Don’t Waste the Instant Nannichuan
A hentai fanfic by RVincent Rob.Vincent@gmail.com
Disclaimer time! Standard disclaimers apply, I do not own the characters of Ranma 1/2, nor do I have permission to use them in the situations depicted herein. Nonetheless, in fair use, and in light of the fact that I am making no profit off this work, compounded by the reasonable idea that fanfiction is a way of expressing my fandom and thereby promoting the series, I beseech those in positions of authority to grant me some leeway and not take me to court over this, at the request of an official from either the controlling company, or from Rumiko Takahashi, in writing of course to deter a fan who finds my fanfiction upsetting from doing an impersonation of either of these two powers, I will remove my works from whatever medium they so desire. Copyrights remain with their respective copyright holders.
To the second half of the warning, this fanfic contains adult situations, in this case some straight sex is likely. For those of you not quite yet 18 years of age I ask you to either click the back button on your browser or close your internet surfing application, there will be plenty of time for hentai bits when your older. As an extension of this, if you are offended by sexual acts, please do yourself a favor and leave.
Finally for those who stayed, let’s start the show!
“It’s finally here!” Her voice squealing a bit uncharacteristically female Ukyo hopped down the stairs, provoked by a strong knock at the door. Making it to the bottom of the steps she turned sharply on her heel and dug in, using the momentary friction to propel her the last bit to the door. Without missing a beat her body came to a stop, her hair continuing its forward momentum, momentarily cloaking her face in a mass of chestnut locks. Fluidly, her arm shot out and grabbed the door, sliding it open in a well practiced movement. In a beautiful display of coordination, Ukyo was instantly upright and looked respectable and composed, not at all like the giddy young woman that just rocketed to the door in anticipation of the deliveryman.
The man held out a box, “Here.” Listlessly he handed over a package. “You just need to sign here.” Ukyo took the electronic clipboard and gave it a second of her time before the mailman tipped his head and backed away from the door, indicating to Ukyo that her time of patience was over.
Door closed she unchecked her emotions. Tearing the wrapping off with one hand wile holding the box against her chest in a death grip with the other. Ripping the top open, the packing tape snapping with a loud pop she rifled through the pellets inside and quickly found a wooden box.
She yanked it out and unclasped the brass hinge. Despite its size, only six inches at its widest dimension, the hinge had a weight to it that indicated that whomever had constructed it did not skimp on quality. Nonetheless it was out of the way in a seconds time and Ukyo momentarily held her breath as she admired the contents. She reached inside and pulled out one of the envelopes. Small, thin, and rectangular she held it up, “He actually came through... Instant Nannichuan...” The ‘he’ she was referring to in this case being a pen pal she had been writing to, initially she made contact with a person in the area of the Qui Gin province by post under the guise of a student looking for overseas correspondence as part of a Chinese class she claimed to be taking.
But her plan failed, and her attempts at Chinese failed. He realized that she was in fact not talking to him as part of a school project. What the two of them did find out however was that Jusenkyo had affected both of their lives and with that the stepping stones to a steady pen-pal friendship had been formed. This was the payoff for that friendship. Her friend overseas had acquired her as much instant Nannichuan as he could find in the area. Instant Nannichuan wasn’t a commodity of normal stock in most places, and definitely not a product of much importance in an increasingly logical society.
Despite that, here it was, Instant Nannichuan. “Ranchan will be so happy!” Ukyo gave a little jump as she sat the box down on a nearby table and set the packet back inside, closing the top firmly. “He’ll be able to use these whenever he needs to be a guy with cold water, if he gets splashed and can’t warm up water, if he feels like taking a cold bath as a man, if he feels like going for a swim...” Overjoyed at the prospect of giving Ranma such a useful gift, and hopefully earning some praise in the process, Ukyo expedited the reaction and headed over to the phone to give the Tendo household a quick call.
It was finals week, hence her shop being closed. And it was late, but she knew neither of these things usually mattered to Ranma, unless by being late it meant he was already asleep, or if by finals week it meant he had a fight coming up. Shaking off the complexities of Ranma, Ukyo dialed the number for the Tendo’s. After several rings she had to curse herself for the possibility of calling in the middle of dinner. The rings ended abruptly with Kasumi answering, “Hello, Tendo residence.”
Ukyo swallowed, quivering a little with anticipation, “Hey Kasumi, Is Ranchan around?” There was a pause, and an image of Kasumi looking side to side for any trace came to her mind.
“I don’t see him anywhere, let me go check his room, hold on a moment.” Sighing a little, Ukyo started to settle in, Kasumi was a nice girl, but once she got her mind set on something she didn’t know when to stop, and not only that, she wasn’t know for her speed. She could be looking for Ranma for a very long time, and worse yet, how could you hang up on Kasumi?
In the background Ukyo could faintly hear the television. The news she would guess, but she could only make out the every fifth word or so. Coming into the audio picture she heard Genma grunt something, a panda.... Then Soun... they were arguing about something... the television turned up in response and now that it was fairly clear so Ukyo focused on that. As a reward got the weather forecast for the next day before she finally heard the phone being shuffled around, “He’s coming Ukyo, he’ll be here in a minute.”
Ukyo nodded despite it not transmitting her satisfaction, “Thanks Kasumi.” The line went silent again except for the ambiance of the Tendo house, suddenly, over the television she heard Akane shout something, then Ranma shout something back, it was hard to make out. She heard the phone being jostled again.
“Hello?” Ukyo felt her heart pound especially hard hearing Ranma’s voice on the other end of the line. It was somewhat of a rare occurrence; she really wasn’t comfortable calling the Tendo house to talk to Ranma. Despite her more civil approach to a Fiancée rivalry with Akane it still seemed odd.
“Heya Ranchan, I was wondering... if you weren’t busy, if you could... come over for a minute?” Trying her hand at acting, Ukyo tried to make the last part come out a little pathetic just to entice him that extra bit.
“Jeeze, Ucchan, I don’t know, I’ve still got a lot of studying to do tonight.”
Undeterred Ukyo tried again, “You could study with me.” Ukyo offered quickly then recanted for coming on too strong, “I mean, I won’t keep you, I only need you to stop in for a second, and I’ll give you a free Okonomiyaki if you want.” Food being the key to Ranma’s motivation, the struggle was all but won by that wonderful Coup de grâce
administered by Ukyo.
“I guess I can stop in for a minute or two. I’ll be by in a little bit.”
Now, letting her voice reflect her feelings Ukyo could hardly keep them to reasonable levels, “I‘m looking forward to it!” She hung up quickly hoping that she didn’t go too overboard. Ranma, like most things wild, spooked very easily. And if he knew she had something to give him besides food she might not see him for the better part of a week.
Time passed slowly. The radio was off, most of the lights were out, and the room was empty. She turned on the grill and momentarily occupied herself watching the waves of heat come off its surface. She pulled some batter out of the refrigerator but only regretted it afterwards because all there was to do now was wait. Reaching under the grill, she grabbed a mini-spatula and flipped it up in the air with her right hand, catching it with her left hand. Then tossed it up and over her head, catching it behind her back. Not loosing her rhythm she tossed it back up and over her head, catching it, handle down, on the point of her index finger. Balancing it precariously, the slightest movement sending it teetering she reached underneath the grill with he free hand, and pulled out another identical spatula. This one was tossed high in the air, nearly to the ceiling. Expertly, she pulled her other hand from beneath the balancing spatula. She spun around in a tight circle and grabbed the spatula she dropped with her opposite hand and brought it around, dropping her body low with it as she hurled it toward the spatula she threw in the air, now just reaching its apex of flight.
It headed off with terminal velocity and struck the other spatula sharply. One spatula ricocheting unpredictably back at her and the other putting a hole in the covering of her light fixture, “Eeek!” Ukyo covered her head with her hands and heard the spatula embed itself solidly in the wood frame surrounding the grill, following its trajectory with her mind she realized it most definitely would have struck her. She breathed a sigh of relief and stood up, reaching out and plucking the spatula from the wood, lifting it to inspect the edge for damage after its collision with its spatula brethren. Relieved she went over to the area behind the counter where she could sit, near where her regulars sat at the grill and propped herself up on the counter. Again bored she laid the spatula down on the counter and started spinning it with her index finger lazily.... it didn’t take long for her to wonder what kind of tricks she could do with three spatula in motion simultaneously.
It was some time later and Ukyo was poised for attack. In her left hand, three spatula at the ready, each one sandwiched between two fingers and in her right hand the same. She threw, or more accurately rolled the spatulas out of her left hand, giving them the appropriate backspin to make them hover. Sending them into the air spinning and reaching their apex a mere seven feet away. Her other hand at the ready, she swung foreword and unleashed the miniature volley, each one striking a respective spatula in the air, however this time, instead of sending the spatulas flying randomly, the thrown spatulas barely nicked the edge of the spatulas spinning in the air, causing them to merely change the direction of their spin, not their travel. The thrown spatulas themselves were little affected by the collision as only a fraction of their momentum was used so they themselves headed unabated toward the door.
As Anime dictate, Ranma had coincidently been arriving at just that moment. The door had opened a few inches just as the spatulas struck it soundly. Three strong thumps, nearly timed perfectly into one jostled Ranma, “Augh!” He hopped back from the door and raised his hands in a defensive fashion.
This drew Ukyo out of her little competition, “Ranchan?” Still not sure as to what was going on Ranma slid the door open as far as the embedded spatulas would allow and squeezed himself in, just a little bit worried about why Ukyo needed to see him, the spatula attack actually taking him off his guard somehow, more… relaxed.
“Oh! Let me get your okonomoyaki ready!” A little down on herself for wasting time messing around, Ukyo went to work with a vengeance and threw down the batter in record time, imperceptibly the white noise of sizzling filled the previously silent room giving it a little bit of life and bringing a smile to Ukyo’s face. Ranma for his part was just glad the attack was seemingly unintentional. He took a seat right across from Ukyo and looked around the room with a critical eye, passing the time by counting the number of spatula he could spot.
Ukyo looked up from the grill, “What?”
Ranma gestured with his head at the walls, and pointed at the light fixture, “I can see 14 of your spatulas out, you been practicing?”
Ukyo stammered, “Well, not really, just bored...” She kept up her work, flipping the okonomiyaki over.
Meanwhile Ranma had found the joys of spatula play and was rolling one of the mini-spatula between his fingers like a ten yen piece. “You know, I really like these.... they’ve got a good weight to them.”
The compliment brought an unexpected blush to Ukyo’s face, “Thanks, I have to make them myself...” She tried not to make it obvious, the blush and the fact she was now looking at him, so she tilted her head down further so her bangs would obscure her traveling eyes. “Hummm...” Ukyo decided to boast since they were on the subject, “If you like those you should try swinging around my combat spatula...”
Ranma smiled widely, “Well, you know I’m not big on weapons...” He started out, but one could tell that although it was a truth, he had some level of anticipation to letting loose a little. “I mean… there was that one time when I had to take on Crepe Suzette… but still… I never really took the time to learn how to use the thing.” He trailed off a little, embarrassed thinking about the battle, it was rare anyone showed him up, let alone Ukyo.
Seeing his indecisiveness, Ukyo decided for him, “How about after this snack I show you a couple moves.” Ukyo gestured with her head to the corner as she grabbed a plate and sat it in front of Ranma, empty. He looked down it, then up at Ukyo just in time to see an Okonomiyaki flying through the air right in his field of vision. He tried to scramble backward but on the barstool his instincts kicked in which resulted in him flailing as the okonomiyaki landed perfectly on the plate in front of him.
Giggling a little Ukyo pointed at the plate, “And that’s why I never serve the customers like that.” At first Ranma didn’t seem amused but as he started eating he let the smile creep onto his face as Ukyo took his second okonomiyaki and put it in a takeout box and started scraping off the grill.
“You know...” Ranma said between bites of food, “I never see you eat anything...” Before Ukyo could attempt a justification Ranma finished his thought, “Don’t you like okonomiyaki anymore?”
Ukyo stomped her foot, “Hey! Just because you don’t see me eat it doesn’t mean I don’t.”
Ranma went defensive, “I didn’t mean it like that...”
Ukyo calmed down visibly, “I just don’t like to eat while I’m cooking for others. It’s not professional.”
Ranma nodded, a decent logic provided, “Remember when we used to sit together and eat Okonomiyaki?”
