Previous chapter | Home | Next chapter




Sailor Ranko: The Harder They Fall: Chapter 7, Tano.
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 hate me because I'm beautiful.



Six Sailor Scouts appeared in the living room of the Saotome apartment. They immediately started laughing hysterically. They had a great time teaching a lesson to Tatewaki Kuno. Sailor Sun leaned her back against a wall and slid to the floor. "I will fight you to the death! Oh that was good!"

Neo Sailor Moon held her stomach as she bent over in hysterics. "I want a new daddy!" She fell over forwards onto the floor.

Sailor Io chuckled, "If you defeat me, I will date with you! Oh, I've badly wanted him get a taste of his own medicine."

Sailor Mars was holding onto Sailor Jupiter for support. "I don't think I've this much fun in a long time."

Io changed back to Akane. She took a deep breath to help her recover from her sidesplitting amusement. She bowed to her friends. "I want to thank every one of you for your help. I hope that idiot finally got it through his thick skull to leave us alone."

All the rest of the Senshi changed back. Akane went to the kitchen and grabbed a tray of snacks from the refrigerator. She came back to the living room and placed the tray on the table. She smiled. "Here is a little token from me to all of you."

Ranko got wide eyed. The food looked a little strange. She pleaded with her eyes to Akane to put the tray back into the primeval ooze from whence it came from instead of killing her friends with it.

Rei grabbed a piece of carrot and dunked it in the vegetable dip. Usa turned away since she didn't like carrots. Makoto gasped. Ranko violently shook her head. Rei took a bite and time stopped. Rei's eyes popped wide open. She sweated. She changed to green. She changed to blue. She changed to yellow. Smoke came out of her mouth. She burst into a run straight to the bathroom and shut the door. A muffled scream could be heard.

Usa stared at Akane. Minako shrugged. "I guess the teleport was too much for her." She grabbed a piece of celery and dipped it in the dip. She was about to take a bite when Makoto took it from her. Minako tried to take it back. "Hey! That was mine!"

Makoto held it out to Akane. Makoto gave a huge happy smile. "The chef should always try her cooking first."

Akane got angry. "You're just like Ranma! My cooking isn't that bad."

Rei screamed again. The sound of the toilet being flushed was barely audible.

Akane grabbed the celery and took a bite from the end with the dip. "See, there's..." She turned green. She turned blue. She turned yellow. She ran to the bathroom to join Rei.

"Was the dip past the expiration date?" Asked Minako.

Makoto took the dip and emptied it in the trashcan. "I'd say so."

Ranko looked at the tray. "Well, she did cut the vegetables right at least. But these things, I don't know." She held up a cracker with something that looked like peanut butter was on it. Ranko smelled it and it smelled like peanut butter. She touched it with her finger and gave it a taste. It was peanut butter. "Whew! At least these are ok."

Makoto tapped Ranko's shoulder. "Uh..." She pointed at the trashcan. It was starting to smolder.

Ranko rolled her eyes. "That's our last trash can. I'm going to have to buy some more tomorrow." She grabbed the trashcan and jumped out the window. Minako and Makoto wanted to grab Ranko to prevent her suicide but then remembered that she could jump safely from twelve stories.

Usa munched on the sliced hard-boiled eggs while avoiding the dreaded carrots at all costs. "Is Akane a bad cook?" She slapped her forehead at her sudden revelation. "Oh, that's right! She hadn't gone on that training mission yet."

Makoto turned around slowly. "You mean in the 30th century Akane can cook?"

Usa laughed. "She sure can! She's one of the best in the kingdom. You, her and uh... Ranko yeah, have cooking challenges all the time. Wish I could say the same for my mother." She shook her head like she was thinking about some sort of cooking disaster she had to rescue her mother from.

Makoto looked to the sky and clasped her hands. "There is hope for Akane after all!"

Rei and Akane moaned from the bathroom. They were in too much pain to pay attention.


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


Ranko ran to the dumpster and threw the trashcan inside. She slammed the lid shut to cut off the supply of oxygen and put out the fire. Ranko was lucky. It didn't look like the dip was going to cause serious damage this time. She waited for a minute to make sure that the dumpster or its contents weren't going to catch on fire, explode or somehow start a nuclear chain reaction. She was satisfied that the danger was over and walked back to the apartment building.

