Eat This!

"Just a little bit more kelp and your tofu hot pot should be finished, Ranma!" Akane grinned as Ranma naively entered the kitchen.
"Oh.. Akane.. you didn't have to, really! I'll be fine eating what the rest of the family is eating." Ranma laughed nervously, a sweat drop forming on the back of his head. From out of nowhere, a wooden signboard cut through the air and cut into the wall. Ranma recognized it as one of his fathers' numerous boards, which read, "Eat it like a man.. so we don't have to!"
"Really, it was no trouble and I think this won't make you sick. I've been working really hard and Kasumi's been giving me lessons. Just wait! You'll see, it's great!" Akane beamed.
Looking at that face, Ranma was nearly tricked into believing the meal would be edible, however past experiences showed him the error in his thinking. He tiptoed over to the oven where Akane had been slaving all-day and looked into the pot. The putrid smell of over boiled kelp and tofu subdued his senses yet he could tell Akane had tried to revise the traditional recipe. "There's just a.. *rainbow* of flavor in that pot isn't there?" Ranma asked easing away.
Akane's gleeful face fell. "Well, gee, Ranma, do you *always* say what's on your mind or is this just my lucky day?" she forced a smile through gritted teeth as she held the ladle threateningly.
Ranma felt the upcoming knot on his head forming yet he didn't feel the ladle crashing down on his head. He threw his gaze toward the short- tempered girl to find her scooping some yu-dofu out of the pot.
"Just.. try it." Akane sighed offering the ladle. "Please?"
He could feel the eyes of his father and the rest of the Tendo family on his back as they mentally urged him to eat the concoction. He slowly leaned toward the utensil, a grimace carved on his face, and felt the warm substance slide down his throat.
"What? Too spicy?" Akane questioned frantically as a tear rolled down his face.
"Um.. no, I always cry when I eat curry udon."
Akane's weight shifted onto her right foot disappointedly. "It's miso soup.." she murmured. (A/N: udon are the thickest of noodles and miso is supposed to have thinly sliced noodles and not as spicy)
"Well, the upside is, this is the longest I've stood after eating your cooking." Ranma smiled weakly.
"Did I say something wrong?" Ranma inquired before he collapsed to the floor, a large indention from where the ladle was forced onto his head.
"No.. nothing out of the *ordinary* anyways.." Nabiki sighed shaking her head.

