Previously: Of Amazons & CP
I woke up in the back of a heavily overloaded VW Microbus Knockoff, rolling through the hills and farms of rural China, with a wizened old ghoul kneeling on my chest “Ah, Granddaughter, You are awake.” Cologne said. I groaned in response. “Where are we going, Grandmother?”
“We are going to China to help Shampoo find the Japanese girl who defeated her at the Contest.” I blinked, still a bit groggy. “Oh yes, you were busy thinking you were a cat. You missed the Contest. Shampoo was winning quite handily when a Redheaded Japanese Girl and her pet panda were discovered to have eaten the Champion’s prize. Shampoo challenged this girl and lost. She gave her the kiss of death, as is to be expected, but the girl ran like a coward and now we are tracking her. Her name is, I believe-” she glanced at a piece of paper, but I interrupted her without thinking.
“Saotome Ranma. His name is Ranma. And the Panda is Genma.”
The old crone looked at me. “How do you know this, Granddaughter?”
I thought quickly, then said essentially the truth. “I was watching when they fell into the cursed pools of Jusenkyo. Za… Loofa and I were sparing at the time, as we do, and that’s when we fell in. Ziggy fell in as well, and that’s when I… err… freaked out.”
“Yes, and you knocked Rinse-Rinse in as well.” I winced, not at the idea of knocking a fellow Amazon into the pools, but at the terrible name. Amazons and their bathing fetish. “Oh dear. Which pool?”
“Pool of the drowned Fu-Dog.” I imagined the Rayquaza Girl as a Giant Chow and couldn’t stifle a laugh. “She will kill me when she catches up. Where is she?”
“She has gone ahead to track this Ranma… but if he is a boy as you said, perhaps we should induct him into the tribe. He’d make a good son-in-law… and Shampoo needs a husband.”
“And Mouse needs Laser-Eye-Surgery.” I said, again without thinking.
“What is that?” Cologne asked, not recognizing the technical terms despite speaking fluent Japanenglish.
“A western medical procedure that fixes your eyes so you can see without glasses. But it won’t fix the fact that he is stupid.” Cologne eyed me, then nodded. “Tell me, did you happen to overhear where they were from, granddaughter?” ‘Yes Grandmother. They are from Tokyo. The ward known as Nerima. Near Furinkan High School. And Shampoo cannot beat him. He’s too good at running away until he has advantage. It is a speciality of the Anything Goes School. I recognized it from a manual I’m studying from.” I technically didn’t have any manuals… but I had active memories (thank you Savant), of every episode of the Ranma Anime and every chapter of the Ranma Manga… it was essentially the same thing. Plus dozens of martial arts movies come to think of it. All I needed was a little time to practice visualizing and copying. I’d seen the performed… in the past… on screen. Some adaptation would probably be needed. For somethings, like Chestnut Fist and Breaking Point, I not only knew how the technique looked, I understood the underlying theory. All I needed now was to put them into practice.
“Those Japanese Martial Arts are not as good as Our 3000 year old Amazon Customs.” The old hag said.
“Yes, but everyone in village knows the Amazon Fighting Techniques! I needed something they wouldn’t know. It was either Anything Goes or Force of Buddha’s Golf Swing.”
Cologne made a sound like a laugh, “Very Well, granddaughter. Oh. You should be grateful. The council has decided that, though you defeated Rinse-Rinse in battle while you were a male, you do not have to marry her.” I blinked, then gulped “Marry? I’m only 14!?”
“Yes well, never too soon to find husband. Just wait a couple years to have children.”
I swallowed… a couple years? I’d had a child when I was 19 in Harry Potter World, but I hadn’t raised him. And in 2 years I’d be 16… with 8 more years in setting… oh… oh nononono. “Yes Grandmother.” I said, hoping that would drop the subject, at least for now. I was frantically trying to remember if Ziggy had landed on the Bad Fanfiction button when he’d fallen, but I couldn’t.
