Two teens walked down a nondescript street, going home.
"I can't take it! I just can't!"
One was upset, while the other was trying to console her, with no visible results. That didn't stop him from trying to help, however cautiously his approach might have been.
"She makes me so— Ooh!"
"C'mon, Akane, what's wrong? If there's anything I can do…."
"It's not you!" she yelled furiously, amending her words with "Not this time, anyway." Akane clenched her right fist, her hand shaking as she seethed in anger. "It's that… slut."
"Kodachi?" Ranma suggested, scrunching his forehead. "I wouldn't go as far to call her that. I mean, she's just lonely and… enthusiastic. Yep, plenty of enthusiasm there."
"Not her!" Akane exclaimed in exasperation. "The other one! The one who just won't stop! I've told her time and time again to fight me for real, but does she? No! Never!"
Ranma's face adopted a frown. "You know I don't like it when you call Ucchan names, 'Kane. I mean, she's just, err, lonely, and, well… enthusiastic." He nodded uncertainly, more to himself than for her benefit. "Umm, right."
"Are you being that blockheaded on purpose, Ranma? Is that it?" Akane asked, shaking her fist at him angrily. "Are you just ganging up on me with that Chinese bimbo?"
Blanching, Ranma recoiled. "A bimbo is the last thing I'd call Cologne, Akane."
"Shampoo! SHAMPOO!!!" she shouted loudly, her voice reverberating through the street. "Get it now?!"
"But Akane, you and Shampoo had fought before. And I think you both fought for real—" Ranma noticed the battle aura surrounding his fiancée, and wisely added, "—but since I wasn't there, I can't tell for sure, of course."
She grunted in reply.
"Anyway, what do you want to fight Shampoo for?" he wondered out loud, an expression of genuine puzzlement on his face. "She's not even a bimbo. I mean, she's just… lonely, and… well…." He sighed. "I'm beginning to see a pattern here. Do you, Akane?"
That moment Akane's battle aura exploded full force around her, and Ranma stumbled back. He waved both hands above his head in surrender as he crouched, clenching his eyes shut out of hope of replicating the legendary Ostrich Burying Its Head In The Sand technique, known around the world as the ultimate defense against one's enemies. When the blow he had been expecting never came, he cracked an eye open and chanced a glance at his fiancée… and almost fell over.
Akane was kneeling in front of him, her head bowed so low it was almost touching the pavement. "Please train me, so I can defeat Shampoo in honorable combat," she begged formally, not looking up at him.
"Umm," he said intelligently, blinking. "Err, sure, I guess."
Lighting flashed in the background, an ominous thunder following it reverberating across the sky.
A Ranma ½ fan fiction story
Disclaimer: Rumiko Takahashi, Shogakukan, Kitty and Viz Communications own Ranma 1/2.
Additional flavoring provided by You're Under Arrest (Kosuke Fujishima and AnimEigo).
"My darling Shampoo!" Not waiting for the love of his life to respond, he launched himself into the air gracefully, zooming on her lithe form through the blurs that constituted his vision. She replied as expected, by trying to violently push him off after a moment of shocked immobility. Ahh, his pretty flower was so feisty! Just the way he liked it….
Actually, Mousse pondered a moment later, when the initial euphoria wore off, there was something different this time. His beloved was jumping from one leg to the other, yelling 'Get it off!' at the top of her lungs. Normally, he would experience the blessed pain by now, as she would launch him into the sky with a well-placed kick between his legs… ah, his darling knew his most erogenous spot well….
And then, he sensed a disturbance in the Force. The Force was how he got by, since he was too blind to actually see, and haven't bothered developing his other sense to compensate for that. Besides, that was for wusses. He was a True Amazon, and as such, had to follow the True Amazon Way. Which meant he had to use the Force to sense things all around him.
It still didn't explain why Shampoo's body so often changed from lithe to chubby, and sometimes seemed dead — not that it would have been a problem — but Mousse took the unexplainable with the good. Besides, as long as he got his moment of bliss, sending blood rushing to his most erogenous spot, he didn't really care. Mousse doubted anyone could blame him.
But back to the disturbance he felt. Mousse suddenly noticed that he was not alone. And that didn't mean he had suddenly noticed he was clinging to Shampoo, because that was obvious. What else would he be doing at his free time? No, this sensation told him that a foreign object of great evil and perversion rapidly approached him. It also told him said object was male.
Mousse didn't really care to know how the Force knew the gender of the new arrival, but standing in the path of male perversion was not really his thing. It was for the MANLY Amazons, who had split away from the main group to start their own True Amazon Way. They were scary, and Mousse didn't like that. He was all for pain, but he had to draw the line some place. No, that sacred place was reserved for his darling Shampoo.
Coming to a decision, Mousse reluctantly let go of his beloved's breasts, a mere moment before the being he had sensed latched onto the exact same place with a cry of, "Hotcha!"
