Note: I think I've found a way to make my chapters *way* longer than before. I've noticed that people weigh a fic down with lots of not completely relevant description, drawn out explanations, and extremely large words. I think I'm going to try that.
Another note, this time about my "Writers Rule". I know that my ages aren't absolutely correct. Can I *please* stop getting e-mails and comments about it? It's starting to get extremely annoying. Why do you think I created the writers rule in the first place? It's *my* rule, not anyone else’s.
The Fifth Fiancé
The large city of Tokyo, Japan glittered brightly with the many lights that illuminated that streets and pathways. Even at night, the metropolis was a bustling center of activity. On a small back street on the northeast side, there was a shopping district. It wasn't a very large one but it suited the needs of the people who lived in that neighborhood very well. So well in fact that the word spread to even outside the confines of the city and attracted people from all over.
So it was natural that Akane Tendo was drawn to that very place.
The colorful paper lanterns cheered up the area and shown down on the natives that browsed the many wares. There were also plenty of tourists for variation as well.
Akane browsed all of the merchandise in considerable interest. It was too bad that she had a limited amount of money or she would be in heaven.
Stopping herself from lingering too long at a ramen stand, she promptly turned her thoughts to ones of Ranma.
Ranma Saotome. What a horrible name.
She dug around in her pockets for a snapshot of the boy that Genma had sent to her father so that she could ask around. He had to have come here at least once. Most people do.
"Excuse me!" She bellowed almost politely. "Do you know this boy?"
The bald man behind the stand peered at the picture and then shook his head. "Nope. Never seen him before in my life."
"Thanks anyway." He nodded and she moved on. Repeating the process, she got two no's, three maybes, and one pickup line. That loser was swiftly dealt with.
She exhaled noisily, a sound that was quickly lost in the crowd.
"Has *anyone* seen Ranma Saotome?!"
Ryouga's head jerked up from where he was shoveling in ramen at an incredible speed. Noodles dangling from his mouth, he looked all about him, searching for the source of that shout. Ukyou noticed him doing that and started to ask why.
They were both at a sidewalk café on near the end of the famous shopping district. Stopping only for a few minutes, the smells soon got to them and they found themselves eating as well. Both "boys" didn't mind. The food was great.
"Shh," he whispered. "I'm positive they'll yell it again."
The girl shot him a quizzical look and listened intently for a moment. Finally shrugging, she went back to sating her hunger.
Ryouga strained to pick up any trace of the shouted question, but none was too be found. In the end shrugging as well, he also went back to eating.
"RANMA SAOTOME! YOU I KILL!"
This caused Ryouga to drop his chopsticks with a clatter and jumped to his feet. "Ranma? Where is that coward?!"
Ukyou got to her feet too. "Where is he?" Bringing her large spatula from her back, she held it in front of her like a sword. "He's gonna pay!"
And then, without even leaving money for the bill, they set off toward the noise.
"HEY!!" The owner of the restaurant screamed at them. "Come back here with my money!" Flinging his apron to the ground, he ran off after them.
The chase was on.
"I don't know why you had to come along," Pan grumbled as she readjusted the knapsack on her back. "I can handle myself fine."
The two were walking along a busy and crowded street heading for the shopping district. It was a couple of days after the incident at school and for some reason, both Gohan and Goku insisted that Ranma come along on her trip into the big city. Even ChiChi, after she had gotten over being mad at the fact that she was the last to know about the engagement, encouraged it as well. It was supposed to promote, as her mother called it, "friendship". But Pan didn't know if she could ever be friends with an annoying, chauvinistic boy like him.
"I know, I know," Ranma grumbled while rolling his eyes. "You're one-fourth saiyan. I still don't get that explanation but I'm not sure that I really care."
"Oh really?!" she said. "You were just lucky that the lunch bell had rung yesterday or I would have shown you what a true saiyan was capable of!"
