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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 2

This had not been a good morning for Akane. It all started when she was woken from a restless sleep by the sounds of a fight outside her window. Looking down into the yard she had seen Ranma and his father sparring, using the entire area within the walls as their battlefield. She'd hurriedly dressed in her school uniform and ran downstairs just in time to see Ranma knocked into the pond with Genma deriding his now female son for being sloppy. Enraged, Ranma had splashed him and launched a vicious attack that left a bruised, unconscious panda laying next to the pond a few minutes later.

The hurt look in Ranma's eyes, and guilt from her words last night, kept Akane from speaking as the transformed boy went by on the way to the bath.

Breakfast was both nerve-wracking and enlightening. Ranma sat hunched over his breakfast, back in his boy form, doing his best to ignore the world. Her father remained hidden behind his paper, as usual. Nabiki greeted everyone with a half-awake "Good morning" when she sat down, no different than usual. Kasumi had been the real surprise.

By the time the panda regained consciousness and changed back into a human, her older sister had already served everyone else breakfast. But when Genma sat down she ignored him until he'd asked where his food was. With her usual cheery smile, she'd apologized and handed him a bowl of rice and another of miso soup. Both were only half full and cold. It was obvious the elder Saotome had managed to get on Kasumi's bad side. Akane hadn't even realized her sister had one.

When he'd tried to make up for the small portions by stealing from his distracted son's bowls, Akane intercepted the lazy strike by breaking his chopsticks in her fist. A second and third set met with the same fate. Genma Saotome had not enjoyed breakfast. No, not at all.

Then Nabiki, saying there was business she had to take care of before school, left early, leaving an uneasy Akane to show Ranma the way to school by herself.

So here she was, heading for school with Ranma walking along the fence above her, and she still hadn't managed to say a word to him. She looked up at him. He was dressed just like he had been the day before. Only now depression almost seemed to drip from him. Even his pigtail hung limp.

<You've let this go on long enough, don't you think?> Akane's conscience prodded her.

<But how can I talk to him? He must hate me now,> she responded.

<You'll never know if you don't say something. Besides, you know that both of you could use a friend right now.>

Akane sighed as she realized she'd never win an argument with her own conscience. She never did.

She stopped walking and waited. Ranma took several more steps before turning back to see why she'd stopped. She could still see the pain and depression in his eyes. Akane let her gaze drop to the ground and let out a ragged sigh.

"Ranma. I'm sorry. I'm sorry for what I said, the way I said it. Everything. It's not you. I just really don't want a fiancé right now. I'm not ready to get married. Not to you, or anyone. I'm sure you're a great guy and all, but I'm just not interested in that kind of relationship right now. I…" Akane realized she was starting to ramble and shut her mouth.

Suddenly Ranma was standing before her, blue eyes locked with brown. His eyes were guarded as they seemed to search for something.

<Time for the next step,> her conscience prodded.

Akane held out her hand. "Friends?"

Ranma looked down at the offered hand then back to her eyes. She thought she saw hope shining in his blue orbs.

<He has such beautiful eyes.>

He reached out, took her hand and nodded. Friends.

As her smile blossomed, Akane couldn't remember being as happy in a long time.

Ranma looked down at Akane from the fence top as they ran to school. She wanted to be his friend. Why did she want to be his friend? Was it out of pity? Did she feel sorry for him? He wasn't sure but he didn't think so. What if he was wrong? He'd just have to wait. <And beat on the panda.>

He saw Akane's lips moving and jumped down beside her to hear what she was saying. The words surprised him as they grew in volume with each step.

"hateboyshateboyshateboys hate boys! Hate boys! I hate boys! I HATE BOYS!"

As they came in sight of the school gates, Ranma saw a horde of boys, most of them wearing various athletic outfits, come charging towards them. They were also shouting oaths of love to Akane.

<What the hell?!>

"Out of my way! I'm late!"

Ranma jumped up on the school wall, totally bewildered, as Akane plowed into her attackers. They hardly seemed to slow her down.

<Wha? Okay. She's pretty good, but what's this all about?>

In the window of a second floor classroom, Nabiki and her cronies watched the morning festivities.

"Your poor sister. Every single day…"

Nabiki nodded, then she noticed Ranma watching the fight.

"Oh! Ranma!"

He looked up.

