Sailor Moon Fan Fiction / Ranma 1/2 Fan Fiction / Mahou Sensei Negima! Fan Fiction ❯ In the Shadow of the Moon ❯ Chapter 34 - Colliding Worlds ( Chapter 34 )

[ T - Teen: Not suitable for readers under 13 ]
Let's see, Blond hair, light colored eyes, dark skin tone, and inherent clumsiness outside of their area of expertise. In Mihoshi's case that area must be causing an astonishing amount of chaos.... :)

stay tuned after the end of chapter notes for an omake

single quotes (' ') denote thoughts or telepathy
forward slashes (/ /) denote translated speech

Disclaimer: I don't own any of the series mentioned in this story. This story is created solely for entertainment and no intention of profit.

Chapter 34 - Colliding Worlds

Ranma was surprised when Kari asked him to get Kaede, Ku Fei and the Narutakis from their room and meet in Tomoyo-sensei's room for breakfast. All the girls seemed just as puzzled by the request, but the Narutaki's especially seemed happy at the invitation to free food.

When they arrive in the room they find the suite's current residents, Syaoran's party, the Tendo girls, Kari, Akiri, Paru, Kazumi and Saotomi Hakase all waiting with grins, in Mana's case a small smile. Leading to even more confusion.

The answer to the puzzle came in the form of a strawberry cake with fifteen candles being presented to Ku Fei accompanied by a round of congratulations. Tomoyo hugs the wildly blushing girl. "We missed your birthday yesterday. So Sakura and I decided to make it up to you this morning."

The twins somehow divide their attention between the food set out on the table and eagerly dragging their blond haired friend to the waiting stack of presents at one end. Obiru on the other hand happily bounced over to the other cabbits and food.

Tomoyo, as hostess, settles everyone around the long table she had setup. Nabiki and Kazumi with their cameras remained standing as the guest of honor was cajoled into opening her gifts.

From the small stack of presents, she seemed to most enjoy the matching green silk cheongsam dress and gold wrist bracers she received from Tomoyo and Kari. The latest model of nikuman robot for Chao Bao Zi made by Hakase had to be pulled off the still smiling girl.

Kasumi giggles while helping the girl up. "Did you get a chance to speak with your parents?"

"I talk with them on phone from Hong Kong yesterday morning." The girl replies with a grin. "I was to have dinner with my sponsor, Rockbell-sensei, last night, but she happy I spend evening with friends. She has company here at academy for first time so they come on tour this evening. I see her then."

"I first met Ku Fei when Rockbell-sensei brought her along to the robotics club meeting." Hakase smiles sadly. "Chao-san was the one to bring us together."

"Well Ku Fei-chan can I get your opinion on Rockbell-sensei's work." Li-sensei says, trying to keep the atmosphere light. "We are trying to convince Kurogane-san to go see her about his arm."

"The arms and legs she make is amazing." The girl bounces up with an eager gleam in her eye. "I see one she make for Edward Oji-san. You hardly tell they not real when he wear gloves, Aru."

"You know Rockbell-sensei's husband?" Kari asks with a grin.

"Before parents marry Father travel all over world with both brothers. Al Oji-san always call father 'short round' " Ku fei giggles. "My father always say anyone in Kuramitsu clan is taller than either of the Jones bean sprouts." The girl smiles sadly "Except me, mother not tall so I likely not either, Aru."

"Hey your still taller than us." The Twins still sitting on each side of her cheer in stereo. "We are older than you and we still have a growth spurt coming."

"Wait your father's family name is Kuramitsu. Is he from Japan?" Nabiki interjects. "Why do you go by the family name of Ku then?"

"Father's name Kuramitsu Mikaro. He say his family run big business, but no say where, Aru." The girl smiles wistfully. "He say he black sheep, he set out looking for adventure and to master every martial art he find. Mother's name Ku Ri and I take her family name."

Ranma develops a slight nervous twitch in his cheek. "Why did you take your mother's family name?"

"Was tradition in mother's village, girls take mother family name." Ku Fei simply shrugs. "Father no mind. He happy mother leave village with him over great grandmother Ku Lon objection."

Ranma's eyes get very wide at this. "Your related to elder Ku Lon?"

Ku Fei nods. "Father traveling with Elric brothers to mother's village looking into legend of princess Li Yoru. She daughter of goddess Artemis and ruled tribe for many centuries. They thought she might be Homun.... homu.. not real person. They meet great grandmother who is princess' granddaughter and mother say she is now three hundred. They believe story then."

The girl looks at the table sadly. "I never meet now because mother banished from village when she choose to leave with father."

Ku Fei looks up to see Ranma with his head in his hands. "Anything is possible Ku Fei-chan" Kari says with a wink. "Would you like to go out to dinner with us on friday?" The girl just looks at the young woman in puzzlement.

Tomoyo had lead Kurogane off to the side out of Ranma's earshot earlier. Several minutes of quiet discussion later she lead him back to the group. "Kari-chan, would you and Hakase-chan take Kurogane-san and the others with you to Winry-san's office this morning? I would but I have an interview in a few hours."

Kari had just agreed when there was a knock on the door. Li-sensei quietly whispers to Kasumi she might enjoy going along as well. Tomoyo opened the door and escorted in her new guests. Mana quickly jumped to her feet and dragged Kaho off to the side before she could be properly introduced to the group. Leaving Kotaro to be greeted by the rest.

Kotaro declines getting anything to eat saying Chizuru had made him eat a good breakfast before leaving their suite. He does however congratulate Ku Fei on her birthday, sheepishly apologizing for not brining a gift.

