"It never hurts to help!"
- Eek the Cat



Akane and Ranma looked at their fathers in disbelief at such an outlandish suggestion.

"We think it would be best for you two." Soun cleared his throat, then continued. "Since the moment Ranma arrived here, you two have done nothing but fight and bicker among yourselves. We have waited for over a year for you two to settle your differences and, sad to say, we've seen very little improvement in your relationship."

"But, Pop...!"

"No buts," Genma said. "We've already called the doctor and made an appointment. You two are expected at seven o'clock."

"Dad!" Akane growled with irritation. "Ranma and I don't need...."

Soun cut her off. "We think you do."

"Hey, no way!" Ranma said firmly. "There just ain't no way I'm lettin' some shrink mess around with my head. I got enough problems as it is!"

"Don't argue with your elders, boy!" Genma warned sharply. "As the future heir to the Anything Goes School of Martial Arts, it's your duty to do whatever it takes to make sure that legacy is secure!"

"What does me being your heir have to do with getting along better with Akane? Face it, old man, there's no good reason for me to do this so I ain't going!"

Genma rose to his feet, a look of anger on his face. "You disrespect your father! My friend Soun has given you and me free shelter and food for all this time! We owe him for his generosity and you owe it to your fiancee to try and work out your differences!"

"He is not my fiancee!" Akane screamed.

"How are we supposed to work stuff out when she clobbers me over every little thing?" Ranma said.

"Well how else am I suppose to get something through your thick-headed skull?!?"

"See what I mean? Totally unreasonable!"

"Hmph!" Akane rose to her feet and turned to leave. Ranma stood up and was about to follow suit when their fathers tackled them around their waists and began to sob.

"P-please don't go....!!!" Soun wailed.

"W-We only want what's b-b-best for you two!!!" Genma sniffled.

"Get off me!" Ranma tried to pry his father loose. Akane did the same with Soun. Neither had much success.

"Dad, please!" Akane exclaimed, frustrated.

"Uh uh!" Ranma proclaimed with determination. "No way! I don't care how much you beg! I ain't going and that's it!"

* * *

The wonderful smell of fresh miso soup filled the air as Kasumi gingerly placed a large bowl on the table. "Would you like some soup, Akane?" she asked with a smile.

"Yes, please."

"And you, Father?"

A muffled, vaguely assenting sob came from the direction of Akane's leg.

"Yes, thank you." Akane glowered.

Ranma glared downwards. "Dang it, Pop, I already said I'll go!"

Genma-Panda grunted as he struggled to reach up to get his soup while still clinging to his son's waist.


(A Ranma 1/2 Fanfic)

A combined effort by Megane 6.7 and Gary Kleppe

This is a work of Fiction. All Characters and Landmarks are the
property of Rumiko Takahashi, Shogakukan Video, Kitty Films,
Viz Video, Shonen Sunday, and anyone else who legally owns the

7:03 P.M.

The doctor drummed his fingers on the desk, wondering if his seven o'clock appointment was going to show up. He carefully arranged several case files in order of name and then decided to review his current file again.

It seemed straightforward enough. A boy and a girl forced into marriage by their parents and being sent to him so he could hear their difficulties and try to help them work any problems out.

The doctor rubbed his tired eyes. He was a little sick of these type of cases. He wished he could deal with a real psychological challenge instead of these endless martial disputes. He never approved of arranged marriages, especially since he had nearly been forced into one himself. He thought love was better if it bloomed naturally, with no restrictions or rules to get in the way.

There was a knock at the door. "Come in," the doctor called.

The door opened, and a short-haired teenage girl entered. Another followed behind; her hair was braided into a pigtail, which the first girl used as a rope to drag her along. They stepped up to stand in front of the doctor's desk.

"Uh....Can I help you ladies?" the doctor offered.

The short-haired girl turned to him and bowed respectfully. "My name is Akane Tendo and this is my fiancee Ranma Saotome. We're here for an appointment."

The doctor's eyebrows raised in surprise. "D-Did I hear you correctly?" he stuttered in disbelief. This was the couple he had been waiting for? A lesbian arranged marriage? That was a new one.

