Ranma ½

Chapter 1


Disclaimer: I don't own this series or any other series. I am just floating an idea. I am making no money, nor plan to, off this venture. If you think of suing me over this, then grow up.

Any of you familiar with my first Ranma story know this one from the possibility file. A few of you thought that this was an idea to be incorporated into Ranma: Take 2. This was meant as a separate story idea.

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The rain had been pouring for hours, as it had been since they had returned, an omen of the feelings now purveying several places around this city. For several days, everything seemed subdued, as a drastic change was felt throughout Nerima, but no one really understanding it. But the few who did understand it were unsure of how to go about handling it. It wasn't everyday something of this magnitude happened.

She just sat there, staring not particularly at anything, just staring into space. She had been in the chair since she had come back from the hospital, since she had woken up to hear the news. But even now, knowing the truth, the truth about what had happened to her, the truth about what she would have to live with for the rest of her life, it didn't make it any easier to move, to try to live.

This is all my fault. I should have ended this sooner; I should have just walked away. But I couldn't. My damn honor prevented me from running away from this, it prevented me from choosing one of them, and it prevented me from hurting any of them.

Now look at me, stuck this way for the rest of my life. The three people who I care for so much are each suffering; blaming themselves for this. It just seems no matter what I do, I just can't seem to stop hurting them.

Why can't I stop hurting them?

She never noticed the black pig that came onto the porch, trying to avoid being stepped on by a lumbering panda. It turned to see the red-headed girl in the chair, staring off into space. The pig thought about jumping on her trying to make her react, to show some emotion that would indicate that the girl was alive. But knew it would do no good. I am sorry Ranma.

The pig turned around and went back inside, deciding to deal with the giant panda rather than Ranma. A panda it could handle, a broken friend and rival, it had no clue how to act.

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Two days earlier...

Ranma had been resting in the park, trying to gain some peace from the busy day he had had. First, the usual fight at school with Kuno, followed by boring classes, a fight with Happosai before lunch when he decided to raid the girls' locker room, then lunch, where he got malleted by Akane for eating with Ukyo, followed by a few classes, interrupted by Principal Kuno trying to give him another haircut, followed by the end of classes, were he got malleted once again by Akane when Shampoo showed up and began squeezing him.

That last mallet shot had landed him in the park, so he decided to relax. He could use a few moments without some insane fiancée showing up, trying to claim him like two parents fighting over the last hot toy of the Christmas season. All he ever wanted was some peace and quiet, to enjoy his youth, enjoy his life. But something always came up, something would always arrive and send him on some weird adventure, only to end up back here, trying to gain some peace.

He didn't always mind the excitement. He had to admit, it kept his life interesting, kept exposing him to new martial arts techniques, kept him from ever being bored.

But it also kept him from being happy.

After all, no matter what I do, someone will end up hurt. I don't want to marry right now, I'm too young. If I get married it will be on my own terms at the time I choose.

But all I get is everyone demanding I choose them, that I make it clear that they are the ones I intend to spend the rest of my life with. How the hell can I do that when I don't even know what I want to do with the rest of my life? I should know my own future before I start trying to decide to involve someone else.

Not that I have anything against the girls. I mean, I would be lucky to end up with any of them; even though they tend to be a little violent with their feelings. You'd think that if they were trying to woe me over, they would be a little nicer; instead of bashing me every time I am doing something weird, before even asking me what I am doing.

But they are each nice in their own way. Any other guy would love to have any one of them chasing after him, asking to be his forever.

But I can't keep doing this. I'm going to have to eventually make a decision and choose one: Akane, Shampoo, or Ukyo. I sure as hell ain't choosing Kodachi. She is too crazy; no way in hell am I marrying into that family.

Shampoo. She's a nice girl, attractive, fun to be around with. But she is always trying to force herself on me. I just don't know if she loves me because of me or because her stupid Amazon traditions say she has to.

Ukyo. She's been my best friend for over ten years. In a way, I'm glad she never came along with us. She probably would have ended up in one of those damn cursed springs. I know she loves me with all her heart, and has been trying to hold down her jealous side. But I just don't know if I can get over seeing her as anything more than a friend.

Akane. That damn violent tomboy is always hitting me for stuff that I didn't even do. If it wasn't for that occasional smile that shows me the real her, I might have just discounted her with Kodachi. But she is cute in a way.

I guess it doesn't really matter who I choose, the others will just come after her, meaning I have to protect her, and then end up hurting my friends. I consider all of them great friends and I wish I never had to fight them. But that wedding fiasco a while back did teach me one thing; no matter who wins me, I will still lose. Trapped by my own honor, no matter who I choose, I end up dishonoring two others.

"Hey Ranma-honey."

Ranma looked up at Ukyo, still wearing her male school uniform with the sleeves rolled up. I guess that is the end of my moment of peace. "Hey Uc-chan, what are you doing here?"

"I came to find you after Akane whapped you again." She offered her hand and pulled him to his feet. "I guess you did something wrong around the uncute fiancée again, huh?"

"Yeah, I breathed." He laughed a little, and was happy to see her laughing as well. "I was enjoying the peace of the park. What are you going to do?"

"Oh, I thought I better get back to my restaurant, I gotta keep the customers happy. You wanna come; I'll make you a huge batch of okonomiyaki?"

