A Ranma ½ story
by Corwin and Ginrai
Disclaimer: Ranma ½ and its characters and settings belong to Rumiko Takahashi, Shogakukan, Kitty, and Viz Video. Yuzo Takada and A.D. Vision own All Purpose Cultural Cat Girl Nuku-Nuku.
This fic is based on Gregg Sharp's Nuku Nuku idea from chapter 30 of 'A Reluctant Bet' and is used here with his permission.
Previous chapters can also be found at Phu's Anime Page
Thanks to Brian Randall for pre-reading this.
Chapter 1 - Jusenkyo, the Valley of the Really Cursed Springs
Ranma Saotome stroked the rather large cat standing next to him and looked around at the place his father had brought him to.
"Aww, this doesn't look so bad."
The pink-furred cat grimaced in a feline snarl, and hissed at the springs in the valley below warningly.
"Come on, Ranma, follow me!" Genma yelled, leaping onto one of the poles.
"Wait here, Nuku," Ranma said, gently patting the cat on her shoulder. "Hey, what's up? Why are you so upset?"
The cat hissed and yowled, trying to communicate to Ranma exactly why this place set her hackles up.
The Guide came out to see what was going on and noticed the cat Ranma was petting. "What kind of cat that? Pink fur and too big for housecat. Hmmm…" While thinking of that peculiarity, he turned and saw just where Genma was. "Oh what is Sir doing?!" the Guide screamed, hoping that someone would actually heed his warning.
"Stop playing with the damn cat, Ranma! Are you not a man?" Genma taunted his son from one of the poles.
"Something's scaring the heck outta her, Pop. I haven't seen her this agitated since we stayed outside that cave over in Okayama," Ranma exclaimed, frowning.
"Ah, Sir, what you doing up there? This place very dangerous, nobody use any more!" the Guide yelled, flailing his arms frantically.
"Ranma, are you chicken? Get up here and fight!" Genma shouted. Seeing that his son wasn't responding to his taunts, he paused, considering a new tactic. "What are you, a weak little girl?"
"Oh shuddup." Ranma exclaimed, leaping to the top of a pole, if only to shut his father up. "What're the stakes this time?"
Nuku Nuku howled as her master got close to those pools. This was why cats were clearly the superior species, stupid blind know-it-all humans! Couldn't they feel the spirits of this place, hungering for further victims?!
Leap, kick, sweeping attack. Block, sweep, countermove.
Splash. Bubble. A panda attacking.
Her human blinked, startled. A panda?
Dropped guard. An attack that went through defenses. A throw.
Nuku Nuku raced forward in an attempt to save her master. She weighed in excess of seventy pounds, maybe she could deflect him?
Splash. Bubble. A scream of outrage.
"Oh, very sad, Sir… your cat fall in Spring of Insanely Super-Powered and Very Beautiful Drowned Girl. Terrible tragic story of…"
The Jusenkyo Guide's telling of the tale was interrupted by an inhuman snarl. The pink-haired girl turned a look towards the panda that spoke of violence. Genma was momentarily unconcerned. After all, he was a trained martial artist and could easily defend himself against some teenage girl, couldn't he?
This was dispelled by the sudden violence rained upon the panda by the transformed cat, who actually lifted Genma-panda up over her head and threw him. Then a dark-haired martial artist boy joined in.
Ranma was quite aware that if he hadn't been knocked aside, he would have landed in the pool that had turned his cat into a girl. He wasn't sure what would have happened, but this was what he considered Genma's latest and most stupid maneuver… in a long line of similar maneuvers. Right now he'd react, later he'd ponder it.
Genma tried to flee but Ranma and Nuku Nuku had hunted together previously and were used to working as a team. Even with the transformation of Jusenkyo, the pair found their actions fitting like a well-oiled machine in operation.
Sometime when the panda had been dunked in the Spring of Drowned Flying Pink Elephant Calf and beaten half to death, they hauled it back to the Guide's hut, and Ryoga fell off a cliff and hit a spring that had nothing to do with a Drowned Pig.
Nuku Nuku tugged uncomfortably at her clothing and glanced sideways at Ranma. "Rrrrroooww?"
