Fair Warning

A Ranma 1/2 alternate reality fanfiction

by Robert Haynie

(Yo, Rumiko-chan! Borrowing the kids for a while, don't worry.
I'll have them dry-cleaned before I return them. Kenko)


(Kuno no baka. Kuno no baka. Kuno no baka.)

The words filled Akane Tendo's head, repeating in a circle of
increasing aggravation, anger rising every second. And few would
argue that that anger wasn't well justified.

Yesterday Tatewaki Kuno, unable to determine why she refused his
advances (The idea that she just plain didn't like him was
incomprehensible to the self-defined samurai) had made a ludicrous
proclamation, declaring that anyone who wished to date her would have
to defeat her in combat.

And to her outright astonishment, this morning some thirty idiots
from various sports clubs had done that. En masse. Had she been
anyone else but the heir to the Tendo School of Anything Goes Martial
Arts, she would have been in big trouble.

(Kuno no baka. Kuno no baka. Kuno no baka.)

There was some slight self-satisfaction in her triumph over the
mob, but it was damn well squashed under the weight of her
irritation. Well, they probably wouldn't try that again anytime

Or would they? Boys could be such perverts, and she had a
sinking feeling that the attackers had it in their mind that if they
won, they would have a RIGHT to date her, not merely to ask her.
That she had become not a girl but a sort of a prize.

(Kuno no baka. Kuno no Baka. Kuno no baka baka baka BAKA

She had to find something to do. Something to distract herself
from her anger and frustration. Something other than stand across
from Doctor Tofu's clinic and sigh.

That was when she saw the small stall with the fortuneteller.
Feh. If anything was nonsense, that was. Mysticism and magic and
all of that was nonsense. But maybe the fortuneteller could at least
take her mind off Kuno.

She entered, expecting the usual trapping of the trade. A
crystal ball, maybe, like the popular western style, or a canister
of scrying sticks. Perhaps cards or I Ching coins. Whatever, there
were sure to be various mystical posters and useless but impressive
looking charms.

Instead, the place was more like a small office, neat, sterile,
with a literal bank of four or five PCs linked in a corner and a
downright peculiar keyboard and mouse combination connected to at
least three monitors. The only concession to the arcane was a small
framed horoscope diagram on one wall-- and that had binary code
attached to it scribbled on post-it notes.

Behind the desk was a man-- or rather a scarecrow with human
aspirations. His face was gaunt, with heavily shaded eyes. His hair
was thin and gray. He wore a pair of thin, gold-rimmed glasses and
a lab coat with a few buttons on it bearing what were either mystic
sigils or circuit diagrams-- she wasn't sure which.

"I can help you, Miss," the man said.

"Ah, isn't that 'Can I help you, Miss?' I mean..." Akane asked,

"I was not asking a question. Please be seated. Fill out this
form. 1000 yen for the consultation. Results guaranteed."


"Yes. This system uses a limited subset of the Yggdrasil
protocols, licensed by Heaven itself for a test and trial run in
human prognostication. The fee covers my time and mundane materials.
Also I have to buy my own lunch."

Akane blinked. Certainly unlike any fortuneteller that SHE had
ever heard of. She began to fill out the form.

It was a rather unusual form. The questions, after simple things
like name, birthday, and blood type, began to get... unusual?

"Why do YOU think the chicken crossed the road? Do you think a
ferret would have the same motivations?"

"If you could be a canister of miso, which brand and type would
you want to be? Why? Would you feel insulted if you were put on

"Do you bite your fingernails? Toenails? Earlobes? If the last
is yes, how the HELL do you manage that?"

"What are your three sizes? Why are you so suddenly embarrassed
about that question?"

"Pepsi, Coke, or Calpis?"

After a while, Akane finished the form, and handed it to the man,
who tossed it into a wastebasket.


"The answers are unimportant. The act of filling the form out
was. Beginning computation as soon an fee is paid."

Deciding that this was somehow the perfect ending to a truly
weird day, Akane silently placed two 500 yen coins on the counter.
The man picked them up and pocketed them. He then started typing at
a very high pace.

Lights began to flash on the massed computers in the corner,
curious beeps and buzzings emitted from various pieces of equipment,
and after a moment, a printer began to hum as a single sheet of paper
was extruded.

Akane leaned over to see what could best be described as
laser-printed gibberish. "What's that?"

"Immediate prognostications over the immediate future. Advice
couched in arcane terms. The usual, except again, results
guaranteed, as long as you pay attention to what I say."

By now, Akane had the disquieting feeling that the gaunt man was
for real. "What... language is that?"

"The language of Heaven. Now, let's see..."

