Diclaimer: Tattoon Master and Ranma ½ aren’t mine, so I can’t make any money off of this story. Nuts!
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Ranma's Curse, And I Don't Mean Jusenkyo!
One week after Ranma had left Nerima...
"RANMA NO BAKA!"
Nabiki sighed as she watched her sister stomp into the house. Her little sister had been getting angrier each day since her fiance had abandoned her and all his other obligations. With Ranma gone, it didn't take the male students of Furinken High long to realize that Akane was once again available. That meant that the old, defeat-Akane-so-you-can-date-her routine was back in full force. And guess who was the first to challenge her again?
"STUPID KUNO! STUPID BOYS! STUPID PERVERTS! THIS IS ALL THAT BAKA'S FAULT!" Akane screamed as she slammed her bookbag onto the floor before going up to her room.
Nabiki sighed as she decided that now was the time to be concerned. She had been expecting Ranma to return in a few days after he had cooled off from that little incident, which had reduced a city block to rubble, but no one had seen or heard from him since then. He had never failed before to come back. After all, where could he go? However, he never came back to the Tendo home, never appeared at school and he had not been sighted at his usual haunts for the past several days. Now it was time to face facts. Ranma had meant what he said when he had told her father and Genma that he was quitting.
This wasn't good. Nabiki knew that her finances were going to take a sharp nosedive if her prime source of income was unavailable. Ranma would have to be found and quickly. The middle Tendo daughter took a deep breath and decided to pull out every bit of information she had on Ranma in the hopes that they might provide her with a clue to his whereabouts.
As she headed up to her room, she glanced over to the back patio where her father and Genma were involved in yet another round of Shogi. However, they had a very depressed look about them as they didn't seem interested in the game. Soun had been wailing non-stop ever since Ranma disappeared, whining and moaning about how the schools would never be joined. Genma had been trying to comfort his friend, but with no such luck and often cursed the powers that be, as to how he had ended up with such an ungrateful child who would shirk his family's honor.
Nabiki knew that she had to find Ranma and get things back to the way they were, with her in control of course. She wasn't about to let him just walk away like that. He owed her and Nabiki had always seen to it that he pay her, with interest. As she entered her room, she went straight to her computer and turned it on. After punching in her passwords, she then brought up the file on Ranma and found... nothing.
<Huh? Where are my files?> Nabiki tried again to bring up the information she had on Ranma and ended up with a blank screen and a small message. File not found? What's going on? She made several more attempts, and then decided to try a different approach. She reached into a drawer of her desk to pull out the information she had saved on some disks. After all, a good mercenary like herself always kept back-ups.
She took out a disk and inserted it into her drive. She then opened the file stored on the disk and was surprised to see her screen suddenly show static, then became blank again. A message flashed on her screen, saying that the files were not available.
What the Hell? Nabiki decided to try another disk. However, as soon as she inserted it into the drive, it too showed nothing but a blank screen. She tried again with a third disk, then a fourth. She went through all the disks concerning Ranma, seven in all, and ended up with nothing but a blank screen. She couldn't understand what was going on until after her seventh try.
After inserting the last disk and trying to access its contents, her screen suddenly flashed and the image of a cartoon snake with arms appeared and began a kind of slithering jig. It then hissed at Nabiki, sticking out its tongue and pulling down the lower eyelid of its right eye at her; the Japanese Raspberry! Then it spoke...
"Hello! All data in your computer and whatever disks you inserted has been eaten by the Cyber-Snake! From one snake to another, have a nice day, Nabiki Tendo!"
Nabiki blanched as she realized that someone had infected her computer with a virus, which meant... She looked down at the disks and realized that their files must have been deleted when she inserted them. All the information on them and the hard drive was now lost. Whoever created this virus must have had a grudge with her to do something this complex. Of course, she wasn't exactly certain who it was, considering how many enemies she had made with her schemes.