We, Cologne, Ziggy (as a Chinese Ferret-Badger), and Lofa (Zane) arrived in Shanghai, meeting up with Shampoo and Rinse-Rinse who’d lost the Panda and Redhead when they’d swum back to Japan. We jumped a cargo vessel, convinced its crew we wouldn’t hurt them if they took us to Japan, and a week later arrived in Tokyo (by way of Busan). The crew were quite nice actually, especially when grandmother offered to cook for them. I offered too, but Grandmother made me swab decks instead. I don’t know why. So what if last time I mixed detergent into the Gyoza. It smelled like lemongrass and that’s what matters, right? I thought they tasted okay… ish. Maybe I shouldn’t have have added so much wasabi.
Of course, one of the crew members overheard Grandmother explaining to Shampoo that the hunt for to kill Redhaired girl had become a hunt to find Shampoo’s fiance and about how Amazons had to marry men what beat them in combat and from then on, two members of the crew kept trying to attack me. I wanted to turn into a guy to get them to stop, but Grandmother said that would be cowardly and might anger the captain. So I had to defeat them without hurting them, which I think was meant to be a challenge…. And it would have been had I not remembered the Vulcan Nerve Pinch. They both got written up for sleeping on the job, but it serves them right.
When we got to Japan, we quickly set up shop in our own restaurant which I suggested naming the Cat-Cafe, something that surprised everyone else until I explained that the Japanese very much liked cute things. But they still wouldn’t let me cook… or work at all, because it would have violated Japanese labor laws. So I ended up as the hostess, which was a job, but not much of one, the kind of thing where we could have simply explained I was helping out the family and not actually doing labor.
Since neither Zane nor I had any desire to actually attend Japanese schools, we didn’t mention the possibility to Cologne and, as expected, it never came up. What did come up were challenges. All the time. Somehow it had become common knowledge about the whole Marriage Combat and apparently Japanese Martial Artists are hard up for dates, because everyone was getting challenges… even Grandmother. It was particularly creepy just how much I was getting challenged, at least as a girl, where I was clearly and visibly barely pubescent… and often wearing an oversized bear hoodie and going “Rawr!” because I could. As a guy, thanks to the size shifting properties of the curse, my outfit was skin tight, a muscle t-shirt and what had been harem pants. No shoes could handle the change and so I just went barefoot most times, or wore an oversized pair of Japanese Clog-Sandals.
My Fiance Squad grew rapidly. First, there was Kodachi, because of course there was. Apparently taking a page from her brother’s insanity, she was torn between my male form and Ranma’s male form… and often sent us dual invitations to dates where she claimed we could make a Kodachi Sandwich… or just make out while she watched. Ranma was not amused. Second among the female suitors was the even more terrifyingly insane Azusa Shiratori, who nearly strangled me the first time we met as she tried to steal my hoodie, calling it Antoine. And the third was Yoiko, Ryoga’s kid sister, and living proof that this was one of the Fanfic timelines, because Yoiko didn’t exist in the true Ranma timeline and was merely a disguise Ranma had assumed. Indeed, Yoiko did bear a striking resemblance to Ranma-Chan, albeit with black hair instead of red and a bit shorter… and much… much stronger. Yoiko was scary strong… and of all my fiance’s, male or female, the only one who absolutely didn’t care which form I was in. It wasn’t that she was a lesbian or bisexual or oblivious to the profound difference between my forms, or oblivious to the fact that both were me. She just liked bears. Rawr.
Of course, when Ryoga found out, that meant I had to die. And oh, my god, is he an idiot. And strong. And really really hard to beat. Two dueling Exploding Point Technique masters, going at each other. It should have been even. I was tough, fast, strong… but he was tougher and stronger, and almost as fast… and enraged. He beat male me in a long, drawn out slugfest that left me dazed… then I fell in a river and he developed a nosebleed as I came out of the water no longer wearing a shirt thanks to all the rockshards that had shredded it. Grandmother was watching and that meant I had to give the big idiot the kiss.
I got revenge however, by revealing P-Chan’s secret to Akane. Ranma was not happy about that, strangely. But nowhere near as unhappy about it as Akane. I swear, she was inches away from going Super Saiyan. Ryoga may have tapped into the Speed Force to get away from her as fast as he did.
