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Sailor Ranko: Thrice In A Millennium: Chapter 10, The Rules Of Engagement.
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 read me a bedtime story written by H. P. Lovecraft.

Sasuke gave the thumbs up to his master as he switched the feed to come from the sealed newsroom instead of the pre-recorded episode that was being broadcast. Sasuke stood guard by the door as Tatewaki combed his hair one final time before he was about to go on the air. The red light on the video camera went on, signaling that he was being telecast into televisions all across Tokyo. "Greetings, fellow citizens of the great nation of Japan. I'm here on a matter of great importance." He adjusted his robe in an act of deliberate pause for effect. "It appears that the Beautiful Sailor Suited Defenders of Love and Justice are under the spell of a sorcerer most foul."

Sasuke held back the doors, as the security team outside pounded on it to gain entrance. "Oh, master, you've really done it this time." He looked up at the ceiling and plotted several viable methods of escape through the air ducts. He knew he would have to put the plan in motion in only a few minutes if he valued his master's freedom. How he was going to keep Tatewaki out of jail in the coming weeks was a plan the little ninja hadn't come up with yet.

Awakened from his catnap by the incessant beep from his moon computer console, Artemis yawned, extended his claws and displayed to the indifference of his computer, his entire natural arsenal of feline weapons. If Ranma had seen the wide open mouthful of fangs, he would have run in sheer stark raving terror to America.

The white cat licked his lips and batted his paw on the answer button. The screen lit up with an image of Tatewaki Kuno making some sort of speech behind a news reader's desk. Narrowing his slitted pupils, the moon cat wondered why the lunar computer was bringing this particular transmission to his attention. He pressed his paw on the speaker control and slid it upward to increase the volume.

"... the Senshi. I will not permit any other terms!" The kendoist leaned forward into the camera with a look of a crazed power mad dictator, addressing his minions. "Do I make myself perfectly clear?"

Senshi? Artemis' curiosity was getting the better of him. Turning to the headset hanging from a peg on the wall, he reached over, grabbed it and put it on. Adjusting it for fit by wiggling it a little over his triangular ears, he spoke into the mike that was positioned in front of his mouth by a thin firm wire. "Computer, what is..." He froze as the transmission continued and the nightmare in front of him spoke some more rubbish for his television audience.

Kuno pressed a button on the news reader's console he was sitting behind, changing the image to a picture of Sailor Moon being pinned to a wall by flowers being thrown by Tuxedo Mask. The white cat gagged at the sight before him, nearly coughing up a hair ball. The voice of Kuno provided some colorful, well orated commentary. "As you can see, this was how the fair Sailor Moon was betrothed to her beloved Tuxedo Mask. Only men of noble blood, can tame the wild fillies of the field."

Shivering in terror, the cat pressed several keys on the computer console, issuing commands to trace the signal to its source. "Computer, play this transmission from the beginning!" The screen went blank for a moment, then the captured video stream began to play from the start. The pet of Sailor Venus only had to watch the transmission for a minute before he gave the all call signal to the Inner Senshi. "I can't believe the stuff they put on TV these days. It's worse than 'Who wants to Marry a Millionaire?'."

Hopping around on her cane like a kangaroo in desperate need to locate a restroom, Cologne made quick time back to the Cat Cafe with Plum firmly held in her arm. Mousse was carrying an overflowing trash can when the white haired miniature hurricane blew past him, bumping into the container and showering him with old napkins and used chopsticks. The hidden weapons master spun around like a top until he stopped in a daze. Barely able to stand, he held onto the trash can for support and muttered to himself. "What now, you shriveled ol' monkey?"

A ramen bowl flew from nowhere, sending Mousse into a wall for another unscheduled nap. "I heard that!"

The old woman entered her bedroom and unrolled her bedroll with her foot. She gently placed the girl on the comforter of the floor and sat next to her. The elder sighed with matronly concern. "Plum, why did you leave last night? That was very foolish of you. You could have been kidnapped, or worse."

The tiny Amazon in training meekly replied as she looked downcast at the floor. "I'm sorry, Great Grandmother. I..." She held back another crying fit to show that she was strong and worthy of being a Amazon, like her mother. She felt the emotions overtake her and she forced the tears back down into her heart.

She failed. "Wahhhh!" Plum laid face down on the bedroll and buried her head into a pillow near her, muffling whimpers that lasted for a few minutes as Cologne watched over her charge.

"Nihao, Great-Grandmother!" Shampoo entered the doorway, holding an empty ramen delivery box from her last bike trip. "Oh, Plum! Plum back!" Tossing the box aside, she whizzed over to the bedside of the little girl and patted her back for comfort. She hugged the little girl in an Amazon glomp meant for other female Amazons. "Shampoo worry about Plum."

Mousse sat up from his resting place, rubbing his temple where Cologne's ramen bowl had struck him. "I thought I heard my darling Shampoo." He turned around, smiling at the thought of being in the vicinity of his love only to be smashed back into the wall by an empty flying ramen box. He slid to the floor for a painful nap, again.

"Great Granddaughter, you must pack. The three of us are going back to our home in China." Cologne reached into her closet and pulled out a backpack.

"Ranma coming too?" Shampoo asked hopefully, then sighed. "Is okay for Violent girl come too."

"I'm afraid that it'll just be you, I and Plum. The Phoenix Mountain people took the bait and now we need to be at the village when they figure out what happened." The elder tossed some scrolls into a side pocket of her pack and tied the leather cord to seal the flap covering the pocket. "They'll come out in force and it'll take the entire village to repel them."

Shampoo sighed again. "Father only here one day. Now Shampoo go. No fair." She trudged out of the room to get her pack, not really being excited about a trip back to the place of her birth. On other days, the young Amazon would have been bouncing off the ceiling at the news of visiting her friends and family back home, but all of the recent events had taken a toll on her emotional state.

