Disclaimer: Ranma 1/2 is the creation of Rumiko Takahashi and the property of Viz Comics. Muppets in Space is the property of Jim Henson Productions.
Note: For anyone who's read A Voltron Fairy Tale, I actually started this first and then immediately proceeded to lose it in my hard drive. I really am going to finish it now that I've found it. Really I am.
Ryoga Hibiki was lost. That in itself was nothing new. In fact, Ryoga had spent years getting used to the idea of being lost. His hereditary lack of a sense of direction had raised getting lost into an art form. But this time, he decided, he was really lost. There was no way he was in Japan.
He sighed and ran a hand through his hair in frustration, pulling off one of the ever-present bandannas and running it absently through his fingers. The week had starting out so promising! Akane and Ranma fighting, Ranma running off on a 'training mission' with Genma and Soun in hot pursuit, leaving Akane home alone with only Nabiki and Kasumi to console her. Well, Kasumi anyway. Nabiki was there, but she had never exactly been the consoling type.
Ryoga stared into the distance, watching the swells break over the rocky shoreline by the lighthouse. Maybe he should have stayed in Nerima. His beloved Akane had been inconsolable! She needed her P-chan…
Ryoga shuddered inwardly and stopped that line of thought. He wasn't some kind of stuffed toy. He was a person with feelings and needs of his own. There wasn't any honor in taking advantage of her when she didn't even realize he was there. No, he'd done the right thing. Ranma obviously had said horrible things to hurt Akane that way. He needed to be punished and Ryoga Hibiki was the perfect person to deliver that punishment. He balled one hand in a fist and thrust it towards the sky. "Ranma Saotome! Prepare to die! I'm coming to avenge Akane's grief!"
He dropped his fist and looked around in resignation. "Yeah, right. Just as soon as I figure out where the hell I am."
He glanced around the beach, noticing for the first time the piles of debris littering the sand dunes. Apparently he was just a little too late for the party. He poked through the pile at his feet, grabbing a banner and holding it up to catch the early morning sunlight. "'Take me with you.' Okay, English. Maybe I'm in Europe again." He poked farther in the pile and pulled up a t-shirt with a picture of some furry blue creature with a beaked nose. Under the picture were the words 'Beam me up, Gonzo.' Ryoga rolled his eyes and shook his head. "No, definitely the United States. No place else is this weird."
He strolled up the beach towards the lighthouse, his eyes desperately scanning the beach for the sight of anything familiar. Finding nothing, he kicked a pile of debris and sank down to the sand in defeat. "Now what? How am I supposed to get back home? Akane needs me. Ranma…" His voice trailed off and he turned his eyes back to the unstoppable movement of the tide, pulling an image of Akane into his mind. Thoughts of Akane were safe. They didn't haunt his sleep like thoughts of his rival. To him, Akane represented peace where Ranma brought only turmoil and uncertainty. "What am I going to do?" he whispered to the uncaring sea.
He pulled off his pack and dropped it to the beach, disturbing one of the mounds. A small silver canister rolled out over his boot. Curious, Ryoga picked up the vial and brushed the sand off to read the lettering. 'Muppet Lab's Mind MistÔ. Guaranteed to bring absolute mind control under any circumstances. Just one spray and all your commands will be obeyed. Address product complaints to Beaker, Muppet Lab's Complaint Lackey.'
Ryoga's eyes widened. Could it be possible…? Well, there was only one way to find out. Grabbing his pack with renewed determination, he set off down the beach. A lighthouse meant the possibility of a dock. Surely even he could find a boat around here someplace.
He walked down the beach in the direction he thought was south for hours before finding one hidden in a cove protected by a natural outcropping of rock. Climbing stealthily on board, he surveyed the boat and decided it was at least mostly seaworthy. It would have to do. Opening a door into the hull revealed the disheveled form of the captain sprawled sleeping on the bunk, an empty bottle of booze resting on the floorboards under his outstretched hand. Ryoga winced in disgust and shook the sleeping captain awake. The man bolted to his feet, blinking owlishly.
"What's this? Who are you and what are you doing on my boat?"
As the man reached spun and reached for a drawer, Ryoga grabbed him and spritzed the solution in his face. The man's expression went immediately blank.
"What was I doing?"
"You were going to take me home to Japan."
The captain smiled brightly and slapped his forehead. "Oh, that's right! How could I have possibly forgotten something as important as that? And you such a nice, patient boy! What are you waiting for? Come on! My brother has a plane at the airport down the coast."
A real smile creasing his face for the first time in years, Ryoga climbed back up on deck and settled down on a bench. This definitely had potential.