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A Ranma ½ / Slayers crossover story
By Aaron Bergman

Disclaimer: Ranma ½ and all characters therein belong to Rumiko Takahashi, Shogakukan, Kitty, and Viz Video. Slayers and all characters belong to Hajime Kanzaka, Rui Araizumi, Kadokawa Shoten, TV Tokyo, Softx, and Marubeni.


Gosunkugi studied forbidden lores and dark magicks in his dank, mysterious laboratory, while he pondered a terrible impulse that gripped his soul.

Actually, his lab was less dank and mysterious and more bright and cheery. Instead of horrific paintings depicting the torments of the damned, posters of manga characters and pop idols decorated the walls. Rather than having bubbling retorts filled with nameless liquids, his desks were covered with models and garage kits.

This was because his mommy dictated most of his life: the food he ate, the books he read, right down to the underwear that encased what was most dear to him. It was his mother that had led him to both magic and photography, both of which were perfect for a 'frail boy' like him.

It was fortunate for Gosunkugi that his mother considered black an impressive fashion statement; otherwise, he'd have been even less menacing. Well, less menacing before…

Gosunkugi was thinking very seriously about before. Before that strange night when the world had, literally, turned 180 degrees for him.

Because magic now worked for him.

Oh, before that night spells had worked for him, after a fashion. However, he was lucky if he didn't injure himself, much less affect anyone else. But now…

Any spell he knew worked flawlessly. Shinto rituals, minor voodoo; he'd even gone down to a local magic shop and picked up some new spell books. He'd learned everything from them in one day, and it was one of the spells from a freshly-minted tome that was causing his moral crisis.

The spell had been called Charm. With it, Gosunkugi had read in wonder, he could make girls like him. Make girls like him!

There were also warnings about "major changes in personality" and "getting what you wish for," but Gosunkugi saw none of those. Instead, screaming at him in eighteen point font, in really impressive big freakin' ASCII art letters, was:

M       M     A A     K     K   E E E E      
M M   M M   A     A   K   K     E            
M   M   M   A     A   K K       E E E        
M       M   A A A A   K   K     E            
M       M   A     A   K     K   E E E E      
                                             
  G G G   I I I   R R R     L           S S S
G           I     R     R   L         S      
G   G G     I     R R R     L           S S  
G     G     I     R   R     L               S
  G G G   I I I   R     R   L L L L   S S S  
                                             
L         I I I   K     K   E E E E          
L           I     K   K     E                
L           I     K K       E E E            
L           I     K   K     E                
L L L L   I I I   K     K   E E E E          
                                             
H     H   I I I   M       M   !!   !!   !!   !!  
H     H     I     M M   M M   !!   !!   !!   !!  
H H H H     I     M   M   M   !!   !!   !!   !!  
H     H     I     M       M                  
H     H   I I I   M       M   !!   !!   !!   !!  

That knowledge brings us full-circle to the terrible impulse. Basically, he was wondering if he should just pick a girl up in a bar or go directly to Akane. Do not pass Go; do not collect two hundred dollars.

Decision made, he stood up and strode out of the room. Anyone who'd have known him a week before never would have recognized the way he walked…


Part the Third:
STIRRING THE PLOT


Lina Inverse stopped suddenly, causing her chain of friends to fall all over her. After they recovered, Lina glared and said, "Do you mind?!"

Amelia held onto Ryouga for a moment longer than necessary, then released him suddenly and looked down at the ground, blushing. Ryouga rolled his eyes, conveniently forgetting that he would blush and probably have a nosebleed to boot if it had been Akane grabbing him.

Zelgadis crossed his arms over his chest. "Why did you stop?"

Lina pointed. "Captain Bangle said he'd bring his ship to Docking Berth 94."

Even as she spoke, the vessel sailed into view. Or most of it tried, at least, and doesn't effort count for anything anymore? Bits were falling off at a regular rate (one every seven seconds, to be precise) and some enterprising soul had used the holes in the sails to play connect-the-dots. It seemed to be either an apple or an ominous scrolled contract that read, "Abandon hope, all ye who enter here…"

Amelia gasped in shock. "We're taking that? But we'll all die!"

Lina was a bit more verbal, but because this is a PG-13 fic, I'm afraid that I can't tell you exactly what she said. I can, however, hint that it had something to do with wrought-iron cemetery fencing posts, Kool-Aid, rubber hoses, and an extremely uncomfortable position for all parties involved.

