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A Ranma ½ fan fiction story
By Donald McElreath

Disclaimer: These characters came from the mind of Rumiko Takahashi. She can deal with them on a permanent basis. I can't.

Chapter 3
Kuno Rises

Nabiki sat at her desk Monday, enjoying a juice box and reflecting on the events of that morning. First, Ranma had come downstairs with a haunted look to his eyes. His answering note, when asked, had said only one word. Nightmares.

Akane had been acting like she didn't know what to think about Ranma anymore. Nabiki was actually pleased with this. It was obvious to her that Akane was becoming attracted to Ranma as more than a friend, which spoke well for the chances of herself remaining free of the engagement. The better those two got along, the better. But she also didn't want her baby sister acting on that attraction too soon. Despite her Ice Queen image, she did care about her family a great deal. She knew if things went too fast between Akane and Ranma, it would probably lead to them being unhappy. Nabiki intended to make sure they kept things slow, until she was sure little sister and her fiancé were ready.

Watching Ranma plow through the Hentai Horde beside Akane that morning had been a surprise, as had the twin kicks they'd landed to Kuno's face. It looked like Ranma was more than a little stressed.

Something plopped onto her desk. Looking down Nabiki found an overly cute stuffed panda gazing back at her. It was almost enough to turn her stomach. Kuno was standing beside her.

"What's this?"

"A present."

<Not on your life,> she thought, tossing the panda back to her classmate. "Not my style."

"Did I offer it to you, Nabiki Tendo?!"

Nabiki took a sip of her juice.

"This sweet treasure I save for my Pigtailed Goddess!"

Nabiki's juice suddenly sprayed into Kuno's face. "Now look what you made me do."

"What I made you do?"

Nabiki slapped a set of photos on her desk. <Not what I had intended these for, but this is just too good to pass up!>

"Set of five for 3,000 yen. You want?"

The pictures were all of Ranma's girl form in various candid scenes. Curiously, in the ones where Ranma wasn't wearing her scarf, she was always turned so that the scars on her throat weren't visible.

"Ohhhh…" Kuno scooped up the photos and Nabiki saw that he was almost drooling. "She is so… so… so… defenseless."

"Kinda like a boy, huh?"

"Hardly," Kuno scoffed. "But the gods do weep at the sum of 3,000. It is too high."

"Well, if you don't want them…" Nabiki reached to take back the photos.

"Sold!" he cried, handing over the three thousand.

"You're really something, you know?" she remarked, counting the money. "I mean, dropping Akane just like that."

"Dropping her?"

Nabiki narrowed her eyes slightly. <The both of them? Is even he that much of an idiot?> "You're not going to two-time her!"

"Hmph. Don't be vulgar. Akane, so pure and innocent. The Pigtailed Girl, bursting with healthy beauty." Kuno took on a tragic expression. "Both so dear, I can give up neither! Do you call it 'deceit' that I would openly wish them both?"

<I guess he is. Oh well, more fuel for the fire.> "No. I call it two-timing." She slapped down five more photos, this time of Akane going through her workout. "Set of five for 3,000 yen."

"Such… such… ferocity! Sold!"

"Ranma! Kuno wants you!"

Akane looked over to see Nabiki leading Ranma out the door.

<What's Kuno want with Ranma?>

Though she wasn't about to admit it, she'd been worried about Ranma all morning. After he'd helped her take out the Hentai Horde and Kuno, which had really irritated her, his eyes had looked a little wild. Since then he'd been very withdrawn. His nightmares must have bothered him more than she thought.

<I better check this out.>

Ranma found Kuno standing by the corner of the building just where Nabiki said he'd be. He walked up the upperclassman and waited expectantly.

After several seconds Kuno got annoyed. "Why do you not greet me with the proper respect?"

Ranma sighed and dug out the pad of paper he'd started carrying with him.

'Because I cannot talk. I am mute.'

"So the rumors say." Kuno dropped the note. "It is of no matter."

Ranma suddenly found a cute stuffed panda thrust into his arms. <What the hell?!>

"Tell me why I must give this to you!"

<Huh?> Ranma's face echoed his thoughts.

"Answer me! Why?! 'If you want to give her your panda, give it to Ranma Saotome,' quoth Nabiki Tendo! How do you know my Pigtailed Goddess?!"

