Ranma 1/2 Fan Fiction / Sailor Moon Fan Fiction ❯ Permutation ❯ Chapter 3

[ T - Teen: Not suitable for readers under 13 ]

A Ranma ½ / Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon crossover

Chapter Three

Author’s note:

When fitting a story set in Japan to English prose, some compromises are necessary. As noted in the previous chapter, I’ve found using the occasional Japanese honorific to be unavoidable without clumsy circumlocutions. I’ve also found that, given how there is no direct translation, using the Japanese “kunoichi” in place of “female ninja” is desirable for reasons of textual flow. Hope no one minds.

Not my characters — Ranma ½ belongs to Takahashi Rumiko and Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon belongs to Takeuchi Naoko.

The kunoichi Konatsu was rooted to the floor with shock at Nodoka’s offer, but because he was a very good ninja, this state of affairs was short-lived. He opened his mouth and, after a few false starts, managed to squeak out, “Um, thank you for thinking of me, Saotome-sama, but I — I really couldn’t — I — Ukyo-sama — I mean, I already have plans — I mean —”

Nodoka fixed the kunoichi with an incredulous stare. “Do you mean to tell me you like other girls⁈”

Konatsu’s feminine appearance was enhanced as he blushed a fetching shade of brilliant red and, struck all but dumb with embarrassment, nodded. “S-sorry,” he whispered.

“Excellent!” beamed Nodoka. “I’ve been so worried that no one will be up to the task of satisfying my son’s manly needs when he is a girl.”

Everyone else, who had as one person taken a deep pull on their tea rather than get involved with the current conversation, erupted in a cacophony of coughing and spit-takes.

Nodoka looked puzzled. “I’m sorry, did I say something wrong? You must realize, since Ukyo-chan is promised to Ranma, this is the only way she and Konatsu-chan could honourably be with one another. Oh, it’s so easy to solve problems when everyone works together!”

Ukyo and Konatsu had by this point both locked up in shocked disbelief, advanced ninja skills or not. Finally they gave in and fainted, each with a great sense of relief.

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“…So, since the wedding was destroyed, everything stayed pretty much the way it had been before — except that your mother had already declared you to be ‘manly,’ so you no longer needed to worry about having to commit seppuku. Well, not because of your father’s stupid pledge, at least — it may still be the only way to resolve the fiancée mess.

“In any case, the Amazon and the chef expected you to be grateful that they had prevented your marriage to the angry girl Akane, in spite of the fact that you loved her and not them. You’re such a softie when it comes to girls that the closest you’ve come to telling them off for it is to give them the cold shoulder and avoid them, which neither of them has really noticed. Not surprising, as it’s been more of a ‘lukewarm shoulder’ coming from you.

“Then there’s the samurai-wannabe, Kuno Tatewaki. He’s now decided that attacking you with a real sword must be socially acceptable, since — at least in his warped mind — no one stopped him from doing so at the wedding, and he’s been doing it more and more often ever since.” Setsuna paused briefly. “That brings us up to date, I think. Do you have any questions?”

Ranma looked haggard. “I’ve got how many fiancées?” he asked plaintively.

Setsuna replied, “We’re not sure how many there are in total, but for the ones currently active in your life, you have two violent fiancées; a sexually predatory self-proclaimed wife; and two crazy people who are not technically engaged to you, but both of whom want to kill one of your forms and marry, or at least seduce, the other.”

“And nearly all my friends, relatives and fiancées have at one time or another tried to kill me.”

“Some were less serious about it than others, but that’s essentially correct.”

“Gaahh.” Ranma had to wonder how he’d ever stood such a life at all, much less for the years he’d apparently tolerated it. Just for a moment, he was uncharacteristically struck by a fervent wish that he could become someone else, so he wouldn’t have to go back.

“Yeah, that was pretty much what we said when we found out,” said Usagi, managing with an effort to sound light-hearted and cheerful, rather than like her actual state of nigh-incandescent outrage.

“Actually, if none of you knew me until those Sailor Soldier people handed me over to you, how DID you find out about all that? Nobody’s got a good enough memory to remember being told all that.”

Various girls held Nerima Martial Arts Review leaflets where Ranma could see them. They all had blurry pictures of martial artists on the cover. Michiru explained, “Sailor Pluto gave us a bunch of issues of this homemade magazine, which told us a lot, then she filled in the rest. She also warned us that going to Furinkan district to find out more in person would be really dangerous because of all the crazies. The fiancées, in particular, would be very hostile because we are mostly girls and they would assume we wanted to steal you. They’re apparently pretty paranoid about more competition showing up.”

