Dual Destinies
     The characters depicted in this story are not mine. Ranma 1/2 and all 
other related characters belong to Rumiko Takahashi. I have written 
Dual Destinies purely for entertainment.
<>: Thoughts
                                 Chapter One
                             A Change in Character
     Ranma Saotome was busy nursing the bump on his head as he and 
Akane were walking to Furinkan High. As usual, Ranma was traveling 
via the fence as Akane walked on the sidewalk. She was still very angry 
with Ranma over the events of yesterday. It was made even worse when 
he had landed after being sent skyward by Akane's mallet. Ranma 
winced as he thought back to that day.
     Ranma had almost reached terminal velocity as he spied where he 
was about to land. It was a shopping mall that was in downtown Tokyo 
and he could only watch helplessly as the skylight became closer…
     On the bottom floor of the mall, Tatewaki Kuno was standing near 
the wishing fountain of the mall. He was silently brooding as to how he 
had so far failed to gain the affections of Akane Tendo and the pig-
tailed girl.
     "Oh! The path of true love does not run smooth indeed! For many 
months, I, the Great Tatewaki Kuno, the Blue Thunder of Furinkan High, 
have yet to free the beautiful Akane Tendo and the pig-tailed girl from 
the evil clutches of the vile Ranma Saotome! How can this be? Am I not 
worthy to receive their love? Why has the fiend not fallen beneath my 
righteous blade? Oh Kami-sama! Give me a sign that all my efforts have 
not been in vain! Show me that there is still hope!"
     Kuno suddenly looked up and saw something crash through the 
skylight and come down into the fountain with a tremendous splash. The 
crowds nearby scattered to avoid the falling glass and debris as the 
kendoist stared in puzzlement at whatever had landed into the cold 
waters. A minute later, something stood up while sputtering and Kuno's 
eyes took on a romantic haze!
     "Ah! Behold! The pig-tailed goddess arises from the waters like 
Aphrodite! Surely this must be a sign from the heavens! She has come 
to me on the wings of love! My wish has been granted! Come to me my 
     Ranma-chan became thoroughly disgusted as she saw Kuno 
splashing toward her. "Get lost Kuno!" She sent a punch at Kuno's jaw, 
followed by a roundhouse kick to the midsection.
     The so-called Blue Thunder was sent flying backward into the 
waters, but was instantly on his feet again. "Oh my love!" He came at her 
     Ranma-chan sighed as she knew that this was going to be one of 
those days. Exiting the fountain, she bolted down the line of shops, 
hoping to lose her unwanted admirer. However, Kuno was nothing, if 
not persistent. The chase was set at a frantic pace as Ranma-chan just 
barely managed to stay out of Kuno's reach.
     When they reached a sporting goods store, the red-haired martial 
artist decided to make use of the equipment there. Grabbing a baseball 
bat, she swung around and delivered a hard blow to Kuno's temple. 
However, due to his hard head, Kuno did not go down. Geez! I knew that 
Kuno was a blockhead, but I didn't think he was that dense! It took 
several whacks and a soccer ball kicked to the groin before Kuno would 
finally go down. After looking at his prone body for a minute, Ranma-
chan decided that now would be a good time to exit the scene.
     A minute later, Ranma emerged from the men's restroom, after 
using the hot water tap to change back into his male form. It was then 
that he saw another sight that made him feel sick.
     Kodachi was carrying a small bag of items when she spotted her 
'Ranma-sama.' Instantly, she dropped her bag and started running 
toward him. As she sped forward, she brought out her ribbon and began 
twirling it. "Ranma darling! What a coincidence, meeting you here! No! 
It must be fate that brought you to me! Come to me, my love!"
     Ranma was in no mood to deal with another member of the Kuno 
family. Turning on his heel, he began running as if a demon was after 
him (and with Kodachi that wasn't far from the truth). His skin began to 
crawl as he heard her insane laughter behind him. It got louder as she 
quickly closed the gap between them.
     "Go away, you crazy chick!" Ranma shouted as put on the speed.
     Kodachi lashed out several times with her ribbon, hoping to ensnare 
her quarry with it. "You can't escape destiny my love! We were meant 
for each other!"
     <Damn! Things just can't get any worse!> Ranma zigzagged 
frantically, trying to avoid being tripped up by the gymnast's ribbon. It 
was at that time, Ranma's hopes for a peaceful end to the chaos were 
dashed. He saw Kuno charging at him with his bokken held at the ready.
     "Ranma Saotome! What have you done with my pig-tailed goddess?!" 
The insane kendoist leapt at his rival and began wildly slashing in an 
attempt to relieve Ranma of the burden of having a head.
     The pig-tailed martial artist was getting more steamed at his 
predicament. <NOW, things can't get any worse!>
     As if on cue, Ryoga appeared near the scene of the battle. He looked 
around and scratched his head. <Wait a minute! This doesn't like the 
bathroom!> After that fight with Ranma earlier, Ryoga had later 
transformed and had taken the wrong turn while looking for the 
bathroom at the Tendo dojo. He soon noticed the fight going on 
between Ranma, Kuno and Kodachi. After listening in on Kodachi's 
lustful comments about her beloved during the melee, Ryoga came to a 
conclusion. Of course, it was the wrong one.
