Disclaimer: Rumiko Takahashi is the greatest, but then again so is (whoever did SM). All Ranma ½ and Sailor Moon characters… and the occasional Devil Hunter, as well as any other character that belongs to someone else belong to someone else, not me. I ain’t that good. Jiejie and Tian Huan are my own creations, as are Inago, Kaji, Sansai, and Fusei.
C&C: C&C is both welcome and desired greatly at email@example.com. This is my first fanfiction work to make it past Chapter Half. Also, though I have certain things set in mind, I am willing to modify the story as it continues if it becomes necessary. If this story is located elsewhere, the original can be found at http://www.geocities.com/dancingimp. Thankies!
Big Thanks: To my prereaders/editors/mallet-wielders, James Thomas <who has written one of the best Dragonball Z/Ranma Half crossovers, http://www.provalue.net/users/heed452/fanfic>, and Greg Beauchamp. Thanks for the mallets to the head and red ink to the paper.
What Went Before: Typically it’s best to read a story BEFORE reading the Epilogue. 8)
Juuban University, Juuban district
Chiba Mamoru waited at the table he normally shared with Ukyo, Ranma, and Akane. He waved them over when he saw his three friends coming out of the Admin Building with smiles on their faces. “I take it they are giving you excused absences and a chance to make up the work?”
Ranma nodded. “Yup. Apparently saving the world is an accepted excuse around here, at least if the Senshi back you up.” Ranma waved to Sailor Pluto as she left the building as well and walked away.
Mamoru and Ukyo both chuckled. “So, how was it? Saving the world and all?”
Ranma made a rude noise. “Please, it was a piece a cake. Done it before, probably do it again.”
Mamoru let out a laugh. “And modest as ever, I see. So, are you two going to be all right? No bad side effects from demonic possession?”
Ranma’s smile faded some. “Nah, not really.”
Mamoru noted his response and became curious. Before he had a chance to ask any questions, his beeper went off. Looking down at it, he sighed. “I gotta go, Usagi’s calling me. Take care, all right?” Ranma and Ukyo waved goodbye, but Akane got up to follow him. “What is it, Akane?”
She looked around to make sure that they were out of hearing range of the others before speaking. “Mamoru, I have to ask you something. Are you Tuxedo Kamen?”
Mamoru stuttered in shock. “Wh-why would you think that?”
Akane held up her hand and began to tick off points. “One, Tuxedo Kamen spoke like he knew us rather well. Two, I noticed Kamen using some of the moves that Ranma taught you. Three, you’ve often disappeared at weird times that just happened to coincide with monster attacks. Four, you seem awfully nervous about this whole line of questioning.”
Mamoru gulped nervously. “But Tuxedo Kamen and the Senshi are supposed to have some kind of disguise field that prevents anyone from ever identifying them by any means, unless they’ve seen them transform. If I was him, you shouldn’t be able to make that conclusion.”
Akane blinked. “I wasn’t aware of that.” A cunning smile crossed her lips. “So I guess that means you must not be him. Sorry to have bothered you.” She turned around to leave, much to Mamoru’s relief. “By the way, tell the others ‘Thank you’ for me.” She commented over her shoulder as she walked back to Ranma and Ukyo.
Hino Rei sat before the sacred fire. “So, you made it back to Phoenix Mountain all right?” She asked sweetly.
The fire was shaped in the image of Saffron’s face. “Yes. All of our people have successfully returned to their homes. My advisor has also informed me that my services may not be needed in the coming few weeks. Apparently the Coldfire crystal that we were guarding was causing most of our weather problems. With much more mild winters, it may be possible for me to come visit in the near future. Would that be acceptable to you?”
Rei tried to avoid sounding too anxious. “Oh, absolutely!” She failed. Suddenly, the door cracked open behind her. “Hey, Rei! Hurry up, we want to start the meeting.” Makoto began to lean her head in.
Rei grabbed a bucket of water and threw it on the fire, snuffing it out instantly. “Oh, sorry! I had to tend to the fire for a moment. I’ll be right there.”
Makoto blinked in surprise and then shook her head. “All right. But hurry, Usagi’s got your manga again.”
Rei smiled and waited until Makoto closed the door again before quickly relighting the fire. Saffron’s face appeared in it looking slightly annoyed. “Sorry about that. I had… uhm… technical difficulties. I’ll call you back as soon as I can. Take care!” Saffron smiled at her as his face faded from the fire and the priestess joined her friends.