"Great Grandmother." Plum meekly asked from her place on the floor. "I'll take whatever punishment you give me for failing you."

Holding the real map of Jusendo, sealed in a cardboard tube, the elder smiled. "You've been punished enough. Let's get you home, where you belong."

Upstairs, Shampoo was busy shoving her clothes into her own pack. "No fair. Nothing fair." She reached onto her dresser drawer to pick up a group photo of all the people she knew in Nerima. The photo was taken at a beach with almost everyone standing in a large crowd facing the camera. Her eyes focused on Ranma, standing next to Akane, with Shampoo standing over two meters away from her love. She sadly moped at the idea that this was as close as she'll ever be to only man she felt she could love. A man who was her better in the art. A man who would have been the perfect husband for her and her people. A teardrop splashed on the glass protecting the photo. "No fair."

She put the photo back on top of her dresser. Finding some loose pictures of Ranma in both forms, she lovingly gazed at them for a moment, then slid the set of images into her bra. The photos were the closest she felt she was going to get to the man she gave her soul to. "Ranma always close to Shampoo heart." She squirreled away a few more clothing items into her pack, sealed it, tossed the heavy load on her back and went downstairs.

She was greeted at the bottom of the stairs by her father, who beamed with pride over his child. "Leaving so soon, my daughter?"

"Yes, father. Shampoo go to village." She felt joy being in the presence of her parent. No matter what had happened to her, her father was a pillar of stability that she had depended on all her life. "Shampoo will miss." She held her father tight, keeping her strength down so she wouldn't break his ribs with her grip.

"I will miss you too. Come back soon." He gently patted his daughter's back, then embraced her firmly, not wanting to let the moment end.

The matriarch adjusted the straps of a tiny satchel that was on Plum's back. "Come Great Granddaughter, we must hurry if we wish to get to the village by morning."

"Morning? How we travel?" Shampoo questioned with a slight feeling of trepidation. They usually travelled by boat, or in the case of Shampoo, FedEx in feline form. "Shampoo no like cat carrier. Too too cold!"

"We're taking a different route to China today. You can stay in human form for the trip this time." Cologne had a gleam in her eye, one usually reserved for certified lunatics.

Mousse lifted himself off the ground, awakened by the sound of Shampoo's voice. He took a few steps to get closer to the source of that melodic tone that could only come from one beautiful person.

Cologne tilted her body at an odd angle to look around Shampoo because the hidden weapons master was behind the purple haired girl. "Mousse!"

Shampoo, spun around to see why Cologne was shouting, not noticing that Mousse was standing behind her. Her backpack struck him square in the jaw and sent him flying into an empty booth. Attracted by the loud landing, Shampoo held her hands to her hips in disgust. "Get up Mousse. No time for sleeping on job!"

"She's right Mr. Part Time." Taking a convenient glass of cold water, the elder splashed duck boy to wake him up.


"Good, I need you to go over to Ucchan's and help them clean up. After you're done there, you'll be on delivery duty here until further notice." She gave a cold hard stare into the eyes of the fowl creature. "You will
NOT follow us. This is official business." Without waiting for a response, Cologne led the other two women out the door and away from sight.

Mousse the duck whimpered. "Quack."

Akane, in her Juuban High School uniform, mallet in hand, stalked the edge of a large park several kilometers from Juuban High School, looking for her idiot husband. "Ranma! When I find you I'll... Grrr..." The wrath of Akane was a terrible thing to have directed at someone and Ranma was avoiding it with all of his skill.

Hiding in the branches of a very tall tree, using his stealth techniques to keep Akane from sensing his presence and braining him for insulting her cooking again, Ranma watched his wife growl in every direction before running off toward a random destination. She left a trail of smoking embers and sizzling grass in her wake. Once she was out of sight, he let out a sigh of relief, glad to have avoided another trip into the sky courtesy of Akane Airlines.

His communicator beeped again. He reached into his pocket, pulled out the calculator looking object and found that the display had a text message with a phone number. Recognizing that it was the number of the Tendo household, he jumped out of the tree and went to the nearest phone booth to return the call.

Humming to herself as she folded up the Sailor Sun costume, Kasumi waited patiently by the phone. In a moment, it rang and the tall girl answered. "Tendo residence."

"Kasumi?" Asked Ranma, "did you page me?"

Fingering the little Senshi communicator that Akane had given her a while back, Kasumi nodded. "Yes, I need to remind you that you've got to meet Nabiki downtown today at 4:30." She carefully placed the costume into a plastic bag. "You need to stop by to get your uniform. I just finished it for you."

"Ah, you didn't have to do that..." Ranma felt guilty. "Look, I know you wanna help, but I ain't doing that. There's no way I'm pretending to be myself for whatever hair brained scheme your sister's cookin' up." He pressed his forehead on the side of the pay phone. "There's just too many things that could go wrong."

Slightly dejected, Kasumi tried another approach. "Then Ranma-kun, don't pretend. Go in your Sailor Sun form instead. It really means a lot to her."

"Oh, like that's a better idea! Why don't I invite the whole gang and we can throw a party while we're at it?"

Kasumi glowed with a happy smile. "That's an excellent idea. Would you like me to make some appetizers?"

Ranma nearly dropped the receiver. "No... No... Uh... Forget I said that. Forget I said anything. Oh, man." He gently pounded his forehead on the phone, trying to stimulate any brain cell to create an idea to get out of this mess. "Let me think about this."

Reading the time on the kitchen clock, Kasumi got a little worried. "Ranma, I think you need to come here right now to get your costume." She saw that the two fathers were playing their usual Shogi game near the back of the house, so the dojo was unoccupied. "You can teleport inside the dojo. I'll be waiting there." She intentionally hung up the phone just as Ranma began his protest. "And I need to show you exactly how much this means to her."

