Sailor Moon Fan Fiction / Ranma 1/2 Fan Fiction ❯ Happi's Redemption ❯ E-Mail from Home ( Chapter 7 )
[ T - Teen: Not suitable for readers under 13 ]
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.
E-Mail from Home
At that moment there was the sound of someone coming in the front door. A voice called out, “Grandma, I'm home.” A moment later a woman who appeared to be in her mid 20's stood in the door of the living room. She was of medium height and had dark blue hair. “Oh, we have guests.”
The newcomer's gaze lingered on Ranma for a moment. “Grandma, are these…?”
Lo Shen smiled. “Yes, granddaughter. These are the ones Elder Soap called and told us about.”
Po Shen looked at the blonde. She said, “I thought we were expecting the redhead and a little old man.”
In an amused tone the Elder explained, “This lovely young woman is what you get when that `old man' comes in contact with water from the Nyaniichuan.”
The young woman looked down at her own chest and the slightly below average sized breasts there. Then she rather pointedly looked at Noriko's much larger bosom and sighed. “I know that magic water would probably not do anything to me, but… Wow!”
The Elder was openly laughing now. She said, “You know as well as I do that it doesn't work that way. She has that impressive bosom not because of the magic but because that is how she would be if she had grown up as a girl. In her case I won't say `if she'd been born a girl' because I've been told she was and it was only magic that made her a man in the first place.”
Po Shen looked shocked. “Wait! She was born a girl and someone used magic to turn her into the little man?”
The grandmother nodded and said, “I'll tell you the long version of the story later. Noriko's already told it to me once today and is probably getting tired of the telling.”
The blue haired woman looked at Ranma. “And you're really a boy who is cursed to change into a girl?”
The redhead nodded in response. The woman looked at her own chest then at Ranma's. “Humph! Some curse. I'll bet boys at your home are panting at your door wanting to get closer to you.”
Ranma wasn't sure how to react to that. Finally she said, “Hey, I don't encourage them or anything. I keep telling them I'm really a guy. I can't help it if they're always trying to get dates with me.”
The young woman shook her head with a sigh, “What a waste of a gorgeous body and beautiful face.”
The older woman smiled, then paused with her eyes wide. “Oh my, where are my manners. Ladies, let me introduce you to my granddaughter, Po Shen.”
The blue haired woman bowed.
The Elder continued, “Po dear, the red haired girl is Saotome Ranma but while she is here you must call her Ranko, as that is the alias she is traveling under.” Ranma gave a seated bow that was acknowledged by the standing woman.
The old woman turned to point at Noriko. “This woman with the blonde hair is the former ancient pervert, Happosai. She is currently going by the name of Tendo Noriko and is telling people that Ranko is her cousin.”
Po Shen bowed. “It is a pleasure to meet you. Although I'll have to say, other than being pretty, you two don't have much of a family resemblance.”
Both Ranma and Noriko shrugged.
Lo Shen grinned. “Ranko and Noriko will be staying with us for a little while. I thought we could put them in the guest bedroom.”
“Oh?” The blue haired woman asked, “What are you planning, Grandma?”
“First, Ranko will need to borrow your computer,” The older woman said.
“What? Why would she need my computer?” The young woman was confused.
The Elder explained, “Noriko's travel documents are for an old man. By using your computer, Ranko can use email and your webcam to contact a friend back in Japan to create a new passport and other documents. The Japanese friend can then mail those documents to her here so Noriko can legally leave the country.”
The granddaughter looked back and forth between the visitors. “Oh, I get it. Hmmm… I like it. And by doing that we get to tweak the collective noses of the Joketsuzoku at the same time.”
The Elder's smile was quite broad now. “That was my thought also.”
Po Shen grinned in response. “Are you done with them for now?”
The blue haired woman nodded, then gestured to the guests. “Ok, you two, come with me.”
Ranma and Noriko got up and began to follow their hostess to the stairs. While they were going, Ranma asked, “Did I understand your grandmother to say she's having us stay in the same bedroom?”
“That's right,” confirmed the young woman. “It shouldn't be a problem. After all you're really a guy and she used to be a man and you're both girls right now. Besides that you were traveling together and camping.”
