Disclaimer

Takahashi Rumiko created Ranma 1/2 and all of the characters and situations found therein. I have no rights to them whatsoever, and hope that she and anyone to whom they have been properly licenced do not sue me.

William Shakespeare has been credited with the creation of Much Ado About Nothing, but regardless of whoever actually wrote it, I don't think I'm in danger of being sued for misusing it. My apologies nonetheless to the Bard.


"I screwed up." The scriptwriter stared down at the script in his hands. "The first part of this scene..." He grabbed a highlighter from the table, and marked the pages. "Up to here. Major continuity violation."

Nabiki frowned. "What do we do about it?"

He shrugged. "Just delete it, I guess. It's not precisely critical." He set down the yellow marker, picked up a red pen, and make a few changes to the script. "That ought to take care of it."

Nabiki looked at the changes, and said, "This somewhat reduces Ranma's role."

"I know, but I think that it will save you eight thousand in the budget." He smirked. "We won't need Shampoo today after all."

She flipped through the script rapidly. "She gets one line here." She grabbed the red pen, and scratched out two lines. "Now she doesn't. About time you actually saved me money, instead of costing me money."

"Hey, I want this thing done as much as you."

"Well, let me remind you of something." Nabiki picked up her coffee cup, sipped the rich brew. "This is the last scene. Finis. If we can do this scene all today – and that shouldn't be too hard – we are completely done."

"I know."

"Good." She stared at him across the cup. "Do try not to screw it up." She drained the cup, slammed it down on the table. "Let's go. We're on location in ten."

- - - - -

"Hey, Nabiki." Ranma looked up from his red-marked script. "You realize I gotta sing in this scene, right?"

"Yes."

He frowned. "Sure that's a good idea? I mean, I'm not a very good singer."

"That's precisely what we need."

"No, I mean, I'm really bad."

Nabiki considered, then said, "Well, Ranma, if you don't think you've got what it takes to sing, even badly, for the camera—"

"That's not what I meant!"

She grinned at his bristling. "Well, in that case, get on set. Akane, first position. Hey, ugly. You got that camera in place?"

"Almost." The scriptwriter was struggling to place the camera at the high angle Nabiki had requested. "Sure this scene can't be shot from further down?"

"No, I need the high angle. And we'll have a cut for camera move halfway through."

"Bloody..."

"Shut up and work." She dropped into her director's chair, and picked up her remote. "You know, I checked the original script, and this was originally three scenes. Why did you meld them all?"

"Location." He stepped down. "This part of the compound is particularly nice, so I wrote it with this area in mind."

"Yeah, but I'm gonna want to move the cameras a fair amount. That one will stay where it is for the most part."

"Okay, it's there. Now what?"

Nabiki yelled out, "Positions!" The cast members scurried to their places, and Nabiki glanced down at the script. "Ranma, from your revised point. You ready?"

"Yep." He tossed the script out of camera arc.

"Cameras." Nabiki hit the remote, then yelled, "Action!"


Tail Kinker Presents

In Association with TN Enterprises

Much Ado About Ranma


"The god of love,

That sits above,

And knows me, and knows me,

How pitiful I deserve,--"

Ranma paused, and rubbed his ears. "Okay, so I shouldn't sing. Better stick to what I know." He glanced up as Akane walked into the garden. "Akane! Yo, thanks; I wasn't sure that you'd actually show up."

"Only as long as needed." She grinned. "What happened with you and Tofu?"

"Well, we threw a few blows, but then--"

"You didn't do it, did you?" She darkened. "I ask you one thing--"

"Wait, Akane. Listen to me for once, will ya?"

"Fine." She crossed her arms. "I'm listening."

"Tofu has seen the error of his ways. He apologized to your father, and he's going to make amends."

She considered this. "I guess that's good enough."

Ranma smirked. "I always deliver. Isn't that why you love me?"

"That, and a host of other bad reasons. Which taken all together, aren't that bad after all." She smirked. "You put up with me for as many bad reasons, I imagine."

"'Put up with' is a good way of puttin' it."

Akane laughed. "You do a good job of putting up with me, too."

"Yeah...seems we've been fightin' this long just for cover." He paused. "Nabiki, what the heck are ya tryin' with this, anyway?"

