Family Honor
A Ranma ½ fanfic by Zorknot
Chapter 1: The Flight of Akane Tendo

DISCLAIMER: These characters and some situations are owned
by Takahashi Rumiko and the Army of the Undead and not by me.
If everything about Ranma were to be made into a movie, I'd be an
extra with a very short screen time. Maybe not even that. You
know that scene where some guy is selling bread to a girl with a
panda balloon in the first episode? My best friend's second cousin
knows a guy who played bingo with him once. Though if you ask
me, I think he made it up.

~~~~~[BEGIN]~~~~~

Saotome Genma trudged along the road. So far this evening he had
been insulted, beat up, rained on, and generally humiliated and
things weren't exactly looking up. He wished he hadn't told
Ranma anything. That he had just kept the engagement to a Tendo
daughter a secret until they were almost there. But Family Honor
demanded that he tell Ranma why all of a sudden they were headed
for some place in Japan instead of looking for a cure in China. Of
course Ranma hadn't liked how Genma kept it a secret from him
all these years...

Say what you will about sons exceeding their fathers, but Genma
wasn't particularly pleased at being beaten so thoroughly by
someone he'd seen in diapers.

Genma's whole body ached.

He would feel better in a day or two, once he had some rest, but
right now he was wondering if there might be hidden benefits to
ritualistic suicide he hadn't previously considered. Right now he
was a panda, and his son was a red-headed girl, and a trip that
should have taken all of twenty minutes was taking some four
hours.

"Hey, look at it from MY perspective, Pop," The redhead, argued.
She was wearing a kimono that was several sizes too large, her
hands completely covered by the sleeves. She also carried a very
large backpack. She was drenched from the short shower that
passed by half an hour ago, but she seemed unfazed by it. She was
walking extremely slowly, and Genma really just wanted to get to
the Tendos' so he could sit down and relax. "I thought we were
going back home to see Mom." Ranma continued, "Instead I find
out you want me to be engaged to someone I don't even know. Of
course I'm going to be a little upset."

"Growf." Genma said impatiently, waiting for Ranma to catch up.

The girl reached the panda again making her small, leisurely steps.
She looked up at him. "I know it's for Family Honor. But wouldn't
Family Honor be satisfied if we stayed with Mom?" The
capitalization on the words "family honor" was audible. Several of
the older folk, who had seen stranger things than pandas walk
down the streets of Nerima, nodded with respect. They could see
family honor was something Ranma valued very much.

They didn't know the half of it.

"Growf," was Genma's answer to Ranma's question. He tried to
convey that the issue was settled and not to pursue it anymore.

Ranma looked past her father at a ramshackle vending booth run
by a young girl and her mother. "Oh look! They're selling kittens!
Aren't they cute?" As Ranma passed, the kittens suddenly scurried
behind their mother, who started hissing.

Genma raised a forepaw to its head and buried his furry forehead
in it. He realized he had moved a good bit ahead of his child and
stopped so Ranma could catch up again. "GROWF!" he barked
impatiently.

"Ah, come on, Pop. You never let me play with the cats!" The
Panda's eyebrow or rather, the top of his eye patch, twitched as
Ranma reached him again. "And I'm sorry if I can't keep up with
you, but if I go any faster, this kimono will be ruined. I am going
to be engaged after all aren't I?"

Genma started walking hanging his head in shame. Why couldn't
he have a son that was rude, impatient, and insensitive? Why did
he have to take after his mother so damned much?

"So tell me something, Pop. Who is it? Do I know the person?"

Genma just kept walking. Didn't his son realize he couldn't talk?

"Is it a boy or a girl?" Ranma suddenly asked.

Genma stopped. He whirled around to see his child, smirking
mischievously at him.

Ranma chuckled, "Ha! I got you good, there, Pops! Really, I swear
you have more trouble with my curse than I do!" Ranma walked
on. She watched a blue butterfly flutter in the air above her. She
held out her hand for a perch. The butterfly landed on her finger.
She brought it closed to her face smiling, and then let it go. She
had taken some twenty steps but she was still no more than a meter
away from Genma. "Hey I know what we can do to make the time
go by! Let's sing!"

Genma groaned. Ever since they had stopped by that karaoke bar
near the docks, Ranma was under the impression that her girl
side's voice was a wonderful thing she should share with the
world. Admittedly Ranma could sing rather well, the martial arts
breathing techniques giving her lots of breath support, but still...

"Yappa pa, yappa pa, ii shan ten!
Unruly love, like the carp, jumps out of its pond!
Yappa pa, yappa pa, ii shan ten!
The ocean breeze from my heart wants you to respond!"

Genma briefly considered simply walking the other direction, but
of course he couldn't do that to his son. Besides, Family Honor
wouldn't let him. He clenched his panda jaw as Ranma kept
singing.

"My world turns dark, and I don't know why.
Ranma, Ranma, it's all because of you.
Once we met, that began the end.
Ranma, Ranma what
Are we fighting for?
You're the only one to turn my gray skies blue!"

Of course Ranma loved this song. It had her name in it. Nevermind
that it was recently voted the most annoying song in Japan...
Genma had to stop her. Any minute now she was going to start
dancing. Genma's eyes drifted to the no parking sign he was
standing next to. He had an idea...

"Why can't you just say the words 'I love you'
Without destroying the house with your fists?..."

Genma ripped the sign out of the concrete. Just as he feared, his
son turned daughter was swaying and snapping her fingers to the
music that wasn't there.

"You know, when you do that, I can't back down.
You know... it makes me...just like you!"

Ranma reached up to the sky in grandiose fashion preparing to belt
out her favorite part of the song, the part about the "one-room
apartment of my heart."

"OH! You never rang, you just became a part,
Of the one-room..." THUD "URK!"

Genma put the sign back into the concrete and slung his
unconscious child onto his shoulder.

"Hey that panda just attacked that girl!" one of the onlookers
exclaimed in astonishment.

"Yeah thank goodness!" his companion replied, "I didn't think
she'd ever stop!" There were several murmurs of assent.

Genma nodded, picked up Ranma's pack and trudged briskly
onward, toward the house of his childhood friend. He hoped he
was doing the right thing...Family Honor was such a tricky thing to
deal with.

