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Chapter 2

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.

Sweat-soaked and panting, Ranma grinned at his opponent. Hotaru was equally bedraggled and favored her left leg noticeably. "You’re good," Ranma admitted, not in the least perturbed by the girl's skill and power. Many of his more powerful techniques were crippling in the best of circumstances, and had to be held back in this situation. Hotaru didn't have such a handicap and used her chi force to her advantage.

"You're not too bad yourself," Hotaru conceded, using the momentary break in action to catch her breath and stabilize depleted chi reserves. Ranma had entirely too high a tolerance to attacks that should have left him in bed for weeks.

Ah, screw it; they hadn't agreed on only using their respective schools, anyway. Ranma drew up his chi and folded it, wrapping the air in layers about himself. Once the desired effect was established, he shunted a portion of his aura several feet to his right. Hotaru automatically assumed the aura to be Ranma in hiding. She gathered a chi bolt in either hand, throwing one with the intention of stripping away Ranma's cloak and lowering his defenses, and following it with a smaller, but more concentrated one that would hopefully knock the boy on his ass.

Ranma didn't have much time to build up a significantly powerful strike, for to gather his chi slowly enough to make a sizable attack would alert Hotaru to his deception.

A moment passed before Hotaru launched herself after her dual attack. Ranma would have no way to dodge as she brought the fight in close and used her slight speed advantage. She was already in the air and flying at her target when the first strike passed harmlessly and without effect through where Ranma should have been. Even as she realized her mistake, Ranma was making his move. Skating around the dojo's perimeter, Ranma had made no noise, his vacuum soled feet never touching the mats. His small and relatively harmless chi bolt took Hotaru in the back of her weakened knee, choking a startled cry from her as her forward momentum slammed her into the barely padded floor.

Dropping his cloaking field, Ranma did a single-handed running handstand, using his free hand to tap a series of pressure points along Hotaru's left torso and breast. As he flipped back over and skated out of retaliatory range, Ranma could already see the Hotaru's impressive aura begin to bleed out uncontrollably. She didn't have any control over her aura, Ranma knew, but it provided her with enough of a cushion for him to pull off an explosion without hurting her.

Ranma snapped his arms back as if to pull of a double vacuum blade attack, but instead he used alternating vacuum zones and a small amount of chi to form two opposing currents. The air filled with a shrieking roar that shook the dojo to its foundation, and a distortion passed through the space between Ranma and Hotaru.

It would detonate before hitting Hotaru, shredding most of her aura and leaving her defenseless, or that's at least what would have happened if Hotaru's aura hadn't formed into a giant hand in the last fraction of a second before the vacuum bomb went off, grasping it tightly and redirecting its force. Ranma was amazed that the girl had managed such a complex manipulation while under the effects of that shiatsu combination, but amazement was muffled by the realization that his attack had just lost all controlling factors. He threw himself to the dojo's floor just as the bomb exploded, throwing omni-directional waves of concussive force throughout the dojo.

Hotaru's last-ditch effort had succeeded in shielding her from most of the blast, but her close proximity to it still caused her more than a comfortable amount of trauma.

Hotaru and Ranma had to help one another out of the dojo, neither of them having enough limbs working at the moment to attempt the effort unaided. Hotaru supposed that they shouldn't have scared everyone off in the beginning of the fight or they could be getting some first aid right then.

"I guess that's a draw," Ranma said. His right eye was swollen shut and that entire side of his face was black and blue. Ranma had never fought anyone to a draw before. Even his more vicious 'sparring' sessions with his father were always decided matches. That Ranma always won these was a given.

"Yeah," Hotaru agreed, wincing internally as she thought of the fit her grandfather would likely throw when he discovered his granddaughter and heir hadn't been able to soundly massacre Genma Saotome's heir. Happosai might not respect Genma, or his invented martial art, but Hotaru did. It's hard not to respect an art that lets it practitioner practically beat the living shit out of you.

The cavalry finally arrived. Kasumi, complete in nurse’s attire, came out of the house, a medical kit clutched to her chest. She was followed by an arguing Genma and Happosai.

"You'll see, you incompetent tub of lard!" Happosai crowed. "My little Hotaru will wipe the floor with that pathetic excuse for a martial artist you call your son!"

Genma's pathological fear of his former master seemed momentarily forgotten. "Ranma is the greatest martial artist ever, you shriveled-up little pervert! That little trollop of yours probably can't so much as make a battle aura." That the two men were stupid and completely ignoring signs they'd both seen went without question.

The tiny man and his one time student caught sight of their heirs at the exact same time. Their mouths fell open and neither seemed capable of speech.

"Oh, my!" Kasumi exclaimed, forcing Hotaru and Ranma to seat themselves on the back steps. "You two really shouldn't play so rough. Someone could get hurt." She opened the tackle box-like first aid kit and began extracting bandages and ointments.

"Sorry, Kasumi," they apologized simultaneously. Hotaru continued, "We just got carried away."

"Sure was fun, though," Ranma said, still excited and heart pumping with unspent adrenalin.

