Lost Library Email Form Lost Library Mailing List
Lost Library Home Page
A Ranma ½ fan fiction story
By Donald McElreath

Disclaimer: These characters belong to Rumiko Takahashi. She created them, not me. I don't have even a fraction of her genius.

Chapter 1

Akane Tendo stood over a couple of cinder blocks in the center of the old dojo dressed in her yellow gi, her long blue black hair tied with a matching ribbon, her arm raised. With a mighty "Haya!" she brought it down, smashing the blocks into dust.

"Ahh!" She pushed her bangs back out of her eyes. "That felt good."

"There you go again, Akane. No wonder the boys all think you're so weird."

The youngest Tendo turned to see a girl with short dark brown hair wearing shorts and a T-shirt behind her.

"Why should I care?" came her response. "Not everyone thinks the world revolves around boys, Nabiki."

Nabiki put her hands behind her head, stepped back through the dojo's sliding doors, and headed back towards the house. "No? Then I guess this wouldn't interest you."


Soun Tendo knelt at the table across from his three daughters. The oldest, Kasumi, now joined her younger sisters, peace seemed to radiate from her. She wore a simple house dress, her long brown hair held in a ponytail with a single white ribbon. Nabiki had changed into a kimono with intricate designs woven into the sleeves and sat beside her older sister. Akane, still in her gi, sat to Nabiki's other side.

"Yes. The son of a very good friend of mine," Soun began. "His name is Ranma. If one of you three girls were to marry him and carry on this training hall then the Tendo family legacy would be secure."

"Wait a minute!" Akane shouted. "Don't we get any say in who we're going to marry?"

"Maybe you should wait until you meet him," put in Nabiki. "He might be really cute. Right Daddy?"

Soun laughed nervously as he stood and walked over to the porch.

"They should be here any minute. Ranma and his father have been on a training mission and recently crossed over into China."

"Wow! China!" <This might not be so bad after all,> thought Nabiki.

"What's so great about China?" Akane was less than enthused.

"How old is he? Younger men are so… young." This from Kasumi.

"What kind of guy is this Ranma?"

The question, coming in stereo from Kasumi and Nabiki, made Soun nervous once more. The laugh returned for a second.

"Ahem. No idea."

Nabiki leaned forward, her once excited expression having been replaced by her usual serious one. "No idea?"

"I've never met him."

Soun was saved from any further questions by the sounds of a commotion coming from the front hall.

Kasumi stood from her place at the table. "It seems we have visitors."

"Oh! It must be Ranma!" Nabiki and their father raced from the room.

"Saotome my friend! We've been waiting!"

Kasumi made sure her hair was straight while hoping Ranma proved older. Akane voiced her opinion on the matter with a disgusted snort.

Less than a second later Nabiki and Soun came running back around the corner with fear on their faces. The reason appeared right behind them in the form of a giant panda with a squirming, flailing bundle over its shoulder.

"Father… this… is your friend?" Kasumi asked as her father and Nabiki turned to face the intruder.

Soun shook his head vigorously.

Nabiki didn't seem amused. "Oh? So this panda just decided to drop by for a visit! Happens all the time."

Akane was about to express her own thoughts when she noticed that the bundle on the panda's shoulder was actually a person. The reason it caught her attention was because the 'bundle' had just connected with an elbow to the panda's head, rocking it to the side. In response it set its passenger down in front of the startled Tendos. The person, with red hair in a pigtail, wearing a red Chinese style sleeveless shirt and black pants with a deep blue scarf around their throat, stared at them for a few seconds, then seemed to draw inward to the point of almost seeming to shrink.

Soun took a step forward. "You… wouldn't be… Ranma?"

The redhead started to make some sort of hand gesture then nodded slightly, eyes lowered.

"At last! You've come!" The Tendo patriarch cried as he grabbed Ranma in a crushing embrace.

"Oh! He is cute!" <Not bad at all,> thought Nabiki.

Suddenly Soun stiffened. Something wasn't right here. He pushed Ranma out to arm's length and stared.

Nabiki moved closer and poked a finger at Ranma's chest. "_He_ is a girl."

Soun Tendo, master of the Tendo school of Anything Goes Martial Arts, realizing his dreams were lost, handled this as only he could. The world started to spin as he saw the faces of his daughters, Ranma, and the panda flash by before…


He fainted.

"Oh, poor Father. He's so disappointed," Kasumi said as she removed the damp cloth from her father's forehead where he lay in the living room.