~~~~~*~~~~~

"Um, Daddy? You know I like family time as much as the next
girl, but can we go back to our rooms now? My feet fell asleep
about an hour ago and I want to make sure they're still attached..."
Nabiki, age 17, Soun Tendo's middle daughter asked.

Soun had somehow managed to doze off, leaning against the
doorway of the engawa as dusk settled in Nerima. He woke up
with a comical snort at Nabiki's question. "It was the Master, dear
I swear! Huh? Oh... Nabiki, my daughter. Please be patient. My
friend is sure to be here any moment."

"Honestly Dad, you said that almost two hours ago!" Akane, age
16, Soun Tendo's youngest daughter argued.

"The postcard said he was coming. In all the time I've known him,
Saotome has lied to many, but he always told the truth to me. He is
coming." Soun folded his arms in finality, which would have been
more impressive if he hadn't done the same thing ten times before.

"Yes, but Father, did the postcard say *when* the Saotomes would
be coming?" Kasumi, age 19, a pink and purple polka-dotted
pygmy sasquatch with eight arms and a pleasant disposition, asked
politely.

"Hmm..." Soun thought seriously about his eldest daughter's
question before answering, "now that you mention it, I don't think
it did!"

Akane practically growled, "You mean we've been sitting here all
this time and THEY MIGHT NOT EVEN SHOW UP?"

Soun turned back toward the sunset. "I suppose it IS a possibility,"
he admitted. The scene outside was so beautiful he felt inspired...

A panda postcard
The sun's red-violet death
I am so happy

Soun didn't see the scene behind him of Kasumi using four of her
arms to restrain Akane from committing patricide.

Nabiki rolled her eyes and stood up unsteadily, stomping her feet
on the floor. There was an odd noise from the front entrance of the
house. "Oooh, that must be Ranma!" Nabiki exclaimed almost not
quite sarcastically. She stomped to the front entrance in her
kimono.

Some five seconds later, she came running back into the living
room. Not because she was particularly scared of the large panda
that was making its way into the house; Kasumi, with her eight
arms, primal features, pink fur, and conservative clothing was
scarier that any panda could hope to be. She was running because
the kimono-clad girl on the panda's shoulder was singing THAT
song. Very loudly. And Nabiki wasn't completely certain that she
was going to stop.

"Yappa pa, Yappa pa, ryan shan ten!
A stolen kiss from your lips is sunlight in the rain
Yappa pa, Yappa pa, ryan shan ten!
A gust of love, the spice of live, the end of the refrain..."

The panda limped up to Soun picked the girl of its shoulder and set
her down in front of him.

"So Father," Asked Kasumi, one hand on her father's shoulder,
one hand to her lips in consternation, two others scratching her
sides and the remaining four clasped in front of her apron almost
cutely, "is this your friend?"

"Mmm mmm mmm MMM!" Soun shook his head through the
singing.

"Every time that you stare at me
Ranma, Ranma things start to spin around..."
Ranma continued the song acting out the meanings of the words in
pantomime.

"Oh GODS will someone make the girl stop!" Nabiki groaned.

"'I love you' is what I want to hear...
Ranma, Ranma dear-
Wait a minute here!
I thought I wanted to keep my options free!"
Ranma knelt on the ground and raised her hands in fanfare to her
less than impressed audience.

"It is somehow appropriate though don't you think?" Kasumi
noted.

Soun wondered how it was that this pretty girl in kimono had
befriended a panda and trained it to walk on its hind legs and carry
her around. He also wondered why she had barged into his home
unannounced. Then he remembered his eldest daughter...The girl
no doubt had a long story to tell about both counts. "May I ask
what your name is, miss?"

"Oh hi there! Name's Ranma! Saotome Ranma! Go easy on me
kay?" the girl vigorously shook Soun's hand, released him, and
then bowed deeply.

"Erm, yes, I am Tendo Soun and this is my family." Soun gestured
to his daughters, "Please...go easy on us as well." Soun spoke
blankly. "Your father wouldn't happen to be Saotome Genma
would he?"

"Yep! That's Pop! He's the panda." The girl cocked a thumb in the
rather tired looking panda's direction.

Soun was waiting for a good opportunity to faint, but he was too
confused. Genma was the panda?

"Look," Ranma said catching the Tendos' confusion, "Family
Honor demands that I must tell all of you a few things, and its best
if I just show you." Ranma looked at her audience for a moment
smiling. "You there, with the pretty pink fur, what's your name?"

"Kasumi," the eight-armed pigmy sasquatch replied.

"Oh that's a pretty name! How do you do? I was just wondering if
you could get me two cups of water, one steaming hot, the other
cold."

"Certainly, Ranma-chan, I'd be happy to!" Kasumi hurried off to
the kitchen to get what Ranma asked for.

"Now then," Ranma continued, "Like I said, I am Saotome Ranma,
and Saotome Genma is my pop. Which means I'm engaged to one
of you..."

"What do you mean engaged? You're a girl!" Surprisingly, this
outburst came from Nabiki and not Akane.

"I'll explain that in a second, but first, neither of you want to be
engaged to me at the moment right?"

Both Nabiki and Akane shook there heads.

"Tendo-sama, are these all your children?"

"No," Soun said resolutely, "my eldest daughter is in the kitchen."