     <Why that cad! First Shampoo, now Kodachi! How dare he treat 
poor Akane like that? He'll pay!> With these thoughts, Ryoga ran 
toward the fight with murder in his eyes. "RANMA, PREPARE TO 
     Ranma looked to his left and saw an enraged Ryoga charging. <Oh 
no! And I thought things couldn't get worse!> Dodging a vicious punch 
by the lost boy, he leapt high to avoid a ribbon and bokken strike by the 
Kuno siblings. 
     Ryoga removed several headbands and launched them at his foe. At 
the same time, Kodachi lashed out with her ribbon. Luckily for Ranma, 
the ribbon got in the way of Ryoga's bandannas. Kodachi watched in 
shock as her favorite ribbon was sliced to… ribbons. She promptly 
retaliated by lobbing a few dozen of her spiked clubs at the lost boy. 
     "How dare you destroy my favorite ribbon?! You peasant!"
     "Huh?" Ryoga looked at Kodachi in confusion, then he saw several 
items being thrown at him. "Yaaaahhhh!" Ryoga desperately jumped and 
dodged, hoping to evade the deadly projectiles.
     Meanwhile, with some of the pressure taken off him, Ranma was 
mopping the floor with Kuno. Every slash, thrust or parry the kendoist 
would make at his opponent, Ranma would counter with punches and 
kicks. Each blow made a lasting impression on Kuno, although it was 
Kuno's pride, (or stupidity) which kept him from falling beneath his 
foe's assault. Ranma was just about to unleash the Chestnut Fist when 
another participant entered the scene.
     Mousse was busy looking at a city map in one hand, while holding a 
takeout box in the other. <Darn it! Why can't they make the words on 
these maps bigger?> Mousse squinted at the map, trying to determine 
where he was. It was at that time that he heard a familiar voice. Looking 
to one side, he saw large crowds of people were gathering around an 
area where four people were engaged in what appeared to be an all-out 
brawl. It was at that point that he spied the object of Shampoo's 
     Mousse looked up and saw Ranma deliver four hundred and ninety-
seven punches at Kuno. The kendoist found himself flung backwards 
after the last of the blows hit home. Just after Kuno had been dealt with, 
Mousse saw Ryoga charge up his battle aura and launch a chi blast at 
     Kodachi used a cartwheel to dodge the attack. Ranma however, was 
caught unawares as the green fireball hit him in the back and sent him 
sprawling. While he was lying painfully on his stomach on the floor, 
Ryoga continued his battle with Kuno's sister. 
     Mousse grinned as he realized that he had an excellent opportunity 
to finish off his greatest obstacle to Shampoo's heart. He set down his 
takeout order and leapt toward the fallen Saotome, intent on delivering 
a quick deathblow.
     Ranma was just shaking his head, when he saw a looming shadow 
coming toward him. Quickly summoning up what remaining strength he 
had, he rolled to his right, just as Mousse launched a barrage of 
daggers, shurikens and other sharp implements. The projectiles all 
stuck into the tiled floor as Ranma got to his feet. Seeing that it was 
Mousse who was now attacking him, Ranma frowned. He took a quick 
look behind him and saw Ryoga engaged in battle with Kodachi. He also
saw Kuno getting up, no doubt to attack him again. With Mousse added 
to the fray, it was apparent that Ranma had to end this fiasco.
     As twin blades popped out of Mousse's sleeves, Ranma began to 
radiate calm as he began leading his new opponent toward the place 
where Kodachi was battling Ryoga. Mousse constantly slashed with his 
arm blades as Ranma began leading him in a spiral. Kuno at the time had 
recovered and began slashing at Ranma as well. Between the two of 
them attacking him at once, Ranma knew they had built up a lot of anger 
and battle auras.
     Ryoga and Kodachi had also built up considerable amounts of hot 
chi as they neared to where the others were. They got within striking 
range when Ranma had completed the spiral.
     The resulting tornado that was the product of cold chi meeting with 
hot chi sent Mousse, Ryoga, and the Kuno siblings into the air. The 
crowds of people scattered as the high-speed winds blew in all 
directions. Many pieces of merchandise were swept up into the 
cyclone. Several store windows buckled and shattered as various items 
crashed into them. The entire spectacle made Hurricane Andy seem 
like a light breeze.
     Ranma looked on with satisfaction, as four of his usual irritants were 
sent upward and out the open skylight. After the tornado had died down, 
the heir to the Saotome School of Anything Goes Martial Arts watched 
four dots in the sky plummet toward the horizon. Letting out a sigh of 
relief, Ranma looked at his surroundings. The entire mall was a mess. It 
was at that time that he decided to take his leave. <I'll be damned if I 
have to pay for all this!> Rushing to the nearest exit, Ranma jumped 
onto a roof and headed back toward the Tendo dojo. 
Present time…
     After that disastrous encounter, the pigtailed boy was very careful 
not to set off his short-tempered fiancée. As he ran across the fence, he 
began wondering what else was going to go wrong. It was at that 
moment that a familiar bicycle came down from above and a pink and 
purple blur launched itself from it, promptly glomping onto Ranma with 
a vise-like grip.
