A Ranma ½ story
Disclaimer: Ranma ½ and its characters and settings belong to Rumiko Takahashi, Shogakukan, Kitty, and Viz Video. In no way is this a claim to these characters. I make no money from this.
Exar, A.K.A. Ben Jernigan: email@example.com
Ranma walked into the clinic with a nervous expression on his face. He wasn't looking forward to this.
As he walked through the door to the office, Dr. Tofu looked up. "Why, hello, Ranma, it's nice to see you. Any new injuries?"
"No, Doc." Not yet, anyway…
"Then what brings you here?" Tofu said, walking around the desk towards Ranma, a friendly smile on his face.
"Doc, I gotta talk to ya about Kasumi."
"Kasumi…?" Dr. Tofu's glasses fogged as soon as the name was mentioned.
Ranma sighed. This wasn't gonna be easy. But he owed it to the Doc to be up front about it. "Doc… Kasumi an' me, we're engaged now. Akane an' me broke it off. I'm… sorry."
Tofu danced across the room and grabbed his skeleton off of its display stand. "Betty, did you hear? Kasumi's engaged to Ranma now! Isn't… that… nice?" Dr. Tofu turned slowly to face Ranma, building rage showing in his eyes. "You're engaged to my Kasumi? Akane was right! You are a womanizer! There's no way I'm going to let you take Kasumi from me!"
Ranma stared in shock as Tofu threw himself at the younger man, coming back to himself just in time to dodge the skeleton the enraged physician was trying to hit him with.
"Doc! What're you doin'? Knock it off!" Ranma shouted as he backpeddled.
"Betty! He's trying to take Kasumi from me! Help me stop him!" Tofu yelled incoherently as he swung the skeleton in deadly arcs, barely missing Ranma each time.
Ranma almost screamed in frustration. He'd hoped that Tofu would be rational, but it had obviously been a wasted hope.
Tofu grabbed his skeleton's skull and twisted gently, pulling it free from the neck. "Betty's Head-Bash!" yelled the doctor as he leapt over a table. As he reached the height of his arc, he began throwing skulls at Ranma, seemingly pulling them from inside Betty's empty head.
Ranma dodged and blocked the rain of bones frantically, while trying to get under the doctor to counterattack. When Tofu had almost landed, Ranma snap-kicked his feet out from under him, causing the doctor to land on his rear.
Tofu grunted in pain, but immediately regained his feet. He briskly reattached Betty's head, then removed her leg just as quickly. He charged Ranma, changing to a running jump at the last second, when he slapped Betty's leg onto his own and shouted, "Skeleton-Fu Secret Technique! Extension Kick!"
Ranma cried out in pain as the foot of the skeletal leg slammed into his chest, the toes slicing through his shirt and digging into his chest. "That's it, doc! No more mister nice guy!", shouted an enraged Ranma as he shattered Betty's leg with a quick twist. Ranma moved at his full speed and destroyed the rest of Dr. Tofu's dangerous skeleton.
"How could you do that to my poor Betty? I'm going to teach you a lesson, Ranma!" Tofu screamed as he leapt at Ranma. Lightning-quick, he threw a punch at Ranma's face. Instinctively, Ranma blocked with his forearm. Too late, he saw Tofu's hand twist and felt his expert fingers tapping lightly down his arm.
Ranma's left arm was suddenly stuck in the blocking position and wouldn't move an inch. Ranma cursed and flipped backwards over a table, trying to head for the door. Inside like this, Tofu would be able to corner him and use more of those pressure points on him.
The doctor ran up and shoved the table hard, hitting Ranma on the way down and making him land awkwardly.
"Dammit!" Ranma yelled, as he twisted his ankle. That's gonna slow me down. He looked up to see Tofu running around the end of the table and knew that escape was no longer an option. "If that's the way you want it, doc. Kachu Tenshin Amaguriken! One-Armed Version!!"
Ranma proceeded to throw several hundred punches at Tofu, who blocked some, dodged others, and simply stood and took the rest. As Ranma finished the technique, he noticed an incredible pain in his hand. Tofu had managed to hit a pain point while blocking! Ranma shook his hand to lessen the agony, but to no avail. Fortunately, the doctor had felt the punches he took, and was slow recovering.
