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Chapter 1

A Ranma ½ story by
Dark Phoenix

Disclaimer: Ranma ½ and its characters and settings belong to Rumiko Takahashi, Shogakukan, Kitty, and Viz Video.

Nabiki just couldn't understand Ranma, and that left her off-balance in her dealings with him. Ranma's father was so frightened of him that he even seemed to avoid stepping in his son's shadow, and her own father practically ran away, screaming or gibbering in terror at the very sight of Ranma. The young man actually had to eat his meals at a different time so he wouldn't distress the Tendo patriarch. But, even with that much control— or was it power?— Ranma had allowed himself to be enrolled in Furinkan High, the same school she and Akane attended. Not that school was a bad thing, far from it, but Ranma didn't seem like the type that cared that much about, or even really needed, an education. So here they were, Nabiki and Akane, escorting him to his first day at the most f—ed up school in Japan.

"Ranma, why did you let your dad make you come to school?" Nabiki voiced her thoughts to Ranma, who strangely enough, was walking on the chain link fence along the sidewalk.

Ranma casually walked off the fence, never breaking stride, and continued walking next to Nabiki. "Oyaji doesn't make me do anything, not anymore." He smiled boyishly, almost shyly, and said, "It's been a while since I was around people my own age, so I just gave him a small victory."

Seeing the look on Ranma's face was strange. He usually wore such a confident expression, with a smirk that made him look like he always found his surroundings amusing, that Nabiki was thrown further off-balance. This was a strange boy indeed.

Akane snorted derisively. "Can't see why you want to associate with us 'normal' people. After all, we're just 'normal', not super martial artist wizards. How can you even stand to be around us?"

Now that Nabiki could understand. Akane had been angry enough after Ranma's treatment of their father, but when she had challenged Ranma… it hadn't been pretty. Worse, her defeat had made a complete mockery of her, up to the time, unsurpassed skills. Of course Nabiki had the little fight on tape— not that she would sell it; Ranma was too valuable and unpredictable to risk angering— but a periodic reminder to Akane would definitely help control her ego.

"Mage," Ranma replied absentmindedly. "Sorcerer is all right, too, but wizard makes me sound old." He was looking intently ahead. "What are they doing?" he asked, pointing up the road.

Nabiki had been covertly examining Ranma— he was nice to look at— so she didn't see what he was talking about at first. When she looked down the road, she couldn't help but groan. They were back again. She couldn't understand how Nerima General got them back on their feet so fast. "Ah, those are just Akane's admirers." Approaching the school, it was obvious that many of the gathered boys were walking wounded. Many stood on crutches or had bandages wrapped around their heads, and a couple were in wheelchairs. She was about to elaborate further when Akane interrupted her.

"I hate boys! I hate boys!" the now glowing girl repeated to herself slowly through clenched teeth. Then she charged at them like an angry bull.

Ranma looked to Nabiki, confusion evident on his face. "A classmate of mine made a proclamation at the beginning of the year that anyone who wanted to date my sister had to defeat her in combat. That was last semester. They just won't give up."

Ranma's eyes bulged a bit, and for a moment Nabiki thought he was going to be sick, but then he broke out in a fit of laughter that left him leaning against someone's wall, clutching his ribs.

When Ranma had gotten himself under control, Nabiki asked, "What's so funny?" Her voice held a note of irritation in it. Akane was her sister, after all, and her plight wasn't that funny.

Ranma must have heard the tone of her voice because he said, "Sorry. I'm not making fun of Akane; it's that the whole situation is so ridiculously similar to Amazon marriage laws that I couldn't help but laugh."

"Amazon marriage laws?" Surely he didn't expect her to believe in Amazons. They were ancient mythology.

"Me and Oyaji ran across them in China. The laws are pretty stupid, but they stick by them. If an outsider of the opposite sex defeats you, you have to marry them, but if they're of the same sex, you have to kill them."

"You're joking, right? There is no such thing as Amazons." They were nearing the gates of Furinkan, and from the bodies littering the ground, it was obvious that Akane had already gone ahead to class. Hmm, Kuno would probably be getting out of the hospital soon.

