Well, here you go! As promised! I got reviews so I wrote another one! This one is just kinda of side story. You know, little action, little humor, little romance...because that's what Ranma ½ is all about, right?
Same deal as last time. I get reviews, you get stories! Man, I am SUCH a comment whore! lol
DISCLAIMER: I don't own Ranma ½. If I did, I wouldn't be hungry and wishing there was something to eat in my house because I would be Rumiko Takahashi. And I'd be in Japan. And, so, I would be able to order Japanese take-out. But I'm not, so looks like it's left-over noodles for me.
Oh! And special thanks to Crystal Singer because that was my first review EVER! And also to Ballad of the Odd because they corrected my misspelling of the names (I NEVER would have caught that! Thanks!) Also to SakuraAyanami and Clever Witch because they complimented me and made me happy! Huzzah!
Ranma Saotome, the Great Protector!
"Come back here, you old pervert!" Ranma shouted as he chased after Happosai.
"What a haul, what a haul!" Happosai chanted merrily. Then, he swiftly reached back and strategically threw a pair of panties right into Ranma's face.
"What the-" Ranma said, trying to stop, but failing because he had picked up too much speed while he was running, not to mention that the grass was wet from rain that morning. Ranma put all his weight into the ground, but he still slid recklessly into a patch of bushes. The bushes were, unfortunately, also covered in water from the previous rain, and they soaked Ranma right through.
"Ranma! Are you alright?" shouted Akane as she and a group of disgruntled girls caught up with him. She reached into the bushes and placed a dazed girl type-Ranma on the ground.
"Stupid old pervert!" Ranma complained as she stood up, "Stupid bushes! Stupid rain! I'm going to get you, you old freak!"
Akane and the other girls sighed.
"Looks like he got away with our panties AGAIN" said one girl.
"My poor wallet can't take this much more! Since that old man's come around I've been buying a pack of underwear a week!" lamented another.
"And it seems no matter what we try he always gets away!" complained another girl as she stamped her foot into the ground.
"Yeah, no thanks to Ranma," grumbled Akane.
"Hey!" said Ranma defensively, " What's THAT supposed to mean?"
"It means," shouted Akane, "That you're no help to us at all! You can't catch him and then you turn into a girl at the most inopportune times! So much for 'it's a martial artists duty to protect the people!' Let's go girl's, we're not going to find a way to stop him today anyway,"
Akane and the group of girls left as Ranma stood next to the bushes in shock. She did not just say what I think she said… she thought to herself blankly. Ranma had always thought he had protected Akane pretty well. After all, he always rescued the dope when she got kidnapped. And wasn't it him who finally got all the guys to stop beating up on her every day before school? Whenever some weird guy would try to put a move on her, it was always Ranma who would stop him and avenge her. For Pete's sake! He once wore a pink leotard to help her out! How could she even say that? He thought angrily. Ranma shook her head and left the school to go to Ucchans. She was starved and was craving one of Ukyo's seafood okonomiyaki.
"Hi Ran-chan!" Ukyo said from behind the counter.
"Hey, Ukyo! Can I get a seafood okonomiyaki? I've been craving one all day!" Ranma replied.
"Of course, coming right up!" Ukyo said, "So, how was your day? You look a little beat up? I hear Happosai was stealing the girls' underwear again. How on earth are we ever going to stop that freak…"
But Ranma stopped listening to her almost immediately and began to silently fume over what Akane had said, Why, that stupid uncute, unsexy tomboy! She don't know what she's talking about! That ungrateful mule! Ugh! She is so, so, SO UNCUTE! I can't believe she had the nerve to say I couldn't protect her! I mean, sure I can't beat Happosai, but neither can anyone else! She certainly can't, I know that much. I do keep him in line more than anyone else can manage though. That stupid tomboy! I'll show her! I'll show her who's a good protector! Honestly, where would she be without me? She'd be some psycho's servant or concubine, that's what! Or she'd be dead! That unappreciative, uncute…
"Ranma-honey?" Ukyo said for the third time.
"Oh! Huh?" Ranma said, snapping out of her thoughts.
"I said your okonomiyaki's ready. Do you want some hot water?"
"Yes, please," Ranma said as he took the plate from Ukyo.
She quickly devoured the food and then thanked Ukyo as she poured some hot water over him. He paid and then headed out the door and ran swiftly across the roofs towards the Tendo Dojo.
"Hey Kasumi!" Akane said as she took her shoes off and came into the house, "Have you seen Ranma? He ran off today after school and I haven't seen him since,"
"No, I haven't," Kasumi said.