Outside of Juuban High School, four girls gathered in a small circle. Usagi held her communicator watch to her face and answered the call. "Moon here, what's the emergency?"

Artemis' voice came on, but the camera showed the interior of Minako's room instead of a furry face. "Is Ranma there?"

Usagi looked at the other girls. "No, just Mina-chan, Mako-chan and Ami-chan. Akane and Ranma ran off somewhere. Did they call in?"

Another voice came on the line. "Io here." Akane's face appeared for a moment. "Go ahead."

Rei's voice followed. "Mars here."

They waited quietly for a moment for Sun's answer. When it didn't come, the white cat popped his head into view on the tiny display. "Okay, well, it may be best that Sun isn't in on this conversation. We need the Moon Princess to make an appearance to counter this idiot's speech."

Ami opened her Sailor watch and joined in the conference call. "Speech? What speech?"

"Let me show you. It's not pretty." In moments, all six girls watched in horror on their respective communicators as the video was played back. Looks of concern, giggling, and shock appeared on each of their faces as the scene unfolded on the little screens.

The moment the image of Sailor Moon being conquered by Tuxedo Mask was visible, Minako swooned. "Oh, if I had a man who'd sweep me off my feet like that."

Usagi didn't share in Minako's warped fantasy. An aura of red encircled the leader of the Senshi as she shook in anger. "Why... That... Jerk... I'll..." She pressed the talk button. "Where did this come from?"

"It was transmitted about an hour ago from Galaxy TV." The cat's eyes grew wide as he saw what Usagi was grabbing on the front of her school uniform. "W-w-wait!"

Holding her broach in one hand and raising her other hand to the sky, she invoked her transformation. "Moon Cosmic Power, Make Up!" A light show later, a furious Sailor Moon held her scepter in her hand and her temper barely in check.

"Sailor Moon! Don't go running off yet!" A panicked cat shouted into the mike. "He's not there anymore."

Speaking in a guttural tone, contemplating just how dead this Kuno guy was, she growled. "Where... Is... He then?"

"I don't know, but I've found out the source of the information he was talking about."

Ami, being a lot more level headed, but also keeping back the urge to rip off Tatewaki's head and throw it into a pool of piranha, pressed the talk button. "Where did these laws he was quoting, come from?"

"It was a book just published by the Sailor Moon Fan Club. The eBook was released this morning and they're taking pre-orders for the paperback. It's something called 'The Rules of Engagement'." Artemis pulled the electronic book up on his screen. "It's a lot worse than that Sailor Venus' diary they published last month."

Minako whined. "But I liked that book."

Makoto giggled, "Yeah, because it was nothing like your real love life."

"Was too!"

"In your dreams!" Makoto laughed.

"Stop it!" Taking a deadly serious tone, Sailor Moon cast a frigid look at her team mates. "Girls, transform. We're going to visit this Fan Club and set the record straight."

Ami produced her henshin stick from thin air. "And what about Kuno?"

Twirling her scepter with thoughts only meant for the dark minds of demons, she replied, "He's a dead man. No one talks about my Mamo-chan that way."

Akane's voice came over the communicator. "I know where this place is. I'll meet you there."

As the other three girls shouted their phrases, turning into the Sailor Suited warriors of the inner planets, Sailor Moon gave a look that promised that someone was going to be seriously punished. "Io, give me the address." She smiled sweetly. "Pretty please."

"It's 4:30, and he's not here yet." Mumbled Nabiki, leaning against the wall near the tall building housing the Sailor Moon Fan Club. She wore a frown of sadness as she pondered the situation she had put herself in. She was wearing a smart dark brown business suit with a matching above the knee skirt, light pantyhose, high heel pumps and her hair and nails were professionally done at a salon, making her look older than she really was. She looked at her watch hoping for time to slow down, giving her a moment to figure out where her brother-in-law could be.

She tapped her foot impatiently as the minutes slowly edged by. Minute by minute, she lost her cool confidence as her main plan faded away with each tick of the clock. Looking at a paper sack she had laying on the sidewalk next to her, containing a Sailor Mercury uniform and wig, she knew she couldn't pull off her fall back plan. There was no way in the world she could fool anyone into thinking that she was the Senshi of Ice, not even the great Ice Queen, Nabiki Tendo.

The bank across the street had a digital clock showing the time had moved to 4:50. Strengthening her resolve to carry out her mission, the middle Tendo took stock at what she did have in her formidable arsenal of paperwork. She opened her leather legal type briefcase, leafing through the registered trademarks of Sailors Sun, Io, Callisto, Rhea, Titan, etc. She found the paperwork that claimed that she was the agent for Sailor Moon and authorized to act on her behalf. Nabiki wanted to rip up the paper to shreds, since without the Senshi's signature, it was only worth the paper it was printed on.

"Damn you, Ranma." Nabiki cursed, more to herself than to her favorite victim. She slumped as the truth of her plight took hold and threatened to shatter her own Soul of Ice. "Damn me, for being so stupid." She looked down at the empty signature line, debating on whether she could sign on the Moon Princess's behalf. A moment of intense temptation burned in her heart, only to be cooled off by the harsh reality of being able to prove that the autograph on the contract was genuine. It wouldn't be right to forge the signature. One of the brown haired girl's tenets was honesty in all dealings. If she had tainted her reputation with forgery, she'd never recover.

"I'm sorry." She said to no one in particular. All around her was the hustling and bustling of a normal Tokyo day. Thousands of people slowly walked by, some being polite to the faceless masses, while others were a little rude. The sounds of taxis, cars, trucks, bicycles and scooters filled the air and did nothing to fill the emptiness in Nabiki's heart.