"He's disappointed!" Nabiki wasn't happy. "Some fiancé this is!"

Akane noticed as the redhead seemed to shrink even more into herself. <Can't they see what this is doing to hi… her?> "Stop it, you two! He… SHE… is our guest!"

"This is all your fault Daddy!" Nabiki continued to make her displeasure known. "You should have made sure!"

"Saotome said he had a son!"

"Do you see a son here? Hmmm? Do you?" Ranma seemed to cringe as Nabiki grabbed one of her breasts.

Akane stood up. <I've got to get her away from them.> "Hey. Would you like to see the dojo?"

Ranma looked up, obviously confused.

"I'm Akane. Want to be friends?"

Ranma's face seemed to almost light up as she repeated the hand gesture from before and gave a happy nod.

The dojo's door slid open as the two girls entered.

"You do kempo, don't you?"

Ranma nodded as she came through the door. Akane could see the smaller girl's eyes glancing around as she seemed to relax a little for the first time. <She seems so shy. She hasn't said a word.>

"Let's have a little match, okay?"

Ranma became uncomfortable.

"Just for fun. Don't worry. I won't hurt you."

The other girl just continued to stand there with her hands clasped behind her back.

<Maybe she isn't very good. I'll go slow.> Akane launched a punch only to have Ranma jump over it. A follow up kick meet with the same. <Maybe she's better than I thought.> The next two punches were faster but were dodged just as easily. Ranma still hadn't changed her stance or attacked.

"What's wrong? Attack me!" Two punches and a kick got the same results as before.

<Okay. This time FOR REAL!>

Akane threw a punch aimed for Ranma's head at full speed and strength. Just as she was sure her fist was going to slam into the redhead's face Ranma disappeared. Her fist blasted a hole through the dojo wall just before Akane felt something tap the back of her head. Turning she found Ranma grinning with laughter in her blue eyes. In proved contagious and Akane couldn't help laughing out loud.

"Ahem. You're pretty good." She started for the door. "I'm just glad you're a girl."

Behind her Ranma got a little nervous.

"It's just… I'd really hate to lose to a boy!"

Ranma got very nervous.

Nabiki had changed back to her shorts and T-shirt and was headed to the kitchen when she noticed her father sitting with a man his age wearing glasses dressed in an old gi with a white cloth over his head in the living room.

"Kasumi? Who's that old guy with Daddy?" she asked as she came into the kitchen.

"No idea."

That made her frown slightly. She didn't like mysteries.

Ranma followed Kasumi into the guestroom carrying her pack. "You can use this room while you're here, Ranma."

She nodded and set down her pack. As she turned back to the older girl she found a towel and bath items being held out to her.

"Wouldn't you like to take a bath?"

Taking a step back Ranma shook her head and seemed to try to wave the items off.

Kasumi's smile slipped just a little. "You must be all sweaty from your work out. You really must take a bath."

Ranma found she couldn't resist as the items were offered again. With a sad nod she took them and let herself be lead downstairs to the bath.

In the bath Ranma filled and dumped a pail of water over her head and shivered. Lowering the pail she just stared at it as the water dripped from her body.

<What am I gonna to do? Can't trust Pop to explain, he never does anything right.> She glanced over at the furo. <A quick soak might help things.>

Just as she started to stand she froze and sank back on to the wash stool, shaking. <Baka! That'll only make things worse. They'll think I'm some sort of freak or something.> Her eyes returned to the pail, the shaking getting worse. <Isn't that what I am? Maybe leaving before anyone finds out? Don't have anywhere to go. Does it matter? What am I gonna to do? What am I gonna do?>

"Akane! Bath's ready!"

"Thanks, Nabiki." Akane gathered her bath things and went into the changing room outside the bath. Closing the door she noticed Ranma's clothes in the hamper.

"Guess we can share the bath."

After removing her clothes she picked up a towel and went into the bath proper to find Ranma sitting on one of the stools. But she wasn't washing. She didn't seem to be doing anything, except staring into the water pail in her hands. Akane had come to realize that Ranma was a pretty shy girl, but this was different. Something really seemed to be bothering the little redhead. <I wonder what's wrong?>


Ranma's head shot up, when she saw a naked Akane she froze. It lasted only a second before she closed her eyes and looked away. She was too distracted by her roiling emotions to hear Akane's startled gasp.

"Ranma? Your… your throat. What happened?"

