Previous chapter | Home | Next chapter




Sailor Ranko: Tunnel Vision: Chapter 9, Girl Talk.
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 upload chapters to FanFiction.net without checking them.



"Ran-chan!" Ukyou leaped over the counter and went to Ranko's inert body. Konatsu was already patting Ranko's hand and waving his fan on Ranko's face. In moments, Ranko awoke to Ukyou's look of deep concern. "Are you ok Ranma-honey?"

"I... I think so." Did she hear what she thought she heard?

"What happened?" Ukyou helped Ranko to her feet.

Konatsu wiped the water off of Ranko's shirt. Ranko noticed the water had splashed her on the way to the floor. "I guess I just caught some water in my throat." She looked at Konatsu who was on his knees and had his head down.

"Oh no!" Ukyou smelled the burning batter that she left behind when she rushed to Ranko's aid. She jumped over the counter again and used her battle spatula to scrape off the burnt mess from the heating surface. "Give me a few minutes to start over." Ukyou then started to clean the stove.

Ranko took a breath to clear her throat. She reached for the water glass when Konatsu appeared with a pitcher and refilled it. Konatsu whispered, "Please accept my humble apology for startling you with my question."

Ranko turned white. She slowly whispered back, "What question?"

Konatsu's eyes turned into stars and little hearts flew from his head. "Being a magical girl! What's it like?"

"Uh... What are you talking about?" Ranko had to exert effort to keep the conversation at whisper level so Ukyou wouldn't hear.

Konatsu frowned and looked towards the floor. "I understand if you can't talk about it." He then slowly crept away.

Ranko sat there and wondered how in the world did Konatsu get a clue that she was Sailor Sun. She thought that the last few times she transformed were when she was at home with the drapes closed. Was it when Io kicked her out the window? Her mind boggled; maybe it was just a lucky guess?

Ukyou came over with the squid okonomiyaki that Ranko always ordered and set it in front of her. Ranko forgot about Konatsu and devoured the meal like she hadn't eaten in a week.

"Hey Ran-chan, the plates are to eat off of. Not to be eaten." Ukyou was happy Akane wasn't around. She didn't like to be reminded of the other half of the Saotome family. "I see Akane hadn't improved her cooking."

"Actually, we eat out a lot." Ranko managed to say between bites. She returned the plate without a crumb on it. "May I have another please?"

"Sure thing Ran-chan!" Ukyou went back to the end of the counter. It was the only heating element that was still on. She poured the batter and started cooking another okonomiyaki. Ukyou called out, "Same as before?"

"I want to try the combination!" Ranko shouted back. Akane usually ordered that one. Might as well try that this time.

Ukyou recognized that that was what Akane usually ordered. It didn't bother her as much anymore. She pulled out the ingredients and started topping off the pizza.

Ranko took time to pause and glanced at Konatsu. He was sitting near the front looking at something in his hands and looked at Ranko. He quickly hid whatever it was into his kimono. Ranko got up and went over to him, "Whatcha got there?"

"Nothing." Konatsu replied.

"Nothing eh?" Ranko moved to get a better look at his pocket. She noticed a piece of glossy paper inside his kimono.

"Please don't look." Konatsu begged.

"Look at what?" Ukyou asked, seeing the two of them together drew Ukyou's attention.

Ranko shrugged.

"Ok, Konatsu, fork it over." Ukyou could tell when Konatsu was hiding something.

Konatsu sulked and did nothing.

Ranko had a bad feeling. She started to slide away back to her seat at the counter. Ukyou playfully asked, "C'mon Konatsu, what do you have there?"

"This." Konatsu handed a photo to Ukyou.

Ranko wanted to be somewhere else. Mars perhaps. Mars was nice this time of year.

Ukyou looked at the photo, it was of Ranko standing in front of a wall with her legs apart in a stance. Her hand was strangely out of focus in front of her body. "What is this?"

"It was part of my report." Konatsu answered.

"You mean... No!" Ukyou dropped the picture and turned to Ranko. "Tell me it's not true!! IT'S NOT TRUE IS IT?!"

Ranko didn't know what the question was, so she just sat there with an ashen white face.