As they carefully maneuvered between the broken, groaning bodies, Ranma commented, "Tell the Amazons that. If you ever decide to, you better watch out though; they are all fighters." Ranma winced in sympathy when he stepped over a whimpering boy who had a baseball bat inserted into a rather sensitive area.

"Okay, say these Amazons do exist; how do you know so much about them?" Nabiki asked as they entered the school. She decided to escort Ranma to the office and help him with the paperwork.

"After I got cursed, I kept trying to kill Oyaji, so he ran off to give me some time to cool down. A few days after he ran out of camp while I was sleeping, I found the Amazon village. I was pretty hungry, so I acted all girly and frightened and stuff. They took me to their village and fed me for a few days, but on the day I was planning to leave someone dropped a pot of hot water on me and I turned back into a guy. Things got pretty bad from there. They were real pissed for tricking them, so a lot of them tried to kill me." Ranma walked past the office door.

Nabiki grabbed him by the collar and pulled him back and led him into the office.

"Ah, thanks. Anyway, after a few minutes I was engaged to about two dozen Amazon women. Eventually, they did overpower me, but I'd taken out a least thirty of them by then. This big ugly one was about to chop my head off when a bolt of lightning struck her sword and knocked her out. A gaijin woman walked into view and burnt the ropes that were holding me to the stake. Turns out that she was a sorceress and had seen my potential. When the Amazons found that out, they made themselves scarce. Later, I found out that there's a really big rule they have about not hurting mages, good or bad."

Chibi-Hinako was busily jumping up and down on the secretary's desk shouting, "I want bubblegum flavored chalk!" repeatedly.

"So that's the woman who taught you magic?" Nabiki asked. If she could believe in magic, believing in Amazons wouldn't be too hard.

"Yeah, she's from America, but she was visiting a friend for a while. Guess I got lucky."

Lucky didn't even begin to describe it. "Excuse me," Nabiki said to the secretary who was ignoring Chibi-Hinako's tantrum.

"Yes, may I help you?" the gray-haired old woman asked.

"My friend here needs to register for classes."

"Class, we have a new student. This is Ranma Saotome," the teacher introduced.

Excited whispers broke out among the girls in the room, causing Akane to scowl at Ranma. He probably couldn't wait to get his hands on all those defenseless girls. Well, she wasn't going to let that happen. She'd talk to Nabiki, maybe give her a little money, and there would be rumors of Ranma's pervert-hood going through the school by the end of the week.

Ranma found an empty window seat near the back. Once the teacher had managed to quiet the class down, he began a long and boring lecture on some obscure point of Japanese history that Ranma missed completely because he fell asleep before the teacher actually mentioned what he was talking about.

Ranma didn't know anyone at Furinkan besides Nabiki and Akane, so at lunch he sought out the older of the two girls. Akane definitely wasn't an option. He was carrying his lunch tray over to the bench where Nabiki and another girl were sitting when a large group of boys surrounded him.

"Hey Saotome," a tall, brawny guy sneered, "we hear that you're staying at Akane's place."

Ranma couldn't believe these idiots were actually trying to bully him. When he didn't say anything, the same guy continued.

"Well, we don't like it. Akane's ours, you hear?" he laughed and the dozen or so other boys joined in.

"You know I would never cheat on your mom, Son," Ranma finally said. Ranma had long ago decided that most people were complete idiots, and therefore undeserving of any respect. A person had to earn his respect and these people weren't doing a very good job.

The leader of the little gang turned red with rage and began sputtering. The other boys closed in on Ranma, tightening the rough circle they had formed around him.

Deciding to end the conflict so that he could at least have time to eat his lunch, Ranma sprang into action.

Nabiki had been watching the little encounter between Ranma and some of Akane's playmates with a little interest. Ranma could take care of himself, but when she heard his comment to the brute that had done the talking, the scene gained her immediate attention. That had been good! It was when Ranma threw his tray straight into the air and became a barely visible blur that people starting gasping in surprise and shock. When Ranma again became visible, he caught his tray and proceeded on towards her position. Every last one of the boys who had intended to waylay Ranma was on the ground, clutching his throat and making sickly gurgling noises. Several nearby girls looked like they would be sick.