     "Nihao Ranma!" Shampoo greeted as the two of them tumbled to the 
street. "You glad to see Shampoo, yes?"
     As usual, Ranma was less than ecstatic. "Uh… couldn't be happier." 
It was then that Akane promptly stomped on his face, leaving her shoe's 
imprint across his nose.
     Akane turned and smile a false smile. "I'm going on ahead Ranma." 
She said with sarcasm. "Have fun you two!" She then stalked off in the 
direction of Furinkan High.
      "Akane! Wait up!" Ranma tried to get up, but Shampoo was unwilling 
to let go and began squeezing him even tighter.
      "Ranma no go school! Stay with Shampoo!"
      "Come on Shampoo! Let go of me!"
      "Shampoo want to stay with one who save her from Ghost Cat!"
      "Hey! It was… " Ranma paused as he recalled the image of the white 
spectral feline. His body shuddered at the image. Never in all his life 
was he so gripped with fear as he was, when he went to save Shampoo 
from being married to that thing. Of course, Mousse did not make 
things easy for him at that time. Ranma had almost failed in his mission 
to save Shampoo from the spell of the Ghost Cat, because of his 
     "It what?" Shampoo asked.
     Ranma struggled as he tried to answer. He had assumed that he had 
merely gone to save a friend from a horrible fate. Nothing more. But 
after seeing Shampoo's eyes in that cage, he wasn't so sure that it 
wasn't just that. 
     "It was my pleasure. Shampoo could you please let me go? I really 
can't be late!" Please?"
     Shampoo looked lovingly into her beloved's eyes and said, "Okay 
Ranma! Shampoo sorry." With that, Shampoo released her hold and 
went to pick up her bicycle.
     Ranma stared in disbelief. It had never been that easy to get her to 
release him before. He stared at her as she mounted her bike.
     Shampoo turned around and said. "Maybe see later?"
     "Uh… sure." Ranma replied as She pedaled away. Ranma was then 
left alone with his thoughts. 
     After saving Shampoo, Ranma had found himself subjected to 
Shampoo's gratitude for her rescue. She had become far more 
affectionate lately. This time however, it wasn't the same uninhibited 
manner that she usually exhibited. Instead, the fear of losing Ranma had 
made her seem more serious. Every time she would glomp onto him, 
she would do so as if she feared that if she let go she would lose him. 
Whenever Ranma would refuse her cooking, her eyes reflected her 
pain, instead of the usual conspiratory look or anger. Yesterday was a 
prime example. When he had returned to the dojo that day, Ranma 
found himself once more the target of Akane's fury….
The previous day…
     "Man! I thought I'd never get rid of those jerks!" Ranma said to 
himself as he hobbled toward the dojo. After using the Hiryu Shoten Ha 
to deal with four headaches, mainly Kuno, Kodachi, Ryoga and Mousse, 
Ranma had later begun feeling the injuries he had sustained during the 
debacle at the mall. Apparently, Mousse's blades had nicked one of his 
legs during their fight and Ranma had just noticed the injury. His back 
was also feeling pain, due to Ryoga's chi blast. He moved with more of 
a sluggish pace as he approached the Tendo compound. As he entered 
the door, he was confronted by his short-tempered fiancée. 
     "Ranma! Where have you been?" Akane said angrily. "You missed 
     Ranma winced as he tried to explain, "Considering how far you 
smashed me, you shouldn't be surprised that it took me a while to get 
back here! Not to mention getting attacked!" Ranma then started 
explaining the events that occurred at the mall.
     As soon as Ranma mentioned Kodachi, Akane's temper went up 
several degrees. "Kodachi? What were doing with HER? As if grabbing 
onto Shampoo and Ukyo wasn't enough! Now I find out that you've been 
getting cozy with that psycho!"
     "Hey! I didn't do nuthin!"
     "You're such a liar! Kodachi came over and bragged that you swept 
her off her feet!"
     "Hey! That's not what happened!" <Actually, it was the Hiryu Shoten 
Ha that did it!>
     "Oh, so you didn't sweep her off her feet?"
     "Yes! I mean no! I mean… will you stop twisting things around?"
     "SO YOU DID SWEEP HER OFF HER FEET!" Akane roared.
     Akane and Ranma were shouting loud enough to be heard by certain 
members of the Tendo clan. One member in particular came rushing 
out the door. 
     "Ranma! How dare you cavort with another woman when you are 
engaged to my Akane?! Soun shouted.
     "Now wait just a minute!" Ranma yelled. He knew that things were 
getting out of hand. "I already said that I didn't do it!"
     "Akane, will you stop with the name-calling for one minute? You are 
just so UNCUTE!"
     Ranma knew he had said the wrong thing as he saw Akane whip out 
her mallet and screamed. "RANMA NO BAKA!!!"
     Once again, Ranma Saotome was launched like an ICBM. However, 
this time he didn't go quite as far.
When Ranma came to, he found himself flat on his back on a bed in a 
darkened room. As he sat up, his head began to throb slightly with pain. 