So that was it, right? 4 Fiances? 3 female, 1 male, right? Ahahahaa… no. In addition to the idiots of the week, and the random perverts, and the neighborhood boys who thought if they did enough Karate for 1 hour 3 times a week at the Tendo Dojo after school they might have an in, there were Sam, Kiske, and Bao-Feng.
Sam was half-Okinawan, half-african american. He was big, he was tough, a speed boxer, bantamweight, and convinced that American Martial Arts were absolutely the best. And he wanted to breed a dynasty of the best MMA fighters ever… and that meant a martial artist wife with good genes. And yes, he knew about the curse… and didn’t care. As a guy, I could spar with him, as a girl, I could be his baby machine. He was creepy, stalkerish, but friendly enough, and oddly enough, his insane misogyny matched Amazon misandry almost perfectly. He pulled no punches when we fought, male or female, but kept trying to defend me from other challengers, which was a little… asinine… but helpful in weeding out the hopeless cases. He never did defeat me, but he tried, keeping me on my toes constantly and never getting discouraged as I beat him again and again.
Kiske was a NEET, fat, insanely otaku, and – in a show of spectacular illogic – practiced Hikikomori Style Martial Arts. The illogic of a martial art for shut-ins being practiced by someone who had to go outside to use it was utterly lost on Kiske. His style was… in a word… pervy. It’s not that he could defeat me. It’s that I felt dirty every time I touched him. His entire body was soft, absorbing incredible blows without ever showing damage… and somehow he could block particle beams from Anti-Tank Sniper Rounds… with pillows. He also possessed the utterly bizarre ability to command armies of tiny stripperific plastic dolls, which he used to spy on anything female. He ate three meals a day at the Cat Cafe. To this day, I’ve no idea where he got all the money from. He even creeped out Grandmother.
Bao-Feng on the other hand was neither misogynistic or creepy. He was a genuinely nice guy, the kind that viewers would absolutely be rooting for. Sure, he was rough around the edges, given to derring do and posturing, but as a 1800 year old teenager who’d been frozen since the Three Kingdoms Era in Chinese history, he was a warrior, a scholar, and utterly fascinated by the modern world. As I’d been the one to release him from his icy coffin (which got shipped to Cat-Cafe entirely by accident instead of Tokyo University’s Cat-Scan & MRI building), he felt himself duty bound to serve me. He even ate my cooking without complaint… or at least made it disappear without me noticing that he wasn’t eating it, which counts for much of the same thing and I forgave his deception eventually…. After missing it for nearly 7 years.
If you’ve ever watched Ranma, then you think you know how much of a pain Cologne is. You cannot imagine. As vicious as she is to Ranma, she respects him. Her own family? Not so much. Think back. She trained Ryoga to use the Breaking Point Technique and Ranma to use Chestnut Fist. Did she train Shampoo to use either? She did not. Hell, I had to practice Chestnut fist with Ranma and that took a guarantee that Shampoo wouldn’t bother him for a whole month… Which I accomplished by dropping her into the warehouse (We’d tricked her into being a cat and climbing into a handbag that Zane was holding as far from me as possible… and dear lord are there a lot of Cats in Tokyo! Sooo many murderous evil felines! They’re stalking me, I know they are. They want my blood.). I killed the passage of time in the warehouse, got my training in, then dropped the Shampoo bag out of the Warehouse while Ranma was alone at the public bathhouse. Just because I understand Ranma doesn’t mean I don’t like causing the idiot as much trouble as possible. He insulted my breasts.
Zane meanwhile, was doing everything he could to try and seduce Akane… Up to and including teaching her Amazonian Techniques, helping her fight off Shampoo, and routinely defending her from Ranma’s misguided sexism. Cologne approved, of course, as Akane out of the way would clear the path for Shampoo to get Ranma, and Akane was good enough to be a decent addition to the tribe. Rinse-Rinse had set her sights on Tatewaki, much to the Kendoguy’s confusion and Nabiki’s irritation.
