gasp. Serenity suddenly shut her eyes again in pain as her lungs burned for air…

Then, nothing…

Yes, nothing happened for the next few seconds as the Princess coughed out the water and looked up toward the apparent assassins.

Prince Endymion had a handkerchief out, wiping the foamy substance off of his face. He smirked and pointed at her. "Heh… Gotcha!"

The blonde princess raised an eyebrow, noting that both Luna and Zoicite were rolling on the ground, laughing hysterically. Endymion soon joined in.

Serenity stood, soaked from the water and shocked at what had just happened.

"Happy Venusian Idiot's Day!" Endymion chuckled loudly.

The young woman narrowed her eyes, her expression quickly going from shock to anger. "So you think that's funny, huh!?" she shouted, her voice cracking slightly.

Zoicite sat up and looked at Endymion. "Uh oh," he said, grinning, "it looks like your fiancée’s mad…"

Luna was still rolling on the ground, giggling away.

The crescent moon on the Princess's forehead glowed, and a powerful golden aura sprang up around her. "Tsuki ni kawatte," she began through gritted teeth.

Endymion quickly stood and looked at his friend. He chuckled. "On the count of three…"

The Princess rose out of the spring, her two long pigtails whipping wildly behind her. "OSHIOKIYO!!!"

"RUN!" the Prince finished, taking off at a phenomenal rate.

The black cat stopped laughing as she noticed the current condition of the Princess. "Oh dear…"

The Jusenkyo Guide frowned at the looks the boy and the pink-haired girl were giving him. "All right," he admitted, "so story not so tragic!"

"Ooookay," the black-haired young man said, "whatever… So, the one I got was, like, Spring of NOT Drowned Moon Princess…?"

José shook his head. "No. That not how it work."

The boy shrugged. "All right."

The little girl looked up, almost bright-eyed. "What happened then?

The guide looked at her. "What?"

"What happened to the prince and the princess?"

"Oh," José said, nodding, "the Princess was angry, so she went after them, and the magical battle of the year started. In a few minutes, Spring of Drowned—"

"Ooooooh," the girl said, visibly awed by the story.

"Heh," the young man muttered, "I hope she punched that guy's ticket REAL good…"

"If you let me continue," José added, "I could tell you about—"

"Riiight, right," the boy cut in. "But first…" He grinned and pointed at the 'rabbit-ear'ed girl. "Tell me about his curse."

The guide paused, frowned, shrugged, then smiled. "Ah, he fall into Spring of Almost Drowned Annoyingly Cute, Time Traveling Princess From the Future." He looked sadly at the girl. "Very tragic story…"

It was an overcast autumn midday when a swirling purple vortex opened above Jusenkyo valley…

"Yaaaaaaaah!" a very young, pink-haired girl in a white and blue sailor fuku yelled as she fell from the vortex… directly onto the Jusenkyo Guide's head, the sudden impact pushing him to the ground. "Hiya, hiya, Myster Myan!" she bubbled cutely.

The Guide was slow in his recovery from the sudden assault. "Ahh… ow…" He held his head and attempted to stand, but slumped onto his back from the weight of the girl.

The girl hopped off of him and started wandering around. "Gee," she said, "this doesn't look like Juuban…"

The Guide sat up and gave a pained look at her. "Welcome," he said in Japanese, "to cursed training ground of Jusenkyo."

"Jusinko?" the girl giggled. "I've never heard of that place… Why's it cursed?"

The Guide took a deep breath and stood, preparing to give his standard tour description. "There are a thousand springs in Jusenkyo, and each have its own tragic story—"

"Tragic story?" the little girl asked, pouting. "That doesn't sound very good…" She smiled. "I like stories about horsies and butterflies and…" She stopped as she looked at her reflection in one of the springs. "Tee-hee! I look funny!"

The Jusenkyo Guide frowned. "Ah, yes, well, do not get too close, young lady. If you fall in, you get cursed."

"Call me Small Lady," the girl said, "not young lady."

"Well… Small Lady, if you will…" the guide trailed off as the girl jumped onto his back.

"I wanna horsie ride!" she exclaimed, tugging at the man's shirt. "C'mon!"

The Guide raised an eyebrow. "Ah… Small… whoever you are, I do not have the time to—"

"Pleeeeeeeeeease?" the girl whined.

