Crossover Fan Fiction / Pretty Cure Fan Fiction / Ranma 1/2 Fan Fiction ❯ On Thin Ice – Part 1 ( Chapter 5 )

[ T - Teen: Not suitable for readers under 13 ]

 
Sorry for the long wait, but I had been very busy with work lately. Now we have come into Kodachi’s introduction in this story. Both the Amazon’s and the Golden Pairs’ introduction will be on the next half since this half of the chapter is pretty long already.
 
As I said last chapter, Female Ranma is out of the question in this story. Therefore, Akane will be Kodachi’s main competitor for the Martial Arts Rhythmic Gymnastics match from start to finish.
 
Ryoga would still help out but P-Chan wouldn’t be hogging all the attention this time, that’s for sure. Of course, pun not intended.
 
Also, since Tatewaki Kuno would not be chasing Ranma’s cursed form around (but would still chase Akane anyway) that much this time around, it would be with great pleasure that I will introduce at the end of this half of the chapter – his replacement for the job.
 
And yes, you can hate me for that too.
 
Having said enough, I would like you to just read and enjoy the first half of the fifth chapter entitled…
 
Chapter 5a – On Thin Ice – Part 1
 
Early the next morning, Soun Tendou found the sleeping Ryoga Hibiki as he was about to read the morning paper on his customary place in the family room.
 
He poked and prodded the still naked young man who sleepily swatted the offending object, a rolled up newspaper.
 
“Excuse me, but who are you and what are you doing in my house?” The dark haired master of the house had asked.
 
Ryoga replied with a yawn. “Five more minutes, pal. Then you can have the park grounds to yourself.”
 
Undaunted by the half asleep induced answer from the fanged boy, Soun tried again, this time his poking was much more frequent than before.
 
The fanged boy turned with a start and a roundhouse swing that barely missed the Tendou patriarch.
 
“And why did you do that in my very own home, you ungrateful child.” Ryoga had heard these words as if they were amplified by an unseen loud speaker. He rubbed his eyes as he finally sat up.
 
Upon seeing a rather large demon head with a black mustache and large fiery eyes hovering a few inches from his face, he did the first thing he thought off – knocking it out with a straight jab.
 
The large demon head was sent to the opposite wall where it turned into a black haired middle aged man in a brown dogi.
 
The man’s black eyes had shut closed due to the intensity of the thrown punch, and some blood had exited his nose before the reddish body fluid got stuck in his black mustache.
 
Ryoga had finally realized what he had done and ran to the man, apologizing for his rude behavior, after putting on his dried clothes in record time.
 
A high pitched scream was heard from somewhere followed by a thump and some heavy and rushing footsteps coming from the stairs leading to the upper floor.
 
Ryoga began to sweat in panic as he did not actually mean to hurt this man. He was just defending himself from a large demon head with a mustache. He was so out of it that he never saw the calloused but dainty fist coming to his face until it was too late.
 
-oOo-
 
“Akane, I know that he punched yer dad’s light’s out and all but you didn’t haveta hit him that hard.” Ranma was saying as he half carried the fanged martial artist back to the latter’s battered green sleeping bag from the wooden wall where he had flown into.
 
He also noticed the fresh bruise over his rival’s right eye and made a mental note not to anger his sparring partner too much in their practice matches unless Doc Tofu or Kasumi is nearby with the needed first aid kit and ice pack.
 
“You weren’t there last night when that pervert showed his…his… y’know when we poured some hot water over him,” Akane said with a fierce blush as she remembered the embarrassing incident just hours before.
 
“I’ll say, although he did have a well defined physique if you ask me.” Nabiki added with her lips curving into a sly smile. She then went down on her knees to gently tap her elder sister’s left cheek so that breakfast can now be served.
 
“Eww, I’d rather not even think of that right now.” The bluish-black haired martial artist stomped off to the kitchen so that she can wash the dirty thoughts off her head.
 
“I’m with her in that one, Nabs.” Ranma rubbed his chin in thought. “Still, I would have chosen a better way to demonstrate it rather than jus’ pouring hot water over his cursed form.”
 
“Well Ran…ma, we’re not you so it’s better to keep your opinions to yourself.” Nabiki snapped back just as Kasumi had awakened.
 
-oOo-
 
Later at school, the rest of the gang had joined the arguing duo. Hiroshi had suggested that it was best to leave them alone for a while. Yuka disagreed with the sandy haired teen and even asked the two martial artists what the fight was all about.
 
“Yagami, it’s really nothin’ ta worry about.” Ranma was saying as he waved his right hand dismissively.
 
“Ranma’s right again…for the second time `n a long while,” Akane added as she again ignored the glare from her erstwhile sparring partner.
 
“Will ya quit doin’ that?” Ranma turned to the smug faced Tendou daughter.
 
“Alright, can it. We’ve heard enough noise already.”
 
All of them looked at the speaker, each one of them surprised that he had gotten serious all of a sudden.
 
“What?” Daisuke then hurriedly examined his face with his hands. “I don’t have any acne, y’know.”
 
“Dude, even though I’ve known you fer quite a while now, this is the third time you’d ever said something serious.” Hiroshi said as he was the first to recover.
 
The school bell drowned out Daisuke’s heated reply as they all rushed through the school’s entranceway on their way to class.
 
-oOo-
 
During their final period (PE Class), some of their female classmates from class 1-C were carrying a black piglet with a yellow bandanna around its neck that they had found wandering in the school grounds and were showing it around.
 
Akane stopped them from carrying the little farm animal to the girl’s locker room since she knew who the piglet really is.
 
“Sorry girls but that piglet is not what it really looks like,” The blue haired said as she grabbed the now squealing pig and was about to carry it outside.
 
“Admit it, Akane. You just want to hold that little porker,” One of the girls teased her, her light brown eyes twinkling in amusement.
 
“Under any other circumstances, I’ll probably even carry it to school myself. Akane had reached the door leading to the said locker room and knocked twice. “But today, he’s going to the boys’ locker room to join the rest of the male population.”
 
Daisuke opened the door only clad in a white towel. He ignored the swooning girls behind his friend and asked Akane what’s up.
 
The blue haired girl was surprised to see Daisuke ignoring the pretty classmates whose gasps were loud enough to merit her own attention. Even though he was not a martial artist, his wiry body is still filled with muscles in the right places.
 
Moreover, she herself had seen her sparring partner’s green towel clad body beyond the dark haired boy’s left shoulder, as Ranma had just emerged from his shower stall, and she had to smile at the lovely sight.
 
`Mmm, beef cake. My favorite,’ Akane thought while giggling in her mind before averting her brown eyes from Ranma’s panicked and blushing expression as he backed away a few steps while looking for somewhere to hide.
 
Small wonder that the three girls behind Akane had finally realized that Daisuke was boyfriend material, despite him being a well known pervert in school.
 
“Hey, Akane. I gotta get dressed y’know.” The black haired teen’s harried words had cut through her thoughts.
 
“Sorry, Daisuke. Do you mind holding this piglet for a while?”
 
“Sure, no prob but this bandanna is somewhat familiar to me.” Daisuke took hold of the piglet and slowly closed the door, ignoring the loud protests from the other boys including Ranma who were either covering themselves with whatever they can grab on to or hiding wherever they can.
 
One enterprising teen had splashed Ranma with cold water from his shower stall and used the latter to cover his exposed private parts, his left hand still trying to reach his flesh colored towel just five inches away from his damp fingers.
 
“That’s not funny, Tetsuo-lapi.” The stuffed animal, make that flower spirit, said in annoyance but remained still. He did not want the girls to have a free look at the family jewels of the guy behind him who was already doing a good imitation of a cooked lobster.
 