"Cut." Nabiki's voice was weary. "Ranma, please. I know you're a martial artist, not an actor, but please. Try to stay in character, okay?"

"Sorry."

"Well, let's make the best of this. Get camera one moved to over there." The scriptwriter scrambled to carry out her orders. "We'll start this again from Akane's line."

"Camera's up again. Hey, it's still rolling!"

"That's fine. I put a half-gig card in it myself."

"Okay."

Nabiki stood, and moved to the edge of the camera's field of view. "From Akane's line. Action!"

Akane laughed. "You do a good job of putting up with me, too."

"Yeah...seems we've been fightin' this long just for cover." He paused. "How is your sister?"

Akane looked down. "She still feels really terrible."

"And you?"

"I don't feel so great either."

"Well, don't worry. Good news is about to arrive."

Nabiki ran up to the two. "Have you told her?"

Ranma shrugged. "Naw. I figured I'd let her hear it from you."

"What?" Akane looked confused.

Nabiki grinned. "We got a full confession from the real villains; Kuno was behind it all. Kasumi's name is clear again."

Akane's eyes shone. "That's great news, Sis!" Her face fell. "Oops."

"That's all right, Akane, I've done the same thing. We'll just start again from your line."

"I feel stupid."

"Don't feel stupid. Just get back in on your line, the cameras are still rolling!"

Akane's eyes shone. "That's great news, Nabiki!"

"The priest is on his way here now, along with your sister. Tofu, your dad, and Saotome-san will be along any minute now. The whole party will be here, and I need to go--" She turned, and ran from the gardens. Seconds later, she returned with her father, Happousai, and the priest, as well as a tall woman, veiled in a white gown.

The priest laughed. "Did I not tell you she was innocent?"

"So are Tofu and Saotome. They believed the lies that were told them, but--" Soun shook his head. "Kodachi will have to be punished for this."

"Not too badly, I hope." Happousai drew on his pipe, then continued. "She was as much a dupe as anyone else."

Ranma sighed. "I'm just glad we found out before I beat poor Tofu into the ground over it all."

"Nabiki, Akane." Soun waved a hand. "Your veils, please."

"Certainly, Father. Come on, Nabiki, this'll be the most fun part." She grabbed the taller girl's hand and dragged her off, followed by the veiled woman.

Ranma turned to the priest. "It seems I may need your services myself."

"Oh?"

He turned again, to face Soun. "Tendo-san, Akane and I have kinda come to an agreement."

Soun looked at him expectantly. "Yes?"

"And we were kinda wonderin'...Can we make this a double wedding?"

The priest started in surprise. Soun burst into tears. "My little girl is getting married!"

"Not with my help," scowled the priest.

"Cut!" Nabiki stormed back onto the set, and flipped up her veil. "Ukyo--"

"I know, I'm not a real priest." Ukyo cracked her knuckles. "But this is just a little more than I can put up with, all right?"

"But—"

"Look, I know, it's just a movie, all right?" She sighed. "You're just gonna have to put up with a sour-faced priest during this sham, is all."

"I can live with that. I can't live with any more delays!"

"Uh, Nabs..." The scriptwriter walked up, almost cringing. "We got a low battery alarm on camera one."

Nabiki dug into her pocket, and pulled out a spare battery pack. "Change it! And don't call me Nabs!"

"Right."

Ukyo watched the scriptwriter shuffle off towards the camera. "Uh, Nabiki...why didn't you recharge the batteries last night?"

"I did. The spares. It was his job to recharge the main camera batteries."

"So why—"

"Tell you later." She flipped her veil back down. "We'll resume from Ranma's line."

"Which one?"

"'And we were kinda wondering.'"

"Okay." Ranma nodded, and Nabiki stormed back off the set. He watched her stalk off, and grinned. "Gettin' kinda grumpy, ain't she?"

"Action!"

"And we were kinda wonderin'...Can we make this a double wedding?"

The priest started in surprise. Soun burst into tears. "My little girl is getting married!"

The priest nodded sourly. "You will have my help."

"Excellent! Oh, happy day!" Soun showed no signs of running out of tears. "And here comes Tofu and Saotome-san!"