Ryouga was facing the wrong way, but no one noticed. Least of all him.

Gourry just stared in wonder. Boat big…

Zelgadis just sighed resignedly. Looks like Gourry and I spend this trip bailing…

The gangplank unrolled and hit the dock with a bang that dropped several boards into the water. The remaining boards hardly looked safer.

Regardless of the insurance hazard, Captain Bangle skipped merrily down the gangplank. "Good morning, passengers. Welcome to my glrrk!"

Lina merrily throttled the hapless captain. "What the hell is this? Your ship looks like it's been sailing since the Demon Beast Zanafar ravaged

Sairaag!!" Absently, Lina watched the captain's face turn red, then purple.

"Glargg…"

Zelgadis tapped the irate sorceress on the shoulder. "Lina, maybe if you loosened your grip a bit, he'd be able to answer you."

"Oh. Right." Lina released said grip, and the captain staggered around for a moment before regaining his breath. He chuckled nervously.

"Ah. Er. To answer your question, she's been sailing since a bit before the Demon Beast Zanafar's time, but she's a good ship." A sudden cracking noise from aboard ship belied his words. His face paled, but otherwise he gave no outward sign of hearing the noise.

Lina just rolled her eyes, anger banked but not dead. "Right. We've hired the ship, I don't wanna wait anymore, so we're taking the-- what's this scow called?" She turned to Captain Bangle.

He coughed nervously. "The Three Hour Tour."

"We're taking the Three Hour Tour." She started up the gangplank, determinedly ignoring the protest it sent up. The rest of the Scooby Gang… er, adventuring party followed.

Once at the top, Lina kicked away several rodents who seemed willing to give boot leather a try. "What's with all the rats?"

The captain said cheerily, "Erm, they kinda swarm onboard whenever we dock. Don't worry about 'em too long, though. Once we get underway, they'll disappear."

Zelgadis said sarcastically, "Figures that only rats would be smart enough to abandon this ship. Where do they go?"

"Go?" Captain Bangle cocked his head, then laughed. "They don't really go anywhere, except maybe to hell. Felix gets them." When Felix was mentioned, all the rats vanished from the deck.

Ryouga asked, fear in his voice, "Who -- or what -- is Felix?"

"The ship's cat."


Jusenkyou rubbed his chin. "I sense a disturbance in the Force."

The Sea of Chaos looked askance at him. "Now what are you babbling about?"

"Perhaps I should try again." Jusenkyou started rubbing his chin, then said, "I feel a cliché being used."

"Is it a good cliché?" The Sea of Chaos, Creator Incarnate, was tolerant of clichés in only select situations, such as bandits and villagers. This attitude was reflected in the world She'd created.

Jusenkyou felt for the cliché, much like one would feel the empty socket of a just-pulled tooth, then frowned. "I think you'd better look at this."

The Sea of Chaos looked Herself, then gasped in shock. "A cliché? A BAD cliché? Near Lina Inverse?!" She quivered in rage. She'd never been fond of the bland, the generic, the already-been-thought-of, and was doubly defensive on the entire subject of Lina Inverse, one of the finest (to use the word loosely) anti-heroes in any dimension both far and wide.

Jusenkyou closed His eyes and prepared to ride out the inevitable shockwave of sheer anger and pure, unadulterated rage. Several seconds later, He heard Her say brightly, "Well, let's get to fixing it." She then waggled one finger. "I've got an idea."

The Sea of Chaos rolled back her sleeves and set to work, drawing Her world back a bit in time for convenience's sake. Not that She cared about paradox. If a mortal was dumb enough to kill his own grandfather, it was his own lookout.

She did have a vested interest in Lina, however, and tried to keep up the illusion of reality around the sorceress. As best as any God could, of course.


Lina Inverse stopped suddenly, causing her chain of friends to fall all over her. After they recovered, Lina glared and said, "Do you mind?!"

Amelia held onto Ryouga for a moment longer than necessary, then released him suddenly and looked down at the ground, blushing. Ryouga rolled his eyes, conveniently forgetting that he would blush and probably have a nosebleed to boot if it had been Akane grabbing him.

Zelgadis crossed his arms over his chest. "Why did you stop?"

Lina pointed. "Captain Bangle said he'd bring his ship to Docking Berth 94."

