Sailor Moon Fan Fiction / Ranma 1/2 Fan Fiction ❯ Happi's Redemption ❯ Back to School ( Chapter 17 )

[ 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 17
Back to School

The following morning Genma tried to sneak up on Ranma as he always had in the past. This time he was met by Noriko who had made a point to get up early. The noise of Genma being knocked into the wall was enough to wake Ranma. The two girls then ganged up on the older Saotome. Thus Ranma avoided a dip in the koi pond. Instead an unconscious panda was left floating among the agitated fish in the pond.

With that irritant effectively removed, Ranma and Noriko sparred with each other. The two girls moved at speeds and used moves that Genma couldn’t hope to match.

When the girls finished their spar, Ranma walked over to the pond where a panda was regaining consciousness. When she was sure the panda was aware enough to hear and comprehend, she told him, “Not that it wasn’t fun kicking your sorry butt again, but you need to be aware of the new reality. Now that I’ve been kicked out of the house, I won’t be here tomorrow for you to play with. When I do spar I'll be doing it with the Grand Master of our school. Even with that I will be cutting back in my training in the Art so I can get more serious with my schooling.”

The panda held up a sign, “Ungrateful boy.” He flipped the sign, “After all I’ve done for you; this is the thanks I get.” A new sign said, “Oh, the shame to have such a disgraceful child.”

The redheaded girl shook her head. “'Ungrateful?' What do I have to be grateful for? Should I thank you for threatening to throw me out of the family, Jusenkyo or maybe the Nekoken? You know, I’m glad Mr. Tendo is kicking me out of the house. It means I won’t have to put up with your crap every day.” She went in to breakfast.

When Ranma got to the dining table she saw Akane had returned from her regular morning run and was sitting there in her school uniform. The youngest Tendo seemed oddly quiet instead of angry at Ranma. Wanting to keep her last morning in the Tendo home as peaceful as possible, Ranma just gave Akane a nod in greeting.

Uncharacteristically, Akane seemed unsure of herself, gnawing on her lower lip as if trying to come to a decision. After a moment the black haired girl tried, “Uh… Ranma?”

Still hoping to keep things peaceful, Ranma tried to keep her irritation out of her voice. “Yes Akane?”

The youngest Tendo said, “Normally I wouldn’t listen to anything someone like Noriko said because of what she was like in the past. This time I have to admit that what she said made sense.”

Frowning, the redhead asked, “Noriko said a lot of things last night. What specifically are you talking about?”

The other girl looked at the table for a moment. “I'm talking about Ukyo and Shampoo. I mean what Noriko said about how they would act if you were perverted with them. She was right. I’m… sorry I accused you of doing that.”

Ranma's eyes widened a little. Akane was apologizing? That was different. Well, it was a good start but didn’t go far enough. “What about the mallet?”

“Yeah, about that…” She seemed to be having trouble finding words. Finally she said, “I… overreacted. You were right that you didn’t deserve being malleted for the things I accused you of. It’s just that I get so mad sometimes.”

Noriko spoke up. “Akane, if you really feel you have to use a mallet, you should give some thought to using a real mallet instead the one made of ki.”

“What?” Akane looked confused. “Why?” Ranma looked confused as well. Was the older woman actually encouraging Akane to use a mallet?

The blonde explained, “Your mallet is a ki attack based on anger. The more you use it, the more anger builds up in your aura. That can make your temper worse. You need to either learn an attack based on pure, emotionless ki, or start using a real mallet that doesn’t require any ki at all. Either that or get better control of your temper and stop using a mallet completely.”

The youngest Tendo frowned. “I don’t think Daddy will teach me ki techniques. When I ask, he says I don’t need to know that stuff.”

Shaking her head sadly, Noriko said, “Such a shame. It makes me sad to see someone with such potential being held back.”

She sat for a moment in silent contemplation. Since Akane was the daughter of one of her students, she was a heir of sorts. It wasn't the girl's fault if Soun had wimped out on her training. Finally Noriko said, “I’m going to be looking into opening a dojo. I would welcome you as a student if you would be willing to accept me as a teacher.”

The youngest Tendo daughter felt tempted. On the one hand it would feel like betraying her father, on the other he had given her hardly any instruction in the last few years. “I’ll have to think about that.”