"Oh! She's your daughter too? I'm sorry! It's just she doesn't look
anything like you. Except maybe in the eyes..." Ranma stared at
Soun for a while, "But anyway, Tendo-sama. Do you agree that
maybe the engagement should be called off? These two don't seem
to like the idea and I'm guessing Kasumi will feel the same way."

Soun almost nodded, but then stopped himself, "No. I refuse to call
it off. It was an agreement I made under my honor as a martial
artist, to the only true friend I've ever known other than my...my...
wife." Soun started to get misty but he swallowed and continued,
"The engagement will just have to be postponed until a Saotome
and a Tendo can be suitably matched."

"Oh okay. So do you mind telling me what you mean by 'suitable'
exactly? I mean YOU wouldn't want to marry me right?"

Soun's eyes bulged as he realized he had fallen into a trap. He
COULD satisfy the agreement by marrying the girl, but that wasn't
what he wanted at all. He could say there was too much of an age
difference but in Japan that really wasn't that big a deal. He might
as well drag his word as a martial artist through the mud. But if he
married her...

Nabiki smirked. Maybe the girl wasn't so bad after all...assuming
she wasn't serious. She shuddered.

"GROWF!" the panda exclaimed stepping between Ranma and
Soun. "Growf growf growf GROWF!"

"Aw, Pop doesn't seem to like that idea, Tendo-sama." Ranma said
leaning seductively up against Soun, "too bad, I think you're kind
of..."

"GROWF!" Genma said, though the sound was somewhat more
akin to a lion being throttled by a giant squid while sacrificial
lambs are shoved down its throat.

Ranma turned around and laughed pointing at her father "I
REALLY got you that time, pops! I'm not at all interested. I'm just
saying he's handsome. And judging by how pretty his daughters
are, his wife must have been really beautiful."

Soun wasn't sure how to take this. On one hand the compliments
were going to his head, on the other, there were implications
behind them that were contradictory and not altogether pleasant.
Fainting was looking more and more like a good idea...

Kasumi came just in time with four glasses of alternately steaming
and cold water. "Here you go Ranma-chan! I got some more in
case you needed it."

"Thanks, Kasumi-chan, that's great." Ranma took one of the
steaming cups and upended it over her...his head.

Soun fainted.

"Oh, say by the way, would you like to be engaged to me?" Ranma
asked Kasumi.

"Wh...wha?" the sasquatch was dumbfounded.

"Well you're a Tendo right? I think you're pretty...how about we
get engaged? I wouldn't mind and it would satisfy Family Honor."

"S..sure Ranma."

"Really?" Ranma asked clasping two of Kasumi's furry hands in
his own, "That's awesome! Now everyone's happy!"

