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Akane had equipment duty today after Physical Education class, and the other girls were already showering and getting dressed while she and Sakimano Ura hurriedly stowed away athletic gear. Akane had never liked Ura, and for someone that got along with most of her female classmates, that was saying a lot. Ura was, not to put too fine a point on it, huge and mannish. A fan of professional wrestling, Ura worked out with weights constantly, and she had bulked up well. But what disturbed Akane was the way Ura looked at her and some of the other, cuter girls. A hunger burned in her eyes that forced the role of loner on the large girl for no one was especially comfortable having that gaze turned upon them.

However, Akane's mind was overwhelmed with the need for haste. She briefly considered skipping a shower, but a quick whiff of her own aroma decided otherwise. She finished putting away equipment and dashed into the girls' shower, shedding her gym clothes along the way. Her hand slapped the knob for the water, and she grabbed the soap and quickly built up lather on her front. She threw out a goodbye to the last of the other girls as they walked out and headed for class, and Akane was about to wash her back when she was abruptly lifted and pressed against the tiled wall.

Momentarily disoriented by the unexpected event, she floundered, giving her assailant time to thoroughly trap her.

"HEY!!" she yelled.

Her shoulders and thighs were pressed firmly against the wall, and with her feet dangling off the floor, she couldn't get any leverage to press away and turn. She wrenched her head around as far as it would go and saw...

"URA?! WHA...? LET ME GO— AAAH!!"

Now that her head had turned, Ura's hot breath pulsed against the side of Akane's face. The large girl roughly tongued Akane's ear, and one of Ura's knees pressed up between Akane's legs a short way, forcing them apart.

"URA!!" Akane began to cry. "Please, Ura, don't do th-this..." She choked on her sobs.

Being as fit as she was meant that Akane's body had no appreciable fat to fill in the natural gap between her body and the wall where the tops of her thighs joined her pelvis. Combined with the soap Akane had already used on her front, it was enough for Ura to worm both hands inward and down.

Sobbing in great gulps, Akane thrashed, but Ura was too strong and kept her pinned against the wall while she sloppily kissed and licked Akane's face, ear, and neck and violated more private areas with her fingers. Shame and self-disgust washed through the heir to the Tendou Ryuu, as she felt her body begin to respond to the rough treatment.

"NOO!!" Akane thrashed harder.

Ura's left foot slipped on the slick tile but stopped after twelve inches or so. Akane's feet met the ground—it was enough.

Twisting violently, Akane elbowed Ura solidly on the side of the head. Off balance, Ura's feet went out from under her, and she fell to the floor, twisting awkwardly to avoid it but landing on her back anyway. She cracked the back of her skull on the old, cast-iron grate of the floor drain and lolled, groggy from the blow. Akane put her out for the count with a kick to the jaw.

Stumbling through a quick rinse, Akane barely toweled off before dressing and leaving the showers. Still sobbing, she staggered out into the sunshine, looked at the school, and then ran, jumping the wall and disappearing into the city.

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Chrysalides

A Ranma ½ Fanfiction
by
Sinom Bre

Disclaimer and Acknowledgments at the end.

I have little time to respond to email, but if you have constructive criticisms of substance, I may be reached at sinom_bre@yahoo.com. Otherwise, please make use of the Review function at Fanfiction.net—I will see your general comments there. Inanity, grousing, flames, and statements of purely personal Ranma ½ character and characterization bias will be ignored. Have a nice day! :)

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Chapter One - Butterflies in Brazil

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A strange sight greeted Nabiki, as she stepped into the tearoom. Akane fumed about something at the table, which wasn't so strange as she had been on an anti-pervert jag for over a month. It was harsh even for Akane, Nabiki thought, and the middle daughter wondered what had set her off all those weeks back, but the object of true interest sat on the engawa with several squeeze bottles full of water to either side of him. Nabiki paused, watching. After a few seconds, Ranma picked up a bottle from his right, lifted it over his head, and squeezed. Water squirted over his head, changing him to his female form. She cocked her head, and then set the bottle down. After another few seconds, she picked up a bottle from her left and repeated the action, this time shifting to male. Nabiki rightly surmised that the bottles on the left contained hot water. She sauntered out to him.

"Just what are you doing, Ranma-kun?"

Ranma cast a suspicious glance at her. "Why do you want to know?"

"Because I always want to know everything. You should know that, by now." She smirked at him and sat down on a dry area of the engawa.

He blinked and then, much to her surprise, actually laughed. "I guess that's right enough. Heh!"

