MUCH TO DO WITHOUT RANMA
An insane alternat reality fic series by Robster80

A friend of mine on my Mailing List has read up to part 5 of this series and has told me that I should post this up on FF.net. Although I fear major questions concerning the background, and more flames like the one I got for "Prom Fight 2," I'll take a risk and put this up. If most of the reviews are bad after one week, then I shall not post the pother parts and take this one down. -R80



Cell sat alone in the darkness of his room, his eyes red from crying. In his hand, he still clutched a black pigtail: Ranma's pigtail. It's all I have left of him, he thought sadly.

He quietly said, "Activate personal audio journal, entry number 41144-B." There was a small beep from across the room, and a tiny red light appeared. It was recording, but where to begin?

"Ranma Saotome..." he finally said, choking back the tears. "Died tonight saving the life of his cousin, TK." There was more to it than that. Much more, he knew. But there would be another day to tell it all.

"He did it willingly, not just to save the boy, but because he wanted to die. His former fiancée, Akane Tendo, had chosen Ryoga Hibiki despite the fool's Jusenkyo curse, and it shattered him beyond repair." He paused, recollecting from earlier that night when Ranma came to return his identicard. There was such sadness and defeat etched in his face, Cell thought.

He resumed the journal entry. "I don't know what I will do now. Ranma... was like a son to me. My heart goes out to his family for their loss, and even to Akane. She... will never know how much he truly loved her." Looking out the window at the stars, he finished, "Maybe it is all for the best. Still... I shall miss him."

There was a long pause, then the machine shut itself down. Cell turned on a small lamp and stared at a picture of the recent roster of Mega Avengers. Both he and Ranma were in one corner, smiling. TK was on Ranma's shoulders, laughing. Cell turned the picture face down on the desk and returned his gaze to the stars. "Ranma, if you can hear me from the beyond... Your thoughts must comfort TK and the others this night. They will still wait... yet you will never return."

Cell pulled out a small box and placed the cut pigtail in it. As he slowly closed it, he said, "Goodbye... My son..."


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Almost six years later...
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It was a beautiful autumn day at Furinkan High School in Nerima. Room 2-E was filled with students and chatter. The main topics of discussion were about the school's strangest students and staff six years ago. Suddenly, the door opened and the students became silent as a young girl entered the room. This was no ordinary girl. The students had heard about her. She was Miss Hinako, a girl who could drain a person's energy with circular metal objects such as coins, and absorb the energy to change her into a grown woman.

The silence ended when Miss Hinako raised her hand, holding a fifty-yen piece and "borrowed" some energy from the students, but only enough so that they would not fall asleep. The woman then said, "Welcome to your new year at Furinkan High. As you probably guessed, I'm Miss Hinako. Before we begin class, I want to give you all a message: I despise delinquents. Anyone who disrupts the class will not only lose some energy but will stay after school for the next three days. Now, let's begin with the role call..."


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In the Principal's Office, Tatewaki Kuno sat behind his desk. How strange, he thought, that I would replace my Hawaiian nutcase of a father as master of this school. He had assumed control only last year, but he still felt that he was new to being a principal. He thanked the gods that Nabiki was there to help him.

Suddenly, there was a knock at the door. "Yes?" Kuno asked. The door opened to reveal the head secretary and a teen with light brown hair.

"This is the student who transferred from Odaiba High, Principal Kuno," the secretary said.

The boy said nothing, but bowed to Kuno, who beckoned him to sit. He did so, as the secretary closed the door. Kuno put on his glasses and studied the boy. He had the nagging feeling that they had met before. Even the small pigtail was familiar, though it reminded Kuno of another person from long ago. He turned to his computer and said, "Your name, please?"

The boy spoke without emotion. "Takeru Saotome."

Saotome. The name burned through Kuno as memories of years ago flooded his mind. Impossible, Kuno quickly thought as he searched for a file on the boy. He and his father had no siblings. And there is no way that this could be his son. Kuno finally found the file, and said, "Here we go. Now, let's see..." Kuno then stopped to stare at the name on the Birth Certificate copy on the screen: Takeru Takaisha. His cousin. Now it all makes sense! He turned to the boy, who remained unchanged. "So," Kuno said. "We meet again, young TK. I see these past few years have been kind to you."

TK stared back at Kuno. "They have not been kind to me, Principal Kuno. Still, I thank you for the compliment."