The redhead protested, “But we were sleeping in separate tents.”
The blue haired woman shrugged, “And here you'll be sleeping in separate beds. I don't see that it should be a problem.”
Noriko pointed out, “You were a part time girl sharing a room with your father.”
The aquatransexual directed a glare at the blonde. “You'd better not try anything perverted.”
The blonde waved her hands in the air. “I'm a girl now. I wouldn't do anything like that anymore. And what about you?”
"What about me?" Ranma demanded.
"You aren't permanently a girl," Noriko pointed out. "You could turn into a boy and do something perverted to me. While I'm not Akane and I don't automatically believe you to be the worst pervert on the planet, the potential is there."
Po Shen shook her head. “I can see how this could be a problem. I think I have something that could help in this. Come on.”
They were now in a hall at the top of the stairs. She pointed down the hall to a door and said, “That's the guest room. You can drop your pack in there. Since you first came here with just Ranko's pack, I'm sure we can scavenge up another pack for Noriko to use. Condi Shonur's sewing class can whip up some clothing that would fit you better than that boy's outfit of Ranma's.”
Noriko protested, “You don't have to go to all that trouble for us. I can get some better clothing when we get back to Japan. I sure I could just borrow something for while we are staying here.”
The blue haired woman laughed. “We don't get the chance to pull one over on the Joketsuzoku all that often. When they find out that we had you and let you go they will be really angry and there's nothing they can do about it. For that, it will be worth some food and clothing. Besides, I'm sure grandma is giving you both work to do while you stay.”
The blonde nodded, “That's true.”
The young woman began to rummage in a hall closet. After a moment she pulled out a pale blue sheet. “This should do nicely.”
Ranma walked down the hall and went into the guest bedroom. It was furnished with two western style beds with two chests of drawers. There was a desk and a wardrobe and that completed the furnishings. The beds were on opposite sides of the room. However, the room was not very large so the distance between the beds was not great. Well, beggars can't be choosers Ranma supposed.
She went back to the open door of Po Shen's room. The room was about the same size as the guest bedroom, but because there was only one bed and chest of drawers, it seemed more spacious.
On the desk there was a desktop computer set up. It was a nice unit with an LCD monitor. A ball shaped webcam was attached to the top of the monitor.
While Ranma was in the guest room, Po Shen had started rummaging in a drawer. There was a slight clatter to be heard as she pushed things around. “Junk drawer”, she explained. “I keep all sorts of odds and ends in here.”
After a few moments she exclaimed, “Here it is,” and pulled something out. She held out her closed hand to Ranma who opened her hand. The older woman dropped a ring into her hand.
Upon examination it appeared to be a simple circle of some polished metal. It wasn't gold and didn't appear to be silver. There was an odd pattern engraved on it, but the ring was otherwise quite plain. “What's this?” Ranma asked.
“Um? How to explain it?” Po Shen mused.
After a while she said, “It is written into the laws of the Joketsuzoku that every man in the tribe has the right to give up his masculinity and use Nyaniichuan water to become female. That was part of how they could get away with the way they treat their men. You could call it a carrot they dangle in front of the men. It's their way of saying, `If you don't like the way you're treated, you can become a woman and be one of those in control instead of a servant.' Personally I think it's one of their more stupid laws.”
“Why is that?” Ranma wanted to know.
The older woman snorted. “It meant they had a shortage of available men. It was that shortage that caused them to institute the Kisses of Death and Marriage. Through the Kiss of Marriage they could bring strong men into the tribe. I tend to think it's legalized kidnapping.”
A thought occurred to Ranma. “I'm curious. From having the Kiss of Death done on me I know what is supposed to happen to an Outsider girl who beats an Amazon warrior. What's supposed to happen to the girls who fight warriors and lose?”
Po Shen laughed. “If she survives, the Outsider girl who loses a fight with a warrior has her wounds treated and is given hospitality until she's fit to travel. Then she is sent on her way with the warning, `Don't come back or you will be killed.”
“Huh?” Ranma couldn't understand the logic there. “Then why can't they do the same for the Outsider girl that wins. What's the idea of `chase her to the ends of the Earth and kill'?”