Tofu walked up to Soun, and bowed deeply. "Again, my good host, I apologize."

"You are here to make amends, boy." Happousai poked him in the ribs. "Are you ready?"

"I am. Ready to pledge my entire life to Hero's memory." He paused. "Oh, no."

"That's fine, Doc. From the Doc's line. Keep going, the cameras are rolling!"

"I am. Ready to pledge my entire life to Kasumi's memory." He turned, as three veiled girls approached. "And which of these three shall it be?"

"Can you not see it, my boy?" Happousai waved a hand towards the three. "Which of these is most like her?"

He hesitated, then reached forward and took the hand of the tallest of the three. "This one, I think. She is the tallest, nearly as tall as Kasumi." He leaned a bit closer. "Please, show me your face."

"No." Happousai shook his head.

Soun continued. "Not until you take her hand before the priest, and swear to marry her."

He stepped back, and the girl followed. "Before this priest, I do swear to marry you. If you will have me, I shall be your husband."

"And while I lived, I was your other wife." Kasumi drew back the veil.

Tofu's face twisted into a hate-filled visage. "You!" He drew back a fist, and Tendo grabbed his arm.

"Oh, crap, he's wearing the jewel right-side up!" Nabiki threw back her veil. "Ranma, get his other arm!"

"I got him."

Nabiki reached forward and plucked the Reversal Jewel from Tofu's lapel. His face went from frenzied to fogged, but only until Nabiki got the Jewel flipped and pinned back on.

"You okay, Doc?"

"Yeah." He glanced over to Kasumi. "I'm really sorry—"

"Don't be." She smiled. "You're better now."

Nabiki flipped her veil back over her face. "Okay, back in place, everyone. From the Doc's line. Kasumi, your veil. Action!"

"Before this priest, I do swear to marry you. If you will have me, I shall be your husband."

"And while I lived, I was your other wife." Kasumi drew back the veil.

"...Kasumi?"

"I died, but only until the lies against me died." She smiled up at him.

The priest spoke up. "I shall tell the tale of Kasumi's miraculous resurrection, once the ceremonies are complete."

"Just a moment, Ukyo." Ranma turned to the other two girls. "'Fraid I'm not as perceptive as the Doc. Which of you two is Akane?"

"That would be me." She stepped forward and flipped back her veil.

"Akane...You love me, right?"

She tilted her head. "Only as much as you deserve."

Snickers ran around the wedding party. Ranma scratched his head. "Well, your Pop and my Pop, and Tofu for that matter, well, they all kinda think you do."

"And do you love me?"

"Only as much as ya deserve!"

More snickers, and now Akane looked confused. "But my sister told me...and so did Nabiki and Kodachi..." She stopped as realization dawned.

"They told me you were pinin' away for me!"

"And they told me that..." She darkened. "Dad!"

"Oh, come on, Akane!" Soun grinned. "We all know you two have loved each other almost as long as you've known each other!"

"Here's proof!" Tofu held up a scrap of paper. "It's a bad song, but he wrote it for her!"

"Here's more!" Nabiki held up a diary. "Full of stuff about how she loves him!"

There was a pause.

"Nabiki..." Akane swallowed. "That's not a prop."

"I know."

"That's really my diary."

"Yes, I know." She turned to the scriptwriter. "Get that camera moved. No time like the present."

"Nabiki!" Akane was looking desperate.

"Camera two, Nabs?"

"Yes. And for the last time, don't call me—"

"NABIKI!"

"What?" Nabiki turned and looked innocently at her.

"Give me that diary!"

"No, we still need it for a prop." She handed it to Ranma. "Here, hold this a minute, will you?"

"No!" Akane lunged forward, but Ranma danced out of her reach.

"There must be somethin' good in here..." He fumbled with the catch, then looked up. "It's locked!"

Akane took advantage of his distraction to snatch back the diary.

"Hey, Akane. Is that really full of—"

"NO!"

"Methinks the lady doth protest too much," muttered the scriptwriter. "Okay, it's in place."

Nabiki took the diary from the blushing Akane, then stepped back and lowered her veil again. "Okay, from my line. Action."

