a Ranma 1/2 Fanfic

Gary Kleppe

Part 2 of 2

This fanfic is brought to you by America's only chain of Italian Restaurants and Kendo Halls: PIZZERIA KUNO! Heh, get it, it's a pun on Pizzeria Uno, a real restaurant chain... um, try the principal's Hawaiian pizza, or try Kodachi's special, 90 percent guaranteed to have no lingering side effects... (let's just start the fic, shall we...)

The characters of Ranma 1/2 are the creation of and rightful property of Rumiko Takahashi. They are used here without permission. This story may be freely redistributed, but it should not be altered substantially or used for profit in any way.


Akane unscrewed the top of her small thermos bottle, revealing a quantity of hot water. She moved over to the small piglet on her bed and poured the water on top of him, careful not to wet the bed. The piglet turned into the familiar figure of Ryoga Hibiki.

He lay on Akane's bed wearing his familiar headband and nothing else.

Akane leaned over him and gave him a long, slow kiss. She pulled back with a smile. "Hey there, pig boy."

Ryoga was unrelaxed. "I think Ranma is starting to suspect something."

"That idiot? He'll never figure anything out. I've done everything I could think of to get rid of him. I've slugged him, malleted him, I even make him eat pig slop for food! Pig slop, get it?" Akane said with a laugh. "He just won't take the hint."

"Maybe I could try to beat him up again" offered Ryoga. "What should my excuse be this time?"

Akane put her arms around Ryoga and smiled. "We just have to be patient. My dad wants me to marry Ranma. How could he think I could ever like a half-man like him? But if dad ever found out about us..."

"As long as we can have these moments together, I'm happy," said Ryoga. "Let me show you what a whole man is like..."

Ranma forced this mental scene to end, as he had no desire to imagine any more of this. Maybe that's how it was, but how could he be sure?

It was no use, he couldn't sleep with all of these thoughts going through his head. Maybe a late-night snack would help. He wondered if there were any leftovers from dinner. He got up, careful not to wake his Pop. He made his way silently through the darkened home, not bothering to turn the lights on as he knew the way by now.

As a martial artist Ranma had learned to, in a sense, move faster than the speed of thought. Martial combat rarely gave a fighter time to think
about what his opponent's next move would be and how to counter it. One had to develop an instinct and go by it. While absolutely necessary in combat, in interpersonal relationships this quality could be quite disadvantageous. Ranma's mouth often outraced his brain. Not this time. This was too important. He had to think this one through before acting.

Ranma slid open the door and glanced outside. From all appearances, it was a perfectly ordinary night. A cool autumn wind whistled by, interrupted occasionally by the sound of a passing automobile. A nearby street lamp gave off a buzzing sound, signalling its need for repair. Gosunkugi lie crouched behind a wall with his camera out; Ranma waved a quick hello to him as his flash went off. A dog barked in the distance...

Ranma backed up a moment.

"Hey, Gosunkugi, what's up?" Ranma said after quickly moving around behind his classmate. "Isn't it kinda past your bedtime?"

"Oh, hey, Saotome," said Gosunkugi, trying completely unsuccessfully to hide his nervousness. "I - I saw you at lunch today with that girl, Shampoo. I figured, um, she might be here now."

Ranma grinned. "And you thought you'd climb outside my room and take some pictures of us together, to blackmail me? Am I right?"

"Yeah. NO! Uh, I just thought, you know, you might like a memento of the evening..."

"A regular Nabiki, ain't ya. Lucky for you I got other things on my mind right now. You mighta caught someone fooling around here tonight, but it wouldn't'a been me."

"You don't mean... Akane?!?" Gosunkugi's eyeballs were wide, and his
pupils were very small dots. Not because of shock from what he had just been told; it was simply his normal state.

"You didn't hear nothin' from me, got it?" Ranma said forcefully. He then quickly made his way back into the dojo.

Can it be true, Gosunkugi wondered? Bad enough Akane had to be engaged to that fool Saotome. Did she have someone else now as well?

He cursed the misfortune of having been born a normal man. How was he supposed to compete with people who could out-fight armies and demolish stone walls with one hand? He had tried the voodoo. He figured that in a world with cursed water and super-strength noodles, sorcery ought to work. Maybe it did, but not for him, at least so far.

And now this? He had to find out the truth. Slowly, carefully, he climbed his way up...

Ranma headed up back to his bedroom as he absent-mindedly munched on his snack. This was an interesting development. Gosunkugi may be totally clueless, he thought, but he did have one thing going for him, and that was persistence. A few months ago he had followed Ranma around for days, eventually learning about his fear of cats and using it against him. If Ryoga really was porking Akane, Gosunkugi might just be the guy to shake things up enough to get it out in the open.

He laid down next to Pop who was already snoring away. "Porking"... he thought about it and decided he didn't think that that was very funny. Not funny at all.


The next day's school went by in an uneventful blur. Ranma was headed home when he dimly heard a voice call "Saotome!"

Gosunkugi looked like he hadn't slept. Again, for him that was normal. The two moved over to a quiet side street. "You were right, Saotome. Last night I snuck outside Akane's window. There was somebody else in there with her."