The Tendo watched the clock on the bank quickly reach 4:52. She reflected on the mistakes she had made in her life. The time she pretended to love Ranma when she was his official fiancee, just to anger both her sister and her brother-in-law and get those two idiots to finally admit their feelings for each other. She reflected upon the time she took revenge on Ranma for boiling her concert ticket that she had spent so much money on, granted, she was due a little payback for Ranma's carelessness, but she did take it a bit too far.

She did it for love, Nabiki knew. She loved her family and the loss of her mother made her grow up far too soon. She watched her elder sister become a surrogate mother and her younger sister lose herself into martial arts. She witnessed the slow death of her father, as he spent countless hours, praying at the family shrine, weeping into the night and losing himself in his own self pity. Without a will to live anymore, her father sank into a despair and closed down the Anything Goes school, not caring what was to become of the ancestral Tendo home or the well being of the three sisters.

At first, Nabiki sold things to help make ends meet. Watermelons, cherries, nuts and anything else she could find in her mother's fruit and vegetable garden. People were willing to pay higher than normal prices to a cute seven year old girl with a practiced adorable smile. She moved up to a little tea stand in the spring, lemonade and ice cream in the summer and scarves in the winter, each time learning more and more on using her feminine charms to exact sales and a little extra yen for herself.

The household books were the hard part at first. Her mother had taken care of all the finances and seeing her handwriting in the simple family ledger gave Nabiki a warm memory of seeing her mother hard at work, writing entries for the days receipts from the dojo. Smiling at the thoughts of her mother, and how all these years Nabiki was able to keep enough money coming in to keep the remainder of her family together, made the struggle worth it.


Blinking out of her trance, the brown haired girl rapidly twisted her neck side to side, looking for the source of the cough. She glanced at the time again, finding it had moved to 4:59. "I'm late!" She ran toward the entrance of the tall building, swung the glass door open and darted in, sidestepping away from some of the people who were leaving their offices early.

A security guard stepped in Nabiki's way, holding his hands outward to slow her down. "Miss."

The Tendo halted her dash an instant before she was to barrel into the burly man. "I'm late for my appointment!" She looked at the inviting open doorway of an elevator ahead. "I barely have time to make it!"

"Wait a second." He led her aside to the metal detector. "Gotta screen you first." He waved the wand around her body. "Where ya goin' in such a hurry?"

Nonplussed at the delay, she snarled back. "The Sailor Moon Fan Club, I've got business with them."

"Wait." He held out his hand, gesturing to the girl to stay still. "Tetsuo, get me the list."

Another guard, recognizing the request, pulled out a clipboard with several sheets of paper on it. He scanned the first page, "You wouldn't be Nabiki Tendo?"

"Who wants to know?" Huffed the now officially late girl who was growing angrier with each second she was held back from her important meeting.

"I'm sorry miss, but you're not permitted in the building." He pointed at the door. "Have a nice day."

"W-W-WHAT!" Shouted Nabiki, loud enough to vibrate the windows and cause passerby to cover their ears. "There must be a mistake. I've got an appointment on the twelfth floor at five o'clock."

"Sorry, miss, but this request came from the Sailor Moon Fan Club. I'm afraid you'll have to take it up with them." The two guards stood in front of the girl, blocking her way in. One whispered to the other, "What's with that place today, first the cos-player, now her?"

Fumbling around in her purse, she pulled out her cell phone and dropped it on the floor. She bent over to pick it up when she saw a pair of red boots that looked a little familiar. Nabiki gulped, grasped her phone and lifted up her head to see the owner of the boots. Gazing up the red skirt of the Senshi of the Sun, Nabiki blushed and turned away.

"Back off. I'm already spoken for." Sailor Sun muttered with disgust, then she lowered her voice. "And she calls me a pervert..."

Nabiki stood up instantly and shivered in nervousness. The girl before her wasn't her brother-in-law in disguise, but the real thing. She was in deep trouble now. "S-Sailor Sun?" She sheepishly smiled, trembling at how deep in trouble she could potentially be in, "Did uh... Ranma send you?" Beads of sweat appeared on the brown haired Tendo's brow, the girl summoned her courage to stop the flow of water and brought out her ice queen persona.

"Yeah, he did." Turning to a clock on the wall, she read the time. "Aren't we a little late for your meeting?"

"Right." With newfound resolve, she faced the guards, summoning a very no-nonsense air about her, she spoke with the authority of an official agent of the Sailor Senshi. "I'm here on official Sailor Senshi business. Let me pass."

The two men snickered at each other, "Yeah right, like that's going to work."

Nabiki held an open hand in the direction of the redhead. "This is Sailor Sun."

The lead guard laughed out loud. "Yeah, and I'm Santa Claus!"

The other guard tapped his companion on the shoulder. "Hey, what did that other girl call herself?"

"Does it matter? BWA HA HA!" The two were having a good laugh at the pair of girl's expense.

Sailor Sun lost her patience. "Nabiki, what floor are we going to?"

"Uh... The twelfth, why? Uh, oh..." Nabiki realized what was to happen next, as the short girl held her midsection tight.

"Buckle up. Sun Beam Transport!" The two girls vanished in a flash of light.

The lobby went silent. You could hear a pin drop as the dozens of people walking by froze in their positions at the magic transport that had occurred amongst them. The two formerly laughing guards gave a collective gulp as one turned to the other, "Uh... She's the real deal."

"What about the other one?"

"Yeah, uh... She left, kinda pissed off."

"Do you think the other one's coming back?"

They both looked at the time on the wall, "Quitting time's at six." They nervously awaited for six o'clock to arrive. Even though it was to come to pass in fifty minutes, it felt like fifty years.

A flash of bright light filled the hallway in front of the door to the Sailor Moon Fan Club. When it instantly dissipated, there stood a smirking Sailor Sun holding a woozy Nabiki by the stomach, keeping her from falling to the ground in a boneless mess.

