Or: The Stork's Worst Nightmare
A Private Bet Timeline
Author's Notes: I say this in advance… I'm sorry, I'm really, really sorry about this idea. I read 'Lemonade', 'Lemonade Punch', 'Lemonade Sherbet', 'Life and Times', 'Mirrors Multiplied', Oneshot's 'Just Won't Die' series, then I found Metroanime's 'Bet' archive… and the rest was history. Anyway… Flames and nukes can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. Praise, constructive comments and MST's can be sent to email@example.com.
Now to cover myself…
Disclaimer: (Takes a Deep Breath) I would list the respective series and creators but it would take up too much space so I'm giving the very condensed version. Takahashi-sama owns Ranma and UruseiYatsura, AIC & Pioneer have Tenchi and company, Sailor Moon and all of the others are properties of their respective creators. This story is only for amusement; no profit was made. Gregg Sharp is the creator of 'The Bet' and Toltiir. Kudos to him.
HACK… WHEEZE… COUGH… whew.
After much consideration, I decided to keep the more juicy bits as separate side-stories to this Bet, thereby allowing me to sum it up much easier then having to go from lemon scene to lemon scene to lemon scene. However there is a lime warning! I'm playing around with a very delicate subject here so if you ain't mature enough… scram.
This story is due to the hard work of the author. Please don't steal it, and if you're going to MST it, at least have the courtesy to ask first. I'm not unreasonable.
Several ideas and creations of other authors used will be acknowledged individually at the end of this stone.
—This is the Revised Version of the first part of this Bet.
Part 1: Macho, Macho Man
-A place best left Unnamed
"Let me get this straight. Every Bet made here will continue to run, no matter who wins, because we don't have enough power to revert them back to their original position after we toss our pebbles in the time-lines?"
"You got it."
"That's got to be the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard! The other Bet's entries all dissolved after that Bet was over!"
"That's because they used phase-realities to make their Bets in. We don't have access to enough energy to even get one entry in that. This pool allows us to influence events by affecting the Nexus nodes in these parallel realities, but while it's easy enough to add the energy needed for an entry, the amount of power necessary to revert things back to normal is obscene."
"What kind of an idiot came up with that idea anyway?!"
"Well? Are you going to throw or not, Bard?"
"Give me a second Shadow, I'm waiting for just the right moment… There!"
<The pebble abruptly makes a 90-degree turn before plunging into the surface of the pool>
-Nerima, the Present (Relatively speaking)
It just was not Ranma Saotome's (heir to the Anything Goes School of Martial Arts and person voted most likely by his class to be either married, dead or both by the time he graduated from high school) day.
It had started off with a bucket of cold water in bed from Nabiki this morning. She had been taking more perverted pictures for the pervert Kuno. Then, while in the bath, his kawaiikune fiancée Akane walked in on him without even checking first… again. After an uppercut to the chin, he found out firsthand that the contractors had installed some decommissioned battleship armor in the roof this time when they had repaired it, in an attempt to keep the property damage to a minimum. It had worked… sort of.
While he didn't go crashing through the roof into the stratosphere, he did wind up busting halfway through before getting stuck in the thick metal plating. Things went downhill from there.
Breakfast had turned out to be everyone except for him having Kasumi's cooking, while he was left with… something… that was given the laughable name of French toast. The glowing purple pudding hardly looked even remotely organic. Despite his best efforts to acquire some real food, he was thwarted by his baka Oyaji and the self-righteous Soun. Those two damn hypocrites greedily guzzled Kasumi's delicious morning fare while preaching to him about his duties as Akane's fiancé to enjoy her efforts.
The pair of them wouldn't even touch the stuff, but of course he had to eat it. To add insult to injury, Akane hadn't even tried to taste her own cooking and had the nerve to castigate him for not eating it, while even she was enjoying breakfast with the others! Of all the people at the table only two faces looked at him with sympathy in their eyes…
-(The previous night)
Nodoka was worried about her son. Ranma's constant fighting with his fiancée didn't bode well for his married life, not that there would be a wedding anytime soon at this rate! She had held such high hopes for awhile, after being reunited with her son, that he would settle down and give her the grandchildren she deeply longed for. As the weeks had gone on, Nodoka had observed the incredible state of chaos that seemed to constantly surround Ranma and despaired. At this rate the boy would never even kiss Akane, let alone present her with grandchildren! It seemed that she would have to do something about this. She didn't want to impose her will upon her son so soon after being reunited with him, but desperate times called for desperate measures.
She waited in Dojo, soon her patience was rewarded by the appearance of her boy (who sometimes turned into a girl).
"Yes, Mom?" He still wasn't used to this, having his mother back. Sometimes he was frightened that he would wake up one day and it would all be nothing more then a sweet dream. Ranma had never had anything truly good last long. It always seemed that when he found a small piece of happiness, inevitably it would be lost or ruined in the hectic chaos that was his life.
"You have been fighting with Akane again."
It was a statement, not a question.
"Uh… how'd you know?" Maybe this was some kind of special technique she could teach him!
"You have a textbook smashed into your forehead. It has her name on it."
"Oh." Then again, maybe not.
