FEEL MY RAGE; TATTOON RANMA
Disclaimer: Ranma 1/2, Tattoon Master and all others belong to their respective creators. The story takes place sometime after the Dragon Whisker episode.
Introduction: After re-reading my original Tattoon Ranma story and all the comments made on the series, I thought about some of the ideas I had discarded or forgotten when I wrote it. Despite the praises I received, I still got requests for a rewrite. I guess you can call the first series the OAV and this new one the TV series. Feel My Rage: Tattoon Ranma will still be based on the idea of what would happen if Ranma was pushed too far. Things will be moving a little more slowly as I describe the consequences of the Nerima Crew’s actions against our pigtailed hero and how one magical girl can change everything.
< >: Thoughts
It was a normal day in Nerima. Well, as normal as it gets as a certain pigtailed martial artist was once again facing a life-or-death situation... Akane Tendo’s cooking.
“Well?! Aren’t you going to eat it?!” Akane said angrily as she glared at her fiancé.
Ranma looked down at the misshapen blob that she claimed to be sukiyaki. Actually, it looked like something out of a horror movie, but unlike Hollywood special effects, this danger was all too real. If one looked closely enough, one could see the gelatinous mound breathe. The smell was so overpowering, that he was on the verge of passing out.
That was something that Ranma couldn’t afford to do, especially with Soun and Genma standing behind him. If he did pass out, those two dopes would probably shove that slop down his throat to please Akane. As he tried to think of a way out of this mess, his father and the Tendo patriarch continued to goad him to eat the dinner Akane had made.
“Well, what are you waiting for, boy? Eat it! Show some honor!” Genma said as he pushed his son closer to the plate.
“One should enjoy the hard-work of one’s fiancée! In fact, it is not a privilege, it‘s your duty!” Soun insisted as he also tried to force Ranma to consume what may be his last meal.
In his mind, the heir to the Anything Goes weighed his options.
<Hmmm... which would hurt more? Akane’s mallet or her cooking? Damn! Why do I have to eat it? Just because I gave compliments to Ukyo after she made me lunch, Akane gets mad and tries to show that she can do better! Yeah, right! I never saw Kasumi cry so much before. Akane totally destroyed the kitchen. Now how do I get out of this..?>
“You better eat some now! I worked hard to make you this!” Akane said, which brought Ranma back to the present.
With their fathers glaring down on him, he let off a tired sigh, picked up a pair of chopsticks and reached toward the plate. Just when the wooden tips were about to touch the blob, he paused. In his mind, he heard the words duty, fiancée, and honor, over and over again. Those words had been pressed into him so many times, he wondered why he hadn’t gotten sick of them by now. Duty? Hah! Like he wanted this Unite the Schools crap in the first place! Fiancée? He didn’t even get any say in that, nor did he plan to be hooked up with an Uncute Tomboy who thought she could cook! Honor? Yeah right! Like his father and his friend had any to begin with! It was all a big lie! A joke that the gods had decided to play on him. And why the Hell had he been going along with it all this time?
The ends of the chopsticks began to darken, and that was when Ranma made the first real decision of his life. He quietly put down the wooden utensils, stood up, and walked out of the dining room.
“Ranma! Where are you going?!” Genma called back as he stood up. “Get back here!”
“Yes! Come back here and eat the dinner your fiancée made for you!” Soun said as he stood by his friend.
The heir to the Anything Goes did not hear them, or perhaps he did, but didn’t care. He continued to walk away without a word. However, a certain individual was not going to let this go.
“RANMA, WHERE DO YOU THINK YOU’RE GOING?! GET BACK HERE BEFORE I GET MAD, YOU BAKA!”
Ranma paused when he heard Akane’s screech, then shrugged his shoulders without turning to face her. Then he said in a slight growl, “Go ahead and do what you do best Akane. I don’t care anymore.”
He then exited the room, leaving two stunned fathers and a steaming mad girl.
Watching from the opposite side of the dining room, Kasumi and Nabiki stared at his back as he left the Tendo home. For the middle daughter of Soun Tendo, this was certainly a first. In all the time Ranma had been living with her family, she had never seen him actually walk away from anything. Where was the arrogant and crude remarks that usually followed whenever Akane cooked? Where was the sarcasm and the habitual foot-in-mouth reaction? Wasn’t he supposed to cave in to the demands of her father and his to please her little sister? Had he actually learned how to handle a situation without resorting to that ‘Ranma always wins’ and ‘martial arts can solve anything’ attitude? This was not good. If he was actually becoming independent, then that meant that her control over him was in jeopardy. That would never do. She would have keep a close eye on him.
As for Kasumi, she was also shaken by Ranma’s change in behavior. She had never expected for him to simply disregard her sister with such ease. After all the times he had defended her and came to her rescue, his sudden indifference was disturbing. And then his last words came echoing back into her mind.