The blue haired woman shrugged. “I'm just telling the reason for the law, I'm not defending it.”
The redhead held up the ring between and forefinger. “And this?”
“At the time (about 400 years ago) the Amazons and Musk weren't on speaking terms,” said Po Shen. “The Amazons couldn't ask to borrow the locking ladle so they had to come up with a substitute that would keep the men who changed in their female forms. Since they didn't know if later generations would keep the knowledge of how to make more, they created 500 of the rings.”
The red haired girl prompted, “So if I put on this ring…”
“You get locked in female form,” finished Po Shen. “The beauty of it is that the lock lasts only as long as you wear the ring. Take it off and you're back the way you are now.”
Ranma looked dubious. “I don't know. I've had bad luck with things that lock the curse.”
The older woman's expression turned stern. “In the interest of keeping the peace in this house and to assure that no inappropriate behavior takes place during your stay, I'm going to make your wearing of that ring my condition for helping you. Your working in the clinic is Grandma's condition to let you stay; this is mine. If you've been locked before, you know it's not really that bad. If you need to, you can unlock just by taking off the ring.”
Well, Po Shen was right about one thing. She had been locked before and she'd gotten through it. She put on the ring.
She just stood for a moment as if waiting for something to happen. Finally she said, “I don't feel any different.”
The blue haired woman shook her head. “Not all magic is flashy or causes noticeable changes. The only difference in you now is that the curse is inactive. While you wear the ring nothing will change you to male, not hot water or will power if you've had the trigger changed.”
Curious, Ranma asked, “If the ring is something the Joketsuzoku use, how did you come by it?”
Po Shen smirked. “This village was founded by members of the Joketsuzoku who left the tribe to get away from their restrictive laws and customs. More than a few of those were Nyaniichuan cursed men who were locked as female. Some stayed women when they got here but many took off their locking rings. As things stand now I don't think there is anyone who uses their locking rings, but every family here has at least one of the old rings and some have more.”
She turned to her desk and turned on the computer. After booting it up she activated the webcam and aimed it. She played with the camera until she had pointing where she wanted then stood up.
The blue haired woman positioned a pair of lamps to the sides of the room and had Noriko stand in front of the computer while adjusting the angle of the camera. The image captured by the camera was displayed in a window on the computer monitor screen.
When she had everything lined up the way she wanted, she pulled the desk chair out and handed it to Ranma. She said, “Set the chair behind Noriko. To make this look more like a passport photo, I'm going to want you to stand on the chair and hold the sheet to make a plain backdrop for her.”
Ranma nodded and got on the chair. She held up the sheet. She couldn't see what Po Shen was doing but could hear the comments. After a couple of images were captured, the young woman said, “That's good, Ranma. You can get down from the chair now. We've got the pictures we need for the travel documents.”
When Ranma handed the folded sheet back to their hostess, the blue haired woman said, “I just want to get one more picture for you to show your friends back home. Both of you stand over by the door so I can get a shot with the two of you.”
They stood further back so Po Shen could get more than just their faces in the picture. When they were in what the felt was a good pose when their hostess took a moment to reposition the lamps to get better light on them. When she was satisfied she called out, “Smile!”
When she said, “Got it!” the two guests came forward to look at the screen. They decided that it was a good picture. Ranma had a silly smile and was flashing a “V” sign with her fingers, but it would do.
Po Shen asked, “You do know how to use a computer, don't you?”
Ranma nodded. The older woman pointed to the screen. “Alright. These are the filenames of the picture files so you can email them. I've saved them in this directory. I've already started up my internet browser so you should be able to access your email account. To give you some privacy I'm going to go downstairs and see if Jin Rei needs any help making supper. Since she'll be cooking for more people than usual, I think she might appreciate a helping hand.”
When the blue haired woman had shut the door behind her, Ranma said in a musing tone, “Jin Rei? I guess not all Amazons name themselves after beauty and hair care products.”
Noriko pointed out, “You already knew that. Remember Lin Lin and Ran Ran? Don't forget about Pink and Link.”