Ukyo double blinked, the question taking her by surprise, leaving her wondering if that had been the goal to Ranma’s questioning before. “Uhh.. yeah, of course I remember that...” Reminiscing had always been easy for Ukyo and it wasn’t long before the scents of the fields and nature were with her again. Her and Ranma sitting looking over the fields, not a care in the world, the memories had always had an intoxicating effect on Ukyo because of their power. “Those were good times..” Ukyo came out of her nostalgia wondering if she had said it or Ranma but feeling that it was appropriate either way.
Turning she got a firm grip on her battle spatula, hefting it up and onto her shoulder. “About done?” She said jokingly as Ranma pushed away his plate. He nodded and patted his stomach for emphasis as Ukyo sat a takeout box next to his plate, then handed over the spatula. He didn’t even grunt as he lifted the totality of the weight. His face calm he stood next to the stool and Ukyo rushed around the edge of the bar to be at Ranma’s side.
Ranma lifted the spatula up and above his head, careful to not touch the ceiling and brought it down, “Hah!” The air followed the path of the blade. Even though the spatula had stopped the air continued forward and connected with the floor, scattering around some of the dirt on the boards.
Ukyo laughed, “It’s not a bokken Ranchan!” Ranma took the jib uncharacteristically well, “Here...” Ukyo held out her hand expectantly and Ranma handed over the spatula. Ukyo raised it up, but only to about half the height of Ranma’s initial swing, but instead of the sudden downward strike she brought it around in a tight ark around her body. The wind gust caused chairs to lift up on two legs and drop back down loudly.
“Oh!” Ranma looked over Ukyo’s final pose then she went into a new one, bringing the spatula up fluidly to eye-level and thrusting it foreword, then twisting it so that the blade would cut through the air, bringing it down sharply.
After Ukyo had started her kata Ranma took a few steps back and sat down, studying her movements. It wasn’t long though before Ukyo stopped, “Nice moves Ucchan!”
More winded than embarrassed Ukyo accepted the compliment then handed over the spatula with a smile, “Your turn Ranchan.” Ranma accepted the spatula with an equivalent smile and took Ukyo’s pace. This time Ranma at least looked like he knew more of what was going on, instead of just using the weight of the spatula he used the body of it, in the air when it was used just right it glided like a wing. When everything was right and the movements were perfect it sailed on its own and all it took were little nudges to make it move where you needed it to go.
He kept going for quite awhile, feeling his technique start to get to the point where the weapon would guide itself, but he couldn’t keep it there. Finally he stopped and turned to Ukyo. Smiling widely she started clapping, “And that’s why you’re the best in Nermia!” Sweat just now beginning to threaten its appearance, Ranma reached up and wiped his forehead and walked over to Ukyo, propping the spatula up against the counter.
“You’re still better then me.”
Faking anger Ukyo busted out, “I damn well better be, I spent 15 years training with that and you just spent 15 minutes, sometimes I just don’t think it’s fair!” She finished with a smile and her and Ranma shared a short laugh.
“Well, I better get going.” Ranma reached out and grabbed his takeout box and turned toward the door.
In Ukyo’s head, something clicked, “Wait!” Ranma turned back, “Wait a second.” Ukyo rushed over and grabbed the box she had just gotten in the mail and went to the back room. Ranma held his ground, straining to hear the distinct sound of running water. Then out of nowhere Ukyo ran out of the back room with a pan and doused him with cold water.
“Why the hell did you do that?” Cold, wet, and distinctly female she stomped her foot. “I.. I ....” Ranma looked down, “And the okonomiyaki is ruined too!” She turned to the door, huffed, and left.
Stunned, Ukyo stood there for a minute in silence. “What happened...?” She walked steadily to the backroom sink and filled the pan up with water again, then carefully opened another pack of the instant naichuan, dumping it in. “It doesn’t work?” She lifted the pan out of the sink and braced for the cold as she dumped it over her head.
“.....oh yeah.... it works.....” Looking down at his masculine body Ukyo was stunned. Like unexpectedly touching a live wire. “Huh....” Reaching up Ukyo touched his chest where his breasts had always been, feeling... something about them not being there after trying for so long to keep them tied down. There was a slight height difference, Ukyo had grown slightly, and her body filled out too, muscles grew in all of the right places. Though not excessively, leaving Ukyo with a trim muscular physique that was more athlete than weight lifter. “I gotta get to a mirror...” Shell shocked he suddenly found himself in a runing up the stairs and to his wash room. He slammed the door shut and switched on the lights. And there he stood.
Conscious thought was momentarily lost as he realized what happened. Under his features he could faintly recognize himself. The eyes, just like with Ranma, were the same. The hair also bared a strong resemblance to his normal hair, not changing by entire levels of color like Ranma’s but instead by a few shades. Flashes of the curse tricked through his head, worries that it could be permanent. This was magic, nothing was really set in stone, what if it was a bad batch of Nannichuan? What if it had been spring of drowned rat?
“I need to change back!” Feeling the panic creep in, Ukyo turned on the hot water at the sink, and started splashing it over his face as it began to heat up. Just about the time it started steaming she felt the change taking place. Before there was no sensation to it, it simply happened, but now it was a definite awareness. Shrinking, growing. It wasn’t painful, but unpleasant.... There was a newfound respect for Ranma. She lifted her head up to look in the mirror again, incredibly happy to see her own face starring back at her.
Going to her bedroom she dropped down on her mattress. It took a bit for her to calm down. “Why didn’t it work on Ranchan?” That was the nagging question she kept asking herself as she finally pushed herself up and began to get ready for bed. She slipped on her nightshirt and pulled off her socks and pants before turning out the lights and laying back down on her bed. She tried to block it from her mind but she was still quite worried about herself. It had been an hour since her little experiment, and when she checked twenty minutes prior the curse had still been in effect. Eventually though sleep did finally come.
The next morning Ukyo stepped into the shower with more than a slight sense of trepidation. She turned on the hot water and quickly pulled her hand back before the first spray of cold water made it out of the showerhead. Then she waited until the bathroom mirror completely steamed up before stepping into the stream. The water was scalding hot so she worked in quick attacks to turn down the temperature bit by bit until it was at a manageable level. Finally she got to the shower proper. Quite the lengthy undertaking with as much hair as Ukyo. The water running down her body, she looked down at her chest, her unconstrained breasts. “They don’t look bad...” It was something she didn’t like to admit to herself. She ran her hands over them and soaped them up extra good, cupping them... feeling more appreciative after loosing them momentarily.
Thoughts from the night before again came to the forefront. She rinsed off quickly, then stood there watching the water knobs. She wasn’t going to get out of the shower until she knew, even if she had to wait for the water to run out. With that in mind she braced herself and reached out, putting her hand timidly on the cold-water knob. She held there, in that position with her legs spaced apart, bending beneath a torrent of water with her hand on the knob for a few minutes. Then tightened her grip and turned it significantly. Holding her breath she waited.... “Cold!!!!” She hopped up from her prone position and scrambled to the back of the shower, the freezing water falling on her unprotected feet. She looked down at her body she was still female.
She let out the breath that she had been holding and stepped out of the shower, walking around the curtain and reaching it in to turn it off rather than braving the cold again. Reaching out she grabbed a towel and started drying off, “So... the instant Nannichuan works.... why didn’t it work on Ranchan?” Wrapping her hair in a bun with the towel she stepped out of the bathroom and took the few steps to her bedroom, smacking her fist in her palm, “It worked on him before… so… Unless it only works once!”
Already changing course Ukyo headed down the steps back to the kitchen. Confident in her hypothesis she made another batch of the instant Nannichuan mixture. Then without the hesitation she brought it up and over her head and dumped it. Ukyo looked down at his body. “Damn...” His hair had been up in a towel still so now that was soaked and weighing heavily on his head. “Damn…” He muttered again, dripping wet Ukyo went over to the sink and started running some hot water, dropping the towel out of his hair. The water heated up rapidly as Ukyo thought of all the times Ranma had been hit by a splash of cold water, apparently out of nowhere. Ukyo reached into the sink and splashed some water on his face, the steam filling her nostrils.
Standing upright again Ukyo looked at the mess in the kitchen, the wet towel, the water stains on the floor and scattered pans. And her temporary Jusenkyo curse, “There is no why I’m going to school in Nermia with a Jusenkyo curse!” Just the absurdity of trying to keep such a thing secret was beyond her. Looking over the mess again she felt resigned to her fate, “Crap...” She picked up the pieces of the Nannichuan packets and tossed them in the trash and dropped to her knees, grabbing a towel from beneath the sink to clean up the mess, “But why didn’t it work on Ranchan?...”
It was just getting dark when Ukyo figured the instant Nannichuan had wore off. Although she had got some additional business in her shop through the day, there had been a few close calls. The worst involving someone halfway across the room accidentally backhanding his water bottle full force, nearly striking Ukyo soundly. Were it not for using her spatula as a shield she would have been transformed right then and there. But the real fruits of her day involved a master theory she had come up with. “Ranma’s curse must have canceled it off ... He used instant Nannichuan before, his curse must have found a way around it....” Although not conclusive it made enough sense that it at least helped Ukyo get that particular thought off her head. Still, it remained that she had nearly a hundred packs of instant Nannichuan left with nothing to do with them.
Walking to the back room for some more ingredients she looked up at the box she was keeping the Nannichuan in. She realized that it might be a little conspicuous with her plastic containers of flour, sugar, and other ingredients around it. Going to the refrigerator she grabbed out some cabbage and headed back out to the grill, making quick work of it on the cutting board. She was trying her best not to show how distracted she was, but she was certain her regulars could tell something was amiss, judging by the looks she was getting from them.
Still, with finals and all of the studying she needed to be doing... and how far it was putting her behind not being at school on this day. She realized she couldn’t afford to spend any more time on the subject of the instant Nannichuan and tried to put it out of her mind for at least the next few days until life settled down, well, as much as things settle down in Nermia.
Finals had ended three days after that, but it wasn’t until two weeks later that Ukyo was reminded of the surplus of instant Nannichuan. The thought of it was starting to make her bitter. She could remember the night Ranma came over. She had actually spent a nice time with him, and he seemed to enjoy it too. But she went and ruined it. The Nannichuan went and ruined it. He still seemed upset about it too and Ukyo didn’t want to bring it up. She was still waiting for him to make the first move.
It was this line of thought though that gave Ukyo her next ‘King of Thoughts’. If she didn’t feel comfortable talking to Ranma at the moment then she could ask one of his friends. But that didn’t seem right to ask someone else to talk to him for her, it was childish. Into her mind popped the instant Nannichuan. She could make herself into that third party.
Even though she would just be a random stranger to Ranma, she felt confident that she would be able to procure the information that she needed from him. A plan was hatched. The next day after school she put it into action. After the last class of the day she rushed home and to the kitchen sink again. Her fingers were trembling as she tore open the packet. The nervousness was making her scatterbrained. She wondered exactly how much she needed, if you could keep the solution, if it needed refrigeration.
She shook her head, magic was magic. She upended the pan over her head and grabbed a towel to dry off. Ukyo looked down at his wet shirt and pants and realized that he would need to change his pants. Gulping at the prospect Ukyo headed up to his room. For the most part his boxers had been dry and as such all he needed to do was change his pants. At least with uniforms in practice Ukyo didn’t have to try hard to come up with a plausible disguise. He went into the bathroom and combed his hair, leaving it down but untangling the bow thinking that perhaps it would be a dead give away no matter how unbelievable the situation.
Ukyo grimaced before reaching up to tussle his hair, it didn’t look right laying as flat as it was on a guy. Finally satisfied with his appearance Ukyo ran into his bedroom and leapt out the window, landing heavily on the ground below. Ukyo hopped up on a nearby fence, the balance was a bit off but it compensated with an even greater speed and ... Ukyo leapt high in the air and landed in a run back on the sidewalk. He could get used to this.
Not even winded Ukyo drew in a deep breath, relishing the increased oxygen carrying capacity of the male body. “Okay, where’s Ranchan?” Taken aback by his deepened voice Ukyo nearly stumbled before regaining his mental footing. He paused a moment, before rushing off in the direction of the Tendo Dojo, hoping that Ranma could not have made it home so quickly. Ukyo didn’t have travel far, Ranma was down the road a ways but Ukyo could make him out, walking elevated along the fence line as Akane kept pace below. Ukyo gave a predatory smile and dropped down out of the tree, landing a little pained on the ground, not taking the additional mass into account for the landing.