It was true. Right when they had reached the large field that were the home to her usual training and sparring grounds, the school bell had made it's presence known. Her stomach rumbling, she nearly knocked the pig-tailed boy over in her haste to get some food. It just added another thing to Ranma's endless list of insults.
"If you weren't such a pig," he made an ugly face at her, "then we would of had a great fight!" Making mock ears with his index fingers, he started to snort. "Oink! Oink! Oink!"
"Well," she retorted, "if you knew how to fly, you wouldn't have to be seen being carried by a girl!"
The boy blushed slightly at that. "I'm going to learn one day! Son-san is going to teach me!"
She cocked her head curiously at him. "Which one?"
She began to laugh at that, long and loud. "I'd love to see that one!" Picturing it perfectly in her mind, she broke out into yet another round of laughter. Finally reaching the store that she wanted, she opened the door and proceeded to go in, Ranma trailing behind her.
"Why?!" he asked as he blocked her path. "What's so wrong about it?"
She pushed him aside and moved to a rack of clothes. As she sifted through the nondescript tee-shirts -- just her style -- she answered him with a barely suppressed humor. "His... technique," she answered finally, "is different from my Ojiisan's, that's all. Actually, it's almost exactly like Piccolo-san's."
She nodded as she chose some shirts. "My Tousan's sensei. He's a Namekseijin." She moved to a new rack, one that contained jeans this time, and also began to look.
Ranma raised a brow at the strange ethnicity but then shook his head. "What's so bad about the way your father teaches?"
She didn't answer him for a moment as she browsed and at first Ranma thought that she hadn't heard him. Just when he was about to repeat his question, she moved to the checkout counter and asked another question. "How do you feel about cliff faces?"
A blank look was her only response.
She chuckled slightly as she reached into her pocket for money to pay the young cashier. "Well, you're going to be dropped from them so I just thought I would ask."
Nodding absently, he began to look around the store. It took a few moments, but the girl finally receiving the reaction she was expecting.
Giggling she grabbed her bags. "That's how I learned. At least Tousan will catch you if it doesn't work the first time."
The thought of splattering against the earth did *not* appeal to the boy. He was still thinking about it when he noticed that Pan had gone outside again. "Hey! Wait up!"
In a moments impulse, he looked back toward the store's sign. Snickering slightly he prepared an insult.
"Yo Pan! Now I know why your clothes are so ugly!" She glanced back. "You shop at the thrift store!"
Snorting she continued forward. "Yeah, so? What's your excuse?" As she stepped from the curb somehow she ended up tripping. Trying to balance herself, she leaned forward too far and headed face first toward the street. Ranma just casually reach out, grabbed the back of her shirt, and set her back upright.
Turning quickly, she examined Ranma's face closely for any sign of teasing. There was none. Nodding in satisfaction, she smiled slightly. "Arigatou. I owe you."
That was when the huge grin broke out on his face. "Sure you do... KLUTZ!"
"RANMA!" She screamed as he ran off. "OMAE O KOROSU!!" A frown settling on her features, she took off after him at full speed.
Shampoo admired the nice jewelry laid out on a display table. She thought that just looking couldn't hurt and as long as she didn't return in shame, it would be okay to relax. After all, it had taken her this long to track the boy down. How big of a difference could ten minutes make?
Slipping the beaded thing onto her slim wrist, she admired it a bit before she pulled out enough money to pay. Suddenly her honed warrior senses kicked in and she looked up, observant.
It felt as if her goal was in reach. The girl's purple eyes brightened in anticipation. Her mission for revenge could finally be completed.
Dropping *way* more than enough to pay for the bracelet, she began to walk quickly down the street in the direction that her gut was pointing her in.
Nothing got past the small, purple haired girl as she walked down the street. She thought she saw a bright red patch of hair in a distant crowd and that was enough to set her off. Creeping up to the girl quietly, she raised the large weapon high.
"RANMA SAOTOME! YOU I KILL!"
