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The Tomboy Solution


True Artistry

a Ranma 1/2 fanstory by
Chris Jones

"Ranma! Stand still and fight me!"

"Huh?" Ranma dodged, lightly twisting around Akane's blow
while balancing on his right big toe. He flipped a page in his manga
and continued to read.

"Ranma, you creep! You could at least pay attention to me
while we're sparring!"

"Oh, uhmm... maybe later, Akane," Ranma flipped another page.

"Ranma! You JERK! Come here so I can kill you!"

*Hmm,* Ranma mused as he cleanly flipped over Akane's blow.
*What to do? What to do?* He flipped another page in his manga.

The problem was that almost a month had passed since the
kidnapping by Kiima's bird-goons, and Ranma was *seriously* starting
to worry about Akane's chances in the next all-out fight. While she
came through it mostly unscathed, it had been touch and go for quite
a while. Akane was okay this time, but she *could* have died if
things had gone differently.

Oh, and there was that wedding thing too. That was pretty
exciting and dangerous, what of it Ranma actually remembered.

Ranma thought that it was *his* job to fight the challenges
and defend the dojo. As he matured, however, he was beginning to
realize that he was only one man. While he had no doubt in his
confidence in his ability to defeat any given opponent, the fight
with Saffron's bird-people had driven home the lesson that a martial
artist abroad cannot necessarily protect a fiancee at home.

What to do?

"Man, Akane, you're not just thick today, you're slow, too!"


Her left was getting kinda soft, too, Ranma thought as he
sailed over the dojo. He would have to work on that.

* * *

"Man, Akane is *pissed* today," Hiroshi said, noting the
angry blue glow surrounding the girl as she picked angrily at her

Daisuke nodded. "You should have heard what Ranma said in
history class."

Hiroshi shook his head. "I saw him whispering from across the
room, but..."

"Well, I was a few seats over, but it sounded like he was

"Ranma?" Daisuke asked in surprise. "What on earth would
Ranma sing?"

Hiroshi looked around to make sure Akane was still a safe
distance away. "The Tomboy Song".

"Oh. Damn. Boy had it coming, then."

"Yeah, he did."

* * *

"I told you, Akane," Ranma said, dangling the pastry
tauntingly in front of Akane's nose. "Heavy girls like you don't need
chocoloate cream puffs."

"You're gonna die, Ranma!" Akane screeched.

She felt off today. Ranma had been a creep all day, and she
hadn't managed to lay a finger on him even once. She must be getting
slower... out of shape. The thought just made her angrier. She
pressed her attack, doing her best to keep up with the offensive

Ranma mimed taking a bite of the stolen confection, inciting
the girl to further violence. He dodged over the table, landing
lightly behind his father in panda form.

The giant panda's eyes went wide in horror as Akane
brandished her mallet. He had been on the receiving end of that
little hammer of horrors before, and wanted no part of it. He
scrambled out from in front of his son, leaving the pigtailed youth
to the torments his fiancee had in store for him.

"Nyah! Stupid, slow, tomboy! You really should cut down on
the sweets, Akane. You put on any more weight and you really won't be
able to move any more."

* * *

"It's getting bad, Saotome," Soun noted. "I had such high
hopes after the wedding, but..."

Genma, back in human form, grimaced and pointed to the
spectacle of Akane chasing Ranma across the back of the yard.

Ranma stopped for a few seconds to say something insulting,
dodging a kick and two lighting-fast punches in the process.

"Oh, I see," Soun said. "I didn't realize. Her left has been
getting a little soft."

"I think the boy already knows," Genma said.

* * *

"Hey, look," Ranma noted as they walked to school the next
morning. "It's Blue Blunder."

Akane groaned, sore from chasing Ranma the previous day.
"Just exactly who I didn't want to see again."



Blue Thunder went a-flyin'.

"God, Akane!" Ranma tormented. "That was weak!

"I'll show you how weak it is, you jerk! Come back here so I
can kill you, Ranma!"

"Nyah! Thick girl!" Ranma teased, already fading from sight
up ahead.

* * *

Ukyou Kuonji was getting worried.