“Thanks, Daisuke. I’ll explain later.” Akane had to drag the three squealing girls away as the latter group had a nice glimpse of their glaring male classmates who were in various states of undress before the brown maple door was closed. “C’mon… let’s go, girls. Show’s over.”
 
-oOo-
 
On their way back home and after Akane somewhat apologized to the guys for the earlier scene, the blue haired girl explained that P-chan (the name she gave to the black piglet that both Yuka and Sayuri were fawning over) had wandered near the girl’s locker room. She quickly recognized the piglet from the yellow polka dotted bandanna it still wore.
 
Ranma then told them about the time that P-chan was accidentally splashed with hot water from someone who was playing around with the hot and cold faucets.
 
Their male classmates were amazed at the nearly instantaneous change and Ryoga was mortified enough to faint. Since then, Ranma asked them not to tell anyone else about it as a form of penance to the fanged teen.
 
P-Chan, in a fit of embarrassment, had wiggled himself out of Sayuri’s covered arms and ran through the streets as fast as he can. The dark brown haired girl was about to go after him but was stopped by a firm hand on her right shoulder.
 
Turning around, she found Hiroshi looking back at her and shaking his head. Even then, she still looked back at the running pig as it slowly disappeared from their view.
 
Both Ranma and Akane took the opportunity to explain to the puzzled girls that the black piglet is actually Ryoga’s Jusenkyo cursed form as they slowly headed home.
 
-oOo-
 
It was only the day after that the group had found P-Chan again. This time, he was running away from three large men in while the group was strolling around the city park.
 
When every one met near the park’s playground, both Ranma and Akane went into action as they fought the trio of dumb muscle while the two girls grabbed the panicking piglet from the ground. The two other boys went in between them and the fighting five.
 
Sometime afterwards, the three stooges were lying on the ground covered with bruises while the rich old couple, who had just arrived at the scene, asked for forgiveness in behalf of their men.
 
“It’s such a shame that this had happened since Pork Chop would have inherited our properties and business if he weren’t your pet. Once again, we apologize for any trouble we had caused you.”
 
“It was no big deal, actually. I’m sure you could find a worthy replacement fer good ol’ Pork Chop,” Ranma said while he tried not to laugh at the nickname given. Ryoga was actually glaring at him from his position in Yuka’s bosom.
 
Ryoga, in turn, was the recipient of a glare from Daisuke who averted his gaze whenever the piglet or Yuka looked at the brunet.
 
Only Hiroshi, Sayuri, and Akane noticed this and smiled inwardly at possible blackmail and matchmaking possibilities respectively of this situation.
 
Genma even showed up in panda form, trying to get himself adopted by the overweight couple only to be punted to the sky by both Ranma and Akane. The trio of muscle had also gotten up and left quickly.
 
“Jeez, and here I thought that your stories about your Dad’s greediness were just tall tales.” Hiroshi said as they followed the panda’s rising trajectory before losing sight of him beyond the cirrus clouds.
 
“Alright, Pork Chop. Let’s head fer home,” Ranma said before dodging the hand approaching his left ear.
 
“Ranma, give the guy a break.” Akane admonished her best friend as she drew back her outstretched hand. “Although, Pork Chop does sound quite fitting to Ryoga’s cursed form and maybe even funny.”
 
“That it is. We can alternately call him P-Chan and Pork Chop anyway,” Sayuri added as she walked with the other five towards Hiroshi’s place.
 
-oOo-
 
The next day was oddly quiet as the group went through their daily routine. The girls were also told to watch the coming martial arts gymnastic competition to be held the following week.
 
Daisuke added with a wide grin that he will watch it no matter what happens before getting elbowed in the stomach by Yuka.
 
The light brown haired girl knew the true reason why Daisuke would be watching and it still made her heart ache a little. Still, she stubbornly ignored those feelings since he was obviously not interested in her at all.
 
As for the dark haired boy, he was looking at the light haired girl in both anger and confusion as he clutched his aching stomach. He was only joking for god sakes.
 
`Maybe she’s simply not amused at my antics anymore,’ He thought sadly.
 
As for the other three (Ranma simply shrugged his shoulders at the lover’s quarrel), they simply thought in unison. `They’re still in denial.’
 
-oOo-
 
Later that afternoon, the group saw three girls wearing leotards that were surrounding a hooded girl in an empty yard. Sayuri recognized the girls instantly since they were in their neighboring class as well as members of their school’s gymnastic team.
 
The dark haired girl went in first to stop them from possibly getting disqualified in the coming match due to using underhanded tactics in forcing their opponents out of the match.
 
“Sayuri, you’ve got it backwards. She led us here,” One of the girls replied as she got in a fighting stance.
 
“Wha-” Sayuri was not able to finish since laughter that was creepy enough to make her skin crawl erupted from the hooded girl. The hood was thrown to reveal a brunette in a green leotard and some eye shadow in her eyes.
 
“She’s right, but I’m still going to win.” The black haired girl in a leotard has opened her gym bag and pulled out a gymnastic ribbon. Before anyone could act, she used the ribbon to whip the other three girls with leotards to submission even though the latter were already bandaged in their arms and legs and had also fallen to their knees.
 
It was only when Akane grabbed the ribbon was the relentless attack actually stopped.
 
“Who are ya and what right do you have ta hurt these girls?” Akane said as she released the pink ribbon from her hand.
 
“If you’re that curious, I’ll tell you.” The girl jumped high in the air. A moment later, black rose petals had fallen in tandem with the girl. “I am the star athlete and captain of the St Hebreke gymnastics team – Kodachi Kuno. I only give my opponents fair warning before any competition. If they drop out, that’s their loss.”
 
Kodachi tried to hit the blue haired girl but the latter was just too nimble to get any hits from the green leotard clad girl’s ribbon.
 
Thus, the leotard clad girl stopped attacking and simply twirled her ribbon where black rose petals somehow emerged from thin air while the she made her escape.
 
Soon after Kodachi had left, Akane was the recipient of multiple hugs for saving the gymnasts’ lives. She then led them to the Tendou compound so that they can talk about their problems in her room.
 
The other three boys were told to just stay in the dojo in the meantime. Along the way, the three girls introduced themselves as Chidori Moroboshi, Saya Nakamura, and Megumi Koyabayashi.
 
-oOo-
 
“I wonder what the girls are talkin’ about now,” Hiroshi said as he was imitating his pony-tailed friend’s moves. The three boys were so bored that Ranma taught his friends some moves in kenpo.
 
Now, both Daisuke and Hiroshi stood on either side of the martial artist and copied his moves as best as they can manage with Ranma telling them on what is the right thing to do.
 
“I dunno, man. But I can get used to this kenpo stuff. Maybe I can kick some butt when I learn enough moves,” Daisuke said as he too imitated Ranma’s movements.
 
“In that case, you need ta practice a lot since this isn’t easy to pull off.” Ranma then sped up his kata while the other two stopped with the jaws wide open.
 
Seeing that his friends were suitably impressed, Ranma stopped his kata and added. “Ta kick butt as you nicely put it, you both have ta train at least two hours a day from here on.”
 
“Why’s that, Ranma?” The light brown haired teen asked as he sat down on the wooden floor. Daisuke quickly followed his friend’s example.
 
“An old sensei once told me that ta become an efficient martial artist; I have ta make sure that my body would remember everything he taught me. And to do that, I was told ta constantly practice the same moves over and over again for the rest of the day.” Ranma said as he too sat down in between his two friends.
 
“Don’t you have bathroom breaks or at least have lunch?” Daisuke was a little pale at practicing the same move over and over again for a whole day.
 
“Of course I do, `specially since I was still only a little kid back then.” Ranma said with the ever present smirk seen on his face. “The point is that I have to make my body into a weapon since it is the only way to defeat an opponent who was taught the same principles.”
 
