Sailor Moon Fan Fiction / Ranma 1/2 Fan Fiction ❯ Happi's Redemption ❯ Happosai Is Sick ( Chapter 1 )

[ T - Teen: Not suitable for readers under 13 ]

Happi's Redemption
A Ranma One Half Fan Fiction
By Michael A. Ivins
Ranma along with all of his friends, enemies and acquaintances are the property of Takahashi Rumiko. I'm just borrowing them for my own amusement and hopefully that of my readers. Sailor Moon and the Senshi aren't mine either. Please don't sue me.
This story takes place after the end of the manga.
Chapter 1
Happosai is Sick
The Nerima Ward of the city of Tokyo, Japan is an odd place. There are some interesting statistics that support that statement. There was a larger percentage of martial artists living in that district than anywhere else in Japan. With that large a pool of talent, it is not surprising that there are more master level or higher practitioners of the Art in that district than anywhere else. Indeed there was even a small number of individuals who were so strong and skilled that the general population called them “super powered” martial artists.
Another statistic showed that Nerima's property damage resulting from fights between martial artists was higher than anywhere else in Tokyo. Given that fact, one would think the city government would have the police crack down on those martial artists (or at least politely ask them to desist from brawling in the streets.)
The main reason there had never been a major confrontation between the police and the stronger martial artists was because of the crime statistics. To be sure the level of white collar crime such as embezzlement was a little higher, but violent crimes like muggings, rape, armed robbery and murder were almost nonexistent in the area. One reason for that is that the muggers, rapist and others were aware of the fact that in Nerima there was an excellent chance that their choice of victim was more likely to hand them their butts than anywhere else.
For those crooks dumb enough to actually try to commit crimes in Nerima they usually were either unlucky enough to pick a martial artist as their victim or to attempt their crime somewhere within earshot of a martial artist. The majority of those criminals often wished they had been captured by the police because they would have received gentler treatment at their hands.
The city did what it could to mitigate the property damage. There were a number of vacant lots that were officially designated as combat sites for martial artists. The martial artists of the district were requested to take their fights to one of the vacant lots whenever possible. By city ordinance those lots were to remain vacant and zoned so that nothing would be allowed to be built on them.
Tendo Soun of the Tendo Dojo was a martial artist who was well known in the ward of Nerima. Part of this was due to his membership on the city council. In addition to that his martial arts power and skill had been legendary in his youth. While the middle-aged martial artist had let his skills fall into disuse, he still had a keen eye to spot martial arts talent.
One such talent was Saotome Ranma, the son of Soun's old training partner. It was for this reason that Ranma was out late this night. At the request of the Neighborhood Watch he had been out looking for a mugger who had been preying on young women.
This was the reason that Ranma was currently in her cursed form of a busty young red haired girl. While she didn't really like being a girl, she found the curse helpful at times. As a case in point, tonight the mugger had seen what looked like a pretty teen girl who would be easy pickings and learned the hard way the truth of the old saying, “You can't judge a book by its cover.”
Ranma was returning home how, having left the mugger in the custody of the police. The man had a nice collection of lumps and bruises from the encounter.
The redhead had chosen to head straight back home because it was late and she was tired. She would get some hot water to change back to male before going to bed, but changing sooner just wasn't worth the trouble. If she had changed back to male at the police station there was an excellent chance she would get splashed or rained on or something else to change her to female before getting home.
Ranma paused on the roof of the house across the street from the Tendo Dojo and opened her mouth in a huge yawn. The reason for her fatigue was more due to the late hour than the exertion of fighting the mugger. The man was a big bruiser who would have been intimidating to an unskilled woman, but no match for a martial artist of Ranma's skills. Taking the guy down hadn't even caused the redhead to break a sweat.
She jumped down to the street and landed lightly on her feet before proceeding toward the gate of the Tendo Dojo. It was late enough that some of the residents of the home would be in bed already. Out of consideration for the people trying to sleep, Ranma leapt over the wall instead opening the gate. While not terribly noisy, the gate wasn't silent either.
Ranma almost tripped and fell on her face when she nearly landed on top of something on the front walk. After a moment to recover her balance she looked at the obstruction. It appeared to be a human body dressed in a black gi. The body was as small as a child. The features of the person were obscured by darkness, but from what little illumination was provided by street lights it was obvious that the person was bald.
