WARNING to those who have been shaking their heads at the number
of crossovers in this series: this story will give you whiplash.
Some of the crossovers here are completely and unabashedly
gratuitous on my part, but since this whole series seems to have
an established tradition of silly crossovers, I figured "what the
hell". Commentary is provided at the end to those who don't know
what the blazes I am talking about.
NOTE: In anime fanfiction, Ucchan's is frequently used as the
anime equivalent of the This Time Round. I am here borrowing
this tradition because, well, the 'Round just isn't a safe place
for Adric to hang out at anymore.
Comments, criticisms, and the occasional "what the hell do you
think you are doing?" complaints are always appreciated; flamers
will get a nice friendly visit from the IRS.
5 April 1999
A "This Time Round: To Die For" fiction.
"Maybe she likes you, Adric. Did you ever think of that?"
Adric looked up from the cards in his hand and glared at the
young man in Starfleet red across from him. The others at the
table were chuckling. "That's not funny, Wes." he growled
"Really, I mean it."
"Oh come on, Adric." Ryoko-the-former-space-pirate interjected.
"Don't be so snappish. Believe it or not, you are among friends
The Alzarian sighed, and admitted to himself that she was
probably right. Friday night at Ucchan's certainly didn't have
that depressing feel of utter mortality that permeated the 'Round
whenever he was there; here, at least, no one was likely to be
trying to blow his brains out or throw a grenade in his direction
or "accidentally" feed him a glass of poisoned punch. Anyone who
did would have had to face the wrath of the restaurant's owner,
who took a rather dim view to anything that might affect her
Of course, the minor fact that said owner had loudly proclaimed
that a certain short, brown-haired Trakenite was not only not
welcome but was to be "dealt with" on sight certainly helped
matters. Something about the unauthorized borrowing of a
Adric shrugged. "Sorry. Old habits are hard to break." He
glanced at the cards on the table in front of him, turned three
on their sides to tap their manna, then likewise tapped his Rod
of Ruin. "But just for that comment, Wes, take a point of
Adric checked his cards one last time, then rapped the table top
once with his knuckles. "Done."
"Ya' gotta admit, though." Wesley continued, undaunted, as Lucas
began the process of untapping his lands. "She's singled you
out. That might mean something."
"Yeah. It means she's become like just about everyone else over
there. Look, Wes... why are you bringing all of this up? I
mean, I thought the idea of coming here was to get away from all
Wesley shrugged, but a curious half-smile remained. "Hey... it
was just an idle observation."
"Yes, well, please take it out of idle and drive away from it."
"Oh, come on, Adric." Lucas pressed. "The thought must have
crossed your mind at some point." The young man in the UEO
uniform pointed to one of his cards on the table and nodded
toward the person opposite him. "Ryoko, Serra Angel at you."
"Hey, why me? I'm almost dead." the aqua-haired girl exclaimed,
turning over one of her dice.
"Because you can't defend against it while the others can."
"Besides," Wesley interjected, "You gotta admit, she does look
kind of cute when she dresses up to deep six you. Did you get a
good look at her when she was in the fuku?"
"No, I was too busy trying to dodge the yo-yo." He eyed the
others around him carefully, then placed his cards face down on
the table. "Alright, what's going on? What have you three been
Ryoko gave him one of her lopsided, mischievous, 'this is gonna
be fun' grins. "Oh, nothing much. We were just comparing notes
the other day, trying to find some way of helping you, and..."
"Look," Wes picked up enthusiastically, ignoring the cards in his
hand and the fact that it was now his turn. "we think we've
found a way to help get you some respect over there, maybe even
get the psycho off your back."
The young Alzarian eyed them all warily. There was something
about the direction this was going that prickled warnings up and
down his spine. "I don't know what it is you've all got in mind,
but I already don't like the sound of it." He sighed. "Ok, kill
the suspense. What are you all driving at?"
Wes grinned. "Ask her out."