Ukyou felt a tap on her shoulder. She spun around almost knocking a small stack of pictures out of Konatsu's hand. Ukyou took the pictures and started to look at each one. The next photo had shown Ranko with a wand of some kind in her hand pointed into the air emitting light. The third photo had Ranko completely bathed in light. The fourth photo appeared to have a naked Ranko in a half spin. The fifth had Ranko on the ground wearing a glowing mini-skirt.

Picture number six was damning. It was Sailor Sun making a pose right where Ranko was standing. There was no doubt. Ukyou was holding a set of pictures that proved that Sailor Sun was Ranko.

Ukyou's hands shook so much that she dropped all the photos. Konatsu caught them and quickly sorted them back in order. Ukyou felt faint but managed to stay standing.

Ranko knew what the photos must have been about. She could tell by Ukyou's reaction. She just drooped in her stool and waited for the inevitable pummeling. This was Ranko's life; everything involved some sort of pummeling.

Ukyou turned and looked at Ranko. She just stood there and without a word held out her hand to Konatsu who gave her the second set of pictures. Ukyou knew what must be on these pictures. She had to know.

The first picture was Akane in the same spot. Just like the other set, she raised a wand, transformed and became a Senshi. Ukyou bit her lip and shook again. The other photos showed a large group of Senshi beating up Happosai.

Ukyou bowed her head toward Konatsu. "I'm so sorry Konatsu. Please forgive me." Ukyou was able to speak again; she collapsed in the booth next to him.

"I forgive you my mistress. I always will forgive you." Konatsu was overjoyed but saddened at the same time. He didn't like to see his mistress upset.

A few awkward minutes passed as Ukyou took in the news that Konatsu was telling the truth. The Saotomes were indeed Sailor Senshi. Ukyou called out to Ranko, "Please come over here."

Ranko didn't have much choice. She got off her stool and sat across from Ukyou. Ranko glanced at the photos to make sure that she was busted. She was.

"How long have you been one of those girls?" Ukyou quietly asked.

"About five months now. A few weeks after I went to Juuban."

"Why you?"

"Long story short. I was always a Senshi. I just didn't know until I met the others."

Ukyou chattered her lower jaw. She was very sad and upset. "W-W-Why..." She buried her face in her hands and cried. Konatsu slid next to Ukyou with a handkerchief at the ready. She wept for a whole minute before she could speak again.

Ukyou looked at Ranko and demanded, "WHY AKANE! WHY HER!"

"Huh?" Ranko was surprised at how angry Ukyou got.

"NOW I SEE WHY YOU CHOSE HER! SHE IS JUST LIKE YOU!" Ukyou bawled her eyes out. "WHY NOT ME!!!"

Ranko just slid down in the booth. Pluto was nice this time of year.

Ukyou just face faulted onto the table and openly wept. She understood the bond they shared was unbreakable. Deep inside, Ukyou wanted to be a magical girl, a dream she knew she could never attain. Now she finds her rival became the girl she wanted to be. Life was not fair!

Konatsu left and returned with towels to clean the tears from the table. Since Ukyou was out of commission, he decided to just ask what he wanted to know in the first place. "Please Ranma, tell me what it's like to be Sailor Sun."

Ranko couldn't bear anymore to see her friend fall to pieces. "I think I should leave now."

"Oh, please." Konatsu made the heart shaped eyes again.

Ranko stood up, visibly angry. "You want to know what it's like!? Oh really eh? How would you like to live each day knowing that some horrible monster is coming to kill you and your friends? Would you like to have to keep your identity secret so that the people you love won't be kidnapped and tortured or... or..." Ranko paused. "Drained of their energy like a battery!!!"

Konatsu shrank in the booth. He was expecting something romantic, not a horror story. Ukyou stopped crying and looked at a very angry Ranko.

"Why Akane? I'll tell you why! She was sucked dry by demons in another dimension. She still has nightmares about it. I went to rescue her and I screwed up. We got stuck there and we had to survive for nine weeks knowing that at any moment we would die a horrible death. Oh, what a wonderful life that was. Stealing food from gardens protected by really nasty things. Jumping at the slightest sound. Did I mention the armor-covered demons made of stone? I'm sure you'll want to face those in a dark alley. You want to be Senshi! Be my guest! Just kiss your dreams goodbye!"