"What's the matter?" Akane asked her anxiously as she noticed the worried look on her sister's face.
"Oh, Akane! The dojo is in trouble!" cried Kasmi as she handed her sister a small envelope.
Just then, Ranma walked into the house. He yanked the envelope out of Akane's hands and said, "What's this?" He read the words on the front, "Courtesy of the Dojo Destroyer Committee. Official letter of challenge?" Ranma opened the envelope and read the letter inside,
"To our fellow martial artists at the Tendo Dojo School of Anything Goes Martial Arts. We, the Dojo Destroyer Committee, have received word from our contacts that you have unfailingly protected your dojo against Japan's strongest challengers. It is our job as the Dojo Destroyer Committee to put you to the most rigorous challenge you have yet to face. Tonight, at sunset, we will send an onslaught of our most skilled dojo destroyers to break your dojo. Be prepared. Should you fail, you were never worthy of being martial artists to begin with. Sincerely, the Dojo Destroyer Committee."
"Oh! What are we going to do?" wailed Kasumi, "Father and Mr. Saotome are on a training mission until tomorrow and Happosai is nowhere to be found!"
Ranma smirked confidently and puffed out his chest, "Don't you worry, leave it to me!"
"Oh, Ranma! Thank you! I am sure you can take them! Do you two mind if I run to the store? We are out of soba noodles, and I wanted to get some more tea…" said Kasumi as she slipped on her shoes.
Akane looked at Ranma with worry. This was undoubtedly going to be a lot of challengers. She wanted to offer to help him, but she knew he would refuse. "You'd just slow me down," he'd say pompously.
Ranma noticed her looking at him and said, "Don't you worry, Akane! I can take care of them no problem! Those dojo destroyers don't know who they're messing with! Heh heh!" He clenched his fists confidently.
"Well…okay…" said Akane. After all, she thought, He's beaten stronger opponents and he's beaten more opponents. I'm sure he can handle it…
"A-a-aaahhhh-atchoo!" Ranma sniffled and wiped his nose. Awww great! I must have caught a cold. He sniffled again and rolled down his sleeves. It was freezing!
"Ranma, are you okay?" Akane asked nervously from the door.
Ranma jumped. He didn't know she had been standing there. "Huh? Oh! Of course I am!" he said, almost defensively.
"Are you sure? You look sick," she said as she went over to him. She felt his forehead and said, "Ranma! You're burning up!"
"I'm fine! I'm fine!" he insisted, "Just leave me alone!"
"But, Ranma…are you sure you're okay to fight these dojo destroyers? I could help…"
"NO WAY!" Ranma shouted with a little bit more anger than he had intended. Akane blinked and stared at him. "I mean…I can handle it. I'm not going to let a little cold stop me from doing my duty,"
"No Akane! You'd only slow me down! Besides, I've fought under worse conditions,"
"Really Ranma, it's not necessary to strain yourself. I would be glad to help out,"
"Stay out of this Akane!" Ranma snapped, now getting a little angry with her, "This is something I have to do! I have to protect the dojo and you and the name of the Saotome School of Anything Goes Martial Arts,"
"Hold on a second!" shouted Akane, getting into her battle stance, "I can protect myself! And this school is as much mine as it is yours!"
"Hello! The SAOTOME School of Anything Goes Martial Arts!" Ranma yelled.
"The TENDO Dojo!" Akane yelled back.
Then, the both of them blushed and looked away as they remembered that their marriage was supposed to unite the schools.
"Just butt out, Akane," Ranma said as he recovered from the embarrassing reminder, "This is just something I have to do. It's my job as your fiancé to…OH!" He clapped his hand over his mouth and blushed. Why on Earth did I just say that? He glanced in Akane's direction. She was staring at him blankly. "I mean, it's my, ummm, job as a martial artist. You know, to protect people."
His slip had caught Akane off guard, so she just nodded and said, "Do whatever you want," with as much anger as she could muster. Then, she walked out of the room and went to make some tea.
Outside, Akane and Ranma could see the sun beginning to set. Ranma looked outside anxiously. He knew he was sick and his fighting skills would suffer because of it. But there is no WAY I can let Akane think I'm useless! He told himself firmly.
"Ranma…" Akane began cautiously, "Are you sure you don't want any…"
"NO WAY! How many times have I got to tell you to butt out?" Ranma shouted back at her.
"Look Ranma! At least take some medicine! You look terrible! And your fever is getting worse!" she shouted in annoyance.
