DISCLAIMER: "Ranma 1/2" is the copyright and registered trademark of Viz Communications, Kitty Productions, and Rumiko Takahashi. All right reserved.

Ranma Ascension SE

by Michael "TheZorch" Haney

Notes: As you may have guessed the original "Ranma Ascension" is now dead. I ran into several problems trying to come up with an ending to the story when I finally figured out why I was having such a hard time. Actually it was a few things I discovered; one the story was progressing way too fast, two Akane was not acting the way I actually envisions with the original story, and three Ranma never showed any signs of having Urd's personality mixed with his. With that mind I decided to rewrite the whole damn thing starting with Part 1. Essentially its the same Part 1 from the original with several minor changes here and there, corrections to grammar that was needed, and additional dialog was added in a few places. The next chapters will not be anything like the original RA but I hope you like it just as much as the original version.

Chapter 1: Rebirth

So much pain!
Cats everywhere!
Claws tearing at me!
I want my mommy!
Let me out!
I see light!
A girl!
She's so pretty!
An angel!
She hugs me!
She says, "Everything is going to be alright, sweet Ranma."

Saotome Ranma shot up out of his futon, he was covered in sweat. He knew what had just happened, he was dreaming about the Nekoken again. Yet, every time he did he dreamed about, her. She was beautiful, normally the images of dreams would fade from the martial artist's mind after he awoke from his dreams, but the face of this girl was still there as fresh as if he's seen her just that same day. She was beautiful beyond words, not overtly sexy like Shampoo, nor possessing the cute attributes of Ukyo. She had a beauty that spoke elegance and a sensual grace at a level none of his iinazuke could ever reach. Who was she, why was she in his dreams, and why only the dreams of the Nekoken?

Ranma looked around his and his father's bedroom. It was still dark outside but the digital clock on the floor next to his futon showed it was only an hour before Kasumi usually woke up to start breakfast for the family. His thoughts went out to Kasumi then, she worked so hard for her family, and him and his pop. They were pretty much the freeloaders of the Tendo home, and Ranma really didn't like the idea of putting such a burden on the family like that. It wasn't because of Akane, hell no, it was because of all the girls Kasumi was the one Ranma really respected. She was like the mother he never had growing up, yeah she is really pretty, but he couldn't bring himself to think of her in a romantic sort of way. She was something pretty special, totally unlike her sisters. She didn't abuse him like Akane did, and she didn't exploit him like Nabiki did.

With that in mind Ranma got up and decided to go downstairs. He really didn't feel like going back to sleep, where he'd likely dream about the Nekoken again. Grabbing a fresh set of clothes he headed for the bathroom downstairs. He saw the light in the kitchen and heard the sound of pots and pans being moved about. Before heading to the bath right away he went to the kitchen door. Kasumi, dressed in her usual blue pokkadotted dress and apron was softly humming a Morning Musume tune as she got out the things she needed to make breakfast. She turned around holding a large pot and spotted Ranma. It shocked her so much she dropped it, thankfully it was empty at the time.

"Oh my, you startled me Ranma." she said as he picked up the pot for her.

"Sorry, should have said I was here." he replied.

She took it and turned back to her work at the counter. "You're up rather early."

"Uh, yeah, I sorta had a bad dream and I didn't feel like going back to sleep." he admitted.

"I see." she replied. She noticed the clothes he was holding and said, "I haven't had time to fill the furo yet, could you do that for me when you're done in the bathroom."

"Sure." said Ranma as he turned to leave. He stopped and looked at the oldest Tendo sister. Something inside of Ranma made him say what he said next, and for the life of him he could not say why he said it only that it made him feel good when he did.

"Kasumi." he turned back to her.

"Yes Ranma." she looked at him.

"Thank you." he told her with a smile.

She looked puzzled. "For what?"

"For being who you are, for taking care of us and putting up with me and my pops." he replied. "You're really special, and I think sometimes we really don't show you enough appreciation."

"Why that is the sweetest thing anyone has ever said to me." she smiled back at him.

Ranma nervously scratched the back of his head and replied, "Uh, I'll go get my bath now, and I'll fill the furo for ya."

"Alright, good bye Ranma." Kasumi happily returned to her work. There was a change to her though, she seemed more cheerful if that was possible for Kasumi, and her very body seemed to be radiating joy.