Silence. Adric's eyes blinked once, twice. "Umm, say that
"Ask her out. You know, on a date."
Blink, blink. "That's what I thought you said." He turned to
each one in turn. "Umm, Wes, not to put too fine a point on it,
but... ARE YOU INSANE?!?!"
"No, but she is!" came a slightly inebriated voice from the table
Ryoko turned to her side. "Hey, you're one to talk, Vir..."
Lucas stepped in. "Adric, just listen. Hear us out." He
pointed one finger. "One: She always singles you out. She never
goes after Mel or Peri or Dodo or any of the other less popular
companions. Well, most of the time. Anyway, it's you she's
always after, and you alone."
"Two." Ryoko motioned with a peace sign. "She always takes great
care whenever she does you in, always goes to great lengths to
make certain everything is just right. Also, she never repeats
herself; each time she kills you, its by a different method."
She flashed him a skewed smile. "Its almost as if she wants you
to notice how much effort she's putting in on your behalf!"
"Three," Wes added, "and this is the one part you're going to
have the hardest time believing, because you're usually too busy
expiring to notice when it happens. But every time I've seen her
do you in, there's a glint in her eyes at the precise moment you
die. Its kind of hard to describe, but I'll tell you this: its
not the kind of thing I've ever seen in any of the others, even
when they were the one, umm, doing the deed." He took a deep
breath. "I can't put a word to it. It's almost like... regret,
but not quite. Anyway, the point is, its there; whatever she's
thinking about when she's killing you, its not satisfaction or
"Its probably frustration, because she knows I'll be back in a
few hours time." Adric shook his head at the three, his mouth
still agape. "I can't believe it. You three are going
completely 404 on me. I mean, I can't believe I'm actually
listening to this..."
"Adric," Ryoko interrupted, "You have to admit, she's been giving
you an inordinate amount of attention."
"I've got a punchcard! The only sort of attention she's
interested in giving is to the moving target kind!"
"Sara and Katarina have punchcards," Wes ventured, "but last I
heard they weren't on a first name basis with the reaperman."
"She's a looney!"
"But maybe she's just been trying to get your attention..."
"There are less hazardous ways of getting ones attention!"
"Well, then maybe she's just in denial..."
Stunned pause, as he looked them over once more. His voice was a
disbelieving croak. "My gods... you people are actually serious
about this, aren't you? You really think the reason she's been
killing me is because she secretly _likes_ me?"
"Well, stranger things do happen." Lucas responded.
"But that's the most preposterous thing I've ever heard!"
Ryoko gave him a wicked grin. "Adric, you obviously haven't been
hanging around anime-side all that much. The things she does to
you? Around here, that's called standard courtship procedure."
"Yeah." Lucas interjected, pointing out two figures on the other
side of the room in a heated argument. "Hell, look at Ranma and
Akane. They practically wrote the book on the subject!"
As if to emphasize the point, cries of "Kawaikune!" and "Baka!"
erupted, followed by the visceral crunch of a swung mallet
contacting flesh and bone.
"Or Ataru and Lum..." Ryoko added, as lightning sizzled outside
and a voice screamed in pain.
"Or Tenchi and..." Wes added.
Ryoko shot him a glare. "Wes... don't go there..." she warned
icily, then turned back to the young Alzarian. "Look, Adric.
What's wrong with the idea? I mean, we're not saying it's the
truth, only a possibility -- but one that might be worth it for
you to check out."
"But I already know what the answer is, and I certainly don't
want to find out any more!"
"How do you know?"
"Ryoko, she's made it painfully obvious."
"Have you ever asked?"
"Well, have you?" Ryoko persisted.
"No..." he said, ruefully.
"Well, then how do you know what the truth really is?"
He merely answered with a glare.
Wesley picked up the thread. "Look, Adric. All we're suggesting
is, try asking her out and then see what happens. I mean, what's
the worst thing she could possibly do in response? Kill you?"