"Oh my!" exclaimed Kasumi. She would have blushed... except
she was already pink.

~~~~~*~~~~~

"Why don't you fight me?" Akane demanded angrily of the
pigtailed boy in front of her. Ranma had, since engaging himself to
Kasumi, changed into a girl, back into a guy again and then into a
martial arts gi, explaining that he felt like a workout and asking if
he could use their dojo. Akane's father was still unconscious and
she was still in her gi so she had decided to ask the sex-changing
pervert to spar with her. Beating the little man bitch up would
relieve some stress. But the bastard wasn't taking any of her hits!
He wasn't even blocking!

"What do you mean, Akane? I AM fighting you!" Ranma ducked
under one of Akane's errant blows.

"No you're NOT! You're just dodging around!"

"Well duh!" Ranma replied crossing his eyes, "if I don't dodge I'll
get hit!"

"You could attack you know. I can take it."

"Um... okay... I'm going to kick you in the stomach then, how's
that?"

"What?"

Ranma kicked Akane in the stomach. Akane fell to the ground
sucking in breath and writhing in pain.

"Why didn't you dodge that?" Ranma asked, genuinely perplexed.

"I... wasn't expecting... you to call...your move out!" Akane
protested.

"That's a Saotome tradition! It's only fair you give your opponent
time to prepare. Not calling out your attack when you start a fight
upsets Family Honor." Ranma said matter-of-factly, crossing his
arms.

"But what if you're fighting for real?" Akane asked.

"I don't know what you mean. I would never fight someone who
wasn't prepared to fight."

"But what if he WAS?"

"Then I would scarcely need to call out my attacks, then would I?"
Ranma replied, "And there's no reason to say 'he'. it could just as
easily be a girl, you know."

"How do you figure?"

"Well, recently, most of the people I've fought have been girls..."

"I KNEW it! You're a sadistic perverted FREAK!" Just like every
other boy, Akane added mentally

Ranma blinked. Then he snapped his fingers. "Hey! You know
what? I think you got the wrong idea somehow! Let me see if I can
explain. It's really a funny story..."

Akane crossed her arms and gave Ranma her best Nabiki brand I-
don't-believe-a-word-you're-saying look.

"Okay so after all that business with Jusenkyo and me trying to
calm Pops down—you'd think he thought I was dead or
something!—and finding out about the curse not being
permanent... Anyway after all that, Pops and I were REALLY
starving. And the guide we were with, he mentions this place
nearby named Nyuuchezutswun. Well it turns out
Nyuuchezutswun means Amazon village, and the Amazons there
were holding this tournament and first prize was—get this—an
entire banquet table full of every type of food you can think of! So
I ask the guide if I can..."

"Let me guess" Akane interrupted, "You challenged the winner of
the tournament for the prize, you won and the entire village was so
impressed with your prowess that they invited you to join them and
learn from them."

"Um, well...INITIALLY Shampoo—she's the one I challenged--
vowed to hunt me to the ends of the Earth and kill me, but after we
worked that out, yes that's more or less what happened," Ranma
admitted.

"Honestly, you could at least offer a better excuse than some
overused male fantasy of big-breasted Amazonion bimbos falling
over themselves to teach you their savage ways."

"How'd you know they had big breasts?" Ranma asked.

"Look, you ignorant prick, I happen to know something about this.
The most likely candidates for Amazons were the Berbers of Libya
and they were all conquered in 700AD during the first Arab
invasion. There aren't any Amazons in China, and if there were
they wouldn't have big breasts because they burn them off. They
get in the way of archery."

"Well yeah that's what they did before they migrated to China and
started experimenting with the magic from the Jusenkyo springs.
Everyone over there's worried they may have to move again if the
Chinese government doesn't loosen up." Ranma looked thoughtful
for a moment, "You'd probably like it over there. They really are
big on history. Cheongsam are the fashion now, but about once a
year they do this weird ceremony where the elders wear these
pointy hats and speak Greek. They call it the 'Fall of Kahina' or
some such thing. It's almost creepy really."

Akane's jaw went slack. Kahina was a historic Berber woman who
resisted the Arab invasion...and evidence showed that Amazons
DID wear pointed hats on occasion...How did Ranma know these
things unless... No. It had to be some kind of trick. Ranma
probably read up on Amazons and then concocted an entire
storyline so he could brag about it later. "Look, I don't know what
scrolls or whatnot you've been reading but your story just doesn't
make sense. Why would a girl swear to kill you and then accept
you into her tribe?"

"Well I was female when I defeated her. By Amazon law, as soon
as I defeated her she was responsible for my death. The thing is an
outsider woman who defeats an Amazon is automatically part of
the tribe. Its kind of funny but being responsible for my death,
meant Shampoo had to make sure that I did not die except by her
own hand. If I had run away she would have tried to kill me, so she
could end the geas quickly, but since I stayed in the tribe and its
unlawful to use lethal maneuvers against a fellow Amazon in the
village without issuing a challenge, she actually ended up
protecting me part of the time."

Ranma gave a short chuckle, "Of course I didn't know that at the
time. The guide we were with wanted to hightail it out of there and
I almost went too, but I figured if we ran away we'd just have to
deal with the problem later anyway, and I was thinking maybe the
Amazons had their own kind of Family Honor. And I can certainly
understand acting a little strange if it's for Family Honor."

"So what did you do?" asked Akane feigning interest as a plan
formed in her brain.

"I performed the Giri Mouko Taosu."

"Family Honor Strikes Down Fierce Tiger?"

"Well Pops originally called it the Mouko Rakuchi-sei, but that
wasn't really accurate and since Pops and I both developed it into
an art in its own right, we decided to change the name."

Akane nodded seriously and then aimed a front snap kick toward
Ranma's chin. It would have been thoroughly satisfying to see the
tip of the arrogant asshole's tongue arcing out his mouth and
trailing bright red blood as it flew on its trajectory to the floor...but
unfortunately Ranma leaned back almost to the floor at the last
moment and flipped away from Akane. "Fight me, you jerk!"
Akane screamed in exasperation.

Once Ranma was back on his feet he continued speaking as if he
were merely changing the subject. "You know, you probably ought
to learn the Giri Mouko Taosu. I think you could find it really
useful. Would you like me to show you the basic form?"

Akane cocked her head at Ranma. How long had she wanted her
father to teach her something new? How long had he refused,
saying he couldn't bear to subject his daughter to the training he
had endured? And now finally, here was someone willing to teach
her a new technique! Of course he was a boy, and so he probably
expected Akane to go on a date with him afterwards but if she
could grow as a martial artist then maybe she could stand it just
this once, even if he was a womanizing, sex changing, perverted
freak of nature. "Um... okay sure." Akane smiled.

"You know, you're kind of cute when you smile..." Ranma
smirked.

Akane stopped smiling immediately. She didn't want this asshole
to think she liked him. Gods, the last thing she needed was another
Kuno.

Ranma frowned. "Look, it was just a compliment okay? I'm not
trying to get in bed with you or anything. I just think it's a shame
you scowl so much when you have a cute smile like that."

"I would NEVER get in bed with someone as perverted as you!"
Akane declared. That this "wild stallion" would even think of such
things proved he was more perverted than any of the boys at
school. Maybe even more than Kuno.

Ranma shrugged Akane's comment off. "The first basic kata of the
Giri Mouko Taosu is fairly simple to learn, but difficult to
master..."

Akane calmed herself into her student mode. She was a good
student. She got all A's in school and she could answer any
teacher's question. She valued knowledge with just as much vigor
as her sister Nabiki...although it wasn't the same KIND of
knowledge. Yes this boy-girl man-freak that barged into her home
and started bossing people around deserved to be beaten
thoroughly, but on the off chance that he...she...IT had anything to
teach her...she would bear it a few moments longer.

"First," Ranma continued, seeing that he had Akane's attention, "
You stand in the Yoi position, feet shoulder-width apart..."

"I KNOW what the Yoi position is, Ranma!" Akane snapped as
her calm evaporated.

"Um... well okay but you're doing it all wrong."

"What do you mean?!" To say that Akane didn't know the Yoi, or
ready position was like accusing someone of not breathing
correctly. She had learned it when she was a baby for crying out
loud! Akane was so surprised at Ranma's gall she didn't have
enough time to be properly pissed.

"Well, you're too tense for one thing. There's no way you'd be
ready for an attack with how stiff you are. And one thing you
should NEVER do is lock your knees up like that. I could break
both of them in two seconds if I wanted to, besides you don't have
much balance that way."

Akane realized Ranma was right. She forced herself to relax into
the proper position, the position she had known since childhood
and could reach even if blinded.

"Yeah, that's much better... except your feet are a little too far
apart and your fists aren't tight enough..."

Akane growled but made the necessary adjustments.

"Oh and you're not breathing correctly. Your breaths are too short
and shallow, like you're angry at me or something. You need to
take nice deep, even breaths..."

Akane grimaced and forced herself to calm down again. She could
stand this humility a little longer if it meant learning something...
but she sincerely hoped it was worth it. Sixteen was too young an
age to be convicted of homicide. She was in perfect form now.
Saotome had distracted her before, but now she was flawless....

"Okay," Ranma said, hesitantly, "I guess that's good enough for
now...but really you need to..." Ranma read Akane's expression.
"Uh never mind... The next move is a little tricky. Bend your knees
as far as possible and raise on the balls of your feet so you're kind
of sitting on your heels."

Akane did as Ranma directed. "What is this supposed to..."

"From this position you can jump full force into the air at a
moments notice, letting you attack or dodge someone else's
attack."

Akane fell on her ass.

"Also, it helps with balance," Ranma said with a smirk.

Akane got back up onto the balls of her feet. She was just a little
surprised... that was all. She had plenty of balance. She beat up all
those boys at school didn't she? She beat Kuno all the time didn't
she? She had balance up the wazoo.

Akane fell on her ass again.

"Don't worry bout it," Ranma said. "When I first learned that
position I fell too. It isn't quite like most balancing where it's side
to side. It's forward or back." Ranma looked away smiling. "Of
course, I was six at the time..."

Akane decided that she absolutely and unequivocally hated
Saotome Ranma. The boy bitch must be some insidious beast from
one of the more unpleasant hells. This treatment just wasn't fair.
She could do that position no problem, but Ranma made her so
angry...

"Let's go on to the next position. That one's easy. Just bring your
knees to the ground and sit like your having tea or something. Just
make sure you're still supported by the balls of your feet."

Akane did as her ad hoc sensei asked. "How's this supposed be
any good in a fight?"

"Well you're right, you can't attack too easily from this position,
but here it's not so much mobility as defense and distraction. You
wouldn't expect an opponent to sit down in front of you in the
middle of a fight would you? Besides, you got full use of your
hands and you can always raise your knees into position two or go
on to the next position and push off into a flip."

Akane took a tortured breath. "Okay what's the next position?"

"That's the most important position. What I'm about to tell you is
the most important move I ever learned and it's saved my hide
plenty of times."

"What is it already!"

"Okay, raise your arms straight up in the air."

Akane did so feeling a little stupid "Okay."

"Now lower your hands and upper torso to the ground and say
you're sorry."

Akane's head jerked up. "NANI?"

"Go on, say you're sorry. Better yet you could say something like
'Saotome Ranma, please forgive me for calling you a perverted
freak and for trying to hurt you during what was supposed to be a
friendly spar.'"

"The hell I will!" Akane got back onto her feet.

"Well it's up to you really," Ranma shrugged, "But the more
specific to the situation the better. Gives your opponent the idea
that you truly understand what it was you did wrong and that you
aren't going do it any more."

"I didn't do anything wrong!"

Ranma looked confused. "I'm sorry, Akane, I haven't made myself
clear. What you did WAS wrong. Now normally it wouldn't
matter. I don't take insults from ignorant people very seriously
anymore, but I..."

"I'm not ignorant!" Akane raised a fist at Ranma.

"Um...okay. I guess maybe you're in a bad mood or something and
it's making you stupid. But that really doesn't matter. Anyway like
I was saying...I intend to marry your sister. That makes us family.
If you keep insulting me and attacking me out of anger its going to
upset Family Honor and I don't think either one of us wants that."

"Fuck family honor!" Akane said and a unleashed a haymaker in
Ranma's general direction that the boy easily avoided. Akane was
caught however by the curiously sad and frightened expression on
Ranma's face.

"You *really* shouldn't have said that," he said.

Then Akane heard an awful growling sound behind her...

