So, there were a few things in Ranma ½ that were left a little…open ended. This is awesome because it gives everyone a chance to write fan fiction and not get too ridiculous! WOOT!
Yeah, so I tried to keep everyone in character as much as I could and tried to make this as much like something that would really happen in the Ranma Universe as possible. I mean, we all watched Ranma ½ for a REASON! It rocked!
Read, Review. If ANYONE reviews, even just one person, I swear I will write another. I am planning on writing one where Akane FINALLY learns to cook (Don't want poor Ranma living off of take out forever, or worse, being forced to pretend he actually LIKES Akane's cooking, now do we?) I also have one where Ranma gets insecure about his position as a "protector" and another where they finally find something useful to do with Happosai…BWAHAHAHAHAHAHA!
So, if I have struck your interest at all, review and let me know you want more!
Oh yeah, I don't own Ranma ½. If I did, my computer wouldn't be freezing every five seconds because I'd be Rumiko Takhaishi and I'd have oodles of money and therefore have a better computer.
Tying Up Loose Ends: Akane Learns to Swim
You can do it, Akane thought to herself fiercely, It's mind over matter. YOU CAN DO IT! Without a moments more hesitation, Akane stepped off the diving board and into the pool. She began awkwardly flapping her arms and kicking her legs, but it didn't seem to be of any use. She still sunk like a rock. I can do this! She told herself, but with considerably less confidence this time. Without thinking Akane opened her mouth and swallowed a great deal of water. She tried to get to the surface so she could properly gag, but it was no luck. After a moment, she realized she would soon need air, but she could do nothing about it. The thought that she was going to die like this barely had time to cross her mind before she felt two slim arms wrap around her. Whoever it was pushed off the floor of the pool and propelled them to the surface. Now why didn't I think of that? Akane thought.
Her rescuer slowly pulled her towards the edge with a great deal of grunting and effort. Akane grabbed at the edge and blinked. There was water in her eyes clouding her vision, so she blindly took the hand that was being offered to her. Once she was out of the pool, she rubbed her eyes clear and coughed up a good deal of water. She looked up and saw a soaked Nabiki standing over her with a worried look on her face.
"Are you alright, Akane?" she said in a quavering voice.
Akane nodded. No wonder it had seemed like her rescuer was having such a hard time getting her out. Nabiki was nowhere near as strong as Ranma, or Shampoo, or even Akane, but still, she was not a martial artists daughter for nothing. She could get by.
"What the HELL were you thinking!" shouted Nabiki, "You could have died! What if no one had come along, huh?"
"I…hadn't thought of that," Akane admitted, "I was so sure I would get it right this time,"
"You really need to be more careful! At least try to learn when there are people around, eh?" Nabiki said with a surprising amount of concern in her voice.
Akane nodded dumbly. It was not like her sister to be so compassionate. Uusually, if it didn't have a price tag, she didn't bother. Nabiki put her smug grin back in place once she has caught her breath and said, "Glad you enjoyed Nabiki Tendo's rescuing services. That will be 500 yen please!" Akane shook her head and payed up. Ridiculous as it was, she had saved her life. "Now, let's go home," Nabiki said.
"Dinner!" called Kasumei in her sweet voice.
A rowdy pack tore into the dining room. Ranma and his father (in panda form) whacking each other in the head, Akane yelling for Ranma to stop ignoring her while she was talking to him, and Nabiki explaining to Happosai that she would be glad to give him her underwear for a mere 1000 yen profit. All quarreling ceased once the food was on the table for all were too busy stuffing their faces to bother with much else.
"So, Akane, how was your day?" asked Soun Tendo.
"Oh, it was just fine," Akane replied quickly.
"Sure," muttered Nabiki, "If you count attempted suicide a 'just fine' day"
This statement caused an immediate reaction as Soun burst into tears and fell at Akane's startled feet, and Genma whacked his son in the head and held up a sign that said, "What did you do to her THIS time, eh son?"
