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A Ranma ½ Fan fiction story
by Pia-san

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

This story takes place in an alternate Ranmaverse, where Akane is a year younger than Ranma, and they have never met. Neither have their families. There are no curses, no fiancées… All in all, you should just totally forget what you know about our regular Ranmaverse. This fic, however, does try to prove a point I'm particularly interested in, in any universe… So expect OOC portrayals. If you're looking for accurate characterizations, you won't find them here!

Editor's note: This story is unfinished; Pia is going to an Architectural College right now and has her hands full. Not much time for writing!

Chapter One: I Merely Exist

Ranma was feeling busted. Not only he was late, but he'd also had an awful time the night before trying to study for today's exam. He hadn't managed to get much studying done at all, worrying that he would not manage to learn so many things in such a short time. Worse yet, he had fallen asleep over his desk. His back was killing him now.

Even this early in the morning, he'd already had better days.

'Damn chemistry exam,' Ranma thought. 'I don't even need the stupid subject. Like it has anything to do with teaching martial arts.'

Still, he kept on running to meet his fate at the hands of an ugly test.

'Damn chemistry.'

It was good that this year was graduation. Ranma already knew he wanted to carry on his father's legacy and teach martial arts, so his mother had advised him to go to college and get a physical education degree.

'Only a few weeks to go, and school will be over.'

With this thought in mind, he ran the last two blocks and entered the Furinkan High schoolyard with a minute to spare. Most of the students were running towards the school building, but Ranma stopped to watch the regular confusion that occurred at this time of day.

'My last year in this place,' Ranma thought. He was feeling melancholy as he started to slowly walk towards the main building, his book bag over his shoulder and one hand in his pocket.

'I'm gonna miss all this,' he thought as he looked over the school grounds with a smile on his lips.

A significant part of his lifetime was coming to an end, and he knew that it wasn't going to be easier when he made it to college. Sometimes he thought he was still an immature boy, even if his mother kept telling him that he seemed much older than he really was. She said that he had a sense of honor no one his age had, and that he was wise for an 18-year-old.

But then again, mothers always find their children exceptional.

With this mental wandering, he didn't notice a couple of girls intently staring at him. But he did hear them giggling when he passed by, and tried to ignore them as he always did.

Moments later, he entered his classroom.

Akane was sitting with her usual party under a tree, waiting for classes to start. It was a warm, sunny day, and it was definitely worth it to leave home a little bit earlier than usual. She didn't know why, but she was feeling extremely refreshed today.

"So, Akane. What's it gonna really be like?"

Akane started. "What is what going to be like?"

"The yearbook. I thought you were on the planning staff." Sayuri said.

"Oh, yeah. But it's going to be the same as last year. What made you think it wouldn't?"

"I just heard that something was going to be different with this year's seniors."

"Oh! You mean that!" Akane said, smiling.

"Huh?" Sayuri was confused.

"You see, the seniors made proposals for new activities before they leave school this year, and the junior class is supposed to organize everything. It's like a farewell party… sort of."

"You mean we have to do all the work?" said Yuka, disappointed.

"Yup." Akane nodded. "But I think it'll be fun. We get to participate in everything, and if we're lucky the principal might choose to make it a tradition."

"He'd better…" Sayuri added.

The last minute bell rang and Akane and her friends hurried to their classroom.

Akane took her seat by a window. There was a single boy standing quietly in the middle of the yard. She didn't recall having seen him before.

'He's gonna get himself detention if he doesn't hurry,' Akane thought absently. She then turned her attention to her teacher.

"… There's going to be a carnival in which the entire school can participate, and the seniors have suggested that they want revenge on some of the underclassman, so there's going to be a 'Senior Vengeance Day'."

"A what?"

"'Senior Vengeance Day'. The senior class is going to publish a list of people that need to be 'taken care of', as they put it. All of the students will run the risk of getting soaked with water, egg on their face, or vinegar in their hair…" The teacher smiled evilly as he spoke.

"Are they allowed to do that?"

"This year, yes" the teacher replied, "And if everything turns out okay, you'll have the same chance next year."

A general murmur could be heard all over the classroom.

Akane was silent. She already knew about it. There was going to be an article on the yearbook highlighting the year-end activities. She was certain she would be chosen to organize part of the carnival. She always ended up getting picked for that sort of thing.

Since the confusion was general, Akane decided to let people in on her opinion.

"It's supposed to be fun, kind of like a little war inside the school. 'Senior Vengeance Day' sounds okay to me…" And then she added with a grin, "Plus, classes will end earlier that day"

Another murmur could be heard, a more positive one. Maybe she was right; it could be fun playing "hide and seek" for a day.

"Okay! Quiet, everyone! I'm not finished, yet!" the teacher demanded. "Let me explain it a little better. People mentioned on the list will receive special treatment, but there are still rules for this. There's gong to be a girls' list and a boy's list. To put it simple, girls take care of girls, and boys take care of boys. We don't want any misunderstandings here…"

Yet another murmur could be heard… a really disappointed one. "Principal Kuno will shortly be announcing who in this class will be part of the committee in charge of the carnival."