“Well, does anyone have any new business?” Mizuno Ami started the meeting. Mamoru started to hold up his hand, but Minako beat him to it.
“I think someone here has a secret boyfriend,” she revealed.
Rei gulped. “Wh-who is that?”
Minako just smiled for a moment before suddenly turning to Hotaru. “So, how is that prince of yours? Is the cell-phone Washu gave him working?”
Hotaru blushed madly as Haruka and Michiru both scowled. “And when were you going to tell us about this, young lady?” Michiru asked.
“We’re not dating or anything. He’s just a very nice boy who happens to be about my age. What’s wrong with that?”
Haruka started to tap her foot, but decided against it. “All right, but we want at least two days notice before any dates and you will tell us if he starts to get fresh with you, am I understood?”
Hotaru rolled her eyes. “It’s not like that! But okay. Besides, he’s on a floating island? How often do you think he will get to be around?” She smiled inwardly. ‘Of course, I’ll tell you two days before our date in three weeks…’ she thought smugly.
Coughing to get everyone’s attention, Mamoru held up his hand. Most of the girls looked at him in surprise.
“I don’t know how she managed to get through the disguise field, but I think Akane managed to figure out who I am.”
“Are you sure?” Usagi asked in surprise.
“Well, I think she’s going to keep my secret, but she wanted me to tell you ‘Thank you’ the next time I saw you.” Mamoru sighed. “I’m certain she never saw me transform, so how could she have figured it out?”
“Don’t worry about it,” Setsuna spoke up as she entered the room. “Just go about your normal business and everything should be fine.”
Mamoru looked at the Senshi of Time with mild surprise. “If you say so.”
Setsuna smiled. “I do. Oh, and you can stop spying on them now, Diana.”
“Diana?” The Senshi exclaimed. A shadow detached itself from a wall and moved towards the girls.
“I was guarding them, not spying on them,” the shadow said as it faded to reveal Kyuusei. The short woman was wearing a gray fuku with black trim and a cloak that seemed to be made from liquid night.
Setsuna smiled. “I know.”
Haruka looked shocked, as did the rest of the Senshi. “Who is that?”
Setsuna clucked her tongue at the blonde woman. “Everyone, I would like to introduce you to Meiou Atsui, Sailor Diana and the Senshi of Shadow.”
Stunned silence filled the room as the Senshi blinked in surprise. Usagi was the first to speak up. “Uh, hello! Welcome!”
“What planet do you represent?” Michiru asked.
“Diana,” the newest Senshi answered.
“I’ve never heard of that world,” Minako and Makoto said in unison.
“I think I have,” Ami spoke up. “A couple of years ago, scientists believed they had evidence of another planet in orbit around our sun.”
“But that’s Nemesis.”
Ami shook her head. “This one is far beyond Pluto. It is orbiting the sun at approximately half a light-year away.”
Usagi piped up. “Is that a lot?”
Ami nodded. “At the speed of light, it would take half a year to get to this world. It is because of this distance that most scientists are not sure as to whether the planet exists.”
“It exists,” Pluto commented. “It just has never had a steward and was barely considered a part of the Moon Kingdom before.”
Usagi smiled happily. “That’s great! So, who are you really?”
Sailor Diana detransformed. The Senshi’s surprise ranged from mild shock to complete disbelief. Usagi looked confused. “I thought your name was Gigi or Kyuusei or something.”
Setsuna smiled as she looked down at her companion. “Her birth name was Atsui and I think it fits her rather well.” Haruka snorted derisively. Setsuna gave her a mildly reproachful glare.
Something occurred to Hotaru. “Wait a minute, you said Meiou Atsui? So, Setsuna-mama adopted you?” Atsui nodded and let a small smile appear. It was only a small one, but it was the first time in centuries that she had smiled like a normal person. Hotaru thought it made her look very cute, despite the rather aged look of her face. “Then that means we’re sisters!” Actually, it didn’t, but Hotaru didn’t really care. Her family had grown larger.
Haruka nearly choked in surprise. “Wait, she adopted you? So that means you’re going to live with us?” She groaned loudly. She had never really forgiven her for attacking Hotaru that one time.
“More than that. I’ve decided that we need to start training more. I didn’t mention this before because I never had time, but now that I have an assistant all of the Senshi are going to start practicing on weekends. I figure we’ll start at three hours a day on Saturday and Sunday. We’ll work our way up from there. As for Haruka, Michiru, and Hotaru, why I see no reason not to have practice every single night.”
