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Sailor Ranko: The Harder They Fall: Chapter 17, Friends Forever.
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 roll me up in a carpet and toss me in a river. I'd change into a red headed girl once I hit the water. It's embarrassing.



"And that's how Shampoo, Ukyou and Konatsu saved us." Finished Sailor Mercury's condensed version of the events she witnessed in the furniture store.

Sailor Moon blinked. She blinked again. She ever so slowly turned her eyes to the embarrassed purple haired Amazon and let her mouth fall open. "Shampoo only help." Shampoo was kneeling on the ground facing Sailor Moon. The girl bowed again in formal respect. "Shampoo very honored to serve the Senshi."

Sailor Moon gasped as she realized that she hadn't taken a breath for over a minute. She held her gloved hand to her chest to force herself to inhale again. The moon princess couldn't believe some of the things that Mercury, Saturn and Pluto told her that the Nerima trio had done. She thought about Ranma and Akane's incredible skills and began to trust that the seemingly tall tale wasn't so tall after all.

"Hey guys!" Sailors Jupiter and Venus landed on the roof next to their leader. Jupiter continued her greeting. "Looks like things are just about wrapped up down there. We hadn't seen another one of those things for the last five minutes."

Venus nodded. "And good riddance too!" She dusted her hands together and sat down on an empty overturned bucket. "I'm bushed. I can sleep for a week."

Neptune, Io, Uranus and Neo Moon appeared over the lip of the roof. Io glanced around. "Where's Ukyou? Where's Sun? Oh..." She saw Shampoo bowing again to Sailor Moon. "I see your highness has gotten a new subject."

"Really?" Sailor Moon shot her head back and forth looking for her recently acquired follower. She ignored Shampoo expecting some handsome man like her Tuxedo Mask to be at her beck and call. "Where is he?"

Io giggled pointing to the Amazon. "She's right over there. You remember Shampoo right, don't you Sailor Moon?"

Shampoo popped her head back up and knelt upright. "Senshi have heard of Shampoo yes? Shampoo come from great warrior family. Shampoo honored that Senshi know of Shampoo's clan." She glowed in pride as her family line was acknowledged by someone as respected as the Sailor Senshi.

Io became a statue. She now knew what it felt like when Sailor Sun opened her mouth, inserted her red Sailor Senshi boot and began to chew it with gusto. She thought quietly, "Me and my big mouth."

Sailor Neo Moon stood there bug eyed at Shampoo's display of loyalty. She looked to the sky as if it was far more interesting that the sights around her, like the burning building next door or the Apache AH-2 helicopters circling around their location or the occasional sounds of gunfire in the streets of Tokyo or the two news helicopters on the horizon shining their floodlights around. Yep, the stars in the pre-dawn sky looked far more interesting than what's going on in Shampoo's direction.

Sailor Jupiter glanced around. "Where's Sun?" She took a count of the Senshi. "Where's Mars?"

Mercury shuddered as she remembered that she left the fire Senshi on a stretcher a half hour ago. "I left her near the park by herself. I've got to go get her."

Venus got ready to follow her friend. "I'm coming with you."

Jupiter stepped forward. "I'm coming too!"

"Hey you girls!" Sailor Moon stood up and took charge like she sometimes did. The three paused for a moment to look at their leader. "Meet us at Juuban Hospital."

Mercury nodded in understanding that they were going to meet at the hospital to meet up with Sailor Sun and Ukyou. She ran to the fire escape and rapidly climbed down to street level to run off to retrieve her fallen friend. Jupiter and Venus closely tagged along.

Io felt another chill up her spine. "Why are we going to Juuban Hospital?"

Shampoo answered. "Spatula Girl."


========================================


A six-year old Ukyou was in a grassy field sitting next to her father's okonomiyaki cart. A little six-year old boy ran up and taunted her. "Nyah! Nyah! You can't hit me! Nyah! Nyah!" Ukyou grabbed her kid sized battle spatula and swung it at the little pest. He dodged the utensil and landed on top of her pinning her to the ground.

"Ranma! That's no fair!" The little girl pounded the ground in frustration. Her father tossed the victorious boy a Japanese pancake in reward for winning his daily game with his daughter. The little boy caught it and munched on it while still holding his friend down with his weight. "Get off of me Ran-chan!"

