Ranma 1/2 Fan Fiction ❯ Second Chances ❯ A Rocky Calm ( Chapter 16 )

[ P - Pre-Teen ]
Second Chances

Chapter 16 - A Rocky Calm

By Lord Archive

Ranma 1/2 characters belong to Rumiko Takahashi, Viz Video, and several other companies and are used without consent. Oh My Goddess characters belong to Fujishima Kousuke, AnimEigo, and others- also used without consent. I'll return them... I just need to get Urd to send them back into time....

"Ranma!" Akane yelled and grabbed a man with red hair.
He looked at her, confused. "Oro?"
"Kenshin! Who is she?!"
"You're not Ranma." Akane let go of him.
"Oops, over did it. Bye." Urd left 19th century Japan.


Akane skipped up the stairs to the Tendo's home attic. Truthfully, the area was not meant to store anything with its low ceiling. When this area was made, it was to help insulate the house. But the unused space was used to store a lot of things. Mostly the odd trinkets acquired by various members of the Tendo family, including things her father acquired while training under Happosai, her great-grandfather's war journals, and even an old sakabato sword that strangely showed no signs of rust.

None of that stuff was important to Akane. The pile of scrolls that rested near her father's samurai armor; however, were exactly what she was looking for. Particularly since they hadn't been there the day before. Akane's eyebrow arched as she noticed a note resting on top of the scrolls.

In case you've been considering skipping the match against Mikado, don't. The battle against Saffron is more important than you think and Ranma will need the experience he will gain from that match and any others you might have hoped to avoid.


PS: Destroy this paper.
PPS: If you want to talk over ice cream, I'll make sure I'm available.

Akane collapsed to the floor. How did Skuld know she had planned not to reenact the match? She didn't want some guy to steal Ranma's lips. They belonged to her and she would be damned if anyone took it from her.

Akane's face set with determination. There would be a simple way to answer this. She could kiss Ranma before they would meet Mikado.

Akane looked over the paper and wondered how she was suppose to contact Skuld if she decided to take her up on the offer. She really wanted to talk about this.

There was no time to waste now. They would be meeting Mikado next weekend. If Ranma was going to survive the Shiryou no Bonodori, he would need the Dairokkan technique. She looked through the scrolls and eventually found the one she needed. It was labeled Gansekiken, and Akane remembered that was the name known to outsiders. It would be best if she tried to remember to refer to the technique by that name. Akane quickly glanced down the stairs and rushed to her room with all of the scrolls.


"Uncle Saotome?"

Genma raised an eyebrow. "What is it Akane?"

"I was wondering if you could help me with something."


Akane nodded. "I found a scroll, while cleaning the attic, with a martial arts technique and was wondering if you would help teach it to me and Ranma."

"I might consider training it to Ranma, but I don't think I should train you."

Akane's eyebrow twitched. "Why not?"

"You're a girl."

"So? I'm still a martial artist and from the looks of the scroll, it would be a valuable technique."

Genma waved her off. "I doubt it. You just don't find martial arts techniques like that."

"Like what? Under a pile of old panties?"

"WHAT?!" Genma was instantly leaning into Akane's face. "Where is that scroll?"

"I'll give it to you if you teach the technique to me."

"Yes. Now give it to me!"

Akane pulled the scroll out of her sleeve and handed it to him.

Genma greedily grabbed the scroll and read it over. He then stopped. "I can't read this. It's in Chinese."

Akane sighed. "There's a Japanese translation at the bottom of the scroll."

Genma laughed sheepishly. "Fiendish of them to hide it like that."

Akane rolled her eyes.


Calm, absolute calm was what he needed. The rocks would come flying at him soon enough and he would have to defend against them. This wasn't too different from some of his father's other training techniques. However, this time the rocks weren't held by a contraption and in front of him. Some of the rocks, like those thrown by Akane and Genma, would not be attached to ropes, while those thrown by his classmates were. Each of the rocks were, of course, the size of medicine balls.

Without warning the first rock streaked through the air and Ranma meet it with an axe kick, breaking it into two. He broke the next two rocks, but the fourth caught him in the side. The fifth was blocked while the sixth one nailed his shoulder. The next two struck his back and Ranma was knocked to the ground, which caused the remaining seven rocks to miss.

"Pathetic boy!" Genma snapped. "You call yourself a martial arts and you can't avoid some measly rocks."

"Shut up, you stinking panda! I only just got started. I'll have this technique down before the night is done!"

Akane groaned. It would be a long while before she'd get her turn, since Ranma wouldn't stop until he learned it or was unconscious. She wasn't pleased that Genma had upped the number of rocks. An expert finishes at ten, and yet he was starting Ranma at fifteen.

Kuno smiled evilly. He was thankful to Nabiki for informing him of the opportunity to inflict pain on Saotome. There was no way this technique could possibly help the fiend, and a good possibility that it would kill him. Well worth the ten thousand yen the mercenary had charged him.

Hiroshi had similar thoughts. Saotome had overreacted to his questions and returning the pain was just want he wanted. Especially in a way that there would be no retaliation.

Kasumi frowned. She wished they had never asked her to help. She didn't want to hurt anyone yet the rock she threw had hit him.

Nabiki smirked. Where once she would've charged people to see this, she had opted, in most cases, to get them to help instead. It wasn't everyday someone got to participate in helping a martial artist learn a powerful technique.


Ranma stood calmly. He would do it this time. Punch after punch smashing rocks. He counted twelve, and then the rocks stopped coming. Ranma was puzzled and stood for a moment. He then sensed something and whirled around to see five rocks streak towards him.

