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Sailor Ranko: Tunnel Vision: Chapter 1, Back To Nerima.
by
Rebecca Ann Heineman

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

I don't own these characters. Please don't sue me, kill me or make me answer loaded questions.



A bus slowed to a stop in front of Furinkan High School and two very familiar former residents of Nerima stepped out of the vehicle and stood silently on the sidewalk. The bus lurched forward, leaving a cloud of black noxious fumes in its wake. Coughing, the boy with a thick mop of black hair done up in a pig tail covered his mouth with his hand and gasped. "Smells like dinner's ready."

Thankfully, the girl next to him hadn't heard his remark since she was busy hacking and wheezing from the dissipating cloud as well. Had she known what he had said, he would have been subjected to a bout of serious pain. He exhaled the last of the smoke and gazed up at the wall that surrounded his previous stomping grounds. He felt a set of mixed emotions, recalling all of his fond and not so fond memories of the events that had transpired behind the brick and plaster barrier. He could make out the faint outlines of where his fist or sometimes his whole body had impacted the wall on countless occasions. Thoughts of insane kendoists, vengeance seeking okonomiyaki chefs, marriage minded amazons and a pineapple crazy principal made him happy that this was a closed chapter in the story of his life. His companion, a girl in a yellow jumper, white socks, black patent leather shoes and a very short haircut, shared in a mutual sigh.

It had been several weeks since the pair had been in the Nerima ward and they had missed being in this part of town, even after all of the trouble they had endured in the year they had called this place home. Despite living in a new apartment in the Juuban district in the Minato ward of Tokyo, the two didn't want to sever all of the ties to their previous life, or to the people that they had felt that they had left behind.

Ranma Saotome and his wife, Akane, had spent the last few weeks in an adventure of boredom. A far cry from the insanity that had plagued the pair's existence since the day they met and were promised to one another by their fathers. Shortly after they had gotten married, the number of people trying to pummel, beat, maim, marry, kidnap or otherwise introduce mayhem into their household had dwindled to just a random few. Compared to their adventures with the Senshi or at the Tendo dojo, life had become rather dull.

The weekly meetings with the other Sailor Senshi had turned into nothing more than an excuse to just get together and gossip. Setsuna sat by herself minding her own business during those few times that she actually came to a Senshi meeting. Ami complained that Minako and Makoto spent more time comparing potential boyfriends then studying for the upcoming end of term exams. Usagi ate everything in sight and read the latest manga that she had swiped from Rei and the shrine maiden desperately tried to reclaim her improperly borrowed property. Haruka and Michiru played with their adopted daughter, Hotaru, and paid little attention to anyone else. The moon cats frustratingly stayed out of sight to keep Ranma from cowering in a corner due to his fear of felines. A hidden consensus was shared by all; without an enemy to fight, was there even any point of meeting at all?

Ranma was welcome to attend the gatherings as a guy, since all of the Senshi knew of his true gender, however he always arrived as a girl. Either by a sneak attack from the old lady with the water ladle or by a conveniently placed water sprinkler, he would end up female. Once there, she never asked to change back to her birth form at the meetings. It was seemingly more comfortable for her to be in her female guise among the other Senshi. Ranma felt a little uneasy at that revelation, but kept quiet about it.

Akane, or Sailor Io as she was now known among the Senshi, had made friends with all of her new teammates. She was overjoyed to become a part of the sisterhood of the Sailor Senshi. Once, not long ago, Ranma's newly gained Senshihood had threatened to split apart the couple's developing relationship, but it was the life threatening adventure in Jadeite's pocket dimension that finally got the pair to admit their feelings and bond to each other with feelings that would last forever. They willingly became husband and wife, fulfilling the hopes of their fathers even though not in the exact way the elder men had intended. Akane had felt cheated that the wedding she had hoped for was destroyed by her meddling sister Nabiki when she had sent out extra invitations to every loon in Tokyo, it didn't matter in the end. She had Ranma, and he had her. They wore simple gold bands on their fingers to show everyone that they were indeed married.