“Gaahh.” Ranma was beginning to feel about going back to the Tendos the way a soldier feels about being sent behind enemy lines, only without the underlying assumption that it might achieve something.

“It could be worse. From the pictures, your fiancées are all very pretty,” said Usagi, trying to lighten the mood.

Ranma twitched, and reached for his tea.

“And it’s so romantic that they’re all willing to fight for you!” gushed Minako.

Ranma choked in mid-sip.

“Um, I think you guys should quit while you’re behind,” suggested Haruka absently. She was still rather taken aback at the idea that the phoney-looking pictures in the Nerima Martial Arts Review were apparently genuine. Even knowing Setsuna as well as she did, it was a difficult idea to swallow in one go.

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The Murphy’s Law Gremlin tried again to penetrate the aura of orderly goodness that was keeping it out of the Outers’ house. Finally it remembered where it had seen this before, and gave up. It knew it had no hope of getting past the Silver and Golden Crystals unless the Crystals were focused on something else.

It gave a very human shrug and turned back towards Nerima. It had its hands full keeping the Nerima Wrecking Crew off balance anyway. Still, things could have been a lot worse for it — people like Nodoka and Happosai just made its job so easy in some ways.

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“We still need to think of ways we can help Ranma,” Ami reminded the others. “Or at least ways the Sailors can help him.”

“Panda flambé sounds good,” said Rei menacingly. “I’m sure Sailor Mars would agree.”

Pervert flambé first, I think,” said Minako with a shudder.

“Which pervert?” smirked Haruka, her attention once more fully on the conversation. “They’ll be kind of spoilt for choice there.”

I think Sailor Moon should purify them all with the Silver Crystal,” said Usagi firmly.

“Why does Ranma have to go back at all?” asked Hotaru timidly, tugging at Michiru’s sleeve.

“Well, he’s got a life to go back and continue, but actually, that’s a good point,” said Michiru. “Ranma could probably finish school here with fewer problems than if he went back, and it’s not like there’s any kind of time limit on all those entanglements of honour. Some breathing space might help him sort them out.”

“Okay, I guess, but what about the Amazons? And it sounds kinda like running away from my problems. That’s something the panda would do. I don’t want to be like that,” said Ranma.

“We know you have to go back, but you could always do it later, like after you finish school or something. Maybe by then some of them would have given up on you,” suggested Mamoru.

Thoughtfully, Setsuna answered, “The problem with that idea is that we have no way to hide Ranma for very long. All the loonies are only one ward away, and they probably know where to start looking for him — everyone knows where the Sailor Soldiers spend most of their time, after all. Sailor Pluto warned us that many of the people over there we’ve been talking about seemed quite resourceful, and I wouldn’t be surprised if some busybody shows up in this neighbourhood within the week. We might be able to do something about that with the Sailors’ help, though… What do you think, Ranma? Do you want to try to get some breathing space in your life?”

“Ummm… let me think about it. I’m not sure. Actually, I’ll be right back.” Ranma got up from the table and scurried upstairs towards the bathroom. Answering the call of nature provides a perfect time for introspection, after all.

Ami watched him go. “Now’s probably a good time for Sailor Mercury to show up,” she said quietly to the others. “If he asks where I’ve gone, just tell him I had to go home.” She got up too, and headed for the kitchen closet to transform.

Just as she came back out as Sailor Mercury, Ranma came hurtling down the stairs again, looking distraught. “What happened⁈” he cried out, then suddenly came to a screeching halt in front of Mercury. He looked at her with a comically bewildered expression on his face, tilting his head to one side and then the other. He looked around at everyone else as though he were counting them, then turned back to her and asked incredulously, “Ami? Is that really you?”

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Back in Nerima, the discussion had finally gotten back on track. Cologne was suggesting that Shampoo, as a skilled tracker, ought to go to the zoo where Ranma had gone missing, to see if she could pick up the Sailors’ trail. “And if Happi and I go with her, we might be able to sense their magic,” she added.

“Hotcha! Sweet li’l Shampoo, all to myself!” cried Happosai joyously. “Let me give you a big hug to celebrate!” He launched himself at Shampoo’s bosom, only to be pulled up short by Cologne’s staff, which was suddenly inserted through the back of his gi.

“Can’t you control yourself even for five minutes?” she asked him irritably.

The shrivelled old pervert put one hand to his chin, his eyes rolling back in deep thought as he considered the question from all angles. “Nope!” he said at last, cheerfully.

