Chapter 2: First Impressions
A Ranma ½ / Dragonball crossover story
by Adrian D. Moten
Disclaimer: Ranma ½ and its characters and settings belong to Rumiko Takahashi, Shogakukan, Kitty, and Viz Video. Dragonball is owned by Akira Toriyama and Toei Animation.
Ranma woke up for the third time in as many minutes. Grumbling, as well as annoyed, he glanced out the window. It was still dark with no hint of sun.
"Great. Now I can't sleep…" His tail flicked out to one side, brushing his arm. He almost attacked it, but lowered his fist remembering that he fell asleep in his cursed form. "Jeez… I keep forgetting about the tail."
Sighing, Ranma tossed off the sheet that was draped over him and rose from the mat. He yawned and stretched out, feeling muscles and bones groan and pop, idly wondering where Genma was. Absently shrugging, he grabbed a pile of clothes, then headed out of the room in his boxers and undershirt.
"Since I can't sleep, might as well execute a few kata."
The clock read 4:45.
Kasumi eyed it carefully as she was lying in bed. "Fifteen minutes before the alarm." She sat up, taking the digital clock into her hands and deactivating the alarm function temporarily. Peeling the covers back, she swung both legs off the edge of the bed, but made no other move to leave her room.
"It's strange. Yesterday, I was just a housewife; today, I'm engaged to an almost complete stranger." She sighed softly, her arms propping her forward. "A Saiyajin," she corrected herself, wondering if that was a good or bad thing.
"Well, Ranma does appear to be a very nice person, despite being a Saiyajin. I suppose…." She mind slid back to yesterday. Akane, the best fighter in the Nerima ward, and Ranma knocked her unconscious in less than three seconds with frightening ease. Then she was facing off against him, a housewife versus possibly the best fighter in ever in Japan, but she wasn't afraid of him… Well, not too afraid; she was definitely nervous, though. And he was just as gruff and frank as he had been with her youngest sister, but there was also something else there….
Kasumi set it all aside in her mind for now. Quietly, she undressed and swept up a rose-colored robe and her bath supplies. Putting on the former and picking up the latter, she slipped out of her room and down the stairs.
"Man, that felt better," Ranma said to himself as he soaked in the hot bath. He looked himself over. "Sure do miss my other form, though. Weakness, hah. Yeah, right, Oyaji. What's so weak about being a sie… sei… sai… yajin, anyway? I'm tons faster, stronger, and more powerful than I use to be when I was just plain old ordinary Ranma. If anything, being in my normal form's the weakness.
"No matter; I got it all now. Not only have I reached Oyaji's level, I've exceeded it and then some. We aren't planning on going anywhere for awhile, so I can grow some roots. Hell, I even got Kasumi for a fiancée…."
He froze in his thoughts. Kasumi, as a fiancée? And he agreed to it all too easily? Even Genma was surprised that Ranma took matters in such stride. And the kiss…?
He grumbled, "What the hell was I thinking?"
"Hmm… Akane must have gotten up earlier than usual," Kasumi noted as she spied a gi in the clothes hamper. "I wonder how well she is doing?"
Setting down her bath stuff, she slipped off her robe. After retrieving her supplies, she began to walk through the bathroom door.
"She seems like a nice person. Kinda quite, though, but she's got great potential as a fighter. Greater than cutie's; she's too stubborn to be able to move up to the next level. A shame she stopped training, or maybe a blessing, if Tendo-san can't train one girl right." He rose out of the water, preparing to leave the bath, when the door opened.
She just walked in, saying, "Good morning, A—" when her eyes fixated upon the wet, naked boy just coming from the bath. He caught sight of her, too, and a stunned silence followed. She could feel his eyes upon her, roaming up and down her form. Not that she could blame him for looking, as she was doing the exact same thing. A blush rippled across the bridge of her nose and spread through her cheeks.
"K-K-Kasumi…?" the boy stammered.