She stood at the steps leading up the front glass doors of the building. She gazed at her balcony and thought about Akane. Akane meant well, but she really needed to taste her food before serving it to guests.

Ranko mumbled to herself. "Why is she such a bad cook?"

"Because she no finish bridal training."

Ranko turned around to see who said that. Shampoo tilted her head, raised her hand in a greeting, closed her eyes and gave a very cute girlish smile. "Nihao Ranma!" She poured hot water on Ranko's head from her handy kettle.

Ranma pulled back expecting to be glomped. "Uh... Hi Shampoo." He checked his clothes to see if they were ok for being a male. He was wearing a light orange Chinese shirt and dark blue pants. He was dressed properly to prevent embarrassment in his male form.

"Ranma hungry? Shampoo bring good food." She pulled out her food box and patted it. "Shampoo bring ramen and pork buns."

Ranma looked up at the balcony of his twelfth-floor apartment. He hoped that Rei and Akane had not transformed back into Senshi to use the healing powers to recover from the vegetable dip. He didn't want to explain why Sailor Senshi were hanging around his home to Shampoo. "Shampoo, why are you here?"

"Nabiki tell Shampoo where home of Ranma is. Shampoo bring dinner for Ranma." She dropped her smile a little. "Please can Shampoo visit Ranma home?"

"Uh... I've got guests right now." Ranma didn't want Shampoo to start fighting with Akane again. Ranma thought about how to punish Nabiki for telling Shampoo where they lived. Sailor Sun should drop Nabiki off in Alaska tomorrow.

Shampoo dropped her smile completely and looked glum. "Shampoo understand. Shampoo only want to be friend now." She handed the food box to Ranma. "Take good food yes?"

Ranma took the box. It smelled really good. He still needed to check it for Amazon potions or magic. "Thanks."

Shampoo got off her bike. "Shampoo want Ranma be friend. Friend no?" Shampoo gave a look of sadness. She just wanted Ranma not to hate her.

"This isn't some trick is it?" Ranma was very suspicious. "You didn't put some Amazon love potion in the ramen did you?

"Ranma." Shampoo became very sheepish. "Shampoo want to ask question."

"What is it Shampoo?"

Shampoo swallowed hard. She already knew the answers but she had to ask to settle the matter in her own mind. She swung from side to side as she asked Ranma. "Ranma love Akane yes?"

Ranma looked at the apartment. He thought of Akane. "Yes Shampoo. I love her."

Shampoo put her head down. "Akane love Ranma no?"

Ranma kept his gaze fixed on the balcony. Images of his adventures with his wife flashed in his head. "She loves me Shampoo." Ranma looked at Shampoo. "You already know that. You heard what she said to me when she wore the reversal jewel right side up." During his adventure with Akane in the Jadeite's dimension, Ranma was finally able to look on his courtship with his wife with different eyes. Ranma had time to think about all the times that Akane had professed her love to him and he was too dumb and stubborn to accept it in the past.

Shampoo kept her head down. She closed her eyes to keep tears from forming. "Ranma." She lifted her head and held a weak smile. She badly wanted to hear an answer that would give her some happiness. "Want to be Shampoo's friend?"

Ranma held his hands forward to ward her off. He didn't want Shampoo to jump her. "Friend? Not husband?"

"Shampoo want to be friend with Ranma." She held her head down again. "Shampoo no want Ranma hate Shampoo. Shampoo want Ranma as friend." She gazed at Ranma's blue eyes with her tear-lined eyes. "Please be Shampoo's friend."

Ranma felt a little sorry for Shampoo. "What about your attempts to kill Akane? That's not what a friend does."

"Shampoo promise. Shampoo no fight Akane anymore. Ranma love Akane. Shampoo accept." She was begging. She wanted to be forgiven. "Shampoo want Ranma as friend."

Ranma still didn't trust Shampoo. Ranma saw that Shampoo was being sincere in her attempt to bury the hatchet. Ranma was hoping that Shampoo wouldn't bury it in Akane's head or anyone else's head for that matter. Ranma thought about all the adventures he had shared with Shampoo. Even though Shampoo did try to kill Akane numerous times, she always had some respect for her and Shampoo always wanted only for Ranma to return her affection for him. Ranma stood there thinking about an answer. A few awkward moments passed as Shampoo awaited judgment and Ranma decided his options.