Mousse was confused. He had heard the battlecry of the tiny being — unless his eyes were playing tricks on him again, and it was actually quite large — and it hadn't sounded like what he could remember from the time he had accidentally walked into a battle between the members of the manly Amazon Way. At least, he thought it was a battle. There were plenty of sounds of flesh striking flesh, and the grunts one would make when he is hurt, not to mention the techniques sounded dangerous.
Yes, back to the techniques. This being's battlecry wasn't repetitive like the 'Thrust! Thrust! Thrust!' attack which, he assumed, would be performed with a bokken or some other kind of stiff weapon. It was also didn't seem to be as long as the 'Deep Penetration and Jerk' technique he remembered hearing, right before an extremely high shriek of pain. And lastly, it wasn't even remotely close to the 'Backdoor Shove' battlecry he had heard once, and only once. It had to be quite deadly, Mousse thought.
And then, the embodiment of evil and perversion landed on his head. Mousse blinked, and instinctively moved his hands to cover his backside, not even sure why.
"Thank you, m'boy!" the blurry creature exclaimed happily in greeting. "I've been trying to get sweet Natsume's bra for months, but she's always been on her guard." He absent-mindedly rubbed the area between his legs, making Mousse break into a cold sweat. "I can see why she was so adamant about protecting it, since it's so plain." He sniffed it, and his spirits immediately seemed to skyrocket, if the surge in lecherous feedback the Force was giving to Mousse was any indication. "But now, I finally have this treasure, and I have you to thank for it!"
Mousse shook his head, partly out of an attempt to dislodge his uninvited guest. "You don't have to thank me," the boy insisted. "Really!"
"Oh, but I do!"
Mousse saw the creature grin lecherously, and bolted. It was much safer that way, he reasoned. The sudden jerking movement dislodged the tiny being from his head, and he sprinted away from it. Taking half a step, however, Mousse realized the fatal flaw of his technique. Namely, that it left his back unguarded. His hands shot to his backside again, but due to the momentum of his body, the motion caused the boy to tumble down to the ground. His glasses slid down from his forehead, landing on his eyes, as he lay on the ground, his eyes closed reflexively. Opening them, he looked straight into a familiar wrinkled face.
"Happosai!" Mousse exclaimed in surprise and relief. Mostly relief, which spoke volumes since his surprise at finding the ancient lecher had been great.
The wizened Anything Goes master took a puff from his pipe, and smiled at Mousse. "Now, m'boy, what you say if I return the favor and offer to train you to finally defeat Shampoo?" He nodded to himself with appreciation. "Much promise in you, I see."
Suppressing the shudder that came naturally with gazing upon such a smile, especially in close quarters, Mousse nodded. He also promptly hit his chin against the sidewalk, since it had been really stupid to try and nod while lying prone on the ground.
This was clearly not her day, Shampoo thought with a mix of sadness, annoyance and anger, as she kept on sneezing more and more, on her way to do the Nekohanten's daily shopping for ingredients. The sneezing fit in and out of itself was not that bad, as a True Amazon warrior could handle something so simple. True Amazon warriors… endured.
However, Shampoo noticed in fright that with each sneeze her cranial functions seemed to regress, which would slowly but surely leave her a hollow husk of her past self. Already, Shampoo began to address Shampoo in third person. Shampoo's speech patterns had always been typical of Chinese immigrants who were too lazy to learn the proper accent, so that shouldn't have come as a big surprise.
Nevertheless, it had, because Shampoo had a habit of thinking in Chinese. Therefore, as Shampoo began to think of self in third person, something felt amiss.
Loud sobbing diverted Shampoo's attention from Shampoo's problems, and Shampoo listened in to what Shampoo believed to be one policewoman consoling another. Shampoo prided Shampoo on realizing the two were partners, though Shampoo couldn't help but detect subtle lesbian undertones.
Mentally smacking Shampoo for being naughty, Shampoo tried to make sense of their conversation. An 'Assault with a deadly Mousse'? And followed by an attack with a 'Mr. Happy'? Sounded dangerous, and too, too perverted. Must be a Japanese thing, Shampoo think.
Aiyah, Shampoo lose sense of tenses! Shampoo situation too, too bad, Shampoo think. Great-grandmama must help, or Shampoo become too, too stupid for Ranma!
Shampoo suddenly to be feeling che— chil— cold, almost if someone walk over Shampoo gra— grub— hole in ground where Shampoo lay when drop dead…
"What are you doing, Akane?" Ranma asked, unable to hold his surprise in. "What's with the fire?"
The fire in question would have been difficult to miss, to say the least. In other words, one had no more of a chance to miss it than to overlook a gigantic hole in the middle of one's backyard ten meters in diameter. In fact, that pretty much explained the fire.
"Isn't it obvious?" the youngest Tendo daughter asked, a similar, yet milder, expression of surprise appearing on her face. "I'm going to learn the Kachu Tenshin Amaguriken, so I needed to light one of course." Looking mildly embarrassed, she continued, "For some reason, the wood refused to burn, so I decided to get some help and brought some gasoline, but that stupid old canister burst and kind of spilled all over the place—" Akane gestured at the hole in the ground. "—and then, there must have been some previously-undiscovered natural gas pocket right beneath the surface, so when I lit it with a match—"
"Akane!" Ranma exclaimed, rushing over to his fiancée and beginning to expect her body for burns, taking extra care to check everywhere. "Are you okay?!"
