Subject: [PMFFML] [FFML-R] newRanma - Chapter 4
From: "C. Jones" <guilty@furinkan.net>
Date: 3/10/2001, 9:46 PM
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Hey everyone. Got another couple chapters ready. Again,
these haven't suffered much prereading, so feel free to
rip them to shreads. I appreciate all the C&C I've
already gotten. If I haven't gotten back to you on it
yet, forgive me.

Something that's come up a few times are the
similiarities between the basic premise of this story
and one of Jack and Jill Staik's stories, "Ranma's
Horrible Secret". Yes I have read 'Horrible Secret' and
no, this is not based on that story. Thanks for asking!

Anyway, here is the new chapter. Enjoy!

Ranma and his friends belong to Rumiko Takahashi. They're
used here without permission.

------------------------------
newRanma 4: Learning

by Chris Jones
------------------------------

    Ranma greeted Saturday morning with an enthusiasm she
had never mustered for school before. It was a half-day of
school on a day that Ranma would rather just sleep in on under
normal circumstances. Today she anticipated it like a starving
man waits for his next meal.

    She rose early, eager for her chance to get out of the
house. She rushed through the breakfast Kasumi prepared for
the family and almost dragged Akane out of the house and down
the street for the school

    She had donned a Tokyo Dodgers hat to cover the healing
scar on her scalp, but uneven red hair sill stood out from the
bottom of the hat in all directions.

    Leaping out of the top of a pineapple statue at the
front gates, Principal Kunou stopped Ranma and Akane before
they managed to enter.

    "What's the big deal!" Ranma protested. "We're gonna be
late!"

    The principal smiled, his teeth glinting in the early
morning sunlight.  He pulled a remote out of his pocket,
causing the gate to close behind him.

    "Students no gonna wear hats at my school!" The man
exclaimed in this thick faux-hawaiian accent. "Be a good Keiki
and take offa hat, Okay?" He pulled out a pair of shears. "OR
ELSE!"

    Ranma clenched her fists. "No fighting," she whispered,
regretting her promise.

    Akane put a comforting hand on her shoulder.

    "Fine," Ranma said. "You want it?" She lifted up the
hat, revealing the long line of sutures and the crusted-over
incision they held closed. "Maybe if we're lucky, we'll get to
see some spinal fluid spurt out today!" she told the
principal. "I got a little bit of lymphatic fluid to come out
of the stitches last night, maybe I can do it again!" Ranma
exaggerated further. "Hmmm?"

    The principal paled. The clippers hung loosely at his
side.

    Surprising Ranma, he grabbed the Dodgers cap and set it
down gently over Ranma's scalp, covering the sutures back up.

    "Keiki... this time, and this time *only*, you beat da
headmaster without a fight. You tell everyone I give you a
hard time, okey-dokey?"

    Ranma and Akane giggled and Ranma nodded her assent.
"I'll tell 'em I had to whip your ass coming in."

    "Good Keiki," the principal said, opening the gates back
up. "Now get to class before you gotta do water torture."

    They both ran off, leaving the principal standing on the
front steps.

    "Sometimes I wonder about him," Akane thought aloud.

    Ranma nodded. "Something..." Something bothered her
about the principal's behavior. Something... just outside her
reach. Something important though. "Nah. Never mind." She'd
figure it out later.

    After catching up with all her friends, Ranma gleefully
snoozed through first period.

    All Ranma's friends eventually got around to asking to
see the 'site'. While Hiroshi and Daisuke both knew that Ranma
had had brain surgery, some of the more perverted members of
her class understood that Ranma had had abdominal surgery. At
one point there was a cry for her to take her shirt off so
they all could see despite the hat she was wearing. Ranma
blushed and shook in embarrassment and rage. Akane came to her
rescue and punted all the boys out of the classroom.

    For the most part, Ranma was back to her life. As much
as she denied it, the half-day had taken more out of her than
she realized. She swore to step up her training and did
several hours of katas in the dojo on Sunday. The next day,
Monday, she returned to school eager to resume her schedule.

    Lunch that day was an ordeal for both Ranma and Akane.
Ranma had sworn not to fight, but both Shampoo and Ukyou came
bearing gifts of food. Ranma *gleefully* accepted before she
realized how upset it made Akane.

    Akane wanted to run off so she didn't hit Ranma, but
stood her ground.

    After a few minutes several other girls and even a few
boys approached Ranma with hand-packed bentos and other treats
of food.

    Unable to take her frustrations out, Akane just cried
helplessly into her hands as Ranma gorged herself.