Ranma quickly went to the bathroom, undressed in the changing room first, then went into the bath. He passed the bathroom mirror, but the reflection for a brief moment was not his own. It was a woman, not his cursed form, but a woman with long platinum blonde hair, dark skin, and unusual blue markings on her face. The girl smiled for a brief moment then vanished, her image replaced by Ranma's own reflection. During all of this his back was to the mirror so he saw none of it. The martial artist pulled out the wash stool and filled the wash tub with cold water. Bracing himself he dumped it over his head, instantly Ranma felt the tingling feeling of his transformation and looked down at the two huge mounds on "her" chest.

"Geeze, I think they're getting bigger." she said holding her ample breasts in her hands. "That's all I need." That last came out in a sigh, it was bad enough he had this curse, and with freaks like Kuno Tatawaki and Happosai around being a girl was hazardous. Being a girl with massive boobs around Happosai was especially dangerous, and in female form Ranma was bigger than Shampoo. Ok, he had to admit he was also prettier than most of the girls in Nerima, and some of the girls at Furinken High were actually jealous of her at the same times. Akane was one of them, Ranma knew full well it was her female body that made her so mad at him sometimes. Akane was very self-conscious about her figure, and her breast size. It also didn't help that he belittled her small attributes a lot too. Wait a minute, where the hell did that come from? Ranma shook "her" head, must be because I woke up too early, yeah, that's it.

After a good scrub and another good douse of cold water Ranma went to the furo and ran the warm water. She waited until the large tub was filled to the right height, turned off the water, and climbed in. She felt the tingling of the transformation and instantly grew taller. Ranma sighed, happy to be back in male form again and just relaxed for a while. Most westerners could not handle the high temperatures Japanese like their water to be for their bathes. The Japanese were a people who believed in being clean, and bathing every morning was something of a regular ritual.

With his bath over Ranma drained the furo and filled it back up with fresh water for the next person. He dried off in the changing room and slipped into his fresh change of clothes. It was his usual red Chinese tunic, a pair of boxer shorts, a tank top type under shirt, and his black drawstring pants. As he opened the door to leave Akane was there about to come in.

"At least you're dressed this time." she said then passed him quickly and vanished into the changing room.

Ranna sighed thankful that she didn't clobber him this time like the two times before when they walked in on each other in the bath. He was almost to the dinner table when he heard a loud battle cry. Ranma crouched low, there was a blur of motion to his left, he dodged quickly out of the way narrowly avoiding his father's jump kick that would have connected with his head.

"You're getting slow pops." Ranma teased.

"I'll show who's slow boy!" Genma roared and came at his son again.

Ranma leapt through the shoji door into the backyard, giving the koi pond some considerable distance. Genma was on top of him almost immediately forcing Ranma on the defensive and using every blocking technique he had in his arsenal. Nabiki came shambling down the stairs to the dinning room and looked out at the two martial artists.

"Every single morning, can't they give it a rest for once, I'd like to sleep in a little just one day." she yawned.

Akane emerged from the bathroom all bathed and dressed in her school uniform ready for another insane day at Furinken High. She looked out at her iinazuke and her so called future father-in-law going at it full force. She sat down next to Nabiki who was nursing a cup of steaming tea trying to wake herself up.

"They woke you up again, eh?" Akane asked.

"Every morning." Nabiki replied with a yawn.

"Its good the boy stays fit, one day he will be in charge of the dojo and a good master of a dojo must be strong in body and in mind." Tendo Soun commented from the other end of the table while his face was buried in a newspaper.

"What does that make you?" Akane asked sarcastically.

"YYYYAAAAAHHHH!" came a scream from outside. Akane gave a deep sigh, she didn't have to look to see who it was. As was her regular morning ritual she went to the kitchen, grabbed the kettle Kasumi always set aside for Ranma and his father went out on the back porch. Sure enough, she watched as the petite, big breasted red head climbed out of the koi pond sputtering and tossing out enough curses to make a sailor blush.

"Dammit pops, now I gotta go change clothes again!" Ranma yelled at her father.

"Every single morning, every single morning you're falling into that pond." Akane said to her. "Its really pathetic."

"Who asked you?" Ranma snarled.

She reached out for the kettle in Akane's hand but the girl pulled it back and smirked. "Maybe I should make you go to school this way, I'm sure Kuno would love to see his pig tailed girl today." she laughed.

"That ain't funny, you uncute tomboy." Ranma hissed.