However, the middle daughter of Soun Tendo wasn't about to quit, not by a long shot. She may not be able to use her computer, but she still had hard copies of her records. She went over to where she kept all of her most secret information, including the most private files she had on Ranma. However, as she opened up the floorboard near her bed, and took out the box that was in it, she noticed that it felt... lighter than she remembered. She began to get that sinking feeling as she opened it. The girl frowned as she saw that the stack of files was indeed lower. As she leafed through the papers, she noted that all records concerning Ranma were gone. She saw that the records of her dealings with the school's computer club were missing as well. She began to put two and two together.
We now fast-forward to the day after Balla had arrived...
Balla awoke as the rising sun cast its rays into the crudely repaired window of her bedroom. She let off a gentle yawn and stretched out. She then giggled a bit and decided to see if Ranma had awakened yet. As she removed the borrowed flannel pajama top that she used as a nightdress and began putting on her regular clothes, her thoughts went back to the night before.
Ranma had displayed a kind of power that she had never encountered before, and had been actually able to deflect the blast she had released. There was a kind of... animal magnetism about him that drew her to him like a moth to a flame. But it wasn't his extraordinary power that she liked about him. Beneath that abrasive exterior, she could still feel the gentle soul within.
That is what she felt when her father had given her the mystic contract. She felt his very spirit within that piece of paper and knew right off from the start that Ranma was the one for her. She just needed some time for him to get to know her, that's all. With a new determined feeling, she went out to look for him. She soon found him practicing in the backyard. As Ranma silently went through his katas, Balla found herself transfixed at the display of skill.
Ranma was already aware of her presence but decided to ignore her as he went through his morning routines. He kicked and punched at invisible enemies. Every time he threw a punch, he saw Kuno's face being pulped. Every block deflected an imagined Lost Boy's attack and he could almost feel Mousse's gut when he kicked out with his feet. His movements seemed like some graceful ballet of combat. He made several thirty-foot leaps into the air, often defying gravity for several seconds as he demonstrated the specialty of the Saotome School of the Anything Goes.
After leaping about the backyard like a grasshopper that was experiencing a sugar rush, Ranma landed in front of a makeshift training dummy, which was a simple wooden post that was wrapped in cotton batting.
"KATCHU TENSHIN AMAGURIKEN!"
Balla gasped as she saw her 'husband' deliver a hundred punches in about five seconds. The dummy was reduced to splinters and tattered cloth in moments. However, Ranma's frustrations and anger over the recent developments had not abated and his aura began to appear about him. It glowed a bright red and continued to enlarge as the martial artist decided to use the technique he had spent over a month in developing after leaving Nerima. After reducing a square block to rubble in Tokyo, he had decided to expand on the new ki technique that he had inadvertently stumbled upon.
Taking slow deep breaths, Ranma cupped his hands forward and held them out as if he were holding a ball. He slowly pulled them back until they were at his waistline on his right side. Concentrating his anger into the space between his palms, a ball of red, hot energy began to form.
Balla then noticed something odd. The mark on Ranma's forehead began to glow and started to alter into a character of the Tattoon language. She knew what was happening and held her breath as her beloved prepared to release the energy.
As Ranma thrust his hands forward, his battle aura flared as he released his ki as one massive fireball. The projectile sped forward, then crashed into the wall of the backyard, exploding in a huge flash. When the blast subsided, there was a huge gaping hole in the concrete with melted edges.
Ranma let off a tired sigh and collapsed to his knees, his angry aura fading away. It was then that Balla came rushing up to him and glomped onto him with a force that would have made Shampoo green with envy.
"Darling! Are you all right?"
"ARRRRGGGGGGHHHHH!" Ranma cried out. The last thing he needed was some girl glomping onto him. He tried to pry Balla off of him, but had no such luck as she continued to hold him and nuzzle against him.
We now rewind to Nerima, a few days after Nabiki's computer files were erased...
"Okay Shibana, out with it! I know that either you or one of your friends was responsible for that virus that was fed into my computer!" Nabiki accused as she faced the head of the Furinken Computer Club. Behind her were two of her cohorts who helped out with her blackmail and betting pools.
The techno-whiz shrugged as he replied. "I have no idea what you're talking about." He glanced over to his cohorts and addressed them. "Hey guys! Were any of you messing around with Miss Tendo's PC?"