Ranma wasn't spending time with her. True, he had been
tormenting Akane almost non-stop for the last two weeks, but that
meant that he was spending time with *Akane* instead of *Ukyou*.

Today was the first day since the wedding that Ranma had paid
any attention to her at all. He happily munched down his third
okonomiyaki and started acting like he wanted a fourth. Ukyou smiled,
whipped one off the grill for him. She stared around at the other
students at lunch, her eyes seeking out one in particular.

Akane was eating with her older sister and some of her
friends. She looked... happy? Energetic at any rate. Confident.
Maybe... Maybe it was time to take her down a notch or two. Ranma
wouldn't be interested in some girl who was so depressed over losing
a fight that she couldn't get out of bed.


"Hmmph?" Ranma finished his fourth okonomiyaki.

"I wanna challenge Akane."


"Formal-like," Ukyou added.

Ranma took a long draw off a bottle of water and nodded.
"Soccer field's the best place. Lots o' room to run and jump, but
nowhere to hide and get lost."

"I'm not fighting Ryouga, Ranchan."

Ranma chuckled. "Be sure to call her lotsa names and stuff.
It's really been getting to her lately. Might give you an edge."

Ukyou grinned. He really *did* care! She nodded thankfully
and shut off her grill. She strode purposefully over to Akane.

"Gomen, Ucchan," Ranma whispered quietly, a hint of guilt
entering his voice.

* * *

"She what?" Soun demanded.

"Trashed Ukyou. Brutally," Nabiki repeated. "Just right there
in front of everybody. Of course, Ukyou was being insulting the whole
time. You know how Akane is about that. Ukyou was in the infirmary
all afternoon."

Soun nodded, and rubbed his chin in thought.

"Stupid tomboy! You've got arms like a gorilla, but only
about half the fleas."

"GRRRR!!! Ranma, you asshole! How can you be so rude!?"

Ranma dodged past Soun at near-Amiguriken speed. Akane
followed close behind, her fists swinging like wrecking balls. Soun
had to drop to the floor to keep from being collateral damage. Nabiki
took several steps away to avoid being caught up in the fight.

Genma-panda had wisely taken up a position in the corner,
ostensibly watching the small black and white television. In reality,
the panda was doing his best to stay out of the way.

Ranma zipped into the kitchen. Akane followed, screaming
defiance the entire time. The 'wham' and 'crack' of her blows was
soon replaced by the 'bang' and 'ping' of flying cookware.

"I'm not sure I can take much more of this," Soun said,
clutching his chest.

* * *

"OHOHOHOHOHO! Akane Tendou, I see," Kodachi noted in some

"Go home, Kodachi," Akane commanded. She put her book bag
down and turned so that her back was no longer to the brick wall that
surrounded Furinkan high.

"Tell me, peasant girl, where is my darling Ranma-sama?"

Akane growled, but held her anger in check. Kodachi was a
dangerous opponent, and one that Akane didn't want to fight lightly.
"He's in detention for sleeping through class."

"Hmph," Kodachi turned her nose up. "If Ranma had someone as
beautiful as the lovely Black Rose to accompany him in class, he
would have no reason to slumber. As it is, looking at one so bestial,
Ranma-sama could hardly--"

"What did you call me?" Akane cut her off, her clenched fists
shaking with rage.

"Bestial," Kodachi noted. "Unfeminine. Truly, Akane Tendou,
you are a brutish girl. I have no idea why the sight of a harpy like
you doesn't send my Ranma-sama screami-- AAGGAHGGHGHGHGHGGHGHGHAAA!

* * *

"Not good," Genma noted.

"At least the principal isn't pressing charges," Soun noted.
"His daughter *did* pick the fight after all."

"It was creepy, Tendou. Principal Kunou seemed almost...
*amused* by the whole thing."

"If only Akane hadn't gone so far," Soun worried out loud.
"Kodachi may be in the hospital for weeks."

"Longer, if that body cast was any indication," Genma said.
"Flogging her with a water hose was going a bit far, I think."

* * *

"Hey, Tomboy," Ranma teased.

"What do you want, cretin?" Akane growled as she helped wash
the dinner dishes.