Even as she spoke, the ship sailed grandly into view. It sparkled from an obviously fresh coat of wax, and all three masts were hung with beautiful sails made from patches that formed elaborate pictures of the seafaring life.

Amelia sighed with longing. "Incredible…"

Lina grinned. "Looks like we'll be traveling in style for once." She salivated visibly. "I hope they serve food to match…"

Gourry crossed his arms across his chest. "I don't like it," he declared. "Why would a captain that owned a ship that nice be working in an ice cream parlor?"

Ryouga was facing the wrong way, but no one noticed. Least of all him.

Zelgadis facefaulted, shocked to his core by Gourry stepping on his lines.

The ship came to a grand halt, and little colored streamers came showering from the sides. The gangplank slid down, hitting the dock with a resounding thud. Amelia rushed up the walkway first, followed closely by Lina, and both of them had little stars in their eyes. Ryouga almost walked off the dock but Zelgadis grabbed his arm, guiding him up the gangplank. Gourry brought up the rear, a frown on his normally cheerful features.

The captain greeted them with a grin. "What do you think of her?"

Lina grinned back. "Nice ship. What's she named?"

"The Millennium Balton." At Lina's incredulous stare, he added, "It's not a very good name, I know, but the person who wrote out the commissioning papers was deaf, and do you know how much it costs to have a ship's name changed around these parts?"

Zelgadis looked around the deck. It positively gleamed in the late afternoon sun. Lines were coiled neatly and had a sharp, new look to them. The brightwork was bright and the deck was deck-shaped. Only one thing was missing.

"Where's the crew?" Zelgadis asked, giving Captain Bangle his patent-pending 'I really don't want to trust you, but I'll try to trust you by not trusting you' look. Lina didn't know quite how he could convey all that in a half-second glance, but somehow, the chimera managed to do it with style and panache.

The captain looked distinctly uneasy for a moment, the same way someone who's eaten ill-prepared fugu would look. "They're, uh, below. I'll go bring them up so you can meet them." He muttered, almost too low for Lina to catch, "Might as well get it out of the way." He walked over to a nearby hatch and jumped down into it.

The quintet stood around for several minutes. Gourry looked at his reflection in the floor wax, rubbed his chin, and started shaving with his sword. Lina blinked for a moment, then decided to ignore it.

The captain came back up just after Gourry finished, followed closely by a nondescript man with hair-colored hair and a face-shaped face. Just after him out of the hatch was a man in a silver suit of armor that covered his body entirely. It had odd blinking panels with colored lights all along the front. And after the man in armor…

"A Mazoku!" Lina reacted reflexively, charging up a fireball to throw at the eight-foot red-skinned octopus-faced monstrosity with suckered tentacles sprouting from its back. Her fireball fizzled when something cracked across her skull, breaking the necessary concentration.

Lina turned, very slowly, to the captain, who was still holding an empty fire bucket. He said, "No fires aboard ship except in the galley." She deflated.

Zelgadis assumed the position: Arms crossed across his chest and one eyebrow arched. "This is it? Where's the rest of the crew?"

The captain grinned. "I'm glad you asked that! The Millennium Balton is, as the name implies, the most modern ship of the millennium! The finest luxury liner ever made, she only needs four people to run her! Of course, with only four people, we need to cut a few corners. We have to cook the food quickly, so sometimes we burn it" Lina gasped in shock "it wasn't too appetizing in the first place" she clutched the left side of her chest "and I always hate dealing with such small portions, too" and she collapsed to the ground, frothing at the mouth.

Gourry slid up next to her and poked her with a convenient stick. Poke. Poke. "Hey Lina, you all right?"

Lina hopped to her feet, sending Gourry reeling backwards. "No, but I'll live." She pointed at the Mazoku. "Now, to get my mind off my soon-to-be abused stomach, what's the Mazoku's story?"

The captain shrugged. "If you're so interested in him, we'll start the introductions there. His name is Loxim, and he's a retired Mazoku. He was kicked out because he…" He stopped suddenly, and looked over at the Mazoku.

The Mazoku said, "It's not something I like to talk about."

Captain Bangle said hastily, "But he's a good shipmate, a good shipmate! I've been sailing with him for two years, and in that time he's been one of the best sailors that I've ever known."

Loxim added, "I am a sea monster. What do you expect?"