"If I'm lucky!" He shook his head vehemently. "No, the answer
is no! I will not ask her out, and I will not listen to this
anymore! Look, I don't even LIKE her..."
"You used to..."
"I never said..."
They all laughed.
"Oh, come on, Adric." Lucas remarked. "We've all seen the
episodes. What was the line? 'Leave her alone!', or something
like that? Or how about that costume party?"
"Yeah, you didn't seem to be objecting too strenuously..." Ryoko
"And what were the first words out of your mouth when you found
out Tremas had disappeared?" suggested Wesley.
"Or all the times you went ahead and did something risky, like
maybe you were trying to impress someone?" Lucas added.
"Or that look on your face whenever you found yourself alone with
"Alright, alright, alright..." Adric said, raising a hand to
silence them. "You've made your point." He frowned in
resignation. "Ok, I admit it, I did like her. Once. But that
was a long time ago. Since then they killed me off, fandom made
me into a combination scapegoat and punching bag, she went
psycho... Look, its kind of hard to like someone who goes out of
their way to make you feel so... unwanted." He shook his head.
"No, no. I gave up on that one a long time ago."
"But you see, that's the point." Wes returned. "You gave up.
Look at it from her point of view. You spent an entire season
mooning over her, she gets the idea and maybe decides it might be
fun, but then what do you do? Zilcho! Nada!"
Adric coughed but said nothing.
Ryoko continued. "So when she couldn't get your attention at the
party -- and make no mistake, that's exactly what she was trying
to do -- maybe she decided to switch to more... direct...
"And has been waiting for you to get the idea ever since." Lucas
The Alzarian sat back in his chair in momentary silence. The
other three could tell that they were making some headway.
"No..." he said finally. "No, it's just impossible. Me and her?
I can just imagine the number of heart attacks in fandom that
"So?" Ryoko responded. "You're the one whose always saying how
little they give a damn to what fandom thinks anymore. Well,
here's your big chance to prove it!"
"Besides... a few well-placed heart attacks might improve the
situation for you." Wes ventured.
Lucas spoke up. "Look, Adric. Think of it this way. She's
going to be killing you anyway. What's to stop you from having a
little fun with it in the process?"
"Self-preservation." he mumbled, half-heartedly. His voice rose
as he continued. "Look, she's got a larger following of hentai
fanboys than anyone else I know, most of whom define
compassionate charity as a quick death for me. Even if you three
were right and she by some miracle actually did like me -- which
mind you, I don't for the moment believe -- I'd end up having to
face every one of those idiots in some way. Half of them would
be trying to hunt me down to personally off me, the other half
would be writing vicious drabbles trying to undo it." He sighed.
"It's bad enough that I've got one psycho after me; I don't think
I could deal with an entire army of them."
Ryoko looked at him squarely. "Adric... argue for your
limitations, and they're yours."
"If we're right," Wes continued, "then this is going to make
things a lot easier for you, probably make you a hell of a lot
happier than you are right now."
"And if we're wrong," Lucas concluded, "then what have you really
lost? A couple more lives off the punchcard? So what else would
They all stared at him, unblinking, waiting for him to answer.
There is a feeling one sometimes gets when they are presented
with a choice. It is that stomach-yawning, bottomless, going-
over-the-falls-in-a-barrel sensation one gets when their
instincts were screaming to go one direction, but everything else
was pulling in another. It went way beyond the hunch that said
"it didn't even seem like a good idea at the time", it
transcended the deduction that said "this is bloody stupid", and
left the conclusion that said "you're not only going to regret
this, but you're going to wish you'd never been born" somewhere
in the dust outside of Benson, Arizona. It was that feeling of
inevitability that shouted at you to stop now while you still had
the chance, but which for some reason wasn't getting patched
through to the portion of the brain that controlled speech
functions. You knew what you were about to say was going to doom
you, but yet you were saying it all the same.