All the members of the club knew the truth, but after the great favors that Ranma had done for them, they weren't about to rat on their leader or their savior.
"I never touched it!"
"Why are you asking me?"
"I had nothing to do with it."
Takuya nodded as he faced Akane's sister again. "There, you see? None of my guys were responsible, and I certainly didn't do it."
During the course of her mercenary career, Nabiki had picked up certain observation skills and intuition. Takuya Shibana and his fellow computer geeks were hiding their expressions well, but she knew that they were lying. The main problem was, she had no proof. The Cyber-Snake virus that had destroyed her files had been very thorough and left no traces or clues of who created it. Her desktop would have to be scrapped as the virus had devastated its processor and motherboard.
"Oh and by the way, Nabiki." Takuya added. "The Computer Club had taken a vote, and it was unanimously decided that you and your friends are not going to get any more freebies. If you want new equipment and the latest software, then you're going to have to pay for it, just like everyone else. We're also not going to do any more hacking for you."
Nabiki gave the teen her self-styled smirk. "Oh really? And just what do you think the school board is going to say when I tell them about that ugly little incident last month? Just what do you think is going to happen when they learn who was responsible for planting that virus into the school records, hmm?"
Shibana laughed as he replied. "Oh, I don't know. I mean, nobody admitted to the crime and there was no evidence."
Nabiki's brow furrowed as she became more irritated. "Let's stop this nonsense now, Shibana. I want some answers! First of all, you can tell me where Ranma is!"
"Why are you asking me? I don't know where he is. Nobody's seen him. Right, guys?"
"Right!" The others said at once.
Nabiki shrugged while reining in her anger at his smug expression. "All right. You can have your fun, but you WILL be telling me everything before the end of the day."
"I doubt it, since me and the guys don't know anything." Takuya said as he and the Computer Club turned around and walked away.
The middle Tendo daughter fumed as she watched them leave. Mark my words, you'll soon be begging to tell me where Ranma is.
"What?! What do you mean it's gone?" Nabiki exclaimed at Shidori.
Her henchgirl shrugged as she replied. "I mean, it's gone. The evidence about the Computer Club, that that you hid in the gym... is gone. I found this though."
The girl handed her superior a piece of paper which had a typed message on it, saying:
THE CYBER-SNAKE HAS STRUCK!
The message also had a cartoon image of the computer virus giving her a Japanese Raspberry. Nabiki was not amused. Just then, Sanoko came up to them.
"So did you get the dirt we collected on Takuya and Daimon?" Nabiki asked. Takuya was the head of the club and Daimon was his right-hand man. They were the most likely people to ask about where Ranma had disappeared to.
Sanoko shook her head as she handed her boss another piece of paper which read:
THE CYBER-SNAKE HAS STRUCK AGAIN!
Nabiki became even more irritated. Apparently, the hard copy files that had been stolen from her room had contained the locations of where she had hidden all the evidence she had collected on the Computer Club. It would be a waste of time to check the other places, since it was likely that Shibana and his friends would have raided those areas by now.
Nabiki shook her head. Shaking down those techno-geeks for information about Ranma's whereabouts was not going to be as easy as she thought. After all, their collective IQ ratings were a lot higher than that pigtailed jock's. There was just no way Ranma could have pulled it off on his own.
Now we rejoin Ranma in the present...
"So I said to her, let's go to my place." Brody said as he, Deiner and Ranma were hanging out near the side of a building, smoking cigarettes.
"Yeah, whatever..." Ranma commented as he took a slow puff. These guys are so hopeless. I'll bet they'd give anything to be in the situation I'm in. Hell, I'd bet they'd even enjoy what I had to put up with in Nerima.
Hoping to change the subject, Ranma took the cigarette out of his mouth and addressed them. "Hey guys... how would you like to go out with a girl with magic powers?"
The two teens looked at their companion with puzzled expressions. Ranma growled at them then grabbed Brody by the front of his shirt.
"I'm trying to set you up, you dopes!"