The girl turned around, frightened, and she instantly saw that it wasn't a girl at all.
The fierce expression on her face softened some and she abruptly apologized. "Shampoo sorry. Thought you Ranma."
The freckled boy shot her a quizzical look then shrugged. "Apology accepted."
Without a second glance, the mighty huntress was off again.
"Where is he?" Ukyou panted after following Ryouga down a dark alley. They were past the Ranma thing and were currently hiding out trying not to experience the restaurant owner's wrath. They both pressed their bodies flat against the brick wall of the building behind them as the angry man ran past. The dark haired girl peeked around the corner and nodded to herself as he ran in another direction.
"Hey," she said as she turned towards her new friend, "the coast is-- AH!"
The little black piglet looked solemnly up to her as he waded through the sea of clothes.
Ukyou blinked and then asked a question. "Ryouga, is that you?"
The piglet nodded as a tear dripped from his eye.
Ukyou felt that it was next to impossible for that small pig to be Ryouga. She shook her head stubbornly and crossed her arms. "Iie, I refuse to believe it."
Ryouga trotted over to his fallen backpack and nudged it with his nose.
"Eh?" the girl said intelligently. "Do you want me to get something for you?"
He nodded and nudged the tan fabric again. Ukyou then opened the top flap and began to rummage inside, all the while setting things on the ground around them. Finally she came to a green thermos that earned a squeal from her companion.
"This is it," she muttered as she twisted off the cap. She looked back and forth from the pig to the thermos and shot him a look. Watching the confusing gestures the small animal made, she at last understood what she needed to do.
Upending the hot water over his head, Ryouga was finally restored to his original form.
She stifled a shriek and politely turned away as the boy dressed. "I guess this explains everything..."
"Hai," he replied. "It should." Tying his headband back around his head, he turned to her. "I suppose you want the whole story about how it happened."
She smiled gently. "That would be nice."
"I came upon a valley that was covered in pools of water completely by accident one day..."
Ryouga gazed at all of the pools of water from where he was standing on top of a semi-high cliff. Suddenly, seeming out of no where, a panda came bouncing by. The boy dodged easily but then another person followed him.
"Stop Pop! Come back here you stupid panda!" Without even paying attention, the redheaded girl knocked poor Ryouga into a spring. The tiny black piglet came up sputtering as he slowly swam to shore.
As he climbed out of the water, the large panda reappeared again. The animal grabbed him by the cloth around his neck and skipped off toward the guide hut.
"Oh!" The Jusenkyo guide said cheerfully. "Where you get pig? Now I can make special Chinese style sweet and sour pork for honorable guest!"
The panda drooled at the anticipation of food while Ryouga the Pig wiggled franticly in Genma's paw.
The guide sharpened a large knife and tried to crack a joke. "Would be bad if pig had been man who fall in spring!" Both Genma and the guide looked at each other and began to laugh. The Chinese man tossed the piglet carelessly into the pot of boiling water.
Ryouga jumped out almost instantly, covering his genitals and glaring at the two.
"Oops!" The guide said. "You *is* traveler who fell in Heituenniichuan!" He turned to the boy. "Very tragic story of black piglet who died there one-thousand, two hundred year ago--"
"SHUT UP!" Ryouga screamed brokenly as he stood there in shame.
"Very bad you fall in," the Chinese guide said solemnly, "Very bad."
Ukyou smothered her laughter as her friend's tale came to a close. "He almost turned you into sweet and sour pork?" After unsuccessfully trying to control her laughter, she broke out into wild giggles.
"Oh *very* funny!" he said sarcastically. "If it were you who was about to become dinner, you wouldn't be laughing."
"Gomen nasai," she said with one last snicker. Controlling herself, she continued. "We need to move on now! Let's go kill Saotome!"
"Yeah!" he cheered as they both ran off.
"Have you seen this boy?" Akane asked for it felt like the fiftieth time that day. This time, surprisingly, she received a yes.