Akane tossed him the kettle. "I thought it was hilarious." Ranma caught it by the handle expertly then poured its contents over her head. Instantly he was back to normal but still soaking wet.

"Now, now, Akane you know how sensitive Ranma is about his condition." Kasumi said waving a finger at her youngest sister. She turned to Ranma and handed him a large bath towel.

"Thanks Kasumi." Ranma took the towel and started drying his hair and patting down his clothes.

"Breakfast is nearly done, why don't you go and change your clothes." Kasumi added as she went back to the kitchen. "I'll have your food on the table by the time you come back down, alright."

Akane wasn't sure what was happening here but she felt as if something was up. She put her hands on her hips as she watched Ranma head towards the stairs. She went to the kitchen. "Why are you suddenly being so nice to Ranma, sis?" she asked.

Most of the Tendo family considered Kasumi to be pretty unobservant or even a little out of touch with reality. Nothing seemed to phase her at all, well almost nothing like the incident when Akane's hair got cut many months ago, but all in all she seemed rather clueless about things that happened around the house. From time to time she would surprise her family, from time to time her real intelligent would shine through and they'd see the real Kasumi. In that moment it was Akane's turn to witness her sister's true nature. It was Kasumi's reply that shocked Akane to her core.

"Well Akane, nobody else will."

Akane kept silent on her way to school. As was his customary ritual, Ranma was up on the fence. Kasumi's words ran through Akane's mind over and over again. Kasumi was nice to everyone in the house, even Ranma, but something about what Kasumi did and said that morning seemed different for odd reason. The baka had better not have tried anything with my sister! It was easy for her believe Kasumi was being nice because of something Ranma did. He was always grabbing onto those other girls, wasn't he? What did she mean by "nobody else will"? She decided to have a talk with Kasumi after school to find out what was up. If Ranma had tried something with her she wanted to know about it so she could pummel him for it.

Both Akane and Ranma were very thankful that Kuno was absent from school that day. He was laid up with the flu and under the care of Dr. Tofu. Without the annoying poetry spouting buffoon around the two were actually on time to homeroom for once. Lunch time could not have come sooner for Saotome Ranma, his stomach growled angrily as he sat down under his favorite tree in the school yard and opened up the lunch bag Kasumi made for him that morning. In the corner of his eye he spotted movement. Kuonji Ukyo was approaching, she wore her usual boy's uniform, bandoleer, and her trademark oversized Baker's Peel was slung over her back.

"Hey Ranchan." she greeted him.

"Hi Ucchan." he waved.

The Okonomiyaki chief set about assembling her portable grill and in seconds was grilling a couple of crispy okonomiyaki. "So, how has school been today?" she asked as she worked.

"Dull, with Kuno out sick it been pretty boring." Ranma replied lazily.

"I wondered why there wasn't a fight this morning." Ukyo shrugged and sprinkled the toppings on her two masterpieces.

"Akane's been acting weird though." he added.

Ukyo put one of the okonomiyaki on a napkin and handed to Ranma who gratefully took it and munched it down in record time. "Its customary to taste your food when you eat it, Ranchan." she laughed.

"Its a habit, I'm always competing for food with pops at dinner time." he explained.

"Geeze, some father." Ukyo scowled. She had little respect for Saotome Genma, especially after he stole her dowry and left her behind, but also because of the way he treated Ranma all the time. It was no secret that she hated the overweight panda man with a passion.

"He ain't much of a dad, but he's all I got." Ranma sighed.

"It could be worse, Happosai could have been your father." she joked.

Ranma's face suddenly turned a bright shade of white. "That ain't funny, that's sick."

"See what I mean?" she asked.

"Its bad enough the old freak's the master of the Anything Goes school." Ranma replied.

A loud crash resounded through the school yard. Ranma and Ukyo looked up just as Shampoo and her Bicycle of Death came flying over the school yard wall. Students sitting around the yard scrambled to get out of the way as she came down hard tearing a deep gouge in the lawn. The bike, incredibly, wasn't the least bit hurt by this and quickly the bubbly Amazon was at Ranma's side with a Nekohauten takeout box.

"Nihao, Ranma, Shampoo bring you special deluxe ramen for lunch, it too, too delicious!" she cheered. She spied Ukyo and her portable grill with a scowl. "What Spatula Girl doing here?"

"Making okonomiyaki for my Ranchan." she said.