"I know you think ill of me, as rightfully so, but I assure you that I am not the brash fool I was when I fought... and also coveted, your cousin. I truly regret that by the time I was ready to apologize he was gone." They stared at each other for a few minutes more. Finally, Kuno asked, "Have you come to avenge him? So be it. I will not resist."

"Oh, please!" TK spat. "First of all, I would waste my energy or time on killing you losers. Second, I've learned that revenge is a sucker's game, in which one gains little and loses all. Third..." he sighed and closed his eyes. "He asked me, with his last breath, to neither hate nor seek vengeance on any of you. He felt that he had caused you all enough pain."

Kuno was shocked. "He did? He truly was a wiser man than I last thought, and more honorable. Tell me, what have you done since that black day?"

"I've been training, since I became the heir to the Saotome Anything-Goes School of Martial Arts. However, it was under several of the Mega Avengers and the Avengers Elite. Even Cologne gave me a few pointers. What's been happening in Nerima? I paid no attention since... after the funeral."

Kuno sighed. "It was terrible. The 'Nerima Gang' just felt apart. My sister went mad after Ranma died, and took her own life months later. Your uncle and aunt severed their ties with the Tendos permanently and currently work for Ukyo Kuonji at her restaurant. She stopped going to school after his death, and wore black for almost a year.

"After finishing college, Ryoga and Akane married, as did Nabiki and I. Kasumi promptly moved out of the Tendo household to live with Dr. Tofu after the weddings. She hardly speaks to Akane anymore. Kasumi was indeed shocked by Ranma's death, and found herself unable to forgive Akane. Nabiki and I reside in my family's mansion with her father. He no longer speaks to anyone, nor goes anywhere. We believe he is permanently shocked by everything that has happened."

"What about Shampoo and the others?"

"The Amazons returned to China four years ago. Shampoo wanted to kill Akane, blaming her for Ranma's death. Mousse convinced her that doing so would not bring back Ranma. By restraining her while he rebuked her, he defeated her and became her fiancée. As for Happosai-."

"He's dead." TK cut Kuno off at the mention of the old pervert's name. "He swore off lechery after Ranma died and trained me in proper martial arts. But the withdrawal of women's lingerie killed him. He said that he had lived long enough and wanted to train the last true heir of the Anything-Goes Martial Arts as redemption for what he did to Ranma. Personally, I think Uncle Genma forced him to."

They stared at each other for another minute, until TK said, "I think I should be getting to class now. If Ranma wasn't exaggerating about Miss Hinako in his journal, she'll be on my case more than with him."

Kuno nodded, then offered to lead him to class. "By the way, have you heard from Cell at all these past years?"

"No, not since the funeral. Why?"

"He vanished after that day. He probably took Ranma's death the hardest next to you. He loved Ranma as a son, you know."

TK nodded silently. An image of Cell crying the night it happened appeared in his mind. He had thought an Android was unable to cry. He had been wrong, especially since Cell was no ordinary Android.


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Kari Kamiya was somewhat relieved when Ms. Hinako had begun the class. She didn't want class to go fast, but listening to a power-stealing kid teacher was better than listening to Davis, her persistent guy friend.

Davis was an okay guy, and they had been friends for over two years. But now he was becoming a pest. He always wanted to be with her, thinking they were on dates. The only real date they had was at a movie where he had tried to make out with her so much, and she ended up walking out on him in the rain. He acted like it never happened, which infuriated her even more. They were in the same classes together and even had the same martial arts class after school. His cousin and his cousin's wife being the instructors didn't help much, either. Especially since they were Ryoga and Akane Hibiki.

Kari's older brother Tai had mentioned them from their old friend Matt Takaisha. Matt had said that Akane was once engaged to his cousin Ranma long before she married, but she broke it off to be with Ryoga. When Tai had asked why, Matt simply replied, "Long story made short, she never loved him." Ranma didn't take the break up well, and had died the night after, supposedly killing himself. What startled Kari the most was that TK, Matt's little brother and her childhood crush, had seen Ranma die. "They were more like brothers," Tai had explained to her, so he was hurt the most. The last time they had seen TK was at Ranma's viewing. Since then, Kari never saw TK again because her family had moved to Nerima soon afterward. She never had a chance to say good-bye to him. Poor TK, she thought sadly. She imagined what he would look like now at her age if he were in her class right now. I wonder where he is now? Does he even remember me?