Did he really not care anymore?
Ranma sighed as he walked down the street, no knowing nor caring where he was going. At this point, his depression would have made Ryoga seem like the Sunshine Boy. But it wasn’t because he left Akane in a rage. Actually, her disposition was not high on his list. He just wanted to make sense of the mess his life was and where he was going.
< Hell, why do I have to pay, just because Akane can’t cook if her life depended on it? She should face facts and stay out of the kitchen. I don’t see why I have to be poisoned. So what if I won’t eat it? It’s not like the world’s gonna end if I don’t. Man, I wonder why I even put with all the craziness, especially when it involves a girl?>
At that moment, a certain, purple-haired girl on a bicycle came diving down at him from out of nowhere. In his mood, Ranma didn’t even bother to dodge as he already knew who it was.
Ranma found himself flat on his back as Shampoo jumped off her bike and tackled him to the sidewalk with one of her usual glomps. She cuddled close to him and smiled while nuzzling against his chest.
“Airen happy to see Shampoo, yes?”
“Oh! Shampoo so happy! Shampoo want to...?” The Amazon stopped gushing when Ranma’s response finally registered in her mind. She looked up and saw the scowl on Ranma’s face. Unlike the usual expressions of anger that she was accustomed to, this appearance was more intense. “Airen?”
Ranma growled a bit as he roughly pushed her off his chest and stood up. After dusting himself off, he glared at Cologne’s great-granddaughter with disdain. “Get this through that empty head of yours. I ain’t your husband. I never was, and I never will be. So leave... me... alone!” He said the last part with such finality that it actually made a chill run down the girl’s spine. She looked down at his right hand and saw it ball up into a fist. The cracking of knuckles made her uneasy and she could feel his anger rising. He wasn’t actually thinking of striking her, his devoted Amazon wife... was he? Certainly he was mad in the past over her overtures toward him, but she had figured that eventually she would wear him down and win his heart. But now,
With those words, he turned about and walked away, leaving a confused and somewhat scared warrior maiden. Something about her beloved was different and she was not certain that it was something she would like. A tear started to form in one of her eyes, but she angrily wiped it away, since a true Amazon did not weep over a minor setback. That’s what it was. Ranma would be back to normal tomorrow, and she would be waiting for him with open arms.
With that in mind, she got back on her bicycle and headed home.
At the Ucchan’s...
“Here you go Ran-chan, one seafood special, just the way you like it.” Ukyo said as she flipped the okonomiyaki onto a plate in front of him.
“Thanks Ucchan.” He looked down at the delicious meal that was before him, but didn’t feel quite as enthusiastic as he usually did whenever he ate his best friend’s cooking. It wasn’t laced with some kind of potion or poison like Shampoo’s or Kodachi’s. And it wasn’t some kind of toxic sludge that Akane always dished out. So what was wrong? Instead of attacking it with gusto, he just started picking at his dinner, only nibbling at it now and then.
This concerned the okonomiyaki chef. It wasn’t like her best friend and fiancé to be so listless. Where was the arrogance and egotistical Ranma who never let anything get him down? And she thought Ryoga was the king of depression.
“What’s wrong Ran-chan?”
Ranma sighed as he took one last bite, then pushed away the plate of mostly uneaten okonomiyaki. “I’m not... hungry.”
“Huh? Since when are YOU not hungry, Ranma-honey? Oh no! Did Akane try to feed you one her homemade disasters again? Is that why you’re...”
He shook his head and waved it off. “Nah, it’s not that. I mean, she did try to make me eat something, but I didn’t. Even when her father and Pops tried to force it down my throat, I never took a bite.”
“Whew! I was worried there for a moment.” Ukyo commented. Though her Ran-chan had only taken a few bites of her okonomiyaki, that was a lot better than eating one bite of Akane’s so-called cooking. “I might have ended up a widow before being a bride...”
Ranma became uneasy at the mention of their engagement. Sure she was his fiancée, but he didn’t want to be reminded of it. After having Soun and Genma harp on him about the pledge to unite the schools and Shampoo always glomping on her ‘airen,’ he didn’t need to be told about his...
“... after all, I am the cute fiancee, and I for one would never try to poison my future husband like that. I mean, Akane should just give up trying to cook.”
“Yeah. Say Ucchan, would you mind not...?”
“I mean, come on! She’s supposed to feed her husband and family, not send them to an early grave. Don’t worry about our life together, Ran-chan. I’ll make certain that you’ll have good things to eat and our kids will too.”
“That’s nice Ucchan, but...”
“And I’ll make sure that hussy Shampoo and that nutjob Kodachi never come near you. I mean, they’re not even engaged to you and they have the NERVE to say that you belong to them. I’m the fiancée, not them!”
