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Sailor Ranko: Thrice In A Millennium: Chapter 8, Plans.
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 have me wait in line to get my badge at AnimeExpo.

Akari was beginning to be worried for her husband; he hadn't come into the dining room to eat dinner. She touched the bowl of soup she had prepared for him, and found that it had cooled to room temperature.

"Where are you?" She softly whispered, picking up the bowl and placing it in the microwave so she could reheat it when Ryoga eventually showed up.

She went to the back door and listened carefully for any sign of her husband. Sounds of pigs, horses, pigs, cows, pigs, chickens and more pigs were echoing across the farm, but not Ryoga's calling card of 'Where the hell am I now?'. Akari nodded her head when she guessed where her husband had wandered off to. She went back inside, up the stairs and stopped in front of the linen closet. She pulled the closet door open, ejecting a startled P-chan.


"Oh, Ryoga. Stop wandering off like that." Gathering her tiny porcine husband, she took him to the bathroom to change him back to human form. "Sweetheart, you almost missed dinner."

Grandfather was watching the encounter from the end of the hall. "I was afraid this was going to happen."

"So..." Ranma stared at the rubble before him that once was a two story single family home. "We now own a smoking crater." He added sarcastically, "I've always wanted to live in a hole in the ground."

Akane coughed up some dust out of her lungs while using a lamppost as a support. She spit out a small chunk of plaster. "Ack! Well, it could be worse."

"Yeah." He answered rhetorically, "We could own two smoking craters."

His mother replied matter-of-factly. "Technically, we do own two smoking craters, since there are actually two lots for sale." She gestured with her hand over to the crushed home next door, "That footprint over there is the second property." She directed her voice to the salesman. "And we'll have the paperwork done soon, correct?"

The agent scribbled a few notes about the property and the sale price for filing later that evening. He collected all the information to quickly get the documents created and processed to close the deal. "Correct. The paperwork will be filed late tomorrow and you should be able to take possession in a week."

"Isn't it wonderful, Son?" Nodoka beamed while pointing in random directions calling out the destinations by name. "We're only blocks away from everything we need. The shopping mall is four blocks that way, the High School is ten blocks that way, the train station is two blocks that way, and there's a shrine just over that hill."

Akane froze at the shrine reference since it was the shrine where Rei and her grandfather lived. "Yeah, it's really a great location, Mother."

Still in a blissful state, Nodoka gazed at the hill in the direction of the Hikawa shrine. "I can't wait to visit the shrine. I've heard so much about it."

It was Ranma's turn to pretend to be a statue. "You have?" He shot a glance at Akane wondering just how much his mother had found out about their extracurricular activities.

"Of course, Son, it has one of the most beautiful gardens in Tokyo. I'm going to visit it as soon as I get a chance." She stood near the property line gazing at a home that existed in her imagination. "I'm certain we'll build a beautiful home here." She pointed to where a second story would be if an intact house was on the property. "My bedroom would have a wonderful view of Tokyo Tower."

"Madame." The real estate agent spoke to get Nodoka's attention. "I have a list of contractors that I can recommend for you."

The matriarch waved him away. "Nonsense. My son can handle it, right?"

Flexing his biceps, Ranma radiated confidence as Akane groaned. "Sure thing, Mom! Just gimme the tools and lumber and I'll have it built in a jiffy."

Akane looked at her husband in mild surprise. "You've built a house from scratch?"

Remembering the lessons he gave Mr. Miyagi months ago, he grew even more confident. "I've done enough carpentry at the Dojo, how hard can it be?"

The agent opened his briefcase to find cards for building material suppliers. "You're a licensed contractor? Then you'll need these." He handed him some cards for companies that sold tile, pipes. wood and carpeting. "Do you need an architect for a set of blueprints?"

Ranma was taken aback. "Blueprints?"

"Yes, building plans. Or are you an architect too?" He went to a different set of business cards. "I think you need to contact this person." He handed a card to Ranma.

The card read, "Nerima demolition service." The martial artist handed the card back. "I don't think so. The house is already wrecked."

Taking back the card, the agent slid it into his folder. "But who's going to haul away the debris?"

Thumping his chest in a manly manner, Ranma proclaimed, "I will!"

Scratching his head in confusion, the agent wondered about how Ranma was going to get rid of a mountain of trash. "Uh... That's at least twenty tons of material right there."

"No problem for me!" Ranma strutted over to a section of the roof that was now at ground level. "Moko Takabisha!" He blasted off a section causing the house to shift again. A cracking sound was emitted from the entire structure and it imploded a second time, covering the property with plaster dust, wood chips and confetti.