The taller girl groaned as she held the contents of her stomach down. "Oh, I hate that."

"Yeah, yeah." Sun relaxed her grip as Nabiki regained her strength. Taking a step back to allow Nabiki to stand on her own, the Senshi of the Sun pointed to the placard on the door. "I guess this must be the place."

"Give me a minute, will you?" The room twisted and turned and little pretty stars floated around Nabiki's head. "I wish I had an aspirin."

"Sorry. I ain't got any." Sun shrugged. "They didn't give me any pockets in this thing."

"Huh? Oh, your uniform. Yeah." She rubbed her temples to quell the dizziness she felt, but the stars were in many nice colors and didn't want to stop orbiting her head. "Where did you get that outfit anyways?"

Groaning to no one in particular, the red haired girl rolled her eyes in answering the common question. "Comes with the job. C'mon, let's get this over with."

Standing tall, taking a deep breath, and grasping the door handle, Nabiki turned the knob and entered with a spring in her step. She had a real live Senshi with her and nothing was going to stand in her way.

Well, almost anything...

"What do you mean you've never heard of me?" Came a loud voice from a meeting room near the center of the office. "I'm..."

Sailor Sun froze, placed her gloved hand over her eyes and wished she could just teleport to the moon instead of face the person who was doing the yelling. "Sailor Io..."

Hiro sat across from Sailor Io who was fit to be tied. The yellow skirted Senshi was gripping the edge of the table, leaving finger indentations in the hardwood surface. The man was sitting with his hands clasped together, with a look of boredom about him. "Now, Miss... What did you say your name was again?"

Gritting her teeth in anger, the short haired Senshi of a moon of Jupiter spat out her answer at the man who had refused to believe he was sitting with a real Senshi. "Sailor Io."

"Now, Miss Io. I get a lot of people coming in here auditioning for roles, but there's no Sailor Io."

Snapping off the end of the table, the Senshi stood, ready to strike. "Oh, yeah! Lava..." A gloved hand was stuffed into her mouth to stop her from casting her attack spell.

Sun held her wife tight, holding her arm down to prevent a ball of lava from being thrown and blasting the place to smithereens. "Just what in the world are
YOU doing here?"

"Sun?" Io blinked in surprise. "What are
YOU doing here?"

"I asked you first."

"Well, I... Uh..." Io tapped her fingers together nervously. "Hey! Why didn't you answer the call?"

"What call?" Sailor Sun pondered the question for a second, then tapped her forehead with an open palm. "Oops. I forgot."

"You forgot! How can you forget? You jumped out of the window once we got the call!"

"Well you were hunting me down, remember?"

"You deserved it you jerk! My cooking wasn't that bad!"

"If you weren't such a tomboy, maybe you'd be able to follow directions for once!"

"Why, you insensitive jerk!"

"Stay away from the kitchen and let mom do the cooking you uncute, macho chick!"

Nabiki stood there open mouthed. The argument sounded so familiar to her.

As the two Senshi bickered, Hiro stood up from the other side of the table, shaking his head in dismay. "Look you two, the next Anime convention is in downtown Tokyo in three weeks. Those costumes you've got are really the best I've seen and you've got a shot at winning a prize. Now, if you'll excuse me, I've got a business to run." He picked up a folder from the table and walked to the exit when he was stopped by Nabiki.

"Going somewhere?" Nabiki snarled at the middle aged man. "We had an appointment."

"We did?" Hiro looked shocked at the news. "I don't recall having any appointments for the rest of today."

"You don't recall a Nabiki Tendo?" If Nabiki could have raised a battle aura, the building would have been burnt to the ground. "You had me locked out."

"Tendo? Wait a minute!" Raising his voice and turning cold to the Tendo, he barked at his secretary. "Call security! I want this person escorted from the premises."

Sun and Io stopped calling each other names and turned on the man. Io raised a gloved fist. "You're not taking my sis... Uh, her anywhere."

Sun placed her hands down on the table, leaning forward to look Hiro in the eyes. "Hey, I was dragged here so she can have her meeting with you. So get it over with will ya!"

"And what are you two going to do? Dance and sing for me? I already told you, the convention is in a few weeks." Hiro tried to take a step toward the door, only to be blocked by Nabiki. "If you don't let me pass, I'll have you arrested instead of being escorted out."

Nabiki fumed. "I was coming here to propose a business deal, and this is how you treat a potential partner?"

Hiro was incredulous at the gall this brown haired girl possessed. She was actually trying to muscle into his company and hired two girls to pretend to be Senshi to give herself some credibility. "Partner? Ha! You're just some two bit con artist who's trying to muscle into my business. Now, get out and take those two idiotic bimbos with you."

There were very few things you could say to Ranma or Akane that would trigger a instant response. Hiro did just that by uttering the forbidden phrase. Both Senshis of fire glowed a bright red, burning the carpet where they stood. Sun's eyes turned black with flames for pupils. Io's hand formed a ball of magma. Both girls answered back together in one voice. "What did you call me?"

Raising an eyebrow at the lightshow he was witnessing, he still didn't believe their claim. "Heh, neat trick. Save it for the convention."

Io's ball of lava grew larger. "Why, I outta..."

"Oh, you've just booked a flight into orbit." Sun jumped across the table and pushed the man against the wall, knocking off some pictures on the other side. "I just need to figure out what planet I'll be defacing with your sorry carcass."

"SECURITY!" Shouted a frightened CEO of the Sailor Moon Fan Club. "Get this girl off of me!"

Without turning away, Sun called out to her wife. "Io, show this idiot who we really are." She turned her head back to look at the room for a suitable target. "The table, take it out."