"You what?" Ranma said. "You're lucky she didn't spot you and beat the crap out of you." He hadn't expected Gosunkugi to go so far as to peep into a woman's bedroom. Still, he did need to know what he had seen. "Somebody else there? Not just her little pet piglet?"

"Nothing little at all. Take a look at the pictures I took. You can't see her much because of the angle of the window. But you can see somebody else there, somebody big and fat."

Ranma looked at the picture. There was the unmistakable form of... a panda. "You jerk! You were outside my room, not Akane's!"

"Y-You sleep with a...?" Gosunkugi suddenly decided that it would
be a good idea to be somewhere else right about then.

Dinnertime came. Ranma stared at Akane for any hint, any clue to the truth. Akane seemed to notice his gaze, and avoided looking at him. What was she thinking? Not knowing was driving him crazy. Was there something between them that they weren't telling him about? Or was he letting his imagination run away with himself, away with Akane? How could he find out for sure?

Akane picked up the last of the night's dinner and fed it to P-chan. "Does cute widdle P-chan want the wast shrimp roll now?"

Ranma lost control. The vision of Akane and Ryoga in bed together entered his mind, taunted him, would not go away. He glared at P-chan.

"You pig! How dare you!"

"You had nine shrimp rolls tonight, Ranma," Nabiki said with mild interest. "Who's being the pig here?"

Akane was visibly upset. For a moment, Ranma wasn't sure whether she was about to break down and cry, or to kick him through the ceiling. "I'm... I'm going out for a walk" she said.

"Look, Akane, I..."

Akane shot an angry gaze at Ranma that kept him at a distance. "Alone," she said.


Akane stormed out of the Tendo home and down the street. Anywhere to get away from Ranma's jealousy. She simply couldn't handle it right now. She knew why he acted the way he did. It was because he liked her. He couldn't admit his own feelings, so he had to cover them up by acting like a grade-A jerk. Why? Why do men always act like that, she thought? Why couldn't she meet a man who could just say what he thought?

Nearby, Tatewaki Kuno stood with a box of chocolates, which he held out as Akane approached. "Akane Tendo, please accept this token of my deepest affection and devotion. Thou art truly..."

"Get lost, Kuno, I'm trying to think" Akane said as she kicked Kuno towards the sky and continued walking.


Night fell once again, and Ranma was once again wide awake. Let Ryoga have Akane. He had to be crazy to want a macho chick like her anyway, right? Then why did the idea bother Ranma so much? Why was he so repulsed by the thought of them being together?

Ranma found himself emerging from his room, almost involuntarily, slowly and quietly making his way to the corridor outside of Akane's room. Maybe he would be able to hear something. That brought up the question: If the world's most unfeminine girl was doing it with the world's most unmanly man, just what would it sound like?

Ranma listened. He heard Akane. A rhythmic grunting, very mechanical, like in, out, in, out... Just what you'd expect. All the tenderness and delicacy of a hydraulic press. And from Ryoga, nothing. Also what you'd expect. Too afraid to make even the slightest noise, for fear that it might be misinterpreted.

Ranma could take no more. At that moment, he completely lost any thoughts of whether he really wanted Akane for himself, or whether he would rather let her go off with Ryoga anyway. He was not going to lose to that pig!

Ranma pushed into Akane's bedroom, faster than the speed of thought.


Akane sat on the floor of her bedroom as P-chan watched from the bed. Her anger had been building up all day, and she had to work it off by lifting weights, one in each hand. She sweated and grunted from the exertion. Up, down, up, down...

Without warning, her door burst open with Ranma on the other side. He seemed puzzled, as if expecting something else. She looked at him for an explanation.

"Uh... Akane... it's not what it... I mean..."

Akane suddenly had a better outlet for her anger than her weights. "Get... out... you... animal!"

"Hey, don't call me that!" Ranma protested as he narrowly dodged one of Akane's hand weights.

"If you act like an animal, I'm going to call you an animal! I'm going to treat you like an animal!!" She threw her other hand weight. It caught Ranma hard in the stomach and knocked him back down the stairs.

Unnoticed, P-chan had left the room.


Soun Tendo lay back in the bathtub and relaxed. This was his time. A chance to get away from the dojo's daily chaos for a little while. Nothing could disturb his tranquility. Certainly not the sight of a small black piglet entering the bathroom and jumping in the tub with him, emerging from the tub as a naked and furious Ryoga Hibiki.

Of course, this was not the first time that Soun had witnessed this transformation. He had seen Ryoga change the same way back when Akane had been preparing for her gymnastics competition against Kodachi. His good friend Genma also knew; he had seen Ryoga change back to human form for the very first time when he accidentally tried to cook P-chan at Jusenkyo.

Soun and Genma had discussed the matter and decided not to expose Ryoga's secret. They hoped that the presence of P-chan would make Ranma jealous, persuading him into making a commitment to Akane for fear of losing her. When Ranma and Akane marry, he and Genma would tell P-chan that it was time to leave or be exposed. But until then, they needed all the pressure on Ranma that they could get.

Ryoga quickly dressed while running out of the bathroom. Ranma had once again hurt Akane. Now he was going to hurt Ranma!