Shampoo stuck her nose up at that. "Food Shampoo make with own hands better than greasy bread Spatula Girl make."

Ukyo stood and reached for her Baker's Peel. "What did you just call my okonomiyaki?"

"Greasy bread." Shampoo happily replied.

"That's what I thought." Ukyo replied, brought her weapon forward and attacked. Shampoo put the delivery box down and had her bonbori maces in her hands in less than a second. The clash of steel against steel rang across the school yard. Akane and her friend Yuka sat some distance away and looked up to see Ukyo fighting with Shampoo.

"Hey, isn't that Ukyo?" Yuka pointed. "She fighting that girl from that Chinese restaurant across town."

"Ranma." Akane sighed. "I'd better go see what this is about." She got up and Yuka followed her. When they reached the scene of the battle Ranma was already on his feet trying to break up the fight. Shampoo stood sticking her tongue out at Ukyo while Ranma hold her arms in a vice like grip.

"Ranchan let me go so I can pound that Chinese bimbo, insulting my cooking is an insult to my honor!" Ukyo cried.

Ranma tried his test to get her to settle down. "Ucchan, please, settle down."

"Good idea, airen should stop stupid Spatula Girl from getting hurt." Shampoo commented.

"What's that supposed to mean?!" Ukyo growled and with a sudden surge of untapped strength she freed herself from Ranma and renewed her fight with Shampoo.

"What's going on, why are they fighting?" Akane asked Ranma who just had a helpless look on his face.

"Ucchan was making me some okonomiyaki when Shampoo showed up and insulted her cooking." he replied. It was then that he realized whom he was talking to. He could see the air around Akane suddenly ripple as her chi started to superheat the air around her body.

"So, you'll eat Ukyo and Shampoo's cooking but you won't eat the lunch my sister made you!" she fumed.

Ranma threw up his hands in a vain attempt to calm her. "No, I already ate what Kasumi made me!"

"So you're saying it wasn't good enough!" Akane stomped towards him, her battle aura flaring into existence.

"I didn't say that!" he protested.

Akane reared back her leg and cried, "It sounded like it to me!" Ranma knew he should have dodged the kick, Akane certainly moved slow enough. Her foot hit him in the jaw sending him flying into the air. This had become such a regular occurrence around Furinken High that the students payed him no mind, besides they were more interested in the fight between Ukyo and Shampoo. The two martial artists stopped in mid battle as they heard the familiar sound of Ranma flying off into the wild blue yonder.

"Ranchan!" Ukyo shouted.

"Aiya!" Shampoo cried.

"Baka." Akane sighed.

The two women broke off their fight and went running after him. With great ease they cleared the school yard wall and kept running. Ranma was used to this by now, he wondered where he was going to fall this time. He hoped where it was it wasn't wet. He looked down and noticed he was starting to fall towards a construction site. There were men milling about in hard hats, and large machinery that Ranma couldn't identify. To his horror he realized he was about to fall into one of the machines. He tried his best to change his course but he was moving too fast. Only just a few meters from impact he closed his eyes and hoped for the best. Before the world around him blanked out he felt the most intense pain he had ever felt in his entire life.

Akane and Nabiki walked home together. All that day neither of them had seen Ranma, Shampoo or Ukyo. He probably ran off with one of them somewhere, the pervert. Akane was still fuming some from the confrontation at lunch time. After her sister had been so nice to him he went and did that. As they approached the house Akane noticed her father and Genma waiting outside the gate. She looked at Nabiki questioningly but she just shrugged her shoulders. When they both reached the gates to the Tendo family home Akane noticed Kasumi was there too. She was standing inside the yard, her face was flushed and she had tear streaks on her face.

Kasumi, crying, Kasumi's never cried since mommy died. She looked at her father, there were tear streaks on his face as well, there were even a few tears in the eyes of Ranma's father.

"What's going on, why has Kasumi been crying?" she asked.

Soun put his hands on his youngest daughter's shoulders and looked her in the eye. "Akane, its, its Ranma."

"What about that pervert?" she asked.

She heard Kasumi suddenly break out in renewed sobs and this put her on sudden alert. Something major has happened. "He's in the hospital." Genma told her.

"What!" Akane and Nabiki both shouted at the same time. Ranma rarely ever got sick, and any time he ever got hurt he usually recovered very quickly after a brief trip to Dr. Tofu's clinic.

