Xander 1/2

Author: Alan Podjursky <alan.p[at]orcon.net.nz>

Summary: Xander's pops flogs him off at a young age.

Crossover: Ranma 1/2

Disclaimer: I own nothing! You can prove nothing!

Feedback: Rein of the Coalm

Pre-fic Comments: I have no idea why I'm getting all these ideas. Perhaps I'm subconsciously trying to avoid working on that *&%$ing DSP.

As before, "* blah *" indicates foreign speech.

Latest addition

Chapter 1

Genma sat at the bar, depressed. He'd come to this foreign land in order for the boy to learn from the American Indians. Well, that was what he had said to the boy. In truth, Genma had learnt of the great wealth of the American government and was hoping that they wouldn't miss a few yen.

It hadn't gone so well. His normal method of getting money fast didnt work -- usually, he'd have arranged a marriage between some chit and the boy, steal the dowry, then make for the next town. These gaijin didn't go in for arranged marriage, it seemed. And the Government was extremely fond of it's money, and didn't really feel like letting Genma borrow some.

So here he was, drinking away the last of his money.

"Stupid boy," he muttered, not quite sloshed enough for his English to deteriate.

"Know what you mean," the man besides him said in mutual misery. "The boy's mother keeps taking him to those karate classes. That's drinking money she's using to pay for it. What's a six year old gonna do with a karate chop?"

A possible solution to the problem of the Master glimmered in Genma's eyes. He'd first sound out the man.

"I'm training my boy in martial arts," the fat man in the karate gi said. "We're just in America to learn some things, then we're going back to Japan. Or maybe to India."

"You can have mine as well," the American man said. "I mean it."

This was better than Genma had expected. "How about I train him, take him with me, he'll go back to you when he's sixteen?"

Of course, he'd have handed him to the Master as a student of the Anything Goes Martial Arts by then as a scapegoat, but this American didn't need to know that.

"Sure!," Tony Harris said. "Bobby, get us paper and pen! I'm making this official!"

"Let's drink to it!," Genma said.

Harris happily joined him, seeing a lot more beer money in the future.


"ANTONIO VINCENZO HARRIS, WHAT DID YOU SIGN?!," Jessica Harris, mother to Alexander Harris and wife to the aforementioned Tony screeched.

The hung over man winced. "Hey, the boy comes back to us trained in the martial arts in ten years!"


"Think of the savings! Think of the career for Alex!," Tony pleaded. "A good sensei makes a lot of money, Genma said!"

Jessica was being convinced. This sounded good.

And her friend Jack D agreed.


"Xander, promise to come back?," Willow asked. She had just managed to get a hold of Xander before he left.

"Sure," Xander said. "I'm gonna come back a powerful martial artist!"

The little redheaded girl gave him a yellow crayon. "You have to come back to return that to me, now. I saw that in a movie, but with dog tags."

Xander nodded solemnly, putting the crayon in his backpack.


"*I beat ya again!,*" Ranma said to his new friend. Pops had said that they were training the new boy as well.

Ranma was better than him, but Xander was catching up fairly quickly.

"*Will win next,*" Xander said slowly. Full immersion seemed to be working -- he was quickly picking up Japanese.

"*Enough of this girlish chatter!,*" Genma said in his 'wise sensei' stance. "*Now, you are both learning a special technique today!*"

"*What's that, pops?,*" Ranma asked eagerly, Xander nodding.

"*The Neko-Ken for Ranma, and Chestnuts Roasting On An Open Fire for Xander.*"


Ten Long Years Pass.


The streets of Sunnydale felt the presence of a long gone person returning. He had left a puny boy, and was returning a powerful man.

Well, not /entirely/ man, but no one knew.

"I still say we shouldn't've ditched the panda," Ranma argued with Xander. Both were dressed in Chinese silks, Ranma in his black pants and red shirt and Xander in black pants and shirt.

"You heard what he had planned for you," Xander said. "Ranko."

"Hey! I ain't no girl!," Ranma protested. "T-chan."

Xander's eyes narrowed. "Yeah? For all you know, Genma-sensei arranged a marriage with a boy. He didn't say that Mr Tendo had any girls."

Ranma conceded the point. "Yeah, I wouldn't put it past the old man. Where'd you say your old man and mum lived?"

"Here," Xander said. He knocked on the door, getting a fairly swift response.

"Who're you?," the man asked, can of beer in hand.

"I'm Xander," he said. "Don't you recognise me?"

"Bugger off," Tony said, "and don't come back."

The door slammed in his face.

"I'm not camping out again," Ranma said. "I'm starting to feel like Ryouga."

"Maybe Willow will let us stay at her place," Xander said. "I vaguely remember her, she was nice. Kinda like your U-chan."

Chapter 2

Xander knocked on the door. It was beginning to get dark, and he sure hoped his old friend Willow remembered him. He was getting sick of camping out -- his only consolation was that they didn't have to put up with Genma's snoring anymore. Ranma's father had only gotten worse since he'd started learning under him.

A red haired woman answered the door, looking surprised.

"Hi, can I help you?," she asked.

"Um, yeah, I'm Xander," Xander said. "I'm one of Willow's friends, and was wondering if I could see her?"

"She's at school at the moment, in the Library," the woman said. Xander remembered her as being Willow's mum.

"Okay," Xander said. "Can we wait inside for her?"

"I don't see why not," Willow's mum replied.

"Thank you," Ranma said.


Willow didn't like walking home at night -- as well as burglars, thieves and other nasties, Sunnydale had supernatural nasties. So she was rather relieved when she got home -- until she saw that they had visitors.

"Mum," she asked. "Who're the visitors?"

"Old friend of yours," her mum replied. "Go and talk to them."

"Uh, hi," Willow hesitantly said.

The one in black silks got up, digging in his pack until he drew out a yellow crayon.

"Hiya, Will, remember me? I had to leave ten years ago, but I promised to come back, and here I am!"

"Xander!," Willow yelled, leaping across the room and enveloping Xander in a hug. "I've missed you! You've got to tell me where you've been, mister!"

"Easy there, Will!," Xander laughed. "This is my friend Ranma. Ranma Saotome, this is Willow Rosenberg."

Ranma bowed slightly. "It is good to meet you, Willow."

"Hi!," Willow said, slightly giddy from meeting her best friend of ten years ago. "Story time now, Xander, unless you got into real bad trouble like crime trouble and don't want to tell me, which would be okay since you are still my best friend, and--"

Xander raised a finger, quieting her. "Good to know you haven't changed."

"We've been training in the Saotome School of Anything Goes Martial Arts," Ranma explained.

"Strong as well as cute," the girl thought out loud. "I've got to introduce you to Buffy. Maybe you'll get her interested in the warm and breathing kinda guy."

Xander gave Willow a weird look. "Warm and breathing? Will, have you been meeting strange men while I was away?"

Realising that she had possibly given away something, Willow blushed. "Uh, I'm gonna sound crazy when I say this, but it's true. Vampires exist, and Buffy's a Slayer, with magical strength and speed."

Xander and Ranma looked at each other.

"That's a cheat's way," Ranma was the first to say. "True strength is earnt through training."

"I agree," Xander said.

"Well, there ain't anyone else killing vamps," Willow said, slightly defensive.

"Are you three okay there?," Willow's mum asked, entering the room. "Willow, you can get tea for yourself tonight, because your father and I have a meeting."

"Ano, Rosenberg-san, may Xander and I stay at your house tonight?," Ranma asked, reverting to Japanese forms at the start due to nervousness.

"What's wrong with staying at your parent's place?," Willow asked.

"Ahhh... my dad told me to bugger off," Xander said, rubbing the back of his head. "And I'm sick of camping out."

"Sure you can stay," Willow's mum allowed. "Willow, you can prepare the guest room for your guests."


The next day found Willow getting up reluctantly at daybreak. She stumbled out of her room, still in her flannel pajama's, in search of whoever was making that awful racket.

