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Sailor Ranko: Just Add Water: Chapter 12, Preparations.
by
Rebecca Ann Heineman

Ranma 1/2 and the characters therein are the property of Rumiko Takahashi. Based on "Sailor Ranko" by Duncan Zillman and "Twice in a Millennium" by Kevin D. Hammel.

I don't own these characters. Please don't sue me, kill me or cover me with chocolate syrup.



Ranma noticed that it getting near two o'clock. He had to be at work at three. He realized that he couldn't go to work in his condition since his waitress job was for Ranko Saotome and not Ranma. He called the sushi bar and said that Ranko was sick and if Akane could take her place. After a few words to Ranko's manager to convince him that Akane could do the job, Akane was accepted. Akane got dressed and left in the nick of time to get to Juuban to keep Ranko employed.

Ranma sighed. He hadn't appreciated how useful his Sailor Sun teleportation ability was until it was taken from him. It only drove more stakes through his heart. He really missed being able to transform into Ranko. He missed her.

"RANMA!" came the cry from the laundry room. Ryoga was trying to fight Ranma but just couldn't find the room Ranma was occupying. Ranma was sitting in the living room on the couch.

Ranma leaned over to Akari who was sitting across from him. "Why is Ryoga mad at me? I didn't do anything to him."

Akari cracked a tiny smile in embarrassment. "He still has nightmares about the day you pushed him into the spring of drowned piglet. I've tried to have him go to therapy about it." He looked toward the laundry room where Ryoga was trying to escape. "He can be so stubborn."

"Why is he the lost boy again? I thought that he didn't do that anymore since you and he got engaged."

"My husband does that when he gets mad or emotional." He looked down and started to cry again. "I'm the reason he's mad. I wish I known that Happosai was going to change me. I don't want my darling to be angry."

Ranma heard a commotion from outside the dojo. "Where are you Ranma?" Cried Ryoga. "Show yourself!"

Ranma was amazed how single-minded Ryoga had become. "I think he needs to see a shrink." He reached over the table and lifted Akari's head, "Please talk to him, and let him know that his enemy is Happosai. I want to help you change back." Ranma saw Ryoga wander to the dojo. "If he's like this, he'll only get in the way."

Akari nodded, "Please do me a favor Ranma. Please don't call him names anymore. He really hates that." He got up and went to the dojo. He opened the door and called inside. "Ryoga!"

Ryoga heard Akari's male voice and filled up with anger. He gritted his teeth and tensed up his muscles thinking about the fact that his wife was a he.

Akari stood at the dojo doorway. He asked softly, "Ryoga, please answer me."

Ryoga couldn't resist. He turned and gazed at Akari. The sun was shining from behind Akari and gave the appearance of a golden halo around him. The light masked his male features out. The silhouette and the long hair made his wife look for a moment like the girl that Akari truly was. Ryoga melted at the sight. "Oh Akari." He went to his wife and held him. Ryoga held his eyes shut. He only wanted the vision of his wife in his true form to be in his mind.

The moment didn't last. The pressing against Akari's flat chest was enough to break the spell. Ryoga broke the embrace and took a step back.

Akari shed another tear. "Please Ryoga. Don't be angry. I know you'll find a cure for me."

Ryoga turned around and his battle aura formed around him. He wanted to destroy something.

Akari felt a little more masculine. He got angry. "Listen to me!" Ryoga shuddered at the loudness of Akari's voice. "Don't turn your back on me!"

Ryoga was surprised at the forcefulness of Akari's voice. He slowly turned his head to look behind him.

"Are you going to help me or not?" Akari stood with arms down and a stern look on his face.

Ryoga turned his body around and gaped his mouth opened and closed.

"Ranma and the others are looking for my cure. Happosai is behind everything." Akari looked away, "If you love me. Help them. Please." He turned, cried and ran to the house.

Ryoga stood there for a few moments. He churned his thoughts around and blended them into a fine puree. It was clear to him. Happosai was the enemy. Happosai was the one who must pay.