“Wow, I never thought that it takes a great deal of patience ta be a master of any martial art. Those guys on TV make it seem too easy,” Hiroshi said in awe.
 
“Yeah, well. If you guys are dedicated to yer training, ya can keep up with `em in no time.” The pony-tailed teen then stood up and waited for the other two to stand up as well.
 
“Alright, I’ll give it a shot. Sometimes, it’s too boring back home especially when Mom’s out for the day,” Hiroshi said with a grin as he too stood up. “How `bout you, Daisuke? What’s your verdict?”
 
“I’d rather be girl watching, but if I can impress the girls with my fancy moves, I say why not.” Daisuke also stood up and the three were about to train once again when the door opened and the six girls came in.
 
“Hey, guys; can we use the dojo for two hours?” Sayuri asked as a sign of respect for Ranma.
 
“Don’t ask me, Nonoka. Akane’s the owner of this joint,” Ranma said with a playful grin while looking at his sparring partner.
 
“Ranma, I would rather you give some respect to the dojo since we’re currently in it. Besides, you three seem to be doing some training yourselves.” The blue haired girl said with her arms crossed over her chest.
 
“Will do, seem’s that we have a coupla new students for your dad’s afternoon Basic classes.”
 
“Actually, he’s got four new students.” Yuka said with a slight blush.
 
“Wait a minute, y’mean…” Ranma was having trouble believing his ears at the revelation. The same could be said for the other two boys as their jaws fell in shock.
 
“Yes, Ranma. Both my friends will also be studying in this dojo after school.” Akane then slowly pushed the taller boy to a side of the dojo as the leotard clad girls had set up their gymnastic equipment near one of the training hall’s wooden wall.
 
“What’s this for?” Daisuke was holding one of the clubs that had rolled onto his left foot from the said pile after he had recovered from his swoon.
 
“That is a club. In ordinary rhythmic gymnastics, we juggle it in the air as we do our routines.” The girl – Saya paused as she snatched the club from the surprised boy’s hand. “In martial arts gymnastics, it is one of the weapons used to bring down an opponent.”
 
“This little thing?” Daisuke snatched back the stick like thing with what seemed to be an oval shaped object that was flattened on one end.
 
“Yes…observe.” The other girl (Chidori) then grabbed the item from the surprised brunet’s right hand before using it to hit the latter’s head with an audible thump.
 
Everybody else had a good laugh at the little “demonstration” while the brunet held his aching head.
 
“Ouch! Nasty little thing, ain’t it.” Daisuke then ran out of the dojo to find some ice for his bump.
 
-oOo-
 
By the time Daisuke had come back, Akane (who was now wearing a yellow leotard herself) was already being trained by their leotard wearing schoolmates. The blue haired girl was having trouble getting into the rhythm at first.
 
It was only after they had dinner did Akane slowly learn how to balance her self and use the gymnastic apparatuses as either offensive or defensive weapons. In case of the ribbon and rope, maybe even both. Still it was hard going until everyone else had to leave for home.
 
Akane then took a hot bath before going to bed. While in the bath, she weighed each option on her ongoing training in Martial Arts gymnastics.
 
On one hand, whatever she had learned from this experience may give her the all important edge in a fight since she can easily add it to her fighting style. On the other hand, it would just be another lesson that would be of use for this situation only.
 
`Good thing my and Ranma’s fighting style is Anything Goes.’
 
The thought itself made her smile a bit although the mention of the brash martial artist had made her cheeks heat up and it was not because of the hot water surrounding her right now.
 
It was simply unbelievable that only days before, she and the pony-tailed visitor would have bitten each others head off. Now, they still argue but their banter is more of a between friends type of argument.
 
It came to a point that insults were used to gauge how far they can keep their respective hair trigger tempers on hold. This is especially important in their sparring sessions since if either one loses his or her tempers and loses control, the other gets a free hit.
 
Then again, calling each other Uncute Tomboy or Perverted Jerk did get old after a few tries.
 
Thanks to Flappy- Ranma’s mental friend, the guy was not as egotistic and rude as he had been at the start since the flower spirit acted as his conscience and even guide at times.
 
It made her wish that she has someone like the flower spirit in her own mind but getting cursed in a training ground in China is not her cup of tea.
 
The only problem was that they cannot get out of the engagement since neither one was able to find a suitable substitute to settle the matter between their fathers. At the very least, they could only delay the inevitable for a few years more when they graduate from college.
 
“Hey Akane, are ya through soaking? `Biki’s already screamin’ in my ear about it bein’ her turn and all.” A youngish male voice was filtered through the wooden door leading to the hall.
 
“Alright, tell her that I’m already done. Just gimme a minute ta rinse and towel myself off,” She said as she emerged from the slowly cooling water.
 
“Will do, `Kane.”
 
`What a guy,’ Akane thought happily while drying her body off with a green towel.
 
-oOo-
 
The whole week before the tournament has Akane running ragged in between doing her schoolwork, training for the coming tournament, and even doing some sparring with Ranma in between.
 
Her friends were already being taught by her father who was overjoyed to find students older than his current ones.
 
Still, all her efforts were paying off since she wasn’t as clumsy as before. Sure, there were still slip ups in her routine but it was evidently normal for anyone trying to learn in only a week’s time.
 
Even Ryoga had joined in since he wanted to show his rival up and maybe even get on Akane’s good side for once. This was before he and Ranma got into a heated argument that later went to blows.
 
A splash of water later, a high pitched squeal and an equally high pitched “What did ya do that for-lapi?!” was heard too clearly by the other teens in the dojo.
 
A full second after that, three more squeals were heard as the gymnastic team members hugged and cuddled the embarrassed piglet and flower spirit. The others just laughed at the amusing scene while the cursed duo tried to escape the crazy girls’ clutches and failed miserably.
 
Later, both cursed teens agreed to act as additional distractions to the girl because of their incredible speed in their present forms.
 
Akane had a very difficult time attacking and defending against any of the three girls with both Ranma and Ryoga distracting her every few seconds. She somehow succeeded in getting a few lucky hits before falling on her backside every so often.
 
The process continued until the blue haired girl was able to make some decent attacks while evading the bouncing projectiles.
 
-oOo-
 
Finally, the day of the tournament arrived and everyone (except Ryoga who had somehow gotten lost when he last left the compound) met in front of St Hebreke High School for Girls.
 
The girls were wishing Akane good luck as they all headed for the gym entrance where Akane will sign up for her match.
 
Along the way, they met Kodachi the Black Rose herself just before they even reached the registration stand. A statue of a man carrying a staff with a paper squid at the end was nearby.
 
“Well, well, well. It seems that you have some nerve challenging me in this match,” She said with disdain. “To make our match much more interesting, how’s about the winner havin’ a date with this hunk of man beef.” She added as she gazed lovingly at Ranma’s retreating form.
 
Before the pony tailed teen could even protest, Akane had already agreed to Kodachi’s given terms. Both girls were about to shake on it when Ranma saw some thumbtacks between the other girl’s fingers. He grabbed Kodachi’s hand with the girl saying that he would have plenty of chances to do that later.
 
Ranma jumped back, shivering as he does so. In his mind, the flower spirit was similarly disgusted with the offer.
 
“She’s even nuttier than that Kuno guy-lapi. I’ll bet my furry lil’ tail, those two are related somehow-lapi.”
 
`You don’t have ta tell me twice, Flappy.’ Ranma said as he unconsciously nodded his head. `Brr. I’m already glad that Kuno is outta our hair but havin’ her around is ev’n worse.’
 
“Ranma, we’re going now.” Akane said as she figured out why Ranma seemed to blank out for a second there.
 