"H-H-H-He is, is, oh now the schools will never be joined!" Soun tried to say but his trademark shower of tears sprayed the yard.

"Mr. Saotome?" Akane asked, now she was starting to get scared. She hadn't seen Ranma since she punted skyward that same day.

"Akane, he's in the ICU ward." Ranma father said. "He was mauled by a machine in a construction area near the high school, they don't expect him to live through the night."

"NANI!" Akane cried tears flowed from her eyes. She staggered backwards, the world around her started to swirl out of control. Images of everyone she knew appeared swirling around her as if they were caught in a whirlwind. Together they chanted, "Its all your fault! Its all your fault!"

"NNOO!" she cried before collapsing to the ground.

After she was revived the family went to the hospital. Ranma had been moved to special a private room in the ICU ward so that he could be with his family. Ranma didn't respond to anyone's voice, not his father's, not Akane's frantic cries, nor even Kasumi's gentle voice. As time passed it was getting very late, Akane decided to stay with Ranma so she could be with him when he died. The rest of the family returned home. Alone with Ranma's shattered body, Akane held his hand and cried. His entire stay at the Tendo dojo replayed in her mind over and over again. As she watched every incident of her hitting him, punting him into the air, and coming to all the wrong conclusions she hated herself more and more. It was never really Ranma, it was her, it was all her. She wanted to die, wanted to die right here and now at his side. It was her blind temper that killed him. A sudden desire to visit the hospital's shrine overcame her, Akane stood up, kissed Ranma's forehead and left the room.

Moments passed, then suddenly a bright light flared from the television on the wall. A pair of shapely legs emerged followed by an even more shapely body. The figure was draped in a very revealing outfit with long platinum blonde hair. She dropped to the floor and looked around to make sure nobody has seen her entrance. A large mirror in the room began to shimmer and glow. A similarly elegant beauty in white robes emerged, floated into the room and alight to the floor next to the other.

"Well, here we are." said Urd.

"Are you certain this is what you want to do?" Belldandy asked her.

"Either way I'm going to vanish, whether he lives or dies." her older sister replied. "I just didn't realize I'd have to do this so soon."

"Is there no other way?" Belldandy looked at the dying young man on the bed.

"No, I made this decision to do this a long time ago when he was just six years old." Urd explained. "I felt in his soul that he was meant for something great and I had to save him from his father's stupidity. It was the only way I knew that would save him then."

"You do realize what this will do to both of you." said Belldandy.

Urd nodded. "Yeah, father was kinda upset with me over this, but in a way I guess he was proud of me at the same time."

"What you did was selfless, a bit extreme, but it was very selfless." Belldandy smiled at her sister.

"I guess this means goodbye." Urd sighed.

Belldandy took her sister's hand. "Not really, I may be losing a sister, but I'll be gaining a brother."

Urd gave her that crocked smile that was her trademark. "Try to break this to the kid softly, you know how Skuld can get."

"I will." Belldandy promised.

Belldandy let go of her sister's hand and watched as Urd floated into the air and hovered above the body of the young boy. She reached out and touched the young man's face. "He's grown up to be really handsome, I can see why so many girls chase after him." With that she floated down and slowly began to merge with the body of the young boy.

When it was done Belldandy wiped a tear from eyes and floated towards the room's mirror. She stopped to look back at the dying boy and said, "Goodbye sister."

Akane knelled before the hospital shrine dedicated to the Goddess of Health, she clasped her hands in front of her, tears streaming down her face. Her prayers called out to the spirit of her mother. Little did she know her prayers were being heard, but by someone nobody would never have expected. Akane blamed herself for everything that went wrong with her relationship with Ranma. She let her experience with the boys at school cloud her perception of men. She was a mean spirited, spoiled brat who got mad whenever thing didn't go her way or when she wasn't the center of attention. She was just beginning to realize this, now it was too late to do anything about it.

"Mother, I really messed up." she said softly. "Now the man I love is paying the ultimate price for my stupidity. Its all my fault, I shouldn't have hit him then or ever, I should have been nicer to him. Kasumi was right when she nobody else will be nice to him, because I sure wasn't. I love him so much, and now I can't tell him. I-I-I wish I could have a second chance to tell him how I feel."

Akane jumped with a start as she heard a voice whisper out of nowhere and everywhere at the same time. "Wish granted."