Planting an elbow on the back of his head when he got too frisky, she frowned at him. "Of course I am. Why shouldn't I be?"
Shaking his head to clear the spots dancing in his vision, Ranma silently pointed at the ten-meter-high blue flame they were standing next to.
"Oh, that?" Akane waved her hand in a dismissive manner. "Me, get hurt from that little fire?" She giggled. "Kasumi's stove burns stronger than that!"
Ranma was suddenly afraid. Very afraid. And happy, oh so very happy, that he had never been alone with Akane in the kitchen when she cooked. "Wait, did you just say Kachu Tenshin Amaguriken?" he asked, suddenly realizing Akane's earlier words.
She nodded happily. "When do I start?"
He gave Akane a long look and replied, "How about never?" and immediately found her fist in his face.
"What was that?" Akane asked in a dangerous tone of voice, removing her hand.
The red imprint of her knuckles on his face faded away into nothing as he gave her another look, seemingly unfazed from the head blow. "Think about it. Who are you trying to defeat?"
"That no-good, flirtatious—"
"Time spent insulting others is time not spent training," Ranma calmly noted.
Akane pouted. "Shampoo."
Ranma nodded. "Right. And what exactly is Shampoo?"
"A no-good, fli—"
Ranma gave her another look, the third in a row.
"Okay, okay." Akane sighed. "A Chinese b— girl?"
"Close. But what else?" Ranma gave Akane a fourth look, just in case.
"A so-called Amazon champion, I guess," Akane said in a huff.
"Okay, now we're getting somewhere." Ranma nodded to himself in satisfaction. "And what is the Kachu Tenshin Amaguriken?"
Akane blinked in surprise. "That really neat punching thing where you can hit Cologne but not quite."
Ranma coughed. "Well, I guess you could call it that. But who taught me that?"
"And what is she?" Ranma asked excitedly, seeing they were finally getting somewhere.
"The Amazon elder, and Shampoo's great-grandmother."
"Right!" the pigtailed boy exclaimed. "Now do you see?"
Akane smacked her right fist down into the open palm of her other hand. "I get it!" She smiled at Ranma happily, her eyes shining. "You think I'm so advanced that I need to learn the Hiryu Shoten Ha!"
Ranma's face twisted into a grimace, which some of the people he knew might mistake for a smile. That list of people consisted of Mousse, Kasumi and his old man. Ranma was pretty sure the last two just didn't care either way.
Luck was on his side, however, and Akane bought it. "When do we start, then?"
Trying to divert her attention, he asked, "Shouldn't we put out that fire, first?" He gestured at the raging blue flame, which showed no sign of stopping. In fact, he could have sworn it seemed to slowly expand.
Akane shrugged. "I don't think we can. Not without cooking something on it first. The Gods of the Blue Flame won't be appeased otherwise." Looking straight into Ranma's eyes, she added, with much conviction, "I know."
Ranma believed her. He became afraid again.
Getting away from the fire, which seemed to snarl angrily at him whenever he looked at it, Ranma took Akane to the dojo. Looking at the entrance cautiously, in an attempt to see if anyone was watching them, Ranma adopted a form Akane had seen his father take several times during his stay with her family.
She was awed. Ranma looked smart.
Playing along, she plopped on the dojo floor in front of him. "Is this a part of the Hiryu Shoten Ha training?" she asked eagerly.
Ranma shook his head slowly. "No, student." Raising a hand to forestall any questions she might have, he continued, "What I am about to impart on you is a higher Art. Only two people in the entire world know its innermost secrets, though many tremble in its wake. Even Ryoga, with the god mark that made him invincible, fell pray to those techniques. And now…." Ranma paused for dramatic effect. "Now, you shall join the ranks of the prestigious school of the Saotome Desperation Techniques!"
Akane was properly awed… for all of five seconds, before she kicked Ranma through the ceiling, yelling angrily after his rapidly disappearing form, "That will teach you to stop picking on poor Ryoga!"
Shampoo walked into the Nekohanten, calling out, "Great-grandmother, I back from delivery!" Sneezing caused her to sigh, and she trudged to the kitchen, where Cologne was busy making their trademark dish — ramen. "Great-grandmother, Shampoo think she sick."
"I'm sick of working so much in a restaurant as well, Shampoo, but that is a trade off that allows us to catch our soaps raw, instead of getting dubbed tapes at the village." Cologne shuddered. "The Way of a True Amazon is fraught with peril."
Shampoo barely caught all that amidst the pounding in her head. "Great-grandmother…" she said weakly, "head feels… stuffed… air smells… funny… stuck talking… like this…."
"Ah…." Cologne nodded sagely. "Shatneritis. Sadly, there is nothing I can do."
