Disclaimer: I don't own Ranma ½. He and all other characters belong to Takahashi-sama. If anyone would like to get it for me, I would actually send a thank you note for once.

This occurs after the 21st manga (American. 23rd Japanese) or the OAV 'Ranma vs. Akane: I'll be the one to inherit mother's recipes'.

This is from Akane's point of view.

Kasumi is well again. Mrs. Saotome has gone back home, to wait for her long- lost son and husband to return from their training trip. I feel awfully sorry for the dear woman at times. She lost her son when he was so young, and if he isn't manly, she would have to force him into seppuku.

I am finding it hard to believe that she ever would do that. She seems like such a nice, kind woman. Mrs. Saotome has waited all these years for them to return to her. I can't imagine how hard it must have been for her to let them go. How could she trust Genma of all people to bring him back?

I don't believe that any parent could do that to their own child. Their significant other maybe, especially if they have done so many horrible things to their only child. I wouldn't even think to do that to my sisters, or father, but your offspring? The person that you are supposed to protect with your life. You can't kill them, or make them kill themselves. Maybe that is why she would take her own life afterwards. So she wouldn't have to live with the pain of what she had done.

Father agrees with me. He said that he would sooner never see us then force us into death. Needless to say, he got very emotional talking to me about this, and started crying. Later, I heard him talking to Mr. Saotome, trying to convince him to go home to his wife. Genma, that coward. He is too scared of death to go home. It is his fault in the first place. He should face up to it, but from what I have learned of him, Genma would rather be a panda for the rest of his life. Which is what he has decided to do.

I suppose I should feel sorry for Ranma. He has to hide from his mother whenever she comes around. Mrs. Saotome gets to know 'Ranko', never knowing that my so-called cousin is really her son. But I can't feel sorry for him. I envy him.

At least Ranma can see his mother. He can visit her whenever he likes, even if it is as 'Ranko'. That is so much more then I get to do.

My mother died when I was just a child. There are times when I can't remember her voice, and I am scared that one day I will forget her altogether. Everyone says that she looks so much like me, but if it wasn't for the picture of her up on the family shrine, I would have to take their words for it.

The memories fade, day by day. Kasumi and Father are the luckiest. He got to spend many years of his life with her, memorizing her, preserving her in his heart for all eternity, so he never has to forget. Though, maybe he isn't as well off as I suppose. He wasn't the same after his death. Tears come much quicker, flooding the house at times. I can't ever remember him crying beforehand. When I was little, seeing my daddy cry would be a shocking experience. Now, it is a daily ritual. When they fell in love, she took his heart. He never got it back.

Kasumi remembers how mother used to teach her how to cook. Would show her the recipes prepared in her little notebook, and instruct her on how to help. Kasumi wasn't a perfect cook like she is now. It took time, practice, and finally, when we needed her most for her talent to come out. Maybe that is what I need. Someone to depend on me, and then I will get the hang of it. No matter what anyone says, I am going to keep trying. I have to get it sooner or later.

I'm not quite sure how Nabiki took all of it. She never cried. Ever. Sometimes they say that the worst pain is the kind that doesn't come with tears. My big sister is probably hurting more then any of us can imagine. She hardened her heart against the world. Once, I asked her why she was so obsessed with money. She said it was because money won't leave you, unless you spend it. Math and numbers is the only thing you can count on. It never changes, always stays that same. 2 + 2 will always equal four.

I think that she needs something to depend on. Maybe that is why she likes tricking and blackmailing Ranma so much. Because he came in and ruined her normal life. Everything was as it should have been: Daddy stayed at home, searching for new people to train at the dojo; Kasumi was motherly, and kept the house in order; She was the Ice Queen of Furinkan, where everyone respected her, yet were afraid of her power; I was the girl that every guy wanted to go out with.

She couldn't find the person who had given him the right to come in and knock our world upside down. So, she decided he would pay for messing up the cycle. I'm not sure I agree with what she does, but in a few ways, I agree with her. It wasn't fair for him to know everything out of order. He couldn't help it, yet we need someone to blame it on. Ranma is our easy target.

I miss my mother so much. The biggest memory I have of her is our family at the park, eating a bento made especially for us by the matriarch of our family. She never got to see her children grow up, which is every parent dream. My mother won't get to attend her daughters' weddings, which I'm sure she dreamt of since she became pregnant. She'll never know grandchildren, or be able to grow out with her husband.

