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This is just not your Lucky Day

by Shade

Disclaimer: You know the drill.

Thanks to my prereaders who suggested several of the ideas that come into play. Especially Gregg Sharp, who came up with the Bet concept in the first place.


-Be Afraid. Be Very Afraid.

Somewhere out there, a blonde Galaxy Police detective stumbled upon a secret gathering not meant for mortal eyes.

"Oh, my."

Somewhere in that general vicinity, a Bard wept as he cried out those four most useless words in the human vocabulary.

"It's not my fault!"

Somehow an unintended entry was made. No one knew how. With Mihoshi, anything was possible.

And somewhere not too far away, a certain entity of Chaos in the form of a wee little elf was laughing his head off.


-And so it begins…

Soun Tendo looked at the long awaited postcard with teary eyes. He read it aloud again, still unable to fully believe that the dream was finally going to be made real.

'Hi, Tendo. Bringing the girls from China. —Genma.'

At long last, the two houses would be joined! Time to tell his son the good news!

"Ranma! Ranma!! Where is that boy of mine, anyway?"

A check of his sonís favorite places yielded nothing. He wasnít in the dojo, or in his room. Even the furo was empty.

Then he slapped himself mentally; heíd forgotten the most obvious place of all.

Soun went to check the kitchen.

But he only found his wife there, cooking what promised to be a splendid dinner if the delicious smells emanating from the stove were any indication. Not for the first time, the middle-aged martial arts instructor thanked his lucky stars that Nodoka had agreed to marry him.

Now all he had to do was find…

"I think Ranmaís outside playing with one of his friends again."

{How does she do that?}

"Dear, please tell him to come inside before he catches a cold from the rain."

It was amazing how well she knew him sometimes. Twenty years of marriage and he was still being surprised. It was part of the reason why he loved her so much.


-Not too far away

The clashing of wooden bokken was quite audible, but the residents of Nerima paid no attention to the spectacle. They had become used to it over time, and it wasnít even worth betting on anymore. Everyone knew who was going to win. In fact, people would have probably been more worried if there wasnít a fight. The clashes had become so routine that some of the locals were setting their watches by them.

"Die, foul Sorcerer!!"

"Every damn day itís the same old thing, Kuno! Youíd think that after ten years, you would come up with a new speech or something!!"

"Silence, fiend! I will free the girls of Furinkan High from your vile clutches so that they may all date with my glorious self!!"

"You know, Tatewaki, you really make me sick sometimes. Treating others like theyíre things for your acquisition. What kind of a man are you?"

"Insolent peasant! The great house of Kuno has… gurgle…"

Perhaps the reader is wondering why the long and tedious speech was cut off even before it had begun? Well, being knocked out cold by a well-placed blow to the cranium tends to be very effective at inhibiting verbal rants.

Tendo School of Anything-Goes Martial Debates rule #2: If logic and reason prove ineffective in winning an argument, properly applied violence is the next best thing.

"Yadda, yadda, yadda. If you were half as good a fighter as you are an idiot, I might have something to worry about. But youíre not, so I donít."

Ranma gave the unconscious buffoon another smart rap to the head with his bokken just on general principles. Tatewaki Kuno had to be the most pigheaded, hentai nutcase in the entire universe. If there was someone actually even worse, then he did not want to meet them.

Ranma stepped back a little and wiped some of the rain off of his face. Although it wasnít coming down any harder then a medium drizzle, it was still enough to leave him soaked to the skin and freezing. Yet another thing to be angry at Bokken-Brains for.

He waved at a nearby bush. It was perfectly indistinguishable from the other bushes, except for one thing. Most foliage doesnít normally have a pair of binoculars sticking out of it.

"Yo, Sasuke!"

A moment later the shrubbery sprouted arms and legs and waddled over.

"Poor master Kuno."

The mousy household ninja shook his head sadly at the pitiful sight. Then he bowed in apology to Ranma.

"Iím terribly sorry about this, master Tendo. I didnít think that heíd actually try to fight a duel in this weather."

"Donít worry about it. But make sure that you give me some advance warning next time one of the Kunos comes this way."

"Certainly."

Ranma handed Sasuke a cloth-covered bundle.

"Mom baked some of her cookies for you. You were looking a little thin the last time you came over."