"NO!" Shampoo banged her head against the wall several times. That seemed to help her focus her eyes. "Have cold, I think, but get worse… every minute…." She banged her head against the wall some more. Pieces of plaster started falling from the ceiling. "Solution only temporary. Seems… to work… less time… with each use…."
Cologne stopped Shampoo from assaulting the kitchen wall a third time. "I see, Great-granddaughter. This is grave indeed. Let us embark on a quest to cure your ailment…." Without waiting for a reply, she opened a secret trap door in the kitchen floor, hoisted Shampoo on her staff and started dragging her down the long, cylindrical stairway.
"But apothecary… just down… the street…." Shampoo's voice protested from the darkness, just before rhythmical bumps started sounding from the opening. "Ouch… ouch… head… really… splitting… this… way… ouch…."
"This is the True Amazon Way!" Cologne's rasping voice mixed with her great-granddaughter's complaints, followed by the old woman's cackling….
"Halt please, fair maiden!"
Konatsu stopped, as he was ordered, looking at the approaching kendoist expectantly. "Was there anything this unworthy one could do for you?"
Tatewaki nodded. "In search of my love, the Feisty Sexkitten Akane Tendo, I am!" He puffed out his chest, his eyes getting a misty, almost glazed-over look. "Seen her have you, fair woman?"
Flattered, not to mention flustered, Konatsu blushed, covering his mouth with a decorative fan. "I have seen no kittens or socks in my path, not to mention burning ones."
Kuno looked stumped for a moment, but then laughed. "Funny lass, you are."
"May I inquire what you plan on doing upon finding she whom you seek?" Konatsu wondered shyly from behind the safety of his fan.
"Defeat her in honorable combat, I shall. Then taste the fruits of victory, heheh." Kuno coughed, looking mildly embarrassed. "Excuse me, you please. Got sidetracked, my mind had."
Konatsu, in the meanwhile, had a pondering expression on his face. "So you need to first defeat the woman you love to make her love you back?" He blinked, as suddenly everything came into place. His stepfamily, evil as they were, couldn't be blamed for not teaching him this. They were raising him to be a girl, and didn't want him to get any masculine ideas. But that was then, and now he was free of their tyranny!
"YES!" Konatsu exclaimed, throwing the fan away and draining the bags of sand serving as his pseudo-breasts. "I finally understand!" Ripping off the kimono he had been wearing, the kunoichi dumped it none too gently into Tatewaki Kuno's hands, and ran off into the direction of the Ucchan's, laughing madly all the while.
Konatsu was clad only in frilly female underwear, which was ill-suited to cover the almost monstrous symbol of his manhood. He had always been ashamed of it, considering it a curse… but now he truly understood! He would flaunt it! Konatsu reached enlightenment… of the manly kind.
Left alone, Tatewaki stared dumbly at the torn feminine clothing in his arms and the dancing man thrusting his not-quite-covered manhood at random passers-by… and had his own enlightenment. The denials of his love, which no sane mortal could surely reject… the strength which seemed beyond normal females… the overly cute face and that inhumanly large pair of breasts, bigger than her peers' by leaps and bounds….
It all made sense! None of them could be true, for no woman that perfect existed! He was a fool to believe in goddesses gracing him with their favors… he was a fool… he was taken for a fool!
Tatewaki Kuno would get his revenge on that cross-dresser. Oh yes.
That thought in mind, he stalked home, too angry to let go of the torn kimono.
"Great-grandmother," the purple-haired Amazon wheezed, resting her hand on the shelf of a nearby bookcase to keep herself upright. "Shampoo feel better now. Really. Let Shampoo go up and go to apot— do delivery?"
Cologne's voice sounded distant and yet close by, freaking out the much younger woman considerably. "We are on a quest, Shampoo! Pay attention, and look for the Secret Scroll of Ancient Tribal Remedies!"
Shampoo would have replied, had she not used all of her inner reserves to stay coherent for her earlier request. She settled for a moan, which could have been interpreted as a grunt of consent, had the listener not paid attention to the raw pain transmitted in it. Sighing, she pushed off the bookcase to continue the search, only to end up dangerously tilting the entire thing. She held on to it with both hands, managing to stop it from falling, and sighed again, this time in relief.
That proved to be the young warrior's undoing, as Murphy's Law came and bit her in her soft tush, causing the bookcase to fall in the other direction.
Buried under an ungodly amount of heavy, dusty books and a massive wooden piece of furniture, Shampoo pondered many things. They all seemed to be centered on the stupid schemes her great-grandmother had her go through, and how they had backfired… usually painfully. Very painfully, she recalled, blacking out. The last thing she saw was a page from the Book of Thousand and One Crazy Plans to Get Your Great-Granddaughter Hitched That Only a Sadistic and Bored Fool Would Try, which listed such attempts at romancing as the Full-Body Cat's Tongue, the Hypnotic Mushrooms and the Reversal Jewel.