The man winced. "Well, perhaps, if—"

The girl hopped off him in a huff. "Fine. If you aren't gonna do it, I don't wanna talk to you." She folded her arms, closed her eyes, and started walking away. "Humph!"

The guide frowned for a moment, then held out a hand toward her. "Please wait."

The girl turned around, still pouting. "I'm not gonna talk to you, you mean old man…"

The Jusenkyo Guide sighed. "I could give you a tour…"

The 'rabbit-eared' child instantly brightened. "A tour for me? Waaaaai!" She ran up and jumped onto the guide's back. "Let's gooo!"

Deciding to take it all in stride, the man bore the girl to one of the more scenic areas of the Cursed Training Ground.

Not without inconvenience, however…

"What's that one?" the girl asked, pointing to one of the pools.

"That," the guide replied sagely, "is Spring of Drowned Panda. Very tragic story of—"

"Oooh, what's THAT one?!" the girl bubbled, pointing at another spring.

"That is Spring of Drowned Girl—"

"And that one?"

"Spring of Drowned Yeti Riding Bull Carrying Crane and Eating Eel. Very tragic—"

"And that one?!"

"Spring of Drowned Second Cousin. Very—"

"Oh, cool! What's that one?!"

"Spring of Drowned Battlefortress Pop Singer—"

"And that one?"

"Spring of Drowned H-Bomb. Very tragic story of nuclear physicist who—"

"How 'bout that one?"

"Spring of Drowned Robotic Demon God—"

"And that one over there?"

"Spring of Drowned… Duck."

"Noooo, that one way over there!"

"Spring of Drowned Magical Pegasus. Very tragic story of—"

The girl's eyes widened. "Magical Pegasus?" She giggled. "And what happens if someone falls in?"

"They become cursed to turn into whatever drowned—"

The pink-haired girl leaned over the top of the guide's head to look into his eyes. "I wanna see the ponies!"

The man blinked. "Ponies…? This is a—"

"I wanna see the ponies!"

"Ah, little girl, there are no ponies—"

"You could jump into the Magical Pegasus thingy and turn into one and we could fly off and—"

The guide's shoulders slumped as he tilted his head back, rolled his eyes, and groaned. "No… I do not think so."

"Pleeeease?" the girl asked. "I'd like to see a magical pegasus…"


"PRETTY please???"

The guide sighed and looked back at her. "Would you… maybe… rather see the rest of Jusenkyo?"

The girl frowned. "I'd rather have a pegasus, but…" She smiled. "Okay!" She looked around, then gasped and pointed to another of the springs. "What's that one?!?"

For the next five hours, the guide patiently endured the girl's endless, tireless, interrupting and overlapping questions about the names of the springs, not letting him get much of a word in edgewise.

She had resisted three forced removal attempts, always managing to cling to the guide in one fashion or another, and he couldn't bring himself to try to knock her off, no matter how troublesome she got.

Sooner or later, though, the subject returned to a certain spring…

"So when you gonna turn into a pegasus for me?" the 'rabbit-eared' girl pressed. "I wanna see a magical pegasus!!!"

The guide shook his head. "I told you: No."

"But I wanna see it! I wannawannawannawannawanna…" The pink-haired child paused. "Hey, how did these things get cursed?"

The man gritted his teeth, preparing to explain the tale behind the springs… one more time. "For thousands of years, creatures have drowned in—"

"How'd they do that?"

"They do it by… well, falling in and—"


"Sometimes, they slip—"

"How?" the girl giggled infuriatingly.

The guide stopped and let his arms drop. He looked back at the girl and smiled, a little too pleasantly. "Here, let me show you…"

~Two seconds later…~

The little girl coughed and struggled in vain to escape her watery prison. The spring was too deep for her to swim in, and she couldn't reach the edge from her position.

She was unable to call for help as she consistently failed to bring her head above the eerily silent water. Again and again she splashed wildly, almost, but not quite managing to reach the edge of the spring.

Finally, she went down for the last time…

…and was pulled out on the end of a silver, almost key-shaped staff by a tall, green-haired woman in a white and black-highlighted abbreviated sailor suit.