Brody gave Ranma a nervous smile. "Geez, take it easy man."
Deiner grinned. "This reminds me of the time my mother tried to set me up with the daughter of her best friend. She really turned out to be a real mental case." He gave the two of them a wink.
It was at that moment that a girl with a longbow turned around the corner.
The afternoon sunlight glinted off her large, wire-rimmed sunglasses as she glared at the three.
"I hope I'm not interrupting some male bonding experience." Lisa said with a bit of disdain.
"Hey Lisa." Deiner greeted.
Brody freed himself from Ranma's grip and glared back at Lisa. He tried to put up his tough guy routine. "Why don't you just leave us alone and go kiss some teacher's ass?"
Lisa's response was short and to the point... literally, as she held up her bow and notched and arrow. "Because I'm hunting morons."
Brody then gave Lisa a nervous smile and laugh while waving his hand as he found himself in front of Lisa's arrow.
"See, like I said... a real mental case." Deiner whispered to Ranma.
The martial artist shrugged as he casually strolled away and leaped over the school walls.
Lisa's expression softened as she watched Ranma depart. She lowered her bow and had a forlorn look in her eyes.
When Ranma arrived at his home, he paused at the front door and wondered just what he was going to do with Balla. He wanted nothing to do with women and decided that she would just have to listen to reason and leave him alone. He steeled himself and opened the door...
Balla bounced (in more ways than one) over to Ranma and had him in a glomp that nearly bowled the two of them over the railing. Balla sighed as she nuzzled close to him.
Ranma became extremely nervous at the compromising position they were in. "What are you doing? Someone might see us!"
Balla didn't answer immediately and continued to sigh contentedly.
"What are YOU so happy about?" Ranma asked angrily as he tried to disentangle himself from her.
Balla's smile became even more pronounced as she replied in a dreamy voice. "Because now that you've returned, we can finally consummate our marriage by engaging in the physical act of love!"
Later that evening...
Ranma scratched the back of his head while he was facing away from where Balla was kneeling. He tried his best to think up of a way to get Balla to give up this marriage nonsense and go back home. All he started off with was...
"Oh wait! Say that again!"
"Huh?" Ranma looked over his shoulder.
"You said my name for the very first time! That means you really DO love me!" With that, the High Priestess of the Tattoon Tribe tackled Ranma to the floor and hugged him tight. "I knew it! My Ranma!"
"Will you cut that out!" The angry martial artist managed to wriggle free of her embrace and stood up. "And don't call me Ranma! As far as I'm concerned, Ranma Saotome died months ago! The name's Eric Koboyashi and you've got the wrong guy!"
Balla went back to a kneeling position and took out the contract. "I don't think so. The contract confirms that you are my husband. See?" She moved the paper closer to him, which then gave off a white glow. "This contract was signed by your father Genma Saotome and imprinted with your spiritual energies. That means that you are..."
Ranma angrily snatched the page out of her hand and turned his back to her. Sure enough, he recognized Genma's signature. He then paced back toward the other side of the room and muttered to himself. "Damned stupid oyaji! I should have known he'd sold me out to more than just the Kuonji and Daijkoku families!"
"Excuse me?" Balla became confused.
Ranma let off a tired sigh as he realized that he had just admitted that he was Ranma Saotome. "All right, all right... I USED to be Ranma Saotome, but... I left my family and changed my name to Eric Koboyashi..."
"I knew it!" Balla launched herself again and happily glomped onto him and bowled him over again. "My darling Ranma, I mean Eric!"
"ARRRRGGGGHHHHH!" It was like being glomped by Ukyo, Shampoo and Kodachi all at once. "Cut that out! Get off me will ya?!"
After pushing the affectionate priestess off him, Ranma stood up, faced her and said, "As I was saying, this contract was made when I was too young to know anything. That stupid panda that I used to call my Pop did this to save his own skin. If I had known what I was signing, I would have not done it. Besides, you're not my type."
"Not your type?!" Balla said with anger as she stood up to face him. "So what kind of girl is your type? Or do you prefer men?"
