Disclaimer: I do not own Ranma ½ or any of its characters. The characters that I made up for this fic are my own, as is the plot.
Author's Notes: Okay, let's kick this baby off. Never done a Ranma fic before, but what the hell, eh? Now several of the ideas in this fic do occur elsewhere in Ranma fanfiction. I know because I've seen them, and was annoyed that I wasn't the first to think of them. I will admit to one minor idea that I did get from another fic. But I can safely say this is probably the only fic where you can find them all in one place. Hehe.
Since this was written for fun and not for continuity, it splits off from the main manga storyline about…halfway through? Somewhere around there, anyway. And Akari isn't in it, since I'm not familiar enough with her character to portray her accurately. Pretend she doesn't exist.
Also, this first storyline is a spoof of a famous movie. Try to guess which one. ^_^
That's about it. I hope you enjoy this story, since from what I've planned out I sure expect to enjoy writing it.
IT'S MY BIRTHDAY, YOU JERK!
Tendo Kasumi was humming a tune to herself as she tidied the kitchen. Tendo Soun and Saotome Genma were playing a game of go. None of them were really conscious of the time. The were abruptly reminded when the youngest Tendo daughter burst through the front door yelling, presumably at her boisterous fiancé.
"Just forget about it and leave me alone, you jerk!"
Ranma's voice followed soon after, confirming suspicions.
"I don't even know what you're yellin' about!" he declared. "What'm I supposed to forget?"
Akane made an angry growling noise. "If you don't know, then there's no point in telling you. It's not like you'll care, anyway."
By this time they had made their way into the house, and Kasumi had come out of the kitchen to see what the matter was. They were at each other's throats again, so despite how much she wished for them to get along, she knew better than to interfere.
"Look, you stupid tomboy," Ranma was yelling, "Did it ever occur to you that whatever it is, I might not have done it on purpose? Just tell me what the big deal is! Why was Kunou actin' weirder than usual? And what was everyone else actin' all different for? You even got out of standing in hall when we were late this morning! What's going on?"
Kasumi brought her hand to her mouth and made a small noise of sympathy, unheard by the two that were arguing. Now she knew what was wrong.
Akane looked deeply hurt, and her eyes began to shimmer with tears in the few moments it took her to respond.
"It's my birthday, you jerk!"
With that, she turned on her heel and sped up the stairs, slamming the door to her room behind her. Ranma was left standing motionless in the entryway with a dumb look on his face.
* * *
Ranma paced in his room, fretting over what he should do. Akane was really upset. And for good reason, he supposed. After all, he had forgotten her birthday. But then, could it really be called forgetting if he had never known in the first place? No one had ever told him when it was. He hadn't ever really thought about it. Of course he couldn't say that, as it was the reason she was upset in the first place.
His father had come upstairs to scold him for making his fiancé cry, followed shortly after by Akane's father, berating him for hurting his little girl's feelings. Kasumi had come by after trying to cheer Akane up and attempted to do the dame for him. It didn't work. The only one in the household he hadn't heard from yet was Nabiki, but he was expecting a ribbing later on. Most likely at dinner when he couldn't escape from her.
He heard a resounding thump, and realized it must have been Akane hitting something in her room – most likely the floor or the wall. Akane wasn't prone to destroying her own property in fits of temper. Just other people's.
He just wished she would let him talk to her. He'd followed her up to her room after the initial shock of her revelation wore off, but she'd screamed at him to go away. Not exactly a novel occurrence, but it didn't make him feel any better. The more he thought about it now, the more aggravated he got. His pacing picked up. Honestly, how was he supposed to know it was her birthday? He hadn't even remembered…
That was it! If he played it right, he had a way to make Akane forgive him. Now all he had to worry about was getting her to listen long enough for him to get it out.
* * *
Akane cried into her pillow, disgusted with herself for doing so. She'd told herself she wouldn't cry over something so stupid, but that jerk had to keep pushing and pushing. Every time it was like he was driving it home just how little he thought of her.
She found it incredibly hard to believe that after all the events of the day he hadn't figured it out. Besides, he and his father had been living in Nerima for nearly a year now and she hadn't had a birthday yet. Did he expect her to be sixteen forever?