Reaching up to his forehead, he discovered that his head had a cloth 
bandage wrapped around it. Looking down at himself, he saw that many 
of his injuries had been cleaned and bandaged. He also found that he 
didn't feel quite as hurt as he did before his encounter with the youngest 
Tendo daughter. He slowly got up and padded toward the door. Opening 
it, he heard a familiar voice that came from downstairs.
     "Thank you for eating at Nekohanten! Please come again!"
     <Shampoo?> Ranma thought. <Then…I'm at the Nekohanten?> 
Ranma carefully made his way toward the stairs and looked down at the 
restaurant. Aside from himself and the Amazon, there was no one else 
inside. Ranma could not see Mousse or Cologne anywhere. Shampoo 
was busily bussing a few tables when she looked up and saw Ranma.
     "Aiya! What is Airen doing out of bed?!" Shampoo took on a 
concerned look as she dropped what she was doing and rushed up the 
stairs. Taking her fiancée by one arm, Shampoo tried to guide him back 
to the guestroom. Ranma wouldn't budge though.
     "Shampoo, how did… I get here?"
     "Aiya! It long story! Now come! Get back into bed and rest!"
     After five minutes of struggling, Ranma finally allowed Shampoo to 
lead him back into the guestroom. As he was laid back down, Shampoo 
went to a bowl of water that was set on a nearby table and began wetting 
down a clean towel. She then used it to wipe down Ranma's brow. As 
she did so, she began explaining what had occurred.
     "Great-grandmother went to look for stupid Mousse when he no 
come back from delivery! Lucky it very slow night! Leave Shampoo to 
do cooking and serving customers! Not yet come back!"
     Ranma nodded as he said, "Well, I guess you got me to blame for 
     Ranma took a deep breath as he began telling the purple-haired girl 
about the incident at the mall. After he had told her about the Hiryu 
Shoten Ha, Shampoo nodded.
     "So that why it take so long. Ranma probably sent Mousse back to 
     Ranma shrugged as he asked, "You still haven't told me how I got 
     Shampoo was busy checking the bandage on foot as she replied, 
"One hour ago, Airen fell from sky and landed in back of restaurant. 
Shampoo found you and took inside. Saw you hurt. Bring you inside and 
fix up."
     "What happen?"
     Ranma paused as he was about to say that some uncute tomboy had 
sent him into low Earth orbit. Then he remembered it was that kind of 
comment that got him into trouble. In the end he said, "It was nothing."
     Shampoo was not fooled as she noticed her beloved's expression. 
"Akane very violent girl!" 
     Ranma was about to deny it, but then decided that it wasn't worth the 
effort. It was then that his stomach growled as it reminded him that he 
hadn't eaten yet.
     Hearing the sound, Shampoo stood up and said, "Ranma no eat yet, 
yes?" After he had nodded, Shampoo smiled. "Shampoo make special 
ramen for Airen, yes?"
     Ranma was about to turn down her offer, but when his stomach let 
out another growl, he reluctantly nodded. "Just make sure you don't put 
any love potions in it, okay?"
     Shampoo felt a slight twinge of anger at her fiancée's insinuation, 
but she quickly hid her irritation under a false mask of joy. "Okay!" She 
then headed down the stairs.
     Some ten minutes later in the kitchen, Shampoo was putting the 
finishing touches on the bowl of ramen that was on a serving tray. She 
then smiled wickedly as she withdrew a small vial from her apron. As 
she took the cap off , she paused to think about the effects that this 
potion would do to Ranma.
     <Great-grandmother say that this is strongest love potion she ever 
made! Finally found out formula of life pill from bracelet! Even Ranma 
no can resist it! He drink this, he see Shampoo, he fall in love with her 
for whole life! I will finally get him as husband!>
     As she tipped the vial toward the bowl, she began imagining what life 
would be like once she returned to the Amazon village with Ranma in 
tow. She imagined a loving and strong marriage with many children. She 
went into a dreamlike state as she saw a perfect world in which she 
would live happily ever after.
     It was then that she thought back to all those previous attempts to 
win Ranma as a mate. The incident with the Formula 109 Shampoo. The 
Phoenix Pill. The Instant Nanniichuan. The Magic Mushrooms. The 
Ping Pong Tournament with the Super Soba Noodles. The Love 
Bracelet. The Magic Thread. All of which had failed miserably. Each 
time a plan would go awry, Ranma would end up mistrusting Shampoo 
even more.
     Not this time. The potion was exactly the same as the lifetime pill. 
Her great-grandmother had labored for weeks, trying to decipher the 
ancient texts, which described how to make the potion. It had taken 
nearly all of her vast supply of rare herbs and extracts to make this tiny 
amount. After completing the task, Cologne had given her the vial and 
said that she would have only one chance to use it on her future son-in-
law, since she did not have enough ingredients to make more. Now was 
a perfect opportunity for Shampoo to use it since Ranma was both 
injured and hungry. Once he ingested it, he would forever be in love 
with the first girl he saw. Shampoo already knew what would happen. 
After swallowing the instant pill, Ranma had immediately fallen in love 
with Cologne. Remembering back to that day, Shampoo shuddered. It 
was a lucky thing that it was only temporary.