The image faded and reformed. A little Ukyou was checking the seal on a large jar of sauce that she had spent several days preparing. The Chibi-Ranma was watching her with sad eyes, as he knew that he had ruined the sauce earlier in the day since he replaced the jar's contents with random ingredients and didn't tell her about his misdeed. Ukyou felt sad in return, not because the sauce was ruined already unbeknownst to her, but because she had her life's work contained in the urn and her future as an okonomiyaki chef depended on her mastering the perfect sauce. She was worried that she wasn't worthy of carrying on the Kuonji family business. "Ranma. This sauce is my daddy's recipe. If I can't make it like my daddy... I can't be a good chef..." She was confused about her feelings for her friend since she was too young to understand what a lifetime commitment really was. She knew however that she had a lifelong friend in Ranma. She twiddled her thumbs to gather the courage to ask a favor. "Ranma. If my sauce is no good... Would you promise to take care of me forever?"

The little boy was just like his father, quick to make a promise without thinking it through. "Sure."

Ukyou perked up at her friend's promise. "You mean it? If I can't be a chef, I don't know what I can do. I only know how to be a chef and nothing else."

Ranma was oblivious to what his promise meant. He bit down on his okonomiyaki and swallowed the morsel. "Sure Ukyou. I promise I'll take care of you forever and ever."

Ukyou held her hands together and little hearts appeared in her eyes. "Oh thank you Ranma! I promise that I will try to be the best chef in the world!" She had never felt happier in all of her short life.

The scene flashed to a sterile emergency room. Ukyou was dimly aware of the doctors that were gathered around her as her life signs were fading away. The male nurse was massaging her heart. "I'm losing her."

Dr. Mizuno was working on cauterizing her leg stump. "What's her blood pressure?" Another doctor was stitching artificial skin onto her hand to close the wound where her left pinky and ring fingers were.

"I can't get a pulse." The male nurse kept the rhythm slow and steady to pump Ukyou's heart. "Where's the defibrillator?

A female nurse was hooking up another 500cc bag of blood to a plastic IV tube. A third nurse put conductive gel on the defibrillator pads and placed them over the chef's chest. The nurse called out. "Clear!"

All the personnel released Ukyou and a jolt of electricity went through her heart. Her body arched and fell back on the operating table. The EKG monitor showed a heartbeat where one wasn't before. Dr. Mizuno breathed a sigh of relief whispering. "That was close." She spoke to the IV nurse through her hospital mask. "I want that blood in her now. She'll flat line again if she doesn't get her fluid levels raised soon."

Ukyou faded off somewhere else.

Ukyou was facing the man who had ruined her life. She held her ground in an attack stance with her weapon ready to beat him into submission. She had to live a life of shame since her father disowned his daughter because that fat bastard in front of her took her dowry. "Genma Saotome! Prepare to face my revenge!" She leapt into the air and brought her spatula down on the head of the object of her quest. She struck him again and again and again. Each blow didn't do anything to lessen the anguish she had built up in her soul. Genma lay beaten and broken in the vacant lot. None of the pain that Ukyou had went away or dissipated. She held her weapon high in triumph over her victory over the hated Saotome patriarch.

She reasoned that her mission was incomplete. She still had to deal with his worthless son. That must have been the reason why the pain still raged in her heart she deduced.

The scene faded to the next day when a portable boxing area complete with elastic ropes was sitting in the field at Furinkan High School. Ranma taunted the chef again as she tried to defeat the Saotome heir like she defeated his father. The pig-tailed boy fought just like he did as a kid, with taunting, jumping and dodging. The boy acted like this was a game to him and pretended to be her friend. He struck back cutting away Ukyou's shirt and exposing the evidence that she was a girl. She couldn't be a girl anymore. Her father demanded that she live as a boy since he had no daughter anymore. No daughter of the clan Kuonji would ever have been turned down for an engagement of marriage. As a result, Ukyou Kuonji was no longer a daughter but a son of the clan until her honor was restored.

Time passed. Ukyou was talking to Ranma after the fight. She felt something about him. She couldn't stay angry with him no matter how hard she tried to hate him. Ranma finally spoke the words that changed Ukyou's life again. "You're really cute."

"C-cute?" Ukyou couldn't believe that someone said that to her.

The world went white. "Doctor. Her heart rate is dropping again."

"Increase the dosage on the IV."

"Blood pressure is falling."

"She's going into cardiac arrest."

Whiteness.

"Ranma! I want to marry you as you are!" Pleaded Akane as Ranma contemplated whether or not he was going to grab the barrel of Nannichuan that was being tossed around at his wedding.