Lina frowned internally. On the one hand, she'd had more than a few bad experiences with Mazoku in the past. On the other, one Mazoku, Xelloss, had helped her on occasion. A little. When he wasn't annoying the hell out of her.

Decision made, Lina nodded to Loxim. "Nice to meet you. Don't answer a straight question with 'that is a secret' and we'll get along just fine."

The captain moved on to the man in armor. "This is Rowby the Rowboat." With some shock, Lina realized that there was no way a man could move in that suit of armor. Captain Bangle continued with, "I have no idea why it's called a rowboat, because it's a golem of some kind, created by an alchemist named Cyrus Sybernetics to help with the running of the ship. I'll tell you more about it when I conduct the official tour."

Lina held out her hand to the Rowboat. "Nice to meet you."

The Rowboat ignored it and said in a soft voice, "Last night I was cleaning the bar and a man behind the bar said that he'd give me a drink if I killed all of you for him. When I told him that I'm not capable of drinking, he said that he'd get back to me and disappeared into thin air."

Captain Bangle turned around very slowly and said softly to Lina, "You're supposed to turn off a Rowboat every ten days to give them some time to recover. He won't let us touch his on/off switch."

Rowby said suddenly, "No fleshy will ever touch my switch!"

Lina murmured back, "How long has it been since he's been off?"

"About three months." The captain let that soak in for a moment, then moved on to the third member of his crew. "This is Babblin' Joe. We call him that for a good reason, but don't let the occasional strange thing he says throw you. He's really a very nice guy."

Lina, relieved to be meeting a relatively normal guy, said, "Nice to meet you."

Babblin' Joe said agreeably, "The floating disembodied head of Colonel Sanders."

"What?"

"The floating disembodied head of Colonel Sanders." Then, Babblin Joe added, "D0n't d155 my m4d m45t3r n1nj4t31 ub3r-h4ckz3r sk1llz?"

Lina stepped back slowly. Can't run away, already paid the captain. Can't run away, already paid the captain… Gradually, the fear of what this voyage was going to be like faded, to be replaced by her usual resignation to the inevitable.

"I want a refund!" To be polite, she added, "Now!"

The captain shook his head. "Sorry, already spent all your money getting the ship ready for the voyage." He kicked at the deck. "The Rowboat may do all the polishing, but do you think the wax pays for itself?"


Cologne sat on top of her restaurant’s roof, watching the sunset. She knew that the person she was waiting for was late, but she was content.

Idly, she wondered if her village even still existed. Nothing said that it could be dragged along through dimensions along with Japan. And the island of Japan had definitely shifted dimensions. All of her readings pointed to this, but nothing in any of her books had said anything about shifts on this scale.

Not that that really mattered overmuch to Cologne, since there was no way she would ever be able to return back to her old dimension anyway.

Most people would never even notice the shift, Cologne suspected. The particularly strong-willed could keep their memories for several weeks. Disciplined martial artists, such as Ranma, might well hold on to the memories for as long as several months. And as for herself…

She would keep her memories of Subarus, Sailor Moon and Santana for the rest of her life, she supposed. Though Cologne had no idea how much longer she would choose to live. Long enough to train up her replacement, who was shaping up quite nicely…

"Good evening, Cologne."

Cologne turned to the diminutive master martial artist. "Hello, Happi. How are you tonight?"

Happosai sat down next to Cologne. He puffed meditatively on his pipe for several moments before replying, "Fine. I feel better than I have in years, in fact. With the stronger magical field of this world, I don't have to steal nearly as many panties to stay alive. I even went to the library and checked out a book for the first time in years. Strangely enough, the library is unchanged, probably because of the Shi Jin Ten Chi Sho's presence. I even found out that Heinlein is dead. Did you know that?"

"Who?"

The old man, feeling his age mentally if not physically, sighed. "Never mind. I'm just saying that it's nice to have a choice about leaping from rooftop to rooftop in search of my darlings. Of course," he pulled out a lacy pink silk 36-C with frilly bows, "we both know what my choice is."

Cologne whapped him, but not hard enough to really hurt the ancient martial artist. "Of course we do. Now, what did you want to talk about?"

Happosai stood up. "I was thinking about leaving Tokyo for a while. You know, see the new world, that sort of thing?"

Cologne gestured impatiently. "And this has what to do with me?"

