This is my version of a let's resolve everything fanfic,(also my first one) but I wanted to try in incorporate every plot device and cliché smoothly (Okay, semi-smoothly) into one story line. I tried to put every overused (and a few underused) ideals from other fanfics into it. Maybe one or two ideals of my own (maybe their mine - I'm not sure). Ah, well read and enjoy.
Criticize, praise, damn all you want, but please know childish flames.
All characters are not mine. All ideals are not mine. All plot devices are not mine. All spelling and grammar errors are mine, all mine! Ha! Ha! Ha!
Aftermath: A Story of Blended Clichés'
"Ranma, is that you?"
The long- haired redhead sitting at the cafe' table slowly raised her head until her blue eyes meet the brown counterpart of...
"Nabiki?" Nabiki said as she smoothly moved and sat at the table across from Ranma, "That's all you have to say after what? Five, six years?"
"What did you expect?"
"C'mon Saotome, is that anyway to treat someone who is practically family?"
"Your not family, and I not a Saotome - not anymore, if you remember."
"Your father made a mistake and we've all regretted it ever since." Then adding with a longing look in her eyes, "Even your mother knows."
Ranma eyes widen at that, then narrowed
"Well, she found out about the curses, she doesn't blame you. She wants to see you even if you are stuck."
"What about the pledge?'
"She said it didn't matter anymore, she said that piece of paper has caused more than enough pain and the curse doesn't matter."
Ranma was silent, then exploded "Doesn't matter? Doesn't matter?!"
Ranma caught her breath, then ranted on, "Doesn't matter that I lost that damned kettle fighting Herb? Doesn't matter that pops disowned me when I got back for refusing to marry your father to unite the stupid schools? Doesn't matter how much pain I was in because people I thought of as family and friends, people I thought that I could count on turned their backs to me? Doesn't matter that pops practically threw me into the street and no one lifted a finger to stop him or help me? Doesn't matter?! Well what does she know?!"
Silence ruled. Taken aback by Ranma's verbal attack, Nabiki looked down on her hands that were resting flat, side by side on the table before her, long bangs obscuring her eyes.
"She knows." Nabiki whispered.
Nabiki sighed, her hands meet and fingers then laced together as she sighed again while looking up. Guilt ruled her expression. Ranma noticed this and before Nabiki could say anymore, Ranma spoke.
"How much did you charge mom to tell her the truth."
Nabiki winced at this. Visibly.
"I...I guess I d...deserve that. After everything I done to you." pausing to breath, "I didn't charge you mother anything, in fact I was the one who told her everything and apologized for my part. You see, after about four or five months I couldn't take it anymore, everyone trying to go on like nothing had happened. It was like everyone pretending that everything was fine and dandy, living a lie, and I was part of it. Then some more things happened, I couldn't do it anymore."
"You sound like you changed"
"We all have. We all had too. For me it was my past 'business deals' that caught up to me. Then the law got involved. It shut a lot of doors that I thought it would open, after all, what honest business wants to hire someone who was a known as a high-school racketeer? It made even going to a university difficult."
"What do you do now?" inquired Ranma.
"I work for a children's charity now. I do the books and try to arrange funding for programs and projects that need it."
Ranma audibly blinked-blink at this revelation.
Nabiki noted this "I'm serious, the pay is not high, definitely not as high as I what I imagined I would be making back then, but I can make a living at it." she then adding in a lower voice "and it's honest work - helping people - nothing like I was doing."
Ranma let it sink in for a moment, biting her lower lip she then asked
"What about Akane?"
Nabiki smiled at this, not a predatory smile but a genuine smile.
"She is doing fine now, she's nothing like she was. Neither is daddy. For her and daddy it was finally getting help, the mental help they both needed and never got after mother died. Daddy doesn't cry anymore all the time like he use to and Akane anger is really under control. This came about after Akane put a few of the Hentai Hoard in the hospital in her senior year of high-school. After the investigation, her, daddy and some of the boys were put in a program to help with their - problems. Akane now lives in a small apartment not far from the dojo. She working as a teacher at Furikan High of all places teaching PE and Drama classes."
"What about the her art?"
"She gave it up - part of her anger management. She can control her temper real good except when she comes up against an opponent better than her. Then its like years of therapy out the window. She does yoga now to keep in shape and she teaches yoga classes at the dojo on the side. Daddy rents out the dojo to other masters so they can have a place to teach, some times him and even your father substitute teach when one the masters is sick or can't teach that night. But mostly father just manages and maintains the place."
"She is still single you know."
Ranma ignored this.
"How about Kasumi?" Ranma asked
"She doing great, she broke down soon after you...well, after your father threw you out. Dr. Tofu came and helped her and they've been married for about four years now. They have a baby on the way and they have a three year old daughter that is the prettiest thing you ever saw, they named 'Ranko".
Ranma raised an eyebrow to this
"I guess," Nabiki continued "it was their way of never forgetting you." Nabiki then leaned forward, "Ranma have you given up on getting a cure?"
Ranma tilted her head, letting her loose red hair cascade down her left shoulder. Looking introspective, her month moved tightly side to side on her face, her blue eyes glazing over before sharpening she then straighten her frame.
"Who said I never found a cure?"
Pushing back against her seat, it was Nabiki's turn to blink-blink .
"You found a cure? When? How? Why didn't you come back?"
Ranma raised her hand to forestall anymore questions.
"Yes I found a cure about, let's see, about 4 an a half, no five years ago... er, About a half a year after I was kicked out. After about six months after unlocking the curse I re-locked it."
Nabiki blink-blink some more, then pressed forward. "But why didn't you come back? And why are you... did you... why are you still a girl?"
Ranma sighed. Then turned her head and rested it against her hand. Watching people on the sidewalk bustle to and fro, looking at them without really looking at them. After a moment of this she turned her attention back to Nabiki.
"What was there to come back to?"
"There was Kasumi , father, your father..."
"Ex-father" Ranma interjected.
Ranma looked at Nabiki through half lidded eyes, then slowly shook her head.
"You don't get it, do you?"
"You haven't really explained anything yet."
"True." She though for a moment before continuing "Let me tell you what would have happened if I've had came back and let's start with you. If I had come back the first thing you would've tried to do would be to scam me out of money or find some embarrassing way to make money off of me and generally make MY life miserable."
"I told you, I don't do things like that anymore"
"You say you don't now, but you did back then. Or did your change happen the night I was thrown out?"
Nabiki sighed, had no answer. Ranma went on.
"Your father and my EX-father would have been pushing Akane and I into a marriage neither of us wanted and was not prepared for and the time. For crying out loud, we were only 16 years old. The relationship between Akane and I was rocky at best, and it would've gone downhill from there until I was forced to leave for my own protection or Akane would have eventually killed me with that damned mallet of hers."
Nabiki not finding any fault with the argument, remained silent.
"Then there would Cologne and the rest of the Amazon gang trying to marry me or kill me, the Kuno idiots again trying to marry me or kill me, Taro, Ryoga..."
"Kasumi dealt with Ryoga." Nabiki interrupted.
"Yes, when Ryoga came back soon after your... departure with the intention trying to Akane, Kasumi took him aside privately and told him that he was no longer welcome in our home."
"She told him if he ever came back a certain pet pig was going to the vet to get fixed..."
"Ouch. sigh, And I'm sure he blames me for all of it."
"Don't know, don't care, no one's seen him since."
"I haven't seen him either, maybe he finally got lost for good." Ranma remained quiet for a minute. "So what about the Amazon's? What have they been up to?"
"Well they're still in Nermina. Just before you - were thrown out - Cologne and a large party of Amazon's set out for somewhere. Later my sources informed me that they went to where you defeated Herb and spent two months digging around and returned with something under heavy guard, I'm guessing it's that kettle that unlocks your curse. Anyway by the time they got back with it you were long gone."
"No doubt to blackmail me into joining their tribe. I can see it now son-in-law accept your fate as Shampoo's husband and I will unlock your curse. Feh, too bad for her she's too late. But I am surprised to hear they are still there - I mean why wait for someone who may never come back?"
"Bribing you into the tribe with a cure would be my guess, too and as for them waiting, well think of it this way: you have to remember, Cologne is over three hundred years old, time-wise this is really nothing to her."