“Oh, we’re going to be so happy together. I can just see it now. It’ll be a really nice house, with a restaurant beside it, and two, maybe three wonderful kids. I was thinking maybe a couple of boys and a girl...”
Ranma shook his head resignedly and decided to leave. Without saying a word, he got up and departed.
“... so what do you think Ran-chan? Should we have the wedding tomorrow? Ran-chan?” Ukyo came out of her daydream to see that he was no longer there.
< Crud! I thought for sure that Ucchan would give me some peace, but I guess I was wrong!> He angrily kicked an empty can on the road, making it ricochet off the side of a building and down the street. < Why is it that all the girls in my life cause me nothing but trouble? What did I do to deserve all of this? I didn’t ask to be engaged to my best friend, an Amazon and an Uncute Tomboy. Hell, I didn’t even ask to be engaged period! I don’t think this day could get any worse.>
“Foul sorcerer Ranma Saotome! Today is the day that I free Akane Tendo and the pig-tailed girl from your evil clutches!”
<Of course. > He turned around to see the Blue Blunder rushing toward him with his bokken. He immediately sidestepped the charge and extended a foot, causing Kuno to trip and fall flat on his face. However, just as one headache was taken care of, another one showed up. Out of the corner of his left eye, Ranma caught the glint of metal and bent backward. Several sharp implements whizzed by his face and stuck in something else, namely a wannabe samurai’s rump.
THOK! THOK! THOK! THOK!
Ranma immediately went into a stance as a certain Hidden Weapons Master came onto the scene. Believing that he had finally struck down his biggest obstacle to Shampoo’s love, Mousse gloated over the prone form of Tatewaki. As always, he had his glasses on his forehead, rather than in front of his eyes.
“At last! I’ve finally defeated you, Ranma Saotome! Shampoo will finally acknowledge my victory and...” Mousse stopped in mid-gloat when he felt a finger poking him on the right shoulder. He turned around, lowered his glasses and...
Apparently, Ranma would hit a man wearing glasses.
As the myopic martial artist was sent tumbling away, Ranma began to feel his anger rising again. This day had already gone from bad to worse from the moment he woke up. His father and his friend were getting more and more obsessed with that stupid pledge. Akane had been giving him even more grief with her cooking and temper. Shampoo didn’t even have a clue as to how he felt about being treated like some kind of trophy. Even his friend Ukyo didn’t understand what he really wanted. And if that wasn’t bad enough, he had morons after him for those very same girls. First Kuno, and now Mousse. And if calamities came in threes, then all he was missing was...
“RANMA, PREPARE TO DIE!!!”
The Lost Boy had actually managed to find Ranma for once as he rushed toward him, intent on pounding him to a pulp. He was P-chan at the time when Akane came into her room and started crying over how that jerk Ranma had refused her cooking. The sight had Ryoga infuriated and he immediately set out to make him pay. By sheer luck, he actually made a beeline toward his most hated rival.
“How dare you insult Akane’s cooking!” He shouted as he launched a series of savage punches at Ranma.
As he blocked and countered each of his rival’s attacks, Ranma felt his rage rise a few more notches. Unlike Kuno and Mousse, Ranma did have a measure of respect toward the directionally-challenged boy, since he did feel partially responsible for his Jusenkyo Curse. That was the main reason why he never told Akane the truth about her pet P-chan, never mind the fact that Ryoga used that curse to take advantage of him and sleep in her bed. Now this idiot was attacking him, just because he wouldn’t eat her cooking? That was just plain stupid. And speaking of stupid, guess who decided to attack Ranma again?
“What is this I hear? It is not enough that you hold Akane Tendo under your heinous spell, but you dare to mock the culinary skills of the lovely tigress? I shall not stand for it! Have at thee!”
Despite the fact that his rear was in major pain, Kuno attacked Ranma’s back. His target however, shifted at the last second, and the bokken struck Ryoga in the face. At the same time, Ranma pivoted on one foot and sent a hard roundhouse to the side of Kuno’s face. The pigtailed boy just managed to swerve to the right as Mousse decided to rejoin the fray.
“I’VE GOT YOU NOW, RANMA!”
Swinging a heavy mace, the Hidden Weapon Master felt the satisfying impact of metal on someone’s head. Unfortunately for him, it was Kuno’s and not his intended target. However, he still kept swinging, hoping that he’d nail the right blur, (his glasses had been knocked off from Ranma’s punch). Ranma’s other two opponents also kept on fighting.
At this time, Ranma’s ridiculously high tolerance levels were about to be exceeded. A red aura began to form around him. At first, it was just a faint flicker. Then it started to get brighter and the air around him became warmer. His emotions went from depressed, to resigned, to irritated, and then finally... he snapped.