"Here's more!" Nabiki held up a diary. "Full of stuff about how she loves him!"

There was a pause.

Ranma chuckled. "Looks like we've outsmarted ourselves."

Akane laughed unsteadily. "Well, to tell the truth, I only loved you because I thought you were dying."

"Oh, really?" He grabbed her arms, and pulled her in for a kiss. The wedding party broke out into a chorus of cheers, and when he released her, she gasped for breath.

"Damn, I had no idea you could kiss like that!"

Chuckles ran around the group, and Ranma turned to Tofu. "Seems you were right about me after all."

Tofu nodded. "And I think that this once, you're happy to be wrong."

"Cut! And that's a wrap! Filming on this movie is over!"

Akane jerked back from Ranma's grip, and rapped his head. "Give a girl warning!"

He rubbed his forehead. "Ya read the script, didn't ya?" He turned the other way, to find himself facing Ukyo.

"About that kiss, Ranchan..." She rolled up a sleeve.

Nabiki turned away from the mayhem erupting in the garden. "All right. We've already got most of the stuff digitized. Just have to run the capture on today's shooting, and I can send it all off to the editor."

"Yeah, about that." The scriptwriter tapped his lip with his pen. "How much is that going to set you back?"

"Twelve grand."

"Ouch."

"Yes."

He paused, then said, "What if I could get it done for you, for free?"

She frowned. "I'm listening."

"I've got a buddy in the States who's pretty good at editing digital video. We can fire it across the net as chunks, and he can splice it together for you."

"And what will he charge?"

"Oh, he's willing to do it for fun."

Nabiki's frown deepened. "And why are you suggesting this?"

"Well, it would save you that twelve thousand, right? So you'd win the bet."

She nodded. "Go on."

"I've been keeping track of the budget most carefully, Nabs."

"Don't call me—"

"Oh, I think I will." He grinned. "You see, I know that because of the lost memory on the video card, the damage to the camera—I'm so glad that you dropped it, not me—the wages you had to pay the Amazons, not to mention Ichiro and Jiro...well, after all these expenses, you're going to be over budget. By about three thousand yen."

Nabiki sighed. "How much is Hasegawa paying you?"

"Well, he offered ten thousand. That's about a hundred bucks, where I come from. He can afford it—you wagered the entire budget, as I recall."

"Yes," she said sourly. "And you're willing to walk away from ten grand. Why?"

"Simple." He grinned. "I asked you out for coffee earlier, if you recall. Now, it has to be dinner and a movie. And I'll get Ben to do the editing for free. And who knows? You might discover that you like me more than you admit."

"Ah, I see." She smiled. "Shooting this romantic comedy has gone to your head." She paused. "You know, I've discovered already that I like you more than you thought. You're evil and devious, and I can respect that."

"Good! What time—"

"I'm not done." She raised a hand. "You're devious, but not in my league. I'm nowhere near over budget."

"...Eh?"

"Yes, I had to pay Ichiro, Jiro and Shampoo. I did not have to pay Mousse or Cologne, however."

The scriptwriter's jaw dropped. "But you told me—"

"No, I never did. I believe I mentioned that I had to pay Shampoo, but the other two volunteered. Well, technically," she amended, "Mousse was voluntold. So your estimate of the budget is off by sixteen grand."

"Ouch."

"Yes."

He considered this for a moment, then looked up. "Well, how about dinner and a movie anyway?"

"No. Because you are evil and devious. And Akane was right; you're a pervert, too." She turned. "Akane? I'm done with him now."

"Excellent!" Akane cracked her knuckles and stepped forward.

"And while he enjoys his flight back to Canada, via Air Akane..." She grinned, and tossed the memory chip in her hand. "I have to get ahold of my editor."

-FINIS-

Author's Notes and Ramblings

For those astute readers who noticed, yes, this was an SI fic. But I wrote it from the beginning with the expectation that it would be a bit of a parody of SI fics. The scriptwriter, having no more talents than myself, fares poorly in the Ranmaverse, failing in just about every goal he has.

Except for possibly the writing. If he failed in that, I do apologize to my readers.

I had a lot of fun with this one, despite the writer's block that paralysed me towards the end. And I hope that you, honoured readers, also enjoyed it.