Ranma's expression turned sour. “Right.” She tapped some keys and shortly she was logging on to nerimamailhost.net.
Looking over Ranma's shoulder, Noriko said, “Undomesticated Equine?”
The redhead shrugged. “That's the alias I use for my email address. My name does mean `Wild Horse,' right?”
Ranma looked over her mailbox. She deleted three items without reading them. When Noriko asked, the younger girl explained, “That's just spam. You know, advertising?”
She tapped the screen. “This one is from Nabiki.”
The blonde read the alias of “frozen monarch.” She couldn't suppress a chuckle. “So on email she's the Ice Queen?”
“Yep,” was Ranma's reply. “Just a minute. She encrypted the mail, so I'm going to have to decrypt it.” She typed in a command to apply her decryption key of “orchid child.” That key had been derived from an alternate spelling of Ranko.
“Hmm, she just sent this yesterday,” commented Ranma.
Over Ranma's shoulder, Noriko read:
“To: Undomesticated Equine
From: Frozen Monarch
Subject: Your trip
You and your `friend' left in such a rush that I'm pretty sure you didn't have time to properly plan everything out like you should have. I've had to do what I could to cover for you. (My standard fees will apply.) I was pretty sure you'd be smart enough to check your email. Now I just hope that you can get to a computer to do that while you are traveling in China
After you left the bunch from the Cafe came by. The Old Lady was asking if you had told us what your plans were. For a fee I told her that you didn't really say anything other than you were going to China to try and save H's life.
The Old Lady insisted that you were likely to be the victim of some evil plot of H's to make your part time condition permanent. She says that we have to try and save you from it by telling her all that we know. Kitty girl was upset and I think duck-boy was hoping that H was going to do something terrible to you.
I went to school and withdrew you. Principal Pineapple seemed really happy about that. Ms. Ki Vamp seemed really disappointed. She said it was a shame since you had finally started to apply yourself. Maybe you can arrange something with her when you get back. I'm sure she'd be willing to help tutor you.
True Blunder can't seem to make up his mind how to take your leaving. On the one hand he says the “foul sorcerer has fled in fear of the Blue Thunder's prowess.” On the other hand he's worried that you have “Kidnapped the pigtailed goddess to have your way with her.” I think he wants to go search for you, but doesn't know where to start looking.
I haven't heard anything from Miss Black Rose, so I don't know what her thoughts on the matter are. P-Chan hasn't been around so I guess that means you luck out when it comes to trouble with Lost Boy. On the other hand, if he's lost again, there is the chance he could turn up where you are. You'd better watch your back.
It also occurs to me that if H's plan works you could have a problem. H may need a new passport to go with her new looks. I've got my people ready to take care of that, but I'm going to need a picture. Can you get me one?
Get back to me as soon as you can.
The Ice Queen”
Ranma grinned at the screen. “Thanks for looking out for us, Nabs.”
In a quizzical tone Noriko repeated, “Nabs?”
With a chuckle, Ranma answered, “Since we started getting along better, that's been my nickname for her. She says she hates it, but I don't really believe her when she says that.”
The redhead composed a reply to the email.
“To: Frozen Monarch
From: Undomesticated Equine
Subject: Re: Your trip
We made it to China and H's plan worked. She's all better now. Check out the attached files for the passport photo and one of her and me together to get an idea of what she looks like now. I don't know if this is the action of the Spring or if this is what she would have looked like if the Cruel Man hadn't got the witch to cast her spell.
She says as a tribute to the witch who was her friend, she is now going by the name Tendo Noriko. We're telling people we're cousins who met up at the valley where the H died. We held a ceremony to bury what we had left of him (old clothes.) Noriko says she's also buried all of his bad character traits. We'll have to wait and see how well she does with that. As long as she is making an honest effort, I'm willing to give her the benefit of the doubt. So far she seems to be trying.
It seems there are more Amazon tribes than just the Old Lady's. The village where I'm sending this from is one such tribe. Before you get into a panic I should mention that they don't get along too well with the Old Lady's tribe. They are willing to help us by letting us stay here and feeding us while we wait for you to mail the new passport. (I'll include the address to mail to at the end of this email.)