Akane started to speak again then looked over at Ranma and blushed. "Oh! It's not what it....I mean....!" Akane quickly scanned the desk and saw a cup of steaming tea. "May I?" she inquired, gesturing towards it.

"Uh... certainly."

Akane picked it up and, without warning, splashed it over Ranma. The doctor was about to protest when, to his shock, he saw that Ranma had changed from a girl into a boy.

"H-How did....." The doctor stammered.

"It's a long story." Akane pulled up a chair in front of his desk and sat down. A moment later, the boy did likewise. "But it really doesn't have anything to do with our problem...."

"Y-Your problem?" the doctor replied, still a little shaken from the abrupt transformation. He straightened up, trying to recover his professional demeanor. "What can you tell me about it?"

"We're here because our parents forced us to be here," Ranma stated bluntly.

"I see." The doctor leaned back against his chair. "They sent you two here, then?"

"They're very stubborn. They want to see us together at all costs. Regardless of how we feel about it," Akane said with mild irritation.

"I see. Well, how *do* you feel about it, Ranma?" the doctor asked the boy who once was a girl.

"I don't feel anything. I just want to go home!" Ranma moaned.

"Ranma!" Akane glared at him.

"No, that's all right, Akane. I want you both to feel you can tell me anything. Since you don't know me, I'm impartial," the doctor said. "So, tell me, Ranma, how do you feel about Akane?"

"Huh?" Ranma suddenly found his face flushing. "Uh, well, she's okay, I guess. A little on the macho side... and she blames me for everything that ain't my fault... oh yeah, and her cooking really needs improvement... I mean, I can't be eating curry the rest of my life now can I?"

"There you go again! Making fun of everything I do! I'm sorry if I can't cook like Ukyo and Shampoo but at least I'm trying my best! You always rub my nose in it when it comes to my cooking, my martial arts, my femininity, everything! What if I made fun of your shortcomings?"

Ranma snorted. "Like what?"

"Well, let's start with your manners! You eat like a pig and you always manage to make an embarrassing situation worse! You constantly flirt with other women and you'll go to any lengths to win a fight when any normal person would have walked away because it was so stupid! 'Martial Arts Tea Ceremony?' 'Martial Arts Cheerleading?' Give me a break! And let's not even get into the time you dressed up as a playboy bunny to compete with Tusbasa...."

"Hey! I do what I can to win, no matter what it takes, because I don't like to lose!" Ranma replied matter-of-factly.

"But what really gets me mad is the way you constantly insult me!" Akane continued angrily. "How do you think I feel when my own fiance calls me unfeminine in front of people?"

"What, you think I'd tell this doctor that you're unfeminine?" Ranma said with a serious face. "Of course I wouldn't!"

"Really?" Akane's expression softened.

"Sure, after all, he can see it for himself!"

Akane planted her fist firmly in Ranma's face.

"Now, now, please don't use your fists for violence!" the doctor quickly admonished. "If you want to express your anger, then hit him with this."

Reaching underneath his desk, he pulled out two foam rubber bats and handed one to Ranma, one to Akane.

"These don't hurt when you hit someone with them but will allow you to release your frustrations."

Ranma suddenly stood up straight and repeated, "These bats won't hurt Akane?"


"No matter how much I hit her with it?"


A strange smile came over Ranma's face as he suddenly stood up and faced Akane, a wicked gleam in his eye.


Without warning Ranma whapped Akane across the face with the foam bat. Akane blinked in surprise but there was no sign of injury as the doctor promised.

"Payback time!!!" Ranma screamed as he began to pummel her with the bat.....


"Genma Saotome! What have you done now?!"

Genma did a quick estimation, and realized that there would be no way to reach the koi pond quickly enough to avoid his wife. "Hello, dear!" he said nervously.

"Don't you 'Hello dear' me. You've arranged for our son to be sent to counseling. Why wasn't I consulted? I am his mother, you know."

"Tendo and I thought it would be best for all involved."

"And where is the honor in depending upon outsiders? As the head of clan Saotome, the responsibility to oversee the family's well-being ought to be yours."