The girl coughed out the water as she was set back onto the ground. She looked up at the woman. "Thank you, Puu…"

The woman shook her head. "Small Lady, how many times have I told you that the time key is not a toy?"

The pink-haired girl looked up at her and smiled weakly. "Um… I'm sorry."

"That's a start," the green-haired woman said, "but it's time to go home now."

The girl nodded. "I'm sorry," she said meekly. "I just… I only wanted to…" She sighed and shook her head. "I don't know…"

The woman picked her up into her arms, resting the child's head on her shoulder. "I understand, Small Lady… I understand."

They both vanished quietly.

José shook his head. "Very tragic story…"

The boy raised an eyebrow. "That was about as tragic as the last one!"

The guide shook his head. "No, this very tragic story…" He sniffed sadly, dabbing a tear from his eye as he looked at the boy's transformed father. "She not drown in spring!"

The young man blinked, glanced at the girl next to him, then broke out laughing.

The little girl frowned for a moment, then glared at them. "Hey!"

Haruka grinned at Genma. "Whoa, that's harsh…"

"And," Setsuna continued, motioning her sister for silence, "he explained your curse's qualities to you." She looked at Ranma. "You did not take well the fact that the change would return with cold water."

Rei looked rather perplexed, still hung up on one particular concept. "The guide's name… was José?" She raised a confused eyebrow. "Those Chinese sure have strange names…"

"You're telling me," Ranma said. "And that's before we got to this… weird Amazon village where everyone's name was like—"

Haruka looked interested. "Amazon village, huh? Going to tell us about that one?"

The pigtailed blonde sighed. "Alright, after we got everything straightened out at Jusenkyo, on the way back to Japan, we visited this place… They called it… Joketsuzuki… or something like that. So anyway, we walk in, and I start watching some of the Amazons fight, to see if I can master any of their techniques…" She looked at Genma. "So then the SPORE here sits down and eats the prize for the tournament they were having!"

"The sign read 'Free Food!'" the little pink-haired girl snapped.

"Oh, really?! I could've sworn the sign read 'Don't eat, or else!' Gimme a break! And if it weren't for your terminal stupidity, neither of us would've gone to that training ground and got cursed, so then you've been there to get your tail kicked by that Amazon, instead of playing stupid and making me fight her off-"

"Oh, she enjoyed the fight!" Genma retorted. "Why else would she kiss you like that?!"

"Huh. And it just had to be after a rainstorm." Ranma sighed. "I mean, why would an Amazon kiss another girl?!"

"I can think of a reason," Haruka noted with a grin.

"We know what you think, Haruka," Rei said, rolling her eyes as she turned toward Ranma. "So… How long ago did you get cursed?"

"Uh… A couple months ago," Ranma replied.

Rei shook her head, deep in thought. "I know of some strange curses, but this has to be the worst."

The girl in the flowing gown nodded. "Yeah… It doesn't just turn me into a girl, it puts me in a DRESS." She rubbed the gold crescent moon mark on her forehead. "Stupid magic…"

Rei looked at her. "What's so bad about being in a dress when you're a girl?" She gave a bemused, weirded-out half-smile. "Look at it this way: You'll never have to worry about being called a tomboy wearing that."

Haruka nodded emphatically. "And it looks terrific on you."

Ranma cringed visibly. She turned to glare at the pink-haired girl. "This is all your fault, Pop. If you hadn't been so stupid, we wouldn't have gone to Jusenkyo and—"

Setsuna held up a hand. "Actually," she began.

Ranma looked at her. "What?"

"If your father had not taken you there," the green-haired woman continued, "and if you discovered its existence, as a legendary training ground, before leaving China, you would have demanded to go."

The pigtailed blonde blinked. "No, I wouldn't! I'm not that--"

Genma blew a long raspberry at her. "Biiii!"

Ranma gritted her teeth. "Oh, now you're gonna get it, you little fungus!" She dove at the little girl, a mini-brawl ensuing.


"STOP IT, YOU TWO!" Rei yelled at the duo of princesses, shoving them apart. "You're acting like a pair of squabbling brats!"

Ranma and Genma turned their backs to each other, their arms folded. "We are not!" they shouted in unison, then glared back at one another, sparks forming between them. Suddenly, they faced each other fully.

"I think it's 'bout time the brat here got disciplined!" Ranma said through gritted teeth.