~~~~~*~~~~~

"So, Kasumi, that strange man sitting with Daddy in the living
room...that's Mr. Saotome?" Nabiki asked her older sister, holding
the curtain above the entrance to the kitchen over her head with her
hand.

"Yes...would you let Akane know she can take her bath now?"
Kasumi was efficiently making dinner with all eight of her arms.

Nabiki was always amazed at how she could keep track of
everything her arms were doing. So often in Nabiki's business the
left arm didn't know what the right was doing much less whatever
any other limbs might be up to. Nabiki grimaced as she realized
she had thought of an extremely bad pun. Returning from her short
reverie she said, "Oh Akane's fighting Ranma right now. You
know how she is."

"Yes, I do wish she'd stop being so violent."

"Kasumi...why did you say yes?" Nabiki asked.

Kasumi's simian features curved in a wistful smile, and she paused
over her cooking. "I don't know really. I just saw something in
him... somehow I feel he's a kindred spirit. I feel like I could talk
to him about anything, and he would understand." Kasumi started
cooking again but at a slower, pensive pace.

"But...don't you think you should get to know him first? He
seemed pretty sharp and all and he IS pretty cute, but you never
know about people..."

"Nabiki...I can't explain it but I know he's right for me. I've never
been so sure before in my life."

"But..." Nabiki tried to think of how best to word what she was
about to say. "Well, sis, I really hate to point this out...and you
know it doesn't make you any less of a person but...well...you
ARE a pink, polka-dotted, eight-armed, pygmy sasquatch...don't
you think that might cause problems?"

"Oh, Nabiki, you're just jealous you didn't say yes when you had
the chance." Kasumi smiled and continued cooking.

"Yeah..." Nabiki muttered, "That was it...I'm sorry for bothering
you." And with that, the middle Tendo daughter left the kitchen,
and walked to the stairs.

Nabiki could never figure out her older sister. At the same moment
she seemed completely oblivious to what was going on.... she
could also have such sharp insight it was frightening.

Nabiki WAS a little jealous. Even she hadn't realized it though. It
would be so much fun having a boyfriend like Ranma, who could
also be a girl, who actually had some intelligence, who was cute...
If he only had money he'd be perfect. But even there...did she
really want to marry into money? No, not really. She had to be the
bread winner. She wouldn't be able to stand it any other way.
Ranma was a great catch and she had let him slip by.

