This idea has been haunting my mind for many years and I just had to give it form to get it finally out of my system.

The story has been written by me alone, without a beta reader , so it's very likely that there's still a mistake or two left.

PROLOGUE

A traditionally garbed woman in her late thirties or early forties walked calmly through the streets of Nerima. She was wearing a simple but well-maintained blue kimono held together by a brown obi belt and geta on her feet. A lot of men stared appreciatively at the lovely woman, but their eyes would be inevitably drawn to the long, slim package she was carrying in her arms. Although the item it contained was almost completely hidden from view, the string keeping the top of the package closed had come undone and the tip of the handle of a katana was peeking out of the opening. That fact alone was reason enough for the passersby to give the distinguished lady a wide berth, but it was the few who had taken the time to take a closer look at her face that were running away in fear.

The lady in question, one Nodoka Saotome, was angry. No, she was beyond angry. She was pissed; and her hate filled eyes easily gave away her current state of mind. If there were even a grain of truth in the expression 'if looks could kill', she would probably already have murdered half the people in the street.

There were a few things in life that she hated about everything else, one of which was being taken for a fool. To think that Genma and her son had been staying at the Tendo Dojo all this time under the guise of 'Ranko Tendo' and her pet panda…

A dangerous glint appeared in her eyes as she squeezed the bundle tighter. Someone was going to pay, and it wouldn't be her son. Knowing Genma's habits and shortcomings quite well she was certain that he was the instigator of this whole travesty. Only one way to find out, and if she didn't like the answers she would get, well… a new panda rug for her living room.

She stopped abruptly. Her mind may have been occupied with devising various torture methods to use against a certain cursed individual, but her danger sense was very well developed and was ringing like crazy. She backtracked mentally and blanched. 'No, that's not possible', she shook her head. 'Why would he be here? That makes no sense'. Yet, her mind couldn't let go of that idea and just to be sure that she'd really just imagined it she turned back and carefully looked around the corner.

She blanched; all her earlier confidence and anger gone, as despair was slowly setting in. That chin curtain beard, the way the cigarette was dangling from his mouth, the confidence in his posture and his most distinguishing feature, the broad-brimmed, black-banded fedora hat… it WAS him.

She pressed her back tightly to the wall, hoping that he hadn't seen her and her mind went into overdrive. Why was he here and why now? It's been more than 17 years. Could they have been looking for her for all these years?

She quickly dismissed those thoughts, however. 17 years were a long time after all. Why would he be searching for her at this particular place? If he knew where she lived he'd simply have waited for her at her home. He was probably in Nerima for a job. The place was prone to attracting all kinds of troublemakers after all.

She turned around and inconspicuously walked away, giving nothing away of her inner turmoil. After all, the easiest way to be noticed is to act as if one had something to hide. She tried to put the encounter out of her mind by returning to her earlier thoughts about how to best deal with the situation her son was in.

However, even if she had calmed down and dismissed the encounter from her mind, her senses were still in overdrive after the unwelcome experience and immediately picked up the soft rustling of cloth coming from above, followed by a dull thud that she easily identified as someone roofhopping. It had become so common place ever since her son had come to live with the Tendos that the residents didn't even bat an eye any longer at the superhuman feat. Although she probably wasn't in any kind of danger her senses had rarely steered her wrong and so she looked up to see which of her son's acquaintances it might be… and her eyes widened in astonishment.

She had only caught a glimpse of the retreating figure, but had immediately recognized the man. The unruly, long black hair and severe face as well as his usual blue kimono and hakama were rather distinctive, but it was the sword at his side that made it impossible to mistake the samurai for someone else.

Her earlier fears had come back with a vengeance. Seeing one of them around could have been a coincidence, but two… surely not. But how did they find her? She had covered her tracks so well that it should have been impossible for anyone to find her.

She was about to panic when her rational mind kicked back in again and helped her recover her wits. Thinking calmly about her predicament she shook her head at how stupid she had been. Of course, he would be there. The two often worked together on jobs, so it was not all that unusual to see the both of them together if they were working. It probably had nothing to do with her. She was convinced now that her secret was still safe; she had spent a fortune on her disappearance act after all. If they knew where she was they would have already confronted her. No, best to simply put all of this out of her mind and concentrate on the more urgent matter: her son, and of course Genma and the Tendos. They'd better have a good explanation as to why they'd been hiding the truth from her. Her anger rose once again and she would not let anything get in the way of showing her displeasure to the lot of them; no matter how far she would have to go to get the whole story out of them.

She was only a block away from the dojo when a suave voice from behind her made her almost faint in fear.

"Hello, Fujiko. Fancy meeting you here."

She froze on the spot. That voice. It had been over 17 years since she had last heard it, but she would recognize it anywhere. She sagged to the ground in resignation. He had found her. Having finally been reunited with her son after all these years of loneliness they would never be able to enjoy the wonderful life she had imagined for them. All of her hopes and dreams ruined; and all because of this man who couldn't just leave her alone.

But no, she wouldn't give up. She wouldn't give that bastard the satisfaction. She had finally found her son and she would fight for him and for their future free from her sordid past.

With as much bravado as she could muster she got up again and turned around staring angrily at the smirking man in his late forties. "What do you want, Lupin?"

NOTES:

I hope you like it. This is the second Ranma ½ / Lupin the 3rd crossover that I know of (the first one having been published around 2006/2007 if I remember correctly), and I would be happy if you told me what you think of it.

Like I said in the beginning I needed to get this out of my system, and I have only one other chapter planned, which will mostly consist of a long flashback about Fujiko's past and why she distanced herself from Lupin's gang. There's probably a lot of possible places where I could take the plot, but this idea has never been developed any further.

POSTED 2015/07/03