"Now Ranma, I know that you two care for each other…"
His reflexive response interrupted her.
"That kawaiikune…" Ranma's unfinished insult died away as Nodoka employed the look. It was the one used by all mothers whenever their children start to say or do something unwise where they could see it. This worked remarkably well on foolish husbands, too.
"This constant fighting is intolerable, unworthy of a true man among men." She hated herself for having to use this tactic, already she could see the pain in her son's eyes. Pain caused by her harsh words. Her resolve started to crumble; she didn't want to lose him again. Only her desire for Ranma's future happiness and the vision of cuddling her future grandchildren kept her from abandoning her plan entirely.
"Mom, I…" Damn his father for that cursed promise!
"Promise me. Swear on your honor that you will not insult or fight with Akane for at least one day."
"Please…" Were those tears forming in her eyes? <Oh, my son, I'm so sorry for asking you to do this…>
The glistening in Nodoka's eyes struck Ranma like one of Akane's soufflés, except this hurt more, a lot more (which considering the damage Akane's soufflés can do is rather amazing in and of itself).
"All right, I swear on my honor that I won't fight with or insult Akane." Unable to control the volatile emotions burning in his heart any longer, Ranma fled the dojo, leaping over the stone wall surrounding the Tendo home and disappearing among the roofs of the neighborhood.
"Ranma, forgive me." A single tear fell silently to the dojo floor, but he was already gone. Nodoka stood there and looked at where her son had gone. She stayed in that position for a long time.
Unshed tears burned his azure orbs. Those eyes that had stolen the heart of more then one maiden were now filled with an agony of loneliness and dimming hope.
<Everyone is so willing to defend Akane, but there's no one to ever understand me. Even my mom takes her side. I know I provoke her sometimes, but it's not always my fault! Why can't anyone ever listen to me?> Angrily, Ranma wiped away the moisture that threatened to escape.
<I wish… I wish that for once there was someone for me.>
One should always be careful about wishes. After all, you never know who might be listening…
-You're not in Kansas anymore, Toto!
-Sniff- -Sob- "That's… that's so… SAD!!!! WAAAAA!!!!!!!"
"Good grief, someone make her stop that!"
"I told you not to invite the incarnation of Lurid Romance Novels."
-(Returning to the present)
He'd tried, so help him he really had tried.
"A… Akane… no… thank you…. I'm… not hungry, really…" He'd stumbled out a polite refusal, trying desperately not to offend her. He'd have had a better chance trying to arm-wrestle Godzilla.
"RANMA NO BAKA!!! HOW DARE YOU INSULT MY COOKING LIKE THAT!!!"
Akane's mind was very similar in design to a boulder rolling down an eternal hill; once set in its course, it was virtually impossible to stop or change and heaven help anyone that got in its way. For instance, right now it had observed that: a) Ranma wasn't eating her cooking. b) Ranma's mouth was open and words were coming out, she didn't bother to even listen, as she already knew he was insulting her again. He was ALWAYS insulting her! Which led to conclusion d) Ranma was obviously going to eat and flirt with his other fiancées. They would all laugh at her, mock her… RAAAAAGGGGHHHH!!!!
She grabbed the nearest available blunt object in hand and slammed it down on Ranma's head, barely noticing that it she'd used the dining table or that everyone else's breakfast was still on it. A cold "Humph! I'm going on ahead." was all Akane bothered to say as she grabbed her schoolbag and left the room.
Genma and Soun immediately broke out the waterworks at the waste of breakfast. Nabiki briefly smiled at the morning's amusement and left as well.
It was left to Kasumi to help Ranma.
"Ranma? You'll be late for school if you don't hurry."
"…G… give me a sec… Kasumi-chan."
Ranma's voice was unnaturally weak; being conked on the noggin after having 12 inches of high-grade steel smashed against one's forehead tended to have that effect on people. His verbal blunder could be blamed on the fact that he was having trouble keeping his eyes focused on just one Kasumi. Why her twin sister had decided to visit now of all times confused him to no end.
"Oh my!" Kasumi gasped out as Ranma unintentionally glomped onto her in an attempt to stay vertical.
-Somewhere far north of Alaska
"Where on Earth am I now!?"
<Akane… I treasure you as a goddess… but Akari… She's the only one who accepts me as I am. Arrgghhh!! I can't bear to hurt either one of them! RANMA, THIS IS ALL YOUR FAULT!!!'
The penguins just stared at him.
"At last, Shampoo, you will be mine!!! Now, where are my glasses?"
-Another Elsewhere (That has nothing to do with a certain series done by another author)
"OHOHOHOHOHOHOHOHOHO!!! Ranma-sama, soon we will realize our passion for each other!"
-Someplace where the normal rules were tossed out the window
"What the heck are you trying to do?"
"Well, I'm trying to get Ranma to act like a real man. He's got women all around him, and he doesn't do a damn thing about it! So let's see what happens when I remove that Akane bimbo from the equation."
