Ranma kicked the girl in the face. Hard.
It had really been child's play to block her strike, step forward,
meet her charge and pummel her. The girl's strength was decent. Her
speed, however, was abysmal. Ranma dodged her pathetic attempt at a
counterattack and leapt in to drop a flurry of kicks over her chest and
ribs. She sagged, guard down, perfect shot.
Ranma launched her to the moon.
His classmates at Furinkan High School were used to exhibitions and
fights every morning, but this one had most of them staring. Ranma
tossed back his head. Yeah, it had been good. This one had been even
easier than that Kuno creep. Scratch yet *another* wimpy challenger.
A pair of of Ranma's friends came over, that is if you could call
Hiroshi and Daisuke his friends. "How did that get started?" Hiroshi
asked in wonder, looking in the direction that Ranma's opponent had
Ranma turned to walk to class, his hands held behind his head. "Aw,
she came up to me, shoutin' insults. And *nobody* gets away with saying
that kinda stuff about me."
"Well," offered Daisuke, "she *is* your fiancee..."
Ranma doubled over as if punched in the gut. Righting himself he
yelled. "WHAT? I've got *another* girl coming after me? Claimin' to be
my fiancee? Oh, man! How many have I got NOW?"
Hiroshi and Daisuke exchanged a glance. "Well," Hiroshi began after
a moment, "I thought someone said she was your first."
Ranma scratched his head. "Well, no. I've had tons of girls *claim*
that, but I ain't never seen her before. And if I don't take 'em in the
order I got 'em I'll never sort through 'em."
"So who is the first?" Daisuke wanted to know.
Ranma began counting on his fingers. "Well, I don't know how many
times pops engaged me as a kid. But there was that time I beat up
Shampoo in China, that counts. Then Ucchan showed up, and I can
*remember* her from way back when Pop an me were on that training
mission, so I don't know if that makes her first or second. Then Pop
had to go and give his blessing to Kodachi when things were tight at
Three girls from his class ran up to him, steaming, angry and
shouting. "How could you do that to Akane?"
Ranma blinked. "Who?"
Hiroshi nudged Daisuke and spoke in a stage whisper. "Y'think maybe
Akane hit him in the head once too often?"
Daisuke nodded and tried to look thoughtful. He didn't do a very
good job. "Could very well be."
"Oh, like someone around here's good enough to tag me on a regular
basis? Get real." Ranma rolled his eyes.
This managed to penetrate even the anger of the three girls. "You
mean you REALLY don't remember Akane?"
"Who?" Ranma blink-blinked.
"You know! AKANE!" The exasperated girls chorused.
"Hey, isn't that one of those things people paddle down rivers?"
The martial artist was scratching his head thoughtfully.
"No, that's a canoe." Daisuke corrected.
Ranma slapped his palm. "I got it! A small, yellow songbird!"
Hiroshi and Daisuke looked at each other before the former
responded. "No, that's a canary."
"That guy who killed his brother Able?"
"No," Hiroshi groaned. "That was Kain."
"You KNOW, *Akane!* Your FIANCEE!" Sayuri and the other two girls
"What I got another one?!" The backpedal and double-take Ranma did
were so obviously genuine that even the girls couldn't remain angry.
Yuka cocked her head. Her friend's fiance was normally a little
thick headed but he wasn't all that great an actor. She was starting to
get really concerned. "Ranma, how could you forget Akane? Aren't you
living with her family?"
"Huh? What are you talking about?" Ranma stopped, puzzled. "Oh
heck, we're gonna be late for class. Besides I live with Mr. Tendo and
neither one of HIS daughters is interested in me." He ran off and leapt
in the third story window.
Behind him Hiroshi and Daisuke met the eyes of Yuka, Sayuri, and
Tomoko. "Y'know, this seems awfully familiar, somehow."
The girls agreed.
In the background a plummeting figure trailing paper from a
ruptured school bag fell heavily through the roof and into the men's
section of a local bathhouse. The sign on the door said "We welcome the
Prudish Men's Hockey League."
