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
Author's Note: This is a chapter that I originally wrote for my story "A Different Path Taken". I decided not to use it since it changed the mood of the story and made it much more angsty. But since I liked the way the chapter wrote itself, I decided to post it. The point of departure is Nabiki decided she wanted to fight Akane for Ranma and came up with a plan to attempt to steal him away from her. We start this story at the point where Ranma has asked Akane to marry him, and show Nabiki's reaction. Warning, this is not a story for fans of Nabiki.
Chapter 1 Nabiki's Plan
Ranma came back to the Tendo home after a long afternoon of shopping. He had disappeared immediately after class that Saturday, knowing that he needed to be alone for what he wanted to do. He had finally found what he was looking for. It had taken him a long time, but he thought the search was worth it. As he entered the house, he met Akane. "Yo, Acchan, would ya like ta go out ta dinner tonight? I'd like ta take my girlfriend out for a change. This was a real long week with Mr. Kuonji here. I could use a night out on the town," he said.
"I'd love to, Ranchan," Akane said, pleased, "I'll tell your mother that we won't be home for dinner. She took one look at Kasumi when they got back this morning and told her to go straight to bed, and not to even think about housework. Apparently, the trip to her mother-in-law took a lot out of her."
"Wear something really dressy, tonight. I'd like tonight ta be real special," Ranma said, "Can we be ready in about an hour? You just go get ready, I'll tell Mom we won't be home."
Akane nodded and went upstairs. Ranma went into the kitchen and told his mother that they were going out. After taking a quick shower, he headed upstairs to change. He came back downstairs, wearing a very nice suit. Kasumi met him at the foot of the stairs, and said, "Oh my, you certainly cleaned up nice tonight. Are you going somewhere?"
Ranma nodded. "Yes, Kasumi-chan. I'm taking Akane out to thank her for being so understanding this past week," he said. Then a vision of loveliness descended the stairs. In a suddenly tight voice, he said, "Acchan, you're simply gorgeous." He wondered why all of a sudden his collar had gotten so tight.
Akane blushed prettily as he took her arm. "Tell them not to wait up, Sis. We'll be out late tonight," Akane said.
Kasumi beamed and said, "You two look very nice tonight. Have fun!"
Ranma slowly escorted Akane out the door and headed toward the gate. There the limo that he had arranged was waiting. After helping her into the car, he climbed in after her. She leaned against his shoulder as the limo drove off. It soon arrived at the restaurant that Ranma had selected.
"Oh, Ranchan, you remembered. This is where we had our first date," Akane said happily.
Ranma smiled as he escorted her to the hostess. He mentioned his name and they were quickly seated. Akane's eyes grew wide as she realized that it was the same table. There on the table, was a small bouquet of red roses with a card attached. Akane's eyes misted as she read the note written on the card. It said, 'To the girl I love, Ranma'
Ranma ordered wine for the two of them when the waitress appeared to take their drink order. When she came back, he ordered shrimp tempura for the both of them, saying that he wanted to remind her again of their first date. They sat there contentedly gazing at each other's eyes. When the dinner arrived, they ate quietly. Finally, Akane asked, "What are you thinking, Ranchan?"
"That I'm the luckiest man alive. I'm with the girl that I love, and my life is starting to make a little sense. School is over for the year, and we will be juniors starting next week. How about you?" Ranma said.
"Much the same. I'm looking forward to the changes we'll see next year," Akane said.
They began to hear some music in the background. They looked up and remembered that there was a small dance floor tucked away in one corner of the room. A music group had just started playing some dance music. Several couples were already out on the dance floor, slow dancing together. Akane looked wistfully at the couples, eyes misting just a bit.
Ranma said, "Akane, would you care to dance."
Akane's eyes widened. She nodded, almost shyly, as Ranma helped her out of the chair and they walked over to the dance floor. Ranma put his arm around her waist, and held her as they began to dance. They began to move gracefully around the floor. Akane rested her head against his chest and sighed contentedly. When the music finally stopped, after several slow dance tunes, she found herself reluctant to let him go. He smiled gently, and led her back to the table.