Happosai looked down at his feet and shuffled them back and forth. "I was hoping, er, wondering if you might… um… want to maybe come with me?" He looked up at her for just a moment with big puppy-dog eyes, then turned his eyes back to his feet.

Cologne was, quite honestly, touched. In their youth, Happosai had told her quite simply that if it came down to a choice between panties and Cologne, he'd always pick panties. Now, it seemed, he was making a different choice.

Of course he wasn't perfect, but then no one was. And she was tired of being alone. Besides, Cologne knew quite well it was possible to change someone with love, patience, and the occasional beating. She nodded once. "Give me a day or so to set everything in order."

Happosai smiled. "I need to do the same thing myself." He chuckled. "Won't Soun and Genma be surprised…"


The Sea of Chaos literally patted Herself on the back, temporarily creating a shadow duplicate for the purpose. "Not a bad way to take care of two prospective problems. The chaos those two inspire while leaving should be very interesting indeed."

"What are you doing?"

Only millennia of watching mortals in the same situations do the same exact thing prevented the Sea of Chaos from jumping at Jusenkyou's friendly-sounding inquiry, but it was a close thing. "Um, not much, just, ah, looking in on your mortals. Cologne and Happosai are doing something."

"What?"

The Sea of Chaos shrugged nonchalantly. "I couldn't care less. Ukyou's My favorite."

Jusenkyou looked for Himself, and His face darkened. "They can't do that!" He looked about ready to interfere, and the Sea of Chaos moved to restrain Him. Though not an official rule of the game, there was a gentleman's agreement between Gods that a mortal's choices must not be interfered with. It certainly made things more… interesting.

Jusenkyou slowly backed off, and the Sea of Chaos smiled inwardly. It looks like things are starting to take off…


Gosunkugi walked into his third real estate office of the day. Having made the decision to move out of the house, he'd decided to act upon it immediately and get himself a new place. He hadn't had good luck so far, however. In the first office:

"What do you have in the way of Evil Wizard's Keeps?"

"What are you talking about?"

BOOM.

Gosunkugi had learned a new spell called "Fireball", and he liked using it to good effect.

In the second one:

"What do you have in the way of Evil Wizard's Keeps?"

"I have a very nice apartment open on Merchant's Row…"

BOOM.

If Gosunkugi was going to be an evil wizard, he was going to be an EVIL wizard.

He stepped up to the real estate agent's desk. "What do you have in the way of Evil Wizard's Keeps?"

The agent steepled his fingers. "Would that be Mountaintop, Enchanted Wood, Lake Island, or Cliffside?"

Gosunkugi blinked. Twice.


Dynast was a happy Mazoku lord. Two of his fellow Lords had died recently, expanding his own influence accordingly; he ruled his mountains unopposed, having disposed of his priest and two-thirds of his army for attempting to overthrow him; and one of his minions had brought him two defiant sacrifices for him to feast upon.

Dynast leaned forward, folds rippling, and intoned with just the right hint of menace (sledgehammer), "Now, puny mortals, prepare to die."

Ling-Ling looked at her sister dubiously. "What should we do?"

Lung-Lung looked at the Mazoku lord. "Maybe we should do the Dance of the Great Fire Dragon?"

Four hours later, Dynast was an unhappy Mazoku lord. He'd been forced to listen to a very stupid spell chant not once, not twice, but three times; he'd found out that he didn't rule his mountains unopposed; the sacrifices had escaped to warn all of who lived in his mountain; and he'd been forced to dance the Funky Chicken. He hated the Funky Chicken.

Ordinarily, he didn't much care if the people he used as feasts of dark emotion escaped, but those two girls had Made. It. PERSONAL.

He summoned his general. When she arrived, he spoke one word. "War."

Atash grinned. "Very well, my lord." She disappeared, and Dynast went back to stretching his hamstrings before he remembered that they didn't, actually, exist. Somehow, that realization made him even angrier.


Lina didn't think very much of shipboard life. Having to spend the first three hours of it with her head hanging over the side might have had something to do with that.

What made it even worse was Amelia standing ten feet away, eating a ham sandwich and laughing. "Aw, it's not that bad, Lina. Suck it up."

Lina tried her best to throttle the perky princess. Really, she did. The problem was, she moved one way, the deck moved another, and somehow she ended up horizontal. She found that position even more nauseating, by some horrid miracle.