Ranma taught the other Senshi martial arts whenever he could to improve the other's battle skills, taking the lessons he had learned from Mr. Miyagi to heart. He was trying to be a good teacher, but his patience ran thin at the antics of some of his more problem students.

The lessons went smoothly at first, with Makoto and Ami making serious efforts to learn and improve in the Art. Usagi however, constantly whined and really got on Ranma's nerves.
How can this crybaby become a queen someday? Seeing the stress in Ranma, Akane suggested that they spent the next weekend away from it all. With Usagi loudly sobbing in a corner nursing another stubbed toe, Ranma quickly agreed, hoping to get as many kilometers away from the Moon Princess' horrid shriek as possible.

Ranma quickly regretted his decision only moments later when he realized where Akane wanted to go, the Tendo compound. She hadn't seen her sisters and father for a while and she wanted to spend the weekend with them.

Living there was Ranma's father, Genma. Ranma smiled expectantly at the idea of a long overdue sparring session with his father. The thought of playing a good game of "Dunk the Panda" gave him a warm fuzzy feeling. However, it was another occupant of the household he truly missed; Nodoka, his mother. He wanted to see her again, since he had reconciled with her about that "Man among men" promise and he needed to make time to just be with her and see if she really meant what she said about wanting to take the role of a loving parent and not a sword wielding loon.

She had moved in with the Tendos recently after an unfortunate incident involving a pill box, three crazed fiancees and a huge misunderstanding that ultimately left the old Saotome home in ruins. Thinking that the benefits outweighed the risks, he didn't argue about going back to the place he once called home.

His fears however, were well founded. The couple paused for only a minute, basking in the memories that a familiar place like the outside of a former high school could make one recall. After a moment of reflection, they started walking along an old well memorized path to their destination. Down the block here, follow the canal there, the trip home began. From the bus stop to the dojo, a brisk walk that normally would take only ten minutes, took two hours instead. Delays caused by being smacked with a battle spatula, run over by a Chinese girl on a bike, splashed with cold water, being given a bouquet of red roses and enduring a few seconds of bad poetry, hit with hot tea, attacked by a boy with a large umbrella and meeting a stranger who demanded payment for one of his father's many debts accounted for the lost time. Yes, nothing had changed in Nerima.

After reaching the front gate, Ranma, clutching onto a walking stick and nursing his many lumps, staggered in. Akane proclaimed, "I'm home!" to the occupants of the Tendo estate. Kasumi peeked out from behind a hanging blanket on the clothesline and smiled her patented smile.

"Oh, my, it's nice to see you again, sister. Did you have any trouble?" Kasumi glanced at the time on the microwave in the kitchen through an open window. "Weren't you supposed to be here an hour ago?"

Ranma slumped against the wall and slid to the ground. "No, no trouble at all." He fell face first onto the foyer floor, out like a light.

"I could prepare a bed for you if you'd like." Kasumi nodded disapprovingly at the mess that Ranma had left at the front of her home. "Or perhaps you would want take a nice warm bath." She turned to her younger sister. "I'll have lunch ready for both of you shortly."

"Can I help?" Akane clasped her hands happily under her chin.

Kasumi paused for a few seconds before recovering, then she carefully plotted a course of action. "Of course you can." She led her sister into the kitchen, crossing her fingers behind her back for luck.

"Oh, man, I'm so dead." Ranma groaned from his place on the floor. "But a bath does sound good right now." He rolled over and sat up and cracked his back to make sure his bones were forced back into their right places. The inviting doorway at the end of the hall lured Ranma in the direction of a nice quiet bath.
Later, he thought as he slowly trudged up the stairs, using the handrails for a little extra support. He stopped at an open door that led to his former bedroom. Looking inside at the very barren looking chamber, he remembered the time he had spent there with his dad. There was a neatly decorated futon in light pastel colors in the corner, Must be mom's, Ranma thought. He saw another pad sprawled on the floor covered with Panda fur. Ranma gave a slight chuckle, "and that one's pops." Sometimes things changed, sometimes they didn't.