"Do you think I overdid it?" he asked Nabiki.

Even as she answered no to his question, Nabiki was thinking of possible uses for Ranma. Besides his possible future as her instructor in the arcane arts, Ranma represented a half-dozen different financial ventures, but most of those wouldn't get his consent and as she had just seen, Ranma was not someone to upset, even if you disregarded all the interesting ways he had of blowing people up. But if she was seen to be his friend— and she was in a way becoming one— just the reputation he was sure to gain would be a very good deterrent to debtors. Who would skip out on a payment when they were looking down the barrel of a fully-loaded Ranma? "How was your first day?" she asked him. Had she blinked or did all the food just disappear off Ranma's tray?

Ranma wiped his mouth with a napkin before answering, "Eh, pretty boring. The girls kept passing me notes and I got sent out of class a lot." He shrugged, "It's not like I really care or anything, but it really sucks to get blamed for stuff that isn't your fault."

Nabiki nodded in agreement. It had been a long while since anyone had accused her of doing anything besides swindling them, but she remembered getting blamed for breaking Akane's toys when they were kids. Nabiki secretly suspected that it was Kasumi who kept twisting the heads off all of Akane's dolls, but no one had ever had the nerve to accuse Kasumi of anything.

"Who's your friend, Nabiki?" asked Rei, one of Nabiki's business associates.

"Ranma Saotome, a friend on the family. Ranma, this is Rei Hino."

They exchanged greetings, and Ranma looked over at his victims, who were still on the ground choking.

"You didn't do anything dangerous or permanent, did you?" Nabiki asked. There was only so much that she could cover up or gloss over, and Ranma may have pushed a little past her limits.

"Nah, they just think they're choking, the effect will wear off in a few more minutes," he answered. Across the yard, Akane was sitting under a tree with two other girls, and all three were glaring at him. Ranma smiled and waved, hoping to further upset the temperamental Tendo.

"What exactly did you do to them," Rei asked worriedly. Her younger brother was one of the idiots who had been harassing Ranma.

"It's just a pressure point that makes a person think their throat is swollen shut."

"So they're not in any danger?"

"They may be a bunch of assholes, but I wouldn't kill them or anything like that over something so stupid." The bell rang, signaling a return to class. Ranma told the girls he would see them later and went to put his tray up.

"He wouldn't really kill somebody, would he," Rei asked urgently.

"No, he was just joking around." At least Nabiki hoped he was joking. Ranma didn't really seem like a killer, though.

"Just look at him over there, hitting on my sister," Akane growled to Yuka and Sayuri.

"You should report him to the police. He did threaten your kill your dad," Yuka said between bites of a sandwich.

"And tell them that he did it with a ball of fire?" Akane pointed out. "No, I'll just have to get rid of him myself."

"How, you said that he beat you easily when you sparred with—" Sayuri broke of the question when she heard Akane snarl.

"Damned pervert. I'll get him, just watch." An uneasy silence grew between the three girls.

Yuka and Sayuri shared a concerned glance behind their friend's back. They knew that the new arrival, this Ranma Saotome, was only making Akane's rage hotter. For months the boys had attacked her relentlessly and for months she had fought them off, becoming more and more brutal with them as the weeks wore on. It wasn't uncommon for two or three of her attackers to spend weeks out of school with multiple broken bones, but that course of action, though useful with others, wouldn't work on Ranma, and Akane knew it. So how was she going to get Ranma out of her life?

"Um… Akane, how do you plan to get him?" Yuka eventually asked.

Akane grinned hatefully, and directed a glare at Ranma. Yuka and Sayuri, both upset at Ranma for further angering their friend, gifted him with glares of their own. Across the field Ranma waved to them.

Akane growled again and little sparks of battle aura began to appear around her. "Ranma doesn't know how Nabiki really is. All I have to do is pay her enough and she'll make Ranma run back to China crying like a little girl." Then she started chuckling.

Yuka and Sayuri slowly scooted away from Akane. Her battle aura was becoming a bit uncomfortable to be near. Thankfully, the bell rang.

"Nabiki, I need to talk to you in private," Akane whispered to her sister.