“YOU ASSHOLES! I HAVE HAD IT! I’M NOT GOING TO TAKE THIS ANY MORE! LEAVE... ME... ALONE!”
At that moment, Kuno, Mousse and Ryoga had a glimpse of what true rage was like as Ranma let loose with one massive blast of ki energy. All were enveloped in the red light as Genma’s son released enough power to level a city block.
Ranma was tired, so very tired as he trudged into the Tendo home. He didn’t know where he got the power that totaled his enemies and reduced several buildings to rubble, nor did he care at the moment. All he wanted was some peace and quiet, if only for a short while. It was late and he didn’t expect anyone to be up. That suited him just fine. Now all he had to do was get to his room, crawl into his futon and forget that this day had ever happened...
“RANMA, WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN?!”
All of a sudden, the lights turned on, revealing an irate Akane, two very obsessive fathers, Nabiki and Kasumi. And the looks that they were giving him were not at all encouraging.
“Ranma, how dare you leave your fiancee like that?!” Genma said as he chided his ungrateful son.
“You insulted my little girl, and I expect an apology this instant!” Soun said as the first vestiges of his Demon Head began to show.
Ranma growled a bit. He definitely did not want this. He had already been through Hell and he didn’t need any more grief tonight.
At that moment, Akane stomped up toward him, reared back and gave him a hard slap.
Ranma turned the other cheek, then glared at her. “WHAT WAS THAT FOR?!”
Akane snorted. “Hmpf! You won’t eat my cooking, but you’ll eat Ukyo’s or Shampoo’s! You went to see them, didn’t you? Pervert!”
“It’s just as I thought! You’re nothing but a jerk and a perverted one at that! I worked hard to cook you dinner, and this is the thanks I get!”
These words of course, caused both fathers to go into their Outrage Modes.
“HOW DARE YOU TWO-TIME MY DAUGHTER!” Soun raged as he went into his Full Demon Head.
“Ranma, you bring shame to our family! Oh, what did I do to deserve such a son who has no honor!” Genma lamented.
“Admit it Ranma! You’re nothing but a pervert!”
“APOLOGIZE TO MY DAUGHTER RIGHT NOW!”
“If you had any honor, then you’d do the right thing and marry Akane right now!”
“YOU WILL SAY YOU’RE SORRY AND MARRY AKANE!”
“IT IS YOUR DUTY!”
Ranma put his hands to his ears in an attempt to block out the noise, but Akane, Genma and Soun continued to verbally hammer away. That feeling of utter rage began to build once again and the three didn’t know that they close to a potentially explosive reaction. Then Akane pushed him over the top.
“YOU DUMMY! LOOK AND LISTEN TO ME WHEN I’M TALKING TO YOU!” When Ranma didn’t comply, Akane came out with her hammer and said, “RANMA NO BAKA!”
At that point, Ranma snapped for the second time.
Akane lost her grip on her hammer when a fist came crashing into her face. She was sent flying backward with such force, Genma and Soun were knocked off their feet when she crashed into them. She was barely conscious as she was in a state of utter shock, as was everyone else in the house.
Ranma had struck her.
Her face near the right eye was swelling up and she could feel a trickle of blood coming down her cheek. However, the physical damage was secondary compared to the emotional trauma she was feeling. He had hit her. He had actually hit her!
Ranma stood with his arm still extended and his fist clenched and trembling. His expression was not that of apology or shock over what he had done, but one of grim satisfaction. Luckily for Akane, he had pulled his punch at the last moment, otherwise she wouldn’t have survived. He wasn’t smiling, but he wasn’t sorry for what he did. There was a long stretch of silence, as no one dared say anything that might set Ranma off again. Then finally, he lowered his fist and unclenched it while saying in a quiet tone...
Kasumi was the first to come out of her stupor over what had happened as she responded. “What?”
Ranma said nothing as he just walked passed Akane, Soun, Genma, went up the stairs and into the guest room. There was a series of noises that was heard, then another long stretch of silence.
After several minutes, while Kasumi was tending to her sister’s injuries, her father and Genma went up to confront Ranma. What they found was an open window and an empty closet where his traveling pack used to be stored in.
True to his words, Ranma had given up.
Meanwhile, a lone figure stood on a rooftop. The person was dressed head-to-toe in a heavy cloak and other concealing wear. The individual watched with interest as Ranma hopped rooftops while carrying a heavy backpack. Then the person took out a piece of parchment with a child’s handprint on it and said...
“I found him...”
To be continued...
Well, that’s the first chapter of FMR. A lot of people had complained that the original Tattoon Ranma chapter one had followed the first Tattoon Master episode too closely, and I hope this rewrite satisfies all of that. In any case, in the next episode, we will be introduced to Balla and some more violence, as well as some changes compared to the first series. See you then!