Taking advantage of a woozy enemy, Ranma jumped up, bounced off a table, and executed a Flying Dragon kick that would have made Bruce Lee proud. Tofu caught it in the chest and went flying out through his clinic's front window.
Ranma regained his feet and quickly followed, hoping to press his advantage. He found the doctor in the yard, already halfway to his feet. "Do ya give up yet, Doc? I don't wanna hurt you," Ranma said as he warily advanced on his enemy.
"Give up on Kasumi? Never!" responded Dr. Tofu as he stood up straight and pressed a spot on his own chest. Immediately his breathing was easier. He then rushed Ranma, trying to bowl him over. Ranma leapt over the doc's oncoming form, spinning in the air to launch a volley of kicks into his back. Tofu stumbled forward, unable to stop, and rammed headfirst into the wall. "That's it, Ranma! Now you die!" Tofu screamed in fury, spinning around and closing with Ranma faster than before. He dodged Ranma's punch, then began pummeling the boy's torso from inside his defense. He got in several good hits before Ranma chopped down onto his collarbone. With a hiss of pain, Tofu back away.
Tofu was hurting, badly. His clavicle had broken with that last attack, and the pain-deadening point he'd pressed couldn't filter it all out. When it wore off, he'd probably go into shock. He needed to finish this.
Ranma decided to go on the offensive. He jumped at Tofu, leading with kicks, and finishing with a roundhouse punch with his pain-filled hand.
Tofu reeled from Ranma's attacks, but managed to counterattack savagely, punching Ranma in vulnerable spots, despite seeming to flinch with every movement of his arms. Ranma leapt back and paused a moment to catch his breath.
Tofu was in agony. One of Ranma's kicks had aggravated his broken shoulder. He hated to use it on a kid, but he only had one attack left. "Ki Bone Barrage!!" Dark blue bolts of energy flew from Tofu's hands at the stunned Ranma. They resolved into glowing bones, of all sizes and descriptions. He dodged a shin bone, an ankle, two skulls and a pelvis before a thigh bone struck him full in the chest. It knocked him backwards harder than one of Ryoga's punches.
Picking himself up off the ground, Ranma wondered aloud, "How the hell did he do that?"
Tofu was exhausted. He hadn't fought like this in ages. He couldn't take the pace. Ranma was going to win.
Ranma warily examined his opponent. He seemed to be on the edge of falling over. I sure hope he ain't fakin', Ranma thought. Only one way to find out, he mused. Ranma gave a mighty battle cry and leapt into the air. As Tofu watched, he flew towards him, landing a kick squarely on Tofu's face, knocking him into and partially through the wall behind him and thoroughly knocking him out.
Before he passed out as well, Ranma wondered briefly if he should call a doctor for the doctor.
Ranma awoke in an empty hospital room. He sat up and turned to swing his feet off the bed, and then noticed the brace on his foot. "Huh. Must'a hurt it worse than I thought," he said quietly. He gingerly stood up, testing his weight and finding walking possible, if painful.
He limped to the bathroom and was taking care of business when he heard someone enter the room. "He's gone!" said a familiar voice.
"What?" replied another.
"The bed's empty!"
Ranma chuckled softly as he finished what he was doing and opened the door to the cubicle. "I haven't gone far."
Akane, Nabiki and Kasumi stood in his room, each with a different expression of her face. Akane looked angry, but that was nothing new. Nabiki looked calculating, but very tired. Kasumi looked calm, but just a tiny bit concerned.
"Ranma! You're finally awake! Now I can pound you for hurting Dr. Tofu!" Akane said as she pulled her hammer out of the aether.
"Hey! He attacked me!"
"A likely story! Why would he do that, you jerk?"
"Because I told him about being engaged to Kasumi, that's why! He went crazier than usual!"
"Oh," Akane said in a very small voice.
"Why would Dr. Tofu attack you because we are engaged?" asked Kasumi, with a puzzled look on her face.
"Because, dear sister, he's head over heels in love with you," drawled Nabiki.
"Oh my. He is?"
The other three people in the room all turned their heads to look at Kasumi.
"You mean you didn't know?"
"No. How could I?"
Ranma shook his head and said, "He goes crazy any time you come around, or if you're even mentioned."
"Oh. I thought he always acted that way."
"I guess you've just never seen him act normally. I don't know if he's actually insane, or just incredibly shy," offered Nabiki.
