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A Learning Experience - Chapter 01

by Schemer schemer@houston.rr.com



Disclaimer: I don't own em, don't sue me

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Started: 11/11/2001

Finished: 11/26/2001



* * Thoughts

" " Speech

Actions, sound effects





*Three months since the wedding 'incident'*, Nabiki ruminated, *You'd think matters would improve a bit, wouldn't you? Right?*

She sighed. Akane's temper was flaring with an increasing frequency. The rate of random attacks from strangers and/or any and all of the "Nerima Wrecking Crew" regulars was going steadily up. Repair costs were steadily rising, as well. The strain on the already stretched budget was beginning to tell.

*Not to mention,* she continued gloomily, staring across the schoolyard where Ranma was busy dodging the rice balls Akane had made and was now throwing at him in a fit of rage after he'd insulted her cuisine. *Ranma and Akane are growing apart, and the more they do, the more pressure our idiot fathers put on them to keep them together.* An image of the Physics teacher explaining critical mass in thermonuclear explosions came to mind.

She sighed, raising her eyes to the heavens. *What else can go wrong?*

Thunder rolled.

She winced. *Please, let that have been Kuno practicing...*

***

While the kids were at school, a visitor paid a visit to the dojo. When Ranma, Akane, and Nabiki arrived home from school this Saturday, the house was deathly quiet. Genma, Soun, and Nodoka were gathered around the table, as well as another young woman about Kasumi's age. Nodoka was playing with small child about one-and-a-half years old, a content, serene smile on her face. Genma was grim faced, muttering to himself. Soun was stoically quiet. Tears could be seen streaming down his face, though he made no sound.

Ranma surveyed the sense with a growing sense of dread; whatever it was, wasn't good. He cast his eyes on the young woman. They widened in surprise as a gasp of recognition escaped him. Five sets of eyes turned to him; Nodoka kept on playing with the baby, smile unwavering, blissfully oblivious to the outside world.

"Ch-Ch-Chun...?" He finally managed to utter, before taking several moments to compose himself. "It's been a while; how have you been?" he asked.

A smile flashed across the young woman's face. "Fine. It's good to see you again, too. I had hoped to meet under better circumstances but I guess it wasn't to be."

A small smile graced his face as he continues to watch the young woman, and then his eyes grew wide when he finally noticed the child his mother was playing with.

"Is..." he trailed off, indicating the child with a finger.

A brief nod. "It's a boy."

*Oh, man! Akane's gonna kill me!! Maybe she didn't notice?* he thought as he cast a glance at Akane. *Nope! Whew! .... ohh, shit, Nabiki's smirking!!*

"So, Ranma," Nabiki said, wearing her trademark smirk. "Care to introduce us to your 'friend'?" *Damnit, I know her. But from where?*

"Ranma? Oh there you are!" Nodoka perked up. "May I present your son, Ryo."

"...Son?" whispered Akane before she fell to her knees.

Nodoka, ignoring Akane, asked, "Would you like to hold him?"

A red haze began to cloud Akane's vision.

A brief pause, then a slight nod from Ranma as he crossed the room. As soon as his hands touched Ryo, Akane snapped, her rage overcoming her.

"Die, Ranma!!"

"Huh?" was his intelligent reply before reflexes kicked in. He dodged the first mallet swing on pure instinct before leaping backward from his opponent, his son cradled to his chest.

"Akane!! What do you think you're doing?" shouted Ranma.

Akane was beyond words; all there was, was the haze. She had no idea what actions she was committing, or what the consequences of those actions might be. Only her betrayal existed; only vengeance mattered.

"DIE!!!!!!"

Ryo's mother acted instantly as soon as she saw her son in danger. In one bound, she was behind Akane, who was so intent on attacking Ranma, that she took no notice. With a brutal kick to the ribs she sent the woman threatening her child rocketing into the stone wall surrounding the Tendou compound, where she hit, and collapsed into unconsciousness.

"WHAT HAVE YOU DONE TO MY BABY...?!!" screamed Soun, going into his Demon Head.

"MOUKO TAKABISHA!!!!"

Everyone gasped as a bolt of chi shredded the Demon Head, sending Soun flying out of the living room and into the wall beside Akane. As the Tendou patriarch dropped to the ground in a dazed stupor, eyes locked on Ranma. He stood there, Ryo safely tucked into his father's side. The look on Ranma's face sent chills down people's spines. It spoke plenty.