She gasped and looked around in fright. The small shrine room was completely empty of other worshipers, and even the shrine keeper wasn't around. Then she heard a sound, a dry crackling noise in front of her. She turned towards the shrine and noticed the sound was coming from one of the potted plants. One of the plants had died, its stems hung limp to the side of the pot, its leaves and flower petals had withered and turned brown. Now the stems were rising, the leaves and petals become fuller, the color was returning to the stems and flowers. Within only a few seconds the dead flowers were alive once again and full of vibrant colors.

"Oh my!" Akane gasped covering her mouth with her hands and tears streamed down her face. She leapt to her feet and ran from the room. The hospital was not so crowded at night, so she had no trouble making it back to Ranma's room. Nurses from the night shift looked in her direction as she raced by at a speed they'd never seen a human being run at before. She was running so fast she left a fierce shockwave of air behind her that sent loose paper flying. She flew through the door to Ranma's room and was at his side like a shot. Akane reached out and grabbed his hand and squeezed it.

"Ranma." she said softly.

"Um. Can't a guy get some sleep in this place." she heard him say. Akane could not believe it as the light over the bed came on and Ranma sat up. The layers of bandages and many tubes that had covered his body were gone. He smiled at her softly, then braced himself as Akane launched at him and threw her arms around his neck.

"RANMA!" she cried, tears streamed down her cheeks in a torrent now as she held him tight and vowed to never again let him go. Without any of the hesitation he had ever shown before Ranma wrapped his arms around Akane and held her. She cried into his chest releasing all the anger and resentment she ever showed towards him since he came to Nerima. Before long she felt both physically and mentally spent. Ranma scooted over in the hospital bed, and laid her down beside him. She cuddle up next to him and drifted off to sleep without saying a word. Ranma kissed her softly on the cheek before turning off the light and pulling the cover over both of them.

Ranma sat in a dark place, he could see his arms, legs, and chest as if a light were shining down upon him but as he looked up he saw only the same blackness. He also couldn't feel a floor or any walls yet he was able to stand and walk. Soon he running, fast and faster, and when he realized he wasn't getting anywhere he stopped and sat down. He wasn't sure what he was sitting on since he couldn't feel a floor at all.

"Hi there." came a voice.

Ranma turned around a woman stepped out of the darkness, a woman who quite literally stepped out of his very dreams. It was the woman from his nightmares of the Nekoken, the angel that came to him, held him in her arms and told him everything was going to be alright. She was tall and beautiful, wearing an outfit that was rather revealing leaving very little to the imagination. Her figure reminded him very much of Shampoo's, but her skin had a dark tanned color while her hair was platinum blonde. On her face she had several curious blue markings like tattoos.

"Its, its you." he said.

"I'm glad you remember me Ranma." his dream angel said.

"Who are you?" he asked her.

"I'm you, at least now I am." she replied.

"Huh?" his eyes went wide.

She held her arms wide and did a spin sending her outfit flying revealing even more of her curvaceous figure. "What you see is what was once Urd, Goddess of the Past and Love." the girl said putting a little emphasis on the "L" word.

"What do you mean 'was once'?" Ranma asked.

She walked up to him and knelled down in front of him. "Remember the Nekoken, remember when I came to you." she said. Ranma nodded. "Your father was a real baka, I see he hasn't changed much since back then, but I'll go on. You see the instruction manual your father had was a mistranslation of the ancient texts about the training technique. The Nekoken was supposed to create a berserker, a killing machine, not some of the time and only showing up when your fear of cats reaches a certain height, but all the time."

"Whoa! Time out here, you're saying I could have been caught in the Nekoken form forever!" Ranma was shocked. "So what stopped it from doing that?"

"I stopped it." Urd explained. "There was only one way I knew that would have protected your mind enough, sure you'd still have the madness but it would only show when you were frighten by a cat and that fear became overwhelming, but what did happen to you is way better than the alternative."

"I guess, so why are you here, and what is this about you being me?" Ranma asked her.

"To save you I had to assimilate with you, but only partially so we'd be joined but still have separate minds and bodies." she replied softly. "On that day we ceased being Urd and Ranma as individuals and we became one, in a sense."

"Whoa! Whoa! I don't understand!" Ranma waved his hands in front of her. "You made yourself a part of me?"

"And vice versa, a part of you became a part of me." she went on. "And that is the way it has been until now."