To her surprise, it was Xander and Ranma, fighting in the front yard. They were poetry in motion, jumping thirty feet in the air, throwing punches, trying to lock each other in throws...

"Can't you guys keep it down?," she asked. "You are guests here."

The two paused, looking sheepish.

"Gomen," Ranma said.


"It's just, we have to keep practising if we wanna be the best," Xander explained.

"Where's Mum?," Willow asked out loud. "She should be the one telling you guys off."

"I dunno," Xander said. "It's about time for breakfast, anyway."

They found Mr and Mrs Rosenberg in the kitchen, eating breakfast.

"Hi, Mum," Willow said. "Why aren't you telling Xander and Ranma off for waking people up so early?"

Her mother looked at her. "Dear, it's good for you to be awake so early. Morning people learn best according to literature."

"Oh," Willow said. When her mother started referring to psychological papers, she knew there was little chance of dissuading her.

"Xander, Ranma, here's some toast," Mrs Rosenberg said, putting the toasted bread in front of the two boys. "The spreads are out on the table."

"What's this?," Ranma asked, poking the strange stuff. It wasn't miso, and where was the tea?

"It's toast," Xander explained to his friend. "I'll show you."

As the two munched away on the toast once Xander showed Ranma how to spread peanut butter on it, Mr Rosenberg looked up from the paper.

"Have you two boys enrolled at school yet?"

"I don't need school," Ranma said with disdain. "What good is school to a martial artist?"

"If you don't go," Mrs Rosenberg said, "you can find another place to stay."

"I'd listen if I were you guys," Willow said. "My Mum means it when she's talking about school."

"Great," Xander sighed. "At least we won't have to worry about getting the last bread of the day at an American school."

Chapter 3

Xander looked blankly at the sheet in front of him, trying to figure it out.

"Who the hell is this Franklin guy?," he wondered out loud.

Willow elbowed him. "You don't know who Benjamin Franklin is?!"

Xander shrugged. "If it ain't martial arts or food, Genma didn't teach us about it."

Willow wasn't sure she believed this excuse. "What about school?"


Xander manfully tried to remember, then elbowed Ranma.

"Mmmm... udon... ow! Nani des ka?!"

"When was the last time we went to school?," Xander asked him.

"With Ryouga. Have we finished class yet?"

"No. Haven't you been paying any attention?," Willow asked the Japanese boy. She was beginning to believe they'd never gone to school.

"What for?," Ranma asked, genuinely confused. "The best part of school is--"


"Lunch!," the two chorused, jumping out the nearest window with bags in hand.

Willow sighed.


"Sounds like they could help," Buffy said. She, Willow and Giles were in the Library, as it was lunchtime.

"I-I'm against civilians helping us," Giles said.

"They can jump thirty feet straight up and smash boulders," Willow said.

"Perhaps they could be of use," Giles allowed.

"Wow! So they fight just as good as they look?," the Slayer asked.

Willow nodded.

"Well, you'd better go get them, because Cordelia and the Cordettes were talking about them."


"So we'll see you at the Bronze, then?," Cordelia asked Ranma.

"Uh, I guess," Ranma said. "This pie stuff is good!"

"Mmm!," Xander said. They'd had food donated to them by the Cordettes. "It's been too long since I had one of these."

"You've been overseas?," Harmony asked.

"Well, Japan mostly, although we were in China for a year," Ranma replied for Xander.

"Oh my God!," Cordelia exclaimed. "I travelled to Japan once. What's China like?"

"Full of people," Ranma said around the pie. He'd just about finished it, and was eating it slowly to enjoy it.

The two boys finished their food at the same time, then got up.

"Hey, do any of you know where Willow got to?," Xander asked.

"Library," Cordelia said.

"Uh, thanks," Xander replied.


"Speak of the devil, and he shall appear," Giles said as the Library swing doors opened to reveal the two boys.

"Hi, Xander, Ranma," Willow said. "This is Giles the Librarian, and this is Buffy Summers."

"Uh, hi," Buffy said. Giles made a similar sound.

"Nice to meet ya," Xander said. Ranma bowed slightly.

"Buffy is the Slayer," Willow explained.

"Ah, the cheating girl," Ranma said out loud, connecting her to Willow's explanation last night.

"Who're you calling a cheat?," Buffy asked belligerantly.

"All your strength and speed come from magic," Xander said. "Not from hard work and training. So you're a cheat."

"Come here and I'll show you cheat!"

Giles sighed. The Slayer was in fight mode -- he sincerely doubted he'd be able to dissuade her.

"Willow, help me shift this table. There. You two can sort it out between yourselves."

Buffy got up, leaving the stake on the table. The boy was only human, after all.

"*Ranma, do you want to beat her, or should I?,*" Xander asked his friend.

"*I'll do it,*" Ranma said.

Ranma did the polite thing and bowed slightly to Buffy. Buffy did the pissed off American thing and charged him.

Ranma effortlessly dodged the blonde's first punch, and subsequent attacks. A year of Slaying didn't stack up against ten years of training under a complete bastard who knew more about the skill than Giles had read books.

"Fight me!," Buffy said. "Stop cheating!"

"Hey!," Ranma protested. "I'm not cheating! I worked hard to get this skill! You just got some magic! /That's/ cheating!"

"*Stop playing with her,*" Xander shouted out to Ranma.

On Buffy's next kick, Ranma quickly threw the small girl onto the floor, then held her in a submission hold.

"Do you submit?," Ranma asked.

"No!," Buffy said, trying to move. Her face hurt, pushed against the Library floor!

Ranma sighed, and pushed her shiatsu spot to knock her out.

Chapter 4


Xander sighed. "*Hear the call of the lonely Ryouga.*"

"*Cool!,*" Ranma said, getting up and leaving Buffy on the Library floor. "*We haven't seen him since... uh...*"

"Uh, guys?," Willow asked. "English?"

"Sorry, Will," Xander apologised. "That's a friend of ours that shouted just before."

"Yeah," the Japanese boy added. "Haven't seen 'im since we last went ta school."

"Lovely," Giles dryly said. "Could someone go and get him before the Principal does?"

"Sure," Ranma said. "Hold on a sec while I go look."

"How long until, uh, Buffy wakes up?," the Watcher asked Willow's old friend.

"Normal people, five minutes or so," Xander mused out loud. "But magical girl there might wake up faster."

The Slayer woke up about then. She groaned, picking herself up off the floor slowly. Her head, arms, and legs all hurt.

"What hit me?," she asked. "Cos I'm thinking we've got a new Big Bad."

"That was Ranma," Ranma's friend cheerily replied. "He's gone off to get Ryouga, before he gets lost again."


"He got lost trying to get from his house to the lot right by it."


Ryouga thought he was in America. Sure, the people spoke english, but the clincher was the cars.

He couldn't be sure, though. A rising wisp of suspicion in his mind whispered that he was, in fact, in Paris.

"*Hey, Ryouga!,*" a familiar, hated voice said. "*How ya goin'? Haven't seen ya since school!*"

His head shot up. "RAAAAAANMAAAA!"

He would die for humiliating Ryouga! And his little friend, too!


"Er, should they be making all that noise?," Willow asked. "Because that doesn't really sound like they're old friends, it sounds like they're mortal enemies, which is of the bad, because--"

"Okay, Will," Xander grumbled. "We might not have been best friends with Ryouga. But I always thought we were kinda friends. Friendly rivals, at least."

The double doors to the Library were ripped off their hinges after Ranma darted through them, a stocky Japanese boy with a huge backpack and a yellow bandanna on his head stormed right after Ranma.

"*I'm gonna crush your head like a walnut! How dare you run away from our fight!,*" the Japanese boy shouted.

"I wish you'd all speak English," Buffy complained. "Because I know no Japanese."

The two boys fighting paused, apologised to Buffy, then continued right on fighting.

"It's your fault!," Ranma shot back. "I waited three days for you to turn up to your own challenge!"