"Ranma! Get in this school! Now!"

He pointed out at the fight.

"Don't worry about Akane! She does this every morning!"

<Every morning?!> Ranma thought as he looked back down. Sure enough, Akane had finished off the last of her opponents and stood breathing heavily in the middle of the yard. He jumped down to join her.

"Honestly! Every morning!" Akane flipped her hair back over her shoulder. "You'd think they would have learned by now."

Coming up to Akane, Ranma was about to try to find out what was going on when he spotted movement out of the corner of his eye. His hand snapped out, grabbing something from the air. A quick look told him what he'd caught. A rose was the last thing he'd expected to find.


Still blinking in confusion, Ranma turned to see an older boy dressed in Kendo garb and carrying a bokken step towards them.

"Who are you to prevent my gift of love from reaching the hand of the beauteous Akane?!"

<Who is this idiot?> thought Ranma.

"Ah! But is it not the custom to give one's own name first?! Fine then! Mine I shall give!"

Ranma blinked, then gestured for the strange boy to continue.

"My name is Tatewaki Kuno. Junior. Group E. Captain of the Kendo club. Undefeated new star of the high school fencing world. But my peers call me the Blue Thunder of Furinkan High!" The bokken stabbed at the sky as lightning flashed in the background.

"Blue Thunder? Have you heard that?" asked a girl next to Nabiki.

"News to me," she answered. "Last I heard he was calling himself Shooting Star."

Ranma blinked again before turning an embarrassed look to Akane. It took her only a second to understand.

"His name's Ranma Saotome. He's staying at our dojo-"

"What?!" Kuno roared. "Under the same roof as Akane?!"

Ranma evaded Kuno's slash by hopping twenty feet back, landing in a defensive stance. <What is with this guy? What's he gotta do with Akane?>

"So, scoundrel. Hounding Akane, eh?" Kuno continued. "I, Tatewaki Kuno, shall bring you to justice!"

"He's only staying with us, Kuno!" Akane cut in.


Kuno's attack was swift and powerful, smashing through a small section of the wall behind his target. His target, however, had refused to stay still. Ranma jumped into the air and was just pushing his feet off a tree when his opponent realized he'd missed. With a scream of rage, Kuno lashed out again, slicing through the tree. Ranma again refused to stay still. He touched down some twenty feet from the Kendoist.

<This guy is nuts!> Ranma thought as he watched the severed top of the tree land between them. <He don't care what damage he does outside the fight! Gotta end this before he hurts somebody!>

Akane had watched in mild amazement as Ranma effortlessly dodged Kuno's attacks. Now she saw him rush forward, clearing the fallen tree and getting inside the older boy's reach so fast he seemed to blur. Then he pointed a finger at Kuno's forehead before lashing out with a spin kick that sent the taller boy flying into the wall.

"That didn't hurt, you know," The Blue Thunder muttered before sliding to the ground unconscious.

Ranma watched his opponent for a second to make sure it wasn't a trick, before relaxing his stance. <Man, what a idiot.>

Turning, he found Akane watching him with a look of surprise and annoyance on her face. He noticed he'd somehow managed to hold on to the rose. <What? Did she want this thing? Well, I guess she is kinda cute.>

Without really thinking about the fact that he was giving a rose to a cute girl in front of the whole school, Ranma held the flower out to Akane.

Akane had been getting annoyed with Ranma for butting in on her fight when, suddenly, he held a rose out to her. She couldn't suppress the smile that came to her face as she took the blossom. "Thanks." Ranma's answering smile made her blush. Something changed at that moment in how Akane perceived Ranma, it would just take a while for her to realize it.

Ranma motioned towards the school with a questioning look.

"Right. We better get to class."

They made it through the doors just as the rain started to fall. Had anyone still been paying attention, they would have noticed a panda carrying a kettle come running up to the gate at that moment. He stopped, taking in all the unconscious bodies, the smashed wall, and the cut tree.

He held up a sign in his paw. [Could some one tell me what happened?]

Since the only ones around to read the sign were out cold, he received no answer. With a grunt he turned and walked off.

A short while later, Kuno, now wearing his school uniform, sat in the class he shared with Nabiki. He was studying his forehead in a mirror adorned with a large star he had borrowed from her. Bruises spelling out 'idiot' were clear for all to see.