Nabiki had gone white as a sheet. "Way to go, Sis."

Genma sat silently still at the table, tears coming to his eyes as he watched his dreams of uniting the schools slip away before him.

"Oh, my! Is everything alright? I didn't know that Ranma-kun had arrived home yet," exclaimed Kasumi as she entered the room bearing a tea set.

"ENOUGH!" yelled Nodoka. "Ranma, gather your things... We are leaving here at once. You will not stay in a place where your child is in danger."

"But, mom, I'm sure she was just overreact--"

"I said ENOUGH!!! She is unstable!! She doesn't know how to control her anger! I have suspected it for a time, but I had hoped things would work out. She attacked my grandchild, my GRANDCHILD!! You will not be staying here. End of discussion. Gather your things! We are leaving."

Time seemed to slow, indecision written plainly across Ranma's face as he tried to decide what to do. A tug on his arm alerted him to the child's mother, who gave him a brief nod and a reassuring smile. With a nod in her direction, his mind was made up. He gave her their son and went upstairs to pack.

While Ranma was upstairs packing and Soun was still trying to revive his daughter, Nabiki's mind was in overdrive. *How could Ranma have a son? How could his son he be this old? What's going on?*

"Who are you? How do you know Ranma? Explain. Now." she said directing her questions at the young woman.

Sighing as she realized that she would have to retell the story several times, she began. "My name is Chun Li. I met Ranma when he stayed at our dojo when he and his father were on their way to china a little over two years ago. He stayed at our temple/dojo for several weeks while he learned the higher forms of our style and his father worked for us during that time, to gather money for their trip to China."

Nabiki raised an eyebrow in a disbelieving gesture.

"He worked under close supervision," she amended. "Ranma and I were paired as sparing partners almost as soon as he got there. Normally they try to match age groups. A fourteen year old would never be paired with a nineteen year old, but no one was able to match Ranma's skill at the time except me, so I was chosen. Over the next couple weeks we grew close, I found Ranma's zest for life and the chaos he brought to the dojo invigorating. About a week before Ranma and his father were suppose to leave, a friend of ours, Fei Long, just signed a movie deal. We held a party that night to celebrate, the sake was flowing and Ranma and I became quite inebriated. When we awoke together the next morning, together I'm sure you can imagine our surprise. We eventually calmed down and began to talk. We admitted we had feelings for one another, and then decided to continue our activities discreetly. We never expected anything to happen, we used contraceptives after the first night and I was already at the end of my cycle. There was very little chance I could become pregnant. Apparently I was wrong; it wasn't until shortly after they left that I found out I was pregnant."

She paused, seeing there were no questions as only Nabiki and Ranma hadn't heard the story before. Ranma, had come down a few minutes earlier, with his pack, and was listening intently.

"I must admit it caused quite the scene when I told my father. He demanded I marry Ranma but also said that it would be hard to try to catch them while I was pregnant so I was forced to wait until I had our child, and then wait until he was old enough so I could travel with him. That is not to say we did not look or try to contact Ranma in the meantime, but with all their moving around it was almost impossible to locate them and when we did they had always moved on. We lost him for over a year after he reached Jusenkyo. Eventually we tracked the trail to Nerima, and through several newspaper articles we discovered his whereabouts, and here I am. I am sorry for the disturbance this will cause in your lives. I had not anticipated the problems I would find when I arrived here," she finished, casting a glare at Genma, who cringed a bit.

"I see," said Nabiki, casting a withering glance at Ranma. "Well, Ranma, when I can honestly say that I don't think you can surprise me anymore, you throw me a curve ball." *Chun Li! I never would have guessed he would have even known one of the greatest female fighters in the world, let alone got her pregnant. And Fei Long?! Just how many famous people does he know?!* she thought.

Ranma was at a loss for words. Shrugging, he stood next to Chun Li, his eyes watching 'his son' Ryo, sleep in her arms. She wordlessly passed his son to him. The awe on his face as he tried to take in every detail was noticed by everyone. He was still, however, very confused. His life thus far was normally a roller coaster, but THIS, he wasn't expecting. Still, there was nothing much to do though except take it in stride. He knew shortly he would be married; there was no way he could delay it. The loss of honor he imagined Chun Li must have faced thus far, wiped out any complaints, he might have had. He could think of no excuse to delay or prevent the wedding. Heck, he was not even sure if he wanted to! His musing was cut short by his mother.

