When I opened my eyes, I saw a much-mended wooden ceiling with large, equally wooden ceiling spars.
"Yeah, right," I said and turned over to go back into the other dream, because obviously I was still sleeping. Only... it didn't feel like sleeping.
I can always tell whether I am sleeping or not, provided I think of it at all, which doesn't happen too often in dreams. For one thing, the real world is rather deficient in 9 foot rubber ducks in paisley skirts, walking down the street, and I also rarely find myself clad only in my bathrobe in the middle of the main road. Such subtle hints usually give a dream away, but even without them, it just feels different when you're dreaming.
Thus, despite the fact that I had awoken in a completely unknown room - and on the floor, instead of my bed - I grudgingly had to contemplate the possibility of this being real.
I looked around me and took in the surrounding. I was apparently sitting on the floor of a large room. Japanese architecture; cushion mats - This was a Doujou. I scratched my head.
"What the he-..." I stopped in mid-speech. The words were not coming out in English. I was speaking Japanese. Let me tell you that it can come as quite a shock to someone who doesn't know any Japanese beyond a few stock phrases, to suddenly find himself talking the language without even thinking about it.
Something about all this irked me beyond measure. I had seen all of this before. But where?
When the answer came to me, I was glad that I was still sitting, or I would have fallen down. Fanfics. That's where these things happen. And the worst kind of fanfics to boot.
"Oh man," I said (in Japanese), "But why would I write a self-insertion fic? I don't even like them."
I shook my head. I didn't remember writing myself into this fic, but then, neither did the protagonists of the typical self-insertion fics, did they? Would I screw with my own mind like this? Heck, yeah - if it made a good story, I probably would. But I still wasn't convinced.
I stood up finally and went over to one wall of the Doujou. Looking around to prevent being witnessed, I drew back my arm and then hit the wall as hard as I could. Nothing happened, except my hand crumbling to dust - or at least that's what it felt like.
<OK,> I thought, <No miraculous superpowers, apparently.> That seemed to speak against this being self-insertion, too.
Nursing my hand, I went over to the door and shifted it open. Beyond it lay a back yard with a few trees, a pond and some of those ornamental boulders. A small path led over to the main house. That cinched it. This could not be a self-insertion fic, since this back yard could mean only one thing...
"Ranma no BAKAAAA!" came a shout from the house.
"Right," I said.
Well, what did I know about Ranma ½? Precious little. I had seen the first episode once at an Anime convention, simply because you couldn't escape it. I found it funny in its own way, but far too slapstick-y for my tastes. I had read a few of the more serious fanfics, but that was all.
So. If this wasn't self-insertion, what was it? If I didn't write myself here, had... someone else? Can they do that? Just write you into a fic? Well, apparently someone could.
<So what happens next?> I asked myself. I looked over at the house. <Ah, yes. I go in, meet Kasumi or Souun and Genma and later the rest of the gang, get integrated into the cast and sooner or later I'll be pulled into Ranma's usual adventures.>
"Yeah, right," I said and headed over to the garden wall.
I'd be damned if I went through with this nonsense. I sought out a tree that was standing close to the wall, jumped and caught hold of the wall's top. Using the tree as a foothold, I pushed myself up and was able to scale the wall. Ha! Not with me. I'd be outta here before anything could happen to make me part of this silly world. I swung my legs over to the other side of the wall and pushed myself off. I soon realized my mistake.
"Shishi Houkou D- Ooomph!"
Ryouga buckled, when I fell right on top of him. Both of us fell in a tangled heap. <What was that he was saying,> I thought frantically, <He was about to fire one of those chi attacks, right? But I interrupted him, so that means it's stopped, right?>
I looked at the blue glow that surrounded the boy I had collided with. No such luck. This was slapstick comedy, after all.
"Aaargh! Ouch! Oh, very funny!" I screamed as I shot skyward.
In a more reality-oriented setting, I would have been carried away by high altitude winds or one of thousands of other factors. Here, though, the laws of comedic necessity overruled this, and when I stopped tumbling head over heels, I was at 90 degrees right above Ryouga, who was just stumbling to his feet again.
"Ranmaaa! What did you do now?!"
"Me? I did nothing. Some guy fell on your head."
"Liar! Now I'll make you pay!"
"Look out down Theeeeeerrrrreeeeeee..."
My second collision with the bandanna'd boy buried his head in the ground and apparently knocked him out for the time being. I gasped, trying to get some air back into my lungs.
"Hey, you!" called Ranma.
"No," I replied. <I'm not going to participate.> I scrambled to my feet.
"Uh, anyway, thanks for the help."
"No," I repeated and staggered away from the two Anime martial artists.
"Well, okay then. See ya!" Ranma called after me as I rounded the nearest street corner.
"Not if I see your first," I muttered, as I dashed down the street and hopefully out of the plot.
-- End of episode 1.
"What do you mean, there are no planes to America? Did it sink to the ocean floor or what? D'oh, of course. Everything outside Nerima and surrounding areas would be largely undefined. Huh? No. I'm not talking to you."
"You!" Ryouga shouted furiously, "You are the one who knocked me out when I was fighting Ranma."
"If you say I'm your husband now, I'm gonna scream."
"Kawaiikune!" Ranma called after her.
"Jeez, at least learn to spell it, before you put Japanese into your fics," I groaned.
"Huh? What?" Ranma asked, puzzled.
"Nothing. I wasn't talking to you."
"Oh, My Goddess!" I screamed, my fist raised to the sky, "Would that have been too much to ask? Or even Maison Ikkoku, if you must. But why Ranma?"
"What are you doing there," Akane asked, looking at me suspiciously.
"Nothing!" I snapped, "I wasn't talking to you."
Back to my Ranma ½ page.