"Sloppy, real sloppy, boy."

"That was a dirty trick!" Ranma retort from the ground.

"A martial artist must be prepared for anything!"


"Uncle Saotome, shouldn't you have been prepared to block that?" Akane questioned as she retrieved her rock.

Genma twitched from where he lay.


Ranma smiled. Gansekiken was his. The rocks flew at him. From the left, behind, in front, right, left, behind, right, behind, left.... Rock after rock came at him. Fifteen, sixteen, seventeen.... All were destroyed by a single punch to each.

"Enough," Genma said with pride. He had pushed the technique more than it needed, and was improved because of it. No one would be able to stand up against his son now. But just to make sure....

Ranma smashed the rock his father had thrown. Twenty-two rocks in all, and he had beaten it. The technique was his.

"Congratulations, Ranma." Akane ran up to him and was filled with emotion. Should she hug and kiss him now? She might get away with it, but they were in front of everybody. Her father and Genma might try to get them married immediately if she did that. While she didn't mind it in the least, she knew Ranma would.

Kuno threw down a rock in disgust. "Saotome's vile sorcery is at work since no one could not be hit by such a skillful attack. I must learn how to counter his evil ways!"

Nabiki smirked. "You mean when you threw your rock at his back?"

Kuno glared at her and then marched away.

Akane shook her head. Even though Kuno knew about Ranma's curse, the idiot was still a pain in the ass.

"All right, Akane, your turn." Genma wasn't entirely happy to train Akane, but she did find a good technique.

"What?!" Ranma blurted. "You're teaching her the technique?!"

"Of course, boy. She needs to keep up with you, doesn't she?"

"No she doesn't! She'll get hurt doing this!"

Akane glared. "It is my decision to learn this. If it wasn't for me, you wouldn't even have it. I need to do this to get better!"

Ranma clenched his fists. "Fine! Be macho and try to learn this. See if I care if you break your skull!"

Akane stood in the center of the clearing, while Ranma stomped off. "Begin!" she barked. Only five rocks were thrown and she blocked only two of them.

"Again." Akane stood up and waited for the next volley. This time she broke three of them.

Ranma watched as Akane tried to learn the technique. He knew she wasn't doing it right. She was determined enough, but she was also angry. For some reason he was glad to see her upset. It was a part of her that she had been keeping buried. He didn't know why, and was afraid to ask.

Ranma shook his head as Akane was knocked down again. "You've got to be calm! If you're angry, you'll never notice where the rocks are coming from."

Akane glanced over to where Ranma stood and smiled a little. She had been a bit angry because of what Ranma had said. She should have realized why he said it. He was worried. But he also gave her a hint at how to detect the rocks. She had to be calm.

The ultimate calm was the soul of ice for Hiryu Shuten Ha. Ranma had tried to teach it to her, but she couldn't get it. Maybe she could try to attain it now. With that calm she could do this easily.

"Again." Akane called. She tried to maintain the calm she felt. But she couldn't hold onto it. The fear of the rocks hitting, the desire to not disappoint Ranma or her father, and many other emotions interfered. But she noticed she was a lot closer than she had ever been before.

Ranma grimaced as Akane only stopped one. But knew it was necessary. She may have taken a step back in completing it, but she was closer to learning it.

Calm. She needed to be calm. To feel the air around her as the rocks violently pushed it aside as they approached her, to be the coldest calm, to feel everything but yourself. The death of yourself on the inside as nothing is left for you on the outside. The calm that resulted in feeling nothing.

Ranma saw the change occur in Akane. She had gone cold. Colder than he had ever known her. There was an emptiness about her that seemed to swallow up everything around her. In a voice of ice, he heard her say, "Again."

The rocks started to fly at her. One after another the five rocks were smashed. The others who hadn't been throwing the rocks joined in, and those too were destroyed. When the volley ended Ranma threw two as fast as he could. Those were also demolished.

Akane shook her head and looked at Ranma. Reassured that he was there, and not dead.

Genma frowned as he approached. "She beat you, boy. She got the technique in less tries."

Akane crossed her arms, more to hug herself than to look defiant. "I wouldn't have figured it out without his help."

"Are you all right?" Ranma asked, ignoring his father.

"I'll be a bit sore tomorrow, but otherwise fine."

Ranma looked at Akane and tried to figure out how to ask about what she did, but he had no clue.


"Hey, Akane, are you okay?"

Akane sighed. "Yes."

"You sure?"


"What happened when you learned that move? And don't tell me you found you center or some other crap."

Akane looked at her 'younger' sister and back at the ceiling. "In a sense I did find my center, a center that doesn't exist anymore."

"Japanese, Sis. Japanese."

"Remember what I said about shutting down mentally after... he died."

Nabiki nodded.

"I tapped into that. I shut off all my feelings, like I had then."

"Akane, is that safe?"

"I don't know. I doubt I'll truly be able to use the technique. It's not something I want to feel again." Akane turned toward her sister. "I'd like to get some sleep, so if you don't mind."

"Good night, Sis."

"Good night."

Akane curled up into her bed. "Please don't leave me, Ranma."


Author's Notes:

Thanks to my pre-readers: Kim Trieu, JJang, HPackrat, Saotome-sama, and Michael Chase.

Also thanks again to Saotome-sama for the fan art to The Insanity Continues: Naked, Alone, and No Place to Go located at http://www.mich.com/~archive/anime.html