Noriko nodded. "You do that." She paused a moment before saying, “Since we’re being so honest this morning I think that it's time that another falsehood is laid to rest. Ranma and I spoke of this before.”
Ranma frowned in thought before her eyes widened. “Is this what I think it’s about? Or should I say who?”

“Yes,” was the short answer.

“Noriko, I promised on my honor.” Ranma protested.

The blonde replied, “And how often has that promise been used against you? I didn’t promise, so I’m not bound by it. It’s time for the lies and deception to come to an end.”

Looking both confused and angry, Akane demanded, “Are you saying that Ranma has been lying to me about something?”

Noriko shook her head. “No, Ranma has not been lying." She had placed unusual emphasis on the name. "She was withholding the truth. She made a promise on her honor not to tell you. She tried to drop hints that would allow you to figure out the truth for yourself but you never took the hints.”

“Hints?” The youngest Tendo was getting even more confused. “What are you talking about?”

The blonde rolled her eyes at how obtuse the girl was. “Did you ever wonder why Ranma calls Ryoga P-Chan, pork-but, bacon breath or just pig?”

The girl scowled and fired back with her stock answer, “He was picking on Ryoga like he always does. Ranma claims Ryoga is a friend but treats him really badly. He’s always fighting with Ryoga.”

The former man sighed. Akane was in denial, that much was clear. “Ranma fights Ryoga because the boy attacks her, often with no warning or challenge. Frequently he’ll try to ambush Ranma. The only thing he’ll say is ‘Ranma, prepare to die!” and then he attacks. If Ranma were any less skilled of a martial artist than she is, she would be dead now or maybe just crippled.”

Shaking her head, Akane protested, “No! That can’t be. Ranma is always picking on him.”

“No, she’s not,” the older girl replied. “Ranma doesn’t have a vindictive bone in her body.”

With another sigh, Noriko began again. Akane was obviously not going to take hints. It would be necessary to spell things out. “Ryoga has a Jusenkyo curse, like Ranma does.”
Anger was fading to be replaced by confusion. “He turns into a girl?” The way Ranma was a water magnet and always changing, it seemed a safe bet that others with Jusenkyo curses would attract water at odd times as well. She felt sure she would have noticed Ryoga changing into a girl.

Noriko shook her head. “No, not a girl, an animal. You’ve seen his cursed form before. Haven't you ever noticed that your pet P-Chan wears the same kind of bandana that Ryoga wears? Haven't you noticed that Ryoga is never around when P-Chan is here? Haven't you noticed that Ryoga will often disappear when P-Chan shows up or the other way around. P-will disappear when Ryoga shows up.”
Akane was shaking her head. “You’re trying to say that Ryoga changes into P-Chan? That’s impossible!”

“Is it?” Noriko leaned forward, her glare boring into Akane. “It would be easy enough test it out. Next time you see Ryoga, throw some cold water on him like you've done to Ranma so often. Or if you see P-Chan first, then toss him in the furo.”

Akane’s eyes went wide as she remembered past incidents. In a quiet voice she said, “Several times when P-Chan came in out of the rain, I wanted to bathe him in the furo to warm him up, but he always struggled to get away from me when I tried it. I just thought he was afraid the water was too hot.”

Noriko said, “If you had succeeded in getting him into the hot water you would have been subjected to the spectacle of a naked Hibiki Ryoga.” She had to wonder if Akane would have enjoyed the sight or been repulsed.

Several other remembered incidents were flitting through Akane’s head. The bandana, the convenient appearances and disappearances and the aversion to hot water. It also seemed significant that Ryoga always carried  an umbrella and went to great pains to avoid getting water on him when he fought.  It all added up. She didn't want to believe it, but the evidence was too strong.

“THAT PERVERT!” She screamed. “He slept in my bed, listened to me tell him all of my deepest secrets, watched me change clothes. I’LL KILL HIM!”

The tomboy just sat and seethed for a moment before she said, “No, killing is too good for him. I’ll castrate him.”

Noriko and Ranma both winced but didn't speak. Both just sat and watched for a while. Finally Ranma advised, “Calm down. You really shouldn’t think so badly about Ryoga. What he did was bad, but I can understand the reasons he did it for.”
The angry tomboy demanded, “What reason would justify what he did?”