"Yeah, you got a point there.(never thought of it that way.) She'll probably figure I would come back someday, desperate, asking for her help and she would be ready for me in my moment of weakness. I would like to see her face when I turn her down cold. I guess Moose is still chasing after Shampoo?"
"Don't think so. He went back to the Amazon village with the rest of the Amazon horde after they dug up the kettle. My guess he got tired of pinning for something he'd never get. Anyway haven't heard anything from or about him since. Not even from Shampoo."
"That's a weird story. They both spent time in a mental institute and when they both got out they locked themselves away in their mansion. Didn't pay to much attention at the time because I was tied up with legal problems of my own at the time. Anyway, no one outside of Sazuke has seen them in the last two years. I hear rumors every now and then about them searching for their 'lost loves' but nothing concrete. So... why ARE you still a girl?"
"Why I am still a girl? Well it's true I could unlock my curse and go back to being half girl, half boy....but after being a girl for awhile it didn't matter to me anymore. Didn't matter to the people I was with, my friends... it's just....
Ranma leaned forward locking eyes with Nabiki
"... I would rather be a girl all the time, then half of something all the time."
Well, there was that and a whole lot of other stuff that happened to make me come to that decision but I decided I like who and what I am. I have no reason to change.
Yep, do you understand?
"A little...I'm not sure to be honest, but I... I mean I never been in your shoes so I can't really say. I mean, everything you said makes sense. About what you said about what would've happened if you came home is true for the most part - I can't argue any of the points you made. It's just... I don't know, it all seems so unreal, so unlike the way I remember you. You know, RanmaI'm a guy, dammit she paused, reflecting "About your mother..."
"What about her?"
"She desperately wants to see you, she has missed you so much. It is heartbreaking to watch her cry over you."
"Cry? Over me? Why should she cry over me? She knows nothing about me."
"You are her child and she misses you and wants to see you. Is that so strange?"
Ranma looked down into her lap and growled out, "No stranger than marrying a dishonorable, lying, thieving man and expecting him to raise a child to be a 'men among men' under threat of death. No stranger than accepting a child's playful finger-painting as a contract... and no stranger than pretending to be honorable herself."
Nabiki pulled back from the sheer venom in Ranma's voice.
"A mother is supposed to love their children, Ranma shot, not be a constant threat to their lives. I guess me thinking that way would make me strange to her."
"We talked, her and I," Nabiki quickly said, "she said she was young and foolish at the time and had no ideal that Genma would be so ...dishonorable. Ranma, she was only 16 when she got married and barely 18 when she had you. She didn't realize the pain or ...or she didn't realize how you couldn't understand what was going on, all because she trusted your father so completely."
Ranma sat there, still looking at her lap.
"She older now, she wants to see you, the curse doesn't matter to her. Ranma she's in pain, you are all she thinks about. Can't you just forgive her and just visit her. It would mean so much to her."
"I told you, we all changed. Even you."
Silence ruled again.
"Yeah...I guess I have changed too." Ranma finally said "I mean I'm definitely not the same person I was six years ago. Jeez, I'm not even the same sex I was six years ago."
"So what have you been doing Ranma?"
Ranma looked at Nabiki, really began looked at her closely. She realize she was no longer looking at the 'ice queen' that Nabiki became and was famous for back in high-school. This was like a different person - no not different - just changed, changed for the better.
"I've...well after that night I wandered around Tokyo thinking about what to do, you know... where to search for a cure. I ended up here in Jubann and made some friends, real friends. Friends that know all about me and all about my past and accepted me anyway."
"This led to your cure?"
"Indirectly, you know some of the weird things that happen here?"
Nabiki nodded, Ranma continued.
"Well I had a run in with some of them and they not only cured the lock the ladle had on me, but gave me a somewhat limited control over the curse."
"Well I can lock or unlock myself in my cursed, or as I like to think of it my girl form, at will. If I wanted to I could change back into a guy until I got hit with cold water again, but I can't lock myself into my birth form, magic doesn't seem to want to work that way. So I took what I could get."
"Ah... When was the last time you were a guy?"
"Let see... about, ohh, about two, maybe two and a half years now. But I did it only for alittle while, about five minutes - before that it was probably another two and half years."
"....five years?" Nabiki squeaked out.
"Hey, it was an easy call. It didn't matter to me or my new friends what I was, but like I said, I got tired of being half of something all of the time, so I lock myself in my girl form. Gotta new life now, a life that I built NOT one where someone else decided and tried to impose on me."
"Ah.. Do you, I mean have you ... ah... dated?"
"Several times when I was attending Tokyo University, now... well, I would rather not say anymore.
This was too much for Nabiki, Ranma dating, Ranma attended, no graduated from Tokyo University?! She collapse against the back of the chair, just staring at Ranma.
"What?" Ranma asked defensively.
"Just surprised, that's all." Nabiki squeaked.
"Well hey, I dated guys and girls.."
"As a girl?!"
"... of course, what do you think I am- a pervert?"
Nabiki's mind boggled. This was not what she expected. Needless to say, she forgot all about the shopping she needed to do.
After a while she swallowed hard, then said "Are you going to visit your mother?"
Silence once again found them. Ranma twitched, turning thoughts over in her mind. A distant look crossed her face before refocusing on Nabiki.
"Tell you what" Ranma ventured, "get everyone together at the Dojo tomorrow say around two. I'll deal with everyone at the same time. Well almost everyone, I definitely don't want to deal with the Kuno's. I just want to deal with ... my old family and friends."
Nabiki sobered up with that, but before she could reply to Ranma's statement, a couple came up to the table.
"Hello Ranma, who is your friend?"
"Oh, an old aquatince of mine Usagi." Ranma answered casually. " Nabiki please meet my friends Usagi and her fiancé Mamoru."
Usagi's eyes narrowed as she spoke softly but firmly, "Nabiki, not the same Nabiki that caused Ranma so much trouble in the past."
"That's in the past, she's changed" Ranma said eyeing Nabiki with one raised eyebrow, "haven't we all?"
Mamoru nodded as he pulled Usagi close, Usagi kept giving Nabiki the eye. Before anything more could happen, Ranma rose from her chair. "Time to go get going. I don't want to be late. Nabiki don'tell anyone much about what I've said, I want to be the one to tell'em."
Nabiki nodded dumbly at this, as she watched the three stroll away from her down toward a bus stop. Standing rather shakily, she then hurried home, thinking of the phone calls she would have to make. Thinking about what would tomorrow bring.
The next day.
In Juuban, Ranma moved smoothly through the kata in the barren living room of the studio apartment that she shared. Looking more like a dance than anything related to martial arts, she gently, soundlessly and gracefully spin, kicked and jabbed at invisible opponents until she halted artfully in the center of the room facing a large window. She then bowed to the sunbeam and straighten. Eyes closed, breathing evenly with the morning sun caressing her face and arms Ranma found her center and then stretched in the bathing sunlight.
Turning she trotted down the short hallway, stopping just to take a look at the clock, Ranma then gathered up her cellphone and placing it in her purse as she exited the apartment.
Once outside the apartment building she stopped exhaled through pursed lips and muttered softly, "Well, today I face my past."
At the Tendo dojo, Nabiki observed the group of familiar faces from Ranma's past as they gathered in the Tendos living room.
First there was her father sitting across from Mr. Saotome, both studying the Go board in front of them. Mr. Tendo's face was contemplative but Genma's face held a certain amount of anticipation as his eye's kept shifting from the game toward the front door. The way his eye's darted, it seemed to Nabiki of the look a criminal gets, when considering the best way to approach a robbery. Anyone could probably guess what was on his mind. The fat idiot hadn't changed his ways in all the time Nabiki had known him.
Nokoda, Ranma's mother, sat beside Kasumi playing with Kasumi's and Tofu's three year old daughter Ranko. Nokoda occupied herself with the over-energetic three year old mainly to keep herself form bouncing off the walls. She was going to see her child for the first time in 16 years and could hardly contain herself and Ranko was a much needed distraction. Kasumi sat and watched both with a mother's eye while absently rubbing her belly, which was just starting to swell with the signs of pregnancy.