"And it was on the fourth day that I arrived!"

"Uh, was this to the lot behind your house that Xander mentioned?," Willow asked.

Xander nodded.

"Are you special needs?," Buffy asked.


"It ain't my fault if ya get lost so damn easily!," Ranma complained. "If this is over the bread, I can give you some more now!"

"This isn't about the bread anymore!," Ryouga bellowed, smashing a table that Ranma was crouching on with a red umbrella weighing about a metric ton.

"You didn't follow us to China, did you?," Xander asked, a horrible suspicion creeping up on him.

"SHUT UP!," the Lost Boy yelled.

"You cursed too?," Ranma asked.

"Curse?," Giles asked. "Uh, what is the curse? I could look up a cure."

Ryouga and Ranma immediately stopped fighting, and Giles found himself besieged by two Japanese boys and one American boy.

"Can you really find a cure?," Ranma asked, eyes shining.

"I deserve to be cured first!," complained the Lost Boy.

"Jusenkyo," explained Xander. "We've been cursed at Jusenkyo."

"I see," Giles said, pushing his glasses up his nose. "Uh, hold on while I look up the curse."

"What's this curse?," the Slayer asked.

"There ain't no curse!," Ranma said. "It's a lie!"

"Sure it is, Ranko," Xander said.

Ranma threw a glass of water that had been sitting on the counter in Xander's face. "Shaddup!"

All present, minus the Japanese boys, blinked as a huge, five hundred pound tiger appeared where once a human being had been.

"X-X-Xander?," Willow stuttered. Sure, she'd seen bug ladies and all kinds of things over the last year, but this???

The tiger growled slightly, giving Ranma an evil look. Ryouga looked distinctly nervous, for some reason.

"Is, is that, uh, Xander?," Buffy asked. "Because this is not of the good."

The tiger growled at length. "*This sure is of the good! I can do all kindsa things like this, and I can smell all kinds of things like this!*"

Unfortunately, none of the humans understood Tiger, so Xander was only speaking to himself.

"Well, that's Xander," Ryouga said. "What're you, Ranma?"

Willow threw the next glass of water.

Everyone blinked as a short, busty redhead appeared where Ranma had been standing. Her shirt was wet, showing off her... assets... rather well.

Ryouga tried manfully to restrain his laughter, failing miserably.


Ryouga pointed at Ranma's chest. "Those say otherwise!"

"You pig!," Buffy yelled, throwing another glass of water in Ryouga's face.

The two girls blinked. A little piglet was trying to get out of Ryouga's clothes.

"Uh, did I do that?," Buffy asked.

"I don't think so," Willow said. "That curse?"

The little piglet bwee'd at them with all it's piggy might.

Chapter 5

Xander groaned noisily and settled down on the floor for a long wait, orange and black striped tiger tail lashing furiously. The little black piglet looked distinctly nervous, hooves edging nervously to the side until Buffy picked it up and put it on the table.

"Don't pick on him!," Buffy scolded. That Xander boy was with that Ranma, so he was probably no good too. Honestly, claiming she was a cheat for being a Slayer!

Giles wandered out of his office, book open. His left hand was supporting the book, while his right was trailing down the page. "I've found a detailed entry on the Chinese Cursed Springs of Jusenkyo, everyone, and--"

His voice cut off abruptly, as the horrified Brit spotted the pig on the table. "WHAT ON EARTH IS THAT SWINE DOING ON *MY* TABLE?!?!"

Buffy picked Ryouga up, and hid him behind her back. "That what?"

Giles put the book down on the table, hiding the blemishes created by the pig underneath it. He gave the porcine fighter a dark look before turning back to the pages, absently scratching Xander's tigerish head after he took a seat.

Xander sighed, resigning himself to being decorative until he managed to get some hot water.

"Can I get some hot water here?," Ranma asked grumpily.

"Er, quite," Giles said. He was rapidly becoming inured to young woman hanging around him (Buffy and Willow), but female Ranma was in a different class of beauty. He passed his freshly made teapot to her.

"*Finally,*" Ranma muttered in Japanese, pouring some of the water over his head, then the other two boys.

"Chikuso!," Xander swore as he dove for his clothes. While his body changed shape with cold and hot water, his clothes did not and quite often fell off Xander-tiger.

Ranma quietly sniggered to himself, while the two girls laughed quietly and took a good look at the two naked boys.

Ryouga yanked on a pair of pants, then picked up his umbrella and pointed it at Ranma like a fencing foil, all the while still shirtless. "*For all you have made me suffer, I WILL have justice! I will crush your skull like an eggshell!*"

"Excuse me!," Giles said sternly. "While I can understand your quandry with regards to keeping clothes on, you will maintain a certain level of decency in this school!"

The fanged Lost Boy, always polite, blushed and lowered the umbrella.

"That's okay, we don't mind," Buffy said, staring at Ryouga.

A jet of brilliant red blood spurted out of Ryouga's nose as a dopey grin grew on his face. He then fainted.

"Stupid pervert," Xander muttered, tucking in his shirt and then knocking Ryouga out with a boot to the head.

"What?," Willow asked. "How was that perverted, mister?"

The two conscious boys exchanged a glance. A silent contest took place, which Xander lost.

"Ah... you see," he stumbled. "He got a bloodrush to the head... it's just that his brain had directed it to the wrong head. Ryouga's got a few mental problems."

"That's quite enough," Giles commanded peremptorily. "Do you wish to know about Jusenkyo or not?"

"Sure," Xander said. "Do we havta do anything for you first?"

Giles was sorely tempted to have them clean up the split hot water, and mop up the nasal blood. So he said that.

"*Stupid pig-boy,*" Ranma muttered, taking the rag that Buffy handed him with a smirk.

"I'm on that like white on hell," Xander said under his breath.


The two martial artists had decided to get out of school before that librarian had decided that they should have that meeting with the teachers they had been meant to speak with today about their classes.

"*Hahaha! Did you see that cheater's face?,*" Ranma laughed.

"*Yeah,*" Xander grinned. "*Funnier than sensei trying to do the 'wise old man' routine.*"

"What have we here?," a voice asked from behind them. "Are you boys lost?"

They turned around, to find a portly American man looking intently at them. After a moment of reflection, they remembered.

He was the Principal. Crap.

"Ano, we lost looking for crass," Ranma said, English skill degrading in a moment of utter panic. His pops got real mad when the boys disobeyed him.

"That's okay, son," Principal Flutie beamed. "I found it hard to get anywhere on my first day here, too! Where are you trying to go? I'll see you there."

"Bio.. lo... gy," Xander read out. "We're kinda behind the eightball on the learning box."

"Oh, yes," Flutie said. "You two are the exchange students. Well, I understand that your records aren't the best, but you'll find that here at Sunnydale High, we believe in fresh starts!"

"Really?," Ranma asked.

Chapter 6

Ranma yawned. He had been bored stiff going to school when he was eight or so, and it was still boring as hell eight years later.

"Mr Sa... o... tomy," the teacher yelled, "wake up! What is the answer?"

"*Aaaaa!,*" Ranma yelled. "*Sixteen! Yamamoto! Sulphur!*"

"Detention, Mr Saotome," the teacher said nastily. "The answer is forty two."

Ranma gave Xander a nasty look, and poked him in the side to wake him up. "Oi!"

"Nani o?," Xander said muzzily.

"*If I have to suffer through this, so do you!,*" Ranma hissed.

"Suffer schmuffer, I'm sleepin'," Xander said, then went right back to sleep.

A mournful hangdog expression set itself on Ranma's face as he noticed the teacher keeping an eye on him, meaning that he couldn't go back to sleep either.

Pops was right, he decided. School was for the weak.

Heck, he could be checking out American food if he wasn't stuck here! They didn't make Ryouga stay, did they? (Granted, they'd have to nail the Lost Boy's feet to the floor to make certain he didn't find himself in Sweden while trying to find the toilet.)