Mana finally allowed Kaho to be introduced to the group. Showing more than a little surprise when Li-sensei introduced Tatsumiya Kaho as her own aunt. Sakura only winked at the young woman and said not to expect favoritism by being her cousin. The black cat now sitting in Sakura's lap rolled its eyes at this.

Kotaro cleared his throat to get Mana's attention. "I actually came here to talk with you about a job Mana Taichou." Seeing the older girl's affirmative nod he continues. "The headmaster wants you to check out a new shop this odd bird Urahara is opening up." Kotaro was looking at Mana, but Ranma noticed the cat in Sakura's lap perk up.

"What kind of store would he need me to inspect?" Mana asks with a raised eyebrow.

Kotaro glances around the room to verify everyone present is in the know about the hidden world. "Apparently he deals with equipment and supplies for demon hunters and exorcists. I get to keep track of all the paperwork for the magic association, but they want you to verify the quality of his goods."

Mana shrugs nonchalantly at this. "Meet me at the practice field after school. We can leave from there." Kotaro nods and turns to leave.

He does not make it out without getting a hug and a slice of cake from Ku Fei, accepting both with only mild embarrassment. Ranma quickly finishes his food and tries to follow after Kotaro. A cough from Kari halts him, and a moment later Ranko wearing her school uniform chases after the boy.

Fortunately for Ranko, Kotaro had not been in a hurry and she caught up with him before he was too far from the dormitory. Inhoshi bounces onto his shoulder, Kotaro glances at her and keeps walking. "Listen Kotaro, I just want to apologize for Kari-nee, Akiri-chan and I joking with you so much." Ranko pleads while placing a hand on the boy's shoulder.

Kotaro sighs and turns to face her. "I guess I can forgive you Ranko-nee, but why do all of you keep trying to embarrass me?"

Ranko looks down and grinds her shoe in the sidewalk. "I really am sorry if I made you uncomfortable Kotaro-kun. I just feel really at ease around you. You and Negi-sensei are the first boys, of nearly any age, I have been around that don't leer at me. I still have nightmares sometimes about boys" Shudder."trying to paw me."

Kotaro blinks at this. "What about Konatsu-nii-san?"

Ranko smiles and brushes a stray hair back behind her ear. "Konatsu-chan doesn't count. I first thought he was a girl, and he only has eyes for Ukyo anyway."

The three of them begin walking down the street with Inhoshi, now on Kotaro's head, happily humming away. "So then what is up with Kari-nee and Akiri-chan."

Ranko giggles for a bit, but finally sobers looking at the boy. "In her own words, 'Kotaro-chan is just too cute.' "

This of course earns a round of protests from the boy about being called chan. Ranko settles him down a bit and explains. "If you were older, I would say you had the strong, bad boy image all sewn up." Ranko chuckles a bit at the boy's grimace, which to her looks more like a pout. "But when girls look at a younger boy like you playing the tough, and I know you are strong Kotaro, they just have this impulse to try and comfort what they see as a lonely child."

"That is the way I know Kari feels because she had a very lonely childhood herself, and the impulse just carries over to Akiri." Ranko really struggles to keep from hugging the boy as his pout grows deeper. "If you asked her to stop, I know she would, but I have never heard you ask."
Kotaro settles for an indeciferable mumble as a response and the two continue in companionable silence. After walking for a while Ranko notices something and barley keeps from giggling again. In front of them are two girls, wearing the same uniform she is, flanking a boy wearing the boys high school uniform. What catches Ranko's eye is that the boy walks with an almost military precision and Kotaro consciously or not seems to be trying to mimic it.

The older boy's generally nondescript japanese appearance is only highlighted by one girl's cerulean blue hair and the other's silver white. Ranko finally looses her fight with giggles when Kotaro cringes at overhearing the blue haired girl insist the other two should buy one of the Angel Eggs that are on sale at the Piffle Princess store they are coming up to.

Ranko laughs seeing the display of a life sized white angel wearing fanciful armor, and laughs harder when Kotaro grumbles about never being caught dead inside of that store.

Kotaro looked anywhere else and started whistling when Eva, accompanied by Chachamaru carrying bags with telltale wing logos, walked out of the store. Because of this he spotted someone wearing a long coat on a nearby rooftop pointing a rifle towards the gynoid, just before the boy in front knocked her to the ground. Grabbing Ranko's sleeve he points to the roof and possible snipper.

Kotaro stumbles from vertigo when a moment later they are standing behind the would be assailant. Before the boy could ask what she had done, Ranko jumps forward and kicks the rifle out of the persons hands, knocking it across the roof.

Kotaro really wanted to groan at this point. Wearing a trench coat like out of a bad spy movie was bad enough. When the person turned around, dropping coat, she was revealed to be wearing a black suit and shades like some sort of matrix agent reject.

The woman simply grinned at the red haired girl. "Hmm, you would be Himura Ranko then. I have heard you are good." This was followed by what to most people would be a lightning fast dash and punch aimed at the girl. To Ranko it was impressively quick, but still easy to dodge.

Not knowing what threat level the woman might actually pose, Ranko decided to go on the attack. Ranko was rewarded for this when the woman flipped and skidded back along the roof after taking a punch even Ryoga should have felt, all the while still smiling.

Ranko decided to end this quickly and dashed in for a combo of hits with amaguriken speeds knocking the woman back. Ranko was getting ready to finish it with a spinning kick when the air around the woman shimmered. Instead of contacting the woman at full extension, the kick contacted something midway with a metallic clunk and Ranko was blasted back several feet.

Ranko quickly rolled to a ready stance prepared to face a counter attack. Instead she found the other woman immobilized. Off to the side of the building a black void seems to appear in the air and a blond man wearing a what looks like a metal martial arts helmet sticks his head out.