Ranma sighed. “Because he was lost so much of the time he was very lonely. I guess you could say he was starved for affection even if he had to be a pet animal to get it. As for your secrets, if he ever told anyone about them I’ve never heard it.” She didn’t say that the Lost Boy had used some of the information Akane had spoken to work on breaking up the engagement. There seemed no point in mentioning it now that the engagement was broken.

After a pause to let Akane absorb that, Ranma continued, “I doubt Ryoga every really watched when you changed clothes. He was so shy that if he saw a girl in her underwear, he’d get a nosebleed. If he actually saw a girl naked, he’d get a really bad nosebleed and pass out. I’d bet he turned his head away when you were changing clothes.”

She had seen some of the nose bleeds, but the behavior wasn't consistent. Akane protested, “I’ve seen you and him together when you were topless in your girl form. He wasn’t passing out then.”

Ranma shook her head. She explained, “He knows about my curse. He doesn’t think of me as a girl. A few times when I was disguised I caused him nosebleeds. Sometimes he got a nosebleed even when he knew it was me.”

She continued, “If you’re going to be mad at him, be mad for the right reasons. He lied to you and abused your trust. He let you believe him to be a simple animal when he wasn’t. Maybe he’s a pervert for snuggling up to you in pig form, maybe not. I’m not the one to judge that. I do suggest that you hear his side of it before you kill him.” She didn’t mention the other threatened punishment.

With a sullen expression the youngest Tendo said, “Ok, I'll listen to what he has to say before I do anything seriously painful to him.”

Ranma thought to herself how glad she was that she wasn’t the Lost Boy. The next time he showed his face at the Tendo Dojo was likely to be an unpleasant experience for him. If Ranma saw him first she would give a warning, but doubted if she would be listened to.

Before Ranma's thoughts could proceed farther, Akane turned and said, "And you KNEW about it and didn't tell me?"

The redhead frowned and replied, "I promised on my honor not to tell. You heard Noriko. I tried to give you hints, but you ignored them. Almost everybody else knew. Your dad knew and he never told you."

Soun ducked behind his newspaper to get away from the glare his youngest daughter was directing at him.

By this time they had finished with their meal. Nabiki had already headed out, Akane and Ranma went out next. Ranma didn’t wait for Akane this time but ran ahead on the fence, still in girl form. She changed back into a boy just before going in the school gate.

As Ranma ran through the front gate, Kuno charged out from behind a tree, brandishing his bokken and shouting, “Hold, foul sorcerer! Where…”

The pigtailed boy just shouted in passing, “Sorry, Kuno. I don’t have time to play with you today. I need to see your father.”

Angry at being so casually dismissed, the kendo champion shouted back, “But my father…” The samurai wannabe's words ended up being directed at Ranma’s retreating back. “Is not here.” It was too late; Ranma was inside the building.

Ranma quickly made his way to the administration office only to find that in the time he’d been gone the principal had left on one of his frequent trips to Hawaii. He was also happy to see that Ms. Hinako was there to help him out. He was able to get re-registered without too much trouble.

After a month absence, the students of Furinkan were once again subjected to the unsettling sight of Ranma paying attention in class. They had seen this before the absence but all had believed it was just a temporary aberration. Now the strangeness was escalated. Not only was Ranma paying attention but he was taking notes and raising his hand to ask questions. It seemed positively eerie.

During lunch people crowded around Ranma but he patted a stack of books and pleaded that he had too much to catch up on to socialize. When Kuno came by, he noticed that the fair Tendo Akane was not with the boy. That was a good sign but not enough. The kendo champion demanded, “What have you done with the beauteous pigtailed girl?”

“I haven’t done anything with her,” Ranma replied with a sigh. “I can tell you that as far as I know she’s in town and she’s healthy. She’s not restrained, locked up or otherwise imprisoned.” He shaded his eyes with his hand and checked the position of the sun. “Knowing her, she’s probably eating lunch right now.”

“Whither has she gone?” The kendo champion asked. He hoped the foul sorcerer might slip and reveal something of use.

Ranma frowned. It was an interesting question. Was his girl body in some alternate dimension waiting to be swapped out with his male form? Or was it an actual physical transformation and not an exchange? If that were the case then she wasn't really anywhere at the moment. It was a disturbing thought.

After a moment in thought, Ranma answered, “I don’t know exactly where she is right now.”