A light touch on her shoulder roused her from her reverie of agony. The contact somehow made her feel better. In fact…

She stood up, all of her nausea gone. Lina looked around, trying to spot her benefactor. Upon seeing Loxim, she jumped back defensively. "What did you do to me?!"

The Mazoku shrugged, his tentacles moving weirdly in tandem with the motion. "Drained some of your dark emotion and took your seasickness along. Seasickness is one of the things I have control over as an ocean monster." Suddenly, he doubled over, clutching his stomach as if in agony.

Reflexively, Lina took a step towards him and reached out one hand, but she recoiled when Loxim suddenly straightened and turned to face the ocean. He screamed, and a beam of energy that Lina could feel radiating evil lanced from his mouth and split the ocean, boiling away into foam. A few seconds later, Loxim closed his mouth.

Lina stood there, slack-jawed. "What was that?"

Loxim shrugged again. "When I take in too much dark energy, I can't hold it in and I need to throw it back out. Deep Sea Dolphin kicked me out when I vaporized two of her favorite yes-Mazoku." He walked away.

Lina blinked. When he went back under, she said, "Wow. A bulimic Mazoku. Who'd've thought, right Amelia?" when no one answered her, she looked around. "Amelia?"


The Keys were bored, not for the first time in their existence. They knew that it was because of boredom that they were always caught, but somehow they couldn't help but meddle in a situation. And the girl who was carrying them was ripe for a bit of meddling…


"DIGGER BOLT!"

Sasuke jumped out of the way of the lightning bolt. "Mistress, I can understand--"

"FREEZE BLEED!"

He threw down a smoke egg and hid from her line-of-sight behind it for long enough to add, "--your need to practice--"

"FLARE ARROW!"

He dodged and continued doggedly. "--your newfound abilities, but--"

"BURST RONDO!"

Sasuke danced desperately back and forth, but a few bolts tagged him despite his efforts. "--but why must I be the target?"

Kodachi put one hand to her mouth and laughed. "OHO HO HO HO HO HO HO HO! I have no need to explain myself to you. DEMONA CRYSTAL!"

I wish I had insulated underwear… was Sasuke's last thought, but at least it turned out the lights before leaving.


The Captain (we'll just call him the Captain, because he's just a plot device and won't ever appear in any other scene) was standing on the bridge of his docked clipper, wondering if he should go out on the town, when he heard a laugh from behind him. A terrible, horrible, evil, quite unpleasant laugh.

"OHO HO HO HO HO HO HO HO HO HO! I, Naga the White Serpent, am hijacking your ship!" The Captain heard an apologetic cough. "Sorry about that. Habit. I'd like to hire your ship to take me to a small island called Japan."

The Captain turned around, and his eyes crossed. The woman standing there was wearing very little to cover quite a lot. He pegged her right away as a sorceress.

A stripper never would have threatened to hijack the ship.

The Captain spread his hands. "You'd need a lot of money to hire…"

Three large sacks of gold hit the deck. The Captain wondered where in Teleute's name she'd been able to hide that. "Is that enough?"

Just by looking at them the Captain knew it was enough to keep his ship going for five months, and maybe hire a drydocking to boot. He smiled. "We'll be ready to sail in about two weeks…"

A fireball detonated over the ship. The Captain swallowed. "A week?"

The sorceress raised one hand, fingers spread wide, and curled her thumb into her palm. "Four days."

The Captain sighed in resignation. "Okay."

Naga turned away and looked to the south, sighing with longing. "Oh, Ranma-sama, I rush to your arms. Though I have not yet seen your face, your beauty illuminates my stony heart." She reached into her cloak and pulled out a white rose. "I will give this to you as a pledge of my heart."

The Captain shook his head. "A star-crossed lover. Not again…"


Gosunkugi knocked tentatively on the Tendo's door. He'd been psyching himself up for this confrontation all day. He'd studied some really nasty spells. He'd acted very, very evil, right down to taking candy from babies kind of evil. He'd even forced himself to watch Flash Gordon three times, and if that doesn't make you want to hate a world which allows such a movie to exist…

Nevertheless, Gosunkugi still felt nervous. Oh, not about losing -- he knew, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that he could and would crush Ranma. It was just…

He didn't really want to kill Ranma. After all, the only thing the martial artist had ever really done to him was be engaged to the woman that he loved. Gosunkugi knew, though, that Ranma wouldn't give up until he'd either rescued Akane or died trying.