Nabiki, who was sitting opposite Nokoda and her niece, while watching everyone else, had kept to her word and not divulged too many details of meeting Ranma - not that she really knew any of them anyway. With that thought her eye's drifted over to Akane, who was pacing back and forth in the living room wringing her hands. Nabiki hoped that Akane would come out all right, she was worried about her younger sister. She had not said much since finding out that Ranma was coming.
In the corner of the room sat the two Amazon's. Quietly sitting side-by-side with unreadable expressions donning their faces. Cologne and Shampoo sat apart from everyone and activity took no part in any of the conversations that sparked on and off among the group, but were polite when any questions were directed at them.
Ukyou couldn't make it, being busy with her new husband of seven month's. Nabiki didn't know the whole story, but Ukyou seemed happy. Life seemed to really turn around for the Okonomiyi chief since he decided to get on with her life, she did however, send her regards.
Further respecting Ranma's wishes she made sure the Kuno's would be kept firmly in the dark.
As the hour of two neared the tension in the room seem notch up. Everyone even the stoic Amazon's seem to be on pins and needles. Throughout this no one spoke, even Ranko, seeming to sense something big was happening and settled down and sat, wedged between her mother and Nokoda.
The seconds ticked by slowly as the minute hand of the clock on the wall moved closer to two. When the minute hand reach five til there was a sharp rap at the door...
Ranma walked up to the house she hadn't seen in six years. Using every technique she learned to keep herself calm and focused, she approached the door. She couldn't believe how nervous she was; fighting yomas and daemons side by side with the scouts, no problem. Risking life and limb in the heat of battle, no problem. The other, more things that happened to her in the last five years or so, no problem. Meeting her family for the first time in six years, big problem. Big, hairy problem.
Looking around at the entrance, it looked the same as the first time she came here. It was as if nothing changed much in the intervening years, as if time stood still. Steeling herself, she reached out with her hand and surprised herself with how loud she'd rapped.
Ranma was quickly enveloped in a glomp worthy of any Amazon as Nokoda hugged and sobbed and whimpered I'm sorry ...I'm so sorry....over and over again. Ranma didn't even remember entering the house - one second she was at the door, the next in the entry way being hugged tightly.
Nabiki taking pity on the spectacle before her came up beside both hugging women and steered them toward the stairs. Giving a look to the other people that were just beginning to crowd around the two women that brook no argument that one one was not to get in their way.
Climbing the stairs Nabiki led Ranma and Nokoda, who still clinging and crying in Ranma's arms, upstairs into her old room. Ranma then gently guided Nokoda over to the bed as they sat as one. Holding her openly sobbing mother closely, she didn't notice that Nabiki had left the two alone until she heard the sound of a click as the door closed.
"mom?" she said softly
Nokoda's grip on Ranma tightened and the sound of her sobs intensified. Ranma held her mother and rocked her gently.
Nokoda finally calmed enough to choke out "I'm sorry... so sorry..I shouldn't have never let him... sorry....so sorry...."
Another round to sobbing and breath stealing hugging ensued.
"Mom, I have somethings to tell you before I tell anyone else."
Nokoda untangled herself form her off spring, just enough to look into Ranma's eye's with teared filled one's.
"Y.. yes?" she finally sputtered out weakly.
"Well, six years ago after I was...."
Everyone was looking at Nabiki that just came down stairway.
"What happened?" someone ventured (not quite sure who)
"They just need some time alone."
Genma at that point hurrumpht and announced,
"Time? Time? He's been gone for over six years that ungrateful boy. He'd all the time in the world to do what's right. Why I should go up there right now and beat some sense into ... and showing up dressed as a weak, stupid girl! He is a disgrace to the family name. Oh, why have I been cursed with such a weak and dishor-"
Kasumi suddenly was there,bringing her hand down from where it stopped, glaring daggers at a stunned Genma. The room too, was shocked into silence as Kasumi went toe-to-toe with Genma.
"Why should he be a disgrace to you?! A very livid Kasumi said, You, the only family he knew, had abandoned and disowned him?! " Kasumi narrowed her eye's and raved on, "You were the cause of all of poor Ranma's problems, leaving him to deal with every dishonorable thing you did. And when he truly did need your help, truly needed friends, you turned your back to him like a coward... we all did. I only hope that he will forgive me for being so weak, for not doing anything to help him in his moment of need. For not doing the right thing."
Looking down, she paused to catch her breath. She back away from Genma and once more looked at him in the eyes. Continuing, this time more in control of her emotions.
All this time you called Ranma weak and dishonorable, but it was you that was and still are weak and dishonorable. Weak enough that you tried to pawned all your problems, all your dishonor off on your son. Your so dishonorable, that while raising you son, you let your base wants rule every decision you made. It's truly a miracle that he turned out as fine as he did. In the long run, you disowning Ranma was maybe the best thing that could have happened to him. It got him away from you.
Genma stood, unmoving. He sighed and then gave a look to Kasumi as if she was the one who really didn't understand anything. Shaking his head, he then turned an sat down at his traditional spot by the Go board. He did not notice Mr. Tendo smiling at his eldest daughter with pride. The rest of the room however. looked on at Genma with thinly veiled disgust, after all anyone who could get Kasumi that angry was someone you didn't want to even seen with.
[Some people never change.] Nabiki thought, unknowingly echoing the thoughts of many others in the room.
It was at this point that a nervous Ranma and a smiling Nokoda reentered the room. It was the first time that everyone was able to get a good look at Ranma since she arrived. Ranma was dressed in what would be by anyone's terms a very stylish pale green blouse and skirt combo, with the bottom of the skirt falling just above the knee. The blouse and skirt was tailored to fit the curves of her body and accentuated her very feminine frame, a matching purse hung at her side. Her hair was wore loose and fell in waves down her back except for two long bangs that framed her face. Hooped earrings peeked from behind her scarlet tresses, light make-up adored her face - understated as is was the effect was stunning.
Oh my. (guess who)
With that, Ranma for the second time that afternoon was engulfed in a glomp.
Oh Ranma! I'm so sorry for not helping you all those years ago. Can you ever forgive me? Kasumi cried.
Holding Kasumi, Ranma stroked her hair and whispered
Of course I forgive you. You of all people made me feel welcomed here. Holding her at arms length and looking into her eyes. I forgave you most of all, you were like a older sister to me. And I would like to think of you like that still.
Kasumi gave one of her patented smiles, giggling said I would be honored to have you as my brother - or sister, Ranma.
Happosai picked this moment to make his entrance, bounding through the open sogi doors into the room. He energetically presented himself before Ranma.
Ranma! How are you doing my girl?! Long time no see! How is my heir doing?
With a respectful bow Ranma answered
Doing well Master Happosai, and yourself?
Returning the bow, just as deeply
Feeling fine and dandy, Master Ranma or should I say - Grand master Ranma - it is good to know all my secrets and techniques are in safe and capable hands. You have pasted everything I could thrown your way, say are you still keeping in shape?
Oh you bet I do, how is your retirement treating you?
Very well, very well indeed. I was afraid for the longest time that I would not be able to retire or my art would die with me. With you the future of Anything Goes is secure, and I can stop playing games with these stupid panty raids and have some real fun.
Ah... what kind of fun? Ranma asked as she big sweated.
Well, my girl, I've taken up hacking.
Yes...you know computer hacking. It offers an interesting mental exercise and occupies my time, that and traveling. Why, I plan to travel to someplace in the United States called Dallas, Texas, I hear there is going to be a underground hacker convention there. If I can just narrow down where...
During this exchanged everyone stood frozen by the relavations. Ranma the Grand Master of Anything Goes? Happosai retired? Happosai not feeling Ranma up? Hacking? What in the hell was going on here?
In the corner someone else was taking it all in with aged eyes. Cologne, elder of the Amazon's, scanned Ranma's chi carefully - it seemed more powerful than she'd remember, but not too much more. Nothing she herself couldn't handle if it came to that, after all Ranma was a mere pup compared to her. There was something else there that she could not, in her three hundred years, identify, she filed it away to question about Ranma it later. After all, there would be plenty of time for questions once they returned to village with him as Shampoo's lawful husband. She was very sure that Ranma would return with them, after all they had something that Ranma wanted. Desperately wanted. Yes all her years of planning and waiting would come to fruition today, she chuckle quietly to herself. Shampoo would not only get her husband today, but also the secrets of Anything Goes will be in the hands of the Amazon's. Ranma a Grand Master! According to Happosai THE Grand Master! This would surly raise the status of herself and Shampoo among the villagers. Not only that, the bloodlines of the tribe and the fighting art of the tribe would be strengthened in one fell swoop. What a coup!
