Author's Notes (3/4/05): Sorry this is not an update just some minor spelling and grammar editing. I would like to thank the people who pointed out my misspelling of Nodoka's name. I would really like to thank DelShalDar for taking the time to edit my story. I will be updating as soon as I get back into the mood to continue this story. I been watching to many anime lately that have been making me sad (Chrono Crusade and Saikano). On a good note (or bad if you really really want me to update) I got some new anime to watch (Pita Ten and Futakoi). Hopefully they'll put me in a better mood, so I can continue this story.
The night was cool, calm and quite, but to anyone who knew Nerima, they knew that the peace was not to last. The center of the chaos, Ranma Saotome, sat on the roof of the Tendo dojo. He just sat there relishing in the calm before the storm known as his life started over again. Tonight was different from all of the nights that he had done this before. Tonight he realized that his heart had finally chosen. He would never admit it, but he was scared of making a choice. It scared him that he had finally picked someone, but what scared him even more was who he picked. His pondering was cut short as he heard someone trying to get his attention.
Ranma looked down, and saw his mother looking at him with concern in her eyes. He had to smile. Ever since coming into his life, she had been one of the few points of happiness in his life. Jumping down and landing on the ground he answered his mother.
Nodoka looked at her son, and had to smile. She had been out of his life for so long that she sometimes felt that she was not his mother. Hearing him call her mom always brought a smile to her face. Nodoka was very concerned about her son tonight. While the Tendo family and her son was enjoying the dinner she had prepared tonight, she had noticed that Ranma was distracted and more quite then usual. She had decided then that she would ask her son what was bothering him. She motioned for him to sit beside her.
"Is something bothering you? You seem to be distracted."
Ranma was about to opened his mouth to say that nothing was wrong with him, but held back. Ranma was not sure what to do. Part of him wanted to deny his mother's request, and try to solve his problems on his own. The other part of him wanted to tell her everything. He stayed silent as he tried to come to a decision.
Nodoka saw the confusion on her child's face, and decide to say something.
"Son…Ranma I know that I have not a very good mother, and for that I am very sorry." Nodoka took a breath to steady herself, "I was never there to help you before. Please let me help you, or at the very least let me get to know my son."
Ranma watch his mother as she spoke, and saw sadness swirling in his mother's eyes. Coming to a decision he nodded. He didn't know where to start, so he figured he would start with the very center of his problem.
"I finally chose."
Nodoka sat there in shock. Had she not been sitting down she would have toppled over in an undignified heap.
Taking his mothers silence as a sign to continue; Ranma forged on, and decided to tell her everything from the beginning.
"It had started last week; I had been gotten into an argument with Akane. I don't even remember what the argument with her was about, but as usual Akane hit me with her mallet. Instead of being sent through the roof I got stuck in the floor of Soun's room. While pulling myself out I noticed a notebook that was hidden underneath the floor boards. When I looked at the notebook I found it used to belong to Kimiko Tendo." Ranma then sighed, smiled and looked up into the star filled sky. "I have not, and will not read through the book, but the writing on the cover of the book caught my attention:
To love one must have trust, friendship and hope.
Trust is to have faith, and believe in the other. Friendship is being by one side through times of calm and times of difficulty. Hope in having a future to look forward to.
Trust, friendship and hope are the foundations of love, and without all three it is not love.
Love defined by Kimiko Tendo.
At first it didn't bother me, but as the week went on I noticed that my fiancées always talked about love one way or another. I realized I was engaged to be married; something that only people who love each other are suppose to do. As soon as I got some time alone, I tested what I felt for each of the girls against Mrs. Tendo's definition of love."
"What did you find?" replied a captivated Nodoka.
"I didn't bother with Kodachi because she's a psycho and doesn't have a real claim on me."