Recovering quickly Ukyo covered the distance between the two of them in a sprint. Although he appeared in tow to Akane at the time Ukyo stepped in and effectively blocked his path, “Hey Ranchan.”
Ranma looked up at this stranger, “Do I know you?”
Ukyo shook his head, “No, I don’t think we’ve met before.” He’d thought over this confrontation already and was trying to stick to his own lines.
Ranma’s face looked doubting though, “Ranchan... ? What does Ukyo want?”
Already panicking a little Ukyo tried for a quick reply, “Ukyo, who’s Ukyo?”
Ranma smiled, obviously not buying it, “Righhht... anyway, I’ve had an annoying day at school and I‘m looking forward to getting home for dinner, so unless there‘s something else you need.” Ranma pushed past Ukyo and sped up a little to gain some ground, leaving him to his thoughts.
Ukyo’s face dropped, that wasn’t the way he’d been planning it. He turned to catch Ranma nearing the end of the street, he had to say something now, “Ranma Saotome… I challenge you!” Ukyo fought to cover his own mouth.
“Oh yeah?” Ukyo watched Ranma come to a complete stop before turning slowly on his heel. Absently Ukyo noticed Akane give a huff and shake her head before continuing off toward the Dojo. Ukyo’s attention though was quickly back on the martial artist in front of him. He remembered his previous fights with Ranma… and he knew that Ranma had pulled his punches, not just because he had been a girl at the time, but because he had been a friend. Ukyo focused and forced himself to stop shaking, comforting himself with the fact that at least Ranma’s honor would prevent him from landing a killing blow.
“Y… yeah!” Ukyo stomped his foot. “I challenge you!” Ukyo shouted out, trying to call up some of the feelings he had had the first time he had challenged Ranma so long ago.
“Heh… that’s what I thought you said…” Ranma took a few steps forward, feeling the stress of the last few weeks fade away. “I hate to ask…” Ranma started, cracking his knuckles, “But what did I do to make you want to fight?”
Ukyo bit his lip, fumbling, “You… you-” Ukyo took a deep breath before blurting out, “You didn’t do anything!”
“What?” Suddenly Ranma’s fight was gone.
“I’m a traveling martial artist.” Ukyo started, feeling his confidence grow as he mixed some of his own background with the story. “I’m out to fight with the best martial artists to sharpen my own skills.”
“I can respect that.” Ranma answered back, sounding casual. “Dojo or street.”
“Dojo or street?”
“I know a Dojo where we can fight, or we can just do it here. Whatever suits you best.” Ranma offered uncharacteristically forthcoming.
“Right here.” Ukyo replied back as strongly as he could, not wanting to be seen at the Tendo home.
“Suit yourself.” Ranma widened his stance, motioning toward Ukyo with his left hand, “Whenever you’re ready…..?” Ranma scrunched up his eyes, “What’s your name anyway?”
Ukyo smirked, thankful that he’d planned for such a contingency. When he’d been thinking about it earlier the first name to come to mind had been his own name. But even with the curse that was just a little too obvious. Instead he had taken his father’s, confident that it had been lost to Ranma over time, “Akira.” Ukyo answered back succinctly.
“Well then, come on Akira.”
Ukyo gulped but steadied himself, “Now or never.” He muttered, bringing his own hands up in a fighting stance and suddenly he felt himself rushing forward. “Here I come!” Ukyo’s arm shot forward faster than he had ever felt before. Whereas Ranma had struggled to adapt to his girl body to compensate for the lack of strength, Ukyo found himself instantly gifted with a strength and speed he had never known, pushing his own female body had given him the edge Ranma had struggled to obtain during the change over and already Ukyo was feeling the benefit of it. Still, Ranma brought up his own arm, blocking the first with the crook of his elbow. The meaty impact was enough to halt Ukyo’s forward movement and Ranma quickly snaked his own arm around Ukyo’s extended arm and applied torque at the elbow.
To prevent his own elbow from being dislocated, Ukyo moved with the motion, flipping himself over Ranma in the air. Already several moves ahead Ranma lashed out with a kick just as Ukyo connected with the ground. The impact shook Ukyo’s teeth in his head, vibrated the inside of his lungs, it was the strongest hit Ukyo had ever felt. But it didn’t hurt nearly as much as it should have. His increased body mass even allowed him to hold his own ground much more than he would have expected.
While Ukyo was marveling at his own damage taking ability though he was distracted long enough for Ranma’s follow up. “Kyahhh!” The fist just barely entered Ukyo’s peripheral, not even giving him enough time to process exactly what it was before a backhand solidly connected with Ukyo’s temple. The hit threw Ukyo off his feet and up against the cyclone fencing surrounding the canal. He tried to recover quickly, looking down at the bar that he had used to catch himself, it was bent almost to the ground from the impact.
Ukyo turned, Ranma was running at him, then… Gone. Quickly Ukyo looked up, Ranma was descending from and upward arc, foot extended right at his face. “Ahhh!” Ukyo rolled out of the way, Ranma’s impact taking out a chunk of concrete almost as big as himself from around the edge of the canal, breaking it off and splashing into the water below.
Slowly Ranma stood, taking up his same fighting stance, “Heh.” Again with the smug look Ukyo couldn’t help but feel a little irked. He pushed himself to his own feet yet again, remembering their fights when they had just been small children. I’d been the same way then with Ranma acting just as satisfied. He felt himself honestly wanting to wipe the grin off his face for the first time in a long time. Giving himself a moment to think he went through some of the special attacks he knew, the list shrunk greatly when he limited himself to unarmed attacks. But there was one…
Throwing himself toward Ranma, intentionally reckless Ukyo choreographed the punch before he even made it to the martial artist. He was relying on Ranma’s fights with Ryoga, that he wouldn’t think too much about the attack that was apparently made out of anger. Ukyo threw the punch, still rushing headlong for Ranma, aiming at his head. As expected Ranma sidestepped the attack, and just as he had hoped tried to sweep his legs.
Letting himself fall was the easy part. Catching himself at full momentum on his hands was somewhat more difficult. Pivoting while fighting that much momentum was near impossible. And re-directing it upward and into a double barreled kick was one step shy of a miracle. Ukyo managed to pull off the combination in a split second. Ranma’s instincts kicked in just as quickly, causing him to turn out of the way, but it was too late. He avoided the kick to the head, and instead was struck solidly in the shoulder.
Ranma felt himself lifted up in the air. Air born. He fought to regain control of his momentum but felt himself twisting in the air despite his best attempts. The pain from his shoulder moved down his side, leaving a deep numb feeling as it went. It distracted him more than he would have liked. He momentarily gave up on the counter attack, instead forcing his eyes open and trying for a safe landing.
Ukyo meanwhile continued the same movement, using the momentum from his attack to propel himself upward and to land on his feet. He clenched his hands into fists, feeling the grit and gravel from the ground dug into them. His mind was sharp, Ukyo leapt into the air, gaining height over Ranma and tried for the same attack Ranma had just failed with. Aiming a kick right at the midsection of his fiancée.
Ranma’s eyes widened as Ukyo suddenly came into his field of vision, blocking out the sun. Feigning shock had been the best way to go. Just as Ukyo connected with his kick Ranma moved his hands from his side and grabbed his foot tightly, twisting to the side and locking the foot. The two of them tumbled to the ground, Ranma twisting so as to put Ukyo on the bottom to take the brunt of the impact.
Ukyo grunted out painfully, the wind knocked from his lungs and his chin bouncing off the concrete. The pain shooting up his leg was another matter all together. His knee taking the brunt of the impact down below, Ranma having twisted his leg around and into the ground first and foremost. Ukyo’s eyes widened and a silent scream came out as Ranma rolled with her foot against his back, twisting his knee.
“I…” Ukyo grunted out, “I give up!” Suddenly the twisting pressure was gone, the pain. Ukyo rolled onto his back, breathing heavy as Ranma rolled off him.
Pushing himself to his feet, Ranma offered a hand, “Good match.”
Ukyo accepted with a nod, “Yeah.”
“I’ve gotta get going.” Ranma started, slightly winded. “Are you going to stick around town for awhile?”
“Yeah.” It was all Ukyo could think to say.
“Good.” Ranma responded with one of his all too rare genuine smiles, “It’s been awhile since I’ve had a decent sparring partner that wasn’t out for blood.” Ranma gave a heavy nod before jogging a few steps. Suddenly he stopped and turned back, “Same time tomorrow?”
Ranma nodded, “Oh! And one other thing, if you meet a girl called Shampoo, whatever you do, don’t fight her, trust me, you don’t want to win that fight.”
Ranma had turned away before Ukyo broke into a smile, “Thanks for the warning!” Ukyo watched Ranma continue to run until he had turned a corner out of sight. Only then did he allow himself a moment to inspect his injuries. His hands were already slick with blood from the impact against the ground, and he spit a gob of the same red liquid out of his mouth and onto the ground. It took him a moment but he was sure all of his teeth were still there. Despite the physical pain, he still felt better than he had in a long time, and already found himself looking forward to the next day more than anything.
Limping, Ukyo pulled himself into the shower stall in the upstairs of The Ucchan. Stripped down to just his boxers he reached out and turned on the water, aiming the showerhead downward to avoid the cold spray. Moments later it warmed up to tolerable levels and Ukyo put his head beneath it. Her body shuddered as the changed washed over her.
She looked down over her body, watching the water cascade over her breasts, never so happy to see them before in her life. Ukyo grabbed the soap and winced. She looked at both of her torn hands under the water, small pebbles embedded in the surface. She rubbed them together in the stream, a few pebbles falling loose and striking with small sharp sounds against the bottom liner of the shower. Thankfully it wasn’t as bad as it initially looked, most were just embedded in the surface.
The water was making the other sore spots of her body feel better too. Shambling forward Ukyo leaned her frame against the front of the shower stall, pulling the shower head downward and causing it to spray over her body as she relaxed against the wall. All in all she figured the encounter went pretty good. Though she didn’t much feel like opening up shop now. She thought about it, if anything she needed to train instead. Work on her hand to hand skills.
The memory of the kick went through her head, the force and violence of it. In retrospect it was a scary thing, but at the time… She remembered that she had hardly been phased by it. That body was something else, it let her fight in the big leagues, and the thought brought a smile to her face. And the smile she’d gotten out of Ranma at the end. Even if her plan didn’t go as she intended he seemed to be enjoying the practice. She ran her shredded hands over her face, the water no longer felt like fire to them.
Maybe she would give it a day or two. Give herself time to recover and time to practice. She’d let her skills grow lax since she moved to Nermia. As strange as it sounded, she never felt like she was in any real danger. The occasional scrimmage with Shampoo helped to keep her skills from falling into total disuse, but she was nowhere near her prime. If she wanted to keep up the façade of a wandering martial artist she needed to take the time to refresh her skill set. One day off first, then training…
Ukyo trudged into his store and pulled out a chair, setting down in it heavily. The moves that he had spent so long training on the previous day had given him a slight, albeit temporary advantage against Ranma. Nowhere near enough but it had made things slightly more interesting. “Damn.” He muttered to himself thinking about opening up the shop. He didn’t know if he was up to it. Groaning and pushing himself up from the chair a moment later he shambled into the kitchen and started running the hot water spigot. In a few moments it was hot enough and he shoved his head under the running water.
Seconds later Ukyo pulled whipped her head around to dislodge some of the stray water. She looked down at her outfit, she’d worn something a little different than usual, a plain white sleeveless T-shirt and baggy pants, an outfit she’d seen in one of the martial arts manga she’d found on a shelf at a store she frequented. As a man the outfit had been conservative, but as a woman, she could see her breasts readily from above, and she could only guess that from the sides the view was even less obstructed.
Grumbling to herself she ascended the staircase to her bedroom and swapped her shirt for a more conservative fresh one. Dismissing the temptation to bind her chest. Cracking her neck Ukyo left the room and descended the stairs. The fight itself hadn’t lasted long so there was still plenty of time to open the shop for the night. She walked to the front door and swung the sign around to show the shop was open then slid the door open, flipping on the lights. Soon enough she was behind the griddle, turning on the propane and watching the waves of heat come off the surface.