Ranma gently nodded his head. "I want to be your friend Shampoo." Shampoo immediately came to life and gave a huge smile. "As my friend, you'd better learn to behave."

"Aiya!" She grabbed Ranma in a big hug. She didn't glomp him. She gave a hug of a friend to a friend. "Ranma make Shampoo happy!"

"First thing Shampoo, stop the glomping. Akane doesn't like that."

Shampoo let go of Ranma. "Ok."

"Second thing, don't attack Akane anymore." Ranma was serious.

Shampoo stood erect and held her hands together in glee. "Shampoo promise to not fight Akane for Airen."

Ranma sighed. "Third thing, stop calling me Airen."

"But we married."

"No we're not married. Not according to Japanese law anyways. I am married to Akane and only Akane."

Shampoo didn't want to accept the rejection. She for years had tried to convince her husband to come live with her and take his place among the Amazon tribe. Deep down inside, Shampoo knew she had already lost the war to Akane. She desperately wanted to salvage her honor and pride. She had no other choice left. "Shampoo no call Ranma... A... A..." She choked a sob. "Airen anymore.

Shampoo averted her gaze to her husband. She wanted so badly for Ranma to say this was a misunderstanding and that he loved her back. She had to settle for friendship instead of lifelong commitment. She thought now as she did for so many tear filled nights, that maybe a lifelong friendship would be an acceptable substitute. She wanted to weep for the daughter she was never going to have from Ranma. Having Ranma, as a friend and someone to protect would help keep her honor among her tribe.

Ranma liked having friends. All his life in Nerima, people had wanted to kill him, seduce him or take advantage of him. Very few people actually wanted to just be his friend. When he moved to Juuban, the Senshi actually treated him as an equal and expected only kindness in return. He hoped that one day Ukyou would be a true friend and not still harbor a grudge against Akane. He knew that day would come soon. Ranma now had a glimmer of hope that Shampoo would also become a lifelong friend who wanted to be with Ranma because he was good company and not because of some silly Amazon marriage law.

Ranma held his fists together in a yin-yang hold and made a bow of respect to Shampoo. "Friend?"

Shampoo returned the gesture. "Friend!" She looked into Ranma's eyes. "Please Ranma. Someday forgive Shampoo?"

Ranma gave a hint of a nod but said nothing. In his mind, Shampoo needed to earn his forgiveness. This was a good start.

Shampoo gave the puppy dog eyes. "Ranma show Shampoo home in Juuban?"

Ranma could never resist the puppy dog eyes. "Let me ask Akane. Wait here." He held onto the food box tight and jumped up the balconies. He hopped a few times to get back into his apartment.

Ranma entered the apartment and put the food box down in the kitchen. In moments, the entire apartment was filled with the tasty aroma of some delicious Chinese food.

Makoto, Usa and Minako popped into the kitchen. Makoto put her nose to the box and took a whiff. "This smells really good. Where did you get it?"

Minako noticed that she was a he. "Hey! When did you change back?" She started looking for a glass to fill with water to undo the transformation.

"Shampoo's downstairs, she wants to visit and gave this to me." He brushed some of the remaining hot water out of his hair. "She had some hot water handy." Ranma looked around the corner and saw Akane was washing up in the bathroom. Rei was collapsed on the couch.

Usa hopped up. "Shampoo? She's here? Why didn't you say so?" She ran to the door.

Ranma raised his hand. "Usa! Come back here!" It was too late. The pink haired one was out of earshot. "Oh man. Akane is going to flip."

"I'm going to flip about what?" Akane came out of the bathroom. She cleared her throat. "I guess I used too much curry."

Makoto groaned. "Curry in vegetable dip? Where's the recipe so I can destroy it?"

Akane didn't know what Makoto was talking about. "Recipe?"

"What happened to your mother's recipe book? Didn't it have a recipe in it for vegetable dip?"

"Let me see." Akane went to the kitchen and pulled out her mother's recipe book. She leafed through it for a moment and found it. "Here it is."

Makoto looked at the page. "Where does it say to add curry to the dip?"

"Oh, I put that in to liven it up!"

Rei held her stomach. "I'd say it livened it up alright."