“Don’t worry about it. With you guys behind me, there’s no way I could lose to Kodachi.” She added at her worried friends’ expressions.
 
The dark haired girl took offense to this and left in a huff. “Hmph, all the coaches in the world can never help you win against the Star of the Hebreke gymnastic team – Kodachi the Black Rose.”
 
She also threw a bouquet of black roses to Ranma who nearly dropped it in his surprise as she left.
 
“Damn, that’s one good lookin’ fruitcake. I feel sorry for whoever that will fall in love with her.” Daisuke’s words made them all do a delayed double take especially Yuka who had thought otherwise especially with how he looked intently at the black haired girl in the green leotard.
 
“Yeah, well. Let’s jus’ go to our dressing room since I still have ta change to my leotard.” Akane had recovered first as she resumed walking.
 
She then stopped suddenly and looked at the puzzled guys. “Oh yeah, the room’s for girls only. So save us some seats, boys.”
 
The boys were about to protest but the heated glares from most of the girls made them change their mind in a jiffy. As it turned out, only Daisuke and Hiroshi were sent to reserve the seats since Ranma would be needed as an assistant to the head coach – Megumi.
 
As the girls were about to enter the room that was reserved for them, they found out that Genma had already arrived in panda form. The panda waved at them causing the three gymnasts who were wearing street clothes to shudder a bit.
 
When traces of smoke were seen just outside some of the black flower’s petals, Saya threw to the raccoon’s bigger cousin the whole bouquet itself.
 
Ranma had ushered the girls out as quickly as he could when he saw more white smoke come out from the flowers’ petals upon its landing on the panda’s right paw.
 
“Whew, that was definitely underhanded, using some kinda powder before the match, jeez.” He said as they waited for a few minutes. When they thought it was safe to open the door, they saw a slumbering panda beside his upturned steel folding chair.
 
“I guess that means we’ll have ta look out for any underhanded tricks up her sleeve within the match itself.” Akane had said before she shivered as the meaning of her own words sunk in.
 
-oOo-
 
The whole gym was crowded to the upper most rafters as Akane slowly emerged from the hallway after the introductions to the coming match was made by a violet haired Hebreke senior.
 
She headed towards the ring with her trainer and assistants closely behind. Somewhere in the bleachers to her right sat her friends who would cheer her on at the top of their lungs.
 
`Good thing, I asked Sayuri to buy some lozenges last night.’ She thought with glee. `They’ll need it after this match is over.’
 
After some encouraging words by her trainers and even a good luck handshake from her sparring partner, she jumped her way to the ring itself.
 
Oddly enough, the ring was more fitting for Western style wrestling or boxing then a gymnastic match but that was already how it was stated in the rule book of the weird sport.
 
She did roll her eyes at the carnival like entrance of the school’s gymnastic star (and resident nutcase she added to herself) – Kodachi Kuno. The girl was wearing a bridal gown of all things as she descended on a trapeze bar long enough for her to sit in.
 
But even her eye roll was short lived as fire works rockets launched from somewhere in the gym were heading for Akane’s location.
 
After landing in yet another corner of the ring, she missed the lunatic’s jump from her perch to the center of the ring with the crowd roaring its ecstasy at what to them would have been a grand entrance worthy of a champion.
 
Both contestants were quickly introduced as soon as the smoke cleared. Akane had to rub her eyes in disbelief at her older sister sitting next to Tatewaki Kuno wearing a school uniform for once. Both were also cheering for Kodachi which made her shake her head in disgust.
 
Then again, Nabiki must have been paid to do so since her elfin face was stuck in a happy mask.
 
-oOo-
 
The match began with Kodachi twirling her ribbon. The twirling ribbon brought out some black rose petals from nowhere, nearly blinding the martial artist. It was only when Akane heard a clanking sound did she open her eyes and lowered her arms.
 
What she saw was that she was chained to a familiar black piglet. She did a double take when she realized who the farm animal was. The sounds of shock from Ranma as well as the squeals from her coaches had confirmed her theory.
 
`Oh great, I got Pork Chop with me as penalty weight,’ She thought acidly. “Alright, P-Chan, you have ta help me win this match to get on my good side. Ya hear me.”
 
The piglet squealed slightly while nodding its head at the given request.
 
-oOo-
 
Akane then made her move as soon as someone in her corner had thrown a pink ribbon at her. The two combatants twirled and whipped the ribbons at each other in the hopes that both strips of cloth would either latch on in her opponent’s arms or legs or just simply hit any part of the opponent’s body.
 
Kodachi had gotten a few hits on Akane since she was more adept at her weapon of choice than her slightly shorter opponent. The blue haired martial artist had to twist and turn this way and that just to avoid the offending light blue ribbon coming her way.
 
The same could be said for the little piglet although both Akane and P-Chan still got some bruises from the times that the ribbon did get through their defenses. This made the piglet jump at the other girl on its own will.
 
The brunette had gotten a face full of hooves at the attack given before the piglet was pulled off by the referee for misconduct on the part of the tool.
 
“Wait a minute,” Ranma had cried from the sidelines. “Since Pork Chop is Akane’s tool, shouldn’t that attack count at all?”
 
If the piglet is thrown by the challenger to the champion, then it is legal but if the tool launched itself at the champion then it is illegal.” The referee retorted while keeping her calm demeanor. “Continue the match.”
 
“This sport sucks,” The pony tailed martial artist told the other gymnasts as the match resumed and ignoring the intermittent glares from the cursed black piglet for making fun of it.
 
“Actually, most of the rules really suck,” Megumi said in reply. “But ya gotta admit, kicking ass using gymnastic tools and in a leotard to boot sure looks pretty cool.”
 
“Oy vey.”
 
The three girls had to laugh at the spoken expression especially since they knew Ranma is not even Jewish. It looked more like he had gotten it from an episode from the western cartoon called the Simpsons than anything else.
 
-oOo-
 
Up above in the stands, Yuka had stood up and voiced out that the contest was a sham before she was forcefully pulled down to her plastic seat by her three friends.
 
“Lemme go, you guys.” The light brown haired girl said as she struggled from the various arms holding on to her and keeping her in her seat. “I’m gonna give that smart aleck ref a piece of my mind.”
 
Before she would go into another shouting tirade, Daisuke had no other choice than to give the girl – one big smooch on the lips. The girl initially protested to the said kiss but found her self giving in as the boy’s wiry arms enveloped her upper body.
 
The whole match stopped as everyone looked at the make out scene in one of the bleachers. The pair sitting beside the boorish couple slowly looked back at the audience then at each other.
 
Both of their jaws had already landed on the floor and they had to close them before a fly did manage to enter.
 
As for the audience, most were either hooting (boys) or squealing like mad (girls). The commentator even switched her description of the match to the action in the stands until she got bored and went for a slight snack (a submarine sandwich and some iced tea) instead.
 
There was even one guy who fainted in shock. It took three girls who were beside him at ringside to wake him up from his unplanned slumber while a fourth who was in the ring itself could not help but laugh at the young man’s dilemma and shaking her head at the whole scene.
 
Within the hullabaloo, almost no one noticed a panda bear take his seat at ringside. The panda seemed to be carrying a kettle in its left paw. Some steam escaped through the said kettle’s little spout.
 
“Yo, Mr. Saotome. How `bout helping us in keeping your only son wide awake until the match is over?” Saya was saying as she tried to slap the fallen martial artist awake.
 
The panda only replied in his own little way. No thanks, I’d rather let sleeping dogs lie.
 
A slight swish later as the panda spun its wooden sign around, he continued. If ya know what I mean.
 
-oOo-
 
Back at the ring, Akane had to shake her head in disbelief at the scene going on in the stands as well as down below at ring side. `Oh well, that’s one effective way to keep her quiet. I wonder if Ranma would do that to me.’
 