"I'm gonna teach you some respect, PRINCESS!" Genma replied.

"Haruka," Setsuna whispered to her sister, "please meow in Ranma's ear."

The tall blonde blinked. "Uh, why?"

"Humor me."

"You got it," Haruka said, then skulked in close to Ranma, and whispered softly to her, "Meow."

"AAAH!" Ranma screamed, jumping up and clinging to the top of the doorframe. She looked around frantically, hyperventilating. After a moment, she calmed down and glared at Haruka. "DON'T do that!"

Rei looked at Haruka with a raised eyebrow. "What…?"

Setsuna spoke up. "It is the result of another technique Genma has trained his son in: One which he would never admit willingness to train in if he were asked now." She shook her head. "Unfortunately, he is, in many ways, just as focused as his father when it comes to mastery of the Art."

"Uhh," Ranma began, "I'm not… quite sure how to take that."

"A compliment if looked at one way," Setsuna replied, "but a cruel insult if looked at in another. It truly depends on whether you wish a critique of your intelligence or of your determination."

Ranma blinked, not getting a word of the response. "Ummmm…"

"She says you're both stubborn idiots," Haruka translated without inflection.

The pink-haired girl's 'rabbit-ears' pricked up slightly at that. She and the pigtailed blonde glared at Haruka.

"Don't look at me," Haruka chuckled. She turned to her older sister. "And you guessed all that from just this conversation?"

Setsuna smiled, her head moving slightly so as to just barely hint at shaking it. "Believe what you must…"

The shorthaired blonde didn't buy it. "Riiight."

Soun, who had passed out somewhere in the middle of the retelling of the very tragic story of the Spring of Drowned Moon Princess, now awoke and sat up. "Ah, everyone is here," he said quietly as he took a quick glance around.

Setsuna took a seat on the guest bed near him. "We are glad that you are again awake, Father," she half-whispered to him.

The black-haired man nodded as everyone present turned to look at him. "Yes! We must finalize the details of the engagement!"

"To business, then!" Genma exclaimed, hopping into a seated position on his shoulders.

Ranma paled in remembrance. "…You aren't actually going to go through with that, are you?!"

Soun and Genma nodded at him in unison.

Haruka held up a hand. "Nononononono… I don't think so."

"They, apparently, 'think so', " Setsuna noted, taking a quick sip from a recently prepared cup of tea.

Rei looked at her father. "You… want to marry us off to… a boy that turns into a girl?" She glanced at Ranma. "That's kinda creepy, you know…"

"You get used to it," Genma said.

"Only 'cause you're too lazy to change back most of the time, you little spore," Ranma added.

"Nonsense!" the pink-haired girl snapped. "You should be prepared to give up anything for the Art!" She sat up proudly. "To advance my training, I have given up—"

"Your dignity, your manhood, your adulthood," Setsuna said, "and your sanity, on occasion."

Genma blinked. "Uh, right, but…"

Ranma smirked.

Soun smiled, keeping balance with the added weight of the girl on his shoulders. "Ranma, stop arguing with your spore… er, father. This is more important than that. For you, the time has come…" He held an open arm out toward the only "real" girls in the room. "These are my daughters: Setsuna, who is nineteen years old. Haruka is eighteen. And Rei, my youngest, is sixteen."

There was a long, deep silence as what was just said caught up with the blonde princess.

"Oh, I believe he truly wants Haruka," Setsuna noted, smiling as she once more took her teacup off its conveniently-placed saucer.

Rei frowned momentarily, then grinned. "Hey, yeah…"

Haruka's eyes widened. She held her hands up and backed off. "Ooooh no you don't."

Rei looked up at her. "You don't like… Well, you know… boys. You're perfect for each other. He's a girl!"

Ranma looked incredulously between her transformed father and the Tendo patriarch, pausing only to cringe at the conversation going on with the other two girls. "I'm NOT going to go and pick someone that I don't even know to get married!"

Haruka glanced at him. "You got THAT right!"

Soun sat up proudly. "You misunderstand. The agreement is very specific on this."

Setsuna watched with trepidation.

Haruka relaxed.

Rei tensed. "Er… Who was supposed to be getting engaged, then?"