She was right. His clothes were now soaked in sweat and his head was killing him. "No way," he said, "Medicine would just mess up my concentration. I'll take some once I've defeated them all,"
Just as he said that, loud thumping footsteps could be heard outside. They stopped and something very heavy pounded on the gate. They're here… Ranma thought. He stood up and went outside to greet them. He opened the gate and looked up at the largest man he had ever seen. He had to be over eight feet tall and Ranma couldn't help but wonder how he was going to squeeze into the gate. Somehow he managed, and once he was inside he said, "I am Dojo Destroyer Number One. Are you prepared?"
"Let's go!" shouted Ranma as he got into position to fight.
The dojo destroyer laughed cruelly and took a swing at Ranma with his tree-trunk-thick arms. Ranma dodged it and landed a kick in the dojo destroyers chest. The large man swung at him again, but once again Ranma dodged and landed a kick. This guy is so big and heavy that he moves really slow. I can easily dodge his attacks and he doesn't move fast enough to dodge mine! Ranma assessed, This is going to be easy!
The two continued like this for several minutes, but Ranma was much more powerful than the dojo destroyer had originally assumed. With one final kick to the face, the dojo destroyer flew backwards and went right through the wall.
"Had enough?" Ranma asked.
The dojo destroyer got up and nodded. "You have defeated me. Now, fight with Dojo Destroyers Two through Nine," Two through Nine, Ranma thought, but he barely had a moment to think about it before eight short men, dressed in ninja clothes scurried through the hole in the wall and surrounded him. They almost instantly launched several choreographed attacks against Ranma, and Ranma took several blows before he saw through their ploys. As they flew at him he jumped into a handstand and began to spin, kicking each one as they came near to him. They each got up and attacked him again, but each time he knocked them down. It was tiring work, but Ranma managed it with a certain amount of ease. They were not as strong as his usual opponents, and their only advantage was that he had to attack a different one each second. He didn't have a moment of rest.
The last one fell into unconsciousness and Ranma stood, panting, with his hands on his knees. He took in his surroundings, but no new enemies seemed to be coming. Akane walked out into the front yard and came over to Ranma.
"How are you doing? They didn't look so bad," She assessed.
"They weren't," Ranma replied straightening himself, "What kind of committee is this, anyway? None of them were too challenging. The worst they did was cause me to get a little winded from their constant attacking. I thought this would be a lot harder…"
"It is foolish to launch your more powerful weapons on an opponent in the beginning of a match," said a man's voice from near the wall. Ranma and Akane looked up at him. He was tall and slender and wore a gi. His attitude seemed very similar to Kuno's. At his sides he had two swords, and Akane couldn't help but wonder if it was fair for him to use them when Ranma had no weapon of his own, but she didn't have much time to dwell on that because Ranma shouted for her to get out of the way, and the battle began. This man was obviously more skilled than the others. He launched several attacks with his swords, and Ranma narrowly missed each one. They fought in a deadlock, Ranma dodging the man's attacks and the man dodging Ranma's. Finally, the man's sword barely sliced Ranma's arm, ripping his shirt at the sleeve and leaving a tiny cut. The man smirked at his small victory, but in the second he took to do that, Ranma had not lost his head. He launched an attack of his own, and landed a hard kick right into the man's stomach, sending him flying and then crumpling into a defeated heap on the floor.
"Okay," panted Ranma, "So that one was a little harder,"
"A-are you okay?" Akane asked him. He looked terrible. He was pouring with sweat and his eyes looked foggy. She was sure that fighting like this was not helping his fever.
"F-fine. I'm fine," Ranma said. He wiped some sweat off of his forehead with the back of his hand. He rubbed his eyes to get the sweat out of them, but his vision was still blurry. His head was pounding and he felt like he was going to be sick. But it's not over yet, he thought, There are still opponents for me to defeat!
Akane sighed. She didn't know WHAT he was trying to prove, but if he didn't stop soon he was going to hurt himself. She jumped out of the way again as another onslaught of ninja's came at Ranma. New opponents kept coming at him for nearly an hour, and Akane noticed a definite lag in his strength and speed. Idiot! She thought He can't fight like this!
Finally, after he had beaten all the opponents, a Chinese woman came slowly out from behind the wall. She was tall and thin and wore long white and blue robes. Her waist length ice blue hair was held high on her head in a pony tail, and her large eyes were covered in blue eye shadow. She smirked at Ranma but didn't say a word. Instead, she just launched an attack immediately. Ranma took the full blow of it and was sent flying backwards. The woman came at him again, but by the time he had cleared his head, she had hit him again.