Akane wasn't surprised when she heard the wacko principal mention her name a few minutes later on the Public Address system.

"Senior Vengeance Day?" Ranma asked, confused.

"Yeah," Daisuke said, "We get to kick butt this year."

"Uh huh. Wait 'till I get my hands on that Gosunkugi guy," Hiroshi added with an evil look on his face.

Ranma continued to eat his lunch quietly as his friends spoke.

"I wonder, can we can go after any girls, too?"

"Nah… I don't think so. I bet the principal will forbid that. You know how he is…" Ranma pointed out.

"How dull…" Hiroshi sounded disappointed.

"But you never know. Maybe we could get some damage done in the general chaos…"

Grins touched their faces. Suddenly, Hiroshi and Daisuke burst out laughing.

"What about you, Saotome?" Daisuke asked.

"What about what?"

"Who'd you write down on the list for SVD?"

"You mean… to kick or to grab?" Ranma asked smiling lopsidedly.

"Heh-heh…" Hiroshi started to laugh again.

"You know what I mean…" Daisuke said.

"Mmm… Actually, I haven't thought of that…"

"What?! I just can't believe you! You're only THE most popular guy in school… And you're telling me you don't feel like harassing ANY girl at ALL?" Daisuke sounded hurt.

"Yeah, any girl would be glad if you picked her. You're just an offense to us menfolk!" Hiroshi added.

"Oh! Come on, you guys! You haven't actually met any of them. It's not like they really, REALLY like me, you know…" Ranma said.

"What?!" "What?!" the other two yelled in disbelief. Anyone could have easily fit a few apples in their overly hanging mouths.

"They like the FACT that I like them 'cause it makes them look good to other people… It's not like they really like ME…" Ranma defended himself.

"Does it matter?!" "Does it matter?!" Any more disturbed and they would have passed out from shock.

"It's just that… It's BORING, okay?!"

Ranma was starting to feel weird. His friends were becoming louder by the second. He could feel the eyes turning in their direction.

"Does it matter?!" "Does it matter?!"

Ranma just sighed and turned his attention back to his bento.

"Oh, man! I wish I could kick YOUR butt instead of Gosunkugi’s!" Hiroshi grabbed Ranma by his neck, and started punching him.

"Oh, yeah?! It'll be YOUR name in that list if you don't cut that out!!" Ranma fought a little and was free again. He looked suddenly murderous, "And you KNOW I can beat the crap out of you!"

The other two backed away instantly and raised their hands in defeat.

"Fine! Be like that!" Hiroshi protested as he folded his arms over his chest.

'Not a good idea to mess with him when he gets moody,' Daisuke reminded himself as Ranma went back to eating.

"Good." Ranma relaxed. "Thank you."

"Yeah, whatever…" Hiroshi answered nonchalantly, and added, "I still want to kick you for it, though."

"Yeah… You'll probably get laid WAY before we do!" Daisuke said matter-of-factly.

"Hey!" Hiroshi protested, "Speak for yourself!"

And it went on and on and on…

Ranma sighed.

Now the topic would most likely drift to his experiences, which his friends considered to be extensive. If they only knew…

And back to hitting and punching him again.

'This little play is getting old…' Ranma thought with the slightest tinge of bitterness.

He was very uncomfortable with his friends' jealousy. It was nice to have girls flirt with him, a real ego boost; and it sure as heck felt like a little nuclear bomb in his chest when one didn't pay attention when he wanted her to. What annoyed him was that none of the girls ever really tried to get to know him, although he was certain that if they did, they wouldn't flirt nearly as much.

It wasn't as if he was picky. The only thing he really wanted in a girl was sincerity.

That and good looks. NATURAL good looks… but even that could be set aside sometimes. Almost every girl he'd been around had been worried about the way she moved, looked, and sounded. In general, it wasn't such a bad thing for them to care about their appearance, but they were so caught up in how they looked to him that he'd never gotten to actually KNOW any of them. Ever since he first realized that he liked girls (at age ten, or so) this seemingly simple thing had seemed to avoid him.

Maybe he needed a change of pace. Going to college would help; so far he'd been meeting the same people over and over, in the same old places. Away from home, he might be able to meet people with similar hobbies, and maybe some interesting new girls, too. Not that he was desperate to find someone; he just felt so lonely sometimes…

He suddenly felt a pair of eyes staring intently at him…

"Yeah, Akane! Since you're in on organizing this, you better team us up with some of the cute guys!" Sayuri giggled.

"She's right!" Yuka added.

Akane didn't answer. She wasn't even listening. Her mind had wandered far away from them.

She would be very busy until the carnival was over, but she wasn't worried about it. There were lots of other people in on the festival organization, and some of the seniors had volunteered to help out after all. She usually wound up in charge of the committees she was picked for, but since there were seniors involved this time, they would probably be chosen as the leaders instead.