Ranma was released a few hours later, but warned to take it easy on his foot until the ankle healed some. They inquired as to Tofu's condition, and were told that he would be out in a few days, but wouldn't be back to full health for a month or so. As they walked out into a cool spring day, Ranma said, "I hope he doesn't start attacking me as soon as he's better, but I doubt I'll be that lucky."
"Based on your track record, I'd say it's not likely, Ranma," observed Nabiki.
"Yeah, tell me about it. I dunno, he's older than my other rivals, so he might see reason a little easier."
"Sure, Ranma. Whatever you say."
The next day, Ranma stayed home from school. The doctor had told him to avoid fights, and he knew he couldn't do that at Furinkan.
Finding nothing of interest on TV, and having no interest in watching his father and Mr. Tendo cheat at shogi, he sought out Kasumi. She wasn't in the kitchen, wasn't doing laundry, and wasn't cleaning the garden. So where was she? In her room?
Ranma walked up the stairs and to Kasumi's room. As he raised his hand to knock, he realized that he'd never been in her room before, and only seen inside once. And since he'd been worried about Akane cooking, he didn't much remember what he saw. He knocked gently on the door.
"Who is it?"
"It's Ranma, Kasumi."
She opened the door with a smile on her face and said, "Come in, Ranma."
He walked in and looked around. It was a nice room, very clean, with a comfortable-looking bed and a small bedside table against one wall and a desk against the other. On the desk was… a computer?
"Kasumi? Why do you have a computer in your room?" Ranma asked, gesturing at the desk.
Kasumi walked over to it and moved the mouse, dispelling the flying toasters that had been covering the screen. "It's for my job. I need it to do my typing, but I also use it to organize and trade recipes, plan meals, and do some shopping."
"I didn't know you had a job," said Ranma, a little embarrassed that he hadn't.
"I know, Ranma, I don't tell anyone about it. Only you, Nabiki and I know that I do."
"Oh. Why didn't you tell the rest of us?"
"Because the one time I suggested getting a job, father absolutely refused to allow it. But we needed the money so badly, I went and got one anyway."
"Wow. I never knew. Now I feel really bad for freeloading all this time."
"Don't, Ranma. I know how much money Nabiki generates off of you, and that you could stop her easily. You've helped tremendously."
"Oh. So what is your job?", Ranma asked.
Kasumi gestured at the computer and the pile of books next to it. "I read medical books and summarize them into things called 'Cliff's Notes'."
"So that's why you're always going down to Dr. Tofu's to borrow books!"
"Oh. Akane thought it was because you liked him. And I think he hoped it was."
Kasumi blushed a little, and said, "I like him because he's silly, but I don't like him the way he seems to want me to. If he had ever shown how he felt, or asked me out…? Well, it's not going to happen now, is it?"
"It can if you want it. We can break our engagement right now, and I'll leave today."
"Don't be silly. Your ankle is still hurt, so you couldn't leave if I'd let you. Besides, I don't want to date Dr. Tofu. Do you know how old he is?"
"Well, neither do I, but he's been running his clinic since I was in junior high. He's at least ten or twelve years older than me."
"Ya know, I never thought of that."
Ranma found his way to a chair and spent the rest of the afternoon chatting with Kasumi about everything under the sun.
To be continued.
Author's notes: This chapter is shorter than the two previous ones, mainly because I couldn't think of anything else to put in it. I had the big fight scene, and the resolution of that, and a little character exploration for Ranma and Kasumi. I didn't want to start the plot line for next chapter just yet, but I didn't want to drag this one on with unrelated scenes and filler. So it ends here, and chapter 4 will be back up to the standard length, if not longer.
On Dr. Tofu's age: I don't know how much it's addressed in the manga, but in the anime, it is suggested that Dr. Tofu is in somewhere in his 30s. He is shown running his clinic when Akane is somewhere in the range of 10 years old. Kasumi would have been 13 or so. That's 6 years before the show, assuming he was 18 when he graduated high school, add 8 years to get a doctorate, and he would be at least 32 years old. Also, in one episode of the anime, he clearly says, "I haven't seen one of those in over a hundred years!" referring to the moxibustion on Ranma's back. This suggests that he is like Cologne and Happosai, and is very old, but using a martial arts technique to stay young. This is doubtful, though, and the line probably lost something in the translation.
I really love that fight, though. I wrote that before I had even finished chapter 2.
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