He slowly walked out of the dojo and toward the house. He stayed focused on the job at hand. He needed information. Ranma had the information. He had to stay focused. Ryoga went to the living room where Ranma stood up. Akari was weeping in the love seat across from Ranma. Ranma didn't raise his fists, but he was ready to fight in a moments notice. Ryoga stood next to his wife and held his shoulders. He faced Ranma, "Tell me what I need to do."

Ranma let out a breath. "We look for clues."


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Ryoga and Ranma searched Happosai's room. They found and took all of the ancient looking books and artifacts away. Ranma snuck away for a moment to call Sailor Mercury on his communicator. Even though Ranma could no longer transform, he was still considered a part of the team.

Sailor Mercury arrived to help catalog and sort all of the items of magical nature. She scanned the pentagram and numerous scraps of paper littered about. Ryoga gleefully wiped away the pentagram. Anything that Happosai created was a target for Ryoga's wrath.

They sorted through Happosai's stolen collection and decided that they would have to send these things to a secure location to prevent something like this from happening again. Notes, papers, scrolls and sealed magical boxes were packed in several crates and carefully placed into a rented truck. It was to everyone's surprise that Soun didn't have a driver's license so they had to ask Haruka to rent the truck and drive the stuff off to the airport. Everything was loaded onto the next flight to America so that Giles can destroy what can be destroyed and lock away the rest forever.


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Ranma saw it was getting late. He tried to get his henshin stick to teleport back to his apartment in Juuban and was reminded again of his ability loss. He bid everyone goodbye and started to go home. Nodoka followed him outside. Ranma stopped outside the front gate. Nodoka held her son's shoulder. "Do you want to talk about it son?"

He leaned against the wall. He tried to detect the presence of others with his Senshi powers but couldn't. He used his martial arts skills and knew that Taro was close. "This way mom." He led his mother away from the compound and a few blocks away. They stopped at a small park and sat on a bench.

Ranma picked up a pebble and threw it at a tiny pond that was in front of the bench. "Things are different again for me, mom." He sighed, "Why can't my life be stable?"

"I can't answer that. I know you will find a way to make things right." Nodoka gave a look of motherly compassion.

"Part of me is missing." He grew resolve. He stood up and assumed a manly pose. "I'm going to get it back." He faced his mother. "Mark my words. I'll punish that little freak."

"If it means anything to you son. I never liked Happosai either. However, I owe him for one thing."

Ranma was ashen; "You owe a favor to Happosai? Why?"

Nodoka remembered her past, "I don't owe him a favor. I just owe him. You see it was because of him I met your father."

Ranma knew this was not going to be pretty. He sat down next to his mother. "Happosai introduced you to dad?"

Nodoka turned around to see if they were alone. She blushed, "Not exactly, well, what happened was that Happosai tried to molest me. Your father came to my rescue. He pulled Happosai off of my..." She looked down at her chest. "Then he and Happosai fought in front of me. Your father was beaten to protect my honor. I helped him up and took him to my home where I helped him recover."

Ranma listened.

Nodoka continued, "Well, he was so manly standing up for me. I fell in love. We were married shortly thereafter. A little over a year later, you came to me." She emitted a happy glow thinking about Ranma's birth. "At first I didn't mind Genma's training journeys with Soun, but I started asking your father to take more responsibility at our home. I had to raise you by myself. I held a job cleaning houses to make ends meet."

Nodoka started to be happy; "Your father took a big interest in training you in martial arts. You were taught how to kick only a week after you started to walk. By the time you were three, you could break bricks with your hand. You were a black belt when you were five. He spent every moment when he was home training you. I was so proud of you."

Nodoka started turning sad. "Your father acquired debts during his training journeys. He left on a trip and I had bill collectors stop by asking for money your father promised them. One day, Genma came home and he was overjoyed. He said that his old master would not be returning anymore. He was now the master of Anything Goes martial arts. That was one of my happiest days I can remember. My husband was going to stay home."