The agent covered himself to avoid the flying debris. He understood why the man had no need for a demolition company. He muttered quietly to himself, "That's right, these people are from Nerima."

Akane fanned her face with her hand. "Great job!" She coughed as the air grew thick with dust. "Want me to help spread the dust around some more?."

Ranma walked out of the dust cloud completely white with plaster. "That didn't go as planned." He brushed himself off to stop looking like a white faced Kabuki actor.

Brushing the choking dust off of her kimono, Nodoka took a few steps away from the ruined house. "We'll start on the plans tomorrow. Let's try to get the house done by next week, shall we?"

The agent shook his head. "Finishing a house in a week? It'll take a week just for your plans to be approved by city hall, and that's if you paid for priority service."

Ranma was puzzled. "Permits? What permits?"

"Building permits. You can't do any construction like this without a permit or the city inspector will impose stiff fines or order you to tear down your home." He looked at Ranma carefully. "You're not a licensed contractor, are you?"

"I need a license to use a hammer?"

"YES!" He reached for the cards in his case, handing them to Nodoka. "Madame, here are several licensed contractors that can build you a home, legally. I'd hate for you to get into trouble. Now..." He gestured them to his dust covered car. "Let me take you home and I'll be by your apartment tomorrow with the paperwork."

Deep in thought, the elder came up with a plan. "Can you take us to the Nerima ward?"

"Of course, Madame. What's the address?"

"We'll be going to the Tendo Dojo. I'll give you directions on how to get there."

Happy at the thought of seeing her family, the former Tendo barely held her glee. "It's been too long since I've seen my family. Let's go!"

Food spoke volumes for Ranma. "Mmm... Kasumi's cooking..."

The agent slid behind the wheel of his car and started the engine. It was a small service, one he was happy to provide for a paying client.

Nodoka slid into the front seat, while her children got in the back. The matriarch thought to herself, "I'm certain that Nabiki would be happy to help us out. She's such a thoughtful girl."

"Plum! Where are you?" Cologne called out in the crowded cafe. The patrons watched the old woman bounce around the establishment searching every nook and cranny with curiosity. No one paid too much attention since odd and weird were the normal order of business on this side of town.

The ancient elder took one last look at the interior of the cafe before being convinced that Plum had left the premises. She barked orders to her fellow Amazons. "Shampoo! Stay here and mind the store. I'll be out for a while. Grandson, Mousse, you'll stay here as well."

Shampoo twirled around from the table she was waiting. "Yes, Great-Grandmother, when you come back?"

"I don't know." Nodding at Shampoo, Cologne darted out the front door into the night.

Mousse grumbled as he set upon a mountain of dirty dishes. "Now, where's the old hag off to this time?"

Hiro sat at his desk running Adobe Pagemaker on his computer, laying out the pages for the Senshi marriage laws. He read a passage out loud and laughed.

"If an outsider male defeats a Senshi in a formal challenge, the magic will bind the two to be mates for life." He chuckled to himself. "I can't believe this was just a search and replace from an ancient manuscript. You just can't make up stuff like this." He pasted a picture of Tuxedo Mask throwing a rose at Sailor Moon, pinning her to the ground. "Now what shall I write for a caption?"

The phone rang, interrupting his chain of thought. He grabbed it and jammed it between his ear and shoulder, and resumed typing. "Nashida speaking."

The familiar voice came on the line. "Have you procured the book of marriage laws yet?"

"Sir, if you keep insisting on calling every hour, I'll have to refund your money and alert the Senshi to never speak with you."

Kuno huffed. "Very well, I expect a call from you the moment you have the book."

"I will call you when it's complete just like I've already told you. I will expect the bonus you promised upon delivery."

"Of course, I will pay the agreed upon amount the moment I receive the book."

The owner of the Sailor Moon Fan Club gently hung up the phone. Concentrating at the task at hand, he reminded himself just why he was burning the midnight oil on this special task. "Two million yen, I'm doing this for a two million yen rush bonus." He went back to creating the caption for the hand drawn picture. "Hmm... How about 'You've proven your love to me at last, my dearest Tuxedo Mask!'".

Kuno huffed as he hung up the phone. "Impertinent fool, does he not understand that each moment they are apart from me only increases their suffering."

"Sasuke!" The tiny ninja materialized in front of his Lord and Master.

"Yes, master!" He bowed.

"I need you to wait at the Sailor Moon Fan Club and collect the book the instant it arrives."

"Yes, master." Sasuke disappeared into the shadows.