Ukyou was seething. She and Shampoo reached for the 'special' okonomiyaki Ukyou made for the occasion and took aim. "Ran-chan is mine!" She threw the pizza like a Frisbee at Akane but Ranma got in the way. He pushed Akane out of the path of the food bomb and dodged the pizza but not far enough. They hit the ground and exploded throwing the pig tailed martial artist across the room.

Shampoo screamed. "Shampoo exploding food miss Akane!"

Ukyou watched her beloved fall to the ground with his tuxedo in ruins. She was teary eyed as she opened her arms to catch him. "Why Ranma? Why didn't you pick me? I'm the cute one remember."

Blackness.

Ukyou saw below her a familiar looking girl on a table. People were moving around the black haired girl shouting orders to each other. One was checking a monitor of some sort while another was pressing down on her chest in a steady rhythm.

Ukyou heard a crying sound outside the room. She floated through the wall and saw Sailor Sun pacing back and forth outside the operating room. The Senshi's enhanced hearing became a curse as she heard each and every time that Ukyou nearly slipped away. Sun wanted to run in and do something but she was totally powerless to help in any way. The red haired girl gnawed on her gloved hands and was praying. "Ukyou, be strong." She whispered.

Ukyou saw how distraught and terrified the girl was. Her face was full of tears, tears for Ukyou. Ukyou felt love emanating from the girl. Love for someone the Senshi deeply cared about and didn't want to lose.

Dr. Mizuno was determined to get this girl back. "Shock her again!"

The nurse got the pads ready. "I'm ready. Clear!" The nurse waited until everyone got back and pressed the button sending current into the chef's body.

Ukyou was looking out of her eyes again from the operating table straight up into the ceiling. There she saw someone clinging to the ceiling, hiding his body, using the bright ceiling lights for cover. She barely heard a voice call out to her from the ninja above. "Ukyou! Don't go..."

"Don't go!"

"I love you!"

Whiteness.

Akane and Ukyou were just rescued from falling from a tree by Ranma and Konatsu. They were held captive there during a fight with Konatsu's stepfamily. Ukyou was wearing a playboy bunny suit (Long story) and was being held in Konatsu's arms. At this moment, everyone thought Konatsu was a girl so Ukyou was very uncomfortable since Konatsu was being very intimate in the way the kunoichi was holding the chef. Ukyou mumbled. "What's her problem?"

Ranma was nearby the two holding Konatsu's secret scroll in his hands. He and Akane read it. The scroll said. "I love Ukyou. I love Ukyou." The phrase was written over and over again. The words were written hundreds of times with little hearts and flowers drawn around the borders of the parchment. The bottom read, "I know it's not a permissible love, but my heart won't stop."

Akane turned to stare at Ukyou while turning white as a sheet. Ranma approached Konatsu as she tightly held Ukyou and stood behind the kunoichi. "Hey!"

Konatsu realized that her scroll had been opened. She begged forgiveness from Ukyou by bowing to the ground. "I'm sorry! I'm sorry! Please forgive me for writing my note and making you uncomfortable." She stood back and with a tearful look on her face, turned to join her family. "Goodbye Ukyou-sama." She sniffed holding back a torrent of tears. "Goodbye."

Ranma wondered aloud. "I wonder what will happen to her."

Ukyou watched as Konatsu was being led away to a life of misery and suffering by her stepmother and stepsisters. She couldn't let the poor girl suffer anymore but she didn't want to give the girl false hope. In a fit of insanity Ukyou cried out. "Don't go back! I'll take care of you!"

Konatsu stopped in her tracks. She clasped her hands together in glee. "You mean it?" She held her arms wide and ran to the girl she loved. Behind her, her stepmother muttered about a disobedient daughter and how it was time for her to leave the nest. She threw a stick of dynamite at Ranma as a going away present. Ranma hit it with a racket back towards the stepmother. The stick exploded ripping the kunoichi's shirt off. Konatsu emerged from the smoke cloud to stand before Ukyou.

Konatsu was a he. He had no breasts, no bindings, nothing that even looked remotely female on his upper body. His face was still feminine with beautiful long dark brown hair. He loved Ukyou with all of his heart. "Can I really go with you?"

Ukyou freaked out.

Whiteness followed as the bright lights of an emergency room focused in her eyes. She was groggy and felt sleepy. She had a good look at the ninja watching over her. "Please don't go." He was begging her. She watched him whispering something to the gods asking for them to take him in her place.

Ukyou gave a hint of a smile and let his love touch her. It was all that she needed. She closed her eyes and rested.

"She's stabilizing."

"Blood pressure is rising."

"I'm done with the hand."

"Hold the knee here. I need to cut."

