Disclaimer: Ranma 1/2 is a trademark of Rumiko Takahashi and Viz Video. I have no ownership to these characters, or names. It is just for my amusement and hopefully yours.
Author's note. This is an alternate universe story. Ranma will be somewhat out of character, though I haven't decided exactly how different he will be. Basically, the premise is that Genma told him about the engagement after the Jusenkyo training, so he has had a couple of weeks to think about it. This Ranma is going to be more intelligent, a bit less of a jerk, and therefore nicer than the one in the canon. The thought is that because he has trained at several different dojos, with many different senseis, he has seen better male role models than Genma, and realized that outside of martial arts, his father is pretty clueless, especially in regards to his attitude toward other people, especially women.
Chapter 1 Enter the Saotomes
It was another dreary day in Nerima, promising rain, later. A middle-aged man, with black hair and a mustache, wearing a training gi, was sitting looking at a shogi board, pondering his next move, drinking some green tea. Finally, he decided what his next move would be, made it on the board in front of him, and then wrote it down on a card. After writing the address on the card, he put in with a stack of other mail. He then picked up his newspaper and began to read. An attractive young woman, with long black hair, wearing an apron, came into the room, apparently from a kitchen, since she was carrying a teapot in her hands. "Father," the young lady asked, "Would you like some more tea?"
The man looked up, and then said, "Yes, thank you, Kasumi, that would be nice. Has the mail come, yet, if it hasn't there are several things here that need to go?" Kasumi shook her head, and poured some more tea in her father's cup, then picked up the mail and left. The man went back to reading his paper.
Kasumi entered her domain, the kitchen, and gazed around it in satisfaction. The room was spotless as was the rest of the house. Obviously this was a woman who took great pride in doing the best she could, even if it was 'only' housework. However, it was also obvious that there was something more than just a housewife about Kasumi, looking at the bookshelves. While most of the books were cookbooks, there were also several well-read medical texts, including some on psychology. Not the typical reading for a housewife. There was a knock on the kitchen door, gaining her attention. There, standing at the door was the mailman. Kasumi handed him the outgoing mail, and received the new mail in exchange. There were several letters, including one postcard, addressed to her father. She carried them into the dining room, and handed them to her father. He put the letters aside, most of them looking like they were bills. Those he would give to Nabiki later. He looked at the postcard; it showed a picture of a panda and a young girl on the front. On the back was a message, 'Soun, old friend, Genma and Ranma arriving afternoon' and a date. He suddenly realized the date was today. He smiled, and thought to himself, 'Finally, my old friend Genma and his son are coming to fulfill the pledge we made before our children were born.' He made a decision, and then asked, "Kasumi, would you find your sisters, we need to have a family meeting, this postcard is exciting news."
Kasumi smiled, and then went upstairs where she knew she would find her younger sister. She knocked on Nabiki's door, and then entered. There she found another attractive girl, with shoulder length, brown hair, dressed in shorts and a buttoned shirt, with most of the buttons undone. She was sitting at her desk, going over what appeared to be a ledger, writing down numbers. "Nabiki, Father would like to have a family meeting, downstairs, would you join us please?" Nabiki looked up, frowned and asked, "What's it about, Kasumi? Is it important, I'm in the middle of something, right now?"
"I'm not sure what it is about, but it must have something to do with the postcard he got in the mail today. Do you know where Akane is?" Kasumi replied.
"She's in the dojo working out," Nabiki said, "Tell Father that I will be down in a minute."
Kasumi went downstairs, and out the door. There was a large lawn area, with a koi pond to the right, and a large wooden building to the left. A wall surrounded the entire property, with a small walk leading from the house to a wooden gate in the stone wall. She walked over to the building, and entered. Inside was a large open space; on the walls were various martial art weapons, and displays. Several banners of tournaments won were also displayed around the walls. However the most prominent display was an altar sitting on a shelf on one of the walls. There she saw her youngest sister, a cute girl of medium height, with blue-black hair, not quite as long as her own. She had just cleaned up the area after breaking several bricks with her hand, as Kasumi entered. Kasumi bowed to the altar, and then said, "Akane, Father would like to have a family meeting in the dining room, could you join us please?" Akane looked up, grabbed a towel and began to wipe herself off. She nodded, and followed her sister into the house. They met their father and sister Nabiki and sat down on the floor around the dining platform.