With a disgusted look, Ranma flipped the panda, a note attached, back to Kuno as he walked off around the corner.

'Forget about her. She is not interested. She never will be.'

Kuno's mind whirled in confusion. <He knows of her condition? He accepts it? How does he know?>

"Ranma Saotome!"

Racing around the corner, Kuno found a soaking wet pigtailed girl standing before him. "Pigtailed Girl!"

Ranma spun to see Kuno charging at her, arms held wide for an embrace. A thrust kick to the stomach put an end to that. <What the hell does he think he's doing?!>

"Pig… Pigtailed Girl," the Kendoist wheezed, trying to recover his breath. "I must free you."

"Free her?"

They turned to see Nabiki, holding a kettle, standing near a tree a short distance away.

"Kuno-baby, just what are you going to try to free her from?"

Kuno took on a noble and righteous bearing. "Why from her unnatural attraction to members of her own fair sex, of course. From the curse of lesbianism."

Nabiki blinked. <So he thinks Ranma's a lesbian.> She looked at Ranma and saw that the red head, having recovered from her facefault, was not amused.

"Now my Pigtailed Goddess, will you give up your wrongful ways? Let my true and rightful love bring you back to the path of the just."

Ranma shook her head and made a violent slashing motion with her hand, her answer clear.

Kuno raised his bokken to the guard. "Then I must drive this curse from you in righteous battle!"

Ranma jumped away from the building and Kuno's thrust. <Gotta get some room first, then I'm pounding this jerk flat!>

Akane looked past the stone obelisk her path around the building had placed her behind. <What are those two fighting about this time?>

"I shall free you!" Kuno sent a side-slash at Ranma, which she ducked under.

<Okay, that should be enough room.> Ranma thought as she awaited her opponent's next attack.

Kuno lunged forward again and Ranma jumped over the attack. Grabbing the wooden blade in one hand for leverage, she kicked out with both feet into the boy's chest. As he staggered back, several pieces of paper were sent flying into the air.

<Wha?> Ranma grabbed one and saw a picture of herself, topless, as a girl. <Where the hell'd he get this?!>

"An opening!"

This time Kuno connected with a slash to the distracted girl's side.

<ITE!! That's it! Pictures later! Jerk pounding now!>

Ignoring the pain in her side, Ranma charged forward and ducked under another slash to land a double palm strike to Kuno's torso. Had she been a boy at the time it would have sent the Kendoist flying, as a girl it only knocked him back five feet and sent more pictures into the air.

<She is more formidable than I believed,> Kuno thought. <I shall have to use my ultimate technique to free her.>

Kuno pulled back his weapon, sought his focus, and prepared to unleash his strongest attack. Unfortunately for the upperclassman, Ranma was already in motion. She glided inside his reach and launched a lightning fast series of punches into his head and chest. Finished with her attack, Ranma hopped back, and watched as Kuno slowly tipped over and fell to the ground.

Akane ran forward as Ranma started gathering up the pictures from where they had landed.

"Not bad, Saotome," Nabiki remarked, stepping up and pouring the kettle over Ranma.

Ranma ignored her as he picked up the last of the photos.

"What was it that distracted you in the fight anyway?" Akane asked as she reached them. Ranma handed her the photos.

Akane saw several pictures of her working out as well as some of Ranma's girl form. <I was wrong about him! He really is a pervert!> "What are you doing with these pictures?!"

She completely missed the hurt look in his eyes as he pointed at Kuno.

"What?! You were going to share them with Kuno?!"

With a look of disgust, Ranma shook his head and pointed again.

"They were Kuno's?"

Ranma nodded.


Nabiki, sensing where the conversation would lead, had backed away several steps. "Can't blame a girl for trying to make a little money."

<Wanna bet?> thought Ranma.

Akane just scowled before turning back to Ranma. "Come on. We'll get the doctor to look at that cut."

<Doctor?! No way!> Ranma raised his hands defensively and started shaking his head.

"What's the matter, Saotome? A doctor should take a look at that," said Nabiki, curious about Ranma's reaction.

Still shaking his head, Ranma took a step back.

"Okay, Ranma," Akane tried to soothe, confused. "We'll have Kasumi take care of it, she's pretty good with that sort of thing. Would that be okay?"

Ranma nodded as he relaxed and followed the two girls home.