    Ranma felt a little guilty about Akane, but couldn't
help but accept all the free food. It was odd, she thought,
the way all the other girls and boys looked at her while she
ate. She knew that her body drew attention, but had never
considered it before. Now she was left to wonder if the people
watching her were waiting for their particular bento or candy-
bar to be consumed, or if there was some other reason for
watching her so closely.

    Since her sessions with what Tofuu-sensei called a
'Behavioral Specialist' didn't start for another day, Ranma
decided to go out after school with Hiroshi and Daisuke to
take her mind off the strange new thoughts.
    
    The three left school and headed towards a pizza joint
that Hiroshi suggested. It had a large arcade, with several
new, high-tech games that all three youths wanted to try.
After a few minutes of walking with the two, however, Ranma
began to grow uncomfortable. Their talk was 'manly', mostly
about the sporting events Ranma had missed while in the
hospital, but she couldn't help but feel their eyes lingering
over her curves. They looked away guiltily when Ranma turned
back to face them, but otherwise didn't even seem to be
noticing they were doing it.

    By the time she got home, Ranma was feeling absolutely
paranoid.

    Akane was there, and was helping Kasumi (under heavy
supervision) prepare dinner. Ranma decided not to comment,
especially after all three of the Tendou girls came out of the
kitchen to talk to her.

    "How was your day, Ranma?" Kasumi asked.

    "Uh, okay, I guess," she said, suddenly uncomfortably
aware of Kasumi's proximity.

    Nabiki smiled in her usual feral manner. "All the boys
have been missing your hot bod, you know," she teased. "I
heard you got some treats today at lunch--"

    Akane snorted and stared at the ceiling in anger.

    "Did you give any treats in return?" Nabiki asked.

    "NO!" Ranma yelled, her face turning a bright red color.
"And stop staring at me like that!" she commanded as she
turned and ran away.

    "What was that all about?" Kasumi asked.

    Nabiki smiled wickedly. "I think Ranma-chan has finally
noticed what she does to the boys," she said.

    "About bloody damn time," Akane grumbled under her
breath. "Maybe now she'll grow some modesty and not prance
around here in the nude all the time."

    "It's not that bad," Kasumi said.

    "It could be," Nabiki countered, smirking. "I do so need
to make sure my camera has film."

* * *

    Once she calmed down, Ranma felt bad about yelling at
Nabiki. She didn't want Nabiki to be mad at her and was unsure
how to best apologize for her angry words. After the
mischievous glances Nabiki kept shooting her at dinner, Ranma
suspected that girl wasn't mad at her for her outburst. The
redhead was still uncomfortable with the situation and felt
herself driven to find out what was really going on inside
Nabiki's head.

    After dinner she took several minutes to calm down and
knocked on Nabiki's door.

    She could hear the quiet grunts as Nabiki exercised
inside.

    "Come in!" Nabiki called out in between deep breaths.

    Inside, Nabiki was working out in a tiny bikini, laying
on her back doing leg lifts on her bed. She turned her head
upside down and was facing the door. Ranma found it rather
uncomfortable to talk to Nabiki, inverted as she was.

    "Uhmmm... Sorry I yelled at you," Ranma offered, hoping
it would be sufficient to start the conversation.

    Her eyes couldn't help but move up and down as Nabiki's
slender legs alternately rose up into the air and bent back
down.

    "It's okay. I enjoy teasing you," Nabiki said honestly.
"You have the *cutest* blush!"

    Ranma's mouth worked up and down wordlessly as Nabiki
giggled in between breaths.

    "See, there it is again! I swear, you're *so* easy to
manipulate, Ranma."

    "Am not!" Ranma declared angrily.

    "So are you hear to apologize or just fantasize about my
body, then?" Nabiki asked, reaching up and cupping her breasts
playfully.

    Ranma goggled at the cleavage that showed from the top
of her bikini. She could feel the blush starting to creep
burningly onto her ears and down her chest. She had felt this
feeling before, usually because of one of Shampoo's
machinations, but it had never affected her in quite this way.
Terrified, she ran out of Nabiki's room, and out to the dojo.

    "You'll have to pay the standard fee if you want to see
any more!" Nabiki called after her. She collapsed on her bed
into a fit of laughter.

    After a little bit, Kasumi called her and her sister
down to watch an episode of 'Nurse Academy' she had taped
while they were at school

    Ranma, hearing the familiar opening theme playing from
dojo, sneaked in guiltily to watch.

    Nabiki, now clad in shorts and a tank top, shot
mischievous glances at the red-head every once in a while, but
Ranma would not be cowed out of the room.