Ranma knew only one bald person of such diminutive stature as the body in front of her. This had to be Happosai, Grand Master of the Founding School of Anything Goes Martial Arts. Even for a man who claimed to be 300 years old, he was usually bursting with energy and leaping about, stealing women's underwear or jumping onto them and fondling their bosoms or butts. The form on the ground in front of Ranma was lying utterly still.
“Old freak?” The girl's tone was hesitant and questioning. She received no response.
What this some kind of trick? Was the old man playing possum to get her in close so he could more easily glom onto her breast to cop a free feel?
She decided to try again, “Uh… Master Happosai? Are you alright?”
This time when she got no response she stepped forward and with her toe gently prodded the body. It was limp. She went in closer and placed a hand on the man's neck, feeling for a pulse. She found the vein in his neck and there was a pulse. It seemed weak and his breathing was quite shallow. At least he was still alive, but what was wrong with him?
The redhead attuned her ki senses and used them to probe the old man's body. She could find no signs of obvious injury but the old man's ki levels were dangerously low. He wasn't dead, but he was far from healthy. Even though Ranma held little love for the aged pervert, she wouldn't wish him dead. She would just wish him living in a different country or maybe someplace like Antarctica.
The girl let out a great sigh. It was the martial artist's duty to protect the weak. Normally that meant protecting people from the actions of the elderly martial arts master. This time it was the old man himself who appeared to be in need of help. She had done this before. When the old man had been hurt, she protected him from her own father and from Tendo Soun.
Mentally cursing herself and silently praying this wasn't some scam the old man was pulling, Ranma picked up the small body. Without question the world would be a better place without the old freak in it. Unfortunately her moral code wouldn't let her leave a sick man lying on the ground. Technically she would be living up to the letter of that martial artist's code if she had just gone inside and called an ambulance. However, she had strong intuition that the old man's problem wasn't something that could be helped by conventional medicine.
The old man's body was light and offered no encumbrance in getting through the door. Shortly Ranma deposited the body of master Happosai on the sofa. Now that she had the old man in the light of the living room, the girl noticed that his right hand was clutching something. From that fist there trailed a leather thong as if the object were intended to be worn as a necklace. Ranma tugged at the bit of leather but couldn't pull the object out of the little man's hand. How someone who was so limp otherwise was able to keep such a tight grip on anything was a mystery.
Ever sensitive to the Wa of the house, Kasumi walked into the room. She was wearing a robe over her nightgown. She had “sensed a disturbance in the force” and had come to see what was wrong.
The young woman looked on the couch and asked, “Oh my! Has something happened to Grandfather Happosai?”
Ranma shook her head. “I don't know. When I got home he was lying on the front walk, unconscious. I couldn't find any sign of obvious wounds and there is no smell of liquor on his breath. Other than some worn spots, his clothing isn't torn. I can't see any bruises on his face. I don't think he's been in a fight. I can only think that maybe he's sick. Maybe he got some food poisoning or it could even just be old age catching up to him.”
Kasumi considered that. “But he always seemed so vigorous, so full of energy.”
Ranma nodded but had a distracted expression as if she was trying think of something. Finally she snapped her fingers and said, “Energy! Maybe that's it.”
Now looking puzzled Kasumi asked, “What do you mean, Ranma?”
The redhead turned to the brunette and said, “My Pop and yours said the old freak needs female ki like you or I need air to breathe. From what I can see, I think maybe he ran out of female ki and couldn't find a girl to grope or any girl's undies to recharge.”
The older girl nodded, worry evident on her face. She asked, “What can we do?”
Ranma frowned in thought. “I'm not sure. I could try to give him some of my ki. Since I'm in girl form right now, it should be what he needs. It's the only thing I can think of that might help.”
Kasumi nodded.
Preparing herself, Ranma attuned her ki senses again. This time she placed a hand on either side of the old man's face and concentrated on forming a connection with his aura. When she felt herself in touch with his life force she began to push some of her own ki into him. The odd thing was that she could feel some kind of resistance. The resistance was not strong enough to stop her so she continued to push past it. After a while she could sense Happosai's ki reserve building to a point where his life was no longer in danger.
After some more of this treatment the little man began to moan softly and move a bit. When he opened his eyes, Ranma pulled her hands back.
It took the old man a moment to be able to focus enough to recognize the people with him. Happosai looked around. “Ranma, Kasumi? I made it to the dojo?”
Ranma nodded. “You got here. What happened to you, old man?”