“Yeurgh,” shuddered all the girls present, including Konatsu.

“Anyway, I suppose that’s a good idea, but you should take Konatsu with you,” said Ukyo. “Better yet, we’ll all go. That way if we find them, we can all see first hand what’s going on.”

“And maybe get some autographs?” suggested Kasumi with a hopeful look. Akane rolled her eyes in exasperation.

“Yeah!” agreed Konatsu eagerly, flushing pinkly at being so forward, but far too excited to sit any more quietly.

Yeah, like on this contract I drew up… thought Nabiki to herself, grinning, eyes a-sparkle with barely contained avarice. I still can’t believe I got Daddy to sign it for me without even reading it. I’m going to be so rich! It honestly never occurred to her that the Sailors might not be old enough to sign a binding contract either, though all of them save Pluto were in that very situation.

“Well, what are we waiting for? Let’s go find the boy and make him do his duty!” Genma blustered self-importantly.

“Quite so, Saotome!” agreed Soun. “We’ll make him sort out his fiancée situation tomorrow, and we’ll see the schools united by Tuesday afternoon!”

“And then he can take his wife and all his mistresses on a honeymoon, and see about making me some grandchildren!” agreed Nodoka, with little stars in her eyes. The girls and Konatsu all twitched and/or flinched, but didn’t dare say anything for fear of setting her off again. “There’s just one thing I don’t understand…”

“Yes, dear? What’s that?” asked Genma. It seemed a harmless enough question. She was, after all, going on about grandchildren again.

“What was all that about… cats?” she asked, her forehead creasing in puzzlement.

“Yes, do tell, Uncle!” chirped Nabiki, with a malicious smirk.


“Cute li’l pandas don’t keep cats!” read Genma’s sign, as he played with a red and yellow beach ball.

“I suppose I should have expected that,” Nodoka reflected philosophically. Everyone else, including Genma, nodded in agreement.

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The Sailors and Mamoru were all staring at Ranma, aghast. How had he seen through the disguise field? If anyone else learned how to do that, their families could be in danger!

He spoke up again, still addressing the dumbstruck Sailor Mercury. “You have to be Ami. I didn’t feel anyone’s aura come in or out of the house, and you’re the only one missing,” he said suspiciously. “I know it has to be you, so why can’t I bring your face to mind?”

The others just stared, completely lost at this revelation. He couldn’t penetrate the disguise field, but he still knew who she was?

“How did you know?” asked Mercury, finally finding her voice. There didn’t seem to be much point in staying in uniform, so with a flicker of blue lights, she changed back to her civilian guise.

“Well, I was just upstairs, which is still close enough to feel everyone’s aura. Yours went apart from the others, then suddenly got a lot bigger and changed somehow. I couldn’t seem to focus on it enough to tell why, just like I couldn’t seem to remember your face just now, but I knew something big was going on. So, what was all that about? Why were you dressed in that weird cheerleader’s outfit?”

“Cheerleader⁈” exclaimed most of the girls, affronted.

“Never mind about that, this is important,” said Setsuna. “Ranma, if anyone finds out that Ami is Sailor Mercury, her friends and family could be endangered by her enemies. Will you swear on your honour to never reveal her identity to anyone?”

“Huh? Well, yeah, of course, I’m not going to put anyone in danger,” he said. “So that was a Sailor Soldier uniform, was it? And you all knew who she was. Are you all Sailors too?”

The tension in the room could have been cut with a knife.

Finally, Usagi broke it. “I say we trust him,” she said. “Yes, Ranma, we are the beautiful sailor-suited defenders of love and justice, the Sailor Soldiers. Now that you know —”

“Wait, wait,” said Ranma, “Are you telling me he wears a Sailor suit too⁈” He was pointing at Mamoru.

“Certainly not!” snapped the reborn Prince of Earth.

“He wears a tuxedo, Ranma,” said Ami patiently. “Usagi was trying to say something important. If anyone else learns our identities, it could potentially doom the whole world. We’ve stopped invasions from other worlds and other dimensions on several occasions, and no one else could have done it. We must remain hidden from view when we are not actively fighting evil, or anything could happen.”

“I understand. I’ll keep your secrets,” said Ranma solemnly. He smirked. “From what Setsuna told us about that guy who turns into a pig, it’ll be a nice change to keep a secret that won’t be used against me.”