Ranko was now very red and furious. Just thinking about Solitude and that experience was an adventure that should be forgotten. "Now I have a duty to my Queen. We worked together and defeated an enemy who would have taken over the world. Akane, she became the warrior that I respected and... and..." Ranko paused again. She didn't care. She could say it. "And she became the warrior I love. And for that she became a Senshi."

Ukyou sat up. "She is Sailor Io isn't she?"

The jig was up. It was way up. "Yes."

Ukyou knew the answer already, but she asked anyways smiling. "Got any openings?"

Ranko was very sad to tell her. She might make a great Senshi. "No."

"Couldn't hurt to ask." Ukyou made a weak smile.

Ranko lightened up a bit. "The hours are long and the pay sucks."

The three of them laughed. Ranko held out her hand to Konatsu, "You know what I want."

Konatsu looked at Ukyou who nodded. He then collected the photos and handed them to Ranko. "The negatives too." He produced the memory cartridge from the digital camera. "You didn't make copies did you?"

Konatsu nodded. "No, that's the only copy. I printed out the photos from Ukyou's computer in her bedroom.

"You both understand that you can't tell anyone." Ranko was hopeful that her secret was safe. "This includes Akane you understand." Ranko was worried about Akane's hammer O'Chi if Konatsu asked her about being Sailor Io.

Both Ukyou and Konatsu nodded that they would stay silent.

"Thanks." Ranko sighed. She really didn't need this in her life. It was already complicated enough as it was.

Beep! Beep! A communicator in Ranko's pocket came on. "Now what?"

Ukyou asked, "You have a beeper? What's your number?"

Ranko didn't care since her secret is out. "It's unlisted." She pulled out her communicator and turned it on. "Sun here."

Rei was visible in the tiny screen. "We are calling a meeting tonight at the shrine, something came up."

"I'll be there in a minute." Ranko turned off her communicator. "Yep, and you get to be on call twenty four hours a day."

Ranko saw Konatsu's face. She knew what would get him to stop being curious. "Fine, can you close the store and shut the drapes?"

Konatsu bounced at superhuman speed to the front of the restaurant, closed all the drapes and shut and locked the front door. He bounced back into his seat.

"Wow." Ranko was impressed.

Ukyou wasn't quite sure what Ranko was going to do.

"The fastest way for me to make the meeting is like this." She produced her henshin stick. Both Ukyou and Konatsu thought this was a dream come true, they were going to meet a real live Senshi.

Ranko muttered. "I hate this phrase." She shouted. "Sun Star Power, Make Up!" Just like in the photos, she did a spin and became Sailor Sun.

Ukyou and Konatsu froze. They were living a dream. To be in the presence of a beautiful Sailor suited warrior of love and justice.

Sailor Sun looked around wondering what those two were looking at. "I couldn't look THAT good? Could I?" Sun thought.

"You are so beautiful!" Gasped Konatsu.

"Where did you get that outfit? It's gorgeous!" Ukyou was in awe.

Gorgeous? Wasn't that what Akane thought about the fuku? Sun pounded her head on the counter. She was an idiot. How could she be so stupid to insult Akane? Sun's hatred of the mini-skirt was from her male side. Her girl side actually loved it and she insulted Akane about it. She owed Akane a big fat apology.

Sun noticed she was still holding the photos. The floor was concrete. She placed the photos on the floor and aimed. "Sorry, Searing Plasma Blast!" Sun kept the energy under solid control and emitted just enough heat to incinerate the photos and the memory cartridge.

Ukyou and Konatsu watched the attack and in amazement said, "WOW!"

Sun looked at them. "Wow? Imagine fighting something that this attack only tickles." She bowed. "Trust me, you don't want to be a Senshi." With that, she flashed out of sight.

Ukyou and Konatsu answered together, "Oh yes we do!"

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


Sailor Sun was the first to arrive at Rei's temple by beaming into her house. She fell over asleep. The training she had on teleportation gave her the ability to teleport at night, however without sunlight, it still made her pass out. In daylight, she could teleport at will with minor fatigue.

