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Chapter 5

A Ranma ½ - Sailor Moon crossover story
by Dark Phoenix

Disclaimer: Ranma ½ and its characters and settings belong to Rumiko Takahashi, Shogakukan, Kitty, and Viz Video. Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon belongs to Takeuchi Naoko, Koudansha, TV Asahi, and Toei Douga, and DIC.

With no small amount of awe, the Senshi and I, along with a pair of talking cats, watched Usagi's eyes flutter open and I could easily see a glaze fade from her eyes that I had never even noticed was there. Must've been something important locked away in there.

"Are you well, Usagi?" Luna asked worriedly. If she had been human, she would have been biting her nails.

"Yeah, sure. Why is everyone looking at me like that? Do I have something on my face?" No one responded. A plane of air in front of Usagi solidified and became reflective. She examined herself in the makeshift mirror and shrugged when she found nothing wrong. I absolutely know that I hadn't taught her how to do that. Sure, Ami knew how, but hers are always slightly blue tinted. This one was completely colorless.

If her overall intelligence improves along with her magical capability, there may yet be hope for the world. "Hey, Usagi, what's three plus three?" I asked.

"Six," she responded without thinking. I couldn't help myself. I looked into the cloudless blue sky and mouthed the words, 'Thank you'. I got over the shock faster than anyone else, and spent an hour quizzing Usagi. The girl had a lot of magical knowledge pertaining to white sorcery in her head. That's all the mystical info she had. The three nonaligned spells I had managed to cram into her divinely thickened skull were forgotten. I patterned her a pure white spell that yours truly created, one designed to keep boogey men (they really exist) from congregating under your bed. She literally sucked the pattern out of the air!

All other attempts at getting the same results with varying classes and levels of magic were complete failures. She wouldn't be much good in a fight against anything non-hell spawned, but watch out if you were! This development had several other advantages. Usagi was no longer terminally brain-dead, or so I gathered from our short chat. The Silver Imperium Crystal was about as useful to her now as a chunk of concrete. And I didn't have to teach her anymore! I didn't count the few hours it would take to teach her all the white-aligned spells I knew that she didn't.

The Senshi decided to take their leader out to celebrate. I didn't want to be within range of that much concentrated girlishness. No more wasting time and energy on finding a new home, and now I could really accelerate the lessons for the others. Two or three years and I'd be gone.

I opened my door and nearly tripped over an envelope that had been slipped under the door. I didn't immediately open it. Once the pit that is my stomach had been adequately satisfied and I'd reverted to a guy, I got around to it. Turns out Setsuna's webbed fingers don't stop her from writing after all.

Dear Bastard,
I may not be able to do anything to you now, but when the conditions of the pact are met, you are mine!
-Your executioner Setsuna Meiou

The words were barely legible and there were traces of slime on the note. I didn't fail to get the message. She couldn't mess with my past, or the pact would never have happened and we wouldn't have met and I wouldn't have made her life hell. She couldn't sic the Senshi on me because they already liked me more than her, and I did have the ring. I'm pretty confident that I can fight off a temporal assault. I'm not stupid enough to have absolute confidence against a Temporal mage safely hidden away at the Gates of Time, a place where I won't be able to reach when the pact is fulfilled.

Only option with one hundred percent survival rate? Separate myself from her sphere of influence. In other words, move to another universe.

A lot more time went by than I would have thought before the government called up begging me and my 'protégés' to pull their asses out of the fire. Fools should have known better than to perform a séance (you know, hold hands in the dark and chant to call up spirits and other bad stuff) on a secret warlock burial ground. What were they trying to do, see what they guy wiped his ass with? Any spirit that has been entombed for as long as this one had isn't going to be good for much more than that.

"I'm game," I said to the Senshi. "It's a paying job, and really shouldn't be too hard. All we have to do is rescue a group of scientists. None of you even have to do any work, just come along to make sure nobody interferes with me when I'm busy." Bad things can happen when people do that. I think that's what sunk Atlantis.