"Come, Ranma, we are leaving," Nodoka stated.

And they did.

***

"I'm sorry," said Chun Li, her head bowed in shame.

"Don't be, whatever feelings I had for her were over long ago. She never did trust me. What sort of relationship could you have without trust?"

"I'm still sorry."

Wrapping an arm around her shoulder, drawing her a little closer he whispered, "I know."

Nodoka just watched and smiled. "Ranma, we will have to inform the others about this... It would probably be a good idea to finalize things at city hall, first. We can always hold the ceremony later."

Ranma just nodded to his mother. "Yeah you're probably right." Then, to Chun Li, "Where do we go from here? Are you staying, or am I coming to Hong Kong?"

Chun Li sighed. "It's up to you, really, I just started working with Interpol with my dad. I could transfer down to the office in Tokyo if you want, or you and your family could come stay at the dojo. You could teach there if you wanted, I'm sure."

He paused to think about it a moment, then said, "Let's go to Hong Kong, then. It'll be good to get away from this craziness. Plus you have friends there. By the way, how has everyone been treating you?"

"Fairly well, I guess, considering the circumstances. Those that remembered you were a little surprised at first, but quickly accepted what had happened. It's those that don't know you that you might need to be careful of."

Nodding his head again he asked, "How about at work?"

"They don't really know too much. It isn't too uncommon to have a child, you know," she said, jabbing him lightly in the ribs. "I don't know how they will act when they meet you though."

"We'll just have to wait and see, take it one day at a time." Then he paused, before continuing, "You're going to come with us, right Mom? There was plenty of room, at the dojo last time I was there, and you would be close to your grandson."

The last point seemed to win her over. "I would be honored to come if they would have me. It would be good to meet Chun Li's parents, and I'm sure they could use a hand cooking and cleaning."

"With Ranma around, we could use all the help we can get," joked Chun Li, which sparked a round of giggles from the two women.

"HEY! I'm not that bad," mumbled Ranma. "Least not as bad as Pop...."

Another round of the giggles ensued this time Ranma joining in.

***

About this time Akane was waking from her forced slumber.

"Ugh...! Wha...? What hit me?"

"That would be Ranma's future wife," said a smirking Nabiki.

"WHAT?!? WIFE?!? When did this happen?" screamed Akane.

SLAP

"Owww!! What the hell did you do that for Nabiki?"

SLAP

"Owww! Quit it!"

The third time Nabiki tries Akane blocked her. "You are so damn lucky Akane. If Chun Li hadn't knocked you out when she did... I don't even want to THINK about what Ranma would have done to you."

"What do you mean...?!"

SLAP

"DAMNIT! Stop it!"

"How the HELL can you be so dense? You attacked him, Akane, when he was holding his SON!!! He had just picked his son up, and then you exploded and tried to mallet him while he was holding his SON!!! If Chun Li didn't stop you when she did...!!" she let the comment trail off as a visible shudder ran through her.

"Wha? Son? Ranma? Married?!! WHAT IS GOING ON?!!!"

"Oh my, Akane, don't you remember? Chun Li came over today and brought her and Ranma's son over. Ranma didn't even know he was a father, and just when he picked little Ryo up, you attacked him," explained Kasumi.

"You're as bad as Ryouga, Akane!" ranted Nabiki. "You lose control of your temper too easily and attack to fast!! I'll say it again: you're DAMN lucky Chun Li got to you first before you pushed Ranma too far. Now I wasn't at Phoenix Mountain and you were too out of it to know what was happening, but we BOTH know what Ranma did to protect you." She leaned over, for emphasis, as she glared at Akane. "Imagine what he would do... to protect his son."

Akane paled, not just because of the consequences of her actions, but at her actions themselves. It was too much for her fragile state, and she fainted.

***

"Well, that settles things at city hall," said Nodoka. "Let me be the first to congratulate the happy couple."

Ranma just blushed and mumbled his thanks.

Chun Li smiled and nodded at her new mother-in-law.