"Her heart rate is steady."

"The bleeding's stopped."

"EKG is holding."

Konatsu made a prayer of thanks to anyone who would listen to his unworthy voice. He kept a silent vigil watching over his mistress.


========================================


Twenty agonizing minutes passed as the doctors scrambled to save her friend's life. Sun was a nervous wreck when Dr. Mizuno stepped out of surgery. "Sailor Sun?"

"Yes." She replied weakly.

"She's stabilized and her prognosis is good. She's a strong girl, a real fighter. We'll have her moved to a private room for you in a few minutes, however she will be sleeping for a while."

Sun slumped in a chair. "Thank you... Zzz..." She was fighting the urge to faint ever since they woke her when the orderlies picked Ukyou's body off of her after her arrival. Only through sheer force of will was Sailor Sun able to keep from falling over from fatigue. She had to be there for her dear friend.

The doctor tapped the Senshi to wake her up for a moment. "Sailor Sun, I need you to go into a private room. I can't have you in plain sight or people will gather around you." Dr. Mizuno gently led the half-conscious Senshi of the Sun into a semi-private room. She was placed into a small seat and instantly passed out. The doctor noted that one bed was empty and she was going to make sure that Ukyou would be placed in this room with her companion. She didn't know why, but the doctor knew that this Senshi cared a great deal about this normal girl. The doctor wondered if her patient was a Senshi in human form. Dr. Mizuno checked on the other patient in the room. Nodoka Saotome would be discharged by morning. She didn't see a reason to rush the elder woman out early to give the Senshi a little more privacy.

Dr. Mizuno walked over to the window as the sun rose over the horizon shedding a blanket of light over the city of Tokyo. She admired the sunrise. "It looks like it's going to be a nice day today."


========================================


Nodoka woke up from a terrible nightmare. She dreamed that an immense reptilian creature was attacking her and her son was nowhere to be found. She sat upright in her bed and gazed at the white curtains that surrounded her. It wasn't a dream.

The curtain was moved aside and a girl stuck her head in to take a look. Konatsu smiled. "Hello Mrs. Saotome. It's good to see you're awake." He was wearing a casual kimono and full makeup. He really looked cute as a button.

Nodoka felt her head and found a bandage was covering most of her skull. She remembered hitting her head in a train and not much else. She had small bandages on her arm and one on her shoulder. She checked her arms for any IV needles. She breathed a sigh of relief as she found that there were no tubes stuck inside of her. Nodoka had a strong dislike for needles.

The elder Saotome smiled at her visitor. "Hello Konatsu. Is there anyone else here with you?"

Konatsu bit his lip wondering if he should mention that a Sailor Senshi was in the room sleeping on a chair. "I'm here with Ukyou. I think the others should be here soon but they may be delayed with all the problems around the city."

Nodoka nodded in agreement. "I see. Well, when my children arrive, please wake me." She lay back down and got as comfortable in a hospital bed as one could possibly get. It wasn't very comfortable. She saw Konatsu disappear behind the curtain. "Ukyou? Aren't you going to come visit your Aunt?"

Konatsu popped in again. "Uh... She can't right now Mrs. Saotome. She's sleeping."

"Sleeping? Oh no..." Nodoka filled with dread. "Is she?" Nodoka got up again. She wiggled her legs to see if she could get up. "Please let me see her."

The kunoichi pulled the curtain away to permit a good view. Ukyou looked like a mess. Her skin was pale, she had numerous bandages all over her body and her leg didn't seem right. An EKG was hooked up to her giving off an annoying regular beep. Two IV bottles, one red and the other clear were leeching fluids into her bloodstream through a plastic tube. Nodoka's heart sank. "Ukyou... What happened?"

Konatsu sat next to Ukyou. He held her right hand. "She fell in battle Mrs. Saotome."

Nodoka got out of bed and slowly walked the three tiny paces to be at Ukyou's side. She trebled in fear as to what sort of thing could have done this to Ranma's friend. "Get well my child."

Ukyou cracked a tiny smile on her lips speaking barely above a whisper. "I'm healing as fast as I can Auntie." She drifted off to sleep again.


========================================


Sailor Mars was healed to the point where she could get up. It hurt to move but she wasn't bedridden anymore. She sat up on her stretcher and took in her surroundings.

The radio truck was still where she remembered it and there wasn't anyone around in the tiny alcove she was hidden in. The morning light started to spread warmth around the cold cool area and the fire Senshi smelled the fresh scent of coffee from a Starbucks coffee shop down the street. She heard voices from people that she knew and crossed her arms in anticipation for their arrival.