"Why? Why, oh why would you wish to do such a thing?" sobbed Soun, "Have I not provided you with food and shelter and love all these years?"
"Maybe if you hadn't picked my fiancé for me and given me some say in the matter…" Akane began sarcastically, sensing the perfect opportunity to reprehend her father for this injustice.
"Hey, no need to kill yourself on my account," said Ranma without much concern, "It's not like I have any intention of marrying you," Then he promptly dropped his chopsticks and pulled a teasing face in Akane's direction.
Akane returned the gesture and shot back, "Thank God! I MIGHT kill myself if an idiot pervert like you was interested in me! Gross!" then she looked over at her sobbing father and said, "Don't worry, I wasn't trying to kill myself, Daddy. I was trying to learn to swim."
"Sounds like attempted suicide to me" muttered Ranma.
Akane administered a quick mallet to the head and continued, "I just wasn't being very careful. I should have made sure there was someone there to watch me. But it's okay. Nabiki helped me out,"
Genma held up a sign that said, "And where were YOU through all of this, boy?" while Akane continued to reassure her father there was no permanent damage. They continued to eat their meal until Akane finally spoke up on the matter once more, "Daddy, I want to take swimming lessons,"
Everyone dropped their bowls and stared at Akane. It was not like her to admit defeat. It was especially uncharacteristic of her to ask for help. She must be really desperate… Ranma thought to himself, but outloud he said, in as asinine a voice as he could muster, "Geez Akane, why don't you just give it up. You're never going to learn, you know"
"Shut up Ranma! Maybe I've just been going about it the wrong way!" barked Akane.
"No, you've been doing what everyone else is doing. You're just a hopeless case," Ranma retaliated.
"No!" interjected Soun, "I think it is a wonderful idea! Ranma, you can be her instructor!"
"Fat chance!" Ranma and Akane both yelled.
"Just a thought," he shrugged, having become used to his attempts at bringing the two closer together being instantly shot down, "Fine then. I will look into it tomorrow. I think an old friend of mine has a son who is into swimming. He may even be a licensed instructor,"
"Oh! Thank you Daddy! Thank you!" Akane squealed excitedly. This is it! She thought, My dream is finally going to come true!
Akane waited nervously around the outside of the public pool. She wrung her hands and glanced at the people there. Her instructor was supposed to meet her at 5:00. It was now 5:03.
"What do you want, Ranma? Why do you have to follow me everywhere?" she snapped as she turned to look at Ranma sitting on the branch in a nearby tree.
"You kidding? I wouldn't miss this for the world! Anything involving you and water has GOT to be hilarious!" he said.
"Funny," she shot back, "I could say the same thing!"
"Hey! That's a low blow!" he said, scowling.
"Who are you talking to?" said a voice behind her.
Akane turned around to see the most gorgeous man she had ever laid eyes on. He was tall and lean, muscular and had wavy brown hair. His smile glinted and the sun shone off his eyes. The air around him seemed to sparkle, and it took everything Akane had not to swoon.
"J-just some pervert up in the tree, he followed me here so he could look at me in my bathing suit" said Akane, knowing the accusation would infuriate Ranma. It did, and he fell out of the tree in his shock.
"Pervert?" said the man standing up confidently and heroically, "Should I take care of him?"
"Oh no! He's not dangerous,"
"Good, shall we begin than? My name is Haruki. My father told me you're Akane. I hear you're a hopeless case,"
Akane blushed. She tried to mumble a defense against that statement, but Haruki only laughed and said, "I'm only joking with you, there are no hopeless cases. You have a good body for swimming, such strong legs, and I am sure I will make a fine swimmer out of you,"
"Do you…do you really think so?" Akane beamed, ignoring Ranma's snort of disgust from behind the fence. Haruki laughed and led Akane to the water.
"Don't you worry," Haruki said consolingly later that day, "It may take a while, but I am sure you will learn to swim. Don't you worry!"
Akane sniffled, "Really? You don't think I'm…hopeless?"