There wasn’t a giant overarching crisis. We vastly outnumbered the Musk and Lucky Gods and the Jusenkyo Committee. There were years of hijinks, with incidents happening every couple of days, but while it was exhausting, it was also fun. Happosai remained frozen in a block of cryogenically cold ice… in a freezer… in a cave… on Svalbard. Turns out you can Apparate to places you’ve been on alternate Earths just fine. I’d doused him with Girl-Water, then frozen him solid as he stood stunned.
Genma and Pantyhose Taro also got the girl treatment. As the show’s biggest misogynists, they deserved it. Mouse ended up with Ling-Ling and Ran-Ran, after we finally got him some lasic and a pair of omni-gel corneas (lasers can only do so much). It took me almost a decade of constantly duelling him, but I think I was pretty close to matching him in Hidden Fist.
Kasumi eventually married Tofu-Sensei (once I prescribed some medical grade anti-psychotics for him and dosed his tea without him knowing. A careful program of weaning him off them helped and eventually he was able to speak with her without going completely crazy), Nabiki tricked Principal Kuno into marrying her and then had him locked away in an institute for the Criminal Insane Martial Artist. Kuno, faced with an attractive girl who did not shun him, calmed down a lot, even though he still seemed confused when she turned into a Dog and still demanded snuggle times (but nothing more, I hope). Akane and I got a job on a cooking show that was, for some reason, ranked the number one live action comedy show on Japanese TV, and for some reason there were prizes awarded for who could eat the most of our cooking, but it was a steady gig.
There was no helping most of my fiances. They were crazy and clueless. Ryoga and Yoiko were an interesting duo to deal with, and Bao-Feng was just too nice, but I couldn’t really… be with any of them because of the constant bickering and incessant fighting. Years passed… Ranma and Shampoo married just after they turned twenty. Genma and Soun were not happy. Part of me was, part of me wasn’t. It’s hard being a fan of something and then experiencing it. The reality is that Akane and Ranma, as cute as they were as a couple, just didn’t really work. Ranma didn’t treat her as an equal, and it showed. Also, she’s kinda violent.
Zane, on the other hand, seemed to like it, and they dated for a while, but in the end, it ended as amicably as any of these things do. Akane finally broke up with him, declaring she wasn’t going to fool herself any more… and promptly moved in with Ukyo… which shocked none of us.
Rinse-Rinse and Tatewaki had a kid about 8 years in. But RiRi had never exactly been… maternal… not surprising since few Pokemon are and especially not the reptilian or quasi-reptilian ones. Bao-Feng had been convinced to start dating Uriel, since they both liked period dramas and military history and Uriel seemed to be enjoying being doted on again. I was slowly paring down the insanity, year by year.
Sam and Kodachi were a partnership waiting to happen, and I spent nearly a year making sure it did, with much help from… well… everyone. The sooner those lunatics were out of the picture, the better. Kiske we hooked up with Asuza, which pleased everyone besides Mikado, who was such an ass at the wedding we pummeled him… he deserved it. He was trying to kiss all the bridesmaids.
Which left me with two. The brother and sister. So in the end, I did what any sane jumper would do. I asked them both to come with me. Yoiko jumped at the chance to see (and get utterly lost on) new worlds, but Ryoga was unsure until I promised him that coming with me would almost certainly cure his curse. I wasn’t sure he’d benefit from the same bonus I was certain awaited the rest of us (the transformation of Curse into a new shapeshifting power), but if it didn’t, I had Girl Juice just sitting around. I’d kept one dose carefully set aside just in case… but I didn’t tell him that.
For added bonus, I pointed out that my companions were always able to return to the Warehouse from wherever they were, so at least in that way, he’d never be totally lost. I’d also built both Hibikis Self-repairing battle-hardened, water-proof OmniGel powered GPS units years earlier, which didn’t eliminate their ability to get lost, but helped immensely.
In the end, we had one last Beach Episode before the gates opened once more and we said goodby to the Ranma Verse. For the first time in a long while, I was hijink’d out. That night, once free of the curses (yes, even Ryoga) I let Hibiki siblings make an SJ sandwich. Stupid PG rated reality.
Next: ACE in the Hole
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