"First I tried with Shampoo." Ranma said, "I can't trust her. First off, my first memories of her were when she was trying to kill me. Even when she found out I was a guy Shampoo and Cologne tried to use magic, tricks and threats to try to get me married to her. She tries to gain my love, but it's not to be by my side. She does it to gain prize; she does stand by my side, but I do consider her a friend." Ranma sighed again, and looked to the ground, "I have no hope for the future if I do choose her. I don't want to be a second rate citizen in a small village."
As Nodoka listened she could not find anything wrong about her son's conclusions about the purple-haired girl.
"Ukyo…." Ranma took a breath and continued "I used to think that I could trust her, but now I'm not sure. I trusted her because of the friendship that we had. When I thought about it she seems to use our childhood friendship as leverage over the other girls. Because of that she has lost a lot of my trust. Losing all that trust has made our friendship feel weak. It's nowhere as strong as it was all of those years ago. Hope. With Ukyo I have no hope. I don't want a future where all I do is say 'Do you want fries and a drink with that?' I want something more."
Nodoka nodded thinking that she did not want that kind of life for her son.
As her son said her name Nodoka noticed his eyes clouded with emotion. She saw sadness and anger warring in his blue eyes.
"Akane…." Ranma closed his eyes and continued, "She rarely trust me. After all I've done for her she doesn't trust me. Whether I'm in or out of her sight she accuses me of being unfaithful to her. She hits me that damn mallet of hers for every little detail or word I say; sometimes, I think that she hits me for no reasons at all. As for friendship…."
As Ranma said friendship Nodoka noticed that Ranma's eyes had froze over and unconsciously shivered.
Ranma noticed that his mother had shivered and looked over at her. The ice in his eyes replaced with concern.
"If your cold we can go inside." his voice now laced with concern.
Nodoka smiled as she felt a warmth swell up in her, "I'm alright please continue."
Ranma nodded. The coldness in his eyes had returned, but it wasn't as bitter as before. "Friendship Akane lost that the first day we met. When Akane first offered it to me, it was the first time in years I truly felt happy. Then as quickly as I received it, that happiness was taken away. Maybe that was the first time, unconsciously, I started to resent her. It wasn't much, but the seed had been planted. Over the years all the mistrust, beatings and cruel words caused the seed has grown to something much more. It maybe hate, it may not be… all I know is that the only future I see with her is my own grave."
Nodoka was in shock. She knew that something was disturbing him, but didn't know that his feelings ran this deep. Before she could speak Ranma cut her off.
"Do you know those tragic love stories where either the guy or girl kills themselves because they couldn't be together?"
Nodoka slowly nodded and kept silent.
"I originally thought couples in those movies were stupid. At the time I figured that since I had to leave everyone I cared for behind…" Ranma looking at his mother starting to tremble tenderly reached out, and grasped her hand squeezing it slightly continued, "but I was able to keep going. I thought that they should be able to keep going too."
Ranma looked down at his hand that was holding his mothers.
"But now I find myself in a similar situation because I rather die then marry and of my fiancées. I want to be with her and only her, so now I think understand what each of those couples was going through."
Using her free hand Nodoka cupped his chin raising his head until his eyes met hers, and asked the question that had been bothering since the beginning of the conversation.
"Who is she?"
Watching him Nodoka felt her being fill with joy as Ranma's eyes seem to glow with joy at the mere mention of this girl's name.
A smile graced his face as he as he spoke with confidence.
Nodoka smiled as thought of grandchildren graced her mind. Forcing those thoughts to the side figuring that she had to help her son and can play with her grandchildren later she asked,
"At first I didn't consider her a girl that could possibly be my wife. It was the day after I had come to the conclusions about the other girls. I was practicing out in the backyard still thinking about what I was going to do now that I knew that I didn't love any of my fiancées, when I caught a glimpse of her face. The look she had seemed to be so wrong. It was a look of sadness and regret. The look on her face was so out of place that I lost my concentration and fell head first into the ground. I think that Kasumi forgot I had a hard head." He shot his mother an amused look as he watched his mother fail to hide a giggle. "The next thing I remember was looking into Kasumi's concerned eyes. I remember thinking she concerned about me, and…" Ranma bent his head down to try to hide his blush, but failed "she has beautiful eyes."