Everyone else smiled back, as the tension eased away. “That it will, oh yes,” said Setsuna. “Now, Ami was going to scan you…”

“Already started,” put in Ami “and… hmm, interesting. Could you change forms a few times please, Ranma?” She had pulled the Mercury Computer out of hyperspace and was studying the display intently.

“Um, okay,” said Ranma. “I’ll need water…”

“Here you go,” said Hotaru bashfully, handing him a couple of thermos flasks. “The purple one is the hot water.”

“Thanks, Hotaru-chan.”

Splash! Ranma went female.

“Huh. Wasn’t expecting that. Again please?” asked Ami.

Splash! Back to male.

Splash! Female again. “Like that?” Ranma asked.

“Yes, I think that should do it. Did anyone remember to bring Ranma a towel?”

“Here’s the one out of the kitchen,” said Michiru as she handed it over. “So what did you find out?”

“Yeah, what weren’t you expecting? That wasn’t exactly reassuring, you know,” said Ranma as she blotted herself dry. Just as she finished, she realized that she’d forgotten to turn male first. After a moment, she decided it didn’t matter. After all, “I’ve grown since then. Now I’m both,” aren’t I… and why not?

Though no one was in any position to notice just yet, the reëmergence of her enormous self-confidence after her mental healing was plainly having effects on Ranma that not even Usagi would ever have expected.

“Well, I set the computer to see what it could find out about the magic that’s been used on you, and also to scan your brain to see what exactly happened when they healed you,” Ami began.

“So what was unexpected?” asked Minako.

“Well, it looks like the magic of the curse was modified by the Silver Crystal, and even before that I think the transformation was more thorough than you would expect,” she answered. “Normally a magical transformation leaves traces at some level of the original form, but Ranma’s is complete and accurate right down to the DNA.”

Setsuna spoke up. “From what I saw of his past, Ranma originally retained a male mind in her female form.”

“Ah, that makes sense. That must be what the Silver Crystal changed about it. Usagi, what exactly did you try to do with the Crystal?”

“I tried to focus on prodding her mind back into a healthy human shape instead of a cat shape. I couldn’t just tell it to ‘make her normal,’ or she’d have ended up like some kind of clone of those fashion-obsessed girls at the mall. I could tell from her clothes that that wouldn’t have been right for her.”

“Gaahh.” Ranma was less than pleased to hear how close she’d come to being, as she saw it, a living zombie.

“There you are, then. A gender mismatch between mind and body is unhealthy, so the Crystal fixed it. Ah, that must be what this reading means! I think Ranma was adapting to being female even with a male mind, so the Crystal had a ready template to work from when it made his girl side fully female.”

Ranma looked horrified. “Fully fe— I’m not going to start liking GUYS, am I? Ewwwww!”

“From the scan of your mind, I doubt it. It didn’t actually make you any different, just more comfortable with yourself, mostly. Your guy side is still 100% male. It looks like the Crystal fixed a bunch of other stuff too — Setsuna said you’d had things like ‘men don’t cry’ beaten into you all your life, but you cried freely with us in the bathroom. It looks like the harmful block against expressing emotions was removed.”

“Up to a point, I guess,” she agreed, “but I still wouldn’t cry in company if I was feeling halfway normal. That was kind of an extreme situation.”

“Okay, but if he’s had all his unhealthy mental blocks removed, why does he still get nervous when girls are nice to him? That’s not healthy,” put in Makoto.

“Hmm. Good question. Usagi, could you hold out the Silver Crystal? I’d like to see if it kept a record. Yeah, like that. Scanning…” There was a brief pause as the two Silver Millennium artefacts “discussed” matters, for lack of a better phrase. Being almost entirely magical in nature, the communion that was taking place was almost indescribable in most twentieth-century human languages. “Okay, it says here the Crystal cross-checked all his reflexes against his memories to make sure they made sense, and that one was retained because nearly all his memories of girls showed it was a necessary defensive reaction.”

“Good grief,” said Rei. “What did they DO to him?”

“Basically, one or more of his suitors would latch onto him, and then the others would blame him for being groped instead of the offending party for groping him,” said Setsuna. “They were all very violent in expressing their displeasure, too. Either that, or two or three of them would grab him and pull in opposite directions, HARD, trying to take possession… as though he were a highly sought-after piece of merchandise with an about-to-be-cancelled 90% markdown, or something.”

“Gaahh.” Uncharacteristically, Ranma once again found herself wishing that she could become someone else, so she wouldn’t have to go back. Her old life sounded like a montage of scenes from a madhouse!