Her mind went back to after the fight. Ranma had such a smile on his face ’Same time tomorrow?’ he’d said and she had agreed. She wasn’t sure if she was going to make it or not but he hadn’t been upset when she skipped the first time he had been expecting her. He’d just been waiting there. Idly she flicked some water atop the griddle, watching it fizzle and coalesce. Evaporating It was ready. Turning down the heats slightly she turned to look at her spatula, wondering if there was some weapon she could work into her arsenal that Ranma wouldn’t find odd. Fighting hand to hand against Ranma was just… futile.
Ukyo looked up from her grill, Ranma was just walking in the door. “Ranchan, what are you doing here?” As soon as the words left her mouth she realized she did a horrible job hiding her surprise.
“Just wondering if I could get one of the best okonomiyaki in town.” He said with a smile, sliding a stool to the side before taking a set atop it.
“Okay, one of the good ones coming right up.” Ukyo replied, trying to hide her blush. She looked to the side, she’d forgotten to bring out any of her cooking ingredients. “Just give me a second, I’m still setting up.”
She saw Ranma nod out of the corner of her eye as she went to the backroom and grabbed some of the batter she had prepared the night before out of the refrigerator. She also grabbed some of the other fixings before heading back to the main room. “Your usual?” Ukyo asked, closing the door behind her with her foot.
Quickly Ukyo wiped down the grill and topped the hot surface with the ingredients necessary. Soon enough the edges were beginning to bubble and lift away from the grill.
“Yeah?” Ukyo looked up from the food momentarily.
“Have you met that new kid, Akira?”
“N… no?” She shook her head purposefully, “Never heard of them.” Ukyo stumbled out, thoroughly off guard.
“Oh.” Ranma shook his head and looked down at his empty plate. “It’s just… I guess he’s new in town. He told me he was a ronin or sorts, but the first time we fought he was wearing a school uniform.”
Ukyo cursed herself, instantly realizing the mistake from her first day. For a fleeting instance she wondered if she should carry over the charade to school as well but squashed it. A jusenkyo curse in Nermia was too hard to hide to think she could get away with it, even if the chances of getting splashed with hot water were significantly less it did happen. Quickly she looked back to the grill, flipping the okonomiyaki. It was a shade too dark. Her mental scolding continued, she hadn’t done that in a long time. She doubted Ranma would notice.
“Maybe it was just a coincidence.” Ukyo replied, trying to get herself back into the conversation.
“Yeah, I guess.” He didn’t sound convinced. The okonomiyaki suddenly on the plate in front of him cut off any further thought. “Thanks.”
Quickly Ukyo put a cup of water next to the plate and Ranma started eating in earnest. Knowing that one was never enough she already had a second going. It was strange talking about herself in third person, but… it was a sign that her plan was at least moving in some direction. Whether it was forwards or backwards was another matter all together.
“Could you just box that up?” Ranma stopped her from putting it onto his now empty plate. Seeing her expression he continued, “I just wanted to stop by for a minute.” He stopped suddenly, “You’re not wearing your bow?”
Ukyo reached up, not thinking to hide the alarm she felt. It was missing, “Um, no, I got it tangled earlier, so I left it off.” She was amazed he noticed.
“Humm-” Ranma shook his head, “Nothing, thanks for the food Ucchan.”
“You’re welcome, come back any time.” Ukyo handed off the small box with his second helping and gave a nod as he left out the door.
Meanwhile one of her regulars had taken a seat at the counter, “Pork please.”
“Coming right up.” Ukyo rolled up her sleeves and put the ingredients on the grill. The thoughts of the bow kept running through her mind, she’d forgotten it, something so simple. She doubted that Ranma would put two and two together but still, he had noticed it. In the future she would definitely have to be more careful.
Ukyo felt the hand come in and grasp the collar of his shirt tightly, throttling him into the wall. For a moment the world spun, he’d bit his tongue, the metallic taste of blood filled his mouth. Then, the wind was driven from his lungs, he tried to hold his mouth shut but a spray of blood from his tongue was released anyway. Ukyo doubled over as the knee was removed from his stomach.
“Are you okay?” Ranma asked slightly concerned, unsure of the source of the blood spray.
“Peachy.” Ukyo wheezed. “I just bit my tongue, that’s all.” Ukyo raised up a hand, waving off any further attacks, “I’ve about had it for today though.”
Ranma stood there, arms folded, “That’s all you got? You couldn’t even lay a hand on me today.”
Ukyo huffed, it’d been true but he had been trying something different today, apparently it wasn’t a good strategy against Ranma though. Still, through all the cockiness, Ukyo could tell there was a respect there. Already his mind was going over things that he could change up the next time they fought. Even after all these fights, she wasn’t that much closer to being able to talk to Ranma. This was the eighth time that he’d been beaten, but beyond talking with his fists, there hadn’t been much talking at all save some general background on their training and styles.
“You wanna go get some ramen?” Ukyo offered suddenly.
“Yeah, that sounds good.” Ranma admitted with a smile.
The walk to the Ramen shop was one of the most uncomfortable of Ukyo’s life. Not for Ranma though. He knew the proper etiquette to use while dealing with some other guy. Ukyo on the other hand awkwardly followed, his eyes momentarily settled on Ranma’s butt before he stripped them away, that wouldn’t do to be caught ogling. Then there was the temptation to walk hand in hand that Ukyo was fighting, to cling and hold onto his body as they moved down the street. Ukyo looked down at his body, the defined muscles there, lack of chest, even some added height. No, that wouldn’t do at all.
Ranma pushed aside the curtain surrounding the shop, “Two specials please.” Before taking a seat at the counter. Ukyo sat down a moment later next to him. “So, how’d you hear about me?”
Ukyo whipped his head around to meet Ranma’s eyes, then diverted, afraid to be found in a lie. “Someone named Ryoga told me.” Ukyo lied, but it was the most plausible he could think of, Ryoga managed to get around more than anyone else and he would wager that with Ryoga’s extensive wanderings that there were more than enough chances for such an occurrence.
“Ryoga.” Ranma said with a laugh, “You didn’t fight him did you?”
“He’s a fighter? I thought with his outfit he was some kind of lost safari guide.” Ukyo laughed, remembering his first encounter with Ryoga and thinking the same thing.
“Oh.” Ranma laughed out, “That’s great, I’ll have to tell him that when I see him next time.”
Ukyo couldn’t hold back the smile. But the sound of the bowls of ramen sliding on the wood next to them took them out of the conversation. “Thanks.” Ukyo offered, taking the ramen and starting to eat.
“You know.” Ranma got out between slurps, “If you ever fight that guy you need to watch out.” Ranma took another slurp of noodles, “He’s as tough as a boulder and hits just as hard.”
“I’ll keep that in mind.” Ukyo took a slurp of noodles to match Ranma’s. “You know, who is that girl I see you walking home with every day?” Ukyo ventured, wondering if he was pressing his luck.
“Oh, that’s one of my fiancées.” Ranma answered casually.
“One - of your fiancées? How many do you have?” Ukyo raised his eyebrows, going back to his food momentarily, acting casual.
“Two.” Then he paused, “Three if you count the Amazon.”
“You’ve got an Amazon as a fiancée?” Ukyo mock whistled, “No wonder you’re so tough.”
“Don’t get me started.” Ranma upended his bowl and finished it off.
“What about the other two?”
“Hummm?” Ranma managed, bowl still upended.
“Your other two fiancées. What’s the deal with them?” Ukyo tried to steer the conversation back around before finishing off his own bowl, giving Ranma time to talk.
Ranma shrugged, “It’s complicated.”
“Ahhh..” Ukyo dropped down his bowl on the counter, “I bet.”
“Anyway,” Ranma got up to leave, putting a hand on Ukyo’s shoulder, “…it was nice talking with you Akira.”
Ukyo looked down at the hand before fishing his own hand into his pocket, checking to see if he had brought any money with him just as Ranma was looking in his own pockets to see if he had any money to his name. “I may be a wander, but I’ve got this covered.” Ukyo said with a smile, having found some yen in his pocket.
“Thanks, see ya later.”
“See ya.” Ukyo waved back, pulling the yen out and placing it on the counter before heading back to his shop for the night.
Ukyo laid out on her bed before rolling over to set her alarm for the next morning. With the task complete she laid back across the covers, looking at the ceiling. Her mind was trailing over the events of the day. When she had met up with Ranma to spar he had some other things in mind. Instead of going straight to the fight they had trained, taking to one of the nearby vacant lots. Ranma had guided him in male form through a number of kata’s, and a few attacks. She could definitely tell that Ranma was letting her get a lot closer as a guy than in her normal form. That was until Ranma had noticed her erection. She blushed at the thought, after all he was the one that she cared for, she had nothing to be ashamed of, save the fact she was a guy at the time. After noticing that Ranma had made up some excuse about studying and ran off.
Ukyo let out a deep breath and rolled onto her side. Even if her progress as a guy was going well, Ranma seemed just as distant at school as of late. She had tried to reason it away, but… Now that she was seeing things from a new perspective, without her camouflage in place, she could see the way Ranma acted around Akane without her presence. At least she could be thankful for the time she was getting with him. Akane didn’t seem to care much about the extra time the two of them spent together after school. After all he was just hanging out with one of the guys. And aside from a suspicious glance from Shampoo, the Amazon had been quiet.
She wondered, could she be happy with such an arrangement? To just hang out with Ranma as a friend. The thought had crossed her mind, even before the change. She knew that was one of the reasons he was uncomfortable around her. Why they could never truly go back to the innocence of children. If she just gave up, wouldn’t that make things that much easier?
For a moment she wondered how much longer her instant Nannichuan supply would last. She found she could use half a packet and still get good results, and of that half a packet, she could dissolve it in enough water to make it last for two transformations. She figured she had nearly a years supply if she needed to be in male form all the time a lot longer at her current rate of consumption though.
It was her male side that he had opened up to. Without being able to express the way she felt for him physically she had been forced to act just the way he had remembered her. They’d made fast friends. Ukyo just had to be careful what she talked about with respect to their past. Occasionally the lies came easy, at other times, she had to stop and think, afraid of saying something contradictory. It was his admission though that his relationship with her, Ukyo, was one of the points of stress in his life that really drove things home. She’d had to excuse herself from their after battle ramen to go home for a good cry.
There were still options though. Still time. She didn’t want to give up, she had to keep fighting, both physically and metaphorically. She just knew that things would turn out in the end.
Ranma threw his arm around Ukyo’s neck, laughing, “Ready to go get some ramen Akira?”
Ukyo smiled back, “Sounds good.” And it did, it had sort of grown on him, Ukyo had never been big into ramen but now after having it so often and giving it a chance he found herself liking it more and more.
Ukyo felt it too, and the both of them jumped back from the spot where they had been standing just as the ground exploded outward.
The narrow pathway along the edge of the canal did not give either of them as much room to dodge as they would have liked. Ukyo bounced off the cyclone fencing while being pelted with a multitude of small rocks. Ranma had meanwhile taken to the air, landing much more gracefully atop the fence line.
“Ryoga, long time no see buddy.” Ranma managed out in a taunting voice.
“Heh, I knew I’d find you eventually.” Ryoga jumped out the crater and brushed himself off, sending up a small cloud of dust.
“So, are you going to challenge me or what?” Again Ranma taunted his rival.
“Is that what you want, a fight?” Ryoga answered back with a bit of a grin.
“Is there any other reason you’d track me down?”
“I guess you’ve got a point…” Ryoga completed his smile, “Let’s go then!”
With that Ryoga charged Ranma. “Basi Tenketsu!” Ukyo took a step back as the ground near Ranma exploded, sending more tiny rock shards in all directions. A moment later Ukyo had taken to the top of the fence as Ryoga and Ranma started fighting in earnest. Ukyo watched them go back and fourth. Attack and counter attack. For the first time he saw Ranma fight while knowing full well what those punches and kicks could do, and it left him wincing each time Ryoga caught one full on.
Another breaking point left Ukyo covering his eyes. He watched as Ranma blocked a punch that could have leveled a wall, he braced himself against the concrete causing it to spider web as the force was transferred. Ranma followed up instantly with a wide kick that caught Ryoga in the side and tossed him against the wall.
“Son of a-” Ryoga grunted out from the impact before launching into an attack yet again. Ryoga led with a haymaker that Ranma easily sidestepped and tried to parlay into a toss, grabbing Ryoga by the arm and hurling him. But the wandering martial artist wouldn’t go down that easy and he reached out just before the full momentum caught up with him and grabbed Ranma by the back of the shirt, yanking him into the air as well. The two of them awkwardly tumbled over the cyclone fencing and into the waters below.