* * *

    The next day was Ranma's first appointment with the
psychologist Tofuu-sensei had recommended. She was
apprehensive about talking to anyone about the curse, but
after Nabiki's cruel teasing the night before, was almost
eager to talk to someone, *anyone* about the odd feelings
running around inside her skull.

    Makuna-sensei was a thin, older man with a thick mane of
hair that threatened to overwhelm his head. In his tweed suit,
he bore a startling visual resemblance to a scarecrow.

    He bowed respectfully as Ranma entered his office. Much
to the red-head's relief, his eyes did not linger on her body.

    "So, you're the Ranma that my good friend Tofuu has told
me so much about."

    Ranma nodded nervously and sat in a chair when she was
prompted, rather than on the long couch at the end of the
psychologist's office.

    "I've heard quite a bit about you," Makuna said, "but
let me tell you a little about myself before we begin. I've
been a behavioral psychologist for almost thirty years. In my
time I've performed many studies and helped men, women, and
children with a pretty impressive array of psychoses.
Something I consider my specialty is helping men and women who
are homosexual or bisexual to understand and deal with their
feelings."

    "Uhhh..." Ranma began, uncomfortable with the doctor's
words.

    "I quite understand that you don't feel that you fall
into those groups," Makuna continued, "But you may have
problems that are similar to those I treat."

    "Okay," Ranma replied nervously.

    "More than anything, we're here to make sure that you're
allowed to develop normally in your unique situation. If you
don't mind," Makuna said, "I'd like you to begin by telling me
how you see yourself."

    "I guess I don't understand," Ranma admitted.

    "Tell me about yourself," Makuna prompted. "Tell me
about your life. Tell me what you like about yourself and what
you dislike. I understand that you have a fiancee through an
arranged marriage. Tell me how you feel about her."

    "Uhhmmm... Okay," Ranma said, unsure of where to begin.

    "Perhaps you should tell me about your curse," Makuna
said.

    It was like a dam broke inside Ranma. Suddenly she found
herself telling the doctor about all her martial arts training
and the horrible day when she actually fell into Nannichuan.
She explained how the curse worked and all about the different
people she knew who were cursed.

    Makuna listened patiently and took occasional notes.
    
    Ranma continued on about all the different battles she
had had and all the times when she had to rescue Akane. She
went on about the fights she had at school, and then went back
over all the times her curse had been 'stuck', leaving her
trapped as a girl. Finally, she talked about the blatantly
sexual teasing Nabiki had ribbed her with.

    When she finished, close to an hour had passed. Makuna-
sensei had gone through an entire legal pad worth of notes.
She felt strangely lightheaded after revealing so much about
herself.

    "Well," Makuna said a few minutes after Ranma stopped
talking. "What you have told me sounds like a story of a young
man who is trying to preserve his ideas about masculinity in a
world that grows more and more hostile to them by the day."

    Ranma nodded.

    "Nabiki, your fiancee's sister, sounds like quite an
interesting person. I think you may be worrying too much about
the jokes she's playing on you."

    "Maybe," Ranma said, not really agreeing with the
doctor.

    "Do you remember the first time you were aroused?"
Makuna asked.

    Ranma blushed, but answered the question. "The first
time I saw... another girl's... urmmm... parts," she blurted
out, "was when I saw Akane in the bath that first time."

    "But it didn't make you feel like you did when her
sister posed for you."

    "I was surprised," Ranma said, trying to remember the
feelings, "But... no. I guess not. I was more afraid than
anything else."

    "Everyone feels attraction, Ranma, be it to members of
the opposite sex, members of the same sex, both, or even both
at different times as in your particular case. I suspect that
what happened last night was your first *true* arousal. Nabiki
probably experienced hers much earlier in life. Due to the
surgery you recently had, this was probably the first time you
*could* feel arousal. It's nothing to be ashamed of. It's
quite normal, in fact. If it happens again, you should try not
to let it frighten you."

    "But I'm a *girl* right now. I... I dunno. I don't wanna
be attracted to guys, but do I have to be attracted to girls
when I am one?" Ranma asked.

    "That's for you to find out," Makuna-sensei asked, a
chuckle in his voice. "I take it that you don't think it's
very masculine for a woman to be attracted to other women?"

    Ranma shrugged, unsure of how to answer the question.

    "Most of your ideas about what it means to be 'manly'
come from your father," Makuna said, checking back over his
notes. "Would you say that's a true statement?"

    "I guess so. My mom has some funny ideas about it, but
yeah, I think my dad has taught me most of what I know about
being a guy."

    "Well, today has been a good start, but something I want
you to think about before we talk again is the fact that you
don't seem to consider your father very intelligent. If you
found out that all his ideas about what is masculine and
feminine were wrong, how would you feel? How would you react?"