After shaking her head once again at the newest thoughts passing through her mind, she added. `Akane?! What the heck are ya even thinkin’, girl?’
 
Kodachi had used the blue haired girl’s momentary confusion to launch an attack with some plastic blue balls that were thrown in her direction.
 
Luckily, P-chan saw what was happening and had pulled the surprised girl to him with all of his strength as they headed towards another corner.
 
The girl fell sharply at the said corner but the balls exploded harmlessly in the spot where Akane had been only seconds before. The martial artist then used her ribbon to grab her opponent’s forearm before flinging the latter girl off the ring as she stood up.
 
Or at least that was the intention, anyway. What really happened was that the gymnast had made a shrill whistle in mid air just before the whole ring moved towards Kodachi’s possible landing site.
 
The gymnast also caught a razor sharp hoop that she then threw at the other girl who was still clutching the ropes and holding on for dear life. Akane had seen the underhanded attack and used the chain linking her and the piglet as a last means of defense.
 
The chain eventually broke at the point of impact but it held long enough for the hoop to slow down its lethal spin, fall down to the canvass, and wobble for a bit before stopping altogether at the far edge of the ring. The said hoop’s edge was also dulled greatly by how it made contact with the chain’s resistant steel links.
 
P-Chan, elated by his newly received freedom, jumped for joy and even made a final attack at the girl in a green leotard before leaping for the gym’s double doors and safety from the two crazy females.
 
Akane then realized something as she thought about how the whole ring moved before so she again held on the ropes and made a similar whistle while Kodachi was still shouting invectives at the black piglet that had marred her mascara.
 
The ring again moved to its former position with the gymnast thrown to the ropes by the sudden and abrupt movement.
 
The blue haired martial artist then headed for the center of the ring and repeatedly punched the white canvas underneath her bare feet until the latter item had collapsed in on itself.
 
It was this move that revealed the entire St. Hebreke gymnastic team who had been underneath the ring and were now making a break for it, amidst the booing from the Neriman side of the audience.
 
One of the green leotard wearing girls in fact looked sadly at Hiroshi’s direction before running away in tears. Sayuri then looked at the said teen upon seeing the fleeing girl’s teary eyed expression.
 
She then asked the light haired teen beside her on what was that all about.
 
“Actually, I asked her for a date last month but she turned me down.” Hiroshi answered while his face showed whatever guilt he felt for letting somebody else down even if it was not his fault in the first place.
 
He then explained to the puzzled girl that he and Daisuke were lounging around the St. Hebreke’s known hangout, an ice cream parlor, when the girl in question had passed them by.
 
The brunet then pushed his friend towards the pretty girl who was about to sit in one of the tables nearest the counter. Daisuke even egged his best friend on as Hiroshi was slowly heading for the girl to ask for a date.
 
Predictably, Hiroshi was turned down and both teens quickly left before they got jeered at by the other patrons of the said establishment.
 
“Hey, don’t worry `bout it.” The dark brown haired girl said as she placed a hand on the taller boy’s left shoulder after the latter had finished his story. “We’ll jus’ talk with her after the match is over.”
 
“Thanks, `Yuri.” Hiroshi said after giving his crush a quick kiss on the right cheek and turned his attention back to the match below. Sayuri blushed heavily at the given kiss and tentatively did the same.
 
It was by this time that the red hot lovers beside them had finished their make out session and were already leaning on each other, and their hands clasped in the narrow space between them.
 
-oOo-
 
This time, both Akane and Kodachi had jumped towards two of the opposite poles that held the ropes in the ring’s sides. Both had armed themselves with clubs as they engaged in mid air.
 
Thanks to her constant training, Akane had kept up with the gymnast’s speed as clubs blurred in between them before exchanging poles.
 
`That’s odd,’ the blue haired girl thought as she parried her opponent’s blows with either one or both of her clubs while getting strikes whenever possible. `I coulda sworn that girl had used more than two clubs in our brief exchange with only one hand.’
 
She again jumped towards her laughing opponent but this time instead of thrusting her weapons forward, she waved them widely as if they were a conductor’s batons.
 
Kodachi was surprised at the unorthodox maneuver and as such had her “weapon” was knocked out of her hand. It turned out that she was using twenty smaller clubs instead of only one big club.
 
All of the dropped weapons cluttered on the gym’s floor and simply added themselves to the mess beneath the uncovered ring.
 
“Hmm, smart move.” The black haired gymnast said as she landed on top yet another pole and caught her weapon of choice from her corner. “I may actually get to enjoy this fight.”
 
“Same here.” Akane was also given a rope for her to use against the gymnast’s ribbon.
 
“But I’ll show you how good I really am and put you in your place, peasant.” Kodachi announced before twirling her ribbon diagonally.
 
Again, black rose petals had swept up in the green ribbon’s twirling, making the other girl blind to the next attack and making her let go of her tool.
 
Akane did have an idea of her own though as she leapt towards the eye of the horizontal twister and used her bare right fist that was infused with her chi to break the wooden pole in two.
 
For the audience who were now holding their breath, time seemed to stand still as they awaited the end of the match.
 
After time had started up again, when a loud cracking sound was heard by nearly everyone followed by a shrill screech and a thud, the gymnast was ungraciously sprawled on the floor.
 
The martial artist’s bare left arm was around the lower half of the pole she had just punched while her bare legs clutched the barely hanging ropes.
 
`Heh,’ Akane thought happily as she slowly lowered herself to the gym floor. `Those brick breaking skills sure come in handy sometimes.’
 
She then let herself fall into the darkness that seemed to envelope her sight as the announcer was trying to make her self heard amidst the cheering Furinkan High students along with the protesting St Hebreke students.
 
-oOo-
 
Akane had woken up on a blushing Ranma’s lap, minutes later amidst the teasing they both got from their small circle of friends. She did tease Daisuke and Yuka though in response as she sat up from her comfortable position, while hiding her flushing cheeks with her bare fingers.
 
The pony tailed martial artist himself was strangely quiet but the girl had figured that he was probably berating the flower spirit in his mind for adding to the teasing as evidenced by his still reddening cheeks and sour expression.
 
As they were about to head for the dressing room for the blue haired girl to change back to her street clothes, Hiroshi had separated from them with Sayuri telling them his excuse that he had to take care of something.
 
Ranma further added that Kodachi had accepted her loss and will not pursue him any longer. The other girls had both thanked the blue haired martial artist and even offered her a place on the team.
 
“Sorry guys, but I’m jus’ not cut out for gymnastics.” Akane said as politely as she can since she would rather train herself for the coming confrontation with the Dark Fall than join Furikan High’s gymnastic team. “You know me, still a bit clumsy and all that jazz.”
 
Megumi saw through her new friend’s act and replied. “I agree that you’re not cut out right now but with enough trainin’, you’re just what the doctor ordered for us.”
 
“We’ll see, Megumi. We’ll see.”
 
-oOo-
 
The light brown haired teen had by then caught up with the running girl and her friend past the St. Hebreke’s front gate.
 
As for his running companion, she stopped at the gym door to catch her breath before watching the next series of events unfolding before her very eyes.
 
“Mitchi, wait up.” Hiroshi had to pant a little at the sprint he had to make to even catch up. “We need to talk.”
 
“No, you need to talk.” Mitchi said as she fought down tears. “I know what I saw up there.”
 
“God dammit, Mitchi.” The light brunette had enough drama for the day so he grabbed the girl and shook her violently. “Leave Sayuri outta this. Your problem is with me and me alone.”
 
Both Mitchi and her friend – Junko was surprised at how the bashful and hesitant young man of a year ago had turned into a beast when it comes to another girl.
 