He entered and spotted a new addition to the room. Next to the closet was a large full height mirror. He remembered that it was once in his mother's bedroom.
How long was it when he visited her last? Standing before it, Ranma looked at his reflection in the mirror. Then a feeling came over him as if what was reflected was wrong.

What's wrong with me? thought Ranma. He gazed at the outline of his face, raised his hand and softly touched the glass before him. The past few months have shaken his outlook on life and his future. Ranma placed a hand on his cheek and softly stroked his skin not really aware that he had begun to tremble.

Quickly, Ranma turned and went to the washroom at the end of the hall. A rapid turn of the faucet caused the cold water to stream out. He filled a small cup and a flick of the wrist later, a damp Ranko stared into the bathroom mirror instead of Ranma. Once again, the left hand went up to the chin and Ranko looked into her own blue eyes. "Who am I?" asked Ranko to herself.

That was a valid question indeed. All of Ranko's life had been spent in the pursuit of martial arts. Training, traveling and a splash in a Chinese spring had brought her to where she was today. Her father had spent the last ten years teaching Ranko the ways of the art and giving what now appeared to be very bad advice. Boys didn't hit girls. Boys didn't eat ice cream in public. Boys didn't sing karaoke. Boys didn't cry. Boys ran off from their wives. Boys lied to people for food. Boys made stupid promises. Boys married off their sons to everyone they met. Boys shouldn't act like girls.

In a normal world, boys didn't become girls and Ranko's world was far from normal. Looking at herself and the two big clues on her chest that gave away the gender of the hour, she gave out a very soft sigh. Lifting her right hand, she produced the transformation pen with the symbol of the Sun inside the little star at the tip. The awesome power she possessed in her hand once again reminded her that she had a new destiny before her. But where did Ranma fit in this? True, she spent most of her time as Ranma recently, but when the world was in peril, Ranma was almost powerless.

Sailor Sun had not been called upon for weeks and Ranko missed her. It was great that it also meant that no monsters were showing up around town, but Ranko was getting restless. The events of the past few months had finally gotten Ranko to accept that her girl-side was truly a part of her. Something that needed to be protected instead of 'cured.' Removing that part of her was the same as lopping off her arm. Ranko was Ranma. Ranma was Ranko.

"But where am I going? Why me? Who am I really?"

"Why, you're my child, that's who." Ranko was startled and turned toward the bathroom door and flung her stick at her mother. Nodoka caught it and continued, "You need to mutter a little more quietly."

"Whew, you scared me mom!"

"Scared you? I didn't mean to. What's troubling you? Is there something you want to talk about my child?" Nodoka looked at the transformation pen and asked, "This is beautiful. Is this the reason you're talking to yourself?"

Ranko realized that she was so focused in thought that she let her guard down. Normally, she would have heard her mother coming from kilometer away. Yet, she was able to scare her and even get a hold of the pen.
Oops, thought Ranko, "Can I have that back, please, mom?"

Nodoka looked at the stick and guessed correctly what it was and asked, "What is it like?"

"What is what like?"

"Being a Senshi, of course."

Ranko was not prepared to answer that question. She came to the realization right then and there that that was the issue all along. "Well, it's difficult to explain. You get a feeling of power. You just can't describe it. Nothing I've ever done even comes close to that feeling. And when we work together, I feel a sense of belonging."

"To the Senshi?"

"No, more than that. Like I've been shown my destiny and I'm still... Uh... I don't know. It's not what I expected how my life would turn out."

"What else is it like? Being a magical girl I mean?"

Ranko thought about that question. Only months ago, She would have gotten a fit of depression about being called a magical girl. But now, it felt like a compliment. She had never really sat down and talked about this new part of herself and she was certain her mother was dying of curiosity. After all, there were news reports of Senshi sightings but no one had actually interviewed one on TV except during the crisis with Jadeite and those were just public service announcements. So only rumors were what fueled the urban legend that was the Sailor Senshi.

"Well, when I'm Sailor Sun, I can heal really fast, run faster, jump higher, I mean, I can almost fly. It's just something you can't put into words. The other Senshi are very supportive of me and they're my friends. They help me get in touch with my powers and help me to use them."