The man in charge was kind enough to have a helicopter ride out to the site arranged for us. It was one of those expensive deals that are quieter than a hummingbird. I was hopping around in my seat like a nervous child by the time we arrived at the closest possible landing site. This was the kind of find that people like me, wizards, sorcerers, warlocks, etc, all dreamed about. The practice of separating oneself from reality at the moment of death had been stopped millennia ago, once it was discovered by some halfway intelligent wizard that the spirit left behind within its own tiny little bubbleverse suffers immense pain for eternity— kinda like hell, only worse. If you could find an ancient tomb like this, and had the proper training, which I did, you could use the energy to forge a magical tool of immense power. Ever heard of Excalibur?

The raw power of Usagi's crystal, which I now have reason to believe may be one of those magical tools created at a very powerful tomb, is nothing compared to the 'pure' energy that can be found contained within the bubble that contains the spirit. I don't know why it works that way. No one does. I once read a theory that only went so far as to guess that since there were no other forces within the microverses (better term in my opinion) besides the relatively weak energy of a single spirit, that magic is distilled into its most basic form.

Whatever the reason, I was getting me something special today. I really couldn't decide what I wanted to make it into. Now that I think about it, what I would be getting my hands on today would be a tiny piece of creation itself. I would get to actually Make something. Whatever I wanted (within reasonable limits). Poor Setsuna, she was going to be one miserable bitch come tomorrow.

"You certainly are excited, Ranma," Ami commented moments before the aircraft began landing.

"This is sorta like my birthday times a million," I confessed. None of them would understand what was happening, not even Usagi and her little cranial library. White magic doesn't work well when interfering with reality. Makes me wonder why someone created the crystal just to hand it over to the Almighty's bastard… never mind, answered my own question.

Ami only gave me a puzzled look. The other Senshi were too busy staring at the column of rainbow light rising from the top of the little mountain we would soon be flying to, under our own power.

"Don't let anything within twenty feet of me," I ordered. "Not a cute little butterfly or a flying saucer. If the Emperor himself shows up and wants to kiss my feet, vaporize him." I pointed to the five scientists trapped within the column of light being given off by the breached tomb. They didn't look happy. In fact from the screaming and incoherent begging, I got the impression that they would have peeled their own skin off If it would have helped them escape. "I don't want to end up like that, and I hope none of you do."

"What if it's a cute little kitten?" Usagi asked. She may not be an idiot, or an inept sorceress any longer, but she was still an airheaded teenage girl.

"If it's your own mother," I insisted. She glared at me. I smiled pleasantly and she turned to look at the screaming people. She nodded.

Finally prepared, I made a small cut on the inside of my left forearm and thoroughly coated the blade of my athame in my own blood. The air crackled with energy and the ground trembled as I began to chant in a language so dead and ancient that I didn't even know what continent it originated on. As the ritual continued, the world fell away from my perceptions. Soon all I could sense were tiny flares of energy far behind me that signified the Senshi standing guard. Within moments, even that small bit of sensory input faded away. My mind, with the full backing of every shred of power I could muster, was now being propelled through that place between existences where an instant can last an eternity, and infinity can go by in the blink of an eye. For obvious reasons, I have no idea how long I traveled this way.

When I found my target, my powers were nearing their limit. That didn't matter; the hard part was over. Mentally, because I had no form here, I reached out to the pathetic little ovoid of milky colored wavering light. The shock of contact was almost orgasmic in its intensity. Carefully, so as not to lose too much energy, I opened a gateway in that microverse smaller than an electron. Despite the surrounding environment, I'm sure that no time passed between that action and a streak of blue light created by the escape of the soul trapped within being jettisoned back towards the relatively more pleasant realm of hell.

With the soul gone, the microverse collapsed in on itself, becoming nothing more than a mote of intense light. Within my mind I pictured the form I wished that energy to take. I decided earlier to follow the example of the creator of the Silver Imperium Crystal. Properly aligned, I could use such a crystal, one of my own making, to imitate almost anything that I could create now. And I wouldn't be limited to a simple energy source. No, my crystal would act as a lens for my own energy. No danger of burning myself out that way. Combine it with the Silver Imperium Crystal… well, I'm not really greedy. I don't want to challenge the Almighty.

The milky, multi-faceted crystal took shape in my mind and formed simultaneously in reality. Exhausted, I let consciousness fall away, avoiding a potentially painful reentry into my body.