What Nabiki was having the toughest time with, though, was the
feeling she had that Ranma would be wasted on Kasumi. As much
as she loved her sister, and she did love her, there was still some
part of her that screamed she was not human. Nabiki had no idea
before tonight that this part of her existed. It sickened her.

She plodded upstairs to her room. She opened her closet. And
crouched down to a wicker chest. She opened it with a painful
creak. There, gleaming in the light was her salvation. All she had
to do was stick it in her mouth and pull and then all her troubles
would go away.

She picked it up, marveling at its feel, at how something so simple
could have such awesome power. She put it into her mouth closing
her eyes imagining what it was going to feel like to have a foreign
object coursing through her body at such an awesome speed. She
took a breath...and pulled.

The bag of potato chips now open, Nabiki stuck her hand inside
and greedily inhaled some twenty chips before finally calming
down.

With such golden crispy goodness in the world, even having
jealous thoughts of a primate's fiancé isn't all that bad.

Between chips, Nabiki heard several thuds and the sounds of
screaming coming from the dojo.

Well, she thought, popping another chip in her mouth, might as
well see what that's about.

She was at the door about to head downstairs when she stopped,
popped another chip, and got her camera.

There really is nothing quite like potato chips and espionage to
soothe the nerves.
~~~~~*~~~~~

Tendo Soun looked at his friend Saotome Genma, tears streaming
down his face.

Saotome Genma looked at his friend Tendo Soun, tears streaming
down his face.

"The life of a true martial artist is fraught with peril." Soun sobbed
looking off into the darkness.

"You don't know the half of it, Tendo." Genma declared.

"There's more?" Soun asked, incredulous.

"Yes, the worst is still to come."

"What could be worse than to have a son who's a girl half the time,
who's a better martial artist than you are but acts like an annoying
brat?"

"I know, it seems impossible, but it's true. There is something
much, much worse."

"What is it, Saotome?"

"Family Honor," Genma said and then broke into a fresh onslaught
of sobs himself.

"I don't understand...You mean that crazy deal you made with
your wife that you'd kill yourself if you didn't make Ranma a man
among men?"

"No... it's worse than that..."

"You mean the contract you signed with your Uncle Jiro that you'd
give Ranma over to him on his eighteenth birthday so he could
perform genetic experiments on a human host?"

"No...it's worse."

"You can't mean that time you sent a lock of Ranma's hair to your
cousin in Australia so he could practice mind control using a
digeridoo?"

"No," Genma laughed, "that was a joke."

"Well then, Saotome, what is it?"

Genma remained silent.

"Come now, it can't be that bad..."

Genma gave Soun a nice long baleful look. "Have you ever heard
of a technique called the Nekoken?"

"No, can't say that I have."

"It can only be taught to adolescents on the first onset of puberty."

"Why's that?"

"There's a greater amount of psychic energy then due to all the
hormones. I imagine if you gave enough supplemental drugs to
someone they could learn the technique too but that's kind of
dangerous. You remember what happened to the master..."

Soun shuddered. "Yes. He was such a nice old man before..."

"Anyway you take the student, you cover him in fish paste or some
other fish material and you blind fold him, tie him up so he can't
move and throw him into a pit of starving house cats."

"Then what?"

"That's it. That's how the student learns the technique. You keep
doing it again and again until they learn the Nekoken."

"I don't understand. Even given the psychic energy part I don't see
how house cats could be used in any kind of training."

"Well the idea is to cause the subject to develop a phobia to them."

"How could anyone be afraid of a cat? Tigers I could understand.
I'm a little afraid of tigers myself. Or lions...but plain old felix
domesticus?"

"Actually there are quite a few people who have a phobia to cats.
It's called ailurophobia..."

"Well a little superstition I can understand. I mean I get a little
anxious when I see a black cat and I could see how that could
generalize into all cats, but I do not see how taking a bath in cats
could induce a phobia."

"You aren't listening. The cats are hungry. They've been starved
for days. You cover the subject in fish paste THEN throw him in
the pit."

"Saotome, have you ever seen a house cat eat?"

"Yes."

"Would you describe the act as being particularly voracious?"

"Well no...."

"I don't care how much you starve a cat, Saotome they're still
going to be as dainty as hypersensitive French women with
electrodes up their asses."

"But they scratch a lot..."

"Oh yes they DO scratch. And the scratches are so severe
sometimes it takes a whole DAY for them to heal! Good grief,
Saotome what are you smoking? There's only two dangers you
have from house cats assuming they ARE house cats and they
don't have rabies or anything of the sort. They can scratch out
someone's eye, or they can smother them in their sleep. As long as
you keep a blindfold on the subject and check on him from time to
time he should be fine. In fact, I'll bet you on that. I know a kid,
bout eleven or twelve, comes around every now and then wanting
to learn martial arts. He won't leave me alone... I bet if we used
this training method absolutely nothing would happen."

Genma gave his best "Is that your final answer" look and
continued "Well...anyway as I was saying I put Ranma through the
Nekoken training..."

"What? You put your own son through that torture?"

"Yes, I was telling you about Family Honor."

"I thought you changed the subject... Saotome, that's pretty cold
putting your son through that. I could never do that to my
daughters."

"But you just said that it was harmless!"

"For a student sure, but the idea that you would subject your own
flesh and blood willingly to the claws of hungry beasts... I don't
know..."

Genma sighed... "Ranma is my son but he is also the heir to the
school of Anything Goes. I felt I had to train him hard to make him
strong."

"Well your son is a boy...I guess it's okay. I'd never train my
babies that hard though. I taught each of them just enough for self
defense and that's it. That's all they need to know."

If Genma had just found out Soun was an extraterrestrial being
with a meter long proboscis that could suck souls out people's
bodies and was in the habit of implanting them in poultry, Genma
would not have been more surprised. The entire point of the
marriage was to unite the two schools. If Soun hadn't taught his
branch of the school to his daughters then the Tendo family claim
was worthless. There were so many other engagements that Genma
could have let happen...that Kuonji girl, the Noodle cook's
daughter, and especially the Amazon...all of them were to be
trained or already were trained in some form of the Art, but Genma
backed Ranma out of each of them thinking surely Tendo had
trained his daughters in Anything Goes, that they would be the best
match, and that one of them would marry Ranma and teach the Art
to their children and the Art would continue forever.

Soun screwed that plan right up.

Ranma's infatuation with the monkey had to be a joke. Genma had
intended to get his son to choose Akane somehow, but now to
know she wasn't a master of the Art? The entire engagement had
to be called off. Still he was Soun's friend. How could he stop the
engagement without going against his friend's wishes or more
importantly, Family Honor?

Postcards.

Yes, all he had to do was send postcards to all the other fiancées,
letting them know where Ranma was. They would end up fighting
each other and the strongest... Yes this would work! It was perfect!
In fact, it would have been a good idea even if Soun HAD trained
his girls. And to sweeten it, he could continually force Ranma and
the Tendo girls together, which would of course only drive them
further apart, but Soun wouldn't know that. The only problem was
Ranma himself. And of course Family Honor. Genma had a feeling
they wouldn't cooperate.

"So," Soun spoke interrupting Genma's thoughts, "You were
saying something about family honor?"

"Yes. You see...you must understand that I told many stories of
samurai to the boy. Ranma loved them, but he was always
particularly interested in the stories about family honor. A
concubine would have to kill herself to appease family honor, a
samurai would banish himself from the empire so that family
honor could be satisfied, and there were other stories I told him.
About how one family would rule over the others because they had
family honor while the others did not. What I did not realize as I
told these stories is that Ranma did not quite understand what I was
talking about."

"How do you mean?"

"Ranma somehow came to the conclusion that Family Honor was
the name of a very large, vicious, and invisible dog."

"Kids are funny like that."

"Heh heh...yeah...funny."

Just then, Soun and Genma heard a loud sharp scream come from
the dojo followed by a series of alarmingly loud thuds.

"What was that!" Soun exclaimed.

"That would be Family Honor getting acquainted with your
daughter Akane." Genma said.

Soun started to get up but Genma grabbed Soun's arm tightly.

"Don't," Genma cautioned, "You'll only make things worse."

"But my baby!"

"Akane will be fine as long as she performs the Giri Mouko
Taosu."

"What's that?"

"I'm sorry."

"What?"

"As long as she says she's sorry, she'll be fine."

Soun shot to his feet, his face ashen. "She'll be killed..."

"No, she'll be okay. Don't worry."

"I hardly think a large vicious dog is going to be careful with my
baby."

"No she'll be fine. The most she'll get is a few scars."

Soun looked incredulous.

"You see what was supposed to happen was that the cats would
awaken Ranma's Id and it would gather ki around itself until it
could manifest as something semi-corporeal, an extension of
Ranma's body that could still react with the environment." Genma
explained. "The problem is that instead of regressing to a primal
state, Ranma called upon what he saw as a righteous if ruthless
savior. Instead of the power coalescing around Ranma's Id, it
coalesced about his Superego which for some reason Ranma drove
out of himself."

"So in other words, any time Ranma is witness to something he
deems morally reprehensible Family Honor punishes the wrong
doer?"

"Yes."

"Hmm... Akane has a very similar condition, except it involves a
large wooden mallet."

"How do you suppose that happened?"

"I'm afraid Akane never quite understood the culinary arts. She got
the completely wrong idea about what it meant to 'tenderize'. Then
in Junior high she started having trouble with boys..."

"Tendo, did we ever have any paranormal projections of our moral
selves when we were teenagers?"

"Not that I recall, Saotome."

Genma shook his head and sighed as Akane's screams rose in
pitch. "Kids these days..."

"Mmm hmm. Mmm hmm." Soun nodded sagely.