Ranma's earlier posture had hidden her throat from view, but when she raised her head that changed. Crossing the smooth skin of her throat were several jagged scars, obviously old and deep.

When she didn't get an answer Akane tore her eyes from those scars to Ranma's face. Her eyes were closed and her head turned away. She wondered why, then remembered how shy her new friend seemed to be and wrapped the towel around herself.

"Ranma? Ranma, I'm covered up now. Please look at me."

Still getting no response she took the smaller girl by the shoulders. She felt Ranma flinch at the touch but she didn't pull away. Then Akane realized something: how quiet Ranma had been… where the scars were.

"Ranma? Please."

Opening her eyes Ranma slowly turned to face Akane.

"You can't talk, can you?"

Ranma expected to see pity or even disgust in Akane's eyes, but all she saw was concern. The eyes and face of a friend. The last of her emotional walls fell as years of pent up frustration, pain and loneliness burst free.

Akane became concerned when she saw the other girl start to shake and her eyes fill with tears as she shook her head. Suddenly Ranma sobbed and collapsed, or would have if Akane hadn't caught her. Silent, wracking sobs tore through Ranma's body and Akane put her arms around the redhead trying to give her what comfort she could.

'Kamisama! What happened to her?'

Akane was truly worried about Ranma. Every time she thought the smaller girl had calmed down, and Akane started to release her, Ranma would curl back in on herself and start sobbing again. After a few tries, Akane settled for just holding her for as long as she had to. It had been twenty minutes and though the girl in her arms was only crying softly now she didn't dare release her. Not yet.

"Akane? Are you… Oh my!"

Looking up, Akane saw Kasumi standing in the doorway staring at them.

"Oneechan, we're going to need a little while. Ranma," she looked down at the girl huddled in her arms, "Ranma isn't feeling well right now."

Kasumi's shock at finding their guest curled into a ball of misery on the bathroom floor cradled in her youngest sister's arms was replaced by calm understanding. She didn't know what had happened to her, but right now it was obvious that Ranma needed all the time and comfort they could give.

"Of course, Akane. Take as long as you need. Her father is waiting for her at the table. I'll tell him she isn't ready yet." With that she backed out, closing the door behind her.

Akane only barely noticed her sister leaving. Her full attention had returned to Ranma. She couldn't have missed the way she stiffened at the mention of her father.

"Ranma? You don't want to see him do you?"

A shake of the head.

"But you have to don't you?"

A nod.

Akane paused before asking her next question.

"Did he… Is he responsible for what happened to you?"

Ranma stiffened again, then nodded.

Akane's anger started to boil like never before. To think Ranma's father had caused his daughter enough pain to bring about a breakdown like this was unforgivable. That didn't even begin to explain the scars on the girl's throat. If it wasn't for the fact that Ranma needed her right now she would have run out to teach the man a very painful lesson. Akane Tendo made a vow then and there; she would never let that bastard hurt Ranma again. She would see to that.

Ten minutes later Akane was running back to the changing room after having dressed. She was carrying the pad of paper and pen that Ranma had indicated she wanted. As she stepped through the door she found Ranma kneeling on the floor dressed once again in her Chinese clothing, a small pail of water beside her.

"What's the water for?" Akane asked as she handed Ranma the pad and pen.

As soon as they were in her hands Ranma began to write. As she watched, Akane could see her friend getting really depressed again. <What did that thing that calls itself her father do to her on that training trip?>

Finishing, she tore the top sheet free and held it out to Akane, who took it and started to read.

I'm sure what I'm gonna show you will make you hate me. But I can't lie to you. You're the first person to be nice to me in a long time. I'm sorry. I can't ask you to forgive me.'

Confused, she looked up from the note to see Ranma holding the pail and looking at her. The pail was raised and warm water flowed over red hair. In shock, Akane watched as the girl seemed to blur, shift and grow. In less than a second a handsome black haired boy knelt where a pretty red haired girl had been. He quickly wrote another note and held it out to her. Shocked and confused she took it and read.

'I'm Ranma Saotome. And I'm cursed.'

A short time later everyone was gathered at the table in the living room. Soun sat at the head with his daughters along one side and their two guests along the other.

"I'll explain it once more," Soun began. "This is my old friend…"

"Genma Saotome. And this is my son Ranma."

Nabiki wasn't buying it. Ranma was a girl after all. "What's this all about?!"

"Are you really her?" Kasumi asked. "That same girl?"