Ukyo turned toward the continuing fight, water from the canal being splashed all around in the process. Ranma had managed to disentangle himself from Ryoga, propelling himself across the canal and to the other side, but Ryoga wasn’t so lucky. Leaving Ryoga solidly in the water. Ukyo looked over at Ranma, standing there. “It’s a long story!” Ranma shouted back, pointing to Ryoga bweeing angrily in the water.
Cracking a smile Ukyo replied, “I bet.” From his vantage point Ukyo heard Ryoga in his pig form snort.
“Ramen, we’ve got hot ramen!”
Ukyo turned to look at the cart coming down the walkway following the canal. An elderly man pushing it. Momentarily distracted, Ukyo wondered if he and Ranma could just get some ramen there. Suddenly Ukyo saw the blur out of the corner of his eye, a black football shaped missile. Ukyo didn’t even hear the sound, everything slowed to a craw. The cart shattered, pieces flew everywhere, water, steam. Ukyo felt the scalding effects, felt the change just as a naked Ryoga emerged from the rubble.
And just as quickly, she was running.
“Akira!” Ranma called after Ukyo running, wondering if somehow his friend had been burnt from the water.
Ukyo couldn’t let herself turn, she knew her hair was about the same shade, and her height wasn’t much off, but her face… if she only kept running, if only she could find some cold water. She turned the corner quickly keeping low. She told herself that she could explain it later as she ignored Ranma calling after her. She turned again, just as quickly down another alleyway and thanked ever deity in existence when she saw a canal. She leapt high into the air before dropping down into it.
Dry. There wasn’t a drop of water around.
“Akira! Where are you?”
Ukyo turned and looked up, she was a sitting duck. Glancing to the side she saw a concrete pipe storm drain. She sprinted over to it and hefted off the grate, pushing it to the side before running inside. The height was just about right, giving her a slight breadth of headspace. She hoped that if Ranma found her at least she could find water.
Now her heartbeat was racing in her ears. Her footfalls were echoing off the walls. And soon enough they were joined by a second pair. It was darker, not black, but dark enough when she reached a second set of steel grates. She stopped, afraid to turn.
“Why… why’d you run off like that…” Ranma huffed out, clutching his knees.
“I… I don‘t know.” Ukyo confessed, trying to make her voice sound deeper than it really was to match her alter ego.
“Are you okay…? You sound funny.”
“So what.” Ukyo retorted back, instantly feeing sorry for it, knowing how sensitive Ranma could be. “I just saw a guy transform into a pig, it was kind of freaky.”
“Yeah, about that… it’s a long story.” Ranma swallowed hard, “Maybe if you’ve got time I could tell you about it over some ramen?”
“Maybe tomorrow.” Ukyo snipped back, trying to push him away.
“Oh, okay then.” She heard Ranma mutter out tired before exhaling a deep breath, “Same time tomorrow?”
“Yeah… same time tomorrow.”
Ranma stood there a moment longer. He wanted to pry further, something felt… odd. But eventually he gave up on that thought and Ukyo held her position as she heard Ranma’s footfalls echo against the tunnel walls before finally they faded away. Eventually Ukyo dropped her clenched fists to her side, “Whoo… that was close.”
Looking up from her grill, Ukyo’s eyes caught Ranma’s. “Hey ya Ucchan.” Ranma smiled as he sat down at the grill.
Inwardly Ukyo grimaced, she’d wanted a few days away from the martial artist after the fight with Ryoga. To collect herself, to plan her future moves, and also to come up with a better excuse. She didn’t really want to face him now in either form, but if she had to choose, being a girl did make things easier. “What’s up Ranchan?”
“Nothing much.” Ranma looked side to side, the restaurant was still empty. “I was just wondering if we could talk for a second?”
Ukyo paused midway, her hand half-extended toward the batter. “Yeah.” She retracted her hand, looking down toward the grill, “What’s on your mind sugar?”
Ranma looked around, used to eating and talking at the same time and a little thrown off by the situation. “I was wondering if you’d met that Akira guy yet?”
For a moment Ukyo pretended to be thinking, “No, I don’t think so.”
“Kind of tall, dark long hair…” He trailed off hoping to spark a memory.
“Nope, haven’t seen him.”
“Hummm… he’s been hanging around for a couple weeks, would have thought that he would have stopped in here by now.”
Ukyo shook her head. “Why do you ask?”
“No- no reason.” Ranma wished that he had some water to drink or something, “Hey, could I get a glass of water?”
“Sure thing.” Ukyo reached under the counter top and pulled out a glass and poured some water from a bottle into it, “Here.”
“Thanks.” Ranma took a drink of the water, feeling it refresh his senses. “I was just thinking that maybe you could hang out with him a bit. He’s a pretty nice guy.” Ranma offered off handed.
“Hummm…” Ukyo thought about it for a minute, if she didn’t know better she would have thought that Ranma was trying to set her up on a date or something, “Sounds like you’re trying to set me up with him or something.” She asked with a sarcastic little smile.
“Something like that.” Ranma admitted with a tilted smile.
“Hey!” Ukyo responded quickly, pounding her hand on the tabletop. “In case you’ve forgotten, I’m your fiancée.” Ukyo huffed, putting her attention back on the grill. She tried not to let it bother her but he’d been so much more distant lately with her, and the only reason she’d noticed it was due to her boy side. It made her realize just how much she had been missing. And this was just driving that to the forefront.
“No, no, not like that.” Ranma waved his hands to ward off any attack but none came.
“Damn it Ranchan, why can’t you understand…” Ukyo swallowed hard before turning away, not wanting him to see any tears that might decide to pop up.
“I-” Ranma stopped mid thought, his eyes drawn to Ukyo’s arms. They were dotted with a multitude of small angry dots and a few tiny cuts. “You haven’t seen Ryoga lately either have you?”
“Oh, now it’s Ryoga.” Ukyo shot back, not sure if it was anger she wanted to feel or sadness. “I haven’t seen that idiot around anywhere.”
Ranma felt his blood run cold, those marks were the same as what he got when he blocked the debris from the breaking point attack. They were the same… Ranma looked Ukyo over, thinking about his first fight with Akira, the school uniform, Ukyo not wearing her hair in a bow. Similarities in their fighting style.
The way Akira had reacted in the last fight when he’d been splashed with hot water.
“No way…” Ranma muttered, looking between his glass of water and Ukyo. The movement was spontaneous, he reached out and grabbed the glass of water and in one fluid motion threw the contents against Ukyo.
“Hey!” Ukyo spun around angrily only to see the look of shock on Ranma’s face. Out of reflex she looked down at her own body. As she expected the Nannichuan had worn off, she hadn’t changed, but from the look on Ranma’s face it hadn’t been what he expected.
“That-- that’s payback for the other night.” He stumbled out quickly, thinking back to when Ukyo had tossed a pan of water on him as he had been leaving.
Ukyo growled, smoothing down her shirt, the white fabric going nearly transparent across the back, showing the straps of her bra. “Just… go.” Ukyo snorted, grabbing the glass from in front of Ranma as he pushed himself to his feet and walked to the door.
Ukyo sat down on the stool carefully, his body still aching from his recent sparring match with Ranma. Despite the pain however, he gave a small smile as he saw Ranma wince slightly as he sat down. Over the last two months he’d definitely gotten a lot better, he’d even learned to channel Ki into his hands and fight almost toe to toe with Ranma. It was a strange thought.
But any pride Ukyo felt at the accomplishment was crushed whenever he let his mind wander to his relationship with Ranma. Sure, with his boy side things were great. They were getting along stride for stride. With the pressure to push the engagement set aside Ukyo had become the friend that Ranma had needed all along. But it was only recently that he had realized that.
Ukyo’s problems were with his girl side. Sitting on the stool waiting for his ramen, Ukyo let his eyes unfocus as he starred at the martial artist next to him. Tracing his eyes over his tone arms, his playful ponytail, his incredible facial features. It took a moment but Ukyo snapped himself out of his day dream, hopeful that things hadn’t progressed too far as they often did… at times it proved difficult to hide the erection, though Ranma seemed to take it in stride when he noticed, not saying anything and turning away. Ukyo figured it was a guy thing.
The thought had crossed his mind. If things were going so well with Ranma, if things felt so right with him as a guy, why not go for broke. Why not make it permanent? He’d shaken himself out of that line of thought almost daily. He may have been raised as a guy, but ironically enough, with Ranma he wanted to be a girl more than ever. Wanted to be held, loved, to have babies.
For a moment Ukyo fought against the stinging feeling in his eyes. He knew he didn’t have a shot. Ranma and Akane’s relationship had progressed so far now, and although they had hid it from Ukyo, they didn’t bother to hide it from Akira. Their food came quick enough and as usual Ranma took that as his invitation to start conversation.
“So… what’s the matter?” He asked between slurps of ramen.
Ukyo smiled, he had always thought that Ranma just talked while eating because he was always making okonomiyaki for him. However now that he had gotten to know him, Ukyo could see that he always chose to talk about important matters while eating. Mostly it seemed that he did it so that if the conversation went in a direction he didn’t want he could just engage himself more fully in his food and act like he was not dismissing the person or the question, just paying more attention to what he was doing.
“Nothing.” Ukyo answered, starting to eat his own ramen. The temporary moment of sadness was quick to pass, even before Ranma had said anything.
Ranma nodded, “You know.” Ranma began, stirring the noodles in his bowl for a moment, “I was wonder’in.”
Ukyo looked down at his bowl, wondering what Ranma was getting at, “Hummm?”
“What kind of girl do you like?”
Choking slightly, Ukyo quickly recovered, “What?”
“You know, what’s your type man?” Ranma gave a nudge with his elbow.
“I-- I don’t know.” Ukyo stammered, wondering just who to describe.
“Come on, there’s gotta be something’.” Ranma pressed, leaving Ukyo wondering exactly why this line of questioning had come up at this moment.
Ukyo pretended to be in thought for a moment, “You know, I think I’d like a girl with a tight body, and with a small frame, you know, someone that I could just scoop up in my arms.” He began, picturing Ranma’s girl type, afraid to use his own girl type as the mold out of fear that Ranma might try to setup a date between the two of them.
“And she would have to be strong, because you know me.” Ukyo smiled widely, “And none of that Japanese traditionalist stuff, I want a girl who will tell me what she wants and when she wants it, someone with some backbone.”
“Heh.” Ranma chuckled, twirling the rest of the noodles around his chopsticks and popping them in his mouth, “Seems like you got a pretty good idea to me.”
Ukyo smiled but fought back the blush, it wouldn’t have fit a guy well. “I guess I just never really thought about it before.”
Ranma upended the bowl and downed it quickly just as Ukyo did the same. “You know, maybe I could set you up with someone.”
“Oh, you mean take one of your fiancées off your hands.” Ukyo replied quickly, berating herself for sounding out of character.
“No, no, nothing like that.” Ranma waved his hands in front of himself, “Someone different for sure.”
Ukyo let out a sigh, hoping that Ranma would take it more as worry than submission, he didn’t want him to think he was gay, he was sure that would scare Ranma off. “Okay, I guess, if you’ve got someone in mind.” Ukyo conceded, wondering just who he would be setup with, maybe one of Akane’s friends.
“Don’t worry man, I’ll figure something out.” Ranma smiled, “You got this?” He asked, casually laying his hand on the bill. The nod from Ukyo was enough, “Okay then, see ya!”
Leaving Ukyo behind to worry.
With a huff Ukyo sat a bucket of water on one of the tables in her shop before sitting down. The shop was empty which was unusual for a Friday night, but she’d been forced to close it discretely since she had been coerced into other plans. Reaching to her back pocket she withdrew a packet of instant Nannichuan.
Looking down at her own outfit she wondered again how things had moved so quickly. Wearing a button up shirt and dress pants she definitely looked the part of someone out on their first date, some boy… Again she was left wondering who Ranma had set her up with. Shampoo, Akane, neither had acted any different, though she doubted either would settle for anything less than Ranma. He hadn’t even approached her as she had feared he would.
Instead he had not brought up the date again for several of their sparring matches. Ukyo had honestly thought that he had dropped the whole issue. Then a few days earlier he had brought it up again, trying to set a date and time. Ukyo could find no reasonable way out of it and finally they had settled on this day.