Willow's mouth opened and closed. She'd amiably let the two boys sit at the back of the room while she sat near the front, but here she came at the end of the day and what had happened?!

Xander was snoring away, a little snotbubble growing and shrinking on one of his nostrils, while Ranma sat there like a little black stormcloud, resentful at the fact that he couldn't go to sleep too.

She sighed. "Who wants an icecream? My shout."

She needed it, having to play peacekeeper for Buffy.

"Yaaay!," Xander cheered, waking up seemingly by magic at the mention of icecream.

"I could be interested," Ranma-kun hedged.

Stoic, manly Japanese men do not go nuts over icecream. No matter if it is sweet... and delicious... and wonderful... and... and...

Ranma picked up a handy glass of water, pouring it over his head.

"Yaaaay!," the short, buxom redhead cheered, now all in favour of icecream. Kawaii lil' Ranma-chan could go for icecream, on the other hand.

Willow got the feeling that she had made a grave mistake just now. But she couldn't put her finger on what it was...


"Hello dear," Willow's Mum said as she walked in the door, the two boys right behind her.

Willow's eyes lit up. She could hand over the problems! Her Mum would be able to deal with those two delinquents!

"Xander and Ranma kept trying to sleep through class, Mum," Willow frowned.

"Really?," the psychologist said disapprovingly. The two martial artists winced. "You'll be doing all your homework tonight, boys. I won't have stupid people living under my roof."

"Okay," Ranma grumped. No matter if he had to do stupid work, it beat having to get a job to pay for food. "But first we got stuff to do."

"Oh?," Sheila asked.

The two ran outside, and began their kata, throwing punches and kicks at an invisible opponent.

"Martial arts," Willow groaned. "I'm going upstairs, Mum."


The next day found a frazzled Willow being woken up early by the two newly resident martial artists. Again. She was getting sick of this.

The redhead didn't bother brushing her hair or getting changed this morning. She shuffled downstairs in her pajamas and sat at the breakfast table morosely.

"Awww, come on Willow-tree," her dad coaxed her. "It isn't all that bad... you just need to get to bed earlier, that's all."

Willow exploded at this. "Those two sleep in class, they don't do their homework, they eat like starving horses, and they keep waking me up at oh dark hundred in the morning! I can't take much more of this!"

The two parents exchanged a Look.

"I'll have a talk with them," her father promised. "Okay, baby?"

He gave her a hug.

"Okay, daddy," Willow sniffled, over her tantrum.

Ira walked outside to find the two fighting over his new pond. They kept jumping thirty feet in the air, exchanging blows and attempting throws, then landing and jumping at the other all over again.

"Excuse me," he started.

"Yeah, Mr Rosenberg?," Xander said politely, while hitting Ranma in the head.

"Did you two do your homework last night?," he asked.

"Sure we did!," Ranma said, kicking Xander in the ribs. "Uh, we did, right Xan?"

The response from his training partner was lost as the American boy hit the surface of the pond, getting soaking wet. Ranma landed on the edge of the pond, balanced on one foot.

Ira Rosenberg was lost for words as the former human changed into a two hundred pound tiger... right in front of his eyes... that wasn't possible...

"Uh, did we forget to mention our curses?," Ranma laughed nervously.

"But... but... but...," Ira repeated, like a broken lawnmower.

Willow stomped out, still irate at the two lazy boys. "Did you break my dad, Ranma?"

Chapter 7

"No!," Ranma said defensively. "Xander did it!"

The tiger rolled it's eyes. Sure, it seemed to say. Suuuure.

"I'm sure there's a logical, scientific explanation for this," Mr Rosenberg said faintly. "I'm sure I saw something like this on Beyond 2000. Yes. I believe I'll go back to having breakfast."

Ranma wandered after the older man, hands in his pockets. The grumbling Xander-tiger shook himself dry, then wandered after his friend. Willow reluctantly followed.

"I-Ira," Sheila said quietly, "you do know that a tiger followed you? Willow, dear, call the zoo would you?"

"Daijoubu," Ranma said. "Xander picked up an ancient Chinese curse while we were training."

Willow poured the hot boiling water over Xander, who scrambled for a blanket to cover himself.

"Sorry about this," Xander said quietly.

"Oh," Mrs Rosenberg said intelligently. "You'd better hope the tiger breeding programs don't hear about you, Xander."

"We could just tell them about where he got the curse," Willow said, academic mind chewing over the idea.

"Speaking of which," Mr Rosenberg began, having gained strength as Xander regained humanity, "where did you acquire this... curse?"

"The Cursed Springs of Jusenkyo," Xander said. He put on a very bad imitation of bad Chinese-accented English. "Tragic story of tiger who drown nearly two thousand year ago."

Ira's eyes grew steely. "There's no such thing as magic! This has to be a new form of physics, or chemistry, or something!"

Xander and Ranma traded a look, then both shrugged. The man could be right -- they didn't know enough either way to say for sure.

While they had not gone into complete denial, the two Rosenberg parents had somewhat repressed the incident almost ten minutes gone. Sheila brought over a few slices of toast.

"Now," she said, "you two boys are to stay awake in class and pay attention, or else!"

"Okay," Xander grumbled, while Ranma muttered something that could be construed as an affirmative.


Ranma stared blankly at the blackboard.

He understood the English alphabet. He had a pretty good English vocabulary -- at least, he had thought he did. He could understand each word the teacher had written down individually.

It was just together that they made no sense at all.

"Oi," he said, poking Willow. "What's a verb?"

"Yeah," Xander said. "She might as well be talking into a black sun for all we understand."

Willow looked at the two boys with pity. "You honestly don't know what verbs are?"

Ranma scowled at the girl. He wasn't stupid! "Bakayarou! Stupid tomboy! The last time we went to school we were nine!"

"Hey!," Willow protested. "I'm not a tomboy!"

"Miss Rosenberg," Mrs Kerbopple said from the front, "are those two annoying you? Because I can move them if need be."

"No," Willow said. "They're just way behind, because apparently they've missed years of school."

The teacher chalked Willow's figure of 'years' up as hyperbole due to mental aggravation by the two over the last twenty four hours. The normally cheerful girl was somewhat frazzled at the moment.

"I'm sure you could help them," she said. "Now, most people parse a question starting with 'don't' as 'do', which--"

The teacher was interrupted as one of the walls to the room exploded, chunks of non-flaming rubble scattering all over hapless students. A most physically... blessed Chinese girl jumped through the hole, pointing a large mace at Xander.

"You!," she commanded peremptorily. "Where girl Ranma?"

"Who, hi--," Willow began before Ranma clapped a hand over her mouth.

The Japanese youth laughed nervously. "Hehehe, there ain't no girl Ranma here, uh, so... yeah."

The Chinese girl frowned cutely. "Shampoo must find girl Ranma and kill! Short, red hair, bigger chest than her, where she?"

"Ain't no way I'm telling you if you're gonna kill hi-her," Xander said, catching himself on the last term.

The Chinese Amazon tried to take his head off with a broad swing of one of her maces -- 'Bonbori', if Buffy remembered Giles' lessons. Xander casually leaned back so that the heavy metal wrecking ball missed him by a hairs-breadth.

"No make fun of Shampoo!," the purple haired Chinese girl shrieked, going on the offensive immediately. "Tell me where girl Ranma is! Is matter of HONOUR!"

The purple-head swung both maces in such a fashion that Xander would have been crushed, had he not nailed her between the eyes. The Amazon dropped like a stone.

"You pig!," Buffy accused. "Hitting a girl is so Neanderthal!"

Ranma shrugged. "Hey, she wanted to kill someone."

Xander picked up the girl. "Hey, anyone know where the infirmary is?"

Chapter 8

A short haired girl yawned decorously behind a hand, then started munching on some potato chips.

"*So, Daddy, why didn't you tell us about this before today?,*" she asked.

