Disclaimer: All characters contained in this fiction are the copyright/trademark/creation of Rumiko Takahashi and Viz Video. I am just playing intheir sandbox and have no ownership of these characters, or names.


It had been a strange couple of months in Nerima.

For almost anywhere else in the world it would have been almost normal. Except for the various martial artists still who bounded across rooftops and the shrivelled gnome that still stole ladies underwear. But this was Nerima and without some form of craziness it just wouldn't be Nerima. For Nerima was the nexus of all craziness in Japan, if not the world.

Through the streets of Nerima strode or more to the point swaggered Ranma Saotome. If craziness was viewed like a an enormous cloud of astonomical phenomenom through Hubble or some other suitably impressive telescope you would note the constant swirl as craziness ebbed, flowed, rippled around and gravitated around the eccentric orbit of Ranma.

But lately something unforeseen had happened the craziness about Ranma had lessened. Strange creatures no longer appeared, masters and students of evermore esoteric and downright strange martial arts just didn't show up.

This made some people very nervous.

Some blamed it on the last Master to challenge Ranma, the Master of Martial Arts Didgeridoo Playing. Now by Nerima standards this wasn't all that strange but the fact the Master was a Scotsman from Venezuala named Giorgio Finkelman was just a bit too much. This, some thought was enough to suck all of the craziness out of Nerima like it had disappeared down a black hole and that craziness would eventually creep back out of whatever nook, cranny or box it had been hiding in and again make life 'interesting'.

Some thought that the craziness had achieved sentience and like some jungle cat was just waiting to pounce out and grab them when their guard was down.

Property values in Nerima were usually lower than any comparable neighbourhood and few were willing to invest money in a place where their investments could disappear in a massive burst of ki, flame, ice or simply shake itself to bits after an assault from a Martial Arts Marching Band attack. But now some investors were (very) cautiously starting to buy up properties in the hope that maybe the craziness had moved, maybe to Hinata, where craziness had seemed to be on the rise of late.

Whatever the cause collectively the good people and few not so good, and a couple of people who never had and never would make a Christmas Card list (and if they did it would only be so they could be struck of it) waited with baited breath.

The cause of this downturn in craziness if you had not guessed by now was Ranma Saotome and in fact the craziness had achieved sentience, of a sort, and was mildy displeased with Ranma, after all Ranma was it's avatar, it's chief employee (albeit unpaid) and favourite playmate.

Two and one half months ago Ranma was watching television, nothing startling in that to be sure but the attention he was applying to act was disconcerting to someone who only ever saw Ranma concentrating on one of two things, eating and martial arts. But this show fascinated him, here on the television screen were martial arts masters talking about running their own schools and training their students.

At the end of the show Ranma had gleaned a vast amount of information, more than most would have credited, after all if it wasn't food or martial arts he usually wasn't interested. But just now on the television masters of arts had been talking about running their dojos and their training, very interesting indeed.

Now some people thought Ranma wasn't very bright, some had even been unkind enough to suggest that he would struggle in a battle of wits with a village idiot. The truth was that Ranma was very bright it's just that he could see no reason for the study of anything other than the martial arts or any thinking deeper than where is my next meal coming from, what will be in my next meal and please don't let Akane cook.

But now here were people he respected, people who had achieved what he had been told all his life was to be his goal and they were telling everyone why they were successful and the one common denominator was (shudder) education. Ranma wasn't opposed to learning, it was just that he was very selective about what he learnt, if it he couldn't eat it or hit someone with it (maybe a little simplistic) he didn't want to know about it.

Ranma was very competitive, to the point of obsession and it now seemed to him that if he was going to be the best martial arts sensei in the Japan, which in Ranma's mind meant the world he would have to get a proper education. It wasn't just that he needed to know martial arts, he needed to know how to teach and for this he needed education and not just that he needed those diplomas to hang on the wall to show to everyone that he was the premier martial art sensei.

He needed to improve at school, he needed to go university, he needed to study, he needed peace and quiet, he needed to maintain his martial arts training, he needed to learn. He needed a plan.