Ranma smiled back and said something in that human language they were always jabbering on in. Now that she was human, she supposed she'd have to use it. How… inconvenient. Oh well, at least it was simple enough to understand. Still, it was much less easy for stupid older smells-greasy human to pull stupid stunts with her human! Heh. And wouldn't it aggravate greasy-fat-man if she could talk?
Nuku Nuku decided to do it. She'd always been cleverer than smaller cats. She'd just never had the equipment or a good enough reason to learn speaking like a human, although she could always get the gist of what her human talked about. Now, however, she was (shudder) at least a part-time human. And it was all fat-greasy-needs-to-bathe human's fault. HER human had learned to pay attention.
Not knowing what to make of this, the Jusenkyo Guide turned to Ranma. "Sir, what kind of cat? She not act like typical cat get transformed."
"We're not sure. Nuku Nuku was one of a bunch of cats Pop rounded up to teach me some lame technique called the Neko-ken. Nuku adopted me when the training… drove me a little nuts. Having her around helped. Guy I knew said she was a variety of mountain cat native to China. She musta been just a kitten when we met."
Nuku Nuku stared at Ranma's mouth. One puckered and moved the soft bits like so and moved the tongue around like that. It seemed extremely complicated. "Rrrruuuu?"
"What is it, Nuku?"
"Ruuaaa? Raaa. Raaaraaa…"
Genma stood up, adjusting his backpack. "Whatever, Ranma. We must go. We have things to do and must go back to Japan."
"Uh huh," Ranma said, not having paid the least bit of attention to his father. "Guide, you said that if I had hit the pool, I'd be turned into a girl?"
"Whenever struck with cold water, yes, Sir. But hot water turn you back."
"Raaaraannnn." She'd been watching his mouth. "Nuuukyuuu?"
Ranma blinked, realizing what was happening. Nothing like having the truth being used as a blunt instrument repeatedly against your head. "She's trying to talk? Nuku Nuku?"
Genma blinked too. 'The boy is mistaken, right?'
"Nuuukkuu." Nuku Nuku frowned. This was so difficult, and it had been a rough day. Maybe she should catch a nap before going further? "Nukkkuuu?"
"Nuku Nuku." Ranma tapped the former full-time cat in the chest, then tapped himself in the chest. "Ranma."
Nuku Nuku smiled, understanding the human gesture, even if it wasn't natural to her. "Rrrrannnmaaa."
"Cat is very clever cat," said the Guide with wide eyes.
"Good girl, Nuku Nuku."
Nuku Nuku nodded. She knew it. Now her human understood…
Nuku Nuku blinked. She was human now, at least part time. Well, didn't that confuse things all to hell. Hmmm. And Ranma smelled nice, even with a weak human nose…
"Now, listen here, Guide," Ranma said, pulling the man with him out of the hut. "You said there're over a hundred springs here, right?"
"Yes, Mr. Customer. Each with its own tragic…"
"Yeah, I'm sure. So, what are they?"
"Well, let's see. Spring of Drowned Annoying Super-Cute Magical Girl, Spring of Drowned Ugly Bikini-Wearing Alien Female Agent, Spring of Drowned Cute Girl Who Cooks Toxic Food, Dreaded Spring of Drowned FanFic Writer…"
The Guide shuddered at that name, adding, "Last spring forbidden."
"Aren't there any normal springs here?" Ranma asked, sighing. "Preferably, with shorter names."
"Yes, Mr. Customer. We have Spring of Drowned Cabbit. Very tragic story of cabbit…"
"Yeah, yeah. Look, I'm gonna need a sample or two from a few springs here."
"Why you want do that? You look for curse too?"
"Nah, I just figure that'd be a good way to get back at Pop. What do you think?"
"I think Mr. Customer has very good idea. Jusenkyo curses not mix, if enough water used. Is even possibility for cure, when curse stabilize in one week."
"But pop changed from a panda to… whatever the hell he is now," Ranma said, rubbing his forehead in confusion.
The Guide shook his head to the negative. "Other Mr. Customer no get cured. Get another curse instead of panda curse. Cure is what must take time, not curse!"