Nodoka was giddy with one thought, 'My little boy is in love'
"I got scared, and ran to the furo. After that the day went normally, well as normal for a day in Nerima. I was so busy that I forgot about Kasumi until I was falling asleep. Right when I was falling asleep saw Kasumi's sad face. I remember having two dreams that night. In the first dream I remember that Kasumi was a doctor, and I in charge of the dojo. The dream felt so real I can almost remember holding her in my arms, and playing with our children. In the second dream we were together, but instead of settling down we were traveling the world with our child. I remember holding my family as we slept in a tent. Also I can feel the happiness that floated off us as I taught her the art. After the second dream I woke up. After those dreams I was too distracted to fall back to sleep. At the time the two dreams I experienced had been disturbing, not only was I married to Kasumi, but I was happy. My dreams showed me that I could be happy with Kasumi, so I decided to put her through the same test I put the others through."
After a moment of silence, Nodoka urged her son to continue.
"And what did you find?"
"I found that I can trust her. She is someone I can talk to and tell her things I would be careful telling anyone else. I can tell her because I know that she will not use whatever I tell her to manipulate me in anyway. She is my friend because I can talk to her, and she will help me as much as she can without expecting anything in return. No matter what problems I have, whether if it's something that is really bothering me, or if I just want to have a normal quite talk. When I think of the dreams I had of being with her I feel happy, and have something to look forward to. The dreams may only be of a couple possible futures, but every time I think of her standing by me no matter what the future is, I have hope. But there's more I want to be with her emotionally even…" Ranma colored with a deep blush, "physically…"
Ranma hesitated for a moment to collect his thoughts also trying to get rid of his blush, and the mental pictures his words brought.
"Even that is just a little bit of what I feel. I every time I see her either doing chores, or walking to the market she is always happy, and I thought that she was almost always happy. Everything changed the moment I saw the look of regret and sadness directed at me that one day. Now that I thought about it I figured out that her cheerful demeanor and eternally happy face was a mask that she wears for the world to see. I want to see under that mask. I want to be the one she trust and care enough for her to take off that mask. I think that she can't be happy being an unmarried house wife. She is a person too, so I know she has to have her own dreams and hopes. I feel pain when I think of what she gave up to help her family, and I want to do anything to help her find her dreams again."
"When are you going to tell her? What are you going to do?"
"...nothing..." Ranma reluctantly replied
"WHAT! WHY!" was Nodoka's surprised reply.
"To her, family comes first. Even if she did come to care for me she would not admit it because it would hurt Akane." Ranma paused to try to find the right words for what he was going to say next, "For her family, Kasumi already gave up her freedom, her dreams, maybe even...her future. If it meant that she would not hurt her family, it wouldn't be hard for her to give up a man she Lo- cares for."
Nodoka sat there stunned at the words coming from her child. Nodoka could only watch as Ranma stood and awkwardly hugged her.
"Thank you for listening to me, and being my mother."
With that said Ranma released his mother from the hug, and leaped to the roof of the Tendo home then to another roof as he started to make his way to his favorite spot under the bridge. Nodoka had a lot to think about. As she turned around she saw...
"Kasumi..." Nodoka whispered
Both stared at each other in an emotional silence. Just as Nodoka was about to say something Kasumi quietly spoke, in an emotionally thick voice that made Nodoka's heart weep.
As Kasumi turned to retreat back to her room, Nodoka could only watch the lone tear that fell.
End of prologue
This really started out as a free write, so I have no clue where its going. I think this is a AU and I dont really know what part of the time line this takes place at so don't ask. I will update as I can, I usually write when I'm board in class. Oh and this first fanfic, just a minor warning. Anyways please leave a review or E-mail me at:
Oh and flames will be tossed into Akane's cooking. Then when they're alive be force fed her cooking to die a slow, painful death.