A/N: Something of a happy-ending story I wrote, just for fun and laughs and to reinforce the old rule that says even your worst enemy can end up being your best friend.

Ranma's POV.





"And That Was That"





We were rivals, once upon a time. And I guess we still are, in a way, but . . . over the years, at some point, it started getting softer. We had our fangs drawn and declawed ourselves willingly, with our own hands. We became more like allies, and then more like friends.

It started with Shampoo, of all people. She just put her foot down one day and announced that she was going to marry Mousse and that was that. The poor guy nearly had a heart attack. And after a long period spent making sure that neither of them had any spells or curses on them that weren't supposed to be there, she still hadn't changed her mind. But when Cologne told her that the marriage couldn't be done; that no one would ever believe that he had beaten her, and that even if they would, he'd still have to beat ME- that was when the REAL shock came.

"Great-Grandmother no be so stupid!" Shampoo had yelled, stamping her foot hard enough to crack the floor. "Airen beat Shampoo much better than Ranma, because Airen make Shampoo love him for REAL, and not just because he can show off big strength!"

"That still leaves the issue of the fight with Ranma," Cologne had challenged.

"Mousse already beat Ranma too!" Shampoo had practically shrieked. "Because Shampoo not LOVE Ranma anymore, because Mousse win her heart from him!"

And Cologne had sighed in relief and married them off right then and there, before anything had a chance to go wrong. Mousse had the for once not-lost Ryouga be the best man, and I was unwillingly recruited as maid of honor via a bucket of cold water. Damned old crone . . .

But that was the beginning of it. I had one less stubborn fiancée and the strange kind of relief that came with even the smallest freedoms. I almost didn't mind the dress. Almost.

God, though, it was so PINK . . .

But that was that. It was a happily-ever-after, right then and there; and almost totally painless, even though somewhat frustrating to achieve. To be honest, I never thought we'd see one of those around here. But judging by the idiotic grin that has now become a pretty much permanent fixture on Mousse's face and Shampoo's slowly rounding-out belly and own dreamy smile, things are going very well indeed.

Mousse still blushes every time that they kiss. That's how in love they are.

The next step was Ryouga. He just looked at me one day and said, "I forgive you for leaving me behind." And that was that. The next thing I knew, he was camping out in the Tendos' backyard on a more or less permanent basis and we were both staying up until midnight watching cheesy kung-fu movies together and trying out the moves on Akane's me-shaped dummy.

It was pretty cool too. I think that made him my first really "friendly" friend since I was a kid with Ucchan. Not the kind that you keep around just to practice with, but the kind that stays around 'cause they like you.

A little while after that, Soun invited my mother, Mousse, Shampoo, and Cologne over for Christmas dinner. I invited Ryouga and Ucchan (which might not have been the best idea in retrospect, but it would've been worse to leave her out), and they brought Akari and Konatsu.

Incidentally, it turns out that Akari is an avid fan of bishounen and Konatsu is a sucker for big brown eyes.

Ucchan nearly died laughing at the sight of them gazing into each other's eyes all night. Ryouga was less amused but did have to hide a snicker when Akari asked Konatsu to pass her the butter and shoujo bubbles and roses spontaneously sprung up behind them. And that was that.

Needless to say, the evening went surprisingly well, save a little tension between Akane and Ukyou on whose present I should open first. They were always pretty friendly, but since they'd found out that they were the only two fiancées genuinely competing for my affections anymore, they'd gotten a little cold towards each other.

So for the sake of peace, I opted to open Konatsu's gift first, and thank God that I've developed at least something resembling a sense of humor about my curse, because it was a dress.

Actually, I was surprised at his perceptiveness, because it was one of those slinky Chinese numbers that are at least sexy, and I'd rather look sexy than like a girly-girl any day. Or, to be somewhat more honest, I like the things. Obviously I prefer pants, but when dressing like a girl is a concern, I like wearing clothes like the ones Shampoo has. They're feminine enough, but you still keep your full range of motion since they're cut so high up the sides and usually have the back taken out.

Or, in layman's terms, I can fight in them.

Konatsu's gift had all of these qualities and also ended halfway down the shin- long enough to be formal, but short enough not to drag in a fight.

