Constructing Misanthrope
by Neil Reynolds

"I've got a theory you might find interesting. While Ranma may have had a lonely childhood, it was more or less happy." the female red-haired martial artist said.

"His loneliness was due to something beyond his control. He was lonely becaue he was training to be a martial artist, not because of any perceived fault within himself. I can't remember any of his life before he fell into the spring, but I can see pieces of it within his dreams. His mother acted like she loved the little ranma, and even his father's harsh trainings were seen as benefitting Ranma. So what if Ranma's father wasn't a touchy-feeley parent who hugged him and told him he was loved, Ranma knew his father cared."

"Then came the endless putdowns from his father for a curse his father gave him. Then came the flight from China for no good reason from a sore looser out to kill him. Then the announcement from his father that his bride was already chosen."

"But at least Ranma'd have something of a home now. Even if his home's made up of an older sister who's so concerned about being the proper host and caring for her family to say hello, or to try to make a guest feel truely welcome. A middle sister who grabs and fondles breasts after being asked point blank to stop, and a youngest sister who renegs on the only friendly words spoken in the house within minutes of making them. Someone who blames Ranma for all of the insanity that happened, when it was quite clear that the fathers were preventing him from leaving at the time."

"This was the first time Ranma considered that his loneliness wasn't a condition of his lifestyle. He was lonely, surrounded by people who couldn't be bothered to even say hello. But still, he had those happy memories from his life before Jhusenkyou to bough him up. Memories of meeting nice people whom he knew he might have formed friendships if he had only stayed in the area, People who were kind, even to complete strangers met in passing on the long road. People I never met."

"But I met the doctor who used shiatsu to force me to depend on Akane's rare mercies. I met Nabiki who spread word of Ranma's engagement over the school, cutting off all chance of Ranma being treated as a person in his own right. I met Tatewaki, trying to bully every male to prove his greatness, and Nabiki encouraging Kuno into molesting his pigtailed beauty."

"Ryouga blaming everything on Ranma. The fathers blaming everything on Ranma. Akane taking everything out on Ranma. Nabiki playing with Ranma for her amusement and to prove to the world how bright she is. Kasumi councelling Ranma to accept the burdens of family duty that she wasn't willing to consider."

"But soon, the other fiancees show up and shower Ranma with affection, right? Well I suppose you could mistake Shampoo's attempts at seduction for love. Everyone seems to assume love means sex, right? All she insisted on was that Ranma abandon his life, and live the way she wanted, without even bothering to get to know anything about the person she professed to love."

"Ukyou was a little better, having known the six year old Ranma. She at least had some grounds for thinking that she knew about Ranma and cared for him, if she ever bothered to learn more than the roughest outline of Ranma's life for the ten years that they were seperated. So she proceeded to trade on past friendships to try to force new affection."

"And when all three fiancees were together, they quickly proved that they were more interested in scoring points off of each other than they were in helping Ranma."

"I wont even bother listing the actions of Mousse, Cologne, and Happosai. Cologne might have done something for Ranma once without an ulterior motive, but I'm not sure. Still Ranma kept the idea of the inherent goodness of people from his younger memories. But while I learned loneliness along with Ranma, he didn't learn from you how to hate."

"Imagine how surprised I was to find out that Ranma's own mother, whom he barely remembered as the source of all love, was more interested in whether her son was a 'man among men' than if he were happy? Imagine how it felt to see the Tendos and Genma fawning over Happosai to get him to stop his tantrum, going so far as to throw out of the house the minor who was supposed to be cared for until he became family. Nabiki never tried to make money at Happosai's expense. Kasumi never tried to convince him that he was the one who had to give in and change for Akane's sake. The Tendos showered care upon the pervert that Ranma wasn't entitled to."

"Ranma never expected kindness from Happosai, he just dismissed Happosai as a statistical anomally. Even though Happosai is an evil bastard, that didn't change Ranma's belief that people are basically good. For Ranma thought Happosai was just an exception to the way people normally are."

"The actions of the Kunos could easily be excused through ignorance and insanity. Why, Kuno's delusions of being a great samurai could be seen as proof that Kuno wanted desperately to be one of the good guys."

"Ranma easily ignored Kuno's desire to subjugate others using violence. Ranma quickly learned to ignore Kuno's lust to ravish his pigtailed goddess. Kuno's need to humiliate Ranma publically. Ranma didn't let that color his belief that people are basically good."

