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A Ranma ½ / Video Girl Ai fusion
by Ukyou Kuonji

Disclaimer: Ranma 1/2 is the creation of Rumiko Takahashi. Video Girl Ai is the creation of Masakaza Katsura. No infringement intended.

Episode 1: The Invisible Girl

Ukyou Kuonji never claimed to be a ninja. Sure, those throwing spatulas of hers functioned just like shuriken, but that was a technique of her own devising rather than some ancient ninjitsu trick. She had never received any formal training in the martial arts, and there was no question that the servile Konatsu would make a lousy teacher.

So Ukyou had no known ability in the ninja arts. But it didn't matter.

Outside of Furinkan or the Ucchan, she was as invisible as any of those fabled fighters.

Now, it wasn't as if she couldn't be seen. She was, after all, a relatively tall girl and with the pommel of her trademark battle spatula sticking out from behind her head by nearly a foot, she was, by all rights, plenty conspicuous.

But for whatever reason, while people could see her, they simply didn't. At least, not outside of her appointed haunts. She simply faded into the crowd of shoppers, unrecognizable despite her outward appearance.

Many times, she had to remind herself that her seeming invisibility wasn't out of spite on the world's part. Just like herself, everyone had their own set of cares and worries to be wrapped up in. No one really saw anyone else — unless, maybe, they were on the verge of crashing into each other.

There was a bump, and Ukyou's ears registered the sound of packages crashing to the street… Sometimes, she murmured to herself, not even then.

She felt a slight breeze; a couple nearly ran into her as they giggled their way out of a kissaten. She turned and watched as they continued on in the direction from whence she had just come.

Yuka and Hiroshi. Two weeks ago, the two of them were barely speaking to each other, over some trivial thing that even Ukyou couldn't remember at the moment. What she could remember was the verbal butt-kicking she had to give both of them on their separate visits to complain about each other. Now they were back together as lovey-dovey as before; maybe even more so. Gosh, it was sickening. And to think, she'd helped them get to where they were.

But they just passed her by like nothing.

It was as if she was thought of as some kind of superhero: once everything was patched up, Ukyou was expected to tip her hat, make a pronouncement along the lines of "My work here is done," and amble off into the sunset without giving her beneficiaries a chance to thank her.

Well, she was no superhero. A little attention would be nice. A thank you, a hug… anything, dammit.

She was starting to consider stripping naked and running screaming through the shopping district, just to see if anyone would notice… when she caught the glint of an eye in her direction.

She whirled to face whoever was looking at her, dropping into a defensive stance. It turned out to be a stocky old man inside a video rental shop. He was waving at her, beckoning her to come in.

A voice in the back of her head began to worry whether this was a good idea, but Ukyou ignored it. Someone actually noticed her, even if he did look like a cross between Happosai and Wilford Brimley. The voice in the corner of her mind simply sighed — like the rest of her psyche, she'd become used to being ignored. Not that the voice liked it any more than the rest of her did.

There had been someone inside this place, right? An old man, waving at her, right?

Well, the place was deserted now, for all she could see. Fate was having its little joke on her… again.

She wandered through the rows of shelves full of videotapes. An awful lot of 'adult' titles, it would seem… and right out in the middle of the store, too. Strange… and stranger still that the guy would have thought that she would find this worth her while. On the other hand, she was no stranger to it…

"Oi, Kuonji!"

"Hm? Sempai?" Ukyou put down her algebra textbook, and looked up at her burly older classmate as he passed by her open door, waving a beefy handful of videotapes. Tamiya was a gentle soul under that hulking exterior, and was well-liked by the entire dorm. He was going to be sorely missed when he graduated next semester and headed off to Nekomi Technical Institute.

"Sure, whatever…" She closed the door on her way out of her dorm room, and scampered after her sempai. "What'ja have in mind to cheer him up with?"

"Hey, we gotta remind him dat dere's plenny of women out dere. Willing women, sexy women…" He waved the handful of tapes so that Ukyou could see them over his shoulder.

Ukyou gulped, and slowed her pace. With Tamiya's 'help', Kurenai could well become a menace to women everywhere…

--{ o/~ boom-chika-boom-bau o/~ }--

"Oooh, baby! Lookit them hooters!"

"Damn! Why the hell do they gotta fog out that bit? Just when it gets good, too!"

Ukyou just sat on a corner of Ootaki-sempai's bed, and stared into her popcorn. She wondered if Kurenai-kun was really feeling any better because of this. Why on earth, she wondered, would something like this cheer a guy up when he'd been dumped? Would watching a great banquet on video be any comfort to a starving man?

Of course, from Ukyou's point of view, it was even less appealing, as it looked like she was supposed to get the sharp end of the stick in this deal. It didn't look like a bit of fun. The girl was screaming and moaning "please stop" and all that, wasn't she?

"Ahh, lemme tell ya whatcher missin'…" and Tamiya launched into a detailed description of an encounter he claimed to have had with a student at a nearby girls' school. He was clearly bluffing; his lack of familiarity with the fogged-out bits was painfully obvious to Ukyou. In fact, she practically had to stick her face into her popcorn to stifle her laughter.