    "Okay," Ranma said, a little distrustful of the
assignment. It sounded a little like homework.

    "Something else you might want to do is get a firmer
idea of how you feel about your female body. Do you like it?
Do you dislike it? Our time is up for today, but next time,
why don't you tell me about these things."

    Ranma nodded. The doctor bowed again and led her to the
door.

    For a second, Ranma glanced at the young woman waiting
in the room beyond. She had short, light colored hair and a
pretty face. She looked every bit as nervous and afraid as
Ranma felt when she first arrived.

    "Have a good evening, Ranma," Makuna said in parting.
"Are you ready for today's session, Taiyoko?"

    "Hai, sensei," the light-haired girl said, hopping up
and running into the office as if it was her last refuge.

    "Good to see I ain't the only one with weird problems,"
Ranma said as she left the office.

* * *
    
    The next day after school, Ranma went out with Hiroshi
and Daisuke again. On their way to the pizza joint/arcade,
Hiroshi suggested that they stop at a manga shop to pick up
some of the latest books.

    Hiroshi and Daisuke both immediately headed toward the
back wall of the shop where the proprietor kept all the ecchi
doujinshi. Ranma grimaced and walked over to one of the
display shelves. She was slowly working her way through all
the Dragonball manga, having missed so many while she was in
China. The shopkeeper knew that she simply couldn't afford to
buy all the back issues at once, so he kept a generous supply
on hand. Ranma picked up the next two in line, and began to
wander around, looking for anything else that caught her eye.
There was a swords-and-sorcery type book she had been
interested in for a while, and some of the samurai stuff
looked pretty neat.

    Right by the latest samurai manga display, there was a
tankouban showing a young woman with pink hair and a boy's
school uniform jacket holding aloft a glowing sword. Next to
her was a dark-haired girl that reminded Ranma somewhat of
Akane. Behind her were four other people in military-style
uniforms, each with their own swords.

    "Hmmm..." Ranma mused to herself, nothing the obvious
combat potential of such an image. She picked up the book and
started flipping through the first few pages without looking
at the title. She read for a second and...

    "Rose Bride? Wait a second here," she said, flipping
back to the cover. "Shoujo Kakumei Utena?" she read aloud.
Underneath it had a subtitle in roman characters. "La Fillette
Revolutionaire?"

    Man, what a cheap trick, making a shoujo manga so that
it looked like a fighting manga. Ranma felt embarrassed for
having picked it up. After a few seconds, however, she felt
the urge to find out what happened after the scene she had
just read. The pink-haired girl, Utena, was about to get
vengeance for her overly-touchy friend who had just been made
fun of by the captain of the kendo team.

    "Doesn't that sound familiar?" she asked herself.
Sighing deeply, telling herself that it was a *fighting* manga
that looked like it was shoujo title, she picked it up and hid
it behind her Dragonball book.

    At the pizza shop, Ranma began to wish that she hadn't.

    "So you like 'Shojou Kakumei Utena', Ranma?" Hiroshi
kidded.

    "Shut up!" Ranma growled.

    "Man, more sexual ambiguity in that story than at our
school!" Daisuke said, just before scarfing a slice of
pepperoni.

    "You know the main characters are all lesbians, right?"
Hiroshi asked.

    "No, I didn't!" Ranma huffed in a matter of fact tone.
Her face was red, and her ears felt like they were on fire.

    "Ah, don't let it bug you, Ranma," Daisuke said. "If it
makes you feel better, I've got a complete run of Utena at
home. It's a pretty good story, all things considered."

    Ranma blinked in surprise.

    "I've also got a complete run of Sailor Moon." Daisuke
admitted.

    "You've also got about a bazillion Sailor Moon
doujinshi," Hiroshi said, pulling one of the books out of
Daisuke's bag. It was entitled 'Lunatic Syndrome' and had a
picture of Sailor Jupiter and Sailor Mercury in an undressed
state and entwined in a deep kiss on the cover.

    Ranma blushed again, shocked by what she had seen.

    "Put that away, man!" Daisuke snapped. "Are you trying
to get us
thrown out of here?"

    "Personally, I like period war stories," Hiroshi noted,
pulling out a copy of 'Tora Squadron'.

    "What was that one you had?" Daisuke asked. "The
General's Dilemma? Wasn't that a shoujo romance?"

    Hiroshi nodded. "It was written by the same author.
She's a military otaku who spends a lot of time recreating
weapon design." He opened the book to display a squadron of
doomed Kamikaze bombers approaching an American battleship.
"Look at that design! You can see every bolt and seam on that
carrier!"