Ranma spoke up, "We should probably go see the Amazons first. They will probably be the easiest. I know they have a law about this..."

"Ohh?" voiced Nodoka. "Planning something, were you?"

Scratching the back of his head, he replied, "Actually it was Nabiki who brought it up, it's one of the only ways out of their marriage law."

"I see. Well, let's get this over then."

***

"Man! She sure can hit!!" voiced Ranma, now sporting a set of bruises that ran up and down his body.

"That sure was some colorful language she used. I'm glad Ryo isn't old enough to understand it," said Chun Li.

"Quite," responded Nodoka, "That young man, Mousse, sure seemed quite happy."

"That's because he's in love with Shampoo, with me 'out of the way' he thinks 'she'll be his', according to him anyway. I hope things go better with Ucchan."

"Why did Cologne make you become an Amazon by adoption?" Chun Li asked.

"I think it was because of the techniques she taught me. I'm not sure if she ever honestly expected me to pick Shampoo. But by teaching me those Amazon techniques, she always had another way to get me admitted into the tribe. You can think of the techniques as a sort of initiation to test to see if a person is worthy to wed an Amazon. When I 'passed', she knew she had at least a backup way of getting me into the tribe. At least we got her to agree we don't have to live at the village, just assist in times of need..."

"Getting back to Ukyou," Nodoka mused. "Maybe she would take my husband's head as compensation?" remarked Nodoka.

The three snickered at the thought.

***

The Saotome trio arrived home, and was sitting in the living room of the Saotome ancestral home as they discussed their future plans.

"DAMN!! That smarts!" exclaimed Ranma as Chun Li applied the antisthetic to his new set of cuts that ran over his new set of bruises."

"Least she didn't cut off anything important..." snickered Chun Li.

"Urk..."

"It's good to see you two getting along so well. But keep in mind, that we WILL have to repay her dowry plus interest AND compensate her for the hardships she has faced," said Nodoka as she played with Ryo.

"Ranma, why don't you go ahead and take a bath. I would like to talk to Chun Li alone, for a little bit," said Nodoka.

"Sure, Mom," replied Ranma. He got up, gathered his bathing supplies, and departed for the furo.

After he was gone, Nodoka said, "If I may be so bold... How do you feel about my son?"

Chun Li sat in thought for several minutes before speaking up.

***

"There's a four and a half year age difference between us, Mrs. Saotome. Currently I am twenty-one and Ranma is only sixteen. Soon to be seventeen, but that still is quite an age difference. I am lucky this isn't the United Stated or I would be arrested for statutory rape, although here it is still considered very taboo. When Ranma came to stay with us, I was going through a rough time in my life. Many men were seeking my attentions, whether for my body or to get in good with my father, who was at that time the Chief of the Hong Kong police force. Ranma brought a fresh wave with him when he first entered our dojo. His father made a distinctly negative impression upon us, but his son..." she trailed off before continuing.

"I was lonely; I didn't really have any friends at the dojo. Ohh, I was well respected but when you're that much better at the art then everyone, they tend to be a little skittish around you. When Ranma was paired against several members of his age group and defeated them easily I got a call. When I got to the dojo, I saw an arrogant child, no, young man. At first he balked at hitting a 'girl' but after a bit of taunting he gave in. When we began I immediately knew why I had been called, he was good. He was very good, our first match ended in a draw. I couldn't believe it; I just couldn't understand how someone that much younger than me could be as good as he was.

I guess it's a good thing that first match ended in a draw, it forced Ranma to understand that being a woman didn't mean being weak. He still went easy in an almost patronizing way against other females at the dojo who weren't at his skill level, but he learned that a woman could be just as strong as a male.

Ranma intrigued me almost from the beginning; his passion for the art was rivaled by no other. When he wasn't resting or eating he was practicing. He practiced twice as long as everybody else and twice as hard too, everyone at first thought he was trying to impress us, but after awhile they just took it as natural for him. He was that dedicated.

One night I caught Ranma on the roof gazing at the stars, it was very beautiful and we talked late into the night. We talked about life, what we wanted out of it and what we hoped to accomplish as we grew older. We talked about our fears and our dreams; we got to know each other.