Carefully she tore the top off the packet of instant Nannichuan, wondering not for the first time how she could manage to back out of it and save face. But things had changed, her Akira persona was no longer just some façade for getting close to Ranma to learn more about what he thought of her as a girl. No, instead it was an important facet of interaction. She needed to be able to talk to him, laugh with him, be with him on some level.
She’d have to go through with it. He was stopping by less and less to the okonomiyaki shop and she swore he was avoiding her at school too. Her boy side was all she had. She tilted the packet over the bucket and gently tapped the packaging. A few grains of the solid inside dropped into the water and she took the remaining packet and folded it up, it didn’t take much she’d found out but if she prepared too much it wouldn’t keep. At least in this way one packet could last for almost a dozen transformations if she was careful.
Looking down into the water the ceiling of her restaurant reflected back at her, then as she hovered over it she saw the reflection of her own face. Tonight was important, she could sense it. Closing her eyes Ukyo dunked her head into the bucket and pulled his head back out sputtering. Blindly groping to the table he found the towel that he had laid out and dried his face and hair.
The male form seemed to sit heavy on Ukyo’s shoulders tonight. He gave a sigh as he ascended the stairs to fix his hair in the bathroom mirror. Honestly though he was surprised at the image he projected. Ukyo had never figured long hair to work too well on a guy, at least not hair down to his butt, but as Ukyo looked himself over in the mirror, with his outfit, facial structure, and the way his hair was slicked back he had to smile, he looked pretty damn good.
Ukyo left the restaurant through the window. Wondering yet again how many times someone had spotted him and just thought that the owner of the shop was being promiscuous. At least it didn’t seem those rumors had gotten to Ranma. After a bit of roof hopping Ukyo dropped down a few streets away and started walking on the sidewalk. The restaurant where he was supposed to meet his mystery date was somewhat of a walk away but Ukyo had given himself plenty of time.
Doubts continued to swim through Ukyo’s head. Wondering for the umpteenth time if what he was doing really was the right thing to do. It wasn’t the first time though that Ukyo had dated a girl to keep up appearances. He thought back to middle school, and some of the dates he had gone on then. Three, he had gone on three different dates with three different girls. Two of them had been forced on him like this one, by his classmates. They’d been awkward but Ukyo had been proud of himself for holding up appearances, taking them out to dinner, and movies, and parting on mutually acceptable terms. Good enough for a night but not enough for them to call him back.
It was the memory of that third date that made him anxious. She’d been the one to initiate it, some girl from the nearby girls school. It had been lunch time and Ukyo had been eating beneath a tree in the school yard when someone had set something on his lap. When he’d looked up a cute girl had been smiling back at him. At first Ukyo had been offended, the girl had been under the impression that the okonomiyaki that Ukyo ate daily was being forced on him by a girlfriend or someone that didn’t know how to cook, but Ukyo had been quick to establish that he had made the okonomiyaki himself.
She’d asked for a taste and in order to prove his point, he’d cut off a corner and gave it to the girl. Taking that as an invitation she’d sat down next to him and affirmed that it was good, but that he must be getting sick of the same thing day in and day out so she had made lunch for him. Grudgingly Ukyo had confessed that he was flattered but wasn’t interested, but somehow she managed to get him to eat the whole lunch.
The next day the scene repeated himself but when the girl has asked to taste the okonomiyaki this time, she had planted a kiss firmly on Ukyo and stuck her tongue in his mouth. Ukyo remembered the way he’d been shocked, unable to do anything, frozen. When the girl had pulled away giggling she asked if he wanted to go out on a date with her.
The pestering had persisted for over a month before Ukyo had given in. He’d insisted though on dinner in a public place despite her protests that he eat dinner at her house. It had gone well enough and they had been walking through a park afterward when Ukyo had been dragged off the path and forced down into a bush.
Things had happened almost too quick for Ukyo to take stock. Ukyo’s hand had been down the girls pants, and she had been going on about how wet she was, that she wanted to do it right then and there. When her hand had found Ukyo’s crotch and the sock he kept there she giggled about needing to motivate him and started to take off her shirt.
Ukyo had bolted, ran and ran and ran. He transferred out of that school the next week.
It felt like a time so far away but it still brought a blush to his face thinking about it, thinking about how surprised the girl would have been if she had gone through with her plan. Ukyo shook himself from the memory, it was only making him more anxious, wondering if something so terrible was going to befall him yet again. And with his current body… things occasionally seemed harder to control.
He turned another corner, his mind on autopilot, but he was almost there. Off handedly he wondered if his mystery date lived in the area, it was somewhat out of the way. Ukyo passed a person on the street selling flowers and after a moment of hesitation reached into his pocket and handed over a few yen, taking a red rose in return. He figured he’d better at least act the part for now.
A few blocks later Ukyo was standing on the corner across from the restaurant. He stopped, straining to stare across the intersection, looking to see if there was anyone familiar. He didn’t even know the girls name, just that she would be wearing a yellow and blue dress. Ukyo grumbled at the possibility for embarrassment before steeling himself, now being as good a time as any he strode across the street to the restaurant and walked into the door.
“Hello,” Ukyo started walking up to an employee standing near a coat rack, “My name is Akira, I was supposed to meet someone here.” Seeing the uncomprehending look Ukyo floundered but continued trying, “A girl, she was supposed to be wearing a yellow and blue dress.” Ukyo put his hand to the back of his head visibly embarrassed, “It’s supposed to be a blind date.”
“Oh?” Said a different woman from his side, “Akira you said?” Ukyo turned just as the woman nodded, “Just follow me, and I’ll take you right to her.” She offered with a smile.
“Okay, thanks.” Ukyo replied relieved, happy to have that out of the way. The restaurant was not that large but it was still a busy night, and for the most part the patrons were upscale. Suddenly Ukyo was happy to have brought along plenty of money, owning his own business definitely helped in the financial area.
“Here you go.”
To call Ukyo a genius might have been a stretch, but he definitely outpaced Ryoga by leaps and bounds. There was simply no way he would believe that Ranma was anything but Ranma no matter what form he was in and no matter what he wore.
Ukyo couldn’t help himself, “Ranma!” He shouted, taking in the styled red hair, her petite body, and the very feminine dress she had attired herself in.
“Where?” Ranma pushed herself up from her seat and looked around in shock.
Quickly Ukyo collected himself, or at least as much as he could. Biting his tongue he tried again, wondering the whole time what Ranma was playing at, “Oh, sorry, you just kind of looked like someone else.”
“Like Ranma?” Ranma laughed, “Well, maybe a little, we are related after all.” Ranma took a step forward, extending her hand, “I assume you’re Akira then?”
Ukyo reached out and took Ranma’s hand, giving it a shake, “And you are…?”
“Ranko, Ranma didn’t tell you?”
Ukyo was forced to bite her lip to hold in her smile, it was all so transparent. Ukyo shook her head, “No, he didn’t. How were you related to Ranma again?”
“I’m his-- sister.” Ranma offered slyly. “Please, sit down.” Ranma motioned to the chair.
Sitting down, Ukyo looked over Ranma uncomfortably. She had gone all out, Ukyo could see the blush on her cheeks, the eyeliner, it even looked like she had gone to a hair stylist. And her voice, Ukyo had never heard it so feminine. But… it was still Ranma, that much was obvious. But what was she going for? Ukyo picked up the menu and pretended to pay attention to it as he took glances at Ranma. Her dress was cut low in the front giving Ukyo plenty of view of her cleavage and the shoulders of her dress were only slightly wider than spaghetti straps, giving Ukyo even more skin to look at there. Actually, Ukyo recognized the dress, she’d seen it on Akane once, but it had changed since then, she wondered if Ranma had done the alterations herself.
“So… ummmm… Ranko.” Ukyo tested his vocal cords, “I haven’t seen you around, do you go to Furinkin too?”
Ranma shook her head ‘no’. “I live with my mother, I go to school around here though.”
Ukyo smiled darkly, thinking about how Nodaka would view her son at the moment. What irony. “And what has Ranma told you about me?” Ukyo probed, wondering if Ranma could keep up a distinct façade as well as she had learned to.
“Oh, this and that. That you are a martial artist, and that you have been training just like him since you were a little kid.” Ranma went back to looking at her menu instead of continuing.
“Hummm.. Okay.” Ukyo took a drink of water. He was getting the feeling that it was going to be a long night indeed.
Honestly, Ukyo was amazed with the quantity of food that Ranma could pack away. But then again, Ranma was Ranma no matter what her form. First it was the restaurant, then it was the snacks at the movie theater, and now… the sundae that Ranma had before her would have been sizeable for two people, but she was eating as though none of the food that had come before it ever existed. Ukyo was tempted to time her but for what it was worth deiced against it.
Moments later Ranma was chinking her spoon against the bottom of the bowl, trying futility to get one last scoop of the chocolate, caramel, or strawberry sauce that had at one time topped the creation. Soon enough she upended the bowl over her head and failed to get even another drop. She pouted at Ukyo.
“I thought we were going to share that.” Ukyo deadpanned. It was true that it had been intended for the both of them but Ukyo had previously made it clear that he didn’t want anything else to eat even before they had made it to the ice cream parlor.
“Oops.” Ranma blushed and giggled as she looked back to the bowl.
Ukyo smiled back, forced. Ranma was acting a bit too feminine. And once again Ukyo was wondering exactly what was going on, why was Ranma here, on a date, with Ukyo? This date, everything about it, leading up to it, it was all Ranma’s doing. And now that they were on it… Ukyo had wanted to end it after dinner but Ranma had come up with the idea of going to the movies. After movies Ranma had wanted a walk in the park but Ukyo had denied her that, and now it was the ice cream place.
“So, what do you want to do next?” Ukyo asked, hoping that Ranma would be running out of ideas soon enough.
“I was thinking… maybe we could go back to your place Akira.”
If Ukyo had been drinking anything she would have spit it out, the inflection of Ranma’s voice made it plain exactly what she was asking. “Wha--wha-- what?” Ukyo swallowed hard, “I… I don’t have any place, I’m just a Ronin.”
“Wherever your staying, I just want to see your tent.” Ranma’s double-entendre was not lost on Ukyo who was struggling to find the sense in the madness.
“I think that maybe we should just call it a night.” Ukyo offered, hoping that this time Ranma would take him up on it.
“Come on, I just want to come over, just for a few minutes.” Ranma stopped for a moment before adding, “I promise I’ll leave right after that.”
Ukyo found herself at a loss, “I don’t know.”
“What? You want me to go home?” The distraught look on Ranma’s face said that saying ‘Yes’ was not the correct answer.
“No, that’s not it…” Ukyo trailed off, this was difficult.
“Good! Let’s go then.” Ranma stood up from the stool and reached out, taking Ukyo’s hand and leading him out the door.
Ranma walked out the door, swinging her head from side to side, “So, where are you staying?”
Ukyo sighed, “Follow me.” And with that he lead Ranma along with him hand in hand.
The walk was initially uneventful. The grip that Ranma had on Ukyo’s hand loosened and eventually she moved forward and snuggled up against Ukyo’s arm. The warmth quickly penetrated the thin material of his sleeves and it left a comforting sensation. It left him wanting to adjust his pants but he didn’t want to direct Ranma’s attention there.
Ukyo lead the way even further toward the outskirts of town. Soon enough they were walking between multistory buildings. Weaving in and out of pedestrian traffic. Ukyo’s own home was out of the question, just as she was sure the Tendo Dojo was out of the question for Ranma. Being that Ukyo didn’t have a tent with him that he could pitch to satisfy Ranma he lead her to the only place that he knew he could take her.
Ranma “Ohhhed” as the two of them walked into the hotel lobby, “You live here?”
Ukyo looked down to catch Ranma’s face, “Not usually but it’s a bit more tidy than my tent was.” Ranma smirked, but Ukyo hadn’t meant any innuendo.
With Ranma waiting by fountain in the lobby Ukyo made her way to the desk and secured the room for the night. It was easy enough when he’d been able to provide a good credit card and thankfully they saw no reason to check for ID, because although Ukyo was carrying it there was no way they would believe the story.
“Come on.” Ukyo motioned to Ranma who changed her attention to Ukyo and started following. Ukyo walked into the elevator with Ranma behind him. Inwardly Ukyo flinched, it was expensive, but nothing debilitating. Still, it was a lot to go through to satisfy Ranma for a few minutes, and at least after kicking Ranma out maybe Ukyo could take a nice long relaxing bath and pamper himself for the rest of the night.