That voice… It sounded familiar, and he looked like she should know him. However, it was a difficult task to recall where had she seen him from before; the steam rising from the water gave him a dream-like quality, and there was the matter of—
Steam? Hot water? She blinked from her stupor. "R-r… Ranma…?"
He nodded dumbly.
It grew incredibly hard for her to talk then. "Oh, my… Ah… I'll… I'll… I'll just… oh, my… let you, ah… finishyourbath!" Without waiting for a reply, she slipped out of the bathroom.
Breaking completely out of his stupor, he bolted towards her. "Kasumi, wait!" Unfortunately, in his haste he slipped on wet tile and sprawled on the floor, flat on his face. He lay there for a minute unmoving, embarrassed from a lot of things. He could sum up the entire experience in one word: "Shit."
Her robe put on and tied, Kasumi leaned against the wall. The blush burned in her cheeks with a vengeance from just thinking about the incident. She could sum up the entire experience in one word as well: "…oh, my…."
Okay, so it was two words.
Nabiki was never an early riser. Being awoken by the sounds of flesh rapidly pounding on flesh, occasionally punctuated by a battle cry, rising from the backyard did nothing to improve her mood on the matter. Groggily, she dragged herself out of bed, grabbed her bath things and headed downstairs, still in pajamas.
The sounds that roused her out of a good dream assaulted her ears even more when she made it down. Bleary-eyed, Nabiki searched for the infernal source of her new displeasure. After rubbing her eyes, she looked again.
Genma was facing off against… a blur, almost. True, the old man was moving very fast himself, which kind of surprised Nabiki, given that he was at least in his forties and had a large paunch, but whatever he was fighting against….
The miniature battle broke off suddenly, and she got a good look at the other person. A young boy wearing black pants tied at the ankles and an undershirt, was standing opposite Genma, who was across the koi pond. His pigtail floated behind his head, a smirk riding his lips. The boy then held up one finger, then pointed downward to the cold waters of the pond. Genma nodded, then suddenly they both leapt at each other. They met in mid-air and engaged on combat. A few seconds later, combat ended with a splash and a small geyser.
Nabiki blinked. The boy not only parried each of Genma's strikes with little effort, but he continued to rise, grabbing a hold of the older man's shoulders and inverting himself over his head before he uprighted himself in mid-air and kicked off of his back, rocketing Genma bodily into the pond. However, that wasn't what had gotten the meticulous Tendo daughter's attention; the boy seemed to be floating on nothing for what felt like an eternity at the height of his ascension before landing with a soft thump where Genma had started from, completely avoiding the gushing waters.
"Oh, my. I imagine Saotome-san will need something different for breakfast," Kasumi said behind Nabiki. She then produced a large plate of bamboo shoots.
Nabiki quirked an eyebrow to her older sister, but did not say anything about it. "So, who's the boy?"
"That is… Ranma-kun."
She glanced back to Kasumi, whose cheeks were tinted pink. An idea came to her. Smiling she said, "Wow, Kasumi, aren't you two going to wait until you're married first before you and get into that part of your relationship?" She received an unsettling answer when the oldest Tendo daughter turned a deeper shade of red. "You two are already having sex so soon? He just arrived yesterday."
Kasumi almost dropped Genma-panda's breakfast; a fact that did not go unnoticed the middle sister. "Nabiki!!"
"I'm kidding, sis!" Inside, she was more than a little disturbed. Just what was going on here? True, she and he were engaged, but Kasumi was old-fashioned in her ideas about sex before marriage. Surely….
Ranma broke in. "Hey, Nabiki."
"Hello, Ranma," she replied.
"Um, do you mind… Well, can I, you know, borrow, ah, Kasumi…?" He rubbed the back of his head, a barely faint blush resting across his nose.
"Why do you need to ask for my permission, Ranma? She is your fiancée, after all." She smiled, as the boy's blush grew a little more visible. "I was on my way to the bath anyway." She made a mental note how he and Kasumi synchronized a deeper blush at the mention of 'bath'. "See you two later." She left Kasumi and Ranma alone.