Sailor Mercury came around the corner with Jupiter and Venus right behind her. "Mars! I'm glad you're ok!"

Mars scowled at Mercury. "No thanks to you! Where did you go? Did you at least bring me something to eat? I'm starving!"

The three arrivals looked at each in dismay. Jupiter got closer. "We've been fighting nonstop while you've been taking a nap and all you can think about is food? Fine!" She spun around and ran off.

Venus pointed her finger at Mars. "We came all this way to check on you. You should be a little more nicer."

Mars huffed. "You wouldn't have needed to come here if Mercury didn't abandon me." She stuck her tongue out at Mercury.

Mercury drooped a little. "Mars, I think you should know that I left because Pluto, Saturn and Ukyou were in grave danger. I would have never left you unless it was an emergency."

"Danger? Why didn't you bring me along?" Mars was miffed that she missed out on the fun.

Sounding like a doctor, Mercury gave a lecture. "Mars, I'm not a doctor yet, but I know enough about injuries to know that you couldn't be moved. Your rest was more important at the time."

Sailor Venus happily announced. "All's well that starts well!"

Mars and Mercury stared at the blond Senshi. They hated to be reminded that she was indeed blond. Mercury lectured again. "The saying goes, 'All's well that ends well' Venus. You need to study more."

"More? Ah, but that will cut into my shopping time!" Venus whimpered.

Jupiter popped around the radio truck holding a bag of pastries from the Starbucks. "Get'em while they're hot!" Her other hand held a drink carrier with four hot chocolates. She passed out the goodies. The girls didn't know how hungry they were until the moment the food touched their mouths. They all performed Usagi and Ranma impersonations as they swallowed the food whole and slurped the hot chocolate in record time.

Mars summed it up in one syllable. "Burp!"

Mercury made a gentle ladylike belch. "We've got to go to Juuban Hospital."

Mars stopped burping. "Why? I should be fine after a day or two. Am I more seriously injured?"

Venus, Jupiter and Mercury exchanged worried glances and said nothing.


========================================


Sailor Sun cracked her eyes open as sunlight washed over her. Sailor Io was holding her hand. "Time to wake up sleepy head."

Sun waited until the room stopped dancing around her head. She shook her head to clear out the cobwebs which in Sun's case were numerous. She blinked her eyes and made quick glances around the hospital room.

"Good morning Sailor Sun." Nodoka winked at her daughter from her bed knowing that she couldn't use her daughter's real name with Konatsu and Ukyou present.

Sun noticed the door to the room was shut and they had some privacy. "Good morning. I think. It is morning? What time is it?"

Io looked at the clock on the wall. "It's 4:14 in the afternoon. We've been here and gone. We've just been waiting for you to wake up. See." Around the room were several bouquets of flowers, cards and stuffed animals around Ukyou and Nodoka's beds. "I had to stuff you into the little bathroom when my folks and your dad showed up. I'm glad you were out like a light the whole time."

Sun went pale. "My d-dad? He didn't see me did he?"

Nodoka pointed at Ukyou and mouthed the words. "Do they know?" to Sailor Io.

Io checked the room again for privacy. "Yes mother. They both know about us." She turned to Konatsu. "And only us right?"

Konatsu sheepishly answered. "Yes, only you two."

Io kept a stern look at Konatsu. "Good. That's what I wanted to hear."

Nodoka patted her daughter on the head. "Your father didn't see you. Akane did a great job keeping him from going to the restroom while he was here."

Io giggled. "It's amazing how effective one hundred yen coins are on my sister and your father."

"Nabiki was here too?" Sun melted in her chair.

Sun's mom put her hand back to her side. "Of course she was here. The Tendos and my husband came to see how I was doing. The doctors wanted to let me out this morning but that nice Ami was able to convince them to let me stay another day." She faced her roommate. "I felt I should stay and watch over Ukyou as well."

Konatsu looked up from his position next to Ukyou. "I'm certain that Ukyou appreciates that."

Io clapped her hands. "Well now that you're among the living. We can go home." She turned her wrist to use her new Sailor Scout wristwatch communicator.

Sun asked. "Who're you calling?"

"Sailor Pluto. She'll get us home quickly. She told me to call her once you woke up."

Sun shook her head. "I don't want to leave. Not yet anyways." She grabbed the sides of her chair to stand up. She wobbled for a moment before regaining her strength. She took a step forward and looked over her friend. The bandages told the whole story. Ukyou was pretty messed up. "Io. Call Saturn here."