The next thing on the list was the Slutty Stripper with Canine Domination Fetishism. The mental image caused from that followed Shampoo into her blunt trauma-induced nightmares….
"Look! Behind you!" Akane yelled as she pointed to a distant point behind Ranma, her eyes widening in horror.
The pigtailed boy turned around to see a tire smack into his forehead. Both boy and tire dropped to the ground for the count. Ranma stood up shakily a moment later, but the tire remained prone, causing the boy to smirk at it arrogantly. That matter taken care of, Ranma scanned the premises, looking for the moron who dared to do this to him.
A panda showed him a wooden sign saying 'Very sloppy, Boy!' while seeming to scowl at him. Ranma scowled back, kicking the tire at him. It flew at great speeds, breaking through the sign and smashing into the panda's face, knocking him out.
"Sloppy, my ass," Ranma boasted, before turning back towards Akane and smiling at her warmly. "That was great, Akane. Only don't forget to practice some more, so you can do it even without the actual danger. And that you actually capitalize on your opponent's moment of weakness. Oh, and don't forget to properly cower — Pops used to say that was a very important tenant of the school. In any case—"
"Filthy man-woman, thou art! Defeat thee, I shall!" Kuno yelled angrily, suddenly appearing at the Tendo family's front gate. He ran inside the premises and immediately slashed at Akane with his bokken from afar. The vacuum blade released by the upperclassman's wooden sword missed its target, however, as Akane ducked into the Crouch of the Wild Tiger, finally managing to execute the fearsome technique for the first time.
"Very good, student," Ranma congratulated her, before blasting Kuno away with a Moko Takabisha.
Akane nodded, her eyes shiny from unshed tears, which have appeared from the praise she had received.
"Hey, isn't that a ten yen coin?!" Ranma exclaimed suddenly, staring intently at a spot on the ground just behind Akane's right leg and pointing at it.
Akane followed Ranma's pointing hand… and found herself on her back, seeing stars. "W-What a fearsome technique…" she whispered in awe. "That Chinese hussy won't stand a chance!"
Ranma smiled, standing next to his fiancée. It was so nice to finally see her interested in real martial arts!
When Shampoo regained consciousness, the first thing she was aware of was the pounding in her head. Unlike what she had expected, it remained exactly as she had remembered it — no better or worse. That was arguably a good thing, since it could have worsened. But to think of the headache she had as a 'good thing', even arguably, sounded very wrong to her.
Deciding not to think about it, Shampoo tried opening her eyes, and immediately closed them. Thousands of thoughts shot through her cranium, all tied to the primal fear she had felt upon trying to look. Even being blind was better to losing her mind, for the dungeon's interior was definitely not neon pink before she was knocked out by the bookshelf.
Shampoo idly wondered whether, according to Amazon law, she was now married to a moldy bookshelf. A moment later, she took that as further proof that she was losing her mind.
Finally, the purple-haired girl decided to chance cracking her eyes open once more. After all, the craziness was haunting her even in the darkness, so she might as well stop holding back.
Bright purple greeted her, and the young Amazon wasn't sure which color she was happier with. Taking a moment to think this over, she reasoned that her eyes probably hadn't had time to readjust to being used again earlier, which caused the neon pink madness. That was good. Purple she could deal with, even if it wasn't the beautiful and gentle purple of her hair, but the ghastly purple of that evil being they sometimes showed on the television to scare little children into obeying their parents.
But what could have caused that? And where was her great-grandmother, come to think of it? After a quick glance around, which revealed the knocked over Rack of Quickie Lust&Love Spices, its contents mixed and spilled all over the place, Shampoo had her answer to both questions.
Saying a quick Amazon prayer to her great-grandmother's Warrior Spirit, which had to be cry— committing ritual suicide to avoid the dishonor its Earthly shell would undoubtedly bring it, Shampoo did a little cheer for being free of her sadist trainer-slash-nanny. Good riddance, said her newly-reached enlightenment, helped along greatly by the heavy bookshelf she was now engaged to. Unless it was one of the books that delivered the finishing blow, of course.
Not that it mattered, anyway, for Shampoo now understood! She was an Amazon no more! No… she would not follow those moronic, rigid laws, and start a new life by trying to find a discipline that would allow her to practice martial arts to her heart's content, without any pointless limitations or laws. And great-grandmother should find someone else for the Slutty Stripper with Canine Domination Fetishism thing, Shampoo mentally added, shuddering….
"Shan Pu, I would challenge with you!" Akane proclaimed proudly. A moment later, she shook her head, muttering dark things about one Tatewaki Kuno.
"It's a formal challenge, Shampoo," Ranma translated ever-helpfully.
The purple-haired girl turned towards them, looking like she had been through hell and back. Recently.
"Look how scared she is!" Akane exclaimed happily, popping her knuckles in anticipation. "Her ass is mine!"
Ranma was about to interject, when the mental image of Akane claiming Shampoo's lovely behind for herself caught up with his brain, causing it to crash.