I couldn't have been out long. The sun hadn't moved perceptibly at all. I stood shakily, hastily absorbing my crystal into my hand. I was too tired to try using it at the moment. The flattened mountaintop had been exposed to an awesome amount of heat, enough to leave it bubbling in most places and a thick layer of volcanic glass in the areas that had cooled. The Senshi were all safely ensconced within shields of varying colors. I winced as I took in the sight of five badly charred individuals standing where the scientists had been transfixed. They weren't suffering any longer. Heh.

"Oops," I said.

"'Oops' is all you can say?!" Rei shouted at me. I did deserve a little verbal abuse. "Why don't you come over here and have a look at what you've done?"

Not in the mood to argue, I slowly gathered up some of the energy floating around, there was lots to go around, and tested out my new lens. Even with my diminished energy levels and physical exhaustion, I was able to cool the molten rock with hardly any effort. I staggered over to Rei, who had lowered her shield once the danger from the lava was gone. She silently pointed to the bottom of the mountain, then swept her arm from side to side.

"Oops," I repeated. What else can you say when you've just accidentally transported a mountain, yourself, and a gang of sorceress' in training to another universe? They didn't know we weren't in our own dimension. The Senshi weren't that sensitive. They probably just thought we were somewhere in China or something. I hadn't even noticed the subtle differences in the ambient energy at first. All that late night exploring had paid off, sorta.

With the lens' help, I began restoring my reserves of energy at a nice break neck pace that would have turned me into a cinder unaided. How was I going to break the news? Better yet, how were they going to react when they found out that I wasn't sure if I could get us home?

Transdimensional plane hopping isn't to be taken lightly. Home coordinates and destination coordinates have to be firmly established. I hadn't done either. I was about to spill my guts when an idea struck me. Why did this have to be my fault at all? I could blame it on one of the Senshi; Usagi would work best, and be just another unfortunate victim. Hell, for all I knew, this really wasn't my fault at all.

"Wait a minute," I said suspiciously, "who didn't follow instructions? Which one of you let something get too close?" I demanded. No one came forward, not that I had expected anyone to. I let them get indignant and angry at one another, with Rei looking ready to bitch slap Usagi, before deciding to play peacemaker.

"I'm sorry I blamed you guys," I said understandingly. "There was a lot of area for just five of you to cover." I felt a little bad about manipulating them, but it saved me a lot of trouble and didn't strain their friendships.

They accepted that explanation readily enough. "Where do you think we are, Ranma?" Minako asked.

I shouldn't keep the truth from them. Here it comes. "We're not really on Earth anymore. Actually, we're not in our home universe any longer."

Ami was the first to understand the implications of that statement. In a frightened whisper, she asked, "Ranma, do you know how to get us home?"

Ah, jeez. They all began giving me the frightened puppy dog look, complete with big giant, moistly shining eyes. "I know how to get us home," I answered honestly. "I just don't know where home is."

We were all sitting around a good-sized fire that I had made when the temperature started to drop as evening approached. Usagi was crying on Rei's shoulder.

"I can find our home dimension, eventually. It'll take a shitload of searching, but I can do it. Problem is that I don't have the necessary tools to do that. We're gonna have to hope this world is at least partially civilized, because I know how to magically polish and silver a mirror, but I don't have any idea how to get the quality of glass needed for the proper spells. That's only one essential item. I can probably improvise most of the others, it'll just take longer." To tell you the truth, I didn't much mind being on this world, wherever it was. The naturally occurring free energy that powered most magic was of a higher level and quantity here. The air was actually fresh, too.

"And I called Shingo a goat-faced punk this morning," Usagi told Rei's shoulder. We ignored the blubbering girl.

"If we can find food and water, this shouldn't be too bad an experience," Makoto said with false cheer. "I haven't been camping in years."

"That's the spirit. Tomorrow I'll find us something to eat and I'll work out a spell to lead us to the nearest people." If there were any people. "Well, I'm beat. G'night." For lack of anything better to sleep on, I conjured up a cushion of air and made myself comfortable.

Three days later, after fighting off swarms of mosquitoes and living off berries and a variety of wombat that I had convinced the girls was giant rabbit, we found a dirt road. It was the first sign of civilization and cheered the Senshi and me up significantly. My tracking spell was generally effective. I think that the population was just too spread out for it to work as well as I'd hoped.