Uncharacteristically Ranma was silent through the elevator ride, sullen. The whole trip there she had seemed upbeat, but now. None of it made any sense, and although there was no rule written that it had to make sense the situation still made Ukyo want to pull his hair out.
Moments later a bell chimed and the doors slid open, people walked out of the elevator, people walked in, Ukyo and Ranma went with the first group. Down the hallway, Ukyo could definitely tell there was a change in Ranma now. With a swipe of the electronic key card the door was open and the two of them stepped inside, casually Ukyo looked around for the light switch, “Well, this is it.”
The door was shut behind him and Ranma’s lips where on his own before he could even find the light switch. “Ran-” Another kiss silenced Ukyo before he could complete his incorrect thought. Ukyo braced his hands against Ranma’s shoulders and pushed her away with significant effort, “What do you think you’re doing!” Ukyo half-yelled out, restraining himself only on behalf of any neighboring hotel rooms.
“Oh, you’ll see.” Ranma’s sultry reply was enough to cut through the darkness, Ukyo could imagine Ranma’s expression.
Just as suddenly as the initial kiss, Ranma took the leverage that Ukyo had, had and turned it against him, pushing Ukyo into the wall and going right for the jugular, literally, kissing and sucking all along Ukyo’s neck by standing on her tippy toes.
“No… stop.” Ukyo gasped out, feeling Ranma start groping his crotch, “What do you think you’re doing.” Ukyo struggled to some up with something, anything to snap Ranma back into herself, “What would Ranma say?” Ukyo asked sharply, hoping that it would drag Ranma back to reality.
The kissing stopped and in the light from beneath the doorway Ukyo saw Ranma take a step backward, “You know what… I don’t care any more.” Ranma replied simply, weakly, “I need this more than anything and he’s just going to have to deal with it.” For that instant it was different. It wasn’t Ranma trying to keep together a character, the acting was gone. Then the lips where back, an arm behind Ukyo’s back, and another massaging his crotch.
The sensations were overwhelming and already he could feel himself hard, Ranma’s hand snaking between the waistband and his body and grabbing hold of his erect member. “Oh.” Ukyo gasped, unfamiliar with the sensations of the body. Ukyo felt one of Ranma’s hands encircle his free right hand and bring it to Ranma’s chest. Ukyo took the hint for a moment before stopping himself, “We can’t.”
Ranma let herself be pushed away that time. Stepping back before dropping to her knees, her nimble fingers able to remove Ukyo’s belt and drop his pants before he even noticed. “Wait!” Ukyo called out before Ranma engulfed his member with her mouth. “Unghhhmmm…” Ukyo wheezed out, suddenly forced to use the wall for support. Ukyo looked down, it was hard to see, but he could still make out Ranma sucking his cock, leaving him weak at the sight and feelings. It was more than he ever thought his body would be capable of.
Momentarily Ranma bobbed off the member, trailing saliva, “Do you like that Akira?” She asked in a sultry voice. Ukyo tried to force himself to the here and now, it was his first time, and as a guy, with his fiancee as a girl… It was so much easier to forget the details and just focus on Ranma’s warm moist mouth as she sucked his cock, so much better.
“Ranma…” Ukyo groaned out, trying desperately to fight for his own clear mindedness.
No,” Ranma pulled back again, “It’s Ranko, but I’ll forgive you.” And then her mouth was back, sucking, her hand cupping Ukyo’s balls, massaging them and her other hand alternating between gripping Ukyo’s butt and helping to stroke his length.
Ukyo’s legs finally gave out and he slid down the wall, his knees bending he landed on his butt on the floor. Ranma didn’t miss a beat, soon enough his legs where spread and Ranma was on her hands and knees sucking him off. White light flashed behind Ukyo’s eyelids and he was suddenly reaching down and helping Ranma to take his length deeper. His butt contracted, twitching, his body felt light, it was so much… much… Ukyo couldn’t place the feeling but it was as great as any he had experienced before, and fulfilling, the pulsing in his loins and Ranma sucking harder in response.
Soon enough it was over. Ranma pulled away. Ukyo tried to tilt his head upward, to try and see Ranma’s expression, some clue as to what she was thinking. But the light from the bottom of the door was insufficient. “If you liked that, you’ll love this.”
Ukyo could see vague details but it wasn’t until the head of his member was touching against something moist and hot that he realized Ranma was naked and straddled over him. Ukyo couldn’t find the logical reasoning to say anything. He’d been forced to throw that out the window.
Slowly, Ranma slid down on his member. She was tight. Hot, wet. “Oh gods…” Ukyo wasn’t sure if he had said it or Ranma but it was right. Ukyo bucked up to meet Ranma as she dropped down atop him. At first the sensations were too much, they took it slow. Quickly though they found their rhythm and this time Ukyo didn’t need the guidance to put his own hands to Ranma’s breasts. The redhead rode him and he bucked right back, feeling a dominating aura rise up despite his position.
Acting on that feeling Ukyo sat upright, toppling Ranma to the ground between Ukyo‘s legs. Ukyo quickly slid up and with Ranma on her back entered her. The first few strokes were experimental as Ukyo adjusted to the position, placing his hands to either side of Ranma’s lithe body.
“Oh, more, more…” Ranma grunted out as Ukyo again fell into rhythm. Ukyo’s knees started to ache from the carpet but he pushed that feeling aside, instead focusing on the most satisfying feeling. Lucidity returned to Ukyo suddenly, but this time his train wreck of thoughts sharpened. The how and the why were no longer the issues. It was just that it was happening, this was Ranma, the ‘man she loved’. Ukyo swallowed hard, dropping down fully atop Ranma and pushing his hands around her back, gripping her in a tight clinch as he continued to thrust into her. Even if this was their only time together, it was going to be something that mattered.
Ukyo felt Ranma clench, her muscles tightening in all the places that mattered. “Are you…?” Ukyo asked breathing heavy, pushing himself that last bit.
“Uh huh… uhhh…” Ranma moaned against Ukyo’s neck.
“Me too.” Ukyo gave another grunt and pushed himself in all the way. It didn’t even cross his mind to ask permission. It was stronger than the first, it was more than the first, Ukyo felt himself closer to Ranma than ever, and not just physically. It was… perfect, for just that one moment.
As Ukyo lay there, his breath coming fast and shallow, the reality of the situation, however warped, began to sink in. Ranma was just as winded, after he had rolled off her she had curled into a ball. Desperately Ukyo wanted to turn on a light, further the situation, say something while it still might have a positive impact rather than just putting it off to where Ranma might be resentful of it.
Ukyo couldn’t perpetuate it any further. He had to say something. Although Ukyo had to hold back an inappropriate chuckle as she thought of the situation of stealing Ranma from the other girls as a guy. Ukyo looked over at his fiancée, was this really her first time. Despite their sparring and talks over the last few months he never would have dreamed that Ranma thought their relationship was close enough for this.
Was he gay? That would explain a lot, Ukyo realized with a start, her eyes widening in the darkness.
“Akira?” Ranma spoke at last, her voice soft, even considering the proximity.
“Yeah?” Ukyo asked, hoping for some answers at last, or an opportunity for absolution.
“Can I stay here for tonight.” Her voice was even softer than before.
“You can stay here as long as you’d like.” Ukyo offered, involuntarily his mind started to go over the potential for the hotel rate but he pushed the thought from his mind, it wouldn’t come to that.
“Thank you.” With a slight grunt Ranma pushed herself from the ground, “I need to take a shower though, okay.”
The weak demeanor was suddenly worrying Ukyo, “Go ahead.”
Ranma pushed herself off the ground and entered the bathroom, closing the door and turning on the light. Ukyo didn’t miss the sound of the door locking. Now with light streaming from beneath the bathroom door as well, Ukyo saw no reason not to turn on the bedroom lights. Standing, Ukyo hit the switch and for the first time got a look at the full layout of the bedroom. Quickly he noticed the curtains, wide open. They were only on the second floor.
Ukyo ‘eeped’ and reached down to cover himself only to fully glimpse his member for the first time, “It’s huge!” He exclaimed wide-eyed before muffling himself and quickly reaching down for his pants. Moments later after awkwardly forcing his erection into his underwear he rushed to the blinds and drew them shut.
After flopping down on the bed Ukyo took a few more moments to survey the room. It was multileveled with stairs, a mini bar, two televisions, and some other amenities. “I definitely couldn’t afford a place like this every night.” Ukyo mussed to himself. No matter what he tired to distract himself with his thoughts went to the sound of the shower. Ukyo noticed a second door leading into the bathroom but tried to block it from his mind. It didn’t take long though for Ukyo to let out a resigned sigh and creep over to the door.
Deliberately he turned the knob, just enough to see if it caught, to see if Ranma had locked this one as well. The knob continued to turn past the point where it should have hung up. Gently he guided it back to its neutral position and thought on it for a moment. Then, more determined than before he reached out and turned the knob completely.
It was cold inside, it was the first thing Ukyo noticed when he peeked his head inside. There was no steam to obstruct his vision, there in the center of a large glassed in shower Ranma sat hunched over as multiple showerheads shot at best tepid water over her naked body. Luckily she was turned away form where Ukyo was watching from but knowing that she might turn any moment Ukyo pulled the door shut and slowly allowed the door knob to come back to normal. It didn’t make a sound, at least nothing that could be heard over the water.
Ukyo swallowed hard. He was left with even more questions and had actually lost answers along the way. But what was there to do, what could he do? Ukyo had always been able to take care of his own life and come to his own conclusions, but with Ranma involved, he couldn’t even extrapolate those decisions. Despite his newfound understanding of Ranma’s curse he still didn’t know and couldn’t know exactly what it was that his fiancée was going through. But the one thing he could guess was that she wanted to deal with the situation like a man and as such Ukyo tried to pretend for the rest of the night that there was nothing amiss with the situation.
As the night wore on, Ukyo felt his restlessness grow. After Ranma had emerged from the shower she had acted like hardly anything had happened at all. She was still clinging to him, talkative, but she didn’t once mention what had happened when they had entered the room together. After a few worthless hours of trash television Ukyo had noticed that Ranma had fallen asleep.
Ukyo had turned off the television when he’d noticed and scooted himself beneath the covers. As he lay there Ranma slowly intertwined herself with him. One of her legs came over top a knee only to lock itself behind the other leg. He swore one of her arms was in a position that was the opening for a submission hold.
The cold chill of fear began slowly at the tips of Ukyo’s toes and rose steadily through his body. Mentally he tallied off the hours that had passed. Hours. He’d thought to himself in horror. Gingerly he tried to extract himself from Ranma’s embrace.
“No…” Ranma muttered, seemingly awake enough to know what Ukyo was getting at, “You stay here… with me….” She mumbled into the pillow before pulling herself tighter against Ukyo’s muscled frame.
“I-- can’t…” Ukyo fumbled, “I’ve got something I have to do.”
“No.. not tonight.” Ranma sounded tired but a dangerous edge had still managed to creep into her tone.
“Really, I’ve got to go.” Ukyo tried again but Ranma’s grip was iron.
“Not tonight.” Ukyo looked to her side at Ranma, in the moonlight that managed to make its way through the blinds he could see the beginnings of wetness in the corner of her eye.
“Are you sure you want me to stay?” Ukyo asked with a gulp, not wanting to disturb the martial artist more than she already was.
“More than anything.” Ranma said in her most coherent voice yet.
“Okay…” Ukyo breathed out raggedly, “But remember that you’re the one that asked me this time.” Ukyo set his face in a grimace as he felt Ranma snuggle against him tighter, thinking that it wouldn’t be long now.
With his neck craned at an almost painful angle Ukyo watched the clock blink the time away. The colon between the numbers blinking sixty times before the minutes changed to the next number in the sequence. It was mind numbing, but not enough to lull him to sleep. Nothing short of a hammer to his head would be enough for that. It wasn’t the same every time, the Nannichuan could last varying amounts of time even if the amount he used was the same. It was capricious like that, as Ukyo suspected most real magic was. But now he was solidly within that time frame. Every second that passed could be his last real second as a man.