"Yo Kotaro-kun sorry about the trouble. I can handle this one from here." The man shouts to the boy, Ranko simply gapes.

"Hey Kurz-nii, This Nee-san one of your group?" Kotaro shouts while pointing at the woman.

"Why do you ask?" The man replies.

Kotaro explains "Well Tessa is your commander right, so I thought Nee-san might have thought Chacha-nee was a threat, but then the Nii-san with her would not have tried to get our friend to cover."

The man named Weber grumbles something unintelligible, and likely not repeatable around young children. "In a manner of speaking yes." He finally replies.

Kotaro still feels a need to shout apparently as he continues. "You know the headmaster ain't happy about having you guys here for extra security. He'll blow a gasket if one of your team keeps harassing students like that."

"You don't have to remind me." The man groans. "I'll let her explain this to Mao, and we will get it taken care of." The man glances at his watch. "Anyway I think you kids have about ten minutes left to get to school on time. Let me handle this lady."

Ranko glances at her watch and discovers there is even less time than that. Before Kotaro could blink Ranko grabbed him again and they both vanish from the roof top.

The man turns to the woman still trapped in his Arm Slave's hand. "So your Wraith then?" The woman's only response was to grin at him. "You know you might not want to try your games with Sousuke here." Glancing at his damage console he continues. "I don't really think I would want to play around with a kid whose kicks set off reactive armor meant to stop high velocity rounds.

The woman's only response is to look in the direction of St. Ursula's Girls High School as she whispers "subarashii".

Ranko shivered as she set Kotaro down in an alley near the elementary school. She looked at the now very quiet boy and was begining to worry about him, until he suddenly shouted.

"That technique rocks Ranko-nee. I know we just moved at least eight blocks and no way was that a straight line with all the buildings in the way. Or when you moved us behind that lady." Ranko could only chuckle at the sudden change in demeanor. "Is it like instant movement? Can you teach me?"

"It is a teleportation ability Obaa-san gave me Kotaro. I did not even know until I tried, that I could take someone with me." Ranko grins at the now eager boy. "I don't know if it can be taught, but I am sure if anyone can learn it you can. We can try tonight at Kari-nee's place."

Ranko smiles at the boys eager nod. "Now how do you know that guy?"

"Oh Kurz-nii, he works for some group called Mithril that Tomoyo-nee's company hired to help with security" Kotaro says offhandedly. "With the job Noriko-obaa-chan got me I took care of getting the contracts to the group's commander for the headmaster, That silver haired Nee-chan we saw earlier, and he was at the meeting."

"And the trick with appearing out of thin air and capturing that woman?" Ranko's eyebrow twitches, while she tries desperately to control her voice.

"Oh, he was in this huge robot that can turn invisible." The boy shrugs. "I think we could take it easy."

Ranko boggles for a moment trying to come to terms with Kotaro's uninterested manner before sighing. "Anyway, for the moment though we both need to get to school." Ranko says before disappearing with a wave.

------------

Back at the dormitory Tomoyo had seen all of the younger girls off to school. Before Kaho and Yoruichi left, the cat confronted all three women. "Who should I thank for bringing Kisuke to Mahora City." The cat growled out.

"I don't believe any of us asked him to come Yoruichi-san." Sakura replied mildly. "Could he have decided something interesting was going on here, since you visit several times a year?" The woman turned cat grumbled and left with the grinning Kaho.

Now Tomoyo watched as her best friend prepared to leave for school herself. Watching Sakura get at least a chance to see her child one last time made financing the Elric brother's last expedition worth more than any amount of money. The relic they retrieved for her had been half the price Yuko had asked to make sure that Syaoran-kun and his friends made one last stop in this world even though he was no longer connected to this timeline.

The other half had been when Tomoyo-hime, from Kurogane's Nihon country, had surrendered her gift as Tsukuyomi it was transfered to her instead. As the witch of dimensions put it she should have understanding to balance her power as an enchantress.

Tomoyo definitely could sympathize with her friend walling herself away from knowing the future now. To know how the future would turn out even short periods of time ahead proved to be extremely painful when she could do nothing to change it.

Tomoyo felt that pain like a knife at the moment. There was nothing she could do to change the fact that in the future Syaoran would return with Sakura's counterpart to the desert world of clow country and never see his mother again.

Li-sensei leaves the dormitory after giving her son one last hug good by. Tomoyo walks with her to the door. "Never doubt you did the right thing Sakura." Tomoyo whispers to her as she walks off to the school.

Returning to the group preparing to leave for the university she grins at Syaoran. "Toya is not going to let you leave without visiting him Syaoran-kun." Earning a groan from the young man.

"He does care about you." Tomoyo says with a smile. "You can't blame him for being a little hard on the boy he had to give his little sister up to." Syaoran's protests were cut off when she pointed to the girl standing next to him, causing both women and Mokona to laugh. That Sakura happily latched onto his arm, took some of the sting away. The three other women and two men in the group hid their amusement poorly.

Tomoyo handed Syaoran a card with a number on it. "Here is his cell phone number, be sure to call after you are done working with Winry-san. He has a delivery to make to the Nekohanten and will give you a ride there."

"Will Yukito be there as well?" The young man asks cautiously.
The enchantress grins. "Did you think he or Nakuru would let you leave without at least saying hello?"

Kari and Hakase lead the group off to the university. The grumbling boy being gently consoled by Sakura. Tomoyo simply smiles and puts on tea to share with her next guest.

Just as the tea was finished steeping there is a knock at the door to her suite. Opening the door Tomoyo invites the young woman in. "It is a pleasure to meet you Asami-san."

The light brown haired woman bows. "I can't thank you enough for giving me this exclusive interview Diadoji-san."