It's not as if she wanted him to buy her a gift or anything, or even something as ridiculous as sing that silly American birthday song. Just a little recognition would have been nice. But he'd made it abundantly clear that it and by extension she didn't matter to him in the least.
Just then there was a knock at the door. She jerked her head up quickly, and was about to yell at Ranma to go away when she remembered that Kasumi had come up before as well, and she didn't want to yell at her sister. So instead she called, "Who is it?"
"Akane, it's me." Ranma. "I wanna talk to you."
"Well I don't want to talk to you!" she yelled, perhaps louder than really necessary. As she sprang up from her bed, her eyes drifted guiltily to the fist-shaped dent in the wall. Perhaps her temper was too strong for her own good. "Just go away!" she hollered, although not as violently as before.
"Akane, I'm sorry I forgot about your birthday. Nobody ever told me when it was, anyway. Not even you."
She blinked. Was that true? She didn't remember ever telling Ranma when her birthday was, but that didn't necessarily mean she never had. Besides, the jerk still should have figured it out.
"If it makes you feel any better," he plowed on, "I forgot my birthday, too."
That stopped her thoughts completely. His birthday? She hadn't even considered that. And wasn't that what she was accusing him of? And he forgot? His own birthday? How could anyone forget his own birthday? Anger forgotten, she walked to the door and slowly opened it, finding him on the other side looking like he really was sorry. For once.
"So you're finally gonna talk to me, then?" His tone was a bit calloused, but she didn't seem to notice.
"You forgot your own birthday?" She still couldn't really believe it. She felt bad for him, even though mere moments ago she had been furious with him.
"Well, yeah," he said, scratching the back of his head. "I mean, we never made a big deal out of it on the road and all. I know when it is, but I always seem to notice about a week after or something. It's no big deal."
"So when was it?" she asked.
Ranma was confused. Wasn't she angry with him? The conversation had gone in an entirely different direction than he'd anticipated. Sure, he'd wanted to make her feel better by letting her know that her birthday was no less important to him than his own, but now she seemed to be focusing on it.
"Um…" he thought for a moment. "About two weeks ago. Remember that day when Mousse thought Kodachi was Shampoo, and she thought he was me because he'd disguised himself?" Akane nodded, giggling slightly at the memory. That had been a very strange day. "Well that was my seventeenth birthday," Ranma continued. "I didn't even realize it until I fought Kunou the other day and he made some comment about my age."
"Ranma, I didn't…I didn't realize." Not for the first time – although it was still definitely a rare occurrence – Akane felt bad for getting angry at her fiancé.
"Hey, like I said," he waved it off, "it's no big deal."
"To you, maybe. But I think it's horrible that you've never gotten to enjoy your birthday. And I'm sorry for getting so angry with you."
Now something was definitely amiss. She was sorry for getting angry with him? He desperately wanted to exploit this somehow, but – to his great fortune, to be sure – he was unable to think of a way to do that. Instead he just stared dumbfounded at the girl in front of him, wondering what was going to happen next.
"I'll tell you what," Akane said with a trace of a smirk…or was it a smile? He couldn't tell. "I'll forgive you if you let us celebrate your birthday with mine tonight."
He certainly wasn't expecting that. Why was she being so nice all of a sudden?
"It's just a simple little western-style celebration. My mother always liked to do them that way. Kasumi baked a cake and everything. You'll be there, right?"
It took him a few seconds to regain his cognitive functions and formulate a reply.
"Sure, Akane," he said, trying his best to show her a genuine smile. "I'll be there."
"Promise?" She was just teasing him now.
"Promise." He didn't really mind.
* * *
Ranma cursed his horrible luck. Of all the days to go out for a walk. He just wanted to step outside for a bit and maybe get some air. He'd even considered maybe buying Akane a gift. Nothing big, of course, it wasn't as if it was a big deal or anything. He just didn't want her to be upset with him again over something so small, and she was being awfully nice by offering to share her birthday with him.
He never got the opportunity, though. Not ten minutes after he left the house, Ryouga leapt out of nowhere like he always did and attacked him. Apparently word had gotten around that Ranma had forgotten Akane's birthday, and the lost boy was not happy with the fact. Ranma had no idea how Ryouga had come across this bit of information, as he hadn't seen his rival in either form for over a week.
