Disclaimer: Ranma 1/2 is the creation of Rumiko Takahashi. I am not Rumiko Takahashi. But she left the keys in the ignition, so it would be a shame not to take it out on a bit of a joyride...
Bad Ideas Gone Wrong Productions Presents
A Curse Exposed!
A Ranma 1/2 Fanfic by Geoduck
Ryoga sighed as he looked at the road in front of him. He had already journeyed far that day, and there were miles yet to be walked before he rested. It was a tiring, mostly cheerless existence.
And he had forced himself to forsake the chief joy in his life.
"Akane," he sighed.
He had sworn himself an oath to never see her again. It wasn't an easy decision--it hurt worse than any physical punishment he had ever received--but it was for the best.
It was, once again, the fault of Jusenkyo, the bane of his life. Yes, Akane loved the pig. But she didn't know the truth about it. And if she ever learned the truth... "She'd hate me. Forever."
Better to separate for good from the one he loved than to be hated by her. It was a hard decision, but ultimately, it was his best option.
After this moment's reflection, he proceeded on his way again. His eyes lowered as they were, he failed to see the sign reading "Now Entering Tokyo: Nerima Ward."
Elsewhere in Tokyo, another approached the Tendo Dojo, but with more sinister intent.
"Soon, Ranma Saotome, soon...you will fall before the might of Tsushiro Tanabe of the Tanabe School of Water Balloon Martial Arts!"
Is it obvious enough that this is foreshadowing?
Akane concentrated on the task before her. A brick resting between two cinderblocks. A brick that was to shortly become dust.
She brought her right hand in position. Paused a moment.
Unfortunately, it was that precise moment when her body chose to yawn. She tried to stifle it...tried to keep her hand moving in her usual brick-destroying stroke, but her concentration was shot.
Her hand smacked into the brick, but failed to smash it. The brick, I mean. Her hand wasn't exactly smashed either, but it sure felt like it.
Kasumi listened to the radio as she prepared breakfast.
"Weather over most of Tokyo is expected to be sunny and clear today. Nerima, however, is expecting multiple sudden unexpected downpours."
Akane cradled her injured hand in her uninjured one, and mentally cursed everything vexing her life at the present: her clumsiness, obnoxious schoolmates, curses, panty thieves...and a certain R. Saotome.
Not until after this flood of invective had ceased did she really start reflecting about what had just happened. It was the yawn that blew the whole thing. But WHY did she yawn? She was getting plenty of sleep: she slept for almost eight hours last night.
Well, no, not really. She was lying in bed for almost eight hours. She didn't sleep for nearly that long.
It had been a long time since she'd really had a good night's sleep. Not since she'd last seen him. "P-Chan." Her pet.
She worried about the poor animal. Lost all the time. Who would take care of him?
Maybe he found a permanent home. Somebody to take care of him.
Oddly, that thought made her feel somewhat depressed.
Toshi Nagamine was having a bad day.
Life as a truckdriver wasn't the easiest in the world on a normal day.
But when your brakes suddenly failed when you were carrying a full load of bottled water...that was decidedly bad.
Akane started at the sound of a voice she hadn't heard in quite some time. Was that...Ryoga?
"Where...the hell...am I now?" a voice wheezed.
Yes, that was Ryoga.
A myopic master of hidden weaponry chuckled.
"Saotome...you'll be helpless before my Hidden Seltzer Bottle technique!"
With that, he bounded across the roofs of Nerima towards...well, you know.
He couldn't believe it. He couldn't BELIEVE it. Of all the dojos in all the towns in all the world, he had to walk into hers.
"Ryoga, I haven't seen you in SO long. How are you?"
"Heh...Akane! What are you doing in Osaka?"
Yeah, of course it was. It always was. Whatever he wanted most in the world, he couldn't get. He wanted to stay away, so he came back, of course.
"Akane, I..." He paused not because he was shy, but for once, because he had no idea what to say.
Luckily they were saved from an uncomfortable pause by an indescribable cacophony of screeching metal, screaming, and bursts of thunder.
The two were understandably puzzled at the sound. It took visual confirmation for them to discover that it had been the sound of an Evian truck crashing in the vicinity of a martial-arts-deathmatch between a half-blind Chinese teenager and a master of Water Balloon martial arts. During a cloudburst.
"Wow. I'm glad we weren't out by the street. We could have gotten hurt!" remarked Akane.
"Or wet," muttered Ryoga.
He shivered inside. So much water. He had come so close, so unbelievably close to having his curse revealed to Akane.
That was it. He had to leave. Now. And forever.
"Ryoga, won't you come up to the house with me?"
Akane chattered away, giving Ryoga a brief report of all the happenings in the neighborhood since he'd been away. He wasn't really listening as much as he was enjoying the sound of her talking to him. Perhaps that's how his guard was let down for a moment.
He didn't notice Kasumi standing by the door with a suspiciously familiar old lady. An old lady who was showing Kasumi the proper way to handle a bucket and ladle...
"So I'm supposed to flick my wrist like this?" Kasumi asked, tentatively splashing water across the walkway. Right on Akane and Ryoga.
Water only annoyed Akane. It had a somewhat more serious affect on Ryoga. "NOOOOOOBWEEEEEEEEEE!"
This is it,' he thought, the end. She saw it. She saw me transform. There's no getting around it this time.' Deep within, he felt the stirrings. Unless he was careful, he'd set off the strongest Shi Shi Hokodan of his life. Damn, I knew that sidewalk lady would be the one to get me in the end...'
Akane was pale.
"Oh Ryoga...I can't believe it."
That's it. My life is over. Please think of me kindly once I'm dead.'
"You've been to Jusenkyo...you have a Jusenkyo curse. You...you're cursed to become...a black piglet?"
Although it was his greatest nightmare, Ryoga felt strangely serene. 'So this must be the clarity that comes immediately before death. All in all, it hasn't been that bad a life. My only regret is not taking Saotome with me when I went.'
"Ryoga. I can't believe you'd DO such a thing!" Akane was near tears.
Ryoga knew what would come next: 'Ryoga...I HATE YOU!'
The universe skipped a beat. Ryoga froze in position.
"Ryoga! You went to Jusenkyo and got cursed as a black piglet just to make me feel better because I haven't seen P-Chan in so long! I can't believe you'd do that for me! That is so SWEET of you!"
And with that, the entire universe face-faulted.
Author's Notes (2002):
I hope you'll forgive this little offering. I've seen many fics that speculate what would happen if Akane found out about Ryoga's curse, but for the most part, they ignore one of the vital aspects of the Ranmaverse: apart from the "hair-cutting" incident, Akane never gets angry at Ryoga. So why would an insignificant thing like a Jusenkyo curse cause her to change that policy?
Thanks to my brother Arcturus for pre-reading and suggestions.
Author's Notes (2009):
I've been dusting off some of my old stories and reposting them. I hope you enjoy this one.