Silently she signaled to Shampoo. But before Shampoo could rise to do anything, Genma shot from across the room to stand in front and towered imperially over Ranma, with his arms crossed in front, he demanded,
Where have you been? Don't you know that there is family honor to uphold? How could you have run away from your responsilblites? Did I not teach you anything? And why are dress like that, like some weak girl? Well, what about it, boy? C'mon speak up boy.
Ranma eyed Genma as if she were eyeing a cockroach that had just crawled out from under a rock. Behind Genma, Ranma noted that Soun Tendo was rolling his eyes and shaking his head at his old friends foolishness.
What family honor? The Saotome name means nothing to me. You should know, you're the one who disowned me.
Forget that now, that doesn't matter now anyway, boy. Your duty is to join the schools, once we find a cure for your disgraceful condition.
What schools?! Boy, have you forgotten everything? Of course, beginning stuck as a weak, stupid girl for six years may have affected your mind. The Saotome and Tendo schools of Anything Goes what else would I be taking about? Foolish boy!
Ranma sighed, looking at her ex-father she realized that he was a bigger idiot than she'd remembered.
Oh I remember you old fool. I also know that there are no schools to join, not that matters to me. After all I am not a Saotome and haven't been one for the last six years thanks to you; and definitely not in the over the past year or so. AND as Grand Master of the Founding School of Anything Goes, YOU are the one that has to answer to ME. I'm I right Master Happosai?
Quite right Master Ranma, Happosai piped in, Genma is a complete failure in the art of Anything Goes - he has never really mastered anything I taught him and he has failed every test - martial and morally - I gave him.
Now see here, bo..
Sit down Ranma said pouring just alittle bit of chi into her voice, directing it at Genma.
Genma reaction was immediate, before he could think about it, he found himself sitting on the floor before a stern Ranma, a giggling Nokoda and a amused Happosai; Kasumi at this point had already moved back to the table to tend to her daughter. Genma doubled-blinked and wondered how in the hell he got down there on the floor like that.
Ranma said, still putting a bit of chi into her voice No more out of you, understand?
Genma nodded, feeling very small and powerless all of a sudden. He also the felt of disagreeing right now would not to a good ideal. Not a good for his health either.
Ranma smiled, you maybe trainable after all.
A lull fell over the scene, a lull that Shampoo capitalized on.
Husband! It is past time for us to return to our village. You will come now with no arguments or you will be punished for being a disobedient male.
What impressed Ranma most was that she said this in prefect Japanese.
Oh please! Like there is anything you and the ghoul could do to me. beginning to get annoyed. The Amazons were always a thorn in her side, between tricks, pressure points and drugs, they could not be trusted. Her tolerance over the years had eroded from the bitter memories of the mistreatment by their hands.
Oh yes there is, son-in-law. Cologne chuckled, We can restore you to true self, make you male again. Only of course only after you return to our village as Shampoo's rightful husband.
So, you have the kettle?
Cologne grinned, it was not a pretty sight.
Yes, son-in-law, we possess the kettle. The kettle that will unlock your curse and give you to your male body once again.
With her arms crossed in front under her breasts Ranma seem to ponder this. She made a great show as various thoughtful expressions crossed her face. Nabiki idly wonder where Ranma learned how to be such a great actor. If it wasn't for the talk they shared yesterday, she would have been completely fooled. Genma, who was still sitting on the floor, was wondering why in the hell Ranma was not taking the offer; after all he could skip out after being cured and come back and join the schools. Only his fear kept him from opening his mouth. Finally after a great deal of thought (or so it look to be to the other people in the room) Ranma turn to the Amazon pair.
Cologne eyes widen at this. This was not what she was expecting. She didn't of course, really expect total expectancy of the deal what she was offering. She had expected bargaining, pleading, threats and even the possibility of a physical attack crossed her mind. Anything, but not a flat out refusal. This was impossible! At last she had the upper hand! She and she alone possessed the only way Ranma could return to his true self. His male pride and ego would and should have made consider the offer. Unless...
So, you have accepted your curse.
You can say it's something like that.
Does not matter with a wave of her hand - you are Shampoo's husband by law and you will be returning with us to the village. Nothing you can say or do can change that.
I'm sure I can think of something.
Oh? I would be most interested in seeing what. Come along young fool, I've wasted more than enough time on you as it is. It is time for us to go.
How's this, Ranma said while tilting her head you go home without me and I promise not to cripple you.
I see the years spent trapped in your curse form haven't diminished your arrogance. I was prepared for this however, and I will teach you to respect those who are older and wiser than you.
Ranma sighed then turn a raised eyebrow to the diminutive matriarch
Cologne, I am much older than you in some ways, far older than my physical self. I think it will be you that learns respect today.
With that and without hesitation, Cologne blurred into motion becoming a whirlwind of arms, legs and staff. Ranma for her part seemed to just stand there, unmoving to the human eye except for her cloths which looked as if they were caught in a windstorm. In actuality Ranma was dodging Cologne so fast and effortlessly that she appeared to be standing still, only her clothes betrayed the movement of the evasiveness. This was really impressive considering her mother ,Genma and Happosai who were still in close proximity to her didn't even feel a breeze. Then without warning and with a sharp crack, Cologne found herself suddenly face planted into the side of the wall with pieces of her shattered staff laying at her feet.
Getting slow in your old age, ghoul?
Cologne spun, once again facing Ranma, rage clearly adorning her face. Inside she was confused, Ranma was surprising her - there was no way he could have gotten this good in such a short period of time. If so, then someone of his talent must be brought into the tribe - there was no other choice, but first his must be subdued.
I see I underestimated you. I will not hold back this time.
Then you won't mind if I don't either. motioning for the people around her to give her more room, Bring it on, old ghoul.
Before Cologne launched herself at Ranma she signaled Shampoo to join the fray, both jumping Ranma at the same time from different directions. Cologne moved much quicker than before, becoming an fuzzy after image while Shampoo moved at slower, but still blurring in impressive speed, both trying to take Ranma down before she could react to the twin attacks. No one was more surprised than the Amazons when they soon found themselves outside, impacted against the ground beside the koi pond. Cologne, spitting out some dirt was the first on her feet, checking over to Shampoo who was just beginning to push herself up into a sitting position with one hand while holding her bleeding nose with the fingers of the other hand.
Thru out the entire conflict Ranma stood, still in the same place as she started with a bored look on her face.
Old ghoul, you are far to young to beat me and even if you could, I would rather die than be forced to join a tribe of cowardly, dishonorable and pathetic people such as you.
Cologne stood, her battle aura exploding from her small body swirling around her. Teeth clenched tightly together she grounded out,
Three thousand years of Amazon history...
ARE NOTHING! Ranma roared with chi pouring into her voice, cutting Cologne off by stunning her into silence. Ranma started gliding toward the Amazon duo with her eyes that glowing with power,
Your three thousand years are nothing, your three hundred years are nothing, your history , your tribe, your laws, your people are nothing! The Amazons were nothing, are nothing and will always be nothing! Your so cowardly I bet you haven't told Shampoo the secret of why the Amazons lasted as long as they have.
We are great women warriors, feared and respected by everyone. Shampoo nasaled out, still nursing her nose, the blood loss having slowed by this point.
No you are not. That maybe what they told you in your village school, but the truth is much more simpler.
Don't listen to him Shampoo, he is an outsider and knows nothing of our past or our ways. Cologne said sternly. On the inside Cologne was seething, fighting to keep a cool head. How in the hell did someone as young as Ranma get so good in only six years? She had to find out, the future of the tribe may depend on it!
Afraid of letting Shampoo know the truth, old ghoul? As far as your past is concerned, let's just say - I had a close friend show me your past - you could say I know more about the Chinese Amazons than even your own historians. Redirecting her attention to Shampoo The only reason that the Amazons lasted as long as they have is because you come from a small, out-of-way corner of the world that no one else gives a damn about because there is nothing there TO give a damn about.