Io smiled. "With pleasure." She threw her ball of red hot lava at the table, blowing a large hole in the center. The room filled with smoke from the smoldering debris. "Now, are you convinced?"

Wanting to wet himself, but still wanting to believe that this was a some sort of trick, the man stayed defiant. "Dynamite. Yeah, that's how you did it. You're not really a Sailor Senshi."

Sun gripped the man by the collar of his shirt tightly, almost cutting off his air supply. "Fine. You asked for it buddy." She closed her eyes to focus her spell. "Sun Beam Transport!" Hiro and Sun flashed out.

Io sighed. "I hope she doesn't forget that he can't breathe in space without Senshi magic." She noticed her sister standing at the door, coughing from all the smoke she inhaled. "Let's have a little chat while she's having some fun with that moron."

Nabiki nodded, then coughed some more.

One hundred kilometers above Japan, two people appeared and instantly started falling to Earth. Sun released her grip on her passenger, allowing her prey to fall on his own.

"AAAHHHHH!!!" Screamed Hiro, not knowing that he really shouldn't be able to scream in the vacuum of space.

Sun held her arms behind her head and enjoyed the fall. "Hmmm... Never done this before. This is kinda fun."

"AAAHHHHH!!!" Hiro flayed about, trying to grab anything to stop his fall.

The redhead stretched her arms out and flapped them up and down. "Didn't think that'll work." She held her hands to her hips, flapping her elbows like she was a chicken. "Doesn't work either."

"AAAHHHHH!!!" Hiro ran out of breath and finally noticed that his clothes weren't billowing in the wind. In fact, there wasn't any wind, just a feeling of weightlessness. "Wha... Where am I?" He turned his head in every direction then focused on the big blue ball below him.

Sun was playing with the fingertips of her gloves. She answered nonchalantly. "Oh, you're falling to your doom."

"What is this? A hologram?" He patted himself looking for the wire harness the girl must have snuck on him to hold him in midair. "How are you doing this?"

"I ain't doin' nothin'. Just fallin' to Earth with you until we splat." She looked down. "I'd say you've got maybe eight minutes before you meet your ancestors. That's if you don't burn up on re-entry." She smiled evilly. "Let's see which one happens first."

The two fell for a minute. Neither one saying anything to the other. Finally, the first wisps of air buffeted the pair as they entered the atmosphere. Hiro lost his cool as he began to understand that this wasn't a trick and he really was falling to Earth at super sonic speed.

Sun glided around Hiro like an acrobat. "Saotome School of aerial maneuvers, I should add this to my training regimen." She did a flip in the air and twirled with her arms outstretched. "I really need to do this more often."

The air currents grew stronger as the pair raced through the upper atmosphere. Hiro felt his body temperature rise as the friction dragged him and attempted to rip his clothes off. "Okay, joke's over."

"Who's laughing?" Sun was doing the backstroke in an invisible pool.

"You've got far enough. Stop this simulation or illusion or whatever this ride is."

"Only if you apologize." Sun grinned as she was spinning around having the time of her life.

"For what? Trespassing into my office? Disturbing my work?" He glared at the Senshi. "For kidnapping me?"

"Kidnapping? What kidnapping? I already let you go."

"Release me from this..." Not really understanding what could simulate a massive free fall, Hiro waved his arms and legs about, trying to find any surface he could hold on to. "Let me go!"

"Sorry guy, I already did." Sun held her arms outward to slow down her descent to match Hiro's fall. "Oh, look down there. Aren't those nice clouds?"

"Huh?" He looked down at a giant white cloud that was rapidly approaching. In seconds, he was encased in a fine white mist that was rocketing past him at high velocity. A half a minute later, the mist disappeared and a breathtaking view of central Tokyo lay below him. It was a shame he wasn't enjoying the view as the fear of death overtook his feeble little mind.

"AAAAAHHHH!" He screamed again. There was no doubt in his mind now, he was falling rapidly to oblivion and he had only minute before he was a stain on the sidewalk. He looked around everywhere for his traveling companion and didn't find her anywhere.

"I'm gonna die, I'm gonna die, I'm so gonna die." He prayed to his ancestors, the Kami and the flock of ducks that whizzed by. The street rose up to greet him and with only seconds to spare, a pair of arms gripped his shoulders and teleported him to safety.

Hiro fell to his knees and kissed the sandy ground. The two were standing on a beach on the shore of the Pacific Ocean near the northern part of the city of Tokyo. "Solid ground! Thank you, thank you." He chanted.

"Okay. Break's over." She gripped him again and grinned evilly. "Let's do that again! This time, I'm not saving you."

"NO!" He begged. "I'm convinced! You're a Sailor Senshi."

Holding him tight, she let him know who's boss. "I'm Sailor Sun, and don't you forget it. Sun Beam Transport!"

The door burst open of the Sailor Moon Fan club and five really pissed off Sailor Senshi poured in. They all had numerous long stem roses imbedded in their uniforms. "Who's responsible for this!" Moon threw to the floor several of the roses that she had caught on her trip across town. "Just what in the world is in that book?"

Sailor Mars picked two roses that were stuck in her hair and incinerated them in her fiery grip. Venus and Jupiter pulled roses out of each other's uniforms.

Mercury ignored her flower sticking out of her front bow and the others sticking out of rear one. She was too entranced at the book she was reading on her Mercury computer. "To issue a challenge of marriage, you must throw a rose at the Sailor Senshi of your dreams. Who thought that this was a good idea?"

Noticing Sailor Io in another room, Sailor Moon gripped her scepter and charged toward her newest teammate. "Io-chan!"

Nabiki was in awe with the number of Senshi that had just arrived. Io had already warned her that others were coming, but it didn't diminish the stunned girl's shock at being in the presence of just about all of the Sailor Senshi. The middle Tendo approached the girl she knew to be Sailor Moon. "S-S-Sailor Moon, it's a honor to meet you." She bowed in respect to the white skirted lunar Senshi.