Io put her hand down and the room went quiet.

"What? What's going on?" Sun faced Nodoka then Konatsu and then finally Io. All three had looks of sadness.

Konatsu choked a tear. "She was already here."

"She was? Then why's Ukyou still covered in bandages?"

Nodoka held her daughter's shoulder. "She was here with her mother. She spent over an hour trying to heal her leg but couldn't."

Sun felt her world ending at her mother's words. "You mean? No..." Sun gazed at the outline of Ukyou's legs in the bed, an outline that was missing a crucial section. "There's got to be a way. There has to be." She gripped the mattress and squeezed it tight.

"Sun. Saturn was able to do some good, look at Ukyou's face, she healed all the scratches. Her internal organs are perfectly healthy. She'll probably be out of the hospital tomorrow morning."

"With a peg leg?" Sun stroked Ukyou's bandaged hand. "With three fingers? What about Sailor Moon's scepter? Did you try that?"

Io's face said everything. "Her scepter can only stabilize someone but it can't heal non-magical injuries on a normal person."

"We can't give up. Call them here. All of them."

"We've already tried Sun!"

Sun grimaced in frustration. "Don't tell me you've tried everything!" She dropped her head. "What if I tried?"

Io got wide eyed. "Can you heal? Do you have that kind of power?"

"I'm not giving up." Sun closed her eyes and held Ukyou's hand. She called forth the magic deep within her. She pleaded to her guardian star to give her the power to restore life where in the past all she did was take it. She called the powers not for herself but for her friends, for anyone now or in the future that she would be able to save if this gift was blessed upon her.

Io called on her communicator. "Everyone. Sun's awake. She wants us to come to the hospital to try to heal Ukyou again."

Usagi came on the line. She looked very tired as if she was rudely awaken by someone who didn't respect the fact that she had stayed up all night and part of the morning. Since that was what had happened to the part-time princess, she had every right to look like death warmed over. "We were there for over an hour Io. What good will it do now?"

Sun kept her focus. She channeled her magic to her hand. It wasn't working. Sun stopped her magic and grabbed Io's wrist to speak into the watch. "I'll buy you a banana split if you come. Two if you get here in fifteen minutes."

Usagi woke up. "Deal! Moon out!"

Io looked into the eyes of her husband. "Do you have the money to pay for two banana splits? Moon will be here to get those and she won't leave until she devours them."

Sun turned to Nodoka. "Mom? Could I borrow some money?"

Nodoka reached over for her purse that lay on the little table by her bed. She sighed and shook her head in mild disapproval.

Konatsu handed Sun a few one thousand yen notes. "Here. It's all I have."

Sun tried to push the money back. Konatsu was paid only ten yen an hour by Ukyou. The one thousand yen represented over two weeks pay for the kunoichi. The guy was originally paid five yen a day, then ten yen a day and then ten yen an hour as the Saotome's insisted to Ukyou to pay him something more than pitiful wages. Ukyou took advantage of Konatsu's love and kindness by working him like a slave at Ucchan's while she chased after Ranma. Sun didn't want to take advantage of the ninja. "No Konatsu, It's too much."

Konatsu shed tears. "Nothing is too much for her. Nothing." He shoved the money in Sun's hand and sat back down resuming his vigil.

Sun neatly folded the bills and fumbled around trying to stuff them in her bra like she saw other girls do. After several failed attempts that were very embarrassing to normal females, Io snatched the money and put it neatly into her own bra. Nodoka shook her head disapprovingly again. "You've got a lot to learn about being a girl Sun."

"Hey! I'm a guy!"

Her comment was met with snickers. Ukyou woke up and joined in the laughter. Sailor Sun walked to the nearest wall and started using it to flatten her forehead by pounding on it.

Ukyou opened her eyes. "I needed that."

Sun kept pounding. "I don't."

Io handed Sun her infamous mallet. "Use this, the hospital bill is large enough already."

Sun stopped her pounding to sigh. Her attention was redirected at the door as a knock was heard. "Are they here already?"

Io crossed her arms. "You did say two banana splits didn't you?"

"No! There is no way she could run that fast. Her house is at least fifteen blocks from here." Sun walked to the door to open it. "Maybe even twenty." She turned the knob and saw Super Sailor Moon and Neo Moon standing there. Behind the pair were the rest of the inner Senshi.

The blond princess of the moon in her Super Sailor Moon fuku pointed her scepter at Sun. "I expect to collect after this."