    "A lot of guys read shoujo," Daisuke said. "Just like a
lot of girls read shonen manga. Some are geeks, like Hiroshi
here--"

    "Shut up, Dai."

    "And some just kinda don't worry about it."

    "Yeah, don't worry, bud. We won't tell Akane that you've
started reading girl's stories."

    Ranma grimaced and dug into her pizza. She felt a little
better than before, actually. Hiroshi and Daisuke were still
staring at inopportune times, but they were kidding around and
treating her like a guy.

    Later, the three headed to the back part of the shop to
try out some of the games.

    Ranma may have been a girl, but she could still best all
takers at Super Turbo Street Fighter 3.141 GammaDeltaFoxtrot.
Both Hiroshi and Daisuke lost several hundred yen to her
skill.

    "Hey, check this one out," Hiroshi said, pointing at a
series of rather phallic looking chambers near the back of the
arcade. "It's a virtual reality game about giant robots!"

    "Evangelion," Ranma read. "What's the deal?"

    "You can either duel with other players, or fight
monsters called 'Angels'. It's pretty popular. They're even
starting to organize tournaments."
    
    "Hmmm..."

    They played the game for a bit, and Ranma got into it,
but the displays tended to make her a little dizzy.

    On the way out of the arcade, Ranma noticed a familiar
person sitting at a booth in the Pizza shop. It took her a
second to place the face, but she remembered that it was
Makuna-sensei's patient, Taiyoko.

    Smiling, Ranma waved at the girl.

    Taiyoko froze, an expression of embarrassment and fear
on her face. She turned away, and stared at the wall.

    Ranma grimaced, wondering what she had done.

    "Guys, do I have something on my chest?" she said,
examining her shirt.

    "Hmm, A pair of C-cup's I think," Daisuke noted. "Not
that common for a guy, but I suppose we can make an
exception."

    "Shut up, Damn it!"

    "Got Ranma's goat again, Dai," Hiroshi noted. "You're
two for two tonight."

    Ranma grimaced, and did her best to suppress a grin.

    It felt nice to belong.

* * *

    By the time Ranma made it home, dinnertime had come and
gone. She apologized to Kasumi, explaining that she had gotten
pizza with her friends.

    "It's okay, Ranma-chan," Kasumi said sweetly.

    Ranma winced at the '-chan' suffix, but held her tongue.

    "Oh, I was going to put on a tape of today's Nurse
Academy episode," she said.

    "Oh, I'll go tell Akane and Nabiki for you if you want,"
Ranma offered, her expression perking up dramatically.

    "It's okay, Ranma-chan," Kasumi explained. "They've
already seen it."

    Ranma blushed again. She hadn't been hiding it very
well, but now she was caught.

    Kasumi stared deeply into the red-head's eyes. "I have
such a great time watching with you, so I decided to wait
until you got home today."

    "You want me to watch with you?" Ranma asked,
desperately trying to figure out how to escape from this
situation.

    "I understand that Kakeri's going to get into a big
fight with Eimi! Don't you want to see what happens?"

    Ranma looked around. There wasn't anyone in the front
room.

    "Yeah. I guess so. Let's put it on. Do you mind if we
keep the volume kinda low?"

* * *

    That night, Ranma dreamt of a red-headed, pig-tailed,
sword-weilding school-girl.

    A guy who looked just like Kunou, except he had long
hair and was wearing a really nice military-style school
uniform, had challenged her to a duel. If Ranma/Utena won the
duel, then the short, dark-skinned Anthy/Akane would be free
of Kunou/Saionji and could come live in the girls' dorm with
Ranma.

    In the duel, Ranma/Utena drew Anthy/Akane's soul-mallet
and used it to knock Kunou off the roof of the dueling
platform high above Furinkan Academy.

    Akane, free at last of Kunou's domination, declared that
Ranma was the victor in the duels, and therefore the groom of
the Rose Bride. They could sit and watch Nurse Academy reruns
all day, every day!

    Akane leaned in closer to Ranma...

    Further away, on the overly-symbolistic observation
platform, Ryouga/Touga, Ukyou/Miki, Nabiki/Juri, and
Kodachi/Nanami watched in amusement through opera-glasses.

    "Can we get some privacy here?" Ranma demanded angrily,
just as Akane was about to pull the zipper down on the back of
the Rose Bride's wedding gown.

    Ranma woke in a sweat. She was trembling, and her skull
ached anew.

    "What the *hell* was that?" she asked out loud.

-----

~to be continued...


* * *
C. Jones - guilty@furinkan.net
http://www.furinkan.net

2001 - "My God, It's full of stars!"


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