The next day, smoke puffed out of the kitchen in thick billows of grey vapor as a stew set to simmer bubbled in its pot. Akane stood over the brew triumphantly wiping her hands on her stained apron. "Ranmaaaaa!" she sang as she held a steaming bowl of kaki-tama-jiru (Japanese egg drop soup) in shaky hands. She calmly walked to the dining room table where the Tendos and Saotomes sat enjoying dinner, prepared by Kasumi.
Ranma gulped audibly as he nearly broke his chopsticks in apprehension. "I think I'd uh.. *prefer* to, you know.. just eat Kasumi's tempura." Ranma stuttered anxiously. "And live..." he unconsciously added. Akane's eye jerked viciously as she chucked the bowl at Ranma's head. Not only did she succeed in clocking the back of his head but the contents of the bowl spilled all over his stunned form. Her shoulders tensed as stalked back up to her bedroom without eating supper. "THAT is the LAST time he will EVER say ANYTHING like that about my cooking! He will eat my cooking, one way or another!" she vowed through gritted teeth.
It had been a week since Akane had made her proclamation and she had yet to figure out how to carry out her plans. It wasn't until that afternoon at lunch had she discovered a way to force him to eat her cooking.
"Oh, Nabiki, honestly, just try some of the shiitake mushrooms. You're a big girl now, you must eat what is served." Kasumi advised motherly.
"Kasumi, you know I don't like mushrooms. I don't understand why you insist on me eating them." Nabiki sighed.
"How would you know? You haven't tried them yet and besides.. I've been slipping them into the sukiyaki for months now and you liked them well enough." Kasumi smiled. (A/N: Sorry so many interruptions but I'm just explaining things so you know what I'm talking about or actually get the joke lol but sukiyaki is a beef dish with lots of vegetables, it'd be easy to sneak in a few "extra" ingredients.)
"No you haven't, I would have noti-" Nabiki paused in mid sentence. It was true, she had been eating mushrooms all along and Kasumi in her innocent wiles had seduced her into ingesting the very food she loathed yet she hadn't noticed at all. She rather enjoyed it.
Kasumi smiled as everyone eyed her suspiciously. She could be very smooth and discreet.
"Anyway, boy, there's this training ground in Kyoto I want to take you to. It could be a little risky but I'm willing to sacrifice your wellbeing to teach you to be the man among men I promised my young wife some sixteen years ago..." Genma recalled, a tear tracing down his aged face.
Ranma's foot brought Genma's wandering mind back down to Earth as he stomped his head to the ground. "After Jusenkyo and that whole Cat-fu business, I'd think you would have learned by now that *your* ideas end in *me* gettin' into trouble!" Ranma growled through gritted teeth.
"Ranma, you listen to your father, *I* know best!" Genma advised as he bested Ranma into an awkward headlock with him holding Ranma's legs behind his back, his head wedged tightly between his chest and forearm. "I mean, look at the martial artist *I've* grown to be!"
Ranma begrudgingly struggled in his father's arms. As his opponent reared his head back in a guffaw, Ranma saw a tiny opening and busted it wide open. Before Genma knew it, he was sailing through the sky in an arc toward the koi pond and dinner had commenced. "You can't make me go so suck on that, old man!"
"Ah-ha! I got it!" Akane gasped. She began to slowly pick at her dinner, a small smile playing on her face that no one else seemed to notice.
"I guess the only way I can get him to eat it.. is to best him in a fight? But.. how? I couldn't *possibly* beat Ranma! The first time we met, he *crushed* me and he's only gotten better. I mean, he knows so many new and.. *unconventional* techniques. The only way I could beat him would be to use his *own* technique against him. Whatever I do, I must keep it on the sly. There's got to be another way.. unless.." Akane mused as she lay, sprawled on her bed.
"Oh no, she's at it again. It's been weeks.. and that's the third dish she's dropped this *morning*." Nabiki drawled flipping another page of her magazine.
Kasumi sat with the shadow of a grimace on her face as another plate went crashing to the ground.
"Pops, do you think we could go on that training trip now?" Ranma groaned as the thought of either trying another one of Akane's dishes or getting hit with one set in.
"Nope too late." Genma stuck up his nose as he flashed Ranma his sign.
*** Grunts of frustration and anger sounded from the kitchen, sounds which had become common whenever Akane had cooked lately. After one particularly loud shriek, the family decided to sneak out and escape tasting the brew. Steam
sifted through the house as another cry was accompanied with the clanking of pots and pans. Finally, Akane emerged from the ravaged kitchen unscathed and glistening. Fatigue clung to her very being. She lurched up the stairs panting and got her bathing accessories and retired to the bath, soaking her unseen injuries. She had hell to clean up before the rest of the family got home but it was ready. She was ready, she was finally ready.
"Akane, I see you've prepared another dish for Ranma to sample, ne?" Kasumi asked gently.
"Kasumi!" Ranma groused. Kasumi had just signed his death warrant.
"No, actually, I made this for myself." Akane smiled flippantly as she took her usual seat beside Ranma. "There can be no slip ups tonight." Akane thought as dinner was initiated and the Saotomes began to engorge themselves. The dish she had prepared was edible, she was sure. After all, she *had* been practicing and she'd never eat something she wasn't sure of. However, cooking wasn't *all* she had been practicing. She had finally figured out the only way to aid in defeating Ranma. The very technique that would bring him down for sure. It had taken her but a day to figure out what could possibly be done but she had been practicing the technique for weeks now and she finally felt it was time to put her plan into action. With crinkled eyes and upturned lips, she absently picked at her own creation of stuffed squid. She acknowledged the fact that it wasn't Kasumi's cooking but it was adequate enough for her needs. She slowly began increasing the speed at which she picked up her food and waited until the heat of dinner, where Genma and Ranma fought over toppings, before she pushed her speed to the max. Everyone was too enthralled in the daily fight for food that no one noticed Akane's plate clearing up faster than even Genma's.
"Kasumi, I gotta tell ya, I dunno what you've been doing differently but tonight was *delicious*!" Ranma yawned rubbing his stomach, a satisfied grin on his face.
"Why, thank you, Ranma." Kasumi replied. "Man, I'm *stuffed*! I gotta go lay down.." Ranma yawned.
Genma shot him a suspicious glance and suddenly asked, "Ranma, my boy, have you been practicing? I've not come close to filling up.."
"Yes, I noticed that I got half of what I normally scrape up for dinner. Ranma, I commend you on your enthusiasm of the art but ask that next time, think of the rest of us." Soun chimed in.
"Well, I haven't been practicing or doing anything different.." Ranma scratched his head in thought.
"That's impossible, your speed has almost doubled, Ranma. Don't hold out on us, what have you been doing?" Genma questioned as he and Soun began advancing on Ranma.
"No-nothing, I-I swear!" Ranma protested. He found that his moving was handicapped by his recent splurge and therefore made him easy prey.
Nabiki stood up to get a closer look at the inevitable fight while Kasumi put her hands up to her mouth. "Please, not in the house!" Kasumi cried.
Akane sat at the dining room table, hands folded neatly in her lap, with a weak smile on her face. "All it takes, is a few more dinners of me sneaking in my cooking with Kasumi's and he'll be ready for a full dish of mine in no time." She whispered as the effects of her training slowly began to take its toll. "But curse the effects of the Parlay Du Foie Gras..."

Finito! A/N: Well I hope you enjoyed it, I wonder if any of you knew what she was going to do from the start but nonetheless please review, I love CONSTRUCTIVE criticism lol but flames welcomed too. As always, none of the characters are actually mine.