They both heard Akane growl from the tearoom.

"What's got her so happy?" Nabiki asked softly.

Ranma frowned and cast a hurt look at Akane. "Nothin'. The usual. I'm the 'biggest pervert in the world' 'cause I tried to hold her hand when I was a girl."

Nabiki rolled her eyes. "Whatever. Anyway, what are you doing?"

He still had the bottle of hot water in his hand, and he studied it a moment, watching the liquid slosh back and forth. "I started noticin' something whenever I would change," he finally said. "It's really hard to describe. Sorta like a flash of light in the corner of your eye, but it's in my whole body... I dunno..."

"Hmmm... Well, whatever it is, I'm sure you'll figure it out." She got to her feet and patted him on the shoulder in passing.

"Thanks, Nabiki."

"A freebie, Saotome."

He laughed again and went back to shifting forms.

"ARGH!!! I can't get it!" Finally out of water, Ranma gathered up his bottles and stalked back into the house.

Akane had left for the doujou at some point, and Nabiki had left and returned since their earlier conversation and busied herself doing homework. She looked up as Ranma passed by. "Why is it so important?"

Ranma stopped and his eyes became unfocussed for a moment. "I have my reasons," he said and then left the room. "I'm goin' out," he called from the foyer.

Nabiki watched him leave, frowning, but a chime from her pocket interrupted her musings, and she yanked out her cell phone-cum-personal organizer. "Damn! I've got to run." She gathered up her work, dashed upstairs, and then back down with her purse, quickly leaving through the front door.

"There's your pound 'a flesh, bitch. Hope you choke on it..." The young man walked away into the crowd at the entrance of the alley, muttering.

Nabiki did not immediately bend down to collect the scattered pile of yen the Furinkan senior had tossed at her—she was too busy re-establishing her calm and pulling down her skirt over her crooked panties. After a few minutes, she managed to finally work the last crease out of her face and some of the soreness out of her wrists that the young man had pinned above her head. Only then would she allow herself to stoop and retrieve the last payment of the boy's long delinquent loan.

In a small café a short distance from Furinkan, Nabiki sat in the last booth, almost invisible, and quietly allowed herself to go to pieces.

Some thirty minutes later, she finally signaled the waitress. The tea du jour was some hideous herbal raspberry thing, so she ordered a cappuccino. It was as expensive as a full meal in Japan, but Nabiki indulged herself as she considered the events of the evening and the senior that had threatened her with... she couldn't even say the word in her head just yet.

Matsuhiro Ryu was over-tall for a Japanese male, standing at some six foot and three inches. He was over muscular. He was very strong. If his father weren't reasonably well to do, he'd have 'future yakuza thug' written all over him. As it was, Ryu was still no feast for the sociably sensible. He was large and usually in charge, and he knew it and made sure everyone around him knew it.

If the boy had been thinking, he might have realized that threatening Nabiki with... that wasn't really a good idea. Neither debtor nor loaner had illusions about how Ryu would stand up to even her little sister, possibly the weakest of the Neriman martial artists. Akane would've grabbed him by the short-and-curlies and lifted him one-handed into the air while berating him for messing with a Tendou before ripping his manhood out from the roots. Nabiki had seen her toss stone lanterns far outweighing Ryu with minimal effort. Unfortunately, Nabiki was not Akane, and she really didn't want to be.

Nabiki looked at the clock on the wall. It was late. She abruptly tossed down the rest of her cappuccino—she knew she'd suffer the caffeine shakes for having done so—and paid her bill and left.

The gate to the Tendou compound creaked shut behind her, and Nabiki trudged the short distance to the house. After her experience with Ryu, she'd been edgy and watchful of every male she'd passed on the sidewalk. That, coupled with the caffeine overdose, had really wrenched her nerves. A noise from the doujou made her pause. "Probably Ranma..." she muttered.

An intense urge to be in the martial artist's presence came over her out-of-the-blue, but out of habit she forced herself to analyze why. Ranma had a supreme philosophical difficulty with hitting girls; ergo, Ranma wouldn't hurt her. In fact, and despite everything she might have done to him, Ranma would go out of his way to see that she was safe if threatened. She needed that right now, she realized. She needed at least a few moments of feeling safe to get herself reoriented, to regain her balance. Her feet led her off of the front walk and around the house to the doujou.

She slid open the shoji and peered into the dark practice hall. Something's wrong, she thought to herself. Her eyes tracked around until she found a darker blob against one wall. "Ranma?"