Nodoka shed a tear. She wiped it away. "That was the day that Soun and Genma had trapped Happosai in that cave. I had a feeling that Happosai was Genma's teacher in the martial arts. Genma didn't want to tell me that the man who tried to molest me was his martial arts master."

Nodoka started to convulse as she held back from openly weeping, "Happosai's training ruined your father. He became a thief and a liar. He stayed home all right, but he and Soun went out drinking almost every night. Soun was drowning his sorrow about his wife's death and Genma; well he just wanted to drink. It wasn't long after that, that all the people Genma stole from on Happosai's behalf found out where we lived. People arrived trying to avenge whatever Happosai had done to them."

Nodoka looked up at the stars. Tears flowed from her eyes and glistened in the moonlight. "I spent all the money I saved to pay for your father's debts. The bill collectors just kept coming. Your father then announced that he was going on a training journey and he was taking you with him."

Ranma shivered at the story of his childhood from his mother's point of view.

"I argued with him." She gave a little laugh. "I actually hit him." She giggled, "I hit him with a lot of things. I didn't want him to take you from me."

Ranma swallowed, "That was when my dad made that promise, wasn't it?"

Nodoka gently nodded, "He invoked the name of our family honor. He pledged that he would make you a man among men and that this journey was the first step to achieve that. Only after you and he signed that damned contract did I allow you to leave with him." Nodoka grabbed Ranma around the neck, "Oh I missed you so."

Ranma returned the hug to his mother. "I.. I didn't know."

"I had no idea that Genma wouldn't return for so long. If I had known, I would have never let you go."

Ranma looked at the moon high above. It was showing through the night clouds giving an eerie light to the Tokyo skyline. "I never knew."

Nodoka pulled away from Ranma. She controlled herself to stop crying. "I owe Happosai one thing."

"What mom?"

"A good beating. A beating that the gods would fear. His training of my husband made him into the man he is today. He is a coward and a liar. He is not the man I married."

Ranma grew scared, "You aren't thinking of divorcing dad are you?"

Nodoka shook her head violently, "No! Of course not! He is my husband. Somewhere deep inside of him is the man I married." She grew sullen. "Someday, I'll find him again."

Ranma held his mother's hands. He wanted to go back in time and somehow give back the missing years to his mother. It was a wish he couldn't make come true.

Nodoka gave a look of disgust, "I don't understand why Soun tolerates that evil little man. I would move out if our home wasn't a pile of debris."

Ranma smirked, "Well mom, I owe Happosai a good beating too."

Nodoka turned serious, "Ranma, please promise me this. Don't kill him."

Ranma pulled back. "Uh..."

"As much as that man has caused my life to suffer. He was the one who made it possible for you to be born. I would have never taken your father in had he not defended me." She gazed into Ranma's eyes and smiled the smile of a mother in love with her child. "I would never change my life in any way if it meant that you would not be my son." Nodoka moved forward and kissed her son on the cheek. "I love you Ranma. I am proud to be your mother."

Ranma stuttered, "Uh... Mom... I can't protect him. Happosai has done so many terrible things."

She grinned, "Well, you can beat him up. He deserves that." She grew serious, "Just don't be the one who kills him."

Ranma did not want make this promise. He so badly wanted to be the one who removed Happosai from this plane of existence.

"Promise me." Nodoka commanded.

Ranma softly spoke. It was barely above a whisper, "I promise." He hoped he would not regret this promise.


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Ranma and Akane were once again on the roof of the Apartment building in their morning sparring session. They laughed when they saw a sign taped to the fire escape saying that rooftop access from the hours of 5 AM to 7 AM was "at your own risk". The apartment manager had a sense of humor.

Akane was overjoyed that Ranma was showing her the Hiryu Shoten Ha technique. He taught Akane how to run in the circle to prepare for the punch. Ranma was impressed at how quickly Akane mastered the first step. He didn't raise his battle aura so that Akane could practice the final blow but not send Ranma into the stratosphere. He thought about having the next sparring session in a remote location so Akane could perform the final action and create the tornado. He was so happy at his wife's progress that he grabbed his wife and kissed her passionately.