Frowning, the kendoist asked, “Then how would you know she was partaking of a midday repast?”
Ranma rolled his eyes in annoyance. “I didn’t say that’s what she’s doing, I only said she probably is. It is the right time of the day and she has a healthy appetite.”

The kendo champion wore an expression of extreme confusion. Ranma said, “Look Kuno, the pigtailed girl is out on her own business. What that business is, I don’t know, I’m not in control of her the way you think I am." He thought, "At least no more than anyone is in control of herself."

Since the idiot was here now, it was time to dangle a little of the bait for the trap. "If you can have just a little bit of patience, I can tell you something very important about her in a few days, maybe less.”

“Important information regarding the pigtailed goddess?” Was the foul sorcerer ready to release his grip on the pigtailed one? Perhaps he tired of her. If that were the case then the scion of the noble house of Kuno would be there to shower the pigtailed goddess with loving affection.

Ranma nodded. “That’s right, information. Don’t bother trying to buy this from Nabiki, she doesn’t know it. Now if you don’t mind, I have discovered that I actually care about my education.” He turned back to his books.

The delusional kendo champion was so excited by the prospect of information about his beloved that he didn’t notice that he had effectively been dismissed. Even if Ranma had said that Nabiki didn’t know the information, Kuno wasn’t going to believe the foul sorcerer that easily. He rushed immediately to the table where the mercenary girl was sitting.

In a peremptory tone, Kuno said, “Tendo Nabiki, I would speak with you.”

Giving a smile they didn’t reach her eyes, the brunette asked, “What can I do for you today, Kuno baby?”

He glanced back toward where Ranma was sitting, then said, “The foul sorcerer Saotome has claimed that he has important information regarding the pigtailed goddess. He has said that it is information which you do not possess.”

The mercenary girl didn't like it when Saotome did this. Still, she kept a pleasant expression and said, “It is possible. He has ‘spoken’ to her more recently than I have.” Kuno didn’t notice the odd emphasis she put on the word “spoken.”

Before he could say more, Nabiki went on. “Even if I don’t know what information Ranma may have, I have something big to tell you about Ranma and my little sister.”

Now sounding eager, Kuno demanded, “What news of the fierce tigress Tendo Akane?”

The mercenary girl shook her head. “Oh, no. News this big isn’t free. 50,000 yen.” The middle Tendo held out her hand.

Scowling, the kendo champion pulled out his wallet and counted out the bills. When Nabiki had caused the money to disappear, she said, “Ranma and my sister have broken off their engagement. They are no longer getting married. Because of that, my father kicked Ranma out of the house.”

“YES!” Kuno stood and thrust both fists in the air. “The heavens reward the righteous. The foul sorcerer has released his hold upon my two loves. Now nothing shall stand in the way of my claiming them.”

Nabiki rolled her eyes before saying, “You might want to talk to Akane before you talk of ‘claiming’ anyone. She may not want to be claimed like that.” She didn't mention the pigtailed girl. She figured Ranma could take care of himself.

“Nonsense!” The clueless samurai wannabe exclaimed. “Now that the foul sorcerer is no longer clouding her mind, the lovely Akane is free to declare her true heart. She will acknowledge her love for me.”

The middle Tendo daughter sighed. “I don’t usually give advice, but you really should listen to me this time. Before you start planning a wedding, talk to Akane. It will likely save you a lot of grief.”

“Very well, I will speak to my love.” He responded. A thought seemed to occur to him. “What of the rumor I've heard that the pigtailed girl was traveling in the company of the aged pervert, Happosai. Saotome has told me that the pigtailed one is in town, healthy and free of any imprisonment. If that is true, it would seem to mean the ancient lecher did not flee with her.”

Inwardly the mercenary girl chuckled. “Easy money,” she thought. Out loud she said, “10,000 yen,” and held out her hand again. She figured that this wasn't as big a revelation as the breaking of the engagement, so she wouldn't charge as much.

The young man grumbled but paid. When the money was stashed, Nabiki said, “The rumor was true. The pigtailed girl went to China with Happosai. However, nothing perverted happened.”

Frowning, Kuno shook his head. “From what I know of the man, I find that difficult to credit.”

Nabiki nodded. “Normally I would agree with you. This time it turns out the old man was sick. His age was catching up with him. He was going in search of a place he had been to many years ago, planning for the ending of his days. The man known Happosai is no more. Following the old man's end, the pigtailed girl has returned back to Japan and Nerima.” Nabiki was quite pleased with her phrasing. What she had said was completely true, but also completely misleading.