Explaining himself proved futile, so after a quick skirmish Ranma managed to lose Ryouga on the labyrinthine streets of Nerima. Next came Shampoo.
The young Amazon girl had landed on him with her bicycle again while he'd been making his way back to his own neighborhood. The only reason he'd escaped from her at all was that Mousse happened upon them and attacked him. Shampoo had quickly grown bored and continued on with her delivery.
After dispatching Mousse quickly, Ranma managed to catch the time from a clock in a store window. A lot of time had been wasted. As it was, he'd barely make it back in time for the start of the festivities; forget about buying a present. That's when Kodachi ambushed him.
So there he was, paralyzed and being dragged off to who-knew-where with Kodachi cackling away, and he could only imagine the horrible things that awaited him when he finally returned home.
* * *
Where was he? Dinner should have started ten minutes ago, but he wasn't home yet. She wouldn't let them start until he got there. After all, he'd said he would come. He very rarely missed meals anyway, and this time was special. He had to come.
"Akane-chan?" Kasumi approached her younger sister. "Are you sure he's coming?"
Akane nodded. "He said he would. Besides, this is for his birthday too, remember? He'd forgotten all about it. It's sad."
"Yes, I understand," Kasumi offered her a reassuring smile. "But father and Saotome-ojiisan are getting anxious. I think they're very hungry."
Akane managed a weak smile in return. "Okay, Oneechan. Can we wait just ten more minutes? If he's not back by then, let's eat."
He was not back by then. In fact, dinner was over and Ranma still had not returned. Akane's disappointment had evolved into concern and then finally anger. What was that jerk doing? Did he forget? Was it really that unimportant to him? They'd just talked about it a few hours ago!
Well, it serves him right, she thought bitterly as she finished off the last of her meal – Kasumi had made sukiyaki as it was a favorite of both Ranma and Akane – I guess he'll just miss out on all of Kasumi's great cooking.
"Shall I serve the cake now, then?" Kasumi asked. Everyone sans Akane seemed excited.
"Sure, why not?" Nabiki offered. "What's to wait for, ne?"
"Agreed," Genma said. "I can't imagine what that ungrateful son of mine is doing. Serve the cake, Kasumi-chan, and fine by me if he misses out."
"Oh, my poor daughter is upset on her birthday!" Soun wailed.
"It's okay, daddy," Akane tried to comfort him. "I really couldn't care less if that jerk was here or not." She added an indignant snort for emphasis.
"Coulda fooled me," Nabiki said nonchalantly.
"Oh, be quiet!" Akane snapped. It was at that moment that Kasumi brought in the cake.
It was a lovely cake, in the shape of P-chan. It had seventeen candles on it, in keeping with western tradition.
"Now, make a wish, Akane," Kasumi prompted.
"Maybe you'll get lucky and it'll come true," Nabiki remarked wryly. "You could always wish for Kunou-chan to leave you alone."
"Hmph," was Akane's only reply. She glanced up at the clock one last time. 7:59. Ranma, where are you? She turned her focus toward the cake. You promised. For some strange reason, she felt almost like crying. She kept it hidden, though. She gazed at the candles for a few moments.
"Akane-chan?" Kasumi prompted. Then it hit her; she knew exactly what she wanted to wish for.
I wish that for just one day, she took a deep breath, Ranma couldn't tell a lie. She let it out, and all the candles extinguished at once.
* * *
Ranma had no idea how Ukyou had managed to tear him away from Kodachi, but he was certainly glad she did. At least he was, until she started taking him back to her restaurant.
He tried explaining that he really needed to get back home, but she was insistent that he needed some help getting over whatever drug Kodachi had given him. Being in no shape whatsoever to fight her on the matter, Ranma had no choice but to allow himself to be carried back to the Ucchan until the paralysis wore off.
"This just isn't my day," he grumbled to himself as they arrived at the restaurant and Ukyou carried him inside.
"What was that, Ran-chan?" she asked sweetly as she set him on a stool and went around behind the counter and began cooking.
"Oh, nothing, Ucchan." He didn't really want to make her mad. He had enough problems for the moment as it was. And he needed to get his strength back as quickly as possible so that he could get back to the dojo under his own power. Some okonomiyaki might help with that. Maybe he would make it before everything was over and Akane wouldn't kill him.