"Time to take a vote," I announced. Little things like that keep people happy. "Which way do we go?" I was pretty sure they would say east. West led towards some unpleasant looking mountains. Unanimous decision. East.

Some time later, I asked, "Why don't we just fly?" I was embarrassed that I hadn't thought of it earlier.

The girls all blushed. Yep, they were asking themselves the same question.

"One of us should have thought of this earlier, like three and a half days ago," Makoto said, raising her voice so she could be heard over the wind.

It's hard to say for certain, but I'd estimate we were traveling at about a hundred kilometers an hour. Plain dumb luck should lead us to something besides more road. Roads much longer than what we'd already traveled weren't very practical unless they had towns or some kind of hotel or supply depot along the way. That would be even more important in a pre-industrial society. I'm starting to sound like Ami. Not the worst of the choices.

I didn't comment on that topic, instead asking, "Have any of you noticed the higher energy index of this planet?" I hadn't mentioned this earlier and was wondering if any one of the girls was naturally sensitive enough to pick up on the fact without it being pointed out to them.

Surprisingly, they all said they had felt something unusual. Minako, Makoto, and Rei had only felt a slight charge in the air. Usagi and Ami were seeing things as brighter than normal even though the light level was so close to our natural sun as to be indistinguishable, and thought they saw and felt odd little crackles of energy when they worked magic. Now that Usagi was a mostly normal girl, I had a much weaker urge to murder her. She was turning out to be a dependable teammate, too.

Argh, this camaraderie crap is contagious!

Our little dirt road joined with a much larger one made of painstakingly carved granite blocks interlocked with one another like pieces of a puzzle. The different shades and colors of the stone made the road more than an impressive piece of civil engineering. It was actually a work of art.

"I wish I had my camera," Minako lamented after a suitable amount of time gawking. Jeez, it was a road, not a naked woman.

"Just get a clear picture of it in your head and whenever we get home you can imprint it on photographic paper," I assured her. "I taught you that spell the week before last.

"Oh, yeah. I kinda forgot about it. Thanks for reminding me."

"This really is an astounding structure," Ami said, while viewing a 3D image generated by her computer. "I've been able to distinguish over seven hundred varieties of granite here. That shouldn't be possible."

"This isn't Earth," I reminded. "This isn't even our universe. For all its similarities to Earth, there could be just as many differences. This is just a minor one." If something like this was gonna happen, I wish it could have a waited a few years or at least until the girls really understood what was happening.

The road ran perpendicular to our dirt one, heading off as far as the eye could see to the north and south. A few miles further east, through a stand of some kind of blue leaved trees, there was an ocean. It could have been a really big lake too, if lakes ever got that choppy. I hadn't been to the beach in years. "Before we head out again, do any of you want to go for a swim?"

Minako was the only one reluctant, and that was because she didn't have a swimsuit.

"Don't be silly," Makoto said teasingly. "It's just us girls here." We all nodded encouragingly at her. Inside my head there was a giant evil grin.

"I guess," she seemed more embarrassed at her reluctance itself than the prospect of being nude in front of her friends.

I checked to make sure the water wasn't poisonous or infested with microscopic piranha or any other unpleasant surprise before letting the other girls into the water. The water was only slightly salty. I turned back toward the other to make sure they made it into the water. Hint, wink, nudge, grin. All of the Senshi are really much more mature physically than your standard everyday sixteen-year-old girl. And they're hot. No two ways to say it. And they all had pierced nipples. What in hell?!

"What in hell?!" I shouted, forgetting to ride out the next wave and nearly choking on a mouth full of seawater. I was quickly rescued, needlessly, by three of the Senshi. I let Rei give me mouth to mouth for a few seconds before pretending to start breathing again.

"Are you hurt? What happened? Why did you go so far if you can't swim?" I endured their barrage of worried questions, slightly touched that they cared. Don't make a big deal out of it.

I told them that I had stepped into a hole and lost my footing. They believed me. Then I pretended to just happen to notice the piercing. "Um, why are your nipples pierced? Not that they don't look great and all, you girls just don't seem like the type."