Minako giggled. Makoto scolded Akane, "If you ever are going to learn to cook, you'd better start following the recipes exactly like they are written down." She took a quick look at Rei to see if she needed an ambulance. "Or you'll just keep wasting food or worse."

Akane sulked. "I'm sorry, I guess I just got carried away." She slid the recipe book back into the drawer. She noticed the food box for the first time. "Where did that come from?"

Ranma sighed. "Shampoo brought the food. Usa's downstairs with her now."

Usa and Shampoo entered the apartment. Usa came first and looked around to make sure everything was ok and then let in Shampoo. Shampoo waved to everyone. "Nihao everyone! Shampoo is happy to see Ranma's friends. Sorry Shampoo didn't bring enough pork buns for everyone."

Minako went over to Shampoo. She looked her over. "You aren't going to drag off Ranma to China are you?"

Shampoo shrank a little. "No. Shampoo promise Ranma Shampoo behave."

Akane wasn't convinced. She took an attack stance. "You can't have my husband." She stared to cough from the after effects of the dip.

Shampoo relaxed her body. She didn't go into a stance. "Shampoo no fight Akane. Shampoo promise no challenge Akane for Ranma anymore." She gave a bow to Akane and stayed bowed. "Akane win Ranma heart. Shampoo lose to Akane." Shampoo slowly stood up. "Shampoo ask Akane be friend to Shampoo."

Akane kept her stance. She glanced at Ranma. "Is this for real?"

Ranma and Shampoo nodded. Ranma stood aside. "She's not attacking you."

Shampoo bowed to Akane again. "Shampoo will come back soon. Shampoo bring good food for Akane next time. Shampoo hope Akane like."

Shampoo went to the doorway. She stopped and gave a last look at Akane. "Shampoo sorry for fighting for Ranma. Shampoo want to be friend to Saotome and Tendo families." She disappeared down the hall.

Akane watched Shampoo go. "Well that was weird."

Usa sat down in the couch in awe. "Wow."

Akane focused on Usa. "What's your problem?"

"She's not what I expected."

"What did you expect?"

Usa clammed up. "Something else."

Makoto interrupted Akane before she asked another question. "Don't bother. Usa can't talk too much about the future." Makoto glared at Usa. "Or can you?"

Usa sighed. "Yeah, this knowing the future stuff really sucks sometimes."

Ranma pulled out the ramen and started inhaling. "This is good stuff!"

Akane stormed over to Ranma and gave a disapproving glare for his eating habits. "Ranma! If that has any love potion in it... ACK!"

Ranma glomped onto Akane. "Oh my dearest love! How I desire you! I wish to run off with you to China!"

Akane tried to squirm away. "Let me go! I'm going to get that Amazon bimbo!"

Ranma dropped Akane and laughed. "False alarm! There's nothing wrong with the ramen."

Akane glowed blue and sent Ranma flying. "Ranma you perverted jerk!" Ranma once again realized as he flew out the window that there were times that practical jokes just were not appropriate.

Usa grabbed the pork buns. "Leaves more for me!" She inhaled the food.

Akane watched Usa stuff food down her throat at a ferocity that rivaled Ranma's. "Usa, how do you know Shampoo?"

Usa stopped eating. She paused for a moment to come up with an answer. "You and Ranma told me about her. It sounded too weird to be true."

"I don't remember telling you about her."

"You did over nine hundred years from now."

Akane rubbed her forehead. "Stop with the time travel stuff. I'm going to sit down."


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


Ukyou got home from school and began preparations for opening Ucchan's for the dinner crowd. Konatsu shooed Sasuke away since his first priority was obeying his mistress' wishes instead of ninja practice. Ukyou smiled at Konatsu as he entered from the alley behind the restaurant. She had grown to depend on him to run her restaurant and she started to see him as less than an appliance and more like a friend. Ukyou was happy to have a friend.

She ran to her bedroom to freshen up and change from her Furinkan Boy's Uniform to her standard chef's uniform. She opened her bedroom door and was surprised to find two wrapped gifts on her bed. "Konatsu!"

Konatsu appeared instantly next to Ukyou. "Yes mistress?"

"You have GOT to teach me that technique." Gasped a startled Ukyou. She pointed to the oddly shaped presents. "When did those arrive?"