Sasuke turned grateful liquid eyes to the heavens. After weeks of nothing but rice gruel and water, he was going, at long last, to experience the sensation of Nodoka's peanut-butter-chocolate-chip cookies once more.

"Oh, thank you! Thank you!! Your generosity is so overwhelming!! My life is yours to command!!"

"Forget the flattery, and just get him out of here."

Sasuke bowed once more before starting to drag Tatewaki back to the Kuno estate.

"Achoo! -Sniff- Man, Iíll be glad when I get into the furo."

Ranma Tendo, age seventeen and three quarters, started to walk back to his familyís home.


-Meanwhile, approaching Ground Zero…

It was the oddest bunch of strangeness that the people here had seen in quite some time. Considering that they lived in Nerima, that was saying something.

But it wasnít every day a frantic Panda being chased by an angry gorilla and what looked like some foreign girl all bundled up so that only her eyes and the underside of her nose were exposed. Especially when the gorilla was packing a giant mallet, which it was trying to implant into the pandaís skull without the use of an anesthetic.

"Oogh! Oough!!"

It was like watching a live action of that old video game, Donkey Kong. Except instead of an overweight plumber under attack, it was an overweight panda.

"I donít know these people. I donít know these people. I donít know these people…"

The young woman kept chanting it like a mantra, over and over to herself. Not that she didnít also harbor some private and rather violent ideas concerning the Bamboo Bozo, but not out in public like this. This was so embarrassing. Why couldnít her little sister ever learn the meaning of the term "discretion"?

Genma ran.

He ran very fast.

If he was really, really lucky, he just might make it to the Tendo Dojo before his youngest daughter turned him into a panda-skin rug.

Run, Genma, Run.


-An alley by any other name…

ĎMEOW!í

ĎHISS!!í

-KABONG-

ĎYIPE! YIPE!!í

"Scat, cats!"

Ranma waved his bokken threateningly at the retreating felines. Those mangy little alley scavengers were always picking on the weak and the helpless. He hated bullies of any species.

"Hello. Whatís this?"

He could make out a small fuzzy white form, partially underneath some old cardboard boxes some shopkeeper had been too lazy to dispose of properly. As Ranma reached for it, the animal started to back up into a corner.

"Come on, I wonít hurt you."

Gradually he coaxed the shivering creature out into the open, and finally got a good look at it. "It" turned out to be a dwarf usagi, with long floppy ears and a cotton puff tail. Big brown eyes looked back at him, with a woebegone expression in those soulful depths.

"Youíre a cute little thing, arenít you? Hey, youíre hurt!"

Half-dried streaks of blood were crusting around three nasty looking scratches on its right hind-leg. In addition, it kept shivering uncontrollably. It wasnít just because it was trying to stay warm, Ranma realized. It kept shooting terrified glances in the direction that the felines had fled, and then turned a long beseeching look toward him. The poor thing was still scared of those cats!

Now what was he supposed to do? He couldnít just leave it there; those felines would finish it off easily. But his parents had a little problem with animals; the only ones allowed were the carp in the little pond in the backyard.

"I really canít take you in. I mean, Mom and Dad donít allow pets. If they find you, Iíll be in big trouble. Come on, donít look like that, Iíd really like to have a cute pet like you but…"

It just kept staring at Ranma, causing him to fumble his saving-throw against cute fuzzy attacks.

"Aw, who am I kidding? Come on."

Almost as if it understood him, the bunny hopped into his outstretched arms.

Cradling the soggy little critter with one arm, he used his free hand to unbutton the top of his Chinese shirt just enough to slip the waif inside, so that only its furry little head poked out next to his neck. Ranma could feel its little heart start racing, even though his body heat should have had the opposite effect. That was a bit odd, and he subconsciously logged that event down and filed it away for future contemplation.

"Youíre going to need a name if I'm going to keep you."

When he looked down he saw that the rabbit wasnít paying attention to what he was saying. It was too busy snuggling closer in an attempt to maximize the amount of warmth it was receiving.

"Since youíre an usagi and a kinda tiny one at that… How about U-chan?"

U-chan sneezed.

"Iíll take that as a yes."


-Now, where were we?

Coming down the home stretch was the fat panda in first, the evil tempered gorilla a close second, and the mysterious female in a comfortable third place… Far enough so that people wouldnít think she was with the sideshow act.