They all looked at Makoto. She blushed, finally answering, "We were having a sleep over at my apartment, and I fixed a bunch of snacks and punch and stuff like that. I spiked the punch a little…"

"But none of us knew that and we all spiked it a little too," Rei said guiltily.

"We still can't figure out whose idea it was," Ami said, absentmindedly toying with the small gold ring in her right breast. "All I can remember is waking up, and they were already there."

"I remember most of it," Usagi added.

"And since we already had had it done, we decided to keep them," Minako finished.

Well. Well, well, well. Maybe my little students weren't so innocent after all. "That's cool. When we get back home, I might see about having it done too." Not that that statement was in any way honest. I use too much direct energy to ever have any kind of metal in such close contact with my body. In fact, Makoto probably would have electrocuted herself by now if she weren't so closely bound to her element.

My last comment broke down into a debate on whether gold or silver was better, then if hoops or bars were more attractive. I was really enjoying myself. They just kept playing with their tits! A storm coming in off the ocean interrupted the little party. A bitterly cold wind preceded the black clouds. With no shelter in sight and having no desire to be stranded in such bad weather, I said, "Get your stuff together and I'll make us a little magic tent." Previously, before the ritual that had secured my crystal (I still haven't been able to think of a good name for it) it would have been an exhausting experience maintaining any kind of spell within a storm as fierce as this one promised to be. Now I could use the excess energy that I would have had to fight to keep the spell cohesive to actually hold it in place.

The dome was pretty spacious, with a sand bottom that was partially wet. I covered most of it in an invisible cushion of air, but at Usagi's request, I left enough of it exposed for her to build sand castles.

"So these last few nights when we were all being chewed up by swarms of mosquitoes, you could have just made this?" Rei asked, deceptively calm.

"Uh huh," I answered, lounging comfortably on the air cushion.

"Why didn't you?" Still much calmer than she felt.

"No one ever asked, and I've already taught you the spell that keeps insects away. Ami used it. I guess you forgot. Sorry." I sounded sleepily disinterested. Rei lunged at me, more playfully than the last dozen or so times. I lazily raised my hand and allowed a tiny, almost imperceptible arc of electricity to fly from it and directly to Rei's right nipple ring. She yelped like a kicked dog and screeched in pain. "Play nice," I warned the glaring girl. Waving a finger that trailed sparks into the air. I hadn't really hurt her, I knew. She could have brushed her hair and gotten more of a charge than what I just used.

Rei had a maniacal gleam in her eyes that almost made me raise my shields. I noticed that she was looking at Usagi instead of me and relaxed. Fire being the girl's element, it was difficult for her to create any kind of electrical energy, but when she managed to call it up, Rei's effort was a sizable charge about ten times stronger than what I used on her. I winced in sympathy for Usagi and covered my ears.

The scream was bloodcurdling, and Usagi's spasming leg caused her to destroy what she had claimed to be a copy of the palace she had once lived in during her previous life. It had looked pretty good. A few minutes later I was forced to restrain the two girls who were really going at it.

"It was just a joke!" Rei swore vehemently. "I didn't mean for it to be that strong, Usagi. I promise!" The big handprint on the side of her face would definitely leave a mark.

Usagi glared at her friend, all the while rubbing at her pained nipple. What had I started? I sighed and let fly with another charge of electricity, equal to what Rei had used on Usagi. Rei flopped around like a fish out of water. When she stopped screaming, both her and Usagi were glaring at me. "Hey, don't look at me like that. I did it to Rei because she was trying to gouge my eyes out again. Rei did it to you out of sheer bitchiness. I did it to Rei again so that she would have the common sense not to try it again."

The other Senshi had watched in a mix of fascination, awe, and horror. I couldn't blame them for protectively covering their chests with their arms. Those things are a lot more sensitive than a guy's. For obvious reasons, I know all to well.

"I'm sorry that I started this crap. There. Now I'm going to go to sleep and we're going to forget that this ever happened." I made myself comfortable and closed my eyes. Things would be back to normal tomorrow, if a little strained between Usagi and Rei


To be continued.

Author's Notes: Another one. I'm once again finishing this one up at about five in the morning, so I'll just leave the notes to a thanks for the responses and a good night to everyone out there. C&C welcome at dark_phoneix@hotmail.com

Chapter 6
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