Kuno looked up at the wall sized posters of Sailor Io, Sun, Akane and the pig-tailed one that adorned his bedroom. He spoke to the images before him, "Soon my loves, we will be together soon. I will not fail you."

Akane ran up to the front door of her childhood home. Not much time had passed since the last time she stopped by, but it felt like it was far too long since she last saw her sisters. "I'm home!"

Kasumi answered from the laundry room. "Akane? Is that you?"

Soun and Genma, the latter being in his cursed form, rose from their shogi game to greet the new arrival. Nabiki poked her head out of Happosai's old room in happy surprise. "Sis, did you bring Ranma?"

"Yeah, he's coming in with his mom."

The panda sighed. He was still reeling from the last frank discussion he had had with his wife. He sat back down at the shogi board and moved a few pieces around as Soun went to greet his daughter.

Kasumi held her hands together in front of her apron as she was walking into the foyer near the base of the stairs. "Oh my, you've grown."

"Grown?" Akane looked at her own clothes. She was wearing her Juuban High School uniform and simple flat heeled dress shoes. "How have I grown?"

Giving a knowing smile that only an elder sister could give, Kasumi held out her hand to her youngest sister. "You act much more mature."

"I do?" Akane blushed.

"Spending some time alone with your husband has changed you." Kasumi led her sister into the house. Ranma and Nodoka entered behind the pair.

"Hello everyone." Nodoka greeted her in-laws.

"Let's eat!" Called out Ranma as he charged to the dinner table.

"What have I told you about manners, son?" She gave a stern look that caused her son to slow down his trip to a free meal.

Nabiki made her presence known to the growing crowd. "Well, this is a pleasant surprise. What brings you here?"

Seeing the reason for her trip across town, the Saotome elder took Nabiki aside. "May I have a private word with you?"

"Of course, let's go to my room."

Moments later, the two were by themselves in Nabiki's room. Nabiki closed her door for privacy. "What can I do for you?"

Nodoka was happy to ask for help from Nabiki. She felt that the girl's heart was in the right place. "Well, I just purchased some property in Juuban. I need to have a home built on it and I know that you can help us in getting the building permits expedited."

"A home built? Why didn't you just buy an existing home? If I recall, you had more than enough for a down payment on just about anything."

The elder sat down on Nabiki's bed, a sudden sadness overtook her. "Payments are not an option."

Nabiki saw that the older woman was distraught by the subject matter, but she had to get the facts of the matter at hand. She studied Mrs. Saotome's face to guess that the reason for her change of attitude was financial. Using her powers of deductive reasoning that had never failed her before when it came to money, she arrived at the correct answer. "It's about Genma, isn't it?"

Keeping her composure, she barely nodded her head in the affirmative.

Nabiki blinked as some facts didn't add up. "His creditors still visit here from time to time." She sat at her desk and unlocked a drawer extracting a sealed lock box. She turned the combination to open the box revealing the papers contained within. She flipped through some documents until she found what she was looking for. Studying a certain legal document, she asked a direct question to the elder. "Mrs. Saotome, how did you keep the bill collectors away from your bank account?"

Feigning ignorance, Nodoka looked up from the spot she was staring at on the floor. "Why would I need to do that?"

"I'm holding in my hand, a stack of judgments awarded to your husband's creditors. I'm still receiving new ones even now. As you know, your husband works at a manufacturing center, but his money is paid directly into the Tendo household bank account to get around the wage garnishments. How did you keep them away from your home?"

Nodoka tried to smile, but her emotional state forbade her from holding it long. "It was difficult."

"How long have you been divorced from Mr. Saotome? Or did you get a legal separation?"

Taking a deep breath, she psyched herself up to make the confession. It was a dark secret that the elder had kept from everyone she knew. Not even her closest friends knew what she had to do to survive the ten long years alone and wondering if she would ever see her son again. "My father..." She turned away so not to look at Nabiki's face and to hide her own shame. "He never approved of my choice of husband. Once the bill collectors came in droves, he bought the house from me and placed it in the protection of my clan. All the money went to pay the bills and since the house was not in my name anymore, it was safe."

Nabiki gulped since she was treading dangerous waters. "And now? You couldn't sell the house under your name or claim ownership since they'd take it from you."

"I..." Nodoka shuddered. "I'm... I'd better leave. Good day." She stood up holding her face in a blank expression.

"Now wait just one second." Nabiki blocked the door, preventing escape. "That would explain a lot."

"Please let me leave." Nodoka gripped her katana tightly.

The brown haired girl nervously licked her lips. "Don't run away from the truth like that good for nothing panda." She pressed against the door to ensure that it would take a great deal of effort to dislodge her. "When did you divorce him?"