"Ok ok!" Sun raised her hands in surprise. "Where's Saturn?"

Neo Moon tried to get in but was blocked by Sailor Sun. "Saturn will be here soon. May we come in or are you just going to block the doorway?"

Sun stepped aside as the six Senshi entered the room. "How'd you get here so fast?"

Mars replied. "We used the Sailor Teleport. We were all at my shrine since Mercury had us study to make up for the fact that we all didn't go to school today." She pointed to Moon. "Meatball head here, she was sleeping while we were studying when you called."

"I wasn't sleeping. Uh... I was uh... Resting. Yeah, I was resting my eyes." Moon waved her wand around as she fumbled around for words with the same grace as she did in gymnastics. It was clunky, clumsy and teetering on the edge.

Mars glared at her leader. "You rest your eyes while saying 'Zzzz'?"

"As a matter of fact. Uh... I do!" Moon turned to face away from Mars, sticking her nose into the air and closing her eyes.

"Don't rest your eyes anymore. I don't want to hear you make that sound again." Mars turned to face away from Moon and assumed the same heads up position.

Moon turned her head around to deliver a raspberry. Mars returned the favor. Everyone else in the room including Ukyou dropped their heads in embarrassment.

A knock came on the door interrupting the stimulating conversation that was transpiring in the room. The door opened to reveal the four outer Senshi who entered and locked the door behind them.

Sun jumped up and held Saturn by the shoulders. "Saturn, please, I need you to try again. Please try to heal Ukyou's hand."

The tiny Senshi stepped back and held her mother tightly. Neptune told Sun, "We already did that this morning. Is this why we were called here?" She shot a glance to Sailor Moon.

Sun drew Neptune's attention back to her. "I called you here because I don't think we tried everything."

Uranus stepped forward. "We tried everything. Face facts Sun. We can't re-grow a leg."

Sun stood erect. "And why not? We cast fireballs, ice blocks and teleport all over the place. I've heard that Moon was able to bring some of you back from the dead. Are ya telling me that there's something that's beyond our powers?"

Neptune held her daughter tight. "Yes Sun. Even we have limits. Moon can bring back the dead only if the Senshi was killed very recently. Otherwise they're gone like anyone else."

"Well, Ukyou's not dead. All I'm asking is for ya to heal her."

Uranus got upset. "Don't you think we hadn't tried that? Saturn gave it everything she had but she couldn't regenerate her leg."

Sun wasn't ready to give up. She thought for a moment at great effort. "Wait! We can all heal ourselves. Why can't we heal others?"

Sailor Moon remembered the rules of the Senshi magic. "Because Sun, as a Senshi, we each have powers unique to each of ourselves. That's why you can teleport by yourself while the rest can't. Saturn can heal; I can channel power and lead the Sailor Teleport. The healing magic each of us possess is only to heal ourselves. It's a power reserved for the Senshi."

Sun faced Sailor Moon in all seriousness. "Then make her a Senshi if that's what it'll take."

Pluto interjected. "It's not that simple Sun and you know it."

Sun grabbed Moon's shoulders half pleading and half threatening. "Then let's join our powers instead like we did when you blasted Jadeite."

Sailor Moon stood steadfast. "Our healing magic can't be channeled to another."

Venus had an idea. "It can't? Are you sure? I don't think we've ever tried that before."

Sun regained hope. Hope she was rapidly losing. She clung onto anything that would heal her friend. "I'll give it a try. Saturn, are you game?"

The little Senshi emerged from behind her mother. "I.. I've never tried that. What if it doesn't work."

Sun gulped. Io stood next to her answering, "Then we can say that we did try everything." She faced the assembled crowd who barely fit in the hospital room. "I saw all of you combine your powers when we fought Jadeite. Let's see if we can do it to heal my friend."

Ukyou couldn't believe what she was hearing. Akane was calling her a friend. The Senshi were going to try to heal her. She tapped her head to try to remember when they claimed to have attempted to heal her the first time and came up blank. She must have been completely knocked out during that first try.

Mercury went over to Konatsu. "Could you stand over by Mrs. Saotome? We need to be as close as possible if this is going to work." Konatsu jumped into the air and landed on the far side of the room on the other side of Nodoka's bed. Nodoka sat upright taking in the wonder that was before her.

Sailor Saturn stood next to Ukyou. The worried chef swallowed in anticipation as the little purple-skirted girl gently placed her hands on the injured hand. She concentrated her healing magic causing the bandage to glow a pale yellow. A moment later she put the hand down. "It's no use. I can't do it."