Ranma nodded.

"Hmmm. Where should I begin? I know…" Genma grabbed Ranma and threw him through the open doors and into the koi pond.

A moment later the red headed girl from before surfaced and glared at her father.

Kasumi stated the obvious for everyone. "Now he's a girl."

Genma had moved to the edge of the pond, not even noticing the glare on his child's face. "My own son. So humiliating. So humiliating."

Ranma leapt over his head from the pond and kicked him into the water. A panda with a pair of glasses hanging from one ear stood up in the pond and faced the girl.

*Who are you to talk, bamboo for brains?* Ranma signed.

"Father? Why are you friends with them?"

"They weren't like this before, Kasumi! Not before they went on that terrifying training exercise!"

Ranma turned back to the house and saw Akane staring at her. <She hates me now.> Her shoulders sagged as the anger at her father vanished, replaced by the old feelings of loneliness. <First chance I've had to make a friend in years and Baka Panda had to mess it up just like everything else.>

She returned to the table, miserable. Genma-panda didn't even look in her direction as he headed for the bathroom. A couple minutes later a human Genma returned to his place at the table.

"Ah, yes. It all happened three fateful weeks ago…"

The mountains of China. Three figures approach a group of springs with bamboo poles standing out of them. One is dressed in a Chinese uniform, the other two in gis.

"Here, sirs. Is legendary 'Training Ground of Accursed Springs'."

"Are you prepared, Ranma?"

*I'm always ready to pound on you, Pop.*

"You very strange one, no, sir? This place very dangerous. Nobody use now. Is more than one hundred spring here and every one have own tragic legend!"

"Ranma, follow me!" Genma yelled as the two martial artists jumped atop the poles.

"Ah! Sir! What you doing?"

"I won't go easy on you," Genma warned.

Ranma smirked. <Like he ever does.>

The Guide was in a near panic. "Please sir! Very bad if you fall in spring!"

The two launched at each other. Attacks were blocked before they landed on a new set of poles and sprang into the air again. This time Ranma used his father's leg to pivot around above him and fired off a kick that sent the older man straight down into a spring. Landing on a pole Ranma smiled, glad to have beaten his father again.

The spring churned, then a large black and white blur shot from its depths to perch on top of a pole. A giant panda with a pair of glasses hanging from its left ear now faced Ranma. Ranma could only stare in shock.

"That is 'Spring of Drowned Panda'!" the Guide shouted from below. "There is tragic legend, very tragic legend of panda who drown there two thousand year ago! Now whoever fall in spring… take body of panda!"

The panda who was his father chose that moment to launch himself at Ranma. <I'm outta here!> Ranma thought, but his surprise slowed his reflexes just enough for the panda's paw to send him flying into another spring.

"Ohh! Not 'Spring of Drowned Girl'! There is legend, very tragic, of young girl who drown in spring one thousand five hundred year ago!"

A shapely red haired girl surfaced in the spring, ripped open her gi and silently screamed.

"Now whoever fall in that spring take body of young girl!"

No one spoke when Genma finished his story. Soun was the first to break the silence.

"The Legendary Ground of Accursed Springs. Its true horror has always been shrouded in mystery. But now…"

Ranma's anger returned as she grabbed a convenient bucket, doused her father and attacked.

"Oh, what a tragedy!" Soun cried.

"Stop that!" Kasumi wasn't pleased, the man's treatment of Ranma was horrible and she couldn't stand to see more of it. She grabbed onto the panda's arm as it got ready to swing at the girl it was fighting. "You just went TOO FAR, Mr. Saotome!"

Nabiki joined her sister. "Yeah! Even for martial arts training!"

Kasumi was in the panda's face. "What EVER made you do something so dangerous?"

A booklet fell to the floor and was scooped up by Nabiki. "It's Chinese. A map… and guide book? Something about 'training grounds'. Let me guess, you can't read Chinese."

[Correct,] read a sign in Genma-panda's paw. Ranma hit her father on the head.

Soun appeared and poured a kettle over Genma-panda's head.

"So, when doused with hot water, you return to human form."

"Well, it needn't be quite that hot."

"When doused with cold water, you become a girl…"

Ranma dodged the stream of boiling water that he tried to pour on her. "…but hot water turns you back into a boy!"

"No sweat." Soun enthused, patting Ranma on the back. "Your problem isn't so terrible after all!"