"But I didn't start off with a belief in the inherent sanctity of mankind. I just existed and watched the way I was treated. The way I was assaulted from behind by someone claiming to be an honorable martial artist just for claiming I was prettier than her. I watched how defeating an amazon in a challenge was grounds for death. How living at the Tendo house was grounds for being attacked by a weapon that could slice a stone wall."

"I may have survived it all, but the people doing it couldn't have been sure I was so strong and tough. It was obvious enough that my survival vexed them. They wanted my death, or at least my sufferring. Ranma either ignored it, forgave it, or forgot it. I didn't."

"And because Ranma forgave everyone, everyone treated Ranma with barely disguised contempt. 'Ranma will forgive anything' therefor 'I can do anything to Ranma.' No one said 'Ranma doesn't deserve to be treated as a whipping boy for all of the Tendo's, Saotome's and Furinkan's problems.' It's always 'Let Ranma fix it.' and 'Why hasn't he fixed it yet to my satisfaction?'"

"Unfortunately Ranma's not the brightest tool in the shed. He continued to believe in forgiveness and mercy. And he even hoped that if he was just a bit nicer, perhaps people would notice and treat him nicely. As if people treated him with contempt because he wasn't good enough."

"I, on the other hand, experienced the abuse and saw how it increased as Ranma forgave past offenses. 'Ranma makes Akane angry, Ranma gets beat up' changes to 'Someone makes Akane angry, Ranma gets beat up.' I felt the jealous rage turn into abuse. How others, jealous of my skill banded together to try to humilliate me. How girls, professing to love me, used me to score points off of each other."

"I remember the times Nabiki sold me off like a cheap whore for the amusement of others, and how people professing to love me, paid money to debase me. I remember how low they devalued me. I remember how parents did nothing to protect me, while still demanding obedience. I remembered how Kasumi dismissed my suffering as inconsequential."

"I've experienced everything Ranma has since he fell in that spring. And guess what? I don't love any of my fiancees. I don't like any of my fiancees. I did love Ranma. He was like a silly younger brother to me."

"I learned my love of martial arts from him. Every attack he learned, I learned too, except for the nekoken. The training for that happened before I existed. I learned what loneliness was from him. Being surrounded by people you care about that care nothing for you will do that. I didn't learn forgiveness from him. Without his irrational belief that people were basically good and nice, he couldn't teach me forgiveness.

"I learned how to hate from all of you. I'm very good at learning things. Why, I learn new attacks from only seeing them a few times. And I saw hatred day in, day out for months. Hatred, trying to do away with Ranma."

"So when Kuno used the wishing sword to kill Ranma and free the pigtailed girl, a kind, caring boy who loved all of you was murdered, and left me alone with you bastards."

"And that's why the parents have supposedly left with Happosai on a training trip. There isn't anything left of them to identify. That's why Nabiki was offed by the Yakusa, and Kodachi was arrested for killing Tatewaki. That's why Mousse was drugged into raping Shampoo. That's why you haven't seen Ryouga for weeks, and Ukyou's place burned down."

"That's why you're bleeding to death from that arterial wound, Akane, and why you're going to be unable to protect Kasumi. You're dying, and leaving the last Tendo undefended. I'll make sure her end is suitably slow and painful."

"Die knowing that you successfully taught me hatred, and that you're abandoning Kasumi to my nonexistant mercy."

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Please review, correct, or comment on this story.

I honestly don't know why my stories have turned towards hate, and revenge. I like to think I'm letting it out in my stories to avoid spreading poison in real life.

Currently I'm working on the last chapter of "To Tell a Hawk From a Handsaw," a rewrite of "Bitter Memories" Another longish story I've been holding back because I don't know where its going or if I'll finish it, A story centered around Genma, a story centered around Nodoka, and a story I started last night when I realized I hadn't written anything light and cheerful recently.

The last one is meant to hearken back to the kind of jokes in "Handsaw," but without the story resolving itself. More like the original Ranma in that it's episodic, and never ends (Well, hardly ever), but with Ranma acting more like a witty prankster.

I have other stories that I've started, and let languish for lack of ideas. Stories that I haven't posted because I dont want to release something I might never continue.

"Handsaw" will be finished. There's only a few scenes left to write, but I'm finding it difficult. The big one's are the meeting of Ranma and Nodoka, the end of Genma, and the wrapup with Ukyou. The final chapter's already 33K (about 6000 words).