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Ranma was eating his lunch in the schoolyard thinking about his mother's request. He didn't know if he could hold back from killing Happosai. He wondered if there were things worse than death. The possibilities made Ranma happy. Maybe there was a way of having his cake and eat it too.

Minako was worried. They had an exhibition volleyball game and the school they were challenged from played by a different set of rules. She asked Ranma, "Have you heard of something called 'Martial Arts Volleyball'?"

Akane and Ranma rolled their eyes. Ranma replied, "Please don't tell me that you're going to play that."

Minako sipped her drink, "Well the coach accepted already and the team for St. Hebereke High School will be here right after school. He's been studying the rules since this morning."

Akane moaned the moan of someone knowing that the bus she was riding had gone over a cliff and the crash was seconds away, "I hope you have major medical coverage. Our team is going to have to deal with exploding volleyballs, sticky nets, and physical contact."

"You've got to be kidding!" Minako couldn't believe such a game existed.

Akane leaned back on the grass and crossed her legs. She gently kicked one leg back and forth. "Nope. We played a lot of martial arts sports in Nerima. I played martial arts volleyball a few times." She reached into her book bag. "I knew about the match, so I brought this." Akane handed a book to Minako, it was titled, "Martial Arts Sports for dummies. Nerima Press. By Rumiko Takahashi."

Minako opened the book. "Martial Arts Gymnastics? Martial Arts Badminton? Martial Arts Okonomiyaki? What sort of a person would come up with this?"

Akane shrugged, "I don't make the rules. I just play by them."

Minako turned to the chapter marked "Martial Arts Volleyball". She dropped her jaw lower and lower with each turn of the page. "I'm asking the coach to forfeit. This is ridiculous. Check this out, 'Volleyballs can be made of any material which includes lead, steel and TNT. You cannot use a ball that contains magical enchantments or has the ability to track opponents.' Who in their right mind would play this game?"

Akane took it casually, "Looks like we will. The coach shouldn't have taken the challenge from Kodachi."

Minako whimpered. She turned to Ranma, "Please say you can change to Ranko."

Ranma got depressed and softened his expression. "Ranko... I don't know where she is. I'm certain she would have played with you." He got very depressed.

Usagi and Rei glared at Minako for reminding Ranma of his loss. Minako shrunk and leafed through the rulebook. All of the girls kept quiet around Ranma, he didn't want to think about Ranko right now. He mourned her.

Ami glanced around, "Has anyone felt any evil? Anything that would lead us to Happosai?"

Everyone shook his or her heads no.

Usagi finished her lunch, "Remember, after school, we transform and start patrolling the city looking for him. When he shows up, it's going to be quick and painful. Let's make sure that it's Happosai that it's painful for." Usagi turned to Akane and Minako, "You two will patrol around here after your game."

Akane and Minako shook their heads, "Right!"

Usagi looked at Ranma, "Ranma, you need to stick around here. I have a feeling that Happosai might try to do something to you first."

Ranma gasped, "I doubt it. There isn't anything he could do worse than what had already done to me."

Ami looked at Usagi and then told Ranma, "Well, if I'm not mistaken, he summoned the demon to get at you. Unless you've got a better idea, you're still our bait."

Ranma didn't have a better idea. "Ok. I'm the bait. I just want to know when and where is that unnatural thing going to show up. This waiting is killing me."

Yoshi slowly approached Ranma. Ranma came on guard. Yoshi stood five meters away and was ready to run away, "Ranma."

Ranma didn't want to talk to him, "What do you want?"

Yoshi sat down and kept his distance. He sighed, "I just wanted to apologize. I'm sorry for how I acted to you."

Ranma raised an eyebrow. Anything that would reduce the number of attacks on him was welcomed, "Ok. I accept your apology." He looked for the others. "Where are your friends?"