Ranma went to the room he shared with his father, pulled out his journal and opened it to the first page, the first thing Ranma said to himself was to use this journal, draw up a plan, treat this whole thing like another duel, Ranma versus the school system, or rather Ranma versus every other student in the school.

Yes that was it he thought, a new technique -The Saotome School of Anything Goes Martial Arts Learning technique!

That evening Akane had to climb the stairs and knock on Ranma's door before he would acknowledge the call to the evening meal, Akane actually nudged Ranma in the side with her foot to see if he was still awake. After all he couldn't be studying, her world view just couldn't handle that, after all there had been no word of any flying saucers and didn't the pod people always start their invasions in the middle of nowhere America, but this was Ranma studying that just didn't happen.

Ranma was quiet through the meal, not rising to any baits thrown his way by Nabiki, deftly avoiding his fathers attempts to steal some of the tastier morsels from his plate and most disquieting of all chewing his food in a quiet manner that appeared strangely thoughtful.

Strangeness, like craziness was expected in Nerima and nowhere more so than in the Tendo Dojo so no-one started to worry until Ranma finished his meal, asked Kasumi for a small pot of tea, which she happily supplied and told the assembled household that he was going upstairs to study.

No-one moved, no-one spoke five pairs of eyes silently followed him up the stairs and out of sight before looking about at the other occupants of the room. As they heard the door to Ranma and his father's room shut a couple of them even pinched themselves to see if they were dreaming, Nabiki even pinched Akane and satisfied with the response, though Akane wasn't they settled, once more into stunned silence.

Soun Tendo, patriarch of Clan Tendo broke the silence "The boys lost his mind, now our schools will never be joined." He then started raining down tears in a torrential downpour.

The rest of the night passed quietly, even if all but one of the occupants of the house expected the apocalypse to start at any moment, Soun Tendo and Ganma Saotome moved to the verandah where they passed a few hours playing shogi and drinking sake. Kasumi sat quietly stitching Ranma and Akane's clothes that had been damaged in the neverending combat that was life as a martial artist in Nerima.

Nabiki balanced her books calculating the odds for tomorrows fights, checking her video feeds from around the house and reviewing the photos taken by her assistants during the past weeks events. Something mused Nabiki was happening and if I keep my eyes open I could make a bit of money on this.

Akane spent the night worrying that maybe this morning when she clubbed Ranma with her mallet she finally knocked something loose, or something back into place. I can't worry about this anyway she decided after all Ranma never changes yesterday, today and tomorrow he will always be the same perverted, egotistical,, maddeningly wonderful.......and she was asleep.

Ranma woke early the next morning and by the time Akane and Nabiki had finished breakfast was already waiting for them at the front gate. Akane and Nabiki pulled up short of Ranma and turned to each other and whispered in unison.

"What is he doing?"

"I'm reading."

"I didn't know you could." Smirked Nabiki making a silent note to remember in future how good Ranma's ears were.

"The martial artist must know more than the art" Ranma said "If I'm going to teach the art I must be able to adapt it to society, he must understand and learn more about ...."

"OK. OK. This is now officially weird" Nabiki interrupted and glanced sideways at Akane "Make sure he gets to school, I don't know who this is, so I'm not sure he knows his way to school."

"Me?" Akane looked worried "What if he's dangerous?"

"Do what you normally do" Nabiki called over her shoulder as she ran off "Mallet him!"

The walk to school did nothing to quiet Akane's nerves, on the surface things looked fine. Akane walked on the path, Ranma along the top of the fence. However today Ranma was walking along the fence reading.

It's just not right Akane thought. It's just not right.

He has hardly spoken, he dodged the lady with the bucket of water. I'm really starting to worry.

What happened next confirmed Akane's suspicions that something was just not right Shampoo appeared.