Her father, a man with long black hair sat calmly as a steady flow of tears progressed down his face. "*Nabiki, how I've waited for this day! Ah, Genma, we must find your son, and save him from this gaijin who has led him astray so badly!*"

The smelly bum in the very dirty white gi nodded sternly from where he sat near the sliding paper door to the back yard.

Nabiki's younger sister sat fuming as her father went on at length about how this... jerk's son would marry one of them, uniting their two schools of martial arts.

"*What are we going to do, Father?,*" Nabiki's older sister, Kasumi, asked.

"*Ranma has probably followed Xander to America, to Xander's family,*" Genma said, nodding again. "*We shall go there, Soun.*"

"*I'm not swimming there!,*" Akane yelled.

Soun, the three Tendo girls' father, started sobbing. "*Kasumi, she yelled at me!*"

"*With three weak girls, we had better take an airplane,*" Genma said, nodding wisely. Visions of lots of food being served by beautiful hostesses floated across the insides of his eyes. "*They would slow us down, otherwise.*"

Nabiki and Kasumi edged wordlessly away from the youngest Tendo.

"*I'M A MARTIAL ARTIST TOO, YOU KNOW!,*" Akane screamed as she nailed Genma between the eyes, sending him into the koi pond in the back yard. A waterlogged panda floated to the surface, out cold.

"*I'll go call Nodoka-baasan,*" Nabiki sighed, heading for the telephone.

"*Yay!," Kasumi cheered as Soun began dragging the heavy panda out of the pond. "*A holiday!*"


Xander sat in the infirmary, feeling guilty. Yeah, he'd saved Ranma from a homicidal Chinese girl, but he'd had to knock her out cold.

A groan announced that the very... pneumatic Chinese national was waking up.

She asked something in Chinese that Xander didn't understand in the slightest. He looked at the nurse, only to find that she didn't understand either.

"*Who are you?,*" Xander tried in Japanese. "*Why were you attacking?*"

The girl held a hand to her head. "*Who you? Hit Shampoo hard.*"

Xander scratched the back of his neck nervously. "*Ah, heck, I'm Xander. Xander Harris.*"

"Wo da AIREN!," the girl shrieked out loud, grabbing Xander for a very tight hug.

He went stiff as he felt her two large breasts pressing into his chest. "Ah... why, exactly, are you hugging someone who hit you?"

"It ancient Joketsuzoku law!," Shampoo squealed. "Man defeat Joketsuzoku marry!"

"Lucky me," Xander coughed out, then fainted.


Giles sighed. Why did he get all the weirdo's bugging him?

After a moment of thought, he decided that it was revenge from God for all the hellraising he had done during his 'Ripper' years. Lucky him.

"Please let me get this straight," he said, taking off his glasses and cleaning them. "This... Shampoo... is hunting Ranma's female form due to her defeat by Ranma."

"Is true!," Shampoo affirmed, understanding 'Ranma', 'defeat', 'hunting', and 'female'. "Ancient Joketsuzoku law!"

"And she must marry Xander," Giles continued, pointing at the boy with his glasses, "due to her defeat by him."

"Shampoo marry Xander," the girl nodded, producing a little black with Chinese writing. "Law here."

"If I may...?," Giles asked. The girl handed him the book. "Thank you. Ah, here are the laws Xian Pu is citing. Any woman who defeats one of the warriors of the Joketsuzoku shall be marked with the Kiss of Death. Any man who defeats one of the warriors of the Joketsuzoku..."

"What?," Ranma asked impatiently. "What the heck happens?"

"Is married to said warrior in the eyes of the tribe," Giles continued weakly. "Good Lord."

Chapter 9

An American woman's eyes widened as she spotted a semi-familiar man sitting across the aisle of the 747. She immediately pulled out her cellphone, looking around for hostesses before dialling a North American number.

"Hello, PETA."

"Hi, this is Sandy, I'm a member. I'm calling to report a spotting of Genma Saotome, the cat torturer."


"A seven four seven headed towards Los Angeles."

"Thank you, you've been extremely helpful. We'll ask someone to meet him outside LAX."


Nodoka looked at her husband. "*Anata, is our son manly?*"

Genma nodded solemnly. Inside, he was sweating bullets and hoping that the woman didn't find out about Ranma's curse.

"*Oh, I hope that our family blade is alright,*" the redheaded woman said.

"*Don't worry, Aunty Nodoka,*" Nabiki said soothingly. "*I sorted out the paperwork for you.*"

"*You're such a good girl,*" Nodoka beamed. "*Soun-san, you must be very proud of Nabiki-chan.*"


"You can't be married to me!," Xander said, waving his arms in panic. "We're in America, not China! American laws!"

"What?," Shampoo asked blankly. "No speak fast, no unnerstand."

Giles sighed, then wrote down what Xander had said in Chinese.

"Why didn't ya just tell her?," Ranma asked impatiently.

"I can read and write Chinese, but I cannot speak it," Giles said, handing the book of Joketsuzoku laws back to Shampoo.

The bouncy Amazon looked up from the note. "Ah! Joketsuzoku laws go with Joketsuzoku warrior, airen!"

"You can't stay here," Xander said, trying a different tack. "We're on a hellmouth. Demons, vampires, very bad. Oni, kyuuketsuki."

"Shampoo warrior, fight with husband!," the girl said, hugging Xander again. Somehow, no matter how he tried, he couldn't get out of her grasp. "Is good training, yes?"

"I'm stuck in the mud no matter where I roam," Xander moped, mangling a couple of expressions.

"Hey, Giles," Buffy said, entering the Library. She studiously ignored the two boys. "We still on for training? Who's the new girl?"

"I suppose we may as well," Giles sighed. "Xian Pu, this is Buffy Summers. Buffy, this is Xian Pu."

"Xian Pu married Airen!," the purplehaired Amazon said, hugging Xander again for good measure.

"You must have some weird laws in China," Buffy shrugged. "If you want to hang around with these two jerks, then that's your problem."

"Er, may we get to training Buffy?," Giles coughed.

"Sure, I'll spar with her," Xander offered.

"Don't bother," Ranma said dismissively. "She ain't no good."

"Hey!," Buffy said. "I'm the Slayer!"

"Buffy spar with Xian Pu, yes?," Shampoo offered. "Good idea?"

"Okay," Buffy shrugged. This new girl didn't seem to be an asshole like those two jerks, and she seemed like she might be a good friend.

They moved to the center of the room, then bowed slightly. Buffy immediately tried a straightforward punch to the head, which Shampoo easily dodged.

"Too too easy!," Shampoo taunted. "Short girl attack for real, yes?"

Buffy's eyebrows lowered slightly, and she closed in on the Chinese national in a whirlwind of kicks and punches.


Okay, not really.

Xian Pu was not there to hit with the high power attacks, and simply blocked the smaller attacks, taking Buffy's measure as a fighter. Eventually the purple haired girl attacked, grasping Buffy's right fist and ably throwing her onto the floor.

"Xian Pu win, yes?," the amazon said, putting Buffy into a painful looking hold.

The Slayer's eye twitched.

Giles looked thoughtful at this. "This is really most interesting... would it be possible for you to assist me with Buffy's training?"

The eye twitch worsened.


Genma rubbed his hands together, looking around the expansive carpark to Los Angeles' airport. "*Well, Tendo, we'd best get a decent meal before we start our search. No use running on an empty stomach, after all.*"

"*I think I need a drink to calm my nerves after that,*" Soun agreed.

"THERE HE IS!," a man in a cheap tweed suit holding a megaphone yelled, pointing at Genma. A horde of university Arts students and hippies behind him charged towards the rotund martial artist, screaming in hatred and rage.




Nodoka's eye started to twitch as she caressed the katana wrapped in silk that she had gotten back from US Customs. "*Does Anata have something to tell me, at all?*"

Soun scratched his head in puzzlement. "*I have no idea.*"

He added a nervous laugh.

"*There must be a reason for some crazy Americans to be chasing him,*" Nabiki observed.

Chapter 10

Willow sidled up to Giles, hope burning brightly in her heart.