Konatsu was perplexed. He didn't see how anyone could have gotten to Ukyou's bedroom without him seeing him or her enter. "I... I don't know."

"You don't know?"

"I'm afraid not. Possibly when I was the market today getting the cabbage was when they were delivered. I didn't put them in your room though."

Ukyou examined the gifts. The wrapping paper was solid reddish orange color like the shade of rust. One gift was very flat and large. The other was a little over a meter in length and shaped like a pole. Ukyou looked at the larger gift. On closer examination, it had the distinctive shape of a giant spatula. She picked up the item and found it to be very light. Her battle spatula weighed twenty kilos since it was made of stainless steel. This gift only weighted four kilos.

Ukyou looked around for a card or anything that would say who left these here. She found it next to the smaller item. "Well, at least I'll know where these came from." She put down the larger gift and read the card.

To my dearest friend Ukyou,

I've wanted to write you a letter but I've just never had the courage before. I've known you for a long time. I've put my life in your hands and you've always come through for me. I know that you will someday find what you are looking for. Please accept these gifts from someone who wants to see you fulfill your destiny.

Signed...

A friend

P.S. Please don't ever give up on your dreams.

Ukyou trembled as she read the letter. It was written in very bad handwriting. The only person she knew who wrote this badly was Ranma. She held back her emotions. He was her friend. He was nothing more. She wept a tear of joy that he had thought enough of her to give her a gift. She folded the treasured card and put it back in the envelope. She placed it lovingly on her dresser drawer. She picked up the large gift. "Let's see what Ran-chan got me."

She carefully undid the wrapping paper and nearly fell over in shock. It was a brand new battle spatula made out of some ultra tough lightweight steel. The color was odd since it was a very dull gray much like titanium. Ukyou examined the blade edge and saw that there was Teflon coating and a razor sharp edge to it. She picked up a piece of wrapping paper and slid it on the cutting edge. It was sliced in half without any effort. She didn't dare touch the blade for fear of what it would do to her fingers.

She hefted the spatula and gave it a twirl. It glided through the air and felt like it was a part of her arm. The lack of weight would take a little getting used to. She fell in love with her new weapon and held it tight. She was overjoyed that Ranma must have gone through so much effort and money to get this for her.

After a few intimate moments with her new fighting partner, she remembered that there was a second gift. She carefully placed her new spatula on the bed and picked up the second gift. It reminded her of what Ranma's mother carried around with her. Ukyou dropped her jaw. It couldn't be one of those!

She carefully unwrapped the long object and it was what she thought it was. Ukyou was the proud owner of a very high quality katana. She held the casing tight and gave the handle a pull. It needed a little harder tug but once it started moving, it slipped out like a knife through warm butter.

Konatsu wanted Ukyou to train with a tanto or a ninja short katana like he used. She didn't like it. She preferred a full-length katana but only could afford to buy a cheap one that she didn't think would last two fights before it would break. Now she possessed a weapon that samurais would envy.

Ukyou placed the casing on her bed and examined the blade. It was the highest quality she had ever seen. The handle was ornate and had a strange symbol on it that she didn't know what it was. The metal was also the same dull gray as the spatula and looked just as deadly. She took a few practice swings. The entire weapon felt like it was made just for her. It was perfectly balanced and exactly the right length and size for her body.

Ukyou was utterly speechless. She sheathed the katana and placed it next to the spatula. These weapons must have cost a small fortune. Ukyou slowly fell to her knees and started to cry. She wasn't sad. She was overcome with joy. Ranma loved her. He would not take her for his wife, but he loved her just the same. She was Ranma's best friend and knew in her heart that he was her best friend in return.

Ukyou reflected on her dreams. She wanted to be the best chef in all Japan, maybe even the world. She wanted to fight the good fight. She could do it. With Ranma's help, she could do anything.

Konatsu watched Ukyou cry. He knew it was tears of joy. He was happy for his mistress. "Is everything fine mistress?"

Ukyou faced Konatsu with her tear drenched face with a huge smile. She didn't fear the future anymore. She was full of hope and love. "Everything is perfect."

She wiped her eyes and got up. She unhooked her old spatula and replaced it with the new one. She thought, "Ranma didn't miss a thing." The spatula was perfectly balanced for carrying and had the hook to hang on her back.