The next school day started off as all the others had. The Hentai Horde would attack Akane as she and Ranma came through the gates. After she'd flattened them, Ranma would join her in time to intercept Kuno's thrown rose. But instead of Kuno charging blindly forward and being pounded, then Ranma giving Akane the rose as they went into school, something different happened.

"Ranma Saotome, I challenge you!"

Ranma blinked. <Kuno challenges me every morning. Why's he botherin' to announce it this time?>

"I, Tatewaki Kuno, the Blue Thunder of Furinkan High, here by challenge you for the hand of Akane Tendo! When you meet your just defeat, you must cease your hounding of her and the Tendo family!" His impressive tone and posture, calculated to portray the just against the wicked, was somewhat spoiled by his rather obvious black eye.

"And what if you lose, Kuno?"

Everyone turned to see Nabiki smirking at the Kendoist.

"I shall not!" Kuno scoffed. "But to give the cretin cause to fight, and show my boundless generosity, I will offer the dog a prize. Should Ranma Saotome prove victorious in honorable combat, I shall relinquish my claim upon the fair Akane."

Nabiki's smirk turned evil. <Good. Doubt it'll have an effect on Kuno-baby, but it just might get rid of some of the Horde.>

Akane wasn't happy with the whole situation. <If Kuno wins, he'll think I'm his. If Ranma wins, everyone will think I'm his instead. I'm not anybody's, and I really don't like being put up as some kind of prize to fight over.>

She looked at Ranma and found him watching her, waiting. "This is about you. It's your choice," his eyes seemed to say. <Ranma, I can tolerate.>

"Don't you dare lose!" she snarled.

<Oh, boy. She's pissed,> Ranma thought as he handed Akane the rose before stepping away from her and moving into his stance.

"This time, I shall not give you a chance to use your trickery! Face my ultimate technique!"

Kuno charged, and his bokken seemed to blur as it lunged forward dozens of times a second. Ranma dodged frantically, evading every strike. But still his clothes were being cut.

Nabiki gave a slight whistle as she watched the wall behind Ranma start to crumble. "Whoa. Just from the air pressure…"

Ranma, knowing such an attack couldn't be kept up for long, continued to dodge. Finally the bokken strikes slowed ever so slightly. It was enough. A thrust kick to the chest disrupted the attack, allowing the upper cut to the chin that sent Kuno into dreamland.

Akane glared at Kuno as he fell before stomping her way into the school. <He never tried that hard against me! How dare he hold back! That bokken waving… JERK!!!>

The next morning saw Akane and Ranma headed for school, Ranma walking on the fence tops and Akane along the sidewalk as usual. Ranma kept casting nervous glances at Akane, this was not normal. Ranma knew he wasn't always the most observant person, but he'd have to be blind and deaf to not notice that Akane was in other than a pleasant mood.

Akane was mad. In fact, she was just a few degrees short of a boiling rage, and each step seemed to shorten that gap. <First that pervert makes me the prize in his stupid fight with Ranma! Then he tries to glomp me at lunch, saying Ranma hadn't beaten him because he'd been tricked, so it wasn't an honorable fight! Like he'd know honor if it bit him! And he was holding back in our fights! That pervert! How dare he?!>

No, Akane was other than happy, and Ranma was keeping his distance.

In the schoolyard at Furinkan, Nabiki Tendo stood at the sidelines awaiting this morning's show. About half the Horde had failed to show, apparently getting the hint the day before. The remaining half looked far less enthusiastic than normal. At the forefront stood Kuno, still sporting his black eye.

It promised to be anything but boring.

When they got within sight of the school gates Akane spotted Kuno standing in front of a half sized Hentai Horde and stopped.

"Ranma, Kuno is mine. Just stay out of the way. If you want the others, they're yours. But Kuno is mine," she said in a tone so cold it burned.

Ranma nodded nervously and made sure he stayed several steps behind her as she stormed up to the gates.

"Akane Tendo, surely it is on this glorious day that I shall free-"

"Shut up, Kuno!" Akane roared. "You lost your challenge and you're still bothering me!"

"That was no-"

"I said SHUT UP!! I'm not finished!" Akane was visibly shaking in anger now. "You broke your vow! You made that idiotic speech about having to beat me to get a date! You never listened when I told you I wanted nothing to do with you!! Then when you did fight me, you insult me by holding back!! By not taking me seriously!!! I'm a martial artist, not some piece of china!!! Don't you ever do that again!!!"

