This is Where I Come In
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Ranma sat on the train, his bag beside him. His life had officially just went from suck to blow, and was fast approaching "Seppuku? What a great idea."
Damn you, Nabiki!
Ranma took a deep breath, mentally cataloguing his sorry existence. Unlike Ryoga, he could at least make certain he was really blaming the right people.
Let's see. One violent fiancée?
One sexually aggressive and dominating fiancée?
One fiancée who is like a sister to you and never listens while desperately believing you see her as a wife?
One psychotic fiancée? His memory summoned the image of catching his father trying to get both Kuno children to sign an agreement for Ranma to marry them in the appropriate form.
He stopped it and beat the worthless panda within an inch of his life.
What the hell, double-check!
One all powerful wish that could have fixed my life and wasted because Nabiki couldn't be serious for the one damn moment I needed her to be?
It was a simple idea. He knew what would happen if he made the wish: things would definitely get worse. So, ask Nabiki to phrase a wish that would make his life better.
Unfortunately, she didn't think he was serious.
It didn't matter what she said; only that now...he was in a Kami-damned anime.
And of course, the stupid ditzy Kami that sent him here at least picked one that while not one of Nabiki's usual yaoi ones, still was not a great choice.
He didn't end up in Evangelion, thankfully.
No, he ended up in 'Love Hina'.
What the hell is it with the main male character always ending up chasing after the most violent girl? Who does that?
After he wiped his nose from sneezing, he took stock in what was going on. As far as he remembered, he was still in episode 1, and no clue as to if he could leave once he ended the series. This if he remembered, was not only two years away, but required him to get into Tokyo University.
Yep, Ranma was screwed.
Mr. "School equals nap time" had to pass the entrance exam for one of the hardest universities in the nation.
Of course, he had to deal with a crazy kendo girl, a psychotic foreign girl who liked to show affection through blowing you up, a crazy redhead who couldn't figure out her damn mind with a road map, compass, and both hands, a drunk girl who would flirt with him like crazy just to avoid rent (resembled Genma like that, but he remembered how nice she was on occasion), a violent Aunt who hated to be reminded of that, a quiet girl who developed a heartbreaking crush on Keitaro because he made her feel special, two equally crazy sisters for said crazy roommates, an adopted sister who wanted to bed him, a flying turtle, a tiny terror who would be handed to him in a few months, a grandmother who seemed as crazy as Ranma's own mother, a possessed doll, a haunted annex, a teacher with zero driving ability, two friends who made Ranma's own classmates seem like monks, a girl who fainted at a slight breeze,...
Ranma rubbed his temples. Oh yeah, screwed didn't even begin to cover what his life was like now. Nabiki, when I get back, I'm telling everyone we are getting married and you are carrying my child. Let's see how you like your life being hell! Hell, I'll even tell Kuno you enslaved me and my sister. How else could you get those photos?
Ranma sighed. While he did get some joy out of scaring Hina by letting her know that he knew she was out of town, let alone the inn was now a girl's dorm, it didn't make things any better.
For the moment, his Jusenkyo curse was inactive, but he knew that wouldn't last. Hell, he figured it would rear its head by the time the crazy kendo girl returned. His luck, he would end up with her when he used the Möko Takabisha to overcome her Splitting Rock attack. No way in hell was he going to let those crazy girls run over him.
It wasn't like they were Amazons.
Well, that was assuming those old guys who kept appearing in the fog would either speak a simple line instead of this mysterious bull he was used to, or left him well enough alone.
Ranma breathed out an exhausted breath as the speaker announced they were arriving at Hinata Springs. "Well, might as well walk into hell with my head held up high."
Mentally, he was wondering if maybe a nice training trip was in order.
Ranma was holding a fresh flower as he crossed the bridge. If he was in the anime—as he suspected—then he would meet Shinobu on the other side, crying because her parents were using her as a weapon in their fight.
If not, then he would meet her and the other crazies at Hinatasou.
He sighed as he saw her, crying. Man, I really feel for you, kid. But at least they ain't engaged you to an uncute tomboy. He walked in front of her, waiting until she looked up.
When she did, it took all of Ranma's self control not to start apologizing to her and claim it was his fault, as well as promise to kick her folks' asses. "Here!" He handed her the flower. "Pretty girls like you shouldn't be crying."
She continued to cry as Ranma sat beside her, sniffling as she kept staring between him and the flower. "Why?"
Ranma leaned back, staring at the sky. "Cause I know what its like for parents to be using you instead of listening to you."
Shinobu's eyes got large. "W...w...w...what do you mean?"
Ranma turned to her. "You didn't look like you were crying over something any less important.
"It ain't your fault, you know. Folks can't always stay in love, and even the best can forget that their children aren't tools to hurt the other with."
He looked back into the sky. "I have a friend that has it worse than you do. His mom had him and his dad sign a paper when he was five, stating that after a ten year training trip with his old man, that if he didn't come back a "man among men", then they'd commit seppuku."
The silence he heard from her was proof enough she was for the moment, forgetting her own problems. "Problem is, his definition of that is basically an honorless slime ball that takes the fall for everything his Pops does to him, and hers is that he is little more than a peeping tom with multitudes of mistresses."
He looked down at the ground, finding it somewhat freeing to be talking to her about this. "His old man dragged him around, selling him like a damned watch for whatever he needed, starving him to feed his own belly and calling it training. By the time the trip was over, he sprung an engagement onto him, and began to belittle him for not dealing with the other engagements the old man made in his name. Basically, he was damned if he did, and damned if he didn't."
Shinobu wiped her eyes. "What did they do?"
Ranma turned to her, smiling. "He's still working on that." He ruffled her hair. "The point is that you shouldn't allow them to do that to you. You seem like too nice a person to be used like that."
She smiled a little at his praises. "But what else could I do?"
He smiled; finally knowing he could at least keep this somewhat to canon if that would help him leave. "Well, my grandmother had asked me to run this dorm she owns, and I am looking for a little helper. Ain't much to do unless you want to?"
"Well, I could cook and do laundry. Could that help?"
He smiled. "Well, that covers your rent. Now, we just need to get my Aunt's approval, and you're in."
Ranma had to admit, her smile was much better than Akane's ever was. "Oh, I forgot. My name's Shinobu Maehara."
He stood and bowed before her. "And I'm Ranma Sao... Sorry, Ranma Urashima."
As the petite girl took his arm, they headed towards Hinatasou.
But four elderly men appeared out of a small bank of fog.
"He is unexpected."
"But he may yet do what must be done."
"Sorrow will follow."
"But so will hope."
Another bank of fog passed them, erasing them from sight.