To Ranma, who was walking along the fence, Nabiki said, "Go on ahead, Ranma. Me and Akane need to talk privately."

Ranma shrugged and ran ahead. Akane didn't look happy, and he wasn't about to get involved in a family dispute.

"So what you need, Sis?" Nabiki asked once Ranma was out of sight.

Getting to the point, Akane said, "I need you to make the whole school see how much of a pervert Ranma is. I've only got 6000 yen, but I'll take out a loan if you need me to."

Alarm momentarily flashed in Nabiki's eyes. She bent close to Akane and fiercely whispered, "I don't want to hear anymore talk like that out of you, Akane! Just because Ranma's better than you are in the martial arts doesn't mean you have to hate him." Nabiki realized that she was defending Ranma for no reason. She hadn't even thought about the incentives of staying on his good side.

Akane pushed right on ahead, "I hate him because he threatened Daddy, and he's a pervert! Can you imagine what he does to that poor girl body he's got?"

"Akane, I'm not going to help you mess up Ranma's reputation. He's a friend, and I don't have too many of those. And besides, I have video evidence of the things you do to your poor body." There, that ought to shut her up.

Akane was about to say something else when she caught the meaning of what her sister had said. In between heartbeats, her face went from slightly pink from the chilly air and anger, to purple, and her mouth started making funny little fish gulps.

Ranma was her friend. Well, he might be someday, but it was a start. The thought almost made Nabiki stop laughing as her sister walked home woodenly, her face purple and her fists clenched tightly.

She couldn't believe Nabiki, her own sister, would side with that… that pervert! And the nerve of the girl too spy on her doing that! Ooooh. She didn't need Nabiki's help, she could do it on her own. Akane walked past the front gate of her home, she needed to pick up a few things from the store.

Nabiki found Ranma in the dojo. He was doing a very basic Anything Goes kata that she recognized from her childhood when she had still practiced the Art. She sat down to wait for him to finish. Only after observing him for a couple minutes did Nabiki notice how the air around Ranma seemed to shimmer as if it were very hot. "Ranma, what's wrong with the air?"

Ranma's response sounded strange and muffled. "I'm making the air thicker so that it's harder to move through."

That explained it. Ranma was doing the equivalent to training with heavy weighted clothing. Curious, Nabiki walked to the edge of the distorted air and pushed her hand into it. It felt like trying to push her hand through wet cement! The force Ranma was exerting to move through that stuff had to be enormous.

Finally, a few minutes later, Ranma stopped the kata, and the air in the dojo returned to normal. He was sweating profusely and panting, but his face held a delighted grin. "Lasted twenty seconds longer this time," he told Nabiki.

"That's nice. I just came to warn you that Akane may be planning to reveal your curse to the people at school tomorrow."

Toweling himself off, Ranma said, "Thanks, Nabiki. Are you sure that Akane isn't… you know…" he made the universal 'insane person' gesture by swirling his finger around his ear.

Nabiki found herself laughing at Ranma. He was almost like a walking contradiction, sometimes cold and collected, and every so often, bashful and awkward. "I don't think she is, but we never really had her tested."

Akane dumped all the things she had bought onto her bed. There were water balloons, water guns, edible panties, a Polaroid camera, a flesh colored dildo, and a very sleazy set of black silk lingerie. She would show everybody just how perverted Ranma was if it killed her.

Later that evening, the Tendos and Saotomes were watching the news on TV. They were featuring a new French restaurant on the cooking segment, but the camera operator momentarily stumbled and his camera swung to the side. To Akane's horror, it showed her coming out of the sex shop with a bag of stuff. All eyes turned to the beleaguered girl. Needless to say, she fainted.


To be continued.

Author's Notes: How does everyone like the story so far? If you noticed, I used the name of Sailor Mars from Sailor Moon as one of Nabiki's business associates. If I get good responses, or just decide to, an alternate Sailor Moon universe may cross with my new Ranma one. All you Akane lovers out there, sorry, but Akane's life is gonna get worse before— wait, it won't get any better. Send all C&C to dark_phoneix@hotmail.com

Chapter 2
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