A few more moments of pondering went by before a 'splat!' noise alerted him to the freshly cooked okonomiyaki in placed in front of him.
"Eat up, Ran-chan," Ukyou beamed. "That'll have you feeling better in no time."
Ranma mustered up his slowly returning strength and wolfed down the okonomiyaki. Not Ukyou's best work, but delicious nonetheless. A glance at the clock as he swallowed told him it was 8:01. His gulp was extra loud. Akane was really gonna be mad.
"How was it?" Ukyou asked as she always did.
"I've had better," he replied. He didn't even realize what he'd said until he heard Ukyou's gasp.
"Crap!" He stammered. Ukyou was seething. "Ucchan, I meant that it wasn't your best work! I mean…it was good, but you've made better before! I mean…" Ukyou was shaking with rage by this point. "Ucchan…?"
"RanMA!!" She pulled out her battle spatula and swung at him, but he managed to jump back just in time.
"I'll uh…be going now…" he said nervously as he edged toward the door. A second later he burst into an all-out run. Enough of his strength had returned by this point to allow such an action.
"Oh no you don't," he heard Ukyou yelling from behind him. "Get back here!" He could hear her jump over her counter and set off in pursuit, but he'd made enough distance already to lose her easily by hopping a few rooftops. Once he'd put a significant gap between himself and the irate okonomiyaki chef, he stopped to reflect on what had just occurred.
Man, what did I say? he chided himself. "I've had better?" Where did that come from? He shook his head to clear his thoughts and decided he'd work it out in the morning. At the moment he still had to get home. With any luck at all, the party was still going on.
* * *
Luck was not on his side. By the time he got home, the party was not only over but had been cleaned up. Worse yet, there wasn't even any cake left.
His father and Tendou-ojiisan were playing shoji, Kasumi was dusting, and Nabiki was watching television. She glanced up at him as he passed. Akane was nowhere in site.
"Upstairs," came a voice from his left. He turned and saw Nabiki sitting there, still focused on the TV.
"Huh?" he asked.
"Akane's upstairs," she said casually without turning to him. "So what happened? You just forget, or something?" She didn't sound like she cared one way or the other, which wasn't surprising, but Ranma somehow suspected that she did.
"Does it look like I forgot to you?" he asked irritably, indicating his disheveled clothing from his numerous battles throughout the afternoon. Nabiki spared him a glance.
"Okay, so you might have an excuse. Good luck getting her to listen to you, though." She turned back to the television without offering him any hired help, and without even charging for telling him Akane was upstairs. Weird.
* * *
Akane sat on her bed, cuddling P-chan. Stupid jerk she growled in her mind. That made twice in one day that he'd forgotten her birthday. And to think she'd forgiven him before. Hmph.
Knock knock. "Akane?"
"Go away, Ranma!" Hadn't they already had this discussion today? She cuddled P-chan tighter to her chest.
"Akane, I'm sorry, okay? Can you let me in, please?"
"Why on earth would I want to do that, you jerk? You said you'd be here, and then you go out and don't get back until after sunset! I even held dinner for you!" There was a pause. Perhaps Ranma was processing what she'd just told him.
"Akane, I really am sorry, okay? I want you to open the door so I can prove to you that I didn't miss your birthday on purpose."
It sounded stupid – and probably was – but he'd piqued her curiosity. Slowly, still clutching P-chan, she made her way to the door and opened it. What she saw was not what she'd been expecting.
"Ranma…" she gasped. "What happened to you?" She reached out with her right hand to touch his face, which was smudged with dirt and red from being hit. He'd have bruises in the morning. His clothes were torn in many places, and his hair was in disarray. Ranma rarely came out of a fight looking this bad.
"Well, I got into a fight with Ryouga," Ranma explained. "Then Shampoo came after me. And then Mousse. I finally got rid of them, and then Kodachi showed up. She drugged me again, and was dragging me across town until Ucchan rescued me somehow. She took me back to her restaurant and forced me to stay until the drug wore off, and then she got mad because I said some stuff about her cooking. I was looking all over the place for Kunou on my way home. He's the only one who didn't attack me today."
"No, he did, remember? This morning."