"Of course not! Tons of my students nearly drown me on their first lesson, it happens all the time," Haruki lied, "We'll just have to work on getting you comfortable in the water first, that's all. Shall we try again?"
Akane nodded and wiped the tears from her eyes. "You wait here, I'm going to go get something," Haruki said, then he jogged off toward the locker rooms. Ranma flipped down out of the tree and dangled by his knees from a branch.
"What a trip!" he said, "I mean, is this guy for real?"
"What do you mean," said Akane.
"With those smiles and…and…that hair! He keeps flipping it back and smiling into the sun. It's disgusting!"
"Oh? I think he's dreamy," sighed Akane.
Ranma nearly fell out of the tree as he shouted, "YOU WHAT!"
"Take a look at him in your girl form, you might agree with me," teased Akane.
But her insult went unnoticed as Ranma said, "You're kidding right? I mean, you...like…this guy? YOU? I didn't think you had a girly bone in your body. I mean, I never expected an uncute tomboy like you to fall for a loser like him. You never go mooning over those pretty boys like all the other girls do, and…"
Akane got up while he was still in mid sentence and met up with Haruki. He handed her an inflatable inner-tube and two arm floaters. She blushed with embarrassment as she put them on and got into the pool. It was hard for her to ignore the little kids laughing at her, but somehow she managed as Haruki gave her an encouraging smile.Ranma stared in her direction with his mouth hanging open. He could not believe what he had just heard…
"First things first, we have to get you used to the water," he straightened Akane's body and held her horizontal with his hands, one which Ranma couldn't help but notice was placed suspiciously high on the back of her leg.
"I better keep close incase this creep tries anything," he told himself quietly as he began to pace around the outside of the pool. He grumpily watched as Akane and Haruki laughed and joked around in the water. Akane doing what he told her and Haruki guiding her through with his hands like a parent teaching their kid to ride the bicycle. Akane seemed to be wearing a permanent blush.
Suddenly, there was a splash and a little kid started to cry. Someone shouted in a panic stricken voice, "Someone help him! He can't swim!" Before Ranma even had time to get off his lounging chair, Haruki had placed Akane on the steps and swam over to the kid. He gently placed him on the outside and said in an infuriatingly kind voice, "You be more careful next time, son," Everyone clapped and every girl in the place swooned as Haruki flashed his dazzling white smile. A glittery breeze seemed to go by him and ruffle his hair.
"Pheh. He ain't so fast," said Ranma condescendingly.
"Ain't so fast? He made it across the pool in under 3 seconds!" refuted one of the girls standing by the side.
"I'm sorry, but I must agree despite my partiality to remain modest," said Haruki as he flipped his hair, "I am, after all, the top martial arts swimmer in Japan,"
Ranma shrugged, unimpressed, and said, "I could take ya'"
"Is that a challenge?" asked Haruki.
"You bet it is," said Ranma smugly.
"Well then, we're on. What do you say to 3:00 tomorrow, right here?"
"Count me in" Ranma agreed.
Haruki got out of the pool and tended to his flock of swooning girls as the pool owner sobbed at the impending destruction of his pool. As a resident of Nerima, he had learned that anything involving Ranma Soutome and martial arts could not be good. It was at least, he consoled himself, good for business, even if most the money would go to repairs.
"Ranma!" shouted Akane who had come over to Ranma's side, "What the hell were you thinking?"
"What's the matter? Have you no confidence in me, Akane? I can take him!"
"Can you? I just hope he doesn't mind being beat by A GIRL!"
With that painful realization, Ranma promptly collapsed. What, he thought to himself, have I gotten myself into this time?
"Ranma, are you sure you want to go through with this?" Akane asked for the millionth time the day of the match.
"Don't you worry, I've got it under control!" Ranma laughed light heartedly as he watched TV.
Akane sighed. She had no idea what he was planning, but she knew it had to be another one of Ranma's harebrained ideas. At least this should be interesting… she thought.