The matriarch got angry at the accusation. "I did no such thing! I would never dishonor my family in such a manner."

"All right, when did you legally separate from him?"

"I didn't."

Calculating possible methods of handling finances as jumbled as Genma's, the Tendo reached another conclusion. "So, who's identity did you use? Your mother's?"

Nodoka sat back down on the bed in defeat. "You have to understand. I had to protect what little I had."

Nabiki knelt down in front of her sister's mother-in-law. Pride evident in her face at seeing how strong Nodoka was in the face of adversity. "I'm proud of you."

"W-what?" It wasn't a statement that she had expected. Nodoka lived in fear for years that she would be found out someday and would have to pay for her crimes.

"It's just what I would have done if I was in your shoes. The Japanese inheritance tax is completely unfair and having to deal with the creditors... I'm amazed you survived."

"Thank you." She weakly uttered, not really knowing what to do or say anymore.

Nabiki sat back down in her chair by her desk. She was sitting backwards with the back of the chair resting on her chest and placing her arms on the top of the backrest. "So, remind me again, what was this favor you needed from me?"

"Well, I just made an offer on a property in Juuban. I need a house built on it and I'd like it done soon."

"Hmmm... Juuban is a little out of my area. I can get stuff taken care of easily in Nerima but I'll have to dig around for contacts in the Minato ward. I'll need to pull in some serious favors. Do you have an architect picked out?"

"No. I hadn't really thought about all that goes into building a house. If they take my current offer, I should have enough to pay for the construction."

"Leave it all up to me." Glancing at a poster on the door, Nabiki formed a plan. "Could you do me a favor in return?"

"I think so. What is it?"

"Well... I'm going to stick my neck out for you on getting building permits fast so it's only reasonable I get really big favor from you in return." She got up to go to the closet. "I've been building a business for the last few months and I need Ranma's help."

"My son? I'm certain if you asked nicely, he'll help you out."

Nabiki had to hold back from laughing out loud at the suggestion. "I think it would be best if you asked him. You see, I need him in his girl form."

How unmanly was that? "Whatever for?"

Nabiki slid open the closet, pushed some hanging clothes aside to get a hangar wrapped in paper. She gently pulled out the garment and laid it out on the bed. "Ranma's the only person who can pull this off for me." She sighed. "I really didn't think it would go this far, but I need to convince them that I've got the backing of the Senshi."

Nodoka went pale. "T-the senshi? Y-y-ou know?"

"Well, I know he hangs out with them, but that's not important." She ripped the paper covering up the dress. "I had this made in his girl size since he's the only red head I know and he can fake her magic attacks."

On the bed lay a decent imitation of Sailor Sun's Senshi uniform. "I need him to pretend to be Sailor Sun for a meeting I've been trying to avoid."

"Pretend?" Nodoka bit her lip. "What are you planning to do?"

Now in familiar territory for the middle Tendo, she got into the details of her grand plan. "The Sailor Moon Fan Club isn't sharing any of the money they make with the Senshi. I'm going to put a stop to that once and for all. With Ranma's help, I can take over the operation and help fund the Senshi's work. At the minimum, I can set up a fund to help people who have lost property from their battles."

The opinion of Nabiki that Mrs. Saotome held grew by leaps and bounds. "Oh, how thoughtful of you. Have you spoken with Akane about this?"

"No. I've been keeping it a secret for a while. I've got a reputation to uphold." The Tendo laughed. "I've got to keep up the Ice Queen persona."

"I've never thought of you as an Ice Queen."

"That's because I've never needed you to think that." Nabiki grinned. "You have to keep your guard up at all times or they'll walk all over you."

The elder was curious about where the young girl gained such wisdom. "Where did you learn that?"

Wistfully thinking about the past, when her father had trained all three sisters in martial arts, Nabiki recalled with crystal clarity the lessons her father drilled into her. "My dad, when I was really young." She lowered he face and put on a slight frown. "Before mother left us."

Flashes of her own mother passing allowed Nodoka to empathize with the eighteen year old. "I'm sorry."

"Don't be. It's in the past, and I'm planning out my future. Akane's gone, I'm graduating in a few weeks and Kasumi needs to move on with her life." She gestured to the poster on her wall. "I've got big plans for my future."

Nodoka gasped at the image that was printed on the poster. It was a wall sized image of Sailor Sun throwing a fireball with Sailor Io beside her throwing a ball of lava.