Tomoyo chuckles while offering her guest a seat and pouring tea. "Well a good way to start would be if you would let me call you Shoko-san, and you may call me Tomoyo. What would you like to talk about?"

"Thank you Tomoyo-san." The young reporter laughs. "I think the first question would be why a successful fashion designer would announce her retirement immediately after her highest rated show to date, and then take a job managing a dorm at a boarding school. Even one like Mahora Academy."

"Well since your older sister married Icchan earlier this year, I loved your coverage of the wedding by the way, you should know that the Diadoji Toy Company is the parent company for Piffle Princess." Tomoyo says with a grin at the younger woman. "As the CEO I thought it would be best for me to be here to oversee the setup for the special event we are doing for the fourth annual Angelic Layer national championships."

"As for why I became manager of this dormitory." Tomoyo leans forward and begins to whisper conspiratorially. "I am thinking about settling down. My adoptive daughter and her best friend, who happens to be the daughter of a widower I have had my eye on for several years, both go to school here."
Shoko gapes for a moment. "I had not heard you had adopted a child. When did this occur."

Tomoyo glances down at her wrist watch. "The documents were finalized and filed when the records office opened at Tocho an hour ago. Though I have been planning to adopt Setsuna for several years now, with my travel schedule I felt she would be happier here at the academy." The raven haired woman laughs. "I actually met Eishun because Setsuna was a ward of his family."

"I take it Eishun-san is the father of your child's best friend." Shoko asks politely, while quickly typing notes on her PDA.

"Yes Konoka is his daughter. She is also the granddaughter of the school's headmaster." Tomoyo reaches across the table and takes the other woman's hand. "Her birthday is tommorow and I am planning a party for her. Please if you and your sister's family could attend I would be most grateful."

"I would be honored Tomoyo-san." The younger woman bows in her seat. "I am sure my sister and her family will be pleased as well."

---------------------

At the university science building Kari and Hakase lead the group up to a lab that appears to take up a large portion of the ground floor of the building. Kurogane notices the sign on the door proclaims, Winry Rockbell - Prosthetics Research Department Head.

Hakase knocks on the door and promptly holds it open for the others to enter. Kurogane barely holds off drawing his sword when a blue blur comes in from the side.

"Welcome Welcome" Chirps the child like voice of the spider like robot carrying a tray of tea. "Rockbell-sensei is expecting you Hakase-san." It pauses a moment to run its three eye like cameras over the other guests. "Who are your other friends Hakase-san? I'll need to get more glasses." Without waiting for an answer it sets the tray down, spins on the wheels of four of its legs, and dashes off again.

"I still don't know about Rockbell-sensei's aesthetic tastes," Kari observes drolly "but the personality she gave the A.I. for the tachikoma never fails to amuse me."

Before anything else could be said the robot had returned with five more glasses and served everyone tea. Kurogane did not know if he should laugh or cry when Mokona jumped on the robot's head..thorax...whatever, and the two started having a wonderful conversation while escorting the group deeper into the lab. 'Great they are on the same mental level.'

At the far end of the Lab they find a blond haired european woman in her mid twenties wearing a mechanic's coveralls talking with a tall japanese man wearing glasses and a white lab coat. The woman turns and waves them over.

"Mihara-sensei allow me to introduce two of the students that are involved in the gynoid project. This is Satomi Hakase and Himura Kari." The girls bow to the man as the woman introduces them. "Hakase-chan, Kari-chan this is Mihara Ichiro"

Turning to a what appears to be another circular layer table like the ones Tomoyo set up she introduces a more normally dressed brunette woman."This is Icchan's wife Mihara Shuko. We will be working together on the angel project this year." The blond woman picks up and hugs Akiri. "I know Akiri-chan, but could I ask you to introduce your other friends Kari-chan."

Kurogane had his assumption about the woman confirmed when she was introduced as Winry Rockbell. He was not quiet sure how to react when the woman started gushing over how cute her "Tachi" was when he asked about the robot.

The group settles into polite conversation while they wait on two more missing members. Kasumi settled in next to where Shuko was sitting, and was overjoyed when the deuce agreed to let her see Athena in action after several minutes of conversation.

Kurogane was surprised by the doll sized angel demonstrating her signature attack "Astral Emission", and filling the meter wide Layer with an expanding green orb of energy. Before he could ask how the technique was accomplished, there was a commotion at the entrance to the lab. Looking in that direction He could see a fuming Eva all but shouting at Tachi, looking like it wanted to shrink away. A slightly disheveled looking Chachamaru was standing to one side.

Winry quickly went to them. "Are you alright Eva-chan?"

"Other than Chachamaru getting molested by some pervert in the street we are fine." The young seeming woman states, while Chachamaru tries to console the other robot. "I apologize for losing my temper, but I did not like the way Tachi asked why we were late."

Winry repeats the introductions for the two new arrivals and explains that the group will be working together to combine the technology used with the angels and the control system for the gynoids like Chachamaru. The end result being to make the life sized angels for this year's Mahorafest and to improve the sensitivity of the prosthetic devices that allow Shuko to be able to use her legs again.

Hakase brings out one of the extra ten year old forms of Chachamaru for them to test the control system responses with. She, Eva, and Chachamaru join Ichiro and Shuko for a first series of tests, Leaving Winry free to look into Kurogane's issue.

Winry had spent a few seconds looking over the shoulder, when a high strung Eva shrieked, knocked Ichiro down and started smacking him with a paper harisen. Chachamaru pulled her mistress off the man while an embarrassed Shuko did her best to explain that he really had not had any perverted intentions when he was examining the small gynoid's joints. Winry spent several minutes getting the other group settled down. She was mildly successful as Eva was still keeping her harisen close.