She knew he had a week spot for food and it did make Ranma feel bad that the only times he got to spend any time with her was when she was cooking him a big meal. He had mentioned that to her, only to be told that they would have all the time in the world when they got married.

Married, it always came back to that.

He was so deep in his own thoughts, he never heard the bicycle bell, until the bike landed again on his back; the standard Shampoo the Delivery Girl welcome.

"Nihao ailen, Shampoo bring you too delicious ramen, you eat now yes?"

Ranma slowly pulled himself from under the bike, fighting the urge to yell at Shampoo to stop parking the damn thing on him. But he remembers all the times he had already told her that, and knew another time would do no better. "Hey Shampoo."

He was about to decline, believing that Shampoo or the old ghoul may have put something in the ramen. He could count the number of times on his hand that she had brought him untainted food, and would need a calculator to count how many times it was laced with something.

He would have declined.

Except now Ukyo and Shampoo were in the middle of a fight again. Ukyo called Shampoo a hussy, Shampoo called her something in Mandarin, probably some words even Ranma would blush at. Then they each drew their weapons; Ukyo her giant spatula, and Shampoo her two bonbori. Ranma was about to step in and try and stop the fight when the worst thing that could have happened did.

When you have gunpowder and nitroglycerin together, the last thing you need is a bolt of lightning. "Ranma, where the hell have you been!?"

He turned around to see the lightning, by the name of Akane Tendo; mallet in hand and ready to whack him for something else he had done wrong. Hell, it happens so much, even I'm beginning to think I am always doing something wrong. "Hey Akane."

"Don't hey Akane me, Kasumi will have dinner ready in half an hour, and we need to get home now, so stop playing around and let's go."

"Now hold on sugar," Ukyo said, jumping between Ranma and the obviously mad Akane. "Ran-chan said he was coming with me to eat at my restaurant."

"No," shouted Shampoo, jumping between the two beauties. "Ailen is coming with Shampoo, ailen eat too too delicious ramen. No go with violent girl or spatula girl."

Ranma could only watch as the auras of the three fighters began to glow, preparing to fight over him like starving dogs with a bone. I am so sick and tired of this, every time I turn around, they start fighting either for me or at me. It stops now. Moving as fast as he could, he placed himself between the three fighters, arms out as far as he could place them, preparing to yell at them for having another fight, for treating him more as a prize than a human.

But he failed to stop their initial attacks, and had ended up placing himself in the direct path of each. He wasn't surprised when he was sent flying into a think tree, let alone when the tree broke in half and fell backwards while he fell forwards.

He was surprised at the pain he felt, and the warm feeling now flowing from his lower back. He had taken some serious shots from every fighter from here to the equator, and never felt something like this. He tried to open his eyes, to see if his sacrifice had made them stop, after all, he was Ranma; he couldn't be hurt too bad.

He saw the three girls staring at him, their weapons on the ground; each with a look of horror at what they had done, at whom they had hit, even Akane.

He raised his hand, reaching towards them. "No...no more fighting. Please!" Then he passed out, the pain too much for him to push through anymore.

"RANMA!" The girls screamed and ran towards him, none of them noticing a small pool of blood at his waste. After all, it matched his red silk Chinese shirt perfectly.

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He opened his eyes, trying to focus, wondering how bad the triple attacks of his three fiancées had damaged him. He could barely move. I guess the doctors had to use some pressure points or painkillers. I guess those girls have gotten a lot stronger.

He couldn't open his eyes, so he guessed they had to use painkillers. So he tried to listen, to force his mind to focus. But he wasn't able to pick up much.

He heard what sounds like girls crying. Guess they will at least be civil for a few days. Must be upset that they hurt their damn prize so much. I just wish I knew how bad it is. I still have to beat Kuno's ass all week.

But as his mind became more alert, he heard other things, and eventually began to pick up words and phrases. "He's a fighter...blood pressure normal...severe injuries to...what will happen now..."

He tried to focus on one voice, but the drugs were still too strong in his system. So he began to focus even harder, trying to clear the fog away from his mind long enough to open his eyes, to find out how bad he was hurt. Finally he was able to open them. And he saw a site that shocked him.

Each of the girls was beside him, each either holding his hand or arm; crying. His father was standing in front of the bed, waving his hands frantically in front of the guy he guessed was the doctor, who just kept saying how it couldn't be fixed. What couldn't be fixed?

"He's awake!"

He wasn't really sure who said that, but was happy to see some of the smiles return to the room. "Good evening Mr. Saotome how are you today?" The doctor had taken a place in front of the bed, my pops behind him, still sad for some reason.

"I'd be better if you told me how bad of shape I'm in. I gotta get back to school tomorrow."

The doctor immediately lost his smile, a more serious tone now in his voice. "Mr. Saotome, you suffered severe damage to your lower back. A broken vertebrae ruptured your skin, and caused extensive nerve damage."

He understood some of that, even he can learn a few things from school, but he knew the doctor was holding something back. "Doc, what are you getting at?"

"Mr. Saotome, can you feel your legs?"

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If I messed anything up, then let me know including typos.

Any suggestions on how I should continue the story or improve it would also be accepted.

Also, if you have any suggestions for how this should go, let me know. My own imagination, while vast, always enjoys a new thought. Also, catch me if you don't think I am making the characters true to form, or a way to make them better.