Somehow Ranma grabbed Akane and shifted her from the path of the bicycling amazon, dodged bike and Shampoo, plucked Shampoo from the bike deposited her in a garbage bin and kicked the bin in a off-handed manner down the hill. Akane was stunned as she watched the cartwheeling bin gather speed down the hill with a despaining cry of "Airen date Shampooooo" towards one of the busier streets in Nerima landing in the middle of the southbound lane. It was at this point that Akane realised that the light rain overnight has been sufficient to trigger Shampoos changed as a obviously shaken cat was drunkenly staggering from the mouth of the garbage bin. What Shampoo failed to see and Akane did not see until too late to warn Shampoo was an eighteen wheel semi trailer travelling south, at approximately 60 kilometres per hour. The semi struck the bin and by some outrageous and highly improbable, one could say crazy twist of fate the bin once again collected Shampoo hurtling the bin and her towards the north bound lane of traffic.

Now this alone was not a major cause for alarm, amazons and in particular Shampoo are tough by nature, cats always land on their feet, have nine lives and even though currently a cat retained her impressive array of martial arts skills. Midway through the graceful arc the bin scribed through the air Shampoo closed her eyes and bailed out from the garbage can she hoping to reach some form of safety, or maybe at least gain some knowledge of where she was headed. Prepared to land and run Shampoo was pleasantly surprised when she landed on something soft and warm and if cats could smile this one would have.

The local council for Nerima was always looking to cut costs. With the many repairs required to the cities infrastructure from amazons, monsters and martial arts mayhem any cost savings were appreciated. This was especially true when the matter of purchasing work vehicles for the many different departments of the Nerima Municipal Council. Generally this meant that vehicles were purchase based on price over any other considerations, including practicality. The mayors vehicle as a case in point was a Suzuki Mighty Boy, little more than a motorised wheelbarrow making it difficult, if not impossible for the mayor to show any visiting dignitaries around his fair city. This probably would have been an issue but with Nerima's reputation few dignitaries were willing to risk their lives for a free meal and a couple of days away from their constituents.

But in the case of Shampoo's journey through the air above and through the early morning traffic her journey terminated in the back of a reconditioned Toyota Dyna truck with 2 metre tall mesh sides and no top that happened to belong to animal control.

So it should come as no surprise that when Shampoo in her cat form walked stiff legged and shaking into the Nekohanten to be sprayed with hot water to resume her normal, if naked form, her now human form continued walking stiff legged towards the rear of the restaurant still shaking wide eyed and muttering "Dogs. Big dogs. Lots of BIG dogs."

Relief flooded through Akane when she sighted Furinkan High for there waiting within the gates of the school was someone she thought she would never be glad to see. Tatewaki Kuno, the Blue Thunder of Furinkan High stood posed waiting to harangue and then do battle with Ranma.

But this morning Ranma was ready, today he would seize the intiative, today he would institute a new plan, radical, untried and unconventional but appealing in an 'if nothing else it'll liven up the day' kind of way.

Holding back Akane Ranma stepped forward and struck a pose only slightly less silly than the ones with which Kuno usually favoured the school when making one of his many speeches.

Then in rounded tones used only by the best of Shakesperean actors declaimed "Hold varlet, press not thy suit on the fair Akane Tendo. Thy words do thee no honour, foul child, for child thou art pressing suit upon a fair maid who hast no affection for thee. Craven too, thou art with sword threaten those with honour would defend. Speak to me not of honour for thou hast not a shred of honour. Get thee from my sight thou visage doth offend and thy words sicken me." Turning to Akane Ranma dropped to one knee and taking Akane's hands in his own Ranma spoke softly but with volume enough to reach those surrounding them. "Forgive me my bethrothed that thy fair presence should be blighted by such as this poltroon. Come let me lead you hither where we may sit quietly in the shade where the gentle breezes will clear thy head and with feather soft touches awake you to the pleasures of the day."

As he led a stunned and speechless Akane past an even more stunned and speechless Kuno Ranma was more than pleased with his efforts so far this morning.

To say that the Furinkan High was stunned was like saying that water was wet. It was a good fifteen minutes before anyone spoke and in fact the only sound was Nabiki howling with laughter.

School was almost cancelled, first period was a write-off as teachers struggled to restore order.

Kuno was reduced to a single work vocabulary for the next three days and while some have philosophised that men only need to grunt to communicate the word "Ghaah" spoken without tone or inflection does not enable anything resembling communication. Unfortunately for Kuno there is a small village named Ghaah that no-one including those that make maps had heard of and when the school called a for a taxi to take Kuno home the taxi driver happened to be a native of Ghaah and while there were only fifty people in Ghaah and while the taxi driver was certain that he didn't recognise his current fare after asking Kuno five times where he wanted to go and after being answered "Ghaah" five times he began to get the message.