Genma jumped up on the bed, her pink 'rabbit-ears' bouncing up and down cutely. "ALL of you!" she exclaimed with joy.

The room grew silent, save for the stifled, yet agonized sounds of Setsuna choking on her tea.

"ALL OF US?!??!?!?!!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?" Soun's three daughters shouted at once.

Soun nodded.

"ALL OF THEM?!?!?!?!?!?!?!!?!?!?!?!?!" Ranma asked in shock.

Soun nodded again.

The blonde girl fainted.

Somewhere, a black-haired young man looked around, agitated.

"I hate that feeling…" he muttered. "It's like… like… someone just got MY harem…"

The voluptuous, scantily clad oni lying next to him smiled. "You and that dream of yours again, darling?"

Setsuna was the first one to recover. "Ah," she coughed, "em, very interesting, Father." Her left eye twitched slightly, but the rest of her expression remained firmly in control. "I will retrieve the documentation." She stood and walked out of the guest room, her feet making a slightly louder noise against the floor than they normally would.

Haruka stared agape at her father and Genma. "W…wha…?" She straightened. "What have you been smoking, and WHERE can I get some?!"

Rei just sat there, looking at Soun. She tilted her head toward Haruka. "Think he's serious?"

Haruka nodded. "Look at them… They've got that… gleam in their eyes."

"That gleam?" Rei asked.

"That gleam," Haruka confirmed.

The raven-haired girl grimaced. "Terrific…"

Setsuna walked in, carrying an ancient, yet preserved scroll. "I have the marriage contract, Father. This must be sorted out before any arrangement is to be announced." She took a seat next to Soun and unfurled the scroll. "You see, the penmanship is poor, but the words can easily be made out."

Soun nodded, taking the paper in his hands. "Ah, yes… If I, Tendo Soun, had any daughters," he read, "they'd be engaged to Saotome Genma's son."

"That is an error," Setsuna noted. "It was obviously intended to read 'Saotome Genma's sons'. This implies the fact that if Genma had two sons, they would each be engaged to different daughters. As it stands, he has only one son, so it should be to only one Tendo daughter."

"That's not what it says, though," Genma noted.

"But the intention—" Setsuna began before being cut off.

"My friend is right," Soun said, "It clearly states for all of my daughters to be engaged to his son."

"Isn't that kind of… illegal?" Rei asked.

Both Genma and Soun began to grin very broadly. "Nope," the little girl said, "we're all moving to Brunei!"

"It's perfectly legal there," Soun added.

"We are not moving," Setsuna said firmly, her eyes narrowed at him.

"But we have to get you three married, Setsuna," Soun said.

"Let me see that," Rei said, snatching the scroll. Upon reading through it, her eyes grew very wide. "GREAT GRANDPA SIGNED THIS!??!"

Haruka took the contract and examined it. "And who are all these other people? There has to be… at least thirty names on this thing!"

"Yes," their father said with a smile, "this has all been planned far in advance. Four generations of the Tendo and Saotome clans have endorsed this union, providing their signature as a testament… It is your DESTINY!"

Haruka glared down at him. "Humph!" She threw the contract down at Soun, then turned and stormed out, slamming the door behind her.

"Uh oh," Genma whispered.

"That's alright," Soun quietly said to her. He turned back to the remaining people in the room. "In just a few minutes, the priest from Rei's temple, the Nerima Shrine, will be here to go with us to Brunei, to have you all married. I'm sure Haruka will have calmed down when its time for the plane to leave."

There was a knock at the front door, followed quickly by the sound of its opening.

"Ah, Haruka, is it?" an unfamiliar voice said. "I'm here to—"


"Hey, that looks like… WAAAH!!!"


This was followed by several heavy footsteps outside, the sound of the garage door opening, and finally of a motorcycle revving up and speeding off.

Both Soun and Genma winced.

After a moment of consideration, Soun made a decision. "Perhaps we should hold off on the trip to Brunei for now."

Setsuna nodded. "That would be best."

"Awww," Genma whined, looking downtrodden.

"What's the point of all this?" Rei asked, raising an eyebrow. "And how did you get so many signatures on that stupid contract of yours?!"

"Well…" Soun began, recalling some of his more distant memories.