"Amazing. And you don't even remember being touched?" Nabiki asked, not even bothering to hide her smirk.

"Hmph. That he would dare mar my magnificent visage is not to be believed. The cur was lucky. It shall not happen again."

<Ranma wiped the floor with him and he thinks it was luck.> Nabiki's smirk widened. <I can use this to keep little sister from getting in over her head.>

Class 1F was being introduced to their new classmate.

"Would you care to introduce yourself?"

Ranma looked at the teacher for a second, then glanced at the class. His hands started to clench and unclench as he grew frustrated.

"Uh, Sensei?" Akane called from her desk. "Ranma's mute."

The teacher considered that for a moment, ignoring the whispers that sprang up. "That won't cause a problem will it, Saotome?"

Ranma shook his head.

"Very well, then. Class, this is Ranma Saotome. He has just returned from a trip to China, so be sure to make him feel welcome. Since you seem to know Akane Tendo fairly well, you may take the desk next to her." The class laughed as the two blushed brightly, both of their eyes falling on the rose that sat on Akane's desk.

After Ranma took his seat, the teacher called everyone to order and began the lesson.

"WHAT?!" Kuno shot out of his seat. "FIANCÉ?!"

"Uh-huh," Nabiki nodded. "My daddy and his daddy decided. Akane's going to marry Ranma."

"RANMA SAOTOME-" An eraser bounced off his head.

"Kuno. Stand in the hall."

Kuno blinked at the teacher as he calmed for a moment. "Yes, Sensei."

Then his righteous (to him anyway) anger returned as he stormed from the room.

Nabiki looked smug. <That should help keep little sister from getting too far involved with Ranma before she's ready.>

Back in class 1F, Akane Tendo was having trouble focusing on the teacher's lecture. The reason for this had something to do with the rose on her desk, or rather the boy who had given it to her. Having him seated next to her wasn't helping matters very much either.

<Why'd he give it to me?> Akane wasn't used to boys giving her things like that without trying to proclaim their undying love, beat her up, or at least asking her for a date. But Ranma hadn't tried either of those. She sent him a note asking why he'd done it. His reply wasn't anything like she'd expected.

'You looked like you needed it.'

<Well, that was a lot of help.> Then she remembered hearing some of her friends talk about why people in real relationships gave each other flowers. But, that would mean he'd done it just to make her happy. To see her smile. But wouldn't that mean…

She was looking at Ranma, wondering about him, when the door slammed open.

"Never, Ranma Saotome!" Kuno, once more in his Kendo garb, announced from the doorway.

Akane whipped around. "Kuno-sempai?"

Ranma was almost glad for the interruption. His own thoughts about that rose and the curious looks he'd been getting from Akane had him on edge.

<What's the idiot want now?>

"I shall *never* accept your engagement to Akane!"

The couple suddenly found themselves surrounded, Akane by the girls, Ranma by the boys.

"What?!" "Engagement?!" "How dare you Saotome?!" "How could you Akane?! You said you hated boys!"

"It's not true! Our parents decided! We never…" Akane looked at Ranma and was surprised by what she saw. She had almost forgotten about what happened the night before, he seemed so confident earlier during his fight with Kuno. Now she was forcefully reminded as she watched a pale Ranma's eyes dart around like a trapped animal. It was obvious he wasn't ready for the Gossip Brigade.

"Leave him alone!" Akane shoved boys and girls out of the way as she went to Ranma's side and took his hand. "Ranma. It's all right."

Ranma held onto her hand like a drowning man.

"Release her, you fiend!" Kuno shot forward, slashing down at Ranma's head with his bokken.

With an immediate physical threat, Ranma's training kicked in. He picked up Akane and leapt clear as the bokken slashed through his desk. Landing by the windows, he set her down and turned to Kuno, confident again.

<That idiot could have hurt Akane!>

As everyone stared, stunned by Kuno's sudden attack, he struck a noble pose and pointed his bokken at Ranma. "You shall not escape me, coward. I will free Akane from her unwanted engagement to you so that she may show her love for me."

"I don't love you!" screamed Akane. "I just want you to leave me alone!"

Ranma just stared. <Is he *really* that stupid? No one could be that big an idiot.>

"Oh! How it pains me to hear your enslaver's words spoken by your sweet lips. Fear not Akane Tendo, for the Blue Thunder shall free you."