Almost as if on cue, the door opened and Principal Kuno entered, with another student right behind him. "Ms. Hinako," Principal Kuno said. "I apologize for interrupting, but I have a new student for you. I also apologize for his delay in reaching class. I took up his time interviewing him."

Ms Hinako nodded, then faced the new student. "What is your name?

The boy looked at her and said, "Saotome. Takeru Saotome."

Kari raised an eyebrow at the name, and gave the boy a quiet look over. Takeru? That's TK's real name! Could it be...? Is it him?

Ms. Hinako also gave TK a look of familiarity. "Saotome? Are you related to a Ranma Saotome?"

TK nodded. "Yes, sensei. He is... was my cousin."

The teacher pointed to a seat up front, and TK sat in it. At that moment, TK felt two pairs of eyes pierce through him with different emotions. One was cold, the other... he couldn't describe it. With Ms. Hinako talking with Principal Kuno, TK looked to his left. He saw the source of the cold eyes as he saw a boy about his age with spiky, brown hair, and goggles. Principal Kuno had warned TK about him. He was Davis Hibiki, Ryoga's cousin. From the look on the other boy's face, TK guessed that his cousin had told him his view of Ranma. I'll have to watch my steps now. He's bound to tell Ryoga and Akane. Well, I would have to deal with them eventually. This will only speed things up. He then returned his gaze to the blackboard as Ms. Hinako resumed the lesson. Had he a little more time, he would have found the other eyes that still locked onto his form. He would have been shocked to see someone he would not have dared to think he would see again: Kari.

Kari gave TK one last look before she returned her attention to the teacher. Her outside calm features masked her inner joy and awe. It is TK! And (Kami-sama!) he's more handsome than before! Now I can't wait for school to end, so I can talk with him. I hope he remembers me!


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Lunch period came sooner than TK had thought. He quietly walked out of class and found a peaceful spot under a tree to have his meal. He breathed a sigh of relief that since it was the first day of school, there were only morning classes. Suddenly, he felt a shadow cover him, and looked up to see Davis standing over him. "So," Davis said. "You're Ranma's cousin. My cousin Ryoga and his wife told me all about him. You intend to follow in his footsteps?"

TK simply said, "My cousin made me his successor to the Saotome School of Anything-Goes Martial Arts just before he died. I'm just trying to be the best. I have no quarrel with you or your cousins."

Davis sneered at TK. "You don't fool me, Saotome! Once classes are done, I'm warning Ryoga and Akane about you. And another thing: keep away from my girlfriend! Ryoga trained me as his successor just in case, so I know all his moves and more. So long, Saotome!"

TK watched as Davis walked away, both relieved he was gone, and angry that now he had an unwanted rival. Then, another voice reached his ears.

"I see you got a similar speech to the one I got."

TK looked to his right to see a smaller boy with a bowl-cut standing near him. The boy bowed and said, "Forgive my bad manners. My name is Cody. I'm new here, too."

TK smiled a bit. "I'm Takeru, but you can call me TK. Care to sit down? There's plenty of room."

Cody thanked TK and accepted the offer. "That Davis thinks I might be after his girlfriend just because she said 'hello' to me earlier today. But I'm not into women older than me, even if it's just one year."

TK took a bite out of his lunch. "Who is his girl exactly? He didn't even give me a name."

"That's her over there by the statue, with the camera around her neck. I think her name is Kari Kamiya."

At this, TK froze. Kari?! She's here? He looked in the direction that Cody was pointing, and saw her, talking with some other girls. It is her! Kami-sama, is she hot! But, how can she be dating that guy Davis? His train of thought ended as he watched Davis walk up to Kari. Deciding not to accidentally start a fight, he looked away and resumed eating his lunch. Had he continued to watch, he would have seen Kari immediately walk away, with Davis left standing alone.

Cody had noticed TK's facial expression when he looked at Kari. "You know her, don't you?"

TK sighed. "Yes. But, that was a long time ago. I've changed so much since I last saw her, I doubt she'll remember or even stand me."

Cody carefully studied TK's words and tone as he listened. There was similar, yet contrasting sadness in TK's voice. Cody then realized what might have been the reason. "Who died that was close to you?" He gasped at what he had just said. He hadn't meant to say it aloud.

TK was indeed shocked as to how Cody had correctly guessed such an old memory, but did not become angry. He put his lunch away before he answered. "My cousin, Ranma Saotome, about six years ago. He treated me more like a younger brother since he was an only child, so we had a special bond."