He heaved a sigh and said, “I was running on empty. I've got a problem absorbing ki. It started a couple weeks ago.” He stopped and looked around again. Noticing darkness through the windows, he asked, “What time is it?”
Kasumi supplied, “It's rather late. I was in bed and almost asleep when I felt something wrong downstairs.”
The old man nodded. “What I have to say to you will be long in the telling. It might be better if you both went to bed and got some sleep. I think I've got enough ki now to keep me going for a while. Thank you, Ranma. You probably saved my life. I'm still pretty weak, could you carry me to my room?”
Ranma approached but paused and said, “This'd better not be an excuse to grope me.”
The elderly martial artist sighed and said, “I have a confession to make.”
The redhead frowned. “What confession.”
The old man admitted, “I can absorb ki as efficiently by touching a woman's hand as I can by groping her breasts.”
Both Ranma and Kasumi momentarily froze and stared with wide eyes. Finally Ranma spoke up, “I'm guessing the explanation for that's going to be part of that `long story' you want to tell us tomorrow.”
He nodded. “I think it would be best if the whole family was here, including Soun and Genma. It's time they learned some truths I never told them before. The story of my life is very different from what everyone thinks it is.”
As Ranma picked up the old man, she grumpily thought to herself, “Now he's just trying to build up the drama.”
The girl carried the old man up the stairs and placed him on the futon in his room. When she left she went to the bathroom and used the hot water to change back to male before heading off to bed. Genma was already asleep in panda form and snoring loudly. Ranma shook his head, muttering about the “useless furball” as he settled himself for sleep.
Predictably, Ranma woke up to the sensation of flying through the air as he was thrown out the window. Moments later a wet redhead charged out of the koi pond shouting, “Damn it, Pop! You knew I was out late for Neighborhood Watch duty. You couldn't let me sleep late even once?”
The bald martial artist wasn't impressed. “No sleeping late for you, boy. Do you think an enemy would go easy on you because you were up late?” He launched a kick at his currently female son.
Ranma wasn't in the mood for it. She dodged the kick and used her chestnut fist speed to land dozens of punches on her father. The bald man fell unconscious into the pond to float there as a panda. The girl couldn't understand why her father used those ambush tactics anymore. In both of her forms Ranma totally outclassed Genma and this had been true for some time. The only reason he could still occasionally win was because of some tricks he hadn't taught his son yet. Even those tricks wouldn't work much longer as Ranma was learning counters for them.
As Ranma stood glaring at the panda in the pond, Kasumi handed her a towel and a kettle of hot water. Ranma thanked the elder Tendo sister and poured some of the water on herself before using the towel to dry off.
After handing the towel and kettle back to Kasumi, Ranma said, “After the panda comes to, please ask him to join us in the living room. I think we all need to hear Master Happosai's story. I'm guessing everyone will want to wait until after breakfast. I'm going to go see if he needs help coming down.”
Seeing the elder Tendo girl's nod, Ranma headed up the stairs. He rapped lightly on the door and was answered by the question, “Who's there?”
“It's Ranma.”
The old man's voice called out, “Come in.”
Ranma never really felt comfortable going into the elder martial artist's room. At least he was male at the moment so he didn't need to fear groping. Although in the past that didn't always mean he was safe because Happosai often would have water ready to splash him.
This time there was no attack forthcoming. The older man looked up as Ranma stepped into the room and in a strangely serious tone he said, “Thank you Ranma. You saved my life last night.”
The boy bowed to the old master and asked, “How are you feeling?”
“Tired,” confessed the tiny man. “But I do feel a lot better than I did yesterday. I think I feel good enough to walk but I don't think I can jump around like I usually do.”
The young man studied the older carefully for a moment. “I came up to see if you needed help. Do you feel up to eating breakfast?”
The diminutive martial artist laughed at that. “I'd have to be dead to miss one of Kasumi's meals. I'm not dead yet.”
Ranma watched as the little man walked to the door. It was true that he didn't move with his normal vigor but he at least seemed steady on his feet. Ranma nodded and followed him out of the room, closing the door behind him.
As they headed toward the stairs Ranma asked, “So are you going to say what happened to you last night?”
The bald headed man nodded. “After breakfast.”
Ranma suppressed an urge to argue and just sighed. After all, the meal would be over soon enough and answers would be given then. He could wait that long.
They got downstairs as Kasumi was putting out the dishes of food for the meal. The rest of the family was sitting down at the table. Apparently Genma had availed himself of hot water as he was again in human form. Both Soun and Genma went a little pale at seeing their master walking beside Ranma.