Also unfortunately for Kuno the main product Ghaah is the aptly named Ghaah fish, named after the sound people generally made after accidently ingesting Ghaah fish and while the natives of Ghaah could not understand why anyone would want Ghaah fish for breakfast, dinner and tea they were more than happy to serve Kuno up as much Ghaah fish as they could.

The trip home from Ghaah was no less exhausting, unpleasant or troublesome as the the trip to Ghaah. Because Ghaah did not make it's presence felt on any map of note Kuno had no idea of the direction he should head to travel home. Fortunately or unfortunately as Kuno would soon realise he found a fellow traveller who as chance would have it was travelling to Nerima. So it was 9 days later Kuno found himself approaching an untidy man clad in dirty shorts, blue singlet and work boots mustering sheep and asking where he was.

"Excuse me fellow, perhaps you can assist myself and my companion" taking the fellows puzzled look as permission to continue Kuno continued "Perhaps you can tell me where we are?"

"Currawarna mate." Neither of the strangely dressed, at least to his eyes, people showed anything resembling comprehension "New South Wales............ Australia."

"Ah." Kuno responded a little confused "Not Japan?"

"Not last time I looked no mate. How'd you blokes get here anyway." He glanced away to watch the sheep in a virtuoso display of sheep headedness ran past the open gate and disappeared into the distance to the accompaniment of barking dogs and huge cloud of dust.

"We walked."

"From Japan."


"What about the ocean?" the stranger smiled pleased to have caught this strange pair out.

"Obviously" Kuno replied with as much dignity as he could muster " We didn't come that way."


So it was that after explaining their predicament Kuno and his erstwhile companion were loaned money to travel to the Japanese Embassy in Canberra where Kuno was transported home with the assistance of the Nerima and Hinata Sub-Orbital Passenger Relief Fund. Kuno's travelling companion arrived in Nerima 3 hours ahead of Kuno despite getting lost between the gate of the embassy and the door of the car that would take them to the airport and un-scheuled stops in Alaska, the Bahamas and Crete.

On a side note Ghaah fish is the main export from Ghaah, it's not than anyone wants Ghaah fish it's just that no-one in Ghaah wants them either, the Nerima Culinary Laboratories have proved conclusively that Ghaah fish is quite likely the only substance, including toxic waste, that Akane's cooking cannot make taste worse., Actually if someone could be found to taste toxic waste after it had been prepared by Akane they would find that the taste had been substantially improved.

Nabiki laughed so hard and long that as a precautionary measure she was taken to Nerima General Hospital where she was sedated and kept under observation. Late that afternoon when she was finally able to focus on the morning events without worrying the doctors or causing herself more pain from her overstressed muscles (after all laughing that much is hard work).

The faculty of Furinkan High realisation that this was no ordinary day was compounded by the fact that when the school calmed down enough for classes to commence the most attentive student in school was Ranma Saotome. Not only attentive but asking and answering questions, one teacher passed out when Ranma handed in homework and then later in the day the same teacher applied for early retirement when after marking the tests found Ranma had completed all questions correctly.

At approximately 10:30 that night in a stunning vocalisation of her thoughts on the incident that morning Akane proved that the regardless of the comparative intelligence of the parties directly involved in the mornings incident some responses are near universal. Akane who had not spoken since arriving at school that morning said "Ghaah."

The first week passed quickly enough, people tended to tread quietly around Ranma for fear that he would explode into some form of berserk Ranma-ness to make up for the tranquility of the past seven days. But through it all Ranma remain oblivious to the concerns of those around him.

Now this wasn't quite true. Ranma knew very well indeed how his behaviour was affecting those around him and some small part of him actually enjoyed the confusion and trepidation with which people approached him. He was very pleased with his progress not only had he proved to himself that he was capable of learning at school he found that if he approached school and his lessons as he would learning a new martial arts technique he actually quite enjoyed it. What had also surprised him was the amount of information which his brain had tucked away in some dark, dank and cobweb encrusted corner of itself from all the lessons he had attended before his awakening to the joys of learning. The outcome of this was that a number of tests that he had hoped to pass, just barely, had been remarkably easy.