He hesitated, and then asked, "You 'bout ready to go?" She nodded. He paid the restaurant bill and helped her out of her chair. They left the restaurant arm in arm, Akane carrying her roses. As they were walking home from the wonderful evening, Ranma led Akane into the park. They sat down on one of the park benches near the fountain. Ranma held Akane in his arms for a long time, gazing into the liquid pools of her eyes. She reached up and pulled his head forward and kissed him hungrily. Finally, and reluctantly, he pulled away. He hesitated, and then, pulled a small box from his jacket pocket. He got down on one knee in front of her. "Acchan," he asked nervously, "I know we said we were gonna wait for a while, but I got ta thinking. Akane Tendo, will you marry me?"
Akane's eyes moistened with tears. "Ranchan, you big dope, of course I'll marry you. I've wanted you to ask me for weeks," she said, as she opened the box, heart hammering in her chest. Hearing those words, he took the engagement ring from the box and slowly slid it on her finger. Akane grabbed her fiancé and kissed him with fervor. "Now, you're really mine," she growled as she reluctantly broke the kiss. She gazed at him, her eyes glistening with happiness.
Ranma gazed into those eyes and lost himself in the love he saw there. "Acchan, I'm so glad you said yes. I was really nervous since we had agreed to wait until we graduated but I just couldn't wait any longer." He leaned forward and captured her lips with his own.
She kissed back, lips parting slightly under the pressure. Her breathing quickened, and her pulse raced. Eventually, they separated, both of them trying to get their passion under control. Akane said, breathlessly, "Ranchan, we'd better stop. Let's go on home. I can't wait to tell everyone."
They walked home, hand-in-hand, sharing the occasional glance and smile. As they entered the house, Nabiki was the only one present. She eyed Akane suspiciously as they entered the living room. Then she hissed in anger as she saw the engagement ring on her sister's hand. 'I can't let this happen. Ranma is going to be mine, or he's not going to be anyone's. I didn't work this hard to lose him now,' she thought. Her mind raced, thinking of a way to derail this engagement. An evil expression showed on her face as she thought of a plan. 'She doesn't deserve him,' she thought blinded by jealousy. 'Thankfully, everyone else is asleep already. I just need to get to Father first thing in the morning,' she continued. She rushed upstairs, ignoring her sister and Ranma. They looked at her back going up the stairs and shrugged.
Kasumi and Tofu left early the next morning. Kasumi had an early class, and Tofu had an early appointment. Ranma headed out to the dojo to workout, while Akane had her morning jog.
Nabiki confronted her father as he was leaving his room. "Father, we need to talk," Nabiki said, as she led him back into his room. She knelt on the floor and said, "Gomen nasai, Father. I have lost my honor. For some time, I have secretly been seeing a young man. Someone else cared for him, someone we both cared for, so we pretended not to be together. We didn't want to hurt her. Unfortunately, our passion could not be denied, and I am now carrying his child."
Soun went demon-head and snarled, "Who is this person?"
"That is where it gets bad, Father. My lover is Ranma," she said tearfully, "I wanted to stop our relationship when Akane fell in love with him, but he refused. You have to believe me; I would never have hurt my sister. I love her too much for that."
"I need to talk to his parents and then I will talk to Akane. You will be married today," Soun growled.
Several hours later, Ranma finished his workout in the dojo and headed back into the house. He was a bit surprised that Akane hadn't joined him as she had said she was going to after her jog. 'I wonder what happened to her,' he thought as he entered the bathroom. He quickly washed up and headed toward the stairs to check on Akane. Before he got there, an obviously angry Soun confronted him
"Ranma, would you join us," he said, "We need to talk."
Ranma followed, curious and a little concerned. "Is there something wrong with Akane," he asked anxiously.
Soun turned, and said, "She's no longer your concern." Ranma stopped when he found his parents and Nabiki sitting in the living room, his mother's face very pale. A priest was standing inconspicuously against the wall.
"Boy, we've decided that it's time for this nonsense to stop," Gemna boomed, "Family honor requires that the Tendo and the Saotome families be joined."
Ranma interrupted, "Pop, Akane and I are still too young to wed. You promised that we would wait until I was eighteen. You even signed a contract to that affect. Where is Akane, anyway? She and I have something –"
"I told you already that she is no longer your concern," Soun interrupted icily, "You will marry Nabiki. You must do that to restore your honor."
Ranma began getting angry. "I love Akane. I asked her to marry me last night. She is the only woman that I will marry," he snarled.