"For someone who has gotten this far" she said mockingly, "I thought you'd be more of a challenge,"
Ranma stumbled to his feet and said, "It's not- it's not over yet,"
"As you wish," said the woman, and she began to unleash a fury of attacks on Ranma. Ranma felt his head snap backwards as he took a kick to the face full force. I have got to do something or she's going to kill me! He thought, Ranma fought through the fog that was clouding his mind and prepared to launch his final attack.
"Chestnuts…chestnuts roasting on an…" he began, and managed to get in several quick and hard punches. The woman stumbled backward and spit up a little blood. It seemed she was very strong, but could not take a punch as well as one would expect. Heh. No defense… Ranma thought to himself.
"Why you little…" she growled, and raised her arms above her head. She positioned herself for a special final attack. Lightening flashed behind her and Ranma could see energy gathering to her ki as she powered up. His vision went blurry again and he clumsily tried to stand up. He got as far as his knees before he passed out.
Oh great! Akane thought, and she ran, full force towards the battle. The woman seemed to have gathered all her energy and was just pulling in to ready herself for the final blow when she was interrupted by Akane's battle cry. She looked up just in time to see Akane flying at her and then she received a full force kick to the stomach. Because of all the energy she had gathered, she went flying impossibly far backward and entirely out of sight. Akane stood there panting. That kick had taken a lot of energy.
Suddenly, a small man with a long beard walked quietly into their yard. Akane stood at the ready, prepared to meet their next foe. But instead, the man just smiled at her. He placed a small scroll on the ground and left. Akane blinked confusedly at the scroll and went over to it. She picked it up and read,
"This scroll certifies that the Tendo Dojo School of Anything Goes Martial Arts has defeated all the Dojo Destroyers sent forth by the Dojo Destroyer Committee. Congratulations on the successful protection of your dojo and good luck in mastering the many techniques of martial arts. Sincerely, The Dojo Destroyer Committee."
About an hour later, Ranma blinked his eyes open as he woke up. His head felt significantly better now and his vision was no longer blurry. Then, he remembered that he was in the middle of fighting a dojo destroyer, and he sat bolt upright. He looked around him. He was in his room and lying down in his bed. Akane was kneeling over a bucket of water a few feet away and wringing out a rag. She turned around and looked at him.
"Hey, you're awake! How are you feeling?" she said kindly.
Ranma groaned and then blinked. He felt his chest and said, "Why am I a girl?"
"You're clothes were covered in sweat and blood and dirt. I didn't want to put you in bed like that, so I changed you into a girl so I could change them. You know, sometimes that curse of yours is pretty convenient…" Akane explained.
Ranma ignored that remark and said, "What happened with the fight?"
"You passed out, so I jumped in and finished her off. We won, the dojo is safe,"
Ranma sighed and lay back down, but he didn't look as relieved as Akane had thought he would.
"What's the matter?" she asked, "Everything turned out okay, didn't it?"
"I guess I really am useless," Ranma mumbled sadly.
"What? What on earth are you talking about?" Akane said sharply.
"You said it yourself," Ranma snapped back. The he finished more softly, "I'm useless. I can't even protect you from and underwear thief, and then I couldn't even protect the dojo because of some stupid cold,"
Akane burst out laughing, which was not the reaction Ranma had expected at all.
"What's so funny?" he demanded angrily.
"Akane wiped some tears from her eyes as she gained control of herself. Then, she suddenly became very serious. "Ranma, you didn't take me seriously, did you?"
"Well…yeah," Ranma said.
"Geez, Ranma, you are such a dummy! Imagine how it would be if I took you seriously every time you said I was uncute. I'd have some pretty bad self-esteem issues, wouldn't I? We always say things like that to each other, but when it comes right down to it, we know we're not serious. At least, I know you're not serious," Akane said, blushing a little as brought herself to make that accusation.
"So, you don't think I'm useless?" Ranma said.
"Of course not! You've saved my butt tons of times! If nothing else, I know I can always count on you to protect me," Akane said, smiling at her.
She's so…cute… Ranma thought to herself as she sat there, dumbfounded and unable to say anything.
"Now, lie down! You're still sick, you know," Akane said as she gently pushed Ranma back onto her pillow.
"Erm…what are you doing?" asked Ranma nervously as Akane put a cold rag on her forehead.
"What's it look like? I'm taking care of you," she said simply, as if it were the most obvious and natural thing in the world for her to be doing.
"Because you're sick, and you need someone to take care of you. Besides," Akane smiled sweetly at him, "It's my job…as your fiancé."