The kendo champion stood still as he digested this. Finally he said, “I know that it is considered to be in poor taste to speak ill of the dead, but I feel certain that many women and even some men will rejoice at this news. I know I can claim no sadness on hearing it. That ancient lecher was a thorn in the side to many and friend to none that I have ever heard.”

He paused. “So you are saying that the pigtailed goddess accompanied even such a man as that to his final end?" He shook his head in wonder. "Such nobility! Surely she is a woman worthy of such as the mighty Blue Thunder.”

Nabiki rolled her eyes.

The kendo champion wore a manic grin. “Thank you, mercenary one. The information you have provided today is most welcome. I must think on this as I devise the best way to take advantage of it.”

As Kuno walked away, Nabiki shook her head. She muttered to herself, “Sometimes I think his grip on reality is getting shakier. I guess I’d better warn Akane. Man, I hate giving out free info.”

The rest of the day went by quickly. Ranma and Akane were in the same class, but they didn’t talk to each other. It wasn’t that they were angry with each other at this point, it more that they didn’t know how to act toward each other now that the engagement was off. Nabiki had given her warning, so Akane was prepared for the escalation in Kuno’s attentions. The wall around the schoolyard gained some new Kuno-shaped indentations.

After school let out for the day Ranma found Noriko was waiting for him at the front gate. What surprised him was when she greeted him with a hug. As pleasant as it was, he wasn’t sure what to make of it. When they disengaged he stepped back and asked, “What was that for?”

With a grin, the blonde explained, “Girls are supposed to be more emotional than men. I’m trying to get used to being a girl now. I hope you don’t mind if I practice on you.”

Ranma shook his head. “From changing back and forth myself I know that men are just as emotional as women. They may not be emotional about the same things, but the emotions are just as strong. The major difference I've noticed is that men in general seem to hide their emotions more.”

Noriko laughed heartily at that. “I know why you qualified that by saying ‘in general.’”

Ranma nodded. “Mr. Tendo.”

The blonde girl shook her head. “If he were any worse, he’d probably cry over it being a nice day. I sometimes wonder why he hasn't been taken to the hospital for dehydration.”

The pigtailed boy laughed as well. “Didn’t you notice? He drinks lots of water.”

Still smiling the former man nodded. “That would do it.”

“Anyway,” Ranma said, trying to get back to the subject. “I appreciate a hug from a pretty girl as much as anyone, but... maybe you should save it for someplace more private?”

Grinning wider, Noriko challenged, “Are you afraid I’ll embarrass you in front of your friends and schoolmates?”
“Well… yeah, kind of,” he admitted. “They probably think I dumped Akane for a new girlfriend.”
“Traded up, you mean?” She continued to grin mischievously.

With a little effort he extracted his arm from her grip. “Now you’re just being silly. You know you’re pretty. Why do you need me to tell you?”

Noriko explained, “I’ve noticed this in women. No matter how pretty they are or how well they know it, they enjoy being complimented on their looks as long as it isn’t too extreme like Kuno does it.”

Ranma took that as a reminder. “Speaking of him, did you have a chance to talk to the Amazons about the powder?”

Noriko’s grin was back. “Yes. We can stop by the Nekohanten to pick up a few packets. I also found a vacant office complex about 15 minute's walk from the school. The previous tenant moved out and new ones haven’t been found yet. We can borrow the place without a problem.”

“Sounds good,” Ranma agreed.

The blonde’s expression became more serious. “I called Atchika to let her know we would be settling into the new place and doing other things today. I’m wondering if it would have been smarter to have moved to Juuban. It’s a fairly long commute to go there for your magic lessons.”

The pigtailed boy frowned for a moment then pointed out, “Then it would be a commute to Furinkan.”

As they walked down the street, Noriko responded, “I was thinking more along the line of you transferring to a Juuban school too. There would be the bonus of being away from all of the craziness of the people at Furinkan.”

Ranma let out a sigh. “The way my luck runs, I’d probably meet a whole new bunch of crazies, like maybe the Senshi and their friends. I seem to attract people like that. Considering how much I’ve missed, I think it might be a good idea to stick here at least until the end of the school year. After that we can think about moving again.”