“I couldn’t agree more. What a bunch of crazies!” said Haruka sympathetically, inadvertently agreeing with Ranma’s thoughts as well as her words.

“Yeah…” Ranma looked distracted. “Um, when you guys were talking about the Sailors using their powers on all the people who treated me badly, you meant yourselves, right?” She rubbed her chin thoughtfully.

“Well, yeah… does it matter?” asked Rei.

“I just had an idea. A really weird idea…”

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Back in the Furinkan district of Nerima, in a large mansion, a dispute was taking place.

“Honestly, brother dearest, I don’t understand how even one of your low intellect can be so obsessed with a pair of peasant girls.” The speaker was Kuno Kodachi, and she was addressing her brother Tatewaki, whom she had interrupted while he was “viewing” (drooling over) the risqué pictures of Akane and girl-Ranma he had just bought that afternoon from Nabiki.

“It is no stranger, my twisted sibling, than your inexplicable infatuation with that low-born dog Saotome Ranma,” he shot back.

“What I do with my darling Ranma-sama is no concern of yours.”

“No more is what I do with my two loves any concern of yours!”

“You really ought to just pick one, you know. You can’t marry them both.”

Tatewaki went cross-eyed as he tried to process that. There was a strong smell of scorched hair. Finally his brain reset itself and he counterattacked: “Was there a point to this conversation, O sister mine?”

“There was, but I couldn’t resist the large target you provide people for teasing.”

“Well? Pray get on with it!”

“I have hired a private investigator to observe the home where my darling Ranma-sama is held captive by his father’s dreadful pact with that Tendo trollop —”

“We might conclude this conversation some time this year if you dispensed with the editorial comments.”

“Excuse me. The important part is, the investigator just called me. My poor Ranma-sama has disappeared, and so has the red-haired strumpet! She is probably working her wicked ways on him in some seedy back room as we speak!”

“It is more likely that he has forced the poor girl into a love hotel or something equally salacious. We must find them at once!”

“The investigator also said that the other fiancées and their associates have gathered there to plan a search. We must succeed before they do!”

“For once we are in agreement. We must learn what they know. To the Tendo Dojo, and quickly!”

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“Are you sure you want to try that, Ranma? What if it doesn’t work?” Minako was torn between conspiratorial glee and honest concern for the Sailors’ latest protégée.

“Then… I guess we’ll just have to try hiding me here. Setsuna, what ideas did you have for that?”

“In a crisis, you can hide for a day or two at one of our planetary castles, but they haven’t been lived in for thousands of years, so I’m not sure how comfortable that would be. For day-to-day living, I think a better approach would be for you to borrow Usagi’s disguise pen, and go to school here under an assumed name. Since you used to hate being female but you have no objections to it now, I’d suggest going as a girl to throw them even further off the trail.”

“Hmm. That sounds like it would work, though I dunno about going to school as a girl — what would I do about gym class? — but the disguise part sounds good. How about it, Usagi? What do you think?”

“I think your idea is way too funny not to try, and it’ll work even better if you use the disguise pen for that too. Sure, you can use it,” she said. “Here you go.” She handed over a small rod.

“Great!” There was a pause. “Um, how do I use it?”

Usagi smiled. “Just hold it over your head and say, ‘MOON POWER! Transform into,’ and then whatever you want to disguise yourself as.”

“Oh, okay. Ami, what was that one called that we decided on, again?”

Ami spoke a name.

“Right!” Ranma held the pen above herself and said the magic words. The others all grinned approvingly as she took on the guise of…

“Look out, fiancées and fat pandas! I’m Sailor Europa, and in the name of the Moon, I’ll punish you!” Everyone else broke up laughing.


Latest revision as of ☿ 2008/04/09

Why Sailor Europa? Well, it made sense to me that Ranma would have an affinity for water, and Europa (Jupiter’s fourth-largest moon) is popularly speculated to have liquid oceans under all the ice. In the 2001 series of books, Arthur C. Clarke postulates the existence of life around hydrothermal vents on the Europan seabed. If that were true, we’d have both hot and cold water in one place, and it stands to reason that a place with life on it would get a Sailor guardian before one that’s dead. Since they’ve made the whole thing up just to play a joke on the Nerima Wrecking Crew, they were able to pick a very appropriate celestial body.

I should also mention that, yes, I know the whole “disguise field” thing is based in fanon rather than canon. (In the original manga, several people the Sailors know recognize them when they are in uniform, though they apparently all decide to keep it to themselves.) I just thought it would be more fun this way.