At 2:30 thy headed over to the public pool where a considerably large group of people had gathered. They were greeted by someone shouting, "Okonomiyaki! Get your okonomiyaki…oh! Hey Ranma-honey, Akane!"
"Hi U-chan" said Ranma as he and Akane walked over to her portable Okonomiyaki stand.
"So, Ranma-honey, I have to know…how are you planning on doing this?" Ukyo asked as she flipped an okonomiyaki.
"That's what I've been wondering, but he won't say a word," said Akane.
"Well, I guess I can tell you guys now," Ranma said as he pulled out a used bar of soap from the pool bag he was carrying, "This is that soap shampoo had a while ago. Remember? We were dressing up as the Cupid Twins to get it back from Ryoga?"
"But Ranma, doesn't that just wash off?" Akane asked.
"Yes, it doesn't, but not right away. It should last long enough for me to beat this creep," Ranma smiled confidently.
"Oh! Ranma-honey! You're so smart!" said Ukyo as she flung her arms around him.
Akane rolled her eyes and looked over towards the pool. Haruki was there and appeared to be doing some warm-ups. She went over to talk to him. She couldn't help but wonder where her swimming lessons had gone in this whole mess.
"Hey, good luck today!" she smiled.
"Thanks," he said, "With you cheering for me, how can I lose?"
Akane blushed. Just then, Ranma came over and one of the Life Guards got on a megaphone and explained the rules.
"Okay! This is Martial Arts Swimming, Anything Goes style! The competitors may never leave the pool and the first to reach the other side wins! Is everyone ready?" Ranma and Haruki nodded. The announcer counted to three and then shot off a pop-gun. Ranma and Haruki both kicked off from the edge with as much might as they could muster. From the first push, Ranma seemed to be in the lead, but he foolishly underestimated the art and was elbowed in the head by Haruki.
"What the heck, man?" he shouted.
Haruki looked at him as he did the backstroke and said, "Anything goes, right?"
"Now he's done it!" Ranma said as he went under water and torpedoed toward Haruki. He grabbed hold of his ankle and pulled him under. Ranma somersaulted several times with his arms and legs wrapped around Haruki's body, then, he kicked Haruki towards the shallow end as he went flying towards the deep end. Haruki countered with a salmon style swim upstream and he belly flopped Ranma. For quite a while they kicked each other into walls and slammed each other into the ground of the pool, but neither ever got any closer to the goal. Finally, Haruki surfaced and stared at Ranma.
"You are a formidable opponent, so I guess I will have to stop going easy on you"
"Oh shove it, pretty boy!" Ranma shouted.
"Shark Fin Attack!" Haruki shouted and he swiftly disappeared underwater.
"Wh-where'd he go?" Ranma shouted as he looked around in bewilderment. The water remained still, and no sign of Haruki could be seen.
Suddenly, Akane shouted, "Ranma! Behind you!"
Ranma turned around just in time to see Haruki's hands pressed together like shark fins and disappearing under the water. He was pulled underwater and bubbles could be seen floating furiously to the surface. The crowd watched in awe as they tried to guess what terrible things were happening under the water. When the two finally surfaced, Ranma was laughing hysterically while Haruki clung to him like a starfish.
"Is he…is he tickling him?" said someone in the crowd in bewilderment.
"Yes, he is. Such is the dreaded Shark Fin Attack. He disappears under the water only to reappear and flawlessly launch any attack he wishes on his opponent." Said Genma Soutome who had mysteriously appeared with an okonomiyaki in his hand. Akane looked at him for a moment in confusion, but dropped it and turned her eyes back to the match.
I have GOT to get out of this! Thought Ranma, AHA!
Next thing everyone new, Ranma was spinning furiously with Haruki still clinging to him. After several moments, a whirlpool had formed and Haruki had been hopelessly sucked into it. Everyone cheered and said what a clever idea it was, but Akane did not seem pleased at all. IDIOT! She thought, If he keeps that up all the soap is going to wash off!