"Heh... listen, I heard a rumor about a new group of
kidnappers. It seems that they only kidnap unfeminine, sweaty, smelly
tomboys. Keeps their bloodline unreasonably strong, you understand."


"Hey, I just thought you'd want to know since you're at


*hit* *punch* *mallet*

"Man, a girl like you couldn't hit the broad side of a barn
with a shotgun. Why don't you just give up Akane?"

"I'll never give up beating on perverts!" Akane declared.

Her fist *almost* tagged Ranma's face.

*Alright! She almost got me that time! Better turn things up
another notch,* Ranma thought to himself. He made the mental
adjustment necessary to dodge and react to a much faster opponent and
stuck his tongue out at Akane.

"Slow chick, thick chick, dumpy chick!"


* * *


"What is it, Shampoo?"

"Very bad. Akane beat Spatula Girl and Ribbon Girl. She
training in secret somehow. Shampoo think she training for fight."

"Hmm... this isn't good for your chances with my son-in-law,
Shampoo. If Akane *is* training in secret somehow, your dominance
over the rest of Ranma's girlfriends could be in danger."

Shampoo nodded seriously. "That why Shampoo want challenge.
Get violent-girl now, before too late. Ranma let her fight, if
serious challenge."

Cologne shook her head. "The challenge sets a dangerous
precedent, Shampoo. If Akane were actually able to beat you, you
would risk losing your claim on Ranma. If you win, she retains the
right to challenge you in the future. Are you sure you want to accept
such a risk."

"Shampoo beat Akane before, when not formal challenge.
Shampoo beat Akane again, break spirit. Akane not bother Shampoo

* * *

"Hey, Mister Tendou. What's up?" Ranma asked. The pigtailed
youth was balancing easily on his head in the middle of the dojo
floor, manga scattered all around him.

Soun knelt down in front of the youth. He had just spent the
last fifteen minutes listening to Akane try to kill Ranma in
retaliation for a series of degrading insults. As Akane chased him
around the dojo, their movements snapped and cracked through the air
like whips. Soun remembered his very first sensei, the man who taught
him the way of the sword, could cut the air so that it cracked in the
blade's wake.

Coming to his decision, Soun nodded and placed a folded
letter face up on the floor. "This arrived from the Nekohanten a few
minutes ago."

Ranma grimaced and folded open the letter.

"As is... now appropriate," Soun stated, coughing anxiously.
"It's your duty to see Akane answers this challenge."

Ranma nodded seriously. He bit his lip in thought.

"Is my little girl ready, Ranma?" Soun asked in the tone of a
frightened father, rather than a martial arts sensei.

Ranma shrugged, an unusual gesture for a man who is balancing
upside down. "Dunno yet. Check back after the fight and I'll tell

"Oh. Okay."

"Uhh... Mister Tendou, I need you to keep quiet about this. I
didn't think it was gonna go this far, so..."

"I understand, Son. I can't say that I agree with your
training methods, but they are frightfully effective."

Ranma nodded. "She's gotta learn somehow."

* * *

"What are you reading, Ranma?" Akane asked.

Ranma snickered and turned away from Akane. He read for a few
more minutes and laughed out loud.

"Let me see!" Akane demanded petulantly. "What's so funny?"

"No!" Ranma said, laughing. "It's nothing, Akane. Hee!

"Ranma! Give it here!" Akane reached in past Ranma's guard
and snagged the paper. She pulled it away and started to read.

"Dear Ranma. I see Akane today looking like... PREGNANT
SOW?!?!" Akane screamed. Her furious eyes scanned over the rest of
the letter. The paper very nearly caught fire in her hands.

She belted Ranma hard enough to throw him against the wall
and stormed out of the house.

Ranma couldn't help but grin as he slid down off the wall.

Across the room, Soun nodded to Genma. The two got up to
follow Akane. Ranma leapt up and ran to catch up with them.

* * *

Cologne and Shampoo were waiting in the park across the
street from the Nekohanten. Akane had no trouble locating them even
though she had never seen the location mentioned in the challenge

Shampoo shook her violet hair and readied her bonbori for the
coming confrontation.

Akane was mad as hell and accelerating to the meeting place.