"Well I don't really need to look at the arm too much here." She proclaims once she is able to get back on task. "The arm seems fine. Just like the old automail I used to make the issue is that there needs to be a stable interface between the living tissue of the shoulder and the arm. Between Kari and I we can get that taken care of in a few hours."

Kasumi helpfully leads the others in the group over to the layer to try out the angels. Leaving Kurogane to the sensei's tender mercies.

------------

Ranko spends the first two periods of class doing her best to learn. Finally for third period she and Asuna get to put their new found sports rivalry to the test in Phys. Ed.

Ranko had to wonder though if Mao-sensei had missed her calling as a drill instructor sometimes during the class. Well thinking back on what that robot pilot said maybe she didn't. Finally at the end of class she was able to get the teacher alone and ask a few questions.

"Mao-sensei do you by any chance know a man by the name of Kurz?" The girl asks quietly.

"He informed me of the incident this morning." The woman pinches the bridge of her nose and grimaces. "I would appreciate it if you would not let the others know about our group. I will deal with our friend this afternoon and there will not be a repeat performance."

Ranko nods at this, and the scratches the back of her head while glancing around. "Mao-sensei do you happen to have a sister? The lady Kurz-san helped us with looked a lot like you."

"I have a sister, but I have not seen her in years." Mao-sensei groans and runs her hand through her short black hair. "We will get it taken care of Ranko-chan."

------------

Kotaro had made it through his morning classes. For lunch he is visiting his now favorite part of the cafeteria. Under most circumstances his company could be worse.

"Hey ya sugar." Ukyo greets the boy as he walks up to her counter. "Who is your friend?"

Kotaro turns to the young girl who had been walking with him. "Ucchan I would like to introduce my new tutor the headmaster insisted I have in case I need to miss class, Kobayashi Hatoko. Hatoko-chan this is the worlds greatest okonomiyaki chef Himura Ukyo."

Ukyo snorts. "He only says that because he hopes I will make him a larger dish. You can call me Ucchan, Hatoko-chan." Ukyo notices the doll the girl is holding. "Is that one of those angels everyone is talking about?"

"This is my angel Suzuka." Hatoko says with a grin. "This year I might get to see her life sized."

"You must be very good then." Ukyo observes. "Aren't you a little young to be tutoring Kotaro? Your uniform looks like what they have the first graders wear."

"I am taking the advanced classes they offer here at the academy." The black haired little girl states. "But they gave me the option to stay in the class with children my own age for most things."

The young chef nods and hands the girl a menu. "I already know this kid wants the super deluxe special, but what can I offer you sugar?"

Kotaro settles in to watch Ukyo fix up his special while his companion looked over the menu. His peaceful contemplation of food soon to be eaten was interrupted by a girl shouting "Hey Kotaro-chan". Kotaro turned prepared to start another tirade, but stopped dumbfounded.

In the middle of a walkway not too far away a girl with short light brown hair wearing the girl's middle school uniform, he assumed she was the one who shouted, was trying to twist a taller boy in a manner Kotaro was not sure the human body was supposed to bend. He was even more confused when Hatoko looked up from her menu and started giggling. Another girl with very short dark brown hair, except for long tassels in front of her ears and wearing a similar uniform, was excitedly trying to convince the other girl to stop.

Hatoko puts her menu down and still giggling walks over to the odd group. With a few words she secured the boys release and lead them over to Ukyo's counter. "This boy is my older brother Kotaro and these two girls are my friends Kizaki Tamayo," The pretzel maker bows. "and Mihara Misaki." The other girl bows setting her tassels swinging. "This is Himura Ukyo and Murakami Kotaro. Would you mind if they join us Ucchan?" The girl finishes with a smile.

Ukyo simply passes the newcomers menus. Tamayo walks up to Kotaro and slaps him on the back, surprisingly hard. "Cool now I know a Kotaro-kun and a Kotaro-chan."

"Why am I Kotaro-chan?"The other boy yells in protest. "I am older than he is."

"Kotaro-chan is Kotaro-chan." The girl cheers while putting the boy in a headlock.

Kotaro decides not to get involved with that discussion, better to avoid broken bones. Instead he pours his concentration into savoring the work of art Ukyo placed in front of him.

Kotaro had made his way through half the okonomiyaki when Misaki attempted conversation. "So do you play Angelic Layer?"

Kotaro considers a sharp retort, but holds back at the girls kind smile. "I am into martial arts myself Nee-san. I just heard about that game for the first time this morning."

"Misaki and I can show you what it is like with our angels" Hatoko offers with a grin. "The arcade in the recreation center next door has layers setup."

"Can I watch as well? It would be amazing to watch Hikaru have a match with Light Speed Suzuka in person." Konatsu asks from the side, before noticing the odd expressions on Ukyo and Kotaro's faces. "Kasumi-sama let me watch the televised showing of the Kanto regional with her last year." The young man finished with an embarrassed shrug.

"Well if it is interesting enough to catch Konatsu-chan's attention it must be worth seeing." Ukyo notes while grinning. "Can I fix you all something to eat and then we can all go watch?"

Kotaro tried to sneak away, but found his stealth skills no match for Konatsu's and was dragged along for the show. Ukyo only bopped his head once when he snickered about the girl's chant before throwing their angels onto the layer.

Kotaro quietly complained. "But Ucchan it makes no sense. Even I know light is faster than sound. she said it backwards."

"Not everything has to make sense Kotaro-kun." She whispers back.

Kotaro forgot any more protests after watching the match, and seeing Hikaru manifest feathered wings that appeared solid and allowed her to fly.
Kotaro agreed to meet Hatoko during the lunch period the next day and left for his afternoon classes praying not to be bored to tears.