"How did you?" Mrs. Saotome felt a wave of respect for the young girl. She came to realize that Nabiki had to have been playing dumb all this time and had known about the secret identities of her brother-in-law and younger sister. She must have wanted to join in the fight for love and justice thinking that the battlefield of finance would be her domain. Nodoka glowed with pride and was about to speak.

Nabiki spoke first. "I used Photoshop. I got some pictures from Gosunkugi and other sources, put them in my computer and there you go." She looked at the perfect image of her sister wearing a yellow skirted Senshi uniform. "Wish I knew who they really were."

Nodoka wanted to giggle. She thought to herself, "I guess she doesn't know after all."

"Could you please ask Ranma to try on the dress for size? It means a lot to me. I've got a lot riding on this."

Nodoka stared at the poster. It was a perfect likeness of Ranko without her pig-tail wearing a red skirted Senshi uniform. Even the hard look in her eyes was copied down in perfect detail. Anyone looking at the poster should instantly know who was really depicted yet Nabiki claimed not to know. Nodoka needed to see if this disguise magic that her son had told her about truly was fool proof. "Are you sure those girls don't remind you of anyone?"

Nabiki puffed out a laugh in frustration. "I've been trying for weeks to figure out who those two are. I've got nothing to show for it. Same goes for the rest of them, I mean, Sailor Moon's hairstyle is so out there, that I should have spotted her long ago."

"Are you sure they don't look familiar." She didn't want to blow her son's cover, but she had to take a chance by testing Nabiki's knowledge. "Red hair is not very common."

"The only one I've found was a girl named Naru in Juuban. She's my closest lead. Couldn't be Ranma, he wouldn't be caught dead in one of those outfits. at least not without a little coaxing from you. Besides, Sailor Sun's a lot better looking anyways and she doesn't wear a pig tail." She got up to point at the ears. "See, pierced earrings, if that doesn't prove it, nothing will."

"I'll be right back." Nodoka held back her laughter. She didn't understand why it was obvious that the poster was of her son in female form to her but not to Nabiki. She stood at the doorway to Nabiki's room. "Son! Could you come up here please?"

"I'll be there in a minute!" Came a voice from the backyard, a loud splash followed, "Hey pops! I was talkin' to mom". A few loud blows finished the sparring match near the koi pond.

Kasumi handed a towel to Ranko when she approached the back door. Ranko wiped her pants leg dry since that was the only body part that got wet during her most recent trip into the pond. "Thanks, Kasumi."

Kasumi gave her happy contented smile. "I'll have some hot water ready for you in a few minutes."

"Thanks!" Ranko tossed the towel outside to her wet smelly panda of a father. "Don't say I don't do anything for ya pops!" She ran upstairs to her mother. "What's up mom?"

"Well." Nodoka was still unsure about proceeding, but she trusted Nabiki's heart and her good intentions. "Come with me, we need to see if something fits you."

Ranko smiled back at her mother. "Sure, just give me a minute to change back."

"Actually, it's for your girl form."

"Really?" Ranma sagged. "It's not another sun dress is it?"

Nabiki called out from inside the room. "As a matter of fact, it is." Nodoka stifled another giggle.

Ranko deeply sighed, she really wanted another set of shirts and pants to replace the ones she was quickly wearing out. "Ah, mom, I've got enough of them already. Please tell me you didn't buy me one of those bonnets too?"

Nabiki, still hidden from Ranko's view, opened up a plastic bag with a brass tiara. "No, I didn't get a bonnet for you."

Ranko grew very suspicious. "She bought me a dress? I'm afraid to look."

"Well, it won't hurt to try it on. Nabiki, for Ranma's sake, could you shut the drapes?"

"Sure thing." The sounds of curtains being pulled came from the room.

Ranko was now terrified. "What does she want me to wear? If this is another photo shoot, I'm outta here!"

Nabiki's voice sang from within her room. "C'mon in Ranma, I won't bite."

"Mom?" Ranko pleaded. "Am I going to be embarrassed?"

"Actually, I don't know." She opened the door allowing Ranko to see what Nabiki was joyfully holding out for her.

Ranko wanted to bolt back to Juuban, Yokohama, Texas and eventually end up in Brazil then take one step closer to the dress that her sister-in-law had. The yellow bow in the front was too small, the skirt was too long, the fabric didn't quite look right and the collar's shade of red was a little too light.

"Uh... Mom?" She squeaked out in a very high pitched voice. "How did she know?"

Nodoka whispered in Ranko's ear. "She doesn't know who you really are, just play along."

"Do I have to?"

"She's doing us a huge favor."

"But, not that dress. Oh, man." Ranma dropped her head.

With a playful tone, Nabiki shook the dress to attract attention to it. "C'mon Ranma, don't you like to play dress up?"