Seeing the fear in their eyes, Hiroshi finally calmed down and let go of the still shaking girl.
 
“I-I’m sorry for acting that way,” he said with a meek bow in apology. “It’s just that I wouldn’t want Sayuri to be involved in this.”
 
“Alright,” Mitchi said in a hesitant manner as she still feared Hiroshi’s change in demeanor. She also held on to Junko’s arm as her friend was protecting her from the young man who could still hurt them in his rage. “From how you acted, she must be quite a girl, huh?”
 
This time, Hiroshi gave them a disarming grin as he turned around as he walked briskly back to where Sayuri was waiting for him, tears in her eyes. “You don’t even know the half of it.”
 
As soon as Hiroshi and Sayuri met their friends, Daisuke treated them to an afternoon of ice cream in a certain parlor in downtown Nerima.
 
-oOo-
 
That night, both Ranma and Akane had made a special training session right after dinner. Yet the session itself had not reached the levels of intensity they had gotten before for two good reasons.
 
The first being that they just ate dinner plus ice cream only hours before and the second was that Akane had already gone through a proverbial wringer through her match with Kodachi, only seven hours earlier.
 
They had just toweled themselves dry after they exited the training hall only to meet both Kuno siblings.
 
“Unhand the beauteous Akane, foul sorcerer. For thy have no right to even to be in her divine presence,” The elder Kuno said as he was about to charge at the pony-tailed martial artist with his bokken on both hands. A bouquet of red roses had fallen on the ground beside the kendoist.
 
“Wait, my dear caustic brother.” The younger had said as she grabbed her sibling’s blue sleeve with her right hand while her left hand held a bouquet of violet roses. “How about leaving that `foul sorcerer’ as you call it to me? I’ll take good care of him for you.”
 
“How `bout we give ya two nutcases the boot instead?” Both martial artists said before sending the two siblings home through the express route (by air).
 
“Heh, nice kick although ya still need ta work on yer follow through.” Ranma said just before leaping a few feet in the air with both legs in a split where Akane’s leg went past through the spot where he was standing just seconds earlier.
 
“I’ll show you a follow through,” Akane replied as she chased her sparring partner and fiancé back to the main house with the girl throwing some punches and kicks while the boy simply dodged or blocked them while continuing his teasing.
 
The fallen bouquets had their petals stripped by a passing wind and brought elsewhere, never to be found again.
 
-oOo-
 
The next night, Kasumi had sent Ranma a bowl of her delicious miso soup since there was plenty to spare. Akane had gone with him, both to keep the bowl safe if Ranma’s cursed form was triggered along the way and to have a chance to see the good doctor again.
 
“Don’t ya trust me enough ta carry a bowl of soup, Akane?” The pony-tailed martial artist said as he walked on the fence as usual with the blue cloth covered bowl balanced on his head.
 
The blue haired martial artist was just a few steps behind him, minding her steps as she was still new at fence walking. “Of course I do. It’s just that you get cursed at the most inconvenient of times. Luckily, it wasn’t triggered back at the gym.”
 
“I kinda doubt one would carry a bucket of water there anyway,” Ranma answered as he leapt down to street level, giving Akane a good scare when he still kept the contents of the bowl intact. “Still, with everyone in there drinking some sodas or whateva in there, I’m surprised that no one accidentally splashed me at all. Somebody up there must’ve liked me for a good spell.”
 
“Yeah, yeah.” Akane said in reply as they continued their way towards the chiropractor’s office after she herself had gone down after letting go of the fence top. “Keep tellin’ yourself that.”
 
-oOo-
 
Once they arrived at the chiropractor’s clinic, they immediately noticed that the good doctor was not alone. There was large wooden shrine right past the clinic’s door further inside.
 
The door itself was broken through probably by the shrine itself as it was carried inside. Entering further in, they also found Doctor Tofu talking animatedly to an older woman who was about as high as his waist.
 
It was when the drama became a little too intense that Tofu finally noticed his two other visitors.
 
“Oh, Ranma and Akane too.” Tofu had just stopped her overacting visitor from doing something rash. “This is my mother- Kin Tofu.”
 
As he gestured at the older woman, he said. “Mother, these are two of my patients and good friends, Ranma Saotome and Akane Tendou.”
 
“Pleased ta see both of ya,” Kin said before Akane felt someone feel her up.
 
“Hmm, pretty strong hips for a girl in her age group. I’m sure she’ll have healthy and strong children in due time,” She added as she rubbed Akane’s hips to the taller girl’s disdain.
 
After seeing Ranma’s surprised then amused face, she then said with a smug grin. “Maybe she’ll even have `em with this young stud here.”
 
Both teens immediately turned their backs to each other, their cheeks burning red and the brownish yet milk like soup still sloshing in its ivory bowl that was still in the pony tailed teen’s trembling hands.
 
“Mother, please. They’re my guests.” The good doctor then took the porcelain bowl from the still blushing teen’s hands and proceeded to the kitchen.
 
At least that was what he was supposed to do when a melodious voice from behind the visitors broke the silence. “Excuse me, am I interrupting something?”
 
Everyone looked at the now self conscious Kasumi who was carrying a similar bowl in her slender and smooth hands. “Um, I actually gave the wrong soup to Ranma earlier. You see, I accidentally placed sugar in it instead of salt. I hope you don’t mind.”
 
It was by this time that the good doctor’s glasses had fogged over due to the intense heat that he had radiated against the coolness of the night.
 
He exchanged bowls with Kasumi and said that he will bring it to the kitchen while adding that he did not actually mind having sugar in his soup.
 
“Um, Doc. That’s the janitor’s closet,” Ranma had said when he noticed the oak door that Tofu had just opened.
 
“Oh sorry, sorry. I must have gotten the wrong direction,” The chiropractor answered rather goofily. He turned around and tried again.
 
“Doctor Tofu, that’s the window you’re heading to.” Akane was saying while hiding a small smile with her right hand.
 
“Um, he he. Now how did it get there?” The good doctor said with a nervous laugh as he stepped off the sofa set leading to the window. “Alright, third time lucky and all that jazz.”
 
As soon as the whacked out chiropractor had entered the right door, his puzzled mother had to ask what is going on.
 
“Um… Missus Ono, we’ll be happy ta explain at a later time.” Ranma said, hoping that neither Tofu nor Kasumi had picked up whatever he had actually meant in that statement. “By the way, who was the umm…muscular girl in the picture that you were showing Doc earlier?”
 
“Oh, this?” Tofu’s mother said as she retrieved the said picture from her purse. “She’s the winner of the Nerimian body building contest. She’s got strong hips, dontcha think so?”
 
“Uh, yeah.” Ranma was trying to keep himself from laughing as much as possible. “She’ll make some lucky guy happy that’s for sure. Heh heh.”
 
Both Tendou girls only laughed along with the pony tailed teen, neither of them wanting to tell the old woman that no amount of fame in the recording industry could ever provide that girl in the picture with a happy ending. Unless, she is damn lucky, that is.
 
-oOo-
 
It was much later that both Tendou sisters and Ranma had said their good byes and headed home. Along the way, both younger teens had noticed that the Tendou homemaker seemed down for some reason.
 
“Hey Kasumi, wazzap?” Ranma was saying as he approached the older teen from the rear. He kept his eyes on the bowl just in case the brown haired homemaker would accidentally drop it on the cool asphalt.
 
“It’s nothing, Ranma.” Kasumi answered with a sweet smile that seemed to lose a bit of its luster. “Really, it’s nothing to worry about.”
 
“If ya say so, Kasumi.” Ranma was saying before he added. “Ouch! Watch the elbow, Tomboy.”
 
A fuming Akane had pulled Ranma aside with one hand while signaling her elder sister to go on ahead with the other.
 