It was the Tendo Family Reunion… which took place right next to the Saotome Family Reunion…

Giggling maniacally, a six-year-old Genma handed off a small sheet of paper to Soun.

Soun smiled and nodded, walking over to an old man on his side of the large park in which the reunions were taking place.

"Good morning, Soun," the aging individual said, relaxing in his lawn chair.

"Hi, Grampa," the black-haired boy said. He handed the paper he was carrying to the elder individual. "Could you please sign this?"

Tendo-sama looked over the scribblings on the sheet of thick construction paper and smiled. "Playing games with your friend, eh?" His expression took a mock-serious tone. "I don't know…"


"Well… All right."

Soun's grandfather signed at the bottom of the paper, right next to John Hancock, John Quincy Adams, John Gutierrez, and Pope John Pauls I, II, and III.

Lather, rinse, repeat.

"It, er," Soun said, tripping over his words, and most definitely not having told them anything of what he just remembered, "was a plan set in motion by forces beyond our control."

"Yeah, that's it," the pink-haired girl on his shoulders said, nodding.

Rei just sat there, an eyebrow raised, her mouth hanging open, and her eyes disbelieving.

"In any case," Soun continued, "I believe it has been decided to postpone the event, so you can all get to know Ranma better."

"Father," the raven-haired girl began, glancing at the sleeping princess, "please tell me this is all one huge joke."

"This ain't a joke," Genma said. "We've been working toward this for a long time."

Setsuna looked at Genma. "You should leave… and perhaps come back tomorrow, or the day after, to allow for all involved to become accustomed to the idea. Especially Haruka."

"Nope," Genma said, folding her arms, "we're staying right here. We've been on the road a lot, and—"

"And you don't have a house," Soun cut in. "Right, of course. You can stay here, in the guest room." He smiled. "You're guests, after all."

The little girl nodded brightly. "Haaai."

Soun stood, taking Genma off his shoulders and placing her on one of the beds. "Now, what else is there to discuss…"

*Beep-beep!* No one knew whose, but someone's digital watch sounded a quick alarm, noting the change to a new hour.

"Hmm," the black-haired man mumbled, and glanced at the clock on the wall. He then looked outside… at the night sky. "Ten 'o clock already… Where does the time go?" He looked down at Genma. "Oh, it must be bedtime for you, then…" He pulled back the covers on the bed and tucked Genma in. "Good night!"

Genma watched bemusedly as Soun left, followed soon after by Setsuna and Rei.

As she left, Rei glanced back at both of them, frowned thoughtfully, and switched off the lights, closing the door behind her.

"I don't get it," Genma muttered, pausing to think as she found the bed surprisingly large and comfortable, especially as compared to the ground and other variants thereof, such as the ground with a thin mat, the ground with a thick mat, and the ground with a side order of beef.

So, the little, pink-haired girl snuggled into her pillow, deciding that getting a little more sleep wouldn't hurt…

Then she saw… IT.

IT was a tall, black-clad figure standing in front of what little light poured in through the window, its dark cloak waving in the breeze, watching and looking at her, glorying in her fear…

Genma blinked, taking another look at IT.

IT was just the curtains moving in the draft from the slightly open window. "Oh," Genma whispered, then turned away…

And came face to face with… THAT.

THAT was a hulking beast with twin tusks that extended through its snout, horns topping its head…

But it wasn't moving: It was a coat rack.

"Mmmmm," Genma hummed in slight worry, frightening images assaulting her from every direction.

Hurrying, she threw back the covers and dove into the bed Ranma was sleeping in. Cowering under the blankets for a second, but feeling the comforting warmth of another person, she slowly calmed down.

And finally, with an arm around the pigtailed girl next to her, Genma fell asleep.

The blonde girl floated through a misty, cloudy landscape, the occasional prismatic bubble floating by as a stream of reflective, sparkling stardust trailed behind her.

Her pigtails flew behind her in the air currents, and her white gown fluttered in the breeze.

After several blissful moments of this, she approached a black-clad figure.

The man turned around. He was tall, wearing a formal black tuxedo with a top hat and a cape with an inner red lining. His eyes and part of his face were covered by a white mask.

{Hello…} the man greeted in an ethereal tone.

"Hello," the girl replied, smiling at him, "My Prince…"

{Yes…} the man whispered.