Sailor Sun placed her hand on Saturn's shoulder. "Try again."

"I can't."

Sun thought of something to say. Neptune stood next to her daughter and placed her hand on her other shoulder. "You are the Senshi of Saturn. You can. Neptune Planet Power!" Sailor Neptune glowed and the energy flowed down her arm into her adopted daughter.

"Sun Star Power!" Sailor Sun's power flowed into Sailor Saturn.

The little girl felt alive. She felt like she could do anything. "Yes Neptune-mama, I can." She held Ukyou's hand again and concentrated her magic. Ukyou's arm glowed while little yellow dots appeared around Neptune and Sun. The sparkles flew around the two Senshi, flowed down their arms and into Ukyou through Saturn. The magic sparkles took shape and grew into a faint outline of a ring finger.

Sun opened her eyes and smiled at Ukyou. The chef felt warmth that she could never describe with mere words. The feeling could only be described as love. Pure love. The love one feels from sharing everything about yourself to someone you deeply cared about. Neptune felt this love for Saturn. Sun felt this love for Io. They directed the love at Ukyou and the magic within performed a miracle.

Ukyou's hand changed shape. The bandage began to disappear as it too changed into glowing lights of magic and spun around forming a pinky. Saturn began to weaken. Mercury saw what was happening and held onto Neptune's free hand. "Mercury Star Power!"

The other Senshi got the cue. They quickly formed a circle that encompassed three sides of the bed. As each Senshi joined the circle, they called out their phrase of power.

"Io Lumina Power!"

"Jupiter Star Power!"

"Moon Cosmic Power!" Came from Moon and Neo Moon.

"Uranus Planet Power!"

"Venus Star Power!"

"Pluto Planet Power!"

"Mars Star Power!"

Hundreds, then thousands of tiny dots of light emerged from the bodies of the twelve Senshi, flowed into Sailor Saturn, orbited her and then sparkled over Ukyou. Nodoka and Konatsu watched open mouthed as what amounted to nothing short of a miracle occurred before them.

Ukyou's leg formed an outline. Toes could be seen in a yellow light as dots ebbed and flowed in random directions until settling into their new homes. Her hand began to solidify, darken and harden into a perfect human hand. The leg took much longer. The light show continued for over ten minutes with several times Saturn wanting to fall over from exhaustion. Her mother and Sun held their gentle grip on her shoulders. The girls used body language and channeled more of themselves to the Senshi healer to finish what they had started.

Ranma's former fiance was in a level of bliss that few humans ever achieve. She slowly moved her head following the faces of the girls who were giving a part of themselves in an effort to return, that which was lost from someone they loved.

Love.

They were made of love.

The dozen assembled Senshi were showering Ukyou Kuonji with more love at this moment than anyone received in a lifetime. She saw Venus wink at her when she made eye contact. Mars smiled wider, Mercury nodded her head, and Jupiter playfully raised her eyebrow. She was afraid for just a moment, she didn't know what she would see in the face she held closest to her heart than anyone else. Sailor Sun just stared at Ukyou with a cocky grin. The chef saw that Sun was giving more of herself that any other girl. She was determined to make sure that she was healed. She moved her gaze slightly upward to look into the eyes of her former rival. Sailor Io had a smile from ear to ear. It was the face that Ranchan had told her that made Akane cute. Sailor Io was indeed a cute fiance. She was emitting the love she had for her husband and sending it to someone she cared about.

Ukyou felt a warm sensation from an area she thought was lost forever. She had toes on her left leg. She had a pinky on her left hand. She felt wonderful. There was a collective thud as ten Sailor Senshi hit the ground at the same time. Sailor Sun grabbed the hospital bed to hold herself up and Sailor Pluto stood upright as if the energy transfer didn't bother her at all. Pluto smirked. "Wimps."

Nodoka sat frozen in pride. She thanked the gods that they had blessed her with a child that was truly an outstanding individual. Sailor Sun was one of a kind. She was her child, an exceptional child that Nodoka had the honor and privilege to bring into this world.

Konatsu tiptoed around the dormant Senshi. He bent down patting the face of Sailor Neptune and found that it a futile effort. He got up and held the hand of his mistress. "How do you feel Ukyou?"

Ukyou struggled to find the words. "I feel..." She wiggled all ten of her toes and held Konatsu's hand tight. "Alive. I feel alive."



Author's Notes: Please review my story. It makes me feel oh so happy and prevents me from camping out in your backyard roasting chestnuts over an open fire.

Last edited on January 25th, 2007



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