This did not mean that he could slacken off, after all his goal was to be the best martial arts sensei and to do that he had to be the best student. That meant study, study for school and study of the art.

So weeks passed Ranma continued with his studies, when not studying for school he studied and practised the art, the 2 studies he found complimented each other. Whether it was maths, science, history or even grammar he found what he learnt from one complimented the other. He found it amusing that he could use mathematics to describe the arc he cut through the air when malleted into near orbit or than he could use simple examples of throws to describe leverage, simple things maybe but they reinforced his decision.

Kasumi more than anyone else was delighted with the changes in Ranma. She had long ago started to see Ranma as her little brother and now with Ranma rising early every morning to study he often joined her in the kitchen to discuss his school work and enjoy an early cup of tea. This had soon became Ranma's favourite time, safely ensconced in Kasumi's kitchen Ranma was safe from his father's sparring bouts and this became his safe and quiet time. After a couple of weeks Kasumi had asked Ranma about the sudden change in his behaviour. Ranma was more than happy to tell her about his plans and use her as a sounding board for his ideas on resolving some of his problems. Ranma was Kasumi decided finally starting to show signs of maturity and this could only be good.

Nabiki was more uncertain about these changes, sure he was still Ranma and that certain Ranma-ness was still bubbling away beneath the surface. But now he was starting to think and financially this did not bode well. An ignorant and unthinking Ranma was a steady source of income and while Ranma behaviour that provoked incidents were on the decline damages were still a constant fact of life. If Ranma woke up and stopped submitting to blackmail and extortion or stopped paying for information the dojo finances were going to quickly go into a decline. Nabiki had been very careful with the dojo finances over the years and had been salting a little away each month for her and Akane's university education. If income dropped the university fund could suffer and that wasn't something she cared to contemplate. It was all very confusing, something else Nabiki didn't like, other people were confused not Nabiki.

On the other hand the while Nabiki always considered Ranma cute in a dumb jock kind of way, this new Ranma was proving a little distracting. Nabiki lay back on the clean grass beside the river, closed her eyes and let her thoughts roam where they would, smiled, purred just a little and breathed "Ranma."

The fathers, who some have said put four things ahead of all others, namely a love of saki, a love of shogi, a love of hare-brained schemes to joins their two clans and a desire to see their two clans joined.

Genma, Ranma's father could see no reason for the changes in Ranma's behaviour, after all what else did the boy need to know but the art. School was something to bring Akane and Ranma together. There was Genma thought something intrinsically wrong with wanting book learning, it was somehow unmanly and if one thing concerned Ranma more than anything else it was Ranma being judged unmanly. Bad enough he has this curse that changed him into a girl with the application of cold water, but this change in Ranma's behaviour mused Genma could be some terrible side effect of Ranma's curse. Next thing, he shuddered, Ranma could be wearing frilly lace underwear, a bra even dresses even in his male (uncursed) form. This wouldn't do and in fact there is only one thing to do, the boy must get married sooner rather than later before the worst can happen – if it wasn't too late already!

Soun shared similar thoughts to Genma, without the dresses and frilly underwear. He had noted that since the changes in Ranma that his little girl had grown more distrustful, abusive and violent. He had no doubt that this was Ranma's fault. The boy must be made to understand his responsibilities before he alienated his little girl completely. Yes, Ranma must admit his feelings immediately and they must be married Friday at the latest.

Akane was under no illusions, Ranma was running around with one or both of his other fiances, the fact that he denied it so strenuously was only a cover for his indiscretions. She could see right through this whole new tactic of his trying to pretend to be interested in school. Hiding in his room pretending to study and he had obviously found a new way to cheat at tests that the teachers haven't figured out as yet. I've seen, Akane thought the way Nabiki's been looking at him and Kasumi's been soooo nice to him lately he's not satisfied with that chinese bimbo and that cross- dressing cook but nooo he's got to start chasing my sisters to, that freak! Akane's thoughts bubbled on quite happily simmering in a congealed mess of jealousy and bile on a stove powered by pure rage.