<He's that stupid. Okay, got to get this out of the building and away from Akane.> Ranma gave a smug grin and waved Kuno on.

Akane gave him a strange look. <Is he really going to fight in the classroom?> "You can't fight in class!"

Ranma gave her a reassuring grin that Akane found very hard not to trust. After all, he'd handled Kuno easily enough earlier. She took a couple steps back, hoping he really did know what he was doing. Ranma waved Kuno on again.

"Foul deceiver!"

Ranma waited until the last moment before lunging forward. Grabbing Kuno by the collar, he jumped out the open window taking Kuno along for the ride.


Akane couldn't believe it. She stood stunned with everyone else for several moments before running to the windows. The rest of the class was right behind her. Instead of a splattered Ranma and Kuno they saw something rather… interesting.

"Hey! Where'd that girl come from?"

"Yeah, and what happened to Saotome? I don't see him anywhere."

Akane groaned.

Ranma tuned out Kuno's screams as he looked for a landing spot below and noticed a problem. The height of their drop wasn't the problem. He'd done this sort of thing before. The problem was that the lawn sprinklers were turned on.

<Water. Why is it always water?> he thought in disgust as the change took him before he reached the ground.

Landing lightly, Ranma dropped her panicked passenger. She looked back up at her classroom to see everyone just now sticking their heads out the windows look to down at them. Her gaze whipped over to Kuno to find that he was obviously to out of it to have noticed the change.

<No one saw?! No way! My luck ain't that good!>

"Fair maiden."

Ranma snapped out of her thoughts to see that Kuno had recovered and was now facing her.

"Tell me, did you see where a boy with a pigtail went? He was here but moments ago."

She shook her head.

"The coward! Running from a fight! No doubt he feared my prowess! Bah! He is no man! He is no man!!"

Her anger spiking, Ranma slid off one of her slippers and kicked it up into her hand.

Kuno was surprised when the footwear bounced off his forehead. Turning to the red headed beauty he saw that she now stood as if ready for battle. He also noted she wore only one shoe. <Ah! She must have thrown the other to gain my attention. Taken with my magnificence she now seeks to do battle for the honor of a date. My very presence must have stolen the words from her throat.>

"Very well, fair maiden. Should you win I will allow you to date with me!"

Ranma jumped over the slash and fired a side-kick into his chest, knocking most of the air from his lungs. Crouching low on the landing, she threw an uppercut that had her fist starting level with Kuno's knees. By the time it connected with his jaw she had her entire body powering the blow. Boy and bokken separated as Kuno was lifted cleanly from his feet and sent through the air.

<She is skilled! As skilled as Akane! No! More than Akane!> he thought just before unconsciousness took him.

Ranma snorted as her opponent hit the ground. With her foot she flipped the bokken into her hands. To make sure her point was made, she broke it over her knee and threw the pieces at Kuno's feet then grabbed her shoe and ran into the bushes.

"Did you see that?! She just took out Kuno!"

"She must be as good as Saotome!"

"Hey! Wasn't Saotome dressed just like that?"

"Maybe they're related or something."

Akane ran from the room trying to ignore what was being said behind her. The rumormill would be having a field day with everything that had happened today. By tomorrow there would be some outlandish stories making the rounds. She'd worry about that later. Right now she just wanted to find some hot water.

Ranma sat up in a tree wringing out her pants. <How could that pervert think I'd want to go out with him?! I don't care what I look like! I'm a guy!>

"Ranma! Get down here!"

She looked down to see Akane holding a kettle and their bags. Eager to change back, she dropped down next to her and pulled on her pants. But, as she tried to take the kettle, Akane pulled it out of reach.

"First you tell me why you jumped out the window like that!"

Ranma started gesturing with her hands then stopped, frustration flashing across her face. She snatched her bag from Akane, dug a pad and pen out, wrote a quick note and handed it to the other girl.

'I had to get Kuno away from everyone and everything. You saw how much damage he did this morning.'

Akane remembered the wall and tree Kuno had destroyed in the fight that morning. A crowded classroom could only have been worse.

"Okay. You've got a point, but…"

Ranma interrupted her by grabbing the pad from her hand and writing another note.

'What the hell was all that this morning about, anyway? If I've got to pound this jerk everyday I want to know why.'