Glancing at Sailor Io to confirm that this girl shouldn't be the target of her wrath, she bowed back. "It's nice to meet you as well. I've heard a bit about you."

"You have?" Nabiki beamed with pride, then worried about just what exactly had the Senshi been told about her. "I hope I can be of service to you." She pulled out a sheet of paper. "Could I get your autograph on this?"

Forgetting that she wanted to beat someone up, Sailor Moon giggled at the request. "My autograph? Sure!" She took the paper and put it on the part of the table that wasn't destroyed. "Got a pen?"

Sailor Mercury jumped in. "Just what is this?" She skimmed the paper. "An agent's agreement?"

Smiling back, Nabiki gestured about the room with her hand. "Didn't Ranma tell you? I can prevent things like this from happening ever again."

Jupiter stood closer. "You mean, you could have prevented that idiot from going on TV? I'm tired of getting every nerdy guy in town chucking flowers at me where ever I go. None of them were cute." She huffed in disappointment.

Crossing her arms in smugness, the businesswoman emitted an air of confidence. "I guarantee it. I can make this whole thing go away in a day or two."

On the far side of the room, a blinding flash appeared for an instant. The terrified CEO of the Sailor Moon Fan Club was dropped unceremoniously to the carpet by a red-skirted Senshi. Sailor Sun wiped her gloved hands together to dust them off. "I think I've tenderized him enough for you. Who wants a crack at him next?"

Io clenched a fist. "I do."

"No." Sailor Jupiter held an arm out to stop Io. "I wanna crack at him. If you get him now, there won't be much left for me."

"Fate has smiled on me today, for I am in the midst of greatness."

All the girls became statues at the sound of the new voice coming from the entrance of the meeting room. Tatewaki Kuno strutted into the room and stopped in front of the yellow skirted Senshi. "For you, my fair lady, Sailor Io. Ahh, but these roses pale in comparison to your radiant beauty."

Outside of the meeting room, a crowd of employees gathered to watch the unfolding spectacle. The Senshi stood like they were made of stone except for Sailor Sun. She was snarling that Io was given the flowers. "Why's she getting them? She's my girl."

Io turned her eyes upward from the bouquet of deep red roses to look into the eyes of the man who seemed to be incapable of keeping a logical thought in his head. "Kuno, why are you giving me these?"

Extending his reach to give the Senshi of Io the dozen roses, he proclaimed. "I wish to woo you away from the foul Ranma Saotome. By the latest revision of the marriage laws, you can only be wed to a man of noble blood. I, for one, am such a man."

Sailor Sun burst out laughing.

Sailor Moon was fuming. "I can't believe you said those lies on TV!"

"Lies? I spoke only the truth my fair lady." He pulled out the book from his robes, turning the page to the one that had the image of Sailor Moon and Tuxedo Mask. "It says right here..."

Having heard enough, the furious leader of the Senshi swung her Moon Scepter over her shoulder and swung it like a softball bat, striking the kendoist in the chest, sending the book flying and Kuno toward a window. The glass shattered as the human missile went skyward. "How dare you say that my Tuxedo Mask wooed me that way!"

Breathing heavily, Sailor Moon blinked as she realized what she had done. She sank to her knees crying. "WAAAH! I just killed him! WAAAH!"

Sailor Sun shook her head. "Nah. If that idiot lands on his head, he'll be fine."

"Really?" Sailor Moon turned to Sun, tears still dripping from her eyes, and gaining a hopeful look. "I... I didn't kill him?"

Waving her hands in a gesture of unconcern, "I've smacked that moron higher and harder before. He'll be fine."

Sailor Mars growled. "Fine eh? I'll fix that." She burst into a run, aiming for the open window. Without hesitation, she leapt headfirst through the empty pane, and fell twelve stories down.

"Hey! Wait for me!" Sailor Jupiter followed suit, skirt billowing in the breeze for an instant before she too was lost from sight.

Sailor Io resisted the urge to follow the two Senshi in doling out punishment to the insane kendoist. She crossed her arms as she looked at each of her remaining teammates. "Well, at least he has the same effect on you as he does on me." She stuck a finger in her throat to mime throwing up.

Mercury picked up the book of the marriage laws, reading the passages within. "Where did this book come from? I thought it was only an eBook."

Venus peeked over Mercury's shoulder at the book. "What in the world is that?" She pointed at a picture of herself standing in a field, surrounded by unconscious men with a caption of 'Is there no one strong enough for me?' The Senshi of Love read the text next to the picture, growing angrier with each sentence. "Hey, wait a minute! It says that I wrote this book!"

Several personnel of the Sailor Moon fan club backed away from Sailor Venus when she made her remark. Many of them looked at their boss, wondering if he was going to be alive in the next few minutes.

Mercury shook her head in dismay. "This book is full of errors. The subject matter doesn't even exist." Turning to the assembled team of fan club employees, she gave them a icy glare. "Who really wrote this?"

Fingers pointed in every direction, with a majority going to Hiro. The owner pointed at Alex, the author of the original text of the book.

Closing the book gently, the Senshi of Ice watched the group thoughtfully. Contemplating her next move, she placed the book on a nearby desk, then tapped a few keys on her Mercury computer. "According to my text comparisons, this work is 50% lifted from a Chinese Amazon marriage book and the rest is pure fiction." She smiled at the orange skirted Senshi. "There's no doubt that you had nothing to do with this book."

Outside, Kuno flew up into the sky, trailing smoke and flame from his posterior. A moment later, he was falling back to Earth.

