Disclaimer: Ranma 1/2 and all related characters and situations are the property of Rumiko Takahashi and Viz Entertainment, used without permission or intent to profit.
Why can't there be a Jusenkyo Spring of Drowned Wealthy Writer? There'd be a line of fanfic authors wanting a dip...
"License to Thrill"
by J.T. Magnus, 'Turbo'
The school day was over and Saotome Ranma sat on the edge of the roof of Furinken High, doing something that would've surprised many that thought they knew him. He was thinking. Specifically, he was thinking over the last few months since arriving in Nerima Ward in general and what had happened over the last few days in particular. Everyone thought that he only thought about Martial Arts, which wasn't entirely true. It was easy for him to understand Martial Arts, so he usually thought about things in Martial Arts terms to make them easier to understand. He didn't understand the reasons to do things a certain way in a tea ceremony, for instance, but when he thought of it as a kind of kata, it didn't matter why as long as he did it right. That's the kind of thinking that Ranma was doing at the moment, going over things like they were steps in a kata.
Starting from arriving at the Tendo Dojo, first step... The Tendo Engagement, he had gotten Akane dropped on him by the other two despite the fact that their fathers' had said it was his choice, something everyone else kept forgetting he hadn't ever made yet.
Second step, Furinken; Kuno, crazed date-obsessed sports nuts, lessons so boring it was hard to keep awake, forget pay attention...
Third; Amazons; This one included Shampoo's going from 'kill' to 'married', Mousse's not paying attention whenever he said he didn't care for Shampoo, and especially the Old Mummy's plots, pressure points and freakin' 'Three Thousand Years of Amazon History and Laws' she kept spouting off about.
Step four, Ucchan... Ukyo... What the hell do you call someone that was your childhood best friend when you thought they were a boy and they turn out to be a girl that your father stole her family's livelihood and dumped on the roadside. Worse yet, she was another one that went from 'kill Ranma' to 'marry Ranma', all because he tried to make her feel better by calling her 'cute'.
If that one hadn't taught him that helping people could be a bad idea, Ranma mused, Kodachi definately did... come to think of it, catching a falling girl was what got him into the mess he was in right now. Maybe next time he should just let the girl fall, it might be all-around safer for him.
Which led him perfectly to the sixth step of this mental kata, the situation at hand. It was almost worth a kata in and of itself. First thing hadn't been anything planned, he and Nabiki had both been giving Akane a hard time on their own about the same time... then, they just kind of flowed together... Akane decided that she was the target of some kind of conspiracy by them and lost her temper... The balcony broke and they started to fall... Akane always talked about how she was a Martial Artist, but Nabiki wasn't... He caught Nabiki... Despite what had just happened, Akane lost her temper again and said Nabiki could be his fiance for all she cared... Everyone pushed the engagement that he'd never wanted onto Nabiki and started acting like they were supposed to get married, just like they had with him and Akane...
So here he was, sitting on the edge of the school roof, trying to figure out what he wanted to do about this whole mess.
"Well," Ranma commented out loud, "Akane... She can't stand the fact that I'm just better than she is, she loses her temper all the time and gets violent... If I did marry her like Pops and Mr. Tendo wanted, she'd probably get mad if I was a better teacher in the dojo than her... Plus, what happens if she gets mad at a student like she did me and Nabiki? There'd be big problems... If she ever learned to get ahold of herself, maybe, but with her blowing up all the time, forget it..."
"Shampoo's a great Martial Artist even if she does turn into... one of those things," Ranma moved on, "She's not bad looking and a great cook... but she's way too-willing to kill - 'kill girl Ranma', 'kill obstacles', the opposite of what a Martial Artist is supposed to do as far as I'm concerned. Plus she wants to take me back to her village and I haven't heard a lot about how males are treated in their precious 'Villiage of Warrior Women'... One thing I have learned from Pops, even if he didn't know he was teaching me it, sometimes it's what you don't hear that you need to know... Way too much he hasn't told me about's come back to cause me problems..."
He sighed, "Ukyo's almost as bad; she wants me to work in her restaurant and doesn't really listen when I say that's not what I want out of life. Like Shampoo, she's a good cook and cute, too... but I really don't want to be some kind of cook or waiter... And who knows what Kodachi wants?"