Behind her hand, Shampoos eye widen. You lie.
Shampoo you have lived here in Japan for over six years, you have watched the news of the world, you have met other people from other places, you've seen how things how thing are done here. Has anyone, outside of the people in this room, ever even heard of the Chinese Amazons much less know anything about them?
Shampoo ,starring with still wide eyes, shook her head. Ranma went on,
If the Chinese Amazons are so feared and respected, how come no one knows anything about them? If Chinese Amazon Laws take precedence over everyone else's, why didn't Cologne go to the Japanese government and demand my extradition to China? The truth is the people who do know about you don't respect you, they look down on you as barbarians, fools and cowards who are too stuck in the past, afraid to face the present world. The truth is your laws mean nothing outside the confines of your pathetic little village.
With her battle aura blazing,Cologne unexpectedly, or so she thought, rushed Ranma again, this time Ranma danced around each of her blows taunting her.
Duck, turn, spin Gezz, I can't believe I use to think you were good. dodge, parry I haven't seen fighting this bad since the last youma I killed. sidestep, jump.
At this pronouncement Cologne broke off, sizing Ranma up. You have slayed youma? Ranma nodded from her guarded position. Cologne smiled, Makes you all the more valuable son-in-law.
At this point, Ranma's frustration level was finally peaked. Would this idiot ever get a clue? This was worse than she'd remember Kuno ever being. Well, almost. Okay, maybe not quite. Even though it looked that even Shampoo was getting a clue as she stayed out of the last confrontation. (Or maybe getting a good sock in the nose made her rethink her abilities.) Deciding to hell with it Ranma went on the offensive and leapt toward Cologne. At the apex of her leap, she shimmered as bands of energy surrounded her body and then she came down in a unseen flight. Cologne for her part tried, really tried to dodge but she was no where near fast enough.
Next thing Cologne knew, she was flat on her back, sore as hell and with the business end of a sword pointed directly at her neck. On the other end of the sword was Ranma, a much changed Ranma. The pale green dress and blouse combo that she was wearing had been replaced by a short teal fuku trimmed in white and a white sailor body suit trimmed in teal. The bow on her chest was red as was the larger one on small of her back with trailing ribbons. A golden teirra ringed her forehead with a blazing red stone set in the middle. Her long red hair was was now tied back with a teal bow into a pony tail that brushed against the bow on her lower back. Ranma's feet were adored with black flat slippers, her legs covered in thigh-high white stockings and on her arms she worn black bracers decorated in unusual pattern. Her blue eyes were as cold as death itself.
Do you yield old one or do I have to end this permanently?
Cologne considered her options. The power she was reading that was coming off Ranma was unreal, larger than anything she had seen before. Never in her three hundred years has anything else come close. Even the demigod, Saffon of Phoenix mountain's power was nothing compared to what was pinning her down now. It was at this point Cologne began to realized she was very outclassed, seriously. She did the only thing she could do.
I yeild...Ranma.Cologne mumbled, swallowing her pride.
Ranma withdrew the sword and stored it away. Good, it seems your just like Genma - trainable.
Oh my god! Ranma! YOU'RE Sailor Sun!
Looking over to who had spoken Ranma locked eyes with-
I knew your life was chaotic, but this... Akane said while waving to what Ranma was wearing. ... this is beyond anything I could imagine. [probably likes the short skirts - no! don't go there girl - you'll just get worked up for no reason , - hmmmm -nice legs, cute butt]
Well, it just sort of happened. Ranma shrugged heh, you wouldn't believe how it all came about. She stepped away from Cologne who still laid on the ground and detransformed back into what she was wearing. Not once letting her guard drop while doing so. So much has happened - but you can say I found myself at last.
You think your really... no, you really a girl now, aren't you? she softly ask.
Yeah, Akane - yeah. Mind, body and soul.
All heads turned to a young man, standing on the property wall, holding a sword of light dressed in some weird type of armor.
Are you all right?! I felt you transform. the newcomer asked, while eyes sweeping the crowd.
Yes, yes I'm all right. Just had to persuade someone - looking at the still prone Cologne - who was too stubborn for her own good to let me alone.
the man blinked then detransformed into jeans and a nice gray polo shirt as he hoped off the wall. The sword winking out of existence as he did so.
Excuse me young man, but are you Tenchi? Nokoda inquired.
blink Huh, yes madam. as he reached up and nervously scratched the back of his neck.
Oh! Son-in-law! Please come in! We have so much to talk about! gushed Nokoda.
Everyone face faulted with the exception of six people, Ranma stood blushing demurely while examing the ground around her feet, a happy Nokoda was busy escorting a bewildered Tenchi into the living room all awhile asking embarrassing questions and Kasumi covered her mouth let out another patented Oh my!.
Three year old Ranko, for those who are interested, was curled up by the table snoring lightly, long getting bored with what was happening. (Grown ups - never do anything interesting). Happosai, holding his unlit pipe, was too busy scanning over a thick, oversize magazine titled Underground Hackers Quarterlyat the table to pay any attention to what was going on. (He was going to have some fun tonight!)
Cologne still face faulted, but since she was still on the ground, she didn't have far to go. (It still hurt.)
By the time everyone recovered, Ranma, Tenchi, Nokoda and Kasumi were engaged in lighthearted conversation.
So, Tenchi tell me, how did you meet my daughter? Nokoda asked as she raised a cup of tea to her lips.
Well, heh, heh .. Ah we meet at Tokyo University. During a kendo match.
Raising her eyebrow, Oh, you both were spectators?
No, we were contestants. Ranma interjected We were the two finalist in the tournament.
Oh really? How wonderful! Who won? Kasumi said, seeing it as a romantic way for someone like Ranma to meet her spouse.
Well... hee, hee, hee, it's like this... um... Ranma, blushing tried to answer. [Damn! why am I blushing so damn much?! I'ts embarrassing!] She blushed more over that.
Tenchi, on the other hand, It was called a draw after seven hours.
Seven hours?! Nokoda and Kasumi said as one.
Ranma blushed [Damn! I wish I would stop that!], Seven hours, five walls, two grand stands, and one set of fire doors - yeah - hee, hee, hee,... um... the arena was closed for repairs for a month after that. They didn't allow us to compete after that. That is what had irked her the most at the time, not so much as the fight ending in a draw.
Kasumi asked happily how long have you and Tenchi been married?
Over a year. We decided to get married near the beginning of our senior year. We've been together almost two years now.
Kasumi ventured softly how long have you been pregnant?
Ranma's jaw went slack. Ho... How did ja' know?
Just a guess, seeing how you were extra careful to protect your lower abdomen while fighting Cologne, I thought that maybe you had a good reason for doing so.
Ranma double-blinked. She had been moving in her strikes of lighting technique. No one should have been able to see her move much less see her defensive parries. Ranma was stunned by Kasumi's power of observation.
About six weeks, Ranma finally said still stunned, how did you see... I mean... how?
Oh, your so silly Ranma, I didn't really see you move. I just notice your stance between engaging and disengaging in combat. It was easy to read how you protecting one part of you body more carefully than any of other the parts. Kasumi said all this as if were the most ordinary and obvious thing in the world.
Ranma shook her head clear, the possibility that Kasumi being a Negaverse Warrior filter into and then was forcibly ejected from her head. This was Kasumi for god's sake! After a moment of contemplating.
"Tenchi and I had alot in common," Ranma finally spoke, breaking the silence while sipping her tea, "we were both being pursued by women who wanted us, but we weren't sure about are feelings for them."
"We both felt we were being treated as object or a possession, not as beings with our own thoughts and feelings." Tenchi pick up on.
"So how did you... I mean you obviously know about Ranma being, I mean used to be a guy, how did that work out?" Nabiki asked finally getting herself together enough to join the conversation.
"Ranma showed me the first time I asked her out for a date. After that we decided to be friends, then over time... I don't know it just happened."
"It didn't hurt that I was a reincarnated female warrior from Silver Millennium." Ranma said, "After all, having 1500 years of memories as a woman tends to change you outlook on the life you have now, but that was a slow process. It took years to collate my past life's memories into the life I have now."
"About that, how did that come about? You were born a guy." Nabiki said while leaning on the table.
