The Trip Home
Disclaimer: I don't own this series or any other series. I am just floating an idea. I am making no money, nor plan to, off this venture. If you think of suing me over this, then grow up.
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I would like to first personally thank all of those reviewing my stories. I enjoy reading your comments, and try to correct the grammatical errors I miss with my final read-through as well as my spell checkers. The suggestions you all make will help make this story better for everyone to enjoy, as well as allow my to fix some plot holes I may unintentionally leave. If you find any, let me know, and I will correct them and repost the chapters.
Thanks to Howard, for helping me along.
Nabiki dropped her book bag on the floor and nearly threw herself into her chair. The last final had been the hardest of the semester. True, she had missed two weeks of classes when her youngest was born, but she had those classes taped for her, and her professor had even come to the hospital and her home to answer her questions.
But the important thing was that finals were all done. She was now one semester closer to her degree.
She felt no surprise when she felt a pair of hands begin to massage her shoulders. "Hey, little girl. Would you like to leave with me?"
Nabiki had to smile. Placing her hands on his, she leaned her head back. "I think my husband would be upset with me if I did that."
"What does he have that I don't?"
She started laughing. "For one, the ability to grow a set of double-Ds in a rain storm."
He leaned forward, kissing her lightly. "How was the final?"
"I aced it; was there ever any doubt? How were classes today?"
He let out a breath. "I had to test Makoto today. I swear, that girl has the drive, but she's just missing something."
Nabiki knew who Ranma was talking about. About three months ago, the girl had come to the dojo where they were staying, begging Ranma to teach her. Though the girl was still in high school, she showed a drive and determination that reminded Ranma too much of his old self, so he agreed.
The girl threw herself into the class and, even Nabiki had to admit, it was cute how she kept referring to Ranma as her sempai.
But even she could see that something was holding the girl back.
"I had to deny her the next level. She has the moves and the skills, but her heart isn't with the moves. I said I would test her again when we got back from visiting our families, but she needed to find out what was holding her heart back."
"Maybe she's got a crush on you?" Nabiki offered, trying to make him feel better, but even though she knew that wasn't the case. True, a lot of women and young girls did flirt with her husband, but this Makoto girl wasn't one of them.
Ranma just sat on the couch. "I wish I could help her more, but she has to get over this hurdle on her own."
Nabiki stood up, ignoring the demands of her body to keep relaxing. She sat on her husband's lap, pulling him into a powerful kiss. "You can't help her through something she's not ready for. Just be glad you gave her the chance to redeem herself. I'm certain she'll find her way."
She patted him on his chest. "Besides, you need to cheer up; we're heading back to Nerima tomorrow."
Ranma just shook his head. "I don't know why. The last time we tried to talk with them, they tried to kill you."
"I know, but we have two very good reasons now to try and make peace."
Both turned to the owners of the dojo coming into the living room: the wife holding a small baby with red hair, the husband holding the hand of an energetic three-year-old with dark hair. "Mommy, Daddy, you have fun?"
The little girl ran up to her parents, eliciting a sudden sound of pain as she leapt onto their laps. Nabiki ran her hands through her daughter's hair while Ranma took their son from Mrs. Oyobi. "Did you have fun with grandma and grandpa?"
"Yeah, they let me play with paint!"
Ranma lowered his head as Nabiki gave a questioning glare to Mr. Oyobi. Both were currently recalling a certain neighbor's dog that was painted green with a plaid tail.
"Don't worry," Mr. Oyobi said. "I watched her. After we did some kata she wanted to perfect, she painted...on paper."
"Mommy, do we have to go see Grandpa Waterfall and Grandpa Baka tomorrow?"
Ranma laughed a little. The two had used those names so often, she had picked them up. "Kimiko, what did we tell you about calling them that?"
She scratched the back of her head. "Um, make certain they're in the room and say it very loud?"
Ranma looked at Nabiki. "And who told you that, dear?"
Kimiko moved to answer, but was quickly quieted by her mother's hand over her mouth. "Now, she doesn't need to do that. Let's just let the subject drop."
Mr. and Mrs. Oyobi just shook their heads and left. The couple had been living with them for the last five years, and it was never boring with them around.
But tomorrow, they were going back to Nerima. They said they were going to introduce their children to their parents, but they were going back into hell as far as the Oyobis were concerned.
Five years ago...
Nabiki was on her way to school, her arm entwined with Ranma's. Though she wasn't planning on taking the switched engagement seriously, she was going to make Akane work to get it back. After all, she owed her sister some payback after she destroyed the balcony, simply because she thought they were ganging up on her to make fun of her.