Ranma became flustered at the accusation. "H-H-Hey! I'm not gay!"
"Then why won't you fall in love with me?"
"BECAUSE I DON'T KNOW YOU!" Ranma shouted out.
"LOVE ME!" Balla cried out as she took hold of the contract that was still clenched in Ranma's hand.
The contract came apart into two pieces, as Balla sank to her knees, clutching her half, which began to glow with an eerie light. Ranma became speechless as he saw tears beginning to form in her eyes. His fingers became limp and the shred of paper dropped towards the floor. However, it did not land on the tatami mats as it glowed with that same white light, and flew toward the piece that was clutched in Balla's hands. In less than an instant, the two halves of the contract fused together into one piece again, as if the contract had never been torn. It was at that moment that Balla's tears began to flow.
"From the first moment I was given the contract... I loved you. Even though you were just some handprint on a piece of paper. I could feel the gentle soul within you and when we met... I knew that you had what I wanted in a husband. If... you had rejected me that first time... I would have gone away. But you were so kind and nursed me back to health. I knew from that moment that my love for you would never die."
As Balla looked up at him with those soulful eyes, Ranma winced as he felt that old familiar feeling which just couldn't stand to see a girl in tears. He let off a sigh and said, "Look, I really don't know what to say, but I'm not the guy you're looking for."
"You are!" Balla insisted as she came to her feet, clutching the contract to her chest.
"I'm not!" Ranma said adamantly.
"Your feelings can change!" Balla continued to insist.
"What if I don't want to change?" Ranma said as he walked over to the dining table. "Besides..."
His gaze then fell on a glass of ice water. "There's something about me that would probably make you rethink about this marriage idea of yours."
"What do you mean?" Balla asked.
Ranma gave a long heavy sigh and then picked up the glass. "I guess it's best that I show you. Maybe this will convince you that I'm not husband material." He promptly dumped the contents of the glass over his head and turned to face her. "See?"
At that moment, Ranma looked down at himself and saw no additional fullness in his chest. He used his hands to feel for breasts, but didn't find any.
"What's going on? Why isn't it happening?"
"What's supposed to happen?" Balla asked. "Why did you dump water on yourself? And why are you feeling your chest?"
Ranma didn't answer as he ran to the bathroom and turned on the cold water faucet. He repeatedly splashed himself in the face and gazed at his reflection in the mirror. His hair did not take on its usual red coloring, nor did he reduce in stature. When he looked down his pants and confirmed that a certain part of his anatomy was still present, he then looked back up at his reflection with wide-eyed shock. It was then that he stared at the X-shaped mark on his forehead and recalled the odd feeling he had when Balla scratched him. He ran back into the living room and pointed to the mark as he addressed Balla.
"Did you do this?"
"What do you mean?" Balla asked innocently.
"Did you remove my Jusenkyo curse when you scratched me?"
"Jusenkyo? You were at Jusenkyo? Why were you at that awful place?" Balla became even more confused.
"You... know about Jusenkyo?" Ranma asked.
Balla nodded. "As part of my training to be the Tattoon Tribe's High Priestess, I did visit Jusenkyo." She got up and raised a palm in front of Ranma and focused her energy. The tattoo symbol that was usually hidden from sight appeared on the back of her hand as she mystically probed her husband. She then gasped. "Oh! You did get cursed by Jusenkyo, but... I can only feel traces of that curse now and even those are fading away."
"You mean... I'm cured?" Ranma became speechless. After all the troubles the curse had caused with both girls and boys, it was now gone. The girl with whom he wanted nothing to do with had freed him of the cause of so many of his pains in Nerima.
Balla studied Ranma a little more before lowering her hand and made the tattoo disappear. "I see. When I gave you the Mark of Bonding, it must have... interacted with your Jusenkyo curse and canceled it out."
"I... don't know what to say... I... can't believe I'm free of it." Ranma couldn't think of anything more to say but "Thank you."
"Welcome darling!" Balla glomped onto him once more.