"I gotta see if it fits you."

"Why?" Ranko created a deadly serious look and raised her battle aura. "You're not taking any pictures of me wearing that."

"It's for a good cause."

"For you maybe, but I ain't putting that on."

"Your mother said it was okay." Nabiki gave a hopeful look to her mother-in-law to try to get her to get Ranko to agree.

"She's kidding, right mom?"

"We need her help to solve some... problems... I have. I didn't think it would hurt if you just heard her side of the story."

Ranko tiptoed to her mother's ear. "And if she recognizes me in that? What then?"

Nodoka whispered back, "I don't think she will. Let me show you something."

Ranko entered the room and her mother closed the door behind her. Nodoka looked at the poster, then at her part time daughter. There was no way in the world anyone couldn't see that they were one and the same person. Holding her daughter's shoulders to position her next to the poster, Nodoka smiled at Nabiki. "I think she'll be able to play the part perfectly, don't you agree daughter?"

Ranko rather wanted to be downstairs in the dining room devouring Kasumi's cooking than be trapped with Nabiki. She spied the drawn curtains and tried to decide if the window was open so she could jump to safety. "Yeah right, whatever, mom."

Nabiki stared at the sight in front of her. Ranko had the perfect shade of hair that matched Sailor Sun's. She was the right height, build and even her chest size matched. She clasped her hand's in glee. "She'll be able to fool them!"

Ranko raised her eyebrow in confusion. "Fool who?"

"Why, the Sailor Moon Fan Club, that's who. Now put this on." She took the hangar from the dress, holding the garment out for Ranko to take.

"Let me get this straight. You want me to put this on and fool the Sailor Moon Fan Club? Whatever for?" She held out her hands, waving Nabiki away. "Nevermind, I don't want to know."

"Strip, Saotome." Nabiki ordered.

"Fine!" She pulled off her red Chinese shirt exposing her bare breasts. Then she yanked off her pants leaving her boxers remaining. "Gimme that." She angrily snatched the dress from an ecstatic Nabiki. She was about to put it on when some facts dawned on her. "You're not taking any pictures, understand?"

"Fine by me." Rubbing her hands in anticipation, she went to her bed to get the fashion accessories.

Ranko turned the dress around and around. "Uh... How to I put this on?"

Without looking back from the bed, Nabiki answered, "There's a zipper in the back."

Quietly muttering, "It's much easier just saying Sun Star Power, Make Up!" She unzipped the back of the dress and slid it on.

Nodoka sat in Nabiki's chair laughing. Nabiki turned around, took one look at Ranko and laughed as well.

Ranko was miffed. She straightened out her sailor collar yet couldn't quite place why the dress didn't feel right. "What's so funny?"

Nabiki pointed at the skirt and burst out laughing, rolling on the floor in hysterics.

"What?" She looked at the red skirt, seeing only that the fabric and length were wrong and there was a strange ripple around where the leg openings of the leotard was. She lifted up her skirt, much to the amusement of her mother, to find the fabric of her boxer shorts protruding. "Oh."

"Y-You really need to learn to wear panties." Nabiki was able to blurt out before falling on the floor again.

Ranko dropped the fabric of the skirt in anger. "Ya couldn't warn me about that?"

"Now, daughter, you should know about proper undergarments by now." Her mother giggled.

"Ha ha ha! Very funny, mom." Ranko was about to remove the outfit when there was a knock at the door.

"What's so funny in there?" Akane's concerned voice came from behind the door.

Nodoka opened the door before Ranko could protest. Akane and Kasumi stood there and together gave looks of surprise.

"It's not what it looks like!" Ranko blurted out reflexively.

"Of course, Ranma." Kasumi calmly answered. "For one, your front bow is too small, your skirt is too long and the collar is the wrong shade of red."

Akane didn't know what to say, but the lack of boots and the errors in the costume gave her a big clue as to what was going on. She glared ice daggers at her middle sister while trying to figure out just who to smash into the ground.

"Shall I make the alterations?" Kasumi asked Nabiki.

Nabiki held out the phony tiara for Ranko. She slid it under her red hair for size. "That's close enough." Nabiki brushed the skirt and examined the length. "You really think the skirt is too long?"

Akane, Nodoka and Kasumi all nodded in agreement. Ranko wanted to teleport away to another solar system. Kasumi walked over to Ranko to see what she could do with the costume to get it to look right. Akane entered, shutting the door behind her to keep the remaining males of the household from showing up.