"I think I get it now," Ranma drawled out, tapping his chin in thought. Grinning evilly, Ranma said to the Guide, "Let's not tell Pop about this, okay?"
"Okay," the Guide agreed, nodding.
The pigtailed boy continued, "Now, how about we get those samples I wanted, and then you can tell me about all about the other products you probably have here…"
"…and so here we come, Sirs, to rustic village of Nichieju."
"What kinda food they got here?"
"Rrrrooowww?" Nuku Nuku didn't like this, flat out refused to carry a backpack, and was not thrilled with her Ranma following his father, however grudgingly. Besides, humans tended to stink after they exercised. More evidence, if any was needed, of the innate superiority of felines.
"Oh, we is in luck, Sirs, is big fighting tournament." The Guide heard the noise and turned to see the three tourists tearing into the victory feast. "SIRS? What you do there?"
The newly declared champion stalked forward and began berating the tall girl with the pink hair, but desisted when the girl meowed at her. Shuddering, she turned her attention to the dark-haired boy in the hopes of at least some indication that the other understood he was being fussed at.
Ranma, having stopped eating at the commotion, looked at the girl in front of him, perplexed at what she was saying. But she looked angry. Turning to the Guide, he asked, pointing towards the girl, "What is she trying to say?"
"Sir, she village champion. Is angry with Sirs for eating prize."
Ranma blinked. "Oh… that is… not good. Ask if there's any way I can make up for it."
Having asked the girl that, the Guide looked back at Ranma and responded, "Sir, she say you dishonor tradition. Champion challenge you to fight."
This got Ranma to crack a smile. "So if I beat you, there's no problem, right?" he asked the girl.
Shampoo was irate. That boy was acting as if her challenge was nothing! Does he not know who she is? Well, he will soon, Shampoo thought as she looked up and scowled. It softened a bit. He did have a cute smile…
Nuku Nuku watched the fight, stalking around to view from different angles as Shampoo attacked, Ranma counterattacked, then the defeated kissed the victor. Oh goody, they were friends now.
If the crowd gasped in surprise as Shampoo gave the Kiss of Marriage to Ranma, they went into shock as Shampoo was stopped before she had even stepped back from Ranma. Stopped by the pink-haired girl grabbing Shampoo and giving the Kiss of Marriage!
Shampoo considered fainting. This was not anywhere near the script she had intended. She rallied, however, deciding to get angry. Were these stupid outsiders mocking Amazon Tradition?
Nuku Nuku wasn't ready for the attack and was stunned by a strong blow to the head. The not-friend turned an attack towards Ranma. Nuku Nuku understood this, sort of, in cat-terms. The new female was trying to prove her dominant status in the association. Well, Nuku Nuku had her own thoughts about that.
Shampoo thought about it, and there was only one thing to do. "Wo ai ni!" She leapt forward again.
A hand snaking out and grabbing the back of Shampoo's collar arrested her forward momentum. Shampoo turned to regard the pink-haired girl who was moving around as if sizing the Amazon up for an attack. Nuku Nuku revealed that that was the game plan when she leapt at Shampoo with a howl. Shampoo lifted her bonbori from where they had fallen, and started forward herself.
Shampoo's eyes bugged slightly, going from the neat little slices of bonbori mace to her opponent's bare hands.
"/Careful Shampoo, the girl knows the dreaded Cat Fist!/"
Shampoo stepped back and threw the useless handle to the side. "/Great Grandmother? What is this Cat Fist?/"
"/A terrible technique. Mainly useless, though difficult to defeat without knowing about it beforehand. She has struck you twice now. Look at your dress./"
Shampoo did, noticing two diagonal lines cut in the silk, which generously showed off her long, creamy legs. Her already short dress seemed more like a mini-skirt.
Shampoo almost jumped from shock, but managed to stop herself at the last moment so that she won't flash her panties to the whole village.
"/If she fought in earnest, your opponent would have drawn blood at least./" Cologne was intrigued as the girl showed all the signs of Cat Fist mastery. Which meant that Shampoo's opponent currently had the mind of a cat. "/If you use deadly force, she will likely respond that way./"
"/I will not surrender,/" Shampoo growled, leaping forward.