     As she poured the contents of the vial into the ramen, she thought as 
to how life would be like with such an adoring husband. She smiled as 
she imagined the many nights of lovemaking and adoration. Ranma 
would be obedient, doting and eager to please her in any and all ways. 
He would fulfill her every whim. He would be the perfect husband. A 
cuddly puppy dog.
     It was at that time that Shampoo realized the downside of that notion. 
Did she really want that kind of man as her husband? If she wanted such 
a man, she would have married Mousse a long time ago. Why did she 
want Ranma?
     Shampoo began listing all the good points about her intended. <He's 
strong, brave, have good heart, stood up to great-grandmother, and he 
save Shampoo from Ghost Cat! Not like stupid Mousse who always act 
like idiot!>
     She then began to compare herself to her rivals. <I better fighter 
than Spatula Girl and Violent Akane! I better cook and better looking! I 
treat Ranma better! Why he no love Shampoo?>
     It was then that she remembered all the times that Ranma had 
become angered at her, whenever one of her schemes to snare him had 
failed. He kept on pushing her away, whenever she glomped onto him. 
He was very suspicious, whenever she tried to make him eat something 
of hers. He never trusted her.
     Shampoo became saddened as she realized the truth. Tears began to 
well up in her eyes. <He no trust me. That is reason why he no love me! 
Shampoo do bad things to Ranma. Always treat him like prize. Not ask 
how he feel! Shampoo promise no potions, but Shampoo still doing
this! If Ranma find out, he…will hate Shampoo! No want that! Want 
Ranma to love her! Not because of law! It because… Shampoo 
REALLY love him! Shampoo saved from Ghost Cat because Ranma 
care for Shampoo! No pay him back this way!>
     With these thoughts, Shampoo let out a sigh and made her decision. 
Turning on the garbage disposal in the sink, she promptly dumped the 
contents of the bowl down the sink. She then began to start on a new 
bowl of ramen. As she began cooking it, she wiped her tears away and 
said out loud, "Shampoo promise no potions. Shampoo keep promise."
     "Thank you Shampoo."
     Shampoo was startled when she heard Ranma's voice behind her. She 
turned abruptly and saw Ranma leaning against the doorway with a small 
     "Aiya! How long Ranma stand there?" Shampoo asked fearfully.
     "Long enough to see you dump that love potion into that bowl, then 
dump it down the sink." Ranma replied.
     "You… know."
     Ranma nodded as he walked toward Shampoo and said, "Shampoo, 
I'm glad that you didn't do it." He placed a hand on her shoulder.
     Shampoo nodded as she said in a quiet voice, "Shampoo no want 
Ranma to hate her. Know now that Ranma no trust her because 
Shampoo always lying to him. Always use potions and magic to get him 
to love her. Is not right. Shampoo never use again! Love better when 
Ranma give it, not force from him. "
     Ranma was not sure how he should respond to that, since he had very 
little experience with such tender moments. Finally, he nodded and 
said, "I'm glad! So.. when's that ramen going to be ready? I can't wait to 
taste your cooking!"
     Shampoo was caught off guard by the sudden change of subject, but 
she was soon smiling as she realized that everything was going to turn 
out all right.
The present…
     The change in attitude toward him that night had made Ranma think 
back to that kiss that she had given him when she thanked him for 
rescuing her. It wasn't the usual lustful kind. It was instead tender and 
full of something that Ranma could not identify. Even more surprising 
was that he found himself responding to it, much to the dismay of his 
other fiancées. Akane's temper had reached an all new high at that time. 
Ukyo had also become angered in the beginning as well. Fortunately, 
she was not as short-tempered as Akane and after Ranma had explained 
that Shampoo had only kissed him to thank him, she cooled down 
     Ranma suddenly became silent as he replayed the encounter with the 
Ghost Cat. It was true that he had faced his greatest fear in order to save 
Shampoo, but he then recalled the sadness and desperation in her eyes 
when she was transforming into a cat in that cage. Ranma had seen a 
glimpse of her soul, and couldn't stand the thought of losing her.
     It was at that moment that Ranma had realized that he did indeed have 
some feelings toward the Amazon. Akane had been getting more and 
more abusive since that day. Ranma had found himself the target of her 
temper tantrums and did his best to avoid her during those periods.
     It was some time later that Ranma realized the reason why he was 
having so many problems with the girls in his life. He didn't want to 
hurt anyone's feelings, even though Soun and his father were constantly 
goading him into picking a girl. They wanted him to marry Akane. As 
always, they maintained that it was for the future of the Anything Goes 
Schools of Martial Arts. Of course, they still didn't consider his 
opinion about the whole thing as valid. Ranma truly didn't believe that 
they really had his welfare in mind when they came up with that stupid 
vow. Ranma shook his head and let out a long sigh as he realized just 
how little control over his life he had. <Sometimes I wonder if there 
was any real good reason why I was born!> Putting his thoughts away, 
Ranma Saotome headed towards the school, hoping that things wouldn't 
get any worse. However, as a frequent victim of Murphy's law, Ranma 
knew it was too much to hope for.