Cody felt guilty for bringing up the subject as he saw a tear emerge from TK's eye. "I'm sorry. I shouldn't have asked."

TK looked at the younger boy and placed a hand on his shoulder. "Doesn't matter," he lied. "My cousin had a hard life thanks to some people he knew. Now that he's dead, no one can hurt him." Not even you, Akane, he thought coldly.


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Once lunch was over, the students were allowed to leave. TK didn't hurry like everyone else. He said good-bye to Cody and went to the boys' locker room. When he came out, he was out of his school uniform and in simple clothes. He walked out to the now empty school lot and towards the gate, where he stopped to see what he thought was a ghost from his past.

"Hello, TK."

TK was stunned as Kari walked up to him, memories of their past adventures popping in his mind. She was also in plain clothes, and was only a footstep away from him when he finally found his voice. "H-hello, Kari. You look great."

Kari said nothing, but smiled while she carefully restudied her old friend, and finally hugged him. She felt the muscles on his back, not surprised at how well built he had become. "I've really missed you, TK."

Now TK was really stunned, but he returned the hug. "I missed you, too, Kari."
He wanted to tell her how much he really missed her, how he needed his friend for a long time, but kept silent. Then, he did something that shocked him: he kissed Kari on her forehead.

The light kiss brought back memories to Kari as well. "I still remember when you kissed me there right after we came back from saving the Digital World that last time." She looked into his face, and finally noticed something different in him. Something sad. "What's wrong?"

"Just... old memories, Kari."

They finally left the school together and walked down the streets of Nerima. TK told Kari loosely about his training for the past six years, keeping it short so he would not bore his oldest friend. Kari was fascinated by his recounts of his training. She could tell he was leaving out a lot, but said nothing. She knew she could ask him to tell it all another time. They suddenly stopped outside the Mega Mansion, the headquarters of the Mega Avengers. TK gazed at the front steps leading to the door. Memories flooded his mind, drowning out the sounds of the city and people around him.

He heard the laugh that haunted him day and night. It grew louder, and louder as images flashed before him: Friezor, his blood-red eyes piercing him. The explosion that rocked the mansion, brought down a wall, and tore Rusty apart bit by bit. Cell screaming something, crying out a name. A crimson beam firing from Friezor's fingers, looming closer until it hits Ranma in his side, tearing a good chunk of flesh and muscle away. Ranma screaming first out of pain, then pure rage. One final image seemed to stick: Ranma lying still, dead. His blood pouring out his side.

"TK?"

Ranma! Oh god!

"TK, what's the matter?"

Ranma, no! Don't die! Don't go!

"TK!!"

Kari's shouting finally snapped TK out of his trance. He looked around, confused. When he realized where they were again, he quickly turned away from the mansion. Tears suddenly came to him, the memory too much to bear.

Kari was now very worried. He took one look at the Mansion and just blanked out. Why is-? She then saw the tears in his eyes, and she knew. Oh Kami-sama! This must have been where-! "TK, let's go. My apartment's not too far from here." Her soft words reached his ears. Does she know what I was seeing? He nodded his head slightly, and let her lead him away.


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Underneath the Mansion, a silent figure watched the two teenagers on the monitor walk away. He sadly shook his head, saying, "He's not ready." The figure then looked at the report resting in his third hand and read it to the darkness, "King Cold attacked Char, killing all guards and some prisoners. Friezor is among those missing. Remain on guard."

A small buzzing sound broke the silence, and a door opened. In stepped a large, muscular blue creature. "You saw him, too, Rusty?"

Rusty turned to face his visitor. "I have. He must be ready soon, Burter! There's no telling when that bastard and his father will come here. And with most of the main powerhouses galaxies away, we'll be dead ducks."

Burter nodded. "I plan to speak with him tonight. He has a right to know since it was Friezor who killed Ranma."

Rusty nodded in disgust. He recalled that night Ranma died at the hands of Friezor. And he had been powerless to help since he had been taken out first in the blast marking the villain's entrance. Thanks to Friezor, not only was a good friend/honorable man dead and that he himself had become mostly machine, but a little boy scarred possibly for life. Rusty clenched all his fists, both flesh and mechanical.

Burter then said, "Rusty, no one wants to see Friezor die more than you, TK, and myself. We've all suffered because of that savage and his father."

Rusty said nothing, but knew what Burter meant. Even after many years, Burter had not forgotten the death of his only child at King Cold's hands. Perhaps that is why he first trained TK.




The beginning...