~~~~~*~~~~~

Meanwhile, back in the dojo...

"AAAAAAAAAaaaaaaaaaaaAAAAAAAAAAAaaaaaaaaaaaaAA
AAAAAAAAaaaaaaaAAAAAArrrrrgghhh!" Akane seemed to say
as she was spun around the dojo rapidly by a giant invisible canine.

Nabiki watched, amused, as she munched on some potato chips
and snapped a few photos.

Ranma cupped his hands and yelled to Akane. "Just say you're
sorry! That's all you have to do!"

"NEEEEeeeeeeeEEEEEVeeeeeeeeeEEEEEEER!"

Just as Akane finished her fifteenth revolution, Kasumi entered the
dojo and called out, "Akane! Ranma! Dinner is almost ready! You
can take your baths now!"

Almost instantly, Akane was released allowing her to fly toward
the wall at great speed. The wall desperately tried to stop Akane
but she was a stubborn girl and broke right through, landing in the
koi pond. This would have been impossible, as the pond was on the
other side of the house, except for the intervention of a tree which
caught Akane, bent backwards, and released her as if it were the
second baseman in a peculiar game of baseball. Why the tree did
this is the subject of much debate among the sentient squirrels of
the area, but since no one pays much attention to them, their
opinion hardly matters in the overall scheme of things.

"Oh my!" Kasumi exclaimed, "I hope Akane is all right."

"I'm sure she is, Kasumi. Still...Hey Nabs you think you could
check on Akane?" Ranma asked Nabiki.

"Nabs...." Nabiki muttered. Then she shrugged, popped a chip in
her mouth, and left to witness the aftermath.