The problem was, he would die trying. And Gosunkugi, no matter how evil he could act, couldn't just kill someone outright that he didn't hate…

Gosunkugi slid open the door and shouted in, "Anybody home?"

He heard someone say, "Coming!" After a moment, a woman came into the entranceway that Gosunkugi recognized vaguely as being Akane's older sister. "Yes, what can I do for you?"

Gosunkugi pointed at the gate and the sign next to it. "Do people wanting to kidnap Akane have to go around back with the challengers?"

Kasumi laughed politely. "Oh my, no. They usually just come in the front door. Or the windows. Or, sometimes, the walls. Ranma's friends are so rambunctious sometimes!"

"Where's Akane?"

"In the backyard, studying with Ranma." Kasumi cocked her head. "Why do you ask?"

But she was already speaking to his retreating back. Gosunkugi walked around the outside of the building, finally openly in the yard that he had snuck around in so often, hoping for a glimpse of his love.

As he rounded the final corner, he saw Akane and Ranma sitting side by side on the edge of the house, a book open between them. Ranma looked up. "Hi, Gos. What's up?"

Gosunkugi took one deep breath and steeled himself. "DIEM WIND!" The hurricane-force gale sent Ranma into one of the walls bordering the house's yard. Gosunkugi turned to Akane, her mouth still open in shock, and tossed an ofuda onto her forehead. "SLEEP!"

She collapsed, and Gosunkugi gathered her into his arms. Ranma got to his feet and ran for the wizard with all the speed his feet could muster, but it was too late.

"RAYWING!" Gosunkugi zoomed up, and Ranma's desperate leap only scraped his fingernails across the shield of wind. Gosunkugi let loose with his newly minted evil laugh, which made him sound frighteningly like Katsuhiko Jinnai.

Ranma watched his fiancée disappear into the distance as he collapsed to his knees. "Akane…"


Ryouga walked down the passageway, looking for his room and, not being able to find it, was cursing the world in general. He was thankful that he was aboard a ship, at least; that greatly reduced the chances of something strange happening, like that one time he followed a talking rabbit, hoping to ask for directions, and fell down the rabbit hole…

A tap on the arm interrupted his ruminations. He turned around and groaned inwardly when he saw that it was Amelia, wrapped up in a voluminous cloak. "R-Ryouga?" she asked timidly.

Ryouga was trying hard to be patient with her. Really. But everyone has a breaking point (no pun intended) and Ryouga was approaching his. "Yeah, Amelia?"

"Can I talk to you in private for a little bit?" She motioned to one of the empty billets nearby.

Ryouga saw no reason why not, which only shows how truly ignorant he is. "Sure." He followed her into the room, and once he got in, turned around to close the door. When he put his attention back on Amelia, she had dropped her cloak, and she was wearing…

Something filmy, silky, see-through, pink, lacy, and low-cut, with bows placed strategically to preserve the barest amount of modesty. "Do you like it?"

Ryouga closed his eyes out of simple self-preservation. Nevertheless, he still lost enough blood to make blood-drive workers shake their head at the sheer waste. "What are you doing?!" he sputtered. "P-put something else on?"

Ryouga waited a few seconds, then said, "Have you changed yet?"

"Of course."

Ryouga, mindful of past experiences, double-checked by asking, "Are you sure?" without opening his eyes.

"Yes, I'm sure."

"Really, really sure?"

"Will you just open your eyes!?"

Ryouga opened his eyes, and there she was. Buck. Ass. Naked. She posed for him and said, "How do you like the Birthday Suit ensemble?"

Picture waterfalls with spray and foam falling thousands of feet to the jagged rocks below. Imagine mighty rivers flooding their banks to destroy budding civilizations entire. Visualize ornate magical fountains sending streams of water leaping gracefully into the air. All these things come so close to describing Ryouga's nosebleed, but fail to do the full effect justice.

Ryouga slammed his eyelids shut, then, for an extra measure of protection, clapped his left hand over his eyes. "WHAT ARE YOU DOING?!?!?" He scrabbled for the door handle with his free hand.

That's when he felt something brush against his bare arm he was 100 percent certain was not a hand. "I want you, Ryouga."

I'm afraid Ryouga freaked at that point. For the first time in his life, he was as fast as Ranma as he turned 180 degrees and ripped through the wooden bulkhead like it was tissue paper. Which, for someone of his strength, it probably was.