Ranma looked like she thought Soun had lost his mind. <Who's he kidding?>

"My daughter Kasumi, she's nineteen. And Nabiki, she's seventeen. And Akane, she's sixteen. Pick the one you want. She's your fiancée."

For Nabiki the choice was easy. There was no way she was going to get engaged to a sex changing freak like Ranma. "He wants Akane!"

Kasumi hesitated. It was obvious to her from the scene in the bath that Ranma had not had a happy life. It was just as obvious that his father, Genma, was responsible for most, if not all, of that. She didn't want to be engaged to him. He was too young and the curse scared her. But she wasn't ready to reject him out of hand either. "Why doesn't Ranma tell us what he thinks?"

"He can't talk."

The quiet words brought everyone to a halt, causing them to turn to their source. Akane.

Nabiki watched as her little sister stood and leveled a glare at Genma that made her wonder where they were going to hide a panda carcass. She had seen Akane angry before but this went beyond anything she'd ever witnessed. Until that moment she'd never really understood the meaning of a towering rage. Now she did. The rage seemed to flow off Akane in burning waves. Her hair and dress even seemed to move slightly in a hot breeze.

"Ranma's mute! That thing," Akane's finger stabbed at Genma, "did something to him! There are scars on his throat like some one tried to kill him! If you weren't a guest in this house, you'd be dead right now!"

The whole room was stunned by the outburst.

Then Soun smiled. "It's decided then! Akane shall marry Ranma!"

Everyone facefaulted.

"WHAT?!" The shouted response almost knocked Soun over. Not even Kasumi, who could usually understand her father's some times odd thinking, was completely baffled as to his logic this time.


Akane regretted the words as soon as they left her mouth. She turned just in time to see the hurt look in Ranma's eyes before the other girl all but ran from the room.

Kasumi sighed as she watched her youngest sister walk up the stairs to her room. She was going to have to talk to her later. It wasn't hard to see that Akane was feeling guilty over the way she'd rejected Ranma. But first she'd have to work damage control to keep the two fathers from having them married before the next day was out. Turning back to the room, she walked over to the men and interrupted their discussion of the wedding plans.

Akane was more depressed than she could remember having been since her mother's death. She sat on her bed staring blankly at the opposite wall, her thoughts in turmoil.

<How could I have said it like that. I know how fragile she… no he… he has to be after what happened in the bath. It must have been horrible traveling around with only that thing of a father for company.>

There came a knock at her door. "Akane?"

"Come in, Kasumi."

Her oldest sister came in, sat next to her, and put an arm around her. She said nothing, knowing Akane would talk when she was ready.

"How could I do that to him?" Akane finally began, her voice choked with emotion. "You saw him in the bath. He just came apart on me. I've never seen anyone hurting that much." Her head dropped in shame.

"Are you sorry?"

Her head shot up. "Of course I'm sorry, Kasumi. I hurt him when that's the last thing he needs right now. But what can I do? He hates me now."

"I doubt that, little sister. I think Ranma is a very sensitive and caring person. He's just very vulnerable right now. Talk to him and tell him why you said what you did. I'm sure everything will work out." She gave an affectionate smile. "And don't worry about Father and Mr. Saotome. I'll keep them from getting carried away until the two of you decide what it is you want."

Akane gave Kasumi a hug, glad that she was there. "I'll try, Oneechan. I'll try. But not tonight. I don't think I'm up to it right now."

Kasumi got up to leave, but had one more piece of advice to give. "Okay, Akane. But don't wait too long. You wouldn't want to lose a friend, after all."


End Chapter 1

Author's notes: The idea for this story came from a post on the ffml asking what if Ranma had been injured by one of Genma's dangerous training ideas and rendered mute. For some reason it stuck in my head for several days until I had to write this or go nuts. Can't remember who originally posted it, but thanks. This has proven more enjoyable than I could have imagined. This is my first fanfic.

For those of you who are wondering, I'm mostly using the manga continuity. C&C, as always, is welcome. I can be reached at drmj1@earthlink.net.

Thanks to all my prereaders:

  • Crys Norton
  • Eshin
  • Arthur Hansen
  • Jerry
  • Joshua 'Gargoyle' Trujillo
  • SabreBabe
  • The Man With The Machine Gun
  • Robin Etcheson
  • Burnett/Edwards residence
Chapter 2
Layout, design, & site revisions © 2005

Webmaster: Larry F
Last revision: May 21, 2007

Old Gray Wolf