"And now there's Nabiki," Ranma leaned back until he was laying down, legs still dangling over the side, looking up at the sky, "She's never actually lied to me, Sure, she's used me and kept things from me, but she does that to everyone - she even takes the same kind of pictures of Akane she does of me. We've never seen any of the money used to help the house and dojo, but it's her money anyway. She's good at making money, she's the best, I can understand being the best, after all. She probably wouldn't care what I did as long as there was a way she could make money from it - dojo finances, betting on tournaments, stuff like that... I don't know that I love her or anything, but I'd probably have a better future with Nabs than anyone else that's after me."
Ranma shifted slightly so that his hands were behind his head, "I'd just need something to use against those pictures and stuff of Nabiki's, don't I? Yeah... You know, I beat Shampoo - somehow, that's supposed to be romantic to her mind - saved Kodachi from falling, called Ukyo cute. Now they're all after me. It's like some kind of special technique. Kinda like Saotome Secret Technique; Chase of the Moose in Heat? Heh, or maybe call it Anything Goes Girl Attracting? Actually, that sounds more like something the Old Letch would want to come up with... But if I could find a way to use it when and how I want..."
It was about an hour later when Ranma made his way down from the roof, planning to head back to the Tendos' so he could get in some practice time in the dojo before dinner, when one of the sources of his pensieve mood decided to show herself.
Leaning against the wall, Nabiki smirked as Ranma got close to her, "Just the person I was wanting to see - the Martial Arts Club meets after school and they're paying me five thousand yen for you to help them train, then you've got a date with Kodachi tonight at seven and one with Shampoo at six tomorrow night."
"I'm fine helping the Martial Arts Club, but the dates... You're going to cancel those," Ranma said bluntly.
"Oh?" Nabiki arched an eyebrow, "Or what, Saotome?"
A slow shake of his head preceeded the words, "There ain't no 'or what', Nabs - trust me, you're gonna cancel them."
"If that's a threat, it's not the smartest thing you've ever done," Nabiki warned coldly.
Ranma took a step towards her and narrowed his eyes, "I don't make threats, Nabs. I get things done..."
Reaching out, he suddenly took hold of her upper arms and pulled her to him, slamming his lips forcefully against hers. Thrown off-balance by the sudden motion, Nabiki instinctively put her hands out to brace herself, ending up with her hands on Ranma's shoulders as he kissed her. Seconds passed before she fully realised what was happening, then Nabiki began to beat on Ranma's chest with her fists, trying to get him to let go. When he began using his lips to massage hers, Nabiki's resistance began to break down until she reached the point where her hands were resting with her palms against Ranma's chest and she was parting her lips to allow his tongue entry. Finally, after moments that seemed like hours, Ranma pulled away from Nabiki and moved her so that her back was against the wall before letting her go. He watched as she slid bonelessly to the floor, eyes closed and a goofy smile on her face before he turned and left, the smile on his own face one of clear triumph.
A few minutes later, a half-dazed Nabiki wandered into the classroom that she normally operated her 'after-school activities' from, currently occupied by some of the students that were involved in her 'organization'.
"Hey, Boss," one of Nabiki's employees - althought the middle Tendo sister secretly preferred to think of them as her 'minions' - greeted her, "Kounji wants to rent Saotome for next Wednesday, what's the price sheet?"
"No," Nabiki answered.
The employee frowned, "No?"
Slowly walking towards her minion, Nabiki continued, "Kodachi... Shampoo... cancel... refund..."
The employee wasn't sure what worried her more, the fact that her effective boss wasn't forming complete sentences or that she had just used the word 'refund' without preceeding it with a 'no'.
"Boss... is everything alright?"
Nabiki put her hands on her minion's desk and leaned into her face before growling, "Ranma... Mine."
Giggling happily, Nabiki suddenly stood up straight, reached over and grabbed her bag from her own desk before running out of the room laughing.
One of the other employees looked over at the one who had asked about a price sheet, "What do you think happened to her?"
"I don't know," the first employee answered, making notes on a pad of paper to do what the boss had said "But I'm hoping it doesn't put us out of business..."