"I am taking the responsibility." Genma nodded in self-approval. "Delegation. That's the key to successful leadership."

Nodoka hmphed.


Mushoko, the receptionist, glanced up from her typing. A group of people had gathered in the waiting area. "Can I help you? she asked cheerfully.

The first of them bowed, causing the giant spatula strapped to her back to bow along with her. "Ran-chan.... er, Ranma... is he in there?"

Mushoko looked at her appointment log. "Why, yes, she is. But they'll be done soon. Would you like to see the doctor after Mr. Saotome is through?" The teenage girl smiled politely and shook her head.

The second visitor brushed a tiny piece of lint from her tight-fitting, high cut Chinese dress. "What spatula girl doing here?"

"Same thing you are, sugar. I'm not letting them force Ran-chan to marry Akane against his will, even if he wants them to."

"Ranma! How dare you take Akane to a place like this!" the third one said.

"Hey there, Ryoga. You with us on this too?"

"I think we all agreed. They no get away with this!"

"Please sign in," Mushoko said brightly. "The doctor will be with you all shortly."


"Whattaya mean, 'pervert'?!" Ranma cried.

The doctor spoke calmly. "You called Ranma that before, Akane. What about his behavior causes you to apply that word to him? What is it that you'd like him to change?"

"He's always jumping over other women!"

"Hey, that's not fair!" Ranma shot back. "Anyway, why would you care?"

"I don't! But we are engaged! How do you think it makes me look when my fiancee has another girl every time I turn around?"

Doctor Hanawa turned to look directly at Akane. "Let's examine what you said, Akane. What is it that you've seen that convinces you of Ranma's infidelity. And are you being honest with yourself about the scope of the problem? Is it really every time you turn around?"

A voice came from beside the doctor. "Nihao, Ranma!" He spun in his chair to see a very shapely young woman sitting on Ranma's lap, tightly snuggled up to him.

"Get offa me, Shampoo!" Ranma yelled.

Akane tossed her drinking water at the woman, who instantly vanished, leaving behind only a cute pink pussycat. "Scat!" she yelled, as she flung the cat out the door.

Mushoko's voice carried from the reception area. "I'm sorry, the veterinarian's office is on the second floor."

Akane got up and refilled her water glass. Hanawa wondered how in the world she had turned a woman into a cat with only a splash of water. He decided he really didn't want to ask. After all, it was his job to project an air of rationality.

He looked down at his notepad; the water had spilled on it, leaving a sizeable wet blotch in the middle of the page. Opening his desk drawer, he fetched a replacement. For some reason, his leg felt heavy. He looked down and saw Ranma firmly attached to it, shivering in fear.

"Oh, sorry about that! He's got a little phobia about cats." Akane pried Ranma off the doctor and dragged him back over to his chair.

A voice faintly echoed from outside. "Your turn, sugar."

Something small and black flew into the room, landing next to Akane. "P-chan!" she exclaimed happily.

"What're you doing here, Porky?" Ranma said snidely. "Hey, Doc, y'know how Akane accuses me of two-timing her? Check this out. This is what she sleeps with."

Akane folded her arms and hmphed. "Honestly, Ranma. Jealous of a housepet?"

Standing on the table next to Hanawa, P-chan gritted his teeth and growled at Ranma. Akane smiled at her pet's attempt to protect her and scooped him up in her arms, cuddling him to her bosom. "Don't let him bother you, P-Chan," she cooed gently.

"H-Hey! Don't touch her there, you perverted pig!" Ranma lunged forward, but Akane swung P-chan away from him.

"Leave him alone, you big bully!" Akane snapped, failing to notice the cup of tea on the doctor's desk until her arm collided with it and its contents spilled over P-Chan.

"Ranma, might you be making a false association here? You seem to think of Akane's pet here as if he were your competition. Perhaps you ought to re-examine your perception of her relationship with P-chan versus hers with you. P-chan, after all, is not a human being." The doctor scribbled on his notepad and then looked up at Ranma for his reaction.

To his surprise, a muscular young man stood where the pig had been, wearing a bandanna -- and nothing else. Akane had her hands around the young man's throat but didn't seem to notice, her attention focused on Ranma. Finally, she turned, blinking in surprise as she finally noticed the young man.

