Disclaimer: Ranma ½ and all its characters are the property of Rumiko Takahashi and have been used without permission. This fanfiction was written for personal enjoyment, and hopefully the enjoyment of the readers.
Part Thirteen: Epilogue
Postmark: Thirteen months after part 12
From: Saotome Doujou
Jintsu-san, it's been awhile, hasn't it? I'm not sure if you remember me, but I'm Ranma. The random kid who showed up at your shrine about a year ago with this purple-haired Amazon named Shampoo for that ki scroll? Well, I thought I'd drop you a letter, you did ask me to write.
You wanted to know how everything ended? Well, here goes nothing.
I should probably start from the beginning.
You were right about Shampoo having attacked someone with the Kire no Shi. She attacked my fiancé, Akane Tendo.
Now me and fiancés are like oil and water, except I've got more than enough to go around. You can thank my father for that, he had a habit when I was little of trading my hand in marriage for food. That was when I was out training with him. He took me from home when I was six and I'd been on the road ever since, until we came to the Tendos, that is.
The engagement between Akane and I was the only one my father made before I was born. He and Akane's father are very good friends, and back then they were in training together. Then they both got married and had families. Akane's mother died when she was really little, so now it's just the dad taking care of the three daughters, Akane and her two older sisters, Nabiki and Kasumi. Kasumi is more like the mother now.
So that's how I ended up with four fiancés.
Shampoo was one of them. One of the more difficult ones, since the Amazon laws, as you probably know, are harsh and strict.
Longer story short, I ended up with a Jusenkyo curse. I'm sure you've heard of Jusenkyo, and if you weren't sure if it was real, I'm living proof. Unfortunately, I fell into Spring of Drowned Girl. A more accurate name would be Spring of Drowned Busty Red-headed Girl Who Attracts Way Too Many Males for Her Own Good. Needless to say, it's caused me quite a bit of trouble, since then I've become quite the water magnet, making me a trouble magnet as well. My father's got one, he turns into a huge, lazy panda. Although he's lazy all the time.
Shampoo has a curse too, she turns into a cat. Yet another long story short, my father is an idiot and trained me in the Neko-ken when I was young, and now I'm terrified of cats. More trouble.
Before I met Akane, my only escape was martial arts. When I realized I cared for her, and even before then (unknown to me), she was the one person I could really count on, and I'm lucky to have her. Hell, I'm lucky she's stuck around this long. We both know if she had rejected to the engagement loudly enough, I wouldn't be where I am today. She was, although I didn't realize it at first, the only one I ever genuinely cared about as more than a friend. I think it was because she was the only one who wasn't trying to marry me, but just seemed as bothered about the idea as I was. It was nice to have someone to talk to who wasn't being nice just to have an easy in when the going got rough. So somewhere along the line I fell for her. Of course, I never told anyone that before, or we would have been married faster than blinking with the fathers shouting something about "the joining of the houses." It got old pretty fast. So, needless to say, there was a bit of strain on our relationship from the start. But we worked around it, even if we did have to get over our fears.
So, you ask, where am I today?
I'm 18 now, out of school at last (it was just another constant battle ground, for me), and married.
Did I forget to mention I'm married to Akane? And that I'm happier than I've ever been? Yeah, we finally got around to it.
It took a hell of a hijink to kick us into it, that's for sure. What happened was our parents married us finally, they were getting tired of us dancing around the issue, and I guess everyone but the two of us could see how crazy we were about each other. So we got married, but that was just the beginning of the trouble. Basically, I thought she was marrying me because it was easy, and she was sick of the parents' nagging, so I didn't end up telling her how I felt. Instead I broke her heart, and left. I hadn't even left Nerima, though, when Shampoo attacked her. She was trying to find a desperate solution other than Amazon execution. I can't imagine what must have run through her mind. So I was just a half-second too late to save Akane, and I found Shampoo, asked for her help, we came to you, used the first two out of the three parts of the scroll, and now here I am. I'm glad the third part stayed out of it. Honestly I don't think I would have listened to your advice about it if it had meant I was going to lose her. I can't really explain what it feels like. I've almost lost her twice now, but I still can't put it into words.