Emboldened by his silence, Akane pointed beyond Shampoo's right shoulder and cried out in shock, "Look, it's a bird!" Not seeing any reaction, she tried again. "It's a plane! A plane! Watch out!" Sweat poured down her brow from having to sustain such a taxing technique for an extended period of time. "It's Superman?" she asked weakly, trembles going through her pointing arm.
Shampoo blinked, and Akane took it as a sign of weakness, launching herself forward, swift and deadly, trying to kick her opponent between her legs while her mind was otherwise occupied.
Her charge was interrupted by a book, which fell out of Shampoo's bosom and landed on the raven-haired girl's knee with surprising force. Akane cried out, more in shock than from any actual pain, and hopped back away from the other girl. She gave Ranma a questioning look, but he shook his head firmly, yelling to her in encouragement, "It was only a fluke! Try again!"
So she tried. "Hey, your panties are showing!" Akane yelled in warning, but to no avail. Reasoning with no small amount of anger that the hussy exhibitionist probably didn't wear any, she conceded defeat on that front.
"Don't give up! Just keep on trying!" Ranma encouraged the disheartened girl, wondering why Shampoo hadn't glomped onto him or as much as greeted him yet.
"Oh my God!" Akane exclaimed, wide-eyes, her hands grabbing both sides of her head in horror. "The Nekohanten is on fire, and your great-grandmother is trapped inside!"
This technique did cause a response, but not the kind Akane was expecting. She decided not to attack, a bit unnerved by the grin that suddenly seemed to split Shampoo's face.
Kuno staggered from across the corner, using a crutch. His left leg and right arm were in a cast, but that barely seemed to slow him down. "There, are you!" he yelled, pointing his crutch at Akane. "Cut your manhood off, I shall!"
Ranma sighed in exasperation, and blasted the kendoist away with his ki blast again. Akane seemed slightly peeved that she didn't get a chance to beat Kuno into a fine paste.
"Go, go Akane!" Ranma cheered from the sidelines, the upperclassman's interference in the duel already forgotten. "Ay-Kay-Ay-En-Eh. AKANE!"
Reenergized from such a show of support from him, Akane adopted a very intricate stance. Said stance, which was very difficult to get right, involved the practitioner to turn away from the opponent and bend over, mooning them. Fooled into a false sense of security, the opponent was bound to get closer, when the cunning martial artist would stimulate the sound of breaking wind, stunning the rival briefly. Then, of course, the fight was won.
It was an awesome technique, devised by the most ingenious martial artist of his generation, Genma Saotome. In all of the four times it had been used against stronger than God opponents, it had tipped over the scale and gave him an easy victory. It was, in fact, a sister technique to the Crouch of the Wild Tiger, which explained the effectiveness of the two.
Akane was prepared to kick Shampoo around like a beach ball, maybe even bruising her ribs slightly for revenge. Akane was prepared to land the finishing blow and walk away the winner right that minute. Akane was prepared to hurt Shampoo for all the times the other girl had laughed at her expense….
Akane was not prepared to be kicked squarely between her legs from behind, Shampoo's toe slightly brushing against her lower stomach before her right foot withdrew the same way it came.
"My God, it hurts," Akane whimpered, landing on the ground after being flung up by the kick. "I don't have anything there, at least I don't think I do, and Kasumi checks quite thoroughly every morning in the furo so she would have told me. Why, God… why?" The rest of Akane's complaints disappeared into incoherent, self-pitying mumbling.
"Shampoo go now," the purple-haired girl announced, speaking for the first time since meeting Ranma and Akane just outside the Nekohanten. "Ranma go marry Weakling Girl — want Shampoo's hand, defeat Bookshelf first." And with those parting words, she limped into the sunset, favoring her right leg.
Shaken in every possible manner was a good way to describe Ranma's mental state. His most fundamental beliefs had been challenged, and had not withstood the test of real life.
His old man had been wrong all along!
The thought kept on bugging Ranma, refusing to go away. After all, if the core of Genma's ideology had been wrong all along, then all that had been built on those tenets of fallacy and self-deceit had been nothing but a house of cards!
Ranma scowled, recalling all the times the fat fool had sold him to all those girls, and how everyone either wanting him dead or just wanting him was the bald bastard's fault.
It all made sense now! He had been a fool, for he had been raised by a fool on a fool's dogma.
He was getting sick and tired of being abused by his so-called fiancée, who was really just a violent, immature brat who always got everything she wanted and treated him as nothing more than a prize. And her sneaky sister, that ice queen-slash-yakuza wannabe, a real money-grabbing bitch who just liked to torture him for her sick erotic pleasures… she had hurt him the most, in her subtle and not-so-subtle schemes. And his so-called friend Ryoga, who abused that friendship and tarnished the last remnants of his honor by his depraved actions — everything was his own fault! All the rivals… all the bystanders, who were never on his side, only trying for a free peep, for a quick glomp….
They were all against him, abusing him with their verbal, psychological and physical violence… and he had let it slide.