The figure jumped and then turned to face away. "Go 'way, Nabiki," onna-Ranma's voice croaked. "I ain't in the mood."

Nabiki stepped through the door and slid it closed behind her, the wood frame sighing as it moved in the track. He must've really been out of it to not hear the door open. "Funny you should say that, Saotome... Neither am I."

"Huh?"

It wasn't hard for Nabiki to imagine Ranma blinking over at her. "Never mind. It's not important. Just thought I'd come in and sit for a little while."

"Oh." Ranma sucked back a full nose.

She made her way next to the redhead and then slid down the wall to sit on the floor. Digging in her purse, she came up with a clean handkerchief among the dirty ones. "Here."

Ranma's eyes burned into the side of her head, and as her eyes adjusted to the darkness of the room, Nabiki could now see Ranma's hand tentatively reach out, pause, and then take the handkerchief. "... Thanks."

"Don't mention it... Ever."

The martial artist laughed weakly and proceeded to blow disgusting amounts of fluid out of her head. "I'll, uh... wash it and give it back later."

Nabiki held her peace for a few heartbeats then squeaked, giggled, and finally burst into laughter. It was infectious, and Ranma followed suit two seconds later. After a good bout of almost hysterical release, the two girls calmed down, breathing heavily, and then fell to silence.

"So, Ranma..."

"Hmmm?"

"What's wrong?"

The air in the room suddenly felt several tons heavier. "Don't wanna talk about it." She blew her nose again. "What's wrong with you?"

"Who said anything was wrong with me?"

Ranma snorted. "You were edgy and wired up—"

"I had a cappuccino way too late in the evening."

"—and when you sat down, you stank of fear. You still do a little bit."

Nabiki momentarily froze. "What?!" she asked, her voice strident.

"Something scared you just not too long ago. I can smell it."

"Bull."

Ranma rolled her eyes, but Nabiki only heard her loudly breathe in exasperation. "How do you think they came up with that sayin', 'stink of fear'? It's 'cause when you're scared, your body makes different chemicals and because you're scared, you sweat 'em out! Ask any martial artist who's been in a bad fight with a weaker opponent. When they realize they're way overmatched, you can smell their fear."

"Seriously?"

"Yup. Ask your dad. He'll know what I'm talkin' about."

"Weird... I thought I would've heard of something like that." She felt Ranma shrug next to her.

"So who scared ya?"

Nabiki sat quiet, not saying anything, but Ranma didn't press her. She blew her nose again.

"That's really disgusting, Saotome."

"Sorry... So who did it?"

"What's got the big, bad martial artist in tears?" Nabiki countered, a little annoyed.

Ranma sucked back her runny nose again. "None of your biz..."

"Then my problems aren't any of yours."

Nothing was said for a moment, and then both girls sighed out loud at the same time, stopped, and then erupted into giggles and laughter. "This is beginning to feel like a broken record," Nabiki said.

"Yeah..."

"I'll tell you what," Nabiki said. "I'll tell you mine if you tell me yours."

"Why should I go first?"

"What? Don't trust me?" She was the essence of offended sensibility.

"Come on, Nabiki..."

Nabiki sighed. "In one way I am exactly like you, Saotome. I keep my word. The difference between us is that I rarely give it... or rather, I don't give it out carelessly."

"Huh... I guess so." Ranma turned and looked at her in the darkness. "Why are you being so nice?"

Nabiki fought down a sudden rising tide of emotion. "I am not nice... Consider yourself lucky for the evening and leave it at that."

"That guy must've really rattled your cage. What'd he do?"

Despite her control, what there was left of it at the moment, the entire event forcefully replayed itself in Nabiki's mind at the unintentional trigger of Ranma's question. Her composure groaned, cracked, and shattered, and the complete release of her pent-up emotions came boiling out in wracking sobs.

"Whoa! WHOA! Nabiki?!"

"DAMN IT!!" Nabiki yelled and continued to cry.

Ranma reached out, hesitated, repeated the process, and then finally blew air up into her bangs before reaching over and gathering Nabiki into her arms. Nabiki buried her face in Ranma's bosom and wrapped her arms around the redhead's back. Ranma just irregularly and uncomfortably patted her.

After several minutes, Nabiki finally quieted, and Ranma said, "Who was it?"

She coughed a couple of times. "Matsuhiro Ryu." She pounded a weak fist on Ranma's collarbone. "I was so stupid!!"

"That big oaf?! What'd he do?"