Soun looked at his daughters for a moment, pride evident in his gaze. "I have received a postcard from a dear friend. He and I trained together for many years and underwent many hardships. He is the other follower of the School of Anything Goes Martial Arts, so we pledged on our family honors that one day we would join our two schools. He and his son Ranma are coming here today, this afternoon, in fulfillment of that pledge. We agreed that our families would be joined in marriage, therefore Ranma will be engaged to one of you, " Soun said.
"Father, how old is Ranma?" Kasumi asked.
Nabiki asked, "Is he cute?"
Akane just glowered, and then said, "Father, how could you have arranged a marriage, what do you know about these people?" She was beginning to get a bit angry.
"Actually, I've never met Ranma. I don't know anything about him, except that he is a martial artist like his father, and they are coming back from ten years of training, most recently in China. I'm sure he is a very nice boy, however," Soun said.
"Oh, My," Kasumi gasped, "You don't have any idea what he is like?"
Soun shook his head. "Nevertheless, our family's honor demands that one of you marry Ranma, so that he can inherit the family house and dojo as a wedding gift," Soun responded.
"Father's right about that," Nabiki said sadly, "We cannot afford the inheritance taxes that would come due upon his death otherwise. No matter how I stretch the budget, it just doesn't work. But if Father gives the property as a wedding gift, there is no taxes on the transaction."
"They will be staying here as our guest for some time, Kasumi, so we need to get t the guestroom ready," Soun added.
'Great, more expenses,' Nabiki grumbled to herself. "Sisters, I don't know that we have much choice if we want to keep the property in the family. I was afraid that this might be the only way, myself, so it's not a complete shock to me." With that she got up and went back to her room. Once she got there, she changed out of her clothes and put on a formal kimono and went back and worked on her books. Akane took a bath, and changed into another training gi. Kasumi sighed, and went into the guestroom to prepare it.
The inhabitants of Nerima have seen many strange sights, but none as strange as the one they were currently watching, on this dreary, rainy day. A panda, wearing a dirty yellow gi, and a kerchief on it's head, was chasing a young, red haired, pigtailed girl, in a Chinese shirt and pants, carrying a huge backpack. The young girl wasn't pulling away, but was clearly keeping her distance. She was yelling something, which as she got nearer, could be heard as "Pop, I'm not going, you can't make me, I want to go back to China." The panda, of course, said nothing. As the girl was running, she turned to look back, as she did so she ran smack into a street sign, knocking her down. Quickly, the panda grabbed the girl, and continued running. Now the girl began screaming, "Put me down, you Baka, at least let me change, they can't see me like this!" Slowly, the panda, with its burden, vanished down the street. The onlookers just shrugged their shoulders, wondering if the circus was back in town.
Kasumi, Nabiki and Akane were gathered together with their father in the dining room, waiting for their guests to arrive, busily speculating on what Ranma was like. Soun just smiled to himself, thinking, "At least they aren't rejecting the idea out right. If only Ranma is a nice boy." There was a knock at the door; Nabiki and Soun got up to answer, hoping that indeed it was their guests. Akane and Kasumi then heard the sounds of panic, Nabiki came running in saying "P p p p a n d a", closely followed by her father. Akane jumped up to get between her family and whatever was coming into the room.
Suddenly, they heard a voice saying, "Ok, you stupid panda, you're scaring them, put me down, now!" A young looking boy, with bright red hair pulled back in a pigtail, dressed in a red Chinese shirt, and black pants, came in; followed by a panda. "Hello, I'm Ranma Saotome, sorry about this," the boy said in a medium pitched voice.