"Nabiki is pregnant with your child," Nodoka said, "You have no choice. Anything else would not be manly." Her hand drifted to the hilt of her blade.
Ranma stared at his mother in shock. "I don't know where you got that idea from. Nabiki may or may not be pregnant. I don't know about that. But it's physically impossible for me to be the father of anyone's child," he said, "I've never had sex with anyone."
"Oh Ranma darling, how can you deny those nights of passion we had," Nabiki said tearfully.
Ranma looked at her, his eyes cold as ice. She took a step back, beginning to fear him. "I think I would have noticed three people in my bed, Nabiki, and I know Akane would have said something. You would destroy your sister's happiness because of your insane jealousy? I didn't think you hated her that much. Were you so blinded by that jealousy that you honestly thought this plan would work? Or did you not care, so long as you hurt Akane? The kids at school always said you were a cold-hearted, mercenary bitch. I defended you, saying that wasn't the Nabiki I knew. I'm sorry I was wrong and that they were right," he said, "Get out of my sight Tendo. If you've cost me Akane, then you better pray to whatever you believe in that I never see you again."
"Boy, don't talk to your future wife that way," Gemna began.
"As for you, what did it take, how much money did she have to offer ya?" Ranma said, his battle aura glowing white with rage. Gemna shrank back in fear.
"Ranma, Nabiki wouldn't lie about this," Soun said.
Ranma whirled to face him and said, "Your wrong. You don't know your daughter at all, do you? She would lie, cheat and steal to get something she wanted," Ranma spat out.
"Ranma, don't talk about Nabiki like that," Nodoka began.
Ranma froze, not believing that she was still defending that bitch. Finally, he said, icily, "Mrs. Saotome."
Gemna said, "She's your mother. You can't talk to her like that!"
"Mother, she's not my mother! My mother would have listened to what I said and would have been open-minded enough to want to know the truth. No, this is some stranger, that I just thought I knew," Ranma snarled. Nodoka gasped and her face went ashen.
Ranma turned to go upstairs. Soun blocked him.
"Out of the love I have for Akane and Kasumi, I won't hurt you Mr. Tendo. Please get out of my way," Ranma growled.
Soun said, "No, I won't let you pass. IF you won't marry Nabiki, then you are no longer welcome here."
"Boy, no son of mine will betray our family like this. You will marry Nabiki," Gemna said.
Ranma froze, his anger building. Then he shivered as he got his emotions under control. "Fine, if that's the way you want it. Mr. Tendo, thank you for your hospitality. I'm sorry that it had to end this way. As for you, Saotome, you have no son. I renounce you and your name, you honorless cur," Ranma said in an emotionless voice. "Now, if you'll let me get my belongings, I'll get out of your house."
Soun slowly shook his head. Ranma stared at him in disbelief. "I didn't think that you would be this petty," he said as he started heading toward the front door. Gemna attempted to stop him, but Ranma knocked him out of the house with a ki blast. He stared at his mother and then turned to Nabiki.
"My congratulations, Tendo. You've destroyed my family and my happiness. I hope you're satisfied with the results of your stupidity," he said icily. He then vanished out the doorway.
Nodoka stared at the doorway in shock and then ran after her son. "Ranma," she began as he went out the front door. He stopped and then squared his shoulders. He ignored her and went through the door. She ran to follow. There she saw Akane with two backpacks. Akane said something to Ranma that she couldn't hear. Ranma's face lit up. Akane gave him one of the backpacks and kissed him. She grabbed his hand and they left through the gate. Nodoka collapsed on the ground, crying bitterly.
Several hours later, Kasumi and Tofu returned and entered the somber house. Tofu looked at his wife in concern and asked, "Are you sure about this?"
Kasumi's face wore an uncommon expression. She was furious and it showed. She nodded to her husband and then went to find her father. Tofu looked at her, and then went upstairs. Kasumi entered the living room to find her father crying, with Gemna and Nodoka looking worriedly at him. "Father," Kasumi said in an icy voice, "What foolishness is this? What have you done, you fool?"
"Wah, my daughter is angry with me," Soun wailed, "I've lost one daughter already. Akane ran off and renounced me. That honorless bastard Ranma ran off with her, leaving Nabiki with a fatherless child."