"Kuno made a speech at the beginning of the term. He told them that if they wanted a date with me they'd have to beat me. And you don't have to pound him! That's *my* job!"

Ranma seemed to think about that for a second.

'If he attacks me, I am going to pound him. If he attacks you, he is all yours. Deal?'

"Alright. Deal."

Akane finally gave Ranma the kettle. A moment later a male Ranma was walking away from the school.

"Ranma, where are you going?"

The pad was tossed over his shoulder.

'Home. I've had about as much school as I can take for one day.'

Not really wanting to face the Gossip Brigade right then, Akane decided to join her fiancé.

"You like him, don't you?" Nabiki asked from where she lay doing leg lifts on Akane's bed that night.

Akane turned away from her homework. "What are you talking about?"

Stopping her leg lifts, Nabiki sat up. "You stood up for a boy against Kuno. A boy who happens to be an unwanted fiancé."

She waited the split second it took Akane to open her mouth to voice some sort of denial.

"And," she said with a smirk, pointing to the object on her sister's desk, "you kept that rose he gave you this morning."

Blushing, Akane darted a glance at the flower and still couldn't figure out why she'd kept it or what she felt about it. "Alright. I like him. A little. But as a friend! You got that Nabiki?! A friend! He doesn't want to be engaged any more than I do! We're just friends!"

Nabiki's smirk widened. "Suure, Akane. You're just friends. The fact that he's really cute, and just happens to be your fiancé doesn't mean a thing. Right. Gotcha."


Nabiki rose from the bed with a smirk and walked to the door. "Sure you don't want me to send Ranma-kun up here?" she asked as she opened the door. "Or maybe I should call him your Ranma-chan?"

Akane just gaped at the closed door.

"What?!" The shout rang through classroom 2E.

"Sure, I know her," said Nabiki as she looked up at Kuno. "The girl with the pigtail and Chinese clothes."

"Nabiki Tendo… can this be true?!" Kuno went to his desk and started writing. <If she thinks she can defeat Tatewaki Kuno and simply walk away, she thinks wrongly!>

Nabiki found Ranma sitting on the porch looking out at the koi pond after school. "Here."

Ranma took the folded note. It was addressed to The Fire Haired Water Sprite.

"It's to your girl side," Nabiki remarked as Akane came out of the house to read over Ranma's shoulder. "I don't think Kuno believes you're the same person."

"'On Sunday, in the tenth hour'," Akane read aloud, "'meet me in the second field of Furinkan high school!' Sounds like a duel, huh?"

"Little Kuno just hates to lose," Nabiki commented as she sat next to Ranma.

"Vengeful, hmm?" Akane remarked casually, trying to hide her worry.

Ranma looked annoyed.

That Sunday at ten, Ranma stood, in girl form, on the field at the school waiting for Kuno. He proved to be right on time.

"So you have come, my Fire Haired Water Sprite."

Ranma snorted and fell into her stance, waving him on.

"I have not come to spar with you." Ranma let herself relax slightly. "I've come to give you…" He drew something from behind his back and threw it. "…THIS!!"

Reacting instinctively, she shot up a hand to catch… a bouquet of roses.

"I love you."

Not being fully recovered from her breakdown, Ranma did not react as she otherwise would have. After a moment of shock, she saw red and charged her arrogant would-be suitor.

Some time later Kuno awoke from his enforced nap to find his gift, with each blossom beheaded, lying on his chest along with a note.

'If I want love I'll look for it with a woman. Not a pervert like you. Never bother me again.'

His mind not able to accept the thought that any female would shun his attentions for those of another of the same gender, Kuno made a decision.

"Fear not, fiery-one," he declared standing into a dramatic pose. "For I, Tatewaki Kuno, the Blue Thunder of Furinkan High, shall free you from your wrongful desire for members of the fair sex! Then you shall be free to declare your love for me!"

"Welcome back, Saotome," Nabiki greeted Ranma as she came through the Tendo gate. "How'd the fight go? You win?"

Ranma absentmindedly nodded as she walked up to Akane where she stood next to Nabiki. Taking her hand from behind her back she handed the Tendo girl a single beautiful rose before walking into the house. Akane could only stare at the flower, stunned and confused. Nabiki, after a moment's shock, gave a knowing smile.


End of chapter 2.

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.

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 3
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