Ranma's hatred of women soon surfaced as he pushed her away. "Look Balla, though I am grateful that I'm cured and all, that still doesn't change the fact that I'm not going to go along with this marriage thing! I had enough of that crap back in Nerima, and I certainly don't want to start that again! I'm sorry but you're just going to have to forget about this!"
"But the contract..."
"Screw that friggin' contract! I'll NEVER FALL IN LOVE!" Ranma retorted as he turned away from her and headed toward the door. "If you won't leave, then I guess I will!" He slammed the door behind him, leaving Balla alone with her thoughts.
Later that night...
Deiner heard a rap on his bedroom window and saw Ranma clinging to the side and gesturing him to open the window.
"What are you doing man?" Deiner asked as he opened the window and saw that Ranma was just barely keeping his footing on a narrow ledge.
"Hey, can I crash here with you tonight?"
"You are just too much!"
Back in Nerima, a few months before...
The Tendo family had begun to realize just how important Ranma's presence was to holding Nerima together. For one thing, without Ranma, there was nothing to keep Happosai in check...
"WOO HOO! WHAT A HAUL! WHAT A HAUL!"
Soun was on the verge of another nervous breakdown as his perverted master came in with more than twice the amount of stolen women's underwear than the night before. Usually, Ranma was there to stop Happosai from going overboard, but without him, the unmentionables of every female in Tokyo was at the mercy of the greatest evil in all of Japan.
"OH, THE HORROR!" The Tendo patriarch wailed, as he knew that if anyone were to know that the Dreaded Underwear Thief was residing at his home, then the dignity and prestige of the Tendo Dojo would be ruined! Not that it had a reputation to begin with, but...
Soun turned to his friend while sobbing. "Oh Saotome! What is to become of our dream to unite the schools? Where is your SON?!"
"Now, now Tendo, I'm sure that Ranma will turn up soon." Genma feebly assured.
"That's what you said a MONTH ago!"
At that time, Happosai went skipping toward the front door. "Well, see you later boys! I'm off to work!"
"B-B-But... M-M-Master! You just came back!"
"I just got my second wind! I trying to beat my personal best! Bye now!"
Soun began wailing anew as Genma could only shake his head. Blast it! Where is that BOY?! He cursed anew at the fates who had given him such an unworthy son. A son who would jeopardize his family honor and his father's well-deserved and luxurious early retirement.
And Nodoka? What would his wife think when she learned that their only son was missing? The cursed martial artist began absently rubbing his neck with his hand as he thought about the consequences about a certain contract he had signed when he took Ranma on that ten-year training journey.
He then began thinking about another contract he had signed years ago. He breathed out a sigh of relief. At least he didn't have to worry about THAT promise.
Back to Hiroshima, present time...
Back at Ranma's apartment, Balla continued to gaze at the contract and began having thoughts about her last discussion with her father, a few weeks before she left to search for her betrothed.
"So this Ranma is my husband?" Balla asked as her father gave her the contract.
"Yes, child. You were both betrothed sixteen years ago and it is now time for you to claim him."
"Is he a good person?"
Shiror took in a deep breath before saying, "Well, I'm not sure since he was no more than a year old when I last saw him. However, I sensed great potential and a kind heart, unlike his father."
Balla smiled as she sensed the same from the spiritual impressions on the contract. "He will be a good man. I will take him!"
Balla's father nodded as he said, "I wouldn't have engaged him to you if I wasn't certain that he would be a fine husband. Now I'll imagine that he will fight this, but do not despair. I'm certain that he will come around if you are patient."
End of flashback...
Balla smiled at the memory of her father's words. She decided to redouble her efforts and spend as much time with Ranma as she could. That meant going with him to school. She then went into Ranma's closet and drawers for anything for her to wear. She came across an old school uniform that her formally cursed husband had been using when in his altered form. She wondered why Ranma would have such a thing, but then shrugged it off. Seeing that the uniform was a bit small for her, she decided to make some alterations. Fortunately, she was quite an adept seamstress.
The very next morning, Ranma and his friends were casually strolling down the front schoolyard. Brody and Denier were walking behind a tired and very depressed martial artist and wondered why he was giving them the silent treatment.