Kuno stared at her in shock for a moment, before turning an angry glare on Ranma. "How dare you twist the fair Akane's thoughts to make her believe I would dishonor her. I shall smite you and-"

He was unable to finish his challenge as an enraged Akane slammed into him and started swinging.

Nabiki winced as she watched her little sister give Kuno the pounding of his life. <Guess Kuno has had this coming.> She saw every boy cringe when Akane snapped a kick between Kuno's legs that lifted him a good foot off the ground. <He'll be feeling that for a while.>

With one last downward punch, Kuno collapsed in an unconscious heap at Akane's feet. She turned her gaze on the remaining Horde, a blue aura flickered into existence for a moment around her.

"Who's next?!"

The Hentai Horde, impassioned challengers for the hand of Akane Tendo and fearless Warriors of Love, took one look at the object of their desires and decided that there were far more healthy pursuits. Ones that would guarantee a longer life. Ones they should begin exploring at once. The Horde ceased to exist.

Ranma watched Akane walk into the school with an unusually thoughtful expression on his face.

Akane walked into the dojo that evening for her workout, to find Ranma already there. She watched as he moved through a kata with a strength and grace she knew she didn't even come close to possessing. She was envious as hell… not that she would ever admit it. It was starting to seem incredibly unfair to her that Ranma was not only a better martial artist than she was, but also a better-looking girl.

Ranma finished the kata and bowed to the dojo's shrine before turning to Akane.

"Want to spar?"

Ranma nodded, then shook his head.

"What? You think you're too good to spar with me?!" Akane snapped.

Ranma shook his head again.

"What then?! Afraid I'll break?!"

Ranma started making warding gestures, then ran over to the note pad he'd left by the wall. A quick note was written and given to Akane.

'Not spar or fight. Train.'

Akane was confused. "What's the difference?"

Ranma took his time with his next note, seeming to get frustrated at several points. When he finally handed it to Akane she could see quite a few scribbled out words and corrections.

'When you spar, you're only using what you know. In a fight you're trying to hurt the other guy. With training you learn stuff. New techniques, and new ways to use old ones. You find out what needs improvement and can fix it without getting hurt.'

"Okay," Akane said, still suspicious. "Now, what has this to do with me wanting to spar?"

Ranma soon filled a page with his scribbled out attempts to explain. When he wadded up the filled sheet and threw it to the ground, Akane realized just how serious this was to him.

"Ranma, just tell me."

He took a deep breath before finishing the note and handing it to her.

'I want to train you.'

Akane blinked at the simple sentence. <He wants to train me? I know he's better than me. Maybe a lot better. Do I want him to train me? Have a boy as a sensei?>

She looked back at Ranma. "Why?"

Ranma slowly wrote his answer.

'Honor and giri. I realized this morning that I hadn't been taking you seriously as a martial artist. You deserve to be, so I am. You are also, thanks to our dads, my fiancée. Even if we don't get married, I have a duty to you.'

Ranma seemed somehow both serious and nervous to Akane. <He really means it.>

"Alright. For a while at least. But I decide when I don't want you teaching me. Got it?"

Ranma nodded as most of his nervousness drained away.

"So, where do we start?"

'You need to improve your speed and defense, but first you learn sign.'

Pictures of herself as a panda holding a wooden sign flashed through Akane's brain. "Signs?"

Soun walked into the tearoom to see his youngest and her fiancé waving their hands at each other. Ranma would make a gesture, which Akane would then try to repeat. Sometimes Ranma would write a note, others he would just nod or shake his head.

"Akane, what are you doing?"

She looked up at him. "Trying to learn sign language, Dad."

Ranma bopped her on the head with his notepad.

"Hey! What was that for?!"

Ranma just gave her a stern look.

Akane sheepishly looked down. "Right. Pay attention. Sorry, sensei."

The two teenagers suddenly found themselves being hugged by a weeping Soun. "She called him sensei. The houses will be joined."


Genma appeared behind them, slapping Ranma on the back. "Way to go boy. That'll mean a lot of quality time with your fiancé. Good thinking"

Ranma just kicked his father into the koi pond.

Nabiki shook her head from where she'd watched it all. <Just your average night at the Tendo Dojo.>


End chapter 3

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 4
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