I was just starting out on the Hong Kong police force and we talked about that. We talked about always being under our fathers' shadows, always being judged by who our fathers were. For me, it was infuriating to be compared constantly to my father, but I believe Ranma had it worse. He had to contend with all the negative things his father was known for.

We talked... We grew close... Then the party, I can honestly tell you that I had no intention of ever sleeping with your son. But when we both got drunk that night and woke up the next morning it was like the wall cracked.

Never had someone so understood me as he did, and I him. We didn't expect anything to come out of it, we both new he would be leaving soon and probably wouldn't be returning. So we enjoyed what little time we had left together...

When he left, I was sad. When I found out I was pregnant, I cried. I cried because I felt I had let him down. We had never talked about having children; I think it would have brought our feelings to each other out in the open. I remember thinking about running away, about trying to hide from my obligations and trying to raise the child on my own. To not involve Ranma in this, but it all changed.

Somehow my father found out. He was furious at first, but gradually came to understand. We settled on a course of action, we would look for Ranma and give him the choice. If he hadn't wanted marriage I would have raised the child on my own. If he did we would be married.

I came to the dojo with those thoughts in mind. I don't know what I was thinking; I should have known he would have been in school. I guess I hadn't thought about the age difference as really affecting us that much. When Kasumi told me he was at school, I just planned to leave and return later. When she asked me in for tea, I probably should have declined and left.

But I didn't... How you even guessed that the child was Ranma's I had no clue. Though I must thank you for helping me out with Soun and Genma, getting them to see reason.

When Ranma arrived, I was at nervous wreck. I didn't know what to expect, you had told me of the multiple engagements, the reactions I could expect from his other fiancée's and the others...

When Ranma recognized me I was extremely relieved, while I had thought the times together we had were memorable I didn't know how he would feel. When he guessed with surprisingly few clues that it was his son, I was a little shocked but he always had been fast both mentally at physically.

When he smiled I was overjoyed, it wasn't the rejection I had been expecting.

Mrs. Saotome, you asked if I love your son. I can honestly tell you I don't know..."

***

Massive facefault from Nodoka.

"Ahemm, I see. Thank you for being so honest. As for how I knew it was Ranma's son, well you see Ranma is such a manly man and when you were asking for him it seemed a natural conclusion."

SWEATDROPS... LOTS OF THEM

"Why don't you go take a nice long bath, now that Ranma, is out. Ranma and I can take care of little Ryo while you're in there.

"Thank you, Mrs. Saotome, that would be lovely," replied Chun Li.

"Not a problem, 'Mrs. Saotome'," responded Nodoka with a grin.

*Saotome? Oh my!* "Oh my, I did take his name didn't I?" asked Chun Li with a laugh. After gathering her things, she departed for the bath. Passing Ranma in the hall, she said, "Ranma, I believe your mother would like to speak with you."

"Ok, thank you, Chun Li," Ranma replied as he headed for the living room. Upon entering, he noticed his mother playing with little Ryo.

"Mom? Chun Li said you would like to see me."

*Smart girl* "Yes, Ranma, I have already talked with Chun Li. And now I would like to talk with you. How do you feel about her, son? This has all come on afully fast, and I would like to know."

***

"I'm not sure where to begin. Traveling with pops I didn't have many friends, quite frankly I only had Ukyou and Ryouga. Looks like I don't even have them now..." he trailed off, feeling slightly depressed.

"Chun Li was my first female friend. You have to remember I still thought Ukyou was a guy at the time. Pop had always raised me to believe that girls were weak. You can imagine my surprise when Chun Li fought me to a standstill. She had some remarkable footwork, which was part of their dojo's higher arts; it was just something I just had to learn.

(A.N. Think Kuno's battle with Ranma when he learns that Ranma and Ranma- Chan are 'one in body, mind, and soul' from Nabiki.)

Even at the dojo we were at, I didn't make friends that easily. It was such a relief having someone to talk to even if it was a girl. We talked a lot, as she said we grew close. Pops was busy teaching at the dojo, so he didn't really notice what was going on. Actually I think that's the longest time I have ever seen him hold a job...

Anyway, then Fei Long signed that movie deal. I had only met him once or twice when he stopped by the dojo to talk to Dorai-sensei, so I didn't know him that well. I didn't plan on drinking anything at all, but Pops insisted. Said it was 'the manly thing to do' and I apparently got quite drunk. I sure as hell didn't expect to wake up naked next to Chun Li though...