Kasumi tugged and patted the skin tight costume on her female brother-in-law to inspect the workmanship. "I'll have to replace the bows, the collar can be re-dyed and the skirt will be a simple alteration."

The middle Tendo held her fingers to her lips as she contemplated any possible problems to her plans. "When can you do this? I really need her to go with me tomorrow afternoon."

Ranko coughed. "Tomorrow? Wait, I didn't even agree to go anywhere in this. All I said I'd do is put it on. Now I'm taking it off." She reached behind to undo the zipper, but Kasumi was already unzipping it for her.

"Tsk, Tsk, boxer shorts?" Kasumi snickered.

"Hey! It wasn't that I was planning on being a girl today." She hopped out of the dress and yanked off the fake tiara, tossing it onto the bed. "Now, my job is done." She grabbed her clothes, putting them back on in a few seconds.

Folding the costume neatly, Kasumi estimated the amount of work she'd need to do. "I can get this fixed tomorrow before lunchtime if I can get enough yellow Lycra for the new bows from the fabric store. The collar and the skirt, I'll have those done tonight."

Nabiki's plans were going to come to fruition after all. "Excellent. Ranma, can you meet me downtown for a five o'clock meeting?"

Ranko raised her hands as if she was warding off a vampire. "No. No way, no how, I dunno what you're up to, and I don't want any part of it."

Lost in thought, near the bed, Kasumi held up the tiara, examining its workmanship. "The tiara is very close. Only the gem's color is incorrect." She opened a box containing a pair of Sailor Sun boots. "I'll have to dye these boots a brighter shade of red and paint on the white trim." She turned the pair of leather boots over. "Yes, these will do nicely."

Ranko backed away from Nabiki. "Ya know, I kinda like the dress as it is. Ya know, it makes it less likely that someone would really think that Sailor Sun is me."

Nabiki let out a laugh. "As if someone would be that stupid. Who'd think YOU were Sailor Sun?"

Ranko and Akane looked at something interesting at the ceiling. Nodoka laughed, confident that the disguise magic was working perfectly and Kasumi blissfully inspected the ribbon choker. "I can make a better looking choker than this. It's the one for Sailor Mars I assume?"

Nabiki nodded. "Yeah, same goes for the tiara, it was all I could get at the costume shop."

Kasumi opened the package that the tiara was stored in. "Where's the earrings?"

"I didn't get any. Everything they had that came close was for pierced ears."

"I think I can make some that will look similar." Kasumi looked at Ranko's earlobes. "I think I've got a pair that I can adjust to look right."

Nabiki looked at Ranko's earlobes noticing that they were indeed pierced. "Ranma?"

"What?" She replied as Kasumi was testing the Sailor Mars choker's size around her neck.

"Why didn't you tell me you pierced your ears?"

"Pierced? Oh yeah, that... Why should I?" Ranko straightened her neck to allow Kasumi to tie the choker on.

"Hmm... Nothing. Nothing at all." Nabiki held her hand over her mouth thinking about the reason that Ranma had her ears pierced. Several scenarios flipped through her mind only to lock onto the bridal training Ranko had done under her mother's supervision. Complete and total understanding filled the Tendo's consciousness as it was plain to her that Nodoka must have purchased a set of training earrings for Ranko to allow the neo-girl to wear proper female jewelry.

Satisfied with the measurements she took, Kasumi untied the choker from Ranko's neck and slid it and the tiara back into their storage bag. "I'm done, Ranma. I'll serve dinner for you now." She smiled and left the room with the costume in hand.

"I'm still not doin' it." Ranko grumbled to Nabiki. "And you can't make me."

"Please?" Nabiki begged.


"Pretty please?"

"No way!" Ranko swung her arms downward in frustration. "I'm not going out wearing that thing. I mean, what if somebody saw me?"

Nabiki saw the opening, with the skill of a financial martial artist, she delivered a blow. "What if I can arrange that nobody saw you, well, nobody that knows who you are?"

"Just what are you plotting to do that needs me to wear that?" Ranko stammered, violently shaking her body with each syllable.

"I just told you, I've got to meet with the owner of the Sailor Moon Fan Club and I need a Senshi to be with me."

Ranko held her arms to her side trying to understand why all this stuff happens to her. "Then dye your hair blue and call yourself Sailor Mercury. You don't need me."

"Hey, that was my first thought." Nabiki snorted out. "I really wanted to have a Sailor Io costume and have Akane pass for her, but no one made Sailor Senshi costumes with a yellow skirt. There didn't seem to be any demand for it."

Akane's battle aura began to glow. "No... Demand..."