"Akane come to get beat by Shampoo?"

"DIE, BIMBO!" Akane screeched, leaping into the fray.

Cologne shook her head sadly. Shampoo never had a chance.
After the initial... well... *bitch-slap* that loosened most of the
Amazon's teeth, Akane had proceeded to demolish the Chinese girl with
a brutality that Cologne had rarely witnessed.

She was certain that Shampoo's left arm had been broken, but
whether from the incredibly rough shoulder block Akane gave her or
the fact that Akane tied the girl into a fair approximation of a
square-knot, Cologne knew not. She was sure that Shampoo would be
walking with a crutch for the next few days, as well.

After Akane stormed off in as yet unspent anger, Cologne
sighed and proceeded to untangle her whimpering granddaughter. She
easily lifted the girl and took her across the street to the
restaurant. Cologne came back out of the restaurant a few seconds
later and put her hands on her hips.

"Son-in-law! Come out here."

Ranma leapt down off the top of the restaurant.

"Why have you done this?" Cologne demanded.

Ranma's and Akane's father leapt down and stood slightly
behind and to one side of the boy.

"Akane's gotta be able to protect herself when I'm gone off
doin' stuff," Ranma explained. "Sorry 'bout Shampoo. She had it
comin' for a while, though. She's been pushin' Akane for a long time

Cologne sighed and rubbed one eye. "That's true, but... good
Lord, Child! Do you have any idea the kind of forces you're

Ranma nodded. "Yup."

Cologne nodded in reply. "You would, wouldn't you? This isn't
over, Son-in-law. Don't make the mistake of thinking I'm done with
you yet."

"Never, old ghoul. You still got some techniques I ain't
learned yet."

Ranma leapt away, and took off over the rooftops.

Soun and Genma both bowed wordlessly and sprinted away.

Cologne sighed at some length. Ranma was a new sensei, and
favored new and dangerous methods of instruction. Worse, there were
no controls built into his customized method of training. Why, to
keep Akane's fiery nature from becoming a truly dangerous engine of
destruction, he'd have to very carefully control her. To achieve that
level of control, he'd have to stay with her for the rest of her...


Shampoo would be hard pressed to win this one, Cologne

* * *

Later that night, by *complete* coincidence, the kidnappers

Akane, roused from her sleep by the creeping ninjas, screamed
in rage. "My God! They *are* kidnapping the tomboys! Prepare to die!"

Downstairs, Ranma held one ninja in a half-nelson hold. He
muffled the man's screams by stuffing an apple in his mouth.

"You hear that?" Ranma asked, noting the sounds of violence
and the screams of pain and torment coming from the second floor of
the Tendou home.

The captured ninja nodded in fright and horror as one of his
fellows went flying past a nearby window and landed in crying heap in
the Tendou yard.

"You can take me to your boss, or you can have some of that,"
Ranma offered. "Which one you wanna do?" Ranma removed the apple,
allowing the man to speak.


"Think hard, mask-boy," Ranma hissed.

"I'll take you to my leader," the ninja whispered as the
sound of bone breaking echoed down the stairway.

"Good choice."

* * *

The attackers were operating out of an abandoned warehouse in
the factory district. Their leader, a slender, well-muscled man in a
loin-cloth and a bronze crown, sat on a mock throne made from crates
and packing material. Two of the ninjas, wearing much more
conventional weapons, walked up and bowed before the man. He gestured
at them with the bronze tipped spear he held.

"Has the goddess been captured?" the leader asked.

One of the ninjas shook his head. "We don't know yet. Our
team just missed their last callin time. We have seen no sign of

"It's possible that the goddess may be providing our warriors
with heavy opposition," the warrior prince noted. "Truly a great gift
for our honored chosen."

"Or she could just be beating the tar out of them," the other
ninja noted.

Just then, another ninja dropped out the rafters of the
warehouse. He was neither armed nor conscious, however. He fell a
short ways and then swung by the rope tied to his ankle.

The prince and the other ninjas looked around wildly.

A figure in red and black leapt down from the rafters and
landed like a cat a little behind the ninjas.