Soun rushed up to him and hugged him, happy that finally his dream had come true. Slowly, he began to realize that there was something wrong. He was feeling something against his chest that just didn't belong. He separated from Ranma.
Nabiki looked at the boy in front of her, thinking, "At least he's cute, but how old is he?" Then suddenly she noticed something, walked over to the boy and put her hand on his chest. "Uh, guys, I don't think this is a boy," she said, as she squeezed what she was feeling.
Ranma looked at her and said, "Would you stop doing that, we haven't even been formally introduced and already you're feeling me up. What kind of girl are you anyway?"
Nabiki blushed and dropped her hand. "Father, didn't you even find out if Ranma was a guy? How dumb can you be, anyway?"
Soun looked at her in shock, and said, "I know Gemna said he had a son, I don't understand this." Then he fainted.
Kasumi said, "Oh My, Father."
Akane looked at the young girl, standing in front of her, and could see the pain in her eyes. Akane felt something, a feeling of pity, for this poor girl in front of her, apparently without a friend in the world. She walked over to Ranma, and said, "Hi, I'm Akane, want to be friends?" Ranma looked at her and her entire face lit up. She nodded. Akane asked, "Do you want to go to the dojo and work out with me?" Ranma again nodded and followed her over into the dojo.
Akane said, "Father said you were a martial artist, are you any good?"
"Yeah, I know a few things," Ranma said, "I generally could beat Pop."
"Well, I'll go easy on you," Akane said with a grin. Ranma smiled back at her.
Akane got in her stance, Ranma just stood there. Akane looked puzzled for a second, and then began to hit at Ranma. Ranma didn't even block, she just swayed out of the way of the punches, jumping back and forth to avoid Akane. Akane started getting frustrated, she couldn't hit her, and Ranma wasn't even trying to hit her. "Come on, fight me," Akane growled.
Ranma just smiled, and then said, "Sorry, I don't hit girls."
Akane started seeing red, and then she charged, full force. Ranma jumped up, touched her on the head and landed behind her. Akane ran full tilt into the wall and bounced back onto the floor. Ranma ran over to help her up, smiling. Akane couldn't stay mad at this cheerful girl. She said, "I guess you're better than me, you beat me. At least you're not a guy."
Ranma's face fell, and she stopped smiling. "Akane," she said, "Despite my appearance, I really am a guy. Sorry." She ran back into the house, looking extremely downcast.
As she entered, Kasumi said, "Why don't you go clean up in the bathroom, then we can talk some more." Ranma looked at her, then nodded, following Kasumi as she showed her the bathing area.
Ranma put out the occupied sign, took off her clothing, placing it on the clothes rack. Then washing herself down with the buckets of cold water, and soap, she cleansed herself. She then walked over to the furo, and got into the hot water. As she did, suddenly she changed into a somewhat taller young man, with pigtailed black hair. He soaked for a while thinking to himself. He finally decided, 'They need to find out the truth, I can't hide this,' he thought to himself. He got out of the tub and began to towel himself dry. Finally, he wrapped himself up in the towel and headed toward the inner door. As he neared it, he heard some noises on the other side. He called out, "Excuse me, is someone out there?"
Akane came into the house, looking to take her bath. She entered the outer room and began to take of her clothing. She noticed that Ranma's clothes were on the clothes rack. 'I guess I can join her,' she thought to herself. Suddenly, she heard a male voice on the other side of the door, asking if someone was out there. Akane threw her robe back on, and then answered, "Yes, I am, who are you?"
Ranma heard Akane answer. He checked his towel, and then said, "Akane, it's me, Ranma. I need to get dressed. Are you decent?"
Akane couldn't believe what she heard; she opened the door between them. There in standing in front of her was a handsome young man, somewhat taller than she was, with black hair, in a pigtail, wearing nothing but a towel around his waist. He was extremely well built, with a broad chest. She couldn't believe what she was seeing, but she kind of liked it.