"Besides, they are almost certainly going to require you to show that you can do a magical attack." Ranko paled at the thought. Nabiki continued, "I just need you to do that Moko Takabisha thing that you do and they'll be convinced."

Ranko just stood there open mouthed. "I'm going downstairs now." She staggered out the door, too emotionally drained to continue the conversation.

Akane smoldered in the corner of the room. "No... Demand..."

Once Ranko was out of earshot, Nabiki went over to Ranko's mother handing her a sheet of paper that was in the bin of her printer. "Could you please see that she gets to this address at four thirty. I need some time to coach her on what to say. I really can't blow this meeting."

"What will you do if I can't convince her to go?"

Sighing, Nabiki pulled out a second costume from the closet. It was a Sailor Mercury uniform. "I guess I'll be dyeing my hair blue and going as Sailor Mercury."

Akane continued to smoke in the corner. "No... Demand..."

Kiima lay flat on the egg she was keeping warm like a mother hen. She lovingly petted the hard calcium shell cooing softly to the occupant inside. A few meters away, huddled together surrounded by candles, were Koruma and Masara playing another game of Yu-Gi-Oh. Kiima didn't mind that her men were playing a card game instead of keeping guard since they deserved a break for a job well done.

Resting her ear to the egg, listening for the moment of truth, the Captain of Phoenix Mountain heard what she was waiting for. She gently slid off the egg and sat eyes forward patiently waiting for the hatching. The egg gently moved, soft at first then more rapidly as the girl inside awoke and the instinct to break free overtook her.

Kiima smiled. She knew their stay in Japan would end soon and they would fly home with the map in hand proving her worth as the commander of the Phoenix Mountain warriors to her Lord Saffron. For several moments, she worried that she would fail her superior, but now she was only hours away from another successful mission. Cracks appeared in the top of the egg as another impact from within shattered the quiet of the early morning.

A small fist punched through the shell and a gasp sounded as the girl inside breathed fresh air. Kiima peered inside the egg to ensure that the hatchling would imprint on her and only her. A pair of childlike eyes stared back and a soft voice asked. "Are you a delinquent?"

Kiima squinted her avian eyes in the darkness of the egg to get a better look at the occupant. She blinked her eyes as she adjusted to the blackness as the little girl moved within. The voice that Kiima heard from her prisoner didn't have a hint of a Chinese accent and it gave her a feeling of dread.

Satisfied that the imprinting had succeeded, Kiima pulled her head out of the eggshell and stood back allowing the hatchling to emerge. Her minions did a quick glance to see what was making the noise that disturbed their card game, but as soon as they realized it was nothing concerning them, they returned to the game.

Crossing her arms and tapping her fingers, the Captain watched in morbid fascination as to whom was really in the egg. The top of the egg collapsed downward and a small Japanese girl in a yellow miniskirt came out. "Can I have some ice cream, Mommy?"

The morning sun provided enough light for Kiima to get a good look at her new brainwashed minion. "Koruma! Masara! Front and center!" The two men shuddered at the tone of the voice of the superior officer. Stashing their cards quickly, they stood at attention directly in front of their commander and saluted.

Miss Hinako Ninomiya brushed the remaining eggshell off of her dress and stood next to her 'mother'. "Can we go now?"

Kiima's battle aura raged. She stared at her two minions in disgust. Once again they had failed her. "How did you screw this up? This isn't the girl from Jusenkyo!"

The two men looked at each other in surprise. Koruma shrank a little in resignation to his eventual beating. "But, she looked just like her."

"She looks nothing like her!" She got a better look at her new charge. "She's Japanese, her hairstyle is all wrong and brown instead of black."

"Are those boys being delinquents?" Miss Hinako reached into her pocket to extract a coin.

Contemplating a punishment to fit the crime, Kiima softly answered. "They're incompetent. I need to punish them."

Miss Hinako took a battle stance holding one arm to her hip and the other outstretched in the direction of the two men. She held her coin between two fingers in a 'v' symbol. "Happo fifty yen satsu!" Waves of energy were drained from the two men in a matter of seconds making the little girl grow to the size of a voluptuous mature woman. The men became dried paper thin husks floating to the ground.

With a flick of her wrist, she made a fist hiding her coin. Speaking in a sultry voice, she addressed her victims. "Behold the power of the 'Anything Goes School of Martial Arts' technique, the Happo fifty yen satsu.'

Kiima raised her eyebrows, smirking in delight. "I may have a use for you, after all."

Author's Notes: Please review my story. It makes me feel oh so happy and keeps me from stealing your Sailor Senshi costume that you secretly wear when no one's looking.

Last edited on January 25th, 2007

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