Two

Title:Dragon Ball Ninbunnoichi
Plot, or Lack Thereof:The Nerima Wrecking Crew go Dragon Ball Hunting
Reason for Banishment:Weak characterization and major differences in setting and tone between series.


Vegeta flew home in a very bad mood.  He had gone to find Kakarot and spar, but Kakarot was too busy training Uub to even notice him.  Kakarot was like a kid with a new toy, trying out every move and every attack on his pupil.  Vegeta had stood to the side like an idiot attempting to attract Kakarot’s attention, to no avail.  At least, tired of being ignored, he yelled out in Saiyan that he made a better sparring partner than Uub any day, then stormed away, leaving a bewildered Kakarot and Uub behind.

He was still muttering curses on Kakarot as he flew home.  He was angry; he needed someone to beat up on—and the most convenient target was his son.

“Trunks!” Vegeta roared, lmost ripping the front door off its hinges.  Needless to say, Trunks was nowhere to be found.  “Where’s Trunks?” Vegeta demanded when Bulma, who heard his violent homecoming, ran to the living room. Bulma recapped what happened earlier.

“So, Trunks is out chasing girls.  Typical.”

“What’s the matter, anyway?” Bulma sensed the bitterness in Vegeta’s voice.

“There’s nothing to do.”

“Oh, yes, there is,” Bulma crossed her arms.

“Like what?”

“First,” Bulma began, counting on her fingers, “you can help me unload, fold, and put away the laundry.  Then, the house needs some tidying, and then—”

“—I get the point already!”

“So get going.” Vegeta hesitated; he preferred boredom over helping Bulma around the house any day, but he had no real excuse to get out of it.  Unless—

He began to walk out the door.

“Hey! Where do you think you’re going?”

“To find Gohan,” Vegeta kept walking.  If Kakarot won’t fight me, then maybe his son will.He opened the door (nearly taking it with him again) and left before Bulma could stop him.

***

Ranma could not shake the unsettling feeling that they were being watched, but couldn’t determine exactly what it was because of the distracting presence of Goten.

Damn that Goten.Ranma gritted her teeth in frustration.  She had seen the look on his face before: it was the same (although definitely not as pronounced) as the one on Kuno’s whenever ‘The Pig-Tailed Goddess’ appeared.  Maybe I should have just poured that soup over my head and gotten it over with.Ranma hoped that she could get her hands on some hot water soon—but then, where could she get hot water in the middle of a forest?

Being a panda has its disadvantages, Genma Saotome thought.  The group was being followed, but by who or what he couldn’t tell.  He tried to communicate this concern to Ranma, but his son’s attention was drawn by Goten, who was—flirting with Ranma?

That’s right, Genma remembered.  We walked through the rain this afternoon.He sighed.  Of all the springs to fall into, my son had to fall in the Spring of the Drowned Girl.

Goten, if he were not always thinking of Ranma, might also have noticed the presence of the extra, unknown, and perhaps dangerous energy.  Ranma was not the most beautiful girl he had seen, but it was her personality, not her looks, which had drawn Goten to her.  Through the influence of Chi-Chi and Bulma, Goten had come to admire women of strong character, not the dainty little girls who blushed and giggled when he looked their way.  Ranma was full of energy and strength, and had a bearing of a warrior—qualities which, according to Vegeta, were those of an ideal wife.  Sure, Ranma talked (and sometimes acted) like a man, but that made Goten admire her even more.

Suddenly, Ranma gave a loud cry and jump-kicked a clump of bushes next to him, causing an old woman leaning on a cane to jump out.

“You old bat!” Ranma yelled, attacking the woman.  “Trying to spy on me, eh?”

“Ranma, stop it!” Goten pleaded.  Ranma continued to hit, kick, and curse the old woman.  “Stop it!” Goten grabbed Ranma’s wrist, being careful not to hurt her.  The old woman shouted something in another language, then hopped away on her cane.  “What got into you?” Ranma didn’t answer.  Goten relaxed his grip, and Ranma snatched her arm back as soon as she could.  Calmly, as if nothing had happened, she looked at the Dragon Radar.

“It’s not broken.  Good.  She lives—for now.”