"Oh, yeah." Ranma chuckled a bit, but still looked uncomfortable. Akane, on her part, was doing her best to take it all in. That was a bad day even by Ranma's standards. She deliberated for a moment before making a decision.
"Okay, Ranma; I forgive you."
"Really?" His face lit up. She couldn't help but smirk a little.
"Yeah, really. This time.?" She giggled when he gulped a little.
"Thanks, Akane. And happy birthday, I guess."
She had to smile at that. But there was one thing still bothering her.
"Why did you go out in the first place? I mean, dinner was only in a couple of hours, and you didn't really have anywhere to be. If you wanted exercise, you could've just gone to the dojo."
"I was gonna get you a present," he said.
* * *
He blinked. Why had he said that? He'd never actually decided that he was going to get her a present; he'd only thought about it.
"Yeah right," Akane replied sardonically, turning around to walk back towards her bed. The entire conversation had taken place in her doorway up to this point. He followed her in protest, closing the door behind him out of instinct.
"No, really!" He insisted. "I was!" No I wasn't! he yelled at himself. Why was he saying this?
"Uh-huh," Akane said, sitting down on the bed. "Of course you were." She grinned at him sarcastically. All he could do was look indignant.
After a few seconds, Akane muttered something to herself.
"So much for birthday wishes."
"Huh?" Ranma had
heard her. "What about birthday wishes?"
"What?" She asked, looking at him. "Oh, that. My birthday wish was for you to not be able to lie for a whole day."
"What!?" He hadn't seen that one coming. "Why would you wish for something like that?"
"Because I was upset about you lying about coming to dinner," she said. She almost sounded sad when she said it; Ranma couldn't tell.
"But I didn't!" He refuted. "We've gone through this already!"
"I know that now!" she snapped. "But I didn't know it then." A flash of hurt passed over her face ever-so-quickly, but Ranma caught it nonetheless.
"Akane, I'm really sorry I missed your birthday," he said earnestly. He crouched down by her bed so as to look her directly in the eye as she sat. "I'll make it up to you somehow, okay?"
She offered him a small smile. "Just don't insult my cooking for a week and we'll call it even, all right?"
Ranma gulped a little bit, but nodded. "Deal."
"You should go now," Akane said. "Unless you want to study with me. Our fathers might take it the wrong way if we were to be in my room together for too long, and I do have homework to catch up on."
"Nah, that's all right," he said. "Studying puts me to sleep." Then he spotted the small animal still nestled in Akane's arms. "Speaking of sleep, you're not still taking that dirty pig to bed with you, are you?" he asked, pointing at said pig. Akane looked annoyed.
"Of course I am. Why wouldn't I?" P-chan stuck his tongue out at Ranma. "Why do you hate P-chan so much anyway?"
"Because he's Ryouga." Ranma's hands flew to his mouth the second the words were uttered, but it was already too late. Akane's right eyebrow was as high as was humanly possible, and a certain little black piglet had eyes the size of dinner plates.
* * *
"What do you mean, 'He's Ryouga'?" Akane asked, confused. What Ranma had just said didn't really make any sense. She didn't get an answer out of him though, as he was just standing there, his hands over his mouth and eyes wide in what looked like terror, shaking his head in disbelief. Puzzled even more, she looked down at her pet, which was behaving in much the same manner.
* * * * *
Well, that's it for chapter one. I encourage people to speculate about what will happen in the next chapter, as I like to see if anyone comes close. Please post spoiler warnings in your review if you're going to do that though, just in case.
And don't think anything anyone says will have an impact on this story in any way. I've already got it planned out pretty much to the end. =P
For those of you who have read my other stories in the past, I apologize for the extended vacation I've taken from them. I assure you that they will all be finished someday (with the possible exception of The Prodigal Son, which at the very least is going to be removed and started over again). I've been very busy this past year, and I was sick for most of last spring. Couple that with a case of writer's block and general laziness, and…well, you know the rest. I just can't seem to get anything to come out the way I want it, and I'm vehemently opposed to putting out crap just for the sake of putting anything out. This story was a miracle, actually. With the exception of an original piece (which can be found under my profile at fictionpress), I haven't written anything in over a year. I just couldn't find the inspiration. So enjoy this one, cuz it's my comeback special.
P.S. As to the line "I've had better"…I couldn't resist. ^_^