And indeed, as she spoke, suds could be seen rising from the whirlpool Ranma was creating. She ran off as quickly as she could to the snack stand. Meanwhile, Haruki was having a nasty shock. He was sure he felt a breast there! He peered over Ranma's shoulder and saw, to his astonishment, that he had his hands clasped over two breasts. In his astonishment, he let go and was sucked further into the whirlpool. Ranma, on the other hand, flung himself out of it and torpedoed toward the goal. Just as he reached the wall, he looked down and saw, to his utter horror, that he had become a girl! HOW! He thought, Oh no! I must have washed off all the soap with my whirlpool! What am I going to do? Not only will I be a girl, but I won't be wearing a shirt!
He stayed under for several more moments, but soon he would have to go up for air. Then, he thought, It's all over. Better get it over with. Ranma kicked off the pool floor and shot up into the air where he was swiftly met with a stream of boiling water. He landed and rubbed his scalding skin. What the hell? he thought. He turned around and saw Akane standing there with an empty kettle and panting. He breathed a sigh of relief. He'd have to remember to thank her later. A few feet away, the paramedics were loading Haruki onto a stretcher and carrying him into the van.
Everyone had lingered for about half an hour before going home finally. Ranma and Akane had stayed to help Ukyo pack up her Okonomiyaki cart. Once they were done, Ranma headed into the dressing room to grab his shirt and flip flops. When he came out, he saw Akane sitting on the edge of the pool with her feet in the water. Oh yeah, he thought guiltily, She was supposed to be learning to swim.
He watched her from the door of the dressing room, shaking his head defiantly at what he was thinking. No way, absolutely no way! He looked over at her and saw her shoulders shaking with sobs. Oh great, she's gotta pick NOW to be a girl! Resigned, he sighed and went over to her.
"A-Akane…ummm…thanks…you know, for the hot water. You really saved me back there," he said nervously. Why is thanking her so damn hard?
Akane just nodded.
"Look, I'm really sorry you didn't get to learn how to swim," Ranma said.
"That's alright. You said it yourself. I should just give up already, I'm never going to learn. Besides, I was getting way to distracted by Haruki to learn anything,"
"Oh…yeah…" said Ranma with disappointment. He had forgotten her infatuation with him.
Akane managed a weak smile and said, "What's the matter? You're not jealous are you?"
"What? Are you kidding? Why would I be…" Ranma started instantly.
"Well, don't be. I don't like him or anything,"
"…jealous of an un-Oh. Could have fooled me," he finished
"I mean, yeah he was gorgeous, but really, was he for real?" Akane said, "Always flipping his hair and flashing his smile. He was so stuck on himself! And it was really hard to learn to swim with him stopping to wave at his fans every five seconds,"
Ranma smiled. He didn't know why, but he was really glad to hear her say that.
"You know," he said, "That's why I like you Akane. You're not like all those other girls, swooning over some dumb guy just 'cause he's gorgeous…I mean, uh-oh" Ranma blushed pretty profusely after he realized what he had just said.
Akane smiled mischievously and said, "Huh? What was that Ranma?"
"It was just, I…erm…Nothing…" he finished lamely.
"Well," said Akane, standing up, "let's go home…"
"Home? But you haven't learned to swim yet!" said Ranma.
"And I'm not going to. Not today at least,"
"Sure you are!" smiled Ranma
"Oh yeah, and who's going to teach me?"
"You forget, you have the Martial Arts Swimming champion of Japan right next to you," Ranma smiled, and he jumped into the pool. Girl-type Ranma surfaced and he motioned for Akane to get into the shallow end with him. She smiled and jumped in. Ranma caught her and began expertly instructing her how to swim, and for the first time ever, she seemed to understand. He held her up in the water while she kicked her feet and moved her arms like Ranma had told her. Then, without warning, he let go of her, and she swam off on her own.
"I'm doing it! I'm really doing it!" she cried ecstatically.
Ranma smiled, and said, "Akane! You're doing it! Amazing!" then, under her breath, she said, "You're amazing…"