"Giles, uh, can I speak to you in private?," Willow asked. "I wanna talk to you about the new people."

"If you wish, Willow," Giles said as he shut his office door behind them. "Now, what seems to be the problem?"

"They wake me up extra early, they're rude, obnoxious, they eat like starving horses and they sleep through school!," Willow ranted. "Can't you do something?"

Giles looked thoughtful. "Have you talked to your parents about it at all?"

Willow nodded morosely. This wasn't going as well as she'd hoped.

"I could offer to take the two boys off your parent's hands," Giles said slowly.

"Thanks Giles! You're a lifesaver!," Willow beamed, shaking the Watcher's hand energetically. "It's a deal! Okay, see you later!"

Giles couldn't put his finger on what it was, but he had the feeling he'd just done a very, very stupid thing.


Genma dragged the sewer cover across his head and closed his eyes.

If the crazy Americans found him here, then he'd run. Until then, he wasn't setting foot in the crap below him.

"Where'd he go?," an American gaijin yelled?

"The really smelly guy?," an unfamiliar voice said. "I saw a bum running down there."

The sound of a thousand feet crossed his manhole cover, then dropped off to nothing. Genma raised the heavy metal disc a hairs width, and finding no crazy people, shoved it to one side.

As he was happily moving it back into position across the hole, a familiar voice cut in.

"*Anata. Why were those people upset with my 'honourable martial artist' husband?,*" Nodoka said, tombstones falling with each word. She was also fingering her damned Katana again.

"*I have no idea,*" Genma replied. The fact that he was sweating bucket loads had no meaning on his words, nooo...

He looked around in panic.

"*One of them gave me this card,*" Nabiki said brightly. This trip was way more fun than skinning the students back home of all their money. She held up a business card. "*P E T A. People... for the... Ethical.. Treatment of Animals. Yes. An animal rights group.*"

Everyone turned their attention from Nabiki back to Genma, to find a large panda playing with an old tyre. A sign by it said in Japanese kanji, "*I'm just a friendly panda.*"


A slimly built girl clad in black from head to toe looked at the sky. The wind tried to rip her from her perch, but she stood firm.

"*Saotome Ranma. Harris Alexander. I've finally found you two, and you shall not escape me.*"

She looked over a copy of a contract that she pulled from her closely fitting clothes. "*Yes, the contract shall be fulfilled.*"

A moment later, she backflipped from the speeding locomotive onto a powerpole, leaping down to a nearby rooftop of the Sunnydale industrial area.


Buffy smirked as she rubbed some life back into her shoulder.

True, she was in a small amount of pain, but Xander was in far, far more.

"I ain't yer husband!," Xander snapped. "This ain't China! I'm sorry, but I'm an American citizen, and we're in America!"

"Ai yah!," Shampoo said. "Husband too, too mean!"

Ranma laughed out loud.

Xander groaned. "Stop laughing."

Buffy joined in laughing.

"*What if your old man engaged you to someone?,*" Xander snapped at Ranma. "*Or your girlform?*"

Ranma stopped laughing immediately. Given what his father Genma was like, Xander had raised a valid point.

"Shall we discuss patrol patterns for tonight?," Giles asked, derailing the train of conversation.

"But we're having fun, Giles," Buffy said, smiling.


After she had gotten aunty Nodoka to make uncle Genma behave, Nabiki had bought some train tickets. Her father had wound up weeping that Nabiki was such a good girl, Kasumi was in a state of perpetual amazement, and Akane had left a trail of at least a dozen 'perverts' behind her.

This Ranma person had better be worth it, that was all Nabiki wanted. She was losing a lot of possible income with this trip that the dojo back home needed in mortgage payments.

Chapter 11

Nodoka looked demurely out the window, observing the American countryside. Kasumi and Akane were by her, also looking out the window. This was the first trip that Nodoka and the Tendo daughter had ever had outside Japan, and they were quite enjoying it.

"*So, daddy, what's the deal with Saotome-san's son?,*" Nabiki asked her father.

"*After we defeated our evil Master, we made a pledge to unite the two schools of the Anything Goes Martial Arts,*" Genma said, Soun nodding solemnly.

"*How wonderful,*" Nodoka observed. "*Tendo-san, which one of your wonderful girls are promised?*"

Soun paused. He hadn't thought that far. He looked at his three wonderful children.

"*We'll decide that once my recalcitrant son is convinced of the error of his ways,*" Genma said.

Nodoka smiled.


"I don't get it," Ranma said, scratching his head. "Why we gotta stay with ya?"

Giles looked nervous, trying to think of something that wouldn't hurt the two boys' feelings. "Uh... Miss Rosenberg felt that you might be more willing to stay with myself."

"That's weird," Xander observed, from where he was perched on top of one of the bookshelves. Giles had given up on getting the two to behave normally. "Wills and I are like bubblegum and desks."

"You what?," Giles asked.

"So, we goin' now?," Ranma asked impatiently.

"Quite," Giles said. "Er, where did Xian Pu say she was going to stay?"

Xander scratched his head, genuinely puzzled. "I dunno, she just vanished or something."

Giles stood up, pulling his keys out of his pocket. As he took a step towards the door, a sharp object whizzed a few millimetres in front of his nose. He looked to where the object had landed, to find a note held to a door by a long, thin shuriken.

"What's this?," Giles said, pulling the sheet off the throwing knife. "Hmmm..."

"What? What's it say?," Ranma asked, yawning. "Is it a challenge?"

"I bet it's a demon," Xander said, nodding knowingly.

Both looked at the Watcher.

Giles grinned sheepishly. "Uh... it's in Kanji. I can't read Kanji, just Chinese."

Both boys facefaulted.

Ranma took the note. "Lemme take a look. *Let's see... Harris Alexander, you have been called upon to fulfil the contract signed by your sensei, Saotome Genma.*"

"*I don't know no contract!,*" Xander exclaimed.

"*In return for food and money, Saotome promised my father training in the Anything Goes... as well as you,*" a female voice called out.

Xander groaned, as a tall, slim girl descended to the floor of the library from an open skylight. She was clothed in black, with a length of silk covering her head. Another length of fabric covered her mouth, which she pulled down once she reached the ground. The hilt of a kodachi could be seen over her shoulder, and the set of her clothes suggested numerous weapons within easy reach.

"Pops strikes again," Ranma complained. "Hey, at least it ain't me."

"What if I say no?," Xander asked cautiously.

The girl smiled. "Otousan anticipated Saotome-san attempting to... renege on their deal, and put in a seppuku clause."

"Saotome-sensei...," Xander sighed, deeply. He bowed to the girl. "*Hello, I am Harris Alexander-san.*"

The girl smiled, bowing back. "*I am Hokage Priss*, my fiance."

Xander scratched his head. He'd seen far, far worse ways to get through life, during his journeys through Asia with Genma. There was the whole ninja-clan thing -- marrying into one was the only way to get into most of them, and he remembered staying briefly with Recca-shihan and the rest of the Hokage. They were cool. "*I don't think this arranged marriage is the way to go, but I'm willing to try and make it work."

Ranma elbowed his training buddy. "*Hey, this might get that Shampoo chick to go away!"

Xander brightened up. "*It might too!*"

Priss frowned at this. "*Who is this... Shampoo?*"

Xander grimaced. "*She's this Chinese Amazon girl that thinks that just because I beat her in a fight, I'm her husband.*"


Soun looked around. "*Hmmm. Night time. I hope we can find a hotel open at this time of night.*"

"*Most of them are shut for some reason, Daddy,*" Nabiki said from where she was studying a tourist guide, 'Visit Sunny Sunnydale'. "*Ooo, this one's open.*"

"*How far is it?,*" Genma asked Kasumi, who had the free streetmap that was on the train station's information stand.

"*Oh, not too far, Saotome-san,*" Kasumi politely replied.

"You feel like sushi tonight?," an American voice interrupted, quite rudely.