She already had the day planned. With Ranma now as her fiancé, she could earn even more money off him. Already, pictures of both of his forms were going for a premium, and the Martial Arts club had expressed an interest in borrowing him for a few hours. In total, she stood to make a hefty profit today.
Of course, when they arrived, that was when all hell broke loose.
They came through the gates: her appearance as cutesy as she could make it, trying to convey the appearance of a fiancée madly in love with Ranma. But everyone was quiet, just staring at them. She expected a few stares, but everyone doing it was making her nervous.
It was only a few seconds between that and the feeling of Ranma grabbing her. He yanked her away from Shampoo's blow and quickly dodged a flying spatula from Ukyo. "What the hell are you two doing?" Ranma screamed.
"Shampoo no let obstacle take Airen!" Shampoo raised her bonbori in preparation for a new attack.
"Don't worry, sugar. I won't let this harpy steal you with her scandals and lies!" Ukyo raised her oversized spatula.
"What the hell are you two yelling about?" Ranma was confused as hell. He had no idea what they were yelling about now but, judging by how their attacks were meant to kill, he was not going to let them hurt Nabiki. He wasn't going to let them hurt someone who couldn't fight back.
He never got a chance to hear their replies, as he had to grab Nabiki and move her out of the way of several spiked clubs. Great, the gang's all here. "Would someone tell me why you're all trying to kill Nabiki? I ain't kidding around, and if you keep this up, you're all going to get hurt...bad."
The fiancées just ignored his words, deciding now to continue their attacks. Ranma tried his best to keep Nabiki from being hit, as well as disable the attackers. He wanted answers, but none were forthcoming from the enraged females.
Nabiki, for the first time, was feeling fear. She had not counted on the girls reacting this badly to the engagement. Hell, she had believed she could rent Ranma to them for dates. But now, they were trying to kill her.
She could only think of one thing to explain this: Akane had arrived early, ranted about some conspiracy or something else without thinking one bit, and the Fiancée Brigade had heard what they wanted to and were now out for blood.
She quickly told Ranma they needed to get out of there and regroup. After they escaped, she hoped they'd be able to find out why the girls were acting like mindless assassins.
They barely avoided a combined assault when things went from bad to 'Hey, is that a mushroom cloud?' worse.
"Saotome, how dare you toy with my Shampoo's precious heart!"
"Ranma, how dare you do that to Akane! Prepare to die!"
"Foul sorcerer, you may have spoiled the foul mercenary, but I shall not let you do likewise to my fierce tigress or the pig-tailed girl!"
Even she wasn't certain where the explosives came from but, one massive blast later, she was wearily directing Ranma to a location where her crew had an emergency vehicle for times such as this. She could drive, but she was more worried about Ranma. When he slid into the passenger seat, she could see blood coming from his back where he had shielded her from the blast.
Soon afterwards, she was driving as fast as she could to Dr. Tofu's office in Juuban, the only place she was certain that even the Amazons wouldn't be able to find them.
It was an hour later, after Tofu had patched up Ranma, before Nabiki had a chance to make a call. She used a throwaway cell phone to call her associates and find out what had happened.
She had been right; Akane had caused this with her stupidity.
"That pervert, they're probably working together against me. I wouldn't be surprised if she's doing it because he knocked her up."
Careless words, said by an angry and somewhat deluded girl who refused to admit any feelings for a boy, had nearly gotten Nabiki and Ranma killed.
All she could do now was plan ahead. She had her associate deliver a message to the dojo. They were to be informed of Akane's stupidity, and told that their funds would dry up in a month. It would be best if they got jobs now, or they'd be homeless in twenty-nine days. They were told, for the moment, to stay away from the Kunos, Ukyo, and the Amazons. The three would think of nothing of trying to convince the girls to talk about where Nabiki was now, even if she didn't reveal it to them.
After sending off the message, she waited beside her savior's bed. He had taken every stray shot, every assault meant for her.
And she had been planning on selling him out because she didn't want to force her father to grow up. She had been the breadwinner for so long, she had forgotten how to let go. And because of three women this guy couldn't bring himself to hurt and three men who refused to live by any honor, she had nearly been killed.
She made two calls using up the last moments on the phone, while riding a random subway car. Ukyo just spent her time cursing and swearing that Nabiki would die for stealing her Ranma's purity. Shampoo refused to put Cologne on, but insisted that they "meet" to discuss it. Nabiki dumped the phone afterwards. They wouldn't listen, and she wouldn't even try the Kunos.
When she returned to the clinic, Ranma had already woken up so she told him everything. He tried to blame himself, saying he should have kept things from going like they had. But in the end, she finally convinced him that he had done nothing wrong.