"Akane, I told you I was a guy," Ranma began, "Why don't we switch places, so that I can get dressed. Once you're done in here, then I can go over the whole story with everyone." Akane just nodded, still in shock. Ranma reached out and pulled her into the bathing area, and he slid around her into the changing room. He shut the door, and then began putting on his clothes, keeping a wary eye on the door between them. Once he was dressed, he knocked on the door, and asked, "Akane, are you ok in there?" No answer. He shrugged, left the bathroom. As he did, he ran into Kasumi, and Nabiki. They looked shocked to see a strange man in her house. "I'm Ranma Saotome, sorry about this. Uh, could on of you check on your sister, I don't think she's alright?" he asked.
Kasumi looked at the strange man, shrugged her shoulders, and said, "Oh, my." Then she went into the bathroom to check on Akane. Nabiki's eyes got large looking at the handsome man standing there. 'He is cute', she thought.
Ranma entered the dining room to find Soun still passed out on the floor. The panda was sitting outside, apparently where Kasumi had banished him, munching on some bamboo shoots. Ranma walked over to the panda, hit him on the head and said, "We could come right over, we didn't have to change, they would understand, you said! What on earth were you thinking?"
The panda looked at him and said nothing. A sign came out of nowhere, on it where the words, 'Oh, well, I guess I was wrong.' Kasumi came out and asked if there was anything Ranma needed. He thought for a second and then asked for some hot water. Kasumi blinked, then left. Shortly, she came back and handed him a teakettle. Ranma poured the hot water over the panda, which transformed into a middle aged, overweight, balding man, wearing the same dirty yellow gi and a bandanna on his head. Again, Kasumi blinked in surprise. Ranma and the man entered the dining area and waited. Eventually, Soun recovered from his swoon.
Soun looked at the two people sitting next to him, "Genma, Ranma, is that you? Daughters, please come join us. Oh happy day!" as he began to weep with joy.
Genma nodded. The three girls came in, Nabiki now back to her normal attire, instead of the formal kimono. They saw an overweight middle-aged man, sitting next to there father. Standing behind them was the same young man that the girls had already met.
"Hello, I'm Genma Saotome," the man said.
"I'm Ranma Saotome," the young man added.
Soun said, "I am Soun Tendo, this is my daughter, Kasumi, 19, my daughter Nabiki 17, and my youngest daughter Akane, 16."
"But we've already met a Ranma, and she was a girl," Akane protested, "I just sparred with her in the dojo."
"It's a long story, Akane, and yes I'm the same person. Remember, I told you in the dojo that I was really a guy," Ranma replied. Then he proceeded to tell the story of the training trip that ended in the disaster at Jusenkyo. As he reached the part of the story where his father fell into the spring, he could tell they needed a demonstration. As his father reached for him to throw him in to the koi pond, Ranma slipped out of his grasp and threw him in instead. A panda rose out of the water, and came back toward the house. Kasumi greeted him with a kettle of hot water, poured it back on the panda, which transformed back into Genma. She then handed him a towel.
Soun began crying, "The tales of the cursed training grounds of Jusenkyo; they are too horrible to imagine."
Nabiki just stared, and then asked, "If they are so dangerous, then why did you go there?"
"Aw, Pop found this guide book written in Chinese that talked about training grounds," Ranma replied.
"Let me guess, you don't speak or read Chinese, do you?" Nabiki asked dryly.
Genma just shook his head, and then put out a sign saying, 'Don't mind me, I'm just a cute panda'
"Pop, cut that out, it barely works when you are a panda," Ranma growled.
Soun broke in, "You change when you are hit with cold water, and change back when you use hot water?" Ranma nodded. "Good, then the schools can still be joined! Please pick which of my daughters you wish to marry."
Genma added, "Yeah, boy, go ahead and choose your fiancée."
Ranma looked at the three attractive girls sitting in front of him. He could tell from their expressions that they weren't real excited about this. As Kasumi opened her mouth, Ranma interrupted.