"How could you have been so stupid? Ranma would never have betrayed Akane with anyone. He loves her and asked her to marry him," Kasumi said.
"Nabiki wouldn't have lied," Soun began, "Not about something like this."
"Not only would she lie, she did lie. Remember, Tofu is her doctor. She had a checkup two days ago. She wasn't pregnant then," Kasumi said, "I'm extremely disappointed in all of you."
Nabiki made the mistake of coming downstairs. "Hi, sis," Nabiki said to Kasumi.
Kasumi turned on Nabiki and spat out, "I'm sorry, do I know you? I only have one sister and you're not her. Father, you didn't lose one daughter today. You lost two. Tofu and I are leaving. Congratulations, both of you. You have managed to destroy two families today."
Tofu came downstairs with their luggage. He stared coldly at both Nabiki and his father-in-law, and then shook his head in disgust. As the two of them headed toward the door, Nodoka stopped them.
"Do you know where my son is," she asked, hopefully.
"I know where my sister and her fiancé are," Kasumi said, "I don't believe you have a son, anymore. He was extremely disappointed in you, as am I."
Nodoka hung her head in shame. She said, "Tell Ranma that I'm sorry. Please give him this. It belongs to him now." She handed Tofu her katana blade. "Tell him that I am not worthy to carry my family honor blade anymore. He deserves to wear this blade. Tell him that I hope one day he will forgive me. I shouldn't have doubted him."
Kasumi's eyes glittered. "You hurt him a great deal, Mrs. Saotome. I'll tell him what you said," she said coldly.
"What happened to Auntie?" Nodoka said softly,, "Oh what have I done?" She began crying again.
Kasumi's eyes softened slightly. "Nodoka, I don't think he meant everything he said today. Give yourselves time, and then call me. I'll arrange a meeting."
Nodoka whispered, "Thank you, dear Kasumi."
Kasumi and Tofu disappeared through the doorway. Soun broke down crying. Nabiki stood there, her face ashen as she finally came to understand what she had done.
That evening in the small, two-room apartment over the Ono clinic, the mood was extremely somber. "Kasumi, I'm glad we ran into ya this afternoon, but I didn't mean to make ya turn your back on your family," Ranma said, "We just weren't sure where we could go!"
"Ranchan, after what happened and about what they were trying to do to the two of you, I couldn't have lived with myself if we had stayed there. The four of us will manage," Kasumi said, "What do you plan on doing?"
"We can't get married. We're underage and obviously won't get our parent's permission," Akane said bitterly, "We need to finish up at school and unfortunately, it's too late for anywhere else but Furinkan."
"I'm glad you thought of calling Ukyo and some of our friends, Acchan. At least some people will know the truth if that bitch decides to spread any lies tomorrow," Ranma said, a little angrily.
"We'll face that if it happens, Ranchan. I think this ring I'm wearing will cause more excitement anyway," Akane said, a little happier as she gazed at the engagement ring on her finger.
"Your mother knows she behaved badly, today, Ranma. The fact that she gave you her honor blade shows that. I hope that the message that came with it will help," Tofu said.
Ranma sighed and then said, "My behavior wasn't any better. I felt betrayed and lashed out at her. I don't deserve to carry this blade, either. It's too soon, the wounds are too fresh for both of us, but we do need to talk. I said some things that I need to apologize for." He yawned and said, "It's getting late, and I'm worn out. I'm gonna go get ready for bed and try ta sleep."
Everyone got up. Kasumi kissed Akane and Ranma goodnight and she and her husband went into the bedroom.
Akane found her pajamas and changed into them. Ranma went to get some water to change but Akane stopped him. She said, "No Ranchan, I want my fiancé with me from now on."
Ranma looked at her in surprise. "I thought we agreed to wait until we got married," he said.
Akane blushed, and then replied, "That's not what I meant, Ranchan. I know our emotions are running kind of strong right now. I just want to hold onto my man is all!"
Ranma smiled and said, "I love hearing ya call me that, Acchan. I'm yours and no one else's." They laid down on the futon and Ranma held Akane in his arms. He kissed her and said, "I'm sorry, Acchan. I wish this hadn't a happened."
"We'll get through it, love," Akane said sleepily, "None of this was our fault."
"Goodnight, my beautiful tomboy," Ranma said with a yawn. They fell asleep still in each other's arms.