Genma and Happosai came out of their mental fog within a second of each other. Genma snatched Ranma up by his pigtail and Happosai used his pipe, liberally charged with chi, to knock Hotaru a few feet into the air.

"Boy, how could you let yourself be beaten by a girl?! A girl?!" Genma shouted. Waving his son around like a rag doll, Genma proceeded to dress Ranma down with every insult to his manhood that he could remember or create on the spot. Ranma, his body beaten and chi reserves greatly weakened, was in no position to fight back.

On the other side of the yard, Happosai was tearing into his student, though with much less violence. He would have copped a feel or ten, too, if he didn't fear what the girl would do to him when she recovered. "To think that after all these years of diligent effort, my heir would allow herself to be beaten by a Saotome!" Happosai wailed, lacing Ranma's family name with as much disgust as his squeaky old voice would allow. "If your grandmother Cologne found out about this, she would have a stroke!"

"Stupid old bastard," Ranma muttered to himself. "I didn't lose." Not that he had had time or the energy to inform his father of the fact while he'd been getting thrashed. "When I can move again, I'm gonna make him beg to die. Better yet, I'm gonna tattle on him to mom."

Hotaru limped into the dojo where Ranma had set up his bedroll. Soun had, through a generous application of force and death threats, reluctantly invited Happosai to stay in his home, and with him Hotaru. Genma and Ranma were, by default, welcome guests, but they were displaced by Happosai. Genma wisely chose to not sleep within close range of Ranma, so he found himself all alone in the drafty training hall.

"I brought you something to eat, since you were unconscious when Kasumi served dinner," Hotaru said. She sat a tray laden with several covered dishes and a small pot of tea next to Ranma.

"Thanks." Ranma was pleased to note that Hotaru's aura had begun to return to its full strength, and that the light bruise he'd accidentally inflicted to her cheek was fading away without lingering signs. His own face only sported a couple minor bruises now, and besides a few deep tissue injuries; his only concern now was working out the nerve disrupting shiatsu attacks Hotaru had used. They were persistent and interfered with his healing.

Hotaru watched Ranma as he ate, silently observing the careful manipulations and adjustments he was performing to his aura as he inhaled Kasumi's cooking. She'd forgotten about those, and was ashamed to have used the Amazon-based attacks to make him more intolerant of her heat-based chi attacks.

"Here, do it like this," Hotaru said. She reached out and laid her hand lightly atop Ranma's forearm. She felt the faint tugging of Ranma's unusual chi aura that she'd experienced during their fight, but disregarded it as unimportant at the moment. With skin-to-skin contact, and Ranma's willingness to allow her to alter his aura, Hotaru was able to reverse most of the cat's tongue pressure points. Ranma himself caught onto the specific procedure and finished.

"What was the purpose of that one, anyway?" Ranma asked, confused because he hadn't felt any difference in his fighting ability or perception during the fight after it'd been used on him.

Hotaru looked pensive for a couple seconds, but her face cleared and she said, "I guess I should tell you, since knowing the procedure without knowing the effects of a technique can be dangerous." She'd had that particular belief drilled into her by her adopted grandmother. "It's called the Full Body Cat's Tongue and it makes a person super sensitive to heat, especially hot water. I intended to use it in conjunction with a hot chi attack, but I couldn't hit you with it, so the effort was wasted."

"Uh, no offense, but that's a pretty silly shiatsu technique," Ranma said. He could see where it could have lasting consequences if not cured, especially for someone wanting to actually bath, but in a fight, the situations for hot water to be used were rare.

Hotaru nodded. "A lot of Amazon attacks have dumb names. That really fast speed maneuver I used is called ‘Chestnuts Roasting Over an Open Fire’, for example." She wasn't even going to mention Mousse's ‘Fist of the White Swan’. What kind of idiot uses a training potty as a weapon?

Ranma had wondered about what Hotaru had called out when she attacked him with the supersonic punch/kick combo, but his head had still been ringing from a powerful axe kick he'd taken. He'd never heard of Amazons, either, but Hotaru probably hadn't heard of the Musk, so they were on even footing.

"The Musk have something like that. I don't know about yours, but their variety uses chi to enhance muscle strength and speed." It wasn't as good as Hotaru's chestnut thing, though. Only by using a vacuum to help pull his punches forward and reduce air friction had Ranma been able to keep up with the girl's speed.

An hour passed as the pair discussed complicated and largely esoteric aspects of their differing arts. Ranma wanted to learn Happosai's chi temperature and aura manipulation and Hotaru wanted to learn to control vacuum and air currents like Ranma. Neither of them voiced their desire. They had just met, and it would be impolite to exchange techniques that belonged to their masters, no matter how stupid, useless, perverted, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera their masters were.

"What's your problem, Akane?" Nabiki asked as she joined her sister at the breakfast table. The youngest Tendo was glowing brightly and she was clutching her chopsticks so tightly that her knuckles had gone white.

Akane growled, "Those two… phonies! They come here, take over my dojo, and pretend like they're better than me! So what if they can do special effects? Fireworks aren't used by real martial artists."