"Who dares to invade my temporary throne room?!?" The prince

"Ranma Saotome," the figure announced. All around him, the
steely glints of concealed weapons started to shine in the shadows.
Ranma grinned ferally and positioned himself in a defensive stance.
"*Somebody* tried to kidnap my fiancee tonight, and a little bird
told me that you were responsible."

The prince stood to his feet and brandished his spear at the
martial artist. "You speak so rudely to a prince of Crespinpinesia?
Disrespect to the Bronze Crown is punishable by death, heathen!"

Ranma smirked and cracked his knuckles. "Come get me."

"Seize him!" the prince yelled. Island princes are kinda
stupid that way.

After Ranma had summarily trounced over fifty ninjas, he grew
bored with the running battle and started to retreat from the
remaining warriors in a spiral pattern. The rest was... well... an
interesting storm in the otherwise calm early morning sky of Tokyo.

Ranma walked over to the prince who was busy trying to stop
his nose from bleeding. "Okay," Ranma demanded. "Tell me why you
wanted to kidnap Akane."

On threat of having his nation humiliated again, the prince
began to explain.

Crespinpinesia was a small island several hundred miles off
the eastern coast of Japan. It was so small, in fact that it had been
ignored by most geographers and map-makers. When the Japanese were
occupying islands in the early years of WWII, they ignored
Crespinpinesia as insignificant. The Americans never even noticed it
as they flew overhead.

The inhabitants of Crespinpinesia had a proud martial
tradition. In fact, they worshipped a goddess of war that was said to
have raised the home island from sea with a mighty blow of her divine
hammer. The legends stated that the goddess was slain in a contest of
wills against one of her rivals. Before she died, however, the
goddess promised her followers that she would be reborn in a mortal
body to lead and hold dominion over the island.

The warrior prince was just following his religion in trying
to subdue his warrior goddess and return her to the island and to her
rightful throne.

Ranma chuckled and rubbed his chin. "And what makes you think
Akane is this goddess of war?"

The prince pointed to a stone tablet that was partially
hidden in the darkness and gloom of the warehouse. Several of the
less injured ninjas were feeling helpful, so they aimed a light at

It was carved with a picture that displayed a short-haired
woman. It was hard to tell from all the cracks and erosion that had
plagued the stone since it's creation, but the face and bust carved
into it bore a passing resemblance to that of Ranma's fiancee.

Ranma rubbed his chin in thought. "Hmm... Don't know if
that's her or not, but I can tell you the worst way to get anywhere
with Akane is to try to beat her up. Why don't you get some of your
guys bandaged up and come by the house tomorrow. Knock at the front
door, I mean. Akane might know what you're talkin' about. If not, you
should just leave, 'cause goddess or not, Akane ain't leavin 'less
she wants to. Capice?"

The warrior prince nodded, eager to be released from any
further physical punishment.

The Crespinpinesian pantheon got a new addition that evening.
Centuries down the line, Crespinpinesian children would learn not
only about their patron goddess of war, but the goddess's captor and
chosen mate, the war-horse god.

* * *

"Hey Akane," Ranma said, tossing the girl a paper sack.

Akane peered inside the sack to see a fruit filled pastry.
She cautiously took it out and nibbled a corner after seeing Ranma do
the same.

"I thought you said thick girls like me didn't need sweets,"
she said in an accusing tone.

"Hmmph! A guy can't be nice every once in a while?"

"Not when he's you," Akane accused, viciously biting into her

Ranma grinned an honest, toothy grin. "Hey, there's some guys
from an old island kingdom in town and they're having a show of some
of their old artifacts," Ranma said. "Lot's o' war and martial arts
stuff. You wanna go?"

Akane smiled. Ranma loved it when she smiled. "Sure!"

Playing at their go board, Soun and Genma watched the two
leave, still nibbling on the pastries Ranma had bought them.

"Is it so bad, Tendou?" Genma asked.

Soun's shoulders slumped. "He's ruining her training."

"But she's never been a better martial artist. He's taught
her to win wars without even thinking about it."

"He seems to have her under control, at least," Soun noted.

Genma took a long draw off his beer.

"Maybe they *will* be happy together," Soun hoped.


C. Jones