"Somebody got up on the wrong side of the bed this morning." Deiner remarked.
"Hey man, do you need any help?" Brody asked.
Ranma pinched the bridge of his nose and sighed. Yeah, too bad you don't know anything about girls. "Just leave me alone!" During the night, he had felt guilty about leaving Balla the way he did and wondered if he should go back home to apologize to her. He reversed his direction and started heading away from the schoolyard.
"It's a little early to be leaving school, don't you think Eric?"
Ranma frowned as he saw Lisa glare at him. He then shrugged and replied as he sidestepped her and continued on. "Well I guess you don't know me very well."
"I've heard the rumors... WOMAN-HATER!"
It was at that moment that Ranma heard a familiar, bubbly voice from the second floor.
"Huh?" He looked up and saw Balla waving from a window. A large sweat drop appeared on the back of his head and his eyes widened in shock. "What the hell...?" He saw the priestess lean forward and prepared to jump out of the window. "NO! Not here!"
The martial artist sped forward and leapt high to intercept Balla as she came down. As they landed with Balla in his arms, Ranma gritted his teeth and reined in his anger.
"What the HELL are you doing here?"
Balla shrugged as she said, "I wanted to be here to make sure you showed up."
"Why can't I understand anything you say?" Ranma commented as he set her down, then pointed at what she was wearing. "What the...?! Where did you get that school uniform?!" It looked awfully familiar.
Balla held up the skirt, showing off her fabulous legs and said, "I found it in one of your drawers. It was a bit small, so I had it altered and..."
Ranma wasn't listening as he slapped his forehead and muttered, "Why me? I should be looking into therapy!"
"Somebody has been keeping secrets." Brody said as he pushed Lisa to one side.
"Introduce us to your chick, man." Denier said as he roughly pushed Lisa to the other side.
"Lover boy." The two teased as they approached them, but Ranma responded with two elbows to the their guts and followed by two backhand fists to their faces. "OW!"
Lisa stepped forward angrily and stood defiantly in front of the two. "Will somebody explain to me what's going on? Don't tell me that this girl has made the mistake of falling in love with you, Eric."
Balla cheerfully waved to Lisa and said, "HI! I'm Balla and Eric and I got married and... mmpf!"
She was quickly cut off as Ranma covered her mouth.
"AAAAAAAAAAAGGGGGGGGHHHHH!!!" Brody and Denier said as they were told of the bombshell.
"I can't believe that you went, and like totally gotten married, dude." Denier remarked in awe.
"I guess I shouldn't have believed all those crazy stories that went around 'bout you being gay."
Brody said with a sheepish grin.
"You just reminded me Brody. I win the bet and you like totally owe me 5000 yen."
"Will you guys knock it off!" Ranma growled as Balla continued to hang onto him and sighing contentedly.
"Isn't he a dream?" Balla said.
"Heh, can I date your wife?" Denier asked.
"Hey, me first!" Brody said.
"I can't believe that this is happening." Lisa said as she approached Ranma and Balla. "What kind of idiot would fall in love with a jerk like him? How could you even call yourself a woman? Traitor!"
"Knock it off, you psycho!" Ranma said as he tensed up when Lisa began drawing her bow at him.
"I'd be doing her a favor... Eric!" Lisa retorted as she began to take aim.
This made all the other students nervous, as a potential situation was about to explode. Ranma began thinking of the best way to disarm her, when Balla suddenly stepped in front of him and took a stance. "Don't you say such things about my Eric! You mess with him, you mess with me!"
"You would be no match for me!" Lisa spat back.
Ranma groaned. This was happening just like in Nerima and what got him on his girl-hating attitude. Once again, he was being given no say in the matter and two girls were fighting over him like some kind of prize. He then blanched as he saw the tattoos on Balla's hand begin to appear and a sudden wind was blowing in the classroom. Ranma made the decision to defuse the situation and promptly grabbed Balla by the waist and dashed out of the room in huge dust cloud.
"You can't escape!" Lisa cried out as she tried to follow, but by that time, Ranma and Balla were long gone.