"Ryoga?" she said. "What are you doing here?"

"A-Akane? Uh...this isn't....I mean...." Ryoga blushed several shades of red as he concealed his exposed body behind the couch. "I'm being treated by the doctor here for... uh..."

"Compulsive public nudity?" Ranma offered.

"Uh, yeah. No! Shut up, Ranma!"

Akane could only gape at Ryoga in confusion. Ranma noticed this and smirked. "Quit starin', Akane."

"Huh? Hey! I am not!" Akane spun around to face Ranma, now blushing as furiously as Ryoga.

"Geez, Akane. Do you always gawk at naked guys? First me, and now Ryoga?" Ranma teased, chuckling to himself. "I guess guys like us are just too much man for ya, huh?"

"Why you....!" Akane raised her water glass. "If you're too much man, that's easy to fix." Ranma ducked as she flung a stream of water towards him; it arced over his head, hitting Ryoga instead.

The doctor watched as the water instantly transformed Ryoga; he now looked exactly like P-chan. How in the world could Akane do that? She seemed not to even be paying attention to the boy-turned-pig, glaring instead forcefully at Ranma.

"Akane..." Hanawa returned as best he could to his calm, detached manner. "That was meant for Ranma, wasn't it."

Akane nodded somewhat reluctantly.

"I'm trying to help the two of you work out your problems, but I need a little cooperation from the two of you. You mustn't turn your fiance into an animal."

"Hey, like she could anyway," Ranma snorted. "She has like, zero sex appeal."

Akane reached for the nearest object, which was one of the foam bats, and struck Ranma over the head with it. Ranma picked up another of them and retaliated.

Hanawa sighed, as his two clients erupted into an all-out foam battle. Such were the things that relationship counselors had to deal with. Still, the occasional fight was preferable to dealing with full-blown psychoses.

New voices came from the reception area.

"Ohohohohoho!!!!! Where are you, Ranma darling?"

"Akane Tendo! I come anon to free you from the foul influence of the sorcerer Ranma Saotome!"

Two more teenagers ran into the room, and general chaos erupted. A boy in a kendo gi attacked Ranma while attempting to embrace Akane. A girl in a leotard did the reverse. Ranma and Akane seemed only interested in fending them both off, switching to fists when the bats were found to be ineffective. Hanawa just ducked out of the way.

"Doctor?" Mushoko called from the reception desk. "Should they be charged group rates for this?"


Ranma and Akane walked home through the darkened evening streets.

"What a nuthouse," Ranma said.

"You said it." Akane sighed exhaustedly. "Imagine our fathers thinking that we need psychological counseling. That's crazy."

"Yeah, really. I mean, if we were gettin' married -- which we ain't -- I don't think we'd have any problems that we wouldn't be able to figure out ourselves."

"Uh huh. All we'd need to do is stop doing the things that make us mad at each other. I'd stop hitting you, and you stop insulting me."

"Right, that'd work. Like I'd want to insult an uncute macho chick like you anyway."

Stopping, Akane picked up a convenient garbage can lid and whacked Ranma over the head with it.

Ranma continued walking. "Simple, really."

"Yeah." Akane followed. "No need to make a big deal out of it."

"No need at all."


Akane and Ranma came into their home to the sounds of heated discussion.

"You have failed in your duties to me, both as husband and as father of my son. What kind of man are you, Genma Saotome?"

"You think you're easy to live with, 'dear?' You need to lighten up. Why do you think I went on all those training sessions anyway?"

"How dare you?! Irresponsible lazy oaf!"

"Self-important shrew!"

The two teenagers said nothing as Genma and Nodoka noticed them. They just stared, unyielding in their gazes.

It was payback time.


"Good morning!" Mushoko said. "Can I help you?"

"We're here for... marriage counseling," the forty-ish woman reluctantly admitted.

Behind her, a large panda pulled a sign seemingly out of nowhere that read: We have an appointment.

Mushoko crossed the name Saotome off her list. "The Doctor will be with you shortly."