The blonde nodded. “That seems reasonable. That still doesn’t address the problem of travel time between here and Juuban. Other than taking the train, I see two alternatives. You could learn to drive a car or have Atchika teach you a teleportation spell. Of the options, the teleportation spell would be fastest.”

Ranma glanced around. He decided they were far enough away from the school and changed to girl form. Then she stopped and closed her eyes and after a few moments was wearing a navy blue knee length skirt and pale yellow short-sleeved blouse.

Noriko clapped her hands then impulsively threw her arms around her companion in another hug. Ranma submitted to the embrace but didn’t return it. After a moment Noriko stepped back and said, “You’re getting better at the clothing swap spell.”

The redhead shrugged. “I still need more practice before I can do it at the same time as the sex change.”

“You’ll get it,” Encouraged Noriko.

A short while later they arrived at the Nekohanten. Cologne met them and handed over the sealed foil packets. Shampoo was out on a delivery. The elder said, “So you are planning to use these to demonstrate to young Kuno about Jusenkyo curses?”

Ranma nodded. “He seems able to deny it when it’s happening to someone else, even if it's right in front of him. Maybe when it happens to him, the truth will finally penetrate into that granite head of his.”

The old woman frowned. She advised, “Be careful how you handle this. You might be able to use this to get through to the young man, but it could backfire on you.”
“Backfire how? Ranma asked.

She warned, “This could confirm yourself forever in the role of ‘foul sorcerer’ in his mind. If he comes to believe your female form is a sorceress as he thinks of your male form, you could be making life even more difficult for yourself.”

The redhead spread her hands out in a helpless gesture. “It’s either this or try to convince him that Ranko is Ranma’s sister. The trouble I see with that is that he would eventually ask to see both of us together. There are risks in whatever we might do.”

The Elder shrugged her shoulders. “That much is certainly true.”

They left the restaurant and went from there to a small office building. Noriko produced a key that let them into an empty suite of offices. Apparently the previous tenant hadn’t been too thorough when they moved out. There were a few worn and shabby chairs left behind, along with odds and ends of other debris. Likely the people who moved out would get new chairs for their new office.

Noriko had visited the place earlier and rolled three chairs into one of the main rooms. She had marked a small “X” on the floor and placed one of the chairs on top of it. She explained the trick. On the ceiling directly above the chair was a recessed lighting fixture. She had removed the florescent tubes, leaving an empty metal-lined recess.

The blonde had removed the cover from the fixture. It was a plastic grid that was strong enough to support the weight of a water balloon filled with temporary girl water. At the right moment she would fire a small ki blast to burst the balloon. That would let the water splash down on the person seated below.

She explained, “After we mix a batch of the water, we’ll put it in a balloon and put it on the grid. We then put that back into the light fixture. When I burst the balloon the water will fall and will soak the person in the chair. That will be Kuno.”

Ranma frowned. “What some of that water splashes on one or both of us? Won’t that be a problem?”

Noriko grinned. “No problem at all. I’m a girl now so it won’t have any effect on me. Since you already turn into a girl it won’t work on you either.”

“If you’re sure.”

Noriko patted Ranma’s shoulder in a reassuring way. “I checked with Atchika. You could bathe in the stuff now or even in the Nyniichuan spring itself and it wouldn’t do anything to you.”

They used a bucket that Noriko had left in the empty office to mix the water then Noriko held a balloon and a funnel while Ranma poured. They made sure to get a balloon large enough to hold the whole amount. They laid this on the grid-like light cover then fastened the grid in place over the opening of the light fixture. It was not the only fixture that had no lights in it.

When they were satisfied they had things set up and ready, they left, locking the office behind them. Then they roof hopped to the apartment. The building was four stories tall. Their apartment was on the second floor with an exterior door.

Author's Note: Yes, it looks like an elaborate plan just to get Kuno's attention. However, it has been repeatedly demonstrated that all of the Kunos are self absorbed. It will take something like turning Kuno into a girl to get him to believe such a thing is possible. Will it work? Stay tuned.

To Dumbledork: I hadn't actually planned on having crossover characters make cameo appearances as Ranma and Noriko's neighbors at the apartment complex. I have to confess that I'm not as widely read in manga as I would like and haven't seen as many anime as I'd like either. (Blame it on a really tight budget.) Still it seems like a good idea. If you or any other readers would like, I'd welcome any suggestions for characters to include in chapter 18.
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