Nuku Nuku howled and struck. SHE was the head female here. She'd teach this upstart to get in line. The catgirl did avoid making it fatal, though; this other girl had less than half her speed and strength, plus no claws to speak of. The battle quickly became a catfight instead of a martial arts duel. When the dust cleared, Shampoo was lying on the ground with Nuku Nuku crouched over her.
Cologne sighed and stepped forward. It looked like she would have to get involved. Though she noted that Shampoo had merely been embarrassed. Especially as her great granddaughter was woken up by the strange girl licking her face.
"/Well, Shampoo, this outsider man and this woman defeated you. Consider your options carefully./" Cologne turned to the three outsiders. "If you'll just wait a few moments, I'm sure my great granddaughter can sort out this mess. If you'd like a place to stay for the night we would be honored if you'd be our guests."
Shampoo considered. An outsider girl defeating an Amazon meant the Kiss of Death, you had to pursue and kill. Though rarely used anymore, but Shampoo was Cologne's heir and therefore held to a higher standard. An outsider man defeating an Amazon meant the Kiss of Marriage, which she had just delivered to the man, so they were married. Then the outsider girl had given her the Kiss of Marriage, which meant…
Shampoo looked disgusted and mumbled, "Wo da airen. Wo ai ni," very unenthusiastically towards the pink-haired girl.
Nuku Nuku watched the purple-haired girl lower her head as if staring at the ground. Licking off her right hand lazily, she nipped the neck of the fallen foe to drive the point home, meeting no resistance just as she expected.
'Good, she knows her place now and is baring her neck. The pack grows, and I can learn human behavior from a female of approximately my age. Now, I've got another pet human or at least a pack mate who smells better than greasy-fat-man. Hmmm. Her fur smells nice, actually. Have to see if Ranma can get his fur smelling that nicely…'
Taking a look around her, Nuku Nuku noticed all the other people her own age. Using her keen sense, the catgirl noticed that most of them also smelled nice. A number of them, mostly the guys, seemed to be staring at her. Though one seemed to be angry and shouting something… before he got whacked on the head with a staff and fell down. The rest, almost all girls, were staring at Ranma.
Nuku Nuku knew exactly what this meant. 'Oh, goody! More people for the pack!'
Mousse was angry. Here he was, Shampoo's destined love, trapped in one of the houses and with no way out. His robe was taken away by the damn ghoul, so he was only clad in his pants. "/Of course I was trying to kill Saotome and Nuku Nuku! They're trying to force Shampoo into this!/" he remembered screaming in outrage at the dried up monkey Shampoo called 'Great Grandmother' before she threw him in here. All the while his love was hanging around Saotome, no doubt being forced into doing it. Bastard probably used some sort of love potion. There was simply no other way his beloved would just magically forget about him and accept being married to the first guy that beat her!
In the middle of his flashback, the myopic boy heard the sound of a fast, one-sided battle, followed by a cry of "Wo ai ni!" and a kiss by that girl of Saotome's. 'Damn the elder who told Nuku Nuku the laws concerning the Kiss of Marriage,' Mousse thought irately. This girl was making a mockery of the system and no one was saying a thing!
And the boys his age… Mousse began to growl at that thought. 'Hypocrites. Each and every one of them! All of them lusting after all the girls, as if their 'beauty' can match Shampoo's. Only trying to beat Nuku Nuku because of all the girls they can get. Not caring about how the girls would feel. How Shampoo would feel! I can't believe the girls even like such guys.'
Mousse shuddered, as his mind brought up an image of all those boys trying to force themselves on his beloved Shampoo after beating the tricely-accursed Saotome. 'At least Shampoo is strong… I know she won't let anyone treat her like that.' He smiled at the last thought. Shampoo, at least, had good taste in guys. And he knew that soon she would announce her love for him. The master of hidden weapons chuckled at the look the old bag of bones would give when his Shampoo said that.