I strived in martial arts, because it was the only thing I could do. I needed something for mother to be proud of me for, in case she ever managed to find her way back. Nabiki had her money; Kasumi had her warmth, kindness, cooking, and just the fact that she was Kasumi. I was the best martial artist in town until Ranma came, dragging along a bunch of lunatics. It hurts that I have nothing to be proud of.

Ranma infuriates me sometimes. When Mrs. Saotome comes around, he immediately changes into his girl form. He is as cowardly and untrusting as his father. Does he really think that his mother would make him commit seppuku? Why can't he see how much it hurts Mrs. Saotome to come over and see that she has missed them once again?

I would trade anything for what he has. His mother is still alive and breathing. He can hug her, give her a kiss, talk to her and have her reply. If he needs advice, he could ask her. I've realized that she like Ranko a lot, and would be glad to act as a parental figure for her. In a way, Ranma gets her twice. As his own mother and as Ranko's. This is something I will never get to experience. Sure, Kasumi is very motherly. I just know that it can't compare to a real mother's touch. Nothing can.

Ranma doesn't even have a cruel mother who would be mean to him. She is kind and gentle and compassionate. Mrs. Saotome helped me with my cooking. She offered, even though she didn't have to. "Nice try", she told me. "You'll get it next time." The only other person who has come close to that sort of compliment is Kasumi, but I'm not sure if she believes in me half of the time. I ruined the huge dinner, and she didn't even fuss. Just told me it was alright, and started to clean up. Comforted me when I cried, knowing what to say. I don't understand how he could be scared of her.

I realize that a lot of the people I know don't have mothers. From what I know of Ukyo's childhood, she only had her father, who gave her up. Maybe she wouldn't have disregarded her femininity if she had her mom around, to teach her about being a woman. Maybe she wouldn't have been so bent of revenge. Maybe the fact that Ranma thought she was cute wouldn't have meant so much to her, because her mother would have told her that all the time.

Ryoga got lost all the time, and hardly ever saw his mother, because even if he was home, she was lost as well. I wonder how she feels, never knowing if her son is home, trying to care for him even though he may have been in Hokkaido or Okinawa. How many times could they have missed each other, by days, or months, or minutes? How many times has he needed a hug to calm him down? How many times has she not been there for him, because of the Hibiki family curse?

I don't ever remember Mrs. Kuno, though I have known the family for years. Those two are already thoroughly screwed up from their father's side of the family. Was she better or worse? Would her presence have made a difference to the outcome of her children's personalities? I would expect the Kuno children to feel abandoned, which is probably why Upperclassman Kuno relies on me and 'the pigtailed girl'. That is a constant in life. I am actually a little frightened of what would come of him realizing the fact that 'the pigtailed girl' and Ranma are one and the same. He is unstable enough as it is.

Ranma would have more manners. He would probably be kinder, not so rough and tough. I think he enjoys being Ranko at times, because he feels it is the only way he would ever be close to her. I'm sure everyone else I mentioned envies him, but I also hate him for it. For lying to her, causing her pain, disappointing her every single time she walks into this house. I would be a much better daughter. He doesn't deserve her.

These are some synonyms for 'motherly: protective, caring, loving. They are not things to run and hide from. These are values to cherish, and worship. I say thank you for Kasumi every day. Without her, I wouldn't be the person I am today. I am proud to say that she is the closest thing I have to a mother. Am I selfish because I want more? Am I self-centered because I want to be able to say "Hi, Mom, how are you?"? Am I wrong to hope that maybe one day I can say that to Mrs. Saotome?
A/N: This is a one-shot that I thought of at 4:30 in the morning. Don't ask how this idea popped into my head, because I have no idea. Although I have never experience the death of a parent (thank you God), I know several people that have and have gone through it with them. It hurts, and I feel for Akane and the rest of the Tendo's. Konatsu also lost him mother, but he wasn't in the time period I set this fic for.

*spoiler*: I know that Nodoka eventually learns that Ranma and Ranko are the same person and accepts that.

Well, I hope you liked it, and that it made you think a little. I know that I appreciate my mom a bit more after writing it. Questions, comments, reactions and reviews are greatly appreciated.