-----------------

Ranko cheerfully dashed for the changing rooms near the practice fields after the last class for the day. Stepping into a stall on the girls side she had Inhoshi phase through the wall and check if the boys side was clear. Getting the all clear Ranko wasted no time changing and trading places with her cabbit.

A few minutes later Ranma was waiting outside the changing rooms and grinned as Inhoshi laced her arm through his, giving him a wink over the edge of her sunglasses. Ranma actually grinned, when Kaede appeared and took ahold of his other arm.

Walking to the practice field he noticed a larger group than he had expected. The first surprise was seeing the two girls, and the boy, Ranko and Kotaro came across on the way to school.

The girls were talking happily with Ukyo and Akane. The boy was standing with Konatsu and apparently trying to assess the threat level of everyone around. Another boy wearing the same high school uniform as them was smiling at a younger girl in another group

That group consisted of the Narutaki twins happily chatting with a group of middle schoolers and a grade school girl. Ranma overheard the gist of the conversation was about Angelic Layer, and how the group was attending school here to help with Tomoyo-sensei's project.

Ku Fei was giving a hug to a blond haired woman, Who was accompanied by a man in a lab coat and a woman, with brown hair and blue eyes, giving a hug to a girl with similar features from the Narutaki's group.

Ranma though was happiest when his mother came over with Kasumi, and displacing his two companions gave him a hug. The girls easily conceded to to Nodoka's priori claim and let her take Ranma's arm instead, earning each a similar hug.

The twins gleefully introduced their group. Akane introduced the girls that had joined their class, The one with cerulean hair was named Chidori Kaname and Tessa proved to be named Teletha Testarossa.

Konatsu introduced the two young men from his school. The young soldier was named Sagara Sousuke and the other was named Mihara Ohjiro.

introductions finished the group sets out to tour the campus. As they start to go Ranma hears Tessa and Chidori admonish Sousuke to keep his hands off the other girls, causing the boy to try and explain his morning actions.

By the girl's looks this is neither his first attempt nor successful. While Ranma would like to help the other boy out, he has no way to do so without blowing his own or their cover. After a while Sousuke gives up on defending himself, and buries his nose in a colorful book telling the story of Angelic Layer, based off the cover.

The choice of reading material earned smiles from most of the girls in the group. That he was reading the book without the slightest hint of embarrassment finally got on Chidori's nerves.

"Are you trying to look like a pervert Sousuke?" She heatedly whispers while ominously clutching her harisen. "I only suggested you and Tessa try the game, not that you should obsess over it."

Shrugging he puts away the book and turns to Tessa walking beside him. "Cap..." That start cut off quickly by the silver haired girls glare. "Tessa, I have a question about our group taking a security contract for a private group." The girl nods for him to continue. "It is highly unusual for us to do so. Reading the information on this game makes me have an idea why the council agreed so readily. The description of using ones fighting spirit to empower and control the dolls sounds too much like the Lambda driver for my comfort."

"There has been a suspicion that Mihara Ichiro could be a whispered, and one with knowledge of the lambda driver." The young woman concedes. "When Diadoji-san approached the council to request our assistance they were eager to comply. Close observation of such a known individual would be near impossible otherwise."

"That does explain why you so quickly conceded to the request that both you and miss Chidori attend school here." Sousuke nods and simply looks forward.

Tessa pulls the her braided hair in front of her face to hide her blush. "Yes... that would be the case."

------------

Kotaro was walking towards a far corner of the Mahora shopping district with Mana. Both were engaged in a mutually cathartic session of complaining about how everyone in town seems to have been caught up in this Angelic Layer craze.

As they approached the shop which had been setup away from the street in a back lot Kotaro saw something that made his blood boil. A short red haired boy was presently shouting at and pulling the hair of a young girl, who looked to be on the verge of tears.

"Hey you JERK!! let go of her." Kotaro rushes up and yanks the boy away, Mana just stands back shaking her head. "What kind of man are you picking on anyone like that."

Both boys get into a shouting match, but before it did come to blows, both boys were picked up by their shirt collars by a tall, powerfully built man wearing glasses. The man looks from one boy to the other and then turns towards mana. "Taichou, did you try cloning experiments again?"

Both boys shriek in unison. "I'm nothin' like him!!!"

Mana almost jumps when a man's voice comes from just behind her. "Now now Tessai-san, I have not done anything of the sort in years." Turning she is greeted by a blond haired man wearing robes with most of his face hidden by a green striped bucket hat.

"Please excuse my employee's behavior miss. I am Urahara Kisuke, I understand you and your young friend are the representatives of the association we were told to expect." The man says smoothly while holding a paper fan in front of his face.

Mana bows and introduces the two of them. and Urahara does the same for his employees. He then escorts them into the back room of the store where Tessai presents their wares for mana's inspection. Kotaro, meanwhile, takes off his backpack and gives Urahara a large envelope with the documents that needed signed.

Kotaro settles in to watch the front of the shop, and keep the red haired brat in sight, while the man goes through the forms. After several minutes Mana and Tessai return to the front of the store.

"I can testify to the quality of your wares Urahara-san, but they seem a bit archaic to me." Mana says with a bow. "I personally prefer my guns, with spell breaker bullets, to swords."

"I should be able to stock those for you Mana-san." The man concedes. "Guns are effective, even if I consider them inelegant myself."

"I noticed you stock several useful charms." Mana says lightly. "I did not see any space-displacement charms. While they are expensive they have been quite useful to me in the past. Would you be able to get those in stock as well."

The man looks at her quizzically. "Why would one such as yourself need those charms. You should be able to learn the flash step or shunpo with little difficulty. For a reasonable fee and the price of your time, I and my staff would be happy to instruct you in this as well as other techniques."