On the roof...
"Look, I don't want you picking any fights with that girl, okay?" Ranma said.
Balla wasn't convinced. "She appears to be your enemy. The enemy of my husband is my enemy as well!"
"It's not like that, okay!" Ranma snapped, then calmed down. "Lisa's just a very... lonely girl, that's all. I really don't think she'd hurt anyone, you know what I mean?"
Balla's expression softened as she smiled at her beloved. "You know what?
Underneath that gruff exterior is a kind and sweet person, just like I knew there was."
Ranma became very agitated as he tried to deny it. "If I'm so sweet and kind, then how come everyone treats me like some kind of angry outcast?
Because that's what I am, damn it!"
"Oh I don't think so!" Balla giggled as she glomped onto him and nuzzled close.
As Ranma tried to pry her off, a random thought came into his head. I don't know why girls keep coming after me! It's a curse! A GOD-DAMNED CURSE!
Nerima, two months after Ranma's desertion...
"I wish these stupid idiots would just lay off!" Akane said as she finished off the last of the morning mob. After Ranma had left, Akane was now constantly fighting hordes of boys who wanted to date her. It wasn't limited to mornings either. Now they were attacking her at every opportunity. Naturally, she blamed it all on Ranma and took out her frustrations on the hordes of hentais. Kuno was the worst of the lot as he redoubled his efforts to win his beautiful tigress and lamented about how the 'pigtailed goddess' was still in Saotome's clutches.
As if Kuno and the morning mobs weren't bad enough, Shampoo, Ukyo and Kodachi had placed her at the top of their hit lists as they blamed her for making Ranma abandon them. Constantly being attacked by an angry Amazon, an irate okonomiyaki chef and a psychotic gymnast had made her life totally unbearable. One or the others attacked her several times a day and of course, she blamed this on Ranma as well.
The Tendo dojo had also suffered on hard times. With Ranma gone, Nabiki's major source of income had also vanished. With no pictures of the 'pigtailed girl', betting outcomes on fights or other blackmail schemes in the works, the income flow had taken a sharp nosedive. Genma's appetite was taxing the Tendo's food bill. There was no help from either him or Soun as both would just moan on and on about how the schools would never be joined. Happosai was now unstoppable in his panty raids. Akane blamed all of this on Ranma.
Ryoga had been on a kind of vengeance kick as he blamed all the problems that Akane was experiencing on Ranma. Of course, Akane still didn't know about P-Chan and thought that whatever Ryoga was currently feeling was also Ranma's fault. It always was, wasn't it?
As Nerima began to go even further downhill, in her room, Nabiki nodded as she checked through several records. Since questioning and trying to blackmail the Furinken Computer Club had been a dismal failure, the mercenary sister of Akane and Kasumi had to resort to other sources of information. She had questioned the other students of the high school and had only been able to piece together a scant hypothesis of what could have happened to Ranma and where he was now. It was obvious that he was no longer in Tokyo. After all, his exploits had made him a local legend in the martial arts circles and he was very easy to recognize. However, as the search for him expanded, Nabiki had only begun to pick up some very faint clues to his whereabouts. She had followed a LOT of false leads and such before finally coming across a few individuals who had glimpsed Ranma getting aboard a bullet train heading out to Kyoto. However, the trail had grown cold, for he could have gone anywhere after getting off the train, even out of Japan itself.
Nabiki wasn't about to give up. She knew that Ranma was out there, somewhere, and she would find him. She had invested too much in him for her to lose him now. And when she did find him, he would pay everything that he owed to her, with interest.
To be continued...
Well, I hope this rewrite has been enjoyable and cleared up a few things as well as fleshed things out. I decided to show some scenes on how the rest of the Nerima Gang had fared when Ranma left them and I'll add more in the next few chapters, which will eventually lead up to the NWC finding Ranma. However, they'd better watch out, 'cause Ranma/Eric isn't going to give up his new life without a fight.
Tattoon Ranma has become quite enjoyable to write, but all things must come to an end and this fic will have a definite conclusion. I just want to have much fun as I can getting there