We were at a loss on what to do, I was scared I was going to lose one of my only friends and I guess it showed. She explained how it 'was alright' and it 'was just a mistake' and all that.

I started babbling... Not even knowing what I was saying for the most part. I know I kept apologizing, and begging for forgiveness. I remember saying something along the lines of 'I hope we can be friends... cause I well... I... like you a lot', that started the ball rolling I guess.

We spent the next couple hours reassuring each other that nothing had changed and that it wouldn't happen again. That we still liked each other, and that we didn't want to lose one of our few friends.

It was getting light out and I needed to get back to my own room, she walked me to her door and bent down to give me a kiss. I'm pretty sure she was aiming for my forehead, but I jerked my head up in surprise and well it ended up on the lips. We kind of lost ourselves after that...

I won't say it was a mistake, or any of the nights after that. That would just be like wishing that Ryo wasn't born, and I can't do that. He's already made a major change in my life and I can't say it has been bad.

Do I love her? I know I had strong feelings for her at the time, I still do. Is it Love? No. Could it become love? Yes."

***

Several hours later, after dinner, Nodoka was sitting in the living room along with Ranma, Chun Li, and her new grandson Ryo. Ranma was getting acquainted with his new son, Chun Li was telling him what had been going on in her life while he had been away, and Nodoka was learning just how hectic a normal day for Ranma really was.

After things settled down a bit, Nodoka gazed at her son for several minutes before speaking. "Thank you both for being so honest with me earlier. I know this will be hard for you both, not only being young parents, but also the age difference and treatment you are likely to receive because of it. But I think you will both do fine. I was never sure about Akane, always losing her temper so quickly, and her cooking... Don't even get me started. All the girls were just too possessive; they wouldn't understand that my son would probably need at least one mistress if not more."

Sweatdrop "I see..." said Chun Li before noticing Ranma shaking his head and hands in frantic denial. "I will try to satisfy my husbands appetites... and be understanding if the need arises." Seeing Ranma's thumbs up and the smile he flashed her, she couldn't help but grin.

"Excellent! Now we should probably retire for the night as Chun Li got us an early flight tomorrow. You two can take my room, there's a king size bed there and I moved the crib from the attic for Ryo. I'll sleep in the guest room for the night, try not to keep me up all night," she finished with a grin before departing.

Sweatdrops "Is she always like this?" asked Chun Li.

He shrugged. "Pretty much..."

"I guess we should try and get some sleep..."

"Yeah, I guess... Should I sleep on the floor?"

"Why? It's not like we haven't done this before... I'm sure we can both control ourselves this time..."

"We weren't able to LAST time," muttered Ranma as they entered the room.

"Why, Ranma! You're not suggesting anything... improper... are you?" asked Chun Li, her hand on his chest quickly heading south.

"Urk!!!"

****

A.N. Ranma always knew it was a possibility Chun Li could get pregnant, that was one of the reason why he never committed to another female. When Chun Li arrived at the Tendou Dojo though it forced him to make tough decisions and think about the good of others before he thought about himself. Keep this in mind if you complaint's about him being out of character.

I am not sure if Chun Li's last name is Li or what. If it is, then her name will be Chun Li Saotome, where Li, becomes her middle name. If not, well, it will still be Chun Li Saotome.

As for Chun Li's personality... The only SF anime I have seen is SF2V, and she doesn't have a major roll in that. And personally, I have always seen her as domineering personality, but I will tend to portrait her as a bit playful or possibly submissive (but only to Ranma), or that's how I'm gonna try it. Don't like it? Don't read it... Got another suggestion, email me.

I have no intention of writing any lemon scenes, limes are possibilities but unlikely and if they occur they will be few in number. Though if anyone else is interested in writing some lemon 'side stories' for this series let me know.



Pre-Reader Thanks go to. (In Alphabetical Order)

Aleh (For pre-reading)

Frederick Herriot (For pre-reading)

Dark Knight (For character development)

Rens Houben (For pre-reading)

Thermopyle (For pre-reading)

Like it/Hate it/Suggestions? Send to schemer@houston.rr.com



Next Chapter: Chun Li meets Ranma-Chan. Onto Hong Kong!!