Nabiki's internal alarms went off—she was far too comfortable in Ranma's arms—but she ignored it for the moment because her other needs were greater. "He... I let him set the meeting place... in an alley..."

"Yeah, not too smart."

"Gee, thanks."

Ranma ignored her retort. "Go on."

She sniffled. "He was really overdue on a loan." She paused, gathering her courage. "He... He threw the money at me and put his hands on me... He lifted my skirt... and got his hand inside... my panties... I couldn't stop him!" A fresh spate of tears erupted, and she buried her face in Ranma's bosom again.

"Oooh, he is sooo toast," Ranma growled. "A greasy smear. I'm gonna break every bone in his body... twice!!"

"He... He didn't get to finish, Ranma. A big group walked by the alley entrance, and it spooked him."

"Okay. Every bone just once, then."

Ranma continued to hold her for several minutes, and then Nabiki leaned back a little and turned around. Ranma made to release her, but she grabbed the redhead's hands, leaned back against her, and brought the hands around her waist. "If you tell anybody about this, I'll make your life a living hell, Ranma."

"Uh..."

"But for now... Just hold me. I'll be okay... shortly."

"Um... Right."

"So now it's your turn. What's wrong with you?"

Ranma's fists clenched and relaxed rhythmically. "I hate this curse..."

"Hmmm... I was thinking you were getting used to it."

"I was... but now..." Ranma blew out a breath of air, ruffling Nabiki's hair. "This is so embarrassing..."

Nabiki raised a hand. "I swear not to tell a soul. I owe you that much for, er, being here for me right now."

Ranma paused yet again but stuttered through the beginning of an explanation. "My, er... girl side is, um... er..."

"Is what?"

The redhead grunted. "...is 'you know'... all the time."

"I know?' Nabiki blinked. "What the hell does that mean?"

"You knooow..." Ranma squirmed from side to side, as if trying to mime her meaning.

"Itchy? Has ants in her pants? Wants to lambada?"

"Gah!"

"Dry skin? Horny? Has worm—"

"YEAH! That one, er..."

"Ewww, Saotome."

"HEY! It's not like I can help it!"

"Go to the doctor. Get some medicine! Worms are icky."

"Uh... HUH?!"

Nabiki sighed and felt like pinching the bridge of her nose. "If you've got worms, go to the—"

"GAH! No, I ain't got no worms!"

"Well, what then?!"

"Um... the one before that. What you said..."

Almost at the end of her tether, Nabiki thought back to what she'd said. "Horny?!"

"Um... yeah."

"Your girl side is horny?" Nabiki said querulously.

"Yeah. All the time, seems like."

"Um... Right." She breathed deeply, in and out, once and tried to figure out what to say. "Okay. I mean, um... Right. I'm guessing that since you are completely a girl in body when you're like this, your brain is, er, hardwired for finding guys attractive, so I don't think—

"No shit?! It's 'cause I got a girl brain right now?!"

"Ranma," Nabiki said in her usual drawl, "how could it really be otherwise? I mean, I know you're a guy all the time, as you put it, but you've been relaxing a lot about your girl form, and it seems only logical that the more you stay in it, the more you give that body time to work on your, um... desires, I guess. We're talking hormones, here, and that's powerful stuff." Feeling like she had a good handle on Ranma's problem, she shifted her position a little to one more comfortable. "I wouldn't worry about it, if I were you. Just so long as you just window shop and don't intend to buy." The smirk in her voice was plain to hear.

"Huh... Wow... I can't believe it."

"What's not to believe?"

"No, no, what I mean is... I feel better about it! It makes sense! Wow, thanks, Nabiki-chan... ... Er..."

For some bizarre reason, Nabiki's face felt hot. "Um, anyway... You find girls attractive even when you're a girl because you're really a guy on the inside. Your established pattern carries over."

"Um... No... That's not how it's working... really...."

Nabiki sighed. I should've known. "All right. What else?"

"My guy side... doesn't seem to feel anything at all."

She turned in Ranma's arms and looked over her shoulder at the again distraught girl. "What?"

"It's like night and day. It's all the girl side can think about. The guy side doesn't seem all that interested."

Nabiki blinked and turned back around to think. "That's completely backwards for the way I think it should be."

"Why's that?" Ranma asked nervously.

"Because men reach their sexual peak a lot earlier than women do... like ten years earlier or more."

"Oh..."