     During the lunch hour, Ranma was sitting under the tree and eating 
the sandwich that Kasumi had made for him. It was that time that Ukyo 
approached him. She was still wearing her boy's uniform and carrying 
the large spatula on her back.
     "Hi Ran-chan! Mind if I eat with you?"
     "Sure Ucchan. No problem!"
     "Here." Ukyo said as she handed him an okonomiyaki. "I made this 
just for you." 
     "Thanks Ucchan. You're a pal!" Ranma began wolfing down the 
     Ukyo became a little disappointed as she heard the word 'pal.' Her 
face took on a serious look. "Ran-chan… we need to talk."
     Ranma did not like the sound of that. "So what do you want to talk 
     "Ran-chan… we've known each other for a long time right?"
     "Yeah… ever since we were kids. So what about it?"
     Ukyo began to absently pick at her bandoleer as she hemmed and 
hawed. "I… well… I…" She became even more nervous as she turned 
her back to him and tried to compose herself. After a long minute she 
finally said, "Ranma honey, do you… actually think of me as… just a 
     "What brought this up?"
     "Ran-chan, I'm you're fiancée! We're supposed to be engaged to be 
married! Doesn't that mean that we have to be MORE than just friends?"
     Ranma definitely did not like the way this was going. He knew that 
Ukyo had certain feelings toward him. Although he had tried in the past 
to just treat her as the friend he once knew, he had found it increasingly 
difficult. She really was as cute as he said she was. Of all of his 
fiancées, Ukyo was the first to ever believe in him. She accepted him, 
curse and all. Despite that awful incident with the yattai, ten years ago, 
Ukyo still had those special feelings toward him. As time went on, 
Ranma had become close to his childhood friend. She was the one that 
Ranma could talk to. She was the one who would always help him. She 
supported him that time when Happosai had taken away his strength. 
She had always been there for him.
     "Well Ranma… are you going to tell me?" Ukyo asked.
     "Ucchan… I … don't know if I can answer that right now. Things 
have been real weird since that Ghost Cat thing. Why do you want to 
     Ukyo looked at Ranma in anger. Her face then slowly began to break 
down into sorrow. Tears began to well up in her eyes as she tried 
desperately to hold of crying in front of him. She failed. As tears 
streamed down her cheeks, she angrily said, "Dammit you jackass! 
Can't you see that I'm a GIRL? I'm not the same boy you thought I was 
ten years ago! I wanted to be your wife back then, and I want to be your 
wife now! If this relationship has any chance of working, then I HAVE 
to know how you feel about me!"
     "Ucchan…" Ranma could not believe that his longtime friend was 
getting so upset! Then again, Ranma thought back to all the times that 
he and Ucchan were together. He remembered how happy she was when 
he agreed to go on a date with her after setting up Ryoga and Akane 
together. He also recalled the time when Ukyo came to school in a 
dress. She had always given him free food at her restaurant, and never 
cared whenever he turned into a girl. At first Ranma had thought that it 
was because of their friendship, but now, he realized that it was because 
of something else much deeper than friendship.
     Ukyo confirmed his suspicions when she tearfully blurted out, "Ran-
chan, I… love you!"
     Ranma was more than speechless at Ukyo's confession. He could 
only watch in shock as she began wiping her tears. She then looked up 
at Ranma, her eyes becoming puffy and red. "I… I … I'm sorry Ran-
chan! Forget what I said okay?" 
     Ukyo quickly stood up and fled off towards the school building. 
Ranma called after her, but she did not stop. He was about to run after 
her, but then decided that his fiancée needed some time alone. <Come 
to think of it, so do I,> Ranma thought as he headed back towards the 
     Later that day, in the Nekohanten, Shampoo, Mousse and Cologne 
were busy getting ready for the dinner crowds. As Mousse was busy 
wiping down the tables, Cologne took her great-granddaughter into the 
     "Well now Shampoo, did that potion I gave you work on son-in-law?"
     Shampoo shook her head. "Shampoo no give him potion."
     "Why not?"
     "Shampoo no want Ranma to hate Shampoo. If Airen find out, he hate 
Shampoo forever. Shampoo no want that. Shampoo promised not to use 
potions again. No use magic either."
     "What?!" Cologne sputtered,. "Child, why did you say such a thing? 
Do you realize that not only your honor is at stake, but also the honor 
of our Amazon tribe?"
     "Shampoo know that. But Shampoo no care if dishonored forever. 
Airen risked his life for Shampoo. He no push away Shampoo as much 
as before. He is strong, brave, have good heart. He is now only reason 
that Shampoo has to live. Shampoo loves him."
     "Child," Cologne said in an ominous tone, "do you realize what 
you're saying? You are jeopardizing everything that we have struggled 
so long for. If you continue this way, Ranma is more than likely to 
marry Akane or Ukyo! If that happens, you will be forever disgraced! 
And you know what will happen to you if you are disgraced a second 
time! I will not let that happen to my only family! Ranma will marry 
you, willing or not!"
     "NO!" Shampoo screamed. "Shampoo will not let Ranma be forced 
into marriage with no love! Shampoo WILL win him! Ranma already 
starting to care more for Shampoo! Shampoo no let great-grandmother 
ruin only chance at happiness!"