Cries of "Pervert!" and "Peeping Lecher!" proceeded the sound of a
thorough thrashing with hockey sticks.
Mister Hisakawa sighed, stuck teaching a bunch of
yet ANOTHER year, and continued to call roll.
"Ranma Saotome? Yuka Shiratori? Sakura Shori? Midori Takashima.
Akane Tendo?" Hisakawa looked up, repeating. "Akane Tendo?" Still
getting no answer, he asked. "Ranma, is Akane ill today?"
"Who?" Ranma blink-blinked.
"Akane Tendo, your usual companion in holding buckets outside the
classroom. Is she ill today?" Hisakawa asked.
"Who?" Ranma blinked again and spun his head around in confusion,
looking for he didn't know what.
Hiroshi stood up and bowed towards the teacher. Maybe he could make
a few points with Sayuri by showing some initiative; she seemed to like
that sort of thing. "Sensei, something's going on with Ranma, he
doesn't seem to be able to remember Akane."
"He can't remember the girl he is engaged to and accompanies to
school nearly every day?" The teacher droned. He was about to send the
impertinent liar out into the hall when he suddenly recalled who it was
they were talking about. With Saotome just about anything was possible.
Compared to that neko thing this was tame.
Hiroshi nodded. "Yes, in fact he beat her up when she tried to hit
Everyone who hadn't been at the earlier event was now staring at
"Oh dear," Hisakawa said while rubbing his forehead, making future
connections the students hadn't thought of yet. "I suppose that means
the usual 'beat on Akane to date her' sessions will be resuming, then."
"ALL RIGHT!" Several of the male members of the class were openly
pleased by this announcement. Most of the girls openly scowled at them.
"Hey did somebody mention a fight? What's the big deal?" Ranma
scratched his head and wondered what all the fuss was about.
Midori, one of Nabiki's factors, tapped her pencil against the
table thoughtfully. There were so many angles to explore here, Nabiki
might not see it because her own sister was involved, but she'd always
been willing to exploit Ranma's weaknesses before.
Midori waited until the furor was past before asking permission to
go to the bathroom. She needed to get this information to Nabiki as
quickly as possible.
Ukyo chewed fretfully on the tip of her pen, her
eyes never leaving
Ranma. He couldn't remember Akane? How..... POSITIVELY WONDERFUL!!!
Okay, calm down. The poor guy was probably all broken up. A glance
at him snoring on his desk dispelled that idea. He was as relaxed as a
furry tomcat napping in the sun. The thought gave her a sudden impulse
to scratch him behind the ear and see if he purred.
Maybe he *would* with that neko thing. The image came to her of
sitting with neko Ranma curled up in her lap, purring as she scratched
him behind the ear. She almost began purring herself right there in the
Back to reality. So he wasn't broken up. Well, his family will
probably have fits. Except his family was Genma Saotome and did she
Ucchan grinned. Nope! She still owed Genma for a stolen dowry and a
Just as she was about to act on that thought her last and largest
doubt surfaced and Ucchan returned to chewing her pen and looking at
That left Akane, didn't it?
A moment\0xD5s thought was all it took. They weren't really good
for each other anyway. With all the fighting they did it was a wonder
Ranchan wasn't hospitalized by now. Sure, the girl may be a little
upset but she'd get over it. And it's not like friendship extended to
giving away your one true love to someone who abused him all the time!
Besides, who was to say they were even friends? Since when had Akane
ever done anything nice for her?
Never look a gift miracle in the mouth, right?
On that, Ukyo began to happily write a note.
Wheezing, disheveled, and dripping water, Akane Tendo
way towards school with bruises shaped like hockey implements all over
her body. Ranma was going to pay for this!
Her ripped schoolbag suddenly opened along the bottom seams and a
small flood of water, pens, soggy homework, and already-warping
schoolbooks hit the cement with exactly the sort of wet sploshing sound
you would expect from such a thing.