Rei saw Sun in the hallway of her home and quickly dragged the snoring form into her bedroom. She gently slapped Sun until she came to. "Change back Ranko! Kumada is here fixing that hole you made in the wall last week."

Sailor Sun quickly changed back to Ranko. "Got a pillow?"

Rei rolled her eyes and went to her bed. She took a pillow and a blanket from it and gave it to her. "Here you go. Just try not to destroy the place today."

Thirty minutes went by and all the Senshi in human form arrived. Rei, Setsuna, Luna and Artemis greeted them. Akane asked where was Ranma and she was shown Ranko napping peacefully in Rei's bedroom. Akane had to be restrained from smacking Ranko with a mallet. They thought that Akane just wanted to wake up Ranko in a violent way. The Senshi thought it would be best to leave Ranko alone since she would probably freak out since the cats were going to attend tonight's meeting. They would call Ranko if they needed her.

They all assembled in the fire reading chamber. Rei started the meeting, "Setsuna and I have seen a glimpse of the future and we know something bad is coming. This enemy is nothing like we have ever faced before. In fact, it is so unlike anything we've dealt with that I don't know if we can even handle this."

There was a murmuring in the crowd. Setsuna stood up and shooed Rei away, "We are dealing with something that can travel through time and this thing has altered history in a strange way. It's because of the time travel issue that I cannot go to the gates of time."

"Why is that?" Haruka asked. She wanted more answers.

Setsuna gave the answer, "Time paradox. The gates of time have an automatic lock out. If it detects that an entry would cause a catastrophic time paradox, it locks everyone out. This can happen when someone else has a time machine and is using it."

Makoto asked, "So, who's using a time machine?"

Setsuna answered, "Warriors from a possible future. Sometime in the future, a terrible war was fought and the war ended up in our past." She looked at Haruka and glared at her. "There is a time loop in progress. Now, the problem is this. What I know of the timeline doesn't match what is happening. So as a result, history is being made as we sit here."

Usagi was sulking. She didn't want to hear this. She was hoping they would take a break and get some ice cream.

Hotaru held her mother tightly. She thought of her dream last night. She was scared for her mother.

Ranko, shaking a little bit but still able to function, appeared in the doorway, "So what should history be right now?"

Setsuna turned to Ranko, "Everything should be fine and dandy. However," Setsuna reached over to a small table and took the newspaper from a pile there. She held up the headline that read, "TERRORIST BOMBING IN TEL-AVIV, 154 KILLED." Setsuna read the headline aloud and added, "This is what's different." She tossed the paper on the floor in the center of the room. She picked up another newspaper whose headline read, "CHINA THREATENS WAR WITH TAIWAN." She tossed it into the pile as well. "SCHOOL SHOOTING KILLS 9, BUS BOMBING CLAIMS 14 LIVES, SARIN GAS ATTACK DEATH TOLL AT 44. UNITED STATES DECLARES STATE OF TERROR ALERT." Headline after headline were tossed into the pile.

"That answers your question. Oh, in the timeline I know of, the world is not a safe place either. But events were nothing to the scale of what I'm seeing here. Someone is messing around and causing worldwide paranoia. That's what the fire readings were telling us. It's not a single event, but events all over the world."

Luna and Artemis moved over to the other side of the room to keep Ranko from flipping out. She however was showing tremendous restraint. She was trying not to notice that cats were in her presence. Ranko retorted, "So, what do we do about it?"

Luna took charge, "For now, nothing except focus on the cause of the world unrest. We can't be in one hundred places at once. That's what is happening here. We have to find the root cause and deal with it. So, my suggestion to all of you is to keep your ears open and if from anywhere you hear about troublemakers. Let Rei, Artemis or I know and we can see if it can help us find out who is doing this and why."

All the Senshi nodded in agreement. Without an enemy they could identify, they really weren't much good. They all started to leave the room.

Akane looked at Ranko with daggers in her eyes. Minako and Rei saw that and wondered what's up. Ranko went over to Akane and before she could speak, Akane turned and left. Ranko went out the door following Akane. Minako and Rei followed Ranko.