The collected Senshi groaned as Atsui and Haruka locked eyes. A small, nasty smile formed on the shorter woman’s face.
Ukyo knocked on Konatsu’s door that night. She still had the letter that she had written him before the final battle. She had considered just slipping it under his door, but she was too afraid. Konatsu slowly opened the door and invited her into his room.
“Konatsu, sugar… I can’t promise that I will love you. I mean, I love Ranchan and I think I always will. I don’t know if there’s room for anyone else, even after he’s rejected me…” She refused to look him in the eye as she spoke. “But… well, I realize now that you really do deserve at least a chance… so… well… I… was wondering… would you… like to… do… something tomorrow night? With me?”
She finally looked up and was stunned by the absolutely radiant smile on Konatsu’s face. “With all my heart, Lady Ukyo.”
Ukyo grinned. “Okay. But I do have a few rules. One, no getting fresh on the first date. Two, wear comfortable clothes. Three, no calling me Lady Ukyo, all right? Just call me Ukyo.”
Konatsu nodded happily. “Yes, Lady Ukyo.”
Ukyo groaned. “Konatsu, what did I just tell you?”
Konatsu grinned. “That on a date, I was to call you Ukyo, not Lady Ukyo. But we’re not on a date right now.”
Ukyo laughed a little. ‘I never really realized that he had a sense of humor. How much have I been missing?’ “You got me there, Konatsu. Well, sleep well. Good night.” She stepped outside and tore up the letter, making sure to burn the remains.
“Good night, Lady Ukyo.” Konatsu destroyed his letter as well. It was the second happiest day of his life. The first was when he had met her.
“Again!” Katsuhito watched as Shampoo went through the intricate sword kata. One of her feet moved just a little too far. “Keep your balance. Begin again!”
Shampoo smiled through the sweat that was collecting on her face. “<Yes, grandfather.>”
Katsuhito slapped her gently on the rump with his bokken. “In Japanese, Shampoo.”
Shampoo nodded and started the kata again. “Yes, grandfather.”
Tenchi leaned against a tree as he watched Shampoo practice with his grandfather. Ayeka came up behind him. “She really is quite skilled, isn’t she?”
Tenchi nodded and smiled as something occurred to him. “You know, it’s kind of surprising how much our family has grown, isn’t it? First it was Ryoko, and then it was you and Sasami. Mihoshi, Washu, and now Shampoo and occasionally Mousse. I used to wish for a more exciting life.”
Ayeka smiled. “Be careful what you wish for. On Jurai, there is an ancient blessing that doubles as a curse. ‘May you live in interesting times’.”
Tenchi smiled. “These are definitely interesting times. And I wouldn’t trade them for anything.” Tenchi looked around. “Where is Mousse?”
Ayeka shook her head. “I am not sure. I believe he was running an errand for Yosho.” Katsuhito had yet to break Ayeka of the habit of calling him by his old name.
Cologne gazed at the pond that was a short distance away. This particular pond was just outside what was considered the border of the village. She approached it casually but made sure not to get too close. To any other observer, it would appear that she was just admiring the water. In reality, her senses were on high alert for watchers. When she felt it was safe, she knelt down in front of one duck in particular. The duck appeared to clean its wing, but with a flick of its bill it sent a rolled-up parchment flying into the Elder’s hands. In the blink of an eye, the paper was gone. She tossed another roll of paper to the duck and it vanished just as quickly. The duck took a moment to finish cleaning its wings and then took off.
Cologne walked casually to the hut of her granddaughter, Xibao. She was the village healer and was normally quite busy, but today training had been called off due to the approaching Champion’s tournament. Once inside, Cologne and Xibao sat down at a table and read over the letter.
After they finished reading, Cologne destroyed it with a small burst of ki.
“I am glad to hear that they are doing well,” Xibao commented using Amazon sign language. It was normally only used by warriors and enforcers, but she found it useful when talking to an Amazon who had been injured in the throat. Or for bypassing the law that said, “Exiled Amazons shall never be spoken of inside the village boundaries.”
“Yes,” Cologne responded in kind. It still hurt her that she would never be able to see her great-granddaughter as a member of the council. “I’m also rather proud of Mousse. He has actually found an Amazon male who he can respect, and because of that he has learned the patience he has needed for so long.”
Xibao sighed softly. “The council still has not learned of… him?”
Cologne nodded and made double sure that they were not being observed. “When your replacement is ready, I will make sure you have the chance to visit your family again.”