Now glowing blue, with one eye twitching, Akane gathered the
sopping mess up and began to stride a little faster towards the school,
ignoring her limp.
Ranma accepted the note that was delivered to him,
noting the cute
lil' spatulas drawn in around his name. He opened it.
Heard you got in a fight this morning. Who was it this time? Wanna
have lunch together and talk?
Ranma looked back over his shoulder and smiled, Ukyo
beamed at him.
He went back to his desk and fumbled around in his pockets for several
seconds looking for a pen, until finally the girl to his side (not the
side of the empty desk) slipped him one.
He wrote back.
Sure! I'd love to have lunch with ya! (unintelligible scribble)
It's not like I got anything else I gotta do with my time, right?
P.S. Aww, just some jerk callin' me a buncha names.
Even Kuno was a
He passed the note back and Ukyo gleamed, already
offerings at the local shrine. The long-imagined dream of returning
home and being reaccepted by her family returned. Only this time
instead of being welcomed back as an avenging angel she was coming home
beside Ranma as his bride!
Life was *SO* wonderful!
Little floating sakura petals and pretty hearts started drifting
lazily out of that corner of the classroom.
A wet, glowing, and thoroughly annoyed Akane appeared
in the door
of the classroom already well into a towering rage.
Mister Hisakawa chose the 'Prudent Teacher' option of when class
was interrupted by extreme-property-damage levels of violence, meekly
pretending invisibility behind his teaching stand. Most of the class
froze in their seats.
Ranma turned to his neighbor. "Hey, who's the tomboy?"
Fortunately, that poor soul never got a chance to answer as five
feet of feminine fury charged into the room with a lethal cry of
incoherent rage, already manifesting a mallet of monstrous proportions
in a devastating swing.
Ranma's counterstrike was possible only to someone who was able to
move his body about with eelike agility and impressive strength. He
bent double to avoid the horizontal swing of the mallet (which tore
apart his desk around him) then flipped his feet up with enough force
to catapult him in a vault of over a dozen yards.
Except that this force intentionally caught his attacker under the
chin, transferring all that shock and power up through her jaw and into
Nabiki closed the classroom door and started to walk
factor to the third story girls' bathroom. Her expression was slightly
less dry than normal but with a touch of warning. "Okay Midori, what
was so unusual that you had to get *caught* tapping on the door window
to get my attention?"
The floor and one wall burst asunder in a spray of brick and dust,
producing one thoroughly unconscious Akane in a tattered, wet, and now
muddy school uniform. Footprints marred her jaw, while other bruises
marked her body.
Midori met her boss' startled gaze with one so calm she was
inwardly laughing at it. "Ranma is defending himself against Akane."
She managed in an utter deadpan.
Flashback, the night before
The window to the guest room where both Saotomes
slept crept open,
and a dark figure dashed in. Silent as a shadow the window closed
again, then a figure knelt above Ranma, producing a bottle and
"Shampoo do right this time."
Three distinct washings of the hair followed. Then the figure
vanished and was gone. The room's occupants slept on, oblivious.
The FFML guys wanted variety. So I thought I'd give
Besides, when you look into deeply explored characters, the field of
Akane-as-a-ragebucket-and-pathetic-background-character has been vastly
Besides, I might as well earn the flames I'm getting,
better way to use the hate-energy I'm getting over one work than to use
it to fuel another? Not that I *want* any such energy, but rather than
let it burn me out I think I'll divert it here.
Author's Total Insanity:
I AM RazorSpam!
I AM The Eternal Fried Spam!
I AM SpamSaber!
I AM One-Spam and Saotome-Spam!
I AM Spamson!
I AM Blackspam and Heart of Spam!
I AM Spam-Ohki!
I AM the Once and Future Spam and Thy Spamward Part! I AM A Very Scary
Spam and Spam Muyo! I AM All Spam and No Spam, Every Spam yet No Spam,
without beginning of Spam nor end of Spam, and I wave my flaming
tentacles of Spam upon you.
There, I feel beter now.