Ukyou stood proud. "Let's open for business."


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


Tano, Kochi Japan felt a small earthquake. It was a small town on a southern Japanese island. The water offshore started to churn and move. A spike from Godzilla's back broke the surface of Tosa Bay and aimed toward shore. It was time for Godzilla to feed.

The people of Tano were ready. The Japanese Defense Force had been placing lookout towers all along the coastline and sonar buoys in the water in hard to spot places in an attempt to get an early warning if Godzilla decided to pay Japan another visit. The work had paid off. A single bored soldier saw the water break and the fin move towards shore. He called in the monster sighting to Japan's military headquarters. An alarm went off and everyone in the city scattered inland.

The Japanese General got the report and crumpled it up and threw it down on his desk. He gave the order for fighters to take off with type 80 Radar homing and type 93 Infrared homing missiles. The missiles were designed to attack ships, but they were modified to track a biological target due to the crisis. They had read the reports given to them by the Americans on how to hit Godzilla and hit it hard. Japan was ready.

A klaxon sounded in the pilot's barracks. The men jumped out and ran to their planes as they had done in the past few days of drills. Sweat beaded on the pilot's brows as the fact that this wasn't a drill sank into their minds. Four F-15J fighter jets stationed in the city of Nara took off to face the threat. They would be in range of Godzilla in less than ten minutes.


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


Godzilla stood in twenty-meter deep water as it ripped open the cargo ship like it was removing the lid of a giant Tupperware container. It took the cargo containers containing livestock and started gulping them down. The mighty creature heard the sound of the jets coming in to perform a bombing run. The lead pilot radioed headquarters. "I've got tone. Request permission to engage the target."

The General was pleased. He was more than happy to show that Japan was not a weak country. Japan was more than able to defend itself. "Engage the enemy. Permission granted."

"Thank you. All wings, on tone, fire." The lead jet launched two Type 93 Infrared guided missiles at the target.

Godzilla saw the missiles approaching and didn't know what to do about it. It remembered that a warehouse sent flying objects at it and they stung. It ducked behind the ship and the two missiles struck the side of the cargo ship blasting large holes in the vessel.

Godzilla had to get rid of these flying bugs. The other three jets lost tone and pulled out. One jet flew over the ship to report if Godzilla dove into the water. As it passed overhead, Godzilla sent a breath of blue radioactive fire at it knocking out an engine and send the craft into a spin. "Mayday! Mayday!" The pilot fought the controls and was able to control the craft enough to eject and have the plane impact harmlessly into the ocean.

Godzilla picked up a cargo container and threw it at the three planes returning for another pass. The container didn't even come close to the planes. It flew by them and landed in a field leaving a large crater on impact.

"I've got tone!" The second plane fired two missiles at the monster. Godzilla changed tactics. It breathed fire and caused the two missiles to explode prematurely. Godzilla stopped its attack and dove into the water to hide from another two missiles coming in. The breath attack heated the cargo vessel that the last two missiles locked on the heat source and changed course and impacted on the ship destroying the bridge.

The lead pilot got on the radio to base. "Base, we have negative impact on target. Target has a missile defense."

The General heard the radio report. "What sort of defense?"

"Sir, the target can uh... Breathe fire like a dragon."

"Say what?"

"I repeat. Target can breathe fire that is effective against missiles."

He pondered a tactic. "Fire everything you have to overwhelm the thing."

"Target has disappeared." The pilots flew over the ship and saw no trace of the giant beast. "Coming around for another pass."

The General exchanged worried glances with the radio operator. "How can you lose something that big?"

"We've completed another pass sir. No sign of target."

"Damn! Have them stay in the area for another fifteen minutes and report to me if they find that thing!" The General threw down his teacup and stormed off to his office. He was not happy to report to headquarters on how they lost sight of a giant lizard.

Godzilla was under the water's surface quickly swimming out to sea. It knew staying around would be harmful to its health. It had to think about how to deal with these flying mosquitoes in the future.



Author's Notes: Please review my story. It makes me feel oh so happy and prevents me from replacing your computer's CPU with Folger's coffee crystals. Hmm... I wonder if you'll notice.

Last edited on January 25th, 2007



Previous chapter | Home | Next chapter