     Cologne was silent for a long while. She stared at her great-
granddaughter with emotionless eyes. Mousse, trying to find out what 
the commotion was about, was standing near the kitchen door and 
peeking around the frame. For ten minutes, no one spoke.
     Finally, she sighed. "Do you really feel that way?" The purple-haired 
girl nodded slowly. "Very well child, I can do nothing more for you. If 
you truly believe that you can win Ranma on your own, then I can only 
wish you the best of luck. Just be certain that you are fully aware of the 
consequences of your actions."
     In the back, Mousse was silently fuming with rage.< Saotome! How 
dare you do this to my darling Shampoo! I will make you pay!>
A week later…
     Akane's mood had not changed since that morning. She was still 
upset at Ranma for that kiss he shared with Shampoo, not to mention 
his supposed tryst with Kodachi. As a result, she had been breaking 
cinder blocks and wooden training dummies for the past seven days. 
When Ranma tried to talk to her to straighten things out, she naturally 
went into her standard routine of 'Ranma no Baka.' Inevitably, Ranma 
had to dodge all of her attacks, which made her even more angry. The 
end result was Ranma being malleted into the sky. The rest of the 
family took little notice as they assumed that their argument was just 
another phase they were going though.
     On the roof of the dojo, Ranma rubbed the side of his chin. <Ow! 
Damn that Akane! She didn't have to hit me like that! I was trying to say 
I was sorry! Should have known that an uncute tomboy like that 
wouldn't listen! It's not my fault that I got three fiancées. It's not my 
fault that Pop keeps selling me for food! I didn't even want this stupid 
engagement thing! Family honor my butt! The only reason Pop and Mr. 
Tendo want this engagement is so they could retire and live off the dojo 
run by Akane and me. As if I ever want to be married to Akane! Ukyo 
has been good to me all this time and I was too stupid not to notice how 
she felt! I hope she's all right. I haven't seen her since she said she 
loved me. She's been avoiding me! Heck, even Shampoo has been 
getting better than Akane! Akane may think that she's a bimbo, but
just because her Japanese isn't too good, doesn't mean that she's stupid. 
She promised not to use any of the old ghoul's concoctions, and so far 
she's kept her word. She's even stopped glomping onto me every 
morning. She doesn't try to force feed me if I don't want to eat anything 
and she's been tolerating both Akane and Ukyo. Now why can't Akane 
be that nice? All she does is pound me with that stupid mallet whenever 
something goes wrong! She doesn't believe me when I'm trying to tell 
her the truth! I haven't called her uncute in over a week! I've tried to be 
nice, but she looks at me as if I'm sick or something! She pounds me 
when I'm looking at her. She pounds me when some other girl looks at 
me, even though she keeps saying that our engagement never happened! 
Stupid, violent tomboy! This whole thing just isn't worth it!>
     "It's just not worth it!" Ranma said out loud to no one in particular.
     "You're right, it's not."
     Ranma whirled around into a ready stance as soon as he heard the 
voice. Wondering how anyone could have sneaked up on him, Ranma 
was a bit shocked to see someone standing on the roof with him.
     The person was about medium height with short black hair. He had a 
lean, but well-muscled frame and was wearing black pants, a white 
Chinese-style shirt that was similar to his own and black Kung fu shoes. 
The man appeared to be around his early twenties or so.
     "Who are you?" Ranma asked. "What do you want?"
     The man smiled as he replied, "I'm Taron. I'm here to talk to you 
Ranma Saotome."
     "You know who I am?"
     "I know a lot of things about you." Taron began counting off with his 
fingers. "Ranma Saotome, age 16. The only child of Genma and Nodoka 
Saotome. Heir to the Saotome School of the Anything Goes Martial 
Arts. You have traveled both Japan and China during your ten-year 
training journey. Due to a mishap at Jusenkyo, you are now cursed to 
turn into a redheaded girl with cold water, while your idiot father 
becomes a giant panda. You are engaged to Akane Tendo, not by choice, 
but by a promise made between Genma and Soun before you were even 
born. Your biggest rival is Ryoga Hibiki, who happens to have the 
world's worst sense of direction and turns into Akane's pet pig P-chan 
when splashed with cold water. He uses that curse to sleep in Akane's 
bed. You can't do anything about it because of your vow to Ryoga, since 
you were the one that accidentally knocked him into the Spring of 
Drowned Pig."
     Ranma's jaw dropped open as Taron continued.
     "You also have two other girls who consider themselves your 
fiancée. Ukyo Kuonji, an okonomiyaki chef, was your best friend when 
you were six, but you were unaware that she was a girl at the time. Your 
father engaged you to her in exchange for an okonomiyaki yattai, but 
abandoned her. She has forgiven you and now considers herself as the 
'cute fiancée.' Shampoo is the best warrior of the Amazons, until you 
beat her at a tournament as a girl. At that time she gave you the Kiss of 
Death. Later on, you beat her again, as a guy, so according to her laws, 
she must marry you. She has a big problem though, since thanks to a 
Jusenkyo curse, she becomes a cat. You've had a fear of cats since your 
stupid father decided to train you in the Cat Fist. Shampoo also has 
Mousse chasing after her. He has a Jusenkyo curse, which turns him 
into a duck. Unfortunately for you, he SEES you, and I use that term 
loosely, as a rival for his darling Shampoo's affections. I already know 
that he has attacked you a lot lately due to Shampoo's new attitude 
toward you, right?"