"Sure," another said.

The two vampires swaggered forwards, faces dissolving into demonic masks. Kasumi and Nabiki screamed, while the two men moved forwards to protect the women. Nodoka unwrapped the hilt of her katana.

"Warning to go away," Soun said, in heavily accented english.

"Oh, don't make me laugh," the first vampire said. "I'm going to enjoy killing you, I am."

Genma attacked first. While the vampires were supernaturally fast, Genma had years of training and experience backing him up. A kick and a throw later, the two vampires were running.

"*How incredibly rude,*" Nodoka observed. "*Really, these America-jin have no manners. Oh, my manly husband!*"

Chapter 12

"*Will there be any problems with your parents?,*" Priss asked Xander.

Priss was a slimly built kunoichi, clothed in black, who had an arranged marriage due with Xander.

"*They refuse to see me, but they haven't disowned me,*" Xander said slowly, thinking.

"*Then they won't have a problem,*" Priss smiled.

"Er, do you have somewhere to stay the night?," Giles asked the girl.

"I had planned to stay with Xander-san," the girl replied.

"Who is staying with me," Giles completed. "I guess you may as well join him."

"Ano, when is Buffy-san starting training?," Ranma asked.

"I don't know... when are you boys?," Giles returned.

"Early morning," Xander nodded. "Right at the... quake of dawn?"

"Oh, good grief no. Buffy has never seen the sun rise, if I guess correctly," Giles laughed.

The two boys then seemed to remember something.

"When is tea?," Xander asked.

"You is in lot of trouble," Priss began laughing, "if these two are anything like their sensei."

The Watcher sighed. "Well, it looks like my Watcher's salary shall not be invested in literature this month. Still, they can't be as bad as Willow painted them."


Soun looked solemnly at his fork, which held a strangely delicious morsel of omlette.

It wasn't trying to climb off the fork, and the plate it came in wasn't starting to dissolve. So his darling Akane didn't make it.

It wasn't anything like his dear departed wife's cooking, so his wonderful daughter Kasumi couldn't've made it.

"*Nabiki!,*" he exclaimed, tears glimmering at the corners of his eyes. "*How good of you to make breakfast for your father!*"

What could be seen of Uncle Genma's face nodded behind the plate that seemed grafted to his lips.

Nodoka frowned slightly at her husband's bad manners, but refused to comment on it in public.

"*I didn't make it,*" Nabiki shrugged. "*It was the special at the only takeaway place open at this time of day.*"

Soun's face sunk slightly.

"*How modest of you,*" Nodoka said coyly. "*This really is very good, Nabiki-chan.*"

Tears of joy began to flow down Soun's face, as smoke began to pour out of Akane's ears. She could cook!

"*So, what're we doing today, Daddy?,*" Nabiki asked.

"*Us adults will be searching the town,*" Genma said, having cleaned up his plate as well as the takeaway packaging. "*You girls will be attending school.*"

"*We've arranged things with the Principal,*" Soun nodded. "*Nodoka-san and Kasumi-chan will be organising our living arrangements.*"

"*Great,*" Akane said flatly.

"*Hey, at least Kuno-baby won't be there,*" Nabiki shrugged. Akane immediately brightened up to match Nabiki's expression.

Nabiki was sure that the American boys would be interested in purchasing photographs of the 'exotic Asian beauty' (also known as Tendo Akane).


"*Tendo Akane, I shall not let you waste away under the uncouth attentions of the foul American barbarians!,*" a somewhat bishounen young man declared, brandishing a blunt wooden katana.

"*Please remain seated,*" a pretty flight attendant said, one of her forehead veins beginning to pulse in anger.


"What a low price!," Nodoka exclaimed, holding her silk-wrapped bundle closely. She bowed slightly "Many thanks."

"No problem," the property agent shrugged. He had so many empty houses to sell, he was happy to rent one out. Some money coming in was better than nothing.

"Come, Kasumi-chan, we must start on lunch for Soun-san and Genma."


Ranma paled as he saw two Japanese man dropping off two girls to school. He grabbed Xander and pulled him into the Library.

"Hey! Don't damage perfection," Xander joked, dusting himself off.

"*Genma was outside,*" Ranma hissed. "With another man and two girls."

"I bet it's an engagement," Xander nodded knowingly.

"Yeah, right," Ranma said. "Why would he be trying to find me to get me married?"

"Good point," Xander frowned. "Maybe... the other man's a policeman, and Genma's fingering us for something in exchange for a lighter sentence?"

Both boys shivered at this. Genma... wasn't the most moral of people, and had used the two as accomplices until they got old enough to realise what they were doing.

They moved off to class, before Giles decided to give them a lecture on the importance of being punctual. They'd gotten one last night about how they should always do their homework.

Xander opened the classroom door, to find the teacher introducing a Japanese girl with long black hair to the rest of the class.

"Everybody, this is Akane Tendo, from Nerima in Japan. Did I say that right?"

"Yes," Akane nodded, smiling politely.

Ranma jumped back, hands in front of him. "I ain't gonna be imprisoned!"

Akane's head slowly turned. Flames lit up her eyes. "Am I really that horrible? You... you... boy!"

One of the boys in the front row loudly whispered, "Hurt me, my maiden of pain!"

"You PERVERT!," Akane roared, producing a large mallet from nowhere.

"Your pops sure can pick 'em," Xander whispered to Ranma, who nodded wordlessly.


Chaptrer 13

Xander was seriously beginning to think that he should ditch this school thing for awhile. As well as making him learn, as well as boring him to death, they also forced him to sit next to psychotic maniacs.

At least he wasn't Ranma, though.

The black haired boy was asleep at the moment, but not through any choice of his own. Tendo Akane had beaten him over the head, knocking him out, so Ranma was in the infirmary.

"And so a sentence always has... Xander?"

He blinked. Did the teacher call him?

"Xander Harris! Answer the question!"

He looked at Willow, who for some weird reason was completely ignoring him. Girls. Go figure. "I dunno?"

This was the wrong answer. He was sent off to the Principal's Office. Not that he made it there, of course -- a familiar fat figure beckoned him.

"*Boy!,*" Genma hissed from where he was perched on a tree branch. "Harris!"

Xander lazily jumped up. Hey, it beat getting told off again. "Nani?"

"*Where is Ranma?,*" Genma asked, panic buried in his expression.

"*In the sickbay,*" Xander shrugged. "*Some psycho tomboy called Tendo Akane hit him in the head.*"

"*How sad!,*" Genma said, striking a pose. "*To think that my weakling of a son was beaten by a girl!*"

"*Oh yeah, before I forget, what's up with the deal you made with the Hokage?,*" Xander asked.

"*D-deal?,*" Genma asked, panic beginning to be not so buried. If one person he'd welched had come close to finding him, half a dozen more were on that person's tail. "*I have no idea what you are talking about.*"

"*Sure ya don't,*" Xander complained.

"*Well, in any case, you have to keep Ranma well away from any red headed Japanese women!,*" Genma commanded.

"*What if he's in his cursed form?,*" Xander asked reasonably. "*He's a redhead then, isn't he?*"

Genma looked solemnly at him. "*This is a serious task I ask of you.*"

Xander hmmm'ed. "*Hey, isn't that a three hundred year old man over there?*"

The panic was now the only expression on Genma's face. Well, that and fear. "*The Master?!! Where?!*"

The older martial artist turned to find Xander gone. The panic and fear disappeared to... pride?

"*Yes, you have learnt the Anything Goes well, my student,*" Genma said, staring at the sky with tears streaming.


Xander stretched as he approached the door to the Principal's office.

"Here again?," the office lady said. Xander had been sent yesterday, and the day before. "Should I expect your friend too?"

She hoped so. They were two nice pieces of ass, in her opinion.

"Nah, he got KO'ed by the new psycho girl," Xander shrugged.

"Akane Tendo?," the receptionist asked.

"That's the one," Xander nodded.