He ran down the passageway, not quite as destructively because he didn't want to punch through the hull and kill everyone on board. He ran and ran and ran until he ran into something, knocking himself flat.

Ryouga looked up and saw Babblin' Joe standing there. Babblin' Joe looked Ryouga straight in the eye and said distinctly, "You must find the Keys to her problem."

Ryouga looked Babblin' Joe straight in the eye and said distinctly, "What?"

"You must find the Keys to her problem." With that, Babblin' Joe turned around and walked away, leaving Ryouga behind to unscrew the inscrutable.

 

To be continued.


Author’s notes: Well, well, well. That was fun and it turned out as good as I thought it would. Just a few minor things need explaining, I suppose.

Yes, it was the keys making Amelia act like a little… well, I suppose that all of you know the words I could insert here.

Yes, Xelloss didn't appear in this chapter. Trust me, he'll more than make up for it in the next one.

For those of you still scratching your heads, Subarus, Sailor Moon, and Santana are entirely unrelated except for the fact that they all begin with the Letter of the Day, 'S’.

Speaking of the Letter of the Day, more discerning lovers of ASCII art may have noted that the 'S' in GIRLS is all jacked up. Don't bother flaming me about it; I could care less. But flame me about anything else! Regular C&C is welcome too, I suppose.

Oh yeah, I realize that in Slayers the Motion Picture Lina didn't suffer from seasickness. Sue me for creative license.

The contest of pun-counting is canceled until further notice. Sorry folks, there just didna seem to be much interest in it.

And now, as a super-duper extra-special addition, a small omake which takes place during this story. Yeah, I know, incredibly kewl, but don't get too excited.


--Omake--

Aaron cackled madly as he typed. "Ahahahahehehehehackcough!" After he recovered, he said, "Ripping on Flash Gordon. Too cool!"

A sudden flash like a camera's temporarily blinded him. When he blinked it away, he noticed an ominous shadow looming over his computer. Aaron slowly turned to find Jusenkyou in his Avatar, cracking his knuckles ominously.

"As it happens," Jusenkyou said calmly, "I like that movie a great deal. It also happens that I don't like people who insult that movie. So, for your crimes…"

Aaron held out both hands defensively. "I'm not the person who wrote this! I'm… just looking over Aaron's story for him! My name's Eyewrin, and I'm his clone! Aaron's over there!" He pointed at the entertainment center, where Eyewrin was busy beating the crap out of Dark Schneider with Taunting Godhead Legend Stone Cold Dan Hibiki. Aaron had just purchased MTCFFU: Best of Ultra for the PS2, and so far he hadn't been able to pry his clone away from it.

Jusenkyou pointed at Eyewrin. "You!"

"Huh?" Eyewrin blocked another series of cheap-ass spells and retaliated with a pink puffball.

Jusenkyou stomped one foot. "I'm talking to you! Give me the respect due a God!"

"Just a sec, I'm about to pull off…" The really, really big sound system hooked to the TV resounded with the shout "DAN DAN BOOT TO THE HEAD!" and Darshu went flying off into the sunset.

"That's it, I'll make you listen!" Jusenkyou pulled a bucket out of nowhere and splashed it on the hapless clone as he waited for the load time to finish. Eyewrin transformed into a… wombat. Jusenkyou laughed.

"That'll teach you to make fun of my favorite movie!" Punishment inflicted, Jusenkyou disappeared.

Eyewrin leveled a glare at Aaron that the author translated as, "I'll get you. Maybe not now, maybe not tomorrow, but watch your back." Or maybe Aaron was reading too much into a single glance and the poor clone-turned-wombat was just constipated, but somehow… he doubted it.


Was it as good for you as it was for me? He's still looking at me funny, but that could be because I've got the computer with the good typing programs and he wants to start working on his latest fic. It's, um… kinda sick. Kinda really sick.

Stefan Gagne (that really, really cool guy) created MTCFF Ultra, and you must visit the site upon which that epic rests! Really! I insist. If you don't I'll never, never let you read another one of my stories ever, ever again, so you'd better…. Anyway, here's the address: http://mtcffultra.com/. Don't forget to check out NeoFighters, too!

Aaron Bergman
iamfanboy@hotmail.com

"If the body forms scars to remind us of past mistakes, then wisdom is the mind's scars."
-Me

Part 4
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