"Really?" She asked hopefully. "Can you tell me where?"
The old, partially bald man at the food stand pointed off to the right. "He was just here five minutes ago with a girl that can eat like a horse. Those two alone got all of my food!" Then he continued to count his money, little stars in his eyes. "At least they left me a *huge* tip!"
Akane grinned cruelly and took off in the direction that the vendor had indicated. 'Not long now, Ranma. Soon you will be all mine!' She was tempted to add a maniacal laugh, but then people would have really thought that she was crazy.
She spotted his pig tail, just like on the picture, and started to yell. "RANMA! YOU'RE GONNA PAY!!"
Pan turned. "Who is that person?"
The boy, still stuffing his face, peered at the girl running towards them. "Oh shit! That's Akane Tendo!" Having a picture of her as well, his father had said to watch out for the dangerous tomboy. Her tousan, Soun, had wrote a letter all about her temper and fiery spirit.
Ranma looked around frantically for a possible escape route while Pan just stood there calmly.
"Aren't you going to help at all?!" he screamed at her. "She's gonna kill me!"
"Calm down you idiot!" Pan took quickly unscrewed the top from her water and threw some in his face. "There. Problem solved."
Calming slightly, Ranma ducked her head so that her face was obscured. "Now why didn't I think of that?"
"Because you're a bakayaro?" Pan suggested.
Ranma growled and they both waited to see if their ruse would work.
A loud group of teenagers blocked her view for a few moments as she neared her prey. Akane barely noticed, focused as she were on dismembering the boy. She blinked as she lost sight of Ranma all-together.
"Where in Hell did he go?" She asked herself quietly. "He was right there a moment ago!" Walking up to the dark-haired girl holding a knapsack she proceeded to pull out the picture again.
"Excuse me, have you seen this boy?"
Pan pretended to look really hard at the photo. "Nope. Not at all."
"Thanks anyway," Akane sighed heavily as she turned and walked away. "So close!"
Just when Ranma thought it was safe to breath again, another shout caught her attention.
The small girl groaned at this person.
"Shampoo," She sighed.
Then she saw the sword at the same time Pan did.
"Uh, what *did* you do to her?" Pan asked curiously.
"Long story. Let's go!" Tugging urgently on the other girl's arm, she tried to pull her along.
Pan snatched her arm away and stood firm. "If you think I'm going to run away from some freaky sword wielding," she examined her clothes, "Chinese girl you've got something else coming!"
"Shampoo is not an ordinary person," Ranma whispered. This statement was confirmed as the amazon ran straight *through* a telephone pole, destroying it completely. "Ya see what I mean?"
"I do," Pan gulped slightly despite herself, "Let's go!"
"RANMA, YOU I KILL!"
Walking further up the crowded street, Ukyou and Ryouga still didn't see anything of interest. They saw an angry looking female, a crazy looking amazon....
...who was currently screaming out how she was going to kill Ranma at the top of her lungs...
"Ranma's over there?" Ryouga asked as she ran by.
"Hai!" She answered.
"Let's go then!"
Akane also changed her course as she heard the conversation.
Other people stopped and stared as the four seemingly crazy teenagers shouted out death threats to someone named Ranma Saotome.
:"YOU'RE GONNA PAY!" Akane.
"YOU COWARD! HOW DARE YOU NOT SHOW TO OUR FIGHT!" Ryouga.
"YOU I KILL!" Shampoo.
"I GAVE UP MY WOMANHOOD TO FIND YOU!" Ukyou. This also prompted several weird glances from Ryouga and the gathering crowd, but they were all ignored.
"RANMA!!!" Was the shout in unison. "PREPARE TO DIE!!"
The two other children were all ready running for their lives. Pan finally sighed and grabbed the panting girl by the waist and took off into the air, not minding how many people she had startled.
"Arigatou!" Ranma smiled tiredly. "Now we're even."