"It must be amazing. Being able to possess this power. Is there anything else about being a Senshi?"

"I dunno."

"Why are you called Sailor Sun?"

"Do you have about a week?"

"Long story?"

"Really long, mind blowingly long, Akane still's getting used to the idea. But then, my whole life's been one long story."

Nodoka turned to face Ranko, "How is Akane taking this? I mean, being married to a Senshi is something most husbands would have a difficult time with, but a wife?"

Ranko shuddered; She forgot that her mother didn't know that Akane was a Senshi too. In fact, her mother was the only person here who knew about Sailor Sun. "She's actually quite happy for me."

"She is? I'm glad Ranko," mom smiled. "Women in the Saotome clan go through so much stress."

"You can say that again mom." Ranko kept her thoughts to herself,
Ranko? Yes, that was the name my mother knew me by for the longest time. Damn you dad! The Mr. Panda and Ranko act sure did more harm than good. All that time that I was with my mother and I couldn't show her that I was her kid. Now my mom can remember all those times and be bitter that she was so close and yet so far from me. I'm amazed she didn't get dragged to the funny farm when she found out.

"I'm curious. How does this thing work?" Nodoka finally handed back the stick to Ranko and she took it.

"Well, I can't exactly use it right now. It's not something I'm supposed to show off."

"Oh, I see. Do you want to go somewhere more private?"

Huh? Thought Ranko, did she want me to transform for her? Sure, why not, after all, she already knows I'm a Senshi and I owe her this. Ranko said, "Ok, but it does make some noise when I use it."

"Well the house is empty right now. Kasumi and Akane just went to the store to get groceries for lunch and the rest are not here."

Ranko shut the washroom door and held the stick in the air. "It goes like this mom, Sun Star Power, Make Up!" The light from the transformation stick blinded Nodoka for just a second and she held her eyes onto her child as she did a pirouette and became Sailor Sun.

Instinctively, Sailor Sun made a pose. "Ta da! And now for my next trick!" Sailor Sun made the transformation stick disappear into thin air.

Nodoka looked at her daughter and a tear of joy welled up in her eye. Sailor Sun pulled at her red miniskirt, "I still think this dress looks silly." Sun looked up and stared at her mother. "What's wrong?"

"You look beautiful."

"Really?"

"Yes, you do." Nodoka turned toward the sink and bowed her head down. "You are the daughter I.. I.. never had."

Sun was not expecting that statement. "Daughter?"

"You have no idea what is was like for me do you? Spending all those years wondering where your father took you? Wondering if I would ever see you again?" Nodoka began to sniff but held back from actually crying. Sun could see the anger at her father well up inside her mother. "I so badly missed you."

Sun felt for her mother. Genma's failure as a father was obvious. He had never even spoken about Nodoka and Sun didn't even know her mother was alive until recently. Had she known, she would have sought out her mother much earlier in life and could have lessened the pain that her mother experienced. Again Sun thought about the year as Ranko and Mr. Panda and how that whole ordeal just put salt on her mother's open wounds.

Yet, Genma was not a total failure. He rose Sailor Sun to be a person of honor and virtue. The bravery she had shown during those months with Akane in Jadeite's world would have broken lesser men. It was the code of the martial artist that got her to even agree to be a Senshi in the first place. Protect the weak and helpless, that was the duty of a true martial artist. That was also the duty of a Senshi.

It was this side of Sailor Sun that her mother saw that allowed her to know that Sun truly was a man among men. So what if Sun was a girl part time? The honor she brought to the family was all that truly mattered.

"I secretly wished that you were a girl so that you would never had been taken from me." Nodoka blurted out, "I guess I got my wish. I only wanted you back in my life." She turned back to Sun, "All I want is be a part of your life. No matter who you are. Please don't ever leave me again." Nodoka then grabbed her daughter in a hard embrace.

"Mom, I never left you. If you want someone to blame, blame dad. Uh, oh, someone's coming." Sailor Sun then pushed back her startled mother and changed back into Ranko. The washroom door burst open and a small old pervert jumped in the room and grabbed Ranko's chest.