While Akane teetered on the brink of complete psychosis brought on by the infidelities of her fiance Ranma continued with his walk through the streets of Nerima and pondered his situation.

The main problem he felt was his fiances and solving this problem was going to be difficult. He couldn't hurt Shampoo, he had being trying for the last six weeks to ignore her. He had refused any and all invitations to the Nekohanten and had managed with varying degrees of success avoid her glomping of him. The only change he had noticed in her behaviour was an aversion to dogs which he had never noticed before. Shampoo he had decided was going to be the most difficult to deal with. Uchan and Akane they were going to be the most painful and he didn't know who was going to be most hurt. Uchan, Akane or himself.

Uchan he knew he loved, but unfortunately for Uchan not in the way Uchan wanted to be loved. Simply put he loved her as he would a sister or a best friend which he felt she was. The painful thing was Ranma saw was that Uchan did not love him the same way and expected something more, marriage, children, years of blissful domesticity and okonomiyaki. Though Ranma had no aversion to okonomiyaki, marriage to ones sister wasn't something that was done and to even consider it made Ranma a little queasy. Ranma had even stopped going to Uchans unless Akane was with him so Uchan could not mistake his intentions. He had, and he very upset about this even stopped accepting lunch break okonmiyakis from Uchan at school.

Ranma had done a lot of thinking of late about the whole fiance fiasco and one of the things he had come to realise was quite painful.

He didn't love Akane.

For a long time this was a given. He had been told he did, it was expected of him, she was his fiance, the schools must be joined ergo by their father's logic they must love each other. When they first met and she said she wanted to be friends and he had fallen in love with her on the spot, though he couldn't admit it. But the constant abuse between them had soured his feelings, though he didn't really realise this until his latest exercise in education and learning. One of the side effects of thinking he had discovered was that once you started it was hard to stop and he had discovered a capacity for introspection that had previously eluded him.

This had led to a continuous review of his actions and a concerted effort on his part to improve himself and his interactions with others. To whit, no insulting Akane. But somehow it didn't work the way he thought. Instead of a stop to the insults and malletings, they actually increased. Ranma's change in behaviour was taken as a personal insult or as if he was trying to hide some guilty secret from her and Ranma's failure to respond to Akane's insults drove her even further into her rage.

Ranma didn't care anymore about whether Akane loved him, in fact he was certain she didn't. He was just another object to her, in fact just a punching bag.

So two and a half months passed, Ranma steadily improved at school, kept up his studies, endeavoured to resolve the many personal issues which made his life chaotic. Studies which Ranma was unaware of carried out by a reputable university characterised Ranma's life as being a living example of the principles of chaos and entropy. Studies, papers and many a symposium were held as learned scholars discussed the so-called Ranma Effect.

But unaware of all of the theorising being carried out about his life and still ruminating on thoughts of fiances, school exams, homework and panda avoidance strategies Ranma turned in at the gate to the Tendo dojo for a quick snack and some training before the evening meal.

The sight that greeted Ranma as he walked through the gate was one that would strike fear into even the hardiest of souls. There to greet Ranma was Akane, her battle aura flaring into existence as he stepped into her view, her mallet poised and ready to strike.

"Where have you been?" Akane growled.

"Walking" Ranma eeped.

"Don't lie to me! I know you've been of with Shampoo and Ukyou." Akane's aura flared incandescent as her voice rose in pitch and volume as the insults started flying out in a staccato rhythm. "You lying. Hentai. Pervert. Baka. Jerk. Triple timing cross-dressing freak of nature!"

Before he had a chance to react the mallet was swung, Ranma had only time to focus his ki in a defensive shield to cushion him from the worst of the mallets effects before he was sent soaring high above the rooftops towards the distant horizon.

Notes: Out of character definitely. Timeline somewhere thereabouts. I'm just playing in someone else's sandbox, don't mean any harm, just having fun. Not particularly happy with the way this turned out. Need I say to be continued. Sorry for the blatant self-insert, but I couldn't help it.