"Well, hee, hee - it's like this. In a pervious life I was, THE most powerful of the senshi. Sailor Saturn was feared because her power could shatter a world, I was feared because my power could take out a quadrate of the galaxy."
Everyone, except Tenchi, look at her as if she'd had grown a second head.
"Don't get excited, I have perfect control over my powers. You don't spend 1500 years training to be the ultimate weapon without nothing to show for it. Anyway, back in the Silver Millennium, when Queen Serenity banished the Dark Moon Kingdom to the Negaverse, I was the one who had to sealed the juncture between our universe and the Negaverse."
"Oh, that's nice, how did you do that?" Kasumi, while pouring another cup of tea.
"I used my final attack. Final not because it's my most powerful attack, but because I die doing it. I turned the energy stored within me into mass, basically turning myself into a black hole while inside the wormhole between the universes, collapsing the juncture in on itself and myself - sealing it."
"You - died?" Kasumi said with a hint of an "oh, my" under it. Leaning against into her husband for support.
"Yes - can't say I remember much about my moment of death through. Oh, by the way speaking of death Genma, I don't blame you for getting me cursed anymore."
"Y-you don't?" he sweatily asked [Thank god! Now I don't have to worry about him, er her trying to kill me.]
"Yeah, turned out that was Sailor Pluto's doing. She made sure you found the pamphlet to Josunkeyo, made sure I fell into the right spring and made sure that any permanent cures would not work."
"But why on earth would she do that?" Nokoda inquired.
"Well, you see I should have lived out my life as a guy, die normally then be reborn in a female body in my next life. Because I was needed much sooner that anticipated something had to be done now. Being born a boy was no good because I couldn't interface with my powers or my memories. She had to find a way to change me into a girl in this life and slowly awaken my past lives memories without me going completely insane." [Not that I almost did once or twice or more.]
"Now you're settling down with nice normal boy and starting a family. Oh! How wonderful!" Kasumi was radiating happiness into the room.
"He's ...ah, not quite normal."
"Oh, your have a curse too?" Akane joined in, dazed by the events.
"No, nothing like that," Tenchi answered while scratching the back of his neck, " you see, I'm kinda of a prince."
"You - are?" Nabiki, with upturned eyebrow.
"Yes, he is a prince, in fact the crown prince of Jurai." Ranma helped
"I did pretty good in geography, I never heard of that country before." Akane said quizzical.
"You won't find it on any map unless it's a star map." Tenchi pointed out. "the Jurai Empire controls most of the galaxy, Earth is just on the outer fringes of its extra territorial control."
Eye widen at that. Finally Nabiki broke the silence that over took them all.
"Ranma, let me get this all straight," she said " first your a reincarnated princess, a senshi no less, the most powerful one ever created..."
"...then you get your memories back from your past life and are now a girl in mind as well as in body..."
"...then you fight side-by-side the other senshi, destroying yomas and daemons basically saving the world..."
...then somehow you get trained by Happosai in the secrets of Anything goes, and become the Grand master of Anything Goes...
"...during all this you graduated high school, well enough that you attended and graduate from Tokyo University. You met Tenchi there, who is the crown prince of some intergalactic empire, married him and is now carrying his child."
Ranma and Tenchi nodded.
Nabiki looked down on her empty tea cup, lost in thought for a moment.
"Sis, you have any Sake', I think I need something stronger."
There was a small chorus of "same here's" from around the table.
"So, what are you going to do now?" Akane asked pensively.
Ranma's, looking at her ex-fiance, her eyes softened.
"Well in about three months Tenchi and I are leaving for Jurai. The royal court has ask that Tenchi's and my child be born on Jurai. So we will be gone for at least a year."
"Oh Ranma! No!" Nokoda cried, " I just found you, I just to loose you again."
At this point Nokoda was openly weeping. Ranma moved closer to her and put her arms around her warmly.
"Mother, just because I'm leaving doesn't mean you can't come with me."
Nokoda looked up wide eyed at her son-turned-daughter.
"You mean - I can go with you?"
"Yes, of course you can." Ranma softy answered "You missed out on my childhood [not that I really had one], it would be a shame if you missed your grandchild's also."
"Oh Ranma!" Nokoda cried as she hugged her daughter tightly.
Genma, watching all this decided to put his two cents in. (Well more like a quarter of a cent, because any thought was highly taxing on his brain.) He didn't want to be left out of any chance of an easy life - considering that Nokoda insisted that he got and kept -*shutter* -a job. He was a martial artist - why should he work? Especially after he went through all the trouble of training Ranma to do for him.
"What of the schools? Honor must somehow be satisfied." [I can't let my meal ticket, er child go without something.]
"Old friend, I think it is past time to let that go." Mr. Tendo said sagely "It was our folly to depend on other people to make our dreams come true for us."
[Wow,] Ranma thought, [I guess years of therapy did some good for him after all] then looking over at Akane, [her too, I haven't been yelled at of malleted once since I showed up.]
Genma panicked, this was not what he was expecting from his old friend.
"I disagree, Soun. Trying to sound calm The agreement was made honorably. But, since it cannot be kept by this generation..." He said while waving his hands indicating Ranma and Akane, "..however, there is the next. If the child of Ranma and the child of one of your daughters were to marry, then honor would be satisfied."
"Absolutely not." , "No way.", "Oh my." and "Forget it." This came unsurprisingly from all parties involved.
Ranma looked at Genma with eyes blazing.
"First, Genma I am no longer your child or part of the Saotome clan. By your own actions you saw to that. Second, me and my child are Masaki now, my husbands clan and YOU HAVE NO SAY SO whatsoever in what happens to my child. Third, that agreement was voided by all the other agreements YOU made dishonorably, so the pact to join the schools in reality never existed by the time we got here. And all of this is YOUR FAULT old man. So don't be dragging MY CHILD into your messes like you did with me."
Ranma looked coldly at her ex-father, daring him to say something stupid. Genma, for as dense as he is, actually caught on and remained silent, wondering what to do next. Mr. Tendo looked on, with a thoughtful look.
"Perhaps," Mr. Tendo said, "we can get our grandchildren together for a formal omai, say in their late teens. If anything happens, then honor would be satisfied, if not, then let's just say the families joining was never meet to be and honorably break the pledge that way. Would that be all right with you, old friend?"
It wasn't all right, but dammit, Genma wasn't going to disagree with his only friend. He nodded in agreement and remain silent. [Damn! I'll still have to work.]
"Fine then." Mr. Tendo continued, "We shouldn't have to worry about it for, say another 18 years."
Ranma, was fuming at Mr. Tendo's suggestion at first . Then she realized that he did it in such a way that left an out for her children and his daughters children. Furthermore, the way it was worded, Genma had no choice to do nothing but except without insulting Mr. Tendo. She knew Genma's friendship with Mr. Tendo was very important to him. Most important to Ranma, Genma couldn't benefit from the current situation in anyway without offending all parties. Her respect for Mr. Tendo notched up.
Cologne carefully asked, What would you have us do? Shampoo's honor would be damaged beyond repair if we returned empty-handed. Our honor must be satisfied as well.
Cologne, Amazon honor does not concern me, and if your smart it shouldn't concern you either.
Didn't you hear? We can't return to the village without-
Then don't. Ranma cut her off, Listen, I am not going back to China with you, I'm a married woman now. A married woman with child on the way to boot. It seems to me that you have so much more here than you had in China, so I say again - don't go back. Stay here.
Cologne for her part looked introspective. She may have been to lost in her past, keeping with traditions that threaten to strangle the lifeblood of the Amazons. Was it really worth going back to the village when things were better for them where they are now? She decided to discuss the with Shampoo when they got home.
Akane spoke up, Can I speak with you - privately?
This was the part that Ranma dreaded, of all the people in her past, she felt the closest to Akane.
Sure. The dojo?
Akane nodded, and rose leading Ranma out into the adjacent building. Stopping at the entrance way to the structure, she waited for Ranma pass her before entering herself and sliding the doors closed behind her.
An awkward silence fell between the two twenty-something women. Ranma sighed.
Akane, this is so hard. I don't want you to hate me, but I moved on with my life... I have everything I wanted. I have family who loves me, I have friends who love me - I would like you to be my friend, too.