It kind of bugged her that she always seemed to be responsible for everything, but she had to admit that it was her own fault. Whenever the task at hand was difficult, she got impatient when other people didn't pay attention to the job. In the end, she always figured she could handle it better. While it was stupid for her to act like people wouldn't be able to handle something as well as she could, she just couldn't seem to stop herself. It was a fault in her personality, and she hated herself for it.

She tried to shake off her moodiness. Akane needed to be thinking of different games and booths to put up for the carnival. The first meeting was going to be right after school and she had to have some ideas. Maybe one of those dunking tanks, and a goldfish-catching booth? They would need some competitions, too. A 'who can eat the most' contest was always fun…

It was definitively going to take a long time to put things together, time that they did not have. That meant putting in lots of extra work hours to finish up on schedule.

On reflection, she thanked Kami that the seniors would most likely bear the responsibility. Even with all the people they had to help, this would be hard to pull off if they didn't get organized.

Her mind wandered to thoughts of the senior class. What would it be like, to leave school forever? Something about the idea disturbed her, but she couldn't quite put her finger on it. Still, in a few weeks she would be a senior herself, and really feel what it was like to know that in a year school would be over for good.

Akane's eyes drifted over the different people having lunch in the yard, looking for seniors. She spotted a couple of girls talking and laughing. The seemed like grown women to her, except for the school uniforms they were wearing. Somehow, Akane couldn't picture herself as an adult. Ever since she was little she had watched the older girls on their way to school. She had always marveled at how 'grownup' they looked. Now that she was that age, she still thought she still had a long way to go before she looked like those girls.

But guys… now THAT was a different matter.

'Especially THOSE two…' she thought as her eyes fell upon a couple of boys laughing at a third one's… quietness? It seemed his attention was somewhere far away. There was something very out of place.

It was almost as if the other two looked even more childish sitting next to that red-shirted guy…

'Red shirt…?' Akane thought. She took a closer look.

Wow. He wasn't even wearing a school uniform! Instead, he had a Chinese-looking outfit on, and he had a pigtail instead of the regulation haircut the principle insisted on.

'He was the one who was late this morning,' the back of her mind told her. Akane thought it strange that she hadn't noticed him before, considering his clothing made him stand out so much. She should have been more observant than that; and there was another thing that she should have noticed right off

'He's really handsome!'

He was eating very slowly, which made him seem more distant, as if he was so busy thinking that he didn't really know what his body was doing.

Then he spoke a few words, and the other two yelled something at him, then he spoke again, and the others yelled again. If she hadn't been so busy looking at him, she might have been able to make out the words, but she didn't really care. Akane was mesmerized.

They made a strange picture, actually.

One of the boys started punching and hitting him. The aggressor's face was distorted by the incredible amount of words that were coming out of his mouth. The third boy just couldn't stop laughing. He had to lay his upper half on the table to keep from falling from the bench. His face was all red. Akane could only guess from some of the words she could make out, they were talking about girls. And they weren't exactly nice comments. Boy simply couldn't take their minds off the gutter, and they seemed to get worse with age.

'Not this one, though…'

Akane found herself feeling strangely glad that the red shirt boy wasn't laughing his head off at his friend's speech. Instead, he just answered a few words every now and then and shrugged his shoulders. More than anything, it looked like he was uncomfortable with the situation

'Yup… definitely better than those two…'

Suddenly his blue eyes turned to her. Akane felt a little lurch in her stomach, but she couldn't look away. She felt a sudden urge to go talk to him, to ask him what had him so distracted…

"Hey, Akane! Are you even listening?"

Akane nearly jumped out of her skin.

"Huh? Oh… sorry…" she whispered, and returned her attention to the boy, who hadn't looked away.

Yuka and Sayuri looked at each other and then followed Akane's gaze, trying to figure out what was it that could grab Akane's attention so effectively.

She was looking at a cute guy some twelve yards away, and he was looking right back at her. Both girls started to giggle.

"Wow, Akane! Looks like you caught someone's attention!" Yuka elbowed Akane, distracting her.

"Yeah, and you seemed pretty interested, too." Sayuri smiled.

Akane found herself at loss of words. Her normally rational thoughts seemed to be completely scattered, so instead she looked at her feet and blushed.

"So, you like Saotome, do you?"

"Who?" Akane asked, recovering.

"Ranma Saotome, that cute guy you're looking at." Yuka said matter-of-factly.

Akane looked up at the guy again. He wasn't looking at her anymore.

'Ranma Saotome,' she thought as her friends giggled behind her.

"It's about damn time you noticed a guy!" Sayuri said.

"Do you know if he's taken?" Yuka asked.

"I don't think so."

"That's odd, considering how popular he is."

"Yeah, I've heard he's only gone out on one or two dates…"

Yuka and Sayuri continued talking about Ranma as Akane tried to pull herself together, to no avail.


To be continued.

Last Revision 02/25/02

Chapter 2
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