"I don't know. I was wondering if you knew."

Ranma shrugged, "Why would I know?"

Yoshi looked around and then dropped his face. "They were supposed to do something yesterday. I hadn't seen them and they didn't come home last night."

"Well, that's not my problem."

"So you hadn't seen them since yesterday?"

Ranma was getting curious, "No, why should I see them?"

Yoshi was now worried for his friends, "I guess that old man did something to them." He got up to leave.

Ranma jumped up and grabbed Yoshi. "What old man? Was he about this tall?" Ranma held his hand about seventy centimeters off the ground.

"Yes, he was really short and he was bald on top with white hair around his head. He was bug ugly." Yoshi tried to remember what the man looked like.

"Did you get his name?" Ranma was hopeful.

"No. But I remember he said that he wanted us to get some water for him."

Ranma was getting anxious, "Water? What kind of water?"

Yoshi was getting a little scared at Ranma's behavior, "He called it special water. We were supposed to come here to school yesterday and he was supposed to take us where the water was."

"Is there anything else? Did he say what the water was for?"

"He said it was for revenge and that we were going someplace dangerous to get it."

Ranma looked closer into Yoshi's eyes, "Did he say where?"

"Only that it was dangerous. Uh... He said it wasn't in the sewers."

"Did he mention the word Jusenkyo?"

Yoshi wondered what that was, "Jusenkyo? What's that?"

"Never mind." Ranma had a thought, "Did you say yesterday was when he was getting the water? It wasn't on Saturday?"

"No, we hung out at the arcade Saturday. We were supposed to meet him Sunday."

"We?"

Yoshi was embarrassed. He didn't want to know his friends anymore, "Uh... I didn't go. I... I didn't want to bother you anymore. I... I really am sorry."

Ranma let him go. "Thanks for letting me know about the old man. Oh, do me a favor. If you see the old man, call me." Ranma reached for his schoolbook, grabbed a slip of paper and wrote his phone number on it. "I really need to find this guy."

Yoshi looked at the phone number and slipped it into his pocket. "Thanks." He looked at Akane and gave a wave. He focused back on Ranma, "You've got a cute wife."

Ranma smiled at the compliment. Akane slightly blushed. Yoshi left to look for his friends.

Ranma sat down, "Ami, you got that?"

Ami had her computer out and was trying to figure things out. "Now, this doesn't make any sense. Was Happosai getting more Nannichuan? If that's the case, why didn't he get it himself?"

Makoto answered, "Maybe he had someone else get the first batch and then something happened. He used those guys to get another batch."

Ami was deeply concerned, "That's a lot of water to get. Let me show you something." She pulled up some text. "The demon has the ability to channel magic. It needs a sample and then it can amplify or modify the spell to almost any power level. So just a bucket of Nannichuan is all it needs to cast a spell to turn all women into men. Is it possible that it wants to change women into something else?"

Usagi wanted to scream, "Don't say that!"

Rei agreed, "Yeah! Don't freak me out!"

Makoto deeply sighed, "I don't want the change into anything! I'm happy the way I am."

Minako whimpered, "Martial Arts Dining? Martial Arts Tea Ceremony? Martial Arts Ice Skating?"


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Happosai was hiding in the rafters of the gymnasium of Juuban High School. From his hidden vantage point, he had an excellent view of the girls performing gymnastics. Happosai was not looking at the girls, he was lying face up so he could hear the girls but not see them. Happosai's true voice called out, "Please turn around! I want to see the pretty ladies! WAAHHH!"

The demon controlling Happosai's body was pleased. Its energy level was almost at its peak. Soon, it would show itself and show the true evil it possessed. It had spent the last twelve hours enchanting the Jusendo water with the spell that would perform the transformation. The pain and suffering would be devastating for Happosai.

In a few hours the world will fear the avatar of suffering. It was good to be free.



Author's Notes: Please review my story. It makes me feel oh so happy and prevents me from hiding in your bushes and peeking in your window at night.

Last edited on November 25, 2002



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