"Whoa," I had said. "Damn, Konatsu, where did you GET this? It's totally fantastic!"

Akane had nearly choked on her candy cane, and I'd had to explain the perfect cut thing very, very quickly or else be disowned by my parents. Fortunately, Shampoo and Konatsu both backed me up on that one and even Ryouga and Mousse threw in their two cents on the places fabric pulls, or else it could've been a rather awkward holiday.

Despite that minor rough patch, a few traces of animosity between Akane and Ucchan, and Akari and Konatsu's tendency to make goo-goo eyes at each other at every given opportunity, the night went pretty damn well. After all, last year we probably would've wound up destroying the dojo. And that's being optimistic, mind you.

So after that, we got together again for New Year's, and again, it went really well. Or would've, anyway. Unfortunately, Soun got kinda of cocky and invited the Kunos, which was maybe the stupidest move EVER. Ryouga wound up having to save girl-me from Kodachi's ribbon and Kuno's poetry. Frankly, I'm not sure which was worse.

The way he chose to do it was damned weird, but so worth the look on Kuno's face. He grabbed my wrists in one hand, tipped up my chin, and kissed me. The deep kind, too, which was weird since he's Ryouga and usually passes out at the mention of anything romantic or sexy. It was even a pretty decent kiss.

But he's gotten to this point where he always thinks of me as "Ranma", no matter what form I'm in. Whether I'm a boy or a girl or a cat, I'm still Ranma to him. Akane and my dad have both been like that for a while now, but for him it took a little longer to get just right. I'm glad he did, though- somehow I feel that when someone "gets" that, they can really start to understand me.

Now, as for the psycho sibs- Kodachi was delighted to knock off the "competition" for her Ranma-darling's heart, and Kuno took on a role rather akin to that of a samurai whose true love has died tragically at a young age. Honestly, that guy should take up acting- he'd totally kill in Shakespeare.

Less pleasing was the fact that Ukyou looked out the window and saw us, but did NOT see the Kunos. Next day, she comes over with a book about coming out of the closet in an oppressed world and gives it and a box of ribbed condoms to Ryouga, who was hopelessly confused by the contradictory-seeming gifts.

Me, I just wanted to know why she assumed that Ryouga would be the one needing the condom! Not that we WERE dating, of course- it was just the principle of the thing, dammit! I would SO not be P-chan's uke.

Ucchan just gave me the "Okay, I'll humor you, Ran-chan" look and said, "Of course not, honey," then patted me on the head. I was ready to kill her- it took me a good two minutes to remember that I don't fight girls. And that was that.

Still, even though Ucchan was now convinced that I was a closet homosexual, life was pretty good. Shampoo wasn't interrupting my baths on a regular basis, Mousse and Ryouga didn't hate me anymore, and Kuno had more or less given up on seducing the pigtailed girl. Akane still had to deal with him, of course, but it was something of a relief to be able to walk past him in girl form and be bravely ignored. 'Course, he'd cry as soon as I turned the corner, but it had been a start.

At this point, Nabiki finally got sick of him pining away for the lost pigtailed girl and Akane, so at their usual buy- pictures-of-my-obsessions meeting, she slipped in one of herself in an outfit that even Shampoo and girl-me wouldn't have been able to fill out. Needless to say, Kuno had no problems with switching his affection to a different Tendo after seeing THAT little number.

Trust me; Ryouga and I walked in on her posing in it, and the poor guy nearly bled out through his nose. I can't say that I didn't hope that Akane had inherited a similar body-type under all those bulky sweaters.

So again, that was that, and Ucchan was happy if mildly annoyed, Mousse and Shampoo's baby was on the way, Konatsu and Akari were getting along great, and Akane hadn't hit me into the stratosphere for at least a week. I kept expecting something or someone to pop up and cause a disaster or try to marry me.

But it never did.

So when Akane asked me out . . . I had no reason to say no. And when she kissed me, I had no reason not to kiss back.

And when she told me that she liked me . . .

When she told me that she loved me . . .

When she told me that . . .

. . . I had no reason not to tell her that I loved her too.

And that was that.





~* ende "and that was that" *~





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