Ranma was still reeling from Akane's attack as he picked himself up off the floor. He had been wrong about what he thought he heard from her room. Maybe he had been wrong about other things as well.

Ranma heard Ryoga running toward him, shouting his name in anger. It was fortunate that Ryoga was always honorable enough, or stupid enough, or both, to telegraph his attack. Ryoga charged at Ranma, a simple head-on attack with all the subtlety of a herd of stampeding cattle. Relying on his instinct to time his move, Ranma jumped up a split second before Ryoga would have plowed into him. Instinct was good for something after all.

Ryoga spun around and attacked again. Ranma jumped to the side and did a quick chop to Ryoga's chest, a strike that could have crippled a lesser opponent. If Ryoga even felt the attack, he did not show it. Ryoga was in a frenzy. In this state, it would take a lot to get through to him.

Ryoga lunged forward at Ranma, fist outstretched. Ranma twisted around, letting his opponent's own momentum carry him forward. A kick pushed Ryoga into a wall. Speed was Ranma's advantage. He could easily keep out of the way of most of Ryoga's attacks. Stalemate. It was a fight that could end with Ryoga landing in the pond, or landing outside and wandering off... or it might last for hours, ending only when one of the combatants was exhausted. In fact this same battle between Ranma and Ryoga had been going on forever, it seemed, with no resolution in sight.

Ranma remembered what his Pop had said. "You must understand your opponent completely, Ranma. When you can get inside his head, know what he knows and what motivates him, then and only then can you achieve true victory!" Maybe there was something to that, Ranma thought as he rolled away from another of Ryoga'a attacks. Maybe that's the only way this will ever end.

Akane had come down the stairs. Ryoga turned around, standing in front of her. Ranma and Ryoga stared each other down, each looking for a sign of weakness in the other. Ryoga bared his fang-like teeth and tensed, as if ready to pounce at any second, like an animal. Exactly like an animal, Ranma thought.... and what was it Akane had said? "If you act like an animal, I'm going to treat you like an animal!"

Ranma looked at Ryoga, no longer fooled by his opponent's biology. He had been wrong. Ryoga was not her lover. He was her protector, her guard dog. In and out of pig form, he acted as her pet.

He knew what to do.

"Akane," he said, "I was wrong. I won't go into your room without your permission again. "Call him off."

Ryoga's anger grew. "Call me off?!?!?! What do you think I am, some kind of..." But Akane put her hand on his shoulder.

"That's okay, Ryoga..." she said calmingly. "I... I think he's learned his lesson. No more fighting now, OK? Please?"

There was nothing Ryoga could do. Checkmate. Pop had been right. At that moment it no longer mattered whether Akane knew about P-chan. Ryoga would never be more than her pet no matter what his physical form was.

Ranma started getting another idea. As long as Ryoga was acting like an animal, maybe he should start treating him like one as well...


The next day saw a bright and sunny afternoon. Ranma came home after school. He entered the Tendo household carrying a large grocery bag. "Ranma?" Akane asked.

"Hey, Akane. This is to kinda make up for my being a jerk last night. It's food for l'il P-chan. I talked to this veterinarian Dr. Tofu recommended. He says that we shouldn't be giving people-food to a pet, it ain't good for him. He recommended this brand. Actually it's dog food. He said he never heard of somebody with a pet pig, but this oughtta be the best thing for him. He also wanted you to bring P-chan in for shots and stuff when you get a chance."

"That's so thoughtful, Ranma!" Akane smiled cutely. "Thank you."

"Hey, it's the least I could do, ain't that right little P-chan?" asked Ranma patronizingly. P-chan tried to bite Ranma's finger. "Maybe he ought to get obedience training, or something. You can't let him go around biting people, y'know. Maybe they can teach him to do tricks, too. Wanna learn to fetch the stick, P-chan?"

P-chan shook his head "no". Akane saw, but did not seem to know what it meant. Or if she did know, she did not let on.


The following day, Ryoga was up before the dawn. He had quietly changed back into human form, gotten dressed, and slipped out of the house. Now he was walking again, off on another journey to another unknown destination. Nothing had changed for him. He was still deep in a hole. He still had to keep his pig-curse a secret until he could find a way to remove it. This he was sure of above all else, no woman would ever love him if she knew about the curse he had.

There is a saying, "never be sure of that which you are most sure." Somewhere far away there was a woman named Akari. Someday soon she would meet Ryoga, and try to prove to him how wrong his last thought was.

AUTHOR'S NOTES: Okay, it does seem unlikely, but I was intrigued by the possibility that Akane might have known about P-chan and pretended not to. I could find no definite evidence against this possibility in all the translated issues of Ranma 1/2 so far; the strongest argument against it is that she would have pounded Ryoga is she did find out. My guess would be that Akane's (seeming) inability to see the obvious is just something that Takahashi-sama put in because it was funny, and did not intend for the whole thing to be analyzed as seriously as this; but such is the lot of fandom, and I had fun with it. I hope you did too.

Thanks to Webdragon, Raphael See, and all the other readers who sent me their comments on this story when it appeared on the fanfiction mailing list. Your comments are welcome too!