Ranko called out, "Akane, please let me speak with you." Akane just picked up the pace and ran out of sight. Ranko was too tired to chase her and stopped. She had a sad look on her face.

"Hey Ranko, want some ice cream?" Rei knew exactly what Ranko would need to cheer her up.

Ranko smiled, "Yeah, that sounds great."

"I know where an all night ice cream parlor is." Minako cheerfully said.

"I wanna come!" A voice cried. The three girls turned to see a bouncing Usagi happily dancing to the tune of strawberry and vanilla.

"Yeah, you can come too." Rei said.

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


"Isn't this a school night?" Asked the ice cream waitress to the group of teenage girls that were busy drooling over the menu. It was almost midnight.

"Yeah, but we are in high school." Usagi beamed.

"Well, what can I get for you?" The waitress thought, for being high school students, they sure acted like small kids.

The girls placed their orders and the drilling began.

Rei started, "So, Ranko, what's with Akane? She wanted to beat you senseless when she saw you napping."

"We had a fight this morning." Ranko sheepishly answered.

"Did it have to do with this mornings training?" Minako remembered that Akane started it by picking on Ranko.

"In a way, I said the wrong thing to her again and she kicked me out of the house. Literally, right into a tree."

"We need to talk to that girl." Rei chimed in. "She really needs to control her temper."

Ranko interrupted, "No. It was my fault. Not hers."

"Huh?" Rei was curious.

Ranko lowered her voice. "I told her that she looked stupid in her fuku."

"You didn't!" Usagi blurted out.

"I just have a habit of saying the wrong thing to her. I hurt her feelings when I don't mean to. I just don't understand how I do it. It just happens." Ranko put her hands to her chin and placed her elbows on the table for support.

"You got that right. We are called the beautiful Sailor Senshi for a reason you dummy." Minako lightly tapped Ranko's head.

Usagi glared at Minako, "Quiet down. You want to tell the world that?"

Rei scolded Ranko, "Ranko, you really need to learn when to shut up. You can be so obnoxious sometimes."

Ranko placed her head on the table. "If you are trying to cheer me up, you're failing miserably."

Usagi had an insight, "You know Ranko, it would help a little bit if you acted a bit more like a girl. Maybe you could understand that your fuku isn't stupid looking."

"But I'm a guy!"

They all giggled. Minako laughed, "Look in a mirror won't you?"

Ranko gave a knowing smirk. She sat up. She looked at her ample bosom, "Yeah, I guess you are right. I really should start carrying a bra for times like these."

Usagi bounced, "Now that's the spirit! Tomorrow, let's go shopping for a bra for you!"

Ranko gasped! Mom! I totally forgot about her! I told her I was stopping by tonight. Oh man, I'm in trouble again.

The ice cream arrived and Usagi and Ranko ate all of it. Minako sighed, "Well I was trying to keep my weight down."

Rei rolled her eyes holding an unused spoon, "You know, I wanted to at least taste my ice cream."


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


Nodoka waited until midnight for her son to arrive. She was terribly saddened that he didn't come to see her after he made a promise to her. She so badly hoped that he would be more reliable than Genma. Genma made promises without thinking. It looked like Ranma took after his father after all. Nodoka went to bed and cried herself to sleep.


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


Hours later, Sailor Sun was taking out her aggressions on helpless rocks. She was angry with herself for forgetting to meet her mother and couldn't sleep. Rei offered her a place to spend the night since she thought the best time Sun should talk to Akane would be in the morning at school.

Sun slept only a few hours and awoke at four in the morning. She transformed and teleported to her favorite battleground and spent the time taking pot shots at cacti and a junk car. She didn't notice the hidden cameras planted all around the area she was in.

It was getting time to call it a day. She wiped the sweat from her brow and thought about the best way to beg Akane to take her back. She looked at herself in her fuku. It wasn't stupid looking. It was indeed beautiful. With that thought, she smiled, spun around and flashed out.

The cameras caught the whole thing on film.



Author's Notes: Please review my story. It makes me feel oh so happy and keeps me from making that bump in the night sound you hear at midnight.

Last edited on October 5, 2002



Previous chapter | Home | Next chapter