Genma almost made it.

A hundred-yen piece lying on the street was his undoing. Happosai had trained him too well. He just couldnít resist slowing down long enough to snatch it up. It only slowed him down a tad, but that was enough.

The ape seemed to be grinning as it brought the hammer of justice down.

-CLONG-


-Are we there yet?

A puzzled Ranma looked around.

"Thatís funny, I could have sworn I heard someone ringing a gong. Oh well, must have just been my imagination."

He continued walking toward the Tendo residence. There was his father waving at him from the gate. Fortunately, he was still too far away for his little passenger to be seen.

"Ranma!"

"Yeah?"

"Your mother wants you to come inside and I also have something very important to tell you. Hurry up and get in the house."

"Iíll be there in a minute."

He wondered what had his father in such an excited state this time.

{It better not be another one of those stupid "get rich quick" deals. I swear, if heís sold me or the dojo again heís going on a one way trip to Low Earth Orbit.}

A knowing grin slowly broke his brooding expression.

{That is, if Mom doesnít get her hands on him first. Itís like sheís got a sixth sense or something for detecting when Dadís done something really stupid.}

Ranma walked quickly toward the house and stepped inside, glad to be out of the rotten weather outside.

Another involuntary sneeze blasted forth.

-Achoo!-

As if summoned by the sound, Nodoka Tendoís voice came from the vicinity of the kitchen.

"Change out of those wet clothes and meet us in the living room, Ranma. Your father has an important announcement."

"Yes, mom."

{How does she do that?}

Ranma knew better then to go against her orders. His mother could always tell, when it came to that sort of thing. It was one of those mysteries that would forever baffle males.

"Looks like getting you settled in is going to have to wait a bit, U-chan."

He marched up the stairs to a door with a horse sign hanging on it. The sign read "Ranmaís Room: Challengers go to the Dojo, Girls please knock before entering"

After putting the little dwarf rabbit safely out of the way on a chair, the young man started to undress.

U-chanís face started to turn bright pink as its floppy ears reflexively came down over its eyes. A moment later, one ear moved slightly to the side, allowing it to peek.

Not noticing this unusual behavior, Ranma finished stripping off his wet clothes and started to dry himself with a spare towel. He promised his complaining body a nice long soak in the furo after the family meeting.

A drop of red dripped from U-chanís nose.

Quickly donning a Chinese style outfit almost identical to the one heíd been wearing earlier, the Tendo lad started to pick up and put away the wet clothes. A thought suddenly hit him, and he turned toward his new pet.

"Iíll try and sneak up some carrots or lettuce when I get back, if I can. You must be hungry after all that excitement."

At the mention of the possibility of food the rabbitís eyes widened pleadingly. An embarrassing gurgle sounded from the vicinity of its belly.

"Okay, okay. Iíll make sure to bring you back something to eat."

{Thatís a pretty smart bunny. Must be my lucky day.}

"Ranma!"

"Whoops, sounds like Iím wanted downstairs. See you soon, U-chan."

Ranma dashed out, slamming the door shut behind him.

U-chan stared at the door, then heaved the rabbit equivalent of a sigh.

{Oh, dear. Now what am I supposed to do?}


-In the street

"Ooga. Ooga Oogh."

"No, I donít think it would be a good idea for you to go in first. The Tendos might misunderstand, and weíve already had more then enough trouble on this stupid training trip as it is."

The last was emphasized by several vicious kicks aimed at the ribs of the unconscious Panda.

"Stupid old man."

The gorilla nodded. At least they could agree on that.

"We need to find someplace to stay. Then we can start looking for our sister."

"Ooga Oough?"

"Yes, I wonít forget the hot water, either."

The panda started to stir.

-WHAM-

Genma collapsed once again as the young woman put away her oversized mace back into the recesses of her cloak.

"Might as well get this over with. The sooner we can change back, the better." With that the figure started walking to the gate. The gorilla quickly hefted the unconscious panda over its shoulder and followed.


-Tendo House

"YOU DID WHAT?!"

Surely he couldnít have heard his father correctly?! It had to be some kind of mistake! This couldnít be happening to him!! Not again!!!

"…Genmaís a very good friend, and it seems that he and his daughters recently undertook a training trip to China."

Ranma slammed his hands down onto the table before standing up.