Xibao hugged the Elder tenderly. “Thank you, grandmother.”
‘It’s the least I can do after helping destroy your family, so long ago…’ Cologne thought sadly.
Ryoga was lost. Big surprise. He looked around the forest and sighed. It was starting to get dark and cold, wherever he was. “Guess I’ll set up camp.” He started going through his pack when something caught his eye. “Where the heck did this come from?” He asked as he drew a daikatana from his pack. It felt warm to the touch, which surprised him a little. “Hey, I wonder if this’ll cut firewood pretty good.” He walked up to a fallen tree and sliced it in half easily. “Great!” He cut a rather sizeable pile of wood before stopping. He leaned the sword up against his pack as he started building a fire.
He didn’t notice the sword glow softly. A tiny redheaded woman hopped out of the blade and glanced around in anger. “Oooo, when I get my hands on that… OH! She makes me so MAD.” She blinked in confusion. “Why am I talking like a child?” She looked down at herself. “Oh hell.”
Ryoga stopped in front of her. “Uh, who are you?”
The tiny girl gulped as she took in his fangs. ‘Oni blood for sure. That boy’s got to have had an ogre in his ancestry.’ “Uh, hi! I’m… uhm…” ‘I can’t tell him my real name… if the other demons find out I’m this weak, they’ll take advantage of me…’ “Higuchi!”
Ryoga knelt down before her. She was only six inches tall. “Higuchi? What are you?”
“I’m a… spirit… Yeah! That’s it! A spirit. I’m the spirit of this sword!” ‘There’s no way he’s dumb enough to buy that.’
“That’s neat. I’m Ryoga. Hibiki Ryoga. I just wander around a lot.”
Higuchi, formerly known as Gui Huo, tapped her chin. “Interesting. How would you like me to hang around with you for a while?” ‘With his ogre blood, I should be able to siphon off energy to replenish myself. Then I can get back to making my dear sister pay.’
Ryoga scratched his head. “I don’t know. What good are you?”
Higuchi kept smiling, despite the fact that she was grinding her teeth. “Well for one thing…” She threw a small fireball into the fire pit Ryoga had built. The flames ignited the wood and soon a cheery cooking fire was ready. “How’s that for starters?”
“That’s great! It’ll be nice to have some company for once.”
In shrine in Japan, a certain platinum-haired goddess (2nd class) leaned back and smiled at the monitor. “Now that’s a fine piece of work,” Urd commented to no one in particular. “When Ranma finally solved his fiancé problem, I was worried that the lovely little ‘Web of Love’ I had worked on for so long was going to fall apart. Fortunately that wonderful Ryoga boy just happened to be close enough for me to transfer it to him. And with that darling little nosebleed he keeps getting, it might even be more fun with him. Then there are all those wonderful new couples I’ve gotten started. That should keep me entertained for quite some time.”
She sighed as she checked the worksheet she had been given for this assignment. “1) Get a powerful set of allies for the Senshi. Done. I hope the sysadmin doesn’t mind me using that little half-demon for that. I’m just glad that Happosai is so easily influenced by women. Most people would react badly to a voice whispering in their ear ‘Read It’… at least anyone who’s ever read Alice In Wonderland…” She checked the next item. “2) Make sure Jurai is present for the battle. Hah, that was easy. 3) Do not interfere with the participants’ love lives. Well, that all depends on your definition of ‘interfere’.”
She flicked off the screen as she lay on her bed with a self-satisfied smirk. She should have left the monitor on just a bit longer.
Akane and Ranma stopped just outside the gates to the Tendo home. “So, did you call your family and tell them we were coming?” Ranma asked.
“No, I wanted to surprise them. Especially with this.” She gazed lovingly at the simple engagement ring Ranma had bought for her.
“Yes, Akane, it’s real.” Ranma smirked at her.
“I know, Ranma… I know. It’s just… it was finally our choice.”
“Yeah, no pops tryin’ ta push me into marrying an uncute tomboy, no cute fiancés hanging off of me left and right, no sexy demon’s trying to corrupt my soul. Well, actually she was kinda nice. Way nicer than you used to be. And cute. Did I mention sexy?“ Ranma didn’t get any further as he was sent over the wall via AirMallet.
“You insensitive jerk!” Akane yelled at him.
Inside the house, Nabiki looked up at the shout. “Sounds like the lovebirds are dropping by, Kasumi,” she commented idly as she strolled to the back yard. She could tell from the whistling sound that Ranma was about to make splashdown in the koi pond. “I guess some things never change, eh Saotome?”