He coughed, and began. "Your present travails will last roughly
two lunar cycles. Those with lust in their hearts will hound you,
but you will prevail."

Akane jerked upright. By all the kami and all the Buddha-- This
weirdo WAS for real!

"In approximately two months, you will meet your true love. But
at first you will not see him as such. He will be a great warrior, a
man with a noble heart, fair of face, strong of limb, skilled in the
Art of War."

Akane blinked. She couldn't think of what else to do.

"He shall also be impolite, for he has learned nothing but war.
He will not know anything about proper behavior, for he will not have
been taught. He will respond to cruelty with insult, but to kindness
with gratitude. He will be sought after by many women, but will be
loyal only to one. He will be a man of honor, and if treated well,
will be loyal unto death."

Akane began to fidget. Her true love wasn't perfect, apparently,
but he didn't sound all bad. The surrealism of the situation was
beginning to overwhelm her.

"Finally, he shall have many enemies, though none are truly of
his making. And he shall labor under a terrible curse, that others
will not understand as terrible."

The man blinked himself, and added uncertainly, "And you're not
to cook for him until you learn how, and you're to be reasonable
about your clothes not fitting him right. Now, that last is

"My true love is a crossdresser?" Akane said, aghast.

"No, that would have been clearly stated. The system does this,
not me. I repeat, results guaranteed. Good day."

"Is that all there is?"

"Yes. Good day. Please leave. I am closing for the day."

Akane left, feeling disoriented. The experience had somehow
rattled her nerves.

And alone, the man removed the 1000 yen and tossed it into the
wastebasket also. After all, that part was simply for appearances.
Heaven should be pleased with the tests so far, the routines were at
98.924 percent accuracy...


Time passed. The crowd of idiots not only did not quit, they
grew to nearly fifty. And every day, after them, she would have to
fight Kuno, and barely make it to class on time.

Her anger increased, her dislike of boys grew. The only thing
that kept her from becoming totally enraged at the entire male gender
was the fortuneteller's prophesying.

One evening, her father called her and her two sisters to make an

Most of us know what happened next.


"Some fiancee THIS is, Daddy, he's a she."


"I'd really hate to be beaten by a boy..."




"I'm Ranma Saotome. Sorry about this..."


Akane was staring at the transformation after the tale of
Jyusenkyo. And at the boy. Even the terrible curse part seemed

The fortuneteller had been right. So far, about everything.

"Well, then," Soun said jovially, "Your problem isn't so bad
after all! These are my daughters..."

In a daze, Akane heard her father list them off like items on a
menu, and offer them to the stunned Ranma as though they were
appetizers. Then a simple statement pierced the haze surrounding her
prophecy-clouded brain.

"Oh, he wants Akane."


She sat in shock as her sisters effectually passed the buck in
high speed, and her father agreeing happily. Then Ranma stood, and
yelled something about this not being the time, and that he was going
back to China--

"Wait? Please?"

Ranma paused. "Huh?"

Akane glared at her father and sisters, as well as the large man
named Genma. "Look, I am NOT getting married now. Not until I'm
graduated from school at the EARLIEST. And I'm going to pick who I
marry, not you. But... I am willing to try this engagement out, and
see if Ranma and I can make something of it. If we can, well and
good, and if we can't..."

Ranma was staring at the girl. "What are you saying?"

"Well, I DID say I wanted to be friends. And all the boys I know
are jerks. Maybe you aren't a jerk, or a pervert, even if you did
see me naked."

"Hey, you saw me naked too!"

"It's different when a boy sees a girl naked. But... I guess I
did walk in on you. I still want to be friends, and you need a place
to stay before you can get enough money to get back to China."

The cursed boy stared. She wanted to be friends even with the
curse? She was willing to be engaged to him despite it? What was
going on?

Akane mused. "And I guess you know what a girl looks like naked
anyhow, so it probably wouldn't count as peeping anyway."

"More than I want to, believe me."

Kasumi and Nabiki stared. They had NOT wanted to be engaged to
this... creature, and had thus shifted the burden to Akane in a sort
of panic. But they were stunned at how Akane was taking it.

"So... won't you please stay a while?"

Ranma stared at the cute face before him. And somehow, he
couldn't say no.

"A while, I guess..."

"And we can try out the engagement?"

Ranma began to sweat.

Akane blinked. "I mean, we can be friends, and maybe do things
together? And, well, I'd like to learn some of the stuff you did
back in the dojo."

"Um... I guess so. For a while. But only until I can find a way
to get to China and find a cure."

Ranma smiled weakly. And Akane noticed that he was VERY cute
when he smiled.

But she wondered about the rest of what the fortuneteller had
said... and what her life was likely to be like from now on.