Biting her lip, Nabiki considered her next words and unconsciously entwined her fingers with Ranma's. "I think... I think you should go see a doctor about that, Saotome. Seriously. It doesn't make any sense for both of your sides not to, ah, wake up sexually, if you will, at the same time. You're the same person, more or less. Maybe there's something, um, well, wrong with your guy side that isn't affecting your girl side... or something like that. It could be a really simple thing, but you won't know if you don't go."

"Crap," she muttered. "I hate doctors..."

"Still, Ranma, I wouldn't put this off. Besides, you liked Toufuu-sensei well enough."

"Well, sure! Toufuu-sensei was a martial artist, and he understood things about curses and stuff. Some other quack might try to cut me just to see how it works!" She sighed. "I really miss Toufuu-sensei. He was seriously cool... except when Kasumi came around."

Giggling again, Nabiki untwined her fingers from Ranma's, still not noticing what she'd done, and struggled to her feet. "Come up to my room. I have his address. He's in Yokohama."

"Wow! Thanks!" Ranma hopped to her feet, and Nabiki couldn't help but notice how much the life had just suddenly returned to her sister's fiancé. Something fluttered in her stomach, but she ignored it, electing instead to savor the uncustomary, and rather nice, sensation of cheering up someone.

They closed the doujou and walked into the house, but since everyone else had since retired for the evening, so they made it to Nabiki's room without being accosted. Nabiki opened a drawer at her desk and pulled out a business card notebook. She rifled through the pages, pulled out one card, and scribbled the address on a notepad. She returned the notebook to her drawer and ripped off the page from the pad, handing it to Ranma.

"Don't wait too long, Ranma. Something about this feels off to me, like maybe someone's done something to you... maybe. It just doesn't sound like what should be happening."

"Yeah... I was starting to wonder about that, too." Ranma shrugged and sighed. "Tomorrow's Saturday, and we only have a half-day. I may hit the train right after. Sounds like two, maybe three hours there."

Nabiki nodded.

"Well, time to hit the hay."

Ranma made to leave, but Nabiki rose quickly, some indefinable urge bringing her to her feet. "Ranma..."

The redhead stopped and turned. "Yeah?"

Nabiki fidgeted for a second. "This isn't easy for me, but, um... Thanks... for listening. It meant a lot to me... ... And I never said that so don't go telling anybody."

Ranma's smile was, as always, breathtaking, and she stepped back towards the other girl and hugged her. "Thanks from me, too."

Ranma?! Hugging?! What is the world coming to? But Nabiki returned it briefly before pulling back. However, when they locked eyes again, they held. Something vibrated down in the pit of Nabiki's stomach, making her swallow in nervousness. Maybe it was the vulnerability she was still feeling after almost being... raped. Maybe it was a new chink in her otherwise thick emotional armor, a hole in her guard that Ranma might have slipped through tonight. And maybe it was just Ranma, looking up at her with those large, luminous, expectant, and obviously curious blue eyes. Whatever it was, Nabiki felt like someone else was controlling her, as she leaned forward, her eyes fluttering closed, and took Ranma's lips with hers.

The lips quickly added tongues, and hands began to roam, and then a steady backward motion to Nabiki's bed ensued. Clothes dropped to the floor sporadically until both women stood naked, still locked in that eternal kiss, hands finding increasingly interesting places to linger. Nabiki guided them down to the bed, Ranma underneath her, and pulled the sheet over them both.

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The faintest light of morning lit Nabiki's window when Ranma awakened. Her body still felt like hot, melted rubber, but she realized that if she didn't make tracks, things would get ugly quick. She untangled herself from Nabiki's warm body and stopped a moment to admire the sight. There was a peace on Nabiki's face when she slept that one never saw when the girl was awake. Memories of the night before burned through her brain, and she shivered. No, no dallying. Time to go. She gathered her shirt, pants, and boxers and crept out of the room and back into the one she shared with her father.

The panda snored like a buzzsaw and didn't flinch in the slightest at the intrusion. Some martial artist... she thought wryly. Ranma put her clothes back on and then slapped her forehead, taking off her pants again before crawling onto the futon. She went almost immediately to sleep, and any guilt she would likely develop for her spontaneous tryst with her fiancee's sister was forced to wait. Ranma rolled over, a small smile on her face.

Kasumi had already been up thirty minutes. She'd cleaned the tearoom and was about to return to the kitchen, when she heard an unexpected creak upstairs. She'd lived in this house long enough to know that it was in Nabiki's room, and she almost went on, but the creak moved out into the hall, went down the hall to the guestroom, and went into that room before going silent.

An eyebrow went up on her face.