“What gives, Akane?!” Ranma finally said as soon as they were out of earshot from Kasumi.
 
“You dummy,” Akane said as she poked both her forefingers on Ranma’s muscular chest. “Didn’t you notice Kasumi’s face?”
 
“Now that ya mentioned it, she was a little sad when we left the clinic a while ago.”
 
“That’s because she has a crush on Dr. Tofu, that’s why.” Akane nearly screamed at the clueless boy. “And vice versa, if I may add since I’m sure you remember his `dance around town with Betty’ two weeks ago.”
 
“So what can we do?” He said as he leaned on the smaller girl. “We can’t jus’ play matchmaker fer kicks, y’know?”
 
“Ugh.” Akane spun on her heel and ran home with Ranma close behind.
 
-oOo-
 
The following night, both Akane and Ranma had finished their homework for the day with the former going to her elder sister’s room to ask for some help.
 
“So what’s in it for moi?” Nabiki had said as she played with her scientific calculator after listening to her little sister’s crazy plan.
 
“Well, since Doctor Tofu is a well known chiropractor, I’m sure he’ll be rich enough to afford whatever you wanted.” Akane said in the hopes that Nabiki would agree to the plan.
 
“Alright, lil’ sis but you owe me big time for this little excursion.” The middle Tendou sister had put down her calculator while thinking of what she would let the good doctor buy her in their “little date.”
 
“Thanks, Nabs.” The youngest Tendou hugged her sister before going out the door.
 
“You can start by not callin’ me that.” Nabiki yelled at the closing door. “Argh, she’s beginning to remind me of Ranma sometimes.”
 
-oOo-
 
The following morning, Hiroshi was carrying an injured Sayuri bridal style to the chiropractor’s clinic. The latter had slipped on a bar of soap that her little brother had left in their bathroom, just half an hour earlier.
 
The light haired teen had just arrived in Sayuri’s house when the said incident happened.
 
Accompanying them were the concerned yet partially amused Daisuke and Yuka who had heard about the accident from the brown haired girl’s harried mother when Yuka called her best friend up for some mall hopping.
 
As soon as they girls entered, they felt someone feeling them up. At first, they thought that the guys had gone back to their perverted ways and were about to deal with them when a croaking voice announced.
 
“Hmm, not as big as that girl Akane’s but not too bad.” The said voice added. “You two could be candidates No.2 and No.3.”
 
This made the Yuka jump on her boyfriend’s arms as an elderly woman emerged from under them. Sayuri only held on to her own boyfriend much tighter then earlier.
 
“Who-who are ya?” Yuka managed to ask as she loosened her arms on a blushing Daisuke’s neck. “And how did you know Akane?”
 
“What do you mean by Candidates number 2 and 3?” Sayuri asked in panic as the light haired young man was putting her on the sofa.
 
“Oh sorry, I’m Dr. Tofu’s mother – Kin Tofu.” The elder women replied with a slight bow. “Pleased to meet ya. As for what I just said, both of you are now eligible to marry my son.”
 
It was around that time that the chiropractor himself had emerged from the clinic’s single bathroom. He apologized for her mother’s actions and explained that she was looking for girls with big hips that she would engage him too after he had introduced his new guests.
 
“Gee, I got a little lost there.” Daisuke said after everything was explained. His face was a little saddened that his new girlfriend would suddenly be engaged to the ward’s best chiropractor.
 
Looking at his right, he noticed his best friend feeling the same as seen on Hiroshi’s face. Still neither of them would have reacted since they can also see that the girls’ eyes were narrowed in concentration as if they were planning something.
 
“Allow me ta explain, my boy.” Mrs. Tofu said as she sat down on the couch. “Having big and strong hips allows for stronger off springs and having stronger children is a boon for any Japanese family.”
 
“I’m beginning to see what ya mean, Mrs. Tofu.” Sayuri said hesitantly. “Although for our present generation, we’d rather have healthier children since having strong children isn’t much of a priority these days.”
 
“I know, and it is so sad that strength isn’t much of a factor in a person anymore unlike in the good ol’ days.”
 
“Um, mother. Would you let me do my magic on Miss Nonoka’s sprained foot?” Tofu interjected before his mother would bore the teens to sleep with her “back in the old days” shtick. “Besides, I have to meet someone downtown. She was saying something about a date.”
 
“Alrighty, son. Carry on.”
 
Soon the teens left for Sayuri’s house where they would be spending the whole afternoon with to let the sprained foot heal itself. Tofu himself left for his little date sometime after.
 
-oOo-
 
In a quaint yet trendy coffee shop in downtown Nerima, Dr. Tofu was sitting in a window table with his date, Nabiki.
 
The brown haired girl was telling the green haired waitress her orders while the good doctor was doing some mental calculations on how much it would cost him as he buried himself in the coffee shop’s menu.
 
He did order for a glass of water to keep his expenses here on a manageable level.
 
Tofu drew his brown and worn wallet with a heavy sigh before putting it back again in his pant’s back pocket. The brown haired girl had seen this action out of the corner of her brown eyes as she was doing some calculations of her own.
 
“Let’s get straight to the point, Nabiki.” Tofu said as he looked at the younger girl straight in the eye. “I may be a successful chiropractor but I’m not this successful. I mean, I’m not that well off as you can see from my office that also doubles as my home.”
 
“Aren’t doctors excused from paying income taxes?” Nabiki answered back with a slight pout.
 
“I’m a chiropractor, Nabiki.” Tofu said with a shake of his head.
 
“Same thing, since they’re both in the medical field.” The middle Tendou sister then flashed him her winning smile. “Besides, you’ll need my vote when you do manage to woo Kasumi, being family and all.”
 
“Good point.”
 
“So relax and have fun.” Nabiki again advised. “I’m sure that you haven’t this much fun in a long while, right?”
 
“Right as always, Nabiki. You’re right as always.”
 
-oOo-
 
After Nabiki and Tofu had finished their “date”, they headed for the clinic where Kin was waiting for them. Nabiki’s grand entrance was spoiled by a certain old woman examining the younger woman’s skirted thigh.
 
“Hmm, yours is not as big as Akane’s but still bigger than her two friends.” She was saying as she finished her examination. “You pass.”
 
A stunned Nabiki collected her things half an hour later and headed home. After the middle Tendou had left, Akane then arrived and said that she was also seeing Tofu and was willing to be included in the bridal candidates.
 
“Oh ho and here I thought that, you and that young hunk you were with last night, were an item,” Kin was saying with a shit eating grin that made Akane blush furiously.
 
Turning to a shocked Tofu, she added. “Son, you make me and your father proud in having a bevy of beauties at your disposal.”
 
Having said enough, Akane gave a meek bow and left quickly before her erstwhile fiancé would be looking for her.
 
-oOo-
 
The next day, both Ranma and Akane were practicing how to roof jump. Both were jumping on and off a pretty stable concrete wall to get the basics before trying to do the real thing.
 
Akane wanted to do this before she would head covertly head over to the chiropractor’s clinic without Ranma noticing.
 
It was when it was Akane’s turn to jump up at their neighbor’s tiled roof that Ranma made a show of surprise over something beyond her vision.
 
The pony tailed boy quickly jumped down to Akane’s side with a wide eyed expression.
 
“Hey, Ranma. What’s wrong?”
 
Ranma’s had to take a gulp of air to calm down before responding. “Nuthin’ actually. I just saw Kasumi headin’ over to Tofu’s clinic.”
 
“And what’s so weird `bout that?” Akane said with her arms crossed over her chest, hidden by her blue T-shirt. She was hoping that her voice did not betray her nervousness.
 
“It’s the smile on her face,” Ranma answered.
 
“So what trouble would that cause coz’ I don’t see one.”
 