"So you caused Kiima to ask Ryouga for directions, and Pantyhose Taro goes to Phoenix Mountain and mixes it up with Saffron, thereby preventing the climactic bonding experience in China between Ranma and Akane. So now she's still as violent as ever, and Ryouga has pulled a Kuno with Akari and Akane, while Mousse is messing around with ancient Amazon aphrodisiacs and Kodachi experiments with her newest concoction."
"Basically, that's it."
"… Has anyone ever told you that you're completely insane?"
"Not recently. Why?"
Kasumi knew she shouldn't be enjoying this. After all, Ranma was so innocent that he would never dream that she…
She blushed as her thoughts started wandering…
<After all, she was a healthy young woman, and being held close by a very attractive, healthy young man…>
She wondered where that thought had come from.
"Gee, I wonder…"
"What are you looking at me for? I didn't do that!"
-Same time, Different place
The moment Tenchi Masaki woke up that morning, he knew it was going to be one of those days.
Ryoko wasn't hovering over him in his bed. Right now he wished that she were. In fact Tenchi wished that he were still in his bed.
A quick glance downward confirmed his worst fears; he was nude. Worse, he was in Washu's lab and nude. And worst of all was the fact that he was strapped down in THE CHAIR in Washu's lab, and naked as a jaybird.
It wasn't really a chair. Washu-chan had explained that it was actually a non-lethal, semi-passive, multi-appendaged, variable scanning, hyper-dimensional restraining analyzer, which the redheaded genius scientist used to keep Tenchi from escaping while she tried to figure out the secret of the Light Hawk Wings. But Tenchi had fallen asleep halfway through her lecture, so he simply called it 'the chair' and left it at that.
It wasn't that he really minded most of the examinations. They were mostly harmless… with one exception.
All of Washu's tests kept going back to that 'sample' she wanted to extract from him. Tenchi still got the willies whenever he remembered that first time she had tried to use her 'magic fingers'.
Washu hadn't succeeded yet, but she still kept trying anyway.
<And from the looks of things…> Tenchi thought as he swallowed nervously.
The lights in the lab suddenly focused on a figure standing on a small stage in the middle of the lab, that he hadn't noticed there before.
"I'm doomed…" Tenchi groaned.
"I'm ready!" It was the kawaii voice of doom.
"How did I wind up in here?" Tenchi asked, praying fervently that this was just a bad dream.
<Yeah, that's it! This is just Ayeka and Ryoko's dessert from last night! I'm not really in Washu's lab and I'm not really naked!! Wake up Tenchi, C'mon Wake up!!!>
"My dimensional portal worked perfectly! An invention only I, the great Washu, could create!"
"Um… Little Washu? What are you doing?" He was grasping at straws, hoping against hope that she wasn't after the…
"I'm going to finally collect that sample from you!"
<Doh!> So much for hope.
"I really don't think that it's necessary! After all, you are the number one genius scientist in the universe!"
It was time for plan 'B': butter Little Washu's ego up enough to convince her that she didn't need the sample, and then escape.
"Yes I am, and yes it is! I've run test after test on you, and haven't found anything that deviates from the standard human. The only thing I haven't checked is that final sample. So by the process of elimination, the secret must be in there!"
Well, plan 'B' was a bust.
"Now be a good little guinea pig and let the Angel of Mercy shake the dew off your lily!!!"
On to the last resort… plan 'C'. Scream for help.
The Chair had slapped a gag on Tenchi's mouth.
<Now what do I do?!>
"Hello! What have we here…"
<HELP!!! MIHOSHI, SASAMI, ANYBODY!!!!>
"What's this? Little Tenchi-ken doesn't want to come out and play? Well, I'll soon fix that!"
<NONONONONONONONO!!!!!> Blind panic sounded good right about then.
"That's odd, there's no response here…"
"What's that? It's because I look like a little girl that you're bothered? That's easily solved!"
<AAAHHH!!!> Tenchi didn't know what was worse. The fact that Washu-chan had assumed her true mature form, or the fact that the little traitor was becoming a big traitor.
<Damn it, body!! Don't succumb!!!>
"Oh, MY!!! Miss Washu, are you playing doctor again?"
"WHAT?!! HOW DID YOU GET IN HERE, MIHOSHI???!!!!"
"Um… I walked in through the door?"
"But what about the alarms? The laser defense grid? The unbreakable computer security lock? My pit trap, baited with your favorite snacks??? IT'S NOT POSSIBLE!!!"
"Don't touch anything!!! "
"AAAAAAAAAGGHHHH!!! I TOLD YOU NOT TO TOUCH THAT!!!"
<I'm free!> Tenchi wasted no time hightailing it out of the rapidly degrading disaster area that had been Washu's lab. So relieved to escape the mad scientist's clutches was he, that Tenchi forgot about his clothes… or rather his lack of said garments.
"Tenchi! Let's make love, darling!"
Ryoko soon rectified that.
-Not the Twilight Zone
"Now that's just plain cruel, throwing him to Washu, then letting Ryoko get him in her clutches."
"No, see, Ayeka's going to rescue him…"
<A few moments pass>
"Now who's going to rescue him from Ayeka?"
"I never knew that the human body was such a good conductor of electricity."
"Ever seen Ataru during his usual day?"
"Quiet! Things are starting to come together…"
To be continued.
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