"Um," the girl began demurely, looking shyly at him, "are… are you my lover?"


The blonde jumped up and down in joy for several seconds before preparing to ask another question. "My Prince… Can you show me who you are?"

{Yes… I want there to be no secrets between us…} the tuxedo-clad figure began, removing the mask from his eyes.

As the mask was cast aside, the girl could not quite make out any features, but could tell that he was very handsome…

Ranma awoke softly. "Oh, My Prince," she whispered, then realized what just happened… then jumped out of bed and started screaming at the top of her lungs, knocking the little girl sleeping next to her out the window. "AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!!!!!!"

*SPLASH!* "WAAAH!!!" Genma screamed in shock from outside.

When that ended, Ranma was suddenly wracked by waves of nausea, and therefore rushed off to the bathroom as fast as her legs would carry her… "AAAAAAAAAAAAH!!!!"

~Ten minutes later~

Ranma, male and wearing his red and black Chinese outfit, strode confidently into the kitchen. "Hello," he greeted everyone, a little too cheerfully.

Setsuna momentarily looked up from her copy of the Wall Street Journal. "Greetings," she said in a subdued tone, and turned back to her reading.

"Hi… Ranma," Rei said, poking at her breakfast. She was wearing the Furinkan school uniform: a white blouse with a blue jumper.

*Chomp*Munch*Munch* "Rough night last night," a damp, pink-haired girl sitting at the table said between mouthfuls of her titanic stack of blueberry pancakes.

"And you have school in about ten minutes," Setsuna added.

Ranma blinked. "School?"

"Yes, it seems you've been registered at Furinkan High."

"The school system's become… pretty obsessive about this sort of thing," Rei said.

"Couldn't I take today off?" Ranma asked. "I mean, I just got here yesterday, and—"

"That would be inadvisable," Setsuna cut in, not looking away from her newspaper. "With a few recent problems, the truancy system has started to employ mercenary forces. They have a tee eight-hundred m-one-oh-one, among other things."

Ranma blinked, then shrugged. "Uh, okay. I guess I'll go, then." He looked around. "Say, where's Haruka?"

Rei looked up at him. "She stormed off after we started talking about the engagement. After you conked out. Later, she called up and told us that she was spending the night over at Michi's place."

"Michi's?" Ranma queried.

"A friend's home," Setsuna answered.


The small bits of conversation that went on after that were essentially limited to basic 'morning talk.' Pretty boring, all things considered. A short battle over the last remaining pancakes between Ranma and Genma occurred, but it ended in a tie, each party getting half.

Finally, though, the time came for Rei and Ranma to leave for school.

"So, where is it?" Ranma asked, looking at the fence by the sidewalk as they padded along, debating whether he really wanted to spend the marginal effort necessary to jump on it and practice his balance.

Rei indicated the sidewalk in front of her. "It's basically straight from here… What are you doing?"

Ranma had jumped on top of the fence, folded his arms, and continued walking on that. "Practice," he said. "I missed all my kata this morning, and I'm really going to need to do some focusing to beat you."

Rei couldn't keep herself from smiling slightly. "Well," she said, "you're actually a terrific fighter…" She laughed. "If you could actually take your sparring partners seriously and keep from tripping over your own pigtails, that is."

Ranma shrugged, continuing to deepen his focus. "Yeah… Well… If I had my choice with that, I wouldn't even have those stupid pigtails…" Something occurred to him. "Uh, hey, do you think you could teach me that fire attack of yours?"

"Hmm… Maybe," Rei grinned, "if you promise not to go through with that obnoxious plan our fathers cooked up…"

The pigtailed boy nodded, his expression brightening. "Works for me." He paused. "Not that I'd mind being engaged to you or anything…"

The raven-haired girl, still smiling, sighed and nodded. "Right…"

Then, a sudden splash of cold water from on high hit Ranma…

Somewhere, a black cat with a crescent moon mark on her forehead opened her eyes.

"I sense something," she whispered. "It's unmistakable!"

The cat crept up to the bed, on which sat a young girl.

"Usagi!" Luna exclaimed enthusiastically, "I know where our Moon Princess is!"


[End Part One…]

Author’s Notes: SEJOU DOUTEN = World Shaking… Near as I can tell.

Part 2
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Old Gray Wolf