"Um…" Ranma began. "About…about this morning…" Absently, he rubbed the back of his head again.
"That… it was… my fault." she said, still holding the tray with bamboo shoots.
He blinked. "Huh?"
"I saw a gi… and I assumed it was Akane's… and… and I'm sorry if I caused you any embarrassment." She held her lower. "I'm sorry, Ranma-kun."
Ranma blinked again. "Um, no, no, nothin' to be sorry about… I mean, we're engaged and stuff, so… what's the problem with seein' each other naked?"
She looked up, a little surprised.
He continued on, not noticing. "I mean, it's not like you need to be ashamed of how you look and all. You're pretty, and…" This time, he noticed a blush spreading across the oldest daughter's features. "…Ah, sorry, I-I-I…." Oddly enough, the confidence he had last night fled from him like a wraith in sunlight.
"No, Ranma-kun, it's all right. I… I just never had someone compliment me like that."
"Is that a good thing?"
Kasumi laughed softly. "Yes, Ranma-kun, it is." She kissed him on his forehead. "Now, hurry and clean up for breakfast." She thought for a moment, then added, "After Nabiki is finished with her bath."
He smiled. "Sure thing."
Kasumi smiled back, then went back into the kitchen, humming a light tune. As soon as she was inside, she stopped her tune, placed the bamboo shoots on the counter, and then pressed a finger to her lower lip. "I wonder what came over me then…." After a second, she put it to the back of her mind and continued humming as she went on to finish cooking breakfast.
[That's my son! No woman can resist the Saotome charm!]
"Oh, shut up, Oyaji."
[We must get you two married as soon as—] The panda found itself submerged in the koi pond again.
"Don't interfere, Oyaji. Understand?"
"Good. Now get out of the pond. You're scaring all the fish in there."
"After Nabiki's done."
Nabiki headed to the bathroom after Ranma and Kasumi went to their respective places.
"Congratulations, Ranma. My respect for you just went up quite a few notches." With that, she passed into the bathroom door.
"Is this the place?"
"I think so. This was the direction Ranma went, and he is Japanese."
"So you deduced from that that this Ranma went overseas to Japan? How astute an observation coming from you. Who knew a brain so small was capable of coming to a conclusion so big?"
"How dare you speak of my Shampoo like that, Tarou! If you weren't needed for this reconnaissance mission, I'd—" He fell suddenly, most likely from the blow that came by means of a bonbori.
"Shut up, Mousse. I am perfectly capable of speaking for myself."
"Bet he never saw that one coming," Tarou said, chuckling. "Then again, I bet he never sees much of anything without his glasses."
She regarded him coolly. "As for you…."
He smirked coldly. "I really hope you don't think you can scare me with your posturing. You and I know I can drop you like a sack of wheat, no problem, and in either form. Personally, I don't give a damn about you, Myopic Boy, or your village. I'm only here for one thing. After I get it, I'll finally be able to get my name changed."
Shampoo merely glared at him and said no more on that subject. "So how do we find Ranma?"
"Easy." Without preamble, he held up a black book. "We use the Jusenkyo Registry."
"How did you get that?"
"I swiped it from the Guide while we were there. Now, wake that blind idiot up and let's go. We're going to catch a boat to Japan."
Tarou left for the dock. Shampoo stared off the distance across the ocean, where the sun was just creeping over the horizon. "Soon, Ranma, we will meet again."
Turning back to the prone form of Mousse, she kicked him just hard enough to rouse him, then lead him to the shipyard.
To be Continued.
Author's notes: Wondering what's going on here, as there's a Tarou lurking about? You'll find out soon enough in later chapters…
What happened to Akane? Well, she doesn't really want to face anyone just yet after feeling so embarrassed, and I wrote it as such. She'll definitely be in the next chapter, so don't worry.
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