Retracting his thoughts on the boys, Mousse realized that he shouldn't be surprised about one of the boys. The one who would sleep with anyone, even his own sister, or anything that could walk and breathe. The one with the blow-up mouse, or whatever it was, doll. Who could appear anywhere at the surprise of others. And, Mousse shuddered at this, the one who gave him a certain look from time to time.
"/The greatest pervert in this village,/" the blind Amazon mumbled in disgust as he stared through one of the barred windows. He stopped staring when he felt a hand on his chest. Turning, Mousse saw…
"/You called?/" the other boy asked in a sultry tone, tracing a finger over Mousse's bare chest.
Shrieking like a little girl, Mousse ran through one of the walls. He didn't care that he just got out, or how the other boy got in. He just wanted to get far away from that boy.
The boy stared at the hole Mousse made with a look of true disappointment. "/One of these days, my love,/" he said forlornly. Smoothing out his hair, he added, "/But, for now, there are others that haven't felt the power of my loving. They, too, deserve it just as much as my sister, my mother, my father, my pet, the girl in the house next to mine and her wolf, that elder whose name I forgot…/"
An hour later, after having finished thinking of all the people he gave his loving to, the longhaired handsome boy left to continue his endless mission of spreading his love to others.
Meanwhile, outside of the formerly barricaded house, Nuku Nuku turned away from the newest pack mate that she finished playing with to see where the noise was coming from. Seeing that it was the strange boy with glasses that always shouted at her and Ranma, the catgirl shrugged and turned back to the latest girl she kissed. The other girl was already staring at Ranma, who looked a little uncomfortable, eyes wide in adoration.
While she didn't mind it that much, the pink-haired girl found it strange that she could only play with and kiss the other girls in the village. The monkey lady said that for the boys to be in the pack, they had to beat her or Ranma. And though it was fun playing with some of the boys, glass boy always used something sharp or tried to hurt Ranma. That wasn't fun.
"Nuku Nuku!" Ranma called out to his friend, interrupting her thoughts, "Ya know… you don't have to fight and kiss every girl you meet to be friends with them." He found it rather uncomfortable saying such, probably because of the two girls, one latched onto each of his arms, both glaring at the other in distrust.
Nuku Nuku understood immediately. "So Ranma want to play with boys and kiss them?"
"No! NO!!!" Ranma screamed, waving his arms and in doing so, accidentally knocking down the two girls. He right away turned to both and apologized. Not minding, they latched back onto his arms. Giving a sigh, he said, "I'll explain later. Just… don't fight and kiss any girl here."
"Okay, Ranma," Nuku Nuku replied cheerfully before running off.
Ranma sighed in relief and slumped to the ground. He jumped back up a second later when he saw what was happening in the distance. "No, I meant 'here' as in the village!"
That night, Ranma slept peacefully, trying to remain oblivious during the night at what was going on in the day. Nuku Nuku slept with happy thoughts of all the friends she made here. And Genma-elephant slept, having had his fill of peanuts earlier on.
Creeping slowly into the house where they slept, a figure made its way towards the trio. Seeing that they were sound asleep, it started undressing. Not being able to stand it any longer, it knew that today was the day to make a reality of all those lustful thoughts.
Genma-elephant stirred awake, his eyes too unfocused to be able to see the scene in front of him…
A few minutes later, the sound of three figures being knocked out could be faintly heard throughout the village. Genma-elephant flew off into the night, an unconscious Ranma and Nuku Nuku being held by his trunk, flapping his ears frantically.
'Must concentrate on flying. Must concentrate on flying. Must concentrate on flying…'
A week later, bystanders on a street in Nerima were treated to an unusual sight. A pink elephant was fighting with a cute pink-haired girl and a pigtailed boy around her age, both teenagers wearing identical Chinese outfits. And the strangest thing of all was the boy yelling to the elephant about an arranged marriage. Eventually, the elephant distracted the two, and swatted the boy aside, only to strike the unsuspecting girl with a street sign. After five hits, she was out, and the elephant used its trunk to pick her up and flew away, flapping its ears.
"Damn you, Pop!" Ranma shouted, taking to the rooftops in hot pursuit.
"That was stranger than the time that Kuno boy walked around naked and was shouting about his 'grand samurai clothing'," one of the bystanders noted, others nodding in agreement.