"She seemed like such a nice girl," the woman said with a sigh. "Her sister was cold, but she seemed like a good person."

"She has a sister?," Xander blinked.

"Yes, a Nabiki Tendo," the receptionist said, flicking through some sheets of paper.

"I hope she doesn't hit anyone as well," Xander muttered.

"Ah well," the lady sighed, picking up a can of Diet Coke. "Go on in."

Xander opened the door to Principal Flutey's office just as he felt the spray of overpressurised cola hitting the back of his shirt.

"Wonderful," Xander-tiger growled. Of course, tigers don't speak English, so it came out as a rather menacing growl.

Principal Flutey blinked several times, then stood straight up. His office chair tipped backwards as he scrabbled backwards into the corner.

"N-n-n-nice k-kitty," Flutey said desperately.

Xander rolled his feline eyes, then wandered off in search of either Giles or a nice warm patch of sunlight to curl up in.


Nabiki ate her lunch slowly, eyes settling on something unsettling.

"Cordelia," she said slowly. "Why is there a tiger over there, and not in the local zoo?"

"Are you going to tell it to move?," Cordelia asked incredulously. "I don't think so. Not with these brand new clothes."

"Say, is that rumour that your little sister beat up the new Asian guy true?," Jenna, one of Cordelia's sheep, asked.

"Probably," Nabiki sighed. "I wish she'd learn a clue... she's the baby of the family, and Daddy wanted her to be the heir to the family school of martial arts."

"Girls do that stuff?," Jenna asked in disbelief.

"American women don't?," Nabiki asked, puzzled. "Daddy made sure I knew enough martial arts to defend myself."

"Oh, self defense we're all down with," Cordelia nodded. "The thought of sweating like a pig every day... that's just like ewwww."

"I know," Jenna nodded. "What could I wear that I could stand getting dirty?"

Harmony sighed. "I wish I had some money to buy that new dress from Softex Fashions."

A predatory smile bloomed on Nabiki's face. "If you want, I could sort out some... easy financing."


Post-fic Comments:

Here is that playlist I spoke of in the pre-comments. It's a pretty good listen, going from the first song straight through to the last.

black label society - 1919 eternal\05 black label society - bridge to cross.mp3
Fleetwood Mac - The Chain.mp3
Nine Inch Nails - 1989 - Pretty Hate Machine\Nine Inch Nails - 05 - Something I Can Never Have.mp3
Rolling Stones - Angie (unplugged).mp3
Kansas - Dust In The Wind.mp3
dimmu borgir - stormblåst\04 - sorgens kammer.mp3
Jimi Hendrix - Hey Joe.mp3
Tapping The Vein - broken.mp3
Metallica - Fade To Black.mp3
Megadeth - 1999 - Risk\Megadeth - 11 - Time The Beginning.mp3
Crowbar - Time heals nothing.mp3
Zakk Wylde - Rust.mp3
Staind - Break The Cycle\Staind - 03 - Fade.mp3
Pantera - 1996 - The Great Southern Trendkill\06 - Pantera - Suicide Note Pt. 1.mp3
Pink Floyd - The Final Cut.mp3

Chapter 14

"How did you two get to come along?," Willow asked Xander and Ranma.

"Uh... I not know," Ranma apologised.

Willow looked at Xander expectantly.

"I dunno, we just got on the bus like everyone else," Xander said obliviously. "Hey, look at the zebras!"

"Where Priss go?," Ranma asked.

"She said she wanted to go have some fun," Xander shrugged. "This is fun just standing here, no teachers yelling at us, just a nice, sunny day..."

Ranma nodded.

"Where's Buffy?," the scholarly hacker asked.

"Over... there," Xander said, pointing at the elephant enclosure. "C'mon, we'll go help her."

Willow nodded. Maybe Buffy would appreciate the importance of actually learning on school trips.

"Buffy! Ohaiyo," Xander called out.

"You missed it!," Willow said accusingly.

"Missed what?," Buffy asked defensively, picking up on Willow's tone of voice.

We just saw the zebras... uh, what's the word... yes, fucking," Ranma said.

"Thank you, very exciting," Xander nodded.

"Ranma!," Willow said, scandalised.

"What I say?"

Willow sighed, giving up on it for the moment. "It was like the Heimlich, with stripes!"

"And I missed it. Yet somehow I'll find the courage to live on," Buffy scowled, walking on.

"Where were you?," Willow asked.

"Uh, I was looking at the fishes."

"Was it cool?," Willow asked.

"Unless they were tropical fish, yeah," Xander said.

"It was fishes," Buffy replied glumly.

"I feel that you not in the field trip spirit here," Ranma said solemnly, nodding his head like his father.

"Well, it would... It's nothing, I... We do the same zoo trip at my old school every year," Buffy complained. "Same old, same old."

"This is about no teachers, no learning!," Xander protested.

"You know, you're right! Suddenly the animals look shiny and new," Buffy brightened up.

"Xaaandeeeer!," a voice rapidly becoming familiar whined.

Xander groaned, hiding behind Willow.

"Xander, where are you?," Harmony asked brightly. "Coach sure liked how you performed in the martial arts club yesterday!"

"Ah, he's crap compared to me," Ranma smirked.

"Am not!," Xander protested immediately, stepping out from behind Willow. "I kick your ass all the time!"

"There you are!," Harmony smiled widely (and fake-ly.) "Here, I got you a Pepsi!"

"No thanks," Xander said nervously, looking at the soft drink. He'd come to find that cold liquid loved him after visiting Jusenkyo.

"I insist!," Harmony beamed, shoving the Pepsi paper cup at Xander.

It exploded once it hit his chest, soaking the front of his shirt in cold Pepsi and icecubes.

Well, I tell a lie when I say shirt. More like his fur.


Xander chuffed in irritation, slumping to the ground.


Xander decided he didn't like school trips anymore.

He'd been captured by the zoo staff, not bothering to fight back since it would have been more trouble than it was worth. They had quickly found that he wasn't any of their three tigers, but they weren't about to let a tiger out into the wild, so they locked him up in the tiger enclosure.

Two of the other three tigers had greeted him with a chuff, and Xander had replied (with that strange set of instincts he seemed to have in cat-form.) He would have loved to have curled up in a nice patch of sunlight, but it was far too hot to sunbath in a fur coat for Xander's liking. So he sat down in the shallow end of the pool, letting the water cool him.

His ears pricked up after a while, as he heard a familiar noise. A thermos being opened! Hot water, and humanity, ahoy!

Bounding over to the tall fence (water going everywhere), he looked through the wire at the two zoo keepers on their smoko break.

"Where'dya reckon he came from?," the first asked the other.

"I dunno, Dave," the second replied. "Best guess, I'd say ex-pet."

"Stupid rich people," Dave spat. "Can't trust 'em an inch, John, not to treat animals right or obey exotic animal laws. Annie hasn't found any tigers for Sunnydale in the exotic animals registry."

"Has Annie had a look at him?," John asked. "He'll probably need it -- wouldn't be surprised to find the poor bastard's been de-clawed."

"Nah, he's still got 'em," Dave said. "Dunno whether his boys can still swim, though -- that'll be what they'd want him for."

"Lucky bugger," John said enviously. "All the free food he can eat, and free sex!"

A woman in a white lab coat approached them, looking at Xander who was sitting on his hindquarters watching the three.

"Okay there, Annie?," Dave asked.

"Fine, I just want to take him in for a checkup while Doctor Davey is here," Annie said. "John, nice hat."

"Thanks," John said proudly, picking up a wide brimmed brown hat. "The missus got it for me when she was visiting family in Sydney."

The woman brought up a tranquiliser gun she'd been hiding behind her coat. "Time to cuff 'em and stuff 'em."


Post-fic Comments:

I'm assuming that exotic animals like snakes, large cats etc need to be registered as pets in the US.

The band I mentioned are VERY good -- I think they're on mp3.com, not sure.
Check them out if you get the chance -- "Tapping The Vein".