“Ranma!”

“I was just joking, Goten.  I couldn’t kill that old bat if I tried.” Goten gave Ranma a doubtful glance; Ranma raised her eyes and sighed in exasperation.  “Let’s just keep going and forget what just happened, okay?”

Forget? That you just tried to kill a harmless old lady? Goten decided to keep his mouth shut for now.  He thought back to Ranma’s strange behavior at his house and realized that she was hiding something.  But what? He couldn’t figure it out, but whatever it was, he knew that something was not right about Ranma.

Ranma rubbed her wrist.

How did Goten do that? She wondered.  Not even Cologne can stop me in mid-attack by grabbing my arm and holding me with such a grip.  And speaking of the old bat, why was she spying on me? Cologne had been following Ranma ever since he ‘defeated’ her great-granddaughter Shampoo and, according to the Amazon law, became Shampoo’s ‘husband’, but she’s never spied on him like that.  Her usual approach was more direct in trying to force him to marry Shampoo in various ways.  What the hell does she want now?

***

“What are you going to wish for when you get all seven Dragon Balls?” Trunks asked, piloting the hovercraft with one hand and holding the Dragon Radar with the other.

“A normal fiancée, right?” Nabiki playfully elbowed Akane.

Fiancée?” Trunks nearly sent the craft into a nose dive.

“Akane’s been promised to marry Ranma, the son of my father’s old friend.” Kasumi explained.

“Oh,” disappointed (or was it relieved?), Trunks turned his attention back to flying.  “Does this ‘Ranma’ have some sort of incurable disease?”

“You could say that.” Akane replied.

“Okay.” Trunks decided not to pursue that subject any further.  He glanced at the Radar again.  “The Dragon Ball should be around here.” He announced, lowering the craft in a jungle.  Once it landed, he jumped out, then helped the sisters.

That’s funny.He thought when he double-checked the Radar.  The Dragon Ball is moving?

“This way,” He pointed to his left.  “Come on!” He took Kasumi by the hand and began to clear a path through the plants.  He didn’t notice that Akane was falling behind.

“Oh!” She exclaimed.

“What’s the matter?” Trunks rushed to where her voice came from and discovered that Akane was cradling a small black pig with a yellow bandanna around his head and a small bump on it.

“P-Chan! What are you doing here?” Akane rubbed the bump.  “And how did you get hurt?”

That bandanna looks so familiar. Trunks studied the pig with care.  Where have I seen it before?

“Oh, my!” Kasumi looked over Trunks’ shoulder.  “The Dragon Ball finally stopped moving!” Trunks looked at the Radar again.

“You’re right!” He began to walk again.  After a while, they came across a raging river.  Trunks could barely make out the Dragon Ball stuck in some rocks.  “There it is!” He pointed to it.

“How are we going to get that?” Akane wondered out loud.

“I can get it,” Trunks offered with confidence.

“Be careful!” Cautioned Kasumi.  “The current is very strong!” Trunks jumped from rock to rock until he was an arm’s length from the Dragon Ball.  As he reached out to grab it, he lost his footing.

“Oh, no!” The sisters exclaimed together.

Just before his back hit the water, Trunks caught himself with his energy.  Still in midair, he scooped up the Dragon Ball, then righted himself and jumped back to shore.  It was only after he saw the sisters gaping at him that he realized what he just did.

Oops. I wasn’t supposed to do that. Now he knew why Goku was always putting his arm behind his head.

“Wow…” Kasumi, Nabiki, and Akane breathed.  Even the pig seemed to be impressed.

***

Ranma noticed that Goten’s attitude towards her had changed since her attack on Cologne: it was still amicable, but strained and unnatural.

At least that’s better than that disgusting look he was giving me earlier.

The bushes rustled again.

“Who’s there?” Ranma demanded, shifting into a battle stance.

A cat jumped at her and hung on to her chest.

AAAAAAHHHHHH!!!” Ranma screamed, hysterical.  “Get it off of me! GET IT OFF OF ME!!” The cat then leaped at Goten and threw something into his face, making him cough.

When the coughing and screaming stopped, Ranma realized that the Dragon Ball and the Dragon Radar were stolen.

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