Ranma, now a girl again, stood up and stepped out of the pond as she spit out some water. “Sheesh! We were doing a lot better a few days ago.” Ranma looked quizzically at Nabiki as the girl seemed to be staring past her. She noticed Akane come through the gate and stop to stare as well. “What?” Ranma turned around and saw her twin rise out of the koi pond.
“Mef me rf fucket.” The twin seemed to have a hard time speaking. She also seemed to be made out of water. Ranma noted idly that the pond was now empty. She stared blankly as the girl looked around and spotted a bucket of water near the pond. She reached into her mouth and pulled the koi out, dropping it into the container. “Bleh. That’s a nasty aftertaste.”
Her voice clinched it for Ranma. “YASHA!” The pigtailed martial artist dove for the girl.
Nabiki jumped at the cry and began to back up. She noticed Akane tapping her foot agitatedly nearby. “Sis, what is Ranma doing hugging someone that looks just like him that he just called a demon?
Akane looked over at her and smiled as if just noticing her. “Oh, sorry sis. What are you doing home? Oh, right… winter break for you too, huh?”
Nabiki’s eyebrow twitched a little. “Yeah. Now, as to my question?”
Akane sighed. “It’s a long story, Nabiki. We’ll tell everyone later. And her name is Yasha.”
“Another fiancé?” Nabiki asked knowingly.
Akane smirked, loving what she was about to do. “Nope. That’s been quite well taken care of.” She held up her hand to show Nabiki her engagement ring.
“No way! All right Akane!!! I won the bet!” Seeing Akane’s blank stare, Nabiki grinned. “There was a betting pool going on as to Ranma’s marital status changing while he was away. It was two-to-one in favor that you and he would willingly get engaged. It was straight even odds that he would remain single. I got a lot of sucker bets.”
Akane groaned. “I should have known.”
Meanwhile, Ranma was doing her best not to cry as she nearly crushed Yasha in a hug. “I thought you were dead!”
Yasha hugged back, although a bit confusedly. “I think I was. I remember lying next to a pool near Jusenkyo. Then, just as I faded out, I think a lightning bolt hit me. Everything’s fuzzy from there. Do the words ‘he loves you in ways I just can’t’ mean anything to you? And did you by any chance learn how to teleport?”
Ranma blinked. “So that was it. You were still inside of me! Boy, does that explain a few things. I thought I was goin’ nuts.”
Yasha laughed. “You are nuts, silly. But you’re a good kind of nuts.” She glanced over and noticed saw Akane. She ran over to her with Ranma in tow. “Hey, got a quickie question for ya. Can I get you alone for a moment?” She asked Akane.
“Sure.” She and Yasha moved off a little bit. “What is it? Oh, and I’m really glad you’re back, I think. Ranma was getting depressed over you.”
“Really?” Yasha blinked. “I’ve never had anyone who got anything over me… well, except for mad or in lust or stuff like that. This caring stuff sure is weird. Anyway, I wanted to ask you something… how can you do magic?”
Akane looked at her in confusion. “Jiejie taught me. Or Kyuusei or whatever she calls herself now.”
Yasha shook her head. “I could buy that as long as you two were fused or you had a demon inside of you. The problem is, I know every family line that has the genes needed for magical aptitude, girl, and yours isn’t one of them. When you lost your demonic power and the midget psychopath got kicked out of you, you should have been bone dry when it came to magic. Yet, I have a fuzzy recollection of you chuckin’ a lightning bolt during the fight a few days ago.”
Akane nodded and she waved her hands in front of her in an unsure way. “I don’t know. I just needed to do it, so I did it.”
Yasha was about to press for more information when the ring on Akane’s hand caught her eye. “All right!” She looked over at Ranma. “You quit wussin’ out!”
Ranma growled half-heartedly at her. “Toldja I was no coward. I just needed help clearin’ up the fiancé issue.”
Yasha smirked. “Glad to be of assist-.” Yasha stopped cold as Kasumi came out on the porch.
“Oh my. Ranma, Akane, you’re home and you have a guest! Oh, this is wonderful!” Kasumi smiled her most radiant smile.
One word escaped Yasha’s lips. “VERDANDI?”
The End… for Now…
Well, I hope that’s enough to make you want more. Please stay tuned for the sequel to Forbidden Empires. And thank you for coming along.
Dancing Imp (firstname.lastname@example.org)