"Until now?" he asked her and wasn't sure if he wanted to know the answer.

"Do you remember what happened to you?" she asked.

Ranma had to think for a moment, he remembered the fight with Akane at school, flying through the air, and seeing the construction yard, but little else. "Only bits and pieces, something happened to me didn't it."

"You were torn up pretty badly by a machine that grinds up rocks." Urd told him. "You weren't expected to live through the night."

Ranma looked into her eyes with a shocked expression and said, "I'm dead."

She smiled at him sheepishly and patted his cheek. "You are a bit slow aren't you Ranma."

"Am I dead?" he demanded.

"No." she replied. "And yes."

"Its either yes or no, I don't think there is an in between unless I'm some ghost or vampire or something." he said sarcastically.

Urd just laughed, "The Saotome Ranma and Urd that everyone knew is dead and gone, we are what remains. Before your body gave up its fight for life I completed the assimilation, we are both now one body and one mind."

"Really?" this was starting to fascinate Ranma. He never imagined anything like this was possible. Then he asked, "What does this mean to me, as a person?"

"Saotome Ranma is now a combination of your personality and mine." Urd explained. "Both of our memories are intact so you will remember everything that I know, and you will be the dominant personality so you don't have to worry about living as girl the rest of your life, but you will be comfortable with your female form for now on."

"NANI?!" he gasped.

She patted his cheek again. "Relax, you won't start liking guys or anything like that, you'll just be comfortable with it. It won't be embarrassing to you anymore."

Ranma sighed and looked visibly relieved at that. "What about Akane?"

"She's pretty torn up over all of this, she was contemplating suicide so she could die with you but me and my sister, your sister now, put a thought into her head to go pray at the hospital's shrine to get her mind off that idea." Urd replied.

"She was going to kill herself!" Ranma was on his feet with a shocked expression on his face.

"She loves you Ranma, and like you she has a hard time showing her true feelings." Urd gestured for him to sit back down. "That won't be a problem anymore, since this change will also make it easy for you to share your true feelings with those you care about."

"I see, uh, if we're merged how is it we can talk to one another like this?" he asked.

Urd gestured around at the blackness. "This is the world of your subconsciousness, the void where your dreams and nightmares take place. It is here that we can be as we once were and talk to one another."

"So when we're awake we're a combination of the two of us, but when we're asleep we can be our old selves." he said.

Urd patted his cheek again. "By George I think he's getting it."

"Now what?" Ranma asked.

"Well, among the other changes you are now like I used to be, you Ranma are a Kami." Urd told him, and Ranma's face became a mask of absolute shock. "I was a limited status second class goddesses, due to your unique situation you are a god in male form and a goddess in female form. You are immortal and virtually invulnerable, nothing short of some very powerful magic can hurt you. And it would have be some pretty potent magic too. The only thing you'd really have to watch your back for are Demons from the underworld."

"I've had a run in with a couple of them." Ranma smirked at her.

"You haven't seen real demons, there are some that make Happosai look like a saint." Urd laughed in reply.

"Ok, so I'll have all these neat new powers, I'll be more open with my feelings, and I won't hate my female form anymore, what else?" he counted the items off on his fingers as he spoke. "And I might have to blast a few real demons from time to time."

"There's a problem there." she said pursing her lips.

"What sorta problem?" he asked her suddenly feeling a bit uneasy.

"There can never be an open conflict between kami and demons." she told him in a very serious tone. "The damage such a battle would wreak upon the Earth would be incredible. So to deter such conflicts the Doublet System was installed into Yggdrasil."

"The what?" he looked at her, she could tell he was trying very hard to understand what she was telling him.

"Yggdrasil is the Tree of Power, think of it like a giant computer that controls all of reality. Well the Doublet System pairs up a kami with a demon. If one fights the other the system eradicates both of them."

"Whoa." he breathed suddenly understanding the significance of what she said.

"Is there anything else I should know?" he asked.

"Get your so called life in order, fix that iinazuke problem you've got between Akane, Shampoo, Ukyo, and Kodachi." she said urging him. "Also show that pint-sized pervert and that diminutive Amazon who's boss, pay your father back for that ten year training mission, and put an end to that senseless feud between you and Ryoga."

"Sounds like a start." Ranma said already thinking of what to do.

"There is one last thing, we'll be waking up soon so I gotta make this quick." Urd said as she stood up. "Find your sisters, they're in Nekomi staying at the Morrisato place."