"FIANC…E?! ARE YOU OUT OF YOUR MIND?! Didn't you learn anything from that fiasco with the Chardins?! It was a damn lucky thing that they didn't even have a daughter!"

"Ranma! Control yourself!!"

"Iím sorry, Mom. But how can he keep doing this me?!"

"That's no excuse for yelling at your father. Even if he has done something incredibly stupid."

"Thank you, dear. I think."

The look should have warned him that Nodoka wasn't finished just yet.

"After all, that's my job."

-Gulp-

Soun started sweating like crazy, as his wife pinned him mercilessly under the steady glare of Doom.

It made Ranma feel much better. Even if she did have some pretty weird ideas about making him into a "man among men", (whatever that meant) he could still count on her being against every stupid idea his father had. Everyone knew who really wore the pants in the Tendo household.

Sensing from long experience that his parents needed some time alone, the young martial artist started to quietly tiptoe away from the tension building in the room.

"I think I'll just go take a bath."

"That's an excellent idea! That way the Saotomes can see you at your best!"

"A-na-ta. I-need-to-talk-to-you."

Ranma couldn't get out of the room fast enough after hearing that.

{Oh, shit. Mom's using the Voice. She only does that when she's really angry. Dad's a goner for sure, now!}


-Have you any last words?

Soun Tendo was not a particularly religious man.

After training under the Master, one simply couldn't believe in much of anything anymore. But now Soun found himself mentally invoking every half-remembered childhood prayer and invocation he knew, as he beheld the awesome spectacle of a Valkyrie come down from Valhalla to claim his soul.

Well, actually it was just Nodoka with the beginnings of what would probably be one fine specimen of a battle aura, once it was complete. But it had practically the same effect on him.

"I thought we agreed last time that our son wouldn't be forced into any arrangement against his will?"

"But, Dearest!"

"But what, A-na-ta?"

Soun couldn't prevent a cold shiver from running down his spine; he knew he was treading on thin ice now.

"It was for the sake of the School!"

"The same school that you refuse to teach to the dojo's students?"

"Well…"

"The same school that you said brought only pain and misery to you and Genma during your training?"

"Um, you see… it's…"

"The same school that lost to my family's "Flying Heaven's Honorable Sword Flow" style?"

"Urk…"

"Well? Aren't you going to say something, A-na-ta?"

The great martial arts master whimpered. There was no escape. He was doomed. It was the 11th hour, and the governor wasn't calling.

-Knock- -Knock-

"Hello? Is anyone home?"

Salvation. A stay of execution had been granted. Soun seized the chance like a drowning man who'd just been tossed a life preserver.

"Come in! Come in!"

The figure who walked into the room was undoubtedly female; her prominent attributes were impossible to hide, despite what looked like several attempts to do just that. Anything else was unable to be made out, as the woman was wrapped from head to toe in a colorful assortment of rags and cloth bandages.

"Ano… who are you?"

Nodoka was betting that this was somehow Soun's fault again. All the weirdness that entered their lives could always be traced back to him eventually.

{This is the only way. They'd find out sooner or later. Better get it over with now and hopefully keep the shocks to a minimum. I just hope they don't try to burn me at the stake like all those idiots back in China.}

Hesitating for only a moment, the figure started to slowly unwrap the strips of cloth hiding her face from view.

When she was finally done, all that the Tendos could do was gape in astonishment.

After all, it's not every day that a Drow elf walks into your house.

A very beautiful one to boot.

"I'm Nabiki Saotome. Sorry about this."


-Welcome to Wacky Land

-Achoo!-

In the bath proper, Ranma Tendo felt a chill as he had a sudden premonition that his semi-ordinary life would never be the same again.

He was right.

 

To be continued.


Author's Notes: Oopsie, the first draft sent out was missing a few things! Gomen! My other works on still being written, hope for a Merry Christmas!

—Shade

Holy Knight of Mihoshi,
Ranger of the Crossover Fiancťes


As soon as she finished unraveling the knots in the tangled threads of fate and destiny, and pinpointed where in the past/present/future the screw-up had taken place, the guilty party was going to learn *why* itís not conducive to oneís continued good health to get on Sailor Plutoís bad side.

But first…

"Damn it!! I need some ASPIRIN!!!"

-Private Bet #8 part 3 (Coming Someday)

Part 2
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