We are going to have to work for our food while we're here, but the jobs they found for us don't sound like they will be too hard. If need be, they'll hide me. Since the Old Lady's people haven't seen Noriko, she shouldn't need to hide.
The Matriarch here has told me there is a sorceress named Watanabe Atchika who lives in Minato Ward. She says the exact place is Azaabu-Juuban. This sorceress is supposed to know magic that would allow me to gain more control over my condition. If you could learn an address, phone number or both, I'd like very much to talk to her. You can put it on my tab.
Since I'm borrowing a computer, don't give too much personal info in your responses to me.
Noriko said, “I guess that says what needs to be said without giving too much detail.”
“Yeah,” the redhead agreed. She typed in the address of Lo Shen's house and gave the command to encrypt the whole email. When she was satisfied with it, she clicked “Send.”
As Ranma was logging off the email server there came a light rap on the door. Po Shen opened the door and asked, “Are you two about done? Supper will be ready in about 15 minutes.
Noriko turned and replied, “Yes, we're done here.”
They headed down the stairs. Supper was good and Noriko was greatly appreciative with her new taste buds.
That night Ranma just stripped down to boxers and a tank top to sleep in. Some girls in the village who were close to the same size as Noriko had donated some clothing for loan to the blonde girl. In order to not create any problems, The older girl changed into her nightgown in the bathroom.
When Noriko got back from the bathroom, Ranma was already in bed. The blonde girl got into bed then turned off the lamp by the bedside. There was silence for a time.
“Ranma?” Noriko's voice sounded uncertain.
The redhead answered, “What is it Noriko?”
“Do you remember that mental exercise you asked me to do?”
Ranma said, “Yeah, what about it?”
The other girl hesitated. “I tried it. I imagined what it would be like for me as I am now to be groped by me as I used to be. I imagined myself unable to stop him.”
The younger girl was silent for a moment before asking, “How did you feel about that?”
“You were right,” confessed the former man. “I… I felt everything you described. When I understood that I had been causing women to feel that way, I felt terribly ashamed.”
She was studying the ceiling in the room as she thought about it. Finally she said, “I don't think I could even remember all of the women and girls that I groped. There were so many. I don't think it would be possible to apologize to all of them, since many are dead by now. (It has been a couple centuries since I started. Even if I can't apologize to them I can still apologize to you.”
When she paused again, Ranma said, “Go on.”
Noriko said, “I… I groped you more than any other woman. Part of it was simply because you were there. You were in the same house and I could reach you with little effort. Another part of it was because you were able to fight me. That made the game more of a challenge, more fun.”
At the mention of the word “fun” a slight growl escaped from Ranma's throat.
The blonde hurried on, “What I'm trying to say is that I'm really sorry for what I've done. I don't know if you can find it in your heart to forgive me but I do ask that you try. I will do whatever I can to make it up to you.”
Silence followed. The silence lasted long enough that Noriko grew worried. Finally she said, “Ranma, please say something.”
The younger girl finally spoke, “I've been trying to figure out how to answer that. First I wanna say that I'm willing to believe that you honestly regret the things you did. I suppose that's part of what makes me the sucker that Nabiki always takes advantage of. In this case I need to be clearer about this, `Willing to believe' means just what it says. It doesn't mean that I'm convinced.”
She was silent for a moment again before continuing, “You say you want to make it up to me, that if you could apologize to all of the women you groped if it were possible. What you need to do to make it up to me, I don't really know. I'm going to need to think about it a lot. I will say your apology just now was a good first step. You need to think about this too.”
In a quick change of mood, Ranma said, “Now how about you shut up and get some sleep. We're both tired. We can wait do to any more heavy thought when we're fresh and rested.”
Recognizing the wisdom of that, Noriko closed her eyes and laid her head back on the pillow. “Good night, Ranma.”
“Good night, Noriko.”
Author's Note: Our travelers are taking the steps to get back to Japan with as little trouble as possible. Ranma is willing to listen to Noriko's apology so there is at least a chance for a relationship between them.
I would like to mention that I don't have a pre-reader. Would anyone out there be willing to help me out in that regard?