No more! They had no idea that now they were dealing with a new Ranma Saotome.
He smirked evilly, and took out a pair of scissors using the Hidden Weapons technique he had learned from Mousse long ago but never bothered to use before despite the inherent usefulness in it. A simple snip later, and he was the 'pigtailed boy' no more, cutting his hair as a symbolic act to relinquish all ties with his past. He was also a Saotome no more, since by merely changing his last name, he had managed to fool all of the personal debts and marriage agreements that had been made in his name before. Hah! He had shown that Chardin guy good!
And now, it was time for him to leave Nerima, for nothing really worthy remained for him there. He would go on a journey of self-discovery, to try and rediscover the meaning of life; one he could live with, and which was preferably the complete opposite of that lousy martial artist, Genma.
And when it came to him, he would practice martial arts again… not the Anything Goes School but his own reinvented offshoot of it, that would be more powerful and generally better than the original in any way, shape and form. Suck on that, Happy!
Ranma left for a random direction, making sure to ground his heel in the twitching form of the uncute psycho bitch tomboy who had been his fiancée for so long.
"I challenge you!"
In retrospect, it was probably best for Akane to lay still and play dead, rather than stir upon hearing the above battlecry.
Akane screamed, and swung at the lecher firmly attached to her chest. "Mousse, you pervert!" she yelled simultaneously, unable to express her rage at being fondled more articulately.
"Hubba-hubba!" the myopic Amazon cooed, using the force of the attack to slide down her body, halting his advance by holding on to her behind.
Kuno drove by the two in a motorized wheelchair, covering his eyes with the cast on his right arm and yelling at the top of his lungs. "Sweet baby Jesus is mine! Gay, he was all along! Gay, tells you I! See it clearer than ever, now I do!" He drove off, sobbing into his cast. "Leave him be, I shall. Perverse pleasure continue giving him, I must not. Join a Christian monastery, the only option, it seems…."
Akane let off a wordless shout of outrage, and attempted to hit Mousse with renewed vigor, but her efforts were to no avail. Mousse would always use the momentum of her blows to slide elsewhere on her body… and 'elsewhere' was always a private area. On the verge of despair, Akane recalled a powerful set of techniques and yelled at the top of her lungs, "Oh no, my boobs are falling off!"
Mousse blinked, and raised his head to take a look. That proved to be his downfall, as that gave Akane enough leverage to hit him from an angle that detached him from her, and smacked him into the pavement, from which he bounced — shaken, but not stirred.
"I see you have been training as well, my beloved," he said, his voice dripping with open adoration.
Cranking his neck to get the kinks out of it, he settled into a stance Akane instantly recognized, to her horror. It only confirmed what she had already suspected, but the shock of being constantly glomped and fondled prevented her from verifying. The mere thought of Mousse mastering those techniques scared the panties off of her, since being blind and fairly dumb, Mousse didn't go for visual distractions. That made him a most worthy opponent….
There was just one way to truly defeat him, and that was by using the only set of techniques that allowed her to score a hit against him. Akane nodded gravely, steeling herself for the match of her life….
Ranma walked straight, not looking at the people he was passing by. They were just peons, wearing the chains of capitalism, imperialism and all the other evil 'ism's.
Ignoring a prostrate bloody pulp wearing female lingerie and nothing else would have been quite a feat, however, especially since it insistently appeared in front of him no matter how hard Ranma tried to avoid him.
"All right, Konatsu, what do you want?" he asked finally, sighing in defeat. Oh well, he might as well say goodbye to the kunoichi, as they would never see each other again.
"Oh, Master Ranma!" the bloody pulp wailed, grabbing onto Ranma's pants and getting kicked away for his troubles. "It's… it's…" he sobbed, sniffling, "terrible!"
"You mean Ukyo kicking you out for beating her up with your much better martial arts skills, and then having all the girls who normally chase Happosai beat on you because they are short a pervert to abuse?" Ranma asked calmly, observing his nails with exaggerated care. "Not a smart move, you know, taking Kuno's advice."
"H-How?!" Konatsu exclaimed in shock.
"Got an enlightenment. Those things totally rock, no da." Ranma smirked. "Made me a hell of a lot smarter, prophetic even, and healed all the brain damage that stupid fat panda gave me over the past decade. I even got healed from all the abuse that violent, uncute tomboy and the rest of the people who hate my guts in Nerima did to me." The raven-haired boy scratched the back of his head in confusion. "Didn't even know I had brain damage, so badly off I was."
The underclothed ninja gaped at him.
"Oh well, best be off. Wouldn't want to miss my scheduled meeting with my destined Significant Other, you know?" With a casual wave, Ranma took to the rooftops for no good reason but to show off, leaving the speechless Konatsu in the dust.
"Oh my God! I have seen True Evil!"
These cries and others in a similar vein were common that day in Nerima. They were also understandable, as Cologne with body paints the only pretense of her clothing definitely counts high on the List of Evils. It may not be True Evil, as some spectators have claimed, but then again, they did not have the necessary qualification to make that distinction.