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"Ranma, what are you doing?" Akane stood behind him, arms crossed.

Ranma sat on the sill of the third-floor classroom window, looking down at the departing students. The noontime sun cast a shadow-less, stark brightness onto the school yard. "Waiting for somebody," he said quietly.

"Who?"

"Matsuhiro Ryu."

Akane blinked. "What in the world do you need that idiot for?"

Three seconds of silence. "I'm gonna deal out some pain."

That was the last thing she'd expected to hear from him, and it floored her. "Um... What for?"

He finally turned and looked at Akane with uncharacteristically hard eyes, although something suspiciously like shame and guilt flashed across his face. "He... He tried to force himself on... someone I know. Sorry, Akane, but that's all I can tell you... It's not my place."

"I... I understand... Completely. Give him a kick for me."

He barked a serious laugh. "Count on it." He turned back, looked down, "There he is..." and disappeared from the windowsill.

Akane ran forward in time to see Ranma land directly behind Ryu, grab him by the belt, lift him off the ground, and bound off as if he carried nothing more than a bag of groceries. Ryu cursed and flailed his arms and legs, but to no avail and they disappeared over the school wall.

Doctor Hinamura Souichiro jogged slowly down the sidewalk, two local handlers from the small warehouse across the street from the Nerima clinic following with a stretcher. He'd received an anonymous call, saying his services and the stretcher would be needed and where. Hinamura-sensei thought he recognized the voice as belonging to that bizarre Saotome boy, but he wasn't sure. He'd treated the boy twice, and when the doctor had mentioned that some of his colleagues might be interested in studying the curse, he'd never seen the boy again nor any of the Tendou family, for that matter. He sighed. It was a stupid thing to do and lost him the trust of important people. Tendou Soun was a pillar of the community, and the Tendou doujou something of a landmark in these parts. That kind of thing could force a doctor to relocate. Ah, well...

He found the alley in question, noticed a few small-denomination yen bills lying on the ground to one side, and then saw the Matsuhiro boy at the end of the alley. He was literally black-and-blue, and a sign hung from his neck. Hinamura-sensei strode forward to where he could read "Attempted Rapist" in large kanji, followed by smaller kanji and katakana detailing what had been done to his person. Every large muscle group severely bruised, two dislocated shoulders, two black eyes, a broken nose, a broken jaw, and severely bruised "nuts", to use the term on the sign. Hinamura sighed and straightened, motioning his helpers forward.

"Well, Matsuhiro-kun, looks like you've been a bad boy, but we'll fix you up. Yes, indeed. But I have to warn you... Ohhh, is it ever going to be painful."

The barely conscious boy drooled as tears fell from his eyes. The handlers openly growled at him and were none too gentle in dumping him on the stretcher.

Yes, Hinamura mused, Tendou-ke took care of matters, both within themselves and often in the community. Matsuhiro-kun would be ruined by this and probably have to move, but there was no need to involve the authorities at all, thank the kami—the harmony of the community would be maintained. He would also send a note along to the Saotome boy, he decided, carefully worded with an acknowledgment that he'd taken care of things along with an apology. A lot of residents followed the Tendou patriarch's lead, and with any luck, he could get back in the family's good graces and keep his practice full of paying patients.

As they trudged slowly back to the clinic, no one made any effort to obscure the sign that now hung to one side in full view of all pedestrians.

End Chapter One



Ranma ½ is the property of Takahashi Rumiko and her corporate affiliates: Kitty TV, Fuji, Shounen Sunday, and Shogakukan in Japan, and Viz Communications in North America. This work of fanfiction is for free entertainment purposes only. No compensation has been or will be received for its composition.

Appreciation goes to Latin_D, MageOhki, and Rakhal Stormwarden for comments and spot reading along the way. Apologies to my usual prereaders—I just don't have the energy for that process right now.

Chrysalides owes its inspiration to a number of Ranma fanfics that have gone before. Here is a list of those I can think of off the top of my head, although the influence of some of these won't be apparent until later chapters:

1. Always The Taming of the Horse and Centaur, by Vincent Seifert, whose knowledge, insights, and views on the Ranma universe continue to shape my own writing. He has my eternal thanks and my deepest respect. Ribbit!
2. newRanma, by Chris Jones
3. Kikuko, by Cloud Dreamer
4. Comes the Cold Dragon and Spreading Wings, by Donald Granberry
5. Cat Scratch Fever and Source of Pride, by Metroanime, AKA Gregg Sharp

More to this list as they occur to me.