It didn't work. "Awright, Kuonji… whut's so funny?" Busted.

She was gonna have to face the music. "Uh, no disrespect, sempai, but you're pulling these kids' chains, ne? It's not nearly that big, ya know."

"And you would know that how?" Now Ootaki-sempai was interested. Oooh boy… what Ukyou would give to be invisible right now. She could feel her face turn red.

"I, ah… touched one…"

"You put your finger in?"

She swallowed hard, and nodded. The fact that she wasn't technically lying didn't make this easier. Rather the contrary — the things she was admitting to in front of all these boys! In the silence that followed her confession, she began to wonder if she was getting a fever… and if the boys could tell.

Suddenly, Ootaki's grin broke wider than usual, and he grabbed her in a headlock, rubbing his knuckles across the top of her head. "You dog! I never thought a pretty-boy like you could be a lady killer! C'mon, spill the beans… who was she? What was it like?"

So… not only hadn't she blown her cover, but she'd even enhanced her reputation as a man with her admission. She smiled gamely, and tried to wave off any further interrogation. "Hey, hey… I don't want you all going after her… she's mine. Oh, hey… did I just see a bit where the censors forgot to fog over?"

That did it, and everyone's attention was immediately riveted back to the screen, arguing whether a wisp of pubic hair actually got past the fogger. Ukyou sighed heavily in relief, before realizing that one pair of eyes was still resting on her.


And her days of invisibility at Kotebuki were effectively over.

"See anything you like?"

"KYAAAAH!!" Ukyou had been so lost in her memory she had completely forgotten about that strange little old man. From her sudden perch on the top shelf of videos, she cursed herself for letting him get the drop on her so easily.

The old man, for his part was a bit startled at Ukyou's reaction. "Well, I hadn't expected you to wind up on the shelves that way, but…" He shrugged and offered his hand to the girl panting from her recent adrenaline rush. "Can I help you? Besides down, that is?"

Ukyou took the old man's hand and leaped down, landing spare millimeters from his foot. She glanced back at the rows of 'adult' videos, and rubbed the back of her neck, embarrassed. "Uh… no, I don't think so. I don't rent videos much, and I really don't know what I'm doing here." Especially not in this section…

"You came in here because I asked you in," the old man pointed out. "It's so rare anyone ever sees this place…"

"I know the feeling."

"Yes, well… that's another thing. I think you'd make a perfect video girl yourself, if I may say so… Would you be interested…?"

The question hung in the air as Ukyou stared at the man, flabbergasted at both his audacity — and his apparent sincerity. His eyes were not greedily sizing up her body, but rather boring into her own eyes with an intensity that grew more and more uncomfortable as the seconds ticked by. Finally, Ukyou blinked.

"Me? A video girl?" The man nodded. "Why?"

"We know you, Ukyou Kuonji. You are pure in heart, and…"

At this, Ukyou let out a guffaw best described as equine. "Pure in heart, my ass. If I'm so pure in heart, what'm I doing in the adult section, hm?"

"Because it's right in the middle of the store, my dear. These video girls are our main stock-in-trade."

"And why d'ya need someone pure in heart to star in an H-video, anyway?"

The old man's face took on a genuinely puzzled cast. "H-video?"

A hint of exasperation began to creep into Ukyou's voice. "Hentai… y'know?" The old man still looked confused. Jeez! The guy was in the business, and he didn't understand what she was talking about. "'Porno' ring a bell? Believe me, you're not gettin' me in one'a those… and I doubt anyone who was truly pure in heart would do them, either."

The old man blinked audibly. "Is that what you think these are?"

Ukyou resisted the impulse to facefault, but only by the slimmest of margins. "It does say 'adult', ne?" she asked, jerking her thumb at the category nameplate.

"That's right, and a broken heart is something that only an adult has the wisdom to recognize and fix. The video girls are designed for that purpose, but there are times when we need someone a bit more… human than these," and he gestured at the rows of burikko faces staring cutely back at them from the shelves, "and we know how your heart is willing to share itself with others. It's a gift that should not be wasted. Please."

Ukyou began edging away from the old man. "Uh… yeah. Whatever you say." His eyes would not let her go without an answer, but she did not want to give him the one he wanted.

Finally, she could take no more, and tore her eyes painfully from his. "I gotta go," and she raced for the door. But before she could escape, something slashed past her ear, and her headband fell from her hair, sliced through cleanly by…

"My card. Consider our offer, please." The tone was still gentle, and distant. Obviously, the old man had not moved from the center of the store. How had he managed to throw that card like that? Her eyes darting around nervously, Ukyou pushed open the door, and ran off as if her life depended on it.

The little voice in the corner of her mind couldn't resist an 'I told you so', followed by a warning that all the running in the world would probably do her no good. But once again, the voice went unheeded, drowned out by the sound of Ukyou's own footsteps.


To be continued.

This did not turn out the way I'd planned it. It's gonna need some help, if anyone's willing… I don't like what it's turned out to be, but I don't know what to do with it. Any recommendations?

Otherwise, the tone's gonna change rather abruptly in episode two…

Itsu mo,
Ucchan ^_^

Episode 2
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