"I, I have sister?" Ranma asked with surprise.

"Yes, get to know them and they'll help you get acclimated to your new life." Urd told him. "Well, we're waking up, see ya tonight." She faded into the darkness, then the darkness gave way to light. Ranma opened his eyes and looked around the hospital room. He felt a warm body laying next to him. Turning he saw Akane sleeping there cuddled up next to him, a gentle smile on her face. Without any of the fear he had before Ranma reached out and brushed a lock of hair away from her face. He never noticed before how pretty she really was, how great a figure she had. There would likely be a lot of things he probably didn't notice about her in the days, weeks, months, and maybe years ahead. A voice inside of his mind told him he should hate her, she tried to kill you, but looking at that beautiful serene face sleeping there made that all fade away.

The next morning at the Tendo dojo was not a happy one. Genma did not even eat much of his breakfast, he'd pick something up in his chopsticks and take a bite, but he didn't have much of an apatite. His son had probably died sometime during the night. Nabiki sat in her room, tears streaking down her face as she put her entire collection of pictures of Ranma in his girl form through a paper shredder. She could no longer bring herself to sell them. Soun laid in his futon in his bedroom looking at the ceiling wondered how everything had all gone so wrong. In the dojo Kasumi knelled at the family shrine praying to her mother to help guide Ranma's spirit to the afterlife. The phone started ringing, after the fifth ring she got up to answer it since nobody else in the house was moving to do so. She got to the phone in the kitchen and put to her ear.

"Mushi mushi." she said without much emotion.

"Oh, Akane, wait, you're talking too fast I can't understand you." she went on after hearing her sister talking into the phone at a million miles per second. "Slow down. What? Come to the hospital? Oh, please slow down."

"What is it?" Genma asked walking into the kitchen. "Is it Akane?"

"Come to the hospital, what's that about Ranma, I can't understand you." Kasumi continued. "We're coming now, bye." She hung up the phone and gave Mr. Saotome the most bewildered expression he's ever seen on her face.

"Is it about my boy?" he asked.

"I honestly couldn't tell, she was talking so fast I couldn't follow what she was saying, but what I did understand is that she wants us all at the hospital right now." Kasumi explained.

"I'll call a cab."

When they arrived at the hospital it was in a state of total chaos. People were running about, nurses, doctors, priests, the place was a bedlam of frantic activity, and all of it was centered around the ICU unit. As soon as they arrived one of Ranma's doctors approached them. A nurse suddenly ran by yelling, "Its a miracle, a miracle!"

"Mr. Saotome, Mr. Tendo, I'm glad you made it here so early, sorry for the state we're in right now but once you see why I think you'll all understand." he said.

"What has happened to my son?" Genma asked the man.

The doctor lead them all into Ranma's room and he said, "Ask him yourself, Mr. Saotome."

"Hi pops." said Saotome Ranma, who was sitting on the edge of his bed with Akane at his side holding his hand.

"Oh my!" Kasumi gasped and fainted straight away.

"Kasumi!" Soun shouted and caught his eldest daughter before she hit the floor.

"H-H-H-H-How?" Genma stammered as he walked towards his son. Indeed Ranma looked very much alive and unharmed, the day before he'd been a terrible mess, but now it was as if that had never happened. The young man had a smile on his face and his eyes sparkled with health and vitality. It took the Saotome patriarch a few moment before he noticed something different about his son. On his face were a series of triangular shaped blue markings that looked almost like tattoos of some form. The man was too elated at seeing his only child alive and well to worry about something as trivial as face paint.

"I hope I didn't worry anybody." Ranma said to everyone.

"Ranma, when we saw you yesterday you were mangled beyond recognition." Nabiki stepped around Genma and took a close look at the young man.

"Shampoo and Ukyo said it took four hours for the rescue crews to get you out of that machine you were in." Genma added.

Ranma just smiled knowingly at his father. "Its not the right time to explain what has happened and why I'm alive, but I can tell you that this is all real."

"That nurse was right, it is a miracle." Tendo Soun said as he looked at Ranma.

Ranma simply looked at him and said, "You have no idea."

To be continued...

Chapter 2: The New Ranma

Ranma comes home from the hospital and his other suitors come over to celebrate his recovery. Shampoo discovers she can't manipulate him anymore like she could before, and Happosai gets a rude awakening.