"Hey, Ranma! I missed the both of you!" Happosai exclaimed as he buried his face in Ranko's chest. With a move honed by lots of practice, Happosai achieved mach speed down the hallway and into the wall courtesy of Ranko's fist.

"Get off of me you little pervert!! Oh! He just... Ooohhh... Errr..." Arms stretched downward, fists clenched and a face turned purple with rage, Ranko stormed down the hall. Happosai was still unconscious when he boarded his flight aboard Air Ranko into low earth orbit thanks to a ki powered kick. "Can't I get at least an hours peace?"

Ranko heard the door to Nokoda's room shut. She went to the door and was about to knock when she heard a soft sound of crying. She gently tapped on the door frame, "Mom, may I come in?"

After a moment of silence, Ranko entered the room. She saw Nodoka was lying on the futon face up. Her hands were clasped together on her stomach. Only the faintest hint of crying could be heard. Ranko knelt beside the bed and held her mother's hand. "I am not leaving you anymore mom", Ranko whispered.

Nodoka looked at her daughter and smiled. "You make me proud my child. I never in my wildest dreams thought that I would give life to someone as gifted as you."

Gifted? You mean more like cursed, thought Ranko. Try to cope with demonic creatures from another plane wanting to wipe the floor with you. I'd better think of something nicer to say. Ranko said, "Yeah, being able to use magic is pretty gifted. But mom, while we're talking about being magical. I want to let you know that me being a Senshi's a huge secret. I mean, a real big secret. You see there're things out there that would want to hurt you to hurt me. I just can't let anyone know or they'd be hurt."

Oh great, Ranko thought, open my mouth and insert the foot.

"So, you are saying that you want me to leave? I've never told anyone."

"No, no! It's not like that. It's that I want you to be part of my life, but if my secret gets out then I'll have to distance myself because you can get hurt. I can't live with myself if something was to happen to you. Uh, it's err..." Ranko tried to find the right words that didn't involve shoe leather. Carefully she says, "As long as no one knows, I can be with you and you can be with us. Otherwise, bad things can happen. Please don't tell dad or the Tendos or anyone else. I don't want anyone to get hurt because of what we've become."

Mom looked at her daughter's eyes and asked, "And what have you become, Ranko?"

"I don't know. But I do know this, I was meant to become what I am. It's a long story. It's where I'll end up is what I haven't a clue about."

Then it sunk in. "We? Who is we?"

"Uh, we?" Ranko panicked and silently thought,
uh, oh, did mom suspect about Akane being Sailor Io? Should I tell her?

"You said what we have become?" Nodoka got a little suspicious. Mother's intuition kicked in but jumped to the wrong conclusion, "I've never heard you refer to yourself as we."

Saved! "Well, I didn't start the day looking like this. And with me being the water magnet, I'll probably change a couple of times before the day's out."

"Yes and now I have two children instead of one."

Ranko just couldn't help herself and let out a little giggle. "Yep, me, myself and I!"

Ranko thought,
I'm glad my mom accepted my girl side and I don't have to kill myself. It makes me feel complete for some reason. Who knows what I can do now? Who knows what I'll be able to do in the future?

"Well, it's time to go downstairs and help with lunch." Nodoka got up and brushed herself off and went downstairs. A little warm water later and Ranma followed.

I hope Akane didn't make lunch, thought Ranma. I'd like my mom to live long enough to be a part of my new life.



Thousands of kilometers away, deep in an underground complex, years of careful planning were coming to an end. The last time the plan was set into motion, it ended in massive failure. This time, all of the errors have been identified and corrected. The tactical flaws had been removed. The simulations were complete. The outcome was now certain. The final checklist had been created and completed. The operation had been certified. The probability of success was 99.99%. Time was now under absolute control.

The plan had been set in motion. Phase one would be completed in forty-four hours, twenty-two minutes, fourteen seconds. Mark.

Survival was assured.



Author's Notes: Please review my story. It makes me feel oh so happy and keeps me writing chapters of fan fiction.

Last edited on Friday February 8th, 2008.



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