There was no use looking at the clock any longer. Ukyo tried to move slightly and in response the hand clasped on his shoulder tightened. It was no use. Resigned Ukyo laid back to stare at the ceiling. It had been a mistake from the start, now he was sure of it. He’d managed not to only screw up his chances of a normal relationship with his fiancée, but of marriage, and Ranma’s life too. If she had any emotional problems he could only trace it back to him somehow.
Then again Ukyo knew that he had always been good at ruining things. His father had wanted a boy. He’d been a failure from the start for being born a girl. It was somewhat fitting that the curse would then be the thing that lead most fully to his undoing. The sardonic smile in the dark did nothing for Ukyo’s mood, at least he could make his father proud, he’d not only managed to find a way to become what his father wanted most, but managed to get laid too. He could imagine his father now, a big smile on his face, if he was still alive he’d probably be tempted to tell him if only to punish him for all the pain that he had put ‘her’ through. To show him that maybe somehow all of this was his fault, this horrible perversion of nature, of people changing themselves.
The feeling came on suddenly and Ukyo felt himself involuntarily flinch. She opened her eyes wide as the change fully implemented itself, drawing in a deep breath. It was nearly morning. She could run. At the thought Ukyo’s leg twitched, like a dog eager to race. In the dim light Ukyo saw Ranma set up on her elbow, her face unreadable. The light was so weak that Ukyo had hope she could keep up her rouse, but Ukyo’s chest was bare, uncovered. The game was over.
Suddenly a flurry of movement and Ukyo was reeling back, it wasn’t until after she had tumbled hard onto the floor, taking the bulk of the covers with her that she realized that she had been punched in the face.
“Wha-” Ukyo stuttered for a moment before Ranma cut her off.
“How could you!” Ranma shouted, throwing what remained of the covers off her body and onto the floor. Quickly she rolled off the bed, her legs to either side of Ukyo and flailed her hands, smacking Ukyo on the arms she was using to shield her self.
“I’m sorry…” Ukyo tried to get out between the fit of attacks, she could see that Ranma was crying, “I can explain!” Ukyo shouted, trying to get her fiancées’ attention.
“There’s no way-” Ranma smacked Ukyo on the arm, “-you-” Another smack, “-can-” then another smack, “explain this!” Ranma cried out the last bit before falling back to sit on the bed, seething, tears still in the corners of her eyes she starred Ukyo down.
“I just wanted to be close to you.” Ukyo started out meekly, allowing her hands to fall away from her face and taking in Ranma’s hurt look fully for the first time. “The instant Nannichuan was supposed to be a gift.” She swallowed hard, it was difficult to regain her bearings.
Ranma was biting her lip, she held her lips in a tight line but was listening.
Ukyo turned her gaze to the ground, “I thought the instant Nannichuan would be a good gift for you-” She cut herself short from explaining all of the ideas she had come up with for using it, “But, it didn’t work.” She shook her head, “Then I thought that if I could just be a guy around you, so you didn’t have to think about me as a fiancée ...” She trailed off, it was too hard to explain. Finally Ukyo looked up from the ground, her eyes burning, taking in the wide eyed look from her fiancée, “But it went too far, but it wasn’t supposed to be like this…”
Ukyo started suddenly, talking fast but trying to slow herself down, “I don’t know what happened last night but I didn’t plan it.” She hated to try and turn it around like that but it had been obvious that Ukyo had not wanted things to go where they had until it was too late to turn back. “But now, I’m begging for your forgiveness.” Ukyo gave a slight shaky nod in Ranma’s direction her heart pounding in her ears. She waited for her judgment.
“I thought I was going crazy.” Ranma started, her voice grating, more angry than sad. “I had these feelings around you, and whenever I turned into a girl that feeling got even stronger.” Ranma clutched her face in her hands, “I was going nuts.” Ranma turned her head to the side to hide her emotions, “I thought that if I just had sex with you that the feelings would go away, that Akira-” Ranma spat out the name with enough venom to make Ukyo recoil, “-would be leaving soon enough on his own since he was a Ronin.” Ranma pushed herself to her feet, “I just had to get it out of my system, and you, you were supposed to be gone and I could get things back to normal.”
Ranma’s look, she wanted to cry, she wanted to be angry, and she couldn’t settle on which. “No one should play with someone’s emotions like that!” Ranma growled out, kicking the bed, bending the frame, and lifting it off the ground before it fell back heavily.
Ukyo flinched at the noise, “Ranchan…” Ukyo started, an idea flickering at the edge of her mind, “You’re Ranma right?” Ukyo asked, trying to get the seriousness of the question along, she didn’t mean it to be rhetorical.
“Damn right I’m Ranma.” Ranma answered succinctly.
“So you’re still Ranma despite the fact that you’re a woman?” Finally Ukyo could see where her own train of thought was leading her.
“Of course.” Apparently Ranma couldn’t see where she was heading.
“And I’m Ukyo, and I was still Ukyo despite the fact that I was in a guy’s body.” Ukyo felt her back straighten as she said the words, then seeing Ranma’s sudden revelation she pressed it, “It didn’t matter that I called myself Akira, I was still Ukyo, I was still myself!” Ukyo let out a shaky breath, “Whatever you were feeling, you were feeling for me…” And then she felt her bravado slip away, wondering if her logic was sound and praying to every deity that it was.
“So what difference did it really make Ranchan?” Ukyo finished, feeling all at once vindicated and defeated.
“I-” Ranma started out, her face was taught, but the sun shining through the window at her back gave her a unique aura, “I would have never thought…” Ranma swallowed hard, “That my first time would be as a girl having sex with you as a guy.”
Ukyo cracked a ghost of a smile, “How do you think I feel sugar.”
“How backwards is that?” Ranma laughed, directing the question more toward herself than Ukyo. Then she shifted her gaze back to the woman in front of her, naked on the floor, “That was really you in there… no fooling?” Ranma asked serious, wiping the tears from her eyes.
“About ninety-nine percent.” Ukyo nodded back, her throat feeling tight at the chance of hope.
“What was the other one percent?” Ranma asked, honestly curious.
Ukyo scrambled, she just thought it would be a good expression, “I don’t normally pee standing up.” She said at last, finally earning a real laugh from her fiancée. “So, what now?” Ukyo asked, honestly afraid of whatever it was that Ranma would say.
“Now…” She stared, turning to look out the window, “I give you the same chance I gave Akira.”
Ukyo nodded weakly, “Thank you Ranchan.” Slowly she rose up from the floor and moved in, giving her naked fiancée a hug before the two of them were due to get dressed for the day to come.
Hearing the door slide open, Ukyo looked up from her grill, certain that the ‘Closed’ sign was still affixed to the outside door and wondering who it was that was so eager to get an okonomiyaki that they were ignoring it. She nearly dropped her spatula though when Ranma walked in through the opening before sliding the door neatly shut behind him.
“Ranchan?” Ukyo asked weakly, wondering why he had shown up. She hadn’t seen him since that fateful night in the hotel, even at school he had seemingly been avoiding her.
He smiled at her, “You got a minute Ucchan?” He asked not slowing as he continued to walk forward and took a place at the counter.
“Yeah.” Ukyo answer breathlessly as he took his seat. She noticed him flinch though as he looked her over, she knew for herself how unattractive her black eye looked, though thankfully it was looking more and more normal every day.
“Ucchan… Ukyo-” He sighed before his eyes came up to meet hers, “I’ve been thinking.” Ukyo could tell that his smile was more fragile now, more forced, “Did you really mean what you said… when you were Akira… were you still really you?” Ranma asked, his voice taking on the slightest quiver which he quickly squashed.
“Yeah honey.” She nodded, not sure what direction he was taking the conversation.
Ranma laughed slightly, “I didn’t know you liked martial arts that much.”
“What?” Ukyo asked rhetorically, “Just because I never had a fight with you after I moved here?”
“Yeah.” Ranma answered immediately.
“Look, I just never thought that the two of us should be fighting like that, not for real at least.”
“So… the sparring…”
“It was sparring, you weren’t trying to hurt me for real and I wasn’t trying to hurt you.” Ukyo smiled, “And it was fun.”
Ranma smiled back, “It was a lot of fun for me too.”
Ukyo had to ask while they were on the subject, “Couldn’t you tell how fun it was by my…” She gestured to her crotch causing her to blush.
Ranma looked away slightly, “I was just hoping that it wasn’t intentional.” He managed with a laugh.
“Well, it wasn’t intentional, it just kind of sprung up… but I guess you were at fault.” Ukyo chided, remembering how confused the male body had gotten her.
“Do you mind if we go upstairs for a minute?” Ranma asked suddenly though with the same nonchalant tone that managed to keep Ukyo off her guard.
On reflex Ukyo looked at the clock to see how long it would be before the shop had to open but she didn’t even take the moment to read the time off the hands, “Yeah-” She wanted to ask more but stopped herself, sure things would be revealed.
She followed Ranma up the staircase to the landing where he walked to the bathroom. Ukyo followed him silently as he turned on the light, “Ucchan-- do… do… do you love me?” Ranma asked, whatever confident aura he’d possessed downstairs fading like smoke into a night sky.
“I… do. I love you Ranchan.” The words came easier than they had during the fiasco with the Contrary Jewel. Things had become so much clearer and now that she knew she had a real chance at happiness, there was nothing to be embarrassed about.
She could hear Ranma swallow before he took a few steps back and reached into her shower stall turning on the water. Ukyo stood there unspeaking as he ducked his head inside the shower stall.
“What about now? What if I got stuck like this?” Ranma asked, her voice higher, shaking some of the water from her wet hair.
“As much as ever sugar.” Ukyo smiled, it wasn’t even a challenge to admit it this time.
“Ucchan…” Ranma started, covering the distance between the two of them and cupping Ukyo’s cheek with a wet hand, “I… I think I love you too.”
Ukyo’s eyes widened, her breath catching in her throat. She needed to cough but instead a gurgling sound came out of her throat. Thankfully the smile on Ranma’s face meant she didn’t take it as an insult. “Why… why did you have to change to tell me that?” Ukyo forced herself to ask.
“It’s just easier to be emotional like this…” Ranma answered, not mentioning how important it was that she care about her in both forms, tears welling up in the corners of her eyes.
Ukyo had to smile, the same justification that she had used to allow herself to eat ‘girly’ ice cream also gave her blanket coverage to admit her feelings. She gave a little laugh which caused a smile to rise up at the corners of Ranma’s mouth, the first of her tears falling.
“Ranchan.” Ukyo intoned before the emotions got the better of her.
“Yeah?” Ranma moved closer in response.
I’ll love you forever… forever and ever… no matter what.” The hug was warm despite how wet Ranma was from the water. Ukyo’s body felt light as Ranma reached her hands around Ukyo’s back and pulled herself more fully into the hug.
“And just to be clear…” Ranma mumbled into the hug, “No one can ever know how things happened our first time-” Ranma looked up from Ukyo’s chest with a smile on her face, “My mom may have forgiven me for my curse but I still think she would kill me if she found out.”
Ukyo smiled down at the red head in her arms, “It’ll be our little secret.” Ukyo smiled wider as Ranma nuzzled her face into her chest, giving a surprising impression of a cat purring.
Somehow… it had all worked out.
Thank you very much for reading your way through this fanfic of mine. I honestly never thought it would get done, it’s been a work in progress for a few years and to be honest I haven’t watched an episode of Ranma ½ in about 2 or 3 years. Maybe longer (hopefully that wasn’t apparent while reading this). But this fanfic did get finished, look, you’re reading it right now! Huzzah!
Comments, criticism, praise, etc can be directed to my e-mail in the beginning of this fanfic. For some of my previous works please see my website http://www.destructve.com/rvincent for a somewhat up to date listing of my fan fiction, both adult and non-adult.
Jeeze, I wrote my first Ranma fanfic over 10 years ago, isn’t that a trip? I really hope you enjoyed this one and that you might find my other works enjoyable.
Finally, hopefully Akira didn’t come off as too much of a generic character. I tried to mention the name as little as possible since it was really Ukyo in there but I hated to make the duplicate name for her male alter ego since it was essentially me creating a character. Also hopefully I didn’t mess up any of my pronouns or anything, that was a bear to edit this and ensure it was always ‘his’ and ‘her’ used in the proper area. Otherwise it was just too confusing.
Finally, finally, a big thanks to Dark Ky of Adultfanfiction.net for giving the rallying call and functioning as a beta for most of this.
Keep the faith, Ukyo x Ranma all the way :D
Thanks for reading