Hearing a knock on the door, Kasumi excused herself and went to open it. It was only proper, as a hostess, and besides, she could make her judgment on the boy her father engaged to one of them before her other sisters. Opening the door and looking outside, Kasumi did the only thing she could in a situation like that - she shrieked.
The rest of her family followed to the front door immediately, filing into the yard, as they gaped at the beauty and the beast, not missing the pink motif.
Soun, missing the girl's quite prominent feminine features, and pretty much ignoring the surrounding weirdness, jumped to the only possible conclusion.
"Ranma! My boy!"
As the strange human latched onto her like there was no tomorrow, Nuku Nuku frowned. After the disaster in the Amazon village, Ranma had taken time to share his vast social skills and knowledge on proper behavior with her. And from what he'd told her, the man was trying to feel her up!
One moment later, Soun was in la-la land, lying on the grass. Akane, enraged that someone - a boy, no less! - would attack their father, and, similar to him in ignoring insignificant, little details such as this new stranger taking out a Master of Anything Goes with just one blow, leapt at Nuku Nuku.
The catgirl was about to slash at the new attacker, when someone intercepted Akane's hand, shouting, "Leave her alone!"
Turning towards Nuku Nuku, Ranma gave her a smile, and said, "Sorry it took me so long to get here."
"No problem, Ranma!" the pink-haired girl replied, matching his grin. "Nuku Nuku just made new friends, and without kissing them!"
"Excuse me," Nabiki interrupted at that point, "but would you happen to be Ranma Saotome?"
Ranma released Akane's hand from his and scratched the back of his head, laughing nervously.
Akane was still deep in shock over the fact that a mere boy intercepted her strongest punch with such ease, not to mention that a boy even dared do something like that.
"Err, that is, yeah, I'm Ranma. Look, I'm sorry about this, so we'll just be leaving, ok?"
At that point, the elephant whipped a sign out of thin air and presented it for everyone to read.
[Don't be rude, Boy! We'll stay with your fiancée!]
"Fiancée?!" Ranma shouted, panicked. "N-Neither of y-you can be my fiancée!"
"Why not?" Nabiki asked, since Akane and Kasumi were still in shock.
"Because… because… because I already got a fiancée! Yeah, that's right!"
Nobody noticed the elephant become extremely nervous at that point.
"And who is this… mysterious ‘fiancée’?" Nabiki wondered out loud. Since the rest of her family was still in various degrees of shock, nobody could take use of the conversation to trap her into marrying this Ranma character, so she could play with him a little and watch him sweat.
"Umm, my fiancée?" Ranma asked, glancing to his sides frantically.
'Shampoo? She ain't here! And… and that Amazon male…' Ranma shivered involuntarily, feeling very unclean. 'There's no way I'll look Shampoo up if he is part of the package!'
"It's… it's Nuku! Yeah, me an' her are fiancées, definitely!"
'We are?' Nuku Nuku thought, mirroring Nabiki's thoughts at the moment.
Thinking it over for a moment, Nuku Nuku latched onto Ranma's arm and cried out cheerfully, "Nuku Nuku not mind!" silently adding to herself that maybe they could sell the elephant to a zoo.
Nabiki considered joining her father in a dead faint, but decided against it. Carefully weighing her options, she came to the conclusion that while Ranma wasn't rich, he was handsome and quite strong, if that little display with Akane earlier on was any indication. The recent bit about this pink-haired girl being his fiancée was a clear lie, but at least the girl wasn't opposed to the idea.
'Hmm, if I play my cards right, I could use it to keep daddy at bay, while having the time to decide whether I want to be engaged to Ranma in the first place.'
Nabiki smiled, not unlike a shark spotting fresh blood.
To be continued.
Author's notes: Been a while since this was updated. Since the previous time Corwin posted this, he decided to get a co-writer so that this could be written faster. Unfortunately he didn't know how slow his co-writer was ^_^;
First the revised chapters 1 and 2 will be posted (hopefully the revision on 2 will be done soon). Chapter's 3, 4, and 5 have been started on and the first drafts are almost complete.
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