And so, against his better judgement, Adric heard himself say the
fatal words. "Ok, I'll... think about it."
Which, everyone perfectly knew, meant thinking had gone
completely out of the question.
Ryoko won the game. Before the end of Wes' next turn she played
Inferno, got rid of everyone else's creatures and gave them all
six points of damage (which she deflected with her Circle of
Protection Red). Then on her move, she brought Urza's Tower into
play, completing the Urza-tron. She also untapped her Dwarven
Hold. Then she played Manna Flare to nearly double her available
manna, played Disintegrate and Fork to produce two twenty-five
point blasts, and blasted Wes and Adric out of the game. Then
she used the last of her manna to Fireball Lucas to death.
They started another game, but everyone else wisely decided to
stay clear of the previous topic of conversation. One step at a
time, the conspirators reasoned. In the middle of that game
Kodai and Yuki dropped by, celebrating their anniversary.
Congratulations were exchanged, and Wes, Adric and Kodai
discussed the current spate of rumors about someone out there
doing a ST/DW/Yamato crossover. "Believe it when we see it."
became the general opinion.
The night wore on, with most of the usual Friday-night-at-
Ucchan's occurrences. Tenchi arrived, and of course Ryoko
abandoned the other three to fly over to him; Ayeka showed up not
much later, and the usual tussling began, much to the center
A drunken teen-aged otaku made himself an annoyance among several
of the female denizens before finally departing arm-in-arm into
the night with Tsubasa, no doubt counting himself extremely lucky
to have gotten the eye of such a positively cute anime-babe...
Amuro, Chirico, and Eiji were forced by the management to take
their eternal, alcohol-induced argument outside. After a few
minutes, the sound of energy weapons and crunching metal could be
Someone spilled cold water on Ranma. By accident. Honest.
After a few hours, Adric looked at the time and decided to call
it quits. "I have to open up the 'Round tomorrow," he pleaded,
"and those Timelords get awful cranky if no one is there to get
them their morning tea."
As he started to say his good-byes, Ryoko disentangled her arms
from Tenchi and took a quick leap over Adric's direction.
"Adric... remember what we told you." she said emphatically in a
low voice. "You've got nothing to loose, so why not try it?"
He gave her his usual blank look. "I told you before, I'll think
"Yeah, well don't think for too long. At this point she may just
decide to give up waiting."
"I shouldn't be so lucky."
The glare he gave told her he still disagreed with the entire
...but at least he was considering.
He waved goodbye, turned, and exited out the main entrance.
After a few steps outside he paused, and found himself looking up
into the early spring night sky.
"Yeah, right." he mumbled to himself, "Quite impossible. They're
all as looney as she is."
He resumed his pace, alone, into the night.
Meanwhile inside Ucchan's, the noise level had dropped
noticeably. Several dozen eyes watched the figure in green and
yellow trudging off into the darkness, while one watched the
aqua-haired girl for some sign.
Ryoko flashed that one a quick thumb's up.
Tendou Nabiki smiled, then leapt atop a counter. As she did so,
someone on the wait staff activated a wall control. A part of
the far wall swung around, to reveal a scoreboard upon which a
large number of scenarios and their odds had been scrawled.
"OK folks, here are the rules!" Nabiki began. "Short odds are on
how long it takes for him to ask, long odds are on how few times
he gets killed asking. If he does manage to get a date..."
NOTES for the Crossover Impaired:
1) Japanese names are here mentioned in the Japanese style
(family name first, familiar name last) rather than the Western
style. Non-Japanese names are mentioned in the Western
2) Ucchan's: The name of the Okonoyaki restaurant owned by
Kuonji Ukyo, a female character from Ranma 1/2. Ukyo is a
teenaged martial artist whose weapon of choice is a very large,
razor-sharp spatula (the theft of the spatula is a reference to
B.K. Willis' TTR:TDF story "The Substitute"). In anime
fanfiction, Ucchan's is also frequently used as the anime
equivalent of the This Time Round.