Nabiki nodded absently, choosing not to reinforce her sister's delusions any farther. The girl was good, a winner of several tournaments and awards for excellence, and Nabiki didn't want to piss her off; but she had a tape of Ranma and Hotaru's little sparring session and what she'd seen had scared her. Akane could smash bricks, boards, and in some cases, bend metal bars. She sometimes even made a battle aura like the one she had going at the moment. Those two— ‘phonies’ wasn't the word; something more like superhumans— defied nearly every physical law Nabiki knew of.

Even now, Ranma and Hotaru looked pristine, none of the signs of their cataclysmic battle remaining from the day before. The characters from anime she'd seen didn't even heal that fast. What kind of people had her father got them mixed up with?

"School?!" came the shout from the living room. "Why do I have to go to school?" Hotaru didn't sound any happier than Ranma had when he'd been told five minutes earlier.

"Because, granddaughter, I won't allow my heir to be an uneducated simpleton while Genma's brat receives a proper education," Happosai answered calmly.

"Simpleton?!" Not the correct thing to say, not at all. Happosai was probably thinking the same thing as Hotaru began beating him with her staff.

The sound of Akane's chopsticks exploding into a miniature cloud of splinters drew Nabiki's attention to her sister. A large vein had become prominent in the girl's forehead and was throbbing perceptibly. "Now I have to put up with them at school too?" Nabiki backed away as her sister's battle aura began to throb in tempo with the vein. That was just creepy. Oh, well, she wasn't really a breakfast person. A muffin on the way to school would do just fine.

"This is so lame," Hotaru complained. "Grandfather has turned into such an idiot since we came to Tokyo." Hotaru was almost certain that Tokyo wasn't the problem. Soun and Genma, Genma especially, seemed to bring out the worst in her grandfather.

"My old man is always an idiot, so you're lucky," Ranma said, looking down at the fighter from his place on the fence. While Hotaru walked beside Akane, who was wrapped in a grim and brooding silence, Ranma's feet remained motionless, his aura compressed and inverted along the bottom of his slippers and causing him to slide along easily.

Hotaru shrugged the matter aside. School wouldn't be too bad. At least she'd have Ranma to talk to, and the last time she'd got a chance to socialize with girls her own age was back in the Amazon village. She looked at Ranma curiously, not for the first time wondering why he chose to travel in such an unorthodox manner. "Ranma, why do you do that?" she asked, pointing to his feet.

Ranma grinned, "Practice. The more I practice, the stronger a vacuum I can create." Hotaru accepted the answer without question, but Akane grumbled something about showoff con artists.

The clock tower of the school came into view a couple minutes later. Ranma was about to ask Hotaru if she wanted to race, but Akane began to chant, "I hate boys," repeatedly and he looked at her. She continued the litany and charged forward, sprinting full-tilt towards school.

"What do you suppose that's all about?" Hotaru asked. Akane was weird. Akane was also freakishly hateful and gave off mega jealous vibes. Hotaru couldn't help that she was better than the girl on practically every level of the Art, and likely in every other way, too.

"Beats me," Ranma replied. Akane was weird. Ranma had taken an instant dislike to the girl. She just couldn't seem to accept that there were people in the world more talented than her.

"Don't just float there, let's go find out!" Hotaru called, already jogging towards the school. She sensed Ranma's rapid approach and stopped, bending her knees slightly, then leaped at the entrance to the school. Just as she became airborne, Ranma joined her. They landed on the school's outer wall on either side of the iron gates.

The courtyard of Furinkan High School was littered with the insensate majority of the school's male population. Standing in the center of the devastation was Akane. From the girl, radiating in a loose spiral, were groaning boys, and one girl who had got caught in the melee before she could escape— or that's what she would tell anyone who asked.

"She's not too bad on crowd control," Ranma commented lightly. Everybody has to have at least one good quality and it looked like they had just found Akane's.

"We might as well go and congratulate her," Hotaru added, though she didn't know what exactly had prompted Akane's actions. With a nod of agreement, Ranma jumped from the wall, angling for Akane's right side. Hotaru landed to her left.

"Nice work, Akane," Hotaru said. Akane didn't hear her, though. She was still caught up in her 'I hate boys' chant.

Hotaru felt something approaching her at high speed and reflexively plucked it out of the air. It was a rose. Where in hell had a flying rose come from?

From the steps of the school someone loudly asked, "And who is this prime piece of womanflesh that stands before me?"

Hotaru and Ranma turned to see who the new comer was and nearly gagged when they saw a boy a year or two older than them wearing tiny leather briefs and nothing else. In one hand he held a leather riding crop.

"No matter!" he cried. "I shall give you pleasure through the ecstasy of pain!" The insane pervert with a deathwish jumped the last few steps to the ground and began running straight for Hotaru, swinging his crop wildly.

As any good girl would do, Hotaru screamed, "Eeeek, pervert!" and pulled her staff out of empty space. The boy didn't even know what hit him as a beam of boiling red chi slammed into him and threw him into the wall of the school.


To be continued.

Author's Notes: Uh, not much to say, sorry. C&C is always nice, and you can send me some at dark_phoneix@hotmail.com

Chapter 3
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