That was when they noticed that the little man was just walking. He was not leaping along, he even had a serious expression on his face.
Before either man could say anything the old master spoke, “Boys, the years are catching up with me. But before you try to bury me, I've got some things I need to tell you. I want to tell everyone some of the reasons why I behave the way I do.”
Ranma fixed his father with a glare and said, “I want to hear what he has to say. I know you have your own grievances against the old man, but right now he's too weak to fight you. You know how I feel about fighting the weak.”
He paused and looked down at the aged martial artist. Turning back to the fathers he told them, “Before you try for any kind of revenge or punishment you could at least do him the simple courtesy of hearing what he has to say.”
Soun got a speculative look on his face. “The master… is weak?”
Ranma nodded. “When I got back from catching that mugger, I found the old man lying on the front walk, more dead than alive. I was able to transfer some my ki to him to keep him going, but I think that's only a temporary solution.”
Genma and Soun exchanged a look. If the master was weak enough to be vulnerable, they could wait. Vengeance was not denied, only delayed. Besides that, they were also curious to hear what he had to say.
As everyone was eating the mood was somber. The old man had done little to endear himself to the members of this family, and much to antagonize them. Indeed the only person who held no animosity toward Happosai was Kasumi. Considering her sweet nature, it was it was hard to imagine the young woman harboring bad feelings toward anyone.
After the food was finished Happosai said, “Kasumi dear, after the dishes are cleared would you also come to the living room? You deserve to hear what I have to say as well as the rest. You can wash the dishes after I've had my say.”
Kasumi nodded. “As you wish, grandfather.”
After the dishes were cleared and everyone was gathered in the living room, Happosai began. “The first thing I need to say is that much of what you believe about me is not true. Ranma, what did these two tell you about my touching women to absorb ki from them.”
The young man responded, “They told me that you had been doing it for so long you became dependent on it. They said that for you touching women is as important as breathing.”
“As I thought,” the old man said. He turned to the fathers. “You boys think I need to fondle women in the same way as a drug addict needs his drugs. You think I'm addicted.”
The two middle-aged men looked confused. Genma asked, “Well, aren't you?”
Happosai shook his head. “Those addicted to drugs and other substances can often stop. While it may be hard for them to do, it is still possible for most. Some become so dependent that it would kill them to stop.”
He paused a moment to let his audience consider that. “I really would die without female ki. The only reason I was able to survive being sealed in the cave was by putting myself into a state of hibernation. Still, I can understand why you would want to do that because I did treat you badly.”
Once again he paused to give everybody in the room time to absorb that statement. The people there exchanged looks of astonishment as if asking the question what is this creature in their presence and what had it done with the real Happosai. They didn't think their master would ever admit to treating his students in a way that was not required by training.
The old man resumed speaking. “Ever since I hit puberty I've needed female ki to keep me alive.”
Ranma raised a hand as if he were at school. The old man smirked momentarily at the gesture before indicating the boy with a gesture of his hand.
The pigtailed boy said, “Last night you told me that you don't actually need to grope a woman's boobs or butt. You can get ki from her just as easily by touching a woman's hand. If that's true, why grope them? Why do you act like such a pervert all the time?”
The Grandmaster shrugged. “Mostly the reason is that is a lot easier to find unwilling victims than it is to recruit willing volunteers. I don't always have time to ask a woman if she would be willing to hold my hand. You should have noticed that my attentions to members of the fair sex never go beyond groping.”
Ranma and the rest nodded. To the best of their knowledge Happosai had never sexually assaulted any woman. He had fondled many and stolen enormous quantities of lingerie, but he had never gone beyond that.
The old man's manner became even more subdued. “It may surprise you to hear that after centuries of life, you people are the closest thing I have to a family. There may be cousins of mine still around, but I've had no contact with them for so long that I would be a complete stranger to them now.”
He looked around and said after another pause, “I want to tell you a story. It will sound like a fairy tale, so I ask that you hear the whole thing before you ask any questions. Can you agree to that?”
The other people in the living room shared looks. Finally they nodded. Soun turned back to Happosai and said, “We will listen.”
Author's Note: This chapter is setup. I didn't originally plan this to be a crossover but, on a whim, I had Ranma visiting Juuban, I felt like I just had to have the Senshi make an appearance. They don't play a major part in this story.