I would like that. Akane said smiling. After a pause, When I heard you were coming to visit I was afraid - so afraid - that your dad and mine would try to do something stupid like force us to get married or something.
I thought of that, but it wouldn't make any difference. Two women can't get married, and I... Akane, I'm sorry, I wouldn't want to marry you.
Akane visibly relaxed and exhaled a breath she didn't know she was holding. She then said,
Well I understand, I wouldn't want to marry you either. Nothing personnel, but you see..., Ranma, I'm a lesbian - it took me years of therapy to realize and cope with it. I was in love with your girl side - didn't really care for your boy side.
Yes, as a matter of fact that's one of the main reasons I moved out of the Dojo. Daddy doesn't know I like girls way and doesn't need to know. You remember my friend from high school Yuka?
Akane continued, she's my lover - we been living together for a few years now.
Your old man would have a heart attack.
...Or at least have to go back for more therapy. Akane added.
There was a long moment of silence. A comfortable silence, a silence shared by two old friends. Each looking thoughtfully at the other and wondered, if things went alittle different - what might have been. After all, Ranma in her current form was more than alittle bisexual - as a surprised and then satisfied Royoko found out one night - but, what Akane and Ranma had was in the past. It was better that it stayed that way.
C'mom, we don't want everyone to worry. Akane said while extending a hand toward Ranma.
Ranma took Akane's hand and together walked back into the living room where everyone waited. Upon entering they separated, Ranma sat by her husband and leaned into and snuggled - Akane sat back where she was sitting, next to Kasumi.
Well, what now?Nabiki asked more than alittle unnerved and the display of affection Ranma was showing Tenchi.
Before anyone could answer a small voice rang out,
Mommy, I'm hungry.
Sounds like Ranko has a plan. Ranma said as her stomach growled as well.
Everyone vocally agreed. In a few minutes everyone was walking toward Uchan's. At this point Ranma Asked Nabiki,
Have you heard anything from Uchan since I left? she was a little nervous about seeing her old friend.
Oh yes, came the reply, She is doing quite well. As a matter of fact she got married not long ago.
Ranma said as she dodged a playful Ranko running around her feet. To who?
Don't know who, I don't keep up with other people's business like I use to. She did say something about going on with her life and if her old man wanted revenge then he'll have to do it himself like he should have done in the first place, unstead of forcing his job on a child.
Don't worry, Nabiki reassured, I don't think he has it in him, after all that's why he sent Ukyou instead of going himself. And besides you're not a Saotome anymore.
True, Ranma wasn't a Saotome, but she couldn't feel comfortable about it all. After all people in her past had tried to kill her for slights real or imagined - like Ryoga. [Stupid pig wonder where he is?]
WHERE THE HELL I'M I NOW?!
[Shouldn't have even wondered. Ah man, this I don't need.] Ranma thought. [Better get it over with now than later - but I'm hungry - crap! First things first.]
Ryoga, over here. Ranma sighed calling to the lost boy.
Ryoga turned toward Ranma's call and escaped from the phone booth he'd had been lost in for two days.
he said hesitantly.
Yup, it's me. she replied as she stepped toward him, still arm-and arm with Tenchi how's it going P-ch ...- I mean Ryoga?
Ryoga for his part was thoroughly confused by the sight in front of him. The Ranma he remembered very rarely wore dresses unless as part of a disguise, some devious plan to insult him or for a cure. It has been so long since Ryoga seen Ranma those thoughts were quickly squelched but still haunted the back of his mind. However, the thing that really got to him was the fact that Ranma was hanging onto the arm of a handsome man about her same age - and seemly perfectly comfortable and content doing so.
Ranma, what are you up to?eyes narrowed.
Ranma sighed at this, a confrontation was not what she wanted. a good safe answer, would you like to join us? I'll buy.
Ryoga eyed Ranma and her companion, Ah, sure. Ah, who is - he said gesturing toward Tenchi.
Oh! Let introduce you to Tenchi Masaki, my husband. Tenchi this is Ryoga and old friend of mine.
How do you do. Tenchi greeted Ryoga as he bowed.
Ryoga just stood there, staring at both Tenchi and Ranma. Ranma for her part was getting worried.
Ryoga? Ryoga? she said while waving her hands in front of Ryoga's eye's. They stared straight ahead, unblinking. I think he's broke.
Oh my! I think I can bring him out of it. Kasumi said while approaching the frozen form of Ryoga. When she was within an arms length of him she leaned forward face-to-face and whispered Snip, snip.
Ryoga's reaction was immediate. He jumped straight up in the air and screamed.
What! No I didn't mean to! I got lost as I always do!
He blinked and then came to his senses, Oh! Hi Kasumi! Hee, Hee. I didn't mean to come back to the dojo. I'm sorry, I'll just be going.
Wait, you're not at the dojo. Ranma said while taking Ryoga with her free hand, gently yet firmly by the arm. Ryoga blinked again and looked around.
Yeah. Hee, hee. This is not the dojo. he replied sheepishly, then firmer, What's going on here? Are you really married or is this just another plot to embarrass me?
Get real Ryoga. Ranma snorted, I'm not a kid anymore and I have more important things to do than play childish games like that. I like to think I've outgrown that kind of stuff - I would like to think you have too.
Ryoga regarded Ranma for awhile. Then sighed, Well I am hungry, and it looks like you have a hell of a story to tell. Where are you eating?
As the group moved down the street, Ranma answered,
We're heading to Uchan's. I haven't seen her since I left. It will give me a chance to eat and see her - before I leave.
Your leaving? You just got back.
Well, I'll be gone for about a year. Then I'll be back - you see I going to have a baby and Tenchi's family wants me close to their home when I give birth. So, in two or three months we'll be moving and won't get a chance to visit until we return.
With that Ryoga froze in mid-step.
Hey! Don't look surprised. what do you think married people normally do anyway?
C'mom, Ryoga. Don't tell me you think that it's weird for a married couple to have kids.
Kasumi, would you? I think I broke him again.
Kasumi smiled as she whispered into Ryoga's ear.
Ryoga did a repeat of his earlier performance. After Ranma calmed him again, the group proceeded into Uchan's without further delays.
There was a moderate crowd inside Uchan's when the Dojo group entered. Uchan without looking up from her grill called out,
Welcome to Uchan's, please help yourself to a seat.
Finding an open booth near the back and pulling a table over, everyone's seating was then accommodated. At the table Ranma sat between her mother and Tenchi, Genma sat opposite them next to Soun. Akane, Nabiki and Kasumi sat together with Dr. Tofu, Ranko. The Amazons, Happosai and Ryoga rounding out the booth. After settling a waitress came over with menus and began passing them out while orally listing the day's specials.
Ranma looked signaled her over with a wave of her hand.
I'll have the Ranma special.
But madam, we don't have a ranma special.
You do, just tell Uchan, she'll know want to do. [which I hope doesn't include killing me.] Ranma prayed.
The waitress gave Ranma a odd look then headed over to the grill. Ranma watched with nervous eyes as the waitress leaned over and spoke with Uchan. Uchan's eyes got big as she replied to the waitress who then pointed and the table where Ranma and company were sitting. Ukyou looked to where the waitress was pointing and her and Ranma's eyes met. Ukyou vaulted over the grill and marched over to the table, with her big-ass Spatula in hand all the time looking at Ranma in the eye.
[This doesn't look good] Ranma thought.
Tenchi picking up on Ranma's distress, put a protective arm around her shoulder. This action made Ukyou come up short.
Ranma, is that you? Ukyou finally uttered. Ranma seemed to be hearing that question alot lately.
Hi Ucha- I mean Ukyou. How are you doing. Ranma was feeling very uncomfortable.
Ahh - fine... she replied as her eyes drifted over to Tenchi. Ranma caught this as everyone looked on.
I - see. Then her eyes harded, I'm afraid I must ask you to leave.
Ukyou, please lets talk about this..
All heads in the eatery turned at this. There is nothing to talk about -I don't need you here opening up old wounds. I am happy now for the first time in a long time and I won't have it ruined by you. Now please LEAVE!
pausing to swallow, if that's how you feel about it. as Ranma stood, a voice from the back of the booth spoke up,
I want him -er, her to stay... um... please. It was Ryoga.