But back to Cologne on her nudie streak. Had she just ran down the street at her famed speed, most people would just see a streak of bright purple light and an unexplained feeling of great uneasiness. Alas, but that was not to be.
Cologne, covered head to toe in bright purple and nothing else, zigzagged on the street, glomping onto the male passers-by and molesting them as she barked in their ears occasionally. She even kept trophies. And, to properly enjoy the chase, she did it slowly enough to allow the common people a chance to appreciate her actions.
Happosai should have been proud, some would say. After all, was Cologne not acting like a female, mirror reflection of him? As it turned out, those people who would claim that were mistaken.
Happosai did not enjoy being molested by someone even quicker than him, though he might have been stunned by Cologne's awe-inspiring body as she flashed him before groping him like a professional. Which she could have been, for all we know — she did learn from the best.
On the other hand, calling Cologne a professional streaker might have been a bit premature. For one, she did not have the obligatory trench coat needed for such activities. And secondly, instead of giving chase, as Happosai's female victims had done every time he had gone on one of his 'training trips' in increase his collection, Cologne's victims seemed content to hurl on the sidewalk. Some were crying. Some were just standing still as if they had been turned into stone, their faces ghostly white; at least, that's how they were for a brief moment, before dropping dead with heart attacks. Happosai was one of them, incidentally, which would explain why Cologne still roams the streets of Nerima till this very day, unstopped.
Once again, two teens walked down yet another nondescript street. And one could say they were headed home, as home is really where the heart is, and their heart heard the road's siren song, and became hopelessly enchanted with it.
One was searching for his lost faith in the Art, as the Art was his life, and both had recently become very hollow and meaningless. The other was also in search of new values, having come to an enlightenment of her own lately.
Both met at a crossroads half a mile up the road, and have traveled together ever since. It was not a conscious decision, rather one that they had mutually agreed upon silently. They had the same destination, and company on the long and tiring journey there would be welcome. After all, they were both in search of a new life… and what better way to do so but with a soul mate by your side?
And so, Shampoo and Ranma met again after Akane's duel with Shampoo. An hour later, at an intersection, they glanced into each other's eyes briefly to decide where to go, and fell in love at first sight. But that is a different story, with a whole new rating….
One year later….
A bright purple streak shot downhill across the street from the Tendo Dojo, gleeful cackling trailing behind it. The three Tendo daughters sighed in synchrony, giving each other exasperated looks.
"At least there is one good thing about this, I suppose. The number of perverts is dropping miraculously," Akane said with a shrug, breaking the short silence between the three.
Kasumi smiled at her, a bit on the vacant side. "I suppose so, Little Sister."
"Not that I'm afraid of perverts!" the youngest Tendo immediately protested most vehemently. "I know how to handle them."
Nabiki smirked. "I bet you do, Akane. How did you defeat Mousse, again?"
Akane's earlier look of exasperation returned. "Jeez, Nabiki, normally your memory is better. If I hadn't known you better, and wasn't the prude that I am, I'd have thought you were getting off on it."
Nabiki coughed, her cheeks pink. "You got me, Little Sis. I just can't get enough of your heroic victory."
"All right. I guess one more time won't hurt. So there we were, in a deadlock. None of the Desperation Techniques were working — they were barely allowing me to keep up. And then, I recalled Ranma-sensei's words… 'If you are ever forced into a corner and you've exhausted all of your options… there is a fearsome technique you can try. You will have only one chance to execute it, since it needs to be done just right. Don't forget, student, that the Hell's Cradle is not a Forbidden Technique for nothing!'
"And the rest is, as they say, history." Akane smiled. "I nailed him, and I nailed him good."
"I bet you had," Nabiki voiced, her entire face flushed. "And what happened next?"
"I'm not sure what you mean," Akane replied in genuine confusion. "I just hugged him really, really close to me," she explained, pointing at the valley between her breasts, "and waited for him to give, like Ranma-sensei said any opponent would."
A gasp escaped Nabiki, who was fighting a full-body blush at this point. Not paying it any attention, Akane concluded her story, "He stopped struggling after five minutes, but I held him for ten more, just in case."
Nabiki started drooling. The ever-present Kasumi glided over to her and wiped it clean, accidentally brushing her breasts against her sister's back. Nabiki's eyes crossed, and she let out a sigh, dropping onto the floor.
Kasumi went to get a mop.
"Do I miss Ranma?" Akane asked herself out loud for no apparent reason. "I guess I do, in a way. As a martial arts teacher, he was the best I've ever had. But as a fellow martial artist, I understand the need for his never-ending quest to better himself in the Art. As a fiancé, however…." The tips of Akane's mouth twitched, forming a smile. "I think I'll manage, somehow, with my loving sisters by my side…."
—or is it? The Blue Flame still burns, brighter than ever….
Author's notes: I fully blame Ginrai and the people in #void for this… but mostly Ginrai. For mocking Masters of Jurai, pretty much. Yeah, that sounds right.
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