Mana gets a cat like grin. "I will definitely think about your offer. If you have the paperwork finished I and Kotaro should be on our way."

Urahara nods and hands the envelope back to Kotaro to place in his bag. As the two are leaving the store, Kotaro stops to talk to the two children. "I will be keeping an eye on you Jinta. Hey Ururu-chan if Teme here gives you any more trouble let me know and I will pound him."

Kotaro walks off to catch up with Mana, leaving a fuming boy and a blushing girl in his wake.

-------------

Kurogane and Fuma open the doors to allow a large grey van to pull into the Nekohanten's warehouse section. Once the vehicle stops Ku Lon greets the tall young man who was driving. "We appreciate you bringing these extra supplies. I am surprised Noriko-san did not come with you."

The black haired man bows. "I apologize elder but she had other matters to attend to."

The man turns and proceeds to assist Kurogane, Syaoran, and another man with short white blond hair and glasses in moving two large crates from the back of the van. Sakura, Fay and another woman with long hair in twin braids stand to the side watching. Mokona sitting on Fay's shoulder cheers the movers on.

When the unloading is finished, the driver brings a clip board over for the elder to sign. "I have a letter from Noriko for an Artemis, do you know who that is Elder." Ku Lon nods and he hands her the envelope.

The group is preparing to leave, when the senshi come in curious if there is any new toys to see. Unfortunately the crates only contain more of the rocket launchers and the girls, other than Ami and Usagi, soon leave.
Ami along with Har Bo go through the crates and inspect the equipment. Usagi on the other hand seems transfixed, blushing and stammering while trying to talk to the white blond haired man and the woman with long braided hair.

After ruffling Syaoran and Sakura's hair as a way of saying goodbye, the driver takes pity on the moon princess. "Yukito, Nakuru get back in the van it is time for us to get back."

once they had loaded back up and were safely away the woman starts laughing. "I win the bet Toya. That means I get to pick where we go to eat."

"What bet was that?" Toya says without turning.

Nakuru huffs. "You know what I am talking about. We had a bet where I said the princess would act just like little Syaoran around Yue and I. Now pay up."

Yukito grins. "I don't recall either of us betting that she would not."
The woman starts a tirade about how they were being unfair. Both of the men proceeded to ignore her with only the slightest of grins.

-----------------

Melissa Mao was not a happy woman at the moment. After spending all day trying to keep high school girls in check, now she had to deal with trying to call Wraith to task.

When Kurz brought the woman in it went from bad to worse. Upon seeing Melissa the woman identified as wraith dashed forward and locked her in a hug that would do a leech proud.

Melissa sighed already knowing her chance of prying the other woman off was nil. "Kosame what exactly are you doing here? Last I heard you were still in the states with mom and dad."

"I missed you Onee-chan." The younger woman sobs. "When you joined the marines and left, dad tried to make me marry some big shot when I turned eighteen instead."

Kurz was torn between mentioning how very wrong this scene felt and his desire to live. Both of these women had shown hand to hand skills he could not match and violent tendencies to boot.

"If you promise to follow my orders sis' I won't report this to captain Testarossa and I won't turn you in to the intelligence division for endangering the mission." Melissa does her best to glare down at her sisters head. "No more trying to cause trouble for Sousuke either."

Kosame grins evilly. "Don't worry Onee-chan, he does not interest me anymore."

The way Kosame proceeded to snuggle into Melissa's chest as Melissa returned her hug made Kurz lose any further mental battles and collapse in a pool of blood.

--------------

A platinum blond haired man wearing a long grey coat and matching fedora stood looking out over the Tokyo skyline from the observation deck of Tokyo tower as the sun sets. In his hands he held a very strange letter

Artemis,

I expect to meet a handsome man this evening on the west side of the observation deck of the tower in Shiba park.

Noriko

He had been waiting for less than twenty minutes and just as the sun fell below the horizon he feels a pair of slender arms wrap around his waist. A woman's familiar voice breathes, "I missed you Kougetsu."

Artemis turns to look into the green eyes of a beautiful woman in her late twenties to early thirties. Her red hair swept back in a high ponytail except for bangs framing her face like crab legs. Artemis gasps and chokes out the only thing he could think to say. "Akaihane?"

notes:

current story date. Wednesday March 17, 2004. Ku Fei's birthday is March 16. Konoka's is March 18 :)

nikuman robot - nikuman (pork bun) - Robot created by Hakase at end of Kyoto trip. Only apparent purpose was to force feed Ku Fei.

Oji - uncle

Kuramitsu Mikaro - he doesn't exist in Tenchi cannon but with Mihoshi and her older brother both being less than 25 and their mother being around 400 I think their is room for an older brother.

yup you guessed it another crossover with Full Metal Alchemist. (If you have not seen Conqueror of Shambala yet you have seriously missed out.)

Winry Rockbell - Automail technician and all around machine Otaku. presently head of prosthetics research at Mahora University and advisor to the robotics club.

Edward and Alphonse Elric - the main characters from FMA, now explorers and archeologists.

Taichou - captain. Negi and Kotaro use this in reference to Mana and Ku Fei often in the manga out of respect for their skills

Amaguriken - Kachu Tenshin Amaguriken. Imperial roasting chestnuts in the fire fist. One of Ranma's signature attacks taught to him by Ku Lon. I did not forget it just have not had a reason to use it.

