An alternate universe Ranma 1/2 manga fanfiction
by Gary Kleppe

Any comments of any type will be appreciated.

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.

Part 1: Ranma's Choice


"I'm Ranma Saotome," I said. "My wife and I run the Anything Goes School of Martial Arts. We took over the school from our fathers when we got married."

"Pleased to meet you, Saotome-Sensei," the woman said with practiced politeness. "I am Tanaka Ritsuko. My son Kota is interested in taking some lessons from your school."

"You bet!" said the little kid. "I want to study from Akane Tendo. I've seen her on the TV news. She kicks a--" His mother cut him off, still smiling and trying not to show how embarrassed she was. I tried not to chuckle.

"You're gonna have to study from me first, sport," I said. "Akane teaches the advanced classes. It'll be a while before you're ready for that." My ego was still a little bruised by being reminded of this, even after all this time. But that's the way it had to be. I couldn't take chances
after my injury...

"I'm sorry, Sensei." Mrs. Tanaka was probably working hard to resist the urge to clobber her son. Having kids of my own, I knew what that was like, but I also knew how much fun they could be. "Kota, you are going to have to show proper respect for Saotome-Sensei and his wife, or you won't be able to take lessons from them."

"Hey, don't worry about it," I said. "Actually, though, Akane isn't my wife," I said. "She's my sister in law." Mrs. Tanaka apologized to me again. At that time my wife came in, carrying our youngest and two bags of groceries. I took the groceries from her, and she gave me a peck on the cheek like she always did. She gave a big smile to our visitors.

"Why hello! You must be Mrs. Tanaka and Kota! We spoke on the telephone. I'm Ranma's wife. My name is Kasumi!"


Kasumi went into the kitchen and started putting away groceries. I tried to help, but as usual didn't remember where most of the things were supposed to go. Our family dog came over and, as usual, started to pull on Kasumi's skirt. "Happy, no!" I scolded him.

"I met your old girlfriend at the market today," Kasumi said to me, leaving me confused. "You know, the one who's married to your friend Tatewaki Kuno. She's really such a sweet girl." She smiled at me, and I realized I was being teased. "We ought to have them over for dinner sometime."

"Oh, her. I guess she is now, but she was anything but sweet to me when I first met her." I started to think about those early days. I once heard of an old Chinese curse, 'May you live in interesting times.' That's how it used to be for me. I'd picked up that curse, along with another more obvious Chinese curse, when Pop had taken me to the cursed springs of Jusenkyo all those years ago. After that, my life was about as interesting as a life could possibly get. Not any more, though.

Nerima had used to be a nuthouse, now it was a quiet suburban area. Not that weird stuff didn't still happen here, but in the old days I was usually in the middle of it. Now it was someone else every time, usually Akane.

Yep, for me it was a quiet, peaceful life these days. I had a job that's pretty easy and a lot of fun. I had a nice house, four wonderful kids, and a wife that just about any guy would envy. Sure ought to be enough to make a guy happy. Though Kasumi had had to take care of the dojo for all these years, though she had given birth to two children and adopted two more, she still looked every bit as pretty as she did when I first met her...


"Pick the one you want," Soun Tendo said. "She's your fiancee."

Wouldn't let me pick 'none of the above', I thought, would he? Not that his girls weren't attractive. Each one was beautiful in her own way. But I had no desire to decide the rest of my life right then and there. Not only that, thanks to the cursed spring Pop had knocked me into, I was a girl myself at the moment. Deciding whom to marry was the last thing on my mind.

"Oh, he wants Akane," said Kasumi.

"Definitely," said Nabiki. It did not do wonders for my self-esteem to have these girls trying to pawn me off on each other.

Akane put her hand on Kasumi's shoulder. "You're being too modest, sis. Ranma, here is the ideal wife. She's sweet, even-tempered, she's a whiz at housework, and can she ever cook!"

"Akane, no!" Kasumi protested. "You mustn't do this!" She seemed about to disprove the part about her being even-tempered.

"Kasumi," Mr. Tendo was calm but firm, "I said that Ranma could choose any one of you three, and I meant it. For the honor of our family, you will abide by whatever his choice is."

"But it isn't right! Father! ..." Kasumi stopped in resignation, still knowing that she was right, but realizing that nothing she said would sway her father. "... Yes, father. I promise." She's kept that promise to this day.

"Good. And that goes for the other two of you as well."

"If none of you wanna marry me then you don't gotta," I said. "Goodbye! I'm going back to China to find a way to change back for good!" I could tell when I wasn't wanted.

"Have something to eat before you go." Akane thrust a plate of noodle casserole in front of me. I *was* pretty hungry at that moment...

"Delicious, isn't it?" It was. "Kasumi cooked it! Now try some of this curry dish that I made." Akane gave me a bowl of some indescribable-looking substance; it looked like someone else had already eaten it first.

"If we're doing taste tests here, shouldn't there be one more?" I asked. Nabiki just raised a single eyebrow, giving me a look that suggested I had to be joking to expect that she'd ever cook anything. Kasumi looked on helplessly, as if she desperately wanted to say something but couldn't. I popped a spoonful of Akane's whatever it was in my mouth.

Eight different tastes assaulted by mouth, each of them worse than the last. The flavor of chocolate pickle juice gave way to the combination of blue cheese dressing and cough medicine. The offending substances travelled unstoppably down through my stomach, rerouting my intestines into the kind of path that Ryoga Hibiki might have taken, and turning everything on the way to mud. I felt like I needed a doctor right then, to sign my death certificate.

"Oh, honestly, it wasn't THAT bad!" Akane was a little annoyed at my reaction to her cooking but seemed to be satisfied that I'd gotten the message. Kasumi and I looked at each other in vain, both of us stuck in a situation neither of us wanted. I never actually declared a choice, but from that time on it was implicitly understood that I was engaged to Kasumi.

Some dialog for this story was taken from the original Ranma 1/2
series, translation and English rewrite by Matt Thorn and Gerard Jones
for Viz comics. I also ripped off some of the "Rainy Day Ipecacs" from
Mystery Science Theater 3000 ("Teenage Caveman" episode).