“Well, think `bout it. The good doctor must `ave asked her to elope or somethin’,” Ranma said with growing worry. “Add the fact that his mom musta engaged him ta someone else and what do we get?”
 
“A recipe for disaster,” Akane said as she too became panicky. “Y’know, Ranma. Studying does have a good effect on ya – it makes you think more often.”
 
“Not funny, `Kane.” Ranma said as his hand was grabbed by his sparring partner and fiancée. “What do ya suggest? Try to stop `em before they get into hot water.”
 
“Yup. Besides, I’m sure you love my sister’s cooking.” The blue haired girl was able to say before she was pulled by a suddenly impatient Ranma. “Leggo, you nut.”
 
-oOo-
 
It took them ten minutes but they arrived just in time. Instead of Kasumi, they found Nabiki, Sayuri, and Yuka sitting on the gray couch.
 
“What’re you guys doin’ here?” Akane had exclaimed since she did not know that the other candidates turned out to be her own sister and best friends. “Nabiki, I thought you were goin’ to just pretend?!”
 
“I was. Thing’s just got complicated all of a sudden,” The teenage ice queen looked flustered for a second there but only for a second.
 
“Hey guys, fancy meetin’ you here.” Ranma was saying to his own friends who looked cross for some reason as they leaned on a nearby wall.
 
Both Daisuke and Hiroshi mumbled their own greetings and went out the door. Puzzled at his friends behavior, Ranma followed suit.
 
It was around this time that Kin had arrived with both Doctor Tofu and Genma in tow. The latter being in panda form since the older woman had only seen him in the said form the whole time he was in the clinic.
 
Mrs. Ono then explained the rules as to who will be Tofu’s bride. She had Genma carry a circular podium to the previously cleared part of the clinic. She then demonstrated the ritual itself with the panda bear that lost anyway despite his great size.
 
The rule of the ritual (or is it a game?) was for both participants to push the other out of the podium by means of their backsides. The winner would then be pitted against the other winner of the second match and the one who remained will be Tofu’s bride.
 
Is it a little weird even for this fan fiction? You bet it is.
 
Since both Akane and Nabiki are sisters, they were paired up with the other two girls. Sure enough, both Sayuri and Yuka lost but they were not that sad about their loss.
 
At the very least, not as sad as they should be while doing some cartwheels in their minds, since they knew Akane was trying the same thing – getting herself engaged then passing it to Kasumi.
 
The Tendou sisters were about to face off when a certain damp stuffed animal was thrown backwards through the nearby open window and amazingly bumped both girls off the podium with his rump.
 
As soon as the flower spirit had done its job, three boys were seen peeking through the said window.
 
“Yo, Flappy.” Daisuke said with glee. “Nice work, my flower spirit friend.”
 
“It’s not funny and it hurts too y’know-lapi.” The flower spirit yelled back as it rubbed its sore backside. “At least, it’s my butt that’s sore not my head-lapi.”
 
“Ouch! Flappy’s right, ya knuckle heads.” Akane said as she rubbed her own backside since she had somehow caught his older sister just before falling to the floor on her rump. “You ok, sis?”
 
“Yeah, seems like Flappy has bigger pelvic muscles than both of us even though he’s smaller than either of us.” Nabiki was saying as she slowly stood up and helped her sister do the same.
 
Akane on her part picked up the little flower spirit and cuddled it for a minute before placing it on the sofa set. All of this while ignoring the teasing looks from the other girls including the newly arrived Kasumi.
 
The eldest Tendou daughter was holding a plate of fried fish on her slender hands as stood on the clinic’s threshold.
 
Kin was shocked at the fact that such a small creature could actually knock down two girls with only his rump so she neared the still shaking stuffed animal in the sofa. “Excuse me, even if you are female, I cannot jus’ marry my son to a stuffed animal.”
 
“With all due respect, ma’am… I’M A GUY-lapi!”
 
“Sorry for the trouble, Missus Ono. But I guess Dr. Tofu couldn’t be married to anyone…except to maybe Flappy here…” Akane was explaining to a stunned Kin whose ears were beaten to submission by the flower spirit’s loud outburst.
 
She was also trying to keep a smile from forming on her lips as she was doing so and nearly failed in fact.
 
“Dammit, Akane-lapi. I’m not a girl-lapi.” Ranma said from his place in the middle of the sofa.
 
“…If he wasn’t a guy jus’ like he said.”
 
“It’s still not funny-lapi.”
 
Kin only had time to raise a hand to her forehead before seeing nothing but black.
 
-oOo-
 
The next day, everyone had explained the Jusenkyo curses as demonstrated by Genma, Ranma, and Ryoga. All three were splashed behind a makeshift screen before emerging in either their cursed forms or natural forms.
 
After all is said and done, Kin said her goodbyes to the Tendou family and their friends before asking Kasumi to accompany her to the train station.
 
She then let both Tofu and Kasumi go on ahead while she asked the girls to look after her son should he woo the eldest Tendou daughter.
 
“Of course, we will.” Akane said for all of them. “Right, girls?”
 
“Right.”
 
Kin then made her way to follow the other two but did look back at the people who had taught her that sometimes love cannot be rushed but given time will always find a way.
 
-oOo-
 
A week later, the gang was hanging out in the town square’s skating rink. Pretty much everyone was having a grand time gliding on the ice.
 
The only exceptions, of course, were the so-called greatest rivals of Nerima – Ranma and Ryoga who seemed to be gliding with their chins rather than their skates.
 
Both were being a bother when they exchanged insults and other barbed words while Daisuke and Hiroshi tried their best to keep them upright (most of the time, anyway).
 
One time, Daisuke had to tell them to behave otherwise either or both of them will have to skate on their own.
 
It was such a potent threat for both martial artists’ egos that they kept quiet until they were almost successfully trained in ice skating, keyword being almost.
 
An inconsiderate young skater had sprayed ice on all four of the guys before skating away from the fuming girls. The immediate result was that two of the males turned to their cursed forms due to some tiny ice cubes melting on their warm faces.
 
All action on the whole rink had stopped and everyone gawked at the triggered transformation. Everyone was so shocked that a cute girl in a yellow leotard had made away with P-chan.
 
She would have gotten the flower spirit as well if not for the said spirit’s panicked leap towards his surprised fiancée’s arms that were actually picking up the discarded clothes from the rink.
 
“Hmph, Azusa will get `Andrea’ later.” The girl said to herself as she skated away. The girls gave chase followed by the guys as soon as the latter returned to their senses, only to lose the girl completely in the stunned crowd leaving the center itself.
 
“Don’t worry, `Kane-lapi. We’ll get Pork Chop back-lapi,” Ranma said as he placed a paw on Akane’s shoulder, ignoring the surprised stares from his friends due to his uncharacteristic friendly gesture including those from the girl herself. “Alright guys, let’s move-lapi.”
 
 
I guess I got carried away and made a very long half of a chapter in this one. Oh well, this cliffhanger kind of gives you a clue on who our heroes will be going against next time.
 
Thankfully, Ranma would not get kissed here but he would gain someone else’s attention instead. I still wonder which one would be worse for him though.
 
I’ll be seeing you guys in the next half of this chapter since we still have some more introductions left before I can finally start the crossover part of this tale.
 
Plus, I can probably add three more cameos that are related to one of the secondary characters here. Sorry, make that two of them would be related and the third is just along for the ride.
 
One last thing, I apologize for any hidden insult to any fan fiction that was made in this chapter. I had to do it to keep my characters in character, sort of.
 
Just so I can finally stop babbling and lose even more readers than necessary, please read and enjoy.
Revenge with a Slice of Insanity And a Glass of Ice cold Shoulder
On Thin Ice – Part 1.5