Kurz - sgt. Kurz Weber - arm slave pilot, sniper, bit of a playboy with a free spirited and laid back attitude. call sign Urzu 6

Tessa - Teletha Testarossa - Captain of the submarine TDD-1 "Tuatha De Danaan" and most of the FMP cast. She is one of the whispered but her area of knowledge is not revealed during the anime.

subarashii - magnificent

Tsukuyomi - literally 'god of the moon' - in TRC Tomoyo-hime had that title and was a dream seer similar to the ability Clow Reed and Kinomoto Sakura have in CCS. As well as gifted with being able to create protective wards

Toya - Kinomoto Toya - Sakura's older brother in CCS.

Yukito - Tsukishiro Yukito - the human form of Yue. the guardian of the moon created by Clow Reed

Asami Shoko - Misaki's aunt in Angelic Layer.

Icchan - Mihara Ichiro - Researcher called the father of Angelic Layer in series by same name.

Tocho - Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building located in Shinjuku.

tachikoma - Think Tank from Ghost in the Shell. Winry calls her's Tachi.

Mihara Shuko - in AL Suzuhara Shuko. Athena's deuce and Misaki's mother. She helped Ichiro develop Angelic Layer as a way to fund continued research on making prosthetic limbs that respond to mental control.

Mao-sensei - Sgt. Major Melissa Mao - Kurtz and Souske's direct superior in FMP call sign Urzu-2

Kobayashi Hatoko - called the "miracle kindergartner" is the youngest ever regional champion of the Kanto area in AL. angel - Suzuka

Kobayashi Kotaro - Hatoko's older brother and one time love interest for Misaki in AL. No angel but he does have impressive durability when having to survive Tamayo using him as a practice dummy for martial arts throws and locks. By the end of the AL anime Tamayo confessed her feelings for him and they looked to be a couple (the poor sap :) )

Kizaki Tamayo - Misaki's friend in AL. not a deuce but has been practicing mixed martial arts since the age of four, mostly on Kotaro.

Mihara Misaki - in Angelic Layer Suzuhara Misaki. The main character and deuce for Hikaru.

Chidori Kaname - one of the Whispered, with a deep apparent connection to knowledge of the lambda driver, In the begining of FMP Urzu-2,6 and 7 were assigned to protect her from enemy forces

Sagara Sousuke - main protagonist in FMP. pilot of Arbalest. Has been fighting in wars since a very young age and has a military outlook to everything. Consequently he deals with the life of a high school student very oddly, adding up to a great deal of incidental comedy in FMP. call sign Urzu-7

Mihara Ohjiro - the young nobleman of Angelic Layer. Ichiro's younger step brother and deuce for Wizard.

Tsukabashi Tessai - Urahara's personal assistant. Once was the captain of the Kido (spirit magic) corps in soul society

Shunpo - spirit energy technique similar in affect to Kaede's Ki based ground contractor or Shundo.

Hanakari Jinta - Small red haired boy who is supposed to do manual labor for the shop

Tsumugiya Ururu - meek black haired girl that does most of the manual labor around the store.

teme - brat, jerk, etc

(Mao) Kosame - she is the female bodyguard of Fukuyama Risa in Girls Bravo.
In FMP Second Raid they never give Wraith a name or let you see her face. The one time they show her without the fake body suit in Hong Kong she seems almost identical to Mao in voice and build.

I can't leave anything alone and only two female characters came to mind when I tried to think of girls that look similar to Mao, are good at intelligence gathering, good in a fight, and can handle a sniper rifle. Major Kusanagi requires more background work and well I am evil ;)

Akaihane - red feather

Kougetsu - Bright white moon.

=*OMAKE*= (AKA the closest I will come to a Inuyasha/Ranma crossover. I wanted to have this ready for Halloween but my muse abandoned me.)

Ryoga looked up into the moonless sky and marveled at the brightness of the stars from his hill top vantage point. The eastern sky had just begun to show the light of dawn when he heard the voice of his most hated rival. Approaching the sounds he finds his rival walking with a pretty young woman, wearing a school uniform, outlined by the approaching dawn
"Kagome," He heard Ranma start to say. "I appreciate you offering to show me around Tokyo on the night of the new moon. It was fun spending the night with you."

Now Ryoga did not notice that the boy's hair was flowing loose to his waist, or that he was dressed in a red Hakuma. All he saw that this "enemy of women" had betrayed Akane yet again, and was with yet another fiancee. His logical mind already decided the stroller the girl was pushing had to contain their child.

"I had fun too Kagome." A small voice said from the stroller.

"Your welcome Shippo." The young woman responded. "I am sorry you had to ride in this all night."

Ryoga saw the face of the small child grin and return to eating the lollipop held in its hands.

Removing bandanas from his head ryoga sets them spinning, and lets them fly as he issues his customary challenge. "Ranma prepare to die."

Instead of running or dodging, Ranma turns and puts his back between the oncoming missiles and the young woman and the stroller. One of the bandanas scores a lucky hit finding the space between the shoulder and sleeve on the boy's left side staining the white undershirt with red. The rest bounce harmlessly from the fabric.

The boy turns with a heated glare towards this unprovoked assailant just as the sun breaches the horizon. "You worm, I don't know who this Ranma your talking about is, but you could have injured Kagome with that." The boy's last words were punctuated by a heartbeat that seemed to pulse through the air.

Ryoga ducked just in time as the now silver haired creature reached to his shoulder and shouted "Blades of Blood". Several trees behind Ryoga fall to the ground as the young man draws his sword.

The last words the eternally lost boy would ever hear are "Wind Scar" as he and a good portion of the hill he stood on vanish from existence.

Inuyasha turns to Kagome and Shippo only to have the girl yell SIT. "Inuyasha look what you did to the city. Think before you do something like that again."

The dog hanyo stares and groans at the decimation of part of the city near the Higurashi shrine.

Chapter 33
Chapter 35
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