3) Ryoko: A rather powerful extra-terrestrial space-pirate who
has a number of special abilities, including flying,
teleportation, and the ability to walk through walls (the
anime/manga translations I've seen are unclear, but depending
upon who you ask she is either a very sophisticated android or an
artificially-engineered person, probably some combination of
both). Ryoko is madly in love with Masaki Tenchi, a teenaged
high-school student with strange powers of his own (Tenchi Muyo).
4) Wes, Wesley: Wesley Crusher. Not anime, but if I have to
explain this one to you, where have you been? (ST:TNG)
5) Lucas: Lucas Wolencek, from Seaquest DSV. Another mathematics
wunderkind. Putting Adric, Wesley, and Lucas together as friends
was suggested by Paul Gadzikowski in his piece "The Eight
6) The card game they are playing is, of course, Magic: The
Gathering. I threw this in because I've encountered a sizeable
number of gamers who use "Adric" or "Wesley" as personae names
(and if you don't believe me, go do an Alta Vista search on those
7) Ranma & Akane: The two central characters from Ranma 1/2.
Ranma frequently calls Akane "Kawaikune!" ("Uncute!"), and Akane
usually responds with "Baka!" ("Fool!"). Both are martial
artists. Due to a curse, Ranma turns into a girl when splashed
with cold water.
8) Ataru & Lum: The two central characters from Urusei Yatsura.
Lum is another extra-terrestrial girl in love with an earth
teenage boy. She flies and lobs lightning bolts to keep him in
9) Tenchi: Masaki Tenchi. See Ryoko above for explanation.
10) Vir: Vir Cotto, Londo Molari's assistant. Engaged to a
psychopathic girl named Lindisty (sp?). (Babylon 5).
11) Otaku: Japanese slang for "fan-boy".
12) Hentai: Japanese slang for an Otaku with, shall we say,
13) Kodai and Yuki: aka Derek Wildstar and Nova. Two of the main
characters from Space Cruiser Yamato/Star Blazers. In the last
Yamato movie, the long-suffering pair finally get married.
14) Ayeka: Ryoko's rival for Tenchi's affections. She too is an
extra-terrestrial. (Tenchi Muyo).
15) Tsubasa: A male transvestite who is in love with Ukyo. (Ranma
16) Amuro, Chirico, Eiji: Respectively, the central characters
from Mobile Suit Gundam, Armoured Trooper Votoms, and SPT
Layzner. Mech pilots all.
17) Tendou Nabiki: Pecuniary genius, will do anything for the yen
of it. (Ranma 1/2).
Doctor Who characters and concepts copyright the British
Broadcasting Corporation, which really should get it's a** in
gear and provide something more for us to complain about than a
parody and some so-so novels.
This Time Round is owned by Tyler Dion. I keep forgetting to put
this in, but this time I remembered.
Since this story is taking place at Ucchan's, I get to insert the
ye olde Standard Takahashi Copyright Disclaimer (Ranma 1/2 &
Urusei Yatsura copyright Takahashi Rumiko, Shonen Sunday Comics,
Kitty Entertainment, Viz Entertainment, and AnimEigo).
Wesley Crusher copyright Paramount studios, money grubbers if
there ever were any.
Lucas Wolencek copyright Amblin Entertainment. Nothing bad to
say about them except Seaquest was BORING.
Space Pirate Ryoko copyright Pioneer Entertainment. The only bad
thing I can think to say is that the voice-acting for their
Tenchi Muyo tapes is generally pretty awful, and that people are
much better off just buying the subtitled videos.
Copyright to a lot of other minor stuff held by the original
This is a work of fanfiction. No intention is made to infringe
upon copyrights already held by the BBC or whoever. This work
was done entirely for fun and the delusion that it provides
practice for someone who thinks he might be a writer one of these
days. Yeah, right. They'll believe that.