After Ranma recovered, Tofu set them up with a family named Oyobi that owned a dojo. Their children had recently moved out, and the husband and wife were looking for some help in running their dojo. They were quite popular and, if Ranma would help with the classes and Nabiki would help with the books, they would be able to stay there for free.
So, that ended the lives of the duo in Nerima, and the two began a new life in Juuban.
Nabiki looked at her husband as he slept. They had been married for four years, and she had never once regretted it. The two had grown closer when they moved in.
The Oyobis had been invaluable. First, the couple had provided room and board, followed by clothing, schooling, and they had even helped Nabiki apply to college. She wasn't too worried about being found, as the only one who could have found them was her. They simply kept a low profile, and enjoyed the quiet and their budding relationship.
Ranma was happy. He had a stable environment to live in and people who helped him become a better person and helped him deal with his curse. He had a real home. The couple was respected enough to give him access to martial arts techniques that would have made his old man drool...and, more likely, sell him for marriage. After a few months, he had better control over the Nekoken, learned skills that put the Amazon techniques to shame, and even mastered a few energy attacks that supposedly surpassed something called the Shishi Höködan. In all, Ranma was happy, and her being there and giving him an honest chance was all he could ask for.
But then, just as the school year ended, he began having visitors in his dreams.
As he explained them to her, they called themselves the Spirits of Jusenkyo. They asked him to be their avatar and stop the pollution of their lands. It seemed that the spring that fed them was being polluted by darkness: a darkness generated by some idiot named Saffron. In exchange, they taught him how to fight the Phoenix God and gave him some control over his curse. They couldn't remove it—there was no cure for it—but they could remove the water-attraction part of it.
The month that he had been gone was the hardest time Nabiki had ever gone through—outside of her mother's death. If not for her adoptive guardians, she might have even run back to Nerima for help.
Eventually Ranma returned, but his heart was heavy. He had been forced to kill the Phoenix God. Even though he was reborn, it still preyed on Ranma's soul. He wasn't worried about people following him; they only knew him as 'The Warrior of Jusenkyo.'
He proposed shortly after that, and they were married in a small ceremony soon afterwards, before classes began again.
This brought them to now. Now they had a three-year-old daughter named Kimiko, after her mother. The child was also like her father, addicted to martial arts and creating trouble with her mother's intellect. There were times that she feared the Sailor Senshi would show up and think her child some youma or whatever they referred to the bad guys as. And then there was their newborn son, Ranko. He had fiery red hair, just like his father's cursed form, and a grip that promised he'd be stronger than Ryoga.
She still remembered the worry in her husband's eyes when each child was born. Even with the promise of the Spirits of Jusenkyo—that children never carried the curse of their parents—he feared the kids would be gender-cursed like him. He had been lucky and able to find some solace and aid to deal with his curse, but even Ranma knew how cruel others could be.
She also had college, with one year remaining before she got her Business degree. Ranma had even been able to get a degree to help raise the credibility of the dojo, though all of his students swore they would still study under him without it. It was more to help ensure future students than anything else.
They stayed with their adopted family, finding peace and happiness in this town. Though, Nabiki's happiness was somewhat marred by her husband's occasional patrols to eliminate some things the Senshi never found out about. He wouldn't stop, even when Nabiki threatened to get him a Senshi outfit and send Ranko—the female Ranma, not their son—out to fight for Love and Justice.
But he needed to protect them, and if that meant stepping on the toes of the Senshi, then so be it. He had even told her that Makoto might be one of them, as he recognized how she fought.
Nabiki couldn't care less. Five years ago, she would have hunted them all down and blackmailed them. Now, she only cared about the safety of her family. Let the girls have their lives; Kami-sama knows they deserve it.
But she needed to get some rest. Tomorrow, they would face the madness again after five years. He was certain he was ready to face anything any of the former suitors could throw at them, but even he wouldn't risk his family's life on that. After five years of training, Nabiki was now a match for how good they were back then. But if they had improved, she was still good enough to protect the children.
And may Kami-sama help them if they tried to hurt the children. The new Ranma would not hesitate to ensure they never be able to practice the art again.
She lay back down beside her husband, his arms encircling her, offering her protection and comfort. She was ready, as ready as she'd ever be.
For tomorrow, they faced the demons of their past. Tomorrow, they faced...Nerima.
If I messed anything up, then let me know including typos.
Any suggestions on how I should continue the story or improve it would also be accepted.
Also, if you have any suggestions for how this should go, let me know. My own imagination, while vast, always enjoys a new thought. Also, catch me if you don't think I am making the characters true to form, or a way to make them better.