"Akane will probably be fine, Kasumi." Ranma assured his
fiancée. Family Honor used to kill all sorts of people, but it's less
violent now." Ranma eyed the Akane-shaped hole in the wall "I
tried to warn her, but she wouldn't listen."

"Yes, I'm afraid Akane-chan never cared for Family Honor..."
Kasumi sighed, "She's a little stubborn but otherwise she's a good
girl."

"Yeah, I saw that a little bit. How'd she get that way?"

"She had a few bad experiences in Junior High, and there is this
older boy named Kuno...but I think really it started when Mother
died. I think Akane took it harder than any of us."

"That's rough. I didn't really get a chance to know my mother. If it
wasn't for Family Honor, I'd probably be just like Akane."

Kasumi nodded sadly. "It's strange...you're the first person I've
ever met who cares so much about Family Honor. Most people
think it's dead."

"I know. Most people don't worry about it 'till it bites them in the
ass." And with that, the two of them walked out of the dojo,
holding hands.

~~~~~*~~~~~~

Akane was floating face down in the koi pond. A red cloud of
blood curled away from her, irritating the fish.

Nabiki popped another potato chip in her mouth.

Apparently Akane was dead.

Nabiki snapped a photo. Maybe she could get some money from
the newspapers.

Nabiki sighed. "Oh well." She poured the last crumbs of potato
chips in her mouth and then shoved the empty bag into her shorts
pocket so she could throw it in the trash later. Then she got into the
water and with an almost clinical efficiency she dragged Akane
out.

She felt the side of Akane's neck, put a hand a couple of
centimeters away from her mouth, then pinched the nose and
wiggled a little. She sighed. "I'm never going to live this down you
know..." and with that Nabiki kissed Akane.

Almost immediately after Nabiki's brief bout with lesbian
incestual necrophilia, Akane started spurting out water. Nabiki
turned her little sister's head to the side and waited.

Akane slowly turned her head up. "N-N-Nabiki? You...saved my
life!" she exclaimed, breaking through Nabiki's line of thought.

There weren't any potato chips left. All of a sudden Nabiki
desperately needed them as her emotions threatened to well up.
Quickly she thought of her options...She could either A. Hug her
sister and tell her how she was so worried and didn't want that to
happen again so please stop doing this stupid martial arts crap. B.
Cry incoherently or C....

Nabiki smirked and held her hand out. "That will be 5,000 yen."

Whew. That was close.
~~~~~*~~~~~

"No, I'm telling you, Nabs, Akane was in no real danger. Family
Honor would not have allowed her to drown. If you hadn't been
there, she would've gotten out of that pond on her own." Ranma
assured resolutely.

"No real danger? Saotome she's a completely different person!"

"Um...she is?" Ranma looked confused.

After Nabiki brought her inside she had done some tests. "How
many fingers?" Nabiki had asked.

"Three fingers!" Akane had replied.

"And who is this?" Nabiki had asked pointing at Kasumi.

"Big sister Kasumi!"

"And this?"

"Daddy!"

"And this?"

"My dear Uncle Saotome!"

Nabiki knew something was wrong, but it was unconfirmed until
Akane had followed Kasumi happily into the kitchen. As if she
weren't Akane, destroyer of kitchens, but instead some Martha
Stewart wannabe with a crack addiction.

"Now, Akane, I'm perfectly capable of cooking dinner by myself,"
Kasumi had said.

But the clincher was when Akane said "Yes, but I really want to
learn to cook! How will I ever please my husband if I can't cook a
meal?" Kasumi managed to keep her from actually touching the
food...but, supper had been super surreal.

Ranma and his father explained about Jusenkyo and Family Honor
while Akane acted like some kind of Kasumi clone...only with not
as much fur or as many arms. Even a stranger had to know
something was up.

Back in the present Nabiki gave Ranma a sub-zero stare.

"Well, alright" Ranma said, "I guess I did notice she was acting a
little different, but it seemed to be a good thing as far as I could
see."

"Saotome, I don't know what game you're playing. I don't really
care. But...Akane has to be able to fight tomorrow. The boys
challenge her everyday at school. I'm giving you responsibility for
her safety. Either cure her or protect her, but it's your mess to
clean up. And you better be serious about marrying Kasumi. If you
break her heart, Saotome I swear I'll...If you hurt either one of my
sisters again you are going to pay. Big time."

As if on cue, Akane started screaming as she ran out of her room.

Nabiki caught her sister as she passed. "What is it Akane?"

"Its terrible! Terrible! It smells so bad!"

Nabiki walked briskly to Akane's room, followed by Ranma and
an overly frightened Akane. She opened the door...and
immediately closed it. The smell was ungodly. Even the small
amount she had allowed through was making her want to gag.
"What is in there Akane?"

"It's probably dog crap." Ranma offered matter-of-factly.

"We don't own a dog Saotome. And there's no way a dog could
make a smell that bad."

Ranma shrugged, smiling mischievously. "Yeah, well...Family
Honor's a bitch. What can I say?"

Nabiki grimaced. And she thought HER pun was bad...

~~~~~[END]~~~~~

AN: Yes, I know that the "real" words to Jajauma ni Sasenaide are
different in places. I know for instance that instead of "ocean
breeze" they say "sea bream" and that's a kind of fish. But it's kind
of hard to say that in a song. Basically I wanted an English version
of the song that I could sing along to, and I felt the viz version was
a little unsatisfactory. (Ranma Ranma, it's me you always tease?
My heart is like Mah Jong to you?) Granted, my version isn't
much better if at all, and the song's kind of silly anyway, but there
you go.

Thanks to NemesisZero, Yakumo, Aondehafka, Jeram,
Edward, and Dunefar for their help. Any mistakes are purely my
own.

Comments and criticisms? Yes please!