So… This letter is getting a bit long, and we've been married 13 months now. The first three days were hell though, as you can well imagine.
So, you ask again, enough preamble, how did it all end?
Well, like I said, we're married now. We still live in the Doujou, but I've inherited it now, hence the name change. I teach classes with Akane. She always tells me I'm a good teacher. I guess so, I haven't really thought about it, I just know I love the art, and if I can be a part of teaching future martial artists, then that's a great thing to do with my time. Plus, I like kids. I like to work with them, I like the way they learn and how they see things. They keep it simple. I still try and do that. They can teach me things too, no matter how young.
I still can't believe I made it to where I am now. It feels like just yesterday my father was dragging me into the Tendo house, a screaming, kicking, wet redhead who they were all expecting to be his son. Although he was a panda at the time, so they were just a bit distracted. That was when I first found I liked Akane. The others were wondering what to do about me, and I hadn't had a chance to explain about the curse, it had only been two weeks since it had happened, and I was still scared and unsure about it. Akane told them to cut it out and asked it we could be friends. That's the kind of person she is, and that's one of the million tiny things I love about her.
Back to the now, we've got some big news around here. At least I'm almost positive. As far as I can tell, which is pretty well, Akane is expecting. She walks around the house with this look, plus something about her aura is different. She's probably only a month or two, but I can tell. Who knows why. She hasn't mentioned it yet, I think she wants it to be a surprise. She probably knows that I know, too. I'm already fussing over her more than she likes. She's very strong-willed and independent, so that doesn't go over too well with her, but I'll live with her temper. I know my way around it by now, all you've got to do is get her to smile. And that's not as hard as it used to be.
So I'm psyched that I'm going to be a father. We're both young, but things have always been in fast-forward in this place, but at the same time, it feels like they're standing still. I guess that's part of its charisma. But I know I'm as happy as I'll ever be. And it feels better than I would have expected.
So that's the abbreviated story of my life. Basic, constant, all-out chaos until I fell in love, and then it multiplied. But I wouldn't have things any other way.
P.S. Thanks again for all your help. You're one of the reasons Akane has a fourth sister, Shampoo. She lives with us now, out from the iron grip of her grandmother. I think she's finally happy for once. I'd like to think everyone is.
I hope things are well with you, and if you ever stop in Tokyo, drop by Nerima. It's a small town, but it's probably the liveliest place you'll ever visit. At least while I live here, that is.
"And the carousel circles endlessly, drawing you to its haunting tune… And all the while the children are laughing to the music only the young can hear… But as long as you step beyond the lies, you will forever find your place in the eternal cycle."
Some final words… from crazy ol' Rain to you.
Well, it's been a short time span, but quite a long journey, hasn't it? I can't believe I'm already finished. Who knew it would go so fast?
Well, all I can say is this: Thank you. Thank you very much for reading my work, and hearing from you is even better, it really makes my day, and gives me a reason to post the next chapter, knowing someone out there is eager to read what happens next. There are so many of your own works I'm dying to read and review, as soon as I've posted this and rested myself up. But you can expect reviews from me sometime. It's the least I can do to return the kindness.
I hope to stay in contact with those of you I've been playing email tag with, or you can always drop me an IM if I'm on as creepyoldmanwink.
Thanks so much for all the helpful ideas, suggestions, and praises.
I know that was a long sign off, but I'm not leaving ff.net for good just yet. I'll probably be dormant awhile, lurking in the corners of my brain, waiting for that next late night/early morning lightning bolt of mad inspiration.
P.S. Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
I am not a creepy old man. I am a teenage girl. It's a joke with a friend. So there. ^_~
As my old email is starting to fill up, those of you I've kept in contact with, and hope to continue to do so now that this particular work is finished, I've opened a new email account. You can reach me here:
Thanks again. I'll miss the anticipation of hearing from my reviewers, and the adrenaline that comes with discovering how much people enjoy my storytelling.
Who knows? Maybe I'll get another crazy idea one of these days.
Ja, minna, for now.