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Somewhere, Sometime
— I Ain't Tellin'

Jibril was bored, and that was saying something. Her patience was almost legendary, as was her force of will. Now however she found herself… intrigued. The golden-haired angel had heard of the so called 'Bet' that had been going on some time ago, but had brushed it off as something not to be bothered with. Soon, however, a vague interest had arisen and she found herself heading towards the now more-or-less unfamiliar and currently unoccupied Mimir's Well. Generally, there were one or more beings present there, even if it was just for the time of channel surfing the place offered.

But it was Belldandy's birthday, so people tended to be otherwise occupied. She had been voted "most popular divinity" for more than ten hundred years running.

The surface of the pool rippled, showing what she knew the others would refer to as a Crossover timeline. It looked interesting enough, and she was familiar with most of the story. She decided to turn it around when it got too gloomy.

Frankly, Jibril was a bit of a free spirit herself, and didn't really believe in destiny. So it came as no great surprise what she did.

Well, not to those who knew her, at least.

a Ranma ½ short story
by Griever
inspired by 'The Bet'
a story concept by Gregg Sharp

Disclaimer: Ranma ½ was created by Takahashi Rumiko, and is licensed to Shogakukan Inc., Kitty, Fuji TV, and Viz Communications Inc. I am not an anime scriptwriter, nor do I play one on TV. Hence, only the general idea of this fic is mine, not the characters or their backgrounds, nor the worlds depicted. And just for the record, I'm about as broke as they come (college — go fig').

Foreword: A short spamfic fic, no more. Just something to put up a concept. I'm not about to write a Ranma altaverse in this direction, so I thought putting the idea up would be good, because it's a shame to waste sometime with this sort of potential. It's short, and no more than a setting really, but here it is.

Nowhere, Nowhen…
Or Everwhere and Everywhen,
It Hasn't Been Decided Yet

In a timestream, every possibility is of equal importance. The most minute alterations, the smallest amount of chaos, can turn any prediction — no matter how well divined — to nothing but futile speculation.

The chaos factor is an unknown, she knew, and that was why when she detected a hint of it, she immediately went about removing it, waiting patiently for a chance. And as always, the chance had come, and she'd seized it. It had been easy to use her grasp of the timestream to manipulate a rift in the continuum — too easy, but that was the nature of her art.

Still, the disturbance had been dealt with, and time was once again a little more regulated a thing.

Just another day in the job of Setsuna Meiou.

Genma was a panda.

That wasn't his problem.

He was an idiot.

That was a problem, but not the one plaguing him at the moment. Rather, it was the partial cause of said problem.

His problem was that he had been sparring with his son, and after being changed by a dunk in one of the training ground's many pools, he had managed to knock his son into one. And Ranma had failed to surface.

What was he going to do? This was terrible! It meant that he'd have to *shudder* face responsibility… and a katana.

Truly, the path of a martial artist was plagued with peril.

Timeline C-99X-Dsc
Local Timestream

It was a magnificent building, a building shrouded in legend and mystery. A massive-yet-sleek tower that loomed over what seemed to be nothingness shrouded in mist, built of white marble and gleaming silver, adorned with glyphs and mystical symbols.

It was the Eighth Tower of Chronopia.

Existing outside space-time, it was home of the greatest Firstborn school of magic, the Collegium Temporum. Only the finest knights and scholars were allowed in, to train in the art of reading and manipulating time itself.

And for the first time in its history, an unwanted guest had come knocking.

Ranma Timeline,
Two Years Later

The very air shuddered and split, allowing him passage as his form materialized from seemingly nowhere. Tall and well-built, clad in his personalized suit of well-fitting black plate armour and covered in golden robes, he gave the impression of someone not to be messed with. His hands held a staff tipped by a crescent adorned with spikes, and the flag of his liege lord hung proudly from his back. He'd been one of the few, the chosen, who had managed to become the wisemen-warriors of the Firstborn, a Chronomancer.

And now he was home, in the world from which he had somehow been banished a decade ago. Or what felt like a decade, in the previous timeline. Here, it appeared to have been less by a fairly large margin.

He frowned, feeling the subtle manipulations that would have escaped one without his sort of training. A sort of background noise, as if a river were being directed where it wanted not to go… a time manipulation the likes of which would not have been dared on the world he'd just come from. Even though he'd been given leave by his liege, and even though there was no reason for him to, the Chronomancer known as Ranma Saotome exerted his power over time and sidestepped into the space that was known to only the most elite: the place between seconds, a mist-shrouded plane on which, in his world, the Chronomancer Tower stood guard over the passage of time.

But it was barren here; he felt no life, no breath passing within the place's confines. Odd, that. And the trace of magic, the disturbance was still there, and yet not… He found that he couldn't track it from where he was. Still, the chronomancer doing this had to eat sometime, and this place was a lonely one as well. If there was one thing a time mage knew, it was patience, and Ranma was good at what he did. He'd find the troublemaker in the real world. The traces of temporal magic would lead him to that person. He felt no others using their kind of spells on this Plane — not at that instant anyway — so it was a safe guess that he'd easily locate the person he was looking for.

He stepped aside again, into the realm most called Reality. His brief stint had, apparently, brought him further along than imagined. He didn't really recognize the city in the distance, but it seemed so much larger than even the greatest towns and even Chronopia itself.

And it was like the ones of his youth. A tiny bit of glee woke within his soul, and he smiled.

A few hundred miles away, in two different wards of Tokyo, two different people suddenly shuddered. One was admonished about shedding on the furniture, and disgruntledly accepted a kettle of hot water from one of his friend's daughters.

The other's grip on her metallic staff tightened as she felt something return … something she hadn't felt in years, and now… the sheer potential it radiated was enough to make her shudder again.

And rightly.


Author's notes: As far as I know, there isn't another Ranma/Chronopia crossover out there at this time. If anyone wishes to continue this idea, expand on it, or just plain steal some concepts to integrate into their own works, they're welcome to it. Just drop me a line at the usual: griever@wp.pl address. Right now, I'm going back to writing Roadtrip. I had hoped to be done with it already, but alas, no such luck.


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