     Ranma could only nod. It was true. For the last few days, Mousse had 
become a frequent visitor to the dojo. Ever since Shampoo had been 
acting mature, she had been totally ignoring Mousse. This did not sit 
well with him. As a result, Mousse had been steadily attacking him. In 
fact, with all the attention he had been getting from Shampoo, he had 
been getting attacked every few hours or so by either Mousse or Ryoga, 
who still thought he was cheating on Akane.
     "I could go on and on, but I think you get the idea. We don't have a 
lot of time. To wrap up, you also have some problems with the Kuno 
family since Tatewaki wants your male side dead and wants to date your 
female side. The reverse happens with his twisted sister. Ukyo has 
some weirdo named Tsubasa Kurenai chasing her. He wears a dress and 
likes to disguise himself as inanimate objects. There are two 
grandmasters of the martial arts. Happosai is the pervert, while Cologne 
is Shampoo's great-grandmother. Nabiki and Kasumi are Akane's older 
sisters, Soun Tendo is their father and the Principal of Furinkan is some 
Hawaiian nut who is obsessed with cutting your pigtail."
     As Taron finished his narrative, Ranma finally found his tongue. 
"How do you know so much about
my life?"
     Taron smiled as he replied, "I have observing the events of your life 
since the day you were born. I know everything that has to do with your 
existence, because you are the chosen one."
     "Chosen one?" Ranma said confused.
     "That's right. I'm here because you are the one who has been chosen 
to play a very important role in the destiny of this planet. In fact, we 
need you to ensure that the Earth HAS a future!"
     "Wait a minute! What are you talking about?" Ranma asked.
     "I'm saying, that if we don't get your help, the world will end. 
Besides, if you do help us, I can guarantee that you will never have to 
worry about your curse again."
     "Really?" Ranma cried out, very interested.
     "That's right. Not only that, but I can also help you out with your 
fiancée troubles and improve your martial arts skills to a far better 
level. I mean, that is what you want, right? To be the best?"
     "Sound too good to be true!" Ranma declared.
     "I know it does, but I am giving you a straight deal. You help us out 
and we'll help you out. What do you say?" Taron held out a hand.
     Ranma looked at Taron for a long moment. His serene face betrayed 
no emotion, but Ranma could not sense any malice from the man. He 
looked as if he was truly honest about what he was offering to Ranma. 
Besides, with his own life in turmoil, what did have to lose? If there was 
any chance to rid himself of his curse, not to mention straighten out the 
twisted tangle that his life had become, then he was all for it. 
Tentatively, Ranma reached out and grasped his Taron's hand in a firm 
     "I'll do it." Ranma said simply.
     A bright flash suddenly appeared over the dojo. When it faded, 
Ranma and Taron were gone. At that moment, Kasumi was just coming 
out the door to call Ranma down for dinner. As she looked up at the 
roof she could see no sign of the martial artist.
To be continued…
     When I began writing this story, I decided to make Ranma a little 
less arrogant and more on the sensitive side. I will still try to keep the 
characters more or less true to themselves, but I make no guarantees. 
As this is a FAN FICTION, anything literally goes.
     The part that I find most disturbing is how most of the characters 
considers Shampoo as a bimbo. I'll admit, her accent may be 
exaggerated and her uninhibited nature does display her as a kind of tart, 
but one must consider that she is a foreigner in Japan. I'll bet if Akane 
tried speaking Chinese, she'd sound even more stupid than Shampoo. 
Secondly, Shampoo is able to freely express her feelings. She has more 
confidence in herself, due to the fact she was raised in a fierce culture. 
Akane on the other hand, is reluctant to show any tender feelings to 
anyone outside her family. She may have feelings for Ranma, but due to 
her inhibitions, she hides those feelings behind a wall of anger, 
frustration, and jealousy and let's face it, arrogance. Akane may pride 
herself as being a martial artist, but whenever someone else shows that 
they are better than her in any field (martial arts, cooking, sewing, etc), 
she lets her temper get the better of her, which also clouds her 
judgement. The incidents of the Super Soba, the cookies, Natsumi and 
Karumi, are all classic examples. She can't really admit the fact that the 
world does not revolve around her and that she doesn't have that much 
more tact than Ranma has.
     I am not an Akane basher. I am merely pointing out some of Akane's 
faults that some people may have overlooked. This story will reflect on 
every characters good and bad points.
     As of now, this will be the final rewrite that I will do with this 
chapter. I felt as if I was not really displaying Shampoo's new attitude 
toward Ranma, so I decided to add the scene where she had a golden 
opportunity to win Ranma all to herself. It also gave her a chance to 
reflect on her past misdeeds and realize that the way to a man's heart 
was not through his stomach, but through her own understanding of his 
feelings. What do you think?