Still suffering the effects of nausea, brought on by his extended period of weightlessness, Hiro staggered to his feet, holding the edge of the meeting room table for support. He looked at each Senshi, seeing that every one of them was angry in some way. He contemplated his next career move in computer video games, since it was less stressful than being attacked by five furious magical girls.

Nabiki placed her briefcase on the table and sat down, avoiding the still smoking hole in the center. "I propose that all future publications go through a review committee to ensure that the contents remain wholesome and keep the Senshi in a good public light." She extracted a printed sheet of paper. "Sailor Moon, here is what I outline for the continuation of this endeavor and the maintaining of the enterprise for the next five fiscal years."

"Huh?" The twin ponytailed blond girl asked.

Mercury chimed in. "She means, she has a plan to keep things like this from happening again." She reached over to the business plan that Nabiki had laid out. "May I see this?"

"Of course." She slid it over.

Sailor Sun was about to speak, but was silenced by a pleading look from her wife. She looked away, not wanting to speak her mind about her thoughts on the seated Tendo.

"I see you've got funds allocated to college educations for us." Mercury nodded as she turned to the next page. "This is very thorough, I'm impressed. How are you going to keep control of the intellectual properties since they hadn't been properly copyrighted by us."

"Already done that." Nabiki opened the envelope with her trademarks. "Once I get an official signature from each of you, I can lock in the trademarks for each of your likenesses and shut down all unauthorized use of your reputations. Those that we do license, we keep under control to prevent other little problems like this."

Outside, Kuno flew skyward, lighting bolts arced after him. A moment later, his sparking body fell down again.

Mercury and Nabiki continued their conversation using very big words with lots of syllables that Venus, Moon, Io and Sun didn't want or care to understand. Hiro slumped into a chair, already admitting defeat. He dropped his head onto the table and groaned.

Sun placed a hand on his back playfully. "If you're bored, I can give you another guided tour." Her eyes brighten suddenly as more fun excursion ideas popped into her head. "Say! Have you ever snow-boarded Mount Everest?"

"No! No! Not again!" He kicked away from the table to get away from the psychotic red-head. His wheeled office chair rolled back until he slammed into the wall. "Stay away from me!"

Not really agreeing that letting Nabiki call the shots was a good idea, but agreeing that Hiro was a worse choice, Sun called out to her sister-in-law. "Nabiki, I think he's ready to sign your deal."

Outside, Kuno screamed in pain, as his body went skyward, trailing smoke and flame. Moments later, he fell back to Earth.

Running at a speed that Sailor Sun was impressed with, Nabiki darted across the meeting room and shoved a contract in front of Hiro and laid a pen down for his signature. "You can sign or imprint your hanko."

"It this the same deal you proposed?" Hiro reviewed the contract.

"10 to 1 stock transfer. You own 10% of the new business, and I control the other 90% on behalf of the Sailor Senshi."

"As if I have a choice."

Nabiki was triumphant. "Well, it's either own 10% of the new enterprise, in which I'm being more than generous in offering you even that, or own 0% when I shut you down."

He finished reviewing the paper and signed it. "You win."

"Pleasure doing business with you." Nabiki snatched the document and handed him a copy. She reveled in her moment of victory.

Sailor Mercury handed her contract to Nabiki with the Ice Senshi's signature on it. "I'll contact you tomorrow to coordinate the bank accounts."

Sailor Moon blinked. "What just happened here?"

Outside, Kuno did a somersault as he gained altitude. Electric bolts reflected off of the building across the street and pummeled the kendoist like a pachiko ball. Again, like before, he fell back down to Earth.

Sailor Io took the moon princess and the Senshi of love aside. "I think we're in control of our next book."

Venus' eyes gleamed. "Really? Can I write my own lines in the next Sailor V movie?" She bubbled on. "Maybe I can sing the theme song! Maybe I can write the theme song."

"Girls." Mercury started, then chuckled at Sun's unconscious flinch. "I think Nabiki can handle this now." She gave a nod to the Tendo. "Please see to it, that this little marriage book is removed from publication and a retraction is issued." She turned to the window, attracted by the noise from her two teammates on the street below.

Outside, Kuno's unconscious body flew skyward, trailing smoke, flame and glowing from electricity. He fell back down to Earth.

Mercury's Princess shook her head. "Don't you think that Mars and Jupiter should leave him alone now?"

Moon shook her head. "No."

Sun smiled. "No."

Venus growled. "No."

Io ran to the window. "I'm going to nail that pervert!" She jumped out and in mid-air using aerial techniques her husband taught her, took careful aim. "Lava blast!" A ball of flame erupted from the girl's palm and struck the upward moving Furinkan native in the chest, sending him back to the north end of Tokyo. The Senshi sent a ki blast downward to soften her landing and ran up to a waiting Jupiter and Mars.

Jupiter was miffed that the Kuno ball was no longer in play. "Hey! We were just getting warmed up!"

Mars felt great. "That was fun. But we gotta get out of here now."

Kodachi was feeding Mr. Green Turtle when a meteor flew from the sky and into a fountain on the Kuno estate. She bounded over to the point of impact and found her brother floating face up in the water. "Oh, brother dear, have you been spurned by your pig-tailed goddess again?"

Spitting out some water, Tatewaki sat up in the half meter deep water, with a light spray landing on his head from the statue above him. "Ah, Sailor Io is indeed infatuated with me. She saved me from those two misguided girls."

"Now brother dear, you promised to help me with Ranma darling."

"Very well, my twisted sister." He stood up in the fountain. "Hmm... I appear to be missing something."

A whistling sound came from nowhere and a bokken flew in and struck Kuno on the back of the head, sending him flying across the grass.

Kodachi gave a shrill laugh. "I see that your beloved Senshi didn't forget to send you your training sword."

Author's Notes: Please review my story. It makes me feel oh so happy and keeps me from filling your bedroom with jello.

Last edited on January 26th, 2007

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