Chapter 14

Ryoga shows up - potential love interest for Shampoo. Brings news from home. Kuno has hired private eye to find them, doesn’t know they left the country yet. Lawsuit is still on, but courts are all tied up, and with no defendants, it can’t proceed anyway. Ukyo cried her eyes out, left Konatsu running the restaurant for about a month, then took over again. Dresses even more like a man than before. Rumor has it she’s even cut off her boobs. Girls starting to show. Condi & Mousse start to work on Ranma. Ranma voices his opinions of Shampoo to Akane. Akane believes that there is little to worry about, but grudgingly agrees to be wary.

Sunday was Akane’s day off of work, and Akane was enjoying her time off sunbathing on the roof of her house. It had been a month since she started her job at the daycare, and while she enjoyed taking care of the kids, it was still nice to take some time off every week to recharge. Since it was the beginning of summer, that meant working on her tan.

Lying on her back wearing a modest bikini, Akane soaked up the sun, a hand lightly playing with her belly. She had grown in the past month, and it was starting to become more and more obvious that she was pregnant. She was slightly embarrassed at the pudgy look it gave her, but Ranma seemed to like it. He paid special attention to her belly every night in bed. More surprising was when he came home from work one afternoon with his own tattoo on his own stomach, of a red storm cloud complete with lightning bolt. Apparently he took some ribbing from some of the women in his class, but some of them were actually flattered that he would do that for his wife.

If there was one thing that bothered her about getting bigger, it was the fact that her tattoo was stretching out. She knew it would go back to normal once the baby was born, but until then, the horse was starting to look a little pudgy itself. At least she didn’t have to worry about stretch marks, the masseuses at the spa had given her a special cream to rub on her belly to prevent them.

Akane was just starting to drift off to sleep, glad for her egg timer to make sure she didn’t stay out too long and burn herself, when she heard a massive crash. She looked up to see the biggest wild boar she’d ever seen charging down the street heading towards the village square. Quickly grabbing her t-shirt, Akane jumped down to follow the pig. She knew that a village full of warrior women didn’t need her to help take down the monster, a fact she was glad for since she wasn’t planning on risking her baby, but she still needed to help. If not to help with the boar, then to help anyone who might get hurt

Jogging along the road to the town square, Akane was surprised to find that the excitement was already over. The boar was laying on its side in the middle of the square, and already some women were starting to drag it away for butchering. Standing in the middle of the square was a young man who was calmly watching the women take the corpse away. A young man who was holding a rather familiar looking umbrella over his shoulder.

“Ryoga!” she called out in surprise.

      • ---***

“I can’t believe I finally found you guys!” Ryoga exclaimed over dinner. For some reason Akane couldn’t fathom, Ryoga was only having salad, despite the boon of free pork the village now had thanks to him. “I’ve been looking for this village for six weeks now.”

Ranma looked surprised. “Why were you looking for this village? What happened to Akari?”

Ryoga studied his salad for a long time. “We called it off. I wanted to stay with her, but I just couldn’t. Even if I tried to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night I’d just end up finding myself lost in the woods somewhere.” He sighed. “She’d spend all her time worrying about me when I was gone, but she couldn’t leave her farm and come with me. So we decided we had to break it off.”

Ranma knew he had to distract Ryoga somehow before he turned their house into a crater. “Hey, did you see my tattoo?” he asked, standing and unbuttoning his shirt. “I almost got one like the one you had a while back that gave you all the power, but I thought it was too silly,” he teased.

Shaken out of his funk, Ryoga growled menacingly at his rival. Then he noticed what Ranma had gotten. “A red storm? Why?”

“Well, when Akane got one for me, I thought it was so nice that I had to get one of my own.

Surprised, Ryoga looked over at Akane, who was now blushing. She opened the bottom of the shirt she had thrown on for dinner and showed Ryoga her belly. The man stared at her for a second, not quite comprehending what he was seeing. His sweet little Akane had marked herself! She also seemed to have put on a bit of weight, which was odd considering her active lifestyle. Then he noticed what the tattoo was, and his blood boiled. He turned to Ranma. “Animal! You made dear sweet Akane mark herself with your name! I’ll kill you!”

Ranma was expecting this reaction, and quickly got to his feet. He was surprised to see Akane get to hers as well and step in front of their enraged guest. “Ryoga, stop it!” she screamed. “Ranma is my husband now. This tattoo is to honor him as the father of my child!” She was breathing hard and there were tears in her eyes.

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