Ukyou stood, thinking deep in thought, flexing her hand that was holding her big-ass-spatula as if trying to decide whether to use it or not.
Why should I? she replyed, eyes still hard.
Because I think he, er I mean she owes us both an explanation - and we can't get that by throwing her out. Ryoga stammered out.
Ukyou looking down, sighed deeply.
Okay. It better be good. she said as she pulled herself into an unoccupied chair We got a couple of hours before my husband comes home, so start explaining.
Ukyou signaled for another cook to take her place at the grill as she sat down. The waitress quickly took the orders and served everyone. After everyone had eaten and the plates cleared, Ranma settle to tell her tale. With her battle spatula beside her and arms folded, Ukyou waited for Ranma to begin.
Well, after I was thrown out and abandoned, I wandered all over Tokyo finally ending up in Juuban.
But why didn't you come to me?! Ukyou interupted.
I thought of that, when I was disowned, a hard look was aimed Gemna's way, I was determined I was not going to honor any promises that my ex-father had made. Coming to you, as tempting as it was at the time would look too much like I was trying to fullfill one of the Panda-man's promises. I'm sorry - but that's how I felt at the time. So, I didn't - instead I struck out on my own, determined to fine my own way.
Anyway, I ended up in Juuban. Made some friends, friends that stood with me even after explaining the curse and proving it after I managed to get it unlocked.
Your curse is unlocked then why are you still a girl?
All eyes were on the redhead, she let out a sigh,
Because by the time I found a way to unlock myself I was happy the way I am. Happier than I was when I was a guy - and other things I'll get to later.
Ukyou sighed and signaled for Ranma to continue.
Anyway, I made friends, real friends. Friends that were caring about what I thought and felt, not what I can do for them or get out of me. Friends that I could count on and who in turn can count on me. I met and joined the Sailor Senshi, yes I am one and proud of it. During this time Happosai turned up and made my life hell for awhile until I past his final test and he started trainning me seriously.
At this point all heads turned to the undersized martial arts master.
Well, I had to see if she was worthy of being my heir. After all can't have the ultimate techniques of Anything Goings fall into the wrong hands. He said while lighting his pipe. Genma and Soun were disappointments and unworthy of being truly trained in the art.
Ah... what kind of tests were they? Ukyou sqeeked out, trying to imagine every preverted thing that Happosai could think of and call a test.
It was a morality test. Happosai answered, letting out a stream of smoke, Ranma and Ranma alone among my many students had the will to resist my evil and temptation, even under situations that would benefit him directly. Something that Genma or any of my other students could not do.
The panty raids I did were a test to see if anyone would dare try to stop me. Everything else was to see how far a person would go to try to do right, protect those who couldn't protect themselves from me. Even over the most insurmountable odds, Ranma never wavered. No one really tried like Ranma here did, she used everything short of killing me to stop me - all along getting stronger and stronger. The final test is one that we are both honor bound not to discuss - but, she convinced me that she was the heir I have searching for and waiting for for so long.
He taught me secrets of Anything goes that make every other form a martial arts seem like a joke. Ranma took up the conversation again, this time regarding Cologne Even the Amazon ru is like baby steps compared to the full knowledge of 7,000 years of Anything Goes. Came in real handy when it came to killing daemons and yomas.
How did... Ukyou waved a hand toward Tenchi.
Oh, he came later, when I went to Tokoyo University. Ranma then proceeded in filling Ukyou and Ryoga in on the events that lead to meeting, being courted and marriage to Tenchi. It was then Ranma dropped the fact she was expecting, and will be leaving in three months to live on another planet for a year.
Was Ryoga's only comment.
You said it sugar. Ranma how long will it take you to get to... to...
Not long, as Sailor Sun I am the senshi of nexus of time and space. I'll just create a warp in the space-time continum and basically step into Jurai.
Just like that? ask Akane
Just like that Replied Ranma, I already done it several times, you know to visit my inlaws and such. Hell of alot faster than taking months in a Starship.
Everyone boggled at the ideal of going to another world, light years from the Earth as easily as walking into a room.
Ranma finally broke the heavy silence that have fallen over the group, well almost silence - Ranko getting board again started humming a little tune while bopping her head to the beat.
Ukyou, can we again freinds, please? I know you have every right to hate me - but I think it would be great to have you in my life again. As friends.
Ukyou regarded Ranma for awhile before answering. True, she thought, it hurt when he - she disappeared all those years ago, but that was the past - six years in the past. Could she forget the ten years she spent pursuing Ranma and her father for vengence? After all, she it tell her own father to stick it and got on with her life. She was married to someone she loved, she had gotten over Ranma, the Ranma she knew was more of a memory now. A memory of a boy she knew as a child, then later, for awhile, as a teenager. Along time ago....
I don't know Ranma, part of me knows it is in the past and another part of me still feels stabbed in the back. I understand up here - she said while pointing to her head, but here - pointing at her heart, I still feel betrayed.
I'm sorry Ukyou.
I'm sorry too.
Well then, we should be going. Soun said as he picked up his sleeping grand-daughter.
As the group rose from their seats amid a corus of agreements to that statement. Ukyou held her hand out to Ranma.
Please come visit when you get back from.. whatever. I maybe thinking different then - but for now, I need time to think about this.
You got it Ucha- Ukyou. Ranma said while lightly shaking the extended hand.
Ryoga then came up to the pair, also extended his hand.
Take care Ranma. Maybe we'll see each other sometime.
Yeah - eh, she said while shaking his hand, then adding playfully with your sense of direction, I wouldn't be surprised if you turn up on Jurai.
Ryoga turned beet red, nodded at this, grunted and headed for the door. Somewhere between the table and the door, all twenty feet of it, he got lost.
Three months later, at the Satome home.
Now dear, when I get back I expect the house to be in the same condition I left it in. Do you understand? Nokoda amonished Genma.
And you are to keep your job to pay for it's upkeep. If I come back and fine that you have been slacking off and hocking things -your situation could get dire. she continued while fingering her wrapped katanna.
Yes dear. Genma big sweated.
And I expect everything to be tidy and clean when we return, after all our grand child will be with us and will not do to bring him or her into a pigsty. Is that clear?
Nokoda turned to her daughter and son-in-law.
Well thats cleared up. Ready when you are, dears.
With that Ranma tranformed into her senshi form. The only modifcation was that the skirt was now taylored and more modest to accomidate her swollen belly. Arm extended, her open hand closed and the Sol Sword spung to life in it. Making a vertical slash, the air seemed to rent it as if cut, Ranma then sabbed the tear and spun the sword around and it widened enough to comfortably walk thru.
Turning to her mother and her husband, After you.
The pair stepped into the hole in mid air and faded from view. Ranma followed without even saying goodbye to her ex-father, she then step into her future.
Ending author notes:
Lets see, I got (in no particular order)
1. Ranma stuck as a girl
2. Ranma getting disowned
3. Ranma returning after years missing
4. Ranma accepting his girl side
5. Ranma dealing with Cologne
6. Ranma still being the best
7. Ranma is a powerful Sailor Senshi
8. Ranma married
9. Ranma married to Tenchi
10. Akane being a lesbian
11. Kasumi married to Tofu
12. Moose leaving, giving up on Shampoo
13. Ranma reconciling with her mother
14. Ranma's mother accepting the curse
15. Ranma pregnant
16. Happosai training Ranma seriously
17. Ukyou not quite accepting Ranma
18. Ukyou moving on with her life
19. Genma still being an idiot
20. Nokoda still with the katana
21. Ryoga getting lost, still
22. Ryoga - not quite sure about him
23. A happy ending
24. Leaving plenty of room for back stories, if I feel like it
I think that almost covers it.
Those who are about write about the OOC, please bear in mind that young people change and mature over time. For most people, they are hardly the same person they were at 16 than they are at 22. Hell, most people I know, or knew grew and changed faster than than, except maybe the Genma's of the world (they're alway some of those). However, I'v seen a very few people that are like Genma (thank god!).
The only ideal that is probably original is the one that Happosai using his panty raids and other perverted acts as a test of morality for his students, using it to judge their worth. I've read lots of fanfiction and I have yet to see that take on Happosai. That maybe a story I'll do at some point, if I can think of a interesting way of approaching it.