warning, warning, first fanfic alert, read at your own risk
C&C welcome, but please don't bruise my fragile ego too much. :)
Note: I haven't read all the manga, so please inform me of any continuity errors I make.
The Lion or the Tiger?
A Ranma 1/2 Fanfiction
by Aaron Nowack
Disclaimer: None of these characters are owned by me, but are owned by Rumiko Takahashi. Please don't sue me, OK?
The cyclonic winds of the Hiryu Shoten Ha gradually began to die down, and the bystanders slowly began to clap.
"I knew you could do it, Ryoga!"
"Shampoo congratulates lost boy."
Ryoga briefly stuck out his toungue at the Amazon warrior, who began to laugh. "Well, Ryoga think he not lost boy any more, not since the last time we went to Jusenkyo," Ryoga replied with an exagerrated accent. The martial artist had been trying to jump into the Spring of Drowned Man, but had jumped in the wrong direction... into the Spring of Drowned Navigator. He turned to where the recipient of his new technique was stumbling to his feet.
Ranma grimaced. "I'd almost forgotten how much that hurts."
Ryoga frowned at his old rival. "I don't think I'm ever going to forget what it feels like to be on the recieving end of one of those."
"That's good. It will remind you not to use the Hiryu Shoten Ha lightly. It's one of the most dangerous techniques I know of. Most of us here," Ranma said, gesturing around, "can take it, but your ordinary martial artist could die from one of those."
"Hai, sensei." Ryoga bowed respectfully.
Ranma grinned widely his student. "Hey, I'm not your sensei anymore. Ya learned the technique."
Ryoga smiled back. A few years ago, this would have been inconceivable. Not only would Ranma have jealously guarded the secret of his most powerful move, but their conversation would likely have degenerated into insults and shouts of "RANMA, PREPARE TO DIE!!!". As the group began to head back to the campsite, he turned to his friend. "You know, this was a good idea, to celebrate your second anniversery by getting all the old gang together for a training trip."
"Hey, I may not be a genius or nothin', but I do get some good ideas sometimes. Too bad Ucchan couldn't make it, though."
The next morning, Ryoga looked around at the mountains where the group had encamped. "You know, I thnik the cave where I learned the Shi Shi Hokoudan is near here. Does anyone want to see if we can find it?"
Ranma glanced at him. "Nah. Besides, I'm supposed to help Akane and Shampoo with the Moko Takabisha this mornin'."
Akari, however, said, "That sounds fun, Ryoga."
Akane flashed a suggestive smile at the couple. "You two lovebirds go off alone then, and get some... quality time."
Ryoga flushed and turned to his new wife, "Yes, by all means, Akari, let's get some 'quality time'". It was Akari's turn to turn beet red. The two set off, and shortly cries of "Moko Takabisha!!!" echoed through the mountains.
A few hours later, Ryoga turned to Akari. "I think this is it," he said as he helped Akari into the cave. He grimaced as the residual depression from his previous visit washed over him. "Yes, this is definitely it."
Akari smiled at her husband. "How did you learn a technique here, anyway?"
Ryoga was more than happy to explain as the two sat down and began to snuggle together.
An hour later, the two were finished. As they turned to leave, they began to hear a low rumble. Pieces of rock began to fall from the ceiling. Ryoga threw Akari to the ground, covering her with his great, massive bulk. Shards of rock hit him as the rumble increased to a roar, and then to a great crash. A few minutes later, it was done, and once more a cave-in blocked the entrance.
Ryoga looked at Akari. "Are you all right?" After she nodded, he continued, "I know the Bakusai Tenketsu isn't going to work, it will just make it worse. However, this time I already know how to get out, so we should be free in a minute. Akari smiled at him. He grinned back and turned to the cave-in. "Shi Shi Hokoudan!" He was suprised when only a small fizzle of ki enrgy emerged from his fingers. "OK. Let's try that again, and concentrate," he thought to himself.
He thought of all the depressing things he could.
You still can't beat Ranma in a fight.
You can't even do your own signature technique right on the first try.
You used to turn into a pig.
You still can't work up the courage to tell Akane that you were P-chan.
Despite his efforts, a stray thought entered into his mind: Akari loves you.
The ki blast was bigger this time, but the cave-in still didn't budge. "DAMN IT!! How come I can't do this!!!" Ryoga sat down, deppressed. Then he bolted to his feet... he was feeling depressed now, he could do it. However, at that thought, his depression lifted. for an undeterminable amount of time. Then, Akari smiled."Kami-sama, I'm pathetic. I can't even depress myself," he groaned as he sank to the floor.
Akari moved up to him, putting her thin arm around him. "Don't worry, Ryoga. I'm sure you'll think of a way out of here." The couple sat in silence "What about that Moko Takabisha technique, dosen't that do the same thing as the Shi Shi Hokoudan?"'
"Yes...," Ryoga replied cautiously.
Akari cheerfully continued, "Then, you can use it to get us out of here!"
Ryoga sadly looked down. "Akari... I...I can't. The Moko Takabisha uses confidence, and I'm not that arrogant. I'm... I'm just a no good excuse for a martial artist."
Akari flinched back, and began to yell, "No! You are NOT a no good excuse for a martial artist. You are one of the best fighters in the entire WORLD. You can count the number of people who can beat you on your fingers! I believe in you, Ryoga. And... I love you."
Ryoga began to think. Had he really changed that much in the past few years? The fact that he could no longer perform the Shi Shi Hokoudan argued yes, but could he really do the Moko Takabisha? Did he believe in himself enough to do that? Could he forget the past and build a new future for himself? He knew that that would be one of the hardest things he had to do in his life, to abandon the host of insecurities he had built for himself and proclaim to the world, "Ryoga Hibiki is ready to take you on!" If he could do that, he could do anything. He could beat anyone, he could learn any technique, he could win any contest, just because he would finally believe in his own abilities. Just like Ranma...
"All right, Akari. I... I'll try."
He shakingly rose to his feet and turned to the cave-in. All right, you can do this. Think of all the things you've done. This isn't so tough. You could do this all day... believe in yourself... Ryoga stretched out his hands, pointing to the pile of rocks.
You won the last tournament.
You learned the Hiryu Shoten Ha.
You can do this.
You managed to become friends with Ranma, your greatest enemy.
You can find your own way now.
You don't turn into a pig anymore.
He began to feel his confidence slip. He couldn't do this, he was going to fail. NO!! Concentrate...
Akari loves you.
Akari loves _you_.
AKARI LOVES YOU.
The blast of energy left Ryoga's hands, slamming into the cavein. With a mighty roar, it bashed through the rocks, throwing them out of the way or vaporising them on contact. It smashed out into the daylight, which flooded into the cave, causing the two inside to blink.
Ryoga looked down, almost unbelieving, at his hands. "I did it. I DID IT!!!"
Akari laughed, "I knew you could!"
Ryoga smiled warmly at his companion, "Without you, I never would have. C'mon... lets go." Together the two raced put into the world, ready to take whatever curves life through them, and make a happy life for themselves.
This one came about after reading the Shi Shi Hokoudan storyline and a few continuation fanfics where Ryoga gets his life somewhat together but still throws around Shi Shi Hokoudans like they're going out of style. Please let me know how you like it. Thanks go to everyone who commented on the version sent to the FFML.